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The Chalcedonian Creed is a creed which was made during the Council of Chalcedon in the year 451. This council is one of the seven ecumenical councils. It is recognised by the Eastern Orthodox, the Catholics, and by many Protestant Churches. It is the first council the Oriental Orthodox Church does not recognize.
The Chalcedonian creed was written during a controversy between the Western and Eastern Churches. They could not agree about the meaning of Incarnation, the influence of the emperor in the church, and the role of the Roman Pope. The Western Churches had no problems accepting the creed, but some Eastern Churches had.
The creed became doctrine in the Orthodox Church. The Coptic church of Alexandria disagreed. They used Cyril's formula instead. They said that the creed should say that Christ be acknowledged "from two natures" rather than "in two natures".
English translation of the Creed
- We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;
- truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;
- consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;
- in all things like unto us, without sin;
- begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;
- one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably;
- the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ;
- as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.