8 o' mouogeuh/j qeo\j is the reading of the Sinaitic and Vatican mss. in John i. 18. The insertion of the words ou'de/ o 9 uioj, adopted by R.V. in Matt. xxiv. 36, but of which St. Basil knows nothing, as appears from his argument on the difference between the statements of St. Matthew and St. Mark on this subject in Letter ccxxvi., is supported by these same tow mss.
15 meta\ to\n ui 9on. So the Benedictine text with four mss. in the Paris Library, and the note. "meta\ tou= ui/ou=" is a reading which is inadmissible, repeating as it does the sense of the following clause kai\ ou\n au'tw=. The sense in which the Son is both "after the Son" and "with the Son" is explained further on by St. Basil, where he says that the tree Persons are known in consecution of order but in conjunction of nature.
19 w#sper e'k ai'ni/gmati. cf. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. e'n ai'ni/gmatior e'cai'nigma/twn, as in Aesch., Ag. 1113 = by dark hints. The bold oxymoron concluding this sentence is illustrated by Ovid's "impietate pia" (Met. viii. 477), Lucan's "concordia discors" (Phars. I. 98), or Tennyson's "faith unfaithful."
20 The scientific part of the analogy of the rainbow is of course obsolete and valueless. the general principle holds good that what is beyond comprehension in theology finds its parallel in what is beyond comprehension in the visible world. We are not to be staggered and turn dizzy in either sphere of thought at the discovery that we have reached a limit beyond which thought cannot go. We may live in a finite world, though infinite space is beyond our powers of thought: we may trust in God revealed in the Trinity, though we cannot analyse or define Him.
22 The simpler explanation of the use of the word hypostasis in the passage under discussion is that it has the earlier sense, equivalent to ou'si/a. cf. Athan., Or. c. Ar. iii 65, iv. 33, and Ad. Apos. 4.
25 This phrase is not in the Epistles, nor indeed does the substantive a'gaqo/thj occur in the N.T. at all. "Image of his goodness" is taken form Wisdom vii. 26, and erroneously included among the "words of the Apostle."
2 These Letters are placed in this order by the Ben. Editors as being written, if genuine, before Basil's episcopate. Maran (Vita S. Bas. Cap. ii.) is puzzled at Basil's assertion in xli. that he learned the Bible with Julian, and points out that at Athens they devoted themselves to profane literature. But this may have allowed intervals for other work. In 344, when Basil was at Caesarea, Julian was relegated by Constantius to the neighbouring fortress of Macellum, and there, with his elder half-brother Gallus, spent six years in compulsory retirement. Sozomen tells us that the brothers studied the Scripture and became Readers (Soz. v. 2 ; Amm. Marc. xv. 2, 7). Their seclusion, in which they were reduced to the society of their own household (Greg. Naz., Or. iii., Julian, Ad. Ath. 271 c.), may not have been so complete as to prevent all intercourse with a harmless schoolboy like Basil. "Malgré l'authorité de dom Maran, nous croyons avec Tillemont, Dupont et M. Albert de Broglie, que cette lette a été réellement adressée par Julien, non a un homonyme de St. Basile mais à St. Basile lui-même." Etude historique et littéraire sur St. Basile. Fialon.
4 A strong argument against the genuineness of this letter is the silence of Gregory of Nazianzus as to this demand on Basil (Or. v. 39). For Julian's treatment of Caesarea Basil was in his Pontic retreat. On the punning conclusion, vide note on Letter xli. (a$ a'ne/gnwn e!gnwn kai\ kate/gnwn.)
3 'A a'ne/gnwj ou'k e!gnwj : ei'ga\r e!gnwj, ou'k a$n kate/gnwj. In Soz. v. 18, Julian's words, a$ a!ne/gnwn e!gnwn kai\ ka\te/gnwn, are stated to have been written to ' the bishops' in reference to Apologies by the younger Apollinariusm bp. of the Syrian Laodicea (afterwards the heresiarch) and others. The reply is credited to 'the bishops,' with the remark that some attribute it to Basil.
1 This and the four succeeding letters must be placed before the episcopate. Their genuineness has been contested, but apparently without much reason. In one of the Parisian Codices the title of xlii. is given with the note: "Some attribute this work to the holy Nilus." Ceillier (iv. 435-437) is of opinion that, so far as style goes, they must stand or fall together, and points out that xlvii. is cited entire as Basil's by Metaphrastes.
20 The Ben. note on this painful picture suggests that the description applies to Palestine, and compares the account of Jerusalem to be found in Gregory of Nyssa's letter on Pilgrimages in this edition, p. 382. On Basil's visit to the Holy Land, cf. Ep. ccxxiii. § 2.