Saturday, November 2, 2013


PORPHYRY OF TYRE (circa. 234-305 C.E.): “...Let us explore completely this matter of THE MONARCHY OF THE ONLY GOD and the manifold rule of those who are revered as gods. Your [the Christian] idea of THE [ MON-ARCHY ] SINGLE RULE is amiss, FOR A MONARCH IS NOT THE ONLY MAN ALIVE BUT THE ONLY MAN WHO RULES. He rules, obviously, over his kinsmen and those like himself. Take for example the emperor Hadrian: he was a monarch because he ruled over those who were like him by race and nature - not because he existed alone somewhere or lorded it over oxen and sheep, as some poor shepherd might do. In the same way: the supreme God would not be supreme unless he ruled over other gods. Only this sort of power would do justice to the greatness of God and redound to his honor...” - (Book 4, Chapter 20, “Against the Christians,” quoted in Macarius, “Apocriticus,” 4.20, as found in Pages 83-84 “Porphyry, Porphyry's Against the Christians, the Literary Remains,” Edited by R. Joseph Hoffman, Prometheus Books, 1994.)

PORPHYRY OF TYRE (circa. 234-305 C.E.): “...But let us make a thorough investigation concerning THE [ MON-ARCHY ] SINGLE RULE{291} OF THE ONLY GOD and the manifold rule of those who are worshipped as gods. You do not know how to expound the doctrine even of THE SINGLE RULE. FOR A MONARCH IS NOT ONE WHO IS ALONE IN HIS EXISTENCE, BUT WHO IS ALONE IN HIS RULE. Clearly he rules over those who are his fellow-tribesmen, men like himself, just as the Emperor Hadrian was a monarch, not because he existed alone, nor because he ruled over oxen and sheep (over which herdsmen or shepherds rule), but because he ruled over men who shared his race and possessed the same nature. Likewise God would not properly be called a monarch, unless He ruled over other gods; for this would befit His divine greatness and His heavenly and abundant honour...” - (Book 4, Chapter 20, “Against the Christians,” quoted in Macarius, “Apocriticus,” 4.20, as found in “Translations of Christian Literature,” Series 1, Greek Texts “The Apocriticus of Macarius Magnes,” by T. W. Crafer, D.D. Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1919.)
[FOOTNOTE 290]: This objection and the next, and also the answers contained in chapters xxvi., xxvii., and xxviii. are quoted by Nicephorus, in his Antirrhetica, and are to be found in D. Pitra's Spicil. Solesm. t. I. p. 309 et seq. See Introd., pp. x, xi, xxvii. One interest of Nicephorus lies in the difference of his text from the Athens MS. The most notable in this chapter occurs in the first sentence, where he omits the words Gk., ( TOU MONOU THEOU KAI ) tou~ mo&nou qeou~ kai\ th~j poluarxi/aj.
[FOOTNOTE 291]: The word Monarchia Gk., ( MONARCHIA ) seems to require translating thus, in order to bring it into contrast with the Gk., ( POLUARCHIA ) which follows.

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