Distortion of Christological Richness in the Malayalam Translation of the Anaphora of Theodore: An Example

Dr. Sebastian Edavazhickal OSB

rejiedavazhi@yahoo.co.in

INTRODUCTION

The Syro-Malabar Church is one of the fastest growing Christian communities in India and in somey_holy_eucharist other parts of the world. Its tradition says that this Church received its faith from the apostle St. Thomas. At least from the fourth century onwards, it depended on the Church of Persia for its liturgy and other ecclesiastical affairs.[1] Thus, until the 16th century it followed the traditional East Syrian (Chaldean)[2] liturgy especially its Qurbana. But with the coming of Portuguese missionaries, its liturgy and ecclesiastical life were very much latinised.[3] It was only at the beginning of the 20th century, that the Holy See emphasised the importance of Oriental Churches and from then onwards began to insist that these individual Churches renew their original liturgical and ecclesiastical traditions. The Syro-Malabar Church also tried to return to its sources step by step and to revive its original liturgy. After a prolonged scrutiny and period of experiment, on 8th February 1985, Pope John Paul II celebrated its renewed Mass in India.[4] Ironically, the Taksa of 1984 never contained all the East Syrian Anaphoras. It contained only the Anaphora of Addai and Mari (the version with the ‘Words of Institution’ added to its original form). There existed opinions and arguments for and against this liturgy. It was only recently that something resembling a solution was found to these problems. During the period of turmoil, many changes were proposed to the original form and the Mass as it exists now in the Syro-Malabar Church can legitimately be described as a compromised construct if compared with its original form.

      After this somewhat disturbing period, when an atmosphere of peace returned to the realm of liturgy in the Syro-Malabar Church, its bishops began to introduce many other traditional liturgical texts for its liturgical celebration. One of such liturgical texts was the Anaphora of Theodore of Mopsuestia (which was introduced as an experimental text in the middle of 2013). In fact, right from the beginning of what can be described as the ‘revival period’, there existed proposals to include this anaphora in the liturgy and many valuable studies of this anaphora were made.

       But it seems that there exists a strong group which is against the introduction of this anaphora into our liturgy. They put forward many reasons to justify their opposition and one is evidently Christological. It is evident in the Malayalam translation of the “ad experimentum” text of 2013, especially in its fourth Gehanta prayer. Because according to Jacob Vadakkel – who made a thorough study about this anaphora and thus prepared a critical edition and English translation – it is especially with regard to a particular phrase of the fourth Gehanta prayer this anaphora is accused of Nestorian heresy in the past. Ironically in the Malayalam text its translation lost much of its Christological significance due to a simplified translation and the extreme care given to avoid any semblance of heresy. In this article I intend to study the Christological significance of this particular phrase in its original form and its modification in the present  “ad experimentum” text of 2013.

1. THE CONTROVERSIAL CHRISTOLOGICAL TEXT AND ITS TRANSLATION

The controversial phrase in the fourth Gehanta prayer is as follows:

…. ܗ̇ܘ ܕܡܸܜܠܵܬܲܢ ܒܢܲܝ̈ܢܵܫܵܐ ܘܡܸܜܠ ܦܘܼܪܩܵܢܲܢ؛ ܒܪܵܐ ܕܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ؛ ܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ ܡܸܠܬܼܵܐ؛ ܠܒܸܫ ܒܲܪܢܵܫܵܐ ܡܫܲܠܡܵܢܵܐ ܡܵܪܲܢ ܝܼܫܘܿܥ ܡܫܝܼܚܵܐ. ܘܐܸܬܼܓܡܲܪ ܘܐܸܙܕܲܕܲܩ ܒܚܲܝܠܵܐ ܕܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ ܘܲܒܼܪܘܼܚܵܐ ܕܩܘܼܕܼܫܵܐ. ܘܐܝܼܬܼܵܘܗܝ ܡܸܨܥܵܝܵܐ ܕܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ ܘܕܲܒܼܢܲܝ̈ܢܵܫܵܐ. ܘܝܵܗܘܿܒܼܵܐ ܕܚܲܝܹ̈ܐ ܕܲܠܥܵܠܲܡ ܥܵܠܡܝܼܢ. ܠܟܼܠܗܘܿܢ ܐܲܝܠܹܝܢ ܕܡܸܬܼܩܲܪܒܼܝܼܢ ܒܐܝܼܕܹܗ ܠܐܲܠܵܗܵܐ ܐܲܒܼܵܐ. ܗ̇ܘ ܕܠܹܗ ܬܸܫ̈ܒܿܚܵܢ ܘܒܼܘܼܪ̈ܟܵܢ ܠܥܵܠܲܡ ܥܵܠܡܝܼܢ؛ ܐܵܡܹܝܢ.[5]

   Jacob Vadakkel translates this text like this: “…..that for us men and for our salvation, the Son of God, God the Word put on perfect man our Lord Jesus Christ and was perfected and justified in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit and he is the mediator between God and men and the giver of new life forever and ever, to all those who through him are brought near to God the Father, to whom be praises and adoration forever and ever”.[6]

    While studying this part, Vadakkel says that in the past, some of the eminent ancient theologians like Leontius and Assemani, made some hasty conclusions with regard to the Anaphora of Theodore accusing it of heretical elements and the basic text they proposed to prove their accusation was the above stated phrase from the fourth Gehanta prayer[7]. So it points to the need of a thorough Christological analysis of this phrase to understand the stand of this anaphora with regard to the second person of the Trinity and the validity of the opinion of all those who accuse this anaphora of Christological heresies.

1.1.THE CHRISTOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PHRASE

    In this prayer, the whole of salvation history is summed up. The prayer starts like this: “for us men and for our salvation, the Son of God, God the Word put on perfect man our Lord Jesus Christ”. The very beginning of this phrase itself indicates the purpose of the Incarnation – the Son of God was incarnated “for us men and for our salvation”. Thus according to this anaphora, the salvation of humankind was the ultimate aim of Incarnation. Now let us see how human salvation was accomplished through Jesus Christ.

1.1.1. .Jesus’ Role in the Salvation History

   images62YF5SMO In order to understand Jesus’ role in the exaltation of the human nature and the salvation of human kind, we must start from our first parents. Holy Scripture says that they were created in the ‘likeness and image’ of God (Gen 1. 26-27). They were the zenith of all creation. After the creation of man, God saw that all the things he created were ‘very good’ (Gen 1. 31). (Before the creation of man, God saw whatever he made as ‘good’ only. Only with the creation of man the act of creation became perfect, i. e., ‘very good’).[8] However, man did not retain God’s image and likeness for long. The first parents disobeyed God and thus they lost their good relationship with God.

    A critical observation of the story of our first parents reveals the truth that their sin was not simply disobedience. Their sin was greed to become like God. Their desire was to have an eternal life like that of God.[9] The punishment that God gave to Adam was commensurate with the sin Adam committed. At the culmination of the announcement of the punishment for the sin of Adam, God says to Adam: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree…..in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3. 17-19). Yes, Adam desired to have immortality like God. But his greed finally led him to sin, suffering and death. Adam died both physically and spiritually.

    Now, what happened in the Incarnation? The Scripture asserts that the reason that the Son came into the world was to save sinners (1Tim 1.15). The salvation of souls was the reason the Father sent the Son into the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his Only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved” (Jn 3. 16-17). The giving of the only Son by God the Father indicated both the Incarnation and vicarious death of the Son; it is the entire mission of Jesus that is in view. As A. K. Plathottathil says, “In the Incarnation of the Son, God has come down to assume the fallen Adam to redeem him. The Son came down to ‘smallness’ in order to assume the fallen Adam in truth”.[10] Thus “the prime motivation of Incarnation was to restore the former status of man to bring him back to his place”.[11] That means to restore his former state of immortality and the position as the sons of God. Here A. Kakkanatt says that the restoration of the image of God in man happens only through the Incarnation. Jesus alone is the source of divine life for man.[12]

    St Paul in all his Letters affirms this idea. Let us cite only a few examples from him. In Rom 5. 15, we read “But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many”. Again in Rom 5. 17, Paul says, “If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ”. In Rom 5. 18 again he says: “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men”. Again in Rom 5. 19 we read: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous”. Through all these statements, Paul intends to say that, in Christ we have remission of sins and salvation from eternal death. Christ is the only source of immortality for man. We reach the zenith of this Pauline thought when we arrive at Rom 6. 23, where we read: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Thus, Jesus’ Incarnation is the unique source of divine life for the believers.

   During his public life Jesus himself said many times that he is the sole source of life for mankind.[13] All his miracles and wordsicon-jc-raise-para were to lead mankind to the Kingdom of God and the divine life. The new and surprising thing about Jesus’ message appears above all in his behaviour. Jesus’ association with sinners and the ritually impure (Mk 2. 16 etc.), his breaking of the Jewish laws (Mk 2. 23-28; Mk 7. 1-13 etc.) are directed to attain this goal. He never avoided any one like tax collectors and prostitutes, because he came for them too; his message of God’s love was also for them. Jesus’ behaviour can only be understood in connection with his message of the rule of God and the will of God. Through the coming of Jesus Christ, a way and a new freedom are opened to us: a way which does not lead back simply to the restoration of man in his original state, but leads forward to a new human existence.[14] We agree with A. K. Plathottathil when he says: “The Incarnation of Christ is for the restoration of the image of God, of the garment of glory, and of cosmic harmony. By the Incarnation the processes of the reconciliation between the earthly beings and heavenly beings is introduced. The result of this is the beginning of the realization of peace, hope and joy”.[15] In short, participation in the divine life means a life in the Trinitarian experience. It is a growth in love which is the inner energy of Trinitarian life.

