On the Person of Christ, his Human & Divine Natures & the Hypostatic Union

“Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.'”

Jn. 8:58

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”

Jn. 3:13

“I am the first and the last:  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;”

Rev. 1:17-18




Grace of Union, Assumption, Impersonal Human Nature,
.      Subsisting, Communication & Existence, Sustentation
Doctrine of Appropriations
Christ’s Divinity
Definition of ‘Person’
Christ’s Human Nature
Communication of Properties
Ubiquity & Multi-Presence
Communion of Natures & Extra Calvinisticum
Christ’s Two Wills
Mediator’s Two Operations to the Same Effect
Grounds of Christ Receiving Divine Worship




Articles  35+
Books  10+
Quotes  3
Historical Theology  30
Latin  30+

Theology of Union  3
Christ: Not Morally Able to Sin
Did Christ’s Person Die?
Hypostatic Union in Christ’s Death




Early Church

Fathers of Antioch – ‘On the Incarnation of the Word: a Confession made…  Paul Samosota’  excerpted from the acts of the 1st Ephesian Council  in Zachary Ursinus, A Collection of Certain Learned Discourses…  (Oxford, 1600), pp. 88-91

Cyril of Jerusalem – Catechetical Lectures  in NPNF2, vol. 7

Lecture 10, ‘Of the One Lord, Jesus Christ’, pp. 57-63  on 1 Cor. 8:5-6

Lecture 11, ‘Of the Only-Begotten Son of God, Begotten from the Father before all Worlds, True God, through whom All Things were Made’, pp. 64-71

Lecture 12, ‘Of Christ Incarnate’, pp. 72-81

Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313–386) was a bishop of Jerusalem who was exiled numerous times due to the religious controversies of the era.  Cyril was an eastern Father (this showing in his teachings about baptism, chrism and the Eucharist), however, as argued at length by Edwin H. Gifford (see pp. xlvi-liii of the Introduction in NPNF2), Cyril was keenly orthodox in his teachings about the Trinity and Christ’s Mediatorial Person, despite his not using the Nicean term homoousion (‘the same substance’) in these lectures for baptismal candidates.

Possible reasons why Cyril did not use the term homoousion, according to Gifford, include: (1) that it was ambiguous from the inception of the term in Greek philosophy, (2) it had some ambiguity amongst the Christian Fathers before Nicea, including in sometimes being equivelent to hypostasis, (3) it was used by other heretics, such as the Sabellians, whether in a good way, or in a bad way, they meaning by it that the Son was the same Person (hypostasis) as the Father, and (4) Cyril’s Church had not previously used it, and so they saw no need to insert a questionable and possibly confusing term into their creed.



Boethius – ‘A Treatise Against Eutyches & Nestorius’  in Boethius: the Theological Tractates with an English Translation  eds. Stewart & Rand  (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1918), pp. 73-127

Boethius (c.480-c.524, also known as Severinus) was an orthodox Church father after the Council of Chalcedon.  Nestorius (386-450) held, to simplify, that Christ was two persons.  Eutyches (c. 380-c. 456) held that Christ had one mixed nature.

Aquinas, Thomas

chs. 16-24  of Contra the Errors of the Greeks

Summa Theologica, 3rd Part, Treatise on the Incarnation  What follows are some of the more interesting and helpful sections, however see the whole Treatise as well.

Question 1, Of the Fitness of the Incarnation (6 Articles)

(2) Whether it was necessary for the restoration of the human race? [Yes & No, takes the hypothetical necessity view, quoting Augustine]
(3) Whether if there had been no sin God would have become incarnate? [No, quoting Augustine]

Question 2, Of the Mode of Union of the Word Incarnate (12 Articles)

(1) Whether the union of the Word Incarnate took place in the nature? [No]
(2) Whether it took place in the Person? [Yes]
(3) Whether it took place in the suppositum or hypostasis? [Yes]
(4) Whether the Person or hypostasis of Christ is composite after the Incarnation? [Yes & No]

(6) Whether the human nature was united to the Word accidentally? [No]
(7) Whether the union itself is something created? [Yes & No]
(8) Whether it is the same as assumption? [No]

Question 3, Of the Mode of Union on the Part of the Person Assuming (8 Articles)

(1) Whether to assume is befitting to a Divine Person? [Yes]
(2) Whether it is befitting to the Divine Nature? [Yes & No]

(4) Whether one Person can assume without another? [Yes & No]

Question 4, Of the Mode of Union on the Part of the Human Nature (6 Articles)

(1) Whether human nature was more capable of being assumed than any other nature? [Yes, in contrast to animals & angels]
(2) Whether He assumed a person? [No]

Question 5, Of the Parts of Human Nature which were Assumed (4 Articles)

(1) Whether the Son of God ought to have assumed a true body? [Yes]
(2) Whether He ought to have assumed an earthly body, i.e. one of flesh and blood? [Yes, as opposed to a heavenly body]
(3) Whether He assumed a soul? [Yes]
(4) Whether He assumed an intellect? [Yes]

Question 13, Of the Power of Christ’s Soul (4 Articles)

(2) Whether the soul of Christ had omnipotence with regard to corporeal creatures? [Yes & No]
(3) Whether the soul of Christ had omnipotence with regard to His own body? [Yes & No]

Question 15, Of the Defects of Soul Assumed by Christ (10 Articles)

(3) Whether there was ignorance? [Yes & No]
(4) Whether His soul was passible? [Yes, but not exactly as ours]

(7) Whether there was fear? [Yes]
(8) Whether there was wonder? [Yes & No]

Question 16, Of Those Things which are Applicable to Christ in his Being & Becoming (12 Articles)  All.  On the Communication of Properties

Question 18, Of Christ’s Unity of Will  (6 Articles)

(1) Whether there are Two Wills in Christ? [Yes]
(2) Whether in Christ’s human nature the will of sensuality is distinct from the will of reason? [Yes, though joined]

(4) Whether there was free-will in Christ? [Yes]
(5) Whether Christ’s human will was always conformed to the Divine will in the thing willed? [Yes & No]
(6) Whether there was any contrariety of wills in Christ? [No]

Question 19, ‘Of the Unity of Christ’s Operation [Energy] (4 Articles)

(1) Whether in Christ there was one or several operations [energies] of the Godhead and Manhood? [Two energies, though the human an instrument of the divine]
(2) Whether in Christ there were several operations of the human nature? [No, but a diversity of effects]

Question 46, The Passion of Christ (12 Articles)

(12) Whether Christ’s Passion is to be attributed to His Godhead? [To his Person in the human nature, but not to his divine nature]

Question 50, Of the Death of Christ (6 Articles)

(2) Whether His death severed the union of Godhead and flesh? [No]
(3) Whether His Godhead was separated from His soul? [No]

Question 51, Of Christ’s Burial (4 Articles)

(3) Whether His body was decomposed in the tomb? [No]
(4) Concerning the length of time He lay in the tomb [1 day & 2 nights]



Calvin, John – 14. ‘How two natures constitute the Person of the Mediator’  in Institutes of the Christian Religion  tr. Henry Beveridge  (1559; Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1845), vol. 2, bk. 2, pp. 22-35

Ursinus, Zacharias

‘Of the Office & Person of Christ the Only Mediator’  (1562)  in A Collection of Certain Learned Discourses…  (Oxford, 1600), pp. 239-49  This was Ursinus’s disputation at the University of Heidelberg “for his degree of Doctorship”.  Ursinus gives 12 propositions with Scripture proofs.

The Commentary of Dr. Zacharias Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism  trans. George W. Williard  3rd American ed.  (d. 1583; 1591; Cincinnati, OH: T.P. Bucher, 1861), 5th Lord’s Day, of the Deliverance of Man

IV. What Kind of Mediator He ought to be?, p. 95
V. Who this Mediator is, who in one Person is both God and Man, pp. 95-96

Beza, Theodore

3rd Point, ‘Of Jesus Christ the Only Son of God’  in A Brief & Pithy Sum of the Christian Faith, made in Form of a Confession, with a Confutation of All such Superstitious Errors as are Contrary Thereunto  (London [1565?]), pp. 2-13

pp. 3-17  in A Book of Christian Questions & Answers, wherein are set forth the Chief Points of the Christian Religion (London, 1574)

‘The First Homily… 1574’  in Two Very Learned Sermons of M. Beza, together with a Short Sum of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper…  (London, 1588), pp. 1-40

This is seriously good.  The second homily in the volume applies the doctrines on the Person of Christ to the Lord’s Supper.

ch. 2, ‘Concerning the Person of Christ’, pp. 244-435  in Lutheranism vs. Calvinism: the Classic Debate at the Colloquy of Montbeliard, 1586  ed. Jeffrey Mallinson  trans. Clinton J. Armstrong  (Concordia, 2017)

In the chapter (p. 235 ff.) the Lutheran theologians, headed by Jacob Andreae, first give 21 theses on the person of Christ, and then 8 points (characterizing the reformed) which they say contradict Scripture.  Then on p. 244 Beza and his reformed companions respond to each thesis one by one.  On p. 258, the reformed respond to each of the 8 points.  P. 262 starts the discussion between Andreae and Beza, each going back and forth for 170 pp.

The volume itself leans Lutheran as it was originally published after colloquy by the Lutherans, they often giving the last word on the issues.  Beza, however, responded to all of that commentary, with further detail into the issues, in a Latin volume below on this page.

Beza, Faius & Students – ch. 20, ‘Principles Concerning the Personal Union of the Two Natures in Christ’  in Propositions & Principles of Divinity Propounded & Disputed in the University of Geneva by Certain Students of Divinity there, under Mr. Theodore Beza & Mr. Anthony Faius… Wherein is Contained a Methodical Summary, or Epitome of the Common Places of Divinity…  (Edinburgh, 1591), pp. 43-45

Zanchi, Girolamo – Confession of the Christian Religion…  (1586; Cambridge, 1599)

Ch. 11, ’Of Christ the Redeemer’  54-74
.       On Aphorism 6  279
.       On Aphorism 7
.       On Aphorism 10
.       On Aphorism 11, ‘That same whole Christ…’
.       On Aphorism 12  285-91
.       Appendix, Of Christ the Redeemer, or of the Person of Christ
.              350-68

‘Certain Propositions’

‘Of the Dispensation of Salvati­on by Christ. Out of the First Chapter of the Ephesians’ (1580), pp. 419-24

‘Of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus from the Dead, his Ascension into Heaven & Sitting at God’s Right Hand, out of the First of Paul to the Ephesians’  (1581), pp. 397-418  This is specifically combatting Lutheran errors regarding the Asencsion and Ubiquity, and the relations of the natures of Christ, etc.

‘Of those things which are spo­ken of our Lord Jesus Christ, after the Union: & in what sort they are spoken.  Out of the 1st to the Ephesians’ (1582), pp. 424-42



Bucanus, William – pp. 13-20  of 2. ‘Of Christ’  in Institutions of Christian Religion...  (London: Snowdon, 1606)

What does this word ‘Christ’ signify?
Does this name ‘Christ’ signify his nature or his Person?
What do you call the word ‘concrete’ and what ‘abstract’?
How many things are especially necessary to know Christ, and which be they?
What is Christ?
What things are we especially to consider in the Person of Christ?
By how many and by what kind of testimonies do you prove that Christ is God?
Show some pregnant testimonies whereby you can prove that Christ is God
Which be the testimonies of the second sort?
Which is the third kind of testimonies?
Why is it necessary that Christ the Redeemer should be God?
What is the greatness of the evil?
What is the greatness of the good which could be restored by no creature?
Why is He called the ‘Word’?
According to which nature is He called the image of God? Col. 1:15
Prove that Christ is very man
Why must Christ needs be true man?
Why was neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost incarnate, but the Son?
Whether is Christ, God and man, divided or joined together?
By what kind of union?
What is the personal union in Christ?
How is this union made?
By what testimonies will you prove that the divine and human nature in Christ did join together into one and the same Person?
But what means this, that the flesh of Christ is said by [John] Damascene and Gregorius Nyssa to be deified?
Why is it necessary that Christ should be both God and man in one and the same Person?

Trelcatius, Lucas – ‘Of the Person of Christ’  in A Brief Institution of the Common Places…  (London, 1610), 2nd bk., pp. 145-78

Ames, William – ch. 18, ‘The Person of Christ, the Mediator’  in The Marrow of Theology  tr. John D. Eusden  (1623; Baker, 1997), bk. 1, pp. 128-31

Ames (1576-1633) was an English, puritan, congregationalist, minister, philosopher and controversialist.  He spent much time in the Netherlands, and is noted for his involvement in the controversy between the reformed and the Arminians.  Voet highly commended Ames’s Marrow for learning theology.

Leiden Synopsis (Thysius) – Disputation 25, ‘On the Incarnation of the Son of God & the Personal Union of the Two Natures in Christ’  in Synopsis Puris Theologiae, Synopsis of Pure Theology: Latin Text & English Translation  ed. Henk van den Belt, trans. Riemer A. Faber  (1625; Leiden: Brill, 2016), vol. 2, pp. 66-99  See section 24 for the human nature subsisting in the Son of God; otherwise the disputation speaks of the union as an assuming.

Wolleb, Johannes – ch. 16, ‘The Person of Christ the God-Man’  in Abridgment of Christian Divinity  (1626)  in ed. John Beardslee, Reformed Dogmatics: J. Wollebius, G. Voetius & F. Turretin  (Oxford Univ. Press, 1965), pp. 86-95

Wolleb (1589–1629) was a Swiss reformed theologian.  He was a student of Amandus Polanus.

Maccovius, John – ch. 11, ‘On the Person & Office of Christ’  in Scholastic Discourse: The Distinctions & Rules of Theology & Philosophy  Buy  (1644), pp. 201-23

Goodwin, Thomas – ‘Supereminence of Christ above Moses’  in Works, vol. 5, pp. 439-64  on Heb. 12:25-29 & Hag. 2:5-9

Leigh, Edward

ch. 2. Of Christ’s Person  in A System or Body of Divinity…  (London, A.M., 1654), bk. 5, pp. 394-96

pp. 564-66  being a part of chs. 3-4  in bk. 5  of A System or Body of Divinity…  (London: William Lee, 1662)  This section is at the end of ch. 3 in the 1654 edition on EEBO.

