by Stylianos Papadopoulos

This text is part of a broader study on St. John Chrysostom

Distinction and Relationship in the Divine Hypostases

In Antioch and in its spiritual sphere of influence, all the familiar solutions had been tried and even proposed synodically to bridge the chasm separating the teaching of the First Ecumenical Council from the Arian heresy. These solutions were, of course, being offered to Arius, but were more or less diminishing the doctrine of Nicaea. Chrysostom who certainly knew these solutions, accepted the Homoousion of Nicaea, but was also familiar with the theology of the Cappadocians, at least in general. He particularly knew the distinction of the three divine Hypostases and the one nature in God. In fact, he was the first non-Cappadocian theologian to discern the absolute significance of this distinction, analyzing and applying it broadly. This is obvious from the manner by which he understood the teaching about the Holy Spirit after St. Athanasios, contributing himself to its broadening by presupposing the theology of the three distinct divine Hypostases.

Nevertheless, in his texts, even though a professed Nicaean, Chrysostom uses less frequently the precise Nicaean term homoousios and more often the neutral and preferred terms by the semi-Arians of the Antiochian environment: “homoios or homoios in all things, or being exactly the same, or being the same in essence” [όμοιος, όμοιος κατά πάντα, απαράλλακτον έχοντα ομοιότητα, όμοιος κατά την ουσίαν].[1] It so happens, however, that in the same text and even in the same paragraph, one finds the term homoousios, the semi-Arian terms and the distinction of the three hypostases, who possess the same nature. Indicative of this is the First Catechism where Chrysostom requires belief:

Also in our Lord Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son, who is the same in all things and equal to the Father, being exactly the same with Him, the homoousios, who is known in his own particular hypostasis For the essence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is one, but the hypostases are three Each one (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) remains in his particular hypostasis and possesses equal power The Holy Spirit is of the same importance (as the Father and the Son).[2]

Chrysostom prefers to indicate the sameness of the Son and the Holy Spirit with the adjectives: "of the same honor" (ομότιμος), "of equal honor" (ισότιμος) and "equal" (ίσος), or with such formulations as "not of another essence" (ουχ ετέρας ουσίας) and "one is the authority of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (μία η εξουσία του Πατρός και του Υιού και του Αγίου Πνεύματος).[3]

For some reason, he makes frequent use of the term authority (εξουσία) particularly when he wants to indicate that the Holy Spirit is of the same essence.[4] There are also in his texts very clear confessions of the sameness of the essence in the three hypostases:

"For their essence is one, indicating that their authenticity and authority is also one. And those whose value and importance is of equal honor are also of one power and authoritative essence".[5]

"One is the essence of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit".[6]

Chrysostom is also led to the truth of the sameness of the essence in the Godhead by the divine energies, or the grace or the gifts, which are common to the three persons. At the same time, he is seeking ways to demonstrate that the divine hypostases are distinct and particular, but that their essence has the sameness of honor and equality.

"Do you see that there is no difference indicated in the gifts of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit? But this sameness does not obliterate the hypostases. God forbid! It only manifests the same honor of the essence".[7]

"Thus are things indivisible in the Trinity: Newness, which belongs to the Spirit, is also found in the Son. And the grace which belongs to the Son is also the grace of the Father and the Holy Spirit... And I say these things not to obliterate the hypostases -far be this from me- but rather to know what is particular and distinct in them, as well as the unity of the essence".[8]

The common divine energies presuppose the common will of the divine persons: "There is no other will in the Son than that which is in the Father."[9]

All these references convince that Chrysostom theologized as a con scientious Nicaean and a bearer of Cappadocian theology. However, he made considerable use the somewhat milder and more ambiguous terminology of Antioch because it was familiar to the audience, because with it he hoped to attract the mild Arians, and because he himself was not in danger of being taken as an Arian since, with his interpolations and even the occasional parallel use of the term homoousios, he clearly demonstrated his theological orientation.

We must be reminded at this point that, from Athanasios the Great to Basil the Great (+379), the use of the term homoousios was indeed occasional, in contrast with the use of the terms mentioned above. Basil in particular never utilized the term homoousios to refer to the Holy Spirit, preferring other terms for pastoral reasons (economia).


The Simultaneous Presence of the Divine Hypostases

The promotion of the truth of the distinct hypostases prompted the suspicion of polytheism. This suspicion was generally confronted by emphasizing the one nature. After all, it is well known how difficult it was for Athanasios the Great to proceed with clarity to the distinction between nature and hypostasis, fearing, as he did, that by accepting a different hypostasis, he would be forced by necessity to accept also a different essence. The same fear led the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD to anathematize all those who believed that the Son has a hypostasis that is different from that of the Father. Of course, the theological development, through the Cappadocians, had led to the safe theological distinction between nature and hypostases. And among the first to understand and to adopt this theology was John Chrysostom, despite the environment in which he grew up and later theologized. Neither his teacher, Diodoros, nor the Apolinarians of Antioch, nor the Eustathians with Paulinos, nor Jerome who lived there for a few years, and certainly not the prevailing Arians favored this position. Yet Chrysostom, succeeded in overcoming the powerful pressures of his environment. In particular, Chrysostom emphasized the contemporary and simultaneous presence of the three divine hypostases. The three hypostases are indeed distinct, but in a mystical and inexplicable manner, where there is one hypostasis the entire Trinity is present. The union with the other two persons is inseparable.

"The Holy Spirit is not present without Christ also being present. For where one hypostasis of the Trinity is present, all of the Trinity is there. For the Trinity is inseparable and totally united in every respect".[10]

Now, even though the hypostases co-exist everywhere and always, and even though they have a common "will" or "volition" by virtue of their common nature, nevertheless, the Father remains as Father, the Son remains as Son, and the Spirit remains as Spirit.[11] That is, they each preserve their hypostatic individuality and distinctiveness.

More concretely, with respect to the presence of the Holy Spirit in Christ, Chrysostom insisted that the Spirit overshadowed and fulfilled Christ from the beginning of his divine economy, that is, from the time the Holy Spirit visited the Virgin Mary (Mt. 1.18; Lk. 1.35).

"Then, the Holy Spirit came to the virginal womb and made it into a temple, but now he comes to the apostolic souls".[12]

Consequently, Christ was always full of the Holy Spirit and was his temple, but now, from the time of Pentecost, the Spirit is active and dwells in the hearts of the Apostles and of all the faithful. Thus, Chrysostom insisted upon the eternal and unceasing relationship between Christ and the Spirit, overcoming the dangerous Christology of the Antiochians, particularly that of Theodore of Mopsuestia, who held that Christ would receive the Spirit on specific occasions, as when he wanted to overcome Satan or to perform a miracle.[13] The eternal co-existence of the Spirit, not only with the divine Logos, but also his eternal presence in Christ, and therefore also in his humanity, is, after all, the absolute presupposition that makes it possible for man to accept the Holy Spirit into his soul.


