Aquinas on Augustine De Trinitate

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
 
Last edited by a moderator:

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/advsuchergebnis.php?suchbegriff="in caelo Pater"&table=&level2_name=&from_year=&to_year=&mode=SPH_MATCH_EXTENDED2&lang=0&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:
Top