    Plathottathil again asserts that, “The creation of man is the abundance of divine mercy. God created man to share in his divine glory. The same eternal mercy that created Adam again compelled itself to come down to save him when he was fallen”.[16] As St. Ephrem says, through his wounds on his side (through his suffering), Jesus made possible the re-entry into the paradise.[17] Thus as P. Kuruthukulangara affirms, Jesus restores the lost glory to all mankind and the universe.[18] In Jesus we see the figure of the real adamcreation_iconicman. In Jesus we meet the true Adam in his real glory and purity. Since the first Adam and the later generations of mankind became corrupted, Jesus had to take up new roles like mediator, saviour, priest, prophet etc. In Jesus, we see the perfect unity between heaven and earth.[19] The purpose of all these was to give back the lost glory of mankind. Thus as Kasper says, “Jesus Christ is not only the final self-destination of God, but the final definition of the world and man. Since the eschatological fullness of time has been attained in him, the meaning of reality as a whole comes to light in him”.[20]

     For God the Father, the very purpose of the Incarnation was to demonstrate a true replica of creation in Jesus. In him is visible the ‘True Man’. Surprisingly, it was two Gentile rulers who declare the true manhood of Jesus in public. Thus in Jn 19. 5 Pilate declares: “Behold the man”. In Mk 15. 39 the centurion declares that “Truly this man was the Son of God”. Thus it is in Jesus the true replica of manhood exists. And from Mk 15. 39, it is evident that a true man must be a son of God like Jesus. Thus Jesus is a true model for us in all the aspects. While speaking about the Christology of St. Leo the Great, Aloys Grillmeier affirms this truth: “through the Incarnation, the destiny of Christ has become the destiny of all. In him, the true and guiltless man, all are crucified, all have died and been buried, all have risen as well……Through this bond with the humanity of Christ, the true Son of God, redeemed humanity as a whole becomes the body of Christ”.[21] S. M. Ogden also points to the same reality when he says: “Christ can be rightly taken as the true model for our own liberating love, he must first be taken as the real presence of the liberating love of God…… The freedom we have in Christ can never be simply identified with secular freedom or with our political responsibility for achieving it”.[22] All these things which Jesus did were to enable our participation in the divine life.

1.2. SIGNIFICANCE OF SOME OF THE CHRISTOLOGICAL NAMES

     We must also consider the significance of the Christological names such as ‘Lord Jesus Christ’, ‘Son of God’ and ‘God the Word’ to understand better this phrase.

1.2.1. The Son of God

   In the fourth Gehanta of the Anaphora of Theodore, the Second Person of the Trinity is addressed as the ‘Son’. What does this titletrinity-icon-21 signify?  First of all, this name of the Logos-God means he alone is the eternal and natural Son of God and first born of all, while all the believers are children of God by adoption, through grace, for Christ’s sake. When the Holy Scripture demonstrates Jesus as God’s Only-begotten Son, we are not to think about his conception or birth as a human being. He is thus called because as Heb 1. 3 says, Jesus “reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power”.[23] The term ‘Son’ conveys his indefinable relationship with the Father that had no beginning (Jn 1. 1). On at least two occasions, God the Father asserted this truth declaring in public that Jesus is his beloved Son (at the time of his baptism at Jordan (Mt 3. 17) and at the time of his transfiguration (Lk 9. 35).

   The title ‘Son of God’ and other titles related to it show the intrinsic relationship between the Father and the Son. The concept of Son of God in the OT refers to election or adoption. In the gospels, this title is attributed to Jesus by others and Jesus presents himself as Son of God. Though the Father-Son concept is already expressed in the gospels themselves, this concept receives a clearer and divine dimension in the ecclesial tradition, especially in the liturgy. Thus the title ‘Son of God’ signifies today in the Church that Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father, and he is Son of God neither by election nor by adoption, rather his Sonship is eternal. Jesus as Son of God manifests also his perfect divinity, his pre-existence and the perfect oneness with the Father.[24]

   The gradual growth of the meaning of this title ‘Son of God’ from the OT to the NT and from the NT to the Church is evident. By referring to ‘Son of God’ as a title and a proper name to point out the historic events of Jesus, it manifests the humanity and the historicity of Jesus together with the divine relationship with the Father. This title, therefore, reveals more the divine and the pre-existential nature of Jesus and proclaims the historic activity of God.[25] These ideas can be explained clearly in the line of biblical thought. There are many references in the New Testament which proclaim Jesus as the Son of God.[26]  All these Bible passages, as C. Aerath says, show that “Jesus is Son, High Priest, King and Prophet”.[27]

  The name ‘Son’ also envisages that Jesus is the ‘first born of the Father – ܝܚܝܕܝܐ ܕܡܢ ܐܒܐ(Jn 1. 14).[28] In the opinion of A. Kakkanatt,

This image of Jesus as the Firstborn emphasizes again the Sonship of Jesus and the relation between the Father and the Son. Jesus as the Firstborn reveals the role of the Father as the one who begets and the position of the Son who is begotten. This image highlights the unity of the Father and Son by sharing the same divine nature. Because the Son has an eternal birth from the Father, his historical birth is the second birth.[29]

At the same time, though he has two births, eternal and historical, he has no beginning or end.

1.2.2. God the Word

   ALicon2  The fourth Gehanta of the Anaphora of Theodore addresses Jesus as ‘God the Word’. First of all, what does the term ‘God’ mean in connection with Jesus? In the NT, one of the important Christological references that asserts Jesus as “God” comes from the famous hymn of κένωσις of Christ of in St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2. 6-7).[30] The Gospel of John and the Letter to the Hebrews also provide the clearest and least ambiguous evidence of the attribution of θεός to Jesus. In the gospel of John there are two indisputable passages which identify Jesus as ‘God’: “The Word was God” (Jn 1. 1); and the apostle Thomas’ confession: “My Lord and my God” (Jn 20. 28).[31] The Letter to the Hebrews applies the title ‘God’ to Jesus: “But of the Son he says, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever…..Therefore, God, thy God, has anointed thee” (Heb 1. 8-9). In the writings of Paul also we can find some direct designation of Jesus as God (Col 1. 15; 1Cor 8. 6; Phil 2. 6; 2Cor 12. 8; Rom 9. 5). We can, therefore, say that the designation of Jesus as ‘God’ is really clear in the NT passages. As A. Kakkanatt says: “The concept that Jesus is God received its full significance in the Resurrection experience of the disciples and in the worship of the early Church”.[32]

    Athanasius, in order to protect the divinity of Christ, focuses on his genealogy. When God the Word came to live as a man, he came forth as a man from the holy virgin, and is consubstantial with the Father, and became man from the seed of Abraham, whose son he was called; and although the Word is consubstantial with God he became son of man in the flesh from David.[33] The fundamental Church confession of faith, as the Council of Chalcedon (451) formulated it, is that “Jesus Christ is true God and true man in one person”.[34]

     Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to Ephesians (7. 2) affirms that “there is only one physician, both carnal and spiritual, born and unborn, God became man, true life in death, sprung both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering, and then incapable of it – Jesus Christ our Lord”.[35] While studying the Christology of St. Ephrem, Mathew Paikatt further affirms this idea: “Christ was visibly man, invisibly God, in him the Godhead and manhood are intermingled. In a word, Christ is God-Man”.[36] It is exceptionally interesting to note that A. Kakkanatt calls “Jesus Christ who was born from Virgin Mary in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth is the invisible God of the OT”.[37] Thus by calling Jesus as “Our Lord and God”, the Gehanta declares that he is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and immutable in character.

      Now what does the term “Word” mean in connection with Jesus?. The idea that Jesus is Word (λόγος) comes from the opening parts of the Prologue of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.  The idea that Jesus is the “Word” cannot be separated from the idea that Jesus is God. That is why in the Anaphora of Theodore also Jesus’ name is given as God the Word. Through this expression, both the Evangelist John and the author of the second anaphora of the East Syrian Churches intend to say that Jesus is the Incarnation of God’s Word. That means, Jesus is God to the extent that he can be present to man and knowable to man. “Jesus is the Word – seeing Jesus is seeing the Word, seeing the Word is seeing Jesus”![38]

      Here two realities are emphasised. First of all, the Word existed from the very beginning and it was God. So the divinity of Jesus is asserted here. Evangelist John insists that the human being who is called Jesus about whom he is speaking is God and he existed always and there was no time when he did not exist. At the time of John, there were many rabbis who believed that Torah pre-existed with God before it was revealed to Moses and it assisted God in the creation as the base of light and life. In the prologue of his gospel John asserts that this aspect is more suitable to Jesus. John replied that these claims apply rather to the Logos.[39] Likewise, when John declares that “the Word became flesh” (Jn 1. 14), he also disproves the Gnostics teaching that God can never become man.[40]

     In the second place John asserts that the “Word was with God”. This phrase affirms the fact that in the Godhead, there are three persons (it is true that here John does not mention the Holy Spirit in the Prologue, but in chapters 3, 6, 7, 14, 15 and16 we see enough references about the Holy Spirit), and thus exposes the composition of the Trinity. Then John goes on to assert that it is through the Word that everything was created and nothing was made without him (Jn 1.3).  Scholars like S. L. Harris say that the evangelist John has taken the concept of Logos from the philosophy of Philo, and showed that Jesus is the Incarnation of the Divine Logos who is responsible for the creation of everything.[41] This Logos is God who energetically participates in creation of the universe and its redemption.[42] Jesus Christ is responsible not only for the revelation of God’s Word to us human beings; he himself is the Word (Jn 1.14; 14.6). That Word is true God, one among the three inseparable persons of the Trinity. At the same time, he is the only person of the Trinity ultimately revealed to the human beings in the human form.

   The author of the second anaphora of the East Syrian Churches, when he qualified Jesus as “God the Word”, had this truth in mind. He was aware that Jesus’ existence as God and Word is inseparable. So if we combine our previous explanation that Jesus is God, then we get a complete picture of the phrase “God the Word”.

1.2.3. Jesus – ܝܫܘܥ

    The name ܝܫܘܥ  (Jesus) comes from the Hebrew term which means: “God saves” or “Yahweh is Salvation”.  According to F. C. Grant, “The English form of the word goes back to the Latin (Iesus), which transliterates the Greek, but the original Hebrew form was ‘Joshua’, or more fully ‘Yehoshuah’ (‘Yahweh is salvation’ ‘….saves’ or ‘…will save’) which Matthew (1. 21) found especially significant”.[43] At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both hisannunciation-icon identity and his mission (Cf. Lk 1. 31). It was a very common name in that society.[44] Unlike others, the very name found its accomplishment in the case of Jesus. This very name tells us for what purpose Jesus came into this world.  He came to “save his people from their sins” (Mt 1. 21). Since God alone can forgive sins, it is evident that in Jesus the Eternal Son of God was made man. For Christians, in Jesus, God recapitulates all the history of salvation on behalf of all men. Jesus came into this world for a sole purpose; i.e., to die on the cross for sinners (Phil 2. 8b; Jn 18. 37).

    The usage of the name ‘Jesus’ in this phrase along with other names such as “Son of God” and “God the Word” presents a significant problem. This stems from the fact that ‘Jesus’ was the name given to the Eternal Son of God made man. After his death and Resurrection, there occurred some changes both in the person and in the Christian understanding about Jesus. What are these changes? First of all, Jesus re-entered the realm of divinity completely. That is why St. Paul in his famous salutation uses the name ‘Jesus’ along with the ‘Father’ and the ‘Holy Spirit’ (2Cor 13. 14). It means that, even though the Eternal Son of the Father is now known by his earthly name, his divinity is not at all reduced. He is equal in divinity with the other two persons of the Trinity. In the second place, even though re-entered in the realm of glory and right now sits at the right hand side of the Father, the Logos-God neither left his earthy name – Jesus nor his human nature completely mean he. In reality Jesus’ humanity became further more evident in his death and Resurrection.[45] There is no dispute that Jesus died on the cross. Only a human being can die and only a human body can be subjected to the complexity of death. Now, what do we say about his Resurrection? The Bible teaches us that Jesus rose from the dead in the glorified form of the same body he died in. After his Resurrection he appeared to many people to demonstrate that he had risen physically.[46]  Thus the human nature continues to gain importance even after the death of Jesus, because Christ still lives in that body in its glorified state. Studying the Christology of Origen A. Grillmeier aptly says: “It is not that the ascending one has to leave it (the manhood) completely behind. Even Christ in his Ascension into heaven did not leave behind his manhood as some assume”.[47]

    When the early Church understood this reality, the name ‘Jesus’ attained a new dimension. For them, the name “Jesus” signifies the Second Person of the Godhead who existed along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit from the beginning, who was made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins in the fullness of time. They perceived well Acts 4. 12 where we read: “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”, for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation (Cf. Jn 3. 18; Acts 2. 21; 5. 41; 3Jn 7; Rom 10. 6-13), so that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4. 12; cf. 9. 14; Jas 2. 7). It is the name of Jesus that fully manifests the supreme power of the “name which is above every name” (Phil 2. 9-10; cf. Jn 12. 28), the Saviour God. The evil spirits fear his name; in his name his disciples perform miracles, for the Father grants all they ask in this name (Cf. Acts 16. 16-18; 19. 13-16; Mk 16. 17; Jn 15. 16).

    By the term ‘Jesus’ the fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore points all the above-mentioned significances. As it means “God saves”, he becomes the source of salvation through his ineffable grace.

1.2.4. Christ – ܡܫܝܚܐ

     6a00d8341c10c553ef00e54f827bf28834-800wiChrist is a substantive or participle that compliments the name ‘Jesus’ in the above mentioned phrase of the fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore. In the first place, let us see what this title signifies. The word “Christ” comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means “the Anointed One”. According to S.M. Ogden, “The title ‘Christ’ meaning ‘anointed one of God’, expressly relates its bearer to God as one who acts on God’s behalf or in God’s stead”.[48] A. Kakkanatt asserts that the title Christ or Messiah is the most widely used name of Jesus in history.[49] The term ‘Christ’ expresses vividly both the humanity and divinity of Jesus. This term has soteriological, eschatological and kenotical aspects. A. Kakkanatt describes this reality thus: “In the NT times the title ‘Christ’ has its significance in relation to the anointed one of God as King, prophet and priest. Moreover, Jesus himself presented the image of Christ as a suffering servant of God. But the title ‘Messiah’ assumes a more complex and divine meaning in the faith of the Church”.[50]

     Jesus’ messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, “For in the name of Christ is implied, he that anoints, he that is anointed, and the unction itself with which he is anointed. And it is the Father who anoints, but the Son who is anointed by the Spirit, who is the unction”.[51]  His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power”, “that he might be revealed to Israel” (Acts 10. 38; Jn 1. 31.) as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as “the Holy One of God” (Mk 1. 24; Jn 6. 69; Acts 3. 14).

     Taking into account the above said aspects about the term ‘Christ’ along with the name of Jesus in the fourth Gehanta prayer in the Anaphora of Theodore, we can affirm that, the same Jesus who was anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit is asked to pour his grace upon the worshipping community, because he was anointed to save his people. He is the same ‘Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’ (Mk 14.  61-62). 

1.2.5. Our Lordܡܪܢ

     The title ‘Lord’ parallels the Greek word Kyrios. The Greek word Kyrios (κύριος) is Adonai (אֲדֹנָי) in Hebrew and Mar (mr’מרא) in Aramaic. This title was used both in the absolute sense and in the general sense. The Jews did not say the name of God ‘Yahweh’; they replaced it with Adonai and Yahweh was translated as Kyrios into the Greek Old Testament. Thus as A. Kakkanatt says, the title ‘Lord’ is the common name of Yahweh in the OT. In the secular sense the word Kyrios means ‘owner’, ‘master’ and ‘lord’. In the religious context it has a deep divine, cultic and authoritative significance. In the gospels we can see that Jesus appropriated to himself the title Kyrios many times.[52]  The disciples also called him “Lord”. For instance, the disciples cried out to Jesus “Save us Lord; we are perishing” (Mt 8. 25). Jesus himself accepted this title during his ministry. “You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am” (Jn 13. 13). In what sense Jesus used this title for himself is not fully clear.[53]

     The title Kyrios, applied to Jesus, received its full meaning only after his death and exaltation, in the context of the worship of the imagesA0TWEK80early Christians. In the Acts of the Apostles and in the Letters of St. Paul, the title ‘Lord’ is very frequent, more so than any other title.[54] Paul’s acknowledgement that Jesus is the ‘Lord’ reaches its high point in Phil 2. 9-11, where Paul says: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. Here Paul asserts that since Jesus was obedient to the Father in everything even unto a humiliating death, the Father placed him as the Lord of all. This lordship of Jesus denotes the sovereignty of Jesus over the universe and the exaltation of his humanity to the state of ineffable glory.

    In the fourth Gehanta of the Anaphora of Theodore, Jesus is addressed as ‘Our Lord – ܡܪܢ’. It is to indicate the believers’ close relation with Jesus. Even in the time of Jesus, in order to express the depth of their faith and love, people called Jesus as ‘my Lord’ or ‘our Lord’. The post-Resurrection encounter of Thomas with Jesus is the best example for this. Thomas addresses Jesus as ‘my Lord my God’ (Jn 20. 28). This title later becomes the formula of adoration and thus it takes a connotation of love and affection that remains proper to the Christian tradition and it is in accordance with this tradition that in the fourth Gehanta of the Anaphora of Theodore we have the term ‘Our Lord’.

1.2.6. ‘ܠܒܫ – put on’

     Still there are many other Christological ideas that we should consider in this prayer. Let us start with a very important Christological verb used in this phrase. In the Gehanta prayer we read: “God the Word put on perfect man our Lord Jesus Christ”. The verb that is used in this phrase is ‘ܠܒܸܫ – put on’, which is very dear to the East Syrian theologians. Here by using this verb in the Anaphora of Theodore, its author intends to say that the Second Person of the Trinity joined to and united with himself our passible nature.

      Studying the Christology of Mar Babai the Great, Chediath says: “God the Word assumed our humanity and joined it to himself in one Filiation”.[55] “Though he was God, begotten from the Father Eternally, with the greatest humility he put on our humanity and dwelt in that temple unitively, in order to complete the adorable economy for the renovation and the salvation of all”.[56] According to East Syrian thinking, God the Word ‘put on’ humanity as if wearing a garment. This idea helped them to specify the real characteristic of the process of Incarnation. First of all, while becoming man, God the Word never lost his real identity as God. anapeson2He was always God even when he was seen in the form of a man. Secondly, the human form that he had was something that he assumed intentionally like a garment. Humanity was never part of his existence before the process of Incarnation from Mary. At the time of the annunciation of the Angel Gabriel, by the work of the Holy Spirit, God the Word joined himself to the human form that he received from the Virgin Mary. Thirdly, this verb specifies the existence of the person of Jesus Christ. God the Word, since he is God, is invisible and incomprehensible to human beings. So in the Incarnation, he assumed humanity to show himself to human beings. But he is not two persons. He is always the one and single person of the Second Person of the Trinity. Fourthly, in Jesus Christ, even though there is only one person, there exist two natures independently, without mixing with each other. So the Person of Jesus experienced the faculties of both God and man in accordance with his two natures. Thus, as a man, he was exposed to hunger, thirst, sorrow, joy, illness, cold, heat and all other natural phenomena. As a human being, he was trained by his parents and he lived in obedience and increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man (Lk 2. 52). At the time of the crucifixion, it was his human nature that suffered and died. At the same time, his divine nature remained in him impassive and continued its function unaffected. Thus, this Christological verb ‘put on – ܠܒܫ’ used by the East Syrian fathers is an apt term that summarizes the real process of Incarnation.

     There exists a great possibility for misunderstanding the expression ‘ܠܒܸܫ ܒܲܪܢܵܫܵܐ ܡܫܲܠܡܵܢܵܐ ܡܵܪܲܢ ܝܼܫܘܿܥ ܡܫܝܼܚܵܐ as only an external wearing of the human nature in the Incarnation (habitus theory of the hypostatic union). As we go through the history of the Church, many Christological controversies were to arise due to this kind of unambiguous terms.[57] So we should understand properly what had happened to the second person of the Trinity in the process of Incarnation.

