Question 9. Christ’s Knowledge in General

Question 9. Christ’s Knowledge in General

  1. Did Christ have any knowledge besides the Divine?
  2. Did He have the knowledge which the blessed or comprehensors have?
  3. Did He have an imprinted or infused knowledge?
  4. Did He have any acquired knowledge?

Article 1. Whether Christ had any knowledge besides the Divine?

“God assumed the perfection of human nature in the flesh; He took upon Himself the sense of man…” But created knowledge pertains to the sense of man. Therefore in Christ there was created knowledge.

The Son of God assumed an entire human nature, to include a rational soul. Now what is in potentiality is imperfect unless reduced to act, and in keeping with our defense of the perfection and at the same time the true human nature of Christ, it is only fitting that He have human knowledge.

If there had been no human knowledge in the soul of Christ, it would have known nothing and would have been assumed for no purpose.

Article 2. Whether Christ had the knowledge which the blessed or comprehensors have?

According to John 8:55: “I do know Him, and do keep His word.” Therefore in Christ there was the knowledge of the blessed.

Men are brought to the end of beatitude by the humanity of Christ, and it was necessary that the beatific knowledge, which consists in the vision of God, should belong to Christ pre-eminently, since an effect cannot be greater than its cause.

In the soul of Christ, which is a part of human nature, and through the light participated from the Divine Nature, He has  perfect beatific knowledge whereby He sees God.

In the Reply to Objection 3, we see the truth of the statement from Fr. Mullady’s Nature and Grace lectures: “Man is called to an end by nature that he cannot attain by nature, but only by grace because of the exalted character of the end.”

Article 3. Whether Christ had an imprinted or infused knowledge?

In Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

The Word of God should not be imperfect. But the passive intellect of man is in potentiality to all intelligible things. and it is reduced to act by intelligible species, hence we must admit in the soul of Christ an infused knowledge, inasmuch as the Word of God is imprinted upon the soul of Christ, whereby He knows things in their proper nature proportioned to the human mind.

In his replies to the objections, it is reaffirmed that Christ did not have the virtue of faith, because He has the beatific vision.  However, as human He does not lose the demonstration leading to knowledge simply because He has the obtained knowledgesince he who knows the cause is thereby enabled the better to understand the probable signs from which dialectical syllogisms proceed.” Further, again understanding Christ as true man, He has, in His rational mind, the intelligible species, proportioned to His human nature.

Article 4. Whether Christ had any acquired knowledge?

Indeed, He did. Nothing in the soul of Christ is there in vain. But He has, as human, an active intellect. What has no proper operation is useless,and the proper operation of the active intellect is to abstract intelligible species from phantasms. We would dive deep into the Thomistic understanding of psychology (in its true form: study of the soul) to understand him here, and his point is to once again show that Christ was true man, with all the operations proper to man. Interestingly, Thomas here shows he has developed in his thought and is correcting his opinion from his youth.

The habit of infused knowledge is of a different nature, as coming down to the soul from on high, and not from phantasms. And hence there is no parity between these habits.


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