Chapter XXI.—The Epistle to Philemon. This Epistle Not Mutilated. Marcions Inconsistency in Accepting This, and Rejecting Three Other Epistles Addressed to Individuals. Conclusions. Tertullian Vindicates the Symmetry and Deliberate Purpose of His Work Against Marcion.
To this epistle alone did its brevity avail to protect it against the falsifying hands of Marcion. I wonder, however, when he received (into his Apostolicon) this letter which was written but to one man, that he rejected the two epistles to Timothy and the one to Titus, which all treat of ecclesiastical discipline. His aim, was, I suppose, to carry out his interpolating process even to the number of (St. p. 474 Pauls) epistles. And now, reader, 6124 I beg you to remember that we have here adduced proofs out of the apostle, in support of the subjects which we previously 6125 had to handle, and that we have now brought to a close 6126 the topics which we deferred to this (portion of our) work. (This favour I request of you,) that you may not think that any repetition here has been superfluous, for we have only fulfilled our former engagement to you; nor look with suspicion on any postponement there, where we merely set forth the essential points (of the argument). 6127 If you carefully examine the entire work, you will acquit us of either having been redundant here, or diffident there, in your own honest judgment. 6128
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