OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 01, 2014, 06:29:13 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: What is meant exactly by the Holy Spirit as Life-Giver in the Creed?  (Read 856 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« on: July 26, 2011, 09:06:05 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I've always understood the simple meaning of the Life-Giver concept of the Holy Spirit but lately after studying and discussing the concept of Energies-Essence and other aspects of the Spirit I have been wondering more specifically what the Fathers intended at the Council of Constantinople when they affirmed the Holy Spirit as the Life-Giver.  Now I understand that in part this is to codify the Holy Spirit as being a true, co-eternal part of the Trinity sharing the One Godhead however what does it mean in the ontological sense? Since the Holy Spirit is the Life-Giver, what did the Fathers mean exactly and how have the Fathers since discussed this say in the context of avoiding pantheism and the Energies discussions? 

See, it is my understanding that in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, those things which are attributed to the mechanisms of the Energies of God we attribute generally to the activities of the Holy Spirit.  So the way in which the Energies of God are meant to be the source of physical creation, we would explain the Holy Spirit is the mechanism.  However, what exactly did the Fathers at the time of the the Council and subsequently in other jurisdictions explain what Life-Giver means in the context of their respective theology? What or how is the Holy Spirit the Life-Giver and what does this mean?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 05:01:50 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BUMP (because I really would like to discuss this, I am having a lot of trouble finding specific research on this exact topic of the "Life-Giver")

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
orthonorm
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,350



« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 05:10:33 PM »

Look at the threads on the difficult questions about Christ's natures.

And look at the masturbation thread(s).

And look at this thread.

My advice is to choose a provocative stance against some basic EO understanding and condemn the whole Church, then you will get people interested.

I am interested in your question as well.

 
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 05:39:34 PM »

Look at the threads on the difficult questions about Christ's natures.

And look at the masturbation thread(s).

And look at this thread.

My advice is to choose a provocative stance against some basic EO understanding and condemn the whole Church, then you will get people interested.

I am interested in your question as well.

 

Ahh, indeed, but unfortunately I am not a contrarian by nature Wink

I have been delving into commentaries and canons but all I can find is affirmations of the Holy-Spirit as the Life-Giver, but no theological or ontological explanations as to what exactly this means, especially in the context of debates to avoid pantheism.   I was hoping an eclectic or obscure patristic writing would pop up but alas, nothing, and the search feature of this forum is of even LESS help, so I had to ask, though my threads rarely get as much attention as my responses to other threads unfortunately and I have not been able to figure out as to why..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Jonathan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 794


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 06:02:13 PM »

I'm certainly not qualified to answer this question. That's probably why this topic has not received replies, speaking theologically about the Holy Spirit is scary, as we would certainly not want to accidentally blaspheme the Holy Spirit!

While I can't say much, I think this discussion of essence vs energy is over thinking. Didn't this debate come up much later than the writing of the Creed? Isn't this distinction foreign to Oriental Orthodoxy?

For general information, there is: http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/articles/sermons/holyspirit.pdf , http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/articles/sermons/3sermonsholyspirit.pdf , and of course St. Basil's book "On the Holy Spirit".

The Liturgy of St. Cyril has:

"And send down from Thine holy highest, and from Thy prepared mansion, and from Thy boundless bosom, and from the throne of the kingdom of Thy glory, the Paraclete, Thine Holy Spirit, Who exists in a hypostasis; the Immutable, the Unchangeable, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who spoke in the Law, the Prophets and the Apostles; Who is in every place and Who fills every place, yet no place can contain; Who, by His own glory, according to Thy goodwill, works sanctification upon those whom He loves, not as servants. Who is single in His nature, and manifold in His working, the fountain of Divine graces. Who is of One Essence with Thee, Who proceeds from Thee. The companion of the throne of the kingdom of Thy glory, together with Thine Only-Begotten Son our Lord, God, Saviour and King of us all Jesus Christ, upon us, we Thy servants, and upon these precious gifts which had been set forth before Thee... Upon this bread and this cup, that they may be sanctified and transferred."




I've always understood this line simply as the Spirit of God, which brooded over the face of creation in Gn 1:2, and which restores us and sanctifies us in the NT...
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 06:29:48 PM »

2227 zōopoiéō (from 2221 /zōgréō, "alive" and 4160 /poiéō, "make") – properly, make alive (zōos); i.e. "quicken," vivify ("animate"); (figuratively) cause what is dead (inoperative) to have life; empower with divine life.

2227 /zōopoiéō ("make alive, enliven") is particularly used of God infusing His life in the believer. The Lord infuses eternal life (zōē) into us each time we receive (obey) faith from Him. This enables living with God – not just for Him (cf. Gal 2:20; Ro 8:28-30; 1 Jn 5:4). His self-existent, all-powerful life overcomes all the deadly effects of sin.

(1 Cor 15:36,38) seed, come to life – The resurrection-body of the believer will be characterized by continuity with diversity – i.e. reflecting the physical-spiritual life we lived here on earth in a supra-physical fashion (Phil 3:11-21). Both of these aspects of glorification are illustrated in 1 Cor 15 by the metaphor of seeds.
http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/2227.htm

As the link shows, Scripture identifies the Spirit as Life-giving, and thereby identifying Him as divine.

This comes up in the "Holy Immortal" of the Trisagion,
Quote
For we hold the words Holy God to refer to the Father, without limiting the title of divinity to Him alone, but acknowledging also as God the Son and the Holy Spirit: and the words Holy and Mighty we ascribe to the Son, without stripping the Father and the Holy Spirit of might: and the words Holy and Immortal we attribute to the Holy Spirit, without depriving the Father and the Son of immortality. For, indeed, we apply all the divine names simply and unconditionally to each of the subsistences in imitation of the divine Apostle's words. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him: and one Lord Jesus Christ by Whom are all things, and we by Him 1 Corinthians 8:5. And, nevertheless, we follow Gregory the Theologian when he says, But to us there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit, in Whom are all things: for the words of Whom and through Whom and in Whom do not divide the natures (for neither the prepositions nor the order of the names could ever be changed), but they characterise the properties of one unconfused nature. And this becomes clear from the fact that they are once more gathered into one, if only one reads with care these words of the same Apostle, Of Him and through Him and in Him are all things: to Him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen Romans 11:36 .
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/33043.htm
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 06:46:10 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm certainly not qualified to answer this question. That's probably why this topic has not received replies, speaking theologically about the Holy Spirit is scary, as we would certainly not want to accidentally blaspheme the Holy Spirit!

While I can't say much, I think this discussion of essence vs energy is over thinking. Didn't this debate come up much later than the writing of the Creed? Isn't this distinction foreign to Oriental Orthodoxy?

For general information, there is: http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/articles/sermons/holyspirit.pdf , http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/articles/sermons/3sermonsholyspirit.pdf , and of course St. Basil's book "On the Holy Spirit".



Yes and yes to both the over-thinking and the OO rejection of the Energies distinction, but that is more so why I have the question, because I have been studying these EO concepts (which are new and relatively foreign to my OO background) and am trying to understand here what has been taught.  Obviously the Energies debates occurred a thousand years after the Council at Constantinople but those debates surely touched on these kinds of issues in regards to Creation.  Again in OO we keep it simple, but then again, I have been curious what the Fathers intended to mean specifically with this title "Life-Giver"

Yes, the Holy Spirit literally gives us "life" and keeps us "alive" but what about in the sense of Creation and physicality? We in the Ethiopian tradition essentially teach that not only does the Holy Spirit give life to each living being within Creation, but is the mechanism of the Trinity which manifests and sustains all of Created things living or otherwise in the first place.  Does the EO or the Constantinople Canon suggest such things as well or is the Life-Giver appellate more specific towards only living beings?

