Friday, July 20, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

“Woe to the shepherds who scatter and destroy the sheep of My pasture!” Therefore thus says the Lord against those who tend My people: “You have scattered My sheep and driven them out. You did not care for them. Behold, I shall punish you according to your evil practices. I will receive the remnant of My people from every land where I have driven them. I will establish them in their pasture, and they shall increase and be multiplied. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them. They shall fear no more, nor be terrified,” says the Lord. “Behold, days are coming,”says the Lord, “when I will raise up for David the Righteous Orient, and a King shall reign. He will understand and bring about judgment and righteousness on the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel shall dwell in confidence. This is His name by which the Lord will call him: ‘The Lord Our Righteousness.’” (Jer 23:1–6 LXX)

These things were fulfilled according to the type in the case of Zerubbabel and Jeshua, the son of Jozadak. However, this prophecy was not altogether fulfilled, for many would rise up against them—not only their neighbors but also later on the Macedonians and finally the Romans. But the prophecy proclaims the everlasting nature of grace. Therefore, it is clear that these things were not fulfilled during their lifetimes but during the lifetimes of the apostles, for they alone had the gift of the Holy Spirit.... The Jews shamelessly endeavor to apply this to Zerubbabel. But they need to understand that he was no king—just a popular leader—and he was not called Jozadak. Neither is the meaning of the name appropriate to him, the word meaning “the Lord our righteousness” or, in the Syriac rendering, “Lord, make us righteous”—neither of which applies to Zerubbabel. Since, however, he was a type of Christ the Lord and brought back the captives from Babylon to Judah, just as the Lord transferred those enslaved by the devil to truth, anyone applying this to him in the manner of a type would do nothing beyond reason. It is necessary that we understand, however, that it is the Lord Jesus Christ, a descendant of David according to the flesh, who is proclaimed by the prophets as “the righteous dawn,” “the righteous king” and “the Lord of righteousness.”

Theodoret of Cyrus, On Jeremiah 5.23.5–6

Friday, July 13, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist
For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” … Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!” Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb. (Mark 6:17-29)

Note well the weakness of the tyrant compared to the power of the one in prison. Herod was not strong enough to silence his own tongue. Having opened it, he opened up countless other mouths in its place and with its help. As for John, he immediately inspired fear in Herod after his murder—for fear was disturbing Herod’s conscience to such an extent that he believed John had been raised from the dead and was performing miracles! In our own day and through all future time, throughout all the world, John continues to refute Herod, both through himself and through others. For each person repeatedly reading this Gospel says: “It is not lawful for you to have the wife of Philip your brother.” And even apart from reading the Gospel, in assemblies and meetings at home or in the market, in every place ... even to the very ends of the earth, you will hear this voice and see that righteous man even now still crying out, resounding loudly, reproving the evil of the tyrant. He will never be silenced nor the reproof at all weakened by the passing of time.

In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment? Who are those he did not set back on their feet—provided they had a penitent disposition—because of what he spoke, because of what he suffered, because of what he still proclaims in our own day—the same message he preached while he was living. Therefore, do not say: “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death, but a crown, not an end, but the beginning of a greater life. Learn to think and live like a Christian. You will not only remain unharmed by these events, but will reap the greatest benefits.

John Chrysostom, On the Providence of God 22.8-10

Friday, July 6, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezekiel 2:1-5)

What then would have become of this man if he had seen the Lord’s glory as it is, who seeing the likeness of that glory but unable to bear it fell on his face? In this matter we must think with deep sorrow and ponder with tears to what wretchedness and weakness we have fallen who cannot bear that very good that we were created to behold. But here is something else for us to consider within ourselves from the prophet’s act. For as soon as he saw the likeness of the glory of God, the prophet fell on his face. Since we cannot see this likeness through the spirit of prophecy, we must continually acknowledge it and most carefully contemplate in holy Scripture, in divine counsels, and in spiritual precepts. We, who when we perceive something of God, fall on our faces because we blush for the evil acts we remember committing.… We see ruined cities, razed forts, ravaged fields, and nevertheless we still follow our ancestors in transgressions; we are not changed from this their pride that we saw. And they indeed at a time of pleasure. But we—which is more serious—sin at a time of being lashed. But almighty God, judging transgression, first snatched away our ancestors and then called them to judgment. He still awaits our penitence; he sustains us that we may return to him.

Gregory the Great, Homilies on Ezekiel

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Keep It at Its Appointed Time

Some time ago, I was reading a blog post about traditions, and that got me considering their importance in the rhythm of life. We need traditions for communal welfare. Whether instilled in us or formed by us, traditions set aside definite occasions for reflection, joy, or solace—and sometimes all three at once. For instance, people have family traditions which allow the parents and children to enjoy one other and further strengthen their bond to one another.

In the same way, God’s people are called to keep traditions. Consider the following:
On the Sabbath days, carry no burdens with you from your houses, nor do any work. Instead, sanctify the Sabbath days, as I commanded your fathers.… “Thus it shall come to pass that if you hear Me,” says the Lord, “so as not to carry burdens through the gates of this city on the Sabbath days, but to sanctify the Sabbath days and do no work therein, then there shall enter through the gates of this city kings and rulers, sitting on the throne of David and riding in their chariots and on their horses, they and their rulers, men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This city itself shall be inhabited forever.” (Jer 17:18, 20–21)
This restatement of a prior command to hold the Sabbath reiterates a divine promise that the Lord would bless His people if they faithfully keep these weekly, appointed times. This is not so much because the people are seeking the blessing, though it plays a part, but because adherence witnesses to a desire to live by faith in God and His Word. While the Sabbath is specifically mentioned in Jeremiah, other feasts and festivals (Lev 23:1–44) were a regular part of the yearly calendar. I would dare say that God mentioned this one, because if the Sabbath can be kept, the others would come as a natural consequence.

Christians understand that the sacrifices, feasts, and festivals are fulfilled in Christ, so how are we to apply the same philosophy of faithful, righteous tradition to the Church? Attendance at Sunday worship is probably the most identifiable. Beginning with the apostolic age, we see a regular gathering at least once per week, usually on Sunday, but are there other traditions that equally as important? In the U.S., Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are easily identified as important dates to set apart, which leads to another question: are these enough? I contend that we lack proper grounding when we neglect the church calendar.

Lectionaries and the lectio continuo (continual reading) have been a vital part of believing communal life since the synagogal system came into being and probably before. We can see an example from Jesus’ life wherein He was handed the Isaiah scroll for the regular reading (Luke 4:16–30). This practice is good and salutary that believers might know the whole counsel of God. There are three established lectionaries (one-year, three-year, and four-year) that have a basis in the life of our Lord Jesus, differing in which Gospel is followed for the year. This pattern keeps both pastor and parishioner on a consistent schedule. That said, I acknowledge that there are many pastors who preach through whole books of Scripture. May God bless their effort. However, the lectionary schedules are derived to annually follow Christ through a regular sequence of events and teachings, which leads to the church calendar.

As mentioned previously, Israel followed a regular cycle of feasts and festival, which were times of remembrance of God’s mercy, grace, and faithful work among them. The early believers borrowed from this regular remembrance to set aside seasons in which they might remember Christ in similar fashion, keyed on events in His life and work. Besides Christmas and Easter as specific days already mentioned, there were periods of time—Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Pentecost—and specific days—Ascension, Annunciation, Visit of Magi, etc. Besides these, depending on the denomination, there will be other special days to remember other biblical and martyred individuals—a practice from early post-apostolic times.

Why am I asking for a remembrance of the church year and lectionary? Because people are forgetful. If you do not believe me, read the Old Testament. When they were not actively being taught and reminding themselves of what the Lord desired, they quickly neglected, then abandoned, Him. Sure, there were small groups who remained faithful, but as a nation, they walked away and welcomed abominable practices picked up from the cultures around them. I am not advocating a political manifesto in hopes of setting America on a path to God, rather I desire for a return to a rhythm of Christian life once so prevalent, yet later jettisoned in favor of individual congregational needs, thus loosing ties to both the historical Church and fellow believers in our communities.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who will seek Him, the Good One.
He will wait for and quietly expect
The salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man when he takes up
A yoke in his youth.
He will sit alone and be silent,
Because he bears it on himself.
He will give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And he will be filled with insults.
Yet the Lord shall not reject him forever.
For He who humbles will have compassion
According to the abundance of His mercy.
For He does not afflict willingly,
Though He humbles the children of men. (Lam 3:25–33)

