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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Did Christ Have One Will or Two? (Monothelitism)

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Don Stewart

Since Jesus Christ was both divine and human the question has arisen as to His will. Did He have only one will while here upon the earth or did He have two?

Did Jesus Have Only One Will - Monothelitism

The doctrine of Jesus only having one will is known as Monothelitism. The idea was condemned as a heresy at a church council.

The Bible Does Not Say How Many Wills Jesus Had

There is no specific passage in which this issue is addressed. Jesus speaks of His will

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me (John 6:38).

However, He does not specify whether it is one or two.

It Depends Upon The Definition

The answer seems to depend upon how one defines "will." If will means "behavior complex" then Christ had two wills: one human and one divine. Yet the two were always in agreement. There was never any conflict between the human nature of Christ and the divine nature. While Jesus made only one decision it seems that both wills were involved.


Christ came to do the will of God the Father although He testified that He did have His own unique will. Whether it consisted of one will or two wills the Bible does not specifically say. There are arguments that can be given to support both sides. It seems that the Bible does not give enough information on the subject to make a firm conclusion.

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