Re: Common/proper noun functions of theos

From: Steve Puluka (
Date: Sun Jun 18 2000 - 20:48:35 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Wilking" <>
> I think I read somewhere that the Greek Apologists in the second century
> were the first to use the word QEOS as an ontological category. This was
> possibly due to the fact that they were trained in Middle Platonism.
> Does anyone know if this is true?

Robert Grant in his "Greek Apologists of the Second Century" does note this
type of usage by Justin (p. 39), Athenagaros (p.106) and Theophilus (p.
167). This is by far a minority of the Apologists and a very small minority
of Patristic literature as a whole.

Even with these examples he finds the strong possiblity that they are
"translating" the concept of One Creator God to the terms of Middle
Platonism. The role of an Apologist, after all, is to defend one's position
in the popular culture. These Apologists were trained in Middle Platonism
but accepted the Christian faith based on Jewish religious concepts. They
defended the actions of Christians in terms that would be understandable and
reasonable to the broader audience.

Steve Puluka
Consultar for Adult Education
Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh

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