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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Appeal, in Discussion of Heresy, Lies Not to the Scriptures. The Scriptures Belong Only to Those Who Have the Rule of Faith.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIX.—Appeal, in Discussion of Heresy, Lies Not to the Scriptures. The Scriptures Belong Only to Those Who Have the Rule of Faith.

Our appeal, therefore, must not be made to the Scriptures; nor must controversy be admitted on points in which victory will either be impossible, 2046 or uncertain, or not certain enough. 2047 But even if a discussion from the Scriptures 2048 should not turn out in such a way as to place both sides on a par, (yet) the natural order of things would require that this point should be first proposed, which is now the only one which we must discuss: “With whom lies that very faith to which the Scriptures belong. 2049 From what and through whom, and when, and to whom, has been handed down that rule, 2050 by which men become Christians?” For wherever it shall be manifest that the true Christian rule and faith shall be, p. 252 there will likewise be the true Scriptures and expositions thereof, and all the Christian traditions.





Parum certa.


Conlatio scripturarum, or, “a polemical comparison of the Scriptures.”


Quibus competat fides ipsa cujus sint Scripturæ.


Disciplina [or, where was the guide-post set?]

Next: Christ First Delivered the Faith. The Apostles Spread It; They Founded Churches as the Depositories Thereof. That Faith, Therefore, is Apostolic, Which Descended from the Apostles, Through Apostolic Churches.

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