Eucherius of Lyon (380-449 AD) - ms. issues, mystical-allegorical interpretation?

Steven Avery

Administrator
Eucherius of Lyon - (c. 380 – c. 449)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucherius_of_Lyon

Eucherius was back-and-forth in the historical debate, partly because of manuscript considerations

Corpus Corporum is pro heavenly witnesses:
Eucherius Lugdunensis, Formulae spiritalis intelligentiae,
CAPUT XI. De numeris. PL 50, col 0770A (0769D)
http://www.mlat.uzh.ch/MLS/xfromcc.php?tabelle=Eucherius_Lugdunensis_cps2&rumpfid=Eucherius_Lugdunensis_cps2, Formulae spiritalis intelligentiae, p1, 11&id=Eucherius_Lugdunensis_cps2, Formulae spiritalis intelligentiae, p1, 11, 6&level=99&level9798=&satz=6&hilite_id=Eucherius_Lugdunensis_cps2, Formulae spiritalis intelligentiae, p1, 11, 6&string=in!coelo!Pater&binary=&corpus=&target=&lang=0&home=&von=suchergebnis&hide_apparatus=1&inframe=1&jumpto=6#6

II. Ad duo testamenta divinae legis referuntur, in Reg. : Et fecit in Dabir duo Cherubin decem cubitorum magnitudine (III Reg. VI, 23) . Duo praecepta charitatis, amoris videlicet Dei et proximi. (0770A) Duo in agro, duo in molendino, duo in lecto (Luc. XVII, 34) leguntur in sancto Evangelio.

III. Ad Trinitatem; in Ioannis Epistola: Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in coelo, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus sanctus, et tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra, spiritus, aqua et sanguis (I Ioan. V, 7) . Et in Gen.: Tres propagines (Gen. XL, 10) .

IV. Ad quatuor Evangelia, in Ezechiele: Et ex medio eorum, similitudo quatuor animalium (Ezech. I, 5) . Sicut et quatuor flumina paradisi (Gen. II, 10) . Nomen tetragrammaton quatuor litteris Hebraicis scribitur. (0770B) Quatuor cornibus sancta crux insignitur, ut Habacuc: Cornua in manibus eius (Hab. III, 4) .


The Migne edition cites 1 Jn 5:7-8 at this point, leading many commentators in the past to assume that the comma formed part of the biblical text known to Eucherius. But the critical edition of Eucherius' works (ed. Wotke, 1884) gives merely the words tria sunt quce testimonium perhibent: aqua sanguis spiritus, a more plausible reading that reflects the neuter plural tria found in two extant bibles of the ninth and tenth centuries (Madrid, Complutense ms 31 and Leön, Archivio catedralicio ms 6).36 Further evidence is found in the first book of Eucherius’ Instructiones, which contains a section called On rather difficult questions in the
New Testament.
One of the questions Eucherius raises here is the meaning of the water, blood and spirit mentioned in the letter of John. “Here many people,” he says, “through a mystical interpretation understand the Trinity itself; since it is perfect, it bears testimony to Christ.” It is not certain who these “many people” might be, for the set of correspondences given by Eucherius (water = Father, blood = Christ, spirit = Holy Spirit) differs from that given by Augustine and subsequently by Facundus, bishop of Hermiane (spirit = Father, blood = Son, water = Holy Spirit).37

36 Eucherius, Liber formularum spiritalis intelligentice IX (De numeris), ed. Wotke, CSEL 31:59: “Sane his nominibus absolutis numeros quoque breuiter digeramus, quos mystica exemplorum ratio inter sacros celebriores efficit. I. hie numerus ad unitatem Deitatis refertur [...]. II. ad duo testamenta [...]. III. ad trinitatem; in Ioannis epistola: tria sunt qua testimonium perhibent:
aqua sanguis spiritus.
” The text in PL 50:770 reads: “III. Ad Trinitatem; in Joannis Epistola: Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in coelo, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus sanctus, et tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra, spiritus, aqua et sanguis.” This reading does not appear in Wotke’s apparatus. Further on Eucherius, see Bludau, 1927.

37 Eucherius, Instructiones I (De qucestiombus difficilioribus Novi Testamenti), CSEL 31:137-138: “Item Iohannes in epistula sua ponit: tria sunt quce testimonium perhibent, aqua, sanguis, et spiritus; quid in hoc indicator? [... ] Plures tamen hie ipsam interpretatione mystica intelligunt Trinitatem, eo quod perfecta ipsa perhibeat testimonium Christo: aqua patrem indicans, quia
ipse de se dicit: me derelinqueruntfontem aquce uiuce, sanguine Christum demonstrans, utique per passionis cruorem, spiritu uero sanctum spiritum manifestans. Haec autem tria de Christo testimonium ita perhibent ipso in euangelio loquente: ego sum qui testimonium perhibeo de me, et testimonium perhibuit de me qui misit me pater, et item: cum autem uenerit paraclitus quern ego
mittam uobis, spiritum ueritatis, qui a patre procedit ille testimonium perhibet de me
. perhibet ergo testimonium pater, cum dicit: hie est filius meus dilectus, filius, cum dicit: ego et pater unum sumus, spiritus sanctus, cum de eo dicitur: et uidit spiritum dei descendentem sicut columbam uenientem super se.”


Here is a small sampiing of the historical back and forth.

Isaac Newton
https://books.google.com/books?id=YsMPAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA187

Thomas Emlyn
https://books.google.com/books?id=iEYVAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA193

Thomas Burgess
http://books.google.com/books?id=DF0XAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA61

Charles Forster
http://books.google.com/books?id=EKwCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA5

August Bludau. “Das Comma Johanneum 1. Joh. 5, 7 bei Eucherius und Cassiodor.” Theologie und Glaube 19 (1927): 149-155,418.

We plan another page on the issue of mystical and allegorical interpretation. In fact, it was the original symmetry and parelellism of heavenly and earthly witnesses in the autographic Greek text that strongly contributed to mystical interpretations arising when the heavenly witnesses dropped from the text line.
 
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