Qualiter ponatur Verbum in divinis
How a Word is attributed to God
Accipiendum est autem ex his quae supra dicta sunt quod Deus se ipsum intelligit et diligit; item quod intelligere in ipso et velle non sit aliud quam eius esse. Quia ergo Deus se ipsum intelligit, omne autem intellectum in intelligente est, oportet Deum in se ipso esse sicut intellectum in intelligente. Intellectum autem prout est in intelligente, est verbum quoddam intellectus; hoc enim exteriori verbo significamus quod interius intellectu comprehendimus: sunt enim, secundum Philosophum, voces signa intellectuum. Oportet igitur in Deo ponere Verbum ipsius.
We take from the things said above that God understands and loves himself; likewise, that understanding and willing in him are not something other than his being. Since God understands himself, and since everything understood is in the one understanding, it is necessary that God be in himself as the thing understood in the one understanding. But the thing understood, so far as it is in the one understanding, is a certain word of the intellect; for we signify by an exterior word what we comprehend interiorly in our intellect. For words, according to the Philosopher, are signs of things understood. Hence we must posit in God his Word.
Quod Verbum in divinis conceptio dicitur
That Word in God is called a conception
Id autem quod in intellectu continetur, ut interius verbum, etiam communi usu loquendi conceptio intellectus dicitur. Nam corporaliter aliquid concipi dicitur quod in utero animalis viventis vivifica virtute formatur, mare agente et femina patiente in qua fit conceptio, ita quod ipsum conceptum pertinet ad naturam utriusque, quasi secundum speciem conforme.
What is contained in the intellect, as an interior word, is by common usage also said to be a concept or conception of the intellect. For something is said to be conceived in a bodily way if it is formed in the womb of a living animal by a life-giving power, in virtue of the active function of the male and the passive function of the female, in whom the conception takes place. The being thus conceived shares in the nature of both parents and conforms to them in appearance.
Quod autem intellectus comprehendit in intellectu formatur, intelligibili quasi agente et intellectu quasi patiente. Et ipsum quod intellectu comprehenditur, intra intellectum existens, conforme est et intelligibili moventi, cuius quaedam similitudo est, et intellectui quasi patienti secundum quod esse intelligibile habet. Unde id quod intellectu comprehenditur non immerito conceptio intellectus vocatur.
Now, what the intellect comprehends is formed in the intellect, with the intelligible object being, as it were, the active principle, and the intellect the passive principle. That which is thus comprehended by the intellect, existing within the intellect, is conformed both to the moving intelligible object of which it is a certain likeness, and to the intellect as the passive principle, so to speak, in accord with which it has intelligible existence. Hence what is comprehended by the intellect is not unfittingly called the conception of the intellect.
Quomodo Verbum comparatur ad Patrem
How the Word stands to the Father
In hoc autem consideranda est differentia. Nam cum id quod in intellectu concipitur sit similitudo rei intellectae, eius speciem repraesentans, quaedam proles ipsius esse videtur. Quando igitur intellectus intelligit aliud a se, res intellecta est sicut pater verbi in intellectu concepti; ipse autem intellectus magis gerit similitudinem matris, cuius est ut in ea fiat conceptio. Quando vero intellectus intelligit se ipsum, verbum conceptum comparatur ad intelligentem sicut proles ad patrem; cum igitur de Verbo loquamur secundum quod Deus se ipsum intelligit, oportet quod ipsum Verbum comparetur ad Deum, cuius est Verbum, sicut filius ad patrem.
But here a point of difference must be considered. For since that which is conceived in the intellect is a likeness of the thing understood, representing its species, it seems to be a kind of offspring of the thing understood. Therefore, when the intellect understands something other than itself, the thing understood is, so to speak, the father of the word conceived; while the intellect itself resembles a mother, to whom it belongs that conception should take place in her. But when the intellect understands itself, the word conceived is related to the one understanding as offspring to father. Since, therefore, we are speaking of the Word according as God understands himself, it is necessary that this Word must be compared to God, whose Word it is, as son to father.
Quomodo intelligitur generatio in divinis
How generation in God is understood
Hinc est quod in regula Catholicae fidei Patrem et Filium in divinis confiteri docemur, cum dicitur: Credo in Deum Patrem et Filium eius. Et ne aliquis, audiens nomen Patris et Filii, carnalem generationem suspicaretur secundum quam apud nos pater dicitur et filius, evangelista Iohannes, cui revelata sunt secreta caelestia, loco Filii Verbum posuit ut generationem intelligibilem agnoscamus.
Hence in the rule of Catholic faith we are taught to profess belief in the Father and Son in God by saying: I believe in God the Father, and in his Son. And lest anyone, hearing Father and Son mentioned, should have any notion of carnal generation, according to which father and son receive their designation among us, John the Evangelist, to whom were revealed heavenly mysteries, substitutes Word for Son (John 1:14), so that we may understand that the generation is intellectual.
