Author Topic: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?  (Read 1248 times)

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Offline nonchal

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Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« on: December 23, 2006, 06:53:51 PM »
The traditional EO notion is that the production of the Son and the Spirit is simultaneous. One does not come before the other. I wonder: how does this explain that the Son is called "second" and the Spirit is called "third"? Could not the Spirit also be called "second" in this view?

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 07:12:49 PM »
I might be misunderstanding you, but I'll give this a shot. The son is not second and the Holy Spirit is not third, if you are speaking of their timeless existence. Words (order) like this only have meaning in a context which has time as a factor. Both the Son and the Holy Spirit are supposedly "co-eternal" with the Father. The son is begotten by the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, as an actual state of existence, and not as a set of relational actions which was one time not present, and then afterwards came into existence.
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Offline nonchal

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 07:25:49 PM »
In the Latin view the Son comes into existence THEN the Spirit comes into existence. Thus the order is obvious: first the Father, second the Son, third the Spirit. But I have read that the traditional EO notion does not admit that the Father produces the Son first and THEN produces the Spirit second. Its simultaneous. How does this account for the fact that the Son is called second and the Spirit is called third?



Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 07:41:00 PM »
I hope you'll excuse my unfamiliarity with some of this, but where exactly is the son called second and the spirit called third?
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2006, 07:41:33 PM »
Are you saying that in the Latin tradition they believe that there was a time when the Son and the Holy Spirit were not in existence?  And that the Son came into existence before the Holy Spirit?  I don't think that is accurate.  I may be misunderstanding you.  I hope I am.

Also, where is the Son called "second" and the Holy Spirit called "third?"  Are you quoting from some document?

Offline nonchal

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2006, 08:00:28 PM »
Yikes. Thats not what I meant. Of course there was never a time when the Son and Spirit were not in existence. I meant that the Father is anterior to both, since he is their Cause, while the Son and Spirit are posterior to the Father. (Perhaps these words work better than "before" and "after" though the Church Fathers use either.) Now in the Latin tradition, the Son is anterior to the Spirit, as the Father is anterior to the Son. So the Father exists, then the Son exists, THEN the Spirit exists. But in the EO tradition the production of the Son and Spirit is simultaneous.

Eastern Orthodox:           
    O             
   /  \
 o     o     

I think Photius drew a silimar diagram.

Now the Church Fathers are unanimous that the Son is second from the Father and the Spirit is third from the Father. But how is this possible in the EO notion?

Offline serb1389

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 01:12:41 PM »
I havn't read a whole deal on this, and I can't quote anyone, but I think the numbering system is arbitrary.  More used to give us an idea of what is going on, rather than to say that the Son is Second to the Father, etc.

I think the numbering was put there to better describe who does what.  The Son was begotten of the father, therefore Second, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father, "used" by the Son, therefore third. 

I have no idea if I answered any questions.  My statements were by no means official.  Just some random thoughts... ;) ;D
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Offline nonchal

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 02:05:00 PM »
I found the answer last night when reading an article from Romanides. He said that the ordering is due not to the eternal processions but to (1) the eternal manifestations and (2) the temporal relations.

Offline GiC

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Re: Production of Son and Spirit: simultaneous?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2007, 02:07:34 PM »
While I wouldn't take the statements about orders of greatness amongst One, Word, and Spirit literally, as for the logical ordering of the Trinity I would strongly recommend the Second Tractate of Plotinus' Fifth Ennead, it's only a couple pages long and fairly useful, the First Tractate of the same Ennead is worth reading as well if you find the Second intersting.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/plotenn/index.htm
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