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Author Topic: I'm sharing a concise statement of the Miaphysite faith written by St Cyril:  (Read 1285 times) Average Rating: 0
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zekarja
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« on: May 25, 2012, 01:22:27 AM »

"Accordingly when we assert the union of the Word of God the Father to his holy body which has a rational soul, a union which is ineffable and beyond thought and which took place without blending, without change, without alteration, we confess one Christ, Son and Lord, the Word of God the Father, the same God and man, not one and another, but one and the same, being, and known to be, God and man. Therefore sometimes he speaks as man according to the dispensation and according to his humanity, and sometimes as God he makes statements by the authority of his divinity.

"And we make the following assertions also. While skillfully examining the manner of his dispensation with the flesh and finely probing the mystery, we see that the Word of God the Father was made man and was made flesh and that he has not fashioned that holy body from his divine nature but rather took it from the Virgin Mary. Since how did he become man, if he has not possessed a body like ours? Considering, therefore, as I said, the manner of his Incarnation we see that his two natures came together with each other in an indissoluble union, without blending and without change, for his flesh is flesh and not divinity, even though his flesh became the flesh of God, and likewise the Word also is God and not flesh, even though he made the flesh his own according to the dispensation.

"Therefore, whenever we have these thoughts in no way do we harm the joining into a unity by saying he was of two natures, but after the union, we do not separate the natures from one another, nor do we cut the one and indivisible Son into two sons, but we say that there is one Son, and as the holy Fathers have said, that there is one nature of the Word [of God] made flesh."

 - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 45:6 (to Succenus, Bishop of Diocaesarea in Isauria), translated by John I. McEnerney, 1987

Those who would prefer to read this in Greek or Latin, here is a link: http://books.google.com/books?id=Qb7UAAAAMAAJ&pg=PR71#v=onepage&q&f=false


This is what I believe as a Miaphysite. I did not create this thread for polemical debate, but for fellow Miaphysites as a resource. St Cyril of Alexandria, a pre-Chalcedonian Father of the Church, defines Miaphysitism so concisely and completely.

Note: St Cyril reconciled with John of Antioch in letter 39 (433 AD). Also, those of you who have read St Cyril's letters know that he takes great pains (in his letters) to make sure that people know that he does NOT teach two natures after the union even though he has reconciled with John of Antioch.
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2012, 05:07:05 PM »

Thank you for that.  It's also worth mentioning that toward the end of his life, after the Formulary of Reunion with John of Antioch, he continued to defend the use of "one nature" in his book On the Unity of Christ

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

In there he states:

"We say that there is one Son, and that he has one nature even when he is considered as having assumed flesh endowed with a rational soul."  (page 77)

"My friend, if anyone says that when we speak of the single nature of God the Word incarnate and made man we imply that a confusion or mixture has occured, then they are talking utter rubbish."  (page 79)
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zekarja
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 09:14:44 PM »

Very true!
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 06:00:19 PM »

--bumping for my own reference--
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 01:17:58 AM »

What does 'bumping' mean? And what do you mean when you say 'subscribed'. Haven't a clue so I must ask. Thanks
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 01:42:09 AM »

What does 'bumping' mean? And what do you mean when you say 'subscribed'. Haven't a clue so I must ask. Thanks
When you bump/post a message on an old thread, it moves said thread to the beginning of the message board, making it more likely to be seen by posters. Thus, increasing the likelihood of new posts being written on that thread.

When I say "subscribed" I am just typing that so that that way when I hit the "show new replies to your posts" button the thread I "subscribed" to will show up.
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 01:53:11 AM »

Thanks, I didn't know. Is it obvious how to do this or do I need a primer?
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 01:57:00 AM »

Thanks, I didn't know. Is it obvious how to do this or do I need a primer?
You can just type any post to activate this effect, it's nothing special.

+Glad I could help.
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 02:24:37 AM »

Thanks, I didn't know. Is it obvious how to do this or do I need a primer?
You can just type any post to activate this effect, it's nothing special.

+Glad I could help.

You realize you can set thread notifications on? See notify in the lower right hand corner of the screen.

You could use that to follow threads you REALLY don't want to miss out on.

I always thought you were doing that and letting the rest of us know through your subscribed comment.
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 02:26:25 AM »

NVM!
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2012, 02:31:05 AM »

Thanks, I didn't know. Is it obvious how to do this or do I need a primer?
You can just type any post to activate this effect, it's nothing special.

+Glad I could help.

You realize you can set thread notifications on? See notify in the lower right hand corner of the screen.

You could use that to follow threads you REALLY don't want to miss out on.

I always thought you were doing that and letting the rest of us know through your subscribed comment.
Well, now I feel like an idiot. Lol!

I dunno. I would imagine it could get sorta annoying getting the emails telling you every time a thread you have on notify has been updated. I use it when I take my breaks from the board and want to follow a couple threads and see how they develop.

Your way might work better.


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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 02:35:24 AM »

^It is annoying. One time I had to delete hundreds of emails at a time because I hadn't signed in my email for quite a while and I did not realize my profile was automatically set to email notifications when I joined this website a year ago.
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 01:02:47 PM »

Zekarja, where did you find this letter? Did you just use Google books or is there an online resource with Saint Cyril's complete letters?
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 01:10:38 PM »

Zekarja, where did you find this letter? Did you just use Google books or is there an online resource with Saint Cyril's complete letters?


"The Fathers of the Church, St Cyril of Alexandria, Letters 1-50" translated by John I. McEnerney
Copyright © 1987 by The Catholic University of America Press, Inc.

Here: http://www.amazon.com/St-Cyril-Alexandria-Letters-Fathers/dp/0813215137/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1343927617&sr=8-3&keywords=The+Fathers+of+the+Church%2C+St+Cyril+of+Alexandria+letters
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 01:14:23 PM »

Zekarja, where did you find this letter? Did you just use Google books or is there an online resource with Saint Cyril's complete letters?


"The Fathers of the Church, St Cyril of Alexandria, Letters 1-50" translated by John I. McEnerney
Copyright © 1987 by The Catholic University of America Press, Inc.

Here: http://www.amazon.com/St-Cyril-Alexandria-Letters-Fathers/dp/0813215137/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1343927617&sr=8-3&keywords=The+Fathers+of+the+Church%2C+St+Cyril+of+Alexandria+letters
Oh, OK. Thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2012, 01:17:05 PM »

Zekarja, where did you find this letter? Did you just use Google books or is there an online resource with Saint Cyril's complete letters?


"The Fathers of the Church, St Cyril of Alexandria, Letters 1-50" translated by John I. McEnerney
Copyright © 1987 by The Catholic University of America Press, Inc.

Here: http://www.amazon.com/St-Cyril-Alexandria-Letters-Fathers/dp/0813215137/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1343927617&sr=8-3&keywords=The+Fathers+of+the+Church%2C+St+Cyril+of+Alexandria+letters
Oh, OK. Thanks. Smiley

St Cyril takes great pains after reconciling with John of Antioch to make sure that people know the St Cyril still only teaches ONE nature of God the Word incarnate while accepting that John of Antioch's understanding is not heretical but inferior.


LETTER 40

A letter of the same to Acacius, Bishop of Melitene.
To my lord, my beloved brother and fellow bishop, Acacius, Cyril sends greetings in the Lord.

[...]

For we shall not understand, as some of the more ancient heretics, that the Word of God, by having taken his own nature, that is, the divine, prepared a body for himself; but, following in every way the divinely inspired Scriptures, we strongly maintain that he took his flesh from the Holy Virgin. Wherefore, we say that the two natures were united, from which there is the one and only Son and Lord, Jesus Christ, as we accept in our thoughts; but after the union, since the distinction into two is done away with, we believe that there is one phusis of the Son, as one, however, one who became man and was made flesh. But if being God the Word he is said to be incarnate and to be made man, let the suspicion of a change be cast somewhere far away, for he has remained what he was, and let the entirely unconfused union be confessed on our part. But perhaps those on the opposite side might say:
Behold, those who fashion the confession of the true faith clearly name two natures, but maintain that the expressions of those inspired by God are divided according to the difference of the two natures. Then, how are these assertions not opposite yours? For you do not allow the attributing of expressions to two persons, that is, two hupostaseis.
But, my dear friends, I would say, I have written in the propositions:
If anyone attributes to two persons, that is, to two hupostaseis, the sayings and ascribes some to a man considered separately from the Word of God, and ascribes others, as proper to God, only to the Word of God the Father, let him be condemned. -  St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:14

