Did Christ “Progress in Wisdom”?
This chapter provides a rich exegetical context for Thomas's exegesis of Luke 2:52. Only in this context can the distinctiveness and originality of Thomas's position be appreciated. It is argued that although Thomas borrows elements from the interpretations of Ambrose of Milan and John of Damascus, the figures with whom Thomas begins his mature discussion, he differs from both in significant ways. Having outlined the major patristic interpretations of the verse, the positions of four major thinkers from the high-scholastic period (Peter Lombard, Albertus Magnus, Bonaventure, and the early Thomas himself) are then analyzed. It is shown that all four thinkers denied that Jesus progressed in knowledge, at least in the sense that he passed from ignorance of something to knowledge of it. Thomas's disagreement with his patristic predecessors and his scholastic contemporaries is also considered.
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