On the Human Nature of Christ


Order of Contents

Articles  10+
Latin  14+

Christ’s Body: Wholly from Mary  6+
Whether & in What Way Christ was Under the Law?  3
Could Christ have Gotten Sick?  10+





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

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)

(1) Whether this is true: “God is man”?
(2) Whether this is true: “Man is God”?
(3) Whether Christ may be called a lordly man?

(6) Whether this is true: “The Son of God was made man”?
(7) Whether this is true: “Man became God”?
(8) Whether this is true: “Christ is a creature”?

(10) Whether this is true: “Christ as man is a creature”?
(11) Whether this is true: “Christ as man is God”?

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]



Calvin, John – 13. ‘Christ clothed with the true substance of Human Nature’  in Institutes of the Christian Religion  tr. Henry Beveridge  (1559; Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1845), vol. 2, bk. 2, pp. 13-22



Leigh, Edward – ch. 3. Of Christ’s being Man  in A System or Body of Divinity…  (London, A.M., 1654), bk. 5, pp. 396-404

Brooks, Thomas – pp. 166-75  of The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures…  in Works, vol. 5

Manton, Thomas – Works, vol. 18

‘Sermon upon Lk. 2:52’, pp. 116-23

‘Sermon upon Hebrews 2:11’, pp. 430-42

Turretin, Francis – Institutes of Elenctic Theology, tr. George M. Giger, ed. James Dennison Jr.  (1679–1685; P&R, 1994), vol. 2, 13th Topic

5. ‘Was the human nature assumed by the Logos like ours in all respects (sin excepted) and his flesh taken from the substance of the blessed virgin; or did it come down from heaven?  The former we affirm; the latter we deny against the Anabaptists.’  306-10

12. ‘What graces were bestowed on the human nature of Christ?  And did he have faith and hope?  We affirm.’ 347

13. ‘From its very creation was the soul of Christ so filled with knowledge that it could be ignorant of or learn nothing?  We deny against the papists.’ 348



Erskine, Ebenezer – Action Sermon:  The Human Nature Preferred unto the Angelical  in Works, vol. 3  on Heb. 2:15



Alexander, James W. – ‘The Man Christ Jesus’  in God is Love: Communion Addresses, pp. 289-312  on 1 Tim. 2:5

Candlish, Robert – The Man Christ Jesus  in Sermons, pp. 24-42  on 1 Tim. 2:5  Leader in the Free Church of Scotland

Bavinck, Herman – 2nd half of ch. 16, ‘The Divine & Human Nature of Christ’  in Our Reasonable Faith  (Eerdmans, 1956), pp. 308-29



Warfield, B.B.

‘The Emotional Life of our Lord’  in The Person & Work of Christ, pp. 93-145

‘The Human Development of Christ’  in Selected Shorter Writings 1.158-66





Aretius, Benedict – Locus 11, ‘On the Humanity of Christ’, pp. 30 in Sacred Problems of Theology: Common Places of the Christian Religion Methodically Explicated  (Geneva, 1589; Bern, 1604)

Aretius (1505–1574)

Zanchi, Jerome – On the Incarnation of the Son of God…  (Heidelberg: Harnisch, 1593), bk. 2, ch. 3

Q. 2, What was assumed? 107The true body of Christ is asserted 108contrary 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 154Mary was infected with sin 155in 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 161in what way He was from the Father 162, the sanctification of Mary 163the 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 169it was created in the womb of the Virgin in the person of the Logos, and that most purely 170the 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 174the discordance of chronologies 175why He did not assume the flesh earlier or later 177-80

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

Q. 8, Of the perfection of assuming the living body 188it was not formed gradually 189a 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



Bachoff, Reinhard – Catechism of the Christian Religion, which is Taught in the Churches & Schools of the Palitinate  (Hanau, 1603) 720 pp.  This is a commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, following the order of its questions.

Question 16
Question 35

Bachoff (1544-1614)

Pareus, David – Disputation 18. ‘On the True Divinity & Humanity of Christ’  in Theological Collections of Universal Orthodox Theology…  (1611/1620), vol. 1, Collection 2, pp. 213-20

Pareus (1548-1622)

Martinius, Matthew – A Theology on the Singular Person of our Lord Jesus Christ in Two Natures…  (Bremen, 1614), Bk. 2, Of his true, & Homoousias [Same-Substance] with Us, Humanity, for the Orthodox Doctrine, contra the Ubiquitarians…, 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…

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

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

Hommius, Festus – Disputation 8, ‘On the Human Nature of Christ, or of the Body & Soul of Christ’  in 70 Theological Disputations Against Papists  (Lugdunum Batavorum, 1614), pp. 29-33

Voet, Gisbert – 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)  no page numbers  Abbreviations

I. Of the Person of Christ the Mediator

1. Of the Assumption & Union of the Human Nature

Of the Human Nature Assumed

2. On the Consequences & Effects of the Union

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

Alting, Henry

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

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

Problem 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

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


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 New Problematic Theology, or a System of Theological Problems  (Amsterdam, 1662)

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

15. ‘Whether the nature 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

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

Chamier, Daniel

Ch. 4. ‘Of the Properties of the Human Nature’  in A Body of Theology, or Theological Common Places  (Geneva, 1653), bk. 5, pp. 176-78

Chamier (1564–1621)

Bk. 4, ‘On the Incarnation’, ‘On the Human Nature’  in Panstratiae Catholicae, or a Body of the Controversies of Religion Against the Papists  (Frankfurt, 1627-1629), vol. 2 (God), Locus 2, of God & the Worship of God, pp. 110-44

ch. 3, ’On Christ’s Nativity’
ch. 4, ’On the Blessedness of the Soul of Christ’
ch. 7, ’On the Faith of Christ’
ch. 8, ’On the Knowledge of the Soul of Christ’
ch. 12, ‘Whether according to [Reformed] Catholics, they acknowledge something of sin in Christ?’[respecting Christ’s affections: No]
ch. 13,
’On Desperation’

Maresius, Samuel – Article 18, ‘On the Incarnation & the Humanity of Christ’  in The Orthodox Federated States of Belgium, or An Exegesis of the Confession of the Belgic Churches…  (Groningen, 1652), pp. 251-67

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

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

Maccovius, Johannes

A Theological Collection of all that which is Extant…  (Franeker, 1641), First Part:  a Collection, 5. ‘Of the Mediator’

Disputation 3, ‘Christ, True God, Assumed Human Nature in Union to Himself’, p. 193

Disputation 4, ‘In Christ are Two Natures, Divine & Human’, p. 206

Maccovius (1588-1644)

ch. 3,‘On the Human Nature of Christ’ in Johannes Maccovius Revived, or Manuscripts of his…  ed. Nicolaas Arnoldi  (Amsterdam, 1659), ‘Anti-Eckhardus’ [a Lutheran], pp. 636-7

Braun, Johannes – ch. 16, ‘Of the Person & Personal Union, or of the Hypostasis of the Divine Nature & Human Nature of Christ, & of the Communion of Properties’  in The Doctrine of the Covenants, or a System of Didactic & Elenctic Theology  (Amsterdam, 1691), Locus 19, ‘Of the Economy under the New Testament in General & of the Messiah’, pp. 518-36

Braun (1628-1708) was a Cartesian, Dutch, reformed minister.

Heidegger, Johann H. – The Marrow of Christian Theology: an Introductory Epitome of the Body of Theology  (Zurich, 1713)

Locus 17, ‘Of the Person of Jesus Christ’

Theses 1-3.  Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ
4-7.  Of the Person & Natures of Jesus Christ
8-17.  Of the Conception of Jesus Christ & his Acts
18-20.  Of the Union of Natures in Christ
21-24.  Of the Communication of Grace Having Been Made to the Human Nature
25-27.  Of the Communication of Properties
28.  Of the Communication of Office & Honor



That Christ’s Body was Wholly from Mary  and not created ex nihilo, either wholly or in part.



Hooper, John – ‘A Lesson of the Incarnation of Christ’  in Later Writings (Parker Society), pp. 1-18



Turretin, Francis – Institutes (P&R), vol. 2, 13th Topic,

Q. 5, ‘Was the human nature assumed by the Logos like ours in all respects (sin excepted) and his flesh taken from the substance of the blessed virgin; or did it come down from heaven?  The former we affirm; the latter we deny against the Anabaptists.’  306-310

sections 10-12  of Q. 11, ‘How was Christ conceived from the Holy Spirit and born of the blessed virgin?’  342-43

Heidegger, Johann – Locus 17, section IV, pp. 118-19  in The Concise Marrow of Theology  trans. Casey Carmichael  (RHB, 2019), pp. 117-23


