Friday, December 19, 2014

The palimpsest Ms. O 39 Sup. (Rahlfs 1098)
of the Ambrosian Library in Milan
(late 9th cent. C.E.)
& the sacred Tetragrammaton /

Το παλίμψηστο χειρόγραφο O 39 Sup. (Rahlfs 1098)
της Αμβροσιανής Βιβλιοθήκης του Μιλάνου
(τέλη 9ου αι. Κ.Χ.)
& το ιερό Τετραγράμματο


Giovanni Mercati,

Codex rescriptus Bybliothecae Ambrosianae O 39 SVP:
phototypice expressus et transcriptus
Codices ex ecclesiasticis Italiae bybliothecis delecti
phototype expressi iussu Pii XI. Pont. Max. consilio
et studio procuratorum Bybliothecae Vaticanae; Vol. 8, 1958,

frag. 11, fol. 105r (pp. 10, 11).


The Milan Palimpsest Greek
Milan, Ambrosian Library, O 39 Sup. A Palimpsest, Rahlfs 1098. The upper text is of little value, being merely a late (thirteenth century or later) copy of the Orthodox service book known as the Οκτώηχος. But two of the lower leaves are copies of a text based, in some form, on Origen’s Hexapla. The Hexapla of course contained six columns: Hebrew (in Hebrew letters). Hebrew (transcribed in Greek letters), Aquila, Symmachus, LXX, and Theodotian (plus occasional other versions). The Milan fragments include five of these columns: Hebrew in Greek letters (except that the tetragrammaton is written in Hebrew), Aquila, Symmachus, LXX, and — it is believed — Quinta. (The inclusion of Quinta in this manuscript is part of why there are so many vexed questions about Theodotian, Quinta, and kaige.) The total text is minimal — about 150 verses of Psalms. And the copy is much later than Origen’s original — it’s thought to be ninth or tenth century. But it gives us one of our few looks at the actual format of the Hexapla. * *

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Gospel of Judas
& the unutterable Tetragrammaton /

Το Ευαγγέλιο του Ιούδα
& το άρρητο Τετραγράμματο

Judas [said] to him , “I know who you are and where you have come from. You are from the immortal realm of Barbelo. And I am not worthy to utter the name of the one who has sent you.”

Ο Ιούδας [είπε] σ' αυτόν <τον Ιησού>, «Γνωρίζω ποιος είσαι και από πού έρχεσαι. Κατάγεσαι από τον αθάνατο κόσμο του Μπάρμπελο <Βαρβηλώ>. Και είμαι ανάξιος να προφέρω το όνομα του ενός που σε έχει στείλει».

— Gospel of Judas / Ευαγγέλιο Ιούδα 35:15-21.

[Judas Iscariot] stands before Jesus, averts his eyes, apparently in a respectful manner, and offers a profession, from a Sethian gnostic point of view, of who Jesus really is. Judas states before Jesus, “I know who you are and where you have come from. You have come from the immortal aeon of Barbelo, and I am not worthy to utter the name of the one who has sent you” (35,15-21). With a term from Hebrew, Barbelo, perhaps meaning something like “God in four” (that is, God in the tetragrammaton, the four-letter ineffable name of the divine), this profession declares that Jesus is from a transcendent realm far beyond this mortal world, and that the name of the one sending Jesus to this world is too holy to utter.

* Marvin W. Meyer,
The Gospel of Judas: On a Night with Judas Iscariot,
Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011,
p./σ. 8.

Information about the Gospel of Judas: / Πληροφορίες για το Ευαγγέλιο του Ιούδα:

Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed., transl. by R. McL. Wilson,
New Testament Apocrypha: Gospels and Related Writings,
Louisville: John Knox Press, 1992,
pp./σσ. 386-387.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"The God" as a nomen sacrum
and "a God/god" (with the indefinite/without article)
within the Coptic NT at 4th cent. C.E. /

"Ο Θεός" ως nomen sacrum
και "Θεός/θεός" (με αόριστο/χωρίς άρθρο)
στην Κοπτική ΚΔ του 4ου αι. Κ.Χ.

George William Horner,
The Coptic version of the New Testament in the northern dialect, Vol. 2,
Oxford University Press, 1898.

