Against Nondualism (Basil of Caesarea: Against Eunomius 3:2)

Basil presents a proposition he attributes to Eunomius
Eunomius: We have come to believe that he is third in nature as well [1]
In Basil's response to this proposition he makes a statement about the ultimate structure of reality.

Basil: But we have never learned from anywhere that the Holy Spirit is cast out into some sort of nature third from the Son and the Father. It is said that there are two realities: divinity and creation, sovereignty and servitude, sanctifying power and sanctified power, that which has virtue by nature and that which achieves virtue by freewill. In which class shall we rank the Spirit? [1]

[1] ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA, DELCOGLIANO, M., & RADDE-GALLWITZ, A. (2011). Against Eunomius. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press. Retrieved January 2, 2021

The statement "It is said that there are two realities: divinity and creation ..." affirms the foundation of Biblical Theism shared by classical Judaism and Historical Christianity. Nondualism isn't in view here because for Basil Nondualism wasn't a option. Peter Jones calls Nonedualism One-ism.

Greek text with some context in black type

Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, εἰ καὶ ἀξιώματι καὶ τάξει ὑποβέβηκεν, ὡς λέγουσι (παρειλήφαμεν γὰρ αὐτὸ, φησὶ, τρίτον ἀπὸ Πατρὸς καὶ Υἱοῦ ἀριθμούμενον· αὐτοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου ἐν τῇ παραδόσει τοῦ σωτηρίου βαπτίσματος παραδεδωκότος τὴν τάξιν ἐν οἷς εἶπε· Πορευθέντες, βαπτίζετε εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς, καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ, καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος)· ἀλλ' εἰς φύσιν τινὰ τρίτην ἀπὸΥἱοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς ἐκβαλλόμενον, οὐδαμοῦ μεμαθήκαμεν. Δύο γὰρ λεγομένων πραγμάτων, θεότητός τε καὶ κτίσεως, καὶ δεσποτείας καὶ δουλείας, καὶ ἁγιαστικῆς δυνάμεως, καὶ τῆς ἁγιαζομένης, τῆς τε ἐκ φύσεως ἐχούσης τὴν ἀρετὴν καὶ τῆς ἐκ προαιρέσεως κατορθούσης, ἐν ποίᾳ μερίδι τὸ Πνεῦμα τάξομεν; Ἐν τοῖς ἁγιαζομένοις; ἀλλ’ αὐτό ἐστιν ἁγιασμός. Ἀλλ’ ἐν τοῖς ἐξ ἀνδραγαθημάτων τὴν ἀρετὴν κτωμένοις; ἀλλὰ φύσει ἐστὶν ἀγαθόν.
 
Δύο γὰρ λεγομένων πραγμάτων, θεότητός τε καὶ κτίσεως

It is said that there are two realities: divinity and creation [1]

πραγμάτων (πρᾶγμα gen pl) is a common word with a wide semantic domain. πραγμάτων seems strange when applied to θεότητός but normal when applied to κτίσεως.

F. Danker: 1 that which is done or happens, deed, thing, event, occurrence, matter 2 that which is to be done, undertaking, occupation, task 3 matter or concern of any kind, thing, matter, affair 4 a matter of contention, dispute, lawsuit

Lampe: 1. action, thing; 2. creature, 3. object, reality, opp. name, 4. object, entity

LSJ: thing, concrete reality, creature

Basil employs πραγμάτων in a manner we might not expect in earlier Greek.. Lampe provides the gloss reality used in the translation[1]. You need to consult Lampe for Patristic authors.

[1] ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA, DELCOGLIANO, M., & RADDE-GALLWITZ, A. (2011). Against Eunomius. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press
 
In the very early fathers we find proclamations about the Creator : Creature distinction.

Irenaeus Against Heresies 4:20 1-2* quotes Shepard of Hermes Shep. 26:1 {Mandate 1.1} ( Apostolic Fathers, Michael Holmes 2nd ed)

Shep. 26:1 {Mandate 1.1} “First of all, believe that God is one, who created all things and set them in order, and made out of what did not exist everything that is, and who contains all things but is himself alone uncontained.

