CT 41: The Son Equal to the Father in Existence and Essence

In Chapter 41, Thomas continues examining the nature of the Divine Word:

Since natural existence and the action of understanding are distinct in us, we should note that a word conceived in our intellect, having only intellectual existence, differs in nature from our intellect, which has natural existence. In God, however, to be and to understand are identical. Therefore the divine Word that is in God, whose Word He is according to intellectual existence, has the same existence as God, whose Word He is. Consequently the Word must be of the same essence and nature as God Himself, and all attributes whatsoever that are predicated of God, must pertain also to the Word of God.

An idea in my head, in my intellect, exists in a different way than my intellect does. In particular, my intellect is decades old, but I’m always acquiring new ideas. But God’s intellect is the same as His essence, and His understanding of a particular thing is also the same as His essence, as we established some chapters ago; and so His Word, His understanding of Himself, is of the same essence as Himself. The Father and the Son are one.

It’s ironic that as we get to the part that pure reason cannot encompass, Thomas becomes easier to understand–because although I’ve not seen his arguments, I’m familiar with the conclusions.

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