Theodore of Mopsuestia


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Theodore of Mopsuestia

(mŏp'syo͞oĕs`chə), c.350–428, Syrian Christian theologian, bishop of Mopsuestia (from 392). Together with his lifelong friend, St. John ChrysostomJohn Chrysostom, Saint
[Gr.,=golden-mouth], c.347–407, Doctor of the Church, one of the greatest of the Greek Fathers. He was born in Antioch and studied Greek classics there. As a young man he became an anchorite monk (374), a deacon (c.381) and a priest (386).
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, he studied at the school of Antioch, adopted its exegetical methods, and became a diligent writer and preacher. His commentaries on the various books of the Bible were historical and rationalistic; he was one of the first Christians to consider the Song of Songs a marriage poem rather than an allegory, and he was opposed to a Messianic interpretation of the Psalms. Many of his theological treatises are lost or fragmentary. He seems to have been influenced by dynamistic monarchianismmonarchianism
[Gr.,=belief in the rule of one], the concept of God that maintains his sole authority even over Christ and the Holy Spirit. Its characteristic tenet, that God the Father and Jesus are one person, was developed in two forms in early Christianity.
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, which emphasized the humanity of Jesus; he argued that Jesus progressively received the Logos and the Holy Spirit and that there was never a complete, essential (hypostatic) union of divine and human natures in the second person of the Christian Trinity. Much of his work was orthodox, and he was considered orthodox for many years, although his pupil Nestorius directly derived his views, considered heretical, from Theodore (see NestorianismNestorianism,
Christian heresy that held Jesus to be two distinct persons, closely and inseparably united. In 428, Emperor Theodosius II named an abbot of Antioch, Nestorius (d. 451?), as patriarch of Constantinople.
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). The Pelagians (see PelagianismPelagianism
, Christian heretical sect that rose in the 5th cent. challenging St. Augustine's conceptions of grace and predestination. The doctrine was advanced by the celebrated monk and theologian Pelagius (c.355–c.425). He was probably born in Britain.
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) also drew from his works. He and his writings were condemned in 544 by Justinian (see MonophysitismMonophysitism
[Gr.,=belief in a single nature], a heresy of the 5th and 6th cent., which grew out of a reaction against Nestorianism. It was anticipated by Apollinarianism and was continuous with the principles of Eutyches, whose doctrine had been rejected in 451 at Chalcedon
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) along with the other works of the so-called Three Chapters. Pope VigiliusVigilius
, pope (537–55), a Roman; successor of St. Silverius. Empress Theodora exiled Silverius and made Vigilius pope in the expectation that he would compromise with the Monophysites. After Silverius' death Vigilius' pontificate was legalized.
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, under pressure, reluctantly concurred.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Baptismal Homilies 1-3 of Theodore of Mopsuestia (350-428) and the Liturgical Homilies 21 and 22 of Narsai of Nisibis (415-503) provide valuable insight into the dramatic rites by which male and female baptismal candidates were initiated into Christianity during the fourth and fifth centuries in West and East Syria, says Witkamp.
For education in the ancient world generally, a "complex symbiosis [obtained] between texts and teachers." (19) In the East Syrian school tradition dating back to Edessa and Nisibis, this symbiosis included the texts of Theodore of Mopsuestia and then Narsai.
Theodore of Mopsuestia, known simply as "The Interpreter" in the Syriac Church.
In 544 Justinian condemned the three works of the Antiochene School, the person and writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, certain writings of Theodoret of Cyrene and a letter of lbas of Edessa.
THEODORE OF MOPSUESTIA'S SYRIAC Commentary on the Gospel of John comes out of the most mature period of his life.
Theodore of Mopsuestia; the commentaries on the minor epistles of Paul.
Two natures, human and divine, must therefore form a unity, according to the teaching of Antioch's Theodore of Mopsuestia.
Tracing patristic and early medieval exegesis of Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, he demonstrates that the Fathers offered two modes of interpreting the Apostle's warnings about "the Son of Perdition." An earlier cluster of exegetes consisting of Ambrosiaster, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Pelagius, and Jerome took the literal, "imminent" tack: they understood 2 Thessalonians to be warning of Antichrist's advent in the near, albeit not precisely determinable, future.
To illustrate the normative traditions of rabbinic Judaism and the early church he includes selections from the Genesis Rabbah, Exodus Rabbah, Babylonian Talmud, and other Old Testament apocrypha and rabbinic works; and from Gregory of Nyssa, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Ephrem, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Origen, Tertullian, and other patristic authors, mostly before 400 CE.
Among them are such well-known persons as John Courtney Murray, Galileo, Catherine of Siena, John Henry Newman, Yves Congar, Thomas Aquinas and Hildegard of Bingen, as well as lesser-known persons such as Mother Guerin, Sor Juana, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Matteo Ricci and Mary MacKillop.
This particular volume is devoted to three of St Paul's most important letters and we have here in translation the words of Jerome, Origen, Augustine, John Chrysostom, Theodoret, Marius Victorinus and Theodore of Mopsuestia. After almost 1700 years it is remarkably refreshing to read what scholars and churchmen saw in the Scriptures when what they read was new to them.

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