Hopefully I do not confuse this too much but you are correct that the "the standard and universally accepted corresponding Greek word for "person" is ὑπόστασις" and
Isaac Newton wrote:
Can we agree that when Orthodox Trinitarians say "God is three persons
, one essence
" the standard and universally accepted
corresponding Greek word for "person" is ὑπόστασις, and the corresponding Greek word for "essence" is οὐσία ?
As the trinitarian theologian Joseph Bryennios wrote in the 15 century :
Θεὸν δὲ ὅταν εἴπω, λέγω Πατέρα, Υἱὸν καὶ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμά, τὴν ὑπέρθεον καὶ ἀνωτάτην Τριάδα. Πατήρ, Υἱὸς καὶ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα, μία Θεότης τρία ἰδιώματα· μία οὐσία, τρεῖς ὑποστάσεις· μία φύσις, τρία πρόσωπα· μία μορφή, τρεῖς χαρακτῆρες· ἓν εἶδος, τρία ἄτομα.
"But when God shall say, I speak of [the] Father, [the] son and [the] holy spirit, the overlapping and Anotatin Trinity. Father, son and holy spirit, one Godhead three individuals. One substance, three hypostases
; one nature, three persons; one form, three characters; same genus, three persons."
unfortunately to my mind even the Orthodox church uses this translation scheme, that is not exactly what the Fathers of the Early Councils were actually saying.
Certainly, prior to the council of Nicea (325CE) none of the "church fathers" even imagined a distinction between ὑπόστασις and οὐσία . The two terms were virtual synonyms. The inspired writer of Hebrews does not draw a distinction either (see Hebrews 1:3),.. or at the very least he viewed ὑπόστασις as meaning "substance" or "essence" and not "person."
Had they meant to use "person", πρόσωπον seems the word they would likely have used. Instead they constructed the word ὑπόστασις which quite literally means "sub-stance", "under-base or under-basis", "under-footing" or, ...in other words foundation. Conceptually I have an easier time myself understanding that rendering.
church fathers (2nd, 3rd and even 4th centuries), yes. However, once the dust had settled upon the christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries, the "church fathers" of this era, and forever henceforth, came away with a new definition of ὑπόστασις, -- one which directly contradicts the definition given to us in Hebrews 1;3, and which became the hallmark of Trinitarian orthodoxy. Now ὑπόστασις meant "person and not
substance," whereas previously it had meant "substance." Thus the rallying cry of the Orthodox for 1600 years has been that God is μία οὐσία, τρεῖς ὑποστάσεις
(one essence, three persons).
So Trinitarian orthodoxy uses some of the same words that the bible does (eg. Hebrews 1:3, ὑπόστασις ), but with new , unprecedented and scriptually contradictory definitions. I find that to be quite disturbing.
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
251 In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: "substance", "person" or "hypostasis", "relation" and so on. In doing this, she did not submit the faith to human wisdom, but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms, which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery, "infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand".
καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρῖσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς·