The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey) in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II. This third ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, confirmed the original Nicene Creed, and condemned the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who held that the Virgin Mary may be called the Christotokos, "Birth Giver of Christ" but not the Theotokos, "Birth Giver of God". It met in June and July 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus in Anatolia.
|Council of Ephesus|
|First Council of Constantinople|
|Council of Chalcedon|
|Convoked by||Emperor Theodosius II|
|President||Cyril of Alexandria|
|Attendance||200–250 (papal representatives arrived late)|
|Topics||Nestorianism, Theotokos, Pelagianism|
Documents and statements
|Confirmation of the original Nicene Creed, condemnations of heresies, declaration of Mary as "Theotokos", eight canons|
|Chronological list of ecumenical councils|
Nestorius' doctrine, 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, Patriarch of Alexandria. Nestorius himself had requested the Emperor to convene the council, hoping that it would prove his orthodoxy; the council in fact condemned his teachings as heresy. The council declared Mary as Theotokos (God-bearer).
Nestorius' dispute with Cyril had led the latter to seek validation from Pope Celestine I, who authorized Cyril to request that Nestorius recant his position or face excommunication. Nestorius pleaded with the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II to call a council in which all grievances could be aired, hoping that he would be vindicated and Cyril condemned.
Approximately 250 bishops 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, by which churches supportive of Nestorius, especially in the Persian Empire of the Sassanids, were severed from the rest of Christendom and became known as Nestorian Christianity, or the Church of the East, whose present-day representatives are the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, the Chaldean Syrian Church, and the Chaldean Catholic Church. Nestorius himself retired to a monastery, always asserting his orthodoxy.
McGuckin cites the "innate rivalry" between Alexandria and Constantinople as an important factor in the controversy between 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 supported the Roman-Alexandrian popes while the emperor and his wife supported Nestorius.
Contention over Nestorius' teachings, which he developed during his studies at the School of Antioch, largely revolved around his rejection of the long-used title Theotokos ("Birth-giver of God") for the Virgin Mary. Shortly after his arrival in Constantinople, Nestorius became involved in the disputes of two theological factions, which differed in their Christology.
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, trying to find a middle ground between those who emphasized the fact that in Christ God had been born as a man, insisted on calling the Virgin Mary Theotokos (Greek: 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 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 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, uncompromising than Cyril and that he was fully 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. 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 argued that Nestorianism split Jesus in half and denied that he was both human and divine.
Cyril appealed to Pope Celestine I, charging Nestorius with heresy. 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. Before acting on the Pope's commission, Cyril convened a synod of Egyptian bishops which condemned Nestorius as well. Cyril then sent four suffragan bishops 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 anathemas, Cyril excommunicated anyone who followed the teachings of Nestorius. For example, "Anyone who dares to deny the Holy Virgin the title 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 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.
On 19 November, Nestorius, anticipating the ultimatum which was about to be delivered, convinced Emperor Theodosius II 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.
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. 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At this session, the bishops approved Canon 7 which condemned any departure from the creed established by the First Council of Nicaea, in particular an exposition by the priest Charisius. According to a report from Cyril to Celestine, Juvenal of Jerusalem 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.
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 and Caelestius and their followers as heretics and a sixth one decreeing deposition from clerical office or excommunication for those who did not accept the Council's decrees.
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 was to be called 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 as adopted by the First Council of Nicaea in 325, not as added to and modified by the First Council of Constantinople in 381.
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, gave papal confirmation to the council's actions.
The events created a major schism 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.
Persia had long been home to a Christian community that had been persecuted by the Zoroastrian 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, Barsauma, publicly accepted Nestorius' mentor, Theodore of Mopsuestia, as a spiritual authority. In 489 when the School of Edessa in Mesopotamia was closed by Byzantine Emperor Zeno for its Nestorian teachings, the school relocated to its original home of Nisibis, becoming again the School of Nisibis, leading to a wave of Nestorian immigration into Persia. The Persian patriarch Mar Babai I (497–502) reiterated and expanded upon the church's esteem for Theodore, solidifying the church's adoption of Nestorianism.
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".
