on the

 Based on: Christ in Glory, Bodleian Antiphoner 
 MS Don A 11, fol. 003 v., c. 1360, (Image Modified)

WITH regard to Gregory's teaching on the apokatastasis the translators/editors of the Paulist Press edition of the Life of Moses note:

Universal salvation was taught by Origen [—De princ. 2.10.8; 3.6.3; C. Cels. 8.72—and appears in Gregory also in Or. cat. 26 and 35 (MG 45.68D-69C; 92C); De hom. op. 21 (MG 44.201C); De an. et res. (MG 46.88A, 100A-101A, 157-160); De mort. (MG 46.524-525)]. Unlike Origen's succession of worlds Gregory seems to find one purgation sufficient. There are passages where Gregory implies a permanent lost condition [In inscrip. Ps. 2.16, Vol. 5, pp. 174-75 (MG 44.605-608); De paup. amand. (MG 46.461A)]. The last sentence of In Cant. would seem to express his hope:

When all men look to the same goal of desire and become one and no evil remains in anyone, God will be everything to everyone, to those who through unity with one another are united by participation in the good in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be the glory, and the might for ever and ever. Amen. (Vol. 6, p. 469, 4ff.; MG 44.1117D-1120A)

Gregory's philosophy, his theology, and his spirituality are all caught up in this statement.

Gregory of Nyssa, The Life Of Moses Tr., introd., notes by Abraham J. Malherbe & Everett Ferguson (Paulist PRess, 1978), fn 102, p. 167








HOMILY 1 (296.18)
Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson

The catechetical oration of Gregory of Nyssa, ed. J. Srawley ( Cambridge University Press, 1903) 







NPNF 5, The Great Catechism. pp. 494 ff.








THAT Deity should be born in our nature, ought not reasonably to present any strangeness to the minds of those who do not take too narrow a view of things. For who, when he looks upon the universe, is so simple as not to believe Τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ φύσει γενέσθαι ἡμῶν τὴν θεότητα τοῖς μὴ λίαν μικροψύχως κατανοοῦσι τὰ ὄντα οὐδένα ἂν ἐκ τοῦ εὐλόγου ξενισμὸν ἐπαγάγοι. τίς γὰρ οὕτω νήπιος τὴν ψυχὴν ὡς εἰς τὸ πᾶν βλέπων μὴ

that there is Deity in everything,

ἐν παντὶ πιστεύειν εἶναι τὸ θεῖον͵

penetrating it, embracing it, and seated in it?

καὶ ἐνδυόμενον καὶ ἐμπεριέχον καὶ ἐγ καθήμενον;
For all things depend on Him Who is (Exod.3.14), nor can there be anything which has not its being in Him Who is. τοῦ γὰρ ὄντος ἐξῆπται τὰ ὄντα͵ καὶ οὐκ ἔνεστιν εἶναί τι μὴ ἐν τῷ ὄντι τὸ εἶναι ἔχον.
If, therefore, all things are in Him, and He in all things, why are they scandalized at the plan of Revelation, when it teaches that God was born among men, that same God Whom we are convinced is even now not outside mankind? For although this last form of God’s presence amongst us is not the same as that former presence, still His existence amongst us equally both then and now is evidenced;   εἰ οὖν ἐν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν ἐκεῖνο͵ τί ἐπαισχύνον ται τῇ οἰκονομίᾳ τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ θεὸν ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ γεγενῆσθαι διδάσκοντος τὸν οὐδὲ νῦν ἔξω τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἶναι πεπιστευμένον; εἰ γὰρ καὶ ὁ τρόπος τῆς ἐν ἡμῖν τοῦ θεοῦ παρουσίας οὐχ ὁ αὐτὸς οὗτος ἐκείνῳ͵ ἀλλ΄ οὖν τὸ ἐν ἡμῖν εἶναι καὶ νῦν καὶ τότε κατὰ τὸ ἴσον διωμο λόγηται.
BUT now He Who holds together Nature in existence is mixed [transfused] in us; νῦν μὲν οὖν ἐγκέκραται ἡμῖν ὡς συνέχων ἐν τῷ εἶναι τὴν φύσιν·

