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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Soul and its Origin.: Chapter 31

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 31.—The Argument of the Apollinarians to Prove that Christ Was Without the Human Soul of This Same Sort.

Although, then, this question remains unsolved p. 329 by these passages of Scripture, which are certainly indecisive so far as pertains to the point before us, yet I am quite sure of this, that those persons who think that the soul of the first woman did not come from her husband’s soul, on the ground of its being only said, “Flesh of my flesh,” and not, “Soul of my soul,” do, in fact, argue in precisely the same manner as the Apollinarians argue, and all such gainsayers, in opposition to the Lord’s human soul, which they deny for no other reason than because they read in the Scripture, “The Word was made flesh.” 2394 For if, say they, there was a soul in Him also, it ought to have been said, “The Word was made man.” But the reason why the great truth is stated in the terms in question really is, that under the designation flesh, Holy Scripture is accustomed to describe the entire human being, as in the passage, “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” 2395 For flesh alone without the soul cannot see anything. Besides, many other passages of the Holy Scriptures go to make it manifest, without any ambiguity, that in the man Christ there is not only flesh, but a human—that is, a reasonable—soul also. Whence they, who maintain the propagation of souls might also understand that a part is put for the whole in the passage, “Bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh,” in such wise that the soul, too, be understood as implied in the words, in the same manner as we believe that the Word became flesh, not without the soul. All that is wanted is, that they should support their opinion of the propagation of souls on passages which are unambiguous; just as other passages of Scripture show us that Christ possesses a human soul. On precisely the same principle we advise the other side also, who do away with the opinion of the propagation of souls, that they should produce certain proofs for their assertion that souls are created by God in every fresh case by insufflation, and that they should then maintain the position that the saying, “This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh,” was not spoken figuratively as a part for the whole, including the soul in its signification, but in a bare literal sense of the flesh alone.



John i. 14.


Luke 3:6, Isa. 40:5.

Next: Chapter 32