Thursday, January 18, 2018

Council of Nicea - a Few Debates

Video commented on
Council of Nicaea Myth Debunked
VerseByVerseBT | 29.XII.2010

My original comments came in three batches, on two first I got debate with one Hep Hopa, and therefore leave each comment (mostly) separate. On third one, I unite my comments to a single commentary on that last part of the video.

The video itself (if I recall it correctly, my comments are from 3 months back) debunks the "myth" of Christianity forming for the first time at Nicaea, I debunk claims Catholicism is a development later than Nicaea, and I consider the Cathoicism then as compatible with and ecclesiastically and before God identical with Roman Catholicism, this is where Hep Hopa comes to promote Greek Orthodoxy as Catholicism. So, the video plus this post unites three debates.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
1:20 Your claim the Roman Catholic Church Hierarchy did not yet exist comes from where?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
1:34 Your claim Eusebius suggested a council of "all the independent Christian churches" comes from where? Eusebius' Church history? What text, if so?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
1:44 And your claim the bishops derived their legitimacy solely from their OWN see, without any interdependence of sees or subjection whatsoever, comes from where, i e prior to Nicea?

From the fact that some sorting was done, so that everything done could be claimed as invention of the council, if you like, centuries after, as you are coming?

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
While Rome always had a special place, all churches were independent. By the way ... the pope was not even present in Nicea.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"all churches were independent"

Matter for debate.

"the pope was not even present in Nicea."

No, but his legate was.

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
For sure it is possible to debate on the details, but the reality was that the main churches (rome, alexandria, atioche, etc...) were somehow as the current orthodox churches are. Each great city has a bishop having influence on the others, but the bishop of alexandria will not commend on the one of rome and the other way around.

The pope sent a legate ... which shows how few influence he had on the votes. Nicea was mainly a eastern council, probably mainly for matters of transportation.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Look, on the Catholic view, votes alone are not enough for a valid council, you also need a pope confirming it - that was the job of the legate.

The details we have left about the Council at least admit this interpretation at least as much as yours.

And when it comes to bearing fruit, I am more impressed by Catholics than by the Orthodox either being modernist or hating Catholics or, as in the case of Romanides, both.

AND often being freemasons.

The best Orthodox I know are too reserved about Catholicism and Scholasticism, jump to condemnations unnecessary, but are at least not modernist.

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
The Catholic Church was not yet the pope alone. Catholic just means universal and is the name of all the church. The vote was done and accepted by the emperor. The participants (or those represented there) than had to accept the vote. By the way the pope legate voted as the others so it was not an issue for the pope to accept the results of the vote. Anyway as the vote was validated by the emperor if the pope opposed he would have been declared heretic and chased as Arius and friends.

At that time the pope was just the bishop of a big city, not a lot more.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
While there is fairly certainly some historical evidence for emperor validating the vote, theologically Catholics count the pope as having validated it by his legates voting for "homousion to Patri" which was also majority vote.

The explanation of historical proceedings would be that Emperor was trying to - do you say sidestep in English in such a context? - the Papacy and invented Ecumenical councils to that end. He dominated the social prestige part, but not the theology.

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Your last sentence is true. But at that time the theology was not dominated by the pope but the pope was just an important bishop among others. He was JUST the bishop of Rome. It was Catholic Church, not yet Roman Catholic Church. The Pope real power was built little by little and became effective much later.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
How much power the pope exercises at a given moment and how much power Our Lord meant him to have are two different questions. St Clemens exercised arguably more power than St Sylvester - because there was now a Christian Emperor, no longer persecuting the Church, but rivalling him inside the Church.

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Yes, but what I am saying is that the bishop of Rome shares his power with the others and he was not greater than athanasius ifvslxandria or macarius of Jerusalem.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I am fairly well aware this is a claim that is made, and that the history of the time does not quite allow as clear a refutation of that claim as someone claiming St. John Fisher in England was of equal importance with St. Pius V.