Quod Verbum quod est Filius idem esse habet cum Deo Patre et eandem essentiam
That the Word, which is the Son, has the same existence and essence as the Father
Considerandum est autem quod, cum in nobis aliud sit esse naturale et intelligere, oportet quod verbum in nostro intellectu conceptum, quod habet esse intelligibile tantum, alterius naturae et essentiae sit quam intellectus noster, qui habet esse naturale. In Deo autem idem est esse et intelligere. Verbum igitur Dei, quod est in Deo cuius est Verbum secundum esse intelligibile, idem esse habet cum Deo cuius est Verbum; et per hoc oportet quod sit eiusdem essentiae et naturae cum ipso, et omnia quaecumque de Deo dicuntur Verbo Dei conveniant.
It must be considered that, since in us natural being and the act of understanding are distinct, it is necessary that the word conceived in our intellect, which has intelligible being only, differ in nature and essence from our intellect, which has natural existence. In God, however, to be and to understand are the same. Therefore, the Word of God, which is in God (whose Word he is according to intellectual existence), has the same being as God, whose Word he is. And because of this, it is necessary that he be of the same essence and nature as God himself, and everything whatsoever that is said of God must belong also to the Word of God.
Quod Catholica fides haec docet
That the Catholic faith teaches this
Et inde est quod in regula Catholicae fidei docemur confiteri Filium consubstantialem Patri, per quod duo excluduntur: primo quidem ut non intelligatur Pater et Filius secundum carnalem generationem quae fit per aliquam decisionem substantiae filii a patre, ut sic oporteat Filium non esse Patri consubstantialem; secundo ut etiam non intelligamus Patrem et Filium secundum generationem intelligibilem prout verbum in mente nostra concipitur, quasi accidentaliter superveniens intellectui et non de essentia eius existens.
Hence we are instructed in the rule of Catholic faith to profess that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, a phrase that excludes two things. First, the Father and the Son may not be thought of according to bodily generation, which is effected by a separation of the son’s substance from the father, such that the Son could not be consubstantial with the Father. Second, so that we do not think of the Father and the Son according to intellectual generation in the way that a word is conceived in our mind: as a thing coming to the intellect as an accident and not existing from its essence.
Quod in divinis non est differentia Verbi a Patre secundum tempus vel speciem vel naturam
That in God the Word differs from the Father neither in time, nor in species, nor in nature
Eorum autem quae secundum essentiam non differunt, impossibile est esse differentiam secundum tempus, speciem aut naturam; quia ergo Verbum Patri est consubstantiale, necesse est ut secundum nihil dictorum a Patre differat.
Among things that are not different in essence, there can be no difference according to time, species, or nature. Therefore, since the Word is consubstantial with the Father, he cannot differ from the Father in any of these respects.
Et quidem secundum tempus differre non potest. Cum enim secundum hoc Verbum in Deo ponatur quod Deus se ipsum intelligit sui Verbum intelligibiliter concipiendo, oportet quod, si aliquando Dei Verbum non fuit, quod tunc Deus se ipsum non intellexerit; semper autem quandocumque Deus fuit se intellexit, quia suum intelligere est suum esse: semper igitur et Verbum ipsius fuit. Et ideo in regula Catholicae fidei dicimus Dei Filium ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula.
There can be no difference according to time. For the divine Word is present in God because God understands himself by conceiving his intelligible Word. Hence, it is necessary that if at any time there were no Word of God, during that time God would not understand himself. But God always understood himself during his whole existence, for his understanding is his existence. Therefore, his Word also existed always. And so in the rule of the Catholic faith we say that the Son of God is born of the Father before all ages.
Secundum speciem etiam impossibile est Verbum Dei a Deo quasi minoratum differre, cum Deus se ipsum non minus intelligat quam quod est; Verbum autem perfectam speciem habet ex hoc quod id cuius est Verbum perfecte intelligitur. Oportet igitur Dei Verbum omnino perfectum secundum speciem divinitatis esse.
According to species, too, it is impossible for the Word of God to differ from God, as though he were inferior; for God does not understand himself as less than he is. The Word has a perfect likeness to the Father, because that of which he is the Word is perfectly understood. Therefore, the Word of God must be absolutely perfect according to the species of divinity.
Inveniuntur autem quae ex aliis procedunt eorum ex quibus procedunt perfectam speciem non consequi. Uno modo sicut in generationibus aequivocis: a sole enim non generatur sol sed quoddam animal; ut igitur talis imperfectio a generatione divina excludatur, confitemur natum Deum de Deo.
Some beings, it is true, that proceed from others are found not to inherit the perfect species of those from whom they proceed. One way in which this can happen is in equivocal generations: for the sun does not generate a sun, but an animal of some kind. To exclude imperfection of this sort from divine generation, we confess that the Word is born God from God.
