Mary the mother of God has several titles which are used by Christians all over the world, and one of them is Theotokos. Mary is called Blessed Mother, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Madonna, Virgin Mary, 'the Most Holy,' 'the Most Pure', etc. The focus of this work is the special name Theotokos as it shows the nature of Mary and the task she was destined to perform. The title can be literally translated as that ‘who gave birth to one who was God’. The paper attempts to fiind out whether the title Theotokos is a proper one for Virgin Mary and what is the affirmation behind the title.
Among different names given to Mary, one of the most prominent and meaningful is Theotokos. Looking at the meaning of the word can help understand why this mane is of such high importance. From a linguistic perspective, this word is a compound of two Greek words: ‘theo’ meaning God and ‘tokos’ meaning ‘giving birth to’. Therefore, the title itself holds a clue as to Mary’s place in the doctrine of Christianity.
The next step is to consider the history of this name which is more complicated than can appear at first. In the past, the appropriateness of the term Theotokos was a subject of debate. Primarily, the opinions split under the influence of a patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius who claimed that Mary was human and Jesus Crist was God. Consequently, no human could give birth to God. Such an approach was faulty as it denied the basics of Christianity. It also brought some misunderstanding to the appropriateness of the title Theotokos.
The patriarch suggested another name Anthropotokos which stood for ‘a person who gave birth to a man’. That statement was controversial because it denied the fact that Christ was God. Simultaneously, he proposed a second title - the Christotokos (a person who gave birth to Crist). However, none of these titles survived as they were against the traditional dogmas of Cristian faith.
During the Council of Ephesus, Nestorius’ doctrine was rejected because it separated the humanity and divinity of Christ. According to the patriarch, as a human Christ was Mary’s son and as a God he was not. This was branded as complete heresy. According to Christianity, Mary was Jesus’ mother, Jesus Christ was God, the second one in the Blessed Trinity, and, consequently, Mary was a mother of God. That was the resolution of Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431.
The primary plausible source which can either affirm or deny whether Theotokos is a proper name for Virgin Mary is The Holy Bible. It confirms that Mary was truly a mother of God and, thus, can be called Theotokos alongside other names.
Additionally, in the book there are several mentions of the fact that Mary gave birth to God. For instance, in Matthew (1:18) it is clearly stated that Mary was Jesus’ mother and that she was pregnant through the Holy Spirit. According to John (19:26), Jesus himself acknowledged Mary as His mother. In fact, he wrote ‘Woman, here is your son’. Therefore, the fact that Virgin Mary was the Savior’s Mother is truly undeniable.
In Testaments, there are additional verses which reaffirm that Jesus Christ was not a mere human, but also a God. For example, in John (14:9), Jesus says that those who have seen Him have seen the Father. The prophet states that Mary will conceive a son and will call Him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23) and explains that the baby is God who appears as human. This passage form the Bible also shows that Jesus had both human and divine natures.
Another evidence that Theotokos is a proper name for Virgin Mary is the story about Elizabeth and Mary’s arrival. According to Luke (1:43), under the influence of Holy Spirit Elizabeth called Mary ‘mother of My Lord’. She also says ‘Blessed are you among women’ (Luke 1:28 and 42), because She received a holy task from Lord to give birth and nurture His Son.
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The passages from the Holy Bible discussed above prove the fact that Jesus came to this world through the mediation of Virgin Mary. He was God and Our Lord sent Him to Earth to complete a special task. Since He is God and Mary is His mother, it can be concluded that She is the mother of God.
In conclusion, Theotokos is a proper title for Mary given by the ancient Church. It is important to understand the name’s meaning and origin. Mary is Jesus Christ’s mother through whom He entered this world and received His human nature in order to be able to save humanity. Her destiny is a great example of why people must follow The Ten Commandments. Christ loved and respected the woman who physically gave birth to Him, and we should act similarly towards our mothers and fathers. This is the basic element of family as a structure, which in its turn is a basic element of being good Christian. We must also give glory to Theotokos as She played an important role in the salvation of humanity. She plays the same role in Christian faith and in church. If one accepts the fact that Jesus is a true God and a part of The Blessed Trinity, one cannot ignore Mary as His Mother. She has always had a special connection to God and His Son and, undoubtedly, Our Lord acts through Her.