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Historical Christology

Chapter VII
Ephesus and Chalcedon

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

True to their native tendency of philosophizing the faith, theologians in the East were not satisfied with the plain orthodoxy of Nicea. Arianism had by no means disappeared, even after the death of its great supporter, the Emperor Constans (350 A.D.), although its main thrust was shifted to the West and Northwest and continued to harass the Church for centuries through the Arian hordes of Goths, Vandals, and Lombards.

Preoccupied with the question, "What think you of Christ?" Eastern speculators directed their attention from Christ as God (vindicated at Nicea) to Christ as man. They asked themselves: if Christ has two perfect natures, human and divine, how is He only one person? If He is only one individual, it seemed to some of them that at least one component part was perfected by the union. Since it could not be His divinity, it must have been His humanity. Christ had to lack something as man, which His divinity supplied.

Among the answers given, the theory of Apollinaris has made history. Apollinaris (or Apollinarius) lived somewhere between 310 and 390 A. D., was a close friend of Athanasius and a staunch defender of Nicea against the Arians. In his zeal to refute the Arians, he developed a theology of the Incarnation that created such a stir in Asia Minor that he was finally driven from Laodicia, where he was bishop after condemnation at Rome (374 to 380 A.D.) and the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople.

Following Plato's theory of three elements that constitute man--body, soul and spirit--Apollinaris thought he found the key to the problem of Christ's personality by substituting the Logos for the Savior's spirit or rational principle of life. In his system, Jesus was formed of a conjunction of Body (material element), Soul (principle of animal life), and Logos (the Son of God) who replaced the rational part of Christ's human nature.

What added to Apollinaris' conviction that the divinity should substitute for Christ's rationality was the impiety, as he felt, of saying that the Redeemer had a finite principle of moral and intellectual activity. Were this so, He could then be charged with ignorance and the possibility of sin.

As a result, the Apollinarian Christ was, indeed, consubstantial with the Father because He was true God, but not consubstantial with us because he was missing what most makes us men, our human intellect and will.

Pope Damasus I (366-384 A. D.) was urged to condemn Apollinaris, and at the same time anathematize two correlative errors: the doctrine of Diodorus of Tarsus (died 390 A. D.) whose reaction to Apollinaris led him to exaggerate the duality in Christ, and the old Monarchian heresy which held that the human nature of Christ was somehow less than human.

Damasus demanded that Apollinarius subscribe to the doctrine that the Son of God assumed a complete human nature, "body, soul, senses, that is, the whole Adam and, to be still clearer, our complete inherited manhood (corpus, animam, sensum, id est, integrum Adam, it, ut expressius dicam, totum veterem nostrum sine peccato hominem)." When he refused to submit, he was formally condemned, and promptly broke with the Church.

Not unlike Nicea, the emperor entered the controversy and quite on his own summoned a council at Constantinople in May, 381, that was over by July. Originally 186 bishops, all from the East, assembled for the conclave. But once the Arian party learned in what direction the council would go, thirty-six bishops left and the remainder proceeded to publish a series of anathemas that add almost nothing to Nicea. However, Apollinarianism was condemned.

In a single sweeping censure, all the prevalent Christological heresies came under censure. "We anathematize every heresy," the Council declared, "especially that of the Eunomians or Anomians, of the Arians or Eudoxians, of the Madeconians or those who resist thy Holy Spirit, or the Sabellians, Marcellians, Photinians and the Apollinarians." (1)

Of special significance was Canon 3 of the council, which gave the bishop of Constantinople precedence over all the Catholic episcopate, with the exception of the bishop of Rome.

The Nicene-Constantinople Creed, usually ascribed to the first two general councils was actually the baptismal formula of Epiphanius which we have seen slightly altered to include the passage, referring to the Holy Spirit, "Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who is adored and glorified in the same way as the Father, who has spoken by the prophets." At Chalcedon, the Creed was recited by the assembled Fathers, and after I Constantinople was recognized by Rome as ecumenical, this profession of faith became standard in the Church. The additional clause, "and of the Son (Filioque)," was first heard of in Spain and later approved by Rome. It became the bone of contention that still rankles church relations between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus

It is not difficult to trace the intellectual lineage of Nestorianism, which provoked the Council of Ephesus and advanced the theology of the Incarnation beyond Nicea and I Constantinople. Cyril of Alexandria (died 444 A. D.), chief opponent of Nestorius, held that error began with Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus; it was expanded and clarified by Theodore of Mopsuestia, and openly propagated by Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople (died 451 A. D.).

Characteristic of the Antiochene school of exegesis, Theodore favored dividing Christ and sharply distinguishing between His two natures, over against the Alexandrian school which favored a unification. According to Theodore, the union of the Logos with Christ's human nature consists of an indwelling, not of God's being (ousia) but of His good pleasure or special approval (eudokia). God is everywhere and so is His influential power. Hence absolutely speaking, there is no more of God dwelling in one creature than in another. But His approval or complacency may rest more on one created being than on some other. His love, as it were, terminates with different influence on different persons—which explains why people are so different in perfection.

What distinguishes Christ, then, is simply that God's love set a much higher approval on the person of Jesus Christ. In that sense, He might even be accorded divine honors as one specially appealing to God.

Moreover, the two natures of Christ thus understood, are not literally fused into one thing. They are at most joined together to form a closely cooperative combine. As Theodore explained it, this conjunction began with the first formation of the humanity in Mary's womb, and in later life showed itself in a ready practice of virtue and a determined avoidance of sin. Yet all the while Christ was two entities conjoined with one another, and not a united entity to form one individual.

All this is true Nestorianism, and would have passed out of history without notice except for his disciple, Nestorius, who rose steadily from monk, to priest, to patriarch of Constantinople. Nestorius was a native of Germanicia in Syria Euphratensis. An able preacher and outspoken critic, he had two faults that led to his conflict with orthodoxy. He was a pliant tool of political authority, and, once convinced of something, nothing could change his opinion. His accession to the See of Constantinople was a court appointment, signalized by the letter he wrote to Theodosius II on being consecrated bishop, "Give me, O Emperor, a land cleansed of heretics, and I will help you in your wars with the Persians." A zealous promise, but conditioned on Nestorius' concept of heresy, and weakened by looking to the crown for help in governing the Church.

Not long after, Nestorius' chaplain began to preach the strange doctrine that Mary was not to be called the Mother of God. "Let no man," he said, "call Mary Theotokos. For Mary was only a woman, and God cannot be born of a woman."

People were scandalized because the title had been accorded Mary for generations. Origen, Alexander, Athanasius and Eusebius of Nicomedia had all used it. But the chaplain, Anastasius, denounced the appellative and appealed to his bishop for support. Nestorius elaborated and gave reasons why Mary cannot be called Mother of God. "They ask," the bishop replied, "whether Mary may be called Theotokos. Has God then a mother? In that case we must excuse the pagans, who spoke of mothers of the gods. Paul is not a liar when he affirms that the Godhead in Christ is without father or mother or geneology of any kind. Mary did not give birth to God. A creature cannot deliver her creator, but only a man who is the instrument of the divinity. I honor this garment which He uses, for the sake of Him who is hidden within and that cannot be separated from the vesture it wears. I separate the two natures, even while I unite my respect. See what it means. The one who was formed in the womb of Mary was not God Himself, but God assumed him, and because of Him who assumes, the one assumed is also called God." (2)

A violent controversy broke out, with Nestorius finding himself challenged by the bishop of Alexandria, St. Cyril, whose role in the succeeding events can be compared with that of Athanasius at Nicea. Seeing that nothing could be settled by simple dialogue, both sides appealed to Rome, to Pope Celestine I. Among the few surviving statements of Nestorius is his letter to Celestine, in which he sought to clear himself of the charge of heresy. This letter is preserved in the Latin version of the Acts of the Council of Ephesus, it begins with an inquiry about the Pelagian refugees at Constantinople--which at once led Celestine to suspect Nestorius of disingenuousness, since he professed to need information about a matter that was already well known--and then gets down to the real topic: Nestorius has his troubles with heretics too. In spite of its poor preservation in a somewhat confused translation, the letter is of value as a good brief statement of Nestorius' own ideas on the union of God and man in Christ. The only kinds of union of such different entities he could admit were conjunction and mixture; rejecting the latter, as producing some kind of demigod, he was forced back on the former.

We ought indeed to enjoy brotherly converse with each other, that we might, together, in harmony and concord, fight against the devil, the enemy of peace. Why this prelude? A certain Julian and Orontius and Fabius, saying that they are bishops from the West, have often approached our most pious and glorious emperor and bewailed their case, as orthodox men who have suffered persecution in an orthodox age. They have often addressed their laments to us and as often have been rejected, yet do not cease to repeat the same, but continue day by day filling the ears of all with their expressions of woe.
We have spoken to them as is fitting, though we do not know the exact truth of their business. But since we need a fuller knowledge of their case, so that our most pious and most Christian emperor may not continue to be annoyed by them; and that we may not be uncertain about the proper measures to take in this business, being ignorant of their complaints, please give us information about them, so that people may not cause trouble (showing them) improper consideration through ignorance of the true justice in the matter, nor, may expect something else after canonical sentence of Your Blessedness, given against them, I suppose, on account of religious divisions. For the rise of divisions calls for serious measures from true pastors.
We also have found no slight corruption of orthodoxy among some of those here, which we have treated with both sternness and gentleness (as demanded). It is no small error, but similar to corruption of Apollinaris and Arius, blending together the Lord's appearance as man into a kind of confused combination. So much so that certain of our clergy, some from inexperience, others from heretical error long kept concealed, as often happened even in the times of the apostles, err like heretics, and openly blaspheme God the Word consubstantial with the Father, as if he took his beginning from the Christ-bearing Virgin, and grew up with his temple and was buried with (it) in the flesh; they even say that his flesh after the resurrection did not remain flesh, but was changed into the nature of Godhead.
To speak briefly, they refer the Godhead of the Only-begotten to the same origin as the flesh joined (with it), and kill it with the flesh, and blasphemously say that the flesh joined with the Godhead was turned into deity by the deifying Word, which is nothing more nor less than to corrupt both. They even dare to treat of the Christ-bearing Virgin in a way as along with God, for they do not scruple to call her theotokos, when the holy and beyond-all-praise Fathers at Nicea said no more of the holy Virgin that that our Lord Jesus Christ was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary--not to mention the Scriptures, which everywhere, both by angels and apostles, speak of the Virgin as the mother of Christ, not of God the Word. I presume that rumor has already informed Your Blessedness what conflicts we have endured for those things, and you have also learned that we have not struggled in vain, but many of those who had gone astray have by the grace of the Lord repented, learning from us that what is born is properly consubstantial with the parent, and that it was to the creature of the Lord's humanity, joined with God, (being) of the Virgin by the Spirit, that what was seen among men was committed. If anyone wishes to use this word theotokos with reference to the humanity which was born, joined to God the Word, and not with reference to the parent, we say that this word is not appropriate for her who gave birth, since a true mother should be of the same essence as what is born of her. But the term could be accepted in consideration of this, that the word is used of the Virgin only because of the inseparable temple of God the Word which was of her, not because she is the mother of God the Word--for none gives birth to one older than herself.
I suppose that rumor has already told you of these things, but we expound what has been happening to us, in order to show in fact that it is in a brotherly spirit that we wish to know about the affairs of those whom we mentioned before; not out of mere importunate curiosity--since we tell you of our affairs as among brothers, sharing with each other the facts of (these) divisions, so that the beginning of this letter of mine may be indeed correct--for I said as I began this letter that we ought to enjoy brotherly converse with each other.
I and those who are with me greet all the brotherhood in Christ which is with you.

On receipt of Nestorius' letter and the complaints against him, Celestine called a council at Rome in August, 430, where Nestorianism was condemned. Cyril was commissioned by the pope to pronounce sentence of deposition against the bishop of Constantinople if he would not retract.

In November of the same year, Cyril took action and on December 7, 430, delivered his sentence into Nestorius' hands by legates sent to Constantinople. Meanwhile, Cyril had been in correspondence with Nestorius, and the two patriarchs exchanged a series of letters unique in the annals of the Church. Each tried to convince the other of the error of his ways, and each appealed to the need for preserving the true faith.

The difference in their respective approaches was that Cyril based his position on the teachings of the ancient Church, while Nestorius argued from what he called the logic of the faith. Cyril said that dividing the person of Christ undermined the Redemption and cut away the bulwark of Christian tradition which always held that Jesus Christ was God Incarnate. Nestorius claimed that the opposite was true: God did not become man but only dwelt in the man Jesus as in a temple.

What sparked the controversy into a conflagration was the strong devotion of the Eastern people to the Blessed Virgin. They instinctively sensed that if Mary was denied the dignity of divine motherhood, their faith was dissolved and all they believed about her divine Son was in doubt.

These popular sentiments along with Cyril's insistence that Nestorius be brought to task, led Emperor Theodosius to summon a general council at Ephesus. St. Augustine had been invited to the council and would almost certainly have presided, but he died after receiving the emperor's personal invitation and before he could leave Hippo for Asia Minor.

As a result, Cyril of Alexandria took over as president of the council which proclaimed the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ. This was read and approved by the prelates, together with citations from the Fathers of the Church and twenty passages from Nestorius. Thereupon sentence was pronounced against the patriarch.

Presently forty-three bishops of the Antioch party, favorable to Nestorius, arrived on the scene and proceeded to form a council of their own. They excommunicated Cyril and the local bishop of Ephesus. They also justified themselves to the emperor, and were jubilant to learn that he sided with them.

The Anti-Nestorian bishops met in six more sessions, the last being on July 31, held once more in the church of the Blessed Virgin. At this session, the council approved six canons directed against Nestorius and his party. A circular letter informed the absent fathers of all that had been done.

Theodosius had a change of heart. He confirmed the deposition of Nestorius, but also deposed Cyril and Memnon (bishop of Ephesus). Like Constantine before Nicea, he thought there was too much wrangling over nothing. So he ordered eight representatives from each side to appear before him and give their reports. This done, he changed again--this time permanently. He disavowed Nestorius whom he had banished finally to Upper Egypt. The members of the synod were allowed to return to their dioceses, including Cyril to Alexandria. On the papal side, Sixtus III (432-440 A. D.) confirmed the Council of Ephesus and, to commemorate the occasion, adorned the triumphal arch of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome with mosaics glorifying the Blessed Virgin as Mother of God.

The extant documentation of Ephesus consists mainly of two items, both taken from the writings of St. Cyril and both originally in Cyril's letters to Nestorius in which he tried to dissuade the patriarch from dividing Christ and asserting that in the Savior there were two personalities, one human and the other divine.

Ephesus thereby canonized the positive teaching of Cyril on the Incarnation, as found in his second letter to Nestorius. Its later confirmation by Rome made this epistle part of the Church's definitive teaching.

Now the holy and great Synod (of Nicea) said that the Only-begotten Son Himself, by nature begotten from God even the Father, Very God from Very God, Light from Light, through whom the Father made all things, came down, was incarnate, lived as Man, suffered, rose the third day, and ascended into heaven. These words and doctrines it behoves us to follow, recognizing what is meant by the Word who is from God being incarnate, and living as Man.
For we do not say that the Nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, nor that He was transformed into a complete human being, I mean of soul and body; but this rather, that the Word, having united to Himself in His Own Hypostasis, in an ineffable and inconceivable manner, flesh animated with a rational soul, became Man, and was called Son of Man; not being united merely as a result of will or good pleasure, not yet by His assumption of a single (human) person; and that while the Natures which were brought together into this genuine unity were different, yet of them both is the One Christ and Son, not as though the difference of the Natures was abolished by the union, but rather the Godhead and the Manhood, by their ineffable and unspeakable concilience into unity, perfected for us the One Lord and Christ and Son.
Although He had His existence and was begotten from the Father before the ages, He is spoken of as begotten also after the flesh from a woman; not as though His Divine Nature received its beginning of existence in the holy Virgin, nor yet as though a second generation were necessarily wanting for its own sake after that from the Father, for it is altogether ridiculous and stupid to say that He, who existed before every aeon and is co-eternal with the Father, had need of a second beginning of existence. But when for our sakes and for our salvation the Word, having united humanity to Himself hypostatically, came forth from a woman, He is for this reason said to have been born after the flesh.
It was not an ordinary man, who was first born of the holy Virgin, and upon whom afterwards the Word descended, but Himself, united to humanity from the womb itself, is said to have undergone fleshly birth, as making His own the birth of His own flesh. Thus we say that He both suffered and rose again; not meaning that the Word of God, in His own proper (Divine) Nature, suffered either stripes or the piercing of the nails or any other wounds at all; for the Divinity is impassible because it is also incorporeal. But when that which was made His own body suffered, He Himself is said to suffer these things for us; for the Impassible was in the suffering body.
After the same manner, too, we conceive of His dying. For the Word of God is by nature immortal and incorruptible and life and life-giving; but when His own body "by the grace of God tasted death for every man" He Himself is said to have suffered death for us; not meaning that He experienced death at all insofar as touches His (Divine) Nature--for it were sheer madness to say or think that--but that His flesh tasted death.
Thus again, too, when His flesh was raised the resurrection is spoken of as His; not meaning that He fell into corruption, certainly no, but that it was His body that was again raised.
Thus we acknowledge One Christ and Lord; not worshipping a man along with the Word, lest a semblance of division might secretly creep in through the use of the words "along with," but worshipping One and the Same (Lord), because the Word's body wherein He shares the Father's throne is not alien to Himself; in this case again not meaning that there are two Sons in co-session, but One (Son), by reason of His union with His flesh. But if we reject this Hypostatic Union as impossible or as unseemly, we fall into saying "two Sons," and then there will be every necessity for drawing a distinction, and for speaking of the one as properly a man honored with the title of "Son," and again of the other as properly the Word of God, having naturally the name and possession of Sonship.
Accordingly we must not divide into two Sons the One Lord Jesus Christ; for it will in no way assist the right expression of the faith so to do, even though some promise to admit a Unity of Prosopa. For the Scripture hath not declared that the Word united to Himself a man's person, but that He hath become Flesh. Now the Word becoming Flesh is nothing else but that "He partook of blood and flesh like us," and made His own body which was taken (from us), and came forth a man from a woman; not laying aside His being God and His generation from God the Father, but even in His assumption of flesh remaining what He was.
This (teaching) the statement of the correct faith everywhere sets forth. Thus we shall find the holy Fathers have been minded. Accordingly, they confidently called the holy Virgin Theotokos; not meaning that the Nature of the Word or His Godhead received its beginning from the holy Virgin, but that, inasmuch as His rationally animated body to which the Word was hypostatically united was born of her, He is said to have been born after the flesh.

