Why I’m Not Roman Catholic Or Eastern Orthodox Part 1; Theses 1-20

The Seven Ecumenical Councils Refuted

  1. The original sect of the Messiah and his apostles were the Nazarene Judaizers. Not the Christian Anchoretics. Epiphanius of Salamis[1] states that the Natsarim, adherents of Messianic Judaism, were distinguished from Christians in name, were the original believers in the Messiah, distinguished themselves from Talmudists and were suspected of denying the Trinity Doctrine. Jerome also mentions them.[2] Replacement Theology became so dominate in Christian Theology that Anti-Semitic Creeds such as the Profession of Faith, From the Church of Constantinople required, “As a preliminary to his acceptance as a catechumen, a Jew ‘ must confess and denounce verbally the whole Hebrew people…replying in these words: ‘I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms, unleavened breads and sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews, and all the other feasts of the Hebrews, sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, sanctifications and propitiations, and fasts, and new moons, and Sabbaths, and superstitions, and hymns and chants and observances and synagogues, and the food and drink of the Hebrews; in one word, I renounce absolutely everything Jewish”.[3]

Tell me, how does one who believes in the Messiah, renounce the Hebrew people and everything Jewish when the Scriptures are written in Hebrew, the Messiah himself was Hebrew, and the name of the creator is Hebrew? This is the fundamental contradiction of the Christian religion that has created the platform for so many savage Anti-Semitic movements in its history. One can read The Canons of the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215 A.D., CANON 68, and think he is reading something written by Adolf Hitler.[4]

  1. The Bible and probably the entire New Covenant was written in Hebrew with the gospel of Luke as a possible exception.[5] A popular objection is that Hebrew was a dead language by the age of the Messiah. This is contradicted by the Messiah’s own use of Hebrew in the Greek text itself in Mat. 27:46 and Acts 26:14. Josephus says inAntiquities of the Jews, Book XX.11, that educated Jews struggled to learn Greek not Hebrew. During the Bar Kochba Revolt Jewish coinage was inscribed with Hebrew. Also the Dead Sea Scrolls contained much Hebrew and were dated up to 318 A.D. There is also the Peshitta the Mishna and the Gemara which were written in Aramaic. Moreover, please consider the absurdity of the assertion that as the Messiah taught in a Semitic tongue that his words were being written down in Greek! Absurd!
  1. The Messiah was a Hebrew and kept the Torah. The Messiah’s name was not Jesus. There is no “J” in the Hebrew or in the Greek alphabets. The Geneva Bible did not have the Jesus spelling and neither did the 1611 King James version. The Iesous spelling does not appear in the Greek either. Iesou is the English spelling of the popular Greek manuscripts used by modern Christian Theologians. However, in the Codex Sinaiticus, the Iesous name appears nowhere. The development of the nameJesus does have some unmistakable Pagan roots with the Greek god Iasus. This is not an isolated incident. The Greek “New Testament” also (coincidentally?) changes the name of the prophet Eliyahu to Helios the Greek Sun God. Our Anglo-Catholic tradition, since the writing of the 1611 KJV Bible, has changed the word Passover to the pagan celebration of Easter in Acts 12:4.[6] Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8, when speaking of the prophet Yĕhowshuwa, contain the same spelling of Yĕhowshuwa as for the Messiah. The Apostles and the Messiah spoke against Rabbinic Tradition, not the Torah. Messiah stated plainly that he did not come to do away with the Torah.[7]
  1. The Torah commanded Israel not to take the Creator’s name in vain (By the way, this command is not contained in the “New Testament”).[8] Moreover, the Creator commanded Israel to swear by his name.[9] The name of the creator is יְהֹוָה (Yahuw(v)ah, Yahweh or Yah in the contracted form[10]).[11]  Yahweh is a conjugation (3rd masculine singular form) of הָיָה (hayah)[12]. God is not the name of the Creator. It is merely a generic title.
  1. Can the religion that claims to fulfill Judaism be a religion of four gods, of swine eating, blood drinking, the celebration of pagan holidays, prayers to paintings and images, a pagan view of the soul, the body and sex, a rejection of the Sabbaths and an admitted aversion to the Hebrew Jewish people? Not to mention that Christian Theologians like John Chrysostom in his Eight Homilies Against the Jews, which were championed during the Nazi regime, have advocated pure hatred towards these people. The answer is simple: NO.
  1. The doctrine of the Trinity as taught by the Seven Ecumenical Councils is directly contradicted by Scripture which teaches strict Monotheism.

John 17:1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

1 Cor. 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Messiah Jesus

  1. The Bible never refers to the One God Yah as three persons or an essence, but always one person.[13]
  1. Yeshua(Jesus) Messiah is clearly denoted as being subordinate to the Father, not merely at the level of hypostasis but at the level of nature.

John 14:28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Mark 13:32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

  1. The glory and worship given to the Son is something bestowed to him by the Father. It is not his innately.

John 5: 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

John 8:54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’;

Acts 2: 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

  1. The only time the Greek translation of the New Testament uses the Greek word Theos, commonly translated God, and attaches a numeric value to it (Thus a monotheistic context), it is referring to the Father; never to the Son or Spirit. And the fact remains, the One God is never said to be a divine nature. The Scripture does describe the Father as the one person who is, the one and only God,[14] the only true God,[15] one God, the Father,[16] and one God and Father of all.[17]
  1. Yeshua commanded that prayer be offered only to one person, the Father Yah.[18]
  1. The teachings of the Pre-Nicene and Nicene Fathers are more than difficult to justify the Trinity doctrine. The teaching of the Early Christian Fathers is summed up in these six propositions:[19] I. There is but one God, the Father. II. There are at least two (not mere names or modes) truly distinct persons[20], the Father, the Son or Word of God and the Holy Ghost. These persons are not only hypostases but individual beings.[21] III. These Persons are generically consubstantial, i.e. the divine Persons are homoousios, not monoousios.[22] IV. There is but one beginning/cause (monarchia), one font/fountain or principle of divinity, God the Father, who alone is autotheos, God of and from Himself. Thus, the Son and Holy Spirit derive their being, divinity, and in the case of the Son, personhood from Him; the Son by generation, and the Holy Spirit by procession. V. This derivation is not limited only to the person of the Father, or the divinity of the Father, but rather, from both the personhood and divinity of the Father. VI. The Son is subordinate to the Father and this subordination does not pertain to the economy of salvation only but also to the order of being before all worlds.
  1. The Council of Constantinople 381 A.D. and later creeds, changed the meaning of the original Nicene Creed 325 A.D. into a sense contradictory to its original intention by removing the phrase “of the essence of the Father” and Nicea’s anathemas. In the Nicene Creed 325 A.D. we read, “Homoousion to Patri” (consubstantial with the Father). Yet this was translated, “unius substantiae cum Patre” in the Latin by Hosius, or whoever first translated the Greek into Latin. Thus homoousios became monoousios. A generic sense was replaced by a numeric sense. In other words, Nicea 325 A.D. affirmed multiple beings that had the same type of nature but only one of those beings was the One God and that was the Father because he is the only source and cause of all, thus the Supreme Being. Constantinople 381 A.D. and later creeds affirmed one being. This is a radical change in meaning.[23] The reason why this change was needed was to buttress the establishment of Neoplatonism.
  1. The idea that God is an essence that manifests itself in three persons is a result of Neoplatonism that primarily arose with the influence of Plotinus through Origen, Pseudo-Dionysius and Victorinus’ influence on Augustine.[24] Neoplatonism taught a Pantheistic system which posited an absolute singularity, The One, as the ultimate principle, which all finite things are eternal manifestations, being one substance with The One.[25] This infinite emanation constituted a hierarchy of being with intermediaries at each level of the hierarchy. In the case of traditional Pantheism and Gnosticism, Porphyry and Iamblichus asserted that one moved up the chain through occult knowledge that was revealed to the person by the intermediary. [26] At the culmination of spiritual disciplines, according to Plotinus’ Philosophy, man’s entire nature is rescinded in order to be dissolved into The One through mystic trance. Christianity continued this basic metaphysical structure. The Christian Doctrine of Divine Simplicity is the Neoplatonic Doctrine of The One.[27] The western Christian Doctrine of the Filioque collapses the Economic and Ontological actions of God, thus blatantly aligning itself with Pantheism. The traditional view of Christian Church Government was also taken straight from Neoplatonism.[28] This structure also produced the same Pagan Monastic theory of ethics and sex that we find in traditional Hinduism and Buddhism.[29] As was perfected in the Eastern Church, Plotinus’ ecstasy was transitioned into Hesychasm through which the communicant is united to God in a “union in ignorance.”[30]  My concern is summarized by a standard Western Civilization text, “Medieval thinkers sharply differentiated between spirit and matter…The Medieval individual’s understanding of self stemmed from a comprehension of the universe as a hierarchy instituted by and culminating in God…God’s revelation reached down to humanity through the hierarchical order…Thus, all things in the universe, from angels, men, and women to the lowest earthly objects, occupied a place peculiar to their nature and were linked by God in a great, unbroken chain.”[31]

