John 1:18

No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
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Alexander of Alexandria

AD 250
The evangelist John sufficiently shows, when he thus writes concerning Him: "The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father.". does not condemn those who say there was a time when He was not? Who that hears these words of the Gospel, "the only-begotten Son; "
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
What is that then which Jacob said, I have seen God face to face; and that which is written of Moses, he talked with God face to face; and that which the prophet Isaiah said of himself, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne? . Now it is said, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; and again, When He shall appear, we shall be like to Him, for we shall see Him as He is. What is the meaning then of the words here: No man has seen God at any time? The reply is easy: those passages speak of God, as tobe seen, not as already seen. They shall see God, it is said, not, they have seen Him: nor is it, we have seen Him, but, we shall see Him as He is. For, No man has seen God at any time, neither in this life, nor yet in the Angelic, as He is; in the same way in which sensible things are perceived by the bodily vision. For unless any in some sense die to this life, either by leaving the body altogether, or by being so withdrawn and alienated from carnal perceptions, that he may wel...


AD 735
Farther, if the word declared have reference to the past, it must be considered that He, being made man, declared the doctrine of the Trinity in unity, and how, and by what acts we should prepare ourselves for the contemplation of it. If it have reference to the future, then it means that He will declare Him, when He shall introduce His elect to the vision of His brightness. ...
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
And John the apostle says: "No man hath seen God at any time. The only-begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him"
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Clement Of Rome

AD 99
The one happens to be self-begotten or unbegotten, they cannot be called the same; nor can it be asserted of him who has been begotten that he is of the same substance as he is who has begotten him?
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
No man hath seen God, &c. He gives the reason why neither Moses, nor any one else, but Christ alone, hath taught us the perfect truth concerning God and Divine things—because He alone hath seen God. It is as though he said, those things of which thus far I have been speaking, concerning God and the Word, are so sublime, that inasmuch as no mortal man (and therefore not Moses), except the Son of God, hath seen God, therefore that Incarnate Son alone is able perfectly to declare these things. Thus the Fathers passim; who teach from this passage that Moses saw not the essence of God, but only a certain luminous substance assumed by an angel, in some manner representing to the eyes of Moses the glory of God. Thus S. Gregory says in the Catena: "So long as we live here in mortal flesh, God may be seen by certain manifestations or images of Him, but as He is in His own nature He cannot be seen." Tropologically, & Gregory teaches (lib18 , Mor. cap. ult. et. penult.), that no one can behold G...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
CHAPTER X. That the Only-Begotten is Alone by Nature the Son from the Father, as being of Him and in Him. See again herein the vigilance of the Spirit-clad. He was not ignorant that some would surely say, bitterly searching into the things which are spoken of the Only-Begotten: You said, good sir, that you had beheld His Glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father: then when you ought to unfold to us the explanation of this and to tell us some thing God-befitting and due, you made your demonstration from His superiority to Moses and to the measure of John, as though one could not in any other way see His Glory, although the blessed Prophet Isaiah says, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the Seraphim, each one had six wings, with twain he covered his face and with twain he covered his feet and with twain he did fly; and one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole ear...
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
No man hath seen God. No mortal in this life by a perfect union and enjoyment of him. Nor can any creature perfectly comprehend his infinite greatness: none but his only begotten divine Son, who is in the bosom of his Father, not only by an union of grace, but by an union and unity of substance and nature; of which Christ said, (John xiv. 11.) I am in the Father, and the Father in me. (Witham) ...
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
It is plainly given us to understand here, that while we are in this mortal state, we see God only through the medium of certain images, not, in the reality of His own nature. A soul influenced by the grace of the Spirit may see God through certain figures, but cannot penetrate into his absolute essence. And hence it is that Jacob, who testifies that he saw God, saw nothing butan Angel: and that Moses, who talked with God face to face, says, Show me Your way, that Imay know You: meaning that he ardently desired to see in the brightness of His own infinite Nature, Him Whom he had only as yet seen reflected in images. If however any, while inhabiting this corruptible flesh, can advance to such an immeasurable height of virtue, as to be able to discern by the contemplative vision, the eternal brightness of God, their case affects not what we say. For whoever sees wisdom, that is, God, is dead wholly to this life, being no longer occupied bythe love of it. Some hold that in the place of bl...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Now, if we can by no means apprehend things that are done in ourselves, how could it ever be that we should understand the mystery of the uncreated Creator, which goes beyond every mind? Assuredly, if this mystery were one that could be penetrated by man, the inspired John would by no means have affirmed this: "No man hath seen God at any time." ...
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
The Truth of His Nature did not seem sufficiently explained by the name of Son, unless, in addition, its peculiar force as proper to Him were expressed, so signifying its distinctness from all beside. For in that, besides Son, he calls Him also the Only-Begotten, he cut off altogether all suspicion of adoption, the Nature of the Only-Begotten guaranteeing the truth of the name. ...
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Hippolytus of Rome

AD 235
But if thou hast not known the image, which is the Son, how dost thou seek to see the Father? And that this is the case is made clear by the rest of the chapter, which signifies that the Son who "has been set forth
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Ignatius of Antioch

AD 108
And there is also one Son, God the Word. For "the only-begotten Son "saith
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Irenaeus of Lyons

AD 202
For "no man "he says, "hath seen God at any time "unless "the only-begotten Son of God, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared . He who worketh all things in all is God, . If, then, neither Moses, nor Elias, nor Ezekiel, who had all many celestial visions, did see God; but if what they did see were similitudes of the splendour of the Lord, And prophecies of things to come; it is manifest that the Father is indeed invisible, of whom also the Lord said, "No man hath seen God at any time." ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
1. God will not have us listen to the words and sentences contained in the Scriptures carelessly, but with much attention. This is why the blessed David has prefixed in many places to his Psalms the title for understanding, and has said, Open Thou my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Law. Psalm 32:42, etc.; Psalm 119:18 And after him his son again shows that we ought to seek out wisdom as silver, and to make merchandise of her rather than of gold. Proverbs 2:4 and 3:14 [partially quoted]; John 5:39 And the Lord when He exhorts the Jews to search the Scriptures, the more urges us to the enquiry, for He would not thus have spoken if it were possible to comprehend them immediately at the first reading. No one would ever search for what is obvious and at hand, but for that which is wrapt in shadow, and which must be found after much enquiry; and so to arouse us to the search He calls them hidden treasure. Proverbs 2:4; Matthew 13:44 These words are said to us that we ma...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Or thus; the Evangelist after showing the great superiority of Christ’s gifts, compared with those dispensed by Moses, wishes in the next place to supply an adequate reason for the difference. The one being a servant was made aminister of a lesser dispensation: but the other Who was Lord, and Son of the King, brought us far higher things, being ever coexistent with the Father, and beholding Him. Then follows, No man has seen God at any time . If the old fathers had seen That very Nature, they would not have contemplated It so variously, for It is in Itself simple and without shape; It sits not, It walks not; these are the qualities of bodies. Whence he said through the Prophet, I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the Prophets: i.e. I have condescended to them, I appeared that which I was not. For inasmuch as the Son of God was about to manifest Himself to us in actual flesh, men were at first raised to the sight of God, in such ways as allowed of their s...
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Methodius of Olympus

AD 311
Let us then also sing the like song, and raise the hymn to the Holy Father, glorifying in the Spirit Jesus, who is in His bosom. Therefore God alone is celebrated, as the unbegotten, independent, and unwearied nature; being incorporeal, and therefore invisible; for "no man hath seen God."
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
For God the Father none ever saw, and lived. And has Himself unfolded "the Father's bosom.". Behold, then, I find both in the Gospels and in the (writings of the) apostles a visible and an invisible God (revealed to us), under a manifest and personal distinction in the condition of both. There is a certain emphatic saying by John: "No man hath seen God at any time; ". as it were: "No man hath seen God at any time.". "Well, (I must again ask, ) what God does he mean? It is of course the Father, with whom was the Word, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, and has Himself declared Him. not, (observe, ) as of the Father. He "declared "(what was in) "the bosom of the Father alone; ". His own bosom. For this is preceded by another statement: "No man hath seen God at any time." ...

The Apostolic Constitutions

AD 375
After this he comes to the water, and blesses and glorifies the Lord God Almighty, the Father of the only begotten God;
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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