Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Christology of Theodoret of CyrusAntiochene Christology from the Council of Ephesus (431) to the Council of Chalcedon (451)$

Paul B. Clayton, Jr.

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198143987

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198143987.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 26 February 2017



The Christology of Theodoret of Cyrus
Oxford University Press


Glossary of Greek Terms with English Transliterations

Aionion, αἰώνιος, ‐α, ‐ον, eternal; from αἰών, an age, aeon, eternity.

Allos, ἄλλος, another one besides; ἄλλος…καὶ ἄλλος appears frequently in the Alexandrine–Antiochene Christological debates over the question of whether there are two Sons (the Word and the assumed man Jesus) in Christ. See, e.g., Theodoret's exegesis of Isa. 49: 3 and Eph. 4: 9–10 in Ch. 6.

Analambano, ἀναλαμβάνω, to take up, assume. In the Incarnation the Word, the Son of God, took up human flesh (σάρκα ἀνέλαβε). The ‘assumed man’, or homo assumptus, of the Antiochene party is ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἀναληϕθείς.

Analepsis, ἀνάληψις, ἡ, taking up, assumption.

Anthropeia, ἀνθρωπεία, ἡ, human nature.

Anthropos, ἄνθρωπος, ὁ, a human being, humankind.

Anthropotes, ἀνθρωπότης, ἡ, humanity, human nature, the physis human nature.

Anthropotokos, ἀνθρωποτόκος, Mother of the human being, an Antiochene title for the Virgin Mary, in opposition to Theotokos.

Apathes, ἀπαθής, ‐ες, impassible; the name of the third dialogue of the Eranistes.

Aphtharsia, ἀϕθαρσία, ἡ, incorruptibility.

Asygchytos, ἀσύγχυτος, ‐η, ‐ον, without confusion, unfused; the name Theodoret gives to the second dialogue in his Eranistes, the point of which is to demonstrate that the Word as divine hypostasis remains what he is, immutable God, and that he has assumed to himself in the Incarnation a real, full, actual humanity which remains what humanity is. The adverbial form of the word appears in the Chalcedonian Definition.

Atreptos, ἄτρεπτοs, ‐η, ‐ον, immutable; this is the key word for the first dialogue of the Eranistes; it also appears in the Chalcdonian Definition.

Autos, αὐτός, the same one, the very one, the one himself.

Character, χαρακτήρ, ὁ, impress, stamp, features, appearance, figure; a ‘particularizing characteristic’ or idion which identifies a particular hypostasis from other hypostaseis of the same physis.

Christotokos, Χριστοτόκος, Christ‐bearing, the Mother of Christ; a title for the Virgin Mary preferred by the Antiochenes in opposition to Theotokos.

Dikaiosune, δικαιοσύνη, ἡ, righteousness, justification.

Doxa, δόξα, ἡ, derived from δοκέω, to think, have an opinion, estimate, repute. Thus doxa can mean doctrine, system of belief, and also honour, distinction, glory, especially of the Shechinah (Septuagint of Exod. 16: 10) or the glory and dazzling splendour which in the Old and New Testaments is peculiar to God.

(p.296) Eidos, εἶδος, τό, the individual.

Enanthropeo, ἐνανθρωπέω, to become human, to become incarnate; for Theodoret, God the Word is incarnate by assuming, or taking up, human nature, or the man: τὴν ἀνθρωπείαν ϕύσιν λαβὼν ἐνανθρώπησε.

Enanthropesis, ένανθρώπησις, incarnation.

Energeia, ἐνέργεια, ἡ, activity, operation, working.

Eudokia, εὐδοκία, ἡ, good will, wilful intention.

Genos, γένος, τὸ, the species to which a hypostasis or individual subsistent belongs.

Hegemonikon, ἡγεμονικόν, τό, the governing, rational, decision‐making part of the human being, the subject of consciousness; in Graecarum Affectionum Curatio, Book V, section 22, Theodoret uses hegemonikon to indicate the rational part of the psyche.

Henoo, ἑνόω to unite.

Henosis kath' hypostasin, ἕνωσις καθ̕ ὑπόστασιν, hypostatic union, union at the level of hypostasis or within a hypostasis.

Heteros, ἕτερος, ‐α, ‐ον, other. The phrase heteros … kai heteros is often employed by Theodoret to distinguish the Word from the assumed man, or humanity: ἕτερος ὁ ναός, καὶ ἕτερος ὁ ἐνοικῶν ἐν αὐτῷ θεὸς.

Homoousios, ὁμοούσιος, ‐α, ‐ον, of the same ousia or being.

Ho on, ὁ ὤν, he who is, I AM (the Name of God).

Hyios, ὑιός, ὁ, son.

Hyle, ὓλη, ἡ, material, matter, the material sphere.

Hyparxis, ὓπαρξις, ἡ, existence, subsisting, being. Theodoret describes the three hypostaseis of the one ousia of God as ‘modes of God's being’: οἱ τῆς ὑπάρξεως τρόποι.

Hypokeimenon, ὑποκείμενον, τό, the subject of the experiences of an hypostasis, sometimes used by various Patristic authors as an equivalent of hypostasis. In Epistle 125 (from the first half of 450), Theodoret insists that the Word, being impassible, could not have experienced the passion on the cross, and that this necessitates predicating a passible, mortal hypokeimenon, or human subject, to experience the passion and death of the cross. On the other hand, hypokeimenon can be used as an equivalent of ousia to signify ‘substrate’, or substantial, indeterminate, and undefined matter.

Hypostasis, ὑπόστασις, ἡ, a particular, individual existent of a nature or physis.

Icon, εἰκών, ἡ, image; a ‘particularizing characteristic’, or idion, which identifies a particular hypostasis from other hypostaseis of the same physis.

Idion, idia, idioma, ἴδιον (or ἰδίαζον), ἴδια, τὸ ἰδίωμα, the particularizing characteristics, qualities, or properties which distinguish or differentiate the hypostaseis, subsistences, or individuals of a common nature or physis in the Stoic doctrine of being; these idiomata constitute the universal or physis into an hypostasis or particular existent of an ousiaphysis.

Idiotes, ἰδιότης, ἡ, individuality.

Kata physin, κατὰ ϕύσιν, in regard to the nature; in our context used to attribute characteristics or activities of God the Word to him in his divine nature.

Kath' ousian, καθ̕ οὐσίαν, on the level of ousia, by nature.

Koine physis, κοινὴ ϕύσις, or sometimes κοινότης τῆς ϕύσεως, the universal or common nature in the Stoic doctrine of being.

(p.297) Koine poiotes, κοινὴ ποιότης, the specifying quality or what is common to all those individuals who share the same physis, or nature, or species in the Stoic doctrine of being. All three hypostaseis of the triune God share the koine poiotes of divinity‐theotes.

koinonia, κοινωνία, ἡ, fellowship, communion, partnership, joint ownership, participation in.

Koinos, κοινός, ‐ἠ, ‐όν, that which is common to all the members of a species or physis. For example, theotes, or divinity, is common or koinon to the ousia‐physis of God and thus common to all of the three hypostaseis of the triune God.

Krasis, κρᾶσις, ἡ, union by mixture, such as a union by predominance as when a single drop of wine is mixed with an ocean of water, the two substances being mixed together interact with and on each other and are changed so that a tertium quid is the result of the mixture. When one of the two constituent elements predominates over the other, the relationship is like that between form and matter, and the weaker or lesser substance is in effect absorbed into the stronger. An alternative word for krasis is mixis (μίξις).

Krasis di' holon, κρᾶσις δι̕ ὃλων, used in the Stoic doctrine of being to denote a thorough interpenetration of the two constituent substances through each other, though each retained its own properties unimpaired. This kind of mixture of two physical substances was the analogy the Stoics used for the union of soul and body in the human physis and hypostasis to protect the immortal, rational soul from the mutability, corruptibility, and mortality of the body. Neoplatonic speculation used a modified concept of krasis di' holon as the best analogy of mixture available to discuss the union of body and soul: soul interpenetrates the body totally, enlivening it with its rational presence, enlightening it with life and mind, but the soul itself is not changed or altered or rendered passible or mortal through this union, in which its presence is intentional by a kind of declination of interest towards the body. In the second dialogue of the Eranistes, Theodoret makes use of the Neoplatonic reinterpretation of the Stoic doctrine of krasis di' holon to expound his concept of the union of soul and body in human beings and, by analogy, the union of divinity and humanity in the Christ.

Logikos, λογικός, ‐ή, ‐όν, rational.

Logos, λόγος, ὁ, the Word.

Metabole, μεταβολή, ἡ, change, alteration.

Mia physis, μία ϕύσις; Cyril's key phrase μία ϕύσις [or ὑπόστασις] τοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη is often misleadingly translated as ‘one physis [or hypostasis] of the Word incarnate’, but the phrase is more accurately translated ‘one enfleshed physis [or hypostasis] of the Word’. Cf. Ch. i, n. 65.

Morphe, μορϕή, ἡ, form.

Neusis, νεῦσις, ἡ, inclination or declination; in Neoplatonism the rational soul is present to the body by schesis‐relation or neusis‐inclination of the soul toward the body.

Nous, νοῦς, ὁ, mind.

Oikeioo, ὀικειόω, to claim as a friend, make someone a kinsman. In the middle voice, ὀικειοῦμαι, to make one's own, identify oneself with, take upon oneself.

(p.298) Ousia, ὀυσία, ἡ, being, the basic substrate to which qualifying form is added.

Parathesis, παράθεσις, ἡ, juxtaposition, Aristotle's synthesis; used by the Stoics, to denote a union of mere juxtaposition of the two elements in the union, side by side as it were, without any confusion.

Pathos, pathemata, πάθος, τό παθήμα, ‐ατα, τό, suffering(s), passion(s).

Physike henosis, ϕυσικὴ ἕνωσις, a natural or composite union bringing into being one physis after the union: for example, the union of rational soul and body, two distinct physeis before the union, but one new physis, the human physis, after the union in one concrete existent or subsistent human being, or hypostasis.

Physikos, ϕυσικῶς, naturally.

Physis, ϕύσις, ἡ, a nature common to all the individual existents of a species.

Prosopon, πρόσωπον, τό face, countenance, mask, legal person; preferred by Theodoret to hypostasis to denote the three distinctions in the Triune God and the centre of unity between the divinity and humanity of Christ.

Psyche, ψυχή, ἡ the soul, or vitalizing part of a living being.

Sarx, σάρξ, ἡ, flesh. Sesarkomene, σεσαρκωμένη, is the perfect passive participle of sarkoo, σαρκόω to make flesh, and is used more or less interchangeably by Theodoret with enanthropeo, ἐνανθρωπέω, become a human being, or the noun form enathropesis, ἐνανθρώπησις, for ‘incarnation’.

Schema, σχῆμα, τό, shape, form; a ‘particularizing characteristic’ or idion which identifies a particular hypostasis from other hypostaseis of the same physis.

Schesis, σχέσις, ἡ, relation; in Neoplatonism the rational soul is present to the body by schesis or neusis, νεῦσις (inclination).

Skene, σκηνή, ἡ, tent.

Soma, σῶμα, τό, the body.

Sygchysis, σύγχυσις, ἡ, the kind of mixture in the Stoic doctrine of being in which the constituent substances are altered into each other or into a third new entity, which cannot be dissolved or analysed into its original two elements again (unlike Aristotle's krasis, which could be); a confusio, or mixture, that confuses two things into something new in which the two previous realities cannot be distinguished. Theodoret uses the term to accuse Cyril of uniting the Word with the assumed humanity in Christ by confusing or mixing the divine nature of the Word and the the human nature into a tertium quid which is neither divine nor human. The word is derived from συγχέω, to confound. This is not a confusion in the sense of misunderstanding, but of mixing two or more realities to form a new reality.

Synapheia, συνάϕεια, ἡ, a union by conjunction, a setting alongside each other of two physeis in such a way that the two natures are not changed or confused into each other or into a new third nature, or tertium quid. It is Theodoret's preferred term for the union of the divine physis and hypostasis of God the Word with the human physis of the assumed human being, or hypostasis, in the one prosopon of the ‘Christ’.

Synthesis, σύνθεσις, ἡ, a union in which very small parts of the material forming it are juxtaposed, such as when two sorts of grain are poured together. The two materials remain each what it was; the mixture is inert.

Theia, θεία, ἡ, divinity.

(p.299) Theotes, θεότης, ἡ, deity, divinity, the physis of God.

Theotokos, θεοτόκος, God‐bearing, Mother of God, the one who gives birth to the one who is God the Word, an Alexandrine title for the Virgin Mary which was given dogmatic standing by the Council of Ephesus in 431.

Zoon, ζῷον, τό, that which is alive, the living thing.