Classical Review 64 (1950) p. 35


Ernest EVANS: Tertullian's Treatise against Praxeas.
Pp. viii+342. London: S.P.C.K., 1948. Cloth,
21s. net.

IN the first sentence of his preface Canon Evans
tells us that 'this book was not written for publica
tion, but as a relaxation from the more exacting
duties of my profession'. We may well be grateful
to the anonymous scholar who caught sight of the
manuscript and persuaded the author that the
work ought to be made available to students; and
it is to be hoped that the reception given to the
volume will be such as to encourage the publishers
to produce some more of the work on Tertullian
suggested in the preface.

    This instalment contains a full Introduction of
85 pages dealing with Tertullian's life and works in
general, and with the Monarchian controversy and
the place of the adu. Prax. in it in particular. This
is followed by an account of Tertullian's own doc-
trine of the Incarnation, showing what he derives
from his predecessors, and discussing his technical
terminology and his characteristic positions in
considerable detail. A further section deals with
his relation to Montanism. Finally, there is an
account of manuscripts and editions.

    Next we have the text with critical apparatus..
In constructing the text Canon Evans has fre-
quently preferred the readings of the manuscripts
to the conjectures of Kroymann. In a few cases
he has put conjectures of his own into the text,
and in several more suggested them in the appara-
tus. The text is followed by a translation, which is
readable in itself and faithful to the text. The

translation is accompanied by a very full indica-
tion of Scripture quotations and allusions. Text
and translation occupy some 9o pages.

    Finally, there is the Commentary (pp. 183-331)
Each chapter has its argument summarized and
there are full notes on points of interest or diffi-
culty. The outstanding characteristics of the Com-
mentary are the solid good sense which keeps a
firm grasp of Tertullian's thought, despite the
notorious difficulties of his language and style; and
the wide-ranging and first-hand knowledge of the
relevant patristic literature, which appears on
every page. To work through these notes is to
learn a great deal not only about Tertullian's ideas
but also about the thought of the early Fathers
generally on the important and difficult topics
with which the adu. Prax. is concerned. The work
is rounded off with four good indexes; Scripture
texts, ancient authors, Tertullian's works, and
Greek and Latin words. The book is well produced
and the proof-reading has evidently been done with
the greatest care. I have noticed misprints on
p. 77, n. 1 and in the first line of the apparatus
on p. 128.                                 T. W. MANSON.

   University of Manchester.


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