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« on: September 16, 2009, 07:23:37 PM »

First off, let me preface my words by saying that I do not intend to offend anyone with my words.  If such offense is caused, it is due to my ignorance of the Orthodox faith and entirely unintentional. I know that such issues are serious and should be handled delicately, which are my intentions.

I would like to discuss the human nature of Christ. It is my understanding that Christ inherited everything from us in the way of our human nature.  That is, he inherited humanity that was subjected to a fallen state and corruption.

I know that God in essence exists outside time, and by definition exists without change. (He was the same then  as He is now and as He will ever be) Is it appropriate then to say that Jesus’ humanity is not part of his essence, but has been joined to it by His energies?  In other words, is Jesus’ humanity joined to his divine nature in such a way that all of us can expect to be joined to His divine nature upon being united with Him in heavenly glory?

I apologize if this is starting to sound Nestorian in nature, but this is the way that I am currently able to reconcile in my mind how God’s nature (essence) has remained unchanged throughout history. In my mind, the eternal Word always existed everywhere in it’s unchanged state, and at one point in time, humanity became part of the Word, without changing the divine nature.

Am I way off base here? Any admonitions or  input would be appreciated!
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 07:30:21 PM »

I'd highly recommend St Cyril of Alexandria's "On the Unity of Christ", especially the SVS Press edition. It covers this sort of topic.
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 08:33:06 PM »

First off, let me preface my words by saying that I do not intend to offend anyone with my words.  If such offense is caused, it is due to my ignorance of the Orthodox faith and entirely unintentional. I know that such issues are serious and should be handled delicately, which are my intentions.

I would like to discuss the human nature of Christ. It is my understanding that Christ inherited everything from us in the way of our human nature.  That is, he inherited humanity that was subjected to a fallen state and corruption.

I know that God in essence exists outside time, and by definition exists without change. (He was the same then  as He is now and as He will ever be) Is it appropriate then to say that Jesus’ humanity is not part of his essence, but has been joined to it by His energies?  In other words, is Jesus’ humanity joined to his divine nature in such a way that all of us can expect to be joined to His divine nature upon being united with Him in heavenly glory?

I apologize if this is starting to sound Nestorian in nature, but this is the way that I am currently able to reconcile in my mind how God’s nature (essence) has remained unchanged throughout history. In my mind, the eternal Word always existed everywhere in it’s unchanged state, and at one point in time, humanity became part of the Word, without changing the divine nature.

Am I way off base here? Any admonitions or  input would be appreciated!


With Christ, two distinct essences and energies, on eternal-divine and one human, are united enhypostatically, that is, within His single divine person.   There is interpenetration without confusion.   With us, it is God interpenetrating by Energy.   Our human essence and energy is not dissolved, but rather made one, as an iron in fire.   But with Christ, it is not only interpenetration of energies, but also of essences within His single personhood.   As for how do you conceive of these distinctly, think of the human person, who is soul and body.   Both the soul and the body are distinct, one of a course material nature and the other of a spiritual nature.   The two come together to make a human.   They are not "mixed" into confusion, but both remain together interpenetrating one another with commixture or confusion into one single person. 
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2009, 12:59:46 AM »


I would like to discuss the human nature of Christ. It is my understanding that Christ inherited everything from us in the way of our human nature.  That is, he inherited humanity that was subjected to a fallen state and corruption.

Yes, this is true. And it has good that you have instinctively avoided the heresy of Julianism (which taught that Christ did not inherit corruption what-so-ever, and rather had a "distinct humanity", supposedly that of Adam). Christ inherited everything about our humanity; the only exception where His own is not like ours is that He was never in sin.


Is it appropriate then to say that Jesus’ humanity is not part of his essence,

If by "His essence", you mean the divine essence that the Word eternally possesses as the inherent essence of His hypostasis, then it is true that His humanity is not part of that essence. The concept of a union of ousia in Christ has not real standing in the Church. Even Cyril himself, who is the strongest of the Fathers on the oneness of Christ, wrote a treatise against the concept of "Synousia".


but has been joined to it by His energies?

Primarily the Church teaches that Christ's humanity and His divinity are joined by hypostatic union. That meaning that the two individuated ousia are brought together in conjunction to constitute one theanthropic subsistence.


In other words, is Jesus’ humanity joined to his divine nature in such a way that all of us can expect to be joined to His divine nature upon being united with Him in heavenly glory?

The answer to that would be no. Christ's humanity is joined to the divine on a level that we cannot rightfully even hope for. While it is true that His humanity did become deified in a way that we will eventually (God willing) be able to inherit, His union with the divine goes further than just this theosis. Our human essence is the inherent essence of our hypostases. Our self is formed in and of this human essence. And we will never attain to any other essence other than it. Christ is an entirely different matter. His human essence is not the one inherent to His hypostasis. His divine essence is the one that is inherent to Him. He later attained to this human ousia, but not really in the same fashion that we do ours. The self of His human essence is not an independent human self. Rather, the human nature is completed by its union with the Word. The person/self between the humanity of Christ is the divine Word. So no, Jesus is divine in a way that we could never be.


I apologize if this is starting to sound Nestorian in nature, but this is the way that I am currently able to reconcile in my mind how God’s nature (essence) has remained unchanged throughout history. In my mind, the eternal Word always existed everywhere in it’s unchanged state, and at one point in time, humanity became part of the Word, without changing the divine nature.

Well, the answer, as I am trying to show, is neither the opinion you are holding nor the one you are trying to avoid. It is not the divine ousia that became Incarnate. Nor is the humanity of Christ associated with the Word simply by theosis. But rather, it is the hypostasis of the Word who truly came to subsist in an instance of humanity (that never existed outside of union with Him) that He took into Himself as His own.
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 03:44:51 AM »

Ah ok, I'll probably have to do some more research on the terminology, but the general concept makes sense.  How do the EO views differ from the OO views on this subject? I know this topic is somewhat related to the schism in the 5th century, but aside from that I don't know much else.
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 02:06:07 PM »

May I ask a question? Was Jesus' body capable of comitting a sin? I know that it didn't commit any, since Christ had been cleansing it with His presence, but just asking.
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2009, 02:50:27 PM »


Ah ok, I'll probably have to do some more research on the terminology, but the general concept makes sense.  How do the EO views differ from the OO views on this subject? I know this topic is somewhat related to the schism in the 5th century, but aside from that I don't know much else.

As to what I have written in my post? I think all of that would apply to both Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. There isn't much difference between the two on this subject.
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2009, 02:51:12 PM »


May I ask a question? Was Jesus' body capable of comitting a sin? I know that it didn't commit any, since Christ had been cleansing it with His presence, but just asking.

Jesus' body is not a subject of action, for one thing.
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2009, 03:41:53 PM »


May I ask a question? Was Jesus' body capable of comitting a sin? I know that it didn't commit any, since Christ had been cleansing it with His presence, but just asking.

Jesus' body is not a subject of action, for one thing.
Indeed. The body is just that: a mixture of physical matter, with no will and thus no action on its own. Incarnation includes the entire human person as soul, spirit and body joint together. If you want to ask whether Jesus' human nature could have sinned if Jesus weren't God, the answer is: if a human being could have not sinned without God's hypostatic presence, I don't think He'd have needed to incarnate at all! So yes: Jesus' humanity without the Word in the same person would have been as Adam's nature: a perfect nature yet open to the tendency towards sin we all know the effects of.
Now: i've got a question open to all, I've been wondering how to answer this problem before but never managed to decide it. How would you describe VISUALLY the status of Christ in His incarnation?
For example, if the two natures are represented as rings...  is Jesus:
1) two rings linked with cords (energies)?
2) two rings crossing each other (like the Olympic rings)?
3) the ring of the divine essence with the human essence ring within?
4) the ring of the human essence with the divine essence ring within?
5) two rings (natures) included in a third ring (the one person)?
I think that Nestorians would privilege n.1, and maybe miaphysism would prefer images like 2 or 5... But what about Orthodoxy? I personally like n.2 because the two rings are distinct, yet they are unchangeably connected to each other, and they share a part of themselves without "mixture" or "confusion". I'd really like to know your opinions, my friends!

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2009, 04:18:27 PM »

Jesus' body is not a subject of action, for one thing.

I think he might have meant "humanity", much like St. Athanasios speaks of Christ's "soma" (body) without excluding His soul (or how Christ in the Gospels speaks of "soul" without excluding the body). But even so, the humanity of Christ is not a subject of action, but rather the person of the Incarnate Logos.
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2009, 04:34:19 PM »

Christ inherited everything from us in the way of our human nature.  That is, he inherited humanity that was subjected to a fallen state and corruption.

Yes, that's my understanding, too. But He sanctified this "wounded" humanity and healed it. That's why, AFAIK, St. John of Damascus writes that after His resurrection, Christ had no need in food (He ate fish in front of His apostles, but not because He had to - rather, because He wanted to show to the disciples that He remained fully human); He also no longer suffered from heat, cold, pain etc. (even though He remembered, and still remembers His sufferings); and He could transcend space, appearing to His disciples here and there.

I know that God in essence exists outside time, and by definition exists without change. (He was the same then  as He is now and as He will ever be) Is it appropriate then to say that Jesus’ humanity is not part of his essence, but has been joined to it by His energies?  In other words, is Jesus’ humanity joined to his divine nature in such a way that all of us can expect to be joined to His divine nature upon being united with Him in heavenly glory?

Vladimir Lossky writes in his "Dogmatic Theology" that Christ is unique in that in His one Person united are the two NATURES, Divine and human. In our resurrected persons, however (if I understand Lossky correctly), the nature still will be one, human. However, nothing will then "shield" the Divine energies from reaching us. In that sense, God will be everything to each and every one of us - He will be our "locality and home and clothing and food and drink and light and riches and kingdom" (St. Gregory of Nyssa, quoted after A. Kalomiros's "River of Fire," ch. XVIII).
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2009, 05:17:16 PM »


If you want to ask whether Jesus' human nature could have sinned if Jesus weren't God, the answer is: if a human being could have not sinned without God's hypostatic presence, I don't think He'd have needed to incarnate at all! So yes: Jesus' humanity without the Word in the same person would have been as Adam's nature: a perfect nature yet open to the tendency towards sin we all know the effects of.

But this has no bearing on what could/would have been possible. If you set up a situation that is not real (the humanity of Jesus existing without union with the Word), then you cannot hope to entertain what would have been possible. You cannot consider what could have happened to the humanity of Jesus outside of union with the Word because there is no existence of the humanity of Jesus outside of union with the Word.
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2009, 05:20:05 PM »


Now: i've got a question open to all, I've been wondering how to answer this problem before but never managed to decide it. How would you describe VISUALLY the status of Christ in His incarnation?
For example, if the two natures are represented as rings...  is Jesus:
1) two rings linked with cords (energies)?
2) two rings crossing each other (like the Olympic rings)?
3) the ring of the divine essence with the human essence ring within?
4) the ring of the human essence with the divine essence ring within?
5) two rings (natures) included in a third ring (the one person)?
I think that Nestorians would privilege n.1, and maybe miaphysism would prefer images like 2 or 5... But what about Orthodoxy? I personally like n.2 because the two rings are distinct, yet they are unchangeably connected to each other, and they share a part of themselves without "mixture" or "confusion". I'd really like to know your opinions, my friends!

In Christ,   Alex

Why are you treating "Miaphysitism" and "Orthodoxy" as mutually exclusive?
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2009, 05:21:26 PM »

Jesus' body is not a subject of action, for one thing.

I think he might have meant "humanity", much like St. Athanasios speaks of Christ's "soma" (body) without excluding His soul (or how Christ in the Gospels speaks of "soul" without excluding the body). But even so, the humanity of Christ is not a subject of action, but rather the person of the Incarnate Logos.

Yes. Regardless, I was trying to point out that the only subject within Christ is the Word and this would have applied even if he had referred to the "human nature" rather than "Jesus' body".
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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2009, 06:01:18 PM »

Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2009, 06:08:47 PM »


Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?

If I understand you correctly, the answer is no. Christ had a human soul on top of a divine nature. He assumed an entire human nature, both body and soul. Accordingly, He is understood as having two intellects (human and divine) and two wills (human and divine), yet still in the context of the one subsistence.
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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2009, 06:44:44 PM »

Good health to everyone!

I believe that the word “human” is especially inaccurate when speaking of Christ. The connotation is that man has become hewn by the devil, as opposed to “man” who submits to God. Anyone should be able to learn that Christ is both fully “man” and fully “God” so if we try to adulterate the concept by using the word “human” it is actually a disgrace to the whole idea. I believe that the word “human” should be reserved only for when we are speaking of those people in submission to satan.

Forgive, brother John
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2009, 06:53:21 PM »

This is a healthy discussion. I am learning much from it.
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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2009, 07:15:52 PM »

Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?

No. The idea that Christ did not have a human soul/spirit is called Appollinarianism. As Deusveritasest said, His humanity was complete - He assumed all that we are, save sin.
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2009, 07:44:09 PM »

Good health to everyone!

I believe that the word “human” is especially inaccurate when speaking of Christ. The connotation is that man has become hewn by the devil, as opposed to “man” who submits to God. Anyone should be able to learn that Christ is both fully “man” and fully “God” so if we try to adulterate the concept by using the word “human” it is actually a disgrace to the whole idea. I believe that the word “human” should be reserved only for when we are speaking of those people in submission to satan.

Forgive, brother John


Huh?
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2009, 07:47:54 PM »


Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?

If I understand you correctly, the answer is no. Christ had a human soul on top of a divine nature. He assumed an entire human nature, both body and soul. Accordingly, He is understood as having two intellects (human and divine) and two wills (human and divine), yet still in the context of the one subsistence.

BTW, don't take everything that I am saying as the Oriental Orthodox belief, just because I identify as an inquirer of their faith. I am coming from the Eastern Orthodox tradition, and exploring Oriental Orthodoxy. Thus, some of my ideas are, in a way, mediations between the two traditions. The idea I expressed, that Christ has two wills, is more clearly an Eastern Orthodox teaching, and a good amount of Oriental Orthodox would not be willing to admit to this teaching. More commonly an OO would say that Christ has one theandric will.
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2009, 08:25:39 PM »

Good health to everyone!

I believe that the word “human” is especially inaccurate when speaking of Christ. The connotation is that man has become hewn by the devil, as opposed to “man” who submits to God. Anyone should be able to learn that Christ is both fully “man” and fully “God” so if we try to adulterate the concept by using the word “human” it is actually a disgrace to the whole idea. I believe that the word “human” should be reserved only for when we are speaking of those people in submission to satan.

Forgive, brother John


Excuse me, John, but the word human is simply derived from the Latin word homo, meaning man, which has absolutely nothing to do with "being hewn by the devil". Yet again, your predudices are showing in a glaring way. But I get the distinct impression my words will have little, if any, effect on you, given your blinkered proclivities.  Roll Eyes Sad
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« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2009, 09:03:00 PM »


Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?

If I understand you correctly, the answer is no. Christ had a human soul on top of a divine nature. He assumed an entire human nature, both body and soul. Accordingly, He is understood as having two intellects (human and divine) and two wills (human and divine), yet still in the context of the one subsistence.

AFAIK, absolutely correct. Human nature of Christ = the human body and the human soul. Divine nature of Christ = the nature of Logos, God the Word, incomprehensible, absolutely immaterial, body-less, eternal, unchangeable, transcending time, space, and all our understanding.
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2009, 09:13:26 PM »

Good health to everyone!

I believe that the word “human” is especially inaccurate when speaking of Christ. The connotation is that man has become hewn by the devil, as opposed to “man” who submits to God. Anyone should be able to learn that Christ is both fully “man” and fully “God” so if we try to adulterate the concept by using the word “human” it is actually a disgrace to the whole idea. I believe that the word “human” should be reserved only for when we are speaking of those people in submission to satan.

Forgive, brother John


Forgive, brother John, but this is simply fantasies. The Nicene Creed, in its original Greek, says that Christ "Τόν δι’ ημάς τούς ανθρώπους καί διά τήν ημετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα εκ τών ουρανών καί σαρκωθέντα εκ Πνεύματος ‘Αγίου καί Μαρίας τής Παρθένου καί ενανθρωπήσαντα" (for us, humans, and for our salvation came down from heaven and became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary, and "enanthropisanta" - "en-human"-ized"). The last expression is rendered in English as "became man" or "became fully human" - but in some other languages it is closer to this 'en-HUMAN-ized," for example in Old Church Slavonic it is "вочeловeчeся" (literally, "en-HUMAN-ized"). The word "man" in the original Greek, AFAIK, is "ander," and not "anthropos."
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« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2009, 09:33:25 PM »

"enanthropisanta" - "en-human"-ized").

Indeed. "Inhominated" would be more appropriate than the normal "Incarnate."
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2009, 11:15:28 PM »

Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?

No. The idea that Christ did not have a human soul/spirit is called Appollinarianism. As Deusveritasest said, His humanity was complete - He assumed all that we are, save sin.

So in this sense, is his humanity the same as that of the Theotokos?
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« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2009, 11:23:34 PM »

Yes.
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« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2009, 12:30:34 AM »

Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?

No. The idea that Christ did not have a human soul/spirit is called Appollinarianism. As Deusveritasest said, His humanity was complete - He assumed all that we are, save sin.

So in this sense, is his humanity the same as that of the Theotokos?

With the exception that EO and OO generally believe that Mary at least inherited ancestral sin, whereas we do not believe that the Word did.
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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2009, 02:43:32 AM »

Hm ok this is where I get confused.  I thought ancestral sin was basically inheriting the fallen human state and tendency to sin, which I thought Jesus inherited from us.  Is there a distinction between this and ancestral sin?
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2009, 02:52:22 AM »


Hm ok this is where I get confused.  I thought ancestral sin was basically inheriting the fallen human state and tendency to sin, which I thought Jesus inherited from us.  Is there a distinction between this and ancestral sin?

Primarily ancestral sin was/is a breach of communion with God, a spiritual death, a loss of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a loss of sanctifying grace. Jesus never possessed any of these qualities of what can collectively be considered a loss of participation in the divine life. This is what the Fall, proper, is. The tendency to sin, physical death, and various other corruptions are merely a consequence of this collective Fall. Jesus only inherited these consequences of the Fall, not the Fall from divinization itself.
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« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2009, 04:35:56 AM »


Hm ok this is where I get confused.  I thought ancestral sin was basically inheriting the fallen human state and tendency to sin, which I thought Jesus inherited from us.  Is there a distinction between this and ancestral sin?

Primarily ancestral sin was/is a breach of communion with God, a spiritual death, a loss of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a loss of sanctifying grace. Jesus never possessed any of these qualities of what can collectively be considered a loss of participation in the divine life. This is what the Fall, proper, is. The tendency to sin, physical death, and various other corruptions are merely a consequence of this collective Fall. Jesus only inherited these consequences of the Fall, not the Fall from divinization itself.

Hmm ok, so ancestral sin is a state, not an act, and baptism removes this "ancestral sin" whereby restoring one to a proper state of communion with God. Sorry to diverge, but I needed to clarify that in my mind before I moved forward on this topic.
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« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2009, 07:11:18 AM »

Dear deusveritasest, I was never meant to separate the two churches. My purpose, on the contrary, was the opposite: to verify that Eastern Orthodoxy ("Chalcedonian" if you like) and Oriental Orthodoxy (pre-Chalcedonian or "miaphysite") indeed believe one and the same thing on the subject despite the different languages contrast with each other. When an image such as this could be used, this might help in explaining the respective views and verifying how we are all united in the same faith even when language obstacles dialogue.
I'm sorry if I offended you or the other Oriental Orthodox on this thread, I was not supposed to saw.. everybody knows I love the Oriental Orthodox Churches and I think our reunion should be the MAIN purpose of the hierarchs, theologians and faithful of the respective traditions. Might God help in the process!

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2009, 07:33:52 AM »

Wasn't the Divine nature the soul/spirit of the body? In the same sense we incarnate, the soul/spirit is the part that matters, the Nous. Wasn't it the same with our Lord, with the exception of the soul/spirit/Nous being Christ?

No. The idea that Christ did not have a human soul/spirit is called Appollinarianism. As Deusveritasest said, His humanity was complete - He assumed all that we are, save sin.

So in this sense, is his humanity the same as that of the Theotokos?

As Salpy said above, yes, yes! To me personally, this is perhaps one of the most striking things of our faith. The Logos, God the Word, the second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, united in Himself the eternal, unchanging Divine nature with our human nature. The Fathers teach that the nature does not ever exist in an abstract sense - it is always "hypostatical," or, plainly, "someone's." So, the humanity, the human nature of the Logos did not exist until, at the moment of Annunciation, the "zygote" (human cell with its DNA, genes, program for the development of a future organism) in the absolutely human body of the Most Holy Theotokos started to grow into an embryo, and then fetus, and then baby, and then child, and then man Jesus Christ. His humanity was the product of Her humanity. He has Her genetic code and Her human traits: Her color and shape of the eyes, Her facial features and expressions, Her manner of speaking, posture, smile, etc. As God, He has no "structure," no "complexity" (Greek Απλους, "simple," in the sense, not consisting of anything but just being), no temporal and spacial limitations (at once everywhere, and ALL everywhere or anywhere), invisible, untouchable, incomprehensible. As man, however, He has our human body (even though "transfigured," with new properties that we don't have yet, like the ability to go through locked doors, or the ability to appear simultaneously in different places, etc.), and absolutely human features, human individual person, which He took from the human person of a humble Hebrew maiden, the daughter of Stt. Joakim and Anna! And when (and if...) we enter His eternal Kingdom after the resurrection, we will quite literally be sitting at His dining table, and He will put a towel around His waist, and wash our feet...
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« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2009, 10:13:53 AM »

Deusveritasest and Heorhij, thank you a lot for saving me. Wink
I asked my theologian today too, but he probably didn't understand my question. He said that the soul which incarnated the body was the Divine Nature.
Are you sure that this is what Apollinanism states? Wikipedia says that it's basically Jesus having a Divine mind (thinking, miracles et cetera) and a human soul (for feelings, "fueling" the body et cetera).

 Undecided

I really need some help, I guess.
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« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2009, 10:51:31 AM »

I asked my theologian today too, but he probably didn't understand my question. He said that the soul which incarnated the body was the Divine Nature.

He either did not understand you, or he is teaching heresy. Christ had a complete human soul (like you and I), hypostatically united, but never confused or replaced, with His divinity.
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« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2009, 11:58:32 AM »

Deusveritasest and Heorhij, thank you a lot for saving me. Wink
I asked my theologian today too, but he probably didn't understand my question. He said that the soul which incarnated the body was the Divine Nature.
Are you sure that this is what Apollinanism states? Wikipedia says that it's basically Jesus having a Divine mind (thinking, miracles et cetera) and a human soul (for feelings, "fueling" the body et cetera).

Yes, GammaRay, as far as I understand, the idea that in Christ the body is human and the soul divine is the main point of what the Church calls the Apollinarian heresy.

Christ has our human body (albeit "glorified," transfigured," with new features), AND also a human soul (or, according to St. John of Damascus, "the reasoning soul").

In Him there are two natures, and two wills (Divine and human).
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« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2009, 06:34:20 PM »


Hm ok this is where I get confused.  I thought ancestral sin was basically inheriting the fallen human state and tendency to sin, which I thought Jesus inherited from us.  Is there a distinction between this and ancestral sin?

Primarily ancestral sin was/is a breach of communion with God, a spiritual death, a loss of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and a loss of sanctifying grace. Jesus never possessed any of these qualities of what can collectively be considered a loss of participation in the divine life. This is what the Fall, proper, is. The tendency to sin, physical death, and various other corruptions are merely a consequence of this collective Fall. Jesus only inherited these consequences of the Fall, not the Fall from divinization itself.

Hmm ok, so ancestral sin is a state, not an act, and baptism removes this "ancestral sin" whereby restoring one to a proper state of communion with God. Sorry to diverge, but I needed to clarify that in my mind before I moved forward on this topic.

Well, for Adam and Eve the state was taken on because of and in the midst of an act. For them the ancestral sin was their own sin, an action causing a condition. It is for their descendants that ancestral sin is not an act, but rather the condition inherited because of that ancestral act.

Also, even the terminology "remove" must be used in quotes because it is not apparent that it is literally true. The Latin understanding entertained some ideas such as "the guilt of original sin", "the participation in the very sin of Adam by the whole human race", and "the stain of original sin". In all these ideas a literal removing can be understood as what happens at Baptism. However, if you did not notice, the conditions that the Eastern mind understands as constituting ancestral sin are more so a lack and a loss than they are a blemish. "Loss of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit", "loss of sanctifying grace", "spiritual death" (a loss of full life in the nous), and "loss of communion with God". Because of this, it is best to realize that our speak of "removal" of ancestral sin is primarily figurative. With respect to ancestral sin, more so Baptism is a restoration of something that was lacking than it is a removal. A removal of blemish comes into play with personal sins.
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« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2009, 06:36:38 PM »


Dear deusveritasest, I was never meant to separate the two churches. My purpose, on the contrary, was the opposite: to verify that Eastern Orthodoxy ("Chalcedonian" if you like) and Oriental Orthodoxy (pre-Chalcedonian or "miaphysite") indeed believe one and the same thing on the subject despite the different languages contrast with each other. When an image such as this could be used, this might help in explaining the respective views and verifying how we are all united in the same faith even when language obstacles dialogue.
I'm sorry if I offended you or the other Oriental Orthodox on this thread, I was not supposed to saw.. everybody knows I love the Oriental Orthodox Churches and I think our reunion should be the MAIN purpose of the hierarchs, theologians and faithful of the respective traditions. Might God help in the process!

In Christ,   Alex

Hmmm. Well. Why does it seem like in this phrase:

"I think that Nestorians would privilege n.1, and maybe miaphysism would prefer images like 2 or 5... But what about Orthodoxy?"

You are setting up "Miaphysitism" and "Orthodoxy" as distinct and exclusive realities?
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« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2009, 06:39:20 PM »


He has Her genetic code and Her human traits: Her color and shape of the eyes, Her facial features and expressions, Her manner of speaking, posture, smile, etc

Are you suggesting that Christ's genetic structure does not vary from Mary's?
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« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2009, 06:47:10 PM »

Deusveritasest and Heorhij, thank you a lot for saving me. Wink
I asked my theologian today too, but he probably didn't understand my question. He said that the soul which incarnated the body was the Divine Nature.
Are you sure that this is what Apollinanism states? Wikipedia says that it's basically Jesus having a Divine mind (thinking, miracles et cetera) and a human soul (for feelings, "fueling" the body et cetera).

 Undecided

I really need some help, I guess.

Well, there is some truth to what Wikipedia is saying, but it's not properly expressing the situation, if this is exactly what was been said. Now, we understand that animals are animated with a spirit that is not found in non-living things. What makes the human soul distinct is the nous, the "eye of the soul", the rational core of the human soul that makes it rational and thus our being rational. Now, Apollinarianism does not suggest that Christ did not have a human/animal spirit what-so-ever. Rather, it suggests that the "thinking principle" of the spirit, the nous, of the "human nature" of Christ was rather the divine mind of the Logos, rather than Christ actually having a human thinking principle. As such, a particular criticism of Apollinaris was that he established a "human nature" that was not in essence human, but a more carnal and primitive form of humanity, because it did not have a human thinking principle. Numerous Fathers attacked this idea and established at the council at Constantinople in 381 (the Second Ecumenical Council) that Christ had a complete human nature, including a complete human soul, meaning with a human nous or thinking principle, on top of having a divine thinking principle as the Word.

So even to say that Christ had an emotional/carnal principle of animation but the divine thinking principle replacing the human one would be heretical. Christ must have both a divine and human intellect.

I know a fair amount about this issue, personally, because I was once (unknowingly for a while) an adherent to the Apollinarian heresy.
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« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2009, 09:29:00 AM »


He has Her genetic code and Her human traits: Her color and shape of the eyes, Her facial features and expressions, Her manner of speaking, posture, smile, etc

Are you suggesting that Christ's genetic structure does not vary from Mary's?

Apparetly it does - He is a man, She is a woman, so they must differ at least in one pair of chromosomes (He XY, She XX). We don't know how Christ's Y chromosome was formed, it's perhaps what one calls a "mystery." Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2009, 09:36:27 AM »

So even to say that Christ had an emotional/carnal principle of animation but the divine thinking principle replacing the human one would be heretical. Christ must have both a divine and human intellect.
So, the soul (the one humans and animals share) was the same for Jesus Christ, but 'the eye of the soul' (the one that humans have) was both Divine and human, correct?

Quote
I know a fair amount about this issue, personally, because I was once (unknowingly for a while) an adherent to the Apollinarian heresy.
Same here!

I'd like to thank everyone for helping me so far, all of you, thanks.
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« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2009, 10:23:54 AM »

So, the soul (the one humans and animals share) was the same for Jesus Christ, but 'the eye of the soul' (the one that humans have) was both Divine and human, correct?

If I recall correctly, the Chalcedonian dogmat says that in the Person of Jesus Christ, there is perfect (or "full") Divinity and perfect (or "full") humanity, and that these two do not "mix," or, in other words, do not "become" one another (Divinity remains divine without becoming human, and humanity remains human, without becoming Divine). He is "in two natures, unconfusedly" (Greek "en dio fisesin asigkhitos") (http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/main/chalcedon/chalcedonian_definition.shtml). St. John of Damascus very consistently writes about the HUMANITY of Christ that it consists of a human body and a HUMAN "reasonable soul." The Deity, apparently, does not have any "soul" because the Deity cannot be "disected" into "parts."

In addition to the two natures, in one Person of Christ there are two "wills" (Greek "thelima," volition, will), one Divine and one human. The teaching that denied two wills in Christ and said that He has only one will (Divine), was condemned by the Church as the heresy of "monothelitism" after a very long battle, in the 7th century (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monothelitism). At some point, monothelitism was a prevailing trend, so that even the Constantinople Patriarch Sergius and the Roman pope Honorius were monothelitists. According to some hagiographical sources, St. Maximos the Confessor suffered a terribly painful and humiliating ordeal of having his tongue cut off, because he was among those very few in his time who spoke against monothelitism.
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« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2009, 04:13:59 PM »


Dear deusveritasest, I was never meant to separate the two churches. My purpose, on the contrary, was the opposite: to verify that Eastern Orthodoxy ("Chalcedonian" if you like) and Oriental Orthodoxy (pre-Chalcedonian or "miaphysite") indeed believe one and the same thing on the subject despite the different languages contrast with each other. When an image such as this could be used, this might help in explaining the respective views and verifying how we are all united in the same faith even when language obstacles dialogue.
I'm sorry if I offended you or the other Oriental Orthodox on this thread, I was not supposed to saw.. everybody knows I love the Oriental Orthodox Churches and I think our reunion should be the MAIN purpose of the hierarchs, theologians and faithful of the respective traditions. Might God help in the process!

In Christ,   Alex

Hmmm. Well. Why does it seem like in this phrase:

"I think that Nestorians would privilege n.1, and maybe miaphysism would prefer images like 2 or 5... But what about Orthodoxy?"

You are setting up "Miaphysitism" and "Orthodoxy" as distinct and exclusive realities?

Well, just because I was trying to verify that Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox believe the same thing. Since I can just GUESS until I hear the positions of some Oriental Orthodox, how can I be sure? And anyway, the Oriental Orthodox may have an Orthodox faith, but until an official statement of common faith and a reunion with the Chalcedonians, I assume them to be still "less Orthodox" or better "non-canonical" because of the schism. I use the same kind of distinction on the schismatic Chalcedonians, I mean the many little churches who are Orthodox in everything but aren't in communion with the EP. Schism - even when caused by incomprehensions - is nevertheless a sin affecting faith as any other, and even a dangerous one because it contrasts with Christ's plan and prayer "That they may all be one".

In Christ,  Alex
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« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2009, 02:38:38 AM »

Ok, I would like to pose another question if I may.  Christ's humanity died, yes.  However, his divinity did not. 

At the point of his death, did his divinity separate from his body for a period of time and then later come back into reunion with it at the resurrection? If so, did his dinivity remain connected to the human soul, (which remained immortal throughout the death and resurrection), but separate from the body during the period of death?

Or perhaps, did his divinity remained attached to soul and body throughout death and resurrection?

This phenomenon is quite puzzling to me!
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