Tertullian’s Letter to His Wife

TertullianWhen we think of the Church Fathers, we often forget that they were real human beings. Beyond being extraordinary people in extraordinary times, they were people with emotions who were in relationships.

I have been reading through the works of Tertullian (155-240). Tertullian is important for many reasons, including coming up with the term Trinity.

As I was reading his works, I came across his letters to his wife. I thought this would be interesting. It started off promising enough.

I have thought it meet, my best beloved fellow-servant in the Lord, even from this early period, to provide for the course which you must pursue after my departure from the world, if I shall be called before you; (and) to entrust to your honour the observance of the provision.

You can see some affection for his wife there. However, as the letter continues, it becomes more of a theological treatise on marriage. You can read it here.

I can say with confidence that if I was living in dangerous times and had an opportunity to write to my wife, my letter would look much different.

However, this letter tells a lot about Tertullian, not just his theology but his personality. He lived an intellectual life and even when he writes to his wife, he can not unplug from that mode of thinking.


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