Flux, Trinity, and Union- More From Gregory

I’ve decided to try my hand at a bit more from Gregory’s “On the Spirit.” (cf. here). This portion describes the Divine nature:

It is Triune Union,

It is Threefold Unity.

Neither stream, nor sea, nor rushing river,

One threefold flow rushing down against the earth.

Nor as a gleam of light, returning to its flame,

Nor as a word proceeding from the mind

        yet therein abides—

Nor as a ray of the sun dances

Upon the waters and the walls:

It whirls off before the approach,

Yet arrives before leaping away.

Divine nature knows no flux:

It neither flows apart nor returns to itself,

Eternal center, age to age it is.

And the Greek:

ἐκ μονάδος Τρίας ἐστι, καὶ ἐκ Τριάδος μονὰς αὖθις,     (60)

οὔτε πόρος, πηγή, ποταμὸς μέγας, ἕν τε ῥέεθρον

ἐν τρισσοῖσι τύποισιν ἐλαυνόμενον κατὰ γαίης·

οὔτε δὲ πυρκαϊῆς λαμπὰς πάλιν εἰς ἓν ἰοῦσα,

οὔτε λόγος προϊών τε νόου καὶ ἔνδοθι μίμνων,

οὔτε τις ἐξ ὑδάτων κινήμασιν ἡλιακοῖσι     (65)

μαρμαρυγή, τοίχοισι περίτρομος, ἀστατέουσα,

πρὶν πελάσαι φεύγουσα, πάρος φυγέειν πελάουσα,

οὐδὲ γὰρ ἄστατός ἐστι θεοῦ φύσις ἠὲ ῥέουσα

ἠὲ πάλιν συνιοῦσα· τὸ δ᾽ἔμπεδόν ἐστι θεοῖο.

The Homeric references are fewer. We do have some common homeric words show up (like the verb ἐλαύνω), and Homer does use similar language when discussing rivers. In its place, though, we get a series of negative descriptions; that is, they describe what God is not. Gregory tells us that the godhead is not like a rushing river, flowing in three parts. Nor is it a ray of light, that shoots forth and returns, or a beam of light dancing on the water. His point is stated at the end of the excerpt: the divine nature is not subject to change or flux. But even when describing what God is not, he uses lovely images. One vividly pictures light bouncing against the water off the walls of a city. Gregory is fond of employing light imagery for the trinity, and a few lines laters he says, “one nature, firmly established in three lights.” But here he paints a delightful picture, even as a negative description.

ἐν αὐτῷ,

More from Origen, On angelic administrators and their duties

In this passage, Origen discusses further the relationship between “powers” (ie, angelic beings), and the matters over which they preside.  He distinguishes between the place, and the power.  For example, Hades is both a place for souls, and the angelic being which presides over Hades. In the next passage, Origen will “take refuge in allegory.” 

εἰ οὖν πάντα
δυνάμεων ἐπιστατουσῶν καὶ μεμερισμένων
πάντα τὰ ἐν τῶ κόσμῳ οίκονομεῖται,
τί ἄτοπον ὁμωνύμως
τοῖς  οἰκονομουμένοις , τὰ οἰκονομοῦντα
ὀνομάζεσθαι.  καὶ λέγεσθαι
ὕδατα τὰς δυνάμεις τὰς ἐπὶ  τῶν
ὑδάτων, λέγεσθαι θαλάσσας, τὰς
δυνάμεις τὰς ἐπὶ ταης θαλάσσης, καὶ
οὕτως ἀβύσσους τὰς δυνάμεις τὰς
ἐπὶ τῆς ἀβύσσου, ὅτι γὰρ ὁμωνύμως
τοῖς τόποις καὶ χωρίοις

