For example, the issue of Mary being the Theotokos, or “God-bearer” was a reoccurring issue as Marian devotion was beginning to become popular. Ponder:  If Christ were a human person, then how did God become Man? It is a title assigned by the early Christian Church to the Virgin Mary at the Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus in 431 AD. No, there had to be a true union between God and Man. The answer may seem straightforward: Of course He was (or is that is)? Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin”, he, the Redeemer of man. There was great rejoicing in the streets of Constantinople and throughout the Empire, now that Mary was truly and forever proclaimed Theotokos, the Mother of God, and therefore we, truly, are all God’s children, in a way more real than we could ever have imagined. Cyril of Alexandria advocated that Jesus is both Divine and human; a Greek belief that was called Monophysitism which means “one nature” (Lynch 173). ), well, anyway, Nestorius claimed that Mary did not in fact give birth to God, but rather to a human person, namely, Christ, who was somehow united to God. Facebook. How were they united? As Ratzinger frames the question so clearly: Person is the true apex of human existence. That would mean there were two beings, two persons: one in heaven, and another on earth. But, as they reasoned upon the data of revelation, He was not and could not be a human person. As the great Pope John Paul II declared in 1979 in his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, in a passage that bears quoting in full, as we prepare for Christ’s Advent (yes, I know the great mind of JP II can be heavy and deep reading, but he is worth it): Christ, the Redeemer of the world, is the one who penetrated in a unique unrepeatable way into the mystery of man and entered his “heart”. It is missing in Jesus. Who was born, walked the earth, preached, healed, counselled, forgave sins, suffered and died for us? From antiquity, Mary has been called "Theotokos", or "God-Bearer" (Mother of God). Therefore, the Virgin did not deserve the traditional title of ‘Theotokos‘, or God-bearer, but rather the more lowly title, if you will, of ‘Christotokos‘, or bearer of Christ. That is the only thing ‘missing’ in the Incarnation, insofar as Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, assumed into His own eternal Person what would have been the human person of the Man-Christ. Theotokos, or Christotokos? These quarrels were publicly made and often done through letters and campaign. For almost all of his arguments he uses scripture to defend the points he is trying to make. For, by his Incarnation, he, the son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man. The truth was there, unpacked within the revelation given to us by Christ Himself, but it was the task of the Church, and her Magisterium, to put this truth into philosophical language that we could, at least to some degree, understand. Our Thursday class discussion revolved around the rise of the term of “Theotokos” to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nestorius made the suggestion that Mary … But as Ratzinger reasons, the fact that Christ is not a ‘human person’ does not diminish His humanity, but rather elevates it. Theotokos is a Greek word that means "God-bearer" or "Mother of God". Cyril uses the word hypostasis which in Greek means, that which lies beneath as basis or foundation . Further our mission through your prayer and donation. Scripture emphasizes this point by calling Christ the last Adam, or the “second Adam”. Rightly therefore does the Second Vatican Council teach: “The truth is that only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. Are not all human persons in a state of grace united with God? Whether we open ourselves to that destiny is another question, which is the real  tragedy of sin:  To reject that gift God has offered us through His Incarnation and redemption. Well, if you're a trinitarian, the only difference is in connotation. This is the ‘arrow’ of our true purpose and end that begins, at least in a visible, public way, on Christmas morning, when the Christ-child, fully God and fully Man, was born of the Virgin Mary in a miraculous manner, having been conceived in her womb, also as God, on the day of the Annunciation nine months before. The Church realized that tolerating the Nestorian heresy would dissolve the truth of the Incarnation in the minds of the faithful. However, Nestorius argued that the Divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ are two separate persons. This raised the deeply metaphysical question of Who is Christ? WhatsApp. Nestorius argues that the Divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ are two separate persons. This discussion may boil-down to the age-old issue of Theotokos versus Christotokos. He directly replies to Nestorius and says “You have not understood and have not interpreted it rightly, but rather perversely, even if you confess the texts with your lips” (CLA 59). Christmas reveals that we have all now, in a real sense, become God-like. In short.. In this case, Nestorius holds to christotokos because to him the definition of theotokos implies that God was born, and thus had a beginning. The word in Greek is "Theotokos". This may at first glance seem counter-intuitive, but, in fact, is a central truth of our faith, without which there would be no real Incarnation. She was not the mother of God as you are the mother of your children – a genetic co-contributor – she was the bearer of Christ, who was the bearer of God . The question boiled down to whether God truly became Man. Like Nestorius, Cyril uses lots of scriptural citations and references to the “Fathers” at Nicea, also known as the Church. Many argued, including Nestorius claimed that Mary was Christotokos, or “Christ-bearer”. If so, He (Christ) had to unite Himself in some way with our humanity, and that union had to occur somewhere within our human nature. Theotokos, (Greek: “God-Bearer”), in Eastern Orthodoxy, the designation of the Virgin Mary as mother of God. © History of Christianity: Ancient. For in so doing, you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (CLA 56). But how is that different from any of our unions with God? Lynch frames the ‘god-man’ issue and prefaces that this wasn’t the only controversial issue that has come about. Another big theology controversy came about around the fourth century was the Trinitarian issue of the relationship between God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But the correct response is that He was not. The language of the Council of Chalcedon addresses the issues raised by Nestorius and Cyril is that they both advocate for defense through Scripture and no where in the document of Council of Chalcedon is scripture to back up the “definition of Christ’s nature”. The Patriarch of Constantinople at the time this question was debated, whose name was Nestorius (I often joke that heretics have heretical-sounding names, but what came first, the heresy or the name? Is Mary Theotokos or Christotokos? The Roman Catholic Church frequently refers to Mary as "The Mother of God." So before he addresses any theological issue, he already uses quotes defending that they need to listen and read the scriptures intently. The term was certainly in use by the 4th century. The term, which originated in the 3 rd century, and literally translated means, “Birth giver of God”. And we say also, Deus natus est, Alleluia! Nestorius had no sufficient answer to this question. If real, then how? Specifically, the last curse directly refers to Nestorius’ beliefs: “If anyone does not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh and was crucified in the flesh and tasted death in the flesh, and became the firstborn from the dead, since he is life and life giving as God, let him be anathema” (CLA 64). He begins the very beginning of his letter by quoting Paul in 1 Timothy: “Be diligent in reading, in exhortation, and in teaching. There have been controversies surrounding theology as early as the third century. His letter emphasizes the idea of Hypostatic union, stating there are both the Divine and Human nature in the single person of Jesus Christ. One major argument that he conveys is from the gospel of Luke, Jesus says “This is my body, which is broken for you” (Luke 22:19). The phrase is associated with the Greek theotokos which means God-bearer.It is intended to be a term of exaltation and reverence to Mary who bore the Messiah and is especially used by Catholic theologians. Powered by WordPress & WPstart Theme. As he says: “What is disclosed in Christ, whom faith certainly presents as unique, is not only a speculative exception; what is disclosed in truth is what the riddle of the human person really intends. John Paul Meenan, Editor - December 23, 2015. For example, the issue of Mary being the Theotokos, or “God-bearer” was a reoccurring issue as Marian devotion was beginning to become popular.

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