One of the most extensive resources on the internet for the study of early Christianity

“John Chrysostom on Free Will

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Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is from the NPNF series.

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Relevant books
available at Amazon

Many Chrysostom translations
and studies
with links to Amazon

See also below

STUDIES

J.N.D. Kelly

The Story of John Chrysostom

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Hagit Amirav

Rhetoric and Tradition: John Chrysostom on Noah and the Flood (Traditio Exegetica Graeca, 12)

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Chrysostomus Baur

John Chrysostom and His Time: Volume 1: Antioch

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Chrysostomus Baur

John Chrysostom and His Time, Vol. 2: Constantinople

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Duane A. Garrett

An Analysis of the Hermeneutics of John Chrysostom's Commentary on Isaiah 1-8 With an English Translation (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity)

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Blake Goodall

Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Letters of St.Paul to Titus and Philemon (University of California publications : Classical studies ; v. 20)

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Peter Gorday

Principles of Patristic Exegesis: Romans 9-11 in Origen, John Chrysostom, and Augustine (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity)

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Aideen M. Hartney

John Chrysostom and the Transformation of the City

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Robert Allen Krupp

Shepherding the Flock of God: The Pastoral Theology of John Chrysostom (American University Studies. Series VII. Theology and Religion)

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Mel Lawrenz

The Christology of John Chrysostom

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Blake Leyerle

Theatrical Shows and Ascetic Lives: John Chrysostom's Attack on Spiritual Marriage

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Jaclyn LaRae Maxwell

Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity: John Chrysostom and his Congregation in Antioch

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Margaret Mary Mitchell

Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the Art of Pauline Interpretation

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Robert Louis Wilken

John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late 4th Century

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TRANSLATIONS

Gus George Christo

On Repentance and Almsgiving (The Fathers of the Church)

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Thomas Aquinas Goggin

Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 48-88 (The Fathers of the Church, 41)

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Robert C. Hill

Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis

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David G. Hunter

A Comparison Between a King and a Monk/Against the Opponents of the Monastic Life (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity, Vol 13)

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M.C.W. Laistner

Christianity and pagan culture in the later Roman Empire: Together with an English translation of Johan Chrysostom's Address on vainglory and the right ... bring up their children (Cornell paperbacks)

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Wendy Mayer

John Chrysostom (The Early Church Fathers)

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Mayer and Bronwen

The Cult of the Saints (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press Popular Patristics)

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Graham Neville

Six Books on the Priesthood (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press Popular Patristics Series)

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? Catherine P. Roth

On Wealth and Poverty

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? David Anderson

On Marriage and Family Life

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Margaret A Schatkin

John Chrysostom as apologist: With special reference to De incomprehensibili, Quod nemo laeditur, Ad eos qui scandalizati sunt, and Adversus oppugnatores vitae monasticae (Analecta VlatadoĚ?n)

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Sally Shore

On Virginity Against Remarriage (Studies in Women and Religion, V. 9)

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“What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom He hath chosen, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.”

What he means is somewhat as follows. Pharaoh was a vessel of wrath, that is, a man who by his own hard-heartedness had kindled the wrath of God. For after enjoying much long-suffering, he became no better, but remained unimproved. Wherefore he calleth him not only “a vessel of wrath,” but also one “fitted for destruction.” That is, fully fitted indeed, but by his own proper self. For neither had God left out aught of the things likely to recover him, nor did he leave out aught of those that would ruin him, and put him beyond any forgiveness. Yet still, though God knew this, “He endured him with much long-suffering,” being willing to bring him to repentance. For had He not willed this, then He would not have been thus long-suffering. But as he would not use the long-suffering in order to repentance, but fully fitted himself for wrath, He used him for the correction of others, through the punishment inflicted upon him making them better, and in this way setting forth His power. For that it is not God’s wish that His power be so made known, but in another way, by His benefits, namely, and kindnesses, he had shown above in all possible ways. For if Paul does not wish to appear powerful in this way (“not that we should appear approved,” he says, “but that ye should do that which is honest,”), much less doth God. But after that he had shown long-suffering, that He might lead to repentance, but he did not repent, He suffered him a long time, that He might display at once His goodness and His power, even if that man were not minded to gain anything from this great long-suffering. As then by punishing this man, who continued incorrigible, He showed His power, so by having pitied those who had done many sins but repented, He manifested His love toward man.

But it does not say, love towards man, but glory, to show that this is especially God’s glory, and for this He was above all things earnest. But in saying, “which He had afore prepared unto glory,” he does not mean that all is God’s doing. Since if this were so, there were nothing to hinder all men from being saved. But he is setting forth again His foreknowledge, and doing away with the difference between the Jews and the Gentiles. And on this topic again he grounds a defence of his statement, which is no small one. For it was not in the case of the Jews only that some men perished, and some were saved, but with the Gentiles also this was the case. Wherefore he does not say, all the Gentiles, but, “of the Gentiles,” nor, all the Jews, but, “of the Jews.” As then Pharaoh became a vessel of wrath by his own lawlessness, so did these become vessels of mercy by their own readiness to obey. For though the more part is of God, still they also have contributed themselves some little. Whence he does not say either, vessels of well-doing, or vessels of boldness (παρρησίας), but “vessels of mercy,” to show that the whole is of God. For the phrase, “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,” even if it comes in the course of the objection, still, were it said by Paul, would create no difficulty. Because when he says, “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,” he does not deprive us of free-will, but shows that all is not one’s own, for that it requires grace from above. For it is binding on us to will, and also to run: but to confide not in our own labors, but in the love of God toward man. And this he has expressed elsewhere. “Yet not I, but the grace which was with me.” And he well says, “Which He had afore prepared unto glory.” For since they reproached them with this, that they were saved by grace, and thought to make them ashamed, he far more than sets aside this insinuation. For if the thing brought glory even to God, much more to them through whom God was glorified. But observe his forbearance, and unspeakable wisdom. For when he had it in his power to adduce, as an instance of those punished, not Pharaoh, but such of the Jews as had sinned, and so make his discourse much clearer, and show that where there were the same fathers, and the same sins, some perished, and some had mercy shown them, and persuade them not to be doubtful-minded, even if some of the Gentiles were saved, while the Jews were perishing; that he might not make his discourse irksome, the showing forth of the punishment he draws from the foreigner, so that he may not be forced to call them “vessels of wrath.” But those that obtained mercy he draws from the people of the Jews. And besides, he also has spoken in a sufficient way in God’s behalf, because though He knew very well that the nation was fitting itself as a vessel of destruction, still He contributed all on His part, His patience, His long-suffering, and that not merely long-suffering, but “much long-suffering;” yet still he was not minded to state it barely against the Jews. Whence then are some vessels of wrath, and some of mercy? Of their own free choice. God, however, being very good, shows the same kindness to both. For it was not those in a state of salvation only to whom He showed mercy, but also Pharaoh, as far as His part went. For of the same long-suffering, both they and he had the advantage. And if he was not saved, it was quite owing to his own will: since, as for what concerneth God, he had as much done for him as they who were saved.

 

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Homily 16 on Romans 9
Homilia XVI
original Greek text
John Chrysostom and Free Will and Grace
John Chrysostom in Greek with English Translation
Migne Greek Text
Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
Patrologia Graeca

 

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