Nestorius and His Place in the History of Christian Doctrine/Lecture 1

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I

The subject of my lectures—"Nestorius and his position in the history of Christian Doctrine"—seems at the first glance to have little interest for us modern men. Almost 1500 years have passed since Nestorius played his rôle in history. And this role was in the orthodox church a very transitory one.

For the Persian-Nestorian or Syrian-Nestorian church (as the language of this church was Syriac) Nestorius, it is true, became a celebrated saint; and still to-day small remains of this once far-reaching church are to be found in the vicinity of the Urmia Lake in the north-west of Persia and south of it in the mountains of Turkish Kurdistan. But in the orthodox church Nestorius was even in his own time an ephemeral appearance. In the year 428 a.d. he became bishop of Constantinople and as early as 431 he was deposed. Four years later he was banished to Oasis in Egypt, and up to a few years ago the common opinion was that he died soon after in his exile.

For the orthodox church he remained merely one of the most condemned heretics. He was reproached not only for having forbidden the title θεοτόκος, mother of God, as applied to Mary the virgin, but it was told of him that he, separating the divine and the human nature of Christ, saw in our Saviour nothing but an inspired man[1]. What was right in his statements, viz. his opposition to all monophysitic thinking, was held to be maintained by the famous letter of Leo the Great to Flavian of Constantinople of the year 449, acknowledged by the council of Chalcedon, and by the creed of that council itself. The rest of what he taught was regarded as erroneous and not worth the notice of posterity.

That this is not a tenable theory I hope to prove in my lectures.

To-day it is my aim merely to show that just at the present time different circumstances have led to the awakening of a fresh interest in Nestorius.

The church of the ancient Roman Empire did not punish its heretics merely by deposition, condemnation, banishment and various deprivations of rights, but, with the purpose of shielding its believers against poisonous influence, it destroyed all heretical writings. No work of Arius, Marcellus, Aetius and Eunomius e.g., not to speak of the earlier heretics, has been preserved in more than fragments consisting of quotations by their opponents. A like fate was purposed for the writings of Nestorius: an edict of the Emperor Theodosius II, dating from the 30th of July 435 ordered them to be burnt[2]. Even the Persian church, about the same time won over to Nestorianism, had to suffer under this edict: only a few works of Nestorius came into its possession for translation into Syriac.

This we learn through Ebed-Jesu, metropolitan of Nisibis (†1318), the most famous theologian of the Nestorians in the middle ages and who has given us the most complete account of the writings of Nestorius. He introduces in his catalogue of Syrian authors[3] the notice about Nestorius with the following words: Nestorius the patriarch wrote many excellent books which the blasphemers (viz. the Antinestorians) have destroyed. As those which evaded destruction he mentions, besides the liturgy of Nestorius, i.e. one of the liturgies used by the Nestorians, which without doubt is wrongly ascribed to Nestorius, five works of the patriarch. The first of these is the book called Tragedy, the second the Book of Heraclides, the third the Letter addressed to Cosmas, the fourth a Book of letters and the fifth a Book of homilies and sermons.

For us the edict of Theodosius against the writings of Nestorius has had a still more important result. Until 1897 nothing was known about the second book mentioned by Ebed-Jesu, i.e. about the Book of Heraclides. Also the Letter addressed to Cosmas mentioned third by Ebed-Jesu had to be counted and is still to be counted as lost[4]. Of the three other works ascribed by Ebed-Jesu to Nestorius we had and still have only fragments—occasional quotations in the works of his enemies and his friends.

Among the hostile writings in which we find such fragments are to be named especially the works of his chief opponent Cyril of Alexandria; then the proceedings of the council of Ephesus; then some works of Marius Mercator, a Latin writer who in the time of Nestorius lived in Constantinople and translated a series of quotations from Nestorius given by Cyril, three letters of Nestorius and also, but with considerable omissions, nine of his sermons; finally the church history of Evagrius (living about 590). The latter gives us[5] an account of two works of Nestorius dating from the time of his exile, one of which must be the Tragedy, while the other could not be identified up to the last ten years, and he inserts in his narration extracts from two interesting letters of the banished heretic. Among the friends who preserved for us fragments of Nestorius the Nestorians of later date played a very unimportant part. Important is a Latin work which has connection with the earliest friends of Nestorius, the so-called Synodicon, known since 1682[6] or, in complete form, since 1873[7], and which is a later adaptation of a work of Bishop Irenaeus of Tyrus, a partisan of Nestorius, which was entitled "Tragedy" like the lost "Tragedy" of Nestorius, upon which perhaps it was based.

