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Ambrosiaster

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Ambrosiaster

Author of a commentary on St. Paul's Letters; wrongly attributed to St. Ambrose; 4th cent. AD

Translation from the Ante-Nicene Fathers. For a complete electronic copy, visit the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, the New Advent Library. Italics in the text by John Wijngaards.

Since the early Middle Ages, the oldest Latin commentary on the Pauline letters, called “Ambrosiaster, ” a characterization also used for the author of the commentary, was mistakenly attributed to Ambrose, until proven spurious by Erasmus of Rotterdam Throughout the Middle Ages the assumption that Ambrose was the author was so dominant that it silenced all evidence to the contrary.

Women are inferior

On 1 Timothy 3,11. “Because the apostle wants only a holy bishop to be created, as well as a deacon, he does not for that reason want the people to be different....
Therefore he also wants women who are manifestly inferior, to be without fault, in order that the Church of God be pure. But the Cataphrygians, falling into error, contend with vain presumption that, because the apostle , after addressing deacons, speaks to women, they too can be ordained as deacons, although they know that the apostles chose seven male deacons. For was there at the time no single woman fit to be found, since under the eleven apostles we read that there were holy women?
The heretics seemingly want to support their intention by the words of the law, rather than its sense. That is why, through the words of the apostle they try to contradict the meaning of the apostle. And though he orders the woman to keep silent in church, they on the contrary try to vindicate the authority of her ministry.”

The rights of man and woman are not equal

On 1 Corinthians 7,10-11. “ ‘A woman may not leave her husband. If she has left him, she may not remarry.’ This is the Apostle's advice, that, if she has left her husband because of his bad behaviour, she remain unmarried. ‘Or she should be reconciled to her husband.’ In case she cannot contain herself, because she does not want to fight against the flesh, she should be reconciled to her husband; for it is not permitted to the woman to marry (again) if she has divorced her husband because of (his) fornication or apostacy . . . . .
If however the man has apostacised, or seeks to change the use of his wife, the woman may neither marry another man or return to him. ‘And the husband should not divorce his wife.’ Understood however is: except in the case of fornication. And therefore the Apostle does not add, as in the case of the woman, that he should remain as he is when he has divorced her. For to a man it is allowed to take a (new) wife if he has divorced a (previous) wife who sinned since a man is not restricted by the law as the woman is; for the husband is the head of his wife.”

Women are not created in the image of God

On 1 Corinthians 14, 34. “ Women must cover their heads because they are not the image of God. They must do this as a sign of their subjection to authority and because sin came into the world through them. Their heads must be covered in church in order to honor the bishop. In like manner they have no authority to speak because the bishop is the embodiment of Christ. They must thus act before the bishop as before Christ, the judge, since the bishop is the representative of the Lord. Because of original sin they must show themselves submissive.”
How can anyone maintain that woman is the likeness of God when she is demonstrably subject to the dominion of man and has no kind of authority? For she can neither teach nor be a witness in a court nor exercise citizenship nor be a judge-then certainly not exercise dominion.

All truth is from the Holy Spirit

“Whatever is true comes from the Holy Spirit, no matter who expresses this truth.”
Latin: ‘Omne verum, a quocumque dicitur, a Spiritu Sancto est’ Patres Latini17, 245.


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