Saturday, 11 April 2015

Benjamin Haupt: Tertullian’s Citations of the Epistle to the Galatians: A Case Study

The last exhaustive treatment of Tertullian’s citations of the New Testament was Hermann Rönsch’s in 1871. Since his work was published, many developments have taken place in the text critical analysis of patristic citations and in themselves justify a new study. Another field of research primarily undertaken in Nijmegen had established that early Christian Latin including Tertullian’s was most akin to vulgar Latin and in some ways was a language unto itself, thus referred to as a Sondersprache. Recent work in the Old Latin Gospels and in Tertullian has nuanced and in some places overturned the Nijmegen view by demonstrating that their Latin did at times employ a higher register and that where their Latin was distinctive it was so because of the biblical idiom. These and other developments in the understanding of Roman African Christianity and translation in early Christianity provide the helpful background material to understand the socio-theological setting in which Tertullian did his work. Most recently it has been suggested that Tertullian was translating from a Greek New Testament on the fly when inserting biblical quotations rather than copying these from a Latin New Testament. This hypothesis will be tested for Tertullian’s use of Galatians in order to lay the foundation for an exhaustive new study. Critical editions of Tertullian will be used throughout, and recent work on Old Latin manuscripts and commentaries of Galatians will serve as comparative data.

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