If I am OF two natures, can they be real if I am not also IN them?

A quick question:

Is it really controversial to affirm that the One Incarnate Logos is One Hypostasis that continues in two natures if we FIRST say: HE the One Logos incarnate is of the humanity taken from his mother, and of his own divinity?

But because the self-same Incarnate Logos is FROM both, and both are real and complete and are HIS OWN, then it follows that the ONE Incarnate Logs must indwell those natures which he possesses as his own, therefore he must be in two natures, composed as one, BECAUSE he, being composite, is OF two natures. Can we fully affirm the reality of his humanity if we are unwilling to say that the Logos himself is IN that nature which he has made his own? 

Can I be fully human without existing in my own composite nature of body and soul? Do I MYSELF not fully penetrate my own flesh to where I identify all my parts as my own and am in them? Do I not fully identify my soul as my own when I recognize that I am in some sense in my own intellect and in my own will? Therefore, my unity is truly a composite of one out of two, but is it not also true that I must continue in the two composed as one to be whole?

Or would it be totally acceptable to say "Christ is in two natures" if we were to add "which are a composite unity"?

I ask because I am a fan of union and Miaphysis, but don't feel compelled to give up Chalcedon just yet. There is also a great deal of misunderstanding especially on the Syrian Orthodox side in the writings of (St.) Philoxenus of Mabburg in his treatment of Chalcedon.

It's sort of discouraging to realize that NEITHER side has really been fair to the other. Makes a person like me who is trying to convert to Orthodoxy unsure of what to do and who to trust and how to distinguish facts from hagiography, lol. You almost want to just coin toss it (but not really).


  • Aelwyn82,

    It all comes down to what do you mean by the words "nature", "hypostasis", "humanity", "divinity" and "essence". There are specific nuances in each language that is not transmitted or conceptualized universally.

    If nature is understood as "the sum of all characteristics that describe its ontological source" (ie, very similar to essence), then we, as miaphysites easily understand there are two natures and Christ is IN two natures. Since this distinction only really matters in an abstract theoria, we don't like using this language. But it is nonetheless true and valid.

    However, if nature is understood as "the characteristics of a single reality (very similar to hypostasis)" then it really makes no sense to say Christ is IN two natures. Rather both natures continue to exist but there is no longer any need for an abstract distinction and we are left with a miaphysis.

    As you stated, the One Incarnate Logos is a composite hypostasis. But since he is a single reality FROM two natures (where both natures continue to exist without mingling, confusion, or separation), it makes no sense to say one reality is IN two natures. That doesn't mean we are unwilling to say it. We are willing to say "The Logos Himself is IN that nature which he has made his own" if we understand the word nature in the first definition, not the second. We would prefer to say "The Logos Himself took that nature which he made his own" but that's a different issue. The point is we are not denying the reality of his humanity in either definition.

    The third paragraph you wrote illustrates this point. Of course you, as a full human, exist in a composite nature of body and soul and you will always continue as body and soul to be whole. This is the first definition. However, why make a distinction if we are talking about a single reality: you. Every action, every decision, every thought, everything about you is fully understood as coming from you, not your body and/or soul. You need to eat food, not just your body. If we say your body needs to eat, not your soul, we can easily see two distinct realities or subjects. If there are two distinct realities or subjects in you, then you will NOT be fully human.

    So it's not a matter of miaphysites excluding chalcedonian language or vice versa. It is a matter of the nuances of each word and how we are to understand them.

    Yes there is a great deal of misunderstandings among all saints. That is because each person used the word nature differently and refused to accept a plurality of nuances and meanings. As long as any miaphysite sees a Chalcedonian using the word nature meaning distinct properties and refuses to acknowledge that nature can mean the essence or characteristic of each part, then he/she will see it as heresy. The same is true in reverse. Hence why there is so much polemical fighting.

    It's not a matter of tossing a coin. It is a matter of recognizing that at the metatheoretical and sublinguistic, philosophical framework, miaphysitism and dyophysitism are identical and there should be no reason to choose. As of now, most people remain in the morpho-semantic intermediary level, where the axioms of truth concerning Christ's natures are insufficient to achieve provability. (That's a nice way to say christological formulas cannot prove truth in themselves, but only express the truth of Christ's natures when they correspond to the metatheoretical Truth which is Christ Himself). In the end, all language fails to express the Truth of Christ because the Truth of Christ is Christ Himself. It's only when we go pass language and formulas that we understand who and what Christ is: the Truth.

    Sorry for the complex language. Christology is not a simple topic. I know minasoliman will explain it much better than I can.
  • So, I get the gist of what you are saying regarding being in two natures, but perusing over St. John of Damascus, I notice he says the Hypostasis of Christ is obviously composite, one out of two hypostases BUT with the interesting caveat that the humanity of Christ never WAS an hypostasis, but enhypostaton, basically like an incomplete hypostasis considered theoretically apart from the Logos, and only entire with his assumption of it.

    In general, what do you think of the Aristotelian Contributions of Leontius of Palestine and John of Damascus? I do think it is helpful to be able to say that if we are simply speaking of one nature out of two (not hypostasis), that the nature itself will be its own species of its own genus. So to SIMPLY say Christ is one nature out of two, without qualification, is to say that he is in a category wholly apart from the two and therefore unable to mediate on their behalf, like how a mule is neither a donkey or a horse.

    In addition, I may have mentioned this before, I think there is a certain lack of clarity and weakness of language to speak of natures uniting. Natures are united, but not directly to one another, but tangentially, through the Hypostasis of the Logos. If we distinguish the Hypostasis of the Logos from his divine nature, which we can do, we would say that the Hypostasis of the Logos created the enhypostaton (incomplete hypostasis) of the man and united it to his hypostasis (Thus completing it and being a composite union), not specifically to the divine nature, but since his hypostasis is the personal subject of both natures, they concur in him and he is one composite hypostasis, being the Hypostasis of the Logos, the self-same "instantiating" the enhypostaton of the humanity. I only mention this because although "One Incarnate nature of the Logos" is good, I am unclear: Are we saying the one incarnate nature IS the incarnate hypostasis itself? OR are we saying the One Incarnate Nature is the One Physis of the One Hypostasis? In other words, are the non-chalcedonians saying two physis became composite and therefore became the one incarnate physis of the one incarnate Hypostasis? Or is it simply synonymous with hypostasis?
  • What is your purpose in these questions?  This is VERY important in guiding your answers.
  • Personal clarity in reading the various accounts of Chalcedon and its aftermath.
  • Okay, we can discuss the issues of Chalcedon, but I need to know one more thing.  Does it make a difference to your own personal salvation and beliefs?  Regardless, I find that you will still believe Christ is fully human, fully divine, a hypostatic union without mixture or division.  I find that we still hold the same doctrine of salvation.  So it becomes more of a historical lesson to study than an issue of necessity of faith.  And this is what I want to get from you if you want to engage in this discussion.
  • I am only interested in your opinion regarding the rather clarifying terminology of Leontius of Byzantium and John of Damascus especially in their finer distinctions regarding Hypostasis and nature and the use of aristotles categories to refute eutychianism. What do you think of the contributions they made, especially Leontius' pointing out the Apollinarian forgeries?
  • Leontius had nothing on Severus that Severus did not already refute via Nephalius and John the Grammarian. Meanwhile, John Damascene completely misrepresented Severus (and Cyril). Severus also used Aristotelian definitions for his explanations, and I found him to be quite adequate, especially from a soteriological perspective. Chalcedonians concentrated on how the same terminology can be used both in a Christological and Trinidadian way at the same time. Severus did not care to see terminological consistency between Christology and Trinitarianism, but based his terminology on soteriology. From that perspective, one can be fine with anti-Chalcedonian terminology without need of worry of heterodoxy.

    Use of Apollinarian forgeries are useless arguments, since by then one is using well-established and theologically accepted CYRILLIAN terminology. If the phrase originally came from Apollinarius, it has now become Orthodox, and it's pointless to think Apollinarian forgeries (if indeed they are, since all we got were Chalcedonian biases on these works) would hurt the Miaphysite cause or theology. In the same way, one can argue the phrase "in two natures" for its questionable origins as well.
  • Not Trinidadian but Trinitarian :P
  • Have you noticed that Leo got all his Christology from St. John Cassian? In fact it was in his works against Nestorius sent to Leo when Leo was Archdeacon that we hear about "in" two natures.
  • So here's another question pertaining to the previous: If Leo gets all his Christology from St. John Cassian and Dioscorus gets all his Christology from St. Cyril, who would pit the saints against one another and insist on one over the other? Should not both be equally accepted? Your thoughts.
  • edited November 2016
    Not necessarily. While it may be argued that Pope Leo had a huge influence from St. John Cassian, he evolved and became quite picky in his Christological language to reflect something more Antiochene, including the avoidance of using the term "Theotokos":


    That sounds like moving away from Cassian. Now if you could grant that Pope Leo was in fact innocently using the term "in two natures", there was a disconnect, and he ended up inadvertently condemning St. Cyril by being terminologically strict. Check out Fr. John Romanides' article on Pope Leo's alliance with the moderate Nestorian Theodoret of Cyrrhus:


    Finally, St. John Cassian was also criticized for being oblivious of real Christology, and his works against Nestorius were considered very poor even by Roman Catholic scholars, compared to the eloquence of St. Cyril.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=OFQVDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA222&lpg=PA222&dq=john+cassian+christology&source=bl&ots=TFyPZ40T9M&sig=3GzNS9J7nI0rEN33uDYfwFPNC8k&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjomO_wyJzQAhWDz4MKHae_CL8Q6AEIIDAD#v=onepage&q=john cassian christology&f=false

    So technically, when Nestorius would read something like the Tome of Leo, if it was based on Cassian, then Cassian did a poor job refuting Nestorius, because Nestorius ended up praising the Tome in his Bazaar of Herecleides.

    I'm not saying though that "in two natures" is unacceptable. I'm saying based on historical standards, if I were a devout follower of Cyril living in the fifth century, there are many reasons to hold Pope Leo in suspicion and to consider that those who taught him were misinformed in theology AT BEST. That's not pinning saints against one another. It's just recognizing the weaknesses based on the theological milieu of the time.
  • I think all of the above is very well reasoned, but I would ask, given the Post-Chalcedonians were not refuting St. Cyril but trying to describe his concept (Which is nothing less than the Logos making the complete humanity taken from his mother his own and giving it HIS own individuation) with a precise and consistent terminology based on the Cappadocian fathers, why NOT subscribe to it?

    We are followers of the TRUTH, and between two different explications of the same truth it is inevitable that one be clearer and therefore preferred above others. Why not therefore subscribe to that which is clearer? I do not think that St. Cyril's terminology alone and in a vacuum is immune from misinterpretation, regardless of its intended meaning, and the Tritheists prove that. If every Hypostasis has its own physis and the Trinity is three Hypostases it therefore consists of three physis: bam, Tritheist heresy originating from a slavish adherence and application of philosophical terms.

    Now I know of no Tritheist non-Chalcedonians today (although some Ethiopian iconography makes you think twice), and I know they all disclaim the heresies of Eutyches and the Aphthartodocetae, but isn't there something to be said for honoring St. Cyril by clarifying his own intended teachings with more precise terminology? Isn't the Church greater than individual fathers? Your ideas?
  • edited November 2016
    I agree with everything you said, but what you said can only be described as 20/20 hindsight. It's very easy from today (and actually from the Middle Ages we began to realize this, and probably even before the dawn of Islam very few recognized this as well) to say that the Church is greater than individual fathers given the vast expression of the same faith we both share.

    But history is much more complicated than this. Keep in mind the last paragraph of my last post. You have to put yourself within the context of history to empathize for the actions made at the time. There were suspicions, alliances that should not have made, and when the emperor intervenes to enforce a council, bloodshed and persecution. Put yourself in their shoes (anti-Chalcedonians or Chalcedonians), and think: "that council or that person was allied with that heretic, they wrote that phrase, their logic leads to this theological pitfall, and I have many fathers and bishops and people who died for this...they must be wrong and I must defend my tradition at all costs for the sake of the Church."

    That was the mindset of both sides. The fog only began to clear up much later when it was already too late and the damage too deep. So, while you are grappling with these questions, you have to remember people in the earlier centuries did not think the way we are now. You may see Tri-theists later appear but we may see Nestorians, iconoclasts, and Monotheletes. We all had our heretics we fought against. That does not mean anything, and it only shows the increase of the fog more than anything.

    The other issue is the "infalliblization" of councils. Once a council becomes imperial law like Chalcedon for a very long time, there will no admission to any mistakes made by it. So the issue goes both ways. The Church is greater than individual fathers yes...


    ... and individual councils too!

    God bless!

    FYI St. Severus's favorite Church fathers who got him to convert into Christianity were the Cappadocians. He could quote them better than scholars today to advance his theology. So the tired excuse of Chalcedonians claiming to use Cappadocian terminology is biased. Severus also used "Cappadocian" terminology, but only for Trinitarianism. The only difference is he also used "Cappadocian" logic as well, that terminology matters depending on the era and heresies one fights against (think of the ousia/hypostasis controversy), not on an inner metaphysical consistency, which is why he didn't feel compelled to do the same for Christology
  • "isn't there something to be said for honoring St. Cyril by clarifying his own intended teachings with more precise terminology? "
    I personally think St Cyril did a fine job explaining his concepts with his own words. He has voluminous works on Christology and he almost always used miaphysite terminology. In addition, he did clarify his own intended teachings when asked to clarify in later works like Christ is One and Letter to Succensus. 

    The problem with post-Chalcedonian fathers is that they have an almost compulsive desire to categorize everything into one single framework with its own terminology in an exclusiveness mentality. They tend to refuse any plurality of concepts and terminology that explain the same truth. 

    Also, what makes you so sure Chalcedonian terminology is clearer or more precise and consistent? It may be to you. But to me its philosophical and mental aerobatics. It seems a lot easier to say "Christ is one" than saying "Christ is one hypostasis in two physes". Why use so many Greek words to explain Christology in English? Why use so many Greek words in Greek that have multiple philosophical connotations and nuances? It's only clearer to those who prefer explicit terminology. It's like explaining to a child why Benjamin Franklin was important using abstract physics. It's great for children who like abstract physics, but not any clearer at all than a drawing a picture of a kite.  

    "If every Hypostasis has its own physis and the Trinity is three Hypostases it therefore consists of three physis: bam, Tritheist heresy originating from a slavish adherence and application of philosophical terms."
    You example of tritheism doesn't apply. If you want to use physis as an exact synonym of hypostasis, then there is no tritheism. It's only tritheism if after the first clause, you switch the meaning of physis to mean essence. But you can't have it both ways in the same sentence. 

     And if you really want to discuss a slavish adherence and application of philosophical terms, I can easily say If the Logos enhypostized an incomplete hypostasis, then that which the Logos assumed was not like us (since we are never an incomplete human hypostasis) and we are not saved. And if the Logos completed the hypostasization of the incomplete human enhypostaton, then his divinity changed his humanity and bam Apollonariaisim. 

    This is not a function of St Cyril's terminology or Chalcedonian terminology being inadequate or immune from misinterpretation but a manipulation of terminology for polemical points. Such polemical discussion serves no benefit. If you like Chalcedonian language, fine. Why also conclude that miaphysite language is inferior, requires clarification and is prone to heretical misinterpretation any differently from Chalcedonian language? Both terminologies suffer from the same deficiencies of language. 

    "Isn't the Church greater than individual fathers?" 
    The individual fathers who defined the Truth collectively are the Church. You assume that the miaphysite fathers are not the Church if they don't conform to a single set of terminology that was developed after such individual fathers. Maybe the Church is defined as those who adhered to the specific terminology used by the fathers, not expanded on these words. 

