Nota etiam specialem modum significandi, quia dicit verbum erat Deus, absolute ponendo Deum; ut ostendat non eo modo Deum esse, quo nomen Deitatis attribui dicitur creaturae in sacra Scriptura; quia cum additione aliqua aliquando hoc nomen creatura participat. Sicut illud Ex. VII, 1: ego constitui te Deum Pharaonis, ad designandum quod non erat Deus simpliciter, nec per naturam, quia constituebatur Deus alicuius determinate; et illud Ps. Lxxxi, 6: ego dixi, dii estis, quasi dicat: per meam reputationem, non secundum rei veritatem, dii estis: aliud enim est Deum reputari, et aliud esse Deum. Unde verbum absolute dicitur Deus, quia est secundum essentiam suam Deus, et non participative, sicut homines et Angeli.
 Sciendum est etiam quod circa hanc clausulam Origenes turpiter erravit, ex modo loquendi, qui in Graeco habetur, sumens occasionem sui erroris. Consuetudo enim est apud Graecos, quod cuilibet nomini apponunt articulum, ad designandum discretionem quamdam. Quia ergo in evangelio Ioannis in Graeco, huic nomini quod est verbum, cum dicitur in principio erat verbum, et similiter huic nomini quod est Deus, cum dicitur et verbum erat apud Deum, apponitur articulus, ut dicatur ly verbum, et ly Deus, ad designandum eminentiam et discretionem verbi ad alia verba, et principalitatem patris in divinitate; ideo, cum in hoc quod dicitur verbum erat Deus, non apponatur articulus huic nomini Deus, quod supponit pro persona filii, blasphemavit Origenes quod verbum non esset Deus per essentiam, licet sit essentialiter verbum; sed dicitur per participationem Deus: solus vero pater est Deus per suam essentiam. Et sic ponebat filium patre minorem.
 Quod autem non sit verum, probat chrysostomus per hoc quod si articulus positus huic nomini Deus, importaret maioritatem in patre respectu filii, numquam apponeretur huic nomini Deus, cum de alio praedicatur, sed solum quando praedicatur de patre, et semper cum dicitur de patre, apponeretur articulus. Invenimus autem contrarium per duas auctoritates apostoli, qui notat Christum Deum cum appositione articuli, dicens in Epist. Ad titum, II, 13: expectantes beatam spem, et adventum gloriae magni Dei. Ibi enim Deus supponit pro filio, et apponitur ei articulus in Graeco; ergo Christus est Deus magnus. Item idem apostolus, Rom. IX, 5, dicit: ex quibus Christus, qui est super omnia Deus benedictus in saecula. Ibi similiter ad ly Deus ponitur in Graeco articulus. Praeterea I io. Ult., 20: ut simus in vero filio eius Christo Iesu; hic est verus Deus, et vita aeterna. Christus ergo non est Deus per participationem, sed verus. Patet igitur esse falsum quod Origenes finxit.
Ratio autem quare evangelista non apposuit articulum huic nomini Deus, assignatur a chrysostomo; scilicet quia iam bis nominaverat Deum cum appositione articuli, et ideo non oportebat reiterare tertio, sed subintelligitur. Vel dicendum est et melius, quod Deus ponitur hic in praedicato, et tenetur formaliter; consuetum est autem quod nominibus in praedicato positis non ponitur articulus, cum discretionem importet. Si vero Deus poneretur hic ex parte subiecti, pro quacumque persona supponeret, sive pro filio sive pro spiritu sancto; et tunc non est dubium quod in Graeco ibi apponeretur articulus.
 Note also the special way of signifying, since he says, the Word was God, using “God” absolutely to show that he is not God in the same way in which the name of the deity is given to a creature in Sacred Scripture. For a creature sometimes shares this name with some added qualification, as when it says, “I have appointed you the God of Pharaoh” (Ex 7:1), in order to indicate that he was not God absolutely or by nature, because he was appointed the god of someone in a qualified sense. Again, it says in the Psalm (81:6): “I said, ‘You are gods.’” —as if to say: in my opinion, but not in reality. Thus the Word is called God absolutely because he is God by his own essence, and not by participation, as men and angels are.
 We should note that Origen disgracefully misunderstood this clause, led astray by the Greek manner of speaking. It is the custom among the Greeks to put the article before every name in order to indicate a distinction. In the Greek version of John’s Gospel the name “Word” in the statement, In the beginning was the Word, and also the name “God” in the statement, and the Word was with God, are prefixed by the article, so as to read “the Word” and “the God,” in order to indicate the eminence and distinction of the Word from other words, and the principality of the Father in the divinity. But in the statement, the Word was God, the article is not prefixed to the noun “God,” which stands for the person of the Son. Because of this Origen blasphemed that the Word, although he was Word by essence, was not God by essence, but is called God by participation; while the Father alone is God by essence. And so he held that the Son is inferior to the Father.
 Chrysostom proves that this is not true, because if the article used with the name “God” implied the superiority of the Father in respect to the Son, it would never be used with the name “God” when it is used as a predicate of another, but only when it is predicated of the Father. Further, whenever said of the Father, it would be accompanied by the article. However, we find the opposite to be the case in two statements of the Apostle, who calls Christ “God,” using the article. For in Titus (2:13) he says, “the coming of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,” where “God” stands for the Son, and in the Greek the article is used. Therefore, Christ is the great God. Again he says (Rom 9:5): “Christ, who is God over all things, blessed forever,” and again the article is used with “God” in the Greek. Further, in 1 John (5:20) it says: “That we may be in his true Son, Jesus Christ; he is the true God and eternal life.” Thus, Christ is not God by participation, but truly God. And so the theory of Origen is clearly false.
Chrysostom gives us the reason why the Evangelist did not use the article with the name “God,” namely, because he had already mentioned God twice using the article, and so it was not necessary to repeat it a third time, but it was implied. Or, a better reason would be that “God” is used here as the predicate and is taken formally. And it is not the custom for the article to accompany names used as predicates, since the article indicates separation. But if “God” were used here as the subject, it could stand for any of the persons, as the Son or the Holy Spirit; then, no doubt, the article would be used in the Greek.
* Θωμάς Ακινάτης / Thomas Aquinas,
Υπόμνημα στο Ευαγγέλιο του Αγ. Ιωάννη / Super Evangelium Johannis [Commentary on the Gospel of St. John] 1:57-59, *
English transl. by James A. Weisheipl.