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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Heretics, in Fact, Do Not Use, But Only Abuse, Scripture. No Common Ground Between Them and You.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVII.—Heretics, in Fact, Do Not Use, But Only Abuse, Scripture. No Common Ground Between Them and You.

Now this heresy of yours 2034 does not receive certain Scriptures; and whichever of them it does receive, it perverts by means of additions and diminutions, for the accomplishment of it own purpose; and such as it does receive, it receives not in their entirety; but even when it does receive any up to a certain point 2035 as entire, it nevertheless perverts even these by the contrivance of diverse interpretations. Truth is just as much opposed by an adulteration of its meaning as it is by a corruption of its text. 2036 Their vain presumptions must needs refuse to acknowledge the (writings) whereby they are refuted. They rely on those which they have falsely put together, and which they have selected, because of 2037 their ambiguity. Though most skilled 2038 in the Scriptures, you will make no progress, 2039 when everything which you maintain is denied on the other side, and whatever you deny is (by them) maintained. As for yourself, indeed, you will lose nothing but your breath, and gain nothing but vexation from their blasphemy.


Footnotes

251:2034

Ista hæresis.

251:2035

Aliquatenus.

251:2036

Stilus.

251:2037

“De” has often the sense of “propter” in our author.

251:2038

Literally, “O most skilled.”

251:2039

Quid promovebis.


Next: Great Evil Ensues to the Weak in Faith, from Any Discussion Out of the Scriptures. Conviction Never Comes to the Heretic from Such a Process.

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