Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

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Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:19 pm

On the Incarnation
De Incarnatione Verbi Dei
By: St. Athanasius
1.1.1
Αὐτάρκως ἐν τοῖς πρὸ τούτων ἐκ πολλῶν ὀλίγα
διαλαβόντες, περὶ τῆς τῶν ἐθνῶν περὶ τὰ εἴδωλα πλάνης
καὶ τῆς τούτων δεισιδαιμονίας, πῶς ἐξ ἀρχῆς τούτων
γέγονεν ἡ εὕρεσις, ὅτι ἐκ κακίας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἑαυτοῖς
1.1.5
τὴν πρὸς τὰ εἴδωλα θρησκείαν ἐπενόησαν·

see also Romans 1:18ff
Previously, we sufficiently addressed a few of the many issues surrounding the error of idol worship among the nations, and the discovery of how these superstitions began—that from the evil within themselves, people invented the worship of idols.

souce: Tylor Standley of Waco, Texas.
https://creaaate.wordpress.com/2018/01/ ... anslation/
For some reason, the highlighted text doesn't appear in some translations.

Time to take another look at Athanasius. More later ...
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:25 pm

Here's the translation without the text under consideration;
In our former book we dealt fully enough
with a few of the chief points about the
heathen worship of idols, and how those false
fears originally arose.
None of the sources for this text give any credits for the translation.

update April 24, 2018
I finally tracked this down, the translator's name, Penelope Lawson, doesn't appear on the title page. Here is the catalog record from the Princeton Library:
The incarnation of the Word of God, being the treatise of St. Athanasius, De incarnatione Verbi Dei

Full Translation Title: The incarnation of the Word of God, being the treatise of St. Athanasius, De incarnatione Verbi Dei : newly translated into English by a religious of C.S.M.V., S.Th. With an introduction by C.S. Lewis
Uniform Title: De incarnatione Verbi Dei
Original Author: Athanasius, Saint, Patriarch of Alexandria, d. 373
Translator: Lawson, PenelopeLewis, C. S.
Series/Journal:
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Year: 1946
Pagination: 95,
Edition:
Notes:
Type: Book
Original Language: Greek
Translation Language: English
Genre: Theology
Century: 4th
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by jeidsath » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:40 am

Maybe there is a Latin version? For what it’s worth, here is my translation:

Sufficiently in the works before these we were going through a few of the many points: about the error of the nations concerning idols, and the superstition of these nations, how from the beginning of these nations came the invention: that out of evil, men concieved the ritual regarding idols for themselves.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.

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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by bedwere » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:22 am

κᾰκία, ἡ

Out of vice, rather than out of evil. Men have vices, so to justify themselves they create gods out of them. The reasoning being, if the gods have such vice, who am I to judge? :wink:

Mindy

Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by Mindy » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:45 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:On the Incarnation
De Incarnatione Verbi Dei
By: St. Athanasius
1.1.1
Αὐτάρκως ἐν τοῖς πρὸ τούτων ἐκ πολλῶν ὀλίγα
διαλαβόντες, περὶ τῆς τῶν ἐθνῶν περὶ τὰ εἴδωλα πλάνης
καὶ τῆς τούτων δεισιδαιμονίας, πῶς ἐξ ἀρχῆς τούτων
γέγονεν ἡ εὕρεσις, ὅτι ἐκ κακίας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἑαυτοῖς
1.1.5
τὴν πρὸς τὰ εἴδωλα θρησκείαν ἐπενόησαν·

see also Romans 1:18ff
Previously, we sufficiently addressed a few of the many issues surrounding the error of idol worship among the nations, and the discovery of how these superstitions began—that from the evil within themselves, people invented the worship of idols.

souce: Tylor Standley of Waco, Texas.
https://creaaate.wordpress.com/2018/01/ ... anslation/
Thank you, C. S. Bartholomew. I don't understand it now, and will learn it in the future.

I have just learned Isaiah 44:
11 καὶ πάντες ὅθεν ἐγένοντο ἐξηράνθησαν, καὶ κωφοὶ ἀπὸ ἀνθρώπων συναχθήτωσαν πάντες καὶ στήτωσαν ἅμα, ἐντραπήτωσαν καὶ αἰσχυνθήτωσαν ἅμα.

Here are some verses about incarnation in Mark 1:

1 Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ [υἱοῦ θεοῦ].

10 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν

11 καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν, Σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.

22 καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ· ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς.

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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:50 pm

Thank you, Joel, Bedwere, and Mindy for showing an interest.

