By George Salmon
RECEPTION OF THE GOSPELS IN THE EARLY CHURCH.
THE END OF THE SECOND CENTURY.
IRENĈUS, CLEMENT, AND TERTULLIAN.
If I were lecturing on Christian Evidences, I should commence my examination of the books of the New Testament with the Epistles of St. Paul. There are some of these which are owned to be genuine by the most sceptical critics, and these universally admitted Epistles are rich in autobiographical details, and set Paul vividly before us as a real living, working character. In connexion with Paul's Epistles we should consider the book of the Acts of the Apostles, the latter half of which bears undeniable marks of having emanated from a companion of St. Paul. We have thus the fullest knowledge what Paul believed and taught, and to what sources of information he had access. We cannot doubt that Paul was thoroughly sincere in his belief of what he preached; and it is certain, also, that the central topic of his preaching was Christ's Resurrection. He is never weary of referring to this cardinal fact. He does not defend or prove it, but constantly assumes it as a fundamental fact about which no believer has any doubt whatever. This fact which Paul receives so confidently was in his time only a few years old; and, without discussing Paul's claims to have himself seen his risen Master, it is unquestionable that he was on terms of intercourse with Peter, James, John, and others who claimed to be original witnesses of the Resurrection. If we desire to know what else Paul taught concerning the events of our Saviour's life, we have the answer in St. Luke's Gospel, which is of indisputably common authorship with the Acts, and therefore proceeded from a member of Paul's company.
The order of taking the New Testament books which I have thus sketched offers some advantages, but, owing to inconveniences resulting from adopting it, which I will not delay to describe at length, I have fallen back on the obvious course of commencing with the Gospels. If we can establish that the Gospels contain the story told at the time by men who were eye-witnesses of what they related, and who con firmed their testimony by their sufferings, then, full of miracles as our Gospels are, it has been found practically impossible to refuse belief to them. But if the Gospels were written a hundred years or more after the events which they describe; if the story is not told by eye-witnesses, but has been improved by passing through several hands; if there has been time for floating myth and legend to gather round the simple facts, and for men's preconceived notions of what the Messiah ought to do, to ornament the history of what Jesus did; then the intrinsic improbability of every miraculous story outweighs second-hand testimony separated from the original witnesses by so long an interval. Of the two, however, it is a more vital matter with unbelievers to reject the early date of the Gospels than for us to assert it. Bring down the date of the Gospels as low as the most courageous of our adversaries can venture to bring them, and though we thus lose the proof of the greater part of the wonderful works of the Saviour's life, the great miracle of the Resurrection remains untouched. Take St. Paul's abridged account of the Gospel he had received, as given in an unquestioned Epistle (1 Cor. xv. 3-7), and, though it is so much shorter than any of the four, it contains quite as much stumbling-block for an anti-supernaturalist that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures; that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; after that He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; after that He was seen of James, then of all the Apostles. Thus, from Paul's writings and from other historical evidence, we can still show that men who could not easily have been deceived as to the truth of what they asserted, and who proved their sincerity by their readiness to face sufferings and martyrdom in attestation of their doctrine, declared that Jesus of Nazareth, the third day after He had died on the cross, rose again from the dead. If this one fact be proved, the cardinal principle of the anti-supernaturalists, the impossibility of miracle, is demolished. Christianity thus could survive the loss of the Gospels; but infidelity is incompatible with the admission of them, as is evidenced by Strauss's confession, already quoted, that if the Gospels be recognized as historical sources, miracle cannot be eliminated from the life of Jesus.
In beginning our inquiry concerning the Gospels, I need not take you much later than, at the latest, the year 180. In every controversy it is always well to see what facts are un disputed which can be taken as common ground between the parties. Now, to use the words of Strauss, it is certain that, ^ towards the end of the second century, the same four Gospels which we have still are found recognized in the Church, and are repeatedly quoted as the writings of the Apostles, and disciples of the Apostles, whose names they bear, by the three most eminent ecclesiastical teachers Irenaeus in Gaul, Clement in Alexandria, and Tertullian in Carthage. There were, indeed, current other Gospels, used not only by heretical parties, but sometimes appealed to by orthodox teachers (a Gospel of the Hebrews and of the Egyptians, a Gospel of Peter, of Bartholomew, of Thomas, of Matthias, of the Twelve Apostles but the four were, at that time, and from that time downwards, considered as the peculiarly trustworthy foundation on which the Christian faith rested (Leben Jesu §10, p. 47). I will speak a little about each of these witnesses viz. Irenaeus, Clement, and Tertullian. They are widely separated in space, and they represent the whole extent of the Christian world. They prove that, if there had been any previous doubt or uncertainty which of all the documents purporting to contain records of the Saviour's life were to be regarded as of superior authority, that doubt had been re moved before the end of the second century, and that the four Gospels which we recognize had then been established in the place of pre-eminence which they have held ever since.
Irenaeus was Bishop of Lyons, in Gaul, about the year 180.1 But Irenaeus not only represents the testimony of the Gallican Church; he had been himself brought up in Asia Minor, from which country Gaul had, as we have every reason to believe, derived its Christianity as well as its early civilization. There remains (ap. Euseb. H. E. v. 2) a most interesting record of the connexion between the two countries in an affecting narrative of the persecution of the year 177, addressed by the Christians of Vienne and Lyons to their brethren in Asia Minor. This Epistle, though it does not quote any of the books of the New Testament by name, is so full of passages in which the writer makes the language of these books his own weaving texts into the narrative, as you constantly hear preachers doing at the present day that we cannot doubt that the sacred books in use in that early Church were in the main the same as the books of our own New Testament. The bishop at the time of that persecution was Pothinus, a man of about ninety years of age, who must, therefore, have been born before some at least of the books of the New Testament were written, and who must have mixed with men contemporary with St. John. His presbyter and successor, Irenaeus, was united by other links to the times of the Apostles. He tells us how well he remembered Polycarp,2 whom in his early years he had known at Smyrna: I can recall the very place where Polycarp used to sit and teach, his manner of speech, his mode of life, his appearance, the style of his address to the people, his frequent references no St. John, and to others who had seen our Lord; how he used to repeat from memory their discourses, and the things which he had heard from them concerning our Lord, His miracles, and His teaching; and how, being instructed himself by those who were eye-witnesses of the life of the Word, there was in all that he said a strict agreement with the Scriptures (Epistle to Florinus, ap. Euseb. H. E. v. 20). Observe this word Scriptures, for it is plain that the books to which he gave this venerated title are those which contain the record of our Lord's life the four Gospels.
There is a passage in the work of Irenaeus against heresies which proves that he considered these books as, in the highest sense of the word, Scriptures given by inspiration of God. The passage is interesting as bearing testimony to a New Testament reading not found in our existing Greek manuscripts; but only in the Latin and in the Curetonian Syriac versions. It concerns the passage where we now read, in the opening of St. Matthew's Gospel, 'The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise (i. 18). Irenaeus is arguing against those who held that Jesus was at first but an ordinary man, and only became Christ when the Holy Spirit descended on Him in His baptism; and he remarks (in. xvi. 2) that Matthew might have said that the birth of Jesus was on this wise, but that the Holy Spirit, foreseeing the depravers of the truth, and guarding against their fraud, said by Matthew, The birth of Christ was on this wise,3 showing that Christ was born; in other words, that Jesus was Christ from His birth. Thus what might seem the accidental choice of one form of expression rather than another is ascribed to the directing care of the Holy Spirit. You see then that Irenaeus believed not only in the genuineness, but also in the inspiration, of the Gospels.
