Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am referring to the following clause ( clause III) in "The Anathematisms of the Emperor Justinian Against Origen"

If anyone says or thinks that the soul of the Lord pre-existed and was united with God the Word before the Incarnation and Conception of the Virgin, let him be anathema.

This is inconsistent with an important pillar of orthodox Christianity ( not to be confused with eastern orthodoxy) doctrines: the doctrine of Trinity, which states that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit always exist.

All three divine Persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—share the one being of God. The Trinity doctrine explains that Jesus was not created sometime prior to his incarnation, but existed eternally as God.

Obviously these two can't be both right, so, how can "The Anathematisms of the Emperor Justinian Against Origen" and the Trinity doctrine be reconciled from orthodox Christianity point of view? Or the view expressed in "he Anathematisms of the Emperor Justinian Against Origen" is never a part of Christianity teaching?

share|improve this question
Are you assuming that one of these has to be correct or does your question allow for both ideas to be falsehoods. – gideon marx Jun 25 '14 at 8:03
For the sake of argument, I allow for both ideas to be 1) both correct, 2) both wrong, 3) one correct and another wrong – Graviton Jun 25 '14 at 8:20
Souls are created by God. The 2nd Person of the Trinity is not a creature. Ergo. – Geremia Jun 25 '14 at 21:07
up vote 10 down vote accepted

This is one of the popular misconception of trinity and incarnation.

Jesus as Logos (The Word) is divine. He existed in that form for eternity in the Trinity. But the humanity of Christ did NOT exist before incarnation. Humanity of Christ consists of his human soul and body. Humans are made up of soul and body, so when Christ became human, ie., when he took human flesh (physical) and soul (spiritual) form, he raised it to the level of his divinity. This raising was completed to the fullest extent in his resurrection thru his glorified humanity (body and soul).

"At the very instant (of incarnation) that there was flesh, it was the flesh of the Word of God, it was flesh animated with a rational and intellectual soul." - Damascene (De Fide Orth. iii)

Note that God the Father or God the Holy Spirit do NOT have a soul.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.