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Lectio 1 LECTURE 1
1 ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος,
καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν,
καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.
1 In the beginning was the Word;
and the Word was with God;
and the Word was God.
Evangelista Ioannes, sicut dictum est, intendit principaliter ostendere divinitatem verbi incarnati; et ideo dividitur istud Evangelium in partes duas. Primo enim insinuat Christi divinitatem; secundo manifestat eam per ea quae Christus in carne fecit, et hoc II cap. et die tertia. Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit Christi divinitatem; secundo ponit modum, quo Christi divinitas nobis innotuit, ibi et vidimus gloriam eius et cetera. Circa primum duo facit. Primo agit de divinitate Christi; secundo de verbi Dei incarnatione, ibi fuit homo missus a Deo. 23 John the Evangelist, as already indicated, makes it his principal object to show the divinity of the Incarnate Word. Accordingly, his Gospel is divided into two parts. In the first he states the divinity of Christ; in the second he shows it by the things Christ did in the flesh (2:1). In regard to the first, he does two things. First he shows the divinity of Christ; secondly he sets forth the manner in which Christ’s divinity is made known to us (1:14). Concerning the first he does two things. First he treats of the divinity of Christ; secondly of the incarnation of the Word of God (1:6).
Quia vero in unaquaque re sunt consideranda duo, scilicet esse et operatio, sive virtus ipsius, ideo primo agit de esse verbi quantum ad naturam divinam; secundo de virtute, seu operatione ipsius, ibi omnia per ipsum facta sunt. Circa primum quatuor facit. Primo ostendit quando erat verbum, quia in principio erat verbum; secundo ubi erat, quia apud Deum; unde dicit et verbum erat apud Deum; tertio quid erat, quia Deus; unde subiungit et Deus erat verbum; quarto quomodo erat, quia hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Prima duo pertinent ad quaestionem, an est: secunda vero duo pertinent ad quaestionem quid est. Because there are two items to be considered in each thing, namely, its existence and its operation or power, first he treats the existence of the Word as to his divine nature; secondly of his power or operation (1:3). In regard to the first he does four things. First he shows when the Word was: In the beginning was the Word; secondly where he was: and the Word was with God; thirdly what fie was: and the Word was God; fourthly, in what way he was: He was in the beginning with God. The first two pertain to the inquiry “whether something exists”; the second two pertain to the inquiry “what something is.”
Circa primum autem videndum est quid sit hoc quod dicitur in principio erat verbum. Ubi tria diligenter inquirenda concurrunt, secundum tres dictiones huius orationis. Et primo quid sit hoc quod dicitur verbum; secundo quid sit hoc quod dicitur in principio; tertio quid sit hoc quod dicitur verbum erat in principio. 24 With respect to the first of these four we must examine the meaning of the statement, In the beginning was the Word. And here three things present themselves for careful study according to the three parts of this statement. First it is necessary to investigate the name Word; secondly the phrase in the beginning; thirdly the meaning of the Word was in the beginning.
Ad intellectum autem huius nominis verbum, sciendum est quod, secundum philosophum ea quae sunt in voce, sunt signa earum, quae sunt in anima, passionum. Consuetum est autem in Scriptura quod significata nominantur nominibus signorum, sicut illud I Cor. X, 4: petra autem erat Christus. De necessitate autem oportet quod illud intrinsecum animae nostrae, quod significatur exteriori verbo nostro, verbum vocetur. Utrum autem per prius conveniat nomen verbi rei exteriori voce prolatae, vel ipsi conceptioni mentis, nihil refert ad praesens. Planum est tamen quod illud quod voce significatur, interius existens in anima, prius est quam ipsum verbum exteriori voce prolatum, utpote causa eius existens. Si ergo volumus scire quid est interius verbum mentis, videamus quid significat quod exteriori voce profertur. 25 To understand the name Word we should note that according to the Philosopher [ On Interpretation 16a3] vocal sounds are signs of the affections that exist in our soul. It is customary in Scripture for the things signified to be themselves called by the names of their signs, as in the statement, “And the rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4). It is fitting that what is within our soul, and which is signified by our external word, be called a “word.” But whether the name “word” belongs first to the exterior vocal sound or to the conception in our mind, is not our concern at present. However, it is obvious that what is signified by the vocal sound, as existing interiorly in the soul, exists prior to the vocal expression inasmuch as it is its actual cause. Therefore if we wish to grasp the meaning of the interior word, we must first look at the meaning of that which is exteriorly expressed in words.
In intellectu autem nostro sunt tria: scilicet ipsa potentia intellectus; species rei intellectae, quae est forma eius, se habens ad ipsum intellectum, sicut species coloris ad pupillam; et, tertio, ipsa operatio intellectus quae est intelligere. Nullum autem istorum significatur verbo exteriori voce prolato. Nam hoc nomen lapis non significat substantiam intellectus, quia hoc non intendit dicere nominans; nec significat speciem, quae est qua intellectus intelligit, cum etiam hoc non sit intentio nominantis; non significat etiam ipsum intelligere, cum intelligere non sit actio exterius progrediens ab intelligente, sed in ipso manens. Illud ergo proprie dicitur verbum interius, quod intelligens intelligendo format. Now there are three things in our intellect: the intellectual power itself, the species of the thing understood (and this species is its form, being to the intellect what the species of a color is to the eye), and thirdly the very activity of the intellect, which is to understand. But none of these is what is signified by the exterior vocal word: for the name “stone” does not signify the substance of the intellect because this is not what the one naming intends; nor does it signify the species, which is that by which the intellect understands, since this also is not the intention of the one naming; nor does it signify the act itself of understanding since to understand is not an action proceeding to the exterior from the one understanding, but an action remaining within. Therefore, that is properly called an interior word which the one understanding forms when understanding.
Intellectus autem duo format, secundum duas eius operationes. Nam secundum operationem suam, quae dicitur indivisibilium intelligentia, format definitionem; secundum vero operationem suam, qua componit et dividit, format enunciationem, vel aliquid huiusmodi. Et ideo, illud sic formatum et expressum per operationem intellectus, vel definientis vel enunciantis, exteriori voce significatur. Unde dicit philosophus quod ratio, quam significat nomen, est definitio. Istud ergo sic expressum, scilicet formatum in anima, dicitur verbum interius; et ideo comparatur ad intellectum, non sicut quo intellectus intelligit, sed sicut in quo intelligit; quia in ipso expresso et formato videt naturam rei intellectae. Sic ergo habemus significationem huius nominis verbum. Now the intellect forms two things, according to its two operations. According to its operation which is called “the understanding of indivisibles,” it forms a definition; while according to its operation by which it unites and separates, it forms an enunciation or something of that sort. Hence, what is thus formed and expressed by the operation of the intellect, whether by defining or enunciating, is what the exterior vocal sound signifies. So the Philosopher says that the notion (ratio) which a name signifies is a definition. Hence, what is thus expressed, i.e., formed in the soul, is called an interior word. Consequently it is compared to the intellect, not as that by which the intellect understands, but as that in which it understands, because it is in what is thus expressed and formed that it sees the nature of the thing understood. Thus we have the meaning of the name “word.”
Secundo, ex his quae dicta sunt, concipere possumus, quod verbum semper est aliquid procedens ab intellectu in actu existente. Iterum quod verbum semper est ratio et similitudo rei intellectae. Et si quidem eadem res sit intelligens et intellecta, tunc verbum est ratio et similitudo intellectus, a quo procedit; si autem sit aliud intelligens et intellectum, tunc verbum non est similitudo et ratio intelligentis, sed rei intellectae: sicut conceptio quam aliquis habet de lapide, est similitudo lapidis tantum, sed quando intellectus intelligit se, tunc huiusmodi verbum est similitudo et ratio intellectus. Et ideo Augustinus ponit similitudinem Trinitatis in anima, secundum quod mens intelligit seipsam, non autem secundum quod intelligit alia. Secondly, from what has been said we are able to understand that a word is always something that proceeds from an intellect existing in act; and furthermore, that a word is always a notion (ratio) and likeness of the thing understood. So if the one understanding and the thing understood are the same, then the word is a notion and likeness of the intellect from which it proceeds. On the other hand, if the one understanding is other than the thing understood, then the word is not a likeness and notion of the one understanding but of the thing understood, as the conception which one has of a stone is a likeness of only the stone. But when the intellect understands itself, its word is a likeness and notion of the intellect. And so Augustine (On the Trinity IX, 5) sees a likeness of the Trinity in the Soul insofar as the mind understands itself, but not insofar as it understands other things.
Patet ergo quod in qualibet natura intellectuali necesse est ponere verbum: quia de ratione intelligendi est quod intellectus intelligendo aliquid formet; huius autem formatio dicitur verbum; et ideo in omni intelligente oportet ponere verbum. It is clear then that it is necessary to have a word in any intellectual nature, for it is of the very nature of understanding that the intellect in understanding should form something. Now what is formed is called a word, and so it follows that in every being which understands there must be a word.
Natura autem intellectualis est triplex, scilicet humana, angelica et divina: et ideo triplex est verbum. Scilicet humanum, de quo in Ps. XIII, 1: dixit insipiens in corde suo: non est Deus. Est et angelicum, de quo Zac. I, 9 et in multis locis sacrae Scripturae dicitur: dixit Angelus et cetera. Tertium est verbum divinum, de quo Gen. I, 5: dixit Deus: fiat lux et cetera. Cum ergo Evangelista dicit in principio erat verbum, non intelligi potest de humano vel angelico verbo: quia utrumque istorum verborum est factum, cum homo et Angelus habeant sui esse et operationis principium et causam; verbum autem hominis vel Angeli non potest praeexistere eis. De quo autem verbo intellexerit Evangelista, declarat per hoc quod dicit, hoc verbum non esse factum, cum omnia sint facta per ipsum; hoc autem est verbum Dei, de quo Ioannes hic loquitur. However, intellectual natures are of three kinds: human, angelic and divine; and so there are three kinds of words. The human word, about which it is said in the Psalm (13:1): “The fool said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ “ The angelic word, about which it is said in Zechariah (1:9), and in many places in Sacred Scripture, “And the angel said to me.” The third is the divine word, of which Genesis (1:3) says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ “ So when the Evangelist says, In the beginning was the Word, we cannot understand this as a human or angelic word, because both these words have been made since man and angel have a cause and principle of their existence and operation, and the word of a man or an angel cannot exist before they do. The word the Evangelist had in mind he shows by saying that this word was not made, since all things were made by it. Therefore, the word about which John speaks here is the Word of God.
Sciendum est autem, quod hoc verbum differt a nostro verbo in tribus. Prima differentia est, secundum Augustinum, quia verbum nostrum prius est formabile, quam formatum: nam cum volo concipere rationem lapidis, oportet quod ad ipsam ratiocinando perveniam; et sic est in omnibus aliis, quae a nobis intelliguntur, nisi forte in primis principiis, quae cum sint simpliciter nota, absque discursu rationis statim sciuntur. Quamdiu ergo sic ratiocinando, intellectus iactatur hac atque illac, nec dum formatio perfecta est, nisi quando ipsam rationem rei perfecte conceperit: et tunc primo habet rationem rei perfecte, et tunc primo habet rationem verbi. Et inde est quod in anima nostra est cogitatio, per quam significatur ipse discursus inquisitionis, et verbum, quod est iam formatum secundum perfectam contemplationem veritatis. Sic ergo verbum nostrum primo est in potentia quam in actu; sed verbum Dei semper est in actu: et ideo nomen cogitationis verbo Dei proprie non convenit. Dicit enim Augustinus, XV de Trinit., ita dicitur verbum Dei, ut cogitatio non dicatur, ne quid quasi volubile credatur in Deo. Id autem quod Anselmus dicit, scilicet dicere summo spiritui nihil aliud est, quam cogitando intueri, improprie dictum est. 26 We should note that this Word differs from our own word in three ways. The first difference, according to Augustine, is that our word is formable before being formed, for when I wish to conceive the notion of a stone, I must arrive at it by reasoning. And so it is in all other things that are understood by us, with the sole possible exception of the first principles which, since they are known in a simple manner, are known at once without any discourse of reason. So as long as the intellect, in so reasoning, casts about this way and that, the formation is not yet complete. It is only when it has conceived the notion of the thing perfectly that for the first time it has the notion of the complete thing and a word. Thus in our mind there is both a “cogitation,” meaning the discourse involved in an investigation, and a word, which is formed according to a perfect contemplation of the truth. So our word is first in potency before it is in act. But the Word of God is always in act. In consequence, the term “cogitation” does not properly speaking apply to the Word of God. For Augustine says (On the Trinity XV) : “The Word of God is spoken of in such a way that cogitation is not included, lest anything changeable be supposed in God.” Anselm was speaking improperly when he said: “For the supreme Spirit to speak is for him to look at something while cogitating.”
Secunda vero differentia verbi nostri ad verbum divinum est, quia verbum nostrum est imperfectum, sed verbum divinum est perfectissimum. Quia enim nos non possumus omnes nostras conceptiones uno verbo exprimere, ideo oportet quod plura verba imperfecta formemus, per quae divisim exprimamus omnia, quae in scientia nostra sunt. In Deo autem non est sic: cum enim intelligat, et seipsum etiam et quicquid intelligit per essentiam suam, uno actu, unicum verbum divinum est expressivum totius quod in Deo est, non solum personarum, sed etiam creaturarum: alias esset imperfectum. Unde dicit Augustinus: si quid minus esset in verbo, quam in dicentis scientia continetur, verbum imperfectum esset. Sed constat quod est perfectissimum; ergo est tantum unum. Iob XXXIII, 14: semel loquitur Deus. 27 The second difference is that our word is imperfect, but the divine Word is most perfect. For since we cannot express all our conceptions in one word, we must form many imperfect words through which we separately express all that is in our knowledge. But it is not that way with God. For since he understands both himself and everything else through his essence, by one act, the single divine Word is expressive of all that is in God, not only of the Persons but also of creatures; otherwise it would be imperfect. So Augustine says: “If there were less in the Word than is contained in the knowledge of the One speaking it, the Word would be imperfect; but it is obvious that it is most perfect; therefore, it is only one.” “God speaks once” (Jb 33:14).
Tertia differentia est, quod verbum nostrum non est eiusdem naturae nobiscum, sed verbum divinum est eiusdem naturae cum Deo: et ideo est aliquid subsistens in natura divina. Nam ratio intellecta, quam intellectus videtur de aliqua re formare, habet esse intelligibile tantum in anima nostra; intelligere autem in anima nostra non est idem quod est natura animae, quia anima non est sua operatio. Et ideo verbum quod format intellectus noster, non est de essentia animae, sed est accidens ei. In Deo autem idem est intelligere et esse; et ideo verbum intellectus divini non est aliquid accidens, sed pertinens ad naturam eius: quia quicquid est in natura Dei, est Deus. Unde, dicit Damascenus, quod Deus verbum substantiale est, et in hypostasi ens, reliqua vero, verba nostra scilicet, virtutes sunt animae. 28 The third difference is that our word is not of the same nature as we; but the divine Word is of the same nature as God. And therefore it is something that subsists in the divine nature. For the understood notion which the intellect is seen to form about some thing has only an intelligible existence in our soul. Now in our soul, to understand is not the same as the nature of the soul, because our soul is not its own operation. Consequently, the word which our intellect forms is not of the essence of our soul, but is an accident of it. But in God, to understand and to be are the same; and so the Word of the divine intellect is not an accident but belongs to its nature. Thus it must be subsistent, because whatever is in the nature of God is God. Thus Damascene says that God is a substantial Word, and a hypostasis, but our words are concepts in our mind.
Ex praemissis etiam patet quod verbum, proprie loquendo, semper personaliter accipitur in divinis, cum non importet nisi quid expressum ab intelligente. Item quod verbum in divinis sit similitudo eius a quo procedit; et quod sit coaeternum ei a quo procedit, cum non prius fuerit formabile quam formatum, sed semper in actu; et quod sit aequale patri, cum sit perfectum, et totius esse patris expressivum; et quod sit coessentiale et consubstantiale patri, cum sit substantia eius. 29 From the above it is clear that the Word, properly speaking, is always understood as a Person in the Divinity, since it implies only something expressed, by the one understanding; also, that in the Divinity the Word is the likeness of that from which it issues; and that it is co-eternal with that from which it issues, since it was not first formable before being formed, but was always in act; and that it is equal to the Father, since it is perfect and expressive of the whole being of the Father; and that it is co-essential and consubstantial with the Father, since it is his substance.
Patet etiam quod cum in qualibet natura illud quod procedit, habens similitudinem naturae eius a quo procedit, vocetur filius, et hoc verbum procedat in similitudine et identitate naturae eius a quo procedit, convenienter et proprie dicitur filius, et productio eius dicitur generatio. It is also clear that since in every nature that which issues forth and has a likeness to the nature from which it issues is called a son, and since this Word issues forth in a likeness and identity to the nature from which it issues, it is suitably and appropriately called a “Son,” and its production is called a generation.
Sic ergo patet primum, scilicet quid sit hoc quod dicitur verbum. So now the first point is clear, the meaning of the term Word.
Circa hoc autem quatuor quaestiones occurrunt. Duae sunt Chrysostomi. Prima est cur Ioannes Evangelista patrem dimittens, confestim incepit a filio, dicens in principio erat verbum. 30 There are four questions on this point, two of them from Chrysostom. The first is: Why did John the Evangelist omit the Father and begin at once with the Son, saying, In the beginning was the Word?
Ad hoc autem est duplex responsio. Una est, quia pater omnibus innotuerat in veteri testamento, quamvis non in ratione patris, sed ut Deus; filius autem ignorabatur: et ideo in novo testamento, in quo agitur de cognitione verbi, incipit a verbo, sive filio. There are two answers to this. One is that the Father was known to everyone in the Old Testament, although not under the aspect of Father, but as God; but the Son was not known. And so in the New Testament, which is concerned with our knowledge of the Word, he begins with the Word or Son.
Alia est, quia per filium ducimur in notitiam patris; infra XVII, 6: pater, manifestavi nomen tuum hominibus, quos dedisti mihi. Volens ergo fideles in notitiam patris ducere Evangelista, decenter incepit a filio, statim subiungens de patre cum dicit et verbum erat apud Deum. The other answer is that we are brought to know the Father through the Son: “Father, I have manifested your name to the men whom you have given to me” (below 17:6). And so wishing to lead the faithful to a knowledge of the Father, the Evangelist fittingly began with the Son, at once adding something about the Father when he says, and the Word was with God.
Secunda quaestio est etiam Chrysostomi. Cum enim, sicut dictum est, verbum procedat ut filius, quare dixit verbum, et non filius? 31 The second question is also from Chrysostom. Why did he say Word and not “Son,” since, as we have said, the Word proceeds as Son?
Ad hoc etiam dupliciter respondetur. Primo quia filius dicit aliquid genitum, et cum audimus generationem filii, posset quis cogitare generationem illam talem esse, qualem comprehendere potest, scilicet materialem et passibilem; ideo ergo non dixit filius sed verbum, quod importat intelligibilem processum, ut non intelligatur materialem et passibilem generationem illam fuisse. Ostendens igitur filium ex Deo impassibiliter nasci, destruit vitiosam suspicionem per verbi nuncupationem. There are also two answers to this. First, because “son” means something begotten, and when we hear of the generation of the Son, someone might suppose that this generation is the kind he can comprehend, that is, a material and changeable generation. Thus he did not say “Son,” but Word, which signifies an intelligible proceeding, so that it would not be understood as a material and changeable generation. And so in showing that the Son is born of the Father in an unchangeable way, he eliminates a faulty conjecture by using the name Word.
Aliter potest dici sic: Evangelista tractaturus erat de verbo, inquantum venerat ad manifestandum patrem. Unde cum ratio manifestationis magis importetur in nomine verbi quam in nomine filii, ideo magis est usus nomine verbi. The second answer is this. The Evangelist was about to consider the Word as having come to manifest the Father. But since the idea of manifesting is implied better in the name “Word” than in the name “Son,” he preferred to use the name Word.
Tertia quaestio est Augustini in Lib. LXXXIII quaest., quae talis est: in Graeco, ubi nos habemus verbum, habetur logos. Cum ergo logos significet in Latino rationem et verbum, quare translatores transtulerunt verbum, et non rationem, cum ratio sit quid intrinsecum, quemadmodum etiam verbum? 32 The third question is raised by Augustine in his book Eighty-three Questions; and it is this. In Greek, where we have “Word,” they have “Logos”; now since “Logos” signifies in Latin both “notion” and “word” [i.e., ratio et verbum ], why did the translators render it as “word” and not “notion,” since a notion is something interior just as a word is?
Respondeo. Dicendum quod ratio proprie nominat conceptum mentis, secundum quod in mente est, etsi nihil per illam exterius fiat; per verbum vero significatur respectus ad exteriora: et ideo quia Evangelista per hoc, quod dixit logos, non solum intendebat significare respectum ad existentiam filii in patre, sed etiam operativam potentiam filii, qua per ipsum facta sunt omnia, magis antiqui transtulerunt verbum, quod importat respectum ad exteriora, quam ratio, quae tantum conceptum mentis insinuat. I answer that “notion” [ratio], properly speaking, names a conception of the mind precisely as in the mind, even if through it nothing exterior comes to be; but “word” signifies a reference to something exterior. And so because the Evangelist, when he said “Logos,” intended to signify not only a reference to the Son’s existence in the Father, but also the operative power of the Son, by which, through him, all things were made, our predecessors preferred to translate it “Word,” which implies a reference to something exterior, rather than “notion “ which implies merely a concept of the mind.
Quarta quaestio est Origenis, quae talis est. Scriptura in pluribus locis loquens de verbo Dei, nominat ipsum non absolute verbum, sed cum additione, scilicet Dei, cum dicit verbum Dei, vel domini: Eccli. I, 5: fons sapientiae verbum Dei in excelsis, et Apoc. XIX, 13: et nomen eius verbum Dei. Quare ergo Evangelista, cum loqueretur hic de verbo Dei, non dixit: in principio erat verbum Dei, sed dixit tantummodo verbum? 33 The fourth question is from Origen, and is this. In many passages, Scripture, when speaking of the Word of God, does not simply call him the Word, but adds “of God,” saying, “the Word of God,” or “of the Lord”: “The Word of God on high is the foundation of wisdom” (Sir 1:5); “His name is the Word of God” (Rv 19:13). Why then did the Evangelist, when speaking here of the Word of God, not say, “In the beginning was the Word of God,” but said In the beginning was the Word?
Respondeo. Dicendum, quod licet sint multae veritates participatae, est tamen una veritas absoluta, quae per suam essentiam est veritas, scilicet ipsum esse divinum, qua veritate, omnia verba sunt verba. Eodem modo est una sapientia absoluta supra omnia elevata, scilicet sapientia divina, per cuius participationem omnes sapientes sunt sapientes. Et etiam unum verbum absolutum, cuius participatione omnes habentes verbum, dicuntur dicentes. Hoc autem est verbum divinum, quod per seipsum est verbum super omnia verba elevatum. Ut ergo Evangelista hanc supereminentiam divini verbi significaret, ipsum verbum absque ulla additione nobis absolute proposuit; I answer that although there are many participated truths, there is just one absolute Truth, which is Truth by its very essence, that is, the divine act of being (esse); and by this Truth all words are words. Similarly, there is one absolute Wisdom elevated above all things, that is, the divine Wisdom, by participating in which all wise persons are wise. Further, there is one absolute Word, by participating in which all persons having a word are called speakers. Now this is the divine Word which of itself is the Word elevated above all words. So in order that the Evangelist might signify this supereminence of the divine Word, he pointed out this Word to us absolutely without any addition.
et quia Graeci, quando volunt significare aliquid segregatum et elevatum ab omnibus aliis, consueverunt apponere articulum nomini, per quod illud significatur sicut Platonici volentes significare substantias separatas, puta bonum separatum, vel hominem separatum, vocabant illud ly per se bonum, vel ly per se hominem ideo Evangelista volens significare segregationem et elevationem istius verbi super omnia, apposuit articulum ad hoc nomen logos, ut si dicatur in Latino, ly verbum. And because the Greeks, when they wished to signify something separate and elevated above everything else, did this by affixing the article to the name (as the Platonists, wishing to signify the separated substances, such as the separated good or the separated man, called them the good per se, or man per se), so the Evangelist, wishing to signify the separation and elevation of that Word above all things, affixed an article to the name “Logos,” so that if it were stated in Latin we would say “the Word.”
Secundo considerandum est, quid significet hoc quod dicitur in principio. Sciendum est autem quod principium, secundum Origenem, multis modis dicitur. Cum enim principium importet ordinem quemdam ad alia, necesse est invenire principium in omnibus, in quibus est ordo. Invenitur autem ordo in quantitatibus; et secundum hoc dicitur principium in numeris et longitudine, puta lineae. Invenitur etiam ordo in tempore; et secundum hoc dicitur principium temporis, vel durationis. Invenitur ordo in disciplinis, et hic est duplex: secundum naturam, et quoad nos; et utroque modo dicitur principium. Hebr. V, v. 12: deberetis esse magistri propter tempus. Et hoc modo, secundum naturam quidem, in disciplina Christiana initium et principium sapientiae nostrae est Christus, inquantum est sapientia et verbum Dei, idest secundum divinitatem. Quoad nos vero principium est ipse Christus, inquantum verbum caro factum est, idest secundum eius incarnationem. Invenitur etiam ordo in productione rei; et secundum hoc principium dicitur ex parte generati, scilicet ipsa prima pars generati seu facti: sicut fundamentum dicitur principium domus. Vel ex parte facientis: et sic est triplex principium, scilicet intentionis, quod est finis, quod movet agentem; rationis, quod est ipsa forma in mente artificis; et executionis, quod est potentia operans. His igitur modis de principio inquirendum est, quomodo sumatur hic principium, cum dicit in principio erat verbum. 34 Secondly, we must consider the meaning of the phrase, In the beginning. We must note that according to Origen, the word principium has many meanings [such as “principle,” “source,” or “beginning”]. Since the word principium implies a certain order of one thing to another, one can find a principium in all those things which have an order. First of all, order is found in quantified things; and so there is a principle of number and lengths, as for example, a line. Second, order is found in time; and so we speak of a “beginning” of time, or of duration. Third, order is found in learning; and this in two ways: as to nature, and as to ourselves, and in both cases we can speak of a “beginning”: “By this time you ought to be teachers” (Heb 5:12). As to nature, in Christian doctrine the beginning and principle of our wisdom is Christ, inasmuch as he is the Wisdom and Word of God, i.e., in his divinity. But as to ourselves, the beginning is Christ himself inasmuch as the Word has become flesh, i.e., by his incarnation. Fourth, in order is found in the production of a thing. In this perspective there can be a principium on the part of the thing generated, that is, the first part of the thing generated or made; as we say that the foundation is the beginning of a house. Another principium is on the part of the generator, and in this perspective there are three “principles”: of intention, which is the purpose, which motivates the agent; of reason, which is the idea in the mind of the maker; and of execution, which is the operative faculty. Considering these various ways of using the term, we now ask how principium is used here when it says, In the beginning was the Word.
Dicendum est igitur quod potest sumi tripliciter. Uno modo, secundum quod principium supponit pro persona filii, quod principium est creaturarum secundum rationem virtutis activae, et per modum sapientiae, quae est ratio eorum quae fiunt; unde dicitur I Cor. I, 24: Christum Dei virtutem et Dei sapientiam. Unde et dominus de se dicit infra VIII, 25: ego principium, qui et loquor vobis. Sic ergo accipiendo principium, intelligendum est quod dicitur in principio erat verbum, ac si diceret in filio erat verbum, ut sit sensus: ipsum verbum est principium, ex modo loquendi, quo dicitur vita esse in Deo, quae tamen non est aliud, quam ipse Deus. 35 We should note that this word can be taken in three ways. In one way so that principium is understood as the Person of the Son, who is the principle of creatures by reason of his active power acting with wisdom, which is the conception of the things that are brought into existence. Hence we read: “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24). And so the Lord said about himself: “I am the principium who also speaks to you” (below 8:25). Taking principium in this way, we should understand the statement, In the beginning was the Word, as though he were saying, “The Word was in the Son,” so that the sense would be: The Word himself is the principium, principle, in the sense in which life is said to be “in” God, when this life is not something other than God.
Et haec est expositio Origenis. Dicit ergo hic Evangelista in principio, ut statim in principio divinitatem verbi ostenderet, ut Chrysostomus dicit, dum asserit ipsum esse principium; quia secundum determinationem omnium principium est honoratissimum. And this is the explanation of Origen. And so the Evangelist says In the beginning here in order, as Chrysostom says, to show at the very outset the divinity of the Word by asserting that he is a principle because, as determining all, a principle is most honored.
Secundo modo potest accipi principium, prout supponit pro persona patris, quod est principium non solum creaturarum, sed omnis divini processus; et sic accipitur in Ps. CIX, 3: tecum principium in die virtutis tuae. Secundum hoc ergo dicitur in principio erat verbum, ac si diceretur: in patre erat filius. Et haec est expositio Augustini, et etiam Origenis. Dicitur autem filius esse in patre, quia eiusdem essentiae est cum patre. Cum enim filius sit sui essentia, in quocumque est essentia filii, est filius. Quia ergo in patre est essentia filii per consubstantialitatem, conveniens est quod filius sit in patre. Unde infra XIV, 10 dicitur: ego in patre, et pater in me est. 36 In a second way principium can be understood as the Person of the Father, who is the principle not only of creatures, but of every divine process. It is taken this way in, “Yours is princely power (principium) in the day of your birth” (Ps 110:3). In this second way one reads In the beginning was the Word as though it means, “The Son was in the Father.” This is Augustine’s understanding of it, as well as Origen’s. The Son, however, is said to be in the Father because both have the same essence. Since the Son is his own essence, then the Son is in whomsoever the Son’s essence is. Since, therefore, the essence of the Son is in the Father by consubstantiality, it is fitting that the Son be in the Father. Hence it says below (14:10): “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
Tertio modo potest accipi principium pro principio durationis, ut sit sensus in principio erat verbum, idest verbum erat ante omnia, ut Augustinus exponit, et designatur per hoc verbi aeternitas, secundum Basilium et Hilarium. 37 In a third way, principium can be taken for the beginning of duration, so that the sense of In the beginning was the Word is that the Word was before all things, as Augustine explains it. According to Basil and Hilary, this phrase shows the eternity of the Word.
Per hoc enim quod dicitur in principio erat verbum, ostenditur quod quodcumque principium durationis accipiatur, sive rerum temporalium, quod est tempus, sive aeviternarum, quod est aevum, sive totius mundi, sive quodcumque imaginatum extensum per multa saecula, in illo principio iam erat verbum. Unde Hilarius dicit VII de Trinitate: transeuntur tempora, transcenduntur saecula, tolluntur aetates. Pone aliquid quod voles tuae opinionis principium; verbum iam erat, unde tractatur. Et hoc est quod dicitur Prov. VIII, 22: dominus possedit me in initio viarum suarum, antequam quicquam faceret a principio. Quod autem est ante durationis principium, est aeternum. The phrase In the beginning was the Word shows that no matter which beginning of duration is taken, whether of temporal things which is time, or of aeviternal things which is the aeon, or of the whole world or any imagined span of time reaching back for many ages, at that beginning the Word already was. Hence Hilary says (On the Trinity VII): “Go back season by season, skip over the centuries, take away ages. Set down whatever you want as the beginning in your opinion: the Word already was.” And this is what Proverbs (8:23) says: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made anything.” But what is prior to the beginning of duration is eternal.
Sic igitur secundum primam expositionem, asseritur verbi causalitas; secundum autem secundam, verbi consubstantialitas ad patrem, qui verbum loquitur; secundum vero tertiam, verbi coaeternitas. 38 And thus the first explanation asserts the causality of the Word; the second explanation affirms the consubstantiality of the Word with the Father, who utters the Word; and the third explanation affirms the co-eternity of the Word.
Considerandum est etiam hic, quod dicitur verbum erat, quod est temporis praeteriti imperfecti, et hoc maxime videtur competere ad designandum aeterna, si attendamus naturam temporis et eorum quae sunt in tempore. Quod futurum est, nondum est actu; praesens autem actu est, et per hoc quod est actu praesens, non designatur fuisse: praeteritum autem perfectum designat aliquid extitisse, et esse iam determinatum, et iam defuisse; sed praeteritum imperfectum significat aliquid fuisse, et non esse adhuc determinatum, nec defuisse, sed adhuc remanere. Ideo signanter Ioannes ubicumque ponit aliquid aeternum, dicit erat; ubi vero dicit aliquid temporale, dicit fuit, ut infra patebit. 39 Now we should consider that it says that the Word was (erat), which is stated in the past imperfect tense. This tense is most appropriate for designating eternal things if we consider the nature of time and of the things that exist in time. For what is future is not yet in act; but what is at present is in act, and by the fact that it is in act what is present is not described as having been. Now the past perfect tense indicates that something has existed, has already come to an end, and has now ceased to be. The past imperfect tense, on the other hand, indicates that something has been, has not yet come to an end, nor has ceased to be, but still endures. Thus, whenever John mentions eternal things he expressly says “was” (erat, past imperfect tense), but when he refers to anything temporal he says “has been” (fuit, past perfect tense), as will be clear later.
Sed quantum ad rationem praesentis competit maxime ad designandum aeternitatem praesens tempus, quod signat aliquid esse in actu, quod semper convenit aeternis: et ideo dicitur Ex. III, 14: ego sum qui sum; et Augustinus dicit, quod ille solus vere est, cuius esse non novit praeteritum et futurum. But so far as concerns the notion of the present, the best way to designate eternity is the present tense, which indicates that some thing is in act, and this is always the characteristic of eternal things. And so it says in Exodus (3:14): “I am who am.” And Augustine says: “He alone truly is whose being does not know a past and a future.
Est etiam considerandum quod hoc verbum erat, secundum Glossam, non sumitur hic inquantum significat temporales motus, more aliorum verborum, sed secundum quod signat rei existentiam: unde et verbum substantivum dicitur. 40 We should also note that this verb was, according to the Gloss, is not understood here as indicating temporal changes, as other verbs do, but as signifying the existence of a thing. Thus it is also called a substantive verb.
Sed potest aliquis quaerere, cum verbum sit genitum a patre, quomodo possit esse patri coaeternum: homo enim filius a patre homine genitus, est eo posterior. 41 Someone may ask how the Word can be co-eternal with the Father since he is begotten by the Father: for a human son, born from a human father, is subsequent to his father.
Ad quod dicendum est quod principium originis invenitur esse prius duratione, eo quod est ex principio, propter tria. Primo quidem quia principium originis alicuius rei praecedit tempore actionem, qua producit rem cuius est principium; sicut non statim quando homo est, incipit scribere, et ideo tempore praecedit Scripturam. Secundo per hoc quod actio successionem habet, et ideo etiam si simul cum agente incipiat, tamen terminus actionis est post agentem: sicut simul cum generatus est ignis in istis inferioribus, incipit sursum tendere; prius tamen est ignis quam sit sursum, quia motus quo sursum tendit, quodam tempore mensuratur. Tertio modo eo quod ex voluntate principii determinatur initium durationis eius quod est in principio, sicut ex voluntate Dei determinatur initium durationis creaturae: unde prius fuit Deus quam creatura. I answer that there are three reasons why an originative principle is prior in duration to that which derives from that principle. First of all, if the originative principle of anything precedes in time the action by which it produces the thing of which it is the principle; thus a man does not begin to write as soon as he exists, and so he precedes his writing in time. Secondly, if an action is successive; consequently, even if the action should happen to begin at the same time as the agent, the termination of the action is nevertheless subsequent to the agent. Thus, as soon as fire has been generated in a lower region, it begins to ascend; but the fire exists before it has ascended, because the motion by which it tends upward requires some time. Thirdly, by the fact that sometimes the beginning of a thing depends on the will of its principle, just as the beginning of a creature’s coming-to-be depends on the will of God, such that God existed before any creature.
Nihil autem horum trium in generatione divini verbi invenitur. Non enim Deus primo fuit quam inceperit generare verbum: cum enim generatio verbi nihil aliud sit quam intelligibilis conceptio, sequeretur quod Deus esset prius intelligens in potentia quam in actu, quod est impossibile. Similiter non potest esse quod ipsa verbi generatio sit successiva: sic enim divinum verbum prius esset informe quam formatum, sicut accidit in nobis, qui cogitando verba formamus; quod est falsum, ut iam dictum est. Similiter non potest dici quod pater sua voluntate initium durationis filio suo praestiterit; quia Deus pater non generat filium voluntate, ut Ariani dixerunt, sed naturaliter: Deus enim pater seipsum intelligendo, verbum concepit, et ideo non ante fuit Deus pater quam filius. Yet none of these three is found in the generation of the divine Word. God did not first exist and then begin to generate the Word: for since the generation of the Word is nothing other than an intelligible conception, it would follow that God would be understanding in potency before understanding in act, which is impossible. Again, it is impossible that the generation of the Word involve succession: for then the divine Word would be unformed before it was formed (as happens in us who form words by “cogitating”), which is false, as was said. Again, we cannot say that the Father pre-established a beginning of duration for his Son by his own will, because God the Father does not generate the Son by his will, as the Arians held, but naturally: for God the Father, understanding himself, conceives the Word; and so God the Father did not exist prior to the Son.
Huius aliqualis similitudo apparet in igne, et in splendore procedente ab igne: procedit enim splendor naturaliter et sine successione. Item si ignis esset aeternus, splendor eius coaeternus esset: propter quod filius dicitur splendor patris; ad Hebr. I, 3: qui cum sit splendor gloriae et cetera. Sed in hac similitudine deficit connaturalitas, et ideo nominamus eum filium, cum tamen in humana filiatione deficiat coaeternitas: oportet enim ex multis similitudinibus sensibilium in divinam cognitionem pervenire, quia una non sufficit; An example of this, to a limited degree, appears in fire and in the brightness issuing from it: for this brightness issues naturally and without succession from the fire. Again, if the fire were eternal, its brightness would be coeternal with it. This is why the Son is called the brightness of the Father: “the brightness of his glory” (Heb 1:3). But this example lacks an illustration of the identity of nature. And so we call him Son, although in human sonship we do not find coeternity: for we must attain our knowledge of divine things from many likenesses in material things, for one likeness is not enough.
et hoc est quod dicitur in libro Ephesini Concilii, coexistere semper patri filium: splendor enim denunciat impassibilitatem, nativitas ostendit verbum, consubstantialitatem vero filii nomen insinuat. The Council of Ephesus says that the Son always coexists with the Father: for “brightness” indicates his unchangeability, “birth” points to the Word himself, but the name “Son” suggests his consubstantiality.
Nominamus ergo filium diversis nominibus, ad exprimendum perfectionem eius, quae uno nomine non potest exprimi. Ut enim ostendatur connaturalis patri, dicitur filius; ut ostendatur in nullo dissimilis, dicitur imago; ut ostendatur coaeternus, dicitur splendor; ut ostendatur immaterialiter genitus, dicitur verbum. 42 And so we give the Son various names to express his perfection, which cannot be expressed by one name. We call him “Son” to show that he is of the same nature as the Father; we call him “image” to show that he is not unlike the Father in any way; we call him “brightness” to show that he is coeternal; and he is called the “Word” to show that he is begotten in an immaterial manner.
Deinde dicit et verbum erat apud Deum. Hic ponitur secunda clausula, quam Evangelista ponit in sua narratione. Ubi prius consideranda est significatio duorum verborum quae in prima clausula posita non fuerunt, scilicet Deum et apud. Quid enim sit verbum, et quid principium, iam expositum est. Haec ergo quae in hac secunda clausula ponuntur de novo, scilicet Deum et apud, investigantes, diligentius prosequamur. Et ut melius expositionem huius secundae clausulae intelligamus, dicendum est aliquid de significatione utriusque, quantum pertinet ad propositum. 43 Then the Evangelist says, and the Word was with God, which is the second clause in his account. The first thing to consider is the meaning of the two words which did not appear in the first clause, that is, God, and with; for we have already explained the meanings of “Word,” and “beginning. “Let us continue carefully by examining these two new words, and to better understand the explanation of this second clause, we must say something about the meaning of each so far as it is relevant to our purpose.
Sciendum est ergo in primis quod hoc nomen Deus significat divinitatem, sed in supposito et concrete; hoc vero nomen deitas significat deitatem in abstracto, et absolute: et inde est quod non potest supponere pro persona ex naturali virtute et ex modo significandi; sed supponit solummodo pro natura. Hoc vero nomen Deus habet naturaliter ex modo significandi quod supponat pro aliqua personarum, sicut hoc nomen homo supponit pro supposito humanitatis, et ideo quandocumque veritas locutionis, vel ipsum praedicatum exigit ut hoc nomen Deus supponat pro persona, tunc supponit pro persona ut cum dicimus, Deus generat Deum. Et ita cum hic dicitur apud Deum, necesse est quod Deus pro persona patris supponat, quia haec praepositio apud distinctionem significat verbi, quod esse dicitur apud Deum; et licet significet distinctionem in persona, non tamen in natura, cum eadem sit natura patris et filii. Evangelista igitur significare voluit patris personam per hoc quod dixit Deum. 44 At the outset, we should note that the name “God” signifies the divinity concretely and as inherent in a subject, while the name “deity” signifies the divinity in the abstract and absolutely. Thus the name “deity” cannot naturally and by its mode of signifying stand for a [divine] person, but only for the [divine] nature. But the name “God” can, by its natural mode of signifying, stand for any one of the [divine] persons, just as the name “man” stands for any individual (suppositum) possessing humanity. Therefore, whenever the truth of a statement or its predicate requires that the name “God” stand for the person, then it stands for the person, as when we say, “God begets God.” Thus, when it says here that the Word was with God, it is necessary that God stand for the person of the Father, because the preposition with signifies the distinction of the Word, which is said to be with God. And although this preposition signifies a distinction in person, it does not signify a distinction in nature, since the nature of the Father and of the Son is the same. Consequently, the Evangelist wished to signify the person of the Father when he said God.
Sciendum est autem circa hoc quod haec praepositio apud quamdam coniunctionem rei significatae per rectum, ad rem significatam per obliquum importat, sicut haec praepositio in. Sed differenter, quia haec praepositio in significat quamdam coniunctionem intrinsecam; haec vero praepositio apud quodammodo extrinsecam coniunctionem importat. Et utrumque dicimus in divinis: scilicet filium esse in patre, et esse apud patrem; et intrinsecum quidem ad consubstantialitatem pertinet, extrinsecum vero (ut sic loqui liceat, cum improprie in divinis dicatur extrinsecum) non nisi ad distinctionem personalem refertur, cum filius a patre solum per originem distinguatur. Et ideo per utrumque istorum, et consubstantialitas in natura designatur, et distinctio in personis: consubstantialitas quidem, inquantum coniunctionem quamdam importat; distinctio vero, inquantum distinctionem quamdam significat, ut superius dictum est. 45 Here we should note that the preposition with signifies a certain union of the thing signified by its grammatical antecedent to the thing signified by its grammatical object, just as the preposition “in” does. However, there is a difference, because the preposition “in” signifies a certain intrinsic union, whereas the preposition with implies in a certain way an extrinsic union. And we state both in divine matters, namely, that the Son is in the Father and with the Father. Here the intrinsic union pertains to consubstantiality, but the extrinsic union (if we may use such an expression, since “extrinsic” is improperly employed in divine matters) refers only to a personal distinction, because the Son is distinguished from the Father by origin alone. And so these two words designate both a consubstantiality in nature and distinction in person: consubstantiality inasmuch as a certain union is implied; but distinction, inasmuch as a certain otherness is signified as was said above.
Et quia haec praepositio in, ut dictum est, principaliter consubstantialitatem designat, inquantum importat coniunctionem intrinsecam, et ex consequenti distinctionem personarum, inquantum omnis praepositio est transitiva; haec autem praepositio apud distinctionem personalem significat principaliter, consubstantialitatem vero, inquantum quamdam coniunctionem significat quasi extrinsecam, ideo Evangelista in hoc loco specialiter ista praepositione apud usus est, ut distinctionem personae filii a patre insinuaret, cum dixit et verbum erat apud Deum, idest filius apud patrem, ut alia persona apud aliam. The preposition “in,” as was said, principally signifies consubstantiality, as implying an intrinsic union and, by way of consequence, a distinction of persons, inasmuch as every preposition is transitive. The preposition “with” principally signifies a personal distinction, but also a consubstantiality inasmuch as it signifies a certain extrinsic, so to speak, union. For these reasons the Evangelist specifically used here the preposition “with” in order to express the distinction of the person of the Son from the Father, saying, and the Word was with God, that is, the Son was with the Father as one person with another.
Sciendum est autem quod per hanc praepositionem apud quatuor significantur, per quae obiectiones quatuor contrariae excluduntur. Significat enim haec praepositio apud primo subsistentiam in recto; quia ea quae subsistentiam per se non habent, non dicuntur proprie esse apud aliquid: sicut non dicimus albedinem esse apud corpus, et similiter de aliis quae per se non subsistunt. Ea autem quae per se subsistunt, dicuntur proprie esse unum apud aliud; sicut dicimus hominem esse apud hominem, et lapidem apud lapidem. 46 We should note further that this preposition with has four meanings, and these eliminate four objections. First, the preposition with signifies the subsistence of its antecedent, because things that do not subsist of themselves are not properly said to be “with” another; thus we do not say that a color is with a body, and the same applies to other things that do not subsist of themselves. But things that do subsist of themselves are properly said to be “with” another; thus we say that a man is with a man, and a stone with a stone.
Secundo significat auctoritatem in obliquo, non enim proprie dicitur rex esse apud militem sed proprie dicitur miles apud regem. Tertio dicit distinctionem: non enim proprie dicitur aliquis esse apud seipsum, sed unus homo est apud alium. Quarto significat coniunctionem et societatem quamdam: cum enim dicitur aliquis esse apud alium, insinuatur nobis inter eos quaedam socialis coniunctio. Secondly, it signifies authority in its grammatical object. For we do not, properly speaking, say that a king is with a soldier, but that the soldier is with the king. Thirdly, it asserts a distinction. For it is not proper to say that a person is with himself but rather that one man is with another. Fourthly, it signifies a certain union and fellowship. For when some person is said to be with another, it suggests to us that there is some social union between them.
Secundum autem istas conditiones importatas in significatione huius praepositionis apud convenienter Evangelista hanc clausulam, scilicet verbum erat apud Deum, subiungit primae clausulae, scilicet in principio erat verbum. Praetermissa namque una illarum trium expositionum huius quod est in principio erat verbum, illa scilicet secundum quam principium ponitur pro filio, ad quamlibet aliarum expositionum, scilicet ad illam quae principium dicit idem quod ante omnia, et ad illam secundum quam principium sumitur pro patre, duplex obiectio fit ab haereticis; et sic sunt quatuor obiectiones, quas per quatuor conditiones huius praepositionis apud supra positas excludere possumus. Considering these four conditions implied in the meaning of this preposition with, the Evangelist quite appropriately joins to the first clause, In the beginning was the Word, this second clause, and the Word was with God. For if we omit one of the three explanations of, In the beginning was the Word (namely, the one in which principium was understood as the Son), certain heretics make a twofold objection against each of the other explanations (namely, the one in which principium means the same as “before all things,” and the one in which it is understood as the Father). Thus there are four objections, and we can answer these by the four conditions indicated by this preposition with.
Quarum prima talis est: tu dicis quod verbum erat in principio, idest ante omnia; sed ante omnia nihil erat; ubi ergo erat verbum, si ante omnia nihil erat? Haec autem obiectio procedit secundum imaginationem eorum qui ponunt, omne quod est, esse alicubi et in loco. Quae quidem excluditur a Ioanne, cum dicit apud Deum. Et designat coniunctionem secundum ultimam dictarum conditionum, ut sit sensus, secundum Basilium: ubi ergo erat verbum? Respondet apud Deum, non in aliquo loco, cum incircumscriptibile sit, sed apud patrem, qui nullo comprehenditur loco. 47 The first of these objections is this. You say that the Word was in the beginning, i.e., before all things. But before all things there was nothing. So if before all things there was nothing, where then was the Word? This objection arises due to the imaginings of those who think that whatever exists is somewhere and in some place. But this is rejected by John when he says, with God, which indicates the union mentioned in the last four conditions. So, according to Basil, the meaning is this: Where was the Word? The answer is: with God; not in some place, since he is unsurroundable, but he is with the Father, who is not enclosed by any place.
Secunda quaestio ad idem, est talis: tu dicis quod verbum erat in principio, idest ante omnia. Sed ea quae sunt ante omnia, a nullo videntur procedere; cum illud a quo procedit aliquid, prius esse videatur eo quod procedit ab ipso; ergo verbum non est procedens ab alio. Haec autem obiectio excluditur cum dicit verbum erat apud Deum, ut ly apud accipiatur secundum secundam conditionem, secundum quam importat auctoritatem in causali, et sit sensus secundum Hilarium: a quo est verbum si ante omnia? Evangelista respondet verbum erat apud Deum; quasi dicat: licet verbum careat initio durationis, non tamen caret principio vel auctore: erat enim apud Deum, ut apud auctorem. 48 The second objection against the same explanation is this. You say that the Word was in the beginning, i.e., before all things. But whatever exists before all things appears to proceed from no one, since that from which something proceeds seems to be prior to that which proceeds from it. Therefore, the Word does not proceed from another. This objection is rejected when he says, the Word was with God, taking “with” according to its second condition, as implying authority in what is causing. So the meaning, according to Hilary, is this: From whom is the Word if he exists before all things? The Evangelist answers: the Word was with God, i.e., although the Word has no beginning of duration, still he does not lack a principium or author, for he was with God as his author.
Tertia quaestio est ad aliam expositionem secundum quam principium supponit pro patre; quae talis est: tu dicis in principio erat verbum, idest filius erat in patre; sed illud quod est in aliquo, non videtur esse subsistens, ut hypostasis: sicut albedo quae est in corpore, non subsistit. Sed haec obiectio solvitur per hoc quod dicit verbum erat apud Deum; ut ly apud sumatur secundum primam conditionem per quam importat subsistentiam in recto; et sic, secundum Chrysostomum, est sensus verbum erat in principio, non ut accidens: sed erat apud Deum, ut subsistens, et hypostasis divina. 49 The third objection, directed to the explanation in which principium is understood as the Father, is this. You say that In the beginning was the Word, i.e., the Son was in the Father. But that which is in something does not seem to be subsistent, as a hypostasis; just as the whiteness in a body does not subsist. This objection is solved by the statement, the Word was with God, taking “with” in its first condition, as implying the subsistence of its grammatical antecedent. So according to Chrysostom, the meaning is this: In the beginning was the Word, not as an accident, but he was with God, as subsisting, and a divine hypostasis.
Quarta quaestio ad idem est talis: tu dicis quod verbum erat in principio, idest in patre; quod autem est in aliquo, non est distinctus a patre. Sed haec obiectio excluditur per hoc quod dicit et verbum erat apud Deum; ut ly apud sumatur secundum tertiam conditionem, secundum quam significat distinctionem: ut sit sensus, secundum Alcuinum et Bedam, verbum erat apud Deum, et sic erat in patre per consubstantialitatem naturae, quod tamen est apud ipsum per distinctionem personae. 50 The fourth objection, against the same explanation, is this. You say that the Word was in the beginning, i.e., in the Father. But whatever is in something is not distinct from it. So the Son is not distinct from the Father. This objection is answered by the statement, and the Word was with God, taking “with” in its third condition, as indicating distinction. Thus the meaning, according to Alcuin and Bede, is this: The Word was with God, and he was with the Father by a consubstantiality of nature, while still being “with” him through a distinction in person.
Sic ergo per hanc clausulam et verbum erat apud Deum, ostenditur coniunctio verbi ad patrem in natura, secundum Basilium; distinctio autem in persona, secundum Alcuinum et Bedam; substantia verbi in natura divina, secundum Chrysostomum; auctoritas patris ad verbum, secundum Hilarium. 51 And so, and the Word was with God, indicates: the union of the Word with the Father in nature, according to Basil; their distinction in person, according to Alcuin and Bede; the subsistence of the Word in the divine nature, according to Chrysostom; and the authorship of the Father in relation to the Word, according to Hilary.
Notandum autem, secundum Origenem, quod per hoc quod dicit verbum erat apud Deum, ostendit filium semper fuisse apud patrem. In veteri enim testamento dicitur factum esse verbum domini ad Ieremiam, vel quemcumque alium, ut patet in multis Scripturae locis, non autem dicitur: verbum domini erat apud Ieremiam vel apud alium; quia ad illos fit verbum, qui incipiunt habere verbum, postquam non habuerunt. Unde Evangelista non dixit, verbum factum esse apud patrem, sed erat apud patrem: quia ex quo pater erat, verbum apud eum erat. 52 We should also note, according to Origen, that the Word was with God shows that the Son has always been with the Father. For in the Old Testament it says that the word of the Lord “came” to Jeremiah or to someone else, as is plain in many passages of sacred Scripture. But it does not say that the word of the Lord was “with” Jeremiah or anyone else, because the word “comes” to those who begin to have the word after not having it. Thus the Evangelist did not say that the Word “came” to the Father, but was “with” the Father, because, given the Father, the Word was with him.
Deinde dicit et Deus erat verbum. Haec est tertia clausula narrationis Ioannis, quae quidem secundum ordinem doctrinae congruentissime sequitur. Quia enim Ioannes dixerat de verbo quando erat et ubi erat; restabat quaerere, quid erat verbum; idest verbum erat Deus, ut ly verbum ponatur ex parte subiecti, et ly Deus ex parte praedicati. 53 Then he says, and the Word was God. This is the third clause in John’s account, and it follows most appropriately considering the order of teaching. For since John had said both when and where the Word was, it remained to inquire what the Word was, that is, the Word was God, taking “Word” as the subject, and “God” as the predicate.
Sed cum prius quaerendum sit de re quid est, quam ubi et quando sit, videtur quod Ioannes hunc ordinem pervertat, insinuans primo de verbo ubi et quando sit. 54 But since one should first inquire what a thing is before investigating where and when it is, it seems that John violated this order by discussing these latter first.
Ad hanc autem quaestionem respondet Origenes, quod aliter dicitur esse verbum Dei apud hominem, et aliter apud Deum. Nam apud hominem est ut perficiens ipsum, quia per illud homo efficitur sapiens et bonus, Sap. c. VII, 27: amicos Dei et prophetas constituit. Apud Deum vero non ita dicitur esse verbum, quasi pater perficiatur per verbum et illustretur ab ipso; sed sic est apud Deum, quod accipiat naturalem divinitatem ab ipso, qui verbum loquitur, a quo habet ut sit idem Deus cum eo. Ex eo ergo quod est per originem apud Deum, necesse fuit primum ostendere quod verbum erat in patre et apud patrem, quam quod verbum erat Deus. Origen answers this by saying that the Word of God is with man and with God in different ways. The Word is with man as perfecting him, because it is through him that man becomes wise and good: “She makes friends of God and prophets” (Wis 7:27). But the Word is not with God as though the Father were perfected and enlightened by him. Rather, the Word is with God as receiving natural divinity from him, who utters the Word, and from whom he has it that he is the same God with him. And so, since the Word was with God by origin, it was necessary to show first that the Word was in the Father and with the Father before showing that the Word was God.
Sciendum est autem quod per hanc clausulam Deus erat verbum, responderi potest duabus obiectionibus, quae ex praecedentibus insurgunt. Quarum una insurgit ex nomine verbi, et est talis: tu dicis quod verbum erat in principio, et apud Deum; constat autem quod verbum secundum communem usum loquendi significat vocem aliquam et enuntiationem necessariorum, manifestationem cogitationum; sed ista transeunt et non subsistunt; posset ergo credi quod de tali verbo Evangelista loqueretur. 55 This clause also enables us to answer two objections which arise from the foregoing. The first is based on the name “Word,” and is this. You say that In the beginning was the Word, and that the Word was with God. Now it is obvious that “word” is generally understood to signify a vocal sound and the statement of something necessary, a manifesting of thoughts. But these words pass away and do not subsist. Accordingly, someone could think that the Evangelist was speaking of a word like these.
Sed ista quaestio satis per praedicta excluditur, secundum Hilarium et Augustinum, Hom. prima super Io., qui dicit, manifestum esse, verbum in hoc loco non posse pro locutione accipi, quia cum locutio sit in motu et transeat, non posset dici quod in principio erat verbum, si verbum esset quid transiens et in motu. Item cum dicit et verbum erat apud Deum, datur idem intelligi; satis enim patet quod aliud est inesse, et aliud est adesse. Verbum enim nostrum, cum non subsistat, non adest, sed inest; verbum autem Dei est subsistens, et ideo adest. Et idcirco Evangelista signanter dixit verbum erat apud Deum. Sed tamen, ut obiectionis causa tollatur totaliter, naturam et esse verbi subdit, dicens et verbum erat Deus. According to Hilary and Augustine, this question is sufficiently answered by the above account. Augustine says (Homily I On John) that it is obvious that in this passage “Word” cannot be understood as a statement because, since a statement is in motion and passes away, it could not be said that In the beginning was the Word, if this Word were something passing away and in motion. The same thing is clear from and the Word was with God: for to be “in” another is not the same as to be “with” another. Our word, since it does not subsist, is not “with” us, but “in” us; but the Word of God is subsistent, and therefore “with” God. And so the Evangelist expressly says, and the Word was with God. To entirely remove the ground of the objection, he adds the nature and being of the Word, saying, and the Word was God.
Alia quaestio insurgit ex hoc quod dixerat apud Deum. Cum enim ly apud dicat distinctionem, posset credi quod verbum erat apud Deum, scilicet patrem, ab ipso in natura distinctum. Et ideo ad hoc excludendum statim subdit consubstantialitatem verbi ad patrem, dicens et verbum erat Deus; quasi dicat: non separatus a patre per diversitatem naturae, quia ipsum verbum est Deus. 56 The other question comes from his saying, with God. For since “with” indicates a distinction, it could be thought that the Word was with God, i.e., the Father, as distinct from him in nature. So to exclude this he adds at once the consubstantiality of the Word with the Father, saying, and the Word was God. As if to say: the Word is not separated from the Father by a diversity of nature, because the Word itself is God.
Nota etiam specialem modum significandi, quia dicit verbum erat Deus, absolute ponendo Deum; ut ostendat non eo modo Deum esse, quo nomen deitatis attribui dicitur creaturae in sacra Scriptura; quia cum additione aliqua aliquando hoc nomen creatura participat. Sicut illud Ex. VII, 1: ego constitui te Deum Pharaonis, ad designandum quod non erat Deus simpliciter, nec per naturam, quia constituebatur Deus alicuius determinate; et illud Ps. LXXXI, 6: ego dixi, dii estis, quasi dicat: per meam reputationem, non secundum rei veritatem, dii estis: aliud enim est Deum reputari, et aliud esse Deum. Unde verbum absolute dicitur Deus, quia est secundum essentiam suam Deus, et non participative, sicut homines et Angeli. 57 Note also the special way of signifying, since he says, the Word was God, using “God” absolutely to show that he is not God in the same way in which the name of the deity is given to a creature in Sacred Scripture. For a creature sometimes shares this name with some added qualification, as when it says, “I have appointed you the God of Pharaoh” (Ex 7:1), in order to indicate that he was not God absolutely or by nature, because he was appointed the god of someone in a qualified sense. Again, it says in the Psalm (81:6): “I said, ‘You are gods.’” —as if to say: in my opinion, but not in reality. Thus the Word is called God absolutely because he is God by his own essence, and not by participation, as men and angels are.
Sciendum est etiam quod circa hanc clausulam Origenes turpiter erravit, ex modo loquendi, qui in Graeco habetur, sumens occasionem sui erroris. Consuetudo enim est apud Graecos, quod cuilibet nomini apponunt articulum, ad designandum discretionem quamdam. Quia ergo in Evangelio Ioannis in Graeco, huic nomini quod est verbum, cum dicitur in principio erat verbum, et similiter huic nomini quod est Deus, cum dicitur et verbum erat apud Deum, apponitur articulus, ut dicatur ly verbum, et ly Deus, ad designandum eminentiam et discretionem verbi ad alia verba, et principalitatem patris in divinitate; ideo, cum in hoc quod dicitur verbum erat Deus, non apponatur articulus huic nomini Deus, quod supponit pro persona filii, blasphemavit Origenes quod verbum non esset Deus per essentiam, licet sit essentialiter verbum; sed dicitur per participationem Deus: solus vero pater est Deus per suam essentiam. Et sic ponebat filium patre minorem. 58 We should note that Origen disgracefully misunderstood this clause, led astray by the Greek manner of speaking. It is the custom among the Greeks to put the article before every name in order to indicate a distinction. In the Greek version of John’s Gospel the name “Word” in the statement, In the beginning was the Word, and also the name “God” in the statement, and the Word was with God, are prefixed by the article, so as to read “the Word” and “the God,” in order to indicate the eminence and distinction of the Word from other words, and the principality of the Father in the divinity. But in the statement, the Word was God, the article is not prefixed to the noun “God,” which stands for the person of the Son. Because of this Origen blasphemed that the Word, although he was Word by essence, was not God by essence, but is called God by participation; while the Father alone is God by essence. And so he held that the Son is inferior to the Father.
Quod autem non sit verum, probat Chrysostomus per hoc quod si articulus positus huic nomini Deus, importaret maioritatem in patre respectu filii, numquam apponeretur huic nomini Deus, cum de alio praedicatur, sed solum quando praedicatur de patre, et semper cum dicitur de patre, apponeretur articulus. Invenimus autem contrarium per duas auctoritates apostoli, qui notat Christum Deum cum appositione articuli, dicens in Epist. ad Titum, II, 13: expectantes beatam spem, et adventum gloriae magni Dei. Ibi enim Deus supponit pro filio, et apponitur ei articulus in Graeco; ergo Christus est Deus magnus. Item idem apostolus, Rom. IX, 5, dicit: ex quibus Christus, qui est super omnia Deus benedictus in saecula. Ibi similiter ad ly Deus ponitur in Graeco articulus. Praeterea I Io. ult., 20: ut simus in vero filio eius Christo Iesu; hic est verus Deus, et vita aeterna. Christus ergo non est Deus per participationem, sed verus. Patet igitur esse falsum quod Origenes finxit. 59 Chrysostom proves that this is not true, because if the article used with the name “God” implied the superiority of the Father in respect to the Son, it would never be used with the name “God” when it is used as a predicate of another, but only when it is predicated of the Father. Further, whenever said of the Father, it would be accompanied by the article. However, we find the opposite to be the case in two statements of the Apostle, who calls Christ “God,” using the article. For in Titus (2:13) he says, “the coming of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,” where “God” stands for the Son, and in the Greek the article is used. Therefore, Christ is the great God. Again he says (Rom 9:5): “Christ, who is God over all things, blessed forever,” and again the article is used with “God” in the Greek. Further, in 1 John (5:20) it says: “That we may be in his true Son, Jesus Christ; he is the true God and eternal life.” Thus, Christ is not God by participation, but truly God. And so the theory of Origen is clearly false.
Ratio autem quare Evangelista non apposuit articulum huic nomini Deus, assignatur a Chrysostomo; scilicet quia iam bis nominaverat Deum cum appositione articuli, et ideo non oportebat reiterare tertio, sed subintelligitur. Vel dicendum est et melius, quod Deus ponitur hic in praedicato, et tenetur formaliter; consuetum est autem quod nominibus in praedicato positis non ponitur articulus, cum discretionem importet. Si vero Deus poneretur hic ex parte subiecti, pro quacumque persona supponeret, sive pro filio sive pro spiritu sancto; et tunc non est dubium quod in Graeco ibi apponeretur articulus. Chrysostom gives us the reason why the Evangelist did not use the article with the name “God,” namely, because he had already mentioned God twice using the article, and so it was not necessary to repeat it a third time, but it was implied. Or, a better reason would be that “God” is used here as the predicate and is taken formally. And it is not the custom for the article to accompany names used as predicates, since the article indicates separation. But if “God” were used here as the subject, it could stand for any of the persons, as the Son or the Holy Spirit; then, no doubt, the article would be used in the Greek.

Lectio 2 LECTURE 2
2 οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.
3 πάντα δι' αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο,
καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν.
ὃ γέγονεν 4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him,
and without him nothing was made.
What was made 4a in him was life.
Deinde dicit hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Hic ponitur quarta clausula, quae introducitur propter clausulam praecedentem. Ex hoc enim quod Evangelista dixerat quod verbum erat Deus, duplex falsus intellectus accipi poterat a non recte sentientibus. Unus a gentilibus, qui ponunt pluralitatem et diversitatem deorum, et eorum contrarias dicunt esse voluntates; sicut illi qui fabulantur Iovem pugnasse cum Saturno; et sicut Manichaei, qui ponunt duo contraria principia naturae. Contra hunc errorem dominus dixit, Deut. VI, 4: audi Israel, dominus Deus tuus, Deus unus est. 60 Then he says, He was in the beginning with God. This is the fourth clause and is introduced because of the preceding clause. For from the Evangelist’s statement that the Word was God, two false interpretations could be held by those who misunderstand. One of these is by the pagans, who acknowledge many and different gods, and say that their wills are in opposition. For example, those who put out the fable of Jupiter fighting with Saturn; or as the Manicheans, who have two contrary principles of nature. The Lord said against this error (Dt 6:4): “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”
Quia ergo Evangelista dixerat verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat verbum, possent isti in fulcimentum sui erroris istud adducere, intelligentes alium esse Deum, apud quem est verbum, et alium ipsum verbum, et cum hoc alterius, sive contrariae voluntatis; quod est contra legem Evangelii. Ad hoc ergo excludendum dicit hoc erat in principio apud Deum; quasi dicat, secundum Hilarium: ita dico quod verbum est Deus, quod tamen non est habens divinitatem, sed est apud Deum, scilicet in una natura et eadem in qua ipse est. Item per hoc quod dicit, verbum erat Deus ne intelligeretur quod haberent contrariam voluntatem, addidit hoc, quod scilicet verbum erat in principio apud Deum scilicet patrem; non divisum ab ipso, non contrarium, sed habens cum eo identitatem naturae et concordiam voluntatis: quae quidem unio fit per communionem divinae naturae in tribus personis, et per nexum naturalis amoris patris et filii. Since the Evangelist had said, the Word was with God; and the Word was God, they could adduce this in support of their error by understanding the God with whom the Word is to be one [God],and the Word to be another, having another, or contrary, will to the former; and this is against the law of the Gospel. And so to exclude this he says, He was in the beginning with God, as if to say, according to Hilary: I say that the Word is God, not as if he has a distinct divinity, but he is with God, that is, in the one same nature in which lie is. Further, lest his statement, and the Word was God, be taken to mean that the Word has an opposed will, he added that the Word was in the beginning with God, namely, the Father; not as divided from him or opposed, but having an identity of nature with him and a harmony of will. This union comes about by the sharing of the divine nature in the three persons, and by the bond of the natural love of the Father and the Son.
Alius error poterat ex praemissis verbis elici ab Arianis, qui ponunt filium minorem esse quam pater, propter hoc quod dicitur: pater maior me est. Dicunt enim patrem maiorem filio, et quantum ad aeternitatem, et quantum ad naturae divinitatem. Ut ergo Evangelista excluderet, addidit hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Arius enim primam clausulam, scilicet in principio erat verbum, admittit: non tamen vult quod ibi principium accipiatur pro patre, sed pro principio creaturarum. Unde dicit quod verbum erat in principio creaturarum, et ideo nequaquam patri est coaeternus. Sed hoc excluditur, secundum Chrysostomum, per illam clausulam hoc erat in principio, non quidem creaturarum, sed in principio apud Deum; idest ex quo Deus fuit. Numquam enim pater solitarius fuit a filio, sive verbo, sed semper hoc, scilicet verbum, apud Deum erat. 61 The Arians were able to draw out another error from the above. They think that the Son is less than the Father because it says below (14:28): “The Father is greater than I” And they say the Father is greater than the Son both as to eternity and as to divinity of nature. And so to exclude this the Evangelist added: He was in the beginning with God. For Arius admits the first clause, In the beginning was the Word, but he will not admit that principium should be taken for the Father, but rather for the beginning of creatures. So he says that the Word was in the beginning of creatures, and consequently is in no sense coeternal with the Father. But this is excluded, according to Chrysostom, by this clause, He was in the beginning, not of creatures, but in the beginning with God, i.e., whenever God existed. For the Father was never alone without the Son or Word, but He, that is, the Word, was always with God.
Item, Arius confitetur quod verbum erat Deus, sed tamen minor patre. Sed hoc excluditur per ea quae sequuntur. Duo enim sunt propria magni Dei, quae Arius Deo patri singulariter attribuebat, scilicet aeternitas et omnipotentia. In quocumque ergo ista duo inveniuntur, ille est magnus Deus, quo nullus est maior; sed haec duo Evangelista verbo attribuit; ergo verbum est magnus Deus, et non minor. Aeternitatem quidem dicit esse in verbo per hoc quod dicit hoc erat in principio apud Deum; idest verbum ab aeterno, non solum in principio creaturarum, ut Arius intellexit, erat, sed apud Deum, accipiens esse et divinitatem ab eo. Omnipotentiam vero attribuit verbo per hoc quod subdit omnia per ipsum facta sunt. 62 Again, Arius admits that the Word was God, but nevertheless inferior to the Father. This is excluded by what follows. For there are two attributes proper to the great God which Arius attributed solely to God the Father, that is, eternity and omnipotence. So in whomever these two attributes are found, he is the great God, than whom none is greater. But the Evangelist attributes these two to the Word. Therefore, the Word is the great God and not inferior. He says the Word is eternal when he states, He was in the beginning with God, i.e., the Word was with God from eternity, and not only in the beginning of creatures (as Arius held), but with God, receiving being and divinity from him. Further, he attributes omnipotence to the Word when he adds, Through him all things came into being.
Origenes vero hanc eamdem clausulam satis pulchre exponens, dicit ipsam non esse aliam a tribus primis; sed ipsam esse quemdam epilogum praemissorum. Evangelista enim postquam insinuaverat veritatem esse filii, transiturus ad eius insinuandum virtutem, recolligit, quasi in summa epilogando, in quarta clausula, quod in primis tribus praedixerat. Primo enim per hoc quod dicit hoc, intelligit tertiam clausulam; per hoc vero quod dicit erat in principio, recolligit primam; per hoc vero quod subdit erat apud Deum, recolligit secundam, ut sic non intelligas aliud verbum, quod erat in principio et quod erat Deus; sed hoc verbum, quod erat Deus, erat in principio apud Deum. 63 Origen gives a rather beautiful explanation of this clause, He was in the beginning with God, when he says that it is not separate from the first three, but is in a certain sense their epilogue. For the Evangelist, after he had indicated that truth was the Son’s and was about to describe his power, in a way gathers together in a summary form, in this fourth clause, what he had said in the first three. For in saying He, he understands the third clause; by adding was in the beginning, he recalls the first clause; and by adding with God, he recalls the second, so that we do not think that the Word which was in the beginning is different than the Word which was God; but this Word which was God was in the beginning with God.
Si quis ergo recte consideret has quatuor propositiones, inveniet evidenter per eas destrui omnes haereticorum et philosophorum errores. Quidam enim haeretici, sicut Ebion et Cerinthus, dixerunt, Christum non praeextitisse beatae virgini, sed ab ea sumpsisse essendi et durationis principium, ponentes eum fuisse hominem purum, sed meruisse divinitatem per bona merita. Quod etiam Photinus et Paulus Samosatenus eos secuti dixerunt. Horum errorem Evangelista excludit, dicens in principio erat verbum, idest ante omnia, et in patre ab aeterno; ergo non sumpsit initium ex virgine. 64 If one considers these four propositions well, he will find that they clearly destroy all the errors of the heretics and of the philosophers. For some heretics, as Ebion and Cerinthus, said that Christ did not exist before the Blessed Virgin, but took from her the beginning of his being and duration; for they held that he was a mere man, who had merited divinity by his good works. Photinus and Paul of Samosata, following them, said the same thing. But the Evangelist excludes their errors saying, In the beginning was the Word, i.e., before all things, and in the Father from eternity. Thus he did not derive his beginning from the Virgin.
Sabellius vero, licet fateretur quod Deus qui carnem suscepit, ex virgine non sumpsit initium, sed fuit ab aeterno, tamen dicebat quod non erat alia persona patris, qui fuit ab aeterno, et filii, qui carnem assumpsit ex virgine, sed idem erat pater et filius personaliter; Trinitatem personarum in divinis confundens. Contra hunc errorem dicit Evangelista et verbum erat apud Deum, scilicet filius apud patrem, ut alius apud alium. Sabellius, on the other hand, although he admitted that the God who took flesh did not receive his beginning from the Virgin, but existed from eternity, still said that the person of the Father, who existed from eternity, was not distinct from the person of the Son, who took flesh from the Virgin. He maintained that the Father and Son were the same person; and so he failed to distinguish the trinity of persons in the deity. The Evangelist says against this error, and the Word was with God, i.e., the Son was with the Father, as one person with another.
Eunomius vero posuit filium omnino dissimilem esse patri: et hoc consequenter Evangelista excludit, dicens et Deus erat verbum. Arius vero dicebat filium patre minorem; sed hoc excludit Evangelista cum dicit hoc erat in principio apud Deum, quod supra fuit expositum. Eunomius declared that the Son is entirely unlike the Father. The Evangelist rejects this when he says, and the Word was God. Finally, Arius said that the Son was less than the Father. The Evangelist excludes this by saying, He was in the beginning with God, as was explained above.
Per hoc etiam excluduntur errores philosophorum. Quidam enim philosophorum antiqui, scilicet naturales, ponebant mundum non ex aliquo intellectu, neque per aliquam rationem, sed a casu fuisse; et ideo a principio rationem non posuerunt seu intellectum aliquam causam rerum, sed solam materiam fluitantem, utpote athomos, sicut Democritus posuit, et alia huiusmodi principia materialia, ut alii posuerunt. Contra hos est quod Evangelista dicit in principio erat verbum, a quo res scilicet principium sumpserunt et non a casu. 65 These words also exclude the errors of the philosophers. For some of the ancient philosophers, namely, the natural philosophers, maintained that the world did not come from any intellect or through some purpose, but by chance. Consequently, they did not place at the beginning as the cause of things a reason or intellect, but only matter in flux; for example, atoms, as Democritus thought, or other material principles of this kind as different philosophers maintained. Against these the Evangelist says, In the beginning was the Word, from whom, and not from chance, things derive their beginning.
Plato autem posuit rationes omnium rerum factarum subsistentes, separatas in propriis naturis, per quarum participationem res materiales essent: puta per rationem hominis separatam, quam dicebat per se hominem, haberent quod sint homines. Sic ergo ne hanc rationem, per quam omnia facta sunt, intelligas rationes separatas a Deo, ut Plato ponebat, addit Evangelista et verbum erat apud Deum. Plato, however, thought that the Ideas of all the things that were made were subsistent, i.e., existing separately in their own natures; and material things exist by participating in these. For example, he thought men existed through the separated Idea of man, which he called Man per se. So lest you suppose, as did Plato, that this Idea through which all things were made be Ideas separated from God, the Evangelist adds, and the Word was with God.
Alii etiam Platonici, ut Chrysostomus refert, ponebant Deum patrem eminentissimum, et primum, sub quo ponebant mentem quamdam, in qua dicebant esse similitudines et ideas omnium rerum. Ne ergo sic intelligas, quod verbum erat apud patrem, quasi sub eo et minor eo, addit Evangelista et verbum erat Deus. Other Platonists, as Chrysostom relates, maintained that God the Father was most eminent and first, but under him they placed a certain mind in which there were the likenesses and ideas of all things. So lest you think that the Word was with the Father in such a way as to be under him and less than he, the Evangelist adds, and the Word was God.
Aristoteles vero posuit in Deo rationes omnium rerum, et quod idem est in Deo intellectus et intelligens et intellectum; tamen posuit mundum coaeternum sibi fuisse. Et contra hoc est quod Evangelista dicit hoc, scilicet verbum solum, erat in principio apud Deum; ita quod ly hoc non excludit aliam personam, sed aliam naturam coaeternam. Aristotle, however, thought that the ideas of all things are in God, and that in God, the intellect, the one understanding, and what is understood, are the same. Nevertheless, he thought that the world is coeternal with him. Against this the Evangelist says, He, the Word alone, was in the beginning with God, in such a way that He does not exclude another person, but only another coeternal nature.
Nota etiam in praedictis differentiam Ioannis ab aliis Evangelistis, quomodo scilicet dignius Evangelium suum incepit, quam alii. Ipsi enim annuntiaverunt Christum filium Dei ex tempore natum; Matth. II, 1: cum natus esset Iesus in Bethlehem. Ioannes vero dicit eum ab aeterno fuisse, in principio, inquit, erat verbum. Ipsi etiam dicunt eum subito inter homines apparuisse; Lc. II, 29: nunc dimittis servum tuum, domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace; quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum, quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum, lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae, Israel. Ioannes vero dicit eum apud patrem semper fuisse. Et verbum, inquit, erat apud Deum. Alii vero ipsum hominem; Matth. IX, v. 8: glorificabant Deum, qui potestatem talem hominibus dedit. Ioannes vero dicit ipsum esse Deum. Et verbum, inquit, erat Deus. Alii dixerunt eum fuisse cum hominibus conversatum; Matth. XVII, 21: conversantibus autem illis in Galilaea, dixit Iesus etc.; sed Ioannes dicit eum apud patrem semper fuisse. Hoc, inquit, erat in principio apud Deum. 66 Note the difference in what has been said between John and the other Evangelists: how he began his Gospel on a loftier plane than they. They announced Christ the Son of God born in time: “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem” (Mt 2:1); but John presents him existing from eternity: In the beginning was the Word. They show him suddenly appearing among men: “Now you dismiss your servant, 0 Lord, in peace, according to your word; because my eyes have seen your salvation” (Lk 2:29); but John says that he always existed with the Father: and the Word was with God. The others show him as a man: “They gave glory to God who had given such authority to men” (Mt 9:8); but John says that he is God: and the Word was God. The others say he lives with men: “While living in Galilee, Jesus said to them” (Mt 17:21); but John says that he has always been with the Father: He was in the beginning with God.
Nota etiam quod Evangelista signanter recitat hoc verbum erat, ut ostendat verbum Dei omnia tempora, scilicet praesens, praeteritum et futurum, excedere. Quasi dicat: erat ultra tempus praesens, praeteritum et futurum, secundum quod tangitur in Glossa. 67 Note also how the Evangelist designedly uses the word was (erat) to show that the Word of God transcends all times: present, past and future. It is as though he were saying: He was beyond time: present, past and future, as the Gloss says.
Postquam Evangelista esse et naturam divini verbi, quantum dici potest ab homine, insinuaverat, consequenter manifestat eius virtutem. Et primo ostendit eius virtutem quantum ad omnia, quae in esse procedunt; secundo specialiter quantum ad homines, ibi erat vita lux hominum. Circa primum ponit tres clausulas, quas non distinguimus ad praesens, quia secundum diversas expositiones sanctorum sunt diversimode distinguendae. 68 After the Evangelist has told of the existence and nature of the Divine Word, so far as it can be told by man, he then shows the might of his power. First, he shows his power with respect to all things that come into existence. Secondly, with respect to man. As to the first, he uses three clauses; and we will not distinguish these at present because they will be distinguished in different ways according to the different explanations given by the saints.
Prima ergo clausula est omnia per ipsum facta sunt; quae inducitur ad ostendendum tria de verbo. Et primo, secundum Chrysostomum, ad ostendendum aequalitatem verbi ad patrem. Sicut enim dictum est supra, Evangelista excluserat errorem Arii, ostendens coaeternitatem filii ad patrem per hoc quod dixerat hoc erat in principio apud Deum, hic vero eumdem errorem excludit, ostendendo omnipotentiam filii, dicens, omnia per ipsum facta sunt. Esse enim principium omnium factorum proprium est Dei magni omnipotentis, iuxta illud Ps. CXXXIV, 6: omnia quaecumque dominus voluit, fecit in caelo et in terra. Verbum ergo per quod facta sunt omnia, est Deus magnus et coaequalis patri. 69 The first clause, All things were made through him, is used to show three things concerning the Word. First, according to Chrysostom, to show the equality of the Word to the Father. For as stated earlier, the error of Arius was rejected by the Evangelist when he showed the coeternity of the Son with the Father by saying, “He was in the beginning with God.” Here he excludes the same error when he shows the omnipotence of the Son, saying, All things were made through him. For to be the principle of all the things that are made is proper to the great omnipotent God, as the Psalm (134:6) says, “Whatever the Lord wills he does, in heaven and on earth.”Thus the Word, through whom all things were made, is God, great and coequal to the Father.
Secundo, ad ostendendum coaeternitatem verbi ad patrem, secundum Hilarium. Quia enim per hoc quod dixerat in principio erat verbum, posset aliquis intelligere hoc dictum fuisse de principio creaturarum, id est fuisse aliquod tempus ante omnem creaturam, in quo verbum non erat, ideo hoc excludens Evangelista dixit omnia per ipsum facta sunt. Si enim omnia sunt facta per verbum ergo et ipsum tempus. Ex quo sic argumentatur: si omne tempus ab ipso factum est; ergo nullum tempus fuit ante ipsum; nec cum ipso; quia ante omnia erat; ergo sunt ab aeterno coaeterni. 70 Secondly, according to Hilary, this clause is used to show the coeternity of the Word with the Father. For since someone might understand the earlier statement, “In the beginning was the Word,” as referring to the beginning of creatures, i.e., that before there were any creatures there was a time in which the Word did not exist, the Evangelist rejects this by saying, All things were made through him. For if all things were made through the Word, then time was also. From this we can form the following argument: If all time was made through him, there was no time before him or with him, because before all these, he was. Therefore they [the Son and the Father] are eternally coeternal.
Tertio, secundum Augustinum, ad ostendendam consubstantialitatem verbi ad patrem. Si enim facta omnia sunt per verbum, ergo ipsum verbum non potest dici factum: quia si est factum, est factum per aliquod verbum, quia omnia per verbum facta sunt. Oportet ergo esse aliud verbum, per quod verbum, de quo hic loquitur Evangelista, sit factum. Et illud verbum dicimus unigenitum Dei, per quem facta sunt omnia, quia nec factum est, nec creatura est; et si non est creatura, necesse est dicere ipsum esse eiusdem substantiae cum patre, cum omnis substantia praeter essentiam divinam facta sit. Substantia autem, quae creatura non est, Deus est. Verbum ergo, per quod omnia facta sunt, consubstantiale est patri, cum nec factum, nec creatura sit. 71 Thirdly, according to Augustine, this clause is used to show the consubstantiality of the Word with the Father. For if all things were made through the Word, the Word himself cannot be said to have been made; because, if made, he was made through some Word, since all things were made through the Word. Consequently, there would have been another Word through whom was made the Word of whom the Evangelist is speaking. This Word, through whom all things are made, we call the only begotten Son of God, because he is neither made nor is he a creature. And if he is not a creature, it is necessary to say that he is of the same substance with the Father, since every substance other than the divine essence is made. But a substance that is not a creature is God. And so the Word, through whom all things were made, is consubstantial with the Father, since he is neither made, nor is he a creature.
Sic ergo habes verbi aequalitatem ad patrem, secundum Chrysostomum, coaeternitatem secundum Hilarium, et consubstantialitatem, secundum Augustinum per hoc quod dicit omnia per ipsum facta sunt. 72 And so in saying All things were made through him, you have, according to Chrysostom, the equality of the Word with the Father; the coeternity of the Word with the Father, according to Hilary; and the consubstantiality of the Word with the Father, according to Augustine.
Cavendi sunt autem hic tres errores. Et primo error Valentini. Ipse enim intellexit per hoc quod dicitur omnia per ipsum facta sunt, quod verbum dederit causam creatori, quod mundum crearet, ut dicantur omnia sic per verbum facta, quasi ex verbo processerit quod pater mundum creavit. Et hoc videtur ducere in positionem illorum, qui dicebant Deum mundum fecisse propter aliquam exteriorem causam; quod est contra illud Prov. XVI, 4: universa propter semetipsum operatus est dominus. Sed hoc est falsum, quia, sicut Origenes dicit, si verbum fuisset causa creatori praestans ei materiam ad faciendum, non dixisset omnia per ipsum facta sunt, sed, e converso, omnia facta sunt per creatorem a verbo. 73 Here we must guard against three errors. First, the error of Valentine. He understood All things were made through him to mean that the Word proferred to the Creator the cause of his creating the world; so that all things were made through the Word as if the Father’s creating the world came from the Word. This leads to the position of those who said that God created the world because of some exterior cause; and this is contrary to Proverbs (16:4), “The Lord made all things for himself.” The reason this is an error is that, as Origen says, if the Word had been a cause to the Creator by offering him the material for making things, he would not have said, All things were made through him, but on the contrary, that all things were made through the Creator by the Word.
Secundo vitandus est error Origenis, qui dicit spiritum sanctum, inter omnia, factum esse per verbum, ex quo sequitur ipsum esse creaturam: et hoc posuit Origenes. Hoc autem est haereticum et blasphemum, cum spiritus sanctus eiusdem sit gloriae et substantiae et dignitatis cum patre et filio, iuxta illud Matth. ult., 19: docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti; et iuxta illud I Io. V, v. 7: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus: et hi tres unum sunt. Cum ergo dicit Evangelista omnia per ipsum facta sunt, non est intelligendum simpliciter facta omnia, sed in genere creaturarum et rerum factarum. Quasi dicat: omnia, quae facta sunt, per ipsum facta sunt. Alias, si simpliciter intelligatur, sequeretur patrem et spiritum sanctum factos per ipsum: quod est blasphemum. Igitur nec pater, nec aliquid substantiale patri, per verbum factum est. 74 Secondly, we must avoid the error of Origen. He said that the Holy Spirit was included among all the things made through the Word; from which it follows that he is a creature. And this is what Origen thought. This is heretical and blasphemous, since the Holy Spirit has the same glory and substance and dignity as the Father and the Son, according to the words of Matthew (28:19), “Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” And, “There are three who give testimony’ in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (l Jn 5:7). Thus when the Evangelist says, All things were made through him, one should not understand “all things” absolutely, but in the realm of creatures and of things made. As if to say: All things that were made, were made through him. Otherwise, if “all things” were taken absolutely, it would follow that the Father and the Holy Spirit were made through him; and this is blasphemous. Consequently, neither the Father nor anything substantial with the Father was made through the Word.
Tertio vitandus est alius error ipsius Origenis. Ipse enim sic omnia facta esse per verbum dixit, sicut aliquid fit a maiori per minorem, quasi minor sit filius, et ut organum patris. Sed quod per hanc praepositionem per non significetur minoritas in obliquo, scilicet filio, seu verbo, patet ex pluribus Scripturae locis. Dicit enim apostolus, I Cor. I, 9, loquens de patre: fidelis Deus, per quem vocati estis in societatem filii eius. Si ille, per quem fit aliquid, habet superiorem, ergo et pater superiorem habebit; hoc autem est falsum; ergo per praepositionem per non significatur minoritas in filio, cum dicuntur omnia facta per ipsum. 75 Thirdly, we must avoid another of Origen’s errors. For he said that all things were made through the Word as something is made by a greater through a lesser, as if the Son were inferior to, and an instrument of, the Father. But it is clear from many places in Scripture that the preposition “through” (per) does not signify inferiority in the thing which is its grammatical object, i.e., in the Son or Word. For the Apostle says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son” (1 Cor 1:9). If he “through” whom something is done has a superior, then the Father has a superior. But this is false. Therefore, the preposition “through” does not signify any inferiority in the Son when all things are said to have been made through him.
Ad maiorem autem evidentiam huius sciendum est, quod quando dicitur aliquid per aliquem fieri, haec praepositio per denotat causalitatem in obliquo, respectu operationis aliquo modo, sed diversimode. Cum enim operatio, secundum modum significandi, consideretur media inter operantem et operatum, potest considerari ipsa operatio dupliciter. Uno modo secundum quod exit ab operante, qui est causa ipsius actionis; alio modo secundum quod terminatur ad operatum. Quandoque ergo praepositio per significat causam operationis, secundum quod exit ab operante; quandoque autem, secundum quod terminatur ad operatum. Causam autem operationis, secundum quod exit ab operante, significat quando illud quod significatur per obliquum, est causa operanti quod operetur, vel efficiens, vel formalis. Formalis quidem, sicut ignis calefacit per calorem: est enim calor causa formalis calefactionis ignis. Causa vero movens, seu efficiens, ut secunda agentia operantur per prima, ut si dicam quod balivus operatur per regem, quia rex est causa efficiens balivo quod operetur. Et hoc modo intellexit Valentinus, omnia facta esse per verbum, ac si verbum esset causa conditori ut omnia faceret. Causalitatem vero operationis, secundum quod terminatur ad operatum, importat haec praepositio per, quando illud, quod significatur per ipsam causalitatem, non est causa ipsa quod operetur, sed est causa operationis, secundum quod terminatur ad operatum. Sicut cum dico carpentarius facit scamnum per securim, quae non est causa carpentario quod operetur, sed ponimus esse causam quod scamnum fiat ab operante. 76 To explain this point further, we should note that when something is said to be made through someone, the preposition “through” (per) denotes some sort of causality in its object with respect to an operation; but not always the same kind of causality. For since an operation, according to our manner of signifying, is considered to be medial between the one acting and the thing produced, the operation itself can be regarded in two ways. In one way, as issuing from the one operating, who is the cause of the action itself; in another way, as terminated in the thing produced. Accordingly, the preposition “through” sometimes signifies the cause of the operation insofar as it issues from the one operating: but sometimes as terminated in the thing which is produced. It signifies the cause of the operation as issuing from the one operating when the object of the preposition is either the efficient or formal cause why the one operating is operating. For example, we have a formal cause when fire is heating through heat; for heat is the formal cause of the fire’s heating. We have a movent or efficient cause in cases where secondary agents act through primary agents; as when I say that the bailiff acts through the king, because the king is the efficient cause of the bailiff’s acting. This is the way Valentine understood that all things were made through the Word: as though the Word were the cause of the maker’s production of all things. The preposition “through” implies the causality of the operation as terminated in the thing produced when what is signified through that causality is not the cause which operates, but the cause of the operation precisely as terminated in the thing produced. So when I say, “The carpenter is making a bench through [by means of] a hatchet,” the hatchet is not the cause of the carpenter’s operating; but we do say that it is the cause of the bench’s being made by the one acting.
Sic ergo cum dicitur omnia per ipsum facta sunt; si ly per denotet efficientem causam, seu moventem patrem ad operandum, dicendum est quod pater nihil operatur per filium, sed per seipsum omnia operatur, ut dictum est. Si vero ly per denotet causam formalem, sic cum pater operetur per sapientiam suam, quae est sua essentia, operatur per suam sapientiam, sicut operatur per suam essentiam; et quia sapientia et virtus patris attribuitur filio, I Cor. I, 24, dicimus: Christum Dei virtutem, et Dei sapientiam, ideo appropriate dicimus quod pater omnia operatur per filium, idest per sapientiam suam. Et ideo dicit Augustinus quod hoc quod dicitur ex quo omnia, appropriatur patri; per quem omnia, filio; in quo omnia, spiritui sancto. Si vero ly per denotet causalitatem ex parte operati, tunc hoc quod dicimus patrem omnia operari per filium non est appropriatum verbo, sed proprium eius, quia hoc quod est causa creaturarum, habet ab alio, scilicet a patre, a quo habet esse. And so when it says that All things were made through him, if the “through” denotes the efficient or movent cause, causing the Father to act, then in this sense the Father does nothing through the Son, but he does all things through himself, as has been said. But if the “through” denotes a formal cause, as when the Father operates through his wisdom, which is his essence, he operates through his wisdom as he operates through his essence. And because the wisdom and power of the Father are attributed to the Son, as when we say, “Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24), then by appropriation we say that the Father does all things through the Son, i.e., through his wisdom. And so Augustine says that the phrase “from whom all things,” is appropriated to the Father; “through whom all things,” is appropriated to the Son; and “in whom all things,” is appropriated to the Holy Spirit. But if the “through” denotes causality from the standpoint of the thing produced, then the statement, “The Father does all things through the Son,” is not [mere] appropriation but proper to the Word, because the fact that he is a cause of creatures is had from someone else, namely the Father, from whom he has being.
Nec tamen propter hoc sequitur ipsum esse instrumentum patris, licet omne quod movetur ab alio ad aliquid operandum, rationem instrumenti habeat. Cum autem dico aliquem operari per virtutem receptam ab alio, potest dupliciter intelligi. Uno modo quod eadem numero sit virtus et dantis, et accipientis: et hoc modo qui operatur per virtutem acceptam ab alio, non est minor, sed aequalis ei a quo accipit. Quia ergo pater eamdem virtutem, quam habet, dat filio, per quam filius operatur, cum dicitur pater operari per filium, propter hoc filius non est dicendum minor patre, neque instrumentum eius. Sed hoc sequitur in illis qui non eamdem virtutem accipiunt ab aliquo, sed aliam et creatam. Sic ergo patet quod nec spiritus sanctus, nec filius, est causa patri quod operetur, neque patris minister seu instrumentum, ut deliravit Origenes. However, it does not follow from this that the Word is the instrument of the Father, although whatever is moved by another to effect something partakes of the nature of an instrument. For when I say that someone works through a power received from another, this can be understood in two ways. In one way, as meaning that the power of the giver and of the receiver is numerically one and the same power; and in this way the one operating through a power received from another is not inferior but equal to the one from whom he receives it. Therefore, since the same power which the Father has he gives to the Son, through which the Son works, when it is said that “the Father works through the Son,” one should not on that account say that the Son is inferior to the Father or is his instrument. This would be the case, rather, in those who receive from another not the same power, but another and created one. And so it is plain that neither the Holy Spirit nor the Son are causes of the Father’s working, and that neither is the minister or instrument of the Father, as Origen raved.
Si autem recte considerentur verba praedicta omnia per ipsum facta sunt, evidenter apparet Evangelistam propriissime fuisse locutum. Quicumque enim aliquid facit, oportet quod illud praeconcipiat in sua sapientia, quae est forma et ratio rei factae: sicut forma in mente artificis praeconcepta est ratio arcae faciendae. Sic ergo Deus nihil facit nisi per conceptum sui intellectus, qui est sapientia ab aeterno concepta, scilicet Dei verbum, et Dei filius: et ideo impossibile est quod aliquid faciat nisi per filium. Unde Augustinus de Trinitate dicit quod verbum est ars plena omnium rationum viventium. Et sic patet quod omnia quae pater facit, facit per ipsum. 77 If we carefully consider the words, All things were made through him, we can clearly see that the Evangelist spoke with the utmost exactitude. For whoever makes something must preconceive it in his wisdom, which is the form and pattern of the thing made: as the form preconceived in the mind of an artisan is the pattern of the cabinet to be made. So, God makes nothing except through the conception of his intellect, which is an eternally conceived wisdom, that is, the Word of God, and the Son of God. Accordingly, it is impossible that he should make anything except through the Son. And so Augustine says, in The Trinity, that the Word is the art full of the living patterns of all things. Thus it is clear that all things which the Father makes, he makes through him.
Notandum autem, secundum Chrysostomum, quod omnia quae Moyses per multa enumerat in productione rerum a Deo, dicens: dixit dominus, fiat lux, et fiat firmamentum etc., haec omnia Evangelista excedens, uno verbo comprehendit, dicens omnia per ipsum facta sunt. Cuius ratio est quia Moyses tradere volebat emanationem creaturarum a Deo, et ideo sigillatim enumerat; Ioannes vero ad altiorem festinans materiam, in hoc libro intendit nos inducere specialiter in cognitionem ipsius creatoris. 78 It should be remarked that, according to Chrysostom, all the things which Moses enumerates individually in God’s production of things, saying, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’” (Gn 1:3) and so forth, all these the Evangelist transcends and embraces in one phrase, saying, All things were made through him. The reason is that Moses wished to teach the emanation of creatures from God; hence he enumerated them one by one. But John, hastening toward loftier things, intends in this book to lead us specifically to a knowledge of the Creator himself.
Deinde dicit et sine ipso factum est nihil. Haec est secunda clausula quam quidam perverse intellexerunt, ut dicit Augustinus in Lib. de Nat. boni. Nam, ex hoc modo loquendi quo Ioannes hic utitur, ponens hoc quod dicitur nihil in fine orationis, crediderunt ipsum nihil teneri affirmative, quasi nihil sit aliquid, quod sine verbo factum sit; unde voluerunt quod haec clausula posita sit ab Evangelista ad excludendum aliquid quod a verbo non sit factum. Unde dicunt quod postquam Evangelista dixerat omnia per ipsum facta sunt, consequenter adiungit et sine ipso factum est nihil quasi dicat: ita dico omnia per ipsum facta esse, quod tamen sine ipso factum est aliquid, scilicet ipsum nihil. 79 Then he says, and without him nothing was made. This is the second clause which some have distorted, as Augustine says in his work, The Nature of the Good. Because of John’s manner of speaking here, they believed that he was using “nothing” in an affirmative sense; as though nothing was something which was made without the Word. And so they claimed that this clause was added by the Evangelist in order to exclude something which was not made by the Word. They say that the Evangelist, having said that All things were made through him, added and without him nothing was made. It was as if to say: I say that all things were made through him in such a way that still something was made without him, that is, the “nothing”.
Ex hoc autem processit triplex haeresis, scilicet Valentini, qui, ut dicit Origenes, ponit multa principia, et ex illis principiis dicit procedere triginta saecula. Prima tamen principia quae ponit, sunt duo, scilicet profundum, quod vocat Deum patrem, et silentium. Ex his duobus dicit processisse decem saecula. Ex profundo autem, et silentio dicit esse alia duo principia, scilicet intellectum et veritatem, ex quibus processerunt octo saecula. Ex intellectu autem et veritate dicit esse alia duo principia, scilicet verbum et vitam, ex quibus procedunt duodecim saecula, et sic sunt triginta. Ex verbo autem et vita, secundum aevum, processit homo Christus, et Ecclesia. Sic ergo Valentinus ponebat prolationem verbi multa saecula praecessisse. Et ideo dicit quod, quia Evangelista dixerat omnia per ipsum facta sunt, ne aliquis intelligeret illa saecula praecedentia esse perfecta per verbum, consequenter adiunxit et sine ipso factum est nihil, idest omnia saecula praeexistentia et quae in eis fuerunt; quae ideo Ioannes vocat nihil, quia humanam rationem excedunt, nec possunt capi per intellectum. 80 Three heresies came from this. First, that of Valentine. He affirmed, as Origen says, a multitude of principles, and taught that from them came thirty eras. The first principles he postulates are two: the Deep, which he calls God the Father, and Silence. And from these proceed ten eras. But from the Deep and from Silence, he says, there are two other principles, Mind and Truth; and from these issued eight eras. Then from Mind and Truth, there are two other principles, Word and Life; and from these issued twelve eras; thus making a total of thirty. Finally, from the Word and Life there proceeded in time, the man Christ and the Church. In this way Valentine affirmed many eras previous to the issuing forth of the Word. And so he said that because the Evangelist had stated that all things were made through him, then, lest anyone think that those previous eras had been effected through the Word, he added, and without him nothing was made, i.e., all the preceding eras and all that had existed in them. All of these John calls “nothing,” because they transcend human reason and cannot be grasped by the mind.
Secundus error, ex hoc procedens, fuit Manichaei, qui ponebat duo contraria principia, unum scilicet rerum incorruptibilium, et aliud corruptibilium. Dicit ergo quod postquam Ioannes dixerat omnia per ipsum facta sunt, ne crederetur verbum esse corruptibilium rerum causam, statim subiunxit et sine ipso factum est nihil, idest corruptioni subiecta, quae nihil esse dicuntur, quia eorum esse est continue transmutari in nihil. 81 The second error to arise from this was that of Manichaeus, who affirmed two opposing principles: one is the source of incorruptible things, and the other of corruptible things. He said that after John had stated that All things were made through him, then, lest it be thought that the Word is the cause of corruptible things, he immediately added, and without him nothing was made, i.e., things subject to corruption, which are called “nothing” because their being consists in being continually transformed into nothing.
Tertius error est eorum qui volunt quod per nihil intelligatur Diabolus, iuxta illud Iob XVIII, 15: habitent in tabernaculo eius socii eius, qui non est. Dicunt ergo omnia esse facta per verbum, praeter Diabolum. Et ideo exponunt sine ipso factum est nihil, idest Diabolus. 82 The third error is that of those who claim that by “nothing” we should understand the devil, according to Job (18:15), “May the companions of him who is not dwell in his house.” And so they say that all things except the devil were made through the Word. In this way they explain, without him nothing was made, that is, the devil.
Sed omnes isti tres errores ex uno fonte procedentes, scilicet ex hoc quod ipsum nihil volunt affirmative accipi, excluduntur per hoc quod nihil non ponitur hic affirmative, sed negative tantum. Ut sit sensus: ita facta sunt omnia per verbum, quod nihil est participans esse, quod non sit factum per ipsum. 83 All these three errors, arising as they do from the same source, namely, taking “nothing” in a positive sense, are excluded by the fact that “nothing” in not used here in an affirmative, but in a merely negative sense: the sense being that all things were made through the Word in such a way that there is nothing participating in existence that was not made through him.
Sed instabit forsitan aliquis, dicens hanc clausulam superflue fuisse appositam, si intelligatur negative, eo quod Evangelista dicens, omnia per ipsum facta sunt, sufficienter videtur dixisse non esse aliquid quod non sit factum per verbum. 84 Perhaps someone will object and say that it was superfluous to add this clause, if it is to be understood negatively, on the ground that the Evangelist, in stating that All things were made through him, seems to have already said adequately enough that there is not something that was not made through the Word.
Ad quod dicendum quod secundum multos introducta est haec particula multipliciter, et multis de causis. Quarum una causa est, secundum Chrysostomum, ne aliquis legens in veteri testamento et inveniens solum visibilia enumerata a Moyse in creatione rerum, crederet illa tantum facta esse per verbum. Ideo Evangelista, dum dixisset omnia per ipsum facta sunt, quae scilicet enumerat Moyses, ideo consequenter adiunxit sine ipso factum est nihil; quasi dicat: nihil eorum quae sunt, sive visibile sive invisibile, est factum sine verbo. Et hoc modo loquitur apostolus, Col. I, 16, dicens omnia condita esse in Christo, sive visibilia, sive invisibilia: ubi apostolus specialiter mentionem facit de invisibilibus, quia de eis Moyses aperte mentionem non fecerat, propter ruditatem illius populi, qui supra sensibilia elevari non poterat. The answer to this is that, according to many expositors, this clause was added in many ways for a number of reasons. One of these reasons is, according to Chrysostom, so that no one reading the Old Testament and finding only visible things listed by Moses in the creation of things, would think that these were the only things made through the Word. And so after he had said, All things were made through him, namely, those that Moses listed, the Evangelist then added, and without him nothing was made, as though he were saying: None of the things which exist, whether visible or invisible, was made without the Word. Indeed, the Apostle also speaks in this way (Col 1:16), saying that all things, visible and invisible, were created in Christ; and here the Apostle makes specific mention of invisible things because Moses had made no express mention of them on account of the lack of erudition of that people, who could not be raised above the things of sense.
Introducitur etiam, secundum Chrysostomum, alio modo sic. Posset enim aliquis legens Evangelium, multa signa et miracula facta per Christum, sicut illud Matth. XI, 5: caeci vident, claudi ambulant, leprosi mundantur etc., credere per hoc quod dicit Ioannes omnia per ipsum facta sunt, debere intelligi omnia illa tantum quae in illis Evangeliis continentur, et nihil aliud factum per ipsum. Et ideo ne hoc suspicetur quis, consequenter Evangelista inducit et sine ipso factum est nihil; quasi dicat: non solum ea quae in Evangeliis continentur, sunt facta per ipsum, sed nihil eorum quae facta sunt, est factum sine ipso. Et sic, secundum Chrysostomum, haec particula introducitur ad ostendendum totalem causalitatem, et est quasi completiva praemissae. Chrysostom also gives another reason why this clause was added. For someone reading in the Gospels of the many signs and miracles worked by Christ, such as, “The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed” (Mt 11:5), might believe that in saying, All things were made through him, John meant that only the things mentioned in those Gospels, and nothing else, were made through him. So lest anyone suspect this, the Evangelist adds, and without him nothing was made. As if to say: Not only all the things contained in the Gospels were made through him, but none of the things that were made, was made without him. And so, according to Chrysostom, this clause is added to bring out his total causality, and serves, as it were, to complete his previous statement.
Secundum Hilarium vero introducitur haec particula ad ostendendum quod verbum habet virtutem operativam ab alio. Quia enim Evangelista dixerat omnia per ipsum facta sunt, posset intelligi patrem excludi ab omni causalitate; ideo consequenter addit et sine ipso factum est nihil. Quasi dicat: sic per eum facta sunt omnia, ut tamen pater cum eo omnia fecerit. Nam tantum valet sine eo, ac si dicatur non solus; ut sit sensus: non ipse solus est per quem facta sunt omnia, sed ipse est alius, sine quo factum est nihil. Quasi dicat sine ipso, cum alio operante, scilicet patre, factum est nihil; iuxta illud Prov. VIII, 30: cum eo eram cuncta componens. 85 According to Hilary, however, this clause is introduced to show that the Word has operative power from another. For since the Evangelist had said, All things were made through him, it might be supposed that the Father is excluded from all causality. For that reason he added, and without him nothing was made. As if to say: All things were made through him, but in such a way that the Father made all things with him. For “without him” is equivalent to saying, “not alone,” so that the meaning is: It is not he alone through whom all things were made, but he is the other one without whom nothing was made. It is as if he said: Without him, with another working, i.e., with the Father, nothing was made, as it says, “I was with him forming all things” (Prv 8:30).
In quadam autem homilia quae incipit, vox spiritualis aquilae, et attribuitur Origeni, invenitur alia expositio satis pulchra. Dicitur enim ibi quod in Graeco est choris, ubi in Latino habemus sine. Choris autem idem est quod foris vel extra; quasi dicat ita omnia per ipsum facta sunt quod extra ipsum factum est nihil. Et ideo hoc dicit ut ostendat, per verbum et in verbo omnia conservari; iuxta illud Hebr. I, 3: portans omnia verbo virtutis suae. Quaedam enim sunt quae non indigent operante, nisi quantum ad fieri, cum possint subsistere postquam fuerunt facta, absque agentis influxu; sicut domus indiget quidem artifice quantum ad suum fieri, sed tamen persistit in suo esse absque artificis influentia. Ne ergo credat aliquis, omnia per verbum sic facta esse quod sit causa eorum quantum ad fieri solum, et non quantum ad conservationem in esse, ideo consequenter Evangelista subiunxit et sine ipso factum est nihil. Hoc est: nihil factum est extra ipsum, quia ipse ambit omnia, conservans ea. 86 In a certain homily attributed to Origen, and which begins, “The spiritual voice of the eagle,” we find another rather beautiful exposition. It says there that the Greek has thoris where the Latin has sine (without). Now thoris is the same as “outside” or “outside of.” It is as if he had said: All things were made through him in such a way that outside him nothing was made. And so he says this to show that all things are conserved through the Word and in the Word, as stated in Hebrews (1:3), “He sustains all things by his powerful word.” Now there are certain things that do not need their producer except to bring them into existence, since after they have been produced they are able to subsist without any further activity on the part of the producer. For example, a house needs a builder if it is to come into existence, but it continues to exist without any further action on the part of the builder. So lest anyone suppose that all things were made through the Word in such a way that he is merely the cause of their production and not of their continuation in existence, the Evangelist added, and without him nothing was made, i.e., nothing was made outside of him, because he encompasses all things, preserving them.
Exponitur autem haec particula secundum Augustinum et Origenem et plures alios sic ut per nihil intelligatur peccatum. Quia ergo cum diceret omnia per ipsum facta sunt, posset intelligi malum et peccatum per ipsum fieri; ideo consequenter adiunxit et nihil, idest peccatum, est factum sine ipso. Nam sicut ars non est principium seu causa alicuius defectus in artificiatis, sed per se est causa perfectionis ipsorum et formae, ita et verbum, quod est ars patris, plena rationum viventium, non est causa alicuius mali vel inordinationis in rebus, et praecipue mali culpae, quod habet perfectam rationem mali; sed huius mali causa per se est voluntas creaturae, sive hominis sive Angeli, libere declinans a fine, ad quem naturaliter ordinatur. Operans secundum artem, voluntarie errans, est causa defectuum incidentium in artificiatis, non per artem, sed per voluntatem. Unde in talibus ars non est principium seu causa defectuum, sed voluntas: et ideo malum est defectus voluntatis, et non artis alicuius: et ideo inquantum tale, nihil est. 87 This clause is also explained by Augustine and Origen and several others in such a way that “nothing” indicates sin. Accordingly, because All things were made through him might be interpreted as including evil and sin, he added, and without him nothing, i.e., sin, was made. For just as art is not the principle or cause of the defects in its products, but is through itself the cause of their perfection and form, so the Word, who is the art of the Father, full of living archetypes, is not the cause of any evil or disarrangement in things, particularly of the evil of sin, which carries the full notion of evil. The per se cause of this evil is the will of the creature, either a man or an angel, freely declining from the end to which it is ordained by its nature. One who can act in virtue of his art but purposely violates it, is the cause of the defects occurring in his works, not by reason of his art, but by reason of his will. So in such cases, his art is not the source or cause of the defects, but his will is. Consequently, evil is a defect of the will and not of any art. And so to the extent that it is such [i.e., a defect], it is nothing.
Sic ergo ista particula additur ad ostendendum ipsius verbi universalem causalitatem secundum Chrysostomum, societatem ad patrem, secundum Hilarium et virtutem verbi in conservando, secundum Origenem. Item puritatem causalitatis: quia sic est causa bonorum, quod non est causa peccati, secundum Augustinum et Origenem et plures alios. 88 So then, this clause is added to show the universal causality of the Word, according to Chrysostom; his association with the Father, according to Hilary; the power of the Word in the preserving of things, according to Origen; and finally, the purity of his causality, because he is so the cause of good as not to be the cause of sin, according to Augustine, Origen, and a number of others.
Deinde dicit quod factum est, in ipso vita erat. Hic ponitur tertia particula, ubi cavendus est falsus intellectus Manichaei, qui ex hoc verbo motus est ad dicendum quod omnia quae sunt, vivunt; puta lapis, lignum, et homo, et quicquid aliud est in mundo. Et punctabat sic: quod factum est in ipso, distingue, erat vita. Sed non erat vita nisi viveret; ergo quicquid factum est in ipso, vivit. Vult etiam quod in ipso idem sic ac si dicatur per ipsum, cum communiter in Scriptura in ipso, vel per ipsum accipiatur; sicut illud Col. I, 16: in ipso, et per ipsum condita sunt omnia. Sed hunc intellectum ista expositio ostendit esse falsum. 89 Then he says, What was made in him was life; and this is the third clause. Here we must avoid the false interpretation of Manichaeus, who was led by this to maintain that everything that exists is alive: for example, stones, wood, men, and anything else in the world. He understood the clause this way: What was made in him, comma, was life. But it was not life unless alive. Therefore, whatever was made in him is alive. He also claimed that “in him” is the same as saying “through him,” since very often in Scripture “in him” and “through him” are interchangeable, as in “in him and through him all things were created” (Col 1:16). However, our present explanation shows that this interpretation is false.
Potest tamen sine errore multipliciter exponi. Nam in illa homilia vox spiritualis exponitur sic: quod factum est in ipso, idest per ipsum, hoc vita erat non in seipso sed in sua causa. In omnibus enim causatis hoc commune est, quod effectus, sive per naturam sive per voluntatem producti, sunt in suis causis non secundum proprium esse, sed secundum virtutem propriae suae causae; sicut effectus inferiores sunt in sole ut in causa, non secundum eorum esse, sed secundum virtutem solis. Quia ergo causa omnium effectuum productorum a Deo, est vita quaedam et ars plena rationum viventium, ideo omne, quod factum est in ipso, idest per ipsum, vita erat in sua causa, scilicet in ipso Deo. 90 There are, nevertheless, a number of ways to explain it without error. In that homily, “The spiritual voice,” we find this explanation: What was made in him, i.e., through him, was life, not in each thing itself, but in its cause. For in the case of all things that are caused, it is always true that effects, whether produced by nature or by will, exist in their causes, not according to their own existence, but according to the power of their appropriate cause. Thus, lower effects are in the sun as in their cause, not according to their respective existences but according to the power of the sun. Therefore, since the cause of all effects produced by God is a certain life and an art full of living archetypes, for this reason What was made in him, i.e., through him, was life, in its cause, i.e., in God.
Augustinus autem aliter legit, sic punctando: quod factum est, distingue, in ipso vita erat. Res enim dupliciter considerari possunt, secundum scilicet quod sunt in seipsis et secundum quod sunt in verbo. Si considerentur secundum quod sunt in seipsis, sic non omnes res sunt vita nec etiam viventes, sed aliquae carent vita, aliquae vivunt. Sicut facta est terra, facta sunt etiam et metalla, quae nec vita sunt, nec vivunt; facta sunt animalia, facti sunt homines, quae secundum quod sunt in seipsis, non sunt vita, sed vivunt solum. Si vero considerentur secundum quod sunt in verbo, non solum sunt viventes, sed etiam vita. Nam rationes in sapientia Dei spiritualiter existentes, quibus res factae sunt ab ipso verbo, sunt vita: sicut arca facta per artificem in se quidem nec vivit nec vita est, ratio vero arcae, quae praecessit in mente artificis, vivit quodammodo, inquantum habet esse intelligibile in mente artificis, non tamen est vita, quia per ipsum intelligere artificis non est in sua essentia, neque suum esse. In Deo autem suum intelligere est sua vita et sua essentia: et ideo quicquid est in Deo, non solum vivit sed est ipsa vita, quia quicquid est in Deo, est sua essentia. Unde creatura in Deo est creatrix essentia. Si ergo considerentur res secundum quod in verbo sunt, vita sunt. Hanc expositionem habes alibi. 91 Augustine reads this another way, as: What was made, comma, in him was life. For things can be considered in two ways: as they are in themselves, and as they are in the Word. If they are considered as they are in themselves, then it is not true that all things are life or even alive, but some lack life and some are alive. For example, the earth was made and metals were made, but none is life, none is living; animals and men were made, and these, considered in themselves, are not life, but merely living. Yet considered as they are in the Word, they are not merely living, but also life. For the archetypes which exist spiritually in the wisdom of God, and through which things were made by the Word, are life, just as a chest made by an artisan is in itself neither alive nor life, yet the exemplar of the chest in the artisan’s mind prior to the existence of the chest is in some sense living, insofar as it has an intellectual existence in the mind of the artisan. Nevertheless it is not life, because it is neither in his essence nor is it his existence through the act of understanding of the artisan. But in God, his act of understanding is his life and his essence. And so whatever is in God is not only living, but is life itself, because whatever is in God is his essence. Hence the creature in God is the creating essence. Thus, if things are considered as they are in the Word, they are life. This is explained in another place.
Origenes vero super Ioannem legit hoc aliter, punctando sic: quod factum est in ipso, distingue, vita erat. Ubi notandum est quod de filio Dei dicitur aliquid, secundum se, sicut dicitur Deus omnipotens, et huiusmodi; aliquid vero dicitur de eo per comparationem ad nos, sicut salvator et redemptor; aliquid vero utroque modo, sicut sapientia et iustitia. In omnibus autem quae absolute et secundum se de filio dicuntur, non dicitur quod sit factus, sicut non dicitur filius factus Deus, neque omnipotens; sed in illis quae dicuntur in comparatione ad nos, seu utroque modo, potest addi adiunctio facti, ut dicatur secundum illud I Cor. I, 30: qui factus est nobis a Deo sapientia, et iustificatio, et sanctificatio, et redemptio. Et sic, licet semper fuerit in seipso sapientia et iustitia, tamen potest dici quod de novo factus est nobis iustitia et sapientia. 92 Origen, commenting on John, gives another reading, thus: That which was made in him; and then, was life. Here we should note that some things are said of the Son of God as such; for example, that he is God, omnipotent, and the like. And some things are said of him in relation to ourselves; for example, we say he is Savior and Redeemer. Some things are said in both ways, such as wisdom and justice. Now in all things said absolutely and of the Son as such, it is not said that he was “made”, for example, we do not say that the Son was made God or omnipotent. But in things said in reference to us, or in both ways, the notion of being made can be used, as in, “God made him [Jesus Christ] our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). And so, although he was always wisdom and justice in himself, yet it can be said that he was newly made justice and wisdom for us.
Secundum hoc ergo Origenes exponens dicit quod quamvis in seipso sit vita, tamen nobis factus est vita per hoc quod nos vivificavit, iuxta illud I Cor. XV, 22: sicut in Adam omnes moriuntur, ita et in ipso omnes vivificabuntur. Et ideo dicit quod verbum quod factum est nobis vita, in ipso vita erat, ut quandoque nobis fieret vita; et ideo statim subdit et vita erat lux hominum. And so Origen, explaining it along these lines, says that although in himself the Son is life, yet he was made life for us by the fact that he gave us life, as is said, “Just as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will come to life” (1 Cor 15:22). And so he says “the Word that was made” life for us in himself was life, so that after a time he could become life for us; and so he immediately adds, and that life was the light of men.
Hilarius enim sic punctat et sine ipso factum est nihil, quod factum est in ipso, et postea dicatur vita erat. Quia ipse dicit in II de Trin. cum dicit Evangelista et factum est nihil, posset esse ambiguum an quaedam alia adhuc quae per ipsum facta sunt, fuerunt facta non per ipsum, non tamen sine ipso; sed in eis associavit facientem; et hanc clausulam esse additam ad correptionem praecedentis. Ne ergo hoc intelligeretur, ideo Evangelista cum dixisset omnia per ipsum facta sunt, subiungit et sine ipso factum est nihil, quod tamen factum est in ipso, idest per ipsum: et ratio huius est, quia vita erat. 93 Hilary reads the clause differently, thus: And without him was made nothing, which was made in him, and later it says, he was life. For he says (The Trinity II) that when the Evangelist says without him nothing was made, one might be perplexed and ask whether there are still other things made by him, that were not made through him, although not without him, but with respect to which he was associated with the maker; and this clause is added to correct the aforesaid error. Therefore lest this be so understood, when the Evangelist says, All things were made through him, he adds, and without him nothing was made, which was made, in him, that is, through him; and the reason for this is that he was life.
Manifestum est enim quod hoc modo omnia dicuntur per verbum facta, inquantum verbum ex patre procedens est Deus. Ponamus autem quod aliquis pater filium habeat, qui non sit perfecte habens operationes hominis, sed paulatim ad hoc perveniat, manifestum est quod multa faciet, non per ipsum filium, licet non sine eo. Quia ergo filius Dei eamdem vitam habuit ab aeterno, quam et pater, secundum illud infra V, 26: sicut pater habet vitam in semetipso, sic dedit et filio vitam habere in semetipso, ideo non potest dici quod Deus pater, etsi nihil fecerit sine filio, tamen fecit aliqua non per ipsum, quia vita erat. In viventibus enim quae vitam participant, potest contingere quod vita imperfecta praecedat vitam perfectam; sed in per se vita, quae non participat vitam, sed est absolute et simpliciter vita, nullo modo potest imperfectio aliqua esse. Quia ergo verbum est per se vita, numquam fuit in eo vita imperfecta, sed semper perfecta; et ideo ita nihil factum est sine eo, quod tamen non sit factum in ipso, idest per ipsum. For it is plain that all things are said to have been made through the Word inasmuch as the Word, who proceeds from the Father, is God. But let us suppose that some father has a son who does not perfectly exercise the operations of a man, but reaches such a state gradually. In that case the father will do many things, not through the son, yet not without [having] him. Since, therefore, the Son of God has from all eternity the same life that the Father has—“Just as the Father possesses life in himself, so has he granted it to the Son to have life in himself” (below 5:26)—one cannot say that God the Father, although he made nothing without the Son, nevertheless made some things not through him, because he was life. For in living things which participate life, it can happen that imperfect life precedes perfect life; but in per se life, which does not participate life but is simply and absolutely life, there can be no imperfection at all. Accordingly, because the Word is per se life, there was never imperfect life in him, but always perfect life. And so in such a way that nothing was made without him that was not also made in him, i.e., through him.
Chrysostomus autem aliud modum legendi habet, et punctat sic: et sine ipso factum est nihil quod factum est. Et ratio huius est, quia aliquis posset credere quod spiritus sanctus esset factus per verbum. Et ideo Evangelista hoc volens excludere dicit quod factum est, quia spiritus sanctus non est quid factum; et postea sequitur in ipso vita erat; quod introducitur propter duo. Unum est ut post productionem omnium rerum ostendatur indeficientia causalitatis ad res non solum productas, sed etiam producendas. Quasi dicat in ipso vita erat, qua scilicet non solum omnia producere potuit, sed etiam quae habet indeficientem fluxum et causalitatem absque mutationis dispendio ad res continue producendas, utpote fons vivus qui non minoratur ex fluxu continuo; aqua vero collecta et non viva, cum defluit, minoratur et deficit; unde dicitur in Ps. XXXV, 10: apud te est fons vitae. Secundum est ut ostendatur gubernatio rerum esse per verbum. Quia enim in ipso vita erat, ostenditur quod non produxit res per necessitatem naturae, sed per voluntatem et intellectum, et quod res productas gubernat; Hebr. IV, 12: vivus est sermo Dei et cetera. 94 Chrysostom has a different reading and punctuation, thus: And without him was made nothing that was made. The reason for this is that someone might believe that the Holy Spirit was made through the Word. So to exclude this, the Evangelist says, that was made, because the Holy Spirit is not something that is made. And afterward follows, In him was life, which is introduced for two reasons. First, to show that after the creation of all things his causality was indefectible not only with respect to the things already produced, but also with respect to things yet to be produced. As if to say: In him was life, by which he could not only produce all things, but which has an unfailing flow and a causality for producing things continually without undergoing any change, being a living fountain which is not diminished in spite of its continuous outflow; whereas collected water, that is not living [i.e., running] water, is diminished when it flows out, and is used up. So the Psalm (35:10) says, “With you is the fountain of life.” The second reason is to show that things are governed by the: Word. For since In him was life, this shows that he produced things by his intellect and will, not by a necessity of his nature, and that he governs the things he made. “The Word of God is living” (Heb 4:12).
Et quia apud Graecos Chrysostomus est tantae auctoritatis in suis expositionibus, quod ubi ipse aliquid exposuit in sacra Scriptura, nullam aliam expositionem admittant, ideo in omnibus libris Graecis invenitur sic punctatum, sicut punctat Chrysostomus, scilicet hoc modo: sine ipso factum est nihil quod factum est. Chrysostom is held in such esteem by the Greeks in his explanations that they admit no other where he expounded anything in Holy Scripture. For this reason, this passage in all the Greek works is found to be punctuated exactly as Chrysostom did, namely, And without him was made nothing that was made.

