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But even this He did not manifest in Himself in a different way than in some Lazarus, whose flesh was no more composed of soul than his soul was of flesh. What further knowledge , therefore, have we received of the structure of the soul which we were ignorant of before? What invisible part was there belonging to it which wanted to be made visible by the flesh?

The soul became flesh that the soul might become visible. Well, then, did the flesh likewise become soul that the flesh might be manifested? If the soul is flesh, it is no longer soul , but flesh. If the flesh is soul , it is no longer flesh, but soul. Where, then, there is flesh, and where there is soul , it has become both one and the other. Now, if they are neither in particular, although they become both one and the other, it is, to say the least, very absurd, that we should understand the soul when we name the flesh, and when we indicate the soul , explain ourselves as meaning the flesh.

All things will be in danger of being taken in a sense different from their own proper sense, and, while taken in that different sense, of losing their proper one, if they are called by a name which differs from their natural designation. Fidelity in names secures the safe appreciation of properties. When these properties undergo a change, they are considered to possess such qualities as their names indicate. Baked clay, for instance, receives the name of brick.

by Kahlil Gibran

It retains not the name which designated its former state, because it has no longer a share in that state. Therefore, also, the soul of Christ having become flesh, cannot be anything else than that which it has become nor can it be any longer that which it once was, having become indeed something else.

And since we have just had recourse to an illustration, we will put it to further use. Our pitcher, then, which was formed of the clay, is one body, and has one name indicative, of course, of that one body; nor can the pitcher be also called clay, because what it once was, it is no longer. Now that which is no longer what it was is also not an inseparable property. And the soul is not an inseparable property.

Since, therefore, it has become flesh, the soul is a uniform solid body; it is also a wholly incomplex being, and an indivisible substance. But in Christ we find the soul and the flesh expressed in simple unfigurative terms; that is to say, the soul is called soul , and the flesh, flesh; nowhere is the soul termed flesh, or the flesh, soul ; and yet they ought to have been thus confusedly named if such had been their condition. The fact, however, is that even by Christ Himself each substance has been separately mentioned by itself, conformably of course, to the distinction which exists between the properties of both, the soul by itself, and the flesh by itself.

My soul , says He, is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; and the bread that I will give is my flesh , which I will give for the life of the world. Since, however, He keeps the species distinct, the flesh and the soul , He shows them to be two. If two, then they are no longer one; if not one, then the soul is not composed of flesh, nor the flesh of soul.

For the soul-flesh, or the flesh- soul , is but one; unless indeed He even had some other soul apart from that which was flesh, and bare about another flesh besides that which was soul. But since He had but one flesh and one soul — that soul which was sorrowful, even unto death, and that flesh which was the bread given for the life of the world, — the number is unimpaired of two substances distinct in kind, thus excluding the unique species of the flesh-comprised soul. But Christ, they say, bare the nature of an angel.

For what reason? The same which induced Him to become man? Christ, then, was actuated by the motive which led Him to take human nature. Man's salvation was the motive, the restoration of that which had perished. Man had perished; his recovery had become necessary. No such cause , however, existed for Christ's taking on Him the nature of angels.

No charge about the salvation of angels did Christ ever receive from the Father; and that which the Father neither promised nor commanded, Christ could not have undertaken. For what object, therefore, did He bear the angelic nature, if it were not that He might have it as a powerful helper wherewithal to execute the salvation of man?

The Son of God , in truth, was not competent alone to deliver man, whom a solitary and single serpent had overthrown! There is, then, no longer but one God , but one Saviour, if there be two to contrive salvation , and one of them in need of the other. But was it His object indeed to deliver man by an angel? Why, then, come down to do that which He was about to expedite with an angel's help? If by an angel's aid, why come Himself also? If He meant to do all by Himself, why have an angel too? He has been, it is true , called the Angel of great counsel, that is, a messenger, by a term expressive of official function, not of nature.