1.2.6.1. Real Nature of Incarnation

      Now comes the object of the verb ‘ ܠܒܸܫ – put on’ in the liturgical text as “perfect man our Lord Jesus Christ and was perfected and justified in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit and he is the mediator between God and men and the giver of new life…”. It says that God the Word assumed humanity and became ‘perfect man’. What does it mean?

1.2.6.2. Jesus as Perfect Man

     To know Christ as God, we should know him as man, i.e., we should know him as God-man, and this will occur by a divine revelation of his person, which indeed is essential to have eternal life in our hearts. While studying the Christology of St. Ephrem, Mathew Paikatt says:

Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the eternal Son of the Father, who shares the same divine essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, put on human body and became truly man and reversed all that Adam had brought to humanity through the first fall. Jesus who took human body through a virgin birth is true God and true man. As he is the Good One, he came down to the wicked ones and gave life to the dead ones.[58]

      The true humanity of Jesus Christ was denied even in the earliest centuries of the Church. The Docetist Marcion and the Priscillianists grant to Jesus only an apparent body; to the Valentinians instead, Jesus’ was a body brought down from heaven. The followers of Apollinaris deny either that Jesus had any human soul at all, or that he possessed the higher part of the human soul, they maintain that the Word supplies either the whole soul in Christ, or at least its higher faculties.[59]

        What is unique with Christ’s humanity is that it never existed as a separate entity apart from its divinity. According to the Council of Chalcedon (451) in Christ the two natures, each retaining its own properties, are united in one subsistence and one person. They are not joined in a moral or accidental union (Nestorian heresy), nor commingled (Eutyches), and nevertheless they are substantially united.[60] According to A. W. Pink, “The uniqueness of Christ’s humanity also appears in that it never had a separate existence of its own. The eternal Son assumed (at the moment of Mary’s conception) a human nature, but not a human person. This important distinction calls for careful consideration. By a ‘person’ is meant an intelligent being subsisting by himself”.[61] Pink continues to say that the eternal Son assumed a human nature and gave it subsistence by union with his divine personality. It would have been simply a human person, if it had not been united to God the Word. But being united to the eternal Logos, the one who will be born from Mary cannot be called simply a (human) person, because it never subsisted by itself, as other men do. Hence the force of the Lucan version that the “child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1. 35).[62] While studying the Christology of Mar Babai, G. Chediath says: “…… ‘the Word became flesh, and dwelt in us’ signifies, ‘the flesh which was not existing came into being and God the Word assumed it and dwelt in it’. i.e., the flesh became and Word dwelt in it. The Word became not by changing into flesh, but by assuming flesh. There is a distinction between the flesh and God the Word, the assumed and the Assumer, one in another”.

        Thus the above analysis shows that Christ is both God and a man. He is neither a man raised to the level of God nor a God humanized.[63] With regard to his divinity, he is equal, pure and coeternal with the Father; with regard to his humanity, he was like the rest of mankind in all respects[64] sin alone excepted. His humanity is real, for he was born. He was in the virgin’s womb, and at the completion of the time he was born like all other human beings. But his divinity was uncreated and untransformed. When we consider the reality of his birth, he is completely human. He was as weak and feeble as any other babe. He is not even royal, but extremely poor. Luke beautifully describes the situation: “(Mary) gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger”. Here the whole reality with regard to the humanity of the baby Jesus is expressed. In other words, Jesus was the real Immanuel (Mt 1. 22-23). Immanuel means God with us. God became man only because God wanted to prove his existence among men. It is only to prove this fact that the Evangelist John says: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn 1. 14).

      As we have already explained, even after his resurrection, human nature was still evident in Jesus. Even if his body assumed a glorified form, in essence he rose from the dead in the same body he died in. That is why Jesus told his disciples: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Lk 24.39).  Again in Jn 19. 20, he ate and drank in their presence. In Jn 20. 27, Jesus says to Thomas to touch and feel his hands and side which still carry the marks of wounds which he got at the time of his crucifixion. All this proves the humanity of Jesus.

     The expression ‘perfect man’ in the fourth Gehanta of Anaphora of Theodore contains all the above-mentioned ideas about the humanity of Jesus. It is true that the concept of divinity and humanity of Jesus is not very easily comprehensible to human intellect. Walter Kasper rightly comments about the humanity of Jesus in the words: “Jesus is a Jew living in the world of the Old Testament, and his intellectual roots reach back into that world. Ultimately, however, Jesus fits into no categories; he is the man who destroys all categories…..God’s love claims Jesus totally for others. He wants nothing for himself but everything for God and others”.[65]

      The fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore, after asserting that ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ is a ‘perfect man’, now affirms that He was ‘perfected and justified’ in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit. Thus the human nature of Jesus Christ is emphasised here beyond any doubt.  At the same time, the following phrase affirms the divinity of Christ. It says that he is the ‘mediator between God and man’ and ‘he is the giver of new life’.

      Thus this phrase rejects Eutychus’ teaching that “in Christ after the hypostatic union, there is only one nature (physis)”[66]; in other words, the human nature of Christ was completely absorbed by the Logos. It also rejects the heresy of Apollinarianism which taught that Christ had no human spirit and the Word (Logos) replaced it.[67] It also negates Monophysitism “that sprang from the exaggerated insistence on one nature in Jesus Christ”.[68] Likewise this part of the prayer also refutes Monothelitism which teaches that Christ had no human will, just the one divine will.[69] But the most important heresy that this phrase refutes must be Nestorianism. This heresy says that the Logos dwelt in the person of Jesus, making Jesus a God-bearing man. Thus, this heresy teaches that there are two persons within Jesus Christ.[70] But the fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore says that only one person exists: Jesus Christ. However there exist two natures in him, i.e., the nature of God the Word and that of a man. Thus the prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore is in complete agreement with the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon which says:

… one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation; at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same Only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ ….[71]


    Now let us consider three qualifications attributed to Jesus Christ in this part of the prayer. It says that Jesus was ‘perfected and justified in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit’; but at the same time ‘he is the mediator between God and man’ and ‘he is the giver of new life’. What do these three terms mean?

1.3. Jesus was Perfected and Justified

       First of all, let us consider the expression that our Lord Jesus Christ “was perfected and justified in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit”. Here the liturgical text speaks about the humanity of Jesus. This text is connected to 1Tim 3. 16, where Paul speaks about the mystery of the Christian religion. Lk 2. 52 indicates what the term ‘perfected’ means: “Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man”. It means that as the physical body of Jesus grew, he also matured in wisdom and other virtues. Luke here says he lived in obedience to his parents and practiced all the virtues. As C. Stuhlmueller says, “Jesus grew in all ways – physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually – for the work that lay ahead of him”.[72] Heb 4. 15 says that Jesus became our high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, because in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. As Bourke says, Jesus was tempted constantly during his life time as a man, but “the only difference that the author remarks between Jesus’ temptation and those of his followers is that he never succumbed to them”.[73] Thus Jesus was perfected in all the ways that he suffered, especially through temptations. Again in Heb 5. 7-9 we read “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him”. This biblical passage means that the humanity of the Second Person of the Trinity and his priestly consecration involve “his obedience learned through suffering and his being perfected means also that through obedience he was brought to the full moral perfection of his humanity”.[74] Thus all these texts say that the humanity of Jesus was perfected through obedience and all that he suffered. And he succeeded in all of this and remained sinless because the power of God and the Holy Spirit was with him.

      Now what does the term ‘was justified in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit’ mean? First of all, according to Albert Barnes, the word ‘justified’ here, is not used in the sense in which it is when applied to Christians, but in its more common signification. It means to “vindicate”, and the sense is, that he was shown to be the Son of God by the agency of the Holy Spirit; he was thus vindicated from the charges made against him.[75] In reality in  1Tim 3. 16, in the RSV translation, the term is given as “vindicated” as is proposed by Barnes. According to M. R. Vincent, the verb δικαιοῦν, so familiar in Paul’s writings, is found in the Pastoral Letters only here and Tit 3. 7. Its application to Christ as the subject of justification does not appear in Paul. Its meaning here is ‘vindicated’, ‘endorsed’, as Mt 11. 19 and Lk 10. 29.[76] During Jesus’ earthy life, his opponents always accused him of being a sinner, that he possessed or was possessed by evil spirits and that he performed miracles with the help of Beelzebub. But Jesus claimed that he is from the Father and he does miracles with the help of the Holy Spirit. The power of God was always with him (Jn 3.2) and the Holy Spirit furnished the evidence that he was the Son of God, or ‘justified’ his claims. At the zenith of the calumnies of the Jews, they crucified him as an impostor, but once again he was justified by the power of God and the Holy Spirit and thus happened the greatest miracle in the history of humankind – the Resurrection of Jesus. All these miracles, being wrought by the power of God, were a full proof of the innocence of Jesus.[77] In fact G. A. Denzer says, “in this poetic passage there are three units…… ‘justified’ does not have the usual Pauline meaning of purified from sin, but the original meaning of shown to be just (Mt 11. 19; Lk 10. 29). The justice and divinity of Christ were manifested in a special way through the operation of the Holy Spirit in the glorious Resurrection of Christ (Cfr. Rom 1. 4; Acts 5. 30-32)”.[78] John Gill has also the same opinion when he says that the Resurrection of Jesus is the proof that Jesus was justified and acquitted from all the sins of his people, and they were justified in him; he having made full satisfaction to justice for them.[79] Thus Jesus was justified and vindicated of every accusation that he had to face in his human form in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit. Jesus was merely son of Mary according to the flesh, but declared to be the Son of God in the power of God and the Spirit of holiness, and his Resurrection from the dead was its best manifestation. Thus, ‘justified’ is used here in the prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore to mean vindicated in the true character of Jesus.

1.4. JESUS – AS MEDIATOR

     The second aspect we should consider here is the reference in the Anaphora of Theodore that “he is the mediator betweenResurrectionIcon God and men”. According to A. Kakkanatt, “as ‘the Mediator’, “Christ is the representative between man and God, and his divine dignity and status makes him the only mediator between God and men”.[80] How does the mediatorship of Jesus actually function?

