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Tertullian, On The Veiling Of Virgins, 1.5

Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. New Testament, John, 14.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

14.12. Most assuredly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these will he do; because I am going to my Father.
2. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 8.19 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3. Tertullian, Against Marcion, 2.18-2.19, 3.24.4, 4.22.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

2.18. But what parts of the law can I defend as good with a greater confidence than those which heresy has shown such a longing for?- as the statute of retaliation, requiring eye for eye, tooth for tooth, and stripe for stripe. Exodus 21:24 Now there is not here any smack of a permission to mutual injury; but rather, on the whole, a provision for restraining violence. To a people which was very obdurate, and wanting in faith towards God, it might seem tedious, and even incredible, to expect from God that vengeance which was subsequently to be declared by the prophet: Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore, in the meanwhile, the commission of wrong was to be checked by the fear of a retribution immediately to happen; and so the permission of this retribution was to be the prohibition of provocation, that a stop might thus be put to all hot-blooded injury, while by the permission of the second the first is prevented by fear, and by this deterring of the first the second fails to be committed. By the same law another result is also obtained, even the more ready kindling of the fear of retaliation by reason of the very savour of passion which is in it. There is no more bitter thing, than to endure the very suffering which you have inflicted upon others. When, again, the law took somewhat away from men's food, by pronouncing unclean certain animals which were once blessed, you should understand this to be a measure for encouraging continence, and recognise in it a bridle imposed on that appetite which, while eating angels' food, craved after the cucumbers and melons of the Egyptians. Recognise also therein a precaution against those companions of the appetite, even lust and luxury, which are usually chilled by the chastening of the appetite. For the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Exodus 32:6 Furthermore, that an eager wish for money might be restrained, so far as it is caused by the need of food, the desire for costly meat and drink was taken out of their power. Lastly, in order that man might be more readily educated by God for fasting, he was accustomed to such articles of food as were neither plentiful nor sumptuous, and not likely to pamper the appetite of the luxurious. of course the Creator deserved all the greater blame, because it was from His own people that He took away food, rather than from the more ungrateful Marcionites. As for the burdensome sacrifices also, and the troublesome scrupulousness of their ceremonies and oblations, no one should blame them, as if God specially required them for Himself: for He plainly asks, To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? and, Who has required them at your hand? Isaiah 1:11-12 But he should see herein a careful provision on God's part, which showed His wish to bind to His own religion a people who were prone to idolatry and transgression by that kind of services wherein consisted the superstition of that period; that He might call them away therefrom, while requesting it to be performed to Himself, as if He desired that no sin should be committed in making idols. 2.19. But even in the common transactions of life, and of human intercourse at home and in public, even to the care of the smallest vessels, He in every possible manner made distinct arrangement; in order that, when they everywhere encountered these legal instructions, they might not be at any moment out of the sight of God. For what could better tend to make a man happy, than having his delight in the law of the Lord? In that law would he meditate day and night. It was not in severity that its Author promulgated this law, but in the interest of the highest benevolence, which rather aimed at subduing the nation's hardness of heart, and by laborious services hewing out a fealty which was (as yet) untried in obedience: for I purposely abstain from touching on the mysterious senses of the law, considered in its spiritual and prophetic relation, and as abounding in types of almost every variety and sort. It is enough at present, that it simply bound a man to God, so that no one ought to find fault with it, except him who does not choose to serve God. To help forward this beneficent, not onerous, purpose of the law, the prophets were also ordained by the self-same goodness of God, teaching precepts worthy of God, how that men should cease to do evil, learn to do well, seek judgment, judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow: Isaiah 1:16-17 be fond of the divine expostulations: avoid contact with the wicked: let the oppressed go free: Isaiah 58:6 dismiss the unjust sentence, deal their bread to the hungry; bring the outcast into their house; cover the naked, when they see him; nor hide themselves from their own flesh and kin: keep their tongue from evil, and their lips from speaking guile: depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it: be angry, and sin not; that is, not persevere in anger, or be enraged: walk not in the counsel of the ungodly; nor stand in the way of sinners; nor sit in the seat of the scornful. Where then? Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity; meditating (as they do) day and night in the law of the Lord, because it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man; better to hope in the Lord than in man. For what recompense shall man receive from God? He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he does shall prosper. He that has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not taken God's name in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbour, he shall receive blessing from the Lord, and mercy from the God of his salvation. For the eyes of the Lord are upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy, to deliver their souls from death, even eternal death, and to nourish them in their hunger, that is, after eternal life. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. The Lord keeps all their bones; not one of them shall be broken. The Lord will redeem the souls of His servants. We have adduced these few quotations from a mass of the Creator's Scriptures; and no more, I suppose, are wanted to prove Him to be a most good God, for they sufficiently indicate both the precepts of His goodness and the first-fruits thereof.
4. Tertullian, Against Praxeas, 30.5 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5. Tertullian, On The Soul, 55.5 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