Πρῶτον πάντων πίστευσον ὅτι εἷς ἐστὶν ὁ θεός, ὁ τὰ πάντα κτίσας καὶ καταρτίσας, καὶ ποιήσας ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος εἰς τὸ εἶναι τὰ πάντα, καὶ πάντα χωρῶν, μόνος δὲ ἀχώρητος ὤν.

Alternate translation Irenaeus Against Heresies 4:20 1-2; SC 4.2:625-29; ANF 1:969-70 (translation altered)[1]
First of all believe that there is one God, who has established all things, and completed them, and having caused that from what had no being, all things should come into existence.

[1] llumination in Basil of Caesarea's Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, 2014 by Timothy P. Mcconnell, page 91.

*There are several citation systems for Church Fathers and I am working from secondary sources which list three systems for Irenaeus Against Heresies. There are similar problems with Shepard of Hermes and I am using M. Holmes. When in doubt, search for the text.
 
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In Shepherd Mandate 1.1 quoted by Irenaeus the Creator : Creature distinction is Ontological not merely phenomenological.

“First of all, believe that God is one, who created all things and set them in order, and made out of what did not exist everything that is ...

Πρῶτον πάντων πίστευσον ὅτι εἷς ἐστὶν ὁ θεός, ὁ τὰ πάντα κτίσας καὶ καταρτίσας, καὶ ποιήσας ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος εἰς τὸ εἶναι τὰ πάντα ...

Notice Shepherd introduces this: First of all Πρῶτον πάντων: of first importance. nonnegotiable

Postscript: "progressives" seem to think everything is negotiable.
 
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e v e

Well-known member
Well... I would go to scripture...as opposed to secondary interpretations,
thre in scripture (OT) to learn of of His Spirit, where in Hebrew, always the reference is feminine
and in Genesis, where man is made said by He to be "in Our Image"...male and female..
in a place where there is no death and no pain and no sweat.....

And then there are the sons of Him, the 144k returning to Him at the Change, soon,
and leaving this fallen creature situation (which is not His) behind.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Well... I would go to scripture...as opposed to secondary interpretations,
thre in scripture (OT) to learn of of His Spirit, where in Hebrew, always the reference is feminine
and in Genesis, where man is made said by He to be "in Our Image"...male and female..
in a place where there is no death and no pain and no sweat.....

And then there are the sons of Him, the 144k returning to Him at the Change, soon,
and leaving this fallen creature situation (which is not His) behind.
Scriptura is secondary interpretations. Scripture is secondary information. First information come from God Himself opening all of His heaven to you.
 

e v e

Well-known member
Scriptura is secondary interpretations. Scripture is secondary information. First information come from God Himself opening all of His heaven to you.
That's what I explained... that the words He says get corrupted, having to be written down.
I think was on the other thread you replied to me on...which I didnt look at yet.
 

e v e

Well-known member
I will say though, that the misinterpretations have to be undone, since they function as sorcery words.
And that is the point of trying to understand what He really says and not what Esau types
agree that He said.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
I will say though, that the misinterpretations have to be undone, since they function as sorcery words.
And that is the point of trying to understand what He really says and not what Esau types
agree that He said.
Interpretations vary as many people as there is on this planet. Jesus interpretations of the Father had him crucified by those who had a different interpretation about God.

As for me all I can do is compare my own experiences with God with those we read of and for me my identification with the truth is the same I read of Jesus identification with the truth and how he received that truth. Some see Jesus as a god, my identification is with the same God who came to him and opened up His truth to that man. How do I know it is the same? By identification in myself with that what he said of himself in the Father.

Everyone has their truths and all I can do is compare my life with the standards of Jesus Christ and if anything is different in my life from the way he was in the Father then I have ventured away from Gods truths.
 
Well... I would go to scripture...as opposed to secondary interpretations,
thre in scripture (OT) to learn of of His Spirit, where in Hebrew, always the reference is feminine
and in Genesis, where man is made said by He to be "in Our Image"...male and female..
in a place where there is no death and no pain and no sweat.....

