“The Offensive Unifier”
January 15, 2023
Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service
The Reading of the Word
This morning we return to our series in the Gospel of Mark.
We have been cycling through three portions of Scripture over the course of the year in our morning sermons. From the fall to the winter we’ve heard from a book of the Old Testament. At the beginning of the year we move to a Gospel. And in the late spring or early summer we turn to an epistle. With each shift we pick up where we left off in that book the previous year. And so having covered Mark chapters one and two last year, we begin this year with Mark chapter three.
With that in mind, please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning – Mark 3:1-6:
Again he [that is, Jesus] entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
This is the word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.)
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]
Let’s pray …
Prayer of Illumination
Lord, we gather this morning because we love your Word.
We want it to be our meditation day and night.
We know that your revelation to us
offers more wisdom than the wise of the world,
it gives us more understanding than the great thinkers of the world,
it gives us deeper understanding than the old and experienced of the world.
It holds us back from evil,
and keeps us from straying from you.
And it is sweet to us,
sweeter than honey in our mouths.
Through it we gain understanding,
and we learn to reject every false way.
Teach us now from your word, we ask.
In Jesus’s name. Amen
[Based on Psalm 119:97-104]
The context of our text is the Sabbath. But that’s not actually going to be main our focus this morning. That’s in part because we focused on that theme when we considered the end of Mark chapter two, back in May. [https://www.faithtacoma.org/mark-nicoletti/the-lord-of-the-sabbath-who-we-are-who-jesus-is-mark-223-28 We also discussed the Sabbath in two sermons this past October: https://www.faithtacoma.org/deuteronomy-nicoletti/the-fourth-commandment-deuteronomy-56-12-15 and https://www.faithtacoma.org/deuteronomy-nicoletti/additional-thoughts-on-the-fourth-commandment-perspectives-practicalities-deuteronomy-56-12-15]. But it’s also because I don’t think the Sabbath debate in verse two is actually the most striking thing about our text. But rather, what’s more startling is the alliance described in verse six. As we consider that verse and our text as a whole, I think we’ll see three things. We’ll see:
- the offense of Jesus,
- the alternative to Jesus, and
- the offer of Jesus.
So the offense, the alternative, and the offer.
The Offense of Jesus
First, the offense of Jesus.
We see this in verse six. After what Jesus did in the synagogue, we read that in response, “The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.”
This is a shocking verse – though one we can often read right past without realizing it. To better understand, we need to consider who the Herodians were and who the Pharisees were.
The Herodians were Jewish men of influence who supported the reign of Herod in Israel – at this time Herod Antipas. Now, Herod, remember, was put in power by Rome. And so the Herodians were also generally supportive of the Roman power that stood behind Herod.
But Rome was an occupying force that many Jews despised – and the Pharisees were among those who despised not only Rome, but also Herod, whose rule they saw as illegitimate for several reasons.
And this wasn’t just a tame political debate, but these tensions were often violent. Judah was something of a political powder-keg at this time, and violent acts between the Romans and the Jews who opposed them were not uncommon.
And so the Pharisees and the Herodians were two groups at opposite ends of a violent conflict regarding a foreign occupation that included both political and religious passion. [Hoener, 698]
But suddenly, in verse six, they are united. They are working together – taking counsel together.
To get some sense of the strangeness of verse six, imagine a modern conflict where one force is occupying another. Imagine, maybe, an area of Ukraine that has been invaded by Russia. Imagine some Ukrainians in that region are actively supporting the new Russian authorities over them, and the local leaders they have put in place. Imagine other Ukrainians see the Russian forces as tyrants, and actively oppose them – even supporting violent strikes against them. Think of those two groups of Ukrainians, in occupied territory together, one group pro-Russia, the other anti-Russia. Think of the tension between them, think of how they probably view one another.
And now, imagine how much they would each have to hate a third party in order for them to start cooperating with one another against that common enemy.
It’s not a perfect parallel – but in that scenario there is something of what is going on here – and of the shock it would be to read verse six if you were a first-century Jew. It would be baffling.
And what is the thing that unites them? What is it that drives them to work together?
