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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Physis : World Creation  

Gregory of Nyssa : THE MAKING OF MAN

An Examination of the Kindred of Mind to Nature: Wherein, by Way of Digression, is Refuted the Doctrine of the Anomoeans

Patrologia Graeca 44.137-40  * Greek Fonts


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But what, I would ask, becomes of the heresy of the Anomoeans? what will they say to this utterance? how will they defend the vanity of their dogma in view of the words cited? Will they say that it is possible that one image should be made like to different forms? if the Son is in nature unlike the Father, how comes it that the likeness He forms of the different natures is one? for He Who said, "Let us make after our image," and by the plural signification revealed the Holy Trinity, would not, if the archetypes were unlike one another, have mentioned the image in the singular: for it would be impossible that there should be one likeness displayed of things which do not agree with one another: if the natures were different he would assuredly have begun their images also differently, making the appropriate image for each: but since the image is one, while the archetype is not one, who is so far beyond the range of understanding as not to know that the things which are like the same thing, surely resemble one another? Therefore He says (the word, it may be, cutting short this wickedness at the very formation of human life), "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

Ἀλλὰ ποῦ μοι τῶν Ἀνομοίων ἡ αἵρεσις, τί πρὸς τὴν τοιαύτην ἐροῦσι φωνήν, πῶς διασώσουσιν ἐν τοῖς εἰρημένοις τοῦ δόγματος αὐτῶν τὴν κενότητα; ἆρα δυνατὸν εἶναι, φήσουσι͵ μίαν εἰκόνα διαφόροις ὁμοιωθῆναι μορφαῖς; Εἰ ἀνόμοιος κατὰ τὴν φύσιν τῷ Πατρὶ ὁ Υἱός͵ πῶς μίαν κατασκευάζει τῶν διαφόρων φύσεων τὴν εἰκόνα; Ὁ γάρ͵ Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ' εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν͵ εἰπών͵ καὶ διὰ τῆς πληθυντικῆς σημασίας τὴν ἁγίαν Τριάδα δηλώσας͵ οὐκ ἂν τῆς εἰκόνος μοναδικῶς ἐπεμνήσθη͵ εἴπερ ἀνομοίως ἔχοι πρὸς ἄλληλα τὰ ἀρχέτυπα. Οὐ γὰρ ἦν δυνατὸν τῶν ἀλλήλοις μὴ συμβαινόντων εἰς ἒν ἀναδειχθῆναι ὁμοίωμα· ἀλλ' εἰ διάφοροι ἦσαν αἱ φύσεις͵ διαφόρους πάντως καὶ τὰς εἰκόνας αὐτῶν ἐνεστήσατο͵ τὴν κατάλληλον ἑκάστῃ δημιουργήσας. Ἀλλ' ἐπειδὴ μία μὲν ἡ εἰκών͵ οὐχ ἓν δὲ τὸ τῆς εἰκόνος ἀρχέτυπον· τίς οὕτως ἔξω διανοίας ἐστὶν ὡς ἀγνοεῖν͵ ὅτι τὰ τῷ ἑνὶ ὁμοιούμενα καὶ πρὸς ἄλληλα πάντως ὁμοίως ἔχει; Διὰ τοῦτό φησι, τάχα τὴν κακίαν ταύτην ἐν τῇ κατασκευῇ τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης ζωῆς ὁ λόγος ὑποτεμνόμενος͵ Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ' εἰκόνα καὶ ὁμοίωσιν ἡμετέραν.

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

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