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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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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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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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 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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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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