Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
THEOPHILUS: Chapter X.—The World Created by God Through the Word.
Chapter X.—The World Created by God Through the Word.
And first, they taught us with one consent that p. 98 God made all things out of nothing; for nothing was coeval with God: but He being His own place, and wanting nothing, and existing before the ages, willed to make man by whom He might be known; for him, therefore, He prepared the world. For he that is created is also needy; but he that is uncreated stands in need of nothing. God, then, having His own Word internal 566 within His own bowels, begat Him, emitting 567 Him along with His own wisdom before all things. He had this Word as a helper in the things that were created by Him, and by Him He made all things. He is called “governing principle” [ἁρκή], because He rules, and is Lord of all things fashioned by Him. He, then, being Spirit of God, and governing principle, and wisdom, and power of the highest, came down upon the prophets, and through them spoke of the creation of the world and of all other things. For the prophets were not when the world came into existence, but the wisdom of God which was in Him, and His holy Word which was always present with Him. Wherefore He speaks thus by the prophet Solomon: “When He prepared the heavens I was there, and when He appointed the foundations of the earth I was by Him as one brought up with Him.” 568 And Moses, who lived many years before Solomon, or, rather, the Word of God by him as by an instrument, says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” First he named the “beginning,” 569 and “creation,” 570 then he thus introduced God; for not lightly and on slight occasion is it right to name God. For the divine wisdom foreknew that some would trifle and name a multitude of gods that do not exist. In order, therefore, that the living God might be known by His works, and that [it might be known that] by His Word God created the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, he said, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Then having spoken of their creation, he explains to us: “And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved upon the water.” This, sacred Scripture teaches at the outset, to show that matter, from which God made and fashioned the world, was in some manner created, being produced by God. 571
ἐνδιάθτον. [Here the Logos is spoken of in the entire spirit of the Nicene Council. Ps. xlv. 1 is a favourite text against Arius; and (Advs. Judæos. b. ii. 3) Cyprian presses it against the Jews, which shows that they accepted the Hebrew and the LXX. in a mystical sense.]98:567
Literally, belching or vomiting. [The reference is to Ps. xlv. where the LXX. read ἐξηρεύξατο ἡ καρδία μου λόγον ἀγαθὸν, and the Latin eructavit cor meum bonum Verbum; i.e., “My heart hath breathed forth a glorious Word.” The well-chosen language of the translator (emitted) is degraded by his note.]98:568
Prov. viii. 27. Theophilus reads with the Septuagint, “I was with Him, putting things into order,” instead of “I was by Him as one brought up with Him.” [Here the Logos is the σοφία as with the Fathers generally; e.g. Cyprian, Advs. Judæos, book ii. 2. But see cap. xv. p. 101, infra.]98:569
That is, the first principle, whom he has just shown to be the Word.98:570
In the Greek version of Gen. i. 1, the word “created” stands before “God.”98:571
Theophilus, therefore, understands that when in the first verse it is said that God created the earth, it is meant that he created the matter of which the earth is formed.
Next: Chapter XI.—The Six Days Work Described.
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