Early Church Councils  
For 300 years, Christianity was an outlawed religion and so their were no Church Councils.
In 380 AD, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and for the first time, it became possible to summon a Council (gathering) and discuss doctrinal matters.

The Bishop of Rome ('the Pope') was seen as supreme. He would summon a Council, bishops would vote and the Pope would officially sanction the decrees passed. Christianity was now an evolutionary religion. With each new Council gathering, new theological elements were debated and added to the Christian doctrine.

The table below lists a few early Councils and their outcomes.

Jesus' Crucifixion
W Crucifixion_of_Jesus
Jesus was crucified in 33 AD.

Although, the crucifixion of Jesus was not a formal Council, it was a gathering of 'a few women' followers of Jesus Christ. What they discussed as they watched proceedings is anyones guess!

Year: 33 AD
Attendance: A few women, based on gospel accounts
Discussed: Unknown
Council of Jerusalem I 1
W Council_of_Jerusalem
According to Acts, Jesus' disciples called the Council of Jerusalem to discuss major differences between two parties. This was not an official Council under Rome's rulership.

Peter & James
Jesus' disciples, Peter and James stressed the importance of Judaism, its laws and upholding the views of the stringent Jewish-Christian community that had lived and studied with Jesus in his lifetime. At the time, Jesus' followers were Jewish by birth, and even new Christian converts were considered within Judaism.

The other party, led by Paul stressed the mission of Christians to the whole inhabited world, with particular emphasis on the Gentiles (or non-Jews).

Christianity, a new religion for the Gentiles was born
Paul succeeded. Christianity would no longer be contained within Jerusalem. Christian theology would be updated in subsequent church councils and designed to appeal to mass audiences across the world.

Year: 48 AD
15-years after Jesus
Attendance: Unknown
Discussed: Relevance of Judaism
Council of Nicaea I 2
W First_Council_of_Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council, devoted itself to the problem of the Trinity, in an attempt to settle the controversy raised by Arianism over the nature of the Trinity.

Jesus Christ is, 'God of God, and of one substance with the Father'
It was the decision of the council, formalized in the Nicene Creed, that God the Father and God the Son were consubstantial and co-eternal

The Arian belief that Jesus was created by and thus inferior to the Father was deemed heretical. Arius himself was excommunicated and banished.

The council was also important for its disciplinary decisions concerning the status and jurisdiction of the clergy in the early church and for establishing the date on which Easter is celebrated.

Year: 325 AD
292-years after Jesus
Discussed:Arianism, the nature of Christ, celebration of Passover (Easter), ordination of eunuchs, prohibition of kneeling on Sundays and from Easter to Pentecost, validity of baptism by heretics, lapsed Christians, sundry other matters.
Council of Constantinople I 3
W Council_of_Constantinople_(360)
Constantinople I was called primarily to confront Arianism. It re-affirmed the doctrines of the Nicene Creed and condemned Apollinarianism. The council affirmed the doctrine that Jesus was fully human and fully God.

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father
The council defined the position of the Holy Spirit within the Trinity; it described the Holy Spirit proceeded from God the Father, co-equal and consubstantial with him.

Year: 381 AD
348-years after Jesus
Discussed:Arianism, Apollinarism, Sabellianism, Holy Spirit, successor to Meletius
Council of Carthage 4
W Councils_of_Carthage
The Bible Canon as we have it today, was finalized
Carthage formally decided on the Bible canon for the first-time ever, some 60 years after Constantine's death and 360 years after Jesus' crucifixion.

What we know of Carthage is limited, as the only surviving records are indirect accounts and depictions in other sources.

The actual compilation of the Bible was an incredibly complicated project that involved churchmen of different beliefs, in an atmosphere of dissension, jealousy, intolerance, persecution and bigotry.

It was also determined that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in the Church under the title of divine Scriptures.

The Canonical Scriptures are these: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two books of Paraleipomena, Job, the Psalter, five books of Solomon, the books of the twelve prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechiel, Daniel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two Books of the Maccabees.