ἐγκεράννυμι / κρᾶσις (enkerannumi/krasis): mix, esp of wine; blending

while at that other time He was mingled/blended throughout our [nature], τότε δὲ κατεμίχθη πρὸς τὸ ἡμέτερον͵

μῖξις (μίγνυμι) (mixis / mignumi): mix, esp of wine; mingling; intimate intercourse

in order that our [nature] might by this mingling of the Divine become divine, ἵνα τὸ ἡμέτερον τῇ πρὸς τὸ θεῖον ἐπιμιξίᾳ γένηται θεῖον͵

 ἐπίμιξις (epimixis): mixture

rescued as it was from death, and put beyond the reach of the caprice of the antagonist. For His return from death becomes to our mortal race the commencement of our return to the immortal life.  ἐξαιρεθὲν τοῦ θανάτου καὶ τῆς τοῦ ἀντικειμένου τυραννίδος ἔξω γενόμενον· ἡ γὰρ ἐκείνου ἀπὸ τοῦ θανά του ἐπάνοδος ἀρχὴ τῷ θνητῷ γένει τῆς εἰς τὴν ἀθάνατον ζωὴν ἐπανόδου γίγνεται.







 STILL, in his examination of the amount of justice and wisdom discoverable in this Dispensation a person is, perhaps, induced to entertain the thought that it was by means of a certain amount of deceit that God carried out this scheme on our behalf. 

̓Αλλ' ἴσως τις ἐν τῇ τῆς δικαιοσύνης τε καὶ σοφίας ἐξετάσει τῆς κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν ταύτην θεωρουμένης ἐνάγεται πρὸς τὸ νομίσαι ἀπάτην τινὰ τὴν τοιαύτην μέθοδον ἐπινενοῆσθαι ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν τῷ θεῷ· 

For that not by naked (i.e. visible) Deity alone, but by Deity veiled in human nature, τὸ γὰρ μὴ γυμνῇ τῇ θεότητι, ἀλλ' ὑπὸ τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης φύσεως κεκαλυμμένῃ,

Like a spy, God penetrates enemy-held territory:  by deceiving the deceiver He benefits him

God, without the knowledge of His enemy, got within the lines of him who had man in his power, is in some measure a fraud and a surprise; seeing that it is the peculiar way with those who want to deceive to divert in another direction the expectations of their intended victims, and then to effect something quite different from what these latter expected. ἀγνοηθέντα παρὰ τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, τὸν θεὸν ἐντὸς τοῦ κρατοῦντος γενέσθαι ἀπάτη τίς ἐστι τρόπον τινὰ καὶ παραλογισμός, ἐπείπερ ἴδιον τῶν ἀπατώντων ἐστὶ τὸ πρὸς ἕτερον τὰς τῶν ἐπιβουλευομένων ἐλπίδας τρέπειν καὶ ἄλλο παρὰ τὸ ἐλπισθὲν κατεργάζεσθαι.

But he who has regard for truth will agree that the essential qualities of justice and wisdom are before all things these; viz. of justice, to give to every one according to his due; of wisdom, not to pervert justice, and yet at the same time not to dissociate the benevolent aim of the love of mankind from the verdict of justice, but skillfully to combine both these requisites together, in regard to justice returning the due recompense, in regard to kindness not swerving from the aim of that love of man.

 ἀλλ' ὁ πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν βλέπων πάντων μάλιστα καὶ τοῦτο τῆς δικαιοσύνης τε καὶ τῆς σοφίας εἶναι συνθήσεται. δικαίου μὲν γάρ ἐστι τὸ κατ' ἀξίαν ἑκάστῳ νέμειν, σοφοῦ δὲ τὸ μήτε παρατρέπειν τὸ δίκαιον, μήτε τὸν ἀγαθὸν τῆς φιλανθρωπίας σκοπὸν ἀποχωρίζειν τῆς κατὰ τὸ δίκαιον κρίσεως, ἀλλὰ συνάπτειν ἀλλήλοις εὐμηχάνως ἀμφότερα, τῇ μὲν δικαιοσύνῃ τὸ κατ' ἀξίαν ἀντιδιδόντα, τῇ δὲ ἀγαθότητι τοῦ σκοποῦ τῆς φιλανθρωπίας οὐκ ἐξιστάμενον.  

Let us see, then, whether these two qualities are not to be observed in that which took place. That repayment, adequate to the debt, σκοπήσωμεν τοίνυν εἰ μὴ τὰ δύο ταῦτα τοῖς γεγονόσιν ἐνθεωρεῖται. ἡ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ κατ' ἀξίαν ἀντίδοσις,
by which the deceiver was in his turn deceived, δι' ἧς ὁ ἀπατεὼν ἀνταπατᾶται,

exhibits the justice of the dealing, while the object aimed at is a testimony to the goodness of Him who effected it. It is, indeed, the property of justice to assign to every one those particular results of which he has sunk already the foundations and the causes, just as the earth returns its harvests according to the kinds of seeds thrown into it;

 τὸ δίκαιον δείκνυσιν, ὁ δὲ σκοπὸς τοῦ γιγνομένου μαρτυρία τῆς τοῦ ἐνεργοῦντος ἀγαθότητος γίγνεται. ἴδιον μὲν γὰρ τῆς δικαιοσύνης τὸ ἐκεῖνα νέμειν ἑκάστῳ, ὧν τις τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς αἰτίας προκατεβάλετο, ὥσπερ ἡ γῆ κατὰ τὰ γένη τῶν καταβληθέντων σπερμάτων καὶ τοὺς καρποὺς ἀντιδίδωσιν·  

while it is the property of wisdom, in its very manner of giving equivalent returns, not to depart from the kinder course.  σοφίας δὲ τὸ ἐν τῷ τρόπῳ τῆς τῶν ὁμοίων ἀντιδόσεως μὴ ἐκπεσεῖν τοῦ βελτίονος.

Two persons may both mix poison with food, one with the design of taking life, the other with the design of saving that life; the one using it as a poison, the other only as an antidote to poison; and in no way does the manner of the cure adopted spoil the aim and purpose of the benefit intended; for although a mixture of poison with the food may be effected by both of these persons alike, yet looking at their intention we are indignant with the one and approve the other; so in this instance, by the reasonable rule of justice,  

ὥσπερ γὰρ τῷ ἐδέσματι ὁμοίως παραμίγνυσι τὸ φάρμακον καὶ ὁ ἐπιβουλεύων καὶ ὁ τὸν ἐπιβουλευθέντα ἰώμενος· ἀλλ' ὁ μὲν τὸ δηλητήριον, ὁ δὲ τοῦ δηλητηρίου ἀλεξητήριον, καὶ οὐδὲν ὁ τρόπος τῆς θεραπείας τὸν σκοπὸν τῆς εὐεργεσίας διελυμήνατο· εἰ γὰρ καὶ παρ' ἀμφοτέρων φαρμάκου μίξις ἐν τροφῇ γίγνεται, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὸν σκοπὸν ἀποβλέψαντες τὸν μὲν ἐπαινοῦμεν, τῷ δὲ χαλεπαίνομεν· οὕτω καὶ ἐνταῦθα τῷ μὲν κατὰ τὸ δίκαιον λόγῳ

he who practised deception receives in return that very treatment, the seeds of which he had himself sown of his own free will. ἐκεῖνα ὁ ἀπατεὼν ἀντιλαμβάνει, ὧν τὰ σπέρματα διὰ τῆς ἰδίας προαιρέσεως κατεβάλετο·

He who first deceived man by the bait of sensual pleasure is himself deceived by the presentment of the human form. But as regards the aim and purpose of what took place, a change in the direction of the nobler is involved; for whereas he, the enemy, effected his deception for the ruin of our nature,

 ἀπατᾶται γὰρ καὶ αὐτὸς τῷ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου προβλήματι ὁ προαπατήσας τὸν ἄνθρωπον τῷ τῆς ἡδονῆς δελεάσματι· ὁ δὲ σκοπὸς τῶν γιγνομένων ἐπὶ τὸ κρεῖττον τὴν παραλλαγὴν ἔχει. ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἐπὶ διαφθορᾷ τῆς φύσεως τὴν ἀπάτην ἐνήργησεν,

