Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius
Section 3. By all things' is meant the redemptive attributes and power of Christ.
Thus, then, we may understand all things to have been delivered to the Saviour, and, if it be necessary to follow up understanding by explanation, that hath been delivered unto Him which He did not previously possess. For He was not man previously, but became man for the sake of saving man. And the Word was not in the beginning flesh, but has been made flesh subsequently (cf. Joh. i.1 sqq.), in which Flesh, as the Apostle says, He reconciled the enmity which was against us (Col. i.20, ii.14, Eph. ii.15, 16) and destroyed the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might make the two into one new man, making peace, and reconcile both in one body to the Father. That, however, which the Father has, belongs also to the Son, as also He says in John, All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine' (Joh. xvi.15), expressions which could not be improved. For when He became that which He was not, all things were delivered' to Him. But when He desires to declare His unity with the Father, He teaches it without any reserve, saying: All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine.' And one cannot but admire the exactness of the language. For He has not said all things whatsoever the Father hath, He hath given to Me,' lest He should appear at one time not to have possessed these things; but are Mine.' For these things, being in the Father's power, are equally in that of the Son. But we must in turn examine what things the Father hath.' For if Creation is meant, the Father had nothing before creation, and proves to have received something additional from Creation; but far be it to think this. For just as He exists before creation, so before creation also He has what He has, which we also believe to belong to the Son (Joh. xvi.15). For if the Son is in the Father, then all things that the Father has belong to the Son. So this expression is subversive of the perversity of the heterodox in saying that if all things have been delivered to the Son, then the Father has ceased to have power over what is delivered, having appointed the Son in His place. For, in fact, the Father judgeth none, but hath given all judgment to the Son' (Joh. v.22). But let the mouth of them that speak wickedness be stopped' (Ps. lxiii.11), (for although He has given all judgment to the Son, He is not, therefore, stripped of lordship: nor, because it is said that all things are delivered by the Father to the Son, is He any the less over all), separating as they clearly do the Only-begotten from God, Who is by nature inseparable from Him, even though in their madness they separate Him by their words, not perceiving, the impious men, that the Light can never be separated from the sun, in which it resides by nature. For one must use a poor simile drawn from tangible and familiar objects to put our idea into words, since it is over bold to intrude upon the incomprehensible nature [of God].