Apollinaris or Apollinarius

Apollinaris or Apollinarius bishop of Laodicea, the son of Apollinaris the elder, who taught first at Berytus, in Phoenicia, and afterward at Laodicea, where he became a presbyter and married. Both father and son were on terms of intimacy with Epiphanius and Libanius, the Sophists. The bishop of Laodicea, Theodotus, having warned them to renounce this friendship, they were excommunicated, but afterward, upon expressing penitence, they were restored. Julian the Apostate forbade the Christians to read the works of any heathen author, upon which the two Apollinarii (father and son) composed many works in imitation of the style of Homer and other ancient Greek works. Among others, they turned the books of Moses into heroic verse; indeed, Sozomen (Hist. Eccles. 5,18) says, the whole of the Old Testament as far as the account of Saul; they also composed dramatic pieces on scriptural subjects, after the style of Menander (Socrat. Hist. Eccl. 3, 16). The younger Apollinaris is mentioned (in Athanas. Ep. ad Antiochenos, tom. 1; Opp. ed. Montfaucon, 2:776) as orthodox bishop of Laodicea A.D. 362, while Pelagius was bishop of the Arians in that city. He was esteemed by Athanasius, Basil, and other great men of that age, who continued to speak respectfully of his merits even after he was suspected of heresy. Apollinaris distinguished himself especially by polemical and exeg tical writings; for instance, by his work on Truth, against the Emperor Julian. He also wrote thirty books against Porphyry, against the Manichaeans, Arians, Marcellus, and others. Jerome himself, during his residence at Antioch, A.D. 373 and 374, enjoyed the instructions of Apollinaris, then bishop of Laodicea. The interpretations of Apollinaris, quoted in the commentaries of Jerome, were peculiarly valuable in those days on account of his knowledge of the Hebrew tongue, Basil mentions a work of Apollinaris on the Holy Ghost. In the year 1552 was published at Paris a Metaphrasis Psalmorum of Apollinaris, and re-edited by Sylburg at Heidelberg in 1596; this, and a tragedy on "Christ suffering," in the works of Gregory of Nazianzus, were ascribed to Apollinaris; but it is difficult to say what share in these works belongs to the father, and what to the son.

Late in life, Apollinaris, who had strenuously defended the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity in his youth, himself incurred the reproach of heresy because he taught that the divine Logos occupied in the person of Christ the place of the human rational soul. "The greatest difficulty in the doctrine of the Trinity appeared to him to consist in the union of the divine person of the Logos with a perfect human person. Two perfect wholes could not be united in one whole (Gregory, Antirrh. cap. 39, p. 323: εἰ ἀνθρώπῳτελείῳσυνηφθη θεὸς τέλειος δύο ¨ν ῏ησαν). Setting out from Anthropology, he asserted that the essence of the rational soul consists in its self-determination. If this characteristic were retained in connection with the divine nature, there could be no true personal union, but only such a divine influence on Jesus as might be experienced by any other man. On the other hand, if the soul forfeited this characteristic, it would renounce its essential peculiarity (Ibid. p. 245: φθορὰ τοῦ αὐτεξουσίου ζώου τὸ μὴ εϊvναι αὐτεξούσιον· οὐ φθείρεται δὲ ἡ φύσις ὑπὸ τοῦ ποιήσαντος αὐτήν).

