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Author Topic: The Assyrian Church of the East  (Read 59001 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nazarene
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« Reply #180 on: December 26, 2009, 04:28:27 PM »

BUMP

Just noticed an an error in my previous post:

In this post I’ll compare the Orthodox doctrine of the Hypostatic Union with the Christology of the COE:

Quote from: Wikipedia
Hypostatic union (from the Greek: ὑπόστασις, {"[h]upostasis"}, "hypostasis", sediment, foundation or substance) is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the presence of both human and divine natures in Jesus Christ. The Gospel of John 10:37-38 quotes Jesus as follows: "...that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."

The Hypostatic union became official at the Council of Ephesus, which stated that the two natures (divine and human) are united in the one person (existence or reality, "hypostasis") of Christ.[1]

In the COE it works like this:

“the two natures (divine and human) are united in the one person (existence or reality, “hypostasis”) of Christ, through the preservation of their qnome (divine and human).

What I meant to say is this:

In the COE it works like this:

“the two natures (divine and human) are united in the one person (existence or reality, “hypostasis”) of Christ, through the preservation of their qnome (divine and human).

Sorry.
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« Reply #181 on: December 30, 2009, 02:20:45 PM »

My question would start with the theological COE definition of kyanah, qnoma, and parsopa.

In this post I’ll give all the info I can find on these 3 Aramaic words,

parsopa isn't Aramaic: its Greek (πρόσωπον)


[/quote] (all colour coding mine):

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First, let’s go back to that diagram:



Here’s Mar Babai the Great’s explanation from his Book of Union:

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“A singular essence is called a ‘qnoma’. It stands alone, one in number, that is, one as distinct from the many. A qnoma is invariable in its natural state and is bound to a species and nature, being one [numerically] among a number of like qnome. It is distinctive among its fellow qnome [only] by reason of any unique property or characteristic which it possesses in its ‘parsopa’. With rational creatures this [uniqueness] may consist of various [external and internal] accidents, such as excellent or evil character, or knowledge or ignorance, and with irrational creatures [as also with the rational] the combination of various contrasting features. [Through the parsopa we distinguish that] Gabriel is not Michael, and Paul is not Peter. However, in each qnoma of any given nature the entire common nature is known, and intellectually one recognizes what that nature, which encompasses all its qnome, consists of. A qnoma does not encompass the nature as a whole [but exemplifies what is common to the nature, such as, in a human qnoma, body, soul, mind, etc.].”—Fourth Memra, Book of the Union, Published by Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Paris, 1915, A. Vaschalde, ed.

Then the qnome of the Holy Trinity should each have their parsopa.

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Mar Babai’s definition of qnoma, again from the Fourth Memra:

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(a) A particular nature which has been individuated but not independently personalized
(b) As a specific exemplar of that which is common to a general classification or species – that which moves from an abstract generalization to a concrete example;
(c) As a set of natural properties (as opposed to distinguishing accidents) as they exist in an individual.

Such is workable for a hyspostatic union of Christ.

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Here is a summary of the COE’s Christology from the Synodicon Oriental:

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Concerning this, we believe in our hearts and confess with our lips one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose Godhead does not disappear, and whose manhood is not stolen away, but who is complete God and complete man. When we say of Christ ‘complete God’ we are not naming the Trinity, but one of the qnome of the Trinity, God the Word. Again, when we call Christ ‘complete man’ it is not all men we are naming, but the one qnoma which was specifically taken for our salvation into union with the Word.

This would be Orthodox (the only issue might come in the issue of the question of a human hypostasis in Christ, an issue we have on the "Jesus Christ the God-Man, A Divine Person, Also a Human Person?" private thread.  A question here would be that the Human and Divine qnome in Christ are united such that remain united in one qnoma, as the body, soul and spirit of a man are one qnoma, even when the soul/spirit is parted from the body (and hence why it will be reunited at the Resurrection).

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More? From Ruach Qadim: the Path to Life by Andrew Gabriel Roth, pg 138-139:

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Kyanna does not refer to an actual thing but rather to an abstraction of that thing; a theoretical construct. You can talk about “human nature” but have you found its actuality? Kyanna simply asks the question, “Can something be divine, human or animal?” as opposed to, “I have found THIS, and it is human.”

The question is, when you have found Christ, have you found divine and human nature.

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…“For every kyanna of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human kyanna.” (James 3:7)

The problem is if you use Biblical quotes for kyana, you multiply problems (e.g. Galations 2:15 would have the Jews of a different essence than the rest of us Shocked).

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The nature of something is never seen, and it only exists as a classification searching for an occurrence it has not found yet. John the bird collector, trudging off into the forest to document as many species as possible has already worked out in his mind certain criteria of “birdness” that he will look for. What he is looking for will have feathery wings as opposed to the leather-like appearance of a bat’s, it will have a sharp beak and not a mammalian style mouth, and so on. That criteria or classification scheme is the essence of kyanna

With me so far?


More or less.

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Let’s continue:

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…Now let us say that a few minutes after John arrives in the forest, something flies overhead, but it is moving too quickly for him to identify it. All John knows is that some kind of bird, a living example of the classification (kyanna) he held in his mind just went by him. In that case John has just found an individuated instance of that abstract concept – he has found a qnoma, that his kyanna was looking for.

Pause again and think about what is happening here, now let’s continue on:

How does he know, since it was a blurr, not a bat, or a dragon fly?

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More time passes, and John wants to make sure he does not make the same mistake twice. He double checks his equipment and makes every effort to ensure that his camera is ready to snap a photograph the instant another bird crosses his path. Then, finally, one does, and this time he is elated because he has captured the image of a rare type of sparrow that he has been looking to add to his species list for years. The bird has all the unique features known only to its kind, along with some odd coloring that would even distinguish him from amongst other members of his species. At that level of detail then, we have found the parsopa of that particular bird.

What if it is just the female of a species of which the male is already known (such mistakes have happened in taxonomy)?  I'm also not sure how this makes a rigid distinction between qnoma and parsopa that a parsopic, rather than a hypostatic/qnomic, union would require in Christ. At least in a way to keep it Orthodox.

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Shamash Paul Younan sums it up like this:

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"Self" would be a horrible definition for Qnoma. "Self" is nearly synonymous with "Person", yet two Qnome from the same Kyana (nature) do not have the necessary amount of differentiating information to be considered two distinct "persons."

qnoma is a usual word for "self" in Syriac, and "person."

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Kyana (nature) is abstract. Qnoma is an instantiation, a concrete example, of a Kyana......yet it does not contain enough information to become a different "Person" from a fellow Qnoma of the same Kyana.


Why not?

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The only thing which differentiates one Qnoma from another in the same Kyana is number - by that I mean that each one is distinct, yet not distinct enough to be considered two different "persons."

This is adding another layer: is it warranted?

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Here’s a simple illustration on the differences between kyana, qnoma & parsopa:

A day is a 24 hour period – this is kyana
A week is a group of 7 24 hour periods (day 1, day 2, ect.) – this is qnoma
Each day has a name (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) to distinguish it from the other days in the same group (week) – this is parsopa

This is like saying the Father, Son and Spirit are kyana, and the Trinity qnoma.

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Perhaps it’ll be easier to understand what a qnoma is, if we first look at what it does. Again I quote Paul Younan:

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Orthodox Christianity (all Orthodox Christianity) believes that the subject of the Incarnation was both "God and Man"....not a "God-man." Pagans believed in "god-men." There is a BIG difference between the two.


Actually, the Hypostaic Union describes a God-man, which has nothing to do with the god-men of the pagans, who were mixture.

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The way Aramaic-speaking believers

The Syriac Orthodox are also Aramaic-speaking believers: in fact, they, with those in submission to the Vatican, have the only Aramaic (versus Syriac) speaking believers.  They all believe in the Hypostatic Union.

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understand this revelation (God and Man) is through the concept of "God-Qnoma and Human-Qnoma", and this fits in perfectly with revelation in scripture.


So it does.  But then, it also reveals Christ as a qnoma.

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If Meshikha didn't have a Divine Qnoma, then he was a liar. If Meshikha didn't have a Human Qnoma, then the sacrifice is useless and I reject it.


I prefer the wording "beign a Divine qnoma" etc.

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You HAVE to understand that when you even suggest that Meshikha didn't have a divine Qnoma, you are saying that he wasn't God. And if you even suggest that Meshikha didn't have a human Qnoma, then you are saying that he wasn't born of a woman!

In the Aramaic psyche - you cannot be human, and not have a human Qnoma. You cannot be God, and not have a divine Qnoma. In other words, in the Aramaic psyche you cannot go directly from abstract nature to concrete person. That abstract nature must be *individuated* first. That's where Qnoma comes in.


Well, having borrowed the concepts from the Greek psyche (a Greek word, btw), I'm not sure of the point, since it doesn't differ from the Greek terminology on which it is based.

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If you tell an Aramaic-speaking person that a bird flying above does not have a "bird qnoma", that person would look at you like you were insane - because what you are saying, essentially, is that you think the bird is imaginary! That you think that bird doesn't exist!

Qnoma functions as an “ingredient”, or “chemical reaction” or “process” which is needed to transform something abstract into something concrete, but on a conceptual level not a physical level, again from Paul Younan:

Being an existentialist, I see the abstract only existing in the particulars, rather than the particulars being derived from an abstract.  But I don't know if that is a sine qua non of Orthodoxy.

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Yes, indeed. The word for "resurrection" in Aramaic is "Qeyamtha", which is also derived from the root "Qom."

The reason why Prof. Brock and others have concluded that the CoE definition for Qnoma is the archaic one, is because of the imagery involved with the primitive root meaning "to rise up, stand up, to be established."

"Kyana" means "nature" in an abstract sense, and "Qnoma" means an "individuated kyana", i.e., "something which has arisen, stood up, and become established from an abstract concept."

The use of qnoma for person, self is used in the Peshitta.  Again, I would question if the kyana is not abstracted from qnome.

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Think of it this way:

Human Kyana~Abstract Nature: Blueprint - must have 46 chromosomes. Must have a gender of male or female. Must have two eyes, two arms, two legs, etc. The blueprint for everything a human is supposed to be. Abstract, not real.

Human Qnoma~Concrete, Real, Individuated Kyana: This is an individuated (real, concrete) Kyana. There exists billions of them that are identical. All are equal, except in number (i.e., Qnoma number 1 is not Qnoma number 2). They cannot be distinguished except by instance (number).

Human Parsopa~Person: Peter, Paul, Mary. Each one is a different person. Because the Kyana states that a human must have 46 chromosomes, all three people have 46 chromosomes - but each one has different combinations of genes which makes them unique.

Because the Kyana states that a human must have two eyes - Peter, Paul and Mary each have two eyes. However, Paul's eyes are brown while Peter's eyes are green and Mary's eyes are blue. Each one has personal characteristics that make each person unique.

Again, each person is a concrete, real, individuated Kyana.

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Think of qnoma as a “photocopy” of human nature, like you would make a photocopy of a document – all the copies are identical because it’s the same document, the only thing that distinguishes them is number, again from Paul Younan:

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All human Qnome are co-equal (nothing to distinguish them, except for number~name.) This is why the fall of Adam was the fall of all of mankind. We are all collectively called "Adam." Our nature became corrupt, therefore each of our copies of that nature (qnome) are corrupt. Meshikha took a qnoma from Maryam and redeemed our nature by His sacrifice of that human temple.


This would get into the issue of Christ having an individual human hypostasis.

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In like manner, all the Qnome of God are co-equal, one and the same Kyana - one single God. We do not call them by the English word "persons", nor by its Aramaic cognate "parsope".


The word parsopon is a Biblical one:
http://thriceholy.net/prosopon.html

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As human qnome are collectively called "Adam" or "Anasha", these three Divine qnome are collectively called the "Godhead". We make no distinction between them, except for number~name.


One is source, one is begotten, one processes.

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As you and I are called "ben-Adam" or "bar-Anasha", Meshikha's humanity is called "bar-Alaha"....the "Son of God." But His Divinity is God Himself.

I hope that is a typo: Bar Alaha is His Divinity.

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Paul Younan on parsopa:

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No. There is no such thing as a Divine Person. We do not speak of God as a "person", because a "person" means that you are physical.

No, it doesn't.

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We speak of the subject of the Incarnation, Meshikha, as a "person" because he had both a human nature(abstract)-qnoma(concrete) as well as a Divine nature(abstract)-qnoma(concrete) in one "person" and was born of a woman - he materialized here on earth among us and became a person like us.

But that does not mean that God is a "person" - God is three Qnome and not a "Person."

It would seem then, that all of us on the private thread about Christ's human hypostasis would be of one opinion versus the opinion just expressed, as all of us confess that Christ has eternally been a person.

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In the person of Meshikha, one Divine Qnoma (out f three) was joined together with one human qnoma (out of billions) to form a single "person", who was the subject of the Incarnation and the object of our worship.

Only if that person was in Hypostatic Union.

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The Father never became a Parsopa, neither did the Holy Spirit. These two Qnome remained distinct from the Qnoma of the Son which took for itself a body from us as a temple (Yukhanan 1:1), and thus became a "person."

The Father and Spirit are both Persons, as is the Son, Who became a "sanctuary" as opposed to "temple."

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When we speak of the Godhead, we speak of spiritual things and not physical things.

When we speak of the Incarnation, we do. And when we speak of Godhead, we speak of the Three Persons in One Godhead.

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God is God, we are persons. In Aramaic, the word "person" is attributed to a human nature. Human beings are persons. (We don't speak of individual dogs, cats or pet goldfish in a bowl as "persons", either.)

Actually, Syriac does use parSopa to speak of the Persons of the Trinity, and, for instance the "parSopa of the earth."

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I'm not sure what you mean by "impersonal"? "Impersonal" as an adjective could describe an entity that isn't alive, does not feel emotions, is unknowable, lacks the ability to communicate or lacks "personality." Kind of like a dead or inanimate object, like a rock.

Impersonal as in the deist image of God.  A force, not a Person.

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God lives, God is and God is knowable. God loves. God creates. God heals. God speaks. God saves.

Actually, God is not knowable unless He reveals Himself.

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We can certainly observe things within God's Nature, certain aspects of His Being that are familiar to our human experience.

The former would be His Essence, which we cannot observe, the latter His Energies, through which we know Him.

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Certainly, we are created in His Image, so we might expect that we have certain things in our individual person that reflect certain aspects of our Creator. Is that what you mean by "personal?"

I do not think of God as a "person" or "three persons", but if I were forced to assign a label in English I would utilize a word like Being - that is the essence of the name YHWH in Hebrew.

The One revealed in the Burning Bush is the same revealed in the Womb of the Virgin.  But through her we have seen God, not like Moses, who couldn't behold His glory.



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Actually, I wanted to add Akha: there is no native Aramaic term that means what the Greek/English "person" means. The Aramaic vocabulary, indeed the Semitic psyche as a whole, lacks the very concept.

