Arthur Cleveland Coxe on Tertullian, Cyprian and the Treatise on Rebaptism

Steven Avery

Arthur Cleveland Coxe supports three Ante-Nicene references

Treatise on Rebaptism

And Coxe gives a solid reference to
Johannes Ernest Grabe, Appendix - "Notes on Bishop Bull"

Planned for improvement - italics and perhaps more background



Pure Bible Forum


"It appears to me very clear that Tertullian is quoting 1 John 5:7. in the passage now under consideration: ... To those interested in the question let me commend the learned dissertation of Grabe on the textual case, as it stood in his day. I value it chiefly because it proves that the Greek Testament, elsewhere says, disjointedly, what is collected into 1 John 5:7. It is, therefore, Holy Scripture in substance, if not in the letter. What seems to me important, however, is the balance it gives to the whole context, and the defective character of the grammar and logic, if it be stricken out."

Arthur Cleveland Coxe (1887)

Arthur Cleveland Coxe (1811-1896)




(In the name of, etc. Since Three are One, pp. 380, 382.)

Having elsewhere touched upon the quotation attributed to Tertullian, I need not repeat what has been said of this once very painfully agitated matter. But, as to the quotations of the African Fathers generally, it ought to be understood that there was a vetus Itala before Jerome,— more than one, no doubt,—to which that Father was largely indebted for the text now called the Vulgate. Vercellone assured Dean Burgon that there was indeed one established Latin text, an old Itala.

Scrivener says candidly, "It is hard to believe that 1 John v. 7 was not cited by Cyprian;" and again, "The African writers Vigilius of Thapsus (at the end of the fifth century) and Fulgentius {circa 520) in two places expressly appeal to the three heavenly Witnesses." So, too, Victor Vitensis, in the notable case of the African king of the Vandals. The admission of Tischendorf is also cited by Scrivener. Tischendorf says, "Gravissimus est Cyprianus (in Tract, de Eccles. Unitate), Dicit Dominus, Ego et Pater unum sumus (Joann. x. 30) ; et, iterum, de Patre, Filio, et Spiritu Sancto, scriptum est, Et tres unum sunt." Tischendorf adds the testimony of this epistle to Jubaianus. And Scrivener decides that "it is surely safer and more candid to admit that Cyprian read it in his copies, than to resort to," etc., the usual explainings away. To this note of this same erudite scholar the reader may also turn for satisfaction as to the reasons against authenticity. But primarily, to meet questions as to versions used by Cyprian, let him consult the same invaluable work (p. 269) on the Old Latin before Jerome. I have added an important consideration in a note to the Anonymous Treatise on Baptism, which follows {infra), with other documents, in our Appendix.


Treatise on Rebaptism

Coxe - protasis.jpg

1 John v. 8. [It is noteworthy that he quotes the Latin formula, and not that (εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν) of the Greek. Now, the Latin, repeating (in verse 8) the formula (hi tres unum sunt) which belongs to the dubious protasis, is so far evidence that such a verse existed in the old Greek. It is important that the Latin is not conformed to the received formula of the apodosis, “the three agree in one.”]
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