Concerning the Union of the Word Incarnate

Quarto quaeritur utrum in Christo sit unum tantum esse.Article 4: "Whether there is only one being in Christ?"
Et videtur quod non.And it seems that there is not.
In Christo enim est esse divinum et humanum; quae non possunt esse unum, quia esse non dicitur univoce de Deo et creaturis. Ergo in Christo non est tantum unum esse, sed duo. Objection 1: For there is both a divine and a human being in Christ; which cannot be one, because being is not said univocally of God and creatures. Therefore, in Christ there is not only one being, but two.
Praeterea, cuilibet formae respondet suum esse: aliud enim est esse album, et aliud esse hominem. Sed in Christo sunt duae formae; quia, cum in forma Dei esset, formam servi accepit, ut dicitur Philipp. ii, non tamen formam dei deposuit. Ergo in Christo est duplex esse. Objection 2: Further, to any form corresponds its being; for it is one thing to be white, and another to be a man. But, in Christ there are two forms; since, "while he was in the form of God, he took the form of a slave", as is said in Philippians, 2:7, yet he did not set aside the form of God. Therefore, in Christ there is a two-fold being.
Praeterea, secundum Philosophum, in ii de Anima, vivere viventibus est esse. Sed in Christo est duplex vita; scilicet humana, quae fuit privata per mortem; et divina, quae per mortem privari non potuit. Ergo in Christo non est tantum unum esse, sed duo.Objection 3: Further, according to the Philosopher, in book II of the de Anima [com. 37], in living things, living is being. But there is a two-fold life in Christ; namely a human life, which he was deprived of through death; and a divine life, which he could not be deprived of through death. Therefore, there is not only one being in Christ, but two.
Sed contra, quidquid est unum simpliciter est unum secundum esse. Sed Christus est unum simpliciter, ut supra habitum est. Ergo in eo est unum esse.To the contrary, whatever is one simply is only one being. But, Christ is one simply, as was said above. Therefore, there is only one being in him.
Respondeo. Dicendum quod huius quaestionis est quodammodo eadem ratio et praemissae; quia ex eodem dicitur aliquid esse unum, et ens. Esse enim proprie et vere dicitur de supposito subsistente. Accidentia enim et formae non subsistentes dicuntur esse, in quantum eis aliquid subsistit; sicut albedo dicitur ens, in quantum ea est aliquid album. Considerandum est autem, quod aliquae formae sunt quibus est aliquid ens non simpliciter, sed secundum quid; sicut sunt omnes formae accidentales. Aliquae autem formae sunt quibus res subsistens simpliciter habet esse; quia videlicet constituunt esse substantiale rei subsistentis. In Christo autem suppositum subsistens est persona Filii Dei, quae simpliciter substantificatur per naturam divinam, non autem simpliciter substantificatur per naturam humanam. Quia persona Filii Dei fuit ante humanitatem assumptam, nec in aliquo persona est augmentata, seu perfectior, per naturam humanam assumptam. Substantificatur autem suppositum aeternum per naturam humanam, in quantum est hic homo. Et ideo sicut Christus est unum simpliciter propter unitatem suppositi, et duo secundum quid propter duas naturas, ita habet unum esse simpliciter propter unum esse aeternum aeterni suppositi. Est autem et aliud esse huius suppositi, non in quantum est aeternum, sed in quantum est temporaliter homo factum. Quod esse, etsi non sit esse accidentale - quia homo non praedicatur accidentaliter de Filio Dei, ut supra habitum est - non tamen est esse principale sui suppositi, sed secundarium. Si autem in Christo essent duo supposita, tunc utrumque suppositum haberet proprium esse sibi principale. Et sic in Christo esset simpliciter duplex esse.I answer that in a certain measure solution of this question and the previous one is the same; because something is said to be one [esse unum] and to be a being [ens] from the same thing. For being [esse] is truly and properly said of the subsisting suppositum. For accidents and non-subsisting forms are said to be insofar as something subsists by means of them; just as whiteness is called a being, insofar as something is white by means of it. Now we should consider that there are some forms by which something is a being, not simply, but in a certain respect; [and] such are all accidental forms. But, there are some forms by which a subsisting thing has being simply; because, obviously, they constitute the substantial being of the subsisting thing. Now in Christ the subsisting suppositum is the person of the Son of God, which is made a substance simply through the divine nature, but it is not made a substance simply through the human nature; since the person of the Son of God existed before he assumed humanity, nor was he increased or perfected through having assumed a human nature. But, the eternal suppositum is made a substance through the human nature insofar as it is this man. And thus just as Christ is one simply on account of the unity of the suppositum, and two in a certain respect on account of the two natures, so he has one being simply on account of the one being of the eternal suppositum. But, there is also another being of this suppositum, not insofar as it is eternal, but insofar as it became a man in time. That being, even if it is not an accidental being, because man is not accidentally predicated of the Son of God, as was said above [art. 1] - nevertheless, it is not the principle being of its suppositum, but [its] secondary [being]. Now if there were two supposita in Christ, then each suppositum would have its own principle being. And thus there would be a two-fold being in Christ simply.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod esse humanae naturae non est esse divinae. Nec tamen simpliciter dicendum est quod Christus sit duo secundum esse; quia non ex aequo respicit utrumque esse suppositum aeternum.1. The being of the human nature is not the being of the divine nature. Yet we cannot say simply that Christ is two with regard to being; because each case does not relate in an equal way to the eternal suppositum.
Et similiter etiam dicendum est ad alia. And we must reply similarly to the other objections.

© Mr. Jason Lewis Andrew West

The Aquinas Translation Project