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Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical notes. Volume II. The History of Creeds.
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III. SYMBOLUM CHALCEDONENSE.

THE SYMBOL OF CHALCEDON.

 

Oct. 22d, 451.

 

Ἑπόμενοι τοίνυν τοῖς ἁγίοις πατράσιν ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν ὁμολογεῖν υἱὸν τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν συμφώνως ἅπαντες ἐκδιδάσκομεν, τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν θεότητι καὶ τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν ἀνθρωπότητι, θεὸν ἀληθῶς καὶ ἄνθρωπον ἀληθῶς τὸν αὐτὸν, ἐκ ψυχῆς λογικῆς 6565    Against Apollinaris, who denied that Christ had a ψυχὴ λογική , anima rationalis , or νοῦς, πνεῦμα , and who reduced the Incarnation to the assumption of a human body ( σῶμα ) with an animal soul ( ψυχὴ ἄλογος ), inhabited by the Divine Logos. But the rational spirit of man requires salvation as much as the body. καὶ σώματος, ὁμοούσιον 6666     Ὁμοούσιος , consubstantialis (al. coessentialis ), is used in both clauses, though with a shade of difference. Christ's homoousia with the Father implies numerical unity, or identity of essence (God being one in being, or monoousios); Christ's homoousia with men means only generic unity, or equality of nature. τῷ πατρὶ κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, καὶ ὁμοούσιον 6767     Ὁμοούσιος , consubstantialis (al. coessentialis ), is used in both clauses, though with a shade of difference. Christ's homoousia with the Father implies numerical unity, or identity of essence (God being one in being, or monoousios); Christ's homoousia with men means only generic unity, or equality of nature. τὸν αὐτὸν ἡμῖν κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα, κατὰ πάντα ὅμοιον ἡμῖν χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας· πρὸ αἰώνων μὲν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννηθέντα κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν τὸν αὐτὸν δἰ ἡμᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν ἐκ Μαρίας τῆς παρθένου τῆς θεοτόκου κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα ,6868    The predicate θεοτόκος , the Bringer-forth of God, Dei genitrix (al. quæ Deum peperit , or even divini numinis creatrix ), is directed against Nestorius, and was meant originally not so much to exalt the Virgin Mary, as to assert the true divinity of Christ and the realness of the Incarnation. Basil of Seleucia: Θεὸν σαρκωθέντα τεκοῦσα θεοτόκος ὀνομάζεται. It is immediately after qualified by the phrase κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα ( secundum humanitatem ), in distinction from κατὰ τὴν θεότητα ( secundum deitatem ). This is a very important limitation, and necessary to guard against Mariolatry, and the heathenish, blasphemous, and contradictory notion that the uncreated, eternal God can be born in time. Mary was the mother not merely of the human nature of Jesus of Nazareth, but of the theanthropic person of Jesus Christ; yet not of his eternal Godhead (the λόγος ἄσαρκος ), but of his incarnate person, or the Logos united to humanity (the λόγος ἔνσαρκος ). In like manner, the subject of the Passion was the theanthropic person; yet not according to his divine nature, which in itself is incapable of suffering, but according to his human nature, which was the organ of suffering. There is no doubt, however, that the unscriptural terms θεοτόκος , Dei genitrix , Deipara , mater Dei , which remind one of the heathen mothers of gods, have greatly promoted Mariolatry, which aided in the defeat of Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus, 431. It is safer to adhere to the New Testament designation of Mary as μήτηρ Ἰησοῦ , or μήτηρ τοῦ Κυρίου (Luke i. 43). ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν Χριστόν, υἱόν, κύριον, μονογενῆ, ἐκ δύο φύσεων [ἐν δύο φύσεσιν] ,6969     Ἐν δύο φύσεσιν , and all the Latin translations, in duabus naturis (only the Roman editors in the margin read ex d. n.), are directed against Eutyches. The present Greek text reads, it is true, ἐκ δύο φύσεων , from two natures; but this signifies, and, according to the connection, can only signify, essentially the same thing; though, separately taken, it admits also of an Eutychian and Monophysite interpretation, namely, that Christ has arisen from the confluence of two natures, and since the act of the Incarnation, or unition of both, has only one nature. Understood in that sense, Dioscurus at the Council was very willing to accept the formula ἐκ δύο φύσεων . But for this very reason the Orientals, and also the Roman delegates, protested with one voice against ἐκ , and insisted upon another formula with ἐν , which was adopted. Baur (Gesch. der Lehre v. d. Dreieinigkeit, I. p. 820 sq.) and Dorner (Gesch. d. Lehre v. d. Person Christi, II. p. 129) assert that ἐκ is the accurate and original expression, and is a concession to Monophysitism; that it also agrees better (?) with the verb γνωρίζειν (to recognize by certain tokens); but that it was from the very beginning changed by the Occidentals into ἐν . But, with Gieseler, Neander (iv. 988), Hefele (Conciliengesch. II. 451 sq.), Beck (Dogmengeschichte, p. 251), and Hahn (l.c. p. 118, note 6), we prefer the view that ἐν δύο φύσεσιν was the original reading of the symbol, and that it was afterwards altered in the interest of Monophysitism. This is proved by the whole course of the proceedings at the fifth session of the Council of Chalcedon, where the expression ἐκ δύο φύσεσιν was protested against, and is confirmed by the testimony of the Abbot Euthymius, a contemporary, and by that of Severus, Evagrius, and Leontius of Byzantium, as well as by the Latin translations. Severus, the Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch since 513, charges the Fathers of Chalcedon with the inexcusable crime of having taught ἐν δύο φύσεσιν ἀδιαιρέτοις γνωρίζεσθαι τὸν χριστόν (see Mansi, Conc. VII. p. 839). Evagrius (H. E. II. c. 5) maintains that both formulas amount to essentially the same thing, and reciprocally condition each other. Dorner also affirms the same. His words are: 'The Latin formula has "to acknowledge Christ as Son in two natures;" the Greek has "to recognize Christ as Son from two natures," which is plainly the same thought. The Latin formula is only a free but essentially faithful translation, only that its coloring expresses somewhat more definitely still Christ's subsisting in two natures, and is therefore more literally conformable to the Roman type of doctrine' (l.c. II. 129). From my Church History, Vol. III. p. 745 sq. ἀσυγχύτως, ἀτρέπτως ,7070     ἀσυγχύτως , inconfuse , and ἀτρέπτως , immutabiliter (without confusion, without conversion or change), are directed against Eutychianism, which mixes and confounds the human and the divine natures in Christ ( σύγχυσις ), and teaches an absorption of the former into the latter; hence the phrases 'God is born; God suffered; God was crucified; God died.' The Monophysites (so called after the Council of Chalcedon) rejected the Eutychian theory of an absorption, but nevertheless taught only one composite nature of Christ ( μία φύσις σύνθετος ), making his humanity a mere accident of the immutable divine substance, and using the liturgical shibboleth 'God has been crucified' (without a qualifying 'according to the human nature,' or 'the flesh,' as the ( θεοτόκος is qualified in the Symbol of Chalcedon). Hence they were also called Theopaschites. They divided into several sects and parties on subtle and idle questions, especially the question whether Christ's body before the resurrection was corruptible or incorruptible (hence the Phthartolaters, from φθαρτός and λάτρης , and Aphthartodocetæ). ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀχωρίστως 7171     ἀδιαιρέτως , indivise , ἀχωρίστως , inseparabiliter (without division, without separation), both in opposition to Nestorianism, which so emphasized the duality of natures, and the continued distinction between the human and the divine in Christ, as to lose sight of the unity of person, and to substitute for a real Incarnation a mere conjunction ( συνάφεια ), a moral union or intimate friendship between the Divine Logos and the man Jesus. Hence, also, the opposition to the term θεοτόκος , with which the Nestorian controversy began.
   With the Symbol of Chalcedon should be compared the semi-symbolical Epistola dogmatica of Pope Leo, I. to the Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople, which contains a lengthy and masterly exposition of the orthodox Christology against the heresy of Eutyches, and was read and approved by the Council of Chalcedon, as the voice of Peter speaking through 'the Archbishop of old Rome.' It is dated June 13, 449, and is found in the works of Leo M. (Ep. 24 in Quesnel's ed., Ep. 28 in the ed. Ballerini), in Mansi, Conc. Tom. V. pp. 1366–90 (Latin and Greek, with the different readings), Hardouin, Conc. Tom. II. pp. 290–300 (also Latin and Greek, but without the variations), Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, Vol. II. pp. 335–346 (German and Latin), partly also in Denzinger, Enchir. p. 43.
γνωριζόμενον· οὐδαμοῦ τῆς τῶν φύσεων διαφορᾶς ἀνῃρημένης διὰ τὴν ἕνωσιν, σωζομένης δὲ μᾶλλον τῆς ἰδιότητος ἑκατέρας φύσεως καὶ εἰς ἓν πρόσωπον καὶ μίαν ὑπὸστασιν συντρεχούσης, οὐκ εἰς δύο πρόσωπα μεριζόμενον ἢ διαιρούμενον, ἀλλ᾽ ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν υἱὸν καὶ μονογενῆ, θεὸν λόγον, κύριον Ἰησοῦν

