The Nestorian Threat to Christmas

Dec 16, 2021
Church Governance


As we delve into the intricate history and fascinating beliefs surrounding Christmas, a topic that cannot be overlooked is the Nestorian threat to this sacred holiday. The It Is Well Living Church warmly welcomes you to explore this intriguing aspect of Christmas and gain a deeper understanding of its significance.

Overview of the Nestorian Beliefs

The Nestorian belief system emerged during the 5th century and had a significant impact on early Christianity. This sect followed the teachings of Nestorius, a controversial figure whose views deviated from mainstream Christian doctrines.

The Nestorians rejected the notion that Jesus Christ possessed both divine and human natures in one person, instead advocating for the idea that Jesus had two distinct natures – a divine nature and a separate human nature. This belief led to their classification as a heretical group by many sects.

The Influence of Nestorianism on Christmas

To fully grasp the Nestorian threat to Christmas, it is crucial to understand the broader implications of their beliefs on the celebration of this sacred holiday.

One of the most significant impacts of Nestorianism on Christmas was the questioning of the title "Mother of God" assigned to the Virgin Mary. Nestorius argued that Mary should not be referred to as the Mother of God because she gave birth only to Jesus' human nature, not his divine nature. This theological disagreement stirred controversy and had far-reaching consequences for the portrayal of Mary in art and the liturgy.

Another aspect affected by the Nestorian influence was the understanding of the Incarnation, the belief that God became human in the form of Jesus. Nestorians emphasized the distinction between the divine and human in Jesus, causing a potential threat to the unity and sacredness of Christmas as a celebration of the Incarnation.

Resolving the Nestorian Controversy

The Nestorian controversy sparked intense theological debates and led to several church councils being convened to address the issue. Ultimately, the Council of Ephesus in 431 played a crucial role in condemning Nestorius and his teachings, reaffirming the traditional understanding of the dual nature of Jesus Christ.

The council's decision to uphold the belief in the unity of Christ greatly contributed to shaping the way Christmas is celebrated today. It reinforced the importance of recognizing Jesus as one person with both divine and human natures, highlighting the significance of Christmas as a commemoration of this pivotal event.

The Significance of Investigating the Nestorian Threat

While Nestorianism has largely faded into history, exploring its impact on Christmas allows us to gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and complexity of this holiday. By understanding the challenges faced by early Christian communities, we can better appreciate the unity and diversity within our faith.

At It Is Well Living Church, we believe that knowledge and understanding go hand in hand with faith. By exploring topics such as the Nestorian threat to Christmas, we strive to provide a comprehensive spiritual experience that encourages personal growth and strengthens our community of believers.


As you reflect on the Nestorian threat to Christmas and its historical significance, we invite you to continue your exploration of faith and beliefs at It Is Well Living Church. Through our dedication to providing valuable insights and fostering a sense of unity within our community, we hope to enrich your spiritual journey and deepen your understanding of the traditions that shape our lives.