The Definition of Chalcedon
The Definition of Chalcedon was formulated by the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the fourth of the great ecumenical councils of the early church. The first was the Council of Nicea in AD 325, then the Council of Constantinople in AD 381, followed by the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, and finally the Council of Chalcedon.
The early churches, struggling to understand and confess the truth about their Triune God against various heresies that arose, met in these great councils. The church fathers devoted extensive energies both to defining and defending a Christology that remained faithful to the Biblical revelation of Jesus Christ. Chalcedon was the last of the so-called “Great Christological Councils”. In the years since then, the “Chalcedonian Definition” has come to be recognized as the orthodox view of the personhood of Christ, namely that of theantropos, or the “God-Man” who remains as one person, but is constituted by two natures—one Divine, one human.
Following, then, the holy fathers, we unite in teaching all men to confess the one and same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This selfsame one is perfect both in deity and in humanity; truly God and truly man, with a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father according to His deity, and consubstantial with us according to the humanity; like us in all respects, sin only excepted. Before the ages He was begotten of the Father, according to the deity, and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, He was born of Mary the virgin, who is Godbearer according to His humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures; without confusing them, without interchanging them, without dividing them, and without separating them; the distinction of natures by no means taken away by the union, but the properties 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 only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as from the beginning the prophets have declared concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the symbol of the fathers has handed down to us.