It looked to me like textual issue. The paraphrase I quoted appears to be missing any words that represent ὅτι ἐκ κακίας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἑαυτοῖς. I went looking for a critical edition and found an old one by Archibald Robertson(1893)[1] The apparatus is minimal. Robertson shows very few variation units, and nothing in regard to the text other consideration. Every greek text I saw online included ὅτι ἐκ κακίας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἑαυτοῖς.

Apparently it is just a loose paraphrase, "and how those false fears originally arose" covers a lot of territory.

[1] http://dbooks.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/books/P ... 481625.pdf

Postscript:
Comment on the text other consideration can be found in footnote number #1 in the following Greek document. Its a long footnote, I could almost read it. You'll need to cut-and-paste the URL into the address window of your browser.

http://www.past.auth.gr/sites/default/f ... ΠΗΣΕΩΣ.pdf
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:37 pm

jeidsath wrote:Maybe there is a Latin version? For what it’s worth, here is my translation:

Sufficiently in the works before these we were going through a few of the many points: about the error of the nations concerning idols, and the superstition of these nations, how from the beginning of these nations came the invention: that out of evil, men concieved the ritual regarding idols for themselves.
ὅτι ἐκ κακίας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἑαυτοῖς ....
"that from the evil within themselves, people invented the worship of idols."
Tylor Standley (Waco, Texas)
Tylor Standley appears to understand ἑαυτοῖς as a dative of location. Didn't we just talk about that? Since the New Testament grammarians claim the dative of location was going away or extinct, would we find it in Athanasius?

edit: 04/25/2018
I looked the idiom in the NT and could not find a single example of a dative of location with a personal pronoun alone (no preposition).

On the lexical semantic issue ἐκ κακίας, Lampe suggests evil (moral) as the main heading. Gotta keep in mind this was written a long time after the classical period. The semantic range is extensive, but the center of gravity (prototype) appears to be evil. Lampe has nearly a full page. I found it mind numbing, not that helpful. My hard copy of Lampe is the least frequently accessed lexicon in my library. Today I used archive.org.

Lampe
https://archive.org/details/LampePatristicLexicon
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:30 pm

Mindy wrote:
Here are some verses about incarnation in Mark 1:

1 Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ [υἱοῦ θεοῦ].

10 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν

11 καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν, Σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.

22 καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ· ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς.
Mindy,

The textual critics have had a "field day[1]" with [υἱοῦ θεοῦ] in Mk 1:1. You might want to search to see what you can find on it from your location. It's been discussed endlessly. Bruce M. Metzger was a member of "the committee" who edited UBSGNT3:
The absence of υἱοῦ θεοῦ א* Q 28c al may be due to an oversight in copying, occasioned by the similarity of the endings of the nomina sacra. On the other hand, however, there was always a temptation (to which copyists often succumbed) to expand titles and quasi-titles of books. Since the combination of B D W al in support of υἱοῦ θεοῦ is extremely strong, it was not thought advisable to omit the words altogether, yet because of the antiquity of the shorter reading and the possibility of scribal expansion, it was decided to enclose the words within square brackets‖ (Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. [New York: UBS, 1994], 62).
[1] an old American idiom my grandfather and father used: a festive occasion, a military exercise.

postscript:
The presence or absence of [υἱοῦ θεοῦ] in Mk 1:1 has no significant impact on the proclamation of incarnation in the New Testament. Apologists from either side treat [υἱοῦ θεοῦ] like Lyndon Baines Johnson's Battle of Khe Sahn (1968), win at all costs, when there is nothing at stake. Nevertheless, the manuscript support for [υἱοῦ θεοῦ] is "extremely strong" Bruce M. Metzger.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by bedwere » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:32 pm

Migne PG 25 27-28

et quonam modo homines propriis vitiis impulsi eorum cultum excogitaverint

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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:05 pm

The paraphrase:
In our former book we dealt fully enough
with a few of the chief points about the
heathen worship of idols, and how those false
fears originally arose.
Is from the 1946 translation of the Greek text by Penelope Lawson with a forward by C. S. Lewis. See the catalog record from the Princeton: library http://library.princeton.edu/byzantine/ ... tion/15029

The book was not protected by copyright and Penelope Lawson's name does not appear in the front matter. According to C. S. Lewis the target audience for the translation was general readers which explains the avoidance of formal correspondence.
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Mindy

Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by Mindy » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:23 pm

Thanks.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:09 pm

Mindy wrote:Thank you, C. S. Bartholomew.

