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St Cyril of Alexandria Against Theodore of Mopsuestia

Excerpts from books II and III, Translated by P. E. Pusey.

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1. [3]

He said to His disciples, Call not any teacher on the earth, for one is your Leader, Christ. For He did not, when He was commanding the Apostles this, distinguish His proper Godhead from His visible body, nor when He affirmed that He was Christ did He distinguish Himself from soul and flesh, being thus both God and man, bondman visible and Lord acknowledged, veiling the height of His Godhead with the low estate of the Incarnation, lifting up the low estate of the visible body by the operation of His Godhead.

2.  [4]

Let not men deceive nor be deceived admitting as "man of the Lord," as they call Him, a man without a mind, but rather our Lord and God: for neither do we sunder the man from the Godhead but we declare Him One and the Same, erst not man but God and Son only and before the ages, unmingled with body and what belong to body; at the end Man too assumed for our salvation, suffering in flesh, Impassible in Godhead, circumscribed in body, uncircumscribed in Godhead, the Same earthly and Heavenly, seen and conceived of, contained in space and boundless, in order that the whole man which fell under sin might be re-formed by the Same, Whole Man and God.


For since the Only-Begotten Word of God being Life by Nature was made flesh, the nature of man re-bloomed unto life: for He has become first among all. And for this reason the Life-giving Word of God made His own flesh which was subject to death, in order that manifesting it superior to both death and decay, He might transmit the grace to us too. For as in Adam we were brought down unto death, so in Christ thrusting aside the tyranny of death, are we re-formed unto immortality.  


The same from the first book against Theodore [5].

For as out of soul and body are one man, albeit the properties pertaining to each have the vastest possible difference one to another in respect (I mean) of their being such (for the soul is other than the body): thus will it be conceived of also as to Christ the Saviour of us all.

3. [c] This first extract belongs to Theophilus Archbishop of Alexandria and is taken from the first of those of his Paschal homilies which S. Jerome translated into Latin and thus preserved to us; John of Caesarea says, 'This testimony Cyril took to himself against what was said by Theodore: it belongs to Theophilus bishop of Alexandria.' It is his Homily for the year 401, when Theophilus was more than half through his 27 years' Episcopate. It is entitled, "To the Bishops of all Egypt." It is chiefly against Origen but the earlier part contains a clear statement of the Incarnation. S. Cyril quotes a little more of it in his de recta fide to the Princesses, p. 52 a b c.

4. [d] From S. Gregory Naz. Ep. 1 to Cledonius against Apollinarius, as John of Caesarea notes: ' Another testimony of the same Cyril in the same book brought forward by him against what is said by Theodore. It is in the first Letter written to Cledonius by the most holy and blessed Gregory bishop of Nazianzum.'

5. [e] The three first of these extracts are taken from the collection of John, Bishop of Caesarea; this one has been preserved to us by a Manuscript in the Library of S. Mark at Venice.

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