Questions on Christology

Dear friends on Catholic Answers Forums:

I am a prospective Taiwanese Catholic living in Taiwan. I have joined RCIA-like programs here. But the study materials provided by the teachers of the programs are not exciting enough for me. So I am trying to self-study CCC and Compendium.

After reading the precious replies and teachings in my latest post/question, and after some thinking, now I have the following questions:

  1. What does “the human nature” mean in CCC? What are the defining properties of “the human nature” in CCC? This question is to improve the understanding of exactly what (properties) does the Son of God assume.

  2. Does the Son of God assume the human nature permanently or temporarily? If permanently, where/how does the human nature assumed manifest before conception by Mary and after ascending into heaven? If temporarily: (1) When does the the Son of God begin and complete assuming? (2) Does the Son of God assume immediately or progressively? This question is to improve the understanding of hypostatic union.

Could someone please teach me again? I will appreciate very much. :slight_smile:

A human being has a soul and a body, uniquely suited to each other, which comprise the person. The soul is eternal and immaterial the body is temporary and material. The will and intellect are attributes of the soul whereas the body contains the bodily memories in the brain.

The person of the Son of God (divinity) assumes the human soul and body of Jesus Christ. There are therefore not two persons but two natures (divine and human). The glorified body of Christ persists eternally along with the human soul. The human nature is from conception of Jesus Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

#1… We are human in nature… We eat, breathe, and live our our temporal lives in human form. When God became Man He was named Jesus. Jesus called the Son of God refers to the divine nature of God… Jesus called the Son of Man refers to the temporary human nature God had. So Jesus at that time was both fully Son of Man and fully Son of God… God took on our human nature so that we would come to know Him through Jesus and lead us to Him through the cross of Jesus Christ…

#2. The Son of Man Jesus lived temporarily 2,000 years ago and martyred at the age of 33. The Son of God Jesus has no beginning and no end… So there were two natures of Jesus while the Son of Man lived on earth, otherwise there is only one divine nature, the Son of God who lives eternally in heaven with the Father… As God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One, they are together in eternity as the three persons of God, or the Holy Trinity of God. . Eternity means no beginning and no end. We can share in their lives on earth when we pray and through the sacraments. Than it is said that we are ‘In Christ’. Jesus Christ who holds all things together in Union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. So if we want to know the Father we get to know the Son who reveals God the Father to us.

I used to lecture on Christology.

I am afraid that the 6000 character limit on posts would not allow me to even start to answer your questions.

The underlying answer to your questions first rest with philosophy, in order to have in the mind the concepts which are used as tools to articulate Christology.

You can begin with this article on what is meant by “Nature”

Next, you can read this article on man and human nature which will touch on both philosophical anthropology as well as theological anthropology. These two articles together will give you a good start at the essential vocabulary and concepts in philosophy regarding “human nature” which the Second Person assumed in the Incarnation.

From there you could proceed to the article on the Incarnation, which deals with the assumed human nature, the hypostatic union, and the communicatio idiomatum.

If that has not answered adequately, you may then proceed to the Tertia Pars of the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The full text is here…

If you are not accustomed to reading the writing style of Aquinas, particularly contending with the objections and the sed contra, I would urge you to begin with Msgr. Paul Glenn’s precis of the Summa. An immediate plunge into the Summa can be ponderous to those not prepared. The precis will certainly give the essentials in a more readable style, and is a frame of reference if you choose to read the Summa itself.

You may find Monsignor’s text here:

I hope you enjoy and find fruitful your studies. I assure you of my prayers.

Regarding “human nature”, please start with CCC 355 and slowly continue reading.

  1. Does the Son of God assume the human nature permanently or temporarily?

If permanently, where/how does the human nature assumed manifest before conception by Mary and after ascending into heaven? If temporarily: (1) When does the the Son of God begin and complete assuming? (2) Does the Son of God assume immediately or progressively? This question is to improve the understanding of hypostatic union.

The assumed human body would take place immediately at the Incarnation. Please refer to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed professed at the Sunday Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
“I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,”
“For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.”

Please note that there is some difficult vocabulary about the assumed human body and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Personally, because of my love for Jesus being our Savior during His human time on earth, I accept the Mystery of the Incarnation and the Mystery of how this works within the Most Holy Trinity. Thus, I can accept the Mystery of Christ’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist.

I never let go of the fact that God is way more powerful than we can ever imagine.

I bolded some points that stood out to me and my understanding. You say “temporary human nature”, “otherwise there is only one divine nature” and “lived temporarily”. Isn’t Jesus risen from the dead and thus still and now alive, albeit not on earth but in heaven? Saying something is temporary implies there is an end to it and I never heard someone say Jesus’ human nature ended. I thought that Jesus now has a glorified human body, but that is still a human body. Wont we all have the same after the resurrection of the dead? The Feast of the Ascension commemorates the Ascension of Jesus into heaven; wouldn’t this include his glorified human body ascending into heaven?

Am I wrong? Maybe I should read through he links provided by Don Ruggero as a “refresher course”.

GREAT Question:)

“human nature” refers to how GOd choose to create us; The Bible Genesis 1:26-27 here is a bible site for a free download

26] And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. [27] And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them

It refers to WHAT “makes a man” a “man/ human”

It’s a profound topic that space will not permit me to fully address here.

Gen, 1:26-27 tells us the God choose to Create us {to make someting out of nothing} in His very image; which leads to another question: HOW?

The bible John 4:23-24 tells us: " [23] But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. [24] God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth.

