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Lesson 7: Christianity in the 4thCentury: The Trinitarian ControversyOverview of lectureMain Points:The Persecution of Christians: 303 – 312 AD-Included the destruction of churches-The heads of churches were targeted-Christians were detected when they refused to make sacrifices to roman gods-Persecutions were from 303 - 312AD (after Diocletian’s rule)Edict of Milan: Constantine Augustus and Licinius Augustus: 313 AD-Tolerance towards Christians-Christians rose to high administrative positions,had their symbols appear on coinage, churchescould inherit property, more places of worship-First restrictive measures against pagan practicesThe Trinitarian Controversy-Debates about the holy trinity (ie: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit).-Revolved aroundthe belief thatGod is one, manifested in three personsand what this means-This debate happens in two phaseso325 - First: debate about whether Jesus is Godo381 - Second: debate about Holy Spirit-320 ADArius opposed the belief that Jesus is God…oClaims Jesus cannot be eternal because…He cannot be born from God and BE God at the same timeHe was made by God and therefore a creature and not eternaloPeople side with Ariusresulting in big Christian crisisoConstantine has to deal with crisis decides to have this council.-First council results in 1stCreed( a declaration faith)oUse of the word/phrase : “of onesubstancewith the Father”, (meaning consubstantial)oProblematic because not a biblical term and because of this, debate about holy trinitycontinues for next50 yearsuntil 381 (second council)-Phase I – Council of Nicaea/First Ecumenical: 325 ADoMain Actors:Arius (lived, 256- 336 AD)Athanasius of Alexandria (lived, 293 - 373)Bishop Alexander of Alexandriaother bishops and important people
oMain Points:takes place in Nicaea, results in Creed of NicaeaDebates interpretation of the son of God: if Jesus is God, or the son of God ornotConclusion:Arius is wrong, it is appropriate to call Jesus GodThe council declares thatJesus and God were one and the same.Results inArius being persecuted as a heretic, removed frompriesthood in AlexandriaoThe Creed of Nicaea (Summary)Emphasized how Jesus is the son of God and therefore GodEmphasized thatJesus is begotten from Godand is not made from God, thesame way human are and is therefore not a createdAnd all who oppose this believe (that Jesus = God) are condemnedWe believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven of things visible and invisible.And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,the Son of God, the begotten of God the Father, the Only-begotten, that is of the substance of the Father.God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten and not made;of onesubstance with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and onearth,Who because of us mean and because of our salvation came down, and became incarnate andbecame man, and suffered, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the heavens, andwill come to judge theliving and dad,And the Holy Spirit. But as for those who say, There was when He was not, and Before beingborn He was not and the He came into existence out of nothing, or who assert that the Son ofGod is of a different hypostasis or substance, or create or is subject to alteration or change –these the Catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes.

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Term
Fall
Professor
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Tags
Trinity, Constantine Augustus, Arius

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