Monday, January 2, 2012

Mary Mother of God

Yesterday was the day we talked about Mary being the Mother of God.  As the priest at the Mass I attended noted, the day is actually less about Mary and more about Jesus even though it is her name.  The First Council of Ephesus "denounced Nestorius' teaching as erroneous and decreed that Jesus was one person, not two separate people: complete God and complete man, with a rational soul and body. The Virgin Mary was to be called Theotokos a Greek word that means "God-bearer" (the one who gave birth to God)."  Source.

Nestorius was taught the disunity of Christ's human and divine natures.  Under that theory, Mary was only the mother of Jesus.  Jesus the man and Jesus as God were two distinct entities, versus one.
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 gave birth to the incarnate Christ, not the divine Logos 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 "Birth Giver of Christ", and not Theotokos, Greek for "Birth Giver of God".

Nestorius believed that no union between the human and divine were 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.

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.


  1. …. woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him,"Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!"
    28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
    Luke 11:27-28 NKJV
    20 And it was told Him by some, who said, "Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You."

    21 But He answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it."
    Luke 8:20-21 NKJV

  2. Matt 23:9-10
    9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.

  3. Paul speaking to the Ephesians
    Acts 20:29-31
    29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

  4. Paul said to a leader at Ephesus, Timothy.
    1 Tim 2:5-6
    5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

  5. Were Nestorius's opponents "The antichrist"?
    1Jn_4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
    2Jn_1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

    My Bible say's Mary gave birth to the Son of God (not God)
    Luk_1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
    Could not Jesus have been Flesh and Blood (before he died) but have the Character of God - son's often do inherit characteristics from their father!.
    My e-sword cannot find anything about Trinity in the Bible but it does come up with,"God was manifest in the flesh".
    It may be better to read the Bible than take too much notice of the wolves that met at Ephesus. Paul has warned us.

  6. So are you saying Jesus is not God?

    1. Matt 26:39
      39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
      Jesus is the Son of God the Father
      God the Father had a will
      Jesus Christ the Son had a will in that he did not want to die however he surrendered to God's will.

      The oneness of God is not restricted to 3
      John 17:20-23

      20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they (all may be one), as You, Father, are (in Me,) and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

      Before the wolves got to Ephesus Paul preached to the faithful (in Christ)
      Eph 1:1
      1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
      To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

      As Paul said to the Galatians
      Gal 3:26-29
      26 For you are all (sons of God) through faith (in Christ Jesus). 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have (put on Christ). 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are (all one in Christ Jesus). 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

      Well something to think about!.
      Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  7. 1 Cor 15:20-28
    20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet."* But when He says "all things are put under Him (Jesus)," it is evident that He (God the Father) who put all things under Him (Jesus) is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him (God the Father) who put all things under Him (Jesus) , that God may be all in all.
    NKJV (Brackets are mine)
    My understanding of this verse is that God the Father is the Supreme Authority. When Jesus returns to the earth he will come as Judge and King, with the full Authority of God. To all the inhabitants on earth he will be like God. However after Jesus has brought all man’s authority under control and there is no more sin and death. The earth will then be in a fit state (like Eden) for God to “walk” with Humanity. God will be all in all. Jesus the Son of God will be subject to His Father.
    The doctrine of the Trinity (Athanasian Creed) seems to state that the three God’s are Co-equal. Jesus never said that, He always acknowledged His Father was the Supreme Authority even when he stood before Pilate. The doctrine of the Trinity does not seem to acknowledge relationships which are so important in the Bible.
    Much of the problem seems to stem from the agreement in Ephesus that stated Mary gave birth to God. I have heard the Athanasian Creed was written to stop a number of heretical views, to me it seems to have added another!.
    How do Catholics interpret 1Corinthians 15 ?

    1. Authority and equality are not the same. My manager has authority over me, but she is not somehow better than I am. She is not more useful to the organization even. And she's certainly not somehow more human. When spouses submit to one another, one does not become unequal in the eternal sense. I have more authority over this blog than you have, but you are not "lesser" than I as a human.

      It is why the Jews wanted to kill Him. Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (KJV)

    2. To me the context of John 5:18 is:-
      It was the Jews that said he was breaking the Sabbath and making himself equal with God.

      Jesus did not break the Sabbath he only broke it according to the Orthodox Jewish traditions.
      See Mark 3: 1-6 You might find this link interesting (the bit about hand washing)

      If you continue to read the following verses. (To me) Jesus seems to imply that that he did not agree with them because he said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself”
      John 5:18-20
      18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

      I take your point I should not confuse Authority with Equality. In fact technically, 1 Corinthians 15 talks about Jesus being subject to God the Father. Rather than God having Supreme Authority over Jesus. – (not sure if there is a difference.)

      As Coequal is not a biblical word. I have bracketed the word greater which I think makes the same point. The Creed is not Biblically correct.

      Part of Athanasian Creed
      And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is (greater), or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.

      John 14:28 NKJV
      'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is (greater) than I.

      Impressed with all your Bible reading, Keep it up.