Author Topic: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.  (Read 466 times)

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Offline Xavier

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The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« on: January 12, 2018, 08:29:09 AM »
The crux of the dispute between East and West on the Holy Spirit is whether He receives His essence from Father and Son in the Godhead or whether only His energies (but not His Divine Person) flows from the Son outside the Godhead. Is not the ancient text below helpful in resolving this in favor of the first view?

"Peace to you, and to all who believe in one God, perfect Trinity, true Father unbegotten, true Son only-begotten, true Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father, and abiding in the Son, in order that there may be shown one Holy Spirit subsisting in the Father and Son in precious Godhead. This faith we have learned from the blessed Andrew, the Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ"

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0819.htm

The One Holy Spirit subsists at once in both Father and the Son in the Godhead itself. Not His energies only. This is very much line with what St. Fulgentius would write much later in the Rule of Faith "Hold most firmly and never doubt in the least that the same Holy Spirit, the One Spirit of the Father and of the Son, proceeds from the Father and the Son. That He proceeds also from the Son is supported by the testimony of both Prophets and Apostles."
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 08:29:34 AM by Xavier »
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation

Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 11:07:15 AM »
How does "abiding in the Son" imply "Proceeds from the Son in His Person?" If the author of the Acts of Andrew meant "Proceeds from the Son," wouldn't he have just said "Proceeds from the Son" and not used two different words (only one of which is the one you want him to have said)?
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Offline Xavier

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 11:02:40 AM »
The question is whether the hypostasis of the Spirit is from the Father and Son, so that His procession pertains to essence; or whether only His energies pass through the Son. The Acts seem to favor the former because they speak of the Godhead/essence.

The priests and deacons of Achaia mentioned in the work who gave testimony of their Faith were Greek; there's a well known difficulty in the Greek language of expressing "the Spirit proceeds (ekporeusis) from the Son" that doesn't exist in Latin. St. Maximus bears witness to this difficulty "by using the Greek term ἐκπορεύεσθαι to translate the Latin procedere, the translators of Pope Martin’s document have given the impression to their Greek-speaking readers that the Latins regard the Son as an originating cause of the Spirit in the same sense that the Father is. In Maximus’s own restatement of the Latin teaching, the word προϊέναι (“coming-forth”) is used instead." https://bekkos.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/st-maximus-on-the-filioque/

St. Maximus translated "[they use this expression] in order to manifest the Spirit’s coming-forth (προϊέναι) through him and, in this way, to make clear the unity and identity of the essence". We can see that this also pertains to the essence. The Spirit comes forth from the Son so that the divine essence may be One.
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation

Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 11:14:49 AM »
First of all, how do you know the apocryphal Acts of St. Andrew was written in Greek in the first place? It's set in Greece, but we have a Greek copy and a Coptic one.

Second, I see not the word "essence" in the line from the Acts that you quoted. Is that supposed to be what "Godhead" means? Are you sure of that translation?

Third, is it really wise to use a work that Eusebius called heretical as this kind of theology source? Seems like all that it could possibly prove is that there were some 2nd or 3rd Century heretics who held to a proto-Filioque.

Fourth, how is saying that the "essence of the Spirit is from the Son" really different from saying that "the Son is the origin of the Spirit in the same way as the Father?" That just sounds like hair splitting to me.


I won't comment on the St. Maximus quote because it seems like that doesn't require the Filioque, really. Maybe a form of it, but not the robust Roman one.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 11:20:09 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline kabane52

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 05:14:54 AM »
Playing the energies off against the hypostasis misses the point of the Palamite teaching. Energies (activities is a better translation, really) are the mode of personal indwelling. The Spirit proceeds from the Father in order to abide in the Son, but His hypostatic character of being the person of the Spirit and not the Son is what it is in virtue of His unique manner of origin from the Father’s person- that is, procession and not generation. This is what St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Maximus, and St. John Damascene say, insisting that the nature of the difference between procession and generation is incomprehensible. But compare what St. Thomas Aquinas says- Aquinas says that the participation of the Son is that which distinguishes procession from generation.

I think this is a really crucial point- how is the Spirit the Spirit of sonship? We cannot participate in the hypostatic quality which distinguishes each Divine Person- for a hypostatic quality is that which, by definition, belongs to that person and that person only. So if the Spirit’s being the Spirit of sonship flows from His essential origin from Father and Son, then it has no relevance for us. The teaching of the eternal manifestation explains why the Spirit adopts us into sonship. Because the relation He enjoys eternally with the Son is shared with us through the divine energies.

Citing the letter to Marinus is a bad idea. First of all, Maximus states that the Father is the sole cause of the Godhead. Catholic teaching is that the Father is the principal cause of the Spirit but not the sole cause, as the Son participates in His causal power. For this reason, when the letter of Marinus was brought forth as the basis of reconciliation at Florence by the Orthodox, many of the Catholic representatives insisted it was a forgery. See Siecenski’s dissertation (not the Filioque book, but the dissertation) on the letter to Marinus, its meaning, and its reception in the East and West. Siecenski actually converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy after he did his PhD on this.

Your comments on Maximus’ statement about the essence reflect a bad misunderstanding of the doctrine of the divine energies. Energies are not disconnected from essence. Rather, an energy actualizes a potential intrinsic to essence. It is through energies that persons manifests their essence outside themselves. To really get this, you have to know the Aristotelian background. The Holy Spirit manifests the unity and identity of the Godhead because unity of activity entails unity of essence- because the activities/actualities are what they are in virtue of the essence. As Nyssa says about dunamis (power, capacity- this is an aspect of energy), it is that which manifests a thing as truly itself. Take a look at Barnes’ book “Power of God” on the concept of dunamis in Gregory. Note also that energy is the same as propria (properties) according to Orthodox metaphysics.

Finally, remember that the essence-activity distinction is not something that belongs uniquely to God. It is true for the human person as well. The only way in which we know another person is by participation in their manifestations, their energies. The Barnes book cited above will really help you with this.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 05:21:38 AM by kabane52 »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 01:20:41 PM »
Quote
Finally, remember that the essence-activity distinction is not something that belongs uniquely to God. It is true for the human person as well. The only way in which we know another person is by participation in their manifestations, their energies. The Barnes book cited above will really help you with this.

I guess it's true, then. You can't really ever know another person, heh.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 01:22:01 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline kabane52

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 04:31:39 PM »
Energies are not barriers between persons. They are the mode of knowledge. It is the way a person makes himself manifest to to others. Think of how we describe a person- if a person is loving, it means he acts in love. If a person is cruel, it means he acts cruelly. When one really grasps the underlying metaphysic, the teaching on the essence-activity distinction is actually quite intuitive.

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 06:52:25 PM »
Energies are not barriers between persons. They are the mode of knowledge. It is the way a person makes himself manifest to to others. Think of how we describe a person- if a person is loving, it means he acts in love. If a person is cruel, it means he acts cruelly. When one really grasps the underlying metaphysic, the teaching on the essence-activity distinction is actually quite intuitive.

Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. We all have a different "face" that we show on different occasions and to different people.
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Offline Xavier

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Re: The Acts of St. Andrew on the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 07:55:09 AM »
Kabane, what St. Thomas says about generation and procession is correct and the opposing view is wrong; it is easily proved from the Latin Fathers e.g. by the authorities of Pope St. Leo the Great "as if there were not One Who begat, another Who is begotten, another Who proceeds from Both" against the Sabellians, which proves distinction of Person; and St. Isidore of Seville "there is however this difference between the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit, that the Son is begotten of One, but the Spirit proceeds from Both"  http://catholicpatristics.blogspot.in/2009/08/filioque.html?m=1

And finally St. Hilary commenting on Jn 16:15 explicitly states "if one believes that there is a difference between receiving from the Son and proceeding from the Father, surely to receive from the Son and to receive from the Father will be regarded as one and the same thing"; but it can be reconciled with the teaching of the Greek Fathers when we realize that generation and procession do distinguish the Second and Third Persons because there is an eternal hypostatic relationship between them; generation is a special type of procession as St. Augustine teaches. "He Who Proceeds is not Born; but He Who is born Proceeds". So generation and procession do distinguish the Second and Third Persons while it is also true the Second is from One and the Third from Both the First and Second.

It's true that St. Maximus' statement gave rise to controversy, but this is because the meaning of cause was misunderstood. Both +Bekkos and +Bessarion were able sufficiently to explain it as principle without principle, the Father alone "produces" a divine Person. The Son who receives the Spirit eternally, consubstantially and necessarily shows us that God wills to make us sons by sending His Spirit as His gift of love into our hearts temporally, freely and by grace. (Rom 5:5; Gal 4:6 etc) There can be no doubt St. Maximus taught clearly a hypostatic procession and not an energetic procession only, for he says "[Questions to Thalassios 63 in PG 90:672C]: "By nature (ϕυσει) the Holy Spirit in His being (κατ’ ουσιαν) takes substantially (ουσιοδως) His origin (εκπορευομενον) from the Father through the Son Who is begotten (δι’ Υιου γεννηθεντος)."
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 07:56:50 AM by Xavier »
Locution, Aug 18, 2014: "They will realize that I have released an ocean of graces which have changed their darkness into light. They will realize that they have been freed from the past century of diabolical control. They will also know that this great gift has come through the consecration of Russia made by the Holy Father in communion with all the bishops in the world. http://locutions-forever.org/locutions/show/2014-08-18/1-the-overcoming-of-separation