John Chrysostom

Steven Avery

John Chrysostom (347-407)

The Witness of God is Greater - 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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Steven Avery


Steven Avery

From matt13weedwacker comes more of the section from Adversos Judeaos.

Chrysostom works with some parallel ideas of earthly witnesses, maybe heavenly witnesses. Is the parallel totally coincidental? Unlikely. The idea of three witnesses in heaven and in earth comes from John's Epistle. On top of that see Chrysostom 's Old Latin awareness.

John Chrysostom, "Discourses against Judaizing Christians," translated by Paul W. Harkins. The Fathers of the Church; Vol. 68 (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1979)


[1.] "Today I had intended to complete my discussion on the topic on which I spoke to you a few days ago; I wished to present you with even clearer proof that God's nature is more than our minds can graspe. Last Sunday I spoke on this at great length and I brought forward as my witnesses Isaiah, David, and Paul. For it was Isaiah who exclaimed: "Who shall declare his generation?" David knew God was beyond his comprehension and so he gave thanks to him and said: "I will praise you for you are fearfully magnified: wonderful are your works". And again it was David who said: "The knowledge of you is to wonderful for me, a height to which my mind cannot attain". Paul did not search and pry into God's very essence, but only into his providence; I should say rather that he looked only on the small portion of divine providence which God had made manifest when he called the gentiles. And Paul saw this small part as a vast and incomprehensible sea when he exclaimed: "O the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!"
[2.] These three witnesses gave us proof enough, but I was not satisfied with prophets nor did I settle for apostles. I mounted to the heavens and gave you as proof the chorus of Angels as they sang: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men". Again, you heard the Seraphim as they shuddered and cried out in astonishment:
"Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is filled with his glory". And I gave you also the Cherubim who exclaimed: "Blessed be his glory in his dwelling".
[3.] So there were three witnesses on earth and three in Heaven who made it clear that God's glory cannot be approached. For the rest, the proof was beyond dispute; there was great applause, the audience warmed with enthusiasm, you assembly came aflame. I did rejoice at this, yet my joy was not because praise was coming to me but because glory was coming to my Master. For that applause and praise showed the love you have for God in your souls. If a servant loves his master and hears someone speak in praise of that master, his heart comes aflame with a love for him who speaks. This is because the servant loves his master. You acted just that way when I spoke: by the abundance of your applause you showed clearly your abundant love for the Master."

Steven Avery

The Witness of God is Greater - The Trisagion Section

[John Chrysostom (d. 407 AD)] Above, the hosts of angels sing praise; below, men form choirs in the
churches and imitate them by singing the same doxology. Above the Seraphim cry out the Trisagion Hymn;
below, the human throng sends up the same cry. The inhabitants of heaven and earth are brought together in
a common assembly; there is one thanksgiving, one shout of delight, one joyful chorus. (St. John Chrysostom,
In Matthaeum, Hom. LXVIII, 3; <