Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is "the one God" of the Bible the Trinity, or God the Father?

In the recent Articuli Fidei thread, The Trinity: a 'clear; Biblical teaching, or a post-Biblical development?, one of the tributaries that the combox headed down was a robust discussion concerning the Eastern Orthodox understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Posts and links concerning the reflections of three modern era EO theologians (Behr, Hopko, and Myendorff) were provided and discussed; however, much remains in this genre (IMHO), and I would like to continue the dialogue in this new thread, beginning with the following from the pen of Iohannes/John, which he posted back on January 3, 2011:

Since the discussion here is going in different directions, would you prefer to make your next comment into a new post? I'd be very interested in your take on Meyendorff. His use of agency language, by the way, is very similar to Hopko's, who quotes S. Ireneaus on the Word and Spirit as the Father's hands.

Blessings in Christ,

John

PS the full text of Meyendorff is accessible here.


The above post followed selections provided by John and myself from the book, Byzantine Theology - Historical Trends & Doctrinal Themes (Dr. John Meyendorff, 1974, 1979 - LINK TO ONLINE EXCEPTS). To provide context for my upcoming comments on Meyendorff (as requested by John), I would first, like to once again, produce those selections:

==...from Fr. John Meyendorff's Byzantine Theology, p 183.

By accepting Nicaea, the Cappadocian Fathers eliminated the ontological subordinationism of Origen and Arius, but they preserved indeed together with their understanding of hypostatic life, a Biblical and Orthodox subordinationism, maintaining the personal identity of the Father as the ultimate origin of all divine being and action.==

And:

==...the incarnate Logos and the Holy Spirit are met and experienced first as divine agents of salvation, and only then are they discovered to be essentially one God. It is well known that, during the theological debates of the fourth century, the Cappadocian Fathers were accused of tritheism, so that Gregory of Nyssa was even obliged to issue his famous apologetic treatise proving that "there are not three gods." It remains debatable, however, whether he succeeded in proving his point philosophically. The doctrine of the three hypostases, adopted by the Cappadocian Fathers to designate the three divine Persons had definite Plotinian and Origenistic associations, which normally implied substantial differentiation.==(John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology - Historical Trends & Doctrinal Themes, 1983 reprint, pp. 180, 181.)

A bit later:

==The Latin West adopted a different approach to Trinitarian theology, and the contrast has been well expressed by Théodore de Régnon: "Latin philosophy considers the nature in itself first and proceeds to the agent; Greek philosophy considers the agent first and passes through it to find the nature. The Latins think of personality as a mode of nature, the Greeks think of nature as the content of the person."==(Ibid. p. 181.)

The above selections point to one of the primary distinctions between the Augustinian/Latin/Western (ALW) understanding of the Trinity and that of the Byzantine/Greek/Eastern (BGE) churches: the former places an emphasis on the one divine nature, while the latter on the agent/person. This emphasis has led to a finer distinction, namely, that the ALW view understands the phrase "the one God" with reference to the Trinity and/or divine essence, while in the BGE view, it is God the Father alone who "the one God".

Fr. Thomas Hopko in his podcast, "The Holy Trinity" (LINK) made the above distinction quite clear; at the 12:40ff mark he said:

The one God is NOT the Holy Trinity...The one God is God the Father.

Now, contrast Fr. Hopko with the following that Ken Temple (a Reformed Baptist) recently wrote:

The only God is the Trinity, the One God in nature/substance/essence, who has always existed in eternity past, three persons in a perfect love relationship.(LINK)

It sure seems to this beachbum that the supposed adherent of sola scriptura is relying much more on tradition here than our Eastern Orthodox father...


Grace and peace,

David

32 comments:

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

I look forward to your comments on Meyendorff. On a related note, do you know whether St. Basil's Homily 24 ("Against the Sabellians, Arius, and the Anomoeans") is available in English? Here's the text in the Patrologia Graeca.

I've been going through the Latin version, occasionally comparing the Greek. Last night I noticed a peculiarity in what's perhaps the homily's most famous line.

Basil writes:

Εις Θεος, οτι και Πατηρ· εις Θεος δε και ο Υιος, και ου δυο θεοι, επειδη ταυτοτητα εχει ο Υιος προς τον Πατερα. (605A)

His translator says:

Unus Deus et Pater, unus Deus et Filius, non dii duo, cum Filius identitatem habeat cum Patre. (606A)

The Latin ignores the hoti, and thereby alters the sense. I assume the change was inadvertent; the translators of the King James ran into a similar difficulty with the compressed hoti clause in 1 Cor. 10:17.

Blessings in Christ,

John

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

So glad you noticed this new thread; thanks much for responding.

Otto Bardenhewer, in his Patrology - The Lives and Works of the Fathers of the Church, provides the only English translation of the passage you cited that I am aware of; a nice pdf copy is available online—LINK—go to page 281. [Notice that Bardenhewer suggests that ὅτι should read ὅς.]

As for Meyendorff, could you be a bit more specific on the area and/or direction you would like our dialogue to focus on/proceed along?


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

Interesting.

It seems the rest of the sentence helps us understand the first part and plays a role in taking "hos" (which, who) over "hoti" (because, that).

especially, "there are not two Gods" and "for the Son is identical in nature with the Father"

"There is one God who (instead of hoti the text should read hos) is also Father, one God who is also Son, there are not two Gods, for the Son is identical in nature with the Father." (p. 281, Patrology, Bardenhewer, quoting from Basil, Homily Against the Sabellians and Arians and Anomoeans, 24, 3)

Sola Scriptura also means taking Toto (Total, all) [my Latin may not be right] Scriptura - whereas your emphasis is taking the exact phrases, "one God" and "only true God" in I Cor. 8:6, John 17:3, and John 5:44 and isolating those phrases.

The Trinitarian Debates and first four ecumenical councils were 451 years of study and mediation and debate over all the Scriptures, not just those few over the isolated phrases.

But, I am amazed that you were able to find a page number in a book most people don't know about, of a line from Basil of a previously untranslated sentence from a sermon from the 370-390s AD (?)

That is impressive.

That is one of the reasons why I keep coming here; I learn a lot.

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

What I'd most like to learn is your reaction to the areas where Meyendorff, Behr and Hopko overlap. How do you see the balance of continuity and discontinuity between Nicene theology as they interpret it, and the beliefs of pre-Nicene Christians?

Thank you very much for the link to Bardenhewer. His emended reading would take the Monarchia out of the immediate argument. That would be highly significant, since people quote Basil's line as a classic statement of the doctrine. Meyendorff cites it to that effect (ch. 14, n. 14), as do these books:

tinyurl.com/292vyvj

tinyurl.com/2f378o4

On the other hand, a recent article takes it Bardenhewer's way:

tinyurl.com/2calggz

Basil appeals to the Monarchy in the next section, where he writes: "Ου δυο θεοι· ουδε γαρ δυο πατερες." As printed, 605A sounds very similar, especially if the second kai is taken a conjunction, rather than adverbially. Then, in effect, Basil says: "There is one God, because there is even one Father; there is one God and his Son and not two gods, since the Son has an identity with the Father."

Do you have an opinion on which reading is preferable?

In favor of Bardenhewer, his change preserves (and even smooths) the flow of the argument. It also creates a nice parallel at the start of the sentence.

I don't know how much mss. support there is for the hoti, but in its favor, if Basil meant to say what the line says with the hos, it would probably have been more natural to drop the relative pronoun and make Pater articular. That would make the parallel between Father and Son exact.

I'm open to either reading, but the hoti one looks stronger to me. In part, that's because I'm reluctant to emend where a text can be understood without a change. Other considerations are: (a) good Greek uses the relative pronoun sparingly; (b) with Pater anarthrous, carrying over the heis is easy; (c) with hoti it's natural for the first kai to be adverbial, whereas the second kai, which is in a separate clause because of the de, is naturally taken as a conjunction, so that it coordinates with the other kai in its clause.

I suppose this translation business may be merely trivia, but if you're interested, J. T. Lienhard has studied the sermon; I can't access his article (tinyurl.com/29jshos), but he might comment on the line. Also, J. A. McGuckin has translated some excerpts from the sermon (tinyurl.com/2alukvd), but not this passage it seems.

Blessings in Christ,

John

Iohannes said...

PS Here's the Contra-Sabellianos of Pseudo-Athanasius. It's clearly related Basil's homily; either Basil drew from it, or it from him. In any case, lines 00110ff are nearly identical to Basil's 605A. I have to run now and can't comment at length, but I think it's fair to say this evidence supports the hoti/Monarchy reading.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Forgive my tardy response, but John has sent the beachbum into some deep and serious research today; much more work to do, but I am taking a bit of a break to respond to some of the comments in this thread. You wrote:

>>It seems the rest of the sentence helps us understand the first part and plays a role in taking "hos" (which, who) over "hoti" (because, that).

especially, "there are not two Gods" and "for the Son is identical in nature with the Father"

"There is one God who (instead of hoti the text should read hos) is also Father, one God who is also Son, there are not two Gods, for the Son is identical in nature with the Father." (p. 281, Patrology, Bardenhewer, quoting from Basil, Homily Against the Sabellians and Arians and Anomoeans, 24, 3)>>

Me: John has linked to two others scholars who differ with Bardenhewer's translation (and his changing of hoti to hos, for which I have yet to find textual warrant for); I concur with Jevtich (cited by Feinberg) and Alfeyev, primarily because it conforms to St. Basil's overall theology; and after more research, John too sides with them over Bardenhewer.

>>Sola Scriptura also means taking Toto (Total, all) [my Latin may not be right] Scriptura - whereas your emphasis is taking the exact phrases, "one God" and "only true God" in I Cor. 8:6, John 17:3, and John 5:44 and isolating those phrases.>>

Me: I do not ignore tota scriptura, but I do place "emphasis" on verses that are clear, and try to make sure that I do not twist the less clear verses to 'fit' some post-Biblical development.

>>The Trinitarian Debates and first four ecumenical councils were 451 years of study and mediation and debate over all the Scriptures, not just those few over the isolated phrases.>>

Me: Agreed; but, and this importantly, the Eastern fathers never jettisoned the supreme monarchy of the Father, who for them (and the Bible), it "the one God".

>>But, I am amazed that you were able to find a page number in a book most people don't know about, of a line from Basil of a previously untranslated sentence from a sermon from the 370-390s AD (?)

That is impressive.>>

Me: Thanks Ken, you are much too kind—I am able to remember some pretty arcane stuff from all the reading I have done, and usually remember the book it came from.

>>That is one of the reasons why I keep coming here; I learn a lot.>>

Me: 'Iron sharpens iron'...


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

Some excellent research!!! As I mentioned to Ken, you have prompted me to engage in some deep and serious research today, and I feel like I have only 'scratched the surface'. I have been using Lampe's massive A Patristic Greek Lexicon in an attempt to locate similar passages in the Church Fathers (no luck yet), as well as consulting the numerous Greek grammars I own.

Thanks much for those links; I own Feinberg's book, but do not have access to Jevtich's essay—do you by any chance have an e-copy???

You ended your last post with:

>>I have to run now and can't comment at length, but I think it's fair to say this evidence supports the hoti/Monarchy reading.>>

Me: I agree with you; and once again, nice work!!!

I have a very busy weekend lined up, so I do not know if I will be able to spend much more time on this until Monday; but rest assured, I have great interest in this passage and topic, and have much more work to do.


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. I sure hope our EO brothers drop by and share some of their thoughts on this matter.

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

Back now... I've searched for Jevtich's essay, but to no avail. This page seems to be the closest one can come to accessing it online:

tinyurl.com/25bmeoh

Also, here's the C. Sabellianos of Ps-Athanasius in the Patrologia Graeca:

tinyurl.com/2dxhy6o

In 105B it says

Εις Θεος, οτι και Πατηρ εις· θεος δε και Υιος, ταυτοτητα εχων, ως Υιος προς Πατερα

"There is one God, because there is even one Father. But the Son also is God, having identity as Son with the Father."

This suggests we might repunctuate St. Basil's 605A, so that it reads

Εις Θεος, οτι και Πατηρ εις· Θεος δε και ο Υιος, και ου δυο θεοι, επειδη ταυτοτητα εχει ο Υιος προς τον Πατερα.

The adjustment has the virtue of explaining why Pater is anarthrous (because of heis) and why Huios gets an article (marking it as subject). It restores de to the second position and secures its slightly adversative force. It also turns the kai following adverbial (because theos is predicated of Huios).

Lienhard closely studied both texts. His apparent interpretation of Basil fits well with the parallel passage in Ps-Athanasius:

"There is one God, because there is one Father. But the Son is also God, and there are not two gods, because the Son has identity with the Father."

