A title for the Virgin Mary, meaning "the one who bore God." Its usage was defended at the Third Ecumenical Council, at Ephesus, in 431 A.D. Its detractors were generally followers of the heretic Nestorius. The Council upheld it against the Nestorian-suggested Christotokos (i.e., "the one who bore the Messiah") since in orthodox Christian theology, Jesus is the Theoanthropos, the God-man—He is both fully God and fully man, the truly incarnate God, the Son and Word, second Person of the Trinity. Theotokos as a term affirms this belief.

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