Lectura 3 LECTURE 3
ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων:
5 καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει,
καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.
4b And that life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.
Evangelista supra insinuavit virtutem verbi, secundum quam omnia produxit in esse; hic vero insinuat eius virtutem, secundum quam se habet ad homines, dicens, hoc verbum esse lucem hominibus. Ubi primo introducit nobis lucem quamdam, cum dicit et vita erat lux hominum; secundo lucis irradiationem, cum dicit et lux in tenebris lucet; tertio lucis participationem, cum dicit et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt. Potest autem totum dupliciter exponi. Uno modo secundum influxum cognitionis naturalis; alio modo secundum communicationem gratiae. 95 Above, the Evangelist described the power of the Word insofar as he brought all things into existence; here he describes his power as it is related to men, saying that this Word is a light to men. First, he introduces a certain light to us (v 4b); secondly, the light’s irradiation (v 5a); thirdly, participation in the light (v 5b). This whole section may be explained in two ways: first, according to the influx of natural knowledge; secondly, according to participation in grace.
Dicit ergo quantum ad primum, quod vita erat lux hominum. As to the first point he says, And that life was the light of men.
Ubi primo considerandum est quod, secundum Augustinum et plures alios, nomen lucis magis proprie dicitur in spiritualibus quam in sensibilibus. Ambrosius tamen vult quod splendor metaphorice dicatur de Deo. Sed in hoc non est magna vis facienda: nam de quocumque nomen lucis dicatur ad manifestationem refertur, sive illa manifestatio sit in intelligibilibus, sive in sensibilibus. Si ergo comparentur manifestatio intelligibilis et sensibilis, secundum naturam prius invenitur lux in spiritualibus; sed quoad nos, qui nomina rebus imponimus ex earum proprietatibus nobis notis, prius invenitur in sensibilibus, quia prius impositum est a nobis hoc nomen ad significandum lucem sensibilem, quam intelligibilem; quamvis secundum virtutem prius et verius conveniat spiritualibus quam sensibilibus. 96 Here we should note first that, according to Augustine and many others, light is more properly said of spiritual things than of sensible things. Ambrose, however, thinks that brightness is said metaphorically of God. But this is not a great issue, for in whatever way the name “light” is used, it implies a manifestation, whether that manifesting concerns intelligible or sensible things. If we compare sensible and intelligible manifestation, then, according to the nature of things, light is found first in spiritual things. But for us, who give names to things on the basis of their properties as known to us, light is discovered first in sensible things, because we first used this name to signify sensible light before intelligible light; although as to power, light belongs to spiritual things in a prior and truer way than to sensible things.
Ad evidentiam autem eius quod dicitur et vita erat lux hominum, sciendum est quod multipliciter est gradus vitae. Quaedam namque vivunt, sed absque luce, quia nullam cognitionem habent, sicut sunt plantae: unde vita earum non est lux. Quaedam vero vivunt et cognoscunt; sed tamen eorum cognitio, cum sit sensus tantum, non est nisi particularium et materialium, sicut est in brutis: et ideo haec et vitam habent et lucem quamdam, sed non lucem hominum qui vivunt et cognoscunt non solum ipsa vera, sed ipsius veritatis rationem, sicut sunt creaturae rationales, quibus non solum manifestatur hoc vel illud, sed ipsa veritas quae manifestabilis est et manifestativa omnium. 97 To clarify the statement, And that life was the light of men, we should remark that there are many grades of life. For some things live, but do so without light, because they have no knowledge; for example, plants. Hence their life is not light. Other things both live and know, but their knowledge, since it is on the sense level, is concerned only with individual and material things, as is the case with the brutes. So they have both life and a certain light. But they do not have the light of men, who live, and know, not only truths, but also the very nature of truth itself. Such are rational creatures, to whom not only this or that are made manifest, but truth itself, which can be manifested and is manifestive to all.
Et ideo Evangelista loquens de verbo dicit non solum esse vitam, sed etiam esse lucem, ne intelligas vitam sine agnitione; hominum autem ne tantum cognitionem sensibilem suspiceris, qualis est in brutis. And so the Evangelist, speaking of the Word, not only says that he is life but also light, lest anyone suppose he means life without knowledge. And he says that he is the light of men, lest anyone suppose he meant only sensible knowledge, such as exists in the brutes.
Sed quare dixit hominum, cum etiam sit lux Angelorum? Ad hoc est duplex responsio. Chrysostomus enim dicit quod Evangelista intendebat in isto Evangelio tradere nobis cognitionem de verbo, secundum quod ad salutem hominum ordinatur; et ideo magis refert secundum suam intentionem ad homines quam ad Angelos. Origenes vero dicit quod participatio huius lucis pertinet ad homines, inquantum sunt rationalis naturae; et ideo Evangelista dicens erat lux hominum, voluit intelligi omnis rationalis naturae. 98 But since he is also the light of angels, why did he say, of men? Two answers have been given to this. Chrysostom says that the Evangelist intended in this Gospel to give us a knowledge of the Word precisely as directed to the salvation of men and therefore refers, in keeping with his aim, more to men than to angels. Origen, however, says that participation in this light pertains to men insofar as they have a rational nature; accordingly, when the Evangelist says, the light of men, he wants us to understand every rational nature.
In hoc etiam ostenditur perfectio et dignitas huius vitae, quia est intellectualis seu rationalis. Cum enim illa dicuntur viventia, quae se aliquo modo movent, illa dicuntur vitam habere perfectam, quae perfecte seipsa movent; movere autem seipsum perfecte et proprie, in inferioribus creaturis soli homini convenit. Nam etsi alia ex seipsis ab aliquo principio intrinseco moveantur, non tamen illud principium se habet ad opposita; et ideo ex necessitate moventur, et non libere. Mota igitur a tali principio magis aguntur quam agunt. Homo vero, cum sit dominus sui actus, libere se movet ad omnia quae vult; et ideo homo habet vitam perfectam, et similiter quaelibet intellectualis natura. Vita ergo verbi, quae est lux hominum, est vita perfecta. 99 We also see from this the perfection and dignity of this life, because it is intellectual or rational. For whereas all things that in some way move themselves are called living, only those that perfectly move themselves are said to have perfect life; and among lower creatures only man moves himself, properly speaking, and perfectly. For although other things are moved by themselves by some inner principle, that inner principle is nevertheless not open to opposite alternatives; hence they are not moved freely but from necessity. As a result, those things that are moved by such a principle are more truly made to act than act themselves. But man, since he is master of his act, moves himself freely to all that he wills. Consequently, man has perfect life, as does every intellectual nature. And so the life of the Word, which is the light of men, is perfect life.
Attenditur etiam in praemissis verbis congruus ordo: nam in naturali rerum ordine primo invenitur esse, et hoc primo Evangelista insinuavit, dicens in principio erat verbum, secundo vivere, et hoc est quod sequitur in ipso vita erat, tertio intelligere, et hoc consequenter adiunxit vita erat lux hominum. Unde, secundum Origenem, convenienter vitae attribuit lucem, quia lux nonnisi viventi attribui potest. 100 We find a fitting order in the above. For in the natural order of things, existence is first; and the Evangelist implies this in his first statement, In the beginning was the Word. Secondly, comes life; and this is mentioned next, In him was life. Thirdly comes understanding; and that is mentioned next; And that life was the light of men. And, according to Origen, he fittingly attributes light to life because light can be attributed only to the living.
Est tamen notandum quod lux ad viventem dupliciter comparari potest, vel ut obiectum, vel ut participata, ut patet in visu exteriori. Oculus enim lucem exteriorem cognoscit tamquam obiectum, sed oportet ad hoc quod eam videat, quod participet aliquam lucem interiorem, per quam aptetur et disponatur oculus ad lucem exteriorem videndam. Sic ergo, quod hic dicit et vita erat lux hominum, dupliciter potest intelligi. Ut dicatur lux hominum per modum obiecti quasi a solis hominibus conspicabilis; quia ipsam sola rationalis creatura conspicere potest, cum ipsa sola divinae visionis sit capax (Iob XXXV, v. 11: docet nos super iumenta terrae, et super volucres caeli erudit nos); quia licet alia animalia cognoscant aliqua quae vera sunt, solus tamen homo ipsam rationem veritatis cognoscit. 101 We should note that light can be related in two ways to what is living: as an object and as something in which they participate, as is clear in external sight. For the eyes know external light as an object, but if they are to see it, they must participate in an inner light by which the eyes are adapted and disposed for seeing the external light. And so his statement, And that life was the light of men, can be understood in two ways. First, that the light of men is taken as an object that man alone can look upon, because the rational creature alone can see it, since he alone is capable of the vision of God who “teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, and enlightens us more than the birds of the air” Jb 35:11); for although other animals may know certain things that are true, nevertheless, man alone knows the nature itself of truth.
Potest etiam dici lux hominum participata. Numquam enim ipsum verbum et ipsam lucem conspicere possemus nisi per participationem eius, quae in ipso homine est, quae est superior pars animae nostrae, scilicet lux intellectiva, de qua dicitur in Ps. IV, 7: signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, idest filii tui, qui est facies tua, qua manifestaris. The light of men can also be taken as a light in which we participate. For we would never be able to look upon the Word and light itself except through a participation in it; and this participation is in man and is the superior part of our soul, i.e., the intellectual light, about which the Psalm (4:7) says, “The light of your countenance, O Lord, is marked upon us,” i.e., of your Son, who is your face, by whom you are manifested.
Introduxit supra Evangelista lucem quamdam; nunc vero agit de ipsius irradiatione cum dicit lux in tenebris lucet. Quod quidem dupliciter exponi potest, secundum duplicem acceptionem tenebrarum. 102 Having introduced a certain light, the Evangelist now considers its irradiation, saying, And the light shines in the darkness. This can be explained in two ways, according to the two meanings of “darkness.”
Primo vero accipiamus tenebras naturalem defectum, ac creatae mentis. Nam, ita se habet mens ad lucem istam, de qua hic loquitur Evangelista, sicut se habet aer ad lucem solis: quia, licet aer capax sit lucis solis, tamen, in se consideratus, tenebra est. Et secundum hoc sensus est: lux, idest vita illa, quae est lux hominum, in tenebris lucet, scilicet in animabus et mentibus creatis, irradiando semper omnes. Iob III, 23: viro cui abscondita est lux. First, we might take “darkness” as a natural defect, that of the created mind. For the mind is to that light of which the Evangelist speaks here as air is to the light of the sun; because, although air is receptive of the light of the sun, considered in itself it is a darkness. According to this the meaning is: the light, i.e., that life which is the light of men, shines in the darkness, i.e., in created souls and minds, by always shedding its light on all. “On a man from whom the light is hidden” (Jb 3:23).
Sed tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt, idest includere non potuerunt. Illud enim dicitur comprehendi, cuius fines concluduntur et conspiciuntur. Quia, sicut dicit Augustinus, attingere Deum mente, magna beatitudo est: comprehendere vero, impossibile est. Tenebrae ergo eam non comprehenderunt. Iob XXXVI, 26: ecce Deus magnus vincens scientiam nostram; Ier. XXXII, 19: magnus consilio et incomprehensibilis cogitatu. Et haec expositio habetur in illa homilia quae incipit vox spiritualis aquilae. And the darkness did not overcome it, i.e., enclose it [i.e., intellectually]. For to overcome something [ comprehendere, to overcome, to comprehend, to seize or apprehend, and so forth], is to enclose and understand its boundaries. As Augustine says, to reach God with the mind is a great happiness; but to overcome [comprehend] him is impossible. And so, the darkness did not overcome it. “Behold, God is great, exceeding our knowledge” (Jb 36:26); “Great in counsel, incomprehensible in thought” as Jeremiah (32:19) says. This explanation is found in that homily which begins, “The spiritual voice of the eagle.”
Alio modo potest exponi accipiendo tenebras, secundum Augustinum, pro naturali insipientia hominum, quae tenebra dicitur. Eccle. II, 13: vidi quia tantum praecederet sapientia stultitiam, quantum differt lux a tenebris. Ex eo ergo aliquis insipiens est quod privatur lumine sapientiae divinae. Sicut ergo mentes sapientum participatione istius divinae lucis et sapientiae lucidae sunt, ita eius privatione tenebrae sunt. Quod ergo quidam tenebrosi sint, non est ex defectu istius lucis; quia, inquantum est de se, in tenebris lucet et omnes irradiat; sed ideo insipientes privati sunt ea luce, quia tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt, idest non apprehenderunt, ad ipsius participationem eorum insipientia pertingere non valentes, ut post elati non durantes. Iob XXXVI, 32: immanibus, idest superbis, abscondit lucem, idest lumen sapientiae, et annuntiat de ea amico suo, quod possessio eius sit, et ad eam possit ascendere; Baruch III, 23: viam autem sapientiae nescierunt, neque commemorati sunt semitas eius. 103 We can explain this passage in another way by taking “darkness” as Augustine does, for the natural lack of wisdom in man, which is called a darkness. “And I saw that wisdom excells folly as much as light excells knowledge” (Ecc 2:13). Someone is without wisdom, therefore, because he lacks the light of divine wisdom. Consequently, just as the minds of the wise are lucid by reason of a participation in that divine light and wisdom, so by the lack of it they are darkness. Now the fact that some are darkness is not due to a defect in that light, since on its part it shines in the darkness and radiates upon all. Rather, the foolish are ‘without that light because the darkness did not overcome it, i.e., they did not apprehend it, not being able to attain a participation in it due to their foolishness; after having been lifted up, they did not persevere. “From the savage,” i.e., from the proud, “he hides his light,” i.e., the light of wisdom, “and shows his friend that it belongs to him, and that he may approach it” (Jb 36:32); “They did not know the way to wisdom, nor did they remember her paths” (Bar 3:23).
Licet autem aliquae mentes sint tenebrosae, idest sapida et lucida sapientia privatae, nulla tamen adeo tenebrosa est quin aliquid lucis divinae participet. Quia quidquid veritatis a quocumque cognoscitur, totum est ex participatione istius lucis, quae in tenebris lucet, quia omne verum, a quocumque dicatur, a spiritu sancto est. Et tamen tenebrae, idest homines tenebrosi, eam non comprehenderunt, secundum veritatem. Sic ergo exponitur ista clausula, secundum Origenem et secundum Augustinum. Although some minds are darkness, i.e., they lack savory and lucid wisdom, nevertheless no man is in such darkness as to be completely devoid of divine light, because whatever truth is know by anyone is due to a participation in that light which shines in the darkness; for every truth, no matter by whom it is spoken, comes from the Holy Spirit. Yet the darkness, i.e., men in darkness, did not overcome it, apprehend it in truth. This is the way, [ i.e., with respect to the natural influx of knowledge] that Origen and Augustine explain this clause.
Alio modo ab illo loco et vita erat lux hominum, exponitur secundum fluxum gratiae, qua irradiamur per Christum; et continuatur sic ad praecedentia. 104 Starting from And that life was the light of men, we can explain this in another way, according to the influx of grace, since we are illuminated by Christ.
Supra egit Evangelista de creatione rerum per verbum, hic vero tractat de restauratione rationalis creaturae facta per Christum dicens: et vita, verbi, erat lux hominum, communiter, et non Iudaeorum tantum; quia filius Dei carnem assumere venit in mundum, ut illuminaret gratia et veritate omnes homines. Io. c. XVIII, 37: in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati. Item, infra IX, 5: quamdiu in mundo sum, lux sum mundi. Et ideo non dicit lux Iudaeorum, quia licet olim tantum in Iudaea notus esset, tamen postea toti mundo innotuit; Is. XLIX, v. 6: dedi te in lucem gentibus, ut sis salus mundo usque ad extremum terrae. After he had considered the creation of things through the Word, the Evangelist considers here the restoration of the rational creature through Christ, saying, And that life, of the Word, was the light of men, i.e., of all men in general, and not only of the Jews. For the Son of God assumed flesh and came into the world to illumine all men with grace and truth. “I came into the world for this, to testify to the truth” (below 18:37); “As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world” (below 9:5). So he does not say, “the light of the Jews,” because although previously he had been known only in Judea, he later became known to the world. “I have given you as a light to the nations, that you might be my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Is 49:6).
Congrue etiam coniungit lucem et vitam dicens et vita erat lux hominum, ut ostendat ista duo, lucem scilicet et vitam, nobis provenisse per Christum. Vitam quidem per participationem gratiae; infra: gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est; lucem vero per cognitionem veritatis et sapientiae. It was fitting to join light and life by saying, And that life was the light of men, in order to show that these two have come to us through Christ: life, through a participation in grace, “Grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ” (below 1:17); and light, by a knowledge of truth and wisdom.
Hoc autem quod dicit lux in tenebris lucet, potest secundum hanc expositionem exponi tripliciter, secundum quod tripliciter possumus accipere tenebras. 105 According to this explanation, the light shines in the darkness, can be expounded in three ways, in the light of the three meanings of “darkness.”
Uno modo pro poena: nam quaelibet tristitia et afflictio cordis tenebra quaedam dici potest, sicut quodlibet gaudium lux; Mich. ult., v. 8: cum sedero in tenebris et in afflictionibus, dominus lux mea est, idest gaudium et consolatio. Dicit ergo Origenes: secundum hoc lux in tenebris lucet, idest Christus in mundum veniens, et corpus passibile et absque peccato habens in similitudinem carnis, secundum quod dicitur Rom. VIII, 3. Lux in carne, quae scilicet caro Christi, secundum quod in se habet similitudinem carnis peccati, tenebra dicitur. Quasi dicat: lux, idest verbum Dei circumvelatum tenebris carnis, luxit in mundum, secundum illud Ez. XXXII, 7: solem nube tegam. In one way, we can take “darkness” for punishment. For any sadness and suffering of heart can be called a darkness, just as any joy can be called a light. “When I sit in darkness and in suffering the Lord is my light,” i.e., my joy and consolation (Mi 7:8). And so Origen says: In this explanation, the light shines in the darkness, is Christ coming into the world, having a body capable of suffering and without sin, but “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3). The light is in the flesh, that is, the flesh of Christ, which is called a darkness insofar as it has a likeness to sinful flesh. As if to say: The light, i.e., the Word of God, veiled about by the darkness of the flesh, shines on the world; “I will cover the sun with a cloud” (Ez 32:7).
Secundo, accipiendo per tenebras Daemones, iuxta illud Eph. ult., 12: non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem tantum, sed adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum. Secundum hoc dicit: lux, idest filius Dei, in tenebris lucet, idest in mundum descendit, ubi tenebrae, idest Daemones, dominabantur. Infra XII, 31: princeps huius mundi, eiicietur foras. Et tenebrae, idest Daemones, eam non comprehenderunt, idest eum obscurare non potuerunt tentando, ut patet Matth. IV. 106 Secondly, we can take “darkness” to mean the devils, as in Ephesians (6:12), “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness.” Looked at this way he says, the light, i.e., the Son of God, shines in the darkness, i.e., has descended into the world where darkness, i.e., the devils, hold sway: “Now the prince of this world will be cast out” (below 12:31). And the darkness, i.e., the devils, did not overcome it, i.e., were unable to obscure him by their temptations, as is plain in Matthew (c 4)
Tertio accipiendo tenebras errores sive ignorantias, quibus totus mundus ante adventum Christi plenus erat, secundum quod dicit apostolus: eratis aliquando tenebrae. Dicit ergo quod lux, idest verbum Dei incarnatum, in tenebris lucet, idest hominibus mundi, erroris et ignorantiae tenebris obscuratis. Lc. I, 79: illuminare his qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent; et Is. IX, 2: populus qui sedebat in tenebris, vidit lucem magnam. 107 Thirdly, we can take “darkness” for the error or ignorance which filled the whole world before the coming of Christ, “You were at one time darkness” (Eph 5:8). And so he says that the light, i.e., the incarnate Word of God, shines in the darkness, i.e., upon the men of the world, who are blinded by the darkness or error and ignorance. “To enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Lk 1:79), “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light” (Is 9:2).
Et tenebrae eum non comprehenderunt, idest non vicerunt. Quia quantumcumque homines peccatis obscurati, invidia excaecati, superbia tenebrosi, contra Christum pugnaverunt, ut patet ex Evangelio, exprobrando scilicet, iniurias et contumelias inferendo, et tandem occidendo, non tamen eum comprehenderunt; idest non vicerunt eum obscurando, quin eius claritas per totum mundum fulgeret. Sap. VII, 29: luci comparata invenitur prior: illi enim succedit nox, sapientiam autem, idest filium Dei incarnatum, non vincit malitia, Iudaeorum scilicet et haereticorum; quia, ut dicitur Sap. X, 12, certamen forte dedit illi, ut vinceret, et sciret quoniam omnium potentior est sapientia. And the darkness did not overcome it, i.e., did not overcome him. For in spite of the number of men darkened by sin, blinded by envy, shadowed over by pride, who have struggled against Christ (as is plain from the Gospel) by upbraiding him, heaping insults and calumnies upon him, and finally killing him, nevertheless they did not overcome it, i.e., gain the victory of so obscuring him that his brightness would not shine throughout the whole world. Wisdom (7:30) says, “Compared to light, she takes precedence, for night supplants it, but wisdom,” that is, the incarnate Son of God, “is not overcome by wickedness,” that is, of the Jews and of heretics, because it says, “She gave him the prize for his stern struggle that he might know that wisdom is mightier than all else” (Wis 10:12).

Lectura 4 LECTURE 4
6 ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ θεοῦ, ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης:
7 οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν, ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός,
ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν δι' αὐτοῦ. 8 οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς,
ἀλλ' ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός.
6 There was a man sent by God, whose name was John.
7 He came as a witness, that he might bear witness to the light,
so that through him all men might believe. 8 He was not the light,
but [he came] in order to bear witness to the light.
Supra Evangelista egit de verbi divinitate; in parte vero ista incipit agere de verbi incarnatione: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo agit de teste verbi incarnati seu praecursore; secundo de adventu verbi, ibi erat lux vera. Circa primum duo facit. Primo describit praecursorem in testimonium venientem; secundo ostendit eum ad salvandum insufficientem, ibi non erat ille lux. 108 Above, the Evangelist considered the divinity of the Word; here he begins to consider the incarnation of the Word. And he does two things concerning this: first, he treats of the witness to the incarnate Word, or the precursor; secondly, of the coming of the Word (1:9). As to the first, he does two things: first, he describes the precursor who comes to bear witness; secondly, he shows that he was incapable of the work of our salvation (1:8).
Praecursorem autem describit quadrupliciter. Primo a naturae conditione, cum dicit fuit homo; secundo ab auctoritate, cum dicit missus a Deo; tertio ab officii idoneitate, cum dicit cui nomen erat Ioannes; quarto ab officii dignitate, ibi hic venit. He describes the precursor in four ways. First, according to his nature, There was a man. Secondly, as to his authority, sent by God. I’hirdly, as to his suitability for the office, whose name was John. Fourthly, as to the dignity of his office, He came as a witness.
Considerandum autem est circa primum, quod statim cum Evangelista incipit de aliquo temporali, mutat modum loquendi. Cum enim supra loqueretur de aeternis, utebatur hoc verbo erat, quod est praeteriti imperfecti, ostendens per hoc, aeterna interminata esse; nunc vero, cum loquitur de temporalibus, utitur hoc verbo, fuit, ad ostendendum quod temporalia sic praeterierunt quod tamen terminantur. 109 We should note with respect to the first that, as soon as the Evangelist begins speaking of something temporal, he changes his manner of speech. When speaking above of eternal things, he used the word “was” (erat), which is the past imperfect tense; and this indicates that eternal things are without end. But now, when he is speaking of temporal things, he uses “was” (fuit, i.e., “has been”); this indicates temporal things as having taken place in the past and coming to an end there.
Dicit ergo fuit homo; per quod in principio excludit perversam opinionem haereticorum, contra conditionem seu naturam Ioannis, qui, propter id quod dominus, Matth. c. XI, 10, dicit de Ioanne: hic est de quo scriptum est: ecce mitto Angelum meum ante faciem meam, et etiam Mc. I, 2 dicitur de ipso, opinati sunt quod Ioannes fuisset natura Angelus. Quod excludens Evangelista dicit fuit homo, natura, non Angelus. Eccle. c. VI, 10: scitur quod sit homo, et quod non possit contra fortiorem se in iudicio contendere. 110 And so he says, There was a man (Fuit homo). This excludes at the very start the incorrect opinion of certain heretics who were in error on the condition or nature of John. They believed that John was an angel in nature, basing themselves on the words of the Lord, “I send my messenger [in Greek, angelos ] before you, who will prepare your way” (Mt 11:10); and the same thing is found in Mark (1:2). But the Evangelist rejects this, saying, There was a man by nature, not an angel. “The nature of man is known, and that he cannot contend in judgment with one who is stronger than himself” (Ecc 6:10).
Convenienter autem homo ad homines mittitur, per quem homines magis alliciuntur, utpote per sibi similem; unde dicitur Hebr. c. VII, 28: lex enim homines constituit sacerdotes infirmitatem habentes. Poterat enim Deus homines gubernare per Angelos; sed maluit per homines, ut ipsorum exemplo magis instruerentur. Et ideo Ioannes homo fuit, et non Angelus. Now it “ is fitting that a man be sent to men, for men are more easily drawn to a man, since he is like themselves. So in Hebrews (7:28) it says, “The law appoints men, who have weakness, priests.” God could have governed men through angels, but he preferred men so that we could be more instructed by their example. And so John was a man, and not an angel.
Ex auctoritate quidem describitur, cum dicit missus a Deo. Equidem, licet Ioannes natura non fuerit Angelus, fuit tamen officio, quia missus a Deo. Proprium enim Angelorum officium est quod a Deo mittantur, et sint nuntii Dei; Hebr. I, 14: omnes sunt administratorii spiritus in ministerium missi, unde Angelus nuntius interpretatur. Possunt ergo homines, qui a Deo ad aliquid annuntiandum mittuntur, Angeli dici, iuxta illud Aggaei I, 13: dixit Aggaeus, nuntius domini ex nuntiis domini. 11 1 John is described by his authority when it says, sent by God. Indeed, although John was not an angel in nature, he was so by his office, because he was sent by God. For the distinctive office of angels is that they are sent by God and are messengers of God. “All are ministering spirits, sent to serve” (Heb 1:14). Hence it is that “angel” means “messenger.” And so men who are sent by God to announce something can be called angels. “Haggai the messenger of the Lord” (Hg 1:13).
Requiritur autem ad hoc quod aliquis testimonium de Deo perhibeat, quod sit a Deo missus; iuxta illud Rom. X, 15: quomodo praedicabunt nisi mittantur? Et quia cum a Deo mittuntur, non sua quaerunt, sed quae Iesu Christi II Cor. IV, 5: non enim praedicamus nosmetipsos, sed Iesum Christum: qui vero mittitur a seipso, non a Deo, sua quaerit, vel quae sunt hominis, non autem quae Christi, ideo hic dicitur fuit homo missus a Deo: ut intelligas quia non annuntiavit nisi divinum, non humanum. If someone is to bear witness to God, it is necessary that he be sent by God. “How can they preach unless they are sent?” as is said in Romans (10:15). And since they are sent by God, they seek the things of Jesus Christ, not their own. “We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:5). On the other hand, one who sends himself, and is not sent by God, seeks his own things or those of man, and not the things of Christ. And so he says here, There was a man sent by God, so that we would understand that John proclaimed something divine, not human.
Nota autem, quod tripliciter invenimus aliquos missos a Deo. Scilicet per internam inspirationem, sicut Is. XLVIII, 16: et nunc misit me dominus, et spiritus eius; quasi dicat: per interiorem spiritus inspirationem sum a Deo missus. Item, per expressam et apertam iussionem sive corporalem, sive imaginariam. Et sic iterum missus est Isaias; unde dicit ibid. VI, 8: audivi vocem domini dicentis: quem mittam, et quis ibit nobis? Et dixi: ecce ego, mitte me. Item, per praelati iniunctionem, qui gerit in hoc personam Dei; II Cor. II, 10: nam et ego, si quid donavi propter vos in persona Christi. Et inde est quod qui mittuntur a praelato, mittuntur a Deo, sicut missi fuerunt ab apostolo Barnabas et Timotheus. 112 Note that there are three ways in which we see men sent by God. First, by an inward inspiration. “And now the Lord God has sent me, and his spirit” (Is 48:16). As if to say: I have been sent by God through an inward inspiration of the spirit. Secondly, by an expressed and clear command, perceived by the bodily senses or the imagination. Isaiah was also sent in this way; and so he says, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me’” (Is 6:8). Thirdly, by the order of a prelate, who acts in the place of God in this matter. “I have pardoned in the person of Christ for your sake” as it says in 2 Corinthians (2:10). This is why those who are sent by a prelate are sent by God, as Barnabas and Timothy were sent by the Apostle.
Cum autem dicitur hic fuit homo missus a Deo, intelligendum est per interiorem inspirationem; vel etiam forte per exteriorem iussionem a Deo eum missum fuisse. Infra: qui misit me, ipse dixit: super quem videris spiritum descendentem et manentem super eum, hic est qui baptizat in spiritu sancto. When it is said here, There was a man sent by God, we should understand that he was sent by God through an inward inspiration, or perhaps even by an outward command. “He who sent me to baptize with water had said to me: ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit’ “ (below 1:33).
Per hoc etiam quod dixit fuit homo missus a Deo, non est intelligendum, sicut quidam haeretici ponebant, credentes animas hominum ante corpus fuisse cum Angelis ab initio creatas, et mitti animam cuiuscumque, quando nascitur, ad corpus; et quod Ioannes sit missus ad vitam, idest eius anima ad corpus; sed quod fuit missus a Deo ad officium baptizandi et praedicandi. 113 We should not understand, There was a man sent by God, as some heretics did, who believed that from the very beginning human souls were created without bodies along with the angels, and that one’s soul is sent into the body when he is born, and that John was sent to life, i.e., his soul was sent to a body. Rather, we should understand that he was sent by God to baptize and preach.
Ex idoneitate vero commendatur, cum dicit cui nomen erat Ioannes. Ad officium namque testimonii requiritur idoneitas: nam nisi testis sit idoneus, qualitercumque mittatur ab alio, non est sufficiens testimonium eius. Homo autem efficitur idoneus ex gratia Dei; I Cor. XV, 10: gratia Dei sum id quod sum; II Cor. III, 6: qui idoneos nos fecit ministros novi testamenti. Satis ergo congrue Evangelista idoneitatem praecursoris insinuat ex eius nomine, dicens cui nomen erat Ioannes, quod interpretatur in quo est gratia. 114 John’s fitness is given when he says, whose name was John. One must be qualified for the office of bearing witness, because unless a witness is qualified, then no matter in what way he is sent by another, his testimony is not acceptable. Now a man becomes qualified by the grace, of God. “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor 15:10); “who has made us fit ministers of a new covenant” (2 Cor 3:6). So, the Evangelist appropriately implies the precursor’s fitness from his name when he says, whose name was John, which is interpreted, “in whom is grace.”
Quod quidem nomen non fuit frustra sibi impositum, sed ex divina praeordinatione, et antequam nasceretur, ut patet Lc. I, 13: et vocabis nomen eius Ioannem, dixit Angelus ad Zachariam. Unde potest dicere illud Is. XLIX, 1: dominus ab utero vocavit me; et Eccl. VI, 10: qui futurus est, iam vocatum est nomen eius. Quod etiam ostendit Evangelista ex modo loquendi, cum dicit erat, quantum ad Dei praeordinationem. This name was not given to him meaninglessly, but by divine preordination and before he was born, as is clear from Luke (1:13), “You will name him John,” as the angel said to Zechariah. Hence he can say what is said in Isaiah (49:1), “The Lord called me from the womb”; “He who will be, his name is already called” (Ecc 6:10). The Evangelist also indicates this from his manner of speaking, when he says was, as to God’s preordination.
Ex officii etiam dignitate describitur, cum dicit hic venit in testimonium; ubi primo ponitur officium; secundo ratio officii, ibi ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. 115 Then he is described by the dignity of his office. First, his office is mentioned. Secondly, the reason for his office, to bear witness to the light.
Officium autem huius est testificandi; unde dicit hic venit in testimonium. 116 Now his office is to bear witness; hence he says, He came as a witness.
Ubi notandum est quod Deus et homines, et omnia quae facit, propter se operatur; Prov. XVI, 4: universa propter semetipsum operatus est dominus; non quidem ut aliquid ei accrescat, quia bonorum nostrorum non eget, sed ut eius bonitas manifestetur in omnibus a se factis, inquantum per ea quae facta sunt, intellecta conspiciuntur; sempiterna eius virtus, et divinitas; Rom. I, 20. Fit ergo quaelibet creatura in testimonium Dei, inquantum quaelibet creatura est testimonium quoddam divinae bonitatis. Et quidem magnitudo creaturae testimonium quoddam est divinae virtutis et omnipotentiae; pulchritudo vero divinae sapientiae. Speciali vero modo ordinantur a Deo quidam homines; et non solum naturaliter inquantum sunt, sed etiam spiritualiter per sua bona opera Deo testimonium ferunt. Unde omnes sancti viri testes sunt Dei, inquantum propter eorum bona opera Deus gloriosus apud homines efficitur; Matth. V, 16: sic luceat lux vestra coram hominibus, ut videant opera vestra bona, et glorificent patrem vestrum qui in caelis est. Sed tamen illi, qui participant non solum dona Dei in seipsis per gratiam Dei bene operando, sed etiam diffundunt ad alios dicendo, movendo et exhortando, specialius sunt testes Dei. Is. XLIII, 7: omnem qui invocat nomen meum, in laudem meam creavi illum. Ioannes ergo venit in testimonium ad hoc, ut in alios diffunderet dona Dei, et annuntiaret laudem. Here it should be remarked that God makes men, and everything else he makes, for himself. “The Lord made all things for himself” (Prv 16:4). Not, indeed, to add anything to himself, since he has no need of our good, but so that his goodness might be made manifest in all of the things made by him, in that “his eternal power and divinity are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made”(Rom 1:20). Thus, each creature is made as a witness to God in so far as each creature is a certain witness of the divine goodness. So, the vastness of creation is a witness to God’s power and omnipotence; and its beauty is a witness to the divine wisdom. But certain men are ordained by God in a special way, so that they hear witness to God not only naturally by their existence, but also spiritually by their good works. Hence all holy men are witnesses to God inasmuch as God is glorified among men by their good works. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5:16). But those who not only share in God’s gifts in themselves by acting well through the grace of God, but also spread them to others by their teaching, influencing and encouraging others, are in a more special way witnesses to God. “Everyone who calls upon my name, I have created for my glory” (Is 43:7). And so John came as a witness in order to spread to others the gifts of God and to proclaim his praise.
Hoc autem officium Ioannis, scilicet testificandi, est valde magnum, quia nullus potest de aliquo testificari, nisi eo modo quo illud participat; infra III, 11: quod scimus loquimur, et quod vidimus testamur. Unde testimonium perhibere divinae veritati, indicium est cognitionis ipsius veritatis. Et inde est quod etiam Christus hoc officium habuit; infra XVIII, 37: ad hoc veni, et in hoc natus sum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati. Sed aliter Christus, et aliter Ioannes. Christus enim ut ipsum lumen comprehendens, immo ipsum lumen existens; Ioannes vero, ut ipsum lumen participans tantum. Et ideo Christus perfecte testimonium perhibet, et perfecte manifestat veritatem, Ioannes vero et alii sancti inquantum ipsam veritatem divinam participant. Est ergo magnum officium Ioannis et ex participatione divini luminis et ex similitudine ad Christum, qui hoc officio usus fuit. Is. LV, 4: ecce testem populis dedi eum, ducem ac praeceptorem gentibus. 117 This office of John, that of bearing witness, is very great, because no one can testify about something except in the manner in which he has shared in it. “We know of what we speak, and we bear witness of what we see” (below 3:11). Hence, to bear witness to divine truth indicates a knowledge of that truth. So Christ also had this office: “I have come into the world for this, to testify to the truth” (below 18:37). But Christ testifies in one way and John in another. Christ bears witness as the light who comprehends all things, indeed, as the existing light itself. John bears witness only as participating in that light. And so Christ gives testimony in a perfect manner and perfectly manifests the truth, while John and other holy men give testimony in so far as they have a share of divine truth. John’s office, therefore, is great both because of his participation in the divine light and because of a likeness to Christ, who carried out this office. “I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and a commander of the nations” (Is 55:4).
Ratio autem huius officii ponitur, cum dicit ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. Ubi sciendum est, quod alicui rei testimonium perhibetur duplici de causa. Una causa potest esse ex parte rei, cui testimonium adhibetur, puta si est dubia, vel incerta; alia causa est ex parte audientium, si sunt duri et tardi corde ad credendum. Ioannes vero in testimonium quidem venit non propter ipsam rem, cui testimonium perhibebat, quia lumen erat. Unde dicit ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine, non de re obscura sed de re manifesta. Venit ergo in testimonium propter ipsos quibus testificabatur, ut omnes crederent per eum, scilicet Ioannem. Nam sicut lumen non solum in seipso et per se visibile est, sed etiam omnia alia per ipsum videri possunt, ita verbum Dei non solum in se lumen est, sed etiam est omnia manifestans quae manifestantur. Cum enim unumquodque manifestetur per suam formam et cognoscatur, omnes autem formae sint formae sint per verbum, quod est ars plena rationum viventium: est ergo lumen, non solum in se, sed omnia manifestans; Eph. V, 13: omne quod manifestatur, lumen est. 118 The purpose of this office is given when he says, that he might bear witness to the light. Here we should understand that there are two reasons for bearing witness about something. One reason can be on the part of the thing with which the witness is concerned; for example, if there is some doubt or uncertainty about that thing. The other is on the part of those who hear it; if they are hard of heart and slow to believe. John came as a witness, not because of the thing about which he bore witness, for it was light. Hence he says, bear witness to the light, i.e., not to something obscure, but to something clear. He came, therefore, to bear witness on account of those to whom he testified, so that through him (i.e., John) all men might believe. For as light is not only visible in itself and of itself, but through it all else can be seen, so the Word of God is not only light in himself, but he makes known all things that are known. For since a thing is made known and understood through its form, and all forms exist through the Word, who is the art full of living forms, the Word is light not only in himself, but as making known all things; “all that appears is light” (Eph 5:13).
Congrue autem Evangelista filium dicit lumen, quia venit lumen ad revelationem gentium, Lc. II, 32. Supra autem dixit filium Dei verbum, quo pater dicit se, et omnem creaturam. Unde cum proprie sit lux hominum, et hic Evangelista de eo agat secundum quod venit ad salutem hominum procurandam, congrue intermittit hoc nomen verbum, cum loquitur de filio, et dicit illud lumen. And so it was fitting for the Evangelist to call the Son “light,” because he came as “a revealing light to the Gentiles” (Lk 2:32). Above, he called the Son of God the Word, by which the Father expresses himself and every creature. Now since he is, properly speaking, the light of men, and the Evangelist is considering him here as coming to accomplish the salvation of men, he fittingly interrupts the use of the name “Word” when speaking of the Son, and says, “light.”
Sed si istud lumen sufficiens est per se omnia manifestare, non solum seipsum, quid ergo indigebat ut testificaretur? Non ergo necessaria sunt testimonia Ioannis et prophetarum de Christo. Respondeo dicendum, quod haec obiectio est Manichaeorum, qui volunt destruere vetus testamentum. Unde a sanctis contra hos multiplex ratio assignatur, quare Christus testimonium prophetarum voluit habere. 119 But if that light is adequate of itself to make known all things, and not only itself, what need does it have of any witness? This was the objection of the Manichaeans, who wanted to destroy the Old Testament. Consequently, the saints gave many reasons, against their opinion, why Christ wanted to have the testimony of the prophets.
Origenes quidem assignat tres rationes ad hoc. Primo quidem quod Deus vult aliquos testes habere, non quod ipse eorum testimonio indigeat, sed ut eos nobilitet quos constituit testes; sicut videmus etiam in ordine universi, quod Deus producit aliquos effectus per causas medias, non quia ipse impotens sit ad eos immediate producendos, sed quia ad nobilitandas ipsas causas medias eis causalitatis dignitatem communicare dignatur. Sic ergo, etsi Deus potuerit omnes homines illuminare per se et in cognitionem suam adducere, ut tamen debitus ordo servaretur in rebus, et ut aliquos homines nobilitaret, voluit divinam cognitionem ad homines per aliquos homines devenire. Is. XLIII, 10: vere vos testes mei estis, dicit dominus. Origen gives three reasons. The first is that God wanted to have certain witnesses, not because he needed their testimony, but to ennoble those whom he appointed witnesses. Thus we see in the order of the universe that God produces certain effects by means of intermediate causes, not because he himself is unable to produce them without these intermediaries, but he deigns to confer oil them the dignity of causality because he wishes to-ennoble these intermediate causes. Similarly, even though God could have enlightened all men by himself and lead them to a knowledge of himself, yet to preserve due order in things and to ennoble certain men, he willed that divine knowledge reach men through certain other men. “‘You are my witnesses,’ says the Lord” (Is 43:10).
Secunda ratio est, quia Christus illuxit mundo per miracula: quae quidem, quia in tempore facta erant, temporaliter transierunt, neque pervenerunt ad omnes. Verba vero prophetarum commendata Scripturae, poterant non solum ad praesentes, sed etiam ad posteros pervenire. Voluit ergo dominus homines ad cognitionem verbi venire per testimonia prophetarum, ut non solum praesentes, sed etiam futuri de ipso illuminarentur; et ideo signanter dicit ut omnes crederent per illum, non solum praesentes, sed etiam futuri. A second reason is that Christ was a light to the world through his miracles. Yet, because they were performed in time, they passed away with time and did not reach everyone. But the words of the prophets, preserved in Scripture, could reach not only those present, but could also reach those to come after. Hence the Lord willed that men come to a knowledge of the Word through the testimony of the prophets, in order that not only those present, but also men yet lo come, might be enlightened about him. So it says expressly, so that through him all men might believe, i.e., not only those present, but also future generations.
Tertia ratio est, quia homines sunt diversae conditionis, et diversimode ad veritatis cognitionem perducti et dispositi. Quidam namque ad veritatis cognitionem magis perducuntur per signa et miracula; quidam vero magis per sapientiam; unde I Cor. I, 22: Iudaei signa petunt, et Graeci sapientiam quaerunt. Ut ergo dominus omnibus ostenderet viam salutis, utramque viam pandere voluit, scilicet signorum et sapientiae, ut qui non perducerentur ad viam salutis per miracula in veteri et novo testamento facta, saltem per viam sapientiae, ut in prophetis et aliis sacrae Scripturae libris, ad veritatis cognitionem perveniant. The third reason is that not all men are in the same condition, and all are not led or disposed to a knowledge of the truth in the same way. For some are brought to a knowledge of the truth by signs and miracles; others are brought more by wisdom. “The Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek wisdom” (1 Cor 1:22). And so the Lord, m order to show the path of salvation to all, willed both ways to be open. i.e., the way of signs and the way of wisdom, so that those who would not be brought to the path of salvation by the miracles of the Old and New Testaments, might be brought to a knowledge of the truth by the path of wisdom, as in the prophets and other books of Sacred Scripture.
Quarta ratio est Chrysostomi, quia scilicet homines infirmi intellectus, veritatem et cognitionem Dei seipsa capere non possunt; unde voluit Deus eis condescendere et illuminare quosdam homines de divinis prae aliis, ut ab eis humano modo cognitionem de divinis acciperent, quorum cognitionem in seipsis attingere non valebant. Et ideo dicit ut omnes crederent per illum. Quasi dicat: venit in testimonium, non propter ipsum lumen, sed propter ipsos homines, ut scilicet crederent per illum. Sic ergo patet idonea esse et congruentia testimonia prophetarum, et ideo recipienda utpote nobis necessaria ad veritatis cognitionem. A fourth reason, given by Chrysostom, is that certain men of weak understanding are unable to grasp the truth and knowledge of God by themselves. And so the Lord chose to come down to them and to enlighten certain men before others about divine matters, so that these others might obtain from them in a human way the knowledge of divine things they could not reach by themselves. And so he says, that through him all men might believe. As if to say: he came as a witness, not for the sake of the light, but for the sake of men, so that through him all men might believe. And so it is plain that the testimonies of the prophets are fitting and proper, and should be received as something needed by us for the knowledge of the truth.
Dicit autem crederent quia est duplex participatio divini luminis. Una scilicet perfecta, quae est in gloria, Ps. XXXV, v. 10: in lumine tuo videbimus lumen, alia est imperfecta, quae scilicet habetur per fidem, quia venit in testimonium. De istis duobus modis dicitur I Cor. XIII, 12: videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate; tunc autem facie ad faciem; et ibidem dicitur: nunc cognosco ex parte; tunc autem cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum. Istorum autem modorum prior est modus participationis per fidem; quia per ipsam pervenitur ad speciem. Unde Is. VII, 9, secundum aliam litteram: nisi credideritis, non intelligetis; ubi nostra habet: si non credideritis, non permanebitis. II Cor. c. III, 18: nos autem omnes revelata facie gloriam domini speculantes, in eamdem imaginem, scilicet quam perdidimus, transformamur a claritate in claritatem; Glossa: a claritate fidei, in claritatem speciei. 120 He says believe, because there are two ways of participating in the divine light. One is the perfect participation which is present in glory, “In your light, we shall see the light” (Ps 3 5:10). The other in imperfect and is acquired through faith, since he came as a witness. Of these two ways it is said, “Now we see through a mirror, in an obscure manner, but then we shall see face to face” (1 Cor 13:12). And in the same place we find, “Now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known.” Among these two ways, the first is the way of participation through faith, because through it we are brought to vision. So in Isaiah (7:9) where our version has, “If you do not believe, you will not persist,” another version has, “If you do not believe, you will not understand.” “All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into his very image,” which we have lost (2 Cor 3:18). “From the glory of faith to the glory of vision,” as a Gloss says.
Dicit ergo ut omnes crederent per illum; non ut omnes viderent illum perfecte statim, sed ut primo per fidem credendo, et postea per speciem in patria perfruendo. And so he says, that through him all men might believe, not as though all would see him perfectly at once, but first they would believe through faith, and later enjoy him through vision in heaven.
Dicit autem per eum, ut ostendat differentiam eius ad Christum. Christus enim venit, ut omnes crederent in eum; infra VII, v. 38: qui credit in me, sicut dicit Scriptura, flumina de ventre eius fluent aquae vivae. Ioannes vero ut omnes crederent, non quidem in eum, sed in Christum per eum. 121 He says through him, to show that John is different than Christ. For Christ came so that all might believe in him. “He who believes in me, as Scripture says, “Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water” (below 7:38). John, on the other hand, came that all men might believe, not in him, but in Christ through him.
Sed contra. Non omnes crediderunt per illum. Si ergo venit ut omnes crederent per illum, frustra venit. Respondeo dicendum, quod quantum est ex parte Dei mittentis, et ex parte Ioannis venientis, sufficiens modus adhibitus est omnibus perveniendi ad finem; sed ex parte eorum qui oculos suos statuerunt declinare in terram, et noluerunt videre ipsum lumen, defectus fuit, quia non omnes crediderunt. One may object that not all have believed. So if John came to that all might believe through him, he failed. I answer that both on the part of God, who sent John, and of John, who came, the method used is adequate to bring all to the truth. But on the part of those “who have fixed their eyes on the ground” (Ps 16:11), and refused to see the light, there was a failure, because all did not believe.
Licet autem Ioannes, de quo tot dicta sunt, et quod missus a Deo, magnus sit, nihilominus tamen eius adventus non est sufficiens hominibus ad salutem; quia salus hominis in hoc consistit, quod participet ipsam lucem. Unde, et si Ioannes lux fuisset, suffecisset hominibus ad salutem eius adventus; sed ipse non erat lux; unde dicit non erat ille lux. Et ideo necessaria erat lux, quae sufficeret hominibus ad salutem. 122 Now although John, of whom so much has been said, even including that he was sent by God, is an eminent person, his coming is not sufficient to save men, because the salvation of man lies in participating in the light. If John had been the light, his coming would have sufficed to save men; but he was not the light. So he says, he was not the light. Consequently, a light was needed that would suffice to save men.
Vel aliter. Ioannes venit ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. Consuetum est autem testificantem esse maioris auctoritatis, quam ille cui perhibet testimonium. Ne ergo credatur Ioannem esse maioris auctoritatis, quam Christus, dicit Evangelista non erat ille lux, sed ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. Testatur enim non quia maior, sed quia notior, etiamsi sit minor. Or, we could look at it another way. John came to bear witness to the light. Now it is the custom that the one who testifies is of greater authority than the one for whom he bears witness. So, lest John be considered to have greater authority than Christ, the Evangelist says, he was not the light, but he came in order to bear witness to the light. For he bears witness not because he is greater, but because he is better known, even though he is not as great.
Sed quaeritur de hoc quod dicit non erat ille lux. Contra dicitur Eph. V, 8: eratis aliquando tenebrae, nunc autem lux in domino; et Matth. V, 14: vos estis lux mundi. Sunt ergo Ioannes, et apostoli, et omnes boni, lux. 123 There is a difficulty about his saying, he was not the light. Conflicting with this is, “You were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Eph 5:8); and “You are the light of the world” (Mt 5:14). Therefore, John and the apostles and all good men are a light.
Respondeo. Quidam dicunt quod Ioannes non erat lux cum articulo, quia hoc est solius Dei proprium; sed si lux ponatur sine articulo, erat Ioannes et omnes sancti facti lux. Quod est dictu: filius Dei est lux per essentiam, Ioannes vero et omnes sancti per participationem. Et ideo quia Ioannes participabat verum lumen, congruenter testimonium perhibebat de lumine: ignis enim convenientius manifestatur per aliquod ignitum quam per aliquid aliud, et color per coloratum. I answer that some say that John was not the light, because this belongs to God alone. But if “light” is taken without the article, then John and all holy men were made lights. The meaning is this: the Son of God is light by his very essence; but John and all the saints are light by participation. So, because John participated in the true light, it was fitting that he bear witness to the light; for fire is better exhibited by something afire than by anything else, and color by something colored.

Lectura 5 LECTURE 5
9 ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν,
ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον.
10 ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν, καὶ ὁ κόσμος δι' αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο,
καὶ ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω.
9 He [the Word] was the true light,
which enlightens every man coming into this world.
10 He was in the world, and through him the world was made,
and the world did not know him.
Superius egit Evangelista de praecursore, et teste verbi incarnati; in parte vero ista agit de ipso verbo incarnato: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ostendit adventus verbi necessitatem; secundo ex adventu verbi collatam nobis utilitatem, ibi in propria venit; tertio veniendi modum, ibi et verbum caro factum est. 124 Above, the Evangelist considered the precursor and his witness to the incarnate Word; in the present section he considers the incarnate Word himself. As to this he does three things. First, he shows why it was necessary for the Word to come. Secondly, the benefit we received from the coming of the Word (1:11). And thirdly, the way he came (1:14).
Necessitas autem adventus verbi videtur esse defectus divinae cognitionis, quae in mundo erat. Unde hanc necessitatem sui adventus assignat, dicens, infra XVIII, 37: in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni. Ad insinuandum ergo hunc divinae cognitionis defectum, duo facit Evangelista. Primo ostendit quod iste defectus non est ex parte Dei, neque ex defectu verbi; secundo ostendit quod est ex parte hominum, ibi et mundus eum non cognovit. The necessity for the Word’s coming is seen be the lack of divine knowledge in the world. He points out this need for his coming when he says, “For this was I born, and I came into the world for this, to testify to the truth” (below 18:37). To indicate this lack of divine knowledge, the Evangelist does two things. First, he shows that this lack does not pertain to God or the Word. Secondly, that it does pertain to men (v 10b).
Quod autem non fuerit defectus ex parte Dei et verbi, quin homines Deum cognoscerent et illuminarentur a verbo, ostendit ex tribus. Primo ex ipsius divinae lucis efficacia, quia erat lux vera, quae illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum; secundo ex ipsius divinae lucis praesentia, quia in mundo erat; tertio ex eius evidentia, quia mundus per ipsum factus est. Non fuit ergo defectus divinae cognitionis in mundo ex parte verbi, quia efficax est. Unde primo ostendit rationem huius efficaciae, quia erat lux vera; secundo ipsam eius efficaciam, quia illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. He shows in three ways that there was no defect in God or in the Word that prevented men from knowing God and from being enlightened by the Word. First, from the efficacy of the divine light itself, because He was the true light, which enlightens every man coming into this world. Secondly, from the presence of the divine light, because He was in the world. Thirdly, from the obviousness of the light, because through him the world was made. So the lack of divine knowledge in the world was not due to the Word, because it is sufficient. First, he shows the nature of this efficiency, that is, He was the true light. Secondly, its very efficiency, which enlightens every man.
Est enim efficax divinum verbum ad illuminandum, quia erat lux vera. Quomodo autem verbum sit lux, et quomodo sit lux hominum, quia supra satis explanatum est, superfluum est ad praesens reiterare. Istud tamen ad praesens est dicendum, quomodo sit lux vera. Notandum est ergo ad huiusmodi evidentiam, quod verum in Scriptura tribus opponitur. Aliquando enim dividitur contra falsum, sicut illud Eph. IV, 25: deponentes mendacium, loquimini veritatem. Aliquando autem dividitur contra figurale, sicut illud infra I, 17: lex per Moysen data est; gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est, quia veritas figurarum legis facta est per Christum. Aliquando vero dividitur contra participans, sicut illud I Ioan. ult., 20: ut simus in vero filio eius; qui scilicet non est filius per participationem. 125 The divine Word is efficacious in enlightening because He was the true light. How the Word is light, and how he is the light of men need not be discussed again, because it was sufficiently explained above. What we must discuss at present is how he is the true light. To explain this, we should note that in Scripture the “true” is contrasted with three things. Sometimes it is contrasted with the false, as in “Put an end to lying, and let everyone speak the truth” (Eph 4:25). Sometimes it is contrasted with what is figurative, as in “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ” (below 1:17), because the truth of the figures contained in the law was fulfilled by Christ. Sometimes it is contrasted with what is something by participation, as in “that we may be in his true Son” (1 Jn 5:20), who is not his Son by participation.
Fuit autem ante adventum verbi in mundo quaedam lux, quam scilicet philosophi se habere iactabant; sed haec quidem falsa fuit, quia, ut dicitur Rom. I, 21: evanuerunt in cogitationibus suis, et obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum; dicentes enim se esse sapientes, stulti facti sunt; Ier. X, 14: stultus factus est omnis homo a scientia sua. Fuit etiam quaedam alia lux, quam gloriabantur se habere Iudaei ex doctrina legis; sed haec quidem lux erat lux figuralis; Hebr. X, 1: umbram habens lex futurorum bonorum, non ipsam imaginem rerum. Erat etiam in Angelis et in sanctis hominibus lux quaedam, inquantum specialiori modo per gratiam Deum cognoscebant; sed haec lux participata erat; Iob XXV, 3: super quem non resplendet lumen illius? Quasi dicat: quicumque lucidi sunt, intantum lucent inquantum participant lumen illius, idest Dei. Before the Word came there was in the world a certain light which the philosophers prided themselves on having; but this was a false light, because as is said, “They became stultified in their speculations, and their foolish hearts were darkened; claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Rom 1:21); “Every man is made foolish by his knowledge” (Jer 10:14). There was another light from the teaching of the law which the Jews boasted of having; but this was a symbolic light, “The law has a shadow of the good things to come, not the image itself of them” (Heb 10:1). There was also a certain light in the angels and in holy men in so far as they knew God in a more special way by grace; but this was a participated light, “Upon whom does his light not shine?” (Jb 25:3), which is like saying: Whoever shine, shine to the extent that they participate in his light, i.e., God’s light.
Sed verbum Dei non erat lux falsa, non figuralis, non participata, sed lux vera, idest per essentiam suam. Et ideo dicit erat lux vera. But the Word of God was not a false light, nor a symbolic light, nor a participated light, but the true light, i.e., light by his essence. Therefore he says, He was the true light.
In quo quidem excluditur duplex error, scilicet Photini, qui Christum opinatus est ex virgine initium sumpsisse. Et ideo ne aliquis hoc suspicari posset, Evangelista loquens de incarnatione verbi, dicit erat lux vera, scilicet ab aeterno, non solum ante virginem, sed ante omnem creaturam. Excluditur etiam error Arii et Origenis dicentium Christum non fuisse verum Deum, sed per participationem tantum. Quod si verum esset, non esset lux vera, ut Evangelista dicit. Sicut enim dicitur I Io. I, 5: Deus lux est, non per participationem, sed lux vera. Si ergo verbum erat lux vera, manifestum est illud esse Deum verum. 126 This excludes two errors. First, that of Photinus, who believed that Christ derived his beginning from the Virgin. So, lest anyone suppose this, the Evangelist, speaking of the incarnation of the Word, says, He was the true light, i.e., eternally, not only before the Virgin, but before every creature. This also excludes the error of Arius and Origen; they said that Christ was not true God, but God by participation. If this were so, he could not be the true light, as the Evangelist says here, and as in “God is light” (1 Jn 1:5), i.e., not by participation, but the true light. So if the Word was the true light, it is plain that he is true God. Now it is clear how the divine Word is effective in causing divine knowledge.
Patet ergo ratio efficaciae divini verbi ad divinam cognitionem causandam. Efficacia autem ipsius verbi est, quia illuminat omnem hominem venientem. Omne enim quod est per participationem, derivatur ab eo quod est per essentiam suam tale; ut omne ignitum est hoc per participationem ignis, qui est ignis per suam naturam. Quia ergo verbum est lux vera per suam naturam, oportet quod omne lucens luceat per ipsum, inquantum ipsum participat. Ipse ergo illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. 127 The effectiveness or efficiency of the Word lies in the fact that he enlightens every man coming into this world. For everything which is what it is by participation is derived from that which is such by its essence; just as everything afire is so by participation in fire, which is fire by its very essence. Then since the Word is the true light by his very essence, then everything that shines must do so through him, insofar as it participates in him. And so he enlightens every man coming into this world.
Sciendum est autem ad horum intellectum, quod mundus in Scriptura accipitur tribus modis. Aliquando enim ratione suae creationis, sicut hic inferius ait Evangelista mundus per ipsum factus est. Aliquando autem ratione suae perfectionis, ad quam per Christum pertingit, sicut illud II Cor. V, 19: Deus erat in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi. Aliquando ratione suae perversitatis sicut illud I Io. V, 19: totus mundus in maligno positus est. 128 To understand this, we should know that “world” is taken in three ways in Scripture. Sometimes, from the point of view of its creation, as when the Evangelist says here, “through him the world was made” (v 10). Sometimes, from the point of view of its perfection, which it reaches through Christ, as in “God was, in Christ, reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19). And sometimes it is taken from the point of view of its perversity, as in “The whole world lies under the power of the evil one” (1 Jn 5:19).
Illuminatio seu illuminari per verbum, intelligitur dupliciter: scilicet de lumine naturalis cognitionis, de quo dicitur in Ps. IV, 7: signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, domine. Item de lumine gratiae, de quo dicitur Is. LX, 1: illuminare, Ierusalem. On the other hand, “enlightenment” or “being enlightened” by the Word is taken in two ways. First, in relation to the light of natural knowledge, as in “The light of your countenance, O Lord, is marked upon us” (Ps 4:7). Secondly, as the light of grace, “Be enlightened, O Jerusalem” (Is 60:1).
His duabus distinctionibus suppositis, facile solvitur dubitatio quae ex istis oritur. Cum enim dicit Evangelista illuminat omnem hominem, videtur subesse falsum, cum adhuc multi sint in mundo tenebrosi. Si ergo nos, memores dictarum distinctionum, accipiamus mundum secundum quod ponitur ratione suae creationis; et illuminare, secundum quod accipitur pro lumine naturalis rationis, verbum Evangelistae nullam habet calumniam: quia homines omnes venientes in hunc mundum sensibilem illuminantur lumine naturalis cognitionis ex participatione huius verae lucis, a qua derivatur quicquid de lumine naturalis cognitionis participatur ab hominibus. 129 With these two sets of distinctions in mind, it is easy to solve a difficulty which arises here. For when the Evangelist says, he enlightens every man, this seems to be false, because there are still many in darkness in the world. However, if we bear in mind these distinctions and take “world” from the standpoint of its creation, and “enlighten” as referring to the light of natural reason, the statement of the Evangelist is beyond reproach. For all men coming into this visible world are enlightened by the light of natural knowledge through participating in this true light, which is the source of all the light of natural knowledge participated in by men.
Utitur autem Evangelista hoc modo loquendi, ut dicat venientem in hunc mundum, non quod homines vixissent aliquo temporis spatio extra mundum, et postea venirent in mundum, cum hoc sit contra sententiam apostoli, Rom. IX, 11: cum enim nondum nati essent, aut aliquid egissent boni, aut mali (ut secundum electionem propositum Dei maneret), non ex operibus, sed ex vocante dictum est et cetera. Unde cum non egissent aliquid antequam nati essent, manifestum est quod anima non est antequam corpori coniungatur. Dicit ergo venientem in hunc mundum, ut ostendat quod homines illuminantur a Deo, secundum hoc scilicet quod veniunt in mundum, idest secundum intellectum qui est ab extrinseco. Homo enim ex duplici natura constituitur, corporali scilicet et intellectuali: et secundum corporalem quidem naturam, seu sensibilem, illuminatur homo lumine corporeo et sensibili; secundum animam vero et intellectualem naturam, illuminatur lumine intellectuali et spirituali. Cum ergo homo, secundum naturam corporalem non veniat in hunc mundum, sed sit ex mundo, sed secundum intellectualem naturam, quae est ab extrinseco, ut dictum est, sit a Deo per creationem, unde dicitur Eccle. XII, 7: donec omnis caro in suam revertatur originem, et spiritus dirigatur ad Deum qui fecit illum: ostendit Evangelista quod haec illuminatio est secundum illud quod est ab extrinseco, scilicet secundum intellectum, cum dicit venientem in hunc mundum. When the Evangelist speaks of man coming into this world, he does not mean that men had lived for a certain time outside the world and then came into the world, since this is contrary to the teaching of the Apostle in Romans (9:11), “When the children were not yet born nor had they done anything good or evil.” Therefore, since they had done nothing before they were born, it is plain that the soul does not exist prior to its union with the body. He refers to every man coming into this world, to show that men are enlightened by God with respect to that according to which they came into the world, i.e., with respect to the intellect, which is something external [to the world]. For man is constituted of a twofold nature, bodily and intellectual. According to his bodily or sensible nature, man is enlightened by a bodily and sensible light; but according to his soul and intellectual nature, he is enlightened by an intellectual and spiritual light. Now man does not come into this world according to his bodily nature, but under this aspect, he is from the world. His intellectual nature is derived from a source external to the world, as has been said, i.e., from God through creation; as in “Until all flesh returns to its origin, and the spirit is directed to God, who made it” (Ecc 12:7). For these reasons, when the Evangelist speaks of every man coming into this world, he is showing that this enlightenment refers to what is from without, that is, the intellect.
Si vero accipiatur illuminari pro lumine gratiae, sic hoc quod dicitur, illuminat omnem hominem potest tripliciter exponi. Uno modo, secundum Origenem in illa Hom. aquila grandis, exponitur hoc modo, ut accipiamus mundum ratione suae perfectionis, ad quam perducitur homo reconciliatus per Christum. Et tunc dicitur illuminat omnem hominem venientem, per fidem, in hunc mundum, spiritualem, scilicet Ecclesiam illuminatam lumine gratiae. 130 If we understand “enlightenment” with respect to the light of grace, then he enlightens every man may be explained in three ways. The first way is by Origen in his homily, “The great eagle,” and is this. “World” is understood from the point of view of its perfection, which man attains by his reconciliation through Christ. And so we have, he enlightens every man coming, by faith, into this world, i.e., this spiritual world, that is, the Church, which has been enlightened by the light of grace.
Alio modo, secundum Chrysostomum, exponitur, accipiendo mundum ratione suae creationis, et talis est sensus: illuminat, scilicet verbum, quantum de se est, quia ex parte sua nulli deest, imo vult omnes salvos fieri, et ad agnitionem veritatis venire, ut dicitur I Tim. II, 4, omnem hominem venientem, idest qui nascitur in hunc mundum sensibilem. Quod si aliquis non illuminatur, ex parte hominis est, avertentis se a lumine illuminante. Chrysostom explains it another way. He takes “world” under the aspect of creation. Then the sense is: He enlightens, i.e., the Word does, in so far as it depends on him, because he fails no one, but rather “wants all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4); every man coming, i.e., who is born into this sensible world. If anyone is not enlightened, it is due to himself, because he turns from the light that enlightens.
Tertio modo, secundum Augustinum, exponitur, ut ly omnem sit distributio accommoda. Ut sit sensus illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum, non simpliciter, sed omnem hominem, qui illuminatur, scilicet quia nullus illuminatur nisi a verbo. Dicit ergo, secundum Augustinum, venientem, ut assignet rationem quare homo indiget illuminari; accipiendo tamen mundum ratione suae perversitatis et defectus. Quasi dicat: ideo indiget illuminari, quia venit in hunc mundum, perversitate et defectibus tenebrosum et ignorantia plenum. De mundo spirituali primo hominis; Lc. I, 79: illuminare his, qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent. Augustine explains it a third way. For him, “every” has a restricted application, so that the sense is: He enlightens every man coming into this world, not every man universally, but every man who is enlightened, since no one is enlightened except by the Word. According to Augustine, the Evangelist says, coming into this world, in order to give the reason why man needs to be enlightened, and he is taking “world” from the point of view of its perversity and defect. It is as though he were saying: Man needs to be enlightened because he is coming into this world which is darkened by perversity and defects and is full of ignorance. (This followed the spiritual world of the first man.) As Luke says (1:79), “To enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”
Destruitur autem per verba praedicta error Manichaei ponentis, homines a principio contrario, idest Diabolo, in mundo creatos fuisse: quia si homo fuisset creatura Diaboli, veniens in mundum, non illuminaretur a Deo, sive a verbo; quia Christus venit in mundum, ut dissolvat opera Diaboli; I Io. III. 131 The above statement refutes the error of the Manichaeans, who think than men were created in the world from an opposing principle, i.e., the devil. For if man were a creature of the devil when coming into this world, he would not be enlightened by God or by the Word, for “Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8).
Sic ergo patet ex efficacia divini verbi, quod defectus cognitionis in hominibus non est ex parte ipsius verbi: quia ad omnes illuminandos efficax est, cum sit lux vera quae illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. 132 So it is clear, from the efficacy of the divine Word, that the lack of knowledge in men is not due to the Word, because he is effective in enlightening all, being the true light, which enlightens every man coming into this world.
Sed ne credas defectum ipsum esse ex remotione seu absentia verae lucis, hoc excludens Evangelista, subdit: in mundo erat. Simile huic habetur Act. XVII, 27: non longe est ab unoquoque nostrum, scilicet Deus, in ipso enim vivimus, et movemur, et sumus. Quasi dicat Evangelista: verbum divinum efficax est et praesens est ad illuminandum. But so you do not suppose this lack arose from the withdrawal or absence of the true light, the Evangelist rules this out adding, He was in the world. A comparable statement is found in “He is not far from any one of us,” that is, God, “for in him we live, and move, and are” (Acts 17:28). It is as though the Evangelist were saying: The divine Word is effective and is at hand in order to enlighten us.
Notandum vero quod in mundo dicitur aliquid esse tripliciter. Uno modo per continentiam, sicut locatum in loco; infra c. XVII, 11: hi in mundo sunt. Alio modo, sicut pars in toto; nam pars mundi dicitur esse in mundo, etiamsi non sit locata; sicut substantiae supernaturales, licet localiter non sint in mundo, tamen sunt ut partes Ps. CXLV, v. 6: qui fecit caelum et terram, mare et omnia quae in eis sunt. Neutro autem istorum modorum lux vera in mundo erat, quia nec localis est, nec pars universi: immo quodammodo (ut ita liceat loqui), totum universum est pars, bonitatem eius partialiter participans. 133 We should remark that something is said to be “in the world” in three ways. In one way, by being contained, as a thing in place exists in a place: “They are in the world” (below 17:11). In another way, as a part in a whole; for a part of the world is said to be in the world even though it is not in a place. For example, supernatural substances, although not in the world as in a place, are nevertheless in it as parts: “God... who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them” (Ps 145:6). But the true light was not in the world in either of these ways, because that light is neither localized nor is it a part of the universe. Indeed, if we can speak this way, the entire universe is in a certain sense a part, since it participates in a partial way in his goodness.
Erat ergo in mundo tertio modo, sicut causa efficiens et conservans; Ier. XXIII, 24: caelum et terram ego impleo. Sed tamen aliter est de verbo agente et causante omnia, et aliter de aliis agentibus. Nam alia agentia operantur ut extrinsecus existentia: cum enim non agant nisi movendo et alterando aliquo modo quantum ad ea quae sunt extrinseca rei, ut extrinseca operantur. Deus vero operatur in omnibus ut interius agens, quia agit creando. Creare autem est dare esse rei creatae. Cum ergo esse sit intimum cuilibet rei, Deus, qui operando dat esse, operatur in rebus ut intimus agens. Accordingly, the true light was in the world in a third way, i.e., as an efficient and preserving cause: “I fill heaven and earth” as said in Jeremiah (23:24). However, there is a difference between the way the Word acts and causes all things and the way in which other agents act. For other agents act as existing externally: since they do not act except by moving and altering a thing qualitatively in some way with respect to its exterior, they work from without. But God acts in all things from within, because he acts by creating. Now to create is to give existence (esse) to the thing created. So, since esse is innermost in each thing, God, who by acting gives esse acts in things from within. Hence God was in the world as one giving esse to the world.
In mundo ergo erat ut dans esse mundo. Consuetum est autem dici Deum esse in omnibus per essentiam, praesentiam et potentiam. Ad cuius intellectum sciendum est quod per potentiam dicitur esse aliquis in omnibus quae subduntur potentiae eius: sicut rex dicitur esse in toto regno sibi subiecto, per suam potentiam; non tamen ibi est per praesentiam, neque per essentiam. Per praesentiam dicitur esse in omnibus quae sunt in conspectu eius, sicut rex dicitur esse per praesentiam in domo sua. Per essentiam vero dicitur esse in illis rebus, in quibus est sua substantia: sicut est rex in uno loco determinato. 134 It is customary to say that God is in all things by his essence, presence and power. To understand what this means, we should know that someone is said to be by his power in all the things that are subject to his power; as a king is said to be in the entire kingdom subject to him, by his power. He is not there, however, by presence or essence., Someone is said to be by presence in all the things that are within his range of vision; as a king is said to be in his house by presence. And someone is said to be by essence in those things in which his substance is; as a king is in one determinate place.
Dicimus enim Deum esse ubique per potentiam, quia omnia eius potestati subduntur; Ps. CXXXVIII, 8: si ascendero in caelum, tu illic es (...). Si sumpsero pennas meas diluculo et habitavero in extremis maris: etenim illuc manus tua deducet me et tenebit me dextera tua. Per praesentiam vero, quia omnia nuda et aperta sunt oculis eius, quae sunt in mundo, ut habetur Hebr. IV, 13. Per essentiam autem, quia essentia sua intima est omnibus rebus: oportet enim de necessitate omne agens, inquantum agens, immediate coniungi suo effectui, cum movens et motum oporteat simul esse. Deus autem actor est et conservator omnium secundum esse uniuscuiusque rei. Unde, cum esse rei sit intimum in qualibet re, manifestum est quod Deus per essentiam suam, per quam omnia creat, sit in omnibus rebus. Now we say that God is everywhere by his power, since all things are subject to his power: “If I ascend into heaven, you are there.... If I take my wings early in the morning, and dwell in the furthest part of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me” (Ps 138:8). He is also everywhere by his presence, because “all things are bare and open to his eyes,” as is said in Hebrews (4:13). He is present everywhere by his essence, be cause his essence is innermost in all things. For every agent, as acting, has to be immediately joined to its effect, because mover and moved must be together. Now God is the maker and preserver of all things with respect to the esse of each. Hence, since the esse of a thing is innermost in that thing, it is plain that God, by his essence, through which he creates all things, is in all things.
Notandum autem quod Evangelista signanter utitur hoc verbo erat, cum dicit in mundo erat, ostendens ab initio creaturae semper ipsum fuisse in mundo, causans et conservans omnia: quia si ad momentum subtraheret Deus virtutem suam a rebus conditis, omnia in nihilum redigerentur, et esse desinerent. Unde Origenes satis ad hoc congruo exemplo utitur, dicens quod sicut se habet vox humana ad verbum humanum in mente conceptum, sic se habet creatura ad verbum divinum: nam sicut vox nostra est effectus verbi concepti in mente nostra, ita et creatura est effectus verbi in divina mente concepti; dixit enim et facta sunt. Ps. CXLVIII, v. 5. Unde sicut videmus quod statim, deficiente verbo nostro, vox sensibilis deficit, ita si virtus verbi divini subtraheretur a rebus, statim res omnes in ipso momento deficerent; et hoc quia est portans omnia verbo virtutis suae, Hebr. I, 3. 135 It should be noted that the Evangelist significantly uses the word “was,” when he says, He was in the world, showing that from the beginning of creation he was always in the world, causing and preserving all things; because if God for even a moment were to withhold his power from the things he established, all would return to nothing and cease to be. Hence Origen uses an apt example to show this, when he says that as a human vocal sound is to a human word conceived in the mind, so is, the creature to the divine Word; for as our vocal sound is the effect of the word conceived in our mind, so the creature is the effect of the Word conceived in the divine mind. “For he spoke, and they were created” (Ps 148:5). Hence, just as we notice that as soon as our inner word vanishes, the sensible vocal sound also ceases, so, if the power of the divine Word were withdrawn from things, all of them would immediately cease to be at that moment. And this is because he is “sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Heb 1:3).
Sic ergo patet quod defectus divinae cognitionis non est in hominibus ex verbi absentia, quia in mundo erat; non est etiam ex verbi invisibilitate seu occultatione, quia fecit opus, in quo similitudo evidenter relucet, scilicet mundum. Sap. XIII, 5: a magnitudine speciei et creaturae cognoscibiliter poterit eorum creator videri; et Rom. I, 20: invisibilia Dei per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciuntur. Et ideo statim Evangelista subiungit et mundus per ipsum factus est, ut scilicet in ipso lux ipsa manifestaretur. Sicut in artificio manifestatur ars artificis, ita totus mundus nihil aliud est quam quaedam repraesentatio divinae sapientiae in mente patris conceptae; Eccli. I, 10: sparsit illam super omnia opera sua. 136 So it is plain that a lack of divine knowledge in minds is not due to the absence of the Word, because He was in the world; nor is it due to the invisibility or concealment of the Word, because he has produced a work in which his likeness is clearly reflected, that is, the world: “For from the greatness and beauty of creatures, their creator can be seen accordingly” (Wis 13:5), and “The invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made” (Rom 1:20). And so the Evangelist at once adds, and through him the world was made, in order that that light might be manifested in it. For as a work of art manifests the art of the artisan, so the whole world is nothing else than a certain representation of the divine wisdom conceived within the mind of the Father, “He poured her [wisdom] out upon all his works,” as is said in Sirach (1:10).
Sic ergo patet quod defectus divinae cognitionis non est ex parte verbi, quia efficax est, cum sit lux vera; praesens est, quia in mundo erat; evidens est, quia mundus per ipsum factus est. Now it is clear that the lack of divine knowledge is not due to the Word, because he is efficacious, being the true light; and he is at hand, since he was in the world; and he is knowable, since through him the world was made.
Unde autem sit huius defectus, ostendit Evangelista consequenter, cum dicit et mundus eum non cognovit; quasi dicat, non est ex parte ipsius, sed ex parte mundi, qui eum non cognovit. 137 The Evangelist indicates the source of this lack when he says, and the world did not know him. As if to say: It is not due to him, but to the world, who did not know him.
Dicit autem eum in singulari, quia supra verbum dixerat non solum lucem hominum, sed Deum: unde cum dicit eum, intelligit Deum. Ponitur autem hic mundus pro homine: Angeli namque cognoverunt eum intelligendo; elementa cognoverunt eum obediendo; sed mundus, idest homo habitator mundi, eum non cognovit. He says him in the singular, because earlier he had called the Word not only the “light of men,” but also “God”; and so when he says him, he means God. Again, he uses “world” for man. For the angels knew him by their understanding, and the elements by their obeying him; but the world, i.e., man, who lives in the world, did not know him.
Et possumus hunc defectum cognitionis divinae referre vel ad naturam hominis, vel ad culpam. Ad naturam quidem, quia licet omnia haec praedicta auxilia data sint homini, ut ducatur in cognitionem Dei, tamen ratio humana in se deficiens est ab hac cognitione; Iob XXXVI, v. 25: unusquisque intuetur eum procul; et iterum ibi: ecce Deus magnus vincens scientiam nostram. Sed si aliqui eum cognoverunt, hoc fuit non inquantum fuerunt in mundo, sed inquantum fuerunt supra mundum, et tales quibus dignus non erat mundus, quia mundus eum non cognovit. Et est quasi ratio quare ab hominibus Deus non cognoscitur. Et sic mundus accipitur pro inordinato mundi amore; quasi dicat mundus eum non cognovit. Unde si aliquid aeternum in mente perceperunt, hoc fuit inquantum non erant de hoc mundo. 138 We attribute this lack of divine knowledge either to the nature of man or to his guilt. To his nature, indeed, because although all the aforesaid aids were given to man to lead him to the knowledge of God, human reason in itself lacks this knowledge. “Man beholds him from afar” (Jb 36:25), and immediately after, “God is great beyond our knowledge.” But if some have known him, this was not insofar as they were in the world, but above the world; and the kind for whom the world was not worthy, because the world did not know him. Hence if they mentally perceived anything eternal, that was insofar as they were not of this world.
Si vero referatur ad culpam hominis, tunc hoc quod dixit mundus eum non cognovit, est quasi ratio quare ab hominibus Deus non cognoscitur; et sic accipitur mundus pro inordinato mundi amatore. Quasi dicat mundus eum non cognovit, quia sunt mundi amatores. Amor enim mundi, ut dicit Augustinus, maxime retrahit a Dei cognitione; quia amor mundi inimicum Dei constituit, Iac. c. IV, 4. Qui autem non diligit Deum, non potest eum cognoscere; I Cor. II, 14: animalis homo non percipit ea quae sunt spiritus Dei. But if this lack is attributed to man’s guilt, then the phrase, the world did not know him, is a kind of reason why God was not known by man; in this sense world is taken for inordinate lovers of the world. It is as though it said, The world did not know him, because they were lovers of the world. For the love of the world, as Augustine says, is what chiefly withdraws us from the knowledge of God, because “Love of the world makes one an enemy to God” (Jas 4:4); “The sensual man does not perceive the things that pertain to the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:14).
Notandum autem quod ex hoc solvitur quaestio gentilium, qui vane quaerunt: si a paucis temporibus filius Dei pro salute humana mundo innotuit, videtur quod ante tempus illud naturam humanam despiceret. Quibus dicendum est quod non despexit, sed semper fuit in mundo, et quantum in se est, cognoscibilis est ab hominibus; sed quod aliqui eum non cognoverunt, fuit eorum culpa, quia mundi amatores erant. 139 From this we answer the question of the Gentiles who futilely ask this: If it is only recently that the Son of God is set before the world as the Savior of men, does it not seem that before that time he scorned human nature? We should say to them that he did not scorn the world but was always in the world, and on his part is knowable by men; but it was due to their own fault that some have not known him, because they were lovers of the world.
Notandum etiam quod Evangelista loquitur de incarnatione verbi, ut ostendat idem esse verbum incarnatum, et quod erat in principio apud Deum et Deus. Resumit quae de ipso supra dixerat. Ibi enim dixerat quod verbum erat lux hominum; hic vero dicit quod erat lux vera. Ibi quod omnia per ipsum facta sunt; hic vero et mundus per ipsum factus est. Supra vero dixit, quod sine ipso factum est nihil, idest, secundum unam expositionem, omnia conservans; hic vero dicit in mundo erat, mundum et omnia creans et conservans. Ibi dixit: et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt; hic vero et mundus eum non cognovit. Et ideo totum hoc quod sequitur ab illo loco erat lux vera, videtur quaedam explicatio superiorum. 140 We should also note that the Evangelist speaks of the incarnation of the Word to show that the incarnate Word and that which “was in the beginning with God,” and God, are the same. He repeats what he had said of him earlier. For above he had said he [the Word] “was the light of men”; here he says he was the true light. Above, he said that “all things were made through him”; here he says that through him the world was made. Earlier he had said, “without him nothing was made,” i.e., according to one explanation, he conserves all things; here he says, he was in the world, creating and conserving the world and all things. There he had said, “the darkness did not overcome it”; here he says, the world did not know him. And so, all he says after he was the true light, is an explanation of what he had said before.
Possumus etiam ex praedictis accipere triplicem rationem, quare Deus voluit incarnari. Una est perversitas humanae naturae, quae ex sui malitia iam obtenebrata erat vitiorum et ignorantiae obscuritate. Unde supra dixerat quod tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt. Venit ergo in carnem Deus, ut tenebrae possent apprehendere lucem, idest cognitionem eius pertingere. Is. IX, 2: populus, qui ambulabat in tenebris, vidit lucem magnam. 141 We can gather three reasons from the above why God willed to become incarnate. One is because of the perversity of human nature which, because of its own malice, had been darkened by vices and the obscurity of its own ignorance. And so he said before, the darkness did not overcome it. Therefore, God came in the flesh so that the darkness might apprehend the light, i.e., obtain a knowledge of it. “The people who walked in darkness saw a great light” (Is 9:2).
Secunda propter insufficientiam prophetici testimonii. Venerunt enim prophetae, venerat Ioannes; sed sufficienter illuminare non poterant, quia non erat ille lux. Unde necessarium erat ut post prophetarum vaticinia, post Ioannis adventum, lux ipsa veniret, et sui cognitionem mundo traderet; et hoc est quod apostolus dicit, Hebr. I, 1: multifarie, multisque modis olim Deus loquens patribus in prophetis, novissime locutus est nobis in filio; et II Petr. I, 19: habetis propheticum sermonem, cui bene facitis attendentes, donec dies illucescat. The second reason is that the testimony of the prophets was not enough. For the prophets came and John had come; but they were not able to give sufficient enlightenment, because he was not the light. And so, after the prophecies of the prophets and the coming of John, it was necessary that the light itself come and give the world a knowledge of itself. And this is what the Apostle says: “In past times, God spoke in many ways and degrees to our fathers through the prophets; in these days he has spoken to us in his Son” as we find in Hebrews (1:1). “We have the prophetic message, to which you do well to give attention, until the day dawns” (2 Pt 1:19).
Tertia propter creaturarum defectum. Nam creaturae insufficientes erant ad ducendum in cognitionem creatoris; unde mundus per ipsum factus est, et ipsum non cognovit. Unde necessarium erat ut ipse creator per carnem in mundum veniret, et per seipsum cognosceretur: et hoc est quod apostolus dicit, I Cor. I, 21: nam, quia in Dei sapientia mundus non cognovit per sapientiam Deum, placuit Deo per stultitiam praedicationis salvos facere credentes. The third reason is because of the shortcomings of creatures. For creatures were not sufficient to lead to a knowledge of the Creator; hence he says, through him the world was made, and the world did not know him. Thus it was necessary that the Creator himself come into the world in the flesh, and be known through himself. And this is what the Apostle says: “Since in the wisdom of God the world did not know God by its wisdom, it pleased God to save those who believe by the foolishness of our preaching” (1 Cor 1:21).

