Catalogue of Testimonies
Both of Scripture and Orthodox Antiquity

Which show not only What Either has Taught concerning the person and the Divine Majesty of the Human Nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Exalted to the Right Hand of God's Omnipotence, but also what form of Speech Either Has Used

by Jakob Andreae (1528-1590)
and Martin Chemnitz (1522-1586)

Translated by Gerhard F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau
Printed in: Gerhard F. Bente et al., ed., Concordia Triglotta
(St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1921), 1105-49

To: Index - Book of Concord - Jacob Andreae - Project Wittenberg

To the Christian Reader

1] Since, especially in the article of the Person of Christ, some have without reason asserted that in the Book of Concord there is a deviation from phrasibus and modis loquendi, that is, the phrases and modes of speech of [received and approved by] the ancient pure Church and fathers, and that, on the contrary, new, strange, self-devised, unusual and unheard-of expressions are introduced; and since the testimonies of the ancient Church and fathers to which this book appeals proved somewhat too extended to be incorporated in it, and having been carefully excerpted, were afterwards delivered to several electors and princes, --

2] [Therefore] they are printed in goodly number as an appendix at the end of this book, in regard to particular points, for the purpose of furnishing a correct and thorough account to the Christian reader, whereby he may perceive and readily discover that in the aforesaid book nothing new has been introduced either in rebus (matter) or in phrasibus (expressions), that is, neither as regards the doctrine nor the manner of teaching it, but that we have taught and spoken concerning this mystery just as, first of all, the Holy Scriptures and afterwards the ancient pure Church have done.

3] Thus, in the first place, concerning the unity of the person and the distinction of the two natures in Christ, and their essential properties, the Book of Concord writes just as the ancient pure Church, its fathers and councils, have spoken -- namely, that there are not two persons, but one Christ, and in this person two distinct natures, the divine and the human nature, which are not separated nor intermingled or transformed the one into the other, but each nature has and retains its essential attributes, and in [all] eternity does not lay them aside; and that the essential attributes of the one nature, which are truly and properly ascribed to the entire person, never become attributes of the other natures. This is borne out by the following testimonies of the ancient pure councils:

4] In the fourth canon, or rule, of the Council of Ephesus occurs the following resolution: "If any one divides the words of Scripture regarding Christ in two persons or subsistences, and applies some of them indeed to Him as man, who is to be understood specially, outside of the Word of God [outside of or without the Word of the Father, or without the Son of God], and assigns others, as worthy of God alone, to the Word of God the Father [some, however, only to the Son of God, as belonging to God alone], let him be accursed."

5] In the fifth canon, thus: "If any one dares to say that the man Christ is the Bearer of God, and not rather that He is God, so as to call Him truly the Son by nature [that as the natural Son of God He is truly God], because it was the Word that was made flesh, and, in a similar manner [even] as we, became sharers of flesh and blood, let him be accursed."

6] In the sixth canon, thus: "If any one does not confess the same Christ to be at the same time God and man [that the one Christ is at the same time God and man], for the reason that according to the Scriptures the Word was made flesh, let him be accursed."

7] In the twelfth canon, thus: "If any one does not confess that the Word of God [the Father] suffered in the flesh, and was crucified in the flesh, and tasted death in the flesh, and became the First-born from the dead, according as [since] He is, as God, the Life and He that maketh alive, let him be accursed."

8] And the decree of the Council of Chalcedon, as cited by Evagrius, lib. 2, cap 4, reads thus: "Following, then, the holy fathers, we confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and we all set forth with one voice that the same is perfect in deity and the same perfect in humanity; that the same is truly God and truly man, consisting of a rational soul and a body; that He is consubstantial with the Father as regards the deity, and that the same is consubstantial with us according to the humanity; that He is in all respects like us, excepting sin; that He was begotten before the world out of the Father according to the deity, but that the same person was in the last days born for us and for our salvation of Mary, the virgin and mother of God, according to the humanity; that one and the same Jesus Christ, the Son, the Lord, the Only-begotten, is known in two natures, without being commingled, without being changed, without being taken apart [or divided], without being segregated, the difference of the natures being in no wise abolished on account of the [personal] union, but the peculiarity of each nature being rather preserved, and running together into one person and subsistence; not as divided or torn into two persons, but one and the same only-begotten Son, God the Word and the Lord Jesus Christ [we acknowledge one single Christ our Lord, who is at once the only-begotten Son, or the Word of the Father, and also true man]; as the prophets of old and the Christ Himself have taught us concerning Him, and the symbol of the fathers has handed down to us."