Of the New Testament: four books of the Gospels [Mark, Matthew, Luke, John], one book of the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of the Apostle Paul, one epistle of the same [writer] to the Hebrews, two Epistles of the Apostle Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Jude, one book of the Apocalypse of John.

Year: 397 AD
364-years after Jesus
Attendance: Unknown number
Discussed: Bible canon, books to include and exclude
Council of Ephesus I 5
W Council_of_Ephesus
Ephesus was significant for its dogmatic decrees on the position of the Virgin Mary and he nature of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It was in response to the Nestorian teachings that Mary was the 'mother of Christ', and not the 'mother of God'.

Mary is the mother of God
After lengthy debates, the council reached a decision: Mary is the 'mother of God', was decreed by the council and accepted by all.

The council also refined the dogma on the human and divine nature of Jesus; two separate natures, though perfectly united in Christ.

Year: 431 AD
398-years after Jesus
Discussed:Nestorianism, Theotokos, Pelagianism
Council of Chalcedon 6
W Council_of_Chalcedon
Chalcedon defined how the divine and the human elements related in Jesus ("unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably"), used some terms that are unfamiliar to contemporary ears.

Jesus' is fully-God and fully-human
Chalcedon was in response to the confusion among the early theologians on the idea of the one divine person being both God and man, or were their two natures: human and divine, in the one person of the Word?

Year: 451 AD
418-years after Jesus
Discussed:Nature of Jesus' divinity
Council of Orange 7
W Council_of_Orange_(529)
Augustine held that all humans required God's help to do good and His grace was a free gift from God regardless of human merit.

God decides who will receive Salvation
Thus God alone determines who will receive the grace that alone assures salvation; God predestines some to salvation.

Augustine's teaching was generally upheld by the church, but the further idea that some are predestined to condemnation was explicitly rejected at the Council of Orange.

Year: 529 AD
496-years after Jesus
Attendance: 15
Discussed: Salvation is pre-destined by God
Council of Constantinople II 8
W Second_Council_of_Constantinople
Constantinople II was convoked to condemn the Nestorian writings and re-confirm the doctrine that Jesus's two natures, one human and one divine, are perfectly united in one person.

Year: 553 AD
520-years after Jesus
Discussed:Nestorianism Origenism
Council of Constantinople III 9
W Third_Council_of_Constantinople
Constantinople III condemned Monothelitism and affirmed that Jesus has two wills, one human and one divine, and they are without division or confusion.

Year: 680 AD
647-years after Jesus
Discussed:Monothelitism, the human and divine wills of Jesus
Council of Nicaea II 10
W Second_Council_of_Nicaea
This Council ruled on the use of saints' images and icons in religious devotion, declaring that whereas the veneration of images was legitimate and the intercession of saints effective, the veneration of icons must be carefully distinguished from the worship due God alone.

Year: 787 AD
754-years after Jesus

3 hrs ago | 222 views   •   Author: Guest   •   Updated: 22 Oct 2017

  1 videos on 'Church+council'

