Saturday, April 28, 2018

"the material nature of men having been . . . made an enemy of sin"

"His nature or essence is double, because as mediator between God and men (1 Tim 2.5), he must fittingly restore the natural relationship to the mediated parties by his existence as both, so that—in him and through him in very truth, having united the earthly realm with the heavenly (Eph 1.10)—he may through his holy flesh taken from us as a firstfruit perfectly make us sharers in the divine nature (2 Pet 1.4), the material nature of men having been deified and made an enemy of sin [(τὴν ὑλικὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων φύσιν, τὴν ἐκ τῆς ἁμαρτίας πολεμωθεῖσαν, τῷ Θεῷ καὶ Πατρὶ προσαγαγὼν σωθεῖσαν, φιλωθεῖσάν τε καὶ θεωθεῖσαν, the material nature of menthe [nature] that had had war made upon it/been treated as an enemy on account of/been ravaged by sinhaving been ([he] presenting [it] to [his] God and Father) saved, befriended, and even deified)], not by an identity of essence, but by the ineffable power of his becoming human.  Hence he is known in fact and not in name alone to be at the same time both God and man."

     St. Maximus the Confessor, Ep. 12 =PG 91, col. 468CD, as translated by Adam G. Cooper, in "St. Maximus the Confessor on priesthood, hierarchy, and Rome," Pro ecclesia 10, no. 3 (Summer 2001):  349-350 (346-367).
     Well, I rather liked the idea of our "material nature . . . having been . . . made an enemy of sin," but am not at all sure that the Greek bears Cooper out.

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