The Epistle of Diognetes, regarded by some to be the earliest example of Christian apologetics, establishes Jesus’ divine role as Creator and even goes as far as to call him God.

“As a king sends his son, who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He sent Him; as to men He sent Him;… (7.4)

Jesus preferred to identify himself as the Son of Man, perhaps because it was a more well-known designation for the Messiah and because it helped people relate more to him as human. It also emphasized his role as a propitiatory sacrifice.

Daniel 7:13 "In my vision, there before me was one like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven."

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up;

But Jesus also clearly affirmed his divinity.

John 10:36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God’s Son’?

Did Jesus' divine nature become a dual divine nature at incarnation and did he return to being fully God alone upon his ascension? Is there, for example, some reason, i.e.soteriologically, that he must retain his dual nature?


4 Answers 4


At the incarnation, Christ's one hypostasis (who is fully God by nature) united himself with his own human nature. Thereby, making him both fully God and fully man in a single hypostasis. The Chalcedonian Creed explains that this union is analogical to the union of the body and soul in a single hypostasis. Thereby, making him both fully God and fully man in a single hypostasis. Neither the body nor the soul changed upon their union in one human hypostasis. Likewise, the divine nature and human nature of the single divine hypostasis of our Lord Jesus Christ retained their distinction while being in union. Before the incarnation, he is only God. After the incarnation, he became the God-man. This is logical because by very defintion a hypostasis is "the substance instantiated in a particular individual" (e.g. a hypostasis with a divine nature is called a divine hypostasis i.e. a divine person). Thus, a two natured person is called a divine-human person/God-man.

Both "Lord" (representing the Tetragrammaton "YHWH") and "man" equally identified Jesus Christ. The hypostasis ("Jesus Christ") is "one" but possesses two natures:

The one mediator, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5) The one Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 8:6 )

Jesus Christ is still a God-man after the resurrection because his human nature did not cease to exist. It merely was glorified. Philippians 3:20-21 says that the church will have a "body of glory" just like what risen Christ had. Thomas confessed that Jesus is God when he saw the same crucified (albeit glorified) human body of Jesus (John 20:28).

Jesus Christ permanently united to him the human nature so that we can participate in his divine nature. What Jesus took upon himself (i.e. our very nature, the human nature ), had participated in the divine nature and this showed that we too can participate in the divine nature. Jesus partook of human nature , not to save himself, but to save us. To save us, Jesus had to become like one of us. Colossians 2:9 speaks of Christ having in him all the essence of deity dwelling bodily. The next verses says that the church will be filled (with that essence) in their union with Christ. 2 Peter 1:4 says that the church "participates in the divine nature"...("of our God Jesus Christ" from verse 1).

  • “The hypostasis of Jesus remained one after the incarnation.” “Jesus Christ permanently united to him the human nature...” None of the verses you quoted proves that. 1 Tim talks about the man Jesus who died for our sins. Phil. 3 talks specifically about bodies I would agree with you if Colossians said "all the fullness of deity and humanity dwells in bodily form." We participate in his divine nature. I don't see how he has to continue participating in our human nature. Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 16:59
  • @Martin Hemsley, Jesus as mediator is already in heaven and he is called "man" in relation to the "men" in 1 Timothy 2:5. If Jesus lose his human nature after the resurrection, why did Thomas see and touched his human body in John 20:28? In Jesus all the fullness of deity dwells "bodily" (the apostle Paul used the adjective of σοματικος to describe how the divine essence subsists in Jesus and it subsists in a human body, compare with 1:22, that is the same body which was crucified) If Jesus continued in having a human body post-resurrection, it meant he retained the human nature.
    – R. Brown
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 17:10
  • (tocontinue...) The human body of Jesus was divinised. That is why our bodies will also be divinised, will participate in the divine nature. Our human nature will not cease to exist, it will only conform into the same image of the Lord Jesus. We are not becoming part of the Trinity (that is eternal relations). Our relationship with the Trinity in the salvation (theosis) has a beginning but no ending. Likewise, Christ's incarnation has a beginning but no ending.
    – R. Brown
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 17:14
  • Paul refers to Jesus as man but that doesn't mean he isn't divine. He is referring to the time Jesus gave himself as a ransom. The body doesn't affect the nature. Angels can walk around in human bodies. Having a glorified human body form does not mean a human nature has to be associated with it. Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 17:21
  • Our nature will not cease to exist because that is the only nature we have. Jesus does not need human nature. Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 17:23

Chalcedon added that Lord's in-humanation (ἐνανθρώπησις) (which is a better and the more exact term than "incarnation") was done without change (ἀναλλοίωτος) (i.e. of the divine nature) and "without mixture" (ἀμιγῶς) (i.e. of divine nature with human nature). Thus, divine nature of Logos changed not a tiny bit, but He indeed accepted changeless and unmixed change due to startedly-eternally (not unstartedly-eternally as He is) receiving human nature so as to make it already impossible to address the Logos withοout simultaneously considering Him with human nature, and not without this nature, "nakedly" as God, as before the historical incarnation.

