Saturday, September 11, 2010

Origen: Divine names as a means of exercising power /

Ωριγένης: Θεϊκά ονόματα ως μέσα για άσκηση δύναμης


«Τὸ μὲν Σαβαὼθ ὄνομα καὶ τὸ Ἀδωναῒ καὶ ἄλλα παρ' Ἑβραίοις μετὰ πολλῆς σεμνολογίας παραδιδόμενα οὐκ ἐπὶ τῶν τυχόντων καὶ γενητῶν κεῖται πραγμάτων ἀλλ' ἐπί τινος θεολογίας ἀπορρήτου, ἀναφερομένης εἰς τὸν τῶν ὅλων δημιουργόν. [...] Καὶ τάχα οὐκ ἐλάττων ὁ κίνδυνος τῷ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ ἢ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἐφ' ἃ μὴ χρὴ κατάγοντι, ἤπερ τῷ τὰ κατά τινα ἀπόρρητον λόγον ὀνόματα ἐναλλάσσοντι καὶ τὰ μὲν κατὰ τῶν ἐλαττόνων φέροντι ἐπὶ τὰ κρείττονα τὰ δὲ κατὰ τῶν κρειττόνων ἐπὶ τὰ ἥττονα. [...] Τὴν αὐτὴν ἐπῳδὴν εἰπόντα μὲν τῇ οἰκείᾳ διαλέκτῳ ἔστιν ἐνεργῆσαι ὅπερ ἐπαγγέλλεται ἡ ἐπῳδή· μεταλαβόντα δὲ εἰς ἄλλην οἱανδηποτοῦν φωνὴν ἔστιν ἰδεῖν ἄτονον καὶ οὐδὲν δυναμένην. Οὕτως οὐ τὰ σημαινόμενα κατὰ τῶν πραγμάτων ἀλλ' αἱ τῶν φωνῶν ποιότητες καὶ ἰδιότητες ἔχουσί τι δυνατὸν ἐν αὐταῖς πρὸς τάδε τινὰ ἢ τάδε. Οὕτω δ' ἀπολογησόμεθα διὰ τῶν τοιούτων καὶ περὶ τοῦ μέχρι θανάτου ἀγωνίζεσθαι Χριστιανούς, ἵνα μὴ τὸν Δία θεὸν ἀναγορεύσωσι μηδ' ἄλλῃ διαλέκτῳ αὐτὸν ὀνομάσωσιν. Ἢ γὰρ ἀορίστως ὁμολογοῦσι τὸ κοινὸν ὄνομα τὸ θεὸς ἢ καὶ μετὰ προσθήκης τῆς «ὁ δημιουργὸς τῶν ὅλων, ὁ ποιητὴς οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὁ καταπέμψας τῷ γένει τῶν ἀνθρώπων τούσδε τινὰς τοὺς σοφούς»· ὧν τῷ ὀνόματι ἐφαρμοζόμενον τὸ θεὸς ὄνομα δύναμίν τινα παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἐπιτελεῖ».
–Ωριγένης, Κατά Κέλσου 1:14 [1:25].

«The name Sabaoth, and Adonai, and all the other names that have been handed down by the Hebrews with great reverence, are not concerned with ordinary created things, but with a certain mysterious divine science that is related to the Creator of the universe. [...] Perhaps also it is no less dangerous for a man to degrade the name of God or that of goodness to things to which these names ought not to be applied, than it is for a man to change names the nature of which is in accordance with a certain mysterious principle, and to apply the names of what is bad to what is good and of what is good to what is bad. [...] A man who pronounces a given spell in its native language can bring about the effect that the spell is claimed to do. But if the same spell is translated into any other language whatever, it can be seen to be weak and ineffective. Thus it is not the significance of the things which the words describe that has a certain power to do this or that, but it is the qualities and characteristics of the sounds. By considerations of this kind we would in this way defend the fact that Christians strive to the point of death to avoid calling God Zeus or naming him in any other language. For either they use the ordinary name 'God ' without qualification, or with the addition of the words' the Creator of the universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, who sent down to the human race such and such wise men'. And when the name 'God' is linked with the names of these men a miraculous effect is produced among men. ("And so on such grounds as these we defend the conduct of the Christians, when they struggle even to death to avoid calling God by the name of Zeus, or to give Him a name from any other language. For they either use the common name—God—indefinitely, or with some such addition as that of the "Maker of all things," "the Creator of heaven and earth"—He who sent down to the human race those good men, to whose names that of God being added, certain mighty works are wrought among men", Crombie)».
–Origen, Contra Celsum 1:14 [1:25]
[translations by:
a) Henry Chadwick, (Cambridge University Press, 1980);
b) Frederick Crombie (Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Vol. 23, 1869)].

«Σε άλλο σημείο του έργου [ενν. Κατά Κέλσου], αναφερόμενος [ο Ωριγένης] στο όνομα Σαβαώθ, σημειώνει πως με το όνομα αυτό συνδέεται μια ορισμένη δύναμις, η οποία όμως χάνεται, αν αντί για το ίδιο το όνομα χρησιμοποιήσουμε μεταφράσεις ή περιφράσεις, όπως Κύριος τῶν ὀνομάτων ή Κύριος στρατιῶν ή παντοκράτωρ. Γι' αυτό το λόγο άλλωστε ο Μωυσής και οι προφήτες απαγορεύουν ὄνομα θεῶν ἑτέρων ὀνομάζειν ἐν στόματι».


* Άννα Κόλτσιου-Νικήτα,
Μεταφραστικά ζητήματα στην ελληνόφωνη και λατινόφωνη χριστιανική γραμματεία: Από τους Εβδομήκοντα ως τον Νικόλαο Σεκουνδινό,
University Studio Press, 2009,
σ. 162.

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