      First of all, the parties between whom the Lord Jesus is called to mediate are God and fallen men. Because in 1Tim 2. 5 we read, “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus”. Secondly, the plan of mediation originated with God.[81] As God is righteous all the time, it was man who offended God through his actions. Since God is the creator and since he is the offended one, he has the privilege to accept the satisfaction for the sins of the mankind. In reality, God was not simply satisfied with receiving the gratification from the part of the sinful mankind but he himself gave ransom for the transgressions of the world in his endless grace and wisdom through the Incarnation and mission of his Only-begotten as the redeemer of the world.[82] The whole plan originated in the grace of God, was framed by his wisdom, and is carried into effect by his power.

       The third aspect of the mediatorship of Jesus is that our Lord has a peculiar fitness, as God – man, for accomplishing the work of mediation. A co-dignity of character, in the person who mediates, to the persons with whom he is to mediate, has been invariably thought necessary in cases of mediation among men; but it was still more necessary in the present case. It behoved him who was to approach God to make expiation for our sins, to be himself a divine person. Jesus is a divine person, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil 2. 6).[83]

      In the next place our Lord mediates with God on behalf of fallen man as a priest, by sacrifice and by intercession. God is the party offended by the sin of man, and to him satisfaction was due for transgression, and this satisfaction could only be made by blood-shedding. Regarding this point A Kakkanatt says:

These titles of Jesus (The mediator and the High Priest) show that Jesus is the true High Priest and the mediator between God and man. Only Jesus who shares both a human and divine nature can so intercede. The concept of Jesus as the High Priest, the Victim, the offering and the Receiver of the offering is highlighted in the prayers. Being High Priest and sacrifice, Jesus in his sacrifice on the cross effects the salvation of humanity. Therefore these titles ‘Mediator’ and ‘High priest’ highlight his continuous saving activity in the Church and in the world. Even though these titles are not treated in the gospels, and are not very frequent in the other NT writings, the awareness of the later Church of the salvific role of Christ as Priest and Mediator gives these titles deeper significance.[84]

      M. M. Bourke also thinks on the same line as Kakkanattu, when he says: “the title ‘mediator’ belongs to him because (Heb 9. 5) his sacrifice has been the means of union between God and men; it has taken away sin – the barrier to that union – and thus made possible the new covenant relationship”.[85] Our Lord’s mediation, in respect to sinners, is by instruction, and by power. By his obedience unto death, God’s wrath is removed, sin, the cause of it, being expiated, and an everlasting righteousness for the justification of the Church inaugurated. “He has made peace by the blood of his cross” (Col 1. 20). But to complete the work of mediation the offenders must be reclaimed and brought to a dutiful submission to the law and government of God.[86] This our Lord accomplishes by his instruction as a prophet, and by his power as a king. These remarks serve to show that our Lord’s general office as mediator, necessarily includes the particular offices of prophet, priest, and king. Sin had separated us from God; and sin could only be expiated by sacrifice; hence the necessity of Jesus’ priesthood.

       According to Kasper, the soteriological significance of the title ‘mediator’ lies in the unity between Jesus, as the Son, and the Father. He says that “anyone who follows the Son, may know that he is secure in the Father’s hand (Jn 10. 28ff). Consequently the unity between Father and Son can become an exemplar and model of the unity which believers too must attain (Jn 17. 21-23). Jesus’ unity with the Father is to validate Jesus as the way to the Father (Jn 14 :6) and as the mediator between God and man”.[87] It is in this sense that Jesus is the unique mediator between God and men (1Tim 2. 5). Likewise as J. Murray says, “Christ’s mediation is not confined to his finished work of redemption. His mediatory activity is never suspended”.[88] Thus Jesus is the everlasting mediator between man and God and God’s grace is showered upon us through Jesus.

      The above prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore contains all these ideas about the mediatorship of Jesus. As a mediator, Jesus is expected to possess both the nature of God and man. That is why, where the fourth Gehanta prayer speaks about the mediatorship of Jesus, it also speaks about the two natures of Jesus. Thus, the whole world rejoices because it would no more be left to the corruption of death, but exults in the salvation which the Father brought about in his love through the mediatorship of his Son Jesus Christ.

1.5. JESUS AS THE GIVER OF NEW LIFE

       The fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore calls Jesus the ‘giver of new life’. We have already seen what the role of Jesus in the salvation history is and how he restored humankind by giving it new life. Along with that we should notice that here in the fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore, there exists an interesting peculiarity. In this prayer, after naming ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’, the prayer which follows immediately speaks about Jesus’ becoming perfected and justified by the power of God and the Holy Spirit. Here what is evident is the complete humanity of Jesus. In the second place the prayer speaks about the mediatorship of Jesus. To be mediator between God and man, both his divinity and humanity are to be highlighted. In the third place the prayer speaks of Jesus as the giver of the new life. What is emphasised here is the full divinity of Jesus, because only God can give life. Thus this Gehanta prayer stresses perfectly both the human and the divine natures that exist in the person of Jesus Christ.

1.6. A POSSIBLE ELEMENT OF HERESY?

       Before concluding the analysis of the Christology of this section, we should notice one more important point in the phrase “God the Word put on perfect man our Lord Jesus Christ”. Here it seems that the two terms ‘perfect man’ and ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ are used as synonyms. If we do not understand this phrase in the light of the Christology of the entire Anaphora of Theodore, i.e., if we isolate this phrase from the rest of the Anaphora of Theodore and try to interpret it independently, then, we can identify traces of heresy in this phrase. What is the real problem in this phrase? Here, if we place the two terms ‘perfect man’ and ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ on the same level eliminating ‘God the Word’, then it can lead to Christological heresies. Here the person ‘Jesus Christ’ is identified only with his human nature. In reality, this was the starting point of the long story that led to the condemnation of Nestorius. To substantiate the problem, let us examine briefly this historical aspect.

      The whole story that related to Nestorius started when he was the Patriarch of Constantinople and Cyril was Patriarch of Alexandria. During their time, there existed two terms to address Mary: ‘Theotokos (Θεοτόκος)’ and ‘Anthropotokos (ἄνθρωποτόκος)’. ‘Theotokos’ literally means ‘God-bearer’.[89] Irenaeus is the first to use the word Theotokos for Mother of God while comparing Eve and Mary.[90] But according to J. Pelikan, “the first completely authenticated instances of the use of this title came from the city of Athanasius, Alexandria. Alexander [Athanasius’s patron] referred to Mary as Theotokos in his encyclical of circa 319 about the heresy of Arius”.[91] The argument concerning the term ‘Theotokos’ was that if Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. Some people opposed this view saying that Mary did not give birth to God before time began; she gave birth only to the human body. So according to them, Mary gave birth only to the human Jesus and they preferred to call her ‘Anthropotokos – man-bearer’.[92] It was Nestorius who tried to reconcile both these opposing groups. He proposed to call Mary as ‘Christotokos’ to restrict the understanding of Mary having given birth to the human Incarnation of God, and not his divine nature. Nestorius actually got this idea from his master Theodore of Mopsuestia who also called Mary ‘Christotokos’.[93] It was in the Council of Ephesus in 431, the controversy was settled. Cyril, who was known as the champion of orthodoxy declared that Mary must be called ‘Theotokos’ in order to affirm the divinity of Christ. He argued that if we call Mary merely as ‘Christotokos’, it will create the impression that he who is born from her is only a mere human being. This argument of Cyril finally led to the condemnation of Nestorius who always held the idea that Mary is ‘Christotokos’.[94]

     Now, let us return to the fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore. There it says: “God the Word put on perfect man our Lord Jesus Christ”. Here it seems that the term ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ is used as a synonym to the term ‘perfect man’. If we consider the opinion of Cyril seriously in connection with his usage of the term ‘Theotokos and Christotokos’, then, we might perceive the possible heresies of reducing Jesus Christ to the status of a mere man in this prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore (i.e the heresies of Ebionism,[95] Adoptionism[96] and even Arianism[97]). How can we resolve this problem in the Anaphora of Theodore? First of all it is the peculiarity of the construction of Syriac language. Sometimes it omits relative pronouns such as, ‘who’, which’, ‘that’ etc.[98] Here in our present case the author must have in mind to say that “God the Word put on perfect man who is our Lord Jesus Christ”. This is well evident from the following descriptions of Jesus Christ. He is not only perfected and justified, but also the mediator and giver of new life. Thus both his divinity and humanity are stressed here. There is still another reason for this. The fourth Gehanta prayer of the Anaphora of Theodore wants to assert that this ‘perfect man’ is really our ‘Lord Jesus Christ’. We have already seen the significance of the term like ‘Lord’, ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’. The prayer insists that even if this simple creature seems to be a mere man, he is God the Word incarnated and he is the Lord of all and the salvation of mankind.

      Thus this prayer represents one of the best Christological insights of the East Syrian Church. What is important here is not to isolate a part of the phrase from the rest of the prayer and interpret it independently. The prayer says that the Word is God from the beginning. For the salvation of mankind, he decided to be incarnated in the form of a man without losing his divinity. Thus the human being, who was born from Mary and known as Jesus is also God the Word, he is our Lord and he is the Christ. As a man he was trained and perfected by his earthly parents, as a man and God, he is a true mediator between man and God and the giver of new life. Thus this prayer summarises the Christology of the Anaphora of Theodore which is ever genuine and authentic. A correct understanding of the Anaphora of Theodore reveals the truth that its prayers deny all Christological heresies.

