Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


(Monotheletism; Monothelism; from Gk. monos, “single,” and thelema, “will”). Belief that in Jesus Christ there was only 1 mode of activity (1 divine human energy; 1 volitional activity), or, as it came to be expressed, that Christ had only 1 divine human will. Opposed to Dyothelitism.*

In discussions aimed at healing the Monophysite* controversy, the terms “1 energy” and “1 will” or at least “1 state of will” first came into prominence in Alexandria, Egypt, as descriptive of Monophysitism.* Honorius I sanctioned use of “1 will.” Sophronius (ca. 560–638; b. Damascus; patriarch Jerusalem ca. 634) took exception to “1 nature.” The 6th ecumenical council on September 16, 681, sanctioned 2 natural wills and natural energies in Christ, holding that the wills are not opposed, but that the human will follows and is subordinate to the divine will. The Quinisext* Syn. homologated the condemnation of Monothelitism. Cf. Christ's human will, e.g., Mt 27:34; Jn 1:43; 17:24; 19:28; divine will Lk 13:24; Jn 5:21. See also Ecthesis; Christological Controversies; Constantinople, Councils of, 3.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online