For He had to announce to the world the mighty purpose of the Father , even that which ordained the restoration of man. But He is not on this account to be regarded as an angel , as a Gabriel or a Michael. For the Lord of the Vineyard sends even His Son to the labourers to require fruit, as well as His servants.

Yet the Son will not therefore be counted as one of the servants because He undertook the office of a servant. I may, then, more easily say, if such an expression is to be hazarded, that the Son is actually an angel , that is, a messenger, from the Father , than that there is an angel in the Son. Forasmuch, however, as it has been declared concerning the Son Himself, You have made Him a little lower than the angels how will it appear that He put on the nature of angels if He was made lower than the angels , having become man, with flesh and soul as the Son of man?

Well, but as bearing human nature , He is so far made inferior to the angels ; but as bearing angelic nature, He to the same degree loses that inferiority. This opinion will be very suitable for Ebion, who holds Jesus to be a mere man, and nothing more than a descendant of David, and not also the Son of God ; although He is, to be sure, in one respect more glorious than the prophets , inasmuch as he declares that there was an angel in Him, just as there was in Zechariah. Only it was never said by Christ, And the angel , which spoke within me, said to me.

For He was Himself the Lord, who openly spoke by His own authority, prefacing His words with the formula, Verily, verily, I say unto you. What need is there of further argument? Hear what Isaiah says in emphatic words, It was no angel , nor deputy, but the Lord Himself who saved them. Valentinus , indeed, on the strength of his heretical system, might consistently devise a spiritual flesh for Christ. For, as I have read in some writer of Valentinus' wretched faction, they refuse at the outset to believe that a human and earthly substance was created for Christ , lest the Lord should be regarded as inferior to the angels , who are not formed of earthly flesh; whence, too, it would be necessary that, if His flesh were like ours, it should be similarly born, not of the Spirit , nor of God , but of the will of man.

Why, moreover, should it be born, not of corruptible [seed], but of incorruptible? Why, again, since His flesh has both risen and returned to heaven, is not ours, being like His, also taken up at once?

Flesh-And-Blood Jesus: Learning to Be Fully Human from the Son of Man by Dan Rus

Or else, why does not His flesh, since it is like ours, return in like manner to the ground, and suffer dissolution? Such objections even the heathen used constantly to bandy about. Was the Son of God reduced to such a depth of degradation? Again, if He rose again as a precedent for our hope , how is it that nothing like it has been thought desirable to happen to ourselves? Such views are not improper for heathens and they are fit and natural for the heretics too. For, indeed, what difference is there between them, except it be that the heathen , in not believing, do believe ; while the heretics , in believing, do not believe?

Then, again, they read: You made Him a little less than angels ; and they deny the lower nature of that Christ who declares Himself to be, not a man , but a worm; who also had no form nor comeliness, but His form was ignoble, despised more than all men , a man in suffering, and acquainted with the bearing of weakness.

Here they discover a human being mingled with a divine one and so they deny the manhood. They believe that He died, and maintain that a being which has died was born of an incorruptible substance; as if, forsooth, corruptibility were something else than death! But our flesh, too, ought immediately to have risen again. Wait a while. Christ has not yet subdued His enemies, so as to be able to triumph over them in company with His friends. The famous Alexander, too, instigated by his love of disputation in the true fashion of heretical temper, has made himself conspicuous against us; he will have us say that Christ put on flesh of an earthly origin, in order that He might in His own person abolish sinful flesh.

Now, even if we did assert this as our opinion, we should be able to defend it in such a way as completely to avoid the extravagant folly which he ascribes to us in making us suppose that the very flesh of Christ was in Himself abolished as being sinful ; because we mention our belief in public , that it is sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven; and we further declare that it will come again from thence in all the pomp of the Father's glory : it is therefore just as impossible for us to say that it is abolished, as it is for us to maintain that it is sinful , and so made void, since in it there has been no fault.

We maintain, moreover, that what has been abolished in Christ is not carnem peccati , sinful flesh, but peccatum carnis , sin in the flesh, — not the material thing, but its condition; not the substance, but its flaw; and this we aver on the authority of the apostle, who says, He abolished sin in the flesh. Now in another sentence he says that Christ was in the likeness of sinful flesh, not, however, as if He had taken on Him the likeness of the flesh, in the sense of a semblance of body instead of its reality; but he means us to understand likeness to the flesh which sinned , because the flesh of Christ , which committed no sin itself, resembled that which had sinned — resembled it in its nature, but not in the corruption it received from Adam; whence we also affirm that there was in Christ the same flesh as that whose nature in man is sinful.

In the flesh, therefore, we say that sin has been abolished, because in Christ that same flesh is maintained without sin , which in man was not maintained without sin. Now, it would not contribute to the purpose of Christ's abolishing sin in the flesh, if He did not abolish it in that flesh in which was the nature of sin , nor would it conduce to His glory.

For surely it would have been no strange thing if He had removed the stain of sin in some better flesh, and one which should possess a different, even a sinless, nature! Then, you say, if He took our flesh, Christ's was a sinful one. Do not, however, fetter with mystery a sense which is quite intelligible. For in putting on our flesh, He made it His own; in making it His own, He made it sinless. A word of caution, however, must be addressed to all who refuse to believe that our flesh was in Christ on the ground that it came not of the seed of a human father, let them remember that Adam himself received this flesh of ours without the seed of a human father.

As earth was converted into this flesh of ours without the seed of a human father, so also was it quite possible for the Son of God to take to Himself the substance of the selfsame flesh, without a human father's agency. But, leaving Alexander with his syllogisms, which he so perversely applies in his discussions, as well as with the hymns of Valentinus , which, with consummate assurance, he interpolates as the production of some respectable author, let us confine our inquiry to a single point — Whether Christ received flesh from the virgin?

Now, it will first be necessary to show what previous reason there was for the Son of God's being born of a virgin. He who was going to consecrate a new order of birth, must Himself be born after a novel fashion, concerning which Isaiah foretold how that the Lord Himself would give the sign. What, then, is the sign? Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.

And in this man God was born, taking the flesh of an ancient race, without the help, however, of the ancient seed, in order that He might reform it with a new seed, that is, in a spiritual manner, and cleanse it by the re-moval of all its ancient stains. But the whole of this new birth was prefigured, as was the case in all other instances, in ancient type, the Lord being born as man by a dispensation in which a virgin was the medium. The earth was still in a virgin state, reduced as yet by no human labour, with no seed as yet cast into its furrows, when, as we are told, God made man out of it into a living soul.

But that I may lose no opportunity of supporting my argument from the name of Adam, why is Christ called Adam by the apostle, unless it be that, as man, He was of that earthly origin? And even reason here maintains the same conclusion, because it was by just the contrary operation that God recovered His own image and likeness, of which He had been robbed by the devil.

For it was while Eve was yet a virgin , that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin's soul , in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced.

But it will be said Eve did not at the devil's word conceive in her womb. Well, she at all events conceived; for the devil's word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil ; while Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel , His own brother after the flesh, and the murderer of Himself.

God therefore sent down into the virgin's womb His Word, as the good Brother, who should blot out the memory of the evil brother. Hence it was necessary that Christ should come forth for the salvation of man , in that condition of flesh into which man had entered ever since his condemnation. In order, therefore, that He who was already the Son of God — of God the Father's seed, that is to say, the Spirit — might also be the Son of man , He only wanted to assume flesh, of the flesh of man without the seed of a man; for the seed of a man was unnecessary for One who had the seed of God.

Jesus the Son of Man by Kahlil Gibran

As, then, before His birth of the virgin, He was able to have God for His Father without a human mother, so likewise, after He was born of the virgin, He was able to have a woman for His mother without a human father. He is thus man with God , in short, since He is man's flesh with God's Spirit — flesh I say without seed from man, Spirit with seed from God. For as much, then, as the dispensation of God's purpose concerning His Son required that He should be born of a virgin , why should He not have received of the virgin the body which He bore from the virgin?

