2.12.1 The holy, great, ecumenical council of our holy fathers gathered at Nicaea spoke through the blessed, holy Bishop Hosius of Cordova in Spain, who was also representing the bishop of Rome along with the previously named priests from his see. Through an interpreter, he said:

2.12.2 “The deity is not one person [πρόσωπον] as the Jews think, but three persons in true substance [ὑπόστασις], not merely in name. Both the Old and New Testament proclaim this in many passages.

2.12.3 The Old Testament, speaking rather physically, treats the Word as a spoken word. The New Testament, however, shows that the Word is God: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ [John 1:1]. It also shows that he is a perfect person [πρόσωπον τέλειον] from what is perfect, for the Son is not partially God, but wholly God, just like the Father is, for he is of the same essence [οὐσία] as the Father, who begot him in an inexpressible way.

2.12.4 In the same way, the Holy Spirit coexists with the Father and the Son, for he is of the same essence [οὐσία] and the same substance [χρῆμα] as the Father and the Son.1

2.12.5 Therefore, we must confess that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have one will, one reign, one authority, one lordship over all created beings [κτισταὶ φύσεις], both perceivable and only conceivable, one divine nature [θεότης], and one essence [οὐσία]. We must not mix or divide the indescribable, blessed Trinity.

2.12.6 Rather, we must proclaim the Father, who always truly exists and subsists as Father of the true Son, the Son, who always truly exists and subsists as Son of the true Father, and the Holy Spirit, who always truly exists and subsists as Holy Spirit—an inseparable, indescribable, truly incomprehensible, inexpressible Trinity—with the conviction that there is one deity which has one divine essence.

2.12.7 We confess this deity in accordance with the true accurate doctrine of the faith, which the Lord entrusted to us from the beginning2 through his holy apostles and our holy fathers of old who faultlessly guarded the holy faith. We are ready, with the Holy Spirit’s goodwill, to prove this with many passages from the Holy Scriptures.”

2.12.8 When they had said this (or rather, the Holy Spirit had said this through them), the defenders of Arius’s godlessness muttered, distressed. (They were the followers of Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea whom we previously mentioned.) They glanced at Arius’s mercenary philosophers—highly learned men whom Arius had hired as advocates for his depravity, with whom he had come to the holy ecumenical council.

2.12.9 Many philosophers were present. The enemies of truth, having placed their hope in them, as we just said, were fittingly refuted along with their teacher and his blasphemy. So the Holy Scripture which says, “Cursed is everyone who puts his hope in humans and whose heart turns away from the Lord” [Jeremiah 17:5],3 was fulfilled with respect to him and to them.

2.12.10 For the blasphemous heart of Arius, who fought against God, and of those who participated in his godlessness truly turned away from the Lord. They dared to call the Son of God a creature and a product even though he is the creator of all things and the craftsman of visible and invisible created beings.


Next Chapter – 2.13 One of the philosophers on Arius’s side speaks out very strongly against that holy synod of the apostolic priests of God

Previous Chapter – 2.11 Spyridon’s dead daughter is raised to life on account of a traveler

Click here to read Book 1 in its entirety.


Created by RR 6-29-21

  1. Such expressions concerning the Holy Spirit became common only in the late fourth century.
  2. Or “from above.”
  3. The middle of the verse is left out of the quotation.

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