Political and Textual Revelations, c.435 CE
Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia
An alternative theory of the history of antiquity is being explored in which the christian "Biblical History" was inserted into the political history of the Roman Empire no earlier than the rise of Constantine.
The primary purpose of this article is the examination of the information unwittingly provided by Nestorius of Constantinople in the Tome of Heracleides otherwise known as The Bazaar of Heracleides, attributed to this author.
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.
The Bazaar of Heracleides survived in the Syriac until it was uncovered and translated to English. It is conjectured that the reason this writing was targetted for destruction was because it made a systematic review of the field of all active herecies, which Nestorius explains in a straightforward manner.
Nestorius states that some of these herecies involved the belief that Jesus was a fictional character, in the same manner outlined by the Emperor Julian, in his Against the Galilaeans. Our position is that the christian regime wished to seek out and destroy any and all mention of this "plot of the Greeks" (to use the phrase of Bishop Cyril of Alexandria).
Nestorius' Tome of Heracleides was sought out and burnt because it evidenced the existence of the belief, shared by the Hellenes and their elder Greek academics (following Julian), that the New Testament was believed to be fiction.
Comments in regard to this thesis in the field of ancient history
may be sent to arius at the domain name of this website.
Best wishes to the students of life,
Southern Spring 2007
Nestorius' Tome of Heracleides
The source details are as follows:
NESTORIUS - The Bazaar of Heracleides
Newly translated from the Syriac
by G. R. DRIVER, M.A. & LEONARD HODGSON, M.A.
Fellows of Magdalen College., Oxford, 1925
Translator's Introductory Notes ...
The Council of Ephesus met in June, A.D. 431, and was dissolved in September by the Emperor Theodosius II without the two parties, the Orientals and the followers of Cyril of Alexandria, having come to an agreement.
Nestorius was bidden to return to his monastery at Antioch, and Maximian was consecrated Archbishop of Constantinople in his place. 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. By a rescript of the following year Nestorius himself was banished to Arabia, but he was actually sent to Egypt, where from a reference in Socrates he is known to have been in 439.
The book must have been written by Nestorius in the year 451 or 452.
What precisely did Nestorius teach? This is the question over which controversy has raged since the discovery of The Bazaar. The following summary of undisputed facts may, however, be given without entrenching upon the questionable ground. It will be well first to state what Nestorius denies:
[Editor: Now why would he deny that Jesus is fictitious?]
Nestorius has been called a confused thinker,
but careful study of The Bazaar of Heracleides
makes it clear that, whatever he was, he was certainly not that.
Nestorius, The Bazaar of Heracleides
1. Wherefore the Heathen do not call Christ God ....
8. And wherein they are far removed from them, and in what again they adhere to them.
13. How they take the [words] 'truly and not in nature', and in how many ways 'truly' is said.
Sophronius says: We confess / that he became flesh truly but not by his nature,
in that he who became, became [so] in truth, and he is the nature but not in the nature.
Indeed the flesh has not always existed, but, as flowing water
when frozen has the nature of ice though it is not so in its nature but has become [so],
thus also has God truly become flesh, and he is the nature of the flesh and not in his nature,
in that he is not it always but he became [so] afterwards.
For this is truly the Incarnation, in his nature to become flesh and man
and not in illusion nor in schema nor in fiction without hypostasis,
which truly would be no incarnation.
He therefore who wants to suppose that it came about in fiction
flees from the truth.
Nestorius says: I for my part say: Let us not entirely neglect this point,
although thou dost wish to run over it as one which is confessed.
Since it has been so unscrupulously said as to / be accounted absurd by the hearers,
I suppose that it is so also to thee. I will now explain this inquiry
to any one who wishes in order that that which surely is supposed may come to explanation;
for I do not see in it anything like or akin to anything [else].
For they are quite as far removed from one another as fiction is far from truth
and [as] the body of fiction [is] from the body [of truth].
I see many who strongly insist on these [theories]
as something [based] on the truth and ancient opinion.
And for this reason I wish thee to examine them not cursorily but with all care,
in order that the words of the faith may not be [treated] without investigation and lightly,
but may be clear and known to all men, as things which are somehow defined
by definitions and natural likenesses, and not like things which are represented
by their shadows [and] resemble this or that so long as they are figured in the same likeness.
