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Against Dimoerites, called < Apollinarians > by some, who do not confess that Christ’s humanity is complete. 57, but 77 of the series
1,1 Though it is painful to me in the anticipation, directly after these another doctrine different from the faith sprang up. I cannot tell with what intent, but it was to make sure that the devil would not leave < the church untroubled* >, for he is constantly disturbing the human race and, as it were, warring on it, by putting his bitter poisons into its choice foods. And as though he were dumping its bitterness into honey, < he is introducing the heresy* > even through people who are admired for their exemplary lives and always renowned for their orthodoxy. (2) For this is the work of the devil, who envied our father Adam at the beginning and is the enemy of all men—as certain wise men have said, envy is always the opponent of great successes. (3) And so, not to leave me and God’s holy church untroubled but constantly in an uproar and under siege, the devil planted certain occasions for [it] even through persons of importance.
1,4 For certain persons—people, indeed, who were originally ours, who held high position, and who have always been esteemed by myself and all orthodox believers, have seen fit to remove the mind from Christ’s human nature and say that our Lord Christ took flesh and a soul at his coming, but not a mind—that is, that he did not take full humanity. (5) I cannot say how they have contributed to the world with this, or who of their pre- decessors they learned it from—or what benefit they have derived from it or conferred on me, on their hearers, and on God’s holy church, by causing us nothing but disturbance and division among ourselves, and grief, and the loss of our mutual affection and love. (6) For they have abandoned the following and the righteousness of the sacred scriptures, and the simple profession—the faith of the prophets, Gospels and apostles—and introduced a sophistical, fictitious doctrine, and a series of many dreadful teachings with it, so that they are examples of the scripture, “They shall turn away from sound doctrine and give heed unto fables and empty words.”
2,1 It was the elderly and venerable Apollinarius of Laodicea, whom I, the blessed Pope Athanasius, and all the orthodox had always loved, who originally thought of this doctrine and put it forward. (2) When some of his disciples told me about it I did not at first believe that a man like himself had introduced this doctrine to the world, and I waited patiently, with hopeful expectation, till I could learn the facts of the matter. (3) For I thought that his pupils who were coming to me from him had not understood the profound < utterances > of so well educated and wise a man and teacher, and had not learned this from him but had made it up on their own. (4) For even among the ones who were visiting me, a great deal was in dispute. Some of them dared to say that Christ had brought his body down from on high. But the heresy stayed in people’s heads and drove them to shocking lengths, for others denied the doctrine that Christ had received a soul. (5) But some even dared to say that Christ’s body was co-essential with his Godhead, and threw the east into great turmoil; it became necessary to call a council on their account and condemn persons of this kind.
2,6 Minutes were taken, moreover, and copies of them sent to the blessed Pope Athanasius. Because of the minutes the blessed Pope was obliged to write an Epistle himself against people who say such things, in which he harshly reproved the most venerable bishop Epictetus for even deigning to make a reply about this to the trouble-makers. (7) In the same letter the blessed Pope wrote plainly about the faith, and denounced those who were saying those things and making trouble. I feel obliged to present a copy of this letter here, in its entirety. It is as follows:
Athanasius the bishop of Alexandria to Epictetus the bishop of Corinth
3,1 I had believed that every worthless doctrine of all sectarians, however many there are, had been brought to an end by the council that convened at Nicaea. For the faith confessed by the fathers there, in conformity with the holy scriptures, is sufficient for the overthrow of all impiety and the commen- dation of the godly faith in Christ. (2) And therefore, when various councils were held just lately in Gaul, Spain and the metropolis of Rome, all the participants, as though moved by one spirit, unanimously condemned those who still secretly held the opinions of Arius, I mean Auxentius of Milan and Ursacius, Valens and Gaius of Pannonia. (3) But because such persons contrive so-called councils of their own, [the participants in the orthodox councils] have written everywhere that none but the council of Nicaea alone is to be termed a council of the catholic church—the monument of victory over every sect, especially the Arian, on whose account the council was chiefly called at that time.
3,4 After so much [of this sort], how can anyone still undertake to doubt or dispute? If they are Arians, it would be no surprise that they complain of writings against themselves, just as, when they hear, “The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands,” pagans consider the teaching concerning the Holy Spirit’ foolishness. (5) But if it is persons who appear to be orthodox and to love the fathers’ pronouncements who wish to revise them by disputation, they do nothing else than to “give their neighbor a foul outpouring to drink,” as scripture says, and to dispute about words, to no purpose but the overthrow of the simple.
4,1 I write in this way after reading the minutes your Reverence has taken. They ought not even to have been put in writing so as to leave not even a memory of these matters to posterity. For who has ever heard of such things? Who has taught or learned them? (2) “For from Zion shall go forth the word of the Lord, and the Law of God from Jerusalem;” but where have these things come from? (3) What hell spewed forth the doctrine that “< the > body taken from Mary is co-essential with the Word’s divine nature,” or, “The Word was transformed into flesh, bones, hair and the rest of the body, and changed from his own nature?”—(4) Who has ever heard Christians say that “The Son was clothed with a body by attribution, not nature?” Who has been so impious as both to say and to believe that “His divine nature, which was itself co-essential with the Father, has been curtailed, and from perfect become imperfect; and that which was nailed to the tree was not the body, but the very creative essence of wisdom?” (5) And who can hear, “The Lord produced his passible body by transformation, not from Mary but from his own essence,” and suppose that a Christian is saying this?
4,6 And who conceived of this wicked impiety, so as even to think of saying “Whoever says that the Lord’s body is from Mary no longer believes in a Trinity in the Godhead, but in a quaternity >?” In other words, persons who hold such views are saying that the flesh which the Savior assumed from Mary is of the essence of the Trinity. (7) And again, from what source have certain persons spewn forth an equal impiety, so as to say, “Christ’s body is not younger than the Godhead of the Lord but is forever begotten in co- eternity with him, since it arose from wisdom?” (8) But why have persons called Christians even presumed to doubt that the Lord who came forth from Mary is the Son of God in essence and nature, but that, humanly speaking he is of the seed of David and St. Mary’s flesh? (9) Who, then, have become so audacious as to say, “The Christ who suffered and was crucified in the flesh is not Lord, Savior, God and Son of the Father?” (10) Or how can people wish to be called Christians who say, “The Word has come to a holy man as to one of the prophets, and has not become man himself by taking his body from Mary? Christ is one thing; the Son of God, the Son of the Father before Mary and before all ages, is another?” Or how < can > people be Christians who say, “The Son is one person, and the Word of God is another?”
5,1 These things were said in various ways in your minutes, but their intent is one and the same, and looks to impiety. Because of them, persons who plume themselves on the confession of the fathers at Nicaea have been differing and disputing with one another. (2) I am astonished that your Reverence has put up with it, and has not stopped them from saying these things and expounded the orthodox creed to them, so that they may either hear it and be still, or dispute it and be recognized as sectarians. (3) For the statements I have quoted are not to be said or heard among Christians, but are in every way foreign to the teaching of the apostles. (4) For my part, I have had their statements inserted baldly in my letter, as I have said, so that one who merely hears them may observe the shame and impiety in them. (5) And even though one ought to accuse them at greater length and expose the shame of those who harbor these thoughts, it would be better still to end my letter here and write no more. (6) It is not right to investigate further and expend more effort on things whose wrongness has been so plainly revealed, or the contentious may think that they are matters open to doubt. In reply to such statements it is enough to say simply that they are not of the catholic church, and that the fathers did not believe them. (7) But lest the inventors of evils take shameless occasion from my complete silence, it will be well to mention a few passages from the sacred scriptures. For perhaps if they are embarrassed even in this way, they will desist from these filthy notions.
6,1 What has possessed you people to say, “The homoousion is the body of the Word’s Godhead?” For it is best to begin with this proposition in order that, from the demonstration of its unsoundness, all the rest may be shown to be the same.
6,2 It is not to be found in the scriptures, for they say that God has become incarnate in a human body. Furthermore, the fathers who met at Nicaea said, not that the body, but the Son himself is co-essential with the Father. And they confessed that the Son is of the Father’s essence, but that— again, in accordance with the scriptures—his body is of Mary. (3) Therefore, either reject the Council of Nicaea < and > introduce these opinions as sectarians; or, if you desire to be the children of the fathers, do not believe otherwise than they have written.
6,4 Indeed, your absurdity can be seen from the following consideration as well. If the Word is co-essential with the body whose substance is of the earth, but the Word is co-essential with the Father in accordance with the fathers’ confession, then the Father himself is co-essential with the body whose origin is of the earth. (5) And why do you still blame the Arians for calling the Son a creature, when you yourselves say that the Father is co-essential with created things, and—passing over to another impiety—that “The Word has been transformed into flesh, bones, hair, sinews and the whole body, and changed from his own nature?” (6) The time has come for you to say openly that he is made of earth; for the substance of the bones, and of the whole body, is made of earth.
6,7 What is this madness, of such severity that you even contradict your- selves? For by saying that the Word is co-essential with his body you distin- guish the one from the other, but you imagine a change of the Word himself by his transformation into flesh. (8) And who will put up with you further if you so much as say these things? You have leaned farther towards impiety than any sect. If the Word is co-essential with his body mention of Mary is superfluous, and there is no need of her. If, as you say, the Word is co-essential with his body, the body is capable of existing eternally even before Mary, just as is the Word himself. (9) Indeed, what need is there for the Word’s advent, either to assume something co-essential with himself or to be altered from his own nature and become a body? For the Godhead does not lay hold of itself, to assume something that is co-essential with it. (10) Nor did the Word, who atones for the sins of others, sin and so that, turned into a body, he could offer himself as a sacrifice for himself and atone for himself.
7,1 But none of this is so, perish the thought! “He took part of the seed of Abraham,” as the apostle said, “wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren” and take a body like ours. (2) Thus Mary is indeed the foundation [of his body], so that he took it from her and offered it, for us, as his own. And Isaiah indicated Mary by prophecy when he said, “Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear.” And Gabriel was sent to her—not simply “to a virgin,” but “to a virgin espoused to a man,” to show Mary’s true humanity through her suitor. (3) And scripture mentions her “bringing forth,” and says, “She wrapped him in swaddling clothes,” and, “Blessed were the paps which he hath sucked.” And a sacrifice was offered, as though for a son who had “opened the womb.” But these are all tokens of a virgin’s giving birth.
7,4 And Gabriel surely did not simply tell her, “that which is conceived ‘in’ thee,” or it might be supposed that a body had been introduced into her from without. He said, “that which is born ‘of thee,’ ” so that it might be believed that the child, when born, was actually born ‘of her.’ Nature shows this plainly besides, for the body of a virgin who has not given birth cannot have milk, and a body cannot be nourished with milk or wrapped in swaddling clothes without first being actually born.
7,5 This is the body that was “circumcised the eighth day.” Simon “took” this “up in his arms.” This became “a child and grew,” reached the age of twelve, and attained his thirtieth year. (6) For “the very essence of the Word” was not “changed and curtailed,” as some have supposed, for it is change- less and unalterable as the Savior himself says, “See that it is I, and I am not changed.” And Paul writes, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (7) But the impassible and incorporeal Word of God was in the body that was circumcised, was carried in its mother’s arms, ate, grew weary, was nailed to the tree and suffered. (8) This body was laid in the tomb when Christ himself “went to preach to the spirits that were in prison,” as Peter said.
8,1 This above all reveals the folly of those who say that the Word was changed to bones and flesh. If this were so there would be no need of a tomb. The body itself would have gone of itself to preach to the spirits in hades. (2) As it is, Christ himself went to preach, but “Joseph wrapped” the body “in a linen shroud, and laid it to rest” on Golgotha. And it has been shown to all that the body was not the Word, but the Word’s body.
8,3 And Thomas handled this body once it was risen from the dead, and saw in it “the prints of the nails” —the sight of which nails the Lord had endured as they were hammered into his own body, and did not pre- vent although he could have. Instead he, the Incorporeal, claimed the characteristics of the body for his own. (4) Of course he said, “Why smitest thou me?” as though he himself had been hurt, when he was struck by the servant. And though by nature he was intangible, he still said, “I gave my back to the scourges, and hid not my face from spitting.” (5) For what the Word’s human nature suffered, the Word united with the human nature imputed to himself, so that we might participate in the Word’s divine nature.
8,6 And it was a paradox that the one who suffered was the same as the one who did not suffer. He suffered in that his own body suffered, and he was in the very body that suffered; but since the Word, who is God by nature, is impassible, he did not suffer. (7) And the Incorporeal himself was in the passible body, while the body had within it the impassible Word, nullifying the weaknesses of the body itself. (8) But he did this, and became what he was, in order to assume our characteristics, nullify them by offering them in sacrifice, and finally, by enduing us with his own characteristics, enable the apostle to say, “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
9,1 But this was not done by attribution as some, in their turn, have surmised, perish the thought! Since the Savior became true man, he truly became the salvation of man as a whole. (2) If the Word were < in > the body by attribution, as they say, and something which is said to be by attribu- tion is imaginary, both men’s salvation and their resurrection must be called [only] apparent, as the most impious Mani teaches.
9,3 But our salvation has by no means been imaginary, or a salvation of the body alone. The salvation of man as a whole, soul and body, has truly been accomplished in Christ. (4) Therefore the Savior’s true body, which he received from Mary as the sacred scriptures teach, is really human. But it was a true body because it was the same as ours. For since all of us were Adam’s descendants, Mary is our sister.
9,5 And no one can doubt this if he recalls what Luke wrote. For after the resurrection from the dead, when some thought that they were not behold- ing the Lord in the body he had taken from Mary but were seeing a spirit in its place, he said, “See my hands and feet, and the prints of the nails, that it is I myself. Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.” (6) From this, again, those who dare to say that the Lord was changed into flesh and bones can be refuted. He did not say, “as ye see me ‘be’ flesh and bones,” but “ ‘have’ flesh, and bones,” so that there can be no question of the Word himself being changed into these things. It must be believed that he himself was ‘in’ these things, both before his death and after his resurrection.
10,1 But since these things can be proved in this way, there is no need to deal with the rest and enter into any discussion of them. (2) For as the body in which the Word was is not co-essential with the divine nature but truly born of Mary; and as the Word himself was not changed into bones and flesh, but became incarnate in the flesh—(3) for this is the sense of the words in John, “The Word became flesh,” as can be learned from a similar passage. For it is written in Paul, “Christ became a curse for us.” And as Christ did not himself become a curse, but [it is said] that he became a curse because he assumed the curse for us, so he became flesh, not by turning into flesh, but by assuming flesh for us and becoming man.
10,4 For—once more—to say, “The Word was made flesh,” is the equiv- alent of saying that he became man, as is said in the Book of Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” < For > the promise did not < extend > to animals but is for men, for whom, indeed, the Lord became man. (5) And since this is the meaning of this text, those who have supposed that “The flesh that came from Mary was before Mary, and the Word had a human soul before her and had always been in it before his advent,” must surely with good reason condemn themselves. (6) Those too who have said, “His flesh is not subject to death, but is of an immortal nature,” will cease to say so. For if Christ did not die, how could Paul “deliver” to the Corinthians “that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures?’ How could Christ rise at all, if he did not first die?