I dare say you have also heard of his reasons why there are exactly four Gospels, neither more nor less. He argues (in. xi. 8) that the Gospel is the pillar of the Church; the Church is spread over the whole world; the world has four quarters; therefore it is fitting there should also be four Gospels. Again, the Gospel is the divine breath, or wind of life for men; there are four chief winds; therefore, four Gospels. He builds another argument on the fourfold appearance of the cherubim. The cherubim, he says, are fourfold, and their faces are images of the activity of the Son of God. The first beast was like a lion, signifying His commanding and kingly dignity; the second like a calf, signifying His priestly office; the third like a man, denoting His Incarnation; the fourth like an eagle, denoting the Holy Spirit flying over the Church. Like these are the Gospels. John, who begins with the Godhead and descent from the Father, is the lion; Luke, who begins with the priesthood and sacrifice of Zacharias, is the calf; Matthew, who begins with His human genealogy, the man; Mark, the eagle, who commences with the announcement of the prophetic spirit the beginning of the Gospel as it is written by Isaiah the prophet. You are aware, I dare say, that this is not the apportionment of the four beasts to the Gospels which ultimately prevailed in the West, John being usually represented as the eagle; Matthew as the man; Luke as the ox; and Mark as the lion.4
Irenaeus goes on to say that Christ's dealings with the world are fourfold. To the patriarchs the word of God came directly; to those under the Law through the priestly office;. Christ Himself came as man; since then He has dealt with the Church by His Spirit overshadowing the Church with His wings. Thus the Gospel also is fourfold, and those destroy its fundamental conception who make the number either greater or less; either desiring to seem to have found out more than the truth, or rejecting part of God's dispensation. The main point in this quotation is, that Irenaeus considers the fourfold character of the Gospel to have been divinely arranged. We are not concerned with the validity of his mystical explanations, but with the manifest inference that the pre-eminence of four Evangelists must have been, in the time of Irenaeus, long established, else he would not thus ascribe it to divine appointment. Strauss quotes these mystical explanations of Irenaeus with a view to disparage his testimony; but he is forced to admit that the fanciful character of his reasons why there are only four Gospels does not discredit his testimony to the fact that four, and only four, were then acknowledged by the universal Church; and he owns that the reasons given by Irenaeus are not his grounds for receiving only four Gospels, but only his mode of justifying a belief adopted on other grounds.5 Thus you? see that, without producing a single other witness, we have proof that towards the end of the second century the Church held the belief that is commonly held by the Church of the present day, namely, that the four Gospels are to be venerated as inspired records of our Saviour's life, and that no others, can be placed on a level with these.
Test by the evidence of this one witness the theory of some, that St. John's Gospel made its first appearance about the year 150 or 160. Is it credible that, if so, Irenaeus could have accepted a forgery of which, according to the hypothesis, his master, Polycarp, had never told him a word? For Poly- carp, who, as I said just now, used to repeat from memory the discourses which he had heard from John, could not have been silent about this work, which, if genuine, would be St. John's most precious legacy to the Church; and the fact that it had not been mentioned by Polycarp would convince Irenaeus that it was an audacious imposture. And again, it is impossible that Polycarp could have accepted as genuine a work of which he had never heard his master, John, speak. There are, in short, three links in the chain St. John, Polycarp, Irenaeus; and I do not see how it is possible to dissever any one of them from the other two.
Similar observations may be made about the conclusions of the author of the work called Supernatural Religion. Other sceptical writers had thought they had done great things if they could bring John's Gospel as late as 150 or 160, allowing the Synoptic Gospels to date from the beginning of the century. This writer imagines that he has demolished all evidence for the existence of the Synoptic Gospels prior to the age of Irenaeus, and will only allow them to count from the very end of the second century. But it is plain that the evidence of Irenaeus, even if we had no other, takes us back a long way behind his own time. Books newly come into existence in his time could not have been venerated as he venerated the Gospels. What length of time must we allow for these books to have come into such esteem, that what might be regarded as their chance expressions should be considered as directed by the Spirit of God, and that among all the different attempts to relate the life of Christ none should seem fit to be put in comparison with these four? I suppose fifty years would be a very moderate allowance of time for such a growth of opinion: for the credit of these books mainly rested on a belief that they were of apostolic origin, and if they had been anywhere known to have been recent modifications of an older story, they could not have superseded their progenitors; so that we may fairly conclude that the time of their appearance was beyond then living memory. Well, then, what we have thus learned from Irenaeus is of important use when we come presently to look at the works of the generation next before him. When we find in these works what seem to be quotations from our Gospels, we shall not easily be persuaded by small verbal differences that the writers are drawing from some unknown sources, and not from books which we are certain, from Irenaeus, must in their time have existed, and have been of such credit in the Church as to be well known to these writers.
The second witness to whom I have appealed gives us the verdict of another large portion of the Christian world. Clement6 of Alexandria lived in what was perhaps the city in all the world where literary criticism was most cultivated. He had been there the disciple of Pantaenus, who very possibly may have been personally connected with disciples of the Apostles. And Clement travelled and learned from other instructors of various nations, whose names he does not tell us, but only their nationalities, an Ionian, an Italian, a Syrian, an Egyptian, an Assyrian, a Hebrew in Palestine. These men, as he says, preserving the true tradition of the blessed teaching directly from Peter and James, from John and Paul, son receiving it from father, came by God's providence even to us, to deposit among us those seeds of truth which were de rived from their ancestors and the Apostles (Strom, i. 11). It is needless to quote particular passages from Clement: suffice it to say, that there is no more doubt as to his use of the Gospels than there is as to the place assigned them by any clergyman of the present day. He has traditions to tell concerning the composition of Mark's and of John's Gospel, both of which he regards as later than Matthew's and Luke's. That, like Irenaeus, he recognized as authoritative four Gospels, neither more nor less, may be inferred from the manner in which he deals with a saying ascribed to our Lord (Strom. iii. 13) We have not this saying in the four Gospels which have been handed down to us; it is found in the Gospel according to the Egyptians.7 Besides this Gospel according to the Egyptians, he was acquainted with other apocryphal writings a Gospel according to the Hebrews, Traditions of Matthias, and others; but the passage I have just cited is evidence enough that, in his estimation, no other account of the Saviour's deeds or words stood on the level of the four Gospels.
