expresa posita materia

Solapas principales

y aunq'no se deue reparar, en q'le llamen, ꜩacol, bítol. que quíere deçír el q'haze, o fabríca algo exprꜫ su posíta matería. pues ese es el nombre, q'se le hallo mas ade - quado pa. explícar á Díos. todauía porq' se puede díscurrír ser dado por - el demonío, como pa. dar a entender, q'no es críador, se deue explícar a los índíos estos nombres de ꜩacol, bítol. y detestar la íntelígençía, q'el demonío pudo darle.

Escolios: Folio 4, side 1, lines 14–20

The beginning of line 16 is unclear in the manuscript. I have transcribed it here as “exprE su posita materia,” though it can also be read as “expresa posita materia.” Karl Scherzer renders it as “expresa su posita materia,” filling in what Ximénez glossed over. We attach an image here so that readers can make their own interpretations, and share them with us.

Néstor Quiroa, working from the original manuscript, translates this paragraph as follows:

“Tzacol-bitol, meaning he who makes or fabricates something, expresses its posita materia [substance], because it is still the most adequate name utilized to explain our God. It is possible to deduce that his name was given by Satan in order to convey that he [God] is not the Creator. These names of Tzacol-bitol should be explained to the Indians and the intelligence that was assigned by Satan to this god must be detested.”

In other words, the scholarly consensus is that Ximénez employs a simplified Thomistic method of thesis and antithesis in his argument for his evangelization tactics. He gives the antithesis first—that Tzacol-bitol is an unobjectionable name for God—and gives the best argument he has for it, which is that the name expresses God’s essence regardless of the name’s origins. He then states his thesis, which is that the name could still be a Satanic distraction away from the true Creator. A standard Thomistic disputation would then refute the antithesis and conclude by affirming the thesis, but Ximénez skips straight to the point: it is better to be safe than sorry. “[S]e deue explícar a los índíos estos nombres…y detestar la íntelígençía, q’el demonío pudo darle.”