Archive for the ‘Severus of Antioch’ Category

Severus of Antioch on Scripture

December 22, 2010

Severus is a 6th century patriarch of Antioch, but one who seems to have viewed the Council of Chalcedon as embracing Nestorianism. Thus, he would not typically be considered a church father by the Eastern Orthodox or Romans, although the Syriac Orthodox Church would presumably consider him to be one of their fathers.

I think you’ll find that, whatever the merits or demerits of his Christology may have been, his view of Scripture was similar to that of the fifth century fathers that preceded him (link to discussion of fifth century fathers).

Severus of Antioch (465-538)(patriarch of Antioch from 512–518 – Non-Chalcedonian):

How therefore is it anything but ridiculous and impious for us to say that the Trinity was united in hypostasis to the race of mankind, when the holy Scriptures say more plainly than a trumpet, «The Word became flesh and dwelt in us», that is that one of the three hypostases who was rationally and hypostatically united to soul-possessing flesh?

E. W. Brooks (editor and translator), Severus of Antioch: A collection of letters from numerous Syriac manuscripts, Letter 2 (Second Letter to Oecumenius) (1915), p. 20.

Severus of Antioch (465-538)(patriarch of Antioch from 512–518 – Non-Chalcedonian):

To those who are not wise in their mind or are otherwise without intelligence, and are lacking in true instruction, the holy Scripture gives the proper rule and place, in order that their emptiness of mind and lack of instruction may be turned to wisdom: for indeed it commands those who are such both to learn and to ask, or to be silent altogether; for the holy book of Proverbs somewhere said: «To the fool who asketh wisdom shall be reckoned: but, when a man maketh himself silent, he is thought to be wise». But the man who keeps this rule it raises and advances, and incites to learn things that are of use and profit, and it says, «Give thine heart to wisdom, and prepare thine ears for words of understanding».

E. W. Brooks (editor and translator), Severus of Antioch: A collection of letters from numerous Syriac manuscripts, Letter 25 (to the Emesenes) (1915), pp. 50-51.

Severus of Antioch (465-538)(patriarch of Antioch from 512–518 – Non-Chalcedonian):

But, if we in some place hear Scripture say ‘the Lord’s eyes’, we understand God’s activity, which is signified through the term ‘eyes’. And, when again we hear of ears, we understand the propensity and inclination that he has toward us, and that he has the attribute of mercifulness, and that he brings our service to completion; for Scripture speaks to our weakness in human and condescending fashion. And, because it is said that God has wings also, yet we do not understand that he has wings, but that his sheltering power is signified through these; for, since we are Christians, we must understand the divine Scriptures spiritually, not according to the letter.

E. W. Brooks (editor and translator), Severus of Antioch: A collection of letters from numerous Syriac manuscripts, Letter 28 (1915), pp. 87-88.

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