6. Tertullian, On Fasting, Against The Psychics, 15 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7. Tertullian, On Modesty, 1 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1. Modesty, the flower of manners, the honour of our bodies, the grace of the sexes, the integrity of the blood, the guarantee of our race, the basis of sanctity, the pre-indication of every good disposition; rare though it is, and not easily perfected, and scarce ever retained in perpetuity, will yet up to a certain point linger in the world, if nature shall have laid the preliminary groundwork of it, discipline persuaded to it, censorial rigour curbed its excesses - on the hypothesis, that is, that every mental good quality is the result either of birth, or else of training, or else of external compulsion. But as the conquering power of things evil is on the increase - which is the characteristic of the last times - things good are now not allowed either to be born, so corrupted are the seminal principles; or to be trained, so deserted are studies; nor to be enforced, so disarmed are the laws. In fact, (the modesty) of which we are now beginning (to treat) is by this time grown so obsolete, that it is not the abjuration but the moderation of the appetites which modesty is believed to be; and he is held to be chaste enough who has not been too chaste. But let the world's modesty see to itself, together with the world itself: together with its inherent nature, if it was wont to originate in birth; its study, if in training; its servitude, if in compulsion: except that it had been even more unhappy if it had remained only to prove fruitless, in that it had not been in God's household that its activities had been exercised. I should prefer no good to a vain good: what profits it that that should exist whose existence profits not? It is our own good things whose position is now sinking; it is the system of Christian modesty which is being shaken to its foundation - (Christian modesty), which derives its all from heaven; its nature, through the laver of regeneration; its discipline, through the instrumentality of preaching; its censorial rigour, through the judgments which each Testament exhibits; and is subject to a more constant external compulsion, arising from the apprehension or the desire of the eternal fire or kingdom. In opposition to this (modesty), could I not have acted the dissembler? I hear that there has even been an edict set forth, and a peremptory one too. The Pontifex Maximus - that is, the bishop of bishops - issues an edict: I remit, to such as have discharged (the requirements of) repentance, the sins both of adultery and of fornication. O edict, on which cannot be inscribed, Good deed! And where shall this liberality be posted up? On the very spot, I suppose, on the very gates of the sensual appetites, beneath the very titles of the sensual appetites. There is the place for promulgating such repentance, where the delinquency itself shall haunt. There is the place to read the pardon, where entrance shall be made under the hope thereof. But it is in the church that this (edict) is read, and in the church that it is pronounced; and (the church) is a virgin! Far, far from Christ's betrothed be such a proclamation! She, the true, the modest, the saintly, shall be free from stain even of her ears. She has none to whom to make such a promise; and if she have had, she does not make it; since even the earthly temple of God can sooner have been called by the Lord a den of robbers, than of adulterers and fornicators. This too, therefore, shall be a count in my indictment against the Psychics; against the fellowship of sentiment also which I myself formerly maintained with them; in order that they may the more cast this in my teeth for a mark of fickleness. Repudiation of fellowship is never a pre-indication of sin. As if it were not easier to err with the majority, when it is in the company of the few that truth is loved! But, however, a profitable fickleness shall no more be a disgrace to me, than I should wish a hurtful one to be an ornament. I blush not at an error which I have ceased to hold, because I am delighted at having ceased to hold it, because I recognise myself to be better and more modest. No one blushes at his own improvement. Even in Christ, knowledge had its stages of growth; through which stages the apostle, too, passed. When I was a child, he says, as a child I spoke, as a child I understood; but when I became a man, those (things) which had been the child's I abandoned: so truly did he turn away from his early opinions: nor did he sin by becoming an emulator not of ancestral but of Christian traditions, wishing even the precision of them who advised the retention of circumcision. And would that the same fate might befall those, too, who obtruncate the pure and true integrity of the flesh; amputating not the extremest superficies, but the inmost image of modesty itself, while they promise pardon to adulterers and fornicators, in the teeth of the primary discipline of the Christian Name; a discipline to which heathendom itself bears such emphatic witness, that it strives to punish that discipline in the persons of our females rather by defilements of the flesh than tortures; wishing to wrest from them that which they hold dearer than life! But now this glory is being extinguished, and that by means of those who ought with all the more constancy to refuse concession of any pardon to defilements of this kind, that they make the fear of succumbing to adultery and fornication their reason for marrying as often as they please - since better it is to marry than to burn. No doubt it is for continence sake that incontinence is necessary - the burning will be extinguished by fires! Why, then, do they withal grant indulgence, under the name of repentance, to crimes for which they furnish remedies by their law of multinuptialism? For remedies will be idle while crimes are indulged, and crimes will remain if remedies are idle. And so, either way, they trifle with solicitude and negligence; by taking emptiest precaution against (crimes) to which they grant quarter, and granting absurdest quarter to (crimes) against which they take precaution: whereas either precaution is not to be taken where quarter is given, or quarter not given where precaution is taken; for they take precaution, as if they were unwilling that something should be committed; but grant indulgence, as if they were willing it should be committed: whereas, if they be unwilling it should be committed, they ought not to grant indulgence; if they be willing to grant indulgence, they ought not to take precaution. For, again, adultery and fornication will not be ranked at the same time among the moderate and among the greatest sins, so that each course may be equally open with regard to them - the solicitude which takes precaution, and the security which grants indulgence. But since they are such as to hold the culminating place among crimes, there is no room at once for their indulgence as if they were moderate, and for their precaution as if they were greatest. But by us precaution is thus also taken against the greatest, or, (if you will), highest (crimes, viz.,) in that it is not permitted, after believing, to know even a second marriage, differentiated though it be, to be sure, from the work of adultery and fornication by the nuptial and dotal tablets: and accordingly, with the utmost strictness, we excommunicate digamists, as bringing infamy upon the Paraclete by the irregularity of their discipline. The self-same liminal limit we fix for adulterers also and fornicators; dooming them to pour forth tears barren of peace, and to regain from the Church no ampler return than the publication of their disgrace.
8. Tertullian, On The Resurrection of The Flesh, 11.2, 63.9 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Thus far touching my eulogy of the flesh, in opposition to its enemies, who are, notwithstanding, its greatest friends also; for there is nobody who lives so much in accordance with the flesh as they who deny the resurrection of the flesh, inasmuch as they despise all its discipline, while they disbelieve its punishment. It is a shrewd saying which the Paraclete utters concerning these persons by the mouth of the prophetess Prisca: They are carnal, and yet they hate the flesh. Since, then, the flesh has the best guarantee that could possibly accrue for securing to it the recompense of salvation, ought we not also to consider well the power, and might, and competency of God Himself, whether He be so great as to be able to rebuild and restore the edifice of the flesh, which had become dilapidated and blocked up, and in every possible way dislocated?- whether He has promulgated in the public domains of nature any analogies to convince us of His power in this respect, lest any should happen to be still thirsting for the knowledge of God, when faith in Him must rest on no other basis than the belief that He is able to do all things? You have, no doubt among your philosophers men who maintain that this world is without a beginning or a maker. It is, however, much more true, that nearly all the heresies allow it an origin and a maker, and ascribe its creation to our God. Firmly believe, therefore, that He produced it wholly out of nothing, and then you have found the knowledge of God, by believing that He possesses such mighty power. But some persons are too weak to believe all this at first, owing to their views about Matter. They will rather have it, after the philosophers, that the universe was in the beginning made by God out of underlying matter. Now, even if this opinion could be held in truth, since He must be acknowledged to have produced in His reformation of matter far different substances and far different forms from those which Matter itself possessed, I should maintain, with no less persistence, that He produced these things out of nothing, since they absolutely had no existence at all previous to His production of them. Now, where is the difference between a thing's being produced out of nothing or out of something, if so be that what existed not comes into being, when even to have had no existence is tantamount to having been nothing? The contrary is likewise true; for having once existed amounts to having been something. If, however, there is a difference, both alternatives support my position. For if God produced all things whatever out of nothing, He will be able to draw forth from nothing even the flesh which had fallen into nothing; or if He moulded other things out of matter, He will be able to call forth the flesh too from somewhere else, into whatever abyss it may have been engulphed. And surely He is most competent to re-create who created, inasmuch as it is a far greater work to have produced than to have reproduced, to have imparted a beginning, than to have maintained a continuance. On this principle, you may be quite sure that the restoration of the flesh is easier than its first formation.
9. Tertullian, On The Veiling of Virgins, 1.4, 1.7, 1.10 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 5.16.4, 5.16.14, 5.17.2-5.17.3, 5.19.2 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

