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Author Topic: The Assyrian Church of the East  (Read 70283 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #360 on: January 01, 2010, 09:28:06 PM »

Isa, its no problem for me to say that The Virgin Mary gave birth to the Messiah who is MarYah, but his humanity. The divinity cannot be given birth to. Right?
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« Reply #361 on: January 01, 2010, 09:35:23 PM »

Isa, its no problem for me to say that The Virgin Mary gave birth to the Messiah who is MarYah, but his humanity. The divinity cannot be given birth to. Right?

The Virgin Mary is not the originator of the divine nature of Christ, she was only the originator of His humanity. However, she did give birth to the Incarnate Logos, who was both human and divine, and it is therefore not only acceptable, but necessary to call her Theotokos (Birthgiver of God).
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« Reply #362 on: January 01, 2010, 10:05:01 PM »

Regardless, he beat to death Flavian Bishop of Constantinople. I will prove Dioscoros committed adultery besides murder.

You mean the same Flavian who was still alive six months after his murder?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,3669.0.html
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« Reply #363 on: January 01, 2010, 10:15:02 PM »

Regardless, he beat to death Flavian Bishop of Constantinople. I will prove Dioscoros committed adultery besides murder.

You mean the same Flavian who was still alive six months after his murder?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,3669.0.html


I was afraid that argument was going to rear its head.  Let's deal with the adultery allegation first, as no else, EO or OO, seems to have heard of it before.  Then we can go retread paths.
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« Reply #364 on: January 01, 2010, 10:22:07 PM »

I have no desire to retread paths, or beat anymore dead horses.  However, a saint of my Church has been insulted, and I'm defending him.  You know how I am about that.  Out of all the saints who get insulted on this forum, Dioscorus has to be the most often and thoroughly maligned.  I haven't reported Rafa's comments to the moderator of this board, as I tend to want to deal with people like this myself; however I have no doubt that if this particular round of St. Dioscorus bashing goes too far, either I or someone else will ask PeterTheAleut to kick this tangent into the private forum, so I and others can deal with it with our gloves off, so to speak.
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« Reply #365 on: January 01, 2010, 10:24:53 PM »

I'll get the documents. It shouldn't be too hard, after all I proved earlier on Cyril got his church into the equivalent of one million dollars debt for Ephesus (via his letters which detailed the bribes).
No, you didn't prove anything about St. Cyril, so don't get so uppity with us.  All you did was offer evidence to suggest that your accusation against St. Cyril wasn't just something you concocted.  The believability of what you offered as evidence, however, is still very much debatable.
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« Reply #366 on: January 01, 2010, 10:27:19 PM »

Well, a letter detailing who he sent bribes to in Constantinople signed by his own hand seems pretty conclusive to me. Regardless, I'm sorry for offending anybody on the Saints issue. Sorry for saying Dioscorus was an adulterer without proof, I actually confused him with somebody else during the council of Chalcedon who was an Eutyches supporter. My apology.
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« Reply #367 on: January 01, 2010, 10:29:42 PM »

Well, a letter detailing who he sent bribes to in Constantinople signed by his own hand seems pretty conclusive to me.
But as I have already said at least once, maybe more, is that I don't care what's conclusive to you if you can't prove it to us.  In a debate, WE are the persons you need to convince, not yourself.
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« Reply #368 on: January 01, 2010, 10:30:17 PM »

I can't doubt my lying eyes as Groucho Marx once said. The letter is there...
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« Reply #369 on: January 01, 2010, 10:32:30 PM »

Sorry for saying Dioscorus was an adulterer without proof, I actually confused him with somebody else during the council of Chalcedon who was an Eutyches supporter. My apology.

Thank you for admitting your mistake, Rafa.
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« Reply #370 on: January 01, 2010, 10:33:25 PM »

I can't doubt my lying eyes as Groucho Marx once said. The letter is there...
But what about trying to convince US?
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« Reply #371 on: January 01, 2010, 10:33:42 PM »

Well, a letter detailing who he sent bribes to in Constantinople signed by his own hand seems pretty conclusive to me.
But as I have already said at least once, maybe more, is that I don't care what's conclusive to you if you can't prove it to us.  In a debate, WE are the persons you need to convince, not yourself.

I can't doubt my lying eyes as Groucho Marx once said. The letter is there...
I know we have seen a summary of the letter, but have we seen the actual text?  St. Cyril hardly needed to bribe anyone, as he had the support of Pulcheria, but then again he brought the monk mob.  St. John had already complained about gifts flowing to the capital, so I question how much the list can be conisdered "bribes."
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« Reply #372 on: January 01, 2010, 10:35:25 PM »

Because he asked for "favors" in the letter. So they are not gifts but bribes. Case Closed.
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« Reply #373 on: January 01, 2010, 10:41:35 PM »

Well, a letter detailing who he sent bribes to in Constantinople signed by his own hand seems pretty conclusive to me. Regardless, I'm sorry for offending anybody on the Saints issue. Sorry for saying Dioscorus was an adulterer without proof, I actually confused him with somebody else during the council of Chalcedon who was an Eutyches supporter. My apology.
Apology accepted...  However, I need to represent the administration of this forum and not just my own personal feelings by reminding you of my warning to not launch character assassinations against EO/OO/RC saints without any evidence to back up your claims.  (Please see my warning in THIS post.)  Any more attempts to slander our saints will incur disciplinary action against you, to include formal warnings, post moderation, or muting.
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« Reply #374 on: January 02, 2010, 02:45:13 AM »

I have to admit that up until now I never read anything by Theodore of Mopsuestia.  My curiosity was sparked by Mina's excerpt, however, so I pulled up Theodore's Commentary on the Nicene Creed.  I found other passages where he seemed to refer to Christ and the Word with separate pronouns.  I also found this:



"Chapter VIII.
In the last days we spoke gradually and sufficiently to your love of the doctrine concerning Christ, according to the teaching of our blessed Fathers. It behoves you now to remember the things spoken to you with so much care. They gave us a two-fold teaching concerning Christ our Lord according to the meaning of the Books, that He is not God alone nor man alone, but He is truly both by nature, that is to say God and man: God the Word who assumed, and man who was assumed. It is the one who was in the form of God that took upon Him the form of a servant,221 and it is not the form of a servant that took upon it the form of God. The one who is in the form of God is God by nature, who assumed the form of a servant, while the one who is in the form of a servant is the one who is man by nature and who was assumed for our salvation.

The one who assumed is not the same as the one who was assumed nor is the one who was assumed the same as the one who assumed, but the one who assumed is God while the one who was assumed is a man. The one who assumed is by nature that which God the Father is by nature, as He is God with God, and He is that which the one with whom He was, is, while the one who was assumed is by nature that which David and Abraham, whose son and from whose seed He is, are by nature. This is the reason why He is both Lord and Son of David: Son of David because of His nature, and Lord because of the honour that came to Him. And He is high above David His father because of the nature that assumed Him. |83 "

http://patristicpage.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html

---------------------------------------------


Wow.  I wonder if the "He is...Lord because of the honour that came to Him" is sort of what the  President/Office of the President analogy in the catechism was all about.  
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« Reply #375 on: January 02, 2010, 02:50:31 AM »

The COE is not adoptionist/Appolinarian if that is what your worried about.
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« Reply #376 on: January 02, 2010, 04:14:44 AM »

Actually, I always had trouble telling the difference between Adoptionism and the Christology which is identified with Theodore.  I know there's a difference, it's just that the two of them seem very similar to me.

If you read through the eighth chapter of Theodore's Commentary on the Nicene Creed, it's filled with things that seem pretty objectionable to me as an OO.  Is it consistent with what you understand the Christology of the COE to be?
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« Reply #377 on: January 02, 2010, 04:24:17 AM »

What's amazing is that nowhere can I find in St. John Chrysostom's writings thus far is similar to the way Theodore of Mopsuestia wrote.  It's as if even though both were taught by the same teacher, both came out learning differently.

I know St. Cyril rejected Diodore's writings as well.  I would like to read what Diodore wrote as well.
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« Reply #378 on: January 02, 2010, 04:27:39 AM »

Isa, its no problem for me to say that The Virgin Mary gave birth to the Messiah who is MarYah, but his humanity. The divinity cannot be given birth to. Right?
The Messiah is both Human and Divine, and is therefore God. It follows that the Vigin Mary is the Theotokos (God-Birther). If she is not the Theotokos then the Messiah is not God. She did not give birth to "part" of Jesus of Nazareth, she gave birth to Him entirely, therefore, unless Jesus of Nazareth is not God, she gave birth to God. Persons are born, not just Natures.
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« Reply #379 on: January 02, 2010, 04:54:13 AM »

What's amazing is that nowhere can I find in St. John Chrysostom's writings thus far is similar to the way Theodore of Mopsuestia wrote.  It's as if even though both were taught by the same teacher, both came out learning differently.

I know St. Cyril rejected Diodore's writings as well.  I would like to read what Diodore wrote as well.

Checking, it appears, we don't have any definite survivals of Diodore's own writings?

Do we know if St. Cyril's attitude toward Diodore was expressed before or after his meeting with John of Antioch and their production of the Formula of Reunion? St. Cyril seems to have begun from a position that was suspicious of the entire Antiochian school, but he came to realize that while their terminology did not always fit well with the preferred Alexandrian terminology, it was not inherently heretical. As St. John Chrysostom and the Formula show, there were fully Orthodox Christians who used the Antiochian (Diodorean?) terminology to express the same understanding of the Incarnation as St. Cyril himself.

However, there were others, like Nestorius and Theodore, who started from the same point as St. John and John of Antioch but then pushed out in another direction, introducing new (and wrong) understandings of the original terminology. Diodore's thought may be suspicious because he was Theodore's original instructor--but most heretics started off with Orthodox instructors. Arius was formed in the Alexandrian church that St. Athanasius was, and Eutyches thought he was coming straight out of the Alexandrian school.
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« Reply #380 on: January 02, 2010, 05:04:24 AM »

Perhaps the word "person" is a bit too much to understand in Assyrian language.

But perhaps instead of using the word "person," let's use the word "who."  How many "who's" are there in Christ?  We believe there is "one who."  In other words, I point my finger at the center and subject of acting and willing and say this is He, the Who who lived before the ages and reigns forever, at the same time the Who who was born of the Virgin Mary.  This "Who" we call the Logos, the Son of God, Who is God by nature.  This Who is also the Son of Man through Mary.  Since this Who is God the Logos Incarnate, it is fitting indeed to call the Virgin Mary Theotokos, because the Who who she gave birth to is indeed God in the flesh.

When I read Theodore of Mopsuestia, I have a sense he doesn't believe in "one Who" but "two Who's," the Logos the Son of God and the Son of Man Jesus, in one Christ act, a union of honor, not a union where the subject of action is one.  It bothers me to read something like "Jesus is a man who had the Logos dwelling in Him."  That's no different than me, Mina, who is a man who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.  That's "two who's" or in EO/OO understand, two persons.  This is the "Nestorianism" we condemn.

God bless.
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« Reply #381 on: January 02, 2010, 05:30:44 AM »

What's amazing is that nowhere can I find in St. John Chrysostom's writings thus far is similar to the way Theodore of Mopsuestia wrote.  It's as if even though both were taught by the same teacher, both came out learning differently.

I know St. Cyril rejected Diodore's writings as well.  I would like to read what Diodore wrote as well.

Checking, it appears, we don't have any definite survivals of Diodore's own writings?

Do we know if St. Cyril's attitude toward Diodore was expressed before or after his meeting with John of Antioch and their production of the Formula of Reunion? St. Cyril seems to have begun from a position that was suspicious of the entire Antiochian school, but he came to realize that while their terminology did not always fit well with the preferred Alexandrian terminology, it was not inherently heretical. As St. John Chrysostom and the Formula show, there were fully Orthodox Christians who used the Antiochian (Diodorean?) terminology to express the same understanding of the Incarnation as St. Cyril himself.

However, there were others, like Nestorius and Theodore, who started from the same point as St. John and John of Antioch but then pushed out in another direction, introducing new (and wrong) understandings of the original terminology. Diodore's thought may be suspicious because he was Theodore's original instructor--but most heretics started off with Orthodox instructors. Arius was formed in the Alexandrian church that St. Athanasius was, and Eutyches thought he was coming straight out of the Alexandrian school.

What's interesting though is that his work/teachings go un-criticized until after his death, whereas Arius and Eutyches were alive when they were condemned.
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« Reply #382 on: January 02, 2010, 12:20:19 PM »

Perhaps the word "person" is a bit too much to understand in Assyrian language.

