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Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical notes. Volume II. The History of Creeds.
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The Confession of Thomas.

John xx. 28.

 

Ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Thomas answered and said unto him,
Ὁ κύριος μοῦ καὶ ὁ θεός μου My Lord and my God!

 

Note.—This is the strongest apostolic Confession of Faith in the Lordship and Divinity of Christ, an echo of the beginning of the fourth Gospel (i. 1, 'the Word was God'), and an anticipation of its close (xx. 31, 'that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in his name'). For the words are undoubtedly addressed to Christ, as is evident from the preceding 'to him,' and from the appellation, 'My Lord;'33    The Greek nominative with the article is used for the vocative, as in Matt. xi. 26, where God is addressed in prayer, ὁ πατήρ ; xxvii. 29, χαῖρε ὁ βασιλεύς ; in Mark xv. 34, ὁ θεός μου, ὁ θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με ; in Luke viii. 54, and in many other passages. and not an exclamation of astonishment addressed to God.44    Theodore of Mopsnestia: ' Quasi pro miraculo facto Deum collaudat. ' He is followed by Socinians and Rationalists. For in the latter case Thomas would utter a profanity unrebuked by the Lord. The words indicate a triumph of faith over doubt. Thomas was not an unbeliever—he was not a doubter from indifference to the truth (as Pontius Pilate), still less from hostility to the truth, but from love of truth. He was an honest and earnest inquirer; his heart was anxious and ready to believe, but his understanding demanded evidence, which he embraced with joy as soon as it was presented. He represents the principle, intellectus precedit fidem , which is not entirely inconsistent with the other, fides precedit intellectum. He was a rationalist in the best sense of the term, animated and controlled by a love of truth. Blessed are those that seek the truth, for they shall find it. This kind of skepticism, or spirit of inquiry rather, is a stimulating and propelling force in the Church, and is necessary to the progress of theological science and historical and philosophical research. To such skepticism the words of the poet may be applied:

'There lives more faith in honest doubt,

Believe me, than in half the creeds:

He fought his doubts, and gathered strength,

To find a stronger faith his own.'

And yet there is a higher faith, which believes without seeing (ver. 29; (1 Pet. i. 8; 2 Cor. v. 7), which holds fast to the invisible as seeing him (Heb. xi. 27), which goes to Christ as the child to his mother's breast, as heart to heart, as love to love, with undoubting, implicit, unbounded trust and confidence.

 


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