Carallia (Ancient Greek: Καραλλία) was a city of the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima and is mentioned in the acts of the Council of Ephesus (431). The same form of the name is given in the acts of the Council of Chalcedon (451).The 6th-century Synecdemus gives the name of this Pamphylian city as Καράλια (Caralia).William Smith took the Pamphylian Carallia to be identical with the town of Carallis ((Κάραλλις, Καράλλεια) in Isauria, which he identified with a place in Turkey called Kereli. The site of the Pamphylian town is supposed to be at Uskeles.Coptic history
Coptic history is part of history of Egypt that begins with the introduction of Christianity in Egypt in the 1st century AD during the Roman period, and covers the history of the Copts to the present day. Many of the historic items related to Coptic Christianity are on display in many museums around the world and a large number is in the Coptic Museum in Coptic Cairo. its true.Council of Ephesus (disambiguation)
The Council of Ephesus was an Ecumenical Council that took place in 431 CE.
Council of Ephesus may also refer to:
The Second Council of Ephesus of 449 CE
The Third Council of Ephesus of 475 CEEudocia (Lycia)
Eudocia (Ancient Greek: Εὐδοκία) was an ancient town in Lycia.
Although William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) said that the Synecdemus of Hierocles mentions four towns in Asia Minor called Eudocia (Εὐδοκία), including one in Lycia, other scholars report the Synecdemus as calling one or more of them Eudocias or Eudoxias. and the name of the Lycian town as it appears in the text of the Synecdemus as edited by Parthey in 1866 is clearly Eudocias (Εὐδοκιάς), while noting that in some Notitiae Episcopatuu the name is given as Eudoxia (Εὐδοξιάς).Lequien, who mentions no town in Lycia called Eudocia, says that the Synecdemus called a town in Lycia Eudocias and one in Pamphylia Eudoxias, but that other sources speak of the Pamphylian town also as Eudocias. He sees in the presence in the Synecdemus both of a Lycian Telmessus and a Lycian Eudocias and also of a Pamphylian Termessus and a Pamphylian Eudoxias or Eudocias proof that they were all distinct cities. It is curious then that, although, when speaking of Telmessus, he says that it was the Pamphylian Termessus and the Pamphylian Eudocias that for long had the same bishop, when he speaks of the Lycian Eudocias, he attributes to that see the same bishops that he attributes elsewhere to the Pamphylian Eudocias, calling the two most ancient one either bishops of Telmessus and Eudocias (when speaking of Lycia) or bishops of Termessus and Eudocias (when speaking of Pamphylia). The bishops that he mentions for both towns that he calls Eudocias are Timotheus (at the 431 Council of Ephesus), Zenodotus (at the 451 Council of Ephesus), and Photius or Photinus (at the 787 Second Council of Nicaea).The more recent study by Gams makes no mention of any bishopric in Lycia called either Eudocias or Eudocia, but mentions both the Lycian Telmessus and the Pamphylian Termessus and Eudocias.The Annuario Pontificio speaks of a no longer residential, and therefore now titular, episcopal see in the Roman province of Lycia as called Eudocia. It was a suffragan of Myra, the metropolitan see and capital of that province. The Annuario Pontificio states that the town that it calls Eudocia was near Makri, the name that at least by the 9th century was given to the city previously called Telmessus, which is now Fethiye, Muğla Province, Turkey.Eudocias (Pamphylia)
Eudocias (Ancient Greek: Εὐδοκιάς) or Eudocia (Ancient Greek: Εὐδοκία) was an ancient town in the Roman province of Pamphylia Secunda, in the neighbourhood of Termessus.
