Didymus the Blind

quotes from Didymus the Blind: →

Didymus the Blind (313-398) was a student of Origen of Alexandria. Many of his writings are lost, but some of his commentaries and essays survive.  Didymus became blind at the age of 4, but despite his blindness, Didymus excelled in scholarship because of his incredible memory. He found ways to help blind people to read, experimenting with carved wooden letters similar to Braille systems used by the blind today (Lascaratos, John; Marketos, Spyros (1994). “Didymus the Blind: An unknown precursor of Louis Braille and Helen Keller”). According to Rufinus, Didymus was “a teacher in the Church school”, who was “approved by Bishop Athanasius” and other learned churchmen. Rufinus was Didymus’s pupil for eight years. When he translated Origen’s De principiis into Latin, he referenced Didymus’s commentary on it.  Didymus works cited much of the New Testament, but also passages from the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament as well as Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas and the Acts of John, which he seemed to also consider Scripture, as the formal canon of Scripture had not yet been determined.

Extant Writings:

  • Treatise on The Trinity
  • Treatise on The Holy Spirit

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Quotes & Excerpts:

“As we have understood discussions… it is now to be recognized that the Holy Spirit receives from the Son that which he was of his own nature… So too the Son is said to receive from the Father the very things by which he subsists. For neither has the Son anything else except those things given him by the Father, nor has the Holy Spirit any other substance than that given him by the Son.” -The Holy Spirit 37 (written 362 A.D.)

“The saying, ‘I came down from Heaven, not to do my will, but that of the Father who sent me’ is to be taken in this sense; ‘In the Incarnation, I am not doing the will of my Humanity but that of my Divinity.’  For the will of the beloved Son is not separate from the will of God the Father. In the Trinity, there is one and the same will.” – The Trinity 3:12 (Written in 381 A.D.)

“How would you know that Christ truly became flesh with a living soul, and was not a mere phantasm -as the Manicheans believe He had a body in appearance only and the Arians that He was without a (human) soul- if He had not said, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful,’ and showed a certain fear and if He had not partaken of food and drink and sleep? For these things pertain neither to divinity nor to flesh without a soul.” -The Holy Trinity 3:21 (Written 381 A.D)

“It helps us to understand the terms ‘first-born’ and ‘only-begotten’ when the Evangelist tells us that Mary remained a virgin ‘until she brought forth her first-born son’ [Matt. 1:25]; for neither did Mary, who is to be honored and praised above all others, marry anyone else, nor did she ever become the Mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin.”  -The Trinity 3:4 (Written in 386 A.D.)

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