Discourses against Judaizing Christians

By Saint John Chrysostom; Paul W. Harkins | Go to book overview
Save to active project


TODAY I HAD INTENDED [843] to complete my discussion of the topic on which I spoke to you a few days ago; I wished to present you with even clearer proof that God's nature is more than our minds can grasp. 1 Last Sunday 2 I spoke on this at great length and I brought forward as my witnesses Isaiah, David, and Paul. For it was Isaiah who exclaimed: "Who shall declare his generation?" 3 David knew

This is a clear reference to the first sermon De incomprehensibili Dei natura contra Anomoeos, delivered in 386 (cf. PG 48.699-710; SC 28bis 72-110). Quasten 3.451 describes the Anomoeans as the most radical of the Arian sects, which pretended to know God as God knows Himself; they maintained not merely the inequality but the dissimilarity of the Son's nature to that of the Father. The bracketed 843 and the bracketed numbers that follow in sequence refer to (approximate) column-openings in PG 48.
Since last Sunday was only "a few days ago," Chrysostom must also have preached at weekday liturgies. See above, Introd. I 8.
Cf. Is 53.8 (LXX). The Hebrew text of this verse has been variously emended and translated. NAB reads: "... and who would have thought any more of his destiny?" JB gives: "...would anyone plead his cause?" and adds a note that the words "who will explain his generation (or descent)?" of the Greek and Latin has been taken by Christian tradition to refer to the mysterious origin of Christ. E. Power (CCHS 568) points out that the Hebrew noun dȯr (the reading probably basic to LXX) usually means "generation" in the sense of lifetime or contemporaries, but it cannot indicate the act of generating, the eternal or temporal generation of Christ. Chrysostom, following the School of Antioch, takes the Greek word genea in its literal meaning of descent or generation. When he mentions the text in De incomp. 1.5 (PG 48.705-6; SC 28bis 94) he seems more interested in the future tense of the verb, because he says: "He did not say, 'Who declares (or explains)' but, 'Who shall declare (or explain)' his generation?" Thus he excluded any future declaration or explanation. Hence, the Anomoean can never define the substance of God (ibid. 1.4, PG 48.705; SC 28 bis 92).


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Discourses against Judaizing Christians


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 299

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?