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82 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

be God. To counter Arius, the Council of Nicea (AD 325) reaffirmed the

faith of the Church that Jesus was really God, “begotten, not made, of

one substance with the Father.”

A third heresy, Nestorianism, denied the unity of Jesus Christ as God

and man. The Nestorians argued that the divine Son of God dwelled

inside the human Jesus of Nazareth, but that they were not really one as

one person. They insisted that Mary could be called “Mother of Jesus”

but not “Mother of God,” as if the man Jesus and the divine Son were

two separate persons. The Council of Ephesus (AD 431) rejected this

heresy and professed that Mary is the Mother of God, the


(Birth-giver of God; sometimes translated as “God-bearer”). Jesus Christ

is the divine Son of God who became man in the womb of Mary. The

one who was born of Mary is the same one—the same person—who has

existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity.

Nicea (AD 325):

Jesus Christ is the Son of God by nature and not

by adoption. He is “begotten,” not made, of the same substance as

the Father.

Ephesus (AD 431):

Since the one who was born of Mary is divine,

Mary is rightly called “Mother of God.”

Chalcedon (AD 451):

Jesus Christ, Son of God, is true God and

true man. His divine and human natures remain together without

confusion, change, division, or separation.

Second Constantinople (AD 553):

There is only one person—a

divine person—in Jesus Christ. The human acts of Jesus are also

attributed to his divine person.


(CF. CCC, NOS. 465-468)