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Nature of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

12- One Nature and the Two Natures

 

St-Takla.org Image: One number in Arabic صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رقم واحد باللغة العربية

St-Takla.org Image: One number in Arabic

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رقم واحد باللغة العربية

Here we'd like to raise an important question regarding the One Nature and the Two Natures:

Do we not all admit that the nature which we call Human Natures contained before the unity two Natures: the soul and the body? yet, those who claim that there are two natures in Christ: a divine and a human, do not mention the two natures of manhood i.e. the soul and the body but consider them one.

If we go into details we would find ourselves before three natures in Christ!!! the Divinity, the soul and the body, and each of them has its distinct entity and essence... Of course, this is unacceptable on both sides.

When we accept the union of the soul and the body in one nature in Christ, and when we use the expression theologically, it becomes easier for us to use the expression “One Nature of Christ" or "One Nature of God, the Incarnate Logos".

Just as we say that the human nature is one nature consisting of two elements or natures, we can also say about the Incarnate Logos, that He is one entity of two elements or natures.

If the Divine nature is claimed to differ from the human nature, how then do they unite? The reply is that the nature of the soul is fundamentally different from the nature of the body, yet it is united with it in one nature, which is the human nature.

Although man is formed of these two natures, we never say that He is two, but one person. All man's acts are attributed to this one nature and not to the soul alone or to the body alone. Thus when we want to say that a certain individual ate, or became hungry, or slept, or felt pain, we do not say that it is his body which ate, or became hungry, or got tired or slept or felt pain. All man's acts are attributed to him as a whole and not only to his body.

Similarly, all the acts of Christ were attributed to Him as a whole and not to His Divine nature alone (independently) or to His human nature alone.

This was explained by Leo in the Council of Chalcedon and we shall give further explanation to this point later on, God willing.

The union of the soul and body is an intrinsic real union, a Hypostatic one, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. So is the union of the Divine nature of Christ with the human nature in the Virgin's womb. It is a Hypostatic union, self-essential and real and not a mere connection, then separation as Nestorus claimed.

Though the example of the union of the soul and body in the human nature is inclusive, still it is incomplete as it does not explain how the soul departs the body by death nor how they reunite again in the resurrection.

But as for the unity of the Divine and human natures of Christ, it is an inseparable union as the Divine nature never departed the human nature for one single moment nor for a twinkle of an eye.


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