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The Problematic Text of Athenagoras of Athens’s Leg. 12.3: A Proposed Emendation

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Author: Devin L. White1
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This study argues that Athenagoras of Athens’s Leg. 12.3 contains a lacuna. A vital clause should be emended to read ὑπὸ µόνου δὲ παραπεµπόµενοι τοῦ τὸν ὄντως θεὸν καὶ τὸν παρ’αὐτοῦ λόγον [πνεύµατος] εἰδέναι. The argument proceeds in three stages. First, an overview of the text, context, and history of interpretation of Leg. 12.3 will demonstrate that the text contains a lacuna. Second, a brief survey of Athenagoras’s religious epistemology will argue that πνεύµατος was the most likely original word. Finally, an analysis of the Spirit’s role in Leg. 7.2-3 will demonstrate that the reconstructed text of Leg. 12.3 is consistent with Athenagoras’s pneumatology, which relied upon traditional Jewish exegesis of the creation narratives.

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