Council Of Ephesus
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The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Gree ...

Ephesus
(near present-day
Selçuk Selçuk is the central town of Selçuk district, İzmir Province in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Gre ...
in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
) in AD 431 by the
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
Theodosius II Theodosius II ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 10 April 401 – 28 July 450), commonly called Theodosius the Younger, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial pe ...
. This third
ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote a ...
, an effort to attain
consensus Consensus decision-making or consensus politics (often abbreviated to ''consensus'') is group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on proposals with the aim, or requirement, of acceptance by all. The focus on es ...
in the church through an
assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural l ...
representing all of
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
,
Richard KieckheferRichard Kieckhefer is an American medievalistMedieval studies is the academic interdisciplinary study of the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began wit ...
(1989). "Papacy". ''
Dictionary of the Middle Ages 150px, ''Dictionary of the Middle Ages: Supplement 1'' (2004) The ''Dictionary of the Middle Ages'' is a 13-volume encyclopedia of the Middle Ages published by the American Council of Learned Societies between 1982 and 1989. It was first conceive ...
''. .
confirmed the original Nicene Creed, and condemned the teachings of
Nestorius Nestorius (; in grc, Νεστόριος; 386 – 450) was the Archbishop of Constantinople The ecumenical patriarch ( el, Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, translit=Oikoumenikós Patriárchis; tr, Konstantinopolis ekü ...
,
Patriarch of Constantinople The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Or ...
, who held that the
Virgin Mary According to the gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out; in this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrat ...

Virgin Mary
may be called the ''Christotokos'', "Christ-bearer" but not the ''
Theotokos ''Theotokos'' (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...

Theotokos
'', "God-bearer". It met in June and July 431 at the
Church of Mary The Church of Mary ( tr, Meryem Kilisesi) was an ancient Christian cathedral dedicated to the Theotokos ("Birth-Giver of God", ''i.e.'', the Mary (mother of Jesus), Virgin Mary), located in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey). It is also ...
in
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Gree ...

Ephesus
in
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
.


Background

Nestorius' doctrine,
Nestorianism Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorianism
, which emphasized the distinction between Christ's human and divine natures and argued that Mary should be called ''Christotokos'' (Christ-bearer) but not ''Theotokos'' (God-bearer), had brought him into conflict with other church leaders, most notably
Cyril Cyril (also Cyrillus or Cyryl) is a masculine given name Image:FML names-2.png, Diagram of naming conventions, using John F. Kennedy as an example. "First names" can also be called given names; "last names" can also be called surnames or family ...

Cyril
,
Patriarch of Alexandria The Patriarch of Alexandria is the archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepiscopus'', from Greek language, Greek , from -, 'chief', and 'over'+ 'seer') is a bishop of higher rank ...

Patriarch of Alexandria
. Nestorius himself had requested the Emperor to convene the council, hoping that it would prove his
orthodoxy Orthodoxy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
; the council in fact condemned his teachings as
heresy Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
. The council declared Mary as ''Theotokos'' (
Mother of God Catholic Mariology is Mariology Mariology is the theological study of Mary, the mother of Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or ...

Mother of God
). Nestorius' dispute with Cyril had led the latter to seek validation from
Pope Celestine I Pope Celestine I ( la, Caelestinus I) (c. 376 – 1 August 432) was the bishop of Rome from 10 September 422 to his death on 1 August 432. Celestine's tenure was largely spent combatting various ideologies deemed heretical. He supported the mission ...

Pope Celestine I
, who authorized Cyril to request that Nestorius recant his position or face
excommunication Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the ...

excommunication
. Nestorius pleaded with the Eastern Roman Emperor
Theodosius II Theodosius II ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 10 April 401 – 28 July 450), commonly called Theodosius the Younger, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial pe ...
to call a council in which all grievances could be aired, hoping that he would be vindicated and Cyril condemned. Approximately 250
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...

bishop
s were present. The proceedings were conducted in a heated atmosphere of confrontation and recriminations and created severe tensions between Cyril and Theodosius II. Nestorius was decisively outplayed by Cyril and removed from his see, and his teachings were officially anathematized. This precipitated the
Nestorian Schism The Nestorian Schism (431), in church history, involved a split between the Christian churches of Sassanid Persia, which affiliated with Nestorius, and churches that rejected him. The schism rose out of a Christological dispute, notably involvi ...
, by which churches supportive of Nestorius, especially in the Persian Empire of the Sassanids, were severed from the rest of
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
and became known as
Nestorian Christianity The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an Eastern Christian Ea ...
, or the
Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an church of the , based ...
, whose present-day representatives are the
Assyrian Church of the East The Assyrian Church of the East ( syc, ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܖ̈ܝܐ, ʿĒḏtā ḏ-Maḏnḥā ḏ-ʾĀṯūrāyē, ar, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية), officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ( sy ...
, the
Ancient Church of the East The Ancient Church of the East ( syr, ܥܕܬܐ ܥܬܝܩܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ''ʿĒdtā ʿAttiqtā ḏMaḏnḥā''; ar, كنيسة المشرق القديمة, ''Kanīsat al-Mašriq al-Qadīma''), officially the Ancient Holy Apostolic Catholic Chur ...

Ancient Church of the East
, the
Chaldean Syrian Church The Chaldean Syrian Church of India ( Classical Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܖ̈ܝܐ; Malayalam Malayalam (; , ) is a Dravidian languages, Dravidian language spoken in the Indian state of Kerala and the union territories of Laks ...
, and the
Chaldean Catholic Church , native_name_lang = syc , image = , imagewidth = , alt = , caption = , abbreviation = , type = , main_classification = Eastern Catholic , orientation ...
(which restored communion with
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
). Nestorius himself retired to a monastery, later recanting his
Nestorian Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...
position.


History


Political context

McGuckin cites the "innate rivalry" between
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
and
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
as an important factor in the controversy between
Cyril of Alexandria Cyril of Alexandria ( grc, Κύριλλος Ἀλεξανδρείας; cop, Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲗⲗⲟⲩ ⲁ̅ also ⲡⲓ̀ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲕⲓⲣⲓⲗⲗⲟⲥ;  376 – 444) was the Patriarch of Alexandria The Patriarch ...

Cyril of Alexandria
and Nestorius. However, he emphasizes that, as much as political competition contributed to an "overall climate of dissent", the controversy cannot be reduced merely to the level of "personality clashes" or "political antagonisms". According to McGuckin, Cyril viewed the "elevated intellectual argument about christology" as ultimately one and the same as the "validity and security of the simple Christian life". Even within Constantinople, some supported the Roman-Alexandrian and others supported the Nestorian factions. For example,
Pulcheria Aelia Pulcheria (; grc-gre, Πουλχερία; 19 January 398 or 399 – July 453) was an Eastern Roman The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eas ...

Pulcheria
supported the Roman-Alexandrian popes while the emperor and his wife supported Nestorius.


Theological context

Contention over Nestorius' teachings, which he developed during his studies at the
School of Antioch The Catechetical School of Antioch was one of the two major centers of the study of biblical exegesis Exegesis (; from the Ancient Greek, Greek from , "to lead out") is a critical explanation or interpretation (logic), interpretation of a text, ...
, largely revolved around his rejection of the long-used title ''
Theotokos ''Theotokos'' (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...

Theotokos
'' ("Carrier of God") for the
Virgin Mary According to the gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out; in this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrat ...

Virgin Mary
. Shortly after his arrival in Constantinople, Nestorius became involved in the disputes of two theological factions, which differed in their
Christology In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major reli ...
. McGuckin ascribes Nestorius' importance to his being the representative of the Antiochene tradition and characterizes him as a "consistent, if none too clear, exponent of the longstanding Antiochene dogmatic tradition." Nestorius was greatly surprised that what he had always taught in Antioch without any controversy whatsoever should prove to be so objectionable to the Christians of Constantinople. Nestorius emphasized the dual natures of
Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest ...

Christ
, trying to find a middle ground between those who emphasized the fact that in Christ God had been born as a man, and insisted on calling the Virgin Mary ''
Theotokos ''Theotokos'' (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...

Theotokos
'' (
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
: Θεοτόκος, "God-bearer"), and those that rejected that title because God as an eternal being could not have been born. Nestorius suggested the title ''Christotokos'' (''Χριστοτόκος'', "Christ-bearer"), but this proposal did not gain acceptance on either side. Nestorius tried to answer a question considered unsolved: "How can Jesus Christ, being part man, not be partially a sinner as well, since man is by definition a sinner since the Fall?" To solve that he taught that
Mary, the mother of Jesus According to the gospels of Gospel of Matthew, Matthew and Gospel of Luke, Luke in the New Testament, Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; el, Μαρία, translit=María; la, Maria; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓ ...
gave birth to the incarnate Christ, not the divine
Logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...
who existed before Mary and indeed before time itself. The Logos occupied the part of the human soul (the part of man that was stained by the Fall). But wouldn't the absence of a human soul make Jesus less human? Nestorius rejected this proposition, answering that, because the human soul was based on the archetype of the Logos, only to become polluted by the Fall, Jesus was "more" human for having the Logos and not "less". Consequently, Nestorius argued that the Virgin Mary should be called ''Christotokos'', Greek for "Carrier of Christ", and not ''
Theotokos ''Theotokos'' (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...

Theotokos
'', Greek for "Carrier of God". Nestorius believed that no union between the human and divine was possible. If such a union of human and divine occurred, Nestorius believed that Christ could not truly be con-substantial with God and con-substantial with us because he would grow, mature, suffer and die (which Nestorius argued God cannot do) and also would possess the power of God that would separate him from being equal to humans. According to McGuckin, several mid-twentieth-century accounts have tended to "romanticise" Nestorius; in opposition to this view, he asserts that Nestorius was no less dogmatic and uncompromising than Cyril, and that he was clearly just as prepared to use his political and canonical powers as Cyril or any of the other hierarchs of the period. Nestorius's opponents charged him with detaching Christ's divinity and humanity into two persons existing in one body, thereby denying the reality of the
Incarnation Incarnation literally means ''embodied in flesh'' or ''taking on flesh''. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient Sentience is the capacity to experience feeling Feeling was originally used to describe the physical sensation of to ...
. Eusebius, a layman who later became the bishop of the neighbouring Dorylaeum was the first to accuse Nestorius of heresy but his most forceful opponent was Patriarch
Cyril of Alexandria Cyril of Alexandria ( grc, Κύριλλος Ἀλεξανδρείας; cop, Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲗⲗⲟⲩ ⲁ̅ also ⲡⲓ̀ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲕⲓⲣⲓⲗⲗⲟⲥ;  376 – 444) was the Patriarch of Alexandria The Patriarch ...

Cyril of Alexandria
. Cyril argued that Nestorianism split Jesus in half and denied that he was both human and divine. Cyril appealed to
Pope Celestine I Pope Celestine I ( la, Caelestinus I) (c. 376 – 1 August 432) was the bishop of Rome from 10 September 422 to his death on 1 August 432. Celestine's tenure was largely spent combatting various ideologies deemed heretical. He supported the mission ...

Pope Celestine I
, charging Nestorius with
heresy Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
. The Pope agreed and gave Cyril his authority to serve a notice to Nestorius to recant his views within ten days or else be
excommunicated Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Hum ...
. Before acting on the Pope's commission, Cyril convened a synod of Egyptian bishops which condemned Nestorius as well. Cyril then sent four
suffragan bishopsIn the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian Full communion, communion after the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodox Church. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more tha ...
to deliver both the Pope's commission as well as the synodal letter of the Egyptian bishops. Cyril sent a letter to Nestorius known as "The Third Epistle of Saint Cyril to Nestorius." This epistle drew heavily on the established Patristic Constitutions and contained the most famous article of Alexandrian Orthodoxy: "The Twelve Anathemas of Saint Cyril." In these
anathema Anathema, in common usage, is something that or someone who is detested or shunned. In its other main usage, it is a formal excommunication Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure A censure is an expression of strong dis ...
s, Cyril excommunicated anyone who followed the teachings of Nestorius. For example, "Anyone who dares to deny the Holy Virgin the title ''
Theotokos ''Theotokos'' (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...

Theotokos
'' is Anathema!" Nestorius however, still would not repent. McGuckin points out that other representatives of the Antiochene tradition such as John of Antioch,
Theodoret Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus ( grc-gre, Θεοδώρητος Κύρρου; AD 393 –  458/466) was an influential theologian of the School of Antioch The Catechetical School of Antioch was one of the two major centers of the study of ...
and Andrew of Samosata were able to recognize "the point of the argument for Christ's integrity" and concede the "ill-advised nature of Nestorius' immoveability." Concerned at the potential for a negative result at a council, they urged Nestorius to yield and accept the use of the title ''Theotokos'' when referring to the Virgin Mary. For example, John of Antioch wrote to Nestorius urging him to submit to the Pope's judgment and cease stirring up controversy over a word that he disliked (Theotokos) but which could be interpreted as having an orthodox meaning especially in light of the fact that many saints and doctors of the church had sanctioned the word by using it themselves. John wrote to Nestorius, "Don't lose your head. Ten days! It will not take you twenty-four hours to give the needed answer.... Ask advice of men you can trust. Ask them to tell you the facts, not just what they think will please you.... You have the whole of the East against you, as well as Egypt." Despite this advice from his colleagues, Nestorius persisted in maintaining the rightness of his position.


Convocation

On 19 November, Nestorius, anticipating the ultimatum which was about to be delivered, convinced Emperor
Theodosius II Theodosius II ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 10 April 401 – 28 July 450), commonly called Theodosius the Younger, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial pe ...
to summon a general council through which Nestorius hoped to convict Cyril of heresy and thereby vindicate his own teachings. Theodosius issued a Sacra calling for the metropolitan bishops to assemble in the city of Ephesus, which was a special seat for the veneration of Mary, where the ''theotokos'' formula was popular. Each bishop was to bring only his more eminent suffragans. The date set by the Emperor for the opening of the council was Pentecost (7 June) 431. McGuckin notes that the vagueness of the Sacra resulted in wide variations of interpretation by different bishops. In particular, the vastness of John of Antioch's ecclesiastical territory required a lengthy period to notify and gather his delegates. Because the overland trip from Antioch to Ephesus was long and arduous, John composed his delegation of his metropolitan bishops who were restricted to bring no more than two suffragans each. By doing so, he minimized the number who would have to travel to Ephesus. Neither of the emperors attended the council. Theodosius appointed Count Candidian as the head of the imperial palace guard to represent him, to supervise the proceedings of the Council, and to keep good order in the city of Ephesus. Despite Nestorius' agenda of prosecuting Cyril, Theodosius intended for the council to focus strictly on the christological controversy. He thus gave Candidianus strict directions to remain neutral and not to interfere in the theological proceedings. It is generally assumed that Candidian initially maintained his neutrality as instructed by the emperor and only gradually became more biased towards Nestorius. McGuckin, however, suggests that Candidian may have favored Nestorius from the start.


Assembly

Celestine sent Arcadius and Projectus, to represent himself and his Roman council; in addition, he sent the Roman priest, Philip, as his personal representative. Cyril Patriarch of Alexandria was president of the council. Celestine had directed the papal legates not to take part in the discussions, but to give judgment on them. Bishops arrived in Ephesus over a period of several weeks. While waiting for the other bishops to arrive, they engaged in informal discussions characterized as tending to "exasperate rather than heal their differences". The metropolitan of Ephesus, Memnon, was already present with his 52 bishops. Nestorius and his 16 bishops were the first to arrive shortly after Easter. As archbishop of the imperial city of Constantinople, he traveled with a detachment of troops who were under the command of Count Candidian. McGuckin notes that the troops were not there to serve as Nestorius' bodyguard but to support Candidian in his role as the emperor's representative. However, McGuckin theorizes that Candidian's progressive abandonment of neutrality in favor of Nestorius may have created the perception that Candidian's troops were, in fact, there to support Nestorius. Candidian ordered all monks and lay strangers to leave the city; he further instructed the bishops not to leave on any pretext until the council was concluded. Several sources comment that the purpose of this injunction was to prevent bishops from leaving the council to appeal to the emperor directly. According to McGuckin, Memnon, as bishop of Ephesus, commanded the "fervent and unquestioned loyalty" of the local populace and thus could count on the support of local factions to counterbalance the military might of Candidian's troops. In view of the verdict of Rome against Nestorius, Memnon refused to have communion with Nestorius, closing the churches of Ephesus to him. Cyril brought with him 50 bishops, arriving only a few days before Pentecost. There were very few bishops representing the West, as the papal representatives would not arrive until July.McGuckin, p. 57 The Palestinian delegation of 16 bishops and Metropolitan Flavian of Philippi arrived 5 days after the date that had been set for opening the council, and aligned themselves with Cyril. At this point, Cyril announced his intention to open the council; however, Candidian enjoined him from doing so on the grounds that the Roman and Antiochean delegations had not arrived yet. Cyril initially acceded to Candidian's injunction knowing that he could not legally convene a council without the official reading of the Emperor's Sacra. A number of bishops, who were undecided between Nestorius and Cyril, did not want to give Cyril, as one party in the dispute, the right to chair the meeting and decide the agenda; however, they began to take Cyril's side for various reasons. Various circumstances including a detour necessitated by flooding as well as sickness and death of some of the delegates seriously delayed John of Antioch and his bishops. It was rumored that John might be delaying his arrival in order to avoid participating in a council which was likely to condemn Nestorius as a heretic.


First session – June 22

Two weeks after the date set for the council, John and the bulk of his Syrian group (42 members) had not yet appeared. At this point, Cyril formally opened the council on Monday 22 June by enthroning the Gospels in the centre of the church, as a symbol of Christ's presence among the assembled bishops. Despite three separate summons, Nestorius refused to acknowledge Cyril's authority to stand in judgment of him and considered the opening of the council before the arrival of the Antiochene contingent as a "flagrant injustice". The 68 bishops who opposed opening the council entered the church in protest, arriving with Count Candidian who declared that the assembly was illegal and must disperse. He urged Cyril to wait four more days for the Syrian delegation to arrive. However, since even the bishops opposed to opening the council were now present, Cyril maneuvered Candidian by means of a ruse to read out the text of the Emperor's decree of convocation, which the assembly then acclaimed as recognition of its own legality.


Arrival of the Antiochene delegation

When John of Antioch and his Syrian bishops finally reached Ephesus five days after the council, they met with Candidian who informed them that Cyril had begun a council without them and had ratified Celestine's conviction of Nestorius as a heretic. Angered at having undertaken such a long and arduous journey only to have been pre-empted by actions taken by Cyril's council, John and the Syrian bishops held their own Council with Candidian presiding. This council condemned Cyril for espousing the
Arian Arianism is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256–336) was a Cyrenaic The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Greek ...
, Apollinarian and Eunomian heresies and condemned Memnon for inciting violence. The bishops at this council deposed both Cyril and Memnon. Initially, the emperor concurred with the actions of John's council but eventually withdrew his concurrence.


Second Session – July 10

The second session was held in Memnon's episcopal residence. Philip, as papal legate, opened the proceedings by commenting that the present question regarding Nestorius had already been decided by Pope Celestine as evidenced by his letter, which had been read to the assembled bishops in the first session. He indicated that he had a second letter from Celestine which was read to the bishops now in attendance. The letter contained a general exhortation to the council, and concluded by saying that the legates had instructions to carry out what the pope had decided on the question and expressed Celestine's confidence that the council would agree. The bishops indicated their approval by acclaiming Celestine and Cyril. Projectus indicated that the papal letter enjoined the council to put into effect the sentence pronounced by Celestine. Firmus, the Exarch of Caesarea in Cappadocia, responded that the pope's sentence had already been carried out in the first session. The session closed with the reading of the pope's letter to the emperor.


Third Session – July 11

Having read the Acts of the first session, the papal legates indicated that all that was required was that the council's condemnation of Nestorius be formally read in their presence. When this had been done, the three legates each confirmed the council's actions, signing the Acts of all three sessions. The council sent a letter to Theodosius indicating that the condemnation of Nestorius had been agreed upon not only by the bishops of the East meeting in Ephesus but also of the bishops of the West who had convened at a synod in Rome convened by Celestine. The bishops asked Theodosius to allow them to go home since so many of them suffered from their presence at Ephesus.


Fourth Session – July 16

At the fourth session, Cyril and Memnon presented a formal protest against John of Antioch for convening a separate conciliabulum. The council issued a summons for him to appear before them, but he would not even receive the envoys who were sent to serve him the summons.


Fifth Session – July 17

Next day the fifth session was held in the same church. John had set up a placard in the city accusing the synod of the Apollinarian heresy. He was again cited, and this was counted as the third canonical summons. He paid no attention. In consequence the council suspended and excommunicated him, together with thirty-four bishops of his party, but refrained from deposing them. Some of John's party had already deserted him, and he had gained only a few. In the letters to the emperor and the pope which were then dispatched, the synod described itself as now consisting of 210 bishops. The long letter to Celestine gave a full account of the council, and mentioned that the pope's decrees against the Pelagians had been read and confirmed.


Sixth Session – July 22

At this session, the bishops approved Canon 7 which condemned any departure from the creed established by the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
, in particular an exposition by the priest Charisius. According to a report from Cyril to Celestine,
Juvenal of Jerusalem Saint Juvenal () was a bishop of Jerusalem from about 422. In 451, on the See of Jerusalem being recognised as a Patriarchate by the Council of Chalcedon, he became the first orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, an office he occupied until his death i ...
tried and failed to create for himself a patriarchate from the territory of the Antiochene patriarchate in which his see lay. He ultimately succeeded in this goal twenty years later at the
Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Χαλκηδόνος, ''Synodos tēs Chalkēdonos'') was the fourth ecumenical council The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; ...
.


Seventh Session – July 31

At this session, the council approved the claim of the bishops of Cyprus that their see had been anciently and rightly exempt from the jurisdiction of Antioch. The council also passed five canons condemning
Nestorius Nestorius (; in grc, Νεστόριος; 386 – 450) was the Archbishop of Constantinople The ecumenical patriarch ( el, Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, translit=Oikoumenikós Patriárchis; tr, Konstantinopolis ekü ...
and Caelestius and their followers as heretics and a sixth one decreeing deposition from clerical office or
excommunication Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the ...

excommunication
for those who did not accept the Council's decrees.


Canons and declarations

Eight canons were passed: * Canon 1–5 condemned
Nestorius Nestorius (; in grc, Νεστόριος; 386 – 450) was the Archbishop of Constantinople The ecumenical patriarch ( el, Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, translit=Oikoumenikós Patriárchis; tr, Konstantinopolis ekü ...
and Caelestius and their followers as heretics * Canon 6 decreed deposition from clerical office or
excommunication Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the ...

excommunication
for those who did not accept the Council's decrees * Canon 7 condemned any departure from the creed established by the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
(325), in particular an exposition by the priest Charisius. * Canon 8 condemned interference by the Bishop of Antioch in affairs of the Church in
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...

Cyprus
and decreed generally, that no bishop was to "assume control of any province which has not heretofore, from the very beginning, been under his own hand or that of his predecessors lest the Canons of the Fathers be transgressed". The Council denounced Nestorius' teaching as erroneous and decreed that Jesus was one person (hypostasis), and not two separate persons, yet possessing both a human and divine nature.
The Virgin Mary Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also known by various titles, styles and honorifics was a 1st century Galilean ...

