Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ipsissima vox

Pope Benedict XVI makes a very useful distinction in Part Two of Jesus of Nazareth (p. 320) between the ipsissima verba of Jesus and the ipsissima vox.  Both refer to direct quotes of Jesus in the Gospels.  The first means that Jesus actually said the words as quoted. The second means that the quoted words exactly reflect the mind of Jesus, even if he didn't say the words exactly as quoted. This is a very useful distinction when discussing the "historicity" of the Gospels and when discussing the dominical origin of Church teachings.  It can also be applied to events as well, such as the Baptism of our Lord. Whatever it looked like to the neutral observer, it was what is recorded in the Gospels.

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