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Christology debates


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A simplified explanation of some of the debates among Christians in the 4th and 5th centuries about the dual nature of Christ (God and man)

Published in: Spiritual

Christology debates

  1. 1. Christology Debates<br />Alexandrine / Antiochene Viewpoints<br />Appolinarianism<br />Nestorianism<br />
  2. 2. The East<br />Alexandria<br />Antioch<br />Constantinople<br />Both sides wanted their bishop to be in charge of Constantinople, because it had become powerful in the East – like Rome in the West<br />
  3. 3. Christology<br />Alexandrine View<br />Main point was<br />REVELATION<br />Christ revealed God to us<br />Therefore<br />It’s most important<br />that Christ was Divine<br />Because to reveal God, he must fully know God – and how could he fully know God unless he fully participates in God’s nature?<br />Antiochene View<br />Main point was <br />SALVATION<br />Christ saved us<br />Therefore<br />It’s most important<br />that Christ was Human<br />Because to save and redeem all aspects of humanity, he must fully participate in all aspects of humanity – which means any part of him that was NOT fully human could not fully be saved in us.<br />
  4. 4. Christology - Summary<br />Antiochene View<br />Jesus was Human<br />(and divine)<br />Alexandrine View<br />Jesus was Divine<br />(and human)<br />
  5. 5. Controversies: Appolinarianism<br />Appolinaris<br />(Alexandrine viewpoint)<br />Argument:Christ had a physical body<br />but a divine mind<br />Gregory of Nazianzus<br />(Antiochene viewpoint)<br />Counter argument: It can’t be - because anything in Jesus that wasn’t human couldn’t be saved<br />Council of Constantinople – 381<br />Appolinarianism  Antiochene Position Wins<br />
  6. 6. Controversies: Nestorianism<br />Nestorius(Patriarch of Constantinople)<br />(Antiochene viewpoint)<br />Statements<br /><ul><li>Jesus & God: 2 natures, 2 persons
  7. 7. Mary: Christotokos, not Theotokos</li></ul> (“Christ-bearer” not “God-bearer”)<br />Purpose:possibly to prevent the divine from overwhelming the human<br />Bishop Cyril(Supported by west and Emperors Valentinian III, Theodosius II)<br />(Alexandrine viewpoint)<br />Action:Get Theodosius II to call council against Nestorius<br />Council of Ephesus – 431<br />
  8. 8. Controversies: Nestorianism<br />Nestorius <br />(Supported by John of Antioch and others)<br />Bishop Cyril<br />(Supported by west and Emperors Valentinian III, Theodosius II)<br />Council of Ephesus – 431<br />Decided against Nestorius<br />(in his absence – he was late)<br />Protest<br />Nestorius and supporters convene their own council and decide against Cyril<br />Protest against the protest<br />Against Nestorius again<br />(and everyone else who participated with him)<br />
  9. 9. Controversies: Nestorianism Cont’d<br />Council of Ephesus – 431<br />Decided against Nestorius<br />Protest<br />Counter-protest<br />Theodosius II intervenes<br />Bishop Cyril<br />John of Antioch(Nestorius’ supporter)<br />Negotiations … “Formula of Union” - 433<br />Upholds original council<br />Alexandrine Position Wins Nestorianism<br />Nestorius – deposed, exiled<br />