Webster's Dictionary 
(n.) A treatise on Christ; that department of theology which treats of the personality, attributes, or life of Christ.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
Christology . See Person of Christ.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
CHRISTOLOGY. —See Person of Christ.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
a word, of comparatively recent origin in theological science, now used to denote the doctrine of or concerning Christ. Trench (Study of Words) finds it in use in one or two cases among the English divines of the 17th century. Owen gave the title Χριστολογία to his treatise on the Person of Christ (Owen's Works, Russell's ed. 1826, vol. 11). Flemning's Christology (Lond. 1705-8, 3 vols. 8vo), contains (1) general view of Christology; (2) concerning Christ as the Logos; (3) concerning Christ as he is Logos made man. The word has only been common in English theology within the last twenty years; and both the common use of the term and the special treatment of the subject are due to German theologians within the present century.
As to the scope of Christology, and its proper place in systematic theology, some writers include under it all that relates to thee history, the person, and the work of Christ. Hase (Evangel-protest. Dogmatik) makes Christology the second chief division of Dogmatics, and includes under it not only the person and work of Christ as commonly defined, but also Christ in the Church, the sacraments, etc. Coquerel (Christologie, Paris, 1858, 2 vols. 12mo) gives the following definition: "Une Christologie est une É tude de la personne ou de la nature de Jesus Christ, de ses rapports avec Dieu et avec l'humanit É , ainsi que de son oeuvre en ce monde" (p. 1). Christology and Soteriology are closely related to each other. Some writers (e.g. Pelt) include the former under the latter. Kling includes under Christology both the person and the work of Christ; it is impossible, he says, to separate them, because Christ is the Savior of men in virtue of what he is in his divine human person, and this person is necessary to the accomplishment of the work (Herzog, Real-Encyklop Ä die, 2:683). The latest tendency appears to be to confine the word Christology more strictly to the doctrine of the person of Christ, leaving his work to be treated separately, though in close and vital connection with his person. (So Hagenbach, History of Doctrines; Shedd, History of Doctrines; Beck, Dogmengeschichte, etc.) In this article we confine ourselves to this narrower use of the term. The work of Christ ( Ἔργον , John 4:34; John 17:4, rendered in the Latin Church Munus, Officium) is treated under the heads (See Offices Of Christ); ATONEMENT; (See Intercession); (See Justification); (See Redemption); (See Savior).
The doctrine of the person of Christ is the central doctrine of Christianity. Our view of the whole character and issues of his redemption, and consequently our whole system of thought, both theological and ethical, depends upon our view of the person of Christ. The Church has always, with a sure instinct, understood the fundamental importance of this doctrine; but after the settlement of the early disputes by the Council of Chalcedon (see below), the discussion of other topics (e.g. sin, grace, and predestination), especially in the Western Church, became necessary, and Christology was apparently thrown into the background. So, at a later period, the discussions concerning the atoning work of Christ, and of the merits of his death, took precedence of that of his person. But all classes of orthodox theologians, in all communions, have held to the fundamental importance of Christology; and with the subsidence of what may be called minor discussions, Christology has of late assumed new prominence. The Puritan theology, no less than the so-called sacramental theology, holds that Christ is the center of the Christian system. So Flavel: "The knowledge of Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures, the scope and center of all divine revelations; both Testaments meet in Christ. The right knowledge of Christ, like a clew, leads you through the whole labyrinth of the Scriptures" (Fountain, of Life opened up, Serm. 1). Liebner, a modern German divine, expresses the same thought in more scientific form (Christologie, G Ö ttingen, 1849): "The question, What do. you think of Christ: whose son is he? has become again, in its full force, the cardinal question of theology; theologians become pre-eminently Christologians; the stone which the (theological) builders had rejected has again, in reality, become the corner.
And there arises again for our age, with peculiar adaptedness for apologetical purposes, that grand and majestic train of Christological truths, from the center of which all is seen in true evangelical fullness, and in the proper evangelical order, up to the doctrine concerning the Triune and only true God, and down to every question connected with Christian ethics. And what here comes to light is, to say it in a few words, the system of all systems. The ancient Church has in sanctified and gigantic speculations laid the foundation; the Church of every succeeding period, when alive to her calling, has continued her efforts in the same direction, and its completion will require the efforts of the Church to the end of days. It is the system of the eternal divine thoughts that are laid down in the facts of revelation, and have been actualized most distinctly in Christ, the only- begotten Son, and which are reproduced by the believer, who by a living faith has received these facts within himself. We shall grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the truth, in whom all riches of wisdom and knowledge are hid, and shall learn to understand and show more clearly that only those views of God, of creation, of the world, of men, of sin and grace, that have their root in the Christological truths, are tenable and victorious; in short, that Christianity embodies all true philosophy as well as all spiritual life." So, with reference to the theological conflicts of the age, especially in Germany, Dorner remarks: "It is gratifying to see how, in the long conflict between Christianity and reason, the point, on the handling of which the decision of the controversy turns, has become ever more and more distinct to the consciousness.
The energies of all parties engaged in this conflict are gathered ever more and more around the person of Christ, as the central point at which the matter must be determined. The advantage of this is obvious as respects the settlement of this great strife; as in other things, so here, with the right statement of the question, the answer is already half found. It is easy also to see that, in point of fact, all lies in the question whether such a Christ as dwells, if not always in the words, yet ever in the mind of the Church — one in whom the perfect personal union of the divine and human appeared historically — be necessary and actual. For let us suppose that philosophy could incontrovertibly establish and carry to the conviction of all thoughtful men that the person of a Christ in the sense above set forth is a self- contradiction, and therefore an impossibility, there would be no longer any conflict between Christian theology and philosophy, because with the person of Christ would be abolished the Christian theology, as well as the Christian Church altogether. And, conversely, were it brought under the recognition of philosophy that the idea of an historical as well as an ideal Christ is necessary, and were a speculative construction of the person of Christ once reached, it is clear that philosophy and theology, essentially and intrinsically reconciled, would thenceforward have a common work, or, rather, properly speaking, would have become one, and philosophy would consequently not have relinquished her existence, but confirmed it." Care is to be taken, however, not to run into the Romanist error of substituting the incarnation for the death of Christ, and of putting aside the work of the Holy Spirit, which is the special life of the present dispensation of grace. The "sacramental" system tends to this by its theory that Christ is present in "the body" in his Church, instead of in his Holy Spirit. (See Holy Spirit).
The Christology of the Old Testament will be treated under the article MESSIAH. See also the article (See Christ). We here discuss, briefly,
I. The Christology of the N.T.;
II. The Christology of the Church;
III. The principal Christological heresies.
'''I.''' Christology Of The New Testament The older divines generally adduce the passages of the N.T. which treat of the person of Christ under the heads of (1) the Divinity of Christ; (2) the Humanity of Christ. The first class, of passages adduced generally includes those which assert the pre-existence of Christ; then follow passages which ascribe divine functions and attributes to Christ; and, thirdly, those which give him divine titles (comp. Watson, Theol. Institutes, I, ch. 25-32; Hill, Divinity, book 3). The recent discussions as to the origin of the Gospels, and as to the so-called development of doctrine in the N.T., have made it more convenient to state the Christology of the N.T. under the following heads: (1) Christ's own testimony as to his person, with the doctrine taught by his acts, as recorded in the Gospels, ( A ) the Synoptists; ( B ) John; (2) The Christology of the apostles. Pye Smith (Scripture Testimony To The Messiah, books 3, 4) makes the two heads following: 1. The Person of Christ, as taught in the Gospels and in our Lord's assertions and intimations; 2. The Person of Christ, as taught by the Apostles.
1. The Synoptical Gospels, With The Testimony Of Christ As To His Person (see Dorner, Person Of Christ, vol. 1, p. 52 sq.; and Schaff, Person Of Christ The Miracle Of History, p. 115 sq.; both of whom are used in what follows). —
(1.) Christ calls himself Νἱὸς Θεοῦ , Son Of God, and this in the highest sense, as implying the divinity of his own person ( Matthew 26:63; Matthew 16:16-17). He is not merely a son of God (as David, the kings of Israel, or the prophets were so styled); not merely one of the sons of God, but The Son, the only, the well-beloved ( Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; Matthew 22:42-45). David's son is David's Lord. The phrase "Son of God" has three meanings in the synoptical Gospels: (1) What may be called the Physical meaning ( Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35), because he has this name by nature, and on account of the mode of his birth. Of John it is said, "He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb" ( Luke 1:15), where the existence of the person of John precedes the filling with the Holy Ghost. But of Jesus it is said that, because he comes into being through the power of the Holy Ghost ( Luke 1:35), because he is conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost ( Matthew 1:20), and so is from a divine essence, he has the name Son of God ( Luke 1:35; Luke 1:32); God With Us ( Matthew 1:23); God has in him redeemed his people ( Luke 12:11), yea, all mankind ( Luke 2:14; Luke 2:31). And it is not one of the natures that has this name, but the entire person.
But what this is by nature and in itself, that must it become through a truly human development. So far as he verifies and morally realizes this natural divine Sonship, we have (2) the Second meaning of the phrase "Son of God," viz. the Ethical sonship ( Luke 2:49; Luke 2:52; Luke 4:3; Luke 4:9). That he also, in this sense, perfectly represented the Sonship of God was, for the time preceding this public manifestation, attested by the utterance at his baptism ( Matthew 3:17). Without the physical sonship as a presupposition, the ethical would be impossible, whereby he is the Holy One of God, the sinless man, come to bring, personally in himself, the divine law into actual manifestation ( Matthew 5:17); but even on that account, in a perfectly human way, in a progressive manifestation, advancing through conflict ( Matthew 19:16-17; Mark 10:18; Luke 4:13; Luke 13:49, 50). So (3) without both the physical and the ethical, the Official sonship would be impossible; which, conversely, is as naturally and necessarily the end of both the others as the ethical is of the physical. This third meaning of the phrase is, indeed, that commonly attributed to it, as a designation of the Messiah, by his contemporaries; but this will not justify us in reducing the Christian idea of the divine Sonship within the meager limits of the Jewish ideas of the Messiah" (Dorner, vol. 1:52 sq.). (See Messiah);(See Son Of God).
(2.) Christ calls himself also, and most commonly, Νἱύς Ἀυθρώπου , Son Of Man (about eighty times in all the Gospels. See Englishman'S Greek Concordance, s.v.). The use of this phrase clearly denotes his true and perfect manhood. "But why should Christ use it? Why call himself 'a man ?' Is it not because, in the mind of Christ, the sense of human sonship was secondary to that of the divine? But why call himself, not simply man, or the son of a man, but 'the Son of Man ?' Is it not because he, being divine, could not be simply a man, like others, imperfect, or even sinful? Does not the phrase, as thus used by Christ, indicate, not simply that there lies in him, of necessity, a perfect equality with others in what is essential to humanity, but also that, at the same time, he corresponds to the ideal conception of man?" (Dorner,. 1. c.). The expression, the Son of Man, while it places Christ, "in one view, on common ground with us, as flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone, already indicates, at the same time, that he is more than an ordinary individual; not merely a son of man, like all other descendants of Adam, but the Son of Man; the Man, in the highest sense; the ideal, the universal, the absolute Man; the second Adam, descended from heaven; the Head of a new and superior order of the race, the King of Israel, the Messiah" (Schaff, 1. c.). So also Trench: "He was 'Son of Man,' as alone realizing all which in the idea of man was contained, as the second Adam, the head and representative of the race — the one true and perfect flower, which ever unfolded itself, of the root and stock of humanity. Claiming this title as his own, he witnessed against opposite poles of error concerning his person — the Ebionite, to which the exclusive use of the title, 'Son of David,' might have led, and the Gnostic, which denied the reality of the human nature that bore it." Notes on the Parables, 9th Lond. ed. p. 84. ( Matthew 9:27; Matthew 15:22; Matthew 12:23; Matthew 22:41 sq., etc.)
"The appellation the Son of Man does not express, then, as many suppose, the humiliation and condescension of Christ simply, but his elevation rather above the ordinary level, and the actualization, in him and through him, of the ideal standard of human nature under its moral and religious aspect, or in its relation to God. This interpretation is suggested grammatically by the use of the definite article, and historically by the origin of the term in Daniel 7:13, where it signifies the Messiah, as the head of a universal and eternal kingdom. It commends itself, moreover, at once, as the most natural and significant, in such passages as, 'The Son of Man hath power to forgive sins' ( Matthew 9:6; Mark 2:10); 'The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day' ( Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28); 'The Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father;' 'The Son of Man is come to save' ( Matthew 18:11; comp. Luke 19:10). Even those passages which are quoted for the opposite view receive, in our interpretation, a greater force and beauty from the sublime contrast which places the voluntary condescension and humility of Christ in the most striking light, as when he says, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head' ( Luke 9:58); or, 'Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many' ( Matthew 20:27-28).
Thus the manhood of Christ, rising far above all ordinary manhood, though freely coming down to its lowest ranks with the view to their elevation and redemption, is already the portal of his Godhead." (Schaff, Person Of Christ, 113 sq.). Christ also, in many passages, calls himself simply "The Son," who stands to the Father in relations so peculiar that he never calls God "Our Father," as he directs his followers to do, but "My Father," from whom he received witness at the Transfiguration as the only and well-beloved Son. Among the Acts ascribed to Christ in the synoptical Gospels (leaving out his miracles), one of the most significant is the forgiveness of sins, which he claims as his attribute as the "Son of Man" ( Matthew 9:2; Matthew 9:6; Luke 5:20; Luke 5:24); and which the Pharisees considered blasphemous, as well they might, if Christ had been simply man. In instituting the rite of baptism, he puts his own title, "Son," along with that of the Father and of the Holy Ghost. Further, he ascribes to himself a power infinitely beyond the human, and in this respect puts himself on an equality with God ( Luke 10:22; Matthew 28:18) (Dorner, 1. c.). (See Son Of Man).
2. John'S Gospel. — Here it is not necessary to dilate as with regard to the Synoptical Gospels, inasmuch as in St. John the Christological doctrine takes a more definite, if not more scientific form, and its teaching is not matter of dispute, at least to the same extent. John's Gospel teaches the pre-existence of Christ. "It ascribes to the Son not merely a moral, but an essential divinity; a not merely economical, but an ontological or metaphysical relation to the Father. It also teaches the true manhood of Christ, and its perfect historical reality; and, finally, that the Son, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, complete the end of creation in the reconciliation of man with God ( John 1:1-2; John 1:14; John 1:18 [comp. John 17:2]; John 1:32; John 1:34; John 1:51; John 4:6; John 5:26-27; John 6:53; John 8:16; John 10:15; John 10:33; John 12:34; John 14:23; John 19:26; John 19:30; John 20:17)" (Dorner, 1. c.; Bloomfield, Five Lectures on the Gospel of St. John [1823, 12mo]; Sadler, Emmanuel, ch. 1, § 3 [Lond. 1867, 8vo]).
