1.0.1 Here follow the events surrounding the holy and great and ecumenical synod at Nicaea, where bishops from nearly all the districts of the Roman world and Persia were assembled both by the grace of God and by an imperial decree of our God-loving and pious Emperor Constantine. They were gathered to defend the apostolic and orthodox faith against the erroneous and impious teachings of Arius, that fighter-against-God.

1.0.2 I read about all the things which were spoken and done and approved during that virtuous and holy Synod a very long time ago. For while I was still living in my father’s house, I found them all written consecutively on parchments in an old book. The parchments had belonged to the divinely-appointed and famous Dalmatius, who was the metropolitan bishop of the holy and catholic church of the splendid capital city of Cyzicus, but they then came into the possession of the master of our house. I am referring to my biological father, who has been considered worthy of the privilege of serving as a priest of this most holy church.

1.0.3 I happened upon that sacred book and spent a lot of time with it, but I was unable to commit everything to memory—for no human is capable of memorizing such an immense sea of information as is contained in it—but I did take note of as much as I could of the following:

1.0.4 the doctrines of our holy fathers and bishops’ teaching about the sound word; their rebuttals against the Ariomaniacs [Ἀρειομανίται]; the written refutations against their blasphemy, in which the abominable Ariomaniacs blasphemed the Son of God, and not only him, but also the Holy Spirit;

1.0.5 the counterarguments to the bishops by the philosophers hired by Arius; and our bishops’ clear explanations to them through written proofs in refutation of their sophistries.

1.0.6 These written proofs give clear explanations about the one, eternal, deity of the Son and the Holy Spirit, coexisting before time and forever with God the Father; as well as about the indescribable incarnation of the Son of God, the Word of God, for our salvation, through the mother of God, the virgin Mary, in the last days. I also investigated in the aforementioned godly book every event of the apostolic proceedings of the church, which happened publicly there—

1.0.7 first and foremost, the godly and truly apostolic attitudes of our most faithful Emperor Constantine who also attended the synod. I delighted so much in the things contained in that godly book that I said to the Lord, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” [Psalm 119:103; LXX Ps. 118]

1.0.8 I was thus exceedingly pleased with what was recorded there concerning the faultless and blameless, orthodox and apostolic faith.

1.0.9 But after some time, I came here (I mean, to the province of Bithynia). Then, by God’s good will, in the time of the insurrection of the unholy Basiliscus against the apostolic and catholic church of God and the apostolic faith governed by it, there was an uproar and an extremely contentious dispute.

1.0.10 It greatly stirred up and disturbed the headquarters of the faction of those in agreement with the heretic Eutyches. They hypocritically challenged us to retain the faith, which, they say, “came from the fathers at Nicaea.”

1.0.11 But they, who were the real enemies of that faith, were refuted by us. “For they did not know what they were saying or what things they were arguing for.” [1 Timothy 1:7] For when I cited the things pronounced by the Holy Spirit, from the Lord, through those in that sacred chorus of the orthodox priests of God, those wretched people turned their backs on us. They continued to publicly promote things worse than the blasphemies of Arius in opposition to the things determined at Nicaea and to cast a curse upon anyone understanding these teachings in the proper way.

1.0.12 These and many other things were stirred up against our holy and orthodox faith which is ruled from above by the holy apostles and by our aforementioned holy fathers who assembled at the city of Nicaea, at the church of God, which is our mother.

1.0.13 On account of these things, I was making as thorough a search as possible everywhere and into everything, or as the saying goes, ‘I let out every reef’ in investigating the things which took place at that sacred synod regarding the standard [ὅρος] of its holy and apostolic faith, which the church of God received, “not from men nor through men,” [Galatians 1:1] but from him, who is the Savior and God of us all, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

1.0.14 He, according to the divine plan [οἰκονομία] of his coming in the flesh, the truly “great mystery of godliness,” “appeared in the flesh” and “was seen by angels,” just as it is written. [1 Timothy 3:16]

1.0.15 (For the only-begotten would not have been seen by angels according to his divine nature unless he took on flesh.) He then fulfilled everything according to the divine plan [οἰκονομία] and handed that holy and perfect flesh of his over to voluntary suffering, burial, and resurrection on our behalf, through which he brought immortality to our race. And ascending into heaven, he, by himself, established the divine and praiseworthy standard [ὅρος] of this holy and blameless faith and thundered loudly, in accordance with what is written, “The LORD ascended into the heavens and thundered.” [1 Samuel 2:10]

1.0.16 And in another passage, “The LORD thundered from heaven; the Most High gave his voice.” [Psalm 18:13; LXX Ps. 17] And what did he thunder? What kind of voice did the Most High give? “Go,” he said, speaking to the apostles, “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” [Matthew 28:19]

1.0.17 ‘For even though, because of my love for mankind, I have even taken on your living and reasoning flesh from the highly revered and holy virgin Mary – nevertheless, the acquisition of the flesh did not make an addition to the Trinity of the Father and myself and the Holy Spirit. No, the Trinity remains a Trinity. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’

1.0.18 When the sacred apostles received this holy and praiseworthy standard [ὅρος] of the correct and blameless faith from the Lord, they proclaimed it to the whole church of God under heaven, so that by this the prophetic word was fulfilled, which says, “Their voice went out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” [Psalm 19:4; LXX Ps. 18]

1.0.19 A very long time after such a standard [ὅρος], that praiseworthy gift, had been given to us from the Son of God through the divinely-inspired apostles, the persecution against the church of God came to an end. But through Arius, the enemy of our salvation once again set out to destroy and armed himself against its holy and blameless faith – bringing in strange blasphemous words against the Savior, through which he troubled the Lord’s church in all the world.

1.0.20 It was also for this reason that the most faithful emperor Constantine gathered together a synod at that populous city of Nicaea. Since I had already learned about all that synod’s happenings, as I said above, I was able, with some difficult searching, to find clear accounts of what was at that time both carefully considered and written down by several ardent scholars.

1.0.21 One was incomplete, having only eight very old leaves, written by a certain presbyter John, an old man and an excellent writer. Several were written by other historians—

1.0.22 Eusebius Pamphili, the bishop of Caesarea, and Rufinus, the presbyter of Rome, both of whom even took part in that Holy Synod, and many, many others.

1.0.23 Truly, I did not find the sequence of events to be in full harmony with that sacred book, which I first came into contact with, as I said above—for only the amazing Eusebius Pamphili perfectly traveled the highway of truth from the arrival of our Lord until the time of Constantine the Great—but I was not able to find a complete copy.

1.0.24 Besides all the things I was already familiar with, I also found things in accord with the truth as told in the book I had read beforehand. And so, having gathered materials from other books, I decided that I had to write this book to provide general assistance and support for those who will happen upon this writing.

1.0.25 With the Word of the ever-living God preparing my way and guiding me, I will begin my account then, at the time of the reign of the most pious and Christ-bearing Emperor Constantine, who also commanded the synod of the bishops to be gathered in the city of Nicaea.

1.0.26 For, if God pleases, I will include the events of his birth and the life and reign of his father, the most God-loving Constantius, in another writing.


Next Chapter – 1.1 The rule of Emperor Constantine

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Created by NJ 4-18-17

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