 Rodolphe Kasser (ed.),
Papyrus Bodmer, III. Evangile de Jean et Genese I-IV, 2 en bohairique.
Copt. 25. (Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium)
Peeters Publishers, 1958.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The torments of the Devil
in the lake of fire and sulphur /

Ο βασανισμός του Διαβόλου
στη λίμνη της φωτιάς και του θειαφιού

καὶ ὁ διάβολος ὁ πλανῶν αὐτοὺς ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ θείου, ὅπου καὶ τὸ θηρίον καὶ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης, καὶ βασανισθήσονται ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.

and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (RSV)

Revelation / Αποκάλυψη 20:10
(+ Mat / Ματ 24:41).

* George Eldon Ladd,
A Commentary on the Revelation of John
[Σχολιολόγιο στην Αποκάλυψη του Ιωάννη]
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1972,
pp./σσ. 270, 271.

Lamentations 4:20:
«χριστὸς κυρίου» or «χριστὸς κύριος»?
A reading in all the modern LXX editions
that is harmonised with the MT
but is in contradiction
of the unanimous LXX manuscript testimony
of a Christian mistranslation

Θρήνοι 4:20:
«χριστὸς κυρίου» ή «χριστὸς κύριος»;
Μια γραφή σε όλες τις σύγχρονες εκδόσεις της Ο'
που αποτελεί εναρμόνιση με το ΜΚ
αλλά συγκρούεται
με την ομόφωνη μαρτυρία των χειρογράφων της Ο'
για μια χριστιανική λανθασμένη μετάφραση

Lamentations / Θρήνοι 4:20:

All the modern LXX editions
(harmonised with the MT
"מְשִׁ֣יחַ יְהוָ֔ה"):

Πνεῦμα προσώπου ἡμῶν
χριστὸς κυρίου
συνελήμφθη ἐν ταῖς διαφθοραῖς αὐτῶν,
οὗ εἴπαμεν ᾿
Εν τῇ σκιᾷ αὐτοῦ ζησόμεθα ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν.

Christian LXX manuscript tradition:

Πνεῦμα προσώπου ἡμῶν
χριστὸς κύριος
συνελήμφθη ἐν ταῖς διαφθοραῖς αὐτῶν,
οὗ εἴπαμεν
᾿Εν τῇ σκιᾷ αὐτοῦ ζησόμεθα ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ποιος είναι «ὁ Ὤν» (Εξ 3:14)
κατά τον Ιωάννη τον Χρυσόστομο; /

Who is the "I AM" (Ex 3:14)
according to John the Chrysostom?


Βούλει καὶ τὸ ἀΐδιον μαθεῖν; Ἄκουσον τί φησιν ὁ Μωϋσῆς περὶ τοῦ Πατρός. Ἐρωτήσας γὰρ, εἰ ἐρωτηθείη παρὰ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων, τίς ὁ ἀπεσταλκὼς αὐτὸν εἴη, τί ποτε δὴ καὶ ἀποκρίνηται πρὸς αὐτοὺς, κελεύεται εἰπεῖν, ὅτι Ὁ ὢν ἀπέσταλκέ με. Τὸ δὲ, Ὁ ὢν, τοῦ ἀεὶ εἶναι σημαντικόν ἐστι, καὶ τοῦ ἀνάρχως εἶναι, καὶ τοῦ ὄντως εἶναι καὶ κυρίως.

* Ιωάννης Χρυσόστομος, Ομιλία 15, PG 59:99, 100.

Θέλεις δε να μάθης και την αϊδιότητά του; Άκουσε τι λέγει ο Μωυσής δια τον Πατέρα. Όταν ερώτησε τι να απαντήση εάν τον ερωτήσουν οι Αιγύπτιοι ποιος είναι αυτός που τον απέστειλε, διατάσσεται να ειπή ότι «με απέστειλεν ο Ων»· το δε «ο ων» σημαίνει ότι υπάρχει αιωνίως, και χωρίς αρχήν και πραγματικώς.

* ΕΠΕ 39:719 (μετάφρ. Παν. Παπαευαγγέλου).

Wouldest thou learn also His eternity? Hear what Moses saith concerning the Father. When he asked what he was commanded to answer should the Jews enquire of him, "Who it was that had sent him," he heard these words: "Say, I AM hath sent me." (Ex. iii. 14.) Now the expression "I AM," is significative of Being ever, and Being without beginning, of Being really and absolutely.

