Augustine on Redemption

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Puritan Board Freshman
I am not an Augustine scholar. But a few years ago I did a quick review of some of Augustine. I found a few instances where his language mirrors Calvin. I have not had the time to properly supply the bibliography, but only cite the quotations roughly. If you ask me to go and find all the citations I wont be able to in the near future.

More needs to be done in understanding Augustine. And truly, for the most part he spoke of the redemption of the church. Also, Augustine was Calvin's prime Church Father. So for what its worth:

"To suffer indeed He had come, and He punished him through whom He suffered. For Judas the traitor was punished, and Christ was crucified: but us He redeemed by His blood, and He punished him in the matter of his price. For he threw down the price of silver, for which by him the Lord had been sold; and he knew not the price wherewith he had himself by the Lord been redeemed. This thing was done in the case of Judas." Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, vol 8, 309.

"For men were held captive under the devil, and served devils; but they were redeemed from captivity. They could sell, but they could not redeem themselves. The Redeemer came, and gave a price; He poured forth His Blood, and bought the whole world. Ye ask what He bought? Ye see what He hath given; find out then what He bought. The Blood of Christ was the price. What is equal to this? What, but the whole world? What, but all nations? They are very ungrateful for their price, or very proud, who say that the price is so small that it bought the Africans only; or that they are so great, as that it was given for them alone. Let them not then exult, let them not be proud: He gave what He gave for the whole world. He knew what He bought, because He knew at what price He bought it." Ausgustine, Exposition of the Psalms, Ps 96:5

Therefore lift up the eyes of your souls, and see how in the whole world all nations are blessed in Abraham's seed. Abraham, in his day, believed what was not yet seen; but you who see it refuse to believe what has been fulfilled The Lord's death was the ransom of the world; He paid the price for the whole world; and you do not dwell in concord with the whole world, as would be for your advantage, but stand apart and strive contentiously to destroy the whole world, to your own loss. Hear now what is said in the Psalm concerning this ransom: They pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. Wherefore will you be guilty of dividing the garments of the Lord, and not hold in common with the whole world that coat of charity, woven from above throughout, which even His executioners did not rend. Letters of Augustine, Letter 76 (AD 402).

I know this is not conclusive, but it is indicative of Prosper's own defense of Augustine. Also, sure it may be argued that later Augustine repudiated earlier Augustine. I would like to see evidence for this and as far as I iknow this is not part of his retractions doctrines.

I did find another where he said something like 'Judas had 'already recieved the price of his redemption'. Ive left it out cos its not as conclusive as to what he meant.

Later, if it helps, I might provide a brief review of my own encounter with Calvin and what Ive done in response over the last few years. This may reduce some of the tension: I dunno.

take care,


Puritanboard Amanuensis
I am not aware of any scholar who seeks to interpret Augustine within an Anselmian framework. It is certainly anachronistic to say that Augustine's language mirrored Calvin.

One should also realise that the Romanist church, which consistently carries out its universalist commitment, rejects Calvin's particularist interpretation of Augustine. The best we can say is that Calvin provided a systematic interpretation of the leading ideas of Augustine's particularist thought.
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