Athanasius uses an expression which appears to have been in use in the fourth century and later. It is found in Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria, Theodoret and others. I am curious about the origin of the expression.§9.1 Συνιδὼν γὰρ ὁ Λόγος ὅτι ἄλλως οὐκ ἂν λυθείη τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἡ φθορὰ εἰ μὴ διὰ τοῦ πάντως ἀποθανεῖν, οὐχ οἷόν τε δὲ ἦν τὸν Λόγον ἀποθανεῖν ἀθάνατον ὄντα καὶ τοῦ Πατρὸς Υἱόν, τούτου ἕνεκεν τὸ δυνάμενον ἀποθανεῖν ἑαυτῷ λαμβάνει σῶμα, ἵνα τοῦτο τοῦ ἐπὶ πάντων Λόγου μεταλαβὸν ἀντὶ πάντων ἱκανὸν γένηται τῷ θανάτῳ, καὶ διὰ τὸν ἐνοικήσαντα Λόγον ἄφθαρτον διαμείνῃ, καὶ λοιπὸν ἀπὸ πάντων ἡ φθορὰ παύσηται τῇ τῆς ἀναστάσεως χάριτι.
§9.1 For the Word, perceiving that no otherwise could the corruption of men be undone save by death as a necessary condition, while it was impossible for the Word to suffer death, being immortal, and Son of the Father; to this end He takes to Himself a body capable of death, that it, by partaking of the Word Who is above all, might be worthy to die in the stead of all, and might, because of the Word which was come to dwell in it, remain incorruptible, and that thenceforth corruption might be stayed from all by the Grace of the Resurrection.
§ 21.1 Ἀμέλει, τοῦ κοινοῦ πάντων Σωτῆρος ἀποθανόντος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, οὐκέτι νῦν ὥσπερ πάλαι κατὰ τὴν τοῦ νόμου ἀπειλὴν θανάτῳ ἀποθνῄσκομεν οἱ ἐν Χριστῷ πιστοί· πέπαυται γὰρ ἡ τοιαύτη καταδίκη· ἀλλὰ τῆς φθορᾶς παυομένης καὶ ἀφανιζομένης ἐν τῇ τῆς ἀναστάσεως χάριτι, λοιπὸν κατὰ τὸ τοῦ σώματος θνητὸν διαλυόμεθα μόνον τῷ χρόνῳ ὃν ἑκάστῳ ὁ Θεὸς ὥρισεν, ἵνα «κρείττονος ἀνα στάσεως» τυχεῖν δυνηθῶμεν.
§ 21 Why, now that the common Saviour of all has died on our behalf, we, the faithful in Christ, no longer die the death as before, agreeably to the warning of the law; for this condemnation has ceased; but, corruption ceasing and being put away by the grace of the Resurrection, henceforth we are only dissolved, agreeably to our bodies' mortal nature, at the time God has fixed for each, that we may be able to gain a better resurrection.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew