Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 3

By St Augustine; John W. Rettig | Go to book overview
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TRACTATE 34

On John 8.12

I DO NOT doubt that we all tried also to understand what we have just now heard and attentively received when the Holy Gospel was read; and each of us took what he could according to his own capacity from so great a matter which has been read. And when the bread of the word has been served, there is no one who complains that he has tasted nothing. But again I do not doubt that there is rarely anyone who has understood the whole. Nevertheless, even if there is someone who understands well all the words of our Lord Jesus Christ just recited from the Gospel, let him endure our ministry, until, if we can, with his help, we enable, by our discussion, all or many to understand what the few are delighted to have understood.

2. I think that what the Lord said, "I am the Light of the world," is clear to those who have eyes with which they may become partakers of this Light. But they who do not have eyes except in the flesh alone wonder at what was said by the Lord Jesus Christ: "I am the Light of the world." And perhaps there may even be present someone who would say to himself, Is the Lord Christ perhaps this sun which brings to pass a day by its rising and setting? For there have actually been heretics who have held these opinions.

(2) The Manichees thought that Christ the Lord was this sun, visible to the eyes of the flesh, open and public not only to men but also to brute animals to see. 1. But the orthodox faith

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1.
In the complex syncretic religion founded by Mani, A.D. 216-c. 277, Jesus held a special and unique position. As a particular emanation of the Divine Light, Jesus the Brilliant came as the Third Messenger to bring the knowledge of salvation to Adam. He is variously syncretized with the histori

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