I'll give you an example of a divine person: God the Father. I'll give you an example of a human person: the apostle Paul.

According to Roman Catholic orthodoxy (note: cite it), is Jesus Christ a human person, a divine person, both, or none?

  • 4
    Are you aiming at differences in the understanding of hypostatic union here or just trying to identify the RCC as Chalcedonian or not or something else?
    – Caleb
    Feb 22, 2013 at 10:16
  • Nestorians believed Christ to be two persons: a human person and a divine person. Hence, they reject the term theotokos in reference to Mary, insisting she is only the mother of his humanity. This was considered heresy. I'd like to know what the RCC officially states about what kind of person Jesus is, whether human, divine, both or none, etc. I have no intent of discrediting the RCC; if anything, I respect the work it has done in establishing doctrine and unity, and so, I'm asking it first and foremost.
    – user900
    Feb 22, 2013 at 18:08
  • Answering according to your multiple choice may allow for and encourage an inaccurate interpretation. Christ is one person who is both fully human and fully divine. So, he's a human person, divine person, both, and by some interpretations, neither. I.e. ... all of the above?
    – svidgen
    Feb 25, 2013 at 17:46
  • When you say "fully human," are you referring to "person" (hypostasis) or "nature" (ousia)? My question is worded accurately and does not encourage an inaccurate interpretation. Those familiar with Catholic doctrine should be able to answer sufficiently. I gave all possible choices. Divine person, human person, both, or none. Can you think of anything else that could have been offered as a choice? If so, please suggest it and I will consider editing the choices.
    – user900
    Feb 25, 2013 at 18:07

6 Answers 6


According to Chalcedonian Doctrine (that is shared by Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Protestant churches) Christ is fully God and fully human.

Christ is however one person which is both God and human. He isn't a person of God that dwelled in a separate human person (which is the teaching of nestorianism).

The Oriental Orthodox (e.g. Coptic) churches reject the teaching of Chalcedonian Council, however they mostly declare, they are not monophysitic. The argument here is partly about the meaning of the work 'nature'.


In Chalcedonian Council, a letter from Pope Leo I called "Epistola Dogmatica", was endorsed which explains the mystery of the Incarnation.

Pope declared that :

“after the Incarnation what was proper to each nature and substance in Christ remained intact and both were united in one person, but so that each nature acted according to its own qualities and characteristics.”

Chalcedonian Council, also adopted a document saying:

We teach . . . one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, known in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation.



The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, 480, states,

Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in the unity of his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and men.

Ergo, the Lord Jesus Christ is a divine person.

  • That paragraph states that Jesus is true God and true man. I would interpret that as both human and divine. I would read the part in bold as explaining that the two natures are inseparable.
    – Belinda
    Jan 5, 2015 at 17:59
  • 1
    @Belinda: that is right. Christ’s two natures are one according to the hypostasis (a.k.a. person): that is the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union in a nutshell. Hence Christ is a Divine Person (Hypostasis). Jul 1, 2016 at 19:51
  • @SimplyAChristian, you might consider filling out your answer by specifying which divine Person we are referring to. For instance, you might mention no. 468 of the Catechism (referencing the Second Council of Constantinople), which specifies that the Person of Jesus is the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. Nov 7, 2016 at 17:00
  • @AthanasiusOfAlex I’m more concerned with whether Jesus is a divine person at all. Identifying which divine person he is, if indeed he is a divine person, deserves its own question, I suppose.
    – user900
    Nov 7, 2016 at 17:18

There are two issues here, which can unfortunately interact in a confusing way.

Part 1: Christ is one Person. He is fully human. He is also fully divine. That's what it means to have those two natures. So both "divine" and "human" can be correctly used as predicate adjectives describing Christ.

Part 2: Theologians have decided to use only the greater of the two natures, namely the divine, as an attributive adjective for Him. So they call Him a divine person, and they do not call him a human person.

This decision leads to the linguistically strange situation that theologians say that Christ is a person, that Christ is human, but not that Christ is a human person.


My dear friends, the nature of Jesus, the Son of God, the Word that is the beginning of all things that exist and the Word that became "flesh" is 'Divine-Human'. His nature are inseparable. He revealed Himself for us in order for us to see the face of God. Moses saw the back of God, but He is the only-begotten Son who knows the Father and He and the Father is, therefore through Him we have been given the grace to know and see the Father.

  • 1
    Welcome to the Christianity.SE! Your current post does not meet this SE's standards for answering questions, because it mainly does not include references. It will also be helpful, if you could label your theology using theological terms instead of describing it.
    – Double U
    Feb 7, 2015 at 17:56

Jesus Christ is one Person, a divine Person, with two natures, His divine nature, and His human nature. He cannot be, and is not, two persons. He is already the second Divine Person of the Most Holy Trinity, so He cannot logically be also a human person.

  • 1
    Welcome to Christianity.SE! Unfortunately, your answer doesn't include any references with which readers can verify your claims. See here and here for guidance on writing good answers. Apr 22, 2019 at 14:05
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