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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Physis : World Creation  

Gregory of Nyssa : THE MAKING OF MAN

That Man is a Likeness of the Divine Sovereignty

Patrologia Graeca 44.137  * Greek Fonts


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And if you were to examine the other points also by which the Divine beauty is expressed, you will find that to them too the likeness in the image which we present is perfectly preserved. The Godhead is mind and word: for "in the beginning was the Word " and the followers of Paul "have the mind of Christ" which "speaks" in them : humanity too is not far removed from these: you see in yourself word and understanding, an imitation of the very Mind and Word. Again, God is love, and the fount of love: for this the great John declares, that "love is of God," and "God is love ": the Fashioner of our nature has made this to be our feature too: for "hereby," He says, "shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another ":-thus, if this be absent, the whole stamp of the likeness is transformed. The Deity beholds and hears all things, and searches all things out: you too have the power of apprehension of things by means of sight and hearing, and the understanding that inquires into things and searches them out.


Εἰ δὲ καὶ τὰ ἄλλα συνεξετάζοις͵ δι' ὧν τὸ θεῖον κάλλος χαρακτηρίζεται, εὑρήσεις καὶ πρὸς ἐκεῖνα δι' ἀκριβείας σωζομένην ἐν τῇ καθ' ἡμᾶς εἰκόνι τὴν ὁμοιότητα. Νοῦς καὶ λόγος ἡ θειότης ἐστίν· ἐν ἀρχῇ τε γὰρ ἦν ὁ Λόγος. Καὶ οἱ προφῆται κατὰ Παῦλον νοῦν Χριστοῦ ἔχουσι͵ τὸν ἐν αὐτοῖς λαλοῦντα. Οὐ πόῤῥω τούτων καὶ τὸ ἀνθρώπινον. Ὁρᾷς ἐν σεαυτῷ καὶ τὸν λόγον καὶ διάνοιαν͵ μίμημα τοῦ ὄντως νοῦ τε καὶ λόγου. Ἀγάπη πάλιν ὁ Θεὸς͵ καὶ ἀγάπης πηγή. Τοῦτο γάρ φησιν Ἰωάννης ὁ μέγας͵ ὅτι Ἀγάπη ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ Ὁ Θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστί· τοῦτο καὶ ἡμέτερον πεποίηται πρόσωπον ὁ τῆς φύσεως πλάστης. Ἐν τούτῳ γάρ͵ φησί͵ γνώσονται πάντες ὅτι μαθηταί μου ἐστέ͵ ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους. Οὐκοῦν μὴ παρούσης ταύτης͵ ἅπας ὁ χαρακτὴρ τῆς εἰκόνος μεταπεποίηται. Πάντα ἐπιβλέπει καὶ πάντα ἐπακούει τὸ Θεῖον καὶ πάντα διερευνᾶται. Ἔχεις καὶ σὺ τὴν δι' ὄψεως καὶ ἀκοῆς τῶν ὄντων ἀντίληψιν καὶ τὴν ζητητικήν τε καὶ διερευνητικὴν τῶν ὄντων διάνοιαν.

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

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