* John Chrysostom, Homily 15, NPNF(S1) 14:52 (ed. Ph. Schaff).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

G. D. Chryssides
on Jehovah's Witnesses /

Ο G. D. Chryssides
σχετικά με τους Μάρτυρες του Ιεχωβά

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Of all the offshoots of Adventism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are probably the best known. The organisation, legally incorporated as The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, owes its origins to Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916). Russell dissociated himself with Adventism, although he had been acquainted with a number of Adventist groups. None of them had satisfied him, until he heard the Adventist preacher Jonas Wendell (1815-1873) preaching. This prompted him to start his own Bible study group in 1870, which grew to become the International Bible Students’ Association (IBSA). Although Russell and the subsequent Jehovah’s Witnesses do not regard themselves as Adventist, they have much in common with them. Like Adventists, they believe that the final battle of Armageddon is imminent, that biblical prophecies have a present-day application, and a pattern of end-time events can be given dates in accordance with biblical predictions. Russell and his followers also were unable to accept the mainstream Protestant Christian doctrines of predestination and eternal damnation.

In common with Adventism, Russell and his followers had an implicit belief in the inerrancy of scripture, and his emphasis on the Bible caused him to question certain key doctrines that had become part of mainstream Christianity. One such doctrine was the Trinity, to which he could find no explicit references in the Bible, but which was nevertheless affirmed by the mainstream churches, including the Adventists. The Adventists taught that Roman Catholicism was a corruption of Christianity, equating it with Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:5). Russell went further, claiming that all the churches were corrupt, not just Rome. The IBSA and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been entirely lay-led, unlike most branches of Christianity, including Adventism, which have clergy. Russell also disagreed with the Adventist belief that the earth would be burnt at the end of time, teaching that it would be renewed, to be inhabited by God’s faithful who had lived before Christ’s ministry.

After Russell died in 1916, a power struggle among some of the early leaders ensued. A number of schismatical organisations emerged as a result, while Joseph Franklin (‘Judge’) Rutherford (1869-1941) gained control of the Watch Tower organisation and its assets. Possibly to distinguish his own organisation from the splinter groups, he gave the name ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ to the organisation in 1931. Rutherford introduced a number of new features that have become the Witnesses’ hallmarks. He maintained a firm anti-war stance, causing his followers to be regarded as unpatriotic; to this day Witnesses will not take part in armed combat. Rutherford also wanted to purge the organisation of all the ‘pagan’ practices that had crept into Christianity: the celebration of Christmas and birthdays, and ideas that had entered Christianity through pagan philosophy, such as the immortality of the soul. He also introduced house-to-house evangelism, in accordance with early Church practice (Acts 5:42). During the Rutherford period, Witnesses came to believe that the Watch Tower Society exclusively offered the means of salvation.

Witnesses are publicly perceived as setting dates for ‘the end of the world’, but continually changing them when they fail to materialise. This is somewhat of a misunderstanding. Two predicted dates — 1925 and 1975 — resulted in failed expectations, even on the Society’s own admission. (Rutherford had predicted that the ancient patriarchs would return from the dead in 1925, and 1975 was believed to mark the end of the sixth millennium, possibly heralding Armageddon.) Some dates have been re-assigned to different events, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are now much less prone to associate prophetic dates with earthly political events. One key date proposed by Russell, which Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to regard as significant, is 1914. At one time Russell expected God’s kingdom to have been established on earth by that date, but later came to assign it to Christ’s parousia (‘presence’), teaching that Christ began his heavenly rule on that date, preparing his kingdom for his faithful ones.

According to Watch Tower teaching, Christ is gathering his faithful — the ‘anointed class’ of 144,000 — into heaven. Initially it was expected that all Russell’s Bible Students would attain the heavenly kingdom, but of course the number of Witnesses is now well in excess of 144,000. (In 2008, some 17,790,631 people attended the annual Memorial, the service commemorating Jesus’ final meal with his disciples. Not all of those were active Witnesses, however.) In 1935 Rutherford declared that there were two classes of individual: those who belonged to the ‘heavenly class’ (the 144,000) and those who belonged to the ‘great crowd’ (Revelation 7:9-10). Most present-day Witnesses regard themselves as belonging to the latter class, and expect everlasting life on the renewed earth after Armageddon.

Mention should be made of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ stance on blood — another source of public comment. During World War II, blood transfusion was becoming a common medical procedure, and the Governing Body defined its stance on the matter. It was perceived as a violation of God’s command to Noah: ‘. . . you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it’ (Genesis 9:4). Two points are noting about this injunction. First, the reference is primarily to a food law, and Witnesses typically avoid foods that are made from blood, such as black pudding. Second, Witnesses do not hold that all the Old Testament laws have force. They represent the ‘old covenant’, and are only binding if they are reinforced by the New Testament. Witnesses find reinforcement for this commandment in the First Jerusalem Council’s ruling, that the Gentiles should ‘abstain . . . from blood’ (Acts 15:20). It should be noted that the word is ‘abstain’ here, which is taken to have a wider application than simply eating. As in all matters, the Bible is regarded as the final arbiter, and the Watch Tower Society has never produced any independent creed or set of principles. Its teachings are disseminated to the public principally through its monthly magazines The Watchtower and Awake!

* George D. Chryssides,
Christianity at the Edges”,
George D. Chryssides & Margaret Z. Wilkins (eds),
Christians in the Twenty-First Century
Routledge, 2014,
pp. 405-407 [399-428].

Friday, September 12, 2014

Is the LXX
the Bible of the Orthodox Church? /

Είναι η Εβδομήκοντα
η Βίβλος της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας;

«Συνεπῶς, τό νά εἰπωθεῖ ὅτι ἡ Ὀρθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία διαβάζει τό κείµενο τῆς Παλαιᾶς ∆ιαθήκης στά ἑλληνικά ἀπό τή µετάφραση τῶν Ο΄ ἀποτελεῖ ὑπεραπλούστευση».

[“Thus, to say that the Orthodox Church reads the Old Testament in Greek from the Septuagint is an  oversimplification.”]

* Ιωάννης Φωτόπουλος / John Fotopoulos,
«Ορθόδοξος χριστιανισμός και ιστορική κριτική της Βίβλου»
(“Orthodox Christianity and Historical Criticism of the Bible”),

Δελτίο Βιβλικών Μελετών,
τόμ. 29Β (Ιούλιος-Δεκέμβριος 2011),
έκδοση Ιούνιος 2014, σ./p. 67 [63–78].
[Ελληνικά/Greek, PDF]

Tetragrammaton in the NT text:
יְהֹוָה/יהוה in Anton Margaritha's
Gospel of Matthew (1533)/

Το Τετραγράμματο στο κείμενο της ΚΔ:
Το יהוה/יְהֹוָה στο Ευαγγέλιο του Ματθαίου
του Αντόν Μαργκαρίθα (1533)


"Καὶ χρηματισθέντες [ὑπό τοῦ יהוה] κατ’ ὄναρ
μὴ ἀνακάμψαι πρὸς Ἡρῴδην"

Gospel of Matthew, chapters 1:1-3:6 /
Ευαγγέλιο του Ματθαίου, κεφ. 1:1-3:6

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Septuagintal Jonah:
A cosmopolitan believer /

Ο εβδομηκόντειος Ιωνάς:
Ένας κοσμοπολίτης πιστός

MT: / ΜΚ:

וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֖ם
עִבְרִ֣י אָנֹ֑כִי [“I am a Hebrew,RSV]
וְאֶת־יְהוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֤י הַשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙ אֲנִ֣י יָרֵ֔א
אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֥ה אֶת־הַיָּ֖ם וְאֶת־הַיַּבָּשָֽׁה׃

LXX: / Ο':

καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς
Δοῦλος κυρίου ἐγώ εἰμι [“I am a slave of the Lord,” NETS]
καὶ τὸν κύριον θεὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐγὼ σέβομαι,
ὃς ἐποίησεν τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ τὴν ξηράν.

— Jonah 1:9 / Ιωνάς 1:9

Saturday, September 6, 2014

John W. Wevers',
Text History of the Greek Pentateuch volumes
available for download

Οι τόμοι τού
Text History of the Greek Pentateuch
του John W. Wevers
διαθέσιμοι προς λήψη

Pour qui utilise l’édition critique de la Septante dans l’édition de Göttingen (laquelle n’est abordable - façon de parler – que dans Logos à ma connaissance), les volumes Text History de John W. Wevers sont un complément indispensable. Par chance, la Göttingen Acadamy of Sciences and Humanities les propose gratuitement en ligne :






D’autres volumes
sont disponibles, spécialement de Hanhart, sur TobieJudith, 1 Ezra, 2 et 3 Maccabées, de Rahlfs sur Ruth, de Glaue sur le Samareitikon, etc.

Très appréciable, n’est-ce-pas !

Source: / Πηγή:

Text History of the Greek Pentateuch (Wevers, 1974-1992)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Book of Job
& the Tetragrammaton /

Το Βιβλίο του Ιώβ
& το Τετραγράμματο

Job is confounded not by a vain and arrogant inventory of created items but by his own shortsightedness in blaming a god he believed omnipotent and whim sical. Job realizes that Yhwh is fully involved in his creatures' suffering and struggle. This is precisely why the text has shifted from the use of divine nonpersonal designations such as El, Elohim, Eloah, El Shadday, to the proper name, Yhwh. Yhwh himself stresses the meaning of the shift in 40:2: "Shall a faultfinder contend with Shadday? Anyone who argues with Eloah must respond." As we have seen, God challenges Job. He is telling Job that as long as he engages him as omnipotent Elohim, he, Job, is insignificant and his suffering is lost in the void. The dialogue becomes meaningful when God is the personal respondent that the name Yhwh signifies. Yhwh stresses the inanity of disputing with Eloah or Shadday and the necessity for him to reveal himself as the human's intimate engaged in the fight against evil. Job's reply is the dawning of an insight: "I have uttered what I did not understand" (42:3). Indeed, as long as he tried to contend with the distant deity, he elicited no answer, made no progress, and ended up as a "faultfinder."

* André Lacocque,
The Deconstruction of Job's Fundamentalism,”
Journal of Biblical Literature,
Vol./Τόμ. 126, No./Αρ. 1 (Spring/Άνοιξη, 2007),
The Society of Biblical Literature,
p. 91 [pp. 83-97].

Monday, September 1, 2014

Conscientious objectors
during the Third Reich /

Οι αντιρρησίες συνείδησης
κατά το Τρίτο Ράιχ

Hinrichtung vor aller Augen
Als der erste NS-Kriegsverweigerer starb

Im Zweiten Weltkrieg verweigerten einige Soldaten Hitler die Gefolgschaft. Der erste Kriegsdienstverweigerer starb in einem Schauprozess. Grundlage war ein Erlass von Heinrich Himmler.

Seine Erschießung hat sich ins Gedächtnis der KZ-Häftlinge eingebrannt. Vor allen Augen und über Lautsprecher auch in den hintersten Winkel des Konzentrationslagers übertragen, wurde August Dickmann am 15. September 1939 in Sachsenhausen bei Berlin öffentlich hingerichtet: als erster Kriegsdienstverweigerer des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Zwei Wochen zuvor hatte Adolf Hitlers Wehrmacht Polen überfallen und somit den zweiten globalen Krieg der Weltgeschichte entfesselt.

Dickmann fand den Tod auf dem Appellplatz im Zentrum des KZs - wenige Meter entfernt von seinem mit den Häftlingen angetretenen Bruder Heinrich. "Was ihm widerfahren ist, ist so nie wieder geschehen", sagt der Direktor der Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Günter Morsch, über Dickmanns Hinrichtung. Spätere Exekutionen führten die Nazis im Erschießungsgraben durch. Heute erinnert ein Gedenkstein an die Ermordung des 29-Jährigen, der den Wehrdienst als Zeuge Jehovas aus religiösen Gründen verweigerte.

Unter all jenen, die Widerstand gegen die Nazi-Diktatur leisteten, ist er einer der weitgehend unbekannten. Zu unbedeutend mag sein Einsatz historisch erscheinen - doch er hat ihn mit dem Leben bezahlt, so wie die meisten der rund 280 Kriegsdienstverweigerer in Hitlers Reich. Ganz überwiegend waren sie religiös motiviert: Von mehr als 250 Zeugen Jehovas, einigen Adventisten, Katholiken und Protestanten sowie einer Handvoll politisch Motivierter berichtet eine Publikation "Geschichte der Kriegsdienstverweigerung".

Himmler legte die Grundlage für die Hinrichtungen

Grundlage der ersten Hinrichtung - der Exekution Dickmanns - war ein geheimer Runderlass vom 3. September, der verfahrenslose Exekutionen ermöglichte. "Das war der letzte Schritt zur Etablierung einer von der Justiz unabhängigen Gerichtsbarkeit der Polizei", erklärt Gedenkstätten-Direktor Morsch. An die Stelle gerichtlicher Todesurteile trat der Befehl des SS-Reichsführers Heinrich Himmler. Noch vor dem aus Dinslaken im Ruhrgebiet stammenden Dickmann ermordeten die Nazis auf Grundlage des Erlasses in der Nacht vom 7. zum 8. September 1939 allerdings den Kommunisten Johann - genannt Hans - Heinen aus Dessau. Der 30-Jährige hatte sich aus politischen Motiven geweigert, beim Ausgraben von Luftschutzgräben mitzuhelfen, wurde von der Gestapo verhaftet und in das KZ Sachsenhausen gebracht. "Heinen war der erste in allen Lagern, der auf Befehl des Reichsführers SS exekutiert wurde", berichtet der Stiftungsdirektor.

