How to use Nestorius in a sentence
The third and fourth oecumenical synods (Ephesus, 43 1; Chalcedon, 451) were primarily tribunals for the trials of Nestorius and Dioscorus; it was secondarily that they became organs of the universal episcopate for the definition of the faith, or legislative assemblies for the enactment of canons.
He was not, however, charged with direct heresy, as were Nestorius and Dioscorus, and the synod seems to have hesitated to deal stringently with the primate of Christendom.
Both Eutyches and Nestorius are spoken of as living.
At the desire of Leo (then archdeacon of Rome) he wrote against Nestorius his De Incarnatione Domini in seven books.
On the advice of Acacius, the energetic patriarch of Constantinople, Zeno issued the Henotikon edict (482), in which Nestorius and Eutyches were condemned, the twelve chapters of Cyril accepted, and the Chalcedon Definition ignored.Advertisement
Theodotus was excommunicated by the bishop of Rome, Victor, c. 195, but his followers lived on under a younger teacher of the same name and under Artemon, while in the East similar views were expounded by Beryllus of Bostra and Paul of Samosata, who undoubtedly influenced Lucian of Antioch and his school, including Arius and, later, Nestorius.
The teaching of Apollinarius that in Christ the Divine Word took the place of the human rational soul, thus seeming to do away with his possession of a true humanity, had led to a reaction by Paul of Samosata, Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Nestorius of Constantinople.
It seems to have been the objection of Nestorius to the use of this expression which mainly led to his condemnation and deposition at the Council of Ephesus (431) under the influence of Cyril, when as patriarch of Constantinople (428-431) he had distinguished himself by his zeal for Nicene orthodoxy."
To the Nestorian movement in Persia he rendered useful service by his letter to Mari of Beth Hardasher, in which he maintained the tenets of Diodore and Theodore, while allowing that Nestorius had erred.
His theological position is clearly defined in a homily on the three doctors - Diodore, Theodore and Nestorius - published by the Abbe Martin in the Journal asiatique for July 1900.Advertisement
On the accusation of the orthodox he was deposed by the "Robber Synod" of Ephesus, but at Chalcedon in 451 was pardoned on condition of anathematizing both Nestorius and Eutyches and accepting the Tome of Leo.
The church traced its doctrines to Theodore of Mopsuestia rather than to Nestorius, whose name at first they repudiated, not regarding themselves as having been proselytized to any new teaching.
There are three liturgies - of the Holy Apostles, of Theodore and of Nestorius.
The Nestorians commemorate Nestorius as a saint, and invoke his aid and that of his companions.
Nestorius held the two natures so far apart as to appear to sacrifice the unity of the person of Christ.Advertisement
If the creed-phrases needed sharpening against the revived Nestorian error of the Adoptianists, it is scarcely likely to have been written during the generation following the condemnation of Nestorius in 431.
When the doctrines of Nestorius were denounced to him, he instructed Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, to follow up the matter.
The consecration took place on the 10th of April 428, and then, almost immediately afterwards, in what is said to have been his first patriarchal sermon, Nestorius exhorted the emperor in the famous words - "Purge me, 0 Caesar, the earth of heretics, and I in return will give thee heaven.
In the spirit of this utterance, steps were taken within a few days by the new prelate to suppress the assemblies of the Arians; these, by a bold stroke of policy, anticipated his action by themselves setting fire to their meetinghouse, Nestorius being forthwith nicknamed "the incendiary."
In the school of Antioch the impropriety of the expression had long before been pointed out, by Theodore of Mopsuestia, among others, in terms precisely similar to those afterwards attributed to Nestorius.Advertisement
From Antioch Nestorius had brought along with him to Constantinople a co-presbyter named Anastasius, who enjoyed his confidence and is called by Theophanes his "syncellus."
The opposition, which was led by one Eusebius, a "scholasticus" or pleader who afterwards became bishop of Dorylaeum, chose to construe this utterance as a denial of the divinity of Christ, and so violent did the dispute upon it become that Nestorius judged it necessary to silence the remonstrants by force.
He stirred up his own clergy, he wrote to encourage the dissidents at Constantinople, he addressed himself to the sister and wife of the emperor (Theodosius himself being known to be still favourable to Nestorius), and he beggared the clergy of his own diocese to find bribes for the officials of the court.
Nestorius himself, on the other hand, having occasion to write to Pope Celestine I.
Bethune-Baker, Nestorius and his Teaching, p. 16 seq.Advertisement
On hearing from Rome, Cyril at once held a synod and drew up a doctrinal formula for Nestorius to sign, and also twelve anathemas covering the various points of the Nestorian dogmatic. Nestorius, instead of yielding to the combined pressure of his two great rivals, merely replied by a counter excommunication.
Nestorius, with sixteen bishops and a large following of armed men, was among the first to arrive; soon afterwards came Cyril with fifty bishops.
Cyril and his friends accordingly assembled in the church of the Theotokos on the 22nd of June, and summoned Nestorius before them to give an account of his doctrines.
Notwithstanding these circumstances, Cyril and the one hundred and fifty-nine bishops who were with him proceeded to read the imperial letter of convocation, and afterwards the letters which had passed between Nestorius and his adversary.
Almost immediately the entire assembly with one voice cried out anathema on the impious Nestorius and his impious doctrines, and after various extracts from the writings of church fathers had been read the decree of his exclusion from the episcopate and from all priestly communion was solemnly read and signed by all present, whose numbers had by this time swelled to one hundred and ninety-eight.
As Nestorius himself said, "the Council was Cyril"; it simply registered the Alexandrian patriarch's views.
A few days afterwards (June 26th or 27th) John of Antioch arrived, and efforts were made by both parties to gain his ear; whether inclined or not to the cause of his former co-presbyter, he was naturally excited by the precipitancy with which Cyril had acted, and at a conciliabulum of forty-three bishops held in his lodgings shortly after his arrival he was induced by Candidian, the friend of Nestorius, to depose the bishops of Alexandria and Ephesus on the spot.
In the end Theodosius decided to confirm the depositions which had been pronounced on both sides, and Cyril and Memnon as well as Nestorius were by his orders laid under arrest.
Maximian, one of the Constantinopolitan clergy, a native of Rome, was promoted to the vacant see, and Nestorius was henceforward represented in the city of his former patriarchate only by one small congregation, which also a short time afterwards became extinct.
As for Nestorius himself, immediately after his deposition he withdrew into private life in his old monastery of Euprepius, Antioch, until 435, when the emperor ordered his banishment to Petra in Arabia.
Nestorius was already old and ailing and must have died very soon after.
So far as Nestorius himself is concerned, however, it is certain that he never formulated any such doctrine;2 nor does any recorded utterance of his, however casual, come so near the heresy called by his name as Cyril's deliberately framed third anathema (that regarding the "physical union" of the two hypostases or natures) approaches Eutychianism.
It must be remembered that Nestorius was as orthodox at all events as Athanasius on the subject of the incarnation, and sincerely, even fanatically, held every article of the Nicene creed.
But in reality the question raised by Nestorius was not one as to the communicatio idiomatum, but simply as to the proprieties of language.
He did not refuse to speak of Mary as being the mother of Christ or as being the mother of Emmanuel, but he thought it improper to speak of her as the mother of God, and Leo in the Letter to Flavian which was endorsed at Chalcedon uses the term "Mother of the Lord" which was exactly what Nestorius wished.
The danger was that under cover of such a title an unhistorical conception of the facts of the Gospel should grow up, and a false doctrine of the relations between the human and the Divine be encouraged, and this was to Nestorius a double danger that needed to be exposed.
The fact that Nestorius was trained at Antioch and inherited the Antiochene zeal for exact biblical exegesis and insistence upon the recognition of the full manhood of Christ, is of the first importance in understanding his position.
There is no reason to suppose that Nestorius intended to introduce any innovations in doctrine, and in any estimate of him his strong religious interest and his fervent pastoral spirit must have due weight.
It is only within recent years that an attempt has been made to judge Nestorius from some other evidence than that afforded by the accusations of Cyril and the inferences drawn therefrom.
This other evidence consists partly of letters from Nestorius, preserved among the works of those to whom they were written, some sermons collected in a Latin translation by Marius Mercator, an African merchant who was doing business in Constantinople at the time of the dispute, and,other material gathered from Syriac manuscripts.
Loofs in 1905 there has also come to our knowledge the most valuable evidence of all, Nestorius's own account of the whole difficulty, viz.
This pseudonym served to protect the book against the fate that overtook the writings of heretics, and in a Syriac version it was preserved in the Euphrates valley where the followers of Nestorius settled.
It is thus increasingly difficult to believe that Nestorius was a "Nestorian."
Personal rather than doctrinal reasons had by far the larger part in determining the fate of Nestorius, who was sacrificed to the agreement between the two great schools.
This view is confirmed by the evidence of the Synodicon Orientate (the collection of the canons of Nestorian Councils and Synods), which shows that the Great Syriac Church built up by the adherents of Nestorius and ever memorable for its zeal in carrying the Gospel into Central Asia, China and India cannot, from its inception, be rightly described as other than orthodox.
It may truly be said that the ideas for which Nestorius and the Antiochene school strove "won the day as regards the doctrinal definitions of the church.
Since the time when the church of eastern Syria had decided, in opposition to the church of the Empire, to cling to the ancient views of Syrian theologians - therefore also to the teaching and person of Nestorius - her relations were broken off with the church in western Syria and in Greek and Latin countries; but the power of Nestorian, or, as it was termed, Chaldaic Christianity, was not thereby diminished.
If they accepted the council of Ephesus in 430 and joined in the condemnation of Nestorius, it was rather because the Sassanid kings of Persia, who thirsted for the reconquest of Armenia, favoured Nestorianism, a form of doctrine current in Persia and rejected in Byzantium.
The record of their work is told elsewhere (see Nestorius and Nestorians).
Indeed at one time in Azizs reign the vizierate of Egypt was held by a Christian, Jesus, son of Nestorius, who appointed as his deputy in Syria a Jew, Manasseh b.
It was represented to the emperor, who was still pursued by the desire to bring back the schismatics, that a great step would have been taken towards reconciliation if a condemnation of these teachers, or rather of such of their books as were complained of, could be brought about, since then the Chalcedonian party would be purged from any appearance of sympathy with the errors of Nestorius.
During the Roman period, as it had also been in Pharaonic times, Kharga was used as a place of banishment, the most notable exile being Nestorius, sent thither after his condemnation by the council of Ephesus.
A Latin letter to Cyril on behalf of Nestorius, printed in the Collectio nova conciliorum, i.
The Monophysites, who like the Greeks knew themselves simply as the Orthodox, were grievously persecuted by the emperor Justinian and the graecizing patriarchs of Antioch, because they rejected the decrees of the council of Chalcedon, in which they - not without good reason - saw nothing but a thinly veiled relapse into those opinions of Nestorius which the previous council of Ephesus had condemned.
On this occasion Nestorius was condemned, and the honour of the Virgin established as Theotokus, amid great popular rejoicing, due, doubtless, in some measure to the hold which the cult of the virgin Artemis still had on the city.
His characterizations of Cyril and Nestorius, and his narrative and criticism of the beginnings of the Christological controversy, are models of candour and historical conscientiousness.
No small part of the literature and science of the Mahommedan Arabs came from Nestorian teachers, and Nestorian Christianity spread far and wide through Asia (see Nestorius and Nestorians).
This was the view which Cyril of Alexandria ascribed to Nestorius, who hesitated to call Mary Ocorkos, and represented the tradition of the Antiochene school.
As bishop of Constantinople Nestorius naturally looked to the emperor for support, while Cyril turned to Rome.
A Roman synod in 43 o found Nestorius heretical and decreed his excommunication unless he should recant.
Nestorius was present with an armed escort, but refused to attend the council on the ground that the patriarch of Antioch (his friend) had not arrived.
The disturbances that followed the arrival of John, the patriarch of Antioch, are sufficiently described in the article Nestorius.
The emperor finally interposed to terminate that scandalous strife, banished Nestorius and dissolved the council.
As Theodoret had previously been a constant defender of Nestorius it was impossible for him to concur in this sentence upon his unfortunate friend with a clear conscience, and in point of fact he did not change his own dogmatic position.
It is painful, therefore, to find him in his subsequent Epitome classing Nestorius as a heretic, and speaking of him with the utmost hostility.
Certainly genuine are the refutation ('Avarpori 7) of Cyril's twelve a.vaOENcarcamoi of Nestorius, and the 'EpavirTns, or IIoXu,uopcos, (written about 446), consisting of three dialogues, entitled respectively "Arpsirros, 'A r yxvros, and 'Aira01, in which the monophysitism of Cyril is opposed, and its Apollinarian character insisted on.
He died in 45 1; some years earlier Nestorius, the ex-patriarch, had succumbed perhaps to his persecution and to old age, in the neighbourhood of Akhmim.
The fourth treatise, De Fide Catholica, does not contain any distinct chronological data; but the tone and opinions of the treatise produce the impression that it probably belonged to the same period as the treatise against Eutyches and Nestorius.
Oeotokos, and bade Nestorius retract his erroneous teaching, on pain of instant excommunication, at the same time entrusting the execution of this decision to the patriarch of Alexandria.
Meanwhile a letter was received from the emperor declaring invalid the session at which Nestorius had been deposed unheard; numerous sessions and counter-sessions were afterwards held, the conflicting parties at the same time exerting themselves to the utmost to secure an effective superiority at court.
Hefele himself, one of the most learned and acute of Cyril's partisans, is compelled to admit that Nestorius accurately held the duality of the two natures and the integrity of each, was equally explicitly opposed to Arianism and Apollinarianism, and was perfectly correct in his assertion that the Godhead can neither be born nor suffer; all that he can allege against him is that "the fear of the communicatio idiomatum pursued him like a spectre."
Much of the argument is thrown into the form of a dialogue between (1) Nestorius and an imaginary opponent Superianus, (2) Nestorius and Cyril.
He also used writings of Gregory Thaumaturgus, Archelaus, Acacius,Didymus, George of Laodicea, Gregory Nazianzen, Timothy of Berytus (see Lietzmann, A pollinaris von Laodicea, p. 44), Nestorius, Eusebius Scholasticus, Philip of Side, Evagrius, Palladius, Eutropius, the emperor Julian and orations of Libanius and Themistius; and he was apparently acquainted with some of the works of Origen and with Pamphilus' Apologia pro Origene.