The Words/Names Are Only Indicative of the Divine Energies

The ease with which Chrysostom develops the usage of many different linguistic formulations to express the relationship of the Son and the Holy Spirit to the Father is impressive, raising some questions which he himself explains. The varied use of words is necessary because, regarding the essence of God which is only one, we can say nothing, being totally ignorant of it. Despite this, God is not unknown to us.[14] He reveals himself. He manifests himself to us through his energies which constitute that which we can know about Him. Consequently, the words, terms, or names we use to refer to God apply generally to the divine energies, to the divine plan of God for the salvation of mankind. Thus, the words and names we use for God relate to His energies, and not to His nature. The names are many because the divine energies to which they refer are also many.

"For our teaching is about God, and it is not even possible to understand nor speak about him according to merit. This is why he has never given a name to his essence. For it is not even possible to ever say what the essence of God is. Everywhere God is made known to us through his energies and no one name is entirely sufficient, nor two or three, nor many to teach about God. For it is desirable through these many names to be able, even if dimly, to grasp at the attributes in him".[15]

"For these names are indicative of his (God's) energies".[16]

These observations by Chrysostom are of great significance, for they show that he does not presuppose an identity between words/names and things/entities. Words follow entities as Athanasios the Great was first to observe.[17] It is only when two people have a common frame of reference, a related point of view about the same subject, that they can use the same words/names without confusion, since words/names by themselves do not guarantee a common and related understanding. It is only when there is an essential common understanding about things that the use of different names is effective.

This position has tremendous significance for theology, and particularly for the common understanding among groups of faithful who are of different linguistic, philosophical and cultural traditions. Chrysostom is identifying the foundation for real unity in the Church, noting how much tolerance and discretion Christians must have for mutual understanding and acceptance of varying expressions of the same truth.

Chrysostom goes even further in this present problematic because he knows and rejects the position of the philosophers who presuppose a relation, a "communion," between entities and names/words. He is the first theologian of the Church, who, on this important subject, indicates the difference between theology and philosophy. At approximately the same time, Gregory the Theologian indicated the fact that a theologian, when using philosophical terms, places upon them a content of meaning that is different from the one they have in philosophy.[18] However, Chrysostom was probing more deeply and making a more detailed analysis. Chrysostom had already indicated the latent notion, accepted in philosophical thought and practice, that the entity (the essence of a thing) has an actual relationship with its name. Therefore, the name of a thing has an identification with the things it names. Centuries would pass before this notion was organized into a philosophical system by Ludwig Wittgenstein, George Ed Moore and the other proponents of analytical philosophy and the philosophy of language, which seeks an analogy between the signifier (the linguistic formulation) and the signified (the entity), or between the signifiant and the signifie.

Very correctly and, we would add, prophetically, Chrysostom turned this fundamental philosophical principle upside down, although, even today, theologians have a hard time understanding its negative significance, particularly those who, consciously or unconsciously, have become adherents of prevailing philosophical trends.[19] Chrysostom, of course, believes that his position is directly supported by Holy Scripture:

"For it is not the communion of the names which makes them synonymous, but the customary affinity (or relationship) of things, even if the names are different. For Scripture is not accustomed to philosophize about these (matters) as those who partake of secular philosophy. For they will not admit synonimity if the names do not have communion with the essence. Scripture is not like that; but if it observes much affinity with the philosophy, even if other names are established which agree in a way with each other, it will refer to them by the same designation".[20]

And in order to show that neither the words/names nor the images are able to express the essential truth, Chrysostom writes the following:

"Since Scripture addresses human beings anduses also human illustrations, which are indeed insufficient to represent the thing spoken of, those which exhibit the full proportions of the matter, suffice for the infirmity of the hearers".[21]

Sometimes Chrysostom, instead of using the term energy (ενέργεια), as in the passages quoted above, would use the term οικονομία, to denote that what we know in part about God is not his essence, but rather what it is that he does, what he activates for the sake of man and the world. In fact, the passage of St. Paul that "our knowledge is imperfect" (1 Cor. 13.9) has to do with our imperfect knowledge of the plan of God for salvation, and not of his essence.

The "imperfect knowledge" does not refer to the essence but to the wisdom that is manifested in the providence of God, which is the topic he is discussing But he is examining that part of providence that has to do with the providence of mankind on earth, and that again only in part He is not speaking about the essence, but about the "economies" — the ways God is bringing about salvation For if these "economies" are incomprehensible, how much more is God himself (in his essence). [22]

"Economy" here means more the result and not the energy of God in itself. However, the end result leads to knowledge, which never has anything to do with the divine essence:

"He did not say, 'our knowledge is imperfect', because he knows a part of the essence and is ignorant of the rest (for God is singularly simple). But rather because while he knows that God is, he is ignorant of what the essence of God really is. For he knows that God is wise, but is ignorant of how wise he is... He knows that God is everywhere present, but is ignorant how God is so present..." [23]

The frequent change in Holy Scripture between the use of the "names" God and Lord, referring more frequently to the Father but also to the Son, raises doubts, which become an occasion for Chrysostom to offer very significant explanations. For some names-words are "common" to the divine persons, but others are "particular," that is, exclusive to each person. The common names denote that there is a unified divinity, the one God, and that the three persons have one and exactly the same essence. On the contrary, the particular names denote the particularity, the otherness of each person.

"Of the divine names, some are common and some are particular. The common names point to the exactly the same essence of God, while the particular names characterize the qualities and attributes of the three hypostases." [24] Concretely, the names God and Lord indicate the unity of the Godhead, the common essence of the divine persons, and therefore can be attributed, as they are indeed attributed by Sacred Scripture, to the three divine persons. But the names "Father," "Son" (but also Spirit) are indicative of each hypostasis. "For the names Father and Son are particular to each hypostasis. But God and Lord are again common." [25]

The theologian arrives at the confirmation of the particularity and distinctness of the divine hypostases by means of the divine energies. For these divine energies, while they derive from the common divine essence, they are provided by the distinct divine hypostases. Thus, the energies become the mode and the means by which to derive knowledge of the divine hypostases or persons.


The Activity of God in Stages Reveals His Trinitarian Nature

The coming of the Holy Spirit, as a manifestation and activity upon the Apostles at first on the day of Pentecost and upon the Church, was studied by Chrysostom at great lengths. His in-depth analyses of the theme constitute an advance of pneumatology, guiding it to a point beyond that reached by the Cappadocian Fathers, whose thought is presupposed, accepted absolutely, and continued consistently by him, without imitating their linguistic formulations.

Chrysostom advances pneumatology primarily in his analysis of the theological reason for the activity of the persons of the Holy Trinity in gradual stages. He seeks to answer why the truth was revealed in stages and climaxed at Pentecost, whose presuppositions and consequences are thoroughly analyzed by Chrysostom. Chrysostom actually studied the event of Pentecost more than any other previous theologian, and he analyzed its consequences for the work of the Apostles and the whole Church, considering Pentecost to be the "metropolis of the Feasts" and the "end, the fullness (πλήρωμα) of all good things," and seeing it as an event that is continued in the life of the Church.

