prev Quote of OCTOBER 22 next

Christ the Human and the Divine - 451

The fourth ecumenical council was held at Chalcedon. Painting by Vasily Surikov.


On October 8, 451, the largest of all church councils assembled at Chalcedon, near Constantinople (modern Istanbul). Between five and six hundred bishops were present representing conflicting views about the two natures of Christ. After much discussion, at the fifth and most important session, on this day, 22 October 451, the council adopted a creed that gave expression to a new consensus acceptable to most of the church. The human and divine natures of Christ, said the council, existed in one person without his becoming less divine or less human. The work Christ did was the work of his whole person. A few eastern Christians and Copts rejected the teaching of the council. However, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestants believe that the council’s statement accurately reflects what the Bible teaches about Jesus.


Following, then, the holy Fathers, we all unanimously teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is to us One and the same Son, the Self-same Perfect in Godhead, the Self-same Perfect in Manhood ; truly God and truly Man; the Self-same of a rational soul and body ; co- essential with the Father according to the Godhead, the Self-same co-essential with us according to the Manhood like us in all things, sin apart; before the ages begotten of the Father as to the Godhead, but in the last days, the Self-same, for us and for our salvation (born) of Mary the Virgin Theotokos as to the Manhood; One and the Same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten; acknowledged in Two Natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably ; the difference of the Natures being in no way removed because of the Union, but rather the properties of each Nature being preserved, and (both) concurring into One Person and One Hypostasis; not as though He were parted or divided into Two Persons, but One and the Self-same Son and Only-begotten God, Word, Lord, Jesus Christ; even as from the beginning the prophets have taught concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself hath taught us, and as the Symbol of the Fathers hath handed down to us.


Date from Schaff's History of the Christian Church; translation from: Bindley, T. Herbert, The Oecumenical Documents of the Faith. Methuen, 1899.

Subscribe to daily emails

Containing today’s events, devotional, quote and stories