Busted Halo
googling god
The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Our readers asked:

What does the Council of Ephesus have to do with Mary?

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:

The Council of Ephesus, which was held in 431, was crucial in affirming the truth of the title “Mother of God.” People had been calling Mary that for quite some time, but it was not dogmatically defined until the Council.

Here’s how it happened: At the Council, the bishops denounced the Nestorian heresy, a heresy that claimed that Christ’s human and divine natures were separate. Nestorians therefore believed that Mary was only the mother of the human Christ, not of the divine Christ.

In denouncing Nestorianism, the bishops affirmed the unity of the divine and human natures of Christ. Given that one cannot separate Christ’s divine nature from his human nature, the Council declared that it is correct to call Mary by the title of Theotokos, Greek for “God-bearer” – or, as we are more likely to say these days, “Mother of God.”

 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
The Author : Ginny Kubitz Moyer
Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of the award-winning book Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at randomactsofmomness.com.
See more articles by (166).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Ginny

    Hi Judith,

    Thanks so much for your comment. This very issue (calling Mary the Mother of God) came up in the Question Box a few months back: http://www.bustedhalo.com/questionbox/how-can-mary-be-the-mother-of-god-if-god-is-eternal Weird as the title may sound to our ears, it makes sense in light of the Holy Trinity.

  • judith

    God-bearer, while awkward to our ears, perhaps, is a better title for Mary. I think that saying she is the Mother of God sounds like she came before Him or was His source, as when my sons claim me as their mother. IMHO

powered by the Paulists