In what then dost thou say that they say the same thing, in that they are
like the Manichaeans even in the things wherein they reprimand them?
Sophronius. Those who say this are not repudiated by them
as though they hold our body in contempt,
for both of them deny that the body was taken,
but because they do not say 'in truth',
but that the nature of the flesh is illusion.
We see then also their readiness in these things, [in bringing forward]
what plea is justly theirs, lest their blasphemies should extend
beyond what is right.
Because then many accept the faith of the Three Hundred and Eighteen which was laid down at Nicaea, both persons who believe in various ways and those who understand the Divine Scriptures some in one way and some in another and in various ways He was made flesh and was made man may it please thy Reverence to pass [in review] their intentions and their opinions; and do thou write and make known unto me how it appears unto thee and what thou dost approve as well-pleasing, and give no cause to them that seek cause to calumniate thee.
And, as he appeared unto each one of the saints,
so in the last times he appeared unto all men.
Cyril then is the persecutor and the accuser, while I am the persecuted; but it was the Council which heard and judged my words and the emperor who assembled [it]. If then he 1 was on the bench of judges, what indeed shall I say of the bench of judges? He was the whole tribunal, for everything which he said they all said together, and without doubt it is certain that he in person took the place of a tribunal for them. For if all the judges had been assembled and the accusers had risen in their place and the accused also likewise, all of them would equally have had freedom of speech, instead of his being in everything both accuser and emperor and judge. He did all things with authority, after excluding from authority him 2 who had been charged by the emperor, and he exalted himself; and he assembled all those whom he wanted, both those who were far off and those who were near, and he constituted himself the tribunal.
And I was summoned by Cyril who had assembled the Council,
even by Cyril who was the chief thereof.
Who was judge? Cyril.
And who was the accuser? Cyril.
Who was bishop of Rome? Cyril.
Cyril was everything.
Cyril was the bishop of Alexandria and took the place
of the holy and saintly bishop of Rome, Celestinus.
The Conversation of Acacius, Bishop of Melitene.
'As soon as I came to the city of Ephesus, I held [a conversation] with this man, who has been mentioned shortly before, and when I knew that he thought not |140 correctly, in every way the weight of the burden was upon me to set him correct and to lead him away from his opinion, and I saw that he confessed with his lips that he was abandoning any such opinion. But when I had delayed ten or twelve days, when again some discussion had been raised between us, I began to speak on behalf of the correct faith and I saw that he held what was contrary to this, and I perceived that he had fallen into two wrongs simultaneously. First indeed [in] his own question which was improper; he imposed on those who returned answer the necessity of either denying entirely that the divinity of the Only-begotten became incarnate or of confessing what is an impiety----that both the divinity of the Father and that of the Holy Spirit were found in body with the Word.'
Nestorius. Some questioned [and] others answered that these things consisted in absurdities and impiety; they confess and agree to the word / for which I have reprimanded them and, after what they have confessed, they will be condemned as impious. Would any one suppose that it was an [act of] oppression, when they have written down these things in their Records and make all the world testify against themselves? For suppose that my question was absurd: thou oughtest not to have accepted it but to have proved the absurdity of the question, in order that, as a result of correcting the question, thou mightest not fall into passing over impiety and absurdity; but, in accepting a question absurd for religion, thou hast therefrom in the next place conic to the impiety of confessing either that God the Word, the Son of God, was not made man or that the Father and the Spirit also were made man; that then to which thou didst agree when thou wast questioned thou oughtest to have made void.12
Yet although, like the other, thou hast not corrected me, let us grant that thou hast not fallen into this absurdity voluntarily or involuntarily: for what reason dost thou not utter this |141 absurd question whereby you wish to condemn me? But thou dost not utter it nor do the judges even require it. And if it is so absurd, how has it been left unconfuted, in such wise as not to be confuted by all your Council? And if you all leave it unconfuted and if there was none among you capable of confuting it, utter [this] absurd question, examine it, although you are judges [only] in schema, and write down this question in schema for those / who have intelligence and are ready to examine your judgement. But on account of your incapacity you remained in darkness, so that you were not even able to see things which were evident. But God rather helped you in your interrogation to write down these things that it might be evident unto all men that the enmity was without cause.
