Gentes sunt cohaeredes Christi
The gentiles are fellow heirs of Christ
3:1 Hujus rei gratia, ego Paulus vinctus Christi Jesu, pro vobis gentibus, [n. 134]
3:1 For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, for you gentiles: [n. 134]
3:2 si tamen audistis dispensationem gratiae Dei, quae data est mihi in vobis: [n. 135]
3:2 If yet you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me towards you: [n. 135]
3:3 quoniam secundum revelationem notum mihi factum est sacramentum, sicut supra scripsi in brevi, [n. 136]
3:3 How that, according to revelation, the mystery has been made known to me, as I have written above in a few words: [n. 136]
3:4 prout potestis legentes intelligere prudentiam meam in mysterio Christi: [n. 138]
3:4 As reading, you may understand my prudence in the mystery of Christ, [n. 138]
3:5 quod aliis generationibus non est agnitum filiis hominum, sicuti nunc revelatum est sanctis apostolis ejus et prophetis in Spiritu, [n. 139]
3:5 Which in other generations was not known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit: [n. 139]
3:6 gentes esse cohaeredes, et concorporales, et comparticipes promissionis ejus in Christo Jesu per Evangelium: [n. 142]
3:6 That the gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body: and copartners of his promise in Christ Jesus, by the Gospel [n. 142]
133. Supra commemoravit Apostolus multa Dei beneficia humano generi et ipsis apostolis collata, hic commemorat specialia Dei beneficia sibi tradita.
133. The Apostle has previously recounted the many blessings of God granted to the human race and the apostles themselves. Here he turns to God’s special blessings bestowed on himself.
Primo ergo proponit intentionem suam in generali;
First he sets forth his thought in a general way.
secundo exponit per partes in speciali, ibi quoniam secundum revelationem, et cetera.
Second, he explains each part of it in detail, at how that, according to revelation.
Circa primum duo facit.
Concerning the first he does two things:
Primo ponit suam conditionem quantum ad patientiam et tribulationes quas pertulit;
first, he describes his condition in respect to patience and the sufferings he endures;
secundo quantum ad dona gratiae quae Deus sibi contulit, ibi si tamen audistis, et cetera.
second, in reference to the gifts of grace God has given him, at you have heard.
134. Dicit ergo: dixi in quo et vos coaedificamini, etc., huius rei gratia, id est ut aedificemini et convertamini ad Christum, ego Paulus, qui tantus sum, quia apostolus Iesu Christi et magister gentium in fide et veritate, nunc vinctus Romae. Nam hanc epistolam de urbe scripsit, ubi in vinculis tenebatur. II Tim. II, 9: laboro usque ad vincula quasi male operans. Infra IV, 1: obsecro vos itaque ego Paulus vinctus in Domino. Ex quo apparet eius tribulatio et passio in squalore carceris.
134. He remarks: I have said that you also are built together into a habitation of God (Eph 2:22); for this cause, of your edification and conversion to Christ, I, Paul, am a prisoner at Rome; my greatness is in being an apostle of Jesus Christ and a teacher of faith and truth to the nations. He wrote this letter from Rome where he was kept under custody. I labor even into bands, as an evildoer (2 Tim 2:9); I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord (Eph 4:1). Certainly this indicates his suffering and pain amid the prison’s squalor.
Sed quia poena non facit martyrem sed causa, ideo addit suarum tribulationum causam. Duplex est autem causa pro qua quis martyrii causam prosequitur. Una si patiatur pro fide Christi, vel pro quacumque alia virtute. I Petr. IV, 15: nemo vestrum patiatur quasi homicida, aut maledicus, aut alienorum appetitor, si autem ut Christianus, non erubescat. Et quantum ad hoc dicit vinctus Christi Iesu.
