Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Nestorius vs. St. Cyril
The Son is one with the Father, God cannot suffer, the Son suffered on the cross. This line of reasoning sparked a severe debate between the figures of Nestorius and St. Cyril of Alexandria, on how exactly this seeming contradiction can be true, resulting in the formulation of Chalcedonian Christology (Dyophysitism). There is even debate amongst scholars on what exactly St. Cyril meant in his many responses to Nestorius. To delve into this specific issue of the suffering of Christ in the debates between Nestorius and St. Cyril will deepen our understanding of the person of Christ. Further, this is vital to an understanding of Chalcedonian Christology (Dyophysitism).
Chalcedonian Christology in Scholarly Literature
The popular narrative of what the Dyophysite debate between Nestorius and St. Cyril was about is that “the Alexandrians (in the person of Cyril)...diminished [Christ’s] humanity and the Antiochenes (in the person of Nestorius)...defended it...Alexandrian Christology (dyophysitism) missed the point of the Incarnation by denying the Word a full human nature.”[i] Some have argued for a divergence on the part of his Christology from his use of “one nature” as a “dogmatic, anti-Nestorius” Christology and a substantially different “exegetical, anti-Arian” Christology,[ii] with a final compromise to the Antiochenes (dyophysitism).[iii] Some have posited that this debate between Nestorius and St. Cyril was a mere battle over different emphases with no theological weight to the matter, a difference between St. Cyril’s emphasis on “Christological unity” and Nestorius’ emphasis on the “completeness of Jesus’ humanity, with “Cyril often emerg[ing] as a de facto Apollinarian who stressed the oneness of the incarnate Son at the expense of his human psyche.”[iv]
When it comes to passability, scholars have affirmed it as the central issue which Nestorius focused on, for example, O’Keefe argues that “In order to understand the Christological debate (between Nestorius and St. Cyril), we must recognize that concern about God's impassibility goes to the heart of the controversy itself,”[v] and against the affirmation that it was an issue of “emphases” Drury states “If it were simply a matter of emphasis, room would have been more easily made for both positions. The issue at hand was divine impassibility. It seemed intuitively obvious to all parties involved that if God suffered, then God would cease to be God.”[vi] Yet “modern passibilists generally perceive Cyril’s paradoxical distinction between impassible divinity and incarnate suffering as a contradictory attempt to remain true to Scripture’s single-subject Christology without denying Hellenism’s concept of impassable deity.”[vii]
What is Dyophysitism?
I will argue that to answer this conundrum raised by Nestorius, St. Cyril asserts that due to the two natures (dyophysitism) of the single person of the Divine word, Christ suffers only in regards to His human nature, while remaining impassible according to His Divine nature, and to deny this is to deny the very gospel itself. St. Cyril argues this upon the foundations of his Christology already laid. Therefore, that foundation must be shown first. I will be drawing mainly from his most mature work On the Unity of Christ (written against Nestorius), and from other works which illuminate and are foundational to understanding this work. This foundation is that the one Person (nature in other works of St. Cyril) of God the Word took upon Himself a human nature by an economic appropriation of flesh from the Blessed Virgin Mary, which created a Divine-human unity of one Divine person and two natures (dyophysitism), which acts and is acted upon as one subject, yet the one subject acts and is acted upon according to His divine and human natures (dyophysitism).
To do so, first, I will cover the history which shows the context of the Alexandrian-Antiochian conflicts in which this piece arose and especially the previous theologians who influenced St. Cyril’s and Nestorius' theology and grammar, then I will proceed in showing how the argument is built through his work, starting with the fundamental assertions of his Christology (dyophysitism), and then proceeding to show how St. Cyril draws out the implications of this foundation, leading to the specific application to the suffering of Christ, which is based on the previous foundational arguments and assertions made by St. Cyril.
Nestorianism and Arianism
The background which we must always be aware of in order to understand the origins, language, and substance of the argument between St. Cyril and Nestorius is that of the Arian controversy. As O’Keefe observed “Given the continuity of the issues, it is curious that the fifth-century debates between Nestorius and St. Cyril are not usually presented in terms of “Nicaea continued.’”[viii] To be brief, the issue with the Arians is that they asserted that “If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: hence it is that there was when the Son was not. It follows then of necessity that he had his existence from the non-existence.”[ix] Yet, there were other grounds in which the Arians liked to argue from, namely, that A. God is impassible, incapable of suffering (for, “the Fathers all presupposed impassibility”[x]), B. the Son suffered on the cross, ergo the Son can not be true God in the same sense that the Father is, and therefore must be a creature.[xi] For example, Eudoxosius of Constantinople wrote, “Let them [the Niceans] answer how one who is passible and mortal can be homoousios with the God who is above these things and who is beyond suffering and death.”[xii] As we have seen, the debate between the Arians and Niceans sowed the seeds for the later debate by asking the question “How did Christ suffer?”
The way in which Nicene theologians answered these charges differed, and led to a splitting of two traditions. The first is that tradition which was exemplified by Athanasius, which we may call the “Alexandrian school,” who answered the Arian arguments by denying the idea that the suffering of the Logos was according to His divinity. Rather, he argued that the one person of the Logos took on flesh, was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, suffered, and died, yet we may predicate certain actions only according to the flesh which the Logos took on, not to the divine nature[xiii] itself (communicatio idiomatum). The same is true the other way around, the flesh was not born in eternity, begotten from the Father before all ages, eternal, immutable, impassible, etc., but these things are true of the one Christ, according to His Divinity (communicatio idiomatum).[xiv] The Alexandrians in their polemic formed what we may call a “double predication,” with some actions predicated to His humanity, and other actions predicated to His Divinity, yet retaining one person.
The second is the tradition of the Antiochines who took a different approach to answering the objections of the Arians which radically altered their Christology from that of the Alexandrian school. They denied the “double predication” of St. Athanasius and agreed with the Arians that we could not say that impassibility is according to the Divine nature, and passibility is according to the human nature. Rather, they attacked the Arian assumption that there is a unity of person. They asserted that with the “suffering” or “hungering” passages which are contained in the gospels we ought to understand them as being predicated not to the Logos, but to the human Jesus which is attached to the Logos.[xv]
We can easily see here the seeds of the “fork in the road” which separated St. Cyril from Nestorius. It is no mistake that St. Cyril was a direct successor in the episcopal see of Alexandria that was held by St. Athanasius and that Nestorius was the bishop of Antioch.
The Grammar of Dyophysistism
We must not move past the Arian-Nicene controversy too quickly, because it is this controversy which gave rise to the grammar which was used in the debate between St. Cyril and Nestorius. Another important figure in this battle against the Arians was St. Gregory, of whom Beeley comments that “all of Cyril’s key terms were coined by Gregory.”[xvi] There is much scholarly debate over this issue, in time past it was popular to assume an inconsistency in thought in the Christology of St. Cyril, eventually compromising with his enemies, but we ought to think only of a change in grammar, and not of a change in the substance of his Christology.
St. Cyril long preferred the language of the person of Christ being “One nature,”[xvii] which can raise some heads, because of the later condemnation of such language at the council of Chalcedon (Chalcedonian Christology teaches dyophysitism). But, for St. Cyril, we ought to recognize that the definition of a “nature” was something like “a concrete individual acting as a subject in its own right and according to its own natural properties,”[xviii] thus this would be how we would speak about the term “person,” and how Chalcedon uses the word. As Romanides reflects “to speak about two natures (dyophysitism) in Christ would be somewhat equivalent to a Chalcedonian speaking about two hypostases in Christ. In this respect, a Chalcedonian would accept and does accept everything Cyril says.”[xix] We see here, that there are two types of dyophysitism, Chalcedonian Christology that affirms the communicatio idiomatum and the one taught by Nestorius that denies the communicatio idiomatum.
McGuckin especially shows this point, proving that nature “for Cyril is being used in an archaic sense, as equivalent to the term hypostasis [person] at Chalcedon later.”[xx] In fact, there is an eventual shift in St. Cyril’s language where he began to use “dyophysite” or “two-nature” language, clearly teaching Dyophysitism in the sense of Chalcedonian Christology, affirming the Communicatio Idiomatum. This change in diction does not betray an inconsistency, but rather a greater grammatical precision. As Graham says, “Despite his hesitancy to accept the orthodoxy of dyophysite language, the Alexandrian patriarch does not reject it altogether...His Christology explicitly excludes all forms of monophysitism...the soteriological intelligibility of the person and work of Jesus Christ demands that the Word remains fully God and his humanity remains truly human (dyophysitism).”[xxi] Therefore, in the usage of “person” and “nature” in this paper I will be using their Chalcedonian/modern senses, which is also used, cautiously, by St. Cyril later in life and in the work in question, and is easiest to understand for modern readers.
