Author Topic: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis  (Read 698 times)

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Offline Al Masihi

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Do Non Chalcedonians regard the will of Christ as a property of his nature as Chalcedonians do or of his Hypostasis or person in a similar way to Monothelitism? As Chalcedonian sources seem to portray the Oriental Orthodox position as being problematic, any clarification would help:

Here, as earlier in the decree, the Tome of Leo is expressly affirmed. The decree actually calls the Tome "the pillar of the right faith." You can perhaps understand that all this is rather difficult for us to accept. For us Leo is still a heretic. It may be possible for us to refrain from condemning him by name, in the interests of restoring communion between us. But we cannot in good conscience accept the Tome of Leo as "the pillar of the right faith" or accept a council which made such a declaration. The council approves explicitly what I clearly regard as heresy in the Tome of Leo: "Each form does in communion with the other what pertains properly to it, the Word, namely doing that which pertains to the Word, and the flesh that which pertains to the flesh." If one rightly understands the hypostatic union, it is not possible to say that the flesh does something on its own, even if it is said to be in union with the Word. The flesh does not have its own hypostasis. It is the hypostasis of the Word which acts through the flesh. It is the same hypostasis of the Word which does the actions of the Word and of his own flesh. The argument of the horos [dogmatic definition] in this Sixth Council is basically unacceptable to us (Review, p. 139; Does Chalcedon, p. 133).

We are unable to say what this council says when it affirms "two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him"....

To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...

b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.

c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril. We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis. The human nature is as "natural" to Christ the incarnate Word as is the divine. It is one hypostasis who now is both divine and human, and all the activities come from the one hypostasis (Review, pp. 140-141; Does Chalcedon, pp. 134-135).

It is surprising that the author of these statements could also say that "In my mind it is clear that we do agree on the substance of the teaching of not only the 4th, but also the 5th, 6th, and 7th councils" (Review, p. 34). The question of whether the will is attributed to the nature or to the hypostasis was a major bone of contention in the monothelete controversy and thus of central importance in the considerations and final decision of the Sixth Council. Although Verghese, in the Forward to the issue of The Greek Orthodox Theological Review we have been drawing on, states that "The meeting at the University of Bristol, England in 1967... eliminated the possibility that the Monothelete position was the one espoused by the Oriental Orthodoxy" (Review, unnumbered page), here he has stated a central tenet of the Monothelete position, namely, that the will belongs to the one hypostasis and not to the two natures. But if, as he points out, the hypostasis of the Incarnate Christ is the hypostasis of the Word, then there are two possibilities: First, that the hypostasis (person) of the Second Hypostasis (Person) of the Holy Trinity changed at the Incarnation and became a composite hypostasis with a composite will, as seems to be implied by Fr. Verghese's reference to the "one hypostasis who is now both divine and humane — but this is unacceptable to us, as we cannot imagine the Second Person of the Holy Trinity changing and becoming composite. Or, second, that if the will belongs to the hypostasis, and the hypostasis is that of the Word of God, then the human nature of Christ is entirely moved and controlled by the hypostasis (person) of the Word of God — in other words, the humanity of Christ is a purely passive instrument of His divinity, completely lacking in freedom and having no operation (energy) of its own. In this case, Christ's humanity is not, in fact, a freely and fully-functioning humanity; although it is still possible for the non-Chalcedonians to say that Christ is consubstantial to us with regard to His humanity, they clearly do not share the same beliefs as us with regard to Christ as perfect God and perfect Man.

The Sixth Ecumenical Council, however, is "far more than the dogmatization of two wills in Christ," as Dr. Joseph Farrell points out in his excellent study, Free Choice in St. Maximus the Confessor (St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1989, p. 191). The theology of St. Maximus is exceptionally broad, deep and subtle; in this short paper I cannot hope to capture Dr. Farrell's analysis of St. Maximus, but I will briefly mention some of his conclusions regarding the importance of St. Maximus and the acceptance of his theology by the Orthodox Church in the Sixth Ecumenical Council. As he says, the Sixth Council is the confession, not so much of two wills in Christ, but of His human will, and, therefore, of the voluntary nature of His Passion; it is also the confession of human free choice and of the necessity of the cooperation of the human will in our salvation (p. 191). Dr. Farrell also presents St. Maximus, and therefore the Sixth Ecumenical Council, as a major link in the chain of Orthodox theological development from the Arian controversy in the 4th century to the theology of St. Gregory Palamas and the hesychast council of 1351:

The Sixth Ecumenical Council is thus far more important for the Orthodox than is the Chalcedonian definition, because in its definition are hidden the responses of one of the Eastern Church's most brilliant theologians to the vital issues of divine predestination and human free will. Furthermore, it is important because in it is also hidden the presupposition of a vast theological development, reaching back beyond the Triadology [Trinitarian theology] of the Cappadocians to the Arian controversy, to the Origenist Problematic and its underlying neoplatonic foundations. More than any other council, it was called upon to reflect in a systematic way upon the relationships of Triadology, Christology, and the divine and human wills. In a major way it confronts the issue of revelation and reason, of theodicy [the problem of evil in a world created by a loving and omnipotent God] and the possible use (or rejection) of the philosophical meanings of philosophical terms...(p. 192).

Dr. Farrell goes on to contrast the monothelete understanding of the sinlessness of Christ as a mere passive determination of the human nature by the divine nature with the dithelete doctrine of St. Maximus which "takes as its starting point not fallen humanity but the deified humanity of Christ and the saints in the eschaton" (p. 193), and points out that:

St. Maximus has truly outlined a unique doctrine of free choice.... In so doing, he was led to posit the existence of a real distinction between the category of the divine essence and the divine energies, and of the divine energies amongst themselves.... By doing this, he quite clearly pointed out the direction of subsequent development of the formulation of doctrine to [St. Gregory] Palamas (p. 193).

The Sixth Council is inseparable from the Council of Chalcedon, which it clarifies and interprets; it is my contention, therefore, that it is through their attitude towards the Sixth Council, as well as the Fifth and Seventh, that we can see whether or not a particular Christian communion truly accepts the teaching of Chalcedon.

Fr. Verghese concludes his paper by stating that if acceptance of the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Councils is necessary for reunion, there is little hope that that this will be achieved in the near future. But if, as some of the Chalcedonian participants had suggested, the last four Councils are not to be regarded as equal in importance to the earlier ones, he suggests that the churches "begin formal conversations with a view to restoring communion between our two families", with the first step being the issuance of a common statement which "should state clearly that we share, between our two families, substantially the same authentic tradition of the undivided Christian church";

The statement would also make clear that while it is not possible for the Chalcedonian Churches to repudiate or reject any of the seven councils, it is equally difficult for the non-Chalcedonians now to formally accept the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh councils recognized by the Chalcedonian family. It could be made clear that the non-Chalcedonians would refrain from formally condemning either the council of Chalcedon or Pope Leo. The statement will also make clear that the Chalcedonian churches would refrain from condemning Dioscurus and Severus as heretics" (Review;, pp. 141-142; Does Chalcedon, pp. 135-136).

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_share.aspx
« Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 11:47:10 AM by Al Masihi »

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 04:57:25 PM »
The humanity of Christ is not without the faculty of will, and St Severus is properly willing to speak of two wills.   
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Offline WPM

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 11:05:53 AM »
I accept the Two Wills (Divine and Human) . . .
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Offline Al Masihi

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2020, 05:41:34 PM »
Thanks for the reply Father, so you would define will as being an aspect of nature and not personhood as Monothelitism entails, hence you would agree with the Chalcedonians in this regard, that clears up a lot of misconceptions in my mind. Lately I’ve been really torn on this whole issue of Christ nature, how do I come to the truth in the matter, why should reject Chalcedon and why should I accept it? I’ve seen a rhyme tps on both sides and both sides seem to have good points.

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 02:41:18 PM »
This is something I wrote in conversation with an EO priest monk...

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Offline Al Masihi

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2020, 04:15:03 PM »
What do Oriental Orthodox mean when they say Hypostasis and how does it compare with the Chalcedonian understanding of the term, I know Non Chalcedonians say that Christ is a composite Hypostasis out of two nature’s and Hypostases, how does that compare with the Chalcedonian understanding of Christ only being a divine Hypostasis with an En-Hypostatized human nature?
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 04:15:16 PM by Al Masihi »

Offline WPM

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2020, 04:20:47 PM »
Born of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. (Holy Child)
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2020, 05:04:42 AM »
We use the Cyrilline phrase, one incarnate nature or hypostasis, which means that the Divine hypostasis of the Word is incarnate.

We do not speak of a union of hypostases, but we do wish to say that the humanity of Christ is hypostatic. It is a concrete reality. It is not a mirage, nor does it lack anything that is necessary to a concrete and hypostatic humanity.

But we do not believe that there were two hypostases which came together. We believe that the humanity of Christ became concrete, became hypostatic, in the instance of the incarnation as the own humanity of the Word and of no one else's. It does not belong to itself but it belongs to the Word, nevertheless it is real and concrete.

The EO also confess that the hypostasis of the Word is composite. Otherwise they cannot say that the Word became flesh while remaining God.
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Offline Al Masihi

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2020, 07:08:31 AM »
If the humanity of Christ is hypostatic then isn’t Christ a union of Hypostases? Don’t Eastern Orthodox hold that the humanity is without a Hypostasis and only exits in the mode of the Hypostasis of the divine Logos? Would you conflate Hypostasis with nature or to mean the same thing as nature?

Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2020, 07:32:50 PM »
We use the Cyrilline phrase, one incarnate nature or hypostasis, which means that the Divine hypostasis of the Word is incarnate.

We do not speak of a union of hypostases, but we do wish to say that the humanity of Christ is hypostatic. It is a concrete reality. It is not a mirage, nor does it lack anything that is necessary to a concrete and hypostatic humanity.

But we do not believe that there were two hypostases which came together. We believe that the humanity of Christ became concrete, became hypostatic, in the instance of the incarnation as the own humanity of the Word and of no one else's. It does not belong to itself but it belongs to the Word, nevertheless it is real and concrete.

The EO also confess that the hypostasis of the Word is composite. Otherwise they cannot say that the Word became flesh while remaining God.
Father Peter perhaps you can help me understand then a diagram a Coptic Priest drew for me in my notebook when I was attending a Coptic Church back in March of 2019. I will try to explain the diagram.

He drew a grid where:

F = Flesh
S = Human Spirit (his handwriting looks like it says "human spirit." Not sure if that is what he meant to write or "Holy Spirit?")
D= Divine Nature

Then he drew 3 large circles titled "D" (Divine Nature) and each circle representing 3 separate events (Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection). Inside of each circle he drew two circles, where one circle represented S (Human Spirit) and one circle represented F (Flesh).

Event One - Incarnation, inside of the Large Circle D (Divine Nature) he showed S (Human Spirit) overlapping with F (Flesh)
Event Two - Crucifixion, inside of Large Circle D (Divine Nature) he showed S (Human Spirit) and F (Flesh) apart from each other and not overlapping
Event Three - Resurrection, inside of Large Circle D (Divine Nature) he showed S (Human Spirit) and (F) Flesh joined together again as he showed it in the Incarnation Event

There was a discussion where it was stated it is incorrect to say the Father rose Christ from the grave as that is to make Christ less than the Father and thus it is correct to sate Christ rose his flesh by the power of his Divinity. If I remember the conversation was revolving around the resurrectionThat much I think I can understand.

I am thinking about this diagram today because you stated, "we do not believe that there were two hypostases which came together." In this diagram, he seemed to be showing me two distinct characteristics to show how they were joined at the incarnation, separated at the crucifixion and rejoined at the resurrection. I could be wrong in my understanding, or what the priest was trying to show me? Is this the same as what you're discussing? 
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2020, 03:04:52 AM »
There are two types of hypostasis.

A self-subsistent hypostasis which has a person. So a concrete thing that is its own person.

A non-self-subsistent hypostasis which is a concrete thing, a real human for instance, but which does not have its own person.

The humanity of Christ is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis. It is concrete, it is hypostatic, but it does not exist for itself so that it has its own person. It belong to the hypostasis of the Word.

Hypostatic tends to mean - being concrete. Hypostasis tends to mean - being concrete with its own person.

We believe that Christ is one hypostasis - the Word of God - but that his humanity is real and concrete, it is a particular humanity, yet it is without its own hypostasis, if this means it is a human person apart from the Word. Rather its hypostasis is the Word himself, who hypostasises in humanity in this particular humanity.

