Cyril Of Alexandria On Substitutionary Atonement

He had undergone, for our sakes, though innocent, the sentence of death. For, in His own Person, He bore the sentence righteously pronounced against sinners by the Law. For He became ‘a curse for us’, according to the Scripture: ‘For cursed is everyone’, it is said, ‘that hangeth on a tree.’ And accursed are we all, for we are not able to fulfil the Law of God: ‘For in many things we all stumble’; and very prone to sin is the nature of man. And since, too, the Law of God says: ‘Cursed is he which continueth not in all things that are written in the book of this Law, to do them,’ the curse, then, belongeth unto us, and not to others. For those against whom the transgression of the Law may be charged, and who are very prone to err from its commandments, surely deserve chastisement. Therefore, He That knew no sin was accursed for our sakes, that He might deliver us from the old curse. For all-sufficient was the God Who is above all, so dying for all; and by the death of His own Body, purchasing the redemption of all mankind.

The Cross, then, that Christ bore, was not for His own deserts, but was the cross that awaited us, and was our due, through our condemnation by the Law. For as He was numbered among the dead, not for Himself, but for our sakes, that we might find in Him, the Author of everlasting life, subduing of Himself the power of death; so also, He took upon Himself the Cross that was our due, passing on Himself the condemnation of the Law, that the mouth of all lawlessness might henceforth be stopped, according to the saying of the Psalmist; the Sinless having suffered condemnation for the sin of all.” (commenting on John 19:16–18)

“And the title contained a handwriting against us—the curse that, by the Divine Law, impends over the transgressors, and the sentence that went forth against all who erred against those ancient ordinances of the Law, like unto Adam’s curse, which went forth against all mankind, in that all alike broke God’s decrees. For God’s anger did not cease with Adam’s fall, but He was also provoked by those who after him dishonoured the Creator’s decree; and the denunciation of the Law against transgressors was extended continuously over all. We were, then, accursed and condemned, by the sentence of God, through Adam’s transgression, and through breach of the Law laid down after him; but the Savior wiped out the hand- writing against us, by nailing the title to His Cross, which very clearly pointed to the death upon the Cross which He underwent for the salvation of men, who lay under condemnation. For our sake He paid the penalty for our sins. For though He was One that suffered, yet was He far above any creature, as God, and more precious than the life of all.” (commenting on John 19:19)

—Cyril of Alexandria (376–444), Commentary on John. (HT: Keith Frederickson)

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33 comments

  1. This is especially devastating for the “anti-Substitutionary” crowd, because Cyril is an Orthodox hero when it comes to the understanding of the Incarnation.

  2. Justin, Anselm laid his finger on the infinite nature of even one of our sins, and, therefore, the need for an infinite atonement to be made, which only God could make in a finite time. I don’t think that in the excerpt above Cyril anticipated THAT.
    But as Matthew Hyde pointed out in a Protestant Alliance City Lecture (London), Anselm did not find assurance of salvation, in spite of his added insight into the atonement.

    And for everybody:
    1. Cyril does not point out here that it isn’t just our sinful nature that puts us under God’s curse, but our past sins and original sin as well, so just a change in nature would be insufficient to save us.
    2. Does this excerpt suggest Cyril was reformed, or could he have been Amyraldian or even Arminian?

  3. John,

    The Blessed St Cyril did NOT have to anticipate Anselm. Anselm’s view of atonement was thoroughly medieval and could be SUBSUMED as ONE aspect of substitutionary atonement (SA). St Cyril’s Commentary on John above represented the BROAD contours of orthodox SA.

    Recall that there has NEVER been a definitive dogma on the atonement.

    • Jason, have you heard or read a summary of Cur Deus Homo (or the complete work)? If you think Cyril’s view is sufficient without Anselm’s, please explain why the Archangel Michael couldn’t have atoned for our sin by becoming man, etc. – He was SINLESS enough, what’s wrong with the Arian view of Christ?

      Incidentally, when it comes to the immaculate conception, Mary didn’t need to be born of a virgin, conceive a Firstborn genetically unrelated to her, or remain a virgin after the birth of Christ, because original sin only comes through the father. It’s through Adam that sin entered the world, not Eve, although she was the first to sin.

