Aquinas on Augustine De Trinitate and other References

Steven Avery

Administrator
Thomas Aquinas on Augustine

Grantley McDonald:

Aquinas himself seems to become entangled in these textual problems, claiming for example in Summa theologice Ia.29.4 that Augustine had cited the comma in his De Trinitate, apparently confusing Augustine with Peter Lombard, Sentences 1.25.)108 p. 63

108 Aquinas, 1964-1981, VI.56-57; Meehan, 1986, 8
.
While Grantley is basically solid here, it is difficult to follow because he does not give the Augustine text. The only Meehan in the bibliography does not show the Aquinas wording from Velecky, unless you go to the dissertation, see below. (And Sister Thomas More had about three different names, adding to the research difficulties.)

Also, if not Meehan, the Ceslaus Velecky edition may have first given the idea of a mix-up:


Praeterea, quid quaerit de essentia. Sed, sicut dicit Augustinus in eodem loco, cum dicitur, tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus; et quaeritur, quid tres? Respondetur, tres personae. Ergo hoc nomen persona significat essentiam.

Objection 2: Further, the interrogation "What?" refers to essence. But, as Augustine says: "When we say there are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and it is asked, Three what? the answer is, Three persons." Therefore person signifies essence.

Whether this word "person" signifies relation?
(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
https://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/FP/FP029.html

Latin
Textum Leoninum Romae 1888 editum
http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/sth1028.html
And from Lubor Ceslaus Velecky (1927-2011)

Summa Theologiae: Volume 6, The Trinity: 1a. 27-32
Thomas Aquinas
editor Ceslaus Velecky O.P. (2006 edition)
https://books.google.com/books?id=d8QpbDe1u7cC&pg=PA56

3 The ‘three witnesses’ text, 1 John 5, 7, absent from Greek and the most reliable Vulgate mss, also from the old Latin version, appears to be a gloss which at some stage crept into the text. The quotation from St Augustine cannot be found in the place given: St Thomas is possibly telescoping words from Peter Lombard (cf 1 Sentences, 25. Also 1a. 30, 2 sed contra)


Peter Lombard
Distinction XXV
https://books.google.com/books?id=HNOanXL6SVoC&pg=PA137

Lombard is appealing to Augustine on p. 136-137

4. Here, he responds to their objection by which they strive to PROVE THAT PERSONS ARE TAKEN ACCORDING TO ESSENCE WHEN WE RESPOND [‘PERSONS’]TO THOSE WHO ASK THREE WHAT. But as to that which they say: ‘When it is asked three what, the question is about essence, because what the three are is not found to be anything other than essence’7— wishing to induce us by this to understand essence by the term ‘person’ when we answer three persons—we say as follows: It is indubitably true that no one other thing is to be found there which those three are, except essence: for those three are one thing, that is, divine essence. Hence Truth says: I and the Father are one.* And yet, when it is asked ‘three what,’ the question is not about essence, nor does ‘what’ there refer to essence. But since the Catholic faith professed there to be three, as John says in the canonical Epistle: There are three who give witness in heaven? the question arose about what those three might be, that is, whether they be three things, and what three things, and by what name those three things might be signified. And so by the need of speaking in reply, this term ‘person’ was found, and it was said ‘three persons.’
From an earlier post, we quote from an Anton Charles Pegis edition of Aquinas:

(Q. 30 Art 2 ) The plurality of persons in God
http://books.google.com/books?id=BG4Ekg_WfgUC&pg=PA301

Objection 5. Further, everything within a determinate number is measured, for number is a measure. But the divine persons are immense, as we say in the Creed of Athanasius: "The Father is immense, the Son is immense, the Holy Ghost is immense." 10 Therefore the persons are not contained within the number three. On the contrary, It is said: "There are three who bear witness in heaven, the father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost" (1 John 5:7). To those who ask, "Three what?" we answer, with Augustine (De Trin. vii, 4), "Three persons." 11 Therefore there are but three persons in God.

10 Cf. Symb. "Quicumque" (Denzinger. no. 39)

11 De Trin VII,4;6 V 9 (PL 42, 940, 943, 913)

This is a series of references in De Trinitate given by Pegis. Our early church writer Latin scholars are welcome to pull out each one and study them for conjectured familiarity with our verse . Note though that Anton Pegis is not claiming any direct Augustine citations of 1 John v:7 .. nor is Aquinas using Augustine in any type of textual analysis referencing manner. ...
However, that is a similar section in #30, not the one in 29.

The section in #29 looks to be an Aquinas droopy-spot. Perhaps he mixed up Lombard with Augustine, or perhaps he over-extrapolated the question to the answer. Velecky says that Aquinas is "possibly telescoping words from Peter Lombard", which is a very fair appraisal.

Grantley graciously supplied the Sister Thomas More Meehan section, which affirms my Velecky conjecture above:


"it is also to be noted that the voluminous writings of Augustine of Hippo do not contain any citation of the Johannine comma. Thomas Aquinas thought otherwise, for he stated that, in De Trinitate, Augustine quotes the Johannine comma. However, an examination of Augustine's monumental study of the Trinity proves that, in this particular instance at least, the brilliant Dominican was mistaken.<3> Augustine makes no reference to the Three Heavenly Witnesses in his great Trinitarian work.<4> Indeed, when, in Contra Maximum, Augustine actually sites 1 John 5:7-8, he does so without any reference to the additional words. He simply states: "Tres sunt testes: spiritus, et aqua, et sanguis: et tres unum sunt."<5> Summa Theologiae, vol 6: The Trinitiy, trans. Ceslaus Velecky (New York: Black-friars, 1964) p. 57

<3> Aquinas translator thinks that Thomas "is possibly telescoping words from Peter Lombard." Velecky, p. 57, n. 4
<4> FC vol, 45
<5> NPNF, 7:526
And Augustine will be discussed more on his own separate page.
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
where Thomas Aquinas references the heavenly witnesses

Research on Thomas Aquinas, this will find most of his heavenly witnesses spots:

http://www.mlat.uzh.ch/MLS/advsuche...&corpus=all&verses=&lemmatised=&suchenin=alle

Contra errores Graecorum, 1, 12; 6
Unde et Ioannes nomen verbi pro nomine filii ponit, tam in principio Evangelii sui cum dicit: in principio erat verbum; quam etiam in sua canonica ubi dicit: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo: pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus.

De articulis Fidei et Ecclesiae sacramentis ad archiepiscopum Panormitanum, 1; 25
, 7: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus: et hi tres unum sunt.

Officium corporis Christi Sapientia, p1, 2; 28
, 7: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum, et spiritus sanctus.

Quaestiones disputatae de potentia, 8, 9, 4; 2
arg. 1 Dicit enim Augustinus, quod cum Ioannes dicit: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus; et quaereretur quid tres essent, responsum est quod sunt tres personae.

Quaestiones disputatae de potentia, 8, 9, 5; 84
V, 7: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo: pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus.

Scriptum super Sententiis, 1, 24, 1, 2; qc. 2 co.
c. 1 Contra est quod habetur 1 Ioan. 5, 7: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo: pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus, et hi tres unum sunt.

Summa contra gentiles, 4, 15, 1; 3
: euntes docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti; et I Ioannis 5-7: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus.

Summa contra gentiles, 4, 18, 6; 9
, tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus, et hi tres unum sunt.

Summa Theologiae, I, 29, 4; 6
Sed, sicut dicit Augustinus in eodem loco, cum dicitur, tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus; et quaeritur, quid tres?

Summa Theologiae, I, 30, 2; 24
, tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus.

Summa Theologiae, I, 36, 1; 21
, tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus.

Super Evangelium S. Ioannis lectura, 1, 2; 91
V, v. 7: tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus sanctus: et hi tres unum sunt.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Steven Avery

Administrator
Thomas Aquinas (1224/1227-1274) made use of the comma on a number of occasions.106 For example, in the Summa theologiæ Ia.30.2, Thomas
uses the comma to demonstrate that the Trinity contains three persons: no more and no fewer.107

106 Thomas Aquinas, In
I Sententiarum, dist. 24, quæst. 1, art. 2;
Quæstiones disputatæ de potentia, quæst. 9, art. 4, arg. 1; quæst. 9, art. 5, sed contra 1; quæst. 9, art. 9, sed contra 1;
Summa contra Gentiles IV.15.1, IV.18.6;
Summæ theologiæ prima pars, quæst. 29, art. 4, arg. 2; quæst. 29, art. 4, arg. 2; quæst. 36, art. 1, sed contra 1.

Contra Gentiles
http://books.google.com/books?id=OqJYUgtxDU8C&pg=PA351
http://www.archive.org/stream/summacontragenti04thomuoft

Summa theologiae

(Prima Pars, Q. 29) The divine persons
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1029.htm

Objection 2. Further, the interrogation "What?" refers to essence. But, as Augustine says:
"When we say there are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost,
and it is asked, Three what? the answer is, Three persons."
Therefore person signifies essence.
Question 30 - The Plurality of Persons in God
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1030.htm

On the contrary, It is said: "There are three who bear witness in heaven, the father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost" (1 John 5:7). To those who ask, "Three what?" we answer, with Augustine (De Trin. vii, 4), "Three persons." Therefore there are but three persons in God.
(Q. 36 Art 1 ) The person of the Holy Ghost (Prima Pars, Q. 36)
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=BG4Ekg_WfgUC&pg=PA343

On the contrary, It is said (1 John 5:7): "There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost." As Augustine says (De Trin. vii, 4): "When we ask, Three what? we say, Three persons." Therefore the Holy Ghost is the name of a divine person.
(Q. 39 Art 8) The persons in relation to the essence
https://www.newadvent.org/summa/1039.htm
http://books.google.com/books?id=BG4Ekg_WfgUC&pg=PA377

(Q. 41 Art 2 ) "the Father is immense.. it is said .. we answer with Augustine Three persons"
http://books.google.com/books?id=BG4Ekg_WfgUC&pg=PA301

107 Augrain, 1998, 88.

Moreana 35 (1998): 87-94.
The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation
“À propos du Comma Johanneum.”
Charles Augrain (1924-2011)
 