Up then, I beseech you, let us fight for the Lord’s sheep. Their Lord is near. He will certainly appear and scatter the wolves and glorify the shepherds. “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.” Let us not murmur at the storm that has arisen, for the Lord of all knows what is good for us. Wherefore also when the apostle asked for release from his trials he would not grant his supplication but said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Let us then bravely bear the evils that befall us; it is in war that heroes are discerned, in conflicts that athletes are crowned, in the surge of the sea that the art of the helmsman is shown, in the fire that the gold is tried. And let us not, I beseech you, heed only ourselves; let us rather have forethought for the rest, and that much more for the sick than for the whole, for it is an apostolic precept that exclaims, “Comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak.” Let us then stretch out our hands to them that lie low, let us tend their wounds and set them at their post to fight the devil. Nothing will so vex him as to see them fighting and striking again. Our Lord is full of lovingkindness. He receives the repentance of sinners. Let us hear his words: “As I live, says the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” So He prefaced His words with an oath, and He who forbids oaths to others swore Himself to convince us how He desires our repentance and salvation. Of this teaching the divine books, both the old and the new, are full, and the precepts of the holy Fathers teach the same.

But not as though you were ignorant have I written to you; rather have I reminded you of what you know, like those who standing safe on the shore help those who are tossed by the storm and show them a rock, or give warning of a hidden shallow or catch and haul in a rope that has been thrown. “And the God of peace shall bring Satan under your feet shortly” and shall gladden our ears with news that you have passed from storm to calm, at his word to the waves, “peace be still.” And you also should offer prayers for us, for you who have undergone peril for his sake can speak with greater boldness.

Theodoret of Cyrus, Letter 78

Friday, June 22, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:35–41)

“For the fool says in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, and become abominable in their doings.” Of such as are fools in their thoughts, the actions are wicked, as He says, “can you, being evil, speak good things;” for they were evil, because they thought wickedness. Or how can those do just acts, whose minds are set upon fraud? Or how shall he love, who is prepared beforehand to hate? How shall he be merciful, who is bent upon the love of money? How shall he be chaste, who looks upon a woman to lust after her? “For from the heart proceed evil thoughts, fornications, adulteries, murders.” By them the fool is wrecked, as by the waves of the sea, being led away and enticed by his fleshly pleasures; for this stands written, “All flesh of fools is greatly tempest-tossed.” While he associates with folly, he is tossed by a tempest, and perishes, as Solomon says in the Proverbs, “The fool and he who lacks understanding shall perish together, and shall leave their wealth to strangers.” Now they suffer such things, because there is not among them one sound of mind to guide them. For where there is sagacity, there the Word, who is the Pilot of souls, is with the vessel; “for he that has understanding shall possess guidance;” but they who are without guidance fall like the leaves. Who has so completely fallen away as Hymenaeus and Philetus, who held evil opinions respecting the resurrection, and concerning faith in it suffered shipwreck? And Judas being a traitor, fell away from the Pilot, and perished with the Jews. But the disciples since they were wise, and therefore remained with the Lord, although the sea was agitated, and the ship covered with the waves, for there was a storm, and the wind was contrary, yet fell not away. For they awoke the Word, Who was sailing with them, and immediately the sea became smooth at the command of its Lord, and they were saved. They became preachers and teachers at the same time; relating the miracles of our Savior, and teaching us also to imitate their example. These things were written on our account and for our profit, so that through these signs we may acknowledge the Lord Who wrought them.

Let us, therefore, in the faith of the disciples, hold frequent converse with our Master. For the world is like the sea to us, my brethren, of which it is written, “This is the great and wide sea, there go the ships; the Leviathan, which You have created to play therein.” We float on this sea, as with the wind, through our own free-will, for every one directs his course according to his will, and either, under the guidance of the Word, he enters into rest, or, laid hold on by pleasure, he suffers shipwreck, and is in peril by storm. For as in the ocean there are storms and waves, so in the world there are many afflictions and trials. The unbelieving therefore “when affliction or persecution arise is offended,” as the Lord said. For not being confirmed in the faith, and having his regard towards temporal things, he cannot resist the difficulties which arise from afflictions. But like that house, built on the sand by the foolish man, so he, being without understanding, falls before the assault of temptations, as it were by the winds. But the saints, having their senses exercised in self-possession, and being strong in faith, and understanding the word, do not faint under trials; but although, from time to time, circumstances of greater trial are set against them, yet they continue faithful, and awaking the Lord Who is with them, they are delivered. So, passing through water and fire, they find relief and duly keep the feast, offering up prayers with thanksgiving to God Who has redeemed them.

Athanasius, Letter 19.6–7

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Christianity at the Crossroads by Michael Kruger – Book Review

Kruger, Michael J. Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church. IVP Academic, 2018. 256 pp.

There are many periods of history to which people look as pivotal in defining future generations. This book recognizes in summary form the theological, cultural, and political forces working within and without Christianity in the second century. The sociological make-up described in the first chapter sets the stage for the time period. Tensions introduced in the New Testament (NT) canon continued, and even increased, in the following decades. Apostolic decrees and instructions were effective in quelling concerns and disagreements within the Church as disparate groups learned to worship and fellowship as one. In addition, the collapse of social strata within the community allowed the slave and woman to worship as equals before God in this community of grace, as opposed to the cultural social structures of either Judaic or Greco-Roman society. These, alongside outside tensions brought on by the animosity of Judaism, suspicion of the Romans, and derision by pagans, would call for a more concerted defense of the faith, rather than mere proclamation—the subject of chapter two.

Chapters three through five are given over to matters of Church doctrine beginning with worship. Kruger begins with the apostolic practice, then walks through the applications that developed in leadership, structure, and practice. Two aspects of worship are brought out that may surprise modern readers: liturgy and exclusivity. As such, everything about the time and space reflected the utmost reverence.  The former was a carryover from Jewish synagogue practice, but it served well as a pattern for moving forward: gatherings were not informal or haphazard. The latter is particularly striking in light of the modern mindset to gear worship meetings to be as inclusive as possible. Early believers held fast to the understanding that this was a gathering time for a holy people in the presence of a holy God: there was to be nothing common or profane. Additionally, during this century, alternate teachings arose that threatened the core of the faith. Chapter four delves into the movements and leaders that ran contrary to Scripture. Kruger spends some time addressing the thesis of 20th-century theologian Walter Bauer that multiple Christianities arose vying for prominence. While it is true that several several groups (Ebionites, Marcionites, and Gnostics to name a few) arose espousing varying religious philosophies, the first apologists arose to reaffirm and maintain orthodoxy via what would become commonly known as the regula fidei (rule of faith), a summation of doctrine similar in use to the Apostle’s Creed.

Chapters six and seven round out the work by looking at the evidence of a Christian written culture and the textual transmission of the NT canon. Many scholars have attempted to claim that the early Christians were mostly illiterate culture with an oral transmission process that is inherently suspect and open to exaggeration or embellishment of the apostolic teaching. Kruger debunks this first from the NT documents themselves, but then noting the amount of second-century documents (apologetic and sermonic) that were written and copied for distribution. This is important for canonical considerations, since there is referenced a largely consistent body of work amongst the orthodox groups that was considered authoritative. Comparison could readily be made against apocryphal and pseudepigraphal writings, and thus help further solidify what would later be considered the New Testament canon at the Council of Nicaea.

For the modern reader, this book does a good job of presenting the issues for second-century Christians and the leadership responses given to move the Church forward biblically. There is much to be gained. First, this helps to fill in what most Christians are missing between the NT and the Council of Nicaea; and second, the topics are still relevant, as the Church continues to deal and respond to the same issues, though packaged differently. While I would have liked more depth and breadth to each subject, this book is a broad summary of relevant information written at a popular level. Kruger does well to present the material in a readable, accessible  format.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


We will say many things and not reach the end,
But the sum of our words is seen in this: “He is the all.”
How shall we ever be able to adequately praise Him?
For He is greater than all His works.
Fearful is the Lord and exceedingly great,
And wondrous is His power.
Glorify the Lord and exalt Him as much as you are able,
For He will surpass even that.
And when you exalt Him, put forth all your strength;
Do not grow weary, for you cannot exalt Him enough.
Who has seen Him and will describe Him?
And who can magnify Him as He truly is?
There are yet many hidden things greater than these,
For we have seen but few of His works.
For the Lord made all things
And gives wisdom to the godly. (Sirach 43:27–33)

Those who do not know what to ask for in prayer, if they are moved to express something sacred regarding the Spirit, limit the flow of their words to maintain measure, as though they had already given Him enough honor. One should mourn their weakness; we, however, do not have words to express thanks for all the gifts of which we experience the effects. The Spirit in fact surpasses all knowledge and thwarts the possibility of any speech that fails to conform to at least a minimum of His dignity, according to the words of the book called Wisdom: “Exalt Him as you can, because He is higher still. In exalting Him, you will increase your strength. Do not grow weary; otherwise you will not reach Him.”

