Reference: CPG 5240.17
Incipit: Τὰ συνήθη καὶ νῦν ἀναγνωσόμεθα
Date: Late 428
Greek Text: SC 434:254-294.
English Translation: FCC: A. Claflin and G. Thompson; FC 127:58-73.

Nestorius was installed as patriarch/bishop of Constantinople on April 10, 428. Within months he had begun a crack-down on all teachings and people who did not follow completely his ecclesiastical party-line. By autumn, the issue of Christ’s two natures had become a central point of contention. The frequent travel and efficient communication channels between the eastern capital and Alexandria ensured that the clergy and monks of Egypt quickly heard about the controversy. So when Cyril wrote his annual Festal Letter in the late fall of 428, he took the opportunity to warn and teach on the subject of Christology, devoting almost half his letter to it (2.4-3.10). In that section he specifically calls Mary the mother of God (μήτηρ…θεοῦ) and says that “the virgin giving birth may be said to become then mother not simply of flesh and blood… but rather mother of the Lord” (2.8).

The Greek text is adapted from that of W.H. Burns, Cyrille d’Alexandrie. Lettres Festales, Tome 3: Lettres 12-17. Sources chrétiennes 434 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1998), pp. 254-294. TheEnglish translation has been adapted by A. Claflin and G. Thompson from that of P. Amidon, Cyril of Alexandria: Festal Letters 13-30. Fathers of the Church 127 (Catholic University of America Press, 2013), pp. 58-73.

ΕΟΡΤΑΣΤΙΚΗ ΕΠΤΑΚΑΙΔΕΚΑΤΗ Festal Letter 17
1.1 Τὰ συνήθη καὶ νῦν ἀναγνωσόμεθα, καὶ λόγοις ἡμᾶς ἐκκλησιαστικοῖς ἑστιάσομεν,πρόσκλησιν ὥσπερ τινὰ χρῆμα ποιούμενοι τοῦ δεῖν ἑλέσθαι, καὶ ὀρθῇ διαπρέπειν πίστει καὶτὴν εὐκλεᾶ καὶ ἀμώμητον ἀγαπῆσαι ζωήν. 1.1 We will now read the customary letter, and feast for ourselves upon the church’s message, showing partiality, as it were, to choose the wealth that is truly necessary, to take a clear stand on the correct faith, and to cherish the life that is renowned and faultless.
1.2 Οἱ τὴν εὐφυᾶ καὶ ἀπόλεκτον καὶ τοῖς θείοιςσυμβαίνουσαν νόμοις ἐπησκηκότες ζωήν, καὶπρός γε τοῦτο διάττειν οὐκ ἀγεννῶςπροθυμούμενοι, ὄκνου μὲν ἀμείνους εἶεν ἄν,οἶμαι, παντός, ἀεί τε τὸ ἐμποδὼν ῥιπτοῦντες ὡςἀπωτάτω, τῶν ἐν χερσὶ σπουδασμάτων τὸ πέραςτῆς προυργιαιτάτης φροντίδος ἀξιοῦν ἐγνώκασι.φαίην δ’ ἂν ὅτι δεήσει πρὸς τοῦτο καὶ ὡςπλείστης ὅσης τῆς νουθεσίας αὐτοῖς, καὶ τοῦκαταθήγειν εἰδότος εἰς ἀκμαιοτέραν σπουδήν,καθάπερ ἀμέλει καὶ τοῖς παλαίειν εἰωθόσι τῶννέων τῆς τοῦ παιδοτρίβου φωνῆς, διανιστάντοςἀεὶ πρὸς τὸ τληπαθὲς καὶ τῆς τοῦ νικᾷνἐφίεσθαι δόξης μονονουχὶ καὶ ἐπαναγκάζοντος.ἀφῖγμαι δὴ οὖν εἰς μέσον καὶ αὐτὸς ἐγώ, τοῖςτῶν ἀγαθῶν αὐχημάτων ἐρασταῖς τῇ τοῦψάλλοντος λύρᾳ συγκεκραγώς· “Ἀνδριζέσθωκαὶ κραταιούσθω ἡ καρδία ὑμῶν, πάντες οἱἐλπίζοντες ἐπὶ κύριον.” ὡς γὰρ αὐτός πουπάλιν φησὶν ὁ θεσπέσιος Δαβίδ· “Καιρὸς τοῦποιῆσαι τῷ κυρίῳ.” 1.2 It seems to me that those who have practiced leading noble and exceptional lives, and who have generously and eagerly taken it for themselves, have shown no hesitation. They have known how to devote themselves very carefully to completing whatever they have undertaken, always putting every obstacle as far from themselves as possible. And, I would say, that to do so, they both needed to concentrate their fullest possible attention on it, and they needed someone to stoke their fervor to the highest level, like the voice of a coach does for the youthful wrestler—constantly urging him to endure the hardship and all but compelling him to crave the glory of winning. I likewise have now come forward and joined with the psalmists’ lyre to shout to those who love the things in which one may well take pride, “Let your heart take courage and be strengthened, all you who hope in the Lord” [Ps. 31:24]. For as the divinely inspired David himself says again, “It is time to act for the Lord” [Ps. 119:126].
1.3 Δεῖν δὲ δὴ οἶμαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς τοὺς τῆς παρακλήσεως ποιεῖσθαι λόγους, ὀλίγα πεφροντικότας τοῦ μὴ ἐπαξίως δύνασθαί τι τῶν προκειμένων εἰπεῖν, ἤγουν διά τοι τὸ τῆς τινων εὐγλωττίας ἰέναι κατόπιν, ἐννοηκότας δὲ μᾶλλον ἐκεῖνο σοφῶς, ὡς πολὺ δή τι τὸ ἄμεινον, οἷς ἄν τις ἔχοι καὶ δύναιτο τοὺς γνωρίμους ἑστιᾷν, καὶ εἰσοικίζεσθαι τοὺς ἐπιτηδείους, ἢ τὸν ἀπηνῆ καὶ κακόδοξον ἀνθελέσθαι βίον, αἰδοῖ τοῦ μὴ δοκεῖν τῆς ἑτέρων ἡττῆσθαι φιλοτιμίας. Now, I think that I should speak to you with words of encouragement, without being concerned about being unable to do justice to the topic, or at any rate falling short of the eloquence of others. For the sensible thought has occurred to me that it is far better for someone to entertain his acquaintances with what he has available, and to make his friends at home, than to choose a harsh life of poor reputation because he fears seeming inferior to the distinction given to others.
1.4 Θαρρεῖν δέ, οἶμαι, καὶ ἑτέρως τὸν ἀγῶνα περίεστιν ἐκεῖνο διεσκεμμένῳ. διαμεμνήσομαιγὰρ τοῦ πάντων κρατοῦντος θεοῦ, τῷπαναρίστῳ λέγοντος Μωσεῖ· “Τίς ἔδωκεστόμα ἀνθρώπῳ; καὶ τίς ἐποίησε δύσκωφονκαὶ κωφόν; βλέποντα καὶ τυφλόν; οὐκ ἐγὼκύριος ὁ θεός; καὶ νῦν πορεύου, καὶ ἐγὼἀνοίξω τὸ στόμα σου.” σκιὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ τύποιτὸ ἀρχαῖον ἐκεῖνο χρησμῴδημα, καὶ εἰλελάληται δι’ ἀγγέλων μεσολαβοῦντοςΜωσέως. ἀμοιρήσειε δ’ ἂν οὔ τί που τῶν ὑπὲραἴσθησιν ἐννοιῶν, εἰ λεπτοῖς αὐτό τιςκαταθρήσειεν ὀφθαλμοῖς, καὶ τῶν τοῦγράμματος κατασκιασμάτων ἀλογεῖν εἰθισμένοςτὸν ἐν βάθει τε καὶ ἐσωτάτῳ κατασκέπτοιτονοῦν. 1.4 I also think that there is another way of facing the struggle courageously, by reflecting on what follows. I will recall how the all-powerful God speaks to that best of men, Moses: “Who has given a mouth to human beings? And who has made the hard of hearing and the deaf? The seeing and the blind? Is it not I, the Lord God? Now go, and I will open your mouth” [Ex. 4:11-12]. Shadow and figures [constitute] that ancient revelation, even if it was spoken through angels by Moses’ mediation. But it cannot lack any of the ideas that are beyond perception, if one considers it with shrewd vision and, having accustomed oneself to disregard the shadows of the letter, contemplates the deep, innermost meaning.
1.5 Προστέταχε τοίνυν ὁ νόμοςκαταγεραίρεσθαι δεῖν τὸν τῶν ὅλων θεὸν κατὰπολλοὺς μὲν τρόπους· προσετίθει δὲ ὅτι καὶτρυγόνας αὐτῷ καθιεροῦν ἀναγκαῖον. καί τοι,μυρίαι μὲν ὅσαι κατὰ τὸν κόσμον αἱ τῶνὀρνίθων ἀγέλαι, ὧν εἰσιν οἱ μὲν τὴν ἄνω πτῆσιννόμῳ φύσεως ἐκτετιμηκότες, οἱ δὲ πρὸς τοῦτοκαὶ ὑγροί· μέγεθος δὲ καὶ σχῆμα καὶ κάλλοςοὐκ ἐν αὐτοῖς. γράφει δὲ ἄλλον ἄλλως ἡ φύσις,καὶ ταῖς τοῦ πεποιηκότος τέχναις εἰς εὐανθῆχρωμάτων ἰδέαν τὸ γένος αὐτοῖς κατευρύνεται.εἶτα τί δή ποτε, φαίη τις ἄν, παρεὶς ὁ νόμοςἐκεῖνα καὶ τὰ πάντων ἄριστα παραδραμών,μονονουχὶ ταῖς ἀνωτάτω τιμαῖς τὴν τρυγόναστεφανοῖ, ποιεῖσθαι προστεταχὼς ἱερὸν αὐτὴντῷ θεῷ ἀνάθημα; τί τὸ αἴνιγμα, καὶ τί τὸ σοφὸντοῦ νόμου; ἀποδέχεται τὸν λόγον, ὡς λόγουπατήρ, ὁ παντὸς ἐπέκεινα νοῦ, φημὶ δὴθεός· καὶ τὰ τῶν στρουθίων εὐστομεῖν εἰωθόταποιεῖται δεκτὰ καὶ προτίθησι τῶν ἄλλων, καίτοιπολὺ τὸ ἐπίχαρι καταπλουτούντων ἔσθ’ὅτε· διδάσκων ἡμᾶς αἰνιγματωδῶς, ὅτι τῶνἄλλων ἀμείνους καὶ ἱερώτατοι καὶ παρ’ ἡμῖναὐτοῖς οἱ λόγου χρείαν πεπιστευμένοι, καὶνουθετεῖν οἷοί τε τῶν καλλίστων εἰσηγημάτωντοὺς ἐραστάς. φέρε τοίνυν τὸν δεσποτικὸνἀμπελῶνα τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς θείας γραφῆςκατακηλήσωμεν λόγοις, οὐκ ἀτρανῆ καὶἄσημον ἁπλῶς ἱέντες ἠχήν, ἀλλ’ ἑορτάζειν ὑμᾶςἀναπείθοντες τοῖς καθήκουσι λογισμοῖς, ὡς ἂνεὖ ἔχοι τὸ χρῆμα, δρῷτό τε ὀρθῶς καὶ ἀνεπιπλήκτως, κατά γε τὸ τῷ νομοθέτῃ δοκοῦν. 1.5 The law, then, prescribed that the God of all was to be honored in many ways, and it added that it was necessary to consecrate turtle-doves to him. And yet, with all the countless flocks of birds there are in the world, some of which are the glory of lofty flight according to the law of nature, while others are also aquatic, nevertheless they lack size, shapeliness and beauty. Nature paints each one differently, and by the maker’s arts amplifies their race by the rich beauty of their colors. Why ever, one might then ask, did the law, passing over these and skipping the ones that are the best of all, crown the turtle-dove with all but the highest honors, having ordered it to be made a sacred offering to God? What is the mystery? What is the wisdom of the law? God, who is beyond all mind, accepts the word as Father of the Word. And those sparrows who customarily sing sweetly he makes acceptable, and puts them before the others who nonetheless sometimes abound in charm. Thus he teaches us in symbols that those who are most sacred and better than others (among ourselves as well) are those entrusted with the use of speech, and who are able to admonish those who love the noblest principles. Come, then, let us charm the Lord’s vineyard with the words from Holy Scripture, not simply speaking an unclear and insignificant sound, but persuading you rather to celebrate the feast with the proper arguments, that things may be as they should, and be done correctly and faultlessly, as the Legislator wants.