    Regardless, this is no longer about christology but ecclessiology. 
  • Do you have any good online resources of miaphysite fathers or defenses of their choice of phrase and such?
  • edited November 2016
    There's not much "online".  But I recommend this site:

    If you click on each of the unofficial meetings, you could actually download the minutes and articles of each of them.  You will receive both sides of the debate this way rather than just one-sided.

    But it also has a lot of good articles and historical documents posted that would be beneficial.

    If you want to read some of the ancient documents, check this website out:

    You can scroll down to "Severus of Antioch", "John of Ephesus" and "Zachariah of Mitylene / Zacharias Rhetor" for some historical and theological Miaphysite information, but not nearly as enough as the untranslated writings of Severus that are important (unless you could read French and German).

    There's a lot of other interesting stuff in this as well, like Theodore of Mopsuestia, Cyril of Alexandria, Nestorius, Leontius of Byzantium (Chalcedonian Origenist), Evagrius Scholasticus (Chalcedonian historian), Philoxenus of Hierapolis (anti-Chalcedonian father), Timothy Aelurus (anti-Chalcedonian father), and other much later Middle Age authors like John of Nikiu (infamous anti-Chalcedonian), Timothy I (Nestorian patriarch), Photius of Constantinople (Chalcedonian father), Severus of Al'Ashmunein (anti-Chalcedonian father), and Yahya ibn Adi (anti-Chalcedonian father) for supplementary reading

    I highly recommend buying the books recommended in the other thread though, especially "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined".
  • What do the non-chalcedonians think of John Philoponos, the Grammarian? I understand nobody likes him, right? Although he had interesting scientific theories.I also heard he deliberately wrote misleading articles and would attribute the to Pope Timothy or St. Peter the Iberian no?
  • Well, he certainly was accused of being a Tri-theist and a had a vocabulary of Christology that drew from Miaphysite sources, but he also was one of the earliest Christian voices who saw no difference between Chalcedonian and anti-Chalcedonian theology and wanted to form a middle ground of Christological language.  Whether or not he is Tri-theist I do not know, but neither Chalcedonians nor anti-Chalcedonians really drew from his works and was largely ignored when it comes to theology.

    I am not sure if he wrote misleading articles or not, but a few scholars who read his theology consider him to be misunderstood.  There's of course more research into his philosophical/scientific writings than theology, so I cannot really give more information than that.
  • edited November 2016
  • edited November 2016
    It's funny because Leontius says this in the beginning of his works:

    "The upshot is that, out of friendship for the truth, one has to

    reject utterly all who say ‘one incarnate nature of God the Word’

    in any sense intended by heretics, but one also has to spit on as

    many as speak of a duality of natures of Christ indivisibly united

    in some impious sense. Again, one has to accept all who speak of

    ‘one incarnate nature of the Word of God’ as being the Word’s

    nature united by hypostasis to another nature, i.e. that of flesh, as

    also all who confess a duality of natures of Christ indivisibly

    united, not with any reference to what’s understood about sub-

    stance, but rather in terms of the hypostasis itself of the natures,

    that is, so as to show the one person out of both of them. Both

    groups we have to accept as being people who openly affirm that

    both confessions are the same."

    A rather eirenic approach it seems.
  • I suppose out of context you can say it sounds eirenic, but did he give those who speak of one nature the benefit of the doubt?

    The ultimate answer: no. He still insisted Chalcedon must be accepted, just as we insisted it be rejected for reasons of not giving the benefit of doubt back.

    St. Severus also believed that the phrase "two natures" is perfectly Orthodox, but because of the mess up of Chalcedon, is now becoming inadequate.
  • This is part of what really bothers me Mina: Yes, history is written by the winners, and there is quite a bit of rhetoric against the Copts and co., even in the desert fathers like Euthymius and Gerasimos of Jordan and such. To say nothing of the apparent slanders of Dioscorus and Timothy II and Severus. But I mean it's SO polarized, are there any third party accounts or anything? Either Timothy II is an incredibly humble monk who sought moderation and peace OR he was a murderous and delusional manipulator who criticized St. Cyril for not holding to a monophysite interpretation of his own works.

