Thursday, November 22, 2012

JOHN MILTON ON REVELATION 3:14

 

JOHN MILTON (circa. 1608-1674 C.E.): “...It is however sometimes attempted to be proved from Rev. iii. 14. that the Son was the joint, or even the principal cause of the creation with the Father; 'the beginning of the creation of God;' where the word beginning is interpreted [231.] in an active sense, on the authority of Aristotle.[4] But in the first place, the Hebrew language, whence the expression is taken, nowhere admits of this sense, but rather requires a contrary usage, as Gen. xlix. 3. 'Reuben, thou art..... the beginning of my strength.' Secondly, there are two passages in St. Paul referring to Christ himself, which clearly prove that the word beginning is here used in a passive signification, Col. i. 15, 18. 'the first born of every creature, ..... the beginning, the first born from the dead,' —where the position of the Greek accent,[5] and the passive verbal πρωτότοκος, show that the Son of God was the first born of every creature precisely in the same sense as the Son of Man was the first born of Mary, πρωτότοκος, Matt. i. 25. The other passage is Rom. viii. 29. 'first born among many brethren;' that is, in a passive signification. Lastly, it should be remarked, that he is not called simply 'the beginning of the creation,' BUT – '( OF ) – THE CREATION – ( OF ) – GOD;' WHICH CAN MEAN NOTHING ELSE THAN THE FIRST OF THOSE THINGS WHICH GOD CREATED; HOW THEREFORE CAN HE BE HIMSELF GOD?...” - (Book 1, Chapter 7, Section 230-231, “Of The Creation,” In: Volume 1, “A TREATISE ON CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, COMPILED FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES ALONE,” By John Milton, Boston: 1825.)
[FOOTNOTE 4]: See Aristotle's Metaphys. iv. 1. Milton alludes to the same interpretation in his logical work. 'Hinc causa proprie dicta, principium quoque nominator a Cic. I. de Nat. Deorum, sed frequentius apud Græcos.' Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio, &c. Prose Works, VI. 205.
[FOOTNOTE 5]: In allusion to the opinion of Isidore Pelusiota, Erasmus, and others (with whom Michaelis agrees, Annotat. ad Paraphr. ad Col. i. 15.) that it should not be read πρωτότοκος, primogenitus, but πρωτοτόκος, primus genitor.

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