So man id obviously physical and Mortal, while God is Spirit and immortal. So HOW can man emulate our God. Here’s the very brief explanation

In all of Creations Universe of BILLIONS of stars and planets, only ONE; Planet earth can be proven to be able to sustain the many life forms we are aware of…

On Planet earth with its many MILLIONS of living things, only ONE, “man” has the ability to rationalize & to choose to love or hate.

In order for “man” to do these unique things requires
A Mind
A Intellect
& a Freewill, ALL of which like God are also spiritual things; and immortal, and it is this “other-self” that exist after our Mortal Bodies cease

Genesis 3:19
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken:** for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.**

So “human nature” is this other self & our bodies which exist precisely to Glorify God by our life choices

Isaiah 43: verses 7 &21
[7] And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him.[21] This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise…" So this then become the very reason for our existence,because man alone is ABLE to freely choose to, or NOT to do this.

  1. Does the Son of God assume the human nature permanently or temporarily?

Jesus, the Son of God alone posses BOTH a human and a Divine Nature. And Jesus alone within the Trinity retains both now for eternity: He is Risen in His GLORIFIED Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for eternity. we too at the fianl Judgment will also be given “glorified bodies” {space limits more info here}.

If permanently, where/how does the human nature assumed manifest before conception by Mary and after ascending into heaven?

The “other self” {SOUL} which for this discussion can be describes as “the source of Life”; that which actually gives life to all living things. Man’s SOUL, like man is th top, the most copmplex of all living things. God the Holy Spirit gives to each “man” a SOUL at inception

If temporarily: (1) When does the the Son of God begin and complete assuming? (2) Does the Son of God assume immediately or progressively? This question is to improve the understanding of hypostatic union


HYPOSTATIC UNION. The union of the human and divine natures in the one divine person of Christ. At the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451) the Church declared that the two natures of Christ are joined “in one person and one hypostasis” (Denzinger 302), where hypostasis means one substance. It was used to answer the Nestorian error of a merely accidental union of the two natures in Christ. The phrase “hypostatic union” was adopted a century later, at the fifth general council at Constantinople (A.D. 533). It is an adequate expression of Catholic doctrine about Jesus Christ that in him are two perfect natures, divine and human; that the divine person takes to himself, includes in his person a human nature; that the incarnate Son of God is an individual, complete substance; and that the union of the two natures is real (against Arius), no mere indwelling of God in a man (against Nestorius), with a rational soul (against Apollinaris), and the divinity remains unchanged"** Fr. Hardons Catholic Dictionary**

While Jesus dies on the cross, He retained his Human Soul; and always {from all time} possessed His Divine Nature. In His Resurrection He assumed His GLORIFIED Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for all time {reunited body and human soul with His always present Divine Nature.

Could someone please teach me again? I will appreciate very much. :slight_smile:

PLEASE look for a Private Messgae from me {PJM}

God Bless you

GREAT Post, thanks!
God Bless you


You are right as I now think about it. Sometimes this older than dirt brain is not completely in gear.

Thank you. Thank you!

The greatest event in human history, the Resurrection, affirms the existence of Christ’s now glorified human body. A glorified body is not temporary, it is permanent. Our glorified body, Heaven help us, will exist in joy eternal in the presence of the Beatific Vision. (CCC Glossary, Beatific Vision, page 867)

My friend Google gave me CCC 1374 – “the whole Christ …” is truly present in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

I believe he is responding to Karen, whose post I also find very very problematic from my roman catholic catechesis/study days and also to my orthodox catechesis (which orthodox and catholics agree on Christologically).

I guess I didn’t explain it very well.

Jesus is with us. God took on our human nature through Jesus. What does it mean to be human? It’s to have emotions, to feel, to love, to worry, to have sicknesses and to suffer. God knows our suffering because He has suffered also as a human… What I meant is that when Jesus walked on earth as a man, He lived a temporal natural life. He was born of the Virgin Mary, and died a human death which we all will. That is for certain. But in death Jesus transforms us into a spiritual body and our physical bodies return to dust… Just because you don’t ‘see something’ doesn’t mean it’s not there. God is spirit and we will be made into His likeness, perfect and incorruptible so we will live on forever in eternity. That does not mean we lose our identity or lose our bodies, we will still have a body but it will be a spiritual glorified one. When we are in heaven we will see Jesus as He really is, and the Saints and the angels. But then we will be among them and so we can see the spiritual as clear as we see people in our material world now. At the resurrection, all things material will pass away and our bodies will be brought all together with the living in the heaven and those left on earth who were waiting for the resurrection. We don’t know when this will happen so we must always be ready.

Regarding the feast of the Ascension. Jesus appeared to the disciples many times after He ‘died’ because His work was not done. Jesus needed to get the Church off to a start so passed the authority to forgive sins to the Apostles and commanded them to teach everything they knew and to baptize. After that was done and the Apostles were ready to start the Church Jesus left them and Ascended to the Father for a final time. That doesn’t mean Jesus is not still with us, because He is and always will be as He said He would… He comes every day in the form of bread and wine which we receive at the Mass and we become ready to receive Him. The Son of God really is everywhere but most importantly His presence in the Precious Body and Blood in the physical sense and can be received and adored at the Mass and in tabernacles around the world. Jesus can because Jesus is God who came to save the world, not just the chosen few who knew Him while He was a man from Galilee, That’s why the Eucharist is so important. Those who receive Him will have eternal life. John 6:54

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