The Godhead – Jesus Christ



In Jesus Christ the Divinity took the place of the human mind or spirit (Apollinarism)




Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, who lived in the 4th century after Christ, taught the following things about Jesus Christ.

God Himself became man in Christ, however the whole Divine nature cannot be joined to the whole nature of a man. Two perfect natures always remain two separate persons; ‘two perfect beings cannot become one’, he stated. A perfect man is necessarily sinful, ‘where there is a perfect man, there is sin’, but Christ could not become sinful. Therefore, the divine nature and the human nature of Christ could not coexist within one person. Apolinnaris argued that Jesus would certainly not be a man, for all men consist essentially of three parts, body, soul, and spirit (which is confirmed by the Scripture) whereas He would have four parts, adding to these His Divinity. So he found the solution of the difficulty in the application of a general principle of philosophy. The Neoplatonic school taught that human nature is the composition of these three elements – a body, a soul that actuates and informs the body, thus making us living beings, and the mind, or spirit, that makes us reasonable beings, which spirit is the special characteristic of man. Of these three elements the body and the soul make up the ‘natural’ being which is ruled and guided by the mind. But since the guiding principle in man is changeable, fallible and sinful, it could not be so in Christ. Therefore in Christ the Divinity, the Logos, took the place of a human mind. He was a natural man (i.e. body and soul) guided and ruled by the Logos. He, too, like us, consisted of three parts only, and He was therefore really a man and not an impossible being of four parts. Only one part, the most important, is not human but Divine. This doctrine, therefore, denies the true and complete humanity in the person of Jesus Christ.




The Scripture teaches that the Word (the Logos) - that is, the Son of God in His prehuman existence - was made flesh (John 1:14). This means that the Word became a true man, complete like us, thus a person composed of a body, a soul and a spirit. Therefore, it is absolutely wrong to affirm that the Logos took the place of the human spirit in the person of Christ, because Christ  was the Logos, that is, the Word. Furthermore, if the Logos had taken the place of the human spirit in the person of Christ, that is to say, if the Logos had become one of the elements of Christ’s human nature, then we should affirm that Christ was not the Word made flesh rather just a man who contained the Logos, and this is unacceptable because His name is called “the Word of God” (Revelation 19:13 - NKJV).

The Logos did not take the place of the spirit in Christ, for Jesus Christ had also a spirit; He was indeed a true man like each of us. The Scripture says that on one occasion Jesus “groaned in the spirit” (John 11:33), and on another occasion “he was troubled in spirit” (John 13:21), and it says also that Jesus, before breathing His last, said to God: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46 – NKJV). And, having said this, “He gave up His spirit” (John 19:30 – NKJV)

Therefore, brothers, beware of all those who teach the same heresy taught by Apolinnaris.