Alio modo quod generatur vel quod procedit ex aliquo, deficit ab eo a quo procedit propter defectum puritatis, dum scilicet ab eo quod est in se simplex et purum, per applicationem ad extraneam materiam aliquid proceditur a prima specie deficiens: sicut ex domo quae est in mente artificis fit domus quae est in materia, a lumine recepto in corpore terminato fit color, ex igne adiuncto aliis elementis fit corpus mixtum, ex radio per oppositionem corporis opaci fit umbra; ut hoc igitur a divina generatione excludatur, additur: Lumen de Lumine.
What is generated or proceeds from another can fall short of it in another way due to a defect in purity, namely, when from what is simple and pure in itself something proceeds through an application to extraneous matter, and so turns out to be inferior to the original species. Thus, from a house that is in the architect’s mind, a house is fashioned in various materials; and from light received in the surface of a body, color results; and from fire, by adding other elements, a mixed body arises; and from a beam of light, by interposing an opaque body, a shadow is caused. To exclude any imperfection of this kind from divine generation, we add: Light from Light.
Tertio, quod ex aliquo procedit non consequitur speciem eius propter defectum veritatis, quia scilicet non vere recipit naturam eius sed quandam eius similitudinem tantum, sicut imago hominis in speculo vel in pictura aut in sculptura aliqua, aut etiam similitudo rei in intellectu vel sensu nostro; non enim imago hominis dicitur homo verus sed hominis similitudo, neque lapis est in anima, ut Philosophus dicit, sed species lapidis: ut igitur hoc a divina generatione excludatur, additur: Deum verum de Deo vero.
In yet a third way, what proceeds from another can fail to equal the latter’s species due to a deficiency in truth. That is, it does not truly receive the nature of its original, but only a certain likeness thereof: for example, the image of a man in a mirror or in a picture or in a statue, or even the likeness of a thing in the intellect or in one of our senses. For the image of a man is not said to be a true man, but is a likeness of a man; and a stone is not in the soul, as the Philosopher notes, but a likeness of the stone. To exclude this from the divine generation, we add: true God from true God.
Secundum naturam etiam impossibile est Verbum a Deo cuius est Verbum differre, cum hoc sit Deo naturale quod se ipsum intelligat. Habet enim omnis intellectus aliqua quae naturaliter intelligit, sicut intellectus noster naturaliter intelligit prima principia; multo igitur magis Deus, cuius intelligere est suum esse, se ipsum naturaliter intelligit. Verbum igitur ipsius naturaliter ex ipso est, non sicut ea quae praeter naturalem originem procedunt, ut a nobis procedunt res artificiales quas facere dicimur; quae vero naturaliter a nobis procedunt dicimur generare, ut filius. Ne igitur Dei Verbum non naturaliter a Deo procedere intelligatur, sed secundum potestatem suae voluntatis, additur: genitum, non factum.
Lastly, it is impossible for the Word to differ from God according to nature, since it is natural for God to understand himself. Every intellect has some things which it naturally understands, as our intellect naturally understands first principles. Much more does God, whose act of understanding is his existence, naturally understand himself. Therefore, his Word proceeds from him naturally, not in the way that things proceed otherwise than by natural origin; that is, not in the way that the artificial objects we are said to make proceed from us. What proceeds from us naturally, such as a son, we are said to generate. Accordingly, lest it be thought that the Word of God proceeds by the power of his will and not naturally, the phrase is added: begotten, not made.
Conclusio ex praemissis
Conclusion from the foregoing
Quia ergo, ut ex praemissis patet, omnes praedictae divinae generationis conditiones ad hoc pertinent quod Filius est Patri consubstantialis, ideo post omnia subiungitur quasi summa universorum: consubstantialem Patri.
Since, therefore, as is evident from the foregoing, all the characteristics of divine generation we have been discussing pertain to the fact that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, by way of summing up all these points it is added: consubstantial with the Father.
Quod Deus est in se ipso sicut amatum in amante
That God is in himself as beloved in lover
Sicut autem intellectum in intelligente est inquantum intelligitur, ita et amatum esse oportet in amante inquantum amatur; movetur enim quodammodo amans ab amato quadam intrinseca motione: unde cum movens contingat id quod movetur, necesse est amatum intrinsecum amanti esse. Deus autem sicut intelligit se ipsum, ita necesse est quod se ipsum amet: bonum enim intellectum secundum se amabile est. Est igitur Deus in se ipso tanquam amatum in amante.
As the object known is in the knower, insofar as it is known, so the beloved must be in the lover, insofar as it is loved. The lover is, in some way, moved by the beloved with a certain intrinsic motion. Therefore, since a mover is in contact with the object moved, the beloved must be intrinsic to the lover. But God, just as he understands himself, must likewise love himself; for a good understood is in itself lovable. Consequently, God is in himself as the beloved in the lover.
Quod amor in Deo dicitur Spiritus
That love in God is called the Spirit