On the first point he objected to the school of Origen, that it admitted no true union of the divine and the human, but made instead two Sons of God, the Logos and the man Jesus (L. c. xlii: εϊvς μὲν φύσει υἱὸς θεοῦ, εϊvς δὲ θετός). Hence he thought the rational human soul must be excluded from the God-man, and, in this, the old undefined doctrine was on his side. For the human soul he substituted the Logos himself as the νοῦς θεῖος. He developed this doctrine with originality and acuteness. The scheme of human nature which he made use of was the common trichotomical one, of the ψυχὴ λογική (νοερά), ἄλογος, and the σῶμα. That an animal principle of life, a ψυχὴ ἄλογος, must be admitted to exist in human nature, he thought might be proved from Paul's Epistles, in the passages where he speaks of the flesh lusting against the Spirit; for the body in itself has no power of lusting, but only the soul that is connected with it. It is not self-determining, but must be determined by the ψυχὴ λογική, which with it ought to govern the body. But this result is frustrated by sin, and, conquered by it, the reason succumbs to the power of the irrational desires. In order to free man from sin, the unchangeable Divine Spirit must be united with a human nature, control the anima, and present a holy human life (contra Apollinarist. t. 1, cap. 13, p. 736). Thus we have in Christ, as man, the three component parts, and can call him the ἄνθρωπος ἐπουράνιος, only with this difference, the Divine occupies the place of the human νους''(Neander, Hist. of Doctrines, 1, 320). Athanasius wrote against Apollinarism, though not against Apollinaris personally (Epist. ad Epict.; contra Apollinaristas); Gregory of Nazianzus wrote against him also (Ep. I, 2, ad Cledonium; ad Nectarium); and Gregory of Nyssa his Α᾿ντιῤῥητικός(in Galland. Bibl. Patr. 6, 517). His heresy became generally known A.D. 371. The accusations of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret against the character of Apollinaris are not plausible. "Of the writings in which he explained his views, only fragments are extant in the works of Gregory of Nyssa, Theodoret, and Leontius Byzantinus (who lived about the year 590); they were the following: περὶ σαρκώσεως λογίδιον (ἀπόδειξις περὶ τῆς θείας ένσαρκώσεως)- τὸ κατὰ κεφάλαιον βιβλίον περί ἁναστάσεως περὶ πίστεως λογίδιον — and some letters (in Gallandii Bibl. PP. 12, 706 sq.; Angelo Mtai Class. auct. 9, 495 sq.). Apollinaris objected to the union of the Logos with a rational soul; that the human being thus united to the Logos must either preserve his own free will, in which case there would be no true union of the Divine and the human, or that the human soul had lost its proper liberty by becoming united to the Logos, either of which would be absurd. 'He chiefly opposed the τρεπτόν, or the liberty of choice in christology' (Dorner, Person of Christ, per. 1, Eph 3; Eph 3). In his opinion, Christ is not only ἄνθρωπος ἔνθεος, but the incarnate God. According to the threefold division of man, Apollinaris was willing to ascribe a soul to the Redeemer in so far as he thought it to be a mean between body and spirit. But that which itself determines the soul (τὸ αὐτοκίνητον), and constitutes the higher dignity of man, the νοῦς (the ψυχὴ λογική) of Christ, could not be of human origin, but must be purely divine; for his incarnation did not consist in the Logos becoming νοῦς, but in becoming σάρξ. But the Divine reason supplying the place of the human, there exists a specific difference between Christ and other beings. In their case, every thing had to undergo a process of gradual development, which cannot be brought about without either conflicts or sin (ὅπου γὰρ τέλειος ἄνθρωπος, ἐκεῖ καὶ ἁμαρτία, apud. Athan. 1:2, p. 923; compare c. 21, p. 939: ἁμαρτία ἐνυπόστᾷτος). But this could not take place in the case of Christ: οὐδεμία ἄσκησις ἐν Χριστῷ· οὐκ ἄρα νοῦς ἐστιν ἀνθρώπινος (comp. Gregory of Nyssa, Antirrhet. adv. Apollin. 4, c. 221). At the same time, Apollinaris supposed the body and soul of Christ to be so completely filled with the higher and divine principle of spiritual life, that he did not hesitate to use expressions such as 'God died, God is born,' etc. He even maintained that, on account of this intimate union, Divine homage is also due to the human nature of Christ (1. c. p. 241, 264). His opponents, therefore, charged him with Patripassianism. But we do not think that Apollinaris ever asserted, as Gregory of Nazianzus would have us believe, that Christ must have possessed an irrational, animal soul, e.g. that of a horse or an ox, because he had not a rational human soul: Gregory himself seems to have drawn such inferences from the premises of Apollinaris. On the other hand, he accused his opponents in a similar manner of believing in two Christs, two Sons of God, etc. (comp. Dorner, 1. c., and his Notes 63, 64; Ullmann, Gregory of Naz. p. 401 sq.; Baur, Chr. Lehre v. d. Dreieinigkeit, 1, 585 sq.). Athanasius maintained, in opposition to Apollinaris (contra Apollinarist. libri 2, but without mentioning him by name: the book was written after the death of Apollinaris), that it behooved Christ to be our example in every respect, and that his nature, therefore, must resemble ours. Sinfulness, which is empirically connected with the development of man, is not a necessary attribute of human nature, as the Manichaean notions would lead us to suppose. Man, on the contrary, was originally free from sin, and Christ appeared on that very account, viz., in order to show that God is not the author of sin, and to prove that it is possible to live a sinless life (the controversy thus touched upon questions of an anthropological nature). Athanasius distinctly separated the Divine from the human (comp. especially lib. 2), but he did not admit that he taught the existence of two Christs. Comp. Neander, Ch. Hist. 2, 433; Mohler, Athanasius, 2, 262 sq., compares the doctrine of Apollinaris with that of Luther. Gregory of Nazianzus (Ep. ad Cledon. et orat. 51) equally asserted the necessity of a true and perfect human nature. It was not only necessary, as the medium by which God manifested himself, but Jesus could redeem and sanctify man only by assuming his whole nature, consisting of body and soul. (Similar views had been formerly held by Irenaeus, and were afterward more fully developed by Anselm.) Gregory thus strongly maintained the doctrine of the two natures of the Savior. We must distinguish in Christ ἄλλο καὶ ἄλλο, but not ἄλλος καὶ ἄλλος. Compare the Epist. ad Nectar. sive orat. 46, with his 10 anathemas against Apollinaris, and Ullmann, p. 396-413. The work of Gregory of Nyssa, entitled λόγος ἀντιῤῥητικὸς πρὸς τὰ Α᾿πολλίναρίου (which was probably composed between the years 374

and 380), may be found in Zaccagni, Collect. monum. vett., and Gallandi, Bibl. Patr. 6, 517; comp. Gieseler, Ch. History, i, § 83, note 30. He opposed the followers of Apollinaris (Συνουσιασταί, Διμοιριταί) in his Ep. haer. 77. On the question whether Apollinaris or his disciples ever adopted the Docetic errors respecting the body of Christ, see Mohler, 1. c. p. 264 sq." (Hagenbach, Hist. of Doct. § 99). Apollinarism was first condemned at the synod held at Rome A.D. 375, in which the Roman bishop Damasus presided; all mention of the name of Apollinaris was carefully avoided on this occasion. Nevertheless, this condemnation induced Apollinaris to form a separate congregation, over which he ordained the presbyter Vitalis as bishop. Hence the Apollinarists are also called Vitalians. They are also called Dimcerites, because they were accused of dividing the nature of Christ into two parts. Before the death of Apoilinaris, which happened between A.D. 382 and 392, the Apollinarists formed in Syria and the adjacent countries several separate congregations, having their own bishops. After his death the Apollinarists were divided into two parties, one of which, under Polemo, or Polemius, and Timotheus, pretended that the divinity and the body of Christ were transformed into one substance, and, consequently, that the flesh was to be worshipped as well as the Logos; these were called Polemians and Synousiasts, and also sarcolatrce (σαρκολάτραι, flesh-worshippers); in retaliation, they called the orthodox anthropolatra, or men-worshippers. The other party, which adhered to the original doctrine of Apollinaris, were called Valentinians. By imperial command, the public worship of the Apollinarists was impeded A.D. 388 and 397, and A.D. 428 in all towns entirely prohibited. The sects of the Apollinarists assimilated, in the fifth century, partly to the orthodox, and partly to the Monophysites. SEE MONOPHYSITES. For a full view of Apollinarism in its origin and history, see Wernsdorf, Diss. de Apollinare (Vitemb. 1694 and 1719); Dorner, Lehre v. d. Person Christi, 1, 926-1070 (Eng. transl., Div. 1, vol. 2, p. 352 sq.); Herzog, 1:419. See also Penny Cyclopcedia, s.v.; Neander, Ch. Hist. 2, 428; Lardner, Works, 4, 257-274; Cave, Hist. Lit. anno 362; Shedd, Hist. of Doctrines, 1, 344; Pearson, On the Creed.

 
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