Help on a text from St John Damascene

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NicolasImbt
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Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by NicolasImbt » May 23rd, 2018, 12:44 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm new on this forum and I would like to know what does it really mean this term which is used by St. John Damascene : "προβολεύς " in his book on the Orthodox Faith.

Here is the paragraph in order to understand the context : "Αφού ο Δαμασκηνός εκθέτει πρώτον τα περί κοινών εν τη Αγία Τριάδι γράφει, "καί ταύτα κοινώς επί πάσης λέγεται της θεότητος, τα τε αποφατικώς, και τα καταφατικώς λεγόμενα. Και εφ' εκάστης των της αγίας Τριάδος υποστάσεων, ομοίως, και ωσαύτως, και απαραλείπτως (ή απαραλλάκτως). Όταν γαρ εννοήσω μίαν των υποστάσεων, τέλειον αυτήν Θεόν οίδα, τελείαν ουσίαν, όταν δε συνάψω και συναριθμήσω τα τρία, ένα Θεόν οίδα τέλειον. Ου γαρ σύνθετόν εστιν η θεότης, αλλ' εν τρισί τελείοις, έν τέλειον αμερές και ασύνθετον. Όταν δε την προς άλληλα σχέσιν των υποστάσεων εννοήσω, οίδα ότι εστίν ο Πατήρ υπερούσιος ήλιος, πηγή αγαθότητος, άβυσσος ουσίας, λόγου, σοφίας, δυνάμεως φωτός, θεότητος, πηγή γεννητική και προβλητική του εν αυτή κρυφίου αγαθού. Αυτός μεν ουν εστι νούς, λόγου άβυσσος, λόγου γεννήτωρ, και δια λόγου προβολεύς εκφαντορικού Πνεύματος, και ίνα μη πολλά λέγω, ουκ έστι τω Πατρί λόγος, σοφία, δύναμις, θέλησις, ει μη ο Υιός, ός εστιν η μόνη δύναμις του Πατρός, η προκαταρκτική της των πάντων ποιήσεως. Ούτως ως τελεία υπόστασις εκ τελείας υποστάσεως γεννωμένη, ως οίδεν αυτός, ός Υιός έστι τε και λέγεται. Το δε Πνεύμα το Άγιον, εκφαντορική του κρυφίου της θεότητος δύναμις του Πατρός, εκ Πατρός μεν δι' Υιού εκπορευομένη, ως οίδεν αυτός, ου γεννητώς. Διό και το Πνεύμα το Άγιον, τελεσιουργόν της των απάντων ποιήσεως. Όσα ουν αρμόζει αιτίω Πατρί, πηγή γεννήτορι, τω Πατρί μόνω προσαρμοστέον. Όσα δε αιτιατώ γεννητώ Υιώ Λόγω δυνάμει προκαταρκτική, θελήσει, σοφία, τω Υιώ. Όσα δε αιτιατώ, εκπορευτώ, εκφαντορικώ, τελεσιουργικώ δυνάμει, τω Αγίω Πνεύματι. Ο Πατήρ, πηγή και αιτία Υιού και Αγίου Πνεύματος, Πατήρ δε Υιού μόνου, και προβολεύς του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Ο Υιός, Υιός, Λόγος, σοφία, δύναμις, εικών, απαύγασμα, χαρακτήρ του Πατρός, και εκ του Πατρός. Ουχ Υιός του Πατρός, το Πνεύμα το Άγιον, Πνεύμα του Πατρός, ως εκ Πατρός εκπορευόμενον. Ουδεμία γαρ ορμή άνευ Πνεύματος, και Υιού δε Πνεύμα, ουχ ως εξ αυτού, αλλ' ως δι' αυτού εκ του Πατρός εκπορευόμενον. Μόνος γαρ αίτιος ο Πατήρ".

What does it mean "και δια λόγου" in this context ? Does it refer to the manifestation of the Spirit or its causation through the Spirit ? Which role for the Son ?

Thank you for your help.

Nicolas
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by Ken M. Penner » May 23rd, 2018, 8:25 pm

NicolasImbt wrote:
May 23rd, 2018, 12:44 pm
what does it really mean this term which is used by St. John Damascene : "προβολεύς " in his book on the Orthodox Faith.
Αυτός μεν ουν εστι νούς, λόγου άβυσσος, λόγου γεννήτωρ, και δια λόγου προβολεύς εκφαντορικού Πνεύματος, και ίνα μη πολλά λέγω, ουκ έστι τω Πατρί λόγος, σοφία, δύναμις, θέλησις, ει μη ο Υιός, ός εστιν η μόνη δύναμις του Πατρός, η προκαταρκτική της των πάντων ποιήσεως. ... Ο Πατήρ, πηγή και αιτία Υιού και Αγίου Πνεύματος, Πατήρ δε Υιού μόνου, και προβολεύς του Αγίου Πνεύματος.

