top of page

Whether ‘Word’ in God is a Personal Name?

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 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.D27.Q2.A2.qu1, QDePot.Q9.A9.Rep7, QDeVer.Q4.A2, QDeVer.Q4.A4.Rep4

In this next section, from questions 34 to 35, we cover the particular names of the Second Person of the Trinity, just as in question 33 we covered the First Person of the Trinity. 

First, we cover the name "Word" in question 34.

Second, we cover the name "Image" in question 35.

As to the first, 

First, we ask whether "Word" is personal or essential. 

Second, we ask whether "Word" is proper to the Son or not. 

Third, we ask whether "Word" imports relation to creatures. 

It is important to note that this is one of the articles that strongly vexed the Angelic Doctor, taxing his mind throughout his whole life, before he finally came to the proper conclusion in this word, beginning in his Sentences commentary by affirming that the term "Word" is both properly essential and personal, then moving on in De Veritate to tend more towards the position that it is purely personal, and then finally in the Summa making a final and definitive judgement that "Word" is merely a personal term, properly speaking. Yet, this does not mean that his earlier work ought to be ignored, for, the insights that can be gathered from those texts remain. 

First, in order to resolve this question, we must look at the multiple senses of the term "Word." When we ordinarily use the term "word," we speak of the "spoken word," i.e., a vocal sound that signifies a distinct concept. There is both a formal aspect of this spoken word, i.e., the power of signifying, and a material aspect of this spoken word, i.e., sound. Now, the former aspect is intelligible, and the latter aspect is material. Thus, there must be a two-fold principle in the speaker of the spoken word. 

Want to read more?

Subscribe to to keep reading this exclusive post.

21 views0 comments


Couldn’t Load Comments
It looks like there was a technical problem. Try reconnecting or refreshing the page.
bottom of page