Thursday, September 3, 2009

John Chrysostom: Impossibility of Imaging God

At another time he says elsewhere, "We must not think the divinity is like gold, silver stone, artistic representation or human desire." [Acts 17:29] Now, his meaning is something like this: the divinity not only transcends visible figures, but the mind would not be able to make an adequate design of God. So how could God have the form of a human being when Paul says that no mind is capable of even making a figure of God's being? We would all, in fact, by ourselves simply make a representation of our own shape and outline in keeping with our ideas.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 2 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, p. 49 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.