"We are in position to always celebrate Pentecost". [26] "Before we celebrated the Cross, the Passion, the Resurrection, afterward we celebrated the Ascension into heaven of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, however, we have come to meet the very end, the fullness of all good things; we have reached the metropolis of the feasts; we have come to the very fruition of the promise of the Lord". [27]

Chrysostom proceeds even further and characterizes vividly the images used by Scripture to refer to the Holy Spirit. The images of "fire" or of "water" are not "names" of the divine nature, but Scripture wants to indicate (δεικνύναι) the divine "energies" with these terms. [28] Consequently, each word/name/icon referring to God and his activity is used only for the divine energies; they have no analogy toward the divine nature, and each word by necessity is contingent and conventional. Moreover, the ongoing Pentecost is consistent in the theology of Chrysostom, since the same thing applies also to the other Dominical feast days:

"It is possible every day to celebrate the Epiphany... Since we can always declare the death of the Lord, we can also always celebrate the Pascha... And even this celebration today (Pentecost) can be fulfilled each day, in fact it is fulfilled each day..." [29] "We have said that Pentecost and Pascha and Epiphany can always be a celebration". [30]

The fundamental reason for the gradual revelation of the truth in stages, rather than having the revelatory activity of God come all at once, is the fact that with the Fall, man lost his receptivity for the truth. While human nature was created to be "very good," it in fact remained uncultivated, and evils were developed in it like thorns, making it incapable of receiving the "knowledge of God." It was, therefore, necessary for the Creator and divine Husbandman of human nature to cultivate it and to uncover the "nobility and the purity of the soul," to which the fullness of the truth would be offered with the Holy Spirit:

"For as the earth which is fertile and rich, but is not cultivated, tends to be filled with thorns, so also with our nature: While it is good because of the Creator who made it, and because it is capable of producing the fruits of virtue, it actually produces thorns and the useless matter of impiety because it does not receive and accept the plow of piety nor the seed of the knowledge of God. And as the face of the earth is often not visible because of the multitude of thorns and other wild plants, so also with the noble and pure aspect of our soul, which does not show through, until such time as the Husbandman of our human nature comes to put the fire of the Spirit in it, to purify it and to make it appropriate to receive the heavenly seed unto fruition". [31]

The cultivation itself would be done with a divine order. Thus, even though God the Father could have created the beings, it was done by the Son. And even though the Son could have revealed all of the truth to mankind before Pentecost, he left this work to the Holy Spirit. This particular order was preserved, that is, we have this plan, because this way God reveals to us and teaches us in stages the significance and the power of the Son first and then of the Holy Spirit. This way the trinitarian nature of the one God, the hypostasis of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, is revealed and taught in a convincing manner. When it is revealed to mankind that the three persons of the Godhead act in and provide for the world, their equality of honor, their sameness of essence and their common significance is made believable, even though each acts and provides in a particular manner:

"For it would have been possible for Christ to do everything that the Holy Spirit was to carry out. But this is the reason why the Holy Spirit proceeds to miraculous deeds, so that we may learn of His importance. Similarly, the Father could have created all beings, but the Son does this so that we may learn of his power. It is for the same reason that the Holy Spirit undertakes such activity... For the Father is capable of doing all things, as is the Son and the Holy Spirit. But because no one has doubts about the Father, since the doubt is over the Son and Holy Spirit, he was excluded from the mystical plan so that we learn well of their community of value and from their communion in providing those ineffable gifts. Because many things have been heard about the Father, and because the Son has been seen doing many wonderful works, but about the Spirit nothing has yet become clearly known, the Spirit now does miracles and introduces the perfect knowledge... declaring the precise knowledge of God" (referring to the Lord's remark that the Spirit will declare what is to come). [32]


The Preparation of Human Nature to Receive the Holy Spirit and the Offering of the Sacrifice of Christ

The particular and decisive manner by which the Son accomplishes his divine economy is the assumption and deification of human nature, which begins with his incarnation, is fulfilled at his resurrection, and is sealed by his ascension to heaven. The reception and deification of human nature by Christ constitutes the sacred process of its preparation, so that it may be renewed in such a way as to be pure and capable of receiving the Holy Spirit — "the fulfillment of all good things." By using the biblical images and the familiar formulations (throne of God, reconciliation, heaven, righteousness, etc.), Chrysostom explains that Christ, with his sacrifice on the Cross, identified with his glorification since it means victory over death, reconciled with God. For now, with the obedience of the Theotokos, the Son of God became incarnate, received and deified human nature which, with the fall of the protoplasts, with their alienation from God, had caused God to be wrathful — more correctly — to turn his face away from them, since they had given themselves over to Satan:

"'For there was not yet a Holy Spirit, for Jesus had not yet been glorified.' Jesus says that because he had not yet been crucified, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to mankind. For to be crucified is to be 'glorified.' Even though crucifixion is by nature a most painful thing, Christ calls it his glorification because it was done for those he loves. But tell me, for what reason was the Holy Spirit not given before the Cross? Because the whole world was in sin, in conflict and enmity and dishonor; because the Lamb of God had not yet taken up the sin of the world; because Christ was not yet crucified, and reconciliation had not yet been made. Without the reconciliation accomplished, the Spirit could not be sent. Therefore, the sending of the Holy Spirit is a sign of the reconciliation. This is why Christ says, 'It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Spirit will not come to you' (Jn. 16.7). If I do not go away and reconcile the Father, he says, I will not send you the Paraclete".[33] "Do you see what leadership? Do you see what ineffable love for mankind? Before these days he ascended into heaven, assumed the royal throne and sat at the right hand of the Father. And today he grants to us the coming of the Holy Spirit, who provides for us the myriad of heavenly blessings".[34]

The sacrifice on the Cross leads to the reconciliation of God the Father because man, through the offering of the sacrifice of the Son, becomes again pure and therefore ready to receive within himself the parousia of the Holy Spirit.

"For when the Lord purified the Apostles through the sacrifice, then did the Holy Spirit come. And for what reason did he not come as long as Jesus was with them? Because the sacrifice had not yet been made. Because the sin had been removed and they were being sent into a dangerous mission to assume great struggles, it was necessary for the Holy Spirit to come".[35]

But the offering of the sacrifice of the Son does not lie merely upon the fact that the sacrifice was accomplished, that is, we do not have only the death by crucifixion of the Son, but also the "anaphora" (είναι ανηνεγμένη), the lifting up to the Father of human nature, which the Son received in his person. The ascended Christ carries in his hypostasis "the first-fruits of our (restored) nature." [36] The human nature, assumed and deified by the Son, "ascended," was carried up to heaven. (The anaphora of the Eucharist has as its prototype the anaphora of the sacrifice of Christ to God the Father). This anaphora as an offering brings about the reconciliation of the Father. A confirmation of this reconciliation is the sending of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Here, however, reconciliation of the Father means that by offering to him human nature purified and restored in Christ, God the Father was, in a manner of speaking, reconciled with it and again offered to it divine gifts in even greater abundance. The reason for the reconciliation is to be found in the fact that the offered human nature is now with faith in God and not in rebellion against him. This is why divine gifts are showered upon it as a response to the faith and the trust that man now has in God.