Along with accepting Cyril's statement of positive doctrine, the Council of Ephesus also approved his list of twelve anathemas. They were intended by him to summarize Nestorian teaching and thereby bring out the orthodox position. In the process of formation, Cyril's anathemas became the subject of counter-anathemas by Nestorius.

As we go through the dozen condemnations of Ephesus, borrowed from Cyril, we shall briefly place them into context, to see what the Council meant and how Nestorianism was alien to the Church's authentic doctrine on the personality of Christ. We may note, in passing, that the Cyril-Ephesian language was yet to develop and be further clarified by Chalcedon; and also that the main drive of Ephesus was to safeguard Christ's individuality, whereas Nestorians were preoccupied with Christ's duality.

Cyril and the Council begin by affirming that, "If anyone does not profess that Emmanuel is truly God, and that the holy Virgin is, therefore, Mother of God, for she gave birth in the flesh to the Word of God made flesh," he should be anathematized. Behind this statement stands the implication that, since the child born of Mary was a divine Person, Mary was mother of the one she bore. Mothers give birth to individuals, i.e., a person, and thereby become bearers of the person to whom they give birth.

More specifically, Mary is truly Theotokos in two ways: she contributed everything 'to the formation of Christ's human nature that every other mother contributes to the fruit of her womb; and she conceived and bore the Second Person of the Trinity, not of course according to the divine nature but according to the human nature which the Logos assumed.

On a more technical level, those are condemned who do not profess that "the Word of God the Father was hypostatically united to flesh and that Christ is one having His own flesh, that is, one person who is both God and man." The word hypostatically became as crucial as homoousios at the Council of Nicea. It meant that the two natures in Christ were united personally, in such a way that while the terminus from which the union was effected was two distinct natures, which remained essentially unchanged, the terminus in which the union was completed was one individual, which individual was divine.

Furthermore, in reference to the one Christ, it is forbidden to make "a division of the hypostases after the union, joining them in a mere association of dignity, or of authority, or of power, and not rather, in a real physical union." Cyril (and Ephesus) here identify physis (nature) and hypostasis (substance). Such use, here and elsewhere suggests that the two terms were then considered synonymous. Chalcedon would distinguish the terminology, without changing the basic doctrine.

Coming into sharper focus, the council finds fault with those who take words spoken by Christ of Himself, or by others about Him, and divides them into two different categories, "as between two persons or hypostases, attributing some of them as to a man, properly understood in contrast to the Word of God, and the rest to the Word of God the Father exclusively, on the grounds that they are proper to God alone." The concern is obvious. If such expressions as, "the Father and I are one," refer exclusively to Christ as God; and such statements as "learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart" refer exclusively to Christ as man, then Christ is divided. He becomes two persons, one juxtaposed along side the other, and not one person who is at the same time God and man.

However, the terminology was still fluid at Ephesus, where sometimes hypostasis and sometimes physis is called "person." The ambivalence was not completely removed until Chalcedon, which crystallized the use of hypostasis to mean "person," in contradistinction to ousia or physis to mean "substance" or "nature" respectively.

One of the favorite phrases of Nestorius was to call Christ Theophoros = God-bearer. Accordingly Cyril and the council held that no one may say that "Christ is man bearing God within him and not, rather, that He is truly God as He is the Son of God by nature, inasmuch as the Word was made flesh and is a sharer like ourselves in flesh and blood." Nestorius kept insisting that anything more than God dwelling in Christ would be to make the divinity change at the Incarnation. To which Ephesus replied that no change in the Godhead is implied, but Theophoros might be applied to any saint in whom God dwells, while Christ was no mere saint, He was God in human form.

From another angle, Nestorians claimed that the First Person was Lord of Christ--to bring out their theory that Christ was two distinct personalities. Ephesus reacted by condemning those who assert that "the Father is God or Lord over Christ and does not, rather, profess that He Himself is both God and man, because the Word was made flesh according to the Scriptures." In other words, there is no dualism of individuals in the Savior. Being one divine person, he cannot be God and Lord of a human person associated with Himself, which involves an erroneous dualism. The dualism is that of being God and Lord of His own human nature.

In the same spirit, the Nestorians spoke of the man Jesus as actuated by God the Word, and that "He was invested with the glory of the Only-begotten, as though the man Jesus were someone other than the Word." This, too, was outlawed on the score that Christ was not actuated or energized (energesthai) from the outside. He claimed the Resurrection as His own work (John 2:19), and it was in His human nature that He was glorified. For the first time in theological history, we meet the term energized and its cognates, which became technical in the later Monophysite and Monothelite controversies.

An issue that would arise centuries later in the adoration of Christ's humanity and His Sacred Heart, was anticipated in the anathema against Nestorians who insisted on using the prefix "co-" every time they spoke of giving Christ divine honors. Thus no one may say that "the man assumed ought to be co-adored with God the Word, and co-glorified and co-named God, as one person in another--for this is the interpretation that the constant addition of co--will lead to--and does not, rather, adore Emmanuel with one adoration and apply to Him one doxology, inasmuch as the Word was made flesh." Very simply, such bifurcation would mean there was a human personality side by side with the divine.

Another facet of Nestorianism was its peculiar notion of the Holy Spirit. The action of the Third Person on Christ was equated with His action on other holy men, no more and no less. Hence the rejection by Ephesus of anyone who says that "the one Lord Jesus Christ was glorified by the Spirit as though through the Spirit Jesus exercised a power not proper to Himself, and as though He had received from Him the ability to act against unclean spirits, and to work miracles among men." Contrarily, believing Christians must affirm that "the Spirit by which He worked the miracles was His very own."

The crux here was to clarify the relationship of the Second and Third Persons. The Spirit was Christ's own, for although He proceeds from the Father He is not alien from the Son. Moreover since "all the Father has" belongs to the Son, too, therefore the Spirit is also His. Christ worked the miracles because He was united in Trinitarian intimacy with Father and Spirit.

Christ's priesthood was also challenged. According to St. Paul, Christ became the highpriest of the new covenant, and offered Himself up to God as our sacrifice on the cross (Hebrews 3:1). But the Nestorians weakened this concept out of existence by urging that not the Logos in human form but "another man, distinct from Him, who was born of woman," and who made the oblation of Calvary. From another angle, they held that Christ offered the sacrifice of Himself not only for our sins but also for His own, on the principle that the human nature of Christ (not being hypostatically united with the Second Person) was sinful and therefore in need of redemption.

Nestorius undercut the salvific work of Christ by denying that His humanity was the channel of redemption. As he put it, "The flesh of the Lord is not life-giving because it, does not belong to the very Word of God. Rather it belongs to someone else than God (who is a human person) and who was linked with God by dignity, and in whom the Godhead had a divine indwelling." Ephesus rejected this position because it destroyed the cardinal notion of Christ's meritorious passion and death, and reduced to a metaphor the Church's teaching that Christ is our eternal high-priest whose human nature (present in the Eucharistic sacrifice) is daily offered to the Father for our salvation.

Against this removal of Christ as the great sacrament of the New Law, the council declared that His "flesh is life-giving because it was made proper to the Word who has power to give life to all things." The Savior as God is the creator of supernatural life, and as man (united with the divinity) He is the unique instrument by which this life is communicated to mankind.

Finally in the Nestorian system only a man suffered and died. Ephesus countered by insisting that "the Word of God suffered in the flesh, and was crucified in the flesh. and experienced death in the flesh, and became the first-born from the dead, inasmuch as He is, ad God, both life and the giver of life." This was a summation of Nestorian theology and harked back to what we have seen among the Gnostics that were challenged in their day by Ignatius of Antioch and John the Evangelist. Nestorius was not a Gnostic in that he admitted the Scriptures and claimed he believed in Christ's divinity. But he was in the best Gnostic tradition when he outlawed the union of God and man in Christ to the point of refusing to say that God underwent trials and the agony of death, or that God rose from the grave.

After Ephesus passed its judgment, the followers of Nestorius, headed by John of Antioch, had second thoughts about supporting the bishop of Constantinople. Forty bishops were involved and Cyril, for all his intransigence, was moved by the spectacle of so many prelates denying an article of faith. He made overtures to the recalcitrants, and they in turn sent a delegation to Alexandria.

Bishop Paul of Emesa headed the delegates and presented to Cyril a formula drawn up at Antioch that would hopefully tide over the division. Paul was received amicably, preached in Cyril's presence on Christmas Day, and early the next year (433 A. D.) Cyril confirmed the reconciliation by his letter to John of Antioch. He accepted the Antiochene statement, without quite making it his own. Antioch still preferred to speak of the unconfused, Alexandria of the undivided union of God and man, and Antioch still suspected Cyril of Apollinarism, i.e., of watering down Christ's truly human nature by some kind of substitution of His rational soul by the divine Logos.

As an effort toward explaining himself more clearly, and bringing the Nestorian sympathizers back to the fold, Cyril wrote his famous Formula of Union, a masterpiece of charity joined to theological clarity. Without giving up an iota of what Ephesus defined, he restated the council's teaching to make it palatable to the unhappy bishops, and found his efforts rewarded by a mass reconciliation. Cyril's document is a permanent witness to the type of ecumenism needed in modern times, which seeks to present the Church's unchangeable doctrine in terms that are intelligible and (hopefully) acceptable to Christians who are not Roman Catholic.

First Cyril stated his conviction that the recent controversy had been unnecessary; then he quoted verbatim the profession of faith of the erstwhile Nestorian prelates, who were now willing to accept the title Theotokos. Once they were ready to call Mary the Mother of God, Cyril was all meekness about accepting their orthodoxy.

That the division which arose between the Churches was entirely superfluous and unjustified, we are now thoroughly convinced, since my lord the most God-beloved bishop Paul has produced a paper containing an unimpeachable confession of the faith, and assures us that this was drawn up by Your Holiness and the most devout bishops there. The document is as follows, and it is incorporated word for word in this letter of ours:
"We must necessarily state briefly what we are convinced of and profess about the God-bearing Virgin, and the manner of the incarnation of the unique Son of God--not by way of addition but in the manner of a full statement, adding nothing at all to the Creed of the holy Fathers put forth at Nicaea. For, as we have just said, it is sufficient both for the whole knowledge of godliness and for the repudiation of all heretical false teaching. We speak, then, not as daring things impossible, but by the confession of our own weakness shutting out those who wish to reproach us in that we look into things that are beyond man.
"We confess, then, our Lord Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God, perfect God and perfect man, or a reasonable soul and body; begotten of the Father before (the) ages according to the Godhead, the same in the last days for us and for our salvation (born) of Mary the Virgin according to the manhood; the same consubstantial with the Father in the Godhead, and consubstantial with us in manhood, for a union of two natures took place; understanding of the unconfused union we confess the holy Virgin to be theotokos, because God the Word was made flesh and lived as man, and from the very conception united to himself the temple taken from her. As to the evangelical and apostolic phrases about the Lord, we knew that theologians treat some in common, as of one person, and distinguish others, as of two natures, and interpret the God-befitting ones in connection with the Godhead of Christ, and the humble ones of the manhood."

In certain ways, the foregoing retractation was unsatisfactory in language and tendency. Always the Antiochene school stressed the twofold nature of Christ, which was not in dispute, while understressing His oneness as an individual, which was seriously in question. They also repeated the familiar Nestorian terms, "the temple taken from her," and "unconfused union." But Cyril read enough valid faith in their profession to excuse, the semantics once the essentials were recognized.

On reading these holy phrases, and finding that we ourselves are also thus convinced--for (there is) one Lord, one faith, one baptism--we glorified God the Savior of all, rejoicing together that both our Churches and yours have a creed agreeing with the God-inspired Scriptures and the tradition of our holy Fathers. But since I learned that some of those who, are accustomed to be fond of finding fault were buzzing around like fierce wasps and were spitting out evil words against me, as if I said that the holy body of Christ came down from heaven and was not of the holy Virgin, I thought it necessary to address a few words to them about this.
How did you pervert your thinking so far, and fall sick with such folly? For you must surely clearly understand that almost all our fight for the faith was connected with our declaring that the holy Virgin is theotokos. But if we say that the holy body of Christ the Saviour of us all was from heaven and not of her, how could she be thought of as theotokos? For whom indeed did she bear, if it is not true that she bore Emmanuel after the flesh?
But since God the Word, who descended from above and from heaven, emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and is styled Son of Man, while remaining what he is, that is, God--for he is unchangeable and unalterable by nature--now being thought of as one with his own flesh, he is said to come down from heaven, and is called (the) man from heaven, being perfect in Godhead, and the same perfect in manhood, and thought of as in one person--for (there is) one Lord Jesus Christ, although the difference of the natures is not ignored, out of which we say that the ineffable union was effected.
As to those who say that there was a mixture or confusion or blending of God the Word with the flesh, let Your Holiness stop their mouths. For some probably report this about me, as though I had thought or said so. But I am so far away from thinking thus that I think they are out of their minds who can at all suppose that a shadow of turning could occur in connection with the divine nature of the Word. For he ever remains the same, and is not altered; nor indeed could he ever be altered or subject to variation. In addition we all confess that the Word of God is impassible, though in his all-wise dispensation of the mystery, he is seen to attribute to himself the sufferings undergone by his own flesh. So the all-wise Peter spoke of Christ suffering for us in the flesh, and not in the nature of the ineffable Godhead.

Cyril concluded by reaffirming his acceptance of Nicea and fidelity to the memory of Athanasius. He repeated his faith in Christ's unqualified divinity, which the Nestorians accused him of weakening, while complimenting the bishops on their zeal--which led them into previous error. The letter is one of the earliest examples of how carefully teachers and churchmen have to distinguish between legitimate pluralism and doctrinal perversion. Preoccupation with one aspect of Christ's being--as a composite--had obscured the Nestorian vision of Christ as a single individual.

The Apollinarists had solved the problem by conjuring up a humanity minus human intellect and freewill. The Nestorians solved the same problem by going to the other extreme and fabricating a humanity that had not only mind and liberty, but also complete personality. Both wanted to safeguard Nicea and repudiate Arianism. But where Apollinaris "saved" Christ's divine nature by reducing the humanity to an irrational shadow, Nestorius tried to protect the divinity by making Christ's human nature a distinct and separate reality.

Eutyches and Chalcedon

When the moderate Antiochene bishops came to terms with Cyril in 433 A. D., the "compromise" ostensibly settled the controversy and Ephesus joined Nicea as an expression of the Church's belief on the twofold nature of the Founder. Before long, however, the germ of another deviation latent this time in Alexandrian theology began to bear fruit. If Alexandria had emphasized Christ's unity against those who would divide Him, it also carried the impediment of ambiguous language which less orthodox Christians would use to their own advantage. The most prominent such exploiter was Eutyches (378-454 A.D.), archimandrite of a large monastery at Constantinople.

Eutyches' keen opposition to Nestorianism led him to maintain that after the divine nature had been united to the human in the person of Christ, His human nature was merged in the divine, so that from the moment of His "incarnation" only a divine nature remained. This theory came to be known as Monophysitism from the Greek monos = one, and physis = nature.

In 448 A.D., when he had been a monk for more than sixty years, Eutyches was accused by Eusebius of Dorylaem, his former friend, of Apollinarist tendencies. The patriarch of Constantinople, Flavian, called a synod of some thirty bishops and summoned Eutyches to clear himself. When he finally came, his statements were too vague to be meaningful, until faced with the direct question: "Do you confess the existence of two natures even after the Incarnation, and that Christ is consubstantial with us? Eutyches replied, "I confess that before the union (of the Second Person and human nature) Christ was of two natures, but after the union I confess only one nature."

Pressed to conform to traditional teaching, he protested that for the sake of peace he would agree but that personally he was sure the Church was wrong. He could not find the idea of two distinct natures anywhere in the Bible or the writings of the Fathers. Thereupon he was deposed and excommunicated.

At this point the emperor stepped in. Eutyches appealed to Theodosius through his friend, the eunuch Chrysaphius, and set to work placarding the city with signs denouncing Flavian and defending his own Christology. To get more support, he wrote to Alexandria, Jerusalem, Ravenna and Rome, with special urgency to Pope Leo I that he might decide in his favor.

Leo waited to hear the other side. When Flavian submitted the case against Eutyches, the pope wrote his classic Dogmatic Letter to Flavian, which has made theological history. More popularly called "The Tome of Leo," it confirmed the decision of the bishops under Flavian and condemned Eutyches.

Suppressed at Ephesus, the Tome was approved at Chalcedon, and is thus the one representative of Western theology in the official documents of the ecumenical councils recognized by all Christendom. It is a fine specimen of the straightforwardness and clarity of the Latin mind--as also of the Western approach to the mysteries of Christianity from the facts of faith rather than the speculation of philosophy. Basically, the pope tells the old monk that he should go back and read his Bible. In some ways, Leo's assertion of the gospel of God and man in Christ stopped short where Greek speculation on the subject began. But essentially he had stated the common faith. Not unnaturally, the doctrine here stated is further expounded in Leo's sermons for the Christmas feast, which has commonly been more central in Western piety than in Eastern. Leo could cheerfully have sung Charles Wesley's Christmas hymn, or joined in the words of a seventeenth century poet and convert to Catholicism.

Welcome, all wonders in one sight!
        Eternity shut in a span!
Summer in Winter, Day in Night!
        Heaven in Earth, and God in Man!
Great little one! whose all-embracing birth,
        Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth!

The Tome is preserved in collections of the Acts of Chalcedon as well as in those of the Letters of Leo. The first critical edition of the works of Leo was that of the Jansenist Quesnel in 1675. This unorthodox association led Benedict XIV to encourage the improved, and still standard, edition of the brothers Ballerini in 1753-1757. There are several translations, of which that by William Bright seems to come closest to reproducing in English the style, both influenced and influencing the then young tradition of the Roman Liturgy. Bright's version is here reprinted with some changes in capitals and punctuation.

The full text of Leo, which follows, is given without apology but with some explanation. Although the longest citation in the book, it says everything that the author of this volume wants to communicate to his readers. Leo's Tome is at once a witness to the Church's clear knowledge of the Savior's person and mission, and evidence of the primacy--needed in the fifth century to discover the truth in a welter of contradictory opinions and needed today to sift the conflicting ideas of an ecumenical age.

Leo is theological but warm. His lucid exposition is still a model for teachers and preachers of the Word, who know how to be deep without losing themselves in scholastic terminology. It is the finest summation of Christology, and, incorporated into the teachings of Chalcedon, is the Church's most authoritative statement in extenso about Jesus Christ.

Having read Your Affection's letter, the late arrival of which is matter of surprise to us, and having gone through the record of the proceedings of the bishops, we have now, at last, gained a clear view of the scandal which has risen among you, against the integrity of the faith; and what at first seemed obscure has now been elucidated and explained. By this means Eutyches, who seemed to be deserving of honor under the title of presbyter, is now known to be exceedingly thoughtless and sadly inexperienced, so that to him may apply what the prophet said, "He refused to understand that he might act well; he meditated unrighteousness on his bed." What, indeed, is more unrighteous than to entertain ungodly thoughts, and not yield to persons wiser and more learned?
Into this folly do they fall who, when hindered by some obscurity from knowing the truth, have recourse, not to the words of the prophets, not to the letters of the apostles, nor to the authority of the Gospels, but to themselves; and become teachers of error, just because they have not been disciples of the truth. For what learning has he received from the sacred pages of the New and Old Testaments, who does not so much as understand the very beginning of the Creed? And that which, all the world over, is uttered by the voices of all applicants for regeneration is still not apprehended by the mind of this aged man.
Analysis of Monophysitism. If, then, he knew not what he ought to think about the incarnation of the Word of God, and was not willing, for the sake of obtaining the light of intelligence, to make laborious search through the whole extent of the Holy Scriptures, he should at least have received with heedful attention that general confession common to all, whereby the whole body of the faithful profess that they "believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary."
By these three clauses the engines of almost all heretics are shattered. For when God is believed to be both "Almighty" and "Father," it is found that the Son is everlasting together with himself, differing in nothing from the Father, because he was born as "God from God." Almighty from Almighty, Coeternal from Eternal; not later in time, not unlike him in glory, not divided from him in essence; and the same only-begotten and everlasting Son of an eternal Parent was "born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary. (21)
This birth in time in no way detracted from, in no way added to, that divine and everlasting birth; but expended itself wholly in the work of restoring man, who had been deceived, so that it might both overcome death, and by its power "destroy the devil who had the power of death." (22) For we could not have overcome the author of sin and of death, unless he who could neither be contaminated by sin nor detained by death had taken upon himself our nature and made it his own. For, in fact, he was "conceived of the Holy Ghost" within the womb of a virgin mother, who bare him, as she had conceived him, without loss of virginity.
But if he [Eutyches] was not able to obtain a true conception from this pure fountain of Christian faith, because by his own blindness he had darkened the brightness of a truth so clear, he should have submitted himself to the evangelical teaching; and after reading what Matthew says, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham," (23) he should also have sought instruction from the apostolical preaching.
After reading in the Epistle to the Romans, "Paul, a servant of God, called an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, which he had promised before by the prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was made unto him of the seed of David according to the flesh," (24) he should have bestowed some devout study on the pages of the prophets; and, finding that God's promise said to Abraham, "In thy seed shall all nations be blessed," (25) in order to avoid all doubt as to the proper meaning of this "seed," he should have attended to the apostle's words, "To Abraham and to his seed were the promises made.
He said not, 'and to seeds,' as in the case of many, but, as in the case of one, 'And to thy seed,' which is Christ. " (26) He should also have apprehended with his inward ear the declaration of Isaiah; "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us"; and should have read with faith the words of the same prophet, "Unto us a child has been born, unto us a son has been given, whose power is on his shoulder; and they shall call his name Angel of Great Counsel, Wonderful, Counselor, Strong, Prince of Peace, Father of the Age to Come." (27) And he should not have spoken idly to the effect that the Word was in such a sense made flesh, that the Christ who was brought forth from the Virgin's womb had the form of a man, but had not a body really derived from his mother's body.
Possibly his reason for thinking that our Lord Jesus Christ was not of our nature was this: that the angel who was sent to the blessed and ever-virgin Mary said, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, and therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called Son of God" (28) as if, because the Virgin's conception was caused by a divine act, therefore the flesh of him whom she conceived was not of the nature of her who conceived him. But we are not to understand that "generation," peerlessly wonderful, and wonderfully peerless, in such a sense as that the newness of the mode of production did away with the proper character of the kind. For it was the Holy Ghost who gave fecundity to the Virgin, but it was from a body that a real body was derived; and "when Wisdom was building herself a house," "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," (29) that is: in that flesh which he assumed from a human being, and which he animated with the spirit of rational life.
Christ Has Two Distinct Natures. Accordingly, while the distinctness of both natures and substances is preserved, and both meet in one Person, lowliness is assumed by majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity; and in order to pay the debt of our condition, the inviolable nature has been united to the passible, so that, as the appropriate remedy for our ills, one and the same "Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus:" (30) might from one element be capable of dying, and from the other be incapable. Therefore in the entire and perfect nature of very Man was born very God, whole in what was his, whole in what was ours, (By "ours" we mean what the Creator formed in us at the beginning, and what he assumed in order to restore); for of that which the deceiver brought in, and man, thus deceived admitted, there was not a trace in the Saviour; and the fact that he took on himself a share in our infirmities did not make him a partaker in our transgressions.
He took on him "the form of a servant" without the defilement of sins, augmenting what was human, not diminishing what was divine; because that "emptying of himself," (31) whereby the Invisible made himself visible, and the Creator and Lord of all things willed to be one among mortals, was a stooping down of compassion, not a failure of power. Accordingly, the same who, remaining in the form of God, made man: was made Man in the form of a servant.
For each of the natures retains its proper character without defect. As the form of God does not take away the form of a servant, so the form of a servant does not impair the form of God. The devil was glorying in the fact that man, deceived by his craft, was bereft of divine gifts, and, being stripped of this endowment of immortality, had come under the grievous sentence of death.
Amid his miseries, Satan had found a sort of consolation in having a transgressor as his companion, and that God, according to the requirements of the principle of justice, had changed his own resolution in regard to man, whom he had created in so high a position of honor. There was need of a dispensation of secret counsel, in order that the unchangeable God, whose will could not be deprived of its own benignity, should fulfill by a more secret mystery his original plan of loving-kindness towards us, and that man, who had been led into fault by the wicked subtlety of the devil, should not perish contrary to God's purpose.
Meaning of the Hypostatic Union. The Son of God, descending from his seat in heaven, yet not departing from the glory of the Father, enters this lower world, born after a new order, by a new mode of birth. After a new order, because he who in his own sphere is invisible became visible in ours. He who could not be enclosed in space willed to be enclosed. Continuing to be before times, He began to exist in time. The Lord of the universe allowed his infinite majesty to be overshadowed, and took upon him the form of a servant. The impassible God did not disdain to become passible, and the immortal one to be subject to the laws of death.
Born by a new mode of birth, because inviolate virginity, while ignorant of concupiscence, supplied the matter of his flesh. What was assumed from the Lord's mother was nature, not fault; and the fact that the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ is wonderful, in that he was born of a virgin's womb, does not imply that his nature is unlike ours. For the selfsame who is very God is also very Man: and there is no illusion in this union, while the lowliness of man and the loftiness of Godhead meet together.
As "God" is not changed by the compassion [exhibited], so "Man" is not consumed by the dignity [bestowed]. For each "form" does the acts which belong to it, in communion with the other; the Word, that is, performing what belongs to the Word, and the flesh carrying out what belongs to the flesh. The one of these shines out in miracles the other succumbs to injuries.
As the Word does not withdraw from equality with the Father in glory, so the flesh does not abandon the nature of our kind. For, as we must often be saying, he is one and the same, truly Son of God, and truly Son of Man: God, inasmuch as "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"; Man, inasmuch as "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." God, inasmuch as "all things were made by him, and without him nothing was made"; Man inasmuch as he was "made of a woman, made under the law." (32)
The nativity of the flesh is a manifestation of human nature: the Virgin's child-bearing is an indication of divine power. The infancy of the babe is exhibited by the humiliation of swaddling clothes the greatness of the highest is declared by the voices of angels. He whom Herod impiously designs to slay is like humanity in its beginnings, but he whom the Magi rejoice to adore on their knees is Lord of all. Now when he came to the baptism of John his forerunner, lest the fact that the Godhead was covered with a veil of flesh should be concealed, the voice of the Father spoke in thunder from heaven, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." (33)
He who, as man, is tempted by the devil's subtlety is the same to whom, as God, angels pay duteous service. (34) To hunger, to thirst, to be weary, and to sleep is evidently human. But to feed five-thousand men with five loaves, and to bestow on the woman of Samaria that living water, to drink of which can secure one from thirsting again; to walk on the surface of the sea with feet that sink not, and by rebuking the storm to bring down the "uplifted waves," is unquestionably divine. (35)
As then--to pass by many points--it does not belong to the same nature to weep with feelings of pity over a dead friend and, after the mass of stone had been removed from the grave where he had lain four days, by a voice of command to raise him up to life again; or to hang on the wood and to make all the elements tremble after daylight had been turned into night; or to be transfixed with nails and to open the gates of paradise to the faith of the robber, so it does not belong to the same nature to say, "I and the Father are one," and to say, "The Father is greater than I." (36) For although in the Lord Jesus Christ there is one Person of God and man, yet that whereby contumely attaches to both is one thing, and that whereby glory attaches to both is another: for from what belongs to us he has that manhood which is inferior to the Father; while from the Father he has equal Godhead with the Father.
Communication of Attributes in Christ. On account of this unity which is to be understood as existing in both the natures, we read, on the one hand, that "the Son of Man came down from heaven," (37) inasmuch as the Son of God took flesh from that Virgin of whom he was born; and, on the other hand, the Son of God is said to have been crucified and buried, inasmuch as he underwent this, not in his actual Godhead, wherein the Only-begotten is coeternal and consubstantial with the Father, but in the weakness of human nature.
Wherefore we all, in the very Creed, confess that "the only-begotten Son of God was crucified and buried," according to that saying of the apostle, "For if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of majesty." (38) And when our Lord and Savior himself was by his questions instructing the faith of the disciples, he said, "Who do men say that I the Son of Man am?" And when they had mentioned various opinions held by others, he said, "But who do you say that I am?" that is, "I who am Son of Man, and whom you see in the form of a servant, and in reality of flesh, who do you say that I am?" Whereupon the blessed Peter, as inspired by God, and about to benefit all nations by his confession, said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (39)
Not undeservedly, therefore, was he pronounced blessed by the Lord, and derived from the original Rock that solidity which belonged both to his virtue and to his name, who through revelation from the Father confessed the selfsame to be both the Son of God and the Christ; because one of these truths, accepted without the other, would not profit unto salvation, and it was equally dangerous to believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be merely God and not man or merely man and not God.
But after the resurrection of the Lord--which was in truth the resurrection of a real body, for no other person was raised again than he who had been crucified and had died--what else was accomplished during that interval of forty days than to make our faith entire and clear of all darkness? For a while he conversed with his disciples, and dwelt with them, and ate with them, and allowed himself to be handled with careful and inquisitive touch by those who were under the influence of doubt.
This was his purpose in entering in to them when the doors were shut, and by his breath giving them the Holy Ghost and opening the secrets of Holy Scripture after bestowing on them the light of intelligence, and again in his selfsame person showing to them the wound in the side, the prints of the nails, and all the fresh tokens of the Passion, saying, "Behold my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have”. (40) Thus the properties of the divine and the human nature are acknowledged to remain in him without causing a division, and we know that the Word is not what the flesh is but confess that the one Son of God is both Word and flesh.
On this mystery of faith, Eutyches must be regarded as unhappily having no hold whatever. He has not acknowledged our nature to exist in the only-begotten Son of God, by way either of the lowliness of mortality or of the glory of resurrection. Nor has he been overawed by the declaration of the blessed Apostle and Evangelist John, saying, "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which dissolves Jesus is not of God, and this is Antichrist." (41)
Now what is to dissolve Jesus, but to separate the human nature from him, and to make void by shameless inventions that mystery, by which alone we have been saved? Moreover, seeing he is blind as to the nature of Christ's body, he must needs be involved in the like senseless blindness with regard to his Passion also. If he does not think the Lord's crucifixion to be unreal, and does not doubt that he really accepted suffering, even unto death, for the sake of the world's salvation; as he believes in his death, let him acknowledge his flesh also, and not doubt that he whom he recognizes as having been capable of suffering is also man with a body like ours; since to deny his true flesh is also to deny his bodily sufferings.
If then he accepts the Christian faith, and does not turn away his ear from the preaching of the Gospel, let him see what nature it was that was transfixed with nails and hung on the wood of the cross. Let him understand whence it was that, after the side of the crucified had been pierced by the soldier's spear, blood and water flowed out, that the Church of God might be refreshed both with the Laver and with the Cup. Let him listen also to the blessed apostle Peter when he declares that "sanctification by the Spirit" takes place through the sprinkling of the blood of Christ."
Let him not give a mere cursory reading to the words of the same apostle, "Knowing that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain way of life received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Let him also not resist the testimony of blessed John the apostle, "And the blood of Jesus the Son of God cleanses us from all sin." And again: "This is the victory which overcomes the world, even our faith;" and: "Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood, and it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth….For there are three that bear witness, the spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are one." That is, the Spirit of sanctification and the blood of redemption, and the water of baptism; which three things are one, and remain undivided, and not one of them is disjoined from connection with the others: because the Catholic Church lives and advances in this faith, that in Christ Jesus we must believe neither manhood to exist without true Godhead, nor Godhead without true manhood.

