Steven Avery

John Chrysostom (347-407)

Witness of God has a bit, this is the most interesting:

Again, those who are afflicted with the madness of Sabellius or the ravings of Arius have in both cases fallen away from the sound faith by going to extremes. Each of these parties bears the name of Christian, but if you examine their doctrines you will find the first group no better than Jews except for a difference of name, while the others have a great affinity with the heresy of Paul of Samosata; and both are beyond the pale of truth. There is, then, great danger in such cases, and strait and narrow is the way, with abrupt precipices on both sides. There is every reason to fear that, while trying to aim a blow at one enemy, you will be struck by the other. If someone says that the Godhead is one, Sabellius distorts the expression at once, to favour his own madness. If, on the other hand, someone makes a distinction and says that the Father is one, the Son another, and the Holy Ghost another, up gets Arius, twisting the distinction of Persons into a difference of Substance. We must shun and avoid the impious confusion of the one party and the mad division of the other by confessing that the Godhead of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost is one, but adding that there are three Persons. For by this means we shall be able to defend ourselves from the attacks of both.

(Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, book IV.4; Translation by Johannes, 1977, p. 118)

Adversus Judaeos (Homily 1:3) -

John Chrysostom (c. 349 – 407 AD) wrote Adversus Judaeos (Homily 1:3) in which he used the following curious phrase:

"Κάτω τρεῖς μάρτυρες, ἄνω τρεῖς μάρτυρες, τὸ ἀπρόσιτον τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ δόξης δηλοῦντες."
"Three witnesses below, three witnesses above, showing the inaccessibility of God's glory." (Translation by KJV Today)

Chrysostom is not speaking about the Trinity in the context. He is merely saying that a good number of witnesses testify concerning the ineffable nature of God. Still, it is interesting that Chrysostom would give weight to his argument by using the formula of having three witnesses below and three witnesses above ("above" is to be understood as "heaven", as he previously stated, "ἀλλ' ἀνέβην εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ("But I went up to heaven [figuratively]"). Since the Comma was already cited in the Latin Church during Chrysostom's time, it is far more candid to suppose that a learned teacher such as Chrysostom knew of the Comma and was alluding to its formula than to suppose that he formulated it by his own imagination.


Chrysostom on 1 John 5
John Henry Newman
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