Eznik of Kolb
He was a pupil of Isaac the Great of Armenia and of Saint Mesrop. At their request he went first to Edessa, then to Constantinople to perfect himself in the various sciences and to collect or copy Syriac and Greek manuscripts of the Bible, and the writings of the Fathers of the Church. He returned to Armenia after the First Council of Ephesus (431).
In addition to his labors in connection with the new version of the Bible and various translations, he composed several works, the principal of which is his remarkable apologetic treatise "Against the Sects" or "On God". It was written between 441 and 449, and contains four parts:
- In the first, against the heathens, Eznik combats the eternity of matter and the substantial existence of evil.
- In the second he refutes the chief doctrines of Parseeism/Zoroastrianism (particularly Zurvanism.
- The third is directed against aspects of the beliefs of the Greek philosophers (Pythagoreans, Platonists, Peripatetics, Stoics and Epicureans). This is the only section in which Eznik takes his arguments from the Bible rather than from reason.
- The fourth book is an exposition and refutation of Marcionism as a dualist heresy.
An essential theme of the work is on the importance of free will in Christian theology. Eznik displays much acumen and an extensive erudition. Eznik was evidently as familiar with the Persian language (Middle Persian) as with Greek literature. His Armenian diction is of the choicest classical type, although the nature of his subject matter forced him to use quite a number of Greek words. The book also contains many interesting asides, such as Eznik's refutation of astrology and his diversion to the topic of animal behavior and psychology.
The original manuscript of "Against the Sects" is lost: The work survived due to a single medieval transcription copied at the University of Gladzor. This manuscript is currently at the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. A copy of the first printing of "Against the Sects" as a book in Smyrna (now Izmir) in 1762 is in the collection at the British Library. The Mechitarists at Venice published an updated edition in 1826 and again in 1865.
A French translation (titled "Réfutation des différentes sectes") by LeVaillant de Florival was published in 1853.
A German translation (titled "Eznik von Kolb, Wider die Sekten") by J. M. Schmid was published in 1900.
A complete English translation (titled "On God") by Monica Blanchard and Robin Darling Young was published in 1998.
- Eznik's Refutation of the Astrologers (Sophene Armeniaca)
- Eznik on Foresight (Sophene Armeniaca)
- The British Library
- [ https://books.google.com/books?id=4UVmYRAecjAC&pg=PP5&lpg=PP5&dq=R%C3%A9futation+des+diff%C3%A9rentes+sectes+florival&source=bl&ots=p5qFPIbh0y&sig=ACfU3U38wwHSvfYg8jTT3RiWrDJVk4wtSA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiXnJW6mL3mAhXCvJ4KHXbjDhwQ6AEwEHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=R%C3%A9futation%20des%20diff%C3%A9rentes%20sectes%20florival&f=false French translation at Google Books]
- [ https://books.google.com/books?id=N3hBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false German translation at Google Books]
- [ https://books.google.com/books?id=3yP-KPTiOJAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false English translation at Google Books]
- [ https://books.google.com/books/about/Refutation_of_the_sects.html?id=VbclAQAAMAAJ Abridged English Translation]
- [ http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/scanned/yeznik_refutation.htm An Abridged Retelling in English]
- Durkin-Meisterernst, Desmond (2012). "Eznik on Manichaeism". Iran and the Caucasus. 16 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1163/160984912X13309560273975.
- Hage, Wolfgang (2002). "Marcion bei Eznik von Kolb". In Greschat, Katharina; May, Gerhard (eds.). Marcion und seine kirchengeschichtliche Wirkung / Marcion and His Impact on Church History. De Gruyter. pp. 29–37. ISBN 9783110905595.
- Orengo, Alessandro (2016). "Eznik of Kołb as a Translator of Methodius of Olympus". In Traina, Giusto; Pagani, Lara; Gazzano, Francesca (eds.). Greek Texts and Armenian Traditions: An Interdisciplinary Approach. De Gruyter. pp. 31–45. ISBN 9783110488661.
- Եզնիկ Կողբացի "Եղծ Աղանդոց" (Eznik of Kołb Refutation of the Sects), Yerevan University Press, 1994 (in Armenian)
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