More Athens and Jerusalem

by Andrea Elizabeth

In the section, ‘Marius Victorinus’ of the chapter, “The Plotinian heritage in the West”, in Aristotle East and West, Dr. Bradshaw shows how this Christian philosopher understood the first two of the Triad including the One and the Intellect as a way to describe the Father and the Son, the first two persons of the Trinity. I’ll be looking to see if somehow the Soul or the World Soul gets compared to the Spirit, who as we sing is “everywhere present and fills all things”.

He also compares the Father/One to essence and the Son to One-Being.

What then is the relationship between the esse which is the Father and the öν[One-Being?] which is the Son? The answer lies in the second of the passages from the New Testament, the opening words of the Gospel of John: in principio erat verbum, et verbum erat apud deum. For Victorinus the verbum is of course the Son; more suprisingly, the principium is the Father, the beginning of all things. In saying that the verbum was in principio and apud deum (“in the bosom of the Father,” verse 18), St. John asserts that “initially” – that is, in the order of ontological priority – the Son  is present in potentiality in the Father. This potential öν comes forth as actual öν, and in so doing becomes the Logos. To say that the Logos is τò öν does not mean that the source of the Logos is not being (τò μη` öν) in any absolute sense, but only that it exists in a way other than that characteristic of τò öν. (p. 110)

So, does that mean that the voice coming from the burning bush to Moses was the pre-incarnate Word who is “I am”? This would solve the inconsistency regarding the existence of the Father who is above being, or beyond beingly being (Dr. John D. Jones), or now, being in another way, as Dr. Bradshaw put it above.

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