5.16.4. But being recently in Ancyra in Galatia, I found the church there greatly agitated by this novelty, not prophecy, as they call it, but rather false prophecy, as will be shown. Therefore, to the best of our ability, with the Lord's help, we disputed in the church many days concerning these and other matters separately brought forward by them, so that the church rejoiced and was strengthened in the truth, and those of the opposite side were for the time confounded, and the adversaries were grieved. 5.16.14. So also, as general report says, that remarkable person, the first steward, as it were, of their so-called prophecy, one Theodotus — who, as if at sometime taken up and received into heaven, fell into trances, and entrusted himself to the deceitful spirit — was pitched like a quoit, and died miserably. 5.17.2. A little further on in the same work he gives a list of those who prophesied under the new covet, among whom he enumerates a certain Ammia and Quadratus, saying:But the false prophet falls into an ecstasy, in which he is without shame or fear. Beginning with purposed ignorance, he passes on, as has been stated, to involuntary madness of soul. 5.17.3. They cannot show that one of the old or one of the new prophets was thus carried away in spirit. Neither can they boast of Agabus, or Judas, or Silas, or the daughters of Philip, or Ammia in Philadelphia, or Quadratus, or any others not belonging to them. 5.19.2. That you may see that the doings of this lying band of the new prophecy, so called, are an abomination to all the brotherhood throughout the world, I have sent you writings of the most blessed Claudius Apolinarius, bishop of Hierapolis in Asia.
11. Origen, On First Principles, 2.7.3 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

