Archive for October, 2012

Some words of wisdom, from the Syriac theologian, Bar Hebraeus (in Syriac Bar ‘Ebroyo ܒܪ ܥܒܪܝܐ), written in the thirteenth century:
“When I had given much thought and pondered on the matter, I became convinced that these quarrels of Christians are not a matter of factual substance, but rather, one of words and terms. For they all confess Christ our Lord to be perfect God and perfect human, without any commingling, mixing or confusion of the natures. This bipinnate likeness is termed by one party [sc. the Oriental Orthodox] a ‘nature’, by another [sc. the Eastern Orthodox, and by extension, the Catholics, Protestants, et al.] a ‘hypostasis, by yet another [sc. the Assyrian Church of the East] a ‘prosopon’ [i.e. ‘person’ or ‘persona’]. Thus I saw all the Christian communities, with their different Christological positions, as possessing a single common ground that is without any difference. Accordingly, I totally eradicated any hatred from the depths of my heart, and I completely renounced disputing with anyone over confessional matters.”

-Bar Hebraeus, The Book of the Dove, chapter 4, as quoted in Eastern Christianity: Studies in Modern History, Religion and Politics,Anthony O’Mahony, ed., square bracket notes by Todd J. Garvin.

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