There are no direct discussion in the New Testament regarding the dual nature of the Person of Christ as both divine and human. Hence, since the early days of Christianity theologians have debated various approaches to the understanding of these natures.
Historically in the Alexandrian school of thought (fashioned on the Gospel of John) Jesus Christ is the eternal Logos who already possesses unity with the Father before the act of Incarnation. In contrast, the Antiochian school views Christ as a single, unified human person apart from his relationship to the divine.
The views of these schools can be summarized as follows:
- Alexandria: Logos assumes a general human nature.
- Antioch: Logos assumes a specific human being
From the 2nd century onwards, the Christological approaches to defining the Person of Christ and how the human and divine elements interact and inter-relate resulted in debates among different Christian groups and produced schisms.
In the period immediately following the Apostolic Age, specific beliefs such as Arianism and Docetism (polar opposites of each other) were criticized and eventually abandoned. Arianism which viewed Jesus as primarily an ordinary mortal was considered at first heretical in 325, then exonerated in 335 and eventually re-condemned as heretical at the First Council of Constantinople of 381. On the other end of the spectrum, Docetism argued that Jesus' physical body was an illusion, and that he was only a spiritual being. Docetic teachings were attacked by St. Ignatius of Antioch and were eventually abandoned by proto-orthodox Christians.
The First Council of Ephesus in 431 debated a number of views regarding the Person of Christ. The council was called by Cyril of Alexandria at the request of Pope Celestine I who was unhappy with Nestorius, who had previously been a preacher in Antioch, and his view that regarded the Person of Christ as having a disjoint human nature from his divine nature. At the same gathering the council also debated the doctrines of Monophysitism (i.e. the Person of Christ has only one nature) versus Miaphysitism (i.e. the Person of Christ has two natures united as one). The council rejected Nestorianism (i.e. the Person of Christ having two disjoint natures) and adopted the Hypostatic union i.e. two co-existing natures in the Person of Christ. The language used in the 431 declaration was further refined at the 451 Council of Chalcedon.
The Council of Chalcedon endorsed the Hypostatic union, stating that the human and divine natures of the Person of Christ co-exist, yet each is distinct and complete. However, the Chalcedon creed was not accepted by all Christians. To date, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and Reformed adhere to the Chalcedonian creed, while many branches of Eastern Christianity such as Syrian Orthodoxy, Assyrian Church, Coptic Orthodoxy, Ethiopian Orthodoxy, and Armenian Apostolicism reject it.
Because Saint Augustine died in 430 he did not participate in the Council of Ephesus in 431 or Chalcedon in 451, but his ideas had some impact on both councils. On the other hand, the other major theological figure of the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas, had much to say about the Person of Christ. In particular regarding the attributes of the union of the natures of Christ (as in Communicatio Idiomatum) Aquinas concluded that the union of the divine and the human in the Person of Christ is achieved in a manner that each maintains its own attributes.
John Calvin maintained that there was no human element in the Person of Christ which could be separated from the person of The Word. Calvin also emphasized the importance of the "Work of Christ" in any attempt at understanding the Person of Christ and cautioned against ignoring the Works of Jesus during his ministry.
The study of the Person of Christ continued into the 20th century, with modern theologians such as Karl Rahner and Hans von Balthasar. Rahner pointed out the coincidence between the Person of Christ and The Word of God, referring to Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26 which state that whoever is ashamed of the words of Jesus is ashamed of the Lord himself. Balthasar argued that the union of the human and divine natures of Christ was achieved not by the "absorption" of human attributes but by their "assumption". Thus in his view the divine nature of Christ was not affected by the human attributes and remained forever divine.
See also 
Further reading 
- The Person of Christ by John Owen 2001 ISBN 1-58960-067-3
- The Person of Christ by Donald MacLeod 1998 ISBN 0-8308-1537-6
- The Person of Christ by Murray Rae, Stephen R. Holmes 2005 ISBN 0-567-03024-5
- Introducing Christian Doctrine by Millard J. Erickson, L. Arnold Hustad 2001 ISBN page 234
- Karl Barth's christology by Charles T. Waldrop 1985 ISBN 90-279-3109-7 pages 19-23
- Historical Theology: An Introduction by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 2000 ISBN 0567223574 pages 50-51
- A concise dictionary of theology by Gerald O'Collins 2004 ISBN 0-567-08354-3 pages 144-145
- Editors, Erwin Fahlbusch (1999), The encyclopedia of Christianity, Leiden, Netherland: Brill, p. 463, ISBN 0-8028-2413-7
- Rausch, Thomas P. (2003), Who is Jesus? : an introduction to Christology, Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, p. 149, ISBN 0-8146-5078-3
- Ehrman, Bart D. (1993), The Orthodox corruption of scripture: the effect of early Christological controversies on the text of the New Testament, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-510279-6
- McGrath, Alister E. (2007), Christian theology : an introduction, Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, p. 282, ISBN 1-4051-5360-1
- The creed: the apostolic faith in contemporary theology by Berard L. Marthaler 2007 ISBN 0-89622-537-2 page 114 
- Mary and the Saints by James P. Campbell 2005 0829417257 pages 17-20 
- Essential theological terms by Justo L. González 2005 ISBN 0-664-22810-0 page 120 
- Doctrine and practice in the early church by Stuart George Hall 1992 ISBN 0-8028-0629-5 pages 211-218 
- The acts of the Council of Chalcedon by Council of Chalcedon, Richard Price, Michael Gaddis 2006 ISBN 0-85323-039-0 pages 1-5
- An Episcopal dictionary of the church by Donald S. Armentrout, Robert Boak Slocum 2005 ISBN 0-89869-211-3 page 81
- An introductory dictionary of theology and religious studies by Orlando O. Espín, James B. Nickoloff 2007 ISBN 0-8146-5856-3 page 217
- Sourcebook of the world's religions by Joel Diederik Beversluis 2000 ISBN 1-57731-121-3 pages 21-22 
- The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology by Alan Richardson and John Bowden (Jan 1, 1983) ISBN 0664227481 page 169
- Augustine by Mary T. Clark 2005 ISBN 0-8264-7659-7 page 65
- Summa Theologiae: Volume 49, The Grace of Christ: 3a. 7-15 by Thomas Aquinas, Liam G. Walsh 2006 ISBN 0-521-02957-0 page 103
- Calvin's Christology by Stephen Edmondson 2004 ISBN 0-521-54154-9 page 217
- Calvin's First Catechism by I. John Hesselink 1997 ISBN 0-664-22725-2 page 217
- Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0-86012-006-6 page 1822
- The eschatology of Hans Urs von Balthasar by Nicholas J. Healy 2005 ISBN 0-19-927836-9 pages 22-23