1.7. TRANSLATION IN THE “AD EXPERIMENTUM” TEXT OF 2013 AND ITS CHRISTOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

      Now let us consider how this Christological phrase is given in the “ad experimentum” text of 2013. Its Malayalam translation is as follows: മനുഷ്യവംശത്തിന്റെ രക്ഷയ്ക്കുവേണ്ടി ദൈവപുത്രനും ദൈവവചനവുമായ കർത്താവീശോമിശിഹാ പൂർണ മനുഷ്യത്വം ധരിച്ച് ദൈവത്തിന്റെ ശക്തിയാലും പരിശുദ്ധാത്മാവിനാലും സകലതും പൂർത്തീകരിക്കുകയും നീതീകരിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തുവെന്നും അവിടുന്ന് ദൈവത്തിന്റെയും മനുഷ്യരുടെയും മദ്ധ്യസ്ഥനും  നിത്യജീവന്റെ ദാതാവുമാണെന്നും എല്ലാവരും ഗ്രഹിക്കട്ടെ.99]

It is evident that what we have in the Malayalam text is not faithful to the original passage. Accordingly its Christological outlook also suffers significantly. Let us examine first what are the major Christological changes made in the Malayalam translation comparing it to the original text.

 

മനുഷ്യവംശത്തിന്റെ രക്ഷയ്ക്കുവേണ്ടി ദൈവപുത്രനും ദൈവവചനവുമായ കർത്താവീശോമിശിഹാ പൂർണ മനുഷ്യത്വം ധരിച്ച് ദൈവത്തിന്റെ ശക്തിയാലും പരിശുദ്ധാത്മാവിനാലും സകലതും പൂർത്തീകരിക്കുകയും നീതീകരിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തുവെന്നും അവിടുന്ന് ദൈവത്തിന്റെയും മനുഷ്യരുടെയും മദ്ധ്യസ്ഥനും  നിത്യജീവന്റെ ദാതാവുമാണെന്നും എല്ലാവരും ഗ്രഹിക്കട്ടെ. for us men and for our salvation, the Son of God, God the Word put on perfect man our Lord Jesus Christ and was perfected and justified in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit and he is the mediator between God and men and the giver of new life forever and ever, to all those who through him are brought near to God the Father, to whom be praises and adoration forever and ever”.

 

       In the first place it is evident here that the Malayalam text displaced the term “our Lord Jesus Christ” as  a synonym of the terms like “Son of God” and “God the Word”. In fact in the original text, the term “our Lord Jesus Christ” functions almost like a synonym of the term “perfect man”. As we have already explained, the reason for this could be fear of some of the Christological heresies. But it is a matter of fact that by deleting the term “our Lord Jesus Christ” in connection with the human nature of the second person of the Trinity, it lost much of its Christological significance. The existence of both the terms as synonymous concept could mean that the man who was born from Mary is not a simple man like any other human being, but he is the Messiah and he is the Lord of everything.

      In the second place, some ideas which are given in the passive voice in the original text with regard Jesus (“…….was perfected and justified…”) is given in the active voice in the Malayalam translation. Thus what was said about the human nature of Jesus in the original text is completely distorted in the translation. Thus in the Malayalam text a strong biblical expression that explains the human nature of Jesus (“was perfected and justified in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit”) lost its significance. At the same time, the same idea is proposed as the deeds of Jesus accomplished with the help of the other two members of the Trinity.

CONCLUSION

         It is evident from the history of East Syrian Church that it was at the time of Patriarch Išo‘Yahb III that this church fixed the number of anaphoras into three for its Eucharistic celebration and the Anaphora of Theodore was one among them. (The other two anaphoras were the Anaphora of Addai & Mari and the Anaphora of Nestorius). The theological outlook of these three anaphoras demonstrates how deep is their Christological vision and how much loyal they are to the catholic teaching. In fact these three anaphoras were the expression and celebration of the faith of this church from the Apostolic time onwards. Without any doubt we can affirm that these prayers always enriched the faithful to experience the glory that is revealed in the incarnated Jesus.

       Recently the Syro Malabar Church is seriously thinking of introducing some new anaphoras into its liturgy. It is true that in every period in the history of the church, there were developments and newness to express the mystery of Christ in liturgy, so that humans can easily participate in the life of God. And the attempts of the introduction of new anaphoras can be affirmed as the outcome of this kind of endeavours and developments. It is also in accordance with the spirit of Sacrosanctum Concilium 37-40 of Vatican Council II. Thus right now, there are attempts of restoration and reform going on simultaneously in the Syro Malabar Church. It is also noted that efforts of restoration of Anaphoras like Theodore and Nestorius in the Syro Malabar liturgy also are in accordance with the spirit of Vatican Council II, especially in accordance with Orientalium Ecclesiarum 6. Thus, both restoration and reformation are in accordance with the mind of Vatican Council II. Now how can we reconcile both these aspects in the realm of the Syro-Malabar liturgy?

       In my opinion, there must be a chronological order for it, i.e., the reformation process must be preceded by a restoration procedure of an authentic Eucharistic tradition. One should make a solid foundation before starting the construction of a new idea. Because ‘reformation’ can be made only on a certain ‘form’. According to OE 6, Syro-Malabar Church has an imperative duty to restore her liturgical tradition. After that she should adapt it in accordance with the need of the time as is said in SC37-40. Very often, those who speak about the reform think and do in its extreme form. They tend to create new liturgical texts without considering the tradition and history of the church. And they present this move as the ‘spirit of adaptation’. But this is a wrong concept. Because as A. Chupungco remarks, “the composition of new liturgical texts should not be taken to mean creatio ex nihilo”[100]. This is all the more true in the case of the Syro-Malabar Church as she has an apostolic liturgical tradition. And it is more advisable that the tradition be re-introduced in its full original sense for liturgical celebrations, before the creation of new forms of liturgies in accordance with the spirit of adaptation. Accordingly, the translation of the ancient liturgical texts like the Anaphora of Theodore also must be faithful to its original form.

      This aspect is valid yet for another reason. The faithful can grasp the depth and spirit of a new prayer only if there is another prayer with which they could compare the new one. Likewise, if there is an already existing system of prayers, it can also be taken as a source for the composition of the new and adapted system of prayers. Thus, let us hope that there will be more attempts for faithful translation of ancient liturgical texts in to vernacular languages, so that it may not be deficient in its Christological and theological outlook. Likewise, let us hope that any antipathy and antagonism in liturgical matters die out soon and there arise a spirit of comprehension and unity, and the renewal of a genuine liturgical spirituality in the Syro-Malabar church.



[1]      E. TISSERANT, «Nestorienne (L’Église)», in Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique 11, ed. A. Vacant – E. Mangenot, Librairie Letouzey Et Ane, Paris 1931, 157-323, here pp. 195-198; J. NANGELIMALIL, Eucharistic Theology of Parecattil, Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma 1996, 19 (especially footnote 5 of this book); P. PALLATH, The Catholic Church in India, Mar Thoma Yogam, Roma 2005, 10-11.

[2]      V. PATHIKULANGARA, The St. Thomas Christians and their Syriac Treasures, Prakasam Publications, Aleppey 1974, 53; E. R. HAMBYE, «Some Syriac Libraries of Kerala (Malabar) India: Notes and Comments», in  A Tribute to Arthur Vööbus: Studies in Early Christian Literature and Its Environment, Primarily in the Syrian East, ed. R. H. Fisher, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago 1977, 35-46; E. R. HAMBYE, «The Syrian Church in India», The Clergy Monthly 16 (1952) 375-385; R. TAFT, The Liturgy of the Hours in the Christian East, K.C.M. Press, Cochin, 1993, 153. Taft says: “The Chaldean Rite, used today by the members of the ‘Church of the East’ who call themselves ‘Assyrians’, as well as by the Chaldean and Malabar Catholics, is the ancient usage of the Mesopotamian Church in the Persian empire…”

[3]      PALLATH, The Catholic Church in India, 69ff.

[4]      T. MANNORAMPARAMBIL, Syro – Malabar Sabhayude Qurbana – Oru Padanam 1, OIRSI, Kottayam 1999, 30.

[5]      J. VADAKKEL, The East Syrian Anaphora of Mar Theodore of Mopsuestia, – Critical Edition, English Translation and Study, OIRSI, Kottayam 1989, 69-70; Also in Anaphorae of Mar Theodore and Mar Nestorius, L.R.C. Publications Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanadu 2005, 128-129.

[6]      VADAKKEL, The East Syrian Anaphora of Mar Theodore of Mopsuestia, 89-90; Also in Anaphorae of Mar Theodore and Mar Nestorius, 10.

[7]      VADAKKEL, The East Syrian Anaphora of Mar Theodore of Mopsuestia, 250-251. Cfr also LEONTIUS, Contra Nestoriano set Eutychianos, Patrologia Graeca 86, ed. J. P. Migne, Paris 1863, 1367-1368; ASSEMANI, Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana 1II 2, Roma 1719, 228.

[8]      Catechism of the Catholic Church 299, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Roma 2005.

[9]      Let us see what the author of the book of Genesis say about the first sin:- “Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, ‘you shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, `you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die’. But the serpent said to the woman, ‘you will not die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’.  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate (Gen 3. 2- 6)”. God prohibited them to eat that particular fruit to avoid their death. The tempter told them that they will not die, but they will become like God, i. e, to have eternal life. So they ate the fruit to obtain eternal life.

[10]     A. K. PLATHOTTATHIL, Themes of Incarnation in the Sedre for the Period of Suboro-Yaldo according to Mosul Fenqitho (Dissertatione ad Doctoratum in Pontificium Institutum Orientale), Roma 2007, 338.

[11]     PLATHOTTATHIL, Themes of Incarnation in the Sedre for the Period of Suboro-Yaldo,  283.

[12]     A. KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy – A Study on the Great Feasts of Our Lord in the Malankara Church, Mar Thoma Yogam, Roma 1996, 167-168.

[13]     Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14.  6); “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (Jn 6. 35); “I am the Good Shepherd and know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep” (Jn 10. 14-16); “You are of this world; I am not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am the Messiah, the Son of God, you will die in your sins” (Jn 8. 23-24); “I am the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (Jn 11. 25-26).

        The apostle John writes: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (Jn 3. 16-18); “Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. His who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1Jn 5. 10-12).

[14]     W. KASPER, Jesus the Christ, Burns & Oates – Paulist Press, New Jersey 1985, 207-208.

[15]     PLATHOTTATHIL, Themes of Incarnation in the Sedre for the Period of Suboro-Yaldo, 429.

