IN DOROTHY SAYERS's imaginative play, The Emperor Constantine , the defining role of the Nicene creed is put into words when Constantine criticizes a group of bishops for their indecisiveness: "Our Lord said to the Samaritan woman, 'You worship what you know not, but we know whom we worship.' Do you know whom you worship? It would seem you do not. And it matters now that you should." The question, "Do you know whom you worship?" has been a perennial one for Christians, but it came to the forefront at the beginning of the fourth century when...Read More
items tagged with council of nicea
ONE of the most vexing problems in the early church concerned when to celebrate Easter. The Greek-speaking Eastern church insisted that it had to be on the date of Jesus’ resurrection—Nisan 14, the Jewish Passover-regardless of the day of the week. The Western, Latin-speaking church, on the other hand, decreed that it had to be on the day of the resurrection—Sunday—regardless of the date. The Council of Nicaea decided that Easter should be celebrated on a Sunday, but the problem did not disappear entirely. Even today, the Eastern Orthodox...Read More
JULY 4, 325, WAS A MEMORABLE DAY. About 300 Christian bishops and deacons from the eastern half of the Roman Empire had come to Nicea, a little town near the Bosporus Straits flowing between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
In the conference hall where they waited was a table. On it lay an open copy of the Gospels. The emperor, Constantine the Great, entered the hall in his imperial, jewel-encrusted, multicolored brocades, but out of respect for the Christian leaders, without his customary train of soldiers. Constantine spoke only...Read More