Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Creed of Ariminum; or, Maximinus' (a homoian bishop) "statement of faith".

In the combox of this recent thread, our Reformed brother in Christ asked: what is the formal definition of the "homoian" group?

This question was formed with the context of my objection to the Homoian bishop Maximinus being termed "an Arian" in mind. Maximinus was asked by Augustine, in their somewhat famous debate in 427/428 at Hippo to, "state for me your faith concerning the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit"; to which Maximinus replied, "If you ask for my faith, I hold that faith which was not only stated, but was also ratified at Ariminum by the signatures of three hundred and thirty bishops." [See, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Part 1, Vol. 18, trans. Roland J. Teske, S.J., Debate With Maximinus (New York: New City Press, 1995), p. 188.]

 The following is the an English translation of so-called creed of Ariminum, that was:

 ...drawn up at Sermium, but had been kept concealed, as we have before observed, until their present publication of it at Ariminum. It has been translated from the Latin into Greek, and follows :

 'The catholic faith was expounded at Sirmium in presence of our lord Constantius, in the consulate of the most illustrious Flavius Eusebius, and Hypatius, on the twenty-third of May.

'We believe in one only and true God, the Father Almighty, the Creator and Framer of all things: and in one only-begotten Son of God, before all ages, before all beginning, before all conceivable time, and before all comprehensible thought, begotten without passion: by whom the ages were framed, and all things made: who was begotten as the only-begotten of the Father, only of only, God of God, like to the Father who begat him, according to the Scriptures: whose generation no one knows, but the Father only who begat him. We know that this his only-begotten Son came down from the heavens by his Father’s consent for the putting away of sin, was born of the Virgin Mary, conversed with his disciples, and fulfilled every dispensation according to the Father’s will: was crucified and died, and descended into the lower parts of the earth, and disposed matters there; at the sight of whom the (door-keepers of Hades trembled) : having arisen on the third day, he again conversed with his disciples, and after forty days were completed he ascended into the heavens, and is seated at the Father’s right hand; and at the last day he will come in his Father’s glory to render to every one according to his works. [We believe] also in the Holy Spirit, whom the only-begotten Son of God Jesus Christ himself promised to send to the human race as the Comforter, according to that which is written : "I go away to my Father, and will ask him, and he will send you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth. He shall receive of mine, and shall teach you, and bring all things to your remembrance." As for the term “substance,” which was used by our fathers for the sake of greater simplicity, but not being understood by the people has caused offense on account of the fact that the Scriptures do not contain it, it seemed desirable that it should be wholly abolished, and that in future no mention should be made of substance in reference to God, since the divine Scriptures have nowhere spoken concerning the substance of the Father and the Son. But we say that the Son is in all things like the Father, as the Holy Scriptures affirm and teach.' (Socrates, The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus, revised with notes by A. C. Zenos, D.D., based on E. Walford's trans., in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, gen. editors Schaff and Wace, Eerdmans 1976 reprint, 2.61, 62.)

[Alternate English translation and Greek text:  J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds, 2nd edition, 1960, pp. 289, 290; see also the translation of Athanasius' de Synodis 8, in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, gen. editors Schaff and Wace, Eerdmans 1978 reprint, 4.454, as well as Migne's PG 67.305.]


Grace and peace,

David

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