Ante-Nicene Age - Nicene Creed
The Ante-Nicene Age spans from the 2nd century to 325 AD in the 4th century when the first Nicene Creed was adopted. This era had a significant impact on the unity of Christian doctrine and the spread of faith to a greater world.
During this time of the Roman Empire, early Christian bishops traveled to the town of Nicaea at the direction of emperior Constantine the Great. Today, the town is called Iznik in the provence of Bursa, Turkey. It's located in a fertile basin at the eastern edge of Lake Ascanius and surrounded by hills.
Constantine called the clerics together to unify the 4th century church in the face of growing theological disputes, primarily over the nature and divinity of Jesus Christ.
Some 300 bishops gathered in the emperor's grand lakeside palace. In the center of the chamber, on a throne, lay the four gospels. Constantine was dressed in a purple gown and wore a silver diadem. He opened the Council of Nicaea by saying, "I rejoice to see you here, yet I should be more pleased to see unity and affection among you."
The dispute began when a bishop of early Christianity preached Christ was created by God. This horrified many clerics, who argued that Christ co-existed eternally with God.
Constantine told the delegates assembled in the Senatus Palace in Nicaea to resolve their differences. Many bishops argued that God the Father created Christ the Son before the beginning of time, while others asserted that Christ had the same divine essence as God the Father.
If Christ is not God, then how can he overcome the infinite gap between God and man?
The bishops finally voted and approved the first Nicene Creed in 325 AD. But disagreement over the meaning of Scripture on the deity of Christ continued for more than fifty years. Another council of bishops met in Constantinople in 381 AD and adopted an expanded form of the earlier creed.
The creed affirms the doctrine of the Trinity: that God is three "persons" (Father, Son, and Spirit) in one nature or essence. Each person is fully divine, yet each is distinct.
Today . . .
People who reject the doctrine of the Trinity argue that it was neither taught by Jesus nor part of the early church, but rather was imposed by Constantine on the bishops who gathered at Nicaea.
But this was not the case.
The doctrine is at the heart of Christ's Great Commission in the New Testament, which tells believers to ". . . go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.." The doctrine was a widely held belief before the council met. Among the leading church fathers who defended the doctrine were Polycarp, Justin, Martyr, Ignatius, Tertullian, and Origen.
What We Learn from the Early Church
Dr. Tim Keller of the Gospel Coaliton Read HERE
What Do Earliest Christian Manuscripts Tell Us About Their Readers?
Dr. Larry Hurtado of the University of Edinburgh Read HERE
A Survey of Church History, Part 1 AD 100 to 600 (Video Series)
Dr. Robert Godfrey of Ligonier Ministries Read HERE
What Really Happened at Nicaea?
Christian Research Institute Read HERE
Submerged Church Honoring Council of Nicaea in 325 AD Discovered
Associates for Biblical Research Read HERE
Translations of Writings of Ante-Nicene Fathers To 325 AD
Reprint of Edinburgh Edition, 1913 Read HERE
Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume One, by Phillip Schaff
Christian Classics Ethereal Library Read HERE
Guide to Early Church Documents
Internet Christian Library Read HERE
Comprensive Biblical & Theological Education
Biblical Training.org Read HERE
High Quality Biblical Material On Web
Theologyontheweb.org Read HERE
A Greek doctor named Lucanus penned a personal account of the life of Jesus Christ and his apostles in the first century A.D. Scribes convert the doctor's papyrus scrolls into a single codex, which he then takes on a perilous mission to visit Christian exiles in ancient Bithynia of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).
Along the way, the valuable codex falls into the hands of Jews who had fled Jerusalem when Roman legions sacked the city in the year 70. But the Christian book--to be known as the Nicaea Codex--is mysteriously lost and becomes the object of a relentless quest over time and place by people who are determined to possess it at all costs.
What finally happens to the priceless codex is revealed in the novel's epilogue that will surpise you. The Nicaea Trilogy is a sprawling saga told in three novellas under one cover. It unfolds against a backdrop of persecution and war during the Roman Empire.
And then comes hope with the crowning of the first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, and the adoption of a new statement of faith called the Nicene Creed.
"Entertaining and illuminating" -- Rodney Stark, author of The Triumpy of Christianity
"Knows how to spin a story" -- Kathryn Bennett, for Readers' Favoirite
"A solid, enjoyable read" -- Historical Novel Society
The Nicaea Trilogy is published by Redemption Press (ISBN 978-1-63232-885-4)
A Personal Relationship with Christ
A personal relationship with Christ begins at the moment of our salvation. Only when we are born spiritually into God's family do we become members of His spiritual kingdom. While we may not know exactly when this new life begins, we can understand the steps we need to begin this new relationship:
(Adapted from Our Daily Bread)
Drawing Closer to God
(Adapted from article by Lisa Appelo, on iBelieve.com)
Acts and Letters of the Apostles . . . Bible Study Fellowship
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