Arians sing hymn against "three are one" - La Cava - "audiat hoc Arius et ceteri" - 'And now where are they that affirm that the Three are One?'"

Steven Avery

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Arians sing against "three are one"

Early Latin La Cava ms. counters Arian hostility to the heavenly witnesses

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The Elements of Plainsong: Compiled from a Series of Lectures Delivered Before the Members of the Plainsong & Mediaeval Music Society (1895)
Henry Bremridge Briggs
https://books.google.com/books?id=CicQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA57

"Cassian tells us of the custom in the 4th century of lengthening out the Psalms with Antiphons. S. Chrysostom employed this method of chanting, by way of opposing the heretical practice of the Arians, who sang their Psalmody antiphonally, intercalating the verses with the blasphemous refrain, 'And now where are they that affirm that the Three are One?'"

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Reported by Henry Bremridge Briggs (1850-1901) and Frederic William Farrar (1831-1903).

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Gathering Clouds: A Tale of the Days of St. Chrysostom
Chapter XXII - Manifold Struggles
Frederic Ferrar
https://books.google.com/books?id=0aY9AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA171
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/farrar/clouds.iv.x.html

When the earthquakes ceased the Arians began to give trouble. They had been a powerful party in Constantinople since the days of Valens, and they were strong in the adherence of so many of the warrior Goths of Gaïnas. By a decree of Theodosius they were not allowed to worship within the walls of Constantinople, but they still cherished the determination to get a church assigned to them. They began to inaugurate nightly processions, which marched through the streets and colonnades chanting in antiphon the strange theological hymns of Arius. Among these was one which had the taunting refrain:

Where are now the men who say,
In their enigmatic way—
Who the riddle right can see?—
’Three are one, and one is three?’

Having chanted such strains all the night, they retired at dawn to their church outside the walls.

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We shall be searching out the primary sources. Already there was great controversy about the "three are one". The Greek textline would be the original source of the controversy. And yet the verse was largely dropped from the line, so the Greek Arians might be derisive without feeling they were countermanding scripture. (No such derision known in the Latin historical controversies, see the Council of Carthage as an example.)

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The La Cava Latin manuscript, likely from the 5th century, breaking the Greek-Latin non-barrier, shows awareness of the Arius hostile position to the heavenly witnesses verse with the marginal note:

"audiat hoc Arius et ceteri"
(Wiseman - Audiat hoc Arrius et ceteri)


New Plea for the Authenticity of the Text of the Three Heavenly Witness (1867)
Charles Forster
https://books.google.com/books?id=yXIsAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA181

Scrivener, following Wiseman, points out that, while mentioning Arius, to the scribe who wrote La Cava "its authenticity was unquestioned".

A plain introduction to the criticism of the New Testament (1883)
Frederick Henry A. Scrivener
https://books.google.com/books?id=hZQHAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA650

We should note that this emphasis on the verse contra Arius (who did not write or speak in Latin afawk) is the:

** first actual ms commentary on the heavenly witnesses.**

(There are more in the later period around 900 AD.) And the emphasis and result is exactly the opposite of the convoluted "margin commentary to text" theory of the Metzgerians. The note simply affims authenticity, encouraging the Arians to hear the scripture.

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And this of course fits perfectly with the use by Athanasius in the Disputation against Arius at Nicea. And his likely authorship of the Synopsis of Greek Scripture. Recently discussed on this forum.

Overall, so much fits together. Many infallible proofs that there was a Greek controversy that originated directly from the heavenly witnesses verse being in early Greek mss. Internal evidences are strongly supportive as well, to the point of proof for any who have a high view of scripture.

The difference was that the verse was in the process of being dropped from the Greek mss, while the Latin maintained the role of long-term viability and preservation of the inspired scripture.

The preservational imperative would not allow a single verse to be lost in all the major lines, and later the harmony of the Greek and Latin was stabalized in the Reformation Bible. And it would not allow a false scripture to take over a line.

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Referrring to the amazing La Cava note:

Essays on Various Subjects, Volume 1 (1853, originally 1832-1833)
Nicholas Patrick Wiseman
https://books.google.com/books?id=WMw9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA10

3. The dogmatical use made of this text in the margin is likewise worthy of very particular attention. The very earnest manner in which every argument for the Divinity of Christ seems urged by the writer of the notes, would almost lead us to suppose that they were written during the Arian controversy. The energetic and pithy annotation, audiat hoc Arius et ceteri demonstrates better than the longest commentary could have done, the force which the writer attributed to our verse, and the total absence from his mind of any doubt of its genuineness. ... the document shows... the dogmatical use made of the passage.
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Additional historical evidences corroborate, this post is only touching on those that rather directly relate to Arius.

In that regard, we have additional confirmation of the Christological centrality of "the three are one" in the Arian controversies from Melitus.

