Feb 29, 2004

Does "of one Being" = "being of one substance"?
The Lutheran translation of the Nicean Creed's homousion is "of one being with the Father"? Does that make any sense as a translation? Does it adequeatly respond to the Arianism it's there to respond to?

The priest, when I asked him about it this morning, said Greek wasn't allowed on Sunday morning, the change from "being of one substance with the Father" was made 12 years ago simply as a modernization and does not mark a change in content, and was surprised I knew enough liturgy or theology to ask him about it.

I'm suspicious about the change. Any thoughts?

Update: After the comments, thinking about it and asking around, I find this translation is not Lutheran-specific. It's the same one used by Catholics today and by post-70s Episcopal prayer books.

I prefer the older English version - being of one substance with the Father - for a few reasons: 1) I'm more gun-shy of terms like Being (and it is capitalized) and essence than substance; 2) I like the way it sounds; 3) I like the added room for variance in that it can be read as "a being of one substance with," "a beingness of one substance with," and "who exists such that existence is of the same substance."

I'm less likely than my Eastern Orthodox brothers to distrust the Latin translation of substantia, but find myself very interested in "consubstantial," a translation I hadn't heard, which is apparently used in the Russian liturgy.

Still, the other translations are clearly acceptable readings of the creed and I accept them as such.

In other news I still don't like "true God from true God." Please let me keep my "very God."