What does Theodorus, Bishop Of Mopsuestia mean in the Bible?

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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography - Theodorus, Bishop of Mopsuestia
Theodorus (26), bp. of Mopsuestia; also known, from the place of his birth and presbyterate, as Theodore of Antioch, the most prominent representative of te middle Antiochene school of hermeneutics.
I. Life and Work .—Theodore was born at Antioch c. 350 (see Fritzsche, de Th. M. V. et Scr. pp. 1–4, for the chronology; cf. Kihn, Theodor u. Junilius, p. 39, n. 1). His father held an official position at Antioch, and the family was wealthy (Chrys. ad Th. Laps. ii. in Migne, Patr. Gk. xlvii. 209). Theodore's cousin, Paeanius, to whom several of Chrysostom's letters are addressed ( Epp. 95, 193, 204, 220, in Migne, lii.), held an important post of civil government; his brother Polychronius became bp. of the metropolitan see of Apamea. Theodore first appears as the early companion and friend of Chrysostom, his fellow-townsman, his equal in rank, and but two or three years his senior in age. Together with their common friend Maximus, afterwards bp. of Isaurian Seleucia, Chrysostom and Theodore attended the lectures of the sophist Libanius (Socr. vi. 3; cf. Soz. viii. 1), then at Antioch in the zenith of his fame. We have the assurance of Sozomen that he enjoyed a philosophical education ( l.c. ). Chrysostom credits his friend with diligent study, but the luxurious life of polite Antioch seems to have received an equal share of his thoughts. When Chrysostom himself had been reclaimed from the pleasures of the world by the influence of Basil, he succeeded in winning Maximus and Theodore to the same mind. The three friends left Libanius and sought a retreat in the monastic school (ἀσκητήριον ) of Carterius and Diodorus, to which Basil was already attached. Whether Theodore had been previously baptized is doubtful; Chrysostom, however, speaks of him shortly afterwards in terms which seem to imply his baptism (ad Th. Laps. ). He gave himself to the new learning with characteristic energy. His days, as his friend testifies, were spent in reading, his nights in prayer; he fasted long, lay on the bare ground, and practised every form of ascetic self-discipline; he was full withal of light-hearted joy, as having found the service of Christ to be perfect freedom. His conversion was speedy, sincere, and marvellously complete, but was followed by a reaction which threatened an utter collapse of his new-found life. He had but just resigned himself to a celibate life when he was fascinated by a girl named Hermione (Chrys. ib. i., Migne, xlvii. p. 297), and contemplated marriage, at the same time returning to his former manner of life (Soz. viii. 2). His "fall" spread consternation through the little society. Many were the prayers offered and efforts made for his recovery. "Valerius, Florentius, Porphyrius, and many others," laboured to restore him; and the anxiety drew forth from Chrysostom the earliest of his literary compositions—two letters "to Theodore upon his fall." The second letter reveals at once the strength of Chrysostom's affection, and the greatness of the character in which at that early age (Theodore was not yet 20) he had already found so much to love. Theodore remained constant to his vows (Soz. l.c. ), although the disappointment left traces in his after-life.
Chrysostom's connexion with Diodore was probably broken off in 374, when he plunged into a more complete monastic seclusion; Theodore's seems to have continued until the elevation of Diodore to the see of Tarsus a.d. 378. During this period doubtless the foundations were laid of Theodore's acquaintance with Holy Scripture and ecclesiastical doctrine, and he was imbued for life with the principles of scriptural interpretation which Diodore had inherited from an earlier generation of Antiochenes, and with the peculiar views of the Person of Christ into which the master had been led by his antagonism to Apollinarius. The latter years of this decade witnessed Theodore's first appearance as a writer. He began with a commentary on the Psalms, in which the method of Diodore was exaggerated, and which he lived to repent of (Facund. iii. 6, x. 1; v. infra , § III.). The orthodox at Antioch, it seems, resented the loss of the traditional Messianic interpretation, and, if we may trust Hesychius, Theodore was compelled to promise that he would commit his maiden work to the flames—an engagement he contrived to evade (Mansi, ix. 284).