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Administrator
Key Doctrinal Aquinas Section with Joachim-Arian Issues - And Grantley text

Grantley McDonald:
Thomas acknowledged that the comma poses a textual problem, but his position is quite different from that of Guillaume of Saint-Thierry. (In fact Aquinas himself seems to become entangled in these textual problems, claiming for example in Summa theologiæ Ia.29.4 that Augustine had cited the comma in his De Trinitate, apparently confusing Augustine with Peter Lombard, Sentences 1.25.)108 In his remarks on the Lateran Council’s condemnation of Joachim’s proposition, Aquinas defends the canonicity of the comma. For him, the comma testifies to the united witness given by all three persons of the Trinity to Jesus’ status as Son of God: by the Father at the baptism and the transfiguration of Christ; by Jesus himself through his teaching and his miracles; and by the Spirit when he appeared at the baptism and at Pentecost. “But to introduce the unity of the three persons, [John] adds: ‘And these three are one.’ This is indeed said because of the unity of their essence.” According to Aquinas, Joachim’s interpretation of the unity of the heavenly witnesses as one of love and testimony rather than one of essence was a perversion of its true sense. Aquinas goes on to suggest that the clause “and these three are one” at the end of verse 8—which can only refer to a unity of testimony rather than one of essence—was added by Arians in order to cast suspicion on the parallel phrase in verse 7, in order to lead the reader to suspect that the testimony of the three heavenly witnesses was likewise one of testimony rather than of essence. “In the true copies this is not found,” Aquinas concludes. For Aquinas it was clear that Joachim had fallen into the error of the Arians, and had therefore rightly been condemned by the Council.109 In Aquinas’ comments we see that variations in the reading of the comma in Latin bibles—attributable to textual interference to the end of verse 8 caused by the presence of the credal formulation hæc tria unum—had led Aquinas to a conclusion which was philologically incorrect, even if consistent with his doctrinal position. As far as I am aware, Aquinas was the first person to suggest that the presence of the clause “and these three are one” in verse 8 was due to its addition by Arians. Most of those who have sought to explain the absence of the comma from the Greek text and the other translations through textual interference usually argue that the comma was erased by the Arians. Nevertheless, it is significant that Aquinas should have conjured the ghost of Arius to explain the variants in the textual record. On the strength of Aquinas’ authority, the clause “and these three are one” was subsequently omitted from verse 8 in many manuscripts of the Vulgate, and the phrase “these three are one” in verse 7 interpreted as referring unambiguously to the unity of the divine essense in the three persons of the Trinity, an interpretation evident for example in that of the influential commentator Nicolaus de Lyra.110

The key note 109
https://books.google.com/books?id=7iljAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA93 (1747) Rubeis et al
https://books.google.com/books?id=syETAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA9-PA83 (1775)
https://books.google.com/books?id=h0sOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA450 (1881)

See also Rubeis
https://books.google.com/books?id=QrBRAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA49

1857 - footnote
https://books.google.com/books?id=rhgVAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA519

MAIN DISCUSSION SECTION - check italics, Augustine and Hilary usage

109 Aquinas, 1881, 3:450-451 (In decretalem I expositio ad archidiaconum Tridentinum):
“Inducebat [Ioachim] etiam ad suæ opinionis assertionem, quod dicitur I Ioan. ult., viii: Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in cælo, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus sanctus. Pater quidem cum dixit: Hic est filius meus dilectus, et hoc in baptismo, ut dicitur Matth. III [17]; et in transfiguratione, ut habetur Matth. XVII. Filius vero dedit testimonium fidei christianæ per doctrinam et miracula. Unde dicit, Ioan. VIII, 18: Ego sum qui testimonium perhibeo de me ipso, et testimonium perhibet de me, qui misit me Pater; Spiritus sanctus testimonium perhibuit in specie columbæ super Christum apparens in baptismo, et per adventum suum in discipulos Christi. Et ad insinuandam unitatem trium personarum, subditur: Et hi tres unum sunt; quod quidem dicitur propter essentiæ unitatem. Sed hoc Ioachim perverse trahere volens ad unitatem charitatis et consensus, inducebat consequentem auctoritatem. Nam subditur ibidem 8: Et tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra, scilicet spiritus, et aqua et sanguis. In quibusdam libris attenditur: Et hi tres unum [451] sunt. Sed hoc in veris exemplaribus non habetur, sed in quibusdam libris dicitur esse appositum ab hæreticis Arianis ad pervertendum intellectum sanum auctoritatis præmissæ de unitate essentiali trium personarum. Similiter etiam Ariani utebantur illa auctoritate: Ut sint unum in nobis, sicut et nos unum sumus, ad ostendendum quod Pater et Filius non sunt unum, nisi secundum consensum amoris, sicut et nos, ut patet per Augustinum et Hilarium, qui dicunt hunc fuisse perversum sensum Arianorum. Unde manifestum est quod Ioachim in errorem Arianorum incidit, licet non pertinaciter, quia ipse scripta sua apostolicæ sedis iudicio subiecit, ut infra dicetur, et ideo consequenter ponitur determinatio Concilii pro veritate.”
 
Last edited:
Top