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Coptic Council Acts, Ephesus

<I>Coptic Council Acts, Ephesus</I>

Emperor Theodosius II called for the now famous Ecumenian Council of Ephesus (AD 431). The chief aim was the condemnation of the teaching of Nestorius, mainly thanks to Cyrillos, Patriarch of Alexandria. The council acts and the outcome were of such importance for the monophysitic Egyptian church that in the 8th century a luxury manuscript was made of the Coptic translation of the council acts. The double folio in the Papyrus Collection ( P. Vindob. K. 381) is the only surviving evidence. The section contains the names of thirty disciples of John, Patriarch of Antioch, who had opposed the condemnation of Nestorius. The parchment folio also hands down a very effective circular letter by Cyrillos against Johannes in order to win supporters for Nestorius, as the result shows. Today we too are witness of what happened at the council and are able to understand the council’s significance in church history – especially for the Coptic church. The council acts were written in Greek and must have been translated into Coptic immediately after the council had met.