14 February 2006

Patristic Quote for the Day

You must understand why it is that the Word of the Father, so great and so high, has been made manifest in bodily form. He has not assumed a body proper to His own nature, far from it, for as the Word He is without body. He has been manfested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men. - St. Athanasius, *On the Incarnation of the Word* par. 1


Rev James A Childs said...

Quotes like these remind me of St. John the Apostle's Christology, defining "Word" as the 2nd person of the Trinity. I have found that the average (Lutheran?) layman defines "Word" as Bible. Certainly Luther often uses both definitions. But what say the Fathers? Are they consistent in defining Word as the 2nd person, or do they often define "Word" as Bible?

William Weedon said...

In my reading, at any rate, the term Logos is far, far more frequently used by the Fathers for the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. If they wish to speak of Holy Scripture, they tend to call it just that: Holy Scripture. Thus, in the last paragraph of *On the Incarnation*:

But for the searching and right understanding of the Scriptures there is need of a good life and a pure soul, and for Christian virtue to guide the mind to grasp, so far as human nature can, the truth concerning God the Word.

That's really pretty typical of the Fathers, I'd say.