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Flashcards in Christology Deck (40)
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Son of Man

● An eschatological, apocalyptic figure who will appear at the end of time to judge the peoples of the world and to establish the nation of the holy people of God. (This is the meaning in the Book of Daniel.)
● Mission to bring kingdom of God and fullness of humanity
● Alternate sources
○ Psalm 8:4 – could mean “any man”
○ Ezekiel – special relationship with YHWH
● Primary references Jesus divine authority (not divinity)


Servant of Yahweh

● “Jesus will freely bear the full consequences of the sins of the people and, through this representative suffering, will bring into being the authentic manifestation of the order intended by Yahweh.”
● Identification with:
○ Sins of the people
○ Desire to suffer for them
● Primarily references Jesus’ humanity/humility (kenosis)


2-stage Christology

● 40s-60s AD
● Primary emphasis: The power of the risen-ascended Christ present in the Church. Divinity is understood in terms of possession of the fullness of divine power.
● Divine power as Lord (kyrios)
● Divine power means Jesus replaces the leadership structure of the Old Covenant
● Risen Christ is Second Adam
● Develops in the context of post-Resurrection worship
● Paul + Mark esp.


3-stage Christology

● 70s-90s AD
● Primary emphasis: development of intentional reflections of the pre-existence of Christ
● Emergence of birth narratives
● Christ is understood as sharing the very being of God
● Correspondence between eschatology and protology
● Use of “Logos”, “image”, and “I AM” terms
● Col. + Heb. are earliest examples
● Mt, Lk, Jn, and pastoral letters



Reflects the Jewish-Christians struggle to work out the differentiation of the Father and Son within the monotheistic affirmation of one God.
● 2nd Century
● Attempt to reconcile “Father” and “Son” w/ Jewish Monotheism
● Jesus was filled w/ the Spirit at the moment of Baptism
● Jewish form of Adoptionism



Reflects the Greek-Christians struggle to reconcile the philosophical idea of God’s immutability with faith in the Incarnation (Jesus was empowered with the divine logos but remained distinct from God).
● 2nd Century (Paul of Samosata)
● Attempt to reconcile the philosophical immutability of God with the Incarnation
● God cannot become man, man (Jesus) becomes God in the sense of adoption.
○ Either at Baptism or Resurrection
● Paul of Samosata condemned at Synod of Antioch (AD 268)
● Greek form of Ebionism



● 2nd – 4th Centuries
● Mythologization of Christianity (cosmic redemption through knowledge)
● Spirit is greater than Matter; matter is corrupted and fallen spirit
● Christ
○ Took the appearance of a body (Docetism) or
○ Took possession of the man Jesus from the Baptism to the Cross
● Dualism: body vs. spirit, God vs. history
● Response: Johannine NT
○ God loves, does not reject, the world
○ Incarnation means no body/spirit opposition



● 2nd Century (Marcion of Pontus)
● Attempt to purge Christianity of all Jewish influence
● Based on opposition between Creator-God (OT) and Father-God (NT)
● Form of Docetism, rejecting bodily life as lesser
● Only accepted Paul and Luke as legitimate Christian teachers. Only Luke beginning with Ch. 3
● Jesus was not truly a man but only appeared to be human. Two gods: OT and NT.
● Response: Gospel of Luke (according to Irenaeus)



Jesus is the highest being, chosen mediator, and subordinate of the Father (Jesus Christ = Creature).
• Philosophically, Jesus must be a creature (i.e., God’s immutability, impassability, transcendence).
• =>> Christ must be on our side in order to perform his saving actions on our behalf.
• The Son is begotten by the Father, which means that he is created.
• e.g. John 1:14, 18 “We have seen his glory, glory as of the Father’s only begotten (monogenaes)…”
• —> “There was a time when he was not.”


Council of Nicaea I

● AD 325
"Christ is fully divine; Christ is not an intermediate being between God and creation."
• Athanasius: “Always Father, always Son.” —> Full divinity is necessary to soteriology.
• 1) “Eternally Begotten” vs. Temporal Beginning / Subordination.
• 2) “Begotten (gennethenta), not made (poiaethenta)” (eternal generation/procession) vs. Creation ex nihilo
• 3) “One in being” (homoousios = consubstantial) vs. Mere Similarity (homoiousios)
• i.e. Christ is God by nature; of the same substance/being as the Father


Soteriological Principle

● “What is not assumed is not redeemed”...Nazianzus against Apollinarianism.
● Insight of the Cappadocian Fathers



● 4th Century
● Apollinarius (bishop of Laodicea)
● Key teaching: Logos is divine, takes the place of the human soul.
• Philosophically: Two complete substances/complete beings cannot form a unity.
• Theologically: Since Jesus is without sin he cannot possess a human soul or he would be sinful.
• Apollinarius’ Solution => The logos/Word takes on humanity by replacing the higher levels of human nature and assuming the lower; the Word takes the place of the human soul.
• Apollinarius’ view that divinity and humanity are mutually exclusive (= Docetism)


Constantinople I

● AD 381
"Christ is fully human; possesses a real body which can experience suffering, and a mind/soul.
● Key player: Pope Damasus I
● Response to Apollinarianism.
1. Synod of Alexandria (362) rejected Apollinarianism by invoking the Soteriological Principle: “What is not assumed is not redeemed.” (Cappadocian Fathers, Greg Nazianzus). Full humanity is necessary to soteriology.
2. Constantinople I —> No copies of doctrinal decisions have been found.
• BUT —> Synodal Letter of 382 affirms full humanity (“… the economy of his flesh was not without a soul, not without a mind, not imperfect.”)


