St. Gregory the Theologian. CE. 329 – 390

by John A McGuckin

Archbishop of Constantinople

General Context.

Gregory of Nazianzus, known as St. Gregory the Theologian, is one of the greatest of the  4th century Greek Christian Fathers, and was one of the core architects of classical Christian thought on God, the World, and Humanity’s aspiration to the Transcendent. The fifth century church afforded him retrospectively the title of ‘The Theologian’. He was arguably the most learned man of his generation, skilled in all classical Greek literature, sophistic philosophy, the exegesis of scripture, as well as Christian theology. His theological teachings were, for the best part of a millennium, the standard curriculum of theological studies for all Christian clerics, in the Eastern and Western parts of the Roman empire. His influence is monumentally significant for the development of Christian ideas. he lived a personally frugal and celibate lifestyle, advocating that the  single (monastic) life is well suited for someone who wishes to approach divine mysteries in a radical way. He held a general thesis that in culture and broad intellectual understanding of one another the human mind might  learn compassion and tolerance, and discern the greater truths lying hidden beneath appearances. He fought against fundamentalists of his time and era, arguing that the (then) youthful Christian movement ought to  embrace the springs of the deeper Hellenistic culture, while leaving aside its immorality and polytheism. For this he used the image of ‘keeping the roses but clipping the thorns’.  He equally argued that  the Hebrew scriptures ought to be followed where they led to higher truths, but never adopted literalistically as authorities. He was the chief architect of the classical  doctrine of the Divine Trinity. He argues that the Trinity is no mere conundrum, but a vision of the divine ontology as integral communion: source of all true existence in the cosmos as driven by the urge to make communion. Gregory was also a prolific and ecstatic poet writing rhapsodically about the life in God. He saw poetry as the best analogy to the processes of insight into divine mysteries: how the  human mind needed to be clarified and refined before it could confidently speak of the deepest realities. He also wrote extensive philosophical works. His Oration 14 ‘On the Love of the Poor’, is historically a turning point in Greek Letters. It is the first time a philosopher in the classical tradition took the image of the suffering person (the leper) and elevated it as an icon of divine justice and mercy. In this piece he argued that the suffering person is a sign for society, that calls for help as a matter of justice, yet stands as a challenging icon of God’s blessing of the virtue of philanthropic pity. Compassion is elevated as the supreme mimesis of the divine. Before Gregory, the Hellenic sophistical tradition classified extreme suffering as a divinely attributed punishment for hidden sins (which would have been inappropriately addressed by social philanthropic intervention).  Oration 14 is thus a watershed in the history of social thought. It was the birth of Christian schemes of philanthropy, and  Gregory used this Oration to spear-head a major fund-raising project that eventually constructed a large Leprosarium in his Church of Cappadocia.

Gregory consistently returns, in his works, to the master-theme of living the virtuous life in a mimesis of Christ, the incarnate deity, as the greatest closeness to God (a veritable ‘deification’ or theiopoiesis) that a human can achieve on earth.  Gregory brilliantly represents in his own gentle person and in his writings, a  sublime synthesis of philosophy, culture, holiness, poetry, philanthropy and mysticism. Such a weaving together of these lofty elements is rarely found in the history of religious geniuses; many of whom seem to specialize by standing out in a few only of these areas.  Gregory strikes me as a master in so many fields: and as someone who has brought all his talents into a deeply religious, social yet mystical  wholeness. This is why, for me, he has a claim to true religious genius, and can still serve today as a model for a dynamically engaged religious philosophy that is transcendent and yet world-affirming. He wove his thought, his moral attitudes, his doctrinal and philosophical speculations into the  ‘seamless garment’ of a gentle yet politically active life that was marked by life long compassion and scholarly labor, always tending to inclusiveness and advocating the cause of reconciliation in society.  He is an icon of how successfully to weave together disparate skills, insights and aspirations in a deeply integrated, balanced, cultured and religions lifestyle. He is a zealot for God;  advocating a zeal that casts out all bigotry.