The Virgin Mary
was to be called
Theotokos ''Theotokos'' (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...

Theotokos
, a Greek word that means "God-bearer" (the one who gave birth to God). The Council declared it "unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa". It quoted the
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Ca ...
as adopted by the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
in 325, not as added to and modified by the
First Council of Constantinople The First Council of Constantinople ( la, Concilium Constantinopolitanum; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قس ...
in 381.Extracts from the Acts of the Council of Ephesus, The Epistle of Cyril to Nestorius
/ref> Although some scholars, such as
Norman Cohn Norman Rufus Colin Cohn FBAFBA may refer to: * Federation of British Artists * Federal Bar Association * Fellow of the British Academy * Filsports Basketball Association * First Baptist Academy (Houston, Texas), United States * First Baptist Aca ...
and
Peter Toon Peter Toon (1939 – 25 April 2009) was a priest and theologian and an international advocate of traditional Anglicanism. Early life and education Toon was born to Thomas Arthur and Hilda Toon in Yorkshire, England, in 1939. His younger sibling ...
, have suggested that the Council of Ephesus rejected
premillennialism Premillennialism, in Christian eschatology, is the belief that Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century ...
, this is a misconception, and there is no evidence of the Council making any such declaration.


Confirmation of the Council's acts

The bishops at Cyril's council outnumbered those at John of Antioch's council by nearly four to one. In addition, they had the agreement of the papal legates and the support of the population of Ephesus who supported their bishop, Memnon. However, Count Candidian and his troops supported Nestorius as did Count Irenaeus. The emperor had always been a firm supporter of Nestorius, but had been somewhat shaken by the reports of the council. Cyril's group was unable to communicate with the emperor because of interference from supporters of Nestorius both at Constantinople and at Ephesus. Ultimately, a messenger disguised as a beggar was able to carry a letter to Constantinople by hiding it in a hollow cane. Although Emperor Theodosius had long been a staunch supporter of Nestorius, his loyalty seems to have been shaken by the reports from Cyril's council and caused him to arrive at the extraordinary decision to ratify the depositions decreed by both councils. Thus, he declared that Cyril, Memnon, and John were all deposed. Memnon and Cyril were kept in close confinement. But in spite of all the efforts of the Antiochene party, the representatives of the envoys whom the council was eventually allowed to send, with the legate Philip, to the Court, persuaded the emperor to accept Cyril's council as the true one. Seeing the writing on the wall and anticipating his fate, Nestorius requested permission to retire to his former monastery. The synod was dissolved in the beginning of October, and Cyril arrived amid much joy at Alexandria on 30 October. Pope Celestine had died on July 27 but his successor,
Sixtus III Pope Sixtus III was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an , , or appointed member of the who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the , , , , , and churches, as well as the , bishops claim , a direct histo ...

Sixtus III
, gave papal confirmation to the council's actions.


Aftermath

The events created a major
schism A schism ( , , or, less commonly, ) is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization, movement, or religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a split in what had previously been a single religious body, s ...
between the followers of the different versions of the council, which was only mended by difficult negotiations. The factions that supported John of Antioch acquiesced in the condemnation of Nestorius and, after additional clarifications, accepted the decisions of Cyril's council. However, the rift would open again during the debates leading up to the
Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Χαλκηδόνος, ''Synodos tēs Chalkēdonos'') was the fourth ecumenical council The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; ...
. Persia had long been home to a Christian community that had been persecuted by the
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōr ...
majority, which had accused it of Roman leanings. In 424, the Persian Church declared itself independent of the Byzantine and all other churches, in order to ward off allegations of foreign allegiance. Following the Nestorian Schism, the Persian Church increasingly aligned itself with the Nestorians, a measure encouraged by the Zoroastrian ruling class. The Persian Church became increasingly Nestorian in doctrine over the next decades, furthering the divide between Christianity in Persia and in the Roman Empire. In 486 the Metropolitan of
Nisibis Nusaybin (; '; ar, نُصَيْبِيْن, translit=Nuṣaybīn; syr, ܢܨܝܒܝܢ, translit=Nṣībīn), historically known as Nisibis () or Nesbin, is a city in Mardin Province Mardin Province ( tr, Mardin ili, ku, Parêzgeha Mêrdînê, ...
,
Barsauma Barsauma ( syr, ܒܪܨܘܡܐ, ''Barṣaumâ''), nicknamed ''Bar Sula'', "son of the shoe" in Syriac, was Metropolitan of Nisibis Nusaybin (; '; ar, نصيبين; syr, ܢܨܝܒܝܢ, translit=Nṣībīn;), historically known as Nisibis (), is a ...
, publicly accepted Nestorius' mentor,
Theodore of Mopsuestia Theodore of Mopsuestia (c. 350 – 428) was a Christian theologian #REDIRECT Christian theology #REDIRECT Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practice. * help them better underst ...
, as a spiritual authority. In 489 when the
School of Edessa The School of Edessa ( syr, ܐܣܟܘܠܐ ܕܐܘܪܗܝ) was a Christian theological Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught a ...
in Mesopotamia was closed by Byzantine Emperor
Zeno Zeno or Zenon ( grc, Ζήνων) may refer to: People * Zeno (name), including a list of people and characters with the name Philosophers * Zeno of Elea (), philosopher, follower of Parmenides, known for his paradoxes * Zeno of Citium (333 – 2 ...
for its Nestorian teachings, the school relocated to its original home of Nisibis, becoming again the
School of Nisibis The School of Nisibis ( syr, ܐܣܟܘܠܐ ܕܢܨܝܒܝܢ), for a time absorbed into the School of Edessa The School of Edessa ( syr, ܐܣܟܘܠܐ ܕܐܘܪܗܝ) was a Christian theological Christian theology is the theology Theology is the sys ...
, leading to a wave of Nestorian immigration into Persia. The Persian patriarch
Mar Babai I Babai, also Babaeus, was Catholicos of Seleucia-Ctesiphon and Patriarch of the Church of the East from 497 to 503. Under his leadership, the Church in Sasanian Empire (Persia) became increasingly aligned with the Nestorianism, Nestorian movement, ...
(497–502) reiterated and expanded upon the church's esteem for Theodore, solidifying the church's adoption of Nestorianism."Nestorian"
''Encyclopædia Britannica''. Retrieved January 28, 2010.


Conciliation

In 1994, the Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East marked the resolution of a dispute between those two churches that had existed since the Council of Ephesus. They expressed their common understanding of doctrine concerning the divinity and humanity of Christ, and recognized the legitimacy and rightness of their respective descriptions of Mary as, on the Assyrian side, "the Mother of Christ our God and Saviour", and, on the Catholic side, as "the Mother of God" and also as "the Mother of Christ".Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * *


External links





* ttp://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3810.htm Extracts from the Acts of the council
''Catholic Encyclopedia'': Ephesus, Council of

''Legion of Mary'': The Council Of Ephesus — 431 A.D.
* . Life of the Saint,
Troparion 200px, A hand-drawn Old Believer lubok featuring 'Znamenny Chant">hook and banner notation'. A troparion (Greek language, Greek , plural: troparia, τροπάρια; Georgian language, Georgian: ტროპარი, "tropari" Church Slavonic l ...
and
Kontakion The kontakion ( el, κοντάκιον, also transliterated as ''kondakion'' and ''kontakio''; plural el, κοντάκια, ''kontakia'') is a form of hymn performed in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic liturgical trad ...
. {{Authority control 430s in the Byzantine Empire Church of the East Christology Theodosian dynasty
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Gree ...
Schisms in Christianity
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Gree ...
Catholic Mariology Nestorianism Ephesus 431 Theodosius II Premillennialism Christian eschatology Pelagianism