Rijssen, Leonard – ch. 11, ‘Christ’  in A Complete Summary of Elenctic Theology & of as Much Didactic Theology as is Necessary  tr. J. Wesley White  MTh thesis  (Bern, 1676; GPTS, 2009), pp. 111-27

Rijssen (1636?-1700?) was a prominent Dutch reformed minister and theologian, active in theological controversies.

Brooks, Thomas – pp. 175-99  of The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures…  in Works, vol. 5

Bridge, William – Christ’s Personal Excellencies the Object of our Love  in Works, vol. 3, pp. 1-20

Owen, John – Works  (NY: Robert Carter, 1850)

ch. 18, ‘The Nature of the Person of Christ, & the Hypostatical Union of his Natures Declared’  in Christologia  in vol. 1, pp. 223-35

‘On the Person of Christ’  in A Brief Declaration & Vindication of the Trinity: as also of The Person & Satisfaction of Christ...  in Works 2.413-19

Manton, Thomas – ‘Jesus Christ True God & True Man in One Person’  in Christ’s Redemption & Eternal Existence  in Works, 1.476-94  on Col. 1:19 with 2:9

Whitaker, William – Sermon 13, ‘The Mediator of the Covenant, Described in his Person, Natures & Offices’  in The Morning Exercise Methodized [Puritan Sermons]  (London, 1660), vol. 5, pp. 261 ff.  on 1 Tim. 2:5

This Whitaker was not the famed one from the early 1600’s, but nonetheless was an English puritan, circa 1680’s.

Flavel, John – ‘5th Sermon [Of Christ’s Wonderful Person]’  on Jn. 1:14  in The Fountain of Life Opened…  (London, 1673), pp. 50-64  in Works, vol. 1

“Doctrine:  That Jesus Christ did really assume the true and perfect nature of man, into a personal union with his divine nature; and still remains true God and true man, in one person forever.”

Bunyan, John – ‘Some Gospel Truths Opened, according to the Scriptures, or the divine and human nature of Christ Jesus, his coming into the world, his righteousness, death, resurrection, ascension, intercession and second coming to judgment, plainly demonstrated and proved’  in Works 2.129-75

Rijssen, Leonard – ch. 11, ‘Christ’  in  A Sum of Didactic & Elenctic Theology, out of Our Theologians, Especially out of Francis Turretin’s Institutes of Theology, so Augmented & Illustrated  (Bern, 1676; 1690), pp. 111-26

Turretin, Francis – Institutes of Elenctic Theology  ed. James Dennison, Jr.  (P&R), vol. 2, 13th Topic

Question 6, ‘Did the Son of God assume human nature into the unity of his person?  We affirm against the Socinians’  310-17

Question 7, ‘Was the hypostatical union of the two natures in Christ such that neither the person is divided nor the natures confounded?  We affirm against Nestorius and Eutyches.’  317-21

van Mastricht, Peter – bk. 5, ch. 4, ‘The Person of the Mediator’  in Theoretical Practical Theology  (RHB, 2022), vol. 4

Heidegger, Johann H. – ch. 17, ‘On the Person of Jesus Christ’  in The Concise Marrow of Theology  tr. Casey Carmichael  (RHB, 2019), pp. 117-23

The translation is very poor.  The English frequently does not even make sense; translation mistakes which change and obscure the meaning of the Latin are frequent.



à Brakel, Wilhelmus – ch. 18, ‘The Divinity, Incarnation & Union of the Two Natures in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ’  in The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vols. 1  ed. Joel Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout  Buy  (1700; RHB, 1992/1999), pp. 493-517

a Brakel (1635-1711) was a contemporary of Voet and Witsius and a major representative of the Dutch Further Reformation.

Newton, John

‘Of the Person of Christ’  in Twenty Sermons Preached…  in Works 2.414-25

Sermon 5, ‘Immanuel’  in Messiah: Fifty Expository Discourses…  in Works  (NY: 1822), 4.55-68

Payson, Edward – ‘The Fullness of God Dwelling in Christ’  in Works 2.357-67



Alexander, James W. – ‘The Two Natures of Christ’  in God is Love: Communion Addresses, pp. 59-85

Blaikie, William G. – The Savior’s Person  in Thomas Guthrie & W.G. Blaikie, Saving Knowledge: Addressed to Young Men  (1870)  Free Church of Scotland

Hodge, A.A. – ‘The Person of Christ’  in Evangelical Theology, pp. 184-200

Bavinck, Herman – ch. 16, ‘The Divine & Human Nature of Christ’  in Our Reasonable Faith  (Eerdmans, 1956), pp. 308-29

Plumer, William – The Rock of Our Salvation: A Treatise Respecting the Natures, Person, Offices, Work, Sufferings & Glory of Jesus Christ  Buy  (American Tract Society, 1880)

1. ‘Christ All in All’
2. ‘The Divinity of Christ’
3. ‘The Sonship of Christ’
4. ‘The Incarnation of Christ’

6. ‘Christ the Mediator’

16. ‘Christ’s Ascension & Session’
17. ‘Christ in Heaven’
18. ‘Christ’s Personal Absence from this World’

Vos, Geerhardus – ch. 3, ‘Person & Natures’  in Reformed Dogmatics  trans. Richard Gaffin  1 vol. ed.  (Lexham Press, 2020), pp. 382-446

Girardeau, John – ‘The Person of Christ’  in his Discussions of Theological Questions, pp. 393-427

Girardeau, the Southern presbyterian, is orthodox and good on the subject.  He aims at critiquing Dorner and other German views, as well as views of Lutherans and Romanists, including certain Thomists.  At the end of his ‘Some Additional Thoughts’, he seeks to describe personality through a series of denials and affirmations.  We do not believe his postiive description of personality, summarized on p. 427, is as accurate as the Aristotelian definition used by the reformed orthodox.

“He was from eternity a divine person–the second person in the Godhead.  In this respect, no more, no less, he was and continues to be a person.  Since the incarnation, he is not two persons, nor a compound person–a divine-human person, as Dorner holds–but one and the same divine person.” – p. 393



Warfield, B.B. – The ‘Two Natures’ & Recent Christological Speculation  in The American Journal of Theology, vol. XV, no. 3 (July, 1911), p. 337 ff.  also in Works 3.259-310 & The Person & Work of Christ, pp. 211-62

Murray, John – ‘The Person of Christ’  in Collected Writings, 2.132-41

Berkhof, Louis – Systematic Theology  (1950)

‘The Names & Natures of Christ’  21 paragraphs

‘The Uni-Personality of Christ’  27 paragraphs

Boettner, Loraine – ch. 4. ‘The Person of Christ’  in Studies in Theology  Buy  (P&R, 1984)



Mathis, David – ‘Enhypostasis: What Kind of Flesh Did the Word Become?’  2010  9 paragrpahs  at DesiringGod.org  Mathis quotes Donald Macleod and Fred Sanders.





Vermigli, Peter Martyr – A Dialogue on the Two Natures in Christ  ed. & trans. John Donnelly  in The Peter Martyr Library, vol. 2  Buy  (Truman State Univ. Press, 1995; Davenant Institute, 2018)  214 pp.

“In this last work of Vermigli’s distinguished career as a theologian, he uses a dialogue to discuss the disagreement among Christians about the Eucharist and Christ’s presence in the Lord’s Supper.”

“As I shall show, the Lutheran theologians [on the metaphysics of the Person of Christ] follow Aquinas, as mediated by Cajetan, and the Reformed theologians follow Scotus (the result of Peter Vermigli’s (1499‒1562) importing Scotist Christology into the Reformed tradition).” – Richard Cross, Union & Communion, p. 8



Cotton, John – Christ the Fountain of Life  (London, 1651)  201 pp.  EEBO  ToC

Goodwin, Thomas – Works, vol. 5

Of Christ the Mediator  438 pp.  ToC  See especially bk. 2 on the Person of Christ, and ch. 6 on the hypostatic union.

Three Sermons on Heb. 1:1-2, pp. 521-48

Owen, John – Works  (ed. Goold), vol. 1

Christologia, or a Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of the Person of Christ’, pp. 1-272  ToC

‘Meditations & Discourses on the Glory of Christ’, pp. 274-417  ToC

‘Meditations & Discourses Concerning the Glory of Christ Applied, etc.’, pp. 418-463  ToC



Fleming, Robert – Christology: a Discourse Concerning Christ: Considered: I. In Himself, II. In his Government, and III. In Relation to his Subjects & their Duty to Him…  (London: Andrew Bell, 1705)  Detailed ToC 1, 2  Only three books (out of 6 planned) in two volumes ever seem to have been published.

Bk. 1, A General View of Christology  in vol. 1, pp. 1-126

Bk. 2, The Logos, or a Discourse Concerning Christ as Such  in vol. 1, pp. 127-354

Bk. 3, The Loganthropos: or a Discourse Concerning Christ, as He is the Logos made Man  in vol. 2, after 192 pp., separate pagination, 2-697



Stuart, Moses – ‘Twofold Nature of Christ’  in Letter 2  in Miscellanies…  (Andover: Allen, 1846), pp. 47-53  Previous in the letter he discusses the concept of person, with more reference to the Trinity.

van Oosterzee, J.J. – The Image of Christ as Presented in Scripture: an Inquiry concerning the Person & Work of the Redeemer  trans. Maurice Evans  (London, 1874)  515 pp.  ToC

Oosterzee was a Dutch, reformed professor at the University of Utrecht.



Wood, Nathan E. – The Person & Work of Jesus Christ  Ref  (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1908)

Mackintosh, H.R. – The Doctrine of the Person of Jesus Christ  in International Theological Library  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1913)  555 pp.  ToC  Dedicated to Marcus Dods

Mackintosh (1870–1936) was originally a Free Church of Scotland minister who went into the United Free Church, and then into the Church of Scotland in their merger.

Mackintosh was innovative in theology; this was his major theological work.  He advocates for a kenotic theology (which is heresy), and in another work seeks to reshape the doctrines of justification and atonement.

Warfield, B.B. – The Person & Work of Christ  ed. Samuel Craig  Buy  (P&R, 1950)  555 pp.  ToC

“Warfield’s massive volume, second only to Owen’s, sets forth the doctrine of Christ exegetically and polemically.  Composed in the context of the so-called ‘quest for the historical Jesus,’ Warfield stresses that the only Jesus discoverable in the New Testament is a supernatural person.  He maintains that it is ‘the desupernaturalized Jesus which is the mythical Jesus, who never had any existence, the postulation of whose existence explains nothing and leaves the whole historical development hanging in the air.'” – Joel Beeke

Boettner, Loraine – The Person of Christ  (n.d.)  165 pp.

Morris, Leon – The Lord from Heaven: A Study of the New Testament Teaching on the Deity & Humanity of Jesus Christ  Buy  (1958; 1974)

Berkouwer, G.C. – The Person of Christ  in Studies in Dogmatics  (Eerdmans, 1954)  335 pp.  ToC

“While Berkouwer is fully abreast of current theological literature, he is too often influenced by it, and takes a position too moderate or vague on many issues.  The value of Berkouwer lies in his grasp of Reformed thinkers and presentation of issues in theology.  He asks and begins to answer some fo the most difficult questions.” – Joel Beeke

Wells, David F. – The Person of Christ: a Biblical & Historical Analysis of the Incarnation  (Crossway, 1984)  210 pp.  ToC

Macleod, Donald – Person of Christ  in Contours of Christian Theology  Ref  Buy  (IVP Academic, 1998)  303 pp.



eds. Holmes, Stephen & Murray A. Rae – The Person of Christ  Pre  (T&T Clark, 2005)  202 pp.  ToC

“All ten contributors to this volume share a commitment to the orthodox theological tradition in Christology as expressed in the creedal heritage of the Christian church…” – bookflap

Ch. 5 is, ‘Reformed Varieties of the Communicatio Idiomatum’.

Wellum, Stephen J.

God the Son Incarnate: the Doctrine of Christ  in Foundations of Evangelical Theology  Pre  Buy  (Crossway, 2016)  496 pp.

Wellum is a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He holds to Progressive Covenantalism, which is a position between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology; it is not recommended.

The Person of Christ: an Introduction  in Short Studies in Systematic Theology  Pre  (Crossway, 2021)  208 pp.  ToC

This is a less detailed, more popular, summary work covering similar ground as his other volume above.





2nd Council of Constantinople  553 AD

Ch. 8

“…those expressions as the holy Fathers have taught, to wit: that of the divine and human nature there was made an hypostatic union, whereof is one Christ;”



Amandus Polanus

p. 72 (top paragraph)  of ‘What follows is on his State’  in The Divisions of Theology Framed according to a Natural Orderly Method (Basil, 1590; Geneva, 1623)  trans. T. Fentiman

“The personal union of the two natures in Christ is the substantial copulation of them by which the specificness of the assumed human nature does not have subsistence in itself [but] the substance of the Logos has been communicated, so that the two natures in Christ may be one person.

The essential form of the personal union in Christ, in which that subsists, is not the communication of the attributes of deity, but the communication of the subsistence of the Word with the assumed human nature.”


Johannes Maccovius

Scholastic Discourse: The Distinctions & Rules of Theology & Philosophy  (1644), ch. 11, ‘On the Person & Office of Christ’, p. 233

“46. The assumption of the human nature in the divine hypostasis did not cause any change in the divine nature, but only in the human nature.

For all change is either generation or corruption or augmentation or diminution or alteration or local motion.  Nothing of this kind, however, takes place in the divine nature.

47. The union of both natures of Christ is incomprehensible to us.

The reason is that it is a union of the finite with the infinite.  Even if the union between Christ and the Church is incomprehensible to us, all the more this mystery.”



