Cyril Against Nestorius: Various Blasphemies and Heresies (429 CE)
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Blashemies and Heresies of Nestorius according to Cyril (429 CE)
In this article have extracted a number of these "blasphemies and heresies" as disclosed by the author Cyril, as having been presented in the works of Nestorius. Until the late 19th century, only the works of Cyril had been preserved, and the phenomenom known as the Nestorian Controversy of the fifth century had thus only been presented by the authodoxy in the writings of Cyril. Discoveries of Syriac texts later published in the 20th century included some of the writings of Nestorius, such as the document known as The Bazaar of Heracleides . In this document, Nestorius essentially made a systematic review of the field of all active herecies, which he attempts to explain in a straightforward manner. In August 435 imperial edicts forbade the meetings of Nestorians and decreed heavy penalties against all who should copy, preserve, or read the writings of their master, which were ordered to be burned. For some reason the christian regime did not approve of the writings of Nestorius, and the bulk of his greek writings were torched. It appears likely that the authodox (represented in Cyril) did not want to have any evidence of these open beliefs, and so condemned the open review of Nestorius.
CYRIL, THE MOST HOLY ARCHBISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA FIVE-BOOK CONTRADICTION OF THE BLASPHEMIES OF NESTORIUS Cyril of Alexandria, Five Tomes Against Nestorius. Oxford (1881) http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_nestorius_01_book1.htm And this I say having met with a certain book compiled by some one, having a large collection of homilies, orderly and systematically arranged and in no wise lacking in due appliances for the reader. And if ought had been said by its author, which by passing into forgetfulness should come to nought, I would have deemed it a duty both myself to hold my peace and to counsel others to do the same; lest things so unmeetly and unheedfully said should become known to many others, and to those after us. But since a multitude of blasphemies has been heaped into this book and some great accusation has been made, baying against the doctrines of the truth, how was it not necessary that we in turn ]should (so to say) strip for combat and should fight in behalf of its readers, that they may not take harm thence, but may rather know how to repulse bravely the damage from what is unrightly said? For he writes again after this manner; his discourse was made touching the Arians: "Yet though they prate that God the Word is junior to the greater Godhead, these make Him second to the blessed Mary, and over the Godhead, Creator of times, they set a mother born in time, yea rather they do not even allow that she who bare Christ is mother of Christ. For if not the nature of man but God the Word was, as these say, that which is of her, she that bare was no mother of that which was born. For how will any one be mother of him who is alien from her nature? But if she be called mother by them, that which is born is manhood not Godhead, for it is the property of every mother to bear what is consubstantial [with her]. Either then she will not be mother, not bearing what is consubstantial with herself, or being called mother by them, she bare that which was in essence like to herself." §9. How deep the matter of his cogitations! dread and hard to escape is clearly the compulsion resulting from the reasonings of him who hath compiled such things! Whence comes he having gathered into the midst unto us such fables? or who ever sank down to this extent of unlearning in his conceptions, as to think or say that ... **************** Book 2 Our Lord Jesus Christ again likens Himself to a Pearl, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls, who when he had found one Pearl of great price hath gone and sold all that he had and bought it. See the Nag Hammadi Text NHC 6.1: "TAOPATTA" otherwise known as The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles in which is presented an entire story about the enigmatic Lithargoel, travelling Pearl Merchant and citizen of the city of nine gates, a physician and healer and the knower of the ascetic path and Road that leads from Habitation and Endurance to the city of the Pearl of great price. **************** But he has invented something clever in his defence, for he subjoins: "Not by itself God is that which was formed in the womb, not by itself God that which was formed forth of the Spirit, not by itself God that which was buried in the tomb; for so should we have been man-worshippers and very worshippers of the dead. But since God is in that which is assumed, from that which assumeth is the assumed co-named God, as connected with the assumer." ******************* for we are a sweet savour of Christ, as it is written. But this noble person again affirms that these things have been wrought in no fit order, and all but smiles at those who conceive that these things were so, and impiously finding fault with the Divine purposes, says thus: "For they hearing the name of Apostle, deem that God the Word was Apostle; reading the name High Priest, they fancy that the Godhead was High Priest, by a species of paradoxical craziness: for who learning of the ministry of an Apostle, would not forthwith know that a man is indicated? who on hearing the appellation of High Priest, would suppose that the Essence of Godhead were High Priest? for if the Godhead be High Priest, who is he who is served by the ministry of the High Priesthood? if God be the Offerer, there is none to whom offering is made: for what is there worthy of Godhead that as less It should offer to the greater?" And hereto he adds, "Whence then is God supposed by them to have been now called High Priest Who needeth not sacrifices for His own advancement like the high priests? Is the possessor of Godhead, taken from among men, ordained for men in things God-ward?" ********************* "I will speak the words too of offence. Of His own Flesh was the Lord Christ discoursing to them; Except ye eat, He says, the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, ye have no Life in you: the hearers endured not the loftiness of what was said, they imagined of their unlearning that He was bringing in cannibalism." ********* Book 5 JEWISH OPINION: But (I know not how) the advocate of the Jews' unlearning is indignant at our words, for he said again, "That therefore the divine Scripture puts, Son, of the birth from the Virgin, Mother of Christ, we have shewn. Hear of His death also, whether God is any where put, so as we might bring in a passible God: Being enemies, it says, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it said not, Through the death of God the Word." §1. Therefore dost thou say that the Word of God has not been even sent into the world? ************************ But severing again into a pair of sons the One Lord Jesus Christ, he says after this wise: "Hear their other testimony also; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Lo he says the Lord of glory, he calls not so the manhood but the Godhead. But this belongs to those who pluck asunder the accurate connection, for when thou sayest, This is not Lord, but the other is, THOU makest Christ a mere man. What then dost thou say, o heretic in clerical form? is the man too Lord or not? if then he be Lord, the things said agree; if he be not Lord, do not THOU making Christ a mere man, fasten the reproach of it on me." Then he says, "Hear we the blessed Paul openly crying out who He is who is crucified. Hear then most plainly the voice, For (says he) He was crucified out of weakness, yet He liveth out of the Power of God. If He were crucified out of weakness, who was it who was weak, heretic? God the Word?" §2. He is carried away unto absurd thoughts and unto a reprobate mind, in no wise understanding the force of the mystery, as seems to me, but rather every way following his own devices and haply afraid, lest he should be caught either thinking or saying ought that pertains to Tightness or truth. For he arrays against himself, as he supposes, the words of the orthodox. ******************** JEWS 2 But this man again essaying to gather to himself from all quarters occasions of severing into two the One, arrays himself to no purpose against those who exist not at all, and makes accusal of certain as though they spake against the truth and desired to adulterate the plan of the mystery, and says, "Here I would gladly enquire of the heretics who mix up into one essence the Nature of the Godhead and of the Manhood, who he is here who is by the traitor betrayed to the Jews: for if there have been a mixture of both, both were together holden of the Jews, both God the Word and the nature of the manhood: which is it that endured the slaughter? I am obliged to use meaner words that what I say may be plain to all. To whom (tell me) befell this deed? for if the Nature of the Godhead, how darest thou commingle both? God hath both remained unholden of the Jews and hath not shared with the flesh in its slaughter: whence (tell me) dost thou get in the mixture?