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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IX:
John of Damascus: Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.: Concerning the fact that the divinity of the Word remained inseparable from the soul and the body, even at our Lord's death, and that His subsistence continued one.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXVII.—Concerning the fact that the divinity of the Word remained inseparable from the soul p. 72b and the body, even at our Lord’s death, and that His subsistence continued one.

Since our Lord Jesus Christ was without sin (for He committed no sin, He Who took away the sin of the world, nor was there any deceit found in His mouth 2234 ) He was not subject to death, since death came into the world through sin 2235 . He dies, therefore, because He took on Himself death on our behalf, and He makes Himself an offering to the Father for our sakes. For we had sinned against Him, and it was meet that He should receive the ransom for us, and that we should thus be delivered from the condemnation. God forbid that the blood of the Lord should have been offered to the tyrant 2236 . Wherefore death approaches, and swallowing up the body as a bait is transfixed on the hook of divinity, and after tasting of a sinless and life-giving body, perishes, and brings up again all whom of old he swallowed up. For just as darkness disappears on the introduction of light, so is death repulsed before the assault of life, and brings life to all, but death to the destroyer.

Wherefore, although 2237 He died as man and His Holy Spirit was severed from His immaculate body, yet His divinity remained inseparable from both, I mean, from His soul and His body, and so even thus His one hypostasis was not divided into two hypostases. For body and soul received simultaneously in the beginning their being in the subsistence 2238 of the Word, and although they were severed from one another by death, yet they continued, each of them, having the one subsistence of the Word. So that the one subsistence of the Word is alike the subsistence of the Word, and of soul and body. For at no time had either soul or body a separate subsistence of their own, different from that of the Word, and the subsistence of the Word is for ever one, and at no time two. So that the subsistence of Christ is always one. For, although the soul was separated from the body topically, yet hypostatically they were united through the Word.


Footnotes

72b:2234

Isa. 53:9, John 1:29.

72b:2235

Rom. v. 12.

72b:2236

Greg., Orat. 42.

72b:2237

Cf. Epiph., Hæres. 69; Greg. Nyss., Contr. Eunom., II. p. 55.

72b:2238

ὑπόστασις, hypostasis.


Next: Concerning Corruption and Destruction.

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