"For the Lord himself raised up to heaven as a first-fruit our human nature which he had taken from us" [37] "For ten days ago, (on the ascension day of our Lord) our nature went up to the royal throne, and the Holy Spirit descended today (on the day of Pentecost) upon our nature. The Lord raised up the first-fruits of our nature and brought down the Holy Spirit". [38] "So that no one should ever be in doubt and question what it is that Christ did when he ascended: Did he reconcile the Father? Did he evoke his merciful nature? Wanting to clearly declare to us that he indeed reconciled our nature with God the Father, Christ sent directly to us the gifts of reconciliation (the Holy Spirit) … For we sent up faith and received gifts from heaven. We sent up obedience and we received righteousness". [39] "Even the "flesh" of humanity, which the divine Logos assumed and ultimately offered to the Father through his ascension, will never be abandoned but will be kept 'always with himself'." [40]

The assumption and the ascension or offering of the "first-fruits" of human nature constitute not only the condition for the sending of the Holy Spirit, but also the final word for our assurance that all mankind, delivered from the fear and the power of death, can now enjoy the gifts of the kingdom of God:

"This is why I am no longer afraid, for our 'first-fruits' is sitting above. This is why, should anyone speak about the endless worm, about the unceasing fire, or any other torments or punishments, I am no longer afraid of these. Rather, I am afraid of ignoring my very own salvation. For if God did not will great things for our (Christian) nation, he would not have received our first-fruits above But now, when we choose to see our nobility, we look up toward the heavens, to that royal throne; it is there that the 'first-fruits' of our nature is reigning". [41]

The last part of the passage above serves as a definition for an absolute criterion of Christian anthropology. The "nobility" (ευγένεια) of the human person par excellence, the sublime standard of attributes that the person of faith can and should acquire, is to be found upon the royal throne - it is the deified humanity of the Lord. With the deified human nature of Christ everything that man achieves upon earth is measured; the human nature of the glorified Christ makes up the perspective of the believer and proves to be the motivation and the source of encouragement for the spiritual struggle here on earth. It is the fear and the difficulties of the believer to be likened to his prototype, his "first-fruits," that is, to the deified human nature of the Lord, that trouble him. But the believer, however, differs from the secular unbeliever, because he is not discouraged. The believer struggles and agonizes over his salvation, but does not become tragic, since he transcends the impasse of his limitations or of his nihilism.


The Desire of the Apostles for a Hypostatic Presence of God

We have seen in the above the profound theological reason why the incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension of the Lord had to precede Pentecost. Chrysostom proceeds to discuss even the particular and practical reason why ten days had to intercede between Ascension and Pentecost. [42] And this reason is connected not with what the ascended Lord would be doing in the interim, but with the consciousness of the Apostles dealing with the absence of the Lord and its consequences. As long as the Apostles had the Lord with them, they were encouraged and consoled; they had their Counselor, even during the time between the resurrection and the ascension. But when they no longer had the hypostatic presence of God (after the ascension) they experienced profound sadness, uncertainty, and especially a desire for the divine presence, which, after all, Christ had promised them but which they could not yet understand nor even know as being hypostatic. The absence, finally, of God from their side prepared them spiritually, galvanized them together, helped them to become aware and to appreciate the significance of their loss of Christ's presence, and therefore of the need for another presence, which would, of course, be "the other Paraclete," the one who would console them and encourage them as did Christ during his presence on earth.

"For the sake of your love, it is necessary to relate the reason why the Lord did not grant the many blessings immediately after his Ascension, but allowed first a certain number of days for the disciples to be alone with themselves and then to send the grace of the Spirit... He who is healthy and well in body does not have a sense, nor can he know exactly how many blessings are provided for him by health, unless he acquires the experience of a disease that makes him unhealthy. Again, he who sees the day does not marvel at the light, unless he also receives the darkness of night... This is the reason why Christ allowed the disciples to be separated for a time from the power of his alliance, so that, when they were left alone, they would learn how much good was provided for them by his presence, and, by realizing the past blessings, they would all the more look forward with great anticipation to receive the gift of the Paraclete. For when they were discouraged, he would encourage them. When they were sad and overwhelmed by a cloud of darkness, Christ filled them with the brilliance of his own light. Being downcast, he raised them up and dispelled the cloud of sadness and dissolved their doubt". [43]

"This is why then (during Pentecost) the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, when they demonstrated the familiar virtue. They learned of human weakness through what they endured. They learned that they did not achieve these things by themselves. It was only after Saul was witnessed to be virtuous that he received the blessing of the Spirit". [44]

"… It is when the Apostles keep the vigil of prayer, when they have love for one another, it is then that the Holy Spirit comes to them". [45]

"What is the reason why the Spirit does not come immediately after the Resurrection? The reason is so that the disciples could develop a great desire through anticipation and thus receive the Spirit with greater grace. As long as Christ was with them, the disciples were not sad. But because he departed, they were deprived and in great fear. This made them anticipate with much yearning for the coming of the Spirit". [46]

In his homilies on the Gospel of John, Chrysostom again refers to this subject when he comments on the phrase that the Holy Spirit "will guide you (the disciples) into all the truth" (Jn. 16.13). Here he explains why the disciples were destined "to do greater things" with the coming presence of the Holy Spirit, for they would be doing more than they had previously witnessed in the presence of the Son. Of course, he also refers to the imperfection of the disciples, since they had not yet seen the resurrected Christ. But he also adds that the disciples saw Christ primarily as man, "being enclosed by the flesh," and would not have believed him had he revealed to them many other things. The Son himself did not want the people of that time to imagine that he was exalting himself, a misunderstanding that would have angered the Jews. [47]

Within the realm of economy, the plan of salvation, and the preparation of the disciples, Chrysostom understands also the action of the Lord, immediately after his Resurrection: "Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, `Peace be with you ' he breathed on them, and said to them, `Receive the Holy Spirit.' " (Jn. 20:19-22). This was not the moment when they received the Spirit; the Spirit did not come at that time, but in this way the resurrected Christ was preparing the disciples to have some idea of what it is to receive the Holy Spirit. He acted now so that they may be receptive of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

"Christ did this for the disciples so that he may make them receptive and able to bear the reception of the Spirit". [48]


The Time of the Parousia of the Holy Spirit: The Distribution of Divine Economy

Chrysostom's Antioch was being influenced by heretical notions about the Spirit, which appeared toward the end of the 350s in Egypt, but were widely transmitted in Asia Minor and in Constantinople, without leaving Antioch undisturbed. This was bound to happen, given the fact that from the decade of 320 Antioch was a significant center of theological development, in which all sorts of tendencies and deviations would be made known, either by the local leaders or their followers.

This is the reason why Chrysostom, proceeding from the biblical references about Pentecost and the words of the Lord about the Holy Spirit, steps forward to offer his analyses and profound explanations: in order to emphasize, among other things, the hypostatic parousia or presence of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Here it is not a matter of a "dose" of divine grace for some inspiration or extraordinary illumination, but a true, hypostatic parousia, as was the parousia of the Son, who was seen and heard and whose reality was not doubted.

The promise of the Lord, "I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor" (Jn 14:16), are presented in order to distinguish clearly the hypostasis of the Spirit from the hypostasis of the Son, since the Spirit is "another" hypostasis (different from the Son and the Father). With the words, "I will pray (ask) the Father," Christ signifies-indicates "the time of the parousia,"[49] because the Holy Spirit has his own time for coming and acting in the world. The Spirit is characterized as "another Counselor," that is, just as the Son was a Counselor to the disciples, in order to show that he has the essence which the Son has:

"… The Spirit has come to us. For as the only-begotten Son of God is with the people of faith, so also is the Spirit of God."[50]

"Because the disciples would no longer know the Lord in a familiar way, they will be ardently desiring to be with him, to hear his words, according to his presence in the flesh. They will find no consolation at all in his absence. So what does he say? 'I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor,' that is, another one like me. May the followers of Sabellios be put to shame and those who do not render the proper glory to the Spirit For in saying, 'another,' he is indicating the difference of the hypostasis; in saying, 'Counselor,' he is indicating the relation of a common essence". [51]

It was necessary to explain to the Disciples, who had become accustomed to the incarnate presence of the Son and who would have expected the "other Paraclete" to appear with a body, that the Holy Spirit, the other Paraclete, would make his appearance in a different manner. People would not see him as they saw the Son with their bodily eyes. In fact he would not appear as the Son had appeared. The parousia of the Spirit would mean an indwelling in the souls of the disciples and in the faithful, while the non-believers, the "world," would not be able to receive the Spirit and, naturally, would be unable to see him: "The world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him" (Jn. 14.17). Even the faithful will not see the Spirit with their eyes, but they would experience his presence, indwelling in their spirit, in their soul.

"Hearing from the Lord about another Paraclete, the disciples were not to assume another incarnation and to expect to see him with their eyes. To correct any such assumption, the Lord said: 'the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.' For he will not be with you as I am with you, but will dwell in your souls. For this is what is meant by the phrase: `He dwells with you, and will be in you'." [52]

Chrysostom explains the distinct and separate hypostasis of the Son and the Spirit, but also their different mode of presence in the world, analyzing for his audience also the particularity of the activity of each one of the three hypostases. God and Lord is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, since they possess a common essence and consequently also common energies. However, "the gifts" from Pentecost are distributed by the Spirit, who is also Lord. Thus, the divine hypostases with their common essence, even though they possess common divine energies, serve and distribute them hypostatically _ each one during the three periods of divine dispensation: The Father during the time of the Old Testament, the Son during the time of the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit during the time of the historical Church from Pentecost and after. This is how Chrysostom attempts to explain the particularity of the economy of the Holy Spirit and how he distributes the divine dispensation:

"The Lord carried up to heaven our 'first-fruits' with his ascension, and he sent down the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is another Lord distributing the gifts of Pentecost; for the Spirit is indeed Lord. The divine plan of our salvation is dispensed by the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit". [53]

But this began with Pentecost, and for this reason needs to be understood in depth and breadth.


The Event of Pentecost

"Today the coming of the Holy Spirit is gifted to us". [54]

Chrysostom insists on the decisive significance of Pentecost and comments first upon the event itself, as described by Luke the Evangelist in Acts 2, and then he indicates the results of the "coming" of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the evaluation of these results is better accomplished when the differences are noted regarding the activity of the Spirit in the time of the Old Testament, at Pentecost and afterward. The theologian who will understand this difference, and especially its particularity, that is, the mode, the breadth, and the depth of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, is the one who will be able to enter into the spiritual climate of the Church. This is why Chrysostom insists, and with various means explains, that everything that is included in the Book of Acts is a part of what the Spirit has said and done in the Church.

"The Gospels relate the story of what Christ said and did, and the Book of Acts relates the story of what the other Paraclete said and did". [55]

The event of Pentecost was accompanied with certain phenomena, which appeared to be natural, but were not. "Suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind" (Acts 2.2f). But it was not really an actual wind blowing, as there were no actual flames of fire that the disciples saw. ("There appeared to them tongues as of fire").

"In each case the 'as' or 'like' is properly preceded so that nothing perceptible is thought about the Spirit. He says, 'As fire' and 'As wind.' Therefore, it is not a wind blowing in the air". [56]

Something similar occurred during the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River (Mt. 3.16), when it was necessary to make known the Spirit to John the Baptist. Then the Spirit was only made known to John the Baptist when he alighted upon the head of Christ "as a dove," and not as an actual dove.

The perceptible phenomena of Pentecost serve to draw the attention and the interest, to convince the large crowd of Judaeans that something extraordinary and marvelous was happening to the Disciples of Jesus. The tongues of fire did not appear only over the Twelve, but over the one hundred and twenty who were present there, that is, over a large group of believers. This is why Peter, immediately after the appearance of the tongues of fire, speaking on behalf of the Apostles, ("who offer to him the responsibility to speak"), [57] reminds the people of the prophecy of Joel: "I will pour out my Spirit upon everyone" (Jl. 2.28; Acts 2.17). Therefore, the coming of the Spirit was not only for the Apostles, but for all those who were at that time gathered in the name of Christ. Pentecost, which means the coming of the Holy Spirit, but also the event of speaking in tongues, occurred again on another occasion, when in fact those who received the gift of speaking in tongues were Gentiles and not Judaeans. They too were now marveling at what had happened, and needed to become fully aware together with those who were already believers that the Holy Spirit, that is, Pentecost, is something that involves the whole world. [58]

The sound which was heard surprised everyone, and the fire "rested on each one" of the one hundred and twenty. The verb "rested" (εκάθισεν) indicates that the Spirit remained to dwell steadily and permanently in the one hundred and twenty disciples. That is why they did not only receive merely some particular grace, but "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2.4).

"'And there appeared to them tongues of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them,' meaning that they remained, they rested. To rest in this sense is to dwell, to remain permanently. But what is this? Did the Spirit come to rest on the twelve only? Not on the others? Not at all. The Spirit came to dwell in all the one hundred and twenty. ...They receive no other sign than to speak in other tongues first. It is a marvelous sign and there is no need of another. ...They did not simply receive the grace of the Spirit, but they were 'all filled with the Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.' He would not have said 'All,' -since the Apostles were there- unless all of the others received the Spirit as well". [59]

The phenomenon that resembled a strong wind blowing "filled all the house where they (the disciples) were sitting," as Luke notes in Acts 2.2. Chrysostom explains that the verb "filled" (επλήρωσε) was used to underline fullness and to understand Pentecost as a source and a baptismal font of the Spirit. There were no such phenomena in the Old Testament. [60] Thus, Chrysostom seeks to show in various ways that with Pentecost, that is, with the hypostatic presence, [61] we do not simply have the grace of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit himself in person. Consequently, the mode of his activity is different and the intensity of the action infinitely greater. But the demonstration of this fact, however, becomes very difficult, since the Spirit is not visible. Thus, using the narrative of Luke who refers to the "rush of a mighty wind" that "filled all the house" where the disciples of the Lord were gathered, and the "tongues as of fire" that rested upon their heads, Chrysostom enters into the depth of divine economy and reveals the fundamentally different mode of action of the Spirit in the Church. The disciples, therefore, did not receive grace, but were transformed into "a source of Spirit," so that they could provide grace, as a lamp that lights other lamps without diminishing its own light:

"… As with a lamp, one can light as many other lamps as he likes, without diminishing its light. This is what happened with the Apostles then. For the word "fire" does not indicate merely the profuseness of grace, but also that they received the very source of the Spirit. This is why the Lord said those who believe in him will receive a 'living water' that 'will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life' (Jn. 4.14)". [62]

"With the parousia of the Holy Spirit the disciples were already transformed". [63]

The "wind" that entered into the disciples became like a baptismal font of living water, a source of spiritual power, with which the disciples carried out their ministry. In the case of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in their mind "to well up" as an inexhaustible source, to act without intermissions and interruptions, since it is a "living" source that is always active.

