Prepared by: Richard G.

Pazcoguin UST Institute of Religion

WHEN CHRISTIANITY WAS FINALLY ALLOWED TO SURFACE IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE, DOCTRINAL DEBATES BEGAN TO ARISE. AS A RESULT, THE CHURCH HAD BEEN PLAGUED BY CHRISTOLOGICAL HERESIES OR FALSE TEACHINGS REGARDING THE PERSON AND NATURE OF JESUS. IN HER COMMITMENT TO PRESERVE UNADULTERATED THE TEACHINGS OF THE APOSTLES, THE CHURCH CONVOKED ECUMENICAL COUNCILS. THESE WERE GATHERINGS OF BISHOPS FORM ALL OVER THE WORLD, THROUGH WHICH THE CHURCH ONCE AND FOR ALL DEFINED THE TRUE DOCTRINES HANDED DOWN BY THE APOSTLES.

‡DOCETISM ‡MODALISM ‡ARIANISM ‡APOLLINARIANISM ‡NESTORIANISM ‡EUTYCHIANISM

The Greek work ´dokeiµ means ´seemedµ. Docetism is the heresy which teaches that Christ was Divine who appeared to be human. He did not have a real human body. What people saw of Christ was a phantom, an illusion.

READ: JOHN 1:14 MATTHEW 4:2 JOHN 4:7, 19:28 MATTHER 9:24

Attributed to Sabellius, this heresy is the belief that the Father and the Son are one and the same person. ´Fatherµ and ´Sonµ are just names by which this single person revealed himself.
READ: MARK 1:11 JOHN 17:1

READ: JOHN 1:1-2,18 JOHN 14: PHIL. 2:6

Arius, an Alexandrian priest., preached that the Word (Jesus) was not eternal, but was merely created by the Father. Though Jesus was of a similar substance as that of the Father, he is not of the same substance. In other words, Arianism is the belief that Jesus is not God but a unique creaturegreater than man but less than God.

Apollinarius spread the belief that Christ had a human body but not a human soul. The ´Wordµ (The Spirit of God the Son) replaced the human spirit. Apollinarius argued that if Christ had a human soul then he might have sinned.

READ: MARK 14:34

Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, questioned the Divine Motherhood of Mary with the argument that in Christ are two persons: a human person and a divine person. Mary is mother only of the human Jesus. Nestorius believed that God the Son simply used the human body as an instrument. Jesus is ´God-bearing manµ rather than ´God-Manµ

READ: LUKE 1:43

´Physitosµ is Greek for ´natureµ. Eutyches, an Abbot in Constantinople, preached the belief that Christ had only one nature: Divine. Jesus is not man. This, according to him, was because the human nature was absorbed by the Divinity of God the Son.

READ: GAL. 4:4 ACTS 2:22

‡ The Son was ´begotten, not madeµ and therefore had no beginning. ‡ Jesus is ´of the same substance as the Fatherµ and therefore is of Divine nature.

During the Council of Nicaea, St. Athanasius defended the Divinity of Christ by arguing that: ‡If the Son were a creature, then he would just be like humans, unable to save humanity from sin. ‡Christians worshipped Jesus. If Jesus were not God, then the Christians since the Apostolic times have been practicing idolatry.

The Council of Constantinople, which Fathers were Sts. Cyril of Jerusalem and Gregory Nazianzen, professed that: ‡Christ is of the same substance with humanity, possessing a human soul. ‡What is not assumed is not redeemed. To redeem humanity fully, Christ must be fully human.

The Council of Ephesus presided over by St. Cyril of Alexandria, declared that: ‡Christ is one person with two natures: Human and Divine ² HYPOSTATIC UNION ‡The distinctness of the natures was not destroyed by the union, thus Christ was fully human and fully divine.

During the Council of Ephesus, St. Cyril of Alexandria defended the Divine Motherhood of Mary by arguing that: ‡Since Christ is only one person, what was born of Mary was both human and divine. ‡Mary is the Mother of God because by virtue of the Hypostatic Union, what can be said about the Humanity of Jesus can be said about his Divinity.

The Council of Chalcedon, under the leadership of Pope St. Leo the Great, taught that: ‡Christ was complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly divine and truly human, consisting of a rational soul and body. ‡The distinction of the human and divine nature is not annulled by their union in the one person of Christ.

Because Christ is truly human, we know that he understands our human struggles. He knows what we feel about things. He knows what we need. He knows our weaknesses. ´For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, He is a compassionate but one who has similarly been tested in every God. way, yet without sin.µ Hebrews 5:15

Because Christ is truly Divine, we can pray to him as St. Stephen did: ´Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.µ Acts 7:59 We can call him Lord and God as St. Thomas the Apostle did: ´My Lord and My God.µ John 20:28

We can worship him as the apostles did: ´Those that were in the boat did him homage saying: ¶Truly you are the Son of God.·µ Matthew 14:33 We can affirm Jesus Christ as Creator: ´For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth« all things were created through him and for himµ

‡The Son of God/Eternal Word, without losing divine nature, assumed human nature. ‡Jesus is truly God and truly human. ‡Jesus has two natures (divine & human), not mixed but united in one divine person ‡As truly human, Jesus has human intellect and will perfectly attuned to his divine intellect and will. ‡Incarnation = union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word ² HYPOSTATIC UNION

James Finley and Michael Pennock JESUS AND YOU: DISCOVERING THE REAL CHRIST Ind: Ave Maria Press, 1977 Robert C. Walton CHRONOLOGICAL AND BACKGROUND CHARTS OF CHURCH HISTORY Zondervan, 1986 MAJOR COUNCILS OF THE CHURCH www.dailycatholic.org/history/councils.htm CHRISTOLOGICAL CONTROVERSIES AND HERESIES www.ritchies.net/p2wk4.htm

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