But what if these Masters claim that something is inside Tradition which is not there? On the one hand they are learned men, authorised by the Church to teach the people, and the people are relatively ignorant. On the other hand there is for instance the famous case of the Council of Ephesus (428), where the people rose up in Constantinople to defend the divine Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary against the heretical Patriarch Nestor.
The answer is that objective truth is above Masters and people alike, so that if the people have the truth on their side, they are superior to their Masters if the Masters do not have the truth. On the other hand if the people do not have the truth, thay have no right to rise up against the Masters. In brief, if they are right, they have the right. If they are not right, they have no right. And what tells if they are right or not? Neither Masters (necessarily), nor people (still less necessarily), but reality, even if Masters or people, or both, conspire to smother it.
In these two paragraphs, one finds the name "Nestor," referring to a patriarch of Constantinople who was condemned by the Oecumenical Council of Ephesus in A.D. 428.
The story of Ephesus and Nestorius and the Theotokos and the nature of Christ is far from lost to history, in fact, I just had the alarming experience of finding two young women on my front porch, eager to speak with me about "the Female Image of God" while they assured me that they believe in the Trinity and in God the Son as Incarnated on Earth as Jesus Christ; HOWEVER, they could not answer my question, "How many natures does Christ have, one or two?" Or, rather, their eventual answer was that Christ has one nature. They were much more interested in sharing how they FEEL about "God the Mother" with me. (Note: not "the Mother of God" -- Theotokos
, a word they never heard before -- but "God the Mother.")
Last time I checked, 2014 - 431 = 1583, so 1,583 years ago this question was settled, but here are two "Assembly of God" or "Elohim" or "Raelians" on my doorstep anxious to TEACH ME about something when they've paid no attention to the past 1,583 years of world history.
Do you suppose there could be two men, one Nestor and the other Nestorius, both for whom the patriarchate and condemnation would be true? The following article from Wikipedia is interesting in this regard (Note, if +W's "Nestor" and this "Nestorius" are the same person, the whole point of +W's mentioning him, the rising up of the people, is found near the middle of this Wiki article. I find that most fascinating, that is, far more interesting for a substantive discussion
than how YOU or ANYONE ELSE "feels" about whether we should warn readers every time we "introduce terms" only "with an explanation" into the discussion, otherwise the reader might have a hormone reaction and that means the "term" was "loaded."):
NestoriusFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (December 2010)
Archbishop of Constantinople
Born c. 386
Germanicia, Syria (now Kahramanmaraş, Turkey)
Died c. 450
Great Oasis of Hibis (al-Khargah), Egypt
Assyrian Church of the East
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Feast October 25
Controversy Christology, Theotokos
Nestorius (/ˌnɛsˈtɔriəs/; in Greek: Νεστόριος; c. 386 – 450) was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 until August 431, when the 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 were misunderstood by many to imply that he did not believe that Christ was truly God. This 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 he found himself formally condemned for heresy by a majority of the bishops
and 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 till 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. This led later to western Christians giving the name Nestorian Church to the Church of the East, even though it never regarded him as an authoritative teacher. The discovery and publication of his Book of Heraclides at the beginning of the 20th century 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. This is due to the fact that the Second Council of Constantinople of AD 553 confirmed the validity of the condemnation of Nestorius, refuting the letter of Iba that affirms that Nestorius was condemned without the due inquiry.
2 Nestorian controversy
3 Later events
6 Bazaar of Heracleides
9 External links
Nestorius was born around 381/386 in Germanicia in the Roman province of Syria (now Kahramanmaraş in Turkey). He received his clerical training as a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch. He was living as a priest and monk in the monastery of Euprepius near the walls, and gained a reputation for his sermons that led to his enthronement by Theodosius II as Patriarch of Constantinople following the death of Sisinnius I in 428.
Shortly after his arrival in Constantinople, Nestorius became involved in the disputes of two theological factions, which differed in their Christology. Nestorius tried to find a middle ground between those that emphasized the fact that in Christ God had been born as a man and 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 did not find acceptance on either side.
"Nestorianism" refers to the doctrine that there are two separate hypostases in the Incarnate Christ, the one Divine and the other human. The teaching of all those churches which accept the Council of Ephesus is that in the Incarnate Christ is a single hypostasis, at once God and man. This latter doctrine is known as the Hypostatic union. 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. It is not clear whether Nestorius actually taught this.
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. All this naturally caused great excitement at Constantinople, especially among the clergy, who were clearly not well disposed towards the stranger from Antioch. Cyril appealed to Celestine of Rome to make a decision, and Celestine delegated to Cyril the job of excommunicating Nestorius if he did not change his teachings in ten days.
Nestorius had arranged with the emperor in the summer of 430 for the assembling of a council. He now hastened it on, and the summons had been issued to patriarchs and metropolitans on 19 Nov., before the pope's sentence, delivered though Cyril of Alexandria, had been served on Nestorius. Emperor Theodosius II convoked a general church council, sited at Ephesus, itself a special seat for the veneration of Mary, where the Theotokos formula was popular. The Emperor and his wife supported Nestorius while Pope Celestine I supported Cyril.
Cyril took charge of the First Council of Ephesus in 431, opening debate before the long-overdue contingent of Eastern bishops from Antioch arrived. The council deposed Nestorius and declared him a heretic.
In Nestorius' own words,
When the followers of Cyril saw the vehemence of the emperor... they roused up a disturbance and discord among the people with an outcry, as though the emperor were opposed to God; they rose up against the nobles and the chiefs who acquiesced not in what had been done by them and they were running hither and thither. And... they took with them those who had been separated and removed from the monasteries by reason of their lives and their strange manners and had for this reason been expelled, and all who were of heretical sects and were possessed with fanaticism and with hatred against me. And one passion was in them all, Jews and pagans and all the sects, and they were busying themselves that they should accept without examination the things which were done without examination against me; and at the same time all of them, even those that had participated with me at table and in prayer and in thought, were agreed... against me and vowing vows one with another against me... In nothing were they divided.
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. Initially, the imperial government ordered both Nestorius and Cyril deposed and exiled. Nestorius was bidden to return to his monastery at Antioch, and Maximian was consecrated Archbishop of Constantinople in his place. Cyril was eventually allowed to return after bribing various courtiers.
In the following months, 17 bishops who supported Nestorius' doctrine were removed from their sees. Eventually, John I of Antioch was obliged to abandon Nestorius in March 433. On August 3, 435, Theodosius II issued an imperial edict that exiled Nestorius from the monastery in Antioch in which he had been staying to a monastery in the Great Oasis of Hibis (al-Khargah), in Egypt, securely within the diocese of Cyril. The monastery suffered attacks by desert bandits, and Nestorius was injured in one such raid. Nestorius seems to have survived there until at least 450 (given the evidence of The Book of Heraclides), though we have no knowledge of when after this date he died.
Very few of Nestorius' writings survive. There are several letters preserved in the records of the Council of Ephesus, and fragments of a few others; about thirty sermons are extant, mostly in fragmentary form. The only complete treatise we have is the lengthy defence of his theological position, called The Book of Heraclides, written in exile at the Oasis, which survives in Syriac translation. This must have been written after 450, as he knows of the death of the Emperor Theodosius II (29 July 450).
Though Nestorius had been condemned by the church, including by Assyrians, there remained a faction loyal to him and his teachings. Following the Nestorian Schism and the relocation of many Nestorian Christians to Persia, Nestorian thought became ingrained in the native Christian community, known as the Church of the East, to the extent that it was often known as the "Nestorian Church". In modern times the Assyrian Church of the East, a modern descendant of the historical Church of the East, reveres Nestorius as a saint, although the modern church does not subscribe to the entirety of the Nestorian doctrine as it has traditionally been understood in the West. Parts of the doctrine were explicitly repudiated by Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV on the occasion of his accession in 1976.
In the Roman Empire, the doctrine of Monophysitism developed in reaction to Nestorianism. This new doctrine asserted that Christ had but one nature, his human nature being absorbed into his divinity. This doctrine was condemned at the Council of Chalcedon, and misattributed to the non-Chalcedonian Churches. Today it is condemned as heresy in the modern Oriental Orthodox churches.
Bazaar of Heracleides
In 1895, a 16th-century book manuscript containing a copy of a text written by Nestorius was discovered by American missionaries in the library of the Nestorian patriarch in the mountains at Konak, Hakkari. This book had suffered damage during Muslim 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 Assyrian Christians.
In the Bazaar, written about 451, Nestorius denies the heresy for which he was condemned and instead affirms of Christ "the same one is twofold"—an expression that some consider similar to the formulation of the Council of Chalcedon. Nestorius' earlier surviving writings, however, including his letter written in response to Cyril's charges against him, contain material that suggest that at that time he held that Christ had two persons.