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul7272    Against Apollinaris, who denied that Christ had a ψυχὴ λογική , anima rationalis , or νοῦς, πνεῦμα , and who reduced the Incarnation to the assumption of a human body ( σῶμα ) with an animal soul ( ψυχὴ ἄλογος ), inhabited by the Divine Logos. But the rational spirit of man requires salvation as much as the body. and body; consubstantial [coessential]7373     Ὁμοούσιος , consubstantialis (al. coessentialis ), is used in both clauses, though with a shade of difference. Christ's homoousia with the Father implies numerical unity, or identity of essence (God being one in being, or monoousios); Christ's homoousia with men means only generic unity, or equality of nature. with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;7474    The predicate θεοτόκος , the Bringer-forth of God, Dei genitrix (al. quæ Deum peperit , or even divini numinis creatrix ), is directed against Nestorius, and was meant originally not so much to exalt the Virgin Mary, as to assert the true divinity of Christ and the realness of the Incarnation. Basil of Seleucia: Θεὸν σαρκωθέντα τεκοῦσα θεοτόκος ὀνομάζεται. It is immediately after qualified by the phrase κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα ( secundum humanitatem ), in distinction from κατὰ τὴν θεότητα ( secundum deitatem ). This is a very important limitation, and necessary to guard against Mariolatry, and the heathenish, blasphemous, and contradictory notion that the uncreated, eternal God can be born in time. Mary was the mother not merely of the human nature of Jesus of Nazareth, but of the theanthropic person of Jesus Christ; yet not of his eternal Godhead (the λόγος ἄσαρκος ), but of his incarnate person, or the Logos united to humanity (the λόγος ἔνσαρκος ). In like manner, the subject of the Passion was the theanthropic person; yet not according to his divine nature, which in itself is incapable of suffering, but according to his human nature, which was the organ of suffering. There is no doubt, however, that the unscriptural terms θεοτόκος , Dei genitrix , Deipara , mater Dei , which remind one of the heathen mothers of gods, have greatly promoted Mariolatry, which aided in the defeat of Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus, 431. It is safer to adhere to the New Testament designation of Mary as μήτηρ Ἰησοῦ , or μήτηρ τοῦ Κυρίου (Luke i. 43). one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures,7575     Ἐν δύο φύσεσιν , and all the Latin translations, in duabus naturis (only the Roman editors in the margin read ex d. n.), are directed against Eutyches. The present Greek text reads, it is true, ἐκ δύο φύσεων , from two natures; but this signifies, and, according to the connection, can only signify, essentially the same thing; though, separately taken, it admits also of an Eutychian and Monophysite interpretation, namely, that Christ has arisen from the confluence of two natures, and since the act of the Incarnation, or unition of both, has only one nature. Understood in that sense, Dioscurus at the Council was very willing to accept the formula ἐκ δύο φύσεων . But for this very reason the Orientals, and also the Roman delegates, protested with one voice against ἐκ , and insisted upon another formula with ἐν , which was adopted. Baur (Gesch. der Lehre v. d. Dreieinigkeit, I. p. 820 sq.) and Dorner (Gesch. d. Lehre v. d. Person Christi, II. p. 129) assert that ἐκ is the accurate and original expression, and is a concession to Monophysitism; that it also agrees better (?) with the verb γνωρίζειν (to recognize by certain tokens); but that it was from the very beginning changed by the Occidentals into ἐν . But, with Gieseler, Neander (iv. 988), Hefele (Conciliengesch. II. 451 sq.), Beck (Dogmengeschichte, p. 251), and Hahn (l.c. p. 118, note 6), we prefer the view that ἐν δύο φύσεσιν was the original reading of the symbol, and that it was afterwards altered in the interest of Monophysitism. This is proved by the whole course of the proceedings at the fifth session of the Council of Chalcedon, where the expression ἐκ δύο φύσεσιν was protested against, and is confirmed by the testimony of the Abbot Euthymius, a contemporary, and by that of Severus, Evagrius, and Leontius of Byzantium, as well as by the Latin translations. Severus, the Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch since 513, charges the Fathers of Chalcedon with the inexcusable crime of having taught ἐν δύο φύσεσιν ἀδιαιρέτοις γνωρίζεσθαι τὸν χριστόν (see Mansi, Conc. VII. p. 839). Evagrius (H. E. II. c. 5) maintains that both formulas amount to essentially the same thing, and reciprocally condition each other. Dorner also affirms the same. His words are: 'The Latin formula has "to acknowledge Christ as Son in two natures;" the Greek has "to recognize Christ as Son from two natures," which is plainly the same thought. The Latin formula is only a free but essentially faithful translation, only that its coloring expresses somewhat more definitely still Christ's subsisting in two natures, and is therefore more literally conformable to the Roman type of doctrine' (l.c. II. 129). From my Church History, Vol. III. p. 745 sq. inconfusedly, unchangeably,7676     ἀσυγχύτως , inconfuse , and ἀτρέπτως , immutabiliter (without confusion, without conversion or change), are directed against Eutychianism, which mixes and confounds the human and the divine natures in Christ ( σύγχυσις ), and teaches an absorption of the former into the latter; hence the phrases 'God is born; God suffered; God was crucified; God died.' The Monophysites (so called after the Council of Chalcedon) rejected the Eutychian theory of an absorption, but nevertheless taught only one composite nature of Christ ( μία φύσις σύνθετος ), making his humanity a mere accident of the immutable divine substance, and using the liturgical shibboleth 'God has been crucified' (without a qualifying 'according to the human nature,' or 'the flesh,' as the ( θεοτόκος is qualified in the Symbol of Chalcedon). Hence they were also called Theopaschites. They divided into several sects and parties on subtle and idle questions, especially the question whether Christ's body before the resurrection was corruptible or incorruptible (hence the Phthartolaters, from φθαρτός and λάτρης , and Aphthartodocetæ). indivisibly, inseparably;7777     ἀδιαιρέτως , indivise , ἀχωρίστως , inseparabiliter (without division, without separation), both in opposition to Nestorianism, which so emphasized the duality of natures, and the continued distinction between the human and the divine in Christ, as to lose sight of the unity of person, and to substitute for a real Incarnation a mere conjunction ( συνάφεια ), a moral union or intimate friendship between the Divine Logos and the man Jesus. Hence, also, the opposition to the term θεοτόκος , with which the Nestorian controversy began.
   With the Symbol of Chalcedon should be compared the semi-symbolical Epistola dogmatica of Pope Leo, I. to the Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople, which contains a lengthy and masterly exposition of the orthodox Christology against the heresy of Eutyches, and was read and approved by the Council of Chalcedon, as the voice of Peter speaking through 'the Archbishop of old Rome.' It is dated June 13, 449, and is found in the works of Leo M. (Ep. 24 in Quesnel's ed., Ep. 28 in the ed. Ballerini), in Mansi, Conc. Tom. V. pp. 1366–90 (Latin and Greek, with the different readings), Hardouin, Conc. Tom. II. pp. 290–300 (also Latin and Greek, but without the variations), Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, Vol. II. pp. 335–346 (German and Latin), partly also in Denzinger, Enchir. p. 43.
the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as

