The Hypostatic Union

In AD 451, a great Protestant council (a purposeful but accurate anachronism) met under the authority of the Emperor Marcian. Over 500 delegates from across the Christian world were in attendance making the gathering the most attended of the first seven great councils. The group met in Chalcedon, which is in modern Turkey, not too far from modern day Instanbul. At this meeting, several items were debated. The talks were as usual centered around biblical topics. Consensus was a great goal in the empire. Side note: we cannot underestimate the divide of language in all of this in history. The main representativie groups were divided by Latin and Greek. Aspects of Jesus’ Virgin birth and human nature were cheif among the doctrines they sought to codify. No council “settles everything” from that day on. Not everyone accepts the resolutions of every council. Not everyone needs to as not every matter should be considered “essential doctrine.”

The Christians in that day, naturally obeying the later named but ever present Christian doctrine of Sola Scriptura, went to work to understand the Bible. Tradition that aided them in that work were always, of course, welcome. Part of their work comes to us in what’s called today the “Hypostatic Union.” Audio from me on this can be found here: and of course there’s no end to better materials from men people actually care to listen to all over the web.

The Hypostatic Union

Following, then, the holy Fathers, we all unanimously teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is to us One and the same Son, the Self-same Perfect in Godhead, the Self-same Perfect in Manhood; truly God and truly Man; the Self-same of a rational soul and body; co-essential with the Father according to the Godhead, the Self-same co-essential with us according to the Manhood; like us in all things, sin apart; before the ages begotten of the Father as to the Godhead, but in the last days, the Self-same, for us and for our salvation (born) of Mary the Virgin Theotokos as to the Manhood; One and the Same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten; acknowledged in Two Natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the difference of the Natures being in no way removed because of the Union, but rather the properties of each Nature being preserved, and (both) concurring into One Person and One Hypostasis; not as though He were parted or divided into Two Persons, but One and the Self-same Son and Only-begotten God, Word, Lord, Jesus Christ; even as from the beginning the prophets have taught concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself hath taught us, and as the Symbol of the Fathers hath handed down to us.
To this I say a hearty “amen.” I pray you do too. You should. It’s biblical. In one’s Christology, we see both Jesus’ true Deity, and also his true humanity. That is what this definition attempts to harmonize.

God bless!

Joseph Pittano

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