Athanasius Contra Gentes

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 10th, 2020, 4:49 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
January 10th, 2020, 3:52 pm
Peng Huiguo wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 6:50 pm
... because a teaching cannot be the one to "abolish the godlessness etc" ...
Peng,

I understand an share your reservations. Here is a third example from the same context where Athanasius appears to make θεοπνεύστου γραφῆς, which is coreferential with ἡ ἔνθεος διδασκαλία, function as an agent or subject of a verb.
Stirling, I'm lost. Both the examples you cite are perfectly explainable and normal Greek, Athanasius' somewhat florid style notwithstanding. The citation with the agreement anomaly is quite interesting, and I hope to address it when I have a little more time (and I'd really like to see a critical edition of Athanasius but alas! such is not online), but your examples don't support what you are saying, or what you seem to be saying. Perhaps you could clarify?
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Peng Huiguo
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 10th, 2020, 10:36 pm

Stirling, I initially meant ἀναιρέω didn't seem like the sort of action a teaching does. A γραφή can proclaim, testify, etc though, as your citations as well as many biblical verses show. That said, I agree I postulated a weak reason; a teaching can conceivably lead to many things. Interestingly Aristotle's On Sophistical Refutations (pg 100) has this to say:

ὥστε συμβαίνει τῶν λόγων τοὺς μὲν συλλελογισμένους ἀνελόντα τοὺς δὲ φαινομένους διελόντα λύειν.
(divide and conquer, really)

Perhaps Aristotle (or Sun Tzu) was at the back of Athanasius' mind, or perhaps that ἀνελών was referring to himself. Who knows. In any case the meaning of the sentence is clear enough without resolving the grammar.

Ps. Stumbled upon this just now, and
As for the “head of that country [who] is now getting the Nobel Peace prize,” in the last three years, there have been no winners from the countries Trump is presumably referring to; perhaps he has an inside line on the 2020 winner, although the nominations are still open.
amused me in connection with what we're discussing here.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 12th, 2020, 12:32 pm

Peng Huiguo wrote:
January 8th, 2020, 6:50 pm

The attributive position can be filled with arbitrarily long and complex phrases.
:D :lol:
God/Word (focus of entire §45) is the subject of ἀνελών, because a teaching cannot be the one to "abolish the godlessness etc", and as you've noted, the case mismatch is a strong clue as well. Thus imho Newman translated this wrongly. Also, that Ἆρα could be Ἄρα, and Ἄρα οὖν would strongly connect ἀνελὼν τὴν τῶν ἐθνῶν ἢ εἰδώλων ἀθεότητα to the preceding instead of succeeding discussion.
Interesting argument. I think ἆρα works better here in the overall flow of the discourse, but your reading is tempting due to the standard collocation ἄρα οὖν. I would explain it with a constructio ad sensum because I think he's treating ἔνθεος διδασκαλία as a synonym for λόγος.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 13th, 2020, 3:12 pm

πάντα μέγας in reference to Moses appears in Philo, Didymus the Blind and Athanasius. All three from Alexandria.

Contra Gentes:

§ 46.4 ἀφ' ὧν καὶ ἡμᾶς πείθει λέγουσα· Αὐτὸς εἶπε, καὶ ἐγενήθησαν· αὐτὸς ἐνετείλατο, καὶ ἐκτίσθησαν· καθὼς καὶ ὁ πάντα μέγας Μωϋσῆς ἐν ἀρχῇ τῆς κοσμοποιίας βεβαιοῖ τὸ λεγόμενον ἐξηγούμενος καὶ λέγων· Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός· ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ' εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ' ὁμοίωσιν. ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς καὶ πάντων ὑφιστὰς γένεσιν, αὐτῷ εἶπεν ὁ Πατήρ· Γενηθήτω οὐρανός, καὶ συναχθήτω τὰ ὕδατα, καὶ ὀφθήτω ἡ ξηρά· καὶ ἐξαγαγέτω ἡ γῆ βοτάνην καὶ πᾶν ζῶον. Ἀφ' ὧν καὶ Ἰουδαίους ἄν τις ἐλέγξειεν οὐ γνησίως ἐφιστάνοντας ταῖς γραφαῖς.
§ 46.4 Wherefore He also persuades us and says,
“He spake and they were made, He commanded and they were created;” as the illustrious Moses also at the beginning of his account of Creation confirms what we say by his narrative, saying: and God said, “let us make man in our image and after our likeness:” for also when He was carrying out the creation of the heaven and earth and all things, the Father said to Him, “Let the heaven be made,” and “let the waters be gathered together and let the dry land appear,” and “let the earth bring forth herb” and “every green thing:” so that one must convict Jews also of not genuinely attending to the Scriptures.
Philo Life of Moses 2, 211, l 2
ταύτης ἕνεκα τῆς αἰτίας ὁ πάντα μέγας Μωυσῆς ἐδικαίωσε τοὺς ἐγγραφέντας αὐτοῦ τῇ ἱερᾷ πολιτείᾳ θεσμοῖς φύσεως ἑπομένους πανηγυρίζειν