Gennadius (de Vir. Ill. 12) represents Theodore as a presbyter of the church of Antioch; and from a letter of John of Antioch (Facund. ii. 2) we gather that 45 years elapsed between his ordination and his death. It seems, therefore, that he was ordained priest at Antioch a.d. 383, in his 33rd year, the ordaining bishop being doubtless Flavian, Diodore's old friend and fellow-labourer, whose "loving disciple" Theodore now became (John of Antioch, ap. Facund. l.c. ). The epithet seems to imply that Theodore was an attached adherent of the Meletian party; but there is no evidence that he mixed himself up with the feuds which for some years after Flavian's consecration distracted the Catholics of Antioch. Theodore's great treatise on the Incarnation (Gennad. l.c. ) belongs to this period, possibly also more than one of his commentaries on the O.T. As a preacher he seems to have now attained some eminence in the field of polemics (Facund. viii. 4). Theodore is said by Hesychius of Jerusalem (Mansi, ix. 248) to have left Antioch while yet a priest and betaken himself to Tarsus, until 392, when he was consecrated to the see of Mopsuestia, vacant by the death of Olympius, probably through the influence and by the hands of Diodore. Here he spent his remaining 36 years of life (Theodoret, l.c. ).
Mopsuestia was a free town (Pliny) upon the Pyramus, between Tarsus and Issus, some 40 miles from either, and 12 from the sea. It belonged to Cilicia Secunda, of which the metropolitan see was Anazarbus. In the 4th cent. it was of some importance, famous for its bridge, thrown over the Pyramus by Constantine. It is now the insignificant town Mensis, or Messis (D. of G. and R. Geogr. ).
Theodore's long episcopate was marked by no striking incidents. His letters, long known to the Nestorians of Syria as the Book of Pearls , are lost; his followers have left us few personal recollections. In 394 he attended a synod at Constantinople on a question which concerned the see of Bostra in the partiarchate of Antioch (Mansi, iii. 851; cf. Hefele, ii. 406). Theodore preached, probably on this occasion, before the emperor Theodosius I., who was then starting for his last journey to the West. The sermon made a deep impression, and Theodosius, who had sat at the feet of St. Ambrose and St. Gregory of Nazianzus, declared that he had never met with such a teacher (John of Antioch, ap. Facund. ii. 2). The younger Theodosius inherited his grandfather's respect for Theodore, and often wrote to him. Another glimpse of Theodore's episcopal life is supplied by a letter of Chrysostom to him from Cucusus (a.d. 404–407) (Chrys. Ep. 212, Migne, Iii. 668). The exiled patriarch "can never forget the love of Theodore, so genuine and warm, so sincere and guileless, a love maintained from early years, and manifested but now." Chrysostom ( Ep. 204) thanks him profoundly for frequent though ineffectual efforts to obtain his release. No titles of honour, no terms of affection, seem too strong to be lavished on his friend. Finally, he assures Theodore that, "exile as he is, he reaps no ordinary consolation from having such a treasure, such a mine of wealth within his heart, as the love of so vigilant and noble a soul." Higher testimony could not have been borne, or by a more competent judge; and so much was this felt by Theodore's enemies at the fifth council that they vainly made efforts to deny the identity of Chrysostom's correspondent with the bp. of Mopsuestia.
Notwithstanding his literary activity, Theodore worked zealously for the good of his diocese. The famous letter of Ibas (Mansi, vii. 247; Facund. vii. 7) testifies that he converted Mopsuestia to the truth, i.e. extinguished Arianism and other heresies there. Several of his works are doubtless monuments of these pastoral labours, e.g. the catechetical lectures, the ecthesis, and possibly the treatise on "Persian Magic." Yet his episcopal work was by no means simply that of a diocesan bishop. Everywhere he was regarded as "the herald of the truth and the doctor of the church"; "even distant churches received instruction from him." So boasts Ibas to Maris, and his letter was read without a dissentient voice at the council of Chalcedon (Facund. ii. i seq.). Theodore "expounded Scripture in all the churches of the East," says John of Antioch ( ib. ii. 2) with Oriental hyperbole, and adds that in his lifetime Theodore was never arraigned by any of the orthodox. But in a letter to Nestorius ( ib. x. 2) John begs him to retract, urging the example of Theodore, who, when in a sermon at Antioch he had said something which gave great and manifest offence, for the sake of peace and to avoid scandal, after a few days as publicly corrected himself. Leontius tells us (Migne, lxxxvi. 1363) that the cause of offence was a denial to the Blessed Virgin of the title θεοτόκος . So great was the storm that the people threatened to stone the preacher (Cyril. Alex. Ep. 69; Migne, lxxvii. 340). The heretical sects attacked by Theodore shewed their resentment in a way less overt, but perhaps more formidable. They tampered with his writings, hoping thus to involve him in heterodox statements (Facund. x. 1).