I am access to the site, but can't find the content.
That was just a catalog record. Here are links to the content:

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theo ... nasius.pdf

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.ii.html

http://romans45.org/history/ath-inc.htm
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Mindy

Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by Mindy » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:05 pm

Thanks.

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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:25 pm

ὅτι ἐκ κακίας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἑαυτοῖς

Tylor Standley appears to understand ἑαυτοῖς as a dative of location, "that from the evil within themselves" which is almost certainly wrong. I reviewed the idiom in the New Testament.

Rom. 8:23 οὐ μόνον δέ, ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτοὶ τὴν ἀπαρχὴν τοῦ πνεύματος ἔχοντες, ἡμεῖς καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς στενάζομεν υἱοθεσίαν ἀπεκδεχόμενοι, τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν τοῦ σώματος ἡμῶν.

John 5:42 ἀλλὰ ἔγνωκα ὑμᾶς ὅτι τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς.

Cardinal Newman's** translation of:

ὅτι ἐκ κακίας οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἑαυτοῖς
τὴν πρὸς τὰ εἴδωλα θρησκείαν ἐπενόησαν·


" ... out of wickedness men devised for themselves the worshipping of idols"

**Translation of Cardinal Newman, edited and revised by Archibald Robertson for Philip Schaff's NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.i.htm
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:46 pm

... continuing the long introduction
ἀλλὰ γὰρ
χάριτι Θεοῦ σημάναντες ὀλίγα καὶ περὶ τῆς θειότητος
τοῦ Λόγου τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τῆς εἰς πάντα προνοίας καὶ
δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ· καὶ ὅτι ὁ ἀγαθὸς Πατὴρ τούτῳ τὰ
πάντα διακοσμεῖ καὶ τὰ πάντα ὑπ' αὐτοῦ κινεῖται καὶ
1.1.10
ἐν αὐτῷ ζωοποιεῖται·

... and whereas we have by God’s grace noted somewhat also of the divinity of the Word of the Father, and of His universal Providence and power, and that the Good Father through Him orders all things, and all things are moved by Him, and in Him are quickened:

Translation: Archibald Robertson 1891
The scope of περὶ appears to extend through δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, where καὶ ὅτι introduces another thought dependent on σημάναντες ὀλίγα. This is a tentative first pass syntax analysis open to revision.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:52 pm

καὶ ὅτι ὁ ἀγαθὸς Πατὴρ τούτῳ τὰ
πάντα διακοσμεῖ καὶ τὰ πάντα ὑπ' αὐτοῦ κινεῖται καὶ
1.1.10
... φέρε κατὰ ἀκολουθίαν, μακάριε
καὶ ἀληθῶς φιλόχριστε, τῇ περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας πίστει,
καὶ τὰ περὶ τῆς ἐνανθρωπήσεως τοῦ Λόγου διηγησώμεθα,
καὶ περὶ τῆς θείας αὐτοῦ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἐπιφανείας δηλώ-
σωμεν· ἣν Ἰουδαῖοι μὲν διαβάλλουσιν, Ἕλληνες δὲ
1.1.15
χλευάζουσιν, ἡμεῖς δὲ προσκυνοῦμεν· ἵν' ἔτι μᾶλλον ἐκ τῆς
δοκούσης εὐτελείας τοῦ Λόγου μείζονα καὶ πλείονα τὴν εἰς
αὐτὸν εὐσέβειαν ἔχῃς.

... come
now, Macarius (worthy of that name), and true lover of Christ, let us follow up the faith of our
religion, and set forth also what relates to the Word’s becoming Man, and to His divine Appearing
amongst us, which Jews traduce and Greeks laugh to scorn, but we worship; in order that, all the
more for the seeming low estate of the Word, your piety toward Him may be increased and
multiplied.

English revision of Cardinal Newman's translation by Archibald Robertson, 1891.
εὐτελείας τοῦ Λόγου: Lampe p.557 lowly "scriptural language applied to the incarnate logos." English gloss lowly illustrates the difficulties encountered using a dictionary which is hopelessly out of date concerning contemporary English language. You end up having to translate the English into English of the 21st-century.

ἣν probably refers to both: τῆς θείας αὐτοῦ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἐπιφανείας and τῆς ἐνανθρωπήσεως τοῦ Λόγου διηγησώμεθα.

