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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Section 6. And in Christ Jesus, His Only Son, Our Lord

Early Church Fathers  Index     

6. Next there follows, “And in Christ Jesus, His Only Son, Our Lord.” “Jesus” is a Hebrew word meaning “Saviour.” “Christ” is so called from “Chrism,” i.e. unction. For we read in the Books of Moses, that Auses, the son of Nave, 3269 when he was chosen to lead the people, had his name changed from “Auses” to “Jesus,” to shew that this was a name proper for princes and generals, for those, namely, who should “save” the people who followed them. Therefore, both were called “Jesus,” both the one who conducted the people, who had been brought forth out of the land of Egypt, and freed from the wanderings of the wilderness, into the land of promise, and the other, who conducted the people, who had been brought forth from the darkness of ignorance, and recalled from the errors of the world, into the kingdom of heaven.

“Christ” is a name proper either to High Priests or Kings. For formerly both high priests and kings were consecrated with the ointment of chrism: but these, as mortal and corruptible, with material and corruptible ointment. Jesus is made Christ, being anointed with the Holy Spirit, as the Scripture saith of Him “Whom the Father hath anointed with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.” 3270 And Isaiah had prefigured the same, saying in the person of the Son, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me, He hath sent Me to preach good tidings to the poor.” 3271

Having shewn them what “Jesus” is, Who saves His people, and what “Christ” is, Who is made a High Priest for ever, let us now see in what follows, of Whom these things are said, “His only Son, our Lord.” Here we are taught that this Jesus, of whom we have spoken, and this Christ, the meaning of whose name we have expounded, is “the only Son of God” and “our Lord.” Lest, perchance, you should think that these human names have an earthly significance, p. 546 therefore it is added that He is “the only Son of God, our Lord.” For He is born One of One, because there is one brightness of light, and there is one word of the understanding. Neither does an incorporeal generation degenerate into the plural number, or suffer division, where He Who is born is in no wise separated from Him Who begets. He is “only” (unique), as thought is to the mind, as wisdom is to the wise, as a word is to the understanding, as valour is to the brave. For as the Father is said by the Apostle to be “alone wise,” 3272 so likewise the Son alone is called wisdom. He is then the “only Son.” And, although in glory, everlastingness, virtue, dominion, power, He is what the Father is, yet all these He hath not unoriginately as the Father, but from the Father, as the Son, without beginning and equal; and although He is the Head of all things, yet the Father is the Head of Him. For so it is written, “The Head of Christ is God.” 3273


Footnotes

545:3269

That is Joshua the son of Nun. It does not appear what passage is referred to.

545:3270

Acts x. 38

545:3271

Isa. 61:1, Luke 4:18Isa. lxi. 1. Comp. Luke iv. 18

546:3272

1 Tim. i. 17

546:3273

1 Cor. xi. 3


Next: Section 7

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