Dyophysitism and the Unity of Christ
The foundation of the Christology which St. Cyril lays out against Nestorius and the touchstone of the controversy between him and Nestorius is that of the Unity of the Person of Christ. By person, in this case, we refer to “a concrete individual acting as subject in its own right.”[xxii] “Nestorius argued that the person who suffered was a man…[that has been] been conjoined to the Only Begotten or…[went on to] maintain that he has shared in the divine dignities.”[xxiii] St. Cyril on the Other hand argues that by maintaining this Nestorius has introduced “a different Son and Christ and Lord.”[xxiv] Rather than positing a different Son, a different Lord, a second person, he states that it is “he himself [who] came in that form, while even so remaining in likeness to God the Father,” that is “the Word is made one with it [humanity], and in turn, it masks the transcendent excellence of the eminence and glory of the Word from being gazed at as if laid bare to the inspection of all.” St. Cyril proves this, stating that “very clearly he [the author of Hebrews] says that he [Christ] was brought lower than the angels through the suffering of death and that he has thereby “been crowned with honor and glory,” and yet he makes it obvious to whom his words refer, clearly the Only Begotten.”[xxv] As McGuckin states “The person of the Logos is the sole personal subject of all the conditions of his existence, divine or human. The Logos is, needless to say, the sole personal subject of all his own acts as eternal Lord...but after the incarnation, the same one is also the personal subject...of the human life of Christ in Palestine.”[xxvi] St. Cyril begins his argument by affirming the unity of the person of Christ against Nestorius.
From this, St. Cyril argues that because we have a single person we ought to posit a “single subject” to the suffering against Nestorius. That is, when we speak of Christ doing something, whether it be eating, drinking, suffering, or creating the world, doing miracles, seeing the future, etc., we speak of the action being done by the Person of the Word (communicatio idiomatum). We do not speak of the man Jesus doing this and the Logos doing that, rather we speak of the one incarnate Christ being the subject for all actions. This flows naturally from the idea that Christ is one Divine Person, for we cannot speak of a “nature” doing something, but a person. This is where Nestorius reacted with great fervor when St. Cyril would speak of “God dying” or “God being born” or “God sucking milk from the Blessed Virgin Mary,” the second of which was one of the touchstones of the controversy. Nestorius objected to the phrase “Theotokos” (that is “Mother of God,” literally “God-bearer,” in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary) and preferred the term “Christotokos” in its stead. St. Cyril writes on this matter that “he [Nestorius] even innovates as seems fit to him, and denies that the holy virgin is the Mother of God, and calls her Christ-Mother instead, or Mother-of-the-Man...He maintains it is because [Nestorius says that] she has not given birth to God, since the Word was before her, or rather is before every age and time being coeternal with God the Father.”[xxvii] This may seem like an area of little consequence, a mere battle of semantics, but the implications are crucial to a true understanding of Christology. By denying the term “Theotokos” for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nestorius was rejecting the single-subjectivity of Christ, and rather asserting that the man Jesus was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, not the person of God. In this Nestorius “split up and completely divide his words and acts, attributing some things as proper solely to the Only Begotten, and others to a son who is different to him and born of a woman, [denying the communicatio idiomatum).”[xxviii] As we have seen, from the previous assertion that Christ is one Divine person, St. Cyril draws out the implication that Christ is one subject.
Dyophysitism Proper (two-natures)
Next, in this line of argument, St. Cyril argues that though there is a unity of person and single-subject, there are two natures. Now, as I have mentioned before, in St. Cyril’s writings the term “nature” goes through development in its definition, and his usage, depending on the situation, can vary, but, as I showed above, his theological framework remains the same. Thus, when I now use the term “nature” I refer to the modern/Chalcedonian definition of “nature,” that is, a set of characteristic or attributes that are true of a person,[xxix] therefore Christ in His Divine nature retains the characteristics of Divinity, yet the Divine Word took on flesh and blood as His own, without abolishing that Divine nature, and while remaining a Divine Person. In On the Unity of Christ, St. Cyril states “We say that these human things are his by an economic appropriation, and along with the flesh all the things belonging to it. We recognize no other Son apart from him, for the Lord himself has saved us, giving his own blood as a ransom for the life of all (Is 63:9 LXX).” Therefore, what he is saying here is that what the incarnation was is the Son taking upon “flesh,”[xxx] a human nature, and it is the flesh of the one person of the word, yet he is still Divine, “God by nature.”[xxxi] Graham comments on this dualistic language, stating “Cyril consistently [distinguishes] his intrinsic consubstantiality with the Father from his voluntary consubstantiality with us.”[xxxii] In St. Cyril’s other works he is consistent on this note, for example in his Second Letter to Nestorius, he states that the person of Christ did not cause a “negation of the difference of natures…[rather] the Godhead and the manhood by their ineffable and indescribable consilience into unity achieved One Lord and Christ and Son for us.”[xxxiii] In another place in the epistle he states that “each nature is understood to remain in all its natural characteristics.”[xxxiv] St. Cyril begins here to move from his discussion on the unity of the Person to discussing in what way there is duality. Yet, we ought to remember that in this duality of natures, there is yet a single subject, so when we speak of “Christ’s flesh” we speak of the flesh of the single subject, that is, the very flesh of the person of God, specifically the flesh of the Logos.
Impassibility and Chalcedonian Christology
Next, St. Cyril builds his Christology from this point by following in the lead of our old friend St. Athanasius. St. Athanasius in fighting the Arians answered the problem of impassibility not by objecting to the single personhood of Christ, but by objecting to the idea that Christ suffers in his Divinity. An example of this is seen in his third discourse against the Arians, “These things were so done, were so manifested, because He had a body, not in appearance, but in truth; and it became the Lord, in putting on human flesh, to put it on whole with the affections proper to it; that, as we say that the body was His own, so also we may say that the affections of the body were proper to Him alone, though they did not touch Him according to His Godhead. If then the body had been another's, to him too had been the affections attributed; but if the flesh is the Word's (for 'the Word became flesh'), of necessity then the affections also of the flesh are ascribed to Him, whose the flesh is.”[xxxv] This “double predication” is picked up by his episcopal successor, St. Cyril, and he uses this as the hermeneutical key to developing his Christology. This “double predication” is that the single person of Christ has attributes, actions, etc., that are predicated to one nature, without touching the other nature.
The Communicatio Idiomatum as a Solution
A technical term that holds this single-subjectivity and double predication together is called the “communicatio idiomatum,” the communication of idioms, which is the doctrine that we can predicate both the human and divine attributes to the one subject of the Word. For example, when we say that is omniscient, St. Cyril would argue, using the communicatio idiomatum, that this omniscience is predicated only according to the divine nature of the one subject of the Divine Logos (though knowledge from that omniscience may be communicated from the divine mind to the human mind). On the other hand, scripture affirms that Jesus “grew in wisdom,” therefore we can also say that the one person of the Word was not omniscient, for how can one be omniscient if he learns, yet we say that it is according to the human nature. In both cases, it is the one subject, yet opposite attributes are being ascribed to that subject (omniscience and learning), omniscience according to the Divine nature and learning according to the human nature. St. Cyril in On the Unity of Christ strongly holds this as a foundation for explaining the suffering of Christ, he denies that this means that Christ is “two persons or two hypostases divided from one another and completely diverging into distinct and separate spheres. For there is only one Son, the Word who was made man for our sake.”[xxxvi] Now of this one Word, this one person, he affirms that “ I would say that everything refers to him, words and deeds,”[xxxvii] therefore he makes statements such as “God died” or “God was born,” because the one person of Christ was the actor in those situations. But he clarifies in making a distinction between “those that befit the deity, as well as those which are human,”[xxxviii] saying that the actions proceeded from the one person, yet are proper only to one or the other nature, saying that “his own flesh obey[s] the laws of its own nature.”[xxxix] Now, we have seen the application of the duality of Christ’s natures (dyophysitism), that from this we can speak not only of one subject, as we have seen before, but also of a dual predication of specific attributes in the one subject.
