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May Orthodox believe that Christ is in two natures and also has a united nature composed of them?

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Poll: May an Orthodox Christian believe that Christ's nature is a unity of His human nature and His divine nature? (6 member(s) have cast votes)

May an Orthodox Christian believe that Christ's nature is a unity of His human nature and His divine nature?

  1. Yes, this is viewpoint is correct. (1 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  2. Yes, the Church allows for a range of opinions about this. (2 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  3. No, one may only accept that Christ has two natures and may not consider Him to have a nature that is a whole unity of both. (3 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

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#41 Jack R.

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:16 AM


May Orthodox believe that Christ is in two natures and also has a united nature composed of them?

For those following the Orthodox Christology of St. Cyril... Christ is not IN two... He is OF two Natures.... He is the Logos united hypostatically with humanity where the two natures united without confusion or alteration or mixture or separation ... and where the distinction in natures is in theory or thought alone.... this is what St. Cyril the Pillar of Orthodoxy taught.

The two natures are not confused ir mixed or alteted and they do not become a third nature. The One Nature is the Nature of the Logos Incarnate.

#42 Jack R.

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:17 AM

The Key then is to understand the '"OF" two natures' as a present and permanent union... NOT "OF" as an indication of something from which the Logos Incarnate is derived only from the past.

#43 H. Smith

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:58 AM

May Orthodox believe that Christ is in two natures and also has a united nature composed of them?

For those following the Orthodox Christology of St. Cyril... Christ is not IN two... He is OF two Natures.... He is the Logos united hypostatically with humanity where the two natures united without confusion or alteration or mixture or separation ... and where the distinction in natures is in theory or thought alone.... this is what St. Cyril the Pillar of Orthodoxy taught.

The two natures are not confused ir mixed or alteted and they do not become a third nature. The One Nature is the Nature of the Logos Incarnate.

 

Jack,  this is fine except where you mentioned that Cyril's Christology is not in two natures. I do not see the two ideas as necessarily mutually exclusive, nor did Cyril deny that Christ was in two natures.

 

Some Oriental Orthodox do think that Christ is in two natures and that people only are differing in semantics, while others, like Dioscorus, denied that Christ was in two natures.

 

For me, since Christ is in the category of humans and the category of God, and nature refers to categories of properties as it does in James 3:7, then Christ is in both categories, or natures.

 

The other thing I will add- and this is not to disagree but to clarify, is that Oriental Orthodoxy, as I understand it, takes the view that the one nature is "of" the two natures.

 

Peace.



#44 Lakis Papas

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

For those following the Orthodox Christology of St. Cyril, Christ is both "IN two" and "OF two" natures. I know that Anti-Chalcedonians do not accept the "in two natures" terminology.
 
As Greek professor of theology Stylianos Papadopoulos indicates in his book "St Cyril From Alexandria", St Cyril used the phraseology "in two natures" in his letter to Acacius: "He was One in both" (that is, "in both natures" - the context is about Christ's natures).
 
Οriginal greek text from Migne Volume 77, page 220: "αλλ' εις ήν ο εν αμφοίν" 

Edited by Lakis Papas, 15 January 2014 - 01:25 PM.


#45 Jack R.

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:02 PM

Jack,  this is fine except where you mentioned that Cyril's Christology is not in two natures. I do not see the two ideas as necessarily mutually exclusive, nor did Cyril deny that Christ was in two natures.

 

Some Oriental Orthodox do think that Christ is in two natures and that people only are differing in semantics, while others, like Dioscorus, denied that Christ was in two natures.

 

For me, since Christ is in the category of humans and the category of God, and nature refers to categories of properties as it does in James 3:7, then Christ is in both categories, or natures.

 

The other thing I will add- and this is not to disagree but to clarify, is that Oriental Orthodoxy, as I understand it, takes the view that the one nature is "of" the two natures.

 

Peace.

 

 

St. Cyril accepted the two natures formual as long as it was qualified by "in thought alone".



#46 Jack R.

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:10 PM

For those following the Orthodox Christology of St. Cyril, Christ is both "IN two" and "OF two" natures. I know that Anti-Chalcedonians do not accept the "in two natures" terminology.
 
As Greek professor of theology Stylianos Papadopoulos indicates in his book "St Cyril From Alexandria", St Cyril used the phraseology "in two natures" in his letter to Acacius: "He was One in both" (that is, "in both natures" - the context is about Christ's natures).
 
Οriginal greek text from Migne Volume 77, page 220: "αλλ' εις ήν ο εν αμφοίν" 

 

 

Peace and grace,

 

According to the 1990 agreed statement on Christology between the Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches,

 

"The Oriental Orthodox agree that the Orthodox are justified in their use of the two-natures formula, since they acknowledge that the distinction is ``in thought alone''.   Cyril interpreted  correctly  this  use in  his letter  to  John of Antioch and his  letters  to Acacius  of Melitene (pages  77, 184-201), and to Eulogius (pages 77, 224-228) and to Succensus ((pages 77, 228-245)."

 

 

 

"The  Orthodox  agree that the Oriental Orthodox  will  continue to maintain their traditional   Cyrillian terminology  of ``One nature  of   the Incarnate Logos'', since  they   acknowledge the double consubstantiality   of the Logos which Eutyches denied. The  Orthodox also  use this terminology."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Miaphysis formula does not come with the Cyrillian qualifier that it is in thought alone.  When Chalcedonians, including the wording of the Tome of Leo which required clarification at the 5th Ecumincal Council, use the in two natures formual without the qualification, in thought alone, the emphasis on the distinction of natures, borders on, or sounds close to being Nestorian, as perceived by the Non-chalcedonians.


Edited by Jack R., 15 January 2014 - 05:22 PM.


#47 H. Smith

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:52 PM

Peace and grace,

 

According to the 1990 agreed statement on Christology between the Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches,

 

"The Oriental Orthodox agree that the Orthodox are justified in their use of the two-natures formula, since they acknowledge that the distinction is ``in thought alone''.   Cyril interpreted  correctly  this  use in  his letter  to  John of Antioch and his  letters  to Acacius  of Melitene (pages  77, 184-201), and to Eulogius (pages 77, 224-228) and to Succensus ((pages 77, 228-245)."

 

 

 

"The  Orthodox  agree that the Oriental Orthodox  will  continue to maintain their traditional   Cyrillian terminology  of ``One nature  of   the Incarnate Logos'', since  they   acknowledge the double consubstantiality   of the Logos which Eutyches denied. The  Orthodox also  use this terminology."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Miaphysis formula does not come with the Cyrillian qualifier that it is in thought alone.  When Chalcedonians, including the wording of the Tome of Leo which required clarification at the 5th Ecumincal Council, use the in two natures formual without the qualification, in thought alone, the emphasis on the distinction of natures, borders on, or sounds close to being Nestorian, as perceived by the Non-chalcedonians.

1. A nature is a set of properties or category. Is Christ in the category of God "in thought alone"? Is he in the category of man "in thought alone"? Or is he actually in both categories? Does he actually have both sets of properties, or is that just in thought alone? I would say that it is both actually and in thought. Athanasius and the Tome both ascribed the suffering to the flesh, and Athanasius said: but not to the Godhead, for that is irrelevant.

 

2. 1 or 2 delegates from the Russian church coauthored the Chambessy statement, but it was not formally accepted by the Russian Church. Was there a formal acceptance of it by the Oriental Orthodox?

 

3. How did Cyril in those letters make it so clear he was talking about two natures in thought alone? He said "in two natures" in one letter, and the way I have seen some Oriental Orthodox deal with it is to say it is made up, while others say it has to be interpreted, like you did.

 

4. If the Oriental Orthodox say "in two natures" is justifiable, then that is a major step, and it would mean that the Creed of Chalcedon could be accepted by the Oriental Orthodox as a valid statement.

 

5. You say that our beliefs on nature(s) needed explanation at the Fifth Council. Many Oriental Orthodox say that the Eastern Orthodox position is now clear, and I sympathize with that view. However, in my opening post, I asked how to interpret the Anathema in the Fifth Council against saying "one nature or essence" in conjunction with "of two natures." I wish I coulc find a clear way to clear up this statement.

 

6.  I don't see why "in thought alone" has to be added for it to sound like a justifiable statement. If Christ is only in two natures in thought alone, then why does it need to be made specific that this is just "in thought"?  Many statements can be interpreted different ways. By not specifying "in thought alone", the statement becomes nonspecific. So then it can be interpreted in different ways, and the best way to interpret the statement is of course in the most correct way.



#48 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:30 AM

1. A nature is a set of properties or category. Is Christ in the category of God "in thought alone"? Is he in the category of man "in thought alone"? Or is he actually in both categories? Does he actually have both sets of properties, or is that just in thought alone? I would say that it is both actually and in thought. Athanasius and the Tome both ascribed the suffering to the flesh, and Athanasius said: but not to the Godhead, for that is irrelevant.

 

The category of properties or Ousiai or Essences is not what is emphasized by the Cyrillian "Physis" It deals more with One "Identity" or concrete reality, such that Christ is not in two concrere realities.. He is OF two concrete realities, One Concrete Reality (MiaPhysis)  That concrete reality is the Logos Incarnate that has all the properties of Divinity and Humanity united together unconfused and unaltered.  Physis is not always and to everyone synonymous with sets of properties only or with Ousia only.  We do not believe at all in One United Essence or Ousia or One Set of Properties that is both Divine and Human, no. 

 

We do not speak of Two Physies after the Union.  The distinction of the two Physies is in thought alone.



#49 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:14 AM

He is not IN two categories because that implies division to the Non Chalcedonians. He is OF two categories. This "OF" does not deny that the two categories are unconfused and unmixed

#50 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:54 AM

Cyril insisted that God the Eternal Logos did indeed suffer. The Logos is One and not two. This suffering He Himself suffered on account of being Incarnate.
The Logos Himself suffered Because He became Man. This is One Nature...MiaPhysis. This is not saying the Divine Ousia suffered. It says the Logos Himself suffered according to His Humanity. The Identity, the Person of the Logos Himself Suffered on account of being Man.

When we speak IN Two Physies and emphasize this, we find ourselves saying the One Physis suffered but not the Other. One Physis experienced birth but not the Other.... Ine Physis was nailed to the Cross but not the other... One Physis spit on the ground and made clay but not the other, because the Other has no saliva, it was the other Physis that did the healing.... Each Physis does what pertains to it.... this is the " In Two Natures". He exists in Two.

This is what Nestorius accepted and came to the conclusion that God The Logos was not born a second time from St Mary and that she was therefore not Theotokos. This is the In Two Physies that Sts. Athanasius; Cyril, Dioscorus, Severus, the Egyptians, Armenians, Syrians, Ethiopians, Eretrians, and Indians reject.

It is the Logos Incarnate who was born, spit, bled and was crucified. One MiaPhysis To Theo Sesarqonene... The One United Nature of the Logos Incarnate did all these things. We do not speak in terms of "the Human Physis spit not the Divine Physis" because the Divine Physis has no saliva." The One Logos Incarnate (One Miaphysis) spit and suffered and was crucified and healed and is worshipped. In Two gives perception of division, of twoness not really hypostatic but two physis cooperating together. OF two, however firmly protects the Hypostatic Union and the Oneness of Christ while not denying the distinction of the Humanity and Divinity.

#51 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:19 AM

Do any of the Chalcedonians today practucally still speak of or Use "Miaphysis to Theo Logou Sesarqomene"?

If not, is it completely ignored in favour of DyoPhysis exclusively? If so why? Since the First had long been declared Orthodox?

#52 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:18 AM

According to a priest of the British Orthodox Church,

 

"The Chalcedonians confess that there is a unity by saying that those things which are united are still two.

 

That seems contradictory to [some]. We confess the distinction by saying that the union takes place OF two so that we can confess the unconfused union."
 

[Miaphysites] confess the continuing integrity of that which Christ is composed.


OF TWO NATURES says entirely what we want to say, that the continuing union is not a bolting together of two different things which remain separate - and that is always the temptation for Chalcedonians - but it is a continuing willing of the Word to be united with his own humanity so that the union is always OF two distinct concretes which become a composite concrete.

Even the Chalcedonians confess this when they corrected the ambiguities of Chalcedon...

 

VII.

If anyone using the expression, “in two natures,” does not confess that our one Lord Jesus Christ has been revealed in the divinity and in the humanity, so as to designate by that expression a difference of the natures of which an ineffable union is unconfusedly made, [a union] in which neither the nature of the Word was changed into that of the flesh, nor that of the flesh into that of the Word, for each remained that it was by nature, the union being hypostatic; but shall take the expression with regard to the mystery of Christ in a sense so as to divide the parties, or recognising the two natures in the only Lord Jesus, God the Word made man, does not content himself with taking in a theoretical manner the difference of the natures which compose him, which difference is not destroyed by the union between them, for one is composed of the two and the two are in one, but shall make use of the number [two] to divide the natures or to make of them Persons properly so called: let him be anathema.

 

VIII.

If anyone uses the expression “of two natures,” confessing that a union was made of the Godhead and of the humanity, or the expression “the one nature made flesh of God the Word,” and shall not so understand those expressions as the holy Fathers have taught, to wit: that of the divine and human nature there was made an hypostatic union, whereof is one Christ; but from these expressions shall try to introduce one nature or substance [made by a mixture] of the Godhead and manhood of Christ; let him be anathema. For in teaching that the only-begotten Word was united hypostatically [to humanity] we do not mean to say that there was made a mutual confusion of natures, but rather each [nature] remaining what it was, we understand that the Word was united to the flesh. Wherefore there is one Christ, both God and man, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood.

 

 

So the Chalcedonians had to accept that 'of two natures' was entirely Orthodox and they could not avoid this because it was the teaching of St Cyril, while the terminology 'in two natures' was that beloved by heretics"

 



#53 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:25 AM

Again, referencin the above Fr.,

 

"In our Christology we see that Christ is of two ousia, because he belongs to both humanity and Divinity because of the perfection of the continuing distinction between his humanity and Divinity which are entirely different and distinct to each other.

But we also say that in Christ there has been 'a union of two physis', and by this we mean that concrete instances of humanity and Divinity are united in Christ, and not merely at one point in time as if they were bolted together externally but as an ongoing and eternal willing to be both human and Divine.

What do we mean by united? We mean that they have become 'mia physis' as St Cyril says. Not that the humanity or Divinity have been compromised, but because these two concrete identities have become one concrete identity without losing their own distinctive character.

 

[This} allows us to insist that Christ is both one concrete identity not two, while also confessing that those elements out of which the union is made have not ceased to be distinct. But they are distinct to contemplation and not divided.

This allows us to say truly that God suffered on the cross. Or that God walked on water. The Fathers remind us that God does not have legs to walk with, but humans cannot walk on water, and so in such instances we see that the humanity and Divinity impenetrate one another and the humanity is wholly deified, not changed into divinity, but filled with glory as it is the humanity of the Word of God.

The phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' expresses several things. In the first place we can understand it as saying that the concrete identity of the Word has now become incarnate. We may also understand it as saying that the concrete identity of the Word remains one, even now that it is incarnate.

What it does not say is that there is a third ousia since it has nothing to do with ousia. It is talking about concretes and identities.

Other forms of this phrase use the term hypostasis, and therefore it seems clear that we have always understood it as refering to identity and individuality and never to natural quality.

Indeed St Severus writes very perceptively on this issue is so many places but especially where he describes the character of the humanity of Christ as being non-self-substantiated, which is to say that it does not exist for itself, as ours does, but exists only in the union with the Word. There is no other difference between the humanity of Christ and our own. It finds its identity in union with the Word and at the instance of its creation as the Word's own flesh. This is the unity we insist on.

Our problems with the Chalcedonian position were that in using the phrase 'in two natures' it reflected the heterodox terminology which insisted that Christ was not one identity but two. Or that Christ was two concrete instances who had to be joined together. I do not find this satisfactory. If we say that Christ is a man and a God then we struggle to unite them, and this is what the phrase 'in two natures' seems to require. And we know that there were many who held just such a view, teaching that God was present in Christ who was a man. When we say that the union is 'of two natures' we are able to both insist on the distinction and on the reality of the union into one concrete identity who is both God and man without confusion or division.

It seems to me that the later Chalcedonian revision of their terminology was intended to fix some problems with heterodoxy being able to fully accept the Chalcedonian definition but it adds other problems.

If physis is synonymous with ousia (and it was not), and if hypostasis is synonymous with prosopon (and it was not) then the Chalcedonians only really have two terms. Within our own Christology we still have four and so we can refer to humanity - a man - this man - and John, in an increasing scale of concretisation. We can also say that the humanity of Christ is hypostatic, that is to say it has an absolute reality as 'this man', but that it finds its identity in that of the Word. The Chalcedonians can only say that the humanity of Christ is of the ousia of humanity, or that it is personal. It is harder for them to insist, as we can and do, that it is a real instance of humanity. They have no obvious word for this...."
 



#54 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:49 AM

The end of the matter is that both EO and OO confess that Jesus the Christ is God the Logos incarnate, One Person who is completely God and completely Man, whose Divinity is united to His humanity wihthout mingling, confusion, alteration or separation.

 

This is the faith that is Orthodox and this is really what keeps both families within a Christology that is at heart Orthoodox, despite each side's preference and understanding of the formula of expression of the above faith.  In that regard, Both Families are Orthodox in their Christology, even though both sides feel the other has followed a deficient path in expression of the formula.

 

"Great is the Mystery of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh."



#55 H. Smith

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:28 AM

The category of properties or Ousiai or Essences is not what is emphasized by the Cyrillian "Physis" It deals more with One "Identity" or concrete reality, such that Christ is not in two concrere realities.. He is OF two concrete realities, One Concrete Reality (MiaPhysis)  That concrete reality is the Logos Incarnate that has all the properties of Divinity and Humanity united together unconfused and unaltered.  Physis is not always and to everyone synonymous with sets of properties only or with Ousia only.  We do not believe at all in One United Essence or Ousia or One Set of Properties that is both Divine and Human, no. 

 

We do not speak of Two Physies after the Union.  The distinction of the two Physies is in thought alone.

Dear Jack,

 

I think physis is not really equated with identity. Customarily we emphasize that each person of the trinity shares the one physis (nature) of God, but they each have their own unique identity and concrete reality. That is, three persons with their own identity, all sharing the same nature of God.

 

Also, if a person says "of two concrete realities", then what are those two realities or identities? Are Humanity and Divinity the identities? If so, then Christ has both of them (in the plural), and this makes the identities a plurality.

 

I think what you will say is that for a concrete reality to be real, and not just a thought, it must exist in the form of a real person. Christ is of course such a person. And then he shares two "concrete realities" as you have defined the term, since by concrete realities you mean divinity and humanity.

 

On another note, Cyril did speak of physies after the union, since he said they have been "preserved". And in saying the distinction, he did not mention "in thought alone". Thus, Chalcedon's failure to say "in thought alone" is no more problematic than St. Cyril's own statement to this effect:
 

 

we affirm that Christ Jesus is One and the Same, acknowledging the distinction of the natures, and preserving them free from confusion with one another.
http://enlargingtheh...-of-alexandria/


Edited by H. Smith, 16 January 2014 - 05:33 AM.


#56 H. Smith

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:36 AM

He is not IN two categories because that implies division to the Non Chalcedonians.

 

Hello, Jack.

 

It may be surprising, but actually I do think something can be in two categories and yet be undivided. A book can be in the category of romance and also in the category of comedy, for example, since we are merely talking about qualities. Christ, being fully God is 100% in the category of divine beings, and thus has the full qualities of something divine. Likewise, being fully man, he is in the category of human beings.



#57 H. Smith

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:15 AM

Jack,

Cyril insisted that God the Eternal Logos did indeed suffer. The Logos is One and not two. This suffering He Himself suffered on account of being Incarnate.
The Logos Himself suffered Because He became Man. This is One Nature...MiaPhysis.

Certainly the Logos, ie. God's Son, suffered, but this suffering was in his flesh and humanity, as St. Athanasius and Cyril wrote. As Athanasius said, the suffering was not attributed to the divine nature. Thus, your statement was going OK, until the last part where you summed up God suffering because He became Man as "This is One Nature."

 

The Logos was always the same Logos all along and did not come from a human version of the Logos, unless of course you are talking about the Virgin Mary. In any case, one does not talk about Christ's one person as a unity of or from two persons, unless you mean from the Theotokos, which I doubt you do.

 

More simply, the One nature, as I understand it is the composition of the two natures uniting, regardless of whether He would suffer later in His life. So, you are certainly right about this part:
 

 

It says the Logos Himself suffered according to His Humanity. The Identity, the Person of the Logos Himself Suffered on account of being Man.

 

You noted correctly:

When we speak IN Two Physies and emphasize this, we find ourselves saying the One Physis suffered but not the Other. One Physis experienced birth but not the Other.... Ine Physis was nailed to the Cross but not the other... One Physis spit on the ground and made clay but not the other, because the Other has no saliva, it was the other Physis that did the healing.... Each Physis does what pertains to it.... this is the " In Two Natures". He exists in Two.

All of those statements are normal to me, Jack. The hot nature of a stove warms a frying pan, but its black nature does not. The kind nature of a brother encourages you, while his envious nature does not. I believe a person or thing can have more than one nature, as it does in those examples.

 

You noted:

This is what Nestorius accepted and came to the conclusion that God The Logos was not born a second time from St Mary and that she was therefore not Theotokos. This is the In Two Physies that Sts. Athanasius; Cyril, Dioscorus, Severus, the Egyptians, Armenians, Syrians, Ethiopians, Eretrians, and Indians reject.

 

I would propose to you that the one does not necessarily flow from the other. Nestorius would talk in ways that divided the person of Christ, making odd statements like:

God the Logos is said to have become flesh, and the Son of Man, as regards the form and prosopon of the flesh, and of the man, of which he made use in order to make himself known to the world.”

That is, Nestorius would say that The Logos became flesh, but the Son of Man made use of "the Man." This strangely juxtaposes the Logos and "The Man" as if they were two different entities.

 

Nestorius sorted out two people based on their qualities. I do not think Cyril or Athanasius gave a blanket condemnation of "in two natures", but rather Cyril saw Nestorius as sorting out two persons as I mentioned, which is a different issue than sorting out two sets of qualities or natures, which is OK.

 

Next, you note:

It is the Logos Incarnate who was born, spit, bled and was crucified. One MiaPhysis To Theo Sesarqonene...

However, did St. Cyril equate the Logos incarnate with the One Nature of that Logos Incarnate?

Is something's nature the same as the thing itself?

 

I think the Logos is the same as its person, but that a person or object is not the same as its nature.

 

You noted:

We do not speak in terms of "the Human Physis spit not the Divine Physis" because the Divine Physis has no saliva."


Perhaps this is not so wrong, Jack? Cyril has specified in his Letter to Nestorius that we eat the flesh, but not the divine nature, because of its immateriality- what you said.

 

I agree here:

The One Logos Incarnate (One Miaphysis) spit and suffered and was crucified and healed and is worshipped. In Two gives perception of division, of twoness not really hypostatic but two physis cooperating together. OF two, however firmly protects the Hypostatic Union and the Oneness of Christ while not denying the distinction of the Humanity and Divinity.

 

But I only partly agree about this:

In Two gives perception of division, of twoness not really hypostatic but two physis cooperating together.

You are right that in two means the physis- natures- cooperate, as does in fact happen, according to the Tome of Leo.

 

On the other hand, In Two need only mean division in the sense of distinction, and Cyril notes that there is still a distinction, so I think this is OK.

 

In two does not mean completely separate in every way, but that there are still two things, which I believe there are- humanity and divinity.


Edited by H. Smith, 16 January 2014 - 06:23 AM.


#58 H. Smith

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:38 AM

Dear Jack,

 

You quoted:


 

VII.

If anyone using the expression, “in two natures,” does not confess that our one Lord Jesus Christ has been revealed in the divinity and in the humanity, so as to designate by that expression a difference of the natures of which an ineffable union is unconfusedly made, [a union] in which neither the nature of the Word was changed into that of the flesh, nor that of the flesh into that of the Word, for each remained that it was by nature, the union being hypostatic; but shall take the expression with regard to the mystery of Christ in a sense so as to divide the parties, or recognising the two natures in the only Lord Jesus, God the Word made man, does not content himself with taking in a theoretical manner the difference of the natures which compose him, which difference is not destroyed by the union between them, for one is composed of the two and the two are in one, but shall make use of the number [two] to divide the natures or to make of them Persons properly so called: let him be anathema.

 

VIII.

If anyone uses the expression “of two natures,” confessing that a union was made of the Godhead and of the humanity, or the expression “the one nature made flesh of God the Word,” and shall not so understand those expressions as the holy Fathers have taught, to wit: that of the divine and human nature there was made an hypostatic union, whereof is one Christ; but from these expressions shall try to introduce one nature or substance [made by a mixture] of the Godhead and manhood of Christ; let him be anathema. For in teaching that the only-begotten Word was united hypostatically [to humanity] we do not mean to say that there was made a mutual confusion of natures, but rather each [nature] remaining what it was, we understand that the Word was united to the flesh. Wherefore there is one Christ, both God and man, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood.

 

 

So the Chalcedonians had to accept that 'of two natures' was entirely Orthodox and they could not avoid this because it was the teaching of St Cyril, while the terminology 'in two natures' was that beloved by heretics"
 

 

The first of the two is interesting: It says that you are anathema if you are not happy with theoretically seeing the difference but then divide the person. Well, I don'tt divide the person, so the anathema does not apply to me. But maybe for me the difference is more than just theoretical. Cyril said that we do not consume the divine nature. If this is true what Cyril said, perhaps the difference does go beyond just theory and reflects what we are talking about in real life- that it is in reality not the divine nature that is consumed in the real process of the liturgy.

