Epistula ad Basilium II
Greek Text: Y. Courtonne. Saint Basile. Lettres III. (Paris 1966), 204-205.
H. de Riedmatten. La correspondance entre Basile de Cesaree et Apollinaire de Laodicee I in JThS, N.S. 7 (1956), 225-226.
Note:The authenticity of all this letter has been debated but never conclusively demonstrated either way.
To my master, my most longed-for brother, Basil. Apollinaris. Greetings in the Lord.
Where was I, master? And where was the most longed-for voice and the customary letter? Why are you not present defending or at least absent encouraging while so great a war has broken out against godliness and we, as in the middle of the front line, are crying out to our comrades because of the violence of the battle? But wherever we seek for you, we do not have you. For we do not find where you happen to be staying. Why, I sought you in Cappadocia, since also those who met with you in Pontus reported that you had announced you were returning to there. I did not find you where I had hoped.
But now, having heard that you are still staying in the same land, I immediately handed the letter to the messenger. When you have received it, refrain from also replying to it because this one travelled with it too. Know that in the meanwhile there has been an arrival of the bishops from Egypt and letters were distributed which were in harmony with the old letters, both the divine ones themselves and those written at Nicaea in agreement with the divine letters. It was necessary to repeat these things with an explanation because of the unhealthy misinterpretation of the things set down, introduced by those who in the past were openly contradictory but now disguise their contradiction in the form of explanation. Here they wickedly did away with “consubstantial” on the grounds that it should not be understood according to any Greek denial. But in place of “consubstantial” was introduced “similar according to essence,” which was invented to have an ordinary name and a wicked intention. For a similarity of things which are in an essence is a similarity of essentials. So certainly by this an essence is considered to be made similar in the same way a statue would be to a king.
然而，如今听见您仍然停留在原来的地方，我立刻就把信交给了信使。当您收到这封信的时候，请不要立即回信，因为这位信使将会与您一同旅行。同时，也请您理解，将会有从埃及来的主教到达您那里，也会有许多与旧的信件呼应的信件被发至各地，这些信件即是神圣的，也与那些在尼西亚撰写的文件一致。因着那些人在过去公开的以不健康的方式解释已经制定的教义的缘故，我们需要以附上解释的方式重复那些事，他们过去公开的反对，如今则用不同的解释掩饰自己的矛盾。他们以“同质（consubstantial）”不能根据任何希腊人所否定的方式，邪恶的否定这个词。然而用“根据素质相似（similar according to essence —— homoiousion，既‘类质’，译者）”取代“同质”，这个字被发明具有通俗的名字，却带有邪恶的动机。因为相似的事物在素质上与那些不可缺少的要素相似。因此，透过这个字，素质肯定会被认为是以像之类似于国王的方式被造。
In reply to these things those who know how to and want to be godly have written that “consubstantial” does not mean “similar to God” but “God” because he is the true child and of the same essence as the one who has begotten him. Also that which concerns the Spirit was included, for he is placed by the fathers in the same faith as the Father and the Son because he is in the same deity.
为了回应这些事，那些知道如何并希望成为敬虔的人，已经写下了“同质”不意味着“与神类似（similar to God）”，而就是“神（God）”，因为祂是真儿子并拥有与生祂者同样的素质。这个观点也包括圣灵，因为祂被众教父们放在同样的信仰中，如同父与子一样，因为祂也在同一个神性中。
Therefore as to the position of seniority of this godliness, who was so fitting to be the most zealous among us, together with my master Gregory, who never himself writes from anywhere or indicates anything? Farewell, most longed-for master.
Translated by AMJ