10,7 But those who even suppose that there can be “a quaternity instead of the Trinity” if the body is said to be from Mary, must blush beet red. (8) “For,” < they say >, “if we say that the body is co-essential with the Word, the Trinity remains a Trinity, since the Word imports nothing foreign into it. But if we say that the body born of Mary is a human body, then, since the body by its nature is other than [the Word], and since the Word is in it, there will necessarily be a quaternity instead of a Trinity because of the addition of the body.” (11,1) But they do not realize how they fall foul of themselves by saying this. For if they say that the body is not from Mary but is co-essential with the Word, it will be shown nonetheless that they, on their notion, are speaking of a quaternity—the very misrepresentation that they made to avoid giving the impression that they believed it. (2) For as the Son who, in their view, is not the Father himself despite his co-essentiality with the Father, but is called a Son co-essential with the Father, so the body, which is co-essential with the Word, is not the Word himself, but different from the Word. (3) But since it is different, on their own showing their Trinity will be a quaternity. For the true, and truly perfect and undivided Trinity receives no addition, but the Trinity of their invention does. And since they invent a God other than the true one, how can they still be Christians’?
11,4 For once more, their foolishness can be seen in another of their soph- isms. They are very wrong if they think that a quaternity is being spoken of instead of a Trinity because the Savior’s body is, and is said in the scrip- tures to be, of Mary and human, since this makes an addition to the Trinity because of the body. For they are equating the creature with the creator, and supposing that the Godhead can receive an addition. (5) And they have not understood that the Word did not become flesh to add to the Godhead, but to enable the flesh to rise—nor that the Word did not come forth from Mary for his own betterment, but for the redemption of the human race.
11,6 How can they think that the body, which was redeemed and given life by the Word, makes an addition of Godhead to the life-giving Word? Rather, a great addition was made to < the> human body itself by the Word’s fel- lowship and union with it. (7) Instead of a mortal body it became immortal; instead of an ensouled body it became spiritual. Though a body of earth, it passed through the heavenly gates. The Trinity is a Trinity even though the Word took a body from Mary. It allows of no addition or subtraction but is forever perfect, and is known as one Godhead in Trinity; thus it is preached in the church that there is one God, the Father of the Word.
12,1 Because of this, finally, those who once said, “The one who came forth from Mary is not the Christ himself, and Lord and God,” will hold their tongues. (2) If he was not God in the body, why was he called “Immanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God is with us,” as soon as he came forth from Mary? And if the Word was not in flesh, why did Paul write to the Romans, “of whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for evermore. Amen?” (3) Let those who formerly denied that the Crucified is God admit their error and be convinced by all the sacred scriptures—most of all by Thomas who, after seeing the nail prints in his hands, cried out, “My Lord and my God!”
12,4 For though the Son was God and the Lord of glory, he was in the ingloriously nailed, dishonored body. The body suffered when it was pinned to the wood and blood and water flowed from its side, but all the while, as the temple of the Word, it was filled with the Word’s Godhead. (5) Thus it was that the sun withdrew its rays and darkened the earth on seeing its maker lifted up in his tortured body. But though of a mortal nature, the body itself rose in transcendence of its nature. It ceased from the corruptibility of its nature, became the garment of the Word, and by donning the more than human Word, became incorruptible.
12,6 But there is no reason for me to discuss the imaginary thing some people say, “As a word came upon each of the prophets, so the Word came upon one particular man who was born of Mary.” Their stupidity obviously carries its own condemnation. If this is the way he came, why is he born of a virgin, and not as the child of a man and a woman himself ? Each of the saints was born like that. (7) Or, if this is how the Word came, why is every man’s death not said to have been for us, but only the death of this man? If the Word arrived with each of the prophets, why is it said only of the son of Mary that he came “once, in the end of the ages?” (8) Or, if he came in the same way that he came in the saints before him, why have all the others died and not yet risen, while the son of Mary alone arose the third day? (9) Or, if the Word came just like the others, why is only the son of Mary called Immanuel, because his body has been filled with Godhead and born of her? For Immanuel means “God is with us.” (10) Or, if this is the way he came, since each of the saints eats, tires and dies, why is it not said that each one < was > eating, tiring and dying but said only of the Son of Mary? For the things this body suffered are mentioned because it was he himself who suffered them. And though of all the others it is said merely that they were born and begotten, only of Mary’s offspring is it said, “And the Word was made flesh.”
13,1 This will show that the Word came to all the others to help them prophesy, but that the Word himself took flesh from Mary and came forth as a man—God’s Word in nature and essence, “but of the seed of David according to the flesh”—and was made man of Mary’s flesh, as Paul has said. (2) The Father identified him in the Jordan and on the mount by saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (3) The Arians have denied him but we know and worship him, not distinguishing the Son from the Word, but knowing that the Word himself is the Son, by whom all things have been made, and we set free.
13,4 Thus I am surprised that there has been any contention among you over matters so < plain >. But God be thanked, my sorrow at reading your minutes is matched by my joy at their conclusion. (5) For [the participants] departed in harmony, and peaceably agreed on the confession of the orthodox faith. It is this that has led me to write these few lines after much prior consideration, for I am concerned that my silence not give pain rather than joy to those who, by their agreement, have given me cause to rejoice. I there- fore ask that, primarily your Reverence, and secondly your hearers, receive this with a good conscience, and, if < in any respect > it falls short of true religion, that you correct this and send me word. But if it has been unfitly and imperfectly written as by one untrained in speaking, I ask the pardon of all for my feebleness of speech. Farewell!
14,1 Since I have inserted this letter and not merely set out to write against the Apollinarians because of things I have heard from them or from others, it has been made plain to everyone that I have accused no one falsely. (2) But next I shall take up the case against them, so that there can be no suspicion on anyone’s part that I am slandering my brethren— though I pray for them even now, that they may correct the things that appear to disturb me, so that they may not lose me, or I, them. (3) For I have often made this plea, and have begged, and still continue to beg that they remove the contention and follow the sacred ordinance of the apostles, the evangelists and the fathers, and the confession of the faith which is simple, firm, unshakeable, and in every way entirely right.
14,4 Others have told me in private that the Lord did not take this flesh of ours, or any flesh like it, when he came, but took another flesh, different from ours. And if they would only speak to his glory and praise! (5) I too say that his body is holy and undefiled: “He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” And this is plain to everyone who speaks and thinks of Christ in a godly way. (6) And even though I speak of his actual body just as he took our actual body, < I still mean that* > his body < remained* > undefiled. In us who have offended, however, < our bodies have become different from the Lord’s* >. [This is] not because our bodies are different, and alien to his in their inferiority and degradation; < our bodies have become different from the Lord’s* > because of our sins would be foolish of the scripture to speak of these things, just as it was foolish of these people to inquire into them. What is the good of such things? What use are they—except to foster unbelief, since prejudice finds its opportunities in silly statement and worthless rebuttal. is no doubt that Christ indeed had man-made clothing: “They parted his raiment, and upon his vesture did they cast lots.” (5) But if his garment was made by men it was plainly made of wool and linen, and woolen and linen things are inanimate and lifeless. (6) And yet when Christ willed to display the power of his Godhead “He was transfigured and showed his countenance as the sun, and his garments white as wool.” (7) “For to the Mighty One all things are possible,” and in an instant he can change lifeless and inanimate things, contrary to expectation, to glory and splendor, like Moses’ rod, like the shoes of the children of Israel. (8) For we all agree that the holy apostles were men, with mortal bodies like ours. But because of the glory of God that indwelt them they were immortal, and Peter’s shadow healed all the sick who were brought to him, and napkins and kerchiefs from Paul’s clothing worked miracles.
