De veritate EN 164
The separated soul, as has been said, knows in two ways. In one it knows through species infused when it is separated from the body; in the other, through species which it received while in the body.
According to the first mode, we have to ascribe to the separated soul a knowledge which is like angelic knowledge. Consequently, just as angels know singulars through the species given them at their creation, so, too, the soul will know them through the species given it at its separation from the body. For, since the ideas which exist in the divine mind are productive of things according to form and matter, they must be exemplars and likenesses of things according to both form and matter. Hence, through them God knows things not only in their generic and specific nature, which is derived from formal principles, but also in its singularity, whose principle is matter. But the forms which are created will angelic minds and which souls acquire when they are separated from the body are likenesses of those ideal forms which exist in the divine mind. Therefore, just as things derive from these ideas and so exist in form and matter, so also the species in created minds derive from them. And these species can know things according to form and to matter, that is, according to their universal nature and their singular nature. It is through this kind of species that the separated soul knows singulars.
But the species which it has received from the senses are like things only in so far as these latter can act, and they act according to their form. Therefore, singulars can be known through them only in so far as they are received in another power which uses a bodily organ, in which they exist materially in some way, and so are received as individual. In the understanding, however, which is entirely free from matter, they can be a principle only of universal knowledge, unless, perhaps, through some reflection on phantasms, from which the intelligible species are abstracted. After death, when phantasms have been destroyed, there cannot be this reflection. However, the soul can apply universal forms of this type to singulars which it knows through another type of knowledge.
Answers to Difficulties:
1. The separated soul does not know singulars through the species which it acquired while in the body, nor through species created will the soul, but through species given it when it is separated from the body. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to have an infinite number of species infused into the soul to know singulars, because the singulars which it is to know are not actually infinite in number, and because a separated substance can know all the individuals of a species through one likeness of the species, in so far as that likeness of the species is made the proper likeness of each of the singulars according to its proper relation to this or that individual, as we said of the angels. This is also clear of the divine essence which is the proper likeness not only of the individuals of one species but of all beings according to the different relations which it has to different things.
2. Although the species by which the separated soul knows singulars are intrinsically immaterial and therefore universal, they are likenesses of things both in their general nature and in their singular nature. Therefore, nothing prevents the soul from knowing singulars through them.
We concede the other difficulties.
Parallel readings: III Sentences 14, 1, sol. 1; Camp. Theol., 216; Summa Theol., III, 9, I.
It seems that there we should not, for
1. Knowledge is a perfection of the one who knows. But every perfection is more noble than the subject of perfectibility. Therefore, if Christ knows by reason of some created knowledge, something created will be more noble than the soul of Christ. But this seems unfitting.
2. Activity is not attributed to the nature, but to the substantial subject. For activities belong to substantial subjects and individuals. But, for the person of Christ to understand, uncreated knowledge is sufficient. Therefore, it is superfluous to ascribe created knowledge to Christ.
3. The more noble a thing is, the more it is like God. But the soul of Christ is more noble than physical heat. Therefore, since physical heat acts without a medium, and in this is like God, who acts without a medium, it seems that, will much greater reason, the soul of Christ should understand without the mediation of any created knowledge.
4. It was said that the activity of heat proceeds from within, but the activity of knowledge, from without, since it is according to the move merit from things to the soul. Hence, they are not alike. —On the contrary, in the activity of knowing there is not only reception, but also judgment about the things received. And, although reception is from without, judgment proceeds from within. Therefore, the activity of knowledge is not entirely from without.
5. Christ, the Son of God, did not assume any imperfection unless it aided our redemption. But imperfection of knowledge does not aid our redemption. Therefore, He did not assume imperfection of knowledge. But all created knowledge is imperfect in some degree by the very fact that it is created. Therefore, He did not assume created knowledge.
6. Anyone who is always engaged in the act of thinking according to the most perfect knowledge does not need any less perfect knowledge, because he would never use it, and so would have it to no purpose. But Christ is always engaged in the act of thinking according to the most perfect knowledge, namely, uncreated knowledge. There fore, we should not ascribe another, that is, created knowledge to Him.
7. Nature does not do will two things that which it can do will one; much less does God, who acts in a more orderly way than nature. But Christ could become will if He had only uncreated knowledge. Therefore, He did not become will by means of created knowledge.
