CPG 3677
Author Apollinaris
Greek Text Y. Courtonne. Saint Basile. Lettres III. (Paris 1966), 204-205.
H. de Riedmatten. La correspondance entre Basile de Cesaree et Apollinaire de Laodicee I in JThS, N.S. 7 (1956), 225-226.
Note The authenticity of all this letter has been debated but never conclusively demonstrated either way.

To my master, my most longed-for brother, Basil. Apollinaris. Greetings in the Lord.

Where was I, master? And where was the most longed-for voice and the customary letter? Why are you not present defending or at least absent encouraging while so great a war has broken out against godliness and we, as in the middle of the front line, are crying out to our comrades because of the violence of the battle? But wherever we seek for you, we do not have you. For we do not find where you happen to be staying. Why, I sought you in Cappadocia, since also those who met with you in Pontus reported that you had announced you were returning to there. I did not find you where I had hoped.
But now, having heard that you are still staying in the same land, I immediately handed the letter to the messenger. When you have received it, refrain from also replying to it because this one travelled with it too. Know that in the meanwhile there has been an arrival of the bishops from Egypt and letters were distributed which were in harmony with the old letters, both the divine ones themselves and those written at Nicaea in agreement with the divine letters. It was necessary to repeat these things with an explanation because of the unhealthy misinterpretation of the things set down, introduced by those who in the past were openly contradictory but now disguise their contradiction in the form of explanation. Here they wickedly did away with “consubstantial” on the grounds that it should not be understood according to any Greek denial. But in place of “consubstantial” was introduced “similar according to essence,” which was invented to have an ordinary name and a wicked intention. For a similarity of things which are in an essence is a similarity of essentials. So certainly by this an essence is considered to be made similar in the same way a statue would be to a king.
In reply to these things those who know how to and want to be godly have written that “consubstantial” does not mean “similar to God” but “God” because he is the true child and of the same essence as the one who has begotten him. Also that which concerns the Spirit was included, for he is placed by the fathers in the same faith as the Father and the Son because he is in the same deity.

Therefore as to the position of seniority of this godliness, who was so fitting to be the most zealous among us, together with my master Gregory, who never himself writes from anywhere or indicates anything? Farewell, most longed-for master.

Translated by AMJ

Last updated: 8-16-2013

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