Now, from all the previous argumentation which establishes a proper Christology he deals here the death blow, he cuts the gordian knot, and from the weight of what has been argued he solves the problem. He applies the four previous principles, Single person, single subjectivity, double nature (dyophysitism), double predication, and makes the term “Christ suffered impassibly” or “God suffered” a coherent statement, applying the communicatio idiomatum. Let’s unpack this phrase “God suffered.” By “God” St. Cyril is referring to the 2nd person of the Trinity in terms of the post incarnate state. When he speaks of the Logos suffering he is speaking of the 2nd Person of the Trinity in His incarnate state as the God-man suffering, yet as he also affirms that this 2nd Person of the Trinity on the cross is impassible, that is, not able to suffer. How may it be said that God both suffered on the cross and remained impassible on the cross? First, through single subjectivity, we must say that it was God on the cross because the subject of the incarnation and the resulting person from the incarnation is God, ergo God suffered on the cross. But, from double predication, we know that each of the natures resultant from this incarnation acts according to its own nature, therefore so we can say that the Divine nature of Christ, by definition remained impassible and that Christ’s human nature by definition was passible. So using these principles we can expand upon that phrase “God suffered impassibly” to clarify it and say that, “The one person of the Word, who is God, took to Himself a human nature while retaining His divine attributes, and that one person of God suffered according to that human nature he took on while remaining impassible in regards to His Divine nature.” For example when St. Cyril said, against Nestorius, “To say that he suffered does no disgrace to him, for he did not suffer in the nature of the Godhead, but in his own flesh. So, even if he is said to suffer in the flesh, even so, he retains his impassibility insofar as he is understood as God...he attributed impassibility to him insofar as he is understood as God, adding on, most skillfully, “in the flesh,” which is, of course, where the suffering occurs.”[xl] In his Third Letter to Nestorius he anathematized anyone who dissented “if anyone interprets the sayings in the Gospels and apostolic writings, or the things said about Christ by the saints or the things he says about himself, as referring to two prosopa or hypostases, attributing some of them to a man conceived of as separate from the Word of God, and attributing others (as divine) exclusively to the Word of God the Father, let him be anathema.”[xli] That is to say, we interpret both to one subject, yet may speak of the actions to be predicated one to another. St. Cyril takes all that he has built of the relationship between the natures and the unification of the person and gives us a framework for retaining suffering and impassibility in an orthodox and biblically faithful way.
Lastly, St. Cyril also argues this point negatively after he constructed his Christological framework, he argues that this is the only Christological scheme that can possibly be true. He argues that all objections, all dissent from speaking in this way is impossible. He asserts that he is right because it must necessarily be this way, and therefore his opponent is wrong. First, it is necessary didactically, that we may imitate God in a corporeal way, “it was necessary for us to learn how people ought to behave once they have decided to live an honorable life in exemplary conduct,”[xlii] and “so that we should learn something from it, an easy lesson, that we must not hurry down another path when the occasion calls for courage…What else is involved in the duty of following him other than to overcome temptations manfully by asking for heavenly assistance?,”[xliii] and “it was also necessary for us to have the beneficial knowledge of how far the limits of obedience should extend, by what wonderful ways it comes, how great is its reward, and what form it has,”[xliv] for, we had to be catechized by the God-man. Second, it was necessary redemptively, for he had to be both God and man in one person, “It was entirely necessary that the Second Adam, who is from heaven (1 Cor 15:45) and superior to all sin, that is Christ, the pure and immaculate first-fruits of our race, should free that nature of man from judgment, and once again call down upon it the heavenly graciousness of the Father. He would undo our abandonment by his obedience and complete submission,”[xlv] and if this was not the case “an imposter and a falsely-named son, has died for us. The great and venerable mystery of the incarnation of the Only Begotten has turned out to be only words and lies, for he never really became man after all.”[xlvi] For, to save us He had to be God, “How else should we say that the mystery of the economy of the Only Begotten in the flesh brought help to the nature of man, except that he who is above all creation brought himself down into a self-emptying and lowered himself in our condition? How else could it be except that the body which lay under corruption became a body of life so as to become beyond death and corruption?”[xlvii] Lastly, St. Cyril makes the argument that it is necessary for participation. God ought to have participated in manhood for men to participate in the Godhead, God had to have participated in corruption for men to participate in incorruption, and “In so far as he himself is life, for he was born from the life of the Father, he intended to implant his own benefit within it, that is life itself.”[xlviii] Not only does St. Cyril argue that this is biblically faithful and orthodox, but he shows us that this Christological framework is necessary.