The quotations of these enemies and friends represent, as I said, fragments of three books of Nestorius mentioned by Ebed-Jesu, viz. the Book of letters, the Book of sermons and the Tragedy. The first two of these three works of Nestorius need no further explanation. The third, the Tragedy, about which Evagrius and the Synodicon teach us, must have been a polemical work, in which Nestorius, as Evagrius says, defended himself against those who blamed him for having introduced unlawful innovations and for having acted wrongly in demanding the council of Ephesus[8]. The title which the book bears must have been chosen because Nestorius told here the tragedy of his life up to his banishment to Oasis in Egypt.

Fragments of other books of Nestorius not mentioned by Ebed-Jesu were not known to us ten years ago[9].

All the fragments previously known and in addition to them more than 100 new fragments preserved especially by the Syrian-monophysitic literature I collected and edited in 1905 in a volume entitled Nestoriana[10]. It is with pleasure that here in England I mention the collaboration of the learned English scholar Stanley A. Cook, an expert in Syrian language and literature, without whose help I never could have used the Syriac texts in the British Museum. I will not speak long of the book which this help and that of a German scholar then at Halle, Dr G. Kampffmeyer, enabled me to compose. Three remarks only shall be made. Firstly: The Syriac fragments gave us knowledge of a book of Nestorius not mentioned by Ebed-Jesu, which was written in the form of a dialogue and which was certainly a comprehensive work, although the number of the fragments handed down to us is very small. The title of this work is The Theopaschites, that is, the man who thinks God had suffered, a title certainly chosen because Nestorius in this dialogue opposed the Cyrillian party, which he accused of holding a doctrine which imagined the God in Christ suffering.

Secondly: The introductory headings in the Syriac fragments of the sermons of Nestorius in combination with a reconstruction of the order of the leaves in the manuscripts used by Marius Mercator and by the council of Ephesus, offered the possibility of arranging the fragments of the sermons of Nestorius in such a manner that more than 30 sermons could be clearly discerned and that not a few of them were recognisable in their essential contents and their characteristics.

Thirdly: By the help of the quotations I succeeded in finding—as did also at almost the same time a Catholic scholar[11] independently of me—the original Greek of one sermon of Nestorius in a sermon preserved in a manuscript at Dresden and printed in 1839 as a work of Chrysostomus. It is a sermon on the high priesthood of Christ in many respects especially characteristic of the teaching of Nestorius.

Thus my Nestoriana gave for the first time an opportunity to survey the remains of the works of Nestorius then accessible. They were the first factor in arousing fresh interest in Nestorius. They inspired, as the author himself says, the writing of a monograph on the christology of Nestorius by a Roman Catholic chaplain, Dr Leonhard Fendt[12].

But the second factor now to be treated is still more important and surely more interesting. Let me give some introductory remarks before treating the subject itself.

Some few heretics of the ancient church were fortunately enabled long after their death to triumph over the condemnation or even destruction which the orthodox church pronounced against their writings.

Of Apollinaris of Laodicea, the heretic whose doctrine was to Nestorius a special cause of offence, we have still not a few writings because the Apollinarists secretly introduced the works of their master into the church literature, inscribing them with the names of orthodox authors of good renown, e.g. Athanasius, Julius of Rome, Gregorius Thaumaturgos. Since these fraudes Apollinaristarum[13], of which as early as the 6th century some church writers had an idea or at least a suspicion[14], were carefully examined, a small collection of works of Apollinaris could be made. Prof. Lietzmann of Jena gave such a collection in his Apollinaris von Laodicea in the year 1904.

Severus of Antioch, the most conspicuous of the Monophysites of the 6th century, continued to be admired in the Syrian monophysite church, although the orthodox church had anathematized him. Hence not an unimportant part of the works of Severus translated into Syriac has been preserved, especially among the Syriac manuscripts of the British Museum. And, besides others[15], your famous countryman E. W. Brooks has, to the great advantage of historical science, begun the publication of this material[16].

Pelagius, the well-known western contemporary of Nestorius, whose doctrine Augustine opposed, wrote beside other smaller dogmatical works a large commentary on the Epistles of Saint Paul, the original text of which was held to be lost. An orthodox adaptation only of this work, as was the opinion of ancient and modern scholars, existed in a commentary regarded since olden times as belonging to the works of Hieronymus and it has been printed among them. But nobody took much notice of these commentaries; for because they were regarded as having been revised they could teach nothing new about Pelagius, and one could only make use of those thoughts which otherwise were known to be his. Lately we have come by curious bypaths to valuable knowledge about the Pelagius-commentary which we hope will soon put us in possession of the original text of Pelagius. The well-known Celtic scholar, Heinrich Zimmer, formerly professor at the University of Berlin (†1910), was led, as we see in his book Pelagius in Irland (1901), to traces of the original Pelagius-commentary by quotations in Irish manuscripts. He even believed he had recovered the original commentary itself; for a manuscript which he found in the monastery of S. Gallen (Switzerland) in his opinion nearly resembled the original text, in spite of some additions, and showed that the Pseudo-Hieronymus, i.e. the form printed among the works of Hieronymus, was more authentic than was previously supposed. This judgment on the manuscript of S. Gallen and the Pseudo-Hieronymus proved, it is true, to be too optimistic. But the investigation, begun by Professor Zimmer, has been furthered by German and English scholars by means of extensive study of manuscripts. Professor A. Souter of Aberdeen, who played a prominent rô1e in this research and who really succeeded in finding at Karlsruhe a manuscript of the original Pelagius-commentary, is right in hoping that he will be able to give to theological science the original text of Pelagius within a few years[17].

In a still more curious manner Priscillian, the first heretic, who in consequence of his being accused was finally put to death (385), has been enabled to speak to us in his own words. None of his writings were preserved; we only had the accounts of his opponents. Then there was suddenly found, 27 years ago, in the University library at Würzburg (Bavaria) a manuscript of the 5th or 6th century containing 11 treatises of the old heretic perfectly intact—the genuineness of which cannot in the least be doubted. It must remain a riddle for us how this manuscript could be preserved without attention having been drawn to it. Nevertheless it is a matter of fact that these 11 treatises of Priscillian now, more than 1500 years after his death, can again be read; they were printed in the edition of the discoverer, Dr Georg Schepps, in 1889.

A similar fortune was prepared for Nestorius. A Syriac translation of his Book of Heraclides mentioned above, which was made about 540 a.d., is preserved in a manuscript, dating from about 1100, in the library of the Nestorian Patriarch at Kotschanes in Persian Turkestan. The American missionaries in the neighbourhood of the Urmia Lake having heard about this manuscript, attempted to gain further information about it, and in 1889 a Syrian priest, by name Auscha’nâ, succeeded in making secretly a hurried copy of the manuscript for the library of the missionaries at Urmia. One copy of this Urmia copy came into the University library of Strassburg, another into the possession of Professor Bethune-Baker of Cambridge; a fourth copy has been made directly after the original at Kotschanes for the use of the Roman Catholic editor, the well-known Syriac scholar Paul Bedjan.

The rediscovery of this work of Nestorius was first made known when the existence of the Strassburg manuscript was heard of, in 1897[18]. The publication of the Syriac text was delayed longer than scholars seemed to have had a right to hope. The first detailed notice of the work, therefore, was given by Professor Bethune-Baker in his work, Nestorius and his teaching, edited 1908. This scholar had been enabled by means of an English translation of a friend to make use of the Book of Heraclides or "Bazaar of Heraclides" as he called it. Long quotations from the book of Nestorius made this publication of great value. As late as 1910 the edition of the Syriac text by Paul Bedjan appeared and at the same time a French translation by F. Nau[19]. It is especially this publication which is able at the present time to arouse interest in Nestorius.

