I went to drive to a Syriac Archdiocesan center a couple of months ago in North Jersey to buy a book not available easily online, "The Syriac Chronicle of Michael Rabo" translated by Matti Moosa. The reason for buying this book, besides adding it to my Oriental Orthodox Syriac collection, is that it does go through a Syriac perspective of the council of Manzikert and gives a Syriac set of ten doctrinal anathemas agreed by both the Syriacs and the Armenians in this unifying council. To be quite honest, after reading the account and the anathemas, I left more confused about this council.
First off, it seems in this council, some people claim that neither the name of Severus or Julian was mentioned as condemned or venerated (since up to this time, the Armenians actually anathematized Severus). So the question of veneration was left open to each church without enforcement. However, based on the background story by Michael Rabbo, Julian was a heretic and condemned.
Even when you read the contexts of the story leading up to this council (pp. 497-9), there might be some confusion for this discrepancy. Apparently, the whole issue fired up again with an archimandrite named Gabriel of the Sassonian's monastery. According to this, he "duped" the Armenians into thinking that the Syriacs believed that Christ's body was susceptible to corruption and that Severus and Jacob Baradaeus also believed this. The issue of "duped" is interesting. When I kept reading, it seems that Gabriel was telling the Armenians that Syriacs believed that Christ's flesh was corruptible even after Resurrection.
When Gabriel was summoned in the council, they asked him to anathematize Julian. He refused, so "they tore up his stole and expelled him according to their custom.
" The Armenian and Syriac bishops then continued to deliberate on the word "corruption" and try to give an understanding of the terminology so that no confusion ensues. The Armenians seem to have defined "corruption" as death and decay. Whereas the Syriacs tried to prove first using nature concerning the fact that a body susceptible to death is corruptible, and then when resurrected, is incorruptible. The Armenians wanted Scriptural proof only. So the Syriac replied used Acts 13:34 and Philippians 3:21. This seemed to corroborate with the Armenian translation of the Scriptures, and the Armenians were thus convinced afterwards. Now here's the interesting part, and I will quote Michael Rabo on this point:
"They reformulated the doctrinal passages that needed rectification in a manner that satisfied the two sides of the Syrians and the Armenians. However, they compromised a little lest they relapse to the former disputation. They resolved that anything that does not mar the truth refutes the vicious teaching of the heretics. In this manner, they achieved the union between them.
" And then they went on to say that they celebrated the Eucharist together. Then the document of Manazkert, which contains the name of the bishops, statement of faith of Manazkert, and the 10 anathemas.
It seems therefore, that some "compromising" language was left, but Julian was still condemned as a heretic and therefore, the doctrine of Severus prevailed afterwards. So the words of the ten anathemas written in Manazkert should be understood as the teachings of Severus, despite the confusion of the language given in the anathemas. This is why a lot of scholars like Fr. VC Samuel would say that the Armenians after this council accepted the doctrines of St. Severus despite what Seda S. says.
Now, earlier I mentioned the possibility that Severus and Julian were not mentioned by name for veneration or condemnation. If you only have the document of Manazkert with the statement of faith and anathemas, this is true. But if you accept also the background story given by Michael Rabo, we have what seems to be the missing minutes and details of the council that seems to show a condemnation of Julian as a heretic that Armenians like vasnTearn and Seda S. seem to not have readily available to them. So this needs to be addressed as well. And why did Michael Rabo mention a "little compromise" in theological language? That also needs explanation. Was Gabriel the archimandrite condemned for Julianist views as Michael Rabo said, or was he merely condemned for being deceptive in explaining the doctrine of the Syriac Church? These are questions that need to be investigated in depth.
Second, the 10 anathemas, which I'll type down now (Book 11, Chapter 20, pp. 499-500) (the question marks are my emphasis):1. Who does not confess that the consubstantial Holy Trinity is one nature, one Godhead, three qnume (hypostases) and three adored persons, and they are equal and perfect, let him be anathema.
2. Who does not confess that the Word of God has been truly incarnated from the Holy Virgin, that he took from her a created and finite, that is, limited body, or in other words, he took a body, soul, and mind, but who say that Christ was manifested in an imaginary and a not real form, let him be anathema.
3. Who says that the Word of God did not take a body subjected to death, sin (?) and corruption, but took a body like the body of Adam before the fall, and by grace was not subject to sin and corruption, let him be anathema.