It’s their offense at Jesus. He offends them each so much that they are willing to work together in order to oppose him – in order to destroy him.
There is a stark truth in that fact. Mark is making it very clear to us: Jesus offends everyone. Jesus – if he has been rightly understood – offends everyone.
Mark displays that by showing how it happens at both ends of the cultural spectrum among the Jews. The Herodians were aligned with those who promoted Greek culture among the Jewish people: “Greek philosophy, the Greek approach to sex and the body, the Greek approach to truth.” [Keller, Jesus the King, 48-49]. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were the rigorous religious conservatives, who were calling Israel back to what they thought was strict biblical morality. Both are so offended by Jesus that they conspire together to murder him. Mark couldn’t make it plainer: Jesus, rightly understood, offends everyone.
The Pharisees and the Herodians have very different visions for what the kingdom of Israel should look like. There are so many things they disagree on. But they both agree that the kingdom they want does not have Jesus at the center of it. He has no place in what either of them are doing. And so the claims Jesus is making about the Kingdom of God offend both of them. Jesus offends everyone.
And this has implications for at least three types of people. It has implications for non-Christians offended by Jesus and the Bible, for Christians who sometimes find themselves offended by Jesus and the Bible, and for anyone who thinks they are not offended by Jesus and the Bible.
So first, this has implications for non-Christians who are offended by Jesus and the Bible.
Modern people often have this assumption that being offended by Jesus or by the Christian Bible is unique to the modern age – that the main hurdle is chronological. And it’s often something along the lines of “Well, people long ago could believe such things … or people in a more primitive time could adopt that kind of ethical stance … but today we know better … today we can’t believe such things.”
But such a view reveals a real historical ignorance (not to mention a historical arrogance). The truth is that every culture, in every period of history, has been offended by Jesus and the Bible, if they’ve bothered to look at them clearly. What has varied is which parts of the Bible, and which aspects of Jesus and his teaching it is that offends them.
I’ve shared this before, but it’s an example worth coming back to, I think.
Tim Keller gets into this in his book The Reason for God. He puts it like this – he writes:
“Consider the views of contemporary British people and how they differ from the views of their ancestors, the Anglo-Saxons, a thousand years ago. Imagine that both are reading the Bible and they come to the gospel of Mark, chapter 14. First they read that Jesus claims to be the Son of Man, who will come with angels at the end of time to judge the whole world according to his righteousness […]. Later they read about Peter, the leading apostle, who denies his master three times and at the end even curses him to save his skin […]. Yet later Peter is forgiven and restored to leadership […]. The first story [about the judgment at the end of time] will make contemporary British people shudder. It sounds so judgmental and exclusive. However, they will love the story about how even Peter can be restored and forgiven. [On the other hand,] the first story will not bother the Anglo-Saxons at all. They know all about Doomsday, and they are glad to get more information about it! However, they will be shocked at the second story [about Peter]. Disloyalty and betrayal at Peter’s level must never be forgiven, in their view. He doesn’t deserve to live, let alone become the foremost apostle. They will be so appalled by this that they will want to throw the Bible down and read it no more.
“Of course,” Keller continues, “we think of the Anglo-Saxons as primitive, but someday others will think of us and our culture’s dominant views as primitive. […] To stay away from Christianity because part of the Bible’s teaching is offensive to you assumes that if there is a God, he wouldn’t have any views that upset you. Does that belief make sense?” [Keller, The Reason for God, 111-112]
The answer is no.
If God is real (and he is), we should expect him to be independent of any culture – including our own. When we demand that God hold all the same views and ethical stances of our particular culture or subculture, then we are not only elevating our culture above all others, but we are reducing God to a cheerleader of what we already think, rather than treating him as our Maker and King.
If you are a non-Christian offended by Christ or the Bible, you are not unique. Men and women from the ancient world down to today have felt that way – though often over very different issues. Don’t automatically assume that you’re right – don’t assume that “if there is a God he wouldn’t have any views that upset you.” Entertain the possibility that God might not only exist, but he might want to tell you that you’ve gotten a few things wrong.
That is an implication for non-Christians offended by Jesus and the Bible.
Second: What about Christians who find themselves offended by Jesus and the Bible?
And what I want to say to you is that if you are a Christian, and you find yourself struggling … even offended at times by what Jesus does, or what Jesus or the Bible says … then you should actually maybe be encouraged by that. Because it may mean that you are really listening to the Scriptures.
Now, I should be clear that in this context, when I refer to being offended by Jesus or the Bible, I don’t mean rejecting it or shaking your fist at God or rebelling against him. I mean experiencing some level of distress. Maybe you feel confused, or upset, or even hurt by what you read in the Bible.
It’s possible that if you feel that way, you may have misunderstood what you’ve read in the Bible. But it’s also possible that you are seeing one of those places where God says your beliefs, or your ethical assumptions, or your deeply held opinions are wrong. And the first step in correcting that is to experience that distress of hearing Christ or the Bible say something that initially offends you. That can be the first step of spiritual growth. Your next task, when that happens, is to ensure that you’ve understood the text correctly. And then, if you have, you need to ask God to correct you where you have been wrong – either in what you’ve been believing or in what you’ve been doing.
So, when you experience that – when the Bible offends you – recognize it not as something to gloss over or to push past … but recognize it as an opportunity either to grow in your understanding of that text (if you’ve read it wrong), or to grow in the convictions of your heart and the practices of your life, as you submit them to the Lord.
That is an implication of this text for Christians who find themselves offended by Jesus or the Bible.
Third, there is the implication for those who do not find themselves offended by Jesus or the Bible – who do not think that there are any aspects of Jesus or the Christian Scriptures that cause them distress or difficulty, either in their hearts or their aims in life.
If that’s you … then it seems that one of two things is going on.
One possibility is that you are extremely holy.
Another possibility … and one that is, statistically speaking, more likely … is that you are not really listening to the Scriptures or seeing God clearly in them.
And we know about this possibility … because it’s what we see in our text, in the Pharisees.
Those of us familiar with the Gospels and the New Testament tend to automatically view the Pharisees as the villains. And that’s understandable. But we need to remind ourselves, that that was not the common view of many Jews at the time.
The Pharisees were the devout. The Pharisees were the religiously vigorous. The Pharisees were the ones who seemed to take the Bible most seriously. Which is what makes their role in the Gospels so astounding.
My guess is that if you asked many of the Pharisees whether they struggled with or were offended by the God of the Bible, they would say “Of course not!” They were the advocates of the God of the Bible. They agreed with him completely.
And yet, the shocking message of the Gospels – the shocking message of our text – is that when the God of the Bible actually showed up … they not only failed to recognize him … they conspired to murder him.
That’s what’s going on in our text.
How did that happen?
It happened because their process of aligning themselves with the Bible did not come primarily by coming before God, and receiving his Word, and letting him correct their hearts and minds where they had gone astray. Their primary way of aligning themselves with the Bible was by emphasizing what they liked in the Bible, and de-emphasizing what they didn’t like in the Bible … to such an extent that their view of God was not just unbalanced – but it was a picture of a different god altogether. They had crafted a picture of God in their hearts and minds that was so different from the actual God of the Bible, that when the actual God of the Bible showed up, and stood before them, they decided he was an enemy of God.
In a sense they were right. Jesus – God incarnate – was an enemy of their god – the god the Pharisees had crafted in their hearts and minds … a god they followed who had many resemblances to the God of the Bible … but who was modified to agree with rather than to challenge or offend the devout who served him.
For a while, the Pharisees could live like that. But what really upset things for them was when the God of the Bible actually showed up.
Really though, this is a challenge for us all – whether we are Christians or not. We each need to ask ourselves: How have we taken Jesus – how have we taken the God of the Bible – and changed him in our hearts and minds … to be more palatable and inoffensive to us … all while claiming to ourselves that he’s still the God of the Bible? How have we been like the Pharisees … emphasizing the aspects of the God of the Bible that we like … brushing aside the parts we don’t like … in a way that increasingly distorts the Bible and the Bible’s God?
