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In theology, what was Apollinarianism?


Apollinarianism was a fourth-century Christian heresy that plagued the early church and that denied the full humanity and perfection of Jesus the Christ. It is named after Apollinaris the Younger, who was bishop of the Laodicean church and who originated the teaching c. AD 361. Apollinarianism was rejected in the various early church councils, including the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

Apollinarianism taught that Jesus’ two natures, human and divine, could not co-exist in the same person. According to Apollinaris, since Jesus was human, He must have sinned, and a sinful nature could not share the same body with the divine nature. To overcome this “problem” in Jesus, the Logos of God came upon Jesus, replacing His human mind or rational nature with God’s and overwhelming the sinfulness inherent in Jesus’ humanity. The Logos thus became the divine nature of Christ, as opposed to the human nature of Jesus.

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