According to William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), the Synecdemus of Hierocles mentions four towns in Asia Minor, including one in Pamphylia, called Eudocia (Εὐδοκία), but other scholars report the Synecdemus as calling the Pamphylian town Eudocias. Lequien says the Synecdemus spoke of the Pamphylian town as Eudoxias but himself, in line with other sources, uses the form "Eudocias". Parthey's 1866 edition of the Synecdemus gives the name of the Pamphylian town as Eudocia, but notes that the earlier editions of Wesseling (1735) and Bekker (1840) gave the name as Eudocias.In recent studies, "Eudocias" is the form of the name given by George E. Bean, and by Hülya Yalçınsoy and Süleyman Atalay.The original name of the town seems to have been Anydros. It was rebuilt in the 5th century and renamed Eudocias in honour of Empress Aelia Eudocia, the wife of Theodosius II, and under this name is mentioned in the Synecdemus. Bishop Timotheus of Termessus and Eudocias took part in the Council of Ephesus in 431 and Bishop Sabinianus of Termessus, Eudocias and Iobia in a synod held in Constantinople in 448. But in 458, the suffragans of the metropolitan see of Perge (the capital of Pamphylia Secunda) who signed a joint letter to the Byzantine Emperor regarding the murder of Proterius of Alexandria included both Auxentius of Termessus and Innocentius of Eudocias, showing that Eudocias had by then become a distinct episcopal see. From then on Eudocias and Termessus appear as separate sees in the Notitiae Episcopatuum even as late as the 10th century.Other sources too give the names of these bishops of Eudocias, adding to them Callistus (or Calixtus), who took part in the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.No longer a residential bishopric, Eudocias is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.Eutyches
Eutyches (Greek: Εὐτυχής; c. 380 – c. 456) was a presbyter and archimandrite at Constantinople. He first came to notice in 431 at the First Council of Ephesus, for his vehement opposition to the teachings of Nestorius; his condemnation of Nestorianism as heresy led him to an equally extreme, although opposite view, which precipitated his being denounced as a heretic himself.Evagrius Scholasticus
Evagrius Scholasticus (Greek: Εὐάγριος Σχολαστικός) was a Syrian scholar and intellectual living in the 6th century AD, and an aide to the patriarch Gregory of Antioch. His surviving work, Ecclesiastical History (Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ Ἱστορία), comprises a six-volume collection concerning the Church's history from the First Council of Ephesus (431) to Maurice’s reign during his life.First seven ecumenical councils
In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils include the following: the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681 and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.
These seven events represented an attempt by Church leaders to reach an orthodox consensus, restore peace and develop a unified Christendom. Eastern Orthodox Christians, Oriental Orthodox Christians, the Church of the East, Anglican, Old Catholic, and Roman Catholics, all trace the legitimacy of their clergy by apostolic succession back to this period and beyond, to the earlier period referred to as Early Christianity.
This era begins with the First Council of Nicaea, which enunciated the Nicene Creed that in its original form and as modified by the First Council of Constantinople of 381 was seen by all later councils as the touchstone of orthodoxy on the doctrine of the Trinity.
The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church accept all seven of these councils as legitimate ecumenical councils. The Oriental Orthodox Churches accept only the first three, while the Church of the East accepts only the first two. There is also one additional council (the Quinisext Council), which was held between the sixth and seventh ecumenical councils (in AD 692), and which issued organizational, liturgical and canonical rules but did not discuss theology. It is accepted as ecumenical by the Eastern Orthodox Church alone, however the Eastern Orthodox do not give it a number, but rather count it as a continuation of the sixth council. The Catholic Church does not accept the Quinisext Council, but it considers that there have been many more ecumenical councils after the first seven.Hypostatic union
Hypostatic union (from the Greek: ὑπόστασις hypóstasis, "sediment, foundation, substance, subsistence") is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis, or individual existence.The most basic explanation for the hypostatic union is Jesus Christ being both God and man. He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human.
The Athanasian Creed recognized this doctrine and affirmed its importance, stating that "He is God from the essence of the Father, begotten before time; and he is human from the essence of his mother, born in time; completely God, completely human, with a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as regards divinity, less than the Father as regards humanity. Although he is God and human, yet Christ is not two, but one. He is one, however, not by his divinity being turned into flesh, but by God's taking humanity to himself. He is one, certainly not by the blending of his essence, but by the unity of his person. For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh, so too the one Christ is both God and human."List of archbishops of Cyprus
This is a list of Archbishops of Cyprus since its foundation with known dates of enthronement. The Church of Cyprus was created by St. Barnabas in 45 AD. The see of Cyprus was declared autocephalous by the Council of Ephesus, on 30 July 431; its autocephaly was abolished in 1260, and was restored in 1571. As the head of the Church of Cyprus, the holder is styled Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus.Monophysitism
Monophysitism ( or ; Greek: μονοφυσιτισμός; Late Koine Greek [monofysitizˈmos] from μόνος monos, "only, single" and φύσις physis, "nature") is the Christological position that, after the union of the divine and the human in the historical incarnation, Jesus Christ, as the incarnation of the eternal Son or Word (Logos) of God, had only a single "nature" which was either divine or a synthesis of divine and human. Monophysitism is contrasted to dyophysitism (or dia-, dio-, or duophysitism) which maintains that Christ maintained two natures, one divine and one human, after the incarnation.
Historically, the term "Monophysites" (capitalized in this sense) referred to those Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire who rejected the fourth ecumenical council, the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The moderate members of this group, however, maintained a "miaphysite" theology that became that of the Oriental Orthodox churches. The Oriental Orthodox reject the label "monophysite" as a catch-all term, but the label was extensively used in historical literature of Chalcedonian Christian authors.
After the Council of Chalcedon, the monophysite controversy (together with institutional, political, and growing nationalistic factors) led to a lasting schism between the Oriental Orthodox churches, on the one hand, and the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches on the other. The Christological conflict among monophysitism, dyophysitism, and their subtle combinations and derivatives lasted from the third through the eighth centuries and left its mark on all but the first two Ecumenical councils. The vast majority of Christians presently belong to the Chalcedonian churches, namely the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and traditional Protestant churches (those that accept at least the first four Ecumenical Councils); these churches have always considered monophysitism to be heretical.
Monophysitism is occasionally referred to as "monophysiticism".Nestorian Schism
The Nestorian Schism (431–544), 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 involving Cyril (Patriarch of Alexandria) and Nestorius (Patriarch of Constantinople). The First Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451 condemned Nestorius and his doctrine, which emphasized the radical distinctness between Christ's human and divine natures.
That forced a breach between the churches that defended Nestorius and the state church of the Roman Empire, which caused the Church of the East, the Christian church of Sassanid Persia, to become known as the Nestorian Church, as it took the side of Nestorius.Nestorianism
Nestorianism is a Christian theological doctrine that upholds several distinctive teachings in the fields of Christology and Mariology. It opposes the concept of hypostatic union and emphasizes a radical distinction between two natures (human and divine) of Jesus Christ. This Christological position is defined as radical dyophisitism. Nestorianism was named after Christian theologian Nestorius (386–450), Patriarch of Constantinople from 428 to 431, who was influenced by Christological teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch.
Nestorius' teachings brought him into conflict with other prominent church leaders, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, who criticized especially his rejection of the title Theotokos ("Mother of God") for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Nestorius and his teachings were eventually condemned as heretical at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and again at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which led to the Nestorian Schism; churches supporting Nestorian teachings broke with the rest of the Christian Church.
Following that, many of Nestorius's supporters relocated to the Sasanian Empire, where they affiliated with the local Christian community, known as the Church of the East. Over the next decades the Church of the East became increasingly Nestorian in doctrine, leading to it becoming known alternatively as the Nestorian Church.Nestorius
Nestorius (; in Greek: Νεστόριος; c. 386 – 450) was Archbishop of Constantinople (now Istanbul) from 10 April 428 to August 431, when Emperor Theodosius II confirmed his condemnation by the Council of Ephesus on 22 June.
His teachings included a rejection of the long-used title of Theotokos, "Mother of God", for Mary, mother of Jesus, and they were considered by many to imply that he did not believe that Christ was truly God. That brought him into conflict with other prominent churchmen of the time, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, whom he accused of heresy.
Nestorius sought to defend himself at the First Council of Ephesus in 431 but instead found himself formally condemned for heresy by a majority of the bishops and was subsequently removed from his see. On his own request, he retired to his former monastery, in or near Antioch. In 435, Theodosius II sent him into exile in Upper Egypt, where he lived on until 450, strenuously defending his orthodoxy. His last major defender within the Roman Empire, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, finally agreed to anathematize him in 451 during the Council of Chalcedon.
From then on, he had no defenders within the empire, but the Church of the East never accepted his condemnation. That led later to western Christians giving the name Nestorian Church to the Church of the East where his teachings were deemed Orthodox and in line with its own teachings. Nestorius is revered as among three "Greek Teachers" of the Church (in addition to Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia). Parts of the Church of the East's Eucharistic Service, which is known to be among the oldest in the world, is contributed to with prayers attributed to Nestorius himself.
The Second Council of Constantinople of AD 553 confirmed the validity of the condemnation of Nestorius, refuting the letter of Ibas of Edessa that affirms that Nestorius was condemned without due inquiry.The discovery, translation and publication of his Bazaar of Heracleides at the beginning of the 20th century have led to a reassessment of his theology in western scholarship. It is now generally agreed that his ideas were not far from those that eventually emerged as orthodox, but the orthodoxy of his formulation of the doctrine of Christ is still controversial.Nicene Christianity
Nicene Christianity refers to Christian doctrinal traditions that adhere to the Nicene Creed, which was originally formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and finished at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381. It is much more commonly referred to as mainstream Christianity.The main rival doctrine of Nicene Christianity at the time was Arian Christianity, which ceased to exist during the 7th century AD with the conversion of the Gothic kingdoms to Nicene Christianity. The main points of dissent centered on Christology. Nicene Christianity considers Christ to be divine and co-eternal with God the Father, while Arian Christianity considered Christ to be the first created being and inferior to God the Father. Other non-Nicene currents have been considered heresies since the early medieval period.Present-day mainstream Christian Churches including all of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian and Ancient Churches, Lutheran and Anglican churches together with most Protestant denominations adhere to the Nicene Creed and are thus examples of Nicene Christianity.
