38) In the second part, Hilary produces what amounts to a second treatise on the relationship between homoousios
is one of the most important words in the Christian theological vocabulary, since it was used at the Council of Nicaea to express the divine consubstantiality of the Son with the Father.
The preceding observations may strike some readers as theological hairsplitting, but there is ample precedent for such distinctions in the history of Christian doctrine; for example, in the christological controversy about homoousios
and homoiousios, an iota made a major doctrinal difference.
On the other hand, he gives a thorough explanation of the three reasons why homoousios
was so crucial for Athanasius and presents very clearly what is involved in the distinction made by the Cappadocians between ousia and \hypostasis.
69) This staunch defender of the Nicene homoousios
interprets Song of Songs 2:2 ("as a lily in the midst of thorns, so [is] my beloved in the midst of sons and daughters") to mean that the greater part (maior pars) of believers brings forth sins because such Christians are immersed in the cares of this world, while the one who despises such things shines among them as a lily among thorns.
Augustine then insists on the importance of substance and thus of homoousios
, because without an account of the substantial relation between the Father and the Son, he cannot see how it is possible to avoid saying that the Son is "from nothing.
21) However, homoousios
and hypostasis are not biblical, yet dogmas employing such language articulate revealed truths.
Finally, Newman thought Origen orthodox even though Newman did not have the technical vocabulary to instantiate the latter's orthodoxy, just as Athanasius had argued that even with the definition of the homoousios
at Nicaea there was still a deeper truth to be ascertained.
Baby Varghese demonstrates a similarly high Christology in the early Syriac liturgical tradition, while Gabriele Winkler connects the anaphora of Basil to the Antiochene formulation of orthodoxy, which preferred "biblical language to describe the relationship of the Son to the Father over against the Nicene homoousios
+ ousia formulae" (126).
There are a very few errors of fact, the most significant being the attribution of homoiousios to Nicea (21) rather than the key word homoousios
The paradigm here is the line from the Deuteronomic Shema to the Homoousios
of the early Church (330).
In the Nicene controversy a key issue was whether it was acceptable to introduce the non-scriptural term homoousios
into the creed.