Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5

By Augustine; John W. Rettig | Go to book overview
Save to active project

On 1 Jn 1.1-2.11

"THAT WHICH was from the beginning, which we have heard and which we have seen with our eyes and our hands have handled: the Word of life." Who is he who handles the Word with his hands except that "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us"?1. Now this Word that was made flesh that it might be handled by hands began to be flesh from the Virgin Mary. But the Word did not then begin; for [ John] said, "That which was from the beginning." See if his Epistle does not confirm his Gospel where just a little while ago2. you heard, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God."3. Perhaps concerning "the Word of life" one might so take it as a kind of speaking about Christ, not as the very body of Christ which was handled by hands.4. See what follows: "And the Life itself was manifested." Therefore Christ is the Word of Life. And in what way was [the Life] manifested? For it "was from the beginning," but it was not manifested to men; it was, however, manifested to the angels, seeing [it] and feed

Cf. Jn 1.14.
modo. The gospel reading for Easter Sunday on which the Tractate was delivered was Jn 1, and it was read at the morning service. S. Poque has clearly established, as was discussed in the introduction above, that there were two assemblies of Augustine's congregation on each day of Easter Week and that this sermon was given at the evening service, while the Gospel was read at the morning service. Hence the translation. See Poque, Les Lectures, 222-26.
Cf. Jn. 1.1.
Augustine seems to be indirectly offering an explanation of the brachyological syntax of this sentence which lacks a main clause and in which the phrase, "of the Word of life," ( 1 Jn 1.1) is semantically ambiguous. He seems to take the "sentence" rather as a title of this epistle: "On the Word of life which we. . . ." Likewise he equates the Word of life with Christ and sees a clear reference to Jn 1.1. For a thorough discussion of this complex sentence see R. E. Brown, The Epistles of John, in The Anchor Bible (Garden City, New York, 1982) 30. 152-66. In the prologue and the opening sentence of this tractate Augustine calls this work an epistle and raises no questions about its genre; a good summary of modern views is given by Brown, 86-92.


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
Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5


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
/ 306

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?