8. According to the first Epistle to the Corinthians (1 3: i o): "When that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shah be put away." But created knowledge, in comparison will uncreated knowledge, is more imperfect than vision in the mirror [ creatures], in comparison will vision of [ essence. Therefore, if the vision of faith is re moved because of its imperfection when vision of [ essence arrives, will much greater reason created knowledge will be excluded from Christ in whom there was uncreated knowledge.
9. The Word united to His soul is much more intimate to it than our understanding is to our soul, since the Word is united toit not only through its essence, presence, and power, as in other souls, and through grace, as in the just, but also in unity of person. But our soul under stands through its intellective power. Therefore, Christ’s soul could be will will the wisdom of the Word, and so it did not need created knowledge.
10. If Christ had created knowledge, it was not given to Him except for His perfection. But the soul of Christ, united to the Word and having created knowledge, is not more noble that if it were united to the Word alone without created knowledge. For something created added to God does not increase His goodness, just as a point added to a lime does not make it longer. Therefore, we should not ascribe created knowledge to Christ.
To the Contrary:
1'. In Luke (2:52) we read: "And Jesus advanced in wisdom. But it is clear that he could not advance in uncreated wisdom, since that neither grows nor declines. Therefore, we should say that there is created knowledge in Christ.
2’. According to Damascene: "The Word of God assumed every thing which God impianted in our nature." But He implanted created knowledge in our nature. Therefore, He assumed created knowledge.
3’. Just as divine knowledge is above created intellective knowledge, so created intellective knowledge is above sensitive knowledge. But one who has created intellective knowledge does not lose sensitive knowledge, as is evident in men. Therefore, created intellective knowledge can remain after the advent of uncreated intellective knowledge.
Just as we say that there are two natures in Christ, so, also, we say that there are two kinds of knowledge: created and uncreated. But some heretics have said that there is only uncreated knowledge in Christ.
To see the source of this error we must bear in mind that some have understood that the union of the divine and human natures takes place in the way in which the soul is united to the body. Thus, as the soul is the form of the body, so in Christ the divinity would be the form of the humanity. Therefore, some have thought that if the Word were united to Christ’s body as the soul is to our body, it could give life to Him just as our soul gives life to our body. Hence, they said that there were only two substances in Christ, body and divinity, and the latter in place of the soul gave life to the body. This was the error of Eunomius and his followers.
However, some, perceiving that it would be unworthy for the divinity to be united to the body as that which gives it life, said that Christ had a soul which gives life and sensation, that is to say, a vegetative and a sensitive soul, but did not have an intellectual soul. They said that in Christ the Word Himself took the place of the intellectual soul. This was the error of Apollinaris and his followers.6 And, granted this error, it is plain that there is only uncreated knowledge in Christ.
But this manner of understanding the union in Christ leads one to believe that the divine and human natures are combined into a single nature, just as the union of body and soul results in not only one substantial subject but also one nature. Furthermore, it follows from this that the true reality of each nature is destroyed. For, since it is essential to the divine nature to have its being separate from all things, if we make it the act of any body, it loses its proper nature. In the same way, if the soul or the understanding or anything integral to human nature is taken away from it, there will no longer remain the true reality- of the specific nature, since, as is said in the Metaphysics, the specific natures are similar to numbers, in which the species of the number is changed when unity is added or subtracted. Therefore, according to the foregoing error, Christ was neither true God nor true man.
Therefore, for Christ to be true God and true man, He must have within him all that pertains to the divine nature, and, also, as a distinct nature in the same person, all that constitutes the specific nature of man. And for him to be not only a true man, but a perfect man, he must have everything which we need to be perfect, such as habits of the sciences and of the virtues. However, just as divinity cannot be an act of a body, in such a way that by it the body formally has life, or becomes a rational creature, so also it cannot be the act of the rational soul, so that by it the soul formally has knowledge or virtue in the way in which we have them through a habit of virtue or knowledge. There fore, we must hold that there is created knowledge and virtue in Christ.
Answers to Difficulties:
1. Created knowledge is, indeed, more noble than Christ’s soul in some respect, in so far as it is an act of His soul. In this sense, His colour is more noble than His body, and any accident is more noble than its subject, in so as it is related to it as act to potency. Simply, how ever, the subject is more noble than an accident, and, thus, Christ’s soul is more noble than its knowledge.
2. Although activity is ascribed to the substantial subject as agent, it is ascribed to the nature as the source of activity. And activity does not receive its specification from the agent but from the source of the activity. Hence, there can be specifically different activities in one agent because of the diversity of the principles of operation, as sight and hearing in man. Therefore, although in Christ there is only one substantial subject, in Him there are two natures and, so, two activities. Furthermore, Christ must have the perfection of both activities. Thus, He has not only uncreated knowledge, which is sufficient for the activity of the uncreated nature, but also created knowledge, which is needed for the perfect activity of the created nature.
3. Properly speaking, heat does not act; rather, it is the medium through which fire acts. For this reason, it is related to the activity of heating in the way in which created knowledge is related to the act of considering.
4. Although there is something from within in the deliberation of science, such activity is completed only when there is something from without. Here we see the dissimilarity.
5. Although created existence is imperfect in comparison will the eminence of the divine perfection, each thing is perfect in its own order and demands some perfection of its own order. Thus, even in Christ the created nature had some created perfection, namely, created knowledge.
6. Christ is always engaged in the act of thinking according to His uncreated knowledge. But, since the two activities belong to Him by reason of two natures, this actual consciousness does not therefore exclude the added consciousness of created knowledge.
7. If Christ had only uncreated knowledge, He would indeed be will as God, but He would not, so to speak, be will as man. Hence, He had to have created knowledge to be will in His humanity.
8. What the Apostle says should be taken of the perfection which is opposed to imperfection, for thus the imperfect is removed when the perfect arrives. But the perfection of divine knowledge is not op posed to the imperfection of created knowledge, since their objects are different. Hence, the conclusion does not follow.
9. Although the Word is more deeply within the soul than any of its powers, inasmuch as it supports and conserves the soul in existence, the understanding or any other power is more at one will the soul because it is united not only in person but also in nature, inasmuch as a power is a perfection of the soul itself, whereas the 'Word is not. Consequently, formally speaking, the soul of Christ cannot understand through the Word as though through its intellect.
Although the Word plus created knowledge is not better than the Word alone, the soul united to the Word and having the perfection of created knowledge is better than if it were united to the Word without having created knowledge. For created knowledge has a relation to the soul in a manner in which the Word does not. Therefore, the conclusion does not follow.
Parallel readings: Summa Theol., III, 9, 2, ad,. 3.
It seems that it did not, for
1. To see through a habit is to see through a medium. But the soul of Christ sees the Word without a medium. Therefore, it does not see it through a habit.
2. The soul of Christ is beatified because it sees the Word. But beatitude, or happiness, consists not in habit but in act, according to the Philosopher. Therefore, the soul of Christ does not see the Word through a habit.
3. The more simple a thing is, the closer it is to God. And the closer it is to God, the more noble it is. Therefore, since the soul of Christ has nobility especially because it sees God perfectly, it seems that it gets no composition in that vision, as it would if it understood the Word through a habit conjoined to the soul.
4. The soul of Christ is more noble than the angels, especially will reference to what belongs to vision of the Word. But the angels do not see the Word through habits, since, as Maximus says: "It is not fitting to think that the great Dionysius said that attributes [habitudines] exist in divine intellects in the manner of accidents, as they do in us, and that they exist differently in different subjects, as if they were made into qualities. For every accident is excluded from those divine intellects." Therefore, neither did the soul of Christ see the Word through a habit.
5. The soul of Christ can be considered only as united to the Word, or according to its own nature. But, in so far as it is united to the Word, it does not befit it to see the Word through the medium of a habit, since it is not united w the Word through the medium of a habit. Likewise, this does not befit it by reason of its proper nature, for, just as every whole is greater than the part, so every whole is better and more perfect than any of its parts. But a part of the soul, the agent intellect, carries on its activity without the mediation of a habit, and this seems to pertain to the nobility of the agent intellect. So, will much greater reason, the whole soul engages in activity without the mediation of a habit. Therefore, the soul of Christ does not in any way see the Word through a habit.
6. As the Gloss says: "After God there is nothing better than the nature of the human mind such as Christ assumed." But some creatures even without sense perform their activities without the mediation of a habit. And this seems to pertain to their nobility, since in this they are like God. Therefore, the soul of Christ will much greater reason performs its activity without any habit. Thus, we conclude as before.
To the Contrary:
I’. No passive power can perform its activity unless it is perfected by the form of its corresponding active agent, since a thing operates only in so far as it is in act. But the possible intellect, by which the soul of Christ understood, was a passive power. Therefore, it could not understand unless it was perfected through the form of its corresponding active principle, that is to say, unless it was perfected by something intelligible. But a habit in the understanding seems to be nothing other than the species of intelligible things in the understanding. Therefore, the soul of Christ saw God and understood through the mediation of a habit.
2’. It did not befit the Son of God to assume anything but a perfect intellective power. But the active power is made perfect through the habit of knowledge. Therefore, He assumed habitual knowledge.
For a clear understanding of this question we must know what habit is, and why we need habits.
At first sight, habit seems to mean something added to a power, by which power receives the perfection needed for its activity. A power, however, needs some addition for two reasons: because of the state of its nature, and because of the nature of the power of itself. Nor is this without reason, since the activity, which proceeds from a power, depends on the nature which is the source of the power.
A power needs something for its activity because of its nature, for example, when the activity is such that it is beyond the capacity and condition of the nature. In this way, to love God will the love of fellowship, as a sharer in His inheritance, is beyond the condition of human nature. Hence, our affective power needs the habit of charity for this activity. A power needs something by reason of the power itself, however, when it is ordained to objects of such a nature that it can in no will of itself perfectly possess their act. Thus, the power of sight is ordained to knowledge of all colors, but it vas not possible for all colors actually to exist in the organ of sight. Therefore, things were ordained differently, namely, that the power of sight could be given the likeness of any colour and so proceed to the act of sight.
Still, we must bear in mind that that which is added to a power is sometimes received in it as a habit, and sometimes after the manner of transient impression.
This latter is the case when that which is received does not remain within the recipient, and does not become a quality of the recipient, but is impressed on it by a kind of contact from some agent, and quickly passes on. Thus, the Philosopher says that, when one suddenly blushes because of shame, the redness is "a transient impression" and not an affective "quality."
But that which is received is retained as a habit when it becomes in sense connatural to the receiver. For this reason, the Philosopher says that a habit is a quality which is hard to change. Hence it is, also, that activities which proceed from a habit are pleasurable, readily undertaken, and easily performed, since they have, in a sense, become connatural.
Accordingly, what is supplementary in the sense powers is not given as a habit, but as a transient impression. But in the intellective powers of the soul the supplement is given as a habit. For the sensitive part is led by natural instinct rather than taking the lead itself, whereas the intellective part has the direction of its acts. Therefore, it should have a readiness to act, so that it can engage in activity when it pleases.
From what has been said, it is evident that a power is more perfect when it receives something as a habit than if it receives it only as a transient impression. Therefore, we must say that anything supplementary to the soul of Christ is there as a habit.
For both of the reasons we have given we must say that there is some addition to the soul of Christ. By reason of the nature, for vision of the divine essence is above the state of any created nature. Consequently, no creature can reach this unless it is elevated to that blessed vision by some light. In some, for example those enraptured, this light is received as a temporary impression and transiently. But in Christ it was there as a habit, making the soul of Christ beatified from the beginning of its existence.
By reason of the power, however, the intellect of the human soul is in potency to all things. However, it is impossible for any created being to be perfectly the act and likeness of all beings, for, thus, it would possess the nature of being in an infinite manner. Hence, only God can understand all things by Himself and without any addition. But every created intellect understands through some species given it, either acquired by it, as happens will us, or given in creation or infused, as in the angels. And what belongs to angels by reason of the state of their nature, that is to say, to have the species of all things infused in them from their creation, was conferred on the soul of Christ in a much more excellent way by reason of the fullness of grace. But through the mediation of these species it did not know the Word, but only created things.
Therefore, it must be said that in the knowledge will which the soul of Christ saw the Word it needed the habit which is light, not as that through which something would become actually intelligible, as happens in us will the light of the agent intellect, but as that through which the created understanding would be elevated to that which is above it. But, for knowledge of other creatures, it had the habit which is the aggregate of the species ordained to knowledge.
Answers to Difficulties:
1. The soul of Christ sees the Word without that medium which consists in a likeness of the thing seen, as the species in the eye is a likeness of the visible thing, or a mirror is a likeness of the thing reflected. But it does not see the Word without that medium which is a disposition of the one seeing. Thus, the argument is not valid.
2. When one says that happiness is not habitual, this should be under stood of the habit from which an act does not proceed. For one who has something habitually and not actually is like one who is asleep. But, according to the opinion of the Philosopher, the act in which happiness consists must proceed from some habit. Otherwise, the activity would not be pleasurable and perfect.
3. According to Dionysius, the situation is not the same in participations and participants, for, the more simple participations are, the more noble they are, as to exist than to live, and to live than to under stand, if by our understanding we separate existence and life in order to compare them. But, among participants, the more composed a thing is (not, of course, will material composition, but by reason of reception of more participations), the more noble it is, because it is like God in so many more things. This kind of assimilation can come only from something received from God. Hence, also, the soul which besides its nature has habits perfecting it is more noble.
4. The words of Maximus should be taken of separable accidents and those belonging to [physical] nature, for, if they had accidents of this sort, they would be subject to change, and not immaterial and subsistent essences. Consequently, he adds: "For if it were this, their essence would certainly not remain within itself." And he concludes: "Therefore, their attributes [habitudines] and powers are essential to them because of their immateriality." And he calls essential that which never leaves the essence.
5. The union in Christ does not terminate in activity but in existence. Therefore, in so far as the soul is united to the Word, speaking of what is immediate; it is not entitled to sight of the Word or any other activity, but to this only, namely, existence in the person of the Word. However, its activities belong to it by reason of its powers and its nature. And, although the whole soul is more perfect than the agent intellect, no other power of the soul is more noble than the agent intellect. Hence, the fact that the agent intellect does not need a habit does not mean that the possible intellect must not need one. For the agent intellect needs no habit for its activity, because it does not receive anything from intelligible things, but gives its own form to them by making them actually intelligible. The possible intellect, however, has just the opposite relation to intelligible things.
6. Natural powers are limited to one thing, so they reach their objects of themselves and do not need anything supplementary in order to act. But rational powers are ordained to many things, and this is an indication of their nobility. Therefore, the case is not the same.
Parallel readings: De veritate, 20, 2; III Sentences 14, 1, sol. 5; Comp. Theol., 216; Summa Theol., 111, 9, 3; 12, I.
It seems that he does not, for
1. As is said in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (1: 10): "But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be put away." But the knowledge by which we now know things in them selves is in part, as we read in that same passage. Therefore, when the perfect knowledge of glory comes, our present knowledge will be put away, as the Apostle expressly seems to mean. But, in Christ, from the first moment of J4is conception there was the knowledge of glory, that is to say, that knowledge by which He knew things in the Word. Therefore, He had no other knowledge of things.
2. It was said that, when glory comes, knowledge will be put away, not in its essence but in the mode in which the understanding now sees by inquiry and dependence on phantasms. On the contrary, this mode is of the essence of knowledge. And, if something essential is taken away, the substance of the thing cannot remain. Therefore, if that mode leaves, the knowledge cannot remain in its substance.
3. According to the Philosopher, all habits which are acquired from acts are the source of acts like those from which they are acquired. But the knowledge which we now have was acquired from the kind of consideration in which we turn to phantasms and proceed by making comparisons. Therefore, knowledge like this can produce only acts of this nature. So, the knowledge would remain useless if such a mode of knowledge were discontinued.
4. It is impossible to have two forms of the same species in one and the same subject. But, when the soul of Christ sees things in the Word, it has likenesses of the things it sees, since a thing is seen only through its likeness. Therefore, it is impossible for it w have other likenesses of the same things. So, there cannot be another knowledge in Christ except that by which He knows things in the Word.
5. Knowledge is ascribed w the soul of Christ because of its perfection. But, since the soul of Christ sees things in the Word and sees the Word itself, it is not more or less perfect whether it has other knowledge or not. Therefore, we should not ascribe any other knowledge to Him. I prove the minor premise from Augustine, who says: "Unhappy the man who knows all those things [creatures] and does not know You. Blessed the man who knows You, even if he does not know those things. However, one who knows both You and them is not more blessed because of them, but only blessed because of You."
To the Contrary:
1'. Christ was more perfect than the angels, as the Apostle proves (He 1,4 ff). But, besides knowledge of things which they have in the Word, angels have knowledge of things in their own nature, as is clear from Augustine. Therefore, will much greater reason the soul of Christ knew things in their own nature besides knowing them in the Word.
2’. It is not fitting that any of the natural perfections should be lacking in Christ. But it is a natural perfection of the human soul to know things in their own nature. Therefore, Christ had this kind of knowledge of things.
