Re: Simeon's spirit

Date: Mon Dec 01 1997 - 21:22:48 EST

Although I recognize fully that parts of this thread are clearly not within the
scope of this list, I would like to set the historical record straight on one
point that Mark Joseph made in response to a post I wrote, saying,

>Why the desire to understand "presence" (after first having attempted the
>Arian "force")? Is there some reason that PNEUMA *shouldn't* be
>translated "Spirit"?

Arius did not understand the Spirit to be a "force". In his letter to his
bishop Alexander (Optiz, Urkunde 6), he wrote: "For the Father, having given
the inheritance of all things to the Son, did not deprive himself of the
things which he has unbegottenly in himself, for he is the fountain of all
things, SO THAT THERE ARE THREE HYPOSTASEIS." Arius simply regarded the HS, as
he regarded the Son, as totally unlike the Father in hypostasis, which for him
meant in ousia. Both Arius and Athanasius saw ousia and hypostasis as

And the later or neo-Arians were even clearer about not regarding the Spirit as
a force. In his Apology for the Apology, fragment #1 (yes, it IS the title),
Eunomius wrote: "The whole account of our doctines is summed up as follows:
there is the supreme and absolute essence, and there is the essence which
exists because of this one but after it, though before all others, and there is
a third essence, which is ranked in no way with these two, but is ranked below
the first, which is its cause and below the second [the Son] which is the
activity according to which it has been generated." PG 45:296 (Jaeger 1:71)

Thomas A. Kopecek, Religion & History, Central College, Pella, IA 50219
Email: kopecekt@CENTRAL.EDU

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