Christology

Paolo Veronese, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (ca. 1560).
Christ Pantocrator, Holy Trinity's monastery, Meteora, Greece
Saint Paul delivering the Areopagus sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515
The Four Evangelists, by Pieter Soutman, 17th century
Christological spectrum during the 5th–7th centuries showing the views of the Church of the East (light blue), the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches (light purple), and the Miaphysite Churches (pink).

Branch of theology that concerns Jesus.

- Christology
Paolo Veronese, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (ca. 1560).

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Alpha

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey

Eastern Orthodox Church

Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey
Christ Pantocrator, sixth century, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai; the oldest known icon of Christ, in one of the oldest monasteries in the world
Emperor Constantine presents a representation of the city of Constantinople as tribute to an enthroned Mary and baby Jesus in this church mosaic (Hagia Sophia, c. 1000)
An icon of Saint John the Baptist, 14th century, North Macedonia
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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Hagia Sophia, the largest church in the world and patriarchal basilica of Constantinople for nearly a thousand years, later converted into a mosque, then a museum, then back to a mosque.
The baptism of Princess Olga in Constantinople, a miniature from the Radzivill Chronicle
Latin Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Orthodox controlled Byzantine Empire, in 1204.
Timeline showing the main autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, up to 2021
Canonical territories of the main autocephalous and autonomous Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions as of 2020
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Percentage distribution of Eastern Orthodox Christians by country
John of Damascus
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Our Lady of Tinos is the major Marian shrine in Greece.
The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary
Last Judgment: 12th-century Byzantine mosaic from Torcello Cathedral
David glorified by the women of Israel from the Paris Psalter, example of the Macedonian art (Byzantine) (sometimes called the Macedonian Renaissance)
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Chanters singing on the kliros at the Church of St. George, Patriarchate of Constantinople
An illustration of the traditional interior of an Orthodox church.
Shards of pottery vases on the street, after being thrown from the windows of nearby houses. A Holy Saturday tradition in Corfu.
An Eastern Orthodox baptism
Eucharistic elements prepared for the Divine Liturgy
The wedding of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Eastern Orthodox subdeacon being ordained to the diaconate. The bishop has placed his omophorion and right hand on the head of the candidate and is reading the Prayer of Cheirotonia.
The consecration of the Rt Rev. Reginald Heber Weller as an Anglican bishop at the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle in the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, with the Rt. Rev. Anthony Kozlowski of the Polish National Catholic Church and Saint Tikhon, then Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska (along with his chaplains Fr. John Kochurov and Fr. Sebastian Dabovich) of the Russian Orthodox Church present
Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, 2014
The Constantinople Massacre of April 1821: a religious persecution of the Greek population of Constantinople under the Ottomans. Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople was executed.
The Pan-Orthodox Council, Kolymvari, Crete, Greece, June 2016
Cathedral of Evangelismos, Alexandria
Patriarchate of Peć in Kosovo, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century when its status was upgraded into a patriarchate
Traditional Paschal procession by Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church

Before the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, the Church of the East also shared in this communion, as did the various Oriental Orthodox Churches before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, all separating primarily over differences in Christology.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

Christianity

Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Various depictions of Jesus
Crucifixion, representing the death of Jesus on the Cross, painting by Diego Velázquez, c. 1632.
The Law and the Gospel by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1529); Moses and Elijah point the sinner to Jesus for salvation.
The Trinity is the belief that God is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
Midnight Mass at a Catholic parish church in Woodside, New York City, U.S.
Show on the life of Jesus at Igreja da Cidade in São José dos Campos, affiliated to the Brazilian Baptist Convention.
An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ into a wheel, Ephesus, Asia Minor.
The Bible is the sacred book in Christianity.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, the largest church in the world and a symbol of the Catholic Church.
The 7th-century Khor Virap monastery in the shadow of Mount Ararat; Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as the state religion, in AD 301.
The Monastery of St. Matthew, located atop Mount Alfaf in northern Iraq, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.
Kadisha Valley, Lebanon, home to some of the earliest Christian monasteries in the world.
Christendom by A.D. 600 after its spread to Africa and Europe from the Middle East.
An example of Byzantine pictorial art, the Deësis mosaic at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, where he preached the First Crusade. Illustration by Jean Colombe from a copy of the Passages d'outremer, c. 1490.
Martin Luther initiated the Reformation with his Ninety-five Theses in 1517.
Michelangelo's 1498–99 Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica; the Catholic Church was among the patronages of the Renaissance.
A depiction of Madonna and Child in a 19th-century Kakure Kirishitan Japanese woodcut.
A Christian procession in Brazil, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.
Trinity Sunday in Russia; the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a great revival since the fall of communism.
The global distribution of Christians: Countries colored a darker shade have a higher proportion of Christians.
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church.
St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul: It has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople whose leader is regarded as the primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, the seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox.
A 6th-century Nestorian church, St. John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon in Hakkari, southeastern Turkey.
Saint Mary Church; an ancient Assyrian church located in the city of Urmia, Iran.
A 19th-century drawing of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. Latter Day Saints believe that the Priesthood ceased to exist after the death of the apostles and therefore needed to be restored.
Unitarian Church of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca.
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A copy of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, a famous Christian apologetic work.
Christians fleeing their homes in the Ottoman Empire, circa 1922. Many Christians were persecuted and/or killed during the Armenian genocide, Greek genocide, and Assyrian genocide.
Countries with 50% or more Christians are colored purple; countries with 10% to 50% Christians are colored pink
Nations with Christianity as their state religion are in blue
Distribution of Catholics
Distribution of Protestants
Distribution of Eastern Orthodox
Distribution of Oriental Orthodox
Distribution of other Christians
Links between interdenominational movements and other developments within Protestantism
Historical chart of the main Protestant branches

The Church of the East split after the Council of Ephesus (431) and Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, while the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism (1054), especially over the authority of the bishop of Rome.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

Ecumenical council

Meeting of bishops and other church authorities to consider and rule on questions of Christian doctrine, administration, discipline, and other matters in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

Meeting of bishops and other church authorities to consider and rule on questions of Christian doctrine, administration, discipline, and other matters in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

Disputes over Christological and other questions have led certain branches to reject some councils that others accept.

Jesus

Jesus (c.

Jesus (c.

Counter-clockwise from top-right: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and English transcriptions of the name Jesus
A 3rd-century Greek papyrus of the Gospel of Luke
Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622
The Circumcision by Giovanni Bellini, ~1500. The work depicts the circumcision of Jesus.
The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple, by William Holman Hunt, 1860
The Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist, by José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior, 1895
Sermon on the Mount, by Carl Bloch, 1877, depicts Jesus' important discourse
The Exhortation to the Apostles, by James Tissot, portrays Jesus talking to his 12 disciples
Jesus and the rich young man by Heinrich Hofmann, 1889
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni depicts the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus told many parables during his ministry.
Jesus cleansing a leper, medieval mosaic from the Monreale Cathedral, late 12th to mid-13th centuries
The Transfiguration of Jesus, depicted by Carl Bloch, 19th century
A painting of Jesus' final entry into Jerusalem, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1897
The Last Supper, depicted by Juan de Juanes, c. 1562
A depiction of the kiss of Judas and arrest of Jesus, by Caravaggio, c. 1602
Ecce homo! Antonio Ciseri's 1871 depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting Jesus to the public
Pietro Perugino's depiction of the Crucifixion as Stabat Mater, 1482
Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, 1835
A 3rd century depiction of Jesus as the Good Shepherd
Judea, Galilee and neighboring areas at the time of Jesus
A 1640 edition of the works of Josephus, a 1st-century Roman-Jewish historian who referred to Jesus.
Baptism in the Jordan River, the river where Jesus was baptized
The Resurrection of Christ from a 16th-century manuscript of La Passion de Nostre Seigneur
The ethnicity of Jesus in art has been influenced by cultural settings.
The Trinity is the belief in Christianity that God is one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is depicted with the Alpha and Omega letters in the catacombs of Rome from the 4th century.
The name Jesus son of Mary written in Islamic calligraphy followed by Peace be upon him
The Druze maqam of Al-masih (Jesus) in As-Suwayda Governorate.
Enthroned Jesus image on a Manichaean temple banner from c. 10th-century Qocho
Jesus healing a paralytic in one of the first known images of Jesus from Dura Europos in the 3rd century
The Shroud of Turin, Italy, is the best-known claimed relic of Jesus and one of the most studied artifacts in human history.

