Jesus' Soul and Personhood

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TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
Could I get some help understanding this? Is not my person equivalent to my soul? So whenever a human soul is created, a new person is created, correct? But, if so, and Jesus had a human soul, how do we logically avoid Nestorianism in saying that the creation of Jesus' human soul didn't result in the creation of a new person?

Sorry if this is a dumb question by the way, but I can't currently understand it.
 
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Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
How is it that your "person" is your soul? Isn't your body just as much a part of your "person?" My point isn't so much to answer your question, as to address how filled it is with prior assumptions and the absence of groundwork.

The Second Person of the Godhead, who already had a divine nature, took on himself a human nature. The Personhood of this One is now described, uniquely, post-Incarnation by the doctrine of the hypostatic union. The one Person is best understood (in an orthodox manner) according to the Definition of Chalcedon. If you study that, or study the Athanasian Creed (so called), you will discover the fruits of the historic battle to defend the true biblical doctrine; and you should be able to avoid Nestorianism or any of the other heresies that obliterate the Christ who saves.
 

TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
How is it that your "person" is your soul? Isn't your body just as much a part of your "person?" My point isn't so much to answer your question, as to address how filled it is with prior assumptions and the absence of groundwork.

The Second Person of the Godhead, who already had a divine nature, took on himself a human nature. The Personhood of this One is now described, uniquely, post-Incarnation by the doctrine of the hypostatic union. The one Person is best understood (in an orthodox manner) according to the Definition of Chalcedon. If you study that, or study the Athanasian Creed (so called), you will discover the fruits of the historic battle to defend the true biblical doctrine; and you should be able to avoid Nestorianism or any of the other heresies that obliterate the Christ who saves.
I guess I was assuming my person is more or less equivalent to my soul since my soul is my "true inner life". When I die and my soul is separated from my body, I'll still be the same person, so I guess I don't understand how my body could also be part of my person?

Unless, of course we say that I'm a person with a body and a soul. So, is the answer to my question the fact that personhood is not equivalent to one's soul, so therefore Jesus can also be a person with a soul, just like I'm also a person with a soul?

Has there ever been any Christian works that have sought to define in-depth exactly what a person is?

Hm are we to assume Jesus' soul was created?

Yes, Jesus' soul is part of his human nature, which is a creature. Only the Divine Person of Christ is eternal.
 
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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Could I get some help understanding this? Is not my person equivalent to my soul? So whenever a human soul is created, a new person is created, correct? But, if so, and Jesus had a human soul, how do we logically avoid Nestorianism in saying that the creation of Jesus' human soul didn't result in the creation of a new person?

Sorry if this is a dumb question by the way, but I can't currently understand it.

Person and soul aren't the same thing. A soul is a necessary condition for a person, but it is not a sufficient condition.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Perhaps this would be helpful to you:

Q. 37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
A. The souls of believers are, at their death, made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves until the resurrection.

We are created body and soul. That they may be separated is a terrible result of the fall. We cannot assert that one is anymore "us" or "real" than the other. That Jesus is united to both is astonishing and comforting.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Could I get some help understanding this? Is not my person equivalent to my soul? So whenever a human soul is created, a new person is created, correct? But, if so, and Jesus had a human soul, how do we logically avoid Nestorianism in saying that the creation of Jesus' human soul didn't result in the creation of a new person?

Sorry if this is a dumb question by the way, but I can't currently understand it.
We should start by recognizing that the mystery of the incarnation won't be fully comprehensible to us, because the divine nature is not fully comprehensible to us.

Having that as a starting point, the doctrine of the incarnation teaches that a Divine person took to himself a human nature, consisting in a true body and a reasonable soul. He maintains his identity as the Second Person of the Godhead, and thus his personhood is not altered or divided. If the Nestorian error is true, the incarnation is a failure, and there are two Christs.

The incarnation is the only time that a new human being has been formed who had a preexisting personality. It's an entirely unique event. We shouldn't expect it to conform to the ordinary course of things. It's in a category of its own.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
I guess I was assuming my person is more or less equivalent to my soul since my soul is my "true inner life". When I die and my soul is separated from my body, I'll still be the same person, so I guess I don't understand how my body could also be part of my person?

Unless, of course we say that I'm a person with a body and a soul. So, is the answer to my question the fact that personhood is not equivalent to one's soul, so therefore Jesus can also be a person with a soul, just like I'm also a person with a soul?

Has there ever been any Christian works that have sought to define in-depth exactly what a person is?

Yes, Jesus' soul is part of his human nature, which is a creature. Only the Divine Person of Christ is eternal.
I have found Basil of Caeserea's letter to his brother Gregory helpful in "defining" person, distinguishing between the hypostasis (person) and ousia (being). It's short.
 
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