2.1 Ἔφη τοίνυν ἡμῖν ὁ θεσπέσιος Λουκᾶς ἐν ἰδίαις συγγραφαῖς· “Ἦλθε δὲ ἡ ἡμέρα τῶνἀζύμων, ἐν ᾗ ἔδει θύεσθαι τὸ πάσχα. καὶἀπέστειλε Πέτρον καὶ Ἰωάννηνεἰπών· πορευθέντες ἑτοιμάσατε ἡμῖν τὸπάσχα, ἵνα φάγωμεν. οἱ δὲ εἶπον αὐτῷ· ποῦθέλεις ἑτοιμάσωμεν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἰδού,εἰσελθόντων ὑμῶν εἰς τὴν πόλιν, ὑπαντήσειὑμᾶς ἄνθρωπος κεράμιον ὕδατος βαστάζων.ἀκολουθήσατε αὐτῷ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν εἰς ἣνεἰσπορεύεται, καὶ ἐρεῖτε τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ τῆςοἰκίας· λέγει σοι ὁ διδάσκαλος· ποῦ ἐστι τὸκατάλυμα, ὅπου τὸ πάσχα μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶνμου φάγω; κἀκεῖνος ὑμῖν δείξει ἀνάγαιονμέγα ἐστρωμένον· ἐκεῖ ἑτοιμάσατε.” ἀκούειςὅπως τοῖς τῆς θεότητος ὀφθαλμοῖς ὅποι ποτὲἄρα καταλύειν ἄξιον, εὖ μάλα διερευνώμενος,ἀνάγαιον ἔφη καταδειχθήσεσθαι τοῖς ἁγίοιςἀποστόλοις μέγα τε καὶ ἐστρωμένον, καὶποδηγὸν εἰς τοῦτο ποιεῖσθαι προστέταχε τὸν τῷκεράμῳ κατηχθισμένον, εἰσκομίζοντά τε τὸὕδωρ τῷ τῆς ἑστίας δεσπότῃ; ἴθι δὴ οὖν ὡς δι’ἰσχνῶν ἐννοιῶν ἐπὶ τὰ ἔτι μείζω καὶ νοητά. 2.1 The divinely inspired Luke says therefore in his own writings, “There came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover was to be sacrificed. He sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat it.’ They asked him, ‘Where do you want us to prepare it?’ He replied, ‘When you have entered the city, someone carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the owner of the house, “The teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’” He will show you an upper room, large and furnished. Make preparations there” [Luke 22:7-12]. Do you hear that, in searching carefully with the eyes of divinity for a place where it would be worthy to lodge, he said that an upper room, large and furnished, would be shown to the holy apostles, and commanded them to follow the man carrying a jar of water to the master of the house? Proceed, then, with careful thought, as it were, to things even greater and intelligible.
2.2 Καὶ εἴπερ τῳ σκοπὸς αὐτὸν ἔχειν εἰς νοῦνἐνοικισθέντα, καὶ ἐνηυλισμένον καὶσυνεορτάζοντα τὸν Χριστόν, καταπλουτοῦντιτῷ τέως τὴν δι’ ὕδατος κάθαρσιν, ἀπονιζέτωτὴν ἁμαρτίαν τῆς ἑαυτοῦ ψυχῆς καὶ τῶνἀρχαίων αἰνιγμάτων ἀποτριβέσθω τοὺςμολυσμούς. οὕτω γάρ που θεὸς καὶ διὰ φωνῆςἩσαΐου φησί· “Λούσασθε, καθαροὶ γένεσθε,ἀφέλετε τὰς πονηρίας ἀπὸ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμῶνἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν μου. παύσασθε ἀπὸτῶν πονηριῶν ὑμῶν, μάθετε καλὸν ποιεῖν,ἐκζητήσατε κρίσιν, ῥύσασθε ἀδικούμενον,κρίνατε ὀρφανῷ, καὶ δικαιώσατε χήραν, καὶδεῦτε καὶ διελεγχθῶμεν, λέγει κύριος. καὶ ἐὰνὦσιν αἱ ἁμαρτίαι ὑμῶν ὡς φοινικοῦν, ὡςχιόνα λευκανῶ· ἐὰν δὲ ὦσιν ὡς κόκκινον, ὡςἔριον λευκανῶ.” χρῆναι γὰρ ἔγωγέ φημιπροεκθλίβεσθαι μὲν ὥσπερ τῶν ἡμετέρωνδιανοιῶν τὸν ἐκ φαυλότητος ῥύπον,εἰσοικίζεσθαι δὲ οὕτω λοιπὸν τὴν εὐκλεᾶ καὶἀξιόληπτον ἀρετήν, ἧς ἂν γένοιτο τὸἰσοστατοῦν οὐδὲν παρά γε τοῖς ἀρτίοις τὴνφρένα, καὶ ἀποκρίνειν εἰδόσι τοῦ πεφυκότοςἀδικεῖν τὸ μὴ οὕτως ἔχον. 2.2 And if someone intends to have Christ himself dwelling in his mind, lodging there and keeping festival with him when he is already richly endowed with the purification that is by water, let him cleanse the sin from his own soul, and let him rub away the defilement of the ancient symbols. For thus God says through Isaiah’s voice, “Wash yourselves, be clean, remove your iniquities from your souls before my eyes. Cease from your iniquities, learn to do good, seek judgment, rescue those wronged, judge for the orphan, obtain justice for the widow, and come, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as purple, I will make them white as snow; and though they be as scarlet, I will make them white as wool” [Is. 1:16-18]. I say that the stain coming from wickedness must be crushed out of existence from our thoughts, in order that virtue may then settle there, which is renowned and precious and unequaled in worth to those who are of sound mind and who are able to distinguish between what is unjust by nature and what is not.
2.3 ὥσπερ γάρ, οἶμαι, πάντη τε καὶ πάντως, ἀσυνύπαρκτα μὲν ἀλλήλοις ἐν ἑνὶ κατὰ ταὐτὸντὰ τῇ φύσει μαχόμενα· “Τίς γὰρ κοινωνίαφωτὶ πρὸς σκότος;” κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον· εἰδὲ ἀναιροῖτο τὸ ἕν, θατέρῳ δὴ πάντως ἀνήσειτὴν εἰσδρομήν· κατὰ τὸν αὐτόν, οἶμαι, τρόπον, φαυλότης τε καὶ ἀρετὴ μαχομένην ἔχουσαι τὴνἐν ἔργοις ποιότητα, πλείστῃ τε ὅσῃ διαφορᾷ διεσχοινισμέναι, πῶς ἂν εἰς ἕνα χωρήσειαν νοῦν; εἶτα τὸν εἰσδεδεγμένον οὐκ ἀκαλλῆ τε καὶ ἀλλοπρόσαλλον ἀποφήνειαν ἄν, καὶ οἷον ἀμφοῖν ἐπισκάζοντα τοῖν ποδοῖν; Ἀλλ’ ὅ γε προφήτης Ἠλίας τοῖς οὕτω ζῇν εἰωθόσιν ἐπιτιμᾷ λέγων· “Ἕως πότε χωλανεῖτε ἐπ’ ἀμφοτέραις ταῖς ἰγνύαις;” ἐξείργει δὲ καὶ ὁ νόμος τῶν τοιούτων ἠθῶν τε ἡμᾶς καὶ τρόπων, τὸ ἀσυμφυὲς καὶ ἀσύμβατον παραιτεῖσθαι προστάττων αἰνιγματωδῶς. ἔφη γὰρ οὕτως· “Οὐκ ἀροτριάσεις ἐν μόσχῳ καὶ ὄνῳ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό.” καὶ πάλιν· “Οὐκ ἐνδύσῃ ἔρια καὶ λίνον ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ.” ἄθρει γὰρ ὅπως ἡμᾶς πανταχῆ τὸ οἱονεί πως ἀσυμμιγὲς καὶ οὐκ ἐν κόσμῳ συνεζευγμένον, ὡς ἀκαλλὲς καὶ ἀνόσιον δεῖν ἔφη μισεῖν, καὶ τῶν ἀνομοίων τὴν συνδρομὴν οὐκ οἶδε τιμᾷν. δεῖ δὴ οὖν ἄρα τοὺς ἄριστά γε βιοῦν ᾑρημένους, προαποτρίβεσθαι μέν, ὡς ἔφην, τοὺς ἐκ φαυλότητος ῥύπους, ἀπαλλάττεσθαι δὲ μολυσμῶν. οὕτως ἔχοντι καὶ λελαμπρυσμένῳ πρέποι ἂν ἤδη καὶ τὸ ὑψοῦ δωμάτιον ἔχειν, καὶ ὥσπερ ἐν ὑπερῴῳ τοῖς ἐξ ἀρετῶν αὐχήμασι συνεορτάζειν τε καὶ συναυλίζεσθαι τῷ Χριστῷ, ὃς δι’ ἡμᾶς ἐπτώχευσε πλούσιος ὤν, ἵν’ ἡμεῖς τῇ αὐτοῦ πτωχείᾳ πλουτήσωμεν. 2.3 For it is completely and utterly impossible for things contrary by nature to coexist together in the same being— as it is written, “For what fellowship does light have with darkness?” [2 Cor. 6:14]—and if the one is removed it will surely let in the other. In the same way, I think, wickedness and virtue, being opposed to each other in their works, are as far separated as possible, and so cannot occupy one and the same mind. And will they not render those who welcome them unlovely and inconsistent, and as though hobbling on both feet? But the prophet Elijah rebukes those accustomed to live this way when he says, “How long will you limp on both legs?” [1 Kings 18:21]. The law also bars us from such customs and ways, bidding us in symbols to refrain from what is incompatible and irreconcilable. It says, “You shall not plow with a calf and a donkey together” [Deut 22:10]. And also, “You shall not wear wool and linen in the same garment” [Deut. 22:11]. You can see how it says everywhere to hate as unlovely and unholy what cannot be combined or joined gracefully, and it cannot honor the combination of what is dissimilar. Those who have chosen to lead the best life must then, as I said, scrub away in advance the stains of vice and rid themselves of defilement. It will be fitting for one who is dazzling in this way to have now the upper room, to hold festival as in an upper story with the glories that come from virtue, and to dwell with Christ, who for our sake became poor though he was rich, that we might be enriched by his poverty.
2.4 Αὐτὸ γὰρ ὑπάρχων τὸ εἶδος, ὁ χαρακτὴρ τοῦθεοῦ καὶ πατρός, ὁ υἱὸς τὸ ἀπαύγασμα τῆςδόξης, καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ κατὰ φύσιν γεγεννημένος,καὶ τῇ κατὰ πᾶν ὁτιοῦν ἰσότητι διαπρέπων,συνυφεστηκώς τε καὶ συναΐδιος ἰσοσθενὴς καὶἰσουργός, ἰσοκλεὴς καὶ ὁμόθρονος, “Οὐχἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ,” κατὰ τὸγεγραμμένον. καθίκετο γὰρ ἐν τοῖς καθ’ ἡμᾶς,καὶ ὑπέστη κένωσιν ἐθελούσιον· καί, ᾗ φησιν ὁσοφὸς Ἰωάννης, “Σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσενἐν ἡμῖν,” καὶ ὁ πρὸ παντὸς αἰῶνος καὶ χρόνουτὴν ἐκ θεοῦ τοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἀπότεξιν ἔχων, τὴνἐπέκεινα νοῦ καὶ λόγου παντός, ἐπειδὴ γέγονεσὰρξ καὶ ἀνθρωπίνην ἀνέτλη γέννησινοἰκονομικῶς, καὶ ὁ χρόνου παντὸς ποιητὴς καὶτεχνίτης, ὡς εἰς ἀρχὰς τοῦ εἶναιπαρενηνεγμένος, ὅτε γέγονε καθ’ ἡμᾶς, ἤκουσετοῦ πατρὸς λέγοντος· “Ἐγὼ σήμερονγεγέννηκά σε.” 2.4 For the Son, being the very image, the impress of God the Father, the reflection of his glory, begotten from him by nature, distinguished by equality in every respect, coexistent and coeternal, equal in power and activity, equal in renown and sharing the same throne, “did not count equality with God something to be grasped” [Philip. 2:6], as it is written. For he came into our condition and underwent a voluntary emptying. As John says in his wisdom, “he became flesh and dwelt among us” [John 1.14]. And the one who before every age and time possesses that begetting which is from God the Father, the begetting that is beyond all mind and understanding—when he, the maker and artisan of all time, became flesh and endured human birth according to the plan of salvation—it was as though he had been brought to a beginning of existence when he became as we are, and heard the Father saying, “This day I have begotten you” [Ps. 2:7].
2.5 Ἆρ’ οὖν διὰ τοῦτο νομιοῦμεν αὐτὸν τὴν τοῦπροϋπάρχειν τῶν ὅλων ἀπεμπολῆσαι δόξαν;οὐδαμῶς. περινοήσωμεν δὲ μᾶλλον ἐκεῖνοσοφῶς, ὅτι καὶ ἐν σαρκὶ γεγονότα τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸνοὐκ ἔξω τίθησιν ὁ πατὴρ τῶν ἐνόντων αὐτῷφυσικῶν ἀξιωμάτων. ὁμολογεῖ δὲ πάλιν αὐτόν,κἂν εἰ ἐν τῷ καθ’ ἡμᾶς ὁρῷτο σχήματι. οὐ γὰρδιὰ τοῦτο γέγονεν ἄνθρωπος ὁ μονογενὴς τοῦθεοῦ λόγος, ἵνα τοῦ εἶναι θεὸς ἀπολισθήσειεν, ἀλλ’ ἵνα δὴ μᾶλλον, καὶ ἐν προσλήψει σαρκός, τῆς ἰδίας ὑπεροχῆς ἀνασώζοι τὴν δόξαν. οὕτω γὰρ ἡμεῖς τῇ αὐτοῦ πτωχείᾳ πεπλουτήκαμεν, ἀνακομισθείσης ἐν αὐτῷ τῆς πτωχείᾳ πεπλουτήκαμεν, ἀνακομισθείσης ἐν αὐτῷ τῆς ἀνθρωπείας φύσεως εἰς ἀξίωμα τὸ θεοπρεπές, καὶ θάκοις ἐνιδρυμένης τοῖς ἁπάντων ἐπέκεινα. καίτοι γὰρ ἀεὶ συνεδρεύων ὡς λόγος τῷ ἰδίῳ πατρί, καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τε καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ κατὰ φύσιν ὑπάρχων, πάλιν ἤκουε καὶ μετὰ σαρκὸς λέγοντος· “Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου, ἕως ἂν θῶ τοῦς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου.” 2.5 Are we then to think of him as having alienated the glory of existing before everything? By no means! Let us have the wisdom to reflect that the Father does not place his own Son outside the natural dignities inherent in him, even when he has come into the flesh. He still acknowledges him, even if he appears in our form. For the only-begotten Word of God did not become a human being in order to cease being God, but rather in order that, even in assuming flesh, he might preserve the glory of his own supremacy. For thus we have been enriched by his poverty, human nature having been brought in him to a dignity befitting the divine and seated in a place beyond all others. For even though he is always seated with his own Father as Word, and exists from him and in him by nature, he heard him saying once again, even when he was with the flesh, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a footstool for your feet” [Ps. 110:1].
2.6 Οὕτω καὶ προσκυνεῖσθαί φαμεν αὐτὸν πρός τε ἡμῶν αὐτῶν καὶ τῶν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων, οὐκ εἰςἀνθρωπότητα ψιλὴν ἀσυνέτως καταβιβάζοντες,ἑπόμενοι δὲ τῇ θείᾳ γραφῇ καὶ φύσει τῇ καθ’ἡμᾶς τὸν ἐκ θεοῦ φύντα λόγον συνδοῦντες εἰςἕνωσιν, καὶ εἰς ἕν τι τὸ ἐξ ἀμφοῖν ἀναπλέκοντες,ἵνα μὴ ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἁπλῶς θεοφορήσας νοοῖτο,θεὸς δὲ μᾶλλον ἐνηνθρωπηκώς, καὶ καθ’ ἕνωσινοἰκονομικήν, τὴν πρός γέ φημι τὴν ἰδίαν σάρκα,καὶ τὴν ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας παρθένου γέννησιν ὑποδύς.νοηθείη γὰρ ἂν ὧδέ τε καὶ οὐχ ἑτέρως Χριστὸςεἷς καὶ κύριος εἷς, οὐκ εἰς ἄνθρωπον ἀνὰ μέροςκαὶ θεὸν ἐπιτεμνόμενος μετὰ τὴν ἄρρητονσυμπλοκήν, ἀλλ’ εἰ καὶ νοοῖτο τῶν εἰς ἑνότητασυνδεδραμηκότων ἡ φύσις διάφορος, εἰς υἱὸνἕνα παραδεχθεὶς καὶ νοούμενος. 2.6 Therefore we say, too, that he is worshiped both by ourselves and by the holy angels. Not that we lower him to a bare humanity—that would be senseless!—but we follow Holy Scripture both in binding our nature into unity with the Word sprung from God, and interweaving into the one that which is from both. We do this so that we regard him not simply as a human being who has borne God, but rather as God who has become a human being, and who, in the union with his own flesh according to the plan of salvation, has taken on the birth from the holy virgin. The sole Christ and sole Lord may be regarded in no other way than this, not as being divided into part human being and part God after the indescribable interweaving. Even if the nature of those which have come together into a union is regarded as different, we receive and regard him as being only one Son.
2.7 Ὥσπερ γὰρ ταῖς τῶν λίθων πολυτελεστάταιςαὐγαί τινες ἐναστράπτουσι τὰ βάθηκαταλευκαίνουσαι, καὶ εἰ βούλοιτό τιςἀποδιελεῖν τῷ λόγῳ τὴν σύγκρασιν, ἕτερον μέντι καταθρήσειεν αὐτὴν καθ’ ἑαυτὴν τὴν λίθον,ἕτερον δὲ αὖ τὸ ἐν αὐτῇ νηχόμενον φῶς, πλὴνἓν ἐξ ἀμφοῖν νοεῖται τὸ ὑποκείμενον,καταφθερεῖ δὲ πάντως ἡ τομὴ τὸν ἐπ’ αὐτῇλόγον, διιστᾶσα πρὸς τὸ ἀκαλλὲς τὰ πρὸςἕνωσιν συνενηνεγμένα· οὕτω φαμὲν καὶ ἐπὶΧριστοῦ· συνδεδραμήκασι γὰρ ἀπορρήτως, καὶὡς οὐκ ἂν ἔχοι τις ἢ νοεῖν ἢ φράσαι, πρὸς ἕν τιλοιπὸν τὸ νοούμενον, θεότης τε ὁμοῦ καὶἀνθρωπότης· ἵν’ ἐν ταὐτῷ νοοῖτο καὶ ἄνθρωποςκαθ’ ἡμᾶς καὶ θεὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμᾶς· οὕτω τεμονογενὴς καὶ πρωτότοκος. 2.7 It is the same as with the most precious stones, where some beams of light elucidate the depths when they flash upon them. If one wished to separate the mixture by thought, one would consider the stone in itself as one thing, and the light swimming within as another, even though the subject which is from the two is regarded as one. But the act of cutting will destroy the principle governing the stone, separating the things gathered into union, resulting in ugliness. And thus we say it is with Christ. Divinity and humanity have come together inexpressibly, in a way of which no one can conceive or speak, into what is therefore regarded as one, so that he is regarded at once as both a human being as we are, and God who is above us. Thus he is both only-begotten and firstborn.
2.8 Καὶ γοῦν ἐξεδόθη μὲν λαγόνων τῶν παρθενικῶν, καὶ ἦν ἔτι βρέφος, ἐφρόνει δὲ τὰθεοῦ. καὶ μαρτυρήσει λέγων ὁ μακάριοςἩσαΐας περὶ αὐτοῦ· “Διότι πρὶν ἢ γνῶναι τὸαιδίον ἀγαθὸν ἢ κακόν, ἀπειθεῖ πονηρίᾳ τοῦἐκλέξασθαι τὸ ἀγαθόν.” ὅσον μὲν γὰρ ἧκεν εἴςγε τὸν τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος λόγον, οὔπω καιρὸς ἐδίδου τῷ βρέφει τὸ διακρίνειν δύνασθαι τῶν πραγμάτων τὰς φύσεις. ἀλλ’ ἦν, ὡς ἔφην, καὶ ἐν ἀνθρωπότητι θεός, ἐφιεὶς μὲν φύσει τῇ καθ’ ἡμᾶς τὸ διὰ τῶν ἰδίων ἔρχεσθαι νόμων, ἀνασώζων δὲ μετὰ τούτου τῆς θεότητος τὸ εἰλικρινές. νοηθείη γὰρ ἂν ὧδέ τε καὶ οὐχ ἑτέρως, καὶ φύσει θεὸς τὸ τεχθέν, καὶ ἡ τεκοῦσα παρθένος μήτηρ ἂν λέγοιτο γενέσθαι λοιπόν, οὐ σαρκὸς καὶ αἵματος ἁπλῶς, καθάπερ ἀμέλει καὶ ἐφ’ ἡμῶν αἱ καθ’ ἡμᾶς μητέρες, κυρίου δὲ μᾶλλον καὶ θεοῦ τὴν καθ’ ἡμᾶς ὁμοίωσιν ὑποδεδυκότος. ὡς γὰρ ὁ θεσπέσιος γράφει Παῦλος· “Ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ, γενόμενον ἐκ γυναικός, γενόμενον ὑπὸ νόμον.” οὐ γάρ πώ φαμεν ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ γεννηθέντι διὰ γυναικὸς τὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καθικέσθαι λόγον, καθάπερ ἀμέλει καὶ ἐν προφήταις ἦν, ψήφῳ δὲ μᾶλλον ὀρθῇ στεφανώσομεν τὴν Ἰωάννου φωνὴν σοφῶς τε καὶ ἀτρεκῶς εἰρηκότος· “Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο, καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν.” 2.8 He was indeed brought forth from the body of the virgin, and while still a baby his thoughts were those of God. The blessed Isaiah will testify about him in the words: “For before the child knows good or evil, he refuses iniquity to choose the good.” [Is. 7:16] For as far as the law of humanity is concerned, the time had not yet allowed the baby to be able to distinguish the natures of things. He was also, however, as I said, God in humanity, letting the nature which is like ours proceed by its own laws, while preserving with this the purity of the divinity. It is thus, and not otherwise, both that the one born may be regarded as God by nature, and that the virgin giving birth may be said to become then mother not simply of flesh and blood (as are of course the mothers we have in our condition), but rather of the Lord and God who has put on our likeness. For as the divinely inspired Paul writes, “God sent his Son, born from a woman, born under the law” [Gal. 4:4]. For we do not at all say that the Word of God descended in a human being born through a woman, as he surely was in the prophets too. We will rather give our justifiable approval to John’s words, spoken wisely and precisely: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” [John 1:14].
2.9 Γεγενῆσθαι δὲ σάρκα τὸν λόγον ὑποληψόμεθα σαρκός τε καὶ αἵματοςκεκοινωνηκότα, καὶ τοῦτο παραπλησίως τοῖςοὖσιν ἐν αἵματι καὶ σαρκί, τουτέστιν ἡμῖν. καὶ εἰγέγονε καθ’ ἡμᾶς, πῶς ἦν ἀκόλουθον τὴνἀνθρωπίνην αὐτὸν ἀτιμάσαι γέννησιν;ἐσκήνωσε γὰρ ἐν ἡμῖν αἵματι καὶ σαρκί,θεοπρεπῶς τε καὶ ἀρρήτως, τὴν ἰδίαν φύσιν οἱονεί πως ἀνακιρνάς. αὕτη γὰρ ἡ τοῦ λόγου θεότης,εἰ δὴ νοοῖτο μόνη καὶ καθ’ ἑαυτήν, ἀποχρῶσανἔχει τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ πατρὸς γέννησιν. καθικομένηγε μὴν οἰκονομικῶς εἰς ἕνωσιν τὴν ὡς πρὸςἡμᾶς, καὶ ἀναπλεχθεῖσα σαρκὶ ἤγουν τῇ καθ’ἡμᾶς φύσει, τελείως ἐχούσῃ κατὰ τὸν ἴδιονλόγον, τότε δή, τότε δίχα μώμου παντός, καὶἀδικουμένη παντελῶς οὐδὲν εἴς γε τὸ εἶναιτοῦθ’ ὅπερ ἐστί, καὶ τὴν καθ’ ἡμᾶς γέννησινπαραδέξεται· οὐχ ὡς εἰς ἀρχὰς τοῦ εἶναικαλουμένη ποθὲν (ἦν γὰρ ἀεί, καὶ ἔστι, καὶἔσται, καὶ χρόνου παντὸς πρεσβυτέραν ἔχει τὴνὕπαρξιν), ἀλλὰ τοῖς τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος νόμοιςδιὰ τῶν ἰδίων ἔρχεσθαι λόγων ἐφιεῖσα σοφῶς.ὥσπερ γὰρ ἰδία γέγονε τοῦ ἐκ θεοῦ πατρὸςὄντος λόγου ἡ ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας παρθένου τιμία τεκαὶ πάναγνος σάρξ, οὕτω καὶ πάντα πρέποντατῇ σαρκὶ δίχα μόνης ἁμαρτίας. πρέποι δ’ ἂνμάλιστα σαρκί, καὶ πρό γε τῶν ἄλλων, ἡ διὰμητρὸς ἀπότεξις. οὐκοῦν θεότης μὲν αὐτὴ καθ’ἑαυτήν, εἰ ἔξω νοοῖτο σαρκός, ἀμήτωρ ἔσταικαὶ μάλα ὀρθῶς. 2.9 It is our view that the Word became flesh and shared our human flesh and blood. And if he became as we are, how could it be that he disdained becoming human? For he dwelt among us, having mixed his own nature with blood and flesh in a divine and indescribable manner. For the begetting from God the Father suffices for this divinity of the Word, when the divinity is considered alone and by itself. Having descended according to the plan of salvation into union with us, he was interwoven with flesh—that is, with our nature which is complete according to its own law. He therefore indeed will have been begotten as we were, entirely unimpaired and without the slightest disgrace. It is not that his begetting calls into existence his being (for it always was, and is, and will be, and has an existence older than all time). Rather it wisely allows the laws of humanity to proceed according to their own principles. For just as the precious, perfectly pure flesh from the holy virgin has become the Word’s own, belonging to him who is from God the Father, so also he has everything that pertains to the flesh, apart from sin alone. And what would suit the flesh most of all is birth from a mother. The divinity itself, therefore, in itself, if considered apart from the flesh, will rightly have no mother.
3.1 Παρενηνεγμένου γε μὴν εἰς μέσον ἡμῖν μυστηρίου τοῦ κατὰ Χριστόν, ἕτερος ἂν γένοιτοκαὶ λίαν ἰσχνὸς ὁ ἐπὶ τῷδε λόγος. οἰησόμεθαγάρ, ὀρθὰ φρονεῖν ᾑρημένοι καὶ ἀπλανεστάτηνἰόντες τρίβον, οὐ θεότητα γυμνήν,ἐνηνθρωπηκότα δὲτάτην ἰόντες τρίβον, οὐθεότητα γυμνήν, ἐνηνθρωπηκότα δὲ μᾶλλον καὶ ἑνωθέντα σαρκὶ τὸν ἐκ θεοῦ πατρὸς λόγον ἀποτεκεῖν τὴν παρθένον, παραληφθεῖσαν εἰς ὑπουργίαν τοῦ γεννῆσαι σαρκικῶς τὸν ἑνωθέντα σαρκί. θεὸς οὖν ἄρα λοιπὸν ὁ Ἐμμανουήλ, μήτηρ δ’ ἂν λέγοιτο θεοῦ καὶ ἡ τεκοῦσα σαρκικῶς τὸν ἐν σαρκὶ δι’ ἡμᾶς πεφηνότα θεόν. καὶ τὸ βρέφος ἦν οὐ καθ’ ἡμᾶς, τουτέστιν οὐκ ἐν ψιλῇ καὶ μόνῃ τῇ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ὁμοιότητι, ἀλλ’ ἐν ἀνθρωπότητι μὲν διὰ τὴν σάρκα, θεῖον δὲ ὡς ὑπὲρ ἡμᾶς καὶ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ. καὶ γοῦν ὁ θεσπέσιος Παῦλος, “Ὁ πρῶτος,” φησίν, “ἄνθρωπος ἐκ γῆς, χοϊκός· ὁ δεύτερος ἄνθρωπος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ.” καὶ μὴν ὁ μακάριος προφήτης Ἡσαΐας, ὡς ἐν ὁράσει προφητικῇ τὴν τοῦ μυστηρίου δύναμιν ἐπαιδεύετο. αὐτὸν γάρ φησι τεθεᾶσθαι τὸν τῶν ὅλων κύριον καὶ θεὸν ἐν τῇ ἁγίᾳ παρθένῳ, μονονουχὶ καὶ ποιούμενον τοῦ θείου βρέφους τὴν καταβολήν. καὶ ἐσχημάτισται μὲν ἀνθρωπίνως ὁ τῆς ὁράσεως τρόπος, νοεῖταί γε μὴν ἑτεροίως καὶ θεοπρεπῶς. τὸ γάρ τοι θεῖον οὐ καθ’ ἡμᾶς. 3.1 With the mystery concerning Christ having been brought to our attention, there is another extremely subtle way in which to speak of it. Since we have decided to think rightly and are taking a path quite free from error, it will be our opinion that it was not bare divinity, but rather the Word from God the Father who became a human being and was united to flesh, that the virgin bore when she rendered service by conceiving in the flesh him who was united to flesh. Immanuel is then undoubtedly God, and she who bore in the flesh the God who has appeared in the flesh for us may be spoken of as mother of God. And the baby was not as we are—that is, not in a pure and simple likeness to us. Rather, he was in humanity because of the flesh but was divine because he was above us and from heaven. And, in fact, the divinely inspired Paul says, “The first human being is from the earth, of dust; the second human being is from heaven” [1 Cor. 15:47]. And the blessed prophet Isaiah indeed taught the meaning of the mystery in a kind of prophetic vision. For he says he saw the Lord God of all himself in the holy virgin all but bringing about the conception of the divine infant. And while the manner of the vision has been represented in human fashion, it is yet understood otherwise, as befits God. For the divine is not as we are.
3.2 Ἔφη δὲ οὕτως· “Καὶ εἶπε κύριος πρός με· λάβε σεαυτῷ τόμον καινοῦ μεγάλου, καὶγράψον εἰς αὐτὸν γραφίδι ἀνθρώπου, τοῦὀξέως προνομὴν ποιῆσαι σκύλων· πάρεστιἀνθρώπου, τοῦ ὀξέως προνομὴν ποιῆσαισκύλων· πάρεστι γάρ, καὶ μάρτυράς μοιποίησον πιστοὺς ἀνθρώπους, τόν τε Οὐρίανκαὶ τὸν Ζαχαρίαν υἱὸν Βαραχίου. καὶπροσῆλθε πρὸς τὴν προφῆτιν, καὶ ἐν γαστρὶἔλαβε καὶ ἔτεκεν υἱόν, καὶ εἶπε κύριόςμοι· κάλεσον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, ταχέωςσκύλευσον, ὀξέως προνόμευσον. διότι πρὶν ἢγνῶναι τὸ παιδίον καλεῖν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα,λήψεται δύναμιν Δαμασκοῦ καὶ τὰ σκύλαΣαμαρείας ἔναντι βασιλέως Ἀσσυρίων.”καινὸς μὲν οὖν καὶ μέγας ὁ τόμος, ὅτι καὶ αὐτὸκαινὸν τὸ Χριστοῦ μυστήριον καὶὁμολογουμένως μέγα, κατὰ τὴν τοῦ μακαρίουΠαύλου φωνήν. πλὴν ἀνθρώπου γραφίδιγράφεται, δεῖται μὲν γὰρ ὁ περὶ τῆς θεότητοςλόγος, εἰ γυμνὴ νοοῖτο πάλιν καὶ καθ’ ἑαυτὴνκαὶ ἔξω σαρκός, ἥκιστα μὲν τοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν ὄντοςλόγου φράζειν οὐκ εἰδότος τὰ ὑπὲρ νοῦν, οὔτεμὴν οἵου τε διατρανοῦν τὰ παντὸς ἐπέκειναλόγου. “Δόξα γὰρ κυρίου κρύπτει λόγον,”κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον. ἐπειδὴ δὲ γέγονενἄνθρωπος ὁ μονογενὴς τοῦ θεοῦ λόγος καὶἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, τῇ καθ’ ἡμᾶς γραφίδιγράφεται τὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ. πλὴν ἐκεῖνο δὴ πάλιν,φέρε δή, φέρε καταθρήσωμεν. 3.2 He spoke thus: “And the Lord said to me, ‘Take for yourself a volume of a large new [book], and write in it, with the stylus of a human being, about making a rapid plunder of spoils—for it is at hand—and take as witnesses for me faithful men, Uriah and Zechariah, son of Berechiah.’ And he went to the prophetess, and she conceived, and bore a son, and the Lord said to me, ‘Call his name Despoil Quickly, Plunder Rapidly.’ For before the child knows how to call his father or mother, he shall take the power of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria before the king of Assyria” [Is. 8:1-4]. The volume is, then, new and large, for the mystery of Christ is itself new and admittedly large, as the blessed Paul says. It is, though, written with the stylus of a human being, for the account of the divinity, if the latter is considered again by itself and outside the flesh, has no need whatever of our reason, which cannot express what is above the mind, nor indeed is able to articulate what is beyond all reason. As it is written, “The glory of the Lord conceals speech” [Prov. 25:2]. But since the only-begotten Word of God has become a human being and dwelt among us, what concerns him is written with a stylus like ours. But come now, let us examine that too.
3.3 Προστεταχὼς γὰρ τῷ προφήτῃ θεὸς λαβεῖν τε τὸν τόμον καὶ γράψαι γραφίδι τῇ καθ’ ἡμᾶςτὰ ἐν αὐτῷ, προσῆλθε πρὸς καὶ γράψαι γραφίδιτῇ καθ’ ἡμᾶς τὰ ἐν αὐτῷ, προσῆλθε πρὸς τὴνπροφῆτιν. καὶ τί τὸ προσῆλθεν ἐστίν; ἀντὶ τοῦ τὸν συνόδου νόμον ἐσχηματίζετο. προφῆτιν δὲ τὴν ἁγίαν ἀποκαλεῖ παρθένον, προεφήτευσε γὰρ κυοφοροῦσα Χριστόν. εἶτά φησι· “Καὶ ἐν γαστρὶ ἔλαβε καὶ ἔτεκεν υἱόν,” ᾧ καὶ ὁ νόμος τίθησι, οὐχ ὡς ἀνθρώπῳ πάλιν ἰδικόν, ἀλλ’ ἐκ τῶν κατορθωμάτων ὡς θεῷ. “Κάλεσον γάρ,” φησί, “τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, ταχέως σκύλευσον, ὀξέως προνόμευσον.” γεννηθὲν γὰρ εὐθὺς τὸ βρέφος τὸ θεῖον καὶ ὑπερκόσμιον, ἦν μὲν ἐν σπαργάνοις, ἔτι καὶ ἐν κόλπῳ μητρὸς διὰ τὸ ἀνθρώπινον· ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἦν πρὸς τούτῳ καὶ φύσει θεός, ἀπόρρητος δύναμις προενόμευσεν εὐθὺς τὰ σκεύη τοῦ σατανᾶ. ἀφίκοντο γὰρ ἐξ ἀνατολῆς οἱ μάγοι, ζητοῦντες αὐτὸ καὶ λέγοντες· “Ποῦ ἔστιν ὁ τεχθεὶς βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἤλθομεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτό.” 3.3 God, when he had commanded the prophet to take the volume and write what is in it with a stylus like ours, went in to the prophetess. And why does it say ‘went in’? Because it represents the law of intercourse. It also calls the holy virgin a prophetess, because she prophesied when she was pregnant with Christ. Then it says, “And she conceived and bore a son” [Is. 8:3], to whom the law also gave a name, not once more a proper name, as to a human being, but one derived from his achievements, as to God. For it says, “Call his name ‘Despoil Quickly, Plunder Rapidly’” [Is. 8:3]. For the divine, celestial infant, just born, was in swaddling clothes, and still in his mother’s bosom on account of his humanity. However, since in addition he was by nature God, an indescribable power immediately plundered Satan’s tools. For the magi arrived from the east, seeking him and saying, “Where is the king of the Jews who has been born? For we have seen his star in the east and come to worship him” [Matt. 2:2].
3.4 Οὐκοῦν θεία μὲν ἡ γέννησις, εἰ καὶ ἀνθρωπίνως ἐπράττετο διὰ τὸ ἀνθρώπινον· θεὸςδὲ κατὰ φύσιν ὁ Ἐμμανουήλ, καὶ αὐτοῦ τὰσπάργανα, συνεχομένου μὲν ἀνθρωπίνως,ἀναπιμπλάντος δὲ θεϊκῶς τῆς ἰδίας ὑπεροχῆςοὐρανὸν καὶ γῆν καὶ τὰ κατωτέρω, καὶ πάντασυνέχοντος τὰ δι’ αὐτοῦ γεγονότα πρὸς τὸ εὖεἶναι καὶ συνεστάναι. κἂν ἀκούσῃς ὅτιπροέκοπτεν ἡλικίᾳ καὶ σοφίᾳ καὶ χάριτι, μὴσοφὸν ἐξ ἐπιδόσεως γενέσθαι νομίσῃς τὸν τοῦθεοῦ λόγον. διαμέμνησο δὲ μᾶλλον γεγραφότοςὡδί που τοῦ θεσπεσίου Παύλου· “Χριστός,θεοῦ δύναμις καὶ θεοῦ σοφία.” μηδ’ αὖ ἐκεῖνοφληνάφως τολμήσῃς εἰπεῖν, ὅτι τὸ “προκόπτεινἐν ἡλικίᾳ τε καὶ σοφίᾳ καὶ χάριτι,” τῷἀνθρώπῳ προσάψομεν. 3.4 His birth is therefore divine, even if it was done in a human way because of the humanity. But Immanuel is God by nature, and the swaddling clothes are his who is held fast in a human way, while filling heaven and earth and what is beneath with his own authority in a divine way. He holds fast his whole creation, that it may be and exist as it should. And even if you hear that he advanced in age and wisdom and grace, do not think that the Word of God became wise incrementally. Recall instead what the divinely inspired Paul wrote: “Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God” [1 Cor. 1:24]. And do not be so stupidly arrogant as to say that we attribute, “advancing in age and wisdom and grace” [Luke 2:52], to the human being.
3.5 Τοῦτο γάρ, οἶμαι, ἐστὶν ἕτερον οὐδὲν ἢ διελεῖν εἰς δύο τὸν ἕνα Χριστόν· ἀλλ’ ὥσπερἔφην ἀρτίως, προαιώνιος ὢν ὁ υἱός, ἐν ἐσχάτοιςτοῦ αἰῶνος καιροῖς εἰς υἱὸν ὡρίσθαι λέγεταιθεοῦ, τῆς ἰδίας σαρκὸς τὴν γέννησινοἰκειούμενος οἰκονομικῶς. οὕτω καὶ ὑπάρχωνσοφία τοῦ γεγεννηκότος, προκόπτειν ἐν σοφίᾳλέγεται, καίτοι παντέλειος ὢν ὡς θεός, τὰ τῆςἀνθρωπότητος ἴδια διὰ τὴν εἰς ἄκρον ἕνωσιν εἰςἑαυτὸν εἰκότως ἀναλαβών. 3.5 That, in my opinion, is nothing other than dividing in two the one Christ. But as I just said, the Son, who is before the ages, is said to have been designated Son of God in the last times of the age, in view of his own taking on of flesh in accord with God’s plan of salvation. Thus even though he is the wisdom of the one who begot him, he is said to advance in wisdom, utterly perfect as God though he is, having understandably taken up into himself what is peculiar to humanity through a perfect union.
3.6 Ἀλλ’ ἴσως ἐρεῖ τις· εἶτα πῶς κεχώρηκεν ἡἀνθρώπου φύσις τῆς ἀπορρήτου θεότητος τὴνὑπεροχήν; καίτοι θεοῦ φύσιν ἀκούω λέγοντοςἐναργῶς τῷ μακαρίῳ Μωϋσῇ, ὅτι “Οὐδεὶςὄψεται τὸ πρόσωπόν μου καὶ ζήσεται.” εἰ δὲἄτλητος ἡ θέα καὶ δύσοιστον ἔχει τὴνπροσβολήν, ποῖον ἂνἄτλητος ἡ θέα καὶδύσοιστον ἔχει τὴν προσβολήν, ποῖον ἂν ἔχοιλόγον ἡ σύνοδος; ἐγὼ δὲ πρὸς τοῦτο φαίην ἄν,ὅτι καὶ πέρα λόγου τὸ θαῦμα καὶ ταῖς καθ’ ἡμᾶς ἐννοίαις οὐχ ἁλώσιμος τῆς εἰς ἅπαν οἰκονομίας ὁ τρόπος. πλὴν σοφῶς ἐπράττετο, θεοῦ τὴν ἰδίαν φύσιν καὶ τοῖς ἄγαν ἀσθενεστάτοις οἰστὴν ἀποφαίνοντος. 3.6 But someone might ask, “How then could the nature of a human being contain the supremacy of the indescribable divinity? And yet I hear the one who is God by nature saying clearly to the blessed Moses, ‘No one will see my face and live’ [Ex. 33:20]. If the sight is unbearable and its brilliance insufferable, how can the union possibly be explained?” My reply would be that the miracle is beyond explanation, and the manner of the dispensation, which is forever, is not to be grasped by our kind of thought. It was nonetheless done wisely, with God rendering his own nature bearable even for the weakest.
3.7 Καὶ γοῦν τὸ σεπτὸν δὴ τοῦτο καὶ ἀξιάγαστον ἀληθῶς μυστήριον ὁ τῶν ὅλων θεὸςφανερὸν ἐποίει τῷ πανσόφῳ Μωϋσῇ,παραδείγματι χρώμενος σαφεῖ καὶ ἐναργεστάτῳ.τίς δ’ ἂν νοοῖτο καὶ ὁ τοῦδε τρόπος, αὐτὸδιδάξει τὸ γράμμα τὸ ἱερόν. ἔχει δὲ οὕτω· “ΚαὶΜωϋσῆς ἦν ποιμαίνων τὰ πρόβατα Ἰοθὸρ τοῦγαμβροῦ αὐτοῦ, τοῦ ἱερέως Μαδιάμ· καὶἤγαγε τὰ πρόβατα ὑπὸ τὴν ἔρημον, καὶ ἦλθενεἰς τὸ ὄρος Χωρήβ. ὤφθη δὲ αὐτῷ ἄγγελοςκυρίου ἐν πυρὶ φλογὸς ἐκ τοῦ βάτου. καὶ ὁρᾷὅτι ὁ βάτος καίεται πυρί· ὁ δὲ βάτος οὐκατεκαίετο. εἶπε δὲ Μωϋσῆς· παρελθὼνὄψομαι τὸ ὅραμα τὸ μέγα τοῦτο, ὅτι οὐκατακαίεται ὁ βάτος. ὡς δ’ εἶδε κύριος ὅτιπροσάγει ἰδεῖν, ἐκάλεσεν αὐτὸν κύριος ἐκ τοῦβάτου λέγων· Μωϋσῆ, Μωϋσῆ. ὁ δὲ εἶπε· τίἐστι; καὶ εἶπε· μὴ ἐγγίσῃς ὧδε· λῦσαι τὸὑπόδημα ἐκ τῶν ποδῶν σου, ὁ γὰρ τόπος ἐν ᾧσὺ ἔστηκας γῆ ἁγία ἐστί. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἐγώεἰμι ὁ θεὸς τοῦ πατρός σου, θεὸς Ἀβραάμ, καὶθεὸς Ἰσαάκ, καὶ θεὸς Ἰακώβ.” ἀπρόσιτον μὲνοὖν ἀποφαίνει τὴν προσβολήν, καὶ αὐτῷ δὴτότε τῷ μακαρίῳ Μωϋσῇ κατασημαίνων, ὅτιταῖς τοῦ νόμου παιδαγωγίαις καὶ ταῖς διὰ τύπωνσκιαῖς εἰ ἀποχρῷτό τις, οὐκ ἂν ἐγγὺς γένοιτοτοῦ Χριστοῦ. τετελείωκε γὰρ ὁ νόμος οὐδέν. 3.7 In fact, the God of all made this grand and truly marvelous mystery known to the all-wise Moses, using a clear and completely obvious illustration. How the manner of this may be regarded is something that the sacred text itself will teach. It runs as follows: “And Moses was tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock toward the desert and came to Mount Horeb. An angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire that flamed out of the bush. And he saw that the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not being consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will go up and see this great sight, why the bush is not being consumed.’ But when the Lord saw that he drew near to see, the Lord called to him out of the bush, saying, ‘Moses, Moses!’ He said, ‘What is it?’ He said, ‘Do not come near here! Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place in which you are standing is holy ground.’ And he said to him, ‘l am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’” [Ex. 3:1-6]. He therefore declares that the brilliance is unapproachable, signifying then to the blessed Moses himself that if one is satisfied with the education given by the law and with the shadows represented by types, one will not approach Christ. For the law brings nothing to perfection.
3.8 Πλὴν ἐκεῖνο καταθαυμάζειν ἄξιον· πῦρ ἦν ὁρώμενον ἐν τῷ βάτῳ, καὶ φωνὴν ἠφίειλέγον· “Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ τοῦ πατρόςσου.” οὐκοῦν αὐτὸς ἦν ὁ κύριος ἐν εἴδει πυρός, καταδραττόμενος μὲν τοῦ φυτοῦ καὶ ὅλον ἐξ ὅλου διέπων, καταπιμπρὰς δὲ οὐδαμῶς. καίτοι πῶς οὐ πέρα λόγου παντὸς τὸ δρώμενον ἦν, τὴν οὕτω λεπτὴν καὶ εὐκατάπρηστον ὕλην τῆς τοῦ πυρὸς ἀλογῆσαι προσβολῆς; μᾶλλον δὲ πῶς οὐκ ἂν ἀγάσαιτό τις τὴν τῆς φλογὸς ἡμερότητα, φειδομένην ὁρῶν τοῦ βάτου; ἀλλ’ ἦν ὁ τύπος, ὡς ἔφην, εἰς παράδειγμα σαφὲς μυστηρίου τοῦ κατὰ Χριστόν. ὥσπερ γὰρ γέγονεν οἰστὸν τῷ θάμνῳ τὸ πῦρ, οὕτω καὶ τῇ καθ’ ἡμᾶς φύσει τῆς θεότητος ἡ ὑπεροχή. 3.8 But it is also worth wondering at this: fire was seen in the bush, and it sent forth a voice, saying, “I am the God of Abraham your father” [Ex. 3:6]. It was the Lord himself therefore in the form of fire, seizing the bush and occupying it completely without burning it at all. Yet what possible explanation could the event have, when matter so fine and easily combustible pays no attention to the fire’s passion? But even more wondrous is the gentleness of the flame, when one sees how it spares the bush. It was, though, a figure, as I said, meant as a clear example of the mystery connected with Christ. For just as the fire became bearable to the shrub, so too does the superiority of the divinity to our nature.
3.9 Οὐκοῦν ὅσον μὲν ἧκεν εἰς νοῦν τε καὶ λόγους τοὺς ἐν ἡμῖν, ἀσύμβατα μὲν ἀλλήλοιςεἶεν ἂν εἰκότως εἰς ἑνότηταἡμῖν, ἀσύμβατα μὲνἀλλήλοις εἶεν ἂν εἰκότως εἰς ἑνότητα φυσικὴνθεότης καὶ ἀνθρωπότης. συνέβη δ’ οὖν ὅμως,ὡς ἔν γε Χριστῷ, καὶ εἷς ἐξ ἀμφοῖν ὁἘμμανουήλ. ὁ δὲ δὴ τιθεὶς ἀνὰ μέρος, καὶἄνθρωπον ἡμῖν ἀνιστὰς καὶ υἱὸν ἕτερον ἰδικῶς,παρὰ τὸν ἐκ θεοῦ κατὰ φύσιν, οὐ συνίησινἀκριβῶς τοῦ μυστηρίου τὸ βάθος. οὐ γὰρἀνθρώπῳ λελατρεύκαμεν, καὶ προσκυνεῖνἐγνώκαμεν μυσταγωγούντων ἁγίων, θεῷ δὲμᾶλλον, ὡς ἔφην, ἐνηνθρωπηκότι, καὶ ὡς ἓννοουμένῳ μετὰ τοῦ ἰδίου σώματος τῷ ἐκ πατρὸςὄντι λόγῳ. 3.9 Therefore, as far as we can understand with our mind and reason, divinity and humanity are, understandably, incompatible with each other when it comes to natural unity. However, it has indeed taken place in Christ, and Immanuel is one from both. But he who separates, presenting us both with a human being and with another son apart, besides him who is from God by nature, does not understand accurately the depth of the mystery. For it is not a human being whom we worship and whom we learned to adore from the saints who initiated us, but God become a human being and regarded as one with his own body—the Word who is from the Father.
3.10 Ταύτῃτοι καὶ βασιλέα φαμὲν ἀναδεδεῖχθαιπάλιν ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς τὸν Ἐμμανουήλ. ὁ μὲν γὰρ θεὸςκαὶ πατὴρ διὰ φωνῆς προφητῶν ἐποιεῖτο τὴνἀνάρρησιν, αὐτοῦ τε πέρι καὶ τῶν ἁγίωνἀποστόλων εἰπών· “Ἰδοὺ δὴ βασιλεὺς δίκαιοςβασιλεύσει, καὶ ἄρχοντες μετὰ κρίσεωςἄρξουσιν.” αὐτός γε μὴν ἔφη διὰ φωνῆς τοῦΔαβίδ· “Ἐγὼ δὲ κατεστάθην βασιλεὺς ὑπ’αὐτοῦ, ἐπὶ Σιὼν ὄρος τὸ ἅγιον αὐτοῦ,διαγγέλλων τὸ πρόσταγμα κυρίου.” καὶ μὴνκαὶ τῆς ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ βασιλείας τὸν ζυγὸνὑποτρέχειν ἐκέλευε, προστιθεὶςἐναργῶς· “Δεῦτε πρός με, πάντες οἱκοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι, κἀγὼἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς. ἄρατε τὸν ζυγόν μου ἐφ’ὑμᾶς.” ἀλλ’ εἴπερ ἐστὶ βασιλεύς, αὐτὸ δὴ τοῦτοψιλὸς καὶ καθ’ ἡμᾶς νοούμενος ἄνθρωπος, καὶοὐχὶ δὴ μᾶλλον τῇ καθ’ ἡμᾶς φύσεισυμβεβηκὼς εἰς ἕνωσιν ὁ μονογενὴς τοῦ θεοῦλόγος, οὐδέν τι μᾶλλον τὰ καθ’ ἡμᾶς ἐνἀμείνοσι τῶν ἀρχαιοτέρων, καίτοικεκαινουργῆσθαι λεγόμενα πρὸς τὸ ἀσυγκρίτωςὑπερκείμενον, διά τοι τὸ βασιλεῦσαι Χριστὸνἐφ’ ἡμᾶς. 3.10 Therefore we say further that Immanuel has been shown to us as king. For God the Father made the proclamation through the prophets’ voice, saying about him and about the holy apostles, “Behold, a just king will reign, and rulers will rule with judgment” [Is. 32:1]. He himself said indeed through David’s voice, “I have been appointed king by him on Zion, his holy mountain, proclaiming the commandment of the Lord” [Ps. 2:6-7]. He in fact issued the order to submit to the yoke of his reign, adding clearly, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you” [Matt. 11:28-29]. But if he is king and regarded as just a simple human being as we are, rather than as the only-begotten Word of God come into union with a nature like ours, then our condition is in no way better than the old, even though it is said to have been renewed into something incomparably superior precisely through Christ’s reign over us.
4.1 Ἔστι δὲ ἐφ’ ἡμῖν τοιόνδε τι πάλιν. βεβασίλευκε μὲν γὰρ τῶν ἐξ Ἰσραὴλ ὁ τῶνὅλων θεὸς διὰ προφητῶν ἁγίων. προκέχριστο δὲεἰς τοῦτο καὶ πρό γε τῶν ἄλλων ὁ θεσπέσιος Mωϋσῆς, εἶτα μετ’ ἐκεῖνον οἱ καθεξῆς. διέποντος δὲ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ ἁγίου Sαμουήλ, πρὸς ἀπονοίας ἐκτόπους ὠλισθηκότες οἱ ἐξ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ τῆς ὑπὸ θεῷ βασιλείας, οὐκ οἶδ’ ὅπως, ὀλιγωρήσαντες, προσῄεσαν λέγοντες· “Ἰδοὺ σὺ γεγήρακας, καὶ οἱ υἱοί σου οὐ πορεύονται ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ σου. καὶ νῦν κατάστησον ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς βασιλέα τοῦ δικάζειν ἡμᾶς, καθὰ καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἔθνη.” καὶ κατεπικραίνετο μὲν ὁ προφήτης ἐν τούτῳ λίαν. εἶπε δέ, φησί, κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν· “Ἄκουε τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ λαοῦ, καθὰ ἂν λαλήσωσι πρός σε· ὅτι οὐ σὲ ἐξουθενήκασι, <ἀλλ’ ἢ ἐμὲ ἐξουθενήκασι>, τοῦ μὴ βασιλεύειν ἐπ’ αὐτῶν.” ἀνεδείκνυτο δὲ οὕτως ὁ Σαούλ, περὶ οὗ φησιν ἐν προφήταις ὁ τῶν ὅλων θεός· “Καὶ ἔδωκα αὐτοῖς βασιλέα ἐν ὀργῇ μου, καὶ ἔσχον ἐν τῷ θυμῷ μου συστροφὴν ἀδικίας.” 4.1 There is another similar matter that applies to our situation. What I mean is that the God of all reigned over those from Israel through holy prophets. The divinely inspired Moses was anointed beforehand for this, and indeed before the others, and then after him those who followed. But when the holy Samuel was administering the government, those from Israel, lapsing into extraordinary folly and giving no heed to the rule exercised by God (I do not know how), approached him, saying, “Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your way. And now appoint a king over us to judge us, as it is with the other nations” [1 Sam. 8:5]. And the prophet felt very bitter about this. But the Lord said to him, “Listen to the voice of the people, whatever they say to you; for they have not rejected you, , from reigning over them” [1 Sam. 8:7]. And this was how Saul was proclaimed, about whom the God of all says in the prophets, “And I gave them a king in my anger, and held in my wrath a storm of injustice” [Hos 13:11-12].
4.2 Ἔστι τοίνυν οὐδαμόθεν ἀμφιβάλλειν, ὡς ἐνὀργῇ δέδοται βασιλεύς, ἄνθρωπος ὢν ὁ Σαούλ,τοῖς τὴν ὑπ’ αὐτῷ τῷ τῶν ὅλων θεῷ βασιλείανδιωθουμένοις. ἀσυγκρίτως γὰρ ἄμεινον τὸ αὐτῷμᾶλλον ἐπείγεσθαι κατεζεῦχθαι θεῷ. ἀλλ’ εἴπερἐστὶ καθ’ ἡμᾶς ἄνθρωπος ὁ Χριστός, καὶ οὐχὶδὴ μᾶλλον ἐν ἀνθρωπείᾳ μορφῇ πεφηνὼς ὁλόγος, δέδοται δὲ βασιλεὺς καὶ κεκράτηκε τῶνἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ἄρα τίς εἰς τοῦτο ληρίας καθίκοιτοἄν, ὡς οἴεσθαι καὶ εἰπεῖν, ὅτι καὶ αὐτὸςβεβασίλευκεν ὡς ἐν ὀργῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρός,καί, ἐπειδήπερ ἐσμὲν ἐν προσκρούσει καὶἁμαρτίαις, ὑπέθηκε καὶ ἡμᾶς τοῖς ἀνθρώπουζυγοῖς; καίτοι πῶς ἂν ἐνδοιάσειέ τις ὡς ἁπάσηςἁμαρτίας ἀπηλλάγμεθα διὰ τῆς πίστεως; πῶςοὖν ἔτι λυπεῖται θεός; πῶς ἔτι κολάζει τοῖς ἐξὀργῆς κινήμασι τοὺς ἡγιασμένους; ἀλλ’ ἔγωγεφαίην ἂν ὅτι καὶ ἁμαρτιῶν ἀπηλλάγμεθα, καὶτοῖς ἐκ θείας ἡμερότητος ἀγαθοῖς καταμεθύει τὰκαθ’ ἡμᾶς. οὐκοῦν οὐκ ἄνθρωπος βεβασίλευκενἐφ’ ἡμᾶς, θεὸς δὲ μᾶλλον ἐνἀνθρωπότητιβεβασίλευκεν ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς, θεὸς δὲμᾶλλον ἐν ἀνθρωπότητι πεφηνώς, ὁ υἱός, οὔτετῶν ἰδίων ἀξιωμάτων ἐκβεβηκὼς τὴν δόξαν διὰτὸ ἀνθρώπινον, οὔτε μὴν τὴν καθ’ ἡμᾶςὁμοίωσιν ἀτιμάζων οἰκονομικῶς. 4.2 It cannot therefore be doubted at all that it was in anger that Saul, a human king, was given to those rejecting the rule exercised by the very God of all. For it is incomparably better to be an eager subject to God himself. But if Christ is a human being as we are (rather than the Word who has appeared in human form), but has been given as a king and has ruled over those on earth, then who would be so utterly stupid as to think and say that he too has reigned as though in the anger of God the Father, and, since we have committed offenses and sins, has subjected us as well to the yoke of a human being? Who can doubt that we have been delivered from all sin through faith? How then can it be that God is still grieved? How is it that he is still moved with anger to punish those who are sanctified? I for my part would say both that we have been delivered from sins, and that the atmosphere in which we live is quite intoxicated with the gifts of God’s kindness. It is not, therefore, a human being who has reigned over us, but rather God who has appeared in humanity, the Son, who has neither departed from the glory of his own dignities because of his humanity, nor disdained being like us in accordance with the plan of salvation.
4.3 Ἄλλως τε (χρῆναι γὰρ οἶμαι κἀκεῖνο ἰδεῖν),εἰ κατηγοροῦνταί τινες τῶν πεπλανημένων καὶεἰσὶν ἐν τῷ διαβεβλῆσθαι λίαν, ὡς ἀλλάξαντες“τὴν δόξαν τοῦ ἀφθάρτου θεοῦ ἐν ὁμοιώματιεἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου,” παραιτητέον εὖμάλα καὶ ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς τὸ ἐν ψιλῇ καὶ μόνῃ τῇκαθ’ ἡμᾶς φύσει καταλογίζεσθαι τὸν Χριστόν,ἀδιάσπαστον δὲ τὴν ἕνωσιν, τὴν πρός γέ φημιτὸν ἐκ θεοῦ πατρὸς λόγον, τῇ ἀνθρωπείᾳ φυλάττωμεν φύσει, ἵν’ ὡς θεὸς προσκυνῆται λοιπὸν πρός τε ἡμῶν αὐτῶν καὶ τῶν ἄνω πνευμάτων. 4.3 Besides (I think this must be seen as well), if some of those in error are accused of exchanging “the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man” [Rom. 1:23], and are under heavy attack for this, we too must stoutly refuse to consider Christ purely and simply according to our nature, but must preserve the union inseparable—the union, that is, which human nature has with the Word from God the Father, in order that he may then be worshiped as God both by ourselves and by the spirits above.
4.4 Καὶ εἰ παγχάλεπον ἀληθῶς τὸ λατρεύειν τῇκτίσει παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα, τετάγμεθα δὲλατρεύειν Χριστῷ, ἀνωτέρω κτιστῆς νοείσθωφύσεως ὡς θεός, κἂν εἰ ἐκτίσθαι νοοῖτο διὰ τὸἀνθρώπινον. ταύτην ἐφ’ ἑαυτῷ κρατύνων τὴνδόξαν, τοῖς ἀπειθεῖν ἑλομένοις ἐπεφώνει ποτέ,μονονουχὶ καὶ νωθείαν ἐγκαλῶν. “Εἰ οὐ ποιῶτὰ ἔργα τοῦ πατρός μου, μὴ πιστεύετέ μοι. εἰδὲ ποιῶ, κἂν ἐμοὶ μὴ πιστεύητε, τοῖς ἔργοιςμου πιστεύετε.” ἦσαν γάρ, ἦσαν τῶν ἀσυνέτωντινές, οἱ σμικρὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν σάρκαφρονοῦντες, κατεξανιστάμενοί τε φληνάφως καὶκυνηδὸν ἐπιτρέχοντες, προφασιζόμενοί τεπροφάσεις ἐν ἁμαρτίαις, ἐπαιτιωμένῳ τελέγοντες· “Περὶ καλοῦ ἔργου οὐ λιθάζομέν σε,ἀλλὰ περὶ βλασφημίας, ὅτι σὺ ἄνθρωπος ὤν,ποιεῖς σεαυτὸν θεόν.” ἡμεῖς δὲ ταῖς τῶν ἐκεῖναπεφρονηκότων ἀβελτηρίαις ἐρρῶσθαιφράσαντες, μακραῖς καὶ ἀκαταλήκτοιςεὐφημίαις καταγεραίρωμεν, καὶ τῆς φαρισαίωνσκαιότητος τὰ ἀμείνω φρονεῖν ἐγνωκότεςἐροῦμεν αὐτῷ· “Περὶ καλοῦ ἔργουκαταπεπλήγμεθά σε, ὅτι θεὸς ὢν φύσει γέγοναςἄνθρωπος.” 4.4 And if it is truly most grievous to serve the creature instead of the Creator, and we have been ordered to serve Christ, let him be regarded as above created nature as God, even if he is regarded as having been created on account of his humanity. Possessing in himself this glory, he once addressed those who had decided to disbelieve, all but accusing them of sluggishness. “If I do not do my Father’s works, do not believe me. But if I do them, then even if you do not believe me, believe my works” [John 10:37-38]. For there were indeed some senseless folk who thought little of him because of the flesh, rose up against him in their stupidity, and attacked him like dogs, finding pretexts in their sins and saying to the one who accused them, “We are not stoning you for a good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a human being, are making yourself God” [John 10:33]. But, bidding farewell to the depravity of those who thought this way, let us honor him with long and unending praises. Since we have acquired a better way of thinking than the Pharisees’ senselessness, we will say to him: “For a good work we are struck with admiration at you, because you who are God by nature have become a human being!”
4.5 Καὶ διὰ ποίαν αἰτίαν; ἐπειδὴ γάρ ἐστι ζωὴκατὰ φύσιν ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ λόγος, ἴδιον σῶμαἐποιήσατο τὸ φθείρεσθαι πεφυκός, ἵνα τῆς ἐναὐτῷ νεκρότητος παραλύσας τὴν δύναμιν,μεταστοιχειώσῃ πρὸς ἀφθαρσίαν. ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁσίδηρος ταῖς ἀκμαιοτάταις τοῦ πυρὸς ὁμιλήσαςπροσβολαῖς, πρὸς ἰδέαν εὐθὺς τὴν ἐκείνουμεταχρώννυται καὶ τὴν τοῦ νικῶντος ὠδίνειδύναμιν, οὕτω καὶ ἡ τῆς σαρκὸς φύσις τὸνἄφθαρτον καὶ ζωοποιὸν τοῦ θεοῦ λόγονεἰσδεδεγμένη, μεμένηκε μὲν ἐν οἷς ἦν οὐκέτι,φθορᾶς δὲ ἀμείνων ἀπεφάνθη λοιπόν. καὶἐπείπερ ἐστὶν αὐτὸς τοῦ κόσμου τὸ φῶς,ταύτῃτοι τὰς τῆς ἀληθοῦς θεογνωσίας αὐγὰςταῖς ἁπάντων διανοίαις ἐνιείς, πάντας ἐκάλειπρὸς τὸ φῶς· τοῦτο μὲν ταῖς ἀμωμήτοιςδιδασκαλίαις χρώμενος, καὶ πανσόφουςἀποτελῶν τοὺς προσιόντας αὐτῷ διὰ τῆςπίστεως· τοῦτο δὲ ποικίλως τερατουργῶν, ἵνατοῖς ὑπὲρ λόγον ἐξειργασμένοις καταπλήττωντοὺς θεωμένους, μὴ ἀπιστῆται πρός τινος, ὅτιθεὸς ὢν φύσει γέγονεν ἄνθρωπος, μεμένηκε δὲὅπερ ἦν καὶ ἐν εἴδει τῷ καθ’ ἡμᾶς οἰκονομικῶςκαθιγμένος. 4.5 And for what reason? It is that since the Word of God is life by nature, he made a body for himself, a body whose nature it is to perish, so that once he had undone the power of mortality in it, he might transform it unto incorruptibility. For just as iron, when it comes into contact with fire at its hottest, changes its color at once to that of the other and is pregnant with the power of that which conquers it, so also the nature of flesh, once it has received the imperishable, life-giving Word of God, has remained no longer in the state it was in, but has been rendered superior to corruption from then on. And since he is himself the light of the world, he sent the rays of true knowledge of God into the intellects of all people, calling them in this way to the light. This he did on the one hand by using faultless teachings and rendering completely wise those who approached him by faith, and on the other hand by working various wonders. He did so in order that, by astonishing the onlookers with deeds beyond understanding, no one might disbelieve that, being God by nature, he had become a human being and yet had remained what he was when he descended in our form according to the plan of salvation.
4.6 Ἀλλ’ οὐ συνέντες Ἰουδαῖοι τὸ μυστήριον, καίτοι καὶ διὰ νόμου καὶ τῶν ἁγίων προφητῶνπλείστην τε ὅσην καὶ ἐμφανεστάτην ἔχον τὴνπροαγόρευσιν, κατὰ πολλοὺς μὲν τρόπουςκαταλυπεῖν ἀπετόλμων· ἐπεγνωκότες δὲ ὅτι καὶαὐτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος, ἐκβεβλήκασί τε καὶἀπεκτόνασι, συλλήπτορα καὶ συμπαραστάτηνἑαυτοῖς παραλαβόντες εἰς τοῦτο τὸν τῆςἁμαρτίας εὑρετήν, φημὶ δὴ τὸν σατανᾶν· ὃςᾠήθη μέν, κατὰ τὸ εἰκός, ἀπηλλάχθαιπραγμάτων, ὅτι παθόντα τεθέαται. συνηγνόηκεδὲ τοῖς ἐσταυρωκόσιν, ὅτι πέπονθεν ἑκὼν καὶτέθεικεν αὐτὸς τὴν ἰδίαν ψυχήν, οὐχ ὑπό τουβεβιασμένος, ἀλλ’ ἐθελοντής, ὡς ἔφην, ἵνα τοῖςἐν ᾅδου καθειργμένοις διακηρύξῃ πνεύμασι, καὶἀναπετάσῃ τοῖς κάτω τὰς ᾅδου πύλας· ὡς γὰρ ὁσοφὸς ἡμῖν ἐπιστέλλει Παῦλος, “Διὰ τοῦτοΧριστὸς ἀπέθανε καὶ ἔζησεν, ἵνα καὶ νεκρῶνκαὶ ζώντων κυριεύσῃ.” ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἐξείλετοτοὺς ἐν σκότῳ, πεπάτηκε τοῦ θανάτου τὸκράτος καὶ ἀνεβίω τριήμερος. εἶτα τοῖς ἁγίοιςἀποστόλοις ἑαυτὸν ἐμφανίσας, καὶ μαθητεύεινπροστεταχὼς “πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζειν τεαὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦκαὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος,” ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸνοὐρανὸν καὶ ἔστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶπατρός· ἥξει τε κατὰ καιροὺς τῶν ὅλων κριτής,ἐν δυνάμει τε καὶ δόξῃ τῇ θεοπρεπεῖ,δορυφορούντων ἀγγέλων, καθιεῖται δὲ καὶ ἐπὶθρόνου δόξης αὑτοῦ, κρίνων τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐνδικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀποδιδοὺς ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὸἔργον αὐτοῦ. 4.6 But the Jews did not understand the mystery, even though it had been announced in advance as fully and completely as possible through both the law and the holy prophets, and so they dared to afflict him in many ways. And when they recognized that he was himself the heir, they expelled and killed him, taking as their accomplice and assistant in this the inventor of sin, Satan. He thought, understandably, that he had gotten away with it, since he had seen him suffer. But he, like those who had carried out the crucifixion, did not realize that he suffered willingly, and that he himself laid down his own soul, not forced by anyone, but willingly, as I said, that he might make proclamation to the spirits locked up in hell, and open the gates of hell to those below. For as Paul writes us in his wisdom, “It was for this that Christ died and lived, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living” [Rom. 14:9]. For when he had released those in darkness, he trampled upon the power of death and rose on the third day. Then, after showing himself to the holy apostles and commanding them to make disciples “of all the nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” [Matt. 28:19], he ascended into heaven and is at the right hand of God the Father. He will come in due time as judge of all, in the power and glory befitting God, escorted by angels, and will sit upon the throne of his glory, judging the earth in justice and rendering to each according to his work.
5.1 Οὐκοῦν ἐπειδήπερ τιμῆς ἠγοράσμεθα καὶ οὐκ ἐσμὲν ἑαυτῶν, τῷ πριαμένῳ δουλεύσωμενὡς ἔνι, καὶ ἀμείνους μὲν σαρκικῶνεὑρισκώμεθα παθῶν· ἀποσειόμενοι δὲ τὴνβέβηλον ἁμαρτίαν καὶ διὰ πάσης ἐπιεικείαςἑαυτοὺς καταφαιδρύνοντες, τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶναἀγωνιζώμεθα, τὸν δρόμον τελέσωμεν, τὴνπίστιν τηρήσωμεν· τοῖς ἐν ἐνδείᾳ τοὺς πόνουςἐπελαφρίζοντες, ὀρφανοὺς παραμυθούμενοι,χήραις ἐπαμύνοντες, τὰς τῶν τὸ σῶμαλελωβημένων αἰκίας ἀνακτώμενοι, τοὺς ἐνδεσμοῖς ἐπισκεπτόμενοι, χρηστοὶ καὶφιλάλληλοι περὶ πάντας εὑρισκόμενοι. τότε γάρ,τότε νηστεύσομεν καθαρῶς· 5.1 Since, then, we have been bought at a price, and we are not our own, let us serve the one who has purchased us as best we may, and let us be found superior to carnal passions. Having shaken off the defilement of sin and adorned ourselves with all virtuousness, let us fight the good fight, let us finish the race, let us keep the faith: lightening the labors of the needy, consoling orphans, aiding widows, easing the sufferings of the physically injured, visiting prisoners, and showing goodness and mutual affection to all. For then it is indeed that we will fast in purity.
5.2 ἀρχόμενοι τῆς μὲν ἁγίας τεσσαρακοστῆς ἀπὸ νεομηνίας τοῦ φαμενὼθ μηνός, τῆς δὲἑβδομάδος τοῦ σωτηριώδους πάσχα ἀπὸ ἕκτηςτοῦ φαρμουθὶ μηνός· περιλύοντες μὲν τὰς νηστείας τῇ ἑνδεκάτῃ τοῦ αὐτοῦ φαρμουθὶ μηνός, ἑσπέρᾳ βαθείᾳ σαββάτου, κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγελικὸν κήρυγμα· ἑορτάζοντες δὲ τῇ ἑξῆς ἐπιφωσκούσῃ κυριακῇ τῇ δωδεκάτῃ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, συνάπτοντες ἑξῆς καὶ τὰς ἑπτὰ ἑβδομάδας τῆς ἁγίας πεντηκοστῆς. οὕτω γὰρ βασιλείαν οὐρανῶν κληρονομήσομεν, ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν, δι’ οὗ καὶ μεθ’ οὗ τῷ πατρὶ σὺν τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι δόξα καὶ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν 5.2 We begin holy Lent on the first of Phamenoth, and the week of the Paschal feast of salvation on the sixth of Pharmuthi. We break the fast on the eleventh of Pharmuthi, late on Saturday evening, according to the preaching of the gospel. We celebrate the feast on the following day, the eve of Sunday, the twelfth of the same month, adding next the seven weeks of holy Eastertide. For thus we will inherit the kingdom of heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom and with whom be glory and power with the Holy Spirit for all ages. Amen.

Last edited by LS and AC 11/16/2021.

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