2.7.3. And as there are many ways of apprehending Christ, who, although He is wisdom, does not act the part or possess the power of wisdom in all men, but only in those who give themselves to the study of wisdom in Him; and who, although called a physician, does not act as one towards all, but only towards those who understand their feeble and sickly condition, and flee to His compassion that they may obtain health; so also I think is it with the Holy Spirit, in whom is contained every kind of gifts. For on some is bestowed by the Spirit the word of wisdom, on others the word of knowledge, on others faith; and so to each individual of those who are capable of receiving Him, is the Spirit Himself made to be that quality, or understood to be that which is needed by the individual who has deserved to participate. These divisions and differences not being perceived by those who hear Him called Paraclete in the Gospel, and not duly considering in consequence of what work or act He is named the Paraclete, they have compared Him to some common spirits or other, and by this means have tried to disturb the Churches of Christ, and so excite dissensions of no small extent among brethren; whereas the Gospel shows Him to be of such power and majesty, that it says the apostles could not yet receive those things which the Saviour wished to teach them until the advent of the Holy Spirit, who, pouring Himself into their souls, might enlighten them regarding the nature and faith of the Trinity. But these persons, because of the ignorance of their understandings, are not only unable themselves logically to state the truth, but cannot even give their attention to what is advanced by us; and entertaining unworthy ideas of His divinity, have delivered themselves over to errors and deceits, being depraved by a spirit of error, rather than instructed by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, according to the declaration of the apostle, Following the doctrine of devils, forbidding to marry, to the destruction and ruin of many, and to abstain from meats, that by an ostentatious exhibition of stricter observance they may seduce the souls of the innocent.
12. Augustine, On Heresies, 27, 26 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

13. Epiphanius, Panarion, 48.11.5-48.11.6, 48.14, 49.2 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

14. Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, 1.13.7 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

