Athanasius Con Apollinarium


For the Fathers have said that the Son is “coessential with the Father, and very God from very God,” and Perfect from Perfect: and then that He “came down for our salvation, was incarnate and made Man,”and then that He thus suffered and rose again. but lest any one, on hearing of the suffering and the resurrection, should think that the Word was altered, they definitely assert the unchangeableness and unalterableness of the Son, with a condemnation (of the opposite opinion) But these men either imagine an alteration of the Word, or suppose the economy of the Passion to be unreal, calling the Flesh of Christ sometimes uncreate and heavenly, sometimes coessential with the Godhead. Then, they say, “in place of the inward man which is in us, there is in Christ a heavenly mind, for He used the outward form with which He was invested as instrumental: for it was not possible that He should become perfect Man. For where there is perfect man, there is also sin: and two perfect things cannot become one: for otherwise that conflict of sin which is in us would take place also in Christ, and Christ would need the cleansing which we receive, if on becoming man He assumed a thinking element and that which in us directs the flesh.” but, they say, “He assumed that which is without mind, and that He Himself might be mind in Himself, and might be wholly without experience of sin, in regard to the divine element, and to the mindless flesh. For the flesh would not sin unless that which directs the flesh, that is, the thinking element, had previously conceived the idea of committing sin, and had carried it out, through the body, to the completion of sin. Wherefore Christ exhibited the flesh in a new condition, by way of likeness: and each man exhibits in himself the condition of the thinking element in us, by means of imitation, and likeness, an abstinence from sin. And in this way is Christ understood to be without sin.