The emptying of Christ (Phil 2)


What is the Church’s view on the “emptying” of Christ in Phillipians 2?

Some have suggested that this verse is referring to the person of Christ actually giving up divine attributes in order to fully function as a man. Some have suggested that this verse is referring to Christ simply giving up the right to exercise certain divine attributes while he was a man and the last one that I heard was that this verse is simply stating that by “emptying” Christ simply ceased to exist solely as God (pure Spirit) but added to himself a human nature, while still retaining full function of all of his divine attributes. Does the Church teach any of these or is there another option?


Jesus had both divine nature and human nature but “he emptied himself” of the glory of his divine nature. The Navarre Bible commentary explains: “Christ did not shed his divine nature; he simply shed its glory, its aura; if he had not done so it would have shown through his human nature… Christ could not cease to be God, but he could temporarily renounce the exercise of rights that belonged to him as God – which is what he did.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit