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In
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
, Christology (from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
Χριστός ''Khristós'' and , ''
-logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in (''-logia''). The earliest English examples were anglicizations of the French ''wiktionary:-logie, -logie'', which was in turn inherit ...
''), translated literally from Greek as "the study of Christ", is a branch of
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
that concerns
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
. Different denominations have different opinions on questions like whether Jesus was human, divine, or both, and as a
messiah In , a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ', , and of a originated in , and in the , in which a ''mashiach'' is a king or traditionally with . ''Ha mashiach'' (), often referred to as ' ...
what his role would be in the freeing of the
Jewish people Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2International Organization for Standardization, ISO 259 is a series of international standards for the romanization of Hebrew, romanization of Hebrew alphabet, Hebrew characters into Latin alphabet, La ...
from foreign rulers or in the prophesied
Kingdom of God The concept of the kingship of God appears in all Abrahamic religions, where in some cases the terms Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven are also used. The notion of God's kingship goes back to the Hebrew Bible, which refers to "his kingdom" but ...
, and in the
salvation Salvation (from : ''salvatio'', from ''salva'', 'safe, saved') is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In and , ''salvation'' generally refers to the deliverance of the from and its consequences."Salvation." ' ( ...
from what would otherwise be the consequences of
sin In a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ...

sin
. The earliest Christian writings gave several titles to Jesus, such as Son of Man,
Son of God Historically, many rulers have assumed titles such as the son of God, the son of a God or the son of heaven. The term "son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical ...
,
Messiah In , a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ', , and of a originated in , and in the , in which a ''mashiach'' is a king or traditionally with . ''Ha mashiach'' (), often referred to as ' ...
, and ''
Kyrios ''Kyrios'' or ''kurios'' ( grc, κύριος, kū́rios) is a Greek language, Greek word which is usually translated as "lord" or "master". It is used in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew religious text, scriptures about 7000 times, in pa ...

Kyrios
'', which were all derived from the Hebrew scriptures. These terms centered around two opposing themes, namely "Jesus as a preexistent figure who becomes human and then returns to God", versus
adoptionism Adoptionism, also called dynamic monarchianism, is a Christian nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in ...
– that Jesus was human who was "adopted" by God at his baptism, crucifixion, or resurrection. From the second to the fifth centuries, the relation of the human and divine nature of Christ was a major focus of debates in the
early church The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religio ...
and at the
first seven ecumenical councils #REDIRECT First seven ecumenical councils#REDIRECT First seven ecumenical councils In the history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominatio ...
. The
Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Χαλκηδόνος, ''Synodos tēs Chalkēdonos'') was the fourth ecumenical council The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; ...
in 451 issued a formulation of the
hypostatic union Hypostatic union (from the Greek: ''hypóstasis'', "sediment, foundation, substance, subsistence") is a technical term in Christianity, Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity ...
of the two natures of Christ, one human and one divine, "united with neither confusion nor division". Most of the major branches of Western Christianity and
Eastern Orthodoxy The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion ( ...
subscribe to this formulation, while many branches of
Oriental Orthodox Churches The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian traditions and church families that originally developed during classical and late antiquity in Western Asia Western Asia, also We ...
reject it, subscribing to
miaphysitism Miaphysitism is the Christological doctrine upheld by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox ch ...
.


Definition and approaches

Christology (from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
Χριστός ''Khristós'' and , ''
-logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek ending in (''-logia''). The earliest English examples were anglicizations of the French ''wiktionary:-logie, -logie'', which was in turn inherit ...
''), literally "the understanding of Christ," is the study of the nature (person) and work (role in salvation) of
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...
.Matt Stefon, Hans J. Hillerbrand
''Christology''
Encyclopedia Britannica
Catholic encyclopedia

/ref> It studies Jesus Christ's humanity and divinity, and the relation between these two aspects; and the role he plays in
salvation Salvation (from : ''salvatio'', from ''salva'', 'safe, saved') is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In and , ''salvation'' generally refers to the deliverance of the from and its consequences."Salvation." ' ( ...
. "
Ontological Ontology is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Ph ...

Ontological
Christology" analyzes the nature or beingthinkapologetics.com, http://thinkapologetics.blogspot.com/2009/05/jesus-functional-or-ontological.html?m=1 ''Jesus- A Functional or Ontological Christology?''] of Jesus Christ. "Functional Christology" analyzes the works of Jesus Christ, while " Christian soteriology, soteriological Christology" analyzes the "
salvific Salvation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
" standpoints of Christology. Several approaches can be distinguished within Christology. The term "Christology from above" or "high Christology" refers to approaches that include aspects of divinity, such as Lord and Son of God, and the idea of the
pre-existence of Christ The pre-existence of Christ asserts the existence of Christ before his Incarnation (Christianity), incarnation as Jesus. One of the relevant Bible passages is where, in the Trinity, Trinitarian interpretation, Christ is identified with a pre-exi ...
as the ''
Logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...
'' (the Word), as expressed in the . These approaches interpret the works of Christ in terms of his divinity. According to Pannenberg, Christology from above "was far more common in the ancient Church, beginning with
Ignatius of Antioch Ignatius of Antioch (; Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, ''Ignátios Antiokheías''; died c. 108/140 AD), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (, ''Ignátios ho Theophóros'', lit. "the God-bearing"), was an early Christian writer ...

Ignatius of Antioch
and the second century Apologists." The term "Christology from below" or "low Christology" refers to approaches that begin with the human aspects and the ministry of Jesus (including the miracles, parables, etc.) and move towards his divinity and the mystery of incarnation.


Person of Christ

A basic christological teaching is that the person of
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...

Jesus Christ
is both human and divine. The human and divine natures of Jesus Christ apparently ('' prosopic'') form a duality, as they coexist within one person ('' hypostasis'').''Introducing Christian Doctrine'' by Millard J. Erickson, L. Arnold Hustad 2001 ISBN p. 234 There are no direct discussions in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
regarding the dual nature of the Person of Christ as both divine and human, and since the early days of Christianity, theologians have debated various approaches to the understanding of these natures, at times resulting in ecumenical councils, and schisms. Some historical christological doctrines gained broad support: *
Monophysitism Monophysitism ( or ) or monophysism () is a Christological In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, t ...
(monophysite controversy, 3rd–8th centuries) After the union of the divine and the human in the historical incarnation, Jesus Christ had only a single nature *
Miaphysitism Miaphysitism is the Christological doctrine upheld by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox ch ...
(
Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
churches) In the person of Jesus Christ, divine nature and human nature are united in a compound nature ("physis") *
Dyophysitism In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christianity and other traditions * Christia ...
(
Chalcedonian Creed The Chalcedonian Definition (also called the Chalcedonian Creed or the Definition of Chalcedon) is a declaration of Christ's nature, adopted at the Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σ ...
) Christ maintained two natures, one divine and one human, after the Incarnation *
Monarchianism Monarchianism is a Christian theology that emphasizes God as one indivisible being,
at Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org
i ...
(
Adoptionism Adoptionism, also called dynamic monarchianism, is a Christian nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in ...
(2nd century onwards) and
Modalism Modalistic Monarchianism (also known as modalism or Oneness Christology In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings ...
) God as one, in contrast to the doctrine of the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
Influential Christologies which were broadly condemned as heretical are: *
Docetism In the history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the present. Christianity originated with the mini ...
(3rd–4th centuries) claimed the human form of Jesus was mere semblance without any true reality *
Arianism Arianism is a Christology, Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that the Son of God is not co-eternal with God the Father and is distinct from th ...
(4th century) viewed the divine nature of Jesus, the
Son of God Historically, many rulers have assumed titles such as the son of God, the son of a God or the son of heaven. The term "son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible as another way to refer to humans who have a special relationship with God. In Book ...
, as distinct and inferior to
God the Father God the Father is a title given to God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" ...

God the Father
, e.g., by having a beginning in time *
Nestorianism Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorianism
(5th century) considered the two natures (human and divine) of Jesus Christ almost entirely distinct Various church
councils A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the ...
, mainly in the 4th and 5th centuries, resolved most of these controversies, making the doctrine of the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
orthodox in nearly all branches of Christianity. Among them, only the Dyophysite doctrine was recognized as true and not heretical, belonging to the Christian
orthodoxy Orthodoxy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
and
deposit of faith The Deposit of Faith (''depositum fidei'') is the body of revealed truth in the Scriptures and Tradition proposed by the Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian den ...
.


Salvation

In
Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better understand Christian tenets * make comparative religion, comparisons between Christia ...
,
atonement Atonement (also atoning, to atone) is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other e ...
is the method by which human beings can be reconciled to
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...
through
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest ...

Christ
's sacrificial suffering and
death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organi ...
. Atonement is the or pardoning of
sin In a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ...
in general and
original sin Original sin is the Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' a ...
in particular through the suffering, death and
resurrection of Jesus The resurrection of Jesus ( gr, ανάσταση του Ιησού) is the Christianity, Christian belief that God in Christianity, God Resurrection, raised Jesus on the third day after Crucifixion of Jesus, his crucifixion, starting – or Pr ...
,Collins English Dictionary, Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition
''atonement''
retrieved 3 October 2012: "2. (often capital) ''Christian theol''
a. the reconciliation of man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Christ
b. the sufferings and death of Christ"
enabling the
reconciliation Reconciliation may refer to: Sociology and politics * Conflict resolution Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. Committed group members ...
between God and his creation. Due to the influence of Gustaf Aulèn's (1879–1978) ''Christus Victor'' (1931), the various theories or paradigma's of atonement are often grouped as "classical paradigm," "objective paradigm," and the "subjective paradigm":
Gustaf Aulen Gustav or Gustave may refer to: Places * Gustaw, Afghanistan * Gustave, South Dakota People * Gustav (name), a male given name of Old Swedish origin (and list of people with this name) Art, entertainment, and media Fictional characters * Gu ...
, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of Atonement, E.T. London: SPCK; New York: Macmillan,1931
* Classical paradigm: **
Ransom theory of atonement The ransom theory of atonement was a theory in Christian theology as to how the process of Atonement in Christianity had happened. It therefore accounted for the meaning and effect of the death of Jesus, Jesus Christ. It was one of a number of hi ...
, which teaches that the
death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organi ...
of
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest ...

Christ
was a
ransom Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort Extortion is the practice of obtaining benefit through coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a ''commu ...

ransom
sacrifice Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a God (male ...

sacrifice
, usually said to have been paid to
Satan Satan, (''śāṭān''), meaning "adversary"; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or σατάν (''ho satanas'' or ''satan''); ar, شيطان (''shaitan''), meaning "astray", "distant", or sometimes "devil" also known as the Devil, is an entity in th ...

Satan
or to death itself, in some views paid to
God the Father God the Father is a title given to God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" ...

God the Father
, in satisfaction for the bondage and debt on the souls of humanity as a result of inherited sin. Gustaf Aulén reinterpreted the ransom theory, calling it the
Christus Victor ''Christus Victor'' is a book by Gustaf Aulén published in English in 1931, presenting a study of theories of atonement in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life o ...
doctrine, arguing that Christ's death was not a payment to the Devil, but defeated the powers of
evil Evil, in a general sense, is defined by what it is not—the opposite or absence of good 125px, In many Western religions, angels are considered to be good beings and are contrasted with devils who are considered evil In most contexts, t ...
, which had held humankind in their dominion.; **
Recapitulation theory The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or embryological parallelism—often expressed using Ernst Haeckel Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (; 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German zoologist Zoology ()T ...
, which says that Christ succeeded where
Adam Adam (; Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that originated among the in the ancient , at the end of the , and later became one of the most prominent languages of the . During its three thousand years long his ...

Adam
failed. Theosis ("divinization") is a "corollary" of the recapitulation. * Objective paradigm: **
Satisfaction theory of atonement The satisfaction theory of atonement is a theory in Catholic theology which holds that Jesus Christ Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, ''Yeshua, Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth ...
, developed by
Anselm of Canterbury Anselm of Canterbury (; 1033/4–1109), also called ( it, Anselmo d'Aosta, link=no) after his birthplace and (french: Anselme du Bec, link=no) after his monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic ...

Anselm of Canterbury
(1033/4–1109), which teaches that
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it i ...

Jesus Christ
suffered
crucifixion Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the ...
as a substitute for human
sin In a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ...

sin
, satisfying God's just wrath against humankind's transgression due to Christ's infinite merit. **
Penal substitution Penal substitution (sometimes, esp. in older writings, called forensic theory)D. Smith, The atonement in the light of history and the modern spirit' (London: Hodder and Stoughton), p. 96-7: 'THE FORENSIC THEORY...each successive period of history h ...
, also called "forensic theory" and "vicarious punishment," which was a development by the Reformers of Anselm's satisfaction theory. Instead of considering sin as an affront to God's honour, it sees sin as the breaking of God's moral law. Penal substitution sees sinful man as being subject to God's wrath, with the essence of Jesus' saving work being his substitution in the sinner's place, bearing the curse in the place of man. **
Governmental theory of atonement The governmental theory of the atonement (also known as the rectoral theory, or the moral government theory) is a doctrine in Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them bette ...
, "which views God as both the loving creator and moral Governor of the universe." * Subjective paradigm: **
Moral influence theory of atonement The moral influence or moral example theory of atonement, developed or most notably propagated by Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a Middle Ages, medieval French Sc ...
, developed, or most notably propagated, by
Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: link=no, Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a Middle Ages, medieval French Scholasticism, scholastic philosopher, leading logician, theologian, poet, composer and musician. This ...

Abelard
(1079–1142), who argued that "Jesus died as the demonstration of God's love," a demonstration which can change the hearts and minds of the sinners, turning back to God. ** Moral example theory, developed by
Faustus Socinus Fausto Paolo Sozzini, also known as Faustus Socinus ( pl, Faust Socyn; 5 December 1539 – 4 March 1604), was an Italian theologian and founder of the school of Christian thought known as Socinianism and the main theologian of the Minor Reformed ...
(1539–1604) in his work ''De Jesu Christo servatore'' (1578), who rejected the idea of "vicarious satisfaction." According to Socinus, Jesus' death offers us a perfect example of self-sacrificial dedication to God." Other theories are the "embracement theory" and the "shared atonement" theory.


Early Christologies (1st century)


Early notions of Christ

The earliest christological reflections were shaped by both the Jewish background of the earliest Christians, and by the Greek world of the eastern Mediterranean in which they operated. The earliest Christian writings give several titles to Jesus, such as Son of Man,
Son of God Historically, many rulers have assumed titles such as the son of God, the son of a God or the son of heaven. The term "son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical ...
,
Messiah In , a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ', , and of a originated in , and in the , in which a ''mashiach'' is a king or traditionally with . ''Ha mashiach'' (), often referred to as ' ...
, and ''
Kyrios ''Kyrios'' or ''kurios'' ( grc, κύριος, kū́rios) is a Greek language, Greek word which is usually translated as "lord" or "master". It is used in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew religious text, scriptures about 7000 times, in pa ...

Kyrios
'', which were all derived from the Hebrew scriptures. According to Matt Stefon and Hans J. Hillerbrand, Historically in the
Alexandrian school The Alexandrian school is a collective designation for certain tendencies in literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, esp ...
of thought (fashioned on the
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sc ...
), Jesus Christ is the eternal ''
Logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...
'' who already possesses unity with the Father before the act of
Incarnation Incarnation literally means ''embodied in flesh'' or ''taking on flesh''. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient Sentience is the capacity to experience feeling Feeling was originally used to describe the physical sensation of to ...

Incarnation
.Charles T. Waldrop (1985). ''Karl Barth's christology'' pp. 19–23 In contrast, the Antiochian school viewed Christ as a single, unified human person apart from his relationship to the divine.


Pre-existence

The notion of pre-existence is deeply rooted in Jewish thought, and can be found in apocalyptic thought and among the rabbis of Paul's time, but Paul was most influenced by Jewish-Hellenistic wisdom literature, where Wisdom' is extolled as something existing before the world and already working in creation. According to Witherington, Paul "subscribed to the christological notion that Christ existed prior to taking on human flesh founding the story of Christ ... on the story of divine Wisdom".


''Kyrios''

The title ''
Kyrios ''Kyrios'' or ''kurios'' ( grc, κύριος, kū́rios) is a Greek language, Greek word which is usually translated as "lord" or "master". It is used in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew religious text, scriptures about 7000 times, in pa ...

Kyrios
'' for Jesus is central to the development of
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
Christology. In the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
it translates the
Tetragrammaton The Tetragrammaton (; ), or Tetragram, is the four-letter Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as ...

Tetragrammaton
, the holy Name of God. As such, it closely links Jesus with God – in the same way a verse such as Matthew 28:19, "The Name (singular) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". ''Kyrios'' is also conjectured to be the Greek translation of
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
''Mari'', which in everyday Aramaic usage was a very respectful form of polite address, which means more than just "teacher" and was somewhat similar to
rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civili ...

rabbi
. While the term ''Mari'' expressed the relationship between Jesus and his disciples during his life, the Greek ''Kyrios'' came to represent his lordship over the world.Oscar Cullmann (1959)
''The Christology of the New Testament''
p. 202
The
early Christians The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religi ...
placed ''Kyrios'' at the center of their understanding, and from that center attempted to understand the other issues related to the Christian mysteries.Mini S. Johnson (2005)
''Christology: Biblical and Historical''
pp. 229–235
The question of the deity of Christ in the New Testament is inherently related to the ''Kyrios'' title of Jesus used in the early Christian writings and its implications for the absolute lordship of Jesus. In early Christian belief, the concept of ''Kyrios'' included the
pre-existence of Christ The pre-existence of Christ asserts the existence of Christ before his Incarnation (Christianity), incarnation as Jesus. One of the relevant Bible passages is where, in the Trinity, Trinitarian interpretation, Christ is identified with a pre-exi ...
, for they believed if Christ is one with God, he must have been united with God from the very beginning.Oscar Cullmann (1959).
''The Christology of the New Testament''
pp. 234–237


Development of "low Christology" and "high Christology"

Two fundamentally different Christologies developed in the early Church, namely a "low" or adoptionist Christology, and a "high" or "incarnation" Christology. The chronology of the development of these early Christologies is a matter of debate within contemporary scholarship. The "low Christology" or "adoptionist Christology" is the belief "that God exalted Jesus to be his Son by raising him from the dead", thereby raising him to "divine status". According to the "evolutionary model" c.q. "evolutionary theories", the christological understanding of Christ developed over time,Bart Ehrman, ''How Jesus became God'', Course Guide as witnessed in the Gospels, with the earliest Christians believing that Jesus was a human who was exalted, c.q.
adopted Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting Parenting or child rearing promotes and supports the physical, emotion Emotions are biological states associated with all of the nerve systems brought on by neurophysiological ...
as God's Son, when he was resurrected. Later beliefs shifted the exaltation to his baptism, birth, and subsequently to the idea of his pre-existence, as witnessed in the Gospel of John. This "evolutionary model" was proposed by proponents of the ''Religionsgeschichtliche Schule'', especially
Wilhelm BoussetWilhelm Bousset (3 September 1865, Lübeck Lübeck ( , ; Low German also ; da, Lybæk ), officially the Hanseatic City of Lübeck (german: Hansestadt Lübeck), is a city in Northern Germany. With around 217,000 inhabitants, Lübeck is the second ...
s influential ''Kyrios Christos'' (1913). This evolutionary model was very influential, and the "low Christology" has long been regarded as the oldest Christology. The other early Christology is "high Christology", which is "the view that Jesus was a pre-existent divine being who became a human, did the Father's will on earth, and then was taken back up into heaven whence he had originally come", and from where he appeared on earth. According to Bousset, this "high Christology" developed at the time of Paul's writing, under the influence of Gentile Christians, who brought their pagan Hellenistic traditions to the early Christian communities, introducing divine honours to Jesus. According to Casey and Dunn, this "high Christology" developed after the time of Paul, at the end of the first century CE when the Gospel according to John was written. Since the 1970s, these late datings for the development of a "high Christology" have been contested, and a majority of scholars argue that this "high Christology" existed already before the writings of Paul. According to the "New ''Religionsgeschichtliche Schule''",Larry Hurtado (10 July 2015)
''"Early High Christology": A "Paradigm Shift"? "New Perspective"?''
/ref> c.q. "Early High Christology Club", which includes
Martin Hengel Professor Martin Hengel Martin Hengel (14 December 1926 – 2 July 2009) was a German historian of religion, focusing on the "Second Temple The Second Temple (, ''Bet HaMikdash, Beit HaMikdash HaSheni'') was the Temple in Jerusalem, Jewish holy ...

