Author Topic: Did the Holy Spirit Give Birth to Christ or Serve as His Pre-Incarnate Mother?  (Read 6748 times)

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Offline rakovsky

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Sol,
Thank you for your citation, but my question is not aimed at trolling. I am looking for the Orthodox position because I have respect for Orthodoxy.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline SolEX01

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Sol,
Thank you for your citation, but my question is not aimed at trolling. I am looking for the Orthodox position because I have respect for Orthodoxy.

You have the Orthodox position in the Nicene Creed.  No further exegesis is necessary.

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Offline hecma925

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Sol,
Thank you for your citation, but my question is not aimed at trolling. I am looking for the Orthodox position because I have respect for Orthodoxy.

What does "respect" mean to you?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline rakovsky

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The Creed says that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. Orthodox attentively rejected the Latin insertion of "and the Son", which I think Augustine taught.
So based on this, it appears that the Holy Spirit was not brought into being by the Father with the participation of the Son, despite Origen's explanation that all things being made through the Word meant that the Spirit was also brought into being by the Son as well. Do I have that right?

Also, I checked the Kontakion that Deacon Lance cited earlier, and it is Orthodox:
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Kontakion of the Mother of God. Plagal of Second Tone

He that was begotten of the Father before the morning star without a mother, is today on earth become Incarnate of thee without a father; therefore, a star announceth the good tidings to the Magi; and the Angels with shepherds hymn they seedless childbirth, O Full of Grace.
http://saintandrewgoc.org/home/2013/12/26/the-sunday-after-the-saviors-nativity.html
I am not looking for trolling here, but rather to have clarity on such issues. I appreciate your answers.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 10:24:29 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline WPM

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Nicene Creed (One of the Examples of the Creeds used since Early Christianity) . .

Offline SolEX01

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^ I see that you brought the thread back to life after more than 3 1/2 years.  I think you're looking to validate your uncanonical exegesis.

Offline rakovsky

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Well, it's 2 1/2 years, but it feels like even less to me.
If the Church isn't saying that the Son proceeds from the Spirit, then this exegesis isn't validated in Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 10:53:02 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline SolEX01

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Well, it's 2 3 1/2 years, but it feels like even less to me.
If the Church isn't saying that the Son proceeds from the Spirit, then this exegesis isn't validated in Orthodoxy.

Genesis 1:

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26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 2:

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7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit existed at the creation of the world.  There's no way that the Son proceeds from the spirit.

Offline PorphyriosK

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Don't try to understand the Trinity with your logical, rational mind brother.

Offline rakovsky

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Thanks, Porphyrios. Sure, some things are not clearly and easily understandable by the human mind.
If you put a mouse in a maze to test its time in completing the maze, the mouse may have no idea why you did that. I actually appreciate people's answers on the thread.

One of the things that got me stuck was Blessed Jerome's comment:
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From Jerome, On Micah 2, commentary on Micah 7.6 (de Santos 16):

(non dubitabit dicere sermonem dei ortum esse de spiritu, et animam, quae sponsa sermonis est, habere socrum sanctum spiritum, qui apud Hebraeos genere dicitur feminino rua).

    But he who reads the Song of Songs and understands the spouse of the soul to be the speech of God, and believes the gospel which we recently translated, that published as according to the Hebrews, in which from the person of the savior it is said: Just now my mother, the holy spirit, bore me by one of my hairs, [such a reader] will not doubt to say that the speech of God springs from the spirit, and that the soul, which is the spouse of the speech, has the holy spirit as a mother-in-law, which among the Hebrews is said by the female gender, rua.

Robert Miller in The Complete Gospels. Annotated Scholars Version. interprets Jerome's words as
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Whoever has read the Song of Songs will understand that the word of God is also the bridegroom of the soul. And whoever gives credence to the gospel circulating under the title "Gospel of the Hebrews," which we recently translated, in which it is said by the Savior himself, "Just now my mother, the holy spirit, took me by one of my hairs," will not hesitate to say that the word of God proceeds from the spirit, and that the soul, which is the bride of the word, has the holy spirit (which in Hebrew is feminine in gender, RUA) as a mother-in-law.
Blessed Jerome adds in the next paragraph:
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But so that you don't happen to doubt that the Word and Son of God is born from the Holy Spirit, turn your attention to the word of Gabriel to Maria: <<The Holy Spirit will go on you and the power of the Most High will cover you with light, therefore the Holy One born of you will be called the Son of God(Luke 1:35).>>

SOURCE: https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Ieronim_Stridonskij/dve-knigi-tolkovanij-na-proroka-mikheja/2
In other words, Jerome seems to be justifying the contention in his last paragraph that the Word proceeds from the Spirit. Jerome's larger point of the last paragraph was that if someone offends the Word of God, then they in effect offend their own "mother-in-law", since your soul is wedded to Christ as the bridegroom, and the Holy Spirit is His mother. He goes into more detail about this idea there.

In the next millenium though, such a view seems to have vanished. Brian Davies, in his book "The Thought of Thomas Aquinas", when summarizing Aquinas' views in the Summa theologiae, writes that "If only the relation 'proceeding from the Father" identifies the Spirit, it will not serve the distinguish him from the Son." Davies asks rhetorically,
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Why? Because, he says, relations are a matter of origin in the Trinity. With respect to Son and Spirit, therefore, we have two options. Either the Son proceeds from the Spirit, or the Spirit proceeds from the Son. Since nobody wants to embrace the first of these options, says Aquinas, we must settle for the second one.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 11:58:29 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Gloria Tibi Trinitas

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"
In Orthodoxy, do the Son and the Holy Spirit proceed independently from the Father, or:
Did the Father and the Word jointly produce the Spirit, since all things were made through Christ?
Did the Father and the Spirit produce the Word, even before the Virgin conceived by the Holy Spirit?"

1. The Son is begotten by the Father and the Spirit proceeds from the Father. The Father is the source and cause of the Divinity and Essence of the Son and the Spirit. So no they do not proceed independently from the Father. That would be tritheism. The difference between begetting and procession has to do with opposite relations according to St. Gregory,Nyssa but other than that is impossible to comprehend.  The fathers at the Council of Blachernae and St. Maximus say the Spirit shines forth through the Son (not as causuality) and this causes another distinction that shows the unity of the Essence.

2. Christ did make all things. But the Holy Spirit isn't a "thing". He is a eternal person who spirates from the Father and rests in the Son. He isn't part of creation. As stated earlier, He proceeds from the Father and shines or rests through the Son.

3. The Father and Spirit do not produce the Word. The Word proceeds from the Father eternally. The Holy Spirit acted as a mechanism for the Mother of God to conceive but has no bearing in the eternal begetting of the Word.

Offline rakovsky

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Good explanation. It sounds like the Father produces the Son and the Spirit, and then the Spirit proceeds from the Father and then through the Son. For example, at His baptism, the Spirit descended onto Christ and after the Resurrection He bestowed it onto the apostles.


 I suppose that Jerome's theory about the Spirit being Christ's mother could be called a metaphorical expression because of His conception by the Spirit, or else one could say that Jerome's theory was forgotten rather than being directly refuted. Jerome was a Church father, and people weren't inclined to preach that he was wrong.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 11:07:51 AM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20