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St Cyril of Alexandria Against Diodore of Tarsus

Excerpts from the First Book, Translated by P. E. Pusey

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Let Diodore hear now from us too, If you say that He is flesh whom you call a Nazarene or an assumed man, shew thyself to us apart from all disguise and mask, tell (I pray) clearly what you deem good to think, and do not, simply speaking of flesh without soul, attempt to carry away the hearers. Since WE ourselves say that according to the plan of proper nature, the flesh will surely be of other nature than the Word which sprang out of God the Father, yet hath it become His by Union which may not be plucked asunder.  


He is rather One and the Same Son, so as to be conceived of as both out of the Essence of God the Father Divinely and out of us humanly, or out of the seed of David. He was called a Prophet as Moses. And we do not disbelieve the title, seeing that we know the might of the Economy with flesh. Not Himself was the Temple nor yet in His own Nature in that He is conceived of as God did He admit the undoing of it: yet was that His own which was undone, just as of each of us his body is his own.


Hence His is Divinely the Essence which is before the worlds, His in like wise and not another's that in the last times He should be born in the flesh. For the birth from the holy Virgin was found to the Word, not a way to His Being but unto His manifestation with flesh : and He is in no wise mortal out of mortals but rather Life as out of Life the FATHER.

Yet hath the Body mortal out of mortals and subject unto death become the own of Life, in order that through it contending with death and raised from the dead He might reform unto incorruption and prove superior to death that which has been mastered of death, as regards its own nature: for death falling on the body of Life, became impotent.


For that the Word of God endures not to suffer a shadow of turning, nor yet does the flesh letting go what it is, change into the Nature of the Word united to It, every one of them who think aright will (I suppose) say.


For withdrawing some little (if you please) the investigation from the person of Christ the Saviour of us all, when we examine one of the things which has been named, as to its nature, itself by itself, one and other in all respects is the bondman's form and the Lord's, or human and Divine, lamb and High Priest, Maker and made.

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