First the preface of the Syriac translator attracts our attention. The translator remarks at the conclusion that the following book of Nestorius belongs to the controversial writings on the faith and must be read after the "Theopaschites" and the "Tragedy", which he wrote as apologetic answers to those who had blamed him for having demanded a council[20]. This remark not only confirms what we already knew from Evagrius about the Tragedy of Nestorius, but it enables us also to identify the second book of the banished Nestorius known to Evagrius. Evagrius tells us that it was directed against a certain Egyptian—Cyril is often called by Nestorius "the Egyptian"—and that it was written διαλεκτικῶς[21], apparently meaning "in the form of a dialogue". These words of Evagrius even before the discovery of the Book of Heraclides could be held to point to the Theopaschites, which has in the fragments that are preserved the dialogue form. Nevertheless in my Nestoriana I did not venture to make this identification because the book known to Evagrius must have also contained historical-polemical passages, while the fragments we have present no such material. Now according to the preface of the translator of the Book of Heraclides the Theopaschites really contained historical-polemical material. One can therefore now without doubt identify it with the second book notified by Evagrius.

More interesting than the preface is naturally the book itself. Its title, "Tegurtâ" of Heraclides of Damascus, according to Bedjan[22] and Nau[23] corresponding in Greek to Πραγματεία Ἡρακλείδου τοῦ Δαμασκηνοῦ, hence "Treatise of Heraclides"—not "Bazaar of Heraclides" as Professor Bethune-Baker translated—is the most puzzling thing in the whole work. The Syriac translator remarks in his preface that Heraclides was a noble and educated man living in the neighbourhood of Damascus, and that Nestorius puts this name in the title of his book because he feared that his own name would prevent people from reading it[24]. The Syriac translator therefore had already found the title Treatise of Heraclides in his Greek original. He does not seem to have known anything about the meaning of this title. The vague remarks he makes about Heraclides tell nothing more than anyone might guess without his help. The book itself in its present incomplete condition—about one-sixth of the whole is missing—nowhere explains the title, Heraclides not being mentioned at all. And Nestorius has made no effort to conceal his authorship. The names of the persons which, in the dialogue of the first part of the book, head the single portions of the text, viz. Nestorius and Sophronius, must, it is true, be regarded as later additions—just as the headings of the chapters. But the manner in which the matter is dealt with, especially in the second half of the book, reveals so clearly that Nestorius is the writer, that a pseudonym, as Heraclides or anyone else, could have deceived only those who gave no attention to the contents. Perhaps—that is the opinion of Bethune-Baker[25]—the pseudonymous title is to be regarded as the device of an adherent of Nestorius, to save his master's apology from destruction.

However it may be—the book itself has nothing to do with Heraclides of Damascus. It falls, as the Syriac translator rightly remarks[26], into two parts, the first of which has three, the second two sections. To the first section of the first part[27] the translator gives the heading: Of all heresies opposed to the church and of all the differences with regard to the faith of the 318 (i.e. the Fathers of Nicaea). In the second section[28] Nestorius, as the translator observes, attacks Cyril and criticizes the judges (who condemned him) and the charges of Cyril. The third section[29] contains according to the translator his (viz. Nestorius') answer (or apology) and a comparison of their letters (viz. of Cyril and Nestorius). The first section of the second part[30] is characterized by the translator as a refutation and rectification of all charges for which he was excommunicated, and the second section[31] as dealing with the time or the events from his excommunication to the close of his life.

Even the first of the five sections shows considerable omissions; the second is incomplete in the beginning and again at the end; also of the third section the beginning is missing. The fourth section, in which all extracts from the sermons of Nestorius criticized at Ephesus as heretical are brought under review, seems, apart from small omissions, incomplete only in the beginning; the last section is the most completely preserved.

In spite of all omissions it is a book of extensive scope in which Nestorius speaks to us: the Syriac text has 521 pages, the French translation of Nau fills 331, and they are of a large size.

In reading the book one has to regret, it is true, again and again, that it has not been preserved intact and in its original language. It would be of inestimable importance for the history of Christian doctrine if we possessed the original Greek of these explanations, so important from a dogmatic point of view.

Nevertheless even as we have it now in the Syriac translation the Treatise of Heraclides of Nestorius remains one of the most interesting discoveries for students of ancient church history. In two respects it is able to awaken fresh interest in Nestorius: by what we hear about his life and by what we learn about his doctrine.

