Saturday, November 22, 2014

Matthew 5:17

Now, inasmuch as from the first he had no regard for man, a stranger to him from the first, he settled beforehand, by this neglect of his, that he had nothing to do with an alien creature. Besides, the rule of loving a stranger or enemy is preceded by the precept of your loving your neighbour as yourself; and this precept, although coming from the Creator's law, even you ought to receive, because, so far from being abrogated by Christ, it has rather been confirmed by Him. For you are bidden to love your enemy and the stranger, in order that you may love your neighbour the better. [Tertullian Adv Marc 1.23.4 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.465, l.9) BP1]

Of the apostles, therefore, John and Matthew first instil faith into us; whilst of apostolic men, Luke and Mark renew it afterwards. These all start with the same principles of the faith, so far as relates to the one only God the Creator and His Christ, how that He was born of the Virgin, and came to fulfil the law and the prophets. Never mind if there does occur some variation in the order of their narratives, provided that there be agreement in the essential matter of the faith, in which there is disagreement with Marcion. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.2.2 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.547, l.16) BP1]

Hence will arise also our rule, by which we determine that there ought to be nothing in common between the Christ of the rival god and the Creator; but that (Christ) must be pronounced to belong to the Creator, if He has administered His dispensations, fulfilled His prophecies, promoted His laws, given reality to His promises, revived His mighty power, remoulded His determinations expressed His attributes, His properties. This law and this rule I earnestly request the reader to have ever in his mind, and so let him begin to investigate whether Christ be Marcion's or the Creator's. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4.6.4 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.553, l.9) BP1]

It is, in short, too bad that Romulus should have had in Proculus an avoucher of his ascent to heaven, when the Christ of (this) god could not find any one to announce his descent from heaven; just as if the ascent of the one and the descent of the other were not effected on one and the same ladder of falsehood! Then, what had he to do with Galilee, if he did not belong to the Creator by whom that region was destined (for His Christ) when about to enter on His ministry? As Isaiah says: "Drink in this first, and be prompt, O region of Zabulon and land of Nephthalim, and ye others who (inhabit) the sea-coast, and that of Jordan, Galilee of the nations, ye people who sit in darkness, behold a great light; upon you, who inhabit (that) land, sitting in the shadow of death, the light hath arisen." It is, however, well that Marcion's god does claim to be the enlightener of the nations, that so he might have the better reason for coming down from heaven; only, if it must needs be, he should rather have made Pontus his place of descent than Galilee. But since both the place and the work of illumination according to the prophecy are compatible with Christ, we begin to discern that He is the subject of the prophecy, which shows that at the very outset of His ministry, He came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but rather to fulfil them; for Marcion has erased the passage as an interpolation. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 7 § 4 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.554, l.22) BP1]

  Accordingly He added: "that it may be for a testimony unto you"----one, no doubt, whereby He would testify that He was not destroying the law, but fulfilling it; whereby, too, He would testify that it was He Himself who was foretold as about to undertake their sicknesses and infirmities. This very consistent and becoming explanation of "the testimony," that adulator of his own Christ, Marcion seeks to exclude under the cover of mercy and gentleness. For, being both good (such are his words), and knowing, besides, that every man who had been freed from leprosy would be sure to perform the solemnities of the law, therefore He gave this precept.[Tertullian Adv Marc 4 9 § 10 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.560, l.5) BP1]

In whatever way he commanded it, in the same way might he also have first uttered that sentiment: "I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it." What business, therefore, had you to erase out of the Gospel that which was quite consistent in it? For you have confessed that, in his goodness, he did in act what you deny that he did in word.279 We have therefore good proof that He uttered the word, in the fact that He did the deed; and that you have rather expunged the Lord's word, than that our (evangelists)280 have inserted it. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 9 § 15 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.561, l.8) BP1]

For He knows how much more easy it is to repress violence by the prospect of retaliation, than by the promise of (indefinite) vengeance. Both results, however, it was necessary to provide, in consideration of the nature and the faith of men, that the man who believed in God might expect vengeance from God, while he who had no faith (to restrain him) might fear the laws which prescribed retaliation. This purpose of the law, which it was difficult to understand, Christ, as the Lord of the Sabbath and of the law, and of all the dispensations of the Father, both revealed and made intelligible, when He commanded that "the other cheek should be offered (to the smiter)," in order that He might the more effectually extinguish all reprisals of an injury, which the law had wished to prevent by the method of retaliation, (and) which most certainly revelation572 had manifestly restricted, both by prohibiting the memory of the wrong, and referring the vengeance thereof to God. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 16 § 5 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.582, l.22) BP1]

