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1895 : St. Athanasius on the Incarnation : The Greek Text, Edited for Students

1895 : St. Athanasius on the Incarnation : The Greek Text, Edited for Students

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St. Athanasius on the Incarnation
The Greek Text, Edited for the Use of Students

(Second Edition)

By Archibald Robertson

Published by David Nutt, London, 1895. Hardback, title in black to upper board, 89 pages plus 2 pages of adverts.

A good clean copy throughout but with some neat annotations to the margins. Previous owners name and address to front endpaper. Overall a very good clean copy.


St. Athanasius’ second treatise written to Marcarius, On the Incarnation, is an apologetic work in which Athanasius considers “the Word’s becoming Man and His divine Appearing in our midst.” The work is not intended to be a doctrinal explanation of the incarnation but a defense of it against its 4th century critics.

First, Athanasius addresses the creation of man and his fall into sin, which is necessary background for a proper understanding of the incarnation. As Athanasius argues, humankind’s dilemma caused the Word to take human form.Through transgression man had broken fellowship with God and faced corruption and death. However, the same agent through whom the world and mankind was created would become the agent of its deliverance and re-creation. “For this purpose, then,” to maintain God the Father’s consistency in regards to his sentence of death on all due to sin and His ultimate purpose in creating the world and a humanity in His image, “the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world.” The Word took on a body capable of death to face humanity’s corruption in death for the sake of all. “Yet He Himself, as the Word, being immortal and the Father’s Son, was such as could not die.” And, therefore, death could not hold Him and He emerged victorious from the grave, defeating death and obtaining incorruption through His resurrection. As Athanasius states,

This [the Word’s incarnation, death, and resurrection] He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection.

None was able to grant mortals immortality through resurrection save the immortal Divine-Word who was unable to remain dead, hence the incarnation.

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