Lectio 6 LECTURE 6
11 εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον.
12 ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι,
τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
13 οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς
οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλ' ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν.
11 He came unto his own, and his own did not receive him;
12 but whoever received him, he gave them power to become the sons of God,
to all who believe in his name,
13 who are born not from blood, nor from the desires of the flesh,
nor from man’s willing it, but from God.
Assignata necessitate incarnationis verbi, consequenter Evangelista manifestat utilitatem ex ipsa incarnatione ab hominibus consecutam. Et primo insinuat lucis adventum, quia in propria venit; secundo hominum occursum, ibi et sui eum non receperunt; tertio fructum ex adventu lucis allatum, ibi dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri. 142 Having given the necessity for the incarnation of the Word, the Evangelist then shows the advantage men gained from that incarnation. First, he shows the coming of the light (v 11); secondly, its reception by men (v 11b); thirdly, the fruit brought by the coming of the light (v 12).
Ostendit ergo quod lux quae erat praesens in mundo et evidens seu manifesta per effectum, non tamen cognoscebatur a mundo. Et ideo venit in propria, ut cognosceretur. Sed ne, cum dicit venit, intelligeres motum localem hoc modo, ut scilicet venerit quasi desinens esse ubi prius erat, et denuo incipiens esse, ubi prius non erat, dicit Evangelista in propria; idest in ea quae erant sua, quae ipse fecit; et venit ipse, ubi erat. Infra XVI, 28: exivi a patre, et veni in mundum. 143 He shows that the light which was present in the world and evident, i.e., disclosed by its effect, was nevertheless not known by the world. Hence, he came unto his own, in order to be known. The Evangelist says, unto his own, i.e., to things that were his own, which he had made. And he says this so that you do not think that when he says, he came, he means a local motion in the sense that he came as though ceasing to be where he previously was and newly beginning to be where he formerly had not been. He came where he already was. “I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world,” as said below (16:2 8).
Venit, inquam, in propria, idest in Iudaeam, secundum quosdam, quae quidem speciali modo sua erat; Ps. LXXV, 2: notus in Iudaea Deus; Is. V, 7: vinea domini exercituum, domus Israel est. Sed melius est ut dicatur, propria, idest in mundum ab eo creatum; Ps. XXIII, 1: domini est terra. He came, I say, unto his own, i.e., to Judea, according to some, because it was in a special way his own. “In Judea God is known” (Ps 75:1); “The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel” (Is 5:7). But it is better to say, unto his own, i.e., into the world created by him. “The earth is the Lord’s” (Ps 23:1).
Sed si prius erat in mundo, quomodo venit in mundum? Respondeo, dicendum quod venire in aliquem locum dicitur dupliciter, scilicet vel quod aliquis veniat ubi nullo modo prius fuerat, vel quod ubi aliquo modo prius fuerat, incipiat esse quodam novo modo. Sicut rex, qui prius erat in civitate aliqua sui regni per potentiam, ad illam postmodum veniens personaliter, dicitur venire ubi prius erat: venit enim per suam substantiam ubi prius erat solum per suam potentiam. Sic ergo filius Dei venit in mundum, et tamen in mundo erat. Erat quidem per essentiam, potentiam et praesentiam, sed venit per carnis assumptionem; erat invisibilis, venit ut esset visibilis. 144 But if he was previously in the world, how could he come into the world? I answer that “coming to some place” is understood in two ways. First, that someone comes where he absolutely had not been before. Or, secondly, that someone begins to be in a new way where he was before. For example, a king, who up to a certain time was in a city of his kingdom by his power and later visits it in person, is said to have come where he previously was: for he comes by his substance where previously he was present only by his power. It was in this way that the Son of God came into the world and yet was in the world. For he was there, indeed, by his essence, power and presence, but he came by assuming flesh. He was there invisibly, and he came in order to be visible.
Deinde cum dicit et sui eum non receperunt, sequitur hominum occursus, qui differenter se habuerunt ad venientem. Quia quidam eum receperunt, non sui; unde dicitur et sui eum non receperunt. Sui sunt homines, quia ab eo formati; Gen. II, 7: formavit Deus hominem; Ps. XCIX, 3: scitote, quoniam dominus ipse fecit nos, quia ad eius imaginem facti: Gen. I, 26: faciamus hominem. 145 Then when he says, and his own did not receive him, we have the reception given him by men, who reacted in different ways. For some did receive him, but these were not his own; hence he says, his own did not receive him. “His own” are men, because they were formed by him. “The Lord God formed man” (Gn 2:7); “Know that the Lord is God: he made us” (Ps 99:3). And he made them to his own image, “Let us make man to our image” (Gn 1:26).
Sed melius est ut dicamus sui, idest Iudaei, eum non receperunt, per fidem credendo et honorando; infra V, 43: ego veni in nomine patris mei, et non recepistis me; et infra VIII, 49: ego honorifico patrem meum, et vos inhonorastis me. Sunt quidem Iudaei, sui, quia ab ipso in populum peculiarem electi; Deut. XXVI, 18: elegit te dominus in populum peculiarem. Sui secundum carnem coniuncti; Rom. IX, 5: ex quibus Christus secundum carnem. Item sui, ab eo beneficiis promoti; Is. I, 2: filios enutrivi, et exaltavi. Sed licet sui, Iudaei eum non receperunt. But it is better to say, his own, i.e., the Jews, did not receive him, through faith by believing, and by showing honor to him. “I have come in the name of my Father, and you do not receive me” (below 5:43), and “I honor my Father and you have dishonored me” (below 8:49). Now the Jews are his own because they were chosen by him to be his special people. “The Lord chose you to be his special people” (Dt 26:18). They are his own because related according to the flesh, “from whom is Christ, according to the flesh,” as said in Romans (9:3). They are also his own because enriched by his kindness, “I have reared and brought up sons” (Is 1:2). But although the Jews were his own, they did not receive him.
Non defuerunt tamen, qui eum receperunt; unde subdit quotquot autem receperunt. Utitur Evangelista hoc modo loquendi, dicens quotquot, ut ostendat ampliorem esse factam solutionem, quam fuerit promissio, quae facta fuit solum suis, scilicet Iudaeis; Is. XXXIII, 22: dominus legifer noster, dominus rex noster; ipse salvabit nos. Sed solutio non solum fuit facta suis, sed quotquot receperunt eum, idest omnibus in eum credentibus; Rom. XV, 8: dico autem Christum ministrum fuisse circumcisionis propter veritatem Dei, ad confirmandas promissiones patrum, idest patribus factas. Gentes autem super misericordia, quia misericorditer sunt recepti. 146 However, there were not lacking those who did receive him. Hence he adds, but whoever received him. The Evangelist uses this manner of speaking, saying, but whoever, to indicate that the deliverance would be more extensive than the promise, which had been made only to his own, i.e., to the Jews. “The Lord is our law giver, the Lord is our king; he will save us” (Is 33:22). But this deliverance was not only for his own, but for whoever received him, i.e., whoever believe in him. “For I say that Christ was a minister to the circumcised, for the sake of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the fathers” (Rom 15:8). The Gentiles, however, [are delivered] by his mercy, because they were received through his mercy.
Dicit quotquot, ut ostendat quod gratia Dei indifferenter datur omnibus recipientibus Christum; Act. X, 45: ergo in nationes gratia spiritus sancti effusa est. Et non solum liberis, sed etiam servis, non solum masculis, sed etiam feminis; Gal. III, 28: in Christo Iesu non est masculus, nec femina, gentilis, vel Iudaeus, circumcisio et praeputium et cetera. 147 He says, whoever, to show that God’s grace is given without distinction to all who receive Christ. “The grace of the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon the Gentiles”(Acts 10:45). And not only to free men, but to slaves as well; not only to men, but to women also. “In Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female, Jew or Greek, the circumcised or uncircumcised” (Gal 3:28).
Deinde cum dicit dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, sequitur fructus eius adventus. Ubi primo ponit fructus magnificentiam, quia dedit eis potestatem; secundo ostendit quibus datur, quia his qui credunt; tertio insinuat modum dandi, quia non ex sanguinibus. 148 Then when he says, he gave them power to become the sons of God, we have the fruit of his coming. First, he mentions the grandeur of the fruit, for he gave them power. Secondly, he shows to whom it is given, to all who believe. Thirdly, he indicates the way it is given, not from blood, and so forth.
Est ergo fructus adventus filii Dei magnus, quia homines fiunt per hoc filii Dei; Gal. IV, 4: misit Deus filium suum factum ex muliere, ut adoptionem filiorum reciperemus. Et hoc congrue, ut qui sumus filii Dei, per hoc quod assimilamur filio, reformemur per filium. 149 The fruit of the coming of the Son of God is great, because by it men are made sons of God. “God sent his Son made from a woman... so that we might receive our adoption as sons” (Gal 4:5). And it was fitting that we, who. are sons of God by the fact that we are made like the Son, should be reformed through the Son.
Dicit ergo dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri. Ad cuius evidentiam sciendum est, quod homines fiunt filii Dei per assimilationem ad Deum; et ideo secundum triplicem assimilationem hominum ad Deum homines sunt filii Dei. Primo enim per gratiae infusionem: unde quicumque habet gratiam gratum facientem, efficitur filius Dei; Rom. VIII, 15: non enim accepistis spiritum servitutis etc.; Gal. IV, 6: quoniam estis filii Dei, misit Deus spiritum filii sui. 150 So he says, he gave them power to become the sons of God. To understand this we should remark that men become sons of God by being made like God. Hence men are sons of God according to a threefold likeness to God. First, by the infusion of grace; hence anyone having sanctifying grace is made a son of God. “You did not receive the spirit of slavery... but the spirit of adoption as sons,” as said in Romans (8:15). “Because you are sons of God, God sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts” (Gal 4:6).
Secundo assimilamur Deo per operum perfectionem, quia qui facit opera iustitiae, est filius; Matth. V, 44: diligite inimicos vestros. Secondly, we are like God by the perfection of our actions, because one who acts justly is a son: “Love your enemies... so that you may be the children of your Father” (Mt 5:44).
Tertio assimilamur Deo per gloriae adeptionem, et quantum ad animam per lumen gloriae, I Io. III, 2: cum apparuerit, similes ei erimus, et quantum ad corpus, Phil. III, v. 21: reformabit corpus humilitatis nostrae. Unde de istis duobus dicitur Rom. VIII, 23: adoptionem filiorum Dei expectantes. Thirdly, we are made like God by the attainment of glory. The glory of the soul by the light of glory, “When he appears we shall be like him” (1 Jn 3:2); and the glory of the body, “He will reform our lowly body” (Phil 3:21). Of these two it is said in Romans (8:23), “We are waiting for our adoption as sons of God.”
Si ergo accipiamus potestatem filios Dei fieri quantum ad operum perfectionem et gloriae adeptionem, nullam difficultatem habebit sermo, quia cum dicit dedit eis potestatem, intelligitur de potestate gratiae, qua habita, potest homo facere opera perfectionis, et adipisci gloriam; quia, ut dicitur Rom. VI, 23, gratia Dei vita aeterna. Et secundum hunc modum dicitur dedit eis, qui eum receperunt, potestatem, idest infusionem gratiae, filios Dei fieri, bene operando, et gloriam acquirendo. 151 If we take the power to become the sons of God as referring to the perfection of our actions and the attainment of glory, the statement offers no difficulty. For then when he says, he gave them power, he is referring to the power of grace; and when a man possesses this, he can perform works of perfection and attain glory, since “The grace of God is eternal life” (Rom 6:23). According to this way we have, he gave them, to those who received him, power, i.e., the infusion of grace, to become the sons of God, by acting well and acquiring glory.
Si vero intelligatur de gratiae infusione, tunc dubitationem habet hoc quod dicitur dedit eis potestatem, quia non est in potestate nostra fieri filios Dei, cum non sit in potestate nostra gratiam habere. Hoc ergo quod dicit dedit eis potestatem, aut intelligitur de potestate naturae: et hoc non videtur esse verum, quia infusio gratiae est supra naturam nostram. Aut intelligitur de potestate gratiae: et tunc hoc ipsum est gratiam habere, quod habere potestatem filios Dei fieri; et sic non dedit potestatem filios fieri Dei, sed filios Dei esse. 152 But if this statement refers to the infusion of grace, then his saying, he gave them power, gives rise to a difficulty. And this is because it is not in our power to be made sons of God, since it is not in our power to possess grace. We can understand, he gave them power, as a power of nature; but this does not seem to be true since the infusion of grace is above our nature. Or we can understand it as the power of grace, and then to have grace is to have power to become the sons of God. And in this sense he did not give them power to become sons of God, but to be sons of God.
Ad quod dicendum quod in datione gratiae requiritur in homine adulto ad iustificationem suam consensus per motum liberi arbitrii: unde quia in potestate hominis est ut consentiat et non consentiat, dedit eis potestatem. Dedit autem hanc potestatem suscipiendi gratiam dupliciter: praeparando, et hominibus proponendo. Sicut enim qui facit librum, et proponit homini ad legendum, dicitur dare potestatem legendi; ita Christus, per quem gratia facta est, ut dicitur infra, et qui operatus est salutem in medio terrae, ut dicitur in Ps. LXXIII, 12, dedit nobis potestatem filios Dei fieri per gratiae susceptionem. 153 The answer to this is that when grace is given to an adult, his justification requires an act of consent by a movement of his free will. So, because it is in the power of men to consent and not to consent, he gave them power. However, he gives this power of accepting grace in two ways: by preparing it, and by offering it to him. For just as one who writes a book and offers it to a man to read is said to give the power to read it, so Christ, through whom grace was produced (as will be said below), and who “accomplished salvation on the earth” (Ps 73:12), gave us power to become the sons of God by offering grace.
Secundo, quia hoc non sufficit, cum etiam liberum arbitrium indigeat ad hoc quod moveatur ad gratiae susceptionem, auxilio gratiae divinae, non quidem habitualis, sed moventis, ideo dat potestatem movendo liberum arbitrium hominis, ut consentiat ad susceptionem gratiae, iuxta illud Thren. ult., v. 21: converte nos, domine, ad te, movendo voluntatem nostram ad amorem tuum, et convertemur. Et hoc modo vocatur interior vocatio, de qua dicitur Rom. VIII, 30: quos vocavit, interius voluntatem instigando ad consentiendum gratiae, hos iustificavit, gratiam infundendo. 154 Yet this is not sufficient since even free will, if it is to be moved to receive grace, needs the help of divine grace, not indeed habitual grace, but movent grace. For this reason, secondly, he gives power by moving the free will of man to consent to the reception of grace, as in “Convert us to yourself, 0 Lord,” by moving our will to your love, “and we will be converted” (Lam 5:21). And in this sense we speak of an interior call, of which it is said, “Those whom he called,” by inwardly moving the will to consent to grace, “he justified,” by infusing grace (Rom 8:3).
Quia vero per hanc gratiam habet homo hanc potestatem conservandi se in divina filiatione, potest et aliter dici: dedit eis, idest eum recipientibus, potestatem filios Dei fieri, idest gratiam, per quam potentes sunt in divina filiatione conservari; I Io. ult., 18: omnis qui natus est ex Deo, non peccat, sed gratia Dei, per quam regeneramur in filios Dei, conservat eum. 155 Since by this grace man has the power of maintaining himself in the divine sonship, one may read these words in another way. He gave them, i.e., those who receive him, power to become the sons of God, i.e., the grace by which they are able to be maintained in the divine sonship. “Everyone who is born from God does not sin, but the grace of God,” through which we are reborn as children of God, “preserves him” (1 Jn 5:18).
Sic ergo dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, per gratiam gratum facientem, per operum perfectionem, per gloriae adeptionem, et haec praeparando, movendo et conservando gratiam. 156 Thus, he gave them power to become the sons of God, through sanctifying grace, through the perfection of their actions, and through the attainment of glory; and he did this by preparing this grace, moving their wills, and preserving this grace.
Deinde cum dicit his qui credunt in nomine eius, ostenditur quibus conferatur fructus eius adventus. Et hoc quidem potest accipi dupliciter, vel ut sit expositivum superiorum, vel determinativum. Expositivum quidem, quia Evangelista dixerat quotquot autem receperunt eum; ut ergo ostendat quid est recipere eum, quasi exponendo, consequenter subiungit his qui credunt in nomine eius; quasi dicat: hoc est recipere eum, in eum credere, quia per fidem Christus habitat in cordibus nostris, iuxta illud Eph. III, 17: habitare Christum per fidem in cordibus vestris. Illi ergo receperunt eum, qui credunt in nomine eius. 157 Then when he says, to all who believe in his name, he shows those on whom the fruit of his coming is conferred. We can understand this in two ways: either as explaining what was said before, or as qualifying it. We can regard it as explaining as the Evangelist had said, whoever received him, and now to show what it is to receive him, he adds by way of explanation, who believe in his name. It is as though he were saying: To receive him is to believe in him, because it is through faith that Christ dwells in your hearts, as in “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph 3:17). Therefore, they received him, who believe in his name.
Ut determinativum vero ponitur ab Origene in homilia quae incipit vox spiritualis. Hoc modo multi recipiunt Christum, dicentes se esse Christianos, qui tamen non fiunt filii Dei, quia non vere credunt in nomine eius, falsa dogmata de Christo suggerendo, subtrahendo scilicet aliquid sibi de divinitate, vel de humanitate, iuxta illud I Io. c. IV, 3: omnis spiritus qui solvit Christum, ex Deo non est. Et ideo Evangelista quasi determinando dicit dedit eis, scilicet recipientibus eum per fidem, potestatem filios Dei fieri, illis tamen, qui credunt in nomine eius, idest qui nomen Christi integrum servant, ut nihil de divinitate, vel humanitate Christi diminuant. 158 Origen regards this as a qualifying statement, in his homily, “The spiritual voice.” In this sense, many receive Christ, declaring that they are Christians, but they are not sons of God, because they do not truly believe in his name; for they propose false dogmas about Christ by taking away something from his divinity or humanity, as in “Every spirit that denies Christ is not from God” (1 Jn 4:3). And so the Evangelist says, as though contracting his meaning, he gave them, i.e., those who receive him by faith, power to become the sons of God, to those, however, who believe in his name, i.e., who keep the name of Christ whole, in such a way as not to lessen anything of the divinity or humanity of Christ.
Potest etiam hoc referri ad formationem fidei, ut dicatur his scilicet dedit potestatem filios Dei fieri, qui credunt in nomine eius, idest per fidem charitate formatam opera salutis faciunt. Illi enim qui habent solum fidem informem, non credunt in nomine eius, quia non operantur ad salutem. 159 We can also refer this to formed faith, in the sense that to all, that is, he gave power to become the sons of God, who believe in his name, i.e., those who do the works of salvation through a faith formed by charity. For those who have only an unformed faith do not believe in his name because they do not work unto salvation.
Sed prima expositio, quae accipitur ut expositivum praemissorum, melior est. However, the first exposition, which is taken as explaining what preceded, is better.
Deinde cum dicit qui non ex sanguinibus etc., ostenditur qualiter conferatur hominibus tam magnificus fructus. Quia enim dixerat quod fructus advenientis lucis est potestas fieri filios Dei hominibus data; filius autem dicitur aliquis ex eo quod nascitur: ne aestimes eos materiali generatione nasci, dicit non ex sanguinibus. Et licet hoc nomen sanguis in Latino non habeat plurale, quia tamen in Graeco habet, ideo translator regulam grammaticae servare non curavit, ut veritatem perfecte doceret. Unde non dicit ex sanguine, secundum Latinos, sed ex sanguinibus; per quod intelligitur quicquid ex sanguine generatur, concurrens ut materia ad carnalem generationem. Semen autem, secundum philosophum, est ultimi superfluitas cibi sanguinei. Unde sive semen viri, sive menstruum mulieris, intelligitur per sanguinem. 160 Then when he says, who are born not from blood, he shows the way in which so great a fruit is conferred on men. For since he had said that the fruit of the light’s coming is the power given to men to become the sons of God, then to forestall the supposition that they are born through a material generation he says, not from blood. And although the word “blood” (sanguis) has no plural in Latin, but does in Greek, the translator [from Greek into Latin] ignored a rule of grammar in order to teach the truth more perfectly. So he does not say, “from blood,” in the Latin manner, but “from bloods” (ex sanguinibus) . This indicates whatever is generated from blood, serving as the matter in carnal generation. According to the Philosopher [ On the Generation of Animals, 1, c 18, 726a26-8], “semen is a residue derived from useful nourishment in its final form.” So “blood” indicates either the seed of the male or the menses of the female.
Causa vero motiva ad actum carnalem est voluntas se commiscentium, scilicet maris et feminae, quia licet actus virtutis generativae secundum quod huiusmodi, non sit subiectus voluntati, praeambula tamen ad ipsum voluntati subiiciuntur; et ideo dicit neque ex voluntate carnis, pro persona mulieris, neque ex voluntate viri, ut ex causa efficiente sed ex Deo nati sunt; quasi dicat: non carnaliter, sed spiritualiter filii Dei fiunt. The cause moving to the carnal act is the will of those coming together, the man and the woman. For although the act of the generative power as such is not subject to the will, the preliminaries to it are subject to the will. So he says, nor from the desires of the flesh, referring to the woman; nor from man’s willing it, as from an efficient cause; but from God. It is as though he were saying: They became sons of God, not carnally, but spiritually.
Accipitur autem hic caro, secundum Augustinum, pro muliere, quia sicut caro obedit spiritui, sic mulier debet obedire viro; Gen. c. II, 23 dixit Adam de muliere: hoc nunc os ex ossibus meis. Et attendendum, secundum Augustinum, quod sicut dissipatur possessio domus, in qua principatur mulier et subiicitur vir, ita dissipatur homo, cum caro dominatur spiritui; propter quod dicit apostolus, Rom. VIII, 12: debitores sumus non carni, ut secundum carnem vivamus. De modo autem dictae generationis carnalis dicitur Sap. VII, 1: in ventre matris figuratus sum caro. According to Augustine, “flesh” is taken here for the woman, because as the flesh obeys the spirit, so woman should obey man. Adam (Gn 2:23) said of the woman, “This, at last, is bone of my bones.” And note, according to Augustine, that just as the possessions of a household are wasted away if the woman rules and the man is subject, so a man is wasted away when the flesh rules the spirit. For this reason the Apostle says, “We are not debtors to the flesh, so that we should live according to the flesh” (Rom 8:12). Concerning the manner of this carnal generation, we read, “In the womb of my mother I was molded into flesh” (Wis 7:1).
Vel possumus dicere quod motivum ad carnalem generationem est duplex; unum scilicet ex parte appetitus intellectivi, quae est voluntas; aliud a parte sensitivi, quod est concupiscentia. Ad designandum ergo materialem causam, dixit non ex sanguinibus; sed ad designandum causam efficientem quantum ad concupiscentiam, dicit neque ex voluntate carnis; quamvis improprie voluntas dicatur concupiscentia carnis, quo tamen modo dicitur Gal. V, 17: caro concupiscit adversus spiritum et cetera. Ad designandum vero appetitum intellectivum dicit non ex voluntate viri. Sic ergo generatio filiorum Dei non est carnalis, sed est spiritualis, quia ex Deo nati sunt. I Io. V, 4: omne quod natum est ex Deo vincit mundum. 161 Or, we might say that the moving force to carnal generation is twofold: the intellectual appetite on the one hand, that is, the will; and on the other hand, the sense appetite, which is concupiscence. So, to indicate the material cause he says, not from blood. To indicate the efficient cause, in respect to concupiscence, he says, nor from the desires of the flesh [ ex voluntate carnis, literally, “from the will of the flesh”], even though the concupiscence of the flesh is improperly called a “will” in the sense of Galatians (5:17), “The flesh lusts against the spirit.” Finally, to indicate the intellectual appetite he says, nor from man’s willing it. So, the generation of the sons of God is not carnal but spiritual, because they were born from God. “Every one who is born from God conquers the world” (1 Jn 5:4).
Nota autem quod haec praepositio de semper denotat materialem causam, et efficientem, et etiam consubstantialem: dicimus enim quod faber facit cultellum de ferro, et pater generat filium suum de seipso, quia aliquid sui concurrit aliquo modo ad generationem. Haec vero praepositio a semper denotat causam moventem. Haec vero praepositio ex accipitur ut communis, quia importat causam materialem et efficientem, non tamen consubstantialem. 162 Note, however, that this preposition de (“of,” or “from”), always signifies a material cause as well as an efficient and even a consubstantial cause. Thus we say a blacksmith makes a knife de ferro (“from” iron), and a father generates his son de seipso (“from” himself), because something of his concurs somehow in begetting. But the preposition a (“by”) always signifies a moving cause. The preposition ex (“from,” or “by”)—[in the sense of “out of” or “by reason of”]—is taken as something common, since it implies an efficient as well as a material cause, although not a consubstantial cause.
Unde quia solus filius Dei, qui est verbum, est de substantia patris, imo cum patre est una substantia, alii vero sancti, qui sunt filii adoptivi, non sunt de eius substantia; ideo Evangelista utitur hac praepositione ex, dicens de aliis ex Deo nati sunt; de filio vero naturali, quod de patre est natus. Consequently, since only the Son of God, who is the Word, is “ of ” (de) the substance of the Father and indeed is one substance with the Father, while the saints, who are adopted sons, are not of his substance, the Evangelist uses the preposition ex, saying of others that they are born from God (ex Deo) , but of the natural Son, he says that he is born of the Father (de Patre) .
Notandum est etiam quod secundum ultimam expositionem carnalis generationis possumus accipere differentiam carnalis generationis ad spiritualem. Quia enim illa est ex sanguinibus, ideo carnalis; ista vero, quia non est ex sanguinibus, ideo spiritualis; infra III, 6: quod natum est ex carne, caro est, et quod natum est ex spiritu, spiritus est. Item, quia materialis generatio est ex voluntate carnis, idest ex concupiscentia, ideo est immunda, et generat filios peccatores; Eph. II, 3: eramus natura filii irae. Item, quia illa est ex voluntate viri, idest hominis, facit filios hominum; haec vero, quia est ex Deo, facit filios Dei. 163 Note also that in the light of our last exposition of carnal generation, we can discern the difference between carnal and spiritual generation. For since the former is from blood, it is carnal; but the latter, because it is not from blood, is spiritual. “What is born from flesh is itself flesh; and what is born from Spirit is itself spirit” (below 3:6). Again, because material generation is from the desires of the flesh, i.e., from concupiscence, it is unclean and begets children who are sinners: “We were by nature children of wrath” as it says in Ephesians (2:3). Again, because the former is from man’s willing it, that is, from man, it makes children of men; but the latter, because it is from God, makes children of God.
Si vero hoc quod dicit dedit eis potestatem, voluit referre ad Baptismum, propter quod in filios Dei regeneramur, possumus videre in hoc ordinem Baptismi, ut scilicet primo requiratur fides, quod fit in catechumenis, qui debent primo instrui de fide, ut scilicet credant in nomine eius, et deinde regenerentur per Baptismum, non quidem ex sanguinibus carnaliter, sed ex Deo spiritualiter. 164 But if he intends to refer his statement, he gave them power, to baptism, in virtue of which we are reborn as sons of God, we can detect in his words the order of baptism: that is, the first thing required is faith, as shown in the case of catechumens, who must first be instructed about the faith so that they may believe in his name; then through baptism they are reborn, not carnally from blood, but spiritually from God.

Lectio 7 LECTURE 7
14 καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν,
14a And the Word was made flesh, and made his dwelling among us.
Posita necessitate adventus verbi in carnem et etiam utilitate, consequenter Evangelista modum veniendi manifestat dicens et verbum caro factum est. Et secundum hoc continuatur ad hoc quod dixerat: in propria venit; quasi dicat: verbum Dei in propria venit. Sed ne credas ipsum venisse, locum mutando, ostendit modum quo venit, scilicet per incarnationem: eo enim modo venit, quo missus est a patre, a quo missus est, inquantum factus est caro. Gal. IV, 4: misit Deus filium suum, factum ex muliere etc., ubi dicit Augustinus: eo missum, quo factum. 165 Having explained the necessity for the Word’s coming in the flesh as well as the benefits this conferred, the Evangelist now shows the way he came (v 14a). He thus resumes the thread with his earlier statement, he came unto his own. As if to say: The Word of God came unto his own. But lest anyone suppose that he came by changing his location, he shows the manner in which he came, that is, by an incarnation. For he came in the manner in which he was sent by the Father, by whom he was sent, i.e., he was made flesh. “God sent his Son made from a woman” (Gal 4:4). And Augustine says about this that “He was sent in the manner in which he was made.”
Secundum Chrysostomum autem continuatur ad illud dedit eis potestatem etc.; quasi dicat: si quaeris unde potuit dare hanc potestatem hominibus, ut filii Dei fierent, respondet Evangelista quia verbum caro factum est, dedit nobis quod possemus filii Dei fieri. Gal. IV, 5: misit Deus filium suum, ut adoptionem filiorum Dei reciperemus. According to Chrysostom, however, he is here continuing the earlier statement, he gave them power to become the sons of God. As if to say: If you wonder how he was able to give this power to men, i.e., that they become sons of God, the Evangelist answers: because the Word was made flesh, he made it possible for us to be made sons of God. “God sent his Son... so that we might receive our adoption as sons” (Gal 4:5).
Secundum vero Augustinum continuatur sic ad hoc quod dixerat sed ex Deo nati sunt: quasi enim dure videbatur, ut homines ex Deo nascerentur, ideo quasi in argumentum huius dicti, ut scilicet verbum esse credatur, subdit Evangelista illud de quo minus videtur, scilicet quod verbum caro factum est. Quasi dicat: ne mireris si homines ex Deo sunt nati, quia verbum caro factum est, idest Deus factus est homo. But according to Augustine, he is continuing the earlier statement, who are born from God. For since it seemed a hard saying that men be born from God, then, as though arguing in support of this and to produce belief in the existence of the Word, the Evangelist adds something which seems less seemly, namely, that the Word was made flesh. As if to say: Do not wonder if men are born from God, because the Word was made flesh, i.e., God became man.
Notandum quod hoc quod dicitur verbum caro factum est, quidam male intelligentes, sumpserunt occasionem erroris. Quidam namque posuerunt verbum ita carnem factum esse ac si ipsum vel aliquid eius sit in carnem conversum, sicut cum farina fit panis, et aer ignis. Et hic fuit Eutiches, qui posuit commixtionem naturarum in Christo, dicens in eo eamdem fuisse Dei et hominis naturam. Sed huius opinionis falsitas manifeste apparet, quia, sicut est dictum supra, verbum erat Deus. Deus autem immutabilis est, ut dicitur Mal. III, 6: ego Deus, et non mutor, unde nullo modo potest esse quod in aliam naturam convertatur. Est ergo dicendum contra Eutichem verbum caro factum est: verbum carnem assumpsit, non quod ipsum verbum sit ipsa caro; sicut si dicamus: homo factus est albus, non quod ipse sit ipsa albedo, sed quod albedinem assumpsit. 166 It should be noted that this statement, the Word was made flesh, has been misinterpreted by some and made the occasion of error. For certain ones have presumed that the Word became flesh in the sense that he or something of him was turned into flesh, as when flour is made into bread, and air becomes fire. One of these was Eutyches, who postulated a mixture of natures in Christ, saying that in him the nature of God and of man was the same. We can clearly see that this is false because, as was said above, “the Word was God.” Now God is immutable, as is said, “I am the Lord, and I do not change” (Mal 3:6). Hence in no way can it be said that he was turned into another nature. Therefore, one must say in opposition to Eutyches, the Word was made flesh, i.e., the Word assumed flesh, but not in the sense that the Word himself is that flesh. It is as if we were to say: “The man became white,” not that he is that whiteness, but that he assued whiteness.
Fuerunt etiam alii qui, licet crederent verbum non in carnem mutatum sed quod eam assumpsit, tamen dixerunt ipsum assumpsisse carnem sine anima; nam si carnem animatam assumpsisset, dixisset Evangelista: verbum caro cum anima factum est. Et sic fuit error Arii, qui dixit quod in Christo non erat anima, sed verbum Dei erat ibi loco animae. 167 There were others who, although they believed that the Word was not changed into flesh but assumed it, nevertheless said that he assumed flesh without a soul; for if he had assumed flesh with a soul, the Evangelist would have said, “the Word was made flesh with a soul.” This was the error of Arius, who said that there was no soul in Christ, but that the Word of God was there in place of a soul.
Et huius positionis falsitas apparet, tum quia repugnat sacrae Scripturae, quae in pluribus locis mentionem facit de anima Christi, sicut illud Matth. XXVI, 38: tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem; tum etiam quia quaedam passiones animae recitantur de Christo, quae in verbo Dei nullo modo esse possunt, nec etiam in carne sola, sicut illud Matth. XXVI, 37: coepit Iesus taedere, et maestus esse; tum etiam quia Deus non potest esse forma alicuius corporis; nec etiam Angelus corpori uniri potest per modum formae, cum secundum naturam a corpore sit separatus; anima autem unitur corpori sicut forma. Non igitur verbum Dei corporis forma esse potest. The falsity of this opinion is obvious, both because it is in conflict with Sacred Scripture, which often mentions the soul of Christ, as: “My soul is sad, even to the point of death” (Mt 26:38), and because certain affections of the soul are observed in Christ which can not possibly exist in the Word of God or in flesh alone: “He began to be sorrowful and troubled” (Mt 26:37). Also, God cannot be the form of a body. Nor can an angel be united to a body as its form, since an angel, according to its very nature, is separated from body, whereas a soul is united to a body as its form. Consequently, the Word of God cannot be the form of a body.
Praeterea, constat quod caro non sortitur speciem carnis, nisi per animam: quod patet, quia recedente anima a corpore hominis, seu bovis, caro hominis vel bovis, non dicitur caro nisi aequivoce. Si ergo verbum non assumpsit carnem animatam, manifestum est quod non assumpsit carnem. Sed verbum caro factum est; ergo carnem animatam assumpsit. Furthermore, it is plain that flesh does not acquire the specific nature of flesh except through its soul. This is shown by the fact that when the soul has withdrawn from the body of a man or a cow, the flesh of the man or the cow is called flesh only in an equivocal sense. So if the Word did not assume flesh with a soul, it is obvious that he did not assume flesh. But the Word was made flesh; therefore, he assumed flesh with a soul.
Fuerunt autem alii, qui, ex hoc moti, dixerunt verbum carnem quidem animatam assumpsisse, sed anima sensitiva tantum, non intellectiva, loco cuius in corpore Christi dixerunt verbum esse. Et hic fuit error Apollinaris, qui quandoque Arium secutus est, tandem propter auctoritates praedictas coactus fuit ponere aliquam animam in Christo, quae posset harum passionum esse subiectum, ita tamen quod ratione et intellectu careret sed loco horum verbum esset in homine Christo. 168 And there were others who, influenced by this, said that the Word did indeed assume flesh with a soul, but this soul was only a sensitive soul, not an intellectual one; the Word took the place of the intellectual soul in Christ’s body. This was the error of Apollinaris. He followed Arius for a time, but later in the face of the [scriptural] authorities cited above, was forced to admit a soul in Christ which could be the subject of these emotions. But he said this soul lacked reason and intellect, and that in the man Christ their place was taken by the Word.
Sed hoc manifeste apparet esse falsum, quia repugnat auctoritati sacrae Scripturae, in qua quaedam dicuntur de Christo, quae nec in divinitate, nec in anima sensitiva, nec in carne inveniri possunt: sicut illud quod admiratus est, ut dicitur Matth. VIII, 10; admiratio autem est passio animae rationalis et intellectivae, cum sit desiderium cognoscendi causam occultam effectus visi. Sic igitur, sicut tristitia cogit in Christo ponere partem animae sensitivam, contra Arium, ita admiratio cogit ponere in ipso partem animae intellectivam, contra Apollinarem. This too is obviously false, because it conflicts with the authority of Sacred Scripture in which certain things are said of Christ that cannot be found in his divinity, nor in a sensitive soul, nor in flesh alone; for example, that Christ marvelled, as in Matthew (8:10). For to marvel or wonder is a state which arises in a rational and intellectual soul when a desire arises to know the hidden cause of an observed effect. Therefore, just as sadness compels one to place a sensitive element in the soul of Christ, against Arius, so marvelling or amazement forces one to admit, against Apollinaris, an intellectual element in Christ.
Idem etiam apparet per rationem. Sicut enim non est caro sine anima, ita non est vera caro humana sine anima humana, quae est anima intellectiva. Si ergo verbum assumpsit carnem animatam anima sensitiva tantum, et non rationali, non assumpsit carnem humanam: et ita non poterit dici: Deus factus est homo. The same conclusion can be reached by reason. For as there is no flesh without a soul, so there is no human flesh without a human soul, which is an intellectual soul. So if the Word assumed flesh which was animated with a merely sensitive soul to the exclusion of a rational soul, he did not assume human flesh; consequently, one could not say: “God became man.”
Praeterea ad hoc verbum humanam naturam assumpsit, ut eam repararet. Ergo id reparavit quod assumpsit. Si ergo non assumpsit animam rationalem, non reparasset eam: et sic nullus fructus proveniret nobis ex verbi incarnatione, quod falsum est. Verbum ergo caro factum est, idest carnem animatam anima rationali assumpsit. Besides, the Word assumed human nature in order to repair it. Therefore, he repaired what he assumed. But if he did not assume a rational soul, he would not have repaired it. Consequently, no fruit would have accrued to us from the incarnation of the Word; and this is false. Therefore, the Word was made flesh, i.e., assumed flesh which was animated by a rational soul.
Sed forte dicis: si verbum carnem sic animatam assumpsit, quare Evangelista de anima rationali mentionem non fecit, sed de carne solum dicens verbum caro factum est? Respondeo dicendum quod propter quatuor rationes Evangelista hoc fecit. 169 But you may say: If the Word did assume flesh with such a soul, why did the Evangelist not mention “rational soul,” instead of only “flesh,” saying, the Word was made flesh? I answer that the Evangelist had four reasons for doing this.
Primo ad ostendendum veritatem incarnationis contra Manichaeos, qui dicebant verbum non assumpsisse veram carnem, sed phantasticam tantum, cum non esset conveniens ut boni Dei verbum assumeret carnem, quam ipsi dicebant Diaboli creaturam. Et ideo Evangelista, ut hoc excluderet, fecit de carne specialiter mentionem; sicut et Christus, Lc. XXIV, 39, existimantibus discipulis eum esse phantasma, veritatem resurrectionis ostendit, dicens: spiritus carnem et ossa non habet, sicut me videtis habere. First, to show the truth of the incarnation against the Manichaeans, who said that the Word did not assume true flesh, but only imaginary flesh, since it would not have been becoming for the Word of the good God to assume flesh, which they regarded as a creature of the devil. And so to exclude this the Evangelist made special mention of the flesh, just as Christ showed the truth of the resurrection to the disciples when they took him for a spirit, saying: “A spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have” (Lk 24:39).
Secundo ad demonstrandam Dei erga nos magnitudinem benignitatis. Constat enim quod anima rationalis magis conformis est Deo quam caro, et quidem magnum pietatis sacramentum fuisset si verbum assumpsisset animam humanam, utpote sibi conformem, sed assumere etiam carnem elongatam a simplicitate suae naturae, fuit multo amplioris, immo inaestimabilis pietatis indicium; secundum quod apostolus dicit I ad Tim. III, 16: et manifeste magnum est pietatis sacramentum, quod manifestatum est in carne. Et ideo ut hoc ostenderet Evangelista, solum de carne mentionem fecit. Secondly, to show the greatness of God’s kindness to us. For it is evident that the rational soul has a greater conformity to God than does flesh, and that it would have been a great sign of compassion if the Word had assumed a human soul, as being conformed to himself. But to assume flesh too, which is something far removed from the simplicity of his nature, was a sign of a much greater, indeed, of an incomprehensible compassion. As the Apostle says (1 Tim 3:16): “Obviously great is the mystery of godliness which appeared in the flesh.” And so to indicate this, the Evangelist mentioned only flesh.
Tertio ad demonstrandam veritatem et singularitatem unionis in Christo. Aliis enim hominibus sanctis unitur quidem Deus, quantum ad animam solum; unde dicitur Sap. VII, v. 27: per nationes in animas sanctas se transfert, amicos Dei et prophetas constituens. Sed quod verbum Dei uniretur carni, hoc est singulare in Christo, secundum illud in Ps. CXL, 10: singulariter sum ego donec transeam; Iob XXVIII, 17: non adaequabitur ei aurum. Hanc ergo singularitatem unionis in Christo ostendere volens Evangelista, de carne solum mentionem fecit, dicens verbum caro factum est. Thirdly, to demonstrate the truth and uniqueness of the union in Christ. For God is indeed united to other holy men, but only with respect to their soul; so it is said: “She [wisdom] passes into holy souls, making them friends of God and prophets” (Wis 7:27). But that the Word of God is united to flesh is unique to Christ, according to the Psalmist: “I am alone until I pass” (Ps 140:10). “Gold cannot equal it” (Jb 28:17). So the Evangelist, wishing to show the uniqueness of the union in Christ, mentioned only the flesh, saying, the Word was made flesh.
Quarto ad insinuandam congruitatem humanae reparationis. Homo enim per carnem infirmabatur, et ideo Evangelista volens insinuare adventum verbi congruum esse nostrae reparationi, mentionem de carne specialiter fecit, ut ostenderet quod caro infirma per carnem verbi reparata fuit; et hoc est quod apostolus dicit, Rom. VIII, 3: nam quod impossibile erat legi, in quo infirmabatur per carnem, Deus filium suum mittens in similitudinem carnis peccati, et de peccato damnavit peccatum in carne. Fourthly, to suggest its relevance to man’s restoration For man was weak because of the flesh. And thus the Evangelist, wishing to suggest that the coming of’ the Word was suited to the task of our restoration, made special mention of the flesh in order to show that the weak flesh was repaired by the flesh of the Word. And this is what the Apostle says: “The law was powerless because it was weakened by the flesh. God, sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and in reparation for sin, condemned sin in his flesh” (Rom 83).
Sed quaeritur, quare Evangelista non dixit verbum carnem assumpsit, sed potius verbum caro factum est. Respondeo dicendum, quod hoc ideo fecit, ut excluderet errorem Nestorii, qui dixit in Christo fuisse duas personas, et duos filios, et alium esse filium virginis: unde non concedebat quod beata virgo esset mater Dei. 170 A question arises as to why the Evangelist did not say that the Word assumed flesh, but rather that the Word was made flesh. I answer that he did this to exclude the error of Nestorius. He said that in Christ there were two persons and two sons, [one being the Son of God] the other being the son of the Virgin. Thus he did not admit that the Blessed Virgin was the mother of God.
Sed secundum hoc Deus non esset factus homo; quia impossibile est quod duorum singularium, quae diversa sunt secundum suppositum, unum praedicetur de alio. Unde si alia est persona verbi, seu suppositum, et alia persona hominis, seu suppositum in Christo, tunc non erit verum quod dicit Evangelista verbum caro factum est. Ad hoc enim fit aliquid, ut sit; si ergo verbum non esset homo, non posset dici quod verbum sit factum homo. Et ideo signanter Evangelista dixit factum est, et non dixit assumpsit, ut ostendat quod unio verbi ad carnem non est talis qualis est assumptio prophetarum, qui non assumebantur in unitatem suppositi, sed ad actum propheticum: sed est talis quod Deum vere faceret hominem, et hominem Deum, idest quod Deus esset homo. But if this were so, it would mean that God did not become man, for one particular suppositum cannot be predicated of another. Accordingly, if the person or suppositum of the Word is different than the person or suppositum of the man, in Christ, then what the Evangelist says is not true, namely, the Word was made flesh. For a thing is made or becomes something in order to be it; if, then, the Word is not man, it could not be said that the Word became man. And so the Evangelist expressly said was made, and not “assumed,” to show that the union of the Word to flesh is not such as was the “lifting up” of the prophets, who were not “taken up” into a unity of person, but for the prophetic act. This union is such as would truly make God man and man God, i.e., that God would be man.
Fuerunt et alii, qui non intelligentes modum incarnationis, posuerunt quidem assumptionem praedictam esse terminatam ad veritatem personae, confitentes in Deo unam personam Dei et hominis; sed tamen dicunt in ipso fuisse duas hypostases, sive duo supposita, unum naturae humanae creatum, et temporale, aliud divinae increatum, et aeternum. Et talis est prima opinio quae ponitur III Sent. dist. VI. 171 There were some, too, who, misunderstanding the manner of the incarnation, did indeed admit that the aforesaid assumption was terminated at a oneness of person, acknowledging in God one person of God and man. But they said that in him there were two hypostases, i.e., two supposita; one of a human nature, created and non-eternal, ‘and the other of the divine nature, non-created and eternal. This is the first opinion presented in the Sentences (III, d6).
Sed secundum hanc opinionem non habet veritatem ista propositio: Deus factus est homo, et homo factus est Deus. Et ideo haec opinio damnata est tamquam haeretica in quinto Concilio, ubi dicitur: si quis in domino Iesu Christo unam personam, et duas hypostases dixerit, anathema sit. Et ideo Evangelista, ut omnem assumptionem excluderet, quae non terminatur ad unitatem personae, utitur hoc verbo factum est. According to this opinion the proposition, “God was made man and man was made God,” is not true. Consequently, this opinion was condemned as heretical by the Fifth Council, where it is said: “If anyone shall assert one person and two hypostases in the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.” And so the Evangelist, to exclude any assumption not terminated at a oneness of person, says, was made.
Si vero quaeris quomodo verbum est homo, dicendum quod eo modo est homo quo quicumque alius est homo, scilicet habens humanam naturam. Non quod verbum sit ipsa humana natura, sed est divinum suppositum unitum humanae naturae. Hoc autem quod dicitur verbum caro factum est, non aliquam mutationem in verbo, sed solum in natura assumpta de novo in unitatem personae divinae dicit. Et verbum caro factum est, per unionem ad carnem. Unio autem relatio quaedam est. Relationes autem de novo dictae de Deo in respectu ad creaturas, non important mutationem ex parte Dei, sed ex parte creaturae novo modo se habentis ad Deum. 172 If you ask how the Word is man, it must be said that he is man in the way that anyone is, man, namely, as having human nature. Not that the Word is human nature itself, but he is a divine suppo situm united to a human nature. The statement, the Word was made flesh, does not indicate any change in the Word, but only in the nature newly assumed into the oneness of a divine person. And the Word was made flesh through a union to flesh. Now a union is a relation. And relations newly said of God with respect to creatures do not imply a change on the side of God, but on the side of the creature relating in a new way to God.
Sequitur et habitavit in nobis; quod quidem dupliciter distinguitur a praemissis. Primo ut dicatur quod supra Evangelista egit de verbi incarnatione, dicens verbum caro factum est; hic vero modum incarnationis insinuat, dicens et habitavit in nobis. Secundum enim Chrysostomum et Hilarium, per hoc quod Evangelista dicit verbum caro factum est, posset aliquis intelligere quod sit conversum in carnem, et non sint in Christo duae naturae distinctae, sed una tantum natura ex humana et divina commixta; ideo Evangelista hoc excludens, subiunxit et habitavit in nobis, idest in nostra natura, ut tamen in sua maneret distinctum. Illud enim quod in aliquid convertitur, non manet ab eo in quod convertitur secundum naturam distinctum; 173 Now follows, and made his dwelling among us. This is distinguished in two ways from what went before. The first consists in stating that above the Evangelist dealt with the incarnation of the Word when he said, the Word was made flesh; but now he touches on the manner of the incarnation, saying, and made his dwelling among us. For according to Chrysostom and Hilary, by the Evangelist saying the Word was made flesh, someone might think that he was converted into flesh and that there are not two distinct natures in Christ, but only one nature compounded from the human and divine natures. And so the Evangelist, excluding this, added, and made his dwelling among us, i.e., in our nature, yet so as to remain distinct in his own. For what is converted into something does not remain distinct in its nature from that into which it is converted.
quod autem ab aliquo non distinguitur, non inhabitat illud; quia habitare distinctionem inhabitantis et in quo habitat importat. Sed verbum habitavit in nostra natura ergo naturaliter est ab ipsa distinctum. Et ideo inquantum humana natura a natura verbi fuit in Christo distincta, dicitur habitaculum divinitatis et templum, iuxta illud infra II, 21: hoc autem dicebat de templo corporis sui. Furthermore, something which is not distinct from another does not dwell in it, because to dwell implies a distinction between the dweller and that in which it dwells. But the Word dwelt in our nature; therefore, he is distinct in nature from it. And so, inasmuch as human nature was distinct from the nature of the Word in Christ, the former is called the dwelling place and temple of the divinity, according to John (2:21): “But he spoke of the temple of his body.”
Et quidem, quamvis a praedictis sanctis hoc sane dicatur, cavenda est tamen calumnia quam aliqui ex hoc incurrunt. Nam antiqui doctores et sancti, emergentes errores circa fidem ita persequebantur, ut interdum viderentur in errores labi contrarios; sicut Augustinus contra Manichaeos, qui destruebant libertatem arbitrii, taliter disputat, quod videtur in haeresim Pelagii incidisse. Hoc igitur modo Evangelista Ioannes, ne per hoc quod dixerat verbum caro factum est, intelligeretur in Christo confusio vel transmutatio naturarum, subiunxit et habitavit in nobis: 174 Now although what is said here by these holy men is orthodox, care must be taken to avoid the reproach which some receive for this. For the early doctors and saints were so intent upon refuting the emerging errors concerning the faith that they seemed meanwhile to fall into the opposite ones. For example, Augustine, speaking against the Manichaeans, who destroyed the freedom of the will, disputed in such terms that he seemed to have fallen into the heresy of Pelagius. Along these lines, John the Evangelist added, and made his dwelling among us, so that we would not think there was a mingling or transformation of natures in Christ because he had said, the Word was made flesh.
ex quo verbo Nestorius occasionem sumens erroris, dixit, filium Dei sic esse unitum homini ut tamen Dei et hominis non esset una persona: voluit enim quod verbum per solam inhabitationem per gratiam fuerit humanae naturae unitum. Ex hoc autem sequitur quod filius Dei non sit homo. Nestorius misunderstood this phrase, and made his dwelling among us, and said that the Son of God was united to man in such a way that there was not one person of God and of man. For he held that the Word was united to human nature only by an indwelling through grace. From this, however, it follows that the Son of God is not man.
Ad quorum evidentiam sciendum est quod in Christo duo considerare possumus, scilicet naturam et personam. Secundum naturam autem attenditur in Christo distinctio, non secundum personam, quae una et eadem est in duabus naturis; quia humana natura in Christo fuit assumpta in unitatem personae. Inhabitatio ergo, quam ponunt sancti, referenda est ad naturam, ut dicatur quod habitavit in nobis, idest natura verbi inhabitavit naturam nostram, non secundum hypostasim seu personam, quae est eadem utriusque naturae in Christo. 175 To clarify this we should know that we can consider two things in Christ: his nature and person. In Christ there is a distinction in nature, but not in person, which is one and the same in the two natures, since the human nature in Christ was assumed into a oneness of person. Therefore, the indwelling which the saints speak of must be referred to the nature, so as to say, he made his dwelling among us, i.e., the nature of the Word inhabited our nature; not according to the hypostasis or person, which is the same for both natures in Christ.
Quod autem blasphemat Nestorius, auctoritate sacrae Scripturae evidenter refellitur. Apostolus enim Phil. II, 6 unionem Dei et hominis exinanitionem vocat, dicens de filio Dei: qui cum in forma Dei esset, non rapinam arbitratus est se esse aequalem Deo; sed semetipsum exinanivit, formam servi accipiens. Non autem dicitur Deus exinaniri Deus ex eo quod creaturam rationalem per gratiam inhabitet, quia sic pater et spiritus sanctus exinanirentur, cum et ipsi inhabitare hominem dicantur per gratiam; dicit enim Christus de se et de patre loquens, infra XIV, 23: ad eum veniemus et mansionem apud eum faciemus. De spiritu autem sancto dicit apostolus, I Cor. III, 16: spiritus Dei habitat in nobis. 176 The blasphemy of Nestorius is further refuted by the authority of Sacred Scripture. For the Apostle calls the union of God and man an emptying, saying of the Son of God: “He, being in the form of God... emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil 2:6). Clearly, God is not said to empty himself insofar as he dwells in the rational creature by grace, because then the Father and the Holy Spirit would be emptying themselves, since they too are said to dwell in man through grace: for Christ, speaking of himself and of the Father says, “We will come to him and make our home with him” (below 14:23); and of the Holy Spirit the Apostle says: “The Spirit of God dwells in us” (1 Cor 3:16).
Praeterea, si Christus personaliter Deus non esset, praesumptuosissime dixisset: ego et pater unum sumus; et antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum. Ego autem personam loquentis demonstrat; homo autem erat, qui loquebatur; unum cum patre praeexistebat Abrahae. Furthermore, if Christ was not God as to his person, he would have been most presumptuous to say: “I and the Father are one” (below 10:30), and “Before Abraham came to be, I am,” as is said below (8:58). Now “I” refers to the person of the speaker. And the one who was speaking was a man, who, as one with the Father, existed before Abraham.
Potest etiam aliter continuari, ut dicatur quod supra egit de verbi incarnatione, nunc autem agit de verbi incarnati conversatione, dicens et habitavit in nobis, idest inter nos apostolos conversatus est familiariter, secundum quod dicit Petrus, Act. I, 21: in omni tempore quo intravit et exivit inter nos dominus Iesus. Baruch IV, 38: post haec in terris visus est. 177 However, another connection [besides that given in 173] with what went before is possible, by saying that above he dealt with the incarnation of the Word, but that now he is treating the manner of life of the incarnate Word, saying, he made his dwelling among us, i.e., he lived on familiar terms with us apostles. Peter alludes to this when he says, “During all the time that the Lord Jesus came and went among us” (Acts 1:21). “Afterwards, he was seen on earth” (Bar 3:38).
Hoc autem Evangelista addidit propter duo. Primo ut ostendat mirabilem conformitatem verbi ad homines, inter quos sic conversatus est, ut videretur quasi unus ex eis. Non solum enim in natura voluit assimilari hominibus, sed etiam in convictu et familiari conversatione absque peccato, cum eis voluit esse simul, ut sic homines suae conversationis dulcedine allectos traheret ad seipsum. 178 The Evangelist added this for two reasons. First, to show the marvelous likeness of the Word to men, among whom he lived in such a way as to seem one of them. For he not only willed to be like men in nature, but also in living with them on close terms without sin, in order to draw to himself men won over by the charm of his way of life.
Secundo ut ostendat sui testimonii veritatem. Evangelista enim supra de verbo magna quaedam dixerat et adhuc multa de eo mirabilia dicturus erat, et ideo ut eius testimonium credibilius fieret, accepit quasi in veritatis argumentum, se cum Christo conversatum fuisse, dicens et habitavit in nobis. Quasi dicat: bene possum testimonium perhibere de ipso quia cum ipso conversatus sum; I Io. c. I, 1: quod fuit ab initio, quod audivimus, quod vidimus oculis nostris, quod perspeximus, et manus nostrae contrectaverunt de verbo vitae etc., et Act. X, 40: dedit eum manifestum fieri, non omni populo, sed testibus praeordinatis a Deo idest nobis qui manducavimus et bibimus cum illo. Secondly, to show the truthfulness of his [the Evangelist’s] statements. For the Evangelist had already said many great things about the Word, and was yet to mention more wonderful things about him; and so that his testimony would be more credible he took as a proof of his truthfulness the fact that he had lived with Christ, saying, he made his dwelling among us. As if to say: I can well bear witness to him, because I lived on close terms with him. “We tell you... what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes” (1 Jn 1:1); “God raised him up on the third day, and granted that he be seen, not by all the people, but by witnesses preordained by God,” that is, “to us who ate and drank with him” (Acts 10:40).

Lectio 8 LECTURE 8
καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ,
δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας.
14b And we have seen his glory,
the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
Posita verbi incarnatione, hic consequenter Evangelista insinuat verbi incarnati evidentiam. Et circa hoc duo facit. Primo enim ostendit modum manifestationis verbi incarnati; secundo utrumque modum exponit, ibi de plenitudine eius nos omnes accepimus. Innotuit autem apostolis verbum incarnatum dupliciter. Primo quidem per visum acceperunt de eo notitiam; secundo per auditum ex testimonio Ioannis Baptistae. Primo ergo manifestat quid de verbo viderunt; secundo quid a Ioanne audierunt, ibi Ioannes testimonium perhibet de ipso. 179 Having set forth the incarnation of the Word, the Evangelist then begins to give the evidence for the incarnate Word. He does two things about this. First, he shows the ways in which the incarnate Word was made known. Secondly, he clarifies each way, below (1:16). Now the incarnate Word was made known to the apostles in two ways: first of all, they obtained knowledge of him by what they saw; secondly, by what they heard of the testimony of John the Baptist. So first, he states what they saw about the Word; secondly, what they heard from John (v 15).
Dicit autem tria de verbo. Primo eius gloriae manifestationem; unde dicit et vidimus gloriam eius; secundo eius gloriae singularitatem, cum subdit quasi unigeniti; tertio huius gloriae determinationem, quia plenum gratiae et veritatis. He states three things about the Word. First, the manifestation of his glory; hence he says, we have seen his glory. Secondly, the uniqueness of his glory, when he adds, as of the Only Begotten. Thirdly, the precise nature of this glory, because full of grace and truth.
Hoc autem quod dicit vidimus gloriam eius, potest continuari ad praecedentia tripliciter. Primo ut sit argumentum eius quod dixerat verbum caro factum est: quasi dicat: ex hoc habeo et scio quod verbum Dei est incarnatum, quia ego et alii apostoli vidimus gloriam eius. Infra III, 11: quod scimus, loquimur: et quod vidimus, testamur. Et I Io. c. I, 1: quod fuit ab initio, quod audivimus, quod vidimus oculis nostris et cetera. 180 And we have seen his glory, can be connected in three ways with what went before. First, it can be taken as an argument for his having said, the Word was made flesh. As if to say: I hold and know that the Word of God was incarnate because I and the other apostles have seen his glory. “We know of what we speak, and we bear witness of what we see” (below 3:11). “We tell you... what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes” (1 Jn 1:1).
Secundo continuatur, secundum Chrysostomum, ut sit expressivum multiplicis beneficii. Quasi dicat: non solum hoc beneficium collatum est nobis per incarnationem verbi, scilicet quod efficiamur filii Dei, sed etiam quod videamus gloriam. Oculi enim debiles et infirmi lucem solis non possunt videre; sed tunc eam videre possunt, cum in nube vel in aliquo corpore opaco resplendet. Ante incarnationem enim verbi mentes humanae erant invalidae ad videndum in seipsa lucem divinam, quae illuminat omnem rationalem naturam; et ideo ut a nobis facilius cerni contemplarique posset nube nostrae carnis se texit, iuxta illud Ex. XVI, 10: respexerunt ad solitudinem, et viderunt gloriam domini in nube, idest verbum Dei in carne. 181 Secondly, according to Chrysostom, the connection is made by taking this statement as expressing many benefits. As if to say: The incarnation of the Word not only conferred on us the benefit of becoming sons of God, but also the good of seeing his glory. For dull and feeble eyes cannot see the light of the sun; but they can see it when it shines in a cloud or on some opaque body. Now before the incarnation of the Word, human minds were incapable of seeing the divine light in itself, the light which enlightens every rational nature. And so, in order that it might be more easily seen and contemplated by us, he covered it with the cloud of our flesh: “They looked towards the desert, and saw the glory of the Lord in a cloud” (Ex 16:10), i.e., the Word of God in the flesh.
Secundum Augustinum autem continuatur sic quod referatur ad beneficium gratiae. Spirituales enim oculi hominum non solum naturaliter deficiebant a contemplatione divinae lucis, sed etiam ex defectu peccati, secundum illud Ps. LVII, 9: supercecidit ignis, scilicet concupiscentiae, et non viderunt solem, scilicet iustitiae. Ut ergo ipsa divina lux posset a nobis videri, sanavit oculos hominum, faciens de carne sua salutare collirium, ut sic oculos ex concupiscentia carnis corruptos verbum collirio suae carnis curaret. Et inde est quod statim cum verbum factum est caro, dixerunt et vidimus gloriam eius. Ad hoc significandum fecit dominus lutum ex sputo, et linivit oculus caeci nati, infra IX, 6. Lutum quidem de terra est, sputum autem a capite derivatur. Ita in persona Christi, natura quidem humana assumpta de terra est; verbum vero incarnatum a capite est, scilicet a Deo patre. Hoc ergo lutum statim cum appositum fuit oculis hominum, vidimus gloriam eius. 182 According to Augustine, however, the connection refers to the gift of grace. For the failure of the spiritual eyes of men to contemplate the divine light is due not only to their natural limitations but also to the defects incurred by sin: “Fire,” that is, of concupiscence, “fell on them, and they did not see the sun,” of justice (Ps 57:9). Hence in order that the divine light might be seen by us, he healed our eyes, making an eye salve of his flesh, so that with the salve of his flesh the Word might heal our eyes, weakened by the concupiscence of the flesh. And this is why just after saying, the Word was made flesh, he says, we have seen his glory. To indicate this the Lord made clay from his saliva and spread the clay upon the eyes of the man born blind (below 9:6). For clay is from the earth, but saliva comes from the head. Similarly, in the person of Christ, his human naure was assumed from the earth; but the incarnate Word is from the head, i.e., from God the Father. So, when this clay was spread on the eyes of men, we saw his glory.
Hanc autem verbi gloriam Moyses videre optavit, dicens ostende mihi gloriam tuam (Ex. XXXIII, 18). Sed eam videre non meruit: immo dictum est ei a domino: posteriora mea videbis, idest umbras et figuras. Apostoli vero ipsam claritatem viderunt; II Cor. III, 18: nos autem revelata facie gloriam Dei speculantes in eamdem imaginem transformamur de claritate in claritatem. Moyses enim et alii prophetae verbi gloriam manifestandam mundo in fine temporum speculabantur in aenigmatibus et figuris; unde dicit apostolus, infra XII: haec dixit Isaias, quando vidit gloriam eius. Apostoli autem ipsam verbi claritatem per praesentiam corporalem viderunt. II Cor. III, v. 18: nos autem revelata facie etc.; et Lc. c. X, 23: beati oculi qui vident quae vos videtis. Multi enim reges et prophetae voluerunt videre quae vos videtis et non viderunt. 183 This is the glory of the Word Moses longed to see, saying, “Show me your glory” (Ex 32:18). But he did not deserve to see it; indeed, he was answered by the Lord: “You shall see my back” (Ex 33:23), i.e., shadows and figures. But the apostles saw his brightness: “All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into his very image” (2 Cor 3:18). For Moses and the other prophets saw in an obscure manner and in figures the glory of the Word that was to be manifested to the world at the end of their times; hence the Apostle says: “Now we see through a mirror, in an obscure manner, but then face to face” in 1 Corinthians (13:12); and below (12:41), “Isaiah said this when he saw his glory.” But the apostles saw the very brilliance of the Word through his bodily presence: “All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory,” and so forth (2 Cor 3:18); “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. For many kings and prophets desired to see what you see, and did not see it” (Lk 10:23).
Consequenter cum dicit gloriam quasi unigeniti, ostendit gloriae eius singularitatem. Cum enim de quibusdam hominibus inveniatur quod fuerunt gloriosi, sicut de Moyse legitur Ex. XXXIV, 29: et facies eius facta est splendida, vel cornuta, secundum aliam litteram, posset aliquis dicere quod ex hoc quod viderunt eum gloriosum, non debet dici quod verbum Dei sit factum caro. Sed hoc Evangelista excludit, dicens gloriam quasi unigeniti a patre. Quasi dicat: gloria eius non est sicut gloria Angeli, vel Moysis, et Eliae, vel Elisei, vel cuiusque alterius, sed quasi unigeniti; quia, ut dicitur Hebr. III, 3: ampliori gloria iste prae Moyse dignus est habitus. Ps. LXXXVIII, 7: quis similis Deo in filiis Dei? 184 Then when he says, the glory as of the Only Begotten, he shows the uniqueness of his glory. For since it is written of certain men that they were in glory, as of Moses it says that “his face shone” (Ex 34:29), or was “horned,” according to another text, someone might say that from the fact that they saw him [Jesus] in glory, it should not be said that the Word of God was made flesh. But the Evangelist excludes this when he says, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father. As if to say: His glory is not like the glory of an angel, or of Moses, or Elijah, or Elisha, or anything like that. but the glory as of the Only Begotten; for as it is said, “He [Jesus] was counted worthy of more glory than Moses” (Heb 3:3); “Who among the sons of God is like God?” (Ps 88:7).
Hoc autem quod dicit quasi est expressivum veritatis, secundum Gregorium, et est modus, ut Chrysostomus dicit. Sicut si aliquis vidisset regem multiplici gloria incedentem, et interrogatus ab aliquo, qualiter regem vidisset, volens se expedire, illam multiplicem gloriam uno verbo exprimeret, dicens quod ipse incedebat sicut rex, idest sicut regem decebat; ita hic Evangelista, quasi interrogaretur ab aliquo, qualis esset gloria verbi quam viderat, non valens eam plene exprimere, dicit eam esse quasi unigeniti a patre, idest talem qualem decebat unigenitum Dei. 185 The word "as", according to Gregory, is used to express the fact. But according to Chrysostom, it expresses the manner of the fact: as if someone were to see a king approaching in great glory and being asked by another to describe the king he saw, he could, if he wanted to be brief, express the grandeur of his glory in one word, and say that he approached “as” a king, i.e., as became a king. So too, here, the Evangelist, as though asked by someone to describe the glory of the Word which he had seen, and being unable to fully express it, said that it was “as” of the Only Begotten of the Father, i.e., such as became the Only Begotten of God.
Attenditur autem singularitas gloriae verbi quantum ad quatuor. Primo quantum ad patris testimonium, quod filio reddidit. Quia Ioannes fuit unus de tribus qui viderant Christum transfiguratum in monte, et audierunt vocem patris dicentis: hic est filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacui; et de ista gloria dicitur II Petr. I, 17: accepit a Deo patre honorem et gloriam, voce delapsa ad eum huiuscemodi a magnifica gloria: hic est filius meus dilectus. 186 The uniqueness of the glory of the Word is brought out in four ways. First, in the testimony which the Father gave to the Son. For John was one of the three who had seen Christ transfigured on the mountain and heard the, voice of the Father saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 17:5). Of this glory it is said, “He received honor and glory from God the Father... ‘This is my beloved Son’” (2 Pt 1:17)
Secundo quantum ad Angelorum ministerium. Nam ante incarnationem Christi homines erant Angelis subiecti; postmodum vero, Christo subiecti ministraverunt, Matth. IV, 11: tunc accesserunt Angeli et ministrabant ei. Secondly, it is brought out by the service of the angels. For prior to the incarnation of Christ, men were subject to the angels. But after it, angels ministered, as subjects, to Christ. “Angels came and ministered to him” (Mt 4:11).
Tertio vero quantum ad naturae obsequium. Tota enim natura Christo obediens ei obsequebatur ad nutum, utpote ab ipso instituta, quia omnia per ipsum facta sunt: quod quidem nec Angelis, nec alicui alii creaturae concessum est, nisi soli verbo incarnato. Et hoc est quod dicitur Matth. VIII, 27: qualis est iste, quia mare et venti obediunt ei? Thirdly, it is brought out by the submission of nature. For all nature obeyed Christ and heeded his slightest command, as something established by him, because “All things were made through him” (above 1:3). This is something granted neither to angels nor to any creature, but to the incarnate Word alone. And this is what we read, “What kind of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him?” (Mt 8:27).
Quarto quantum ad docendi, seu operandi modum. Moyses enim et alii prophetae non propria auctoritate praecepta dabant et homines instruebant, sed Dei; unde dicebant: haec dicit dominus etc.; et: locutus est dominus ad Moysen et cetera. Christus vero loquitur tamquam dominus et potestatem habens, idest propria virtute: unde dicebat, Matth. V, v. 22: ego dico vobis etc.; propter quod in fine sermonis eius in monte dicitur, quod erat docens quasi potestatem habens et cetera. Item, alii sancti operabantur miracula virtute non sua; Christus vero virtute propria; unde dicitur Mc. I, 27: quaenam est haec nova doctrina, quia in potestate etiam spiritibus immundis imperat, et obediunt ei? Sic ergo singularis est gloria verbi. Fourthly, we see it in the way he taught and acted. For Moses and the other prophets gave commands to men and taught them not on their own authority, but on the authority of God. So they said: “The Lord says this”; and “The Lord spoke to Moses.” But Christ speaks as the Lord, and as one having power, i.e., by reason of his own power. Hence he says, “I say to you” (Mt 5:22). This is the reason why, at the end of the Sermon on the Mountain, it is said that he taught as one “having authority” (Mt 7:29). Furthermore, other holy men worked miracles, but not by their own power. But Christ worked them by his own power. In these ways, then, the glory of the Word is unique.
Nota autem quod aliquando dicimus in Scriptura Christum unigenitum, sicut hic, et infra: unigenitus, qui est in sinu patris ipse enarravit. Aliquando vero dicimus ipsum primogenitum; Hebr. I, 6: et cum iterum introducit primogenitum in orbem terrae, dicit: et adorent eum omnes Angeli Dei. Quod ideo est, quod sicut totius sanctae Trinitatis proprium est esse Deum, ita verbo Dei proprium est quod sit Deus genitus: et quandoque quidem nominamus Deum, secundum quod est in se, et sic ipse solus singulariter est Deus per essentiam suam. Unde hoc modo dicimus quod est tantum unus Deus, secundum illud Deut. VI, 4: audi Israel, dominus Deus tuus, unus est. Quandoque nomen deitatis derivamus etiam ad alios, secundum quod aliqua similitudo divinitatis ad homines derivatur: et sic dicimus multos deos, secundum illud I Cor. VIII, 5: siquidem sunt dii multi, et domini multi. 187 Note that sometimes in Scripture we call Christ the Only Begotten, as here, and below (1:18): “it is the Only Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, who has made him known.” At other times we call him the First-born: “When he brings the Firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all the angels of God adore him’ “ (Heb 1:6). The reason for this is that just as it belongs to the whole Blessed Trinity to be God, so it belongs to the Word of God to be God Begotten. Sometimes, too, he is called God according to what he is in himself; and in this way he alone is uniquely God by his own essence. It is in this way that we say there is but one God: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord your God is one” (Dt 6:4). At times, we even apply the name of deity to others, insofar as a certain likeness of the divinity is given to men; in this sense we speak of many gods: “Indeed, there are many gods and many lords” (1 Cor 8:5).
Eodem modo ergo, si consideremus proprietatem filii qua genitus est, quantum ad modum quo sibi ista filiatio attribuitur, scilicet per naturam, dicimus ipsum unigenitum Dei: quia cum ipse solus sit naturaliter genitus a patre, unus tantum est genitus Dei. Si vero consideremus ipsum filium, secundum quod per similitudinem ad ipsum filiatio derivatur ad alios, sic sunt multi filii Dei per participationem. Et quia per eius similitudinem dicuntur filii Dei, ideo ipse dicitur primogenitus omnium. Rom. VIII, 29: quos praescivit conformes fieri imaginis filii sui, ut sit ipse primogenitus in multis fratribus. Along these lines, if we consider what is proper to the Son as Begotten, and consider the way in which this sonship is attributed to him, that is, through nature, we say that he is the Only Begotten of God: because, since he alone is naturally begotten by the Father, the Begotten of the Father is one only. But if we consider the Son, insofar as sonship is conferred on others through a likeness to him, then there are many sons of God through participation. And because they are called sons of God by a likeness to him, he is called the First-born of all. “Those whom he foreknew, he predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the First-born of many brothers” (Rom 8:29).
Sic ergo Christus dicitur unigenitus Dei per naturam, primogenitus vero inquantum ab eius naturali filiatione per quamdam similitudinem et participationem filiatio ad multos derivatur. So, Christ is called the Only Begotten of God by nature; but he is called the First-born insofar as from his natural sonship, by means of a certain likeness and participation, a sonship is granted to many.
Consequenter cum dicit plenum gratiae et veritatis, ipsam gloriam verbi determinat, quasi dicat: talis est eius gloria quod plenus est gratia et divinitate. Possunt autem haec verba exponi de Christo tripliciter. 188 Then when he says, full of grace and truth, he determines the glory of the Word. As if to say: His glory is such that he is full of grace and divinity. Now these words can be applied to Christ in three ways.
Primo secundum unionem. Ad hoc enim alicui datur gratia, ut per ipsam uniatur Deo. Ille ergo gratia plenus est qui perfectissime Deo unitur. Et alii quidem coniunguntur Deo per participationem similitudinis naturalis, Gen. I, 26: faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram, alii per fidem, Eph. III, 17: habitare per fidem Christum etc., alii per caritatem, quia, qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, ut dicitur I Io. IV, v. 16. Sed omnes isti modi particulares sunt: quia neque per participationem naturalis similitudinis perfecte aliquis Deo coniungitur, neque videtur Deus per fidem sicuti est, neque per caritatem diligitur, quantum diligibilis est: quia enim ipse est infinitum bonum, ideo sua amabilitas est infinita, ad quam infinite amandam non potest pertingere alicuius creaturae amor; et ideo non potest esse plena coniunctio. First, from the point of view of union. For grace is given to someone so that he might be united to God through it. So he who is most perfectly united to God is full of grace. Now some are joined to God by participating in a natural likeness: “Let us make man to our image and likeness” (Gn 1:26). Some are joined by faith: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph 3:17). And others are united by charity, because “He who abides in love abides in God” (1 Jn 4:16). But all these ways are partial: because one is not perfectly united to God by participating a natural likeness; nor is God seen as he is by faith; nor is he loved to the extent that he is lovable by charity—for since he is the infinite Good, his lovableness is infinite, and the love of no creature is able to love this infinitely. And so these unions are not full.
In Christo autem, in quo humana natura est unita divinitati in unitate suppositi, est invenire plenam et perfectam coniunctionem ad Deum, quia talis fuit illa unio, ut omnes actus tam divinae quam humanae naturae essent actus suppositi. Fuit ergo plenus gratia, inquantum non accepit a Deo aliquod donum gratuitum speciale, sed quod esset ipse Deus; Phil. II, 9: dedit illi nomen, scilicet Deus pater filio, quod est super omne nomen; Rom. I, 4: qui praedestinatus est filius Dei in virtute. Fuit etiam plenus veritatis, quia humana natura in Christo pervenit ad ipsam veritatem divinam, scilicet quod ille homo esset ipsa divina veritas: in aliis enim hominibus sunt multae veritates participatae, secundum quod ipsa veritas prima per multas similitudines in mentibus eorum relucet, sed Christus est ipsa veritas. Unde dicitur Col. II, 3 quod in ipso sunt absconditi omnes thesauri sapientiae. But in Christ, in whom human nature is united to the divinity in the unity of a suppositum, we find a full and perfect union with God. The reason for this is that this union was such that all the acts not only of his divine but also of his human nature were acts of the suppositum [or person]. So he was full of grace insofar he did not receive any special gratuitous gift from God, but that he should be God himself. “He gave him,” i.e., God the Father gave to the Son, “a name which is above every name” (Phil 2:9). “He was foreordained to be the Son of God in power” (Rom 1:4). He was also full of truth, because the human nature in Christ attained to the divine truth itself, that is, that this man should be the divine Truth itself. In other men we find many participated truths, insofar as the First Truth gleams back into their minds through many likenesses; but Christ is Truth itself. Thus it is said: “In whom all the treasures of wisdom are hidden” (Col 2:3).
Secundo possunt exponi secundum animae perfectionem, secundum quam dicitur plenus gratiae et veritatis, secundum quod in anima eius fuit plenitudo omnium gratiarum absque mensura aliqua; Io. III, 34: non enim datus est spiritus ad mensuram, qui tamen mensurate datus est omnibus creaturis rationalibus, tam Angelis, quam hominibus. Nam, secundum Augustinum, sicut in singulis membris corporis est unus sensus communis, scilicet sensus tactus, in capite vero sunt sensus omnes, ita in Christo, qui est caput omnis rationalis naturae, et specialiter sanctorum, qui ei uniuntur per fidem et caritatem, superabundanter omnes virtutes, et gratiae, et dona inveniuntur: in aliis vero sanctis participationes sunt donorum et gratiarum, quamvis commune donum omnium sanctorum sit caritas. De plenitudine gratiae Christi dicitur Is. XI, 1: egredietur virga de radice Iesse et flos de radice eius ascendet, et requiescet super eum spiritus domini: spiritus sapientiae et intellectus, spiritus consilii et fortitudinis, spiritus scientiae et pietatis, et replebit eum spiritus timoris domini. 189 Secondly, these words can be applied in relation to the perfection of his soul. Then he is said to be full of grace and truth inasmuch as in his soul there was the fulness of all graces without measure: “God does not bestow the Spirit in fractions,” as we read below (3:34). Yet it was given in fractions to all rational creatures, both angels and men. For according to Augustine, just as there is one sense common to all the parts of the body, namely, the sense of touch, while all the senses are found in the head, so in Christ, who is the head of every rational creature (and in a special way of the saints who are united to him by faith and charity), all virtues and graces and gifts are found superabundantly; but in others, i.e., the saints, we find participations of the graces and gifts, although there is a gift common to all the saints, and that is charity. We read about this fulness of Christ’s grace: “There shall come forth a shoot out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall spring up out of his root. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of piety” (Is 11:1).
Fuit etiam Christus veritate plenus, quia eius pretiosa et beata anima omnem veritatem, tam divinam quam humanam, ab instanti conceptionis cognovit; unde dicit ei Petrus: tu omnia scis, et in Ps. LXXXVIII, 25: veritas mea, idest cognitio omnis veritatis et misericordia mea, idest omnium gratiarum plenitudo cum ipso. Further, Christ was also full of truth because his precious and h1essed soul knew every truth, human and divine, from the instant of his conception. And so Peter said to him, “You know all things” (below 21:17). And the Psalm (88:25) says: “My truth,” i.e., the knowledge of every truth, “and my mercy,” i.e., the fulness of all graces, “shall be with him.”
Tertio modo possunt exponi secundum capitis dignitatem, scilicet inquantum Christus est caput Ecclesiae. Et sic sibi competit gratiam communicare aliis, tam in mentibus hominum operando virtutem per gratiae infusionem, quam merendo per doctrinam et opera et passiones mortis superabundantem gratiam infinitis mundis, si essent. Inquantum igitur nobis largitus est perfectam iustitiam, quam non poteramus habere per legem, quae infirmabatur, quae nullum iustificare posset, neque ad perfectum adducere, intantum gratia plenus est, ut dicitur Rom. c. VIII, 3: quod impossibile erat legi, in quo infirmabatur per carnem, Deus filium suum mittens in similitudinem carnis peccati, de peccato damnavit peccatum in carne. 190 In a third way these words can be explained in relation to his dignity as head, i.e., inasmuch as Christ is the head of the Church. In this way it is his prerogative to communicate grace to others, both by producing virtue in the minds of men through the inpouring of grace and by meriting, through his teaching and works and the sufferings of his death, superabundant grace for an infinite number of worlds, if there were such. Therefore, he is full of grace insofar as he conferred perfect justice upon us. We could not acquire this perfect justice through the law, which was infirm and could make no one just or bring anyone to perfection. As we read: “The law was powerless because it was weakened by the flesh. God, sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and in reparation for sin, condemned sin in his flesh” (Rom 8:3).
Item fuit veritate plenus, inquantum figuras veteris legis et promissiones factas patribus adimplevit; Rom. XV, 8: dico Christum Iesum ministrum fuisse circumcisionis ad confirmandas promissiones patrum; II Cor. I, v. 20: quotquot promissiones Dei sunt in illo est. Again, he was full of truth insofar as he fulfilled the figures of the Old Law and the promises made to the fathers. “Christ was a minister to the circumcised to confirm the promises made to the fathers” (Rom 15:8); “All the promises of God are fulfilled in him” (2 Cor 1:20).
Item dicitur plenus gratia, quia eius doctrina et conversatio gratiosissima fuit; Ps. XLIV, 3: diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis. Unde dicitur Lc. XXI, 3, quod omnes mane ibant, idest mane ire studebant. Sed plenus veritate, quia non docebat in aenigmatibus et figuris, nec palpabat vitia hominum, sed veritatem omnibus aperte sine ulla fraude praedicabat; infra XVI, 29: ecce palam loqueris et cetera. Further, he is said to be full of grace because his teaching and manner of life were most gracious. “Grace is poured out upon your lips” (Ps 44:3). And so it is said, “All the people came to him early in the morning,” i.e., in the morning they were eager to come (Lk 21:38). He was full of truth, because he did not teach in enigmas and figures, nor gloss over the vices of men, but preached the truth to all, openly and without deception. As it says below: “Now you are speaking plainly” (16:29).

Lectio 9 LECTURE 9
15 Ἰωάννης μαρτυρεῖ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ κέκραγεν λέγων,
οὗτος ἦν ὃν εἶπον,
ὁ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν,
ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν.
15 John bore witness to him, and he cried out saying:
“This is the one of whom I said:
‘He who comes after me, ranks ahead of me,
because he existed before me.’”
Posita evidentia verbi, qua ipsis apostolis innotuit per visum, consequenter Evangelista ponit eius evidentiam, secundum quod aliis quam apostolis innotuit per auditum, per testimonium ipsius Ioannis et cetera. Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo enim testis introducitur; secundo testificandi modus innuitur, ibi et clamat; tertio testimonium ponitur, ibi hic erat quem dixi et cetera. 191 Having given the evidence by which the Word was made known to the apostles by sight, the Evangelist then presents the evidence by which the Word was made known to persons other than the apostles by their hearing the testimony of John. He does three things about this. First, the witness is presented. Secondly, his manner of testifying is indicated. Thirdly, his testimony is given.
Dicit ergo: nos quidem gloriam eius vidimus, sicut unigeniti a patre, sed hoc nobis non creditur, quia forte habemur suspecti: accedat illius testis, scilicet Ioannes Baptista, qui testimonium Christo perhibuit; est enim testis fidelis, qui non mentietur; Prov. XIV, 5: testis fidelis non mentietur et cetera. Infra V, 33: vos misistis ad Ioannem, et testimonium perhibuit veritati. Hic enim Ioannes testimonium perhibet; quasi dicat, perseveranter suum officium implet, quia ipse venit in testimonium. Prov. c. XII, 19: labium veritatis firmum erit in perpetuum. 192 So he says: We indeed have seen his glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father. But we are not believed, perhaps because we are held in suspicion. So let his witness come forth, that is, John the Baptist, who bears witness to Christ. He is a faithful witness who will not lie: “A faithful witness will not lie” (Prv 14:5), “You sent [messengers] to John, and he bore witness to the truth” (below 5:33). John gives his testimony here and fulfills his office with perseverance because he came as a witness. As Proverbs (12:19) says, “Truthful lips endure forever.”
Deinde cum dicit et clamat dicens, ponitur modus testificandi, qui fit cum clamore. Et ideo dicit clamat, inquantum libere sine timore; Is. XL, 9: exalta in fortitudine vocem tuam (...) ecce Deus noster. Ardenter et ex magno fervore; quia, ut dicitur Eccli. XLVIII, 1, verbum eius ut facula ardebat; Is. VI, 3: Seraphim clamabant alter ad alterum, per quod intimior ardor mentis exprimitur. Per manifestationem etiam clamoris ostenditur, quod non sub figuris, neque occulte ad paucos sermo testificantis dirigitur; sed aperte et ostensive declaratur et denuntiatur veritas iam non paucis, sed multis; Is. LVIII, v. 1: clama, ne cesses. 193 Then when he says, John bore witness to him, and he cried out, he describes the way he bore witness, that is, it was with a cry. So he says, he cried out, i.e., freely without fear. “Cry out in a loud voice.... Say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God” (Is 40:9). He cried out ardently and with great fervor, because it is said, “His word burned like a torch” (Si 48:1); “Seraphim cried one to another” (Is 6:3), which is expressive of a more interior eagerness of spirit. The use of a cry shows that the statements of the witness are not made to a few in figurative language or secretly, but that a truth is being declared openly and publicly, and told not to a few but to many. “Cry out, and do not stop” (Is 58:1).
Deinde cum dicit hic erat quem dixi, quid sit testificatus subiungit. Ubi duo facit. Primo enim describit continuitatem sui testimonii; secundo describit eum, cui testimonium perhibet, ibi qui post me venturus est, ante me factus est. 194 Then he adds his testimony. And he does two things. First, he shows that his testimony was continuous. Secondly, he describes the person to whom he bore witness.
Fuit ergo testimonium Baptistae continuum, quia non semel tantum sed multoties, et etiam antequam Christus ad ipsum venisset, Ioannes testimonium ei perhibuit: et ideo dixit hic erat quem dixi, idest antequam vidissem eum corporaliter, testimonium ei perhibui. Lc. I, 76: tu puer propheta altissimi vocaberis. Et hoc ideo quia praesentem et futurum ostendit. Est etiam eius testimonium certum, quia non solum futurum esse praedixit, sed praesentem digito demonstravit, dicens ecce agnus Dei. Ex quo insinuatur quod Christus corporaliter praesens erat Ioanni; nam solitus erat saepe ad Ioannem venire, antequam baptizatus fuisset. 195 The testimony of the Baptist was continuous because he bore witness to him not only once but many times, and even before Christ had come to him. And so he says, This is the one of whom I said, i.e., before I saw him in the flesh I bore witness to him. “And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High” (Lk 1:76). He pointed him out both as present and when about to come. And his testimony is certain because he not only predicted that he would come, but pointed him out when he was present, saying, Look! There is the Lamb of God. This implies that Christ was physically present to John; for he had often come to John before being baptized.
Describit autem consequenter eum, cui testimonium perhibet, dicens qui post me venturus est, ante me factus est. Ubi notandum est, quod Ioannes non statim praedicat discipulis Christum esse filium Dei, sed paulatim eos ad altiora provehit: primo praeferens eum sibi, qui tamen tantae famae et auctoritatis erat ut crederetur esse Christus, vel aliquis de magnis prophetis. Comparat autem Christum sibi primo quantum ad ordinem praedicationis; secundo quantum ad ordinem dignitatis; tertio quantum ad ordinem durationis. 196 Then he describes the one to whom he bore witness, saying, He who comes after me, ranks ahead of me. Here we should note that John does not at once preach to his disciples that Christ is the Son of God, but he draws them little by little to higher things: first, by preferring Christ to himself, even though John had such a great reputation and authority as to be considered the Christ or one of the great prophets. Now he compares Christ to himself: first, with regard to the order of their preaching; secondly, as to the order of dignity; and thirdly, as to the time of their existence.
Quantum ad ordinem praedicationis, Ioannes praecessit Christum sicut famulus dominum, et sicut miles regem, et sicut Lucifer solem; Mal. III, 1: ecce ego mitto Angelum meum, et praeparabit viam ante faciem meam. Qui igitur post me venit, scilicet in notitiam hominum praedicando. Et notandum, quod ly venit est temporis praesentis, quia in Graeco ponitur participium praesentis temporis. 197 With respect to the order of their preaching, John preceded Christ as a servant precedes his master, and as a soldier his king, or as the morning star the sun: “See, I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me” (Mal 3:1). So, He comes after me, in being known to men, through my preaching. Observe that comes is in the present tense, became in Greek the present participle is used.
Praecessit autem Ioannes Christum duplici ratione. Primo, secundum Chrysostomum, quia Ioannes erat consanguineus Christi secundum carnem; Lc. I, 36: et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua et cetera. Si ergo testimonium perhibuisset Christo postquam eum cognoverat, potuisset suum testimonium suspectum habere, et ideo Ioannes venit ad praedicandum, nondum habens familiaritatem cum Christo, ut eius testimonium efficacius esset. Unde dicebat infra: ego nesciebam eum; sed ut manifestetur in Israel propterea veni ego, in aqua baptizans. Now John preceded Christ for two reasons. First, according to Chrysostom, because John was a blood relation of Christ according to the flesh: “your relative, Elizabeth” (Lk 1.36). Therefore, had he borne witness to Christ after knowing him, his testimony might have been open to question; accordingly, John came preaching before he was acquainted with Christ, in order that his testimony might have more force. Hence he says, “And I did not know him! And yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptizing with water” (below 1:31).
Secundo quia in his quae de potentia procedunt ad actum, imperfectum naturaliter praecedit perfectum: unde dicitur I Cor. XV, 46: non prius quod spirituale est, sed quod animale. Et ideo perfectam Christi doctrinam debuit praecedere imperfectior doctrina Ioannis, quae quodam modo fuit media inter doctrinam legis et prophetarum, quae annuntiabat de longinquo Christum futurum, et doctrinam Christi, quae manifesta erat, et Christum manifeste annuntiabat. Secondly, John preceded Christ because in things that pass into act from potency, the imperfect is naturally prior to the perfect; hence it is said in 1 Corinthians (15:46): “The spiritual is not first, but the animal.” Accordingly, the perfect doctrine of Christ should have been preceded by the less perfect teaching of John, which was in a certain manner midway between the doctrine of the law and the prophets (which announced the coming of Christ from afar), and the doctrine of Christ, which was clear and plainly made Christ known.
Comparat sibi quantum ad ordinem dignitatis, cum dicit ante me factus est: unde sciendum est, quod ex hoc Ariani sumpserunt occasionem erroris. Dicebant enim quod hoc quod dixit post me venit, intelligitur de Christo secundum carnem assumptam, sed hoc quod addit ante me factus est, non potest intelligi nisi de verbo Dei, quod carni praeexistebat; et propterea Christum, inquantum est verbum, factum esse, et non esse patri coaeternum. 198 He [John] compares him to himself with respect to dignity when he says, he ranks ahead of me [ ante me factus est, literally, he “was made before me”]. It should be noted that it is from this text that the Arians took occasion for their error. For they said that “He who comes after me,” is to be understood of Christ as to the flesh he assumed, but what follows, “was made before me,” can only be understood of the Word of God, who existed before the flesh; and for this reason Christ as the Word was made, and was not coeternal with the Father.
Sed, secundum Chrysostomum, haec expositio stulta est, quia si hoc esset verum, non dixisset Baptista ante me factus est, quia prior me erat, cum nullus ignoret, quod si prior eo erat, ante eum factus est; sed potius e converso dixisset: prior me erat, quia factus est ante me. Et ideo, secundum Chrysostomum, intelligendum est de prioritate dignitatis, idest mihi praelatus est, et antepositus. Quasi dicat: quamvis Iesus post me ad praedicandum venerit, tamen factus est ante me, idest dignior, et superior auctoritate, et hominum reputatione; Iob XXVIII, 17: non adaequabitur ei aurum et cetera. Vel ante me factus est, idest coram me, ut habetur in Glossa, et littera in Graeco hoc sonat. Quasi dicat coram me, idest in conspectu meo, quia mihi apparuit, et innotuit. According to Chrysostom, however, this exposition is stupid, because if it were true, the Baptist would not have said, he “was made before me, because he existed before me,” since no one is unaware that if he was before him, he was made before him. He rather would have said the opposite: “He was before me, because he was made before me.” And so, according to Chrysostom, these words should be taken as referring to his [Christ’s] dignity, that is, he was preferred to me and placed ahead of me. It is as though he said: Although Jesus came to preach after me, he was made more worthy than I both in eminence of authority and in the repute of men: “Gold will not be equal to it” (Jb 28:17). Or alternatively: he is preferred ahead of me, that is, before my eyes, as the Gloss says and as the Greek text reads. As if to say: Before my eyes, i.e., in my sight, because he came into my view and was recognized.
Item comparat eum sibi quantum ad ordinem durationis, dicens quia prior me erat. Quasi dicat: ipse est ab aeterno Deus, ego ex tempore homo fragilis; et ideo, licet eum praedicando praecesserim, tamen rationabiliter praelatus est mihi in fama et opinione hominum, qui sua aeternitate praecedit omnia. Hebr. ult., 8: Iesus Christus heri et hodie, ipse et in saecula; et infra VIII, 58: antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum. 199 He compares him to himself with respect to their duration, saying, because he existed before me. As if to say: He was God from all eternity, I am a frail man of time. And therefore, even though I came to preach ahead of him, yet it was fitting that he rank before me in the reputation and opinion of men, because he preceded all things by his eternity: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8). “Before Abraham came to be, I am,” as we read below (8:58).
Potest etiam exponi quod dictum est ante me factus est ut referatur ad ordinem temporis secundum carnem. Christus enim in instanti suae conceptionis fuit perfectus Deus et perfectus homo, habens rationalem animam perfectam virtutibus, et corpus omnibus lineamentis distinctum, non tamen secundum quantitatem perfectam; Ier. XXXI, 22: mulier circumdabit virum, scilicet perfectum. Constat autem quod Christus ante fuit conceptus quam Ioannes esset natus, et perfectus homo; et ideo dicit ante me factus est quia ipse prius fuit homo perfectus, quam natus fuisset ex utero. If we understand this passage as saying that he “was made before me,” it can be explained as referring to the order of time according to the flesh. For in the instant of his conception Christ was perfect God and perfect man, having a rational soul perfected by the virtues, and a body possessed of all its distinctive features, except that it lacked perfect size: “A woman shall enclose a man,” i.e., a perfect man (Jer 31:22). Now it is evident that Christ was conceived as a perfect man before John was born; consequently he says that he “was made before me,” because he was a perfect man before I came forth from the womb.

Lectio 10 LECTURE 10

16 ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν, καὶ χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος:
17 ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ μωϋσέως ἐδόθη,
ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο.

16 Of his fullness we have all received—indeed, grace upon grace;
17 because, while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
Sequitur et de plenitudine eius nos omnes accepimus. Verba ista usque ad locum illum et hoc est testimonium Ioannis, dupliciter inseruntur. Nam, secundum Origenem, sunt verba prolata a Ioanne Baptista, et subduntur ab eo quasi in argumentum praemissorum; quasi dicat: vere prior me erat, quia de plenitudine eius, scilicet gratiarum, non solum ego, sed etiam omnes, prophetae et patres, accepimus, quia omnes gratiam quam habuerunt, habuerunt per fidem incarnati verbi. Et secundum hoc, ab illo loco Ioannes testimonium perhibet etc., incepit texere exordium suae incarnationis. 200 He follows with, Of his fullness we have all received words and those that follow to (v 19), “This is the testimony of John,” are taken in two ways. According to Origen, these are the words of John the Baptist and are added by him to support what he had said previously. It is as though he said: Truly, he existed before me, because of his fullness, i.e., of his grace, not only I but all, including the prophets and patriarchs, have received, because all had the grace they possessed by faith in the incarnate Word. According to this explanation, John the Baptist began weaving the story of the incarnation at, “John bore witness to him” (v 15).
Secundum Augustinum autem et Chrysostomum, sunt verba Ioannis Evangelistae ab hoc quod dicitur Ioannes testimonium perhibet; et tunc continuatur ad hoc quod dixerat plenum gratiae et veritatis, ut dicatur sic: supra Evangelista ostendit evidentiam verbi, quae innotuit et per visum, et per auditum, hic vero utrumque explicat: et primo quomodo apostolis innotuit visu, quasi a Christo accipientibus; secundo quomodo Ioannes testificatus est de eo, ibi et hoc est testimonium Ioannis. Circa primum duo facit. Primo ostendit Christum esse fontalem originem omnis spiritualis gratiae; secundo ostendit derivatam in nos gratiam per ipsum et ab ipso, ibi et gratiam pro gratia. But according to Augustine and Chrysostom, the words from “John bore witness to him” (v 15), are those of John the Evangelist. And they are connected with the previous words, “full of grace and truth,” as though he were saying: Above, the Evangelist gave the evidence for the Word which was learned through sight and by hearing, but here he explains each. First, how he was made known to the apostles through sight, which was tantamount to receiving the evidence from Christ. Secondly, how John bore witness to him, at “This is the testimony of John” (v 19). As to the first he does two things. First, he shows that Christ is the origin, as a fountain, of every spiritual grace. Secondly, he shows that grace is dispensed to us through him and from him.
Dicit ergo primo: experimento patet, quod vidimus eum plenum gratiae et veritatis, quia de plenitudine eius nos omnes accepimus. Est autem plenitudo sufficientiae, qua aliquis est sufficiens ad actus meritorios et excellentes faciendos, sicut in Stephano. Item est plenitudo redundantiae, qua beata virgo excellit omnibus sanctis, propter eminentiam, et abundantiam meritorum. Est etiam plenitudo efficientiae et effluentiae, quae soli homini Christo competit, quasi auctori gratiae. Sic enim beata virgo redundavit gratiam in nos, ut tamen auctrix gratiae nequaquam esset, sed ab anima eius gratia redundavit in carnem; nam per spiritus sancti gratiam, non solum mens virginis fuit Deo per amorem perfecte unita, sed eius uterus a spiritu sancto est supernaturaliter impraegnatus. Et ideo statim cum dixisset Gabriel, ave gratia plena, subiunxit de plenitudine ventris, dicens dominus tecum. Ut ergo Evangelista hanc singularem plenitudinem redundantiae et efficientiae de Christo ostenderet, dixit de plenitudine eius omnes accepimus, scilicet omnes apostoli, et patriarchae, et prophetae, et iusti, qui fuerunt, sunt et erunt, et etiam omnes Angeli. 201 He says first of all: We know from our own experience that we have seen him full of grace and truth, because of his fullness we have all received. Now one fullness is that of sufficiency, by which one is able to perform acts that are meritorious and excellent, as in the case of Stephen. Again, there is a fullness of superabundance, by which the Blessed Virgin excels all the saints because of the eminence and abundance of her merits. Further, there is a fullness of efficiency and overflow, which belongs only to the man Christ as the author of grace. For although the Blessed Virgin superabounds her grace into us, it is never as authoress of grace. But grace flowed over from her soul into her body: for through the grace of the Holy Spirit, not only was the mind of the Virgin perfectly united to God by love, but her womb was supernaturally impregnated by the Holy Spirit. And so after Gabriel said, “Hail, full of grace,” he refers at once to the fullness of her womb, adding, “the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). And so the Evangelist, in order to show this unique fullness of efficiency and overflow in Christ, said, Of his fullness we have all received, i.e., all the apostles and patriarchs and prophets and just men who have existed, do now exist, and will exist, and even all the angels.
Nota, quod haec praepositio de aliquando quidem denotat efficientiam, seu originalem causam, sicut cum dicitur, radius est vel procedit de sole; et hoc modo denotat in Christo efficientiam gratiae, seu auctoritatem, quia plenitudo gratiae, quae est in Christo, est causa omnium gratiarum quae sunt in omnibus intellectualibus creaturis. Eccli. c. XXIV, 26: venite ad me, omnes, qui concupiscitis me, et a generationibus meis, quae scilicet de me procedunt, adimplemini, participatione sufficientis plenitudinis. 202 Note that the preposition de [of, from] sometimes signifies efficiency, i.e., an originative cause, as when it is said that a ray is or proceeds “from” the sun. In this way it signifies the efficiency of grace in Christ, i.e., authorship, because the fullness of grace in Christ is the cause of all graces that are in intellectual creatures. “Come to me, all you who desire me, and be filled with my fruits,” that is to say, share in the fullness of those fruits which come from me (Si 24:26).
Aliquando autem haec praepositio de denotat consubstantialitatem, ut cum dicitur, filius est de patre; et secundum hoc plenitudo Christi est spiritus sanctus, qui procedit ab eo consubstantialis ei in natura, in virtute et maiestate. Quamvis enim dona habitualia alia sint in anima Christi quam ea quae sunt in nobis, tamen spiritus sanctus, qui est in ipso, unus et idem replet omnes sanctificandos. I Cor. XII, 11: haec omnia operatur unus atque idem spiritus; Ioel. II, 28: effundam de spiritu meo super omnem carnem; Rom. c. VIII, 9: si quis spiritum Christi non habet, hic non est eius. Nam unitas spiritus sancti facit in Ecclesia unitatem; Sap. I, 7: spiritus domini replevit orbem terrarum. But sometimes this preposition de signifies consubstantiality, as when it is said that the Son is “of” the Father [ de Patre ] . In this usage, the fullness of Christ is the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from him, consubstantial with him in nature, in power and in majesty. For although the habitual gifts in the soul of Christ are other than those in us, nevertheless it is one and the same Holy Spirit who is in him and who fills all those to be sanctified. “One and the same Spirit produces all these” (1 Cor 12:11); “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh” (JI 2:28); “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him” (Rom 8:9). For the unity of the Holy Spirit produces unity in the Church: “The Spirit of the Lord filled the whole world” (Wis 1:7).
Tertio modo haec praepositio de denotat partialitatem, sicut cum dicimus, accipe de hoc pane, vel vino, idest partem accipe, et non totum; et hoc modo accipiendo, notat in accipientibus partem de plenitudine derivari. Ipse enim accepit omnia dona spiritus sancti sine mensura, secundum plenitudinem perfectam; sed nos de plenitudine eius partem aliquam participamus per ipsum; et hoc secundum mensuram, quam unicuique Deus divisit. Eph. IV, 7: unicuique autem nostrum data est gratia, secundum mensuram donationis. In a third way, the preposition de [of, from] can signify it portion, as when we say “take ‘from’ this bread or wine [ de hoc pane, vel vino ],” i.e., take a portion and not the whole. Taken in this way it signifies that those who take a part derive it from the fullness. For he [Christ] received all the gifts of the Holy Spirit without measure, according to a perfect fullness; but we participate through him some portion of his fullness; and this is according to the measure which God grants to each. “Grace has been given to each of us according to the degree to which Christ gives it” (Eph 4:7).
Deinde cum dicit et gratiam pro gratia ostendit derivationem gratiarum in nos per Christum. Ubi duo facit. Primo ostendit quod accepimus gratiam a Christo, eo auctore; secundo accepimus ab eo sapientiam, ibi Deum nemo vidit unquam. Circa primum duo facit. 203 Then when he says, grace upon grace, he shows the distribution of graces into us through Christ. Here he does two things. First, he shows that we receive grace from Christ, as its author. Secondly, that we receive wisdom from him (1:18). As to the first he does two things. First, he shows that we have received of his fullness. Secondly, our need to receive it.
Primo ostendit quod de plenitudine eius accepimus; secundo necessitatem accipiendi ostendit, ibi quia lex per Moysen data est et cetera. Dicit autem primo quod accepimus de plenitudine Christi hoc quod dico et gratiam pro gratia. Sed per hoc quod ponitur, cogimur intelligere quod de plenitudine eius accepimus gratiam, et pro illa gratia accepimus aliam; et ideo videndum est quae sit prima gratia, pro qua secundam accepimus, et quae ipsa secunda. 204 First, he says that we have received of the fullness of Christ what is described as grace upon grace. In the light of what is said, we are forced to understand that of his fullness we have received grace, and that upon that grace we have received another. Accordingly, we must see what that first grace is upon which we have received a second one, and also what that second grace is.
Secundum Chrysostomum autem, prima gratia, quam totum genus humanum accepit, fuit gratia veteris testamenti accepta in lege, quae quidem magna fuit, iuxta illud Prov. IV, v. 2: donum bonum tribuam vobis et cetera. Magnum enim fuit quod hominibus idolatris data sunt praecepta a Deo, et unius veri Dei vera cognitio; Rom. III, 1: quid amplius Iudaeo, aut quae utilitas circumcisionis? Multum quidem per omnem modum. Primum quidem quia credita sunt eis eloquia Dei. Pro gratia ergo ista, quae prima fuit, secundam longe meliorem accepimus; Zach. IV, 7: exaequabit gratiae. According to Chrysostom, the first grace, which was received by the whole human race, was the grace of the Old Testament received in the law. And this was indeed a great grace: “I will give you a good gift” (Prv 4:2). For it was a great benefit for idolatrous men to receive precepts from God, and a true knowledge of the one true God. “What is the advantage of being a Jew, or the benefit of circumcision? It is great in every way. First indeed, because the words of God were entrusted to them” (Rom 3:1). Upon that grace, then, which was first, we have received a second far better. “He will follow grace with grace” (Zec 4:7).
Sed numquid non sufficiebat prima gratia? Respondeo dicendum, quod non, quia per legem solum cognitio peccati datur, non ablatio. Neminem enim ad perfectum adduxit lex, Hebr. VII, 19. Et ideo erat necesse quod alia gratia peccata auferens, et reconcilians Deo, veniret. But was not the first grace sufficient? I answer that it was not, because the law gives only a knowledge of sin, but does not take it away. “The law brought nothing to perfection” (Heb 7:19). Hence it was necessary that another grace come that would take away sin and reconcile one with God.
Et ideo dicit quia lex per Moysen data est; gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est. Ubi Evangelista praefert Christum legislatori Moysi, quem Baptista sibi praetulerat. Moyses autem reputabatur maximus prophetarum; Deut. ult., 10: non surrexit ultra propheta in Israel sicut Moyses. Praefert autem eum Moysi, quantum ad excellentiam et dignitatem operum quia per Moysen lex data est; et horum duorum, tantum unum excellit alium, quantum figuratum excellit figuram et veritas ipsam umbram. Umbram enim habuit lex futurorum bonorum etc.; Hebr. X, 1. Item excellit quantum ad modum operandi: quia lex data est per Moysen, sicut ut per proponentem, non per facientem; quia, solus dominus est legifer noster: Is. XXXIII, v. 22. Gratia autem, et veritas facta est per Christum, sicut per dominum et auctorem veritatis et gratiae, ut supra expositum est. 205 And so he says, because, while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. Here the Evangelist ranks Christ above Moses the lawgiver, whom the Baptist ranked above himself. Now Moses was regarded as the greatest of the prophets: “There did not arise again in Israel a prophet like Moses” (Dt 34:10). But he ranks Christ above Moses in excellence Mid in dignity of’ works, because the law was given through Moses; and between these two, the One excels the other as the reality excels the symbol and the truth the shadow: “The law had a shadow of the good things to come” (Heb 10:1). Further, Christ excels him in the way he works, because the law was given by Moses as by one proclaiming it, but not originating it; for “The Lord alone is our lawgiver” (Is 33:22). But grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ, as through the Lord and Author of truth and grace, as was explained above.
Secundum Augustinum vero, prima est iustificans et praeveniens, quae non datur nobis ex operibus; Rom. XI, 6: si autem gratia, iam non ex operibus. Pro ista ergo gratia, scilicet imperfecta, accepimus aliam gratiam consummatam, scilicet aeternae vitae. Et quamvis aeterna vita aliquo modo meritis acquiratur, tamen quia principium merendi in omnibus est gratia praeveniens, ideo vita aeterna dicitur gratia; Rom. VI, 23: gratia Dei vita aeterna. Et, ut breviter concludatur, quicquid praevenienti gratiae de gratia additur, totum gratia pro gratia dicitur. 206 According to Augustine, however, the first grace is justifying and prevenient grace, which is not given to us because of our works: “If it is by grace, it is not now by works” (Rom 11:6). Upon that grace, then, which is imperfect, we have received another grace which is perfect, i.e., the grace of eternal life. And although eternal life is in some way acquired by merits, nevertheless, because the principle of meriting in everyone is prevenient grace, eternal life is called a grace: “The grace of God is eternal life” (Rom 6:23). To be brief, whatever grace is added to prevenient grace, the whole is called grace upon grace.
Necessitas autem secundae gratiae est ex insufficientia legis, quae ostendebat quid faciendum et quid cavendum erat; sed ad implendum ea quae praecipiebat, non praebebat auxilium; immo per occasionem operabatur mortem quae tamen videbatur fuisse ad vitam; apostolus, Rom. VII, 10, et II Cor. III, v. 9, dicit, legem ministram fuisse mortis: nam si ministratio damnationis in gloria est, multo magis abundat ministerium iustitiae in gloria. Item promittebat auxilium gratiae, sed non solvebat, quia neminem ad perfectum adducit lex, ut dicitur Hebr. VII, 19. Item per sacrificia et caeremonias veritatem novae gratiae figurabat, ipso suo ritu clamans eam figuram; et ideo necesse fuit quod Christus veniret, qui per mortem propriam alienas mortes perimeret, et conferret auxilium novae gratiae, ut faciliter et delectabiliter adimpleremus praecepta, et moreremur transgressioni et conversationi antiquae; Rom. VI, 6: vetus homo noster simul crucifixus est et cetera. Item ut manifestaretur veritas figurarum contentarum in lege, et ut promissiones factae patribus solverentur; II Cor. I. The need for this second grace arises from the insufficiency of the law, which showed what was to be done and what avoided; but it gave no help to fulfill what was commanded. Indeed, what seemed to have been directed to life was the occasion for producing death. Hence the Apostle says that the law was a minister of death: “If the ministry that condemned had glory, the ministry that justifies has much more glory” (2 Cor 3:9). Also, it promised the help of grace but did not fulfill, because “The law brought nothing to perfection” (Heb 7:19). Again, it prefigured the truth of the new grace by its sacrifices and ceremonies; indeed, its very rites proclaimed that it was a figure. Hence is was necessary that Christ come, who by his own death would destroy other deaths and grant the help of new grace, in order that we might both fulfill his precepts with ease and joy, and die to our sins and our old way of life: “Our old self was crucified with him” (Rom 6:6), and in order that the truth of the figures contained in the law might be revealed and the promises made to the fathers be fulfilled.
Vel aliter, veritas per Christum facta est, quantum ad sapientiam et veritatem occultam a saeculis, quam veniens in mundum aperte docuit, infra XVIII, v. 37: in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati. This can be explained in another way: truth has come through Jesus Christ, as to the wisdom and truth which was hidden for centuries, and which he openly taught when he came into the world: “I came into the world for this, to testify to the truth,” as we read below (18:37).
Sed si ipse Christus est veritas, ut infra XIV, 6 dicitur, quomodo per ipsum facta est veritas, cum nihil possit fieri a seipso? Respondeo, dicendum est, quod ipse est per suam essentiam veritas increata; quae aeterna est, et non facta, sed a patre est genita; sed per ipsum factae sunt omnes veritates creatae, quae sunt quaedam participationes et refulgentiae primae veritatis, quae in animabus sanctis relucent. 207 But if Christ is the Truth, as it says below (14:6), how did truth come [i.e., come to be, be made] through him, because nothing can make itself? I answer that by his essence he is the uncreated Truth, which is eternal and not made, but is begotten of the Father; but all created truths were made through him, and these are certain participations and reflections of the first Truth, which shines out in those souls who are holy.

Lectio 11 LECTURE 11
18 θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε:
μονογενὴς θεὸς
ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.
18 No one has ever seen God;
it is the Only Begotten Son,
who is in the bosom of the Father,
who has made him known.
Supra Evangelista ostendit quomodo gratiam apostoli acceperunt a Christo, eo faciente; hic ostendit quomodo acceperunt ab ipso eam docente. Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ostendit huius doctrinae necessitatem, dicens Deum nemo vidit unquam; secundo doctoris ad docendum eam facultatem, ibi unigenitus qui est in sinu patris; tertio ipsam doctrinam declarat, ibi enarravit. 208 Above, the Evangelist showed how the apostles received grace from Christ as its author; here he shows how they received it from him as a teacher. About this he does three things. First, he shows the need for this teaching. Secondly, the competency of the teacher. Thirdly, the teaching itself.
Necessitas autem huius doctrinae erat defectus sapientiae in hominibus, quem quidem defectum Evangelista insinuabat per ignorantiam Dei, quae in hominibus abundabat, dicens Deum nemo vidit unquam. Et hoc facit congrue: nam sapientia proprie in cognitione Dei, et divinorum consistit. Unde Augustinus dicit, quod sapientia est divinarum rerum cognitio, sicut et scientia humanarum. 209 The need for this teaching arose from the lack of wisdom among men, which the Evangelist implies by alluding to the ignorance concerning God which prevailed among men, saying: No one has ever seen God. And he does this fittingly, for wisdom consists properly in the knowledge of God and of divine things. Hence Augustine says that wisdom is the knowledge of divine things, as science is the knowledge of human things.
Quod autem hic dicit Evangelista Deum nemo vidit unquam contrariari videtur pluribus auctoritatibus divinae Scripturae. Dicitur enim Is. VI, 1: vidi dominum sedentem super solium excelsum et elevatum; II Reg. VI, 2, fere idem habetur: nomen domini sedentis super Cherubim etc.; Matth. V, v. 8, dicit dominus: beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Sed si aliquis responderet ad hoc ultimum, dicens, verum esse quod in praeterito nullus vidit, sed in futuro videbit, sicut dominus promittit, apostolus hoc excludit, dicens I Tim. ult., 16: lucem habitat inaccessibilem, quam nullus hominum vidit, sed nec videre potest. 2 10 But this statement of the Evangelist, No one has ever seen God, seems to contradict many passages of divine Scripture. For it is said in Isaiah (6:1): “I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne.” And about the same is found in 2 Samuel (6:2). Again in Matthew (5:8), the Lord says: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”If someone were to answer this last statement by saying that it is true that in the past no one has seen God, but will see him in the future, as the Lord promises, the Apostle would exclude this, saying, “He dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Tim 6:16).
Sed quia apostolus dicit: nullus hominum vidit, posset aliquis dicere, quod si non ab hominibus videri possit, saltem videtur ab Angelis; praesertim cum Deus dicat Matth. XVIII, 10: Angeli eorum in caelis semper vident faciem patris. Sed nec isto modo dici potest: quia, ut dicitur Matth. XXII, 30: filii resurrectionis erunt sicut Angeli Dei in caelo. Si ergo Angeli vident Deum in caelo, manifestum est etiam quod et filii resurrectionis eum vident; I Io. III, 2: cum apparuerit, similes ei erimus, et videbimus eum sicut est. Because the Apostle says, “no man has seen,” someone might say that if he cannot be seen by men, then at least he can be seen by angels; especially since God says, “Their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father” (Mt 18:10). But it cannot be taken in this way either, because it is said, “The sons of the resurrection will be like the angels of God in heaven” (Mt 22:30). If, therefore, the angels see God in heaven, then it is plain that the sons of the resurrection also see him: “When he appears we shall be like him, and we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2).
Quomodo ergo intelligendum est hoc quod dicit Evangelista Deum nemo vidit unquam? Ad huius ergo intellectum sciendum est, quod Deus dicitur videri tripliciter. Uno quidem modo per subiectam creaturam, visui corporali propositam; sicut creditur Abraham vidisse Deum, quando tres vidit, et unum adoravit, Gen. XVIII; unum quidem adoravit, quia tres, quos prius homines reputaverat, et postmodum Angelos credidit, recognovit mysterium Trinitatis. Alio modo per repraesentatam imaginationem; et sic Isaias vidit dominum sedentem super solium excelsum et elevatum. Plures visiones huic similes in Scripturis reperiuntur. Alio vero modo videtur per aliquam speciem intelligibilem a sensibilibus abstractam, ab his qui per considerationem magnitudinis creaturarum, intellectu intuentur magnitudinem creatoris, ut dicitur Sap. XIII, 5: a magnitudine speciei et creaturae cognoscibiliter poterit creator horum videri, et Rom. I, 20: invisibilia Dei a creatura mundi per ea quae facta sunt, intellecta conspiciuntur. Alio modo per aliquod spirituale lumen a Deo infusum spiritualibus mentibus in contemplatione; et hoc modo vidit Iacob Deum facie ad faciem, Gen. XXXII, 30 quae visio, secundum Gregorium, facta est per altam contemplationem. 211 How then are we to understand what the Evangelist says: No one has ever seen God ? To understand it we must know that God is said to be seen in three ways. First, through a created substitute presented to the bodily sight; as Abraham is believed to have seen God when he saw three [men] and adored one (Gn 18). He adored one because he recognized the mystery of the Trinity in the three, whom he first thought to be men, and later believed to be angels. In a second way, through a representation in the imagination; and in this way Isaiah saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne. Many visions of this sort are recorded in the Scriptures. In a third way, he is seen through an intelligible species abstracted from material things; and in this way he is seen by those who, considering the greatness of creatures, see with their intellect the greatness of the Creator, as it is said: “From the greatness and beauty of creatures, their Creator can be seen accordingly” (Wis 13:5); “The invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made,” as found in Romans (1:20). In another way, God is seen through a certain spiritual light infused by God into spiritual minds during contemplation; and this is the way Jacob saw God face to face, as it says in Genesis (32:30). According to Gregory, this vision came about through his lofty contemplation.
Sed per nullam istarum visionum, ad visionem divinae essentiae pervenitur: nulla enim species facta, sive qua informatur sensus exterior, sive qua informatur imaginatio, sive qua informatur intellectus, est repraesentativa divinae essentiae sicut est. Illud autem homo per essentiam cognoscit quod species quam habet in intellectu, repraesentat ut est: per nullam ergo speciem ad visionem divinae essentiae pervenitur. But the vision of the divine essence is not attained by any of the above visions: for no created species, whether it be that by which an external sense is informed, or by which the imagination is informed, or by which the intellect is informed, is representative of the divine essence as it is. Now man knows as to its essence only what the species he has in his intellect represents as it is. Therefore, the vision of the divine essence is not attained through any species.
Quod autem nulla creata species divinam essentiam repraesentet, patet: quia nullum finitum potest repraesentare infinitum ut est; omnis autem species creata est finita: ergo et cetera. Praeterea, Deus est suum esse; et ideo eius sapientia et bonitas, et quaecumque alia, idem sunt; per unum autem creatum non possent omnia ista repraesentari: ergo cognitio qua Deus per creaturas videtur, non est ipsius essentia, sed aenigmatica et specularis, et a remotis. Iob XXXVI, 25: omnes homines vident eum, aliquo dictorum modorum, sed unusquisque intuetur procul, quia per omnes illas cognitiones non scitur de Deo quid est, sed quid non est, vel an est. Unde dicit Dionysius libro mysticae theologiae, quod perfectus modus quo Deus in vita praesenti cognoscitur, est per privationem omnium creaturarum, et intellectorum a nobis. The reason why no created species can represent the divine essence is plain: for nothing finite can represent the infinite as it is; but every created species is finite; therefore [it cannot represent the infinite as it is]. Further, God is his own esse; and therefore his wisdom and greatness and anything else are the same. But all those cannot be represented through one created thing. Therefore, the knowledge by which God is seen through creatures is not a knowledge of his essence, but a knowledge that is dark and mirrored, and from afar. “Everyone sees him,” in one of the above ways, “from afar” (Jb 36:25), because we do not know what God is by all these acts of knowing, but what he is not, or that he is. Hence Denis says, in his Mystical Theology, that the perfect way in which God is known in this present life is by taking away all creatures and every thing understood by us.
Fuerunt autem aliqui dicentes, quod divina essentia numquam videbitur ab aliquo intellectu creato, et quod nec ab Angelis vel beatis videtur. Sed haec propositio ostenditur esse falsa et haeretica tripliciter. Primo quidem, quia contrariatur auctoritati divinae Scripturae; I Io. III, 2: videbimus eum sicuti est; et infra XVII, 3: haec est vita aeterna ut cognoscant te solum Deum verum, et quem misisti Iesum Christum. Secundo quia claritas Dei non est aliud quam eius substantia: non enim est lucens per participationem luminis, sed per seipsam. Tertio quia impossibile est quod aliquis perfectam beatitudinem consequatur, nisi in visione divinae essentiae: quia naturale desiderium intellectus est scire et cognoscere causas omnium effectuum cognitorum ab eo; quod non potest impleri nisi scita et cognita prima universali omnium causa, quae non est composita ex effectu et causa, sicut causae secundae. Et ideo auferre possibilitatem visionis divinae essentiae ab hominibus, est auferre ipsam beatitudinem. Necesse est ergo ad beatitudinem intellectus creati, ut divina essentia videatur, Matth. V, 8: beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. 212 There have been some who said that the divine essence will never by seen by any created intellect, and that it is seen neither by the angels nor by the blessed. But this statement is shown to be false and heretical in three ways, First, because it is contrary to the authority of divine Scripture: “We shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2); “This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (below 17:3). Secondly, because the brightness of God is the same as his substance; for he does not give forth light by participating in light, but through himself. And thirdly, because it is impossible for anyone to attain perfect happiness except in the vision of the divine essence. This is because the natural desire of the intellect is to understand and know the causes of all the effects that it knows; but this desire cannot be fulfilled unless it understands and knows the first universal cause of all things, which is a cause that is not composed of cause and effect, as second causes are. Therefore, to take away the possibility of the vision of the divine essence by man is to fake away happiness itself. Therefore, in order for the created intellect to be happy, it is necessary that the divine essence be seen. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).
Quo ad visionem autem divinae essentiae, oportet tria attendere. Primo, quia numquam videbitur oculo corporali, vel aliquo sensu, vel imaginatione, cum per sensus non percipiantur nisi sensata corporea; Deus autem incorporeus est; infra IV, v. 24: Deus spiritus est. Secundo, quia intellectus humanus quamdiu corpori est coniunctus, Deum videre non potest, quia aggravatur a corruptibili corpore, ne possit ad summum contemplationis pertingere. Et inde est quod anima quanto magis est a passionibus libera, et purgata ab affectibus terrenorum, tanto amplius in contemplationem veritatis ascendit, et gustat quam suavis est dominus. Summus gradus autem contemplationis est videre Deum per essentiam; et ideo quamdiu homo in corpore subiecto ex necessitate passionibus multis vivit, Deum non potest per essentiam videre. Ex. c. XXXIII, 20: non videbit me homo et vivet. Ad hoc ergo quod intellectus humanus divinam essentiam videat, necesse est ut totaliter deserat corpus; vel per mortem, sicut apostolus dicit II Cor. V, 8: audemus, et bonam voluntatem habemus magis peregrinari a corpore, et praesentes esse ad dominum; vel quod totaliter abstrahatur per raptum a corporis sensibus, sicut de Paulo legitur II Cor. c. XII, 3. 213 Three things should be noted about the vision of the divine essence. First, it will never be seen with a bodily eye, either by sense or imagination, since only sensate bodily things are perceived by the senses, and God is not bodily: “God is spirit” (below 4:24). Secondly, that as long as the human intellect is in the body it cannot see God, because it is weighed down by the body so that it cannot attain the summit of contemplation. So it is that the more a soul is free of passions and is purged from affections for earthly things, the higher it rises in the contemplation of truth and tastes how sweet the Lord is. Now the highest degree of contemplation is to see God through his essence; and so as long as a man lives in a body which is necessarily subject to many passions, he cannot see God through his essence. “Man will not see me and live” (Ex 33:20). Therefore, if the human intellect is to see the divine essence it must wholly depart from the body: either by death, as the Apostle says, “We would prefer to be absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8); or by being wholly abstracted by rapture from the senses of the body, as is mentioned of Paul in 2 Corinthians (12:3).
Tertio modo, quod nullus intellectus creatus quantumcumque abstractus, sive per mortem, vel a corpore separatus, videns divinam essentiam, ipsam nullo modo comprehendere potest. Et ideo communiter dicitur, quod, licet divina essentia tota videatur a beatis, cum sit simplicissima et partibus carens, tamen non videtur totaliter, quia hoc esset eam comprehendere. Hoc enim quod dico totaliter, dicit modum quemdam. Quilibet autem modus Dei est divina essentia; unde qui non videt eum totaliter, non comprehendit eum. Comprehendere autem proprie dicitur aliquis aliquam rem cognoscendo, qui cognoscit rem illam quantum in se cognoscibilis est; alias, quamvis cognoscat eam, non tamen comprehendit. Sicut qui cognoscit hanc propositionem: triangulus habet tres angulos aequales duobus rectis, syllogismo dialectico, non cognoscit eam quantum cognoscibilis est, et ideo non cognoscit totaliter; sed qui cognoscit eam syllogismo demonstrativo, totaliter scit eam. Unumquodque enim tantum cognoscibile est, quantum habet de ente et veritate; sed ipse cognoscens tantum cognoscit quantum habet de virtute cognoscitiva. Omnis autem substantia intellectualis creata est finita: ergo finite cognoscit. Cum ergo Deus sit infinitae virtutis et entitatis, et per consequens infinite cognoscibilis, a nullo intellectu creato cognosci potest quantum est cognoscibilis; et ideo omni intellectui creato remanet incomprehensibilis; Iob XXXVI, 26: ecce Deus magnus vincens scientiam nostram. Solus autem ipse comprehendendo contemplatur seipsum, quia tanta est eius virtus in cognoscendo quanta est eius entitas in essendo. Ier. XXXII, 18: fortissime, magne, potens dominus exercituum nomen tibi, magnus consilio, incomprehensibilis cogitatu. Thirdly, no created intellect (however abstracted, either by death, or separated from the body) which does see the divine essence, can comprehend it in any way. And so it is commonly said that although the whole divine essence is seen by the blessed, since it is most simple and has no parts, yet it is not wholly seen, because this would be to comprehend it. For “wholly” implies a certain mode. But any mode of God is the divine essence. Hence one who does not see him wholly does not comprehend him. For one is properly said to comprehend a thing through knowledge when he knows that thing to the extent that it is knowable in itself; otherwise, although he may know it, he does not comprehend it. For example, one who knows this proposition, “A triangle has three angles equal to two right angles,” by a dialectical syllogism, does not know it as well as it is knowable in itself; thus he does not know it wholly. But one who knows this by a demonstrative syllogism does know it wholly. For each thing is knowable to the extent that it has being and truth; while one is a knower according to his amount of cognitive power. Now a created intellectual substance is finite; hence it knows in a finite way. And since God is infinite in power and being, and as a consequence is infinitely knowable, he cannot be known by any created intellect to the degree that he is knowable. And thus he remains incomprehensible to every created intellect. “Behold, God is great, exceeding our knowledge” (Jb 36:26). He alone contemplates himself comprehensively, because his power to know is as great as his entity in being. “O most mighty, great, powerful, your name is Lord of hosts, great in counsel, incomprehensible in thought” (Jer 32:18).
Sic ergo, secundum praemissa, intelligitur Deum nemo vidit unquam. Primo sic: nemo, idest nullus hominum, vidit Deum, idest essentiam divinam, oculo corporali et imaginario. Secundo nemo, in hac mortali vita vivens, vidit divinam essentiam in seipsa. Tertio nemo, homo vel Angelus, vidit Deum, visione comprehensionis. Quod autem de aliquibus dicitur, quod Deum viderunt oculo, seu viventes in corpore, intelligitur non per essentiam, sed per subiectam creaturam, ut dictum est. Sic ergo necessarium erat quod reciperemus sapientiam, quia Deum nemo vidit unquam. 214 Using the above explanations, we can understand, No one has ever seen God. First, No one, i.e., no man, has seen God, that is, the divine essence, with the eye of the body of or the imagination. Secondly, No one, living in this mortal life, has seen the divine essence in itself. Thirdly, No one, man or angel, has seen God by a vision of comprehension. So when it is said that certain ones have seen God with their eyes or while living in the body, he is not seen through his essence, but through a creature acting as a substitute, as was said. And thus it was necessary for us to receive wisdom, because No one has ever seen God.
Huius autem sapientiae sufficiens doctor nobis proponitur ab Evangelista, cum subdit unigenitus filius qui est in sinu patris, in quo ostendit nobis doctoris ipsius facultatem per tria. Scilicet per naturalem similitudinem, et per singularem excellentiam, et per perfectissimam consubstantialitatem. 215 The Evangelist mentions the competent teacher of this wisdom when he adds, it is the Only Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. He shows the competence of this teacher in three ways: by a natural likeness, by a singular excellence, and by a most perfect consubstantiality.
Per naturalem similitudinem, quia filius naturaliter similitudinem patris habet. Et inde est etiam quod intantum aliquis dicitur filius Dei, inquantum similitudinem filii naturalis participat; et intantum cognoscit, inquantum de similitudine eius habet: quia cognitio fit per assimilationem. I Io. III, 2: nunc filii Dei sumus, et sequitur: cum apparuerit, similes ei erimus, et videbimus eum sicuti est. Et ideo in hoc quod Evangelista dicit filius, importatur similitudo, et aptitudo ad cognoscendum Deum. 216 By natural likeness, because a son is naturally like his father. Wherefore it also follows that one is called a son of God insofar as he shares in the likeness of his natural son; and one knows him insofar he has a likeness to him, since knowledge is attained through assimilation [or “likeness to”]. Hence 1 John (3:2) says, “Now we are sons of God,” and he immediately adds, “when he comes, we will be like him, and we will see him as he is.” Therefore, when the Evangelist says Son, he implies a likeness as well as all aptitude for knowing God.
Sed quia iste doctor specialius quam alii filii Deum cognoscit, ideo Evangelista hoc insinuat per excellentiam singularem, cum dicit unigenitus; quasi dicat: iste cognoscit Deum prae aliis filiis. Ideo dicitur unigenitus, quia est filius naturalis, eamdem habens cum patre naturam et cognitionem; Ps. II, 7: dominus dixit ad me: filius meus es tu. 217 Because this teacher knows God in a more special way than other sons do, the Evangelist suggests this by his singular excellence, saying, the Only Begotten. As if to say: He knows God more than other sons do. Hence, because he is the natural Son, having the same nature and knowledge as the Father, he is called the Only Begotten. “The Lord said to me: ‘You are my Son’” (Ps 2:7).
Quamvis autem singulariter cognosceret, posset tamen sibi deesse facultas docendi, si non cognosceret totaliter; et ideo addit tertium, scilicet consubstantialitatem eius ad patrem, cum dicit in sinu patris: ut non accipiatur sinus prout in hominibus veste praecinctis dici consuevit, sed pro patris occulto. Illud enim in occulto gerimus, quod in sinu portamus. Occultum autem patris est, quia superexcedit omnem virtutem, et cognitionem, cum divina essentia sit infinita. In illo ergo sinu, idest in occultissimo paternae naturae et essentiae, quae excedit omnem virtutem creaturae, est unigenitus filius; et ideo consubstantialis est patri. 218 Although he may know in a unique way, he would be lacking the ability to teach if he were not to know wholly. Hence he adds a third point, namely, his consubstantiality to the Father, when he says, who is in the bosom of the Father. “Bosom” is not to be taken here as referring to men in their garments, but it indicates the secret things of the Father. For what we carry in our bosom we do in secret. The secret things of the Father refer to his unsurpassed power and knowledge, since the divine essence is infinite. Therefore, in that bosom, i.e., in the most secret things of the paternal nature and essence, which transcends all the power of the creature, is the Only Begotten Son; and so he is consubstantial with the Father.
Et quod Evangelista hic significavit per sinum hoc David expressit per uterum, dicens Ps. CIX, 3: ex utero ante Luciferum, idest ex intimo et occulto meae essentiae, incomprehensibili omni intellectui creato, genui te, et consubstantialem mihi, et eiusdem naturae et virtutis et potestatis et cognitionis; I Cor. II, v. 11: quae sunt hominis, nemo novit nisi spiritus hominis (...) et quae sunt Dei, nemo novit nisi spiritus Dei. Comprehendit ergo divinam essentiam, quae sua est. What the Evangelist signifies by “bosom,” David expressed by “womb,” saying: “From the womb, before the daystar,” i.e., from the inmost secret things of my essence, incomprehensible to every created intellect, “I begot you” (Ps 109:3), consubstantial with me, and of the same nature and power, and virtue and knowledge. “What man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? So also, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:11). Therefore, he comprehends the divine essence, which is his own.
Anima autem Christi Deum cognoscendo non comprehendit, quia hoc non dicitur, nisi de unigenito, qui est in sinu patris. Unde et dominus dicit Matth. XI, 27: nemo novit patrem, nisi filius, et cui voluerit filius revelare; ut utrumque intelligatur de notitia comprehensionis, de qua hic videtur loqui Evangelista. Nullus enim divinam comprehendit essentiam, nisi solus Deus pater, et filius, et spiritus sanctus. Sic ergo patet facultas doctoris ad docendum. 219 But the soul of Christ, which knows God, does not comprehend him, because this is attributed only to the Only Begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father. So the Lord also says: “No one knows the Father except the Son, and any to whom the Son wishes to reveal him”(Mt 11:27); we should understand this as referring to the knowledge of comprehension, about which the Evangelist seems to be speaking here. For no one comprehends the divine essence except the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And so we have shown the competence of the teacher.
Notandum etiam, quod per hoc quod dicit qui est in sinu patris, excluditur error quorumdam, dicentium, patrem invisibilem esse, filium vero visibilem, et non visum fuisse in veteri testamento. Nam, ex hoc quod est in abscondito patris, manifestum est quod naturaliter invisibilis est, sicut pater. Et propter hoc dicebat de ipso Is. XLV, 15: tu es vere Deus absconditus. Et ideo in Scriptura divina fit mentio de incomprehensibilitate filii; Matth. XI, 27: nemo novit filium nisi pater, neque patrem quis novit nisi filius; Prov. XXX, 4: quod nomen filii eius, si nosti? 220 We should note that the phrase, who is in the bosom of the Father, rejects the error of those who say that the Father is invisible, but the Son is visible, though he was not seen in the Old Testament. For from the fact that he is among the hidden things of the Father, it is plain that he is naturally invisible, as is the Father. So it is said of him: “Truly, you are a hidden God” (Is 45:15). And so Scripture mentions the incomprehensibility of the Son: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son” (Mt 11:27), “What is the name of his son, if you know?” as we read in Proverbs (30:4)
Consequenter Evangelista modum tradendi ipsam doctrinam insinuat, cum dicit ipse enarravit. Olim enim unigenitus filius manifestavit Dei cognitionem per prophetas, qui eum intantum annuntiaverunt inquantum aeterni verbi fuerunt participes. Unde dicebant: factum est verbum domini et cetera. Sed nunc ipse unigenitus, filius, enarravit fidelibus. Is. LII, 6: ego ipse qui loquebar, ecce adsum; Hebr. I, 1: multifariam, multisque modis olim Deus loquens patribus in prophetis, novissime diebus istis locutus est nobis in filio. 221 Then the Evangelist indicates the way in which this teaching is handed down, saying that it is the Only Begotten Son who has made him known. For in the past, the Only Begotten Son revealed knowledge of God through the prophets, who made him known to the extent that they shared in the eternal Word. Hence they said things like, “The Word of the Lord came to me.” But now the Only Begotten Son has made him known to the faithful: “It is I who spoke; here I am” (Is 52:6); “God, who in many and varied ways, spoke to the fathers in past times through the prophets, has spoken to us in these days in his Son” (Heb 1:1).
Et haec doctrina ideo omnibus aliis doctrinis supereminet dignitate, auctoritate et utilitate, quia ab unigenito filio, qui est prima sapientia, immediate est tradita. Hebr. II, 3: quae cum initium accepisset enarrari per dominum, ab eis qui audierunt, in nos confirmata est. And this teaching surpasses all other teachings in dignity, authority and usefulness, because it was handed on immediately by the Only Begotten Son, who is the first Wisdom. “It was first announced by the Lord, and confirmed to us by those who heard him” (Heb 2:3).
Sed quid narravit nisi unum Deum? Hoc ipsum et Moyses enarravit, Deut. VI, 4: audi, Israel: dominus Deus tuus, dominus unus est. Quid ergo amplius Moyse? Multum per omnem modum, quia mysterium Trinitatis, et multa alia, quae nec Moyses, nec aliquis prophetarum narravit. 222 But what did he make known except the one God? And even Moses did this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord your God is one” (Dt 6:4). What did this add to Moses? It added the mystery of the Trinity, and many other things that neither Moses nor any of the prophets made known.

