Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Was the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ created?

"We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God; begotten not created; of one essence with the Father". This part of the Creed addresses the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Son existed from the beginning in His divine nature. He was born, not created; and is called the eternal offspring of the Father because He is the proper Son of God who forever exists. Then He "Came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, and became man". The human nature of our Lord Jesus Christ was not from the beginning; otherwise His birth from St. Mary would have been superfluous. St. Paul said that the Lord came to aid us: "Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren" (Heb 2:17), and to take a body like us in order to offer it for us as His own.

St Athanasius explains, "He (the Word of God) took to Himself a body, a human body even as our own. He took our body, and not only so, but He took it directly from a spotless, stainless virgin, without the agency of human father- a pure body, untainted by intercourse with man. He, the Mighty One, the Artificer of all, Himself prepared this body in the virgin as a temple for Himself, and took it for His very own, as the instrument through which He was known and in which He dwelt. Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death in place of all, and offered it to the Father."

The mystery of the Incarnation is expressed in Scripture by different terms: epilepsis, the act of taking on a nature (Heb 2:17): epiphaneia, appearance (2 Tim 1:10); phanerosis hen sarki, manifestation in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16); somatos katartismos, the fitting of a body, what some Latin Fathers call incorporatio (Heb 10:5); kenosis, the act of emptying one's self (Phil 2:7).
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