(See tinyurl.com/2fj95xd)

In short, then, I think the hoti belongs in the text. Its presence vindicates the Monarchia interpretation, which, as you said, keeps the sense in conformity with Basil's overall theology.

I've a couple projects also to work on this weekend. Let's resume the discussion next week.

Blessings in Christ,

John

Jnorm said...

This is above and beyond me, and so I'm just gonna sit and listen to you guys.

Lvka said...

I sure hope our EO brothers drop by and share some of their thoughts on this matter.


What do you even need *US* for, when you've got this tongue-talking Pentecostal Jesus-follower doing all the work for us? :-)

Lvka said...

...and an unsuspected proof of Christ's divinity... :-)

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

Finally back for some more dialogue on the passage from St. Basil's 24th homily. As you know, I had a very busy weekend, but was finally able to spend a few hours last night (stayed up way too late) checking out the links you provided, researching a few more books in my library, and reading two essays that were so graciously emailed to me over the weekend (i.e. Joseph T. Leinhard's "PS-ATHANASIUS, CONTRA SABELLIANOS, AND BASIL OF CAESAREA, CONTRA SABELLIANOS ET ARIUM ET ANOMOEOS: ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON" and Nicholas Loudovikos' "PERSON INSTEAD OF GRACE AND DICTATED OTHERNESS: JOHN ZIZOULAS' FINAL THEOLOGICAL POSITION").

I was also able to track down Jevtich's (Yevtich) essay, which has been re-published in the following book:

Christ: The Alpha and Omega
[The book is available via numerous booksellers: LINK; but I ordered via the Eastern Christian Supply Company.]

I also ordered the The Trinity: East/West Dialogue book that you linked to earlier. I am going to be somewhat reserved in my current comments, while I await the arrival of these two important books.

Now, in addition to Bardenhewer and Loudovikos, there seems to be yet another patristic scholar who sides with them (I say "seems" because of what follows below), contra Jevtich's and Alfeyev's translation/reading of the passage from Basil: Joseph Tixeront, author of the rather large 3 volume, History of Dogmas. From the 2nd volume we read:

==As a matter of fact, the Cappadocians, like the early Nicæans, most emphatically proclaimed the numerical unity of God and the identity of the concrete divine substance in the three Persons of the Trinity. "Confess only one οὀσια in both (the Father and the Son), so as not to fall into polytheism."59 "As the Father is substance, the Son is substance, and the Holy Ghost is substance, and there are not three substances, so likewise the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and yet there are not three Gods. For God is one and the same, even though each onje of the three Persons is called a subsisting substance and God."60

59 BASIL, Homilia XXIV, 3.
60 GREG. NYSS., De communibus notionibus, P. G. XLV, 177. (History of Dogmas, 2.84.)==

And then:

==Again: "The Father is God, the Son is God, and yet they are not two Gods, because [as God] the Son is identical with the Father (ẻπειδη ταυτότητα ἔχει ὁ υἱὸς πρὸς τὸν πατέρα) ... While confessing the Father and the Son, we confess also the identity of their substance (τὸ δὲ τῆς οὐσιας ταὐτόν)."64

64 Homilia XXIV, 3, 4. (Ibid., p. 86.)==

cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd


Tixeront's translation of 24.3 seems to be quite 'free', but his translation leads me to believe that he sides with Bardenhewer and Loudovikos over Jevtich and Alfeyev. Note the following from Loudovikos:

==Basil has no difficulty connecting monarchy with the unity of substance, as a careful reading of his On the Holy Spirit, 45, demonstrates. Basil makes a distinction concerning the Trinity between the specificity of hypostases and the monarchy; he connects the persons with the former and the common substance/nature (το κοινόν της φύσεως) which he also calls 'communion of deity' (κοινωνία της θεότητος) with the latter. More explicitly, in his Sermon 24 (par. 3) to forestall any identification of the monarchy with just one person (the Father) who might act independently, he writes: 'there is one God who is the Father; there is also one God who is the Son, but there are not two Gods, because there is an identity between the Father and the Son. Because there is not another deity in the Father, and another in the Son nor another substance (physis) in either of them'. This is also why one cannot claim that the generation of the Son and the spiration of the Spirit have nothing to do with substance. (Nicholas Loudovikos, "Person Instead of Grace and Dictated Otherness: John Zizioulas' Final Theological Position", The Heythrop Journal, XLVIII (2009), pp. 7, 8.)==



Grace and peace,

David

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

Thanks for sharing your findings! The Ludovikos quotation has me honestly a bit perplexed. Could you help me understand what he means by this:

"to forestall any identification of the monarchy with just one person (the Father) who might act independently"?

As far as I can tell, paragraph 3 has two major contentions: 1st, that that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are personally distinct; 2nd, that those who confess the Father and the Son to be "two" don't thereby bring any estrangement or alienation (αλλοτριωσις) into the Godhead, such as would set up two rival gods opposed to each other.

It's in connection with the 2nd that St. Basil says "Εις Θεος, οτι" κτλ. And strangely, if the passage is to be rendered as Loudovikos proposes, the monarchy appears to have no part in the controversy Basil is there addressing. The controversy centers merely on the presence of plurality within the Godhead, not on one divine person's possible subordination to the other. That makes me think I'm not grasping Loudovikos's point.

The monarchy definitely features in paragraph 4... I'd comment on that now, but unfortunately need to get to bed. As regards the translation, while I could be persuaded otherwise, I'm still rather inclined to think Lienhard's version is the best. It seems to fit the larger flow of St. Basil's thought, and the alternative seems to overlook three peculiarities of the phrasing: that οτι comes before Father, that the article is used with Son but not with Father, and that δε would ordinarily stand in the second place.

Blessings in Christ

David Waltz said...

Hello John,

Last night you posted the following:

>>The Ludovikos quotation has me honestly a bit perplexed. Could you help me understand what he means by this:

"to forestall any identification of the monarchy with just one person (the Father) who might act independently"?>>

Me: I think I am more confused than you John. Ludovikos suggested, "a careful reading of his On the Holy Spirit, 45", and that this "careful reading" would demonstrate, "Basil has no difficulty connecting monarchy with the unity of substance". I don't see it (maybe I am not being "careful" [grin]). Basil in paragraph 45 mentions "the Monarchy" but once, and does not clarify exactly what he meant by it. Interestingly enough though, in the previous paragraph (44) he stated:

"There is one God and Father, one Only-begotten, and one Holy Ghost." (NPNF 8.28)

In paragraph 45, we then read:

==Worshipping as we do God of God, we both confess the distinction of the Persons, and at the same time abide by the Monarchy. We do not flitter away the theology in a divided plurality, because one Form, so to say, united in the invariableness of the Godhead, is beheld in God the Father, and in God the Only begotten. For the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son ; since such as is the latter, such is the former, and such as is the former, such is the latter ; and herein is the Unity. So that according to the distinction of Persons, both are one and one, and according to the community of Nature, one. How, then, if one and one, are there not two Gods. Because we speak of a king, and of the king's image, and not of two kings. (NPNF 8.28)==

The translator (Blomfield Jackson), in a footnote stated: "On the right use of the illustration of εἰκών, cf. Basil Ep. xxxviii."

IMHO, a "careful" reading of the above epistle supports the Monarchy of the Father (though the term itself does not appear in the epistle). [BTW, I need to look up the Greek for the above passages of Basil in Migne's PG, but I am pressed for time today; hopefully I will get to it tomorrow.]

>>...I'm still rather inclined to think Lienhard's version is the best. It seems to fit the larger flow of St. Basil's thought, and the alternative seems to overlook three peculiarities of the phrasing: that οτι comes before Father, that the article is used with Son but not with Father, and that δε would ordinarily stand in the second place.>>

Me: I too lean towards "Lienhard's version", which, as you know, is virtually same as that of Jevtich and Alfeyev. Further, it sure seems to me that Ludovikos is ignoring Jevtich's following comment:

=="Eis theos hoti kai patēr," "God is God because He is the Father," will be frequently repeated by St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Gregory of Nyssa. (From Feinberg's, No One Like Him, p. 482.)==

Anyway, tomorrow (the Lord willing), I should have plenty of time to spend on trying to locate the above passage in St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Gregory of Nyssa, as well as looking up the Greek mentioned above.