Im Laufe des Krieges gab es in Sachsenhausen zahlreiche weitere Exekutionen, bei denen sich die Behörden auf diesen Erlass beriefen. "Es waren sicherlich Tausende, eine genaue Zahl lässt sich aber leider nicht mehr ermitteln", so Morsch. Klar ist jedoch: Die Ermordung von Heinen und Dickmann stellt eine Zäsur dar. An die Hinrichtung Dickmanns erinnerte sich als Augenzeuge sein Bruder Heinrich 1972 im "Wachturm", der Zeitschrift der Zeugen Jehovas: "Dann wurde mein Bruder mit gefesselten Händen vor den Kugelfang gebracht. Jetzt gab der Lagerkommandant durch den Lautsprecher folgendes bekannt: "Der Häftling August Dickmann aus Dinslaken, geboren am 7. Januar 1910, verweigert den Wehrdienst, weil er ein Bürger des Königreichs Gottes sei. (...) So hat er sich außerhalb der Volksgemeinschaft gestellt und wird auf Anordnung des Reichsführers Himmler erschossen".

Zum 60. Todestag Dickmanns wurde 1999 ein Gedenkstein in der Gedenkstätte Sachsenhausen aufgestellt. Die Zeugen Jehovas entschieden sich erst spät für diese Würdigung gemeinsam mit der Gedenkstätte. "Das liegt an einer anderen Sichtweise. Das Gedenken hat bei uns erst relativ spät begonnen", erklärt der Sprecher der Organisation, Wolfram Slupina.

Nach dem Krieg hätten der Blick nach vorn und der Wiederaufbau im Zentrum gestanden.
Auch dadurch sei diese Opfergruppe, die die Nazis mit einem lila Winkel kennzeichneten, jahrzehntelang kaum erwähnt worden. Mit dem Kampf um den Status als eine Religionsgemeinschaft, die den großen Kirchen gleichgestellt ist, änderte sich auch die Auseinandersetzung mit der eigenen Geschichte.

An den Kommunisten Heinen wurde dagegen früh gedacht. Bereits seit DDR-Zeiten ist in seinem einstigen Wohnort Dessau eine Straße nach ihm benannt, die sich heute zentral in der Nähe des Bahnhofs und des Bundesumweltamtes befindet. Wie der Dessauer Historiker Bernd Ulbrich berichtet, erinnert seit 2009 ein Stolperstein - eine Messingplatte mit Namen - im Straßenpflaster nahe dem einstigen Wohnhaus an Heinen.

26.08.2014 | 13:47 Uhr, zuletzt aktualisiert am 31.08.2014 | 20:24 Uhr

*, Als der erste NS-Kriegsverweigerer starb

*, Bis heute kaum bekannt: So starb der erste NS-Kriegsverweigerer, Sonntag, 31.08.2014, 16:03

Saturday, August 30, 2014

List of medical treatments
accepted and unaccepted
by Jehovah's Witness /

Λίστα μορφών ιατρικής θεραπείας
αποδεκτών και μη αποδεκτών
από τους Μάρτυρες του Ιεχωβά

* Salvatore Guarino, Filippo Di Matteo, Salvatore Sorrenti, Roberto Greco, Matteo Nardi, Pasqualino Favoriti, Enrico De Antoni, Angelo Filippini, Antonio Catania,
Bloodless surgery in geriatric surgery,”
Αναίμακτη χειρουργική στη γηριατρική χειρουργική»]
International Journal of Surgery,
Available online 23 August 2014,
ISSN 1743-9191, (

*    *


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bart Ehrman
on divine hypostases /

O Μπαρτ Έρμαν
περί των θείων υποστάσεων

Divine Hypostases

Scholars sometimes use technical terms for no good reason, other than the fact that they are the technical terms scholars use. When I was in graduate school we used to ask, wryly, why we should use a perfectly good English term when we had an obscure Latin or German term that meant the same thing? But there are some rare terms that simply don’t have satisfactory, simple words that adequately express the same thing, and the word hypostasis (plural: hypostases) is one of them. Possibly the closest common term meaning roughly the same thing would be personification—but even that doesn’t quite get it, and it too isn’t a word you normally hear as you stand in line at the grocery store.

The term hypostasis comes from Greek and refers to the essence or substance of something. In the context in which I’m using the term here, it refers to a feature or attribute of God that comes to take on its own distinct existence apart from God. Imagine, for example, that God is wise. That means he has wisdom. This in turn means that wisdom is something that God “has”—that is, it is something independent of God that he happens to have possession of. If that’s the case, then one could imagine “wisdom” as a being apart from God; and since it is God’s wisdom, then it is a kind of divine being alongside God that is also within God as part of his essence, a part of who he is.