As concerning the first, the Treatise of Heraclides has undoubtedly many relations to that earlier work of Nestorius, entitled Tragedy and only known in a few fragments, in which he treated historically and polemically the tragedy of his life and especially the doings of the Cyrillian council of Ephesus. Also in the Treatise of Heraclides Nestorius writes as one who is conscious of being unjustly condemned and wrongly delivered over to the intrigues of the unscrupulous Cyril. But he does not make pretentious claims for his person or hope for another turn of his fortune. He has no more interest in the world. For e.g. after having said that one might ask him why the bishops of the Antiochian party had given assent to his deposition he answers[32]: Well you must ask him (meaning Cyril), apparently also those (meaning the Antiochians). If you want to learn anything else of me, then I will speak of what is now gradually coming to the knowledge of the whole world, not in order to find approbation or assistance among men—for earthly things have but little interest for me. I have died to the world and live for Him, to whom my life belongs;—but I will speak to those who took offence etc. He writes in exile in the deserts of Egypt and has no prospect but of death. As for me, so he concludes the treatise[33], I have borne the sufferings of my life and all that has befallen me in this world as the sufferings of a single day; and I have not changed all these years. And now I am already on the point to depart, and daily I pray to God to dismiss me—me whose eyes have seen his salvation. Farewell Desert, my friend, mine upbringer and my place of sojourning, and thou Exile, my mother, who after my death shalt keep my body until the resurrection comes in the time of God's pleasure! Amen.

We knew previously that Nestorius had to endure many sufferings during his exile. Evagrius, as I said above, hands down to us fragments of two letters of Nestorius to the governor of Thebais[34]. From these we learn that Nestorius was captured in Oasis by invading bands of barbarians and then, being released, surrendered himself, by a letter written in Panopolis, into the hands of the governor, in order not to come under the suspicion of having fled. But then, so the second letter teaches us, he was sent by order of the governor first to Elephantine and, before reaching it, back to Panopolis, then into the surrounding district and from there to a fourth place of exile. The hardships of these continual removals and severe bodily pains caused by an injured hand and side had brought him to the brink of death. We cannot help being moved when we see him in his first letter from Panopolis, written directly after his release from capture, asking the governor that he should see to a lawful continuation of his exile, lest in all future generations should be told the tragic history that it was better to be captured by barbarians than to take refuge with the Roman Empire[35]. But these occurrences happened soon after 435, for in the first letter Nestorius mentions the synod of Ephesus as a fact of the recent past. Scholars therefore could suppose and actually did suppose that death soon put an end to the sufferings of the banished Nestorius. He feels himself an old man even as early as the time of these letters.

But now the Treatise of Heraclides teaches us that Nestorius was still alive at least in the autumn of 450, for the news of the death of the Emperor Theodosius, who died 28 July 450, had penetrated even to the loneliness of his exile. Professor Bethune-Baker[36] goes even further, thinking—in my opinion without sufficient grounds—that Nestorius must have died after the council of Chalcedon, about 452. During at least 15 to 16 years, therefore, Nestorius endured the hardships of exile. How many sufferings these years may have seen! Nestorius does not speak much of them. But he remarks incidentally, that for many years he never had a moment of repose or any human comfort[37]. Surely the person claims our interest who in spite of all this could write[38]: The goal of my earnest wish, then, is that God may be blessed on earth as in heaven. But as for Nestorius,—let him be anathema! Only let them say of God what I pray that they should say. I am prepared to endure and to suffer all for Him. And would God that all men by anathematizing me might attain to a reconciliation with God.

Thus, if we are interested by what the Treatise of Heraclides teaches us about the life of Nestorius, in no less a degree ought our interest to be awakened by what we learn about his doctrine.

As early as about 440 Socrates the church-historian defended, with the impartiality which distinguished him, his contemporary Nestorius against the grave misrepresentation to which his doctrine was exposed. People, as he says[39], thought that Nestorius regarded the Lord as a mere human being, as did Paul of Samosata and Photinus. But, so he continues[40], I read his writings and I will say the truth: he did not hold the same opinions as Paid of Samosata and Photinus nor did he at all regard the Lord as a mere man, only he abhorred the term θεοτόκος as a bugbear.