    I mean, come on, there are no less partisan works available describing Timothy Aelurus for example? And out of curiosity, are the quotes Leontius provides from Timothy criticizing St. Cyril's language and usage of two natures accurate?
  • edited November 2016
    You should read what Nestorians wrote about St. Cyril and what we wrote about Pope Leo. For you, Justinian is a great man and saint who tried his best to bring about peace. To us, a stubborn Chalcedonian and a murderer of thousands who did not want to submit to Chalcedon. To you, Ephesus 449 is a robber council; to us Chalcedon is the robber council. So yes, when the empire is divided so drastically and there is bloodshed, a process of demonization occurs.

    A good student of history must take into account who's writing the history and finding what went on using the records available as middle of the road as possible. thank God at the very least we have the minutes of Chalcedon and we have both sides of history. So this gives you a good idea how to interpret the truth of the matter and not just follow mere hagiography.

    As far as any scholar is aware, there is no proof that St. Timothy criticized St. Cyril for ANYTHING. I didn't even know Leontius was the one that provided alleged quotes of him. I thought it was a much later Chalcedonian, Anastasius of Sinai. But as far as I have researched, these quotes are fabricated. St. Timothy's writings which survived actually considers St. Cyril the pillar of Orthodoxy and hinges on his every word. So completely different attitude than what Leontius alleged.
  • Can you explain to me in a bit more detail Severus' idea of Composite Prosopon? I think a chalcedonian would say the Prosopon= person, and the person who assumed flesh was the Logos. To say he is a composite person, Prosopon, sounds like the Incarnate word cannot exist without the humanity. Clarify?
  • edited November 2016
    He never said "composite prosopon". He confessed "composite hypostasis", which the fifth "ecumenical" council also confessed.
  • That's what I thought also. Prosopon to the Orientals is too close to Sabellianism. In fact, we find one of the most commonly used polemics against Nestorius and Chalcedon is the use of the word prsosopon. This is because prsosopon in Alexandrian thought almost always means "face" or "mask" or "mode". 
  • edited November 2016
    Fr. John Behr threw me off then:

    "Building upon such analyses, Severus presents his Christology in the following terms : When the simple hypostasis of the Word of God, who is before all things, united manhood to himself, it is not possible that a specific prosopon could be ascribed to either the Godhead of the Word nor to the manhood which is united unchangeably to the Word. Both the Godhead and the manhood are only perceived in their composition, not as having concrete existence apart from each other. It is by the coming together, in a natural or hypostatic union, of the Godhead and manhood, each remaining without change or diminution, that the one composite hypostasis of the incarnate Word receives His prosopon. As Severus writes in ep.15:

    'For those hypostases or natures, being in composition without diminution, and not existing separately and in individual existence, make up one prosopon of the one Lord and Christ and Son, and the one incarnate nature and hypostasis of the Word.'"

    I guess whats hard for me to understand is how the Incarnate Christ is not the Prosopon of the Logos, but united to flesh, but the Prosopon of the Logos-united-to-humanity. The Logos is existing as a single Prosopon in a particular mode of existence. Kind of mind blowing and I can see why if you're not careful people would criticize it. Can you enlighten me more in this regard?

  • I'll have to read Fr. John'a article again, but from what I understand, if you think hypostasis=prosopon, then you'll be confused, and I think that's where Fr. John expressed his confusion. But St. Severus said that a hypostasis is NOT a prosopon. Is the CONCRETE existence upon which an essence has described. In other words, there's a specific rock. The essence is "rockness" and the hypostasis is "this rock". You take something that is abstractly comprehended and you give it existence.