When we compare the quotations of Clement and Irenaeus a new phenomenon presents itself, which throws back the date of the Gospels still further behind their own times. We become aware of the existence of various readings. In fact, in some of the texts, where the reading is now controverted, there are second century witnesses on opposite sides. And the general type of the text in use in Alexandria was different from that in use in the West. Thus you see that the Gospels were not only in existence at the end of the second century, but they had by that time been copied and re-copied so often, that errors from transcription and otherwise had time to creep in, and different families of text to establish themselves.
The third witness to whom I have appealed, Tertullian,8 also lived at the end of the second century, but represents a different section of the Church, the Latin-speaking section. Nothing need be said as to his use of the Gospels, about which there is as little question as to my own use of them, but it is worth while to call attention to the evidence his writings afford, that in his time they had already been translated into Latin. In fact he finds fault with the current Latin rendering of the first verse of St. John's Gospel, in which the word Logos was translated by Sermo.9 Tertullian would have preferred Ratio. I may say in passing that the difficulty here found by Tertullian that of adequately rendering the Greek word Logos has been experienced by every translator of the New Testament. For Logos not only means the spoken word the only sense suggested by our English version but still more, as Tertullian renders it, reason. And so the early Greek Fathers give the double sense to the term in the Prologue of St. John, inferring that it designates the Second Person of the Trinity not only as God's spoken Word, by which He made known His will to men, but also as having before this utterance dwelt from eternity with the Father; some analogy to help us to conceive such an indwelling being found in the dwelling in man of the principle of reason. So it is that the Fathers almost unanimously interpret the description of Wisdom in the 8th of Proverbs, of the Second Person of the Trinity, whom the Collect in daily use in our own College Chapel describes as the Eternal Wisdom of the Father. This interpretation was received by the Arians as well as the orthodox.
Now this fact, that Tertullian criticized renderings which nevertheless he adopts in his own quotations, throws back the range of his testimony. We must allow some consider able time for a version to acquire such currency as to mould the popular theological dialect, and to give authority to renderings which were in the judgment of good scholars capable of improvement. Towards the end of the second century it is not only the fact that our Gospels are in sole possession all over the Christian world, but translations of them have gained an established rank. That is to say, at the time when it is doubted if our Gospels were born, we find their children in vigorous life.10
I believe, then, that if anyone fairly weighs all that is involved in the undisputed fact that Irenaeus, Clement, and Tertullian show that at the end of the second century all the principal books of our New Testament were received all over the civilized world as the works of the authors to whom we still ascribe them, he will own it to be unreasonable to demand further evidence, when we do not dream of requiring such evidence in the case of any secular work.
The remains of the first generation of Christians are scanty, and of the few works that have come down to us, several are apologies intended for heathen readers,11 to whom it would not be appropriate to cite the New Testament Scriptures. There is an advantage then in commencing with that age of which we have remains so full and abundant as to leave no room for controversy as to the sentiments of the writers; and which at the same time is so near the age of the Apostles, that what was then the undisputed established opinion as to the authorship of their sacred books, held by common consent of distant Churches, is very likely to be a true opinion. Should a question arise some centuries hence whether Pope wrote the Dunciad and the Rape of the Lock, or whether Goldsmith wrote the * Deserted Village and the Vicar of Wakefield, it would go far to settle the question, if it were proved that in our generation no doubt was entertained by anyone on the matter, even if all preceding testimony had perished.
Though, in my opinion, the testimony of the three witnesses already considered might suffice to produce conviction, we can produce trustworthy evidence of considerably earlier date, which will be the subject of future Lectures.
N O TE.
Scholars had generally agreed in inferring from the evidence here appealed to that there existed in the time of Tertullian a Latin translation that was in general use in Africa. This inference has been lately contested by Zahn Geschichte des N. T. Kanons, 1888, I. 35, sq. He admits that the reading of the Gospels then formed part of the service at Christian meetings or worship; but he contends that this did not necessitate a Latin Bible. Irenaeus preached to the Celts of Gaul, but we do not hear of a Celtic Bible. We do not hear of any Punic Bible in Africa, though Christianity made many converts among those who spoke no other language. He points out that in the Jewish Synagogues the Bible was read in Hebrew, and then orally interpreted to those who did not understand the ancient language, and he cites two or three examples of a similar use of interpreters in the Christian Church. In his opinion then the needs of those who spoke no other language than Latin were at first met, not by any authorized Latin version of Scripture, but by independent oral interpretation at the Christian meetings. It may readily be conceded that, as has been often remarked, the Gospel was introduced into Rome in the colony of Jews or other foreign settlers whose ordinary language was Greek, whom Paul addressed in Greek in the Epistle to the Romans, for whose use, according to early tradition, the Greek Gospel of St. Mark was written, and whose liturgical service no doubt was Greek. Nor would such a service be unintelligible when converts were made among native Romans of higher rank; for a knowledge of Greek was the ordinary accomplishment of a Roman gentle man. This was equally true of Africa, as Zahn illustrates from the martyrdom of Perpetua, a document not much later than the year 200. Perpetua was a lady of good position, honeste nata, liberaliter instituta, matronaliter nupta. When converts of lower rank came in, it is extremely credible that the transition from liturgical service in Greek to liturgical service in Latin was bridged over by liturgical service in Greek accompanied by Latin oral interpretation. The only question is at what epoch the transition took place, and Zahn gives no sufficient evidence that a Latin service had not been fully established in the time of Tertullian. He himself admits that the context indicates that the agios, agios, agios, in the martyrdom of Perpetua was derived directly from the Book of Revelation rather than from liturgical use; but in any case it is quite conceivable that an African Latin Liturgy might retain these words in the original. At any rate, though the method of interpretation would enable persons ignorant of Greek to join intelligently in a Greek service, it presupposes clergy able to interpret. Now, though the clergy who at the end of the second century ministered to Celtic or Punic congregations are likely to have known enough either of Greek or Latin to enable them to interpret, it is not likely that Greek alone would have sufficed, or that those who ministered to rural congregations in Africa would all be such good Greek scholars as to be able to dispense with a Latin Bible. Another weak point in Zahn's comparison is that Celtic was not a literary language, and the rude people who spoke it might easily be content with such portions of Scripture as they could hear read in Church; but among Latin-speaking Christians there would be many of such literary cultivation as to wish to read as well as hear the Scripture.
A much stronger point in Zahn's case is that Tertullian himself repeatedly quotes directly from the Greek, and not from a Latin version, as we can tell from his translating the same passage in different ways. This has been noticed before: see for example Hort (N. T., ii. 78). Tertullian was a good Greek scholar, who could not only read that language, but had even written some tracts in it. It is to be noted that far the larger part of instances of his direct use of the Greek Testament occur in his work against Marcion. Now Tertullian must have written that work with his Greek Testament open before him, for Tertullian's object was to maintain the true text of New Testament passages which Marcion had falsified or omitted; and as Marcion's work was certainly in Greek, it must have been with the Greek original that he compared it. Tertullian's other citations require careful examination, but I may remark that Zahn is willing (p. 58) to make an admission fatal to his case in conceding that Tertullian was acquainted with the Latin translation of Irenaeus. The proofs of this offered by Massuet in the prolegomena to his edition of Irenaeus have been accepted by many scholars as sufficient, but certainly need further sifting. But we may dismiss as quite incredible Zahn's idea (p. 58) that Latin-speaking Christians demanded a translation of the work of Irenaeus, and of other pieces of Greek literature, before they cared to have a translation of their Greek Bible. If the resemblances between Tertullian and the Latin translation of Irenaeus are enough to prove that Tertullian was acquainted with this translation, the differences are certainly enough to prove that, notwithstanding, he constantly preferred, instead of using it, to translate for himself. However, the question is not whether Tertullian himself used a Latin translation of the Bible a thing which we readily grant he had no need to do but whether he bears testimony to the existence of such a thing in his time. Now it seems to me that the practice of a number of independent interpreters, each in his own Church, could never have sufficed to establish such a use as that which is attested in the passages already cited. If Tertullian or anyone else did not like the interpretation given by his neighbours, he would have felt himself perfectly free to give a better one of his own. I am, therefore, not prepared to abandon the hitherto received opinion that in the time of Tertullian a Latin translation existed in writing. Put the matter, however, at the lowest, and it is certain that in his time the Latin translation, whether known orally through the work of different interpreters or by writing, had assumed a definite form, so as to constitute an established use. So that my assertion remains true, that in the time of Tertullian not only the Gospels existed but their children, the only disputable point being whether or not the latter had attained their full growth.