Because, forsooth it is something else which He took from God , for the Word say they, was made flesh. Now, whether it was of the flesh that the Word was made flesh , or whether it was so made of the divine seed itself, the Scripture must tell us. As, however, the Scripture is silent about everything except what it was that was made flesh , and says nothing of that from which it was so made, it must be held to suggest that from something else, and not from itself, was the Word made flesh.

And if not from itself, but from something else, from what can we more suitably suppose that the Word became flesh than from that flesh in which it submitted to the dispensation? But if He here spoke of a human being simply, and not of Himself, as you maintain then you must deny absolutely that Christ is man, and must maintain that human nature was not suitable to Him. Now this description is certainly even more applicable to Him than it is to those who believe in Him.

But if this passage indeed apply to Him, then why does not the preceding one also? For you cannot divide their relation, and adapt this to Him, and the previous clause to all other men, especially as you do not deny that Christ possesses the two substances, both of the flesh and of the Spirit.

On the Flesh of Christ

Besides, as He was in possession both of flesh and of Spirit, He cannot possibly, when speaking of the condition of the two substances which He Himself bears, be supposed to have determined that the Spirit indeed was His own, but that the flesh was not His own.

Forasmuch, therefore, as He is of the Spirit He is God the Spirit , and is born of God ; just as He is also born of the flesh of man , being generated in the flesh as man. What, then, is the meaning of this passage, Born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man , but of God? They maintain that it was written thus in the plural Who were born , not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man , but of God , as if designating those who were before mentioned as believing in His name, in order to point out the existence of that mysterious seed of the elect and spiritual which they appropriate to themselves.

But how can this be, when all who believe in the name of the Lord are, by reason of the common principle of the human race , born of blood, and of the will of the flesh, and of man , as indeed is Valentinus himself? The expression is in the singular number, as referring to the Lord, He was born of God.


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As flesh, however, He is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of man , because it was by the will of God that the Word was made flesh. To the flesh, indeed, and not to the Word, accrues the denial of the nativity which is natural to us all as men, because it was as flesh that He had thus to be born, and not as the Word. Now, while the passage actually denies that He was born of the will of the flesh, how is it that it did not also deny that He was born of the substance of the flesh? For it did not disavow the substance of the flesh when it denied His being born of blood but only the matter of the seed, which, as all know , is the warm blood as convected by ebullition into the coagulum of the woman's blood.

In the cheese, it is from the coagulation that the milky substance acquires that consistency, which is condensed by infusing the rennet. We thus understand that what is denied is the Lord's birth after sexual intercourse as is suggested by the phrase, the will of man and of the flesh , not His nativity from a woman's womb. Why, too, is it insisted on with such an accumulation of emphasis that He was not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man , if it were not that His flesh was such that no man could have any doubt on the point of its being born from sexual intercourse?

Again, although denying His birth from such cohabitation, the passage did not deny that He was born of real flesh; it rather affirmed this, by the very fact that it did not deny His birth in the flesh in the same way that it denied His birth from sexual intercourse. Pray, tell me, why the Spirit of God descended into a woman's womb at all, if He did not do so for the purpose of partaking of flesh from the womb.

For He could have become spiritual flesh without such a process — much more simply, indeed, without the womb than in it. He had no reason for enclosing Himself within one, if He was to bear forth nothing from it. Not without reason, however, did He descend into a womb. Therefore He received flesh therefrom; else, if He received nothing therefrom, His descent into it would have been without a reason, especially if He meant to become flesh of that sort which was not derived from a womb, that is to say, a spiritual one.

But to what shifts you resort, in your attempt to rob the syllable ex of of its proper force as a preposition, and to substitute another for it in a sense not found throughout the Holy Scriptures! You say that He was born through a virgin , not of a virgin , and in a womb, not of a womb, because the angel in the dream said to Joseph, That which is born in her not of her is of the Holy Ghost. The angel's expression, therefore, in her, has precisely the same meaning as the phrase of her. It is, however, a fortunate circumstance that Matthew also, when tracing down the Lord's descent from Abraham to Mary, says, Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary , of whom was born Christ.

Nay more, for the sake of greater emphasis, he uses the word made rather than born , although the use of the latter expression would have been simpler. We shall have also the support of the Psalms on this point, not the Psalms indeed of Valentinus the apostate , and heretic , and Platonist , but the Psalms of David, the most illustrious saint and well-known prophet.

He sings to us of Christ , and through his voice Christ indeed also sang concerning Himself. Here is the first point. You are my hope from my mother's breasts; upon You have I been cast from the womb. Here is another point. You are my God from my mother's belly. Here is a third point. Now let us carefully attend to the sense of these passages. You drew me, He says, out of the womb.

Now what is it which is drawn , if it be not that which adheres, that which is firmly fastened to anything from which it is drawn in order to be sundered? If He clove not to the womb, how could He have been drawn from it? If He who clove thereto was drawn from it, how could He have adhered to it, if it were not that, all the while He was in the womb, He was tied to it, as to His origin, by the umbilical cord, which communicated growth to Him from the matrix?

Even when one strange matter amalgamates with another, it becomes so entirely incorporated with that with which it amalgamates, that when it is drawn off from it, it carries with it some part of the body from which it is torn, as if in consequence of the severance of the union and growth which the constituent pieces had communicated to each other. But what were His mother's breasts which He mentions? No doubt they were those which He sucked. Midwives, and doctors, and naturalists, can tell us, from the nature of women's breasts, whether they usually flow at any other time than when the womb is affected with pregnancy, when the veins convey therefrom the blood of the lower parts to the mamilla , and in the act of transference convert the secretion into the nutritious substance of milk.

Whence it comes to pass that during the period of lactation the monthly issues are suspended. But if the Word was made flesh of Himself without any communication with a womb, no mother's womb operating upon Him with its usual function and support, how could the lacteal fountain have been conveyed from the womb to the breasts, since the womb can only effect the change by actual possession of the proper substance? But it could not possibly have had blood for transformation into milk, unless it possessed the causes of blood also, that is to say, the severance by birth of its own flesh from the mother's womb.

Now it is easy to see what was the novelty of Christ's being born of a virgin. It was simply this, that He was born of a virgin in the real manner which we have indicated, in order that our regeneration might have virginal purity — spiritually cleansed from all pollutions through Christ, who was Himself a virgin , even in the flesh, in that He was born of a virgin's flesh. Whereas, then, they contend that the novelty of Christ's birth consisted in this, that as the Word of God became flesh without the seed of a human father, so there should be no flesh of the virgin mother assisting in the transaction , why should not the novelty rather be confined to this, that His flesh, although not born of seed, should yet have proceeded from flesh?

I should like to go more closely into this discussion. Behold, says he, a virgin shall conceive in the womb. Conceive what?

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I ask. The Word of God , of course, and not the seed of man , and in order, certainly, to bring forth a son. For, says he, she shall bring forth a son. Therefore, as the act of conception was her own, so also what she brought forth was her own, also, although the cause of conception was not. If, on the other hand, the Word became flesh of Himself, then He both conceived and brought forth Himself, and the prophecy is stultified. For in that case a virgin did not conceive, and did not bring forth; since whatever she brought forth from the conception of the Word, is not her own flesh.

But is this the only statement of prophecy which will be frustrated? Will not the angel's announcement also be subverted, that the virgin should conceive in her womb and bring forth a son? For how could she have been His mother, unless He had been in her womb? But then He received nothing from her womb which could make her a mother in whose womb He had been.

Such a name as this a strange flesh ought not to assume. No flesh can speak of a mother's womb but that which is itself the offspring of that womb; nor can any be the offspring of the said womb if it owe its birth solely to itself. Therefore even Elisabeth must be silent although she is carrying in her womb the prophetic babe, which was already conscious of his Lord, and is, moreover, filled with the Holy Ghost.