18,1 And why do these people take the trouble to make shameful guesses about God, on subjects there has never been a need to discuss— for any prophet, evangelist, apostle or author? (2) However many of such things they say, even if they make a million more bad guesses, they won’t overturn the faith of our fathers which declares Christ truly < man >.
18,3 For Christ was truly born in the flesh of Mary the ever-virgin, by the agency of the Holy Spirit. He was called Immanuel, or “God is with us,” < and > can have no second birth. (4) As a child he fled to Egypt with Joseph and Mary, since [enemies] were seeking the child’s life—which is as much as to say that he could be killed in the flesh. Still, he was wor- shiped by the magi as true God, begotten in the flesh < in reality >, not appearance. (5) And due to Joseph’s fear because of Archelaus, he did not enter Jerusalem on his return from Egypt—showing that the child could be arrested, and could63 suffer too soon what he was to suffer in the flesh.
18,6 < He came willingly to baptism* >, but was hindered by John, rec- ognized as master by the servant as God truly incarnate. But in this case, so as to “fulfill all righteousness” in the flesh and “leave us an example”
16,4 What’s more, better tell me why God kept the children of Israel’s hair from getting long for forty years, and their shoes from wearing out, and their clothes from getting worn or torn, when that was his will. (5) Had they come from heaven too? Were they gods? Indeed, they were not in God’s good graces, but had provoked God in many ways. Didn’t they have the same frailties as we? God did this to show that in him all things are possible, and that he allows them to happen and not happen.
16,6 But for our sakes, lest anyone should attribute anything supernatural to them because of the miracles God did for them—that is, that their hair did not grow, and their clothes did not wear out and the rest, and because “Man ate the bread of angels”—(7) the sacred scripture reassured us by saying, “Let each man take an iron peg in his girdle, that, when thou easest thyself in a place, thou shalt dig and cover thine own stool; for ye are people sanctified, and the Lord dwelleth in the midst of your camp.” (8) As to this, the native Hebrews tell the story that this was the standard for a while, until God willed to show this wonder in them, that even though they were eating both meat and land-rails, they found they had no need of it.
17,1 And whether, < as seems more likely* >, the Hebrews have this tradition in their ancestors’ honor, whether, < preferably >, as a gratuitous addition or as a fact—though they surely know themselves that their clients were mortal and not gods, and were made of flesh, blood and soul— (2) who can put up with the Apollinarians’ insufferable remarks about Christ, the divine Word who came from heaven, and his in all respects glorious and true human nature? In it he fulfilled the saying, “in all points tempted as a man, yet without sin.” (3) For even though he truly had our flesh, it was possible for him not to do the things that we regard as undignified, and to do such things as were seemly, and of a fitness in proportion to his Godhead. For it was by his doing that the hair of the children of Israel did not grow, their clothes did not get dirty, and these things < which >, according to tradition, happened to them. (4) But there of salvation in his true and perfect humanity, he did not accept his servant’s honor.
18,7 Moreover, he grew truly weary from his journey—and he was not simply weary but sat down as well, because he had truly become man. < And yet > he cried, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” to show that his Godhead is sufficient to give rest to all the world’s multitudes who come to him. (8) Further, he was tempted by the devil, and remained forty days without food or drink, to show the self-sufficiency of his Godhead. (9) For he did not go hungry as you and I master ourselves like philosophers, and subject himself to discipline and restraint; because of his true Godhead, he went hungry with- out lacking anything. (10) And the scripture says, “He was afterwards an hungered,” to show the true incarnation of his Godhead, which allowed the manhood the satisfaction of its lawful and true needs, so that the truth of the sequence [of these events]68 would not hide the true man- hood. (11) For he was hungry at the fig tree too, and he made real clay. But as God he commanded the fig tree and was obeyed. And on the ship he rebuked the wind, and it dropped. (12) And with the spittle and clay he fashioned the missing member and bestowed it on the blind man, as upon Adam, by the command of his Godhead and the spittle of his humanity— and once again, by the clay. For all things were in him in their fullness; suffering in his flesh, impassibility in his Godhead, until he arose from the dead, never again to suffer, to “die no more” at all.
18,13 But if there are any who suppose that, because he did not get it from a man’s seed, he received a different body, this in no way makes it unlike our bodies. Since we agree that it was born of Mary, it was ours. Mary was not different from our bodies—for Adam was not from a man’s seed either, but was formed from earth! (14) And his body was by no means different from ours because of his being of the earth and not of a man’s seed. For we are his descendants and our bodies are not different from his, even though we are of a man’s seed and born of a woman’s womb.
18,15 But by quibbling about this often and having it in their heads, some have lost touch with the question before us. In turn, some of those who come to see me have wasted a million other words and more on the accusation of a man who is widely esteemed. And in fact, I think they have made the disturbance worse than necessary, whether < unintentionally* > from stupidity or ignorance, or whether they deliberately come forward and speak out. But with the readers’ agreement, let this be enough about the non-essentials; < I have not written* > from motives of envy, or dislike of the man. (16) For I pray that he has not been parted from the church of Christ and the sweetness of the whole brotherhood, but that he has given up instigating the contention over this matter and returned, as scripture says, “Return, return, O Shunamite; return, and we will look on thee.” In any case, I shall once more take up the thread of the subject.
19,1 He will not say that Christ’s human nature is complete. Further- more, he hinders some people’s salvation by frightening them and telling them we must not say that Christ has “taken up” perfect manhood, sup- posedly because of the scripture, “The Lord taketh up the meek.” (2) But no one can show that this is anything out of the ordinary or different—to say that he Lord “took up” flesh, or “took” perfect manhood—from our frequent use of synonymous expressions. (3) Scripture says, ‘The Lord taketh up the meek,” “He took me up from the flocks of sheep,” “He was taken up,”73 and, “The two men said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye? This [ Jesus], who hath been taken up from you.”74 (4) And there is no difference at all in the meaning of taking up, whether one says “Christ took up,” or, “took,” or, “formed his own humanity.” Nor can those who choose to attack the simple and < say that > we must < not > talk like this, frighten us with this word.
And no one need think that I am speaking slanderously, or jokingly, about this matter. (5) I have often thought of writing on this subject, but < have held back > so that no one would think I was attacking him from enmity. Humanly speaking, he has done me no harm, and taken nothing of mine. (6) But though I considered not writing this, I am compelled to by the truth itself, so as to omit no < one > whose opinions are different from the faith, as pious readers will understand later that I am not speak- ing from worldly jealousy. (7) Indeed, the man would be of the utmost service to me—< he is the best* > in the world, both in < education* > and in love—if, in harmony with God’s holy church, he would agree with us all in every way and not import any strange doctrine.
19,8 Whether he or his disciples use the expression in passing, in a dif- ferent sense [but] in this form and appearance, I cannot say. (9) But I have often considered, and been perturbed that they justify the arousal of contention and a battle to the death for the sake of this expression. (10) And this tells me that they probably use the expression in some rather strange sense.
20,1 For when you ask any of them they all tell you something differ- ent, but some say that the Lord has not taken perfect manhood or become perfect man. (2) But since many found this repugnant they finally turned to deception, as I learned directly from them in so many words. (3) For I visited Antioch and had a meeting with their leaders, one of whom was the bishop Vitalius, a man of the most godly life, character and conduct. (4) And I advised and urged them to assent to the faith of the holy church, and give up the contentious doctrine.
20,5 But Vitalius said, “But what quarrel is there between us?” For he was at odds with a respectable and eminent man, the bishop Paulinus, and Paulinus was at odds with Vitalius, whom I had summoned. (6) I hoped to reconcile the two; both appeared to be preaching the orthodox faith, and yet each of them disagreed [with the other] for some reason—(7) for Vitalius had accused Paulinus of Sabellianism. And thus, when I arrived < at Antioch* > I had refrained from full communion with Paulinus, until he convinced me by submitting a document < in > which, on a previous occasion, he had stated his agreement with the blessed Athanasius to clear himself. (8) For he brought a signed copy of this and gave it to me. It con- tains a clear statement about the Trinity and the mind of Christ’s human nature, composed by our blessed father Athanasius himself. I append this statement; it is as follows:
A copy of the document written by Bishop Paulinus
21,1 I, Paulinus, bishop, believe as I have received from the fathers that there is a perfect existent and subsistent Father and a perfect subsistent Son, and that the perfect Holy Spirit is subsistent. (2) I therefore receive the above account of the three entities and the one subsistence or essence, and receive those who so believe; for it is godly to believe and confess the Trinity in one Godhead. (3) And of the incarnation for us of the Word of the Father, I believe as it has formerly been written that, as John says, “The Word was made flesh.” (4) For I do not believe as the most impious persons do, who say that he has undergone a change; but I believe that he has become man for us, and was conceived of the holy Virgin and the Holy Spirit.
21,5 Nor did the Savior have a lifeless body without sensation or intelligence. (6) For as the Lord has become man for us, it would be impossible that his body be without intelligence. (7) I therefore condemn those who set aside the creed of Nicaea, and do not confess that the Son is of the Father’s essence, or co-essential with the Father. (8) I also condemn those who say that the Holy Spirit is a creature made by the Son. (9) I further condemn the heresies of Sabellius and Photinus, and every heresy, for I am content with the creed of Nicaea and with all that is written above. The End
22,1 But I said besides to my brother Vitalius and those who were with him, “And what do you have to say? If there is anything wrong between you, put it right!”
“Let them tell you < themselves >,” said Vitalius. (2) But Paulinus and his companions said that Vitalius and his denied that Christ has become perfect man.
Vitalius answered at once, “Yes, we confess that Christ has taken perfect manhood.” And this was wonderful for the audience to hear, and a great pleasure. (3) < But > since I know the spirit of those who gain their brothers’ agreement through pretenses, I kept asking for his exact meaning, and said, “Do you confess that Christ has truly taken flesh?”
“Yes,” he agreed.
22,4 “Of the holy virgin Mary and by the Holy Spirit, without the seed of a man?” He agreed to this too.
22,5 “Did the divine Word, the Son of God, actually take flesh from the Virgin at his coming?” He emphatically agreed.
By this time I had become glad, for I had heard from some of those youngsters who came to me on Cyprus that he did not believe that Christ’s flesh was from Mary at all. (6) But when this most godly man himself had confessed that our Lord Jesus Christ took flesh from Mary, I asked him, in turn, if he also took a soul. To this too he agreed with the same vehemence, and said, “One must not say otherwise, but must tell the truth in everything. (7) For whoever writes to men about the truth must disclose his whole mind, have the fear of God before his eyes, and include no falsehood in the message of the scripture.”
23,1 Vitalius, then, agreed that Christ had also taken a human soul; for it was he who had said, “Yes, Christ was perfect man.” But next, after my questions about the soul and the flesh, I asked, “Did Christ take a mind when he came?”
Vitalius at once denied this and said, “No.”
23,2 Then I said to him, “Then why do you say that he has been made perfect man?” And he revealed his own notion of the meaning of this: “We are calling him perfect man if we make him the Godhead instead of the mind, and the flesh and the soul, so that he is perfect man composed of flesh, and soul, and Godhead instead of mind.”
23,3 So now his contentiousness was out in the open and I discussed it at length, and proved from scripture that we must confess that the divine Word took everything in its perfection, that he provided < the human nature > in its fullness at his incarnation and < possesses > it in its fullness; and that he united it [with his Godhead] after his resurrection and pos- sesses it, and none other, in glory, in its entirety and spiritual, united in his Godhead with himself; and that the whole fullness makes one Godhead, and he sits at the Father’s right hand in heaven, on the glorious throne of his eternal sovereignty and rule. But in the end I got up without having convinced either side, because of their obvious contentiousness.
23,4 But this is how I realized that they were not talking about the mind, but that their doctrine of the mind is different [from ours]. For at times they would not admit that Christ had taken a soul. (5) But when I made the rejoinder, “Well, what is the ‘mind’ then? Do you think it’s a real thing inside a man? Is man therefore a conglomerate?” some of them opined that the “mind” is the “spirit” which the sacred scripture regularly says is in man. (6) But when I showed them that the mind is not the spirit, since the apostle plainly says, “I will sing with the mind, I will sing with the spirit,” there was a long discussion, but I could not convince the contending parties.
24,1 Then in turn, I asked some of them, “What do you mean? Are you saying that the mind is an actual thing?” And some of them said it is not a thing, because I had convinced them with, “I will sing with the mind, I will sing with the spirit,” that we must not believe that the mind is the thing called “the spirit of a man.” (2) And since they had no reply to this, I then said, “All right, if the mind isn’t a real thing but is a movement of our whole selves, but you say of this that Christ is the mind, do you therefore imagine that Christ isn’t a real thing, and that he has brought his incarnation about only nominally, and in appearance?”
24,3 And I felt deeply grieved then, and the even tenor of my life was made painful, because dissensions had been sown for no good reason among these people who are brethren and praiseworthy, so that that enemy of man, the devil, may keep causing differences among us. (4) But, brethren, considerable mutual damage arises from this cause. It would be simplest if no discussion of this had been stirred up in the first place. What good has this innovation done the world? How has it benefited the church—or rather, hasn’t it harmed it by causing hatred and strife? But because this doctrine has been put forward, it has become frightening. (5) It is not for the betterment of our salvation; it is a denial of our salvation, not only on this point for one who does not confess it, but in a very small point too. One must not stray from the way of the truth even in an unimportant matter.
24,6 Let me speak against this doctrine too, then, since I choose not to stray from my own salvation or abandon the rule of God’s holy church and confession. (7) None of the ancients ever said this—no prophet, apostle, evangelist, no interpreter down to our own day, when this doctrine of such sophistry issued from the very learned man I have spoken of. (8) For he has been equipped with no mean education. He began with elementary schooling and Greek learning, and was trained in the whole of dialectic and rhetoric. Moreover, his life is otherwise of the holiest, and he remained beloved by the orthodox < and > ranked with the foremost, until this business. (9) He suffered banishment too, because he < would > not associate with the Arians. And why should I say all this? I am very sorry, and my life is a grief to me because, as I have often said, the devil is always afflicting us.
25,1 Now then, to omit none of the truth, as I have said, I shall begin on this doctrine. What good has it done us to expel the mind from Christ’s human nature? (2) If your argument was advanced to be a help—if I can say that—to our Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Word and the Son of God, and we are to deny that he took a mind so as not to conceive of any defect in his Godhead, the Manichaeans, the Marcionites and other sects deserve much more credit than we. They will not ascribe flesh to him, so as not to make his Godhead defective.
25,3 But the meaning of the truth does not conform to human wishes, but to the wisdom that governs it, and the incomprehensibility that directs it. (4) Since we profess our faith in this form and do not agree with Mani—he will do Christ no favor by supposing that Christ has not taken flesh, but will be deprived of the truth by confessing Christ’s incarnation [only] in appearance. [Since we do not agree with him], even now this vulgar chatter will be a favor of no use to our brothers. (5) Both they and we agree < that* >, unless they are willing to change their minds, < the Manichaeans will depart from our confession of faith entirely.* > And when pressed, certain Apollinarians have often been caught in the denial that Christ took true flesh, as I said, because some of them have dared to say that his flesh is co-essential with his Godhead. (6) But they should be cast out as < un >repentant, and exposed for such wickedness before those of them whose view of Christ’s flesh is correct. Surely the most godly Apollinarius himself will not deny this.