The word we use today, "Parsopa", is a loan-word from Greek ("Proposon"). Reason it's a loan word, is that usually when cultures come into contact and there is a concept in one that is absent from the other, borrowing typically occurs (back and forth.)

Really when anyone in the Semitic milieu, Jews, Christians and Muslims, hear the Western formulation of "One God in Three Persons", we become rather confused. Of course both Jewish and Muslim apologists, indeed even fringe groups like the JW's, accuse "Christianity" of being something other than Monotheistic.

There are terms for "Person," e.g. "My/your/his/her soul."

And the "One God in Three Persons" is the formulation of the Ecumenical Councils, all of which were held in the East.

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While I don't agree with them, of course, one can see how the confusion arises since the terminology is almost contradictory to say the least.

That's really unfortunate, because if one studies the topic carefully the reality is that the Greek "Prosopon" was nearly unavoidable given that no cognate for "Qnuma", the concept, exists in Indo-European languages.

Hypostasis.

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How these understandings of kyana, qnoma & parsopa affect COE Christology:

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The Incarnation does NOT mean that God changed into anything. God remained God, and simply took the form of a servant by taking a temple of humanity from Mary. His Divinity dwelled within the humanity with which He clothed Himself.

As one is clothed in his own skin.

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It is this humanity that was tempted in the wilderness, that urinated, that defecated, that ate food, that drank water, that bled on the Cross and that lay dead in the tomb for three days and three nights. God was not involved in any of those things. God is impassible, eternal and in need of none of those things.

Since the Incarnation, God is involved in all those things.

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…Finally, you ask about atonement. If Meshikha wasn't fully human just as you are fully human, the sacrificial act was worthless and you still remain in your sin. If Meshikha's humanity was "divine" (according to you), then it is not your humanity that was sacrificed, but some freak Frankenstein creature. And therefore you are still lost.

Saying His humanity was divine would be mixing the natures.

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And finally:

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No one is saying that Meshikha isn't God. He is. And no one is saying that Meshikha isn't man. He is.
The Divinity did not die on the Cross. The Divinity is impassible. The manhood, which He took from us, bled and died and suffered and was tempted. But not the Divinity.

Do you really understand the Divinity to have suffered and have died? If "God" died, then who raised Him?
Yes, of course Meshikha is called MarYah. He is MarYah. But he is also bnai' nasha (Son of Man) The Hymn above in this thread explains my position perfectly. I'm not adding to it or taking anything away from it, the scriptures it references make it perfectly clear that God did not die and Man did not raise the dead and forgive sins.

Once again, the person of Meshikha is God/Man ..... not God-man. Neither the Divinity was from His mother, nor the humanity from His Father. Each was preserved perfectly in its own Qnuma, in the One Person of Meshikha. Qnuma is an Aramaic word I though you were familiar with, at least conceptually.

It is not possible for Satan to tempt God in the wilderness. What kind of temptation was that, a mockery? A set up? Doomed to fail from the get-go? That is utter blasphemy. It is the humanity of Meshikha that was tempted. What was Satan offering God in the wilderness that He did not already own? What are you thinking? Was Satan really asking God to bow down and worship him? What kind of triumph of will was that? A mockery you have turned the temptation into, that's what. If God, and not our Humanity, triumphed over temptation then it means nothing. Big deal. Woo-hoo. God wasn't interested in all the kingdoms, riches and debauchery that Satan had to offer. Woo-hoo. Great triumph.

Likewise, it is not possible that God bleeds or urinates or defecates or dies or lays in a grave. That is paganism.

The confines of the Tomb contained Him Whom the Heavens eternally could not contain.

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Comments?


See above.
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« Reply #182 on: December 30, 2009, 03:12:25 PM »

I was skimming through this writing by Theodore of Mopsuestia (I should read the whole thing though, which I'll do when I have the time) and I just wanted to give an example of what we as Orthodox find quite objectionable even in the language of Christology:

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Our Fathers rightly thought not to overlook the humanity of our Lord which possesses such an ineffable union with Divine nature, but added: And in one Lord Jesus Christ, as if they had said, 'We believe in one Lord who is of Divine nature, to which the name of Lord and God is truly due.' In speaking of God the Word they said: By whom are all things, as the evangelist said: "All things were made by Him, and nothing was made without Him." It is as if they had said, ' This one we understand to be one Lord who is of the Divine nature of God the Father, who for our salvation put on a man in whom He dwelt and through whom He appeared and became known to mankind. It is this man who was said by the angel that he would be called Jesus, who was anointed with the Holy Ghost in whom He was perfected and justified, as the blessed Paul testifies.' After saying these and showing the Divine nature and the human nature which God put on, they added: The "Only Begotten Son," the "first-born" of all creatures. With these two words they alluded to the two natures, and by the difference between the words they made us understand the difference between the natures. From the fact also that they referred both words to the one person of the Son they showed us the close union between the two natures. They did not make use of these words out of their own head but they took them from the teaching of Holy Writ. The blessed Paul said: "Of whom Christ in the flesh, who is God over all," not that He is God by nature from the fact that He is of the House of David in the flesh, but he said "in the flesh" in order to indicate the human nature that was assumed. He said "God over all" in order to indicate the Divine nature which is higher than all, and which is the Lord. He used both words of one person in order to teach the close union of the two natures, and in order to make manifest the majesty and the honour that came to the man who was assumed by God who put Him on.

When you differentiate the natures of Christ to the point you give the human nature a separate pronoun, that to me is troublesome language, two personist if you will, even though Theodore of Mopsuestia says he believes in one person, but continues to say the man was called Jesus, and God the Word assumed Him, not "it" but Him.  Neither is it acknowledged that God the Word IS Jesus, but rather assumed Jesus.

To be honest, the definition Nazerene gives to hypostasis is fine by me, because if anything Severus of Antioch was close to that definition.  But I would say that Severus of Antioch would condemn the way one would talk about Christ as Theodore of Mopsuestia did (let alone the two natures part, which is a separate discussion).  So there's more to it than just different definitions of terms in my opinion.

Dear Nazarene,

Severus of Antioch has defined hypostasis as the concrete individuation of nature.  Therefore, if anything, your "qnome" is the Syriac "hypostasis."  Essence(ousia) was an "abstraction" and nature (physis) can either be defined as ousia or hypostasis.  But prosopon was not merely what differentiates hypostases, but that which contains a "self."  A hypostasis being the concrete of an abstract would already be differentiated from other concrete things, and there's no need to add something to differentiate it from others.

For example, "rockness" is ousia.  You can't see "rockness" but you can definitely see a rock or a pebble, each being a hypostasis.  These are the Syriac definitions according to Severus of Antioch.  Prosopon is that which contains self, not that which differentiates.  Just because I can name a rock, doesn't mean it has prosopon.  If the definition of prosopon is just differentiating with names, then it's understandable that the Assyrian Church believes in multiple persons within Christ.  If "parsopa" is in the name, then Theodore of Mopsuestia shows quite sufficiently that he believe in two names acting together in Christ, the Word of God and the son of man.  (Byzantine Christology defines hypostasis as prosopon (as self) while the concretion of ousia is physis).

There's another problem to the definitions you provide for us.  Prosopon to you is considered one that differentiates with names.  You provided the example of the days of the week.  Now, let me apply the strategy of same analogy with the Trinity:

God is uncreated (ousia)
The Trinity is three in One God (hypostases)
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Trinity (persons).

So while you deny any prosopon in the Trinity, yet the Trinity still has prosopa using that analogy of yours.  Is this a self-contradiction?

God bless.
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« Reply #183 on: December 30, 2009, 07:04:20 PM »

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Mar Babai’s definition of qnoma, again from the Fourth Memra:

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(a) A particular nature which has been individuated but not independently personalized
(b) As a specific exemplar of that which is common to a general classification or species – that which moves from an abstract generalization to a concrete example;
(c) As a set of natural properties (as opposed to distinguishing accidents) as they exist in an individual.

Such is workable for a hyspostatic union of Christ.

Then let's leave it at that Isa. Mar Babai's Christology is that of the Assyrian Church of the East. Everything else is mere exposition.
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« Reply #184 on: December 30, 2009, 07:25:08 PM »

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Mar Babai’s definition of qnoma, again from the Fourth Memra:

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(a) A particular nature which has been individuated but not independently personalized
(b) As a specific exemplar of that which is common to a general classification or species – that which moves from an abstract generalization to a concrete example;
(c) As a set of natural properties (as opposed to distinguishing accidents) as they exist in an individual.

Such is workable for a hyspostatic union of Christ.

Then let's leave it at that Isa. Mar Babai's Christology is that of the Assyrian Church of the East. Everything else is mere exposition.

Shalom Isa, minasoliman & Rafa,

I was just thinking something while reading your responses. Since the concept of qnoma is exclusive to the Aramaic language perhaps we should just ignore it. There's no English cognate, the concept doesn't exist in English, so it's not needed to explain Christology in English, and we are speaking English right now aren't we?

I don't mind discussing qnoma further, but how about (just for now) we leave the qnoma element out of the picture? What do you think?

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« Reply #185 on: December 30, 2009, 07:48:59 PM »

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Quote
Hypostatic Union

A theological term used with reference to the Incarnation to express the revealed truth that in Christ one person subsists in two natures, the Divine and the human. Hypostasis means, literally, that which lies beneath as basis or foundation. Hence it came to be used by the Greek philosophers to denote reality as distinguished from appearances (Aristotle, "Mund.", IV, 21). It occurs also in St. Paul's Epistles (2 Corinthians 9:4; 11:17; Hebrews 1:3-3:14), but not in the sense of person. Previous to the Council of Nicæa (325) hypostasis was synonymous with ousia, and even St. Augustine (On the Holy Trinity V.Cool avers that he sees no difference between them. The distinction in fact was brought about gradually in the course of the controversies to which the Christological heresies gave rise, and was definitively established by the Council of Chalcedon (451), which declared that in Christ the two natures, each retaining its own properties, are united in one subsistence and one person (eis en prosopon kai mian hpostasin) (Denzinger, ed. Bannwart, 148). They are not joined in a moral or accidental union (Nestorius), nor commingled (Eutyches), and nevertheless they are substantially united. For further explanation and bibliography see: INCARNATION; JESUS CHRIST; MONOPHYSITISM; NATURE; PERSON.

Can someone give me a full explanation of the Hypostatic Union, as well as the ancient pre-Nicene meanings of the Greek words ousia, physis, hypostasis & prosopon?
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« Reply #186 on: December 30, 2009, 08:43:27 PM »

(Byzantine Christology defines hypostasis as prosopon (as self) while the concretion of ousia is physis).

Disclaimer: I do not consider either Assyrians or Oriental Orthodox heretics.

The Byzantine fathers rejected the term prosopon because they considered it a weak term just as they rejected the term miaphysis.  Prosopon was considered unsuitable because it did not imply the unity of the person stongly enough to them.  Prosopon carried the meaning of personality and was used also of the masks that actors wore.  Miaphysis was rejected because they considered it did not distinguish between the natures strongly enough and could be interpreted as Christ being 50% human 50% divine.

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« Reply #187 on: December 30, 2009, 09:08:52 PM »

Deacon Lance, an important thing you must know is that because the Assyrian Church of the East was in the Persian empire by itself, the meanings of the words and theological expressions changed quickly  (ie: person has a very different connotation today than at Nicea, it took 80 years for the COE to approve Nicea), by the time the Assyrian Church formulated its positions and sent them out to show that they were orthodox, their positions were frequently not understood...which is tragic.
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« Reply #188 on: December 30, 2009, 09:19:45 PM »

The Byzantine fathers rejected the term prosopon

Are you sure of that?  Please correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the Tome of Leo use that term?
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« Reply #189 on: December 30, 2009, 09:58:59 PM »

St Leo wrote the Tome in Latin and used the term personam, which I believe the Greeks translated as prosopon (not sure how consistent this was done) but again rejected this term to describe the union.  They described the union as hypostatic not prosoponic.
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« Reply #190 on: December 30, 2009, 10:01:52 PM »

Deacon Lance, an important thing you must know is that because the Assyrian Church of the East was in the Persian empire by itself, the meanings of the words and theological expressions changed quickly  (ie: person has a very different connotation today than at Nicea, it took 80 years for the COE to approve Nicea), by the time the Assyrian Church formulated its positions and sent them out to show that they were orthodox, their positions were frequently not understood...which is tragic.

Yes, I understand which is why I do not consider Assyrians heretics, nor does my Church.
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« Reply #191 on: December 31, 2009, 01:18:18 AM »

Deacon Lance, an important thing you must know is that because the Assyrian Church of the East was in the Persian empire by itself, the meanings of the words and theological expressions changed quickly  (ie: person has a very different connotation today than at Nicea, it took 80 years for the COE to approve Nicea), by the time the Assyrian Church formulated its positions and sent them out to show that they were orthodox, their positions were frequently not understood...which is tragic.

Yes, I understand which is why I do not consider Assyrians heretics, nor does my Church.

So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?
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« Reply #192 on: December 31, 2009, 01:24:12 AM »

Quote
Mar Babai’s definition of qnoma, again from the Fourth Memra:

Quote
(a) A particular nature which has been individuated but not independently personalized
(b) As a specific exemplar of that which is common to a general classification or species – that which moves from an abstract generalization to a concrete example;
(c) As a set of natural properties (as opposed to distinguishing accidents) as they exist in an individual.

Such is workable for a hyspostatic union of Christ.

Then let's leave it at that Isa. Mar Babai's Christology is that of the Assyrian Church of the East. Everything else is mere exposition.

Shalom Isa, minasoliman & Rafa,

I was just thinking something while reading your responses. Since the concept of qnoma is exclusive to the Aramaic language perhaps we should just ignore it. There's no English cognate, the concept doesn't exist in English, so it's not needed to explain Christology in English, and we are speaking English right now aren't we?

I don't mind discussing qnoma further, but how about (just for now) we leave the qnoma element out of the picture? What do you think?



What the Greeks call hypostasis, the Syriacs call qnoma, and we (Arabs) call 'uqnuum e.g.
The Concept of al-uqnum in Ammar al-Basri's Apology for the Doctrine of the Trinity
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=12421483

We can use English "subsistence" or "person," but it doesn't eliminate the problem, as the terms are not untranslatable.
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« Reply #193 on: December 31, 2009, 01:30:32 AM »

Quote
So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?

Where did I say Christ does not have a Mother? Also note your statement "Christ God has blood"- is it Christ which has blood or the invisible spirit the divine father which has blood? Because there is a separation there, he is not a 50% man 50% invisible spirit fusion being with blood. "Your will be done" as he said in Gethsemane. Before you say that I denied God has blood, no, only I think the blood of all beings on the Earth belongs to God (why he asked us not to eat it because it is holy) and the Christ offered his blood as a holy Qurbana.

Quote
The Archbishop of Constantinople — Nestorius, having asserted that Mary ought not to be referred to as the "Mother of God" (Theotokos in Greek, literally "God-bearer"),[1] was denounced as a heretic; in combating this assertion of Patriarch Nestorius, Eutyches declared that Christ was "a fusion of human and divine elements",[1] causing his own denunciation as a heretic twenty years after the First Council of Ephesus at the 451 AD Council of Chalcedon.

Quote
After his death his doctrines obtained the support of the Empress Eudocia and made considerable progress in Syria. In the sixth century, they received a new impulse from a monk of the name of Jacob Baradaeus, who united the various divisions into which the Eutychians, or Monophysites, had separated into one church, which exists today under the name of the Syriac Orthodox Church. There are also many adherents of the similar miaphysite doctrine in Armenia, Egypt and Ethiopia (also in the Oriental Orthodox communion), who are often erroneously called "Monophysites" even though they do not, and never have, followed Eutyches.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eutyches

...and I am a "heretic" ?
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« Reply #194 on: December 31, 2009, 01:52:04 AM »

Quote
So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?

Where did I say Christ does not have a Mother? Also note your statement "Christ God has blood"- is it Christ which has blood or the invisible spirit the divine father which has blood? Because there is a separation there, he is not a 50% man 50% invisible spirit fusion being with blood. "Your will be done" as he said in Gethsemane. Before you say that I denied God has blood, no, only I think the blood of all beings on the Earth belongs to God (why he asked us not to eat it because it is holy) and the Christ offered his blood as a holy Qurbana.

God purchased the Church with His Blood. Acts 20:28.

Quote
Quote
The Archbishop of Constantinople — Nestorius, having asserted that Mary ought not to be referred to as the "Mother of God" (Theotokos in Greek, literally "God-bearer"),[1] was denounced as a heretic; in combating this assertion of Patriarch Nestorius, Eutyches declared that Christ was "a fusion of human and divine elements",[1] causing his own denunciation as a heretic twenty years after the First Council of Ephesus at the 451 AD Council of Chalcedon.

Quote
After his death his doctrines obtained the support of the Empress Eudocia and made considerable progress in Syria. In the sixth century, they received a new impulse from a monk of the name of Jacob Baradaeus, who united the various divisions into which the Eutychians, or Monophysites, had separated into one church, which exists today under the name of the Syriac Orthodox Church. There are also many adherents of the similar miaphysite doctrine in Armenia, Egypt and Ethiopia (also in the Oriental Orthodox communion), who are often erroneously called "Monophysites" even though they do not, and never have, followed Eutyches.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eutyches

...and I am a "heretic" ?
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« Reply #195 on: December 31, 2009, 01:54:42 AM »

Quote
God purchased the Church with His Blood. Acts 20:28.

Doctored Jacobite reading. The Messiah did. I confess the Mother of Christ. Alaha has no mother, he is eternal and unbegotten.
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« Reply #196 on: December 31, 2009, 02:11:57 AM »

Quote
So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?

Where did I say Christ does not have a Mother? Also note your statement "Christ God has blood"- is it Christ which has blood or the invisible spirit the divine father which has blood? Because there is a separation there, he is not a 50% man 50% invisible spirit fusion being with blood. "Your will be done" as he said in Gethsemane. Before you say that I denied God has blood, no, only I think the blood of all beings on the Earth belongs to God (why he asked us not to eat it because it is holy) and the Christ offered his blood as a holy Qurbana.


This is the sort of thing that tells me there really is a difference--however subtle--between the Christology of my Church and that of the Church of the East.  All the discussion over words, like qnoma, doesn't mean much to me.  However, the fact that my Church can say God Incarnate has a mother and blood, and the fact that the COE is not comfortable with that, tells me there is a real difference in our beliefs regarding how divinity and humanity were united in the Incarnation. 
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« Reply #197 on: December 31, 2009, 02:18:00 AM »

Quote
God purchased the Church with His Blood. Acts 20:28.

Doctored Jacobite reading.
Devoid of a cogent argument, you discredit the very Scriptures that instruct our arguments.  Can you prove that the Scripture ialmisry cited was doctored?  I've not seen you do this yet, at least not well enough to convince me.
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« Reply #198 on: December 31, 2009, 02:19:57 AM »

The Eastern Syriac Khabouris manuscript I cited  contains "Messiah" instead of God. It's Syriac is older than that of the Orthodox Syriac Church, it is the Eastern script and vowel pointers.

Also...somebody here please tell me if God would have the possibility of succumbing to temptation to satan like this interpretation of Miaphysitism suggests. Are you saying that when satan tempted the Messiah he was tempting God in a pathetic attempt which would assuredly fail? That can't be a true God, now if you were saying he was tempting the human nature of the Messiah that's different.

Quote
Your Will, Not Mine! - Mark 14:36

Are you suggesting a schizophrenic Messiah talking to himself? I see here the Son of God appealing to the Divine nature in him somehow separate much like your arm can receive directions from your brain but it can't instruct your brain what to do, doesn't mean you are two people. This is material for infinite homilies and I don't pretend I fully understand it, but its what scripture teaches. Also, how can that Son not know the time of his coming (but the father does?) It's because there's a certain separation, much like the branches of a tree are separate but not different trees.

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« Reply #199 on: December 31, 2009, 03:26:31 AM »

Dear Rafa999,

St. Jacob Baradeus was not a Eutychian, but condemned Eutyches.  He wasn't really a "uniter" but more of a "preserver" who with the spirit of St. Paul's bravery preserved the Oriental Orthodox churches and of the ancient Alexandrian tradition of Christology.

Also Acts 20:28 is not a "Jacobite doctoring."  I believe we can go as far back (and I'm sure farther) as St. John Chrysostom, who studied under the guidance of Diodore of Tarsus and with Theodore of Mopsuestia (who taught Nestorius):

So, whereas he seems to be justifying himself, in fact he is terrifying them. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (or, bishops) to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.  Do you mark? he enjoins them two things. Neither success in bringing others right of itself is any gain—for, I fear, he says, “lest by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away” (1 Cor. ix. 27); nor the being diligent for one’s self alone. For such an one is selfish, and seeks his own good only, and is like to him who buried his talent. “Take heed to yourselves:” this he says, not because our own salvation is more precious than that of the flock, but because, when we take heed to ourselves, then the flock also is a gainer. “In which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God.” See, it is from the Spirit ye have your ordination. This is one constraint: then he says, “To feed the Church of the Lord.”  Lo! another obligation: the Church is the Lord’s.  And a third: “which He hath purchased with His own blood.” It shows how precious the concern is; that the peril is about no small matters, seeing that even His own blood He spared not.”

Perhaps, your Eastern Syriac Khabouris is a Nestorian doctoring?

God bless.
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« Reply #200 on: December 31, 2009, 03:44:04 AM »

Chrysostom studied with the presumed "heretic" Theodore of Mopsuestia, who is titled "the interpreter" in the COE. Perhaps you can all respect the great St.John Chrysostom and confess to be wrong and that his master was right, and that St.Chrysostom's canon even agrees with that of the COE (he never used the last five books of the Western canon...just like the COE).
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« Reply #201 on: December 31, 2009, 03:50:37 AM »

The Eastern Syriac Khabouris manuscript I cited  contains "Messiah" instead of God. It's Syriac is older than that of the Orthodox Syriac Church, it is the Eastern script and vowel pointers.

Also...somebody here please tell me if God would have the possibility of succumbing to temptation to satan like this interpretation of Miaphysitism suggests. Are you saying that when satan tempted the Messiah he was tempting God in a pathetic attempt which would assuredly fail? That can't be a true God, now if you were saying he was tempting the human nature of the Messiah that's different.

Quote
Your Will, Not Mine! - Mark 14:36

Are you suggesting a schizophrenic Messiah talking to himself? I see here the Son of God appealing to the Divine nature in him somehow separate much like your arm can receive directions from your brain but it can't instruct your brain what to do, doesn't mean you are two people. This is material for infinite homilies and I don't pretend I fully understand it, but its what scripture teaches. Also, how can that Son not know the time of his coming (but the father does?) It's because there's a certain separation, much like the branches of a tree are separate but not different trees.


Can a person appeal to a nature?
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« Reply #202 on: December 31, 2009, 03:55:31 AM »

Chrysostom studied with the presumed "heretic" Theodore of Mopsuestia, who is titled "the interpreter" in the COE. Perhaps you can all respect the great St.John Chrysostom and confess to be wrong and that his master was right, and that St.Chrysostom's canon even agrees with that of the COE (he never used the last five books of the Western canon...just like the COE).

He also hasn't interpreted Luke and Mark.  Do you honestly believe that if he hasn't wrote any homilies on any book that he didn't accept it?

Where's your proof?

Also, you haven't addressed how Acts 20:28 was a Jacobite forgery when it fact St. John Chrysostom also quoted that God had blood.
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« Reply #203 on: December 31, 2009, 03:57:58 AM »

I'll trust the theologian who taught one of your greatest Saints on this matter of the correct reading and on who is right thankyou  Wink

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« Reply #204 on: December 31, 2009, 04:27:59 AM »

I'll trust the theologian who taught one of your greatest Saints on this matter of the correct reading and on who is right thankyou  Wink



So you think Diodore of Tarsus also believed the verse also alluded to the blood of God?
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« Reply #205 on: December 31, 2009, 06:12:34 AM »

I'll trust the theologian who taught one of your greatest Saints on this matter of the correct reading and on who is right thankyou  Wink
It's nice that you trust the guy.  But what about us?  Why should we trust him?
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« Reply #206 on: December 31, 2009, 09:41:53 AM »

Also note your statement "Christ God has blood"- is it Christ which has blood or the invisible spirit the divine father which has blood?

You seem to be suggesting that the divinity of Christ is God the Father. Are you a Sabellian too?

The invisible God assumed a complete humanity, blood included. God the Son is a Person. His humanity belongs to His divine Person. Therefore God has blood, and offers it to us in the divine Eucharist.
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« Reply #207 on: December 31, 2009, 10:18:13 AM »

What the Greeks call hypostasis, the Syriacs call qnoma, and we (Arabs) call 'uqnuum e.g.
The Concept of al-uqnum in Ammar al-Basri's Apology for the Doctrine of the Trinity
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=12421483

I'm going to quote Brock again:

Quote
"First of all (and this goes without saying), we need to try to understand what writers actually meant by the technical terms they use, rather than rely on what their opponents claimed they meant.....in this context, both the Syriac (Aramaic) terminology, and the understanding of that terminology, in the Church of the East can be described as both archaic and conservative."

"I conclude by looking at two sets of specific example....both are cases where the language used by the Church of the East could best be described as archaic.....we are dealing with imagery which was once widespread and which is still preserved in the Church of the East after it had been for the most part dropped by everyone else in the course of the fifth century controversies."

"It is essentially this (the archaic) understanding of kyana that is retained in the Church of the East.....by contrast, later fifth- and sixth-century Syrian Orthodox writers understand kyana as virtually a synonym with hypostasis.....significantly, in Syriac Orthodox translations of the later fifth and of the sixth century, the older rendering...is replaced by various other translations, thus removing the (now archaic) association of kyana with ousia."

"At the outset I would suggest that....it is important to retain the Syriac term (Qnoma), and not retrovert it into hypostasis (let alone translate it as "person", as has occasionally been done)."

"In many cases...the tradition of the Church of the East will be found to have preserved images and metaphors of the incarnation which were once widely current, but which writers in other Syriac traditions had subsequently dropped, either on grounds of their perceived inadequacy, or because they were thought to lend support to the position of their theological opponents."

"The 4th century texts seem to understand kyana very much with ousia....This meaning was kept unchanged in the East. In the 6th and 7th centuries however the Syrian Orthodox moved with the times and their understanding came close to the Western/Greek development of hypostasis/prosopon. This gave rise to most of the problems."

"The Church of the East in the Sasanian Persian Empire up to the Sixth Century and it's absence from the Councils in the Roman Empire", by Prof. Sebastian Brock, Oxford University, June 25th, 1994, Vienna Austria - presented at the First Syriac Dialogue, hosted by Pro Oriente. ISBN: 3-901188-05-3

Brock advises that we don't "retrovert qnoma into hypostasis" and I'm going to follow his advice. Qnoma does NOT mean hypostasis which Brock, the world's leading authority on the Aramaic language stresses very clearly. Qnoma is very similar to hypostasis but it's not an exact match. Mar Babai the Great said the qnoma means: "A particular nature which has been individuated but not independently personalized". Qnoma means "individuation" it NEVER means "individual", I know that it sounds like the same thing in English but it's not.

We can use English "subsistence" or "person," but it doesn't eliminate the problem, as the terms are not untranslatable.

We can use English "subsistance" or "person" for hypostasis NOT for qnoma. And BTW the Greek word hypostasis has changed in meaning over the centuries as well, before the Christological contraversies began hypostasis wasn't closely interwind with prosopon.

That's why I want to go back to the time before the first Council of Nicaea - to what these Greek words use to mean because the COE's understanding of the Aramaic words in their terminology (which is older than the other Aramaic churches) seems to correspond a lot more closely with the older meanings of the Greek words, but I need to make sure.

So if anyone can answer the question, I posted earlier I would appreciate it:

Can someone please give me a full explanation of the Hypostatic Union, as well as the older (pre-Nicene) meanings of the Greek words ousia, physis, hypostasis & prosopon?

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« Reply #208 on: December 31, 2009, 11:05:57 AM »

Likewise, it is not possible that God bleeds or urinates or defecates or dies or lays in a grave. That is paganism.
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Docetism.
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« Reply #209 on: December 31, 2009, 11:27:04 AM »

Ah, The mystery of prosopon. Only known to the greatest of theologians. I believe it's some kind of code sent from god.  "not serious at all" laugh
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« Reply #210 on: December 31, 2009, 11:39:05 AM »

Docetism.

Nope that's not the COE's view, this is.

Because we couple it "without confusion", if you want to get technical, then the weeping, dying in and bleeding occurred through His human nature and the rising from the dead and reigning in Glory occurred through His divine nature, and the walking on water through both--in the same way that if I say "I walked", technically it was my legs that made motions across the ground, not my brain or my fingertips.

The COE likes to "get technical".
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« Reply #211 on: December 31, 2009, 11:59:54 AM »

Some of this stuff sounds heretical to me regardless of wether or not my Church considers assyrians heretical or not  Sad
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« Reply #212 on: December 31, 2009, 12:23:32 PM »

Because we couple it "without confusion", if you want to get technical, then the weeping, dying in and bleeding occurred through His human nature and the rising from the dead and reigning in Glory occurred through His divine nature, and the walking on water through both--in the same way that if I say "I walked", technically it was my legs that made motions across the ground, not my brain or my fingertips.

The COE likes to "get technical".


The difference is that when we 'get technical', we still affirm that it was God Incarnate who wept, died, bled, hungered by virtue of His humanity, and that it was God Incarnate who rose from the dead and reigns in glory by virtue of His divinity.

Our problem with what you're saying is that you refuse to attribute the properties of humanity to the divine Person: God Incarnate.
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« Reply #213 on: December 31, 2009, 12:24:10 PM »

Likewise, it is not possible that God bleeds or urinates or defecates or dies or lays in a grave. That is paganism.
Comments?

Docetism.

Docetism is where someone believes Christ's body was not real.  Rafa believes Christ's body was very real.  He just doesn't believe the union between Christ's humanity and divinity was close enough that one can say God did all those things he listed.  

It seems to me he thinks of Christ as only a human person who had God dwelling in him.  I think several posts ago, I asked what the difference is between this and a prophet or saint.  I think one of the allegations that has historically been made against the Nestorians is that their Christology basically made Christ no more than a saint or prophet, except that they seemed to believe that God's indwelling in Christ was of a more permanent nature.

This is why I keep saying in all these Christological debates that terminology is not so important as what is meant by the terminology.  Both the COE and the EO's say "two natures," but it is obvious you believe different things about how those two natures come together in Christ.  EO's and OO's, on the other hand, use different terminology, but we seem to believe the same thing.  
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« Reply #214 on: December 31, 2009, 12:25:04 PM »

Quote
God purchased the Church with His Blood. Acts 20:28.

Doctored Jacobite reading.

I've already shown you the original Greek, which predates Nestorius and Jacob Baradaeus.

I'm looking at the Aland, and the overwhelming evidence is with the Greek Received Text, including St. Epiphanius (an Aramaic speaker from Palestine).  The reading "Christ" is supported only by Ambrose (who also says "Lord"), an Itala, Athanasius (who also says "Lord") and Theodoret, Sinaiticus predating them all.

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The Messiah did. I confess the Mother of Christ. Alaha has no mother, he is eternal and unbegotten.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikhlas
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« Reply #215 on: December 31, 2009, 12:26:10 PM »

Likewise, it is not possible that God bleeds or urinates or defecates or dies or lays in a grave. That is paganism.
Comments?

Docetism.

Docetism is where someone believes Christ's body was not real.  Rafa believes Christ's body was very real.  He just doesn't believe the union between Christ's humanity and divinity was close enough that one can say God did all those things he listed.  

It seems to me he thinks of Christ as only a human person who had God dwelling in him.  I think several posts ago, I asked what the difference is between this and a prophet or saint.  I think one of the allegations that has historically been made against the Nestorians is that their Christology basically made Christ no more than a saint or prophet, except that they seemed to believe that God's indwelling in Christ was of a more permanent nature.

This is why I keep saying in all these Christological debates that terminology is not so important as what is meant by the terminology.  Both the COE and the EO's say "two natures," but it is obvious you believe different things about how those two natures come together in Christ.  EO's and OO's, on the other hand, use different terminology, but we seem to believe the same thing.  
Amen.
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« Reply #216 on: December 31, 2009, 12:42:34 PM »

The Eastern Syriac Khabouris manuscript I cited  contains "Messiah" instead of God. It's Syriac is older than that of the Orthodox Syriac Church, it is the Eastern script and vowel pointers.

Which dates it to considerably later, post 6th century.
The Diacritical Point and the Accents in Syriac By J. B. Segal p. 24.
http://books.google.com/books?id=VsDbyjUqXFEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Diacritical+Point+and+the+accents+in+Syriac&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

The Khabouris itself dates over 5 centuries later.

Quote
Also...somebody here please tell me if God would have the possibility of succumbing to temptation to satan like this interpretation of Miaphysitism suggests. Are you saying that when satan tempted the Messiah he was tempting God in a pathetic attempt which would assuredly fail?

So you are defending Satan's intelligence? Embarrassed


Quote
That can't be a true God, now if you were saying he was tempting the human nature of the Messiah that's different.

Only if you seperate the two natures.

Quote
Quote
Your Will, Not Mine! - Mark 14:36

Are you suggesting a schizophrenic Messiah talking to himself?

The text shows plainly (at least in the original Greek Roll Eyes) that the Son was talking to the Father.

Quote
I see here the Son of God appealing to the Divine nature in him somehow separate much like your arm can receive directions from your brain but it can't instruct your brain what to do, doesn't mean you are two people. This is material for infinite homilies and I don't pretend I fully understand it, but its what scripture teaches.

St. Maximos might dispute that.


Quote
Also, how can that Son not know the time of his coming (but the father does?) It's because there's a certain separation, much like the branches of a tree are separate but not different trees.

I'll leave it to St. John Chrysostom (you do recognize him, no?) et alia to explain.
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« Reply #217 on: December 31, 2009, 12:48:06 PM »

Deacon Lance, an important thing you must know is that because the Assyrian Church of the East was in the Persian empire by itself, the meanings of the words and theological expressions changed quickly  (ie: person has a very different connotation today than at Nicea, it took 80 years for the COE to approve Nicea), by the time the Assyrian Church formulated its positions and sent them out to show that they were orthodox, their positions were frequently not understood...which is tragic.

Yes, I understand which is why I do not consider Assyrians heretics, nor does my Church.

So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?

Of course it does.  We don't think that Oriental Orthodox are heretics either but we don't use the term miaphysis.
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« Reply #218 on: December 31, 2009, 12:52:21 PM »

Docetism.

Nope that's not the COE's view, this is.

Because we couple it "without confusion", if you want to get technical, then the weeping, dying in and bleeding occurred through His human nature and the rising from the dead and reigning in Glory occurred through His divine nature, and the walking on water through both--in the same way that if I say "I walked", technically it was my legs that made motions across the ground, not my brain or my fingertips.

The COE likes to "get technical".


The difference presented by rafa999 goes well beyond the technical. Yes, 'technically', the Eternal Logos, in His Divine nature did not have blood. But the Incarnate God most certainly did and shed it for us. For rafa999 however, that idea is so contrary to his beliefs that he has to posit a change to Scripture in order to avoid it. He also apparently rejects the identification of the Virgin as "Thetokos", "She who gave birth to God." (If I followed that exchange between him and ialmisry correctly). Debating shades of meaning between qnoma and hypostatis in this case is rather missing the forest for the trees.

(and yes, altar server, assuming rafa999 is correctly portraying the faith of his Church, the Roman Catholics would seem to have some explaining to do).
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« Reply #219 on: December 31, 2009, 12:54:49 PM »

Deacon Lance, an important thing you must know is that because the Assyrian Church of the East was in the Persian empire by itself, the meanings of the words and theological expressions changed quickly  (ie: person has a very different connotation today than at Nicea, it took 80 years for the COE to approve Nicea), by the time the Assyrian Church formulated its positions and sent them out to show that they were orthodox, their positions were frequently not understood...which is tragic.

Yes, I understand which is why I do not consider Assyrians heretics, nor does my Church.

So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?

Of course it does.  We don't think that Oriental Orthodox are heretics either but we don't use the term miaphysis.

But I can say that the term 'miaphysis', as explained by the OO I have spoken too is not in contradiction, to the Faith I have received in the EO church. How do you possibly explain rafa999's statements as not in contradiction with the dogma of Council of Ephesus (and Constaninople VI, just to name the top hitters)?
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« Reply #220 on: December 31, 2009, 12:58:48 PM »

Likewise, it is not possible that God bleeds or urinates or defecates or dies or lays in a grave. That is paganism.
Comments?

Docetism.

This is not Docetism, as they are not denying the reality of the body.  They are trying to protect the impassibilty of the Divine nature.  Please note both Assyrians and Chalcedonians reject the Theopaschite clause (who was crucified for us) in the Trisagion.
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« Reply #221 on: December 31, 2009, 01:04:14 PM »

Deacon Lance, an important thing you must know is that because the Assyrian Church of the East was in the Persian empire by itself, the meanings of the words and theological expressions changed quickly  (ie: person has a very different connotation today than at Nicea, it took 80 years for the COE to approve Nicea), by the time the Assyrian Church formulated its positions and sent them out to show that they were orthodox, their positions were frequently not understood...which is tragic.

Yes, I understand which is why I do not consider Assyrians heretics, nor does my Church.

So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?

Of course it does.  We don't think that Oriental Orthodox are heretics either but we don't use the term miaphysis.

But I can say that the term 'miaphysis', as explained by the OO I have spoken too is not in contradiction, to the Faith I have received in the EO church. How do you possibly explain rafa999's statements as not in contradiction with the dogma of Council of Ephesus (and Constaninople VI, just to name the top hitters)?

See above.  They do not believe that Jesus Christ is two persons any more than Oriental Orthodox believe in Monophysitism.  From a Chalcedonian perspective their terminology may be flawed but so is the Orientals.
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« Reply #222 on: December 31, 2009, 01:05:45 PM »

Please note both Assyrians and Chalcedonians reject the Theopaschite clause (who was crucified for us) in the Trisagion.

Because the Trisagion refers to the Holy Trinity. The Father and Holy Spirit were not crucified, and so to add such a clause would be an unspeakable blasphemy.

The OO's refer the Trisagion to Christ alone, thus avoiding this problem.
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« Reply #223 on: December 31, 2009, 01:12:56 PM »

Deacon Lance, an important thing you must know is that because the Assyrian Church of the East was in the Persian empire by itself, the meanings of the words and theological expressions changed quickly  (ie: person has a very different connotation today than at Nicea, it took 80 years for the COE to approve Nicea), by the time the Assyrian Church formulated its positions and sent them out to show that they were orthodox, their positions were frequently not understood...which is tragic.

Yes, I understand which is why I do not consider Assyrians heretics, nor does my Church.

So the Vatican doesn't think Christ God has blood nor a mother?

Of course it does.  We don't think that Oriental Orthodox are heretics either but we don't use the term miaphysis.

But I can say that the term 'miaphysis', as explained by the OO I have spoken too is not in contradiction, to the Faith I have received in the EO church. How do you possibly explain rafa999's statements as not in contradiction with the dogma of Council of Ephesus (and Constaninople VI, just to name the top hitters)?

See above.  They do not believe that Jesus Christ is two persons any more than Oriental Orthodox believe in Monophysitism.  From a Chalcedonian perspective their terminology may be flawed but so is the Orientals.

You avoided the question. I didn't ask (and at this point don't care--it's like rearranging the furniture on the Titanic) how you reconcile the COE's terminology of qnoma, etc with Chalcedon. I want to know how you can agree that 'God did not have blood.'?
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« Reply #224 on: December 31, 2009, 01:30:23 PM »

What the Greeks call hypostasis, the Syriacs call qnoma, and we (Arabs) call 'uqnuum e.g.
The Concept of al-uqnum in Ammar al-Basri's Apology for the Doctrine of the Trinity
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=12421483

I'm going to quote Brock again:

Quote
"First of all (and this goes without saying), we need to try to understand what writers actually meant by the technical terms they use, rather than rely on what their opponents claimed they meant.....in this context, both the Syriac (Aramaic) terminology, and the understanding of that terminology, in the Church of the East can be described as both archaic and conservative."

"I conclude by looking at two sets of specific example....both are cases where the language used by the Church of the East could best be described as archaic.....we are dealing with imagery which was once widespread and which is still preserved in the Church of the East after it had been for the most part dropped by everyone else in the course of the fifth century controversies."

"It is essentially this (the archaic) understanding of kyana that is retained in the Church of the East.....by contrast, later fifth- and sixth-century Syrian Orthodox writers understand kyana as virtually a synonym with hypostasis.....significantly, in Syriac Orthodox translations of the later fifth and of the sixth century, the older rendering...is replaced by various other translations, thus removing the (now archaic) association of kyana with ousia."

"At the outset I would suggest that....it is important to retain the Syriac term (Qnoma), and not retrovert it into hypostasis (let alone translate it as "person", as has occasionally been done)."

"In many cases...the tradition of the Church of the East will be found to have preserved images and metaphors of the incarnation which were once widely current, but which writers in other Syriac traditions had subsequently dropped, either on grounds of their perceived inadequacy, or because they were thought to lend support to the position of their theological opponents."

"The 4th century texts seem to understand kyana very much with ousia....This meaning was kept unchanged in the East. In the 6th and 7th centuries however the Syrian Orthodox moved with the times and their understanding came close to the Western/Greek development of hypostasis/prosopon. This gave rise to most of the problems."

"The Church of the East in the Sasanian Persian Empire up to the Sixth Century and it's absence from the Councils in the Roman Empire", by Prof. Sebastian Brock, Oxford University, June 25th, 1994, Vienna Austria - presented at the First Syriac Dialogue, hosted by Pro Oriente. ISBN: 3-901188-05-3

Brock advises that we don't "retrovert qnoma into hypostasis" and I'm going to follow his advice.

Brock is a linguist, not a theologian. Don't take your shoes to the baker to get fixed.

Diodore of Tarsus, Theodoret of Cyrhus, and of course Nestorius wrote and debated in Greek, in which language the debates Prof. Brock alludes took place.  Btw, the archaism of the terminology of the Nestorians in 5th and 6th century doesn't date their theology.

Quote
Qnoma does NOT mean hypostasis which Brock, the world's leading authority on the Aramaic language stresses very clearly.
He is the leading authority on the Syriac language, which is not the same as Aramaic. And he admits that the Syriac speaking Orthodox use it for "hypostasis."

Quote
Qnoma is very similar to hypostasis but it's not an exact match.

The way the Nestorians used it no.  But that's a question of theological terminology, not linguistic etymology.

[/quote]Mar Babai the Great said the qnoma means: "A particular nature which has been individuated but not independently personalized". Qnoma means "individuation" it NEVER means "individual", I know that it sounds like the same thing in English but it's not.[/quote]

qnoma d'malka "the person of the king," baqnoma "in person," qnom nafsheh "a certain person," 'ana qnomi "myself."  And d'ma dhaqnomeh "his own blood"  q'nomay alahotha meant "Persons of the Godhead" i.e. the Persons of the Trinity, when we borrowed it.

Quote
We can use English "subsistence" or "person," but it doesn't eliminate the problem, as the terms are not untranslatable.

We can use English "subsistance" or "person" for hypostasis NOT for qnoma.


The Syriac Orthodox do all the time.

Quote
And BTW the Greek word hypostasis has changed in meaning over the centuries as well, before the Christological contraversies began hypostasis wasn't closely interwind with prosopon.

I'm aware of that, and Prof. Brock alludes to it.

Quote
That's why I want to go back to the time before the first Council of Nicaea - to what these Greek words use to mean because the COE's understanding of the Aramaic words in their terminology (which is older than the other Aramaic churches) seems to correspond a lot more closely with the older meanings of the Greek words, but I need to make sure.

Be careful, as the older meanings were condemned as heretical, e.g. homoousios.

Quote
So if anyone can answer the question, I posted earlier I would appreciate it:

Can someone please give me a full explanation of the Hypostatic Union, as well as the older (pre-Nicene) meanings of the Greek words ousia, physis, hypostasis & prosopon?


The way to Nicaea By John Behr
http://books.google.com/books?id=8xDR2D5mQUEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Way+to+Nicea+Behr&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
http://www.amazon.com/Way-Nicaea-Formation-Christian-Theology/dp/0881412244
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