Selected Texts

  1. Dogmatic Writings

Excerpts From The Five Theological Orations:  On the Trinity. [1]

Source1. On Theology

27.3.  It is not the case, my friends, that everyone ought to take up philosophizing about God. By no means should anyone at all do this. The subject is not so cheap or low. And, I might add, it is something that should not be done in the presence of any audience, nor at any time, nor in regard to any theme that takes one’s fancy. Rather it is something that ought to be done only on certain occasions, and before certain persons, and within certain limits.  It is not for anyone to do this, because it is right only for those who have been tested, and are past masters in meditation; those who have already been purified in soul and body, or at the very least are in the process of being purified. It is not safe for the defiled to touch what is pure, not safe at all; just as it is unsafe to allow weak eyes to stare into the brightness of the Sun. So what would be the rightful occasion? It is when we are free from all external defilement or disturbance, and when our governing spirit is not clouded with disturbing and false images. We must not be like those who mix up good writing with bad, or  mingle filth with the ointments of sweet perfumes. For it is necessary to be truly at rest in order to know God and discern the high road of divine realities, when the proper occasion is granted to us. And who are the persons who can lawfully engage in this?  Those, I say, for whom the subject is of real concern, and not those who make it a matter of chit chat to pass the time, along with their other daily concerns: after the races, or in the theatre, or at a concert, or during a dinner, or even at still lower employments. For to such people as this, idle jests and hair-splitting syllogisms about divine philosophy are simply an amusement.

Gregory’s text here became after its  elevation by the Oecumenical Council of  Chalcedon in 451, the quintessential digest of Christian theological method. Theology is used here in the antique sense of discourse about God’s inner being. His question is how does a limited human consciousness dare to penetrate by words and thoughts and imagery, into the inner nature of the divine transcendent. Gregory argues here that religious insight is something which, to be accurate and elevated, has to be prepared for by serious purification of heart and mind. here he makes the important case, often neglected by religious thinkers, that to speak or think accurately abut transcendent things, one has to ‘live transcendently’ first. The focus and preparation he speaks about  at greater length in this speech is both a moral katharsis, and an intellectual ‘focus’ – gained by careful reflection.

Source 2. On  God the Father.

28.3. One of the ancient Greek theologians said: ‘While it is difficult to conceive of God but to define Him in words is an impossibility.’  Quite clever in one way. Nevertheless, my opinion of the matter is that it is impossible to express God; and even more impossible to conceive of God. 28.17. What God is by nature and essence, no human has ever yet discovered or can discover. Whether it ever will be discovered is a question which I leave to whoever wishes to examine  and decide. In my opinion it will be discovered, when that within us which is godlike and  divine, I mean our mind and reason, shall have merged with its Like, and the Image shall have ascended to the Archetype, of which it now possesses the deep inner desire. But in our present life all that comes to us is merely a little emanation, or as it were a small effulgence from the Great Light.

Gregory here stresses the  primacy of ‘apophatic’ theology: a method of knowing God that turns away from speech and apologetics, since words can never properly contain the Uncontainable Godhead. In a sardonic reference to the many ‘theologies’ available in his day, he reprises the theme that the heart, once purified, will see the divine clearly, without having to rely on words that separate and lead us astray. Direct personal experience is , in this way, quintessential to true religious discourse.

Source 3. On the Trinity

29.2. The three most ancient opinions concerning God are Anarchy, Polyarchy, and Monarchy. The first two are the sport of the children of Hellas, and may they continue to be so. For Anarchy is a thing without order; and the Polyarchal rule of the multitude is factious, and itself anarchical, and so disorderly. For both these positions tend to the same thing, namely disorder; and thence to dissolution; for disorder is the first step to dissolution.  But Monarchy is that which we Christians hold in honour. It is, however, a Monarchy that is not limited to one subsistent (hypostasis); for it is possible for Unity if at variance with itself to come into a condition of plurality. However, a Unity which is made up from an Equality of Nature and a Single Union of Mind, and an Identity of Energy, and a Convergence of all its elements to Oneness (a thing which is impossible to any created nature) means that though the  hypostases  are numerically distinct there is no severance of Essence involved here. Therefore Unity, having from all eternity arrived by motion at Duality, found its rest in Trinity. This is what we Christians mean by Father and Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is the Begetter and the Emitter;  understood in an incorporeal manner devoid of passion of course, and without reference to time. The Son is The Begotten, and the Holy Spirit the Emitted One; for I do not know how this can be expressed in terms that altogether exclude visible realities. But we shall certainly never venture to speak of ‘an overflow of goodness,’ as one of the Hellene Philosophers was so rash as to say, as if the divinity were a wine bowl spilling out. [2] Let us never look on the divine generation as involuntary; it is by no means fitting to our conception of Deity. Rather,  let us confine ourselves within our limits, and speak of the UnBegotten and the Begotten and That which Proceeds from the Father, as somewhere God the Word himself talks about it. (Jn.15.26)

Today the Christian sense of God as Trinity has become something of a neglected conundrum for many within the Church, and a considerable ( and sometimes divisive) puzzle to other religions. For Gregory the Trinity is his sense of God’s powerful outreach ‘From the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Sprit’, and is the great theme of divine salvation which Christianity  brings to the discourse about God. His theology teaches that Divine Unity is not solely represented by Monadic images, but can be equally preserved by the notion of a Communion of outreach. This is a highly significant moment in the history of religious thought where the divine Absolute itself  is conceived, in terms of ontology, as free communion in itself (by implication sponsoring all free societal communion as the ultimate law of being). .

Source 4. On God The Son.

29.8. How then was the Son  begotten?  Well, this generation would hardly have been a great matter if it was within your comprehension. For even if it were the case that you comprehended all about your own birth, you cannot by any means understand God’s. But if it is more truly the case that you do not even comprehend your own conception, how then could you possibly know about God’s?  For to the extent that divine realities are harder to conceive than human; so is this heavenly generation harder to comprehend than your own. How was the Son begotten?—I find the  very question now censurable – and I reply: The divine begetting must be honoured by silence. It is a great thing for you to learn even that the Son was begotten. But I tell you, even the angels cannot conceive the manner of his generation, much less you.  But still you press me? Then shall I tell you how it was?  It was in a manner known to the Father who begot, and to the Son who was begotten. Anything more than this is hidden by a cloud, and escapes our dim sight. (c.f.Acts.1.9)  29.19. even so, he who is now Man was once the Uncompounded One. What he was he continued to be; what he was not he took to himself. He was in the beginning (Jn.1.2), Uncaused; for what can be the Cause of God? But afterwards, for a cause, he was born. And that cause was the salvation of those who now insult and look down on his divine stature simply because he took upon himself the denser human nature; entering communion with the flesh through the medium of the Mind (logos). He became Man, yet was God here below, because his inferior nature was made one with God: one person in so far as the higher nature prevailed, and for this reason,  that I too might be made divine in so far as he had been made human.  He was born on earth  who had already been begotten. He was born of a woman, but she was a Virgin. The first reality is human, the second is divine. In his human nature he had no Father, in his divine he had no Mother. Both these realities pertain to Godhead. He dwelt in a womb, but was recognized by the prophet who was himself still in the womb (Lk.1.41-43). He was wrapped in swaddling clothes (Luke 2:41) but he threw off the swathing bands of the grave when he rose from the dead (Jn. 20. 6-9). He was laid in a manger, but was glorified by Angels, announced by a star, and worshipped by the Magi (Lk. 2. 7-16). Why should you be offended by that which is presented to your material sight, when you will not consider  that which is presented to your mind?

The divine status of the Son is expressed by Gregory as not being in antagonism to that the of Sole Father who is the Supreme Principle (Arche) of all Godhead (thus allowing Christianity to claim the right to be a Monotheist not a Tritheist religion. The divinity of the Son is the gift of the Sole Father. The Son does not have a divine being comparable or equal to that of the Father; the Son  possesses the very being of the Father gifted to him eternally. This is why God is One: and yet there are distinct  hypostases within the Godhead, all of whom share the single and self-same Being of God the Father. Gregory places strict limits to what we are able to say of this mystical communion in reference to God’s inner life; but allows that more can be said through the medium of Christ’s historic and  revelatory ministry. the outreach of the Trinity allows the Godhead to work directly and immediately within this material world by the incarnation of the Eternal Logos.

Source 5. On God the Holy Spirit.

31.1.  But my opponents also demand an answer of me: ‘What have you to say about the Holy Spirit?  From where did you bring upon us this strange God, about whom Scripture is silent?’  And even some of those who hold a temperate theology about the Son can be found to speak like this.  31.3.  But we have so much confidence in the Deity of the Spirit whom we adore, that we will begin our teaching concerning his Godhead by fitting to him the  Titles which belong to the Trinity, even though some persons may think us too bold.  The Father was the True Light (1 Jn. 1.5) ‘which enlightens every man coming into the world’ (Jn. 1.9).  The Son was the True Light which enlightens every man coming into the world The Other Comforter (Jn. 14.16) was also the True Light which enlightens every man coming into the world. Note this: Was and Was and Was; but all was One Thing.  Light three times repeated; but only One Light and only One God.  This was what David represented to himself long before, when he said: ‘In Your Light we shall see Light.’ (Ps. 36.9) And now we have both seen and proclaim, concisely and simply, the dogma of God the Trinity: Comprehending Light (the Son), from Light (the Father), in Light (the Holy Spirit).   31.10.  And what is our conclusion?  Is the Spirit God?  Most certainly.  Then, is He Consubstantial (homoousion)? Yes, if He is God.  31.14.  For us, there is only One God, for the Godhead is One, and all that proceeds from him is referred to One, though we believe in three Persons (hypostases).  But one is not more and another less God; nor is One before and another after; nor are they divided in will or separated in power; nor can you find here any of the qualities of divisible things. For the Godhead is, to speak concisely, undivided in distinct hypostases; and there is ever one mingling of Light, as if it were of three Suns conjoined to each other.  So, when we look intellectively at the Godhead, or the First Cause, or the Monarchy, that which we conceive of is One. But when we look at the hypostases in whom the Godhead dwells, and at those who timelessly and with equal glory have their being from the First Cause, then there are Three whom we worship. 31.26.  The matter stands like this.  The Old Testament proclaimed the Father openly, and the Son more obscurely.  The New Testament openly manifested the Son, and suggested the deity of the Spirit.  Now the Spirit himself dwells among us, and supplies us with a clearer demonstration of himself.  The revelation was given in gradual increments, or ‘ascents’ as David calls them (Ps. 84.7)),  advances and progressions ‘from glory to glory’ (2 Cor. 3.18) so that  the Light of the Trinity might shine upon those more brightly illuminated.

Gregory talks of the Eternal Spirit of God as an outflow of Light, illuminating the world; a continuing revelation of God’s nature and energies at work in this cosmos which the Spirit constantly perfects and sanctifies.


Poetic Works

Source 6. A Hymn to the Divinity [3]

You stand above all things that exist.

What other way could we rightly  begin to sing of you?

How can words chant your praise

When no word can ever speak of you?

How can the mind consider you

When no thought can ever grasp you?

You alone are unutterable

From the time you created all things that can be spoken of.

You alone are unknowable

From the time you created all things that can be known.

All things cry out about you

those which speak, and those which cannot think;

For there is one longing, one yearning,

That all things have for you (Rom. 8. 22-23).

All things pray to you, that comprehend your plan,

And offer you a silent hymn.

In you, the One, all things abide

And to you all things endlessly converge

Who are the end and goal of all.

You are One, and All, and None of these.

You who bear all names,

How shall I ever name you?

You who can never be named?

What heavenly mind can ever penetrate

those veils above the clouds?

Be merciful, You who stand above all things.

What other way can we rightly sing of you?


Source 7. A Hymn to the Triune Monarchy [4]

Grant, Immortal Monarch,

That we may hymn you.

Grant that we may sing of you

Our Ruler and Lord.

Through whom comes the hymn

Through whom the praise

Through whom the chorus of angels

Through whom the endless ages

Through whom the light of Sun

Through whom the course of Moon

Through whom the great beauty of stars

Through whom noble humanity was made

So that, as creature of reason, we might see the deity.

For you have created all things

and set an inner  order in each,

Governing all things in your Providence.

Living Trinity I name you,

One and only Monarch,

Unchangeable Nature without beginning,

Nature of ineffable being,

Impenetrably wise intelligence,

Unshakeable strength of the heavens,

Devoid of all beginning,

Wholly boundless,

Radiant glory that can never be seen,

Yet which looks upon all things.

No depths exists beyond your gaze,

From the Earth, even into the Abyss.

Father and God  be merciful to me.

Grant that I may ever worship

this awesome mystery.

All glory and thanks are yours

To the everlasting ages. Amen


Source 8.  A Hymn of the Creation [5]

You O God, alone, are unutterable

From the time you created all things that can be spoken of.