In a still higher degree Luther did justice to Nestorius. In his book Von Conciliis und Kirchen he confesses that he himself for some time did not understand what the error of Nestorius was, and that he also thought that Nestorius had held Christ to be nothing more than a man, as the popish decrees and all popish writers declared; but that after having looked more accurately at the accounts he saw that this was false[41]. This, too, according to Luther, was wrongly assumed about Nestorius, that he made two persons of the one Christ. Nestorius, Luther says, really does not teach more than one Christ; hence he could not regard Christ as two persons; otherwise he would have said a Yes and a No in the same article, contradicting himself[42]. Nestorius, he says[43], rightly believed that Christ was God begotten of the Father from all eternity and man born of Mary the Virgin; and, he declares[44], it was right, too, that Mary did not bear the Godhead. But Luther thought that Nestorius as a rough and unlearned man did not comprehend the communicatio idiomatum, which in his opinion justifies the phrase that God was born of Mary, just as a mother (although the soul of her child does not come from her) is nevertheless not only the mother of the body, but the mother of the child[45].

Luther had but a very limited knowledge about Nestorius. To the increased knowledge of our day even before the discovery of the Treatise of Heraclides the doctrine of Nestorius showed itself in a still more favourable light. As early as ten years ago I wrote in the Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche: If Nestorius had lived in the time of the council of Chalcedon, he would possibly have become a pillar of orthodoxy[46]. Now the Treatise of Heraclides teaches us that Nestorius lived roughly speaking till the time of that council. Accurately speaking there is no trace of the Chalcedonian synod in the Treatise of Heraclides, and the passages which seem to point to the time following it must in my opinion be explained otherwise[47]. Hence I believe that the monophysitic stories asserting that Nestorius had been invited to the council of Chalcedon, but died a dreadful death on the journey thither[48] are right in so far that Nestorius did not live to see the opening of the council in October 451. But he saw the beginning of the reaction which followed the so-called robber-synod of Ephesus in 449. He even read the famous letter of Pope Leo to Flavian of Constantinople, which was of such decisive importance for the determination of Chalcedon and was acknowledged as a norm of doctrine by this council. What was his judgment about this letter of Leo's? Many times in the Treatise of Heraclides he declares that Leo and Flavian taught the truth and that their opinion was exactly the same as his[49]. He even tells that he was begged by friends to write to Leo of Rome, but he did not do it, lest—so he says—through the prejudice existing against him he should hinder him (i.e. Leo) who was running a right course[50].

Because of all this, Professor Bethune-Baker, in his above-mentioned book, Nestorius and his teaching, thought he could maintain on the ground of the Treatise of Heraclides that Nestorius was not a Nestorian but was perfectly orthodox[51]. This thesis and the Treatise of Heraclides on which it is based are indeed both able to awaken our interest in Nestorius.

And still a third factor capable of arousing our interest besides my Nestoriana and the Treatise of Heraclides must be named. The French translator of the Treatise of Heraclides, F. Nau, has added to his translation four further almost new Nestoriana. He thinks he has discovered the original Greek text of three sermons of Nestorius on the story of the temptation, of which I knew only fragments from the first and third[52]. I had grounds for supposing that more of these sermons existed in manuscripts of Chrysostomus, but I did not succeed in finding such material[53]. The new discovery, I fear, is looked upon in a too optimistic manner by its editor. The new sermons certainly contain actual sections of homilies of Nestorius; but taken as a whole they do not seem to me to be of a really different kind from that Pseudo-Chrysostomus-homily from which I took the fragments of the sermons on the story of the temptation. Hence I cannot believe that the new sermons present the homilies of Nestorius on the temptation in an unaltered and complete form[54].

