Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
THEOPHILUS: Chapter XXII.—Why God is Said to Have Walked.
Chapter XXII.—Why God is Said to Have Walked.
You will say, then, to me: “You said that God ought not to be contained in a place, and how do you now say that He walked in Paradise?” Hear what I say. The God and Father, indeed, of all cannot be contained, and is not found in a place, for there is no place of His rest; but His Word, through whom He made all things, being His power and His wisdom, assuming the person 594 of the Father and Lord of all, went to the garden in the person of God, and conversed with Adam. For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. But what else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son? Not as the poets and writers of myths talk of the sons of gods begotten from intercourse [with women], but as truth expounds, the Word, that always exists, residing within the heart of God. For before anything came into being He had Him as a counsellor, being His own mind and thought. But when God wished to make all that He determined on, He begot this Word, uttered, 595 the first-born of all creation, not Himself being emptied of the Word [Reason], but having begotten Reason, and always conversing with His Reason. And hence the holy writings teach us, and all the spirit-bearing [inspired] men, one of whom, John, says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,” 596 showing that at first God was alone, and the Word in Him. Then he says, “The Word was God; all things came into existence through Him; and apart from Him not one thing came into existence.” The Word, then, being God, and being naturally 597 produced from God, whenever the Father of the universe wills, He sends Him to any place; and He, coming, is both heard and seen, being sent by Him, and is found in a place.
The annotators here warn us against supposing that “person” is used as it was afterwards employed in discussing the doctrine of the Trinity, and show that the word is used in its original meaning, and with reference to an actor taking up a mask and personating a character.103:595
Προφορικός, the term used of the Logos as manifested; the Word as uttered by the Father, in distinction from the Word immanent in Him. [Theophilus is the first author who distinguishes between the Logos ἐνδιάθετος (cap. x, supra) and the Logos προφορικός; the Word internal, and the Word emitted. Kayes Justin, p. 171.]103:596
John i. 1.103:597
That is, being produced by generation, not by creation.
Next: Chapter XXIII.—The Truth of the Account in Genesis.
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