The epistle to the hebrews


§ 12 (1.337 M.) to; de; aJgivasma (Ex. 15:17) oi|on aJgivwn ajpauvgasma, mivmhma ajrcetuvpou, ejpei; ta; aijsqhvsei kala; kai; nohvsei kalw'n eijkovne"



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De plantatione Noae § 12 (1.337 M.) to; de; aJgivasma (Ex. 15:17) oi|on aJgivwn ajpauvgasma, mivmhma ajrcetuvpou, ejpei; ta; aijsqhvsei kala; kai; nohvsei kalw'n eijkovne".

The passage in Wisdom (Wisd. 7:25 f.) is capable of bearing either meaning. The threefold succession ajpauvgasma, e[soptron, eijkwvn,—effulgence, mirror, image, no less than v. 25, appears to favour the sense of ‘effulgence.’ Otherwise e[soptron interrupts the order of thought.

In this passage the sense reflection is quite possible, but it appears to be less appropriate, as introducing a third undefined notion of ‘that which reflects.’ Moreover the truth suggested by ‘reflection’ is contained in carakthvr, to which ‘effulgence’ offers a more expressive complement; and the Greek Fathers with unanimity have adopted the sense effulgence according to the idea expressed in the Nicene Creed, Light of Light. Several of their comments are of interest as bringing out different sides of the image: Orig. in Joh. 32.18 o{lh" me;nou\n oi\mai th'" dovxh" tou' qeou' aujtou' ajpauvgasma ei\nai to;n uiJovn...fqavnein mevntoi ge ajpo; tou' ajpaugavsmato" touvtou th'" o{lh" dovxh" merika; ajpaugavsmata ejpi; th;n loiph;n logikh;n ktivsin. Comp. c. Cels. v. 18; de princ. 1, 2, 4 (and Redepenning's note); Hom. in Jer. 9:4 oujci; ejgevnnhsen oJ path;r to;n uiJo;n kai; ajpevlusen aujto;n ajpo; th'" genevsew" aujtou', ajllj ajei; genna'/ aujto;n o{son ejsti; to; fw'" poihtiko;n tou' ajpaugavsmato".

Greg. Nyss. de perfecta Christ. forma, Migne Patr. Gr. xlvi. p. 265 dovxan kai; uJpovstasin wjnovmase to; uJperkeivmenon panto;" ajgaqou'...to; de; sunafev" te kai; ajdiavstaton tou' uiJou' pro;" to;n patevra diermhneuvwn...ajpauvgasma dovxh" kai; carakth'ra uJpostavsew" prosagoreuvei...ajlla; kai; oJ th;n ajpaugavzousan fuvsin nohvsa" kai; to; ajpauvgasma tauvth" pavntw" katenovhse, kai; oJ to; mevgeqo" th'" uJpostavsew" ejn nw'/ labw;n tw'/ ejpifainomevnw/ carakth'ri pavntw" ejmmetrei' th;n uJpovstasin.

Chrysostom (Hom. 2.2) ajpauvgasma ei\pen...i{na deivxh/ o{ti kajkei' (John 8:12) ou{tw" ei[rhtai: dh'lon de; wJ" fw'" ejk fwtov".

Theodoret ad loc. to; ajpauvgasma kai; ejk tou' purov" ejsti kai; su;n tw'/ puriv ejsti...ajei; de; hJ dovxa, ajei; toivnun kai; to; ajpauvgasma.

OEcumenius ad loc. dia; tou' ‘ajpauvgasma’ th;n kata; fuvsin ejk tou' patro;" provodon tou' uiJou' dhloi': oujde;n ga;r o{lw" oujdamou' kata; cavrin kai; eijspoivhsin proveisin ajpauvgasmav tino", oujk ajpo; tou' hJlivou, oujk ajpo; tou' purov", oujk ajfj eJtevrou tinov", ajfj ou| pevfuken ajpauvgasma proievnai.

It is indeed true that the sense of ‘effulgence’ passes into that of ‘reflection’ so far as both present the truth that it is through Christ that God becomes visible to man. But in the one case the nature of Christ is emphasised and in the other His office. The ‘effulgence’ is the necessary manifestation of the luminous body: the ‘reflection’ is the manifestation through some medium as it takes place in fact.

It is however necessary to observe that ‘effulgence’ is not any isolated ray, but the whole bright image which brings before us the source of light. Comp. Greg. Nyss. c. Eunom. viii., Migne Patr. Gr. xlv. p. 773 wJ" ejk panto;" tou' hJliakou' kuvklou th'/ tou' fwto;" lamphvdoni ajpaugavzetai, ouj ga;r to; mevn ti lavmpei to; de; ajlampev" ejsti tou' kuvklou: ou{tw" o{lh hJ dovxa h{ti" ejsti;n oJ path;r tw'/ ejx eJauth'" ajpaugavsmati, toutevsti tw'/ ajlhqinw'/ fwti; pantacovqen periaugavzetai. And again, while the general figure guards the conception of the permanence of the relation between the source and the light, the ‘effulgence’ is regarded in its completeness (ajpauvgasma)—the light flashed forth, and not the light in the continuity of the stream.

th'" dovxh" aujtou'] The ‘glory of God’ is the full manifestation of His attributes according to man's power of apprehending them, ‘all His goodness’ (Ex. 33:19 ff.). This ‘glory’ was the subject of His crowning revelation as contemplated by the prophets (Is. 40:5 the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; 46:13 in Zion salvation, unto Israel my glory; 60:1 f.) and made known in Christ (2 Cor. 4:4, 6: comp. Rom. 9:23; 1 Tim. 1:11; John 11:40; 1:14); compare Introduction to the Gospel of St John xlvii. ff. It is the final light (Apoc. 21:23) for which we look (Tit. 2:13; Rom. 5:2).

Under the Old Dispensation the Shekinah was the symbol of it: Ex. 24:16; Ps. 85:9. Comp. Rom. 9:4; (2 Pet. 1:17).

For illustrations see Rom. 6:4; 9:4; Col. 1:11; Eph. 3:16; compare 2 Thess. 1:9; 1 Cor. 11:7; Rom. 3:23.

Clement (1 Cor. c. xxxvi.) writes o}" w]n ajpauvgasma th'" megalwsuvnh" aujtou', taking the word megalwsuvnh from the later clause and greatly obscuring the fulness of the thought.

carakth;r th'" uJpostavsew"] the expression of His essence, Vulg. figura (O. L. imago, v. character) substantiae. Syr. image of His essence (htwtyd amlx).

The word carakthvr is used from the time of Herodotus (1.116) of the distinguishing features, material or spiritual, borne by any object or person; of the traits by which we recognise it as being what it is.

It is specially used for the mark upon a coin (Eurip. El. 558f.; Arist. Pol. 1.9) which determines the nature and value of the piece. Comp. Ign. ad Magn. 5 w{sper gavr ejstin nomivsmata duvo, o} me;n qeou' o} de; kovsmou, kai; e{kaston aujtw'n i[dion carakth'ra ejpikeivmenon e[cei, oiJ a[pistoi tou' kovsmou touvtou, oiJ de; pistoi; ejn ajgavph/ carakth'ra qeou' patro;" dia; jIhsou' Cristou'.

In this connexion carakthvr is applied to the impression of the engraving on a die or seal which is conveyed to other substances. Philo, de Mund. opif. § 4 (1:4 M.) w{sper ejn khrw'/ tini th'/ eJautou' yuch'/...tou;" carakth'ra" ejnsfragivzesqai.




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