But from what can this be proved? From those things which they have set down in [their] cunning writings, in the judgement without condemnation. From now hear those things wherein they have placed the deposit of the faith of our fathers who were assembled at Nicaca, on two of which we shall rely as on testimonies which will not be declined by him; and we shall make use of them both against them, whether they act by examination, or in the likeness of those who accept them without examination, because they are the judges and they are the judged, like those who account themselves judges in fables and stories. The faith which was laid down by the fathers at Nicaea. 'We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things which are visible and which are invisible, and in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, who was begotten of the Father, / that is, of the essence of the Father . . . ' 13 . . . . and first laying down the names of the two natures which indicate that these are common, without the Sonship or the Lordship being separated and without the natures, in the union of the Sonship, coming into danger of corruption and of confusion. Observe then first who reduces and takes away from the deposit which has been laid down by the fathers, but lets not [anyone else] steal aught therefrom. This man 15 [it is] who has made no mention of the beginning and avoided the beginning and made a beginning which they laid not down but in this wise passed over the beginning and wished not to make a beginning therefrom, whereas [it is] I who have established the things which the fathers rightly said, and I said that we would make a beginning from here showing also the cause wherefore they first laid down the names which are common to the divinity and the humanity and then built up thereon the tradition of the Incarnation and of the Sufferings and of the Resurrection, 'first laying down the names of the two natures which indicate that these are common, without the Sonship or the Lordship being separated and without the natures, in the union of the Sonship, coming into danger of corruption and of confusion.' Why then / hast thou passed by these things as superfluous, as things which ought not to be said? Was it because thou didst suppose that it was the same and people ought not to speak thus, but that it was enough for them to begin thence whence thou didst begin and didst make a beginning and correct them? But those [fathers] anathematize those who make additions or diminutions, but they have done improperly and not according to the opinion of the fathers. But he gave a contrary explanation when I said unto him that 'this is the beginning and thence rather ought we to begin whence I have admonished thee'. But he was disputing against me as though in his wisdom he were teaching all men lest through their ignorance they should fall short of this impiety. For what reason then, when thou didst lay down the faith, didst thou also not begin from here whence they began as touching that which was under inquiry? For we were searching how we ought naturally to understand and to speak of these properties of the flesh and of the rational soul and of the properties of God the Word, seeing that [either] they both belonged by nature to God the Word, or to Christ, so that both natures were united by the very union of one pros˘pon. But I said and affirmed that the union is in the one pros˘pon of the Messiah, and I made known in every way that God the Word was made man and that God the Word was at the same time in the humanity, / in that Christ was made man in it. And for this reason the fathers, in teaching us what Christ is, about whom they used to dispute, laid down first those things which constitute Christ; but thou [actest] in the reverse way, because thou wishest that in the two natures God the Word should be the pros˘pon of union. Thou allowest these things [to pass] as superfluous and thou makest a beginning after them, as they do; and thou transferrest from the one unto the other all those things of which Christ is naturally [formed] and said. And since the Christ of the fathers is the opposite of thine, thou hast declined to acknowledge him and thou sayest with me, though thou wishest not, that Christ is in two natures but that God the Word is not in two natures. ******************** ARIUS But one ought to be neither Arian nor Manichaean, [according to] whom the Incarnation took place in schema or in the nature of God the Word and [who] refer all things to him in their doctrine: the manner of life and the sufferings and the death. For the nature of God the Word sinned not nor transgressed the commandment, so that God comported himself and observed all the commandments and died for us as one who was found without sin by reason of his manner of life. Through man [came] death and through man the resurrection. For this reason also it was needful for the whole man, for the purpose of the Incarnation of God the Word, being completed in body and in soul, to comport himself in the nature of men and to observe the obedience and the moral life of human nature. And they long for and honour the name of the Mother of God, since they say that God has died. And, further, as for the Fathers who even unto death have withstood the heretics who said 'Mother of God', they, however, have in no place indeed made use of these terms nor have they employed them in the documents of the Council. Was it because they knew not? Or because they hated it? Perhaps they had some such