Definition or Creed of Chalcedon

From the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451); English, Greek, and Latin are included. It supplements the main statement of faith at this website: the Apostles Creed.

Let’s begin.

Don’t feel frustrated if you don’t get this at first and you have to read it several times. Sooner or later, things will “click.” It’s a profound mystery, after all!

In 451 AD, the Byzantine Emperor Marcian (r. 450-57), Pope Leo I “the Great” (r. 440-61), and the western Emperor Valentinian III (r. 425-55) called this council, called the Fourth Ecumenical Council. Chalcedon was a city near Constantinople (Istanbul). Its main purpose was to sort out debates about the nature and person of Jesus Christ.

Who was Jesus?

The Definition of Chalcedon, sometimes called the Creed of Chalcedon, set the doctrine straight in the statement, below.

Definition or Creed of Chalcedon



Ἑπόμενοι τοίνυν τοῖς ἁγίοις πατράσιν ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν ὁμολογεῖν υἱὸν τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν συμφώνως ἅπαντες ἐκδιδάσκομεν, τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν θεότητι καὶ τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν ἀνθρωπότητι, θεὸν ἀληθῶς καὶ ἄνθρωπον ἀληθῶς τὸν αὐτὸν, ἐκ ψυχῆς λογικῆς 65 καὶ σώματος, ὁμοούσιον 66 τῷ πατρὶ κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, καὶ ὁμοούσιον 67 τὸν αὐτὸν ἡμῖν κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα, κατὰ πάντα ὅμοιον ἡμῖν χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας· πρὸ αἰώνων μὲν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννηθέντα κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν τὸν αὐτὸν δἰ ἡμᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν ἐκ Μαρίας τῆς παρθένου τῆς θεοτόκου κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα ,68 ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν Χριστόν, υἱόν, κύριον, μονογενῆ, ἐκ δύο φύσεων [ἐν δύο φύσεσιν] ,69 ἀσυγχύτως, ἀτρέπτως ,70 ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀχωρίστως 71 γνωριζόμενον· οὐδαμοῦ τῆς τῶν φύσεων διαφορᾶς ἀνῃρημένης διὰ τὴν ἕνωσιν, σωζομένης δὲ μᾶλλον τῆς ἰδιότητος ἑκατέρας φύσεως καὶ εἰς ἓν πρόσωπον καὶ μίαν ὑπὸστασιν συντρεχούσης, οὐκ εἰς δύο πρόσωπα μεριζόμενον ἢ διαιρούμενον, ἀλλ᾽ ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν υἱὸν καὶ μονογενῆ, θεὸν λόγον, κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν· καθάπερ ἄνωθεν οἱ προφῆται περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς ἡμᾶς ὁ κύριος Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐξεπαίδευσε καὶ τὸ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῖν καραδέδωκε σύμβολον. We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men 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] soul72 and body; consubstantial [coessential]73 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;74 one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures,75 inconfusedly, unchangeably,76 indivisibly, inseparably;77 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.
Sequentes igitur sanctos patres, unum eundemque confiteri Filium et Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum consonanter omnes docemus, eundem perfectum in deitate et eundem perfectum in humanitate; Deum verum et hominem verum eundem ex anima rationali et corpore; consubstantialem Patri secundum deitatem, consubstantialem nobis eundem secundum humanitatem; ‘per omnia nobis similem, absque peccato‘ (Heb. iv.): ante secula quidem de Patre genitum secundum deitatem; in novissimis autem diebus eundem propter nos et propter nostram salutem ex Maria virgine, Dei genitrice secundum humanitatem; unum eundemque Christum, filium, Dominum, unigenitum, in duabus naturis inconfuse, immutabiliter, indivise, inseperabiliter agnoscendum: nusquam sublata differentia naturarum propter unitionem, magisque salva proprietate utriusque naturæ, et in unam personam atque subsistentiam concurrente: non in duos personas partitum aut divisum, sed unum eundemque Filium et unigenitum, Deum verbum, Dominum Jesum Christum; sicut ante prophetæ de eo et ipse nos Jesus Christus erudivit et patrum nobis symbolum tradidit.
The Greek text, together with the Latin version, is taken from the ὅρος τῆς ἐν Χαλκηδόνι τετάρτης Συνόδου , Act. V. in Mansi, Conc. Tom. VII. p. 115. We have inserted ἐν δύο φύσεσιν (see note 4). There are several other Latin versions which Mansi gives, Tom. VII. pp. 115 and 751–758, with the various readings. See also Hahn, l.c. pp. 117 sqq.

The Creed is preceded in the acts of the Council by an express confirmation of the Nicene Creed in both forms, ‘the Creed of the three hundred and eighteen holy Fathers of Nicæa,’ and ‘the Creed of the hundred and fifty holy Fathers who were assembled at Constantinople.’ The Fathers of Chalcedon declare that ‘this wise and saving Creed [of Nicæa] would be sufficient for the full acknowledgment and confirmation of the true religion; for it teaches completely the perfect doctrine concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and fully explains the Incarnation of the Lord to those who receive it faithfully.’ The addition of a new Creed is justified by the subsequent Christological heresies (Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, and Eutychianism). After stating it, the Synod solemnly prohibits, on pain of deposition 64and excommunication, the setting forth of any other Creed for those ‘who are desirous of turning to the acknowledgment of the truth from Heathenism and Judaism.



Please see this post for my commentary:

6. Two Natures in One Person: Definition or Creed of Chalcedon + Commentary

This statement of faith supplements the main one for this website: The Apostles Creed.


Statements of Faith: Apostles Creed and NAE

Nicene Creed

Supplemental Statement of Faith: Two Historic Creeds

Definition or Creed of Chalcedon

Athanasian Creed + Commentary


Works Cited

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