The Constancy and Development in the Christology of Theodoret of Cyrrhus
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Search form Search. By Vasilije Vranic. Description In The Constancy and Development of the Christology of Theodoret of Cyrrhus Vasilije Vranic offers an assessment of the involvement of Theodoret of Cyrrhus in the Nestorian and Miaphysite controversies of the fifth century. Ancient Christian Doctrine : v. Christless Christianity : the alternative gospel of the American church.
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Das Dogma von der Dreieinigkeit und Gottmenschheit in seiner geschichtlichen Entwicklung dargestellt. As the instruments of the judgments upon Damascus and Samaria, which Isaiah announced as impending under any circumstances, we can surely think of none but Asshur. But if once they came into these regions, in order to chastise the haughtiness of the Syrians and Ephraimites, who would set up as a new conquering power, then was Judah too threatened by them.
In a political point of view it did not make any great difference whether Ahaz sought help from the Assyrians, or not ; on the contrary, the king of Asshur could not but be more favourably disposed towards him for so doing. Isaiah, throughout, rather occupies the position of the man of God. The kings of the people of God were, in general, not prevented from forming alliances; but such alliances must belong to the category of permitted human resources. Such, however, was not the case here.
Asshur was a conquering power, altogether selfish. His help had to be purchased with dependance, and with the danger of entire destruction; to stay upon him was to stay upon their destroyer, Is. Such an alliance was a de facto denial of the God of Israel, an insult to His omnipotence and grace.
If Ahaz had obeyed Him; if he had limited himself to the use of the human means granted to him by the Lord without trusting in them, and had placed all his confidence in the Lord, He would have delivered him in the same manner as He afterwards delivered Hezekiah, in the first instance from Aram and Ephraim, and then from Asshur also.
But although Ahaz did not follow the prophet, his mission was by no means in vain. Even before the mission, this result lay open before the Lord who sent him. The great point was to establish, before the first conflict of Israel with the world's power, thus much, that this conflict had been brought about by the sin of the house of David, and that hence it did not afford any cause for doubting the omnipotence and mercy of the Lord whose help had been offered, but rejected.
The Prophet seeks out the king at a place to which he had been driven by his despairing disquietude which was clinging convulsively to human resources. He endeavours, first, to exert [Pg 29] an influence upon him by taking with him his son, whose symbolical name, containing a prophecy of the future destinies of the people, indicated that the king's fear of a total destruction of the State was without foundation.
After the king has thus been prepared, he endeavours to make a deeper impression upon him by the announcement, distinct and referring to the present case, that the enemies should not only entirely fail in their intention of conquering and dividing between themselves the kingdom of Judah; but that the kingdom of Ephraim was itself hastening towards that destruction which it was preparing for its brethren, and that after sixty-five years it should altogether lose its national independence and existence, ver.
But Ahaz makes no reply; and his whole deportment shows that he does not follow the Prophet's exhortation to "take heed and be quiet," and that the words: "If ye do not believe, ye shall not be established," with which the Prophet closes his address, have not made any impression upon him. In order that the greatness of the king's hardness of heart may become manifest, the Prophet offers, in the commission of the Lord, to confirm the certainty of his statement by a miraculous sign, which the king himself is called upon to fix, without any restriction, in order that any suspicion of imposition may be removed.
A sign is then forced upon him, because as the king of Judah, he must see and hear for all Judah that the Lord is faithful and good. How then was it possible that in the present collision that people should be destroyed, among whom, according to former promises. He was to be born; that that family should be extinguished from which he was to be descended?
The name "Immanuel," by which the future Saviour is designated as "He in whom the Lord is, in the truest manner, to be with His people," is a guarantee for His help in the present distress also. The Prophet then states the time in which the land shall be entirely delivered from its present enemies. The contemporaries, as the representative of whom [Pg 30] the child appears the Prophet, in the energy of his faith, has transferred the birth of this child from the future to the present , shall, after the short space of about two years, again obtain the full enjoyment of the products of the land, ver.
For, before this period has elapsed, destruction will fall upon the hostile kings in their own land, ver. The danger, however--and this is pointed out in ver. But the security for deliverance from this danger also--the conqueror of the world's power which was soon to begin its course in Asshur, is none other than Immanuel, whom the Prophet, in the beginning of the humiliation of the people of God, makes, so to say, to become man, in order that, during the impending deep humiliation of the people of God, He may accompany it in its history during all the stages of its existence, until He should really become man.
Journal of Early Christian Studies
He is, however in this discourse, not yet pointed out as the deliverer from Asshur, and the world's power represented by him. The darkness of the misery to be inflicted by Asshur should not, and could not, in the meantime, be cleared up for Ahaz; the picture must end in night. But in the following discourse, chap. Ahaz persevered in his unbelief, according to 2 Kings xvi. Ahaz, after having first made preparations to secure Jerusalem against the impending siege, sent out his armies. They met with a twofold heavy defeat from the divided armies of the allied kings,  from which he might have been spared by [Pg 31] being still, and hoping.
The hostile armies then came up to Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. It was probably by the intelligence of the advance of Asshur that they were induced to raise the siege. It was now confirmed that the Prophet had been right in designating the two hostile kings as mere tails of smoking firebrands. Damascus was taken by the King of Ophir; the inhabitants were carried away into exile to Kir; Rezin was slain, 2 Kings xvi. Exactly at the time fixed by the Prophet, the overthrow of the two hostile kingdoms took place; but the deliverance which, without any farther sacrifice, Ahaz would have obtained, if he had believed the Prophet, had now to be purchased by very heavy sacrifices; and with perfect justice it is said in 2 Chron.
Ahaz purchased this help at the price of his independence, and had probably to submit to very hard claims being made upon him.
The constancy and development in the Christology of Theodoret of Cyrrhus
Caspari , S. The world's power, to which Ahaz had offered a finger, seized, more and more, the whole hand, and held it by a firm grasp. Under Hezekiah, faith broke through the consequences of the sin of the family; but this interruption lasted as long only as did the faith. In addition to that which Ahaz had, for his unbelief, to suffer from Aram, Ephraim, and Asshur, came the rebellion of the neighbouring nations,--of the Edomites, according to 2 Chron.
In thus tracing back the pedigree of Ahaz to Uzziah, there is a reference to chap. These two chapters stand related to each other as prophecy and fulfilment. It was in the year of Uzziah's death that the Prophet had been seized with fearful forebodings; and by the divine word these fearful forebodings had soon been raised into a clear knowledge of the threatening judgments which were impending. Under Ahaz, the second successor of Uzziah, this knowledge began to be realized, keeping pace with the hardening which in Ahaz had become personified.