Christ’s two births by John Chrysostom

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“ “Who will recount his generation? (Is 58:8). Isaiah, it is said, was speaking of his divine generation. What, then, shall we say to Paul, who speaks of two generations and then adds “without genealogy”? He added the phrase “without genealogy” so that you would believe that he is without genealogy, not only according to his divine generation, in which Christ is without a mother, but also in relation to his earthly generation, in which he is without a father.

For this reason, after having discussed both generations, he adds: “without genealogy”. For the earthly generation is incomprehensible, so that we do not even dare to turn our glance to the heavenly generation. Now, if the outer courts of the temple are so fearsome and inaccessible, who will dare penetrate into the reserved inner courts? I know well that Christ was generated from the Father, but I do not know how. I know well that he was born of a Virgin, but neither in this case can I comprehend how it happened. We profess the fact of the two generations, but we remain silent about the how of both; we are not capable of expressing it.”

John Chrysostom, The Obscurity of Prophecies 1, 2; PG 56, 166-67

If you are interested in more quotes on Virgin Mary, you can find them in Mary and the Fathers of the Church on Amazon in both in Kindle and paperback formats.


Gambero, L., 1999. Mary and the Fathers of the Church 1st ed. Translated by Buffer, T., San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

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