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Author Topic: Saint Athanasius and "One Incarnate Nature"  (Read 2864 times) Average Rating: 0
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Romaios
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« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2013, 04:01:27 PM »

I think it is telling that a clear Athanasian document shows that "flesh" = body+rational soul, which is consistent with the conspicuous Letter to Epictetus.

So this:

Quote
The Word Himself was made flesh, and being in the Form of God, took the form of a servant , and from Mary after the flesh became man for us, and that thus in Him the human race is perfectly and wholly delivered from sin and quickened from the dead, and given access to the kingdom of the heavens. For they confessed also that the Saviour had not a body without a soul, nor without sense or intelligence; for it was not possible, when the Lord had become man for us, that His body should be without intelligence: nor was the salvation effected in the Word Himself a salvation of body only, but of soul also.

is consistent with this:

"So he who was born of the Virgin Mary [is] the Son of God by nature and true God, and not by grace, and not by participation; according to the flesh from Mary alone  - man."

 Huh

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« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2013, 04:09:15 PM »

Well, unless this is a mistranslation, one has to answer:

1.  How did Apollinarius use the word "flesh?"
2.  Is there anything from Apollinarius that proves the word "alone" also indicates its Apollinarian character?

Just assuming the word "alone" is Apollinarian without something to back it up doesn't help.  You and I will simply be speculating.
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« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2013, 04:53:49 PM »

Ok, on a quick Google search I found this:

Quote
For Apolinarius, in Christ the human part actually stops where this "energy" begins, which in him is completely divine or heavenly. For him Christ is human "according to the flesh alone", that is only according to the "passive part", the active part being in him completely divine. Apolinarius comes to say that Christ only assumed humanity as a passive element, because according to him the 'energy of man' doesn't resist passions and sin. But Christ, as we've seen before, frees from passions and sin by virtue of his 'divine energy' which raises him above them. Hence his refusal to say that Christ is man in the same way that the "First Adam"  (1 Co 15, 45) was, whom Paul called 'earthly'.  

Source

There are two footnotes:

Quote
1044.

Cf. frg. 107, Lietz. p. 232 : ἡ σὰρξ ἑτεροκίνητος οὖσα πὰντως ὑπὸ τοῦ κινοῦντος καὶ ἄγοντος (ὁποῖόν ποτε ἂν εἴη τοῦτο) καὶ οὐκ ἐντελὲς οὖσα ζῶον ἀφ᾿ἑαυτῆς, ἀλλ᾿ εἰς τὸ γενέσθαι ζῷον ἐντελὲς συντεθειμένη πρὸς ἑνότητα τῷ ἡγεμονικῷ συνῆλθεν καὶ συντέθη πρὸς τὸ οὐράνιον ἡγεμονικὸν, ἐξοικειωθεῖσα αὐτῷ κατὰ τὸ παθητικὸν ἑαυτῆς καὶ λαβοῦσα τὸ θεῖον οἰκειωθὲν αὐτῇ κατὰ τὸ ἐνεργητικόν :

"Flesh is completely other-governed (heterokinetos) by that which moves and leads (whichever this might be) and it is not fully alive/animated in itself, but in order to become fully animate it is composed to a unity with the hegemonikon ["the governing part" = the soul/nous in stoic language], thus coming into contact with the heavenly hegemonikon (cf. 1 Co 15, 45), the flesh being inhabited by the hegemonikon according to its [own] passive nature and the divine (hegemonikon) dwelling in it according to its [own] active nature.

The verb ἐξοικειόω or, more frequently οἰκειόω(= 'to dwell/inhabit') is used in Christology to show that the divinity appropriated the entire humanity" cf. Ps.-Ath., Contre Apolinaire 2, PG 26, 1160 A ; Cyrille, Lettres, 50, ACO, I, 1, 3, éd. E. Schwartz, p. 95, l. 11-15.


1045
Cf. analyses d’E. Cattaneo, Trois homélies pseudo-chrysostomiennes sur la Pâque,Paris, 1981, p. 209.

Obviously, the writings of Apolinarius survive only under different names so it's not easy to find them.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 05:16:00 PM by Romaios » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: February 15, 2013, 05:02:22 PM »

Thank you...

I'm very bad at French and I'd love a translation, but I seem to see your point.  So, there are indications that Apollinarius defined "flesh" differently, and furthermore, he also used the word "monon" to stress a "non-nous flesh".  Am I correct?

I think the writings of the Cappadocians are also where we might get some of what Apollinarius might have said as well, since they were the most vocal at the time against him.
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« Reply #49 on: February 15, 2013, 05:13:16 PM »

Thank you...

I'm very bad at French and I'd love a translation, but I seem to see your point.  So, there are indications that Apollinarius defined "flesh" differently, and furthermore, he also used the word "monon" to stress a "non-nous flesh".  Am I correct?

I edited my post to replace the French with a translation.
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« Reply #50 on: February 15, 2013, 05:40:16 PM »

Thank you...

I'm very bad at French and I'd love a translation, but I seem to see your point.  So, there are indications that Apollinarius defined "flesh" differently, and furthermore, he also used the word "monon" to stress a "non-nous flesh".  Am I correct?

I edited my post to replace the French with a translation.

Thank you!  This seems indeed to answer both questions, if in fact, the French scholar is quoting directly from Apollinarius.  So, I can see why many would jump to the conclusion that this is an Apollinarian forgery.

Very enlightening.  Thank you!  I should read the anti-Apollinarian works to understand more what Apollinarius wrote or said.
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« Reply #51 on: February 16, 2013, 07:53:24 AM »

If we were to analyze the word "flesh", we would know that this is not a conclusive answer.  St. Cyril presented also a letter of St. Athanasius to Epictetus, where St. Athanasius, the alleged author, defines flesh as including a rational soul, thus destroying any implication that this was an Apollinarian document.  Therefore, if we consistently use the alleged Athanasian definition of "flesh", it would certainly seem anti-Apollinarian.  But then what was Apollinarius' definition of "flesh"?  If he felt it meant simply man's body without nous, then this document can still go either way.  The word "only", I'm not sure if that really changes anything in the document on the implications of the word "flesh."

In Scripture language "flesh and blood" (basar vedam, sarx kai haima) means "merely human", unaided by the grace or Spirit of God:

"My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh." (Gen. 6:3)

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12)

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven" (Mt. 16:17)

"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." (1 Cor. 15).

It's more like a metaphor for the corruptible, irrational part of man - that which we share with beasts. Only once is it used in a christological context:

"Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect." (Heb. 2:14-17)

I'm not sure that "flesh alone" = "complete human", if applied to Christ though. Not when the text says "human according to the flesh only".


Isaiah 66:23 has:

ἥξει πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιόν μου προσκυνῆσαι

All flesh shall come before me to worship.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 07:58:27 AM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: February 16, 2013, 08:19:55 AM »

Isaiah 66:23 has:

ἥξει πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιόν μου προσκυνῆσαι

All flesh shall come before me to worship.

Ps. 150:6 πα̂σα πνοὴ αἰνεσάτω τὸν κύριον

"Let every thing that breathes praise the Lord."

Here σάρξ = πνοἠ (πνεῦμα).
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« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2013, 09:42:12 AM »

Isaiah 66:23 has:

ἥξει πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιόν μου προσκυνῆσαι

All flesh shall come before me to worship.

Ps. 150:6 πα̂σα πνοὴ αἰνεσάτω τὸν κύριον

"Let every thing that breathes praise the Lord."

Here σάρξ = πνοἠ (πνεῦμα).

If σάρξ = πνοἠ that would only prove that the pseudo-Athanasian libellus doesn't have to be interpreted in an Apollinarian fashion.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 09:42:30 AM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2013, 10:16:07 AM »

If σάρξ = πνοἠ that would only prove that the pseudo-Athanasian libellus doesn't have to be interpreted in an Apollinarian fashion.

Σάρξ = πνοἠ you may find in the Hebrew Bible, not in the writings of a Greek, even if he were Christian.

IMO the equation doesn't bear much (if at all) on the issue of the text being Athanasian or Apollinarian.

Btw Apollinarius could have made his case with the far more numerous biblical examples where σάρξ = "dumb/beastly humans". 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 10:25:41 AM by Romaios » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2013, 07:01:58 PM »

Agreed! For I saw the samething when studying the 4th century and Saint Athanasius. What divides us, from what I'm seeing is the Tertullian (for the Christian west) and Cappadocian (for the Christian East) distinction between Person and Nature. Or the particular and the universal. Thus Chalcedon should be understood by way of the Cappadocian distinction between Person and Nature. Or else it would never be understood correctly. Also, the tradition you speak of from my own personal research seems to have it's roots in both Aristotle and Origen. For Origen taught that every hypostasis must also have it's own nature, or something like that. I'm going off memory and so I need to review before speaking further about this.


I don't know if this may shed some light on the matter or not, but for both St Athanasius, St Cyril and OO Christology the word "hypostasis" was synonymous with "nature". So "hypostatic union" or "union according to hypostasis" of St Cyril was nothing but that one united nature. That is why, for example, the Armenians, who had the same understanding, translated that expression found in the letters of St Cyril as "union by nature". St Athanasius should've understood it in the same way, because he says:

Quote
"...Now subsistence (hypostasis) is essense, and means nothing else but very being, which Jeremiah calls existence, in the words, "and they heard not the voice of existence." For subsistence, and essense, is existence"
St Athanasius, To the bishops of Africa, Chapter 4

I mean, even if St Athanasius didn't use the "formula" which we're now searching for, if he made such a formula, it wouldn't be different in essence, because his understanding of the terms was the same with that of St Cyril and other Alexandrians and miaphysites.

If I'm wrong, you may correct me.
 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 07:06:18 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2013, 07:11:08 PM »

Going off from memory again, and so I could be wrong about this, but I thought I read somewhere that Saint Athanasius didn't write about the nous/soul of Christ, and so this is one of the ways that we know if it's his work or Apollinarius's work. (Apollinarius was a disciple or underling of Saint Athanasius and so his style is very similar.)
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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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