[16]     PLATHOTTATHIL, Themes of Incarnation in the Sedre for the Period of Suboro-Yaldo, 424.

[17]     Ephrem says:

        Blessed is the Merciful One who saw the sword

        beside paradise, barring the way

        to the trees of life; he came and took foe himself

        a body that was wounded, so that by the opening of his side

        He might open up the way into paradise. HNat 8,4. (For English translation see, EPHREM, The Harp of the Spirit – Eighteen Poems, trans. S. Brock, (Studies Supplementary to Sobornost No.4), Fellowship of Sts. Alben and Sergius, Oxford  1985, 12).

[18]     P. KURUTHUKULANGARA, The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord in the Chaldean and Malabar Liturgical Year– A Study  of Sources, OIRSI Publications, Kottayam 1989, 147.

[19]     A. Kakkanatt also strongly indicates the cosmic effect of the Incarnation when he says: “Christmas is, (therefore), a day of joy and happiness, because the restoration of heavenly status of man and the union between heaven and earth are inaugurated in the birth of Jesus”.  KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 16.

[20]     KASPER, Jesus the Christ, 185.

[21]     A. GRILLMEIER, Christ in Christian Tradition I, John Knox Press, Atlanta GA 1975, 155-156.

[22]     S. M. OGDEN, The Point of Christology, SCM Press, London 1982, 166.

[23]     At this point, while studying the Christology of Mar Babai, G. Chediath says: “In his divinity Christ  is Son by nature; in his humanity, he is Son by union and assumption. It is the same son. One and the same is the Son of the Most High in heaven and in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. The one who is formed from her is called Son of the Most High by union with the Eternal Son of the Most High. Christ is Son in his humanity, not by adoption, but by union. One is Christ in his human nature and his divine nature. One is Son in his human nature and in his divine nature. One is Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man”. G. CHEDIATH, Christology of Mar Babai the Great, OIRSI, Kottayam 1982, 128.

[24]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 92-93

[25]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 90-93.

[26]     But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law (Gal 4. 4). Mt 14. 33;  Mt 27. 54-Jn 8. 35;  Mt 4. 3;  Mt 8. 29;  IJn 1. 3;  IJn 3. 8;  IJn 5. 11;  2Jn 1. 3;  Mk 1. 1;  3. 11; Lk 22. 70;  Jn 1. 49;  5. 25;  10. 36;  11. 44;  19. 7; Act 9. 20; Rom 1. 4;  5. 10; 1Cor 1. 9; 2Cor 1. 19; Gal 1. 16;  2. 20;  4. 4; Eph 4. 13; Col 1. 13; 1Tit 1. 10; Heb 1. 2;  1. 8;  4. 14;  5. 8;  6. 6;  10. 29; Rev 2. 18.

[27]     C. AERATH, Liturgy and Ethos, Mar Thoma Yogam, Roma 1995, 158.

[28]     «Gospel of John 1. 14», in http://www.peshitto.org/syriac1905/john.php, retrieved on 12/01/2013; see also KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 95.

[29]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 96.

[30]     According to A. Kakkanatt, “Addressing Jesus  as  God shows that Jesus shares the same divinity of the Father and the Holy Spirit. By calling Jesus as God, which is the name for God in the OT, reveals the unity and the relationship between the God in the OT and Jesus Christ in the NT. Thus these two titles reveal as the invisible God of the OT. Above all, these titles and the various objectives proclaim the divinity, glory and the majesty of Jesus Christ. At the same time, the use of these titles to present in the suffering, humiliation, and historic events of manifests that the events of Jesus make visible God’s events in history”.  KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 118.

[31]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 116.

[32]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 116.

[33]     ATHANASIUS, Against the Arians 4. 20-28,  ed. J. P. Migne (PG 26), Migne, Paris  1857, 497ff; ATHANASIUS, Against the Arians 4. 20-28, tr. J. H. Newman – A. Robertson, rev. K. Knight (NPNF2 4), Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI 1989, 440ff.

[34]     KASPER, Jesus the Christ, 230.

[35]     IGNATIUSOF ANTIOCH, Letter to the Ephesians, ed. P. Th. Camelot (SCh 10), Cerf, Paris 1944, 47-67.

[36]     M. PAIKATT, Life, Glory and Salvation in the Writings of Mar Aprem of Nisibis, OIRSI, Kottayam 2001, 127-128.

[37]     A. Kakkanatt further explains this idea thus: “Jesus Christ who was born from Virgin Mary in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth is the invisible God of the OT. In the OT, God revealed himself to the fathers and spoke through the prophets. The invisible God of the OT appeared in human form or the invisible God of the OT became invisible, human and historical. This fundamental unity of the OT God and Jesus Christ reveals that the invisible God of the Israelites has appeared in flesh. In other words, the reality ‘God became man’ signifies that the invisible God of the OT became man. The feast of the Nativity proclaims that Jesus Christ is the God of the Fathers in the OT….Therefore, the great feasts  reveal Jesus Christ as the invisible God of the OT and maintain the perfect unity between the OT God and the NT revelation of God in Christ. In other words, in the NT God reveals himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; but in the OT God was invisible and hidden”.  KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 141-143.

[38]     P. F. MEASURES, «Living Above It All», in http://www.teachingpages.co.uk/studyZone/stage1.php?class1part4, retrieved on 14/12/2011.

[39]     P. F. MEASURES, «Living Above It All», in http://www.teachingpages.co.uk/studyZone/stage1.php?class1part4, retrieved on 14/12/2011.

[40]     M. ENDO, Creation and Christology, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 2002, 208-211.

[41]     S. L. HARRIS, Understanding the Bible, Mayfield,  Palo Alto CA 1985, 302-310.

[42]     C. J. PETER, «The Word», in NCE 14, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 1012-1013; ENDO, Creation and Christology,  208-210.

[43]     F. C. GRANT, «Jesus Christ», in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible 2, ed. G. A. Buttrick, Abingdon Press, New York 1962, 869-896, here p. 869; See also, L. WARREN, «How Did the Name Jesus Originate?», in http://www.plim.org/JesusOrigin.htm, retrieved on 19/11/2012; «Where Did the Name Jesus Come From?», in http://holynameassembly.com/2.html, retrieved on 19/11/2012.

[44]     GRANT, «Jesus Christ», 869; WARREN, «How Did the Name Jesus Originate?»,  in http://www.plim.org/JesusOrigin.htm. Accoring to Grant, “This name was fairly common in the first century. Josephus mentions nineteen persons called Jesus”.

[45]     M. J. PANICKER, Christology of Bar Ebraya, Pontificium Institutum Orientalium Studiorum, Roma 1995, 48-49. While speaking about the Christology of the Bar Ebraya, M. J. Panicker says: “If the body of our Lord was impassable and immortal before the Resurrection, he would therefore not have been resurrected. If Christ had not died and was not resurrected, then the Economy would have to be abolished…… ‘If Christ was not dead and was not resurrected, then vain is our preaching’ (1Cor 15. 17)- says St. Paul”. Thus Jesus had the body of a man. But “Jesus was not a mere man, but God the Son united with man. (God-man). He continues to be that God man after his Resurrection also. He confirmed his disciples in their faith that the body in which they see him and know him is not a phantasm, nor an appearance, but that he rose in reality as he had promised. His body gained impassibility, incorruptibility and immortality only by Resurrection following a life of complete obedience, suffering and death”.

[46]     For example in Lk 24. 39, Jesus told his disciples: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have”. In Jn 19. 20 we read “When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’. And when he had said this, he showed them both his hands and his side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord”. In Jn 20. 27, Jesus “said to Thomas, ‘Reach here your finger, and see my hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into my side; and be not unbelieving, but believing’”. All these prove that even after the Resurrection Jesus has a human (but glorified) body.

[47]     GRILLMEIER, Christ in Christian Tradition 1, 143.

[48]     OGDEN, The Point of Christology, 127.

[49]     According to A. Kakkanatt, “From the NT time until today ‘Messiah’ or ‘Christ’ has been Jesus’ most important title. The Greek Christos is nothing more than a translation of the Hebrew Mashiach, ‘anointed one’. From the very ancient time Christians were accustomed to connect the designation ‘Christ’ with the name ‘Jesus’. Jesus Christ means Jesus the Messiah”. KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy,  77-78.

[50]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 79.

[51]     IRENAEUS, Against the Heresies III/18.3, ed.  A.  Rousseau – L. Doutreleau (SCh 211), Cerf, Paris 1965, 350-351; For English translation see, IRENAEUS, Against Heresies III/20.4, tr. A. Roberts – W. Rambaut, rev. K. Knight (ANF 1), T & T Clark, Edinburgh 1993, 446.

[52]     ‘The Lord has need of it’ (Mk 11. 3); ‘Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord’ (Mt 7. 21); ‘For you do not know on what day your Lord is coming’ (Mt 24. 42).

[53]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 112-113.

[54]     Acts 11. 17; 15. 26; 20. 21; St Paul uses this title in Rom (16 times), 1Cor (40 times), 2Cor (17 times), Gal (2 times), Eph (16 times), Phil (10 times), 1Thes (11 times), 2Thes (7 times).

[55]     CHEDIATH, Christology of Mar Babai the Great, 122.

[56]     CHEDIATH, Christology of Mar Babai the Great, 123.

[57]     Adoptionism, Apollinarism, Arianism, Docetism, Macedonianism, Monarchianism, Monophysitism or Eutychianism, Monothelitism, Nestorianism, Patripassianism, Psilanthropism, Sabellianism etc. were various christological heresies aroused due to the misunderstanding the process of the assuming of humanity by the Son of God. See also S. ATHAPILLY, «The Theological Dimensions of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari», in Studies on the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, ed. Bosco Puthur, L.R.C. Publications, Kochi 2004, 112.

[58]     PAIKATT, Life, Glory and Salvation in the Writings of Mar Aprem of Nisibis, 127-128.