You alone are unknowable

From the time you created all things that can be known.

Yet all things cry out about you

Those which speak, and even those which cannot think;

For there is one longing, one yearning,

That all things have for you (Rom. 8. 22-23).


Philanthropic Works

Source 9. Oration 14.

My brothers and fellow indigents (we are each one of us, after all, poor folk in so far as we stand in need of God’s grace, even if some of us seem to have more than others) … do not receive this oration on love for the poor in any pinched or tight-fisted way, but with great magnanimity, so that you may lay up treasure in heaven.[6]…. Love for  our fellows is such a good thing. And here we take our example from Jesus who was ready to be called our brother, and even to suffer for our sake. [7] There are many virtues and each is a pathway to salvation… but the love of the poor, compassion and pity for our fellows, is the most excellent of them all, for nothing serves God so faithfully as compassion. [8] All the many wretched around us look towards our hands for help, just as we ourselves look to God;  but the most wretched of all are the lepers who have been betrayed  even by their own bodies. [9]  Who is there even among the most gracious and humane of men who does not habitually show himself hostile and inhumane to the leper ?  This is the only case where we forget this is someone who is flesh like us, and must bear the same fragile body we have. [10] We even feel pity when we come across a stinking corpse, and will carry it off for burial. And yet we all run away from  a leper: what hardness of heart. Imagine the sorrow that the mother of  such a one has to bear? What lamentation will she not raise when she sees her son before her very eyes like a living corpse. ‘O wretched son,’ she will say, ‘Of a tragic mother; stolen away from me by this disease. O pitiful child;  son I can no longer recognise. You who must now live among wild animals in deserts and craggy mountains, with only rocks as your shelter; nevermore to see mankind except for the most holy among them…’  With cries such as this she pours out fountains of tears.  How have we come to accept inhumanity as fit behaviour for a free society; while we scorn compassion as something to be ashamed of? [11]

And yet if we place any reliance on Paul, or on Christ himself,  then we should take love as the first and greatest of the commandments, the  summation of the Law and Prophets and, accordingly, we must take love for the poor as the highest pinnacle of charity ….  for ‘Mercy and truth walk before our God’ [12] and nothing more than this befits a God who prefers mercy to justice [13].  The kindest person, as the leper thinks, is not the one who supplies their needs, rather the one who turns them away without a torrent of sharp words. They live out their wretched lives under the open sky, while we live in splendid houses adorned with  mosaics; glittering with gold and silver. Can you not see how strangely moving it is,  that when someone shows a leper a small kindness they receive it with gratitude, rather than with outrage for all the neglect they have unjustly suffered [14]. They have come to that state where they can only  give thanks through their eyes, since their lips are no longer visible [15].

I have said these things to help you towards a change of mentality. What has all this vast, unending, misery of humankind got to do with today’s festival you may ask ?[16]  I suppose I had better stop developing the theme of tragedy,  for  otherwise I shall spoil the fun by  moving all of you to tears; though some grieving may be  better for you, perhaps, than what you’ll soon go to see on the stage, and  a few tears may be more worthy than the bawdy jokes you’ll share among you. [17] Oh but what amounts do we not waste upon luxuries? Why do we do these things my friends and brothers?   Why are we so sick in soul like this?  For it is indeed a sickness to be so obsessed, far worse than any bodily illness ….  Why do we not rush to help while we still have time? … Why do we sit and glut ourselves while our brothers and sisters are in such distress? God forbid I should enjoy such superabundance, when the likes of these have nothing at all [18]  Would we not be ashamed to receive so much from God if we did not give back this one single thing: kindness towards our fellow human beings? So I ask you today:  dedicate a little to God, from whom you received so much. Let the fear of God  conquer the inertia of your desire for ease.[19]  Even, give everything back to God, for he first gave you everything that you now possess, because you will never be able to surpass God’s generosity to you; not if you gave away every single thing you owned, even selling yourself into the bargain. [20]  And therefore, I say to you: ‘Know Thyself !’[21] Know from what source comes all that you own; all your breathing, your knowing and your wisdom. And this is the  greatest of all – to know God, to hope for the Kingdom of Heaven,  the same honour as the angels, and the vision of glory. For now we see that we are all the children of God, and co-heirs of Christ, but only as if in a mirror, or in dark reflections, but then we shall see more clearly and more purely [22].  And, if I may put it a little more daringly, we shall see that we have even been deified. [23] A human being has no more godlike quality than that of doing good [24]. Let us take care of Christ in the person of the poor while we still have time. let us serve Christ’s needs; feed him and clothe him. The Lord of all things has said: ‘ I desire mercy not sacrifice;’[25] and again: ‘A heart full of mercy is worth more than thousands of fattened rams.’ [26]  Let us give our gifts to Christ in the persons of the poor who are today cast down upon the ground; and one day when we are set free from this world, it is they who will come out to welcome us into the tents of heaven, in Christ Our Lord himself, to whom be glory for all the ages. Amen.[27]

