Saturday, December 1, 2012

Variant Readings from Tertullian's Collection of the Letters of Paul (or That of His Source)

"And I think that God hath chosen us, the apostles, last like gladiators; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels and to men and we are made as the offscouring of all things and are the filth of the world." And "am I not free? am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus Christ, Our Lord?" And on the other side, what was his superciliousness like, with which he felt himself compelled to speak? "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of a man's judgement. For I know nothing by myself" and "nobody may make my glorying void. Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" And moreover but - how obvious the liberty in his disapproval, how sharp the edge of the sword of spirit... "Now ye are full, now ye are rich, now ye reign as kings" and "if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." And now - does he not strike anybody in the face, saying: "For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" Does he not strike even these on their mouths? "For some with conscience unto this hour eat as if they ate things offered unto an idol when you sin so and wound the weak conscience of your brethren ye sin against Christ." And further on with specific mention of a name, "Have we not power to eat and to drink? and to lead about a sister or a wife as well as other apostles and as the brethren of the Lord and Cephas?" And "if others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather?" [Pudicitia 14]

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