CPG 3740
Actual Author or Source unknown
Source of Attribution to Julius I Apollinarian forgery
Text Syriac: Flemming and Lietzmann, Apollinaristische Schriften Syrisch, 51-54.
Other Translation German: Lietzmann, Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule: Texte und Untersuchungen, 310-318.
Source of Information Thompson, Correspondence of Julius I, xxxv-xxxvii, xl, 183

1. Cursed be the one who says, “The Son of eternity who was crucified is considered to be among those ordinary sons who were called ‘sons of God’ by grace.” All those who were called ‘sons of God’ by grace were collectively called by one name which embraced them all. They were called ‘sons of God,’ but one of them is not individually called ‘God’s Son.’ They are also called ‘God’s firstborns,’ but one of them is not individually called ‘the firstborn.’ They are also called ‘gods,’ but one of them is not individually called ‘God.’ But the one who was born from the Virgin and crucified has been proclaimed as ‘Son’(Rom 8:29) and as ‘Firstborn’(Col 1:15) and as ‘God over all’ (Rom 9:5). That is, he is a Son from God and not from grace, and no one else has the name ‘Son,’ ‘Firstborn,’ or ‘God.’

And these sons of grace do not have the power that every one of them could claim for themselves the singular name ‘son’ and ‘firstborn’ and ‘god.’ But he who was crucified is called ‘Son’ and ‘Firstborn’ and ‘God.’ He is exalted in and of himself and raised above those ‘sons’ and ‘firstborns’ and ‘gods.’ He alone is ‘Son’ and ‘Firstborn’ and ‘God.’ He is separate from his creation and is known by as the one who is truly consubstantial. For he would not be called ‘Son’ and ‘Firstborn’ if he were not truly the Son of God. This name is given to no one and nowhere is anyone else described in this way: “This is my dear Son in whom I am well-pleased” (Mt 3:17). Israel was called “my firstborn,” that is, however, the assembly of Israel “who shall come to serve me in the desert” (Ex 4:22,23), which brought blessing among the assemblies for the worship of God.

2. So this Son, the Word, God, belongs not to those sons by grace because he is God’s Son. Another Son besides him, the true Son, cannot be found. He who confesses himself to be the Son is the Son. For there is no place for this Son among those who are called ‘sons’ and ‘firstborns’ and ‘gods’ in the plural, but his place is in the essence with the Father in the number of the triad.

As the beginning of the number the Father is included, for he is one. As the beginning of the number the Son is included, and he also is one. As the beginning of the number the Holy Spirit is included, and he also is one. Three in one and one in three.

The Father in his fatherhood is the first and there is no other father. The Son is in his generation the first and there is no other son. The Spirit is the first and there is no other spirit.

One beginning, three hypostases, and one unity. And whatever is assigned to the Father is assigned also to the Son and the Spirit. One Father, one Son, one Spirit.

The primacy is due to the Father in his fatherhood. The primacy is due to the Son in his generation. The primacy is due to the Spirit in his uniqueness.

The Father is unique and there is no other father. The Son is unique and there is no other son. The Spirit is unique and there is no other other spirit.

The Father is the first and the last and is one. The Son is the first and the last and is one. The Spirit is the first and the last and is one.

3. There are many ‘sons’ but there is only one ‘Son.’ A unique “Son” mixed himself with man but there are not two. He took the complete humanity onto himself but remained one. He took on humanity in its need and placed it into his unity. For the one does not take on an addition and the one takes nothing on such that he would become two. So it is said that “God sent his Son and he is from the Virgin.” This word is to be observed in the singular. He says, “He sent” and “He is.” He is not counted as being two and nothing is added to one.

And is he by nature mortal or immortal, you ask? . . . Do you see? Do you proclaim that a man suffered in your place? The Spirit’s messengers of faith certainly did not come to explain his dying in relation to his natures in order that they would not proclaim the cross of a man—which would have indeed been a small grace—but they proclaimed the cross and death of the Son of God and kept far away from his natures. So you also should be silent about the question of mortality and immortality and rather shout that God has given his only Son for the world on the cross.

What do you say now to that which has been said? Is a triviality in your eyes that a man suffered for you? Are you afraid to say that? But in maintaining that God died for you does the great matter of impassibility cause you fear? Do you shrink from saying that? Then grant that one died for you who was not God, because God is too great, and not man, because man is too little for your redemption. Then through whose dying have you been redeemed and through whose blood has reconciliation come to you in part and have you been turned toward the kingdom of heaven? You have a middle-essence, not God and not man, which has died for you.

4. Christ is God “who was revealed in the flesh” (1 Tim 3:16) as it is written, and is not contained in it. What are you looking for? Simon said to Christ, “You are the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). And he was given a blessed praising as the wage for his testimony and Jesus gold-plated his lips, according to the analogy of his Scriptures: “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. You are the first proclaimer of the Son of the living God. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven has spoken through you about his Son and proclaimed his beloved through you, and on this your testimony I will build my church which confesses that Christ is the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:17,18).

So there is no middle order between the one Son and many sons. They do not correspond with the Son of truth and he is not numbered with those of grace. For either he is the unique exalted one or he is one of those lower ones. And for those who are searching for it, there is no other foundation on which they could contend.

5. “But look,” it is said. “He himself has called himself the ‘Son of Man.’”

Why do you break off the bricks of the kingdom of heaven as an enemy, for you still live in the house? Why do you destroy the earnings of the true teaching, for you are still a son of peace? Why would you kill like a fugitive and shackle the words with which the joyful proclamation rushes as if tying the horses together?