But in no way have we removed the distinctions between the sayings, even if we have made a worthless thing of separating them as attributed to the Son considered apart as the Word of God the Father, and to the Son again considered apart as a man from a woman. For confessedly there is one nature of the Word but we know that he has been made flesh and was made man, as I already said. If anyone would thoroughly inquire as to the manner in which he was made flesh and was made man, let him ponder on the Word, God of God, "having taken the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men," as it is written. And according to this and only this is the difference of natures, that is, of hupostaseis,to be understood, for divinity and humanity are doubtless not the same in natural quality. Otherwise how has the Word, being God, emptied himself having lowered himself in lesser things, that is, to our condition? Accordingly, whenever the manner of the Incarnation is closely considered, the human mind doubtless sees the two ineffably and unconfusedly joined to each other in a union; but the mind in no wise divides them after they have been united, but believes and admits strongly that the one from both is God and Son and Christ and Lord. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:15

But the heresy of Nestorius is completely different from this. For he pretends to confess that the Word, while being God, was incarnate and became man; but, not having known the meaning of the Incarnation, he names two natures but separates them from one another, putting God apart and man likewise in turn, conjoined to God by external relationship only according to the equality of honor or at least sovereign power. For he says as follows, "God is inseparable from the one who is visible; because of this, I do not separate the honor of the one not separated; I separate the natures; but I unite adoration." - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:16

But the brethren at Antioch, understanding in simple thoughts only those from which Christ is understood to be, have maintained a difference of natures, because, as I said, divinity and humanity are not the same in natural quality, but proclaimed one Son and Christ and Lord as being truly one; they say his person is one, and in no manner do they separate what has been united. Neither do they admit the natural division as the author of the wretched inventions was pleased to think, but they strongly maintain that only the sayings concerning the Lord are separated, not that they say that some of them separately are proper to the Son, the Word of God the Father, and others are proper to another son again, the one from a woman, but they say that some are proper to his divinity and others again are proper to his humanity. For the same one is God and man. But they say that there are others which have been made common in a certain way and, as it were, look toward both, I mean both the divinity and the humanity. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:17

What I am saying is the same as this. On the one hand, some of the sayings are very especially proper to his divinity. Others again are proper to his humanity. But others very specially pertain to a certain middle position, because they reveal the Son as God and man, both at the same time and in him. For when he says to Philip, "I am with you so long, and you have not known me, Philip? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? He, who has seen me, has seen the Father." "I and the Father are one." We firmly maintain that this saying is most proper to his divinity. But when he rebukes the Jewish people, saying this, "If you were the children of Abraham, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill me, one who has spoken the truth to you. This Abraham did not do," we say that such words were spoken as proper to his humanity. Yet we say that those proper to his divinity and those proper to his humanity are the sayings of the one Son. For, being God, he became man, yet having become man he did not put off his being God by the assumption of flesh and blood. But since he is one Christ, both Son and Lord, we say that his person also is one, both we and they say it. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:18

But we strongly maintain that there are other sayings of a middle position, such as when the blessed Paul writes, "Jesus Christ yesterday and today; the same also forever." And again:
For even if there are many gods and lords in heaven and on earth, yet for us there is only one God, the Father from whom are all things, and we from him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.
And again:
For I could wish to be anathema myself from Christ for the sake of my brethren, who are my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, who have the adoption of sons, and the legislation and the covenant and glory; of whom are the fathers and of whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed forever, Amen.
For lo and behold, having mentioned Christ Jesus, he says that he is the same yesterday and today and for eternity, and that through him all things are; and the one, who is from the Jews according to the flesh, he names God over all things, and besides he says that he is blessed forever. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:19

Do not, therefore, divide in these instances the expressions about the Lord, for they have in the same person what is proper to God and what is proper to his humanity; but rather apply them to the one Son, that is, to God the Word made flesh. Accordingly, it is one thing to separate the natures and this after the union, and to say that man is conjoined to God only according to equality of honor, and likewise, it is another thing to know the difference between the expressions. How, therefore, do the things which they [from the East] say concur with the foolish statements of Nestorius? For it is not surprising if to some also the combination of expressions and the utterance of words seem to fall short of fine precision, for such matters are exceedingly hard to express. In this matter, even the divinely inspired Paul asked God for speech to open his mouth. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:20

Therefore, it is not clear to all that they [of the East] do not separate into two the one Lord Jesus Christ, when they say that it is necessary to apply the sayings proper to God to his divinity, and again the human ones to his humanity? They affirm, as I said, that he is the Word of God the Father, begotten before ages, and was born "in recent days" according to the flesh from the Holy Virgin. They add that he was begotten according to the flesh through the ineffable and unconfused union, and they believe that the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God and clearly confess one Son and Christ and Lord. It is completely incredible that they intend to say that he is one and yet divide the one into two. They They have not come to such a state of insanity that they themselves would reinstate the transgressors by imprudently rebuilding what they rightly had torn down. If they agree with the opinions of Nestorius, how do the anathematize them as profane and loathsome? - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:21

But I think it is necessary to tell the reasons why those [of the East] came to such a degree of subtlety. For the supporters of the impiety of Arius, wickedly adulterating the meaning of the truth, say that the Word of God became man but that he availed himself of a body without a soul, and they do this out of love of maliciousness in order that, by assigning to him the human sayings, they might show to those being led astray by them that he is in a lesser position than the excellence of the Father and declare him to be of a different nature from the Father. Because of this the bishops of the East, fearing the glory and the nature of God the Word might be belittled on account of the things said about him humanly through the Incarnation, separate the sayings, not cutting into two persons, as I said, the one Son and Lord, but applying some sayings to his divinity and again others to his humanity; yet entirely all to one. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:22

But I learned that the most pious and God-fearing bishop, John, wrote to some of his associates as if I clearly taught and in a clear voice confessed the difference of the natures but divided the sayings in correspondence to the natures, and for this very reason, some were scandalized. It was necessary , therefore, that we speak about this. Your excellency has not been ignorant that those, who pour down on my letters the censure of the opinion of Apollinaris, thought that I say that the holy body of Christ is without a soul, and that a mixture or a confusion or a blending or a change of God the Word was made into flesh, or a passing over the flesh into the nature of divinity, so that nothing is preserved pure or is what it is. And they thought that, in addition to this, I agreed with the blasphemies of Arius through unwillingness to understand the difference of the sayings and that I say some are proper to divinity, but others are human and fitted rather to the Incarnation. But that I am free of such errors, your excellency would bear witness to the others. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:23

Yet it was necessary that a defense be made because of those scandalized. For this reason, I wrote to his reverence that I never had the opinions of Arius and Apollinaris and do not indeed say that the Word of God was changed into flesh, but neither do I say that the flesh was transformed into the nature of divinity, because the Word of God is immutable and incomprehensible. The opposite is impossible. But neither did I do away with the difference of sayings, but I know that the Lord speaks in a manner proper to his divinity, and humanly at the same time, since he is in himself both God and man. Therefore, because he desires to signify this, he wrote that he taught to confess the difference of the natures and to separate the sayings in correspondence to the natures. But such statements are not mine, but have been uttered by him. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:24

And I think to what has been said the following should be added of necessity. For the most God-fearing Bishop of Emesa, Paul, came to me and then, after a discussion had been started concerning the true and blameless faith, questioned me rather earnestly if I approved the letter from our thrice-blessed father of famous memory, Athanasius, to Epictetus, the Bishop of Corinth. I said that, "if the document is preserved with you incorrupt," for many things in it have been falsified by the enemies of truth, I would approve it by all means and in every way. But he said in answer to this that he himself had the letter and that he wished to be fully assured from the copies with us and to learn whether their copies have been corrupted or not. And taking the ancient copies and comparing them with those he brought, he found that the latter have been corrupted; and he begged that we make copies of the texts with us and send them to the Church of Antioch. And this has been done. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:25

And this is what the most pious and most God-loving bishop, John, wrote about me to Carrenus, namely, that "he expounded the doctrines concerning the Incarnation, and with us wove together the tradition of the Fathers, a tradition which almost was in danger, so to speak, of becoming extinct amoung men." But if some people carry around a letter, as if it had been written by Philip, the most pious priest of the Church of Rome, to the effect that the most holy bishop, Sixtus, was vexed at the deposition of Nestorius and was helping him, let your holiness put no faith in it. For he wrote in agreement with the holy council and maintained everything done by it and is of the same mind as we are. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:26

But if a letter is carried around by some people, as if written by me, to the effect that I changed my mind on the thingswhich we have done at Ephesus, let this also be ridiculed. For we are, through the grace of the Savior, in good health of mind, nor have we come to the end of the proper use of reason. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:27

Salute the brotherhood with you; the brethren with us salute you in the Lord. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 40:28
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2012, 01:55:09 PM »

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

These Letters of Saint Cyril are invaluable Christological teachings! Thank you for sharing them with the forum, I have always enjoyed them and it is good to see other folks doing the same.  I also understand that the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions have accepted the term miaphysis as acceptably Orthodox in their opinion, is this correct?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2012, 01:59:03 PM »

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

These Letters of Saint Cyril are invaluable Christological teachings! Thank you for sharing them with the forum, I have always enjoyed them and it is good to see other folks doing the same.  I also understand that the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions have accepted the term miaphysis as acceptably Orthodox in their opinion, is this correct?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I know that individual EOs and EO authorities differ on whether or not the OO are miaphysites or monophysites and on whether or not miaphysitism is the same as monophysitism or not. It really depends on individuals. There are individual Catholics that believe that the Copts are monophysites.
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« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2012, 02:19:01 PM »

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

These Letters of Saint Cyril are invaluable Christological teachings! Thank you for sharing them with the forum, I have always enjoyed them and it is good to see other folks doing the same.  I also understand that the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions have accepted the term miaphysis as acceptably Orthodox in their opinion, is this correct?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

One is able to confess 'in two natures' (but only in contemplation alone), 'of two natures', and 'one incarnate nature of the Word of God' as per the anathematisms of the Second Council of Constantinople, so long as they are understood correctly. The problem we would have is with the common insistence that 'in two  natures' is heretical. If after closely studying the issue, most miaphysites still come to the conclusion that 'in two natures' is heretical, then this would signal that the difference is truly not one merely involving words but one involving the underlying faith.
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2012, 12:30:07 AM »

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

These Letters of Saint Cyril are invaluable Christological teachings! Thank you for sharing them with the forum, I have always enjoyed them and it is good to see other folks doing the same.  I also understand that the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions have accepted the term miaphysis as acceptably Orthodox in their opinion, is this correct?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

One is able to confess 'in two natures' (but only in contemplation alone), 'of two natures', and 'one incarnate nature of the Word of God' as per the anathematisms of the Second Council of Constantinople, so long as they are understood correctly. The problem we would have is with the common insistence that 'in two  natures' is heretical. If after closely studying the issue, most miaphysites still come to the conclusion that 'in two natures' is heretical, then this would signal that the difference is truly not one merely involving words but one involving the underlying faith.
I think it's better to discuss this in a private forum.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,45880.msg786358.html#msg786358
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 12:37:39 AM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2012, 02:02:11 AM »

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

These Letters of Saint Cyril are invaluable Christological teachings! Thank you for sharing them with the forum, I have always enjoyed them and it is good to see other folks doing the same.  I also understand that the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions have accepted the term miaphysis as acceptably Orthodox in their opinion, is this correct?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

One is able to confess 'in two natures' (but only in contemplation alone), 'of two natures', and 'one incarnate nature of the Word of God' as per the anathematisms of the Second Council of Constantinople, so long as they are understood correctly. The problem we would have is with the common insistence that 'in two  natures' is heretical. If after closely studying the issue, most miaphysites still come to the conclusion that 'in two natures' is heretical, then this would signal that the difference is truly not one merely involving words but one involving the underlying faith.
I think it's better to discuss this in a private forum.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,45880.msg786358.html#msg786358

I agree.  Also, this thread is really meant for sharing pre-Chalcedonian resources supporting Miaphysitism.
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2012, 02:11:39 PM »

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


The polemic issues, I agree, are not for this thread, but I think it is still appropriate, in this pre-Chalcedon discussion of Saint Cyril to mention whether or not if the current Eastern Orthodox accept the term Miaphysis.  Whether or not they interpret it the same as Oriental was not my point in asking, so much as just to clarify that the term is acceptable theology in the Byzantine tradition Smiley

Saint Cyril is our mutually Orthodox father who we share and venerate all the same. He should be a point of harmony then and not necessarily contention.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
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