Are there any east Syriac explanations of Trinitarian theology?
There is a section on the Trinity in Mar Odisho's Marganitha. There is a translation of it here
, and another translation here
ps, sorry I couldn't make it to the liturgy this past Sunday. What did you think of the liturgy? Did anyone go with you?
No problem bro., I thought it was ok. I got to introduce myself to Fr. Rudy, and he said: ahlan wasahlan
I went by myself.
Do you want to go up to the Melkite church in Akron soon? I know Joe wants to. I think he wanted to go this Sunday but I haven't talked to him for a little while.
Sure, I'll be there this Sunday.
Do you think there is any fundamental difference or a difference of emphasis in the official English translation and the literal translation? Is it possible that the statement only refers to the fact that they are of the same nature/essence? Are there any implications of the Syriac text that can only be grasped if you have an understanding of the language?
Different words, same meaning. The meaning is that the Son is one with the Father, that is, of one Nature/Essence. "Son of the" has the same meaning as "of one" or "of the same".
For example, we call Christ: Son of God (ܒܪܗ ܕܐܠܗܐ
) and Son of Man (ܒܪܗ ܕܐܢܫܐ
), and we mean that He is one with God and one with Man, or simply as God and Man.
But, we also certainly make a distinction between the Son and the Father, the Son has His own Divine Q
noma (particular or singular Nature/Essence), and the Father has His own Divine Q
noma, though both are of one inseparable Divine Nature/Essence (the Divine Kyana).
Likewise, in the Incarnation, we make a distinction between Christ's Human Q
noma, and the human Q
nome of other men, even though both Christ and other men are one by Human Nature/Essence (the Human Kyana). Of course, the other difference between Christ and other men is that Christ is a Unity of the Divine and Human, God and Man, in one Parsopa (Person).
Second, it seems to me that the statement -Son of the nature of the Father - refers to the particular nature of the Father. Although, as you mentioned that dkyama refers to the general essence the way it is structured seems to imply the personal nature of the Father because of the use of the possessive pronoun in dbabeh. Maybe I am reading into the text but is it possible that this statement with its use of the term for general essences implies that the Father is the fountain or source of the essence of the Trinity?
noma of the Father is the eternal cause/source of the Kyana of the Trinity, and the eternal cause/source of the Q
noma of the Son and the Q
noma of the Holy Spirit. Son of the nature of His Father means one in the Divine Kyana.
And just to clarify my above statements. My main purpose was to emphasize the pre-eminence of the concept of the person over that of essence. It seems to me that the statement that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the one essence of the Father and the Son implies the pre-eminence of the concept of essence. And that is why I responded by saying that the Father is the source of the Trinity rather than the one essence. The Chaldean creed doesn't seem - as far as I can see - to be saying anything contradictory to what I am saying.
My understanding of the eternal generation of the Son and eternal procession of the Holy Spirit is in this way:
- The Q
noma of the Son eternally receives the Kyana and Q
noma of the Father.
- The Q
noma of the Holy Spirit eternally receives the Kyana and Q
noma of the Father from/by/through the Q
noma of the Son.
Though, I admit, I'm not certain if the Church of the East explains it in this way, cause I haven't yet done enough research on this.
In the Marganitha, Mar Odisho simply puts it like this:
The Mind (the Church) has called Father and Begetter, because He is the Cause of all, and First. The Son (She) has called Wisdom and Begotten, because He is begotten of the Mind, and by Him everything was made and created. The Life (She) has called, the Holy Spirit and Proceeding, because there is no other Holy Spirit but He.
He explains further, but doesn't go too deeply into it.
Hey, maybe we can talk about it tomorrow.