ὀνομάζονται οἱ διοικοῦντες τοὺς τόπους,
μαρτυρήσει μοι τὸ ἐν τῷ Ἠσαΐα
πνεῦμα λέγον: ὁ ἅδης κάτωθεν ἐπικράνθη
συναντήσας σοι, ὁρᾶς ὅτι
ἅδης ἐστὶ τόπος ψυχῶν, περὶ οὗ
γἐγραπται, ἀποσταφήτωσαν οἱ ἀμαρτωλοὶ
εἰς τὸν ἅδην.  καί ἔστιν ἅδης
ζῶον ὁμώνυμον τῶ τόπῳ ἐκείνῳ,
ὅ ἅδης ὁνομάζεται; ἐὰν
οὖν πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν λέγηται
ὅτι εἶδεν καὶ ἔφυγεν, ὁμωνύμως τῇ
θαλάσσῃ ἡ δύναμις ἡ διοικοῦσα τὰ
κατὰ τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ ὁδοποιοῦσα
τῷ λαῷ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὡνομάσθη.
ἐὰν οὖν λέγηται ὁ ἰορδάνης ἀπεστράφη
εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, ὁμωνύμως τῷ ἰορδήνῃ
ποταμῷ, ἡ δύναμις ἡ ἐγκεχειρισμένη
τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ποταμοῦ, ἰορδάνης ὀνομάζεται.

Thus, if the powers preside over all things, and have divided all things, and all things in the world are thus administered, how is it not fitting that the rulers are named the same as that which they rule? Thus the powers which oversee the waters are called waters, those which oversee seas are called seas, and those which oversee the abysses are called abysses, since those who oversee places are named according to their place and region.

The Spirit testifies for me in Isaiah, saying. "Hades is embittered, having met you." (Is. 14:9) Don’t you see that Hades is a place for souls, about which it is written, "may the sinners be turned to Hades." Yet also there is a being named after this place, who is called Hades? If it is said about the sea that it "saw and fled," then it was about the power who managed the matters of the sea and prepared the way for the people of God, who was likely called the same name.  If it is said that “the Jordan turned its back,” then it is likely that the power who was entrusted with the power over the river is called Jordan, like the river. 

ἐν αὐτῷ,


More Transcription and Translation of Origen’s Homilies

I’ve continued transcribing and translating from the recently discovered codex. The material continues to be quite speculative, though I *think* I’m following it. Origen is commenting further on the division of the waters during the creation narrative (those above the firmament, and those below). He takes the passage in an allegorical manner: in his mind we aren’t dealing with “waters perceptible to our eyes,” but δυνάμεις, (spiritual powers). If you spot any errors, or have any suggestions, do let me know.


“εἴδοσάν σε ὑδατα καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν.”
ἐγὼ καὶ ἐν
ἀρχῇ τῆς κοσμοποιίας, ὁρῶν πνεῦμα
θεοῦ ὡς φησὶν ὁ προφήτης τῇ διατάξει
τῶν ὁλῶν επιφερόμενoν ἐπάνω
τοῦ ὕδατος, καὶ σκότος οὐχὶ ἐπάνω
τοῦ ὕδατος, ἐκεῖ γαρ τὸ πνεῦμα
τοῦ θεοῦ ἦν, ἀλλ’ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου,
ὅπου τὸ σκότος, καὶ ὕδατος ὅπου
τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ μετὰ πολλῆς
εὐχῆς παρακαλῶν [1] τὸν θεὸν κινοῦναι
περὶ τῶν κατὰ τοὺς τόπους. ἐπεὶ καὶ
δι’ὕδατα γίνεται τὸ στερέωμα, ἵνα
τὰ μέν τινα μείνῃ ἀνωτέρω, τὰ δέ μείνῃ
κατωτέρω. μήτε ὁ Ισραήλ ἐστιν. οὐ περὶ
αἰσθεντῶν ὑδάτων, ἀλλὰ περὶ δυνάμενων
θειοτέρων κάτω μενουσῶν τοῦ
στερεώματος. τούτων αἵτινες ἦσαν,
ἡ ἄβυσσος, ἧς ἐπάνω τὸ σκότος ἦν,
καὶ γὰρ παλαίομεν πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας
τοῦ σκότους τούτου. τὸ δὲ
ὕδωρ, οὗ έπάνω τὸ πνεῦμα ἦν τοῦ θεοῦ,
δυνάμεις ἦσαν κρείττονες. ἄρτι οὖν τοῦ
κόσμου κτιζομένου, ἦν ἕν ούκ οἶδ’ὅπως
ταῦτα, οὐδέπω διακεκριμένα. ἡδε
κοσμοποιϊα, διέκρινε τὰ κρείττονα,
καὶ οἷς οἰκεῖον ἦν τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ
θεοῦ, ἀπὸ τῶν χειρόνων, καὶ τὰ χείρονα,
καὶ οἷς συνέζευκται τὸ σκότος,
τὸ λεγόμενον εἶναι ἐπὶ πρόσωπον τῆς
ἀβύσσου, ὅτι δὲ ταῦτα οὐ συντυχικά
ἔστιν ἐν τῇ γενέσει, δηλοῖ καὶ ἡ ἐνταῦθα
λέξις λέγουσα, “εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα, ὁ θεός,
εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα καὶ έφοβήθησαν.”

[1] In the translation, I’ve understood this as παρακαλοῦν, that is, a neuter rather than a masculine participle. From what I recall πνεῦμα could take on masculine forms in certain instances, but I don’t recall the details.


“The waters beheld you, and were afraid.”
In the beginning of the creation narrative, I see
the spirit of God, as the prophet says, by an order [from God]
brooding over all of the waters; and I see the darkness,
not upon the water, for there the Spirit of God was,
but in some places the darkness was upon the abyss, and
in some places the Spirit of God was upon the water, and
he (the Spirit) cried out with a great prayer that God would move
each their respective places. Thus, because of the waters
the firmament was created, so that some water would
remain above, and some would remain below. But is not
Israel [ie, this is a spiritual matter]; it is not about waters
perceptible to our senses, but about divine powers
remaining below the firmament. There were several of these,
and the abyss, over which there was darkness, was one of them:
we wrestle against the cosmic powers of this darkness. But
the waters, over which the Spirit of God was, were mightier
powers. Now just prior to the world’s creation, they were
one, and I don’t know what their nature was, before they
were divided. But the creation narrative distinguishes
the greater things, those to which the Spirit of God was suitable,
from the lesser ones, to which darkness was joined, which is
said to be over the face of the abyss. Because these things
are not found in Genesis, the reading here makes is clear
saying, “The waters saw you, O God. The waters saw you and
were afraid.”


Possible Origenic Homily – Transcription/Translation Excerpts

As promised, this post will contain a short transcription and translation of Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Codex graeca 314, the codex which scholars recently have rediscovered and believe contains a large number of homilies of Origen of Alexandria. Alin Suciu and Roger Pearse both have great summaries of the discovery. Mark Bilby has noted on Suciu’s blog that these may well be the earliest, large scale treatments on the Psalms extant, which means they are a big deal.

I picked a rather arbitrary spot to transcribe and translate. I decided to start with the 3rd homily on Psalm 76 (LXX). This begins on folio 193v (page 393 in my PDF). In this excerpt, Origen is commenting on the nature of the “waters which see God,” which comes from Psalm 77:16 (Hebrew numbering). The NETS translates it thus, “The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.”

Our author proceeds to explain the nature of these waters, and their relationship with the three heavens. The comments are speculative and “cosmic” in nature, which comport nicely with Origen’s reputation. That, along with a few stylistic characteristics make me think that Origenic authorship is likely. For example, the use of ἔοικε (it seems) sounds like Origen, but I’ve haven’t read enough Origen to know how widespread that is.

At any rate, here’s transcription and translation. There are likely errors, so if you spot anything amiss, do let me know. I’m running out of time at the moment to do any more, though hopefully I’ll post some more soon. I’m not sure exactly what the passage is doing yet, and I suspect I need to get farther before I figure it out. Still, hopefully someone will find this useful.

Greek Psalms

εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα, ὁ θεός,
εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν
καὶ ἐταράχθησαν ἄβυσσοι πλῆθος ἤχους ὑδάτων


ὁμιλία γ’ οστ’ ψαλμου ἐσχεδιασμένα

Ποταπὰ ἆρα τὰ ὕδατα ταῦτα,
ἅπερ βλέπει θεόν; τῶν ἀνθρώπων μετὰ
πολλοῦ καμάτου τέλος τοῦτο λαμβανόντων,
κατὰ τὴν λέγουσαν γραφην,
μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ,
ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν θεὸν ὄψονται. ἔοικε
γὰρ τὰ ὕδατα ταῦτα ἤτοι
παραπλήσια εἶναι τοῖς καθαροῖς
τῇ καρδίᾳ, τοῖς ὀψομένοις τὸν Θεὸν,
ἤ τάχα καὶ κρείττονα εἶναι τῶν
καθαρῶν τῇ καρδία ανθρώπων. έὰν
γὰρ δυνάμεις τινὲς ὦσι μακάριαι
καὶ θεῖαι, τὰ ὕδατα τα βλέποντα τὸν
θεὸν, ἀνάγκη ταῦτα εἶναι ἀνθρώπων κρείττονα.
καὶ ἔοικέ γε τοῦτο ὑποβάλλεσθαι
ἐν τῶ ἑκατοστῶ τεσσαρακαστῶ, καὶ ὀγδόῳ ψαλμῷ,
ἔνθα προστάσσεται ὁ
Ισραῆλ πᾶς ὑμνεῖν τον θεὸν, φησὶ γὰρ αἴνειτε
τὸν θεὸν οἱ οὐρανοὶ τῶν οὐρανῶν, καὶ
τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑπεράνω τῶν οὐρανῶν
αἰνετάτω τὸ ὄνομα Κυρίου. πόσα με
δεῖ καμεῖν ἵνα ἀναβῶ εἰς πρῶτον
οὐρανόν; πηλίκον γενέσθαι, ἵνα
ἀξιωθῶ δευτέρον; Παύλου παραπλήσιον
εἶναι με δεῖ, ἵνα ἀναβῶ ἐπὶ τὸν
τρίτον. κἂν γένωμαι ὡς Παῦλος,
οὕπω ἐπὶ τὸν ἑξῆς οὑρανόν, τὰ δέ
ὕδατα ταῦτα, τὰ αἰνοῦται, κατὰ
τὸν προφήτην, τὸν θεὸν, ὑπεράνω
τῶν οὐρανῶν. ἇρ’ οὖν ταῦτα λέγεται,
τὰ ὕδατα διὰ τοῦ ὑπεράνω εἶναι
πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν, διὰ παντὸς
βλέπειν τὸ πρόσωπον, οὐ τοῦ πατρὸς
τοῦ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ἀλλὰ τὸν θεόν.
οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἄγγελοι διὰ παντὸς βλέπουσι
τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ ἐν τοῖς
οὐρανοῖς, αὐτὸν δὲ τὸν θεὸν. οὐχὶ διὰ παντὸς
κατανοεῖ ταῦτα τα ὕδατα περὶ
ὣν ὁ λόγος φήσι, εἴδοσαν σε ὕδατα,
ὁ θεός. ἅμα δὲ καὶ ἐξετάξετο ὁ δυνάμενος
συγκρίνειν πνευματικὰ
πνευματικοῖς. ἆρα γὰρ, ὡς έτυχεν ὁ λόγος
ἔιρηκε περὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων
τῶν συνεζευγμένων τοῖς ἀνθρώποις.
οὐχ ὅτι βλέπουσι τὸν θεὸν, ἀλλὰ τὸ
πρόσωπον τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
περὶ δὲ τῶν ὑδάτων τούτων
“εἵδοσαν σε” οὐκ εἴδοσαν τὸ πρόσωπον
σου ὕδατα, ὁ θεός.


Homily 3 on the 76th Psalm (77th Hebrew/English numbering)
Off-hand Statements

Of what sort are these waters, which see God? Men obtain this goal after much work, according to the scripture which says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” It seems then that these waters are indeed similar to the pure in heart, who see God, or perhaps, are greater than those men who are pure in heart. If some powers are blessed and divine, like these waters that see God, it must be that they are greater than men. And it seems that this is put forward in the 148th psalm, wherein (the powers) having been arrayed, all of Israel praises God, for it says,

“Praise God, Oh Heavens of the Heavens! And let the water which is over the heaven praise the name of the Lord!”

How must I labor so that I may ascend into the first heaven? What must happen so that I may be considered worthy of the second? I must be like Paul, if I should go to the third. And if I should become as Paul, I will still not have yet seen the following heaven, these waters which praise God, according to the prophet, beyond the heavens. Therefore this is said, that the waters, through being beyond the heavens, always see, not the face of the father in the heavenlies, but God himself.

For though the angels always see the face of the heavenly Father, the waters see God himself. For are they not always gazing intently, these waters about which the passage says, “The waters have seen you, O God?” Thus let the one who is able to judge spiritual matters among the spiritual people arrange it thus. Perhaps the passage has spoken about angels who are coupled with men, not that they see God, but rather the face of the Father in Heaven. But, concerning these waters, it said, “They have seen you” not, “they have seen your face, O God.”


  • Corrected κρείτονα to κρείττονα
  • Corrected ἀγάγκη to ἀνάγκη

Manuscript discovered containing (most likely!) homilies of Origen

Many will have already heard the news from other sources (id est, here or here) that researchers in Europe believe they have uncovered a manuscript containing lots of material from Origen’s Homilies on the Psalms. 

This is really big news.  Caution is still warranted:  the results of the inquiry thus far are preliminary; however, it does appear that there are plenty of reasons to be excited.  For those unaware, Origen was easily one of the most influential and important thinkers of the early Church (he died around 250).  His output was enormous, and included philosophical/theological works, exegesis, and plenty else.  He influenced many of the other important early Christian thinkers (Eusebius of Caesarea, the Cappadocians, Chrysostom, Jerome, etc.), but because of some of his more "speculative" thoughts he was thrown into disrepute because these ideas didn’t mesh with later standards of orthodoxy.  Thus, we have but a fraction of his work at all, and less in the original Greek.  Thus, it will be a treat to see more of what Origen had to say on the Psalms, and also see how other people used/abused/re-worked it in their own work. 

The manuscript itself, according to the library catalog, is a 12th century codex.  Like Roger Pearse, I am greatly excited to see that the German library responsible for the work has placed images of the manuscript online.  What is more, you can download a PDF of the entire manuscript, rather than simply use their web interface!  This truly is "Digital Humanities" at its best: free and open access like this make it possible for scholars (and wanna-be scholars like me) to see the manuscript for ourselves, rather than waiting for a select few to hand down their thoughts.  I hope more libraries follow their lead!

I’ve been looking at the manuscript myself:  it’s a joy to read.  The scribe’s spelling and accent placement are fantastic, which makes reading it much easier than most of the other mss at which I’ve looked.  The Greek itself isn’t too bad either.  Fortunately, exegetical works, by their nature, tend to be easier than other genres. 

I’ll post a little bit of transcription and translation soon.  I more or less flipped around in the manuscript until I found the start of a homily: this bit will be his comments on the end of Psalm 77, where the “waters have seen God, and fear him.” In it, the author discusses the nature of these waters, and their relationship to the three heavens.  I’m not at all an Origen expert, but it is consistent with what I’ve read about him. 

ἐν αὐτῷ,


More Chrysostom on Prayer.

I’ve not posted in quite some time, and I can’t really say that this post represents a return to frequent posts.  However, I came across some Chrysostom that was too good not to share.  As is customary, I give my translation and then the Greek.  Enjoy!

Do you see, then, how powerful are both prayer and petition?  They make men into temples of Christ!  Just as gold, precious stones, and marble make the houses of kings, so prayer creates temples of Christ. “That Christ,” he says, “may dwell in your hearts.”  What greater praise of prayer could ever be, than that it creates temples for God?  The one whom the heavens do not contain, this is the one who enters the living soul through prayers.  “‘The heaven is my throne,'” he says, “‘and the earth my footstool.  What type of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or what place of rest for me?'”  But nevertheless Paul builds him a house through his holy prayers.  He says, “I bend my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”  Indeed from that, one should know the power of holy prayers, since Paul, the one who ran as though with wings through the entire world, who made his residence in prison, who bore whips and chains, always living in blood and danger, who drove out demons and raised the dead, and who healed sicknesses, he trusted none of these things for the salvation of men, but defended the earth through his prayers, and after the signs and the raising of the dead, he ran again to prayers, just as an athlete returning to the training room right after receiving the crown.


And the Greek:

Ὁρᾷς, ὅσον ἰσχύει προσευχὴ καὶ δέησις; Ναοὺς Χριστοῦ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐργάζεται· καὶ ὥσπερ χρυσὸς, καὶ λίθοι πολυτίμητοι, καὶ μάρμαρα ποιοῦσι τοὺς οἴκους τῶν βασιλέων· οὕτω προσευχὴ ναοὺς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Κατοικῆσαι, φησὶ, τὸν Χριστὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν. Τί μεῖζον ἂν γένοιτο προσευχῆς ἐγκώμιον, ἢ ὅτι ναοὺς ἀπεργάζεται Θεοῦ; Ὃν οὐ χωροῦσιν οὐρανοὶ, οὗτος εἰς ψυχὴν εἰσέρχεται ζῶσαν ἐν προσευχαῖς. Ὁ οὐρανός μοι θρόνος, φησὶν, ἡ δὲ γῆ ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν μου. Ποῖον οἶκον οἰκοδομήσετέ μοι; λέγει Κύριος· ἢ τίς τόπος τῆς καταπαύσεώς μου; Ἀλλ’ ὅμως οἶκον ὁ Παῦλος οἰκοδομεῖ διὰ τῶν ἁγίων εὐχῶν. Κάμπτω, φησὶ, τὰ γόνατά μου πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἵνα κατοικήσῃ ὁ Χριστὸς διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν. Καὶ μὴν κἀκεῖθεν ἴδοι τις ἂν τὴν δύναμιν τῶν ἁγίων εὐχῶν, ὅτι Παῦλος ὁ διὰ πάσης τῆς οἰκουμένης ὥσπερ ὑπόπτερος τρέχων, καὶ δεσμωτήριον οἰκῶν, καὶ μάστιγας ὑπομένων, καὶ φορῶν ἅλυσιν, καὶ ζῶν ἐν αἵματι καὶ κινδύνοις, καὶ δαίμονας ἐλαύνων, καὶ νεκροὺς ἐγείρων, καὶ παύων ἀῤῥωστήματα, οὐδενὶ τούτων ἐθάῤῥησεν εἰς σωτηρίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ ταῖς προσευχαῖς ἐτείχισε τὴν γῆν, καὶ μετὰ τὰ σημεῖα καὶ τὴν τῶν νεκρῶν ἀνάστασιν, ἐπὶ τὰς προσευχὰς ἔτρεχεν, ὥσπερ τις ἀθλητὴς ἐπὶ παλαίστραν ἀπὸ στεφάνου.

John Chrysostom, De Precatione (PG 60.783)


John Chrysostom on Prayer (Part 3)

Here’s a third excerpt from one of John Chrysostom’s homilies De Precatione (On Prayer). Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here. See part 1 for the link to the Greek text. I start translating at Ὅστις γὰρ οὐ προσεύχεται τῷ Θεῷ.

“For the one who does not pray to God, who does not desire to enjoy such divine communion, is dead and soul-less, and has no share of wisdom. For this is a great sign of foolishness, to not understand the weight of this honor, to not passionately desire prayer, to bring death to the soul by not worshiping God. Just as our body, when not having a soul, is dead and decaying, so it is with the soul: when it does not move itself to prayer, it is dead, wretched, and decaying … But when I see someone who has an insatiable desire for serving God, and who immediately considers the lack of prayer a great loss, I consider this one to certainly have all of the virtues of discipline, as if they were the temple of God.”

John Chrysostom. De Precatione.

Edit: Typo corrected.

