|Fragment number||Vincent 97
|Ancient source used||Eusebius, Ecclesiastical Theology 2.19|
|Modern edition||M. Vinzent, Markell von Ankyra: Die Fragmente (Leiden, 1997).|
But if he is sill willing to hear another prophesy of his which confirms for us that there is one God, he says, “I, God, am the first, and I am unto eternity” (Is 41:4). For the “I” denotes one person, and the two words together indicate to us one person because when he says “I”, he then continues “am,” so that through the two parts of the sentence—both the pronoun and the verb—witness is born to the monad of the deity.
And if still another testimony is necessary, I will provide for him again the same prophet, who says, “I am the first, and I am after these things; besides me there is no god” (Is 44:6). If Asterius supposes that the Son is distinguished from the Father with respect to hypostasis, as is a human son, because he is offended by the human flesh which he assumed for our sake, let him show us someone who says such things. For what is said here speaks of just one person. So who is it who says, “Besides me there is no god”? (Is 44:6)
Let him hear still another prophesy which says, “There is no one righteous, no savior, except for me” (Isa 45:21). If he supposes that “there are two gods,” he will necessarily have to conclude that one of them is not righteous and not a savior. But if he is not righteous or a savior, how can he still be God? For it is declared that there is one who is righteous and savior. And again he says, “Before me there was not another, nor will there be after me. I am God, and there will be no one who saves except me” (Is 43:10,11).
And if he is willing to listen to still another word of prophesy, which may perhaps have been spoken for him and those who are disposed to think about the deity in the same way as he, let him hear Isaiah himself, who says, “Repent, you who are deceived, turn back in your heart, and remember the past things from eternity, that I am the God, and there is no other apart from me” (Is 46:8,9). He did not say, “I am a god,” so that through the addition of the definite article he might clearly demonstrate that there is only one God.
And what about Hosea the prophet? Does he not also give the same testimony, saying, “I brought you up out of Egypt, so that you would know that there is no god besides me and there is no savior except for me” (Hos 13:4). And again Malachi says, “Did not one God create you? Do you not all have one Father?” (Mal 2:10).
But perhaps Asterius will allege that David has not said anything about this–even though after Moses he is the most ancient of the prophet–and for this reason he is unclear about whether or not it is proper to suppose that “there are two Gods, distinguished in hypostasis.” Therefore, to prevent him from saying this, I think it logical to point out to him that David says the same things as the aforementioned saints: “Listen, my people, and I will speak to you. Israel, and I will testify to you. If you listen to me, there will be no new god among you, nor will you worship another god. For I am the Lord, your God” (Ps 81:8,9). By pointing to himself and saying, “I am,” is he not clearly saying that there is only one God, namely, himself?
Translated by AJW, revised AMJ
Last updated: 8-29-2012
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