Connect with the fact that he has called himself the Son of Man the fact that this is too small for him. For he has said it while adding other things and did not say this alone. “When the Son of Man comes and his angels with him” (Mt 25:31). “The Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father” (Mt 16:27). Of which father? Adam’s? “The Son of Man came to save what was lost” (Mt 18:11). And see, if you think to consider him among men then he who holds you through faith jukes and slips away from you, for he is from heaven. He is indeed also the Son of Man who is in heaven (Jn 3:13) and he does not allow your hand to sin against him. “And you will see,” he says, “also the Son of Man as he climbs up to the place where he was earlier” (Jn 6:62). “No one has climbed up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man, who was in heaven” (Jn 3:13). “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Mt 12:8). “What do the people say about me? Who is the Son of Man? What do they think of me and what do I appear to be to them? And what do they say that I am?” They answered and said to him, “Some say, ‘Elijah,’ and others, ‘Jeremiah or one of the prophets’” He answered and said to them, “And as for you, what do you say I am?” (Mt 16:13-15).

6. That is, he is something else. This expression ‘Son of Man’ is not enough and we owe it to you to say something else about what you are. The question searches after who you are and now you did not answer that you are the Son of Man. And what can someone be considered which is more exalted than a Son of Man? For you yourself know that you are something else, something more exalted than an Elijah or a Jeremiah, than one of the prophets.

And what kind of measure is there for men who would be greater than the prophets? They spoke with God. Through them he proclaimed his will. Without them he did nothing. To them he revealed his mystery. He let them enter into his hidden things and sit in his counsel. He sent them before his face. And this measure is too small and too little for you and you require that something more than this be believed about you.

If you are a Son of Man, then it is enough for you to be considered as the prophets are. . . The human measure is sufficient up until that point. If you require something more you are something else. That which is seen is designated differently. He requires something else above that which we see and above that which also the creatures say. A different designation is fitting for you and it is not enough for you to be called in the same way as them.

7. The disciples were terrified by the question that they should give an interpretation of who you are. The mysterious question came over Simon and his comrades like the dream came over Joseph and the writing came over Daniel. And they asked for the interpretation from their master, and as the revelation of the Father came over Joseph and Daniel, so also it came over Simon. He gave the interpretation, solved the question, answered what he was asked, and accomplished what he was supposed to. And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). He gave the solution, bore from it the blessed praise, learned from the Father, and taught the Church that that Son of Man is the Son of the living God, not a prophet, but the Lord of the Prophets and the Lord of men.

8. And those who have been consecrated are with that made responsible to hold fast that that Son of Man is the Son of the living God. They are not to say that he is a prophet as one of the prophets or equate his measure with that of one of the righteous nor count him among the number of the earthly, but as John says, “Whoever has come from above is over all” (Jn 3:31). That is, the Evangelists take the coming of this Son of Man to be from above. For he was not man and then went away to God, but being with God he became flesh from his mother’s body. He is not considered as a man but as the Son of God. He is considered as God. For nowhere has a unique one been found who would be called man. But it is reasonably noted that he became flesh from a woman. In his church he is proclaimed as God and counted as the one Son in the triad.

9. And he again showed the power of his strength when he said, “I can lay down my life and can take it back up again” (Jn 10:17), and that is not spoken as of a man. That is, a man can lay down his life into death for the truth or for something else, but he has no power that he is going to take up what he has laid down, for he has put an end to his strength and is no longer alive. But the one who says, “I can lay down my life and can take it back up again” is the Son of God, who did not put an end to his power when he laid down his life into death but remained alive and took back his life out of the grave. And this all shows his nearness and his mixing with our humanity, that he who has taken the sufferings of our humanity upon himself has reckoned his body to be his life. And he has said, “I lay down my life for my sheep and no one has taken it from me” (Jn 10:15,18), but he has laid it down by himself and has again taken it up from death. He was dead and he was alive and he was miraculous.

10. And don’t let it cause you to err how he laid down his life in death and how he again took it up from death according to his word, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will build it up” (Jn 2:19), saying, “But see, he called that which suffered and died the ‘temple.’ I have not heard him call it ‘his life.’” With this internalization and mixing he placed his life in it, for the temple is without him who lives in it, that is, he laid his life down. That is, he calls the one who says, “Destroy it and in three days I will build it up,” “his life,” and says, “I will lay it from me and I will take it.” And also the real meaning of what he calls the temple is known through the interpretation “he has spoken about his body” (Jn 6:58). The fact that the temple is a comparison and that with it his body is meant gives the real meaning. So he reveals that his body is the “temple” and he calls it elsewhere “his life.” And the two are connected and in connection. He testifies that he has life and body and in the Greek language that is called “union.” He gave testimony about the two which are in one hypostasis by calling it “my life” and “my body.”

11. That is, he says, “The bread which I will give is my body which is given for the life of the world, and whoever eats me will live through me” (Jn 6:51). And whoever’s flesh is eaten is eaten and whoever eats his flesh eats him, insofar as he is a man. If you say, “What does it mean when he says, ‘Whoever eats me will live through me’ (Jn 6:58)?”, he and his flesh are one, and the bread of God has climbed down from heaven (Jn 6:50), and it is one and it is given to the world. He confesses, “I am the living bread” (Jn 6:48) and that his body makes the world alive. But if someone contends against it and says, “God became man and assumed nothing from the Virgin,” he expresses the suffering as being from God by nature and blasphemes him, and whoever says that God suffered in the flesh. . .

Translated by AMJ

Last updated: 8-31-2012

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