Chapters 14–17 of the Gospel of John are known as the Farewell Discourse and are a significant source of Christological content.

Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, 1876 painting by Vasily Surikov

Council of Chalcedon

The fourth ecumenical council of the Christian Church.

The fourth ecumenical council of the Christian Church.

Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, 1876 painting by Vasily Surikov
Council of Chalcedon
Spectrum of Christological views in late antiquity
Council of Chalcedon in the Nuremberg Chronicle

Whilst this judgment marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates, it also generated heated disagreements between the Council and the Oriental Orthodox Church, who did not agree with such conduct or proceedings.

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Oriental Orthodox Churches

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The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian churches adhering to Miaphysite Christology, with a total of approximately 60 million members worldwide.

St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world

Catholic Church

Largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide.

Largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide.

St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world
The first use of the term "Catholic Church" (literally meaning "universal church") was by the church father Saint Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans (c. 110 AD). Ignatius of Antioch is also attributed the earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" (Χριστιανισμός) c. 100 AD. He died in Rome, with his relics located in the Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano.
This fresco (1481–82) by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine Chapel shows Jesus giving the keys of heaven to Saint Peter.
The Last Supper, a late 1490s mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci, depicting the last supper of Jesus and his twelve apostles on the eve of his crucifixion. Most apostles are buried in Rome, including Saint Peter.
Jesus' commission to Saint Peter
19th-century drawing by Henry William Brewer of Old Saint Peter's Basilica, originally built in 318 by Emperor Constantine
Chartres Cathedral, completed 1220
The Renaissance period was a golden age for Catholic art. Pictured: the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo
Ruins of the Jesuit Reduction at São Miguel das Missões in Brazil
While, since the 1960s, Pope Pius XII has been accused of not having done enough to shelter Jews from the Holocaust, his defenders claim he secretly encouraged individual Catholic resistance groups, such as that led by priest Heinrich Maier. Maier helped the allies fight against the V-2, which was produced by concentration camp prisoners.
Members of the Canadian Royal 22e Regiment in audience with Pope Pius XII, following the Liberation of Rome in 1944 during World War II
Bishops listen during the Second Vatican Council
Pope John Paul II was credited as a major influence to the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism. Here with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, in 1982.
Francis is the 266th and current pope of the Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City. He was elected in the 2013 papal conclave.
C. 1210 manuscript version of the traditional Shield of the Trinity theological diagram
The Blessed Virgin Mary is highly regarded in the Catholic Church, proclaiming her as Mother of God, free from original sin and an intercessor.
Mass at the Grotto at Lourdes, France. The chalice is displayed to the people immediately after the consecration of the wine.
Baptism of Augustine of Hippo as represented in a sculptural group in Troyes Cathedral (1549), France
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist at the canonisation of Frei Galvão in São Paulo, Brazil on 11 May 2007
A Catholic believer prays in a church in Mexico
The Seven Sacraments Altarpiece triptych painting of Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) with oil being administered by a priest during last rites. Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1445.
Priests lay their hands on the ordinands during the rite of ordination.
Wedding mass in the Philippines
Catholic religious objects – Holy Bible, crucifix and rosary
East Syrian Rite wedding crowning celebrated by a bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in India, one of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the pope and the Catholic Church.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta advocated for the sick, the poor and the needy by practicing the acts of corporal works of mercy.
Allegory of chastity by Hans Memling
Pope Paul VI issued Humanae vitae on 25 July 1968.

Before the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, the Church of the East also shared in this communion, as did the Oriental Orthodox Churches before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451; all separated primarily over differences in Christology.

Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.

History of Christianity

The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.

The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various denominations, from the 1st century to the present.

Funerary stele of Licinia Amias on marble, in the National Roman Museum. One of the earliest Christian inscriptions found, it comes from the early 3rd century Vatican necropolis area in Rome. It contains the text ΙΧΘΥϹ ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), a predecessor of the Ichthys symbol.
The eastern Mediterranean region in the time of Paul the Apostle
Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 3rd century
St. Lawrence (martyred 258) before Emperor Valerianus by Fra Angelico
A folio from Papyrus 46, an early-3rd-century collection of Pauline epistles
Virgin and Child. Wall painting from the early Roman catacombs, 4th century.
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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre) and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistery, built in Ravenna by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great.
An Eastern Roman mosaic showing a basilica with towers, mounted with Christian crosses, 5th century, Louvre
The Church of the East during the Middle Ages
Coptic icon of St. Anthony the Great, father of Christian monasticism and early anchorite. The Coptic inscription reads ‘Ⲡⲓⲛⲓϣϯ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ’ ("the Great Father Anthony").
A mosaic of Justinian I in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy
Roderick is venerated as one of the Martyrs of Córdoba
Raid on the Monastery of Zobe and the death of hegumenos Michael and his 36 brothers, depicted in the Menologion of Basil II.
"Hospitality of Abraham", icon by Andrei Rublev; the three angels represent the Godhead according to Trinitarian Christians.
Western Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, Kievan Rus', and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages (year 1000)
The spread of Cistercians from their original sites in Western-Central Europe during the Middle Ages
Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor at the gate of Canossa Castle in 1077, during the Investiture controversy.
The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusader states with their strongholds in the Holy Land at their height, between the First and the Second Crusade (1135)
St. Cyril and St. Methodius monument on Mt. Radhošť
Christianization of Kievan Rus', the first unified federation of Slavic tribes
Christianization of Moravia under the rule of Rastislav
Jan Hus defending his theses at the Council of Constance (1415), painting by the Czech artist Václav Brožík
Michelangelo's Pietà (1498–99) in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
American Discovery Viewed by Native Americans (Thomas Hart Benton, 1922). European discovery and colonization had disastrous effects on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and their societies.
The Council in Santa Maria Maggiore church; Museo Diocesiano Tridentino, Trento
Galileo before the Holy Office, a 19th-century painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury
Philipp Spener, the founder of Pietism
Churches of the Moscow Kremlin, as seen from the Balchug
Demolition of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on the orders of Joseph Stalin, 5 December 1931, consistent with the doctrine of state atheism in the USSR
Pope Pius XI
Laying on of hands during a service in a neo-charismatic church in Ghana

Various Christological debates about the human and divine nature of Jesus consumed the Christian Church for three centuries, and seven ecumenical councils were called to resolve these debates.

The incarnation illustrated with scenes from the Old Testaments and the Gospels, with the Trinity in the central column, by Fridolin Leiber, 19th century

Incarnation (Christianity)

"First coming" redirects here.

"First coming" redirects here.

The incarnation illustrated with scenes from the Old Testaments and the Gospels, with the Trinity in the central column, by Fridolin Leiber, 19th century
The "Heavenly Trinity" joined to the "Earthly Trinity" through the incarnation of the Son - The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities, by Murillo, c. 1677

The doctrine of the incarnation, then, entails that Jesus is fully God and fully human.

Nestorian priests in a procession on Palm Sunday, in a seventh- or eighth-century wall painting from a Nestorian church in Qocho, China

Nestorianism

Term used in Christian theology and Church history to refer to several mutually related but doctrinarily distinct sets of teachings.

Term used in Christian theology and Church history to refer to several mutually related but doctrinarily distinct sets of teachings.

Nestorian priests in a procession on Palm Sunday, in a seventh- or eighth-century wall painting from a Nestorian church in Qocho, China
Christological spectrum during the 5th–7th centuries showing the views of the Church of the East (light blue), the Chalcedonian Churches (light purple), and the Miaphysite Churches (pink).
An historical misinterpretation of the Nestorian view was that it taught that the human and divine persons of Christ are separate.
Chinese stone inscription of a Nestorian Cross from a monastery of Fangshan District in Beijing (then called Dadu, or Khanbaliq), dated to the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271–1368) of medieval China.
Epitaph of a Nestorian, unearthed at Chifeng, Inner Mongolia
Saint Mary Church: an ancient Assyrian church located in the city of Urmia, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran.

c. undefined 450) who promoted specific doctrines in the fields of Christology and Mariology.