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Author Topic: The Hypostasis of Christ's Humanity  (Read 4822 times) Average Rating: 0
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pathofsolitude
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« on: November 20, 2007, 06:17:14 PM »

Hello ozgeorge. I think you are a decent guy.

So this doctor of yours treats your finger as though it was separate from the rest of you, and writes up a report and files it in a seperate file in a folder marked "pathofsolitude's finger" and sends the bill to your finger.
I suggest you get a second opinion.

Silly silly. What you are talking about would never happen. Neither do Roman Catholics try to do anything similar to the parts of Jesus.

Quote
That's funny. I thought it was the Nestorians who accused the Miaphysites of being pseudoApollinarian.

And some educated OOs.

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So is the Divinity of Christ also an hypostasis? Is so, Christ has two hypostases- therefore the Holy Trinity is a quartet.

Or... the humanity of your Christ doesnt really exist. Do you realize that the Byzantines say that there is no human existence in Christ? A hypostasis is a particular existence or entity.

Quote
Do Angels have hypostases even though they do not have "concrete" bodies?

By "concrete" I mean an actual particular existent thing. Every existent thing is a hypostasis.

Quote
Could you please explain how "the Byzantines" as you call them can be considerered "cryptomonophysites" by the Oriental Orthodox considering the fact that the schism came about because "the Byzantines" were diaphysites? You really should do your homework before using big words.

Its one of the great ironies of history. It is documented in "The Council of Chalcedon ReExamined" by Fr Samuel in I think Chapter 14. I will post some quotes when I get the time.


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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 07:53:29 PM »

Make sure you find the time. Sooner rather than later.

Here you go:

In "The Council of Chalcedon ReExamined" Fr Samuel says: "Severus... conserves the hypostatic character of the manhood..." Continuing he says: "If John of Damascus does not safeguard this principle he cannot have affirmed a real human expression in the one Christ. This indeed is a very serious point of difference between the two sides, and we believe that the position conserved by Severus cannot be ignored here in preference to the Damascene's teaching." - Page 298-299 in the Oriental Orthodox Library edition

"...the fact has to be admitted that if the Christology of Philoxenos is 'monophysite', the position maintained by the theory of enhypostasia is equally, if not more, 'monophysite'." - The Council of Chalcedon ReExamined by Father Samuel Chapter 14 Page 318 in the Oriental Orthodox Library edition.

[My commentary on the above passage for onlookers: Philoxenos is like the third greatest OO Christological theologian after Cyril and Severus. By the word 'enhypostasia' the author is referring to the Byzantine theory that the humanity is not itself a hypostasis because the Word is its only hypostasis.]

Fr Samuel talks about the difference a lot. I really dont want to go through all the quotes. I'm not a book.

I repeat: that the Byzantines ended up more monophysite than the original miaphysites is one of the greatest ironies of church history. Please dont try to debate me on this. Its futile.

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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 01:06:29 AM »

Three words:  CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT.  I don't see any.

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I repeat: that the Byzantines ended up more monophysite than the original miaphysites is one of the greatest ironies of church history. Please dont try to debate me on this. Its futile.
AMAZING!  SIMPLY AMAZING!  You continue to make a bald-faced assertion such as this even after ozgeorge and salpy stated very clearly that the "Byzantines" have never believed in anything resembling monophysitism, and the only refutation you give is a couple of quotes with absolutely no context.  Then you say it's futile to debate you on this.  Why?  Because your correctness is beyond question?  Or has your hubris so convinced of your correctness that you cannot recognize how wrong you are, even if someone were to tell you with a 2x4 upside the head?

Anything beyond debate is most likely not even worthy of debate.


Come to think of it:  Do you even know what the word "monophysite" means?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 01:13:02 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 01:24:46 AM »

I think this guy just likes arguements for arguement's sake.  It gives him some kind of rush.
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 01:25:54 AM »

I think this guy just likes arguements for arguement's sake.  It gives him some kind of rush.
Yeah, he's a troll.
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 01:32:48 AM »

From http://www.theandros.com/glossary.html:

Enhupostasia, Enhypostasia

Literally, "being hypostasized," i.e., having substantial existence, this term took on a technical Christological significance in the post-Chalcedonian period (late fifth and sixth centuries), when difficulties arose over the definition of Christ as "two natures (ousiai) in one person (hupostasis)." These difficulties centered around the term ousia (nature or substance) and its philosophical import. Aristotle had taught that every substance (ousia) is composed of both matter and form. In order for matter (hulê) to exist, according to Aristotle, it must be actualized in a form (eidos). Christologically speaking, then, in order for Christ's divine nature to exist, it must be contained in/as a person (hupostasis). The person of Christ, however, is identical with the divine Logos; therefore, it logically follows, the substance or nature of Christ is purely divine. Putting this in Aristotelian terms, Christ's form is the Logos, and His matter is the divine nature - united together a single, divine, person. What place, then, is left (if we follow this reasoning) for the presence of a distinct human nature in the person of Christ? The concept of enhupostasia was developed to answer this question, and to counteract the tendency to downplay the full humanity of Christ. Since Christ, as divine Logos, is identical with the creative power of God, He is not limited to a single nature. In His capacity as Logos, Christ hypostasized both natures, the human and divine, in a single person.

(emphases mine)
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 04:27:22 AM »

Also from Fr. V.C. Samuel

Quote
In the face of the misunderstanding expressed by the Chalcedonian tradition that the non-Chalcedonian position has ignored the manhood of Christ, we shall put together the ideas emphasized by Severus to this point.

For sake of time--it's a hair past midnight as I type this--I'm not going to list the ideas Fr. Samuel details.  I'll just refer you to his paper, "One Incarnate Nature of God the Word", which he presented as part of the unofficial consultation between theologians of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches in Aarhus, Denmark, in August of 1964.  (The Greek Orthodox Theological Review,  Volume X, Number 2, Winter 1964-1965)

"...the fact has to be admitted that if the Christology of Philoxenos is 'monophysite', the position maintained by the theory of enhypostasia is equally, if not more, 'monophysite'." - The Council of Chalcedon ReExamined by Father Samuel Chapter 14 Page 318 in the Oriental Orthodox Library edition.
The key word in the logic presented here is "IF".  "IF the Christology of Philoxenos is 'monophysite', the position maintained by the theory of enhypostasia is equally, if not more, 'monophysite'."  This is not an assertion that Chalcedonian Christology is monophysite, unless one believes Philoxenos to be a true monophysite.  Personally, I don't believe Philoxenos was a follower of the true monophysitism of Eutyches, so the Boolean "IF" logic in the quote you lifted from Fr. Samuel's work breaks down because the former scenario, upon which the latter is dependent, is decidedly false.



Salpy,

I realize that you may determine that I crossed the line regarding EO-OO polemics in the Public Forum and that you might, therefore, want to move this thread to the Private forum.  Please understand that my intent was merely to refute pathofsolitude's grossly inaccurate claims and faulty logic by presenting some more information on the author he quoted out of context.

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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2007, 04:38:31 AM »


Salpy,

I realize that you may determine that I crossed the line regarding EO-OO polemics in the Public Forum and that you might, therefore, want to move this thread to the Private forum.  Please understand that my intent was merely to refute pathofsolitude's grossly inaccurate claims and faulty logic by presenting some more information on the author he quoted out of context.

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As long as it remains an academic discussion of obscure theological terms, I have no problem with it being here.  If it gets too heated, however, it should go into private.  I'll be at work tomorrow, so if it gets out of hand tomorrow during business hours, feel free to move it.  Thanks.   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 04:48:20 AM »

Just so everyone knows, this thread was split off from another topic:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13461.msg186562/boardseen.html#top
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2007, 10:03:05 AM »

Hello fellows.

For the record- I am not Oriental Orthodox. Their Christology is also corrupt. Its just less pseudoApollinarian than the Byzantine view in regards to the human hypostasis.

Okay, now I am not going to address Peter directly because he said something about hitting me over the head with a 2x4, and even I dont engage in this kind of talk. In fact I dont really want to debate anybody about this. But since you guys started the thread I might as well participate.

The sole question is this- Is there any human entity/hypostasis/subsistence involved in the incarnation? Your answer is "no". That ends the discussion as far as I'm concerned. My point is proven.

The enhypostasia theory tries to say: the humanity is not without a hypostasis, for the Word is the hypostasis of the humanity, and so therefore the humanity is truly existent. Very curious indeed. Fr Samuel points out in his book that this doesnt make any sense. You can say all day long that the "humanity exists because the Word gives it existence", but until you admit that there is human entity/hypostasis/subsistence involved in the incarnation, your theory leaves you at best with some sort of "halfway" humanity. Or rather only a figment of humanity which has something else as its existent entity. Sounds more nonexistent than a ghost to me. Enhypostasia is only a touch away from Apollinarianism.



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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2007, 01:39:24 AM »

PoS,

Are you aware that Saint Severus qualified the hypostatic character of Christ's humanity as being "non-self-subsistent"? In other words, he stresses the point--which the enhypostasia theory seems to be concerned with--that the true-ness and reality of the existence of Christ's humanity is contingent upon, and hence not possible independent of, the hypostasis of the Logos?
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 03:19:04 PM »

PoS,

Are you aware that Saint Severus qualified the hypostatic character of Christ's humanity as being "non-self-subsistent"? In other words, he stresses the point--which the enhypostasia theory seems to be concerned with--that the true-ness and reality of the existence of Christ's humanity is contingent upon, and hence not possible independent of, the hypostasis of the Logos?
What I find ironic is that we are often accused of being monophysites by the EOs, when we, in accordance with St Severus' Christology, teach that Christ's humanity does in fact have a hypostatic character. Most EO theologians I have heard of only leave room for a single divine hypostasis.
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 06:54:12 PM »

Most EO theologians I have heard of only leave room for a single divine hypostasis.

Justin Popovich explicitly referred to Jesus as a theanthropic hypostasis.
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2011, 09:00:47 PM »

Most EO theologians I have heard of only leave room for a single divine hypostasis.

Justin Popovich explicitly referred to Jesus as a theanthropic hypostasis.
Most EOs I have heard of affirm only a single divine hypostasis, some think otherwise apparently.
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2011, 09:49:55 PM »

so are the OO's here saying ya'll believe Christ has 2 hypostases?
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2011, 09:57:08 PM »

so are the OO's here saying ya'll believe Christ has 2 hypostases?
No we most certainly don't. However, our understanding of hypostasis is, I would say, radically different from yours. For us, a hypostasis is any individuation of a particularity. For example my body can be described as hypostatic because it is an individually designated body which belongs to me uniquely, and not to anyone else. My soul can be described as hypostatic because it is an individually designated soul which belongs to me uniquely, and not to anyone else, get it? I recommend you read this article written by our very own Fr. Peter Farrington: http://www.orthodoxeducation.org/index.php?page=hypostasis-severus

We describe the humanity of Christ as hypostatic, yet non-self-subsistent. Meaning that while Christ's humanity is real and that it belongs to him concretely and uniquely, it (the humanity) relies on its hypostatic unity with God the Word in order for its existence. In short, Oriental Orthodox believe that the complete human nature of Christ never had existed in a person apart from God the Word, but rather it became personalized in the Word's divine hypostasis/person.
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2011, 09:59:38 PM »

gotcha, thanks
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2011, 10:00:19 PM »

gotcha, thanks
Glad I could help.  Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2011, 10:00:36 PM »

PoS,

Are you aware that Saint Severus qualified the hypostatic character of Christ's humanity as being "non-self-subsistent"? In other words, he stresses the point--which the enhypostasia theory seems to be concerned with--that the true-ness and reality of the existence of Christ's humanity is contingent upon, and hence not possible independent of, the hypostasis of the Logos?
What I find ironic is that we are often accused of being monophysites by the EOs, when we, in accordance with St Severus' Christology, teach that Christ's humanity does in fact have a hypostatic character. Most EO theologians I have heard of only leave room for a single divine hypostasis.

Really? Name them.
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2011, 10:06:21 PM »

Really? Name them.
Yes, Damascene for example speaks of a single Divine hypostasis with an "enhypostatised" humanity (which is actually very similar to what St Severus said). I also read an article (I wonder if I'll be able to find it) that said that Leontius of Byzantium also condemned the "monophysites" for teaching that Christ's humanity was hypostatic. A poster named Symeon a few years ago (a very well read guy even though he thinks I am a heretic lol) criticized St Severus for teaching that Christ's humanity was hypostatic. And in general most EOs I here speak of a single hypostasis in Christ, in contrast to OOxy which teaches that Christ is a complex/composite hypostasis.
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2011, 10:07:38 PM »

Really? Name them.
Out of curiosity, are you doubting my honesty? Are you suggesting that I'm lying? Or are you truly curious to know them by name?
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2011, 10:09:27 PM »

Really? Name them.
Yes Damascene, for example speaks of a single Divine hypostasis with an "enhypostatised" humanity

Can you provide the reference?

Saying there is a single hypostasis in Christ is not the same as saying there is only a divine hypostasis. The hypostasis is characterized by its natures- a hypostasis in both human and divine natures can properly be called "theanthropic"- and St. Justin Popovic is far from the first to use such terminology.

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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2011, 10:15:49 PM »

Really? Name them.
Yes Damascene, for example speaks of a single Divine hypostasis with an "enhypostatised" humanity

Can you provide the reference?

Saying there is a single hypostasis in Christ is not the same as saying there is only a divine hypostasis. The hypostasis is characterized by its natures- a hypostasis in both human and divine natures can properly be called "theanthropic"- and St. Justin Popovic is far from the first to use such terminology.


I'll try to find a reference, but even Fr. VC Samuel above confirms that Damascene, unlike Severus, denied the hypostatic character of the humanity.
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2011, 10:17:24 PM »

Really? Name them.
Yes Damascene, for example speaks of a single Divine hypostasis with an "enhypostatised" humanity

Can you provide the reference?

Saying there is a single hypostasis in Christ is not the same as saying there is only a divine hypostasis. The hypostasis is characterized by its natures- a hypostasis in both human and divine natures can properly be called "theanthropic"- and St. Justin Popovic is far from the first to use such terminology.
Quote
Chapter 7. Concerning the one compound subsistence of God the Word.
We hold then that the divine subsistence of God the Word existed before all else and is without time and eternal, simple and uncompound, uncreated, incorporeal, invisible, intangible, uncircumscribed, possessing all the Father possesses, since He is of the same essence with Him, differing from the Father's subsistence in the manner of His generation and the relation of the Father's subsistence, being perfect also and at no time separated from the Father's subsistence: and in these last days, without leaving the Father's bosom, took up His abode in an uncircumscribed manner in the womb of the holy Virgin, without the instrumentality of seed, and in an incomprehensible manner known only to Himself, and causing the flesh derived from the holy Virgin to subsist in the very subsistence that was before all the ages.

So then He was both in all things and above all things and also dwelt in the womb of the holy Mother of God, but in it by the energy of the incarnation. He therefore became flesh and He took upon Himself thereby the first-fruits of our compound nature , viz., the flesh animated with the intelligent and national soul, so that the very subsistence of God the Word was changed into the subsistence of the flesh, and the subsistence of the Word, which was formerly simple, became compound , yea compounded of two perfect natures, divinity and humanity, and bearing the characteristic and distinctive property of the divine Sonship of God the Word in virtue of which it is distinguished from the Father and the Spirit, and also the characteristic and distinctive properties of the flesh, in virtue of which it differs from the Mother and the rest of mankind, bearing further the properties of the divine nature in virtue of which it is united to the Father and the Spirit, and the marks of the human nature in virtue of which it is united to the Mother and to us. And further it differs from the Father and the Spirit and the Mother and us in being at once God and man. For this we know to be the most special property of the subsistence of Christ.

Wherefore we confess Him, even after the incarnation, the one Son of God, and likewise Son of Man, one Christ, one Lord, the only-begotten Son and Word of God, one Lord Jesus. We reverence His two generations, one from the Father before time and beyond cause and reason and time and nature, and one in the end for our sake, and like to us and above us; for our sake because it was for our salvation, like to us in that He was man born of woman at full time , and above us because it was not by seed, but by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Virgin Mary , transcending the laws of parturition. We proclaim Him not as God only, devoid of our humanity, nor yet as man only, stripping Him of His divinity, nor as two distinct persons, but as one and the same, at once God and man, perfect God and perfect man, wholly God and wholly man, the same being wholly God, even though He was also flesh and wholly man, even though He was also most high God. And by perfect God and perfect man we mean to emphasize the fullness and unfailingness of the natures: while by wholly God and wholly man we mean to lay stress on the singularity and individuality of the subsistence.

And we confess also that there is one incarnate nature of God the Word, expressing by the word incarnate the essence of the flesh, according to the blessed Cyril. And so the Word was made flesh and yet did not abandon His own proper immateriality: He became wholly flesh and yet remained wholly uncircumscribed. So far as He is body He is diminished and contracted into narrow limits, but inasmuch as He is God He is uncircumscribed, His flesh not being coextensive with His uncircumscribed divinity.

He is then wholly perfect God, but yet is not simply God: for He is not only God but also man. And He is also wholly perfect man but not simply man, for He is not only man but also God. For simply here has reference to His nature, and wholly to His subsistence, just as another thing would refer to nature, while another would refer to subsistence.

But observe that although we hold that the natures of the Lord permeate one another, yet we know that the permeation springs from the divine nature. For it is that that penetrates and permeates all things, as it wills, while nothing penetrates it: and it is it, too, that imparts to the flesh its own peculiar glories, while abiding itself impossible and without participation in the affections of the flesh. For if the sun imparts to us his energies and yet does not participate in ours, how much the rather must this be true of the Creator and Lord of the Sun.

Chapter 8. In reply to those who ask whether the natures of the Lord are brought under a continuous or a discontinuous quantity.
If any one asks concerning the natures of the Lord if they are brought under a continuous or discontinuous quantity , we will say that the natures of the Lord are neither one body nor one superficies , nor one line, nor time, nor place, so as to be reduced to a continuous quantity. For these are the things that are reckoned continuously.

Further note that number deals with things that differ, and it is quite impossible to enumerate things that differ from one another in no respect: and just so far as they differ are they enumerated: for instance, Peter and Paul are not counted separately in so far as they are one. For since they are one in respect of their essence they cannot be spoken of as two natures, but as they differ in respect of subsistence they are spoken of as two subsistences. So that number deals with differences, and just as the differing objects differ from one another so far they are enumerated.

The natures of the Lord, then, are united without confusion so far as regards subsistence, and they are divided without separation according to the method and manner of difference. And it is not according to the manner in which they are united that they are enumerated, for it is not in respect of subsistence that we hold that there are two natures of Christ: but according to the manner in which they are divided without separation they are enumerated, for it is in respect of the method and manner of difference that there are two natures of Christ. For being united in subsistence and permeating one another, they are united without confusion, each preserving throughout its own peculiar and natural difference. Hence, since they are enumerated according to the manner of difference, and that alone, they must be brought under a discontinuous quantity.

Christ, therefore , is one, perfect God and perfect man: and Him we worship along with the Father and the Spirit, with one obeisance, adoring even His immaculate flesh and not holding that the flesh is not meet for worship: for in fact it is worshipped in the one subsistence of the Word, which indeed became subsistence for it. But in this we do not do homage to that which is created. For we worship Him, not as mere flesh, but as flesh united with divinity, and because His two natures are brought under the one person and one subsistence of God the Word. I fear to touch coal because of the fire bound up with the wood. I worship the twofold nature of Christ because of the divinity that is in Him bound up with flesh. For I do not introduce a fourth person into the Trinity. God forbid! But I confess one person of God the Word and of His flesh, and the Trinity remains Trinity, even after the incarnation of the Word.

In reply to those who ask whether the two natures are brought under a continuous or a discontinuous quantity.
The natures of the Lord are neither one body nor one superficies, nor one line, nor place, nor time, so as to be brought under a continuous quantity: for these are the things that are reckoned continuously. But the natures of the Lord are united without confusion in respect of subsistence, and are divided without separation according to the method and manner of difference. And according to the manner in which they are united they are not enumerated. For we do not say that the natures of Christ are two subsistences or two in respect of subsistence. But according to the manner in which they are divided without division, are they enumerated. For there are two natures according to the method and manner of difference. For being united in subsistence and permeating one another they are united without confusion, neither having been changed into the other, but each preserving its own natural difference even after the union. For that which is created remained created, and that which is uncreated, uncreated. By the manner of difference, then, and in that alone, they are enumerated, and thus are brought under discontinuous quantity. For things which differ from each other in no respect cannot be enumerated, but just so far as they differ are they enumerated; for instance, Peter and Paul are not enumerated in those respects in which they are one: for being one in respect of their essence they are not two natures nor are they so spoken of. But inasmuch as they differ in subsistence they are spoken of as two subsistences. So that difference is the cause of number.

Chapter 9. In reply to the question whether there is Nature that has no Subsistence.
For although there is no nature without subsistence, nor essence apart from person (since in truth it is in persons and subsistences that essence and nature are to be contemplated), yet it does not necessarily follow that the natures that are united to one another in subsistence should have each its own proper subsistence. For after they have come together into one subsistence, it is possible that neither should they be without subsistence, nor should each have its own peculiar subsistence, but that both should have one and the same subsistence. For since one and the same subsistence of the Word has become the subsistence of the natures, neither of them is permitted to be without subsistence, nor are they allowed to have subsistences that differ from each other, or to have sometimes the subsistence of this nature and sometimes of that, but always without division or separation they both have the same subsistence— a subsistence which is not broken up into parts or divided, so that one part should belong to this, and one to that, but which belongs wholly to this and wholly to that in its absolute entirety. For the flesh of God the Word did not subsist as an independent subsistence, nor did there arise another subsistence besides that of God the Word, but as it existed in that it became rather a subsistence which subsisted in another, than one which was an independent subsistence. Wherefore, neither does it lack subsistence altogether, nor yet is there thus introduced into the Trinity another subsistence.

Chapter 11. Concerning the Nature as viewed in Species and in Individual, and concerning the difference between Union and Incarnation: and how this is to be understood, The one Nature of God the Word Incarnate.
Nature is regarded either abstractly as a matter of pure thought (for it has no independent existence): or commonly in all subsistences of the same species as their bond of union, and is then spoken of as nature viewed in species: or universally as the same, but with the addition of accidents, in one subsistence, and is spoken of as nature viewed in the individual, this being identical with nature viewed in species. God the Word Incarnate, therefore, did not assume the nature that is regarded as an abstraction in pure thought (for this is not incarnation, but only an imposture and a figment of incarnation), nor the nature viewed in species (for He did not assume all the subsistences): but the nature viewed in the individual, which is identical with that viewed in species. For He took on Himself the elements of our compound nature, and these not as having an independent existence or as being originally an individual, and in this way assumed by Him, but as existing in His own subsistence. For the subsistence of God the Word in itself became the subsistence of the flesh, and accordingly the Word became flesh John 1:14 clearly without any change, and likewise the flesh became Word without alteration, and God became man. For the Word is God, and man is God, through having one and the same subsistence. And so it is possible to speak of the same thing as being the nature of the Word and the nature in the individual. For it signifies strictly and exclusively neither the individual, that is, the subsistence, nor the common nature of the subsistences, but the common nature as viewed and presented in one of the subsistences.

Union, then, is one thing, and incarnation is something quite different. For union signifies only the conjunction, but not at all that with which union is effected. But incarnation (which is just the same as if one said the putting on of man's nature) signifies that the conjunction is with flesh, that is to say, with man, just as the heating of iron implies its union with fire. Indeed, the blessed Cyril himself, when he is interpreting the phrase, one nature of God the Word Incarnate, says in the second epistle to Sucensus, For if we simply said 'the one nature of the Word' and then were silent, and did not add the word 'incarnate,' but, so to speak, quite excluded the dispensation , there would be some plausibility in the question they feign to ask, 'If one nature is the whole, what becomes of the perfection in humanity, or how has the essence like us come to exist.' But inasmuch as the perfection in humanity and the disclosure of the essence like us are conveyed in the word 'incarnate,' they must cease from relying on a mere straw. Here, then, he placed the nature of the Word over nature itself. For if He had received nature instead of subsistence, it would not have been absurd to have omitted the incarnate. For when we say simply one subsistence of God the Word, we do not err. In like manner, also, Leontius the Byzantine considered this phrase to refer to nature, and not to subsistence. But in the Defence which he wrote in reply to the attacks that Theodoret made on the second anathema, the blessed Cyril says this: The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself. So that the nature of the Word means neither the subsistence alone, nor the common nature of the subsistence, but the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word.

It has been said, then, that the nature of the Word became flesh, that is, was united to flesh: but that the nature of the Word suffered in the flesh we have never heard up till now, though we have been taught that Christ suffered in the flesh. So that the nature of the Word does not mean the subsistence. It remains, therefore, to say that to become flesh is to be united with the flesh, while the Word having become flesh means that the very subsistence of the Word became without change the subsistence of the flesh. It has also been said that God became man, and man God. For the Word which is God became without alteration man. But that the Godhead became man, or became flesh, or put on the nature of man, this we have never heard. This, indeed, we have learned, that the Godhead was united to humanity in one of its subsistences, and it has been stated that God took on a different form or essence , to wit our own. For the name God is applicable to each of the subsistences, but we cannot use the term Godhead in reference to subsistence. For we are never told that the Godhead is the Father alone, or the Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone. For Godhead implies nature, while Father implies subsistence, just as Humanity implies nature, and Peter subsistence. But God indicates the common element of the nature, and is applicable derivatively to each of the subsistences, just as man is. For He Who has divine nature is God, and he who has human nature is man.

Besides all this, notice that the Father and the Holy Spirit take no part at all in the incarnation of the Word except in connection with the miracles, and in respect of good will and purpose.

Chapter 19. Concerning the theandric energy.
When the blessed Dionysius says that Christ exhibited to us some sort of novel theandric energy , he does not do away with the natural energies by saying that one energy resulted from the union of the divine with the human energy: for in the same way we could speak of one new nature resulting from the union of the divine with the human nature. For, according to the holy Fathers, things that have one energy have also one essence. But he wished to indicate the novel and ineffable manner in which the natural energies of Christ manifest themselves, a manner befitting the ineffable manner in which the natures of Christ mutually permeate one another, and further how strange and wonderful and, in the nature of things, unknown was His life as man , and lastly the manner of the mutual interchange arising from the ineffable union. For we hold that the energies are not divided and that the natures do not energise separately, but that each conjointly in complete community with the other energises with its own proper energy. For the human part did not energise merely in a human manner, for He was not mere man; nor did the divine part energise only after the manner of God, for He was not simply God, but He was at once God and man. For just as in the case of natures we recognise both their union and their natural difference, so is it also with the natural wills and energies.

Note, therefore, that in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, we speak sometimes of His two natures and sometimes of His one person: and the one or the other is referred to one conception. For the two natures are one Christ, and the one Christ is two natures. Wherefore it is all the same whether we say Christ energises according to either of His natures, or either nature energises in Christ in communion with the other. The divine nature, then, has communion with the flesh in its energising, because it is by the good pleasure of the divine will that the flesh is permitted to suffer and do the things proper to itself, and because the energy of the flesh is altogether saving, and this is an attribute not of human but of divine energy. On the other hand the flesh has communion with the divinity of the Word in its energising, because the divine energies are performed, so to speak, through the organ of the body, and because He Who energises at once as God and man is one and the same.

Further observe that His holy mind also performs its natural energies, thinking and knowing that it is God's mind and that it is worshipped by all creation, and remembering the times He spent on earth and all He suffered, but it has communion with the divinity of the Word in its energising and orders and governs the universe, thinking and knowing and ordering not as the mere mind of man, but as united in subsistence with God and acting as the mind of God.

This, then, the theandric energy makes plain that when God became man, that is when He became incarnate, both His human energy was divine, that is deified, and not without part in His divine energy, and His divine energy was not without part in His human energy, but either was observed in conjunction with the other. Now this manner of speaking is called a periphrasis, viz., when one embraces two things in one statement. For just as in the case of the flaming sword we speak of the cut burn as one, and the burnt cut as one, but still hold that the cut and the burn have different energies and different natures, the burn having the nature of fire and the cut the nature of steel, in the same way also when we speak of one theandric energy of Christ, we understand two distinct energies of His two natures, a divine energy belonging to His divinity, and a human energy belonging to His humanity.

Chapter 27. Concerning the fact that the divinity of the Word remained inseparable from the soul and the body, even at our Lord's death, and that His subsistence continued one.
Since our Lord Jesus Christ was without sin (for He committed no sin, He Who took away the sin of the world, nor was there any deceit found in His mouth ) He was not subject to death, since death came into the world through sin. Romans 5:12 He dies, therefore, because He took on Himself death on our behalf, and He makes Himself an offering to the Father for our sakes. For we had sinned against Him, and it was meet that He should receive the ransom for us, and that we should thus be delivered from the condemnation. God forbid that the blood of the Lord should have been offered to the tyrant. Wherefore death approaches, and swallowing up the body as a bait is transfixed on the hook of divinity, and after tasting of a sinless and life-giving body, perishes, and brings up again all whom of old he swallowed up. For just as darkness disappears on the introduction of light, so is death repulsed before the assault of life, and brings life to all, but death to the destroyer.

Wherefore, although He died as man and His Holy Spirit was severed from His immaculate body, yet His divinity remained inseparable from both, I mean, from His soul and His body, and so even thus His one hypostasis was not divided into two hypostases. For body and soul received simultaneously in the beginning their being in the subsistence of the Word, and although they were severed from one another by death, yet they continued, each of them, having the one subsistence of the Word. So that the one subsistence of the Word is alike the subsistence of the Word, and of soul and body. For at no time had either soul or body a separate subsistence of their own, different from that of the Word, and the subsistence of the Word is for ever one, and at no time two. So that the subsistence of Christ is always one. For, although the soul was separated from the body topically, yet hypostatically they were united through the Word.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/33043.htm
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2011, 10:19:10 PM »

Really? Name them.
Yes Damascene, for example speaks of a single Divine hypostasis with an "enhypostatised" humanity

Can you provide the reference?

Saying there is a single hypostasis in Christ is not the same as saying there is only a divine hypostasis. The hypostasis is characterized by its natures- a hypostasis in both human and divine natures can properly be called "theanthropic"- and St. Justin Popovic is far from the first to use such terminology.


I'll try to find a reference, but even Fr. VC Samuel above confirms that Damascene, unlike Severus, denied the hypostatic character of the humanity.

Christ's human nature is certainly not hypostatic per se, though? Surely saying so would cross the line into Nestorianism.

I don't see anything wrong with the language of "enhypostasised". The hypostatic union was one of natures, not hypostases, right?
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« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2011, 10:22:46 PM »

Christ's human nature is certainly not hypostatic per se, though? Surely saying so would cross the line into Nestorianism.

I don't see anything wrong with the language of "enhypostasised". The hypostatic union was one of natures, not hypostases, right?
You are correct, the humanity of Christ is not hypostatic in itself, by itself, and for itself, but rather it comes into concrete existence only by virtue of its unity with the Word. Apart from the unity, the humanity of Christ had no existence. Does that help?
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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2011, 10:26:01 PM »

@ialmisry and Iconodule Okay, my mistake. But would Damascene have described the humanity as "hypostatic", St Severus certainly would have?
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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2011, 10:28:33 PM »

@ialmisry and Iconodule Okay, my mistake. But would Damascene have described the humanity as "hypostatic", St Severus certainly would have?

The definitions of these terms is a bit fluid, but saying the humanity is "hypostatic" makes it sound to me like there are two persons. Nestorius taught that Christ had two hypostases.
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« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2011, 10:31:13 PM »

@ialmisry and Iconodule Okay, my mistake. But would Damascene have described the humanity as "hypostatic", St Severus certainly would have?
Does affirming a "compound subsistence" automatically imply a hypostatic human nature? Frankly, I think the "enhypostasia" theory of John Damascene and the "non-self-subsistent hypostasis" theory of St Severus of Antioch are remarkabley similar. Though I wasn't sure if Damascene would confess a hypostatic humanity.
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« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2011, 10:33:50 PM »

but saying the humanity is "hypostatic" makes it sound to me like there are two persons. Nestorius taught that Christ had two hypostases.
I can understand what you mean by that, however if you read what St Severus has to say on this matter he clearly precludes any Nestorian interpretation to his "non-self-subsistent hypostatic humanity" theory. Hence we say "non-self-subsistent", meaning that the humanity doesn't exist apart from the hypostatic unity with the Word.
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« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2011, 10:36:22 PM »

