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Background: this particular question arose from considering the implied ground of the following question: Does the Holy Spirit's procession from the Father and Son infringe on the co-equality of the Trinity? The author of the question assumes a Trinitarian position that is conistent with the 'Athanasian creed'*, with a view to ascertaining the legitimacy of Eastern Orthodox (doctrinal) objections to the 'filioque clause'.

My question is: How (if at all) is the Eastern Orthodox understanding of the Trinity - which inludes the doctrine of 'the Monarchy of the Father' - consistent with the Athanasian creed? Particularly the following parts:

So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords.


And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal.

I'm most interested in an Eastern Orthodox perspective, but would also welcome an explanation of how 'co-equality' is reconcileable to other views of the Trinity that include 'economic subordinationism' or 'relational surbodinationism'.

*Also known as Quicumque vult - I realise that it is not technically a creed (in the sense of being approved by an ecumenical council) and is almost certainly not authored by Athanasius of Alexandria, but it has come to be widely known by this moniker as it is judged to be wholely consistent with his Trinitarian-championing views to the extant of it's being regarded - at least in the West - as a touchstone of Trinitarian doctrine.

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This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from bruised reed ending in 5 days.

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.

An awardable answer will: demonstrate knowledge of both the doctrinal content of the Athanasian creed and the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of the 'Monarch of the Father'; and explain how the preceding relate to each other.

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1 Answer 1

Here is the Symbol of Faith of Orthodox Christians:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made:

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man;

And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;

And rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures;

And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;

And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets;

In One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I Confess one Baptism for the remission of sins.

I look for the Resurrection of the dead,

And the life of the age to come, Amen.

You can see twelve elements of the Orthodox creed. Here is no words about "the Monarchy of the Father"! It's simply to understand that whole created world is the Monarchy of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Trinity of one essence and inseparable, One God.

As the Lord Jesus Christ said (John 16:15):

All things that the Father hath are mine


The Athanasian creed, if it has words about Filioque, is the heresy and does not belong to the Saint Athanasius of Alexandria! So we never consistent true Orthodox faith with the heretical Filioque even by using some auxiliary constructions like "the Monarchy of the Father".

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That is the Nicene creed, not the Athanasian creed - your answer lacks basic research. –  bruised reed May 26 at 11:46
I answer about "the Monarchy of the Father" with respect to the Orthodox creed. The Athanasian creed, if it has words about Filioque, is the heresy and do not belongs to the Saint Athanasius of Alexandria!!! –  DenisMath May 26 at 11:53
It is generally recognised that the Athanasian Creed was not written by Athanasius (or indeed written in the fourth century). It's frequently known as Quicunque Vult for precisely that reason. Moreover, this doesn't answer the question. There is plainly more to Orthodox theology than the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and the doctrine of the monarchy of the Father has traditionally been Orthodox teaching. –  lonesomeday May 26 at 17:57
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