Theodore's last years were perplexed by a new controversy. When in 418 the Pelagian leaders were deposed and exiled from the West, they sought in the East the sympathy of the chief living representative of the school of Antioch. The fact is recorded by Marius Mercator, who makes the most of it (Praef. ad Symb. Theod. Mop. 72). With Theodore they probably remained till 422, when Julian returned to Italy. Julian's visit was doubtless the occasion upon which Theodore wrote his book Against the Defenders of Original Sin . Mercator charges Theodore with having turned against Julian as soon as the latter had left Mopsuestia, and anathematized him in a provincial synod (op. cit. 3). The synod can hardly be a fabrication, since Mercator was a contemporary writer; but it was very possibly convened, as Fritzsche suggests, without any special reference to the Pelagian question. If Theodore then read his ecthesis, the anathema with which that ends might have been represented outside the council as a synodical condemnation of the Pelagian chiefs. Mercator's words, in fact, point to this explanation.
A greater heresiarch than Julian visited Mopsuestia in the last year of Theodore's life. It is stated by Evagrius (H. E. i. 2; Migne, lxxxvi. 2425) that Nestorius, on his way from Antioch to Constantinople (a.d. 428), took counsel with Theodore and received from him the seeds of heresy which he shortly afterwards scattered with such disastrous results. Evagrius makes this statement on the authority of one Theodulus, a person otherwise unknown. We may safely reject it, so far as it derives the Christology of Nestorius from this single interview. The germ of the Nestorian doctrine was in the teaching of Diodore and in the earliest works of Theodore; it could not have been new to Nestorius, as a prominent teacher of the church of Antioch.
Towards the close of 428 (Theodoret, H. E. v. 39) Theodore died, worn out by 50 years (Facund. ii. 2) of literary and pastoral toil, at the age of 78, having been all his life engaged in controversy, and more than once in conflict with the popular notions of orthodoxy; yet he departed, as Facundus (ii. 1) triumphantly points out, in the peace of the church and at the height of a great reputation. The storm was gathering, but did not break till he was gone.
II. Posthumous History. —The popularity of Theodore was increased by his death. Meletius, his successor at Mopsuestia, protested that his life would have been in danger if he had uttered a word against his predecessor (Tillem. Mém. xii. p. 442). "We believe as Theodore believed; long live the faith of Theodore!" was a cry often heard in the churches of the East (Cyril. Alex. Ep. 69). "We had rather be burnt than condemn Theodore," was the reply of the bishops of Syria to the party eager for his condemnation ( Ep. 72). The flame was fed by leading men who had been disciples of the Interpreter: by Theodoret, who regarded him as a "doctor of the universal church " ( H. E. v. 39); by Ibas of Edessa, who in 433 wrote his famous letter to Maris in praise of Theodore; by John, who in 429 succeeded to the see of Antioch. Yet Theodore's ashes were scarcely cold when in other quarters men began to hold him up to obloquy. As early perhaps as 431 Marius Mercator denounced him as the real author of the Pelagian heresy ( Lib. subnot. in verba Juliani, praef ; Migne, Patr. Lat. xlviii. 110); and not long afterwards prefaced his translation of Theodore's ecthesis with a still more violent attack on him as the precursor of Nestorianism ( ib. pp. 208, 1046, 1048). The council of Ephesus, however, while it condemned Nestorius by name, contented itself with condemning Theodore's creed without mentioning Theodore; and the Nestorian party consequently fell back upon the words of Theodore, and began to circulate them in several languages as affording the best available exposition of their views (Liberat. Brev. 10). This circumstance deepened the mistrust of the orthodox, and even in the East there were not wanting some who proceeded to condemn the teaching of Theodore. Hesychius of Jerusalem, about 435, attacked him in his Ecclesiastical History ; Rabbûlas, bp. of Edessa, who at Ephesus had sided with John of Antioch, now publicly anathematized Theodore (Ibas, Ep. ad Marin. ). Proclus demanded from the bishops of Syria a condemnation of certain propositions supposed to have been drawn from the writings of Theodore. Cyril, who had once spoken favourably of some of Theodore's works (Facund. viii. 6), now under the influence of Rabbûlas took a decided attitude of opposition; he wrote to the synod of Antioch (Ep. 67) that the opinions of Diodore, Theodore, and others of the same schools had "borne down with full sail upon the glory of Christ"; to the emperor ( Ep. 71), that Diodore and Theodore were the parents of the blasphemy of Nestorius; to Proclus ( Ep. 72), that had Theodore been still alive and openly approved of the teaching of Nestorius, he ought undoubtedly to have been anathematized; but as he was dead, it was enough to condemn the errors of his books, having regard to the terrible disturbances more extreme measures would excite in the East. He collected and answered a series of propositions gathered from the writings of Diodore and Theodore (Migne, xxvi. 1438 seq.), a work to which Theodoret replied shortly afterwards. The ferment then subsided for a time, but the disciples of Theodore, repulsed in the West, pushed their way from Eastern Syria to Persia. Ibas, who succeeded Rabbûlas in 435, restored the school of Edessa, and it continued to be a nursery of Theodore's theology till suppressed by Zeno, a.d. 489. At Nisibis Barsumas, a devoted adherent of the party, was bp. from 435 to 489. Upon the suppression of the school of Edessa, Nisibis became the seat of the Antiochene exegesis and theology. The Persian kings favoured a movement distasteful to the empire; and Persia was henceforth the headquarters of Nestorianism. Among the Nestorians of Persia the writings of Theodore were regarded as the standard both of doctrine and of interpretation, and the Persian church returned the censures of the orthodox by pronouncing an anathema on all who opposed or rejected them (cf. Assem. iii. i. 84; and for a full account of the spread of Theodore's opinions at Edessa and Nisibis see Kihn, Theodor u. Junilius , pp. 198–209, 333–336). At a later period the school of Nisibis reacted on the West, and the influence, though not the name, of Theodore appears in the Instituta Regularia of Junilius Africanus, and in the de Institutione Divinarum Literarum of Cassiodorus (Kihn, pp. 209 seq.).
The 6th cent. witnessed another and final outbreak of bitter hatred against Theodore. The fifth general council (553), under the influence of the emperor Justinian, pronounced the anathema which Theodosius II. had refused to sanction and which even Cyril shrank from uttering. This condemnation of Theodore and his two supporters shook the fabric of the Catholic church. This is not the place to enter upon the history of the "Three Chapters," but we may point out one result of Justinian's policy. The West, Africa especially, rebelled against a decree which seemed to set at nought the authority of the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, and also violated the sanctity of the dead. It was from no particular interest in Theodore's doctrine or method of interpretation that the African bishops espoused his cause. Bp. Pontian plainly told the emperor that he had asked them to condemn men of whose writings they knew nothing (Migne, Patr. Lat. lxvii. 997). But the stir about Theodore led to inquiry; his works, or portions of them, were translated and circulated in the West. It is almost certainly to this cause that we owe the preservation in a Latin dress of at least one-half of Theodore's commentaries on St. Paul. Published under the name of St. Ambrose, the work of Theodore passed from Africa into the monastic libraries of the West, was copied into the compilations of Rabanus Maurus and others, and in its fuller and its abridged form supplied the Middle Ages with an accepted interpretation of an important part of Holy Scripture. The name of Theodore, however, disappears almost entirely from Western church literature after the 6th cent. It was scarcely before the 19th cent. that justice was done by Western writers to the importance of the great Antiochene as a theologian, an expositor, and a precursor of later thought.
III. Literary Remains. —Facundus (x. 4) speaks of Theodore's "innumerable books"; John of Antioch, in a letter quoted by Facundus (ii. 2), describes his polemical works as alone numbering "decem millia" (i.e. μυρία ), an exaggeration of course, but based on fact. A catalogue of such of his writings as were once extant in Syriac translations is given by Ebedjesu, Nestorian metropolitan of Soba, a.d. 1318 (J. S. Assem. Bibl. Orient. iii. i. pp. 30 seq.). These Syriac translations filled 41 tomes. Only one whole work remains.
(A) EXEGETICAL WRITINGS.—(i) Old Testament. ( a ) Historical Books. —A commentary on Genesis is cited by Cosmas Indicopleustes, John Philoponus, and Photius (Cod. 3, 8). Fragments of the Greek original survive in the catena of Nicephorus (Lips. 1772). Latin fragments are found in the Acts of the second council of Constantinople, and an important collection of Syriac fragments from the Nitrian. MSS. of the British Museum was pub. by Dr. E. Sachau ( Th. Mops. Fragm. Syriaca , Lips. 1869, pp. 1–21). Photius, criticizing the style of this work in words more or less applicable to all the remains of Theodore, notices the writer's opposition to the allegorical method of interpretation. Ebedjesu was struck by the care and elaboration bestowed upon the work. The catenae contain fragments attributed to Theodore upon the remaining books of the Pentateuch and of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, and Kings (Mai, Scr. Vet. Nov. Coll. i. praef. p. xxi.). Theodore is stated by Leontius (Migne, Patr. Gk. lxxxvi. 1368) to have rejected the two books of Chronicles, and there is no trace of any comments upon them bearing his name.
(b ) Poetical Books. —Theodore's commentary on Job was dedicated to St. Cyril of Alexandria. Of all his works it seems to have been the least worthy of this dedication. Only four fragments survive (Mansi, ix. pp. 223 seq.), but they are sufficient to justify the censure pronounced upon the work by the Fifth council. Theodore regards Job as an historical character, but considers him as traduced by the author of the book, whom he considers to have been a pagan Edomite.
The Psalms were the earliest field of Theodore's hermeneutical labours. The printed fragments, Greek and Latin, fill 25 columns in Migne. More recently attention has been called to a Syriac version (Baethgen), and new fragments of a Latin version and of the original Greek have been printed. That his first literary adventure was hasty and premature was frankly acknowledged by Theodore himself (Facund. l.c. ). His zeal for the historical method of interpretation led him to deny the application to Christ of all but 3 or 4 of the Psalms usually regarded as Messianic.
No fragments have hitherto been discovered of the commentary of Ecclesiastes, which Ebedjesu counts among the Syriac translations. From the remains of the commentary on Job it appears that Theodore expressly denied the higher inspiration of both the sapiential books of Solomon. Of the Canticles he writes in terms of positive contempt (Mansi, ix. 225). He repudiates imputations of immodesty on it, but denies its spiritual character. It is merely the epithalamium of Pharaoh's daughter, a relic of Solomon's lighter poetry, affording an insight into his domestic life. For this reason, he adds, it had never been read in synagogue or church.
(c ) Prophetical Books. —A commentary on the four greater prophets is in Ebedjesu's list; but one or two inedited fragments alone remain. The commentary on the minor prophets has been preserved and published in its integrity by Mai (Rome, 1825–1832) and Wegnern. Its exegetical value is diminished by Theodore's absolute confidence in the LXX, excessive independence of earlier hermeneutical authorities, and reluctance to admit a Christological reference, as well as by his usual defects of style. It is, nevertheless, a considerable monument of his expository power, and the best illustration we possess of the Antiochene method of interpreting O.T. prophecy.
(ii) N.T. (a ) The Gospels. —Ebedjesu recounts commentaries on SS. Matthew, Luke, and John. Fragments of these, with the remaining N.T. fragments, were collected and ed. by O. F. Fritzsche (Turici, 1847), and reprinted by Migne. The commentary on St. John exists in a Syriac version, and has been pub. by J. B. Chabot (Paris, 1897).
(b ) Acts and Catholic Epistles. —One fragment only remains of the commentary on the Acts; we owe it to the zeal of Theodore's opponents at the Fifth council. Notwithstanding Mai (l.c. p. xxi), it is more than doubtful whether Theodore wrote upon the Catholic Epistles. With the rest of the Antiochians he probably followed the old Syrian canon in rejecting II. Peter and II. and III. John.
(c ) The Epistles of St. Paul. —Ebedjesu distinctly states that Theodore wrote on all the Pauline epistles, including among them Hebrews. The commentary on Hebrews is cited by the Fifth council, Vigilius and Pelagius II.; that on Romans by Facundus (iii. 6). A fortunate discovery last century gave us a complete Latin version of the commentary on Galatians and the nine following epistles. The Latin, apparently the work of an African churchman of the time of the Fifth council, abounds in colloquial and semi-barbarous forms; the version is not always careful, and sometimes almost hopelessly corrupt. But it gives us the substance of Theodore's interpretation of St. Paul, and we have thus a typical commentary from his pen on a considerable portion of each Testament (pub. by Camb. Univ. Press, 1880–1882).
(B) CONTROVERSIAL WRITINGS.—(a ) Chief amongst these, and first in point of time, was the treatise, in 15 books, on the Incarnation. According to Gennadius (de Vir. Ill. 12) it was directed against the Apollinarians and Eunomians, and written while the author was yet a presbyter of Antioch, i.e. a.d. 382–392. Gennadius adds an outline of the contents. After a logical and scriptural demonstration of the truth and perfection of each of the natures in Christ, Theodore deals more at length with the Sacred Manhood. In bk. xiv. he approached the mystery of the Holy Trinity and the relation of the creature to the Divine Nature; in xv. the work was concluded, teste Gennadius, with an appeal to authority: "citatis etiam patrum traditionibus." Large fragments of this treatise have been collected from various quarters. None of the remains of Theodore throw such important light upon his Christology.
(b ) Books against Apollinarianism. —Facundus (viii. 2) says that Theodore wrote several distinct treatises against Apollinarius. One, entitled de Apollinario et ejus Haeresi , was written, as Theodore states in the only surviving fragment, 30 years after the treatise on the Incarnation (Facund. x. 1). A number of important fragments preserved in the Constantinopolitan Acts and in the writings of Facundus, Justinian, Leontius, etc., are referred to bks. iii. and iv. "Against Apollinarius."
(c ) Theodore wrote a separate polemic against Eunomius, and a single characteristic fragment has survived (Facund. ix. 3). The work professed to be a defence of St. Basil. In the original it reached the prodigious length of 25 (Phot. Cod. 4) or even of ( Cod. 177) 28 books. Photius complains bitterly of the faults of style, and doubts the orthodoxy of the writer, but admits its clearness of argument and wealth of scriptural proof.
(d ) Ebedjesu includes in his list "two tomes on the Holy Spirit"; probably a work directed against the heresy of the Pneumatomachi; but see Klener, Symb. Liter. p. 76.
(e ) Three books on "Persian Magic." We learn from Photius that bk. i. was an exposure of the Zoroastrian system; bks. ii. and iii. contained a comprehensive sketch of the history and doctrines of Christianity, beginning with the Biblical account of the Creation. In this portion, especially in bk. iii., Theodore betrayed his "Nestorian" views, and even advanced the startling theory of a final restoration of all men. One cannot but regret the utter loss of so remarkable a volume, especially as it seems to have been written in the interests of Christian missions, an earnest of the missionary spirit which was afterwards so marked in the Nestorian church.
(f ) According to Ebedjesu, Theodore wrote "two tomes against him who asserts that sin is inherent in human nature." The heading, as given in Marius Mercator, who published Latin excerpts from this book shortly after Theodore's death, is merely an ex parte description of its contents: "Contra S. Augustinum defendentem originale peccatum et Adam per transgressionem mortalem factum catholice disserentem." Mercator, a friend and disciple of St. Augustine, not unnaturally imagined Theodore's work to be directed against the great Western assailant of Pelagius; but Theodore seems actually to have selected Jerome as the representative of the principles he attacks. Such as they are, the remains of this book form our best guide to the anthropology of Theodore.
(C) PRACTICAL, PASTORAL, AND LITURGICAL WRITINGS.—Ebedjesu mentions a treatise On the Priesthood , which seems to have been an extensive one, probably unfolding the doctrine of the Sacraments as based upon the doctrine of the Incarnation. It was written, Hesychius tells us, in Theodore's old age. A more popular treatment of the same subject seems to have been attempted in the Catechetical Lectures ("Catechismus," according to Marius Mercator; the Fifth council calls it "Allocutiones ad baptizandos," Facundus (ix. 3) less correctly, "Liber ad baptizatos"). The fragments, which are chiefly from bk. viii., refer almost exclusively to the doctrine of the Incarnation. A MS. of the whole in Syriac exists in the library of the American College at Beyrout. Fritzsche thinks that to some copies at least of these lectures Theodore appended (1) an explanation of the creed of Nicaea, a fragment of which, preserved by the Fifth council, suggests that its object was to interpret the creed in harmony with the bishop's teaching upon the Person of Christ; and (2) the ecthesis afterwards produced at the Third council by the Philadelphian presbyter Charisius, and condemned, but without mention of the author's name (Mansi, iv. 1347 seq. ). The document corresponds closely with Theodore's teaching, reveals his style in both its weakness and strength, and was attributed to him by his contemporary Mercator, who bases on it his attack upon Theodore's Christology. The ecthesis was probably composed in good faith, and intended to serve the interests of the Catholic doctrine.
Lastly, Leontius intimates that Theodore wrote a portion of a liturgy; "not content with drafting a new creed, he sought to impose upon the church a new Anaphora" (Migne, lxxxvi. 1367). A Syriac liturgy ascribed to "Mâr Teodorus the Interpreter" is still used by the Christians of Assyria for a third of the year, from Advent to Palm Sunday. The proanaphoral and post-communion portions are supplied by the older liturgy "of the Apostles" (so called), the anaphora only being peculiar. A Latin version of this anaphora is in Renaudot, pub. in English by Dr. Neale ( Hist. H. E. Ch. ) and Dr. Badger (Eastern Ch. Assoc. , occasional paper, xvii., Rivingtons, 1875). Internal evidence confirms the judgment of Dr. Neale, who regards it as a genuine work of Theodore.
IV. Doctrine. —We deal with the peculiarities of Theodore's teaching under: (A) Anthropology, (B) Christology, (C) Soteriology.
(A) His whole doctrinal system hinges, as Neander and Dorner rightly judged, upon his conception of man's relation to the Universe and to God. (1) The Universe (ὁ κόσμος = ἡ σύμπασα κτίσις ) is an organic whole (ἓν σῶμα ), consisting of elements partly visible and material, partly invisible and spiritual. Of this organism man is the predestined bond (φιλίας ἐνέχυρον, σύνδεσμος, συνάφεια , copulatio ), and therefore made a composite creature, his body derived from material elements, his spiritual nature akin to pure spirits, the νοηταὶ φύσεις . He was also to be the image of God, i.e. His visible representative, and as such to receive the homage of all creation. Hence all things minister to him, and even angelic beings superintend the movements of the physical world for his benefit. Man is thus the crowning work of the Creator, and the proper medium of communication between the Creator and the creature. (2) In the history of all intelligent created life, Theodore distinguishes two stages ( καταστάσεις ), the first a state of flux, exposed to conflict, temptation, and mortality; the second immutable, and free from all the forms of moral and physical evil. From the beginning God purposed that the second of these conditions (ἡ μέλλουσα κατάστασις ) should be revealed through the Incarnation of His Son. Man was created in the former state, his nature being from the first liable to dissolution. "Earth to earth"—the human body naturally returns to the element from which it was taken. (3) The fall therefore did not introduce mortality, but converted the liability into a fact. It was not said, "Ye shall become mortal," but "Ye shall die." As a matter of fact, "death came by sin"; and the dissolution of soul and body was followed by the still more serious dissolution of the bond which in the person of man had hitherto knit together the visible and invisible creations. The fall of the first man gave sin a foothold in the world. The same result followed in the case of each descendant of Adam who sinned; and since all si