JOHN OF ANTIOCH, a fifth-century bishop of Antioch who was the chief supporter of NESTORIUS, patriarch of Constantinople, in the Nestorian controversy over the nature of Christ. To resolve the controversy, which set Nestorius against Saint CYRIL I, patriarch of
Alexandria, Emperor Theodosius II ordered the Council of Ephesus to be convened in 431. The council, under the presidency of Cyril,
was inaugurated 22 June, before the arrival of the Syrian bishops under the leadership of John of Antioch, the main sympathizer with
Nestorius. By the time the Syrian delegation reached Ephesus, the council had already approved the doctrine of the Virgin as
THEOTOKOS, condemned Nestorianism (which opposed the doctrine), and deposed Nestorius. Consequently, John of Antioch,
together with his Syrian bishops and a number of other dissenting bishops, convened a rival council that confirmed Nestorius and his
teaching and excommunicated Cyril. But their decisions were never sanctioned by the imperial authority, and the problem between John
and Cyril remained unsolved until 433, when a compromise was reached whereby Nestorianism was finally rejected and the Theotokos accepted. John died in 441.
AZIZ S. ATIYA
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