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It is worthwhile to report Justin’s subsequent statement concerning the divinity and eternity of the Logos and its action in creation: “The Logos of Wisdom is itself God, begotten by the Father of the universe, Logos, Wisdom, Power, and glory of the Father”; it is he who said: “The Lord established me as the principle before the world while God prepared the heavens I was there.” Notably, Cincinnati Map Clement of Alexandria also connected the Logos of God with the duna,meij, and more precisely with the spiritual powers see Ramelli, Clement’s Notion of the Logos. For Justin, Clement, Bardesanes and Origen, Christ-Logos is God’s Power and Wisdom, by means of which God created the world.
Gregory of Nyssa further developed this train of thought. He describes Christ-Logos-Wisdom as the seat of all Ideas of realities before creation De Perf. 260B; through God’s dynamis, who is Christ-Logos, these Ideas became creatures. This is the creation of the world performed by Christ-Logos, which is also described by Gregory in In Hex. 72B. Here he observes that the Ideas of all realities were contemplated by God, in the divine Mind-Logos, Cincinnati Map before their creation as realities, and it was “the Logos of dynamis” that brought these Ideas to reality. The “divine dynamis” is again said to have created all things in De hom. op. 3: “The creation kti,sij was made impromptu, so to say, by the divine dynamis, in that it was constituted at the same time as the order was given.
The role of divine dynamis in creation, which explicates itself in God’s operations or evne,rgeiai, also forms the basis for a distinction on the gnoseological plane, the import of which affects the whole doctrine of apophaticism. Once again, it is in Origen and in Gregory of Nyssa, with important parallels in Neoplatonism and developments in ps.- Dionysius and Maximus the Confessor, Cincinnati Map that this conception is best delineated. Gregory of Nyssa maintained that we cannot know or say anything about God’s nature ouvsi,a, but we can only know God’s operations evne,rgeiai, which in turn are distinct from, and originated by, divine power du,namij, which we can know, not in itself, but only by inference from its operations and creatures. That God’s nature and substance is ineffable is insisted upon by Gregory esp. in Ad Ablabium, in his polemic against Eunomius, and in his homilies on the Song of Songs. The Godhead, who is “invisible in its nature,” becomes “visible in his operations” De beat. GNO VII2, 141 and is thus grasped by human intellect in some of its aspects, tina peri.
auvth,n, or ta. peri. to.n Qeo,n GNO I, 256. Gregory is relying on Origen, e.g., in C. Cels. VI, 65, who also knows the expression ta. peri,, which was already employed by Clement, Strom. V 11,71,3 a passage concerning the abstractive process in our knowledge of God. This expression, and the underlying concept, was also used by Plotinus Enn. V 3,14, and was taken up by Basil in the second book of his C. Eun. and by another Origenian author, ps.- Dionysius Cael. Hier. II 3. The ineffability of the divinity in its nature and the possibility only of saying something of what concerns it ti peri. auvtou was also held by Plotinus Enn. V 3,13-14, who displays the ouvsi,a-evne,rgeia-du,namij triad as well. Apophaticism in Plotinus, however, seems to be more radical than in Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and other patristic authors, due to a precise ontological basis: Plotinus’s One completely transcends Being itself, whereas Origen and Gregory partially maintain the identification of God with Being, as they felt bound by Ex 3:14.