Grace and peace,

David

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

Thanks for you reply. I had some time today to make a very rough translation (below) of paragraph 3 and the first half of paragraph 4. As you can see, the commonality of essence plays a prominent role in St. Basil's argument for why Christians aren't polytheists: if the Father and the Son were divided in essence, there would be two different kinds of divinity, and thus two gods. But the common substance isn't by itself the whole story: the Son is homoousios to the Father because of the Monarchia, and if there were not a single source, polytheism would again rear its head. The Monarchia in that way underlies the entire line of argument. As Basil says later in paragraph 4, the Father is "ριζα και πηγη του Υιου και του αγιου Πνευματος," "the root and fount of the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Interestingly, there's one line in paragraph 4 that might support the translation of Bardenhewer et al. Basil says "Παλιν ουν λεγω· Εις και εις." If "again" is supposed to refer to a specific statement, it probably refers to the one we've been discussing. But it's also quite possible the "again" is used in a looser sense, as resuming an idea present throughout the argument.

John

Iohannes said...

Basil's paragraph 3:

The battle fought against us from both sides is such, but what is the truth? Don’t fear the confession of the persons, but say Father, and say Son also; and don’t give two names to one thing, but from the naming of each learn the proper signification. For it is terrible arrogance not to receive the teachings of the Lord, who clearly distinguishes for us the difference of the persons. He says, “For if I go away, I will ask the Father, and he will send you another Comforter.” So then, the one who asks is the Son, and the one asked is the Father, and the one sent the Comforter. Are you not manifestly shameless then, you who hear “I” about the Son, “he” about the Father, and “another” about the Holy Spirit, but who blend everything, and mix everything up, and ascribe all the names to one thing? Don’t, however, seize as plunder for impiety the division of the persons, either. For even if there are two in number, still they are not separated in nature; and the one who says “two” doesn’t introduce any alienation. There is one God, because there is even one Father. But the Son is also God, and there aren’t two gods, because the Son has identity with the Father. For I don’t behold one divinity in the Father and another in the Son; nor is the former one nature, the latter another. Therefore, in order that the uniqueness of the persons might be clear to you, count the Father separately and the Son separately. But lest you depart into polytheism, confess the essence of both to be one. In this way the Sabellian falls, and the Anomoean is crushed.

Iohannes said...

The argument continues in the next paragraph:

But when I say one essence, don’t think of two divided from one, but think of the Son subsisting from the Father as source (εκ της αρχης του Πατρος), not of Father and Son emerging from one essence. For we don’t speak of brothers, but we confess Father and Son. And the essence is the same, since the Son is from the Father: he wasn’t made by his command, but was begotten from his nature; and he wasn’t divided off from the Father, but has shone forth perfectly from him who remains perfect. And you who either lay hold of things imperfectly spoken, or who stand around to abuse us, and don’t seek to gain some benefit from us, but look to seize upon something we speak--don’t you run up to me and say, “He preaches two gods, he proclaims polytheism.” There are not two gods, for neither are there two fathers. It is the one who introduces two sources who preaches two gods. Such is Marcion, and anyone there may be who resembles him in impiety. And again, the one who says the begotten is other in substance from him who begat--he too says there are two gods, since he introduces polytheism through the dissimilarity of the essence. For if one divinity is unbegotten and one begotten, you are the one preaching polytheism: you say the unbegotten is opposite to the begotten, and you clearly also make the essences opposite, if unbegottenness is really the essence of the Father, and begottenness the essence of the Son. And so you say not only that there are two gods, but that they are fighting each other: and what is most terrible, you attribute the conflict not to deliberate willing, but to a separation by nature, which can never admit a peace agreement! But the true doctrine escapes the obstacles on each side. For the rationale for unity is hardly destroyed where the source is one, and what is from it is one; and where the archetype is one, and the image one. Accordingly, the Son--who exists by generation from the Father, and who by nature reflects in himself the Father--he both, as his image, has precise similarity, and, as his offspring, preserves the same substance. For, someone who gazes upon the king’s image in the town square, and says that the man in the picture is king, doesn’t confess two kings, the image and the one whose image it is. And if he points to the one depicted in the image and says, “This is the king,” he doesn’t rob the prototype of the name of king. On the contrary, he affirms his honor by confessing this. For if the image is king, doubtless it is very fair that the one supplying the cause to the image should be king. But in this case, wood and wax and an artist’s skill make a perishable image, a copy of one who is perishable, and an artificial likeness of the one who is depicted; whereas in the other case, when you hear “image,” think of the “radiance of his glory.” But what is the radiance, and what is the glory? The Apostle himself immediately interpreted this when he added, “and the exact imprint of his person.” The “person” is thus the same as “the glory,” and the “exact imprint” is the same as “the radiance.” Therefore, the glory remains perfect and is in no respect diminished, while the radiance goes forth, being itself perfect. And thus the rationale of the image, when received in a way that befits God, presents to us the unity of the Godhead. For the one is in the other, the other in the one; for also, the one is such as the other is, the other such as the one is. The two are thus united, in that they do not differ, and the Son is not thought of as being of another form and foreign imprint. Again therefore I say: One and one, but the nature is indivisible and the perfection unceasing. God thus is one, because through both one form is seen, which is shown forth in its completeness in both.

NB This is a very rough initial attempt at translation and shouldn't be relied upon.

Lvka said...

Iohannes said...

Basil says "Παλιν ουν λεγω· Εις και εις."



You saying Basil was an anti-Obama Republican, Iohannes? :-\

Ken said...

Interesting discussion. As always, the debate centers on how to understand "nature" and "person". This is the same problem Muslims have with the Trinity, and also the same struggle that Arians and Jehovah's Witnesses have on one side, and what Modalists have on the other side.

David,
Do you think the logos in eternity past was a person?

Is the Holy Spirit in eternity past a person?

Also, what do any of you think of this video lecture by Jerald Dirks, a former Methodist who converted to Islam?

Go to You Tube and search under "Jerald Dirks" and "From Jesus to Muhammad: A history of early Christianity"

I am not putting the link because it will go into the spam filter.

Jonathan Dupree also linked to this at his website. Jonathan Dupree is the Grandverbalizer19. I found his real name because he posted on another web-sight and linked to his own web-site.

There are lots of problems and inaccuracies, assumptions, mixing of categories, etc. with what Dirks says ,but I wanted to get your opinions and thoughts.

Dirks can name a lot of the early heresies and movements and name names, and so he illustrates the maxim, "A little knowledge is dangerous".

"From Jesus to Muhammad: A History of Early Christianity"

Jonathan Dupree, if you are looking and reading this, I hope you understand that I sincerely hope you will find true peace, ( John 14:27; Romans 5:1; Matthew 11:28-30), which is only found by repentence from sin and faith in Isa (Jesus) Al Masih as the only Savior, only unique Son of God, the word of God from all eternity, who became flesh (John 1:1-5; 14; Luke 1:34-35), who truly lived and died on the cross voluntarily for sin (John 10:18; Mark 10:45; Revelation 5:9; 7:9) and rose from the dead with power.

Your article about me in the title is a lie. I never said "Christians can lie" nor "God deceives you". In fact, I am the one who denies that, based on Titus 1:2 and Heb. 6:18; I John 1:5, Hab. 1:13; Isaiah 6; Rev. 4-5. God is holy and cannot lie and does not deceive. But He does allow people to be deceived under His sovereignty. That is how to understand the 2 Thess. 2:10-12 and I Kings 22 passages. God does not do the sin; God is not a sinner, but God ordained/decided that sin would happen.

You misunderstand and twist Philippians 1:18 and 2 Cor. 12:16.

I sincerely believe that I have tried to explain the difference between the Sovereignty of Allah in Islam vs. the Sovereignty of God in Biblical Calvinism; whereas you have not, and continue to write ad hominem filled articles, that seem to have hatred and anger in them, and your title about what I said or wrote is a lie.

You are not giving a credible witness (testimony) for Islam by your behavior. Also, your "about Me" article indicates that you claim to be white, but in another article you claim to be American Indian and in old posts on other blogs on Islam, your picture looks like you are African American. Or are you just using a picture of a black baseball player or what? Remember, in your religion, you claim that behavior counts and you and others claim that Taqiyyeh means "lying in certain circumstances in order to save one's life", not a blanket permission for lying to the Kuffar. Allah sees and knows all things. He knows your secret thoughts and motives and your heart. What kind of testimony to Islam do you give by spreading lies?

Iohannes said...

Lucian,

A couple years ago, after McCain announced his choice, a friend told me of a certain Greek professor who responded, "Oh no, not Again!"

Lvka said...

But did McCain even have a choice in the first place? (Calvinistically speaking...)

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

Thank you so much for taking the time to translate the passages from St. Basil's 24th homily.