3. The Apostles. —
(1) St. Paul gives his testimony both as to the divinity and the humanity of Christ, his sonship and his Messianic work, as fully as St. John, especially setting forth the purely Christian idea of the Messiah ( Romans 1:3; Romans 5:6-10; Romans 6:3-10; Romans 9:5; Romans 8:3; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 [comp. Acts 22:8-10]; 1 Corinthians 15:47 [ 1 Corinthians 3:13-18; 2 Corinthians 5:16-19]; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:6-10; Colossians 1:15-17, etc.; comp. Hebrews 1:6; Hebrews 1:10-12). The testimony of Paul is well stated by Sadler, Emmanuel, ch. 1, § 2. See also Dorner, 1:51.
(2) The Epistle of James has been called an Ebionitish Gospel, as if its Christology were of a lower type. But James evidently presupposes the Faith, as the groundwork of the ethical teaching which is the main object of his epistle. He calls Christ "our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory" ( James 2:1), in which passage the royal function of Christ is expressly set forth, as also in his second coming to judgment ( James 5:7-9; comp. James 4:12).
(3) "The discourses of Peter In The Acts, having for their object the establishment of the faith among unbelievers, all present the Christology as their centerpoint, yet rather in the Old Testament form. For instance, the appellation 'Servant of God, Παῖς Θεοῦ , is taken from the prophets, and also the assertion of the anointing with the Holy Ghost. As respects particulars, the fortunes of Christ are, according to Peter, predicted by the prophets ( Acts 1:16; Acts 2:16; Acts 2:34; Acts 3:18; Acts 3:22-26; Acts 10:34; 1 Peter 2:7; 1 Peter 2:22-25; 1 Peter 1:10), as well as the outpouring of the Holy Ghost ( Acts 2:16; Acts 2:23; Acts 2:31; Acts 1:16). Christ himself is anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power ( Acts 10:38); by God is made both Lord and Christ ( Acts 2:36), as God hath glorified him ( Acts 3:13), appointed him to be Prince and Savior, the Judge of the living and the dead. Here everything, in accordance with the historical starting-point, proceeds from the humiliation of Christ; but the end at which this representation aims from the first is, that He is the Prince of Life ( Acts 3:15), whom the bonds of death could not hold; who has gone up into heaven ( Acts 2:33), and is now Lord of all ( Acts 10:38-42)." In the epistles of Peter it is not only the case, as in the Acts, that the life and death of Christ are spoken of as fulfilling the O.T., but the O.T. dispensation is made to look to and depend on Christianity ( 1 Peter 1:10-11). "In the prophets the Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ was operative; it wrought in them its own preparation, foretelling the grace in Christ, his sufferings, and the glory that should follow. In Christ are we chosen from eternity ( 1 Peter 1:2); we are eternally contemplated by the Father as standing in the sanctification of the spirit; as destined for obedience and for purifying, through the blood of Jesus Christ ( 1 Peter 1:20). As respects the historical appearance of Christ, there is ascribed to him true manhood ( 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1). Thus the epistle is as far from Docetism as from Ebionitism.
Jude places Christ along with the Father in the formula of salutation ( Judges 1:2) and in the doxology ( Judges 1:24-25); the being kept in the true and most holy faith ( Judges 1:20) is a being preserved in Christ Jesus ( Judges 1:1; Judges 1:3) and in the Holy Ghost ( Judges 1:20). The persons whom Jude opposes are not merely such as have practically swerved from the right way ( Judges 1:8; Judges 1:15); they are also teachers of error, because they deny the only God and our Lord Jesus Christ ( Judges 1:4).
The Second Epistle of Peter has more definitely to do with errorists, especially the "heretics" who "deny the Lord that bought them" ( 2 Peter 2:1). To Christ belong Μεγαλειότης ( 2 Peter 1:16), Δόξα Καὶ Ἀρέτη ( 2 Peter 1:3); he is the beloved Son of God, in whom he is well pleased ( 2 Peter 1:17); he is our Σωτήρ ( 2 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:11, etc.), our Lord ( 2 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:8, etc.), who hath an everlasting kingdom ( 2 Peter 1:2), and whose exaltation is not taught in cunningly devised myths, but is attested by the prophets and eye-witnesses ( 2 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 1:18; 2 Peter 3:2) (Dorner, 1:72).
On the Christology of the N.T., see, besides the works already cited, Gess, Lehre von der Person Christi (Basel, 1856, 8vo); Sadler, Emmanuel (Lond. 1867, 8vo, especially ch. 1); Schaff, Apostolic Church, § 148; Goodwin, Christ the Mediator (Plymouth, 1819, 8vo); Hooker, Ecclesiastes Polity, bk. 5:51; Waterland's Works (12 vols.), vol. 4, Pye Smith, First Lines of Theology, bk. 2, chap. 4; Gurney, Biblical Notes to Confirm the Deity of Christ (Lond. 1830, 8vo), and the writers generally on the Trinity, on the Divinity of Christ, and the Life of Christ. Prof. Beyschlag, of Halle, in his Christologie des N.T. (Berlin, 1866, 8vo), attempts to show that the N.T. represents Christ as divine, but not as pre- existent, or equal with the Father.
'''Ii.''' Christology Of The Church The doctrine of the person and work of Christ formed the main topic of theological speculation and controversy in the early Church, and is again the most prominent religious problem of modern times. The peculiarity of his Person consists in the perfect union of the divine and human which constitutes him the Mediator between God and man, and the Savior of the fallen race. This has always been the faith of the Christian Church, but in every age it has had to encounter a new enemy, or the old enemy in ever-varying phases, and to achieve new triumphs in the refutation of error and the vindication of truth. The orthodox Christology is derived from the New Testament, especially from St. Paul and St. John (see above), and has gradually been unfolded in sharp conflict with a large number of Christological heresies, each serving to elicit a clearer view of some particular aspect either of the divinity or of the humanity of Christ, or of the union of the two natures. "The person of Jesus Christ in the fullness of its theanthropic life cannot be exhaustively set forth by any formulas of human logic. Even the imperfect, finite personality of man has a mysterious background that escapes the speculative comprehension; how much more, then, the perfect personality of Christ, in which the tremendous antithesis of Creator and creature, infinite and finite, immutable, eternal Being and changing temporal becoming, are harmoniously conjoined! The formulas of orthodoxy can neither beget the faith nor nourish it; they are not the bread and the water of life, but a standard for theological investigation and a rule of public teaching" (Schaff).
The Orthodox Christology is essentially the same in the Greek, Latin, and evangelical Protestant churches. It forms (like the doctrine of the Trinity, so closely connected with it) one of the fundamental bonds of union between the great divisions of Christendom. Yet there have been some new features brought out since the Reformation. We subdivide it into oecumenical, scholastic, and evangelical.
1. The OECUMENICAL or CATHOLIC Christology was prepared in the ante-Nicene age (see Bull's Defensio Fidei Nicaenae), and fully matured in the Nicene and post-Nicene age. The doctrine of the person of Christ, in inseparable connection with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, was the chief problem of theological speculation from the third to the middle of the fifth century, and was settled by the four great ecumenical councils of Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), and Chalcedon (451). The first two were mainly concerned with the assertion of the strict divinity of Christ against its partial denial by Arianism and SemiAArianism. The last two set forth the relation of the divine and the human nature of the one person against the opposite extremes of Nestorianism and Eutychianism. The decree of the Council of Ephesus was more negative, a condemnation of Nestorius. But the Council of Chalcedon gave a clear and full statement of the positive doctrine of Christ's person, and summed up the final result of those deep, earnest, and violent Trinitarian and Christological controversies which had agitated the Church so long.
The Christological symbol of the Chalcedonian or fourth oecumenical Synod of 451 ranks next in authority to the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, and has not been superseded to this day. "It does not aspire to comprehend the Christological mystery, but contents itself with setting forth the facts and establishing the boundaries of orthodox doctrine. It does not mean to preclude further theological discussion, but to guard against such erroneous conceptions as would mutilate either the divine or the human in Christ, or would place the two in a false relation. It is a lighthouse to point out to the ship of Christological speculation the channel between Scylla and Charybdis, and to save it from stranding upon the reefs of Nestorian Dyophysitism, or of Eutychian Monophysitism. As the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity stands midway between Tritheism and Sabellianism, so the Chalcedonian formula strikes the true mean between Nestorianism and Eutychianism. But it contents itself with setting forth, in clear outlines, the final result of the theanthropic process of incarnation, leaving the study of the process itself to scientific theology" (Schaff).
The Chalcedonian symbol is as follows:
"Following the holy fathers, we unanimously teach one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, complete as to his Godhead and complete as to his manhood, truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting: consubstantial with the Father as to his Godhead, and consubstantial also with us as to his manhood; like unto us in all things, yet without sin; as to his Godhead begotten of the Father before all worlds, but as to his manhood, in these last days born, for us men and for our salvation, of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God; one and the same Christ; Son, Lord, Only-begotten, known in (of) two natures [ Ἐν Δύο Φύσεσιν , In Duabus Naturis, or, with the present Greek text, Ἐκ Δύο Φύσεων , of two natures, which signifies essentially the same thing], Without Confusion ( Ἀσυγχύτως ), Without Conversion ( Ἀτρέπτως ) , Without Severance ( Ἀδιαιρετως ) , And Without Division ( Ἀχωρίστως ); the distinction of the natures being in no wise abolished by their union, but the peculiarity of each nature being maintained, and both concurring in one person and hypostasis. We confess not a Son divided and sundered into two persons, but one and the same Son, and Only begotten, and God- Logos, our Lord Jesus Christ, even as the prophets had before proclaimed concerning him, and he himself hath taught us, and the symbol of the fathers hath handed down to us." (See Chalcedon).
The same doctrine is set forth in a more condensed form in the second part of the so-called Athanasian Creed, which originated probably in the school of Augustine during the fifth century, and is the third of the oecumenical symbols:
"Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that we believe also rightly in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man of God, of the substance of the lather, begotten before the worlds; and man, of the substance of his mother, born in the world. Perfect God; perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead; inferior to the Father as touching his manhood. And although he is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by assumption of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the ransomable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, who suffered for our salvation," etc.
(For an analysis and criticism of this oecumenical or Catholic Christology, see Shedd's History of Christian Doctrine, 1:399 sq.; Schaff's Church History, in, 747762, and the respective sections of the works of Baur, Dorner, and others quoted below.) mainly by Anselm (the author of Cur Deus homo, with his epoch-making theory of the atonement; (See Anselm)), Peter the Lombard, and Thomas Aquinas. It confined itself, as regards the person of Christ, to a dialectical analysis and defense of the old Catholic dogma, with some unfruitful speculations on minor points, especially on the abstract question whether Christ would have become incarnate if the Fall had not taken place. Thomas Aquinas decided for the former, as the safer formula (si homo non peccasset, Deus incarnatus non fuisset); Ruprecht of Deutz, Duns Scotus, and Alexander Hales for the other view. This question has recently been taken up again and ably discussed by J. M Ü ller against, Doner and Liebner for, the doctrine of Incarnation without a Fall. See Brit. and For. Evang. Review, Jan. 1861, art. 4.
3. The PROTESTANT or Evangelical Christology. The churches of the Reformation, both Lutheran and Reformed or Calvinistic, adopted in their confessions of faith, either in form or in substance, the three oecumenical Creeds (the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian), and with them the ancient Catholic doctrine of the Trinity and Christ's divine- human character and work, which doctrine is, in fact, the sum and substance of those symbols. We quote from the principal Protestant confessions:
The Augsburg Confession of the Lutheran Church, Art. III. De Filio Dei:
"Item docent, quod Verbutem, hoc est, Filius Dei, assumpserit humanam naturam in utero beatae Mariae virginis, ut sint duos naturae, divina et humana, in unitate personae inseparabiliter conjunctae, unus Christus, vere Deus, et vere homo, natus ex Virgine Maria, vere passus, crucifixus, mortuus et sepultus, ut reconciliaret nobis Patrem, et hostia esset non tantum pro culpa originis, sed etiam pro omnibus actualibus hominum peccatis."
The Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, Art. II. Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very man:
"The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined very God and very man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men."
The Westminster Confession, which gives the clearest and strongest expression to the faith of the strictly Reformed or Calvinistic churches, thus states the doctrine of Christ's person in ch. 8, § 2:
"The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin, being conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance: so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man."
The 2d Article of the Methodist Episcopal Church is the same as that of the Church of England, except that the words "begotten from everlasting of the Father," and "of her substance," are omitted (probably by typographical error).
On this general basis of the Chalcedonian Christology, and following the indications of the Scriptures as the only rule of faith, the Lutheran and Reformed churches have built some additional views or developed new aspects of Christ's person. Protestantism cannot consistently adopt any doctrinal or disciplinary decisions of the Church as strictly infallible and as an absolute finale, but simply with the reservation of the right of further research, and with the understanding of a constant progress in theology — not, indeed, of a progress beyond Christ and the Bible, but in the everdeepening apprehension and subjective appropriation of Christ and his infallible word. There is a characteristic difference between the Christology of the Lutheran and that of the Reformed Confessions which affects the whole system. Upon the whole, we may say that the former has a leaning towards the Eutychian confusion of the divine and human nature, the latter to the Nestorian separation; yet both distinctly disown the Eutychian and Nestorian heresies. (On the difference between the Lutheran and Reformed Christology, compare especially the very able and acute treatise of Schneckenburger, Die orthodoxe Lehre vom doppelten Stande Christi nach lutherischer und reformirter Fassung [Pforzheim, 2d ed. 1861]; also his Vergleichende Darstellung d. lutherischen u. reformirten Lehrbegriffs, edited by G Ü der [Stuttgart, 1855].) The progress made in Christology since the Reformation within the limits of the Chalcedonian orthodoxy, or, at all events, not in conflict with it, relates to the communion of the two natures, and to the states and the offices of Christ.
(a) The doctrine of the Communicatio Idiomatum, the communication of attributes or properties of one nature to the other or to the whole person. The beginning of it may be found in Cyril of Alexandria and John of Damascus; but it has been much more fully Developed by the Lutheran Church in the interest of her peculiar tenet of the ubiquity of Christ's body, in order to support Luther's eucharistic theory of consubstantiation so called. It was embodied in the Formula Concordiae, but has never been adopted in the Reformed or Calvinistic churches. The Lutheran divines distinguish three kinds of the Communicatio Idiomatum which is derived from the Communio Naturarum:
(1) Genus Idiomaticum (or Ἰδιοποιητικόν ) , whereby the properties of one nature are transferred and applied to the whole person ( Romans 1:3; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1);
(2) Genus Apotelesmaticum ( Κοινοποιητικόν ) , whereby the Ἀποτελέσματα , i.e. the redemptory functions and actions which belong to the whole person are predicated only of one or the other nature ( 1 Timothy 2:5 sq.; Hebrews 1:2 sq.);
(3) Genus Auchematicum ( Αὐχηματικόν ) or Majestaticunm, whereby the human nature is clothed and magnified by the attributes of the divine nature ( John 3:13; John 5:27; Matthew 28:18; Matthew 28:20; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:10).
