Would it be okay to say this:

Jesus Christ is both God and Man, which means that He possesses both divine and human nature. Divine nature in Him is from God the Father and the human nature in Him is from the virgin Mary.

or what I said just now - I am mostly concerned about the very last sentence - would be a heresy according to the teaching in the main-stream Christianity?

If the last sentence in the quote is a heresy, please, specify, which branch of Christianity considers that as heresy.

4 Answers 4


I'd imagine that would be a heresy of the heresy of modalism or arianism or something, but that's not a very precise answer since a heresy of a heresy could be anything.

So, if you want to identify a heresy to the doctrine of the incarnation it would have to deny that Mary is the Holy Mother of God. The heresy that denied that was Nestorianism. You can read St. Cyril give him the business in his 12 Anathemas.

The miracle of the Incarnation of Jesus took Mary's flesh and made Jesus, like God took part of Adam and made Eve, except in reverse; this is all very fitting and proper and a completion of the work of the OT, as it should be. Moreover, it is a mystery and a miracle that cannot be understood by reason alone, as it should be.

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    I don't see this as Nestorian (since it isn't over-emphasizing his humanity) nor is it Monophysite ( since it isnt overemphasizing his divinity ). Modalism doesn't come into play, because we are only talking Christology. In fact, I'd say this is exactly a reformulation of 'fully God, fully man' and thus 100% spot on Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 0:02
  • @affable yeah, I'm saying that it's a heresy of those heresies (double negative?). It's pretty much verbatim the refutation to them. You answered my question not long ago about what protestants do with the "old heresies", maybe some of them have been reborn? I don't know enough about protestant theology to say anything about it.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Feb 28, 2012 at 14:03
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    It might be worth reading en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… which suggests the current view is that the Nestorian reluctance to call Mary "Mother of God" was not about denying she was "Mother of Christ" or that that Christ was God, but to avoid confusion that she was the mother of more of the Trinity than the Second Person.
    – Henry
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 22:11
  • Indeed, God-bearer is arguably a more accurate translation that "Mother of God", or at least it feels less misleading to me.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 0:17
  • @curiousdannii isn't that what theotokos means? Greek seems to have a lot more specific words to define something, it's an anachronism for someone to argue over the English translation, theotokos was the word that the Nestorians objected to.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 13:24

Your statement was absolutely correct.

The Athanasian Creed states,

Est ergo fides recta ut credamus et confiteamur, quia Dominus noster Iesus Christus, Dei Filius, Deus pariter et homo est. Deus est ex substantia Patris ante saecula genitus: et homo est ex substantia matris in saeculo natus.

which is translated into English as,

Therefore, the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is equally God and man. He is God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and, he is man, of the substance of [his] mother, born in the world.

  • WOW!!! Thank you. I agree with Alypius, the source provided in this answer really makes it all!
    – brilliant
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 8:03
  • You could also add the Chalcedonian Definition. Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 19:12

I don't believe that would be heresy at all. Jesus, being fully human and fully God is the only one qualified to act as high priest for the church - the go-between between God and man. He's qualified because he was tempted in every way, but was without sin.

At least this is my understanding, and I tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to my understanding of Scripture. Mainstream Christianity would likely argue that this is the only way to understand this particular viewpoint. If Christ was only God, and was not also man, then he is not qualified to pay the penalty for our sins. He would have no temptation, being God only. However, if he was only man, he would not have had the capability to be sinless, as all mankind are fallen and depraved. It's only through the combination of the two natures of Christ that Christ's sacrifice is both unique and satisfies the requirements of the law.

I'd like to hear a Catholic chime in on this one. From what I understand, some in Catholicism believe Mary to have been sinless, which is not a viewpoint held by mainstream Protestantism.

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    I think the Catholic explanation for Mary's sinlessness is that she was redeemed (saved, forgiven etc...) by her Son before her conception. So, everything that we can hope to have happen to us at the resurrection, happened to her before her birth.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 20:13

You have corrected characterized that Jesus is fully God and fully man. No heresy here!

The only thing that is weird here is Mary being the one who imparts the human nature. Typically, he is called the Son of Adam or the Second Adam - moreso than Mary - but it doesnt really matter whether you say Adam, Mary, or even Joseph, as one of the gospel genelogies state. It isn't any heresy to name any human as being the importer of humanity.

Historically, Mary has been given the title Theotokos (Mother of God) but nothing is said of Mary's substance or essence, other than she was obviously human. Catholics also believe her to be sinless, because of her "Immaculate Conception," but this too is dogma rather than Scripture.

  • @AffableGeek The Logos became man by assuming His humanity from the Theotokos because her humanity is identical with Adam's humanity then it's proper to say that His humanity is taken from His mother. Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 4:20

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