If it was not as her son, but only as a stranger that Mary carried Jesus in her womb, how is it she says, Blessed is the fruit of your womb? What is this fruit of the womb, which received not its germ from the womb, which had not its root in the womb, which belongs not to her whose is the womb, and which is no doubt the real fruit of the womb — even Christ? Now, since He is the blossom of the stem which sprouts from the root of Jesse; since, moreover, the root of Jesse is the family of David, and the stem of the root is Mary descended from David, and the blossom of the stem is Mary's son, who is called Jesus Christ , will not He also be the fruit?

For the blossom is the fruit, because through the blossom and from the blossom every product advances from its rudimental condition to perfect fruit. What then? Catholic exegetes then and other students of sacred theology, working diligently together and using appropriate means, should devote their energies, under the watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church, to an exploration and exposition of the divine writings. This should be so done that as many ministers of the divine word as possible will be able effectively to provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God, to enlighten their minds, strengthen their wills, and set men's hearts on fire with the love of God.

Sacred theology rests on the written word of God, together with sacred tradition, as its primary and perpetual foundation. By scrutinizing in the light of faith all truth stored up in the mystery of Christ, theology is most powerfully strengthened and constantly rejuvenated by that word. For the Sacred Scriptures contain the word of God and since they are inspired, really are the word of God; and so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology. Therefore, all the clergy must hold fast to the Sacred Scriptures through diligent sacred reading and careful study, especially the priests of Christ and others, such as deacons and catechists who are legitimately active in the ministry of the word.

This is to be done so that none of them will become "an empty preacher of the word of God outwardly, who is not a listener to it inwardly" 4 since they must share the abundant wealth of the divine word with the faithful committed to them, especially in the sacred liturgy.

The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the "excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ" Phil. And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying. It devolves on sacred bishops "who have the apostolic teaching" 7 to give the faithful entrusted to them suitable instruction in the right use of the divine books, especially the New Testament and above all the Gospels.

This can be done through translations of the sacred texts, which are to be provided with the necessary and really adequate explanations so that the children of the Church may safely and profitably become conversant with the Sacred Scriptures and be penetrated with their spirit. Furthermore, editions of the Sacred Scriptures, provided with suitable footnotes, should be prepared also for the use of non-Christians and adapted to their situation. Both pastors of souls and Christians generally should see to the wise distribution of these in one way or another.

In this way, therefore, through the reading and study of the sacred books "the word of God may spread rapidly and be glorified" 2 Thess. Just as the life of the Church is strengthened through more frequent celebration of the Eucharistic mystery, similar we may hope for a new stimulus for the life of the Spirit from a growing reverence for the word of God, which "lasts forever" Is. Council of Trent, loc. EB VII, Augustine, "Gen. Thomas, "On Truth," Q. Cyril of Jerusalem, "Catech. Theodore of Mopsuestia, "In Soph.

Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, Prol. Augustine, "De Catechizandis Rudibus," C. IV 8: PL. Chapter I Article 2: 2. Article 4: 3. Epistle to Diognetus, c. Article 5: 4. Article 6: 6.


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Ibid: Denzinger and and Chapter II Article 7: 1. Article 8: 4. Article 9: 6. Council of Trent, session IV, loc. Article 7. Chapter III Article 1. Article 6. XL, 2, Pius XII, loc. Denziger ; EB Article Article 2. Augustine, "Quest. Chapter V Article 1. Article Due to the necessities of translation, footnote 2 follows footnote 3 in text of Article John ; John ; ; cf. Ps It could be a matter of perspective. But this is our shock, not a surprise to God, who had been rejected by Israel for centuries.

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Salvar para mais tarde. Criar uma lista. Resumo Christians are prone to so focus on the realities of Jesus' divinity that we minimize or ignore the realities of his humanity. Leia no app do Scribd Baixe o app gratuito do Scribd para ler a qualquer hora, em qualquer lugar. Seminary Preface The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. I invite responses and questions as we all attempt to fathom this mystery of the incarnation. Our Surprise vs. So What?