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Why the Copts are NOT Monophysites:

Discussion in 'The Voice In The Desert - Oriental Orthodox' started by minasoliman, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    Dear Marjorie,

    I'm don't mean to say that the EO's believe this. But this is what was misunderstood by our Holy Fathers, and that the use of "in" two natures were not sufficient to describe Christ's natures. Our Fathers wanted an expression that would show an unconfused unity of two natures that is not similar to any other unities out there that we see, and we find the best expression can be "of two natures." (Although, I seem to like St. Maximus the Confessor's compromises on confessing that Christ is "of two natures, in two natures, and two natures).

    St. Dioscorus was condemned from Chalcedon, according to orthodoxinfo.com, for confessing "from two natures," and did not believe in "of two natures." First off, I ask what's the difference? Second, I quote from the ccel.org:

    According to the records, he used the same phrase St. Cyril used: "ek duo physis" not "en duo physis." "Ek" can be translated as "of" or "from," which is the same thing. From that point on, EO's should know that you can't take orthodoxinfo.com or Maximus or Rick of Essex seriously because they are seriously ignorant in their research.

    I'm not saying EO's are heretics. The fact that I add the "O" to the "E" shows that I believe you guys are Orthodox. But I'm showing how things can be misunderstood, and if we stop being ignorant and stubborn on allegations that have no support or foundation, then the truth shall truly set us free and have us concentrate on things that deserve to be treated more.

    God bless.
     
  2. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    Keep in mind, indeed this "of two natures" expression was in fact REJECTED according to full minutes of Chalcedon (not availabe online, but available, unfortunately in Latin by Mansi). The Fathers initially wrote a confession that included "of two natures without confusion, without alteration, without division, and without seperation." This was the exact same phrase St. Dioscorus openly confessed in the council of Chalcedon itself. It was the "of" that many bishops protested against, for adopting such a word would make it seem that they deposed St. Dioscorus for the wrong non-spiritual reasons. Little did they know was the support from the writings of St. Cyril that kept the OO's alive until today.

    God bless.
     
  3. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    I have given TAW enough time to provide me with the text of those quotes given by Maximus. I am aware of the fact that Maximus is moving, but I won't be replying to messages of this length for a while, so I will defend my case now.

    First, I will take the easier quote upon which Maximus wrote to make us believe St. Severus of Antioch actually opposed St. Cyril:



    St. Severus grew up as a strict Antiochian theologian. Then, he discovered the truth of Ephesus and St. Cyril, and found people like Dioscorus and Timothy Aelurius innocent, for they were no different from St. Cyril's theology. As a matter of fact, if one reads St. Severus' letters and works, you will see that he himself is the FATHER of Miaphysitic Apology, defending and explaining Miaphysitism to the ignorant minds of those who think we don't believe in a real humanity with all its properties and wills. He pours much ink on defending Miaphysitism and doesn't even shy away from things that sound Chalcedonian. He is a true Chalcedonian theologian (if we take it in today's context) who truly believes the FULLNESS of Christ's humanity, probably even MORE than the real Chalcedonians themselves, showing his great Antiochian side giving strength to Alexandrian theology to the fullest.

    This quote describes two things:
    1. If a term is used by a Holy Father, don't use it.
    2. Let us "change" what the Holy Fathers have been saying.

    The first point is easy to defend. For to St. Severus, this term was in danger of interpration of Nestorianism. He would not let this happen, and rather would accept a more powerful weapon "one nature" without division. This is not just a common concern for the Holy Fathers that they do it to protect Orthodox faith (and neither are they condemning the fathers when they do so), but this practice is in fact supported by the Bible. Taken in a strict sense, suppose the Holy Fathers were in fact "heretical" when they applied this term. St. Paul wasn't afraid to condemn his own self if he strayed from the faith:

    (Galatians 1:8)

    St. Paul is willing to condemn the angels of the heaven who preach a different gospel. If we found Archangel Michael saying "Christ is not God" are we to be condemned for condemning him?

    Perhaps, it's not possible that these holy saints and angels can do such a thing for the proof is great in front of them, but St. Paul teaches us to keep the essence of faith. Don't marvel to the man that teaches faith, but marvel to the faith and keep it.

    Therefore, this quote cannot be used as something that is "heretical." So what if Severus said to forbid the use of "one nature"? Have you read his works to conclude that Severus is a heretic? I suggest you do, and then come back to me if you have problems.

    Second point made here seems to be hard and difficult to defend. For I can stay here and say simply that the essence of the faith of Severus is not heretical. Even though this is enough to prove your ignorance, I suppose no matter how much fire I put on the metal, it won't bend. So I'm going to strike it with a little bit of Church history.

    Did you know, dear brethren, that before the Second Ecumenical Council , the Council of Constantinople in the year 381 AD, that Christians believed that the Trinity, God was in one hypostasis? Today, we believe that those who confess one hypostasis is a Sebellian, and that a Christian must confess three hypostases. Does that mean that the pre-Constantinopolian Christians were heretics?

    Well, if you don't believe that they were heretics, how can the Cappadocian fathers break the "Holy Fathers'" tradition of confessing three hypostases and forbidding one hypostases? Conclusion: The Cappadocian fathers wished to protect the faith from misinterpretation. Therefore, they made it necessary as a standard to keep the faith using three hypostases rather than one, and instead of having hypostasis synonymous with ousia (as the early fathers have always thought), they made it distinct from ousia, making hypostasis to mean an "individualized ousia" and not just any ousia. Thus, those who believed one hypostasis in the Trinity were not heretics, but the Cappadocian fathers thought it necessary that "the formula of the One hypostasis of the Trinity should be set aside, even if they be from an angel or a great apostle."

    This doesn't mean that the Cappodician fathers were heretics for disagreeing with the Holy Fathers on the terminology used, and neither does it mean Severus was a heretic for disagreeing with the Holy Fathers, even if it be St. Cyril, who by the way was a staunch defender of "one nature."

    Finally, on St. Severu's point, the question that is begging to be asked is "Did Severus really did not like St.Cyril?" The answer my friends can be found if you read Severus' letters on this website:

    http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severus_coll_2_letters.htm

    (And while you read these letters, notice how non-Eutychian St. Severus is.)

    Now, a couple of quotes that show St. Severus' loyalty:

    All of these are written by the pen of Severus. How is it possible that the man who is a full-time disciple of St. Cyril's theology and thought to defend his miaphysitism, and yet used to be an Antiochian theologian, that the love and bond St. Severus had with St. Cyril is non-existent, as the ignorant people of orthodoxinfo.com seem to show us through that hidden quote, the quote which no one from TAW wants to give or cares to give a context of?

    In any case, I encourage you all to reconsider the seriousness of my post here. St. Severus is no monophysite. He is as Orthodox as St. Maximus the Confessor and St. John of Damascus in the EO side. At the end of this month, I will try to give you a comparison between this holy man, a true confessor in the heart against the emperor's hardships against him, and the prominent EO theologians who condemned St. Severus, but at the same time, never actually read his works.

    As for the quote provided by Maximus, which he takes from orthodoxinfo.com, which they deceptively took out of context to further their cause, their ignorance are made known to you all this very day. And I will expose more of their ignorance and show how this information is not to be taken seriously, but rather like an information taken from a naive four-year-old insisting that he knows more than you.

    And as I continue to defend the quote from Timothy Aelurius, I will further show you how these so-called "Orthodox Christians" are in fact Orthodox, but no where near Christian in their love and sincerity of research, and thus prove that you as an individual, rather than taking things from websites as final authority, should go and investigate to see whether we are bluffing and writing all this stuff in vain, or whether those who are accused of "ecumenism" were in fact right all along.

    Maybe later today or tomorrow, I will continue to defend St. Timothy from the quote used against him by Maximus.

    Peace and love of Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen!
     
  4. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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  5. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    From my own observation, it seems that the OO use "nature" in two different ways, while the EO differentiate and say "nature" and "person".

    Again, this is my observation: the OO say "one nature" for fear of separating Christ and dividing the Divine and the human. To say "two natures" would be to say that the Divine and human never united.
    And the EO say "two natures" for the opposite reason. To say "one nature" sounds like you're saying that it is something that is neither God nor man, but something new and different. Or that he is one or the other. So instead of saying "one nature", the term "one person" is used.

    It seems to me that both sides use the terms they use in order to not promote heresy, but both sides fear a different heresy, and use different words to express the same idea.

    I was told an analogy once, and if both of us agree, then I don't see a difference in our faith:
    Imagine that you are holding a sword (we'll say it's made of iron). That sword is made of only iron. Then a few feet away is a raging fire. Assuming that fire is an "element", then that fire is only fire. Now put that sword into the fire for a while. When you take the sword out, the sword is glowing hot. There is no point on that blade that is not iron. Also, there is no point on that blade that is not fire. Yet the fire and iron do not overlap. It is ONE blade which is both fully iron and fully fire, not confused, and yet not separated. The fire and iron have fully united to make ONE sword.

    If we both agree that that analogy describes Christ, then I see NO difference between our understanding of who Christ is.
     
  6. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    Indeed this is the same analogy St. Cyril himself used to describe divine and the human natures in Christ, and we fully agree.

    The reason why I exhaust my energy into these posts is to prove that there was in fact a misunderstanding at Chalcedon and future councils for affirming that people like Dioscorus and Severus were heretics. I do this to defend these saints against attacks made by people in TAW like Maximus and Rick of Essex. I'm sure if you saw one OO who unjustly accused people like Leo and Maximus the Confessor of Nestorianism, I'm sure you'd object in equivalent terms.

    My conclusion to this Christological research is simply that there is no reason to be split from one another (and there is no reason to affirm Chalcedon either).

    God bless you.
     
  7. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    I didn't know that St. Cyril came up with that. My priest gave me that analogy a while back ago. He probably did preface it by saying that it was St. Cyril's idea. Oh well.
     
  8. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    A lot of people here at CF, and my parish priests, say that the EOC and OOC are on their way to coming back into communion, and that it is not too far away, probably in our life times. Does anyone have any kind of idea as to how far along that is coming, and/or any details about such talks?
     
  9. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    While, I heard from good sources that it's very very very soon, closer than expected, but I won't share the exact timetable.

    I read somewhere that if you read the minutes of OO-EO councils from 1964 and on, they didn't trust each other first, and then they started to realize how close they were together. And when the evidence was overwhelming, it was undeniable that we were of the same faith all along. All those arguments you read on orthodoxinfo.com can easily be refuted. Just read all of Fr. VC Samuel's (OO) research and Fr. John Romanides (EO) research, the founding fathers of the hopeful unity, may God rest their souls.

    I wish Fr. VC Samuel's research was provided online. I provided his book which you can buy either from amazon or barnesandnoble. Fr. John Romanides' articles can be found online in romanity.org.

    God bless you.
     
  10. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    I'm sure you have your reasons for not wanting to share, so I won't ask. Thank you for the response.
     
  11. CopticGirl

    CopticGirl Senior Member

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    You know, it's funny...I was bored at work today, and reading Pope Shenouda's book on the Nature of Christ, and just today I read that analogy of the iron and and the fire.

    God Bless,
    Elizabeth
     
  12. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    My final commentary on Maximus' post concerning the alleged quote from St. Timothy:




    Since I do not have the context of this quote, then I shall proceed to give a number of possibilities. As I have said before, there are three.

    1. Not true. Either this quote is not true or taken as a distortion.

    Before I get into proving this, I will talk a little about St. Timothy. For those of you who did his/her homework in reading those two websites, a lot of this information is nothing new.

    There are websites in the beginning of this forum that I provided in previous posts about St. Timothy. I encourage all of you to reread these websites. Also a good source of information would be Fr. VC Samuel's book "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined," a most excellent and fair and balanced book, treating all Christological sides fair and showing truth based on primary sources and criticisms from other scholars.

    Timothy was a pious man. He was forced to become a priest under the orders of St. Cyril himself. He was loved by St. Cyril. If you read any of the letters of St. Timothy preserved by Zacharias the historian, you find him EXTREMELY well versed in the Holy Fathers. He was not a heretic. After all, he lead the toughest fight against Eutychianism as a Pope, probably more so than the Chalcedonians, and also lead the fight against Chalcedon, in which he thought taught Nestorianism. He recognized the differences in natures and properties, but confessed them to be one "by dispensation" which is a word very importantly used by St. Cyril himself to described the "one incarnate nature." He convened the THIRD Council of Ephesus which, according to Zacharias, 700 BISHOPS, "more or less," unanimously accepted the condemnation of Appolinarians and Eutychians and the condemnation of Nestorians and Chalcedonians, implying that each group are very close in beliefs.