Philo The Special Laws, 2, 51, l1
ὁ πάντα μέγας Μωυσῆς τὰς ὑπερβολὰς τοῦ περὶ
τὴν ὄντως ἑορτὴν κάλλους ἰδὼν τελειοτέραν ἢ κατ' ἀνθρωπίνην φύσιν
ὑπέλαβεν εἶναι καὶ ἀνέθηκεν αὐτὴν θεῷ φήσας κατὰ λέξιν οὕτως·
Didymus The Blind , Frags. Psalms fg 1156, l 6.
ὅθεν καὶ ὁ πάντα μέγας ἱεροφάντης Μωυσῆς θεοῦ διάκονος γεγονὼς τῶν τελειούντων τὴν ἀνθρωπίνην
ζωὴν εἰς ἑκατοστὸν εἰκοστὸν ἐνιαυτὸν περιγράφει τὴν ἰδίαν ζωήν, μίμημα
τὸν ἑαυτοῦ βίον προβαλλόμενος τοῖς ὑπ' αὐτοῦ τοῦς νόμους παραλαβοῦσιν.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 15th, 2020, 3:26 pm

Yes, Moses receives high accolades in early Rabbinic Judaism, and that tradition seems to be reflected here. I think he deserves the title more so than Alexander or Pompey... :)
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 18th, 2020, 3:38 pm

The form of ποιήσωμεν Gen 1:26 is employed by Athanasius in this sample of grammatical exegesis.
§ 46.4 ἀφ' ὧν καὶ ἡμᾶς πείθει λέγουσα· Αὐτὸς εἶπε, καὶ ἐγενήθησαν· αὐτὸς ἐνετείλατο, καὶ ἐκτίσθησαν· καθὼς καὶ ὁ πάντα μέγας Μωϋσῆς ἐν ἀρχῇ τῆς κοσμοποιίας βεβαιοῖ τὸ λεγόμενον ἐξηγούμενος καὶ λέγων· Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός· ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ' εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ' ὁμοίωσιν. ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς καὶ πάντων ὑφιστὰς γένεσιν, αὐτῷ εἶπεν ὁ Πατήρ· Γενηθήτω οὐρανός, καὶ συναχθήτω τὰ ὕδατα, καὶ ὀφθήτω ἡ ξηρά· καὶ ἐξαγαγέτω ἡ γῆ βοτάνην καὶ πᾶν ζῶον. Ἀφ' ὧν καὶ Ἰουδαίους ἄν τις ἐλέγξειεν οὐ γνησίως ἐφιστάνοντας ταῖς γραφαῖς.

§ 46.4 Wherefore He also persuades us and says, “He spake and they were made, He commanded and they were created;” as the illustrious Moses also at the beginning of his account of Creation confirms what we say by his narrative, saying: and God said, “let us make man in our image and after our likeness:” for also when He was carrying out the creation of the heaven and earth and all things, the Father said to Him, “Let the heaven be made,” and “let the waters be gathered together and let the dry land appear,” and “let the earth bring forth herb” and “every green thing:” so that one must convict Jews also of not genuinely attending to the Scriptures.
— John Henry Newman

§ 46.5 τίνι γάρ, ἄν τις εἴποι πρὸς αὐτούς, ὡμίλει ὁ Θεός, ἵνα καὶ προστάττων λαλῇ; εἰ μὲν οὖν τοῖς γιγνομένοις προσέταττε καὶ ὡμίλει, περιττὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν, ἀλλ' ἔμελλε γίγνεσθαι· οὐδεὶς δὲ τῷ μὴ ὄντι λαλεῖ, οὐδὲ εἰς τὸ γενέσθαι τῷ μηδέπω γενομένῳ προστάττει καὶ λαλεῖ. εἰ γὰρ τοῖς ἐσομένοις προσέταττεν ὁ Θεός, ἔδει λέγειν αὐτόν· Γενοῦ, οὐρανέ, καὶ γενοῦ, γῆ, καὶ ἔξελθε, βοτάνη, καὶ ποιήθητι, ἄνθρωπε· νῦν δὲ τοῦτο μὲν οὐκ ἐποίησε, προστάττει δὲ λέγων· Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ ἐξελθέτω βοτάνη· ἀφ' ὧν δείκνυται ὁ Θεὸς ὡς πλησίον τινὶ διαλεγόμενος περὶ τούτων. οὐκοῦν ἀνάγκη συνεῖναί τινα τούτῳ, ᾧ καὶ ὁμιλῶν ἐποίει τὰ ὅλα.


§ 46.5 For one might ask them to whom was God speaking, to use the imperative mood? If He were commanding and addressing the things He was creating, the utterance would be redundant, for they were not yet in being, but were about to be made; but no one speaks to what does not exist, nor addresses to what is not yet made a command to be made. For if God were giving a command to the things that were to be, He must have said, “Be made, heaven, and be made, earth, and come forth, green herb, and be created, O man.” But in fact He did not do so; but He gives the command thus: “Let us make man,” and “let the green herb come forth.” By which God is proved to be speaking about them to some one at hand: it follows then that some one was with Him to Whom He spoke when He made all things.
— John Henry Newman
This reading of ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον Genesis 1:26 had been around for a while by the time of Athanasius, e.g the Epistle of Barnabas.
Barn. 5:5 ἔτι δὲ καὶ τοῦτο, ἀδελφοί μου· εἰ ὁ κύριος ὑπέμεινεν παθεῖν περὶ [25] τῆς ψυχῆς ἡμῶν, ὢν παντὸς τοῦ κόσμου κύριος, ᾧ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου· Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ᾿ εἰκόνα καὶ καθ᾿ ὁμοίωσιν ἡμετέραν, πῶς οὖν ὑπέμεινεν ὑπὸ χειρὸς ἀνθρώπων παθεῖν; μάθετε.

Barn. 5:5 And furthermore, my brothers: if the Lord submitted to suffer for our souls, even though he is Lord of the whole world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, “Let us make man according to our image and likeness,”[27] how is it, then, that he submitted to suffer at the hand of men? Learn!

Barn. 6:12 λέγει γὰρ ἡ γραφὴ περὶ ἡμῶν, ὡς λέγει τῷ υἱῷ· Ποιήσωμεν κατ᾿ εἰκόνα καὶ καθ᾿ ὁμοίωσιν ἡμῶν τὸν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ ἀρχέτωσαν τῶν θηρίων τῆς γῆς καὶ τῶν πετεινῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῶν ἰχθύων τῆς θαλάσσης. καὶ εἶπεν κύριος, ἰδὼν τὸ καλὸν πλάσμα ἡμῶν· Αὐξάνεσθε καὶ πληθύνεσθε καὶ πληρώσατε τὴν γῆν. ταῦτα πρὸς τὸν υἱόν.

Barn. 6:12 For the Scripture speaks about us when he says to the Son: “Let us make man according to our image and likeness, and let them rule over the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea.” And when he saw that our creation was good, the Lord said: “Increase and multiply and fill the earth.”[47] These things he said to the Son.

— Text and Translation: Michael W. Holmes
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 20th, 2020, 12:41 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 3:38 pm
The form of ποιήσωμεν Gen 1:26 is employed by Athanasius in this sample of grammatical exegesis.


§ 46.5 τίνι γάρ, ἄν τις εἴποι πρὸς αὐτούς, ὡμίλει ὁ Θεός, ἵνα καὶ προστάττων λαλῇ; εἰ μὲν οὖν τοῖς γιγνομένοις προσέταττε καὶ ὡμίλει, περιττὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος· οὔπω γὰρ ἦν, ἀλλ' ἔμελλε γίγνεσθαι· οὐδεὶς δὲ τῷ μὴ ὄντι λαλεῖ, οὐδὲ εἰς τὸ γενέσθαι τῷ μηδέπω γενομένῳ προστάττει καὶ λαλεῖ. εἰ γὰρ τοῖς ἐσομένοις προσέταττεν ὁ Θεός, ἔδει λέγειν αὐτόν· Γενοῦ, οὐρανέ, καὶ γενοῦ, γῆ, καὶ ἔξελθε, βοτάνη, καὶ ποιήθητι, ἄνθρωπε· νῦν δὲ τοῦτο μὲν οὐκ ἐποίησε, προστάττει δὲ λέγων· Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ ἐξελθέτω βοτάνη· ἀφ' ὧν δείκνυται ὁ Θεὸς ὡς πλησίον τινὶ διαλεγόμενος περὶ τούτων. οὐκοῦν ἀνάγκη συνεῖναί τινα τούτῳ, ᾧ καὶ ὁμιλῶν ἐποίει τὰ ὅλα.


§ 46.5 For one might ask them to whom was God speaking, to use the imperative mood? If He were commanding and addressing the things He was creating, the utterance would be redundant, for they were not yet in being, but were about to be made; but no one speaks to what does not exist, nor addresses to what is not yet made a command to be made. For if God were giving a command to the things that were to be, He must have said, “Be made, heaven, and be made, earth, and come forth, green herb, and be created, O man.” But in fact He did not do so; but He gives the command thus: “Let us make man,” and “let the green herb come forth.” By which God is proved to be speaking about them to some one at hand: it follows then that some one was with Him to Whom He spoke when He made all things.
— John Henry Newman

This reading of ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον Genesis 1:26 had been around for a while by the time of Athanasius, e.g the Epistle of Barnabas.
Barn. 5:5 ἔτι δὲ καὶ τοῦτο, ἀδελφοί μου· εἰ ὁ κύριος ὑπέμεινεν παθεῖν περὶ [25] τῆς ψυχῆς ἡμῶν, ὢν παντὸς τοῦ κόσμου κύριος, ᾧ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου· Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ᾿ εἰκόνα καὶ καθ᾿ ὁμοίωσιν ἡμετέραν, πῶς οὖν ὑπέμεινεν ὑπὸ χειρὸς ἀνθρώπων παθεῖν; μάθετε.

Barn. 5:5 And furthermore, my brothers: if the Lord submitted to suffer for our souls, even though he is Lord of the whole world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, “Let us make man according to our image and likeness,”[27] how is it, then, that he submitted to suffer at the hand of men? Learn!

Barn. 6:12 λέγει γὰρ ἡ γραφὴ περὶ ἡμῶν, ὡς λέγει τῷ υἱῷ· Ποιήσωμεν κατ᾿ εἰκόνα καὶ καθ᾿ ὁμοίωσιν ἡμῶν τὸν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ ἀρχέτωσαν τῶν θηρίων τῆς γῆς καὶ τῶν πετεινῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῶν ἰχθύων τῆς θαλάσσης. καὶ εἶπεν κύριος, ἰδὼν τὸ καλὸν πλάσμα ἡμῶν· Αὐξάνεσθε καὶ πληθύνεσθε καὶ πληρώσατε τὴν γῆν. ταῦτα πρὸς τὸν υἱόν.

Barn. 6:12 For the Scripture speaks about us when he says to the Son: “Let us make man according to our image and likeness, and let them rule over the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea.” And when he saw that our creation was good, the Lord said: “Increase and multiply and fill the earth.”[47] These things he said to the Son.

— Text and Translation: Michael W. Holmes
Well, is there any textual variant that does not use ποιήσωμεν? Jerome uses the subjunctive faciamus, and both are a fine translation of נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה.

Secondly, Ι think Newman's translation is somewhat misleading. Athanasius doesn't say "imperative mood" (προστακτικὴ ἔγκλισις) but ἵνα καὶ προστάττων λαλῇ, "that he speaks giving a command." This is a content-logical argument, not a grammatical-syntactical argument. I also think Athanasius might have known the difference between the imperative and subjunctive (ὑποτακτικὴ ἔγκλισις). So while Athansius' argument is certainly exegetical, it's not the same way of approaching the text a modern exegete might use, which Newman's translation suggests.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 24th, 2020, 7:53 pm

I am currently preparing my working texts for Athanasius Orations I and II Against the Arians. My pace is picking up somewhat, having acquired some familiarity with the jargon and the writing style. TLG has this work in their open corpus. May take advantage of that. But I don't intend to do this project online.

Reading (again) the works of Khaled Anatolios.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 24th, 2020, 8:16 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 12:41 pm
Secondly, Ι think Newman's translation is somewhat misleading ...
Not the only example of this. Jonn Henry Newman wasn't aiming at a formal equivalence translation. He knew better, It would be unreadable. He wins because he is accessible. John Behr and Khaled Anatolios are books from libraries.
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Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 25th, 2020, 6:55 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
January 24th, 2020, 8:16 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 12:41 pm
Secondly, Ι think Newman's translation is somewhat misleading ...
Not the only example of this. Jonn Henry Newman wasn't aiming at a formal equivalence translation. He knew better, It would be unreadable. He wins because he is accessible. John Behr and Khaled Anatolios are books from libraries.
It' possible to do so without sacrificing accuracy.
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