Friday, September 03, 2010
The Council of Nicaea – Pictures and Images can be Deceiving
What do many liberals/skeptics/agnostics/atheists (like Dan Brown of The DaVinci Code book and movie fame) , Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and many other people have in common as a mis-perception of Christianity? Sometimes it is just misunderstandings, but sometimes there is deliberate deception and outright lying about what happened at Nicaea. If told often enough, the mis-understanding gets embedding in people's thinking.
“The Council of Nicaea - 325 AD
There are many erroneous things said and written about the famous Council of Nicea.
For example, it was not:
- the beginning of the "Catholic Church". (the universal church among all nations started much earlier than 325 AD)
- when Christianity decided Jesus was divine (He already was known as the eternal Son of God, "God in the flesh" from His time with the disciples, around 26-30 AD)
- when the New Testament was made official” – see
The Council of Nicaea
"At The Council of Nicaea, they chose 4 gospels and rejected 80 others" (total fiction)
They think that the council of Nicea in 325 AD was about which books belonged in the canon of Scripture. A Muslim who called himself Tony called in to the “Answering Islam” program with Dr. White and Pastor Josephhere, about at the 42 minute mark, asking the about a book entitled The Lost Books of the Bible, and the Forgotten Books of Eden, (World Bible Publishers, Alpha House, 1926) and said that Constantine ordered them to come up with the four gospels. How many times have I also heard something similar to this in my 26 years of dealing with Muslims? (and other non-Christians also. I remember several Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and agnostic skeptics saying this to me over me in various evangelistic encounters.)
I quickly pulled my copy of this book off the shelf in my church history section, in order to refresh my memory of some of its contents and details. I remember it being a mixture of legendary texts, Gnostic texts, Infancy Gospels, the Proto-evangelium of James and other Early Church father’s writings, such as the letters of Ignatius. Apparently the publishers and compilers of this book were trying to create doubt on the canonical Bible, by the title they chose for this book, and the comments they make in the introduction.
The wonders of the internet! The book, “The Lost Books of the Bible” is on line here below: (It seems that The Forgotten Books of Eden was not put together with this part of this work here. The book I have is apparently two books in one volume; actually two anthologies of various books put under one book cover to make people think that these were other inspired books that should have been kept by the early church.
The Lost Books of the Bible
One thing that struck me was the picture in the front of the book, opposite the title page – it says, “Members of the Council of Nice presenting their decision to the Emperor Constantine. Fourth Century”.
Deception trick # 1 – Put some ancient artwork up opposite the title page of "lost books of the Bible", and people will think that the Council of Nicaea was about the canon of Scripture. Sprinkle in "from an early Greek manuscript" and tell an outright lie, "Fourth Century" for more cunning deception.
The Muslim “Tony” kept saying, “it says translated from the original Greek!” Published in 1926! Library of Congress . . . !”, etc. as if these things gave it authority.
Council of Nicaea presenting to Constantine:
Image of the council presenting to Constantine
I wanted to try and find another web-site on this art work, to get another opinion on it. Turns out, that according to Getty Images, it is not even about The Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, rather it is about the Council of 2nd Nicaea in 787!
Deception trick # 2 – wrong Nicaea and wrong Constantine, the picture is Constantine VI.
This one says it was 2nd Nicaea and Constantine VI in 787 AD. Getty Images just seems more credible on this issue; what do you think?
“Members of the Second Council of Nicaea presenting their decisions concerning the worship of images and Christian Iconography to Emperor Constantine VI, AD 787.” (Photo by Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
The Muslims, the atheists, the skeptics, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and the Evangelical church today needs to be educated on what really happened at Nicaea. Here is an excellent article by Dr. White:
What really happened at Nicaea?
And another general article on Nicaea
Here is an excellent article and message on Athanasius, who was a deacon at the Council of Nicaea, by John Piper.Contending for Our All