By Emily J. Hunt
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59 This in fact hints at the main differences between Tatian’s and Theodotus’ use of these Pauline passages; Theodotus’ emphasis is on baptism as a process which involves dying and rising with Christ, whilst Tatian stresses Paul’s cry to reject the old nature,60 without explicit reference to baptism. These fundamental differences are pointed up again when we consider the contexts in which Tatian and Theodotus talk of conquering death by death. 61 It is true that Tatian speaks of men overcoming ‘death by death in faith’,62 but it is not with reference to baptism; he is again speaking of man’s capacity to reverse the consequences of the fall through free will.
As we have seen, Christianity during the second century was very ﬂexible and ﬂuid, and the notion of ‘heresy’, although developing, was still not set, whilst the notion of ‘orthodoxy’ did not yet really exist; Christianity, with its many facets, was still attempting to deﬁne itself. My concern here, then, is to question anachronistic labelling of Tatian, and by exploring Tatian’s relationship to the Christianity around him, I hope to shed light on this crucial period in Christianity’s development.
79 Grant’s methodology here seems somewhat suspect; he is importing material from another writer whose thought world, as we have seen, is not at all close to Tatian. 80 I believe that this is yet another non-gnostic element in Tatian, and again will discuss it more fully later in this chapter. Grant’s aim in introducing this patchy Christology seems to be to push Tatian still closer to Theodotus, and by so doing he ﬁnds a way of linking Tatian’s spark (which otherwise remains redundant) to the salvation process.