He Who is at once the just, and good, and wise one, used His conception (epinoia) of deception, for the salvation of him who had perished, and thus ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἅμα καὶ ἀγαθὸς καὶ σοφὸς ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ τοῦ καταφθαρέντος τῇ ἐπινοίᾳ τῆς ἀπάτης ἐχρήσατο, 

not only conferred benefit on the lost one,

οὐ μόνον τὸν ἀπολωλότα διὰ τούτων εὐεργετῶν,

but on him, too, who had wrought our ruin.

ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸν τὸν τὴν ἀπώλειαν καθ' ἡμῶν ἐνεργήσαντα.
For by the bringing together of ἐκ γὰρ τοῦ προσεγγίσαι

death and life

τῇ ζωῇ μὲν τὸν θάνατον,

of darkness and light

τῷ φωτὶ δὲ τὸ σκότος,

of corruption and incorruption,

τῇ ἀφθαρσίᾳ δὲ τὴν φθοράν,
there is effected an obliteration of what is worse, ἀφανισμὸς μὲν τοῦ χείρονος γίγνεται

and a passing away of it into nothing,

καὶ εἰς τὸ μὴ ὂν μεταχώρησις,
while benefit is conferred on him who is freed from those evils. ὠφέλεια δὲ τοῦ ἀπὸ τούτων καθαιρομένου.
For it is as when some worthless material has been mixed with gold, and the gold-refiners burn up the foreign and refuse part in the consuming fire, and so restore the more precious substance to its natural lustre: καθάπερ γάρ, ἀτιμοτέρας ὕλης τῷ χρυσῷ καταμιχθείσης, τῇ διὰ τοῦ πυρὸς δαπάνῃ τὸ ἀλλότριόν τε καὶ ἀπόβλητον οἱ θεραπευταὶ τοῦ χρυσίου καταναλώσαντες πάλιν ἐπανάγουσι πρὸς τὴν κατὰ φύσιν λαμπηδόνα τὴν προτιμοτέραν ὕλην·

(not that the separation is effected without difficulty, for it takes time for the fire by its melting force to cause the baser matter to disappear; but for all that, this melting away of the actual thing that was embedded in it to the injury of its beauty is a kind of healing of the gold.)

   οὐκ ἄπονος μέντοι γίνεται ἡ διάκρισις, χρόνῳ τοῦ πυρὸς τῇ ἀναλωτικῇ δυνάμει τὸ νόθον ἐξαφανίζοντος, πλὴν ἀλλὰ θεραπεία τίς ἐστι τοῦ χρυσίου τὸ ἐκτακῆναι αὐτὸ τὸ ἐπὶλύμῃ τοῦ κάλλους ἐγκείμενον·  

 In the same way when death, and corruption, and darkness, and every other offshoot of evil had grown into the nature of the author of evil, the approach of the Divine power, acting like fire [Mal. iii. 2, Mal. iii. 3] , and making that unnatural accretion to disappear, thus by purgation of the evil becomes a blessing to that nature, though the separation is agonizing. 

κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον, θανάτου καὶ φθορᾶς καὶ σκότους καὶ εἴ τι κακίας ἔκγονον τῷ εὑρετῇ τοῦ κακοῦ περιφυέντων, ὁ προσεγγισμὸς τῆς θείας δυνάμεως πυρὸς δίκην ἀφανισμὸν τοῦ παρὰ φύσιν κατεργασάμενος εὐεργετεῖ τῇ καθάρσει τὴν φύσιν, κἂν ἐπίπονος ἡ διάκρισις ᾖ.

Therefore even the adversary himself will not be likely to dispute that what took place was both just and saving,  

 οὐκοῦν οὐδ' ἂν παρ' αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀντικειμένου μὴ εἶναι δίκαιόν τε καὶ σωτήριον τὸ γεγονὸς ἀμφιβάλοιτο,  

that is, if he shall have attained to a perception of the benefit. εἴπερ εἰς αἴσθησιν τῆς εὐεργεσίας ἔλθοι.

For it is now as with those who for their cure are subjected to the knife and the cautery; they are angry with the doctors, and wince with the pain of the incision; but if recovery of health be the result of this treatment, and the pain of the cautery passes away, they will feel grateful to those who have wrought this cure upon them. 

νυνὶ γὰρ καθάπερ οἱ ἐπὶ θεραπείᾳ τεμνόμενοί τε καὶ καιόμενοι χαλεπαίνουσι τοῖς θεραπεύουσι, τῇ ὀδύνῃ τῆς τομῆς δριμυσσόμενοι, εἰ δὲ τὸ ὑγιαίνειν διὰ τούτων προσγένοιτο καὶ ἡ τῆς καύσεως ἀλγηδὼν παρέλθοι, χάριν εἴσονται τοῖς τὴν θεραπείαν ἐπ' αὐτῶν ἐνεργήσασι·  



In like manner, when, after long periods of time, the evil of our nature, which now is mixed up with it and has grown with its growth, has been expelled, and when there has been a restoration [apokatastasis] of those who are now lying in Sin to their primal state, a harmony of thanksgiving will arise from all creation , as well from those who in the process of the purgation have suffered chastisement, as from those who needed not any purgation at all. 

κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον ταῖς μακραῖς περιόδοις ἐξαιρεθέντος τοῦ κακοῦ τῆς φύσεως, τοῦ νῦν αὐτῇ καταμιχθέντος καὶ συμφυέντος, ἐπειδὰν ἡ εἰς τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἀποκατάστασις τῶν νῦν ἐν κακίᾳ κειμένων γένηται, ὁμόφωνος ἡ εὐχαριστία παρὰ πάσης ἔσται τῆς κτίσεως, καὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ καθάρσει κεκολασμένων καὶ τῶν μηδὲ τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐπιδεηθέντων καθάρσεως.  

These and the like benefits the great mystery of the Divine incarnation bestows. ταῦτα καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα παραδίδωσι τὸ μέγα μυστήριον τῆς θείας ἐνανθρωπήσεως.

 For in those points in which He was mingled with humanity, passing as He did through all the accidents (idiomata) proper to human nature, such as birth, rearing, growing up, and advancing even to the taste of death, He accomplished all the results before mentioned,  

 δι' ὧν γὰρ κατεμίχθη τῇ ἀνθρωπότητι, διὰ πάντων τῶν τῆς φύσεως ἰδιωμάτων γενόμενος, γενέσεώς τε καὶ ἀνατροφῆς καὶ αὐξήσεως, καὶ μέχρι τῆς τοῦ θανάτου πείρας διεξελθών, τὰ προειρημένα πάντα κατείργασται,

freeing both man from evil,

τόν τε ἄνθρωπον τῆς κακίας ἐλευθερῶν

and healing even the introducer of evil himself.

καὶ αὐτὸν τὸν τῆς κακίας εὑρετὴν ἰώμενος.
For the chastisement, however painful, of moral disease is a healing of its weakness. ἴασις γάρ ἐστιν ἀρρωστίας ἡ τοῦ νοσήματος κάθαρσις, κἂν ἐπίπονος ᾖ.










HOMILY 1 (296.18)
tr. by Richard McCambly

In Ecclesiasten (homiliae 8) Gregorii Nysseni opera, vol.5 (Brill, Leiden, 1962)







The soul existed right from the beginning; it had been purified in the past and will appear in the future. ἐκεῖνο κατ΄ ἀρχὰς γέγονεν ἡ ψυχή͵ ὃ εἰς ὕστερον καθαρθεῖσα πάλιν ἀναφανήσεται·
God, who fashioned the human body, will show the resurrection at the proper time, ἐκεῖνο πεποίηται ταῖς χερσὶ τοῦ θεοῦ τὸ σῶμα πλασσόμενον͵ ὃ δείξει τοῖς καθήκουσι χρόνοις αὐτὸ ἡ ἀνάστασις·
for that which comes after the resurrection was indeed fashioned first. ὁποῖον γὰρ ἂν μετὰ τὴν ἀνάστασιν ἴδοις͵ τοιοῦτον πάντως παρὰ τὴν πρώτην πεποίηται.



The resurrection is nothing other than the restoration (apokatastasis) of all things to their original state. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἄλλο τι ἐστιν ἡ ἀνάστασις͵ εἰ μὴ πάντως ἡ εἰς τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἀποκατάστασις.



Ecclesiastes then adds that nothing is excluded from that which had existed at the beginning:” 5.296.19  Διὸ τούτοις ἐπάγει καὶ τὸ ἀκόλουθον λέγων͵ ὅτι ἔξω τοῦ ἀρχαίου ἐστὶν οὐδέν.
There is nothing new under the sun” [9.3].  He utters these words as if to say that if something did not exist at the beginning, it did not exist at all but was thought to have existed [J.297]. Οὐκ ἔστι γάρ͵ φησί͵ πᾶν πρόσφατον ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον͵ ὡς ἂν εἰ ἔλεγεν͵ ὅτι εἴ τι μὴ κατὰ τὸ ἀρχαῖόν ἐστιν͵ οὐδὲ ἔστιν ὅλως͵ ἀλλὰ νομίζεται.
Nothing under the sun is new, he says, so that anything spoken or demonstrated about the past is new and freshly come into existence.  These words means that nothing new has been uttered under the sun.  As for anything spoken we have the statement, οὐ γὰρ ἔστι͵ φησί͵ πρόσφατόν τι ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον͵ ὥστε λαλῆσαί τινα καὶ δεῖξαί τι τῶν ἐπιγενομένων͵ ὅτι καινόν ἐστι τοῦτο καὶ τῷ ὄντι ὑφέστηκεν. αὕτη τῶν εἰρημένων ἐστὶν ἡ διάνοια͵ ἡ δὲ λέξις τοῦτον ἔχει τὸν τρόπον· Καὶ οὐκ ἔστι πᾶν πρόσφατον ὑπὸ τὸν ἥλιον͵ ὃς λαλήσει καὶ ἐρεῖ͵ ἴδε τοῦτο καινόν ἐστι. καὶ ἐπαγωνίζεται τοῖς εἰρημένοις διὰ τῶν ἐφεξῆς λόγων·
  “If anything indeed had been, it already appeared in the ages before us” [1.10].  This meaning of this verse [M.636] is as follows: anything new had already been made in the ages before us.  If they are swallowed up in oblivion, do not wonder because the present will suffer the same fate.         εἴ τι ἀληθῶς͵ φησί͵ γέγονεν͵ ἐκεῖνό ἐστιν͵ ὃ ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν ἐγένετο τοῖς πρὸ ἡμῶν. ταύτην γὰρ ἐνδείκνυται τὴν διάνοιαν αὐτὰ τὰ ῥήματα τῆς γραφῆς οὕτως ἔχοντα· ῎Ηδη γέγονεν ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσι τοῖς γεγονόσιν ἀπὸ ἔμπροσθεν ἡμῶν. εἰ δὲ ἐπεκράτησε λήθη τῶν γενομένων͵ θαυμάσῃς μηδέν· καὶ γὰρ τὰ νῦν ὄντα λήθῃ συγκαλυφθήσεται. ὅτε γὰρ πρὸς κακίαν ἡ φύσις ἔρρεψε͵ ἐν λήθῃ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἐγενόμεθα·
Because nature tends towards evil, we are forgetful of the good; but when enjoyment of the good returns, oblivion envelopes evil. ὅταν γένηται πρὸς τὸ ἀγαθὸν αὖθις ἡμῖν ἡ ἀνάλυσις͵ πάλιν τὸ κακὸν λήθῃ συγκαλυφθήσεται. ταύτην γὰρ οἶμαι τὴν διάνοιαν ἐν τοῖς εἰρημένοις εἶναι͵ ἐν οἷς φησιν·
We have no remembrance of the first and last things which is as though he said that the events which introduced evil after man’s original blessed state Οὐκ ἔστι μνήμη τοῖς πρώτοις͵ καί γε τοῖς ἐσχάτοις γενομένοις οὐκ ἔσται αὐτῶν μνήμη͵ ὡς ἂν εἰ ἔλεγεν͵ ὅτι τῶν ἐπιγενομένων μετὰ τὴν ἐξ ἀρχῆς εὐκληρίαν͵ δι΄ ὧν ἐν κακοῖς γέγονε τὸ ἀνθρώπινον͵
will erase the memory the last things. ἐξαλείψει τὴν μνήμην τὰ πάλιν ἐν τοῖς ἐσχάτοις ἐπιγινόμενα·
No such memory will exist in the future; the last state [he eschate katastasis] [J.298] will utterly destroy the memory of evil deeds in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever.   Amen Οὐκ ἔσται γὰρ αὐτῶν μνήμη μετὰ τῶν γενομένων εἰς τὴν ἐσχάτην͵ τουτέστιν ἡ ἐσχάτη κατάστασις 5.298 ἀφανισμὸν παντελῆ τῆς τῶν κακῶν μνήμης ἐμποιήσει τῇ φύσει͵ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν͵ ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.















