Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Scotus on how the Son is not created but is still a Son (translation)

From the Lectura

‘I say that the Son is not [produced] from nothing, even though he is not [produced] from the substance of the Father as from matter. The Son is [produced] from the substance of the Father as from a consubstantial-formal principle of the originator and the originated, and this most truly preserves that the Son is not produced from nothing, and it does so more truly than if the Son were generated from quasi-matter. Here’s an example from creatures: if a flame were to generate a flame without presupposing any matter, and assuming that there were no pre-existing matter such that it produces the matter in the other flame and shares its form with it, the produced flame would more truly not be produced from nothing than in the way of being produced that presupposes matter, for the flame is more truly a being by the form than it is by matter. In this way, the Son is not [produced] from nothing, because he is from the substance of the Father as from the formal end-point of production, for the Father shares the whole [divine substance or essence] as the [formal] end-point of [the Son’s production]. Thus, although the Son is not [produced] from matter, nor does [his production] presuppose anything with the character of matter, he is still not produced from nothing’.

[Scotus, Lect. 1.5.2.un., n. 96 (Vat. 16: 447.9-21): ‘dico quod Filius non est de nihilo, licet non sit de substantia Patris quasi de materia, — quia Filius est de substantia Patris sicut de principio consubstantiali-formali originanti et originato, et hoc salvat verissime Filium non esse de nihilo, et verius quam si Filius generaretur quasi ex materia. Exemplum in creaturis: si ignis generaret ignem ita quod non praesupponeret materiam — nec praeexsisteret materia — sed produceret materiam et communicaret formam, verius esset ignis tunc non de nihilo quam modo quando praesupponit materiam, et eo verius quo forma est verius ens quam materia. Sic Filius non est de nihilo, quia est de substantia Patris ut de termino formali, quia Pater communicat totum ut terminus; et ideo Filius, licet non sit ex materia nec praesupponat aliquid in ratione materiae, non tamen est de nihilo’.]

‘This consubstantiality is sufficient [to give the Son] his character of ‘being a Son’ for the nature of fatherhood in creatures does not come from the fact that fathers share matter, but rather because they share [their formal] end-point. Whence, when a cow generates, it proffers semen, and if it then were to produce and proffer from itself a cow, it would truly be a father. Whence, if the cow were able to proffer a cow just as it can proffer semen, on account of that produced end-point it would be called a “father” even if it did nothing else. Whence, even if this kind of an immediate production were delayed, a cow would still be produced from its semen. Therefore, a cow is not a “father” because he shares his matter in a generation, but rather moreso because of the form and the [primary] end-point that he produces. So also in God, the Father is not a Father because he produces the Son from quasi matter, but rather because he shares the whole [divine substance or essence with the Son] as [the formal] end-point of production’.

[Scotus, Lect. 1.5.2.un., n. 97 (Vat. 16: 447.22-448.8): ‘Et sufficit haec consubstantialitas ad rationem “Filii”, quia ratio paternitatis in creaturis non est quia materiam communicat, sed propter terminum communicatum. Unde quando bos generat, decidit semen, — et si tunc produceret et decideret a se bovem, vere pater esset: unde bos si posset, decideret bovem sicut semen, et propter istum terminum productum dicitur esse “pater” et si nihil aliud operaretur; unde si moreretur statim, adhuc ex semine producitur bos. Non igitur est bos “pater” propter communicationem materiae generationis, sed magis propter formam et terminum quem producit. Ita Pater in divinis non erit Pater quia producit Filium quasi ex materia, sed quia communicat totum ut terminus’.]

From the Ordinatio

‘But to understand the affirmative claim that “the Son is from the substance of the Father” in the aforesaid way [namely, such that the Son is originated from the Father and is consubstantial with him], I say that this understanding truly preserves the fact that the Son is not [produced] from nothing, and it even truly preserves that the Son is “from” in the way that’s required for sonship’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 102 (Vat. 4: 63.18-64.2): ‘Ad intellectum autem istius affirmativae qua dicitur “Filius est de substantia Patris”, secundum intellectum praedictum [viz., totalis intellectus huius sermonis “Filius est de substantia Patris” est iste: quod Filius est originatus a Patre ut consubstantialis ei], dico quod intellectus ille vere salvat quod Filius non sit de nihilo, — vere etiam salvat quod Filius est “de” sicut requiritur ad filiationem’.]

‘I explain the first point [viz., that the Son is not produced from nothing] like this: a “generated creature” is not [produced] from nothing because something in it (such as matter) pre-exists. Therefore, since the form is something in the composite and it is something in it that’s more perfect than its matter, if the form of something were to pre-exist and the matter were newly added to it so that it were informed by the pre-existent form, that very product would not be [produced] from nothing, for something in it pre-existed, and in fact something in it that’s more perfect than the matter which is normally pre-exists. Therefore, if the Son were not said to be [produced] from nothing “because his essence existed in the Father prior in the order of origin”, and if the essence were the quasi-matter in the Son’s generation, then how much more would the Son not be [produced] from nothing if the essence that ‘exists in the Father prior in origin’ were a quasi-form shared with the Son?’

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 103 (Vat. 4: 64.3-13): ‘Primum declaro, quia “creatura genita” non est de nihilo, quia aliquid eius praeexsistit, ut materia. Ergo cum forma sit aliquid compositi et aliquid eius perfectius quam materia, si forma alicuius praeexsisteret et materia de novo adveniret et informaretur illa forma iam praeexsistente, ipsum productum non esset de nihilo, quia aliquid eius praeexstitisset, immo aliquid eius perfectius quam materia quae praeexsistit communiter. Ergo si Filius non diceretur esse de nihilo “quia essentia eius secundum ordinem originis praefuit in Patre”, et hoc si illa essentia esset quasi-materia generationis Fili, multo magis nec Filius erit de nihilo si illa essentia “prius origine exsistens in Patre” sit quasi-forma communicata Filio’.]

‘I explain the second point as follows, namely that in this way the term “from” suffices to preserve the nature of sonship, for in animated thing,s where there is paternity and filiation, we see that he who is the generator by his act is formally called the “father”. Or at least the act of proffering semen, and if he were a perfect agent, such that at the moment when he proffered his semen, he could instantly proffer his offspring, he would truly be a father even more perfectly than in the way where the entirety of all the intermediate changes is required. But here, in this act of proffering semen, that which was his substance (or in some way was something that belonged to him) is not matter, but rather is the quasi formal end-point, shared [with] or produced [in the product] by that act, just as there would be an offspring if it were instantly proffered from the Father. Therefore, because something of the substance of the generator is the end-point of his action, by which he is a father, this truly preserves the fact that the product is similar in nature and “comes to exist from his [father’s] substance”, so also this term “de” is truly enough to preserve the nature of being a father and a son, and because what “he proffered as an end-point” is the matter of a further change, this applies to the term “from” as it belongs to a father and a son’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 104 (Vat. 4: 64.14-65.9): ‘Secundum declaro sic, scilicet quod istud “de” sufficiat ad rationem filiationis, quia in animatis, ubi est paternitas et filiatio, videamus quis sit ille actus per quem generans dicitur formaliter “pater”. Ille utique est actus decidendi semen, et si esset perfectum agens, ita quod nunc, quando decidit semen, posset immediate decidere prolem, vere esset pater, et multo perfectius quam modo sit, ubi requiruntur tot mutationes intermediae; sed nunc, in isto actu decidendi semen, illud quod erat substantia eius, vel aliquo modo aliquid eius, non est materia, sed est quasi terminus formalis, communicatus sive productus per istum actum, sicut esset proles si immediate decideretur a patre; ergo quod aliquid substantiae generantis sit terminus actionis suae, qua est pater, hoc vere salvat productum simile in natura “esse de substantia eius”, sic ut ipsum “de” vere sufficit ad rationem patris et filii, — et quod illud “decisum ut terminus” sit materia sequentium transmutationum, hoc accidit ipsi “de” ut convenit patri et filio’.]

‘Therefore, the eternal Father, not by proffering some part of himself but rather by sharing his whole essence, such that it is the formal end-point of that production, he most truly produces a Son from himself, in the way in which the term “from” pertains to a father and a son. And although the essence would be here as “that from which” as from quasi-matter, the term “from” does not make something have the character of a father, just as neither in creatures if the generator had his semen both for the formal end-point and for the material of his action, he would not be “father” insofar as his semen were the material subject of his action but rather insofar as it were the end-point of that action, just like how if a created father were to instantly proffer a son from himself, he would truly be a father, because that which would be proffered from him would be the end-point of his action, but it would not be matter in any way’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 105 (Vat. 4: 65.10-20): ‘Ergo Pater aeternus, non decidendo aliquid sui sed totam essentiam sui communicando, et hoc ut formalem terminum illius productionis, verissime producit Filium de se, eo modo quo esse “de” pertinet ad patrem et filium; et licet esset ibi essentia “de qua” sicut de quasi-materia, illud “de” non faceret aliquid ad rationem patris, — sicut nec in creaturis si generans haberet semen suum et pro termino formali et pro materia suae actionis, non esset “pater” in quantum semen suum esset materia subiecta suae actioni sed in quantum esset terminus illius actionis, quemadmodum et si pater creatus immediate decideret a se filium, vere esset pater, quia illud quod esset de ipso, esset terminus actionis, nullo autem modo materia’.]

No comments: