theology


A friend of this blog, Seumas MacDonald, recently wrote a nice post on Jews and Gentiles in Galatians.  The thrust of the post is that in Galatians, “we” refers to Jews, and “you” refers gentile believers.  This leads to a more satisfactory reading of Galatians, and also has important implications: as gentiles, we were not saved from the curse of the law;  rather, we were already under judgment.  Christ redeems us from the judgment we were already in.  

This same distinction, I’d argue, is present in Ephesians.  Tracking exactly who “we” and “you” are in the letter is a bit tricky, and Paul only occasionally specifies.  Sometimes “we” seems to indicate Paul and his fellow apostles; sometimes it may be a general “we”; but the Jew/Gentile distinction is definitely present, and most strongly in chapter 2.

I’ve usually heard Eph 2 preached in a very general way: verses 1-3 describe life before salvation, and 4-10 life after.  This works to an extent, but it’s not where Paul starts.  Paul is not describing the individual, but instead Jews and Gentiles.  The Gentile nations were utterly dead in their sins, enslaved to the demonic “spirit of the air.” Even the Jews had gone astray.  But God, rich in mercy, sends Christ to those far (the Gentiles) and those near (the Jews).  The inclusion of the Gentiles into God’s people is utter grace; we did nothing to deserve, and weren’t seeking God at all.  Instead, while lost in our sin, Christ died for us.

Paul caries this through the rest of chapter 2 and into 3.  2:11-22 is all about God incorporating the gentiles into his covenant people, so that they become fellow citizens and heirs along with Israel.  3:6 expresses this along the lines that ancient peoples used to define themselves.  The gentiles were fellow heirs (that is, as if they had blood descent from the founder of the community), members of one body (members of one πόλις, one body politic), and fellow partakers in the promise of the Spirit through Christ (they share the same rites of worship).  Such a dramatic turn of events was hinted at in the OT, but its full revelation has only now come in Christ and his apostles.  

Salvation by Grace thus becomes not simply an abstraction, or something that happens only to individuals.  In origin it is a salvation-historical term: God’s gracious inclusion of the gentiles while we were utterly lost in sin.  He is indeed able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or expect.” Thanks be to God!

ἐν αὐτῷ,
ΜΑΘΠ 

 

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As the great feast of the Resurrection is here, I thought it would be fitting to translate a bit of a paschal homily this morning.  John Chrysostom is always a good choice for such an endeavor, so I found a paschal homily of his in the TLG, and I translate the beginning of it below.  I must say, I rather like his beginning: it’s quite lovely.  This homily appears in PG 52.765.  There has been some discussion about the authenticity of the homily: some think it’s not from John himself, though the editors of the PG think it’s most likely authentic.  I haven’t done any research to see if it’s been commented on more recently, but it’s lovely Greek nonetheless, even if it doesn’t come from Chrysostom’s pen!

As is my custom, I offer a rather free translation.  I try to capture the spirit of the Greek, and the paschal joy it contains.  That’s not quite possible in translation, of course, but I try nonetheless.

The Greek text is problematic in a few places, but I wasn’t able to find a manuscript online with which to compare.  

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! 

English Text

Today is the day for all of us to shout David’s words, “who shall speak of the great power of the Lord? Who shall make his praises heard?” (Ps. 106:2/105:2 LXX).  For behold, the feast of salvation, for which we have yearned for so long, has finally come.  The day of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the foundation of peace, and the grounds for reconciliation! The conquest of war itself, the dissolution of death, and the devil’s defeat! Today men have mingled with angels, and those in the body henceforth bring praises along with the angelic powers.  Today, death’s tyranny is vanquished! Today, the bonds of death are destroyed, the victory of Hell abolished! Today is the day for us to declare the prophet’s words, “Where, O death, is your sting? Where, O hell, is your victory?” (Hos. 13:14).  Today our Lord Christ has crushed the bronze gates of our prison (Ps. 107:16/106:16 LXX), and abolished the role of death itself.  Why do I say ‘role’? Because he changed death’s role on the great cosmic stage[1].  This change shall no longer be called ‘death,’ but rather ‘rest,’ or ‘sleep.’  Before Christ’s coming, and the working-out of the cross, the name of death brought great fear.  For the first man, instead of receiving great honor, was condemned by hearing, “in the day you eat, you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17).  But the blessed Job foresaw this change and said, “death is rest for man” (Job 3:23 LXX).  The separation of the soul from the body is not only called ‘death,’ but also ‘Hades,’ as the patriarch Jacob says, “You all will take my old age down into Hades with grief” (Gen. 42:38).  Again, the prophet says, “Hades opens wide his mouth,” (Is. 5:14?) and another prophet says, “he delivers me from the lowest depth of Hades” (Ps. 86:13/87:13 LXX).  And so you’ll find many places where death and Hades are put together and made equivalent.  But since Christ our God has been offered as a sacrifice, with resurrection as the result, our Lord, full of loving-kindness, has completely transformed the roles of death and Hades.  He has introduced a new and foreign institution into our life.  Henceforth, instead of death, this change at the end of life shall be called ‘rest,’ and ‘sleep.’  How do we know this? Hear the word of Christ himself, “My friend Lazarus is in a state of sleep, but I am coming to wake him” (Jo. 11:11).  

[1] I have added “on the great cosmic stage” to bring out more clearly John’s theatrical metaphor.  

Greek Text

αʹ. Εὔκαιρον σήμερον ἅπαντας ἡμᾶς ἀναβοῆσαι τὸ παρὰ τοῦ μακαρίου Δαυῒδ εἰρημένον· Τίς λαλήσει τὰς δυναστείας τοῦ Κυρίου, ἀκουστὰς ποιήσει πάσας τὰς αἰνέσεις αὐτοῦ; Ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἡμῖν παραγέγονεν ἡ ποθεινὴ καὶ σωτήριος ἑορτὴ, ἡ ἀναστάσιμος ἡμέρα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἡ τῆς εἰρήνης ὑπόθεσις, ἡ τῆς καταλλαγῆς ἀφορμὴ, ἡ τῶν πολέμων ἀναίρεσις, ἡ τοῦ θανάτου κατάλυσις, ἡ τοῦ διαβόλου ἧττα. Σήμερον ἄνθρωποι τοῖς ἀγγέλοις ἀνεμίγησαν, καὶ οἱ σῶμα περικείμενοι μετὰ τῶν ἀσωμάτων δυνάμεων λοιπὸν τὰς ὑμνῳδίας ἀναφέρουσι. Σήμερον καταλύεται τοῦ διαβόλου ἡ τυραννίς· σήμερον τὰ δεσμὰ τοῦ θανάτου ἐλύθη, τοῦ ᾅδου τὸ νῖκος ἠφάνισται· σήμερον εὔκαιρον πάλιν εἰπεῖν τὴν προφητικὴν ἐκείνην φωνήν· Ποῦ σου, θάνατε, τὸ κέντρον; ποῦ σου, ᾅδη, τὸ νῖκος; Σήμερον τὰς χαλκᾶς πύλας συνέθλασεν ὁ Δεσπότης ἡμῶν Χριστὸς, καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦ θανάτου τὸ πρόσωπον ἠφάνισε. Τί δὲ λέγω τὸ πρόσωπον; Αὐτοῦ τὴν προσηγορίαν μετέβαλεν· οὐκ ἔτι γὰρ θάνατος λέγεται, ἀλλὰ κοίμησις καὶ ὕπνος· πρὸ μὲν γὰρ τῆς Χριστοῦ παρουσίας, καὶ τῆς τοῦ σταυροῦ οἰκονομίας, καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦ θανάτου τὸ ὄνομα φοβερὸν ἐτύγχανε. Καὶ γὰρ ὁ πρῶτος ἄνθρωπος γενόμενος ἀντὶ μεγάλου ἐπιτιμίου τοῦτο κατεδικάζετο ἀκούων· ᾟ δ’ ἂν ἡμέρᾳ φαγῇ, θανάτῳ ἀποθανῇ. Καὶ ὁ μακάριος δὲ Ἰὼβ τούτῳ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτὸν προσηγόρευσε, λέγων· Θάνατος ἀνδρὶ ἀνάπαυσις. Καὶ ὁ προφήτης Δαυῒδ ἔλεγε· Θάνατος ἁμαρτωλῶν πονηρός. Οὐ μόνον δὲ θάνατος ἐκαλεῖτο ἡ διάλυσις τῆς ψυχῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ σώματος, ἀλλὰ καὶ ᾅδης. Ἄκουε γὰρ τοῦ μὲν πατριάρχου Ἰακὼβ λέγοντος· Κατάξετε τὸ γῆράς μου μετὰ λύπης εἰς ᾅδου· τοῦ δὲ προφήτου πάλιν· Ἔχανεν ὁ ᾅδης τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ· καὶ πάλιν ἑτέρου προφήτου λέγοντος· Ῥύσεταί με ἐξ ᾅδου κατωτάτου· καὶ πολλαχοῦ εὑρήσεις ἐπὶ τῆς Παλαιᾶς θάνατον καὶ ᾅδην καλουμένην τὴν ἐντεῦθεν μετάστασιν. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ Χριστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν θυσία προσηνέχθη, καὶ τὰ τῆς ἀναστάσεως προεχώρησε, περιῆρε δὲ τὰς προσηγορίας αὐτὰς ὁ φιλάνθρωπος Δεσπότης, καὶ καινὴν καὶ ξένην πολιτείαν εἰς τὸν βίον εἰσήγαγε τὸν ἡμέτερον· ἀντὶ γὰρ θανάτου λοιπὸν κοίμησις καὶ ὕπνος λέγεται ἡ ἐντεῦθεν μετάστασις. Καὶ πόθεν τοῦτο δῆλον; Ἄκουε αὐτοῦ τοῦ Χριστοῦ λέγοντος· Λάζαρος ὁ φίλος ἡμῶν κεκοίμηται, ἀλλὰ πορεύομαι ἐξυπνίσαι αὐτόν.

ἐν αὐτῷ,
ΜΑΘΠ 

I’m doing some TLG work this morning to determine the different ways Gregory can use βελτίων.  In the process, I came upon this darling of a passage in his first oration.  Here’s the Greek and my translation:

Gregorius Nazianzenus Theol., In sanctum pascha et in tarditatem (orat. 1). 
Εʹ. Γενώμεθα ὡς Χριστὸς, ἐπεὶ καὶ Χριστὸς ὡς ἡμεῖς· γενώμεθα θεοὶ δι’ αὐτὸν, ἐπειδὴ κἀκεῖνος δι’ ἡμᾶς ἄνθρωπος. Προσέλαβε τὸ χεῖρον, ἵνα δῷ τὸ βέλτιον·
ἐπτώχευσεν, ἵν’ ἡμεῖς τῇ ἐκείνου πτωχείᾳ πλουτήσωμεν.

Let us become like Christ, for he became like us.  Let us become gods on his account, for he became a man for us. He took the worse lot, that he might give the better. He was impoverished, so that we would become rich through his poverty.  

It then continues with the antitheses in a lovely manner.  I do love reading Gregory!

ἐν αὐτῷ,
ΜΑΘΠ 

Below is my translation of the first part of opusculum 74, from Paul Gautier’s edition of Michael Psellos’s Theologica.  I’m not sure how much of this I’ll translate, but I wanted to at least deal with the portion directly pertaining to our passage in Gregory.  Interestingly, Psellos claims that many people disagree with Gregory’s analysis of Pentecost.  Psellos lays out both sides of the argument in pretty good detail here.  The Greek text of Gautier’s edition is in the TLG, which I have posted beneath for convenience.  

English Translation

On the passage, “The apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  

There are many who think this miracle happened in a manner different than the one Gregory the Theologian set out when he examined the tongues of fire.  “How is it,” they say, “not a miracle if from one and the same voice many languages resounded forth?  It might work just as wheat-flowers, barbs, husks and sheaths all come from one wheat stalk. One man, who had visited many cities and learned many languages, could translate the languages spoken into the native language of the audience.  Even here in our city we now see many who speak Arabic, or Egyptian or Phoenician, and these same ones translate for Persians, Iberians, Galatians, and Assyrians.  When someone speaks all of the languages with fluency, we marvel, but even this great feat we do not consider a sign of the Holy Spirit’s appearance.  But if someone speaks one speech for all languages, such that an Assyrian can understand, along with a Scythian or Ethiopian, we certainly understand this man as participating in divine language.”  

But the great father has marveled at the opposite of this.  He says that all of the languages were spoken at once by the apostles, and he gives this reason.  If the apostles spoke in one language, but those present heard in their various languages, then one would reasonably think that the miracle belonged to the audience, that they have translated the one language into their own.  But if a Jew, who just prior knew only the tongue of the Jews, immediately began speaking to Assyrians in the Assyrian language, and then again to Medes, and after this to Babylonians, whose words before he didn’t even know very well, this man alone would testify to the divine breath, since the Spirit always appears in various forms, and from one source he divides himself to many springs.  This is why the great man thinks this option more worthy of the Spirit’s appearance than the first.

Greek Text

Εἰς τὸ ‘ἐπλήσθησαν οἱ ἀπόστολοι πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ ἤρξαντο λαλεῖν ἑτέραις γλώσσαις, καθὼς τὸ πνεῦμα ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἀποφθέγγεσθαι’ 

Πολλοὶ τὸ ἐναντίον, οὗ περὶ τῶν πυρίνων γλωσσῶν ἡ θεολόγος φωνὴ διηρμήνευκε, θαυμάσιον ἥγηνται· καὶ πῶς γάρ, φασίν, οὐ παράδοξον, εἰ ἀπὸ μιᾶς καὶ τῆς αὐτῆς φωνῆς πολλαὶ διάλεκτοι ἀνεβλάστανον; ὥσπερ γὰρ ἀπὸ μιᾶς καλάμης τοῦ στάχυος ἀνθέρικές τε καὶ ἀκίδες καὶ θῆκαι καὶ λέμματα. τὸ δὲ μεταλλάττειν τὰς διαλέκτους πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀκουόντων οἰκείαν φωνήν, τοῦτο καὶ ἀνὴρ πολλαῖς ἐπιπλανηθεὶς πόλεσι καὶ πλείσταις γλώσσαις ἐνωμιληκὼς ποιήσειε. καὶ ἡμεῖς δὲ τεθεάμεθα πολλοὺς τῶν καθ’ ἡμᾶς νῦν μὲν Ἀράβιον ἀφιέντας φωνήν, νῦν δὲ κατὰ Φοίνικας ἢ Αἰγυπτίους διαλεγομένους, οἱ δ’ αὐτοὶ καὶ Πέρσαις καὶ Ἴβηρσι καὶ Γαλάταις καὶ Ἀσσυρίοις τὴν γλῶτταν διαμερίζουσιν, οὓς δὴ τῆς μὲν εὐγλωττίας, ὡς ἄν τις εἴπῃ, θαυμάζομεν, οὐ μὴν δὲ τὴν πολλὴν ταύτην φωνὴν σημεῖον θεοφανείας ποιούμεθα. εἰ δέ τις τὴν μίαν διάλεκτον πολλαῖς γλώσσαις διαμερίζοι, ὡς καὶ τὸν Φοίνικα ταύτης συνιέναι καὶ τὸν Ἀσσύριον καὶ τὸν Σκύθην καὶ τὸν Αἰθίοπα, τοῦτον ἂν εἰκότως ἐν μετουσίᾳ λογισώμεθα.

Ἀλλ’ ὁ μέγας πατὴρ τὸ ἐναντίον τούτου τεθαύμακε, καὶ πάσας ὁμοῦ τὰς διαλέκτους αὐτομάτως τοῖς ἀποστόλοις ἐπιμαρτυρήσας ἄριστα καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν προσθείς. εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι μιᾷ διελέγοντο γλώττῃ, πολυμερῶς δὲ ταύτης οἱ παρόντες ἀντελαμβάνοντο, ἐκείνων ἂν εἰκότως τὸ θαῦμα τῆς ἀντιλήψεως δόξειε, περισπώντων εἰς ἑαυτοὺς τὴν μίαν διάλεκτον κατὰ τὴν οἰκείαν γλῶτταν· εἰ δ’ ὁ πρὸ μικροῦ Ἰουδαῖος μόνον καὶ τὴν Ἰουδαίων μεμαθηκὼς μόνην φωνὴν αὖθις Ἀσσυρίοις τε ὁμιλεῖ κατὰ τὴν ἐκείνων γλῶτταν καὶ πάλιν Μήδοις καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα Βαβυλωνίοις, ὧν οὐδὲ τὰ ὀνόματα πάνυ σαφῶς ἠπίστατο, τούτῳ ἂν εἰκότως μόνῳ ἡ θεία προσμαρτυρηθείη ἐπίπνοια, ὡς πολυειδεῖ ἀθρόον ἀναφανέντι καὶ ἀπὸ μιᾶς πηγῆς πολλοὺς διαμεριζομένῳ τοὺς ὀχετούς. διὰ ταῦτα ὁ μέγας οὗτος ἀνὴρ τοῦτο μᾶλλον ἢ ἐκεῖνο θεοφανείας ἠξίωσε.

ἐν αὐτῷ,
ΜΑΘΠ 

Update: I have corrected formatting problems in the Greek text.  Thanks to Charles Sullivan for catching them.

For my term paper in my Homer class, I’ll be examining the Homeric influences in Gregory of Nazianzus’s Poemata Arcana. These are the first eight of his dogmatic poems.  Written in the epic hexameter of Homer, the poems are exquisite statements of Christian dogma and aesthetics.  The third poem, entitled “On the Spirit” commences in dramatic fashion.  Indulge me as I translate a few lines (with suitable poetic license):


“O Soul, why are you troubled?
Sing the boast of the Spirit,
Lest you divide the one not made so by nature.
Let us tremble at this great Spirit,
My God, by whom I know God;
The Spirit of God in the Heavens,
Who yet makes me a god here on the Earth.
Almighty, All-giving, the Song of the Sacred Dance,
Bearer of Life, both seen and unseen;
Divine counselor, He proceeds from the Father;
Divine Spirit he goes un-bidden.
He is not the Child;
But one is worthy of such honor,
Yet apart from God he is not;
Divine, he is equal in nature.”

Θυμέ, τί δηθύνεις; καὶ Πνεύματος εὖχος ἄειδε,
μηδὲ τέμῃς μύθοισιν ὃ μὴ φύσις ἐκτὸς ἔθηκε.
Πνεῦμα μέγα τρομέωμεν, ὅ μοι θεός, ᾧ θεὸν ἔγνων,
ὃς θεός ἐστιν ἔναντα, καὶ ὅς Θεὸν ἐνθάδε τεύχει·
πανσθενές, αἰολόδωρον, ἁγνῆς ὕμνημα χορείης,>
οὐρανίων χθονίων τε φερέσβιον, ὑψιθόωκον,
Πατρόθεν ἐρχόμενον, θεῖον μένος, ἀυτοκέλευστον,
οὔτε Πάϊς (μοῦνος γὰρ ἑνὸς Πάϊς ἐσθλὸς ἀρίστου)
οὔτ᾽ ἐκτὸς θεότητος ἀειδέος, ἀλλ᾽ ὁμόδοξον.

If you look at the Greek, you’ll see quite a few differences: I make no apologies here. Translating poetry demands poetic license. Of course, I’m hardly a competent English poet. Hopefully, my translation brings out some of what is truly beautiful in the original. Gregory’s poetry is difficult, but stunning in its erudition and loveliness.

I’ve bolded a few things I found particularly interesting or appealing in the Greek. First, one has acknowledge Gregory’s debt to Homer. The very first word of the poem, θυμός, is extremely common word for soul or spirit in Homer. Likewise, his command to his soul to “sing the boast of the Spirit” uses Homer’s singing and boasting language. One is reminded of the very first line of the Iliad, “Wrath, Goddess, sing!” One thinks too of Homer’s heroes always boasting in their lineage. Before a battle there was usually an exchange of words, each opponent boasting in his family line. So too, Gregory exhorts his soul to boast in the Spirit, so that it may be prepared for battle with those who “divide what by nature is indivisible.”

Of course, Gregory writes as a Christian poet as well. Though Homer has an immeasurable influence on his form and vocabulary, Gregory melds with it a web of Christian influences and theology. One particularly glaring incident comes in the 7th line, where the Spirit is called, θεῖον μένος. Μένος is another extremely common Homeric word. It means something like our english word “spirit,” but a bit more like in our use of “high-spirited.” Sometimes “battle strength” or “battle rage” is more fitting (the flexibility is rather like the Latin animus). But here, the Spirit the divine μένος! Gregory has taken an extremely common Homeric word, and filled it entirely with new content.

The Scriptural resonances are evident as well. The first line, while clearly echoing Greek epic, also echoes the Psalmist, “why are you downcast O Soul!” The Spirit is the “bearer of Life” for both “the heavenly ones and the earthly ones,” which I translated “seen and unseen” to evoke the allusions to the great creed. But my favorite phrase of these lines definitely comes from the fifth line, where the Spirit is the “ἁγνῆς ὕμνημα χορείης,” “the Song of the Sacred Dance.” It is turns of phrase like that that have established Gregory as one of the greatest Christian poets. His use of language so carefully and beautifully exhibits the truth of Christian theology. The two meanings of orthodoxy, which is both true worship and true theology, come together exquisitely in Gregory. Rightly has the Church remembered with the simple epithet, “the Theologian.”

ἐν αὐτῷ
ΜΑΘΠ

If you’ve ever heard a sermon on the nature of the Holy Spirit, the speaker may have used John 14:16 as a reference:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give another comforter to you, one that will be with you always.”