    His fight against Eutychianism is very important. In it, there were men who took themselves to be of close relationship with Timothy and proclaimed that they taught the same doctrines as Timothy. These men's names were Isaiah and Theophilus, who went around teaching that the Lord's body was absorbed into His divinity, and thus He had one divine nature. These men went around everywhere proclaiming their Eutychian doctrine to be in harmony with St. Timothy. St. Timothy wrote two crucial letters (preserved by Zacharias), first containing his beliefs and the beliefs of early church fathers (showing how smart and well-versed he is of the early Church fathers, and the second containing a clear condemnation of those two men who went around spreading rumors and lies about St. Timothy's beliefs. St. Timothy excommunicates them and sends this letter to the Emperor to make known the publicity of his excommunication and makes all the people of his church know that he excommunicates them:

    Now, this leads me to examine possibility number 1 could be either:

    1. Something preserved by Chalcedonians that they heard Isaiah and Theophilus said as if it was from Timothy.
    2. A quote either distorted or taken from someone who is not Timothy, perhaps Isaiah and Theophilus themselves, who did not say that Timothy said this.
    3. A made-up quote simply to further the causes of desperate Chalcedonians, based probably on the heretical confessions of Isaiah and Theophilus.

    It is possible that confusion can occur as to the real implications behind the believer. For Leo in fact wasn't a Nestorian, but Nestorius praised him for his confession of faith and the suppression of "heretics" like Cyril and his successor Dioscorus. And Nestorians around the world accepted Chalcedon and celebrated it as a victory of their own faith. It was these events that made us accuse Leo and Chalcedon of Nestorianism.

    Perhaps also, in a similar manner, the Chalcedonians confused Timothy of being friends and in communion with Isaiah and Theophilus, despite the clear condemnation and excommunication of both these men, and of any Eutychian, and despite the 700 assembled at Ephesus condemning both Eutyches and Nestorius. Despite all of that, I stand here to tell you that confusion is possible, but Timothy is no heretic.

    2. This quote may have been taken out of context.

    Notice there are three dots after Cyril which shows there was more to be read. Perhaps there's somethings there that explains the quote a bit further, or something before the word "Cyril" or after the last word that can explain the context of this quote written. I can't talk much here, for I do not know what exactly the context of this quote written is. This is simply a grey area, and I leave this possibility only to keep Chalcedonians and others to think and to investigate themselves on the implication of the quote and not the quote itself. Besides, if you read the letters of Timothy, which are provided by those two websites, which are excerpts from Zacharias' historical research, you will see his Orthodoxy no different than that of St. Maximus the Confessor.

    Proceeding on to perhaps the most difficult of all three possibilities:

    3. Suppose in fact that Timothy did mean every word that was written here. Did he do it because he was a heretic? Again, I refer you to read his letters and see for yourself. Did he do it because he hated Cyril? No, for he was a successor, and followed all of Cyril's traditions and preserved his thought and theology. The man wrote Cyril in the diptychs of the memorial of holy fathers, which shows that he considers St. Cyril to be a doctor, along with Dioscorus.

    So then what if he did write this and disagree with St. Cyril, perhaps out of love? Do the words "fickled" and "censured" seem to be too much for you to handle? These are simply words of disagreement to what he believes, something that St. Cyril strayed from the early fathers' beliefs. "One nature" is not heretical if there are Orthodox implications. I encourage you all to read St. Timothy's letter provided by Zacharias, where he just pours out all the knowledge of the Holy Fathers who confessed Christ's body to be real. Four men of great interest that he quoted, and confirmed by the scholars that translated and analyzed Timothy's letter, either condemned anyone who confessed Christ to be "two natures" or confessed "one Incarnate nature" of Christ. These men were:

    St. Athanasius:

    St. Julius of Rome:

    St. Gregory the Wonder-Worker:

    And of course, St. Cyril himself:

    So my dear brethren, it shows that even St. Athanasius and many other fathers affirmed "one nature" and condemned "two" for Christ is not two persons. That was the interpretation forgotten or ignored by the council of Chalcedon. St. Timothy not only uses these quotes to defend the reality of Christ's body and condemn Eutychians, but also uses them to affirm "one nature" is Orthodox and "two natures" is heterodox.

    So it could explain the "blameless" disagreement that Timothy had with St. Cyril. And I say blameless because he wasn't the only father to do so. Chalcedonians seem to forget their most important and most loved father, St. Maximus the Confessor did the same in his sixth Opusculum, disagreeing with St. Gregory Nazianzen on a certain quote:

    etc. etc. etc.

