September 15, 2019
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Why Do Orthodox Christians Call Mary the Theotokos?


Hymn: “O Taste and see that the Lord is
good, that the Lord is good.” You’ll find that Orthodox, very often they
don’t say “Mary” or “Virgin Mary,” they say “Theotokos,” which is a Greek
word, and it means “God bearer.” This was a very important title for her back in
the early centuries, because the debate at that time was about “Who is Christ?” Was
Jesus Christ really the son of God? Or was he just a human being, that God blessed and
turned into his son—maybe at the baptism, he says, “This is my beloved son.” Was
he really one hundred percent God, or just partly God? Or was he one hundred percent
God and not human at all? A lot of debates about that. So in those early
centuries, in the middle of all that confusion, as the Church sorted out what it meant to
say “He is fully God, he is fully man at the same time,” one of the ways they expressed
that was by saying the Virgin Mary, when she was pregnant, the child in her womb was already
God. So to say she is the Theotokos, she is the God-bearer, is really to make the theological
point about Christ, and about him being God and the Son of God throughout all eternity,
and in his earthly life from the moment of conception onwards.

Jean Kelley

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12 COMMENTS

  1. david peri Posted on September 15, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Just finished reading The First-Adam-Second Adam Typology in John Chrysostom and Cyril of Alexandria and it answered the question on the "why" of Jesus baptism. Plus understanding the role of Mary in Scripture. Blessings.

    Reply
  2. Jorge Ostos Posted on June 17, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I've just submitted the Spanish subtitles for this one. God bless you.

    Reply
  3. George Papadopoulos Posted on November 9, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Love this series!

    Reply
  4. Joshua Джошуа Posted on February 17, 2018 at 8:49 am

    I thought we call Her " Panagia Theotokos " ?

    Reply
  5. MrA Posted on April 25, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Thats what differs Ortodhox church from us the oriental Ortodhox church. We don't accept the thought of God being born from a woman. With other words someone else giving life to God, and therefore the word teotokos is not acceptable.

    Reply
  6. Clandy Jeur Posted on June 27, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Even the WORD OF GOD says; there is a soul live with all human. Those who debate with it are those who believe in Flesh more than their SOUL. IN Jesus Christ NAME THROUGHOUT TO OUR PRECIOUS HEAVENLY FATHER'S AMEN ×√ו

    Reply
  7. Alan Bourbeau Posted on September 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I’m not Orthodox Christian but I too have a special connection with The Blessed Virgin Mary or Theotokos. I often ask the Blessed Theotokos to hear my prayer intentions. I ask her to pray and intercede for my girlfriend who is medically fragile. She undergoes kidney dialysis and hasn’t received a kidney transplant. I hope and pray that she does. If anyone wants to know my girlfriend’s name and pray for her. Her name is Heidi Wormstedt.

    Reply
  8. Nugget of Truth - Eric King Posted on September 29, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Please watch the historical problems with the term "theotokos":
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5gaGsIjb7M

    Reply
  9. Nikola Genchev Posted on January 2, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    I simlpy love the Orthodox theology! Explains so many things! Thank you! I am protestant

    Reply
  10. Deus Vult Posted on March 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    People really need to read about the Council of Ephesus (year 431) to understand the term "Bearer of God" or "Theotokos".

    Reply
  11. Athanasius Contra Marxism Posted on May 23, 2019 at 1:18 am

    "Whoever does not accept Holy Mary as the Mother of God has no relation with the Godhead." – St. Gregory the Theologian, Letter 101

    Reply
  12. Herb Davis Posted on September 7, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Myth and superstition has expanded to a super deal for the likes of Joel Osteen and the popes etc.

    Reply
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