4. Who does not confess the one nature of the divinity and the humanity, that is of the incarnated Christ who is a union of ht divinity and the humanity, in an incomprehensible and ineffable manner, without the mixture or division or confusion of the two (natures), let him be anathema.
5. Who does not confess that Christ is one that is God and man, but divides him saying that God is one thing and man is another thing, let him be anathema.
6. Who does not say that the body of Christ is subject to corruption and not glorified since since he was in the womb until the resurrection, contrary to what the prophets, the Apostles, and the father doctor say, that he became incorruptible, glorified and perfect after the Resurrection, let him be anathema.
7. Who does not confess that the personal body of Christ is impassible (?) and subject to death by its nature, but say that it is passible and subject to death by virtue of the divine nature, let him be anathema.
8. Who does not confess that Christ suffered in the body the human passions, save sin, but says that he suffered in the divinity, or says that his body did not take a part in the human passions, and that the corruptible (?) body endured these passions, let him be anathema.
9. Who does not believe that Christ endured sufferings in an incorruptible (?) manner, or attribute corruption (?) to the passions, and does not say same as the prophets, Apostles, and the Orthodox fathers said, let him be anathema.
10. We anathematize all heresies and what is written about them by so and so, and we accept the testimonies of the holy fathers.
Now compare this to a translation from Syriac made by "Seda S."
(an Armenian) of the monachos forum (he only translated the relevant ones):2. If someone does not confess the Word of God being inhominated from the holy Virgin, uniting to Himself a created and distinct body, that is, saying more precisely, body, soul and mind, but says Christ was manifest in semblance and likeness and not in truth, let him be anathema.
3. If someone says God the Word did not unite to Himself from our mortal, sinful and corruptible body, but from the body that Adam had before his transgression, and that was, by grace, immortal, sinless and incorruptible, let him be anathema.
6. Anyone who says the flesh of Christ is corriptible and not glorified and imperfect according to the union, and thinks He was corruptible, unglorified and imperfect from the womb of His Mother until the resurrection, in another sense than it was used by the prophets, the apostles, the fathers and the teachers*, and that He became incorruptible, glorified and perfect first after the resurrection, let him be anathema.
*) The Armenian version doesn't have the words, 'in another sense than it was used by the prophets, the apostles, the fathers and the teachers'.
7. Anyone who does not confess that the true (?) body of Christ according to nature is passible and mortal, that since He is God, He is impassible and immortal, but says He is passible and mortal in the divine nature and is impassible and immortal in the human nature, let him be anathema.
8. Anyone who does not confess that Christ in the human body bore all human passions, except for sin, but says He is fallen under passions according to the divinity, or says that His body did not experience human passions and a corruptible body experienced them, let him be anathema.
9. Anybody who does not confess that Christ experienced the passions incorruptibly, or considers that the passions are corruption for Him, and <does> not <confess>, as the prophets, the apostles and the orthodox teachers taught, let him be anathema. [/I]
Soooo.....yea, in some parts, it seems to support Severus, and in other parts it seems to either be grammatically nonsensical, or possibly a compromise towards Julianism in some sense.
Anathema number 3 is very clearly pro-Severian and anti-Julian, anathematizing anyone who believes that Christ has a prelapsarian flesh, and not a flesh susceptible to death and corruption.
Anathema number 6 from Matti Moosa's translation is also very pro-Severian and anti-Julian, that Christ had a corruptible flesh from the womb until the Resurrection. But Seda S's translation is missing the negative from the beginning, "Anyone who does not say..." So that makes Seda S's translation completely opposite from that of Matti Moosa.
Moosa's anathema number 7 is very confusing, but Seda S's translation seems to make more sense and it is Seda S's translation that makes it pro-Severian and anti-Julian. My question mark on Moosa is on the word "impassible". If that was a mistake by Moosa, that the word should be "passible", it would generally agree with Seda S's translation.
The only thing that may be a compromise towards Julian would be anathemas numbers 8 and 9, which is seems to have agreement between Moosa and Seda S, the idea that the passions are experienced by Christ in an "incorruptible manner" is interesting in addition to the denial that the corruptible flesh experienced passions. Does it take into account the idea from Michael Rabo's background story that "corruption" is death and decay, that passions are not "death and decay"? I don't know, but certainly there seems to be confusion in definitions, and maybe it's this anathema that was given a "compromise".
That's my little research that I have thus far regarding this interesting council in 726 AD. The confusion of this subject is why I did not discuss this in my essay in Fr. Aidan's blog.