Meaning of Nestorianism

What is Nestorianism:

Nestorianism is known as the sectarian doctrine of Nestorius that distinguishes two persons in Christ: one divine and the other human, so that they are independent but united in Christ, as man and God. On the other hand, the doctrine sees the Virgin Mary not as the mother of God, but simply as the mother of Christ.

The doctrine of Nestorianism was proposed by the Syrian-born monk Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, and was opposed by important bishops such as Saint Cyril of Alexandria. As it was also condemned by the Council of Ephesus, in the year 431, in which it stipulated the following:

  • The two natures, divine and human, were in Jesus Christ, constituting just one person who gathered in himself not only the attributes of divinity but also of humanity.
  • The Virgin Mary, as the mother of a man, has the right to be called the mother of God, being the mother of a divine person.

On the other hand, the term Nestorian identifies the adherents of a heretical sect, formed at the end of the fifth century by Nestorius, and spread throughout much of Asia during the Middle Ages.

Nestorianism is characterized by the cult of images, admits only the cross and the images of Christ, in the Sacraments, condemn auricular confession, deny the existence of Purgatory.

Today there are Nestorians, the vast majority living in Syria, Iraq and Iran. Likewise, you can find Nestorian churches, such as in India, Iraq, Iran, China, the United States, and among others. Regarding the previous point, there are still two patriarchs since 1976, the Assyrian Church of the East, in Illinois, United States; and the Ancient Church of the East, in Iraq.

Nestorianism and Monophysitism

Monophysitism was born as a reaction to Nestorianism since it contemplates that there is only one nature in the person of Christ: the divine, and not the human.

Monophysitism was developed by the monk Eutiques, between the 5th and 6th centuries. This doctrine was also condemned at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held in Chalcedon, in the year 451, but despite this it found support in Syria, Armenia and especially among the Coptic Christians of Egypt, where they still exercise this doctrine under an orderly structure. in the Armenian and Coptic Churches.

Nestorianism and Monothelianism

Monotelism is a religious doctrine proposed by the Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople that admitted the existence in Christ of two natures: divine and human, and a single will, with the aim of finding a middle ground between Monophysitism and Christian orthodoxy.

Despite the support received at first, Monotelism was condemned by the Third Council of Constantinople, in which "two natural wills and two natural operations, without division, without commutation, without separation, without confusion" were confirmed.

Nestorianism and Arianism

Arianism is a set of Christian doctrines, stipulated by Arria who held that Jesus was a creature incarnate in Jesus, with divine attributes but was not God himself, based on the impossibility of being saved on the cross.

Arianism was condemned as heresy at the First Council of Nicaea and was definitely declared heretical at the First Council of Constantinople.

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