Wednesday, November 16, 2005

God the Father and the Council of Toledo

The Eleventh Council of Toledo (675 C.E.) states: “We must believe that the Son is begotten or born not from nothing or from any other substance, but from the womb of the Father, that is from his substance.” Leonardo Boff thinks that when the Council of Toledo speaks of the Son being “begotten or born” (genitus vel natus), it intends to ascribe maternal characteristics to the Father tropically: “The Father is here given maternal attributes. We need both the figures of earthly father and mother to express the riches of divine fatherhood” (Boff, Trinity and Society, 170).

Ambrose (397 CE
) writes: “For this reason also the evangelist says, 'No one has at any time seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has revealed him.' 'The bosom of the Father,' then, is to be understood in a spiritual sense, as a kind of innermost dwelling of the Father's love and of His nature, in which the Son always dwells. Even so, the Father's womb is the spiritual womb of an inner sanctuary, from which the Son has proceeded just as from a generative womb.” (The Patrarches, 11:51).

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