As we can clearly see, Divine Simplicity, Pantheism, Hierarchical(Chain of Being) Ecclesiology and  Monasticism are parts of a connected Epistemological and Metaphysical  system. To adhere to one, is to adhere to all of them and you cannot believe the doctrine of the Trinity without explicitly adhering to the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity. This is the circle in the middle of the triangle. It makes all the rest of these doctrines necessary. It collapses nature and will, requiring Pantheism. It makes knowledge subject to a Hierarchical system of implicit faith, because it puts God in an incompatible metaphysical category to human language: huperousia. Finally, it makes Monasticism necessary by perceiving essential human nature as the obstacle to overcome to achieve ultimate enlightenment.

  1. Yeshua’s prayer life contradicts the entire hypostatic system. The hypostatic system said that Yeshua’s prayers were an economic encouragement for people to pray to God in trust and was a mark of Yeshua’s humility. John of Damascus says in An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith Book 3.22,

“He is, moreover, said to grow in wisdom and age and grace Luke 2:52… His own increase, and everywhere taking as His own that which is ours. But those who hold that He progressed in wisdom and grace in the sense of receiving some addition to these attributes, do not say that the union took place at the first origin of the flesh, nor yet do they give precedence to the union in subsistence, but giving heed to the foolish Nestorius they imagine some strange relative union and mere indwelling, understanding neither what they say nor whereof they affirm. For if in truth the flesh was united with God the Word from its first origin, or rather, if it existed in Him and was identical in subsistence with Him, how was it that it was not endowed completely with all wisdom and grace? Not that it might itself participate in the grace, nor share by grace in what belonged to the Word, but rather by reason of the union in subsistence, since both what is human and what is divine belong to the one Christ, and that He Who wasHimself at once God and man should pour forth like a fountain over the universe His grace and wisdom and plenitude of every blessing.”

Book 3.24,

“How then did it happen that our Lord offered up prayer in the case of Lazarus, and at the hour of His passion? For His holy mind was in no need either of any uprising towards God, since it had been once and for all united in subsistence with the God Word, or of any petitioning of God. For Christ is one. But it was because He appropriated to Himself our personality and took our impress on Himself, and became an ensample for us, and taught us to ask of God and strain towards Him, and guided us through His own holy mind in the way that leads up to God. For just as He endured the passion, achieving for our sakes a triumph over it, so also He offered up prayer, guiding us, as I said, in the way that leads up to God, and fulfilling all righteousness Matthew 3:15 on our behalf, as He said to John, and reconciling His Father to us, and honouring Him as the beginning and cause, and proving that He is no enemy of God.” [32]

First, these accusations against Nestorius have been proven completely wrong. John of Damascus says,

“those who hold that He progressed in wisdom and grace in the sense of receiving some addition to these attributes…do not say that the union took place at the first origin of the flesh, nor yet do they give precedence to the union in subsistence, but giving heed to the foolish Nestorius”

In the council of Ephesus, Notes section of Canon 9 Nestorius said,

“If anyone says that the form of a servant is of like nature with the Holy Ghost and not rather that it owes its union with the Word which has existed SINCE THE CONCEPTION[33]

John is simply wrong. Moreover, here he admits that the Antiochene system can explain the growth in wisdom and grace while his cannot and in desperation can only cling to a falsity to have a leg to stand on. It has been shown he does not. In addition, John denies that Yeshua’s prayer life was a response to real situations of crisis and faith because he was in need.

Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear. ASV

Heb 4:15  For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Luk 22:44  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. ASV

Isa 49:4 I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vainity

The hypostatic construction simply cannot explain these passages.

  1. There is no definition of the hypostatic union and the attempts that are usually given are Arian. (McGuckin acknowledges the hypostatic union’s Arian problems, see page 178)[34]

All the hypostatic authors I have read refer to the union as, “ontological” (McGukin 184, 196), “metaphysical transformation” (Cyril, McGukin 187), or “essential.” (Turretin Vol 2.13, John of Damascus Book 3) Yet how this can happen without changing the essence of the Second person and positing a lower deity, they have only sophistry to appeal to. Damascus says in reference to the hypostatic union,

“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, as Nestorius, hated of God, said, and Diodorus and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and their diabolical tribe…but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation”[35]

Here he braves a positive construction. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines synthesis:

“1 a : the composition or combination of parts or elements so as to form a whole b : the production of a substance [Here you have something new produced and this definition is Eutychus’] by the union of chemical elements, groups, or simpler compounds or by the degradation of a complex compound c : the combining of often diverse conceptions into a coherent whole; also : the complex so formed.”

The first definition proves one nature. The second proves Eutychus’ three natures. The last definition is indistinguishable from the first in the context of the incarnation. So I argue that he fails to provide an Orthodox definition.

Damascus continues,

“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.”

Here he fails to tell us what he means. A “true union”? If the union is essential, it is a union of essence. What he seems to be demanding though is a denial of nominalism with reference to the union. This is semantic drivel. Leo Donald Davis, in The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, describes Prestige’s view of the hypostatic union in the Council of Ephesus:

“That is, explains Prestige, ‘a concurrence of the divine and human forms in one person, so that whether as God or as man or as both Christ constituted a single objective reality (hypostasis); just as by his phrase ‘physical union’ [Cyril] indicated a personal unity in which the two elements expressed different embodiments of a single ‘physis’ or personal existence.’…Union excludes division.”[36]

How does one distinguish “a single objective reality” from “essence”? They cannot, the two are synonymous in the history of philosophy. Substance and subsistence have numerous times been used as synonyms even in the same context where substance is being used as essence. Their escape from Apollinarianism is therefore a semantic device designed to escape a clear contradiction through ambiguity.  I agree with C.E. Raven

“Apollinaris can only be condemned by those who are prepared to allow that the whole Greek school from Justin to Leontius and John of Damascus is similar…since the divergences between them and the heresiarch are merely verbal and superficial.”[37]

Now, the champion verbal sorcerers of the seminary will here exclaim that they have a solution. The union between divine and human in Christ is at the level of person, not nature. Constantinople 553, The Capitula of the Council 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.”

Aquinas says in Summa Theologica Part Three, Incarnation, General, On the Union Itself, Article 2. Whether the union of Incarnate Word took place in the Person?,

“to Objection 1. Although in God Nature and Person are not really distinct, yet they have distinct meanings, as was said above, inasmuch as person signifies after the manner of something subsisting. And because human nature is united to the Word, so that the Word subsists in it, and not so that HisNature receives therefrom any addition or change, it follows that the union of human nature to the Word of God took place in the person, and not in the nature.” [http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4002.htm%5D

In Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica Part Three, Incarnation, General, On the Union Itself, Article 7 Whether the union of the Divine nature and the human is anything created? he says,

“Now, as was said above (I, 13, 7), every relation which we consider between God and the creature is really in the creature, by whose change the relation is brought into being; whereas it is not really in God, but only in “I answer that, The union of which we are speaking is a relation which we consider between the Divine and the human nature, inasmuch as they come together in one Person of the Son of Godour way of thinking, since it does not arise from any change in God. And hence we must say that the union of which we are speaking is not really in God, except only in our way of thinking; but in the human nature, which is a creature, it is really. Therefore we must say it is something created.

