What is the official interpretation of Theotokos? [Solved]

Please note that my question is based on my current state of not understanding. I’m not trying to disprove or disbelieve anything.

In order for Mary to be “Mother of God” then it follows that God must have given her this grace/ability. In order for God to give her this ability, God must exist. In order for God to exist, Mary must be his mother. Thus we’re in a catch 22 situation.
I’m even more confused by the fact that we have eternal souls. We’ll end up going to heaven or hell. And yet we’re currently here. Thus we’re not in heaven or hell currently. The same applies for Jesus Christ.

Thanks for trying to clarify this for me.

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Mary is the mother of God incarnate, that is Jesus when Jesus was incarnated as man, here on earth. God gave Mary this very special grace.
Yes God exists.
It is not a catch 22 because Mary, as a human, is the mother of God , incarnated as a human.

Yes we have eternal souls. God gave us that gift after the garden of Eden fiasco with Adam and Eve disobeying God. It is the way God set things up, we are born, we get a lifetime to know and come to love God and live according to His ways. Once we die we will be in heaven, hell or purgatory.

Jesus as God, is already in heaven. Jesus died, rose again, and was taken up into heaven as the second member of the Trinity that is God.

Mary is not the origin of God, but she is the mother of Jesus in his incarnation, and Jesus is God. Since she was the mother of Jesus, she is the mother of God. Unless you are saying that Jesus (a) was not God or (b) Jesus had no mother.

The title theotokos, Mother of God, is an affirmation of Jesus’ divinity and how the divine and human natures were in unity under one person.


But heaven and hell are eternal. Because they’re eternal Jesus should both be there forever and never here because that would be less than eternal, right?
What makes heaven heaven, is that God is there. It’s not, so to speak, just a street address.

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That’s more helpful!
I’m saying that to be someones mother you have to create that someone. So how was she “Mother of God” while not creating the “God” part?
Unless God, being pure spirit by nature, was always existing. And we, by having a soul, are also, in part spirit. Therefore we’d all be created before we were conceived. But then where are the souls hanging out until they are conceived?

I would not call human souls eternal. That belongs to God alone. They are immortal, though.

God never “left” Heaven during the Incarnation, or anywhere, as God is present everywhere. But the human body and soul of Jesus was united to the personhood of the Son without “leaving” (so to speak) anything else.

Create might not be the right word, but she did form Jesus’ human body in her own womb and grow him there. His human body and the origin of his human nature did come from her. But mothers are mothers to persons, not natures, and Mary is mother to the person of Jesus, who is God. His incarnation was formed in her womb, gestated there, she gave birth to him, she raised him.

We also say that God died. Obviously we do not mean that God came to an end, but he died through the human nature he assumed even if the Divine Nature was unchanged, and so it is still accurate. For it is persons that die (or perhaps more broadly, “substances”), not the natures of the person or substance. Jesus died, not just his nature. And Jesus is God.


Wrong, Jesus is God and God is everywhere. God is not bound by what we are bound by.
Wesrock seems to be speaking a language you understand more easily so I will not confuse it further and leave it to Wesrock to explain.

We weren’t anywhere until we were conceived in the flesh. We, including our souls, have a temporal beginning. However, God’s act of creation of our souls, and indeed ALL creation, has been from all eternity. It’s just being effected in a temporal order relative to each other.

I’m heading off to bed, but this is the second time today I’ve seen it said that something which is spirit (especially a spiritual being who by nature has a physical existence) must have existed for all eternity and that God could not bring it into being at some point in time. I don’t mean to pick on you or hijack the topic, I’m just musing on it, but I see no reason for why that conclusion should follow.

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OK let’s break that down. We are both material and spiritual beings. But our souls are not preexisting before we actually were created by our human parents. Put it this way mom and dad provided the material necessary to create a new human life, GOD created the soul that this new life would possess until the end of time.
Also please note that the fact that we die is the result of the fall. GOD did not intend for us to die and we will all resurrect from the dead and we shall all have immortal bodies and yes some will go to hell but the ones that do not will inherit the “New Earth”.
Now Jesus, He is a true human and in many Church councils HIS nature was pondered. We know Has a human soul since to be truly human one must have one. But HE also has that eternal part of GOD that is HIS son.
Begotten not made says the creed. See the point about GOD creating the human soul? The son’s spirit is as eternal as the father.
Jesus is now in Heaven, but His destiny is the new Earth after the completion of this age.


Mary is Mother of God because She gave birth to Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity Who has two natures, Divine and human, in the unity of His Divine Person.


If hell and heaven are eternal and we go to either one then we are eternal, right?

I also have to go to bed. I’ll look at the rest of the others fine answers later.

But His physical appearance is somewhere. And His physical appearance, being part of Him, aught to be eternal also. … Actually, I think I’m getting too deep into the Hypostatic union. Forget it. It’s a mystery we’ll never understand here on earth.

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God is spirit, God is love, God is being itself. God is not a being. God can be whatever He wants to be wherever and whenever He wants.
Jesus as the incarnation took on physical form of man.

It is pretty deep and a great mystery.

Eternal soul means one sided eternal, that is from creation. The person is body and soul and the soul has a state which could be that of original sin, mortal sin, or sanctifying grace, (or speculatively for Adam and Eve, natural without original sin).

Theotokos means God-bearer. See the statement Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East 1994 (Excerpt)

Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity, consubstantial with the Father and consubstantial with us in all things but sin. His divinity and his humanity are united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation. In him has been preserved the difference of the natures of divinity and humanity, with all their properties, faculties and operations. But far from constituting “one and another”, the divinity and humanity are united in the person of the same and unique Son of God and Lord Jesus Christ, who is the object of a single adoration.

Christ therefore is not an " ordinary man" whom God adopted in order to reside in him and inspire him, as in the righteous ones and the prophets. But the same God the Word, begotten of his Father before all worlds without beginning according to his divinity, was born of a mother without a father in the last times according to his humanity. The humanity to which the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth always was that of the Son of God himself. That is the reason why the Assyrian Church of the East is praying the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of Christ our God and Saviour”. In the light of this same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of God” and also as “the Mother of Christ”. We both recognize the legitimacy and rightness of these expressions of the same faith and we both respect the preference of each Church in her liturgical life and piety.


Thanks Vico! That answers it!
Now I just need to wait for Wesrock to get back to me.

The technical use of the word “eternal” among Thomist theologians is usually “without beginning or end,” without time, without changeability, and that is used by many non-Thomists as well. Human beings have a beginning and change, so we would not be eternal.

We could quibble over word choice, but putting aside the word eternal… God is without beginning or end or changeability in his divine nature. Human beings have a beginning in time and change over time.

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For some reason the website will not let me change the title to add in “[solved]”. It says, “You are not permitted to view the requested resource.”
So I’ll place it here.

This topic has been solved.

I fixed it for you.


‘Theotokos’ does not mean ‘Mother of God’, it means, as noted in this thread, ‘God Bearer’. Nowadays the concept of surrogate motherhood is understood, where a woman bears another person’s child.

The thread seems to imply the human soul is eternal (always was and always will be). Origen believed that this was so and that each individual soul always existed. This view was rejected and now Catholicism holds that each soul is created and then exists for eternity.

God does not have parts, there is no separate God Incarnate. Mary is ‘Mother of God’ in the sense understood by the Church. It is difficult to understand and beyond me, as are many things.

Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great (NRSVCE1 Ti 3:16).

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