Christological Controversies



Christological Controversies


Assignment: Analyze and Extend an Argument from the Christological Controversies:


  1. You are arguing from the point of view of the theologian _______________.

I am arguing from the point of view of Nestorius


  1. Your theologian’s central thesis/argument is:

His argument is that the Godhead is not passible, that Christ was not just born and that although Christ raised the temple which was destroyed has not himself risen.

Christological Controversies

  1. He is arguing against the theologian __________________,


Nestorius is arguing against the theologian Cyril. Cyril is of the opinion that Christ descended, was made in the flesh, became human, suffered and rose


  1. Your theologian’s opponent’s thesis/argument is

Cyril does not separate between the deity and the human form of Christ something which Nestorius is arguing against. To Nestorius it is the human Christ that was born and suffered on earth and not the deity.

  1. You theologian defends his argument by offering the following evidence and reasons:
    1. By reading a key passage from Scripture a certain way:

Nestorius offers to defend his argument that only the human body of Christ suffered but not his ‘true’ original self by the following evidence. He reads various scriptures such as John 2:19 ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it.Christological Controversies

  1. By making a logical/rational argument (e.g. connecting an example to a principle)

To this verse, Nestorius is telling Cyril that if Christ meant the impassible him, he would have said, ‘Destroy my divinity and in three days I will raise it.’

  1. By arguing with a certain style (describe your theologian’s style, with an example)


Nestorius’ theologian style is brevity, straight to the point and he uses this to oppose Cyril by stating that the Holy Scripture conveys the birth and suffering not of the deity but of the humanity of Christ

  1. By discrediting his opponent

Christological Controversies
’ In opposing his opponent, he dismisses him as one who has read only the superficial scripture and thus misleads others and reprimands him by the words “Give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching…for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:13-16.

  1. You can extend your theologian’s arguments (extend his evidence and reasons)–extend and develop the arguments of at least 2 of the above examples:
  2. I will support Nestorius by saying that it is Jesus in the human form that feared death in the flesh to the point of begging the Father to take the cup of suffering away from him (Luke 22:42). The human form like all humans was afraid of what awaited him even when he had known what awaited him from the very beginning.
  3. I will also support this argument by the ontological argument about the state of being of Christ. That he was there from the very beginning but his deity did not suffer.



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