Friday, February 1, 2013

Basil the Great: Fathers Derived their Doctrines from Scripture

That therefore which our fathers said, that also we say. . . . But it is not sufficient for us, that this is the tradition of the Fathers; for they also followed the mind of Scripture, taking their first principles from those testimonies which we just now placed before you from the Scripture. Basil the Great (from Book on the Holy Spirit), Trans. by William Goode, The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice, 2nd ed., 3 Vols. (London: John Henry Jackson, 1853), Vol. 3, p. 6. Greek text: Ὅπερ ἔλεγον τοίνυν οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν, καὶ ἡμεῖς λέγομεν,...Ἀλλʼ οὐ τοῦτο ἡμῖν ἐξαρκεῖ, ὅτι τῶν πατέρων ἡ παράδοσις• κὰκεῖνοι γὰρ τῷ βουλήματι τῆς Γραφῆς ἠκολούθησαν, ἐκ τῶν μαρτυριῶν, ἅς μικρῷ πρόσθεν ὑμῖν ἐκ τῆς Γραφῆς παρεθέμεθα, τὰς ἀρχὰς λαβόντες. Liber De Spiritu Sancto, Caput VII, PG 32:96. David King points out:
The translation of the NPNF2, Vol VIII, The Book of Basil on the Spirit, Chapter 7 is not the most accurate translation as reflected by the Greek text itself: “But we do not rest only on the fact that such is the tradition of the Fathers; for they too followed the sense of Scripture, and started from the evidence which, a few sentences back, I deduced from Scripture and laid before you.” The word only (μόνος) is not in the text as the NPNF2, Vol VIII infers, but rather the construction οὐ… ἐξαρκεῖ (it is not sufficient, i.e. does not suffice).”