    This was the linguistic method of St. Severus. Humanity and divinity both concretely exist, but after the incarnation, they don't exist apart from each other, and they come together in one concrete existence. Before the incarnation, it was only a simple existence of divinity. After the incarnation, it's a composite existence that is still one unit of existence, not two, composite because humanity still exists, but the existence is a result of the divine existence.

    Prosopon is an external and self-independent existence. To say there is a composite prosopon was Nestorianism, because that means two people were united as one, like marriage. Severus rejected that very clearly:

    "Accordingly the natural union was not of generalities, but of hypostases of which Emmanuel was composed. And do not think that hypostases in all cases have a distinct person assigned to them, so that we should be thought, like the impious Nestorius, to speak of a union of persons, and to run counter to the God-inspired words of the holy Cyril, who in the second letter to the same Nestorius speaks thus: ..."
    Letter II
  • Thanks so much Mina. One final distinction: composite vs. synthetic. I understand these terms to be synonymous, but of course some understand composite the same as conjoined, and synthetic as fake, etc.

    I believe the chalcedonians oppose composite because they see it as the creation of one thing out of two, where the existent reality is the new third thing. They use the term synthetic in the sense of One continuous and existant Hypostasis, the Logos, takes to himself and unites in his Hypostasis the humanity. They term this synthetic because they perceive it as not one out of two, but as one that has added to itself a second in unity.

    Of course I understand this precisely to be what non-chalcedonians mean by composite, because this is the reality they describe. Can you comment on composite vs. synthetic?
  • edited November 2016
    To be quite honest with you, some Chalcedonians are splitting hairs. The Greek word for "composite" is "synthetos". They take the original Greek word and use the word "synthetic" in English, which I'm not sure is any better than the word "composite". But the TRUTH is, both Chalcedonians and St. Severus used the SAME EXACT WORD: synthetos.

    Now, I grant this to some hair-splitters. This is a "synthetic" union. But they maintain that never did they confess "synthetic nature", that it's only correct to say "synthetic hypostasis". But let's deconstruct their argument against the term "synthetic nature".

    They claim that if you say "synthetic nature", that means you create a hybrid nature that is neither consubstantial with man or consubstantial with God. Let us ignore the fact that this is a red herring. Let's examine the fact that Chalcedonians will only allow "synthetic hypostasis". Does that mean that the hypostasis of the Word Incarnate no longer becomes the hypostasis of the Word before incarnation? Think about that for a second. If "synthetic" means a change in that property of what is describing that it no longer is identified with what it was before or what is added to it, then the "synthetic hypostasis" no longer is Word nor a real existent human being.

    Using the twisted logic of hair-splitting Chalcedonians that fish for any difference between themselves and us to justify their condemnation of us only puts their logic against themselves, and that's regardless of how you define "hypostasis". If "hypostasis" is mere concrete existence, then its existence is no longer the same as that as before. Then he no longer God or "made man" but a hybrid pseudo-uncreated-created existence that is neither uncreated nor created. But if "hypostasis" means "prosopon", then it no longer possesses the same identity of the Word, nor have a real identity of Jesus, but a new hybrid "Word-Jesus".

    If you can tell that this makes no sense...I say exactly. Not only is the argument a red herring, but it is an argumentum ad absurdum in and of itself. It's plainly a stupid argument that only those who are desperate make against anti-Chalcedonians.

    But we are confident that for St. Severus, "synthetic nature" is the exact same thing as the Chalcedonians' "synthetic hypostasis". The only difference is not theology, but whose terminology is more faithful to St. Cyril. That's it! It comes down to, "St. Cyril really meant this..." and you ended up having two sides interpreting/reinterpreting the writings of St. Cyril. But in the end, both St. Severus and Chalcedonians confess the same thing that they were conveying through their relative terminologies: Christ after the incarnation is a composite reality, from which there are two natures to be separated in thought alone, and in which there is a double consubstantiality, without any loss of integrity in both natures in this one composite reality. This was the intention of St. Cyril, whose intentions were carried on later by the likes of Leontius and Severus, even though they both did not see eye to eye on terminology and interpretation of Chalcedon.
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