Disciple I want to finish this third [book] here and to move on to the fourth. For I intend to ask how someone ought to be convicted of pertinacity. First of all, however, I want to know how "pertinacious" is defined by a definition expressing the meaning of the word. For I think that such a definition should resolve many difficulties and that without such a conception it can not be known how someone ought to be convicted of pertinacity.
Master "Pertinacious" is defined by certain people thus: a pertinacious person is one who persists in that which he ought to put aside. They explain that definition in two ways. Firstly, on the authority of Isidore who says that a pertinacious person is described as if he were shamelessly tenacious; he is shamelessly tenacious, however, who holds onto what he should put aside; and that person is pertinacious, therefore, who holds onto and persists in that which he should put aside.Secondly thus: perseverance and pertinacity are opposed and ought to have contrary definitions; but that person is said to be persevering who persists in that which he should not put aside; that person is said to be pertinacious, therefore, who persists in that which he should put aside.
Disciple I wonder that they want to prove the definition of "pertinacious" from one who is pertinacious, since a definition can not be proved from the thing defined.
Master They do not intend strictly speaking to prove the definition of "pertinacious" from one who is pertinacious but they want to explain it and by explanations to make the definition of "pertinacious" in some way clear.
Disciple I do not want to get much involved with such difficulties now, but something else moves me against the aforesaid definition because according to it everyone erring is pertinacious. For everyone erring is in error for some time; but no one should ever be in error; on the contrary everyone erring should put aside his error. Everyone erring, therefore, is pertinacious.
Master They say that you are misled by an ambiguity, for there is a duty of necessity and a duty of congruity. In the aforesaid definition, however, it should be taken in a way that implies the duty of necessity, so that this is its sense: that person is pertinacious who persists in something which he should of necessity put aside. Even if, therefore, everyone erring were bound, by the duty of congruity, to put aside every error - which is not true - yet it is not the case that everyone erring should of necessity for salvation put aside his error at every time.
Disciple I see that they define "pertinacious" more generally than would be appropriate to one erring in faith. Make the aforesaid definition then specific to one erring in faith.
[See Significant Variants, para. 14.] Master It is made specific thus. He errs pertinaciously in faith who persists in a heresy which he ought to put aside from the necessity of salvation.
Disciple Make the same [definition] specific to one doubting the faith pertinaciously.
Master It is made specific thus. That person pertinaciously doubts the faith who persists in doubt, which from the necessity of salvation he should put aside, about matters of faith.
Disciple According to the above remarks, all Jews and gentiles would be pertinacious because they are all obliged to put aside his error.
Master That is a difficulty which would require a long treatise because of those who have never been instructed in the true faith. Because they have not had any instruction it is not a failing of theirs if they are such as they are. They say plainly of other gentiles and Jews, however, that they ought to be reckoned among the number of the pertinacious.