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
The name of pope was for the important bishops. And the coptic patriarh is still called pope today. The term pope became specific to the bishop of Rome around the 6th century ... While the influence of rome was quite important, the implication of the bishop of rome in the first councils is small and all the job was done by eastern bishops. So for sure Nicae was mainly made by eastern bishops, however the bishop of rome followed the trinity. At those times, the pope had not even the power to appoint bishops. Those were elected by the christians and the pope had no word on that. All this evolved more and more and from the 6th century the Pope said to the others : guys, I have more power than you.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"The name of pope was for the important bishops. And the coptic patriarh is still called pope today. The term pope became specific to the bishop of Rome around the 6th century"

This is classical bait and switch.

I was talking about the office or principal successor of St Peter in Rome and not about the word Pope.

"While the influence of rome was quite important, the implication of the bishop of rome in the first councils is small and all the job was done by eastern bishops."

Who did the job and on whose authority it is compulsory for the Church are two different matters.

"So for sure Nicae was mainly made by eastern bishops, however the bishop of rome followed the trinity. At those times, the pope had not even the power to appoint bishops."

Did not use powers to appoint bishops.

St. Peter had done so, since he appointed St. Linus. St. Barnabas had done so, since he appoined St. Narn as bishop of Bergamo.

Hence, there is an authority inherent in apostolic one, which may or may not be exercised, previous to the custom you speak of. I am not saying it is a bad custom. I am saying it was too often abused by civil lords meddling in elections. The story is not "civil lords wanted to keep elections, papacy introduced papal nomination".

Rather it is like this. Civil lords wanted to nominate. Popes defended elections, up to Classic Middle Ages, some point. Civil lords bowed down in theory, but tried to get around it, paying these guys to shout "axios" and threatening those guys not to shout axios for the other guy. Popes realised elections were often useless and took over by nominating.

"and from the 6th century the Pope said to the others : guys, I have more power than you."

And for some reason, you realise this, and you realise that Popes of Rome count with you as Orthodox up to 1054 (excepting the one who excommunicated Photius perhaps and ending just before St Leo IX, and also excepting Liberius and Honorius, taking a harsher view on their degree of guilt than we do).

And while on the one hand you say "Popes have been Papist since before the schism", you also say "Papism is schismatic" or even "Papism is heretic" despite your own patriarchs (or those you take as such) being in Communion with Papists for Centuries.

Not to mention with Filioquists since AD 400, First Council of Toledo. (A local synod, no one claims it was an ecumenical one).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
2:41 That SOME Churches prior to both Nicea and - more relevant - Rome and Carthage and Laodicea were considering any given NT book as canonic does not mean there was an agreed canon.

Rome and Carthage gave canons which involve all of NT and which involve at least verbally same OT canon as Trent.

Laodicea gave a canon which supports the Protestant OT canon, but a defective NT one, books are lacking, notably Apocalypse.

Note very well, I am not into the "Nicea made the canon" spoof, I am talking about real local councils at which Bible canons were really discussed and published.

Your appeal to Church Fathers involves an appeal to men who were supporting the Hierarchy, i e St Irenaeus who said all Churches must agree with the Apostolic succession specifically in Rome, enumerating a few Popes there.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
2:53 I am fairly sure, the reference in 2 Peter 3 is to Romans : St Peter was there, and some proto-Protestants had already made some twisted Romans road. It is therefore prophetic about Martin Luther.

And obviously, the verse, while not a direct refutation of "Scripture interprets other Scripture" is at least against "the Bible interprets itself (on same locus of text)".

Hans-Georg Lundahl
3:17 As you may be aware, Muratorian fragment has an NT canon deviant, for some or other reason, from the currently universal one.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Yes, you said basically - omitting that it had, erroneously, included Pastor Hermas.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
3:52 You are clearly right that 4 Gospels as such could be reconstructed as being canon from ante-Nicene fathers. While the most important ones, they are 4 out of 27.

