Archive for the ‘Bede’ Category

Bede – the Ark of the Covenant, a Type of Christ and the Church

June 15, 2012

As mentioned in a previous post, contrary to at least one later Pope, Bede (A.D. 672-735) identifies the Ark of the Covenant with the human nature of Jesus.  The cited place I provided is not the only such place where Bede makes this identification:

And the priest who touched the ark of God with ill-advised rashness was to make expiation for the guilt of his audacity with an untimely death — which should cause us to consider that while any offender who approaches the body of the Lord is guilty of transgression, if that person has undertaken vows as a priest he will be punished with death for taken hold of that ark (namely, the figure of the Lord’s body) with less reverence than it deserves.

Bede, On Eight Questions, Question 8, p. 160 in “Bede: Biblical Miscellany,” Foley and Holder trs.

Bede then goes on to explain:

But according to the allegory, David signifies Christ and the ark significance the Church.

Bede, On Eight Questions, Question 8, p. 160 in “Bede: Biblical Miscellany,” Foley and Holder trs.

Bede goes on to give a lengthy allegorical discussion of the passage regarding retrieval of the Ark, in which he consistently refers the ark to the church.  For example he states the following:

Bede then goes on to explain:

Now the three months during which the ark tarried in [Gath] are faith, hope, and charity. For just as a month is filled with days, so does each one of the virtues come to its perfection step by step. These months do not end until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in.

At last, David returns to bring the ark into the city of David, because the Lord will turn the hearts of the parents to the children through the preaching of Enoch and Elijah.

Bede, On Eight Questions, Question 8, p. 163 in “Bede: Biblical Miscellany,” Foley and Holder trs.


Bede – the Ark of the Covenant, a Type of Christ

June 6, 2012

In general, the ceremonial law and its appointments all pointed to Christ and his work. Some of the early church fathers appreciated this more than others. On the other hand, Rome has tried to argue that some aspects pointed toward – you guessed it – Mary. For example, Munificentissimus Deus (Pius XII, 1950, defining the Bodily Assumption) repeatedly identifies the ark as a type of Mary (although, interestingly, Ineffabilis Deus by Pius IX in 1854 does not make this identification while defining the immaculate conception).

But what does Bede (A.D. 672-735) have to say. He declare the ark of the covenant to be a type of Christ:

Likewise, the ark, which has been brought into the holy of holies, is a type of the humanity assumed by Christ and led within the veil of the heavenly court, while the ark’s carrying-poles prefigure the preachers of the Word through whom [Christ] became known to the world. A golden urn containing manna was in the ark because all the fullness of divinity dwells bodily [Colossians 2:9] in the human Christ. In the ark also was Aaron’s branch which had flowered again after having been cut down because the power to sentence everyone belongs to him whose sentence was seen to have been removed in suffering’s humiliation. The tablets of the covenant were also there, for in it are hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge [Colossians 2:3]. Poles were fixed to the art for carrying it, because teachers who once laboured in Christ’s Word now rejoice in the present vision of his glory. For what one of these [preachers] said about himself – I desire to die and be with Christ [Philippians 1:23- he surely meant to be understood of all who share in his work.

Bede, Thirty Questions on the Book of Kings, Question 14, pp. 111-12 in “Bede: Biblical Miscellany,” Foley and Holder trs.

Bede’s analysis is certainly not the only patristic comment on the matter, but it is a very reasonable analysis, and at least fits well with the overall typology.  By contrast, replacing Christ with Mary – as in Munificentissimus Deus, introduces a number of significant problems.


The Fathers were not Always Original

June 23, 2009

“But by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we believe to be saved in like manner as they also.” If, therefore, they, that is, the fathers, being unable to bear the yoke of the Old Law, believed that they were saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, it is clear that this grace saved even the just men of old through faith. Because “the just man liveth by faith,” therefore, these religious mysteries (sacraments) could vary according to the diversity of times, yet all refer most harmoniously to the unity of the same faith.

– Bede on Acts 15 (PL 92:976-77), plagiarizing Augustine’s Letter 190 (to Optatus) – translation based on the translation of Augustine by Sr. Wilfrid Parsons

Limited Atonement Defended (Against Albrecht)

June 13, 2009

This is a response to Mr. Albrecht’s video “Limited Atonement, further examined” (link).

Mr. Albrecht has already conceded the main point of the discussion in his video by noting that Limited Atonement is not a heresy. That’s for the best, since the position OneTrueChurch (Glenn) took that Calvinism’s doctrine of Limited Atonement is heresy, is an untenable position.

There are a few other things to clear up, however:

1. Cut-n-Paste – There are Two Kinds

a) Bad – when you cut and paste arguments from Jimmy Akin to try to use them as your own arguments without understanding what Akin was trying to say.

b) Good – when you quote a church father verbatim.

2. The Church Fathers At Issue

a) Theodoret

Whether or not Christ “thirsts for the salvation of all men” is at best tangential to the issue of the extent of the atonement. And I was surprised that Albrecht would be so blatant about telling his listeners to ignore the context – but there you have it!

However, the statement that Christ was not offered to bear the sins of the non-elect is directly relevant, since that’s the claim of limited atonement (though sadly, Albrecht does not understand this).

2. Augustine

Likewise, the statement that Christ did not redeem all humans is directly relevant to the issue of limited atonement, since that’s the claim of limited atonement.

3. Chrysostom

Same as with Theodoret – the question of “bearing the sins of all” is the point that is relevant to Limited Atonement (not the question of why he did not bear the sins of the others).

4. Bede

Bede’s interpretation of the important (to the discussion) text of 1 John 2:1-2 is supportive of the doctrine of the Limited Atonement, which Albrecht would understand if he understood Limited Atonement.


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