Reply to Objection 1. This union is not really in God, but only in our way of thinking, for God is said to be united to a creature inasmuch as the creature is really united to God without any change in Him.”

[http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4002.htm

First, the Bible does not say the Word united himself to a human being or nature. The Bible says “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14)! The word in the original Greek is γίνομαι (Ginomai). Ginomai does not mean unite or join. The word clearly denotes change, or becoming at the level of nature! Yeshua uses this term to refer to stones becoming bread in Matt. 4:3. Second, distinguishing generic nature from person(As in distinguishing human nature in the abstract from Bill a particular human) is coherent. But distinguishing a numeric human nature from a numeric person is total nonsense.

  1. The hypostatic union requires a denial of the Protestant doctrines of private judgment and perspicuity of scripture. In Turretin’s[38] dealing with the hypostatic union he quotes several passages of scripture:

1 Tim 3:16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. 

(He calls this a “manifestation in the flesh”) Pg. 299

Heb 10: 5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;

 (He calls this an “adaptation or preparation of a body”) Pg. 299 

Phil 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

 (He calls this an “emptying and assumption of the form of a servant”) Pg. 299

Heb 2:16 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.  

(He calls this a “taking on”) Pg. 299

2 Tim 1:10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel 

(He calls this an “appearing”) Pg. 299

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(He calls this an assumption of not one part of man “but broadly and synecdochically for the whole human nature, including the soul with the flesh”) Pg. 299

Does Turretin (Francis Turretin,  Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol 2.13) define any of these terms, manifestation, adaptation or preparation, assumption, taking on, or appearing? He uses other terms for the hypostatic union such as “indissoluble bond” Pg. 302, and “conjoined” Pg. 303.  On page 311 Turretin gives specific attention to the nature of the union:

“The question does not concern the physical and essential union of two things to constitute one third nature as the soul is united to the body to constitute a man)[Which I read constantly from other metaphysical union advocates]. Not concerning the schetic and relative union consisting in the union of souls and the consent of wills, such as the union of friends. Not concerning a parastatic union by mere standing by, such as that of the angels with bodies assumed. Not concerning an efficient union, as to general efficacy and sustentation by which all things are in God…Not concerning the mystical union and grace of believers with Christ. Not of the substantial union or essential union of the Persons of the Trinity in one essence. Rather, the question concerns the hypostatical union by the assumption of human nature into unity of person of the Logos. This is called, both in respect of form (because it is in the person of the Logos) and in respect of the term (because it is terminated on it). Thus it is a personal union, but not of persons, as of the union of natures but not natural. If at any time it is called physike (natural union) by the fathers (Cyril, Anathema 3…) it must be understood in a sound sense, so that not so much the relation of union is regarded as the extremes of union. [Then he says something astounding]…By this union, therefore, nothing less is designated than the intimate and perpetual conjunction of the two natures-the divine and the human-in the unity of person.”

Roger E. Olson’s The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform Chapter 14 (pages 215-219[39]) goes into detail about the different interpretations of the union between Cyril and Nestorius. Is Turretin taking Nestorius’ view? Olsen says,

“Nestorius’ solution lay in positing a special kind of union that he called synapheia. In Latin it has been translated conjunctio, and thus in English Nestorius’s idea has traditionally been called a “conjunction.”[40]

Yet he seems to be inconsistent with this because just a few lines later he says of the human nature, “so that now it is substantial with the Logos.” Strange because just above we read him say, “Not of the substantial union.” Then he turns about face again on page 312 and says, “Now although the human nature may rightly be said to be substantial with the Logos yet less accurately is it said to subsist with the subsistence of the Logos because then the human nature would be a divine person.”  I think it can easily be said that the hypostatic view struggles at this point.

On page 317, a circular definition is given for assumption: “or assumptively because he assumed flesh into the same hypostasis and united it to himself.”  He uses the word to be defined in the definition. This will not do.

Next, he says, “However as this mystery is unascertainable by reason and is known only by the aid of revelation, various questions are wont to be agitated about it.” Here he could be saying the incarnation is a paradox but after read through the whole section I just take him to mean that we know this doctrine only by revelation and after it has been revealed we can know it. This is fine and good. Yet, later he makes an about face and says the hypostatic union is “unspeakable.”[41] How can something be true if it is not speakable? Truth demands a proposition and if there is no proposition, there is only ignorance. One must abandon the Protestant doctrines of private judgement and the perspicuity of scripture to adhere to this doctrine.

The glaring contradiction that the hypostatic union advocates seem to not understand is that they make such dogmatic statements about the hypostatic union and then turn around and call the union unspeakable (Turretin Vol 2.13.7), ineffable (Constantinople 553, The Capitula of the Council VII, Cyril’s Second Letter to Succensus, para 3. (See McGuckin pg. 204-205 where Cyril also calls the union “inexpressibly united”) a paradox (McGukin, St. Cyril 154, 177, 185, 187, 191, 195, 201, 216, 221, Owen, Works I, p. 46[42]) or “transcends understanding.” (Cyril 1st Letter to Succensus para 6, McGuckin 239)

  1. Any improvements of the definition are hopeless, for in the 6th Council, that of Constantinople in its Definition of Faith reads,

“These things, therefore, with all diligence and care having been formulated by us, we define that it be permitted to no one to bring forward, or to write, or to compose, or to think, or to teach a different faith.  Whosoever shall presume to compose a different faith, or to propose, or teach, or hand to those wishing to be converted to the knowledge of the truth, from the Gentiles or Jews, or from any heresy, any different Creed; or to introduce a new voice or invention of speech to subvert these things which now have been determined by us, all these, if they be Bishops or clerics let them be deposed, the Bishops from the Episcopate, the clerics from the clergy; but if they be monks or laymen:  let them be anathematized.”[43]

So the only choice an Orthodox person has who finds problems with the definitions is to sear his conscience. (1 Tim 4)

  1. Gregory Palamas posited a union of energy between the human and the divine when he said,

“Indeed, in Christ, His two natures-so precisely defined at Chalcedon as both “inseparable” and “unconfused” – remain distinct. Therefore, deification or communion between divinity and humanity does not imply a confusion of essences or natures. It remains nevertheless real communion between the Uncreated and His creature, and real deification- not by essence, but by energy.”[44]

Strangely, a union of energy was acknowledged by the early councils and condemned.

Cyril’s Anathema 7 reads,

“If anyone shall say that Jesus as man is only energized by the Word of God, and that the glory of the Only-begotten is attributed to him as something not properly his: let him be anathema.”[45]

The Fifth Council, Second Council of Constantinople, The Capitula of the Council, 4 says,

“If anyone shall say that the union of the Word of God to man was only according to grace or energy, or dignity, or equality of honour, or authority, or relation, or effect, or power, or according to good pleasure in this sense that God the Word was pleased with a man, that is to say, that he loved him for his own sake, as says the senseless Theodorus, or [if anyone pretends that this union exists only] so far as likeness of name is concerned, as the Nestorians understand, who call also the Word of God Jesus and Christ, and even accord to the man the names of Christ and of Son, speaking thus clearly of two persons, and only designating disingenuously one Person and one Christ when the reference is to his honour, or his dignity, or his worship; if anyone shall not acknowledge as the Holy Fathers teach, that the union of God the Word is made with the flesh animated by a reasonable and living soul, and that such union is made synthetically and hypostatically, and that therefore there is only one Person, to wit: our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Holy Trinity: let him be anathema.”[46]

John of Damascus says,

“Note also that energy is an activity and is energised rather than energises; as Gregory the Theologian says in his thesis concerning the Holy Spirit : If energy exists, it must manifestly be energised and will not energise: and as soon as it has been energised, it will cease.” (Orthodox Faith Book 3)

McGuckin also says on page 185 “The human nature of the Logos is, therefore, an instrument of the divine energy.”

Palamas the most authoritative of the few I have quoted clearly says that the communion between the human and divine in Christ is energy. He did not say that the divine energies are transferred through the divine hypostasis to the human as to a spiration, he used the word, “communion.” This is clearly a contradiction in the Eastern construction and another failure to define the hypostatic union.

[1] The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis. Nazoraeans, 29. Against Nazoraeans.

[2] Letter 75, From Jerome to Augustine (A.D. 404), Chapter 4.

[3] Medieval Sourcebook: Professions of Faith Extracted from Jews on Baptism, From Assemani, Cod. Lit., 1, p. 105: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/jewish-oaths.asp.

[4] See also the Black Death Jewish persecutions.

[5] The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis.Nazoraeans, 29. Against Nazoraeans 9,4; Eusebius, Church History, Book III, Chapter 24, 6;  Chapter 38, 2; Chapter 39, 16; Book V, Chapter 10, 3; Book VI, Chapter 14, 2; Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, Chapters III and V; Edward Gibbon, History of Christianity, 185-186, FN 152.

[6] Alexander Hislop, Two Babylons, 147.

[7] Mat. 5:17-19.

[8] Exo. 20:7.

[9] Deut. 6:13, 10:20, Psa. 68:4, 103:1. 

[10] Strong’s, H3068.

[11] Martinez and Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls; Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, Vol. IX. Qumran Cave 4, Manuscript 120.pap4QLXXLeviticusb; See also the Moab Stone.

[12] Strong’s, H1961.

[13] Deut. 32:39, 2 Kings 19:19, Neh. 9:6, Psa. 83:18, 86:10, Isa. 40:25, 43:10,  44:6-8, 45:5,18, 22, 46:5,9, 61:4, 64:6, Joel 2:27.

[14] John 5:44.

[15] John 17:3.

[16] 1 Cor. 8:6.

[17] Eph. 4:6.

[18] Mat. 6:9.

[19]Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, C 62, 100, Apol I. 13, Apol I. 16, Apol II. 13); Theophilus of Antioch (To Autolycus, Book II, C 10); St. Irenaeus (Against Heresies, Book I, C 22 (New Advent) C 19 (Old version), Book III, C 15 (New Advent) C 16 (Old version), Book III, C 19. 2); Tertullian (Against Praxeas, C XIII); Origen (Commentary on the Gospel of John (Book II).6, (Book VI).23, Contra Cels. Book  VIII C 14, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, Leo Donald Davis, pg. 49); Novatian (On the Trinity, C 13, 31);  Alexander of Alexandria (Epistles on Arianism and the Deposition of Arius 1.12, To Alexander, Bishop of the City of Constantinople); Athanasius, Discourse Against the Arians 1.58, 2.16, 4.1, 4.9-10, (De Decretis); Eusebius (Eusebius of Caesarea to Euphration of Balanea); Eusebius the Historian (Ecclesiastical History Book I, ii, Leob Classical Library, Eusebius Vol. I Page 18); Cyril of Alexander (NPNF – 2nd series, Vol. 14, The Seven Ecumenical Councils, pg. 202); Gregory Nazianzen, (Fourth Theological Oration, 30); Basil the Great, (Letter 38, 125, 236-In some older works Letter 391); Bishop Bull, A Defence of the Nicene Creed, 627.

[20] I do not believe that the distinct personhood of the Holy Spirit should be made a dogma. It should be left in the same ambiguity as Nicea 325 left it in.

[21] Leo Donald Davis, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, pg. 61; J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, pg. 234-235: The sense of the Nicene Fathers is said by Davis to mean “two individual men, both of whom share human nature while remaining individuals” and by Kelly as “common to several individuals of a class”. This is in direct contrast to the sense they were rejecting which sense Davis describes as “numerical identity, that is, that the Father and the Son are identical in concrete being” and Kelly describes as “an individual thing as such”.

[22] Ibid.

[23] David Waltz, The Nicene Creed vs. the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

[24] Plotinus, Enneads 5 First Tractate, Vladimir Lossky, Vision of God; Paul Rorem, Pseudo-Dionysius;  J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, 269-270.

[25] Plotinus, Enneads 6; Gordon Clark, Hellenistic Philosophy (Appleton-Century-Crofts: New York, 1940), 229-230.

[26] Edward Moore (St. Elias School of Orthodox Theology) “Neoplatonism”; “Gnosticism”: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

[27] Turretin, “Proof that God is perfectly simple…(3) from his perfection, because composition implies imperfection”. Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Volume 1, 3rd Topic. Q 7 (P & R Publishing: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1992), pg. 191; St. Augustine, On The Trinity, Introductory Essay by William G. T. Shedd, D.D., “The instant there is a monad, there is a triad”; Bonaventure, “there is something prior to every imperfect or composite being.” (Muller, Vol. 4, pg. 41); Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church , Chapter 2, “The Divine Darkness” (Saint Vladamir’s Seminary Press: Crestwood, New York, 1976).  Divine Simplicity is the Eastern Christian Doctrine of Huperousia found in the Essence and Energy Distinction.

[28] Dionysius, The Ecclesiastical Hierarchies, Celestial Hierarchies, 8th Letter; Paul Rorem, Pseudo-Dionysius, 20-41. Rorem points out on page 32 that Bonaventure gave the pope of Rome the highest place of authority as “a natural extrapolation of Dionysian principles.”; UNAM SANCTAM”, Bull of Pope Boniface VIII, November 18, 1302, “For, according to the Blessed Dionysius, it is a law of the divinity that the lowest things reach the highest place by intermediaries”.

[29] Isaac Taylor, Ancient Christianity.

[30] Lossky, Vision of God, (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press: Crestwood, NY, 1983), 132.

[31] Perry , Chase,  Jacob,  Jacob,  Von Laue, Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, Volume I: To 1789, (Wadsworth: Boston, MA, 2013, 2009), 259.

[32] John of Damascus,  An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith Book 3.22, 3.24, New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia Site, available from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/33043.htm; Internet; accessed August, 2010

[33] Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers 2nd Series Vol 14, ed. Schaff and Wallace, (New York, Cosimo Classics, 2007), 215

[34] John A. McGuckin, St. Cyril of Alexandria The Christological Controversy (New York* Leiden, The Netherlands* E.J. Brill*Koln, 1994), 178

[35] John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith Book 3.3

[36] Leo Donald Davis, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1983 ), 151

[37] Quoted in Alan Spence, Incarnation and Inspiration John Owen and the Coherence of Christology (New York, T&T Clark, 2007), 108

[38] Francis Turretin,  Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol 2.13 (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 1994)

[39] Roger E. Olson The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform Chapter 14,  (Downer’s Grove , IL: InterVarsity press, , 1999) 215-219

[40] Ibid., 216

[41] Question 7

[42] See Alan Spence’s Incarnation and Inspiration, 20

[43] Philip Schaff, The Seven Ecumenical Councils, Christian Classics Ethereal Library Site, available fromhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiii.x.html?highlight=invention,of,terms#highlight; Internet; accessed August 2010

[44] Gregory Palamas, ed. John Meyendorf, Gregory Palamas The Triads, (New York*Ramsey*Toronto: Paulist Press., 1983), 19

[45] Philip Schaff, The Seven Ecumenical Councils, Christian Classics Ethereal Library Site, available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.ix.viii.html; Internet; accessed August 2010

[46] Philip Schaff, The Seven Ecumenical Councils, Christian Classics Ethereal Library Site, available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xii.vii.html; Internet; accessed August 2010

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