Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 3

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

TRACTATE 43

On John 8.48-59

IN THE passage of the holy Gospel which was read today, we learn patience from power. For what are we, servants to the Lord, sinners to the Just, a creature to the Creator? Nevertheless, just as if we are something evil, we are of ourselves, so whatever good we are, we are from him and through him.

(2) And nothing does a man so seek as power. He has the Lord Christ, a great power; but first let him imitate his patience that he may come to power. Who of us would listen patiently if it were said to someone, "You have a devil"? And this was said to him who not only saved men, but also gave orders to devils.

2. For when the Jews had said, "Do not we say well that you are a Samaritan and have a devil?" he denied one of these two accusations against him; he did not deny the other. For he answered and said, "I do not have a devil." He did not say, "I am not a Samaritan." And there were definitely two accusations. Although he did not return abuse for abuse, although he did not refute insult with insult, nevertheless it suited him to deny one thing, not to deny the other.

(2) Not without reason, brothers. For Samaritan is interpreted as guard. 1. He knew that he was our guard. For "he neither slumbers nor sleeps, who guards Israel" 2. and "Unless

____________________
1.
Augustine's definition of Samaritan as guard is one of the two meanings given the name by the Fathers; the other is observer or keeper of the Law. Jerome defines it both ways; see Liber Interpretationis Hebraicorum Nominum s.v., 4 Kgs, Is, Lk, and Acts (CCL 72.117, 122, 142, 148) and Epistula 75.5 (PL 22.688). These two meanings conform to modern etymologies; see J. Montgomery, The Samaritans (New York 1907 and 1968) 317-19.
2.
Ps 120 (121).4

-163-

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Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • Tractates on the Gospel of John 28-54 *
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations vii
  • Select Bibliography ix
  • Tractates 28-54 *
  • Tractate 28 - On John 7.1-13 3
  • Tractate 29 - On John 7.14-18 14
  • Tractate 30 - On John 7.19-24 22
  • Tractate 31 - On John 7.25-36 30
  • Tractate 32 - On John 7.37-39 41
  • Tractate 33 - On John 7.40-53: 8.I-II 51
  • Tractate 34 - On John 8.12 60
  • Tractate 35 - On John 8.13-14 71
  • Tractate 36 - On John 8.15-18 81
  • Tractate 37 - On John 8.19-20 95
  • Tractate 38 - On John 8.21-25 105
  • Tractate 39 - On John 8.25-27 116
  • Tractate 40 - On John 8.28-32 124
  • Tractate 41 - On John 8.31-36 135
  • Tractate 42 - On John 8.37-47 150
  • Tractate 43 - On John 8.48-59 163
  • Tractate 44 - On John 9 175
  • Tractate 45 - On John 10.1-10 187
  • Tractate 46 - On John 10.11-13 203
  • Tractate 47 - On John 10.14-21 212
  • Tractate 48 - On John 10.22-42 228
  • Tractate 49 - On John Ii.I-54 238
  • Tractate 50 - On John 11.55-12.11 260
  • Tractate 51 - On John 12.12-26 271
  • Tractate 52 - On John 12.27-36 280
  • Tractate 53 - On John 12.37-43 290
  • Tractate 54 - On John 12.44-50 301
  • Indices *
  • General Index 311
  • Index of Holy Scripture 321
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