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Part of a series on the
Catholic Ecumenical Councils
Council Trent
Antiquity

Nicaea I • Constantinople I
Ephesus  • Chalcedon
Constantinople II
Constantinople III • Nicaea II
Constantinople IV

Middle Ages

Lateran I  • Lateran II
Lateran III  • Lateran IV
Lyon I  • Lyon II  • Vienne

Councilarism

Constance  • Basel • Lateran V

Modern

Trent • Vatican I • Vatican II

CupolaSPietro


The Council of Ephesus, the third ecumenical council, was held in Ephesus, Asia Minor in 431 under Emperor Theodosius II, grandson of Theodosius the Great. Approximately 200 Bishops were present. The proceedings were conducted in a heated atmosphere of confrontation and recriminations. It was chiefly concerned with the heresy of Nestorianism.

According to the Council, Nestorianism overemphasized the human nature of Jesus at the expense of the divine. The Council denounced Patriarch Nestorius' teaching as erroneous. Nestorius taught that the Virgin Mary gave birth to a man, Jesus Christ, not God, the "Logos" ("The Word", Son of God). The Logos only dwelled in Christ, as in a Temple (Christ, therefore, was only Theophoros: The "Bearer of God".) Consequently, Virgin Mary should be called "Christotokos," Mother of Christ and not "Theotokos," "Mother of God."

The Council decreed that Jesus was one person, not two separate "people": complete God and complete man, with a rational soul and body. The Virgin Mary is "Theotokos" because she gave birth not to man but to God as a man. The union of the two natures of Christ took place in such a fashion that one did not disturb the other.

The Council also declared the text of the Nicene Creed decreed at the First and Second Ecumenical Councils to be complete and forbade any additional change (addition or deletion) to it. In addition, it condemned Pelagianism.

The Assyrian Church of the East does not accept this or later councils.

See alsoEdit

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