  4. Thanks be to our Lord for his faithful witness to the gospel by Cyril. There is a golden thread from the protoevanelium through the Old Testament, magnified in the New Testament, and continued (often as only a remnant) through the Patristic era and the Medieval era. Scripture bares witness… Embrace it. It is the gospel of salvation that has never left the scene.

  5. “Jason, have you heard or read a summary of Cur Deus Homo (or the complete work)? If you think Cyril’s view is sufficient without Anselm’s, please explain why the Archangel Michael couldn’t have atoned for our sin by becoming man, etc. – He was SINLESS enough, what’s wrong with the Arian view of Christ?”

    John, the burden is on you to explain why despite the post above that you think that Cyril’s view is insufficient. And what an archangel or an Arian Christ to do with Cyril’s post? I await your “explanation.”

    “Incidentally, when it comes to the immaculate conception, Mary didn’t need to be born of a virgin, conceive a Firstborn genetically unrelated to her, or remain a virgin after the birth of Christ, because original sin only comes through the father. It’s through Adam that sin entered the world, not Eve, although she was the first to sin.”

    What has this to do with the post?

  6. One of my best purchases ever was this book on Cyril. Thanks to my well read OPC pastor for pointing me to this one (after my committing a “heresy” or two during Sunday School discussion on Trinity, reading this was my “just desert” (emoticon)). Later.

  7. Justin, we won’t even tell your Church History profs that you got the wrong Cyril with your dates! But why worry, they’ve seen it all before.

    Jason, where Cyril is insufficient is that he appears to limit the suffering that unforgiven man deserves to six hours on a cross followed by physical death. An Arian Christ could have borne that. But what do you expect from a man that delighted in the actions of an Ammonius so far as to proclaim him a martyr?

    As for your second point, both Cyril and Anselm wrote about Mary. Cyril’s naming Mary as Theotokos is totally unscriptural except in a very narrow and anti-intuitive sense (Intuitively we would understand a theotokos to pass on qualities inherent in deity). Anselm was right to take the stigma off one of the all in which marriage is honourable and affirm the bed to be undefiled, but, whilst he denied the immaculate conception, failed to see that only the father is involved in transmitting original sin.

  8. “Jason, where Cyril is insufficient is that he appears to limit the suffering that unforgiven man deserves to six hours on a cross followed by physical death. An Arian Christ could have borne that. But what do you expect from a man that delighted in the actions of an Ammonius so far as to proclaim him a martyr?”

    John, are you saying that Cyril – who instigated the charge of heresy against Nestorius – was a NESTORIAN? Because that is the implication of your statement – that Cyril “limited” the suffering of Our Lord to a physical suffering (implied by the temporal nature of six hours as well as bolstered by the following coordinated other half of the sentence, namely physical death.

    Furthermore, you went on to speak of an ARIAN Christ – hinting perhaps that Cyril for whom we are grateful for paving the way for the Chalcedonian Definition viz. that standard dogmatic standard for orthodox Christology reduced the saving work for Christ to merely an example … for that is what happens when one the divinity and humanity of Christ is separated.

    This is the Cyril in which all confessional PROTESTANT theologians recognise as bringing forth clearly the dogmatic truth that only a DIVINE Christ can save, and none else.

    And from the post above please show where does Cyril emphasise that Christ’s suffering was purely bodily??

    • Where did I talk about Christ’s suffering being purely bodily? Six hours on a cross ARE spiritual as well as physical, but that punishment is finite, unless infinite wrath is poured out in its entirety during that time. It is not clear from any uninspired predecessor of Anselm how man, being finite, can deserve everlasting punishment for a sin which only took a finite time to commit. It was Anselm who pointed out that man’s sin is infinite because of Whom it is committed against. It isn’t that Cyril didn’t say that only a divine Christ can save, it is that, unlike Anselm, he failed to demonstrate why, because he failed to point out that man’s sin, UNLIKE MAN HIMSELF, is infinite. Of course scriptures like “Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned” and “the ransom of their soul is precious” demonstrate it, but it took time for theologians to catch up with Scripture. It always does.

  9. “As for your second point, both Cyril and Anselm wrote about Mary. Cyril’s naming Mary as Theotokos is totally unscriptural except in a very narrow and anti-intuitive sense (Intuitively we would understand a theotokos to pass on qualities inherent in deity). Anselm was right to take the stigma off one of the all in which marriage is honourable and affirm the bed to be undefiled, but, whilst he denied the immaculate conception, failed to see that only the father is involved in transmitting original sin.”

