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A jewish source of Minucius Felix

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Chapter Summary

The much disputed problem whether the Octavius was written before or after the Apologeticum remains as yet unsolved. Our generation will perhaps be inclined to prefer Tertullian, a genius, to Minucius, a compilator. Having found an argument in favour of the priority of Minucius, the author submits the following results of the investigation to the criticism of scholars: (1) some passages of the Octavius show that its author knew a Jewish apology, large parts of which are preserved in the so-called pseudo-Clementina; (2) when used as a tertium comparationis this Jewish book may reveal that Minucius rendered the text of his source faithfully, whereas Tertullian misunderstood the text of the Octavius in the corresponding passage of the Ad Nationes. This chapter does not persuade anybody that Minucius preceded Tertullian, but at least H.Z. Hirschberg noticed that it was important for reconstructing the history of the Jews in North Africa.

Keywords: Ad Nationes; Jewish apology; Jewish source; Minucius Felix; Octavius; Tertullian



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