  1. Select Orations.

Source 10. Oration 26.13. Concerning  My Life.

(On nurturing a philosophical attitude)

There is nothing more steadfast, nothing more unconquerable than a philosophical life. All else collapses  before a philosopher does. A philosopher is like a wild ass in the  desert,.[28] As prophet Job tells it, he is unfettered and free: ‘He scorns the tumult of the city, and is deaf to the abuse of the tax collector.’[29]  He  is as independent as the unicorn.[30] Could you ever make such an animal serve you? Could you ever  tie it to a manger, or put a bridle on it? Turning away from all lowly things: ‘He will be adorned with eagle’s wings, and will turn back to the home of the One who is his master.’ [31]  He will fly back to God. Let me put it most succinctly. There are two things utterly beyond our control. God and an Angel. Third place after them comes the philosopher. He is an immaterial being in materiality. He is uncircumscribed even in the body. He is a citizen of heaven while on earth. He is impassible when being wounded on all sides. He is beaten in everything except in his mind. He triumphs over all who think they have conquered him: simply by allowing himself be triumphed over.

Gregory was a famed sophist philosopher in his day. He sees the ascetical lifestyle of the Christian monk as a new fulfilment of philosophy. While other forms of monasticism in his day advocated a withdrawal from social involvement; Gregory  argued that the monastic had to be educated and involved in social affairs out of motives of compassion. His discussion here of the nature of philosophical independence is a stirring encomium of personal liberation, and must have been stirring in a world where slavery abounded.

John A McGuckin. FRHistSoc.

Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies.

Columbia University. New York.

[1] Excerpted from the Five Theological Orations (Orations 27-31). JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol 36. 9 -172.

[2] Referring most likely to Plato who uses the image of the overflowing bowl in his Timaeus. 41D. This was also an ancient reference title for Aristotle’s Metaphysica.

[3] Carmina 1.1.29. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 37. 507-508

[4] Carmina 1.1.30. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 37. 508-510.

[5] Carmina. 1.1. 29.  J.P Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 37.  507-508 .

[6]               Orat. 14. 1. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 857-860.

[7]              Orat. 14.2. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 860.

[8]              Orat. 14.5. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 857-864.

[9]              Orat. 14. 6.  JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 864-865.

[10]             Orat. 14. 10. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol.  35. 869.

[11]             Orat. 14. 11. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 872.

[12]             Ps. 88.15. LXX.

[13]             c.f. Mt. 9.13.

[14]             Oration. 14. 12. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 872.

[15]             Oration. 14. 16. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 877.

[16]             The Oration was delivered at a market  festival in Cappadocia in c. 362.

[17]             Oration. 14. 13. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 873.

[18]             Oration. 14. 18. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 880.

[19]             Oration. 14. 27. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol.. 35. 893.

[20]             Oration. 14.22.  JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 885.

[21]             The Great Delphic theme: Gnothe  seauton.  Ethical progress lies in  a clarified vision of reality. Here Gregory  adapts it to Christian usage.

[22]             Alluding to  1 Cor. 13.12.

[23]             Oration. 14. 23. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 888.

[24]             Oration 14.27. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol.. 35. 893.

[25]             Hoseah. 6.6. Mt.9.13.

[26]             Daniel. 3.40.

[27]             Oration 14.40. JP Migne (ed). Patrologia Graeca. vol. 35. 909.

[28]             Gen. 16.12.

[29]             Job. 39.5,7,9.  LXX.

[30]             Job. 39. 9-10. LXX.

[31]             Prov. 5.23. LXX.