    John, your denial of the term, “Theotokos” is to be expected from someone of your theology. Having said that, where does Cyril denied that marriage is honourable??

    As for Anselm, not sure what your statement mean re marriage except to state the above re Cyril. That the father is involved in transmitting Original Sin is only half the story. The reason why Our Lord was free from Original Sin was simply because sin is only proper to PERSON, not nature. Nature does not commit sin, only persons do. IOW, nature does not exist apart from the person.

    And this means that Original in is not an ABSTRACT universal principle that inheres in the flesh (sarkos) but is none other than the ORIGINAL unbelief of ADAM and EVE themselves. This is why we ARE the Old Adam (and Old Eve). Nature is radically affected by Original Sin and therefore IS Original Sin is because of the communicatio idiomatum, i.e. the exchange of properties between person and nature. Persons become mortal because of nature; and nature becomes sinful because of the person.

    This communication idiomatum mirrors that of the Incarnation, and by inclusion AND extension, the blessed exchange – hence the simul iustus et peccator.

    • Jason, was it not generally assumed before Anselm that original sin was caused by the lust of intercourse (as though without the Fall intercourse wouldn’t have given pleasure!) and Cyril was no exception to this?
      In that Mary was the mother through whom God the Son was born when He became flesh, she could be called Theotokos, but that is not the intuitive meaning of the word, and the Scripture, therefore, does not give her that title. Intuitively, one would think that this was a title as old as God Himself, and that for eternity she would have the same relationship with God the Son as a mother would have had with her son on earth had the Fall not happened. This, in spite of the fact that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the angels in heaven. In fact, we can conclude from Luke 11:28 that her proper theological title is Logophulax rather than Theotokos, and, of course, she isn’t the only human being in heaven or earth with that title.

      The reason our Lord could be without original sin is because He was the Seed of the Woman, but, uniquely, not the seed of a man, through whom he would have inherited original sin whatever His qualities before conception, because it comes through the relationship, not through the genes. I’m not sure what you are getting at in your last two paragraphs.

  10. And to add a bit more, one cannot separate the Person from the Work, at least not in Cyril’s theology. The formula is thus: Person = Work. IOW, even a CONCEPTUAL separation is IMPOSSIBLE.

    As one German Lutheran theologian once said, soteriology or rather justification is none other than *applied* CHRISTOLOGY.

  11. “Where did I talk about Christ’s suffering being purely bodily? Six hours on a cross ARE spiritual as well as physical, but that punishment is finite, unless infinite wrath is poured out in its entirety during that time.”

    And Cyril DENIED that the sentence of the Law that Christ bore was FINITE? Where is your proof, John? Please show or adduce. Are you saying that the DIVINE wrath according to Cyril was finite? That the CURSE of the Law was ONLY temporal?

  12. “It is not clear from any uninspired predecessor of Anselm how man, being finite, can deserve everlasting punishment for a sin which only took a finite time to commit. It was Anselm who pointed out that man’s sin is infinite because of Whom it is committed against.”

    And Anselm was INSPIRED?? And are you now saying before Anselm that the entire Church and the consensus partum was that Christ only bore FINITE punishment?? Please understand that Anselm’s understanding is just ONE aspect of SA. It is NOT the be all and end all of SA.

    What Anselm pointed out is that the Atonement either required punishment OR satisfaction. Anselm of course opted for the latter and hence vicarious satisfaction which has been the standard orthodoxy for conservative Protestantism POST-Luther.

    Anselm’s proposal serves only to harden the DIRECTION of the Atonement in a SACRIFICIAL direction (rather than SACRAMENTAL as understood by Luther). (It is difference between bottom-up and top-down). Put it more clearly, it is difference between the Sacrifice of the Mass (bottom-up sacrifice) and the Lord’s Supper (to-down sacrament). Recall that in REFORMATION (which claims CONTINUITY as well as discontinuity with the medieval and patristic church) theology, one cannot separate the Person and the Work – both are IDENTICAL. This means that the CROSS and SACRAMENTS are inter-related such that the latter IS the former.

    • Jason, the word of God is inspired. The church fathers are uninspired. Both preceded Anselm in time and are, therefore, his predecessors, whether he himself was inspired or uninspired. I said nothing about this latter paradigm and I suspect you might just come up with the right answer in the matter without my help.