As it turns out, some Jewish thinkers imagined that Wisdom was just that, a hypostasis of God, an element of his being that was distinct from him in one sense, but completely his in another. Wisdom was with God as a divine being and could be thought of as God (since it was precisely his wisdom). Other hypostases are discussed in ancient Jewish writings, but here I restrict myself to two—Wisdom and what was sometimes thought of as the outward manifestation of Wisdom, the Word (Greek, Logos) of God.
The idea that Wisdom could be a divine hypostasis—an aspect of God that is a distinct being from God that nonetheless is itself God—is rooted in a fascinating passage of the Hebrew Bible, Proverbs 8. Here, Wisdom is portrayed as speaking and says that it was the first thing God created:

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
                 The first of his acts of long ago.
           Ages ago I was set up,
                 at the first, before the beginning of the earth . . .
           Before the mountains had been shaped,
                 before the hills, I was brought forth. (8:22–23, 25)

And then, once Wisdom was created, God created the heavens and the earth. In fact, he created all things with Wisdom, who worked alongside him:

When he established the heavens, I was there,
                 When he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
           When he made firm the skies above,
                 When he established the fountains of the deep . . .
                 Then I was beside him, like a master worker;
           And I was daily his delight,
                 Rejoicing before him always,
           Rejoicing in his inhabited world
                 And delighting in the human race. (8:27–28, 30–31)

God made all things in his wisdom, so much so that Wisdom is seen as a co-creator of sorts. Moreover, just as God is said to have made all things live, so too life comes through Wisdom:

For whoever finds me finds life,
                 And obtains favor from the Lord;
           But those who miss me injure themselves;
                 All who hate me love death. (8:35–36)

This passage can be read, of course, without thinking of Wisdom as some kind of personification of an aspect of God that exists apart from and alongside him. It could simply be a metaphorical way of saying that the world is an astounding place and that the creation of it is rooted in the wise foreknowledge of God, who made all things just as they ought to be. Moreover, if you understand the wisdom of the way things are made, and live in accordance with this knowledge, you will live a happy and fulfilled life. But some Jewish readers read the passage more literally and took Wisdom to be an actual being that was speaking, a being alongside God that was an expression of God.

This view led some Jewish thinkers to magnify Wisdom as a divine hypostasis. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in a book of the Jewish Apocrypha called the Wisdom of Solomon. The book is attributed to King Solomon himself—who is acclaimed in the Bible as the wisest man ever to have lived—but it was actually written many centuries after he had been laid to rest. Especially in chapters 7–9 we find a paean to Wisdom, which is said to be “a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty . . . for she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness” (Wis. 7:25–26; Wisdom is referred to as “she”—or even as “Lady Wisdom”—because the Greek word for wisdom is feminine); “she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works” (8:4).

Here too we are told that Wisdom “was present when you [God] made the world” (9:9)—but more than that, she actually is beside God on his throne (9:10). It was Wisdom who brought salvation to Israel at the exodus and afterward throughout the history of the nation (chaps. 10–11). Interestingly, Wisdom is said to have done not only what the Hebrew Bible claims God did (creation; exodus), but also what the “angel” of God did—for example, rescuing Abraham’s nephew Lot from the fires that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 (10:6).

In a sense, then, Wisdom could be seen as an angel, even a highly exalted angel, or indeed the Angel of the Lord; but as a hypostasis it is something somewhat different. It is an aspect of God that is thought to exist alongside God and to be worthy, as being God’s, of the honor and esteem accorded God himself.
The Word
In some ways the most difficult divine hypostasis to discuss is the Word—in Greek, the Logos. That’s because the term had a long, distinguished, and complex history outside the realm of Judaism among the Greek philosophers. Full treatment of the philosophical reflections on Logos would require an entire study, but I can say enough here to give an adequate background to its use in the philosophical circles of Judaism, especially regarding the most famous Jewish philosopher of antiquity, Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE–50 CE).

The ancient Greek philosophers known as the Stoics had extensive discussions of the divine Logos. The word Logos does mean “word”—as in the thing you speak—but it could carry much deeper and richer connotations and nuances. It is, obviously, the word from which we get the English term logic—and that’s because Logos can also mean reason—as in, “there is a reason for that” and “that view is quite reasonable.” Stoics believed that Logos—reason—was a divine element that infused all of existence. There is, in fact, a logic to the way things are, and if you want to understand this world—and more important, if you want to understand how best to live in this world—then you will seek to understand its underlying logic. As it turns out, this is possible because Logos is not only inherent in nature, it resides in us as human beings. We ourselves have a portion of Logos given to us, and when we apply our minds to the world, we can understand it. If we understand the world, we can see how to live in it. If we follow through on that understanding, we will indeed lead harmonious, peaceful, and enriched lives. But if we don’t figure out the way the world works and is, and if we don’t live in harmony with it, we will be miserable and no better off than the dumb animals.

