Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nestorians

"In the first century, the disciple Thaddeus brought Christianity to the Persian Empire, establishing what came to be known as the Church of the East. This kingdom-minded church took Christianity to China, India, Southeast Asia, Mongolia, and even Siberia. At one time, these Christians encompassed a geographical area greater in size than that of the Roman Catholic Church. However, when these Christians refused to give Mary the title, “Mother of God,” the Catholic Church branded them as heretics and labeled them as Nestorians.

In reality, Nestorius, the bishop of Constantinople, was never a member of this church. However, like the Church of the East, he felt that to give Mary the title of "Mother of God" or Theotokos, would lead to her being venerated—which, in fact, is the very thing that happened."

from:
http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Nestorians.html

10 comments:

satire and theology said...

Jeff, congratulations on adding more and more links. This is a very good blog.

jeleasure said...

Hey Jeff,
It is interesting to find the Bishop of Constantinople having moved in the opposite direction.

I mean, this is Constantinople, the city named after the founder of the Roman Catholic Church, Emperor Constantine.

jeleasure said...

Jeff,
I attempted to add your 'Puppet Head' to my blog list. It said something about url and feed not being seen. Hence the name goes on the screen. But, no data when the link is clicked.
jim

Jeff said...

Russ,

Thanks!

Jeff said...

Jeff,
I attempted to add your 'Puppet Head' to my blog list. It said something about url and feed not being seen. Hence the name goes on the screen. But, no data when the link is clicked.
jim



Jim,

That's odd, because I have it linked here under "My Humor Blog," and the URL is http://puppethead.blog.com/

Jeff said...

Jim,

Hey Jeff,
It is interesting to find the Bishop of Constantinople having moved in the opposite direction.

I mean, this is Constantinople, the city named after the founder of the Roman Catholic Church, Emperor Constantine.


Interesting comment!

According to Wikipedia, Nestorius "was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 to 22 June 431. He was accused by his political enemy Cyril of Alexandria of Nestorianism because he objected to the popular practice of calling the Virgin Mary the "Mother of God" theotokos. He was condemned at the Council of Ephesus before his supporters could arrive and he was then dethroned. His views were widely held in the East, and the consequence was the creation of the Assyrian Church of the East, over the Persian border and hence beyond Greek political control."

"Alongside the Christological debate, other factors were to come into play in the controversy that would ensue, including a political struggle between the supporters of the See of Alexandria and the See of Antioch, the influence of the Emperor over the See of Constantinople, and the patriarchal primacy of the Pope.

The theological debate centered on the use of the title "Mother of God" (Theotokos) for the Virgin Mary, which Nestorius did not recognize, preferring in his sermons, "Mother of Christ" (Christotokos) on the grounds that the former title compromised Jesus' humanity. Cyril countered that it was Nestorius who was actually denying the reality of the Incarnation, by making Jesus Christ into two different persons, one human and one divine, in one body."

"The Emperor Theodosius II (401–450) was eventually induced to convoke a general church council, sited at Ephesus, itself a special seat for the veneration of Mary, where the theotokos formula was popular. The Emperor gave his support to the Archbishop of Constantinople, while Pope Celestine I was in agreement with Cyril.

Cyril took charge of the Council of Ephesus in 431, opening debate before the long-overdue contingent of Eastern bishops from Antioch could arrive.

The council deposed Nestorius and declared him a heretic."

"But while the council was in progress, John I of Antioch and the eastern bishops arrived, and were furious to hear that Nestorius had already been condemned. They convened their own synod, at which Cyril was deposed.

Both sides then appealed to the emperor, or rather to the imperial eunuchs who controlled him. Initially the imperial government ordered both Nestorius and Cyril deposed and exiled. Letter 96 of Cyril's Letters contains a list of the bribes that he offered to various courtiers; and Cyril was allowed to return.

In the following months, 17 bishops who supported Nestorius' doctrine were removed from their sees. Eventually the political position became so bad that John I of Antioch was obliged to abandon Nestorius in March 433. On August 3, 435, Theodosius II, who had supported Nestorius' appointment, bowed to the influence of his sister Pulcheria in issuing an imperial edict that exiled Nestorius to a monastery in the Great Oasis of Hibis (al-Khargah), in Egypt, securely within the diocese of Cyril. There he was at risk of attack by desert bandits, and was injured in one such raid.

In East and West, Nestorius' writings were burnt wherever they could be found. They survive mainly in Syriac.

The incident caused a split within the church, and led to the creation of separate Nestorian churches that would flourish throughout the Middle East and central Asia.

After 1,500 years of stigmatization as a heretic, a handwritten 16th century book containing a copy of a text written by Nestorius was discovered by American missionaries in 1895, in the library of the Nestorian patriarch in the mountains at Kotchanes. This book had suffered damage during Moslem raids, but was substantially intact, and copies were taken secretly. The Syriac translation had the title of the Bazaar of Heracleides. The original 16th century manuscript was destroyed in 1915 during the Turkish massacres of Nestorian Christians.

The Bazaar was written towards the end of his life, and in it he explicitly denies the heresy for which he was condemned. Instead he affirms of Christ "the same one is twofold" — an expression that some consider similar to the formulation of the Council of Chalcedon. Nestorius's earlier surviving writings, however, including his letter written in response to Cyril's charges against him, contain material that seems to support charges that he held that Christ had two persons. Thus, whether Nestorius was actually a Nestorian is still a matter of debate."

jeleasure said...

I hope you know I am not disagreeing with you on who the Bishop was. I am just saying, that Constantine founded the City and the Roman Catholic church.

I will attempt the Puppet Head blog tomorrow. I tried it twice this evening.
Jim

Jeff said...

Jim,

I understood. I was not disagreeing with you. I was just expanding on your comment, and adding more detail to my short article. Sometimes I like to do that in my comments---add more detail to articles I post. And your comment was a perfect lead-in/introduction for that, because my previous (long) comment explained why your comment was true.

Jeff said...

Jim,

I will attempt the Puppet Head blog tomorrow. I tried it twice this evening.

OK, thanks. Let me know what happens.

jeleasure said...

Very good, Jeff.
Going to work. I'll chat later
Jim