ἣν Ἰουδαῖοι μὲν διαβάλλουσιν, Ἕλληνες δὲ
χλευάζουσιν, ἡμεῖς δὲ προσκυνοῦμεν·
LEH
διαβάλλω+ V 0-0-0-3-2-5
Dn 3:8; DnTh 6:25; 2 Mc 3:11; 4 Mc 4:1
to calumniate, to speak slanderously 4 Mc 4:1; to accuse [τινα] Dn 3:8; to accuse about, to injure with [ὑπέρ τινος] 4 Mc 4:1; to misinform [abs.] 2 Mc 3:11;
*Nm 22:22 διαβαλεῖν -שׂטן to accuse for MT שׂטן adversary

χλευάζω+ V 0-0-0-0-3-3
2 Mc 7:27; 4 Mc 5:22; Wis 11:14
to scoff, to mock at, to treat scornfully [τινα] 2 Mc 7:27; id. [τι] 4 Mc 5:22
Cf. HELBING 1928, 23; HORSLEY 1982, 104

This sounds like Paul, ... An offense to the Jews ... foolishness to the Greeks ...

1Cor. 1:23 ἡμεῖς δὲ κηρύσσομεν Χριστὸν ἐσταυρωμένον, Ἰουδαίοις μὲν σκάνδαλον, ἔθνεσιν δὲ μωρίαν,

Postscript:

St. Vladimír Seminary Press has a Greek-English diglot available with a preface by C.S. Lewis and translation by John Behr.[1] On the Incarnation: Saint Athanasius (Greek/English) PPS44a (Popular Patristics) (English and Greek Edition) ISBN:978-0-88141-409-7. The English only version looks identical on the web, so be careful when you're ordering.

[1]John Behr: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Behr
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Thu May 03, 2018 7:11 pm

1.2.1
Ὅσῳ γὰρ παρὰ τοῖς ἀπίστοις
χλευάζεται, τοσούτῳ μείζονα τὴν περὶ τῆς θεότητος
αὐτοῦ μαρτυρίαν παρέχει·

For it is a fact that the more unbelievers pour scorn
on Him, so much the more does He make His
Godhead evident.
-- Archibald Robertson 1891

... for the more he is mocked by unbelievers by so much he provides a greater witness of his divinity,
--John Behr 2011
John Behr preserves the Greek surface structure χλευάζεται[1] middle-passive with people performing the action παρὰ + dative “παρὰ τοῖς ἀπίστοις.” This is somewhat unusual, I'm not certain L&N or Lampe really clarify the issue:
L&N 90.3 παρά (with the genitive or dative): a marker of potential agent — ‘by, for, with.’ παρὰ ἀνθρώποις τοῦτο ἀδύνατόν ἐστιν, παρὰ δὲ θεῷ πάντα δυνατά ‘for people this is not possible, but for God all things are possible’ Mt 19:26.

Lampe p1006 B, with dative, cites:
Theodoretus, Haereticarum fabularum compendium MPG 83.
Volume 83, page 505, line 48

2 “by ...”
ὁ μὲν παρ' αὐτῷ καλούμενος δίκαιος ἀγαθὸς,

3 “at the hands of ...”

Theodoretus, in Psalmos MPG 80.
Volume 80, page 1052, line 8

ἐκεῖνος δὲ παρὰ
τοῖς ἀλλοφύλοις ἔτισε τῆς πονηρίας ποινήν· πρόῤ-
ῥησίς ἐστι τοίνυν τῶν ἐσομένων τὰ εἰρημένα.
[1]

χλευάζω (jest): pres ind mp 3rd sg

LEH
χλευάζω+ V 0-0-0-0-3-3
2 Mc 7:27; 4 Mc 5:22; Wis 11:14
to scoff, to mock at, to treat scornfully [τινα] 2 Mc 7:27; id. [τι] 4 Mc 5:22
Cf. HELBING 1928, 23; HORSLEY 1982, 104
L&N
33.408 χλευάζω; διαχλευάζω: to make fun of someone by joking or jesting — ‘to scoff, to jeer, to joke at.’71
χλευάζω: ἀκούσαντες δὲ ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν οἱ μὲν ἐχλεύαζον ‘and when they heard (him speak about) the rising from death, some scoffed (at him)’ Ac 17:32.
διαχλευάζω: ἕτεροι δὲ διαχλευάζοντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Γλεύκους μεμεστωμένοι εἰσίν ‘others jeered at them, saying, They are drunk’ Ac 2:13.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon May 14, 2018 12:03 am

This post does little more than indicate the place I'm currently reading. I'm gradually accommodating to Athanasius style of argument. I indicated below one place where I experienced a little difficulty. Provided several translations. I now have a hard copy John Behr 2011, I found portions of it available here and there on the web so I can cite it accurately.
Athanasius on the Incarnation 2.1

Τὴν δημιουργίαν τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὴν τῶν πάντων
κτίσιν πολλοὶ διαφόρως ἐξειλήφασι, καὶ ὡς ἕκαστος
ἠθέλησεν, οὕτως καὶ ὡρίσατο. Οἱ μὲν γὰρ αὐτομάτως, καὶ
ὡς ἔτυχε, τὰ πάντα γεγενῆσθαι λέγουσιν, ὡς οἱ Ἐπικούρειοι,
οἳ καὶ τὴν τῶν ὅλων πρόνοιαν καθ' ἑαυτῶν οὐκ εἶναι
μυθολογοῦντες, ἄντικρυς παρὰ τὰ ἐναργῆ καὶ φαινόμενα
λέγοντες.

The making of the world and the creation of all things have been taken differently by many, and each has propounded as each has wished. Some say that all things have come into being spontaneously and as by chance, such as the Epicureans who, according to themselves, fantasize that there is no providence over the universe, speaking in the face of the clear and apparent facts.

Athanasius on the Incarnation, Translation John Behr

Athanasius on the Incarnation 2.2.1-8

Εἰ γὰρ αὐτομάτως τὰ πάντα χωρὶς προνοίας
κατ' αὐτοὺς γέγονεν, ἔδει τὰ πάντα ἁπλῶς γεγενῆσθαι
καὶ ὅμοια εἶναι καὶ μὴ διάφορα. Ὡς γὰρ ἐπὶ σώματος
ἑνὸς ἔδει τὰ πάντα εἶναι ἥλιον ἢ σελήνην, καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν
ἀνθρώπων ἔδει τὸ ὅλον εἶναι χεῖρα, ἢ ὀφθαλμόν, ἢ πόδα.
Νῦν δὲ οὐκ ἔστι μὲν οὕτως· ὁρῶμεν δὲ τὸ μέν, ἥλιον· τὸ
δέ, σελήνην· τὸ δέ, γῆν· καὶ πάλιν ἐπὶ τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων
σωμάτων, τὸ μέν, πόδα· τὸ δέ, χεῖρα· τὸ δέ, κεφαλήν.

For if all things came into being spontaneously without providence, as they claim, all things would necessarily have simply come into being and be identical and without difference. Everything would have been as a single body, sun or moon, and regarding human beings, the whole would have been a hand or eye or foot. But, now, this is not the case: we see, here, the sun, there the moon, there the earth; and again regarding human bodies, here a foot, there a hand, and there a head. Such order indicates that they did not come into being spontaneously, but shows that a cause preceded them, from which one can apprehend the God who ordered and created all things.

Translation John Behr
... here Athanasius puts forth a brief argument from design based on the complexity of the observed created order ... I didn't have any difficulty reading it so I didn't spend much time thinking about it. At the end of this section I had to slowdown and unscramble his concluding remarks quoted below.
2.2.9-12
Ἡ δὲ τοιαύτη διάταξις οὐκ αὐτομάτως αὐτὰ γεγενῆσθαι
γνωρίζει, ἀλλ' αἰτίαν τούτων προηγεῖσθαι δείκνυσιν·
ἀφ' ἧς καὶ τὸν διαταξάμενον καὶ πάντα ποιήσαντα Θεὸν
ἔστι νοεῖν.
Now, such separate arrangement as this tells us not of their having come into being of themselves, but shews that a cause preceded them; from which cause it is possible to apprehend God also as the Maker and Orderer of all.

Archibald Robertson 1891

This
distinctness of things argues not a spontaneous
generation but a prevenient Cause; and from that
Cause we can apprehend God, the Designer and
Maker of all.

Penelope lawson 1946

Such order indicates that they did not come into being spontaneously, but shows that a cause preceded them, from which one can apprehend the God who ordered and created all things.

Translation John Behr 2011
Observed complexity, variety, difference combined argue against "come into being spontaneously" ... This isn't how I would expect an argument for the incarnation to be launched. Athanasius is apparently expounding on the implications of John's prologue.

Postscript: A 15 minute conversation with a church historian half a lifetime ago sparked my interest in Athanasius, the next day I went to the library and checked out an english translation from the 19th century. The book was not suffering from overuse. I think the last time that it had been checked out was before I was born. A brief taste of something mysterious and foreign, I quickly returned to my studies, I had papers to write and exams to prepare for I didn't have time for Athanasius, he wasn't in the syllabus.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by Thomas Sandberg » Mon May 14, 2018 7:04 pm

Wow, I was looking for anything dealing with this text, as I plan on reading the Greek text this summer (I have read it in English a few years back). How would any of you rate the difficulty of St. Athanasius' Greek? Is he an Atticist? Is knowledge of Koine Greek sufficient? Thanks.

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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon May 14, 2018 10:14 pm

Thomas Sandberg wrote:Wow, I was looking for anything dealing with this text, as I plan on reading the Greek text this summer (I have read it in English a few years back). How would any of you rate the difficulty of St. Athanasius' Greek? Is he an Atticist? Is knowledge of Koine Greek sufficient? Thanks.
Hello Thomas,

I would say that if you can read Plato you're probably do okay. It certainly isn't like reading the Gospels. The main hurdle I have to get over is his syntax, this is not someone thinking in Hebrew but writing in Greek.

Side trips to Lampe for resolving lexical questions are very time-consuming. I access Lampe[1] on the web and let my hardcopy sit on the shelf. Most of the lexical problems can be resolved using LEH (LXX), Louw&Nida, Danker BDAG, LSJ, LS middle. Lampe doesn't talk about common words so half the time your journey to Lampe is in vain.

I found John Meyendorf’s, Christ in Eastern Christian Thought in my library last night. I thought I gave it away but apparently not. He's more helpful than J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrine.

[1] https://archive.org/stream/LampePatrist ... 7/mode/2up
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue May 15, 2018 5:00 pm

Athanasius On the incarnation 2.5
Οἱ δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν αἱρέσεων ἄλλον
ἑαυτοῖς ἀναπλάττονται δημιουργὸν τῶν πάντων παρὰ τὸν
Πατέρα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τυφλώττοντες
μέγα καὶ περὶ ἃ φθέγγονται.

Others, again, from the heretics fabricate for themselves another creator of all things besides the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, being greatly blinded even in what they say.

John Behr 2011

Then, again, there is the theory of the Gnostics,
who have invented for themselves an Artificer of all
things other than the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ. These simply shut their eyes to the obvious
meaning of Scripture.

Penelope lawson 1946
Notes:

In contrast to John Behr who translates ἀπὸ τῶν αἱρέσεων “from the heretics,” P. Lawson supplies the referent “of the Gnostics.”

“ἑαυτοῖς ἀναπλάττονται δημιουργὸν ... “ This appears to be a play on words. Lampe p117 ἀναπλάσσω §4 imagine, invent (used of heretics) Justin, Eusebius. Athanasius Chrysostom. Loose paraphrase: The heretics were being creative, by inventing their own creator.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed May 16, 2018 7:51 pm

In a manner that might come as a surprise to a student from the third millennium, Athanasius grounds his argument for the Incarnation in creation, following the pattern set by the prologue to John's Gospel. He cites from Moses, Paul (Hebrews), and the Shepard of Hermas which he sets apart from Moses and “Paul” by calling it a useful book ὠφελιμωτάτης βίβλου.


Athanasius On the Incarnation 3.1

Ταῦτα μὲν οὗτοι μυθολογοῦσιν. Ἡ δὲ ἔνθεος
διδασκαλία καὶ ἡ κατὰ Χριστὸν πίστις τὴν μὲν τούτων
ματαιολογίαν ὡς ἀθεότητα διαβάλλει. Οὔτε γὰρ αὐτομάτως,
διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀπρονόητα εἶναι, οὔτε ἐκ προϋποκειμένης ὕλης,
διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀσθενῆ εἶναι τὸν Θεόν· ἀλλ' ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων καὶ
μηδαμῆ μηδαμῶς ὑπάρχοντα τὰ ὅλα εἰς τὸ εἶναι πεποιη-
κέναι τὸν Θεὸν διὰ τοῦ Λόγου οἶδεν, ᾗ φησὶ διὰ μὲν
Μωϋσέως· «Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ
τὴν γῆν»· διὰ δὲ τῆς ὠφελιμωτάτης βίβλου τοῦ
Ποιμένος· «Πρῶτον πάντων πίστευσον, ὅτι εἷς ἐστὶν ὁ
Θεός, ὁ τὰ πάντα κτίσας καὶ καταρτίσας, καὶ ποιήσας ἐκ
τοῦ μὴ ὄντος εἰς τὸ εἶναι.»

3.2
Ὅπερ καὶ ὁ Παῦλος σημαίνων φησί· «Πίστει νοοῦμεν
κατηρτίσθαι τοὺς αἰῶνας ῥήματι Θεοῦ,
εἰς τὸ μὴ ἐκ φαινομένων τὰ βλεπόμενα γεγονέναι.»


Notes:

μηδαμῆ μηδαμῶς is a much used emphatic negation.

οἶδεν: Athanasius frequently postpones a verb crucial to understanding a sentence. John Behr moves the verb upfront "For it knows" in accordance with English discourse strategy.


These things, then, they fantasize. But the inspired teaching and faith according to Christ casts out their vain talk as godlessness. For it knows that neither spontaneously, as it is not without providence, nor from pre-existent matter, as God is not weak, but from nothing and having absolutely no existence God brought the universe into being through the Word, which it says through Moses, “In the beginning God made heaven and earth” (Gen 1:1), and through that most useful book of the Shepherd, “First of all believe that God is one, who created and framed all things, and made them from non-existence into being:”1 as also Paul indicates when he says, “By faith we under­stand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which appear” (Heb 11:3).

John Behr 2011

Shep. 26:1 (Ἐντολὴ α’.1)

Πρῶτον πάντων πίστευσον ὅτι εἷς ἐστὶν ὁ θεός, ὁ τὰ πάντα κτίσας καὶ καταρτίσας, καὶ ποιήσας ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος εἰς τὸ εἶναι τὰ πάντα, καὶ πάντα χωρῶν, μόνος δὲ ἀχώρητος ὤν.

Shep. 26:1   {Mandate 1.1} “First of all, believe that God is one, who created all things and set them in order, and made out of what did not exist everything that is, and who contains all things but is himself alone uncontained.

Michael W. Holmes, Apostolic Fathers
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed May 30, 2018 12:16 am

$ 4.4 Οὕτως μὲν οὖν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον πεποίηκε, καὶ μένειν ἠθέλησεν ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ· ἄνθρωποι δὲ κατολιγωρήσαντες καὶ ἀποστραφέντες τὴν πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν κατανόησιν, λογισάμενοι δὲ καὶ ἐπινοήσαντες ἑαυτοῖς τὴν κακίαν, ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις ἐλέχθη, ἔσχον τὴν προαπειληθεῖσαν τοῦ θανάτου κατάκρισιν, καὶ λοιπὸν οὐκ ἔτι ὡς γεγόνασι διέμενον· ἀλλ' ὡς ἐλογίζοντο διεφθείροντο· καὶ ὁ θάνατος αὐτῶν ἐκράτει βασιλεύων. Ἡ γὰρ παράβασις τῆς ἐντολῆς εἰς τὸ κατὰ φύσιν αὐτοὺς ἐπέστρεφεν, ἵνα, ὥσπερ οὐκ ὄντες γεγόνασιν, οὕτως καὶ τὴν εἰς τὸ μὴ εἶναι φθορὰν ὑπομείνωσι τῷ χρόνῳ εἰκότως.
4. Thus, then, God has made man, and willed that he should abide in incorruption; but men, having despised and rejected the contemplation of God, and devised and contrived evil for themselves (as was said in the former treatise[1]), received the condemnation of death with which they had been threatened; and from thenceforth no longer remained as they were made, but were being corrupted according to their devices; and death had the mastery over them as king. For transgression of the commandment was turning them back to their natural state, so that just as they have had their being out of nothing, so also, as might be expected, they might look for corruption into nothing in the course of time.

Archibald Robertson 1891


Athanasius isn't perfectly lucid concerning the original state of the man and woman. The first line
4.4 Οὕτως μὲν οὖν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον πεποίηκε, καὶ μένειν ἠθέλησεν ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ "Thus, then, God has made man, and willed that he should abide in incorruption" raises a notoriously difficult theological problem. The author makes a backward reference, following Robertson's footnote I read Contra Gentes §§3-5[1]. It didn't resolve the problem, just raised new problems.

Toward the end of the paragraph, a new conundrum is added to what has already been mentioned. Ἡ γὰρ παράβασις τῆς ἐντολῆς εἰς τὸ κατὰ φύσιν αὐτοὺς ἐπέστρεφεν "... for transgression of the commandment was turning them back to their natural state." It sounds here like the "natural state" is mortality, but how do you reconcile that with "God has made man, and willed that he should abide in incorruption"? Created mortal with the opportunity to attain immortality (conditional immortality??), symbolized by eating from the tree of life. That really doesn't resolve all the issues raised by: ὁ Θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον πεποίηκε, καὶ μένειν ἠθέλησεν ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ·

[1] Contra Gentes §§3-5
http://catholiclibrary.org/library/view ... nd=default
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:36 pm

On the question raised in my last post I found someone else who noticed this issue and commented on it:

Athanasius: Mortality and the Problem of Unbecoming

http://existdissolve.com/2010/12/athana ... nbecoming/

and another one employing "Critical Theory" [1]

https://www.academia.edu/33197039/Athan ... eification

[1] See Jordan Peterson's evaluation of "Critical Theory.
jordaon peterson at oxford union
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1qVLB96nI0
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:12 pm

Just returned several monographs on Athanasius which were not really very helpful. I haven't found anything in English that could be called a commentary dealing with On the Incarnation. A Patristic Greek Reader, Rodney Whitacre 2007, includes a few segments from On the Incarnation. He provides brief lexical notes on important words. He also translates but puts all the translations at the end of the book. John Behr of Saint Vladimír's has a Greek-English diglot which I am not using because the format is too small. I built my own diglot using Archibald Robertson's 1891 translation using a table format to align each subsection side by side. I'm editing the diglot as I read.

Reading On the Incarnation is not easy. Rodney Whitacre rates it as an advanced text. Here is a sample:
On the Incarnation § 20.2

Ἐπειδὴ δὲ καὶ τὸ ὀφειλόμενον παρὰ πάντων ἔδει λοιπὸν ἀποδοθῆναι· ὠφείλετο γὰρ πάντως, ὡς προεῖπον, ἀποθανεῖν, δι' ὃ μάλιστα καὶ ἐπεδήμησε· τούτου ἕνεκεν μετὰ τὰς περὶ θεότητος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν ἔργων ἀποδείξεις, ἤδη λοιπὸν καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων τὴν θυσίαν ἀνέφερεν, ἀντὶ πάντων τὸν ἑαυτοῦ ναὸν εἰς θάνατον παραδιδούς, ἵνα τοὺς μὲν πάντας ἀνυπευθύνους καὶ ἐλευθέρους τῆς ἀρχαίας παραβάσεως ποιήσῃ· δείξῃ δὲ ἑαυτὸν καὶ θανάτου κρείτ τονα, ἀπαρχὴν τῆς τῶν ὅλων ἀναστάσεως τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα ἄφθαρτον ἐπιδεικνύμενος.
The first few lines are rugged terrain.
On the Incarnation § 20.2
Archibald Robertson's 1891 translation

But since it was necessary also that the debt owing from all should be paid again: for, as I have already said , it was owing that all should die, for which special cause, indeed, He came among us: to this intent, after the proofs of His Godhead from His works, He next offered up His sacrifice also on behalf of all, yielding His Temple to death in the stead of all, in order firstly to make men quit and free of their old trespass, and further to show Himself more powerful even than death, displaying His own body incorruptible, as first-fruits of the resurrection of all.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:48 pm

This is a question!

Is σώματος the antecedent of τούτου?
On the Incarnation St. Athanasius
§ 44.1 Ἀλλ' ἴσως συγκαταθήσονται μὲν τούτοις αἰσχυνόμενοι, θελήσουσι δὲ λέγειν, ὅτι ἔδει τὸν Θεόν, παιδεῦσαι καὶ σῶσαι θέλοντα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, νεύματι μόνον ποιῆσαι, καὶ μὴ σώματος ἅψασθαι τὸν τούτου Λόγον, ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ πάλαι πεποίηκεν, ὅτε ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος αὐτὰ συνίστη.

§ 44 But perhaps, shamed into agreeing with this, they will choose to say that God, if He wished to reform and to save mankind, ought to have done so by a mere fiat , without His word taking a body, in just the same way as He did formerly, when He produced them out of nothing.
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:55 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:This is a question!

Is σώματος the antecedent of τούτου?
On the Incarnation St. Athanasius
§ 44.1 Ἀλλ' ἴσως συγκαταθήσονται μὲν τούτοις αἰσχυνόμενοι, θελήσουσι δὲ λέγειν, ὅτι ἔδει τὸν Θεόν, παιδεῦσαι καὶ σῶσαι θέλοντα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, νεύματι μόνον ποιῆσαι, καὶ μὴ σώματος ἅψασθαι τὸν τούτου Λόγον, ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ πάλαι πεποίηκεν, ὅτε ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος αὐτὰ συνίστη.

§ 44 But perhaps, shamed into agreeing with this, they will choose to say that God, if He wished to reform and to save mankind, ought to have done so by a mere fiat , without His word taking a body, in just the same way as He did formerly, when He produced them out of nothing.
I don't see how it could be. What would it mean if it were? How would you read it?
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Re: Reading On the Incarnation St. Athanasius

Post by mwh » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:29 pm

This is a answer!

No.

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