Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume IV/Donatist Controversy/On Baptism/Book VII/Chapter 11

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Chapter 11.—20.  Paul of Bobba[1] said:  "I for my part am not moved if some fail to uphold the faith and truth of the Church, seeing that the apostle says ‘For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid:  yea let God be true, but every man a liar.’[2]  But if God be true, how can the truth of baptism be in the company of heretics, where God is not?"[3]

21.  To him we answer:  What is God among the covetous?  And yet baptism exists among them; and so also it exists among heretics.  For they among whom God is, are the temple of God.  "But what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?"[4]  Further, Paul considers, and Cyprian agrees with him, that covetousness is idolatry; and Cyprian himself again associates with his colleagues, who were robbers, but yet baptized, with great reward of toleration.


  1. Bobba (Obba) was in ecclesiastical province of Mauritania Cæsariensis, including Tingitana.  A bishop Paul is mentioned in Cypr. Ep. lxvii.
  2. Rom. iii. 3, 4.
  3. Conc. Carth. sec. 47.
  4. 2 Cor. vi. 16.