Thursday, April 23, 2009

Theodoret of Cyrus: Incarnation Real not Apparent

In the days of his flesh he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one able to save him from death, and was heard for his reverence. Although Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the cause of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been called by God highpriest according to the order of Melchizedek (vv.7-10). Who would claim, unless out of their mind, that this refers to the divine nature? I mean, if blessed Paul was not afraid of death ... how could God the Word, creator of the ages, both unchangeable and unalterable, and immune to suffering, have fear of death? Perhaps, however, it is a mark of extreme madness to go on at length about this: the extraordinary lowliness of the expressions forces even those blaspheming the divinity to apply none of this to the divinity. I mean, the divinity allowed the humanity to experience it for us to learn that he truly became man and assumed a human nature, and that the mystery of the Incarnation was not enacted in appearance and seeming.

- Theodoret of Cyrus (around A.D. 393 to around A.D. 457), Commentary on Hebrews, Chapter 5, in Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Volume 2, p. 156 (2001), Robert C. Hill translator.