Lectio 12 LECTURE 12
19 καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ Ἰωάννου, ὅτε ἀπέστειλαν [πρὸς αὐτὸν] οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἐξ Ἰεροσολύμων ἱερεῖς καὶ λευίτας ἵνα ἐρωτήσωσιν αὐτόν, σὺ τίς εἶ; 20 καὶ ὡμολόγησεν καὶ οὐκ ἠρνήσατο, καὶ ὡμολόγησεν ὅτι ἐγὼ οὐκ εἰμὶ ὁ Χριστός. 21 καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτόν, τί οὖν; σύ ἠλίας εἶ; καὶ λέγει, οὐκ εἰμί. ὁ προφήτης εἶ σύ; καὶ ἀπεκρίθη, οὔ. 22 εἶπαν οὖν αὐτῷ, τίς εἶ; ἵνα ἀπόκρισιν δῶμεν τοῖς πέμψασιν ἡμᾶς: τί λέγεις περὶ σεαυτοῦ; 23 ἔφη, ἐγὼ φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, εὐθύνατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου, καθὼς εἶπεν ἠσαΐας ὁ προφήτης.
19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jeru’salem to him, to ask him: “Who are you?” 20 He declared openly, and did not deny, and stated clearly, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they questioned him, “Who then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he responded, “No.” 22 They therefore said to him, “Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?" 23 He said, quoting the prophet Isaiah, “I am a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord’” [Is 40:3].
Supra ostendit Evangelista quomodo Christus innotuit testimonio Ioannis ipsis apostolis; hic plenius explicat ipsum testimonium. Et primo ponit testimonium Ioannis ad turbas; secundo vero testimonium quod perhibuit de Christo discipulis suis, ibi altera die iterum stabat. Si autem bene considerentur quae dicta sunt, duplex testimonium Ioannis ad Christum invenitur. Unum quod tulit Christo in eius praesentia, aliud in eius absentia: nisi enim in eius praesentia testimonium Ioannes tulisset, non dixisset hic erat, et nisi in eius absentia, non diceret quem dixi vobis. Primo ergo Evangelista explicat testimonium Ioannis quod tulit de Christo in eius absentia; secundo quod tulit in eius praesentia, ibi altera die vidit. 223 Above, the Evangelist showed how Christ was made known to the apostles through the testimony of John; here he develops this testimony more fully. First, he presents John’s testimony to the people. Secondly, the testimony he gave of Christ to his own disciples (below 1:35). If we carefully consider what was said, we discover a twofold testimony of John to Christ: one which he gave to Christ in his presence, the other in his absence. For he would not have said, “It is he” (below 1:30), unless he had given testimony in Christ’s presence; and he would not have said, “of whom I said,” unless he gave testimony to him in his absence. So first, the Evangelist develops the testimony John gave to Christ in his absence; secondly, that he gave in his presence (v 29).
Differunt autem haec duo testimonia, quia primum tulit interrogatus, alterum spontaneus; et ideo in primo testimonio non solum ponitur testimonium quod tulit, sed etiam ipsa interrogatio. Primo autem fuit interrogatus de persona; secundo de officio, ibi et qui missi fuerant. Ostenditur ergo primo quomodo Ioannes confessus est se non esse quod non erat; secundo quomodo non negavit se esse quod erat, ibi dixerunt ergo ei: quis es? Now these two testimonies differ, because the first was given when he was questioned; the other was spontaneous. So in the first instance, we are given not only his testimony, but also the questions. First, he was asked about himself; secondly, about his office (v 24). First we are shown how John stated that he was not what he really was not; secondly, that he did not deny what he was.
Circa primum ponuntur tres interrogationes est tres responsiones, sicut patet in littera. In prima autem interrogatione est magna Iudaeorum reverentia ad Ioannem, qui mittunt ad eum, eius testimonium inquirentes. Ubi magnitudo reverentiae ex quatuor colligitur. Primo ex mittentium dignitate: non enim Galilaei miserunt, sed illi qui praecipui fuerunt in populo Israel, scilicet Iudaei, qui sunt de tribu Iuda, habitantes iuxta Ierusalem; I Paral. V, de Iuda elegit dominus principes populi; infra IV, 22: salus ex Iudaeis est. 224 As to the first, there are three questions and three answers, as is plain from the text. In the first question there is great respect for John shown by the Jews. They had sent certain ones to him to ask about his testimony. The greatness of their respect is gathered from four facts. First, from the dignity of those who sent the questioners; for they were not sent by Galileans, but by those who were first in rank among the people of Israel, namely, Judeans, of the tribe of Juda, who lived about Jerusalem. It was from Juda that God chose the princes of the people.
Secundo ex loci praeeminentia, quia ab Ierusalem, quae est civitas sacerdotalis, et divino cultui mancipata; infra IV, 20: vos dicitis, quia Ierosolymis est locus ubi adorare oportet. Is. XIX, 21: et colent eum in hostiis et in muneribus. Secondly, from the preeminence of the place, that is, from Jerusalem, which is the city of the priesthood, the city dedicated to divine worship: “You people claim that Jerusalem is the place where men must worship God” (below 4:20); “They will worship him with sacrifices and offerings” (Is 19:21).
Tertio ex nuntiorum auctoritate, qui solemnes erant, et sanctiores in populo, quia sacerdotes et Levitae; Is. LXI, 6: vos sacerdotes domini vocabimini. Thirdly, from the authority of the messengers, who were religious and from among the holier of the people, namely, priests and Levites; “You will be called the priests of the Lord” (Is 61:6).
Quarto ex hoc quod miserunt ut Ioannes de se testimonium perhiberet, quasi tantam fidem habentes dictis suis, ut crederent Ioanni de seipso etiam testimonium perhibenti. Unde dicitur ut interrogarent eum, tu quis es? Quod Christo non faciebant; immo dicebant ei, Io. VIII, 13: tu testimonium perhibes de teipso et cetera. Fourthly, from the fact that they sent them so that John might bear witness to himself, indicating that they put such trust in his words as to believe John even when giving testimony about himself. Hence he says they were sent to ask him, Who are you? They did not do this to Christ; in fact they said to him: “You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true” (below 8:13).
Consequenter cum dicit et confessus est, et non negavit, ponitur Ioannis responsio. Ideo autem Evangelista ingeminat hoc quod dicit et confessus est, ut ostendat humilitatem Ioannis: quia licet esset tantae auctoritatis apud Iudaeos ut eum crederent Christum, non tamen honorem sibi non debitum usurpabat; immo confessus est, quia non sum ego Christus. 225 Then when he says, He declared openly, and did not deny, John’s answer is given. The Evangelist twice mentioned that John spoke forth to show his humility; for although he was held in such high esteem among the Jews that they believed he might be the Messiah, he, on his part, usurped no honor what was not due him; indeed, he stated clearly, I am not the Messiah.
Sed quid est hoc quod dicit confessus est, et non negavit? Videtur autem quod negavit, quia dicit se non esse Christum. Sed dicendum est, quod ideo non negavit veritatem, quia dixit se non esse Christum: alias negasset veritatem. Iob XXXI, 26: si vidi solem cum fulgeret, et lunam incedentem clare; et laetatum est cor meum in abscondito et osculatus sum manum meam ore meo: quae est iniquitas maxima, et negatio contra Deum altissimum. Non negavit ergo veritatem quia quantumcumque haberetur magnus, non est elatus in superbiam, usurpans sibi honorem alienum. Et confessus est, quia, non sum ego Christus: quia vere non erat. Supra: non erat ille lux et cetera. 226 What of’ the statement, He declared openly, and did not deny ? For it seems that he did deny, because he said that he was not the Messiah. It must be answered that he did not deny the truth, for he said he was not the Messiah; otherwise he would have denied the truth. “A very great iniquity, and a denial of the most high God” (Jb 31:28). Thus he did not deny the truth, because however great he might have been considered, he did not become proud, usurping for himself the honor of another. He stated clearly, I am not the Messiah; because in truth he was not. “He was not the light,” as was said above (1:8).
Sed cum hi qui missi erant non quaererent an esset Christus, sed quis esset; quare Ioannes respondit non sum ego Christus? Sed dicendum, quod magis respondet ad mentem quaerentium, quam ad quaestionem; et hoc potest accipi dupliciter. Secundum Origenem enim intelligendum est, quod sacerdotes et Levitae bona intentione venerant ad ipsum. Cognoverant enim ex Scripturis, et praecipue ex prophetia Danielis, quia iam venerat tempus adventus Christi. Unde videntes sanctitatem Ioannis, suspicabantur eum esse Christum: unde miserunt ad Ioannem, quasi scire volentes per hoc quod dicunt ei tu quis es? An ipse se Christum fateretur. Et ideo eorum respondit menti non sum ego Christus. 227 Why did John answer, I am not the Messiah, since those who had been sent did not ask if he was the Messiah, but who he himself was? I answer that John directed his answer more to the mind of the questioners than to their question. And we can understand this in two ways. According to Origen, the priests and Levites came to John with a good intention. For they knew from the Scriptures, and particularly from the prophecy of Daniel, that the time for the coming of the Messiah had arrived. So, seeing John’s holiness, they suspected that he might be the Messiah. So they sent to John, wishing to learn by their question, Who are you? whether John would admit that he was the Messiah. And so he directs his answer to their thoughts: I am not the Messiah.
Chrysostomus vero dicit, quod isti fraudulenter interrogabant. Nam Ioannes cognatus erat sacerdotum, utpote principis sacerdotum filius, erat etiam sanctus; et tamen testimonium perhibebat Christo, cuius genus humile videbatur. Unde et dicebant: nonne iste est fabri filius? Et ignotus erat eis. Et ideo cupientes magis habere magistrum Ioannem quam Christum, mittunt ad eum volentes eum per blanditias allicere, et inducere ut sibi honorem hunc attribuens, confiteatur se esse Christum. Quam quidem malitiam videns Ioannes, dicit non sum ego Christus. Chrysostom, however, says that they questioned him as a stratagem. For John was related to priests, being the son of a chief priest, and he was holy. Yet, he bore witness to Christ, whose family seemed lowly; for that reason they even said, “Is not this the son of the carpenter?”; and they did not know him. So, preferring to have John as their master, not Christ, they sent to him, intending to entice him by flattery and persuade him to take this honor for himself, and to state that he was the Messiah. But John, seeing their evil intent, said, I am not the Messiah.
Secunda interrogatio ponitur consequenter, cum dicitur et interrogaverunt eum: quid ergo? Elias es tu? Sciendum est autem, quod a populo Iudaeorum sicut expectabatur dominus venturus, ita expectabatur Elias Christum praecessurus; Mal. ult., 5: mittam vobis Eliam et cetera. Et ideo videntes, qui missi erant quod Ioannes non confitebatur se esse Christum, instant quod saltem confiteatur si est Elias. Et hoc est quod dicunt quid ergo? Elias es tu? 228 The second question is stated when they ask him, Who then? Are you Elijah? Here we should note that just as the Jews awaited the Lord who was to come, so to they waited for Elijah, who would precede the Messiah: “I will send you Elijah, the prophet” (Mal 4:5). And so those who were sent, seeing that John did not say that he was the Messiah, pressed him that at least he state if he were Elijah. And this is what they ask: Who then? Are you Elijah?
Quidam autem haeretici dicunt, quod anima de corpore transmittitur in corpus. Et hoc dogma tunc temporis erat in auctoritate apud Iudaeos, unde credebant quod propter similitudinem operum Ioannis ad Eliam, anima Eliae esset in corpore Ioannis. Et dicunt quod quaerebant isti a Ioanne, an esset Elias; idest, an anima Eliae esset in Ioanne; et adducunt pro eis, quod dicit dominus, Matth. XI, 14, de Ioanne: si vultis scire, ipse est Elias. Sed tamen contrariatur eis responsio Ioannis dicentis non sum Elias. 229 There are certain heretics who say that souls migrate from one body to another. And this belief was current among the Jews of that time. For this reason they believed that the soul of Elijah was in John’s body, because of the similarity of John’s actions to those of Elijah. And they say that these messengers asked John whether he was Elijah, i.e., whether the soul of Elijah was in John. They support this with Christ’s statement, “He is Elijah who is to come,” as is found in Matthew (11:14). But John’s answer conflicts with their opinion, as he says, I am not. i.e., Elijah.
Ad quod ipsi respondent, quod Ioannes ex ignorantia respondit, nesciens, an anima sua esset anima Eliae. Sed contra hoc dicit Origenes, quod valde irrationabile videtur, quod Ioannes tamquam propheta a spiritu illuminatus, et de Dei unigenito tanta narrans, ignoraret de seipso, an numquam eius anima fuerit in Elia. They counter this by saying that John answered in ignorance, not knowing whether his soul was the soul of Elijah. But Origen says in answer to this that it seems most unreasonable that John, a prophet enlightened by the Spirit, and telling such things about the Only Begotten Son of God, should be ignorant of himself, and not know whether his soul had been in Elijah.
Non hac ergo intentione quaerebant Elias es tu? Sed quia habentes ex Scripturis, IV Reg. II, 11 quod Elias non fuit mortuus, sed vivus raptus est per turbinem in caelum, credebant eum subito inter eos apparuisse. 230 So this was not the reason John was asked, Are you Elijah? Rather it was because they took it from Scripture (2 Kings 2:11) that Elijah did not die, but had been carried alive by a whirlwind into heaven. Accordingly, they believed that he had suddenly appeared among them.
Sed contra hoc est quod Ioannes ex notis parentibus natus erat, et nativitas eius omnibus nota erat. Unde dicitur Lc. I, 63, quod mirati sunt universi, et ponebant in corde suo, dicentes: quis putas puer iste erit? Ad quod potest dici, quod non est incredibile quod ita aestimarent de Ioanne, sicut dictum est. Quia et simile habetur Matth. XIV, 1 quod Herodes credebat de Christo quod esset Ioannes, quem ipse decollaverat, et tamen diu antequam Ioannes decollatus esset, Christus praedicaverat, et notus fuerat. Et ideo, ex simili amentia et crassitudine, Iudaei quaerebant a Ioanne an ipse esset Elias. But against this opinion is the fact that John was born from parents who were known, and his birth had been known to everyone. So it says in Luke (1:66) that all said, “What do you think this child will be?” One might say to this that it is not incredible that they should regard John in the manner described. For a similar situation in found in Matthew (14:1): for Herod thought that Christ was John, whom he had beheaded, even though Christ had been preaching and was known for some time before John had been beheaded. And so from a similar stupidity and madness the Jews asked John whether he was Elijah.
Sed quid est hoc quod dicit Ioannes non sum, scilicet Elias cum Christus dixerit, Matth. XI, 14, ipse est Elias? Hanc autem quaestionem solvit Angelus, Lc. I, 17: ipse praecedet ante eum in spiritu et virtute Eliae, in suis scilicet operibus. Non fuit ergo Elias in persona, sed in spiritu, et virtute: quia scilicet similitudinem Eliae in suis operibus ostendebat. 231 Why does John say, I am not Elijah, while Christ said, “He is Elijah” (Mt 11:14). The angel gives us the answer: “He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk 1:17), i.e., in his works. Thus he was not Elijah in person, but in spirit and power, i.e., because he showed a similarity to Elijah in his works.
Potest autem attendi similitudo quantum ad tria. Primo quantum ad officium: quia sicut Elias secundum domini adventum praeveniet, ita iste praecessit primum et cetera. Unde et Angelus dixit: ipse praecedet ante ipsum et cetera. Secundo quantum ad vivendi modum: quia Elias in desertis morabatur, parco utebatur cibo et duris vestibus operiebatur, ut dicitur III Reg. XIX, 3 ss. et IV Reg. I, 8. Et Ioannes in desertis erat, cibus eius locustae et mel silvestre, et zona eius de pilis camelorum. Tertio quantum ad zelum: quia maximi zeli fuit; unde dicebat III Reg. XIX, 10: zelo zelatus sum pro domino. Sic et Ioannes zelo veritatis mortuus est, ut patet Matth. XIV, v. 6 ss. 232 This likeness can be found in three matters. First, in their office: because as Elijah will precede the second coming of Christ, so John preceded the first. Thus the angel said, “He will go before him.” Secondly, in their manner of living. For Elijah lived in desert places, ate little food and wore coarse clothing, as recorded in 1 and 2 Kings. John, also, lived in the desert, his food was locusts and wild honey, and he wore clothing of camel’s hair. Thirdly, in their zeal. For Elijah was filled with zeal; thus it was said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord” (1 Kgs 19:10). So, also, John died because of his zeal for the truth, as is clear from Matthew (14:6)
Consequenter cum dicit propheta es tu? Ponitur tertia quaestio. Ubi primo quaeritur. Cum dicatur Lc. I, v. 76: tu puer propheta altissimi vocaberis etc. quid est quod Ioannes interrogatus si esset propheta, respondit se non esse prophetam? 233 Then when he says, Are you the Prophet? the third question is presented. Here there is a difficulty, for since it is said in Luke (1:76), “And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,” why does John, when asked if he is a prophet, answer that he is not a prophet?
Ad quod tripliciter respondetur. Uno modo quod Ioannes non est propheta simpliciter, sed plusquam propheta. Alii namque prophetae solum futura praedicebant a remotis; Hab. II, 3: si moram fecerit, expecta illum; Ioannes vero Christum praesentem annuntiavit, quasi digito ostendens; infra: ecce agnus Dei. Et ideo, Matth. XI, 9, dominus dicit eum esse plus quam prophetam. There are three ways of answering this. One is that John is not just a prophet, but more than a prophet. For the other prophets only predicted future things from afar: “if there is a delay, wait for it” (Hb 2:2).. But John proclaimed that the Messiah was present, pointing him out with his finger: “Look, there is the Lamb of God,” as it says below (1:36). And so the Lord says that he is more than a prophet (Mt 11:9).
Item alio modo, secundum Origenem, quia Iudaei ex malo intellectu tres excellentes personas futuras credebant circa adventum Christi, scilicet ipsum Christum, Eliam et quemdam alium maximum prophetam, de quo Deut. XVIII, 15: prophetam suscitabit nobis dominus et cetera. Et licet hic maximus propheta, secundum veritatem, non sit alius quam Christus, tamen secundum Iudaeos alius est a Christo; et ideo non quaerunt simpliciter utrum sit propheta, sed an sit ille propheta maximus. Quod quidem ex ordine quaestionis apparet. Nam primo, quaerunt an sit Christus; secundo, an sit Elias; tertio, an sit propheta ille. Et ideo in Graeco ponitur hic articulus, ut dicatur ly propheta, quasi anthonomastice dictum. Again, in another way, according to Origen, because through a misunderstanding the Jews associated three great personages with the coming of Christ: Christ himself, Elijah, and some other person, the greatest of the prophets, about whom Deuteronomy (18:15) says: “The Lord your God will raise up a prophet for you.” And although this greatest of the prophets is in fact none other than Christ, according to the Jews he is someone other than Christ. And so they do not ask simply whether he is a prophet, but whether he is that “greatest of the prophets.” And this is clear from the order of their questions. For they first ask whether he is the Messiah; secondly, whether he is Elijah; thirdly, whether he is that prophet. Accordingly, in Greek, the article is used here as signifying the prophet, as it were, antonomastically.
Tertio modo quia Pharisaei movebantur contra Ioannem, quod sibi baptizandi officium praeter ordinem legis et traditionem eorum assumpsisset. De tribus autem habetur in veteri testamento quibus competere poterat baptizare, scilicet de Christo; Ez. XXXVI, 25, ex persona Christi dicitur: effundam super vos aquam mundam et cetera. Item de Elia, de quo dicitur IV Reg. II, 8, quod divisit aquas Iordanis, et transiens raptus est. Item de Eliseo, qui Naaman Syrum lavari fecit septies in Iordane, ut lavaretur a lepra: ut dicitur IV Reg. c. V, 9. Videntes ergo Iudaei Ioannem baptizare, credebant eum aliquem istorum esse, scilicet Christum, vel Eliam, vel Eliseum; et ideo cum dicunt hic propheta es tu? Interrogant an sit Eliseus. Et dicitur singulariter propheta, propter multa miracula quae fecerat; unde et ipse dicit IV Reg. V, 8: sciat prophetam esse in Israel. Et secundum hoc respondet non sum, scilicet Eliseus. In a third way, because the Pharisees were indignant at John for assuming the office of baptizing outside the order of the law and their tradition. For the Old Testament mentions three persons to whom this office could belong. First, to the Messiah, since “I will pour clean water upon you, and you will be cleansed” (Ez 36:25), are words considered as spoken by the person of the Messiah. Secondly, to Elijah, of whom it says in 2 Kings that he divided the water of the Jordan, and crossing over, was taken up. Finally, to Elisha, who made Naaman the Syrian wash seven times in the Jordan so as to be cured of leprosy, as mentioned in 2 Kings (c 5). And so when the Jews saw that John was baptizing, they believed that he was one of those three: the Messiah, or Elijah, or Elisha. Accordingly, when they ask here, Are you the Prophet? they are asking whether he is Elisha, who is called “prophet” in a special way because of the many miracles he had performed; hence he himself says, “Let him come to me, so that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel” (2 Kgs 5:8). And to this John answers, No, I am not Elisha.
Consequenter cum dicit dixerunt ergo ei, quis es? Ostendit quomodo confessus est se esse quod erat, et primo ponitur interrogatio nuntiorum; secundo responsio, ibi ego vox clamantis in deserto. 234 Then he shows how he declared who he was. First, the question of the messengers is given; secondly, his answer (v 23).
Dixerunt ergo: quis es tu ut responsum demus his qui miserunt nos? Quasi dicant: ad hoc missi sumus, ut sciamus quis es; ideo dicas nobis quid dicis de te ipso? 235 They said, Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. As if to say: We were sent to learn who you are; so tell us, What have you to say about yourself?
Sed attende Ioannis devotionem: iam implevit quod apostolus dicit, Gal. II, 20, vivo ego, iam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus. Et ideo non respondet: ego sum filius Zachariae, vel talis, et talis; sed solum illud in quo Christum sequebatur. Notice John’s devotion. He has already fulfilled what the Apostle says, “It is not I who now live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). And so he does not answer, “I am the son of Zachary,” or this or that, but only the way in which he followed Christ.
Unde dicit: ego vox clamantis in deserto. Dicit autem se vocem esse, quia vox origine posterior est verbo, sed notitia prior. Nam verbum in corde conceptum, per vocem prolatam cognoscimus, cum sit signum eius. Deus autem pater praecursorem misit Ioannem in tempore factum, ut verbum suum ab aeterno conceptum annuntiaretur; et ideo congrue dicit ego vox. 236 So he says, I am a voice that cries in the wilderness. And he says that he is a voice because from the point of view of origin, a voice comes after the [mental, interior] word, but before the knowledge it causes. For we know a [mental, interior] word conceived in the heart by means of the voice which speaks it, since it is its sign. But God the Father sent the precursor John, who came to be in time, in order to make known his Word, which was conceived from eternity. And so he fittingly says, I am a voice.
Quod autem addit clamantis, potest intelligi dupliciter, ut scilicet sit vel Ioannis in deserto clamantis et praedicantis, vel Christi clamantis in ipso, secundum illud II Cor. ult., 3: an experimentum eius quaeritis qui in me loquitur Christus? 237 The addition, that cries, can be understood in two ways: as referring to John, crying and preaching in the wilderness; or to Christ crying in him, according to, “Do you want proof that Christ is speaking in me” (2 Cor 13:3).
Clamat autem propter quatuor. Primo namque clamor manifestationem importat; et ideo ut ostendat quod Christus in Ioanne et in se manifeste loquebatur, clamat; infra VII, 37: in novissimo die magno festivitatis stabat Iesus, et clamabat dicens: si quis sitit, veniat ad me et bibat. In prophetis autem non clamavit, quia prophetiae in aenigmate et figuris datae sunt; unde in Ps. XVII, 12 dicitur: tenebrosa aqua in nubibus aeris. Secundo quia clamor fit ad distantes; Iudaei autem elongati erant a Deo, ideo necesse erat quod clamaret. Ps. LXXXVII, 19: elongasti a me amicum et proximum. Tertio clamat, quia surdi erant. Is. XLII, 19: quis surdus, nisi servus meus? Quarto clamat, quia cum indignatione loquitur, quia ipsi iram Dei meruerunt. Ps. II, 5: loquetur ad eos in ira sua et cetera. Now he cries for four reasons. First of all, a cry implies a showing; and so he cries in order to show that Christ is clearly speaking in John and in himself: “Now on the last, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If any one thirsts, let him come to me and drink’” (below 7:37). But he did not cry out in the prophets because prophecies were given in enigmas and figures; so it is said that he was “wrapped in dark rain-clouds” (Ps 17:12). Secondly, because a cry is made to those who are at a distance; and the Jews were far from God. Thus it was necessary that he cry: “You have taken my friends and neighbors away from me” (Ps 88:19). He cries, in the third place, because they were deaf: “Who is deaf, but my servant?” (Is 42:19). He cries, fourthly, because he speaks with indignation, for they deserved God’s wrath: “He will speak to them in his anger” (Ps 2:5).
Sed attende quod clamat in deserto, quia, Lc. III, 2, factum est verbum domini super Ioannem Zachariae filium in deserto. Et potest esse huiusmodi ratio et litteralis et mystica. Litteralis quidem, ut in deserto manens, immunis esset ab omni peccato, ut sic dignior esset Christo testimonium ferre, et ex vita sua testimonium suum credibilius esset hominibus. 238 Note that he cries in the wilderness, because “The word of the Lord came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the desert,” as we read in Luke (3:2). There can be both a literal and a mystical reason for this. The literal reason is that by living in the desert he would be immune from all sin, and so be more worthy to bear witness to Christ, and his testimony would be more credible to men because of his life.
Mystica autem causa duplex est. Nam per desertum gentilitas designatur, iuxta illud Is. c. LIV, 1: multi filii desertae, magis quam eius quae habet virum. Ut ergo ostenderet quod doctrina Dei de cetero non debet esse in Ierusalem tantum, sed in gentibus, clamavit in deserto. Matth. XXI, 43: auferetur a vobis regnum Dei, et dabitur genti facienti fructus eius. Item, per desertum intelligitur Iudaea, quae iam deserta erat; Matth. c. XXIII, 38: ecce relinquetur vobis domus vestra deserta. Clamavit ergo in deserto, idest est in Iudaea, ut per hoc daretur intelligi, quod populus cui praedicabat, iam desertus erat a Deo; Ps. LXII, 3: in terra deserta et invia et inaquosa sic in sancto apparui tibi. The mystical reason is twofold. For the wilderness or desert designates paganism, according to Isaiah (54:1); “She who is deserted has more children than she who has a husband.” Accordingly, in order to show that God’s teaching would from now on not be in Jerusalem alone, but also among the pagans, he cried in the wilderness. “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a people that will produce its fruits” (Mt 21:43). Again, the desert can indicate Judea, which was already deserted: “Your house will be left to You, deserted” (Mt 23:38). And so he cried in the desert, in the wilderness, i.e., in Judea, to indicate that the people to whom he was preaching had already been deserted by God: “in a desert land, where there is no way or water, so I have come to your sanctuary” (Ps 62:3).
Sed quid clamat? Dirigite viam domini: quia ad hoc missus fuit; Lc. I, 76: tu puer propheta altissimi vocaberis, praeibis enim ante faciem domini parare vias eius. Via autem ad recipiendum Deum parata et recta, est via iustitiae, secundum illud Is. c. XXVI, 7: semita iusti recta est et cetera. Tunc enim semita iusti est recta quando homo totus subiicitur Deo, ut scilicet intellectus per fidem, voluntas per amorem, operatio per obedientiam Deo subdantur. 239 Why does he cry, Make a straight way for the Lord? Because this is the task for which he was sent. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his way” (Lk 1:76). The way, prepared and straight, for receiving the Lord is the way of justice, according to Isaiah (26:7): “The way of the just is straight.” For the way of the just is straight when the whole man is subject to God, i.e., the intellect through faith, the will through love, and actions through obedience, are all subject to God.
Et hoc, sicut dicit Isaias propheta; idest, sicut praedixit. Quasi dicat: ego sum ille in quo ista complentur. And this was spoken, i.e., predicted, by the prophet Isaiah. As if to say: I am the one in whom these things are fulfilled.

Lectio 13 LECTURE 13
24 καὶ ἀπεσταλμένοι ἦσαν ἐκ τῶν φαρισαίων. 25 καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, τί οὖν βαπτίζεις εἰ σὺ οὐκ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς οὐδὲ ἠλίας οὐδὲ ὁ προφήτης; 26 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰωάννης λέγων, ἐγὼ βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι: μέσος ὑμῶν ἕστηκεν ὃν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε, 27 ὁ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ [ἐγὼ] ἄξιος ἵνα λύσω αὐτοῦ τὸν ἱμάντα τοῦ ὑποδήματος. 28 ταῦτα ἐν βηθανίᾳ ἐγένετο πέραν τοῦ ἰορδάνου, ὅπου ἦν ὁ Ἰωάννης βαπτίζων.
24 Now these men had been sent from the Pharisees, 25 and they put this further question to him: “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John replied, “I baptize with water. But there is one standing in your midst whom you do not recognize—27 the one who is to come after me, who ranks ahead of me—the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten.” 28 This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Supra Ioannes interrogatus perhibuit testimonium Christo de seipso quantum ad personam; hic vero quantum ad officium. Et circa hoc ponuntur quatuor. Primo interrogantes; secundo interrogatio, ibi et interrogaverunt eum; tertio responsio, in qua testimonium perhibuit, ibi respondit eis Ioannes et cetera. Quarto locus ubi haec facta sunt, ibi haec in Bethania facta sunt. 240 Above, we saw John bear witness to Christ as he was being questioned on matters concerning himself; here, on matters concerning his office. Four things are set forth: first, those who question him; secondly, their questions; thirdly, his answer, in which he bore witness; and fourthly, the place where all this happened.
Interrogantes autem sunt Pharisaei. Unde dicit et qui missi fuerant, erant ex Pharisaeis. Et quidem, secundum Origenem, quod dicitur ex hoc loco, ad aliud testimonium pertinet: et isti qui missi sunt ex Pharisaeis, non sunt iidem cum sacerdotibus et Levitis, qui missi sunt a Iudaeorum universitate, sed alii specialiter missi a Pharisaeis. Et secundum hoc dicitur: et qui missi sunt, non a Iudaeis scilicet, sicut fuerunt sacerdotes et Levitae, sed alii erant ex Pharisaeis. Et ideo dicit quod, quia sacerdotes et Levitae disciplinati erant et reverentes, humiliter et cum reverentia Ioannem interrogant de eius dignitate, utrum scilicet Christus esset, an Elias, an propheta; isti vero, qui ex Pharisaeis erant, secundum nomen suum divisi et importuni, contumeliosas voces praetendunt Baptistae, unde dixerunt ei: quid ergo baptizas, si tu non es Christus, neque Elias, neque propheta? 241 His interrogators were Pharisees. Hence he says, Now these men had been sent from the Pharisees. According to Origen, what is being said from this point on describes a different testimony given by John; and further, those who were sent from the Pharisees are not the same as those priests and Levites sent by the generality of the Jews, but others who were specifically sent by the Pharisees. And according to this it says: Now these men had been sent, not by the Jews, as the priests and Levites had been, but were others, from the Pharisees. So he says about this that because the priests and Levites were educated and respectful, they ask John humbly and respectfully whether he is the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet. But these others, who were from the Pharisees, according to their name “separated” and importunate, used disdainful language. Thus they asked him, Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?
Secundum alios vero, Gregorium scilicet, Chrysostomum et Augustinum, isti qui ex Pharisaeis, sunt illi iidem qui missi fuerant a Iudaeis sacerdotes et Levitae. Quaedam enim secta erat inter Iudaeos, qui propter exteriorem cultum divisi erant ab aliis: unde et Pharisaei, idest divisi vocabantur; in qua quidem erant aliqui de sacerdotibus et Levitis, et aliqui de populo. Ut ergo nuntii maioris auctoritatis essent, miserunt sacerdotes et Levitas, qui erant ex Pharisaeis, ut eis nec sacerdotalis ordinis dignitas, nec religionis deesset auctoritas. But according to others, such as Gregory, Chrysostom, and Augustine, these Pharisees are the same priests and Levites who had been sent by the Jews. For there was among the Jews a certain sect which was separated from the others by reason of its external cult; and for this reason its members were called Pharisees, i.e., “divided.” In this sect there were some priests and Levites, and some of the people. And so, in order that the delegates [to John] might possess a greater authority, they sent priests and Levites, who were Pharisees, thus furnishing them with the dignity of a priestly caste and with religious authority.
Ideo autem Evangelista addit hoc quod dicitur et qui missi fuerant, erant ex Pharisaeis, ut primo quidem rationem quaestionis Baptismi Ioannis, pro qua missi non fuerunt, assignet; quasi dicat: missi fuerunt, ut interrogarent a Ioanne quis esset. Sed quod quaerunt quid ergo baptizas? Fecerunt, quia erant ex Pharisaeis, quibus eorum religio ausum praebebat. Secundo, ut dicit Gregorius, ut ostendat qua intentione quaesierunt a Ioanne tu quis es? Pharisaei enim inter omnes alios insidiose, et calumniose se habebant ad Christum. Unde ipsi dixerunt ei, Matth. XII, 24: in Beelzebub principe Daemoniorum Daemonia eiicit. Ipsi etiam inierunt cum Herodianis consilium, ut caperent Iesum in sermone. Matth. XXII, 15. Et ideo per hoc quod dicit qui missi fuerant, erant ex Pharisaeis, ostendit, quod calumniose se habebant, et ex invidia eum interrogaverunt. 242 The Evangelist adds, these men had been sent from the Pharisees, to disclose, first, the reason why they asked about John’s baptizing, which was not why they were sent. It is as though he were saying: They were sent to ask John who he was. But they asked, Why do you baptize? because they were from the Pharisees, whose religion was being challenged. Secondly, as Gregory says, in order to show with what intention they asked John, “Who are you?” (1:19). For the Pharisees, more than all the others, showed themselves crafty and insulting to Christ. Thus they said of him: “He casts out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils” (Mt 12:24). Further, they consulted with the Herodians on how to trap Jesus in his speech (Mt 22:15). And so in saying that these men had been sent from the Pharisees, he shows that they were disrespectful and were questioning him out of envy.
Interrogatio autem est de officio baptizandi, unde dicitur et interrogaverunt eum, et dixerunt ei: quid ergo baptizas? et cetera. Unde notandum est, quod non quaerunt ut sciant, sed ut impediant. Quia enim videbant multitudinem populi ad Ioannem currere, propter novum ritum baptizandi, et extraneum a ritu Pharisaeorum et legis, invidebant Ioanni, et conabantur pro posse impedire Baptismum eius; et ideo, se continere non valentes, suam manifestant invidiam, et dicunt quid ergo baptizas, si tu non es Christus, neque Elias, neque propheta? Quasi dicant: non debes baptizare, ex quo negas te esse aliquem illorum trium in quibus praefiguratus est Baptismus, ut dictum est supra. Scilicet, si tu non es Christus, qui habiturus est fontem in ablutionem peccati; et si non es Elias, sive propheta, idest Eliseus, qui sicco vestigio Iordanem transiverunt, ut dicitur IV Reg. II, 8, quomodo audes baptizare? Similes istis sunt invidi, animarum profectum impedientes, qui dicunt videntibus: nolite videre etc.: Is. XXX, 10. 243 Their questions concerned his office of baptizing. Hence he says that they asked him, Why then do you baptize? Here we should note that they are asking not to learn, but to obstruct. For since they saw many people coming to John because of the new rite of baptism, foreign both to the rite of the Pharisees and of the law, they became envious of John and tried all they could to hinder his baptism. But being unable to contain themselves any longer, they reveal their envy and say, Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? As if to say: You should not baptize, since you deny that you are any of those three persons in whom baptism was prefigured, as was said above. In other words, if you are not the Messiah, who will possess the fountain by which sins are washed away, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, i.e., Elisha, who made a dry passageway through the Jordan (2 Kgs 2:8), how do you dare baptize’? They are like envious persons who hinder the progress of souls, “who say to the seers, ‘See no visions’” (Is 30:10).
Responsio autem est vera: unde dicit respondit eis Ioannes, dicens: ego baptizo in aqua. Quasi dicat: non debetis mirari, si ego, qui non sum Christus, nec Elias, nec propheta, baptizo: quia Baptismus meus non est completivus, sed imperfectus. Nam ad perfectionem Baptismi exigitur lotio corporis et animae; et corpus quidem secundum naturam lavatur aqua, anima vero non nisi spiritu. Unde ego baptizo in aqua, idest, corpore lavo corpus; veniet autem alius, qui perfecte baptizabit, scilicet in aqua et spiritu sancto; Deus et homo, qui et corpus aqua et spiritum spiritu lavabit, ita quod sanctificatio spiritus derivabitur ad corpus. Act. I, 5: Ioannes quidem baptizavit aqua, vos autem baptizabimini spiritu sancto non post multos hos dies. 244 His answer is true: and so he says that John answered, I baptize with water. As if to say: You should not be disturbed, if I, who am not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, baptize; because my baptism is not completive but imperfect. For the perfection of baptism requires the washing of the body and of the soul; and the body, by its nature, is indeed washed by water, but the soul is washed by the Spirit alone. So, I baptize with water, i.e., I wash the body with something bodily; but another will come who will baptize perfectly, namely, with water and with the Holy Spirit; God and man, who will wash the body with water and the spirit with the Spirit, in such a way that the sanctification of the spirit will be distributed throughout the body. “For John indeed baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5).
Testimonium autem perhibet de Christo, cum dicit medius autem vestrum stetit etc., et primo per comparationem ad Iudaeos; secundo per comparationem ad seipsum, ibi ipse est qui post me venturus est. 245 Then he bears witness to Christ. First, in relation to the Jews. Secondly, in relation to himself (v 27).
Ad Iudaeos autem comparat eum, dicens medius autem vestrum stetit; quasi dicat: ego imperfectum opus feci; sed est alius qui perficiet opus meum, qui medius vestrum stetit. 246 He relates him to the Jews when he says, But there is one standing in your midst. As if to say: I have done an incomplete work, but there is another who will complete my work, and he is standing in your midst.
Quod quidem exponitur multipliciter. Uno siquidem modo, secundum Gregorium, Chrysostomum et Augustinum, ut referatur ad communem Christi conversationem inter homines, quia, secundum naturam humanam, aliis hominibus similis apparuit; Phil. II, 6: qui cum in forma Dei esset, non rapinam arbitratus est esse se aequalem Deo; sed semetipsum exinanivit formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus, et habitu inventus ut homo. Et secundum hoc dicit medius vestrum stetit, idest multoties conversatus est quasi unus ex vobis; Lc. XXII, v. 27: ego in medio vestrum sum. Quem vos nescitis, idest, hoc quod Deus factus est homo, capere non potestis. Item, nescitis quam magnus sit secundum naturam divinam, quae in eo latebat; Iob XXXVI, 26: ecce dominus magnus vincens scientiam vestram. Et ideo, ut Augustinus dicit, accensa est lucerna, scilicet Ioannes, ut inveniatur Christus. Ps. CXXXI, 17: paravi lucernam Christo meo. This is explained in a number of ways. First, according to Gregory, Chrysostom and Augustine, it refers to the ordinary way Christ lived among men, because according to his human nature he appeared to be like other men: “He, being in the form of God... emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil 2:6). And according to this he says, there is one standing in your midst, i.e., in many ways he lived as one of you: “I am in your midst” (Lk 22:27), whom you do not recognize, i.e., you cannot grasp the fact that God was made man. Likewise, you do not recognize how great he is according to the divine nature which is concealed in him: “God is great, and exceeds our knowledge” (Jb 36:26). And so, as Augustine says, “The lantern was lighted,” namely, John, “so that Christ might be found.” “I have prepared a lamp for my anointed” (Ps 131:17).
Alio modo exponitur, secundum Origenem, et hoc dupliciter. Primo ut referatur ad Christi divinitatem; et secundum hoc medius vestrum, idest in medio omnium rerum, stetit, scilicet Christus: quia ipse secundum quod verbum a principio creaturae implevit universam creaturam. Ier. XXIII, 24: caelum et terram ego impleo. Quem tamen vos nescitis, quia, ut dicitur supra, in mundo erat (...) et mundus eum non cognovit. It is explained differently by Origen; and in two ways. First, as referring to the divinity of Christ: and according to this, there is one standing, namely, Christ, in your midst, that is, in the midst of all things; because he, as Word, has filled all from the beginning of creation: “I fill heaven and earth” (Jer 23:24). Whom you do not recognize, because, as was said above (1:10), “He was in the world... and the world did not know him.”
Alio modo ut referatur ad causalitatem humanae sapientiae, et dicatur medius vestrum stetit; idest, in intellectu omnium relucet: quia quicquid lucis et sapientiae est in hominibus, provenit eis ex participatione verbi. Et dicit in medio, quia in medio hominis corporaliter est cor, cui attribuitur quaedam sapientia et intellectus: unde, licet intellectus non habeat organum corporale, tamen quia cor est principale organum, consuevit accipi pro intellectu; unde in medio stare dicitur secundum hanc similitudinem, inquantum illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. Quem tamen vos nescitis; quia, ut dicitur supra, lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt. It is explained another way as referring to his causality of human wisdom. But there is one standing in your midst, i.e., he shines in everyone’s understanding; because whatever light and whatever wisdom exists in men has come to them from participating in the Word. And he says, in your midst, because in the midst of man’s body lies the heart, to which is attributed a certain wisdom and understanding; hence, although the intellect has no bodily organ, yet because the heart is our chief organ, it is the custom to take it for the intellect. So he is said to stand among men because of this likeness, insofar as he “enlightens every man coming into this world” (1:9). Whom you do not recognize, because, as was said above (1:5), “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Quarto modo exponitur ut referatur ad propheticam Christi praenuntiationem, ut sic respondeatur principaliter Pharisaeis, qui continue Scripturas veteris testamenti, in quibus praenuntiabatur Christus, inquirebant, et tamen eum non cognoscebant. Et secundum hoc dicitur medius vestrum stetit; idest, in sacra Scriptura, quam vos semper revolvitis; infra V, 39: scrutamini Scripturas. Quem tamen vos nescitis, quia cor vestrum induratum est propter infidelitatem et oculi vestri excaecati sunt, ut non agnoscatis praesentem, quem creditis futurum. In a fourth way, it is explained as referring to the prophetic foretelling of the Messiah. In this sense the answer is directed chiefly to the Pharisees, who continually searched the writings of the Old Testament in which the Messiah was foretold; and yet they did not recognize him. And according to this it says, there is one standing in your midst, i.e., in the Sacred Scriptures which you are always considering: “Search the Scriptures” (below 5:39); whom you do not recognize, because your heart is hardened by unbelief, and your eyes blinded, so that you do not recognize as present the person you believe is to come.
Comparat autem Christum ad se Ioannes, cum dicit ipse est qui post me venturus est. Ubi primo ponit excellentiam Christi ad seipsum; secundo vero excellentiae immensitatem ostendit, ibi cuius non sum dignus ut solvam corrigiam calceamenti. 247 Then John compares Christ to himself. First, he states the superiority of Christ as compared to himself. Secondly, he shows the greatness of this superiority.
Excellentiam autem Christi ad seipsum ostendit et quantum ad ordinem praedicationis, et quantum ad ordinem dignitatis. Quantum quidem ad ordinem praedicationis, Ioannes primo innotuit. Et ideo dicit ipse est qui post me venit, ad praedicandum, baptizandum et moriendum; quia, ut dicitur Lc. I, 76, praeibis ante faciem domini, parare vias eius. Sed Ioannes quidem praecessit Christum, sicut imperfectum perfectum, et sicut dispositio formam; sicut dicitur I Cor. c. XV, 46: non prius quod spirituale, sed quod animale. Nam tota vita Ioannis fuit quoddam praeparatorium ad Christum; unde dixit supra ego vox clamantis in deserto. 248 He shows the superiority of Christ in comparison to himself both in preaching and in dignity. Now, as to the order of preaching, John was the first to become known. Thus he says, the one who is to come after me, to preach, to baptize and to die; because as was said in Luke (1:76): “You will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his way.” John preceded Christ as the imperfect the perfect, and as the disposition the form; for as is said, “The spiritual is not first, but the animal” (1 Cor 15:46). For the entire life of John was a preparation for Christ; so he said above, that he was “a voice that cries in the wilderness.”
Sed Christus praecessit Ioannem et nos omnes, sicut perfectum imperfectum, et sicut exemplar exemplatum. Matth. XVI, 24: si quis vult venire post me, abneget semetipsum, et tollat crucem suam, et sequatur me; I Pet. c. II, 21: Christus passus est pro nobis, vobis relinquens exemplum. But Christ preceded John and all of us as the perfect precedes the imperfect and the exemplar precedes the copy: “If any one wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mt 16:24); “Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example” (1 Pt 2:21).
Quantum vero ad ordinem dignitatis, cum dicit qui ante me factus est, idest, mihi praelatus est, et dignitate praepositus; quia, ut dicit infra III, 30, me oportet minui, illum autem crescere. Then he compares Christ to himself as to dignity, saying, who ranks ahead of me, i.e., he has been placed above me and is above me in dignity, because as he says (below 3:30), “he must increase, and I must decrease.”
Immensitatem autem excellentiae assignat cum dicit cuius ego non sum dignus ut solvam eius corrigiam calceamenti. Quasi dicat: non intelligatis ipsum mihi in dignitate praepositum sicut unus homo praefertur alteri, sed tam excellenter, quod nihil sum in comparatione ad ipsum. Et hoc patet, quia non sum dignus ut solvam corrigiam calceamenti eius: quod est minimum obsequium quod hominibus fieri potest. Ex quo patet quod Ioannes multum accesserat ad Dei cognitionem, inquantum ex consideratione infinitae magnitudinis Dei se totaliter vilipendebat, et nihil se esse dicebat. Sicut Abraham, cum Deum cognovisset, dicebat, Gen. XVIII, 27: loquar ad dominum meum, cum sim pulvis et cinis. Sic Iob c. XLII, 5, cum dominum vidisset, dixit: nunc oculus meus videt te; idcirco ipse me reprehendo, et ago poenitentiam in favilla et cinere. Sic Is. XL, 17, postquam vidit gloriam Dei dixit: omnes gentes quasi non sint, sic sunt coram eo. Et haec quidem expositio est litteralis. 249 He touches on the greatness of his superiority when he says, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten. As if to say: You must not suppose that he ranks ahead of me in dignity in the way that one man is placed ahead of another, rather he is ranked so far above me that I am nothing in comparison to him. And this is clear from the fact that it is he the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten, which is the least service that can be done for men. It is clear from this that John had made great progress in the knowledge of God, so far that from the consideration of God’s infinite greatness, he completely lowered himself and said that he himself was nothing. So did Abraham, when he recognized God, and said (Gn 18:27), “1 will speak to my Lord, although I am but dust and ashes.” And so also did Job, saying, “Now I see you, and so I reprove myself, and do penance in dust and ashes” (Jb 42:5). Isaiah also said, after he had seen the glory of God, “Before him all the nations are as if they are not” (Is 40:17). And this is the literal explanation.
Exponitur autem et mystice. Uno modo secundum Gregorium, ut per calceamentum, quod fit de pellibus mortuorum animalium, intelligatur humana natura mortalis, quam Christus assumpsit; Ps. LIX, 10: in Idumaea extendam calceamentum meum et cetera. Corrigia autem calceamenti eius, est ipsa unio divinitatis et humanitatis, quam nec Ioannes, nec aliquis, potest solvere nec potuit plene investigare, cum talis esset quod hominem faceret Deum, et Deum hominem. Et ideo dicit cuius non sum dignus ut solvam corrigiam calceamenti; idest, ut explicem mysterium incarnationis et cetera. Intelligendum est plene et perfecte: nam quoquo modo et Ioannes et alii praedicatores, licet imperfecte, solvunt corrigiam calceamenti. 250 This is also explained mystically. Gregory explains it so that the sandal, made from the hides of dead animals, indicates our mortal human nature, which Christ assumed: “I will stretch out my sandal to Edom” (Ps 59:10). The strap of Christ’s sandal is the union of his divinity and humanity, which neither John nor anyone can unfasten or fully investigate, since it is this which made God man and made man God. And so he says, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten, i.e., to explain the mystery of the incarnation perfectly and fully. For John and other preachers unfasten the strap of Christ’s sandal in some way, although imperfectly.
Alio modo exponitur, quia in veteri lege praeceptum erat, Deut. XXV, 5-10 quod quando aliquis moriebatur sine liberis, frater defuncti uxorem defuncti recipere tenebatur, et ex ea semen fratri suo suscitare; quod si nollet eam in uxorem recipere, tunc aliquis propinquus defuncti eam recipere volens, debebat eum discalceare in signum huius cessionis, et illam in uxorem recipere, et domus eius debebat vocari domus discalceati. Secundum hoc ergo dicit cuius non sum dignus corrigiam calceamenti solvere; idest, non sum dignus habere sponsam, quae sibi debetur, Ecclesiam. Quasi dicat: non sum dignus ut vocer sponsus Ecclesiae, quae consecratur Christo in Baptismo spiritus; ego autem baptizo in aqua tantum. Infra III, 29: qui habet sponsam, sponsus est et cetera. It is explained in another way by recalling that it was ordered in the Old Law that when a man died without children, his brother was obligated to marry the wife of the dead man and raise up children from her as his brother’s. And if he refused to marry her, then a close relative of the dead man, if willing to marry her, was to remove the sandals of the dead man as a sign of this willingness and marry her; and his home was then to be called the home of the man whose sandals were removed (Dt 25:5). And so according to this he says, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten, i.e., I am not worthy to have the bride, that is, the Church, to which Christ has a right. As if to say: I am not worthy to be called the bridegroom of the Church, which is consecrated to Christ in the baptism of the Spirit; but I baptize only in water. As it says below (3:29): “It is the groom who has the bride.”
Locus autem, ubi praedicta facta sunt, subditur consequenter, cum dicit haec in Bethania facta sunt trans Iordanem. Sed circa hoc primo consurgit quaestio. Cum Bethania sit in monte oliveti quod est iuxta Ierusalem, sicut dicitur Io. XI, 1 et Matth. XXVI, 6 quomodo dicit quod facta sunt trans Iordanem, qui multum distabat ab Ierusalem? Sed dicendum, secundum Origenem et Chrysostomum, quod non debet dici Bethania, sed Bethabora, quae est quaedam villa ultra Iordanem: et hoc quod dicit Bethania, corruptum est vitio scriptorum. Sed quia tam libri Graeci quam Latini habent Bethania, ideo dicendum est aliter, quod est duplex Bethania: una quae est prope Ierusalem in latere montis oliveti, alia trans Iordanem, ubi erat Ioannes baptizans. 251 The place where these events happened is mentioned when he says, This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan. A question arises on this: Since Bethany is on the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, as is said in John (11:1) and also in Matthew (26:6), how can he say that these things happened beyond the Jordan, which is quite far from Jerusalem? Origen and Chrysostom answer that it should be called Bethabora, not Bethany, which is a village on the far side of the Jordan; and that the reading “Bethany” is due to a copyist’s error. However, since both the Greek and Latin versions have Bethany, one should rather say that there are two places called Bethany: one is near Jerusalem on the side of the Mount of Olives, and the other is on the far side of the Jordan where John was baptizing.
Quod autem mentionem facit de loco, habet rationem litteralem et mysticam. Litteralem quidem secundum Chrysostomum, quia Ioannes scribebat Evangelium istud viventibus forte aliquibus qui et tempus quo ista facta sunt, et locum viderunt, et ideo quasi ad maiorem certitudinem illos testes facit illorum quae viderant. 252 The fact that he mentions the place has both a literal and a mystical reason. The literal reason, according to Chrysostom, is that John wrote this Gospel for certain ones, perhaps still alive, who would recall the time and who saw the place where these things happened. And so, to lead us to a greater certitude, he makes them witnesses of the things they had seen.
Mysticam vero, quia haec loca conveniunt Baptismo. Nam, si dicatur Bethania, quae domus obedientiae interpretatur, significat quod necesse est per obedientiam fidei ad Baptismum pervenire; Rom. I, 5: ad obediendum fidei in omnibus gentibus. Si vero dicatur Bethabora, quae interpretatur domus praeparationis, significat quod per Baptismum praeparatur homo ad vitam aeternam. The mystical reason is that these places are appropriate for baptism. For in saying “Bethany,” which is interpreted as “house of obedience,” he indicates that one must come to be baptized through obedience to the faith. “To bring all the nations to have obedience to the faith” (Rom 1:5). But if the name of the place is “Bethabora,” which is interpreted as “house of preparation,” it signifies that a man is prepared for eternal life through baptism.
Nec vacat mysterio quod trans Iordanem sit. Iordanis enim interpretatur descensus eorum; et, secundum Origenem, significat Christum, qui descendit de caelis, ut dicit ipse: descendi de caelo, ut facerem voluntatem patris mei. Unde dicitur Eccli. XXIV, 41: ego quasi fluvius Dorix. Per ipsum autem omnes ingredientes in hunc mundum, mundari convenit, secundum illud Apoc. I, 5: lavit nos a peccatis nostris in sanguine suo. There is also a mystery in the fact that this happened on the far side of the Jordan. For “Jordan” is interpreted as “the descent of them”; and according to Origen it signifies Christ, who descended from heaven, as he himself says that he descended from heaven to do the will of his Father (below 6:38), [thus Sirach 24;41 says I, like the river Drix. Through him, all who come into this world should be cleansed, as Rev 1:5 says, He washes us from our sins in hi blood.
Convenienter etiam Iordanis Baptismum significat. Ipse enim confinium est inter illos qui acceperunt sortes hereditatis a Moyse ex una parte Iordanis, et illos qui acceperunt a Iosue ex alia; et ita Baptismus quasi quoddam confinium est inter Iudaeos et gentiles, qui proficiscuntur illuc, ut se lavent ad Christum venientes, ut opprobrium peccati deponant. Sicut enim filios Israel terram promissionis intrantes oportuit transire Iordanem, ita et per Baptismum oportet patriam caelestem intrare. Dicit autem trans Iordanem, ut insinuet quod etiam transgressoribus et peccatoribus Baptismum poenitentiae praedicabat Ioannes; unde et dominus, Matth. c. IX, 13: non veni vocare iustos, sed peccatores. Further, the river Jordan aptly signifies baptism. For it is the border line between those who received their inheritance from Moses on one side of the Jordan, and those who received it from Josue on the other side. Thus baptism is a kind of border between Jews and Gentiles, who journey to this place to wash themselves by coming to Christ so that they might put off the debasement of sin. Forjust as the Jews had to cross the Jordan to enter the promised land, so one must pass through baptism to enter into the heavenly land. And he says, on the far side of the Jordan, to show that John preached the baptism of repentance even to those who trangressed the law and sinners; and so the Lord also says, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mt 9:13).

Lectio 14 LECTURE 14
29 τῇ ἐπαύριον βλέπει τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐρχόμενον πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ λέγει, ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου. 30 οὗτός ἐστιν ὑπὲρ οὗ ἐγὼ εἶπον,

ὀπίσω μου ἔρχεται ἀνὴρ ὃς ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν, ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν.
31 κἀγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν, ἀλλ' ἵνα φανερωθῇ τῷ Ἰσραὴλ διὰ τοῦτο ἦλθον ἐγὼ ἐν ὕδατι βαπτίζων.

32 καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν Ἰωάννης λέγων ὅτι

τεθέαμαι τὸ πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον ὡς περιστερὰν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐπ' αὐτόν: 33 κἀγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν, ἀλλ' ὁ πέμψας με βαπτίζειν ἐν ὕδατι ἐκεῖνός μοι εἶπεν, ἐφ' ὃν ἂν ἴδῃς τὸ πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον καὶ μένον ἐπ' αὐτόν, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ. 34 κἀγὼ ἑώρακα, καὶ μεμαρτύρηκα ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and he said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. 30 It is he of whom I said:

‘After me is to come a man, who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’
31 And I did not know him! And yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptizing with water.”

32 John gave this testimony also:

“I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove, and resting on him. 33 And I did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water had said to me: ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 Now I have seen for myself and have given testimony that he is the Son of God.”