Basil of Caesarea, On the Holy Spirit 28.70

Indeed, with what understanding can a person apprehend God when he does not even apprehend that very intellect of his own by which he wants to know God? And if he does already understand this, let him diligently consider then that there is nothing better in his nature than his intellect. Let him see, then, if he discovers in it any features of form, brilliance of colors, spatial broadness, distance of parts, extension of mass, spatial dislocation, or anything else of this kind. Certainly we find nothing of this sort in that which is best in us, that is, in our intellect, with which we attain wisdom to the extent we are able. So then, what we do not find in what is best in us, we must not look for in Him who is much better than what is best in us. We conceive, therefore—if we can and to the extent we can—of good without quality, greatness without quantity, creator without necessity, in the first place without location, containing all things but without exteriority, entirely present everywhere without place, eternal without time, author of changeable things while remaining absolutely unchanged and foreign to all passivity. Whoever conceives of God in this way, though he still cannot discover perfectly what He is, at least avoids, with pious diligence and to the extent possible, attributing to Him what He is not.

Augustine, On the Trinity 5.1.2

Friday, June 15, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” (Mark 4:26–32)

Observe how creation itself has advanced little by little toward fruitfulness. First comes the grain, and from the grain arises the shoot, and from the shoot emerges the shrub. From there the boughs and leaves gather strength, and the whole that we call a tree expands. Then follows the swelling of the germen, and from the germen bursts the flower, and from the flower the fruit opens. The fruit itself, primitive for a while, and unshapely, keeping the straight course of its development, is matured, little by little, to the full mellowness of its flavor. In just this way has righteousness grown in history. The proximate righteousness found in creation is grounded in the holy God whose righteousness first emerged in a rudimentary stage as an undeveloped natural apprehension in the presence of the holy One. Then it advanced through the Law and Prophets to childhood. At long last through the Gospel, God's righteousness has been personally manifested with the vital energies of youth. Now through the Paraclete, righteousness is being manifested in its mature stage.

Tertullian, On the Veiling of the Virgins 1

Friday, June 8, 2018

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Third Sunday after Pentecost

Out of the depths
I have cried to You, O Lord;
O Lord, hear my voice;
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplication.
If You, O Lord, should mark transgression,
O Lord, who would stand?
For there is forgiveness with You.
Because of Your law, O Lord, I waited for You;
My soul waited for Your word.
My soul hopes in the Lord,
From the morning watch until night;
From the morning watch until night,
Let Israel hope in the Lord.
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption;
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his transgressions. (Psalm 130)

The choir of the righteous beseeches the Lord not to measure punishments against sins. In this way those of the company of blessed Hananiah attributed the transgressions of the people to their own person: If You were to impose the yoke of judgment as justice requires, who would be in a position to sustain the sentence laid down by it? Everyone, in fact, would have to face ruin. You have loving-kindness joined with righteousness, and You are in the habit of employing the former rather than the latter.

He means: Aware of this Your goodness (You employed mercy like some law), I do not renounce firm hope as I await the promise of good things. He called the good promise here word; however, He promised loving-kindness to the repentant. My soul hoped in the Lord, from morning watch until night, that is, all day; morning watch is, in fact, the last hour of the night: the last watchers keep watch until that time. The righteous are not satisfied only to have the wealth of hope in God; instead, they urge all others to a like possession, and declare the advantage stemming from it. Full of pity and loving-kindness is the Lord, who furnishes salvation to the repentant.

He it is who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities. The verse directs its prophecy to the Lord: He is the Lamb of God in person, who takes away the sin of the world. This was also the way the divine Gabriel spoke to the holy Virgin: “You will have a Son, and you will give him the name Jesus, because He is the one who will save His people from their sins.”

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Psalms 130