More interesting, therefore, in my opinion, is the fourth Ineditum which Nau gives in a French translation, after a Syrian British Museum manuscript to which I pointed in my Nestoriana[55]. I refer to a fragment of a letter of Nestorius to the inhabitants of Constantinople, the beginning and end of which were previously known by a quotation made by the Monophysite Philoxenus of Mabug[56]. I did not include this letter in my Nestoriana, because with all other scholars I regarded it as a monophysitic forgery intended to discredit the doctrine of Pope Leo by showing it to be approved by Nestorius. Indeed the letter appears for the first time in monophysitic circles—in the writings of Philoxenus about 520[56] and, what escaped the notice of Nau, about 570 in the so-called anonymous Historia miscellanea[57]. But according to the Syrian translator[58] the Nestorians also, e.g. Simon Bar Tabbahê about 750[59]; acknowledged it as genuine, and since we know from the Treatise of Heraclides the judgment of Nestorius about Flavian and Leo there is no longer a plausible objection which may be raised from this side against the genuineness of the letter. I confess, however, that I am not rid of all doubts. Certainly a definite judgment is not possible till the whole of the letter be brought to light; for now between the beginning quoted by Philoxenus and the fragment of the British Museum a section is missing, the length of which we do not know. Nevertheless the genuineness of the letter seems to me now to be more probable than the contrary[60].

The beginning of the letter refers to the synod of Constantinople, held in 448 by Flavian for the purpose of condemning Eutyches, and the criticism of his doctrine given by Leo in his letter to Flavian. It is my doctrine, so Nestorius declares, which Leo and Flavian are upholding[61]. Then, after the omissions, some assertions corresponding to the doctrine of Nestorius only as described by Cyril, are disproved. Then follow polemics against Cyril, rejecting various quotations from the Fathers which he was in the habit of using in supporting his doctrine, these quotations being for the most part apollinaristic forgeries[62]. Then the letter ends in exhortations. These conclude with the words preserved also by Philoxenus: Believe as our holy comrades in the faith, Leo and Flavian! Pray that a general council be gathered in order that my doctrine, i.e. the doctrine of all orthodox Christians, be confirmed. My hope is, that when the first has taken place, the second, too, will come to pass[63]. Here Nestorius is wooing the interest of his readers for the council of Chalcedon before it was held. Was his doctrine really in harmony with that of this council? Was this heretic a rudely maltreated exponent of orthodoxy?

These questions, you see, are not only raised by Professor Bethune-Baker; but we, too, have to raise them, when we are considering the material we find in the sources.

Hence I hope that, while dealing with these questions, I shall succeed in gaining your further interest during the course of the next three lectures.

In the next lecture we shall see that really to no other heretic has been done such great injustice as to Nestorius. The last two lectures will deal with the doctrine of Nestorius and his position in the history of dogma.

