SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Theotokos - "God-bearer"

Print Thread (PDF)

PosterThread
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37576
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Theotokos - "God-bearer"

Saints,

I am not sure if anyone has extensively researched this, the title "God-bearer" was given to Mary in a church council in the 5th century, it was implied in the article that this was given not to deify Mary but to state that Christ was indeed divine 100% in the womb of Mary. The issue of the divinity of Christ and manhood was debated amongst believers and many deviant beliefs came up teaching Jesus was not fully Divine in those early days.

So my question is when did the teaching of Theotokos become a teaching where people started to actually pray for Mary. It seems by the 5th century this by-in-large was not happening.

The church council in the 12th century codified transubstantiation so that was not happening early on in the first 1000 years of church history it seems.

My thoughts are simply that the early Church believers had a great respect for Mary and it seems evangelicals don't simply reacting against Catholic abuse of venerating Mary.



From Wikipedia:

In the 5th century, the Third Ecumenical Council debated the question of whether Mary should be referred to as Theotokos or Christotokos. Theotokos means "God-bearer" or "Mother of God"; its use implies that Jesus, to whom Mary gave birth, is truly God and man in one person. Nestorians preferred the title Christotokos meaning "Christ-bearer" or "Mother of the Messiah" not because they denied Jesus' divinity, but because they believed that God the Son or Logos existed before time and before Mary, and that Mary was mother only of Jesus as a human, so calling her "Mother of God" was confusing and potentially heretical. Both sides agreed that Jesus took divinity from God the Father and humanity from his mother. The majority at the council agreed with the Pope that denying Mary the title Theotokos would either imply that Jesus was not divine, or that Jesus had two separate personhoods, one of whom was son of Mary and the other not. Ultimately, the council affirmed the use of the title Theotokos and by doing so affirmed Jesus' undivided divinity and humanity. Thus, while the debate was over the proper title for Mary, it was primarily a Christological question about the nature of Jesus Christ, a question which would return at the Fourth Ecumenical Council. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican theological teaching affirms the title Mother of God, while some other Christians give no such title to her.


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2015/4/14 23:42Profile









 Re: Theotokos - "God-bearer"

I feel like I should know this answer. I did an intense study about the Orthodox and Catholic traditions and I did come across this.

I remember coming across Saints (as declared by both Catholic/Orthodox traditions) who prayed to Mary in the early church, well before the 5th Century Councils but I can't find the specific examples.

Also, Orthodox/Catholic split in the Great Schism (1054ad) and one of the issues was Orthodox didn't deify Mary, whereas Catholics did. But just like reformation, the seeds of this difference were hundreds of years in the making.

From my memory, which is poor in this case, I think most of the citations could be found in the 3rd/4th centuries. I think one source is in the 2nd but...it's kind of weak, IMO.

Much of the early church did have a unique emphasis on Mary that isn't remotely seen in many Protestant traditions.

Basically, from my research, I think it was a common belief among all Christians that when someone, who was a solid Christian, died physically. That a physically living Christian could pray to (and converse/ask/etc) the physically dead Christian, since Christ is the resurrection and the life. Not to 'worship' them but to commune, as one would commune with another physically living friend.

It's a weird twist but it does have some Jewish roots.

Personally, I think taking that belief and adding it to Mary birthing our Savior, who wouldn't want to talk with her?

I've made no personal conclusions on all of it but from my research, the evidence points to it. Heck, most of the older traditions all hold this belief today.

Anywho, good luck in your search. Please share your findings.

EDITED: To clarify, when I write 'pray/prayed' I'm talking about the communication that one physically living person has with a mystical being (physically dead person or God). I think this distinction is important because communication *could* be worship but by default it's just conversation.

 2015/4/15 1:16
Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

We should not refer back to church traditions from the 2nd or 3rd century, or even the 1st century. We must only refer back to the bible as the 'word of God'.

The word of God says:

"There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,"

"Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer."

"For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee."
Duet 18:10-12

Necromancy: the conjuring up or contacting of the dead. Necromancer :One who investigates, looks into, and seeks information from the dead.

Regarding Mary, the 'Mary' that Roman Catholics pray to and 'worship' is not the Mary of the bible, the mother of Jesus. You only have to look at the RC church teachings and some of the supposed apparitions to see that that this Catholic 'Mary' is a false god. They say that Mary is co-redeemer, i.e she is equally responsible for our redemption with Christ. They say Mary is co-mediator with Christ, which is their basis for praying to Mary for forgiveness of sins.

They call Mary the 'Queen of Heaven'. This is who the catholic Mary really is. The false goddess of paganism.


_________________
Dave

 2015/4/15 4:33Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5610
NC, USA

 Re:

Heydave-

I agree with you about who the catholic Mary really is to most catholics (although I doubt there are many catholics- at least the ones I know, who would consider Mary a "god.")

As the OP indicated, many protestants over react and almost despise Mary because of the catholic veneration of her. I don't think we need to despise her; she is a sister in Christ at the very least.

I once heard a really good sermon by David Jeremiah about this- I think it was called "Mary, the mother of our Lord."


_________________
Todd

 2015/4/15 6:15Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37576
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
From my memory, which is poor in this case, I think most of the citations could be found in the 3rd/4th centuries. I think one source is in the 2nd but...it's kind of weak, IMO.



I would like to see verified quotes before any assumptions like this are made. It seems to me that Mary veneration came in much later in church history, as you said in AD 1000 there was a split between Orthadox and Catholic over the very issue.


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2015/4/15 10:44Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy