ὃν ... θάνατον in Athanasius On the Incarnation

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Stirling Bartholomew
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ὃν ... θάνατον in Athanasius On the Incarnation

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » March 17th, 2019, 4:24 pm

Athanasius On the Incarnation

§ 24.2 ... ἵνα ὃν αὐτοὶ προσαγάγωσι τῷ Σωτῆρι θάνατον τοῦτον αὐτὸς ἐξαφανίσῃ.

... in order that whatever death they offered to the Saviour, this He might utterly do away.

A. Robertson 1891


§ 24.4 Γέγονε γοῦν τι θαυμαστὸν καὶ παράδοξον· ὃν γὰρ ἐνόμιζον ἄτιμον ἐπιφέρειν θάνατον, οὗτος ἦν τρόπαιον κατ' αὐτοῦ τοῦ θανάτου·

So something surprising and startling has happened; for the death, which they thought to inflict as a disgrace, was actually a monument of victory against death itself.

A. Robertson 1891
There's a pattern here, twice ὃν is cataphoric and forms a “package” with θάνατον. Someone might be tempted to find some way to understand ὁ θάνατος as the antecedent in § 24.2. A. Robertson doesn’t see it that way and the proximity of the second example lends support.


CONTEXT
§ 24.2 Ἀλλ' εἰ καὶ τοῦτο ποιήσας ἦν, ὑπόνοιαν καθ' ἑαυτοῦ παρεῖχεν, ὡς οὐ κατὰ παντὸς θανάτου δυνάμενος, ἀλλὰ μόνου τοῦ περὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπινοηθέντος· καὶ οὐδὲν ἧττον πάλιν ἦν ἡ πρόφασις τῆς περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἀπιστίας. Ὅθεν οὐ παρ' αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ' ἐξ ἐπιβουλῆς, ἐγίνετο τῷ σώματι ὁ θάνατος, ἵνα ὃν αὐτοὶ προσαγάγωσι τῷ Σωτῆρι θάνατον τοῦτον αὐτὸς ἐξαφανίσῃ.

But had He done even this, He would give ground for suspicion against Himself, that He was not powerful against every death, but only against the death devised for Him; and so again there would have been a pretext for disbelief about the Resurrection all the same. So death came to His body, not from Himself, but from hostile counsels, in order that whatever death they offered to the Saviour, this He might utterly do away.
A. Robertson 1891

§ 24.4 Γέγονε γοῦν τι θαυμαστὸν καὶ παράδοξον· ὃν γὰρ ἐνόμιζον ἄτιμον ἐπιφέρειν θάνατον, οὗτος ἦν τρόπαιον κατ' αὐτοῦ τοῦ θανάτου· διὸ οὐδὲ τὸν Ἰωάννου θάνατον ὑπέμεινε, διαιρουμένης τῆς κεφαλῆς, οὐδὲ ὡς Ἠσαΐας ἐπρίσθη, ἵνα καὶ τῷ θανάτῳ ἀδιαίρετον καὶ ὁλόκληρον τὸ σῶμα φυλάξῃ, καὶ μὴ πρόφασις τοῖς βουλομένοις διαιρεῖν τὴν Ἐκκλησίαν γένηται.

So something surprising and startling has happened; for the death, which they thought to inflict as a disgrace, was actually a monument of victory against death itself. Whence neither did He suffer the death of John, his head being severed, nor, as Esaias, was He sawn in sunder; in order that even in death He might still keep His body undivided and in perfect soundness, and no pretext be afforded to those that would divide the Church.
A. Robertson 1891
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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