      As I understand it, Christ suffered infinite PUNISHMENT on the cross – I don’t know what you mean by saying “punishment or satisfaction”. The point is that unless Christ did suffer infinite punishment for the sins of the elect, each of which sins is infinite, the damned in hell will either have a just complaint against God for eternity or they won’t be in hell for eternity. I’m not sure what you meant by your last paragraph, but I know that neither you nor I can have the work of Christ without the person, i.e., if we have been saved by Him, he indwells us.

  13. “It was Anselm who pointed out that man’s sin is infinite because of Whom it is committed against. It isn’t that Cyril didn’t say that only a divine Christ can save, it is that, unlike Anselm, he failed to demonstrate why, because he failed to point out that man’s sin, UNLIKE MAN HIMSELF, is infinite. Of course scriptures like “Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned” and “the ransom of their soul is precious” demonstrate it, but it took time for theologians to catch up with Scripture. It always does.”

    John, you see, what Anselm sought to do was to answer the question of the NECESSITY of the Atonement (hence Why did God become man). As shared above, to answer that, Anselm made a poser: either punishment or satisfaction? He opted for satisfaction because that was for him the surest way to reconcile the relationship between justice and mercy.

    Now, the question that Abelard posed was: Why must justice PRECEDE mercy? How could God be merciful if He must first punish?

    That is to say, the Anselmian scheme presupposes a HUMAN conception of justice (rather than divine). Whereas as Luther points out, Paul said in Galatians 2 that righteousness comes APART from the Law; that Christ is the END of the Law (Romans 10).

    This means that then vicarious satisfaction is more of a matter of divine “HONOUR” rather than divine LOVE(!) And here comes THE shocker for someone of your theology … Anselm never speaks of divine WRATH. For your kind information, despite Luther not accepting the Anselmian scheme, divine wrath is CENTRAL to Luther’s theology of the atonement or if you will, theology of the cross.

    So coming back to your original contention, no it is simply and wholly inaccurate to say that Cyril did not demonstrate that man’s sin is infinite. It is that Cyril did not tie the nature of man’s sin to an ETERNAL LEGAL ORDER as Anselm did but to the VERY ***LIFE*** of the TRIUNE God. It is the difference between something which is EXTERNAL to God and that which is the VERY “BEING” of GOD.

    After all, even your theology would not say that the triune life of God is structured according to the Law, would it?

  14. “Jason, was it not generally assumed before Anselm that original sin was caused by the lust of intercourse (as though without the Fall intercourse wouldn’t have given pleasure!) and Cyril was no exception to this?”

    John, as far as I know, such view was mainly held only in the “West.” Recall that the “East” with which Cyril was associated on the whole REJECTED the western catholic doctrine of Original Sin/ Original Guilt.

  15. “In that Mary was the mother through whom God the Son was born when He became flesh, she could be called Theotokos, but that is not the intuitive meaning of the word, and the Scripture, therefore, does not give her that title. Intuitively, one would think that this was a title as old as God Himself, and that for eternity she would have the same relationship with God the Son as a mother would have had with her son on earth had the Fall not happened. This, in spite of the fact that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as the angels in heaven. In fact, we can conclude from Luke 11:28 that her proper theological title is Logophulax rather than Theotokos, and, of course, she isn’t the only human being in heaven or earth with that title.”

    John, you concede now there’s some good grounds for Mary to be called Theotokos?

    • Hadn’t I before written “Cyril’s naming Mary as Theotokos is totally unscriptural except in a very narrow and anti-intuitive sense (Intuitively we would understand a theotokos to pass on qualities inherent in deity)”. I don’t think I’ve just now written anything more than an expansion of that, so I don’t think I am conceding anything. You can call Mary Theotokos and leave it as such without telling a downright lie, but not without it being a half-truth, because as I have pointed out, the intuitive meaning of this term goes way beyond what the truth is. Actually, Mary is not the only Theotokos: Revelation 12:1-6 is also about a Theotokos and this Theotokos is not Mary. It is Israel. And again, to call Israel a Theotokos is only a half-truth, because, again, like Mary, Israel was only bringing into the world as Man the God Who had been reigning before ever Israel or Mary had come into being. Church doctrine and theology should not consist of unqualified ambiguous terms.