Supra Ioannes perhibuit testimonium Christo interrogatus; hic vero perhibet aliud testimonium Christo spontaneus. Et primo quidem fert ipsum testimonium; secundo testimonium latum confirmat, ibi et testimonium perhibuit Ioannes. Circa primum autem primo quidem describuntur circumstantiae testimonii; secundo ponitur ipsum testimonium, ibi ecce agnus Dei; tertio excluditur suspicio testis, ibi et ego nesciebam eum. 253 Above, John had given testimony to Christ when he was questioned. Here, he gives testimony to him on his own initiative. First, he gives the testimony; secondly, he confirms it (v 32). As to the first: first, the circumstances of the testimony are given; and secondly, the testimony itself is given (v 29); thirdly, suspicion is removed from the witness (v 3 1).
Describuntur autem circumstantiae. Una quidem ex parte temporis. Unde dicit altera die: in quo quidem commendatur Ioannis constantia, quia non uno die, non semel tantum, sed pluribus diebus et multoties Christo testimonium perhibebat. Ps. CXLIV, 2: per singulos dies benedicam tibi. Commendatur etiam eius profectus: quia non debet nobis succedere una dies sicut alia; sed quae succedit debet esse altera, idest melior; iuxta illud Ps. LXXXIII, 8: ibunt de virtute in virtutem. 254 The circumstances are first described as to the time. Hence he says, The next day. This gives credit to John for his steadfastness, because he bore witness to Christ not for just one day or once, but on many days and frequently: “Every day I will bless you” (Ps 144:2). His progress, too, is cited, because one day should not be just like the day before, but the succeeding day should be different, i.e., better: “They will go from strength to strength” (Ps 83:8).
Alia circumstantia ponitur ex parte modi testificandi, quia vidit Ioannes Iesum: in quo insinuatur certitudo. Nam testimonium de visu certissimum est. Alia vero circumstantia ponitur ex parte eius cui testimonium perhibetur. Unde dicit Iesum ad se venientem, scilicet de Galilaea, ut dicitur Matth. III, 13: venit Iesus a Galilaea. Nec tamen intelligendum est de adventu quo venit ad Baptismum, de quo ibi loquitur Matthaeus, sed de alio adventu quo iam baptizatus, et circa Iordanem aliquamdiu commoratus, venit ad Ioannem, alias non dixisset: super quem videris spiritum descendentem et manentem super eum, hic est qui baptizat in spiritu sancto. Et ego vidi et cetera. Iam ergo viderat eum, et spiritum super eum descendentem quasi columbam etc., ut infra dicit. Another circumstance mentioned is his manner of testifying, because John saw Jesus. This shows his certitude, for testimony based on sight is most certain. The last circumstance he mentions is about the one to whom he bore witness. Hence he says that he saw Jesus coming toward him, i.e., from Galilee, as it says, “Jesus came from Galilee” (Mt 3:13). We should not understand this as referring to the time when he came to be baptized, of which Matthew is here speaking, but of another time, i.e., a time when he came to John after he had already been baptized and was staying near the Jordan. Otherwise, he Would not have said, “‘The man on whom yoti see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptize with the I loly Spirit.’ Now I have seen” (v 33). Therefore, he had already seen him and the Spirit come down as a dove upon him.
Huius autem Christi ad Ioannem adventus post Baptismum una causa fuit ut testimonium Ioannis certificaretur. Dixerat enim Ioannes de Christo: ipse est qui post me venturus est: nam aliquis posset errare in cognitione venturi, cum adesset; venit ad Ioannem, ab eo digito ostendendus, dicente Ioanne ecce agnus Dei et cetera. Alia ratio ut excluderet errorem. Posset enim aliquis credere quod Christus prima vice, cum venit ad Baptismum, venerit ad Ioannem sicut a peccatis purgandus. Christus ergo, ut hoc excluderet, venit etiam ad eum post Baptismum. Unde signanter dicit Ioannes ecce qui tollit. Peccatum nullum fecit, sed venit peccatum tollere. Venit etiam ut praeberet humilitatis exemplum: quia, ut dicitur Eccli. III, 20, quanto maior es, humilia te in omnibus. 255 One reason why Christ now came to John was to confirm the testimony of John. For John had spoken of Christ as “the one who is to come after me” (v 27). But since Christ was now present, some might not understand who it was that was to come. So Christ came to John to be pointed out by him, with John saying, Look! There is the Lamb of God. Another reason Christ came was to correct an error. For some might believe that the first time Christ came, i.e., to be baptized, he came to John to be cleansed from his sins. So, in order to preclude this, Christ came to him even after his baptism. Accordingly, John clearly says, There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He committed no sin, but came to take away sin. He also came to give us an example of humility, because as it is said, “The greater you are the more humble you should be in all matters” (Sir 3:20).
Et advertendum, quod sicut Christo iam concepto, quando virgo mater ascendit in montana cum festinatione, Elisabeth matrem Ioannis visere, Ioannes in utero matris existens, nec loqui valens, reverentiam Christo et tripudium faciens, exultavit in utero; ita et nunc, Christo ex humilitate ad eum venienti testimonium et reverentiam praebet, et in vocem prorumpit, dicens ecce agnus Dei et cetera. Note that after the conception of Christ, when his mother, the Virgin, went in haste to the mountainous country to visit John’s mother, Elizabeth, that John, still in his mother’s womb and unable to speak, leaped in her womb as though performing a religious dance out of reverence for Christ. And as then, so even now; for when Christ comes to John out of humility, John offers his testimony and reverence and breaks out saying, Look! There is the Lamb of God.
Ubi testimonium Ioannis ponitur: in quo quidem ostendit virtutem Christi, et dignitatem eius, ibi hic est de quo dixi. Virtutem quidem ostendit dupliciter. Primo proponendo figuram; secundo exponendo eam, ibi ecce qui tollit peccata mundi. 256 With these words John gives his testimony showing the power of Christ. Then Christ’s dignity is shown (v 30). He shows the power of Christ in two ways: first, by means of a symbol; secondly, by explaining it (v 29).
Circa primum sciendum est, quod, sicut dicit Origenes, in veteri lege consueverunt quinque animalia offerri in templo: tria de terrestribus, scilicet vitulus, capra et ovis, sed ovium quidem aries, ovis et agnus; de volatilibus vero duo, turtur scilicet, et columba: quae quidem omnia praefigurativa fuerunt veri sacrificii, quod est Christus, qui semetipsum obtulit oblationem Deo, ut dicitur Eph. V, 2. 257 As to the first, we should note, as Origen says, that it was customary in the Old Law for five animals to be offered in the temple: three land animals, namely, the heifer, goat and sheep (although the sheep might be a ram, a sheep or a lamb) and two birds, namely, the turtle-dove and the dove. All of these prefigured the true sacrifice, which is Christ, who “gave himself for us as an offering to God,” as is said in Ephesians (5:2).
Quare ergo Baptista Christo testimonium perhibens, agnum specialiter nominavit? Huius ratio est, quia sicut dicitur Num. XXVIII, v. 3 s., licet alia fierent sacrificia in templo ceteris temporibus, unum tamen erat quotidianum, in quo iugiter unus agnus mane, et alius vespere offerebatur; nec hoc mutabatur unquam, sed tamquam principale observabatur, alia vero ex adiuncto. Et ideo per agnum, qui erat principale sacrificium, significatur Christus, qui est principale sacrificium. Nam licet omnes sancti, qui pro fide Christi passi sunt, prosint ad salutem fidelium, hoc tamen non habent nisi inquantum super oblationem agni, quasi oblatio adiuncta principali sacrificio, immolantur. Offertur quidem mane et vespere, quia per Christum patet aditus ad intelligibilia divinorum contemplanda et fruenda, quod pertinet ad cognitionem matutinam; et instruimur quomodo utamur terrenis absque inquinamento, quod pertinet ad vespertinam. Et ideo dicit: ecce agnus Dei, etc., idest per agnum significatus. Why then did the Baptist, when giving witness to Christ, specifically call him a Lamb? The reason for this is that, as stated in Numbers (28:3), although there were other sacrifices in the temple at other times, yet each day there was a time in which a lamb was offered every morning, and another was offered in the evening. This never varied, but was regarded as the principal offering, and the other offerings were in the form of additions. And so the lamb, which was the principal sacrifice, signified Christ, who is the principal sacrifice. For although all the saints who suffered for the faith of Christ contribute something to the salvation of the faithful, they do this only inasmuch its they are immolated upon the oblation of the Lamb, they being, as it were, in oblation added to the principal sacrifice. The lamb is offered in the morning and in the evening because it is through Christ that the way is opened to the contemplation and enjoyment of the intelligible things of God, and this pertains to “morning knowledge”; and we are instructed how to use earthly things without staining ourselves, and this pertains to “evening knowledge.” And so he says, Look! There is the Lamb of God, i.e., the one signified by the lamb.
Dicit autem Dei, quia in Christo sunt duae naturae, humana scilicet et divina. Et quod hoc sacrificium esset virtuosum ad purgandum et sanctificandum a peccatis, habet ex virtute divinitatis, inquantum scilicet Deus erat in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi, II Cor. V, v. 19. Vel dicitur agnus Dei, quasi oblatus a Deo, scilicet ab ipso Christo, qui est Deus; sicut dicitur oblatio hominis, quam homo offert. Vel dicitur agnus Dei, scilicet patris: quia ipse providit homini oblationem ad offerendum pro peccatis sufficientem, quam homo per se habere non potest. Unde Gen. c. XXII, 7, cum Isaac quaereret ab Abraham: ubi est victima holocausti? Respondit: Deus providebit sibi victimam holocausti. Rom. VIII, v. 32: proprio filio suo non pepercit Deus; sed pro nobis omnibus tradidit illum. He says, of God, because there are two natures in Christ, a human nature and a divine nature. And it is due to the power of the divinity that this sacrifice has the power to cleanse and sanctify us from our sins, inasmuch as “God was, in Christ, reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19). Or, he is called the Lamb of God, because offered by God, i.e., by Christ himself, who is God; just as we call what a man offers the offering of the man. Or, he is called the Lamb of God, that is, of the Father, because the Father provided man with an oblation to offer that satisfied for sins, which man could not have through himself. So when Isaac asked Abraham, “Where is the victim for the holocaust?” he answered, “God himself will provide a victim for the holocaust” (Gn 22:7); “God did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for all of us” (Rom 8:32).
Dicitur autem Christus agnus primo propter puritatem; Ex. XII, 5: erit agnus anniculus etc.; I Petr. I, 18: non corruptibilibus auro vel argento redempti estis. Secundo propter mansuetudinem; Is. LIII, 7: quasi agnus coram tondente se obmutuit. Tertio propter fructum, Prov. XXVII, 26: agni sunt tibi ad vestimentum tuum. Et hoc quantum ad indumentum, iuxta illud Rom. XIII, v. 14: induimini dominum Iesum Christum. Et quantum ad cibum, infra VI, 52: caro mea est pro mundi vita. Et ideo dicebat Isaias, c. XVI, 1: emitte agnum, domine, dominatorem terrae. 258 Christ is called a Lamb, first, because of his purity: “Your lamb will be without blemish” (Ex 12:5); “You were not redeemed by perishable gold or silver” (1 Pt 1:18). Secondly, because of his gentleness: “Like a lamb before the shearer, he will not open his mouth” (Is 53:7). Thirdly, because of his fruit; both with respect to what we put on: “Lambs will be your clothing” (Prv 27:26), “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14); and with respect to food: “My flesh is for the life of the world” (below 6:52). And so Isaiah said (16:1): “Send forth, O Lord, the lamb, the ruler of the earth.”
Consequenter propositam figuram exponit cum dicit qui tollit peccata mundi, idest aufert; quod in lege nec per agnum, nec per alia sacrificia auferri poterat, quia, ut dicitur Hebr. X, 6: impossibile est per sanguinem taurorum et hircorum auferri peccata. Sanguis iste tollit, idest aufert, peccata mundi. Oseae ult., 3: omnem aufert iniquitatem. Vel tollit, idest in se accipit, peccata totius mundi; quia, ut dicitur I Petr. II, v. 24, qui peccata nostra pertulit in corpore suo. Is. LIII, 4: dolores nostros ipse tulit, et languores nostros ipse portavit. 259 Then when he says, who takes away the sins of the world, he explains the symbol he used. In the law, sin could not be taken away either by a lamb or by any other sacrifice, because as is said in Hebrews (10:4), “It is impossible that sins be taken away by the blood of bulls and goats.” This blood takes away, i.e., removes, the sins of the world. “Take away all iniquity” (Hos 14:3). Or, takes away, i.e., he takes upon himself the sins of the whole world, as is said, “He bore our sins in his own body” (1 Pt 2:24); “It was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured,” as we read in Isaiah (53:4).
Dicit autem, secundum Glossam, peccatum, et non peccata, ut ostendat in universali, quod abstulit totum genus peccati; I Io. II, 2: ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris. Vel quia pro uno peccato, scilicet originali, mortuus; Rom. V, 12: per unum hominem peccatum intravit in mundum et cetera. However, according to a Gloss, he says sin, and not “sins,” in order to show in a universal way that he has taken away every kind of sin: “He is the offering for our sins” (1 Jn 2:2); or because he died for one sin, that is, original sin: “Sin entered into this world through one man” (Rom 5:12).
Supra perhibuit Baptista testimonium Christo quantum ad eius virtutem; hic vero perhibet testimonium quantum ad eius dignitatem, comparans eum sibi tripliciter. Et primo quantum ad officium et ordinem praedicationis; unde dicit hic, scilicet agnus, digito eum demonstrans, est ille de quo dixi, scilicet in eius absentia, post me venit vir, ad praedicandum et baptizandum, qui post me venit nascendo. 260 Above, the Baptist bore witness to the power of Christ; now he bears witness to his dignity, comparing Christ to himself in three respects. First, with respect to their office and order of preaching. So he says, It is he, pointing him out, that is, the Lamb, of whom I said, i.e., in his absence, After me is to come a man, to preach and baptize, who in birth came after me.
Dicitur autem vir Christus ratione perfectae aetatis: quia quando incepit docere post Baptismum, iam erat in aetate perfecta; Lc. III, 23: Iesus erat incipiens quasi annorum triginta. Item, ratione perfectionis omnium virtutum quae in eo fuerunt; Is. IV, 1: apprehendent septem mulieres, idest virtutes, virum unum, scilicet Christum perfectum. Zach. VI, 12: ecce vir, oriens nomen eius: quia ipse est origo omnium virtutum in aliis. Item, ratione desponsationis; quia ipse sponsus est Ecclesiae; Oseae II, 16: vocabis me virum etc.; II Cor. XI, 2: despondi vos uni viro. Christ is called a man by reason of his perfect age, because when he began to teach, after his baptism, he had already reached a perfect age: “Jesus was now about thirty years of age” (Lk 3:23). He is also called a man because of the perfection of all the virtues that were in him: “Seven women,” i.e., the virtues, “will take hold of one man,” the perfect Christ (Is 4:1); “Look, a man! His name is the Orient,” because he is the origin of all the virtues found in others (Zec 6:12). He is also called a man because of his espousal, since he is the spouse of the Church: “You will call me ‘my husband’” (Hos 2:16); “I espoused you to one husband” (2 Cor 11:2).
Secundo quantum ad ordinem dignitatis, cum dicit qui ante me factus est. Quasi dicat: licet post me venerit ad praedicandum, tamen ante me idest praelatus mihi factus est dignitate. Cant. II, 8: ecce iste venit saliens in montibus, transiliens colles. Collis unus fuit Ioannes Baptista, quem Christus transilivit: quia, ut dicitur infra III, 30: me oportet minui, illum autem crescere. 261 Secondly, he compares himself to Christ with respect to dignity when he says, who ranks ahead of me. As if to say: Although he comes to preach after me, yet he ranks before me in dignity. “See, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills” (Sg 2:8). One such hill was John the Baptist, who was passed over by Christ, because as is said below (3:30), “He must increase, and I must decrease.”
Tertio quantum ad ordinem durationis, cum dicit quia prior me erat. Quasi dicat: non mirum si praefertur mihi dignitate, quia, etsi posterior sit tempore, est tamen prior aeternitate quia prior me erat. 262 Thirdly, he compares himself to Christ with respect to duration, saying, because he existed before me. As if to say: It is not strange if he ranks ahead of me in dignity; because although he is after me in time, he is before me in eternity, because he existed before me.
Ex hoc autem duplex error destruitur. Error Arii: quia non dicit prior me factus est ut sit creatura, sed prior me erat, ab aeterno ante omnem creaturam; Prov. VIII, 25: ante omnes colles generavit me dominus. Item error Pauli Samosateni: quia dixit prior me erat, ut ostendat, quod non ex Maria sumpserat exordium. Nam, si essendi principium sumpsisset ex virgine, non extitisset utique prior praecursore, qui Christum in sex mensibus secundum generationem praecedebat humanam. This statement refutes a twofold error. First, that of Arius, for John does not say that “he was made before me,” as though he were a creature, but he existed before me, from eternity, before every creature: “The Lord brought me forth before all the hills,” as is said in Proverbs (8:25). The second error refuted is that of Paul of Samosata: for John said, he existed before me, in order to show that he did not take his beginning from Mary. For if he had taken the beginning of his existence from the Virgin, he would not have existed before the precursor, who, in the order of human generation, preceded Christ by six months.
Consequenter cum dicit et ego nesciebam eum, excludit falsam suspicionem a suo testimonio. Posset enim aliquis dicere, Ioannem testimonium perhibuisse Christo propter affectionem specialis familiaritatis quam ad ipsum habebat; et ideo hoc excludens Ioannes, dicit ego nesciebam eum: nam Ioannes in deserto a pueritia sua conversatus est. Licet autem miracula multa facta sint in nativitate Christi, puta de magis et de stella, et huiusmodi, tamen non erant nota Ioanni: tum quia infans erat secundum aetatem, tum quia ad desertum secedens, Christi familiaritatem non habuit. Medio vero tempore a nativitate usque ad Baptismum, nullum miraculum Christus operatus est; sed conformis conversatione aliis erat, et sua virtus ignota omnibus existebat. 263 Next (v 31), he precludes an erroneous conjecture from his testimony. For someone might say that John bore witness to Christ because of his affection for him, coming from a special friendship. And so, excluding this, John says, And I did not know him!; for John had lived in the desert from boyhood. And although many miracles happened during the birth of Christ, such as the Magi and the star and so on, they were not known to John: both because he was an infant at the time, and because, after withdrawing to the desert, he had no association with Christ. In the interim between his birth and baptism, Christ did not perform any miracles, but led a life similar to any other person, and his power remained unknown to all.
Quod autem medio tempore non fuerit miracula operatus usque ad triginta annos, patet per hoc quod dicitur infra II, 11: hoc fecit initium signorum Iesus et cetera. Ex quo apparet falsitas libri de infantia salvatoris. Ideo autem non fecit miracula medio tempore, ut non putaretur mysterium circumcisionis et incarnationis phantasma esse, si non se habuisset aetate sicut alii infantes. Et ideo demonstrationem scientiae et virtutis suae in aliud distulit tempus, in quo alii homines scientia et virtute vigere consueverunt. Iuxta quod dicitur Lc. II, 52: puer autem proficiebat gratia et sapientia; non quod ipse virtutem et sapientiam ante non habitam susciperet, cum in eis fuerit ab instanti suae conceptionis perfectus, sed quia virtus eius et sapientia magis innotescebat hominibus. Is. c. XLV, 15: vere tu es Deus absconditus. 264 It is clear that he worked no miracles in the interim until he was thirty years old from what is said below (2:11): “This beginning of signs Jesus worked in Cana of Galilee.” This shows the error of the book, The Infancy of the Savior. The reason he performed no miracles during this period was that if his life had not been like that of other infants, the mystery of the circumcision and incarnation might have been regarded as pure fancy. Accordingly, he postponed showing his knowledge and power to another time, corresponding to the age when other men reach the fulness of their knowledge and power. About this we read, “And Jesus increased in grace and wisdom” (Lk 2:52); not that he acquired a power and wisdom that he previously lacked, for in this respect he was perfect from the instant of his conception, but because his power and wisdom were becoming known to men: “Indeed, you are a hidden God” (Is 45:15).
Ideo ergo Ioannes nesciebat eum, quia nulla signa adhuc de eo viderat, neque aliis per signa innotuerat. Unde subdit sed ut manifestetur in Israel, propterea ego veni in aqua baptizans. Quasi dicat: totum ministerium meum est ad manifestationem. Supra, non erat ille lux, sed ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. 265 The reason why John did not know him was that he had so far seen no signs, and no one else had known Christ through signs. Hence he adds: It was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptizing with water. As if to say: My entire ministry is to reveal: “He was not the light, but he came in order to bear witness to the light,” as was said above (1:8).
Dicit autem veni in aquam baptizans, ad differentiam Baptismi Christi. Quia Christus non in aqua solum baptizavit, sed in spiritu, conferens gratiam; unde et Baptismus Ioannis fuit significativum tantum, non effectivum. 266 He says, I came baptizing with water, to distinguish his baptism from that of Christ. For Christ baptized not just in water, but in the Spirit, conferring grace; and so the baptism of John was merely a sign, and not causative.
Manifestavit autem Baptismus Ioannis Christum tripliciter. Primo scilicet per Ioannis praedicationem. Licet enim Ioannes etiam sine Baptismo potuisset praedicando parare viam domino, et inducere turbas ad Christum, tamen propter novitatem officii plures ad eum concurrebant quam si sine Baptismo praedicatio facta esset. Secundo profuit Baptismus Ioannis propter Christi humilitatem, quam demonstravit, baptizari volens a Ioanne; Matth. III, 13: venit Christus ad Ioannem ut baptizaretur ab eo. In quo quidem exemplum humilitatis praebuit, ut scilicet nullus, quantumcumque magnus, dedignetur a quocumque ad hoc ordinato, sacramenta suscipere. Tertio, quia Christo baptizato a Ioanne, affuit virtus patris in voce, et spiritus sanctus in columba, per quam virtus Christi et dignitas magis manifestata fuit. Lc. III, 22: et vox patris intonuit: hic est filius meus dilectus. John’s baptism made Christ known in three ways. First, by the preaching of John. For although John could have prepared the way for the Lord and led the people to Christ without baptizing, yet because of the novelty of the service many more came to him than would have come if his preaching were done without baptism. Secondly, John’s baptism was useful because of Christ’s humility, which he showed by willing to be baptized by John: “Christ came to John, to be baptized by him” (Mt 3:13). This example of humility he gives us here is that no one, however great, should disdain to receive the sacraments from any person ordained for this purpose. Thirdly, because it was during Christ’s baptisin by John that the power of the Father was present in the voice, and the Holy Spirit was present in the dove, by which the powerand dignity of’Christ were all the more shown: “And the voice of the Father was heard: ‘This is my beloved Son’” (Lk 3:22).
Consequenter cum dicit et testimonium perhibuit Ioannes ipse magna quae testatus est de Christo quod totius orbis terrarum solus peccata tolleret, confirmat auctoritate Dei. Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo proponit visionem; secundo praebet de intellectu visionis instructionem, ibi et ego nesciebam eum; tertio suam ex ipsa visione conceptionem ostendit, ibi et ego vidi, et testimonium perhibui. 267 Then when he says, John gave this testimony also, he confirms by the authority of God the great things he testified to about Christ, that Christ alone would take away the sins of the whole world. As to this he does three things. First, he presents a vision. Secondly, he tells us the meaning of the vision (v 33). Thirdly, he shows what he learned from this vision (v 34).
Visionem quidem proponit cum dicit vidi spiritum descendentem quasi columbam de caelo. Quod quidem quando factum fuerit, Ioannes Evangelista non refert; sed Matthaeus et Lucas dicunt hoc factum fuisse quando Christus baptizatus est a Ioanne. Et quidem congruebat quod spiritus sanctus adesset baptizato et Baptismo. Baptizato namque congruebat, quia sicut filius existens a patre, manifestat patrem infra XVII, 6: pater, manifestavi nomen tuum etc., ita et spiritus sanctus a filio existens, filium manifestat. Infra XVI, 14: ille me clarificabit, quia de meo accipiet et cetera. Baptismo autem congruit, quia Baptisma Christi est inchoativum et consecrativum nostri Baptismatis. Nostrum autem Baptisma consecratur per invocationem sanctae Trinitatis; Matth. ult., 19: baptizantes eos in nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti et cetera. Quod ergo nos invocamus in Baptismo nostro, affuit Baptismo Christi, scilicet pater in voce, spiritus sanctus in columba, filius in humana natura. 268 He presents the vision when he says, I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven. When this actually happened John the Evangelist does not tell us, but Matthew and Luke say that it took place when Christ was being baptized by John. And it was indeed fitting for the Holy Spirit to be present at this baptism and to the person being baptized. It was appropriate for the one baptized, for as the Son, existing by the Father, manifests the Father, “Father, I have manifested your name” (below 17:6), so the Holy Spirit, existing by the Son, manifests the Son, “He will glorify me, because he will receive from me” (below 16:14). It was appropriate for this baptism because the baptism of Christ begins and consecrates our baptism. Now our baptism is consecrated by invoking the whole Trinity: “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). Thus, the ones we invoke in our baptism were present at the baptism of Christ: the Father in the voice, the Holy Spirit in the dove, and the Son in his human nature.
Dicit autem descendentem, quia cum descensus duos terminos habeat, scilicet principium sursum et terminum deorsum, quantum ad utrumque convenit Baptismo. Est enim duplex spiritus, unus mundi et alius Dei. Et spiritus quidem mundi est amor mundi, qui non est desursum, sed ab inferiori ascendit in hominem, et eum descendere facit; spiritus autem Dei, scilicet Dei amor, desursum descendit ad hominem, et eum ascendere facit. I Cor. II, 12: nos autem non spiritum huius mundi accepimus, sed spiritum Dei. Quia ergo ille spiritus de supernis est, ideo dicit descendentem. 269 He says, coming down, because descent, since it has two termini, the start, which is from above, and the end, which is below, suits baptism in both respects. For there is a twofold spirit: one of the world and the other of God. The spirit of the world is the love of the world, which is not from above; rather, it comes up to man from below and makes him descend. But the spirit of God, i.e., the love of God, comes down to man from above and makes him ascend: “We have not received the spirit of this world, but the spirit of God,” as is said in 1 Corinthians (2:12). And so, because that spirit is from above, he says, coming down.
Similiter etiam, quia impossibile est creaturam recipere Dei bonitatem in tanta plenitudine, secundum quod convenit Deo, ideo bonitatis ipsius ad nos derivatio, est quasi quidam descensus; Iac. I, 17: omne datum optimum, et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a patre luminum. Similarly, because it is impossible for the creature to receive God’s goodness in the fulness in which it is present in God, the communication of this goodness to us is in a way a certain coming down: “Every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (Jas 1:17).
Sed quia spiritus sanctus in sua natura videri non potest, ut dicitur infra III, 8: spiritus ubi vult spirat, et nescis unde veniat, aut quo vadat, spiritus etiam non est descendere, sed ascendere. Ez. VIII, 3: elevavit me spiritus et cetera. Ideo consequenter Evangelista modum visionis et descensus exponit, dicens, hic non fuisse in spiritu, idest natura sed in specie columbae, in qua apparuit: unde dicit quasi columbam. 270 The Evangelist, in describing the manner of the vision and of the coming down, says that the Holy Spirit did not appear in the spirit, i.e., in his nature, but in the form of a dove, saying, that he came like a ove. The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit cannot be seen in his nature, as is said, “The Spirit blows where it wills, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” (below 3:8), and because a spirit does not come down but goes up, “The spirit lifted me up” (Ez 8:3).
Et hoc quidem congrue, ut scilicet filius Dei per carnem visibilis factus, manifestaretur per spiritum sanctum visibili specie columbae. Quae quidem columba non est assumpta a spiritu sancto in unitatem personae, sicut humana natura assumpta est a filio Dei. Cuius ratio est, quia filius apparuit non solum ut manifestator, sed ut salvator. Et ideo, secundum quod dicit Leo Papa, oportuit quod esset Deus et homo: Deus quidem, ut afferret remedium; homo vero, ut praeberet exemplum. Spiritus vero sanctus apparuit solum ad manifestandum, ad quod sufficiebat speciem corporalem assumere solum ad significationem quamdam. It was appropriate that the Son of God, who was made visible through flesh, should be made known by the Holy Spirit in the visible form of a dove. However, the Holy Spirit did not assume the dove into a unity of person, as the Son of God assumed human nature. The reason for this is that the Son did not appear as a manifester but as a Savior. And so, according to Pope Leo, it was appropriate that he be God and man: God, in order to provide a remedy; and man, in order to offer an example. But the Holy Spirit appeared only to make known, and for this it was sufficient merely to assume a visible form which was suitable for this purpose.
Utrum autem columba illa fuerit verum animal, et utrum praeexistens apparitioni: sciendum, quod rationabiliter dicitur illa fuisse vera columba. Venit enim spiritus sanctus ad manifestandum Christum, qui cum sit veritas, non nisi per veritatem manifestandus erat. Quantum vero ad secundum, dicendum, quod non praeextitit apparitioni; sed tunc virtute divina absque commixtione maris et feminae formata fuit, sicut et corpus Christi virtute spiritus sancti conceptum, non ex virili semine. Et tamen fuit vera columba, quia, ut Augustinus dicit in libro de agone Christiano, omnipotenti Deo, qui universam creaturam ex nihilo fabricavit, non erat difficile verum corpus columbae sine aliarum columbarum ministerio figurare, sicut non fuit difficile verum corpus in utero b. virginis sine naturali semine fabricare. 271 As to whether this dove was a real animal and whether it existed prior to its appearance, it seems reasonable to say that it was a real dove. For the Holy Spirit came to manifest Christ, who, being the Truth, ought to have been manifested only by the truth. As to the other part of the question, it would seem that the dove did not exist prior to its appearance, but was formed at the time by the divine power, without any parental union, as the body of Christ was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and not from a man’s seed. Yet it was a real dove, for as Augustine says in his work, The Christian Combat: “It was not difficult for the omnipotent God, who produced the entire universe of creatures from nothing, to form a real body for the dove without the aid of other doves, just as it was not difficult to form the true body of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin without natural semen.”
Cyprianus in libro de unitate Ecclesiae: idcirco et in columba dicitur spiritus sanctus apparuisse, quia columba simplex animal et innocens est, non felle amarum, non morsibus ferum, non unguium laceratione violentum: hospitia humana diligere, unius domus consortium nosse, cum generat simul filios edere, cum conveniat volantibus invicem cohaerere, communi conversatione vitam suam degere, oris osculo concordiam pacis agnoscere, legem circa omnia unanimitatis implere. Cyprian, in his The Unity of the Church, says: “It is said that the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove because the dove is a simple harmless animal, not bitter with gall, not savage with its bites, not fierce with rending talons; it loves the dwellings of men, is able to live together in one nest, together it raises its young, they remain together when they fly, spend their life in mutual association, signify the concord of peace with the kiss of their bill, and fulfill the law of harmony in all things.”
Quare autem potius in columba, quam in alia specie apparuit, multipliciter ratio assignatur. Primo quidem propter columbae simplicitatem. Nam columba simplex est; Matth. X, 16: estote prudentes sicut serpentes, et simplices sicut columbae. Spiritus autem sanctus, quia facit respicere unum, scilicet Deum, simplices facit; et ideo in specie columbae apparet. Et quidem, secundum Augustinum, apparuit etiam super discipulos congregatos per ignem, quia quidam sunt simplices, sed tepidi; quidam autem ferventes, sed malitiosi. Ut ergo spiritu sanctificati dolo careant, spiritus in columbae specie demonstratur; et ne simplicitas frigiditate tepescat, demonstratur in igne. 272 Many reasons are given why the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove rather than in some other form. First, because of its simplicity, for the dove is simple: “Be wise as serpents, and simple as doves” (Mt 10:16). And the Holy Spirit, because he inclines souls to gaze on one thing, that is, God, makes them simple; and so he appeared in the form of a dove. Further, according to Augustine, the Holy Spirit also appeared in the form of fire over the heads of the assembled apostles. This was done because some are simple, but lukewarm; while others are fervent but guileful. And so in order that those sanctified by the Spirit may have no guile, the Spirit is shown in the form of a dove; and in order that their simplicity may not grow tepid, the Spirit is shown in fire.
Secundo, propter caritatis unitatem. Nam columba amore multum fervet; Cant. VI, 8: una est columba mea. Ut ergo ostendat Ecclesiae unitatem, in specie columbae spiritus sanctus apparet. Nec te moveat quod discipulis dispartitae linguae apparuerunt, quando sedit supra singulos eorum spiritus sanctus, qui et dispartitus apparet, secundum diversa donorum officia, et tamen unit per caritatem; et sic propter primum apparuit in dispartitis linguis, ut dicitur I Cor. XII, 4: divisiones gratiarum sunt, in columbae specie propter secundum. A dove was used, secondly, because of the unity of charity; for the dove is much aglow with love: “One is my dove” (Sg 6:9). So, in order to show the unity of the Church, the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove. Nor should it disturb you that when the Holy Spirit rested on each of the disciples, there appeared separate tongues of fire; for although the Spirit appears to be different according to the different functions of his gifts, he nevertheless unites us through charity. And so, because of the first he appeared in separate tongues of fire, as is said, “There are different kinds of gifts” (1 Cor 12:4); but he appears in the form of a dove because of the second.
Tertio, propter gemitum. Columba enim habet gemitum pro cantu; sic spiritus sanctus postulat pro nobis gemitibus inenarrabilibus, ut dicitur Rom. VIII, 26, et Nahum II, 7: ancillae eius mirabantur. A dove was used, thirdly,because of its groaning, for the dove has a groaning chant; so also the Holy Spirit “pleads for us with indescribable groanings” (Rom 8:26); “Her maidens, groaning like doves” (Na 2:7).
Quarto, propter fecunditatem. Columba enim animal fecundissimum est, idcirco ad designandum fecunditatem gratiae spiritualis in Ecclesia, in specie columbae spiritus sanctus apparuit. Hic est quod Levit. V, 7 dominus pullos columbarum offerre praecepit. Fourthly, because of the doves fertility, for the dove is a very prolific animal. And so in order to signify the fecundity of spiritual grace in the Church, the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove. This is why the Lord commanded an offering of two doves (Lv 5:7).
Quinto, propter columbae cautelam. Sedet enim super rivos aquarum, in quibus respiciens, falconem volitantem conspicit, et sibi ab eo cavet; Cant. V, 12: oculi tui sicut columbae et cetera. Unde, quia in Baptismo est nostra tutela et defensio, congrue in specie columbae spiritus sanctus apparuit. A dove was used, fifthly, because of its cautiousness. For it rests upon watery brooks, and gazing into them can see the hawk flying overhead and so save itself: “His eyes are like doves beside brooks of water” (Sg 5:12). And so, because our refuge and defense is found in baptism, the Holy Spirit appropriately appeared in the form of a dove.
Respondet igitur figurae veteris testamenti. Sicut etenim columba deferens ramum virentis olivae, ostendit signum clementiae Dei his qui residui fuerant ex aquis diluvii; ita et in Baptismo veniens spiritus sanctus in columbae specie, ostendit signum divinae clementiae, quae baptizatis et peccata remittit, et gratiam confert. The dove also corresponds to a figure in the Old Testament. For as the dove bearing the green olive branch was a sign of God’s mercy to those who survived the waters of the deluge, so too in baptism, the Holy Spirit, coming in the form of a dove, is a sign of the divine mercy which takes away the sins of those baptized and confers grace.
Dicit autem manentem super eum, quia in mansione quies designatur. Et quod spiritus sanctus in aliquo non quiescat, duplici de causa contingit. Una est ex peccato. Omnes enim alii homines, praeter Christum, vel sauciantur vulnere peccati mortalis, per quod effugatur spiritus sanctus, vel obfuscantur macula veniali, per quam aliqua operatio spiritus sancti impeditur. In Christo autem neque mortale, nec veniale, nec originale peccatum fuit: unde nec in eo fuit spiritus sanctus inquietatus; sed super eum mansit, idest quievit. 273 He says that the Holy Spirit was resting on him. If the Holy Spirit does not rest on someone, it is due to two causes. One is sin. For all men except Christ are either suffering from the wound of mortal sin, which banishes the Holy Spirit, or are darkened with the stain of venial sin, which hinders some of the works of the Holy Spirit. But in Christ there was neither mortal nor venial sin; so, the Holy Spirit in him was never disquieted, but was resting on him.
Alia causa: quia quantum ad gratias gratis datas, non semper adest aliis sanctis potestas operandi. Sicut non semper adest sanctis potestas operandi miracula, nec prophetis spiritus prophetiae. Christus vero semper habuit potestatem ad omnem operationem virtutum et gratiarum: et ideo ad hoc designandum, super eum mansit. Unde hoc proprium signum fuit agnoscendi Christum, ut dicitur in Glossa Is. XI, 2: requiescet super eum spiritus domini. Quod intelligendum est de Christo, inquantum est homo, secundum quod est minor patre et spiritu sancto. The other reason concerns charismatic graces, for the other saints do not always possess their power. For example, the power to work miracles is not always present in the saints, nor is the spirit of prophecy always in the prophets. But Christ always possessed the power to accomplish any work of the virtues and the graces. So to indicate this, he says, resting on him. Hence this was the characteristic sign for recognizing Christ, as the Gloss says. “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him” (Is 11:2), which we should understand of Christ as man, according to which he is less than the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Consequenter cum dicit et ego nesciebam eum, instruit de intellectu visionis praedictae. Quidam enim haeretici, scilicet Ebionitae, dicebant, Christum a principio nativitatis suae, neque Christum fuisse, nec filium Dei, sed ex tunc filius Dei et Christus esse incepit quando in Baptismo oleo spiritus sancti unctus fuit. Sed hoc falsum, quia in ipsa hora nativitatis Angelus dixit pastoribus, Lc. II, 11: natus est vobis hodie salvator, qui est Christus dominus in civitate David. Ne ergo aliquis crederet spiritum sanctum in Baptismo supra Christum descendisse, quasi de novo Christus indigeret spiritu ad sui sanctificationem, ideo causam sui descensus Baptista ostendit, dicens quod non descendit propter sui necessitatem, sed propter nos, ut scilicet gratia eius nobis manifestaretur. Et ideo dicit ego nesciebam eum. Sed ut manifestaretur in Israel, propterea veni ego in aqua baptizans. 274 Then when he says, I did not know him, he teaches us how this vision should be understood. For certain heretics, as the Ebionites, said that Christ was neither the Christ nor the Son of God from the time he was born, but only began to be the Son of God and the Christ when he was anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit at his baptism. But this is false, because at the very hour of his birth the angel said to the shepherds: “This day a Savior has been born for you in the city of David, Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11). Therefore, so that we do not believe that the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ in his baptism as though Christ needed to receive the Spirit anew for his sanctification, the Baptist gives the reason for the Spirit’s coming down. He says that the Spirit descended not for the benefit of Christ, but for our benefit, that is, so that the grace of Christ might be made known to us. And so he says, And I did not know him! And yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptizing with water.
Sed hic oritur quaestio. Dicit enim qui misit me baptizare etc., si dicatur quod pater misit eum, verum est; similiter si dicatur quod filius, manifestius, cum dicatur quod et pater et filius misit eum, quia Ioannes non est de illis de quibus dicit Ierem. c. XXIII, 21: non mittebam eos, et ipsi currebant. Quomodo ergo dicit ego nesciebam eum, si filius misit eum? Si dicatur, quod licet cognosceret eum secundum divinitatem, non tamen cognoscebat eum secundum humanitatem, nisi postquam vidit spiritum descendentem super eum, contra: spiritus enim sanctus descendit super Christum quando baptizatus est. Ioannes autem cognovit Christum antequam baptizaretur, alias non dixisset ego debeo a te baptizari, et tu venis ad me? 275 There is a problem here. For he says, he who sent me to baptize. If he is saying that the Father sent him, it is true. Also, if he is saying that the Son sent him, it is even more clear, since it is said that both the Father and the Son sent him, because John is not one of those referred to in Jeremiah (23:21), “1 did not send the prophets, yet they ran.” But if the Son did send him, how can he then say, I did not know him? If it is said that although he knew Christ according to his divinity, yet he did not know him according to his humanity until after he saw the Spirit coming down upon him, one might counter that the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ when he was being baptized, and John had already known Christ before he was baptized, otherwise he would not have said: “I ought to be baptized by you, and you come to me?” (Mt 3:14).
Est ergo dicendum, quod tripliciter potest ad hanc quaestionem responderi. Uno modo, secundum Chrysostomum, ut referatur ad cognitionem familiaritatis, ut sit sensus ego nesciebam eum, scilicet familiariter. Et si obiiciatur, quod dicit Ioannes ego a te debeo baptizari etc., dicitur quod ista duo sunt ad diversa tempora referenda, ut hoc quod dicit ego nesciebam eum, referatur ad tempus diu ante Baptismum, in quo nondum Christo familiaris erat; hoc vero quod dicit ego a te debeo baptizari, referatur ad tempus illud in quo baptizatus est Christus, quando iam propter frequentem visitationem eius, Christus familiaris erat. Alio modo, secundum Hieronymum, dicendum quod erat Christus filius Dei et salvator mundi, et hoc quidem sciebat Ioannes; sed nesciebat eum per Baptismum mundi salvatorem: et ideo hoc quod nescivit addidit, scilicet quod hic est qui baptizat in spiritu sancto. Sed melius dicendum est, secundum Augustinum, quod aliquid scivit et aliquid nescivit, et hoc quod nescivit addidit, scilicet quod potestatem baptizandi, quam potuit fidelibus suis communicare, sibi soli retinuit. Et hoc est quod dicit qui misit me baptizare in aqua (...) hic est, singulariter scilicet, et solus, qui baptizat in spiritu sancto, et nullus alius: quia hanc potestatem sibi soli retinuit. So we must say that this problem can be resolved in three ways. In one way, according to Chrysostom, so that the meaning is to know familiarly; the sense being that I did not know him, i.e., in a familiar way. And if the objection is raised that John says, “I ought to be baptized by you,” it can be answered that two different times are being discussed: so that I did not know him, refers to a time long before baptism, when he was not yet familiar with Christ: but when he says, “I ought to be baptized by you,” he is referring to the time when Christ was being baptized, when he was now familiar with Christ because of his frequent visits. In another way, according to Jerome, it could be said that Christ was the Son of God and the Savior of the world, and that John did in fact know this; but it was not through the baptism that he knew that he was the Savior of the world. And so to remedy this ignorance he adds, he is the one who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit. But it is better to say with Augustine that John knew certain things and was ignorant of others. Explaining what he did not know, he adds that the power of baptizing, which Christ could have shared with his faithful followers, would be reserved for himself alone. And this is what he says, he who sent me to baptize with water... is the one, exclusively and solely, who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit, i.e., he and no one else, because this power he reserved for himself alone.
Notandum autem, quod triplex potestas Christi attenditur in Baptismo. Una est efficientiae, qua mundat interius animam a macula peccati; quam quidem potestatem habet Christus inquantum est Deus, non autem inquantum homo; et haec potestas nulli alii potest communicari. Alia potestas est ministerii, quam quidem communicavit fidelibus; Matth. ult., 19: baptizantes eos in nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti. Et ideo sacerdotes, ut ministri, potestatem habent baptizandi; Christus autem, inquantum homo, minister dicitur, ut apostolus dicit sed tamen caput est omnium ministrorum Ecclesiae. 276 We should note that a threefold power of Christ is found in baptism. One is the power of efficiency, by which he interiorly cleanses the soul from the stain of sin. Christ has this power as God, but not as man, and it cannot be communicated to any other. Another is the power of ministry, which he does share with the faithful: “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). Therefore priests have the power to haptize as ministers. Christ too, as man, is called a minister, as the Apostle says. But he is also the head of all the ministers of the Church.
Et quantum ad hoc habet singulariter potestatem excellentiae in sacramentis: quae quidem excellentia apparet in quatuor. Primo in sacramentorum institutione: quia nullus homo purus, nec etiam tota Ecclesia, posset sacramenta instituere, vel sacramenta mutare, aut a sacramentis absolvere. Nam sacramenta invisibilem gratiam conferunt ex eorum institutione; conferre autem gratiam solius Dei est: et ideo solus qui est verus Deus potest sacramenta instituere. Secundum est quantum ad meriti Christi efficaciam: nam ex merito passionis Christi sacramenta virtutem habent; Rom. VI, 3: quicumque baptizati sumus in Christo Iesu, in morte ipsius baptizati sumus. Tertium est quia Christus potest conferre effectum Baptismi sine sacramento: quod solius Christi est. Quarto quia aliquo tempore Baptismus conferebatur ad invocationem nominis Christi; sed modo non ita fit. Because of this he alone has the power of excellence in the sacraments. And this excellence shows itself in four things. First, in the institution of the sacraments, because no mere man or even the entire Church could institute sacraments, or change the sacninients, or dispense with the sacraments. For by their institution the sacraments give invisible grace, which only God can give. Therefore, only one who is true God can institute sacraments. The second lies in the efficacy of Christ’s merits, for the sacraments have their power from the merit of Christ’s passion: “All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, have been baptized into his death” (Rom 6:3). The third is that Christ can confer the effect of baptism withmit the sacrament; and this is peculiar to Christ. Fourthly, because at one time baptism was conferred in the name of Christ, although this is no longer done.
Quae quidem quatuor nulli hominum communicavit; licet aliquid eorum communicare potuisset, puta quod in nomine Petri, vel alicuius alterius, conferretur Baptismus, et forte aliquid aliorum. Sed hoc ideo non fuit factum ne fieret schisma in Ecclesia, si baptizati spem suam ponerent in illis in quorum nominationem baptizarentur. Now he did not communicate these four things to anyone; although he could have communicated some of them, for example, that baptism be conferred in the name of Peter or of someone else, and perhaps one of the remaining three. But this was not done lest schisins arise in the Church by men putting their trust in those in whose name they were baptized.
Et ideo didicit Ioannes per hoc quod spiritus sanctus descendit super eum, quod Christus solus est qui sua virtute interius baptizat. And so John, in stating that the Holy Spirit came down upon Christ, teaches that it is Christ alone who baptizes interiorly by his own power.
Et forte posset dici, quod cum dixit ego a te debeo baptizari etc. cognovit eum per internam revelationem; sed cum vidit spiritum sanctum descendentem super eum, cognovit eum per exterioris signi manifestationem. Et ideo utrumque modum cognitionis tangit. Primum, cum dicit qui me misit baptizare, ille mihi dixit, idest interius revelavit. Secundum, quando addidit super quem videris spiritum descendentem (...) hic est qui baptizat. 277 One might also say that when John said, “I ought to be baptized by you,” he recognized Christ. through an interior revelation, but that when he saw the Holy Spirit coming down upon him, he knew him through an exterior sign. And so he mentions both of these ways of knowing. The first when he says, he who sent me to baptize with water had said to me, i.e., revealed something in an interior way. The second when he adds, The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit.
Consequenter ostendit quid Baptista ex hac visione intellexit, scilicet quod Christus esset filius Dei; et hoc est quod dicit et ego vidi, scilicet spiritum descendentem super eum, et testimonium perhibui, quia hic, scilicet Christus, est filius Dei, scilicet verus et naturalis. Filii enim adoptivi patris fuerunt ad similitudinem filii Dei naturalis; Rom. VIII, 29: quos praescivit conformes fieri imaginis filii sui. Ille ergo debet filios Dei facere qui baptizat in spiritu sancto, per quem filii adoptantur; Rom. VIII, 15: non enim accepistis spiritum servitutis (...) sed spiritum adoptionis et cetera. Quia ergo iste, scilicet Christus, est qui baptizat in spiritu sancto, ideo recte concludit Baptista, quod est filius Dei verus et purus. I Io. ult., 20: ut simus in vero filio eius et cetera. 278 Then he shows what the Baptist understood from this vision, that is, that Christ is the Son of God. And this is what he says, Now I have seen for myself, that is, the Spirit coming down on him, and have given testimony that he, that is, Christ, is the Son of God, that is, the true and natural Son. For there were adopted sons of the Father who had a likeness to the natural Son of God: “Conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29). So he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, through whom we are adopted as sons, ought to fashion sons of God. “You did not receive the spirit of slavery... but the spirit of adoption” (Rom 8:15). Therefore, because Christ is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, the Baptist correctly concludes that he is the true and pure Son of God: “that we may be in his true Son” (1 Jn 5:20).
Sed si alii viderunt spiritum sanctum descendentem super eum, quare non crediderunt? Respondeo, quia non erant dispositi ad hoc, vel forte quia soli Baptistae visio illa demonstrata est. 279 But if there were others who saw the Holy,Spirit coming down upon Christ, why did they not also believe? I answer that they had not been so disposed for this. Or perhaps, this vision was seen only by the Baptist.

Lectura 15 LECTURE 15
35 τῇ ἐπαύριον πάλιν εἱστήκει ὁ Ἰωάννης καὶ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο, 36 καὶ ἐμβλέψας τῷ Ἰησοῦ περιπατοῦντι λέγει, ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. They follow Jesus 37 καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ δύο μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος καὶ ἠκολούθησαν τῷ Ἰησοῦ. 38 στραφεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ θεασάμενος αὐτοὺς ἀκολουθοῦντας λέγει αὐτοῖς, τί ζητεῖτε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, ῥαββί ὃ λέγεται μεθερμηνευόμενον διδάσκαλε, ποῦ μένεις; 39 λέγει αὐτοῖς, ἔρχεσθε καὶ ὄψεσθε. ἦλθαν οὖν καὶ εἶδαν ποῦ μένει, καὶ παρ' αὐτῷ ἔμειναν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην: ὥρα ἦν ὡς δεκάτη.

40 ἦν Ἀνδρέας ὁ ἀδελφὸς Σίμωνος Πέτρου εἷς ἐκ τῶν δύο τῶν ἀκουσάντων παρὰ Ἰωάννου καὶ ἀκολουθησάντων αὐτῷ: 41 εὑρίσκει οὗτος πρῶτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἴδιον Σίμωνα καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, εὑρήκαμεν τὸν μεσσίαν ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Χριστός: 42 ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν. ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, σὺ εἶ Σίμων ὁ υἱὸς Ἰωάννου: σὺ κληθήσῃ κηφᾶς ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται Πέτρος.

35 On the following day John was standing there again with two of his disciples. 36 And seeing Jesus walking by, he said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God.” 37 Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned around, and seeing them following him said, “What are you looking for?” They replied, “Rabbi (which means Teacher), where do you live?” 39 “Come and see,” he replied. They went and saw where he lived, and they stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.

40 One of the two who had followed him after hearing John was Simon Peter’s brother, Andrew. 41 The first thing fie did was to look for his brother Simon, and say to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ), 42 and he brought him to Jesus. Looking at hini intently Jesus said, “You are Simon, son of John; you are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

