Athanasius Contra Gentes

Stirling Bartholomew
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Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 27th, 2020, 3:12 pm

Here we see the main theme of the discourse reiterated once again. I hauled out Lampe while pondering the significance of τὰ ἐν τῇ πόλει δημιουργήματα. Athanasius employs members of the δημιουργ- word group frequently in a positive sense.
§ 47.2 ἐν αὐτῷ δὲ καὶ δι' αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἑαυτὸν ἐμφαίνει, καθὼς ὁ Σωτήρ φησιν· Ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί· ὥστε ἐξ ἀνάγκης εἶναι τὸν Λόγον ἐν τῷ γεννήσαντι, καὶ τὸν γεννηθέντα σὺν τῷ Πατρὶ διαιωνίζειν. Τούτων δὲ οὕτως ἐχόντων, καὶ οὐδενὸς ἔξωθεν αὐτοῦ τυγχάνοντος, ἀλλὰ καὶ οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, καὶ πάντων τῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς ἐξηρτημένων αὐτοῦ, ὅμως ἄνθρωποι παράφρονες, παραγκωνισάμενοι τὴν πρὸς τοῦτον γνῶσιν καὶ εὐσέβειαν, τὰ οὐκ ὄντα πρὸ τῶν ὄντων ἐτίμησαν· καὶ ἀντὶ τοῦ ὄντως ὄντος Θεοῦ τὰ μὴ ὄντα ἐθεοποίησαν, τῇ κτίσει παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα λατρεύοντες, πρᾶγμα πάσχοντες ἀνόητον καὶ δυσσεβές.

§ 47.2 But in and through Him He reveals Himself also, as the Saviour says: “I in the Father and the Father in Me:” so that it follows that the Word is in Him that begat Him, and that He that is begotten lives eternally with the Father. But this being so, and nothing being outside Him, but both heaven and earth and all that in them is being dependent on Him, yet men in their folly have set aside the knowledge and service of Him, and honoured things that are not instead of things that are: and instead of the real and true God deified things that were not, “serving the creature rather than the Creator,” thus involving themselves in foolishness and impiety.
— John Henry Newman

§ 47.3 ὅμοιον γὰρ ὡς εἴ τις τὰ ἔργα πρὸ τοῦ τεχνίτου θαυμάσειε, καὶ τὰ ἐν τῇ πόλει δημιουργήματα καταπλαγείς, τὸν τούτων δημιουργὸν καταπατοίη· ἢ ὡς εἴ τις τὸ μὲν μουσικὸν ὄργανον ἐπαινοίη, τὸν δὲ συνθέντα καὶ ἁρμοσάμενον ἐκβάλλοι. ἄφρονες καὶ πολὺ τὸν ὀφθαλμὸν πεπηρωμένοι. πῶς γὰρ ἂν ἔγνωσαν ὅλως οἰκοδομὴν ἢ ναῦν
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 1078
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 27th, 2020, 6:15 pm

RE: using a translation

The translation is like hiking/climbing off trail with a topographical map. The map gets you generally headed toward the location. It doesn't actually get you there (no GPS). Here is an example, I found this somewhat difficult to unpack.

Oratio II Contra Arianos

§ 36.3 ὁ δὲ διὰ τὸ ἀπορεῖν ἐπινοῶν ἑαυτῷ τὰ μὴ δέοντα, καὶ τὰ μὴ ἄξια περὶ Θεοῦ φθεγγόμενος, ἀσύγγνωστον ἔχει τῆς τόλμης τὴν δίκην.

§ 36.3 but when a man is led by his perplexity into forming for himself doctrines which beseem not, and utters what is unworthy of God, such daring recurs a sentence without mercy.

Translation either A. Robertson or J. H. Newman.
Context helps:
§ 36.1 Οὐ δεῖ δὲ ζητεῖν, ‘διὰ τί μὴ τοιοῦτος ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγος οἷος καὶ ὁ ἡμέτερος·ʼ ἐπεὶ μὴ τοιοῦτος ὁ Θεὸς οἷοι καὶ ἡμεῖς,’ ὡς προείρηται· ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ πρέπει ζητεῖν ‘πῶς ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐστιν ὁ Λόγος, ἢ πῶς ἀπαύγασμά ἐστι τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἢ πῶς γεννᾷ ὁ Θεὸς, καὶ τίς ὁ τρόπος τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ γεννήσεως· μαίνοιτο γὰρ ἄν τις τοιαῦτα τολμῶν, ὅτι πρᾶγμα ἄῥῥητον καὶ φύσεως ἴδιον Θεοῦ, μόνῳ τε αὐτῷ καὶ τῷ Υἱῷ γινωσκόμενον, ἀξιοῖ λόγοις αὐτὸ ἑρμηνευθῆναι· ἴσον γάρ ἐστι τοὺς τοιούτους ζητεῖν, ‘ποῦ ὁ Θεὸς, καὶ πῶς ἐστιν ὁ Θεὸς, καὶ ποταπός ἐστιν ὁ Πατήρ.’

