Athanasius's falsehoods in Greek concerning the GNT

In Contra Arianos III he writes the following:

Μὴ τοίνυν ἐκ τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων τις σκανδαλιζέσθω, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον γινωσκέτω, ὡς τὴν φύσιν αὐτὸς ὁ Λόγος ἀπαθής ἐστι, καὶ ὅμως
δι᾿ ἣν ἐνεδύσατο σάρκα, λέγεται περὶ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα, ἐπειδὴ τῆς μὲν σαρκὸς ἴδια ταῦτα, τοῦ δὲ Σωτῆρος ἴδιον αὐτὸ τὸ σῶμα. Καὶ αὐτὸς μὲν ἀπαθὴς τὴν φύσιν, ὡς ἔστι, διαμένει, μὴ βλαπτόμενος ἀπὸ τούτων, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ἐξαφανίζων καὶ ἀπολλύων αὐτά· οἱ δὲ ἄνθρωποι, ὡς εἰς τὸν ἀπαθῆ μεταβάντων αὐτῶν τῶν παθῶν καὶ ἀπηλειμμένων, ἀπαθεῖς καὶ ἐλεύθεροι τούτων λοιπὸν καὶ αὐτοὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας γίγνονται, καθὼς ἐδίδαξεν ὁ Ἰωάννης λέγων, ‘καὶ οἴδατε ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ἐφανερώθη ἵνα τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν ἄρῃ· καὶ ἁμαρτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστι·’

Here is the English translation:

Let no one then stumble at what belongs to man, but rather let a man know that in nature the Word Himself is impassible, and yet because of that flesh which He put on , these things are ascribed to Him, since they are proper to the flesh, and the body itself is proper to the Saviour. And while He Himself, being impassible in nature, remains as He is, not harmed by these affections, but rather obliterating and destroying them, men, their passions as if changed and abolished in the Impassible, henceforth become themselves also impassible and free from them for ever, as John taught, saying, 'And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin 1 John 3:5.'

Red above is a lie. The apostle John did not write ἐνεδύσατο σάρκα but σὰρξ ἐγένετο in John 1:14. In other words, the apostle did not say that the Word "put on flesh" but that the Word "became" flesh --

Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ Πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας.

-----
Τεκνία, φυλάξατε ἑαυτὰ ἀπὸ τῶν εἰδώλων.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
σὺ δὲ ἐσκανδαλισμένος εῖ... Could you unpack what you see as the essential difference? To me, Athanasius seems simply to be giving a decent paraphrase of the concept in John 1.
 
σὺ δὲ ἐσκανδαλισμένος εῖ... Could you unpack what you see as the essential difference? To me, Athanasius seems simply to be giving a decent paraphrase of the concept in John 1.

It's not a paraphrase but a distortion , an eisegesis of John 1:14. To begin with, γίνομαι is a "to be" verb, ἐνδύω is not. It's the difference, for example, between saying that a lump of formed clay became a human being, versus that it put on "human nature."

If someone paraphrases the following to mean that the "dust of the ground" "put on" a soul, rather than that it "became" a living being, I hope you are able to discern that for what it is, -- biblical eisegesis.

καὶ ἔπλασεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον χοῦν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐνεφύσησεν εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ πνοὴν ζωῆς καὶ ἐγένετο ὁ ἄνθρωπος εἰς ψυχὴν ζῶσαν

Genesis 2:7

One could not substitute the verb ἐνδύω for ἐγένετο in Genesis 2:7 and call it "a paraphrase" anymore than they could do so in John 1:14.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
Well, thanks for clarifying. However, completely different context at Gen 2:7, particularly that Adam did not pre-exist in some form, as did the Logos. For me that's why Athanasius' paraphrase works, but something tells me you will have an objection to that (like denying the obvious pre-existence of the Logos).

And doesn't paraphrase mean using different words? At least, that's what they taught me in third grade.
 
Well, thanks for clarifying. However, completely different context at Gen 2:7, particularly that Adam did not pre-exist in some form, as did the Logos. For me that's why Athanasius' paraphrase works, but something tells me you will have an objection to that (like denying the obvious pre-existence of the Logos).

And doesn't paraphrase mean using different words? At least, that's what they taught me in third grade.

Before Adam became a human being, "he" ("it" !) was a thing, namely the dust of the earth. In the same way, before Jesus became a human being 'he" ("it"!) was a thing, namely the Word of God.

You are trying to defend Athanasius's eisegesis with eisegesis of your own. To paraphrase a source, one rewrites a passage without changing the meaning of the original text. Athanasius is doing the reverse at John 1:14 (specifically at Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο). John 1:14 says the Word (something) became a human being (someone), Athanasius doesn't like that, her wants it to mean rather that someone already literally existing (a God Being) put on something (a human nature). Hence the "paraphrase."
 
Now, a good paraphrase of Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο is found in the NIRV:


The Word became a human being.

But if someone comes along and says the above means "And the Word put on human nature" don't believe them, even if they call it a "paraphrase." It's rather a distortion, and hence it is a lie.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Before Adam became a human being, "he" ("it" !) was a thing, namely the dust of the earth. In the same way, before Jesus became a human being 'he" ("it"!) was a thing, namely the Word of God.

You are trying to defend Athanasius's eisegesis with eisegesis of your own. To paraphrase a source, one rewrites a passage without changing the meaning of the original text. Athanasius is doing the reverse at John 1:14 (specifically at Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο). John 1:14 says the Word (something) became a human being (someone), Athanasius doesn't like that, her wants it to mean rather that someone already literally existing (a God Being) put on something (a human nature). Hence the "paraphrase."

Could you provide your proof that λόγος is "something" and not "someone" at John 1:14? After all, ο Λόγος dwelt with humans, being the subject of the verb ἐσκήνωσεν. That's what "someone" does.

Also, what Greek text are we using here? Is NA28 ok?
 
Biblical words must be given biblical definitions. On this score, ask yourself the following two questions. (1) How many times is the word ὁ Λόγος used in the bible ? (2) How many times does it refer to a literally pre-exiting non-human Divine being ?

In the GNT alone, ὁ Λόγος (with or without the article, in various cases) is used 331 times. Never does it denote a pre-existing non-human living being. The word ὁ Λόγος virtually always refers to a something. In fact the only time the word ( ὁ Λόγος) refers to a someone is at Rev. 19:13, (where Jesus is called ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ) . However this is an epithet of Jesus, it is a description of an already existing human being. In the same way, in Genesis 3:19 Adam is called "dust" even after he had become a human being. We cannot use this as "evidence" that the word "dust" (γῆ) in the bible sometimes denotes a literally existing, non-human person :

ἐν ἱδρῶτι τοῦ προσώπου σου φάγῃ τὸν ἄρτον σου ἕως τοῦ ἀποστρέψαι σε εἰς τὴν γῆν ἐξ ἧς ἐλήμφθης ὅτι γῆ εἶ καὶ εἰς γῆν ἀπελεύσῃ
 
Could you provide your proof that λόγος is "something" and not "someone" at John 1:14? After all, ο Λόγος dwelt with humans, being the subject of the verb ἐσκήνωσεν. That's what "someone" does.

Also, what Greek text are we using here? Is NA28 ok?

The text does not say that ο Λόγος ἐσκήνωσεν with men but that ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο did.

As for "proof" that λόγος is something rather than a pre-existing , non-human someone, it comes from the bible itself, from the fact that the word's usage in the OT (as well as the NT) never denotes the latter.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
The text does not say that ο Λόγος ἐσκήνωσεν with men but that ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο did.

As for "proof" that λόγος is something rather than a pre-existing , non-human someone, it comes from the bible itself, from the fact that the word's usage in the OT (as well as the NT) never denotes the latter.

ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο is not the subject of ἐσκήνωσεν, ὁ Λόγος is the subject. The Word became flesh and the Word dwelt with John. This means that the Word is a title of Jesus the human being.

In Revelation 19:12-13 the Word is a name of Jesus. That's two.

So, your proof does not hold up. It only takes one black goose to disprove the statement "All geese are white."
 
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Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Biblical words must be given biblical definitions. On this score, ask yourself the following two questions. (1) How many times is the word ὁ Λόγος used in the bible ? (2) How many times does it refer to a literally pre-exiting non-human Divine being ?

In the GNT alone, ὁ Λόγος (with or without the article, in various cases) is used 331 times. Never does it denote a pre-existing non-human living being. The word ὁ Λόγος virtually always refers to a something. In fact the only time the word ( ὁ Λόγος) refers to a someone is at Rev. 19:13, (where Jesus is called ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ) . However this is an epithet of Jesus, it is a description of an already existing human being. In the same way, in Genesis 3:19 Adam is called "dust" even after he had become a human being. We cannot use this as "evidence" that the word "dust" (γῆ) in the bible sometimes denotes a literally existing, non-human person :

Except for John 1:14 where ο Λόγος is the subject of the verb rendered "dwelt" which is something someone not something does.

And what is "epithet"? I see όνομα which is "name."
 
ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο is not the subject of ἐσκήνωσεν, ὁ Λόγος is the subject. The Word became flesh and the Word dwelt with John. This means that the Word is a title of Jesus the human being.

In Revelation 19:12-13 the Word is a name of Jesus. That's two.

So, your proof does not hold up. It only takes one black goose to disprove the statement "All geese are white."

Not true. The text says that the Word became a human being, and that "he" (i.e. that which had become a human being , namely Jesus) dwelt among us. It is not saying that a non-human being dwelt with us.

Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ Πατρός, .......
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Not true. The text says that the Word became a human being, and that "he" (i.e. that which had become a human being , namely Jesus) dwelt among us. It is not saying that a non-human being dwelt with us.

My point was simply to point out that when you said that λόγος never referred to "someone" that this is not true at John 1:14 and in Revelation.

So, that argument is refuted.

I can see how you interpret the context, but now it is no more valid than the possibility that ο Λόγος became a personal being earlier in the prologue. As a matter of fact, Athanasius apparently believed that the Word was "in" the Father at 1:1 and then was begotten to become the Son.
 
My point was simply to point out that when you said that λόγος never referred to "someone" that this is not true at John 1:14 and in Revelation.

So, that argument is refuted.

My actual point was that λόγος never denotes a pre-existing non-human living being. In other words, my point is that there is no example of "pre-flesh" λόγος in the bible referring to a someone. Every single example in the bible (OT & NT) which speaks of λόγος before it became "flesh" denotes a thing and not a person. Do you not find that troubling ?


I can see how you interpret the context, but now it is no more valid than the possibility that ο Λόγος became a personal being earlier in the prologue.

Apostle John on the other hand says ο Λόγος became "a personal being" (i.e. a human being) at verse 14, not earlier than, as in John 1:1.


As a matter of fact, Athanasius apparently believed that the Word was "in" the Father at 1:1 and then was begotten to become the Son.

I wouldn't take Athanasius seriously here, as his above assertion is not supported by scripture.
 
Now, following is a clear example of a reference to ο λόγος before ο λόγος is said to have became "flesh" by apostle John. Would any reasonable person consider ο λόγος here to be a person ? --

οὐ μὴ τιμήσει τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἢ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἠκυρώσατε τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ διὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν.

Matthew 15:6
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
My actual point was that λόγος never denotes a pre-existing non-human living being. In other words, my point is that there is no example of "pre-flesh" λόγος in the bible referring to a someone. Every single example in the bible (OT & NT) which speaks of λόγος before it became "flesh" denotes a thing and not a person. Do you not find that troubling ?




Apostle John on the other hand says ο Λόγος became "a personal being" (i.e. a human being) at verse 14, not earlier than, as in John 1:1.




I wouldn't take Athanasius seriously here, as his above assertion is not supported by scripture.
My actual point was that λόγος never denotes a pre-existing non-human living being. In other words, my point is that there is no example of "pre-flesh" λόγος in the bible referring to a someone. Every single example in the bible (OT & NT) which speaks of λόγος before it became "flesh" denotes a thing and not a person. Do you not find that troubling ?




Apostle John on the other hand says ο Λόγος became "a personal being" (i.e. a human being) at verse 14, not earlier than, as in John 1:1.




I wouldn't take Athanasius seriously here, as his above assertion is not supported by scripture.

No, I don't rank mere statistics above grammatical elements in an exegesis. See my OP here.

Word studies that ignore syntax are an elementary tool. When syntax is considered one gets into genuine linguistics.

None of the examples for λόγος to which you appeal are found in the same syntax as in John 1:1. BDAG has an entry for προς that illustrates this.

g. by, at, near πρός τινα εἶναι be (in company) with someone Mt 13:56; Mk 6:3; 9:19a; 14:49; Lk 9:41; J 1:1f; 1 Th 3:4; 2 Th 2:5; 3:10; 1J 1:2.

This is an idiom of “someone to-be in company with” someone.

I have looked at the LXX and NT and find metaphorical usages of “something” associated with (προς) someone only without a verb of being or motion. This applies to λόγος and any other word.

So, the statistics change drastically when syntax is considered.

We know that λόγος is used as a name or title of God’s Son and so it is valid to consider that it does refer to a person. And, since it DOES refer to God’s Son at Revelation 19:13 and John 1:14 one can say that statistics are in favor of the same sense at John 1:1 as λόγος is a reference to its usage at 1:14.

But I appeal primarily to the Greek syntax and use these statistics in support of the grammar.

I have other grammatical arguments as well, but won't complicate matters now.

You never answered as to what Greek text you use. I use NA and USB.
 
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No, I don't rank mere statistics above grammatical elements in an exegesis. See my OP here.

Word studies that ignore syntax are an elementary tool. When syntax is considered one gets into genuine linguistics.

None of the examples for λόγος to which you appeal are found in the same syntax as in John 1:1. BDAG has an entry for προς that illustrates this.



This is an idiom of “someone to-be in company with” someone.

I have looked at the LXX and NT and find metaphorical usages of “something” associated with (προς) someone only without a verb of being or motion. This applies to λόγος and any other word.

So, the statistics change drastically when syntax is considered.

We know that λόγος is used as a name or title of God’s Son and so it is valid to consider that it does refer to a person. And, since it DOES refer to God’s Son at Revelation 19:13 and John 1:14 one can say that statistics are in favor of the same sense at John 1:1 as λόγος is a reference to its usage at 1:14.

But I appeal primarily to the Greek syntax and use these statistics in support of the grammar.

I have other grammatical arguments as well, but won't complicate matters now.

You never answered as to what Greek text you use. I use NA and USB.

Look at Genesis 15:1 --

μετὰ δὲ τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα ἐγενήθη ῥῆμα κυρίου πρὸς Αβραμ ἐν ὁράματι λέγων μὴ φοβοῦ Αβραμ ἐγὼ ὑπερασπίζω σου ὁ μισθός σου πολὺς ἔσται σφόδρα

This is the exact "syntax" as found in John 1:1c. So unless ῥῆμα κυρίου is a "person" here, your conclusion is false. You will also notice that none of the examples you enlist from BDAG have the exact same syntax as John 1:1c. At John 1:1c we have a singular noun + a to be verb + προς + another singular noun. You will realize (if you put in the research) that such a syntax never denotes that a person is "with" (or "in the company of" ) another person either in the GNT or in the LXX.

As for your question, I don't use an exclusive Greek text.
 
It is not used with the same syntax as John 1:1, see my previous post.

I'm asking you to point out a verse from either the GNT or the LXX where ο λόγος is defined by a biblical writer as a pre-existing, non-human Being. Why would the syntax of John 1:1c prevent you from doing this ?

Or are you suggesting that the use of ο λόγος has a special definition and use only at John 1:1c not elsewhere found in the bible, because of it's apparent "syntax" at John 1:1c ? If so, that would be a peculiar assertion indeed and rather self defeating, since the same word with the same sense occurs in different syntaxes in the same prologue. For example at John 1:3 ο λόγος is used again. [ note αὐτοῦ = ο λόγος]

πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Look at Genesis 15:1 --



This is the exact "syntax" as found in John 1:1c. So unless ῥῆμα κυρίου is a "person" here, your conclusion is false. You will also notice that none of the examples you enlist from BDAG have the exact same syntax as John 1:1c. At John 1:1c we have a singular noun + a to be verb + προς + another singular noun. You will realize (if you put in the research) that such a syntax never denotes that a person is "with" (or "in the company of" ) another person either in the GNT or in the LXX.

As for your question, I don't use an exclusive Greek text.

That is an interesting example, but γινομαι is not a verb of motion. The examples I remember were verbs like έρχομαι.

What text do you use for the prologue of John?
 
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