67 In the Retractations, i. 7, he remarks on this passage: "I have not positively affirmed it to be so. for I have said, `I suppose:0' still it should have been added, `if in this so wicked perversity of mind he departs this life:0' since we have certainly no right to despair of any ever so wicked man so long as he is in this life, and it cannot be unwise to pray for that man of whom we do not despair." Comp. Serm. lxxi. 21.
70 So the traditional interpretation of the Greeks in (Ecumenius. "This `alone0' is `the sin unto death,0' viz. sin which has no thought of repentance: which sin Judas being diseased withal, was brought to eternal death." Especially (he adds) the sin of an unforgiving spirit, impenitently persisted in: "For the ways of the resentful are unto death," saith Solomon (Prov. xii. 28, LXX ). So Theophylact.-The Scholia ap Matthäi, p. 146, 230: " `The sin unto death0' is, when a person having sinned is callous in impenitence." Comp. S. Hilar. Tr. in Ps. cxl. sec. 8.
74 Comp. Serm. lxxi. Scholl. ap Mathai, p. 230. "By `the sin unto death,0' he means the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, i.e., against the Godhead," p. 147. "Some say that it is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, the sin of misbelief (kakopisti/aj)."
76 So in the Retractations, supra, note b. Si in hac tam scelerata mentis perversitate finierit hanc vitam: "unto death," in the sense, "until death."
77 St. Hilary de Trin. vi. 43, cites the passage with additions, of which there are no traces in the Mss. and other authorities; Quia scimus quod Filius Dei venit et concarnatus est propter nos, et, passus est, et resurgens de mortuis assumpsit nos, et dedit nobis intellectum optimum, ut intelligamus verum, et simus in vero filio ejus Jesu Christo: hic est versus [Deus om.], et vita aeterna, et resurrectio nostra: and it is remarkable that his contemporary Faustinus (the Luciferian) in his work de Trinitate, gives the passage totidem verbis, except that it is doubtful whether he read verus Deus, and that after resurrectio nostra he adds in ipso.-Vulg. et simus in vero Filio ejus. Hic est verus Deus, et vita aeterna. In the Greek the second e0n tw= is omitted by St Cyril, Alex. St. Basil, adv. Eunom. and others; and this is the received reading of the Latins.-There is no certain evidence to show how the text was interpreted by the ante-Nicene Fathers. St. Athanasius Orat. c. Arian. iii. 24, sec. 4; 25, sec. 16; iv. 9, init. and St. Basil adv. Eunom. iv. p 294, unhesitatingly refer the ou[toj to the nearest antecedent: "And we are in Him the True," (even) "in His Son Jesus Christ: this" (Jesus Christ) "is the True God and eternal Life:" and the Latin Fathers from St. Hilary and St. Ambrose downward allege the text as an explicit declaration of the true Godhead of the Son.-St. Epiphanius Ancorat c. 4, seems to have read in his copy, ou[toj e0stin o9 a0lhqino\j kai\ zeh\ aiw/nioj, omitting Qeo\j (as Hilary): for he says: "And though the epithet `Very God0' (qeo0j a0lhqino\j) is not added," i. e. though this ou[toj, meaning Jesus Christ, is not expressly called the true God (as in v. 20, where he seems to have had in his copy the reading a0lhqino=n Qeo/n), "we do but accumulate madness if we dare to blaspheme and to say that the Son is not Very God. For it is enough that in the One [who is so called] we take in the whole Trinity, and from the Father [as Very God] understand the Son also to be Very God."
78 Serm. cxl. 3 "Seek in the Epistle of this same John what he hath said of Christ. `Believe0' (credamus) saith he, `on His true Son Jesus Christ, He is the True God and Eternal Life!0' What meaneth, `True God and Eternal Life?0' The `True Son0' of God is `the True God and Eternal Life.0' Why has he said, `On His True Son?0' Because God hath many sons, therefore He was to be distinguished by adding that He was the `True Son.0' Not just by saying that He is the Son, but by adding, as I said, that He is the `True Son0': He was to be distinguished because of the many sons whom God hath. For we are sons by grace, He by Nature. We, made such by the Father through Him; He, what the Father is, Himself is also: what God is, are we also?"
84 So a0lhqino\n Qeo/n. St. Basil, St. Cyril. Al. Vers. Arab. Aeth. Cod. Al. (ALHQEINONQN, which abbreviated manner of writing may explain the omission) and several other Mss. Beda, verum Deum. Facundus: quod est verum (to\ alhqino/n).