Pythagoreans and Stolcs, although he anchors his readings of them tíh the basií tenets of ihc "truth-loving' Pialo, to whom he rrlurní wilh jtrcat prediclability. And yer, he Plato and the uthers were nol only indehled to the leachingscontained in the I i >■ c books of Moses, bul they aniú ipaied . 111 thai would be proclaimed in C! 111 i 1 i .a 11 Scripture. For «ampie, Moses' prohibition of temples or altars in more than one place indicated thal he knew thal God could not be contained or circum-scr: within space. Zeno echoed this when he claimed that humans oug]-1 tí> refr ,l i r. frt 1111 m¿Xing eithe r temples to or 1 mages of the gods, as did J'Lilii he asserted ihat nothing made mortal builders and
111 l-f :i .b 1: ¡h. -. l'i "> 1 ll i be rtl:j i i .11 holy. ( ienklm i cúmpleles h is case- :>v l i i -
ing Paul's speech ln \tbens, ^^ ji he dedared that llie God lluit made 1 hl" world and all tbinc^ in it does not dwcll in temples ih.ilíi- by human hands Acts \ litlle later in bis discussion, ClemenI fLaitns ihat
Plato's argument, ch.it it is impossible to declare the Maker or the Universe ei-eryi>ne (since indi 3 liiíiil; i> beyond the Oidiiury kind of instruclion}h was derived froin his (Plato's) hearing that Moses only took pori of ihc people of Isr.u-I i 1H him up lo the holy mountain, Also, accordlng to C lejiienr, iMato had heard about Moses entering the rh.i,-k
THE I NVlítB LE GOD AND THE VIABLE IMAGE
darkness wlsere God was, ,l:u1 he (Pla^n interpreted this to mean that "God s invisible and beyond expression in words.1" Plato had e^eii itcscrihííi the liivinr lnr.ii;, when he wrote in the I'imaeusoftvi
div i ne be i ng-s h urrou ncti ng C be (¡od oft ,; h I.h.Hh
\ in Minucius I eii^s charaeier OcLat ius, thai Í 'hristians had no images of iheir' iod was a poim (hey shared in t ommnn with t ,rLvk and Ruman poet s ;md ph i losojiherSr At henagoras, another late sccond-centu ry apol -ogist, tried j dilferem apprnath to establishing respectable, and even more ancient, precedent fni Christian lack of divine images. Although be iiko presen:s the usual pre-Christian philosophical arguments regarding the ll■: ■ I ■-. in\iiihility, ,lih.I immutability of L iod and i'liL ihe other apologists) claim-, that Christians do nothing other iban teach these same things in a manner more true ajid complete than these others, he argues that images nl the gods in ihe popular cult are a relatively new invention "
Atbenagoras ennlends lhal failure to distinguish created things from the Uncreated Ciod places the perishable un the same plane wñh the imperishable and values the artifact above the skill of the artisan. Anyone may .nee, hi twti ver, ill at ido!* ton,si meted o f i ■ n I i nry m atl er a re sen -sible, rather than intelligible things. They aie also of recent origin. According to his information, prior to I iomer -likI Hesiod, the Greeks lacked any representations of the gods and only ,>egan to make them at the lime drawing was invented Recounting I In.- legend ot \iurias. who III-I sketched the shadow ni a luirse in the soo, or the story of the girl whn traced the outline ot icrlover on a 11 as he slept, Athenagoras asser :> that mm existing image ufa god is older than iour hundred years, .liuI musí .irtL t lear ^ the work of human artisans and thus even younger than those who made them. Before the invention of sculpture and panning, humans had no imagesol Lhc gods. He poses his objection in a question: Ljf Ihese aré ic-il gods, why did iliey nut enist from iln.-beginning?""Why did they need the assistance of artists to bring them iiit< ■ beuigiJ,"K
liui even the gods, ■.-■■ Ii■ iimages these idols portray, did not cvi-.i from thd be^iooinj;, he points nut. The poets invented their numcs, characters, and esp In Lt h. Ekxa use tbev l .l i: 11 ■ ink- iieing, I hey a re no more immortal ot eternal than their Images. Athenagoras draws upon lhe ancient theory1 i^l I uhemerus in the fourth century bx.e. that claimed t he classical gods were rea I ly nothing more th an an den i ki ngs n r heroes, often with s< andalous reputations, who had become :n■■ thologiaed over time, rhose who worshiped the images of these gods, he charges, were drawn to them by demons eager to -í-.li the blood of ih*- sacrifices and im ade ike minds ■ ■ i 'h* worshipers, fillinp them with empty visions as if coming from the idols themselves Such perversity only causes the victims to be even more addicted to idols, 1
Athenagorashs claim that Lhe known images o\ the gods were no older (ban four hundred years (."when, according to him the Greeks began lo make visual -l: c : dates lIic oldest artifacts to around b,< .1. This a relatively late date, compared to a more traditional formula in circula lion ,11 the time, whit :i aligns the firsi divine images lo .1 century and a half ■ lI"rl 1 t i.he Founding of Romeh or sometime in the late sixik century b.c.e. Clement also che-; tili-, historical datum in his tlrsl book of the Sfröftwfeis, where he claims that Nu ma, the 1:rsi king of Rome, was a Pythagorean, and "aided by the precepts of Moses, prohibited |[bL' Romans] from making any image of God iji human form, and of the shape ol a living creature" And so, he says, for the I rsi hundred and seventy years, * though building temples, they m.nlL1 no base or graven image For Numa secretly showed them that I he licsl or Beings could noi be apprehended csccpt by the mind alone," This teaching, Clement asserts, had flourished in antiquity among the nations, including llie Greeks Egyptians, ( haldeansh Assyrians, Druids, ..nd even Mil1 Magi the Persians, ,Lwho foretold the Sa\ ior's birth .tnd came into the land of Judaea guided by a st,:,r '
I'Iljr.ar-. hi may have been ( lement's source -i-r (his legend about Numa, ^nce his Life of N uma told much :h*: same story: "Numa forbade the Romans reveie an image '^l God which had the form ol man or beast. Nor was there among them at lIil.k early ime any oiaink'd or graven likeness '^1 Deity, but ■■^liilc far the first hundred and seventy
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