Of the great ecumenical creeds of the Christian Church, the Chalcedonian Formula is perhaps least familiar to the rank and file of its members. While it does not contain any Christological tenet other than what has already been set forth in the Apostles’ Creed and that of Nicaea, its particular emphasis rests upon the doctrine of two unconfounded and undivided natures in the person of Christ.


The Formula was adopted by the fourth ecumenical council held in 451 A.D. at Chalcedon, a city in Bithynia on the Bosporus, opposite Constantinople. Today the town is a Turkish bathing resort, known as Kadiköy. After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the magnificent Chalcedonian cathedral was torn down by Moslem invaders and used as building material for the erection of the so-called “Blue Mosque,” which is generally regarded as the most beautiful Mohammedan temple in the world. No doubt the many Christological controversies in the fifth century gradually paved the way for the Islamic view that reduced Christ to a merely human and rather subordinate prophet. The Chalcedonian Formula reads:

Following the holy fathers, we all with one voice teach men to confess that the Son and our Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same, that he is perfect in godhead and perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body, consubstantial with the Father as touching his godhead and consubtantial with us as to his manhood, in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten of the Father before all worlds according to his godhead; but in these last days, for us and for our salvation, of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, according to his manhood (humanity), one and the same Christ, Son, ...

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