top of page
Search

Whether There is Power in God?

Thank you for subscribing to Annotated Thomist...check back each day for a new section of St. Thomas' corpus, annotated and summarized. (FREE TRIAL FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS!!!)


AT is also available to donors of $10 or more on Patreon or SubscribeStar along with all of the other benefits (daily bonus videos, bonus articles, PDFs, etc.


If you need more personalized help reading the Summa, I am available for 1-on-1 sessions, here.



cf., Sent.I.D42.Q1.A1; SCG1.C16; SCG2.C7; QDePot.Q1.A1


Now that St. Thomas has covered those attributes that are purely immanent, he now discuses the power of God, which is concerned with the virtually transitive operations of God. 


The most important principle for understanding this entire question (and, most particularly, this article) is to understand the absurdly bad translation we have been given in English. Here (https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/summa-translation/Part%201/st1-ques25.pdf) one can find an alternative that is much better. 


In sum, there is one word that is used throughout, i.e., potentia and translated in a number of different ways (power, potency, potentiality, etc.), that confuses the argument and distinction of St. Thomas. 


Thus, for example, the first example makes no sense in English, "It seems that power is not in God. For as primary matter is to power, so God, who is the first agent, is to act. But primary matter, considered in itself, is devoid of all act. Therefore, the first agent—namely, God—is devoid of power."


What in the world does prime matter have to do with "power?" 

Want to read more?

Subscribe to christianbwagner.com to keep reading this exclusive post.

15 views0 comments
bottom of page