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Do you believe that OO and EO together are truly the same church?

Yes
75 (52.4%)
After reunification
47 (32.9%)
No
21 (14.7%)

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Author Topic: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)  (Read 56220 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #270 on: November 01, 2011, 12:54:05 AM »
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).

St. Cyril speaks of His "emptiness" and "poverty" and says that "He is sanctified with us". What does all that mean if not that His flesh was somehow lacking sanctification prior to the Baptism?

Then on the other hand you have Chrysostom seeming to say that the descent of the Spirit was merely to make Christ known.

Not necessarily.  He established Chrismation in the Flesh, but His Flesh never lacked the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in Holy Orders on a priest or bishop, but that doesn't mean they never had the Spirit before.  I think that's the best way of looking at it.  It's just a different way in which the Holy Spirit is working for the sake of all humanity.  One can also look at it as a betrothal to the Church through the important sacraments of baptism and chrismation, with the Forerunner, being the "friend of the Bridegroom" as the Holy Priest who officiates the betrothal of the New Covenant.  But it is not a baptism and chrismation of Christ like we do.  For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #271 on: November 01, 2011, 05:17:55 AM »
St Severus says in his hymns...

'By going down and being baptised in the river Jordan he hallowed the nature of water, and though he is the Son by nature he receives testimony by the voice of the Father which came from above, and though he is himself the giver of the Spirit, he received the descent of the Holy Spirit. For he that lacketh not, who appeared as one that lacketh and was named the Second Adam, became in all things a beginning to us'.

'..inasmuch he wished by his baptism to open before us an ascent leading up to heaven, and to lay in advance a sure foundation for the gift of adoption, and to bring the Holy Spirit upon flesh, and to crush the head of the evil one..'

'..he is baptised with the rest in the river Jordan like one guilty of sin, not because he needed cleansing, but that he might himself cleanse and hallow the water by his baptism, and illuminate the divine laver which shone with the rays of the triple and single light of the Trinity, through the goodwill of the Father, through the condescension of himself the Son, and through the descent of the Holy Sprit, which he received for our sake, when it flew like a dove and came upon him, though it is in him in essence'.
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Offline zekarja

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #272 on: November 01, 2011, 07:22:23 AM »
St Severus says in his hymns...

'By going down and being baptised in the river Jordan he hallowed the nature of water, and though he is the Son by nature he receives testimony by the voice of the Father which came from above, and though he is himself the giver of the Spirit, he received the descent of the Holy Spirit. For he that lacketh not, who appeared as one that lacketh and was named the Second Adam, became in all things a beginning to us'.

'..inasmuch he wished by his baptism to open before us an ascent leading up to heaven, and to lay in advance a sure foundation for the gift of adoption, and to bring the Holy Spirit upon flesh, and to crush the head of the evil one..'

'..he is baptised with the rest in the river Jordan like one guilty of sin, not because he needed cleansing, but that he might himself cleanse and hallow the water by his baptism, and illuminate the divine laver which shone with the rays of the triple and single light of the Trinity, through the goodwill of the Father, through the condescension of himself the Son, and through the descent of the Holy Sprit, which he received for our sake, when it flew like a dove and came upon him, though it is in him in essence'.

Where can I find St Severus' hymns? I've only been able to find his letters. :)

Offline JLatimer

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #273 on: November 01, 2011, 09:01:37 AM »
For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.

I like that. Thanks.

So, in Chrysostom's commentary, when he says,

Quote
For that which was wanting was the crowning blessing of all, that he who was baptized should be deemed worthy of the Spirit; this free gift then of the Spirit He added when He came.

Is part of what he's saying is that we needed a new Adam who was intrinsically worthy of the Spirit?
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #274 on: November 01, 2011, 09:30:29 AM »
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).

St. Cyril speaks of His "emptiness" and "poverty" and says that "He is sanctified with us". What does all that mean if not that His flesh was somehow lacking sanctification prior to the Baptism?

Then on the other hand you have Chrysostom seeming to say that the descent of the Spirit was merely to make Christ known.

Not necessarily.  He established Chrismation in the Flesh, but His Flesh never lacked the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in Holy Orders on a priest or bishop, but that doesn't mean they never had the Spirit before.  I think that's the best way of looking at it.  It's just a different way in which the Holy Spirit is working for the sake of all humanity.  One can also look at it as a betrothal to the Church through the important sacraments of baptism and chrismation, with the Forerunner, being the "friend of the Bridegroom" as the Holy Priest who officiates the betrothal of the New Covenant.  But it is not a baptism and chrismation of Christ like we do.  For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.
The difference I think comes from the Spirit descended on the Flesh, rather than the Spirit being united to the Flesh via the Hypostatic Union.  Since the Holy Spirit was not incarnated, so it was not His Flesh. But Christ was "incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary," so the consubstantial Flesh did not lack the Spirit as the Theotokos did not fail to bear God.  As the Word was able to become sin for us and die and descend to Hell, so too was He able to receive the Spirit at the Jordan, as the Flesh did not cease to be finite, and the Spirit did not cease to be an infinite treasury of blessings.  Were it not for the danger of miscontruction as Adoptionism, I would say that at the Jordan Christ became by adoption what He was by nature.
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #275 on: November 01, 2011, 09:36:43 AM »
That's not what the Fathers seem to say though, I think.

They seem rather to say that he receives the Holy Spirit (who descends upon him who already gives the Spirit) for US, and for our sakes, and not for his own ministry. The humanity receives the Spirit so that we can receive the Spirit in union with his humanity. Just as he is baptised for US and not for himself, so that the waters are lifegiving when we are united with him in his humanity.
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #276 on: November 01, 2011, 10:12:53 AM »
Could we say something like, He became obedient unto death, and God raised Him from the dead; He identified with sinners in the Jordan, and God sent down the Holy Spirit? The idea of 'vindication'.

What are some ways to understand "πληρωσαι πασαν δικαιοσυνην"?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 10:19:54 AM by JLatimer »
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #277 on: November 01, 2011, 10:52:06 AM »
That's not what the Fathers seem to say though, I think.

They seem rather to say that he receives the Holy Spirit (who descends upon him who already gives the Spirit) for US, and for our sakes, and not for his own ministry. The humanity receives the Spirit so that we can receive the Spirit in union with his humanity. Just as he is baptised for US and not for himself, so that the waters are lifegiving when we are united with him in his humanity.
Isn't His ministry nothing but "for our sakes," Father?  He, after all, was in no need of the Incarnation. After all, St. John was correct when he refused at first to baptize Christ, as he was in need of baptism from Him, but Christ was more correct in insisting on it so "all may be fulfilled in righteousness."
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Father Peter

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #278 on: November 01, 2011, 10:57:54 AM »
Of course, but you raised the question of adoption.

I don't see that in the Fathers. Indeed St Cyril seems to reject that and insist, as I was trying to, that he received the Holy Spirit for our sakes so that we could receive the Holy Spirit.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #279 on: November 01, 2011, 11:21:53 AM »
For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.

I like that. Thanks.

So, in Chrysostom's commentary, when he says,

Quote
For that which was wanting was the crowning blessing of all, that he who was baptized should be deemed worthy of the Spirit; this free gift then of the Spirit He added when He came.

Is part of what he's saying is that we needed a new Adam who was intrinsically worthy of the Spirit?

Yes, I think so.  That's one way of looking at things.
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #280 on: November 01, 2011, 12:49:40 PM »
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).

St. Cyril speaks of His "emptiness" and "poverty" and says that "He is sanctified with us". What does all that mean if not that His flesh was somehow lacking sanctification prior to the Baptism?

Then on the other hand you have Chrysostom seeming to say that the descent of the Spirit was merely to make Christ known.

Not necessarily.  He established Chrismation in the Flesh, but His Flesh never lacked the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in Holy Orders on a priest or bishop, but that doesn't mean they never had the Spirit before.  I think that's the best way of looking at it.  It's just a different way in which the Holy Spirit is working for the sake of all humanity.  One can also look at it as a betrothal to the Church through the important sacraments of baptism and chrismation, with the Forerunner, being the "friend of the Bridegroom" as the Holy Priest who officiates the betrothal of the New Covenant.  But it is not a baptism and chrismation of Christ like we do.  For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.
The difference I think comes from the Spirit descended on the Flesh, rather than the Spirit being united to the Flesh via the Hypostatic Union.  Since the Holy Spirit was not incarnated, so it was not His Flesh. But Christ was "incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary," so the consubstantial Flesh did not lack the Spirit as the Theotokos did not fail to bear God.  As the Word was able to become sin for us and die and descend to Hell, so too was He able to receive the Spirit at the Jordan, as the Flesh did not cease to be finite, and the Spirit did not cease to be an infinite treasury of blessings.

I don't see disagreement here, but I understand and agree with Fr. Peter's point here:


Quote
Were it not for the danger of miscontruction as Adoptionism, I would say that at the Jordan Christ became by adoption what He was by nature.
  I'd say it's better to just say Christ, the Eternal Anointer, became anointed in His humanity so that we may be anointed in Him.  But adoption implies being made "Son of God" at the Jordan.  Only the human race is adopted.  In fact, St. Cyril explains in the book "That Christ is One" that the reason of His incarnation of a Virgin is so that we may call the Father "Father," especially when the Holy Spirit is involved in the Incarnation, so is the Holy Spirit involved in our adoption.  In other words, Christ's incarnation itself elevates us from a state of being sons of Adam in earthly decay, to sons of the Father in heavenly life.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 12:51:24 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline JLatimer

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #281 on: November 01, 2011, 02:05:05 PM »
Of course, but you raised the question of adoption.

I don't see that in the Fathers. Indeed St Cyril seems to reject that and insist, as I was trying to, that he received the Holy Spirit for our sakes so that we could receive the Holy Spirit.

Maybe this is the wrong kind of question, but I'm still curious about the 'mechanism' here, so to speak. What is it about Christ's receiving that makes possible our receiving? How would you describe the 'effect' that Jesus Christ receiving the Spirit has on us men?
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #282 on: November 01, 2011, 02:19:04 PM »
Of course, but you raised the question of adoption.

I don't see that in the Fathers. Indeed St Cyril seems to reject that and insist, as I was trying to, that he received the Holy Spirit for our sakes so that we could receive the Holy Spirit.

Maybe this is the wrong kind of question, but I'm still curious about the 'mechanism' here, so to speak. What is it about Christ's receiving that makes possible our receiving? How would you describe the 'effect' that Jesus Christ receiving the Spirit has on us men?

In the Incarnation, we become Sons of the Father.  In the Jordan, we become stamped as Christians, as Christs.
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #283 on: November 01, 2011, 04:00:20 PM »
I would want to stress that Christ lacks nothing of the Holy Spirit BY NATURE, yet he submits to RECEIVING the Holy Spirit, as if he lacked, for our sake who do lack entirely the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit.

Because we are united with the renewed humanity of Christ is baptism we have also received the descent of the Holy Spirit , which is necessary for us because we do not possess the fulness of the Holy Spirit BY NATURE.

It is surely THE SAME descent which we participate in by union with Christ. This union is by grace and not by nature, but it is a real and effectual union by grace. It has meaning and substance beyond the symbolic. We go down into the waters with Christ, and recieve the testimony of the Father - this is my beloved son - and the descent of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not given to us because of Christ, or even by Christ, (as if it were something separate to our union with Christ) but the Spirit is given IN Christ, as we find ourselves in Christ by a union with his humanity. And so Christ receives the Holy Spirit which he never lacked so that we might also receive the same Spirit in coming up from the same waters.

I guess?
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #284 on: November 04, 2011, 03:42:36 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

That's not what the Fathers seem to say though, I think.

They seem rather to say that he receives the Holy Spirit (who descends upon him who already gives the Spirit) for US, and for our sakes, and not for his own ministry. The humanity receives the Spirit so that we can receive the Spirit in union with his humanity. Just as he is baptised for US and not for himself, so that the waters are lifegiving when we are united with him in his humanity.

Just a thought..

Couldn't also interpret Christ's receiving of the Holy Spirit as fellowship of the Word with the Holy Spirit?  After all, if through the Incarnation the Word is united with flesh and exists through the Divine-Human hypostasis, then couldn't Jesus Christ receiving the Holy Spirit, as to His humanity, be a mechanism of fellowship with the Holy Spirit?  The Word always exists in fellowship, in a Divine relationship, with the Father and Holy Spirit, expressing the power of God's love even among Himself.  However, if after the Incarnation, the Word exists through the Union and the Human-Divine hypostasis of the Person of Jesus Christ, then because of the Union with Human nature, does not the Word have to now fellowship with the Holy Spirit in both a Divine and Human way? So when Christ receives the Holy Spirit, could He not simply be in fellowship with Himself as God, as the Trinity always has been for eternity, and yet because the Incarnation includes a Human nature and form to God, does not God now have to adapt the mechanism of this fellowship to include Jesus Christ's humanity? That is to say, after the Incarnation, doesn't God have to adjust how He communicates with the Word because the Word is no longer purely Divine, but also Human, and therefore as to His Humanity must communicate in a Human way, just as we all humanly receive the Holy Spirit?
He, after all, was in no need of the Incarnation. After all, St. John was correct when he refused at first to baptize Christ, as he was in need of baptism from Him, but Christ was more correct in insisting on it so "all may be fulfilled in righteousness."

We should be careful about these kind of implications.  We know that God's Will is His Own, beyond our comprehension.  Further we know that God does nothing aside from His own Will, He is not forced into the wills of others.  So if God chose to become Incarnate, we must assume that he needed or wanted such, because God only acts according to His own needs, and is not therefore limited by the needs of others.  We can't say God became Man just for ourselves, because we would be subjugating God under our human needs, fears, and desires.  God must have become Man out of His own desire to do such, or it simply would not have happened.  Futher, if God ever acts in any way, we can only assume that He is acting on His own Divine needs which we can't understand, otherwise why would He act in the first place if not to fulfill some kind of need of His own?  Just because God is perfect, does not mean He does not have His own uniquely perfect needs, which by His perfection He can easily fulfill, however He still must have them, otherwise why would He have done all this to begin with? If God needed nothing, then nothing is all there would be like before Genesis 1:1



stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 03:49:44 PM by HabteSelassie »
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #285 on: November 05, 2011, 02:59:24 AM »
Selam all
I thought I might add a bit on this one, please correct me where I get it wrong. I think I am in agreement with Father peter, but if I am not please let me know I like to know the right information on this as well.my recolection of this teaching is very vague.

Genesis 6:3 “My Spirit shall not remain with these people forever, for they are flesh. So their days shall be one hundred and twenty years”

In our fall from grace we lost the grace of the Holy Spirit, although it remained available from outside of us, because of our lack of his grace we continued to succumb to the will of the flesh the world and the devil. Our will power to resist temptation was weakened thus we kept rejecting God’s grace. One might call it a vicious cycle of failure.
 Galatians4:6-7 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Romans 8:9- 17 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: 13 for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the spirit ye mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.


The Logos Incarnate received the Holy Spirit in the flesh for our sakes, to make us receive the Holy Spirit in union with his humanity. The Holy Spirit did not come upon his divinity as if one is empty of the other or inferior than the other, it is not that the divine Logos by nature needed the help of the spirit, rather because of his incarnation it is fit that his humanity receive the Spirit for our sakes. However it is not in separation but in the hypostatic union that all this is done it is the Son that receives the Spirit in his humanity for us. For this reason both St. Cyril and St. Severus teach: we hear the testimony of the Father as scriptures say “the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”Luke 3:21-22, He did not say here is my Son dwelling upon this man.” For the Father to say My Son, he was referring not in flesh but in referring to his Sonship by nature of his divinity that from all eternity was begotten from Him (the Father). Thus we are not talking about the Son by nature being lacking somehow thus needing the Spirit to assist him for his work God forbid we would say such a thing! But rather the Son of God while one with the Spirit Himself, received the Spirit in his humanity for our sakes, that we also may be able to receive the spirit in our union with him. We get baptized with sanctified life giving water, so we might be revivified and transfigured in union with him in death and in life. The First Adam became a living soul; the Last Adam became a life giving spirit.
As the spirit descended on the son in baptism the Spirit also descends on us and makes us by adoption sons of the Father in our union with the Son.

Why water was used for his baptism?

As St. Cyril and St. Severus teach it is to make the waters of this world holy. And To fulfill the words of scriptures that say” I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols” Ezekiel 36:25, as water is needed by all and given for all, be it the king that sits on his throne or the poor man on the street in the same manner baptism is established for all.  As water purifies baptism also purifies. As that which is taken away by water does not leave track/ trace in the same manner the sin that is forgiven and washed away by baptism will not be used for judgment as it is washed without a trace. As water acts like mirror and also revitalizes the flesh, baptism also shows the condition of the soul and revitalizes her. A cloth that is washed with water is heavy and strong in the same manner in baptism the faithful find the grace to increase in glory and be strong in virtue. As the potter whose pot gets cracked while working at it will break and remake it by mixing it the clay with water. In the same manner baptism is the giver of regeneration. Water was used by God to execute his judgment upon those who rebelled against him for this reason many have called water as an instrument of destruction; however our Lord being baptized in water showed us that water manifests God’s Mercy.

The Scripture says then the havens opened unto him (John).  We know that there is no opening or closing for the skies by their nature. However it is to say that the mystery is now revealed as a gate is opened to show what is inside it, now a mystery that was unrevealed before is now revealed. The mystery of the Holy Trinity! Thus we call it Epiphany.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; 17 and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17

Here we see the Holy Spirit as a dove, because dove is meek and forgiving, The Holy Spirit is forgiving. As in the time of Noah the dove brought the good news of the passing of the destruction the beginning of new life by brining the olive branch, the Holy Spirit proclaims the hope of the Cross. As a dove other than as a result of the destruction of her nest will not abandon her nest even if they crash her eggs, hit her wings, the Holy Spirit too will not abandon a person for sinning unless completely rejected and denied.


I guess I should stop here .

In christ,
Hiwot.
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Offline zekarja

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #286 on: November 05, 2011, 06:44:01 PM »
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?

The hypostatic union is of a different character than the union of God with a saint by Grace. So, while He, I suppose, could do something through His humanity by Grace, it would sort of be superfluous (for lack of a more accurate term).
Did the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ as a demo, or truly?

But what does the descent of the Holy Spirit mean? (I ask this sincerely from you and anyone else. I would be interested to know.)

From the Incarnation, He was fully God.
God knows all things.

The Incarnate God grew in Wisdom and Stature and probably thought that mustard seeds were the smallest seeds in the world.

But thou sayest that the growth was unto wisdom, albeit how is not this without learning? for we believe that out of the very belly and womb of the Virgin, Emmanuel being God proceeded forth Man, full surely of the wisdom and grace that are inherent of Nature. What sort of growth then will He admit of, in Whom are all the treasures of wisdom, Who is with God the Father Co-giver of the grace from above? how then is He said to advance? it is, I deem, by God the Word co-measuring with the increase and stature of His own Body, the manifestation of the most God-befitting goods that are in Him. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Against Nestorius, Tome Three

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_nestorius_03_book3.htm
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 06:45:30 PM by zekarja »

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #287 on: November 05, 2011, 06:48:07 PM »
^Thank you for providing this quote, Zekarja. So the God-Logos imparts His own wisdom into His human nous by virtue of the (en-)Hypostatic union. The humanity is not the source of His omiscience, but rather the Divinity is. He is said only to be omniscient in His humanity only by the humanity's unity to the Divinity.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #288 on: November 05, 2011, 06:53:32 PM »
You are welcome! :) Also...

And He was somewhere rebuking the holy Apostles themselves that they should not make Him, known. Hence a thing unwonted and strange and worthy of looking into, would have been shewn, if being yet a babe, He had made a God-befitting demonstration of wisdom: but He little and little and proportionably to bodily stature, extending it and making it manifest to all, will be said to advance and that with reason. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Against Nestorius, Tome Three

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_nestorius_03_book3.htm
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 06:54:35 PM by zekarja »

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #289 on: May 31, 2016, 12:40:40 PM »
I don't know where to put this article so I put it here. If it is in a wrong thread please correct me. I want the opinion of our OO brothers on this article that is written by an EO and there are comments on Coptic christology expressed by Pope Shenuda III.
http://oodegr.co/english/dogma/commentary_coptic_christology.htm
Does this article express the true beliefs of Coptic Church? How do you criticize it?
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #290 on: May 31, 2016, 05:03:43 PM »
Dear Alkis,

I will slowly read this paper piece by piece and give you my impression within the next couple of days.  I will begin with the first two sections, "Introduction" and "The Orthodox Concept regarding the nature of Christ"

Introduction:
I appreciate the respectful tone of the first paragraph.  Understandably, he is taking a "Byzantine" perspective, and I think that should admit some bias in his research.  One needs to take into account the different theological approach and definitions.  In addition, HH Pope Shenouda is not a good representative of Oriental Orthodox Christology.  He is very simplistic in his approach.  As the seminarian Nicholas Vester even admits, he does not even quote any Patristic sources, but his quotes are strictly Biblical.  HH Pope Shenouda was the type of man who memorized the Bible, but he was also a product of his time, when the Coptic Church was still (and is still today) rediscovering her theological heritage that we lost through the Islamic persecutions.  This is why I don't think using HH Pope Shenouda, of blessed memory, is a good approach to judging OO Christology and dogmas in general.  HH Pope Shenouda (I will continue to referring him as "HH") had his mistakes.

The Orthodox Concept regarding the nature of Christ
The seminarian is correct in his observation on the soteriological teaching of HH.  HH did teach Anselmian theology in no unambiguous terms.  He taught that any sin that is done is against the unlimited God, and thus carries an "unlimited penalty", which required an unlimited being incarnate (Jesus) to take upon Himself this unlimited penalty.  This has been criticized within the Coptic Church, and many hierarchs have already been moving away from this teaching while he was alive on its lack of basis in the Church fathers.  Remember when I said HH is a product of his time?  The Coptic Church, as it is slowly going through a "reawakening" from the survival mode it was going through in the 13th to 17th centuries, have gotten a lot of its theology from Arabic scholastic sources, a lot of which were translations from Chalcedonian Arabs.  It is not far-fetched to see the same Anselmian theology prevalent in Chalcedonian Orthodox sources just a century ago, even in the Russian Church.  Therefore, I tend to find this an unfair criticism of Coptic theology when the Chalcedonians went through a similar phase.  We just happened to start later than the Chalcedonians in rediscovering our theological richness.

In this same section, perhaps someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I had the impression Pope Leo had some influence from St. Augustine.  Did Pope Leo really teach against Original Sin?  I am not sure this is very clear in history.  St. Cyril on the other hand, perhaps, and I say perhaps because there are still debates concerning some translations that Roman Catholics use in support of their theology.  I do tend to agree that St. Cyril did not teach any form of "immaculate conception", that the Virgin Birth represented a transfer of human nature from biological birth to birth from on high, not a purification of human nature.  So in that respect, I find St. Cyril NOT pro-Augustinian.  Our later anti-Chalcedonian father St. Severus even condemned this idea of the Virgin birth as purification of human nature in the form of a heresy called Julianism.

We do agree with the seminarian that as soon as the Theotokos accepted to bear the Word of God, she was purified and sanctified.  And I think it is fair to say this was the intent of HH as well.  So while HH may be wrong in his views concerning soteriology, he also believed that as soon as she accepted her calling, "her womb" was purified.  Our anti-Chalcedonian father St. Jacob of Serug also agrees with the seminarian fully, and taught she was purified, receiving the same grace we receive at baptism once the Holy Spirit overshadowed her.  To bear Christ was what "saved her", and is what also saves all of humanity as well with her.

The next part is an unfortunate misrepresentation of the use of "one nature" based on an argument of John of Damascus.  The unfortunate part is that it was St. Cyril himself who used the same analogy of human body and soul united in one nature to describe the incarnation of divinity and humanity in one nature.  And as all Church fathers recognize, analogies fall short of the mystery of God and the incarnation.  Therefore, what we do NOT mean by "one nature" is some hybrid nature or new Christ species.  What we do mean is Christ is one unit of existence, and through Him all human nature are made one with God in Christ.  So while John of Damascus uses "one" in a way of counting the elements or essences of the incarnation, we use one in a sense of unity.  If we and Christ are "one", how much more Christ alone should be described!  We recognize that humanity and divinity do not lose their integrities.  At the same time, we also vehemently defending the "oneness" based on soteriology, that we may be deified.  Many scholars have even agreed that the way St. Cyril uses "one nature" contradicts the argument used by John of Damascus, and therefore not only misrepresents our Church, but St. Cyril himself, as he says in his first letter to Succensus:

As to the manner of the incarnation of the Only Begotten, then theoretically speaking (but only in so far as it appears to the eyes of the soul) we would admit that there are two united natures but only One Christ and Son and Lord, the Word of God made man and made flesh. If you like we can take as our example that very composition which makes us men. For we are composed of body and soul and we perceive two natures; there is one nature of the body, and a different nature of the soul, and yet one man from both of them in terms of the union. This composition from two natures does not turn the one man into two, but as I have said there is one man by the composition of body and soul. If we deny that there is one single Christ from two different natures, being indivisible after the union, then the enemies of orthodoxy will ask: ‘If the entirety amounts to one nature then how was he incarnated or what kind of flesh did he make his own?’

And again in the second letter to the same:

They also said the following: ‘If there is one incarnate nature of the Word then it absolutely follows that there must have been a mixture and confusion, with the human nature in him being diminished or ‘stolen away’ as it were.5 Once again those who twist the truth are unaware that in fact there is but one incarnate nature of the Word. The Word was ineffably bom from God the Father and then came forth as man from a woman after having assumed flesh, not soulless but rationally animated flesh; and if it is the case that he is in nature and in truth one single Son, then he cannot be divided into two personas or two sons, but has remained one, though he is no longer fleshless or outside the body but now possesses his very own body in an indissoluble union. How could saying this possibly imply that there was any consequent necessity of mixture or confusion or anything else like this? For if we say that the Only Begotten Son of God, who was incarnate and became man, is One, then this does not mean as they would suppose that he has been ‘mixed’ or that the nature of the Word has been transformed into the nature of flesh, or that of the flesh into the Word’s. No, each nature is understood to remain in all its natural characteristics for the reasons we have just given, though they are ineffably and inexpressibly united, and this is how he demonstrated to us the one nature of the Son; though of course, as I have said, it is the ‘incarnate nature’ I mean. The term ‘one’ can be properly applied not just to those things which are naturally simple, but also to things which are compounded in a synthesis. Such is the case with a human being who comprises soul and body. These are quite different things and they are not consubstantial with each other, yet when they are united they constitute the single nature of man, even though the difference in nature of the things that are brought into unity is still present within the system of the composition. So, those who say that if there is one incarnate nature of God the Word, then it necessarily follows that there must have been a mixture or confusion with the human nature being diminished or ‘stolen away’, are talking rubbish. It has neither been reduced nor stolen away, as they say. To say that he is incarnate is sufficient for a perfectly clear indication of the fact that he became man. And if we had kept silent on this point there might have been some ground for their calumny, but since we add of necessity the fact that he has been incarnated then how can there be any form of ‘diminution’ or ‘stealing away’?

