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Let's Talk 4 10 2013

Cila Gotë Pasqyron Besimin Tuaj në Allahun ● Ossama Elshamy ᴴᴰ

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I love Jesus

► I love Jesus, so I decided to worship his God without partner. I decided to not eat pork. I decided to grow my beard like he did. I decided to call out to my Lord and place my face on the ground in the most humble position in from of God that i could, like Jesus did. I worship with people who name their Children Jesus, Moses, Maryam, and i chose a wife who worships God and loves Mary and wears the scarf Mary wore.

► I believe in the books God sent down including the Original Torah and the Original Gospel of Jesus and in the last book whose chapter 19 is "Mary". I love Jesus peace be upon him and his mother. He is called Messiah and he is a "word from God". I am Muslim which means i submit myself to the Almighty God as Jesus said God is greater and i am less than the ONE who sent me....... Follow Jesus and worship his God.... This is his message and we follow him! From a follower of Christ when i was a Christian to being now a Muslim because Christ was a submitter to the Almighty One!!!!!

And i realized Jesus did not speak English or Greek but Aramaic....which is close to Arabic.... Jesus said God is Greater.....

In Arabic .... Allahu Akbar
-Will King
 — مع ‏‎Sahabi Hussaini Galda‎‏.

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jESUS Never actually died

Final Testament‎‏ من قبل ‏‏‎Koki Noor‎‏‏.
JESUS Never actually died, [Based on Bibles Authentic Facts ]
October 6, 2013 at 4:49pm

According to the New Testament accounts themselves (Luke 24:1-8, Mark 15:40-47, Mark 16:1-8, John 19:38-42, John 20:1-29), Jesus Christ was NEVER buried underground.


He was placed in a rich man's tomb (a cave like a bear's or mountain lion's cave) for three days above the ground, laying on the floor there.



JESUS Never actually died, [Based on Bibles Authentic Facts ]


He received medicine and massaging from Mary Magdalene and others during this time. He then "rose up from the dead" and left the tomb (cave).


1- Notice in Luke 24:1, the women came to the tomb with medicine and found Jesus gone. If he was already dead, they would have no reason to bring this to dead Jesus. But Jesus was alive and was receiving medical treatment.


2- Also, notice in John 20:15, Mary Magdalene thought Jesus was a gardener, after he healed and rose back up.


3- And in John 20:17, Jesus was still in pain, he told Mary Magdalene "touch me not!".


4- And in John 20:19-29, Jesus showed his original body to the disciples, and they checked it.

Jesus Christ:

Never actually died. He has always been alive in the tomb receiving medical treatment.

He was never buried underground, or in a coffin. He was laid on the floor, alive.

Did you know for example that in the following verse, Isaac was said to have risen from the dead:

Hebrews 11:19
19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

Yet, Isaac wasn't physically dead. Similarly, we also find in all of the world's civilizations, terms such as "A cat has 9 lives" and others. This also metaphorically refers to the person "coming back to life", or "rising from the dead" many times due to his luck (Luck defined by personal random understanding, most non believers accept this way. )

Final Testament

our parents

قناة الهدى ‏ من قبل ‏‏‎Koki Noor‎‏‏.
عن أبى هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال : [ رغم أنف ثم رغم أنف ثم رغم أنف من أدرك أبويه عند الكبر أحدهما أو كليهما فلم يدخل الجنة ] رواه مسلم


Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both, attain old age during his life time, and he does not enter Jannah (by rendering being dutiful to them)".
[Muslim].

Don’t wait until you see your parents carried out of the masjid in a box to realize how much better they deserved from you. Don’t wait until that largest gate of Paradise is closed in your face to realize how easy it could have been to enter through it.

May Allah have mercy on our parents.
 — مع ‏‎Adamu Nurudeen‎‏.

