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miércoles, 13 de julio de 2016

DE ÁRBOLES Y FRUTOS I



De árboles y frutos – Padre Maldonado S. J.

                                                                                                        José María Hernández



Nota de NP: el presente artículo trata del análisis exegético que hace el P. Juan de Maldonado sobre el pasaje de los árboles y frutos buenos y malos de Mateo 7, 17-18. Como complemento, conviene hacer notar que, según la muy prestigiosa Biblia de Mons. Straubinger, Nuestro Señor, en el lugar paralelo de Lucas 6, 43, no habla de árboles y frutos “buenos” y “malos”, sino de árboles y frutos “sanos” y “podridos”. Pues bien, todo el mundo sabe que un árbol puede estar más o menos sano o más o menos podrido, y que un fruto puede estar más o menos sano o más o menos podrido; como también que un árbol sano puede dar frutos podridos y que un árbol podrido (en cierto grado) puede dar algunos frutos sanos. Sirva esta entrada a los que, negando absurdamente lo que a todos fácilmente consta por experiencia y pensando equivocadamente que Cristo intenta dar enseñanzas en el ámbito de las ciencias naturales acerca de árboles y frutos, condenan a los que afirman que un árbol bueno puede dar frutos malos, que uno malo puede dar frutos buenos, y que puede haber árboles medio sanos o medio podridos y frutos medio sanos o medio podridos. 

Hemos destacado con negrita y subrayado ciertos pasajes.

El P. Juan de Maldonado (Casas de la Reina, 1534-Roma, 1583), teólogo español, Jesuita desde 1562, fue profesor de filosofía y de teología en París y trabajó en la contrarreforma católica. Visitador de la provincia de Francia, el papa Gregorio XIII lo llamó a Roma para la revisión del texto de los Setenta. Escribió, entre otras obras, un Comentario a los cuatro Evangelios (1596-1597) y un Comentario a los principales libros del Antiguo Testamento (1643).

El P. Maldonado habla de parábola de los árboles y frutos buenos y malos en su Commentarii In Quatuor Evangelistas. Se trata de una obra clásica en materia de exégesis bíblica, que contó con todas las aprobaciones exigidas por la Iglesia en una época marcada por la “Reforma” protestante y por la Contrarreforma católica. Hemos tenido a la vista una versión en inglés de esa obra: A Comentay on the Holy Gospels, 2ª. ed., Catholic Standard Library, John Hodges, London, 1888, pp. 242-246.

Ponemos acá, en español, algunos extractos más relevantes de la obra:

«Cristo llama “árbol” al hombre que tiene fe [en el sentido de conciencia, según el cual se habla de “buena fe” y de “mala fe”], sea buena o mala; buen árbol si su fe es buena, árbol malo si ésta es mala. Se puede objetar que un hombre que tiene buena fe frecuentemente da malos frutos. Esto no se puede negar; pero Cristo no habla de lo que sucede ocasionalmente, sino de lo que sucede la mayor parte de las veces, no de lo que suele pasar por la perversidad humana, sino de la naturaleza de la fe; por la fe, por su propia naturaleza, si es buena, no da malos frutos, si es mala, no da buenos frutos.»

«Estas palabras parecen oponerse a la experiencia diaria: pues vemos muchos malos convertirse en buenos, y buenos convertirse en malos. Muchas explicaciones de ellos han sido ofrecidas: 1. Muchos lo toman como significando que el buen árbol, mientras es bueno, y un árbol malo, mientras sea malo, no puede dar el primero buenos frutos y el otro malos frutos. (San Agustín, El Autor, S. Juan Crisóstomo, Beda). 2. Otros vieron que de este modo la verdad y la experiencia no están satisfechas, pues aunque un buen árbol, esto es, un hombre justo, que continúa siendo tal, no pueda dar frutos malos, un árbol malo, que permanece siendo malo, sí puede dar algún buen fruto. Ni es una opinión para sostenerse (condenada últimamente, con justicia, por el Concilio de Trento) que todas las obras de los pecadores, o incluso de los infieles, son pecado…»

«No se afirma, por lo tanto, que un buen árbol no pueda dar malos frutos, ni que un árbol malo no pueda dar buenos frutos; con seguridad un árbol malo puede dar algo bueno, y un buen árbol algunos frutos malos; pero de su propia naturaleza no pueden; y un buen árbol habitualmente no da malos frutos, ni un árbol malo buenos frutos.»

«Los Escribas y Fariseos de quien hablaba […] eran ciertamente malos porque sus vidas eran malas; y aun así ellos pronunciaban buenas palabras porque lo que decían se debía hacer.»

«Se objetará: “Si un buen árbol puede dar malos frutos, y un árbol malo buenos frutos, ¿cómo es que se nos enseña que los conozcamos por sus frutos?” […] Cristo no quiso dar un indicio cierto, sino solo un signo probable, y enseñar que los falsos profetas, que probaron falsa su doctrina por su pretensión de santidad, no hubieran podido ocultarse mucho bajo la piel de oveja, sino que la del lobo que está debajo aparecería en un tiempo u otro. Pues la pretensión no puede pasar mucho tiempo por verdad.»

«Es increíble cómo muchos errores han salido de este árbol bueno y malo. Primero vinieron los maniqueos, quienes decían que algunos hombres eran buenos por naturaleza y nunca malos; y que había otros malos por naturaleza, por lo que nunca podrían ser buenos. San Jerónimo (in loc.) y San Agustín (i. 3, Cont. Julian. Disput.; ii., Cent. Fortunat.) los refutaron con la Escritura. Los pelagianos negaron el pecado original, porque el matrimonio, decían, era un buen árbol y no podía dar malos frutos, es decir, generar el pecado original. San Agustín (ii. 26, De Nupt. et Concupis.) respondió a esto. […]”

EL TEXTO EN INGLÉS:


Verse 16. By their fruits.

As Christ had uttered a warning against false prophets,it was necessary to give some mark by which they might be known. He could not give any single certain one, as their disguises were many, and God alone is the examiner of the human heart, but He gave a probable one adapted to ordinary intelligence and most commonly true, “ By their fruits “ (S. Luke vi. 43).

S. Luke (vi. 43) seems to imply that these words were spoken in another sense and in another place ; for he unites them to the injunction recorded by S. Matthew (v. 5) “ Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thy own eye “ as if the meaning were : Thou hypocrite, why wilt thou pretend to be a good tree when thou bearest evil fruit ? for, however thou mayest wish to dis semble thy evil deeds, from thy fruits shalt thou be known ; for there is no good tree which brings forth evil fruit, and every tree shall be known by its fruits. In this sense S. Matthew says (xii. 33) that Christ used the same simile of the tree and its fruits, as if He had said : “ If you would seem to be good, do not feign goodness, but practise it”. The leaves are pretence, the works are the fruit, and the tree is known not by its leaves, but by its fruit. Hence it is clear that Christ used the same comparison more than once ; either, therefore, S. Luke is not reciting the same as S. Matthew, or he is not keeping the order and connection of the words of Christ ; for in S. Matthew it rmonises so well with the preceding sentence that it cannot be separated from it without one or both being destroyed. We must see, therefore, what Christ calls the tree, and what the fruits. Tertullian (i., Cont. Marc.) thinks faith the tree. This agrees well with the text, which treats of the distinguishing between true and false faith. But S. Augustin (xv., Euchirid., and i. 3, Cont. Julian.) and Bede, on this pas sage, think that the man s will is the tree and the man himself the ground ; for as a good and evil tree can spring from the same ground, but good and bad fruit cannot come from the same tree, but good from good and evil from evil : so from the same man may proceed at one time a good will, at another a bad will, but rom the same will both good and bad works cannot proceed. S. Augustin (De grat. Christ., i. 18, 19), The Author (Horn, xix.), S. Chrysostom (Horn, xxiv.), Theophylact, and De Lyra call the man who has a good will a good tree, and the man who has an evil will an evil tree. This view would agree well per se with the context, if the latter were not concerned with the discerning of true faith, but of a good will ; but it is concerned with true faith : “ Beware of false prophets “. Christ calls the man, then, who has faith, whether good or bad, “ a tree “ a good tree if his faith be good, an evil tree if it be bad. It may be answered that a man who has a good faith frequently brings forth evil fruit This cannot be denied ; but Christ does not speak of what is so occasionally, but of what is so for the most part not of what is used to happen from human perversity, but from the nature of faith ; for faith, by its own nature, if good, does not bring forth evil fruit, nor if evil, good fruit. Verse 18. Cannot.