As we said before, the perfection which belongs to Christ super naturally does not exclude His natural perfection, just as uncreated life does not exclude a soul which gives life. But the knowledge by which the soul of Christ knows the Word and things in the Word is supernatural, as has been said. Hence, this does not prevent the soul of Christ from having every natural perfection. However, to be reduced to act is the natural perfection of anything which is existing in potency. But the possible intellect is naturally in potency to intelligible things. Consequently, before it is reduced to act, it is imperfect, and it is made perfect when it is reduced to act and so has knowledge of things. Therefore, some philosophers, looking at man’s natural perfection, have said that the ultimate happiness of man consists in the delineation of the order of the whole universe in the soul of man. Therefore, Christ had this perfection of knowing things in their own nature through the infused knowledge given Him by God, much more than man in the state of innocence or angels by reason of their natural knowledge.
Answers to Difficulties:
1. There are two opinions about knowledge. One says that science acquired here remains as far as the essence of the habit is concerned, but the mode in which we use science in this life is taken away. The subsumption in the [second] difficulty proceeds according to this opinion. Nevertheless, we must add that, since Christ was a wayfarer and a possessor of the term, He had both modes of thinking, one in which He was like the angels, in that He knew things without discursive thought, and the other through which Fie knew by turning to phantasms. And it is proper to Christ to have both modes of knowledge, for it belongs to Hum simultaneously to be a wayfarer and possessor of the term.
The other opinion, however, holds that knowledge acquired here will be taken away in so far as the essence of the habit is concerned. According to this (although I do not believe it is true), one could answer that the soul of Christ did not have knowledge acquired from the senses but infused knowledge such as the angels have through species created will them. It is clear that such knowledge remains in angels along will the vision of glory.
2. This mode of knowing is not essential because of itself, but by reason of its subject, for which this is the normal mode of understanding according to the state of this life. But all that is essential to knowledge in itself is that through it things which can be known are known. Therefore, when the condition of the subject is changed, the mode of knowing is changed, although the habit of knowledge is not.
3. An act can be like another act in two ways. In one way, they are alike in the species of the act which it derives from the matter it concerns. According to this, an acquired habit always produces an act similar to the act by which it was generated. Thus, one becomes brave by doing brave deeds, and, when he has become brave, does brave deeds. In the other way, they are alike according to the mode which follows the disposition of the subject. And, according to this, it is not necessary for the acts in question to be alike. For it is clear that the acts by which we acquire political bravery are performed will sadness and without pleasure. But acts which follow a habit are rather easy and are accompanied by pleasure, or at least are without sadness. Hence, in knowledge we see that man acquires knowledge of things by considering some things, and can consider these same things once he knows them. Nevertheless, he does this in a different way than he did before, for he no longer investigates but looks at what he has investigated. Thus, there is nothing to prevent acts which are produced by habits in the state of glory from having a different mode.
4. As far as it is said to know in the Word, the soul of Christ and any other soul has no other likenesses than the 'Word itself for the things which it knows in the Word. However, from the fact that it sees in the Word, it can form for itself likenesses of the things it sees, as one who sees something in a mirror sees the thing through the form of the mirror. 'We have discussed this more fully in our treatment of the angels.
ç. Man’s beatitude consists in the knowledge of God and not in the knowledge of creatures. Hence, one is more blessed not because of knowledge of creatures but only because of the knowledge of God. Nevertheless, it is still true that knowledge of creatures belongs to the natural perfection of the soul, as has been said.
Parallel readings: De veritate, 8, 4; III Sentences 14, 2, sol. 2; Comp. Theol., 216; Summa Theol., III, 10, 2.
It seems that it does not, for
1. God knows an infinite multitude of things, as Augustine says. But, since the soul of Christ is finite, it cannot know an infinite multitude of things. Therefore, in the Word the soul of Christ cannot know all that God knows.
2. It was said that by its union will the Word the soul of Christ is strengthened, and thus can know an infinite multitude of things.—On the contrary, the activity of the soul of Christ proceeds from it through the mediation not of the Word but of its own power. But its power is not infinite, since its essence is finite. Therefore, neither can its operation extend to the knowledge of an infinite multitude of things, although the Word to whom it is united is infinite.
3. In the union of the human and the divine nature, as Damascene says, "the uncreated remains uncreated, and the created remains created." But the capacity and activity of any created thing is finite. Therefore, from its union will the Word, the soul of Christ did not receive the ability to know an infinite multitude of things.