§ 36.1 Nor must we ask why the Word of God is not such as our word, considering God is not such as we, as has been before said; nor again is it right to seek how the word is from God, or how He is God's radiance, or how God begets, and what is the manner of His begetting. For a man must be beside himself to venture on such points; since a thing ineffable and proper to God's nature, and known to Him alone and to the Son, this he demands to be explained in words. It is all one as if they sought where God is, and how God is, and of what nature the Father is.

§ 36.2 Ἀλλʼ ὤσπερ τὸ τοιοῦτο ἐρωτᾷν ἀσεβές ἐστι, καὶ ἀγνοούντων τὸν Θεὸν, οὕτω καὶ οὐ θέμις οὐδὲ περὶ τῆς τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ γεννήσεως τοιαῦτα τολμᾷν, οὐδὲ τῇ ἑαυτῶν φύσει καὶ ἀσθενείᾳ συμμετρεῖν τὸν Θεὸν καὶ τὴν τούτου Σοφίαν· ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ διὰ τοῦτο καὶ παρὰ τὴν ἀλήθειαν νοεῖν προσήκει· οὐδὲ εἰ ἀπορεῖ τις ζητῶν περὶ τούτων, ὀφείλει καὶ ἀπιστεῖν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις. Βέλτιον γὰρ ἀποροῦντας σιωπᾷν καὶ πιστεύειν, ἢ ἀπιστεῖν διὰ τὸ ἀπορεῖν· διότι ὁ μὲν ἀπορῶν δύναταί πως καὶ συγγνώμην ἔχειν, ὅτι ὅλως κἂν ζητήσας ἠρέμησεν·

§ 36.2 But as to ask such questions is irreligious, and argues an ignorance of God, so it is not holy to venture such questions concerning the generation of the Son of God, nor to measure God and His Wisdom by our own nature and infirmity. Nor is a person at liberty on that account to swerve in his thoughts from the truth, nor, if any one is perplexed in such inquiries, ought he to disbelieve what is written. For it is better in perplexity to be silent and believe, than to disbelieve on account of the perplexity: for he who is perplexed may in some way obtain mercy , because, though he has questioned, he has yet kept quiet;

§ 36.3 ὁ δὲ διὰ τὸ ἀπορεῖν ἐπινοῶν ἑαυτῷ τὰ μὴ δέοντα, καὶ τὰ μὴ ἄξια περὶ Θεοῦ φθεγγόμενος, ἀσύγγνωστον ἔχει τῆς τόλμης τὴν δίκην. Δύναται γὰρ καὶ τῶν τοιούτων ἀποριῶν ἔχειν τινὰ παραμυθίαν ἐκ τῶν θείων γραφῶν, ὥστε λαμβάνειν μὲν καλῶς τὰ γεγραμμένα, νοεῖν δὲ ὡς ἐν παραδείγματι τὸν ἡμέτερον λόγον· ὅτι ὥσπερ οὗτος ἴδιος ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐστι, καὶ οὐκ ἔξωθεν ἡμῶν ἔργον, οὕτω καὶ ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγος ἴδιός ἐστιν ἐξ αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἔστι ποίημα, οὐδὲ ὡς ὁ τῶν ἀνθρώπων λόγος· ἐπεὶ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν ἀνάγκη νοεῖν ἄνθρωπον. Ἰδοὺ γὰρ πάλιν τῶν μὲν ἀνθρώπων πολλοὶ καὶ διάφοροι λόγοι καθʼ ἡμέραν παρέρχονται, διὰ τὸ τοὺς πρώτους μὴ μένειν, ἀλλʼ ἀφανίζεσθαι.

§ 36.3 but when a man is led by his perplexity into forming for himself doctrines which beseem not, and utters what is unworthy of God, such daring recurs a sentence without mercy. For in such perplexities divine Scripture is able to afford him some relief, so as to take rightly what is written, and to dwell upon our word as an illustration; that as it is proper to us and is from us, and not a work external to us, so also God's Word is proper to Him and from Him, and is not a work; and yet is not like the word of man, or else we must suppose God to be man. For observe, many and various are men's words which pass away day by day; because those that come before others continue not, but vanish.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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