Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ο Φίλων περί των όρων
«ο θεός» & «θεός» /

Philo on the terms
“the god”/“God” and “[a] god”





Ἀλλὰ γὰρ οὐ χρὴ κατεπτηχέναι τὸν ἐλπίδι θείας συμμαχίας ἐφορμοῦντα, ᾧ καὶ λέγεται· “ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεὸς ὁ ὀφθείς σοι ἐν τόπῳ θεοῦ” (Gen. 31:13).

πάγκαλόν γε αὔχημα ψυχῇ, τὸ ἀξιοῦν θεὸν ἐπιφαίνεσθαι καὶ ἐνομιλεῖν αὐτῇ. μὴ παρέλθῃς δὲ τὸ εἰρημένον, ἀλλὰ ἀκριβῶς ἐξέτασον, εἰ τῷ ὄντι δύο εἰσὶ θεοί· λέγεται γὰρ ὅτι “ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεὸς ὁ ὀφθείς σοι”, οὐκ ἐν τόπῳ ἐμῷ, ἀλλ’ “ἐν τόπῳ θεοῦ,” ὡς ἂν ἑτέρου. τί οὖν χρὴ λέγειν;

ὁ μὲν ἀληθείᾳ θεὸς εἷς ἐστιν, οἱ δ’ ἐν καταχρήσει λεγόμενοι πλείους. διὸ καὶ ὁ ἱερὸς λόγος ἐν τῷ παρόντι τὸν μὲν ἀληθείᾳ διὰ τοῦ ἄρθρου μεμήνυκεν εἰπών· “ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεός”, τὸν δ’ ἐν καταχρήσει χωρὶς ἄρθρου φάσκων· “ὁ ὀφθείς σοι ἐν τόπῳ”, οὐ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἀλλ’ αὐτὸ μόνον “θεοῦ”.

καλεῖ δὲ θεὸν τὸν πρεσβύτατον αὐτοῦ νυνὶ λόγον, οὐ δεισιδαιμονῶν περὶ τὴν θέσιν τῶν ὀνομάτων, ἀλλ’ ἓν τέλος προτεθειμένος, πραγματολογῆσαι. καὶ γὰρ ἐν ἑτέροις σκεψάμενος, εἰ ἔστι τι τοῦ ὄντος ὄνομα, σαφῶς ἔγνω ὅτι κύριον μὲν οὐδέν (Ex. 6:3), ὃ δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τις, καταχρώμενος ἐρεῖ· λέγεσθαι γὰρ οὐ πέφυκεν, ἀλλὰ μόνον εἶναι τὸ ὄν.

μαρτυρεῖ δὲ καὶ τὸ θεσπισθὲν λόγιον τῷ πυνθανομένῳ, εἰ ἔστιν ὄνομα αὐτῷ, ὅτι “ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν” (Ex. 3:14), ἵν’ ὧν δυνατὸν [v.l. ἀδύνατον] ἀνθρώπῳ καταλαβεῖν μὴ ὄντων περὶ θεόν, ἐπιγνῷ τὴν ὕπαρξιν.

ταῖς μὲν οὖν ἀσωμάτοις καὶ θεραπευτρίσιν αὐτοῦ ψυχαῖς εἰκὸς αὐτὸν οἷός ἐστιν ἐπιφαίνεσθαι διαλεγόμενον ὡς φίλον φίλαις, ταῖς δὲ ἔτι ἐν σώματι ἀγγέλοις εἰκαζόμενον, οὐ μεταβάλλοντα τὴν ἑαυτοῦ φύσιν – ἄτρεπτος γάρ –, ἀλλὰ δόξαν ἐντιθέντα ταῖς φαντασιουμέναις ἑτερόμορφον, ὡς τὴν εἰκόνα οὐ μίμημα, ἀλλ’ αὐτὸ τὸ ἀρχέτυπον ἐκεῖνο εἶδος ὑπολαμβάνειν εἶναι.

* Φίλων / Philo,
Περί τού θεοπέμπτους είναι τους ονείρους /
De somniis 1.227-233.



Yet there can be no cowering fear for the man who relies on the hope of the divine comradship, to whom are addressed the words “I am the God who appeared to thee in the place of God.” (Gen. 31:13)

Surely a right noble cause of vaunting it is, for a soul that God deigns to show himself to and converse with it. And do not fail to mark the language used, but carefully inquire whether there are two Gods; for we read “I am the God that appeared to thee,” not "in my place" but “in the place of God,” as thought it were another’s. What then are we to say?

He that is truly God is one, but those that are improperly so-called are more than one. Accordingly, the holy word in the present instance has indicated Him Who truly is God by means of the articles, saying “I am the God,” while it omits the article when mentioning him who is improperly so called, saying “who appeared to thee in the place" not "of the God” but simply “of God.”

Here it gives the title of “God” to His chief Word, not from any superstitious nicety in applying names, but with one aim before him, to use words to express facts. Thus in another place, when he had inquired whether He that is has any name, he came to know full well that He has no proper name (Ex. 6:3), and that whatever name anyone may use of Him he will use by licence of language; for it is not the nature of Him that is to be spoken of, but simply to be.

Testimony to this is afforded also by the divine response made to Moses’ question whether He has a name, even “I am He that is” (Ex. 3:14). It was given in order that, since there are not in God things which man can comprehend, man may recognize His subsistence.

To the souls indeed which are incorporeal and are occupied in His worship it is likely that He should reveal Himself as He is, conversing with them as friend with friends; but to souls which are still in a body, giving Himself the likeness of angels, not altering His own nature, for He is unchangeable, but conveying to those which receive the impression of His presence a semblance in a different form, such that they take the image to be not a copy, but that original form itself.


(transl. Colson & Whitaker)

But it is not right for the man who anchors on the hope of the alliance of God to crouch and tremble, to whom God says, "I am the God who was seen by thee in the place of God." (Gen. 31:13)

A very glorious boast for the soul, that God should think fit to appear to and to converse with it. And do not pass by what is here said, but examine it accurately, and see whether there are really two Gods. For it is said: "I am the God who was seen by thee;" not in my place, but in the place of God, as if he meant of some other God. What then ought we to say?

There is one true God only: but they who are called Gods, by an abuse of language, are numerous; on which account the holy scripture on the present occasion indicates that it is the true God that is meant by the use of the article, the expression being, "I am the God (ὁ Θεός);" but when the word is used incorrectly, it is put without the article, the expression being, "He who was seen by thee in the place," not of the God (τοῦ Θεοῦ), but simply "of God" (
Θεοῦ);

and what he here calls God is his most ancient word, not having any superstitious regard to the position of the names, but only proposing one end to himself, namely, to give a true account of the matter; for in other passages the sacred historian, when he considered whether there really was any name belonging to the living God, showed that he knew that there was none properly belonging to him (Ex. 6:3); but that whatever appellation any one may give him, will be an abuse of terms; for the living God is not of a nature to be described, but only to be.

And a proof of this may be found in the oracular answer given by God to the person who asked what name he had, "I am that I Am," (Ex. 3:14) that the questioner might know the existence of those things which it was not possible for man to conceive not being connected with God.

Accordingly, to the incorporeal souls which are occupied in his service, it is natural for him to appear as he is, conversing with them as a friend with his friends; but to those souls which are still in the body he must appear in the resemblance of the angels, though without changing his nature (for he is unchangeable), but merely implanting in those who behold him an idea of his having another form, so that they fancy that it is his image, not an imitation of him, but the very archetypal appearance itself.


(transl. C. D. Yonge)

*

No comments: