Mark 1:10

And immediately coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
John, who baptized, stood by, and behold, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove. Not a dove descended, but “as a dove.”… Descended for what reason? Not that the Lord Jesus himself might seem to be in need of the mystery of sanctification, but that he himself might sanctify, that the Spirit also might sanctify. ...
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Those who receive the baptism of Christ need not seek the baptism of John. Those who received the baptism of John did indeed seek the baptism of Christ…. No baptism was necessary for Christ, but he freely received the baptism of a servant (John) to draw us toward his baptism. , .
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
The dove is not for sale; it is given gratis. Hence it is called grace. .
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Why did the Son of God appear as a man and the Holy Spirit as a dove? Because the Son of God came to show humanity a pattern for living, whereas the Holy Spirit made his appearance to bestow the gift which enables excellent living. Moreover, both appearances surely came in a visible manner for the sake of carnal eyes. For we must pass by degrees through the visible sacraments from those things which are seen with the physical eyes to those things which are understood spiritually by the mind. For human words make a sound and then pass away. But when the divine Word is expressed, that which is signified by the words does not pass away. Questions, Question ...


AD 735
The image of a dove is placed before us by God so that we may learn the simplicity favored by him. So let us meditate on the nature of the dove, that from each one of its features of innocence we may learn the principles of a more becoming life. The dove is a stranger to malice. So may all bitterness, anger and indignation be taken away from us, together with all malice. The dove injures nothing with its mouth or talons, nor does it nourish itself or its young on tiny mice or grubs, as do almost all smaller birds. Let us see that our teeth are not weapons and arrows. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Spirit. The epithet Holy is not found in most of the Greek manuscripts but it is in John i, 32. and 33.
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Gregory the Wonderworker

AD 270
And stretching forth slowly his right hand, which seemed both to tremble and to rejoice, John baptized the Lord. Then his detractors who were present, with those in the vicinity and those from a distance, connived together, and spoke among themselves asking: “Was John then superior to Jesus? Was it without cause that we thought John greater, and does not his very baptism attest this? Is not he who baptizes presented as the greater, and he who is baptized as the less important?” But just as they, in their ignorance of the mystery of the divine economy, babbled about with each other, the holy One who alone is Lord spoke. He who by nature is the Father of the only begotten (who alone was begotten in unblemished fashion) instantly rectified their blunted imaginations. He opened the gates of the heavens and sent down the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, lighting upon the head of Jesus, pointing him out right there as the new Noah, even the maker of Noah, and the good pilot of the nature w...

Hippolytus of Rome

AD 235
Do you see, beloved, how many and how great blessings we would have lost if the Lord had yielded to the exhortation of John and declined baptism? For the heavens had been shut before this. The region above was inaccessible. We might descend to the lower parts, but not ascend to the upper. So it happened not only that the Lord was being baptized— he also was making new the old creation. He was bringing the alienated under the scepter of adoption. For straightway “the heavens were opened to him.” A reconciliation took place between the visible and the invisible. The celestial orders were filled with joy, the diseases of earth were healed, secret things made known, those at enmity restored to amity. For you have heard the word of the Evangelist, saying, “The heavens were opened to him,” on account of three wonders. At the baptism of Christ the Bridegroom, it was fitting that the heavenly chamber should open its glorious gates. So when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and t...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But why in the form of a dove? The dove is a gentle and pure creature. Since then the Spirit, too, is “a Spirit of gentleness,” he appears in the form of a dove, reminding us of Noah, to whom, when once a common disaster had overtaken the whole world and humanity was in danger of perishing, the dove appeared as a sign of deliverance from the tempest, and bearing an olive branch, published the good tidings of a serene presence over the whole world. All these things were given as a type of things to come…. In this case the dove also appeared, not bearing an olive branch, but pointing to our Deliverer from all evils, bringing hope filled with grace. For this dove does not simply lead one family out of an ark, but the whole world toward heaven at her appearing. And instead of a branch of peace from an olive tree, she conveys the possibility of adoption for all the world’s offspring in common. The Gospel of St. Matthew, Homily ...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
The Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove in order that the nature of the Holy Spirit might be made plain by means of a creature of utter simplicity and innocence. For the dove’s body has no gall in it. So after the deluge, by which the iniquity of the old world was purged away, after, so to speak, the baptism of the world, the dove as herald proclaimed to the earth the tempering of the wrath of heaven—sent forth from the ark and returning with an olive branch, which is a sign of peace among the nations. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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