John Chrysostom On Prayer (Part 2)

See part 1 for the introduction. Here’s another excerpt from a little latter in the homily. I was much more free with this translation, since the syntax was pretty far from anything resembling English. Corrections, as always, are welcome. The Greek text can be found here. I started at “θάνατος γὰρ ψυχῆς ἀσέβεια.”

“Ungodliness and the irreverent life are death for the soul. But is not the worship of God, and proper life, sustenance for the soul? Prayer leads to a life that is worthy of serving God, and it enriches our very souls. For if one extols virginity, or zealously honors the temperance of marriage, or rules over anger and lives with meekness, or is purified of envy , or practices one of the other virtues, then they will have an easy and light time on the race-path of godliness, for their path has been made smooth by the leadership of prayer.”
John Chrysostom, De Precatione.

John Chrysostom on Prayer (Part 1)

This week, my campus pastor spoke about prayer, and I decided it would be beneficial to offer some thoughts from the Church Fathers on prayer throughout the week. Most likely, they will come from John Chrysostom, since I’m reading one of his homilies at the moment. It’s titled, quite appropriately, “On Prayer” (Περι Προσευχης). The Greek text can be found in the Patrologia Graeca 50.775. I found it online here.

Here’s an excerpt from the first homily (my own translation, corrections are welcome).

“For just as the sun is light to the body, so prayer is light to the soul. If then it is a great loss for a blind person to not see the sun, how much worse is it for a Christian to not pray always, and through praying to lead the light of Christ into their soul? Indeed, who wouldn’t marvel in amazement at the loving mercy of God that has been shown to us, that such a great honor has been given to us, that we are considered worthy of prayer, and of communion with God himself! For in the time of prayer, we truly do speak with God, and through this prayer we are joined with the angels.”
~John Chrysostom. De Precatione. Homily 1.

Greek to Latin translation example

As a follow up to my post from a few days ago, I thought that I’d post an example of Greek to Latin translation. For those familiar with Latin, you’ll see just how nascent my Latin is. Naturally though, the purpose of this is to learn Latin (and practice Greek), not to produce the successor to the Vulgate ;-).

I’ve tried to produce a fairly literal translation, though there were a few places where I simplified the syntax (trading participles for sub-clauses), or used an infinitive instead of a relative clause.

This excerpt is from John 1:26-29. I’ve included the Greek text (which comes from a manuscript at the British Library: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_7141_f152r), my Latin translation, and an English translation. I have since looked at the Vulgate, but I haven’t corrected my word choice or sentence structure against the Vulgate. (For instance, I should have put Ecce agnus Dei in the final line, but I used a plural imperative of video instead). I’ve only corrected grammatical/spelling errors as I’ve noticed them. If you spot any errors, please let me know in the comments!

in caritate Dei,

εγω βαπτιζω εν υδατι, μεσοσ δε υμων εστηκεν ον υμεις ουκ οιδατε
Ego baptizo per aquam. in medio vostrorum stetit quid vos non conspicitis.
I baptize with water. Among you all stood the one whom you do not understand.

αυτος εστιν ὁ οπισω μου ερχομενος ος εμμπροσθεν μου γεγονεν.
ille est qui post meum veniet et ante meum fuit.
He is the one who comes after me, and was before me.

ὁυ εγω ουκ ειμι αξιος ινα λυσω αυτου τον ιμαντα του υποδηματος
Ego non sum dignus lorum calceorum solvere.
I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandles.

ταυτα εν βηθανια εγενετο περαν του ιορδανου ὁπου ην Ιωαννης βαπτιζων.
haec in Bethanae in ripa Iorandanis fuerunt, ubi Joanes baptizibat.
These things took place in Bethany at the bank of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

τη επαυριον βλεπει ὁ Ιωαννης τον Ιησουν εχρομενον προς αυτον και λεγει
cras vidit Joanes Jesum venientem ad illum et dixit,
On the next day, John saw Jesus approaching him and said,

ιδε, ὁ αμνος του Θεου, ὁ αιρων την αμαρτιαν του κοσμου.
Videte, agnus Dei qui rapit peccatum mundi.
Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!