Hello. I am struggling to understand why Mary has the title ‘Mother of God’ (Theotokos), because I have read that it is not proper to say that ‘God died on the cross’.
Just to make clear, I am a Catholic who believes everything the church teaches, including the truth of the title ‘Theotokos’ and the impassibility of the divine nature. I am merely seeking understanding on these points.
Here is where the difficulty in my understanding lays.
The title Theotokos is often explained in terms of the following syllogism:
P1Mary was the mother of Jesus
P2Jesus was God
C Mary was the mother of God
I would be happy with this explanation, but for it being the case that, as far as I can tell, some things can only be predicated of one of Jesus’ natures only. The main example that comes to mind is that I have read that it is improper to write that God died on the cross. However, a similar syllogism could be constructed to argue that
P1 Jesus died on the cross
P2 Jesus was God
C God died on the cross
What is the crucial difference between these cases? Is the second syllogism untrue, or is it merely inadvisable to say?
I believe that Mary carried both the human and divine natures in her womb from the start of the conception, but this still does not seem to resolve the apparent difficulties for me.
Thank you. Peace.