Marcellus of Ancyra; patristic exegesis; Book of Proverbs; Arianism
Śląskie Studia Historyczno-Teologiczne, 2011, z. 1, s. 38-44
Prov 8:22-30 is one of the key Bible texts for the Arian controversy. The words “made”
and “begets”, used for describing the origin of Wisdom in the Septuagint, became a significant
argument for the theory of the creation of the Logos in Arius’ doctrine. According to Arius, the text refers to the fact that Logos was begotten or, in other words, created
before the creation of the world. In his polemic with Arius, Athanasius made a difference
between the meanings of the two words: according to him, “begets” referred to the Logos
being born of God before the ages, while the word “created” referred to the Incarnation.
Marcellus, an anti-Arian polemist and Athanasius’ follower, took a different route.
He claimed that both words had an identical meaning, however, they did not refer to
the pre-eternal birth – creation, but to the moment of the Incarnation, the creation of
the body the Logos took on. Marcellus did not acknowledge the concept of birth from God,
and that assumption led him to apply some elements of Origen’s allegorical exegesis in his
own exegesis of the discussed text, though he considered Origen as a major heretic.