We all do this to some extent. The fact that we do this doesn’t mean that we are, now, just like the Pharisees (though we may be!). Rather, the Pharisees show us the end-point of where this pattern leads us, if left unchecked: it leads, eventually, to the place where our idea of God becomes so contrary to the true God of the Bible, that, though we may think of ourselves as devout, if we actually met the God of the Bible, we’d want to kill him.
So how do we check – how do we counter that tendency?
There’s a lot we could say here, but I’ll just mention two ways to push back against this tendency in our hearts.
The first, is to expose ourselves to all of Scripture.
We all have parts of the Scripture that resonate with us … and parts that we struggle with. But all of Scripture reveals Christ – all of Scripture reveals God. And so we need to be exposed to all of it if we are to get the full picture of God as he has revealed himself to us, instead of seeing a caricature of our own design.
This means that in our own spiritual practices, at whatever pace we need to, we are intentional about exposing ourselves to the entirety of Scripture.
It means that we, as a church, in our preaching, should continue to work through whole books of the Bible, without skipping passages that we find uncomfortable, or confusing, or challenging. It means that we, as a church, in our preaching, should continue to bring in a range of books of the Bible as we do that.
So first, we need to expose ourselves to, and wrestle with, all of Scripture.
A second thing we can do, is to read and reflect on the Scriptures with people who are different from us.
Other people – especially those different from us – will often see things in the Scriptures that we miss. We need other Christians whom we can interact with about the Scriptures in this way – Christian friends and family we can interact with in person, as well as Christian writers whose thoughts we can interact with through reading. And one of the benefits of having deep discussions and friendships with Christians who have a different temperament, or church tradition, or cultural background than we do … or reading Christians from a different time or place or theological tradition than us … is that they can sometimes help us see things in the Bible that we ourselves had passed over or mentally pushed aside.
So, exposing ourselves to all of Scripture … and reflecting on Scripture with Christians who are different from us, can all help us check this tendency we see in the Pharisees to remake the God of the Bible into something different.
So the first thing we see here is that, in this fallen world, when we truly see him, Jesus offends everyone. If you’re a non-Christian, don’t let that drive you away. And if you’re a Christian, allow God to use that to challenge and change you.
That is the offense of Jesus.
The Alternative to Jesus
Having considered that, we should stop and ask ourselves: What, though, is the alternative to Jesus?
That’s our second point to consider here: The alternative to Jesus.
And what Mark shows us is that the alternative to Jesus is death. And that’s true in multiple ways.
In our text, it’s true in a very literal way. Jesus’s statement in verse four may seem stark and out of nowhere, but it’s actually quite perceptive. He says to the people: “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”
The reference to killing may seem out of nowhere, but it’s not. Jesus sees the trajectory the Pharisees are on. And by verse six they are plotting to kill. By verse six, they have become people of death. They are, in that way, a reminder that the alternative to Jesus – that every alternative to Jesus – leads ultimately to death.
And really, the rejection of Jesus leads to death in so many different ways.
First, it leads to death not just physically, but spiritually. Look at the kind of people the Pharisees have become. They began claiming to stand up for righteousness. And by verse six they have become murderers. Their hearts, Mark notes in verse five, are hard. That is the kind of people they have become – people who are spiritually dead … people who not only commit great sins like murder, but whose hearts are too hard to repent … whose hearts are too hard to seek healing even when the God of healing is standing right before them.
In addition to that, it leads to death morally. It leads to the death – the collapse – of our moral system. Look at the Pharisees. Their moral system has become incoherent. In order to defend the fourth commandment (about the Sabbath), they are breaking the sixth commandment (against murder). And it’s not just that they are breaking the sixth commandment, but they are justifying the breaking of the sixth commandment with the fourth commandment. Which is absurd. They see themselves as so moral … but their entire moral framework is collapsing right before us in this text. It’s dying.
And it’s not just their moral system, it’s their intellectual system. Their worldview is rooted in the truth of Scripture – the truth of the Bible. But they are breaking the laws of the Bible in order to defend the honor of the Bible … they are trying to kill the God of the Bible in order to defend the God of the Bible … their whole framework for understanding themselves, and their world, and their God, is fighting against itself, and imploding in this text.
And as wild as that might seem, it is strikingly common. We see vigorous temptations to it even within the Church. Consider some examples.
At one extreme of the Church, are people arguing that we need to set aside the teaching of the Bible, in order to uphold the ethics of the Bible. On that side we have people who will say that on certain topics, the teaching of the Bible is not loving … and the Bible calls us to be loving … and so we need to discard those teachings from the Bible in order to uphold the call to love that we find in the Bible. Now … the people making those arguments don’t usually put it that starkly, but that is the kind of reasoning we often hear on the far left of the Church.
But it’s not just the left that does this. Because another example of this temptation, on the other extreme, is that we hear people who will say that in order to stand up for the truths of the Bible, we need to put away things like meekness and gentleness and peacemaking and kindness when dealing with those who are hostile to the gospel. Those things may be commanded by Jesus … but they just don’t work today. And so we’re called on to discard the ethics of the Bible in order to defend the teaching of the Bible. Now … once again, people don’t usually put it that starkly … but that is the kind of reasoning we often hear on the far right of the Church.
Both approaches lead to moral, intellectual, and then spiritual death. If the Bible’s teaching is wrong … then why should we trust its ethics? And if the Bible’s ethics don’t work in today’s world, then why should we think that its other teachings work in today’s world? With such reasoning, our moral and intellectual frameworks collapse … and we are left with spiritual death.
And that’s even more true if we reject the Bible altogether. In the end, we are left with nothing – no foundation for truth, no foundation for right or wrong, just the warring opinions of each person and each cultural tribe. We already see the result of that: Its people screaming at each other about what is true and what is right … each with no rational basis to believe that their reasoning or moral instincts are better than other people’s, but each believing in the superiority of their perspective all the same.
Without an objective Word from God – without a communication from our Maker that we must accept in full, we are left only with moral and intellectual chaos, collapse, and then death.
But finally, and most importantly, in our text we are reminded that the only alternative to Jesus is cosmic death. Jesus is God come in flesh. And the Pharisees and the Herodians decide to try to destroy God, we read in verse six.
That is not a battle they will win. Instead they will face the judgment of God for their rebellion and hardness of heart – for trying to destroy the One who made them and gave them every good thing. Instead, they will face the anger of Jesus, referred to in verse five, but they will face it on the Day of Judgment, when he casts them out of his presence, into the outer darkness, forever.
It’s true, in the earthly ministry of Jesus, they will seem to succeed for a moment. Jesus will go to the cross. He will die. He will be buried. But death cannot contain God. And on the third day he will rise again. And those who sought to rebel against him will have to answer to the God they tried to overthrow.
That is the alternative to Jesus that we see in our text. In the end, it is cosmic death: the wrath of God.
So, we see the offense of Jesus. We see the alternative to Jesus.
The Offer of Jesus
Third, and finally, we see the offer of Jesus.
And to see that, it’s helpful to ask ourselves: Where should we seek to put ourselves in this text?
Mark tells us this story. He is first and foremost teaching us about Jesus. But where does he want us to see ourselves in this story?
Jesus is obviously the hero of the text. But we’re not Jesus. We should seek to be like Jesus – to imitate him – but we’re not him.
We know we should not be like the Pharisees or the Herodians – their way leads to death, and Jesus is angered and grieved by their hardness of heart.
So, is there anyone in this text we should try to be like?
Well, yes. We should seek to be like the man with the withered hand. Consider him for a moment.
Part of who he is damaged. Part of him is withered. And he knows it. And it would seem that he doesn’t have any illusions that he can fix it himself.
While the Pharisees may believe that they can make themselves well, and the Herodians may believe that they are already well, this man can have no illusions of fixing himself.
And in our hearts, we are the same. We are broken people. In our natural state, far more important than our hands, our souls are withered and damaged. By nature, we are rebels against God. Left to ourselves, our hearts – like the hearts of the Pharisees – are hard. And we, like that man, cannot heal ourselves.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do. We can go to One more powerful than ourselves. We can go to our Maker. Which is what this man does.