Order of Quotes




Heppe, Heinrich – Reformed Dogmatics  ed. Ernst Bizer  (1950; Wipf & Stock, 2007), ch. 17

sections 10 & 11, pp. 421 & 424

“‘It is the conception of Christ, by which without male action and with the sole blood of the Virgin Mary his human nature was formed, sanctified by the operation of the H. Spirit, assumed by the Son of God and united personally to Himself.’ (a Diest, p. 178)”

“Rissen (XI, 25): ‘By the aid of the Holy Spirit the Son assumed human nature from the blood of the Virgin Mary…  Further, the Spirit’s attitude here is not material but efficient only, δημιουργικὸς not σπερματικος; so that He might be conceived by the Spirit’s power, not substance; not by generation but by benediction and consecration; so that the preposition ἐκ is the mark of efficient cause, as often elsewhere, Rom. 11:36 (‘of Him and through Him and to Him are all things’), since all things are said to be of God and 1 Jn. 3:9, the good are born ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ.  From this it is clear that the ἐκ in Mt. 1:18, 20 is used for ἀπό.’ (Cf. Alting, p. 996).

In this sense must be answered the question raised by the Socinians, whether the Holy Spirit is to be described as the Father of Jesus Christ.  ‘For since the title of father requires generation from the substance of him who generates and the generation of a nature like itself, and neither occurs here, it is evident that the Holy Spirit cannot be called the Father of Christ.’ — Wolleb 63.  ‘The Holy Spirit is not the material but the efficient cause of the conception of Christ.  He was conceived not of his substance but of his power, not by generation but by command and blessing.’ (Aug.)”


section 12, p. 425

“Keckermann 323f.: (2) ‘Of the seed and blood of the Virgin Mary was formed Christ’s flesh, the Holy Spirit adding quickening force to this material.  Of course the seed and blood of the Virgin Mary also possessed their own vital and animal spirits, as other men’s seed usually has.  But these were by no means sufficient for the plastic or formative force of the foetus in question.  And so the Holy Spirit’s extraordinary shadowing and quickening were added: whence also it is said to have been conceived of the Holy Spirit, a phrase and manner of speaking which is human and metaphorical, not strictly appropriate.–(3) Thus Christ’s incarnation was at once ordinary and extraordinary: ordinary as regards the material supplied by the Virgin Mary, extraordinary as regards the formative force added to this material…'”


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. 113-4

“Controversy – Is Jesus Christ the natural Son of God because He was generated from eternity from the Father by a communication of the nature and not called “Son” on account of His conception by the Holy Spirit or anything else? We affirm against the Socinians.  Arguments:

2. He is God’s own (proprius) Son (Rom. 8:32), but he who has not been generated from His substance is only more loosely speaking (improprius) a son.”


p. 117

ҤX. The Son assumed the human nature from the blood of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.

§XI. And although the Holy Spirit can be said to have formed Christ’s body, created His soul, and joined them together, the Holy Spirit is not, however, the father of Christ, since nothing is generated from Him.”


p. 118

“Controversy 2 – Did Christ have his flesh from the substance and blood of the Virgin Mary?  We affirm against the Anabaptists.


1. He is the seed of the woman, Abraham, and David; therefore, He has His substance from them (Gen. 3:15, 22:18; Rom. 1:3).

2. He is from the fathers according to the flesh (Rom. 9:5), from Judah (Heb. 7:16), and from the loins of David (Acts 2:30).

3. He is the Son of man (Mt. 9:6) and David (21:9), the fruit of the womb of Mary (Lk. 1:42), and just like other infants (Heb. 2:14).

4. He has a genealogy from the Fathers (Mt. 1, Lk. 3).

5. He is a shoot from the root of Jesse (Is. 11:1).


1. Women do not have seed.  Reply.  Nonsense (Lev. 18:9-10, 12).

2. He would be a sinner.  Reply.  No, He is from Adam as to nature, not as to moral state, because He is another Adam (1 Cor. 15:45).

3. He is from heaven (Jn. 3).  Reply.  Sent by the God whose throne is in heaven like the baptism of John (Mt. 21:25).

4. He is not from earth but heaven (1 Cor. 15:48).  Reply.  In holiness and power.

5.  The Word became flesh (Jn. 1:14).  By assuming flesh from Mary.


Historical Theology

Irwin, Joyce – ‘Embryology & the Incarnation: A Sixteenth-Century Debate’  The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 9, no. 3 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 93-104

Irwin analyzes the views of Menno Simons (Anabaptist), Guy de Bres (Reformed) and Michael Servetus (heretic).



Whether & in What Way Christ was Under the Law?  (Mt. 17:24-27; 21:38; Gal. 4:4-5; Heb. 1:2)


Campos, Junior, Heber Carlos – Part III, Ch. 7.3, ‘The Person of Christ in Relationship to the Law’, pp. 275-85  in Johannes Piscator (1546-1625) and the Consequent Development of the Doctrine of the Imputation of Christ’s Active Obedience  PhD diss.  (Calvin Theological Seminary, 2009)

As to a final synthesized answer on the question, we recommend the answer and distinctions that Turretin makes on pp. 283-4, from his Institutes, vol. 2, 14th Topic, Question 13, on Active Obedience, sections 15-16, pp. 449-50.



Peter van Mastricht

Theoretical Practical Theology (RHB), vol. 3, bk. 3, ch. 12, section 9, ‘Was it [the CoW] also entered into with the second Adam?’

“Certainly from one perspective, as a creature and as man, it seems that He [Christ] cannot be exempted from the moral government of God, nor otherwise could He as a man have merited anything for Himself.  From another perspective, if He were in Adam under the covenant of nature, then it would seem that in and with Adam who sinned, He violated that same covenant, which is beyond absurd.

Therefore it seems most safe to state: although as a rational creature He cannot be exempted from moral government with respect to his natural duties, yet He could have been withdrawn by God from the same moral governance in the positive duties, such as the commandment not to eat of the forbidden fruit (upon the transgression of which the sin of the human race


Latin Articles


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

tract 2

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

Of the Presupposed Condition of the Priestly Office, which is on the Obedience of Christ to the Law

tract 3

1. Of the Obedience, Satisfaction & Merit of Christ



The Covenant of Redemption (which obliged Christ to fulfill the law for his elect by way of covenant).

Whether Christ Merited Glory for Himself



Could Christ have Gotten Sick?




van Mastricht, Peter – Theoretical Pratical Theology  (RHB), vol. 4, bk. 5, ch. 4

section 28

“but also made Him like unto men, in fact united Him with men, and not that He might command men, but that He might become like a child (Isa. 9:6), indeed a slave (Phil. 2:7), and even a worm (Ps. 22:6), and not this only, but also exposed Him to the law, to weaknesses and sicknesses of every kind (Gal. 4:4; Heb. 4:15; Isa. 53:2–6).”


section 29

“He willed to assume (4) not only the nature and the natural affections of the nature, but also its weaknesses, and in addition all its weaknesses, however lowly, provided they are not shameful and
sinful (Heb. 4:15)…”


section 31

“(3) In the case of weaknesses and diseases, because the Son of God also assumed our nature, which was exposed to our weaknesses and diseases (Isa. 53:3–4, 10), so that he might heal our weaknesses and diseases (Matt. 4:23).”





Aquinas, Thomas – Summa Theologica, pt. 3, a Treatise on the Incarnation

Question 14, Of the Defects of Body Assumed by the Son of God  4 Articles

Aquinas doesn’t here answer this specific question, but the thrust of his answers leans towards: Yes.

(3) ‘Whether His body was decomposed in the tomb? [No]’  in Question 51, Of Christ’s Burial (4 Articles)

“It is written (Ps. 16:10): “Nor wilt Thou suffer Thy holy one to see corruption”: and [John the] Damascene (De Fide Orth. iii) expounds this of the corruption which comes of dissolving into elements….

…It was not fitting for Christ’s body to putrefy, or in any way be reduced to dust…  Christ’s death ought not to come from weakness of nature, lest it might not be believed to be voluntary: and therefore He willed to die, not from sickness, but from suffering inflicted on Him, to which He gave Himself up willingly.”



Murray, David – ‘Was Jesus Ever Ill?’  (2017)  15 paragraphs

Murray makes distinctions, gives Biblical support for his position, and quotes Smeaton, Spurgeon and Goodwin to a like effect.


Order of Quotes





William Perkins

An Exposition of the Symbol or Creed of the Apostles…  (Cambridge, 1595), p. 152

“Secondly, infirmities be either general, or personal; general, which appertain to the whole nature of man, and are to be found in every man that comes of Adam: as to be born unlearned, and subject to natural affections, as sorrow, anger, etc.  Personal, are such as appertain to some particular men, and not to all, and arise of some private causes and particular judgments of God, as to be born a fool, to be sick of an ague, consumption, dropsy, pleuresy, and such like diseases.

Now the first sort be in Christ, and not the second: for as He took not the person of any man, but only man’s nature, so was it sufficient for Him to take unto Him the infirmities of man’s nature, though He took not the private infirmities of any man’s person.  And the reason why Christ would put on not only the substance and faculties of a true man, but also his infirmities, was that He might show Himself to be very man indeed, also that He might suffer for us both in body and soul, and that he might give us an example of patience in bearing all manner of evil for God’s glory and the good of our neighbor.”



Thomas Goodwin

The Heart of Christ in Heaven to Sinners on Earth, section 3, p. 136

“…it may be said of Christ whilst He was here below that in the same sense or manner wherein He bore our sicknesses, Mt. 8:17 (who yet was never personally tainted with any disease) in the same sense or manner He may be said to have born our sins, namely thus:

Christ when He came to an elect child of his that was sick, whom He healed, his manner was, first by a sympathy and pity to afflict Himself with their sickness, as if it had been his own:  Thus at his raising of Lazarus it is said that He groaned in spirit, etc. and so by the merit of taking the disease upon Himself, through a fellow-feeling of it, He took it off from them, being for them afflicted, as if He Himself had been sick.

And this seems to be the best interpretation that I have met with of that difficult place in Mt. 8:16-17 where it is said:

‘He healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, [and bare our sicknesses.]’

Now in the like way or manner unto this, of bearing our sicknesses, He might beare our sins too…”


Johannes Maccovius

Scholastic Discourse: The Distinctions & Rules of Theology & Philosophy  Buy  (1644), p. 221

“44. Christ is similar to us in all things, according to nature, but not according to all the weaknesses of nature.

These weaknesses are either culpable such as sins: in these things He is not like us; or they are inculpable , such as the affects of sorrow, grief, tears, hunger,
weariness: in these things He is like us.

Next, weaknesses are either a general punishment of sin, such as the possibility to die, or they are a particular punishment, such as becoming ill.  Christ did take up the weaknesses of the first category, not those of the second.”


John Owen

Works, vol. 3, Pneumatologia, or a Discourse Concerning the Holy Spirit, bk. 2, ch. 3, p. 167

“Although he took on him those infirmities which belong unto our human nature as such, and are inseparable from it until it be glorified, yet he took none of our particular infirmities which cleave unto our persons, occasioned either by the vice of our constitutions or irregularity in the use of our bodies.

Those natural passions of our minds which are capable of being the moans of affliction and trouble, as grief, sorrow, and the like, he took upon him; as also those infirmities of nature which are troublesome to the body, as hunger, thirst, weariness, and pain,—yea, the purity of his holy constitution made him more highly sensible of these things than any of the children of men;—but as to our bodily diseases and distempers, which personally adhere unto us, upon the disorder and vice of our constitutions, he was absolutely free from them.”



George Smeaton

The Doctrine of the Atonement taught by Christ Himself  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1868), pp. 130-31

“Nor was this perfect exemption from violence or injury at the hand of men a mere isolated fact.  It
was part of the general scheme or of the understood relation to human life occupied by Christ.

He was not to dash His foot against a stone (Ps. xci.).  Disease in the ordinary course, or as it is commonly contracted, could not touch Him, because He did not come within the power of sin in the world; and hence we never read of His contracting any distemper or disease like other men.  Nor could death in any of the thousand forms in which it comes to other men, come to Him, till He consented…”


Charles Spurgeon

‘Help for your Sickness’  on Matthew 8:16-17  (1890)  Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 36

“Christ was able to heal the diseases of men, because he bare them Himself.  Do not think that our Lord Jesus was actually diseased: He suffered greatly, but I read not that any disease was upon Him.  Probably there was no man in whom there was less tendency to natural disease than in Him.  His pure and blessed body was not subject to the diseases which are brought upon men through sin being in them.  How, then, did He take upon Him our sicknesses and our sorrows?”


Latin Article


Voet, Gisbert – Of the Defects of the Body  in Syllabus of Theological Problems  (Utrecht, 1643), pt. 1, section 2, tract 2   Abbr.




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