Friday, March 9, 2012

A FAMOUS QUOTE FROM GREGORY OF NYSSA IN “THE WATCHTOWER – ANNOUNCING JEHOVAH'S KINGDOM,” JANUARY 15TH, 2012, STUDY EDITION, PAGES 6-7, PARAGRAPH 13.


Some of our Brothers have been wrongly accused by opposer's of Jehovah's Witnesses, that the Watchtower magazine publishes “false,” and “misleading information.”

Such is the case with opposers in regard to the quote found in THE WATCHTOWER – ANNOUNCING JEHOVAH'S KINGDOM,” January 15th 2012, Study Edition, Pages 6-7, Paragraph 13, concerning Gregory of Nyssa (circa. 335-395 C.E.).

To prove that this quote is not “made up,” or “miss-quoted,” or “false,” I have tracked down the original Greek and Latin source texts. To my (present) knowledge there is no official English translation of this particular work of Gregory of Nyssa' available for free online. And, perhaps, this is ( why ) some ignorant (in the sense of lacking accurate facts, not lack of intelligence) people may have ( mistakenly ) thought that Jehovah's Witnesses “made up” this statement by Gregory.

So out of love for my brothers, in order that they may be: “...always ready to make a defense before everyone that demands of YOU a reason for the hope in YOU...” (1st Peter 3:15 NWT) here is the information you may need to answer such critics.

LATIN TEXT: “...Quoniam nunc quoque sunt, qui sicuti Athenienses illi, nulli alii rei vacant, nisi ut dicant et audiant aliquid novi, qui vel heri vel paulo ante ab sellulariis, plebeiis et servilibus opificiis prodierunt, subitarii atque tumultuarii quidam theologicarum sententiarum auctores, forsitan famulii quidam et verberones a servilibus ministeriis profugi, magnifice nobis de rebus incomprehensibilibus philosophantur. Prorsus haud ignoratis ad quos oratio spectet. Omnia namque loca urbis talibus repleta sunt, angiporta, bivia, for a, plateae : vestimentorum institores, mensis argentariis praefecti, qui esculenta nobis vendunt. Si quem eorum de obolis interroges, ille tibi de geniti et non geniti natura philosophatur : quod si de pretio et aestimatione panis scisciteris, Pater major est, inquit, et Filius subjectus : quod si lavacrum commodum esse dixeris, ille ex non entibus Filium esse censet. Nescio quo nomine hoc malum oporteat appellare, phrenesin an furorem, aut aliquod ejusmodi malum quod in populo grassetur, quod efficiat [or “effieat,” text illegible] mentis perversionem...” - (“[Oratio] De deitate Filii et Spiritus sancti,” Left Coloumn, (paralell to Greek) Section 558, Sub-section B, Volume 46.554-76, in Jacques Paul Migne's Patrologia Graeca, Patrologiae Cursus Completus. Series Graeca.)

GREEK TEXT: “...Πάντα γὰρ τὰ κατὰ τὴν πόλιν τῶν τοιούτων πεπλήρωται, οἱ στενωποὶ, αἱ ἀγοραὶ, αἱ πλατεῖαι, τὰ ἄμφοδα· οἱ τῶν ἱματίων κάπηλοι, οἱ ταῖς τραπέζαις ἐφεστηκότες, οἱ τὰ ἐδώδιμα ἡμῖν ἀπεμπολοῦντες. Ἐὰν περὶ τῶν ὀβολῶν ἐρωτήσῃς, ὁ δέ σοι περὶ γεννητοῦ καὶ ἀγεννήτου ἐφιλοσόφησε· κἂν περὶ τιμήματος ἄρτου πύθοιο, Μείζων ὁ Πατὴρ, ἀποκρίνεται, καὶ ὁ καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς ὑποχείριος. Εἰ δὲ, Τὸ λουτρὸν ἐπιτήδειόν ἐστιν, εἴποις, ὁ δὲ ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων τὸν Υἱὸν εἶναι διωρίσατο. Οὐκ οἶδα τί χρὴ τὸ κακὸν τοῦτο ὀνομάσαι, φρενῖτιν ἢ μανίαν, ἤ τι τοιοῦτον κακὸν ἐπιδήμιον, ὃ τῶν λογισμῶν τὴν παραφορὰν ἐξεργάζεται...” - (Oratio De deitate Filii et Spiritus sancti PG 46.554-76, quoted in “The Orthodox Church – Church History,” by Kallistos Ware.)

GREGORY OF NYSSA (circa. 335-395 C.E.): “...The whole city is full of it, the squares, the market places, the cross-roads, the alleyways; old-clothes men, money changers, food sellers: they are all busy arguing. If you ask someone to give you change, he philosophizes about the Begotten and the Unbegotten; if you inquire about the price of a loaf, you are told by way of reply that the Father is greater and the Son inferior; if you ask “Is my bath ready?” the attendant answers that the Son was made out of nothing...” - (On the Deity of the Son [P.G. xlvi, 557b], The Orthodox Church – Church History by Kallistos Ware http://www.synaxis.org/catechist/Orthodox_Church)

GREGORY OF NYSSA (circa. 335-395 C.E.): “...Everywhere, in the public squares, at crossroads, on the streets and lanes, people would stop you and discourse at random about the Trinity. If you asked something of a moneychanger, he would begin discussing the question of the Begotten and the Unbegotten. If you questioned a baker about the price of bread, he would answer that the Father is greater and the Son is subordinate to Him. If you went to take a bath, the Anomoean bath attendant would tell you that in his opinion the Son simply comes from nothing...” - (Oratio de deitate Filii et Spiritus Sancti, quoted in “Trinity 1: What Do We Do with All These Guys?” Maria F. Drews, August 2010.)

GREGORY OF NYSSA (circa. 335-395 C.E.): “...The town is full of those who dogmatize concerning incomprehensible matters,--they are in the streets and markets, among the clothiers, money-changers, and victuallers. If you ask any one how much you have to pay, they dogmatize about being begotten and not being begotten. If you ask the price of bread, the reply is” “The Father is greater than the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father.” If you ask: “Is the bath ready?” the answer is: “The Son is created from nothing...” - (Oratio de Deitate Filii et Spiritus Sancti, [Opp. t. iii. p. 466.] quoted on Page 317, Subheading “ARIANS,” “Penny cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Volume 1,” By Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Great Britain, By C. Night 1833.)

NOTE: I have included a little bit more of the surrounding context in the Latin text. The Greek text is paralell to the Latin on the same page ( = Right Coloumn ), Section 557, Sub-section B.