Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Physis : World Creation  

Gregory of Nyssa : THE MAKING OF MAN

Α Partial Inquiry into the Nature of the World, and a More Minute Exposition of the Things Which Preceded the Genesis of Man

Patrologia Graeca 44.127-132  * Greek Fonts


Page 3

The scope of our proposed enquiry is not small: it is second to none of the wonders of the world,-perhaps even greater than any of those known to us, because no other existing thing, save the human creation, has been made like to God: thus we shall readily find that allowance will be made for what we say by kindly readers, even if our discourse is far behind the merits of the subject. For it is our business, I suppose, to leave nothing unexamined of all that concerns man,-of what we believe to have taken place previously, of what we now see, and of the results which are expected afterwards to appear (for surely our effort would be convicted of failing of its promise, if, when man is proposed for contemplation, any of the questions which bear upon the subject were to be omitted); and, moreover, we must fit together, according to the explanation of Scripture and to that derived from reasoning, those statements concerning him which seem, by a kind of necessary sequence, to be opposed, so that our whole subject may be consistent in train of thought and in order, as the Statements that seem to be contrary are brought (if the Divine power so discovers a hope for what is beyond hope, and a way for what is inextricable) to one and the same end: and for clearness' sake I think it well to set forth to you the discourse by chapters, that you may be able briefly to know the force of the several arguments of the whole work.

Ἔστι δ' οὐ μικρὸς ὁ προκείμενος ἡμῖν εἰς [128] θεωρίαν σκοπὸς͵ οὐδέ τινος τῶν ἐν κόσμῳ θαυμάτων τὰ δεύτερα φερόμενος͵ τάχα δὲ καὶ μείζων ἑκάστου τῶν γιγνωσκομένων͵ διότι οὐδὲν ἕτερον Θεῷ ἐκ τῶν ὄντων ὡμοίωται͵ πλὴν τῆς κατὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον κτίσεως͵ ὥστε παρὰ τοῖς εὐγνώμοσι τῶν ἀκροατῶν πρόχειρον ἡμῖν τὴν ἐπὶ τοῖς λεγομένοις συγγνώμην εἶναι͵ κἂν πολὺ κατόπιν τῆς ἀξίας ὁ λόγος ἔλθοι. Δεῖ γάρ͵ οἶμαι͵ τῶν περὶ τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἁπάντων͵ τῶν τε προγεγενῆσθαι πεπιστευμένων͵ καὶ τῶν εἰσύστερον ἐκβήσεσθαι προσδοκωμένων καὶ τῶν νῦν θεωρουμένων μηδὲν παραλιπεῖν ἀνεξέταστον. ῏Η γὰρ ἂν ἐλλιπεστέρα τοῦ ἐπαγγέλματος ἡ σπουδὴ διελέγχοιτο͵ εἰ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου προκειμένου τῇ θεωρίᾳ͵ παρεθείη τι τῶν συντεινόντων πρὸς τὴν ὑπόθεσιν. Ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ δοκοῦντα περὶ αὐτὸν ἐναντίως ἔχειν͵ διὰ τὸ μὴ τὰ αὐτὰ τοῖς ἐξ ἀρχῆς γεγενημένοις καὶ νῦν περὶ τὴν φύσιν ὁρᾶσθαι διά τινος ἀναγκαίας ἀκολουθίας· ἔκ τε τῆς γραφικῆς ὑφηγήσεως καὶ ἐκ τῆς παρὰ τῶν λογισμῶν εὑρισκομένης ἐπινοίας συναρτῆσαι προσήκει͵ ὡς ἂν συμβαίνοι πᾶσα ἡ ὑπόθεσις εἱρμῷ καὶ τάξει τῶν ἐναντίως ἔχειν δοκούντων πρὸς ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ πέρας συμφερομένων͵ οὕτω καὶ τῆς θείας δυνάμεως ἐλπίδα τοῖς ὑπὲρ ἐλπίδα καὶ πόρον τοῖς ἀμηχάνοις ἐφευρισκούσης. Σαφηνείας δὲ χάριν καλῶς ἔχειν ᾠήθην ἐπὶ κεφαλαίων σοι προθεῖναι τὸν λόγον͵ ὡς ἂν ἔχοις πάσης τῆς πραγματείας ἐν ὀλίγῳ τῶν καθέκαστον ἐπιχειρημάτων εἰδέναι τὴν ὑπόθεσιν.

Previous / First / Next Page of this chapter

Index  *  Next chapter

Cf. St Basil the Great, On the Creation of the World (Hexaemeron)

Septuagint Genesis Septuagint Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomomy Septuagint Psalms Septuagint Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach Septuagint Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel Septuagint Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi The Authentic Greek New Testament Bilingual New Testament I

Gregory of Nyssa Home Page


Learned Freeware

Reference address :