Tertullian, Quintus Septimius Florens (ca. 160-ca. 222)
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian, (ca. 160-ca. 222), the great Church Father of Carthage, the son of a captain, well educated, familiar with Greek, was converted to Christianity and defended its doctrines in numerous writings. His book De Baptismo (Concerning Baptism), in which he attacked infant baptism, is of especial interest to Mennonites. Very earnestly he insisted on faith as the unconditional requirement for a true baptism. This book shows that infant baptism was not yet a universal custom in the church of the second century. The Martyrs' Mirror has on its last page an address of encouragement to the martyrs who were confined in prisons at the time of the heathen emperors written by Tertullian. In 1522 Conrad Grebel procured and forwarded to Vadian a copy of the new edition of Tertullian (ed. by Beatus Rhenanus at Basel, 1521). It is probable that he read Tertullian, since he mentions him in the letter to Müntzer (1524). Menno Simons also read Tertullian. It is intriguing, but speculative to think that Tertullian's attack on infant baptism may have influenced the Anabaptists.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, …, 1685. Part II: 838-40.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 1139-41. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 698-699. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. "Tertullian, Quintus Septimius Florens (ca. 160-ca. 222)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T4972.html.
APA style: Neff, Christian and Harold S. Bender. (1959). Tertullian, Quintus Septimius Florens (ca. 160-ca. 222). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T4972.html.