word in their thoughts whereby indeed to adhere to the divine teaching; and they heeded not the raving of [their] enemies and gave no opportunity to diminish the divinity by making it passible and mortal. For not he who is in name a theologian is to be called a theologian, but he who is a theologian in fact and in name does not leave alone those who are ready to make him made and created; it is not he who provides matter for blasphemy nor does he admit that God the Word surely came forth from the Virgin Mary, as one who exists and has existed before, and he declines the [doctrine] that he was born a man from her as one who has not existed but has come into being. [Art thou] as one who says that God the Word is in two natures, God and man, and that the man, when he was born, was in the nature of God the Word, or [that] he was changed into another ousia of man; and sayest thou thus that he was born? For indeed [in that case] he would not have been of man, but of God the Word would he have been, and [that] in such wise as to make use of the schema of a man but not of the ousia of a man. ************************And, what is baser 186 than all things, he destroyed the sermons which were published against Apollinarius and supported those of Apollinarius, saying, 'It is the faith of the Church'. [Do you ask] on which party one would lean: on the party of Apollinarius, or that of the holy Fathers in all the world whom also all the world glorifies and whom it has reckoned with the single zeal as [of] a common mouth against Apollinarius and Arius and Macedonius and Eunomius and all the heresies, or on the side of Apollinarius? Suppose that I, who have not been obedient in the things which thou hast required of me, have been an enemy unto thee; for what reason dost thou war on my account with those who have passed away in orthodoxy? Or perhaps thou |333 warrest on account of them who [are] with me? / But, that I may speak the truth, thou warrest with every man because of thine impiety in all things.
Tell me: Were there not Basil and Gregory in the days of Diodorus?
Were there not also at Alexandria bishops known for [their] conduct and for [their] words? Were there not at Rome accomplished men who would suffice to stand up on behalf of the churches? And were not they who were doctors in all the world [sufficient] to stand up on behalf of the churches, men who were not [living] in luxury and in glory and in honour and in pleasure, but in persecutions and in distress and in wars and in fear, who had preserved and kept the true faith without wavering, [rather] than he who was an heretic and deceived----that is Diodorus, who was in every man's mouth and is handed down in books and was a [cause of] fear unto heretics, who by the word of doctrine and by divine grace raised himself up against the commands of [his] Majesty for the people of God and let them not perish but increased them manifold, and the whole concord of the churches was won by him? Then he was not an heretic neither for them of that time nor yet for thee thyself nor for thy [followers] nor yet during the disturbance itself which thou madest against me. But after thou wast encouraged and wast entered [on the way] whereon thou wast entered and [hadst] reached this tyrannical agreement, then were Diodorus and Theodorus and the rest of the others / become heretics in thine eyes. For the way was becoming [open] before thee also against Basil and Gregory and Athanasius and Ambrose and against the rest of the others who at the same time said the same things.
Who is there who would not groan that this idea was come [to pass]: that, encouraged by the commands of [his] Majesty and by fear and by punishments, they were constraining the Easterns and, after the peace, were dragging and bringing them like captives and pressing round them to make them anathematize their Fathers? They reached this peace and this unanimity: thus they thought one thought, thus they rested from the suffering of wrongs, when they [had] delivered me over to my enemy. Because they were fearful, they were saying that it was better that one man should suffer injury and [that] the faith should prevail. But would indeed that this had been true! How this would not irk me! But on the contrary I should have surely rejoiced when aught for which they were eager was receiving correction. But on the contrary they had suffered for [the words] which they allowed me [to say] and for the things which they let be said and further [for those] which people allowed them not to say, though I myself was saying them, and for which they had cast me out. And after that they fought against Theodore and after him against Diodorus and then also against every single / one of the rest of the others, and they were intent on the same intention, having set themselves to drive them out with me, as indeed they were saying those very things and naught else. And they ought either to drive them out with me for the same [reasons] or to accept me, even me, and to accept them too. But they dared not say that I should be accepted, because they had once driven me out; and it would have been necessary also for them, though grieving, to drive them out and afterwards for these same [reasons] to drive out also the others themselves, because those others were imagining and teaching the same things, and [saying] that these things were true. And with this boldness he hoped to rise up against all the saints to accept [their doctrine] and thereupon to invert and to alter the things which he [had] received. For this man himself showed his [true] self after the original confession [of the faith], both gradually adding and subtracting and saying the same things; and he denied therein the compulsion and the authority, acting and scheming until he suppressed [the doctrine] t hat those whereof Christ is are two natures; and he placed the natures in the names and not in the ousias and imposed the confession of one nature as if by law. Then, in striving to undo and to overthrow those who predicated two natures, [he attacked,] not indeed all of them at the |335 same time, but / in the first place certain men, in order that, when he [had] prevailed against the latter, he might go to war little by little against the rest of them, as against persons who were saying these [same] things as the others. For those too of whom they were making use in [bearing] witness to what the others [had] said, were saying those very things---- and this is not a new discovery----[and] he was driving them out as heretics. And I too say these [same] things as those [others], and thus they confess as heretics! And they and all of them at the same time were increasing this very depravity of impiety in the face of every one. For he was not citing the [words] of the orthodox and of those doctors who [were] before me so as to prove that I am an heretic, but on the contrary he was taking my own [words] against them that he might prove that they [were] heretics, because the things which were said by them were like unto mine. But let us show also the things which were coming to pass after these things and took [their] beginning therefrom. *********************
Every one, of whatsoever city it may be, who has suffered therein on my account, would not be giving light, even as the sun, if I |378 had looked towards my accusers and not towards God and [if] also I had not been deemed worthy to be [given a share] in those things, every single one of which had been [brought to pass] by God; for this affair was not mine but Christ's who made me mighty.
But every man will give account unto God concerning the things which he has said or brought to pass or done to cause scandal, or [wherein] he has been zealous with all zeal to make scandals to cease; but if, when a man does everything, he who is scandalized is not to be persuaded, let him be scandalized on his own account and not on account of him who says and cries out unto him and is not heard by him.
But, because many were blaming me many times / for not having written unto Leo, bishop of Rome, to teach him all the things which were committed, such as came to pass, and the change of faith, as if unto a man who is correct in his faith, especially when there had been given unto me, [even] unto me, a part of the letter relating to the judgement concerning Flavian and Eutyches, wherein it was revealed that [he feared] not the friendship of [his] majesty, for this reason I wrote not, not because I am a proud man and senseless, but so that I might not hinder from his running him who was running fairly because of the prejudice against my person. But I was content to endure the things whereof they accused me, in order that, while I was accused thereof, they might accept without hindrance the teaching of the Fathers; for I have no word [to say] concerning what was committed against me. And further I wrote not for the purpose that I, to whom for many years there was not one [moment of] repose nor human solace, might not be suspected of surely fleeing from the contest, fearing the labours [thereof]; for sufficient are the wrongs that have come upon the world [and] which are more able than I to make the oppression of the true faith shine forth in the eyes of every man.
But, because thou blamest me as though I have failed to say clearly the things which have occurred, O chief of the saints, / Sophronius, hear therefore also the things which thou |379 knowest and testifiest concerning the truth of the things which are said. For immediately, as indeed thou art persuaded, thou hast first seen that death has carried off the daughter of him who was then reigning,87 and thereafter, thou seest, that demon, the chief of adultery, who cast down the empress with insult and contumely.88 Again [thou seest] that the cities of Africa and of Spain and of Muzicanus and great and glorious islands---- I mean Sicily and Rhodes and many other great ones---- and Rome itself have been delivered over for spoil unto the barbarian Vandal. 89 Yet there will however be in the first place and at no longer distance [of time] a second coming of the barbarian against Rome itself, during which also Leo, who has indeed held well to the faith but has agreed to the things which these have unjustly committed against me without examination and without judgement, will deliver up with his own hands the divine vessels of the sanctuary into the hands of the barbarians and will see with his [own] eyes the daughters of the emperor who is reigning at that time led into captivity. 90 But I have endured the torment of my life and all my [fate] in this world as the torment of one day and lo! I have now already got me / to [the time of my] dissolution, and daily every day I beseech God to accomplish my dissolution, whose eyes have seen the salvation of God. Conclusion. Rejoice for me, O desert, my beloved and my foster-parent and the home of my habitation, and my mother [the land of] my exile, who even after my death will guard my body unto the resurrection by the will of God. Amen.