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The Hidden Mystery of God Is Revealed Is His Word

30th December 2019

Hippolytus was a presbyter of the church in Rome at the beginning of the third century and one of the most important theologians of his generation. He wrote on a broad range of topics including Old Testament commentaries, homiletics, apologetics, ecclesiastical law and treatises against various Christian heresies.  Also attributed to him is the earliest known written Eucharistic liturgy, reflecting the practice of the mid-second century church at Rome.

There is one God, and we can come to know him only through sacred Scripture.  So then, let us look at what Scripture proclaims, let us discover what its teaching is. As the Father wants to be believed, so let us believe; as he wants the Son to be glorified, so let us glorify him; as he wants the Holy Spirit to be given, so let us receive him.  We must not act in accordance with our own mind or our own will; we must not do violence to what God has given.  We must look at things rather as God has chosen to make them known through Scripture.

God, existing alone, without any contemporary of any sort, decided to make the world. He conceived it in his mind, willed it, spoke the word and so made it -- and immediately it came into being, formed as he had willed it.  It is enough for us to know that God had no contemporary; apart from him there was nothing. But though alone, God was manifold.  He was not without reason or wisdom or power or counsel.  All things were in him and he was all.  When he willed, and as he willed, he revealed his Word, at times which he himself had determined. Through his Word he made all things.

The Word was in God and was invisible to the created world, but God made him visible.  He spoke, as he had done before, and, begetting light from light, he sent forth his own mind to the world as its Lord. He who formerly had been visible only to God and invisible to the world, was now made visible, so that through this manifestation the world could see him and be saved. The Word is the mind of God; he came into the world and was shown forth as Son of God.  All things, then, come into being through him, and he alone is from the Father.

And so the Word was manifested.  St. John sums up what the prophets said and shows that this is the Word through whom all things came to be: In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him.  Later he goes on: The world had its being through him, and the world did not know him.  He came to his own domain and his people did not accept him.

HIppolytus of Rome (c.170-235)

Genesis 1:1-31

John 1:1-18

Prayer: 
Almighty Father, you are made known to us in holy Scripture and revealed to us fully in your Word made flesh: Grant that we may know him and understand his teaching that in him we may share the fulness of eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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