Just take a helpful analogy: when radio wave of a beautiful music is received by an iron antenna of your radio, the radio wave does not change a bit by union with the iron of the antenna and neither is mixed with the iron of the antenna.

Thus, the nature of Logos, according to the Chalcedon did not change a bit, but changelessly the eternal Person of Logos in a sense "unchangeadly" or changelessly changed, for henceforth this Person is not worshipped as nakedly God, but already as the Person eternally possessing alongside His eternal divine nature also His unique human intelligent soul and body.

After the in-humanation of the Logos the Hypostasis of the Logos and the Hypostasis of the God-man Jesus Christ is one and the same Hypostasis. So, when you will pray: "O, Logos, lead my intellect to know Thy ways" and "O, Jesus Christ, lead my intellect to know Thy ways" the two prayers will be of absolutely with the same effect as addressed to absolutely the same Hypostasis (the effect pending of course on the faithfulness, humility and sincereity of the prayer).


His Divine Nature was not changed. He simply stopped practicing some of his actions while on earth. So, he can depend on his Father.

Philippians 2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,

  • 1
    What evidence do you have that he 'stopped practicing some of his actions while on earth' ? Phil 2:7 does not express that concept. I agree that the Divine nature was not 'changed' by incarnation. But I do not agree that you have - here - evidenced that fact.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 16:36
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Please consider this answer grandfathered for the standards of the Biblical hermeneutics group, from which the answer was migrated, since I am unable to edit it to the standards for the Christianity group.

This passage explains the limitations of our ability to understand God's revelation (the Scriptures). Jesus said we must enter the Kingdom of God as a child. However, God promised that it would accomplish his purpose. Thus, I won't be judgmental of views that disagree, but welcome discussion that seeks to be true to the Scriptures.

   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
  neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 
        9       For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
  so are my ways higher than your ways 
  and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

        10       “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven 
  and do not return there but water the earth, 
              making it bring forth and sprout, 
  giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 
        11       so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; 
  it shall not return to me empty, 
              but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, 
  and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 
               (Is 55:8–11, ESV)

The question is did the incarnation (John 1:14) change Jesus' nature. Heb. 13:8 says Jesus Christ's nature doesn't change.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Heb 13:8, ESV)

But, does this only apply to Jesus' divine nature? It certainly does not apply to his physical life here on Earth, and thus to his nature. But, how about is human nature. That probably brings up a question too deep into the Trinity for use to answer, but without his human nature can we distinguish the Son from the Father? I will leave that as unanswerable.

Isn't Jesus' human nature the memories and experiences of his life here on Earth? Omnipotence in his divine nature would have those memories throughout eternity past and future. Thus, in that sense, his human nature is also eternal.

The incarnation had a definite impact on human history. But, seeing that as being the beginning of Jesus Christ's human nature puts an undue limitation on God who is independent of the time he created because time is dependent upon matter.

  • 1
    Thanks for condensing your thoughts into an answer, Perry. How time relates to matter and eternity past and present, I do not think I can figure out by reading the Bible so I'll leave it to the quantum physicists. God will hold me accountable for what I did with the limited time and knowledge he gave me. I do believe though, that human nature does not enter into the equation of how the Son is distinguished from the Father. As a man, for example, you have always been easily distinguished from your father. :) Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 0:42
  • The blessing is that God's Word accomplishes its purpose even if we reach the limits of our understanding. It's been stated this way. Our problem isn't understanding more, but doing what we already understand.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 1:24
  • 1
    It not fair to vote based on guidelines of Christianity group when this was answered on the Biblical Hermeneutics site before being migrated.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 1:33
  • 1
    Good point, Perry. Question was changed, too. Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 1:39
  • 1
    Once the question was changed to "based on" Chalcedonian theology and migrated to Christianity, the answers are supposed to be based on Chalcedonian theology rather than interpreting the Bible. Thus, any answer based on the Bible that doesn't specifically support Chalcedonian theology and documented as such is considered inappropriate. Thus, I was hit by ex post facto.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 9:02

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