Thanks for the excellent responses with Patristic quotes, they are helpful in this discussion.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 06:58:26 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Jonathan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 794


WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 09:38:03 PM »

I would hesitate to go too far since, unless I'm misunderstanding you, it almost sounds like you're trying to narrow down the Holy Spirit as the Person responsible for creation... But that would contradict "by whom all things were made" and "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (both of course referring the the Logos).

So saying the Holy Spirit "is the mechanism of the Trinity which manifests and sustains all of Created things living or otherwise in the first place" seems to me to be going entirely too far in terms of the role of the Third Person of the Trinity. Though again, I certainly don't know enough to speak about the Holy Spirit, and perhaps I misunderstand you.
Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 09:42:04 PM »

Don't know if this is helpful, but in Genesis it was the Spirit of God that hovered over the waters at the creation.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
orthonorm
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,350



« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 10:21:34 PM »

So saying the Holy Spirit "is the mechanism of the Trinity which manifests and sustains all of Created things living or otherwise in the first place" seems to me to be going entirely too far in terms of the role of the Third Person of the Trinity. Though again, I certainly don't know enough to speak about the Holy Spirit, and perhaps I misunderstand you.

Not to be so simplistic or perhaps not helpful:

O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life - come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Jonathan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 794


WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 10:41:45 PM »

So saying the Holy Spirit "is the mechanism of the Trinity which manifests and sustains all of Created things living or otherwise in the first place" seems to me to be going entirely too far in terms of the role of the Third Person of the Trinity. Though again, I certainly don't know enough to speak about the Holy Spirit, and perhaps I misunderstand you.

Not to be so simplistic or perhaps not helpful:

O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life - come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Of course I'm not denying these words about the Holy Spirit in the Agpeya. I'm sorry if I was unclear. What I was taking issue with was the wording

"the mechanism of the Trinity which manifests and sustains all of Created things".

I'm not saying that the Holy Spirit has a role in creation and in sustaining creation. I'm objecting to saying that the Holy Spirit is "the mechanism of the Trinity" responsible for this, which seems to me to go beyond describing the role of the Holy Spirit in creating and in sustaining creation, to excluding the role of the Logos in creating and sustaining creation, contrary to the Creed and beginning of St. John's Gospel. The Holy Spirit is not a mechanism of the Trinity our God, but is our God, the third Person of the Trinity, and creation is not the role of the Spirit, but of our God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Logged
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2011, 11:38:58 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Let me be specific, in "mechanism of the Holy Trinity" my emphasis was to connect the Holy Spirit in Ethiopian fathers' theology with what the Eastern Orthodox generally attribute to the Energies of God.  In regards to the sustaining of the Creation of course this comes from the Godhead which is co-equal between the three Persons, so rightfully as we in the Ethiopian tradition chant in our Liturgy of Saint Mary, "The Father Son Holy Spirit Creates Well, the Father Son Holy Spirit Sustains all."

However, by mechanism I was referring to the way in which our theology operates.  The Holy Spirit is equally within the Father and the Son, so when we teach that the the Word created all things, the Holy Spirit is as much involved.  When it comes to other kinds of more specific things, as I said, which many in other traditions attribute to separate Energies we speak of actions of the Holy Spirit.

I think what Jonathan is misunderstanding and thinking I may have implied that ONLY the Holy Spirit is the mechanism, which was not my implication.  Of course I believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit cooperate as One Godhead.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,383



« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 12:04:03 AM »

I mentioned to habte selassie that I had some quotes that seemed off topic, but might be of some interest to some, and he seemed ok with me posting them, so… make of them what you will…

Quote
"It is the Spirit that giveth life;" but for the completion of this grace He alone, received by faith, does not give life, but belief in our Lord must precede, in order that the lively gift may come upon the believer, as our Lord has spoken, "He giveth life to whom He willeth." But further still, seeing that this grace administered through the Son is dependent on the Ungenerate Source of all, Scripture accordingly teaches us that belief in the Father Who engendereth all things is to come first; so that this life-giving grace should be completed, for those fit to receive it, after starting from that Source as from a spring pouring life abundantly, through the Only-begotten Who is the True life, by the operation of the Holy Spirit. If, then, life comes in baptism, and baptism receives its completion in the name of Father, Son, and Spirit, what do these men mean who count this Minister of life as nothing?

