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5.2.75 - Tertullian

Tertullian (c. 150 - c. 212) was a prolific writer producing some 1,500 pages in about thirty books. Tertullian was drawn to some of the teachings of Montanism, especially their teachings on holiness. His most famous work is called the Apology in which he dissects pagan religion in order to point out its irrational nature and in which he criticizes the Romans for their negative attitude toward Christians. He also wrote apologetic works against Marcion’s anti-Semitism and against the Gnostic heretics Hermogenes and Valentinus. Tertullian rejected the philosophical schools of his time including Platonism because it was antimaterialist (believing that only the soul, but not the flesh could be saved). Tertullian practiced a form of early “dispensationalism” in which he divided history into three ages, according to the Persons of the Trinity (the OT being the age of the Father, the Incarnation the age of the Son, the time since Pentecost the age of the Holy Spirit). Tertullian is thought to have died at Carthage sometime after A.D. 212.1 Crutchfield provides the following dates for Tertullian: A.D. 150-225.2

Notes

1 Gerald L. Bray, “Tertullian and Western Theology,” in John D. Woodbridge, ed., Great Leaders of the Christian Church (Chicago, IL: Houghton Mifflin, 1993), 49-54.

2 Larry V. Crutchfield, “Revelation in the New Testament,” in Mal Couch, ed., A Bible Handbook to Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001), 24.


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