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Docetism (or Illusionism) is a Christological heresy, the teaching that Jesus Christ only appeared to be man but was not in actuality. The word is derived from the Greek dokeo, meaning "to seem" or "to appear". According to Docetae (Illusionists), the eternal Son of God did not really become human, have a physical body, or suffer on the cross; he only appeared to do so, i.e., his body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion.

Docetism existed during the New Testament period and even afterwards, being addressed by both the New Testament epistles and by those of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

Source and further reading