Born circa 315
Died May 12, 403

“The Oracle of Palestine”


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We can tell the solution of any question not through our own reasonings but from what follows from the Scriptures.

(Panarion 65, as quoted in Examination of the Council of Trent I, p. 153)

Not every word of God must be made into an allegory, but only as He has used them. For we need to have an understanding of the theory or intention in order to possess the ability to interpret the meaning of each suggestion.

(quoted in Loci Theologici, p. 25)

The Father, truly having begotten the Son, and the Son truly having been begotten of the Father, is personally subsisting without beginning and eternal; and the Holy Spirit, as truly of the Father and the Son, being of the same Godhead, proceeding from the Father, and forever receiving from the Son.

(Homily Against Sabellians, as quoted by the Tübingen theologians in Augsburg and Constantinople, p. 229)

...the Father truly begot the Son, and the Son was truly begotten of the Father, existing in a hypostasis which is his own, without beginning and timelessly, and the Holy Spirit truly being of the Father and the Son, of the same Godhead ... ever proceeding from the Father and receiving from the Son.

(Ancoratus 3.1, as quoted by the Tübingen theologians in Augsburg and Constantinople, p. 241)

The Holy Spirit has no brother, neither is he a brother of the Father, but he is from the same essence of the Father and the Son.

(Ancoratus 3.1:74, as quoted by the Tübingen theologians in Augsburg and Constantinople, p. 120)

He [the Son] received a true and complete human nature, which differed from ours in no respect except in the glory of his holiness and deity. He is a vessel of sanctification and righteousness, having all things perfectly, without sin.

(Panarion, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 358)

Strengthening an earthly body with divinity, he united it into one power, brought it into one divinity, being one Lord, one Christ -- not two Christs, nor two Gods.

(Ancoratus, as quoted in Concordia Triglotta, p. 1131)

Christ is the receptacle of wisdom and deity.

(Ancoratus, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 127)

The humanity is co-united with the deity.

(Panarion 2.2, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 127)

For his human nature was not something subsisting apart by itself, neither did he speak with the divinity separated and the human nature existing apart, as though they were different persons, but with the human nature united with the divine (there being one consecration), and in the same even now knowing the most perfect things, it being now united in God and joined to the one deity.

(Panarion 69, as quoted in Concordia Triglotta, p. 1137)

Because the whole fullness of deity dwells in Christ bodily, Christ is thus made worthy of receiving the whole fullness of the Godhead.

(Ancoratus, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 304)

The Logos is the one who fills the assumed body.

(Panarion 5.2, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 304)

The Father gives to the Son, and the Son, who is not inferior to the Father, receives from the Father, particularly in two ways. First, that we might be led to one union with the Deity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in contradistinction to a multitude of gods. And second, that we might also be led to the transfiguration, to the glory of the incarnation, and to the union with the Deity. For in the transfiguration His face, even in the flesh, since His deity was still present, shone like the sun, that is, the flesh which came from Mary and from our human race was transfigured to heavenly glory, so that it acquired, in addition to its own natural powers, the glory, honor, and perfection of the Godhead, the flesh receiving the heavenly glory here in communion with the divine Logos, which it did not have from the beginning. We must also understand in this sense the passage, “He has given all judgment to the Son” [John 5:22], and also the passage, “He gave Him power, so that He gives life to whom He wishes” [John 5:21], that in the first place ... the one deity of the Trinity is indicated ... and in the second place, that by the incarnation of the deity He assumed the gift of dignity, power, and perfection which have been given by the Father to the Son for the one spiritual union of the deity.

(Panarion 2.2, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 357)

“If you abide in my word, you are my
disciples indeed. And you shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
(John 8:31-32, NKJV)

When I was sick in the flesh, the Savior was sent to me in the likeness of sinful flesh, fulfilling such a dispensation, to redeem me from slavery, from corruption, and from death. And he became to me righteousness, and sanctification, and salvation. Righteousness, by setting me free from sin through faith in him. Sanctification, in having set me free through water and the Spirit and his Word. And salvation, his blood being the ransom of the true Lamb, having given himself up on my behalf. An expiatory sacrifice for the cleansing of the world, for the reconciliation of all things in heaven as well as on earth, the mystery hidden before the ages and generations, fulfilled at the ordained time.

(Panarion 3.1:2, as quoted by the Tübingen theologians in Augsburg and Constantinople, pp. 126-27)

When the Son of God willed to suffer for the salvation of men, because the deity in himself was incapable of suffering and could not suffer, he assumed our body, which is capable of suffering, in order that in it he might consent to suffer and could take our sufferings upon himself, with the deity coexisting in the flesh. ... Although the deity was incapable of suffering, yet we do attribute suffering to God in order that there might be salvation for us in God, but the suffering was in the flesh.

(Panarion, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 211)

When Christ wanted to show the power of his deity, he was transfigured and showed his face as the sun and his garments as snow. For all things are possible to him in his power, even to the demonstration of things which are beyond all expectation, even to transmuting the lifeless into glory.

(Panarion, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 357)

It is manifest that the flesh which was of Mary and came of our race was also transformed into glory [in the Transfiguration], having acquired, in addition, the glory of the Godhead, heavenly honor and perfection and glory, which the flesh did not have from the beginning, but received there in the union with God the Word.

(Panarion 69, as quoted in Concordia Triglotta, p. 1115)

We see that the Savior took the bread in his hand, and when he had given thanks he said: “This is my body....” And we see that it is not equal or similar to either a corporeal image, or the invisible Deity, or the arrangement of the members of the body. For it is of rounded shape and without feeling as far as its power is concerned. But he wanted to say by grace: “This is my body...” and no one should refuse to believe this statement. For he who does not believe that he is truthful, as he himself has said, cuts himself off from grace and salvation. But what we have heard, that we believe, namely, that it is his body and blood.

(Ancoratus, as quoted in The Lord’s Supper, p. 182)

Assemblies for Communion were appointed by the apostles to be held on the fourth day, on Sabbath eve, and on the Lord’s Day.

(Panarion 3.22, as quoted in Concordia Triglotta, p. 385)

...therefore the deity and the humanity were one...when Christ suffered in the flesh, but the deity remained incapable of suffering in order that we might have justification not only in the flesh but also in the deity and that salvation might become ours both in the deity and in the flesh, according to both natures. ... For we do not have a suffering God (that is, by his own divine nature), but on the other hand we do not have a God who accomplished our salvation without suffering.

(Panarion 3.2, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 227)

In fact, Christ was crucified for this reason, that He might show the reality of His flesh -- that He had not brought His body down from heaven.

(Panarion 2.2:69, as quoted in Loci Theologici, p. 106)

[In the resurrection] He had the same true body, the same flesh, the same soul, and nothing else besides the body which he had assumed, powerfully working for the one unity, for the one Deity, fleshly and incorruptible, corporeal and spiritual, tangible and intangible, mortal and immortal. ... He was assumed into heaven in the same body, soul, and mind, uniting them into one spiritual hypostasis and causing this hypostasis to be filled with God. And because this was done by the divine power, he sits on the right hand of God the Father.

(Panarion 1.1, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 356)

After the resurrection, the instrument of the humanity of Christ was united with the Spirit, that is, it existed as a spiritual body which at times was capable of being touched. For if our bodies are sown physically in ignominy and infirmity, but will rise spiritually in glory and power, how much more that holy, indescribable, incomparable, brilliant, gleaming body when it has been united with God, the one Being wholly unique. As Saint Paul says, “Although we have known Christ according to the flesh, now we know Him no more” [2 Cor. 5:16], not because He had separated the flesh from the deity, but because the flesh itself indeed remains and is united with God. However, He is no longer with us according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

(Ancoratus, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 358)

[Peter said] “This same Jesus whom ye crucified” [Acts 2:36], in order that the holy incarnate dispensation might not be left by the impassible and uncreated Word, but might be united above to the uncreated Word. On this account God made that which was conceived of Mary and united to deity both Lord and Christ.

(Panarion 69, as quoted in Concordia Triglotta, p. 1125)

We must confess that the Logos possesses in union with himself a complete human nature together with his own essential deity, and that the one deity achieved total perfection and sits in heaven on the right hand of the Father on the throne of the majesty of his eternal dominion.

(Panarion 5.2, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, pp. 357-58)

The body of Christ, having been made divine sits at the right hand of God.

(Panarion 1.1, as quoted in The Two Natures in Christ, p. 408)

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my
spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
(Luke 1:46-47, NKJV)

Let the saints be in honor, and their rest in glory. It is not, however, fitting to honor the saints more highly than is proper, but rather to honor their Lord. ... The honor which the saints in their time showed to God has become for others who did not see it truth turned into error.

(Panarion, as quoted in Examination of the Council of Trent III, p. 467)

Some think and speak contemptuously about Mary; others however, inclining toward the other side, glorify her beyond what is fitting. ... Under the pretext that it is right, the devil secretly enters the mind of men and deifies mortal nature; he models statues which bear the human image, in order that they may adore the dead and introduce images for adoration, committing adultery with the mind against the one and only God. Yes, certainly, the body of Mary was holy, but she was not God. Yes, indeed, the Virgin was a virgin, and honorable, but she was not given to us to worship. She worshiped him to whom she gave birth from her flesh; the one who is from heaven and from the Father’s bosom. And for this reason the Gospel reassures us of this, the Lord himself declaring that: “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come” [Jn 2:4]. And so that no one would think from the words, “O woman, what have you to do with me,” that the holy Virgin is superior, he calls her “woman.”

(Panarion 3.2:4, as quoted [in part] in Examination of the Council of Trent III, p. 468, and [in part] by the Tübingen theologians in Augsburg and Constantinople, p. 141)

What Scripture has told this? Which prophet has commanded to adore man? Elijah did not see death, but was taken into heaven. John reclined against the breast of the Lord. But neither was Elijah worshiped, even though he was among the living. Neither was John worshiped, although by his own prayers he attained a wondrous death, and received grace from God. Not even Thecla, nor any of the saints, were worshiped. For the ancient error will not conquer us: to abandon the Living and to worship those who have been made by him. For they worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, and became fools [cf. Rom 1:25]. For if he does not want the angels to be worshiped, how much more does he not want her who was born from Anna, who was given by Joachim to Anna, to be worshiped?

(Panarion 3.2:5, as quoted [in part] in Examination of the Council of Trent III, p. 468, and [in part] by the Tübingen theologians in Augsburg and Constantinople, p. 140)

The Word, which is God, took on flesh from Mary, not however in order that the Virgin might be adored, neither that he might make her God. Let Mary be held in honor, but let the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be worshiped; let no one worship Mary. This mystery is due God, not to women, neither to man. Nor does such a doxology belong to the angels. Let those things be erased which have been wrongly written in the heart of those who have been deceived. Let the lust of the idol be extinguished from the eyes. Let the creature return again to the Master. Let Eve with Adam return to honor God alone. Let no one be led by the voice of the serpent. Let him abide by the command of God. ... Although Mary is holy and to be honored, nevertheless she is not meant to be adored.

(Panarion 3.2:7, as quoted [in part] in Examination of the Council of Trent III, p. 468, and [in part] by the Tübingen theologians in Augsburg and Constantinople, pp. 140-41)

Therefore I have also said that the appetite of bodily desire is not something unnatural, for it has been given in order that children may be begotten in purity, in order that the command may be fulfilled: “Be fruitful and multiply” [Genesis 1:28].

(Panarion 1.3:45, as quoted in Examination of the Council of Trent III, pp. 32-33)

The holy church of God admires and praises virginity with humility, praises widowhood, and honors and accepts the chaste bond of marriage. However, she forbids fornication, adultery, and other lusts, holds them in abomination, and condemns them...

(Panarion 2.1:48, as quoted in Examination of the Council of Trent III, p. 36)

We have written these things for those who want to learn the truth of Scripture; if some do not want to tolerate it, nor accept things useful, but rather the contrary, one will have to say: “He who hears, let him hear; he who is disobedient, let him be disobedient.”

(Panarion 3.2, as quoted in Examination of the Council of Trent III, p. 469)


Augsburg and Constantinople by George Mastrantonis. Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1982.
Concordia Triglotta. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921.
Examination of the Council of Trent, Part I, by Martin Chemnitz. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971.
Examination of the Council of Trent, Part III, by Martin Chemnitz. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986.
Loci Theologici by Martin Chemnitz. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1989.
The Lord’s Supper by Martin Chemnitz. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1979.
The Two Natures in Christ by Martin Chemnitz. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971.

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Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings... (Hebrews 13:7-9, NASB)

So we teach nothing...that is alien either to Scripture or to the church catholic. We have simply cleansed and brought into the light the most important statements in the Scriptures and the Fathers that had been obscured by the sophistic quarreling of recent theologians. (Apology of the Augsburg Confession II:32, Kolb/Wengert p. 116)

Therefore our preachers have diligently taught about these matters, and in the process they have said nothing new. Instead they have set forth the Holy Scripture and the statements of the holy Fathers. (Apology II:50, Kolb/Wengert p. 120)

...the church, which is truly the kingdom of Christ, properly called “the pillar...of the truth” [1 Tim. 3:15] for it retains the pure gospel, and, as Paul says [1 Cor. 3:12], “the foundation,” that is, the true knowledge of Christ and faith. Even though there are among these people many weak ones who build upon this foundation structures of stubble that will perish (that is to say, certain useless opinions), nevertheless, because they do not overthrow the foundation, these things are to be both forgiven them and also corrected. The writings of the holy Fathers bear witness that at times even they built stubble upon the foundation but that this did not overturn their faith. (Apology VII/VIII:17,20-21, Kolb/Wengert pp. 176-77)

The Lutheran Church has never despised or even disregarded the traditions that have come down from the ancient fathers of the Church. What has been preserved by the teachings and doings of Christian men from the apostlesí time down to the present day is precious. The light which it gives in regard to the faith and the labors of love which the Holy Spirit wrought in other days, the lives which were rendered luminous by rays from heaven Ė as others were rendered dark by obscuring blackness from hell, in its rage against the Anointed of the Lord Ė the Church is not willing to forget. She desires to learn the lessons of history and rejoices in her fellowship with men of God who lived and suffered in the same glorious cause in which she is still engaged with the same assurance of faith which made believers strong in other days. But she knows that some professed to be Christians who were not such, and that Christians could err in the past as in the present, and therefore she applies to the Christians of other times the same unerring rule that she applies now, and holds fast as Godís truth only what is declared in Godís Word. (Matthias Loy, The Augsburg Confession [Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern, 1908], p. 179)

Ruins of the Basilica of St. Epiphanios in Salamis, Cyprus

Ruins of the Baptistry of the Basilica of St. Epiphanios

The images of Saint Epiphanius and the Virgin Mary are from mosaics in the Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The image of Christ is from a mosaic in the Cathedral of Saint Michael in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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