Unmistakeably therefore, St. Cyril used the same analogy HH Pope Shenouda has, with the same purpose in mind.  So while the seminarian may be right about the soteriological error of HH, I find that in this case, HH is the one who is more patristically in line with St. Cyril in his use of the analogy of the natures of soul and flesh in humanity than even John of Damascus, and that is not to say we don't like John of Damascus.  In fact, we owe a lot of our Coptic hymnology and some of the understandings of the Orthodox faith to him.  But truth be told, John of Damascus seems to have misunderstood St. Cyril's theology, and probably did not have all his writings handy to see the fullness of St. Cyril's theological thought.

That's all for now.  To be continued...
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Offline Alkis

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #291 on: May 31, 2016, 05:38:08 PM »
Oh thank you very much Minasoliman! What a great explaining passage. Thanks for your time and work to respond me. I really like OODEGR as an orthodox theological site and when I saw this article in english (OODEGR has mainly articles in greek) I wanted to share it here just to see how OO view these statements. This because I was confused. I read here in the forum and in other sites that Oriental Churches are orthodox like us and the schism was by misunderstandings. So when I read these statements in the article I felt that something goes wrong. That is why I wanted your opinion to be sure of what is the REAL christology of Oriental Orthodox Churches. Thanks again for making things more clear to me. :)
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #292 on: May 31, 2016, 11:49:13 PM »
No problem...

I'm going to continue a bit before I'm off to bed.

Next section

Appolinarius:
To avoid a polemical response, I would rather say that since the analogy is also used by St. Cyril, it is an unfair "low blow" jab at HH.  Eutyches famously compared the human nature of Christ to a drop of vinegar dissolving in a sea of divinity.  Interestingly enough, St. Gregory of Nyssa also used the same analogy, but we not accuse him of Eutychianism.  As was mentioned before, analogies are not perfect, and they may at times be poorly used.  As is evident, whether with pre-Chalcedonian, anti-Chalcedonian, or pro-Chalcedonian fathers, terminologies evolved and used differently, and so may analogies as well.  In my opinion, Appolinarius, being a product of Alexandrian tradition, took Alexandrian theology and terminology and misused them.  I don't know why no one ever thought that rather than accuse St. Cyril of taking from Appolinarius that instead, both St. Cyril and Appolinarius have a common ancestor, with the former using a more Orthodox understanding and the latter a heterodox.  The only reason why scholars say St. Cyril used Appolinarian sources is because these are the only written proof of such before St. Cyril.  But one has to admit there's an ancient school in Alexandria that evolved.

The Council of Chalcedon:
If you have access to the private forum, particularly the OO/EO section, this has been hashed out ad nauseum.  Of course, when I read the seminarian say, "It is true that St. Leo’s Tome could be accused of occasionally being somewhat unclear in the language used to describe these concepts... Obviosly Pope Shenouda’s fear that St. Leo is speaking of ”two persons”, is unfounded," I find an interesting double standard.  If you're willing to see why Pope Leo could have been "misunderstood", why even mention the accusation of Appolinarianism to HH Pope Shenouda when you know his intentions were Orthodox?

The subtle jab against HH on theosis can also be explained by scholastic influence and ignorance as I explained before in the section on soteriology.  The same can be seen in Chalcedonian Church one to two centuries ago.

As for the intentions of Pope Leo, that has also be hashed out ad nauseum as well, and this is a controversial issue.  I think the best thing to understand is that we as OOs despite our interpretation of the historical figures of Chalcedon and Pope Leo are still quite willing to remove anathemas based on how we see EOs interpretation of them in an Orthodox way.

Recently, His Grace Bishop Sourial of Melbourne has been giving a Lenten spiritual series of contemplations to St. Vladimir's on repentance based on a re-published book by HH Pope Shenouda on the subject.  While one can say HH was not too fond of theosis, HG Bishop Sourial connected the writings and contemplations of HH with a patristic quote from Pseudo-Dionysius on theosis.  So while one may not have been favorable on with HH on some issues, yet ALREADY, we are seeing the results of "clothing the nakedness of the father" by teaching theosis as if HH had no problems with it. 

One can see history is also reminiscent of this same "respect" for a Church father after the passing of St. Augustine, where he was so respected despite his overemphasis on grace to the neglect of free will, that many of those who loved him would try to teach away from this overemphasis without associating error with St. Augustine.  Whether it was successful or not remains debatable, and this is the debate today on the legacy of HH.  We tend to "infallibilize" those whom we had immense respect, and it becomes a long and tough road to undo some of the wrongs made by them.  I find this to be true with other local churches as well, not just the Coptic, although at times I feel the Coptic Church is more so.

In any sense, we recognize that we need to be sensitive to these issues, as the ancient fathers tend to be even more "infallibilized" than today's.  HH Pope Shenouda is simply taking his history and his theology from what he already knew in Arabic based on the tradition he received.  If his theology is simplistic, so can be his reading of history, as we know the issues around Chalcedon are more complicated than just a black and white blanket accusation of heresy.  And I think the same sensitive treatment should be given to our anti-Chalcedonian fathers and tradition, so that one can be open-minded enough to see they too are no less Orthodox in their doctrines despite the different linguistic emphasis.

to be continued...

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Offline Tonedawg

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #293 on: June 01, 2016, 03:49:21 AM »
I don't know where to put this article so I put it here. If it is in a wrong thread please correct me. I want the opinion of our OO brothers on this article that is written by an EO and there are comments on Coptic christology expressed by Pope Shenuda III.
http://oodegr.co/english/dogma/commentary_coptic_christology.htm
Does this article express the true beliefs of Coptic Church? How do you criticize it?

This "research" article, if that's what we want to call it, is weak and full of biases. Like Mina has already pointed out, the author is having an overreaction to the term "one nature", as he seems unable to grasp the thought and the depth of St. Cyril's christology. Unfortunately the quotes by John of Damascus also falls short. The Damscene proudly asks: "if there is only one nature then which nature suffered and died?", this is verbatim what the Antiochians asked Cyril centuries earlier, in which he replied "we do not say that he suffered in his divinity, but that he suffered in his humanity." (I'm paraphrasing, it's late and I need to go to sleep, but I'll post the actual quote tomorrow.)

Nothing about this article represents the theology or christology of the Coptic church.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #294 on: June 01, 2016, 10:35:01 AM »
This "research" article, if that's what we want to call it, is weak and full of biases. Like Mina has already pointed out, the author is having an overreaction to the term "one nature", as he seems unable to grasp the thought and the depth of St. Cyril's christology. Unfortunately the quotes by John of Damascus also falls short. The Damscene proudly asks: "if there is only one nature then which nature suffered and died?", this is verbatim what the Antiochians asked Cyril centuries earlier, in which he replied "we do not say that he suffered in his divinity, but that he suffered in his humanity." (I'm paraphrasing, it's late and I need to go to sleep, but I'll post the actual quote tomorrow.)

Nothing about this article represents the theology or christology of the Coptic church.
Tonedawg,
One theory that tries to explain why EOS and OOS may look at this differently is that the word nature meant different things in their communities and had different connotations. I think Fr Peter has proposed something like this.

Would you be able to tell me what the Coptic word for nature/physia is?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 10:35:45 AM by rakovsky »

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #295 on: June 01, 2016, 11:47:42 AM »
Don't forget that throughout the controversial period the Church used Greek in Alexandria for theological discourse.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #296 on: June 01, 2016, 12:29:31 PM »
Don't forget that throughout the controversial period the Church used Greek in Alexandria for theological discourse.
I understand, but it could help to provide a deeper layer of understanding of the concept.
Sometimes we come across ancient Hebrew words in the Bible and scholars want a deeper understanding, so they look to Arabic and Aramaic to help clear things up.

Would you happen to be able to find the Coptic equivalent?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 12:31:41 PM by rakovsky »

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #297 on: June 01, 2016, 12:31:37 PM »
I don't think that the Coptic will add much. We already know from the writings of the Fathers how they understood the term in a variety of ways based on context and preferred lexicon.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #298 on: June 01, 2016, 01:06:40 PM »
I don't think that the Coptic will add much. We already know from the writings of the Fathers how they understood the term in a variety of ways based on context and preferred lexicon.
I agree with you, however is this something you could please find out, Fr Peter?

For example, in Russian there are two words for physia. One is priroda and the other is estestvo. When the 19th century Russian hierarch wrote in his book that Copts were wrong to say Christmas had one nature, he used estestvo. But I think that estestvo has more of a connotation of essence, whereas I find using priroda easier. I think the existence of these two words in Russian may have colored his thinking, even though he had to also use Greek writings that said physia.

I have heard that the Coptic word for nature is the same word for God. Would you be able to tell me if that is correct?

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #299 on: June 01, 2016, 01:35:28 PM »
Where did you hear that?
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #300 on: June 01, 2016, 01:38:28 PM »
On nature, this is useful: https://www.academia.edu/25704705/Personhood_in_Miaphysitism_Severus_of_Antioch_and_John_Philoponus

as well as several of the other papers on Johannes Zachhuber's Academia page...

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #301 on: June 01, 2016, 02:13:12 PM »
Where did you hear that?
I did a Google search and it came up in the results.

But this site says no word for nature existed in preCoptic Egyptian
https://ancientneareast.org/2012/02/10/an-excursus-on-the-egyptian-word-ntr/

So I am skeptical.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 02:14:05 PM by rakovsky »

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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #302 on: June 01, 2016, 02:27:56 PM »
I wish I could answer your question, but I don't know the answer.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #303 on: June 01, 2016, 02:48:30 PM »
I have found a greek site of Coptic Church. It is really interesting. It has articles in greek about the Cpotic Church and has some liturgical books (Agpeya, Liturgies, Holy Week, Prayer book,....) in greek. I will read them all to see our similarities. I really like your church. I watch videos on youtube with liturgies or documentaries. There is also one Coptic church in Greece and I didn't know that and our EO Archbishop gave a cross as a present to them. I have a question. In an article it says that Copts give communion to babies but only the blood of Christ and not the body. Is it true and why this?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 02:50:13 PM by Alkis »
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #304 on: June 01, 2016, 04:16:58 PM »
To continue:

The Nature of This Union:
As explained before, the analogy is apt and patristic, whether the seminarian likes it or not.  The union of fire and iron is also apt so as to express the communicato idiomatum.  I recommend reading St. Cyril's Scholia on the Incarnation, especially parts 7-11, where he again uses the analogy of the body and soul in man, uses the unity of coal and fire, and wood overlaid with gold in the ark of the covenant.

The Seminarian says, "The Hypostatic union of the natures in Christ, which took place in the womb of the Virgin was not between soul and body."  HH Pope Shenouda never took the analogy literally to mean that what took place in the Virgin was merely soul and body.  The Seminarian further uses the Damascene quote to chide at HH's question of "how" the resurrection will take place, when in fact, he develops nothing but a red herring.  I would say this quote confirms HH's point of the mystery of the resurrection, not contradicts it.  I think it is silly and insulting to imply that HH did not believe in the resurrection.

The Unity of nature and the birth of Christ:
I'm starting to believe this Seminarian was trying to do some sort of homework and did not fill his quota for a 10 page essay in his class.  So he is fishing for an excuse to write some more.  I think this section is a waste and shows poor theology on the part of the seminarian.  The word "begotten" means "born".  There is no way around this.  We call Christ "Omonogenes", "Only Begotten".  The word "born" is also the same word in Greek "genes".  There is practically no difference.  We only add a qualifier afterwards.  In His divinity, He is "eternally" born from the Father.  In His humanity, He is born within time from the Virgin Theotokos.

In fact, this "born" vs. "begotten" problem ONLY exists in English.  In Arabic, as it is in Greek, there is no such distinction.  Perhaps, the translator should have used "begotten" for both divinity and humanity, but would it have made a difference for this seminarian?  He probably would still criticize HH for not making a clear distinction between both "begottens" just to add the mandatory extra 100 words to his essay.  And just so that my authority is not question, here is an online discussion from a Chalcedonian source who seem quite knowledgeable on this most vexing theological issue we are suffering from apparently.

The One Nature of the Incarnate Logos:
No controversy here.  Just more word fillers.  I wonder if the seminarian realized HH asked a rhetorical question concerning the risen Christ going through closed doors.

The Importance of the ”One Nature” for propitiation and redemption:
This section is a good example of HH speaking one language and the seminarian another language, and two talking past one another.  Perhaps, it's the fault of the translator for not being clear on the intentions of HH.  Being a son of the Coptic Church, I happen understand the language of my Pope with the confused nuances of his accents.  Let's examine the verses HH used:

"crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Corinthians 2:8 )
"denied the Holy One...killed the Prince of Life" (Acts 3:14-15)
"through Whom are all things...through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10)
"redemption through His blood...by whom all things are created" (Colossians 1:14-16)
"the First and the Last...was dead..."(Revelation 1:17-18)

I purposely took these verses out of context to show you the point of HH in quoting them.  In every single point, the verses emphasize a human quality of a DIVINE PERSON.  Human quality "crucified, denied, killed, through sufferings, through His blood, was dead" of a Divine Person "Lord of glory, Holy One, Prince of Life, through whom are all things, by whom all things are created, First and the Last".  Therefore, in none of these verses is the humanity separate from the divinity, but it is emphasized that the humanity belongs not to some random man, but to the Word of God Himself!  We do not say the human nature was crucified, but GOD was crucified in His humanity.  We stress the person, not the nature, or rather, the nature of the union is the incarnate hypostasis, "Theo Logo Sesarkomene".

Therefore, if one says "the human nature does something and the divine nature does something else", it is perceived in the mind of a Miaphysite that this separates the natures, and that the one on the Cross is not "Lord of glory, Holy One, Prince of Life, through whom are all things, by whom all things are created, First and the Last", but a mere human nature devoid of the fullness of the Godhead which dwells in Him bodily (Col. 2:9).  That is where the criticism of the Tome comes from.  Understandably, this is interpreted differently by our Chalcedonian brothers, so I do not object to the seminarians defense of Pope Leo.  But as I mentioned before, this is simple theology with simple history written for simpletons.  If the seminarian takes this as some sort of statement of faith representing all sophisticated OO theologians, then the seminarian learned nothing of OO theology.

The One nature and the suffering:
Once again, the intention of HH was that the One who suffered was the Word of God.  He took flesh after all so that He can experience all human actions and suffer, but doing so to a deified flesh that we may be deified in Him (here is where I add ancient OO theological intentions, not necessarily HH's thoughts).  The "One nature and the suffering" therefore recognizes that the second person of the Trinity did in fact die, and we, who are fully consubstantial with His humanity, who are baptized in Christ die with Him that we may be raised in Him and be filled with His divinity, which is fully consubstantial with His Father.  It is this principle that St. Cyril thought the Antiochians were too simple-minded (Letter 40 to Acacius of Melitene) to truly understand, and so he condescended to their weaknesses for not realizing the beauty of the salvific expression of "one nature".  I suppose in the same spirit, I should forgive the seminarian for his inability to understand Alexandrian theology.

to be continued...
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 04:23:50 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #305 on: June 01, 2016, 04:24:45 PM »
You are so great. Thanks again for your answer! I know greek because I am Greek so I know that the seminarian emphasised too much to the wrods begotten or born. It is ok for me. I know that Pope didn't mean that Jesus was created. I am persuaded that we have the same faith. I read your liturgies, your statements, your prayers... I like so much your tradition. I only have a question about the wills of Christ. As I know we EOs say that Jesus had 2 wills one human and one divine will to which the human one is submitted. What does Copts say about this?
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #306 on: June 01, 2016, 04:32:12 PM »
You are so great. Thanks again for your answer! I know greek because I am Greek so I know that the seminarian emphasised too much to the wrods begotten or born. It is ok for me. I know that Pope didn't mean that Jesus was created. I am persuaded that we have the same faith. I read your liturgies, your statements, your prayers... I like so much your tradition. I only have a question about the wills of Christ. As I know we EOs say that Jesus had 2 wills one human and one divine will to which the human one is submitted. What does Copts say about this?

I'll get to that one eventually  ;)

In summary, we believe Christ had one theandric will, which does not take away the full integrity of the wills of divinity and humanity.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 04:32:25 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #307 on: June 01, 2016, 04:34:51 PM »
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #308 on: June 01, 2016, 04:45:35 PM »
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.

So it is the same as us. Human will is submitted to the divine. Ok. It is impressive. I mean that our faith is absolutely the same. Maybe traditions differ but his is logic due to cultural differences. I didn't know in the past that Copts, Armenians etc... are the same like us and I realised it some months ago when I read in the news about Copts. I said "ah yes I remember that church" and I started to search about you. I pray for unity. Your theology is the same with Armenians, Ethiopians, Syrians...? Assyrian Church is different?
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #309 on: June 01, 2016, 10:01:57 PM »
Son of Man:
For this section, I had to do what I did not do until now, read the original document by HH Pope Shenouda.  The seminarian quoted something that I thought to myself, "did he really say that?"  This is what HH wrote in full context:

No doubt, the term "Son of Man" denotes the human nature of Christ just as the phrase
"Son of God" denotes His Divinity.
However, our Lord Jesus Christ used the term "Son of Man" on several occasions
where He meant "Son of God" of which I mention a few:


If one has a parent who is "fresh off the boat" as they say, with a heavy accent, one can understand what their parents say even if it may not make sense in English.  For instance, my folks say "close the TV" or "close the lights".  It makes no sense, and yet I know they really mean "turn off the tv/lights".  A funny expression in Arabic was translated literally in English to highlight some translational humor.  One of my uncles in Egypt used to tell me "Your night is egg", which in Arabic would mean "Your night is filled with luck."  To make an analogy to the above section, a confused man who does not understand all the colloquialisms of English may say "when I mean go to bed, I mean stay awake and go get bed."

These seemingly two contradictory sentences is a result of a "fresh off the boat" style of translation.  What the second sentence should be intended to say is that when our Lord Jesus Christ used the term "Son of Man", He would raise its dignity to the level of "Son of God".  This is a good example of the communicato idiomatum.  Now what HH did not say, I say it now based on OO soteriology.  These verses where the Son of Man does things the Son of God does are indications of all human nature being deified in Christ.  For inasmuch as He calls Himself "Son of Man", He who is already Son of God by nature, He brings all sons of men into the dignity of His divinity.

1.  "even the Son of Man which is in heaven" (John 3:13), is His own title of His deified humanity, and all humanity deified in Him, granting us the promise to ascend to the right hand of the Father and be co-heirs with Him.

2.  The interpretation of HH and Archbishop Theophylact of Ohrid is essentially the same thing.  To add to this contemplation on Matthew 12:8, we too become co-lords of the Sabbath, being freed from its misuse by the reformation of the Lord, that we can do work on the Sabbath, that is good work.  For man was not created for the Sabbath, but Sabbath for the man.

3.  "the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" (Matthew 9:6).  Once again, I find no difference between the contemplation of HH and the Damascene.  The same principle applies.  To add, the power of the keys of heaven, forgiving and remitting sins, was handed down to the Apostles.  He gave them a power that can only be described as uncreated.  Once again, a verse of deification.

4.  "the Son of man will come in the Glory of His Father with His angels" (Matthew 16:27).  I like the Palamite contemplation.  But I have a bone to pick.  When HH wrote "with His angels" meant divine nature, the seminarian seems to accuse HH of teaching some idea that angels are uncreated.  My patience seems to be wearing thin at this point with such a stupid red herring.  So I am going to let more intelligent minds read the original document and see for themselves in context the point of HH. 

Now for my added contemplation, St. Paul did teach, "Do you not know that we will judge angels?" (1 Corinthians 6:3)  By deification, when the Christ says the "Son of Man", even we become "co-judges", and we have angels under our authority.  As St. Athanasius writes, For because of our relationship to His Body we too have become God's temple, and in consequence are made God's sons, so that even in us the Lord is now worshipped. (Discourses against the Arians 1.47)

5.  Matt 25:31-34...nothing new to add.  The Seminarian is just magically and mysteriously being a contrarian without actually being contrary.

6.  Matt 26:63-65 and Acts 7:57.  The Son of Man sits at the right hand of the Father that we sons of men may also have that uncreated dignity by grace that THE Son of Man has by nature.  As for the quote of Archbishop Theophylact, if I was be a nuisance like the argument concerning "with the angels" earlier, I could take this quote out of context and accuse the good Archbishop of making the human nature consubstantial with the divine nature when he writes, "the Son of Man will be coming not from earth but from heaven."  But I am intelligent enough to know that's not what the Archbishop meant.  I wish more people would have the same intelligence when analyzing HH's words earlier.

7.  Please see numbers 4 and 5

8.  Please see number 6

Evidence from the Bible:

1.  "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17) is the voice of the Father on all those who are baptized in Christ.  As St. Athanasius writes, Therefore 'Father' is proper to the Son; and not 'creature,' but 'Son' is proper to the Father. Accordingly this passage also proves, that we are not sons by nature, but the Son who is in us ; and again, that God is not our Father by nature, but of that Word in us, in whom and because of whom we 'cry, Abba, Father' (Galatians 4:6). And so in like manner, the Father calls them sons in whomsoever He sees His own Son, and says, 'I begot.' since begetting is significant of a Son, and making is indicative of the works. And thus it is that we are not begotten first, but made; for it is written, 'Let Us make man Genesis 1:26;' but afterwards, on receiving the grace of the Spirit, we are said thenceforth to be begotten also (Discourse Against the Arians 2.59)  Therefore, when God Father speaks to His INCARNATE Son and proclaims "this is my beloved Son", we also receive the same proclamation.

The Seminarian continues to write "Interestingly enough Pope Shenouda nowhere quotes any of the passages where Christ clearly manifests His human nature, as for example in Matt 4:1-3, where Jesus hungers and is tempted by the devil. Did this happen in ”one nature” as well? Did the Lord’s fasting inflict hunger and temptation on the Divine Logos? Did the tempter lift up the Divine Logos and carry Him around?"  No where did HH deny the humanity of Christ.  When He uses these passages and says "One Nature", he is emphasizing both humanity and divinity in unison without any loss of integrity of either humanity or divinity.

But to answer the question to the seminarian, I would say, "Yes, the incarnate Logos did experience fasting, hunger, temptation."  Is it not written in the hymn "Omonogenes" that the Second Person of the Trinity was crucified on the Cross?  Why is this necessary?  Was Christ just LARPing in humanity?  No, but these actions are not merely a man, but the deified flesh of God the Word.  In partaking of hunger and temptation, He deifies them, and grants us the "fullness and uncreated weapon" of His divinity.  As St. Cyril says in his first letter to Succensus, We maintain, therefore, that Christ’s body is divine in so far as it is the body of God, adorned with unspeakable glory, incorruptible, holy, and life-giving; but none of the holy Fathers has ever thought or said that it was transformed into the nature of Godhead, and we have no intention of doing so either.  Likewise, in every human action and experience Christ undergoes, we too become "adorned with unspeakable glory, incorruptible, holy, and life-giving".

2.  Jn 1:15, 30:  Again, HH did not use this verse to deny the humanity of Christ.  As I said before, the Seminarian is just magically and mysteriously being a contrarian without actually being contrary.

3.  Jn. 1:18: Nothing really controversial here.  Neither HH nor the Seminarian contradict each other.

4.  and 5.  The few moments where the Seminarian seems to actually understand the English of the translator of HH's works.  I feel so overjoyed.  ::)

6. 7. and 8.  Nothing really controversial here.  Neither HH nor the Seminarian contradict each other.  Through His humanity, Christ communicates to us His divinity.

We are winding down and getting close to the conclusion of this paper.  In my next post, I will discuss the "one will and act" of Christ.  I invite you to read another paper I wrote in response to another more highly qualified contrarian, a response which Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick had the kindness to publish on his blog.  As is explained, I find nothing different dogmatically between the diotheletism of Maximus the Confessor the miatheletism of our OO Christological tradition.  One can say HH is in similar hands, but I will discuss that more in depth another time.  Let's just say, once again, this is a good example of simpleton theology in HH's case.

to be continued...
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #310 on: June 01, 2016, 11:14:07 PM »
I wish I could answer your question, but I don't know the answer.

This Coptic dictionary on page 98 sas that nature is associated with a fashion or something laid down. I can't read coptic, but it looks like they are saying it is the word ko or sipko. But I may easily be totally off.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #311 on: June 02, 2016, 12:57:45 AM »
chipkoo, jinkoo

I think that's what it says (it's similar to cyrillic, so you should be able to pick it up when you zoom in as much as you can)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 01:00:15 AM by minasoliman »
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #312 on: June 02, 2016, 02:41:21 AM »
Dear Mina, I've always wanted to sit down and write a reply refuting this seminarians baseless accusations, but you not only beat me to it, but you are doing an excellent job, a job that I could never frankly do. God bless you for your efforts. If you don't mind I will take what you said and make a PDF out of it.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #313 on: June 02, 2016, 02:50:21 AM »
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.

So it is the same as us. Human will is submitted to the divine. Ok. It is impressive. I mean that our faith is absolutely the same. Maybe traditions differ but his is logic due to cultural differences. I didn't know in the past that Copts, Armenians etc... are the same like us and I realised it some months ago when I read in the news about Copts. I said "ah yes I remember that church" and I started to search about you. I pray for unity. Your theology is the same with Armenians, Ethiopians, Syrians...? Assyrian Church is different?

Here is a quote by St. Severus on the wills of Christ that Mina shared a couple of weeks ago:


"Even less is Christ divided into two natures. He is indeed one from two, from divinity and humanity, one person and hypostasis, the one nature of the Logos, become flesh and perfect human being. For this reason he also displays two wills in salvific suffering, the one which requests, the other which is prepared, the one human, the other divine. As he voluntarily took upon himself death in the flesh, which was able to take over suffering and dissolved the domination of death by killing it through immortality—which the resurrection had shown clearly to all—so in the flesh, whose fruit he could take over—it was indeed rationally animated—he voluntarily took upon himself the passio of fear and weakness and uttered words of request, in order through the divine courage to destroy the power of that fear and to give courage to the whole of humanity, for he became after the first Adam the second beginning of our race." (Contra Grammarian III.33, Hovorun 26)

As far as the Assyrians are concerned, I'm not an expert on them and I have a soft spot for them, but some of them are almost pretty much Chalcedonians in their christology and others seem to be a bit Nestorianizing. There was an Assyrian Deacon on this board not too long ago and his arguments were frank Nestorianism. Nevertheless, I don't think most of them are what this Deacon presented. I've also heard that some of the Assyrians were coming closer to us when we had dialogue with them. Mina knows better than me regarding this subject, he also is of the opinion that their doctrine of Theosis in their tradition is deficient because of the influence from Theodore of Mopsuestia's theology. Their original problem was that in refuting Arianism, back in the 4th century, some of them developed a tradition that went overboard with the seperation of the two natures that they seemed like two people, or at best, a schizophrenic Christ, God forbid! If it was hard for God to trul participate in humanity and do human things, then it is also hard, even impossible, for us humans to become one with God. But that's my own weak 2 cents on them.
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Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
« Reply #314 on: June 02, 2016, 05:50:21 AM »
Really excellent series of responses Mina.
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