A Missiological Reading of Christology in Dialogue with Hendrikus Berkhof and Colin Gunton
Peter H. Sedgwick
Aims, Methods, Themes, and Contexts
Prosopological Exegesis and the Development of Pre-Nicene Pneumatology
Kyle R. Hughes
In Prax. 11.7–8, Tertullian of Carthage employs, with significant modifications, his predecessors’ understandings of the Trinitarian testimony of the Spirit. Unlike Justin and Irenaeus, when Tertullian portrays the Spirit as participating in intra-divine dialogue, the testifying function of the Spirit is only implicit in the quotations themselves and not in Tertullian’s own introduction or explanation of those quotations. Instead, Tertullian’s understanding of the Trinitarian testimony of the Spirit is most clearly stated apart from his portrayal of the Spirit’s prosopological speech. This pneumatological advance was inextricably linked with his support of the New Prophecy, which contributed to a more explicit portrayal of the Spirit as a Trinitarian person. Thus, because his use of prosopological exegesis only implicitly brought out the Spirit’s testifying role, as well as on account of his association with Montanism, Tertullian paved the way for the eventual diminishment of this aspect of the Spirit’s ministry in the later pre-Nicene Latin tradition. Still, Tertullian’s clear identification of the Spirit as a distinct divine person tasked with leading believers into a better understanding of the mystery of the Trinity both demonstrates thematic continuity with his predecessors as well as sets the stage for later pro-Nicene Trinitarian theology.