In Christianity, docetism (from the Koine Greek: δοκεῖν/δόκησις dokeĩn "to seem", dókēsis "apparition, phantom",[1][2] is the doctrine that the phenomenon of Jesus, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality.[3][4] Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion.

The word Δοκηταί Dokētaí ("Illusionists") referring to early groups who denied Jesus's humanity, first occurred in a letter by Bishop Serapion of Antioch (197–203),[5] who discovered the doctrine in the Gospel of Peter, during a pastoral visit to a Christian community using it in Rhosus, and later condemned it as a forgery.[6].[7] It appears to have arisen over theological contentions concerning the meaning, figurative or literal, of a sentence from the Gospel of John: "the Word was made Flesh".[8]

Docetism was unequivocally rejected at the First Council of Nicaea in 325[9] and is regarded as heretical by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Orthodox Tewahedo,[10] and many other Christian denominations that accept and hold to the statements of these early church councils.


Docetism is broadly defined as any teaching that claims that Jesus' body was either absent or illusory.[11] The term 'docetic' is rather nebulous.[12][13] Two varieties were widely known. In one version, as in Marcionism, Christ was so divine that he could not have been human, since God lacked a material body, which therefore could not physically suffer. Jesus only appeared to be a flesh-and-blood man; his body was a phantasm. Other groups who were accused of docetism held that Jesus was a man in the flesh, but Christ was a separate entity who entered Jesus's body in the form of a dove at his baptism, empowered him to perform miracles, and abandoned him upon his death on the cross.[14]

Other Languages
العربية: دوسيتية
български: Докетизъм
català: Docetisme
čeština: Doketismus
dansk: Doketisme
Deutsch: Doketismus
Ελληνικά: Δοκητισμός
español: Docetismo
Esperanto: Docetismo
euskara: Dozetismo
français: Docétisme
galego: Docetismo
한국어: 가현설
Bahasa Indonesia: Doketisme
interlingua: Docetismo
italiano: Docetismo
עברית: דוקטיזם
ქართული: დოკეტიზმი
lietuvių: Doketizmas
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magyar: Doketizmus
Malagasy: Doketisma
മലയാളം: ഡോസെറ്റിസം
Nederlands: Docetisme
日本語: 仮現説
norsk: Doketisme
norsk nynorsk: Doketisme
occitan: Docetisme
polski: Doketyzm
português: Docetismo
română: Docetism
русский: Докетизм
Simple English: Docetism
slovenčina: Doketizmus
slovenščina: Doketizem
српски / srpski: Докетизам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Doketizam
suomi: Doketismi
svenska: Doketism
Tagalog: Docetismo
українська: Докетизм
中文: 幻影说