Since it is not punishment that makes the martyr, but the cause of the punishment, he inserts the cause of his tribulations. There are two causes in behalf of which someone can pursue martyrdom. One, if he should suffer for faith in Christ, or for any other virtue. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a slanderer, or a coveter of other men’s things. But, if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed (1 Pet 4:15–16). With respect to this he affirms that he is a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
Alia, si patiatur pro Ecclesiae utilitate, et quantum ad hoc ait pro vobis gentibus, id est tantum intendo conversionem vestram, et verbum salutis vobis praedico, quod traditus sum carceri. II Cor. I, 6: tribulamur pro vestra exhortatione et salute. Col. I, 24: nunc gaudeo in passionibus pro vobis.
The other is if one suffers for the utility of the Church, in regard to which he says for you gentiles, that is, I long so much for conversion, and thus preach the word of salvation to you, that I have been thrown into prison. We are in tribulation for your exhortation and salvation (2 Cor 1:6). I now rejoice in my sufferings for you (Col 1:24).
135. Consequenter cum dicit si tamen audistis, etc., ponit donum gratiae sibi commissum, quasi dicat: dico quod sum pro vobis gentibus vinctus, si tamen audistis, id est intellexistis, dispensationem gratiae, quae data est mihi pro vobis.
135. Then he makes known the gift of grace given him, as though he said: I assert that I am a prisoner for you gentiles, if yet you have heard of, that is, understood the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me towards you.
Quod potest intelligi dupliciter. Uno modo ut dispensatio accipiatur passive, et sit sensus si tamen audistis dispensationem gratiae, etc., id est si intellexistis quod mihi hoc donum, scilicet apostolatus in gentibus, est dispensatum. Nam, ut dicitur infra IV, 7: unicuique data est gratia secundum mensuram donationis Christi. Et infra: ipse dedit quosdam quidem apostolos, quosdam autem prophetas, et cetera. Unde mihi dispensatum est a Domino Christo, id est venit in sortem, gratia Dei haec ut in vobis fructum faciam. Col. I, 23: factus sum ego minister, et cetera. Dico dispensationem Dei quae data est mihi in vobis, id est eorum dispensatio tradita est mihi.
This may be understood in two ways. In one, the dispensation is taken in a passive sense. Here, if you have heard of the dispensation of the grace means, if you have understood that this gift of being an apostle among the nations was dispensed to me. For, as is mentioned below: to everyone of us is given grace, according to the measure of the giving of Christ . . . he gave some apostles, and some prophets (Eph 4:7, 11). Whence the Lord Christ has given to me, that I should bear fruit among you, and this has fallen to my lot by God’s grace. I am made a minister of the Gospel (Col 1:23). I say the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me towards you, that is, I have been entrusted with dispensing those graces.
Alio modo, ut dispensatio accipiatur active, ut sit sensus si tamen audistis dispensationem, etc., id est si intellexistis quod mihi datum sit, ut dona gratiae dispensem per communicationem sacramentorum, et hoc in vobis. I Cor. IV, 1: sic nos existimet homo ut ministros Christi.
In a second way, dispensation is taken actively so that the sense of if you have heard of the dispensation of the grace is, if you have understood what has been granted to me: that I might dispense gifts of grace through communicating the sacraments to you. Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ and the dispensers of the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1).
136. Consequenter cum dicit quoniam secundum revelationem, etc., manifestat conditionem suam per partes et in speciali.
136. Subsequently, when he says how that, according to revelation, he makes known the several aspects of his condition in detail.
Circa quod duo facit, quia
In reference to which he does two things:
primo ponit quod pertinet ad dignitatem officii, scilicet dispensationem gratiae;
first, he treats of what pertains to the dignity of his office, namely, the dispensation of grace;
secundo illud quod pertinet ad experientiam patientiae, scilicet tribulationem, ibi quapropter peto ne deficiatis, et cetera.
second, what pertains to his experience of patience, namely, tribulations, at wherefore I pray you not to faint (Eph 3:13).
Prima iterum in duas.
The first part contains two sections:
Primo ostendit gratiae dispensationem quantum ad diversorum mysteriorum cognitionem;
first, he discusses the dispensation of grace regarding the knowledge of various mysteries;
secundo quantum ad ipsorum executionem, ibi cuius factus sum minister, et cetera.
second, regarding how these mysteries are carried into effect, at of which I am made a minister (Eph 3:7).