  1. 1 Comp. Socrates, h. e. 7, 32, 6 ed. Gaisford ii, 806; Evagrius, h. e. 1, 7 ed. Bidez and Parmentier, p. 14, 6.
  2. Cod. Theodos. 16, 5, 66; Mansi, v, 413 f.
  3. J. S. Assemani, Bibliotheca orientalis, iii, 1, p. 35 f.
  4. Comp. Hauck's Real-Encyklopädie, xxiv, 242, 56 ff.
  5. h. e. 1, 7 ed. Bidez and Parmentier, pp. 12 ff.
  6. Ch. Lupus, Ad Ephesinum concilium variorum patrum epistolae, 1682 = Mansi, v, 731–1022.
  7. Bibliotheca Casinensis, i, 49–84.
  8. h. e. 1, 7, pp. 12, 24 f.
  9. We had, it is true, the Anathematisms of Nestorius against Cyril's Anathematisms, and a fragment of his λογίδια; but the Anathematisms probably were attached to a letter, and the λογίδια (short discourses) perhaps belonged to the Book of homilies and sermons.
  10. Nestoriana. Die Fragmente des Nestorius, gesammelt, untersucht und herausgegeben von F. Loofs. Mit Beiträgen von Stanley A. Cook und G. Kampffmeyer, Halle, 1905.
  11. S. Haidacher, Rede des Nestorius über Hebr. 3. 1, überliefert unter dem Nachlass des hl. Chrysostomus (Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie, xxix, 1905, pp. 192–195).
  12. Die Christologie des Nestorius, Kempten, 1910.
  13. Comp. Leontius, adversus fraudes Apollinaristarum; Migne, ser. graec. 86, 1947–1976.
  14. Comp. the preceding note and Nestorius' ad Constantinopolitanos (F. Nau, Nestorius, Le Livre d'Héraclide, p. 374).
  15. e.g. R. Duval in Patrologia orientalis, iv, 1, 1906.
  16. The sixth book of the select letters of Severus, Patriarch of Antiochia in the Syriac version etc., 2 vols., London, 1902–1904; Hymns in Patrologia orientalis, vi, 1, 1910.
  17. Comp. Hauck's Real-Encyklopädie, xxiv, 311.
  18. Comp. my Nestoriana, p. 4.
  19. Nestorius, Le Livre d'Héraclide de Damas, ed. P. Bedjan, Paris, 1910; Nestorius, Le Livre d'Héraclide de Damas, traduit en Français par F. Nau, Paris, 1910.
  20. Bedjan, p. 4; Nau, p. 3.
  21. h. e. 1, 7, pp. 13, 21: γράφει δὲ καὶ ἕτερον λόγον πρός τινα δῆθεν Αίγύπτιον συγκείμενον κ.τ.λ.
  22. p. viii, no. 2.
  23. p. xvii and Revue de l'Orient chrétien, xiv, 1909, pp. 208 f.
  24. Bedjan, p. 3; Nau, p. 3.
  25. Nestorius and his teaching, p. 33.
  26. Bedjan, p. 4; Nau, p. 4.
  27. Bedjan, pp. 10–13 f.; Nau, pp. 1–88; comp. Hauck's Real-Encyklopädie, xxiv, 240, 44 ff.
  28. Bedjan, pp. 147–209; Nau, pp. 88–125.
  29. Bedjan, pp. 209–270; Nau, pp. 126–163.
  30. Bedjan, pp. 138–160 and 271–366 (or 459); Nau, pp. 163–235 (or 294); comp. Hauck's Real-Encyklopädie, xxiv, 240, 55 f.
  31. Bedjan, 366 (or 459)–521; Nau, 235 (or 294)–331.
  32. Bedjan, p. 451; Nau, p. 289.
  33. Bedjan, p. 520 f.; Nau, p. 331.
  34. Evagrius, h. e. 1, 7, pp. 14–16; Nestoriana, pp. 198–201.
  35. ἵνα μὴ πάσαις ἐκ τούτου γενεαῖς τραγῳδῆται κρεῖττον εἶναι βαρβάρων ἀιχμάλωτον ἢ πρόσφυγα βασιλείας, ῥωμαϊκῆς. (Evagrius, 1, 7, p. 15, 12 f.; Nestoriana, p. 199, 12 ff.).
  36. Nestorius and his teaching, pp. 34-37, and Journal of theol. studies, ix, 1908, pp. 601–605.
  37. Bedjan, p. 519; Nau, p. 330.
  38. Bedjan, p. 507 f.; Nau, p. 323.
  39. h. e. 7, 32, 6.
  40. l.c. 8.
  41. Erlanger Ausgabe, Deutsche Schriften, 2. Aufl. 25, 364.
  42. l.c. p. 365.
  43. l.c. p. 366.
  44. l.c. p. 367.
  45. l.c. p. 367.
  46. xiii, 741, 15 f.
  47. Comp. Hauck's Real-Encyklopädie, xxiv, 241, 36 ff.
  48. Comp. F. Nau, Nestorius d'après les sources orientales, Paris, 1911, p. 51 ff.; Evagrius, h. e. 2, 2, ed. Bidez and Parmentier, p. 39, 17 ff.
  49. Bedjan, pp. 466, 474, 495, 514, 519; Nau, pp. 298, 303, 316, 327, 330.
  50. Bedjan, p. 519; Nau, p. 330.
  51. pp. vii and 197 ff.
  52. Nau, pp. 333–358; Nestoriana, pp. 341–347.
  53. Nestoriana, p. 149.
  54. Comp. Hauck's Real-Encyklopädie, xxiv, 242, 29 ff.
  55. p. 84.
  56. 56.0 56.1 Comp. Nestoriana, p. 70.
  57. Die Kirchengeschichte des Zacharias Rhetor in deutscher Übersetzung von K. Ahrens und G. Krüger, Leipzig, 1899, pp. 23, 31 ff.
  58. Nau, p. 376.
  59. Assemani, Bibliotheca orientales, iii, 215.
  60. Comp. note 3.
  61. Nau, p. 374; i, 3.
  62. This fact evidently is in favour of the genuineness of the letter.
  63. Nau, p. 375; iii, 19.