A union of two hypostases was always taken to mean a union of two identities, and this was rejected as error.

But we insist that the humanity is real and has a concrete integrity, and this is described by saying it is hypostatic (concrete), and that it is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis (concrete but without its own person).

The EO redefined the Christological terms at the time of Justinian and made hypostasis = person. But that leaves them with no way to describe a concrete instance of an essence, since the term physis was redefined to mean only essence. We can say that the humanity of Christ is hypostatic (an adjective), and even that it is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis, because we do not reduce physis to essence and hypostasis to person. That is not a problem of course. What matters is what is meant. But EO terms do not equate directly and always to what OO mean.   
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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2020, 03:08:13 AM »
The diagram was showing that at the crucifixion the soul and body of the Word of God were separated in death, as they were. The body was in the Tomb and the soul descended to Hades. But I imagine he was also showing properly that the soul and body though separated from each other were both still always in union with the divinity of Christ, with the Word himself.

This is what all Orthodox would agree.

The soul and body are different, and different things happen to them at death. The divinity and humanity are utterly different but they are united without change or confusion in the incarnation.
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Offline Al Masihi

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2020, 11:11:18 PM »
There are two types of hypostasis.

A self-subsistent hypostasis which has a person. So a concrete thing that is its own person.

A non-self-subsistent hypostasis which is a concrete thing, a real human for instance, but which does not have its own person.

The humanity of Christ is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis. It is concrete, it is hypostatic, but it does not exist for itself so that it has its own person. It belong to the hypostasis of the Word.

Hypostatic tends to mean - being concrete. Hypostasis tends to mean - being concrete with its own person.

We believe that Christ is one hypostasis - the Word of God - but that his humanity is real and concrete, it is a particular humanity, yet it is without its own hypostasis, if this means it is a human person apart from the Word. Rather its hypostasis is the Word himself, who hypostasises in humanity in this particular humanity.

A union of two hypostases was always taken to mean a union of two identities, and this was rejected as error.

But we insist that the humanity is real and has a concrete integrity, and this is described by saying it is hypostatic (concrete), and that it is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis (concrete but without its own person).

The EO redefined the Christological terms at the time of Justinian and made hypostasis = person. But that leaves them with no way to describe a concrete instance of an essence, since the term physis was redefined to mean only essence. We can say that the humanity of Christ is hypostatic (an adjective), and even that it is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis, because we do not reduce physis to essence and hypostasis to person. That is not a problem of course. What matters is what is meant. But EO terms do not equate directly and always to what OO mean.   
If the humanity of Christ is Hypostatic, then isn’t Christ a union of Hypostases? I believe Severus of Antioch described Christ as one Hypostasis out of two. I keep imaging Hypostasis as person, the Arabic word for Hypostasis اقنوم also always seems to denote a self subsistent Hypostasis so I’m a bit confused. I imagine Hypostasis as being that which has a real distinct existence and self awareness, if the humanity is non self subsistent then can’t we call it en-hypostatized as that which has no Hypostasis of its own?

Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 12:37:42 AM »
There are two types of hypostasis.

A self-subsistent hypostasis which has a person. So a concrete thing that is its own person.

A non-self-subsistent hypostasis which is a concrete thing, a real human for instance, but which does not have its own person.

The humanity of Christ is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis. It is concrete, it is hypostatic, but it does not exist for itself so that it has its own person. It belong to the hypostasis of the Word.

Hypostatic tends to mean - being concrete. Hypostasis tends to mean - being concrete with its own person.

We believe that Christ is one hypostasis - the Word of God - but that his humanity is real and concrete, it is a particular humanity, yet it is without its own hypostasis, if this means it is a human person apart from the Word. Rather its hypostasis is the Word himself, who hypostasises in humanity in this particular humanity.

A union of two hypostases was always taken to mean a union of two identities, and this was rejected as error.

But we insist that the humanity is real and has a concrete integrity, and this is described by saying it is hypostatic (concrete), and that it is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis (concrete but without its own person).

The EO redefined the Christological terms at the time of Justinian and made hypostasis = person. But that leaves them with no way to describe a concrete instance of an essence, since the term physis was redefined to mean only essence. We can say that the humanity of Christ is hypostatic (an adjective), and even that it is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis, because we do not reduce physis to essence and hypostasis to person. That is not a problem of course. What matters is what is meant. But EO terms do not equate directly and always to what OO mean.   
Does the hypostasis of Christ always have to be joined to something in order to be understood or converse with this world? For example, in the Old Testament, it was always taught to me that "The Angel of the Lord" was the preincarnate Christ. Therefore, if I understand what you are saying then is that the "angel" per se, would not have a self-subsistent hypostasis for itself and thus its only existence was to be united to the Word in order to dwell among, teach, be with the Israelites?

Is person for OO "nature" or is hypostasis the same as when we say "nature?" Next how is your one hypostasis (The Word) different from we who speak of "Two natures" united in one person? How is your one person different from our one person? Is it different because you say one hypostasis united to one non-self subsistent hypostasis vs. we who speak of two nature subsisting in one person? 

Thank you for both of your replies.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2020, 11:25:49 AM »
Do Non Chalcedonians regard the will of Christ as a property of his nature as Chalcedonians do or of his Hypostasis or person in a similar way to Monothelitism?

If you're Orthodox you accept the bishropic authority of the 7 Ecumenical Councils and (anathemas) for the heresy being questioned.

(example, Monophysitism or Monolethism. It's easy to get confused by terminoloy and needs guidance of the Holy Spirit.)
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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2020, 04:25:44 PM »
The thing is that we do not make hypostasis a synonym for prosopon. And so we use the word for concrete, real identity or thing. And this concrete can have its own prosopon, or it can be, in the case of the hypostasis of the humanity in Christ, that it does not have its own prosopon but is owned by the Word.
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Offline Al Masihi

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2020, 08:32:59 AM »
The thing is that we do not make hypostasis a synonym for prosopon. And so we use the word for concrete, real identity or thing. And this concrete can have its own prosopon, or it can be, in the case of the hypostasis of the humanity in Christ, that it does not have its own prosopon but is owned by the Word.
But it still sounds Nestorian to say Christ is out of two hypostases.

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2020, 06:53:14 AM »
That is only because you are not asking what other mean, but are depending on what you think they mean.

What word would you use to say that the humanity of Christ is a real concrete instance of the human ousia?

As an EO ISTM that you cannot use ousia, and you cannot use physis, and you cannot use hypostasis, and you cannot use prosopon?
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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2020, 07:27:53 AM »
That is only because you are not asking what other mean, but are depending on what you think they mean.

What word would you use to say that the humanity of Christ is a real concrete instance of the human ousia?

As an EO ISTM that you cannot use ousia, and you cannot use physis, and you cannot use hypostasis, and you cannot use prosopon?

It is precisely the Christology of the Church of the East to say that "the humanity of Christ is a real concrete instance of the human ousia." This is why the concept of enhypostaton exists, to get around having to posit any "real concrete instance" apart from that of God the Word. It's a very classical criticism of Severus that he twisted himself back around to basically reinventing Nestorius' theology.

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2020, 11:46:07 AM »
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 11:49:17 AM by Deacon Lance »
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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2020, 05:41:41 PM »

Hi Deacon Lance I am not sure your chart helps me, I wish you would have provided further direction of how you were understanding this chart or providing it in this thread. I do not speak Aramaic, so only researching in what I have been able to find on the web is all I can do to relate to this topic and understand the Oriental Orthodox on this topic.  In Aramaic the word for "Person" is (Parsopa). The Aramaic word for "Nature" is ("Keyana."). Qnoma does not seem to be so easily understood.  Qnoma is not Person. Qnoma is never Person. This is what I was understanding Father Peter to be saying when he said, "The humanity of Christ is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis. It is concrete, it is hypostatic, but it does not exist for itself so that it has its own person. It belong to the hypostasis of the Word."

Person is that by which those Qnome (yours and mine) are distinguished - by which our common Qnome are individualized. The Aramaic word ("Qnoma") has no direct Greek or English equivalent and should therefore not be translated, but only transliterated and understood within Aramaic contexts. They never equate Qnoma with Parsopa. In the Godhead there are 3 Qnome (as your chart shows), but never defined as "persons!" For them God is One.

I guess what I do not like about this chart is how it breaks out nature of God (Kyana) above the person of God (Qnoma) which is one. I do not think that is the intent, but that is the first thing that confuses me because on the left side of the chart it also has "humanity" sharing in Kyana or nature. Is that God's nature in the "Kyana" frame and it is the nature of God being shared with the Son and Peter and Paul?

Ultimately this chart seems to be giving Christ his own person which is contrary to what I understood Fr. Peter to be saying was not the case because the Word did not have a self-subsistent hypostasis. According to this chart, Peter and Paul have individual Parsopas but so does Maran Eshoa Meshik Ha (The Lord). However, if that is the case then I am confused in what Father Peter stated about The Word not having a self-Subsistent hypostasis. Perhaps the chart is confusing because it uses Peter and Paul in this example and it is hard for me not to put their individualized personalities in the same plane as Christ.

However lastly as I understand it, a Qnoma refers to an individuated (though not necessarily self-existent) manifestation of a generic Nature. Qnoma is a concrete reality and cannot be divided. Once divided it ceases to be that Qnoma. So perhaps this chart is showing the passing of the divine nature to the Qnoma of the Son and thus his Parsopa came to us only to behold the divine nature and the Parsopa of Christ is never a self-subsistent hypostasis as Fr. Peter stated earlier?
"While we fight about words, take advantage of ambiguities, criticize authors, fight on party questions, have difficulty in agreeing, and prepare to anathematize each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to Christ." - Hilary of Poitiers (367)

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Is The Will of Christ a Property of His Nature or Hypostasis
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2020, 01:30:19 PM »

Hi Deacon Lance I am not sure your chart helps me, I wish you would have provided further direction of how you were understanding this chart or providing it in this thread. I do not speak Aramaic, so only researching in what I have been able to find on the web is all I can do to relate to this topic and understand the Oriental Orthodox on this topic.  In Aramaic the word for "Person" is (Parsopa). The Aramaic word for "Nature" is ("Keyana."). Qnoma does not seem to be so easily understood.  Qnoma is not Person. Qnoma is never Person. This is what I was understanding Father Peter to be saying when he said, "The humanity of Christ is a non-self-subsistent hypostasis. It is concrete, it is hypostatic, but it does not exist for itself so that it has its own person. It belong to the hypostasis of the Word."

Person is that by which those Qnome (yours and mine) are distinguished - by which our common Qnome are individualized. The Aramaic word ("Qnoma") has no direct Greek or English equivalent and should therefore not be translated, but only transliterated and understood within Aramaic contexts. They never equate Qnoma with Parsopa. In the Godhead there are 3 Qnome (as your chart shows), but never defined as "persons!" For them God is One.

I guess what I do not like about this chart is how it breaks out nature of God (Kyana) above the person of God (Qnoma) which is one. I do not think that is the intent, but that is the first thing that confuses me because on the left side of the chart it also has "humanity" sharing in Kyana or nature. Is that God's nature in the "Kyana" frame and it is the nature of God being shared with the Son and Peter and Paul?

Ultimately this chart seems to be giving Christ his own person which is contrary to what I understood Fr. Peter to be saying was not the case because the Word did not have a self-subsistent hypostasis. According to this chart, Peter and Paul have individual Parsopas but so does Maran Eshoa Meshik Ha (The Lord). However, if that is the case then I am confused in what Father Peter stated about The Word not having a self-Subsistent hypostasis. Perhaps the chart is confusing because it uses Peter and Paul in this example and it is hard for me not to put their individualized personalities in the same plane as Christ.

However lastly as I understand it, a Qnoma refers to an individuated (though not necessarily self-existent) manifestation of a generic Nature. Qnoma is a concrete reality and cannot be divided. Once divided it ceases to be that Qnoma. So perhaps this chart is showing the passing of the divine nature to the Qnoma of the Son and thus his Parsopa came to us only to behold the divine nature and the Parsopa of Christ is never a self-subsistent hypostasis as Fr. Peter stated earlier?

These articles from an Assyrian priest explain the chart.  I meant to post them yesterday.

http://eastmeetseastblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/kyana-and-qnuma-nature-of-natures.html

http://eastmeetseastblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/person-and-face-points-of-union.html


« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 01:30:34 PM by Deacon Lance »
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