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African christianity before Minucius Felix and Tertullian

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Chapter Summary

The seniores laici in Carthage are a relic from the time that the Christian Church there was exclusively Jewish and there were not yet bishops and their subordinates, the priests. This is a proof that the origins of African Christianity are Jewish Christian. In this chapter, the author recalls the remarks made in &t;Discussion of Judaic Christianity&t; wherein it was suggested that African Christianity was of Jewish, Palestinian origin; that these primitive founders were succeeded by gnostics and other "heretics". The chapter tries to show that this new perspective has consequences for the theory of "Christian Latin" and for the problem of whether or not Minucius wrote before Tertullian. Previous studies were based on philological evidence which have proved to be inconclusive and contradictory. Perhaps a new approach, based on sociological and theological observations, might show that Minucius wrote before Tertullian.

Keywords: African Christianity; Christian Latin; Jewish Christianity; Minucius Felix; Tertullian



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