Historical Theology

Whole of Church History

Murphy, Francesca Aran – The Oxford Handbook of Christology  Pre (Oxford Univ. Press, 2015)  ToC

Oakes, Edward T. – Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: a [Roman] Catholic & Evangelical Christology  Pre  (Eerdmans, 2011)  459 pp.  ToC


On the Early & Medieval Church Councils

Toon, Peter – Yesterday, Today & Forever: Jesus Christ & the Holy Trinity in the Teaching of the Seven Ecumenical Councils  Ref  Buy  (Preservation Press, 1996)  224 pp.

“…provide popular-level summaries of the theological importance of the early councils, with less emphasis on history.  Toon’s book is a brief Christology…” – Fred Sanders, Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective, p. 41

Ishak, Shenouda M. – Christology & the Council of Chalcedon  Ref  Buy  (Outskirts Press, 2013)  681 pp.


On the Early & Medieval Church


Grillmeier, Alois – Christ in Christian Tradition, vol. 1 (to 451), 2 (451-604)  trans. John Bowden  2nd ed.  (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975)  ToC 1, 2

Grillmeier was a Romanist Jesuit.  The publisher is liberal.



Wellum, Stephen J. – chs. 7-9  of God the Son Incarnate: the Doctrine of Christ  in Foundations of Evangelical Theology  Pre  (Crossway, 2016)  Ch. 7 surveys up to Nicea; ch. 8 surveys up to Chalcedon and ch. 9 surveys post-Chalcedon history.

Williams, Scott M. – ‘Person’ in Patristic & Medieval Christian Theology’

Williams is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

“It is likely that Boethius (480-524) inaugurates, in Latin Christian theology, the consideration of personhood as such…  a person is an individual substance of a rational nature…

This chapter situates Boethius in relation to significant Christian theologians before and after him…

In contemporary philosophy, there is a lot of attention paid to the rationality condition for personhood.  But if we look at the text in which Boethius defines a person, we do not find any precise criteria for it…  The intrusion of personhood into contemporary applied ethics with a focus on detailed and disputed criteria for rationality as a condition for personhood seems to be a modern development.  From a Patristic and Medieval Christian theology point of view, trying to find just the right detailed criteria for rationality in order to define personhood is a wild goose chase…

The chapter consists of six sections…

1. Origen of Alexandria and the Cappadocians: Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa

2. Miaphysites: Severus of Antioch, John Philoponus, and Peter of Callinicum

3. Boethius and Rusticus the Deacon: Rationality, Subsistence, and the Invention of Personhood

4. Neo-Chalcedonians (II): Leontius of Byzantium and John of Damascus

5. Scholastic Neo-Chalcedonians (I): Gilbert of Poitiers, Richard of St. Victor,William of Auxerre, Alexander of Hales, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, andWilliam of Ware

6. Scholastic Neo-Chalcedonians (II): Henry of Ghent, John Duns Scotus, andWilliam of Ockham”


On the Early Church


Cunningham, William – ‘The Person of Christ in the Early Church, Including the Eutychian & Nestorian Controversies’, p. 307 ff., 12 pp., from his Historical Theolgoy, vol. 1



Stark, Alonzo Rosecrans – The Christology in the Apostolic Fathers: a Dissertation  (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1912)  78 pp.  ToC

Little, V.A. Spence – The Christology of the Apologists: Doctrinal  (Charles Scribners Sons, 1935)  240 pp.  ToC

Fairbarin, Donald – Grace & Christology in the Early Church  Pre  (Oxford Univ. Press, 2003)  250 pp.  ToC


On Individuals

Burns, Paul C. – The Christology in Hilary of Poitiers’ Commentary on Matthew  (Rome, 1981)  149 pp.  ToC

Sullivan, Francis A. – The Christology of Theodore Mopsuestia  (Rome, 1956)  310 pp.  ToC

McGuckin, John A. – St. Cyril of Alexandria, the Christological Controversy: its History, Theology & Texts  (Brill, 1994)  ToC

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376 – 444)


On Chalcedon

Sellers, R.V. – The Council of Chalcedon: a Historical & Doctrinal Survey  (London: SPCK, 1953)  380 pp.  ToC


On the Middle Ages


Adams, Marilyn McCord – ‘William Ockham’  in Publications in Medieval Studies, 26  (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1987), vol. 2, pp. 979–1007

This is on Ockham’s Christology.



Gorman, Michael – Aquinas on the Metaphysics of the Hypostatic Union  Pre  (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017)  175 pp.  ToC

Cross, Richard – The Metaphysics of the Incarnation: Thomas Aquinas to Duns Scotus  Pre  (Oxford Univ. Press, 2002)  357 pp.  ToC


On the 1500’s – 1900’s

Crisp, Oliver – Revisioning Christology: Theology in the Reformed Tradition  Ref  Pre  Buy  (Routledge, 2012)  168 pp.

This work has chapters on Calvin, Owen, Edwards, Shedd and two moderns.


On the Post-Reformation


Heppe, Heinrich – ch. 17, ‘The Mediator of the Covenant of Grace or the Person of Christ’  in Reformed Dogmatics  ed. Ernst Bizer  (1950; Wipf & Stock, 2007), pp. 410-447

van Asselt, Willem J. – pp. 213-5  of ch. 14, ‘Christ, Predestination & Covenant in Post-Reformation Reformed Theology’  in eds. Lehner, Muller & Roeber, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology, 1600-1800  (Oxford, 2016)

McCormack, Bruce L. – ch. 5, ‘Christology’  Pre  in eds. Paul Nimmo & David Fergusson, The Cambridge Companion to Reformed Theology  (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2016)



Muller, Richard – Christ & the Decree: Christology & Predestination in Reformed Theology from Calvin to Perkins  Buy  (1986 / 2008)  256 pp.


On the 1500’s

Cross, Richard – Communicatio Idiomatum: Reformation Christological Debates in Changing Paradigms in Historical & Systematic Theology  Buy  (Oxford Univ. Press, 2019)  276 pp.

Cross has been a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame.

“It traces the central contours of the Christological debates, from the discussion between Luther and Zwingli in the 1520s to the Colloquy of Montbeliard in 1586…  Cross shows that Luther’s Christology is thoroughly Medieval, and that innovations usually associated with Luther-in particular, that Christ’s human nature comes to share in divine attributes-should be ascribed instead to his younger contemporary Johannes Brenz. The discussion is highly sensitive to the differences between the various Luther groups-followers of Brenz, and the different factions aligned in varying ways with Melanchthon-and to the differences between all of these and the Reformed theologians.

By locating the Christological discussions in their immediate Medieval background, Cross also provides a comprehensive account of the continuities and discontinuities between the two eras. In these ways, it is shown that the standard interpretations of the Reformation debates on the matter are almost wholly mistaken.”

Lindholm, Stefan – Jerome Zanchi (1516-90) & the Analysis of Reformed Scholastic Christology  in Reformed Historical Theology  Pre  Buy  (V&R, 2016)


On John Calvin

Willis, E. David – Calvin’s Catholic Christology  in Studies in Medieval & Reformation Thought  (Brill, 1966)  175 pp.  ToC

Edmondson, Stephen – Calvin’s Christology  (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004)  248 pp.  ToC


On the 1600’s

Cross, Richard – Union & Communion: Christology & Metaphysics in the Seventeenth Century

This surveys the metaphysics of the Person of Christ in the various varieties of Romanism and protestant theology in the 1600’s.  Ch. 6 is on the reformed.


On the 1700’s-1900’s

McGrath, A.E. – The Making of Modern German Christology 1750-1990  2nd ed.  Ref  Buy  (IVP, 1994)


On the 1700’s

Deschner, John – Wesley’s Christology: an Interpretation  Ref  Buy  (Southern Methodist Univ. Press, 1960)  230 pp.



Conflict in Christology: a Study of British & American Christology, from 1889-1914  (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1947)  340 pp.  ToC


On the 1800’s

Pass, Bruce R. – The Heart of Dogmatics: Christology & Christocentrism in Herman Bavinck  (V&R, 2020)  215 pp.  ToC



Latin Articles

Early Church

Cyril of Jerusalem – Catechetical Lectures  in PG 33

Lecture 10, ‘Of the One Lord, Jesus Christ’, cols. 657-90  on 1 Cor. 8:5-6

Lecture 11, ‘Of the Only-Begotten Son of God, Begotten from the Father before all Worlds, True God, through which All Things were Made’, cols. 690-724

Lecture 12, ‘Of Christ Incarnate’, cols. 723-770

Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313–386) was a bishop of Jerusalem who was exiled numerous times due to the religious controversies of the era.  Cyril was an eastern Father (this showing in his teachings about baptism, chrism and the Eucharist), however, as argued at length by Edwin H. Gifford (see pp. xlvi-liii of the Introduction in NPNF2), Cyril was keenly orthodox in his teachings about the Trinity and Christ’s Mediatorial Person, despite his not using the Nicean term homoousion (‘the same substance’) in these lectures for baptismal candidates.

Possible reasons why Cyril did not use the term homoousion, according to Gifford, include: (1) that it was ambiguous from the inception of the term in Greek philosophy, (2) it had some ambiguity amongst the Christian Fathers before Nicea, including in sometimes being equivelent to hypostasis, (3) it was used by other heretics, such as the Sabellians, whether in a good way, or in a bad way, they meaning by it that the Son was the same Person (hypostasis) as the Father, and (4) Cyril’s Church had not previously used it, and so they saw no need to insert a questionable and possibly confusing term into their creed.

Cyril of Alexandria – in PG 75

‘Of the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten, & that Christ is One & the Lord according to the Scriptures’, cols. 1190-1254

‘That there is One Christ, of Himself’, cols. 1254-1363

‘Scholia on the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten’, cols. 1363-1414

‘On the Incarnation of the Word of God, of the Son of the Father’, cols. 1414-19

‘On the Incarnation of the Lord’, cols. 1419-78

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376–444)



Bullinger, Heinrich – An Orthodox Assertion of Each Nature in Christ, even the Divine as much as the Human, Contra the Various Heresies, for the Catholic Confession of Christ  (Zurich, 1534)  62 pp.  This has a dedicatory epistle to the minister of Zurich, but otherwise no subdivisions; margin notes indicate the outline.

Beza, Theodore

Theological Tracts, in which many of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion are Restored to Whole and Defended from the Word of God Against the Heretical Sects of our Times  (Geneva, 1570)

vol. 1

12. ‘Of the Hypostatic Union in Christ of the Two Natures, an Assertion Against Jacob Andreae [a Lutheran]’, pp. 625-45


vol. 3

3. ‘A Mild & Christian Dispute with Dr. Johann Pappus [a Lutheran], a Doctor of the Church of Strassburg [Germany], on the Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures in Christ & its Effects’  74  (1574), pp. 74-100

Arguments of Beza with Responses Following

1.  74
2.  76
3.  77
4.  78
5.  79
6.  81
7-9  83
10.  84
11.  86
[sic] 13.  91
14.  92
15-16  93
17-19.  94
20.  95
21-22.  96
23-24.  97
25-26.  98-101


vol. 4

12. A Short Book of Theodore the Presbyter of Rhaithu Against Some Heresies Now & Formerly Opposing the Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures in Christ, now set forth First in Greek & Made into Latin [in Parallel Columns] by Theodore Beza of Vezel, to which is Adjoined a Collation of the Same Heresies with the Recently Agitated Controversies on the Same Thing, pp. 390-401

Theodore of Raithu (fl. late 6th or early 7th century) was a Christian theologian, considered the last of the Neo-Chalcedonians.  The book translated here is Προπαρασκευή, The Preparation, also sometimes known as Basic Indoctrination.

Intro  390
The Opinion of Mani  391
The Opinion of Paul of Samosota  391
The Opinion of Apollinarius  391
The Opinion of Theodore of Mopsuestia  392
The Opinion of Nestorius  392
The Opinion of Eutyches  392

The [True] Definition of the Church [about Christ]  393
An Explication of the Definition  393

The Opinion of Julian  396
The Opinion of Severus & the Definition of the Church  396-8

To the Reader  398
A Sum [Collation] of the Orthodox Doctrine on the Two Natures in Christ by the Hypostatic Union [by Beza]  399-401

Pt. 1, ‘On the Person of Christ’  in The Response of Theodore Beza to the Acts of the Colloquy of Montisbelgard, the Tubingen Edition  Parts 1 (2nd ed.) & 2 (1st ed.) bound together  (Geneva, 1588), pp. 78-186

First is given one or several written theses of Jacob Andrea and the Lutheran, Wurttemberg, Germany theologians.  Then the response of Beza to each of these is given in Antitheses.

After the colloquy Andrea had published a volume commenting on Beza’s Antitheses; these remarks are given in the margin of this volume.  Beza then gives his extended response to these margin remarks of Andreae in the main body of the text of this volume.  This cycle continues for a total of 21 Lutheran theses up to p. 167.

The next section (pp. 167-86) is of the 8 dogmas (characterizing reformed tenets) that the Lutheran theologians condemned at the colloquy.  For each dogma, the response of Beza at the colloquy is given in an antithesis, with the later commentary of Andreae provided in the margin.  Then follows Beza’s response to Andreae’s marginalia.

Daneau, Lambert – A Demonstration of the Antithesis, or of the Repugnance of the Repetition of the Theses & Doctrine of [the Lutheran] Jacob Andrea on the Person of Christ…  (Leiden, 1581)  50 pp.

Table of Contents

To the Reader
1st Class of Theses of Andrea: Obscure Theses   5
2nd Class: False Theses  9
3rd Class: Theses Overturning Themselves  18
4th Class: Antithetical Theses Overturning Others  21
.    Thesis: Union & Communication, that they are the Same  24
.    On the Communication of Properties  25
.        Essential Divinity is Communicated to the Human Nature  29
.        Proper Actions of the Deity are Communicated to the Flesh  31
.        Divinity of Christ was not Immune to Suffering in his Death  32
.        Humanity of Christ was Taken Up in the Highest Glory at
.              Conception  37
.        Flesh of Christ was uncircumscribed, yet true human flesh  40
.        Not able to know what the Majesty of Christ is at God’s right
.              hand  42
.        Flesh of Christ at Right Hand is the Christ-man Reigning  43
5th Class: Inept Theses  45-50

Tossanus, Daniel – Some Censures on Errors of Caspar Schwenckfeld about the Doctrine of the Person of Christ, pt. 123  (1587)  These are three disputations.

Grabe, Joseph

Of the Person & Majesty of the Son of God, being Asserted…  Steadfastly against Nestorian & Eutychean Tricks, which he, Dr. Aegidiud Hunnius, heedlessly holds forth & opposes…  (1588)  66 pp.

Grabe (1541-1620) was a German, reformed professor of philosophy and philology at Bremen.

Christian Theses for the Defense of the Faith, on the Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures of Christ, opposite the Disputation which Dr. Aegidius Hunius held in Wittenberg…  (Fabirani Saxonum, 1592)  50 pp.

Piscator, Johannes

Locus 10, ‘The Person & Office of Christ’  in Theological Common Places, Exposited in Brief Thoughts, or Aphorisms of Christian Doctrine, the Greater Part of which are Excerpts from the Institutes of Calvin  (Herborne, 1589; 1605), pp. 67-74

Locus 10, ‘Of the Person of Christ’  in Theological Theses, vol. 1  (Herborn, 1606-1607), pp. 217-22  This is different from that above.

Pezel, Tobias – Theses on the Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures in Christ & that which follows, the Communication of Properties  (Heidelberg, 1594)

Pezel (1571-1631) was German reformed.

Kimedoncius, Jacob – Theses on the Person of Christ  (Heidelberg, 1595)  46 theses

Thesis 10 defines the hypostatic union as being a singular sustentation and habitation of the human nature by the Word of God.

Thesis 11 says that the unity is created humanity joined to uncreated divinity, by grace.

Thesis 18 says that when the Son of God assumed flesh in the womb of the Virgin, it was true humanity, and his substance was formed, by the operation of the Holy Spirit.  Thesis 30 says that Christ was a man from the moment of conception.

Thesis 23 says that when Christ died, and his soul was separated from his body, that the Word was not separated from his soul or body.

Zepperus, Wilhelm – Article 1, ‘On the Person of Christ’  in Instruction on Those Three Chief Heads of Religion, which are Now Especially Called into Controversy Between the Evangelical Churches, & their Doctors, which made Secession from the Papacy, namely, 1. On the Person of Christ, 2. On the Sacred Supper of the Lord, 3. On the Eternal Predestination of God  (Hanau, 1596), pp. 27-69

This article deals with 1. Ubiquity, and 2. invoking (worshipping) the human nature of Christ (p. 61).



Junius, Francis – 27. ‘On the Person of Christ, the Theanthropos’  in Theological Theses in Select, Small Theological Works  ed. Abraham Kuyper  (d. 1602; Amsterdam, 1882), pp. 192-5

Martinius, Matthew – A Brief Confession on the Person of Christ, in which is Vindicated the Illustrious Testimonies of Scripture (even from the Corruptions of the Adversaries) which are against the Dogma of the Omnipresence of the Flesh of Christ which they are Accustomed to Agitate: so it is proposed to the Chuch of Christ to judge which is orthodox, or whether they are contaminated with the heresies of Nestorius and many others, the Arians, Marcionites & Eutycheans, as some vociferate daily, chiefly those slaves of Dr. Balthasar Mentzerus in Frankfurt [Germany]  (Herborne, 1604)  63 pp.

Martinius was German reformed.


Table of Contents

Dedicatory Epistle  3

A Sum of Sound Doctrine on the Person of Christ  8

The Doctrine of the Adversaries, which they defend, of the
.     Omnipresence of the Flesh of Christ, is this…  12

The Principle Testimonies of Scripture Against the Omnipresence of
.     the Flesh of Christ & All Against those Three [Lutheran] Modes of
.     the Communication of Properties  14

The Testimonies Respecting the State of Exaltation  18

Of the Predictions of Leaving out of this World, they say these sayings  22

Of his Leaving for Heaven, of the Mansion in Heaven and returning from there, the testimonies are these  24-63

Boethius, Henry – A Theological Disputation on the Person of Christ, of the Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures in Him, of the Communication of Properties & of his Office  (Helmstedt, 1605)  20 pp.

Boethius (1551-1622) was a reformed professor of theology and greek at Helmstedt, Germany.

Polanus, Amandus – ch. 16, ‘On the Hypostatic Union’  in A System of Theology, vol. 2  (Hanau, 1609; 1615), bk. 6, cols. 2416-51

“The personal union of the two natures in Christ is the substantial copulation of them, which assumed human nature does not subsist in itself or through itself, [but] has been communicated to the subsisting of the Word, so that the two natures, the divinity of the Word and the human, are one person…” – col. 2425

“The personal union consists in the communication of the subsistence of the Word with the nature assumed…  Thus, so the form of the hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ is the communication of the subsistence of the Word with the nature assumed: For the Word, its subsistence, has been communicated to the assumed human nature, that is, it has been made common, so that it may even be the subsistence or the hypostasis of the assumed human nature.” – col. 2426

Goclenius, Rudolph

A Philosophical-Theological Collection on the Controversy on the Person of Christ & the Lord’s Supper set forth Scholastically, & even Elenctically more than Didactically, Distributed in 20 Disputations  (Marburg, 1619)  This only contains the first disputation.

Disputation 6, ‘On the Person of Christ’  (Marburg, 1610)

Disputation 7, ‘On the Most Dignified Rules, & of the Greatest Necessity, to be Observed for Orthodox Speaking about the Person of Christ, with some Most Useful Corollaries’  (Marburg, 1610)

Ravensperger, Herman – A Theological Disputation on the Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures in the Person of Christ  (Groningen, 1618)

Beck, Sebastian – On the Person of Christ, our Lord & Savior  (Basil, 1622)  12 pp.

Beck (1583-1654) was a professor of Old Testament and New Testament at Basil.  He defines the union in theses 32-33 as the assumption and the copulation of the human nature in the person of the Logos.  In theses 37-38 Beck argues against the Lutheran, proper communication of the personality of the Word to the human nature.

Alsted, Henry

ch. 18, ‘Christ’  in Distinctions through Universal Theology, taken out of the Canon of the Sacred Letters & Classical Theologians  (Frankfurt: 1626), pp. 74-83

ch. 10, ‘On the Person & Office of Christ’  in Theological Common Places Illustrated by Perpetual Similitudes  (Frankfurt, 1630), pp. 56-61

Wendelin, Marcus Friedrich – Christian Theology  (Hanau, 1634; 2nd ed., Amsterdam, 1657), bk. 1, ‘Knowledge of God’

ch. 15,‘Of the Causes of the Personal Union’, pp. 248-53
ch. 16,‘Of the Effects of the Personal Union’, pp. 253-80

Voet, Gisbert

(2) Of the Person of the Son  in Syllabus of Theological Problems  (Utrecht, 1643), pt. 1, section 1, tract 2   Abbr.

I. ‘Of the Person of Christ the Mediator’  in Tract 2, ‘Of the Person, Offices & States of Christ the Mediator’ in A Syllabus of Theological Problems, which, for the Needed Thing to be Proposed or Pressed, are Accustomed to be Used in Private & Public Exercises of Disputations, Examinations, Gatherings & Consultations…  (Utrecht, 1643)  13 pp.  no page numbers  Abbreviations

I. Of the Person of Christ the Mediator

1. Of the Assumption & Union of the Human Nature

Of the Person Assuming
Of the Human Nature Assumed
Of the Mode of the Assumption, as far as the
.      Order
Of the Conception & Bearing
Of the Incarnation
Of the Hypostatic Union
Of the Birth & Nativity
Of Mary the Mother of Christ
Of the Circumstances of the Nativity of Christ
Of the Concomitants, Antecedents &
.      Especially of the Magi
Of the Star of the Magi

2. On the Consequences & Effects of the Union

Of Christ, Theanthropos
Of the Communication of Properties
Of Those Things which are Convenient to Christ by Reason of the Human Nature

Of the Knowledge [Scientia] of Christ &
.      his Ignorance
Of the Power of the Soul of Christ
Of the Defects of the Body
Of the Defects of the Soul
On the Will of Christ

Of Those Things which are Convenient to Christ by Reason of the Union: Of the Subjection & Obedience of Christ

Select Theological Disputations  (Utrecht: Waesberg, 1655 / 1669)

vol. 2

21. ‘Of the Person of Christ the Mediator’, pp. 304-13
22. ‘Same’, pt. 2, pp. 313-24
23. ‘Same’, pt. 3, pp. 324-41
24. ‘Same, an Appendix of Some Questions’, pp. 341-62

vol. 5

1. ‘Notes & Excercitations on Thomas, Summa, pt. 1, Questions 27-44, on the Divine Persons, pt. 1′, pp. 136-47

Alting, Henry

The Scriptural Theology of Heidelberg…  (Amsterdam, 1646), vol. 1

pt. 1, Didactic Theological Places, Locus 10, ‘Of the Person & Office of Christ’, pp. 141-78

pt. 2, Elenctic Theology, Locus 10, ‘Of the Person & Office of Christ’, pp. 477-580

Table of Contents  477
Exegesis  478

Samosatenians: ‘Whether the Son of God assumed a human nature into the unity of his Person, so thus Christ is God and man in one Person?’ [Yes], pp. 481-92

Anabaptists:  ‘Whether Christ assumed flesh and blood out of the substance of the virgin Mary?’ [Yes], p. 492-504

Papists:  ‘Whether the soul of Christ from its own creation was so replete with knowledge and grace that He did not at anytime learn, nor sensed any sadness or perturbation?’ [Denied], p. 504

Lutherans:  ‘Whether essential properties of God, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence and power making alive, were communicated to the human nature of Christ by the personal union?’ [Denied], p. 509

Theological Problems: Theoretical & Practical, pt. 1, ‘Theoretical Problems’, pp. 162 ff.  in The Scriptural Theology of Heidelberg, vol. 2  (Amsterdam, 1646)

36. ‘Whether because Christ is God & Man, He may be a Double Person? [No]’, p. 162

37. ‘Whether there may be Two Filiations [Sonships] in Christ? [Yes]’, p. 164

38. ‘Whether the person of Christ may indeed be called composite? [Yes & No]’, p. 166

39, ‘Whether the Personal Union is a Communication of the Subsistence of the Word & of All Essential Properties?’, p. 167

40. ‘In what sense is the rule(s) of the Fathers:  All which has been given to Christ in time, has been given according to the humanity?’, p. 170

3. ‘Christ’  in An Exegesis of the Augsburg Confession  in A Logical & Theological Exegesis of the Augsburg Confession…  (Amsterdam, 1647), pp. 20-32

ch. 12, ‘Of the Person & Office of Christ’  in A New Elenctic Theology, or a System of Elenctics  (Amsterdam, 1654), pp. 483-508


1. That we deny the deny the virginity of Mary in the birth, holding that she gave brith in a natural way, by an opened womb, contrary to the prophetic oracles, Isa. 7:14; Eze. 44:2, and the evangelical complement of them, Mt. 1:21 ff., by which we confess in the Creed, the Savior was conceived not in the manner [in modo], but was born out of the Virgin, p. 483

2. That we even deny the true humanity of Christ, in that the personality should be taken away from it, p. 484

3. That in Christ we mark and acknowledge something of sin, that is, perturbations, immoderate affections of the soul and other things, from which things, indeed, He deserves to be called a sinner, p. 485

Locus 12, ‘Of the Person & Office of Christ’  in A Method of Didactic Theology  (Amsterdam, 1656; 1662), pp. 62-71

Locus 12, ‘Of the Person & Office of Christ’  in A New Problematic Theology, or a System of Theological Problems  (Amsterdam, 1662), pp. 559-612

1. ‘Whether the whole doctrine of Christ is adequately contained in the Person and office of Christ?’, p. 559

2. ‘Whether the name Jesus is a composite of Hebrew origin? and whether the name of Christ is not proper, but is sometimes even appellative?’, p. 560

3. ‘Whether the nature, or a divine hypostasis may be incarnate?’, p. 562

4. ‘How is it the case that the Father and the Holy Spirit were not simultaneously incarnate in the incarnate Son?’, p. 563

5. ‘Whether the Son of God was so incarnated such that the man could not have sinned?’, p. 564

6. ‘Whether the Holy Spirit is truly called the father of Christ? [No]’, p. 567

7. ‘Whether Christ is called the Son of God because of his conception from the Holy Spirit?’, p. 569

8. ‘In what way was the human nature of Christ conceived without orginal sin?’, p. 571

9. ‘Whether the formation of the body of Christ in the womb of Mary was successive, or rather instantaneous, or perfected in a moment?’, p. 573

10. ‘Whether the human nature of Christ, hence, from the first conception, was anhypostatic, devoid of a proper subsistence? [Yes]’, p. 575

11. ‘Whether there is in Christ a double hypostatic union? [No]’, p. 576

12. ‘Whether the union was made in the nature, or even in the Person? [Person]’, p. 577

13. ‘Whether the union is even the bearing and sustaining of the human nature in the Word?’, p. 578-9

14. ‘Under which logical notion is the human nature of Christ in union with the Logos optimally conceived, whether as a part, an adjunct, or lastly as an instrument?’, p. 579

15. ‘Whether the nauture assumed in the union remains outside [extra] the Trinity?’, p. 580

16. ‘How much grace was the soul of Christ furnished with, even from its conception?’, p. 581

17. ‘Whether faith, trust or hope were at that time in Christ, or were able to be?’ [Yes], p. 582

18. ‘What ought to be thought of the five-fold knowledge of Christ that the Sophists attribute to Him?’, p. 584

19. ‘Whether even perfect beatitude was able to be given to Christ according to his soul during the time of his traversing in the earth? [No]’, p. 585

20. ‘Whether Christ is to be worshipped according to either nature, whether even according to another than the divine nature?, p. 586

21. ‘What in the controversy on the communication of properties is to be summarily held?’, p. 589

22. ‘Whether Christ, even according to the divine nature was first emptied, and then exalted?’, p. 591

23. ‘Whether Christ was annointed even according to the divine nature?’, p. 592

24. ‘Whether Christ, according to Scripture, is able to be called the mediator of angels?’, p. 593

25. ‘Whether and in what way was Christ the mediator in the Old Testament?’, p. 596

26. ‘In what sense is Christ called our Savior by merit and efficacy?’, p. 597

27. ‘Is the threefold office of Christ prefigured in the Old Testament by a triple-order of anointings?’ [Yes], p. 599

28. ‘Whether Christ indeed was a prophet, priest and king in the earth?’ [Yes], p. 600

29. ‘Whether Christ as prophet is even able to be called a Legislator?’, p. 601

30. ‘Whether Christ discharged the prophetic office in the eath? or rather He may even exercise that from heaven?’, p. 602

31. ‘Whether Christ despaired on the cross?’, p. 603

32. ‘Whether the blood of Christ poured out on the cross putrified?’ [Probably], p. 605

33. ‘Whether it ought to be said that the death of Christ is eternal, or whether it is equivelent to eternal?’, p. 606

34. ‘Whether Christ died even for reprobates, such that He procured for them [common, non-saving] spiritual gifts and the resurrection of the flesh?’ [No], p. 607

35. ‘Whether the satisfaction or merit of Christ is destroyed out of the principles of the orthodox doctrine?’, p. 609

36. ‘Whether the kingdom of Christ, because the Scripture calls it eternal, is hence rightly called an economy and temporal?’, p. 611-12

Stucki, Johann Rudolph – Brief Instructions on the Phrases Pertaining to the Hypostatic Union  (Zurich, 1653)  12 pp.

Stucki (1596-1660) was a Swiss reformed professor of logic, Hebrew and theology at Zurich.

Hoornbeek, Johannes – ch. 9, ‘Of Christ’  in Theological Institutes, Harmonized from the Best Authors  (Leiden, 1658), pp. 270-339

1. Christ is the foundation of the Gospel, on the necessity to know,
.      and that He is the promised Messiah of the OT: Zwingli &
.      Walaeus  270
2. Christ had not come in the flesh if man had not sinned: Walaeus
.      282
3. Christ is the God-man: Maccovius  282
4. He was God, the 2nd Person in the Deity: Walaeus  283
5. Christ is also true man: Junius & Trelcatius  287
6. He has a human nature from mother Mary, through the operation of
.     the Spirit: Walaeus  288
7. Thus the divine Person of the Son was incarnate: He united to
.     Himself a human nature in the unity of his Person: Synopsis,
.     Junius, Walaeus, Zanchi  289
8. Each nature abides in Christ with its distinct properties, nor is omniscience, omnipotence, ubiquity or adorability gathered to the human nature: Piscator, Walaeus & Polanus  291
9. Out of this union of the natures a varied way of speaking arises about Christ, as to the person, or natures, by a communion of predications: Melancthon  300
10. The office of Christ in general is twofold, to be a mediator and a savior, that is, Jesus  302
11. To which there is an anointing from God, or a singular calling and bestowed gifts, that is, [to be] the Christ: Junius, Zanchi, Maccovius  302
12. The mediator is Christ Jesus, one and perfect: Ames & Trelcatius  302
13. And He is the Mediator according to each nature: Trelcatius, Walaeus,   304
14. The parts of the office of Christ are to be a prophet, priest and king: Ames  307
15. For the prophetic office Christ teaches the Church the true religious salvation: Ames, Maccovius  307
16. However, other new or more perfect precepts have not been added to the moral law: Synopsis  309
17. The priestly office of Christ consists in this, that He offered Himself to God in a true expiation for sins and intercedes continually for us before the Father: Ames  310
18. Christ expiated for our sins by a true satisfaction: Maccovius & Wallaeus  311
19. Christ sustained sufferings and death for us, not only bodily, but spiritual, even in the soul itself He suffered most weighty punishments: Walaeus  318
20. And made satisfaction to the Law by a most full righteousness, both active and passive: Gomarus  319
21. And further, He was thus meriting salvation for us from God: Zanchi, Gormarus  321
22. Christ presented that for his elect, those to be saved, those ones solely and all of them, by which they have already at some point been made alive or will be overcome:  Gormarus & Maccovius  323
23. For the same Christ intercedes continually before the Father: Maccovius  326
24. Christ shows Himself king in gathering, preserving and advancing the Church, that is, his spiritual kingdom: Ames  327
25. The twofold state of Christ is of the humiliation and of the exaltation.  The former begins from the conception of Christ and then ceases at his death: Junius  328
26. The state of the exaltation of Christ begins from his resurrection, and beyond that encompasses the ascension and his session at the right hand: Ames  333

Maccovius, Johannes – Johannes Maccovius Revived, or Manuscripts of his…  ed. Nicolaas Arnoldi  (Amsterdam, 1659)

4. ‘The Personal Union & the Communication of Properties’  in ‘An Examination of the Lutheran Controversies’  in The False First-Principles of the Papists, Socinians, Lutherans, Arminians, Anabaptists…, pp. 581-85


3. Human Nature of Christ  636
4. The Personal Union  637
5. On Personal Propositions  639

7. On Some Other Articles of the Apostles’ Creed Concerning Christ  651

1. On the Nativity  651
2. On the Obedience of Christ  651
3. On the Descent to Inferos  651
4. On the Resurrection  652
5. Of the Ascension to Heaven  652
6. Of the Session at the Right Hand  652

Wendelin, Marcus Friedrich – 3. ‘Two Natures & of Their Hypostatic Union in the One Person of Christ the Savior’  in A Collation of the Christian Doctrine of the Reformed & Lutherans Set Forth in Theological Places & Explicated & Asserted by Questions & Responses to the Lutherans, by which the Judgment of the Reformed is Submitted & thus the Consensus & Disagrement of Both Parties in the Christian Religion is Demonstrated…  (Kassel: Schadewitzius, 1660), pp. 57-101 (Irregular Numbering)

Wettstein, Gernler & Buxtorf – ch. 10, ‘On the Person & Incarnation of Christ’, pp. 32-35  in A Syllabus of Controversies in Religion which come between the Orthodox Churches & whatever other Adversaries…  (Basil, 1662)

Maresius, Samuel – Locus 9, ‘On the Person & State of Jesus Christ’  in A System of Theology…  (Groningen, 1673), pp. 438-512

van Mastricht significantly follows Maresius on this topic.

van Mastricht, Petrus – section 2, ch. 34, ‘On the Person of Christ the Mediator’  in the Gangrene of the Innovations of the Cartesians…  (Amsterdam, 1677), pp. 513-33

Heidegger, Johann H.

Bk. 2, Place 17, ‘Of the Person of Jesus Christ’  in The Marrow of Christian Theology  2nd ed.  (d. 1698; Zurich: Henry Bodmer, 1713), separate pagination, pp. 1-22.  Heidegger argues against the Lutheran paradigm of the Person of Christ with reference to a communicated subsisting in section 35.

Place 17, ‘The Person of Jesus Christ’  in A Body of Christian Theology…  (Tigur, 1700), vol. 2, pp. 1-34.  Heidegger argues against the Lutheran paradigm of the Person of Christ with reference to a communicated subsisting in section 59.



Vitringa, Sr., Campegius – The Doctrine of the Christian Religion, Summarily Described through Aphorisms  (d. 1722), vol. 5

Of the Person of the Messiah & his Twofold Nature  45

Of the Incarnation of the Son of God  45-69

Bibliographies  45
Old & New Names for Mystery  45
Opinions of Fathers & Heretics  46
Romanists on 12 Scholastic Questions  46
Incarnation if Man Not Sin?: Romanists  47
Lutheran, Reformed, Socinian  48
More Reformed  49
Christ Necessary to Save Sinners? Fathers, Scholastics  49
Reformed  50
Son more able to Assume than Father & Spirit?  50
Divine Nature Incarnated, or Son Alone?  50
Fathers, Patripassiani, etc.  52
Sabellius  53
Historical Biblio  54
Historical Theology  55
Recent Heretics  56
Historical Theology  57
Recent Sabellians  60
Scholastics & Romanists on Whether Divinity Incarnated  63
Lutherans  64
Reformed  65
Anabaptists  66
Socinians  67
Remonstrants, Mystics  69

Of the Two Natures in Christ  70-202

Definition of HU, Jews & Nazarenes  70
Deniers of Christ’s Deity  74
Gnostics, Simon, Menander, Dositheus  75
Saturninus  78
Basiledes  79
Carpocratians  82
Cerenthites  84
Ebionites  89
Valentinians  94
Cerdon & Marcion  98
Apellites  99
Manicheus  101
Priscillianists  102
Theodotians  105
Artemas  107
Paul of Samosota  109
Marcellus  112
Photinus  114
Theodore of Mopsuestia  119
Arius  122
Arian Sects, Anomaei  132
Eunomius  134
Eudoxius  139
Semi-Arians  140
Acaciani  142
Asterius  144
Minor Factions of Arians  145
Apollinarius Jr.  146
Fanatics:  Valentinus Weigelius  151
Jacob Bohme  154
Anthoinette Bourignon  157
Bourignonians  160
Poiretus  164
Quakers  165
Socinians  170
Neo-Sabellians, Modalists  172
Herman Deusingius  175
Joannes Wallisius  178
Jacob Verneti  184
Recent Arians  185
Georgius Wicelius  187
Michael Servetus  188
Erasmus John & Christopher Sandius  192
John Biddle  193
Daniel Whitby  195
William Whiston  196
Muslims  200

On the Union of the Two Natures  202-244

Personal Union & its Effects: Reformed & Lutherans  202
Names of Union, Definition of, Trelcatius  204-5
Terms, Nature of Sustaining: Wittich vs. Mastricht  205
Reformed vs. Cartesians  206
Questions Answered by Alting  207
Nestorius  208
Defenders & Supporters of Nestorius  215
Eutyches  220
Monophysites  230
Corruptibility of Christ’s Body  231
Aphthartodocetists  234
Ignorance of Christ  235
Monothelitism & Monoenergism  237
Of the Effects of the Personal Union  245-314
Effects: Communion of Natures, Grace & Gifts  245
Gifts Not Infinite, Contra Romanists  246
Faith & Hope in Christ, Worship of Christ  247
Latria, Dulia, Hyperdulia  250
Lutherans Worship Human Nature  251
Anti-Trinitarians on Worship of Christ  252
Socinus  253
Adoration vs. Invocation?  256
Recent Photinians  258
Worship of Angels, Reformed Against  262
Mennonites on Worship of Christ  263
Arminius on same  263
Remonstrants  264
Reformed Against  268
Lutherans & Communication of Properties  268
Definition, History  269
Beginning of the Doctrine  270
History, Melanchthon  271
Lutheran Definition  272
Lutheran Statements of  273
Perichoresis of Natures  274
Ubiquity  275
Communication of Properties Distinguished  276
Communication of Subsistence, Supper  277
Lutheran Statements  278
Sohn (Reformed)  281
Smalcald Articles  282
Lutheran & Reformed Writings  283
Philipists  286
Crypto-Calvinists  287
Writings Defending Formula of Concord  288
Reformed Against Formula of Concord  289
Hutter on Person of Christ  290
Gerhard on Person of Christ  293
Hutter & Franz on Person of Christ  294
Kromayer, Jaeger & Buddeus on Com. of Properties  295
Baumgarten & Moshem on same   296
Lutheran writings  297
Reformed writers, Lutheran Distinctions  298
Intra-Lutheran debates  300
Lutherans on Abstract & Concrete  303
Intra-Lutheran Debates  304
Calov & Pfaffius contra Reformed  306
Fabricius  307
Reformed writings  309
Bellarmine contra Lutherans  310
Papists & Remonstrants conta Lutherans  311
Selnecker & Eckhard: God really suffers  312
Communion of Effects: Buddeus  312
Synopsis & Chemnitz  313
Gerhard, Hutter, Eckhard, Quenstedt, Fabricius  314

Honert, Jan van den – A Theological Disputation on the Person of Christ  (Utrecht, 1732)

De Moor, Bernard – ch. 19, ‘Of the Person of Jesus Christ’  in A Continuous Commentary on John Marck’s Compendium of Didactic & Elenctic Christian Theology  (Leiden, 1761-71), vol. 3, pp. 621-837

His treatment of the hypostatic union is in section 17, and is even more detailed in section 20, especially pp. 794-99.  His discussion of the apotelesmatum, or the unified effects from both Christ’s natures, is in section 21 & 23.  He describes the Lutheran view of the Union on p. 814, section 4.



Latin Books


Vermigli, Peter Martyr – A Dialogue on the Two Natures in Christ…  (d. 1562; Zurich, 1575)  135 pp.

“As I shall show, the Lutheran theologians [on the metaphysics of the Person of Christ] follow Aquinas, as mediated by Cajetan, and the Reformed theologians follow Scotus (the result of Peter Vermigli’s (1499‒1562) importing Scotist Christology into the Reformed tradition).” – Richard Cross, Union & Communion, p. 8


Table of Contents


A Dialogue on the Human Nature of Christ, & Whether it is Everywhere  1

Daneau, Lambert – An Examination of the book on the Two Natures in Christ, of the Hypostatic Union of them & of Various Things which follow out of that Union by Communication, written by Martin Chemnitz  (Geneva, 1581)  463 pp.  no ToC

Table of Contents

Protestation to the Reader
Preface, where the rise of these controversies and the coming loosing of them by this disputation is propounded
Preface by Theodore Beza

On ch. 1, on terms: Essence, Person, Abstractum, Concretum, Idioma  10
On ch. 2, On the Divine Nature in the Incarnate Christ  65
On ch. 3, On the Human Nature in the Incarnate Christ  68
On ch. 4, On the hypostatic or the personal union of the two natures, divine and human, in Christ: that it is, and what it is  76
On ch. 5, In what way Kemnitz may be confirmed by the above testimonies of Scripture  119
On ch. 6, where is of Chemnitz bringing forth to show, out of the similitude of the union of light and the sun, of fire and of iron, of the soul and the body, the fullness of the deity of the Logos, and the essential, divine glory, power, etc. to have been really communicated to the nature assumed by the Logos, and from it to participate in its being.  Further, by an argument, an explanation of this term, perichoresis, in this union of the two natures in Christ  166
On ch. 7, on the diversities of united things between themselves, or of the kinds of conjunctions  268
On ch. 8, on Nestorius, Eutyches and Monothelites  269
On ch. 9, on the vocabulary by which sacred Scripture and the orthodox fathers themselves used to demark and describe this hypostatic union of two natures  273
On ch. 10, How far this mystery of the hypostatic union in Christ is not able to be comprehended by us  274
On ch. 11, On the use of the above doctrine  275
On ch. 12, Of those things which arise out of the hypostatic union of the two natures in the one person of Christ, in which the grades [of them] are distributed, and by which those grades are distinguished by names  276
On ch. 13, Of the first grade, or of the kind of the communication of properties which follow out of the hypostatic union in the person of Christ  311
On ch. 14, where the communication of properties out of the writings of the orthodox fathers is confirmed  317
On ch. 15, on particular distinctions  318
On ch. 16, What is the use of the above doctrine  321
On ch. 17, on the second kind of communication which arises out of the hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ.  It is even the communication of effects.  322
On ch. 18, On the error of the Monothelites  335
On ch. 19, in which is treated the third kind of communication, that is, by the deity of the Logos in the assumed human nature, beyond and outside the essential properties, are conferred gifts without number…; and how many kinds is this third kind of communication.  343
On ch. 20, on the hyper-physical and beyond-natural gifts that are inherently, formally and subjectively in the human nature of Christ due to its hypostatic union with the divine  352
On ch. 21, of the real communication of the divine majesty made to the human nature in Christ; or that the human nature of Christ, due to the hypostatic union, beyond habitual gifts, has the thing itself communicated to it, properly and essentially, the attributes of the divine nature of the Word, and thus participates in it.  354
On ch. 22, where Chemnitz endeavors to remove from the communication of majesty confusion, equalization and the abolition of the natures in Christ  377
On ch. 23, where Chemnitz contends that the proper attributes of the deity of the Logos, or the essential properties of God, thus are in the assumed flesh just as the power of burning and shining are in burning iron  390
On ch. 24, where Chemnitz endeavors to bring forth some testimonies from sacred Scripture to the confirmation of the above error  394
On ch. 25, where he cites some testimonies of the fathers for maintaining the same error  404
On ch. 26, on some terms or appellations by which the glory, given to the Christ-man, is customarily called by the fathers  411
On ch. 27, that the Logos, with his proper flesh, is the 2nd person of the Trinity  412
On ch. 28, on the session at the right hand of God  413
On ch. 29, where Chemnitz contends, while Christ is adored, or invocated, the flesh of Christ itself, or the human nature assumed and created, is also the true object of this adoration and invocation, nor do you further direct yourself to, or regard, the deity in itself…  414
On ch. 30, where Chemnitz contends that Christ, according to either nature is present in the Church and the sacred Supper  430-63

Zanchi, Jerome – On the Incarnation of the Son of God, in Two Books, in which the Whole of this Mystery is Solidly Explained…  (Heidelberg: Harnisch, 1593)  875 pp.  ToC

Table of Contents

Bk. 1, in which is Explained the Words of the Apostle, Philippians 2:5-8 & the Doctrine of the Same, the Eternal Deity of Him, & of the True & Perfect Human Nature Assumed by Him in Time, is Confirmed & the Contrary Heresies are Refuted  1

Ch. 1, the Scope of the Apostle 1 the twofold interpretation of the words is indicated 2-3 the text divided in three parts 4 on verse 5, may it be an affection in you all 5-6 Whether it was an affection in the Son of God 7 on verse 6, Christ is a divine and eternal hypostasis homoousion [of the same substance] with the Father 7-8 heresies against the Deity of Christ refuted, so those of Cerinth and Ebion 9 those of Servetus, Arius, Photinius, Carpocratus 10 those of Sabellius, the practical Tritheists, the gentiles 11

Ch. 2, ‘Form’, what it is 12,13,18,21 this is that nature of God with glory 16 so it is distinguished from ousia (substance) and phusi (nature) 17 ‘He thought it not robbery’, what that means 19 these words of Paul are not to be understood of Christ-incarnate 21 Erasmus is refelled 21-22 the interpretation of the Greeks 23 Bullinger & Brentius 25 of the Latins & Calvin, Beza 26-27 of verse 7, or on the Emptying [exinanitione] 30-35 the term ’emptying’ [evacuandi] refells the Ubiquitarians 38 in what way He was made a servant 39 assuming the form of a servant 41 in the similitude of men ‘He was made’, this connotes true humanity and the hypostatic union 43-45 the form [figura] has been clearly ascertained, thus a man 46

Ch. 3, gathers the Heads of Doctrine out of the Text 49 it refutes the heretics: Paul of Samosata, Arius, the Patripassians, Nestorius, Eutyches, Apollinarius, Cerd., Marcion, Valentinus, the Anabaptists, the Monothelites 51-57 the certian error of the Fathers who supposed that Christ did not feel anguish of suffering 58 He emptied Himself, not laying aside the form of God, but it was hidden, not revealing the majesty, so it was fitting for Him to endure 61

Bk. 2, Heresies on the Incarnation of Christ are Refuted  64

Ch. 1, Recounts Heresies on the Incarnation, especially those of Nestorius & Eutyches 64-66 of Swenckfeld 68,71 of Paul the Acephalite and those who are Monophysites 69 Theopaschites, Severus, the Armenians, Agnostics [Agnoetae], Aphthartodocites, Tritheists, the Monothelites 70 Melchior Hoffman the Anabaptist and the Ubiquitarians 71  the cause of these errors: a quasi-nature of whatever has a proper subsistence  71

Ch. 2, The Incarnation, what it is 73-76 the union is substantial & personal 81 of Mary the God-Bearer (Theotokos) 83 of Christ as the reason that the natures and their properties and actions are really predicated 84 the end of the Incarnation 89

Ch. 3, Propounds 12 Questions  91

Q. 1, Who assumed the Form of a Servant?  True God, even the 2nd Person of the Trinity, not the 1st or the 3rd, proved out of the end of the incarnation 92-94 reasons why it was fitting for the Son to be incarnate 95-96 Why conceiving was solely of the Holy Spirit, nor yet is He called his Son 98-100 Why three persons are not simultaneously incarnate since the nature of God was incarnate 101-03 a Person assumed a nature; a nature did not, properly speaking, assume a nature 106

Q. 2, What was assumed? 107 The true body of Christ is asserted 108 contrary objections from apparitions are dissolved 109 out of Rom. 8, ‘in the likeness of flesh’ 110 He assumed a truly human flesh and soul 111-12 why He is called a heavenly man 112 ‘flesh’ signifies also a soul 113 what essential and natural properties are 113 the defects which He assumed 116 even of the soul, so ignorance 119 the affections: anguish, fear, wonder, wrath 120 the discrimination of the affections in Christ and us 121 four causes why he also assumed defects 122 He did not assume a person but a nature 124 a person and a hypostasis, what it is 125 what a nature is 127 12 arguments against Nestorius 130-40 the fundamentals and reasons of Nestorius 141 other arguments out of Thomas 147 Ubiquitarians badly conclude the human nature to be everywhere because in it subsists the Person of the Word 148 the humanity is not in the Word as an accident 153

Q. 3, Christ assumed a human nature immune from sin 154 Mary was infected with sin 155 in what way Christ was in Adam, nor did he sin 157

Q. 4, By which way He was born of a mother, in a new way He ought to be born, why He was born solely of a mother 161 in what way He was from the Father 162, the sanctification of Mary 163 the absurdities of Ambrose the Cathar being for the purity of Mary from Original Sin 165 why He was begotten in betrothal 166 of the virginity of Mary 167 whether she vowed? 168

Q. 5, Of what kind of material was the soul of Christ created, that it works against traducianism 169 it was created in the womb of the Virgin in the person of the Logos, and that most purely 170 the body of Christ was from the seed of David and Abraham 171 why the genealogy of Christ by the Evangelists leads all the way to Adam 171 the heresies of Valentinus, that the flesh of Christ was from Heaven 173

Q. 6, Of the time of the Incarnation, which is the Last Days 174 the discordance of chronologies 175 why He did not assume the flesh earlier or later 177-80

Q. 7, Of the order of the assumption 181 the conception was made in the virgin with consent [or knowingly] 182 Christ assumed to Himself a soul and a body simultaneously, but a soul immediately 184

Q. 8, Of the perfection of assuming the living body 188 it was not formed gradually 189 a twofold union of the Word and of the human nature (soul and body) was in Christ 191 the union of the soul and body proved 193

Q. 9, Of the mode of union 194 the collation of the union of the three persons of the Deity and of the two natures of Christ 195 the explication of the apostles of the mode 196 the Fathers are brought to more accurately explain from the heretics 199 what the union is, and how it is twofold, out of Nyssa, Bernard and Thomas 199 the dogma of Nestorius is refuted, that the union made was by inhabiting, assisting, affection, dignity, grace 203 the union made was not by conversion or comixture, contra Apollinarus, Eutyches, Dioscorus 208 the 6 reasons of John Damascus 211 the cause of the errors of Nestorius, Eutyches and the Ubiquitarians, that He is a quasi-person with the same natures 215 the whole Christ and the whole of Christ are distinguished by the Fathers 216,223 5 other arguments against Eutyches 216-17 the objections of Eutyches 220 of the simile of the human body and soul and of the natures of Christ, how far it ought to be used 222 how far the person of Christ may be said to be composit 224 of the worship of the human Christ 226 of the double will and double operating faculty of Christ contra Macarius and the Monothelites 232 the Ubiquitists are Monothelites 233 the arguments of John of Damascus against the Monothelites 234,247 the distinction of actions & properties does not divide the union 240-44 the will and energy is taken for the power or for the act 244 autotheleton [self-willing] was in Christ 245 as well as a human will besides the divine will 247 nor was one will conflated from the divine and human 250 objections of the Monothelites 254 the Paulicians are refuted 256 two other false opinions on the union 257 Christ put on flesh, but not simply as clothes 261,265 the simile of flesh and clothes explained 262 the union was not made by the mode of an accident 268 objections to the contrary are solved 270 the error of Brentius [a Lutheran] 272 the true judgment of the mode of the union 273 to assume into the unity of the person, what it means 275 the union was made atreptos (unchangeably), adiairetos (indivisibly), asugkutos, ousiodos 277-78 this is proved out of Phil. 2 280 and other places of Scripture on the Incarnation, as John 1, Heb. 2 & Col. 2 286 in what way the whole fulness of Deity is in Christ bodily 293 Col. 2 is explicated out of the Greek scholastics 295 the saying of Ecumenius that He fills all with the flesh is in no way for the Ubiquitarians 296 the creed of Chalcedon proves this mode of union and refutes the Ubiquitarians 297 the testimony of John of Damascus 300 Adiastatos [without division] what it means, contra Chemnitz 302 the testimony of Justin 303 the simile of the union of the soul with the body explained and accommodated 305 how insofar it is dissimilar 307 the impudence of the Ubiquitarians 308 the simile of Justin and others of primal light, the same of Emperor Justinian, Boethius, Cassian, Gelasius, [Pope] Vigilius, Fulgentius, Rusticus, Maxentius, of the Roman Church, of Lombard and the testimony of the scholastics 310 of Thomas Aquinas 315

Q. 10, Of the hypostatic union 321 by what names it has been expressed by the Fathers, even: a ‘combination’ (crasis), a ‘mixture’, a ‘copulation’, an ‘economy’, an ‘incarnation’, a ‘coporation’, an ‘advent’, ‘perichoresis’, a ‘communion’ 322-25 its definition and explanation 326

Q. 11, What consequences follow from the union 332 opposite things are to be predicated of Christ 333 names of the person and natures 334 the man, not the humanity is properly called God 337 what the grace of union is 341 Chemnitz and the Book of Concord do not badly define the communication of properties 347 in that which they err 348 how and by what gifts the human nature is endowed or deified 351 by which supernatural things 353 the habits of grace and the gifts of the Spirit which are given to Christ 354 places of Scripture, so Isa. 11, ‘The Spirit of Jehovah rests upon Him…’ explained 355 Lk. 2, ‘The child increased…’ 356 in what way He advanced 357 the sayings of the Fathers are not able to be taken of the real communication of divine properties 359 whether in the soul of Christ there was faith or hope 360 or love 362 of the threefold knowledge of the soul of Christ 362 whether by uncreated wisdom He saw God 364 whether He saw the whole essence of God 366 whether He saw all that is in God 367 whether the soul of Christ maintained equality with the wisdom of the Logos, reasons for the negative 371 it is not properly omniscient 372 the objection of the Ubiquitarians 373 whether through infused knowledge He knew all things 373 whether the infused knowledge rose above the angels 375 why habitual knowledge is so-called 376 the habitual knowledge of Christ is multifold 377 the kind of the acquired knowledge of the soul of Christ 378 whether He advanced or learned from angels 379 whether and what from men he learned 380 all He learned pertains to the perfection of the human intellect 381 of the power of the human Christ 382 what power and omnipotence is 383 howsofar Christ the man is omnipotent 384 the testimony of Lombard 385 the arguments of Thomas Aquinas 387 his response to that place, ‘All power is given unto Me’ [Mt. 28:18] 390 how great is the power of Christ’s soul 391 habitual graces, so they differ from the grace of union 393 of those testimonies of the Fathers, the simile of a grain ignited, the simile of the body and soul 394 this union made Christ the perfect Mediator 399 the office of the Mediator 401 Christ is the one Head of the Church 402 of the actions of Christ 405 what are the completed effects (apotelesmata) 405 in the one movement [agente] there are two principles of action 407 John of Damascus contra the Monothelite arguments 408 what energy is 409 the differences of the actions 411 the completed effects (apotelesmata) are threefold 412 the soul is the principle agent 413 miracles were of the divine nature, not the human 414-16 reasons for the double actions of Christ 418 exception one, according to Apollinarius 421 Christ-incarnate worked up to this point with the Father 423 exception two of the Monophysites 425 the plurality of actions does not infer plural persons 426 the simile of an ignited sword works against the Ubiquitarians 429 other arguments for the plurality of actions in Christ 432 the cause of the error of the Monothelites 437 their arguments 441 what theandric actions are and why they are so-called 444 how the actions of one nature are common to the other nature 448,455 the words of Leo, ‘Each nature works with the other in common,’ this is rightly explained contra the Ubiquitarians 457 Christ is the natural Son as God and man 462 Mary is the God-Bearer 464 from what is the efficacy of the blood of Christ? 465

Q. 12, Of what they [Ubiquitarians] call ‘real communication’ 466 what communication is and in what ways it occurs 467 properties, essentials, naturals or personals 472, which properties may be communicated: not personal but natural ones 472 the true state of the controversy 475 Ubiquitarians concede things out of which they are convicted 477 they are Monothelites 480 they contradict themselves grossly 480 a real communication is everted, the first argument: because it is not given in Scripture 483 by what sort of sayings they seek to confirm Ubiquity 484, they are examined, so Jn. 1, ‘the Word was made flesh’ 485 the hypostatic union does not infer such a communion 488 Jn. 17, ‘Glorify Me with that glory…’ 490 the interpretation of Augustine 492 of Cyril, to glorify through the glory to be revealed 495 a twofold glorification of Christ 495 Col. 2, ‘In whom dwells all the fulness of the Deity bodily’ 497 the simile of a glowing iron 500 ‘In whom are all the treasures of wisdom…’ 502 Mt. 28, ‘All power is given unto Me’ 506 2 Cor. 10, ‘the weapons of our warfare are mighty’ 512 a certain grace of union and certain habitual grace has been given to Christ 515 Jn. 5, ‘Has given Him power to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man’ 518 places on the anointing of Christ 520 Jn. 5, ‘and I work with the Father simultaneously’ 524 Jn. 5 on the resuscitation of the dead 527, the proper life of God is not communicated to the flesh of Christ 530 multifold-life is in Christ 532 vivification is attributed to each nature, but in a diverse respect 536 Jn. 6, ‘He who eats my flesh has life’ 540 1 Jn. 1, ‘The blood of Christ cleanseth us from sins’ 542 Mt. 9, ‘But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power to forgive sins 544 places on the exaltation of Christ, so sitting at the right hand 546 the judgment of Chemnitz 546 that sitting is unto nothing according to the Ubiquitarians 549 what sitting (the session) is, is explained out of Heb. 1 and other places 553 the judgment of John of Damascus on the sitting (session) 558 the false consequences of the Ubiquitarians shown forth 560 the inconstancy of Chemnitz & others 563 of what sort the glory of Christ was in Mt. Tabor [the mount of Transfiguration] 567 places on the vision of God and Christ, so Jn. 14, ‘Who sees me sees the Father’ 568 of the worship of the man-Christ 571 the second argument against the Ubiquitarians from the testimonies of the Fathers 576 Chemnitz alleges Fathers for himself, but perversely 578 his scope, defects and frauds 582-87 predications of Christ proper or improper 589 communion is a unity, not a real communication 592 the testimony of Leo evidenced 594 whether all given to Christ in time are given to the humanity 597 the 6th [Ecumenical] Synod and the sayings of Justin, Cyril, Athanasius, Sophronius against the Ubiquitarians 606 the Ubiquitarians badly cite the 6th Synod and its fathers, Athanasius, Euphem., Sophronius 609 the 7th Synod 612 Justin 613 of the coming in of Christ with the closed doors 618,671,716,724,729,743 Tertullian 620 Origen 621 of the simile of the glowing iron 624 the judgment of Basil on it, and why it was used by him [pp. 626-39 are repeated after p. 629] 630 the judgment of John of Damascus on this simile 638 the judgments of Athanasius and Cyril on the same 640 the saying of Esuebius of Caesarea 647 a man so is said to have been deified 652,694 Athanasius to Arius (and in another place he condemns the Ubiquitarians) does not support 656, 663 Eustath. 668 Hippolytus 669 Amphiloch. 670 Cyprian 671 Hilary on the glory of Christ, Jn. 17 674 Emisen., Didymus, Gregroy of Nyssa 689 Basil 691 Gregory of Nazianzen 693 Epiphanius 698 is opposed to the Ubiquitarians [after p. 707, pp. 704-07 are repeated] 709 the heresies of the Dimaeritites on ubiquity 710 Ambrose is the enemy of ubiquity 710 Jerome 716 Augustine 719 Chrysostom and Theophylact 725,729 Ecumenius and Aretius 727 Cyril opposes the ubiquitarians and is explained [after p. 729, pp. 716-29 repeats] 730 Paul Emisen. 766 Theodoret 768 Primas. 776 Leo the Great 778 Vigilius 786 Cassiodorus 787 Sedulius, Nicephorus 788 the Golden Chain 788 Severian. 788 the Agnoets which were 789 Gregory the Great 789 Bernard 790 John of Damascus is examined 791 the third argument: a real communication fights with the Scriptures, it is proved by multiple testimonies, so on the union 811 of the properties of the natures, of actions 819 of the passion 822 the fourth argument is from the consensus of the Fathers against a real communication 828 proofs out of the 6th Synod 828 by Justin, Tertullian, Origen, Basil, Cyril 829 Eusebius, Athanasius 830 Ambrose 834 Cyril 834 Theodoret 837 Leo 838 Vigil 842 John Damascus 844 Fulgentio 855 Ignatius 862 Irenaeus 863 Clement of Alexandria, Severian, Eustathio 864 Epiphanius 865-75 Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory Nyssa, Didymus of Alexandria, Jerome, Cassiodorus, Gregory, Niceta, Bede, Gelasius, Justin, Lombard, Thomas, Bonaventura



Martinius, Matthew – A Theology on the Singular Person of our Lord Jesus Christ in Two Natures, holding, intimately indeed, but unconfusedly, as indivisible, in unity and in a true communion between them, being eternally exalted after the temporal emptying out, opening sayings out of the holy Scriptures with suitable reasons and ancient testimonies, contra the blasphemies, errors and slanders of heretics, especially of the Samosatenians, Socinians and Arians, even particularly Dr. Balthasar Mentzerus of the Ubiquitarians, professor in Giessen…  (Bremen, 1614)  1,472 pp.  ToC 1, 2

Table of Contents

To the Christian Reader  3

Bk. 1, on the True Divine Nature of Christ  17

Pt. 1, Things Building Up  17

Tract 1, the True Deity of our Lord is Demonstrated out of the Scriptures, 17 chs.  17

Tract 2, The True Deity of our Savior is Furthered by Suitable Reasons, 28 chs.  90

Tract 3, Human Authorities for the True Deity of Christ, 10 chs.  233

Pt. 2, Things Tearing Down

Tract 1, Things that Heretics Allege out of the Scriptures as directly against the deity of Christ are considered, 5 chs.  319

Tract 2, Reasons against the deity of Christ are cut in pieces, 18 chs.  348

Tract 3, Human Authorities which the Adversaries adduce for their dogma are weighed, 8 chs.  437

Bk. 2, Of his true, & Homoousias [Same-Substance] with Us, Humanity, for the Orthodox Doctrine, contra the Ubiquitarians…  521

Preface to the Christian Reader  521

Pt. 1, Of the True Human Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ

Tract 1, The Doctrine of the True Church is Briefly Premised, & the Union of his [Human] Nature with the Hypostasis [Person] of the Son of God is described in full in certain, clear articles for it…  526

ch. 1  The necessity of this doctrine, that Christ is a man  526

ch. 2  That Jesus Christ is a true & perfect man  527

ch. 3  A forewarning of the flights of them to these arguments that have been asserted   527

ch. 4  1st Proof: out of that, that He is openly called a man  530

ch. 5  2nd Proof: out of Reasons  532

ch. 6  3rd Confirmation: out of the Authority of the Ecumenical Councils & the Athanasian Creed  537

ch. 7  That Christ was a Holy Man  539

ch. 8  In what way Christ was Made Man  541

ch. 9  Wherefore was Christ made Man  545

ch. 10  That though there are two natures in Christ, yet his self is not but one person  547

ch. 11  The doctrine of the personal union of two natures in Christ, collected in 20 theses, is explained  548

ch. 12  What is similar & different between the human nature of Christ & ourselves  619

ch. 13  The controversy is that will be drawn on with the Ubiquitarians is picked  625

ch. 14  Of the State of the controversy between us & the Ubiquitarians  627

ch. 15  The division of the arguments contra ubiquity  629

ch. 16  1st Artgument for the true, and therefore finite, flesh of Christ, contra its presence in all places 630

ch. 17  A Siezing Beforehand of their Flights by which the Ubiquitarians seek to enervate the sayings of the sacred letters which are adduced against themselves  631

Distinction 1: Per Se vs. Following Another  632
Distinction 2: To Exist vs. To Maintain  637
Distinction 3: Natural vs. Supernatural  643
Distinction 4: Possession vs. Use  697
Distinction 5: Through an Apparition vs. a Disparity  704
Distinction 6: Through Abdication  713

Of the Emptying Out  718
Of Exaltation  733

Distinction 7: Naturally vs. Personally  760
Distinction 8: Of Majesty  824

ch. 18  The Disputation is Concluded on 8 Distinctions of the Ubiquitarians  897

The 8 Distinctions  899-900

ch. 19  The omnipresence of Christ will be refuted out of the profession proceeding, & indeed that which first disproves it is out of the circumstances of the conception & nativity  902

ch. 20  Ubiquity is refelled out of the sayings of the whole life of Christ in the state of emptyness  908

ch. 21  Ubiquity is confuted out of the predicted leaving of the Lord from this world  975

What then is the genus of Heaven?  1,032

Of the Time Heaven was Founded  1,038

Where the Heaven of the Blessed is?  1,040

The Third Heaven is the Place of Whom?  1,041

Whether the Supreme Heaven, or of the Blessed, will perish or be burned?  1,045

In what way the world will perish?  1,070

What may the character of the future state of the world be after the Last Judgment?  1,078

Whether in Heaven life is temporally successive?  1,090

ch. 22  Ubiquity is everted out of the State of Exaltation  1,111

ch. 23  Conclusion of the Tract, of the True Humanity of Christ, where is a Demonstration out of the Propositions & a Vindicating of the Collected Sayings  1,430-72



Lampe, Friedrich Adolph – Commentary on Jn. 1:1-18  in An Analytical-Exegetical Commentary, even as much Literal as of Real Things, on the Gospel According to John…  (Amsterdam, 1724), vol. 1, pp. 287-401

Lampe (1683–1729) was a pietist,Cocceian, Dutch and German professor of theology in the reformed tradition.  He is known as the first Pietist leader from a reformed rather than a Lutheran background.



On the Theology of Union


On the Post-Reformation

Heppe, Heinrich – ch. 17, section 20, pp. 435-38  in Reformed Dogmatics  ed. Ernst Bizer  (1950; Wipf & Stock, 2007)



Junius, Francis – ch. 6, ‘The Theology of Union in Christ’  in A Treatise on True Theology…  trans. David Noe  (RHB, 2014)


Latin Articles

Voet, Gisbert – Syllabus of Theological Problems  (Utrecht, 1643), pt. 1, section 2, tract 2   Abbr.

Of the Knowledge [Scientia] of Christ &
.      his Ignorance



Was Christ Morally Able to Sin?  No

Some of the Jesuits argued Yes; the reformed argued No.




Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics  ed. Ernst Bizer  (1950; Wipf & Stock, 2007), ch. 17, section 20, p. 438

“Burmann (V, viii, 24): ‘With this is also connected the grace by which Christ could never sin, since in such great light of knowledge and perfect love of will and holy motions it was quite impossible for him to fall away.’

Maresius (XI, 20): ‘Christ could never sin.’  (21): ‘Nor did Christ’s impeccability stand in the way of his free judgment, since freedom of judgment does not necessarily involve the faculty of sinning, i.e., of falling short of perfection.'”


Leonard Riissen

A Complete Summary of Elenctic Theology & of as Much Didactic Theology as is Necessary  trans. J. Wesley White  MTh thesis  (Bern, 1676; GPTS, 2009), ch. 11, ‘Christ’, pp. 121-22

“Controversy 3 – Was Christ on account of the personal union so holy that He was not able to sin?  We affirm against the scholastics and Arminians.


1. The devil could not do anything against Him (Jn. 14:30).

2. Everything He does, He does by the person (hypstasi) of the divine nature, although the actions are of the natures (suppositorum) (Acts 20:28), but that person cannot sin.

3. Then the union could be dissolved, since God has no communion with sin (Is. 59:2, 2 Cor. 6:14).

4. Christ, as a sinner, could be damned (Gal. 3:10).

5. Then God could lie in promises and predictions contrary to Heb. 6:17.

6. Then Christ could be cut off from the mediatorial office, and thus the foundation of salvation could be overturned contrary to Acts 2:25.


1. He was free; therefore He was able to sin.  Reply.  So God and the angels in heaven are free, and we will be free after the judgment.”



Fuller, Andrew – ‘The Immaculate Life of Christ’  in Works 3.686-92

Warfield, B.B. – ‘Jesus’ Alleged Confession of Sin’  in Works 3.97-145  Also in The Person & Work of Christ, pp. 149-85



Did Christ’s Person Suffer & Die?

Order of Contents




Yes, with respect to the human nature.  But did Christ’s eternal Person, simply and without qualification, die?  No.

The Person of Christ, simply, may be verbally, that is improperly, said to have died, due to the hypostatic union of Christ’s natures.  Likewise, God may only be said to have died improperly and verbally.

See also our section, ‘The Human Nature as Particular & Individual’.


“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh…”

1 Pet. 4:1

“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore…”

Rev. 1:18


Order of Quotes

Beza & Faius



Peter Martyr Vermigli

A Dialogue on the Two Natures in Christ  ed. & trans. John Donnelly  in The Peter Martyr Library, vol. 2  Buy  (d. 1562; Truman State Univ. Press, 1995; Davenant Institute, 2018), pp. 59-62

“Pantachus [a Lutheran]:  As you say, the Word of God is certainly impassible and immutable, but because of the hypostatic union the Word [logos], so to speak, was affected in the same way as if it had suffered and died.

Orothetes [reformed]: Except for your interjection ‘so to speak,’ I would reject your statement as unacceptable.  For the Word of God is not affected since He is in no way changed.  You have a case of why the Scriptures and the Fathers sometimes use such terminology in that they are mainly concerned with the Person.

Neither was it possible, because of the unity of the two natures, for the divine hypostasis not to be present at the passion and death.  But as Irenaeus said most wisely,

‘The Word was present and remained and acquiesced [consented and allowed], but He Himself did not die or suffer.  Likewise our soul is present to man at death, that is, to the flesh, but the soul itself does not die.  Hence let us confess that Christ suffered and died, but in the flesh, as Peter says [1 Pet. 4:1], or as regards the man.’ (For Irenaeus as quoted by Theodoret, see PG 83:284)

Cyril was somewhat more forceful in the struggle against Nestorius, who pulled apart the natures and acknowledged no union of the divine nature with the human other than one based on merit…  Cyril urged this union so hard that at first his teaching was rejected.  For he spoke as if he believed that the Word of God Himself had literally suffered and died.  But when he later explained his terminology, he was accepted as a faithful and sound teacher.

Besides, when Eutyches was later condemned by the Council of Chalcedon for imagining that Christ had only one nature and maintaining that the Word of God was turned into flesh and had really and truly suffered, been crucified, and died in his own nature, more caution was observed in the sermons, statements, and terminology…

Hence when we regard as verbal the communication of idioms [properties] what is impossible for either the human or the divine nature, it is verbal in this way: it has the hypostatic union as a solid root and firm foundation.  Hence it does not follow that we say that Christ is God only verbally.  We confess that He really is God and consubstantial with the Father regarding the divine nature, although his human nature is not divine.

But you Pantachus, with considerable contempt have gathered from our statements the conclusion that for us Christ is God nominally.  Who could plausibly think that about us, who testify in most explicit terms that there never existed in Christ a human nature without its adhering to the divine person?…

I beg you, tell us whether according to your [Lutheran] ubiquity [of the human nature], if I understand with my mind and not my body and I hunger with my body and not my mind, do I therefore hunger or understand only verbally?  Similarly when we say that Christ truly and suffered and died insofar as He was a man, you cannot rightly construe this as if He suffered and died only verbally…

…although I deny that the Word of God really suffered and died, still I do not claim that the passion and death did not involve it at all, for the Word was present at the passion and death, as has been said, because of the hypostatic union, although in a quiescent way.  It was not affected by any suffering or by a new quality.  Hence it is not empty words that the Son of God suffered and died since that nature and flesh which He made his own and to which He was present by a union of Person, really and truly suffered and died.  But I would never say, as you are used to asserting, that the Word [logon] Himself really and truly both suffered and died.

…I see your [Pantachus’s] explanation as admitting two interpretations.  The first is that you understand the Son of God to have suffered and died in the sense that the passion and death sprang from the human nature but nonetheless so that they reached to the Word itself and reached in a way that the Word truly suffered and died.  Some expressions of Cyril back at the Council of Ephesus conveyed that sense, which seriously offended many people.  Surely it should be beyond dispute that the Word is impassible and immutable.  Therefore I will not agree with such a statement.  Neither do I retreat from the interpretation given by Cyril himself…

The second sense is that which we usually express when we say that Christ suffered and died not from the nature of the Godhead but from the nature of the humanity, namely that the passion and death proceeded from the humanity and were terminated in it since they did not pass through nor penetrate the Word itself because it could neither die nor suffer.  But if they Word is said to die and suffer, that means that the nature which it made its own through the incarnation died and suffered.  Cyril expressed clearly this point in the passage you quoted when he writes: ‘The Word calls its own things which are proper to the flesh,’ and so forth. (PG 75:1405)  It was not speaking falsely in calling them its own since they belong to that flesh that it assumed in the hypostatic union.”


Theodore Beza

Two Very Learned Sermons of Mr. Beza, together with a Short Sum of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper…  (London, 1588), ‘The First Homily… 1574’, pp. 38-9

“Theodoret does rightly and truly tell us that even the common people are hardly accustomed to speak any otherwise [about Christ’s person and his natures]: for if Peter speak, who would not rather say that Peter speaks, than say that Peter’s body or tongue speaks? and yet notwithstanding, neither does Peter’s mind, nor his foot nor any other member speak, but his tongue or mouth.

But because these things have even personally grown up (as it were) together [in the Logos’s assumption of human nature], and are come into one subsistence or being, that is truly in the concrete attributed to, and spoken of the whole, which if it were uttered of the parts of the whole considered severally and by themselves, should be falsely spoken.

What more?  By reason of this personal union [between a person and his nature], though now it be dissolved through death, Peter shall be said to have died and sat [buried] at Rome, whose soul yet notwithstanding, neither is dead, neither anywhere placed upon the earth.  So when I say [that] the eternal Son of God died, I consider and mean Him as He is whole-Christ, although I denominate Him after one of his natures, to wit, his mortal or human nature.

So again I say [that] this man forgives sins, and yet not as He is man of Himself (for it belongs only to God to forgive sins), but because He is God and man in one person together.”


Theodore Beza & Anthony Faius

Propositions & Principles of Divinity Propounded & Disputed in the University of Geneva by Certain Students of Divinity there, under Mr. Theodore Beza & Mr. Anthony Faius… Wherein is Contained a Methodical Summary, or Epitome of the Common Places of Divinity…  (Edinburgh, 1591), ch. 20, ‘Principles Concerning the Personal Union of the Two Natures in Christ’, p. 44

“7.  In like manner, although the essential properties of the one nature, be not transfused into the other; yet is the Word said to be crucified and dead, not in itself, but in the nature that was assumed.”



Francis Turretin

Institutes…  (P&R), vol. 2, 13th Topic, ‘Person & State of Christ’, 7th Question, ‘Was the hypostatical union of the two natures in Christ such that neither the person is divided nor the natures confounded?’, section 9, p. 320

“Actions and passions belong to individual incommunicable subsistences denominatively.  Yet they may also be ascribed formally to one or the other nature.  Thus suffering and death properly and formally belong to human nature, but denominatively to the person according to the other nature.”



Aquinas – Summa Theologica, 3rd Part, Treatise on the Incarnation

Question 46, ‘The Passion of Christ’ (12 Articles)

(12) Whether Christ’s Passion is to be attributed to His Godhead? [To his Person in the human nature, but not to his divine nature]


Latin Article


Maccovius, Johannes – 6. ‘Whether really or verbally only, or ketikos [Greek], God is said to have suffered for us?’  in ‘Anti-Eckhardus’, 6. ‘Communication of Properties’  in Johannes Maccovius Revived, or Manuscripts of his…  ed. Nicolaas Arnoldi  (Amsterdam, 1659), pp. 641-2



On the Hypostatic Union in Christ’s Death


William Bucanus

Institutions of Christian Religion…  (London, 1606), Common Place 23, ‘Of the Passion & Death of Christ’, pp. 233-4

“As the soul of Christ was separated from his body for the space of three days, was the Godhead likewise separated from them both, or was the Godhead joined with the soul, and severed from the body?

Neyther, says [John] Damascenus (Of the Orthodox Faith): For the Godhead remained unseparable from both, and that which the Word once took upon, Him never afterwards left.

But how could it be that the divine nature should continue united to the soul which was in Paradise, and the body which was in the earth?

The divine nature of the Son, because it is both infinite and present in all places, remained whole and undivided, united to both together, that is as well to the soul of Christ which was in Paradise, as to the body which lay lifeless in the earth.  For seeing the nature of God is most simple, and so not to be parted or divided, God is not to be said to have one part in heaven, and another in earth, but He is whole in heaven and whole in earth, not at several times and by succession, but both together, which thing no created nature can do.  Hence comes the saying of Augustine: It is proper to the whole Trinity to be whole everywhere, in spaces of places not divided.

Whether was Christ being now dead, true man?

He was, for although the soul and body were separated, and so it was a true death, yet by the conjunction of personal union they remained together in one third, as it were, so that our life was truly hid in Christ, yea even when He was dead.  Others answer that Christ in that three days was man materially, because He was truly soul and body: but at his resurrection (they say) he was man formally, after his soul rerurned into his body.

Who therefore died, and what he the the adiuncts of his death?

The son of God, at the mention of whom the whole frame and nature of things in this world trembled…

But when the Lord died…”


Henry Alting

as quoted in Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics  ed. Biser, trans. Thomson  (Wipf & Stock, 2007), ch. 17, ‘The Mediator…’, p. 434

“The union personalis in Christ was made adiairetos, indivisibly, in respect of place, so that the human nature is nowhere unsupported by the Logos, the Logos nowhere fails to support the human nature, nor is it outside the Logos or the Logos apart from it: akoristos, inseparably in respect of time, because this union is never dissolved but is perpetual, which was also seen in the death and burial…”


Anthony Thysius

Disputation 25, ‘On the Incarnation of the Son of God & the Personal Union of the Two Natures in Christ’  in Synopsis Puris Theologiae, Synopsis of Pure Theology: Latin Text & English Translation  ed. Henk van den Belt, trans. Riemer A. Faber  (1625; Leiden: Brill, 2016), vol. 2, pp. 81-83

“The personal union also occurred ‘without division (adiairetos) and without separation (achoristos)’, in such a way that the one nature is not actually divided or segregated from the other (for at no time or place, not even in death, does He lose what once He had taken up and joined to Himself).  But both natures forever remain so united in the person…”


Thomas Goodwin

Christ the Mediator, bk. 5, ch. 13, p. 279  in Works, vol. 5

“I will speak distinctly…  how to understand his being forsaken of God, which is not to be understood:

1.  As if the union of the Godhead with the human nature had been dissolved, but so as it might still be compatible, and rightly stand with it.  For it was not a forsaking in respect of the essence of the Godhead, but of his presence, and so in a way of sense.  The Godhead was not separated, though the operation of comfort from the Godhead were sequestered.  The
union hypostatical continued still with his soul, now filled with the sorrows of death, as well as it did with his body when He lay in the grave.  And so as although his body was united to the fountain of life, yet it might die in respect of a natural life: so his soul, although the hypostatical union continued, might yet want [lack] comfort, which is life.”


Flavel, John

‘5th Sermon’  on Jn. 1:14  in The Fountain of Life Opened…  (London, 1673), pp. 56-7

“Fifthly, the union of the two natures in Christ is an inseparable union.  So that from the first moment thereof, there never was, nor to eternity shall be, any separation of them.

If you ask how the union remained betwixt them when Christ’s human soul and body were separated from each other upon the cross?  Is not death the dissolution of union betwixt soul and body?

True, the natural union betwixt his soul and body was dissolved by death for a time, but this hypostatical union remained even then as entire and firm as ever.  For though his soul and body were divided from each other, yet neither of them from the divine nature.

Divines assist our conception of this mystery by an apt illustration.  A man that holds in his hand a sword sheathed, when he pleases, draws forth the sword, but still holds that in one hand and the sheath in the other, and then sheaths it again, still holding it in his hand; so when Christ died his soul and body retained their union with the divine nature, though not (during that space) one with another.”


Francis Turretin

Institutes…  (P&R), vol. 3, 13th Topic, ‘Person & State of Christ’, 6th Question, ‘Did the Son of God assume human nature into the unity of his person?’, section 9, pp. 312-13

“Although we recognize in Christ a twofold union, one personal (of the two natures, the divine and human in one person), the other natural (of the soul and body in the one human nature)…  These two unions differ from each other…

(4) in their adjuncts, because that [union of body and soul] is separable and was dissolved by the death of Christ, while this [the personal union] is inseparable–what the Logos (Logos) has once assumed he never laid aside.”



Aquinas – Summa Theologica, 3rd Part, Treatise on the Incarnation

Question 50 – Of the Death of Christ (6 Articles)

(2) Whether His death severed the union of Godhead and flesh? [No]
(3) Whether His Godhead was separated from His soul? [No]
(4) Whether Christ was a man during the three days of His death? [No, but He was a “dead man”]
(5) Whether His was the same body, living and dead? [Yes]

Aquinas sees the essence, and perpetuity of the hypostatic union through death as respecting the union of the Person with human flesh, and not with human nature as such, as a soul separated from the body, he holds, is not a human nature.


Latin Article

Pezel, Tobias – Theses 13-14  in Theses on the Hypostatic Union of the Two Natures in Christ & that which follows, the Communication of Properties  (Heidelberg, 1594), pp. 7-8

Pezel (1571-1631) was German reformed.




“Remember that though it was not the eternal Godhead that suffered, but the humanity, it was a person and not a nature that suffered – God-man.”

“The Son of Man is the Son of God.”

“Human excellency in its perfection united to eternal Godhead.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan




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