Supra Evangelista posuit testimonia Baptistae ad turbas; hic consequenter ponit eius testimonia ad discipulos Ioannis. Et primo ponitur testimonium; secundo ostenditur testimonii fructus, ibi et audierunt eum duo discipuli loquentem et cetera. Circa primum tria facit. Primo describitur testis; secundo assignatur modus testificandi; tertio ponitur eius testimonium. 280 Above, the Evangelist presented the Baptist’s testimony to the people; here he presents his testimony to John’s disciples. First, his testimony is given; secondly, the fruit of this testimony (v 37). As to the first he does three things: first, the one giving the testimony is described; secondly, his way of testifying is given (v 36); and thirdly, his testimony itself, Look! There is the Lamb of God.
Sed testis describitur, cum dicit altera die iterum stabat Ioannes, et ex discipulis eius duo. In hoc autem quod dicit stabat, tria notantur circa Ioannem. Scilicet doctrinae ipsius modus, qui differens fuit a modo doctrinae Christi, et discipulorum eius. Christus enim circumeundo docebat; unde dicitur, Matth. IV, 23, quod circuibat Iesus totam Galilaeam et cetera. Similiter et apostoli discurrendo per mundum, docebant; Mc. ult., 15: euntes in mundum universum, praedicate Evangelium omni creaturae. Sed Ioannes stando docebat; unde dicitur stabat Ioannes, scilicet in uno loco trans Iordanem, et instruebat de Christo omnes ad eum venientes. 281 The witness is described when he says, On the following day John was standing there again with two of his disciples. In saying standing, three things are noted about John. First, his manner of teaching, which was different from that of Christ and his disciples. For Christ went about teaching; hence it is said: “Jesus traveled over all Galilee” (Mt 4:23). The apostles also traveled the world teaching: “Go to the whole world, and preach the good news to every creature” (Mkl6:15). But John taught in one place; hence he says, standing, that is, in one place, on the far side of the Jordan. And John spoke of Christ to all who came to him.
Ratio autem quare Christus et eius discipuli discurrendo docebant, est quia praedicatio Christi facta erat credibilis per miracula, et ideo circuibant diversa loca, ut miracula et virtutes Christi innotescerent. Praedicatio vero Ioannis non est confirmata miraculis, unde dicitur infra X, 41: Ioannes signum fecit nullum: sed merito et sanctitate vitae. Et ideo stabat in loco uno, ut diversi ad eum confluerent, et per eius sanctitatem ducerentur ad Christum. Similiter etiam si Ioannes sine miraculis discurrisset ad praenuntiandum Christum, eius testimonium incredibilius redderetur, cum videretur importune, et quasi ingerendo se hoc facere. The reason why Christ and his disciples taught going about is that the preaching of Christ was made credible by miracles, and so they went to various places in order that the miracles and powers of Christ might be made known. But the preaching of John was not confirmed by miracles, so that is is written, “John performed no sign” (below 10:41), but by the merit and sanctity of his life. And so he was standing in one place so that various people might stream to him and be led to Christ by his holiness. Furthermore, if John had gone from place to place to announce Christ without performing any miracles, his testimony would have been quite unbelievable, since it would seem to be inopportune and he would seem to be forcing himself upon the people.
Secondly, John’s perseverance in the truth is noted, because John was not a reed shaken by the wind, but was firm in the faith; “Let him who thinks that he stands, take heed so he will not fall” (1 Cor 10:12); “1 will stand my watch” (Hb 2:1).
Secundo notatur Ioannis constantia in veritate, quia Ioannes non fuit arundo vento agitata, sed firmus in fide, secundum illud I Cor. X, 12: qui se existimat stare videat ne cadat. Hab. II, 1: super custodiam meam stabo. Thirdly, and allegorically, it is noted that to stand is, in an allegorical sense, the same as to fail or cease: “The oil stood,” i.e., failed (2 Kgs 4:6). So when Christ came John was standing, because when the truth comes the figure ceases. John stands because the law passes away.
Tertio allegorice notatur, quod stare allegorice idem est quod deficere; IV Reg. IV, 6: stetitque oleum, idest defecit. Stabat ergo Ioannes veniente Christo, quia cum venit veritas, defecit figura. Ioannes stat, quia lex transit. Modus autem testificandi ponitur certus, quia cum aspectu. Unde dicit et respiciens Iesum ambulantem. Ubi sciendum est, quod prophetae perhibuerunt testimonium Christo, Act. X, 43: huic omnes prophetae testimonium perhibent. Similiter et apostoli per mundum discurrentes, Act. I, 8: eritis mihi testes in Ierusalem, et in omni Iudaea et cetera. Sed tamen non per visum, neque de praesente, sed de absente. Prophetae quidem ut de futuro, apostoli vero ut de praeterito. Sed Ioannes, Christo sibi praesente et a se viso, testimonium perhibuit: et ideo dicit et respiciens, oculis corporis, et mentis, iuxta illud Ps. LXXXIII, 10: respice in faciem Christi tui; Is. LII, 8: oculo ad oculum videbunt. 282 The manner of his testifying is presented as being certain, because based on sight. So he says, seeing Jesus walking by. Here it should be remarked that the prophets bore witness to Christ: “All the prophets bear witness to him” (Acts 10:43). So did the apostles as they traveled the world: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of’ Judea and Samaria, and to the remotest parts of the world” (Acts 1:8). However, their testimony was not about a person then visible or present, but on one who was absent. In the case of the prophets about one who was to come; in the case of the apostles, about one who was now gone. But John bore witness when Christ was present and seen by him; and so he says, seeing Jesus, with the eyes of his body and of his mind: “Look on the face of your Christ” (Ps 83:10); “They will see eye to eye” (Is 5 2:8).
Sed dicit ambulantem, ut designet incarnationis mysterium, per quod Dei verbum mutabilem naturam assumpsit; infra XVI, 28: exivi a patre, et veni in mundum. He says, walking, to point out the mystery of the incarnation, in which the Word of God assumed a changeable nature: “I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world,” as it says below (16:2 8).
Consequenter ponitur testimonium, cum dicit ecce agnus Dei, quod non solum est demonstrativum, sed admirativum virtutis ipsius; Is. IX, 6: vocabitur nomen eius admirabilis. Et vere admirabilis virtutis est iste agnus, qui occisus, leonem interfecit: illum, inquam, leonem de quo dicitur I Petr. ult., 8: adversarius vester Diabolus, tamquam leo rugiens, circuit quaerens quem devoret. Et ideo ipse agnus leo vocari meruit victor et gloriosus; Apoc. V, 5: ecce vicit leo de tribu Iuda. 283 Then he gives John’s testimony in saying, Look! There is the Lamb of God. He says this not just to point out the power of Christ, but also in admiration of it: “His name will be called Wonderful” (Is 9:6). And this Lamb did possess truly wonderful power, because being slain, it killed the lion—that lion, I say, of which it says: “Your enemy, the devil, goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour” (1 Pt 5:8). And so this Lamb, victorius and glorious, deserved to be called a lion: “Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered” (Rv 5:5).
Breviter autem testimonium profert, dicens ecce agnus Dei, tum quia discipuli quibus hoc testimonium perhibebat, ex his quae audierant a Ioanne, iam satis instructi erant de Christo; tum etiam quia per hoc satis intelligitur tota intentio Ioannis, quae ad hoc solum erat ut eos ad Christum duceret. Nec dicit: ite ad eum, ne videantur discipuli gratiam praestare Christo, si eum sequerentur; sed commendat Christi gratiam, ut quasi in beneficium sibi computent, si Christum sequuntur. Et ideo dicit ecce agnus Dei; idest, ecce in quo est gratia, et virtus purgativa peccatorum: agnus enim offerebatur pro peccatis, ut dictum est. The testimony he bears is brief, Look! There is the Lamb of God. It is brief both because the disciples before whom he testified had already been sufficiently instructed about Christ from the things they had heard from John, and also because this is sufficient for John’s intention, whose only aim was to lead them to Christ. Yet he does not say, “Go to him,” so that the disciples would not seem to be doing Christ a favor by following him. But he does praise the grace of Christ so that they would regard it as of benefit to themselves if they followed Christ. And so he says, Look! There is the Lamb of God, i.e., here is the One in whom is found the grace and the power which cleanses from sin; for the lamb was offered for sins, as we have said.
Consequenter ponitur fructus testimonii, cum dicit et audierunt eum duo discipuli loquentem, et primo ponitur fructus proveniens ex testimonio Ioannis et discipulorum eius; secundo vero ponitur fructus proveniens ex praedicatione Christi, ibi in crastinum autem voluit exire in Galilaeam. Circa primum primo ponitur fructus proveniens ex testimonio Ioannis; secundo fructus proveniens ex praedicatione unius discipulorum eius, ibi erat autem Andreas frater Simonis Petri et cetera. Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponitur inchoatio huius fructus ex testimonio Ioannis facta. Secundo ponitur consummatio facta per Christum, ibi conversus autem Iesus et cetera. 284 The fruit of his testimony is given when he says, Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. First, the fruit resulting from the testimony of John and his disciples is given. Secondly, the fruit resulting from the preaching of Christ (v 43). In relation to the first: first, the fruit arising from John’s testimony is given; secondly, the fruit coming from the preaching of one of his disciples (v 40). With respect to the first he does two things. First, he shows the very beginning of the fruit coming from John’s testimony. Secondly, its consummation as accomplished by Christ (v 38).
Dicit ergo primo et audierunt eum, scilicet Ioannem, duo discipuli, qui erant cum eo, loquentem (ecce agnus Dei) et secuti sunt Iesum, ad litteram: euntes cum eo. Ubi quatuor, secundum Chrysostomum, considerari possunt. Primo quia hoc quod Ioannes loquitur et Christus tacet, et verbo Ioannis discipuli congregantur ad Christum, competit mysterio: Christus enim est sponsus Ecclesiae, Ioannes vero amicus et paranymphus sponsi. Officium autem paranymphi est sponsam tradere sponso, et loquendo, pacta tradere; sponsi autem est quasi prae verecundia tacere, et de sponsa iam habita pro velle disponere. Sic ergo discipuli traduntur a Ioanne Christo quasi desponsati per fidem. Ioannes loquitur, Christus tacet; sed tamen susceptos diligenter instruxit. 285 He says, Hearing this, John saying, “Look! There is the Lamb of God,” the two disciples, who were with him, followed Jesus, literally. going with him, First, the fact that it is John who speaks while Christ is silent, and that disciples gather to Christ through the words of John, all this points out a mystery. For Christ is the groom of the Church, and John, the friend and groomsman of the groom. Now the function of the groomsman is to present the bride to the groom, and verbally make known the agreements; the role of the groom is to be silent, from modesty, and to make arrangements for his new bride as he wills. Thus, the disciples are presented by John to Christ and espoused in faith. John speaks, Christ is silent; yet after Christ accepts them, he carefully instructs them.
Secundo vero quod cum Ioannes dignitatem Christi commendans dixit ante me factus est, et quoniam non sum dignus solvere corrigiam calceamenti eius, nullus conversus est; sed quando humilia de Christo, et incarnationis mysterio locutus est, tunc secuti sunt eum discipuli: quia humilia, et quae pro nobis passus est Christus, magis movent nos; et ideo dicitur Cant. I, 2: oleum effusum nomen tuum, idest misericordia, qua salutem omnium procurasti; et ideo statim sequitur adolescentulae dilexerunt te nimis. We can note, secondly, that no one was converted when John praised the dignity of Christ, saying, he “ranks ahead of me,” and “I am not worthy to unfasten the strap of his sandal.” But the disciples followed Christ when John revealed Christ’s humility and about the mystery of the incarnation; and this is because we are more moved by Christ’s humility and the sufferings he endured for us. So it is said: “Your name is like oil poured out,” i.e., mercy, by which you have obtained salvation for all; and the text immediately follows with, “young maidens have greatly loved you” (Sg 1:2).
Tertio, quia verbum praedicationis est sicut semen cadens in diversas terras: in una quidem fructificat, in alia non. Ita et Ioannes cum praedicat, non omnes discipulos convertit ad Christum, sed duos tantum, scilicet qui bene dispositi erant; alii vero e contrario invidia moventur ad Christum: unde et quaestionem ei movent, ut dicitur Matth. IX, 14. We can note, thirdly, that the words of a preacher are like seed falling on different kinds of ground: on one they bear fruit, and on another they do not. So too, John, when he preaches, does not convert all his disciples to Christ, but only two, those who were well disposed. The others are envious of Christ, and they even question him, as mentioned in Matthew (9:14).
Quartum est quod discipuli Ioannis audito eius testimonio de Christo, non statim ingesserunt se ad loquendum cum eo ex abrupto, sed quasi studiosi cum quadam verecundia singulariter loqui cum eo, et in secreto loco studuerunt. Eccle. VIII, 6: omni negotio tempus est, et opportunitas. Fourthly, we may note that John’s disciples, after hearing his witness to Christ, did not at once thrust themselves forward to speak with him hastily; rather, seriously and with a certain modesty, they tried to speak to Christ alone and in a private place: “There is a time and fitness for everything” (Ecc 8:6).
Consequenter ponitur consummatio fructus, cum dicit conversus autem Iesus. Quod enim Ioannes inchoavit, consummatur per Christum, quia neminem ad perfectum adduxit lex, ut habetur Hebr. VII, 19. Et circa hoc Christus duo facit: primo enim examinavit discipulos sequentes; secundo eos instruxit, ibi dicit eis: venite, et videte. Circa primum primo ponitur Christi examinantis interrogatio; secundo discipulorum examinatorum responsio, ibi qui dixerunt ei: Rabbi, ubi habitas? 286 The consummation of this fruit is now set forth (v 38), for what John began is completed by Christ, since “the law brought nothing to perfection” (Heb 7:19). And Christ does two things. First, he questions the disciples who were following him. Secondly, he teaches them (v 39). As to the first we have: first, the question of Christ is given; secondly, the answer of the disciples.
Dicit ergo conversus autem Iesus, et videns eos sequentes se, dixit eis. Et quidem per litteralem sensum intelligendum est quod Christus eos praeibat, et hi duo discipuli eum sequentes, faciem eius minime videbant: et ideo Christus ut daret eis fiduciam, convertit se ad eos. In quo datur nobis intelligi, quod omnibus, qui Christum sequi incipiunt puro corde, dat fiduciam vel spem misericordiae; Sap. VI, 14: praeoccupat eos qui se concupiscunt. Convertit autem se Iesus ad nos, ut videatur a nobis: hoc erit in illa beata visione, quando ostendet nobis faciem suam, ut dicitur in Ps. LXXIX, 4: ostende nobis faciem tuam, et salvi erimus. Quamdiu enim in mundo isto sumus, videmus posteriora eius, quia per effectus in eius cognitionem venimus; unde dicitur Ex. XXXIII, 23: posteriora mea videbis. Item convertit se ut opem suae misericordiae nobis impendat. Hoc petebat Ps. LXXXIX, 13: convertere, domine, aliquantulum et cetera. Quamdiu enim Christus opem suae miserationis non impendit, videtur a nobis aversus. Conversus est ergo Iesus ad discipulos Ioannis eum sequentes, ut faciem suam eis ostenderet, et gratiam eis infunderet. 287 He says, Jesus turned around, and seeing them following him said. According to the literal sense we should understand that Christ was walking in front of them, and these two disciples, following him, did not see his face at all; and so Christ turns to them to holster their confidence. This lets us know that Christ gives confidence and hope to all who begin to follow him with a pure heart: “She goes to meet those who desire her” (Wis 6:14). Now Jesus turns to us in order that we may see him; this will happen in that blessed vision when he will show us his face, as is said: “Show us your face, and we will be saved” (Ps 79:4). For as long as we are in this world we see his back, because it is through his effects that we acquire a knowledge of him; so it is said, “You will see my back” (Ex 33:23). Again, he turns to give us the riches of his mercy. This is requested in Psalm 89 (13): “Turn to us, 0 Lord.” For as long as Christ withholds the help of his mercy he seems to be turned away from us. And so Jesus turned to the disciples of John who were following him in order to show them his face and to pour his grace upon them.
Examinat autem eos specialiter de intentione. Sequentium namque Christum non eadem intentio est: quidam enim eum sequuntur propter bona temporalia; alii vero propter bona spiritualia. Et ideo quid isti intendant, dominus quaerit, dicens quid quaeritis? Non quidem ut discat, sed ut rectam intentionem aperientes, magis familiares faciat, et ostendat eos auditione dignos. 288 Christ examines them specifically about their intention. For all who follow Christ do not have the same intention: some follow him for the sake of temporal goods, and others for spiritual goods. And so the Lord asks their intention, saying, What are you looking for?; not in order to learn their intention, but so that, after they showed a proper intention, he might make them more intimate friends and show that they are worthy to hear him.
Notandum autem, quod hoc est primum verbum quod Christus in isto Evangelio loquitur. Et congrue, quia primum quod quaerit Deus ab homine, est recta intentio. Et secundum Origenem, post sex verba quae Ioannes dixerat, Christus septimum locutus est. Primum namque Ioannes Baptista locutus est, quando testimonium perhibens de Christo, clamabat dicens hic est de quo dixi. Aliud quando dixit non sum dignus solvere corrigiam calceamenti eius. Tertium quando dixit ego baptizo in aqua, medius autem vestrum stetit quem vos nescitis. Quartum ecce agnus Dei. Quintum vidi spiritum descendentem quasi columbam et cetera. Sextum, cum hic dicit ecce agnus Dei. Et Christus septimum loquitur, ut intelligas mystice, quod quies, quae designatur per septimum diem, nobis est futura per Christum, et quod in ipso est plenitudo septiformis gratiae spiritus sancti. 289 It may be remarked that these are the first words which Christ speaks in this Gospel. And this is appropriate, because the first thing that God asks of a man is a proper intention. And, according to Origen, after the six words that John had spoken, Christ spoke the seventh. The first words spoken by John were when, bearing witness to Christ, he cried out, saying, “This is the one of whom I said.” The second is when he said, “I am not worthy to unfasten the strap of his sandal.” The third is, “I baptize with water. But there is one standing in your midst whom you do not recognize.” The fourth is, “Look! There is the Lamb of God.” The fifth, “I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove.” The sixth, when he says here, “Look! There is the Lamb of God.” But it is Christ who speaks the seventh words so that we may understand, in a mystical sense, that rest, which is signified by the seventh day, will come to us through Christ, and that in him is found the fulness of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Consequenter respondent discipuli qui dixerunt ei et cetera. Et quidem interrogati de uno, duo respondent. Primo quidem quare Christum sequuntur, scilicet ut addiscant, unde et magistrum eum vocant Rabbi (quod dicitur interpretatum magister) quasi dicerent: quaerimus, ut nos doceas. Iam enim praecognoscebant quod dicitur Matth. XXIII, 10, unus est magister vester Christus. Secundo vero quod sequendo quaerunt, scilicet ubi habitas? Et quidem litteraliter dici potest quod in veritate domum Christi quaerebant. Propter enim mira et magna, quae a Ioanne de eo audierant, nolebant eum perfunctorie interrogare, nec semel tantum, sed frequenter et seriose; et ideo domum eius scire volebant, ut frequenter ad eum accederent, iuxta consilium sapientis, Eccli. VI, 36: si videris sensatum, evigila ad illum, et Prov. c. VIII, 34: beatus qui audit me, et vigilat ad fores meas quotidie. 290 The disciples answer; and although there was one question, they gave two answers. First, why they are following Christ, namely, to learn; thus they call him Teacher, Rabbi (which means Teacher). As if to say: We ask you to teach us. For they already knew what is stated in Matthew (23:10): “You have one Teacher, the Christ.” The second answer is what they want in following him, that is, Where do you live? And literally, it can be said that in truth they were looking for the home of Christ. For because of the great and wonderful things they had heard about him from John, they were not satisfied with questioning him only once and in a superficial way, but wanted to do so frequently and seriously. And so they wanted to know where his home was so that they might visit him often, according to the advice of the wise man: “If you see a man of understanding, go to him early” (Sir 6:36), and “Happy is the man who hears me, who watches daily at my gates” (Prv 8:34).
Allegorice autem in caelis est habitaculum Dei, secundum illud Ps. CXXII, 1: ad te levavi oculos meos qui habitas in caelis. Quaerunt ergo ubi Christus habitet, quia ad hoc debemus Christum sequi ut per eum ducamur ad caelos, idest ad gloriam caelestem. In the allegorical sense, God’s home is in heaven, according to the Psalm (122:1): “I have lifted up my eyes to you, who live in heaven.” So they asked where Christ was living because our purpose in following him should be that Christ leads us to heaven, i.e., to heavenly glory.
Moraliter autem interrogant ubi habitas? Quasi vellent scire, quales debent esse homines qui digni sunt quod Christus habitet in eis; de quo habitaculo dicitur Eph. II, 22: aedificamini in habitaculum Dei, et Cant. I, v. 6: indica mihi, quem diligit anima mea, ubi pascas, ubi cubes in meridie. Finally, in the moral sense, they ask, Where do you live? as though desiring to learn what qualities men should possess in order to be worthy to have Christ dwell in them. Concerning this dwelling Ephesians (2:22) says: “You are being built into a dwelling place for God.” And the Song (1:6) says: “Show me, you whom my soul loves, where you graze your flock, where you rest at midday.”
Consequenter cum dicit venite, et videte, ponitur instructio discipulorum a Christo, et primo describitur ipsa instructio discipulorum a Christo; secundo commendatur discipulorum obedientia venerunt, et viderunt; tertio determinatur tempus quia hora erat quasi decima. 291 Then when he says, Come and see, Christ’s instruction of the disciples is given. First we have the instruction of the disciples by Christ; secondly, their obedience is cited; and thirdly, the time is given.
Dicit ergo primo venite, et videte, scilicet ubi habitem. Sed hic est quaestio. Cum dominus dicat, Matth. VIII, 20, filius hominis non habet ubi caput suum reclinet, quare dicit venite, et videte ubi habito? Respondeo dicendum, secundum Chrysostomum, quod per hoc quod dixit dominus: filius hominis non habet ubi caput suum reclinet, demonstravit quod non habuit proprium habitaculum, non quod in domo alicuius alterius non maneret. Et ad hanc videndum istos invitabat, dicens venite, et videte. 292 First he says, Come and see, that is, where I live. There is a difficulty here: for since the Lord says, “The Son of Man does not have any place to lay his head” (Mt 8:20), why does he tell them to Come and see where he lives? I answer, according to Chrysostom, that when the Lord says, “The Son of Man does not have any place to lay his head,” he showed that he had no home of his own, but not that he did not remain in someone else’s home. And such was the home he invited them to see, saying, Come and see.
Mystice autem dicit venite, et videte quia habitatio Dei, sive gloriae, sive gratiae, agnosci non potest nisi per experientiam: nam verbis explicari non potest; Apoc. II, 17: in calculo nomen novum et cetera. Et ideo dicit venite, et videte. Venite, credendo et operando, et videte, experiendo et intelligendo. In the mystical sense, he says, Come and see, because the dwelling of God, whether of glory or grace, cannot be known except by experience: for it cannot be explained in words: “I will give him a white stone upon which is written a new name, which no one knows but he who receives it” (Rv 2:17). And so he says, Come and see: Come, by believing and working; and see, by experiencing and understanding.
Notandum autem, quod quatuor modis pervenitur ad hanc cognitionem. Primo per bonorum operum actionem: unde dicit venite. Ps. XLI, 3: quando veniam, et apparebo ante faciem domini. Secundo per mentis quietem, seu vacationem; Ps. XLV, 11: vacate, et videte. Tertio per divinae dulcedinis gustationem; Ps. XXXIII, 9: gustate, et videte, quoniam suavis est dominus. Quarto per operationem devotionis; Thren. III, v. 41: levemus corda nostra cum manibus orando et cetera. Et ideo dicit dominus Lc. XXIV, v. 39: palpate, et videte et cetera. 293 It should be noted that we can attain to this knowledge in four ways. First, by doing good works; so he says, Come: “When shall I come and appear before the face of God” (Ps 41:3). Secondly, by the rest or stillness of the mind: “Be still and see” (Ps 45:10). Thirdly, by tasting the divine sweetness: “Taste and see that the I.ord is sweet” O’s 33:9). Fourthly, by acts of devotion: “Let us lift up our hearts and hands in prayer” (Lam 3:41). And so the Lord says: “it is I myself. Feel and see” (Lk 24:39).
Consequenter ponitur discipulorum obedientia, quia statim sequitur venerunt, et viderunt, quia veniendo viderunt, et videntes non deseruerunt, unde dicitur et manserunt ibi die illo quia, ut dicitur infra c. VI, 45, omnis qui audit a patre, et didicit, venit ad me. Qui enim recedunt a Christo, non viderunt eum adhuc, sicut videre oportet. Isti autem qui perfecte credendo, eum viderunt, manserunt ibi die illo; audientes et videntes beatum diem, beatam noctem duxerunt; III Reg. X, 8: beati viri tui, et beati servi tui, qui stant coram te semper. Et ideo, ut dicit Augustinus, aedificemus et nosmetipsi in corde nostro, et faciamus domum quo veniat ille, et doceat nos. 294 Next the obedience of the disciples is mentioned; for immediately they went and saw, because by coming they saw him, and seeing they did not leave him. Thus it says, and they stayed with him the rest of that day, for as stated below (6:45): “Every one who hears the Father, and has learned, comes to me.” For those who leave Christ have not yet seen him as they should. But those who have seen him by perfectly believing stayed with him the rest of that day; hearing and seeing that blessed day, they spent a blessed night: “Happy are your men, and happy are your servants, who always stand before you” (1 Kgs 8:10). And as Augustine says: “Let us also build a dwelling in our heart and fashion a home where he may come and teach us.”
Et dicit die illo, quia nox esse non potest ubi est lumen Christi, ubi est sol iustitiae. And he says, that day, because there can be no night where the light of Christ is present, where there is the Sun of justice.
Tempus autem determinatur consequenter, cum dicit hora autem erat quasi decima. Quod quidem Evangelista determinat, ut, secundum litteram, insinuet commendationem Christi, et discipulorum. Hora enim decima est in occasu diei: ex quo et Christus commendatur, qui tam studiosus erat ad docendum, quod nec propter temporis tarditatem eos docere distulit, sed in hora decima docuit eos; Eccle. XI, 6: mane semina semen tuum, et vespere ne cesset manus tua. 295 The time is given when he says, It was about the tenth hour. The Evangelist mentions this in order that, considering the literal sense, he might give credit to Christ and the disciples. For the tenth hour is near the end of the day. And this praises Christ who was so eager to teach that not even the lateness of the hour induced him to postpone teaching them; but he taught them at the tenth hour. “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not let your hands be idle” (Ecc 11:6).
Similiter etiam commendatur et discipulorum temperantia. Quia etiam hora decima qua consueverunt homines comedisse et esse minus sobrii ad perceptionem sapientiae, ipsi et sobrii et apti erant ad sapientiam audiendam, nec propter cibum, aut vinum impediebantur. Nec mirum, quia discipuli eius fuerant, scilicet Ioannis, cuius potus erat aqua, esca autem locusta et mel silvestre. 296 The moderation of the disciples is also praised, because even at the tenth hour, when men usually have eaten and are less self-possessed for receiving wisdom, they were both self-possessed and prepared to hear wisdom and were not hindered because of food or wine. But this is not unexpected, for they had been disciples of John, whose drink was water and whose food was the locust and wild honey.
Secundum autem Augustinum, per horam decimam lex signatur, quae in decem praeceptis data est. Erat ergo hora decima quando isti venerunt, et manserunt cum Christo, et ab eo erudiuntur, ut impleretur lex per Christum quae a Iudaeis impleri non poterat. Et ideo etiam in ipsa hora vocatus est Rabbi, idest magister. 297 According to Augustine, however, the tenth hour signifies the law, which was given in ten precepts. And so the disciples came to Christ at the tenth hour and remained with him to be taught so that the law might be fulfilled by Christ, since it could not be fulfilled by the Jews. And so at that hour he is called Rabbi, that is, Teacher.
Consequenter cum dicit erat autem Andreas frater Simonis Petri etc. ponitur fructus quem fecit discipulus Ioannis conversus ad Christum. 298 Then (v 40), he sets forth the fruit produced by the disciple of John who was converted to Christ. First, the disciple is described; secondly, the fruit begun by him (v 41); thirdly, the consummation of this fruit by Christ (v 42).
Et super hoc primo describitur discipulus; secundo fructus ab ipso inchoatus, ibi invenit hic primum fratrem suum Simonem; tertio ponitur consummatio fructus facta per Christum, ibi intuitus autem eum Iesus dixit. Describitur autem discipulus primo a nomine, cum dicit erat autem Andreas, idest virilis. Ps. XXX, 25: viriliter agite, et confortetur cor vestrum. Exprimit autem nomen, ut ostendatur eius privilegium: tum quia prior conversus est ad fidem Christi perfecte, tum etiam quia Christum praedicavit: unde sicut Stephanus fuit primus martyr post Christum, ita et Andreas fuit primus Christianus. 299 The disciple is described by name when he says, Andrew, i.e., “manly”. “Act manfully, and let Your heart be strong,” as it says in Psalm 30 (v 25). he mentions his name in order to show his privilege: he was not only the first to be perfectly converted to Christ, but he also preached Christ. So, as Stephen was the first martyr after Christ, so Andrew was the first Christian.
Secundo describitur a cognatione, quia frater Simonis Petri: quia iunior erat. Et hoc quidem est ad commendationem suam, ut qui aetate posterior, fide efficiatur primus. He is described, secondly, by his relationship, that is, as Simon Peter’s brother, for he was the younger. And this is mentioned to commend him, for although younger in age, he became first in faith.
Tertio a disciplina, quia unus ex duobus qui audierant a Ioanne. Et huius quidem nomen describitur ad ostendendum Andreae privilegium quod insignis fuerit. Alterius enim nomen tacetur: aut quia ille alius fuit Ioannes Evangelista, cuius consuetudo est in suo Evangelio cum de eo agitur, nomen suum non exprimere propter humilitatem; aut, secundum Chrysostomum, non fuit aliquis insignis, nec fecit aliquid magnum: unde non fuisset utilitas nomen eius ponere. Sic enim et Lucas, cap. X, nomina septuaginta duorum discipulorum, quos dominus binos misit ante faciem suam, non posuit, quia non erant solemnes personae et insignes, sicut apostoli fuerunt. Aut, secundum Alcuinum, ille discipulus fuit Philippus: et hoc patet, quia statim postquam Evangelista prosecutus est de Andrea, prosequitur de Philippo, dicens: in crastinum autem voluit exire in Galilaeam, et invenit Philippum et cetera. He is described, thirdly, by his discipleship, because he was one of the two who had followed him. His name is mentioned in order to show that Andrew’s privilege was remarkable. For the name of the other disciple is not mentioned: either because it was John the Evangelist himself, who through humility followed the practice in his Gospel of not mentioning his own name when he was involved in some event; or, according to Chrysostom, because the other one was not a notable person, nor had he done anything great, and so there was no need to mention his name. Luke does the same in his Gospel (10:1), where he does not mention the names of the seventy-two disciples sent out by the Lord, because they were not the outstanding and important persons that the apostles were. Or, according to Alcuin, this other disciple was Philip: for the Evangelist, after discussing Andrew, begins at once with Philip, saying: “On the following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and coming upon Philip” (below 1:43).
Quarto commendatur a devotionis studio: unde dicitur et secuti fuerant eum, idest Iesum. Iob XXIII, 11: vestigia eius secutus est pes meus. He is commended, fourthly, for the zeal of his devotion; hence he says that Andrew followed him, i.e., Jesus: “My foot has followed in his steps” (Jb 23:11).
Fructus autem inchoatus per Andream ponitur, cum dicit invenit hic primum Simonem fratrem suum. Et primo insinuat apud quem fructum fecit, scilicet apud fratrem suum, ut commendet suae conversionis perfectionem: sicut enim Petrus dicit in itinerario Clementis, evidens signum perfectae conversionis alicuius est, cum conversus, quanto aliquis sibi est magis coniunctus, tanto magis satagit eum convertere ad Christum. Et ideo Andreas perfecte conversus non detinuit apud seipsum inventum thesaurum, sed festinat et currit cito ad fratrem, traditurus ei bona quae suscepit. Et ideo dicit invenit hic, scilicet Andreas, primum, idest primo adverbialiter, fratrem suum Simonem, quem quaerebat, ut sicut erat sanguine, ita faceret eum germanum fide. Prov. XVIII, 19: frater qui adiuvatur a fratre quasi civitas firma; Apoc. ult., 17: qui audit, dicat, veni. 300 The fruit begun by Andrew is mentioned when he says, The first thing he did was to look for his brother Simon. He first mentions the one for whom he bore fruit, that is, his brother, in order to mark the perfection of his conversion. For as Peter says, in the Itinerary of Clement, the evident sign of a perfect conversion of anyone is that, once converted, the closer one is to him the more he tries to convert him to Christ. And so Andrew, being now perfectly converted, does not keep the treasure he found to himself, but hurries and quickly runs to his brother to share with him the good things he has received. And so he says the first thing he, that is, Andrew, did was to look for his brother Simon, so that related in blood he might make him related in faith: “A brother that is helped by his brother is like a strong city” (Prv 18:19); “Let him who hears say, ‘Come’ “ (Rv 22:17).
Secundo ponit verba quae dicit Andreas invenimus Messiam (quod interpretatur Christus); ubi, secundum Chrysostomum, tacite respondet cuidam quaestioni. Scilicet, si quis eum interrogaret de quo instructi fuissent a Christo, in promptu est responsio, scilicet quod per testimonia Scripturae instruxit eum intantum quod cognosceret eum esse Christum. Et ideo dicit invenimus. Per quod etiam innuit quod diu cum desiderio eum quaesierat; Prov. III, 13: beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam. 301 Secondly, he mentions the words spoken by Andrew, We have found the Messiah (which means the Christ). Here, according to Chrysostom, he is tacitly answering a certain question: namely, that if someone were to ask what they had been instructed about by Christ, they would have the ready answer that through the testimony of the Scriptures he instructed him in such a way that he knew he was the Christ. And so he says, We have found the Messiah. He implies by this that he had previously sought him by desire for a long time: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom” (Prv 3:13).
Messia Hebraice, quod Graece interpretatum est Christus, idest unctus Latine: quia specialiter unctus est oleo invisibili, idest spiritus sancti. Ideo signanter nomine isto manifestat eum: unde in Ps. XLIV, 8 dicitur: unxit te Deus tuus oleo laetitiae prae consortibus, idest prae omnibus sanctis: nam omnes sancti isto oleo unguntur; sed iste singulariter unctus est, et singulariter sanctus. Ideo secundum Chrysostomum, non dicit Messiam simpliciter, sed cum adiectione articuli. “Messiah,” which is Hebrew, is translated as “Christos” in Greek, and in Latin as “Unctus” (anointed), because he was anointed in a special way with invisible oil, the oil of the Holy Spirit. So Andrew explicitly designates him by this title: “Your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows,” i.e., above all the saints. For all the saints are anointed with that oil, but Christ was singularly anointed and is singularly holy. So, as Chrysostom says, he does not simply call him “Messiah,” but the Messiah.
Tertio ponit fructum quem fecit, quia adduxit eum ad Iesum, scilicet Petrum. In quo Petri obedientia commendatur: confestim enim occurrit, in hoc non tardans. Et Andreae devotionem considera: quia duxit eum ad Iesum, non ad se (sciebat enim se infirmum), et ideo eum ad Christum adducit, ut ipse eum instruat; instruens simul per hoc, quod hic debet esse praedicatorum conatus et studium, ut fructus praedicationis et studium non sibi vindicent, seu ad utilitatem et honorem proprium convertant, sed ut adducant ad Iesum, idest ad eius gloriam et honorem referant. II Cor. IV, 5: non enim praedicamus nosmetipsos, sed Iesum Christum. 302 Thirdly, he mentions the fruit he produced, because he brought him, that is, Peter, to Jesus. This gives recognition to Peter’s obedience, for he came at once, without delay. And consider the devotion of Andrew: for he brought him to Jesus and not to himself (for he knew that he himself was weak); and so he leads him to Christ to be instructed by him. This shows us that the efforts and the aim of preachers should not be to win for themselves the fruits of their preaching, i.e., to turn them to their own private benefit and honor, but to bring them to Jesus, i.e., to refer them to his glory and honor: “What we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ,” as is said in 2 Corinthians (4:5).
Consummatio autem huius fructus ponitur cum dicit intuitus autem eum Iesus dixit, et cetera. Ubi Christus, ad fidem divinitatis eum elevare volens, incipit quae divinitatis sunt opera facere, occulta praedicans. Et primo quidem quantum ad occulta praesentiae; unde intuitus eum, idest, statim cum vidit eum virtute divinitatis, consideravit, et dixit ei nomen suum: unde dicit tu es Simon. Nec mirum, quia, ut dicitur I Reg. XVI, v. 7, homines vident ea quae apparent, Deus autem intuetur cor. Congruit autem hoc nomen mysterio. Nam Simon interpretatur obediens; ut insinuet quod obedientia necessaria est ei qui conversus est ad Christum per fidem. Act. V, 32: dat spiritum sanctum obedientibus sibi. 303 The consummation of this fruit is given when he says, Looking at him intently Jesus said. Here Christ, wishing to raise him up to faith in His divinity, begins to perform works of divinity, making know things that are hidden. First of all, things which are hidden in the present: so looking at him, i.e, as soon as Jesus saw him, he considered him by the power of his divinity and called him by name, saying, You are Simon. This is not surprising, for as it is said: “Man sees the appearances, but the Lord sees the heart” (I Sm 16:7). This name is appropriate for the mystery. For “Simon” means “obedient,” to indicate that obedience is necessary for one who has been converted to Christ through faith: “He gives the Holy Spirit to all who obey him” (Acts 5:32).
Secundo vero quantum ad occulta praeterita. Unde dicit filius Ioanna, quia hoc nomine vocatus est pater suus, vel, secundum Matthaeum, filius Iona, cum dicit Simon Bariona. Et utrumque congruit mysterio. Ioanna enim interpretatur gratia, ut insinuet quod homines per gratiam veniunt ad fidem Christi; Eph. II, 5: gratia salvati estis et cetera. Iona vero interpretatur columba, ut insinuet quod per spiritum sanctum, qui datus est nobis, firmamur in amore Dei, ut dicitur Rom. V, 5: caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris. 304 Secondly, he reveals things hidden in the past. Hence he says, son of John, because that was the name of Simon’s father; or he says, “son of Jonah,” as we find in Matthew (16:17), “Simon Bar-Jonah.” And each name is appropriate to this mystery. For “John” means “grace,” to indicate that it is through grace that men come to the faith of Christ: “You are saved by his grace” (Eph 2:5). And “Jonah” means “dove,” to indicate that it is by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us, that we are made strong in our love for God: “The love of God is poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5).
Tertio vero quantum ad occulta futura; unde dicit tu vocaberis Cephas, quod interpretatur Petrus, et in Graeco caput. Et congruit mysterio, ut ille qui debet esse aliorum caput et Christi vicarius, firmitati inhaereret. Matth. XVI, 18: tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam. 305 Thirdly, he reveals things hidden in the future. So he says, you are to be called Cephas (which is translated Peter), and in Greek, “head.” And this is appropriate to this mystery, which is that he who was to be the head of the others and the vicar of Christ should remain firm. As Matthew (16:18) says: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.”
Sed hic est quaestio litteralis. Et primo quare Christus imposuit ei in principio suae conversionis nomen, et non voluit quod a principio nativitatis suae hoc nomine vocaretur? Ad hoc respondetur dupliciter. Secundum Chrysostomum, primo quidem quia nomina divinitus imposita aliquam eminentiam gratiae spiritualis designant. Quando autem Deus confert specialem gratiam alicui, ab ipsa nativitate nomen gratiam illam significans imponitur; sicut patet de Ioanne Baptista, qui ante a Deo est nominatus quam natus, quia fuit sanctificatus in utero matris. Aliquando autem aliter confertur eminentia gratiae specialis tempore procedenti; et talia nomina divinitus imponuntur non a principio nativitatis, sed in ipso processu temporis; sicut patet de Abraham et Sara, quibus nomina mutata sunt quando promissionem multiplicandi germinis acceperunt. Eodem modo et Petrus nominatur divinitus quando ad fidem Christi, et gratiam apostolatus vocatur, et specialiter quia constitutus est princeps apostolorum totius Ecclesiae; quod in aliis apostolis non est factum. 306 There is a question here about the literal meaning. First, why did Christ give Simon a name at the beginning of his conversion, rather than will that he have this name from the time of his birth? Two different answers have been given for this. The first, according to Chrysostom, is that divinely given names indicate a certain eminence in spiritual grace. Now when God confers a special grace upon anyone, the name indicating that grace is given at one’s birth: as in the case of John the Baptist, who was named before he was born, because he had been sanctified in his mother’s womb. But sometimes a special grace is given during the course of one’s life: then such names are divinely given at that time and not at birth: as in the case of Abraham and Sarah, whose names were changed when they received the promise that their posterity would multiply. Likewise, Peter is named in a divine way when he is called to the faith of Christ and to the grace of apostleship, and particularly because he was appointed Prince of the apostles of the entire Church—which was not done with the other apostles.
Secundum Augustinum autem, quia si a principio fuisset nominatus Cephas, non apparuisset mysterium. Et ideo voluit dominus quod tunc nomen haberet, ut mutatione nominis, Ecclesiae mysterium appareret, quae in confessione fidei eius fundata erat. Petrus enim a petra dicitur; petra autem erat Christus. In Petri ergo nomine figurata est Ecclesia, quae supra firmam petram immobilem, idest Christum, aedificata est. But, according to Augustine, if he had been called Cephas from birth, this mystery would not have been apparent. And so the Lord willed that he should have one name at birth, so that by changing his name the mystery of the Church, which was built on his confession of faith, would be apparent. Now “Peter” (Petrus) is derived from “rock” (petra). But the rock. was Christ. Thus, the name “Peter” signifies the Church, which was built upon that solid and immovable rock which is Christ.
Secunda quaestio est utrum hic fuerit impositum hoc nomen Simoni, an in Matthaeo cum dicitur tu es Petrus. Et ad hoc respondet Augustinus dicens, quod istud nomen hoc loco fuit Simoni impositum; sed quod dicit ei dominus in Matth. tu es Petrus etc. non est nominis impositio, sed impositi nominis commemoratio, ut quasi utatur illo nomine tamquam iam imposito. Alii autem dicunt, quod hoc nomen fuit impositum Simoni quando dominus dixit ei tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam. Hic vero non imponit ei hoc nomen, sed praesignat quod sit ei postmodum imponendum. 307 The second question is whether this name was given to Peter at this time, or at the time mentioned by Matthew (16:18). Augustine answers that this name was given to Simon at this time; and at the event reported by Matthew the Lord is not giving this name but reminding him of the name that was given, so that Christ is using this name as already given. But others think that this name was given when the Lord said, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt 16:18); and in this passage in the Gospel of John, Christ is not giving this name, but foretelling what will be given later.
Tertia quaestio est de vocatione Petri et Andreae: quia hic dicitur, quod fuerunt vocati iuxta Iordanem, quia fuerunt discipuli Ioannis; et Matth. IV, 18 dicitur, quod Christus vocavit eos iuxta mare Galilaeae. Et ad hoc dicendum, quod triplex fuit vocatio apostolorum. Prima fuit ad cognitionem, seu familiaritatem, et fidem; et de hac dicitur hic. Secunda fuit in officii praesignatione, de qua habetur Lc. V, 10: ex hoc eris homines capiens. Tertia fuit ad apostolatum, de qua dicitur Matth. IV, 18 s., quae fuit perfecta, quia postea non redierunt ad propria. 308 The third question is about the calling of Peter and Andrew: for here it says that they were called near the Jordan, because they were John’s disciples; but in Matthew (4:18) it says that Christ called them by the Sea of Galilee. The answer to this is that there was a triple calling of the apostles. The first was a call to knowledge or friendship and faith; and this is the one recorded here. The second consisted in the prediction of their office: “From now on you will be catching men” (Lk 5:10). The third call was to their apostleship, which is mentioned by Matthew (4:18). This was the perfect call because after this they were not to return to their own pursuits.

Lectio 16 LECTURE 16
43 τῇ ἐπαύριον ἠθέλησεν ἐξελθεῖν εἰς τὴν γαλιλαίαν, καὶ εὑρίσκει Φίλιππον. καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ἀκολούθει μοι. 44 ἦν δὲ ὁ Φίλιππος ἀπὸ βηθσαϊδά, ἐκ τῆς πόλεως Ἀνδρέου καὶ Πέτρου. 45 εὑρίσκει Φίλιππος τὸν Ναθαναὴλ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, ὃν ἔγραψεν μωϋσῆς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ καὶ οἱ προφῆται εὑρήκαμεν, Ἰησοῦν υἱὸν τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ τὸν ἀπὸ Ναζαρέτ. 46 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ δύναταί τι ἀγαθὸν εἶναι; λέγει αὐτῷ [ὁ] Φίλιππος, ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε. 47 εἶδεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὸν Ναθαναὴλ ἐρχόμενον πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ λέγει περὶ αὐτοῦ, ἴδε ἀληθῶς Ἰσραηλίτης ἐν ᾧ δόλος οὐκ ἔστιν. 48 λέγει αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, πόθεν με γινώσκεις; ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, πρὸ τοῦ σε Φίλιππον φωνῆσαι ὄντα ὑπὸ τὴν συκῆν εἶδόν σε. 49 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, ῥαββί, σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, σὺ βασιλεὺς εἶ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ. 50 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, ὅτι εἶπόν σοι ὅτι εἶδόν σε ὑποκάτω τῆς συκῆς πιστεύεις; μείζω τούτων ὄψῃ. 51 καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὄψεσθε τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνεῳγότα καὶ τοὺς ἀγγέλους τοῦ θεοῦ ἀναβαίνοντας καὶ καταβαίνοντας ἐπὶ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
43 On the following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and coming upon Philip, he said, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip came from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip sought out Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found the one Moses spoke of in the law - the prophets too - Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” 46 “From Nazareth!” Nathanael replied, “What good can come from th1t place?” Philip said, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him: “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile.” 48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied and said, “Before Philip called you, I saw you when you were sitting under the fig tree.” 49 “Rabbi,” said Nathanael, “you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 50 Jesus responded and said, “You believed just because I said to you that I saw you sitting under the fig tree! You will see greater things than this.” 51 He went on to say, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Posito fructu qui provenit ex praedicatione Ioannis, et eius discipuli, consequenter Evangelista manifestat fructum qui provenit ex praedicatione Christi, et primo agit de conversione unius discipuli ad praedicationem Christi; secundo de conversione aliorum ad praedicationem discipuli ad Christum conversi, ibi invenit Philippus Nathanaelem et cetera. Circa primum tria facit. Primo ponitur discipuli vocandi occasio; secundo subditur ipsius discipuli vocatio; tertio describitur vocati discipuli conditio, ibi erat autem Philippus a Bethsaida. 309 After having shown the fruit produced by John’s preaching and that of his disciples, the Evangelist now shows the fruit obtained from the preaching of Christ. First, he deals with the conversion of one disciple as the result of Christ’s preaching. Secondly, the conversion of others due to the preaching of the disciple just converted to Christ (v 45). As to the first he does three things: first, the occasion when the disciple is called is given; secondly, his calling is described; thirdly, his situation.
Occasio quidem vocationis fuit exitus Iesu a Iudaea. Et ideo dicitur in crastinum autem voluit exire, scilicet Iesus a Iudaea, in Galilaeam, et invenit Philippum. Ratio autem exitus Iesu in Galilaeam assignatur triplex: duae videlicet litterales, quarum una est quia postquam baptizatus fuerat a Ioanne, volens honorem deferre Baptistae, exivit in Galilaeam, a Iudaea recedens, ne sua praesentia offuscaret, et minueret Ioannis magisterium, dum adhuc statum haberet: docens nos honore invicem praevenire, ut dicitur Rom. XII, 10. 310 The occasion of his calling was the departure of Jesus from Judea. So he says, On the following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and coming upon Philip. There are three reasons why Jesus left for Galilee, two of which are literal. One of these is that after being baptized by John and desiring to shed honor on the Baptist, he left Judea for Galilee so that his presence would not obscure and lessen John’s teaching authority (while he still retained that state); and this teaches us to show honor to one another, as is said in Romans (12:10).
Secunda ratio est quia in Galilaea non sunt insignes personae, infra VII, 52: a Galilaea propheta non surgit etc. et ideo voluit exire illuc Iesus, et eligere inde principes orbis terrae, qui sunt prophetis maiores, ut per hoc suam virtutem ostendat. Ps. CVI, 35: posuit desertum in stagna aquarum. The second reason is that there are no distinguished persons in Galilee: “No prophet is to rise from Galilee” (below 7:52). And so, to show the greatness of his power, Christ wished to go there and choose there the princes of the earth, who are greater than the prophets: “He has turned the desert into pools of water,” as we read in Psalm 106 (v 35).
Tertia ratio est mystica: quia Galilaea interpretatur transmigratio. Voluit ergo exire a Iudaea in Galilaeam ut insinuaret quod in crastinum, idest in die gratiae, scilicet Evangelii, exiret a Iudaea in Galilaeam, idest ad gentes salvandas; infra VII, 35: numquid hic iturus est in dispersionem gentium? The third reason is mystical: for “Galilee” means “passage.” So Christ desired to go from Judea into Galilee in order to indicate that on “on the following day,” i.e., on the day of grace, that is, the day of the Good News, he would pass from Judea into Galilee, i.e., to save the Gentiles: “Is he going to go to those who are dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?” (below 7:35).
Vocatio ergo discipuli est ad sequendum; et ideo dicit invenit Philippum, et dicit ei: sequere me. Et nota, quod aliquando homo invenit Deum, sed quasi ignotum; Prov. VIII, 35: qui invenerit me, inveniet vitam, et hauriet salutem a domino. Aliquando Deus invenit hominem, sed ut eum manifestet, et magnificet; Ps. LXXXVIII, 21: inveni David servum meum. Et sic Christus invenit Philippum, ut eum ad fidem et gratiam vocet: et ideo statim dicit sequere me. 311 A disciple’s vocation is to follow: hence he says that after Christ found Philip he said, Follow me. Note that sometimes man finds God, but without knowing it, as it were: “He who finds me will find life, and will have salvation from the Lord” (Prv 8:35). And at other times God finds the man, in order to bestow honor and greatness upon him: “I have found David, my servant” (Ps 88:2 1). Christ found Philip in this way, that is, to call him to the faith and to grace. And so he says at once, Follow me.
Quaestio est quare Iesus a principio non vocavit discipulos. Ad quod respondet Chrysostomus, quod noluit a principio aliquem vocare, antequam aliquis spontaneus ei adhaereret per praedicationem Ioannis: quia homines magis exemplo trahuntur quam verbis Ex. XXVI, cortina trahit cortinam. 312 There is a question here: Why did not Jesus call his disciples at the very beginning? Chrysostom answers that he did not wish to call anyone before someone clung to him spontaneoulsy because of John’s preaching, for men are drawn by example more than by words.
Quaeritur etiam quare Philippus statim ad unum verbum secutus est Christum, cum Andreas eum secutus fuerit audiens a Ioanne de Christo, Petrus autem ab Andrea. 313 One might also ask why Philip followed Christ immediately after only a word, while Andrew followed Christ after hearing about him from John, and Peter after hearing from Andrew.
Ad hoc est triplex responsio. Una, quia Philippus iam instructus erat a Ioanne; quia, secundum unam expositionem supra positam, ille alius, qui cum Andrea secutus est Christum, erat Philippus. Alia ratio est quia vox Christi virtutem quamdam habebat ut non solum exterius, sed etiam interius cor moveret; Ier. XXIII, 29: verba mea sunt quasi ignis. Non enim vox Christi solum exterioribus dicebatur, sed fidelium interiora ad eius inflammabat amorem. Tertio, quia forte Philippus iam de Christo fuerat instructus ab Andrea et Petro, quia ex eadem villa erant; quod Evangelista videtur innuere per hoc quod subdit erat autem Philippus a Bethsaida civitate Andreae et Petri. Three answers can be given. One is that Philip had already been instructed by John: for according to one of the explanations given above, Philip was that other disciple who followed Christ along with Andrew. Another is that Christ’s voice had power not only to act on one’s hearing from without, but also on the heart from within: “My words are like fire” (Jer 23:29). For the voice of Christ was spoken not only to the exterior, but it enkindled the interior of the faithful to love him. The third answer is that Philip. had perhaps already been instructed about Christ by Andrew and Peter, since they were from the same town. In fact, this is what the Evangelist seems to imply by adding, Now Philip came from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter.
In quo discipuli vocati conditio exprimitur: quia erat a Bethsaida. Et sic congruit mysterio. Bethsaida enim domus venatorum interpretatur: ut ostendat quales tunc animo erant Philippus, Petrus et Andreas, et quod de domo venatorum, congrue venatores ad capiendas animas ad vitam vocaret. Ier. XVI, 16: mittam meos venatores et cetera. 314 This gives us the situation of the disciples he called: for they were from Bethsaida. And this is appropriate to this mystery. For “Bethsaida” means “house of hunters,” to show the attitude of Philip, Peter and Andrew at that time, and because it was fitting to call, from the house of hunters, hunters who were to capture souls for life: “I will send my hunters” (Jer 16:16).
Consequenter ponitur fructus discipuli ad Christum conversi, et primo ponitur inchoatio fructus facta a discipulo; secundo consummatio facta per Christum, ibi vidit Iesus Nathanaelem. Circa primum tria facit. Primo ponitur Annuntiatio Philippi; secundo responsio Nathanaelis, ibi et dixit Nathanael; tertio consequens admonitio Philippi, ibi dicit ei Philippus. 315 Now the fruit produced by the disciple who was converted to Christ is given. First, the beginning of the fruit, coming from this disciple. Secondly, its consummation by Christ (v 47). As to the first, he does three things: first, the statement of Philip is given; secondly, Nathanael’s response; and thirdly, Philip’s ensuing advice.
Circa primum attende, quod sicut Andreas perfecte conversus studuit adducere fratrem suum ad Christum, ita et Philippus fratrem suum Nathanaelem. Et ideo dicit invenit Philippus Nathanaelem, quem forte quaerebat, sicut Andreas Petrum quaesierat: quod fuit signum perfectae conversionis. Et dixit ei. Nathanael interpretatur donum Dei; et quod aliquis ad Christum convertatur, ex dono Dei est. 316 As to the first, note that just as Andrew, after having been perfectly converted, was eager to lead his brother to Christ, so too Philip with regard to his brother, Nathanael. And so he says that Philip found Nathanael, whom he probably looked for as Andrew did for Peter; and this was a sign of a perfect conversion. The word “Nathanael” means “gift of God”; and it is God’s gift if anyone is converted to Christ.
Annuntiat autem ei omnes prophetias et legem complementum habere, et desideria sanctorum patrum non esse frustrata, sed esse verificata, et quod eorum desideriis erat promissum a Deo, iam adimpletum esse. Quem scripsit Moyses in lege et prophetis, invenimus Iesum; per quod datur intelligi quod Nathanael erat satis peritus in lege, et quod etiam Philippus iam instructus de Christo, voluit Nathanaelem ex sibi notis, scilicet ex lege et prophetis, inducere ad Christum, et ideo dicit quem scripsit Moyses et cetera. Moyses enim de Christo scripsit; infra V, 46: si crederetis Moysi, crederetis forsitan et mihi: de me enim ille scripsit. Similiter prophetae de Christo scripserunt; Act. c. X, 43: huic omnes prophetae testimonium perhibent. He tells him that all the prophecies and the law have been fulfilled, and that the desires of their holy forefathers are not in vain, but have been guaranteed, and that what God has promised was now accomplished. We have found the one Moses spoke of in the law—the prophets too—Jesus. We understand by this that Nathanael was fairly learned in the law, and that Philip, now having learned about Christ, wished to lead Nathanael to Christ through the things he himself knew, that is, from the law and the prophets. So he says, the one Moses spoke of in the law. For Moses wrote of Christ: “If you believed Moses, you would perhaps believe me, for he wrote of me” (below 5:46). The prophets too wrote of Christ: “All the prophets bear witness to him” (Acts 10:43).
Etiam attende, quod tria dicit de Christo Philippus, legi et prophetis consona. Primo quidem nomen; unde dixit invenimus Iesum. Et hoc consonat prophetis: Is. XIX, v. 20: mittam eis salvatorem etc.; Hab. ult., v. 18: exultabo in Deo Iesu meo. 317 Note that Philip says three things about Christ that are in agreement with the law and the prophets. First, the name: for he says, We have found Jesus. And this agrees with the prophets: “I will send them a Savior” (Is 19:20); “1 will rejoice in God, my Jesus” (Hb 3:18).
Secundo vero genus, unde duxit originem humanam cum dicit filium Ioseph, scilicet qui erat de domo David et familia. Et quamvis ex eo Christus originem non duxerit, tamen ex virgine duxit, quae erat de eadem progenie cum Ioseph. Vocat autem filium Ioseph, quia eius filius aestimabatur esse, cui scilicet desponsata erat mater eius. Unde dicitur Lc. c. III, 23: ut putabatur filius Ioseph. Nec mirum, si Philippus vocabat eum filium Ioseph, cum et mater eius divinae incarnationis conscia, ipsum eius filium diceret; Lc. II, 48, pater tuus, et ego dolentes quaerebamus te. Et si quidem aliquis filius alicuius vocatur, quia nutritur ab ipso, Ioseph multo amplius pater Iesu dici poterat, licet secundum carnem pater non esset: quia et eum nutriverat, et sponsus matris virginis erat. Dicitur autem hic a Philippo non tamquam de commixtione Ioseph et virginis natus esset, sed quia sciebat Christum de generatione David nasciturum, de cuius domo et familia erat Ioseph, cui desponsata erat Maria. Et hoc etiam consonat prophetis: Ierem. XXIII, 5: suscitabo David germen iustum et cetera. Secondly, the family from which Christ took his human origin, when he says, son of Joseph, i.e., who was of the house and family of David. And although Jesus did not derive his origin from him, yet he did derive it from the Virgin, who was of the same line as Joseph. He calls him the son of Joseph, because Jesus was considered to be the son of the one to whom his mother was married. So it is said: “the son of Joseph (as was supposed)” (Lk 3:23). Nor is it strange that Philip called him the son of Joseph, since his own mother, who was aware of his divine incarnation, called him his son: “Your father and I have been looking for you in sorrow” (Lk 2:48). Indeed, if one is called the son of another because he is supported by him, this is more reason why Joseph should be called the father of Jesus, even though he was not so according to the flesh: for he not only supported him, but was the husband of his virgin mother. However, Philip calls him the son of Joseph (not as though he was born from the union of Joseph and the Virgin) because he knew that Christ would be born from the line of David; and this was the house and family of Joseph, to whom Mary was married. And this also is in agreement with the prophets: “I will raise up a just branch for David” (Jer 23:5).
Tertio commemorat patriam, dicens a Nazareth: non quia in ea natus esset, immo in Bethlehem, sed quia in ea erat nutritus. Quia enim nativitas eius multis erat incognita, locus autem ubi nutritus erat, cognitus erat multis, ideo Philippus Bethlehem tacuit, et posuit Nazareth. Et hoc quidem consonat dictis prophetarum; nam, Is. XI, 1: egredietur virga de radice Iesse, et flos, sive Nazaraeus, secundum aliam litteram, de radice eius ascendet. Thirdly, he mentions his native land, saying, from Nazareth; not because he had been born there, but because he was brought up there; but he had been born in Bethlehem. Philip omits to mention Bethlehem but not Nazareth because, while the birth of Christ was not known to many, the place where he was brought up was. And this also agrees with the prophets: “A shoot will arise from the root of Jesse, and a flower (or Nazarene, according to another version) will rise up from his roots” (Is I I: I).
Consequenter cum dicit et dixit ei Nathanael etc. ponitur responsio Nathanaelis: quod quidem potest legi et assertive et interrogative; et utroque modo eiusmodi responsio congruit verbis Philippi. Si enim, secundum quod Augustinus vult, legatur assertive, est sensus: a Nazareth potest aliquid boni esse. Idest, a civitate, tanti nominis, potest esse quod aliquid summae gratiae nobis oriatur, seu aliquis doctor eximius, qui florem virtutum et munditiam sanctitatis nobis praedicet. Nazareth enim flos interpretatur. Ex quo datur intelligi quod Nathanael doctissimus in lege, scrutatus Scripturas, praenoscebat quod de Nazareth expectandus esset salvator, quod non facile alii Scribae et Pharisaei noverant; et ideo, cum Philippus diceret invenimus Iesum a Nazareth, erectus in spem, respondit: vere a Nazareth potest esse et cetera. 318 Then when he says, Nathanael replied, the answer of Nathanael is given. His answer can be interpreted as an assertion or as a question; and in either way it is suitable to Philip’s affirmation. If it is taken as an assertion, as Augustine does, the meaning is: “Some good can come from Nazareth.” In other words, from a city with that name it is possible that there come forth to us some very excellent grace or some outstanding teacher to preach to us about the flower of the virtues and the purity of sanctity; for “Nazareth” means “flower.” We can understand from this that Nathanael, being quite learned in the law and a student of the Scriptures, knew that the Savior was expected to come from Nazareth—something that was not so clear even to the Scribes and Pharisees. And so when Philip said, We have found Jesus from Nazareth, his hopes were lifted and he answered: “Indeed, some good can come from Nazareth.”
Si vero legatur, secundum Chrysostomum, interrogative, tunc est sensus: a Nazareth potest aliquid boni esse? Quasi dicat: omnia alia quae dicis credibilia videntur esse, quia et nomen et genus prophetis consonat, sed hoc quod dicis a Nazareth, non videtur possibile. Nathanael enim habuerat per Scripturas, quod a Bethlehem oportet Christum venire, secundum illud Matth. II, 6: et tu, Bethlehem terra Iuda, nequaquam minima es in principibus Iuda: ex te enim exiet dux qui regat populum meum Israel. Et ideo, non inveniens convenire enunciationem Philippi cum prophetica praedicatione, prudenter et mansuete de veritate dicti interrogat a Nazareth potest aliquid boni esse? But if we take his answer as a question, as Chrysostom does, then the sense is: From Nazareth! What good can come from that place? As if to say: Everything else you say seems credible, because his name and his lineage are consistent with the prophecies, but your statement that he is from Nazareth does not seem possible. For Nathanael understood from the Scriptures that the Christ was to come from Bethlehem, according to: “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of you a ruler will come forth, who will rule my people Israel,” as we read in Matthew (2:6). And so, not finding Philip’s statement in agreement with the prophecy, he prudently and moderately inquires about its truth, What good can come from that place?
Consequenter ponitur admonitio Philippi: dixit ei Philippus: veni et vide; quae quidem admonitio utrique responsioni Nathanaelis convenit. Assertive quidem, ut dicatur: tu dicis quod a Nazareth potest aliquid boni esse, sed ego dico, quod illud bonum quod tibi annuntio, tantum et tam magnificum est quod ego exprimere non valeo; et ideo veni, et vide. Interrogative autem legitur sic. Tu admirando dicis: a Nazareth potest aliquid boni esse? Reputans hoc esse impossibile secundum Scripturas; sed si experiri volueris quae ego expertus sum, intelliges vera esse quae dico; et ideo veni, et vide. 319 Then Philip’s advice is given, Come and see. And this advice suits either interpretation of Nathanael’s answer. To the assertive interpretation it is as though he says: You say that something good can come from Nazareth, but I say that the good I state to you is of such a nature and so marvelous that I am unable to express it in words, so Come and see. To the interpretation that makes it a question, it as as though he says: You wonder and say: What good can come from that place?, thinking that this is impossible according to the Scriptures. But if you are willing to experience what I experienced, you will understand that what I say is true, so Come and see.
Trahit quidem Philippus Nathanaelem ad Christum, eius interrogationibus non fractus, qui scit de reliquo eum non contradicturum, si verba et doctrinam Christi gustaverit: et in hoc Philippus Christum secutus est, qui superius interrogantibus eum de habitaculo, respondit: venite, et videte. Ps. XXXIII, 6: accedite ad eum, et illuminamini. Then, not discouraged by his questions, Philip brings Nathanael to Christ. He knew that he would no longer argue with him if he tasted the words and teaching of Christ. And in this, Philip was imitating Christ who earlier answered those who had asked about the place where he lived: “Come and see... “Come to him, and be enlightened” (Ps 33:6).
Consequenter cum dicit vidit Iesus Nathanaelem, ponitur consummatio fructus per Christum. Sciendum autem, quod aliqui dupliciter convertuntur ad Christum: quidam per miracula visa, et experta in se, sive in aliis; quidam vero per spirationes internas, et per prophetiam et praenoscentiam occultorum futurorum. Sed efficacior est modus per prophetias et praenoscentiam futurorum converti, quam per miracula. Ipsi enim Daemones, et aliqui homines eorum auxilio, aliqua mira praetendere possunt: sed futura praedicere solius divinae virtutis opus est; Is. XLI, 23: ventura quoque annuntiate, et dicemus quod dii estis; I Cor. c. XIV, 22: prophetiae datae sunt fidelibus. Et inde est quod dominus non per miracula, sed per praenuntiationem occultorum Nathanaelem ad fidem trahit; et ideo dicit de eo ecce vere Israelita, in quo dolus non est. 320 Then when he says, When Jesus saw Nathanael, the consummation of this fruit by Christ is described. We should note that there are two ways in which men are converted to Christ: some by miracles they have seen and things experienced in themselves or in others; others are converted through internal insights, through prophecy and the foreknowledge of what is hidden in the future. The second way is more efficacious than the first: for devils and certain men who receive their help can simulate marvels; but to predict the future can only be done by divine power. “Tell us what is to come, and we will say that you are gods” (Is 41:23); “Prophecies are for those who believe.” And so our Lord draws Nathanael to the faith not by miracles but by making known things which are hidden. And so he says of him, Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile.
Ubi tria occulta ei insinuat, scilicet occulta praesentia, quae sunt in corde, praeterita facta, et futura caelestia: quae quidem tria scire, divinum est, non humanum opus. 321 Christ mentions three hidden matters: things hidden in the present, in the heart; past facts; and future heavenly matters. To know these three things is not a human but a divine achievement.
Occulta quidem praesentia insinuat ei, cum dicit ecce vere Israelita, in quo dolus non est: ubi quidem primo ponitur Christi praenuntiatio; secundo vero Nathanaelis inquisitio, ibi unde me nosti? He mentions things hidden in the present when he says, Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile. Here we have, first, the prior revelation of Christ; secondly, Nathanael’s question, How do you know me?
Dicit ergo circa primum vidit Iesus Nathanaelem venientem ad se, quasi dicat: antequam ad ipsum perveniret, dixit de eo: ecce vere Israelita et cetera. Dixit autem hoc de eo antequam ad ipsum perveniret, quia si dixisset hoc postquam ad Iesum pervenisset, potuisset credere Nathanael quod hoc Iesus audivisset a Philippo. 322 First he says, When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him. As if to say: Before Nathanael reached him, Jesus said, Here is a true Israelite. He said this about him before he came to him, because had he said it after he came, Nathanael might have believed that Jesus had heard it from Philip.
Dixit autem ecce vere Israelita, in quo dolus non est: Israel autem duas interpretationes habet. Uno enim modo interpretatur rectissimus; Is. XLIV, 2: noli timere, serve meus rectissime, quem elegi, ubi dicit Glossa, quod Israel interpretatur rectissimus. Alio modo Israel interpretatur vir videns Deum. Et secundum utrumque, Nathanael est vere Israelita: quia enim ille dicitur rectus in quo non est dolus, ideo dicitur vere Israelita, in quo dolus non est; quasi dicat: vere repraesentas genus tuum, quia tu es rectus et sine dolo. Quia vero per munditiam et simplicitatem homo Deum videt, ideo dixit vere Israelita; idest, tu es vir vere videns Deum, quia tu es simplex et sine dolo. Christ said, Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile. Now “Israel” has two meanings. One of these, as the Gloss says, is “most righteous”.—“Do not fear, my most righteous servant, whom I have chosen” (Is 44:2). Its second meaning is “the man who sees God.” And according to each meaning Nathanael is a true Israelite. For since one in whom there is no guile is called righteous, Nathanael is said to be a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile. As if to say: You truly represent your race because you are righteous and without guile. Further, because man sees God through cleanness of heart and simplicity, Christ said, a true Israelite, i.e., you are a man who truly sees God because you are simple and without guile.
Dixit autem in quo dolus non est, ne credatur quod malitiose dixerit: a Nazareth potest aliquid boni esse? Quasi interrogans. Further, he said, in whom there is no guile, so that we do not think that it was with malice that Nathanael asked: What good can come from that place?
Augustinus autem aliter exponit. Manifestum est enim quod omnes sub peccato nascuntur. Illi ergo dicuntur dolosi qui peccatum habentes in corde, exterius fingunt se iustos; qui vero peccator est, et se peccatorem confitetur, non est dolosus. Dixit ergo ecce vere Israelita, in quo dolus non est, non quod peccatum non haberet, non quod illi medicus necessarius non esset, quia nemo sic natus est ut nullo medico indigeat; sed in eo confessionem peccati laudavit. 323 Augustine has a different explanation of this passage. It is clear that all are born under sin. Now those who have sin in their hearts but outwardly pretend to be just are called guileful. But a sinner who admits that he is a sinner is not guileful. So Christ said, Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile, not because Nathanael was without sin, or because he had no need of a physician, for no one is born in such a way as not to need a physician; but he was praised by Christ because he admitted his sins.
Consequenter cum dicit unde me nosti? Ponitur Nathanaelis inquisitio. Admirans enim Nathanael virtutem Dei in occultorum manifestatione, quia hoc solius Dei est: Ier. XVII, 9, pravum est cor hominis, et inscrutabile, et quis cognoscet illud? Ego dominus scrutans cor et probans renes; et I Reg. XVI, 7, homines vident ea quae parent, Deus autem intuetur cor, ideo quaerit unde me nosti? In quo commendatur Nathanaelis humilitas: quia licet laudaretur, non est elatus; sed laudem propriam suspectam habuit: contra quod dicitur Is. III, 12: popule meus, qui beatum te dicunt, ipsi te decipiunt. 324 Then when he says, How do you know me?, we have Nathanael’s question. For Nathanael, in wonder at the divine power in this revelation of what is hidden, because this can only be from God—“The heart is depraved and inscrutable, and who is able to know it? I the Lord search the heart and probe the loins” (Jer 17:9); “Man sees the appearances, but the Lord sees the heart” (I Sin 16:7)—asks, How do you know me? Here we can recognize Nathanael’s humility, because, although he had been praised, he did not become elated, but held this praise of himself suspect. “My people, who call you blessed, they are deceiving you” (Is 3:12).
Praeterita vero absentia insinuat, cum dicit priusquam te Philippus vocaret, cum esses sub ficu, vidi te, ubi primo ponitur denuntiatio Christi; secundo confessio Nathanaelis, ibi respondit et Nathanael, et ait: Rabbi, tu es filius Dei. 325 Then he touches on matters in the past, saying, Before Philip called you, I saw you when you were sitting under the fig tree. First we have the statement of Christ; secondly, the confession of Nathanael.
Circa primum sciendum est, quod Nathanael posset habere duplicem suspicionem de Christo: unam quod dixisset Christus praemissa, volens ei blandiri et ad amicitiam suam trahere; aliam quod ea quae dixit supra, ab alio cognovisset. Ut ergo suspicionem auferat, et ad altiora erigat, illa occulta manifestat quae nullus nisi divinitus scire potuisset, ea videlicet quae statim circa ipsum Nathanaelem contigerant: et hoc est quod dicit priusquam te Philippus vocaret, cum esses sub ficu, vidi te. Ad litteram enim, sub arbore fici fuerat Nathanael, cum a Philippo vocaretur: quod Christus virtute divinitatis coniecerat, quia, ut dicitur Eccli. XXIII, v. 28, oculi domini multo lucidiores super solem. 326 As to the first, we should note that Nathanael might have had two misgivings about Christ. One, that Christ said this in order to win his friendship by flattery; the other, that Christ had learned what he knew from others. So, to remove Nathanael’s suspicions and raise him to higher things, Christ reveals certain hidden matters that no one could know except in a divine way, that is, things that related only to Nathanael. He refers to these when he says, Before Philip called you, I saw you when you were sitting under the fig tree. In the literal sense, this means that Nathanael was under a fig tree when he was called by Philip—which Christ knew by divine power, for “The eyes of the Lord are far brighter than the sun” (Sir 23:28).
Mystice autem per ficum designatur peccatum: tum quia invenimus arborem fici maledictam folia sola habentem, et non fructum, Matth. XXI, 19 quod factum est in figuram peccati; tum quia Adam et Eva cum peccassent, de foliis ficus perizomata fecerunt. Dicit ergo cum esses sub ficu, idest, sub umbra peccati antequam ad gratiam vocatus esses, ego vidi te, scilicet oculo misericordiae: nam ipsa Dei praedestinatio oculo pietatis respicit praedestinatos sub peccatis viventes; Eph. I, 4: elegit nos ante mundi constitutionem et cetera. Et de isto oculo loquitur hic. Vidi te, praedestinando scilicet ab aeterno. In the mystical sense, the fig tree signifies sin: both because we find a fig tree, bearing only leaves but no fruit, being cursed, as a symbol of sin (Mt 11:19); and because Adam and Eve, after they had sinned, made clothes from fig leaves. So he says here, when you were sitting under the fig tree, i.e., under the shadow of sin, before you were called to grace, I saw you, with the eye of mercy; for God’s predestination looks upon the predestined, who are living under sin, with an eye of pity, for as Ephesians (1:4) says, “ He chose us before the foundation of the world.” And he speaks of this eye here: I saw you, by predestining you from eternity.
Vel, secundum Gregorium, cum esses sub ficu, idest sub umbra legis, vidi te. Hebr. X, v. 1: umbram habens lex futurorum bonorum et cetera. Or, the meaning is, according to Gregory: I saw you when you were sitting under the fig tree, i.e., under the shadow of the law. “The law has only a shadow of the good things to come” (Heb 10:1).
Statim autem Nathanael ad hoc conversus, et virtutem divinitatis in Christo cognoscens, in vocem confessionis et laudem prorumpit, dicens Rabbi, tu es filius Dei. Ubi tria considerat de Christo, scilicet plenitudinem scientiae, cum dicit Rabbi, quod interpretatur magister; ac si dicat, perfectus es in scientia. Iam praesentiebat quod dicitur Matth. XXIII, 10: magister vester unus est, Christus. Secundo excellentiam singularis gratiae, cum dicit tu es filius Dei. Nam quod homo sit filius Dei per adoptionem, non est nisi gratiae; et etiam esse filium Dei per unionem, quod est proprium homini Christo, per gratiam est: quia non ex aliquibus praecedentibus meritis, sed per gratiam unionis homo ille est filius Dei. Tertio vero immensitatem potentiae, cum dicit tu es rex Israel, idest expectatus ab Israel in regem et defensorem; Dan. VII, 14: potestas eius, potestas aeterna et cetera. 327 Hearing this, Nathanael is immediately converted, and, seeing the power of the divinity in Christ, breaks out in words of conversion and praise, saying, Rabbi, you are the Son of God. Here he considers three things about Christ. First, the fullness of his knowledge, when he says, Rabbi, which is translated as Teacher. As if to say: You are perfect in knowledge. For he had already realized what is said in Matthew (23:10): “You have one Teacher, the Christ.” Secondly, the excellence of his singular grace, when he says, you are the Son of God. For it is due to grace alone that one becomes a son of God by adoption. And it is also through grace that one is a son of God through union; and this is exclusive to the man Christ, because that man is the Son of God not due to any preceding merit, but through the grace of union. Thirdly, he considers the greatness of his power when he says, you are the King of Israel, i.e., awaited by Israel as its king and defender: “His power is everlasting” (Dn 7:14).
Sed circa hoc insurgit quaestio, secundum Chrysostomum. Cum Petrus, qui post multa miracula, post magnam doctrinam confessus fuit quod hic confitetur Nathanael de Christo, tu es filius Dei, meruit beatificari, dicente domino: beatus es, Simon Bariona etc., cur et Nathanael, qui simile dixerat ante visa miracula et perceptam doctrinam, beatificatus non fuit? Et ad hoc respondet Chrysostomus, quod huius causa est, quia licet eadem verba Nathanael et Petrus protulerint, non tamen fuit eadem intentio utriusque. Petrus quidem confessus fuit, Christum esse filium Dei verum per naturam, ut scilicet sic esset homo quod tamen esset verus Deus; hic autem confessus est esse filium Dei per adoptionem, secundum illud Ps. LXXXI, 6: ego dixi: dii estis, et filii excelsi omnes. Et hoc patet per verba sequentia. Si enim intellexisset eum esse filium Dei per naturam, non dixisset, tu es rex Israel solum, sed totius mundi. Hoc etiam patet, quia ad fidem Petri Christus nihil addidit, quasi perfectam existentem, sed Ecclesiam dixit se fabricaturum esse in confessione illius. Sed Nathanaelem, quasi maiori parte suae confessionis deficiente, elevat ad maiora, scilicet ad cognitionem divinitatis suae. 328 A question comes up at this point, according to Chrysostom. For since Peter, who after many miracles and much teaching, confessed what Nathanael confesses here about Christ, that is, you are the Son of God, merited a blessing, as the Lord said: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona” (Mt 16:17), why not the same for Nathanael, who said the same thing before seeing any miracles or receiving any teaching? Chrysostom answers that the reason for this is that even though Nathanael and Peter spoke the same words, the meaning of the two was not the same. For Peter acknowledged that Christ was the true Son of God by nature, i.e., he was man, and yet truly God; but Nathanael acknowledged that Christ was the Son of God by means of adoption, in the sense of, “I said: You are gods, and all of you the sons of the Most High”(Ps 81:6). This is clear from what Nathanael said next: for if he had understood that Christ was the Son of God by nature, he would not have said, you are the King of Israel, but “of the whole world.” It is also clear from the fact that Christ added nothing to the faith of Peter, since it was perfect, but stated that he would build the Church on that profession. But he raises Nathanael to greater things, since the greater part of his profession was deficient; to greater things, i.e., to a knowledge of his divinity.
Unde dixit maius his videbis. Ubi notatur tertium, scilicet insinuatio futurorum, quasi dicat: quia dixi tibi praeterita, credis me esse filium Dei per adoptionem et regem Israel tantum, sed ducam te ad maiorem cognitionem, ut scilicet credas me filium Dei naturalem et regem omnium saeculorum. Et ideo sequitur amen, amen dico vobis, videbitis caelum apertum, et Angelos Dei ascendentes et descendentes super filium hominis, ubi, secundum Chrysostomum, vult probare dominus quod sit verus Dei filius, et Deus. Angelorum enim est proprium ministrare, et subiici, Ps. CII: benedicite domino, omnes Angeli eius, ministri eius, qui facitis voluntatem eius. Cum ergo videbitis quod Angeli administrabunt mihi, certum erit vobis quod sum verus filius Dei. Hebr. c. I, 6: cum introducit primogenitum in orbem terrae, dicit: et adorent eum omnes Angeli Dei. 329 And so he said, You will see greater things than this. Here we have, thirdly, an allusion to the future. As if to say: Because I have revealed the past to you, you believe that I am the Son of God only by adoption, and the King of Israel; but I will bring you to greater knowledge, so that you may believe that I am the natural Son of God, and the King of all ages. And accordingly he says, Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. By this, according to Chrysostom, the Lord wishes to prove that he is the true Son of God, and God. For the peculiar task of angels is to minister and be subject: “Bless the Lord, all of you, his angels, his ministers, who do his will” (Ps 102:20). So when you see angels minister to me, you will be certain that I am the true Son of God. “When he leads his First-Begotten into the world, he says: ‘Let all the angels of God adore him’” (Heb 1:6).
Sed quando viderunt hoc apostoli? Viderunt, inquam, in passione, quando Angelus affuit illi, confortans eum, Lc. XXII, 43. Item in resurrectione, quando apostoli invenerunt duos Angelos stantes supra sepulcrum. Similiter in ascensione, quando dixerunt apostolis, Act. I, 11: viri Galilaei, quid admiramini aspicientes in caelum? Hic Iesus qui assumptus est a vobis in caelum, sic veniet quemadmodum vidistis eum euntem in caelum. 330 When did the apostles see this? They saw it, I say, during the passion, when an angel stood by to comfort Christ (Lk 22:13); again, at the resurrection, when the apostles found two angels who were standing over the tomb. Again, at the ascension, when the angels said to the apostles: “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up to heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
Et quia de praeteritis ei vera iam dixerat, magis ei credibile fuit quod praenuntiat de futuro, cum dicit videbitis. Evidens enim argumentum est vera dicere de futuris qui de occultis praeteritis manifestaverat veritatem. Dicit autem super filium hominis Angelos ascendentes et descendentes, quia secundum carnem mortalem paulo minoratus est ab Angelis: et intantum Angeli ascendunt et descendunt super eum; sed secundum quod est filius Dei, ipse super Angelos est, ut dictum est. 331 Because Christ spoke the truth about the past, it was easier for Nathanael to believe what he foretells about the future, saying, you will see. For one who has revealed the truth about things hidden in the past, has an evident argument that what he is saying about the future is true. He says, the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man, because, in his mortal flesh, he was a little less than the angels; and from this point of view, angels ascend and descend upon him. But insofar as he is the Son of God, he is above the angels, as was said.
Secundum Augustinum autem, pulchre in verbis praedictis suam divinitatem manifestat. Legitur enim Gen. XXVIII, 12 quod Iacob vidit scalam, et Angelos ascendentes et descendentes. Et Iacob intelligens quid vidit, surgens unxit lapidem oleo, et deinde dixit: vere dominus est in loco isto. Lapis iste Christus est, quem reprobaverunt aedificantes; et est unctus oleo invisibili spiritus sancti; sed erigitur in titulum, quia futurus erat Ecclesiae fundamentum, ut dicitur I ad Cor. c. III, 11: fundamentum aliud nemo potest ponere praeter id quod positum est. Angeli autem ascendunt et descendunt, inquantum ei adsunt obsequendo et ministrando. Dixit ergo: amen, amen dico vobis, videbitis caelum apertum etc., quasi dicat: quia vere Israelita es, attende ad id quod Israel vidit, ut scilicet credas me illum esse qui est significatus per unctum lapidem a Iacob: nam tu etiam videbis super ipsum Angelos ascendentes et descendentes. 332 According to Augustine, Christ is here revealing his divinity in a beautiful way. For it is recorded that Jacob dreamed of a ladder, standing on the ground, with “the angels of God ascending and descending on it” (Gn 28:16). Then Jacob arose and poured oil on a stone and said, “Truly, the Lord is in this place” (Gn 28:16). Now that stone is Christ, whom the builders rejected; and the invisible oil of the Holy Spirit was poured on him. He is set up as a pillar, because he was to be the foundation of the Church: “No one can lay another foundation except that which has been laid” (1 Cor 3:11). The angels are ascending and descending inasmuch as they are ministering and serving before him. So he said, Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and so forth, as if to say: Because you are truly an Israelite, give heed to what Israel saw, so that you many believe that I am the one signified by the stone anointed by Jacob, for you also will see angels ascending and descending upon him [viz. Jesus].
Vel Angeli sunt praedicatores, secundum Augustinum, praedicantes Christum; Is. XVIII, 2: ite veloces Angeli ad gentem convulsam et dilaceratam; qui quidem ascendunt per contemplationem, sicut Paulus ascenderat usque ad tertium caelum, ut dicitur II Cor. c. XII, 2, et descendunt per proximorum eruditionem super filium hominis, idest ad honorem Christi: quia, ut dicitur II Cor. IV, v. 5: non enim praedicamus nos ipsos, sed Iesum Christum dominum nostrum. Sed ut ascendant et descendant, apertum est caelum, quia oportet quod gratia caelestis detur praedicatoribus, ut ascendant et descendant. Ps. LXVII, 9: caeli distillaverunt etc.; Apoc. IV, v. 1: postea vidi caelum apertum et cetera. 333 Or, the angels are, according to Augustine, the preachers of Christ: “Go, swift angels, to a nation rent and torn to pieces,” as it says in Isaiah (18:2). They ascend through contemplation, just as Paul had ascended even to the third heaven (2 Cor 12:2); and they descend by instructing their neighbor. On the Son of Man, i.e., for the honor of Christ, because “what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:5). In order that they might ascend and descend, the heavens were opened, because heavenly graces must be given to preachers if they are to ascend and descend. “The heavens broke at the presence of God” (Ps 67:9); “1 saw the heavens open” (Rv 4:1).
Ratio autem quare Nathanael non eligitur in apostolum post tantam fidei confessionem, ista est, quia Christus noluit quod mundi conversio ad fidem ascriberetur humanae sapientiae, sed solum potentiae Dei. Et ideo non voluit Nathanaelem in lege peritissimum, in apostolum eligere; sed simplices et indoctos elegit; ut dicitur I Cor. I, 26: non multi sapientes (...) sed quae stulta sunt mundi elegit Deus. 334 Now the reason why Nathanael was not chosen to be an apostle after such a profession of faith is that Christ did not want the conversion of the world to the faith to be attributed to human wisdom, but solely to the power of God. And so he did not choose Nathanael as an apostle, since he was very learned in the law; he rather chose simple and uneducated men. “Not many of you are learned,” and “God chose the simple of the world” (1 Cor 1:26).