A question that has not seen much public discussion is: “To what extent are the texts we have of the Latin Fathers interpolated in favour of later Filioquist teachings?” It seems that the standard reply of some Orthodox in recent decades has been to simply concede that what we have is exactly what we get. Yet, this is contrary to the very fierce, no retreat, attitude of great Orthodox apologists of the past, such as Adam von Zoernikav. Zoernikav, in his massive 1000 page tome, “A Tract of Orthodox Theology Concerning the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father Alone,” takes to task the massive amount of interpolations in not only the Greek Fathers but in the Latin Fathers. In many cases he seems to make educated guesses, which, later seem to be borne out by manuscript research; after all, living in the late 1600s, his access to actual manuscripts was relatively limited, and he could only go off of different printed texts. Even doing the latter he was able to show significant discrepancies in the works of figures like St. Augustine and St. Damasus, textual wise. In fact, Zoernikav’s attitude simply seems to follow that of St. Mark of Ephesus, and St. Photius before him, that is, that we should show significant doubt about such claims about Fathers and their errors before making any concession.
We seem to forget that at the council of Florence, the RC strategy was to inundate the Orthodox with a massive amount of patristic texts and quotations. It kept the Orthodox on the defensive and having to examine and answer a massive amount of material, and painstakingly debate every detail. This was a strategy to wear them down. St. Mark and others (like Metropolitan Anthony of Heraclea, etc) had to spend the time saying, “that doesn’t sound right about what you are saying about St. Chrysostom / St. Basil / etc, etc”. They showed that a tremendous amount of forged and interpolated Greek texts were being put forth by the RC’s [such as the famous forged acts of the Seventh Ecumenical Council which supposedly had St. Tarasius say that the Holy Ghost “proceeds from the Father and the Son” [!], as opposed to what the genuine acts say, i.e. from the Father through the Son, and so on and so forth for other material]. It was painstaking and exhausting work. Then the RC’s brought forth strings of Latin Fathers. Only a few of the Greek Orthodox could say anything, since many were not very familiar with the Latin Fathers; St. Mark and a few others did seem to be familiar with St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great in Greek translations, and to put up a fight. But, St. Mark of Ephesus, for one, simply believed that the majority of the text that the RC’s were bringing from the Latin Fathers were just forgeries or interpolations into the texts. He had seen how they handled the Greek Fathers, and he had no trust that they would not likewise corrupt the Latin Fathers. He is being proven more and more right every single day.
“Among the earliest known references to the filioque in the Roman Church is the so-called creed of Pope Damasus (sometimes known as the twenty-four Anathematism). Scholars have traditionally been divided on its origins, some believing it was composed by Damasus himself in reply to a treatise by Priscillian of Avila, while Kunstle argued that it was the work of the Synod of Saragossa held in 380, an anti-Priscillian gathering whose work was sent to the pope for approval. Modern scholarship has argued for an earlier dating (late 377 or early 378) and that it was probably a “compiled work” based on the proceedings of a Roman council. Regardless of its origins, its apparent purpose was to refute certain christological and trinitarian errors, including the belief that the Spirit was somehow a work or creation of the Son. It stated, ‘We believe . . . in the Holy Spirit, not begotten nor unbegotten, nor created nor made, but proceeding from the Father and the Son, always co-eternal with the Father and the Son.’ Here the intention was simply to acknowledge the equality of the Spirit rather than to delve into the question of the procession proper.
“The Decretum Gelasianum (Explanatio fidei), or at least the first three chapters, is thought by some to be the work of the Roman Synod of 382 also held under Damasus. Others, including Bernd Oberdorfer, think that the trinitarian langauge (which reflects Augustine’s thinking in the Tractates on the Gospel of John) argues for a later dating or the recognition that some portions of the work were added by a later editor.”
For the Holy Spirit is not of the Father only or of the Son only, but of the Father and the Son; for it is written: ‘He who delights in the world, the Spirit of the Father is not in him”; and against it is written, ‘However anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ, does not belong to Him.’ So the Holy Spirit is understood to be called of the Father and the Son, [and] of Whom the Son Himself in the Gospel says that the Holy Spirit ‘proceeds from the Father’ and ‘He will receive from Me and He will make known to you.’