26,1 Now if the Word took true flesh when he came, and truly took it from Mary, not by a man’s seed but through the Holy Spirit; and if he was truly conceived and, since he was God and the fashioner of the first man and all things, fashioned his own < flesh >; then the Word was not diminished at his coming, but remained in his own unchanging nature. (2) For since he is co-essential with God the Father and not different from the Father and the Holy Spirit, he underwent no change when he took flesh. If we agree, therefore, that he has plainly taken flesh and come to maturity, then he is not without a soul. (3) For except for things which do not move, everything that matures is composed of soul and body, as the scripture says, “Jesus increased in wisdom and maturity,” to prove his flesh by the “maturity”; but maturity, as I said, is attained by a soul and a body.
26,4 But after saying, “He increased in maturity,” it next says, “and in wisdom.” And how could he who is the Father’s wisdom increase in wisdom, if his body was deprived of a human mind? And if he was without mind, how could he increase in wisdom, soul and body? And you see how forced people’s notion is when they reject the mind.
“But,” Apollinarius would say, “I deny that he took a human mind. [If we say that he did], we will make him covetous, ill-tempered; for the mind in us is covetous.” And there certainly is a great deal of human contention; as the scripture has said, “God made man simple, but they have made for themselves many counsels.” (5) Now if, by the confession that he has taken a human mind, we attribute any of our defectiveness to him, all the more, by confessing that he has taken flesh, we will grant on the same principle that he has become defective in this respect, in flesh. But perish that thought! (6) Now as the Word was < not > defective in the flesh when he came even though he had true flesh, so he has not conceived of anything unbecoming his Godhead in his mind. The Lord, when he came, did whatever is right for flesh, and for a soul and a human mind, so as not to disturb the course of his true human life. (7) For hunger, thirst, weariness, sleep, journeying, grief, weeping and disturbance were right. But these right things duly taking place in him showed < the truth* > of his true human nature.
27,1 For scripture never says that he had a wrong desire. But he had a good desire when he said, “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you.” Desire, however, does not stem from his Godhead, or from the flesh alone or the irrational soul, but from the perfect manhood of body, < soul and > mind, and everything in man. (2) For the Word acquired these things when he came—body, soul, mind and all that is in man, except for sin, except for defect, as the scripture says, “in all points tempted as a man except for sin.” But if he was tempted in all points, the Word acquired all things when he came. (3) If he had acquired every- thing, however, then in himself he was free from defect and kept them all unsullied—being perfect God born of flesh, and, as the Perfecter of the whole human nature, perfectly fulfilling all things. He was not divided by the unseemly behavior of the flesh, or distracted by the wrong thought of the mind within us.
27,4 For our mind was not given us to sin, but to examine the ends of our ideas from both sides and perform righteousness and the opposite. “The mind discriminates words; the throat tastes foods,” and, “Eye understands and mind sees.” Thus the mind is the sight, taste and dis- crimination within us and is granted us by God, but assents to nothing unless the man wants it to. (5) But the flesh is continually denounced in every scripture for the lust that arises in it. Of course the text is not denouncing flesh itself; the word denounced the products of the flesh, as the apostle said because of the flesh’s by-products, “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.”
27,6 But in rejection of the sects’ idea that the flesh has nothing to hope for from the resurrection of the dead, Paul says, “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Thus it may not be thought that, by rejecting the works of flesh which scripture regularly calls “flesh,” he is rejecting the hope of the resurrection of the flesh. (7) For he plainly denounced the deeds that are wickedly done in the flesh, but showed that, in a person who sanctifies his flesh, the flesh itself is a holy temple, as the scripture says, “Pure worship of God and our Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world,” and elsewhere, “Blessed are they that keep pure the flesh.”
27,8 But though the scripture has often spoken against “flesh” and taught us that lusts and pleasures grow in it, it makes no complaint against the mind. Instead it says, “I will sing with the mind, I will sing with the spirit,” and, “if, in turn, I sing with the spirit, but my mind is unfruitful.” (9) And you see that there is fruit in him, in his mind. And even if there were no fruit, Paul never counted the mind as sinful, but made the fruit known by means of the mind.
28,1 But what harm did this do to the power of our Lord’s Godhead? What weakened his power? The holy woman’s belly? The Virgin’s womb? His parents’ journeys? Simeon’s embrace? Anna’s welcome? Being carried by Mary? The harlot’s touch? A woman’s hair touching his feet? Her tears? Being laid in a tomb? The shroud did not envelop that inviolate Lord and his supreme power by enwrapping his body.
28,2 Indeed, when he was still in the womb John leaped for joy at his Master’s visit to him through the holy Virgin’s pregnancy. But when he had been born and lay in a manger, it was no mystery to a choir of angels. Bands of angels were sent to serve as escorts at the coming of the ever- lasting king; hymns of victory were offered, peace was proclaimed to the shepherds.
28,3 But what caused any weakening of his power? While he was still a babe in arms a sign, the star, appeared in the east, magi arrived, worship was offered and gifts given. Scribes were questioned by the king, and in reply they confessed their faith in Christ. (4) And all the other things in the series, what harm did they do his Godhead? How did the possession of the flesh veil it, as is the case with us? He rebuked the waves, winds and sea, and the power of his Godhead was not prevented by the flesh from doing what it is the Godhead’s nature to do. (5) What is more, though the flesh is a burden and load, he was not encumbered by a load. As the changeless God, and in the flesh but not changed by the flesh, he walked on the water < as though on dry land >. With a < loud > voice he called, “Lazarus, come forth!” unhindered by the flesh, and with no enslavement of his Godhead in the flesh to his perfect manhood.
29,1 And I have a great deal to say < about this >. He rose from the dead, what is more, forced the gates of hades, took the captives, brought them upward; and after rising the third day in his holy flesh itself, and in his holy soul, mind and entire human nature, he became perfect man united with Godhead, for he had joined his manhood to his Godhead, and death “hath no more dominion over him. (2) United with his God- head, however, he made his coarseness fine and “entered where doors were barred.” And after his entrance he exhibited his “flesh and bones,” suggesting the readiness of his power to save, and affording us a glimpse of our hope, for the Word has perfected all things by his coming. And he sat in glory at the Father’s right hand after being taken up in his body itself, not burdened by its bulk [and yet] not without a body, for he had raised his body spiritual. (3) If our body is “sown in corruption, raised in incorruption, sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body,” how much more the body of God’s only-begotten Son? And thus the scripture, “Thou shalt not deliver thine holy one to see corruption, neither shalt thou leave my soul in hell,” has been fulfilled.
29,4 But I have said all this about his perfect human nature so that no one will suppose that, because he took perfect flesh, he therefore did the unsuitable deeds of the flesh. No orthodox believer thinks or says this of him. But if no one thinks that he did the unsuitable deeds of the flesh, no one may suppose that he did the unsuitable deeds of the mind! (5) And it is plain that, when he came, the Word became man perfectly.
And if we say, “[became man] perfectly,” we do not have two Christs, or two kings and sons of God, but the same God and the same Man—not as though he had come to dwell in a man, but the same God himself wholly made man. And not a man who advanced to Godhead but God come from heaven, who modelled his own manhood on himself in keeping with his mighty Godhead, as scripture says, “The Word became flesh.”
29,6 But as to “The Word became flesh,” to avoid giving the impression that he was man first, and Christ came to a man, the holy Gospel put “Word” first, and then confessed the flesh with, “The Word was made flesh.” (7) For it did not say, “The flesh was made Word.” This shows that the Word came from heaven first, formed his own flesh from the holy Virgin’s womb, and perfectly fashioned his entire human nature in his image. (8) For even if scripture says, “The Word was made flesh,” this is not because the Word was turned into flesh and the Word became flesh [in this way], or because the Godhead was transformed into flesh; at his coming, with his Godhead, the divine Word took his own humanity.
30,1 And scripture says that “Jesus increased in maturity and wisdom.”101 How could he “increase” [in wisdom] without a human mind?—I have said this already. And God’s holy prophet Isaiah also witnesses to this text by saying, “Behold, my beloved servant in whom I am well pleased shall understand.” (2) And do you see that “shall understand” refers to a perfect human nature? Without a mind, no one can “understand”; and the text does not apply to Godhead. For that which is understanding itself cannot be in need of understanding, and that which is Wisdom itself cannot be in need of wisdom; “He shall understand” is to be taken of the human mind.
30,3 And tell me, why was he hungry? If he was just flesh, how could he pay any attention to hunger? And if he was made only of body and soul, and his soul did not have the rationality of the mind which is the thought of the human nature—I don’t mean wicked thought, but thought directed towards lawful need which is appropriate to his Godhead—then how could he be hungry or have a conception of hunger? (4) Tell me, how could he be grieved, if his soul was without a mind and reason? If a soul is irrational or if there is flesh without soul, it is not subject to grief or sorrow. (5) And I can think of many < replies* > which I should make to him. < For we must* > realize that quibbles are not to the point and that, if anything, they alarm those who want to think too far, and not measure themselves by the measure the most holy apostle recommended to us, “not to think more highly than we ought to think.”
31,1 They also confront us with certain words of scripture, “We have the mind of Christ,” and say, “Do you see that the mind of Christ is different from our minds?” How simple people are! Each one leans in the direction he wants to go, and where he appears to be clever, turns out to be inept. (2) For though I am “inept in speech—but not in knowledge,” as the scripture says—and though I am very limited, and I admire these people even when they attack the mind because of words, I am baffled by their notion because they interpret this text as proof of what is simply such sterile contentiousness on their part. For the thing (i.e., 2 Cor. 11:16) has no meaning with any bearing on this position.
31,3 For Paul says, “We have the mind of Christ.”106 But we need to ask what “Christ” means to them, or what the “mind of Christ” is. And here they show that they understand Christ as one thing, and his divine nature as something else. (4) For if they suppose that Christ [himself ] replaces the [human] mind, and yet call only Christ’s human nature “Christ,” they are trying to lead me into one more dispute. And plainly, it is < not > [only] after the incarnation that he is described as the divine Word and Son of God. (5) < But > though the texts about him that call him Christ came earlier, even before the incarnation, it is in the incarnation that they are fulfilled. For his Godhead does not lack the name of Christ, and his incarnation and human nature cannot be mentioned without such a name, as the scripture says, “Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven, that is, to bring Christ down. Or who shall descend into the deep, that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.”
31,6 And the apostle, in turn, says, “that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Now “Thou hast sent” means “[sent] from on high”; and yet it cannot be separated from the words of Peter, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved among you by signs and wonders, whom God hath anointed with the Holy Spirit,” and texts of this sort.
32,1 And next, in their desire to confront me with ideas that are in every way contentious, my very beloved brethren also preach, not without daring, that his divine nature has suffered, because of the text which says, “If they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (2) But some of Apollinarius’ disciples, who, I suppose, do not understand this, want to invent something else by putting this forward with the rest. I would be surprised if Apollinarius himself says anything of the kind.
For it is no surprise if the sacred scripture says that the Lord of glory has been crucified. (3) We confess that his human nature too is the Lord of glory. The humanity is not separate from the Godhead, if we understand each of them properly and see the whole in combination as one person and one perfection. (4) For we preach and believe that Christ can suffer [but] not that he (i.e., the human nature) suffered for himself, or that the Sufferer and the Lord are different persons, or that the Godhead suffered. Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered while his Godhead remained unaltered and impassible and yet, while remaining impassible, suffered in the flesh. (5) For if Christ died for us—and truly died—his divine nature did not die. He died in the flesh—as the scripture says, “He was put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit,” and again, “Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh.”
32,6 It is remarkable that we confess that he truly suffered and yet is truly impassible. For because of its changelessness, impassibility and co-essentiality with the Father, his divine nature did not suffer; his flesh suffered, and yet the divine nature was not separate from the human nature in its suffering. (7) For the divine and the human nature were together when Christ suffered in his flesh on the cross yet remained impassible in his divine nature, so that we are no longer justified only in his flesh but also in his Godhead, and our salvation is effected in both ways, in the divine nature and in the flesh.
32,8 For Christ was no mere man for us, but a subsistent divine Word < become > incarnate, and God truly made man for us. Thus our hope is not in man but in the Godhead; and our God is not a God who suffers, but an impassible God. Still, he has not wrought our salvation without suffering, but by dying for us and offering himself to the Father as a sacrifice for our souls, “cleansing us with his blood,” “tearing up the handwriting against us and nailing it to the cross,” as the scripture everywhere teaches us.
33,1 And if the need arises, I shall have a great deal to say in proof of this. Elsewhere, in explaining this view of our sure salvation, I have said that if a garment is stained by a flow of blood, the blood has not stained the body of the wearer, but the stain on the garment is not considered the garment’s, but the wearer’s. (2) In the same way the passion did the divine nature no harm but was suffered in the human nature, and yet not only as the human nature’s; otherwise the scripture, “Cursed be everyone whose hope is in man” might be applicable to the work of salvation. It was also counted as the Godhead’s though the Godhead does not suffer, so that the salvation of the passion might be credited to God’s holy church in the Godhead.
33,3 And again, no pedant need wish to debate anything but the point of the comparison. Not every parable in the scripture is to be taken wholesale. For example, ‘Judah is a lion’s whelp”116 is said because the animal is the strongest and kingliest, not because it is irrational and a predator. (4) So with the garment. It is not put on and taken off; “He put on majesty” once, as the scripture says, but the second time “He put it on, and was girded with strength,” in fulfillment of the most holy apostle’s words, “Christ dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him.”
33,5 But in spite of this my brethren would like to cite “We have the mind of Christ” to prove their point to me. However, going by what they say in explanation of the subject, they lead me to suspect that they may have understood “mind” [in the text] as something different from “Christ.” (6) Yet if they do not think that the Godhead is separate from the humanity but that there is [only] one person, what further thing will this so-called “mind of Christ” be? Is the divine Word all by itself in the human nature, and without a human mind, as they say? Does [the divine] Christ have a “mind” other than the nature of his Godhead? Or is every difficult word used loosely, as proof of what goes on within us?
34,1 In fact every godly person lives, not in accordance with the mind of man, but in accordance with the “mind of Christ.” He is filled by Christ in understanding, thinks righteously like Christ, lives in Christ by the confession [of him], is preserved in well-doing for Christ’s sake. For this is the “mind of Christ,” which is capable of being in us without confining Christ in an enclosure. (2) The Father, the Son and < the > Holy Spirit are everywhere, and Christ is in us spiritually if we become worthy of him, since no space encloses him, his Father and his Holy Spirit. By the power of his Godhead he is in all things, and yet is intermingled with nothing, because of his incommunicable and incomparable essence, and pure and infinite Godhead.
34,3 But when the apostle said, “We have the mind of Christ,” what should we think he means? Did Paul have his own human < mind >? Or did he become filled with Christ’s mind and lose his own, but have the mind of Christ instead of his own? Hardly! Each of his hearers would agree that he had his own mind but that he was filled with Christ’s, who had equipped him with piety, knowledge, and God’s heavenly way of life.
34,4 If, therefore, he was filled with Christ’s mind while having his own, this means that, if we have to say it, Christ himself, the Word, was “mind”—for some have seen fit to call God “mind.” (5) I, though, do not regard our mind as an entity—nor does any son of the church—but as a form of activity which God has bestowed upon us, and which is in us. But I do call Christ an entity, as all the faithful confess that he is; and I confess that he is God and truly the Lord, begotten of the Father, Perfect of Perfect, Light of Light, and God of God. (6) But still, going by the same text, He who is mind in himself—as the holy apostle’s teaching about him is “We have the mind of Christ”—had his own mind. And they to whom Paul testified had their own minds, and in turn were filled with the Mind, Christ, since his grace is capable of coming to fruition in them in this way.
35,1 Hence, on the exact analogy, it will make no difference if we assume this of Christ as well. For surely, even though Christ, who is mind in himself, shared the human mind as he shared flesh and blood and had the human soul, he was not the prisoner of the [human] mind. (2) For if the apostle who had the human mind as his own by nature, and the mind [of Christ] by participation in the gift, benefit and grace, no longer lived in accordance with his own mind but was directed, by a guidance transcending nature, by the mind of Christ, how much more the divine Word! He possessed all perfection in himself and was absolute perfection, absolute God, absolute power, absolute light, and the Completer, or rather, Perfecter, both of the mind and of the whole body, and wrought our salvation in all things by his advent in the flesh.
35,3 We must reject this text, then, as having no significance for this subject, and put aside the denial that all things, apart from sin, are complete in Christ. For the Word truly did all things at his coming, and brought the scriptural prophecies of himself to fulfillment—as the scripture says, “Behold, the Virgin shall conceive,” and so on. He was conceived truly and not in appearance, was truly engendered in a womb. He truly lived in the flesh with flesh, true soul and true mind, and all true human characteristics except for sin. (4) He was truly born of a virgin womb—and truly of a holy virgin, not by the seed of men—with true flesh and soul and, as I said, a true mind. He was truly with his parents on their journey, truly lay in a manger in swaddling clothes, was borne in Mary’s arms, went down to Egypt and was brought back from Egypt and returned to Nazareth, (5) went to the Jordan and was baptized by John and tempted by the devil. He truly chose disciples and preached the kingdom of heaven, just as everything about him is true—his betrayal by Judas and arrest by Jews, being brought to Pontius Pilate and condemned to death by him, his crucifixion and saying, “I thirst, give me to drink.” He truly accepted vinegar with gall, tasted it, and accepted nothing else to drink. He was truly nailed to the cross and cried, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani.” He truly bowed his head and expired. His body was truly removed and taken away, truly wrapped in a shroud by Joseph and laid in a tomb, truly secured with a stone.
35,6 He descended to hades in his Godhead with his soul, bravely and mightily freed the prisoners, truly ascended the third day, the divine Word with his holy soul, with the captives he had rescued; he was truly raised with body, soul and all his human nature. He spent the forty days with his disciples, truly blessed them on the Mount of Olives, and truly ascended into heaven while his disciples watched him truly taken up to the clouds.
He took his seat and truly sits at the Father’s right hand in his body itself and his Godhead, in his perfect human nature itself, (7) in which he has united the whole in one, and as a single spiritual perfection—seated in glory as God, who will truly come to judge the quick and the dead. And nothing has been altered; all perfect things have been perfectly done in him, in their perfection.
36,1 I believe that this will do for these questions, and judge that now is the time to drop the subject. But again, I must also give some indication of the nonsense I have been told < by > those who say such things. I cannot believe that this is what they say, but I still shall not leave out what I have been told. (2) For some have even dared to report that certain of them, in their turn, say that Mary had relations with her husband Joseph after Jesus’ birth. But I would be surprised if even they say this. (3) There are people who do, and I have counted them as other schismatics, and by request have written a letter to certain persons in Arabia against the people who say this. (4) But I have said a great deal about this in treating of them in that letter. With God’s help I shall add it next, in a chapter of its own.
36,5 Others have reported the venerable man as saying that we will live for a thousand years in the first resurrection, doing the same things we do now—observing the Law and the other ordinances, for example, engaging in all the activities of daily life, and taking part in marriage, circumcision and the rest. I simply can’t believe this of him, but some have reported him as having said this, and insisted on it.
36,6 And it is plain that this millennium has been described in John’s Revelation, and that the book has been believed by the majority, and the orthodox. But when the majority and orthodox read the book they know about the spiritual meanings, and take its spiritual statements as true < in the spiritual sense >, and believe that they must be given a profound explanation. For this is not the only profound utterance in Revelation; there are many others besides.
37,1 But for brevity’s sake I merely mention the matter for now, to show the godly that, whenever one wants to overstep the bounds of God’s holy church and the apostles’ faith and teaching < which determine Chris- tians’* > hope, his mind will finally be turned, by the brief, quick mention in passing of the one subject in his momentary, chance thought, (2) to many pieces of nonsense and shaky speculations—unsuitable and strange disputes, and, as the apostle has said, “endless genealogies.” (3) Anyone with sense can see that this is a very simple matter requiring no explanation; this sort of wisdom and subject for argument needs no investigation. (4) If we are raised to be circumcised again, why haven’t we been circumcised before? In this regard, then, the ancients managed < to do > something more important than we, since they realized what perfection is, and were perfected in advance with what will be perfection then.
37,5 What becomes of the words of the apostle, “If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing,” and, “All ye that are justified by the Law are fallen from grace?” What about the Lord’s words, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are equal unto the angels?” (6) On the other hand, “Ye shall sit at the table < of the kingdom > of my Father eating and drinking,” and, “when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of heaven,” with the additional word, “new,” and the phrase, “at the table of the kingdom,” mean something different. (7) I myself agree with this, since I have learned from the sacred scriptures that there is a partaking of immortal food and drink. Of these it is said, “Eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.”
38,1 Apollinarius though, says that we partake of the material pleasures first, in the millennium, without labor and grief, but that after the millennium we partake of the things of which “eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard” was said. (2) But this is contrary to the whole view of scrip- ture. For if “The Law made no one perfect,” but we are commanded to observe the Law after our resurrection, [this is a contradiction]. And if the “holy Law” which was given by the Lord through Moses “was our conductor to Christ” because of its inferiority to the things which are perfected, (3) but < is abolished > because Christ, the Perfect and the Lord, has come and received the holy bride and church from the conductor of its tutees, that is, of the faithful—and if we have recognized “Jesus,” the greater and the “Finisher,” through the conductor’s Law—how can their argument prove to be anything but a sign of shallow thinking and silliness, when they say such things as that (4) a conductor is needed again after the perfection of Christ, so that we may return to the “beginning” “of the rudiments” and the teaching, and of “the laying on of hands,” as the scripture says. But the apostle tells us plainly, as though < he meant > the Old Testament and the Law, that “That which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”
38,5 For he says, “The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the Law.” But if the Old Testament has been changed and the New renewed, who can have the audacity to bring the Old back into use and the relegate the New to obsolescence, thereby pre- paring us to “fall from grace,” and attempting to turn us away from the “profit” of Christ?
38,6 But I have made these distinctions verbally in short compass, in the belief that this, again, is enough. Because of the extensiveness of the work let us go on to the rest, beloved, calling, on God for aid as usual, on the subject of the rest, and in their description and refutation.