15. Jerome, Letters, 84.4 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

16. Jerome, Letters, 84.4 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

17. Jerome, Letters, 84.4 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

18. Sozomenus, Ecclesiastical History, 2.18

2.18. While these disputations were being carried on, certain of the pagan philosophers became desirous of taking part in them; some, because they wished for information as to the doctrine that was inculcated; and others, because, feeling incensed against the Christians on account of the recent suppression of the pagan religion, they wished to convert the inquiry about doctrine into a strife about words, so as to introduce dissensions among them, and to make them appear as holding contradictory opinions. It is related that one of these philosophers, priding himself on his acknowledged superiority of eloquence, began to ridicule the priests, and thereby roused the indignation of a simple old man, highly esteemed as a confessor, who, although unskilled in logical refinements and wordiness, undertook to oppose him. The less serious of those who knew the confessor, raised a laugh at his expense for engaging in such an undertaking; but the more thoughtful felt anxious lest, in opposing so eloquent a man, he should only render himself ridiculous; yet his influence was so great, and his reputation so high among them, that they could not forbid his engaging in the debate; and he accordingly delivered himself in the following terms: In the name of Jesus Christ, O philosopher, hearken to me. There is one God, the maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. He made all things by the power of the Word, and established them by the holiness of His Spirit. The Word, whom we call the Son of God, seeing that man was sunk in error and living like the beasts pitied him, and vouchsafed to be born of woman, to hold intercourse with men, and to die for them. And He will come again to judge each of us as to the deeds of this present life. We believe these things to be true with all simplicity. Do not, therefore, expend your labor in vain by striving to disprove facts which can only be understood by faith or by scrutinizing the manner in which these things did or did not come to pass. Answer me, do you believe? The philosopher, astonished at what had occurred, replied, I believe; and having thanked the old man for having overcome him in argument, he began to teach the same doctrines to others. He exhorted those who still held his former sentiments to adopt the views he had embraced, assuring them on oath, that he had been impelled to embrace Christianity by a certain inexplicable impulse. It is said that a similar miracle was performed by Alexander, who governed the church of Constantinople. When Constantine returned to Byzantium, certain philosophers came to him to complain of the innovations in religion, and particularly of his having introduced a new form of worship into the state, contrary to that followed by his forefathers, and by all who were formerly in power, whether among the Greeks or the Romans. They likewise desired to hold a disputation on the doctrine with Alexander the bishop; and he, although unskilled in such argumentative contests, and perhaps persuaded by his life, seeing that he was an excellent and good man, accepted the struggle at the command of the emperor. When the philosophers were assembled, since every one wished to engage in the discussion, he requested that one whom they esteemed worthy might be chosen as spokesman, while the others were to remain silent. When one of the philosophers began to open the debate, Alexander said to him, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ not to speak. The man was instantaneously silenced. It is then right to consider whether it is a greater miracle that a man, and he a philosopher, should so easily be silenced by a word, or that a stone-wall should be cleft by the power of a word, which miracle I have heard some attribute to Julian, surnamed the Chaldean. I have understood that these events happened in the way above narrated.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
age of christian maturity Tabbernee (2007) 144, 146
anti-phrygian (anti-montanist) Tabbernee (2007) 144
apostle/s Tabbernee (2007) 144, 146
books,montanist Tabbernee (2007) 146
canon of scripture Tabbernee (2007) 146
divorce Tabbernee (2007) 146
faith/the faith,rule of Tabbernee (2007) 144
montanism,nature of Esler (2000) 947
montanism,scholarly attitudes to Esler (2000) 947
moses Tabbernee (2007) 146
novelty (charge of ) Tabbernee (2007) 144, 146
oracles/sayings [logia (montanist) Tabbernee (2007) 146
priscilla (the montanist) Esler (2000) 947
prophetess,prophetesses Tabbernee (2007) 144, 146
revelation' Tabbernee (2007) 144
revelation Tabbernee (2007) 146
tertullian,generally Esler (2000) 1042
tertullian,modesty Esler (2000) 1042
tertullian,moral and disciplinary writings Esler (2000) 1042
tertullian,veiling Esler (2000) 1042
tertullian Tabbernee (2007) 144, 146