There are four main objections to the thesis, 1. St. Cyril was hopeless in his endeavor and did not preserve impassibility, 2. The modern thesis that St. Cyril and Nestorius was arguing over nothing since impassibility is merely a Greek philosophical notion forced upon scripture, 3. The endeavor is vain because St. Cyril had several stages of thought therefore there is no consistent “Cyrillian” Christology to defend, and 4. St. Cyril in his endeavor downplayed the humanity of Christ.
The first objection does not clearly state the issue at hand by making proper distinctions. The issue was not whether Christ was passible or not, clearly, Christ suffered, but the issue is to explain how He suffered since He is a Divine Person, and thus impassible. The question thus is “How was Christ impassible?” St. Cyril would admit quite readily that God suffered, but St. Cyril explains at length how in his Christology the Divine nature of Christ remained impassible in the midst of this suffering, which can readily be seen with dual predication, where Christ remains impassible in His Divinity, yet suffers, in the words of St. Peter, “in the flesh.”[xlix] The second is the most common objection given from modernists since it has become popular to deny impassability, it is beyond the scope of this paper to give a full defense of impassability, such a full defense can be found in another place,[l] but in simple form, the first question “Is it Biblical?” and the second “Is it a mere holdover from Greek philosophy?” will be dealt with in brief. On the supposition that God is perfect, he must not change, because any change would be either from a lesser perfection to a greater perfection or from a greater perfection to a lesser perfection (thus invalidating the presupposition). Since God does not change therefore he cannot suffer, for suffering would require God to be changed by a creature from a state of blessedness to a state of suffering, negating both his perfection and immutability. The second objection is completely unfounded. Yes, Greek philosophy has similar beliefs to Classical Christian Theism but does it then follow that a. The source of the Christian belief is Greek philosophical thought or b. That it is unbiblical? No. The reasoning is fallacious. The doctrine of impassibility was in the church long before Grek Philosophical thought supposedly invaded, back to the disciples of the Apostles themselves,[li] with several 2nd-century thinkers affirming the same.[lii] The third does not take into account the development of language, as Edwards persuasively argues.[liii] The fourth objection comes from a misunderstanding of St. Cyril’s Christology that has led some to even label him a “De facto Apollinarian.”[liv] We must understand that St. Cyril, on the other hand, affirms the full human nature of Christ, body, soul, and mind, and not a mere Divine Soul who has flesh, but a full humanity. What he does deny is that this human nature is of a human person, rather he affirms that the human nature of Christ is the human nature of the Divine person of the Logos. As we have seen the objections against St. Cyril do not hold up, for if one reads him charitably and in context, he will not have these objections.
As we have seen thus far, St. Cyril affirms that God suffers impassibly, because we may call him God in that the Divine person is the subject of the action. We say that He suffered in that it was according to His human nature, and say that it was impassibly in that the suffering did not touch His Divine nature. In this framework we preserve both essential impassibility and true suffering. St. Cyril shows this by building the Christological framework of One Divine person, with two natures, unmixed and unconfused, which is one subject, yet with a dual predication of attributes. Then after building this framework he applies it to the issue at hand.
To study the Fathers on this issue is vital. Here we have from the very fountainhead of Christology a deep reflection on the biblical text in these areas. From this discussion of the central issue of the 5th-century Christological debates, we do not only find an interesting argument about suffering and Christ but we have the explanation of our entire Christology. What I mean by “the explanation” is that it is the explanation of the very heartbeat of our understanding of the person of Christ, the incarnation, and how the Divine and human natures of Christ relate which is the grid by which we can view all of Christology. From an understanding of this central argument, we have a lens through which to view the rest of the topic of Christology through. From this endeavor, we come to an understanding of our blessed savior, both the unity of His Person as true God, and the distinctiveness of His natures as true man, to whom be the glory now and forever. Amen.