These words seem to be opposed to daily experience ; for we see many from evil become good, and from good become evil. Many explanations of them have, therefore, been offered.

1. Many have taken them to mean that a good tree, while it is good, and an evil tree, while it is evil, cannot bring forth he one good and the other evil fruit (S. Augustin, The Author, S. Chrysostom, Bede). 2. Others have seen that in this manner truth and experience are not satisfied. For, although a good tree, that is, a just man, continuing to be such, cannot bring forth evil fruit, yet an evil tree, remaining evil, can bring forth some good fruit. Nor is the opinion (lately con demned, with justice, by the Council of Trent) to be held, that all the works of sinners, or even of infidels, are sin, although S. Augustin himself (iv. 3, Cont. Julian., and iii. 5, Cont. Epist. duos Pelag.) and Prosper (Sentent. cvi.) seem to have held it, and some Catholic divines have defended it. They have, therefore, asserted that a good tree, in that it is good, cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor an evil tree, as it is evil, bring forth good fruit. But we cannot by this means distinguish a good from a bad tree, which is the question at issue.

It is not asserted, therefore, that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor an evil tree good fruit ; for this cannot possibly be, for assuredly an evil tree can bring forth some good, and a good tree some evil fruit ; but that of their own nature they cannot ; and a good tree does not habitually bring forth evil fruit, nor an evil tree good fruit For, each of its own nature, “ out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” ; and “a good man out of a good treasure ringeth forth good things, and an evil man out of an evil treasure bringeth forth evil things “. And when Christ had previously said, “ Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree evil and its fruit evil” (S. Matt. xii. 33-35), He added, “How can ye, being evil, speak good things ? “ but not as meaning that it could not be. For the Scribes and Pharisees of whom He spoke (xxiii. 2, 3) were certainly evil, because their lives were evil ; and yet they uttered good words, because what they said was to be done. This only shows, however, that in this they acted against their nature, and were not accustomed to do so.

It will be objected : “ If a good tree can bring forth evil fruit, and an evil tree good fruit, how are we taught to know them by their fruit ? “ It may be objected, again : “ If the Pharisees, when they brought forth evil fruit, were yet the good tree, that is, were not false prophets, but true Doctors of the Law, how could they be known by their fruits ? For if the hearers had followed this rule of Christ, and judged of their doctrine by their lives, they would have rejected the former as false.” Christ did not will to give a certain text, but only a probable sign ; and to teach that false prophets, who proved their doctrine to be false by their pretence of holiness, would not be able to conceal themselves long under the sheep s clothing, but that the wolf which underlay it would, some time or other, appear. For pretence cannot long pass for truth.

It is wonderful how many errors have sprung from this good and evil tree, (i) First of all there came the Manicheans, who said that some men were good by nature and never evil ; and (2) that there were others evil by nature, who never could be good. S. Jerome (in loc.), and S. Augustin (i. 3, Cont. Julian. Disput.; ii., Cent. Fortunat.) have refuted them out of scripture. (3) The Pelagians denied original sin, because marriage, they said, was a good tree, and could not bring forth evil fruit, that is, generate original sin. S. Augustin (ii. 26, De Nupt. et Concupis.) has answered this. Again, they said that free-will was inherent in us, like a kind of root, and could, of itself and by itself (ipsa per se), produce either a good tree, that is, a good will, or an evil tree, that is, an evil will (S. Augustin, i. 18, De Graf. Christ).