the connection of the Tertullian Against Praxeas reference and Cyprian Ad Jubaianus and Unity of the Church

Steven Avery

Here, it is easy to see that the three references are conjoined, in that they received their basic truth from the same Bible verse.

1 John 5:7 (AV)
For there are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
and these three are one.



Against Praxeas 25

Thus the connexion of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, makes three coherent ones from one another, which three are one (unum, not unus, i.e. one substance, not one person) as it is said, “I and my Father are one,” denoting the unity of substance, not the singularity of number. -
(Samuel Davidson, Lectures on Biblical Criticism, p. 135, 1835)

Cyprian of Carthage

● On the Unity of the Church:

He who breaks the peace and concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ; he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ. The Lord says, "I and the Father are one;" and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, "And these three are one."
(Cyprian. Treatise. On the Unity of the Church. Book 1.6, ANF, 1995, vol. 5, p. 423)

Epistle 73 to Jubianum:
If any one could be baptized by a heretic, and could obtain remission of sins, - if he has obtained remission of sins, and is sanctified, and become the temple of God? I ask, of what God? If of the Creator, he cannot be His temple, who has not believed in Him ; if of Christ, neither can he who denies Him to be God, be His temple ; if of the Holy Spirit, since the three are one, how can the Holy Spirit be reconciled to him, who is an enemy, either of the Father or of the Son?"
(Cyprian, Epistle 73 [to Jubaianus]


If the contras had scholastic smarts and integrity, they would acknowledge the connection. Two of the three directly quote John 10:30. Then, In terms of additional scripture reference, whatever is true of one, is true of all three. Thus, all three come from a Scripture verse, and it has to be either 1 John 5:7 (direct reference) or 1 John 5:8 (invisible allegory.)

Similarly the contras would acknowledge that it is "safer and more candid" (Scrivener) to acknowledge the verse was in the Bible of Cyprian. Then, if the goal is a contra-authenticity position, the cotnras could theorize that the verse was an interpolation in the Ante-Nicene era (e.g. c. AD 150).

Rather than the current absurd position of pretending that the heavenly witnesses verse was formulated in the late 4th century and quickly became ubiquitous in the Latin text-line! Impossible. Such as the wide Mediterranean region having the verse at the Council of Carthage. And a dozen and more full verse uses, including Contra Varimadum, Expositio Fidei Catholicae, Priscillian, De Trinitate and Symboli Apostolici et Athanasii Enarratio. Then we add the Speculum from c. AD 400 and Jerome writing of the verse in his Vulgate Prologue!

Anyone with a little Bible textual sense would quickly acknowledge that the late fourth century scenario is a big nothing. An embarrassment by today's contra position.


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