An English translation of the texts relating to the doctrine of tongues as found in De Trinitate — a work traditionally attributed to Didymus of Alexandria.
For the actual Greek text, go to The Greek and Latin texts on the Dogma of Tongues found in De Trinitate.
Didymi Alexandrini. De Trinitate Liber Primus. XVIII:31. MPG. Vol. 39 Col. 348
In the Book of Genesis, regarding the building of the tower the God and Father has revealed the blessed substance, His own Son and His holy Spirit said: “Come, having gone down let us confuse their language so that each one, they were not to be able to hear the voice of [his] neighbour.”
And I think as well Moses also shows the equality of the Trinity. He set forth one vine in three roots, nowhere then has another root spoken in greater quantity, lest anyone reckon the one person over the other, but all of these in fact we believe three to converge into one deity. On this account the divinely inspired Scripture prevents to make [any form of] hierarchy [within the Trinity] in the altar in which the Three receives praise.
Didymi Alexandrini. De Trinitate Liber Secundus. MPG. Vol. 39. Col. 728ff
“For through the agency of the laying of hands they were freeing men from various maladies, even when the shadow of Peter’s body falls [upon someone], while Paul’s personal handkerchiefs too brought about healings. And Paul certainly wrote to the Romans, “In respect to the one who believes, that there is to be more than enough for you in the hope [and] in the power of the holy Spirit.”
In this perspective Peter was confidently calling out the devil, declaring the divine essence of the holy Spirit, saying to Ananias, “How is it that Satan has tempted your heart that you are deceiving the holy Spirit?” For who is the one being lied to? [Peter] who was [under] the influence said,“You did not lie to man but to God.”
For there was not any kind of reverence in them, who is reduced to that of riches, or who breathes injustice, or does not see what is the right thing, or is not in a state of mind concerning the pure nature of the Trinity, as perhaps it was he who ascended the foremost world thrones, and this one possesses in the hands the highest powers.
But on the contrary they were taking no notice of the purple authority itself, they were masters of riches, possessing the undiminishable treasure of the holy Spirit.
And they were speaking as well in different languages, “even as”, it says, “the Spirit was giving them to utter.” And the Galileans were understanding the instruction of Parthians, Medes, Persians; and the different sorts of foreign speech of mankind, including also Greek, and the Ausonian language. Many voices were indeed produced, and were showing of such things, we are destined to discover about the age to come, when having been liberated from the bonds of this present world, which corresponds to the voice of Paul, “Where there is not among them Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, but Christ is the all and in all.” And clearly he meant the same identical essence as according to the Trinity, “Christ is all and in all.” Where seeing that we seek. . .
Unfortunately the Greek source text abruptly terminates here, and restarts at a new section that does not pick-up where this text left-off.
Didymi Alexandri. De Trinitate Liber Secundus. MPG. Vol. 39. Col. 501
“The water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life,” He said this concerning the holy Spirit, where those who believe were destined to receive from Him. And this too, “For we have become partakers of Christ.” Then “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,” And it was exceedingly fitting such a thing being said in the Book of Acts “And there appeared to the apostles tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested upon each one of them, and they were all filled with the holy Spirit.” And to which was said by John, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” by which is similar to the oracle by Moses, “God is a consuming fire,” and by Isaiah, “For behold, the LORD will come in fire.”
Charles Sullivan is a researcher and writer on topics of textual criticism, linguistics, theology, Christian mysticism and philosophy. He also frequently likes to delve into contemporary social and ethical issues from a faith perspective.
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