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Agapius, Universal History (1909) part 2. pp.1-287.
[Translated by Alexander Vasiliev]
http://www.tertullian.org/.../agapius_history_02_part2.htm

Going up (into the pulpit) to preach, Meletius showed them, during his sermon, his three fingers; and he said to them: "All three are one." Arians, seeing that he did not agree with them, deposed him, after he had governed (the Church) for two years, and established in his place Euzoius, who was an Arian from Egypt.
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Meletius of Antioch (d. 381)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meletius_of_Antioch

Agapius of Hierapolis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agapius_of_Hierapolis

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Steven Avery

Administrator
"certain passage of scripture"
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One other element about the doctrines of Arius really needs to be noticed in the context of the notes above:
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1) Arians singing against "three are one"
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2) La Cava ms shows Arians hostile to heavenly witnesses
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3) Athanasius Disputation with Arius at Nicea evidences verse (also his Synopsis of Scripture)
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4) a "certain passage of scripture" was at the center of the controversy
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Per the historian Socrates in his Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Section V, and also earlier Eusebius Life of Constantine.
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Here you can see Thomas Burgess discussing this passage:
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A letter to the reverend Thomas Beynon ... in reply to A vindication of the literary character of professor Porson, by Crito Cantabrigiensis, and in further proof of the authenticity of 1 John, V 7
https://books.google.com/books?id=DI1QNrUdMpAC&pg=PA18
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A reply to Burgess is here:
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London Quarterly Review (1825)
http://books.google.com/books?id=z-gRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA99
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One likely verse would be the one which the Arians were singing against! The one that would be at the heart of the controversy. (Which most likely was in some mss and missing in others.) There is also a theory that the verse was Proverbs 8, with Wisdom personified.
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General History of the Christian Religion and Church, Volume 2 (1855)
August Neander
http://books.google.com/books?id=SIQOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA32
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According to both the reports, the bishop Alexander had his attention first directed to the danger which threatened from other quarters; according to Sozomen, he at first appeared undecided. Socrates mentions the theological conference. There is also an allusion to this in the letter of the emperor Constantine to Alexander and Arius, cited by Eusebius, de vita Constantini, 1. II. c. 69, when he says, that the bishop Alexander had asked all his presbyters how they understood a certain passage of scripture.
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ADDED: Here is the text in English translation:
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Documents of the Early Arian Controversy – Emperor Constantine to Alexander of Alexandria and Arius
http://www.fourthcentury.com/urkunde-17/
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(6.) I understand that the origin of the present controversy is this. When you, Alexander, demanded of the priests what opinion they each maintained respecting a certain passage in Scripture, or rather, I should say, that you asked them something connected with an unprofitable question. You then, Arius, inconsiderately insisted on what ought never to have been speculated about at all, or if pondered, should have been buried in profound silence. Hence it was that a dissension arose between you, fellowship was withdrawn, and the holy people were rent into diverse factions, no longer preserving the unity of the one body.
.
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Wiseman (with pics) in WOGIG


Comments:
• [Wiseman] I will now proceed to give the portion of the first Epistle of St. John, which contains the verse of the three
Heavenly Witnesses, commencing at the fourth verse of the fifth chapter, and preserving the exact order and orthography
of the words, and its marginal annotations:

• [Wiseman (cont)] In this manuscript, the eighth verse comes before the seventh ; and Griesbach has, in fact, remarked,
that this is the case in the most ancient manuscripts. "The ancients generally place verse eight before seven." (Latin:
Antiquiores fere anteponunt comma octavum septimo.) 3. The dogmatical use made of this text in the margin is likewise
worthy of very particular attention. The very earnest manner in which every argument for the Divinity of Christ seems
urged by the writer of the notes, would almost lead us to suppose that they were written during the Arian controversy.
[Who is it that conquers the world except he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (I Jn 5:4) Annotation: "And Arius
calls Him the first creature." (Latin: Et arius prae dicat creaturam.)] The energetic and pithy annotation, "Let Arius and
the others listen to this!" (Latin: Audiat hoc Arrius et ceteri) demonstrates better than the longest commentary
could have done, the force which the writer attributed to our verse, and the total absence from his mind of any
doubt of its genuineness. The second note may appear a little obscure, from the omission of the second member of an
antithesis. It says that a creature might indeed be said to be "true", but could not with propriety be called "the truth". ["If
‘the Truth’ in what way can He be a creature? While it is possible that a creature be ‘true’. In fact, about none of the
angels it is read that he is ‘the Truth’." (Latin: Si veritas quo modo creatura quum creatura vera esse possit. Denique de
nullo angelorum legitur quod veritas sit.)] To conclude, we have here a Latin manuscript which contains the verse, anterior
by at least three centuries to the age allowed by its adversaries for its admission into the text: and the document shows, at
the same time, the dogmatical use made of the passage.


(Wiseman, "Two Letters on 1 John 5:7 1832", in Essays on Various Subjects, 1853, vol 1, p. 10-11)
 
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