Martin Hengel
,
Larry Hurtado Larry Weir Hurtado (December 29, 1943 – November 25, 2019) was an American New Testament scholar, historian of early Christianity, and Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotla ...
,
N. T. Wright Nicholas Thomas Wright (born 1 December 1948), known as N. T. Wright or Tom Wright, is an English New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the se ...
, and
Richard Bauckham Richard John Bauckham (born 22 September 1946) is an English Anglican scholar in theology, historical theology and New Testament studies, specialising in New Testament Christology and the Gospel of John. He is a senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cam ...
, this "incarnation Christology" or "high Christology" did not evolve over a longer time, but was a "big bang" of ideas which were already present at the start of Christianity, and took further shape in the first few decades of the church, as witnessed in the writings of Paul. Some 'Early High Christology' proponents scholars argue that this "high Christology" may go back to Jesus himself.Larry Hurtado
"The Origin of 'Divine Christology'?"
/ref> There is a controversy regarding whether Jesus himself claimed to be divine. In ''
Honest to God ''Honest to God'' is a book written by the Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. ...
'', then-
Bishop of Woolwich The Bishop of Woolwich is an episcopal title used by an area bishopIn the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern O ...
John A. T. Robinson, questioned the idea.
John Hick John Harwood Hick (20 January 1922 – 9 February 2012) was a philosopher of religion and theologian born in England who taught in the United States for the larger part of his career. In philosophical theology, he made contributions in the ar ...
, writing in 1993, mentioned changes in New Testament studies, citing "broad agreement" that scholars do not today support the view that Jesus claimed to be God, quoting as examples
Michael Ramsey Arthur Michael Ramsey, Baron Ramsey of Canterbury, (14 November 1904 – 23 April 1988) was an English Anglican bishop and life peer In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as t ...
(1980),
C. F. D. Moule Charles Francis Digby "Charlie" Moule (; 1908–2007), known professionally as C. F. D. Moule, was an English Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, lit ...
(1977), James Dunn (1980), Brian Hebblethwaite (1985) and David Brown (1985).
Larry Hurtado Larry Weir Hurtado (December 29, 1943 – November 25, 2019) was an American New Testament scholar, historian of early Christianity, and Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotla ...
, who argues that the followers of Jesus within a very short period developed an exceedingly high level of devotional reverence to Jesus, at the same time rejects the view that Jesus made a claim to messiahship or divinity to his disciples during his life as "naive and ahistorical". According to Gerd Lüdemann, the broad consensus among modern New Testament scholars is that the proclamation of the divinity of Jesus was a development within the earliest Christian communities. Gerd Lüdemann
"An Embarrassing Misrepresentation"
''
Free Inquiry ''Free Inquiry'' is a bimonthly journal of secular humanist opinion and commentary published by the Council for Secular Humanism, a program of the Center for Inquiry. Philosopher Paul Kurtz was the editor-in-chief An editor-in-chief, also known ...
'', October / November 2007. "... the broad consensus of modern New Testament scholars that the proclamation of Jesus's exalted nature was in large measure the creation of the earliest Christian communities."
N. T. Wright Nicholas Thomas Wright (born 1 December 1948), known as N. T. Wright or Tom Wright, is an English New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the se ...
points out that arguments over the claims of Jesus regarding divinity have been passed over by more recent scholarship, which sees a more complex understanding of the idea of God in first century Judaism. But Andrew Loke argues that if Jesus did not claim and show himself to be truly divine and rise from the dead, the earliest Christian leaders who were devout ancient monotheistic Jews would have regarded Jesus as merely a teacher or a prophet, but not as truly divine, which they did.


New Testamentical writings

The study of the various Christologies of the
Apostolic Age Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the pr ...
is based on early Christian documents.


Paul

The oldest Christian sources are the writings of
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a list of people People Christianity *Paul the Apostle (AD 5–67), also known as Saul of Tarsus or Saint Paul, early Christian missionar ...
. The central Christology of Paul conveys the notion of Christ's pre-existence and the identification of Christ as ''
Kyrios ''Kyrios'' or ''kurios'' ( grc, κύριος, kū́rios) is a Greek language, Greek word which is usually translated as "lord" or "master". It is used in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew religious text, scriptures about 7000 times, in pa ...
''. Both notions already existed before him in the early Christian communities, and Paul deepened them and used them for preaching in the Hellenistic communities. What exactly Paul believed about the nature of Jesus cannot be determined decisively. In Philippians 2, Paul states that Jesus was preexistent and came to Earth "by taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness". This sounds like an Incarnation (Christianity), incarnation Christology. In Romans 1:4, however, Paul states that Jesus "was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead", which sounds like an Adoptionism, adoptionistic Christology, where Jesus was a human being who was "adopted" after his death. Different views would be debated for centuries by Christians and finally settled on the idea that he was both fully human and fully divine by the middle of the 5th century in the Council of Ephesus. Paul's thoughts on Jesus' teachings, versus his nature and being, is more defined, in that Paul believed Jesus was sent as an
atonement Atonement (also atoning, to atone) is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other e ...
for the sins of everyone. The Pauline epistles use ''Kyrios'' to identify Jesus almost 230 times, and express the theme that the true mark of a Christian is the confession of Jesus as the true Lord. Paul viewed the superiority of the Christian revelation over all other divine manifestations as a consequence of the fact that Christ is the
Son of God Historically, many rulers have assumed titles such as the son of God, the son of a God or the son of heaven. The term "son of God" is used in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical ...
. The Pauline epistles also advanced the "cosmic Christology" later developed in the fourth gospel, elaborating the cosmic implications of Jesus' existence as the Son of God: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." The Bible begins with the story of alienation
Genesis 1–11
. Christ came in the middle of time to draw all back to God: "Through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven"
Col. 1:20
. Also, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation."


The Gospels

The synoptic Gospels date from after the writings of Paul. They provide episodes from the life of Jesus and some of his works, but the authors of the New Testament show little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus or in synchronizing the episodes of his life,Karl Rahner (2004). ''Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi'' p. 731 and as in wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/John#21:25, John 21:25, the Gospels do not claim to be an exhaustive list of his works. Christologies that can be gleaned from the three Synoptic Gospels generally emphasize the humanity of Jesus, his sayings, his Parables of Jesus, parables, and his Miracles of Jesus, miracles. The
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sc ...
provides a different perspective that focuses on his divinity. The first 14 verses of the Gospel of John are devoted to the divinity of Jesus as the ''
Logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...
'', usually translated as "Word", along with his pre-existence, and they emphasize the cosmic significance of Christ, e.g.: "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." In the context of these verses, the Word made flesh is identical with the Word who was in the beginning with God, being exegetically equated with Jesus.


Controversies and ecumenical councils (2nd–8th century)


Post-Apostolic controversies

Following the
Apostolic Age Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the pr ...
, from the second century onwards, a number of controversies developed about how the human and divine are related within the person of Jesus. As of the second century, a number of different and opposing approaches developed among various groups. In contrast to prevailing monoprosopic views on the Person of Christ, alternative dyoprosopic notions were also promoted by some theologians, but such views were rejected by the ecumenical councils. For example,
Arianism Arianism is a Christology, Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that the Son of God is not co-eternal with God the Father and is distinct from th ...
did not endorse divinity, Ebionism argued Jesus was an ordinary mortal, while Gnosticism held docetism, docetic views which argued Christ was a spiritual being who only appeared to have a physical body. The resulting tensions led to schism (religion), schisms within the church in the second and third centuries, and ecumenical councils were convened in the fourth and fifth centuries to deal with the issues. Although some of the debates may seem to various modern students to be over a theological iota, they took place in controversial political circumstances, reflecting the relations of temporal powers and divine authority, and certainly resulted in schisms, among others that separated the Church of the East from the Church of the Roman Empire.


First Council of Nicaea (325) and First Council of Constantinople (381)

In 325, the First Council of Nicaea defined the persons of the Godhead (Christianity), Godhead and their relationship with one another, decisions which were ratified at the First Council of Constantinople in 381. The language used was that the one God exists in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit); in particular, it was affirmed that the Son was ''homoousios'' (of the same being) as the Father. The Nicene Creed declared the full divinity and full humanity of Jesus. After the First Council of Nicaea in 325 the ''Logos'' and the second Person of the Holy Trinity, Trinity were being used interchangeably.


First Council of Ephesus (431)

In 431, the First Council of Ephesus was initially called to address the views of Nestorius on Mariology, but the problems soon extended to Christology, and schisms followed. The 431 council was called because in defense of his loyal priest Anastasius, Nestorius had denied the ''Theotokos'' title for Virgin Mary, Mary and later contradicted Proclus during a sermon in Constantinople. Pope Celestine I (who was already upset with Nestorius due to other matters) wrote about this to Cyril of Alexandria, who orchestrated the council. During the council, Nestorius defended his position by arguing there must be two persons of Christ, one human, the other divine, and Mary had given birth only to a human, hence could not be called the ''Theotokos'', i.e. "the one who gives birth to God". The debate about the single or dual nature of Christ ensued in Ephesus. The First Council of Ephesus debated
miaphysitism Miaphysitism is the Christological doctrine upheld by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox ch ...
(two natures united as one after the
hypostatic union Hypostatic union (from the Greek: ''hypóstasis'', "sediment, foundation, substance, subsistence") is a technical term in Christianity, Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity ...
) versus dyophysitism (coexisting natures after the hypostatic union) versus monophysitism (only one nature) versus
Nestorianism Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorianism
(two hypostases). From the christological viewpoint, the council adopted ''Mia Physis (But being made one κατὰ φύσιν)'' – Council of Ephesus, Epistle of Cyril to Nestorius, i.e. One Nature of the Word of God Incarnate (μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη mía phýsis toû theoû lógou sesarkōménē). In 451, the Council of Chalcedon affirmed dyophysitism. The
Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
rejected this and subsequent councils and continued to consider themselves as ''miaphysite'' according to the faith put forth at the Councils of First Council of Nicaea, Nicaea and Council of Ephesus, Ephesus.''The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity'' by Ken Parry 2009 p. 8

/ref> The council also confirmed the ''Theotokos'' title and excommunicated Nestorius.''Fundamentals of Catholicism: God, Trinity, Creation, Christ, Mary'' by Kenneth Baker 1983 pp. 228–3

/ref>''Mary, Mother of God'' by Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson 2004 p. 84


Council of Chalcedon (451)

The 451
Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Χαλκηδόνος, ''Synodos tēs Chalkēdonos'') was the fourth ecumenical council The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; ...
was highly influential, and marked a key turning point in the christological debates. It is the last council which many Lutherans, Anglicans and other Protestants consider ecumenical. The Council of Chalcedon fully promulgated the Western Dyophysitism, dyophysite understanding put forth by Pope Leo I of Rome of the ''
hypostatic union Hypostatic union (from the Greek: ''hypóstasis'', "sediment, foundation, substance, subsistence") is a technical term in Christianity, Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity ...
'', the proposition that Christ has one human nature ''[physis]'' and one divine nature ''[physis]'', each distinct and complete, and united with neither confusion nor division. Most of the major branches of Western Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism, Reformed), Church of the East, Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Catholicism and
Eastern Orthodoxy The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion ( ...
subscribe to the Chalcedonian Christological formulation, while many branches of
Oriental Orthodox Churches The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian traditions and church families that originally developed during classical and late antiquity in Western Asia Western Asia, also We ...
(Syriac Orthodox Church, Syrian Orthodoxy, Coptic Orthodoxy, Ethiopian Orthodoxy, and Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Apostolicism) reject it. Although the
Chalcedonian Creed The Chalcedonian Definition (also called the Chalcedonian Creed or the Definition of Chalcedon) is a declaration of Christ's nature, adopted at the Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σ ...
did not put an end to all christological debate, it did clarify the terms used and became a point of reference for many future Christologies. But it also broke apart the church of the Eastern Roman Empire in the fifth century, and unquestionably established the primacy of Rome in the East over those who accepted the Council of Chalcedon. This was reaffirmed in 519, when the Eastern Chalcedonians accepted the Pope Hormisdas, Formula of Hormisdas, anathematizing all of their own Eastern Chalcedonian hierarchy, who died out of communion with Rome from 482 to 519.


Fifth-seventh Ecumenical Council (553, 681, 787)

The Second Council of Constantinople in 553 interpreted the decrees of Chalcedon, and further explained the relationship of the two natures of Jesus. It also condemned the alleged teachings of Origen on the pre-existence of the soul, and other topics. The Third Council of Constantinople in 681 declared that Christ has two wills of his two natures, human and divine, contrary to the teachings of the Monothelites, with the divine will having precedence, leading and guiding the human will. The Second Council of Nicaea was called under the Empress Regent Irene of Athens in 787, known as the second of Nicaea. It supports the veneration of icons while forbidding their worship. It is often referred to as "The Triumph of Orthodoxy".


9th–11th century


Eastern Christianity


Western medieval Christology

The term "monastic Christology" has been used to describe spiritual approaches developed by
Anselm of Canterbury Anselm of Canterbury (; 1033/4–1109), also called ( it, Anselmo d'Aosta, link=no) after his birthplace and (french: Anselme du Bec, link=no) after his monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic ...

Anselm of Canterbury
, Peter Abelard and Bernard of Clairvaux. The Franciscan piety of the 12th and 13th centuries led to "popular Christology". Systematic approaches by theologians, such as Thomas Aquinas, are called "scholastic Christology".''Christology: Biblical And Historical'' by Mini S. Johnson, 2005 pp. 74–7

/ref> In the Christianity in the 13th century, 13th century, Saint Thomas Aquinas provided the first systematic Christology that consistently resolved a number of the existing issues. In his Christology from above, Aquinas also championed the Perfection of Christ, principle of perfection of Christ's human attributes.''Christology: Biblical And Historical'' by Mini S. Johnson, 2005 pp. 76–7

/ref>''Aquinas as authority'' by Paul van Geest, Harm J. M. J. Goris pp. 25–3

/ref> The Middle Ages also witnessed the emergence of the "tender image of Jesus" as a friend and a living source of love and comfort, rather than just the ''Kyrios'' image.''Christology: Key Readings in Christian Thought'' by Jeff Astley, David Brown, Ann Loades 2009 p. 106


Reformation

John Calvin maintained there was no human element in the Person of Christ which could be separated from the Person of Logos (Christianity), The Word. Calvin also emphasized the importance of the "Work of Christ" in any attempt at understanding the Person of Christ and cautioned against ignoring the Works of Jesus during his ministry.


Modern developments


Liberal Protestant theology

The 19th century saw the rise of Liberal Protestant theology, which questioned the dogmatic foundations of Christianity, and approached the Bible with critical-historical tools.Jaroslav Jan Pelikan
''he debate over Christology in modern Christian thought''
/ref> The divinity of Jesus was problematized, and replaced with an emphasis on the ethical aspects of his teachings.


Roman Catholicism

Catholic theologian Karl Rahner sees the purpose of modern Christology as to formulate the Christian belief that "God became man and that God-made-man is the individual Jesus Christ" in a manner that this statement can be understood consistently, without the confusions of past debates and mythologies. Rahner pointed out the coincidence between the Person of Christ and the Word of God, referring to wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Mark#8:38, Mark 8:38 and wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Luke#9:26, Luke 9:26 which state whoever is ashamed of the words of Jesus is ashamed of the Lord himself. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Hans von Balthasar argued the union of the human and divine natures of Christ was achieved not by the "absorption" of human attributes, but by their "assumption". Thus, in his view, the divine nature of Christ was not affected by the human attributes and remained forever divine.


Topics


Nativity and the Holy Name

The Nativity of Jesus impacted the christological issues about his Person from the earliest days of Christianity. Luke's Christology centers on the dialectics of the dual natures of the earthly and heavenly manifestations of existence of the Christ, while Matthew's Christology focuses on the mission of Jesus and his role as the savior. The
salvific Salvation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
emphasis of wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Matthew#1:21, Matthew 1:21 later impacted the theological issues and the devotions to Holy Name of Jesus. wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Matthew#1:23, Matthew 1:23 provides a key to the "Emmanuel Christology" of Matthew. Beginning with 1:23, Matthew shows a clear interest in identifying Jesus as "God with us" and in later developing the Emmanuel characterization of Jesus at key points throughout the rest of his Gospel.''Matthew's Emmanuel'' by David D. Kupp 1997 pp. 220–24 The name Emmanuel does not appear elsewhere in the New Testament, but Matthew builds on it in wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Matthew#28:20, Matthew 28:20 ("I am with you always, even unto the end of the world") to indicate Jesus will be with the faithful to the end of the age.''Who do you say that I am?: essays on Christology'' by Jack Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 p. 17 According to Ulrich Luz, the Emmanuel motif brackets the entire Gospel of Matthew between 1:23 and 28:20, appearing explicitly and implicitly in several other passages.


Crucifixion and resurrection

The accounts of the crucifixion and subsequent
resurrection of Jesus The resurrection of Jesus ( gr, ανάσταση του Ιησού) is the Christianity, Christian belief that God in Christianity, God Resurrection, raised Jesus on the third day after Crucifixion of Jesus, his crucifixion, starting – or Pr ...
provides a rich background for christological analysis, from the canonical Gospels to the Pauline Epistles. A central element in the christology presented in the Acts of the Apostles is the affirmation of the belief that the death of Jesus by crucifixion happened "with the foreknowledge of God, according to a definite plan".''New Testament christology'' by Frank J. Matera 1999 p. 67 In this view, as in wikisource:Bible (American Standard)/Acts#2:23, Acts 2:23, the cross is not viewed as a scandal, for the crucifixion of Jesus "at the hands of the lawless" is viewed as the fulfilment of the plan of God. Paul's Christology has a specific focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus is directly related to his resurrection and the term "the cross of Christ" used in Galatians 6:12 may be viewed as his abbreviation of the message of the gospels.''Christology'' by Hans Schwarz 1998 pp 132–34 For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus was not an isolated event in history, but a cosmic event with significant eschatological consequences, as in Cor 2:8. In the Pauline view, Jesus, obedient to the point of death (Phil 2:8), died "at the right time" (Rom 5:6) based on the plan of God. For Paul, the "power of the cross" is not separable from the resurrection of Jesus.


Threefold office

The threefold office (Latin ''munus triplex'') of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest ...

Christ
is a Christianity, Christian doctrine based upon the teachings of the Old Testament. It was described by Eusebius and more fully developed by John Calvin. It states that Jesus
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest ...

Christ
performed three functions (or "offices") in his earthly ministry – those of prophet
Deuteronomy 18:14–22
, priest
Psalm 110:1–4
, and kingly office of Christ, king
Psalm 2
. In the Old Testament, the appointment of someone to any of these three positions could be indicated by anointing him or her by pouring oil over the head. Thus, the term messiah, meaning "anointed one", is associated with the concept of the threefold office. While the office of king is that most frequently associated with the Messiah, the role of Jesus as priest is also prominent in the New Testament, being most fully explained in chapters 7 to 10 of the Book of Hebrews.


Mariology

Some Christians, notably Roman Catholics, view Mariology as a key component of Christology."Mariology Is Christology", in Vittorio Messori, ''The Mary Hypothesis'', Rome: 2005

In this view, not only is Mariology a logical and necessary consequence of Christology, but without it, Christology is incomplete, since the figure of Mary contributes to a fuller understanding of who Christ is and what he did. Protestants have criticized Mariology because many of its assertions lack any biblical foundation. Strong Protestant reaction against Roman Catholic Marian devotion and teaching has been a significant issue for Ecumenism, ecumenical dialogue. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) expressed this sentiment about Roman Catholic Mariology when in two separate occasions he stated, "The appearance of a truly Marian awareness serves as the touchstone indicating whether or not the christological substance is fully present" and "It is necessary to go back to Mary, if we want to return to the truth about Jesus Christ."Raymond Burke, 2008 ''Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, seminarians, and Consecrated Persons'' p. xxi


See also

* Annunciation * Ascension of Jesus * Catholic spirituality * Christian messianic prophecies * Christian views of Jesus * Christological argument * Crucifixion of Jesus * Doubting Thomas * Eucharist * Eutychianism * Five Holy Wounds * Genealogy of Jesus * Great Church * Great Tribulation * Harrowing of Hell * Kingship and Kingdom of God * Last Judgement * Last Supper * Life of Jesus in the New Testament * Miracles of Jesus * Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament * Religious perspectives on Jesus * Passion of Jesus * Patriology * Pentecost * Pneumatology * Rapture * Scholastic Lutheran Christology * Second Coming of Christ * Transfiguration of Jesus * Universal resurrection


Notes


References


Sources

;Printed sources * * * * * * * * *Chilton, Bruce. "The Son of Man: Who Was He?” ''Bible Review.'' August 1996, 35+. *Oscar Cullmann, Cullmann, Oscar. ''The Christology of the New Testament''. trans. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1980. * * * * * * * *Fuller, Reginald H. ''Reginald H. Fuller#The Foundations of New Testament Christology, The Foundations of New Testament Christology''. New York: Scribners, 1965. * Greene, Colin J.D. ''Christology in Cultural Perspective: Marking Out the Horizons''. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 2004. * * * Hodgson, Peter C. ''Winds of the Spirit: A Constructive Christian Theology''. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994. * *Kingsbury, Jack Dean. ''The Christology of Mark's Gospel.'' Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1989. *Letham, Robert. ''The Work of Christ. Contours of Christian Theology''. Downer Grove: IVP, 1993, * * * *Donald Macleod (theologian), MacLeod, Donald. ''The Person of Christ: Contours of Christian Theology''. Downer Grove: IVP. 1998, * * * * * * * Wolfhart Pannenberg, ''Systematic Theology'', T & T Clark, 1994 Vol.2. * * * * * * Schwarz, Hans. ''Christology''. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1998. * * * * ;Web-sources


Further reading

;Overview * ;Early high Christology * * * * * * * ;Atonement *


External links


Encyclopædia Britannica, Christology – full access article
{{Authority control Christology, Ancient Christian controversies Catholic theology and doctrine Christian terminology Systematic theology