Prima iterum in duas.
Once more the first section has two divisions:
Primo ponit mysteriorum Christi sibi datam cognitionem; secundo exponit quod sit istud mysterium, ibi esse gentes cohaeredes, et cetera.
first, he sets down the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ that was granted to him; second, he explains what that mystery is, at that the gentiles should be fellow heirs.
Circa cognitionem suam tria facit. Primo quod sit certa, secundo quod sit plena, tertio quod sit excellens.
He makes three points in regard to his knowledge: first, it is certain; second, it is full; third, it is preeminent.
137. Certa quidem est, quia non est per humanam industriam, nec per humanam intentionem, quae falli potest, Sap. IX, 14: cogitationes enim mortalium timidae, et incertae providentiae nostrae, sed per legem divinam quae certissima est. Et ideo dicit quoniam secundum revelationem, et cetera. Gal. I, v. 12: neque enim ego ab homine accepi illud, neque didici; sed per revelationem Iesu Christi. II Cor. III, 18: nos vero revelata facie gloriam Domini speculantes, et cetera.
137. Certain it is indeed, for he did not acquire it through human effort or human thought, which can err: the thoughts of mortal men are timid, and our counsels uncertain (Wis 9:14). Instead it is through the divine law which is most certain. Hence he says according to revelation the mystery has been made known to me. For neither did I receive it of man; nor did I learn it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal 1:12). We all, beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, are transformed into the same image (2 Cor 3:18).
138. Item plena est, quia perfecte revelatum est mihi, et committo vestro iudicio, quia ego in verbis paucis hoc expressi, in quibus cognoscere potestis quod perfectam cognitionem habeam de mysteriis fidei. Et quantum ad hoc dicit sicut scripsi in brevi, id est in paucis verbis, ita aperte, quod eo modo hoc potestis legentes intelligere. Cant. IV, 11: favus distillans labia tua, et cetera.
138. Moreover, it is full since it is revealed perfectly to me, and I entrust it to your judgment. I write of it in few words, in which you can recognize that I enjoy a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of faith. And in regard to this he says as I have written above in a few words clearly, that as reading, you may understand. Your lips . . . are as a dropping honeycomb (Song 4:11).
Labium quidem breve quid est. Et sic labia doctoris sunt favus distillans, quando brevibus et paucis verbis multa et magna insinuat.
Lips are small, and those of a doctor of the sacred sciences are as a dropping honeycomb when he conveys many and profound thoughts in a few short words.
Sed attende, ut dicit Augustinus, quod debet intendere hoc doctor, quod scilicet intelligatur. Et quamdiu ad hoc laborat, verba sua non sunt superflua, sed si postquam intelligitur, eis immoratur, superflua sunt eius verba.
Nevertheless, note that Augustine remarks how a doctor should aim at being understood. As long as he strives for this his words are not superfluous, but if he remains on a point after he is understood he wastes his words.
Dicit autem prudentiam meam, secundum illud Prov. IX, 10: scientia sanctorum prudentia. Quae quidem non est mundana sed divina et caelestis, propter quod dicit in mysterio Christi.
He adds my prudence since the knowledge of the holy is prudence (Prov 9:10). This is not worldly but divine and heavenly, for which reason he states in the mystery of Christ.
139. Est etiam excellens, quia solis apostolis est revelata; unde subdit quod aliis generationibus non est agnitum. Licet enim mysteria Christi prophetis et patriarchis fuerint revelata, non tamen ita clare sicut apostolis. Nam prophetis et patriarchis fuerunt revelata in quadam generalitate; sed apostolis manifestata sunt quantum ad singulares et determinatas circumstantias.
139. It is also preeminent since it was revealed to the apostles alone. Hence he adds which in other generations was not known. For although the mysteries of Christ were revealed to the prophets and patriarchs, they were more clearly revealed to the apostles. To the prophets and patriarchs they were revealed in vague generality; but they were shown in their singular and determinate circumstances to the apostles.