QUESTION: Would it be OK with you if I created a separate thread for your translation?

Moving on, I have spent nearly 6 hours now trying to find the parallel texts mentioned by Jevtich:

=="Eis theos hoti kai patēr," "God is one because He is the Father," will be frequently repeated by St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Gregory of Nyssa. (From Feinberg's, No One Like Him, p. 482.)==[Note: I corrected the typo in my previous post—"God is one", not "God is God".]

I started first with the English editions I own, and then moved to the Greek texts, which has been quite an undertaking given the size of the respective extant works of Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa—so far, I have found no parallels (SIGH).

My old eyes are getting tired, will try again tomorrow, the Lord willing.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

I found the YouTube video that you suggested I should view:

From Jesus to Muhammad: A History of Early Christianity

My eyes are just too tired right now to watch it; will probably view it tomorrow, the Lord willing.


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. GV19's real name is NOT Jonathan Dupree.

Ken said...

David wrote:
P.S. GV19's real name is NOT Jonathan Dupree.


Interesting. The plot and mystery thickens!

How do you know that?

go to Muslim Matters website and under the article about Ergun Caner - it is there. If it is not, then he is using a fake name there also.

(that is the implication of what you are saying)

You obviously think you do know his real name.

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

Thanks for searching through the two fathers. Have you heard of this book before?

Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God by Christopher Beeley

I hadn't seen it till today. Apparently it has a long section on the place of the Monarchy in St. Gregory's theology (pp 201-217). You can read most of it in the previews at Amazon or Google.

Please feel free to repost the English version. I'd just ask there be a disclaimer about its only being a first attempt at translating the passage.


Lucian,

Are you suggesting this was an instance when "the liberty or contingency of second causes" should have been taken away?

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

I apologize David for not posting on here as much. I find that when I do there is a tendency to get into unwanted and unwaranted interaction with certain individuals.

I want to do my best to respect you-your musings->>>THE TOPIC<<< and also the very interesting interaction between the various Christians who come here.

As far as my name. Let's just say that Turetinfan and I have allot in common when it comes to protecting our privacy in a world of social engineering.

:)

Peace and Grace unto you David.

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

Thanks much for the 'heads-up' on the book on Nazianzus; will try to get to it later today.

As for books, I have received three (all relevant to this thread), that I recently ordered, over the last two days—I have read two—after I finish the third (as well as the book you linked to) I am planning to type up a new thread summarizing the understanding of "the monarchy" in the Cappadocians.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Grandverb,

Yesterday, you posted:

>>I apologize David for not posting on here as much. I find that when I do there is a tendency to get into unwanted and unwaranted interaction with certain individuals.>>

Me: No need to apologize; but thank you. I certainly know that the combox often heads down disjointed trajectories that have little relevance to the original post; so I think I understand what you are attempting to convey.

>>I want to do my best to respect you-your musings->>>THE TOPIC<<< and also the very interesting interaction between the various Christians who come here.>>

Me: Thanks GV, that means a lot to me.

>>As far as my name. Let's just say that Turetinfan and I have allot in common when it comes to protecting our privacy in a world of social engineering.>>

Me: Understood, and I can respect that.


Grace and peace,

David


P.S. Hope you know that you are always welcome here at the beachbum's blog.

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

I look forward to your post on the Cappadocians. It's impressive how much you've read. Normally it takes me a long time to work through books.

Blessings in Christ,

John

David Waltz said...

Good morning John,

Thanks for responding; you posted:

>>I look forward to your post on the Cappadocians.>>

Me: I did not have any time to work on it over the weekend, and may not have be able to get to it today; as such, it will probably be Tuesday afternoon before I get the post up.

BTW, I was not able to access the portion of the book you suggested reading (pp. 201-217); the preview jumps from page 68 to page 271—any suggestions?


>>It's impressive how much you've read. Normally it takes me a long time to work through books.>>

Me: Thanks John; being retired with all the kids out of the house makes a huge difference in the amount of time one can spend reading.


Grace and peace,

David

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

When last I tried, Google's preview gave access to a lot of Beeley's book. You can also pull up much of it at Amazon if you query "monarchy" in the "search inside" feature. To do that, however, you first have to log in to your Amazon account.

No worries if it takes a while to create the post. As it is, it might be a few days before I'm able to comment much.