Thinkers who saw themselves standing directly in the line of the great fifth-century BCE Plato took the idea of the Logos in a different direction. In Platonic thinking, there is a sharp divide between spiritual realities and this world of matter. God, in this thinking, is pure spirit. But how can something that is pure spirit have any contact with what is pure matter? For that to happen, some kind of link is needed, some kind of go-between that connects spirit and matter. For Platonists, the Logos is this go-between. The divine Logos is what allows the divine to interact with the nondivine, the spirit with matter.

We have Logos within our material bodies, so we too can connect with the divine, even though we are thoroughly entrenched in the material world. In some sense, the way to happiness and fulfillment is to escape our material attachments and attain to spiritual heights. Among other things, this means that we should not be too attached to the bodies we inhabit. We become attached by enjoying physical pleasures and thinking that pleasure is the ultimate good. But it’s not. Pleasure simply makes us long for more and keeps us attached to matter. We need to transcend matter if we are to find true meaning and fulfillment, and this means accessing the Logos of the universe with that part of the Logos that is within us.

In some respects it was quite simple for Jewish thinkers who were intimately familiar with their scriptures to connect them with some of these Stoic and Platonic philosophical ideas. In the Hebrew Bible, God creates all things by speaking a “word”: “And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.” Creation happened by means of God uttering his Logos. The Logos comes from God, and since it is God’s Logos, in a sense it is God. But once he emits it, it stands apart from God as a distinct entity. This entity was sometimes thought of as a person distinct from God. The Logos came to be seen in some Jewish circles as a hypostasis.

Already in the Hebrew Bible the “word of the Lord” was sometimes identified as the Lord himself (see, for example, 1 Sam. 3:1, 6). In the hands of Philo of Alexandria, who was heavily influenced especially by the Platonic tradition, the Logos became a key factor in understanding both God and the world.

Philo maintained that the Logos was the highest of all beings, the image of God according to which and by which the universe is ordered. God’s Logos was, in particular, the paradigm according to which humans were created. It is easy to see here that Logos is taking on the function also assigned to Wisdom, which was thought to be the creator and ordering factor of all things. In some sense the Logos is in fact “born” of Wisdom. If wisdom is something that people have within themselves, then Logos is the outward manifestation of the wisdom when the person speaks. And so, in this understanding, Wisdom gives birth to Logos, which is, in fact, what Philo himself believed. Moreover, as the mind is to the body, so the Logos is to the world.

Since the Logos is God’s Logos, it is itself divine and can be called by divine names. Thus Philo calls Logos the “image of God” and the “Name of God” and the “firstborn son” (e.g., Agriculture 51). In one place he indicates that God “gives the title of ‘God’ to his chief Logos” (Dreams 1.230). Because the Logos is God, and God is God, Philo sometimes speaks of “two gods” and in other places speaks of Logos as “the second God” (Questions on Genesis 2.62). But there is a difference for Philo between “the God” and “a god” (in Greek between o theos—meaning “God”—and theos—meaning “god”). Logos is the latter.

As a divine being apart from God, Logos obviously sounds a lot like the Angel of the Lord discussed at the beginning of this chapter. And in fact, Philo sometimes maintained that Logos was indeed this Angel of the Lord (e.g., Changing of Names 87, Dreams 239). When God was manifest to humans, it was his Logos that made the appearance. Here we see Philo’s Platonic thought at work and combining with his knowledge of scripture. God does not have direct contact with the world of matter; his contact with the world is by means of his Logos. God does not speak directly to us; he speaks to us through his Logos.

In sum, for Philo the Logos is an incorporeal being that exists outside God but is his faculty of thinking; on occasion it becomes the actual figure of God who appears “like a man” so that people can know, and interact with, its presence. It is another divine being that is distinct from God in one sense, and yet is God in another.

* Bart Ehrman,
How Jesus Became God:
The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee
[Πώς ο Ιησούς Έγινε Θεός:
Η Ανύψωση ενός Ιουδαίου Κήρυκα από τη Γαλιλαία

HarperCollins, 2014,
pp./σσ. 70-75.