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Holy Spirit

Quote
But the power of the Spirit, being included with the Father and the Son in the life-giving power, by which our nature is transferred from the corruptible life to immortality

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Holy Trinity

Quote
For the Spirit Himself is Power, as you read: “The Spirit of Counsel and of Power (or might).” (Is. 11:2) And as the Son is the Angel of great counsel, so, too, is the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Counsel, that you may know that the Counsel of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is One. Counsel, not concerning any doubtful matters, but concerning those foreknown and determined. But that the Spirit is the Arbiter of the Divine Counsel, you may know even from this. For when above we showed that the Holy Spirit was the Lord of baptism, and read that baptism is the counsel of God, as you read, “But the Pharisees despised the counsel of God, not being baptized of Him,” Lk. 7:30) it is quite clear that as there can be no baptism without the Spirit, so, too, the counsel of God is not without the Spirit.

And that we may know more completely that the Spirit is Power, we ought to know that He was promised when the Lord said: “I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.” (Joel 2:28) He, then, Who was promised to us is Himself Power, as in the Gospel the same Son of God declared when He said: “And I will send the promise of the Father upon you, but do you remain in the city until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49) And the Evangelist so far shows that the Spirit is Power, that St. Luke relates that He came down with great power, when he says: “And suddenly there was a sound from heaven, as though the Spirit were borne with great power.” (Acts 2:2)

But, again, that you may not suppose that this is to be referred to bodily things and perceptible to the senses, learn that the Spirit so descended as Christ is to descend, as you find: “They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and majesty.” (Matt. 24:30) For how should not the power and might be one, when the work is one, the judgment one, the temple one, the life-giving one, the sanctification one, and the kingdom also of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit one?

-- St. Ambrose of Milan, On the Holy Spirit, 2, 2

Quote
Wherefore in the communion of the substance we maintain that there is no mutual approach or intercommunion of those notes of indication perceived in the Trinity, whereby is set forth the proper peculiarity of the Persons delivered in the faith, each of these being distinctively apprehended by His own notes. Hence, in accordance with the stated signs of indication, discovery is made of the separation of the hypostases; while so far as relates to the infinite, the incomprehensible, the uncreate, the uncircumscribed, and similar attributes, there is no variableness in the life-giving nature; in that, I mean, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but in Them is seen a certain communion indissoluble and continuous.

-- St. Basil, Letter 38

I have more, such as patristic passages that touch on 2 Cor. 3:6, among other stuff; if anyone is interested let me know and I can PM the references to you.
Logged

"Change is the process of becoming more like who we are."
lost
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 296


« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 01:29:10 PM »

Habte Selassie, I think you're understanding of the Holy Spirit is ORTHODOX! He is the supporter, the maker and the giver of all life...  He fills all things yet He is unbound of them... He IS the source of life <SPIRIT> ... And the Lord GOD blew his Spirit into Adam and man became a living soul... Spirit, breath, air, life all are of the SPIRIT...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 01:30:06 PM by lost » Logged
AWR
Greetings from the Southern Jersey Shore.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 240


Expelled from Paradise


WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 02:16:28 PM »

Here are more quotes for the  Holy Spirit who makes everything alive, or "giver of life" who upholds and sustains the universe in its existence and life.


Ps 104:29,30
Quote
Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

Job 33:4
 
Quote
The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

Rom 8:11
 
Quote
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit who dwells in you.  


2 Cor 3:2-6
 
Quote
you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. ... our sufficiency is from God who has qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not in written code but in the Spirit, for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life.  

The Orthodox Church teaches that the Holy Spirit is in essence one in his eternal existence with the Father and the Son; and so, in every action of God toward the world, the Holy Spirit is necessarily acting.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 02:17:46 PM by AWR » Logged
Tags: Holy Spirit 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.08 seconds with 41 queries.