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ANF03. Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian
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Chapter XXIV.—Earth Does Not Mean Matter as Hermogenes Would Have It.

I now return to the several points63546354    Articulos. by means of which he thought that Matter was signified. And first I will inquire about the terms. For we read only of one of them, Earth; the other, namely Matter, we do not meet with. I ask, then, since Matter is not mentioned in Scripture, how the term earth can be applied to it, which marks a substance of another kind? There is all the greater need why mention should also have been made of Matter, if this has acquired the further sense of Earth, in order that I may be sure that Earth is one and the same name as Matter, and so not claim the designation for merely one substance, as the proper name thereof, and by which it is better known; or else be unable (if I should feel the inclination), to apply it to some particular species of Matter, instead, indeed,63556355    Nec utique. of making it the common term63566356    Communicare. of all Matter. For when a proper name does not exist for that thing to which a common term is ascribed, the less apparent63576357    We have construed Oehler’s reading: “Quanto non comparet” (i.e., by a frequent ellipse of Tertullian, “quanto magis non comparet”). Fr. Junius, however, suspects that instead of “quanto” we should read “quando”: this would produce the sense, “since it is not apparent to what object it may be ascribed,” etc. is the object to which it may be ascribed, the more capable will it be of being applied to any other object whatever. Therefore, even supposing that Hermogenes could show us the name63586358    Nominatam. Matter, he is bound to prove to us further, that the same object has the surname63596359    Cognominatam. Earth, in order that he may claim for it both designations alike.


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