And then there are the sons of Him, the 144k returning to Him at the Change, soon,
and leaving this fallen creature situation (which is not His) behind.\
Eve,

By all means read what the scriptures say. The nature of my current project is to find out what the early church taught during the theological controversies up to the time of John of Damascus. There were abstract questions about the Ontology which the Early Church Fathers were addressing. These questions have never gone away. The current culture is full of people who accept often without refelection notions about Being which are totally different from what the bible teaches. The ideological conflicts of the Early Church are as current as the yesterdays news. I talk to people all the time who view the COSMOS through the lens of ancient paganism. Our current culture is a witches brew of scientism and very old pagan ideas.
 

e v e

Well-known member
Eve,

By all means read what the scriptures say. The nature of my current project is to find out what the early church taught during the theological controversies up to the time of John of Damascus. There were abstract questions about the Ontology which the Early Church Fathers were addressing. These questions have never gone away. The current culture is full of people who accept often without refelection notions about Being which are totally different from what the bible teaches. The ideological conflicts of the Early Church are as current as the yesterdays news. I talk to people all the time who view the COSMOS through the lens of ancient paganism. Our current culture is a witches brew of scientism and very old pagan ideas.
The church fathers claimed to be trying to understand scripture. There is nothing wrong with trying to decipher, I’ve done the same, for many years I did. And saw that their theologies and ontologies are more Greek than Christian.

Maybe you won’t like that conclusion,
that many were disguised platonists. Look at the confused church they ‘fathered’, giving rise to exactly the situation you describe - as modern christianity too.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Eve,

By all means read what the scriptures say. The nature of my current project is to find out what the early church taught during the theological controversies up to the time of John of Damascus. There were abstract questions about the Ontology which the Early Church Fathers were addressing. These questions have never gone away. The current culture is full of people who accept often without refelection notions about Being which are totally different from what the bible teaches. The ideological conflicts of the Early Church are as current as the yesterdays news. I talk to people all the time who view the COSMOS through the lens of ancient paganism. Our current culture is a witches brew of scientism and very old pagan ideas.

Have you seen this quote of John of Damascus?


Thus because of the unity in nature, the error of the Greeks in holding that God is many, is utterly destroyed: and again by our acceptance of the Spirit, the dogma of the Jews is overthrown: and there remains of each party only what is
profitable. On the one hand of the Jewish idea we have the unity of God’s nature, and on the other, of the Greek, we have the distinction in subsistences
(hypostases) and that only.
(http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.i.vii.html)
 
Have you seen this quote of John of Damascus?


Thus because of the unity in nature, the error of the Greeks in holding that God is many, is utterly destroyed: and again by our acceptance of the Spirit, the dogma of the Jews is overthrown: and there remains of each party only what is
profitable. On the one hand of the Jewish idea we have the unity of God’s nature, and on the other, of the Greek, we have the distinction in subsistences
(hypostases) and that only.
(http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.i.vii.html)
Yes. Note that neither the Greeks in this context or the Hebrews are presented as nonduelists. The Greeks may have included some proponents of Nondualism but the author doesn't adress them as such.

Οὕτως διὰ μὲν τῆς κατὰ φύσιν ἑνότητος ἡ πολύθεος τῶν Ἑλλήνων
ἐξαφανίζεται πλάνη, διὰ δὲ τῆς τοῦ λόγου παραδοχῆς καὶ τοῦ πνεύματος
τῶν Ἰουδαίων καθαιρεῖται τὸ δόγμα, ἑκατέρας τε αἱρέσεως παραμένει τὸ
χρήσιμον, ἐκ μὲν τῆς Ἰουδαϊκῆς ὑπολήψεως ἡ τῆς φύσεως ἑνότης, ἐκ δὲ
τοῦ Ἑλληνισμοῦ ἡ κατὰ τὰς ὑποστάσεις διάκρισις μόνη.
Joannes Damascenus Expositio fidei § 7, line 23


postscript
Conversations are made difficult here because for each response one is required to ferret out the framework of the poster what set of assumptions they are working from and what they are trying to say and to what extent it is possible to say anything meaningful about thier response. For example, your reply seems to be coming from a framework that I recognize where as Eve is posting from somewhere else I have never been.
 
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