[i] John J. O'Keefe, “Impassible Suffering? Divine Passion and Fifth-Century Christology,” Theological Studies, 1997, no. 58, 39. an example of this is found in Justo González, The Story of Christianity 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984) 252-57. [ii] R.V. Sellers, Two Ancient Christologies: A Study in the Christological Thought of the Schools of Alexandria and Antioch in the Early History of Christian Doctrine (London, England: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1940) [iii] David A. Graham, The Christological Function of Divine Impassibility: Cyril of Alexandria and Contemporary Debate, (Toronto, Canada: University of St. Michael’s College, 2013), 4. [iv] Ibid., 5. [v] O'Keefe, “Impassible Suffering? Divine Passion and Fifth-Century Christology,” 40. [vi] John L. Drury, “God Tasted Death for us: Nestorius and Cyril on the Suffering of Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Westminster Theological Seminary Annual Meeting, (2007), 4. [vii] Graham, The Christological Function of Divine Impassibility, 48. [viii] O'Keefe, “Impassible Suffering? Divine Passion and Fifth-Century Christology,”, 43. [ix] Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (2nd ed.). (New York: Oxford University Press, 1963), 40. [x] Graham, The Christological Function of Divine Impassibility, 3. [xi] Wilken, R. L. “Tradition, Exegesis, and the Christological Controversies.” Church History, no. 34, 127. [xii] Quoted in Ibid. [xiii] Throughout this discussion I will be using the modern Christological conventions when it comes to the Chalcedonian definitions to terms, note that in primary source material differing words may be used, which may even seem to contradict what I am saying, but we must recognize the fluidity of the term “nature” in pre-Chalcedonian Christological discussion. This point will be discussed in a following section. [xiv] Ibid., 128. [xv] Ibid., 129-130. [xvi] Christopher A. Beeley, “Cyril of Alexandria and Gregory Nazianzen: Tradition and Complexity in Patristic Christology.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 17, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 382 [xvii] John S. Romanides, “St. Cyril's "One Physis or Hypostasis of God the Logos incarnate" and Chalcedon.” (August 1964), 86. [xviii] Ibid. [xix] Ibid. [xx] John McGuckin, “St. Cyril of Alexandria's Miaphysite Christology and Chalcedonian Dyophysitism.” Ortodoksia, (2017), 53, 33. [xxi] Graham, The Christological Function of Divine Impassibility, 17. [xxii] John S. Romanides, “St. Cyril's "One Physis or Hypostasis of God the Logos incarnate" and Chalcedon.” 86. [xxiii] St Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ, ed. John Behr, trans. John Anthony McGuckin, vol. 13, Popular Patristics Series (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995), 104–105. [xxiv] Ibid., 109. [xxv] Ibid. [xxvi] John Anthony McGuckin, “Introduction,” in On the Unity of Christ, ed. John Behr, trans. John Anthony McGuckin, vol. 13, Popular Patristics Series (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995), 40–41. [xxvii] St Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ, 52. [xxviii] St Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ, 106. [xxix] J. N. D. Kelly, “Early Christian Doctrines,” (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1977), 318. [xxx] St Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ. [xxxi] Ibid., 127. [xxxii] Graham. The Christological Function of Divine Impassibility, 10. [xxxiii] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Second Letter to Nestorius. [xxxiv] Ibid. [xxxv] St. Athanatius, Third discourse against Arians 26.32 [xxxvi] St. Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ, 107. [xxxvii] Ibid. [xxxviii] Ibid. [xxxix] Ibid., 109. [xl] Ibid., 117. [xli] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Third Epistle to Nestorius. [xlii] St. Cyril of Alexandria, On the Unity of Christ, 112. [xliii]` Ibid., 103. [xliv] Ibid., 102. [xlv] Ibid., 105. [xlvi] Ibid., 112. [xlvii] Ibid., 115. [xlviii] Ibid., 125. [xlix] 1st Peter 4:1 [l] Ron Baines et al., Confessing the Impassible God: The Biblical, Classical, & Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility (Palmdale, CA: RBAP, 2015) [li] St. Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians 7.2, Epistle to Polycarp. [lii] Aristides, Apology of Aristides 1.2, and Justin Martyr, First Apology 1.25 [liii] Mark J. Edwards, "“One Nature of the Word Enfleshed”," Harvard Theological Review 108, no. 2 (2015), 289. [liv] Steven A. McKinion, Words, Imagery, and the Mystery of Christ: A Reconstruction of Cyril of Alexandria's Christology (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 150-9, 183-7
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