But perhaps instead of using the word "person," let's use the word "who."  How many "who's" are there in Christ?  We believe there is "one who."  In other words, I point my finger at the center and subject of acting and willing and say this is He, the Who who lived before the ages and reigns forever, at the same time the Who who was born of the Virgin Mary.  This "Who" we call the Logos, the Son of God, Who is God by nature.  This Who is also the Son of Man through Mary.  Since this Who is God the Logos Incarnate, it is fitting indeed to call the Virgin Mary Theotokos, because the Who who she gave birth to is indeed God in the flesh.

When I read Theodore of Mopsuestia, I have a sense he doesn't believe in "one Who" but "two Who's," the Logos the Son of God and the Son of Man Jesus, in one Christ act, a union of honor, not a union where the subject of action is one.  It bothers me to read something like "Jesus is a man who had the Logos dwelling in Him."  That's no different than me, Mina, who is a man who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.  That's "two who's" or in EO/OO understand, two persons.  This is the "Nestorianism" we condemn.

God bless.

But the consistently say they do not believe in two persons, two whos, etc.  To me it is a different approach and emphasis.  The Orientals seek to emphasize the unity of the person in the union and to that end can seem to ignore the distinction of divine and human in Christ.  On the otherhand the Assyrians seek to emphasize the unconfused natures of the union to protect the idea that Christ is 100% divine and 100% human and to that end can seem to ignore the unity of the person.  To this Chalcedonian both sides can lend themselves to erroneous interpretation, although I think both sides believe as I do, in one Lord Jesus Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man.



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« Reply #383 on: January 02, 2010, 12:29:09 PM »

Perhaps the word "person" is a bit too much to understand in Assyrian language.

But perhaps instead of using the word "person," let's use the word "who."  How many "who's" are there in Christ?  We believe there is "one who."  In other words, I point my finger at the center and subject of acting and willing and say this is He, the Who who lived before the ages and reigns forever, at the same time the Who who was born of the Virgin Mary.  This "Who" we call the Logos, the Son of God, Who is God by nature.  This Who is also the Son of Man through Mary.  Since this Who is God the Logos Incarnate, it is fitting indeed to call the Virgin Mary Theotokos, because the Who who she gave birth to is indeed God in the flesh.

When I read Theodore of Mopsuestia, I have a sense he doesn't believe in "one Who" but "two Who's," the Logos the Son of God and the Son of Man Jesus, in one Christ act, a union of honor, not a union where the subject of action is one.  It bothers me to read something like "Jesus is a man who had the Logos dwelling in Him."  That's no different than me, Mina, who is a man who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.  That's "two who's" or in EO/OO understand, two persons.  This is the "Nestorianism" we condemn.

God bless.
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« Reply #384 on: January 02, 2010, 12:37:29 PM »

Actually I am expressing my Church's Christology correctly-The Divinity does not have Flesh and blood in the conventional way you and I do. It is Spirit.

Let's see. I as a human being have a body, soul and spirit. I have blood but this blood is in my body not my soul or my spirit. But because it's my body, the blood in the body is, well mine.

Of course God who is Spirit does not have blood - naturally. But when He united humanity to Himself this included a human body which has blood (otherwise it wouldn't be human). By uniting humanity to His divinity (without mixing them to form a new nature) He was claiming that human body, soul and spirit as His, and therefore the blood within that body as His. What's your opinion of this?

Nor is Mary Mother of God. If she gave birth to Christ's divinity, she would in fact be his grandmother not mother.

Quote from: Paul Younan
Quote from: Spyridon
Does the Assyrian Church of the East recognize Mary as Theotokos?

We do not use the term ourselves, although we do not object to others using it. If we were to use a Greek term, which we normally don't, we would prefer the term "Christo-Tokos", since the message is more complete.

Allow me to explain.

The strictest sense of the Greek term "Theo-tokos", literally "Bearer of God" or "God-bearer", we feel can be misinterpreted easily. We have no objection to the idea that Mary is "Christo-tokos", if by "Christos" we mean both God and Man in one Person of Messiah.

So the term "Theotokos" can be used in what we would consider an orthodox way, albeit with a great deal of explanation.

In summary, we all agree Messiah is at once God and Man in one Person.

The term "Theotokos" literally meaning "bearer of God", while not a false statement, we feel is really incomplete. "Christotokos" is a more complete term, since by "Christos" all orthodox churches understand is meant both God and Man in one Person. So our preference is not because "Theotokos" is a false statement, but that "Christotokos" is much more accurate and complete. Nestorius explains this in his book.

+Shamasha

PS - Since we really don't use Greek, the nearest equivalent in Aramaic would be "Yaldath-Alaha" which sounds really, really harsh to a Semitic ear (much harder than the English or Greek.) "YLD" is a Semitic root which carries the meaning of having originated something. Of course, no one originated God. So in Aramaic it's much more complicated than the innocent-enough sounding Greek term.

I am not a monophysite

Neither is anyone else here.

or a miaphysite: there is no intermingling of the two natures.

Miaphysitism is not Monophysitism. Miaphysites do not believe that there's intermingling of the 2 natures either. I would say that Miaphysitism interwinds the 2 natures instead of intermingles them. If you take a blue rope and a red rope you can twist them together to form a single rope but the two ropes that are interwinded together remain the the same 2 ropes - blue and red. That's what Miaphysitism means: "1 from 2" much like the Hebrew word ekhad as in "besar ekhad" (one flesh), the 2 become 1 but at the same time remain 2.

They are completely separate.

But united in the parsopa of Meshikha.

Clay and Iron do not mix. The Prophet Isaiah taught so,

Actually it was the Prophet Daniel who said that.

Jesus taught so, the COE teaches so. Nor does God have blood, nor can he be begotten by a human being, nor can the divinity suffer like a human being, or else the universe stops.

Do you really deny that God Incarnate (not God pre-incarnate) suffered in the flesh (not in the spirit)? If yes you're really are the first COE member I've come across to do this.

All I want is people here to confess that the two natures of the Messiah retained their distinction and were not corrupted or destroyed.


All RCs, EOs and OOs confess this.

I'm inclined to agree with what Salpy wrote here:

I'm afraid Mar Odisho, who wrote the pearl, seems in your first link to be misrepresenting what we believe, just as you have been.  We don't believe that either the human or divine natures were destroyed or corrupted.  If you don't want us to misrepresent your beliefs, it would be nice if you stopped misrepresenting ours.   Smiley

How about we all check our preconceived misconceptions at the door and start over?

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« Reply #385 on: January 02, 2010, 12:46:01 PM »

But the consistently say they do not believe in two persons, two whos, etc.  To me it is a different approach and emphasis.  The Orientals seek to emphasize the unity of the person in the union and to that end can seem to ignore the distinction of divine and human in Christ.  On the otherhand the Assyrians seek to emphasize the unconfused natures of the union to protect the idea that Christ is 100% divine and 100% human and to that end can seem to ignore the unity of the person.  To this Chalcedonian both sides can lend themselves to erroneous interpretation, although I think both sides believe as I do, in one Lord Jesus Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man.

I agree with you 100% though I would word it slightly differently in that the OOs emphasize union to the extent that it overshadows distinction between the natures, while the Assyrians emphasize distinction between the natures to the extent that it overshadows union. But the point is despite this the Assyrians do believe that the natures are united and the OOs do believe that the natures are distinct. These things are just harder to see than in Chalcedonian Christology, but if you are willing to look hard enough you'll see that they are there.

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« Reply #386 on: January 02, 2010, 01:22:55 PM »

Perhaps the word "person" is a bit too much to understand in Assyrian language.

But perhaps instead of using the word "person," let's use the word "who."  How many "who's" are there in Christ?  We believe there is "one who."  In other words, I point my finger at the center and subject of acting and willing and say this is He, the Who who lived before the ages and reigns forever, at the same time the Who who was born of the Virgin Mary.  This "Who" we call the Logos, the Son of God, Who is God by nature.  This Who is also the Son of Man through Mary.  Since this Who is God the Logos Incarnate, it is fitting indeed to call the Virgin Mary Theotokos, because the Who who she gave birth to is indeed God in the flesh.

When I read Theodore of Mopsuestia, I have a sense he doesn't believe in "one Who" but "two Who's," the Logos the Son of God and the Son of Man Jesus, in one Christ act, a union of honor, not a union where the subject of action is one.  It bothers me to read something like "Jesus is a man who had the Logos dwelling in Him."  That's no different than me, Mina, who is a man who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.  That's "two who's" or in EO/OO understand, two persons.  This is the "Nestorianism" we condemn.

God bless.

But the consistently say they do not believe in two persons, two whos, etc.  To me it is a different approach and emphasis.  The Orientals seek to emphasize the unity of the person in the union and to that end can seem to ignore the distinction of divine and human in Christ.  On the otherhand the Assyrians seek to emphasize the unconfused natures of the union to protect the idea that Christ is 100% divine and 100% human and to that end can seem to ignore the unity of the person.  To this Chalcedonian both sides can lend themselves to erroneous interpretation, although I think both sides believe as I do, in one Lord Jesus Christ who is 100% God and 100% Man.

I understand the Assyrians may not believe in "two who's," which is why I'm talking not about the Assyrians, but about Theodore of Mopsuestia himself.  I personally haven't read Mar Babai the Great, which is probably the best representation of Assyrian Christology, but Theodore of Mopsuestia needs to be addressed, and in this case, he does sound like he's addressing "two who's" and not just a mere distinction of natures.

If you read the writings of Severus of Antioch, he talks about distinction between the natures so firmly, that he even used a different definition of "hypostasis" just to prove his point, and called the humanity "hypostatic" as well as he divinity.  In other words, a "mia-hypostasis."  Many Chalcedonians have accused Severus as a Nestorian because of this (and a Eutychian for obvious reasons).
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« Reply #387 on: January 02, 2010, 01:34:08 PM »

Shalom minasoliman,

Yes I agree that Theodore, Diodore and Nestorius need to be addressed eventually but how about for now we just deal with the COE. Even though they venerate these guys as saints, they consider Mar Babai's Book of Union as the most accurate historical represntation for their Christology. What about what their modern theologians say? And I've already suggested ignoring qnoma at this stage to keep things managable - baby steps. What do you think?
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« Reply #388 on: January 02, 2010, 02:12:04 PM »

I'm not even remotely an expert in these things, but it's my understanding that Mar Babai took Theodore's Christology and reworked it in language which would be less objectionable to those outside the Antiochene school.  In other words, he kept Theodore's Christology, but reworded it.  I read somewhere that, among other things, he got rid of the "assumed man" language, which is so obviously blasphemous in that Commentary I linked above.

The bottom line, though, from what I understand, is that Theodore's Christology still remains the Christology of the COE, but the language it is currently expressed in is Mar Babai's.
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« Reply #389 on: January 02, 2010, 02:30:49 PM »

Alright Salpy, then let's explore Mar Babai's work on it's own first and then compare it to the writings of Theodore and Nestorius.
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« Reply #390 on: January 02, 2010, 03:38:42 PM »


Do we know if St. Cyril's attitude toward Diodore was expressed before or after his meeting with John of Antioch and their production of the Formula of Reunion? St. Cyril seems to have begun from a position that was suspicious of the entire Antiochian school, but he came to realize that while their terminology did not always fit well with the preferred Alexandrian terminology, it was not inherently heretical. As St. John Chrysostom and the Formula show, there were fully Orthodox Christians who used the Antiochian (Diodorean?) terminology to express the same understanding of the Incarnation as St. Cyril himself.



It's my understanding that toward the end of his life, St. Cyril wrote against both Theodore and Diodore.  I can't find the work online, though.  ("Contra Diodorum et Theodorum")

How he came to address Diodore's and Theodore's Christology is explained by Fr. McGuckin in his introduction to On the Unity of Christ:

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

On pages 28-29, Fr. McGuckin says that after the Council of Ephesus, the "Syrians" spread the report that "only their synodical meeting had been the true 'Council of Ephesus,' where Cyril's theology had been judged and found false."  He writes further that later, during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, St. Cyril "was approached by a delegation from Syria who informed him that in large areas of that patriarchate the false report of Ephesus was still in vogue, and that the writings of Diodore and Theodore of Mopsuestia, the teachers of Nestorius, were still held up as the highest theological authorities, as if the condemnation of Nestorius had meant nothing at all."  Fr. McGuckin then goes on to describe how St. Cyril, when he returned to Alexandria, set out to discredit the works of Diodore and Theodore.  He also at that time wrote his masterpiece, On the Unity of Christ.

I'm not sure it would be accurate to say St. Cyril was entirely OK with the Antiochian terminology at this point, notwithstanding the Formula of Reunion.  That was not the impression I had from reading his book.  I don't want to start a tangent on this, though.  It's been discussed before, and I know there are those who would disagree with me on this.   Smiley

In any event, to answer the question about Diodore, it seems St. Cyril felt his Christology was the same as that of Theodore and Nestorius, and he wrote against him after the time of the Formula of Reunion.
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« Reply #391 on: January 02, 2010, 05:46:03 PM »

Shalom minasoliman,

Yes I agree that Theodore, Diodore and Nestorius need to be addressed eventually but how about for now we just deal with the COE. Even though they venerate these guys as saints, they consider Mar Babai's Book of Union as the most accurate historical represntation for their Christology. What about what their modern theologians say? And I've already suggested ignoring qnoma at this stage to keep things managable - baby steps. What do you think?

Sure, let's start with Mar Babai.  Do you know of any writings online or published in books that I can buy?  What would you recommend for me to read by Mar Babai?
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« Reply #392 on: January 02, 2010, 06:07:38 PM »

I think you'd be looking for Mar Babai's Book of Union.  I can't find it anywhere online though, not even for sale.  I think it is in the Book of Union that he formulated the Christology used by the COE today, including the language that was discussed earlier, such as "two qnome," etc.  

I would think that if anyone would have it, it would be Gorgias Press:

http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/default.aspx

I don't see it there, though.
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« Reply #393 on: January 02, 2010, 08:13:02 PM »

Shalom minasoliman,

Yes I agree that Theodore, Diodore and Nestorius need to be addressed eventually but how about for now we just deal with the COE. Even though they venerate these guys as saints, they consider Mar Babai's Book of Union as the most accurate historical represntation for their Christology. What about what their modern theologians say? And I've already suggested ignoring qnoma at this stage to keep things managable - baby steps. What do you think?

Sure, let's start with Mar Babai.  Do you know of any writings online or published in books that I can buy?  What would you recommend for me to read by Mar Babai?

I personally don't own Mar Babai's book either but the quote from it I posted here (which I got from another site) is from a work titled:

Fourth Memra, Book of the Union, Published by Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Paris, 1915, A.
Vaschalde, ed.

So this is what we need to look for. Perhaps Rafa knows someone who who'll know how to obtain it. Maybe Internet Archive will have it.

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« Reply #394 on: January 02, 2010, 08:30:40 PM »

I'm searching. Tough because we don't have his complete works translated, large fragments in many places, but the whole book. Will try...
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« Reply #395 on: January 02, 2010, 08:43:53 PM »

I'm searching. Tough because we don't have his complete works translated, large fragments in many places, but the whole book. Will try...

Whatever you can find.
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« Reply #396 on: January 02, 2010, 08:48:02 PM »

We need Shamasha Paul here. He can answer all questions,  and quote all of Theodore and Babai's writings from his head to anybody on this forum.
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« Reply #397 on: January 03, 2010, 02:04:40 PM »

Shalom all,

Since we haven’t gotten hold of Mar Babai’s Book of Union as of yet, I’m searching for any quote from it that I can find by googling the key words “kyana”, “qnoma” and “parsopa”. I’ve managed to find quite a few other sources relevant to the topic from this page. Chief of these is Prof. Sebastian Brock’s book Fire from Heaven, which I sure references Mar Babai. Here are some excerpts from this book:

Quote
The Greek term hypostasis is represented in Syriac by the word qnoma, which has a much wider range of meanings than the Greek has. When the Church of the East uses qnoma in connection with ‘nature’ it usually speaks of ‘the two natures and their qnomas‘, where qnoma means something like ‘individual manifestation’: a qnoma is an individual instance or example of a kyana (which is understood as always abstract), but this individual manifestation is not necessarily a self-existent stance of a kyana. Thus, when the Church of the East speaks of two qnome in the incarnate Christ, this does not have the same sense as two hypostaseis, where hypostasis does have the sense of self-existence. Unfortunately some European translators have confused the issue more by perniciously rendering qnoma as ‘person’, as if the underlying term was parsopa (i.e. Greek prosopon), thus implying that the Church of the East believed that there were two persons in Christ, in other words the classic definition of ‘Nestorianism’ (whether or not Nestorius actually taught this, however, is disputed, and even if he did, then what he really meant by this terminology is far from clear). (Fire from Heaven, 6-7)

These words of his can then illuminate this critique of Chalcedon written by the Catholicos of the Church of the East, Isho’yahb II (628-46):

Quote
Although those who gathered at the Synod of Chalcedon were clothed with the intention of restoring the faith, yet they too slid away from the true faith: owing to their feeble phraseology, wrapped in an obscure meaning, they provided a stumbling block to many. Although, in accordance with the opinion of their own minds, they preserved the true faith with the confession of the two natures, yet by their formula of one qnoma, it seems, they tempted weak minds. As an outcome of the affair a contradiction occurred, for with the formula ‘one qnoma‘ they corrupted the confession of ‘two natures’; while with the ‘two natures’ they rebuked and refuted the ‘one qnoma’. So they found themselves standing at a cross roads, and they wavered and turned aside from the blessed ranks of the orthodox, yet they did not join the assemblies of the heretics; they both pulled down and built up, while lacking a foundation for their feet. On what side we should number them I do not know, for their terminology cannot stand up, as Nature and Scripture testify: for in these, many qnome can be found in a single ‘nature’, but that there should be various ‘natures’ in a single qnoma has never been the case and has not been heard of. (Quoted in Fire from Heaven, 2)

Compare what Isho’yahb II said about Chalcedon with what Mar Odisho said about it in Marganitha:

Quote
…This Council confirmed the confession, that there are TWO KYANE in Christ each distinct in its attributes, and also TWO WILLS, and anathematized all who should speak of mixture, which destroys the TWO KYANE. But because in Greek there is no distinction between QNOMA and PARSOPA, they confessed but ONE QNOMA in Christ. And when the party of Cyril was not satisfied with the expression “TWO KYANE”, and the party of Nestorius with the expression “ONE QNOMA” an imperial edict was issued declaring all who did not consent to this doctrine degraded from their orders. Some were made to submit through compulsion; but the remainder maintained their own opinions.

Christianity thus became divided into three confessions; the first confessing ONE KYANE and ONE QNOMA in Christ, which is held by the Copts, Egyptians, and Abyssinians, after the tradition of Cyril their Patriarch; and this is called the Jacobite sect, from a certain Suryaya doctor called Jacob who laboured zealously to spread the doctrines of Cyril among the Suryaye and the Armenians.

The Second sect are those who confess the doctrine of TWO KYANE and ONE QNOMA in Christ, and these are called “Malkaye” (Royalists) because it was imposed forcibly by the king. This is the doctrine which is received by the Romans called Franks, and by the Constantinopolitans who are Greeks and by all the northern peoples such as the Russians, Alani, Circassians, Assai, Georgians and their neighbours. But the Franks differ from the rest of these in maintaining that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and in their use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist. These two sects also accepted the appelation “Mother of God”; but the Jacobites have added to the canon; “Holy God”, etc., “who was crucified for us.”

The Third confession which professes in Christ TWO KYANE, TWO QNOME, ONE WILL, ONE SONSHIP, ONE AUTHROTIY; is called Nestorian. As to the Easterners, however, because they would not change their true faith, but kept it as they received it from the Apostles, they were unjustly styled “Nestorians”, since Nestorius was not their Patriarch, neither did they understand his language; but when they heard that he taught the doctrine of the TWO KYANE and TWO QNOME, ONE WILL, ONE SON OF GOD, ONE CHRIST, and that he confessed the orthodox faith, they bore witness to him, because they themselves held the same faith. Nestorius, then, followed them, and not they him, and that more especially in the matter of the appelation “Mother of Christ”. Therefore when called upon to excommunicate him, they refused, maintaining that their excommunication of Nestorius would be equivalent to their excommunication of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Apostles, from which they received what they professed, and for which we are censured together with Nestorius, as shall appear in the following chapters.

Marganitha, Part III, Chapter IV: On the Differing Sects

Brock goes on to say that, in the days of Isho’yahb II, the Church of the East “had for the most part adopted the formula of two natures and two qnome, but one prosopon, in the incarnate Christ”, taking care to note that qnoma was not simply the equivalent of the Greek hypostasis.

Brock also cites this interesting liturgical text of the Church of the East:


Quote
[The Word] …having lowered himself to humility in order to raise up our fallen state to the exalted rank of his divinity, and in the person of the “hostage” he took from us (i.e. his humanity), he associated us in the glory of his majesty’. (Fire from Heaven, 10)

What I see in the above hymn is a celebration of what we would call “the hypostatic union”, rather than a mere conjunction of the two natures in the Person of Christ...

...A note about the use of the term “hostage” in the hymn I cited: Professor Brock takes care to note in the same essay that the term hymara is used in the older sense, i.e. to refer to someone who is given as a surety rather than one who has been seized by violence. For those who are interested in pursuing this theme further, his essay entitled ‘Christ “the hostage”: A theme in East Syriac liturgical tradition and its origins’ has also been reprinted in Fire from Heaven. This book is a virtual treasure trove as far as I’m concerned!

As for the title “Theotokos”:

With respect to the title “Theotokos”, Brock suggests in his essay that, since this title was not widely-used within the boundaries the Roman Empire prior to the Christological controversies, its initial omission from the liturgical tradition of the Church of the East might not have been for theological (“Nestorian”) reasons. After all, the Church of the East existed outside the boundaries of Rome. In the wake of the controversies, the term “Theotokos” became polemically-charged because of its espousal by the Alexandrine school, so it is understandable that the Antiochene Church of the East would reject it (somewhat reactionary, I suppose). This omission is often interpreted as a Nestorian move on the part of the Church of the East, but could it have been more Antiochene than properly Nestorian in motivation? Would you grant that this is a possible explanation?

When Rabban bar Sawma, a COE monk went to Rome this exchange took place:

Quote
“The Cardinals said unto him, “How dost thou believe? Recite thy belief, article by article.” RABBAN SAWMA replied to them, saying:

“I believe in One God, hidden, everlasting, without beginning and without end, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit: Three Persons, coequal and indivisible; among Whom there is none who is first, or last, or young, or old: in Nature they are One, in Persons they are three: the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, the Spirit Whom there is none who is first, or last, or young, or old: in Nature they are One, in Persons they are three: the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, the Spirit proceedeth. “In the last time one of the Persons of the Royal Trinity, namely the Son, put on the perfect man, Jesus Christ, from MARY the holy virgin; and was united to Him Personally (parsopaith), and in him saved (or redeemed) the world. In His Divinity He is eternally of the Father; in His humanity He was born [a Being] in time of MARY; the union is inseparable and indivisible for ever; the union is without mingling, and without mixture, and without compaction. The Son of this union is perfect God and perfect man, two Natures (keyanin),and two Persons (kenomin)–one parsopa.”

And:

Quote
Some writers on Nestorianism assert that the Nestorian Church was reconciled to Rome in the year 1304, and others deny it, but as a matter of fact there is good reason to believe that in that year Mar Yahbh Allaha III did write a letter at Masaghah to Pope Benedict XI in which he stated his creed in detail. As far as I know the text of the letter, which may have been written either in Syriac ‘or Mongolian, has never been published, but a Latin version, of it is extant, and has been printed by Mosheim… He, provided that we can be sure that the Latin translations are correct, and that they were made from a genuine letter of his, says…

Quote
We also confess that at the end of the ages one of the Divine Persons—the one that is, that we compared to the sun’s ray or to the Divine Word—vested himself with a perfect humanity from the Virgin Mary for our salvation and in order to show to us the light of truth; and (that) he was united, the divinity to the humanity and the humanity to the divinity, inseparably and without end. And this is our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, who is perfect God and perfect man in one Person, entirely beside the Father and entirely in (His) Mother. And, from that very hour when from the annunciation was made from God, through the archangel Gabriel, to the Virgin Mary concerning the Son who was to be born, and it was said to her “Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee”, etc. (Lk 1.28), from thence onward the divinity departed not from the humanity, neither on the Cross nor in the tomb, although (this happened) in such a way that the divinity was incapable of suffering, or of dying, or of bearing any penalty”.

Salpy & PTA, is this the kind of confession you were asking for?

Mar Babai’s Teshbokhta:

Quote
One is Meshikha the Son of God,
Worshiped by all in two kyane;
In His divinity begotten of the Father,
Without beginning before all time;
In His humanity born of Mary,
In the fullness of time, in a body united;
Neither His divinity is of the kyana of the mother,
Nor His humanity of the kyana of the Father;
The kyane are preserved in their qnome,
In one parsopa of one Sonship.
And as the Godhead is three qnome in one kyana,
Likewise the Sonship of the Son is in two kyane, one parsopa.
So the Holy Church has taught.

And finally: An Exposition of The Mysteries (Mar Narsai, 437 AD):

Quote
He was laid in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes, as Man;
and the watchers extolled Him with their praises, as God.
He offered sacrifices according to the Law, as Man;
and He received worship from the Persians, as God.
Simeon bore Him upon his arms, as Man;
and he named Him 'the Mercy' who showth mercy to all, as God.
He kept the Law completely, as Man;
and He gave His own new Law, as God.

He was baptized in Jordan by John, as Man;
and the heaven was opened in honour of His baptism, as God.
He went in to the marriage-feast of the city of Canna, as Man;
and He changed the water that it became wine, as God.
He fasted in the wilderness forty days, as Man;
and watchers descended to minister unto Him, as God.
He slept in the boat with His disciples, as Man;
and He rebuked the wind and calmed the sea, as God.

He set out and departed to a desert place, as Man;
and He multiplied the bread and satisfied thousands, as God.
He ate and drank and walked and was weary, as Man;
and He put devils to flight by the word of His mouth, as God.
He prayed and watched and gave thanks and worshipped, as Man;
and He forgave debts and pardoned sins, as God.
He asked water of the Samaritan woman, as Man;
and He revealed and declared her secrets, as God. 

He sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, as Man;
and He forgave the sinful woman her sins, as God.
He went up into the mountain of Tabor with His disciples, as Man;
and He revealed His glory in their sight, as God.
He shed tears and wept over Lazarus, as Man;
and He called him that he came forth by His mighty power, as God.
He rode upon a colt and entered Jerusalem, as Man;
and the boys applauded Him with their Hosannas, as God. 

He drew nigh to the fig-tree and shewed that He was hungered, as Man;
and His mighty power caused it to wither on a sudden, as God.
He washed the feet of His twelve, as Man;
and He called Himself Lord and Master, as God.
He ate the legal passover, as Man;
and He exposed the treachery of Iscariot, as God.
He prayed and sweated at the time of His passion, as Man;
and He scared and terrified them that took Him, as God. 

The attendants seized Him and bound His hands, as Man;
and He healed the ear that Simon cut off, as God.
He stood in the place of judgement and bore insult, as Man;
and He declared that He is about to come in glory, as God.
He bore His Cross upon His shoulder, as Man;
and He revealed and announced the destruction of Zion, as God.
He was hanged upon the wood and endured the passion, as Man;
and He shook the earth and darkened the sun, as God.

Nails were driven into His body, as Man;
and He opened the graves and quickened the dead, as God.
He cried out upon the Cross 'My God, My God,' as Man;
and promised Paradise to the thief, as God.
His side was pierced with a spear, as Man;
and His nod rent the temple veil, as God.
They embalmed His body and He was buried in the earth, as Man;
and He raised up His temple by His mighty power, as God.

He remained in the tomb three days, as Man;
and the watchers glorified Him with their praises, as God.
He said that He had received all authority, as Man;
and He promised to be with us for ever, as God.
He commanded Thomas to feel His side, as Man;
and He gave them the Spirit for an earnest, as God.
He ate and drank after His resurrection, as Man;
and He ascended to the height and sent the Spirit, as God.

Whether it was “as God” or “as Man” the point is it was always “He” so there you go minasoliman, for the COE there is (as I far as I can tell, always been) only one “Who”.

If I find anything else I'll be sure to post it.
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« Reply #398 on: January 03, 2010, 06:43:15 PM »

The statements above basically sever the acts of Christ into two sets:  Those done by God and those done by man.  It's less obviously "two Who's" than the Commentary by Theodore, but it is still subject to that interpretation.  From what I read in Theodore's Commentary, I believe he would sign on to what is printed above.

That's the problem with the "He did ______ as God, and He did ______ as man" language.  Theodore used it and it can be interpreted in a Theodorean manner.  That is why Cyril condemned in his fourth anathema assigning different acts to either Christ the man or to God the Word.  That is why the OO's have never felt comfortable with the Tome of Leo.

What is unambiguously "one Who" is saying "God the Word suffered in the flesh."  That is "one Who."  Saying St. Mary is the Mother of God without Theodorean-sounding qualifiers like we saw in the catechism, is also "one Who."

The thing with Babai is that, from what I have heard and read, he reworded Theodore's Christology to make the "two Whos" less obvious, but it is still basically based on Theodore's Christology.  Babai, from what I understand, rejected the phrase "God the Word suffered in the flesh."  What he wrote above to me is still subject to a "two Who's" interpretation.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm over-thinking this.  I've noticed that the EO's have stopped commenting and that Deacon Lance thinks the stuff quoted over the past couple of days sounds Orthodox.  Maybe this stuff is good enough for the Chalcedonians.  Maybe it should be good enough for the OO's too.  I don't think so, though.  I don't think the OO's would sign onto this, and I have my doubts as to whether the EO's would.
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« Reply #399 on: January 03, 2010, 06:49:32 PM »

Shalom Salpy, it's OK to have doubts. I'm not done yet, we can probe deeper into this. I'm glad though that you're willing to accept the possibility that you could be overthinking this. BTW what is your opinion of Mar Yahbh Allaha III's letter, translated from Latin?
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« Reply #400 on: January 03, 2010, 07:13:58 PM »

The statements above basically sever the acts of Christ into two sets:  Those done by God and those done by man.  It's less obviously "two Who's" than the Commentary by Theodore, but it is still subject to that interpretation.  From what I read in Theodore's Commentary, I believe he would sign on to what is printed above.

That's the problem with the "He did ______ as God, and He did ______ as man" language.  Theodore used it and it can be interpreted in a Theodorean manner.  That is why Cyril condemned in his fourth anathema assigning different acts to either Christ the man or to God the Word.  That is why the OO's have never felt comfortable with the Tome of Leo.

What is unambiguously "one Who" is saying "God the Word suffered in the flesh."  That is "one Who."  Saying St. Mary is the Mother of God without Theodorean-sounding qualifiers like we saw in the catechism, is also "one Who."

The thing with Babai is that, from what I have heard and read, he reworded Theodore's Christology to make the "two Whos" less obvious, but it is still basically based on Theodore's Christology.  Babai, from what I understand, rejected the phrase "God the Word suffered in the flesh."  What he wrote above to me is still subject to a "two Who's" interpretation.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm over-thinking this.  I've noticed that the EO's have stopped commenting and that Deacon Lance thinks the stuff quoted over the past couple of days sounds Orthodox.  Maybe this stuff is good enough for the Chalcedonians.  Maybe it should be good enough for the OO's too.  I don't think so, though.  I don't think the OO's would sign onto this, and I have my doubts as to whether the EO's would.
No, I think the EO should have problems with it.  For one thing, it keeps the COE et alia squeamish about the term Theotokos.  The terminology still retains reservations about the union in one God the Word.  And that can't be just explained by the Semitic speech or the Roman border: the Aramaic/Semitic speakers in Palestine and Syria had no problem with Yaldath Alaha, nor did the Armenians, Georgians, Nubians, Ethiopians and Yeminites (the last two also Semites), who lived outside of Rome's control.

The Ecumenical Councils had representatives from all of Christendom.  They conducted their business in Greek.  Even if Syriac refined its terminology (assumed for the sake of argument), it does not have the stamp of universal authority: it is basically a monologue.  The qnoma/parsopa distinction, for instance, I don't see as clarifying anything, but introducing a concept for no purpose (at least in our understanding).
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« Reply #401 on: January 04, 2010, 10:42:18 AM »

PTA am I allowed to quote snippets from the private threads? There's just something there that I wanted to address here.
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« Reply #402 on: January 04, 2010, 11:21:47 AM »

PTA am I allowed to quote snippets from the private threads? There's just something there that I wanted to address here.
If you mean to quote posts from our private forum here on this public thread, such defeats our purpose for having a private forum, so we don't permit this.
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« Reply #403 on: January 04, 2010, 12:48:57 PM »

OK, though I wasn't planning to quote an entire post just a statement (which is in no way inflamatory) in the form of a snippet. But no worries I'll look for a similar statement elsewhere.
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« Reply #404 on: January 04, 2010, 01:22:05 PM »

I don't know.  Maybe I'm over-thinking this.  I've noticed that the EO's have stopped commenting and that Deacon Lance thinks the stuff quoted over the past couple of days sounds Orthodox.  Maybe this stuff is good enough for the Chalcedonians.  Maybe it should be good enough for the OO's too.  I don't think so, though.  I don't think the OO's would sign onto this, and I have my doubts as to whether the EO's would.

I can't speak for other but as one of the EO's whose largely stopped commenting, its because the nature of the discussion has become thoroughly confused. As PetertheAleut pointed we have one actual member of the Church of East saying things that are clearly unacceptable from an Orthodox point-of-view, but then we have Deacon Lance and Nazarene, who are not members of the Church of the East or Orthodox, arguing that the Church of the East actually believes something different from what rafa999 is saying. Given my experience with Roman Catholics claiming Orthodox believe this or that, when we don't, and Roman Catholics getting frustrated about what they see as Orthdox mischaracterization of their own beliefs/practices, I'm reluctant to get into that side of the debate.

Then we have the double problem of Mar Babai. Problem one is that apparently the full text of his 'authoritative' book is not available in English (and I don't read Syriac). This makes it extremely difficult to comment on in a general sense--we've been over this in EO and OO discussions. It's not that hard to find an individual passage in OO fathers and go 'ah ha, Monophysite!'; and contrariwise, you can find individual passages in EO fathers 'ah ha, dividing the Natures!', but then if one reads the paragraph before or the paragraph after, it turns out that passage in question needs to be understood in a different sense. Problem two is that since he is no longer in a position to be in or out of communion with, I personally am only tangentially interested in what Mar Babai actually believed. To me the real question is what the current CoE thinks he believed. Nestorius and Eutyches thought the Apostles believed as they did although they were incorrect. So in terms of the present, the essential question is, does what the COE believe that Mar Babai believed coincide with Nestorius or with St. Paul? With Theodore or St. John Chrysostom?

All that said, the excerpt Nazarene posted seems problematic to me. Again, context is relevant, depending on what came before and after, perhaps the structure is pure rhetorical device and it can be understood as Orthodox. But Mar Babai appears to be linguistically avoiding using 2 subjects, while clearly dividing how each thing was done. I.e., this action was 'as a man', this action was 'as a God'. But which actions were 'as a God-man', that is at what point does one simply speak of the actions of the Hypostatic Union? To me this seems different than St. Leo's:
Quote
There enters then these lower parts of the world the Son of God, descending from His heavenly home and yet not quitting His Father’s glory, begotten in a new order by a new nativity.  In a new order, because being invisible in His own nature, He became visible in ours, and He whom nothing could contain was content to be contained. abiding before all time He began to be in time:  the Lord of all things, He obscured His immeasurable majesty and took on Him the form of a servant:  being God that cannot suffer, He did not disdain to be man that can, and, immortal as He is, to subject Himself to the laws of death.  The Lord assumed His mother’s nature without her faultiness:  nor in the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin’s womb, does the wonderfulness of His birth make His nature unlike ours.  For He who is true God is also true man

St. Leo (and EO's) does distinguish that Jesus Christ died 'because He was a man' and that He rose again 'because He was a God', but there's no sense of alternation. We can (and do) say just as truly that 'Jesus Christ died and rose again'; 'God died and rose again'. For Orthodox, even if the death was possible because of Christ's human nature, it was 'as God and man' that He died. And 'as God and man' that He rose from the dead. And it is that complete identification of the union which seems missing in Mar Babai.
For Mar Babai:
Quote
He was laid in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes, as Man;
and the watchers extolled Him with their praises, as God.
For St. Leo
Quote
descending from His heavenly home and yet not quitting His Father’s glory

That is, for Mar Babai: "This was man, then this was God", for Orthodox "this part of the action was because He was man, and this part if because He was God, but this was God-man and then this was also God-man."


A final note on overthinking--it certainly seems possible here. Working through several languages with what are abstract philosophical categories can easily get that way. That's why going all the way back to St. Cyril and Nestorius, the focus always came back to the concrete implications. "Did or did not the Logos dies for us?" "Was the Virgin the Theotokos?" "Did the Son of God have blood?" Unlike hypostatis or kyana, those are concrete questions that don't slip and slide nearly do much depending on what language you're using or the presuppositions of your translator.
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