Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Novatian/A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity/Part 17
Chapter XVII. Argument.—It Is, Moreover, Proved by Moses in the Beginning of the Holy Scriptures.
What if Moses pursues this same rule of truth, and delivers to us in the beginning of his sacred writings, this principle by which we may learn that all things were created and founded by the Son of God, that is, by the Word of God? For He says the same that John and the rest say; nay, both John and the others are perceived to have received from Him what they say. For if John says, “All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made,” the prophet David too says, “I tell my works to the King.” Moses, moreover, introduces God commanding that there should be light at the first, that the heaven should be established, that the waters should be gathered into one place, that the dry land should appear, that the fruit should be brought forth according to its seed, that the animals should be produced, that lights should be established in heaven, and stars. He shows that none other was then present to God—by whom these works were commanded that they should be made—than He by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. And if He is the Word of God—“for my heart has uttered forth a good Word”—He shows that in the beginning the Word was, and that this Word was with the Father, and besides that the Word was God, and that all things were made by Him. Moreover, this “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,”—to wit, Christ the Son of God; whom both on receiving subsequently as man according to the flesh, and seeing before the foundation of the world to be the Word of God, and God, we reasonably, according to the instruction of the Old and New Testament, believe and hold to be as well God as man, Christ Jesus. What if the same Moses introduces God saying, “Let us make man after our image and likeness;” and below, “And God made man; in the image of God made He him, male and female made He them?” If, as we have already shown, it is the Son of God by whom all things were made, certainly it was the Son of God by whom also man was ordained, on whose account all things were made. Moreover, when God commands that man should be made, He is said to be God who makes man; but the Son of God makes man, that is to say, the Word of God, “by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made.” And this Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: therefore Christ is God; therefore man was made by Christ as by the Son of God. But God made man in the image of God; He is therefore God who made man in the image of God; therefore Christ is God: so that with reason neither does the testimony of the Old Testament waver concerning the person of Christ, being supported by the manifestation of the New Testament; nor is the power of the New Testament detracted from, while its truth is resting on the roots of the same Old Testament. Whence they who presume Christ the Son of God and man to be only man, and not God also, do so in opposition to both Old and New Testaments, in that they corrupt the authority and the truth both of the Old and New Testaments. What if the same Moses everywhere introduces God the Father infinite and without end, not as being enclosed in any place, but as one who includes every place; nor as one who is in a place, but rather one in whom every place is, containing all things and embracing all things, so that with reason He can neither descend nor ascend, because He Himself both contains and fills all things, and yet nevertheless introduces God descending to consider the tower which the sons of men were building, asking and saying, “Come;” and then, “Let us go down and there confound their tongues, that each one may not understand the words of his neighbour.” Whom do they pretend here to have been the God who descended to that tower, and asking to visit those men at that time? God the Father? Then thus He is enclosed in a place; and how does He embrace all things? Or does He say that it is an angel descending with angels, and saying, “Come;” and subsequently, “Let us go down and there confound their tongues?” And yet in Deuteronomy we observe that God told these things, and that God said, where it is written, “When He scattered abroad the children of Adam, He determined the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God.” Neither, therefore, did the Father descend, as the subject itself indicates; nor did an angel command these things, as the fact shows. Then it remains that He must have descended, of whom the Apostle Paul says, “He who descended is the same who ascended above all the heavens, that He might fill all things,” that is, the Son of God, the Word of God. But the Word of God was made flesh, and dwelt among us. This must be Christ. Therefore Christ must be declared to be God.
- According to Pamelius, ch. xxv.
- John i. 3.
- Ps. xlv. 1.
- Ps. xlv. 1. [As understood by the Father passim. See Justin, vol. i. p. 213; Theophilus, ii. 98; Tertullian, iv. 365; Origen, iv. 352, 421; and Cyprian, v. p. 516, supra.]
- John i. 14.
- Gen. i. 26.
- Gen. i. 27.
- Gen. xi. 7.
- Deut. xxxii. 8. [ἔστησεν ὀρια ἐθνῶν κατὰ ἀριθμὸν ἀλλέλων Θεοῦ, Sept.]
- Eph. iv. 10.