The Authenticity of Maximus the Confessor's Letter to Marinus: The Argument from Theological Consistency

in Vigiliae Christianae
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Maximus the Confessor's Letter to Marinus (PG 91, 136) has been used throughout the centuries by both Latins and Greeks to defend their respective positions vis-à-vis the filioque. Yet doubts about its authenticity, raised by both sides, have prevented its acceptance as representative of the consensus patrum on the procession of the Holy Spirit. This paper argues that the best case for the authenticity of the Letter, all other doubts aside, is its consistency with the trinitarian principles Maximus inherited from the earlier fathers and established in his other works. For this reason the Letter to Marinus continues to offer modern theologians and ecumenists the best hope for resolving the age old question of the filioque based on the earliest known patristic reference to the debate.

Vigiliae Christianae

A Review of Early Christian Life and Language



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