1) Lipsius, in the Dictionary of Christian Biography, assigns A.D. 130 as the most probable date of the birth of Irenaeus; and the period (180-188) as that in which it is likely that the different books of his treatise against heresies were published.
2) Recent investigations determine A.D. 155 as the date of the martyrdom of Polycarp, at which time he was about eighty-six years old.
3) Potuerat dicere Matthaeus, Jesu veto generatio sic erat; sed praevidens Spiritus Sanctus depravatores et praemuniens contra fraudulentiam eorum, per Matthaeum ait Christi autem generatio sic erat.
4) This apportionment seems to have been introduced into the West by St. Ambrose (in Luc. Praef. 8). It was made more widely known by St. Jerome, who professes therein to follow preceding expositors (Praef. in. Matt.; in Ezek. i. 6). St. Augustine (De Consens. Evangg. i. 9) adopts the same apportionment, except that he assigns the lion to St. Matthew, and the man to St. Mark. He mentions also the arrangement of Irenaeus, but considers that this being founded merely on the manner in which the several Gospels begin, is inferior to an arrangement founded on their general contents. The three terrestrial animals, for instance, are fitly assigned to the three Gospels which are mainly occupied with our Lord's earthly life: the eagle, to the spiritual Gospel of St. John, who soars above the clouds of human infirmity, and with unwavering eyes gazes on the light of immutable truth.
5) Diese seltsame Beweisfiihrung 1st zwar nicht so zu verstehen, als waren die angegebenen Umstande der Grund gewesen,warum Irenaus nicht mehr und nicht weniger Evangelien annahm; vielmehr hatten sich diese vier eben damals in den Kreisen der nach Glaubenseinheit strebenden katholischen Kirche in vorzuglichen Credit gesetzt, und dieses gegebene Verhaltniss suchte sich Irenaus im Geiste seiner Zeit zurechtzulegen ( 10, p. 48).
6) Clement, possibly a Greek by birth, was born about the middle of the second century, and was head of the Catechetical School in Alexandria (192-202). We last hear of him as alive in 211 (Euseb. H. E. vi. n).
7) Some have doubted whether Clement had himself seen the Gospel ac cording to the Egyptians. He had said a little before that he thought (οἶμαι) that the passage under discussion was to be found in the Gospel according to the Egyptians. It has been inferred, therefore, that this was either a book which he only knew by hearsay, or else one which it was so long since he had looked into, that he did not quite like to trust his memory in speaking of it.
8) The data for fixing the chronology of Tertullian's writings are scanty; but we shall not be far wrong in counting that he first appeared as a Church writer about 197, and that his literary activity continued some thirty years longer. His New Testament quotations have been collected by Ronsch, Das neue Testament Tertullian s. The quotations from the Gospels occupy over 200 pages, and if the Greek Gospels had not come down to us, we could from this source alone obtain a knowledge of far the greater portion of their contents.
9) Jam in usu est nostrorum, per simplicitatem interpretationis Sermonem dicere in primordio apud deum fuisse cum magis rationem competat antiquiorem haberi. Adv.Prax. c. 5. Yet Tertullian himself habitually uses Sermo as the equivalent for Logos, and even in the same treatise (c. 20) when he formally quotes John i. 1, he does so in the form: In principio erat sermo et sermo erat apud deum et deus erat sermo. Hie erat in principio apud deum. Another passage in which Tertullian appeals from the current Latin translation to the Greek original is (De Monog. c. ii.): Sciamus plane non sic esse in Grasco authentico, quomodo in usum exiit per duarum syllabarum aut callidam aut simplicem eversionem; Si autem dormierit "vir ejus, quasi de future sonet, ac per hoc videatur ad earn pertinere quse jam in fide virum amiserit. But here again it is to be noted that Tertullian, when quoting the passage himself, conforms to common usage and does not introduce the correction which he suggests.
10) See note at end of Lecture (p 44).
11) From the nature of the case, references to the New Testament books are infrequent in works addressed to such readers; for example, if only Tertullian's Apology had come down to us it would not have been possible to prove that he was acquainted with the Gospels.