The Invisible God and the Visible Image

|. M mucins Felix* Ort 10-2-5, trans. Graeme Clarke, The Qtiavius of Marcus Mmucins Felix, ACW 39 (New York: Newman, 1974), 66-67.

2. Ibid,, 32.1-2 (trans, slightly adapted, 111-12),

3, Ibid, 18.6, where he seems lo be relying on Tertullian's apology or on the writings of olher (earlier) apologists who use only negal ive IcTms to describe Cod (Clarke, 260 n, 224),

4. Ibid,, 19. Sec Clarke's annotations on this particular chapter, discussing the ways thai Mimicius Felis uses the various philosophers and leachers he lists here, 263-72. in, 230-61.

5. Ibid., 24.10. Minueius Felis also allows Octavius to brand pagan deities as mere humans, only later made into gods (Hubemerism, after the fourth century r.c..: . philosopher who contended that the gods were merely deified kings and heroes); Oei. 20-21. Com pare Clement, Prot. 2.20-2 L; Tertuliian, ApoL 10-11; and Athanasius, C. Genf. 13. See discussion below, pp. 83—64.

6, Justin, Apol 9-10. On the apologists' critique of Greco-Roman art and polytheistic Idolatry, see Pan] Corby Finney, The Invisible Cod: The Earliest Christians on Art (New York: Oxford t?niv. Press, 1994), chaps, 2-3» pp 15-68.

11. Since the text that lust in cites is the Septuagint (lxk), he notes I he use of trie Greek words fcyrmj ("Lord") tor God and angeloi (^angels*') tor the visitors,

12. Justin* Dial 56.

13. ibid., 56 cont In l.ukc 20:43. Jesus cites this Psalm text. Acts 32:34-35 liIso do^-s lo the same purpose.

21 'iTiis ful filled vis ion might be compared to the interpretation of Isaiah's vision as a foresight of Christ in the test of John 12:39-41, where tsaiah in quoted as seyipg*"he has blinded their eyes and hardened iheir heart, so that they might not look with their eyes 'because he saw his glory,"

22. Irenaeus, Haer. 4.20.8-1 Oand following. Irena ens continues with this theme, citing the visions of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. See also/irrer. 4.32.1UH K where he again refers to Isaiah, Panif '., and Zechariah- Nuii:; I he belief that Muses' vision of Christ at the transfigu-

ration was the promised sight of God also appears inTertullian, Afare, 22; and Prax, I 4: as well us in Origpn, Ewsd. 12; and Ormn- Cant. 2. 1 3,

31. Tertullian, ApoL 17.

32. Tertullian, Marc. 2-27 (trans, ANF 3i31«-19). This description of the Wbrd rehearsing t he pa r t of human prinr to 11 k incamat ¡[in appears also in Prajr. 16-1 Ie adds Iie:re lhat humans can more readily accept that God became human in the incarnation, since something similar had happened on these earlier occasions.

33. Ter tu llian, Mare. 3.9 (trans. ANF 3:328 9). [n his treatise, Cant. Chr. (6.3). tertullian argues against certain disciples of Marc ion who taught that Christ might have human flesh without being born since angels have appeared in the flesh "without the intervention of the womb." Tertullian retorts ibat the difference between Christ and the angels is that Christ descended into flesh with the intention of dying. Angels did not have to die and thereto re did m j 11 lave to be born, Blj t to be uapab le of deal h, C,1: rist fiad to In; bom■

35. Tertullian, Marc, 5.19.


39, [bid. The translation of 1 Cor 13; 12 lhat I have used here is not the iradiiional vftwding btil is hased on more literal reading of the text, as suggested by my Leachcr. Fi chard Korr is, hiorris pointed out to me Lhat Lhe use of the icrm "enigma'' or Middle1' was a fairly common trope in ancienl rhetoric.

41.1 b id. h M-15. Compa re Cle meat of A Lejtand r ia, Paed. 7h in which t he [ list r uc tor is t he "face that Jacob saw."

44. Ibid.h6. Quotation from Euripides. Frr J129. Sec Paul Curby Finney, The Invisible God: The Earliest Christians on Art (New York; Oxford Univ, Press, 1994), 44-47. Compare Clemeni, StfOttL 5x12—13,

45. Clement, St rom. 5. L (he also cites bixod 33:20; as well as 1 Cor 13:12; and Matt 5: S). See also id rum. L.9,

■47, For Athenagora-i's arguments regarding the teachings of the philosophers, sec Leg. 6.

51. CI emen t, Si rom> 1-15 (t rans. A NF 2:315-16).' Th is is quo ted later by I imebi m , Praep. £v. 410.

52. Plutarchh jVifflj, S.S. The essential article by Lilly Rosa Taylor, "Ani conic Worship among the Early Romans," In Classical Studies in Honor of John C. Rolfe, ed. G, D. Hadzsits (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1931), 305- 19, provides many of these primary sources.

Tertullian, Apoi 25.

J4, Augustine, Civ. ^,31, Irani- Henry Betten son, The City of Cod (London: Penguin, 197 2}, 17 5- The I rea t i hc of Va rro i n wh ie Ii I h is was argil cd, A? 11iquita ffwj rem m hntnanant w et ilivitumim libri has been lost; see ('iv. 6.3. Both Xuma and Varro are mentioned hy Amohius, but in his treatise Nu ma is credited with introducing new forms of worship to the lioinans with no mention of its lack of images, Adv. Nat. 2.12; 7.26; on the aniconism of Varro see Adv. Nat. 7.1.

55. August ine* Cjv. 7.5f in Bettensen, City of God, 261.

56. Taylor, "Aniconic Worship,"' claims that the earliest temples on the Capitol that bad cult images dale lo the first Etruscan king>, Tarquinius Priscus and Serous Tulliusj 506-7,

57, Cicero, Nat. ti. 1,36, ] 0] 2, cited by D, Balch, "The Areopagus Speech: An Appeal to the Stoic Historian Posidonius against Later Stoics anil the Epicureans'" in GVeeAi, Romam, and Christians: Eiinyj in Honvr of Abraham /. Malherbe* ed- Dr Balch el al- (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 19^0^52-79,

5fti. Balch,"AreopagusSpeech"67-79.

59+, Stoic, rep. 103411 {trans. Ld [Moralia 13.21 423). Compere Clement, Strom. 5.) ], and also see Kalch>"Ai'eopagusSpeech,7V67-6fthfL]radjicussioni]rthe parallels with Paul's speech.

60, PEotinus, Et m. 5.8.1, trans, Stephen Macken na, Platinum The Enneads (London: Faber and Faber, 1962), 422-23, translation included in Alain Besançon, The Forbidden image: An Intellectual History of Iccttoclasm, trans, J. M Todd (Chicago; Univ. of Chicago Press, .ÏOOO;. 5(1-51.

61, Angustine, Conf, 11.3.7-11-6.S. trans- Henry Chadwick, Sr. Augustine, Confessions (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1991), 224.

62, Vochanaji ljewy, Chaidaean Oracles and Theurgy: Mysticism, Magic and Platonism in the Later Roman Empire (Cairo: Institut français d'archéologie oriental, I956)i and see brief dis cussion in Besançon, The Forbuiden Image, 54-56 with good notes,

63rScc ftiseph Bidez, Vie de Porphyre: te philosophe néo-platonicien (Hildeshcim: Olms, 1964), appendix 1, 143-57. On the care of statues and images, sec Porphyry, Marc, 14, 16-19r

64. August ine. Civ, S.23, trans. Bettensen, City of God, 331, and ci ted in chap. 2. Regarding treatises of Hermes lïtemegietu«, esp.Aidepius 23-24^seediscussion of sources in André Jean [■'estugioruj La révélation d*Hertnèt> vol- I: Fasftffliqgïi if les sciences rttruiiéîi, i Pa ris: l.ecoffre, 1950);

65. For example, see Clement, Sttcrr?, 5..5t i2, and 14, Also see Justin, 1 Apol. 59, and the anonymous writer of the treatise formerly assigned to Justin, known as the "Address to the Creeks/1 This claim was also made byTatianand Tbeophllus and can be found h Jewish apologetic writing as well {see bellow), which presents Plato as either a sind nit of Moses (having visited Egypli ur merely derivative from him, based on his (Plalohs) reading of souroet

66. Justin* 1 Apvl, 63- See I he discussion above, pp, 72-7367. Justin, Dial. ] 14 (trans. AN F 1:256).

6ft. Josephus, C. Ap., 2.191-192. 69+ Tacitus, Hi it 5.5.

70. Philo, Decal. 66-72. Compare Justin Martyr, J ApoL 20.

72. Philo, Conf 134-140.

74. Elliot R, Vfolfsun> Through a Speculum that Shines: Vi.iirfPE and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1994)

75. Mefcftrlfs de ■Rabbi IshmoeShi rata, 4, quoted in Wolfson, Specuium, 33 -34.

04. Origen, Princ. 1.1.4-3; compare with Minucius Felix, who proclaims that tiod is "nothing but mind, reason, and spirit" Oct. 19, ft5. Origen, Princ,, 1,2.7-8.

ft6r In G Ccii. 6A, Origen offers a crilique of the lhcory ihat contemplation of sensible Illings leads lo the transcendence of them to those things that are comprehended by ihe intellect alone. ft7. [bid.

ft ft. Origen, Prmc. L.2.ft, l illus Ceor^e William Mntterworth, Origen: On First Principles (Clouter, Mass.: Peter Smith, 19731 h 21-22. The editor points out that Jerome later refers to this passage in Ep. ad Avitum 2, ft9. Ibid., 1.2.8, com.

92.I b id, h 2.4,3, cout., trans. Butterworth, Origenf 98-99 (emphasis mine). 93,Ibid.

- Th c (i reek verbs for " k now in^' in 1 bese li ties arc riol exatt ly the sa me. John I; 18 has the verb?. lor sci1 (home) and inlcrpret or narrate (exegeomai), while in lohn 14:9 ltnn pair is see

95. Origen, ftme, 2.4.3, i ra na. Bmterwortb Origm, 99.

9b. Origen, f-han Gen. 4. In regard to his interpretation of the place name "Mambre" meaning'Vision,'" see Itonald E. Heine, Origen, Homilies on G^ne/rs and Exodus (Washington, 1>.C.: Catholic Univ. Press, 1982), appendix 2, 39tM)l.

104. Origen, PWíic. 1,6,4, trans, ButtErworthbOrigen, 57.

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