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How the human nature of Christ was formed?


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#1 S. David

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:30 AM

Hi all,

Some one was saying that the human nature of Jesus Christ did not go through normal growing while he was in the womb of the Theotokos, and the 9 months were not real, i.e.: He did not need them to be a full human being. How accurate is this?


Also, how the human nature of Christ was formed? Was it created and the Theotokos did not participate physiologically in the formation?

Thanks

#2 Antonios

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:16 AM

Hi all,

Some one was saying that the human nature of Jesus Christ did not go through normal growing while he was in the womb of the Theotokos, and the 9 months were not real, i.e.: He did not need them to be a full human being. How accurate is this?


Dear friend, this is all very speculative. Personally, I believe His flesh went through in a mystical and very real physical way every embryonic stage of development if only to save the countless aborted souls in the history of man. If Christ came to save all souls, then these too must find life in Christ.

People have different opinions on the matter. One thing I can guarantee you is that there is no official teaching from the Church on this. I would bet most here would agree with me, but I may be wrong.

Also, how the human nature of Christ was formed? Was it created and the Theotokos did not participate physiologically in the formation?


The understanding and teaching of the Church is that the Flesh and Body of Christ came from the Ever-Pure and Blessed Virgin Mother of Christ Mary the God-Bringer. It would seem reasonable then to believe that she also fed Him in her womb being that she nursed Him the Infant Jesus later upon her bossom. Indeed, the handmaiden of the Lord and Mother of the Church.

I would be interested in any Patristic sources commenting on the topic of your questions. I think much of this remains still a mystery to most of the world if not all of it.

#3 Dcn Alexander Haig

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 07:34 AM

Eve was formed exclusively from Adam's nature; Christ, the new Adam, was formed in the flesh exclusively from the Panagia, the new Eve. This is a great mystery, that Christ is begotten of the Father - without Mother - eternally in his divinity and born in time from his Mother - without Father - in his humanity. As his divinity is completely dependent on the Father so his humanity is completely dependent on his Mother.

So, the Panagia was not merely a carrier (although we use the term Theotokos this does not delimit her role) but is the one around whom the entire mystery takes place. Everything that Christ has in his humanity - his features, chromosomes and DNA for example - come exclusively from his Mother.

In Xp
Rdr Alexander

#4 Olga

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:08 AM

Also, how the human nature of Christ was formed? Was it created and the Theotokos did not participate physiologically in the formation?


These Theotokia should help:

Pure Virgin, the flesh of Emmanuel was formed within your womb as a robe of royal crimson is spun from scarlet silk. We proclaim you to be truly the Mother of our God. (Ode 8, Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete)

The King and God goes forth wearing the purple dyed from your blood, all-undefiled Lady. He has renewed all mankind in His compassion.
(Ode 1, Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God)

O, strangest of tidings! God has become the Son of a woman. The birth was without seed, the Mother knew not a man, and the Child she bore is God. O, dread sight! O, strange conceiving by the Virgin! O, nativity beyond words! Indeed all these things are past sight and mind. (Ode 8, Nativity of the Mother of God)

Christ, my Creator and Redeemer, proceeded from your womb, O most holy Virgin. Clothed with my flesh, He released Adam from the original curse. Therefore, most-pure Lady, truly the Virgin Mother of God, we sing unceasingly to you the greeting of the Angel: Hail, O Mistress, intercessor, protection and salvation of our souls. (Vespers apostikhon, Apostles Peter and Paul)

Pure Mother of God, you gave birth to the Wisdom, Power and hypostatic Word of the Father, who built the temple of His body with your all-pure blood, and joined Himself inseparably to it by unification. (Ode 9, first canon, St Nicholas of Myra)

You are most blessed, Virgin Mother of God, for through Him who took flesh from you, Hell has been taken captive, Adam recalled, the curse slain, Eve set free, death put to death, and we given life. Therefore in praise we cry: Blessed are You, Christ our God, who have been thus well-pleased. Glory to You. (Katavasia, Ode 9, various Matins services)

O Virgin, by giving birth you redeemed Adam from sin, and you brought Eve joy instead of sorrow. He who was incarnate from you, who is both God and man, has guided back to life those who had fallen from life.

The King of heaven, in His love for mankind, appeared on earth and dwelt with men. He took flesh from the pure Virgin, and after assuming it, He came forth from her. The Son is one: two natures, yet one person. Proclaiming Him as perfect God and perfect man, we confess Christ our God. Entreat Him, unwedded Mother, to have mercy on our souls.

May we be delivered from dread failings by your intercessions, pure Mother of God, and may we obtain the divine radiance of the Son of God who was ineffably incarnate from you.




#5 S. David

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

OK, we believe the eternal Logos assumed flesh from His Mother. What about the way His human nature is formed? I mean naturally a human being is form from a fertilized egg. Now we know that the human nature of Jesus Christ was not created, i.e.: did not come from heaven as St. Cyril said, because otherwise His human nature will not be ours, and as St. Gregory the Theologian says: What is not assumed not saved. On the other hand, we know that the Mother of God knew no man as the Theotokias say in Olga's reply, i.e.: there is no fertilized egg I guess. So, how exactly the human nature was formed? Is it beyond our understanding and a mystery as Alex said?

#6 Antonios

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

Yes, it is a mystery as Alex said. We cannot explain how it happened, only that it did.

#7 Deacon John Martin

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:03 PM

“We see most eloquent orators mute as fish before thee, O Theotokos. For they dare not ask: How canst thou bear a child and yet remain a Virgin?” —Akathist to the Mother of God, Ikos 9

I don’t think we can possibly know more than what our tradition tells us, and that it’s not healthy to make any speculations into how this great mystery happened. It’s enough for me to have faith that nothing is impossible to God. On the other hand, my thought tells me that, aside from being conceived of a Virgin, Christ’s development in His Mother’s womb is pretty much the same as ours.

In addition to His Conception, His Birth was also supernatural and did not cause the Theotokos any pain or even physical loss of her virginity. Another mystery to ponder.

#8 Olga

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:38 PM

OK, we believe the eternal Logos assumed flesh from His Mother. What about the way His human nature is formed? I mean naturally a human being is form from a fertilized egg. Now we know that the human nature of Jesus Christ was not created, i.e.: did not come from heaven as St. Cyril said, because otherwise His human nature will not be ours, and as St. Gregory the Theologian says: What is not assumed not saved. On the other hand, we know that the Mother of God knew no man as the Theotokias say in Olga's reply, i.e.: there is no fertilized egg I guess. So, how exactly the human nature was formed? Is it beyond our understanding and a mystery as Alex said?


We have gone over similar ground in the "Was/Is Christ a human being" thread. We can only be sure of what Holy Tradition tells us, what has been revealed to us, by God Himself, and through His apostles and saints, and most clearly expressed in Orthodox hymns and icons. There are a great many aspects of our faith which remain mysteries, unable to be fully explained or quantified by mere human minds, at least on this side of heaven.

Why the need to reduce the Incarnation into a biological process? Indeed, what of the mechanics of raising a man from the dead? Of making a paralysed man walk, a blind man see? Nobody knows how these miracles were done, not even in our present age of scientific knowledge. And we should be satisfied with this.

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." (1 Cor. 3:19)




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