I think what I said a few posts ago clarify the OO position on a "hypostatic" humanity:
so are the OO's here saying ya'll believe Christ has 2 hypostases?
No we most certainly don't. However, our understanding of hypostasis is, I would say, radically different from yours. For us, a hypostasis is any individuation of a particularity. For example my body can be described as hypostatic because it is an individually designated body which belongs to me uniquely, and not to anyone else. My soul can be described as hypostatic because it is an individually designated soul which belongs to me uniquely, and not to anyone else, get it? I recommend you read this article written by our very own Fr. Peter Farrington: http://www.orthodoxeducation.org/index.php?page=hypostasis-severus

We describe the humanity of Christ as hypostatic, yet non-self-subsistent. Meaning that while Christ's humanity is real and that it belongs to him concretely and uniquely, it (the humanity) relies on its hypostatic unity with God the Word in order for its existence. In short, Oriental Orthodox believe that the complete human nature of Christ never had existed in a person apart from God the Word, but rather it became personalized in the Word's divine hypostasis/person.
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« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2011, 10:38:29 PM »

Ekhristos also explains it, short and sweet:
PoS,

Are you aware that Saint Severus qualified the hypostatic character of Christ's humanity as being "non-self-subsistent"? In other words, he stresses the point--which the enhypostasia theory seems to be concerned with--that the true-ness and reality of the existence of Christ's humanity is contingent upon, and hence not possible independent of, the hypostasis of the Logos?
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« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2011, 10:39:43 PM »

Hahaha, I just love how we resurrected a four-year-old thread. Grin
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« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2011, 10:44:25 PM »

@ialmisry and Iconodule Okay, my mistake. But would Damascene have described the humanity as "hypostatic", St Severus certainly would have?
LOL.

We have little thread on "Jesus Christ the God-Man, A Divine Person, Also a Human Person?"

It's private fora, but it came from this:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18985.msg281693/topicseen.html#msg281693
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« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2011, 10:45:25 PM »

@ialmisry and Iconodule Okay, my mistake. But would Damascene have described the humanity as "hypostatic", St Severus certainly would have?
LOL.

We have little thread on "Jesus Christ the God-Man, A Divine Person, Also a Human Person?"
I skimmed through that thread a while ago. I guess I'll check it out again...
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« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2011, 10:46:31 PM »

Christ's human nature is certainly not hypostatic per se, though? Surely saying so would cross the line into Nestorianism.

I don't see anything wrong with the language of "enhypostasised". The hypostatic union was one of natures, not hypostases, right?
You are correct, the humanity of Christ is not hypostatic in itself, by itself, and for itself, but rather it comes into concrete existence only by virtue of its unity with the Word. Apart from the unity, the humanity of Christ had no existence. Does that help?

If that is true, it yet again seems to me that there is no difference of substance between our two confessions.
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« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2011, 10:47:15 PM »

@ialmisry and Iconodule Okay, my mistake. But would Damascene have described the humanity as "hypostatic", St Severus certainly would have?
LOL.

We have little thread on "Jesus Christ the God-Man, A Divine Person, Also a Human Person?"
If it means anything, St Severus, sort of like Justin Popovich, affirmed a single divine person* and a theanthropic/composite hypostasis.

*Well, I assume Popovich affirmed a single divine person, I would hope so. Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2011, 10:48:38 PM »

Christ's human nature is certainly not hypostatic per se, though? Surely saying so would cross the line into Nestorianism.

I don't see anything wrong with the language of "enhypostasised". The hypostatic union was one of natures, not hypostases, right?
You are correct, the humanity of Christ is not hypostatic in itself, by itself, and for itself, but rather it comes into concrete existence only by virtue of its unity with the Word. Apart from the unity, the humanity of Christ had no existence. Does that help?

If that is true, it yet again seems to me that there is no difference of substance between our two confessions.
I agree. St Severus' "non-self-subsistent humanity" theory and Damascene's "enhypostasisa" theory seem to be pretty much identical.
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« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2011, 10:53:12 PM »

You mean we actually agree on something?
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« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2011, 10:57:04 PM »

You mean we actually agree on something?
 Shocked Shocked Shocked

Lol, I know right! I think that if St Severus and John Damascene ever met each other, they would be surprised how similar their Christologies are. What's so ironic is that John called St Severus "God-accursed", most likely out of ignorance of what St Severus taught. I admire Damascene in many regards, and if he weren't as polemical as he was towards the OOs I would probably even venerate him as a Saint.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 11:03:26 PM by Severian » Logged

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ

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Tags: hypostasis Christology 
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