Chapter 4: The Name “Father” 199
Chapter 4: The Name “Father” In the Summa Theologiae, the speculative analysis dealing with the relationships among procession, relation, and person (qq. 27-32) culminates in an understanding of the names of the divine persons given in Scripture. Gilles Emery observes that the persons are the organizational key to the Summa Theologiae’s Trinitarian treatise and that Aquinas’ consideration of the divine persons is an exposé of the divine personal names.1 After identifying a divine person as a subsisting relation in the divine essence (ST I, q. 29), Aquinas then considers the person’s name (qq. 33-38). In the question on the Father (ST I, q. 33), Thomas devotes two of the four articles to this naming: a. 2 on whether “Father” is properly the name of a divine person, and a. 3 on whether “Father” is primarily a personal name. In this chapter, we will examine ST I, q. 33, a. 2, leaving a. 3 for consideration in chapter 6, where we will take up Aquinas’ distinction between the name “Father” as applied to the person of the Father (with respect to the Son) and as applied to the whole Trinity (with respect to creatures). In this chapter, we review a. 2 and its four objections in order, as follows: I. a name identifies a person uniquely (corp.); II. relation signifies a person (ad 1); III. “Father” is the best name for this person (ad 2); IV. “Father” is properly attributed to this person (ad 3); V. the Father is the prime...
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