Tr.William Moore and Henry Austin Wilson. NPNF ser.2, Vol. 5. Ed. Philip Schaff & Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.)


[12.3 ...]Rejoice with me, she says, because I have found the Drachma which I had lost.

 Συγχά ρητε γάρ μοι͵ φησίν͵ ὅτι εὗρον τὴν δραχμήν͵ ἣν ἀπώλεσα.

The neighbours, that is, the soul’s familiar powers, both the reasoning and the appetitive, the affections of grief and of anger, and all the rest that are discerned in her, at that joyful feast which celebrates the finding of the heavenly Drachma are well called her friends also; and it is meet that they should all rejoice in the Lord when they all look towards the Beautiful and the Good, and do everything for the glory of God, no longer instruments of sin. (Rom. 6:13)

 Αἱ δὲ γείτονες ἤτοι σύνοικοι τῆς ψυχῆς δυνάμεις αἱ ἐπὶ τῇ εὑρέσει τῆς θείας δραχμῆς εὐφραινόμεναι͵ ἡ λογιστική τε καὶ ἐπιθυμητικὴ καὶ ἡ κατὰ λύπην τε καὶ ὀργὴν ἐγγινο μένη διάθεσις͵ καὶ εἴ τινες ἄλλαι δυνάμεις εἰσὶ περὶ τὴν ψυχὴν θεωρούμεναι͵ εἰκότως ἂν καὶ φίλαι εἶναι νομίζοιντο͵ ἃς πάσας τότε χαίρειν ἐν κυρίῳ εἰκός͵ ὅταν αἱ πᾶσαι πρὸς τὸ καλόν τε καὶ ἀγαθὸν βλέπωσι καὶ πάντα εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ ἐνεργῶσι͵ μηκέτι τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὅπλα γινόμεναι.

If, then, such is the lesson of this Finding of the lost, i.e.

12.4 Εἰ οὖν αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἐπίνοια τῆς τοῦ ζητουμένου εὑρέσεως͵

that we should restore the divine image to its original state.

ἡ τῆς θείας εἰκόνος εἰς τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἀποκατάστασις

from the foulness which the flesh wraps round it, let us become that which the First Man was at the moment when he was created

τῆς νῦν ἐν τῷ τῆς σαρκὸς ῥύπῳ κεκαλυμμένης͵ ἐκεῖνο γενώμεθα͵ ὃ ἦν παρὰ τὴν πρώτην ζωὴν ὁ πρωτόπλαστος.

And what was that? Naked as he was then of his covering of dead skins, he could gaze in bold assurance (parrhesia) upon the face of God.