[59]     A. MAAS, «Christology», in http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14597a.htm, retrieved on 24/12/2012; E. A. PACE, «Hypostatic Union», in http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07610b.htm,  retrieved on 19/10/2007.

[60]     PACE, «Hypostatic Union», in http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07610b.htm.

[61]     A. W. PINK, «Gleaning in the Godhead», in http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Gleanings_Godhead/ godhead_29.htm, retrieved on 11/10/2012.

[62]     PINK, «Gleaning in the Godhead», in http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Gleanings_Godhead/ godhead_29.htm; see also, J. FLAVEL, «Jesus’ Incarnation», in http://www.bpc.org/resources/flavel/ wsc_fl_022_a.html, retrieved on 19/10/2007.

[63]     While speaking about the Christology of the Bar Ebraya, M. J. Panicker says: “The pre-existent Christ is thus described as having been made ‘in the likeness of man’ (Phil 2. 7), or as having been found ‘in the fashion as a man’ (Phil 2. 8). Jesus would thus consist of Word and man. The difference between the saying that ‘Jesus consisted of a Word and flesh or body and the saying that ‘Jesus consisted of a Word and man’ would be this: In the former case, Jesus would be without a rational soul, for ‘flesh or body’ is without a rational soul, and in the latter case, Jesus would have a rational soul, and with it also an irrational soul, for man is a kind of being which possesses both an irrational and rational soul”. PANICKER, Christology of Bar Ebraya, 12.

[64]     Kasper says: “The New Testament takes for granted the fact that Jesus Christ was a real human being. It is started as something quite obvious that Jesus was born of a human mother; that he grew up; that he knew hunger, thirst, weariness, joy, sorrow, love, anger, toil, pains, God-forsakenness and, finally, death. In the New Testament the reality of the corporeal existence of Jesus is seen as an undisputed fact, and therefore (apart from some late  writings) is it not discussed but merely assumed. The New Testament writings in any way are hardly interested in the details of his human existence. We learn practically nothing of the appearance and person of Jesus or of his ‘spiritual life’. The New Testament is concerned neither with the bare facts of the life of Jesus nor with the concrete details of the circumstances of his life, but with the meaning of that human existence for salvation. Its whole interest lies in the declaring that in him and through him God spoke and acted in an eschatological-definitive and historically surpassing way in order to reconcile the world to himself (2Cor 5. 18). This concrete human being, Jesus of Nazareth, is therefore, is the point at which the eschatological salvation also of each and every human being is decided”. KASPER, Jesus the Christ, 197.

[65]     KASPER, Jesus the Christ, 68.

[66]     G. OWENS, «Eutychianism», in NCE 5, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 642-643; A. F. SULLIVAN, The Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Apud Aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, Roma 1956, 165-169.

[67]     F. CHIOVARO, «Apollinariianism», in NCE 1, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 665-667; SULLIVAN, The Christology of Theodore of Mosuestia, 169-172.

[68]     F. X. MURPHY, «Monophysitism», in NCE 9, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 1064-1065; L. MOLIGNINI, «Aspetti della Cristologia di Teodoro Mopsuestieno negli Scritti Dogmatici e nell’Epistola a Domno», Rivista Cistercense 8 (1991) 213-227.

[69]     G. OWENS, «Monothelitism», in NCE 9, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 1067-1068; MOLIGNINI, «Aspetti della Cristologia di Teodoro Mopsuestieno negli Scritti Dogmatici e nell’Epistola a Domno», 214.

[70]     It is true that Nestorius never spoke of ‘two sons’ nor did he consider Christ as a simple man (purus homo). The heresy of Nestorianism originated as the result of the false interpretation of the teaching of Nestorius and the extreme and wrong positions taken by the followers of Nestorius. See, P. T. CAMELOT, «Nestorianism», in NCE 10, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 346-348; M. JUGIE, Nestorius et la Controverse Nestorienne, Bibliothèque de Théologie Historique, Paris 1912, 94-131.

[71]     COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON, Definition of Faith – Definitio Fidei (5th Session  451), ed. H. Denzinger (Enchiridion Symbolorum, Definitionum et Declarationum de Rebus Fidei et Morum), Fridericus Pustet, Roma 1909, 166ff; For English translation see, COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON, Definition of Faith – Definitio Fidei (5th Session  451), ed. tr. N. P. Tanner (Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 1 [Nicaea 1 to Lateran V]), Sheed & Ward and Georgetown University Press, Washington DC 1990, 75-104 (here 86).

[72]     C. STUHLMUELLER, «The Gospel according to Luke», in The Jerome Biblical Commentary 2, ed. J. A. Fitzmyer – R. E. Brown, Geoffrey Chapman, London 1970, 115-164.

[73]     M. M. BOURKE, «The Epistle to the Hebrews», in The Jerome Biblical Commentary 2, ed. J. A. Fitzmyer – R. E. Brown, Geoffrey Chapman, London 1970, 381-403.

[74]     BOURKE, «The Epistle to the Hebrews», 385-386. See also B. F. WESTCOTT, Epistle to the Hebrews, Macmillan, London 1906, 49.

[75]     A. BARNES, «Notes on the Bible – 1Timothy 3», in http://barnes.biblecommenter.com/1_timothy/3.htm, retrieved on 25/03/2012.

[76]     M. R. VINCENT, «Vincent’s Word Studies», in http://vws.biblecommenter.com/1_timothy/3.htm, retrieved on 25/03/2012.

[77]     A. CLARKE, «Commentary on the Bible», in http://clarke.biblecommenter.com/1_timothy/3.htm, retrieved on 25/03/2012.

[78]     G. A. DENZER, «The Pastoral Letters- Commentary on I Timothy», in The Jerome Biblical Commentary 2, ed. J. A. Fitzmyer – R. E. Brown, Geoffrey Chapman, London 1970, 352-357.

[79]     J. GILL, «Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible», in http://gill.biblecommenter.com/1_timothy/3.htmm, retrieved on 25/03/2012.

[80]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 104.

[81]     L. WILSON, «That Offends Me», in http://www.opc.org/OS/html/V8/2c.html, retrieved on 25/10/2007.

[82]     PIUS PP XII, Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei, AAS 39 (20 November 1947), 521-594.

[83]     «The Person of Jesus Christ», in http://biblia.com/bible/person.htm, retrieved on 25/10/2007.

[84]     KAKKANATT, Christological Catechesis of the Liturgy, 105.

[85]     BOURKE, «The Epistle to the Hebrews», 395.

[86]     Kasper will call this point as the Christian freedom and responsibility. He says: “The statement about the mediatorship of Jesus Christ in creation are therefore intended to serve and justify those about redemption. They are meant to bring out the eschatological-definitive and universal character of the person and work of Jesus Christ as the fullness of time (Gal 4. 4) and to underline Christian freedom and responsibility in the world”.  KASPER, Jesus the Christ, 186.

[87]     KASPER, Jesus the Christ, 233.

[88]     J. MURRAY, «Mediator», in The Illustrated Bible Dictionary 2, ed. J. D. Douglas, Tyndale House Publishers, Leicester 1994, 970-972.

[89]     J. M. CARMODY, «Theotokos», in NCE 14, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 75.

[90]     M. M. RULE, «Mary, Mother of God – Virgin and Ever-Virgin», The Ecumenical Review 60 (2008), 35-52.

[91]     J. PELIKAN, Mary through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture, Yale University Press, New Haven 1996, 57.

[92]     P. A. DANCY, «Nestorius and the Rejection of Theotokos: his Political and Social Condemnation», Fides et Historia, 38 (2006) 151-163.

[93]     According to Theodore, the Blessed Virgin Mary is “Theotokos” and “Anthropotokos”, the one by nature and the other by relation. She is really Theotokos, because God is in the man whom she brought forth; and she is truly Anthropotokos because the human nature is taken from her; the Word, however did not originate from her. CHEDIATH, Christology, 78-79.

[94]     See, C. C. CARLTON, «‘The Temple That Held God’: Byzantine Marian Hymnography and the Christ of Nestorius», St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 50 (2006) 99-126; A. POÓS, La ‘Theotokos’ad Efeso, Calcedonia e nel Vaticano II, (Thesis ad Doctoratum in S. Theologia), Pontificia Università Lateranense, Roma 1981, 15-28; G. KHODR, «The Mother of God, The Theotokos and Her Role in God’s Plan for our Salvation», The Ecumenical Review 60 (2008) 29-34; J. A. MCGUCKIN, «The Christology of Nestorius of  Constantinople», Patristic and Byzantine Review 7 (1988) 93-129.

[95]     This heresy is the view that Jesus was in nature just a man, denying his divinity altogether. The Ebionites were an offshoot of the specifically Jewish form of Christianity, which was a potent force in the apostolic age. The Ebionites rejected the virgin birth, regarding Jesus as a man normally born of Joseph and Mary; they held he was the predestined Messiah, and in this capacity he would return to reign on earth. See, F. X. MURPHY, «Ebionites», in NCE 5, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 29.

[96]     This heresy is the view that Jesus was in nature a man who became the Son of God by Adoption; that is, that Jesus was virtuous man that God adopted and constituted him as his Son. See, S. J. MCKENNA, «Adoptionism», in NCE 1, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 140-141.

[97]     This heresy is the view that Jesus was not fully divine although still related to God as a son to a father. Its founder Arius argued that the Son or the Word of God is only be a creature and as a creature the Son or the Word must have had a beginning. The Son can have no communion with, and indeed no direct knowledge of, his Father. He also taught that the Son must be liable to change and even sin. See, V. C. DE CLERCQ, «Arianism», in NCE 1, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC 1967, 791-794; SULLIVAN, The Christology of Theodore of Mosuestia, 159-164.

[98]     T. ARAYATHINAL, Aramaic Grammar 1, St. Joseph’s Press, Mannanam 1957, 127-128.

[99]     COMMISSION FOR LITURGY, Randamathe Koodasakramam – Mar Theodorinte Kramam, Alwaye Press, Aluva 2013, 33.

[100] A. CHUPUNGCO, Cultural Adaptation of the Liturgy, Paulist Press, New York 1982, 73.

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