Communication of Idioms

● “The union of divinity and humanity in the one person of Jesus Christ means that the attributes of one nature may be predicated of the person, even when the person is being named with reference to the other nature.”
● E.g. “Baby Jesus // created the universe”
● E.g. “The Logos // walked on Earth”



Pre-conciliar error that negated the humanity of Christ. From the Greek Dokkeo=to appear. It is the major tendency in Christianity. It is expressed as:



● 5th Century
● Nestorius (monk and bishop of Constantinople)
1. Basic Controversy Over Terms:
• Alexandrian School = True union of divinity and humanity is a unity of nature (physis).
• Antiochene School = True union of divinity and humanity is a unity of persons (prosopon).
2. Nestorianism (Antiochene School) = The Incarnation took place when the logos assumed/united to the human person known as Jesus of Nazareth. A moral union of the two natures. The logos assumed humanity by dwelling within a man, placing the divinity alongside the humanity.
• The Word dwells in the man Jesus “as in a temple.”
• The Word is in a “moral union” with the human person of Jesus.
• No transfer of properties between the divine nature and the human nature.
• Nestorius feared the Divine nature would “overpower” or “swallow-up” or “displace” the human nature.
• Problem: Rejection of Theotokos and Communication of Idioms (communicatio idiomatum)


Ephesus I

● AD 431
"There is only one ontological subject, or person in Christ."
● Key players: Nestorius, Cyril.
• By not acknowledging the Theotokos and the Communication of Idioms, Nestorius fails to recognize that a person (prosopon) is not just a nature, but a unique ontological subject of action (i.e., Nature ≠ Person/prosopon).
• “The union is not merely…the assumption of a personality (prosopon) only.… [The Word] has undergone birth in the flesh, making the birth in the flesh his own.…Thus (the fathers) have unhesitatingly called the holy Virgin, ‘Mother of God.’” (Ephesus)


Formula of Union

● AD 433
● Key players: Emperor Theodosius II, Bishop John of Antioch.
—> Reconciling Alexandrian and Antiochene Schools.
+•+ Formula: • “Begotten before all ages from the Father as to his divinity, born from the Virgin Mary as to his humanity. • One in being with the Father as to his divinity, one in being with us as to his humanity.”
• Achieved: 1) Affirmed identity of the divine person of Jesus Christ; 2) The person of the Word/Son is the acting subject who takes on the human nature; 3) Affirmed double consubstantiality of Christ with God (in his DN) and us (in his HN); 4) Affirmed theotokos.



● 5th Century
● Eutyches.
• Monophysitism (Alexandrian School) = There is one incarnate nature in Christ (i.e. two natures come together in Christ to form one incarnate nature after the union).
• Error of Eutyches => The divine nature absorbed the substance of the human nature.
• A distortion of Cyril of Alexandria’s explanation: “One incarnate nature”
• The logic of the Eucharist must be an extension of the logic of the Incarnation.
• i.e. In order for the bread of the Eucharist to be life-giving, it must be united to the logos as his own flesh and never be separated from the logos - just as the human nature must be united to the divine nature and never separated from it.
• Result = “The myth of two natures of the Lord before the union and one nature after the union.” (Symbol of Chalcedon)



"There are really two natures (divine and human) in the one person of Christ."
- Leading up to the Council of Chalcedon:
1. Synod of Constantinople (448) --> Incarnation of Christ is of two natures in one hypostasis and one person.
• Eutyches’ Error: Two natures before union, but since union, only one nature.
2. Tome of Leo (449) --> “Each of the two natures performs the functions proper to it in communion with the other: the Word does what pertains to the Word and the flesh what pertains to the flesh.”
3. Robber Synod: Ephesus (449) --> Said Eutyches was right and rejected the Tome of Leo.
4. Council of Chalcedon (AD 451):
• The terms “without confusion, without change” particularly target:
• 1) Eutyches’ Monophysitistic tendencies to say the divine nature absorbed the human.
• 2) Cyril’s formulation of “One incarnate nature,” insofar as it had been skewed by Eutyches.
• Rather => There are really only two natures (divine and human) in the one person of Christ.
5. Hypostatic Union = In Jesus Christ, there exists Two Natures united in One Person/Hypostasis.
• In other words: The character proper to each of the natures was preserved (i.e., without confusion or change) as they came together in one person (prosopon) and one hypostasis (i.e., without division or separation)


Constantinople II

Strict Dyophysitism / Anhypostasia —> Every nature has one unique hypostasis.
• Dyophysitism = One hypostasis resulting from the co-existence of two natures.
• Anhypostasia = Logos united to an impersonal human nature; Logos assumes a human nature, but not a human personality.

• Leontius of Byzantium —> Enhypostasia. Jesus is a unique case of a (divine) person who has taken on a second (human) nature.
• The Logos is the cause of the Incarnation (not an effect).
• “There is but one hypostasis, which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity.”

+•+ Council of Constantinople II (AD 553):
A. The two natures are united in one hypostasis (person) who is the eternal Logos, meaning:
• the person is not made up from the combination of natures–not one person from two natures (i.e., Cyril’s “one incarnate nature” formula is definitively rejected).
• the two natures do not have separate hypostases (vs. the strict dyophysites), and the human nature does not have its own hypostasis (it is anhypostatic in a positive sense)
B. Christ has a real human personality, the human nature is really united to the one person (enhypostatic) who really lives in and through the human nature. The human nature is not impersonal or merely functional (it is not anhypostatic in a negative sense).
• The union of the divine and the human natures in Christ is ‘anhypostatic’ in that Christ’s human nature is not personal in itself, but also ‘enhypostatic’ in that it is personalized by being united to the eternal person who is the second person of the Trinity.



● 7th Century
● Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople
• There exists in Christ a single theandric
• There is a single energy (monergism) in Christ.
• The divine will controls the human will


Constantinople III

● AD 681
• Maximus the Confessor => Perichoresis (mutual indwelling of the natures of Christ).
• In Christ there are two wills and two energies, representing, respectively, the fully coordinated divine and human natures.

+•+ Council of Constantinople III (681):
• Will belongs to nature. Two natural wills in one ontological subject.
• “His human will has not been destroyed by being divinized”
• “He calls the will of His flesh His own will (cf. John 6:38) because the flesh also has become His own”


Hypostatic Union

● One person. Two natures.
● There is one ontological being, or person, which is Christ Jesus, in whom there are two distinct natures, divine + human.
● This definition was formulated in response to Nestorianism at the Council of Ephesus (431 AD):
○ Jesus is consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity.
○ Jesus is consubstantial with us as to his humanity.
○ The unity of Christ is found only in his person. The two natures are fully united in his person.



Christ’s human nature truly united to his person, and through which he acted and lived. As opposed to anhypostasis which is a nature that is just used for a purpose with no personal connection


Significance of the four adverbs

a. inconfuse, immutabiliter (without confusion or change): against Monophysitism, the divine nature does not take the human to itself.
b. indivise, inseparabiliter (without division or separation): against Nestorianism, not a unity of separate acting subjects


Antiochene School

1. “From Below”
○ Emphasizes the distinction of two natures: Logos (Word) – anthropos (man).
○ Focuses on humanity of Christ: “If Christ is not human, we are not saved.”
○ Emphasis on moral union; the cooperation of divinity and humanity.
○ The Word dwells in man as in a temple.
2. Strengths:
○ Emphasizes that Christ is both human + divine.
○ Emphasizes the fullness of Jesus’ humanity as basis for his saving work.
3. Weaknesses:
○ Unable to express the ontological unity of Christ.
○ Suggests that there are two personal subjects in Christ.
■ The logos did not suffer or die on the cross; only the humanity of Jesus suffered and died.
4. Major Theologians:
○ Diodore of Tarsus (opponent of Apollinarius)
○ John of Antioch (opponent of Cyril)
○ Nestorius
○ Theodore of Mopsuestia


Alexandrian School

1. “From Above”
○ Emphasizes the one ontological subject: Logos (Word) – sarx (flesh).
○ Focuses on the divinity of Christ: “If Christ is not divine, we are not saved.”
○ Emphasis on physical union; soul (divinity) take form in body (humanity).
2. Strengths:
○ Emphasizes the ontological unity of Jesus Christ.
○ Emphasized the Word as subject (person) of Christ’s actions.
3. Weaknesses:
○ Tendency to Docetism in the desire to emphasize the pre-eminence of the divinity of the logos.
○ Tendency to suggest the fusion of the human nature with the divine nature.
4. Major Theologians:
○ Apollinarius
○ Cyril of Alexandria (his theology of “one incarnate nature” was rejected at Constantinople II
○ Eutyches (Monophysitism)
○ Sergius of Constantinople (Monotheletism)


Integration of the schools of Christology

It achieved a theological compromise that preserved the unity of Christianity. Confirms the distinction between person and nature (Clarified Nestorius/Antioch). Defined Christ as identical to the Logos (Alexandria)


Objective Redemption

What Christ does to make salvation possible for us. Mystery of passion and resurrection as source of communion with God