Council of Ephesus

Council of Ephesus
Date431
Accepted by
Previous council
First Council of Constantinople
Next council
Council of Chalcedon
Convoked byEmperor Theodosius II
PresidentCyril of Alexandria
Attendance200–250 (papal representatives arrived late)
TopicsNestorianism, 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

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,[1] confirmed the original Nicene Creed,[2] 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.

Background

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).[3]

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.

Other Languages
العربية: مجمع أفسس
čeština: Efezský koncil
hrvatski: Efeški sabor
Bahasa Indonesia: Konsili Efesus
Kiswahili: Mtaguso wa Efeso
latviešu: Efesas koncils
norsk nynorsk: Konsilet i Efesos
slovenčina: Efezský koncil
slovenščina: Prvi efeški koncil
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Prvi efeški sabor
українська: Ефеський собор
Tiếng Việt: Công đồng Ephesus