Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VI/Methodius/Banquet of the Ten Virgins/Thekla/Part 9
Chapter IX.—The Son of God, Who Ever Is, is To-Day Begotten in the Minds and Sense of the Faithful.
Now, in perfect agreement and correspondence with what has been said, seems to be this which was spoken by the Father from above to Christ when He came to be baptized in the water of the Jordan, “Thou art my son: this day have I begotten thee;” for it is to be remarked that He was declared to be His Son unconditionally, and without regard to time; for He says “Thou art,” and not “Thou hast become,” showing that He had neither recently attained to the relation of Son, nor again, having begun before, after this had an end, but having been previously begotten, that He was to be, and was the same. But the expression, “This day have I begotten thee,” signifies that He willed that He who existed before the ages in heaven should be begotten on the earth—that is, that He who was before unknown should be made known. Now, certainly, Christ has never yet been born in those men who have never perceived the manifold wisdom of God—that is, has never been known, has never been manifested, has never appeared to them. But if these also should perceive the mystery of grace, then in them too, when they were converted and believed, He would be born in knowledge and understanding. Therefore from hence the Church is fitly said to form and beget the male Word in those who are cleansed. So far I have spoken according to my ability concerning the travail of the Church; and here we must change to the subject of the dragon and the other matters. Let us endeavour, then, to explain it in some measure, not deterred by the greatness of the obscurity of the Scripture; and if anything difficult comes to be considered, I will again help you to cross it like a river.
- Ps. ii. 7.
- Certain phrases like this have led to the opinion that Methodius was inclined to Arianism. There is no ground for the supposition. In the writer’s mind, as is clear from the previous statements, the previous generation was eternal.—Tr.
- In the baptismal font.