Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 250: Evodius
After De natura et gratia but before the end of 415, Augustine wrote Letter 169 to Evodius, bishop of Uzale and Augustine’s friend since baptism. Evodius was often proposed problems on elevated and difficult subjects; several letters between them evidence this kind of correspondence. At the beginning of Letter 167 Augustine told him he had important obligations which should not be interrupted. In response Evodius asked what these occupations were but did not stop proposing various problems. Among others he proposed questions on the Trinity and on the dove which represented the Holy Spirit at Christ’s baptism. Evodius could not believe this dove was a live bird. Evodius applied to these kinds of questions Paul’s words: “Let him who does not know be ignorant.”1
Augustine satisfied him with Letter 169 on the principal questions but did not enter into the others. He did not permit matters only of interest to scholars to turn him away from more necessary questions, useful to more people. Evodius might see how occupied he was by his works written in 415. If Evodius wished to have these books, he had only to send someone to copy them. To work on these concerns he postponed work on De trinitate.
Augustine says nothing on De Genesi ad litteram. Whether he had already finished the work and made it public is unclear. Is Letter 169 later than others written to Evodius where Augustine indicates he had...