Watch Video 
All Articles (92)
10 Commandments - Bible vs Quran10 Commandments - Christian vs MuslimAbrahamic ReligionsAngelsAre you a Muslim?Arius vs Bishop AthanasiusBible - 12% of New Testament copied from Old TestamentBible - Ego Eimi in Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58Bible - Exodus 3:14 TranslationsBible - Lost Books of the BibleBible - Mark 16:9-20 EndingBible - Matthew 28:19: Greek vs HebrewBible - Pagan Texts in the BibleBible - Revelation, A ForgeryBible - The Synoptic ProblemBible - The Violence & KillingsBible AuthorshipBible ErrorsBible History - KJV vs NIVBible Verses - KJV vs NIVCatholic vs Protestant - BibleCatholic vs Protestant - ChristianityChild MarriageChristian HeresiesConstantine and ChristianityConstantine, Nicaea and HistoryDid Jesus pray to God or Allah?Early ChristiansEarly Church CouncilsEarly Church Fathers on Jesus' DivinityEarly Church Fathers on NT GospelsGod vs AllahGod, Evidence ForGods Names and AttributesHow do Muslims pray?Ishmael and Isaac in Bible and QuranJesus - Crucifixion in the GospelsJesus - Crucifixion TimingJesus - Resurrection in the GospelsJesus - Resurrection TheoriesJesus and the 12 DisciplesJesus in the QuranJesus is one of many Sons of GodJesus on the Cross or Tree?Jesus the GodJesus the MessiahJesus the MuslimJesus the ProphetJesus the Son of GodJesus the Zodiac Sun-GodJesus vs Isaac - The SacrificeJesus vs Jonah & WhaleJesus vs KrishnaJesus vs PaulJesus vs YeshuaJesus vs ZeusJesus was 33 years old?Jesus, 12 Disciples and Paul InterviewJesus, Serapis & 7 Pagan GodsJewish BeliefMark, Matthew, Luke and JohnMonotheism vs PolytheismMuhammad - Most Influential Man in HistoryMuhammad in Bible: He is is altogether lovely - Song 5:16Muhammad in Bible: Kedar rejoice and Sela sing - Isaiah 41/42Muhammad in Bible: Prophet like unto Moses - Deuteronomy 18:18Muhammad in Bible: Select VersesNew Age Movement and Alice BaileyNicene Creed - Council of Nicaea 325 ADNoahide LawsPalestine and Creation of Israel in 1948Paul vs JamesProphets of IslamProphets were Sinners?Purpose of LifeQuran - A Mathematical MiracleQuran - Hafs vs WarshQuran and ViolenceQuran vs ScienceRoman CalendarTerrorism, the Risk to AmericansThe Lost GospelsThe Prophets PrayerTrinity - A Pagan ConceptTrinity - Apostles vs Nicene CreedTrinity - Comparing Father, Son and Holy GhostTrinity - Different ViewsTrinity - Three Are OneTrinity in the BibleWars On TerrorWho did Abraham sacrifice?Women in Religion

Submit Article

MuslimProphets.com is an apologetics educational website designed to give a better understanding on the 'Prophets of God' including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

The website presents a collection of resource, scripture, photos, video, maps and commentary on the prophets and their contribution to the major religions of the world.

Take a Site Tour >
Torah 5   BOOKS
Psalms 1   BOOK
Apocrypha 381   BOOKS
Old Testament 32   BOOKS
New Testament 27   BOOKS
Quran 1   BOOK
Hadith 10   BOOKS
NEWS (566)
13 Mar
Eve's tomb in Jeddah - myth or reality? - Arab News
2 days ago  |  7 views
07 Mar
Turkish newspaper calls for united Islamic army to fight Israel - JNS
3 days ago  |  14 views
06 Mar
Early Testimonies to the Deity of Jesus Christ - Patheos
2 days ago  |  13 views
03 Mar
9 myths about Hinduism, debunked - CNN
3 days ago  |  15 views
25 Feb
Church leaders accuse Israel of unprecedented attack against Christians - The Guardian
2 days ago  |  18 views
Are you a Muslim?
3 mins | Online Test
Early Church Councils
0 secs ago  |  223 views
10 Commandments - Christian vs Muslim
22 secs ago  |  876 views
Christian Heresies
4 mins ago  |  246 views
Bible Authorship
5 mins ago  |  230 views
Mark, Matthew, Luke and John
5 mins ago  |  1937 views
Go Social :      Facebook  |    Twitter
About Us  |  Help/FAQ  |  Contact Us    •    Terms  |  Privacy/Disclaimer  |  Sitemap
In accordance with Islamic etiquette, all prophet names should be followed with 'Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH)'. This is omitted to keep text content minimal.

DISCLAIMER: All content on website is provided for information and educational purposes only. While information and commentary provided or referenced comes from sources believed to be reliable, this cannot be guaranteed. Links are offered for additional reading, however we do not necessarily support comments on external sites. You are invited to conduct your own research. If you spot any mistake, error or omission of information, kindly contact us so we can correct it. Unless otherwise indicated, all images and content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All Torah, Psalms and Bible Old/New Testament quotes are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV) in the public domain. All Quran quotes are from the Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali/Muhsin Khan English translation.