Bro. Peter Dimond
In Greek θεότης is a word that refers to the one Godhead, the deity, the divine nature. It is regularly used by the Greek fathers to refer to the one Godhead, i.e. the divine essence common to the three persons. For example, in his Fifth Theological Oration, St. Gregory Nazianzen says: “for the Godhead is One” (μία θεότης).
St. Athanasius says: “There is one eternal Godhead in Trinity (άῖδιος καὶ μία Θεότης ἐστίν ἐν Тριάδι)...” (First Discourse Against The Arians, #18)
In the New Testament (i.e. Colossians 2:9), the genitive form of the word (θεότητος) is used in reference to Our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s because Jesus Christ is true God, in addition to true man.
Colossians 2:9- “For in him the whole fullness of deity [θεότητος] dwells bodily.”
The Council of Chalcedon and the Second Council of Constantinople use θεότης to refer to the one Godhead/divinity of the three divine persons. The θεότης of all three divine persons is the same. However, the heretic Gregory Palamas, whose theology has been adopted by the Eastern 'Orthodox', rejected the truth that there is one θεότης. Palamas distinguished between a higher θεότης (the divine essence) and a lower θεότης (the ‘uncreated energies’). Palamas referred to them as θεότης ὑπερκειμένη (the divinity lying above) and θεότης ὑφειμένη (a divinity that is lower).
That is heretical, for there is only one θεότης.
Second Council of Constantinople, 553, Canon 1: “If anyone does not confess one nature or essence of Father and Son and Holy Spirit, and one power and authority, a consubstantial Trinity to be worshipped as one Godhead in three hypostases or persons, let such a one be anathema.”
Palamas' heretical formulation wasn't just a mistake in terminology or a loose application of the word. It reflected a heretical belief that manifests itself in many of his statements. Consequently, besides the reference to a “lower θεότης”, there are many expressions in Palamas' writings that are heretical. Another example is his assertion that energies which “begin” are “uncreated”.
Gregory Palamas, The Triads: “… we for our part know that while all the energies of God are uncreated, not all are without beginning.”
That is heretical nonsense, for everything that begins to exist is created.
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