He chose also seventy other missionaries
In like manner does He also know the very time it behoved Him to suffer, since the law prefigures His passion. Accordingly, of all the festal days of the Jews He chose the passover.
"-the former under Josiah, the latter under Darius. The mother of the Lord did also prophesy, and her kinswoman Elisabeth, and Anna;
Indeed they would have found it impossible either to convert Jews or to bring in Gentiles, unless they "set forth in order"
Thus also does Luke, without respect of persons, deliver to us what he had learned from them, as he has himself testified, saying, "Even as they delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word."
In the preceding book, then, the ideas of the apostles as to all these points have been set forth, [to the effect] that not only did they, "who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word"
Luke 1:5 - NIV, NAB - in Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John
But Luke said, "There was a priest, by name Zachariah, of the course of Abia, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron: "
For he is in harmony with the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, even as the strings are with the harp, and is no less blameless than was Zacharias the priest.
Luke also, the follower and disciple of the apostles, referring to Zacharias and Elisabeth, from whom, according to promise, John was born, says: "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."
His mode of life had been so strict, that though he was a young man, he deserved to be described in the words used in regard to the elderly Zacharias: `He had walked therefore in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.'
And then you are not ashamed to accuse My disciples who transgress no commandment; for they walk "in all His commandments and ordinances blamelessly,"
and he came to sacrifice, "entering into the temple of the Lord."
Gabriel, when announcing to Zacharias the birth of John, and to Mary the advent of our Saviour among men, says:
" The words of the angel of the Lord, too, who appeared to Zacharias, as he stood at the right hand of the altar of incense, are somewhat to the same effect as the prophecy of Malachi: "And
examination of the doctrine of transmigration, because of the suspicion of some who suppose that the soul under consideration was the same in Elijah and in John, being called in the former case Elijah, and in the second case John; and that, not apart from God, had he been called John, as is plain from the saying of the angel who appeared to Zacharias, "Fear not, Zacharias, for thy supplication is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John; "
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.
And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
so his spirit had something of choice excellence, so that not only did it rest on Elisha, but also descended along with John at his birth; and that John, separately, "was filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb," and separately, "came before Christ in the spirit and power of Elijah."
But some one might ask, if the soul of Elijah was not first in the Tishbite and secondly in John, what might that be in both which the Saviour called Elijah? And I say that Gabriel in his words to Zacharias suggested what the substance was in Elijah and John that was the same; for he says, "Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God; and he shall go before his face in the spirit and power of Elijah."
" For the Scripture well knows the distinction between spirit and soul, as, "May God sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; "
" Plainly does the commencement of the Gospel quote the words of the holy prophets, and point out Him at once, whom they confessed as God and Lord; Him, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who had also made promise to Him, that He would send His messenger before His face, who was John, crying in the wilderness, in "the spirit and power of Elias,"
who should prepare His way, that is, that he should bear witness of that Light in the spirit and power of Elias.
-the one a monogamist, the other a voluntary celibate (for Elias was nothing else than John, who came "in the power and spirit of Elias"
It is a matter of course that His forerunners must appear first, as He says by Malachi and the angel,
in order that by the miracle of these the hearts of the fathers might be turned to the children, and the disobedient unto the wisdom of the just.
IV. O ye disobedient as regards the wisdom of the just,
Redouble, therefore, your joy, that you have been made the fathers of such children who, under the teaching of God, have celebrated with their praises things unknown to their seniors. Turn your hearts to your children,
" He, then, who objects to that rendering of our passage which appears to be the deeper may say that Isaiah was sent not to this world from another place, but after having seen "the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up," was sent to the people, to say, "Hearing, ye shall hear and shall not understand," and so on; and that in the same manner John, the beginning of his mission not being narrated, is sent after the analogy of the mission of Isaiah, to baptize,
thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John." And a little further on:
False, then, is the saying concerning Jesus, whether that recorded to have been the view of Herod, or that spoken by others. Only, the saying, "That John went before in the spirit and power of Elijah,"
Upon Elisha, then, only the spirit of Elijah rested, but John came before,
For John's voice points to that word and demonstrates it. It is therefore a very appropriate punishment that falls on Zacharias on his saying to the angel,
, and, passing by his bootless tongue, with the help of his hands dictates from his heart, and without his mouth pronounces the name of his son.
