|Tertullian's Treatise against Praxeas.
an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, by
EVANS. London: Society for
Christian Knowledge, 1948. Pp. viii, 342. 21s.
Of all the patristic
writers Tertullian is possibly the
most virile in the clamorous passion of his polemics, in
his forensic skill in expression and diatribe--which leads
him not infrequently into unwarranted vituperation and
condemnation--and in the pliancy of his Latinity.
Although the treatise against Praxeas has been avail-
able in English translation for some years, the present
edition offers the Latin text, a fresh English render-
ing, and an exhaustive commentary.
In the Introduction,
running to some eighty-five pages,
Dr. Evans covers the life and work of Tertullian, ex-
amines the Monarchian controversy, the context of the
Praxeas, and Tertullian's theological terminology, and
briefly notes the textual and manuscript traditions. The
text used follows manuscript authorities, but Dr. Evans
so adjusts the punctuation as to clarify hitherto ob-
scure or meaningless passages: he also makes some ten
conjectures of his own.
The Commentary, which is
particularly full in the
treatment of theological terms and in references to
the Fathers and to Hebrew and Greek parallels, will
serve as an excellent introduction to patristic writings.
The translation is
vigorous, but marked by a tendency
to expansions and intrusions intended to clarify. It
would appear, rather, that Tertullian's terseness and
his seemingly brusque transitions would more readily
fall into the style of Carlyle. Although the matter of
the treatise is completely theological in import, there
is interest for the general classical student in Tertul-
lian's verbal usages, his telescopic, spissated condensa-
tions, and the interpretative and linguistic analogies
cited by Dr. Evans.
HARRY E. WEDECK
ERASMUS HALL HIGH SCHOOL
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK