Athanasius Contra Gentes

Barry Hofstetter
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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?
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stirling Bartholomew
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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.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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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.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Barry Hofstetter
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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.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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