“Further, it should be understood that we do not speak of the Father as derived from any one, but we speak of Him as the Father of the Son. And we do not speak of the Son as Cause or Father, but we speak of Him both as from the Father, and as the Son of the Father. And we speak likewise of the Holy Spirit as from the Father, and call Him the Spirit of the Father. And we do not speak of the Spirit as from the Son: but yet we call Him the Spirit of the Son. For if any one hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of His, said the divine apostle. And we confess that He is manifested and imparted to us through the Son. For He breathed upon His Disciples, says he, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” It is just the same as in the case of the sun from which come both the ray and the radiance, and it is through the ray that the radiance is imparted to us, and it is the radiance itself by which we are lightened and in which we participate. Further, we do not speak of the Son of the Spirit, or of the Son as derived from the Spirit.”
“Spiritum vero Sanctum, non genitum neque ingenitum, non creatum neque factum, sed de Patre Procedentem, Patre et Filio Coaeternum et Coaequalem et Cooperatorem, quia scriptum est: ‘Verbo Dominie caeli firmati sunt,’ id est, a Filio Dei, et ‘Spiritu oris eius omnis virtus eorum,’ et alibi: ‘Emitte Spiritum Tuum et creabuntur et renovabis faciem terre.'”
“In truth the Holy Ghost, not begotten nor unbegotten, not created nor made, but from the Father Proceeding, to the Father and the Son Co-Eternal and Co-Equal and Co-Worker, for it was written: ‘By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made,’ that is, by the Son of God, and ‘by the Spirit of His Mouth all the power of them,’ [Ps. 32:6] and elsewhere: ‘Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.'” [Ps. 103:30] (Transcribed by Mr. Ommanney (E. Ch. p. 401) from Paris B. n. 1684, saec Xi ex., Creed of Damasus)
In Codex Sangallensis 159 [10th century], we find it as well. It simply says: “sed de Patre procedentem.” No “et Filio”, etc. Though, in this case, the text is labelled the “Creed of St. Jerome” sent to Pope Damasus. But, the same text. On a side note, in the same codex, you see some later hand came in and added to a separate Letter of St. Jerome to St. Damasus. Someone actually wrote in ‘et Filio’ into the letter to ‘correct’ St. Jerome!
“If any one deny that the Holy Spirit is truly and absolutely of the Father, and that the Son is of the divine substance and very God of God, let him be anathema.” [Ecclesiastical History of St. Theodoret, Book V, Ch. 11]
Just as we heard of Pope St. Damasus, we have heard much of Gennadius of Massalia [Marseille] and his teaching the Filioque. But, what about this in terms of text and manuscripts? Again, this is an example of later interpolation.
“Credimus unum esse Deum Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum. Patrem, eo quod Filium habeat: Filium, eo quod Patre habeat: Spiritum Sanctum, eo quod sit ex Patre et Filio. Pater ergo principium deitatis; qui sicut nunquam fuit non Deus, ita nunquam fuit non Pater: a quo Filius natus: a quo Spiritus Sanctus non natus, quia non est Filius; neque ingenitus, quia non est Pater; neque factus, quia non est ex nihilo, sed ex Deo Patre et Deo Filio Deus procedens.”
“Credimus unum esse Deum, Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum: Patrem, eo quod habeat filium; Filium, eo quod habbeat patrem; Spiritum Sanctum, eo quod sit ex Patre procedens, Patri et Filio coaternus. Pater erog principium deitatis; qui, sicut numquam fuit non Deus, ita numquam fuit non Pater, a quo Filius natus, a quo Spiritus Sanctus non natus, quia non est Filius, neque ingenitus, quia non est Pater, nec factus, sed ex Deo Patre Deus Procedens.”
Again, in C.H. Turner’s printing we have the same form with no Filioque.
“Credimus unum esse Deum, Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum: Patrem, eo quod habeat filium; Filium, eo quod habeat patrem; Spiritum Sanctum, eo quod sit a Patre procedens et ex Filio.”
“sed ex Deo Patre Deus Procedens.”
“In his sixty-sixth Epistle [number 170 in some text-NFTU]: “The Holy Ghost is not, as a creature, made of nothing; but thus Proceeds from the Father and the Son, as not to be made by the Son.” But this, which does not in itself seem to have much sense, is not the reading of the best MSS. The best MSS. are divided between, ‘but thus proceeds from the Father, as not to be made by the Father nor the Son,’ and the total omission of the clause. Under these circumstances the evidence is manifestly worth nothing.”