I was brought up from beneath; I did not come down from above. I bound the tongue of my father;
And again, speaking in reference to the angel, he says: "But at that time the angel Gabriel was sent from God, who did also say to the virgin, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God."
Clearly enough is the nativity announced by Gabriel.
But concerning the creation of this (Jesus), he expresses himself thus: That powers emanating from the second tetrad fashioned Jesus, who appeared on earth, and that the angel Gabriel
For this word also is contained in the oracle of the evangelic history: "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house and lineage of David; and the virgin's name was Mary; "
An angel talks with the Virgin, in order that the serpent may no more have converse with the woman. In the sixth month, it is said, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a virgin espoused to a man.
Accordingly, going in, he filled the chamber where she was with a great light; and most courteously saluting her, he said: Hail, Mary! O virgin highly favoured by the Lord, virgin full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou above all women, blessed above all men that have been hitherto born.
Luke 1:26 - NIV, NAB - in Martyrdom of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Bartholomew
And she cast off fear, and stood up, and said, How shall this be to me, since I know not man? The angel answered her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; wherefore also that holy thing which is born of thee shall be called Son of God.
For to none of men was the universal aggregation of spiritual credentials appropriate, except to Christ; paralleled as He is to a "flower" by reason of glory, by reason of grace; but accounted "of the root of Jesse," whence His origin is to be deduced,-to wit, through Mary.
To-day did Gabriel, who stands by God, come to the pure virgin, bearing to her the glad annunciation, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured!
From this we learn that the angel, when he saluted the Virgin with the words, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee,"
And, behold, a voice saying: Hail, thou who hast received grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women!
And he said to her: Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
The scribes and Pharisees said to Mary: Art thou the mother of this child? And Mary said: Indeed I am. And they said to her: Blessed art thou among women,
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? "
Luke 1:30 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
The same shall be great, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
Will not the angel's announcement also be subverted, that the virgin should "conceive in her womb and bring forth a son? "
And the angel of God who was sent to the same virgin at that time brought her good news, saying, "Behold, thou shalt conceive of the Holy Ghost, and shalt bear a Son, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins,"
And he says concerning the Lord: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
And David, knowing by the Spirit the dispensation of the advent of this Person, by which He is supreme over all the living and dead, confessed Him as Lord, sitting on the right hand of the Most High Father.
and He shall be called the Son of the Most High, because He who is born on earth in humiliation, reigns in heaven in exaltation; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end;
Thus, then, these became great, of whom this is written, Isaac, and Moses, and John, and the Saviour Himself above all; for also about Him Gabriel said, "He shall be great; "
, because He was a King, "of whose kingdom is no end; "
Peter said: We preach one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that has made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that therein is, who is the true King; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.
Luke 1:34 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Gregory Thaumaturgus Twelve Topics on the Faith
How could one say that Christ was born of the seed of man by the Virgin, when the holy Gospel and the angel, in proclaiming the good tidings, testify of Mary the Virgin that she said, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? "
and ran to the door, and opened it; and seeing Mary, she blessed her, and said: Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? for, behold, that which is in me leaped and blessed thee.
But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God;
and that the angel Gabriel said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God; "
Vain also are the Ebionites, who do not receive by faith into their soul the union of God and man, but who remain in the old leaven of [the natural] birth, and who do not choose to understand that the Holy Ghost came upon Mary, and the power of the Most High did overshadow her:
-which is His glorious resurrection-He received back into the heavens (whence withal the Spirit Himself had come to the Virgin
, the Son of God; "
of God." however, and "the Power of the Highest,"
See, say they, it was announced by the angel: "Therefore that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Of them Jesus consists-Man. of the flesh; of the Spirit, God-and the angel designated Him as "the Son of God,"
and the saying of the angel to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon thee; "
But we see also very many other statements in holy Scripture respecting the meaning of the word "shadow," as that well-known one in the Gospel according to Luke, where Gabriel says to Mary, "The Spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee."
had been concealed, and in which obscurity the natural man was hid, and had a veil upon the heart;-when (it was time), then, that the veil should be taken away, and that these mysteries should be seen, Jesus was born of Mary the virgin, according to the declaration (in Scripture), "The Holy Ghost will come upon thee"-Sophia is the Spirit-" and the power of the Highest will overshadow thee"-the Highest is the Demiurge,-"wherefore that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy."