4. Since the Word is infinite, it is fitting that He not only know an infinite multitude of things but also comprehend the infinite, that is to say, God. Therefore, if from its union will the Word the soul of Christ received knowledge of an infinite multitude of things, will equal reason, from the same union, it should have received comprehension of God. But this is false.
5. The activity by which the soul of Christ knew an infinite multitude of things was either the Creator or a creature. If it was the creator, it proceeded from the soul of Christ, which is a creature. Therefore, the Creator proceeded from a creature, which is impossible. If it is a creature—and every creature is finite—then that activity is finite. So, an infinite multitude of things are not known through it.
6. It was said that, although the activity is finite, it has an ordination to an infinite multitude of things.—On the contrary, that relation by which it is ordained to what is infinite is either the Creator or a creature. And we can proceed in the same way as before.
7. Since everything known is known through some species, if the soul of Christ knows an infinite multitude of things, it will know them through a finite or an infinite species. But it does not know them through an infinite species, since no created species is infinite. But, if it knows them through a finite species—and such a species does not represent an infinite multitude of things—then it is impossible for the soul of Christ to know an infinite multitude of things.
8. It was said that, although the species by which the soul of Christ knows is created, still, from its union will the Word of God, it be comes a representation for knowing an infinite multitude of things. —On the contrary, union will the Word does not elevate a creature beyond the limits of creature hood. For what is created can in no way become uncreated. But it is beyond the limits of creature hood to be a representation of an infinite multitude of things. Therefore, no created species is elevated to this by union [with the Word].
9. Isidore says that the assumed man was made equal to the Word neither in knowledge nor in anything else. Consequently, not in number of things known. Therefore.
10. We can say that two quantities of equal length but unequal width are in some way equal. But, just as a quantity is called large by reason of several dimensions, so knowledge is called great for different reasons, both because of the number of things known and because of the clarity of the cognition. Accordingly, if the knowledge of the soul of Christ is made equal to the knowledge of God in the number of things known, although not in clearness and distinctness of the cognition, it can be said that the knowledge of the soul of Christ is in some way equal to the divine knowledge. But it seems absurd to make a creature equal to the Creator in anything.
11. Along will our nature, Christ took on those defects which did not hinder the purpose for which He assumed it, namely, our redemption. But a lack of knowledge of many things would never have hindered our redemption, as, for example, if Christ would not have known the number of pebbles in the bed of some river. Therefore, we should not say that Christ knew everything.
12. It was said that, although knowledge of such things would not help toward the end of our redemption, ignorance of these things would derogate from Christ’s perfection. On the contrary, ignorance is opposed to the perfection of the soul in the way hunger and thirst are opposed to the perfection of the body. But Christ took on hunger and thirst because they were not obstacles to our redemption. There fore, will equal reason He should have assumed ignorance of many things.
13. Ambrose says: "Every nature is bounded by its given limits." But nothing of this sort extends to an infinite multitude of things. Therefore, the soul of Christ does not know an infinite multitude of things.
14. Just as knowledge is said to be infinite in extension in as far as one knows an infinite multitude of things, so it is said to be infinite
in intensity in as far as one knows will infinite clearness. But Christ’s knowledge was not infinite in intensity, since, if it were, it would be equal to God’s knowledge in clearness. Therefore, it was not infinite in extension, either. Hence He did not know an infinite number of things, or all that God knows.
To the Contrary:
1'. Commenting on the Apocalypse (5: 12), "The Lamb... is worthy to receive...wisdom," the Gloss says: "... knowledge of all things which God knows." Therefore, the soul of Christ knows everything that God knows.
2’. By one infinite, it is possible to know a infinite multitude of things, since God knows an infinite multitude of things by His essence, which is infinite. But the soul of Christ saw the Word, which is infinite, and through the Word it sees other things. Therefore, it can know an infinite multitude of things.
3’. In Colossians (1: 19) we read: "Because in him [Christ] it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness [of divinity] should dwell." But this would not be so unless He knew all that God knows. There fore, the soul of Christ knows everything that God knows.
4’. Whatever can be communicated to any creature was communicated to the soul of Christ. But the knowledge of all things can be communicated to a creature, for, according to the Philosopher, the possible intellect is in potency to all intelligible things. Therefore, God conferred on the soul of Christ the Vision of all things in the Word.
De veritate EN 164