9] Thus, too, the Tenth Synodical Epistle of Leo (to Flavianus, cap. 3, fol. 92) [which the Council of Chalcedon regarded as equal to an instruction] says: "[The personal union has taken place in this manner, that] The peculiarity of each nature being unimpaired [remaining unmingled and unchanged], and coming together into one person, there has been assumed by [divine] Majesty [human] lowliness, by [divine] Power [human] weakness, by Eternity [the eternal divine Being] mortality [the human, mortal nature] (abstract for the concrete), and for the purpose of paying the debt of our condition, the [immortal] nature that cannot suffer has been united to the [human] nature that can suffer, so that our one and the same Mediator could both die according to one and could not die according to the other [in order that our single Mediator, since according to the one nature, namely, the divine, He could not die, might die for us according to the other, namely, the human]."

10] Likewise (cap. 4, fol. 93): "He who is true God, the same is true man, since both the humility of man and the loftiness of God are reciprocal [exist together in one person]. For just as God does not change by pity [when from pity for us He assumes the human nature], so man is not consumed by divine dignity [and glory]; for each form [nature] does what is peculiar to it, in communion with the other -- namely, the Word working what belongs to the Word [Son of God], and the flesh executing what belongs to the flesh. One of these flashes forth in the miracles, the other sinks beneath injuries [and still there is one single Mediator, God and man]. He is God, because [through this, for this, and because of this, that] in the beginning was the Word, and God was the Word, by whom all things were made. He is man, because [through this, for this, and because of this, that] the Word was made flesh, and because He was made of a woman. Also, because of [to indicate] this unity of the person which is to be understood in both natures, we read that the Son of Man descended from heaven when the Son of God assumed flesh of the Virgin Mary."

11] And again (cap. 5, fol 93): "The Son of God is said to have been crucified and buried, although He suffered these things not in His very divinity, by which He is consubstantial with the Father, but in the infirmity of [His assumed] human nature."

12] So far the words of the two councils, of Ephesus and of Chalcedon, with which also all the other holy fathers agree.

13] This is precisely what the learned men in our schools have thus far desired to indicate and declare by the words abstract and concrete, to which this book [of Concord in the present instance] also has reference in a few words (see above p. 1029) [when it is stated]: All of which the learned know well; which words must necessarily be retained in their true sense in the schools.

14] For concrete terms are words of such a kind as designate the entire person in Christ, such as God, man. But abstract terms are words by which the natures in the person of Christ are understood and expressed, as divinity, humanity.

15] According to this distinction it is correctly said in concreto: God is man, man is God. On the other hand, it is speaking incorrectly when one says in abstracto: Divinity is humanity, humanity is divinity.

16] The same rule applies also to the essential attributes, so that the attributes of the one nature cannot be predicated of the other nature in abstracto, as though they were attributes also of the other nature. Therefore the following expressions are [would be] false and incorrect if one were to say: "The human nature is Omnipotence, is from eternity." Just as the attributes themselves cannot be predicated of one another, as if one would say: Mortalitas est immortalitas, et e contra; "Mortality is immortality," and immortality is mortality; for by such expressions the distinction of the natures and their attributes is abolished, they are confounded with one another, changed one into the other, and thus made equal and alike.

17] But since we must not only know and firmly believe that the assumed human nature in the person of Christ has and retains to all eternity its essence and the natural essential attributes of the same, but it is a matter of especial importance, and the greatest consolation for Christians is comprised therein, that we also know from the revelation of the Holy Scriptures, and without doubt believe the majesty to which this His human nature has been elevated in deed and truth by the personal union, and of which it thus has become personally participant, as has been extensively explained in the Book of Concord; accordingly, and in order that likewise every one may see that also in this part the book mentioned has introduced no new, strange, self-devised, unheard-of paradoxes and expressions into the Church of God, the following Catalog of Testimonies -- first of all from the Holy Scriptures, and then also of the ancient, pure teachers of the Church, especially, however, of those fathers who were most eminent and leaders in the first four Ecumenical Councils -- will clearly show, from which it may be understood how they have spoken concerning this subject.

18] And in order that the Christian reader may the more readily find his way through them and get his bearing, they have been arranged under several distinct heads as follows:

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Rev. Robert E. Smith
Walther Library
Concordia Theological Seminary.

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