Ousia and Hypostasis and the Trinity Relationship (Coursework Sample)
THE TASK WAS WAS A DISCUSSION BASED QUESTION, WHER ONE WAS REQUIRED TO EXPLAIN THE RELATION BETWEEN THE TERMS OUSIA AND HYPOSTAFKS IN HOSTORY OF THEOLOGY. TRINITARIANISM WAS TO BE CLEARLY EXPLAINED IN BOTH TERMS.
tHE PAPER ALSO SOUGHT TO EXPLAIN GREGORY NYSSAS THOUGHTS ON TRINITY RELATIONSHIP, AND THE STATE OF TRINITY.
Historical Theology Paper
Historical Theology Paper
Question 1: Relation between the terms Ousia and Hypostasis
When understanding the concept of Christian faith and its base, Basil provides the terms Ousia and hypostasis to explain the oneness of Trinity. The two terms describe the Trinity in two distinct manners summarised as one being general (ousia) and the other being particular (hypostasis). In this manner, the term Ousia is used to describe the case of the Godhead as issued in the Old Testament. There is only God and no other gods than Him. He holds the one essence or substance and hence there is no definition of his existence. However, the term hypostasis describes the understanding of the Godhead as The Trinity. The trinity is explained as there is the Father who is God, The son who is God and the Holy Spirit who is God but the father is not the son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the father. However, they are all described to hold one essence. Hence, when explaining the origin of our faith, a person cannot state that they form their conception of God from the general idea of existence as this would provide a loose account of our faith. However, when describing the origin of our faith, stating the separate characteristics of God the Father, son and the Holy Spirit provides a particular definition of where our faith lies. Hence, when confessing our faith, one must merge the general with the particular. For example, I believe in God the Father, I believe in God the Son, and I Believe in God the Holy Spirit.
When explaining trinitarianism, the term Ousia provides a strong definition of the Trinity as it combines both the general and the particular concepts of the Godhead. However, hypostasis only derives god in three persons. For people who believe in this, they are compelled to confess god in these three persons and in their hesitation to acknowledge the Godhead speak in three hypostases. Hence, when confessing the Trinity in three persons, the people end up distinguishing the three persons when they assert that the hypostasis changed its form to meet the needs of the moment.
Question 2: Gregory Nyssa’s explanation of the Trinity Relationship
Gregory of Nyssa also sought to explain the relationships of the Trinity. He stated that when the Bible is analyzed through proper Trinitarian grammar, and normed by the distinction of the general from the particular, then confusions of ousia and hypostasis are resolved. In his explanation, Nyssa stated that from the Bible, every good thing which comes upon us is through God’s power operating in grace. Grace works all things in all but can only do so by the spirit which distributes to each as he wills. The good which comes from the Holy Spirit cannot be said to be of its origin, as the Bible tells us that the person who is working the
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