    St. Maximus in this whole Opusculum never really supported St. Gregory, but left this assertion as something that we may never know what St. Gregory meant. So worst case scenario, St. Maximus did not relent from disagreeing, rather harshly, with St. Gregory Nazienzen, who was almost 300 years before St. Maximus, as opposed to St. Cyril and St. Timothy who met each other. Here, St. Maximus however knew what the Orthodox faith was. He was careful as not to accept his assertion, and rejected it. "No one in their right mind" would say that, according to him, and perhaps our teacher Gregory did err.

    So if St. Timothy actually did call St. Cyril "fickle," people like Maximus and Rick of Essex forgot that their own favorite saint proceeded to make supposedly pejorative comments against St. Gregory Nazienzen, a more qualified theologian than St. Cyril because of time. If Gregory wasn't "in his right mind," did that mean St. Maximus the Confessor was a heretic? I'll let Maximus and Rick answer that question.

    Meanwhile, orthodoxinfo.com and people who support their cause have yet to prove St. Timothy, St. Philoxenus, St. Dioscorus, St. Severus, etc. heretics. Until then, so far, the arguments our dear TAW fanatic members used are all taken out of context and are simply false, as I have mostly proven, and that the letters of the holy fathers that were condemned by Chalcedon and later councils prove them to be false as well. Their letters and comments are online. Here's a website:

    tertullian.org/fathers

    In it read "Philoxenus," "Severus," and "Zacharias of Melytine." In it you will find the treasured grace of Orthodoxy, a radiant light hidden by the ignorance of scared and stubborn Chalcedonians.

    May God bless you all and lead you to the truth. Hopefully by now, I have shown you not to take the information from orthodoxinfo.com and TAW members Maximus and Rick of Essex seriously.

    I'm open to questions and criticisms. But those who present the same arguments against me will prove their own ignorance.

    God bless.
     
  13. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    I wouldn't want to share it publicly for precaution purposes. I can give it to you privately however.

    God bless.
     
  14. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    One last point. This seems to show the true and humble character of St. Timothy for even the Chalcedonian Alexandrian Pope at the time readily "converted" to the non-Chalcedonian side, perhaps for the sake of unity, knowing in his mind, we are all Orthodox in faith:

    St. Timothy, the upholder of the true faith, fighter against Nestorian faith, destroyer of the Eutychian faith, and the lover of all mankind, heretic and Orthodox, pray for us all that the Lord may forgive us our sins.
     
  15. NOTW

    NOTW Senior Member

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    Great briefing and even greater OP...

    But for further explanation for Domi:
    The point is both EO and OO are agreeing on the same point but they don't particularly see it, yet both EO and OO are attacking each other on this very same point.
    A guy called Arius came up with new theology, that Jesus was only a Human Being, created by God rather than being God Himself. So, as a result, Bishop Alexander gathered more than 100 other Bishops and called for the Council of Nicaea (AD 325). They rules that Arius claim was false, and said that Jesus a Divine nature in Him.

    But then another guy came up with another new theology, the Eutychian claim, as Elizabeth stated earlier, that the Divine Nature in Jesus took over the Human Nature. Thus another Council was called (don't recall when exactly) and they, again, ruled that the claim was false and said that Jesus had a Human Nature in Him.

    As a result, years after the two councils, people started taking sides (EO & OO) and started trying to disprove the others. One group siding with the first council, and the other group siding with the second council.

    And that's the story of EO & OO
     
  16. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    Well, almost. The council that condemned Eutyches was Chalcedon, and we rejected it not because of Eutyches, but because of what they did to St. Dioscorus. History knows, especially after you read the minutes, Chalcedon was an unjust council. It upheld the faith, but it deposed an innocent man.

    God bless.
     
  17. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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    The latest on the OO-EO conflict:

    http://www.britishorthodox.org/112g.php

    I echo HE Metropolitan Seraphim who is saddened by the blind ignorance of polemicists:

    May God have mercy on us, enlighten us, unite us, and forgive us our sins.
     
  18. erinipassi

    erinipassi Regular Member

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    Hi Mina,

    my goodness....I was reading the pdf file you posted Mina, and what an accurate description by His Grace Bishop Seraphim....."In a dialogue with the deaf one is left talking with oneself!" Its exactly that.

    May God have mercy on us all
    love and blessings
    erini
     
  19. minasoliman

    minasoliman Veteran

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  20. domi

    domi I reject your reality and subsitute my own!

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    what the heck is going on here..

    how did this thread get changed to oriental orthodox..I thought it was coptic orthodox
     
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