He goes to the synagogue. That’s where, we read in verse one, he encounters Jesus. He gathers with God’s people around God’s Word. But on this particular Sabbath, he not only encounter’s God’s presence through the Word or through the Spirit, as he would on every other Sabbath – but he also finds God in the flesh.
And when he does, his disposition is different from the other people that Mark describes. The others are there to sit in judgment. We’re told in verse two that they “watched Jesus […] so that they might accuse him.” They’ve come to the house of God to sit in judgment over God. They have made themselves God’s judges. But not the man with the withered hand. He comes not confident in himself, judging the ways of God, but he comes in need, seeking only to humbly receive from God.
Now, it’s true that some who come to know the Lord may start off by coming before him with judgments: confidence in themselves, evaluation of the Lord’s words and actions. Maybe that describes you this morning. The Lord may use that to begin his work in someone’s life. But that’s not the final goal. The final goal is seen in the man with the withered hand, who comes not with self-confidence but with humble need.
He is there, in the synagogue, with his need. And Jesus sees it. And in verse three Jesus calls the man to come to him. And he does. He responds. He brings his need to Jesus. And when Jesus calls on him to try again to stretch out his withered hand – a hand he knew he could not stretch out on his own – he obeys by faith. And when he does, Jesus heals him – Jesus restores him.
And in that we see what Jesus offers to those who come to him humbly, and in need, and by faith. He offers them healing. He offers them, as he says in verse four, life. He does what is good for them.
Jesus offers life, and healing, and good. He offers restoration. He offers salvation.
In the end, every other way leads to death. Only Jesus gives life.
We might not always understand what Jesus says to us. We might sometimes be confounded by what Jesus calls us to do. We might at times be offended by Jesus’s words to us. But how we respond to that confusion or offense will vary based on how we see ourselves in relation to Jesus.
If we see ourselves primarily as judges, observing Jesus to pass judgment on him, like the Pharisees did – then our response to that confusion and offense will, in the end, be to storm away from him, and reject him, as they do.
But if we see ourselves first and foremost as broken people – withered not just in body but in soul – and we come to Jesus not as judges, but as those in need, then that will change everything. We might still be confused at times. We might still be confounded. We might regularly be offended by him and his Word. But it won’t drive us away. Instead, we will come forward when he calls us. Instead, we will approach him with humble faith, seeking to understand. We will cling to him in deferential trust, praying that he will help reshape us, rather than attempting for us to reshape him.
So how are you coming before the Lord this morning?
The scene here is not so different. It is the Sabbath Day. We are gathered in the house of the Lord. And though we cannot see him with our eyes, Christ himself is among us.
How are you coming before him this morning? Is it in self-confidence like the Pharisees? Are you here as a judge? Are you judging other people here … judging that person you were thinking about earlier … judging the people of God as a whole … maybe even judging God himself?
We know where that path leads. It is the path of the Pharisees.
Or have you come in need? Have you come humbly … knowing that something inside of you is withered … knowing that you cannot make it right … knowing that you need the grace and mercy of the Lord to give you life and healing?
However you might have come in here to start this morning, from this point on, walk in the footsteps of the man with the withered hand. Come before the Lord humbly as one in need. Set your self-confidence aside – it leads only to delusion and disaster. Set your self-righteous judgments aside – they lead only to death. Come before the Lord humbly – for he calls you. Present to him not your opinions or your verdicts, but present to him those things within you that are withered, that he might restore your soul.
For he will give life to all who seek it from him – both now and for eternity.
This sermon draws on material from:
Bayer, Hans. Introduction and notes to Mark in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
Hoener, H.W. “Herodians” In The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Fully Revised. Edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, et al. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988. 2.698.
Horne, Mark. The Victory According to Mark: An Exposition of the Second Gospel. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003.
Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York, NY: Dutton, 2008.
Keller, Timothy. Jesus the King. New York, NY: Penguin, 2011.
Leithart, Peter J. The Four: A Survey of the Gospels. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2010.
Lewis, C.S. “Preface to the First Edition” in On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria. Translated by John Behr. Popular Patristics Series. Number 44a. Yonkers, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2011 (Lewis’s Preface: 1944).
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