  16. “The reason our Lord could be without original sin is because He was the Seed of the Woman, but, uniquely, not the seed of a man, through whom he would have inherited original sin whatever His qualities before conception, because it comes through the relationship, not through the genes. I’m not sure what you are getting at in your last two paragraphs.”

    John, sin is only proper to the person, not nature. Natures do not commit sin; “they” don’t do anything. Only persons sin; hence human persons are SINNERS. Jesus was a divine person; hence Jesus wasn’t a sinner by birth. And yes, Original Sin is literally in our DNA. This is why Christ’s sufferings is so REAL. As I’ve shared, a purely spiritualising of Original Sin will not do for that would render it to be a universal theological PRINCIPLE. But Original Sin is none other than the original UNBELIEF of Adam and Eve.

  17. “Jason, the word of God is inspired. The church fathers are uninspired. Both preceded Anselm in time and are, therefore, his predecessors, whether he himself was inspired or uninspired. I said nothing about this latter paradigm and I suspect you might just come up with the right answer in the matter without my help.”

    John, what does the following statement … “… therefore, his predecessors, whether he himself was inspired or uninspired” mean?? It is unintelligible and frankly gibberish. Again, I ask you, are you saying that Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo was inspired?

    • Jason, if you replace part of my sentence with “…”, the remnant WILL be gibberish. It is not gibberish to say that what or who precedes Anselm in time is thereby (perhaps a bit clearer than “therefore”) his predecessor. The Word of God is thereby his predecessor, as are the earlier church fathers. One of these happens to be inspired, the other uninspired. Anselm was, of course, uninspired, but the point would be the same if he had been inspired.

      I’m sorry if I didn’t grasp what you meant by top down and bottom up – We use these terms in computing and there they mean something rather different. But it strikes me that if the lost are to be properly judged, justice has to be bottom up. Fortunately for His glory and unfortunately for the lost, He is quite capable of injecting at the bottom, from the top, so what goes bottom up came from the top anyway.

  18. Thus, it was IMPOSSIBLE for Our Lord to derive his personhood from a human father since He was already the Only-Begotten Son of the Ingenerate Father. To imply that theoretically it was possible so that Our Lord would then inherit Original Sin is to miss the point, namely that deriving His personhood from a human father would necessarily imply TWO persons, and hence the heresy of “Nestorianism.”

    In other words, the argument as to why Our Lord was kept from Original Sin is a Christological one – that is, one reverts back to the INCARNATION or hypostatic union itself for the theological reason.

  19. “As I understand it, Christ suffered infinite PUNISHMENT on the cross – I don’t know what you mean by saying “punishment or satisfaction”. The point is that unless Christ did suffer infinite punishment for the sins of the elect, each of which sins is infinite, the damned in hell will either have a just complaint against God for eternity or they won’t be in hell for eternity. I’m not sure what you meant by your last paragraph, but I know that neither you nor I can have the work of Christ without the person, i.e., if we have been saved by Him, he indwells us.”

    John, punishment here refers to divine punishment on the entire human race; satisfaction means that God’s honour is satisfied by a substitute. Anselm opted for the latter, of course – so that only then could justice and mercy be reconciled.

    However infinite punishment is just half the story. If punishment equals justice, then no, that wasn’t what the Reformation was about. I have also shared that we cannot look at divine justice and understand it in terms of human justice.

    Divine justice is NOT an attribute of God whereby He IS righteous. That wasn’t the Reformation discovery of justification by faith alone. In other words, divine justice hasn’t to do with what God is; rather what God DOES (on the Cross and in the here and now). God is precisely just in justifying the UNJUST.

    This brings us to the point of substitution. Substitution in the Reformation sense is not INSTEAD of; rather it is precisely in PLACE of. The subtle difference is the difference between direction and location. We are COMPLETELY PASSIVE. We are under the wrath of God. That’s the location. We are the target. But we are not shifted about or moved about or taken to safety. Rather, Christ precisely comes TO us and WRAP Himself around, in, with and under us in our sins (Original and Actual).Then only the wrath of God is poured in all its fury which goes BEYOND the Law. It is intensely PERSONAL. God gets very personal in relation to sin – hence His JEALOUSY.

    And so, we can ONLY die in Christ. And thus, we can only rise IN Christ.

    The direction is top-down – precisely Incarnational (Christological turn, otherwise the integrity of the God-Man can be in jeopardy, at least in relation to whether He truly Saviour or an Example). That is to say, it is a GIFT.

    “For God (the Father) so LOVED the world that He GAVED His Only-Begotten Son …” This is what the Atonement was all about …

    In order to give us ETERNAL life, we must first be completely destroyed. Because in the final analysis, what God gives is not some ethereal or abstract salvation, but God’s own SELF. And for that, the Triune God must create ANEW …

  20. It’s the difference between the distributive justice of Aristotle and the CREATIVE justice of Christ.

  21. “I’m sorry if I didn’t grasp what you meant by top down and bottom up – We use these terms in computing and there they mean something rather different. But it strikes me that if the lost are to be properly judged, justice has to be bottom up. Fortunately for His glory and unfortunately for the lost, He is quite capable of injecting at the bottom, from the top, so what goes bottom up came from the top anyway.”

    John, Law and Gospel have parallels in computing … programming language based on the binary code! 🙂

    As regards top-down and bottom-up, it is the difference between sacrifice offered to God and gift given to humanity (if sacrifice then understood in the reversal of DIRECTION). Top-down reflects the movement of the Incarnation, no less. In other words, is Jesus offered to God or to humanity? John 3:16 says the latter.

    I understand well your position, John. I mean it is STANDARD Protestant orthodoxy. But the risk is that too rigid adherence and too obsessive focus on penal substitution (PS) can result in not seeing that the Atonement is not a theory or a system. The Atonement is multifaceted, multi-dimensional and messy because it reflects the “ways things are.” Thus, it is not easily configurated into a “scheme” – like the design of e.g. of a printed circuit board (PCB) which in effect represents a CLOSED SYSTEM like the Newtonian universe. It’s more like an OPEN-ENDED situation where a parallel realm or dimension inter-twined and overlap with time and space — the historical Cross is really the short-cut to the eschatological centre whilst at the same there is the rupture and breach between the old and new aeons/ creation. The cry of dereliction of Psalm 22 perhaps gives hint of some sort of “time dilation.”

    The bottom-up then would come in regarding the FACTS of the story/ narrative. Jesus was forgiving sins BEFORE the Atonement and WE killed him because OUR justice could NOT take it — i.e. our conditional world cannot bear the unconditional mercy of God. Thus, we are implicated in the act of DEICIDE. And precisely in this highest expression of Original Sin, FORGIVENESS is poured out. Other than that, there is nothing universal about the Cross as a theological principle. But the Cross is intensely physical, cosmological, historical and eschatological in its foundation & conclusion, breadth & depth, extensive & intensive … the physical or bodily then is capable of (bearing) the infinite. We see that already in Mary as Christokos …

    • I never realized that, in addition to our Lord Jesus, James, Joses, Judas and Simon, Mary, like my sister-in-law Brenda, had borne a son called Chris and was, therefore, Christokos. Probably ChrisTOtokos as a title both for Mary and, bearing in mind Revelation 12:1-6, Elect Israel, is less open to misinterpretation and, therefore, preferable to Theotokos, since it doesn’t imply a maternal relation to the pre-conception Son of God, but it is still unacceptable, as it still implies a theological significance that will survive in the Resurrection, whereas we read that in the Resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but ARE AS THE ANGELS OF GOD IN HEAVEN – To whom would any angel of God be a Tokos? As I wrote before, a proper (but superfluous) title for Mary, which she shares with every other saint (note lower case) of God, is Logophulax. Probably Mary’s fury at such “veneration” is only exceeded by that of God Himself. Oh, and we ARE permitted to call her “Blessed”.
      If we allow Theotokos or Christotokos, why don’t we give a title to every other person who had any dealings whatsoever with Christ in the flesh (Theoadelphos for James, etc., Theoperitemnos for Christ’s anonymous circumciser, Theoagkalasdexos for Simeon, Theoegkataleipos for Joseph {and extra title for Mary), Theoproslabos for Peter, etc., etc.)?
      The incarnation is of necessity top down. However, the atonement is both top down and bottom up, the sacrifice having been made by One Who had been made a little lower than the angels.

    • Jason, I should point out that the mistake in the Greek is not originally yours, so you can be forgiven for not doing anything about it. Not only was Nestorius awry in his Christology, his Greek was up the spout too!

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