Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Augustine on John's Gospel

I am currently reading through Simon Gathercole's book The Pre-existent Son (see the sidebar) and elsewhere I have come across this quote from Augustine about John's Gospel:

In the four Gospels, or rather in the four books of the one Gospel, Saint John the apostle, not undeservedly in respect of his spiritual understanding compared to the eagle, has elevated his preaching higher and far more sublimely than the other three; and in this elevating of it he would have our hearts likewise lifted up. For the other three evangelists walked with the Lord on earth as with a man; concerning His divinity they have said but little; but this evangelist, as if he disdained to walk on earth, just as in the very opening of his discourse he thundered on us, soared not only above the earth and above the whole compass of air and sky, but even above the whole army of angels and the whole order of invisible powers, and reached to Him by whom all things were made; saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Lectures on St. John, 36.1).
Of note is that Augustine does not deny that Jesus' divinity is taught in the Synoptic Gospels, but he emphasizes that John accentuates it more than others.

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