The light, (therefore,) which came down from the Ogdoad above to the Son of the Hebdomad, descended from the Hebdomad upon Jesus the son of Mary, and he had radiance imparted to him by being illuminated with the light that shone upon him. This, he says, is that which has been declared: "The Holy Spirit will come upon thee,"
Of this Spirit Gabriel also spoke to the Virgin, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee."
Luke 1:35 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Whence, in the Gospel according to Luke, Gabriel says to Mary: "And the angel, answering, said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Wherefore that holy thing which is born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
For they propose and put forward what is told in the Gospel of Luke, whence they strive to maintain not what is the truth, but only what they want it to be: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shah overshadow thee; therefore also the Holy Thing which is born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Luke 1:35 - NIV, NAB - in Pseudo-Gregory Thaumaturgus Twelve Topics on the Faith
Wherefore he says, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of the Highest."
For he shows that He was conceived in the womb, and was to become flesh; as it is written, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God; "
intended to signify God the Word is with thee, and also to show that He would arise from her bosom, and would be made flesh, even as it is written, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
now the manner of it, she answered: How can that come to pass? For while, according to my vow, I never know man, how can I bring forth without the addition of man's seed? To this the angel says: Think not, Mary, that thou shalt conceive in the manner of mankind: for without any intercourse with man, thou, a virgin, wilt conceive; thou, a virgin, wilt bring forth; thou, a virgin, wilt nurse: for the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee,
On these points I cannot now enlarge; this work must not be unduly expanded. To establish the fact that power is different from spirit. it will be enough to cite the text,
Now those who say so wish to preserve the honour of Mary in virginity to the end, so that that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word which said, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee,"
And how is this made plain? The archangel himself gives us the interpretation, when he says to the virgin: "Behold, thy relation Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is now the sixth month with her, who was called barren."
And do ye also tell these things to your children, that they honour Judah and Levi, for from them shall the Lord raise up a Saviour to Israel.
? [You ask] "How many have fulfilled these conditions? "But what with men is difficult, with God is easy.
and she replied, `Be it unto me according to thy word.'"
In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."
The handmaid of God
And the priest blessed her, and said: Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy name, and thou shall be blessed in all the generations of the earth. And Mary, with great joy, went away to Elizabeth her kinswoman,
However, even these have life, each of them in his mother's womb. Elizabeth exults with joy, (for) John had leaped in her womb;
Therefore even Elisabeth must be silent although she is carrying in her womb the prophetic babe, which was already conscious of his Lord, and is, moreover, filled with the Holy Ghost.
Luke 1:41 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in the Gospel according to Luke: "And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and she cried out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? "
And thereafter she journeyed diligently to her relation Elisabeth in the hill-country. "And she entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth,"
"And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leapt with joy in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost."
It is to be noticed that on the former occasion, when the voice of Mary's salutation came to the ears of Elisabeth, the babe John leaped in the womb of his mother, who then received the Holy Spirit, as it were, from the ground. For it came to pass, we read,
," that it might declare the generation of Him who should be [born] from the Virgin, as Elisabeth testified when filled with the Holy Ghost, saying to Mary, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy belly; "
And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Blessed art thou among women."
He cited as a proof to all, how, when the angels give glad tidings to the barren, they introduce souls before conception. And in the Gospel "the babe leapt"
For He hath taken up His child Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spake to our fathers, Abraham, and his seed for ever."
Moreover, Mary said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my salvation; "
Mary magnifies the Lord, (for) Christ had instigated her within.
"He hath holpen His servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy, and of the covenant which He established with Abraham and with his seed for ever."
But Mary had forgotten the mysteries of which the archangel Gabriel had spoken, and gazed up into heaven, and said: Who am I, O Lord, that all the generations of the earth should bless me?
The apostles said all these things to the holy mother of God, why they had come, and in what way; and she stretched her hands to heaven and prayed, saying: I adore, and praise, and glorify Thy much to he praised name, O Lord, because Thou hast looked upon the lowliness of Thine handmaiden, and because Thou that art mighty hast done great things for me; and, behold, all generations shall count me blessed.
For He hath blessed every age, both men and women, both young men and youths, and old men. "He hath made strength with His arm,"
sufficiently shown that the glory of riches is condemned by our God, "who putteth down the mighty from their throne, and exalts the poor from the dunghill."
believe that after death there were punishments for the arrogance of wealth and the glory of luxury, announced indeed by Moses and the prophets, but decreed by that God, who deposes princes from their thrones, and raiseth up the poor from dunghills.
and then to have refused his request, when thrice entreated to liberate him! It would seem, therefore, that Marcion's god imitates the Creator's conduct, who is an enemy to the proud, even "putting down the mighty from their seats."
This we sometimes interpretatively ascribe to the devil, for of him comes hatred of good; sometimes we attribute it to God, for of Him comes judgment upon haughtiness, exalting, as He does, the humble, and depressing the elated.
For the Christ who was born of the Virgin, and who is our God, has given over the whole inheritance of divine blessings to the Gentiles. "He hath holpen His servant Israel."
and from the fact that Zacharias regained his speech after he had written in the tablet, that he who had been born should be called John.
nscorporation we have seen based upon our passage, may go on with a close examination of the text, and urge against his antagonist, that if John was the son of such a man as the priest Zacharias, and if he was born when his parents were both aged, contrary to all human expectation, then it is not likely that so many Jews at Jerusalem would be so ignorant about him, or that the priests and levites whom they sent would not be acquainted with the facts of his birth. Does not Luke declare
Luke 1:67 - NIV, NAB - in Cyprian Treatise XII Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews
Also in that according to Luke: "And Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who hath foreseen redemption for His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David."
and having himself the Advocate, the Spirit,
n the house of His servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world begun; salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all our days."
as David says when discoursing on the causes of His birth: "And He appointed a law in Israel, that another generation might know [Him, ] the children which should he born from these, and they arising shall themselves declare to their children, so that they might set their hope in God, and seek after His commandments."
union of God and man took place according to the good pleasure of the Father, the Word of God foretelling from the beginning that God should be seen by men, and hold converse with them upon earth, should confer with them, and should be present with His own creation, saving it, and becoming capable of being perceived by it, and freeing us from the hands of all that hate us, that is, from every spirit of wickedness; and causing us to serve Him in holiness and righteousness all our days,
Then he says to John: "And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare HiS ways; to give knowledge of salvation to His people, for the remission of their sins."
In this case also a type has preceded; for thus was John beforehand the Lord's forerunner, "preparing His ways."
remission; if it be true, (as it is, ) that repentance is antecedent, remission subsequent; and this is "preparing the way."
except that he suffered a typical example of the Lord's passion, which was to redeem heathens as well (as others) on their repentance. It is enough for me that even John, when "strewing the Lord's ways,"
Who, as ye know, when another infant in the sixth month
what can we say that John was but a prophet? His father Zacharias, indeed, says, filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesying,
This same God, after His great goodness, poured His compassion upon us, through which compassion "the Day-spring from on high hath looked upon us, and appeared to those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, and has guided our feet into the way of peace; "
For how can he be good, who does not give from what belongs to himself? Or how can he be just, who snatches away the goods of another? And in what way can sins be truly remitted, unless that He against whom we have sinned has Himself granted remission "through the bowels of mercy of our God," in which "He has visited us"
while the light from on high would beam upon us who were sitting in darkness, and were being detained in the shadow of death.
For what is more splendid for a king than a purple robe embroidered around with flowers, and a shining diadem? Or what for God, who delights in man, is more magnificent than this merciful assumption of the manhood, illuminating with its resplendent rays those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death?
But by means of that light, which is of one substance with Thee, Thou hast given light to those that sat in darkness
Luke 1:79 - NIV, NAB - in Gospel of Nicodemus II The Descent of Christ into Hell
While David was thus speaking, there came to Hades, in the form of a man, the Lord of majesty, and lighted up the eternal darkness, and burst asunder the indissoluble chains; and the aid of unconquered power visited us, sitting in the profound darkness of transgressions, and in the shadow of death of sins.
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