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The Hidden Truth about Nicea

UtherPenguin
Posts: 3,674
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12/1/2016 6:04:04 AM
Posted: 2 days ago
The traditional narrative is that after centuries of sectarian squabbling, Emperor Constantine called a Council in Nicea to bridge the schism between Arians and Trinitarians, eventually Trinitarians won. But no, I object.

Arius never got excommunicated, and here's the following proof:
-Trinitarianism
-Unitarianism
-Binitarianisn

Ergo, Arius was right.
"Change your sig."
~YYW
dsjpk5
Posts: 3,002
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12/1/2016 10:10:33 AM
Posted: 2 days ago
At 12/1/2016 6:04:04 AM, UtherPenguin wrote:
The traditional narrative is that after centuries of sectarian squabbling, Emperor Constantine called a Council in Nicea to bridge the schism between Arians and Trinitarians, eventually Trinitarians won. But no, I object.

Arius never got excommunicated, and here's the following proof:
-Trinitarianism
-Unitarianism
-Binitarianisn

Ergo, Arius was right.

Hilarious
If that was the only issue, then vote moderation could be avoided more often, since a vote in which the voter does explain sufficiently how at least one point a debater made swung their vote, would be considered sufficient. -Airmax
Gentorev
Posts: 2,876
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12/1/2016 12:28:27 PM
Posted: 1 day ago
From the book, "Jesus the Evidence" by Ian Wilson. P. 138 and 142.

If christianity had an unorthodox champion in Constantine, he for his part had acquired an extraordinary assortment of subjects in those who called themselves christians in his time. There were bitter divisions between the traitors, who had betrayed their fellow christians, surrendered christian books, and offered pagan sacrifices during the recent Roman persecutions, and those who had suffered mutilation and hard labour rather than do so.

There were equally deep divisions between christians from Rome and those from Alexandria and those from Antioch.

My addition [In Alexandria, Docetism, the concept that Jesus had existed as a spirit rather than a human being had theroretically been stamped out. Nonetheless there persisted the belief that Jesus must have been to much a god, THE GOD, to have the normal bodily needs of Man, and Clement the bishop of Alexandria, wrote: "It would be ridiculous to imagine that the redeemer, in order to exist, had the usual needs of man. He only took food and ate it in order that we should not teach about him in a Docetic fashion." (Satan must have had some trouble trying to tempt this false Jesus of theirs into turning stones into bread.)

Constantine, who had just won the eastern half of the Empire, thereby at last achieving his cherished goal of unity, suddenly found himself in the midst of this seething dispute between two rival groups of (So-called), Christians, with epithets such as "maniacs, eels, cuttlefish, atheists and wolves," being hurled at each other.

The extent to which Constantine, of no great education, even understood the theological issues is by no means clear, but he tried to pacify the protagonists by sending an identical letter to both Arius and Alexander, almost unctuously pleading for "equal forbearance" and reconciliation.

"Constantine the victor, Supreme Augustus, to Alexander and Arius".how deep a wound has not only my ears, but my heart received from the report that divisions exist among yourselves".having enquired carefully into the origin and foundation of these differences, I find their cause to be of a truly insignificant nature, quite unworthy of such bitter contention. . . Restore my quite days and untroubled nights to me, so that joy of undimmed light, delight in a tranquil life, may once again be mine."

Unfortunately, from a distance even Constantine was unable to smooth such troubled waters. Nor was there any supreme ecclesiastical authority to whom the matter could be referred. No one "Pope" as such existed, the Bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch each being recognised as having supreme authority within their geographical regions, but no supremacy over all Christendom.

Accordingly, to resolve this and other issues (Such as the date of Easter, another bitter source of contention), Constantine decided personally to summon all the Christian leaders to the first ever "World Council". The appointed date was early summer of 325 AD, the venue the pleasant lakeside town of Nicaea, today Iznik in north-western Turkey, where Constantine had a suitably commodious palace.

From the very circumstances of the time, it was bound to be an extraordinary gathering, With (so-called) Christianity having spread so far as Britain in the West and India in the East, for some of the delegates the journey took several weeks, if not months. When the assembled, it was to set eyes on each other for the first time in many cases, though for several, such as Bishop Pamphnutius, sight was denied because they had been viciously blinded during earlier persecutions. The hermit Jacob of Nisibis arrived in goatskins, accompanied by a persistent horde of gnats. Another delegate was the saintly Nicholas from the city of Myra in Asia Minor, who was the prototype of the Christmas Santa Claus. Also present of course was Arius. Although the Bishop of Rome excused himself as too old to travel, he sent two priests to represent him. Before this bizarre and unprecedented assembly Constantine, dazzlingly robed and dripping with gold and Jewels of a decadence earlier emperors would have abhorred, took his place on a low, wrought gold chair.

It was at this point in history, and before this assembly, that a decision was to be made that would have he most profound consequences for believers in Jesus Christ to this day. In the simplest of terms, the point at issue was whether Jesus was a mere human being and was now (Incontestably divine) who had been brought into existence to serve God"s purpose-to act as the "word" of God at a particular time in the early first century AD, or whether he had been God for all eternity, "of one substance with the Father (As those in the West expressed it), If the latter, then he was effectively a supraterrestrial entity easily compared with Sol Invictus, but light years removed from the Jesus envisaged by Arius and the Antiochenes.

Although reports of the exact proceedings of the Council of Nicaea have not survived, from those contemporary accounts that do exist it would seem that Eusebius of Nicomedia and Eusebius of Caesarea, representing the Antiochene party, forcefully espoused the Arian view, confidently expecting that they would win the day. To try to provide a formula on which the whole gathering would agree, Eusebius of Caesarea read out the statement of belief which he was accustomed to employ at baptisms within his own diocese.

"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of all that is seen and unseen, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the word of God, god from God, light from light, life from life, only begotten son, firstborn of all creation, before all ages begotten from the Father, who for our salvation was incarnate and lived among man."

It is important to recognise that while the distinctions implied by capital letters today did not exist in Constantine"s time (As mentioned earlier, only uncials were employed then) as set out above they convey what Eusebius and the Antiochenes essentially intended. To most catholics the words will have a familiar ring because at every mass they recite almost the same formula. For many present day Christians the words more than adequately impart a divinity to Jesus, particularly in quite illogically accrediting him first born of all creation. But to the fourth century Alexandrians, as was made clear by the brilliantly eloquent Arch-deacon Athanasius (Acting as spokesmean for his aged bishop Alexandria), it simply did not go far enough, and was not sufficiently precise. It made Jesus appear less than God himself.

For the judgment of Solomon on the issue, the only appropriate recourse was to Constantine, almost theologically illiterate, but politically a superb man manager. Exactly what swayed Constantine in that crucial moment we shall probably never know. There can be little doubt that for him the deification of a man was nothing particular special. He had his father Constantius deified, and would be accorded the same honour after his own death, and would surely have expected Jesus to be a superior entity in the divine hierarchy. He might well also have taken into account Alexandria"s strategic and commercial advantages. What-ever his motives, Constantine ruled in favour of the Alexandrian. Eusebius" formula was heavenly edited to accommodate the Alexandrian view, and while affirming that the standpoint of the Antiochenes was entirely reasonable, Constantine urged all council delegates to sign the revised formula as a statement of faith on which all Christians should in the future agree.

For all those who signed, there was the inducement of an invitation to stay on at Nicaea as Constantine"s guests for his twentieth anniversary celebrations. For all who refused there was immediate banishment.

To be continued.
The tongue, the sharp two edged sword that divides the spirit from the soul.
Gentorev
Posts: 2,876
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12/1/2016 12:31:35 PM
Posted: 1 day ago
Among all concerned, it would appear to have gone entirely unnoticed that the formula they were about to impose on all future christians contained not one jot of the ethical teachings that the human Jesus had once preached. Perhaps not unexpectedly, all but two of the most die-hard Arian Loyalists signed. But from the none too truth face-saving letter Eusebius of Caesarea sent back to his home diocese, it is clear how uneasy he felt about the extent to which he had compromised the fundamental principles of what he had been taught about Jesus.

Other signatories, who were equally swayed into acquiescence by their awe of the forceful Constantine, felt exactly the same. Only on returning home did Eusebius of Nicomedia, Maris of Chalcedon and Theognis of Nicaea summon the courage to express to Constantine in writing how much they regretted having put their signatures to the Nicaea formula: "We committed an impious act, O Prince," wrote Eusebius of Nicomedia, "by subscribing to a blasphemy from fear of you."

But it was too late. An overwhelming majority of christianity"s highest dignitaries had put pen to parchment, and even though the Arian controversy would rumble on for another two or three centuries, effectively there was no turning back. Although no gospel regarded Jesus as God, and not even Paul had done so, the Jewish teacher had been declared "very God" through all eternity and a whole (False) theology would flow from this.

From the book, "Jesus The Evidence," by Ian Wilson. P. 144.

The Middle Ages, for the Jews at least, began with the advent to power of Constantine the Great. He was the first Roman Emperor to issue laws which radically limited the rights of the Jews as citizens of the Roman Empire, a right conferred on them by Caracalla in 212 AD. As (The so-called Christianity of Constantine"s church) grew in power it influenced the emperors to limit further the civil and political rights of the Jews.

But if times were again difficult for the Jews, for the Christian Gnostics and other fringe groups they were impossible. The books of Arius and his sympathizers were ordered to be burnt, and a reign of terror proclaimed for all those who did not conform with the new official (So-called) Christian line.

"Understand now by this present statute, Novatians, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulinians, you who sre called Cataphrygians. . . . with what a tissue of lies and vanities, with what destructive and venomous errors, your doctrines are inextricably woven! We give you warning . . . .Let none of you presume, from this time forward, to meet in congregations. To prevent this, we command that you be deprived of all the houses in which you have been accustomed to meet . . . . and that these house should be handed over immediately to the catholic/ i.e. universal church."

Within a generation, hardly leaving a trace of their existence for posterity, the great majority of these groups simply died away as successive Christian emperors reiterated the politics that Constantine had pursued.
The tongue, the sharp two edged sword that divides the spirit from the soul.