Looking back at Leo's analysis, we see that he made issue of four elements of the faith, defending them against Eutyches:

  1. Christ is only one person. The Logos and Christ are not two but one individual being. One and the same person is truly the Son of God and truly the Son of man, born of the Virgin Mary.

  2. In that one person are two natures, divine and human without confusion or commingling, so that each remains truly and complete itself.

  3. Each nature retains its own properties, although not without bearing on the other nor outside the union which is permanent. Every action derives from its respective nature as from an immediate principle of operation.

  4. Because Christ is one person, we may invoke the communicatio idiomatum, i.e., the sharing of attributes in Christ. What is proper to one nature may, in the concrete, be predicated of the other. That is why we profess in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds that the only-begotten Son of God was crucified, died and was buried for our salvation.

As happened before, the imperial powers entered the controversy without invitation from Rome. Theodosius summoned the bishops of the empire to meet at Ephesus. They exonerated Eutyches, refused to accept the papal legates, and rejected Leo's Tome against Monophysitism. The pope described the Ephesian synod as a robbery latrocinium, and urged the emperor to convoke a fresh council, this time in Italy. Theodosius died without acceding to Leo's demand.

However, Marcian, who succeeded Theodosius II, agreed to call a council, but not in Italy. On May 17, 451, the council began proceedings at Nicea, but shortly after was transferred to Chalcedon, on the Bosphorus, a place which commended itself (over Nicea) because it was close to the imperial residence.

Chalcedon, by any calculation, was the work of Leo I, whom posterity surnamed the Great. Attended by upwards of six hundred bishops, it was unsurpassed for grandeur up to the first and second councils of the Vatican.

When the Nicene Creed and Leo's Tome were read, the assembled prelates exclaimed, "This is the faith of the Fathers. This is the faith of the Apostles. This is the faith of all of us. Peter has spoken through Leo."

Nicea and Leo were enough, but the bishops wanted to reduce Leo's doctrine to a short summary, with special attention to the error of "those who try to divide the mystery of the dispensation (Incarnation) into a dyad of Sons…who think of a mixture or confusion of the two natures in Christ…who fancy that the form of a servant which He took of us was of a heavenly or some other substance, and who imagine two natures of the Lord before the union but invent one after the union." In a word, Chalcedon wished to close the doors on anyone who would tamper with the mystery of the hypostatic union, where two natures remain truly themselves and yet are bound together in a single divine personality.

Following therefore the holy Fathers, we confess one and the same our Lord Jesus Christ, and we all teach harmoniously (that he is) the same perfect in Godhead, the same perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, the same of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father in Godhead, and the same consubstantial with us in manhood, like us in all things except sin; begotten before ages of the Father in Godhead, the same in the last days for us; and for our salvation (born) of Mary the Virgin theotokos in manhood, one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, unique; acknowledged in two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation--the difference of the natures being by no means taken away because of the union, but rather the distinctive character of each nature being preserved, and (each) combining in one Person and hypostasis--not divided or separated into two Persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets of old and the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us about him, and the symbol of the Fathers has handed down to us.
Since we have determined these things with all possible accuracy and care, the holy and ecumenical Council has decreed that no one shall be allowed to, bring forward another Creed, nor to compose or produce or think out or teach (such) to others.

The Chalcedonian formula says everything to be said about the Mystery of the Incarnation in a few words.

  1. Christ is affirmed to have assumed a real and not an apparent body, for he is "truly man…born of Mary the Virgin…in manhood."

  2. Taking on our nature, He assumed not only a body but also a rational soul, with intellect and will. He is "perfect (complete) in manhood…or reasonable (rational) soul and body…consubstantial with us in manhood, like us in all things except sin."

  3. The two natures in Christ are hypostatically, that is joined to each other in one individual, "each combining in one Person and Hypostasis (eis hen prosopon kai mian hypostasin)." The official Latin text reads, in unam personam atque subsistentiam concurrente, where the Greek Hupostasis becomes "subsistence," and the English "combining" is the Latin concurrente = running together.

  4. In the hypostatic union, each of the two natures remains unimpaired, "without confusion - inconfuse, without change = immutabiliter, without division = indivise, without separation = inseparabiliter." The first two exclusions were directed against the Monophysites, the last two against the Nestorians.

  5. At the same time, Christ was and remains true God, one with the Father in nature, "consubstantial with the Father in Godhead…perfect in Godhead…the Word (Logos)." His divinity is not changed by becoming man, but the world is immensely changed by the Incarnation, since "in the last days" God entered the world in human form.

  6. Even as man, Christ is absolutely sinless, for He is "like us in all things except sin." He neither sinned nor could sin because He was God. Only in the Nestorian system, where Christ was two persons, is sin conceivable to the Savior.

  7. The reason for the Incarnation was functional. Christ was born into the world "for our salvation" to undergo the meritorious death that, except for this mortality, would have been impossible.

  8. Only the Second Person became man. It was "the Son and only-begotten God, Word," who assumed human nature--not the Father nor the Holy Spirit.

  9. Accordingly Mary is not only Mother of Christ, but Mother of God, since He was "born of Mary, the virgin Theotokos," which Ephesus was at such pains to declare.

  10. The Savior's oneness of personality presumes that whatever He did or does is done simultaneously by both natures, although in different ways, as would be further refined in the controversy with the Monothelites and Monoenergetics who were fascinated by the Eutychian explanation of how God absorbed the humanity of Christ.

From Chalcedon to the Monothelites

By the time the Emperor Zeno came to the throne in 474 A.D., the Monophysite trouble had reached a climax. Personally drawn to the Eutychean party, he was conciliatory to the Catholics for political reasons. He therefore conceived the idea of drafting a compromise document, which he called the Henoticon or Union Decree. Cleverly written, the Henoticon praised the first three ecumenical councils, slurred Chalcedon, and judiciously avoided all reference to Christ's person or natures. Nobody was happy with the melange, yet Zeno deposed bishops right and left unless they subscribed to the decree. The result was confusion.

At this juncture, John Talais, the Catholic patriarch of Alexandria went to Rome to appeal to Felix III for help. The pope sent legates to Constantinople to get legal recognition for Chalcedon and have the deposed bishops reinstated. But the emperor would not be moved. Whereupon Acacius, bishop of Constantinople was excommunicated for supporting Zeno; and Acacius retaliated by striking the pope's name from the diptychs. Thus began in 484 A. D. the first of a series of schisms, this one lasting thirty-five years, that finally terminated in the breech between the East and West. Only in 519 A.D., under the Catholic emperor, Justin I, was the schism healed when Patriarch John subscribed to the memorable Formula of Hormisdas in which Chalcedon and Leo were received without reserve.

During the Acacian schism another dispute arose over the term, "One of the Trinity was crucified." Originally part of the Trisagion, in the Liturgy, the expression was added by Peter, the Monophysite patriarch of Antioch. His idea was that the divinity had in some way absorbed Christ's humanity, and that consequently the agony on the cross directly affected the divine nature.

Three popes were urged by the imperial prelates who wanted the expression approved. Hormisdas, John II and Agapetus I refused, not because the formula was heretical--it had been used by Cyril--but because it was easily susceptible of erroneous interpretation by the Monophysites. Emperor Justinian received a cordial reply from John II, recalling the faith of Chalcedon but no formal approval. Thereupon Justinian called for another general council to effect the union that the peace of the empire seemed (to him) to warrant.

By this time a cause celebre was created by the emperor's insistence that three men should be condemned for heresy: Theodore of Mopsuestia of Nestorian fame, Theodoret of Cyrrhus 390-457 A. D.), and Ibas of Edussa (380-457 A.D.). The emperor felt that condemning the Three Chapters, as the citations from TheodoreTheodoret-Ibas came to be called, would placate the Monophysites who were bitterly anti-Nestorian.

The council convoked to condemn these three began at Constantinople in 553 A.D., with the agreement of Pope Vigilius. Then began a sad chapter in papal diplomacy. Vigilius first was against condemning the Three Chapters. He was promptly seized by the emperor and taken to Constantinople to break down his resistance. Under pressure, Vigilius retracted his previous stand and in 458 A.D. condemned the Chapters, namely, 1) the person and works of Theodore of Mopsuestia, 2) the writings of Theodoret against Cyril of Alexandria, and 3) Ibas' letter to Maris, a Persian bishop sympathetic to Nestorianism.

Vigilius' action was resented in the West, so that he withdrew the condemnation and awaited a general council. The Fifth General Council at Constantinople condemned the Three Chapters in plenary session, 533 A.D., and a year later Vigilius recondemned the same. Pope Pelagius I followed Vigilius' example, but in the meantime a grievous schism had broken in the West over the papal vacillation. Few cases in Church History better illustrate the evils of Caesaro-papalism, when civil rulers arrogate to themselves the right to pass judgment in religious matters.

All this was a prelude to the last ecumenical council to deal with the person of the Savior. Once more the council was occasioned by heretical teaching, abetted by imperial interference.

Emperor Haraclius was anxious to reconcile the Monophysites of Syria and Egypt in his war against the Persians and Arabians. To this end, he was advised by Sergius, partriarch of Constantinople, to expound the theory of one will in Christ--a concession to the Monophysites. A convert to the cause of Cyrus of Phasis, who was promptly made patriarch of Alexandria and set about "converting" large bodies of Monophysites to the Church.

The instrument of conversion was a list of nine anathemas, notably condemning anyone who denies that "there is one Christ and one Son, producing all His actions, divine and human, by one sole theandric operation…the elements of the union being so related that there is between them only a mental and not a real distinction." This was genuine Monophysitism, with only a thin disguise.

The Monothelites (monos = one, and thelein = to will) were originally sincere adherents of Chalcedon who for political reasons imprudently toyed with a risky theology to win the followers of Eutyches back to the Church. Few commentators on the subject advert to the crisis then facing Christendom and the desperate need Christians had for unity, on the eve of the Moslem invasion. Monothelitism was an ill-fated effort to unite at any cost, in view of the imminent peril from Islam.

In 624 A.D., conferences of the Monophysite leaders with Emperor Heraclius resulted in producing a formula apparently acceptable to both sides. As noted above, the only difficulty was that Christ was admitted to have two natures but only one mode of activity (mia energia). Things might have stopped there except that the patriarch Sergius found a similar expression in the writing of Cyril of Alexandria which gave the term a semblance of orthodoxy.

Alert to the danger, Patriarch Sophronius of Jerusalem vigorously opposed the formula and occasioned Sergius' appeal for approval from Rome. In two unguarded letters, Pope Honorius (625-638 A.D.) approved Sergius' conduct and himself used the phrase "one will," which henceforth replaced the "one energy." The pope's approval was elicited by the strategy of couching the whole matter in ambiguous terms, but it was enough to give the Monothelites a handle. Soon after (638 A.D.), preachers were forbidden by imperial edict to speak of one or two energies and bidden to say that Christ had only one will (hen Thelema).

Two councils at Constantinople (638 and 639 A.D.) approved the Ecthesis as the royal decree was called, but the successors of Honorius (Severinus, John IV and Theodore I) all condemned Monothelitiesm. To obtain religious peace, Emperor Constans II withdrew the Ecthesis in 648 A.D. replacing it with the Typos which forbade teaching either position, that Christ had one or two wills. A council at the Lateran in 649 A.D. condemned the Typos and paved the way for the Council of Constantinople in 680 A.D., confirming a Roman synod on the same subject the year before.

Ominous of the times, the patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem were already in the hands of the Moslems--with the tragic reminder that both cities had been strongholds of Monophysitism. Their bishops did not attend the council.

In many ways, the Third Council of Constantinople was a harbinger of modern times. Where ancient Christology started from above with the question, "How did the Son of God become man?" modern Christology is more likely to ask, "How can we say that this man is God, as Christian experience declares?"

The Monothelite controversy pointed up the shift in emphasis, raising the problem of Christ, not in being but in action. Sergius and his disciples asserted that if we postulate two wills or operations in Christ, we charge Him with imperfection. It was inconceivable in their theory that the two wills would not be in opposition within Christ.

Historically Third Constantinople has a special interest for English-speaking Christians as the only ancient ecumenical council in which the English Church had some part. Pope Agatho's letter to the Council expresses regret that the Greek archbishop of Canterbury, Theodore of Tarsus, was unable to come as his representative. But Theodore had secured a statement from his provincial council on behalf of the doctrine of two wills, and his unruly suffragan, Wilfrid, "humble bishop of the holy Church of York," took part in the preliminary council of Western bishops held at Rome in 680 A.D., One may fairly list these actions as the first participation of English Christianity, led by the prelates of Canterbury and York, in ecumenical discussions.

Whoever drafted the formal Statement of Faith adopted at Constantinople emphasized in its very form that this council wished to reassert the teaching of Chalcedon and develop its implications, as the Fifth Council had reaffirmed the teaching of Ephesus. It begins with a reassertion of the Creeds of Nicea and Constantinople and the authority of the previous ecumenical councils, now five in number. The creed should be enough, but the new error of one will and one operation has arisen which must be met; against it Pope Agatho and his council have written their letters, documents agreeing with the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo.

"Following the holy and ecumenical five councils, and the holy and approved Fathers, and unanimously defining that our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, one of the holy and life-bestowing Trinity, is to be confessed perfect in Godhead and the same perfect in manhood…(the Chalcedon definition is then repeated, with the one additional phrase that Mary is called "genuinely and in truth Theotokos").

"We also proclaim two natural willings or wills in him and two natural operations, without separation, without change, without partition, without confusion according to the teaching of the holy Fathers--and two natural wills not contrary (to each other), God forbid, as the impious heretics have said (they would be), but his human will following, and not resisting or opposing, but rather subject to his divine and allpowerful will. For it was proper for the will of the flesh to be moved (naturally), yet to be subject to the divine will, according to the allwise Athanasius.

"For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of God the Word, so also the natural will of his flesh is called and is God the Word's own will, as he himself says: 'I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of the Father who - sent me,' calling the will of the flesh his own, as also the flesh had become his own. For in the same manner that his all-holy and spotless ensouled flesh, though divinized, was not destroyed, but remained in its own law and principle, so also his human will, divinized, was not destroyed, but rather preserved, as Gregory the divine says: 'His will, as conceived of in his character as the Saviour, is not contrary to God (being) wholly divinized.' We also glorify two natural operations in the same our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, without separation, without change, without partition, without confusion, that is, a divine operation and a human operation, as the divine preacher Leo most clearly says: "For each form does what is proper to it, in communion with the other; the Word, that is, performing what belongs to the Word, and the flesh carrying out what belongs to the flesh."

"We will not therefore grant (the existence of) one natural operation of God and the creature, lest we should either raise up into the divine nature what is created, or bring down the preeminence of the divine nature into the place suitable for things that are made. For we recognize the wonders and the sufferings as one and the same (person), according to the difference of the natures of which he is and in which he has his being, as the eloquent Cyril said.

"Preserving therefore in every way the unconfused and undivided, we set forth the whole (confession) in brief; believing our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, to be one of the holy Trinity even after the taking of flesh, we declare that his two natures shine forth in his one hypostasis, in which he displayed both the wonders and the sufferings through the whole course of his dispensation, not in phantasm but truly, the difference of nature being recognized in the same one hypostatsis by the fact that each nature wills and works what is proper to it, in communion with the other. On this principle we glorify two natural wills and operations combining with each other for the salvation of the human race."

The Monothelite intrusion did not die a natural death with the close of the sixth ecumenical council. It was to haunt the Church for a long time afterwards. Pope Honorius was the problem.

As we saw, Honorius had written to Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who inquired about a conciliatory formula on the person of Christ intended to win over the Monophysite dissidents.

Honorius' reply represents one of the alleged failures of papal infallibility. He never approved nor condemned. While insisting that Christ was true God and man, he praised Sergius for dropping the expressian "one operation" as savoring of Eutychianism, but agreed with him that no reference should be made to "two operations" either, as this might be taken for Nestorianism. He stated that "since Christ had only one principle of action or one direction of will, therefore He must also have one will." Taken verbally and without explanation, the statement looks heretical because the Monothelites held that Christ had only one (divine) will, understanding this to mean physically one will.

Honorius' successor, John IV (640-642 A.D.), promptly wrote to the emperor, explaining how Honorius should be interpreted. "Our predecessor," he said, "is to be understood in this sense, that our Savior never had two contrary wills…that there was never in Him, as in us sinners, opposing wills of the flesh and spirit. Unfortunately some have twisted his words to suit their fancy and suspected that he taught there was only one will (in Christ) for both humanity and divinity, which is certainly false."

After forty years the atmosphere was still hazy on where the Church stood with regard to Honorius. Then the Third Council of Constantinople condemned the Monothelites and, for good measure, included the name of Honorius among those responsible for not checking the heresy.

Taken post factum, therefore, the Monothelites certainly capitalized on Honorius' ambiguous language in his correspondence with Sergius. He was not a learned man to begin with, and unduly irenic besides. Yet we know from his public statements that the only kind of volitional unity he professed was moral and not physical; in Christ the human will is perfectly submissive to the divine, and, in that sense, is one with the will of God. "As regards making a dogma of the Church," he wrote to Sergius, "we should not definitively state whether there are one or two operations in the Mediator between God and man, while confessing there are two natures physically united in Christ."

Accordingly Honorius may be justly reproached for not taking a stronger position against Monothelitism, but for that very reason he cannot be charged with formal error and less still with propounding heresy. In the aftermath, his name loomed prominent in the fifteenth century, when negotiations were active for re-uniting the Eastern Churches with Rome, and again during the Gallican controversies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and finally at the First Vatican Council which defined papal infallibility.


A subtle form of Monophysitism developed in Spain in the eighth century, when the bishops of Toledo and Urgel tried to convert the Moors by compromising on the divinity of Christ.

Elipandus, archbishop of Toledo, upheld a distinction between the Logos, as the natural and eternal Son of God, and Christ, the adoptive Son, who is Son only metaphorically, because the Word "adopted" the humanity, thereby attaching the filiation to the nature rather than to the person of Christ. He was supported by Felix of Urgel, who recanted, however, at a synod held at Ratisbon in 792 A.D.

Having repeated his abjuration before the pope, Felix was allowed to return to his diocese, but again fell into error and was obliged to flee. The Spanish bishops in considerable numbers sided with Elipandus and tried to prove their case by, appealing to the Bible and the Fathers. First they wrote to Charlemagne for support, then to the pope. The emperor summoned a council at Frankfort (794 A.D.) where the prelates attached the Spanish argument in two documents. These, together with a third drawn up by Hadrian I, were sent to Spain.

A reply from Felix in favor of the heresy provoked Alcuin's famous seven books Contra Felicem, and in 799 A.D. Leo II called a synod at Rome which condemned Felix. After a long dispute, he once more recanted, but Elipandus remained firm in his Adoptionist position, whereupon Alcuin wrote another treatise against him. The archbishop died soon after.

Two documents stand out in this controversy; Pope Hadrian's epistle to the bishops of Spain and Galicia and the decision of the Council of Friuli. Hadrian condemned Adoptionisms (793 A.D.) because it was only a more subtle form of Nestorianism.

In your irreverence and in your ingratitude for such great favors you do not fear to whisper the vicious suggestion regarding our Redeemer that he is an adoptive Son, as though a mere man, and one subject to all human misfortune, and (a disgraceful thing to say!) that he is a slave. Why are you not afraid, you carping disparagers--hateful to God--to give the name of servant to Him who freed you from servitude to the devil, a servitude that you are trying to submit your traitorous selves again of your own accord?
For although in prophetic type he was termed a servant because of the condition of the servant's form that he received from the Virgin, as the Scripture says: "Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?" (Job 1:8), even so, with St. Gregory we understand that this is meant historically as applied to the holy Job and allegorically as applied to Christ. The fact that Scripture described Him typically as a servant in the person of Job is no reason why we should give Him the name of servant, is it?

The Council of Friuli (766 A.D.) restated the traditional teaching, while distinguishing clearly between an adoptive sonship (postulated by Felix and Epilandus) and the natural Sonship which Christ enjoyed both as God and as man.

"The human and temporal birth was no impediment to that divine, eternal birth; rather, in the one person of Christ Jesus there was the true Son of God and the true Son of man. There was not one Son of man and another Son of God. He was not the putative Son of God, but the true Son; not adopted, but God's own Son, for he was never separated from, the Father on account of his assumed human nature.
"The reason why we profess that in each nature he is God's own Son and not an adopted Son of God is that, after assuming a human nature one and the same person is, without any commingling and without any separation, Son of God and Son of man. He is the natural Son of the Father according to his divinity; but God's own Son in either case."

The trouble with Adoptionists, besides ignoring the Church's constant tradition, was that they failed to see that sonship belongs to the person and not to the nature. As there is in Christ only one divine Person or hypostasis, which proceeds through eternal generation from God the Father, so too we may predicate only one single sonship of Christ, the natural sonship of God. Otherwise we split Christ in two, assigning Him two personalities, as Nestorius did.

A favorite term of the Adoptionists was the biblical title, "servant of God," which they applied to the person and thereby created a human personality alongside the divine Person of the Son of God. Pope Hadrian pointed out that the term must be applied to Christ in His human nature, which is, indeed subject to God; but it may not be used of Christ's personality, which is divine and only divine.

Years before Elipandus, St. Augustine had expressly rejected the idea of an adopted sonship in the Savior. "Read the Scriptures," he told the Manichaeans, "you will never find it said that Christ is the Son of God through adoption." Significantly what prompted the Spanish aberration was the same motive that led the Monothelites into error. In their laudable desire to win the followers of Mohammed to Christianity, they sought a via media between the uncompromising faith of the Church that Christ is one person, and that person is God--and the Moslem teaching, built into the Koran, that the Messiah is not Allah (God) but only His human servant.

Chapter VII - References

  1. With reference perhaps to the etymology of "presbyter"--Eutyches does not display the discretion one would expect in an elder.

  2. Ps. 36 (35): 3,4.

  3. Leo has quoted from both the Roman Symbol (Apostles' Creed) and the Nicene formula, apparently considering them, not as two different documents, but as two statements of the same faith.

  4. Heb. 2:14.

  5. Rom. 1:1-3.

  6. Gal. 3:16.

  7. Matt. 1:1.

  8. Gen. 22:18.

  9. Isa, 7:14 (Matt. 1:23); 9:6.

  10. Luke 1:35.

  11. Prov. 9:1; John 1:14.

  12. Tim. 2:5, a favorite text of Augustine's (e.g., Confessions, x, 43).

  13. Phil. 2:7.

  14. John 1:1,3,14; Gal. 4:4.

  15. Matt. 3:17.

  16. Matt. 4:11; Mark 1:13.

  17. Ps. 93 (92):3,4; Matt. 8:26 (Mark 4:39; Luke 8:24,25).

  18. John 10:30; 14:28; cf. the similar passage in Gregory of Nazianzus, Third Theological Oration, 17-20, pp. 171-175.

  19. John 3:13.

  20. I Cor. 2:8.

  21. Matt. 16:13-19; Peter derives his solidity from Christ the original rock (Petra Principalis)--cf. I Cor. 10-4.

  22. Luke 24:39.

  23. I John 4:2,3.

Conference transcription from a talk that Father Hardon gave to the
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