Wednesday, May 30, 2012

THE TRI{3}NITARIAN MONSTER THAT NEVER WENT AWAY!

Don't you just love that title:

...ON – NOT – THREE – GOD(S)...”

It makes me laugh every time I see it!

GREEK TEXT: “...τὸ δὲ λεγόμενον παρὰ σοῦ τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν· Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης, ἐν μιᾷ ὄντες τῇ ἀνθρωπότητι, τρεῖς ἄνθρωποι λέγονται· καὶ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον τοὺς συνημμένους κατὰ τὴν φύσιν, εἰ πλείους εἶεν, ἐκ τοῦ τῆς φύσεως ὀνόματος πληθυντικῶς ἀριθμεῖσθαι. εἰ οὖν ἐκεῖ τοῦτο δίδωσιν ἡ συνήθεια καὶ ὁ ἀπαγορεύων οὐκ ἔστι δύο λέγειν τοὺς δύο καὶ τρεῖς τοὺς ὑπὲρ δύο, πῶς, ἐπὶ τῶν μυστικῶν δογμάτων τὰς τρεῖς ὑποστάσεις ὁμολογοῦντες καὶ οὐδεμίαν ἐπ' αὐτῶν τὴν κατὰ φύσιν διαφορὰν ἐννοοῦντες, μαχόμεθα τρόπον τινὰ τῇ ὁμολογίᾳ, μίαν μὲν τὴν θεότητα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος λέγοντες, τρεῖς δὲ θεοὺς λέγειν ἀπαγορεύοντες; Ὁ μὲν οὖν λόγος, καθὰ προέφην, πολὺ τὸ δυσμεταχεί ριστον ἔχει· ἡμεῖς δέ, εἰ μέν τι τοιοῦτον εὕροιμεν, δι' οὗ τὸ ἀμφίβολον τῆς διανοίας ἡμῶν ἐρεισθήσεται, μηκέτι πρὸς τὸ διλήμματον τῆς ἀτοπίας ἐπιδιστάζον καὶ κραδαινόμενον, [3,1.39] εὖ ἂν ἔχοι· εἰ δὲ καὶ ἀτονώτερος ἐλεγχθείη τοῦ προβλήματος ὁ ἡμέτερος λόγος, τὴν μὲν παράδοσιν ἣν παρὰ τῶν πατέρων διεδεξάμεθα φυλάξομεν εἰς ἀεὶ βεβαίαν τε καὶ ἀκίνητον, τὸν δὲ συνήγορον τῆς πίστεως λόγον παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου ζητήσομεν· ὃς εἰ μὲν εὑρεθείη παρά τινος τῶν ἐχόντων τὴν χάριν, εὐχαριστήσομεν τῷ δεδωκότι τὴν χάριν· εἰ δὲ μή, οὐδὲν ἧττον ἐπὶ τῶν ἐγνωσμένων τὴν πίστιν ἀμετάθετον ἕξομεν...” - (Paragraph 3, Section 3:1:38-39; Latin title: “Ad Ablabium Quod Non Sint Tres Dei,” Greek title: “ΓΡΗΓΟΡΙΟΥ ΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΝΥΣΣΗΣ ΠΕΡΙ ΤΟΥ ΜΗ ΟΙΕΣΘΑΙ ΛΕΓΕΙΝ ΤΡΕΙΣ ΘΕΟΥΣ ΠΡΟΣ ΑΒΛΑΒΙΟΝ,” MPG.)

GREGORY OF NYSSA (circa. 335-384 C.E.): “...The argument which ( you ) state is something like this:—Peter, James, and John, being in one human nature, are called three men: and there is no absurdity in describing those who are united in nature, if they are more than one, by the plural number of the name derived from their nature. If, then, in the above case, custom admits this, and no one forbids ( us ) to speak of those who are two as two, or those who are more than two as three, how is it that in the case of ( our ) statements of the mysteries of the Faith, though confessing the Three Persons, and acknowledging no difference of nature between them, ( WE ) ARE IN SOME SENSE AT VARIANCE WITH ( OUR ) CONFESSION, WHEN ( WE ) SAY THAT THE GODHEAD OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST IS ONE, AND YET FORBID MEN TO SAY “THERE ARE THREE GODS”? The question is, as ( I ) said, very difficult to deal with: yet, if ( we ) should be able to find anything that may give support to the uncertainty of ( our ) mind, SO THAT IT MAY NO LONGER TOTTER AND WAVER IN THIS MONSTROUS DILEMMA, it would be well: on the other hand, even - if - ( our ) reasoning be found unequal to the problem, ( we ) --- must keep for ever, firm and unmoved, --- THE TRADITION --- which ( we ) received by succession from the fathers, and seek from the Lord the reason which is the advocate of ( our ) faith: and if this be found by any of those endowed with grace, ( we ) must give thanks to Him who bestowed the grace; --- but if not, --- ( we ) shall none the less, on those points which have been determined, hold ( our ) faith unchangeably...” - (Paragraph 3, in “ON NOT THREE GODS.” Letter “TO ABLABIUS,” Translated by H.A. Wilson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 5. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.) 

And this:

...MONSTROUS DILEMMA...”

Has never gone away!

P.S. In no way do I find his arguments persuasive, nor do I believe in the conterfiet doctrine of the Tri{3}nity.