Apollinarianism: The Orientation Of Jesus Christ

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If you were told that the most accurate interpretation of the incarnation of Jesus Christ was that He took on a human body and soul, and then replaced the sinful, human mind with a divine and pure one, would you agree with that theory? If you agree, and you are a Christian, then you would now be considered a heretic; this belief is what is called Apollinarianism, which was founded by Apollinarius. Apollinarius was a bishop of Laodoecia in Syria during the fourth century. He was a great defender against Arianism—which was the belief that Jesus was all human and not divine—and, he was well respected in the Orthodox Church. It was not until the First Council at Constantinople in 381 that his interpretation of the incarnation of Christ…show more content…
He was admired by many, even by other Orthodox leaders such as Athanasius. However, in his determination to disprove Arianism, he went too far in his efforts to explain the incarnation. To disprove the Arians’ interpretation, Apollinarius explained that Jesus had only taken on a human soul and body, but replaced the human mind/spirit with a divine one. To better understand this, think of Jesus appearing human on the outside and being able to die like a human, but on the inside, his mind was divine. To relate this theory to the Bible, Apollinarius’ interpretation could be related to the Bible verse found in Galatians 5:17 which states, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” He relates to this verse, but twists it to say that Jesus could not have had a human mind/spirit because it was corrupt and against the divine nature. What he missed though is that Jesus is not just partly human and partly divine, but He is one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. The Christian belief of the incarnation of Jesus is quite different from what Apollinarius believed. Christians believe that Jesus in the flesh was not only fully man but also fully God; not half and half, not a mixed nature, not a divine mind with a human mind and soul, but all God and all man! A great Bible verse that explains this is Philippians 2:6-11 which
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