 

As to the second paragraph I hope you will look at what I put in bold. This is the part I have trouble understanding, Jack. It sounds to me like maybe the Anathema is banning people from saying "One nature" from the idea of "of two natures". Yet "one nature of two natures" is something Oriental Orthodox believe (as do I), so I have a problem with this anathema, Jack.

 

Finally, as Fr. Romanides writes, Chalcedon never did ban the idea Christ was "of two natures". In fact, Fr. Romanides writes about Chalcedon:
 

 

In their interlocution at the fifth session the imperial representatives said that Leo says union of two natures whereas Dioscoros says union out of two natures. Whom do you follow ?" they asked. The Reverend Bishops cried, "As Leo, thus we believe."

http://www.romanity....god_the_log.htm

 

 

Regards.



#59 Lakis Papas

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:28 PM

The Key then is to understand the '"OF" two natures' as a present and permanent union... NOT "OF" as an indication of something from which the Logos Incarnate is derived only from the past.

 

You can not say "The Key then is to understand the '"OF" two natures' as a present and permanent union" and not accepting that Christ is "in two natures" after the union. The "OF two natures" alone indicates the number of the meeting natures, but does not indicate the number of the preserved natures in unity. 
 
St John Damascene writes the Orthodox doctrine: "For we confess that He alike in His divinity and in His humanity both is and is said to be perfect God, the same Being, and that He consists OF two natures, and exists IN two natures...
 
...For when we speak of the nature of men as one, observe that in saying this we are not looking to the question of soul and body. For when we compare together the soul and the body it cannot be said that they are of one nature. But since there are very many subsistences of men, and yet all have the same kind of nature: for all are composed of soul and body, and all have part in the nature of the soul, and possess the essence of the body, and the common form: we speak of the one nature of these very many and different subsistences; while each subsistence, to wit, has two natures, and fulfils itself in two natures, namely, soul and body.
 
But a common form cannot be admitted in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. For neither was there ever, nor is there, nor will there ever be another Christ constituted of deity and humanity, and existing in deity and humanity at once perfect God and perfect man. And thus in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot speak of one nature made up of divinity and humanity, as we do in the case of the individual made up of soul and body. For in the latter case we have to do with an individual, but Christ is not an individual. For there is no predicable form of Christlihood, so to speak, that He possesses. And therefore we hold that there has been a union OF two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture , or commingling...: and not in a personal or relative manner, or as a matter of dignity or agreement in will, or equality in honour, or identity in name, or good pleasure, but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation, and we confess that IN two perfect natures there is but one subsistence of the Son of God incarnate ; holding that there is one and the same subsistence belonging to His divinity and His humanity, and granting that the two natures are preserved in Him after the union, but we do not hold that each is separate and by itself, but that they are united to each other in one compound subsistence. For we look upon the union as essential, that is, as true and not imaginary. We say that it is essential , moreover, not in the sense of two natures resulting in one compound nature, but in the sense of a true union of them in one compound subsistence of the Son of God, and we hold that their essential difference is preserved. For the created remains created, and the uncreated, uncreated: the mortal remains mortal; the immortal, immortal: the circumscribed, circumscribed: the uncircumscribed, uncircumscribed: the visible, visible: the invisible, invisible. The one part is all glorious with wonders: while the other is the victim of insults." 
 
I point out the difference in timeframe of the two expressions: 
  • "has been a union OF two perfect natures"
  • "there is one Son of God IN two perfect natures"
The "OF two" is about a past accomplished event and the "IN two" is about the present.

Edited by Lakis Papas, 16 January 2014 - 02:35 PM.


#60 Jack R.

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 04:15 PM

Dear Jack,

 

I think physis is not really equated with identity. Customarily we emphasize that each person of the trinity shares the one physis (nature) of God, but they each have their own unique identity and concrete reality. That is, three persons with their own identity, all sharing the same nature of God.

 

:
 

 

 

Each person fo the Trinity shares One Ousia (nature).  The Three Persons have one Ousia.

 

Physis has been understood as a concrete reality, an Identity, not synonymous to us with Ousia only.


Edited by Jack R., 16 January 2014 - 04:16 PM.





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