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
What is interesting is that the final canon is very close to much earlier collections of the Great Church. So saying that the canon was made up in Nicea is false. Than of course there were changes and the canon needed time to be really closed. By the way the Orthodox church still consider the canon as opened even if nothing was added since the lasts oecumenical councils.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"So saying that the canon was made up in Nicea is false."

I did not say so.

I did however refer to councils of Rome and Carthage.

Do you have earlier documents, fine, tell me!

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Yes, I know that they were set up afterwards, and as I said the orthodox church still did not closed the canon. So in theory for them it could change today.

But version of the canon were there even from Marcion (who by the way did not care about the AT, but the NT was partly there). Tha, Ireneous said that there shoudl be 4 gospels, no more no less, Origene had a list which is very close to the current one. So just to say that if the canon was not complete before Rome, it was only sligthly changing for the NT since Marcion.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Marcion as such was a heretic and his canon is as uninteresting as that of Albigensians (also rejecting NT).

Catholic Church has canon closed insofar as ALL the "72 books or 73 if Baruch is counted separately from Jeremiah" are canonic.

But I think both Trent and - I looked it up - Providentissimus Deus refrain from closing as to "only" part.

You have a I Esra in Russian? You have 3 and 4 Maccabees? Ethiopians have Henoch?

Some have a 151:st Psalm?

Theoretically that could be added. But what is there since Trent cannot be subtracted from.

The reference to Vulgate at Trent does not mean to disparage the LXX.

Hep Hopa
Hans-Georg Lundahl
Marcion was a heretic and he rejected the Old Testament. But he was also the first one to talk about the New Testament contains Luke and most of the letters of Paul. Which ... are still there today.

When I talk about the Orthodox Church it is the one after 1954. The one from Russia, Romania, Greece, etc... This church is also apostolic and its canon is not closed.

The one of the Roman Catholic Church is indeed closed.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Marcion was the earliest one whose canon of NT is preserved to us.

This means, his contemporaries IN the Church are probably already enjoying most of the canon we have today (some books still disputed in the West, some, like Apocalypse, still in the East - unless that dispute came later).

The non-closing of your canon, does that mean you could, what we cannot, take books away from the canon?

I thought that was condemned against protestantism by Iasi and Jerusalem councils.

And the attempt to bypass it by Peter the Great was reversed after the Russian Revolution.

4:15 And were universally rejected by the early Church.

Arguing, in one sense, Dan Brown was right : they were rejected by the Catholic Church. That is what "universal" means, and if you will argue that Catholic Church deciding on Gospels does not equal Catholic Church as coming out from Nicea, you will also have to argue that the canons from Carthage, Laodicea and Rome are from a spurious Church - leaving you with Four Gospels and Ante-Nicene fathers and Muratorian Fragment and a conundrum where the Church really went.

4:47 I reject the Nag Hammadi spurious "gospels" on authority of the Church.

You reject them on what authority? Only on authority of human reason?

Then, while your reasons are good, you can hardly have a real issue with someone who having other reasons takes that other option - which I, obviously, do not.

5:22 Obviously, Saint Hippolytus was rejecting Gospel of Thomas.

And obviously, since he was either Pope, or more probably a redeemed Antipope, whose writings were validated by subsequent real Popes, as a Catholic I obey this Church authority.

The early Church considered "Gospel of Thomas" as obvious heresies.

Fine. So do I. So do you.

The Church in the 16th C considered Martin Luther's exegesis as obvious heresies.

So do I - but do you?

If not, are you dealing with two churches? Or are you claiming one and same Church had but later lost authority to decide what is heresy?

If the latter, why would the Church lose a promise of Christ? If the former, where do you set the limit in time, and where apart from Catholic Church was the "early Church" surviving?

Obviously, on this last point, I think Hep hopa would agree with me.

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