On the Incarnation

Born That Man No More May Die

God became man. Can you believe that we believe that?

Join us for this short three-week course as we read through the classic book “On the Incarnation” by Athanasius.

Note: This course was originally presented LIVE in the Fall of 2023. It is now available as a self-paced course with feedback from a coach and key video clips from the live class times.
[Course image]

Now that the Savior has raised his body, death is no longer terrible; for all who believe in Christ trample on it as it were nothing...

Men had turned from the contemplation of God above, and were looking for Him in the opposite direction, down among created things and things of sense. The Saviour of us all, the Word of God, in His great love took to Himself a body and moved as Man among men, meeting their senses, so to speak, halfway.

Course Instructor


What are the "Reading with the Fathers" Courses?

The goal of these courses is to help students better understand and delight in Christ through Scriptural theology in the light of a careful reading of a historic Christian book.
  • “A careful reading” because we want to honor the author and his book and deal rightly with its contents (“love your neighbor as yourself”)
  • “Scriptural theology” because our main focus at Biblearc is on studying the Bible
  • “To better understand and delight in” because theology should not only inform the head but affect the heart and hands


  1. Read the first step of the lesson (about 10 minutes of work).
  2. Read the assigned text from Athanasius’ On the Incarnation (about one hour).
  3. Answer questions to help you dig into the meaning of the text and of Scripture and submit an assignment for feedback (about 20 minutes).
  4. Watch clips from the live class time for a discussion of the chapter (about half an hour).


Although this course seeks to follow what is taught in the Treasury course about reading extrabiblical literature, there are no prerequisites for taking it.


Through the Biblearc Books eReader, you will have free access to a 1944 translation of Athanasius’s original Greek by Penelope Lawson that is in the public domain. I prefer John Behr’s translation, but there isn’t much difference between them. If you want to be helped by the original Greek, purchase the edition of Behr’s translation that has Greek and English on facing pages.
The following example from the beginning of Chapter I demonstrates the difference between the two translations:
“Now, Macarius, true lover of Christ, we must take a step further in the faith of our holy religion, and consider also the Word’s becoming Man and His divine Appearing in our midst. That mystery the Jews traduce, the Greeks deride, but we adore” (Lawson). “Come now, blessed one and true lover of Christ, let us, with the faith of our religion, relate also the things concerning the Incarnation of the Word and expound his divine manifestation to us, which the Jews slander and the Greeks mock, but we ourselves venerate” (Behr).
On the Incarnation, tr. John Behr
This is the translation I’ll usually be quoting from in the course.

On the Incarnation (English and Greek)
This is the same translation as above, but has the original Greek on the left side, and the translation by Behr on the right side.

To access the free translation by Lawson, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the instructions given.
  2. The book will appear in your library. You can read, highlight, and copy and paste text.