Chalcedonian Christianity is a large subset of Nicene Christianity. In addition to subscribing to the Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Christians also subscribe to the decisions of the First Council of Ephesus in AD 431 and of the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. The great majority of Nicene Christians are also Chalcedonian Christians. However, some portions of Eastern Christianity such as the Oriental Orthodox Churches and historically Church of the East adhere to the Nicene Creed but not to the Chalcedonian Definition and are therefore part of Nicene Christianity but non-Chalcedonian and for latter "non-Ephesine".
Examples of non-Nicene Christianity today include the various either Protestant or non-Protestant non-trinitarian groups like predominantly Latter Day Saint movement (with exception of the Nicene Mormon group the Community of Christ also formerly as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), the Unitarian Church of Transylvania and the Oneness Pentecostals.Non-Chalcedonianism
Non-Chalcedonianism is a religious doctrine of those Christian churches that do not accept the Confession of Chalcedon as defined at the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451. The doctrine contrasts with Chalcedonian Christianity, which accepts the doctrines of the first seven Ecumenical Councils. Some Christian denominations do not accept the Confession of Chalcedon, for varying reasons, but accept the doctrines of the previous council at the Council of Ephesus in 431.
The most substantial non-Chalcedonian tradition is known as Oriental Orthodoxy. Within this tradition are a number of ancient Christian churches including the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Syriac Orthodox Church (sometimes referred to as "Jacobite"), the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
The Christology of the Church of the East (i.e., Nestorian Christianity) may be called "non-Ephesine" for not accepting the Council of Ephesus, but did finally gather to ratify the Council of Chalcedon at the Synod of Mar Aba I in 544.Within the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch, the rejection of the Chalcedonian definition became a cause of schism. While the common people of Egypt and Syria mostly objected to the Council, the Byzantine-Greek minority that formed the ruling class mostly accepted the Council. These two parties vied for possession of the ancient sees of Alexandria and Antioch that formed, at the time, the third and fourth most prestigious sees in Christendom, respectively. Ultimately, neither group absolutely dominated either church. The end result was the existence of two distinct patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch for almost 1500 years, continuing in the present time. What is now known as the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is the native Egyptian patriarchal faction of Alexandria that rejected Chalcedon, whereas the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria is composed of those who accepted Chalcedon. For Syrians, the Syriac Orthodox Church forms the patriarchal faction of the native Syrian-Semitic population whereas the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch is composed of those who accepted Chalcedon.
In India and to a lesser degree in Persia, the schism that occurred was between the Oriental Orthodox and the Assyrian Church of the East. Even today in Kerala, there is a continuing presence of both the Assyrian Church of the East and the Syriac Orthodox Church along with an Independent Oriental Orthodox Church called the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
In the 18th century and onwards, Nontrinitarian and Unitarian Christians are necessarily non-Chalcedonian with having their own separate traditions, different nontrinitarian theologies, and polities. The largest such groups are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons") (Latter-day Saint movement), Jehovah's Witnesses and the Iglesia ni Cristo.Second Council of Constantinople
The Second Council of Constantinople is the fifth of the first seven ecumenical councils recognized by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. It is also recognized by the Old Catholics and others. Protestant opinions and recognition of it are varied. Some Protestants, such as Calvinists and Lutherans, recognize the first four councils, whereas most Anglo-Catholics accept all seven. Constantinople II was convoked by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I under the presidency of Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople. It was held from 5 May to 2 June 553. Participants were overwhelmingly Eastern bishops—only sixteen Western bishops were present, including nine from Illyricum and seven from Africa, but none from Italy—out of the 152 total.The main work of the council was to confirm the condemnation issued by edict in 551 by the Emperor Justinian against the Three Chapters. These were the Christological writings and ultimately the person of Theodore of Mopsuestia (died 428), certain writings against Cyril of Alexandria's Twelve Anathemas accepted at the Council of Ephesus, written by Theodoret of Cyrrhus (died c. 466), and a letter written against Cyrillianism and the Ephesian Council by Ibas of Edessa (died 457).The purpose of the condemnation was to make plain that the Great Church, which followed a Chalcedonian creed, was firmly opposed to Nestorianism as supported by the Antiochene school which had either assisted Nestorius, the eponymous heresiarch, or had inspired the teaching for which he was anathematized and exiled. The council also condemned the teaching that Mary could not be rightly called the Mother of God (Gk. Theotokos) but only the mother of the man (Gk. anthropotokos) or the mother of Christ (Gk. Christotokos).Justinian hoped that this would contribute to a reunion between the Chalcedonians and monophysites in the eastern provinces of the Empire. Various attempts at reconciliation between these parties within the Byzantine Empire were made by many emperors over the four centuries following the Council of Ephesus, none of them successful. Some attempts at reconciliation, such as this one, the condemnation of the Three Chapters and the unprecedented posthumous anathematization of Theodore—who had once been widely esteemed as a pillar of orthodoxy—causing further schisms and heresies to arise in the process, such as the aforementioned schism of the Three Chapters and the emergent semi-monophysite compromises of monoenergism and monotheletism. These propositions assert, respectively, that Christ possessed no human energy but only a divine function or principle of operation (purposefully formulated in an equivocal and vague manner, and promulgated between 610 and 622 by the Emperor Heraclius under the advice of Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople) and that Christ possessed no human will but only a divine will, "will" being understood to mean the desires and appetites in accord with the nature (promulgated in 638 by the same and opposed most notably by Maximus the Confessor).Second Council of Ephesus
The Second Council of Ephesus was a Christological church synod in 449 AD convened by Emperor Theodosius II under the presidency of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria. It was intended to be an ecumenical council, & it is accepted as such by the Miaphysite orthodox but was rejected by the chalcedonian dyophysites. It was explicitly repudiated by the dyophysite’s fourth and next council, the Council of Chalcedon of 451, and it was named the Latrocinium or "Robber Council" by Pope Leo I. To this day, several Churches that adopted the Council of Chalcedon refer to it the same, but several Orthodox Churches refute that.
Both this council and that at Chalcedon dealt primarily with Christology, the study of the nature of Christ. Both councils affirmed the doctrine of the hypostatic union and upheld the orthodox Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man. The Second Council of Ephesus decreed St Cyril of Alexandria’s formula that Christ is one(one is a qualitative description of Union of divinity & humanity) incarnate nature [miaphysis], that is fully human & fully God united without separation, without confusion, without mixture & without alteration. The Council of Chalcedon decreed that in Christ two natures exist, "a divine nature [physis] and a human nature [physis], united in one person [hypostasis], with neither division nor confusion".Those who do not accept the decrees of Chalcedon nor later ecumenical councils are variously named monophysites (though this term is only correctly used to describe a small minority and is most often pejoratively applied to others), miaphysites, or non-Chalcedonians, and comprise what is today known as Oriental Orthodoxy, a communion of eight autocephalous ecclesial communions Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Church. Those who accepted the teaching of Chalcedon but resided in areas dominated by Oriental Orthodox bishops were called by the non-Chalcedonians Melkites, or "King's men" (as the Emperors were usually Chalcedonians),. The Antiochian Orthodox Church historically descends from these people. Shortly after the Council of Chalcedon, the miaphysite party appointed a Pope of Alexandria in opposition to the Chalcedonian Pope of Alexandria. Over the next few centuries, various popes usually held to either one side or the other although some accepting the Henotikon. Eventually, two separate papacies were established, each claiming sole legitimacy.Third Council of Ephesus
The Third Council of Ephesus was held in the Anatolian city of Ephesus in 475. It was presided over by Pope Timothy II of Alexandria, and also attended by Peter the Fuller, then Patriarch of Antioch, Paul the Exarch of Ephesus and Anastasius I of Jerusalem. There were reportedly 500-700 bishops present at the council. It ratified a recent encyclical of Emperor Basiliscus which condemned the Council of Chalcedon and particularly the Tome of Leo. This council thus constitutes one of the most significant synodical condemnations of Chalcedon for the Oriental Orthodox. In response to the accusations of certain Chalcedonians that they, the Non-Chalcedonians, had adopted the erroneous teachings of Eutyches, the attendees of Ephesus III summarily anathematized Eutyches and those of his teachings which compromised the humanity of Christ. Additionally, the council restored the complete autonomy of the Exarchate of Ephesus (corresponding to the civil Diocese of Asia), which had been compromised at Chalcedon by ascribing authority to the Patriarch of Constantinople over Thrace, Pontus, and Asia.