Sunday, 10 February 2019

Peter van Egmond: Biblical Argument in the Libellus fidei Ascribed to Julian of Aeclanum (CPL 775b)

The Pelagian Libellus fidei(CPL775b), ascribed by some to Julian of Aeclanum, contains a substantial section devoted to argument from Scripture. This section in fact occupies a central place in the confession, which is designed to defend the Pelagian cause from three different perspectives–the Creed, the Bible, and a number of ecclesiastical condemnations of heresies – followed by a concluding plea.The first and the third sections are known to draw heavily on the work of Pelagius. The literary context of the second section however, which focuses on Biblical authority, remains largely uncharted terrain. Closer examination would be welcome, if only to supplement the long-running debate on the authorship of the libelluswith fresh insights and arguments. Can, perhaps, parallels to contemporary writings of Julian of Aeclanum be identified, or excluded?The paper proposed here offers an introductory survey of the section devoted to biblical argument, drawing on a new critical text of the Libellus fidei. It presents an examination of the Latin Bible versions used (Vulgate, Vetus Latina), identifying fixed combinations of quotations from Scripture – and parallels of these both in the work of Julian and elsewhere – and analysing the distinct lines of biblical argument employed.

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