97 A thing may be said to be "created" relatively, as well as absolutely-i.e. it may be "created" when newly appointed for a certain purpose, as when men were "created" consuls, which did not mean that before the convening of the centuries they were absolutely non-existent.
132 Cf. Athanasius, Third Oration Against the Arians, §35-"But should any man, noticing the divinity revealed in the action of the Word, deny the reality of the body, or marking the things peculiar to the body, deny the presence of the Word in flesh or judging from His human experiences and behaviour, conceive a low esteem of the Word, such a person, like the Jew vintner, mixing water with his wine, will hold the Cross a scandal, and, like a heathen philosopher, regard the preaching as folly-which is just the state of the ungodly followers of Arius." Horace, Sat. I. v. 3, 4-"inde Forum Appî, Differetum nautis, cauponibus atque malignis."
134 The explanation of St. John Baptist's words in the Fourth Gospel is to be found, indeed, in the same Gospel (i. 27) and in the other three Gospels. See Matt. iii. 11 S. Mark i. 7; S. Luke iii. 16. In S. John i. 30, the Baptist says of Jesus Christ not merely "proteroj mouhn" but "prwtoj"-i.e. "first in relation to me" (and every other human being), "the principle of my very being." The Arians understood the phrase as if the ordinary comparative, suitable for expressing the ordinary priority of human beings to each other, had been used.
135 Or the meaning may be understood by reference to the fact that in the Man Christ Jesus there was seen, and felt, grace, authority, and power such as was more than earthly, more than human. "Full of grace are Thy lips, because God hath blessed thee for ever." So it was that He spake as never man spake, teaching with authority, and not as the scribes.