Bishop Arius was an proficient orator, writer, Christian presbyter of Libyan birth.
Bishop Athanasius a reknowned Christian thologian, a Church Father and defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism. Egyptian of 4th century.
|Agenda 1: Jesus' Nature (major)|
The focus of the Council of Nicaea was the nature of the Son of God and his precise relationship to God the Father.
Arius said: A creation is less than its creator. The Son is less than the Father that 'begot' him. In the Beginning was the Creator God and the Son did not exist.
Arius, 4th CE, Alexandria
In a letter, Arius said: We are persecuted, because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without beginning. This is the cause of our persecution, and likewise, because we say that he is of the non-existent. And this we say, because he is neither part of God, nor of any essential being.
Theodoret, Church History 1:4 (NPNF 3:41); NE 293/283
Jesus was divine because he had been created by God the Father before the world existed and Jesus was subordinate to God the Father.
|Jesus was co-eternal (had always existed) and had absolute equality with God the Father.
|Agenda 2: 20 Canons (minor)|
Emperor Constantine invited 2048 Bishops of the Christian church, but only 318 attended.Out of the 2048 Bishops invited, Constantine disqualified 1730 Bishops from voting due to their political views.
Council of Nicaea critics argue the election was un-democratic, controlled and 'rigged'. It is not possible to verify the critics claim, as Emperor Constantine ordered the immediate destruction of the council minutes, records and texts.
Arius - LOSTReceived 2 votes
Having lost the theological battle at Nicaea, Arius is exiled to Illyria (north of Greece on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea).
Today, the Arian position continues to be influential within the Eastern Mediterranean churches.
At the feet of Emperor Constantine: "Arian heretics condemned" and their books are burnt.
MS CLXV, Biblioteca Capitolare, Vercelli, 9th century)
Bishop Athanasius - WONReceived 316 votes
The Christian doctrine that Jesus and the Father were of the same substance, was adopted. Athanasius become Bishop of Alexandria, a very influential post.
Today, the Western branches of the church lean toward Athanasius' position.
After a long and bitter debate at the Council of Nicaea, Bishop Athanasius prevailed and was adopted by the council with a written Nicene Creed.
The Nicene Creed
"We believe in one God the Father All-Sovereign, maker of all things visible and invisible;
"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only-begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made, things in heaven and on earth; who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh, and became man, suffered, and rose on the third day, ascended into the heavens, is coming to judge living and dead.
"And (we believe) in the Holy Spirit.
"But those who say, 'There was (a time) when he (Jesus) was not (in existence),' and 'Before he (Jesus) was begotten he was not (in existence),' or that 'He (Jesus) came into being from what-is-not,' or those that allege, that the Son of God is 'Of a different substance or essence' or 'created' or 'changeable' or 'alterable,' these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes (condemns)."
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