Under this head the Lutheran Church claims a certain ubiquity or omnipresence for the body of Christ, on the ground of its personal union with the divine nature; yet she makes this ubiquity dependent on the will of Christ, who can be present with his whole person wherever he pleases to be or has promised to be. But for this very reason the Reformed divines reject the whole doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum, and pronounce the propositiones idiomaticae to be mere figures of speech ( Ἀλλοίωσις , a rhetorical exchange of one part for another). (See Communicatio Idiomatum).
(b) The doctrine of a twofold State of Christ — the state of Humiliation and the state of Exaltation. This is based upon Philippians 2:5-9, and is no doubt substantially true. The Status Exinanitionis (Humiliationis) embraces the supernatural conception, birth, circumcision, education, earthly life, passion, death, and burial of Christ; the Status Exaltationis includes the resurrection, ascension, and the sitting at the right hand of God. As to the descent into hell, or Hades rather, the Lutheran and the Reformed churches differ according to their different conceptions of this difficult article in the Apostles' Creed. The Lutheran Confessions, regarding it as a triumph over hell, make the Descensus Ad Inferos the first stage of the Status Exaltationis, while the Reformed Confessions view it as the last stage of the status exaltationis. It is properly the turningpoint from the one state to the other, and thus belongs to both. The Lutheran Creed, moreover, refers the two states only to the human nature of Christ, regarding the divine as not susceptible of any humiliation or exaltation. The Reformed symbols refer them to both natures, so that Christ's human nature was in a state of humiliation as compared with its future exaltation, and his divine nature was in the state of humiliation as to its external manifestation (ratione occultationis). With them the incarnation itself is the beginning of the state of humiliation, while the Lutheran Symbols exclude the incarnation from the humiliation. Between the Lutheran divines of Tiubingen and Giessen there was a controversy in the 17th century about the question whether Christ in the state of humiliation entirely abstained from the use of his divine attributes ( Κένωσις ), or whether he used them secretly ( Κρύψις ) . The divines of Giessen defended the former, those of T Ü bingen the latter view. Both schools were agreed as to the possession ( Κτῆσις ), and differed only as to the use ( Χρῆσις ) , of the divine attributes. This controversy has been renewed, in a modified form, among recent German divines. (See Kenosis).
(c) The threefold Office of Christ.
(1) The Prophetical office (Munus, or Officium Propheticum) includes teaching and the miracles of Christ.
(2) The Priestly office (Munus Sacerdotale) consists in the satisfaction made for the sins of the world by the death on the cross, and in the continued intercession of the exalted Savior for his people (redemptio et intercessio sacerdotalis).
(3) The Kingly office (Munus Regium), whereby Christ founded his kingdom, defends his Church against all enemies, and rules all things in heaven and on earth. The old divines distinguish between the reign of nature (Regnum Naturae sive Potentiae), which embraces all things; the reign of grace (Regnum Gratiae), which relates to the church militant on earth; and the reign of glory (Regnum Gloria), which belongs to the church triumphant in heaven.
4. Modern Christological speculations. Upon the whole, the orthodox doctrine has laid the main stress upon the divine element in Christ, and left the human element more or less out of sight, without ever denying it. Rationalism, on the contrary, developed the human element to the exclusion and denial of the divine. When evangelical theology revived after the reign of Rationalism in Germany; it endeavored to do justice to both elements, and so to reconstruct the old Christology as to set forth the sinless, yet truly human character of Christ from his inifncy to full maturity, without prejudice to his deity. Schleiermacher opened a new era of Christological speculation, but, forsaking the Chalcedonian basis of two natures in one person, he discarded the proper idea of the incarnation as the union of the eternal personal Logos with human nature, and, after all, presented Christ merely as a perfect model man without sin, in whom God dwelt in a peculiar manner, as he did in no other man before or since. This indwelling of God is with him only a principle, a power of life, and not the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Schleiermacher's view of the Trinity is essentially Sabellian. From him and from Hegel's philosophy proceeded two opposite currents of Christological speculation — a humanitarian, negative and infidel, culminating in Strauss and Renan (see below, under the second division, No. 15), and an evangelical, positive and in the main orthodox, which labors to reconcile the old faith of the Church in the God- Man with the demands and forms of modern thought. The principal evangelical writers on the .Christological problem, under its latest phases, are Dorner, Lange, Goeschel, Liebner, Martensen, Thomasius, Gess, Kahnis, Ebrard. Some of these, especially Thomasius, Gess, and Godet (Commentary on John), have strained the Pauline idea of the kenosis, the self-limitation, self-renunciation of the Logos, far beyond former conceptions, even to a partial or entire selfemptying of the divine essence and suspension of the inner Trinitarian process during the earthly life of Christ, while others restrict the kenosis to the laying aside of the divine form of existence or divine dignity and glory. Dorner opposes these modern Kenotics or Kenosists (Kenotiker) as a new sect of Theopaschites and Patripassians, and he assumes a gradual ethical and vital unification of the pre-existent Logos and the human nature, by a condescension of the former and an elevation of the latter. This view leaves room for the growth of the Messianic consciousness, but makes the incarnation itself a process of growth which was not completed till the resurrection, or at least till the baptism of Christ.
These modern inquiries, however, earnest, profound, and valuable as they are, have not yet led to definite and generally-accepted results. English and American theology have not been affected by them to any considerable extent; Dr. Shedd, in his able though incomplete History of Christian Doctrine, even ignores them altogether, and pronounces the Chalcedonian symbols the ne plus ultra of Christological knowledge, "beyond which it is probable the human mind is unable to go in the, endeavor to unfold the mystery of Christ's complete person" (1:403). But there certainly have been very important advances made within the last thirty years in the critical history of the life of Christ, and in the manifold exhibition of his perfect humanity, which itself is an overwhelming proof of his divinity. (For a review of the recent Christological speculations, see Dorner, in his large work on the history of Christology, 2:1260 sq., Engl. trans., div. 2d, in, 100 sq., and in several dissertations upon the immutability of God in the Jahrb Ü cher f Ü r Deutsche Theologie, 1856 and 1858; also Woldemar Schmidt, Das Dogma vom Gottmenschen, mit Beziehung auf die neuesten L Ö sungsversuche der Gegens Ä tze [Leipzig, 1865].)
'''Iii.''' Christological Heresies The numerous Christological errors may be divided into three classes, according as they relate either to the divine or to the human nature of Christ, or to the union of the two. Ebionism, Socinianism, and Rationalism, in its various shapes, deny, either in whole or in part, the divinity of Christ; Gnosticism, Manicheism, Apollinarianism, deny, more or less, his real humanity; while Nestorianism, Eutychianism, Monophysitism, and Monotheletism admit the Godhead and manhood of Christ, but place them in a false relation to each other. We present them here in chronological order.
1. EBIONISM (see that article), the earliest Christian heresy, was essentially Jewish, and looked upon Christianity merely as a perfected Judaism, upon the Gospel as a new law, and upon Christ as a second Moses. Origen derived the name of the sect from the poverty of their doctrine of Christ ( אֶבְיוֹן , Poor); but they regarded themselves as the genuine followers of the poor Christ. They held that Jesus was, indeed, the promised Messiah, the Son of David, and the supreme lawgiver of the Church; yet a mere man, the son of Joseph and Mary, and that his death had no atoning efficacy. With this were closely connected other heresies. The Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, (See Clementines), differ from the ordinary Ebionism by peculiar speculative and semi-Gnostic ideas, and teach that Christ was the last and highest representative of the primitive religion which appeared in the seven pillars of the world, Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Christ. These are, in reality, only different incarnations of the same Adam, or primitive man, the true prophet of God. Christianity and Mosaism are identical, and both coincide with the religion of Adam. Whether a man believe in Moses or Christ is all the same, provided he blaspheme neither. Christianity is an advance only in extending this primitive religion to the Gentiles (comp. Schliemann, Die Clementinen und der Ebionitismus, 1844, p. 362-552).
2. GNOSTICISM, which flourished in the second century (see article), varied in its Christology according to its numerous schools of Cerinthus, Basilides, Valentine, Marcion, etc., and generally dealt more in vague notions and speculative fancies than in solid, clearly-defined doctrines and arguments. But its Christology was a radical denial of the mystery of the incarnation, and therefore anti-Christian, according to the criterion of John ( 1 John 4:3), although from a view the very opposite of Ebionism. While the latter denied the divinity of Christ, Gnosticism was Docetistic (hence Docetism), i.e. it denied the realness of Christ's human nature, and resolved it into an empty show and deceptive appearance ( Δόκησις , Φάντασμα ) , or a transient vision, after the manner of the Indian Mythology. The real Christ, or Savior, is one of the aeons or divine powers, which either assumed this spectral form of humanity, or united himself temporarily, at the baptism in Jordan, with the man Jesus of Nazareth, to forsake him again at the passion. But he entered into no real contact with a human body which, as a part of matter ( Υ̓́λη ), was retarded as essentially evil and antagonistic to God; he was not actually born, he did not suffer and die, nor rise again. He appeared like a meteor from the sky, to disappear again. Reduced to a modern philosophical conception, the Gnostic Christ is, in the end, nothing more than the ideal spirit of man himself, the Christ of Strauss and modern pantheism. Valentinus, the most ingenious among the Gnostics, distinguished the Ἄνω Χριστός , or heavenly Christ; the Σωτήρ , or Jesus; and the Κάτω Χριστός , the Jewish Messiah, who passed through the body of Mary as water through a pipe, and was crucified by the Jews, although, having no material body, he did not actually suffer. With him Soter, the proper redeemer, united himself at the baptism in Jordan, to announce his divine gnosis on earth, and lead spiritual persons to perfection.
3. The MANICHEAN system, which we know best from the writings of St. Augustine (who himself belonged to the sect for nine years, and was thereby better able to refute it), was essentially Gnostic and Docetistic, and by its perverted view of body and matter as essentially evil, wholly excluded the idea of an incarnation of God. The Manichaeans held that the apostles corrupted and falsified the real teachings of Christ, but that Mani, the promised Paraclete, has restored them. Traces of the Manichsan heresy run through a number of sects of the Middle Ages.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
The department of theology which treats of the person of Christ.