Χριστόν· καθάπερ ἄνωθεν οἱ προφῆται περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς ἡμᾶς ὁ κύριος Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐξεπαίδευσε καὶ τὸ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῖν καραδέδωκε σύμβολον. the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

 

SYMBOLUM CHALCEDONENSE. VERSIO LATINA.

 

Sequentes igitur sanctos patres, unum eundemque confiteri Filium et Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum consonanter omnes docemus, eundem perfectum in deitate et eundem perfectum in humanitate; Deum verum et hominem verum eundem ex anima rationali et corpore; consubstantialem Patri secundum deitatem, consubstantialem nobis eundem secundum humanitatem; 'per omnia nobis similem, absque peccato' (Heb. iv.): ante secula quidem de Patre genitum secundum deitatem; in novissimis autem diebus eundem propter nos et propter nostram salutem ex Maria virgine, Dei genitrice secundum humanitatem; unum eundemque Christum, filium, Dominum, unigenitum, in duabus naturis inconfuse, immutabiliter, indivise, inseperabiliter agnoscendum: nusquam sublata differentia naturarum propter unitionem, magisque salva proprietate utriusque naturæ, et in unam personam atque subsistentiam concurrente: non in duos personas partitum aut divisum, sed unum eundemque Filium et unigenitum, Deum verbum, Dominum Jesum Christum; sicut ante prophetæ de eo et ipse nos Jesus Christus erudivit et patrum nobis symbolum tradidit.

 

NOTES.

The Greek text, together with the Latin version, is taken from the ὅρος τῆς ἐν Χαλκηδόνι τετάρτης Συνόδου , Act. V. in Mansi, Conc. Tom. VII. p. 115. We have inserted ἐν δύο φύσεσιν (see note 4). There are several other Latin versions which Mansi gives, Tom. VII. pp. 115 and 751–758, with the various readings. See also Hahn, l.c. pp. 117 sqq.

The Creed is preceded in the acts of the Council by an express confirmation of the Nicene Creed in both forms, 'the Creed of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers of Nicæa,' and 'the Creed of the hundred and fifty holy Fathers who were assembled at Constantinople.' The Fathers of Chalcedon declare that 'this wise and saving Creed [of Nicæa] would be sufficient for the full acknowledgment and confirmation of the true religion; for it teaches completely the perfect doctrine concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and fully explains the Incarnation of the Lord to those who receive it faithfully.' The addition of a new Creed is justified by the subsequent Christological heresies (Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, and Eutychianism). After stating it, the Synod solemnly prohibits, on pain of deposisition and excommunication, the setting forth of any other Creed for those 'who are desirous of turning to the acknowledgment of the truth from Heathenism and Judaism.'


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