The Nicene Creed

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

The  Nicene Creed has been the common expression of Christian faith for over 1,600 years. Despite some disputes between the church in east and west, the Creed remains something that binds all Christians. Over this holy period of Easter when many of us have a little time to sit and listen I thought that you may enjoy this programme from the always excellent In Our Time hosted by Melvyn Bragg on BBC Radio 4. Of course it was our hero Constantine the Great who called the council in 325 AD.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Nicene Creed which established the Divinity of Christ.

“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds.”

Thus begins the Nicene Creed, a statement of essential faith spoken for over 1600 years in Christian Churches – Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

But what has become a universal statement was written for a very particular purpose – to defeat a 4th century theological heresy called Arianism and to establish that Jesus Christ was, indeed, God. The story of the Creed is in many ways the story of early Christianity – of delicate theology and robust politics. It changed the Church and it changed the Roman Empire, but that it has lasted for nearly 2000 years would seem extraordinary to those who created it.

With Martin Palmer, Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture; Caroline Humfress, Reader in History at Birkbeck College, University of London; Andrew Louth, Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies at the University of Durham.

Click here to listen to the programme, or here to visit the In Our Time webpage for this programme.

Emperor Constantine I presides over the First Council of Nicea, 325 AD

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About proverbs6to10

Interested in Byzantium and Patrick Leigh Fermor
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