Sunday, January 25, 2009

Q74 A3: Whether Scripture uses suitable words to express the work of the six days?

Yes. Scripture does use suitable words to express the works of the six days because according to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. i, 4), the person of the Son is mentioned both in the first creation of the world, and in its distinction and adornment, but differently in either place.

Scriptura utatur convenientibus verbis ad exprimendum opera sex dierum quod secundum Augustinum, persona filii commemoratur tam in prima rerum creatione, quam in rerum distinctione et ornatu; aliter tamen et aliter.

For distinction and adornment belong to the work by which the world receives its form. But as the giving form to a work of art is by means of the form of the art in the mind of the artist, which may be called his intelligible word, so the giving form to every creature is by the word of God; and for this reason in the works of distinction and adornment the Word is mentioned.

Distinctio enim et ornatus pertinet ad rerum formationem. Sicut autem formatio artificiatorum est per formam artis quae est in mente artificis, quae potest dici intelligibile verbum ipsius; ita formatio totius creaturae est per verbum Dei. Et ideo in opere distinctionis et ornatus fit mentio de verbo.

But in creation the Son is mentioned as the beginning, by the words, "In the beginning God created," since by creation is understood the production of formless matter.

In creatione autem commemoratur filius ut principium, cum dicitur, in principio creavit Deus, quia per creationem intelligitur productio informis materiae.

But according to those who hold that the elements were created from the first under their proper forms, another explanation must be given; and therefore Basil says (Hom. ii, iii in Hexaem.) that the words, "God said," signify a Divine command. Such a command, however, could not have been given before creatures had been produced that could obey it.

Secundum vero alios, qui ponunt primo creata elementa sub propriis formis, oportet aliter dici. Basilius enim dicit quod per hoc quod dicitur, dixit Deus, importatur divinum imperium. Prius autem oportuit produci creaturam quae obediret, quam fieri mentionem de divino imperio.

According to Augustine (De Civ. Dei ix, 33), by the heaven is understood the formless spiritual nature, and by the earth, the formless matter of all corporeal things, and thus no creature is omitted.

Secundum Augustinum, per caelum intelligitur spiritualis natura informis; per terram autem materia informis omnium corporum. Et sic nulla creatura est praetermissa.

In either work, of creation and of formation, the Trinity of Persons is implied. In creation the Person of the Father is indicated by God the Creator, the Person of the Son by the beginning, in which He created, and the Person of the Holy Ghost by the Spirit that moved over the waters.

Et sic in utroque opere creationis et formationis, Trinitas personarum insinuatur. In creatione quidem, persona patris per Deum creantem; persona filii, per principium in quo creavit; spiritus sancti, qui superfertur aquis.

But in the formation, the Person of the Father is indicated by God that speaks, and the Person of the Son by the Word in which He speaks, and the Person of the Holy Spirit by the satisfaction with which God saw that what was made was good.

In formatione vero, persona patris in Deo dicente; persona vero filii, in verbo quo dicitur; persona spiritus sancti, in complacentia qua vidit Deus esse bonum quod factum erat.

But according to the holy writers, the Spirit of the Lord signifies the Holy Ghost, Who is said to "move over the water" -- that is to say, over what Augustine holds to mean formless matter, "lest it should be supposed that God loved of necessity the works He was to produce, as though He stood in need of them. For love of that kind is subject to, not superior to, the object of love. Moreover, it is fittingly implied that the Spirit moved over that which was incomplete and unfinished, since that movement is not one of place, but of pre-eminent power," as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. i, 7).

Sed secundum sanctos, per spiritum domini intelligitur spiritus sanctus. Qui dicitur superferri aquae, idest materiae informi secundum Augustinum, "ne facienda opera sua propter indigentiae necessitatem putaretur Deus amare, indigentiae enim amor rebus quas diligit subiicitur. Commode, autem factum est, ut prius insinuaretur aliquid inchoatum, cui superferri diceretur, non enim superfertur loco, sed praeexcellente potentia," ut Augustinus dicit I super Gen. ad Litt.

According to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. i, 8), these three phrases denote the threefold being of creatures; first, their being in the Word, denoted by the command "Let . . . be made"; secondly, their being in the angelic mind, signified by the words, "It was . . . done"; thirdly, their being in their proper nature, by the words, "He made."

Secundum Augustinum, per illa tria designatur triplex esse rerum, primo quidem esse rerum in verbo, per hoc quod dixit, fiat; secundo, esse rerum in mente angelica per hoc quod dixit, factum est; tertio, esse rerum in propria natura, per hoc quod dixit, fecit.

According to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. iv, 22,30), by the "evening" and the "morning" are understood the evening and the morning knowledge of the angels, which has been explained (Q58 A6, Q58 A7).

Secundum Augustinum, per vespere et mane intelligitur vespertina et matutina cognitio in Angelis, de quibus dictum est supra.

The words "one day" are used when day is first instituted, to denote that one day is made up of twenty-four hours. Hence, by mentioning "one," the measure of a natural day is fixed.

Dicitur unus dies in prima diei institutione, ad designandum quod viginti quatuor horarum spatia pertinent ad unum diem. Unde per hoc quod dicitur unus, praefigitur mensura diei naturalis.