Τί οὖν ἐκεῖνος ἦν; Γυμνὸς μὲν τῆς τῶν νεκρῶν δερμάτων ἐπιβολῆς͵ ἐν παρρησίᾳ δὲ τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πρόσωπον βλέπων͵

He did not yet judge of what was lovely by taste or sight; he found in the Lord alone all that was sweet; and he used the helpmeet given him only for this delight, as Scripture signifies when it said that he knew her not (Gen. 4:1) 

 οὔπω δὲ διὰ γεύσεως καὶ ὁράσεως τὸ καλὸν κρίνων͵ ἀλλὰ μόνον τοῦ κυρίου κατατρυφῶν καὶ τῇ δοθείσῃ βοηθῷ πρὸς τοῦτο συγχρώμενος͵ καθὼς ἐπισημαίνεται ἡ θεία γραφή͵ ὅτι οὐ πρότερον αὐτὴν ἔγνω͵


































































tr. by Richard McCambly


Universal Salvation: 74 The apokatastasis, or the return of all things to God, is clearly taught in the treatise. Thus the return of light after the three days of darkness over Egypt is interpreted as the "final restoration which is expected to take place later in the kingdom of heaven of those who have suffered condemnation in Gehenna" (II, 82). The punishment of fire is real for those who imitate the Egyptians in their manner of life (II, 83), but it will not be eternal. Moses' outstretched hands represent "the healing of pain and the deliverance from punishment" (II, 84).

81. According to the history, the eyes of the Egyptians were not in darkness because some wall or mountain darkened their view and shadowed the rays, but the sun cast its rays upon all equally. Whereas the Hebrews delighted in its light, the Egyptians were insensitive to its gift. In a similar manner the enlightened life is proposed to all equally according to their ability. Some continue on in darkness, driven by their evil pursuits to the darkness of wickedness, while others are made radiant by the light of virtue.

82.  Perhaps someone, taking his departure from the fact that after three days of distress in darkness the Egyptians did share in the light, might be led to perceive the final restoration (apokatastasis) which is expected to take place later in the kingdom of heaven of those who have suffered condemnation in Gehenna. For that darkness that could be felt, (Exod. 10.21) as the history says, has a great affinity both in its name and in its actual meaning to the exterior darkness. (Matt. 8.12) Both are dispelled when Moses, as we have perceived before, stretched forth his hands on behalf of those in darkness.

83.  In the same way we would perceive the true meaning of the furnace ashes (Exod. 9.8; Matt. 13.42) which, according to the text, produced painful boils on the Egyptians. In the figure of what is called the “furnace” we perceive the threatened punishment of fire in Gehenna which touches only those who imitate the Egyptians in their manner of life. (Rom. 2.5f )

The same citation in connection with the same ideas appears in Origen, De princ. 3.1.11

84.  If anyone is truly an Israelite, a son of Abraham, and looks to him in life in such a way as to show by his own free will his kinship in race to the elect people, he is kept unharmed from that painful fire. The interpretation of Moses' outstretched hands which we have already given may become for those others also the healing of pain and the deliverance from punishment.

The comparison of chastisement inflicted by God with the [healing] remedy given by a physician and the medicinal interpretation of chastisement comes from Origen, Comm. Matt. 15.11. Gregory makes frequent reference to medical matters. Cf. II, 272 and 278 in this treatise.

This passage, which teaches the αποκατάστασις, or "final restoration" (eternal salvation), is replaced in one family of manuscripts, but the authenticity is certain. See the discussion in Daniélou, p. 54; Musurillo, p. 57; and Daniélou, "L'apocatastase chez saint Grégoire de Nysse," Rech. Sci. Rel. 30 (1940): 328-347. Moreover, section 84 demands this passage.


On Virginity 416.12 (S.C.#119, p.417): If such then is the meaning of this discovering of the looked for object, the restoration (apokatastasis; cf. Presence..., p.58) in its primitive stage of the divine image actually hidden by the flesh's squalor, we become that which the first man had in his first life. What was it then? He was naked, deprived of all covering of the tunics of skin and looked upon God's face with freedom.





Pulcheria 472.9: Therefore, evil which is rooted in us does not endure forever; by a providential foresight times dissolves the vessel in a better type of death in order to renew humanity from this implanted evil and that evil not be mingled at life's restoration (to apokataste bio) as was the case at the beginning [cf. Acts 3.21].





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