Therefore, even if there be made a transfer of the obedient "heating" from Moses and Elias to Christ, it is still not from another God, or to another Christ; but from" the Creator to His Christ, in consequence of the departure of the old covenant and the supervening of the new. "Not an ambassador, nor an angel, but He Himself," says Isaiah, "shall save them; "879 for it is He Himself who is now declaring and fulfilling the law and the prophets. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 22 § 11 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.603, l.1) BP1]

"More easily, therefore, may heaven and earth pass away----as also the law and the prophets----than that one tittle of the Lord's words should fail." "For," as says Isaiah: "the word of our God shall stand for ever." Since even then by Isaiah it was Christ, the Word and Spirit of the Creator, who prophetically described John as "the voice of one crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord," and as about to come for the purpose of terminating thenceforth the course of the law and the prophets; by their fulfilment and not their extinction, and in order that the kingdom of God might be announced by Christ, He therefore purposely added the assurance that the elements would more easily pass away than His words fail; affirming, as He did, the further fact, that what He had said concerning John had not fallen to the ground. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 33 § 9 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.634, l.22) BP1]

This verity of the gospel then stands unimpaired: "I am not come to destroy the law and the prophets, but rather to fulfil them." He also dissipated other doubts, when He declared that the name of God and of the Good belonged to one and the same being, at whose disposal were also the everlasting life and the treasure in heaven and Himself too----whose commandments He both maintained and augmented with His own supplementary precepts. He may likewise be discovered in the following passage of Micah, saying: "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to be ready to follow the Lord thy God? " [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 36 § 6 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.644, l.4) BP1]

If, therefore, these tribulations are the signs of the kingdom, just as the maturity of the trees is of the summer, it follows that the kingdom is the Creator's to whom are ascribed the tribulations which are the signs of the kingdom. Since the beneficent Deity had premised that these things must needs come to pass, although so terrible and dreadful, as they had been predicted by the law and the prophets, therefore He did not destroy the law and the prophets, when He affirmed that what had been foretold therein must be certainly fulfilled. [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 39 § 17 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.655, l.1) BP1]

Some places there were in Jerusalem where to teach; other places outside Jerusalem whither to retire ----"in the day-time He was teaching in the temple; "just as He had foretold by Hosea: "In my house did they find me, and there did I speak with them." "But at night He went out to the Mount of Olives." For thus had Zechariah pointed out: "And His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives." Fit hours for an audience there also were. "Early in the morning" must they resort to Him, who (having said by Isaiah, "The Lord giveth me the tongue of the learned") added, "He hath appointed me the morning, and hath also given me an ear to hear." Now if this is to destroy the prophets, what will it be to fulfil them? [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 39 § 19 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.655, l.25) BP1]

With what constancy has He also, in Psalm 30, laboured to present to us the very Christ! He calls with a loud voice to the Father, "Into Thine hands I commend my spirit," that even when dying He might expend His last breath in fulfilling the prophets. Having said this, He gave up the ghost." Who? Did the spirit give itself up; or the flesh the spirit? But the spirit could not have breathed itself out. That which breathes is one thing, that which is breathed is another. If the spirit is breathed it must needs be breathed by another. If, however, there had been nothing there but spirit, it would be said to have departed rather than expired. What, however, breathes out spirit but the flesh, which both breathes the spirit whilst it has it, and breathes it out when it loses it? [Tertullian Adv Marc 4 42 § 6 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.660, l.23) BP1]

whether Christ did or did not say, "I am not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it? " In vain has (our man of) Pontus laboured to deny this statement. If the gospel has not fulfilled the law, then all I can say is, the law has fulfilled the gospel. But it is well that in a later verse he threatens us with "the judgment-seat of Christ,"----the Judge, of course, and the Avenger, and therefore the Creator's (Christ). This Creator, too, however much he may preach up another god, he certainly sets forth for us as a Being to be served, if he holds Him thus up as an object to be feared. [Tertullian Adv Marc 5 14 § 14 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 1 (1954),(p.708, l.20) BP1]

And did not Christ, whilst preaching and manifesting God, fulfilling the law and the prophets, and scattering the darkness of the long preceding age, justly employ this same form of words, in order to strike the unbelief of those who stood outside, or to shake off the importunity of those who would call Him away from His work? If, however, He had meant to deny His own nativity, He would have found place, time, and means for expressing Himself very differently, and not in words which might be uttered by one who had both a mother and brothers. When denying one's parents in indignation, one does not deny their existence, but censures their faults. [Tertullian De Carne Christi 7 § 11 KROYMANN Aem., CCL 2 (1954),(p.889, l.66) BP1]

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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