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BOOK REVIEWS De Divinitate Christi iuxta S. Paulum, Rom. 9, 5. By Hyacinthus M. Faccio, O.F.M. Jerusalem : Typis PP. Franciscanorum, 1945. Pp. 147. In this unpretentious book of 147 pages the author discusses the problem of the divinity of Christ — a problem that is as vital and important today as it was centuries ago. Although Fr. Faccio limits himself to the text of St. Paul, Rom. 9, 5, it does not detract in any way from its paramount importance. The purpose of the author's dissertation is set forth clearly in the Proemium. He states that, though not all the arguments of Sacred Scripture for the divinity of Christ are reduced solely to the texts where He is explicitly called God (tfco«), the great dogmatic import of those texts in which Christ is explicitly declared God cannot be denied. Hence the reason why Fr. Faccio has undertaken this present study : to vindicate the divinity of Christ from the text of St. Paul to the Romans 9,5 : "whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ, according to flesh, who is over all things, God blessed for ever. Amen." The author is well aware that many writers have already written on this subject ; nevertheless he considers it worthwhile to go over the entire question and subject it to a critical examination, and to prove conclusively that the only interpretation that can and must be held is that Christ is therein manifestly declared God. The text in question refers so clearly to Christ, whose transcendent and divine nature it explains, that it has never been understood differently by Christian tradition. In the East, St. Dionysius and the bishops who signed the synodal letter against Paul of Samosata, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Cyril of Alexandria ; in the West, Irenieus, Tertullian, Hippolyte, Novatian, Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome ; the Greek and Latin commentators, Origen, Ambrosiaster, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and the rest do not even suspect that any other meaning could be given it. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Greek Fathers, who knew their Greek language much better than most of our modern exegetes, do not mention it, even to refute it. Certain modern exegetes, however, are less scrupulous. They arbitrarily put a period either after "Christ according to flesh," or before "God blessed for ever ;" and they obtain a fragment of a phrase which, they claim, is a mere doxology to the Father. The latest Protestant edition of the New Testament (The New Covenant: Commonly called the New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Standard Revised Version. New York : Nelson and Sons, 1946) has this version : "... and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen." A footnote indicates the alternative version : "or Christ who is God over all, blessed forever." Everyone will agree that this kind of trimming gives to the phrase an awkward appearance and a strange turn. Assuredly it would never have occurred to anyone who was not already persuaded that St. Paul cannot call Christ God, and that he never addresses a doxology to Him. 243 244BOOK REVIEWS If this double hypothesis were justified, the conclusion would make it necessary for the same reason to expunge from the teaching of St. Paul all the assertions which appear only once in his writings. But the whole hypothesis is as false as it is gratuitous : the Apostle does sometimes give to Christ the name of God (0«>s) and does address Him doxologies. Moreover the text in question is not, strictly speaking, a doxology : it is an affirmation pure and simple of the transcendent and supereminent dignity of Christ, ending in an 'Amen' of benediction and praise. Fr. Faccio has proved conclusively that the construction imagined by the rationalists is contrary to logic and grammar. It is not the excellence of the Father, but that of the Son, that the passage in question makes prominent. The dissertation is divided into three parts : exegetical, historical, and theological. After a careful examination of the authenticity and integrity of the text, the author proceeds to discuss in the first part (pp. 11-61) the punctuation of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 243-245
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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