Saturday, April 25, 2015

On the Unchangeableness of God 12 (by Philo)

XII. But God, inasmuch as he is uncreated, and the Being who has brought all other things to creation, stood in need of none of those things which are usually added to creatures. (57) For what are we to say? Shall we say, if he is possessed of the different organic parts, that he has feet for the sake of walking? But where is he to walk who fills all places at once with his presence? And to whom is he to go, when there is no one of equal honour with himself? And why is he to walk? It cannot be out of any regard for his health as we do. Again, are we to say that he has hands for the purpose of giving and taking? he never receivers [SIC] anything from any one. For in addition to the fact of his wanting nothing he actually has everything; and when he gives, he employs reason as the minister of his gifts, by whose agency also he created the world. (58) Once more, he had no need of eyes, the organs without which there can be no comprehension of the light perceptible by the outward senses; but the light perceptible by the outward senses is a created light; and even before the creation God saw, using himself as light. (59) And why need we mention the organs of luxury? For if he has these organs, then he is fed, and when he has satisfied himself he leaves off eating, and after he has left eating he wants food again; and I need not enumerate other particulars which are the necessary consequences of this; for these are the fabulous inventions of impious men, who represent God, in word indeed only as endued with human form, but in fact as influenced by human passions.

1 comment:

Matt13weedhacker said...

Interesting Greek: "ὁ δὲ θεὸς ἅτε ἀγένητος ὢν..."

This reminds me of Theophilus of Antioch Book 2, Chapter 10, Sections 1-11, "Ad Autolycus," particuarly verse 5:

"ὁ γὰρ γενητὸς καὶ προσδεής ἐστιν, ὁ δὲ ἀγένητος οὐδένος προσδεῖται..."


"For the one who is created is also in need, but the One who is Un-Created is in need of nothing at all..."

Note the single "nu" Gk., ( ν ) in both Gk., ( γενητὸς ) and Gk., ( ἀγένητος ).

Interesting how he says:

"μηδενὸς ὄντος ἰσοτίμου..."

"when there is no one of equal honor with himself?..."

Theophilus, in comparison, doesn't say exactly the same as regard to equal-honor, but he does say there is no one of equal-age.

Theophilus of Antioch Book 2, Chapter 10, Section 2:

"οὐ γάρ τι τῷ θεῷ συνήκμασεν..."


"For there is not one thing that [Or: “one person who is”] is of equal-age [Or: "co-eval" "same-age"] to [Or: “with”] the One who is definitively God..."

And this part of Philo:

"δίδωσι δὲ λόγῳ χρώμενος ὑπηρέτῃ δωρεῶν, ᾧ καὶ τὸν κόσμον εἰργάζετο..."

"he employs reason as the minister of his gifts, by whose agency also he created the world..."

Reminds me of verse 7, of Theophilus:

"τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ἔσχεν ὑπουργὸν τῶν ὑπ' αὐτοῦ γεγενημένων..."

"He, ([i.e. God] just mentioned), had the Logos as an inferior servant working for the things that came into existence by his [i.e. the Logos] agency..."

Note Theophilus' Gk., ( ὑπουργὸν ) lit., "under-worker". Which is very close to, (though not exactly the same), as Philo's Gk., ( ὑπηρέτῃ ) huperetes "subordinate servant".

Gk., ( ὑπηρέτῃ ) being of course, a favorite word of Justin Martyrs.