Tertullian says that ONLY Martyrs are in Paradise. Why?

edited October 2012 in Faith Issues
Tertullian believed that only martyrs go to paradise.  All other Christians (the Theotokos being an exception?) have to wait in Hades for the resurrection.


He cites St. Perpetua who, he says, saw ONLY martyrs in Paradise in her vision.  He also says that is why in the Book of Revelation, St. John the Evangelist saw ONLY the souls of the martyrs under the Altar and no one else. 


Is this part of the reason that he is not considered a saint?  Why is he then considered a Church Father?



Comments

  • In "De Paradiso,"  he is reported to have said, "Yet not all souls enter the ‘lower world.’ There is one exception. The souls of the martyrs pass immediately into Paradise, where they are in the presence of the Lord. ‘For no one, on becoming absent from the body, is at once a dweller in the presence of the Lord, except by the prerogative of martyrdom, whereby (the saint) gets at once a lodging in paradise, not in the “lower world.”  How is it, then, that the region of Paradise, which, as revealed to John in the spirit, lay under the altar, displays no other souls as in it besides the souls of the martyrs? How is it that the most heroic martyr, Perpetua, on the day of her passion, saw only her fellow martyrs there, in the revelation which she received of Paradise? ’

    He then says, "The sole key to unlock Paradise is your own life’s blood.’


    Otherwise, we all live in Hades waiting for the resurrection.

  • Tertullian also says that those who deny that the faithful wait in Hades are “proud”
    and "servants above their Lord", and "disciples above their Master"
    since Christ descended into Hades where they are unwilling to go.

    The martyrs are the only group whom Tertullian admits to heaven before the general resurrection. He
    explains his reasons in this way:

    How, indeed, shall the soul mount up to he aven, where Christ is already
    sitting at the Father's right hand, when as yet the archangel's trumpet
    has not been heard by the command of God, when as yet those whom
    the coming of the Lord is to find on the earth, have not been caught up
    into the air to meet Him at His coming, in company with the dead in
    Christ, who shall be the first to arise? To no one is heaven opened; the
    earth is still safe for him, I would not say it is shut against him. When
    the world, indeed, shall pass away, then the kingdom of heaven shall be
    opened. Shall we then have to sleep high up in the ether, with the boyloving
    worthies of Plato; or in the air with Arius; or around the moon
    with the Endymions of the Stoics? No, but in Paradise, you tell me,
    whither already the patriarchs and prophets have removed from Hades
    in the retinue of the Lord's resurrection. How is it, then, that the region
    of Paradise, which as revealed to John in the Spirit lay under the altar,
    displayed no other souls as in it besides the souls of the martyrs?  (Quote found in De Anima)
  • Doesn't this idea deny Jesus' words to the theif on the Cross, "Today, you will be with me in Paradise"  How would one justify Tertullian.  Would one render that verse, "Truly I tell you today,    You will be with me in Paradise"?

    What about St. Pauls' teaching that it is far better to depart and be with Christ?  Although Tertullian could argue that St. Paul knew he was to be martyred.
  • May be he were not aware about the parable of the rich and Lazarus, after all Lazarus was not a martyr in the story.

    That is why the Orthodox Church does not follow a certain patristic writing if it isn’t in accordance with the majority of what the other holy fathers have said.
  • [quote author=sherene_maria link=topic=13762.msg160421#msg160421 date=1349898898]
    May be he were not aware about the parable of the rich and Lazarus, after all Lazarus was not a martyr in the story.I highly doubt that is the case. I am sure he was well aware of that story. You are talking about a man who dedicated almost his whole life to studying the Scriptures. Though I would agree with you all that what Tertullian says does seem a bit fishy, he probably would have found some way to justify his hypothesis.

    [quote author=sherene_maria link=topic=13762.msg160421#msg160421 date=1349898898]That is why the Orthodox Church does not follow a certain patristic writing if it isn’t in accordance with the majority of what the other holy fathers have said.
    Amen.

    Just for clarification, though... Tertullian is not a "Holy Father." He is an important scholar, but he cannot be considered a Holy Father because he fell into Montanism towards the end of his life. What a shame about that, though. Just putting that out there for anyone who may not know.
  • Did the Holy Martyr Perpetua see, teach, and believe, that only martyrs are in Paradise?
  • [quote author=Severian link=topic=13762.msg160428#msg160428 date=1349940061]
    [quote author=sherene_maria link=topic=13762.msg160421#msg160421 date=1349898898]
    May be he were not aware about the parable of the rich and Lazarus, after all Lazarus was not a martyr in the story.I highly doubt that is the case. I am sure he was well aware of that story. You are talking about a man who dedicated almost his whole life to studying the Scriptures. Though I would agree with you all that what Tertullian says does seem a bit fishy, he probably would have found some way to justify his hypothesis.




    What I said was meant to be sarcasm; I should have put an acclamation mark.



    [quote author=sherene_maria link=topic=13762.msg160421#msg160421 date=1349898898]That is why the Orthodox Church does not follow a certain patristic writing if it isn’t in accordance with the majority of what the other holy fathers have said.
    Amen.

    Just for clarification, though... Tertullian is not a "Holy Father." He is an important scholar, but he cannot be considered a Holy Father because he fell into Montanism towards the end of his life. What a shame about that, though. Just putting that out there for anyone who may not know.




    I agree with you, that is why i did not mention Tertullian among the Holy fathers.
  • Team outside of the game screen, the Friends by simple data display, battle net account, role name, grade, but the thumbnail the banners in the most intuitive Diablo 3 Gold visual elements or the list on the left. "Current" (recent) tags, which ranks display your friends are fighting and hell.
  • So non-martyrs go to paradise, or at least it is ok to believe that they do?
  • [quote author=Anastasia1 link=topic=13762.msg161628#msg161628 date=1354386438]
    So non-martyrs go to paradise, or at least it is ok to believe that they do?


    Tertullian, like Origen and many others, were great theologians, but they had a lot of heretical teachings that did not go along with the teachings of the Church and its fathers, and like Shere ne maria said "the Orthodox Church does not follow a certain patristic writing if it isn’t in accordance with the majority of what the other holy fathers have said." So, answering your question: yes, the church believe that non-martyrs can go to paradise.
Sign In or Register to comment.