This is possible, and should always be considered.MrMacSon wrote: ↑Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:02 amI'm not setting up a rule.* I started commenting on Tertullians references to or use of Paul. I've started looking at Irenaeus on Paul (I'm aware Justin Martyr either hardly referred to Paul or didn't know him at all).Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:32 amWhat are the rules for this little game, then? ... What are the analogies you are working from?
... the rule you seem to be setting up may be flawed, and the exposure of the flaws in such rules knows no chronological boundary unless the rule itself has established one.
* the only 'rules' or 'inquiry-considerations' I'm following (but not setting up) are
(a) that, when dealing with Church Fathers, one ought to question which direction passages and pericopes flowed - whether, (i) as traditionally thought, from versions of what eventually became the NT books to the Fathers' documents; or (ii) from the Fathers to the eventual NT books (and therefore that passages in the Fathers' works identical to or similar to those in the eventual NT books might be a coincidence, or that the epistle or gospel writers used the Fathers' works to finalise their books); ....
(b) whether the Church Fathers might have been dealing with Marcion's version of a document or an orthodox one (something I'm hardly knowledgeable enough to discern)
The very question implies a rule: namely, that Tertullian finding it necessary to elevate Paul implies one particular stage of Christianity and not another; presumably, Tertullian not finding it necessary to elevate Paul would have implied a different stage of Christianity (if not, then what you noted about Tertullian was, by definition, irrelevant to the issue of which stage of Christianity he represents).Why would Tertullian find it necessary to elevate Paul at this stage of Christianity if Christianity was [supposedly] well established?
You may object to calling this a "rule" for some reason, but call it whatever you like and the dynamics are still the same: Tertullian's elevation (or lack thereof) of Paul carries, according to your statement, certain implications. And my question is why you think that it carries those implications. Why not exactly the opposite? Or why assume that those implications are related in the first place? Whence are you drawing this "rule," this guideline, this method of figuring out which stage of Christianity a certain church father represents?