John to be persuaded that Christ is truly God, and secondly because the faith of the Church on this point becomes luminously clear as we follow the Christological controversies of the first six centuries.
The Catholic Church has ever re-echoed the profession of faith of St.
If God truly became man, while remaining God, one might say of him that God died on the cross, that he was born of the Virgin Mary, that Mary was the mother of God, that Christ, who was passible and mortal according to his humanity, was omnipotent, eternal, the Creator of all things, according to his divinity.
Some modern historians have tried to show that Cyril was actuated chiefly, if not solely, by motives of jealousy in his opposition to Nestorius; the latter being represented as the champion of orthodoxy, unjustly persecuted by his powerful rival in Alexandria.
Paul in his epistle to the Colossians, and the same are probably in his mind when, at the beginning of his epistle to the Hebrews, he extols the majesty of Christ above all the categories of the heavenly spirits: To whom of the angels hath he said at an time, Thou art my son, this day I have begotten thee? Paul of Samosata, then, taught that Christ was a man, but a man in whom the mind of Godthe Logosdwelt in a special way; if he is called God it is only by reason of his intimate union with the Word of God.
In fact it is in this work that Tertullian provides the first attempt at a technical formulation of the mystery of the Incarnation: We see plainly the twofold state, which is not confounded, but conjoined in one Person, Jesus Christ, God and man. The end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth were occupied with the great Trinitarian heresies, into which we cannot enter here, except to remark that the Christological problem could not be precisely formulated or solved until the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity of Persons in God had been put beyond misunderstanding.If this were so then Christ would have added little to what was already common knowledge among the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, or indeed to what the human reason is able, even without revelation, to discern.The Jews, who knew their Scriptures well, could have found in any one page of their sacred books abundant evidence of the providential care of God for the chosen people of Israel, and the author of the Book of Wisdom speaks clearly enough of the wisdom of God that reacheth from end to end mightily and ordereth all things sweetly (viii 1), ordering all things in measure and number and weight (xi 21); for he made the little and the great, and he hath equally care of all.Peter, the rock and foundation upon which she is built: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God: so that the dogmatic letter of Pope Leo I (449), in which the dogma of the hypostatic union was defined in precisely the same terms in which theologians teach it today, was acclaimed by the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon with the cry: Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo.To the history of these controversies more particular attention will be paid, since the study of them will enable us to understand the exact meaning of the famous dogmatic definitions of the Church on the union of the two natures in the one person of Christ.Christ is shown to be the only-begotten son of God, not merely a partaker of the divine nature, but truly and essentially God, because he enjoys this intimate and intuitive knowledge of the divinity as his own natural right.This then is the meaning of the divine Fatherhood which Christ came to reveal to us: the true and only-begotten Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, assumes our human nature that we may be made partakers of his divinity; the divine life, which is in the Word incarnate in all its fullness, is communicated to us through his humanity; Gods own Son lives and dies as man in our midst in order that we may become co-heirs with him of eternal life, adopted sons of God by a real participation in that divine nature which is his by eternal generation.In the endeavor to make a compromise between Christianity and their philosophical tenets they taught that Christ had not a real body, but merely the appearance of a body, thus reducing the whole of Christs human life to a pretence; hence the name given to these heretics, the Docetists (from a Greek word meaning to appear). John wrote his Gospel to prove the divinity of Christ, and it is to this sect that he refers in his first epistle as the antichrist who denies that Jesus is the Son of God (ii 22, 23).Certain Jews who set the angels higher than Jesus are refuted by St. Forasmuch as the two substances The mention of the see of Antioch makes it opportune at this point to call attention to the two great theological schools of Alexandria and Antioch, which played so important a part in the Christological conotroversies of the fifth century.But the revelation of Christ concerning the Fatherhood of God is a mystery which in other generations was not known to the sons of men; it had been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things (Eph.iii 5, 9); it is a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory. Peter made his profession of faith in Christ, saying: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, Christ answered him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven.