Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 13. Ecclesiastical Literature of the Ante-Nicene Age, and Biographical Sketches of the Church Fathers.” sec. 159-204.
§ 197. The Writings of Tertullian.
Schaff views Tertullian’s writings as foundational to our understanding of Christianity in his time, at the end of the second century and beginning of the third (Schaff 2014, loc. 23092, par. 1)). Schaff does remind us of Tertullian’s austere Montanism, which prompted him to write numerous “tracts against the Catholics” (Schaff 2014, loc. 23097, par. 2). His apologetics speaks forcefully to defend Christianity and argue for its legal status (Schaff 2014, loc. 23100, par. 3). Schaff reviews a number of different apologetic works, noting the different purposes and themes.
Tertullian’s “polemic works are occupied chiefly with the refutation of the Gnostics” (Schaff 2014, loc. 23127, par. 7). In these works, Schaff finds chiefly forensic arguments which demand the Gnostics stop appropriating Christian terms and ideas.
Schaff lists a number of Tertullian’s tracts (Schaff 2014, loc. 23147, par. 10), important as descriptions of doctrine as people of his time period would understand it.
Schaff notes that Tertullian makes references to corrent events, which helps scholars identify his chronology (Schaff 2014, loc. 23161, par. 13). Based on this information, Schaff attempts a chronology of Tertullian’s works.