"That which is always active is called 'living.' For the grace of the Spirit, once it has entered the mind to dwell there, springs up every source and is not interrupted, nor emptied, and does not stand still. Thus, by referring to springs and rivers, the Lord also indicated the inexhaustible abundance". [64]


The Parousia of the Holy Spirit and the Authority of the Disciples

All of these elements mentioned above indicate the difference of magnitude and extent, we could say, between the activity of the Spirit in the Old Testament and his activity in the Church.

"Many good things have often come down to earth from heaven to the benefit of common humanity. But what has happened today has never been done before". [65]

But this difference of magnitude has a steady reason, which becomes even an interpretative term of pneumatology. Chrysostom sees this reason in the event that through Pentecost the disciples receive "authority" and not simply the grace of the Spirit. Before Pentecost, even though it was rare, the Apostles would cast out demons. This was done with the "authority" of Christ, while now the Spirit "came" to them, and this is why they can perform miracles. During the time of "the parousia of the Holy Spirit," the Church _ and consequently those endowed with priesthood _ has "authority" to transmit grace. The prophets, who simply had the grace of the Spirit, could not transmit it. In fact, while the grace of the Spirit had been given in the Old Testament, it was limited and its activity interrupted on account of the unworthiness of men and because the work of Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit had not yet been accomplished to remedy this unworthiness:

"The Apostles did not cast out demons through the Spirit, but through the authority given them by Christ. When Christ sent them out, he did not tell them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' But he gave them authority, saying: 'Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons' (Mt. 10.8). The prophets of old also had the grace of the Spirit but could not transmit it to others. The Apostles however were able to fill myriads of people with the Spirit. Because this was the grace they were destined to receive, but which had not yet been given, Christ, at one point, said to his disciples: 'For as yet the Spirit had not been given' (Jn. 7.39). This means that the Spirit had not yet been given because Christ had not yet been glorified, meaning the glory of the Cross". [66]

Because it is difficult for many to understand the "time" of the Spirit, the fundamental difference between his hypostatic "parousia" and his activity before Pentecost, Chrysostom refers indicatively to some occasions of activity by the Spirit in the prophets. He mentions Ezekiel to whom was given "the scroll to eat" (Ezek. 3.3) so that he may speak the word of God. He also mentions Jeremiah in whose mouth God placed his word by the touch of his hand (Jer. 1.9). Fire appears in the burning bush, not to fill Moses with the Spirit, but for Moses to receive the calling of God. [67] These and other occasions indicate that God in general (and the Spirit in particular) acted in the Old Testament "externally," even though the indication is not precise, as Chrysostom notes, with examples. Chrysostom, in any case, mentions the references to underline that in them we do not have an indwelling of the Spirit in the souls. We have the grace but not the parousia of the Spirit. Grace is given but not "authority."

The presence of the Spirit and the authority given to the disciples is understood when one thinks of the event of the sacraments, which the priest performs in the Church, starting from Pentecost and afterward in the history of the Church. During the celebration of the sacraments, the priest indeed has the authority to invoke the Holy Spirit, who always intervenes without exception. The Spirit always comes, for example, at the moment of the Anaphora at the Divine Liturgy, and thus the bread and wine always become the Body and Blood of the Lord. This "authority," as well as that given for the forgiveness of sins, was unthinkable in the time of the Old Testament, when, as Chrysostom noted above, the prophets were unable to transmit grace.

In order to show precisely what happened during Pentecost, Chrysostom uses some radical formulations. Thus, he says that the Holy Spirit himself, not simply the grace, the energy, "descended today upon our nature." [68] This means that now we have the "parousia," the hypostatic coming and indwelling of the Spirit of God in man, making man capable of transformation: "For through the parousia of the Spirit they were transformed and became superior to all those who were merely bodily (and without the Spirit). Thus, when the Holy Spirit comes he takes the earthen vessels and transforms them into golden ones." [69] Of course, this transformation (μετεσκευάσθησαν) does not mean the alteration of the human nature. It does mean a most inner spiritual transformation of the mind and the way of life. And while the human nature is maintained as we know it physically, the people who bear the Spirit of God become like angels: "Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who has the 'essence' and the 'authority' of the Father and the Son, we become like angels as we approach the grace. We are not changed by nature, but in a way that is even more marvelous: remaining in human nature, we demonstrate the way of life of the angels." [70] As the fire in the hands of the craftsman transforms the amorphous and shapeless matter into beautiful vessels and objects, so also in many ways the Holy Spirit transforms human beings into a new creation. Then, such men and women, while "remaining in their human nature, they become like angels in their way of life." [71] The radical and realistic activity of the Spirit is further likened by Chrysostom to "the sun who appears and darkness is dispelled." [72]


The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The first gift of the Holy Spirit is faith, upon which the entire life of the Church is founded. This gift constitutes an ongoing reality. That is, the Holy Spirit acted not only on the fiftieth day after the resurrection of the Lord, on Pentecost, but acts and will continue to act throughout the entire course of human history. The faith, which is now and will be in the future of the Church, is always a gift of the Holy Spirit. Even the prayer of a believer is possible only with the intercession of the Spirit. The Spirit of God inspires the faithful to pray, having first implanted in their souls the truth of God the Father and the Son:

"If there were no Holy Spirit, we could not confess that Jesus is Lord … If there were no Holy Spirit, we who are faithful could not pray to God the Father … When you call upon the Father, remember that you are able to do this because the Spirit has moved your soul and made you worthy of this consolation. Without the Spirit there would be no word of wisdom and knowledge in the Church. 'To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge' (1 Cor. 12.8). There would be no shepherds and teachers in the Church without the Holy Spirit". [73]

The same holds true for the knowledge and the teaching of teachers in the Church, since this knowledge and teaching has to do with divine truth, which comes to the faithful by revelation. In the Church of the ages the faithful receive from the Spirit of God every type of gift and particularly the "gift of revelations." Whatever takes place for the salvation of mankind is attributed to the Holy Spirit: "For what, tell me, out of all those things that make up for our salvation, does not come from the Holy Spirit?" [74] It is most characteristic when Chrysostom is commenting on the Letter to the Hebrews, Homily 16, to declare unequivocally and consciously that whatever he is analyzing and explaining to his audience are attributed to the Holy Spirit: "What I am saying is not mine, but belongs to the divine Spirit." [75]

In general, the Church itself exists and is realized in each place because the Holy Spirit is present and active. For example, the Holy Spirit, through the priests, activates the Holy Eucharist, the sacrifice which is not an "achievement" of "human nature," but of the grace of the Holy Spirit, coming mystically upon the holy gifts and "transforming them into a truly spiritual sacrifice." [76]

"If there were no Holy Spirit, the Church would not have been established. If there is a Church, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is present". [77] "Through the Holy Spirit we see choirs of priests, orders of teachers. From this same source we have the 'gifts of revelations' and the gift of healing. It is this same source that provides all the other gifts which adorn the Church of God". [78]

The fundamental work of the Holy Spirit, which unites man with Christ, is expressed by Chrysostom also with the observation that man could not have been saved with the work of angels, but only with the activity and the presence of the Son and the Holy Spirit. [79] He expresses himself more concretely and explains that the renewal, the regeneration, the purification and the sanctification of man through the Holy Spirit does not mean some correction, or an "edification." As a decayed and unsound building needs rebuilding from the foundations, so also man cannot be simply "repaired," but must be "rebuilt from above," by the Holy Spirit.

"Alas, how we are baptized into evil, how we are unable to be cleansed, and how we must pray for a regeneration! For this is rebirth. No one simply tries to support a decaying building, or to repair old buildings, but razes them to the foundations and then builds them up anew. God has worked in the same way. He did not merely repair us, but rebuilt us from above. This is what is meant 'by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit' (Tit. 3.5). He made us new from above. How? Through the Spirit." [80]

All of these justify Chrysostom's conviction that the Church exists as a perpetual Pentecost, by whose power the priests celebrate the Sacraments and the teachers teach, illumined by the Holy Spirit. [81]


Why the Perceptible Signs of Pentecost and the Speaking in Tongues?

The purpose of those present during the event of Pentecost became a problem for the subsequent generations in the Church. Many believers, particularly the naive, connected the activity of the Holy Spirit with miraculous signs. The more they did not witness such signs, the more they doubted the presence of the Spirit.

"And where, they say, is the Holy Spirit now? Then, in the time of Apostles, signs and miracles would happen … Now, how are we to show that the Holy Spirit is present?" [82] "On whose account, is it said that no miracles happen today? Why were all those baptized then speaking in other tongues, while now they no longer do? On whose account was this grace restrained and taken away from men?" [83]

Following the Book of Acts, Chrysostom acknowledges that in those days baptized Christians spoke in tongues, but connects this event with the disbelief and the unpreparedness of the people of that time. Those who had just recently been rescued from idolatry needed also the perceptible signs of the Holy Spirit's activity, in order to believe. Generally speaking, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are transmitted through an "invisible" manner, such as, for example, the forgiveness of sins and the grace of Baptism. Sometimes, however, perceptible signs were given, but this was done exclusively "to inform the unbelievers." [84] Since these signs are historically confirmed and since the faithful have since then abundant and certain experience, they no longer have a need for signs and exceptional events, in order to believe in the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit.

"People tended to behave more foolishly then, having just recently been rescued from idolatry, and their spiritual sense was still more materialistic and less refined, and thus unable to appreciate yet the concept of spiritual gifts, nor understand what spiritual grace is and what faith in itself really is. This is the reason for the signs. For some of the spiritual gifts are by nature invisible in themselves, and only through faith can they be received. Others are indicated through some perceptible sign for the purpose of informing the unbelievers. The forgiveness and removal of sins, for example, is an intelligible gift that cannot be seen by the eyes of the body. However, the gift of speaking in various tongues is also the result of an intelligible activity of the Spirit, but is given through a perceptible sign that is readily understood by the unbelievers as well. I do not need signs now. Why not? Because I have learned to believe in the Lord even without signs. For the unbeliever has need of a sign or a pledge of earnest intention, but I who believe do not require an earnest nor a sign. For even though I may not speak in tongues, I know that I have been cleansed of sins. They then would not believe unless they received a sign". [85]

The weakness of the people of that time, who were first called to become members of the Church, was the cause for the use of the miraculous signs. Those who followed later are able to believe even without the signs: "Even without the aid of a perceptible sign, I am able to demonstrate every faith." [86]


The Teaching About the Holy Spirit Belongs Equally to the Father and to the Son

The event of Pentecost and the activity of the Holy Spirit in the Church constitute a fulfillment of the promises of Christ to his disciples, as recorded in the Gospel of John. It is the promise to send the "other Paraclete," the Holy Spirit, who, according to the words of Christ and the analysis of Chrysostom, will have a triple role: to comment on what Christ had said, to teach the full and precise knowledge about God, and to encourage and console the faithful. [87] Of the whole work of the Holy Spirit, it is the teaching role which raises questions for Chrysostom. He has a particular difficulty in explaining how the Holy Spirit is to teach more than what Christ had taught. Motivated by this subject, the audience was indirectly raising for him the question about the relationship of the Son and the Spirit. Thus, with much reservation, that he may not be criticized for introducing new and unbiblical things (αγράφων), Chrysostom underscores that the Disciples receive teaching from the Holy Spirit that is lacking (λείπον), but is now fuller and more precise knowledge of God (διδάγματα τελειώτερα, επηκριβωμένην προς τον Θεόν γνώσιν). [88] They are taught what was missing from all the things Christ had taught them, so that they will know and understand with greater precision, the truth which they had already learned from Christ. This knowledge has to do directly with the truth itself, and not something else, for it is "impossible for the Spirit to say anything else." [89] Indicative of the fact that the Holy Spirit offers knowledge of the truth are the frequent affirmations of Chrysostom that the disciples "had not yet come to know the teaching of the Spirit," or at least "had not understood clearly." [90]

The work of the Spirit and particularly that of teaching creates the suspicion of a superiority of the Spirit in relation to the Son, and of the inability of the Son to reveal whatever was necessary to be revealed. Also there was the danger to consider the Spirit as possessing his own truth, independent from the truth of the Son, in which case the relations of the two divine persons are placed on a basis that would undermine their common and same essence (ομοουσιότητα). These issues were faced by Chrysostom with great gravity and persistence, supported primarily, as were the Cappadocian theologians, by the assurance of the Lord that the Holy Spirit "will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you" (Jn. 16.13-15).

The order of divine economy, the inscrutable plan of God for the salvation of mankind, and the inability of the Disciples to comprehend aspects of the truth before the economy of the Son had been accomplished, are the reasons for the additional teaching and revelation from the Holy Spirit. In spite of this, however, whatever the Spirit will reveal belongs to the Son, in the same way that whatever belongs to the Father also belongs to the Son, who revealed it when he acted upon earth. These facts presuppose literally the identity of nature of the Spirit, of the Son and of the Father, and more concretely the identity of the "will" of the three divine persons. Consequently, the teaching that the Holy Spirit provides for the Church is the teaching of the Father and of the Son.

This is how Chrysostom explains this important theological point:

"Is the Spirit greater than you (the Son) because that which could not be borne by the disciples he now prepares us to bear? Is his energy greater and more perfect? No, I am not saying this. For he will declare 'what is mine.' This is why it is said: 'For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak …' But because he said, 'He will teach and remind you …' and that 'he will guide you into all the truth,' he also said, 'He will take what is mine and declare it to you,' so that you will not assume that the Spirit is greater. This means that whatever I (Christ) have said to you, he (the Spirit) will also say to you … nothing contrary, except the same things that I have said. And as the Son said, 'I do not speak on my behalf,' meaning that he does not say anything that is his alone and does not come from the Father, so also with the Holy Spirit. The expression, 'He will take what is mine and declare it to you,' as far as I know, has to do with the knowledge of the Son. For the knowledge of the Son and of the Spirit is one and the same … Therefore, the fact that Christ did not speak to the disciples that which was necessary to say to them, is not a result of his ignorance, but rather a result of the weakness of the hearers". [91]

"My teaching and his teaching is one and the same. Whatever it was that I further intended to teach, he would also teach the same. Do not therefore imagine that his teachings are different. For his teachings are also my teachings and they too constitute my glory. For one and the same is the will of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Praying for us also to be of such unity, he said, 'That they may be one, as we are one'. [92] Therefore, because they had heard much about the Father, and had seen the Son doing many wonderful things, but had not yet come to know anything clearly about the Spirit, the Holy Spirit comes to do marvelous things and to introduce the perfect and complete knowledge of God". [93]


[[1] PG 53, 72.

[[2] The First Catechesis, 21-23, Sources Chretiennes, vol. 50, pp. 119-120.

[[3] PG 59, 471; PG 52, 408; PG 63, 159; PG 60, 173; PG 55, 199, 258.

[[4] PG 60, 614.

[[5] On Pentecost, Homily 2,1, PG 50, 463.

[[6] Second Catechesis, 26, Sources Chretiennes, vol. 50, p. 147.

[[7] On 1 Corinthians, Homily 29, PG 61, 244. See also On Rom. Homily 15,3, PG 60, 543-544.

[[8] On 2 Corinthians, Homily 30,2, PG 61, 608.

[[9] On Matthew 24,10, PG 57, 321.

[[10] On Romans, Homily 13,8, PG 60, 519.

[[11] On Matthew, Homily 56,11, PG 58, 553-554.

[[12] On Acts, Homily 1,5, PG 60, 21.

[[13] PG 66, 996B.

[[14] PG 59, 99.

[[15] On John, Homily 2,3, PG 59, 34.

[[16] On Psalm 44,4, PG 55, 190.

[[17] PG 26, 152. See also Stylianos G. Papadopoulos, Patrology, (In Greek, Athens, 1990), vol. 2, p. 276.

[[18] See Stylianos G. Papadopoulos, Gregory the Theologian and the Presuppositions of his Pneumatology, (In Greek, Athens, 1980), pp. 89-90. Gregory the Theologian, Logos 29,23, PG 36, 76-77.

[[19] See Stylianos G. Papadopoulos, Theology and Language, (In Greek, Katerini 1988), pp. 17-62.

[[20] "...συνώνυμον γαρ ουχ η των ονομάτων κοινωνία, αλλ' η των πραγμάτων συγγένεια ποιείν είωθε, κάν τα ονόματα διαφέρη. Ου γαρ ώσπερ οι της έξωθεν φιλοσοφίας μετέχοντες, ούτω και η Γραφή περί τούτων φιλοσοφείν είωθεν. Εκείνοι μεν γαρ αν μη μετά της ουσίας και η των ονομάτων συμβαίνη κοινωνία ού φασι γίνεσθαι συνωνύμους. Η Γραφή δε ουχ ούτως. αλλ' όταν ίδη πολλήν της φιλοσοφίας την συγγένειαν, κάν έτερα ονόματα η κείμενα τοις κατά τον τρόπον κοινωνούσιν αλλήλοις, από της αυτης αυτούς προσηγορίας καλεί". To Diodorus of Tarsus 3, PG 59, 763. See also 764.

[[21] John Chrysostom, "Homily 2: After Eutropius Having Being Found Outside the Church had been Taken Captive," Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1956) 258. The Greek text reads: "Επειδή ανθρώποις διαλέγεται (=η Γραφή) και ανθρωπίναις κέχρηται εικόσιν, ουκ αρκούσαις μεν παραστήσαι το λεγόμενον, αι δε δυναμέναις όλον το μέτρον αγαγείν εις το μέσον, αρκούσαις δε τη ασθενεία των ακουόντων". (PG 52, 404).

[[22] Against Eunomios 1,5, PG 48, 706. See also 704.

[[23] Ibid. 706-707. See also PG 59, 99 and PG 55, 416.

[[24] On the Incomprehensibility of God 5, 2, PG 48, 738.

[[25] Ibid.

[[26] On Pentecost, Homily 1,1, PG 50, 453.

[[27] Ibid. Homily 2,1, PG 50, 463.

[[28] PG 59, 183.

[[29] On Pentecost, Homily 1,1, PG 50, 454.

[[30] Ibid. 463.

[[31] Ibid. 467.

[[32] On John, Homily 78,3, PG 59, 423-424.

[[33] On Pentecost, Homily 1,3, PG 50, 457.

[34] Ibid. Homily 2,1, PG 50, 463.

[[35] On John, Homily 75,1, PG 59, 404.

[[36] PG 50, 461.

[[37] On Acts, Homily 4,1, PG 60, 41.

[[38] On Pentecost, Homily 1,3, PG 50, 456.

[[39] Ibid.

[[40] PG 59, 80 and PG 56, 385-386.

[[41] On Pentecost, Homily 1, 5, PG 50, 461. See also On the Ascension 16, PG 59, 789. On 1Tim., Homily 15,4, PG 62, 586.

[[42] PG 50, 456.

[[43] On Pentecost, Homily 2,2, PG 50, 466-467.

[[44] On Acts, Homily 4,2, PG 60, 44.

[[45] Ibid. 43.

[[46] On John, Homily 74,1, PG 59, 404.

[[47] Ibid.

[[48] On Acts, Homily 1,5, PG 60, 20.

[[49] PG 59, 404.

[[50] On Pentecost, Homily 2,1, PG 50, 454.

[[51] On John, Homily 75,1, PG 59, 404.

[[52] Ibid. See also 405.

[[53] On Pentecost, Homily 1,1, PG 50, 456.

[[54] Ibid. Homily 2,1, PG 50, 463.

[[55] On Acts, Homily 1,5, PG 60,21.

[[56] Ibid. Homily 4,1, PG 60, 43.

[[57] Ibid. PG 60, 46.

[[58] Ibid. Homily 24,1, PG 60, 183.

[[59] Ibid. Homily 4,1, PG 60, 43.

[[60] PG 60, 44.

[[61] PG 59, 405.

[[62] Ibid.Homily 4,2, PG 60, 45.

[[63] Ibid. 46.

[[64] On John, Homily 51,1, PG 59, 284.

[[65] On Pentecost, Homily 1,2, PG 50, 455.

[[66] On John, Homily 51,1-2, PG 59, 284. See also 285.

[[67] PG 60, 44.

[[68] On Pentecost, Homily 1,2, PG 50, 456.

[[69] On Acts, Homily 4,3, PG 60, 46.

[[70] On Pentecost, Homily 2,1, PG 50, 464.

[[71] Ibid. 455.

[[72] Ibid.

[[73] On Pentecost, Homily 1,4, PG 50, 458.

[[74] On Pentecost, Homily 2,1, PG 50, 463.

[75] PG 63, 131.

[76] On Pentecost, Homily 1,4, PG 50, 459.

[77] Ibid.

[78] On Pentecost, Homily 2,1, PG 50, 464.

[79] PG 62, 309 and 692.

[80] On Titus, Homily 5,3, PG 62, 692.

[81] PG 50, 464.

[82] On Pentecost, Homily 1,3, PG 50, 457.

[83] Ibid. 459.

[84] Ibid.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Ibid. 460.

[87] PG 59, 424.

[88] PG 62, 309.

[89] PG 59, 424.

[90] Ibid.

[91] On John, Homily 78,1, PG 59, 422-423.

[92] Ibid. 425.

[93] Ibid.


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