What does it mean "και δια λόγου" in this context ? Does it refer to the manifestation of the Spirit or its causation through the Spirit ? Which role for the Son ?
I'd translate, "And producer, through the logos, of the revealing spirit."
So he produces the spirit. The spirit reveals. The means of production is the logos.
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NicolasImbt
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by NicolasImbt » May 24th, 2018, 11:09 am

Hello,

Thank you very much for your reply. This is what I have found in some translations, especially ones from the Jesuits. But i'm not sure about the translation of it. It appears to me that Saint John of Damascus is using this term not in a way of causation of the Spirit but more about its revelation. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I read the term of "production" in the way of causation.
The root βολή is that of the flight, the sending, the prefix προ designating the source of the sending, that is to say the issuer.

In this context, also, St John Damascene uses the term ekporesis, in my point of view being used most often to designate the origin of the Holy Spirit, the term proenai to designate the economic sending of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, yet sometimes the meaning of these two terms can be interchangeable. This is particularly the case with the προϊέναι which is used as such as an economic sending of the Holy Spirit (and not origin of the Spirit) in some Fathers like St. Cyril of Alexandria or St. Gregory of Nazianzus.

Do you think it would be possible that St John of Damascus suggest the sending of the Holy Spirit (and not its causation) through such terms?

Thank you for your replies.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 25th, 2018, 6:55 pm

I also have reservations about the received English translation. Similar language is used by Athanasius cited below. I'll have to do some more work on it. It would be easy to get sidetracked in Filioque but if we resist that temptation we can discuss the lexical semantic issues here without being censored.
ATHANASIUS, De trinitate [Sp.]. {2035.107}
Current Text
(1605) τὸ ἀρχὴν εἶναι ὑπεράρχιον, τὸ οὐσίαν εἶναι ὑπερ-
ούσιον, τὸ φῶς λέγεσθαι. Τὸ δὲ σκότος τὰ συμβολικῶς
λεγόμενα, οἷον θυμοῦσθαι καὶ ὀργίζεσθαι, ὑπνοῦν
καὶ ἐγρηγορέναι. Ταῦτα πάντα τῇ μιᾷ φύσει προσ-
αρμόζοντες, οὐκ ἐκ τῶν κατ’ αὐτὴν δηλοῦμεν, ἢ (5)
νοοῦμεν αὐτὴν, ἀλλ’ ἐκ τῶν περὶ αὐτήν. Μίαν δ’ οὖν
τὴν φύσιν εἰδότες τῶν τριῶν ὑποστάσεων, οὐδενὶ τῶν
ἄλλων διαφερουσῶν ἢ ταῖς ἰδιότησι ταύταις, τὸ γεννᾷν
λέγω καὶ τὸ γεννᾶσθαι, καὶ τὸ ἐκπορεύεσθαι, καὶ
ὅτι τὸ μὲν Πατὴρ, τὸ δὲ Υἱὸς, τὸ δὲ Πνεῦμα· καὶ ὅτι (10)
ὁ μὲν Πατὴρ γεννήτωρ καὶ προβολεὺς, γεννήτωρ μὲν
τοῦ Υἱοῦ, προβολεὺς δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος· ὁ δὲ Υἱὸς
γέννημα, τὸ δὲ Πνεῦμα πρόβλημα. Καὶ ὁ μὲν Πατὴρ
ἀγέννητος, ὁ δὲ Υἱὸς γεννητὸς διὰ δύο νν, τὸ δὲ
Πνεῦμα ἐκπορευτόν. Καὶ ὁ μὲν Πατὴρ αἴτιος, ὁ δὲ (15)
Υἱὸς καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα αἰτιατά. Καὶ ὁ μὲν Πατὴρ προ-
βολεὺς, ὁ δὲ Υἱὸς Υἱὸς μόνον, καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐκπο-
ρευόμενον· οὐ γὰρ ἐξίστανται τῶν ἰδιοτήτων, οὔτε
ὁ Πατὴρ τοῦ εἶναι Πατὴρ, οὔτε ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ εἶναι
Υἱὸς, οὔτε τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ εἶναι Πνεῦμα, ἀλλ’ ἡ μὲν (20)
οὐσία κοινὴ, μία τῶν τριῶν ἡ θεότης, ὡσπεροῦν
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 25th, 2018, 11:40 pm

RE: ATHANASIUS, De trinitate [Sp.].

After looking all over for a discussion of this text and not finding any it occurred to me that [Sp.] might be a code for spurious, not authentic. Turns out that this text is rejected as not being authentic. Why TLG has it listed as a work by ATHANASIUS is an open question. Why not Pseudo-ATHANASIUS.

Anyway, it is still a sample of wording under discussion. What date? Who knows? You need a road map to study patristic texts.
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NicolasImbt
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by NicolasImbt » May 26th, 2018, 5:51 am

Ok, but I'm not sure that this text is considered as being false about St John Damascus.

But I know that some Fathers are using these terms either in energetic way (about the gifts of the Holy Spirit), either about the causation.

It appears to me that this text is about the procession of the Holy Gifts, and not the causation, as regards the context and what he says further.

But I would like to know if it had been used in an energetic way in some others Fathers, and if it is often used like.

Thanks
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 26th, 2018, 10:10 am

NicolasImbt wrote:
May 24th, 2018, 11:09 am
Hello,

Thank you very much for your reply. This is what I have found in some translations, especially ones from the Jesuits. But i'm not sure about the translation of it. It appears to me that Saint John of Damascus is using this term not in a way of causation of the Spirit but more about its revelation. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I read the term of "production" in the way of causation.
The root βολή is that of the flight, the sending, the prefix προ designating the source of the sending, that is to say the issuer.

In this context...
Be careful of looking at the "root" to determine the meaning of a derivative or cognate form. It often doesn't work that way. But while we are at it, προβάλλω, the verb, is used in a variety of senses, including "bring" or "put forth." That, by the way, is how I originally read it without looking it up, "the bringer forth..." But your key words above are the last three that you wrote. What does the context indicate is the best sense of the word?
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Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 26th, 2018, 1:01 pm

NicolasImbt wrote:
May 26th, 2018, 5:51 am
... I know that some Fathers are using these terms either in energetic way (about the gifts of the Holy Spirit), either about the causation.

It appears to me that this text is about the procession of the Holy Gifts, and not the causation, as regards the context and what he says further.

But I would like to know if it had been used in an energetic way in some others Fathers, and if it is often used like.
The only explicit discussion I found is more than 100 years old, a footnote from Philip Schaff's tome on the creeds. There were some errors in digitizing the text, I cleaned up what was obvious but may have overlooked something. The discussion involves a different word:
προβολέα. The term προβολή, rendered prolatio by Tertullian and Hilary, was rejected as unsuitable to the idea of the Divine procession, e.g. by Athanasius, who in his Expos. Fidei denies that the Word is ἀπόρροια, efflux, or τμῆσις, segmen, or προβολή, emissio or prolatio; and by Jerome, Adv. Ruf., Apol. 2, his reason being that the word had been used by Gnostics in speaking of the emanations of Æons, Greg. Naz., however, Orat. 13, 35, speaks of the Father as γεννήτωρ and προβολεύς, and of the Spirit as πρόβλημα.
footnote: the hard copy of Lampe is indispensable,
https://archive.org/stream/LampePatrist ... 9/mode/2up

BDAG s.v. ἀπόρροια
lit. ‘a flowing off, a stream’; esp. emanation
Lampe (Also see: ἀπόρροια)
1. emanation, 2. influence of stars

Lampe τμῆσις
1. section, 2. beheading of SS. Peter and Paul, 3. separation of the parts of a word by intervening words

Lampe Προβολή
1. putting forward of a weapon, hence met. π. ἔχειν hold in readiness (like a lance in rest), 2. protection, met., screen, excuse, 3. projection, jutting forward, 4. onrush of wind, 5. exercise, putting forth of power of sight, 6. advancement or appointment to office, 7. presentation of case in court, 8. discharge, shedding, 9. issue, product, 10. emanation
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Re: Help on a text from St John Damascene

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » May 26th, 2018, 7:57 pm

Gregorius Nazianzenus, De filio (orat. 29)
§2 L15

καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν
ἡμῖν ὁ πατήρ, καὶ ὁ υἱός, καὶ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα· ὁ μὲν γεννήτωρ καὶ
προβολεύς, λέγω δὲ ἀπαθῶς, καὶ ἀχρόνως, καὶ ἀσωμάτως· τῶν δέ,
τὸ μὲν γέννημα, τὸ δὲ πρόβλημα, ἢ οὐκ οἶδ' ὅπως ἄν τις ταῦτα
καλέσειεν, ἀφελὼν πάντῃ τῶν ὁρωμένων.
See the discussion of this in the archives:
https://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vi ... =41&t=1253

I think words like "produce" have unsuitable semantic features in contemporary English.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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