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« on: March 15, 2012, 10:22:52 PM »

For my History of Christian Thought class we've recently gone over the Christology debates of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries and something interesting came up in my readings.

In a letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril wrote, "If anyone distributes between two characters or persons the expressions used about Christ in the gospels, and apostolic writings [...] applying some to the human being, conceived of separately, apart from the Word, [...] and others exclusively to the Word, let them be condemned."

Then in the Tome of Leo it says, "Each nature performs its proper functions in communion with the other; the Word performs what pertains to the Word, the flesh what pertains to the flesh. The one is resplendent with miracles, the other submits to insults."

If I'm reading these two passages correctly it would seem as though the latter contradicts the former, however I could be misunderstanding. Regardless, is this passage from the Tome of Leo a major source of disagreement throughout the history of Oriental Orthodoxy, or is it really just the two natures terminology in general?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 10:50:47 PM »

For my History of Christian Thought class we've recently gone over the Christology debates of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries and something interesting came up in my readings.

In a letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril wrote, "If anyone distributes between two characters or persons the expressions used about Christ in the gospels, and apostolic writings [...] applying some to the human being, conceived of separately, apart from the Word, [...] and others exclusively to the Word, let them be condemned."

Then in the Tome of Leo it says, "Each nature performs its proper functions in communion with the other; the Word performs what pertains to the Word, the flesh what pertains to the flesh. The one is resplendent with miracles, the other submits to insults."

If I'm reading these two passages correctly it would seem as though the latter contradicts the former, however I could be misunderstanding. Regardless, is this passage from the Tome of Leo a major source of disagreement throughout the history of Oriental Orthodoxy, or is it really just the two natures terminology in general?

Thanks!

You're right on the money.  This is indeed the most debated and controversial quote of Pope Leo, and it is one often quoted to refute in OO tradition.
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 11:02:55 PM »

Nephi,

The Tome of Leo has been discussed, debated and argued over quite a bit here at OCnet.  The more heated discussions get put into a private forum that we have for polemics.  If you click on the Tome of Leo tag on the bottom of this thread, you'll find other threads about it, although most are probably in the private forum.  If you want to be admitted into the private forum, you can pm Fr. Chris and ask him to let you in.

Basically, the passage you quoted from the Tome is seen by the OO's as contradicting Orthodox Christology, as put forward by St. Cyril's letter.  EO's, on the other hand, will point to other phrases in Pope Leo's Tome that are more Orthodox sounding, and they will say that the phrase in question should be interpreted in that context.  There are other issues surrounding the Tome and things that happened at the time of Chalcedon that complicate matters and can support the arguments of either side.

The "two natures" language has a complicated history, having been used by theologians who shared the Christology of the heretics Nestorius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Diodore.  When it was approved by Chalcedon, the OO's of course felt that this was a sort of victory for those who shared Nestorius' Christology notwithstanding the condemnation of Nestorius himself.  Again, arguments have gone back and forth about this, and a lot of it has to do with things that were said and done at or around the time of Chalcedon.

In any event, the Council of Constantinople that was held a century after Chalcedon eliminated for the EO's any possibility of a Nestorian interpretation of Chalcedon, the Tome, and the "two natures" language.  Many have said that since that time the Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians have had the same faith.  Some, of course, disagree.

You may want to explore some of the threads about Chalcedon, and perhaps seek admission into the private forum, although the private forum contains a lot of very unpleasant threads.   Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 11:17:54 PM »

You're right on the money.  This is indeed the most debated and controversial quote of Pope Leo, and it is one often quoted to refute in OO tradition.

Fascinating. The book I'm reading for my class had St. Cyril's writings just prior to the Tome of Leo, so that part really stood out to me in contrast to what St. Cyril had wrote.  Oddly enough the author didn't make a point to mention anything about it.

Nephi,

The Tome of Leo has been discussed, debated and argued over quite a bit here at OCnet.  The more heated discussions get put into a private forum that we have for polemics.  If you click on the Tome of Leo tag on the bottom of this thread, you'll find other threads about it, although most are probably in the private forum.  If you want to be admitted into the private forum, you can pm Fr. Chris and ask him to let you in.

Basically, the passage you quoted from the Tome is seen by the OO's as contradicting Orthodox Christology, as put forward by St. Cyril's letter.  EO's, on the other hand, will point to other phrases in Pope Leo's Tome that are more Orthodox sounding, and they will say that the phrase in question should be interpreted in that context.  There are other issues surrounding the Tome and things that happened at the time of Chalcedon that complicate matters and can support the arguments of either side.

The "two nature" language has a complicated history, having been used by theologians who shared the Christology of the heretics Nestorius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Diodore.  When it was approved by Chalcedon, the OO's of course felt that this was a sort of victory for those who shared Nestorius' Christology notwithstanding the condemnation of Nestorius himself.  Again, arguments have gone back and forth about this, and a lot of it has to do with things that were said and done at or around the time of Chalcedon.

In any event, the Council of Constantinople that was held a century after Chalcedon eliminated for the EO's any possibility of a Nestorian interpretation of Chalcedon, the Tome, and the "two nature" language.  Many have said that since that time the Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians have had the same faith.  Some, of course, disagree.

You may want to explore some of the threads about Chalcedon, and perhaps seek admission into the private forum, although the private forum contains a lot of very unpleasant threads.   Smiley


Thank you for taking the time to respond. Smiley

I'll admit I was trying to avoid reading a polemical discussion and that's why I was hesitant to bother searching. I honestly just wondered if this was the main issue with the Tome of Leo, or if the rest of it was an issue as well. I didn't want to dredge through a polemical poop-throwing fest in order to find it, although I suppose I should have instead of posting something that has been discussed before.

Anyway it seems as though you and minasoliman answered my question, and that it was indeed the passage. I knew it stood out for a reason.

I didn't realize the Council of Constantinople dealt with Christology. I'll have to look into that!

And I'm afraid I'll have to pass on looking into the private forums for more. I've already seen enough of that place.  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 11:23:21 PM »

a polemical poop-throwing fest

Oh my goodness!  I think we found a new name for the private forum!    Cheesy

Quote
I didn't realize the Council of Constantinople dealt with Christology. I'll have to look into that!

I'm talking about the Second Council of Constantinople, which was held, I think, in 553.

It condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia, as well as some blatantly Nestorian writings, including the Letter of Ibas.  That made it clear to everyone that Chalcedon was not to be interpreted in a Nestorian manner.
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 11:35:12 PM »

Oh my goodness!  I think we found a new name for the private forum!    Cheesy
Cheesy

Quote
I'm talking about the Second Council of Constantinople, which was held, I think, in 553.

It condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia, as well as some blatantly Nestorian writings, including the Letter of Ibas.  That made it clear to everyone that Chalcedon was not to be interpreted in a Nestorian manner.
I thought that's what council you were talking about. I'm just completely ignorant about the councils after Chalcedon, except that the 7th dealt with icons.
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 12:11:11 AM »

Take whatever perspective you get here with a grain of salt, Nephi.  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 12:16:32 AM »

Take whatever perspective you get here with a grain of salt, Nephi.  Wink

Well, I did want to hear the OO perspective... so unless secretly none of them are OO, there's no salt needed.  Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 01:54:43 AM »

In a letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril wrote, "If anyone distributes between two characters or persons the expressions used about Christ in the gospels, and apostolic writings [...] applying some to the human being, conceived of separately, apart from the Word, [...] and others exclusively to the Word, let them be condemned."

Then in the Tome of Leo it says, "Each nature performs its proper functions in communion with the other; the Word performs what pertains to the Word, the flesh what pertains to the flesh. The one is resplendent with miracles, the other submits to insults."

For me it seems that they are saying exactly the same thing.

Also, pardon for advertising but this short thread might be helpful in understanding views of St. Leo.
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 11:01:53 AM »

For me it seems that they are saying exactly the same thing.

Also, pardon for advertising but this short thread might be helpful in understanding views of St. Leo.

I just wondered if the OO's specifically had objection to it. I figured EO's would have a different take on it, which isn't what I was looking for when I posted this thread.

Thanks for the thread anyway, I just requested that book through an interlibrary program at my university. It may be useful for writing my upcoming term paper.
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 04:12:57 PM »

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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 08:48:34 AM »

There is also another quote in my opinion that would quickly lead to condemnation simply because it implies insult to St Cyril:

But when during your cross-examination Eutyches replied and said, I confess that our Lord had two natures before the union but after the union I confess but one , I am surprised that so absurd and mistaken a statement of his should not have been criticised and rebuked by his judges, and that an utterance which reaches the height of stupidity and blasphemy should be allowed to pass as if nothing offensive had been heard: for the impiety of saying that the Son of God was of two natures before His incarnation is only equalled by the iniquity of asserting that there was but one nature in Him after the Word became flesh. And to the end that Eutyches may not think this a right or defensible opinion because it was not contradicted by any expression of yourselves, we warn you beloved brother, to take anxious care that if ever through the inspiration of God's mercy the case is brought to a satisfactory conclusion, his ignorant mind be purged from this pernicious idea as well as others.
 



Contrast this with:

In respect of the elements from which is the one and only Son and Lord Jesus Christ, as we accept them in thought, we say that two natures have been united, but after the union, when the division into two has now been removed, we believe that the nature of the Son is one.
- St Cyril of Alexandria, Select Letters, 48

 
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012, 10:59:49 AM »

Thank you for pointing that out.  That shows that St. Cyril's "one nature" was explicitly rejected by the fathers of Chacedon, since the Tome was a foundational document.  We recently have had some discussions wherein some EO's have claimed that Chalcedon officially accepted both "in two natures" and "one nature" or "of two natures." 

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42841.0.html#top

This shows that Chalceon did not do that.

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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012, 11:25:27 AM »

Quote
Then in the Tome of Leo it says, "Each nature performs its proper functions in communion with the other; the Word performs what pertains to the Word, the flesh what pertains to the flesh. The one is resplendent with miracles, the other submits to insults
To me, this just kind of spells out that if jesus was hungry, it was his flesh that was hungry, surely not his Godhood.

PP
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2012, 11:35:28 AM »

Quote
Then in the Tome of Leo it says, "Each nature performs its proper functions in communion with the other; the Word performs what pertains to the Word, the flesh what pertains to the flesh. The one is resplendent with miracles, the other submits to insults
To me, this just kind of spells out that if jesus was hungry, it was his flesh that was hungry, surely not his Godhood.

PP
Yes that is the EO interpretation.  But if someone from a tradition that puts St Cyril's writings on a very high pedastal, the interpretation would be different.  On the basis of a strict Cyrillian basis, this would mean two subjects performing things together in communion with each other.
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2012, 11:37:47 AM »

Quote
Then in the Tome of Leo it says, "Each nature performs its proper functions in communion with the other; the Word performs what pertains to the Word, the flesh what pertains to the flesh. The one is resplendent with miracles, the other submits to insults
To me, this just kind of spells out that if jesus was hungry, it was his flesh that was hungry, surely not his Godhood.

PP
Yes that is the EO interpretation.  But if someone from a tradition that puts St Cyril's writings on a very high pedastal, the interpretation would be different.  On the basis of a strict Cyrillian basis, this would mean two subjects performing things together in communion with each other.
Ah, gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.

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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2012, 03:58:47 PM »

There is also another quote in my opinion that would quickly lead to condemnation simply because it implies insult to St Cyril:

This touches on something I've been trying (desultorily) to figure out and not making much headway on, so perhaps someone here can help--How well known was St. Cyril's use of 'one incarnate nature' before Chalcedon and which documents does he use it in?

I ask because because it seems quite clear that St. Leo was not aware of it:
Quote
specially deputing this to you, dear brother, that through your watchful diligence our letter, which we have issued to the East in defence of the Faith, or else that of Cyril of blessed memory, which agrees throughout with our views, may become known to all the brethren; in order that being furnished with arguments they may fortify themselves with spiritual strength against those who think fit to insult the Lord’s Incarnation with their misbeliefs. (St. Leo, Letter LXVII)

Let him then read again what is the belief on the Lord’s Incarnation which the holy fathers guarded and has always been similarly preached, and when he has perceived that the letter of Cyril of holy memory, bishop of Alexandria, agrees with the view of those who preceded him let him further reconsider the proceedings of the Ephesian Synod wherein the testimonies of catholic priests on the Lord’s Incarnation are inserted and maintained by Cyril of holy memory. (St. Leo, Letter LXIX--to Emperor Theodosius setting out his conditions for acknowledging Anatolius as the new bishop of Constantinople)

The above letters were written after the Tome, but in the same time period (before Chalcedon had been called), and clearly show that St. Leo not only thought of St. Cyril as a defender of the faith, but believed his own Tome to be completely in line with St. Cyril's teachings. If he had recognized the Cyrillian overtones of the quote from Eutyches (and realized some  might read it as a criticism of St. Cyril), one has to presume that he would have either gone to an effort to distinguish Eutyches' usage from St. Cyril's in the Tome or else hedged his full-throated endorsement of St. Cyril in the later letters. (I think it's clear the Fathers of the Constantoplian home synod did recognize the Cyrillian echoes which explains what is inexplicable to St. Leo--why they continued to push to get at Eutyches' underlying meaning rather than condemning at that phrase).
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2012, 05:28:04 PM »

I probably would lean towards unawareness as you put it.  But at the same time, there seems to be a tendency that the Latin West had a strong veneration of Theodore of Mopsuestia.  In general I think it's most accurate to describe Pope Leo as Augustinian in Christology considering the corpus of his letters written.

You would notice that in Chalcedon, some of the Eastern bishops were accusing the Latin bishops of Nestorianism, and the Latin bishops were accusing those bishops as Eutychians and supporters of the language of St Dioscorus.  The bishop of Constantinople had to remind them that St Dioscorus was not condemned for heresy but for formality, so as to try to imply that the language wasn't necessarily heretical.  However, linguistic differences continued to cause problems.

Also there is debate as to what exactly Pope Leo read from St Cyril.  One side would contend the Formulaey with John of Antioch.  The other side would contend it was whatever was interpreted by Ibas as a repentance from St Cyril (see letter of Ibas to Mari).
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012, 12:34:09 AM »

The one nature formula was used in St. Cyril's twelve chapters, I think. This is the one important document from Ephesus, which was omitted at Chalcedon.

I sometimes wonder if the Chalcedonian schism would exist today, were it not for the meddling of Pope Hormisdas and the willingness Emperor Justin I to accept his formula for the resumption of communion. Unfortunately, by the time of Constantinople II, it was too late to repair the damage.
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2012, 01:40:21 AM »

The one nature formula was used in St. Cyril's twelve chapters, I think. This is the one important document from Ephesus, which was omitted at Chalcedon.

No. St. Cyril's Synodical letters against Nestorius were one of the first places I checked. In the 3rd Letter, he uses the term "One Hypostasis of the Word Incarnate" and "Confessing the Word to be made one with the flesh according to substance" but he doesn't use the phrase "One Incarnate Nature"/"One Nature of the Incarnate God" there. (Besides which, if the 3rd synodical letter with the 12 chapters was received at Ephesus then it was received at Chalcedon which confirmed "The order and every form relating to the Faith which was observed by the holy synod formerly held in Ephesus." It seems to be an open issue whether or not St. Cyril's synodical letters were 'formally' received at Ephesus (even if everyone at that council knew they underlay what was officially and formally done there). This is what leaves the door open to the OO contention that St. Cyril's 3rd letter was not formally received until Constantinople II).
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« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2012, 02:06:49 AM »

There is also another quote in my opinion that would quickly lead to condemnation simply because it implies insult to St Cyril:

This touches on something I've been trying (desultorily) to figure out and not making much headway on, so perhaps someone here can help--How well known was St. Cyril's use of 'one incarnate nature' before Chalcedon and which documents does he use it in?


St. Cyril uses and defends "one incarnate nature" in his masterpiece On the Unity of Christ:

http://www.amazon.com/Unity-Christ-Saint-Cyril-Alexandria/dp/0881411337

St. Cyril wrote this toward the end of his life, after he found out that some people were interpreting his agreement with John of Antioch as a renunciation of his Christology and an adoption of Theodore's.

He uses "one nature" elsewhere, but I don't know all the citations.  One of the letters is quoted by Mina above.
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2012, 02:23:58 AM »

There is also another quote in my opinion that would quickly lead to condemnation simply because it implies insult to St Cyril:

This touches on something I've been trying (desultorily) to figure out and not making much headway on, so perhaps someone here can help--How well known was St. Cyril's use of 'one incarnate nature' before Chalcedon and which documents does he use it in?


St. Cyril uses and defends "one incarnate nature" in his masterpiece On the Unity of Christ:

http://www.amazon.com/Unity-Christ-Saint-Cyril-Alexandria/dp/0881411337

St. Cyril wrote this toward the end of his life, after he found out that some people were interpreting his agreement with John of Antioch as a renunciation of his Christology and an adoption of Theodore's.

He uses "one nature" elsewhere, but I don't know all the citations.  One of the letters is quoted by Mina above.

Looking at my book on St. Cyril, I see that he also defends the one incarnate nature against those who said that confessing one incarnate nature would imply confusion or mixture in his Second Letter to Succensus.
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2012, 07:05:01 AM »

The one nature formula was used in St. Cyril's twelve chapters, I think. This is the one important document from Ephesus, which was omitted at Chalcedon.

No. St. Cyril's Synodical letters against Nestorius were one of the first places I checked. In the 3rd Letter, he uses the term "One Hypostasis of the Word Incarnate" and "Confessing the Word to be made one with the flesh according to substance" but he doesn't use the phrase "One Incarnate Nature"/"One Nature of the Incarnate God" there. (Besides which, if the 3rd synodical letter with the 12 chapters was received at Ephesus then it was received at Chalcedon which confirmed "The order and every form relating to the Faith which was observed by the holy synod formerly held in Ephesus." It seems to be an open issue whether or not St. Cyril's synodical letters were 'formally' received at Ephesus (even if everyone at that council knew they underlay what was officially and formally done there). This is what leaves the door open to the OO contention that St. Cyril's 3rd letter was not formally received until Constantinople II).


While he hasn't explicitly said "one nature" in his 12 Chapters, it is implicit in the phrase "natural union":

3. If anyone shall after the [hypostatic] union divide the hypostases in the one Christ, joining them by that connexion alone, which happens according to worthiness, or even authority and power, and not rather by a coming together, which is made by natural union: let him be anathema.
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2012, 12:46:59 PM »

I sometimes wonder if the Chalcedonian schism would exist today, were it not for the meddling of Pope Hormisdas and the willingness Emperor Justin I to accept his formula for the resumption of communion. Unfortunately, by the time of Constantinople II, it was too late to repair the damage.

So many "what ifs", it's definitely something I think of when reading the history.  Mine is what if the Antiochians made it to Ephesus I in time and St. Cyril & Theodoret were to discuss and work out the matter face to face. Could St. Cyril have brought Theodoret to a better understanding, and with him the whole of the Antiochian school? And could they have come to agreement on the definition of key Christological terms that each side seemed to use differenly? 

I think by this it could've also been possible for John of Antioch to persuade Nestorius to back down from arguing against the "Theotokos" title.

Of course it may have backfired and a wider chasm could've opened between Alexandria & Antioch. Who knows, just throwing my half-backed thoughts up. Flame suit on  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2012, 09:12:47 AM »

I sometimes wonder if the Chalcedonian schism would exist today, were it not for the meddling of Pope Hormisdas and the willingness Emperor Justin I to accept his formula for the resumption of communion. Unfortunately, by the time of Constantinople II, it was too late to repair the damage.

So many "what ifs", it's definitely something I think of when reading the history.  Mine is what if the Antiochians made it to Ephesus I in time and St. Cyril & Theodoret were to discuss and work out the matter face to face. Could St. Cyril have brought Theodoret to a better understanding, and with him the whole of the Antiochian school? And could they have come to agreement on the definition of key Christological terms that each side seemed to use differenly? 

I think by this it could've also been possible for John of Antioch to persuade Nestorius to back down from arguing against the "Theotokos" title.

Of course it may have backfired and a wider chasm could've opened between Alexandria & Antioch. Who knows, just throwing my half-backed thoughts up. Flame suit on  Smiley

Or what if the Empire decided to support Nestorius (God forbid) rather than St. Cyril? Perhaps we'd all be venerating icons of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius today, and the Church of the East would have Cryrillian Christology (a truly bizarre world indeed).

Of course, I suppose that God has a purpose for the way things turned out.
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« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2012, 07:50:39 AM »

Many modern scholars believe that Nestorius was invited to Chalcedon, as the ancient Chronicles as texts indicate. I am thinking of work by George Bevan and Professor Patrick Gray in particular.
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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2012, 01:52:54 AM »

The following quotes are from "That Christ is One," "Tome I Against Nestorius," and "Tome II Against Nestorius" which are written by a saint common to us all, Cyril of Alexandria.

This should show that the Oriental Church follows Miaphysitism. This also shows that the Eastern Church follows the Dyophysitism. Neither are teaching heresy, rather, they each developed a different way of understanding the mystery of the Incarnation.

Miaphysitism: Christ in one united nature (of two natures) in one person, his divinity united with his humanity in a real and perfect union without mingling, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. The extreme is Eutychianism: Christ has one Nature of God and Man that is mixed and confused.

Dyophysitism: Christ in two natures united in one person, his divinity united with his humanity in a real and perfect union without mingling, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. The extreme is Nestorianism: Christ has two separate Natures of God and Man that are one in dignity.


Cyril: Most mischievously therefore do they, severing into two the One and by Nature and Truly SON Incarnate and made Man, reject the Union and call it connection, which any one else too may have with God, being almost tied to Him by virtue and holiness, according to that which is by one of the Prophets rightly said to them who fall back into carelessness, Be ye gathered together and tied together, O undisciplined nation, ere ye become as a flower that passeth away: a disciple too may be connected with his teacher by means of love of learning, and ourselves, one with another, not in one way but in many. - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

Hermias: Have they therefore been confused and both become one nature?
Cyril: But who will be thus distraught and unlearned as to suppose that either the Divine Nature of the Word has been turned into what it was not, or that the flesh went over by way of change into the Nature of the Word Himself (for it is impossible)? but we say that One is the SON and One His Nature even though He be conceived of as having assumed flesh with a rational soul. For His (as I said) hath the human nature been made, and He is conceived of by us none otherwise than thus, God alike and man. - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

Hermias: There will then be not two natures, of God and of man?
Cyril: Godhead and manhood are one thing and another, according to the mode [of being] existing in each, yet in Christ have they come together, in unwonted wise and passing understanding, unto union, without confusion and turning. But wholly incomprehensible is the mode of the Union. - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

Hermias: And how out of two things, Godhead and manhood, will One Christ be conceived of?
Cyril: In no other wise (I suppose) than that whereby the things brought together one to another unto a union indissoluble and above comprehension will be One. - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

Hermias: But if we say that the Nature of the Son is One, even though He be conceived of as Incarnate, all need is there to confess that confusion and commixture take place the nature of man being lost as it were within Him. For what is the nature of man unto the excellency of Godhead?
Cyril: In highest degree, my friend, is he an idle talker who says that confusion and commixture have place, if one Nature of the Son Incarnate and made man, is confessed by us: for one will not be able to make proof thereof by needful and true deductions. But if they set their own. will as a law to us, they devised a counsel which they cannot establish, for we must give heed, not to them but to the God-inspired Scripture... - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

Hermias: Know well that they will not choose so to think.
Cyril: Their speech will be caught setting forth to us most undoubtedly two sons and two christs.
Hermias: Not two: they say that the Son by Nature, the Word from forth God the Father is One; he that is assumed is a man by nature son of David, but is son of God by reason of his having been assumed by God the Word, and that by reason of God the Word dwelling in him hath ho come to this dignity and hath by grace the sonship. - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

Cyril: Then wherever will they go as regards mind and understanding who thus think? or how do they say 'not a pair of sons,' when they are severing one from another man and God, if (according to them) the One has the sonship by Nature and truly, the other by grace and came to this dignity, God the Word indwelling him? Hath he then ought greater than we? for He indwelleth in us too. - St Cyril of Alexandria, That Christ is One

Nestorius: What then that is incongruous do WE say in advising to flee the word, and come to the common phrase significant of the two natures? then seems it to them that what is said is blasphemy. Either clearly acknowledge that the Godhead has been born of the blessed Mary, or if you flee this expression as blasphemy, why saying the same as I, dost thou feign thou sayest it not? - St Cyril of Alexandria, Tome I Against Nestorius

Cyril: And again, We recognise therefore the human nature of the Babe and His Godhead, we preserve the oneness of the Sonship in the nature of manhood and Godhead. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome I Against Nestorius

Nestorius: But we must (for it has now come into my mind) learn that the Synod of Nicea too nowhere durst say that God was born of Mary; for it said, We believe in One God the Father Almighty and in One Lord Jesus Christ. Observe that having first put the word Christ, which is the indication of the two natures, they did not say, in one God the Word, but took the name that signifies both... - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome I Against Nestorius

Cyril: But since they say that they believe in One God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things both visible and invisible, and in One Lord Jesus Christ His Son, and none other (according to us) is Jesus Christ the Lord than the One and by Nature and truly Son... - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome I Against Nestorius

Cyril: That believing on Christ Jesus, we believe in the One and by Nature and truly Son, our faith mounting up unto the Father through Him, will be clear, in that He Himself hath cried aloud to the whole world, He that believeth on Me believeth not on Me but on Him that sent Me, and he that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me, and again, Believe on God, and believe on Me. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome I Against Nestorius

Cyril: But WE, my friend, who call her mother of God, have never at all deified any one of those that are numbered among creatures, but are accustomed to know as God the One and by Nature and truly so: and we know that the blessed Virgin was woman as we. But thyself wilt be caught, and that at no long interval, representing to us Emmanuel as a God-bearing man, and putting upon another the condemnation due to your own essays. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome I Against Nestorius

Cyril: But the inventor of the most recent impiety, albeit making feint of saying One Christ, ever divides the Natures and sets Each by itself, saying that they did not truly come together... - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: For the Incarnate Nature of the Word Himself is after the Union now conceived of as One, just as will reasonably be conceived in regard to ourselves too, for man is really One, compounded of unlike things, soul I mean and body. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: And I will for profit's sake add this too: other than the Word out of God is the flesh, in regard to its proper nature, other again Essentially the Nature of the Word Itself. But even though the things named be conceived of as diverse and sundered in diverseness of nature, yet is Christ conceived of as One out of both, the Godhead and manhood having come together one to another in true union. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: But to speak clearly and more intelligibly to all, it is the aim of the party of Arius and Eunomius and Apolinarius and of all who are of like brotherhood, to bring in Theotokus, as though, a mingling having taken place and the two natures not divided... - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: Is not he other than the Word, One and by Nature and forth of God the Father, who in his proper person has been verily parted from union with Him? and how is this not clear to all? - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: When therefore the Divine Scripture is about to speak of either the birth of Christ which was forth of the blessed Virgin, or His Death, it is never seen to put God, but either Christ or Son or Lord, seeing that these three are significant of the two natures, one while of this, other while of that, other while of this and that. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: But since the Son of God is two-fold in His Natures, she bare indeed the Son of God, but bare the manhood which is son by reason of the connected Son. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: Thus are WE minded to think and are accustomed to walk aright, going on the royal and unperverted road: but he saying that such names are indicative of the two natures, allots to either with authority what seems good to him and is ashamed of the lowliness of speech belonging to the economy with flesh... - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: For God (he says) sent forth His Son made of a woman, if made under the law. Here he points out the two natures, he says what took place as to the human nature, for demand of the wrangler, Who was made under the law? was it God the Word? - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: Therefore (as saith the most wise Paul) the powers above are bidden to worship the First-begotten when introduced by the Father into the world, and on learning the mystery regarding Him, with ceaseless praises do they extol the One and by Nature and truly Son. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: Say of Him Who assumed that He is God, add of that which is assumed that it is the servant's form, bring in next the dignity of connection, that of the two the sway is common, that of the two the dignity is the same; while the natures remain, acknowledge the union of rank. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: Therefore I would have you hold fast with all assurance: there is no severance of the connection of the dignity of the sonship, there is no severance of his being Christ, of the Godhead and Manhood there is a severance; Christ is indivisible, in that He is Christ, for we have not two christs nor two sons, for there is not with us a first and a second, nor yet other and other, nor again another son and another again; but the One is Himself twofold, not in rank but in nature. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: One both before flesh and with flesh: for thus will He be in respect of rank (as THOU sayest) and also of sway, inseverable, yea rather the Same. Then how dost thou say that the One and Inseverable is twofold, and that not in regard of rank but of nature? for not because the Word out of God the Father having taken flesh, proceeded forth man as we, will He for this reason be called also twofold, for One and that not without flesh is He Who is in His proper Nature external to flesh and body. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: But since he has been connected with Him which is in the beginning Son, Him who was connected with him, he may not admit of severance in respect of the dignity of sonship, in respect I say of the dignity of sonship, not in respect of the natures. Wherefore God the Word is called Christ also, since He has His connection with Christ perpetual. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: He that durst say that the good glory of the Only-Begotten has been ascribed to the power of Christ, and that plucked asunder the bond of Oneness, gathers again into union and again dissolves it and parts the natures one from other. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: If thou sayest that the Word of God was made man, this will suffice to shew that He Who is above all the creation was made as we. He took the servant's form although He possessed freedom as God; for He was in equality with the Father, Who possesseth dominion over all. Cease to sever the natures after the union: for that one thing and another is the Divine Nature and the nature of man it will be fit to know, and needful I deem to those who are sound in mind (for they are parted one from another by incomparable differences), but in regard to Christ the Saviour of us all, do thou having brought them together into union true and of Person, reject severance, for thus wilt thou confess one Christ and Son and Lord. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: Yet if you say One Son and One Person, the Incarnate Person of the Word, He will not be an instrument of Deity, but rather will use as an instrument His own Body, just as a man's soul too does. Therefore confess One, not dividing the natures... - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Cyril: Thou again completely severest and dealest subtilly with the truth, parting the natures, uniting (as you say) the worship. But if you part the natures, along with them will diverge the natural properties too of either, the count of their difference will speed apart: hence two are they confessedly. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius

Nestorius: Keep we therefore unconfused the connection of the natures, confess we One God, reverence we the man who is co-worshipped by a Divine connection along with the Almighty God. - Cyril of Alexandria, Tome II Against Nestorius
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« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2012, 01:58:32 AM »

P.S. I am no longer really active on this forum. I just happened to stop by. My above post is for informational services. I will not partake in a debate about my views on the two Orthodox understandings of the Incarnation. I will not partake in a debate about my views on the two Heterodox understandings of the Incarnation.
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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2012, 02:56:48 PM »

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

The one nature formula was used in St. Cyril's twelve chapters, I think. This is the one important document from Ephesus, which was omitted at Chalcedon.

I sometimes wonder if the Chalcedonian schism would exist today, were it not for the meddling of Pope Hormisdas and the willingness Emperor Justin I to accept his formula for the resumption of communion. Unfortunately, by the time of Constantinople II, it was too late to repair the damage.

That would be true if the divisions were honestly theological and less so political as they turned out to be Smiley



I didn't realize the Council of Constantinople dealt with Christology. I'll have to look into that!


That is refreshing (serious not sarcastic) Smiley

stay blessed,
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