Athanasius Contra Gentes

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1601
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 29th, 2019, 10:22 am

I took it to mean that idols in the shape of humans creates the false impression that they, or what they represent, have senses. The popular notion was that the god was present in the idol. Athanasius is influenced by or alluding to any one of several OT idol polemics in this section.

Of course Lewis got the idea from any one of several ancient sources, Artemis of Ephesus, the Shield of Mars at Rome, and so forth.

Did you have any specific questions about the Greek?
0 x


N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 951
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » August 29th, 2019, 7:33 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 10:22 am
I took it to mean that idols in the shape of humans creates the false impression that they, or what they represent, have senses.
Yes, that is exactly what I expected it to say and that is why I posted the question. Apparently that isn't what it says.
0 x
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 951
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » October 8th, 2019, 11:44 pm

Packaging again. οὐχ ... ἁπλῶς forms "bookends" around the included text.

§ 27.2 καυχήσονται γὰρ οὐχ ὡς λίθους καὶ ξύλα καὶ μορφὰς ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἀλόγων πτηνῶν τε καὶ ἑρπετῶν καὶ τετραπόδων ἁπλῶς, ἀλλ' ἥλιον καὶ σελήνην καὶ πάντα τὸν κατ' οὐρανὸν κόσμον, καὶ γῆν αὖ πάλιν καὶ σύμπασαν τοῦ ὑγροῦ τὴν φύσιν σέβοντες καὶ θρησκεύοντες· καὶ φήσουσι μὴ δύνασθαί τινας ἀποδεῖξαι καὶ τούτους μὴ εἶναι φύσει θεούς, πᾶσιν ὄντος φανεροῦ ὅτι οὔτε ἄψυχα οὔτε ἄλογα τυγχάνει, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ἀνθρώπων ὑπεραίρει φύσιν, τῷ τὰ μὲν ἐν οὐρανοῖς, τὰ δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς κατοικεῖν.

§ 27.2 For they will boast that they worship and serve, not mere stocks and stones and forms of men and irrational birds and creeping things and beasts, but the sun and moon and all the heavenly universe, and the earth again, and the entire realm of water: and they will say that none can shew that these at any rate are not of divine nature, since it is evident to all, that they lack neither life nor reason, but transcend even the nature of mankind, inasmuch as the one inhabit the heavens, the other the earth. — John Henry Newman
Church Fathers use οὐχ ἁπλῶς together about fifteen times, several in Catenae, and once in Athanasius The Incarnation §37.2

ὁ δὲ σημαινόμενος ἐκ τῶν γραφῶν ὑπὲρ πάντων πάσχειν, οὐκ ἁπλῶς ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλὰ ζωὴ πάντων λέγεται, κἂν ὅμοιος κατὰ τὴν φύσιν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις.

Not sure what to do with ὡς. It doesn't appear with οὐκ ἁπλῶς, either before or after ἁπλῶς. However ἁπλῶς ὡς is found frequently.
0 x
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1601
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » October 9th, 2019, 11:31 am

I think you are doing this too woodenly. Don't look for parallels, try to understand the Greek as written.

καυχήσονται γὰρ οὐχ ὡς λίθους καὶ ξύλα καὶ μορφὰς ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἀλόγων πτηνῶν τε καὶ ἑρπετῶν καὶ τετραπόδων ἁπλῶς...

I think ὡς simply "as, and probably limiting ἀπλῶς. "For they boast, not as simply [worshipping and serving] stones and trees" etc.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 951
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » November 2nd, 2019, 3:07 pm

§ 33.3(a) ἡ γὰρ κίνησις τῆς ψυχῆς οὐδὲν ἕτερόν ἐστιν ἢ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτῆς· ὥσπερ ἀμέλει καὶ τὸ σῶμα τότε ζῇν λέγομεν ὅτε κινεῖται, καὶ τότε θάνατον αὐτοῦ εἶναι ὅτε τῆς κινήσεως παύεται. τοῦτο δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἐν σώματι καθάπαξ ἐνεργείας αὐτῆς φανερώτερον ἄν τις ἴδοι.

§ 33.3(a) For the movement of the soul is the same thing as its life, just as, of course, we call the body alive when it moves, and say that its death takes place when it ceases moving. But this can be made clearer once for all from the action of the soul in the body. — J. H. Newman
If Newman's reading of this is correct, the placement of καθάπαξ seems infelicitous, within a prepositional phrase and in attributive position between τῆς ... ἐνεργείας.
0 x
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Daniel Semler
Posts: 124
Joined: February 18th, 2019, 7:45 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Daniel Semler » November 2nd, 2019, 6:17 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 3:07 pm
§ 33.3(a) ἡ γὰρ κίνησις τῆς ψυχῆς οὐδὲν ἕτερόν ἐστιν ἢ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτῆς· ὥσπερ ἀμέλει καὶ τὸ σῶμα τότε ζῇν λέγομεν ὅτε κινεῖται, καὶ τότε θάνατον αὐτοῦ εἶναι ὅτε τῆς κινήσεως παύεται. τοῦτο δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἐν σώματι καθάπαξ ἐνεργείας αὐτῆς φανερώτερον ἄν τις ἴδοι.

§ 33.3(a) For the movement of the soul is the same thing as its life, just as, of course, we call the body alive when it moves, and say that its death takes place when it ceases moving. But this can be made clearer once for all from the action of the soul in the body. — J. H. Newman
If Newman's reading of this is correct, the placement of καθάπαξ seems infelicitous, within a prepositional phrase and in attributive position between τῆς ... ἐνεργείας.
I agree it read a bit strangely to me when I saw your post. I wonder if the intention was to use καθάπαξ more adjectivally but I'm having a hard time getting lexicon support, but they don't cover everthing and this word is only in one or my lexicons. I wonder however if it rather conveys something like "the singular action/unique working of the soul upon the body". The following para suggests he is grappling with the interrelationship of the body and the soul.

I must say, your posts of Contra Gentes have certainly raised it on my reading list. If I can just clear Josephus and Philo first. So many books so little time :)

Thx
D
0 x

Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 951
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » November 3rd, 2019, 12:46 pm

Daniel Semler wrote:
November 2nd, 2019, 6:17 pm


I agree it read a bit strangely to me when I saw your post. I wonder if the intention was to use καθάπαξ more adjectivally but I'm having a hard time getting lexicon support, but they don't cover everthing and this word is only in one or my lexicons. I wonder however if it rather conveys something like "the singular action/unique working of the soul upon the body". The following para suggests he is grappling with the interrelationship of the body and the soul.

I must say, your posts of Contra Gentes have certainly raised it on my reading list. If I can just clear Josephus and Philo first. So many books so little time :)
Daniel,

On lexicons, Lampe[1] (hard copy) is a disappointment, short, cryptic and doesn't show any adjectival examples. I also considered reading καθάπαξ adjectivally. Based on previous reading in Athanasius hyperbaton tends to form information "packages" and adjectival καθάπαξ makes it part of the package.

[1] "once and again, frequently" Apophth.Patr. M.65.349.B
0 x
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1601
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Athanasius Contra Gentes

Post by Barry Hofstetter » November 4th, 2019, 11:06 am

τοῦτο δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἐν σώματι καθάπαξ ἐνεργείας αὐτῆς φανερώτερον ἄν τις ἴδοι.

It is every difficult for me to see this as other than an adverbial use modifying the verbal action implied in ἐνεργείας. This would be the natural way to read it, but context may contraindicate this, as your translator seems to feel. Native/fluent users of a language don't always do it the way we expect.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

Post Reply

Return to “Church Fathers and Patristic Greek Texts”