Athanasius: repetiton of ἰδὼν ... ὁρῶν

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Stirling Bartholomew
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Athanasius: repetiton of ἰδὼν ... ὁρῶν

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 7th, 2018, 2:41 pm

Athanasius On the incarnation:


§ 8.1 Τούτου δὴ ἕνεκεν ὁ ἀσώματος καὶ ἄφθαρτος καὶ ἄϋλος τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγος παραγίνεται εἰς τὴν ἡμετέραν χώραν, οὔτι γε μακρὰν ὢν πρότερον. Οὐδὲν γὰρ αὐτοῦ κενὸν ὑπολέλειπται τῆς κτίσεως μέρος· πάντα δὲ διὰ πάντων πεπλήρωκεν αὐτὸς συνὼν τῷ ἑαυτοῦ Πατρί. Ἀλλὰ παραγί νεται συγκαταβαίνων τῇ εἰς ἡμᾶς αὐτοῦ φιλανθρωπίᾳ καὶ ἐπιφανείᾳ.

For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God comes to our realm, howbeit he was not far from us before. For no part of Creation is left void of Him: He has filled all things everywhere, remaining present with His own Father. But He comes in condescension to shew loving-kindness upon us, and to visit us.

§ 8.2 Καὶ ἰδὼν τὸ λογικὸν ἀπολλύμενον γένος, καὶ τὸν θάνατον κατ' αὐτῶν βασιλεύοντα τῇ φθορᾷ· ὁρῶν δὲ καὶ τὴν ἀπειλὴν τῆς παραβάσεως διακρατοῦσαν τὴν καθ' ἡμῶν φθοράν· καὶ ὅτι ἄτοπον ἦν πρὸ τοῦ πληρωθῆναι τὸν νόμον λυθῆναι· ὁρῶν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἀπρεπὲς ἐν τῷ συμβεβηκότι, ὅτι ὧν αὐτὸς ἦν δημιουργός, ταῦτα παρηφανίζετο· ὁρῶν δὲ καὶ τὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων ὑπερβάλλουσαν κακίαν, ὅτι κατ' ὀλίγον καὶ ἀφόρητον αὐτὴν ηὔξησαν καθ' ἑαυτῶν· ὁρῶν δὲ καὶ τὸ ὑπεύθυνον πάντων ἀνθρώπων πρὸς τὸν θάνατον, ἐλεήσας τὸ γένος ἡμῶν, καὶ τὴν ἀσθένειαν ἡμῶν οἰκτειρήσας, καὶ τῇ φθορᾷ ἡμῶν συγκαταβάς, καὶ τὴν τοῦ θανάτου κράτησιν οὐκ ἐνέγκας, ἵνα μὴ τὸ γενόμενον ἀπόληται καὶ εἰς ἀργὸν τοῦ Πατρὸς τὸ εἰς ἀνθρώπους ἔργον αὐτοῦ γένηται, λαμβάνει ἑαυτῷ σῶμα, καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἀλλότριον τοῦ ἡμετέρου.

And seeing the race of rational creatures in the way to perish, and death reigning over them by corruption; seeing, too, that the threat against transgression gave a firm hold to the corruption which was upon us, and that it was monstrous that before the law was fulfilled it should fall through: seeing, once more, the unseemliness of what was come to pass: that the things whereof He Himself was Artificer were passing away: seeing, further, the exceeding wickedness of men, and how by little and little they had increased it to an intolerable pitch against themselves: and seeing, lastly, how all men were under penalty of death: He took pity on our race, and had mercy on our infirmity, and condescended to our corruption, and, unable to bear that death should have the mastery—lest the creature should perish, and His Father’s handiwork in men be spent for nought—He takes unto Himself a body, and that of no different sort from ours.

Is this some sort of figurative language? I am wondering why Athanasius has adopted language suitable for narrative describing human visual perception in a linear space time framework and applied it to the pre-incarnate Logos? It sounds as if the pre-incarnate Logos was learning by observation about the unfolding situation in regard to humanity.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Athanasius: repititon of ἰδὼν ... ὁρῶν

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 8th, 2018, 6:40 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
July 7th, 2018, 2:41 pm
Athanasius On the incarnation:

Is this some sort of figurative language? I am wondering why Athanasius has adopted language suitable for narrative describing human visual perception in a linear space time framework and applied it to the pre-incarnate Logos? It sounds as if the pre-incarnate Logos was learning by observation about the unfolding situation in regard to humanity.
Anthropomorphic language is common in the Scriptures. Why shouldn't Athanasius follow suit?
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Athanasius: repititon of ἰδὼν ... ὁρῶν

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 8th, 2018, 11:03 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
July 8th, 2018, 6:40 am

Anthropomorphic language is common in the Scriptures. Why shouldn't Athanasius follow suit?
No reason why he shouldn't. I haven't previously studied Athanasius, read On the Incarnation in English eons ago on recommendation from Peter Toon when I met him in the mid '70s. I get the impression that Athanasius is writing in a different register than the authors of the New Testament. The intellectual climate in Alexandria being rather different than Jerusalem.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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