The Greek behind the English word, “another” is the adjective ἄλλος.  It’s common to hear that there are two words for “another” in Greek: ἄλλος and ἕτερος.  I can’t think of any English derivatives of ἄλλος, but ἕτερος is where we get our “hetero” words, like heterogenous.  At any rate, ἄλλος (which is used here), means “another of the same type” in classical Greek, while ἕτερος means “another of a different type.”  This distinction is still felt in the New Testament period, though the two words start to overlap more and more.

As always, with points of Greek usuage like this, I like to refer to the Greek fathers when possible.  Their Greek is better than mine will ever be!  Gregory, in his Oration on Pentecost (Or. 41), supports the distinction between the two words, and puts it to good use when discussing the Holy Spirit:

Διὰ τοῦτο μετὰ Χριστὸν μέν, ἵνα Παράκλητος ὑμῖν μὴ λείπῃ·  «Ἄλλος» δὲ, ἵνα σὺ τὴν ἰσοτιμίαν ἐνθυμηθῇς. τὸ γὰρ «ἄλλος» οὐκ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τῶν ὁμοουσίων οἶδα λεγόμενον.

Because of this, after Christ (the Spirit came), so that you would not lack a helper.  This helper is “another” (ἄλλος) so that you may know that he is one of equal honor.  For the word “ἄλλος” does not refer to things of a different type, but we know that it said about things that are of the same nature (gk. ὁμοούσιος, the word used in the Nicene Creed to refer to the “consubstantiality” of the Godhead).  

Scholars of Greek often lament the poor use of Greek in sermons, but this particular point is well-founded in our knowledge of Greek, and has precedent in the Church Fathers. One could, I suppose, argue against it, but it’s always nice to have Gregory of Nazianzus on your side.

ἐν αὐτῷ,

ΜΑΘΠ

"εἴδοσάν σε, ὕδατα ὁ θεός. ἔιδοσάν
σε ὕδατα καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν,
ἐταράχθησαν ἄβυσσοι πλῆθος ἤχους
ὕδάτων." "στενὴ γὰρ καὶ τεθλιμμένη
ἡ ὁδὸς, ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν.
καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν." (Mt. 7:14)
καὶ ὁ λαὸς ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὀλιγοστοί
εἰσι παρὰ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τὰ ἐπὶ
τῆς γῆς. καὶ ἐν τῇ κιβωτῷ τοῦ Νῶε,
ὅσῳ ἀνωτέρῳ τοσούτῳ στενοτέρα,
καὶ ὀλιγότερα χωρεῖ τὰ ἀνωτέρῳ
ὅπου δὲ τὰ τεταραγμένα κατὰ
τὴν ἄβυσσον πράγματα, ἐκεῖ τὸ
πλῆθος ὠνομάσθη. "ἐταράχθησαν
ἄβυσσοι πλῆθος ἤχους ὕδατος."

καὶ ἐπὶ μὲν τῶν ὁρώντων τὸν θεὸν
ὑδάτων, ἦχος οὐκ ἔστιν, οὐδὲ ἄσημος
φωνῆ, ἀλλά τις εὐστάθεια καὶ
ἡσυχία, μόνον φοβουμένων τῶν θεορούντων
αὐτὸν ὑδάτων, ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς
ἀβύσσου, "ἐταράχθησαν ἄβυσσοι πλῆθος
ἦχους ὕδατος," ὁρᾶς, ὅτι ἦχος
ἐστὶν, ἐν τοῖς τεταραγμένοις, οὐ τρανὴ
οὐδὲ ἄσημος οὐδὲ διηρθρωμένη
φωνή;

“The waters saw you, O God.  The waters saw you, and were afraid.  The abysses were terrified, a depth of the sound of the waters.”  “Straight and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” (Mt. 7:14)  The people of God, they are the fewest among all the nations on the Earth.  As with the ark of Noah, for whom things were much more narrow, so now the few advance to the things above, where the affairs of the abyss have been troubled; for there the depth is named, “The abysses were troubled, a depth of the sound of waters.”

With the waters that see God, there is no sound, nor an indistinct voice, but a certain tranquility and stillness, but only for those waters that see and fear him.  But about the abyss, it says, “The abysses were terrified, the depth of the sound of waters.”  Do you see, that there is a sound among the troubled, a voice that is not clear, nor unnoticed, nor articulate?

ἐν αὐτῷ,

ΜΑΘΠ

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