Unlike in Christianity Science and Islam went together

t You Free‎‏ من قبل ‏‏‎Koki Noor‎‏‏.
► Unlike in Christianity Science and Islam went together. For Example, Galileo Scientifically deduced Earth Orbited the Sun, and was arrested in 1632 on the Pope’s Order for “heretical” sin. Yet 1000 Years before, Ibn Abbas (Ra) deduced from the Quran: Earth is round and even the Sun has an Orbital spin. Even Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī, (973 CE) discussed the possibility of the earth’s rotation on its own axis – a theory proven by Galileo six centuries later. Islam laid the foundations of Science a thousand years before the Enlightenment; firmly based on the Holy Quran. Muslims are encouraged to travel and learn so Science should enhance our Faith; rejecting God can only bring harm.

Jesus and The Da Vinci Code

‏‎Final Testament‎‏ من قبل ‏‏‎Koki Noor‎‏‏.
Jesus and The Da Vinci Code

[Peace be upon him]

This article has been adapted and additional footnotes have been added to it by the editor

�Say (O Muslims), �We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibraheem (Abraham), Isma�eel (Ishmael), Issaquah (Isaac), Yaqoob (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Yaqoob], and that which has been given to Moosa and Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).� [The Nobel Quran Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 136]

�(Remember) when the angels said, �O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [�Be!� - and he was! i.e. Iesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam] from Him, his name will be the Messiah Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam, held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.� [The Nobel Quran Soorah aal-Imran (3): 45]

We believe in all the prophets and messengers of Allah. We respect and honor all of them without any discrimination. We believe that all prophets preached the message of Tawheed (oneness of Allah) and all of them invited human beings to worship Allah alone and to live righteous lives.

Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was not the only prophet of God, but he was the last and final prophet of God. Prophet Muhammad was not the founder of Islam; all prophets submitted to God and followed the way of submission to God (Islam). We believe that Jesus was one of the great prophets of God.

In the Qur�aan, Jesus is called Isa. He is also known as al-Masih (the messiah) and Ibn Maryam (son of Mary). He has many other honorable names and titles in the Qur�aan. Every Muslim believes in him, honors and loves him. His mother Mary is also highly respected, loved and honored. There is a big controversy going on all over the world at this time about Dan Brown�s novel, The Da Vinci Code. Many Christians, especially Catholics, are outraged with this novel. Some Muslims and non-Muslims are asking for our reactions to this book.

We stand for the respect of all religious figures of all religions. Furthermore, Jesus (alaihis-salaam) is also a blessed prophet for us. We believe in him and honor him. We also have something to say about this novel and movie.

There are two things that I would like to say about The Da Vinci Code. One is positive and the other is negative. The positive thing is that it says that for the first four centuries, Jesus was known only as a prophet of God, and not God. At the Council of Nicea around the year 325 CE, the Emperor Constantine and some bishops changed the true teachings of Jesus (*1).

The Da Vinci Code also says that Jesus (peace be upon him) married one of his female disciples, Mary Magdalene, and had children and that his descendants still exist today. Although the Qur�aan does not say anything about Jesus's marriage, his wife, or his children (neither does the New Testament), there is nothing wrong, from the Islamic point of view, if he were married and had children. Allah says in the Qur�aan, �We did send Messengers before thee, and appointed for them wives and children�� [The Nobel Quran Soorah Hud (13): 38]

Some Christians consider this story about Jesus to be blasphemous. According to them, to say that Jesus was married means that he is not God. Although they say that God had a son, they say that Jesus could not have had a son. However, as Muslims, we say that just because Jesus wasn't married doesn't make him God. Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist), who was Jesus' contemporary, was not married, yet no one considered him to be divine.

Celibacy does not make any person divine. If Jesus were married, then this does not take away his honor because there were many prophets who came before and after him who were married and had offspring. It is interesting to see a number of books produced today by Christian writers that also say that Jesus was not crucified and that he never claimed to be the son of God. This is what the Qur�aan said a long time ago.

There is, however, a negative side of The Da Vinci Code, that we as Muslims should criticize. The Da Vinci Code is a novel, a work of fiction. It does not present facts about Jesus's life in a serious and respectful manner. It has fictionalized his life and story, and in this sense, it has downgraded this great messenger of Allah.

The author of The Da Vinci Code took some historical facts and then spun a mystery story to thrill and chill his readers. Allah's Prophets and His Messengers should not be treated in this manner. They are entitled to receive utmost honor and respect from us. It is for this reason that Islam forbids making pictures of Allah's prophets and messengers and also forbids creating fictitious stories and movies about them. Islam teaches us that we should present the prophets' life stories with great care, respect, and the utmost authenticity. Narrated Abdullah bin Amr, �The Prophet said, �Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence, and tell others the stories of Bani Israel (which have been taught to you), for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire.� [Saheeh al-Bukharee (56/667)]

We hope that more and more truth will come out about the life and teachings of Jesus (alaihis-salaam). We totally reject those who abuse his person through fiction and falsehood. We as Muslims should use this opportunity to inform others about the Islamic position regarding Jesus (alaihis-salaam). Ameen.


Footnotes
1. From Ibn Katheer: Altering the Religion of Isa: Allah said, �And purify (save) you from those who disbelieve� by raising you to heaven, �And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection.� This is what happened. When Allah raised Isa to heaven, his followers divided into sects and groups. Some of them believed in what Allah sent Isa as, a servant of Allah, His Messenger, and the son of His female-servant. However, some of them went to the extreme over Isa, believing that he was the son of Allah. Some of them said that `Isa was Allah Himself, while others said that he was one of a Trinity. Allah mentioned these false creeds in the Qur�aan and refuted them. The Christians remained like this until the third century CE, when a Greek king called, Constantine, became a Christian for the purpose of destroying Christianity. Constantine was either a philosopher, or he was just plain ignorant. Constantine changed the religion of Isa by adding to it and deleting from it. He established the rituals of Christianity and the so-called Great Trust, which is in fact the Great Treachery. He also allowed them to eat the meat of swine, changed the direction of the prayer that Isa established to the east, built churches for Isa, and added ten days to the fast as compensation for a sin that he committed, as claimed. So the religion of Isa became the religion of Constantine, who built more then twelve thousand churches, temples and monasteries for the Christians as well as the city that bears his name, Constantinople (Istanbul)� When Allah sent Muhammad, those who believed in him also believed in Allah, His Angels, Books and Messengers in the correct manner. So they were the true followers of every Prophet who came to earth. They believed in the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger and the master of all mankind, who called them to believe in the truth in its entirety. This is why they had more right to every Prophet than his own nation, especially those who claim to follow their Prophet's way and religion, yet change and alter his religion�. Therefore, Muslims are the true believers in Isa.

2. Allah says about Himself in the Qur�aan, �He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife He created all things and He is the Knower of everything) (6:101)

3. And because of their saying (in boast), �We killed Messiah Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not (i.e. Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam.� [The Nobel Quran Soorah an-Nisa (4): 157]

How Did 1 God Become 3?

‎‏ من قبل ‏‏‎Koki Noor‎‏‏.
How Did 1 God Become 3?
[Excerpts and Quotes From The Catholic Church History.]

How Did 1(ONE) God Become 3 (THREE)?

Excerpts and Quotes From The Catholic Church History


We all know the Bible says 'God is One' and, "Thou shalt not have any 'gods' beside God.

Yet somehow today Christians are presenting a vast variety of terms and explanations on how God can actually be "One and Three at the same time."

Some attempt to resolve the issue by saying "Jesus is Lord!" or even "Jesus is God." (May Allah save us from any blasphemy, ameen).

According to the priests of the Holy Roman Catholic Church there is more to the belief in God than simply saying, "God is One."

Jews had no problem with the concept of "Unity of God."

The problem was with the Greeks and other pagans who had become quite used to the notion, that their 'gods' in some way resembled the creation around them.

Arius, the bishop from Egypt, like many of the early Christians, believed in God as One and Jesus, peace be upon him, as one subservient to God. That is to say, in a lessor position than God.

This concept is still held today by more than 1.5 billion Muslims, who adhere to the teachings of the Quran and the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Simply put, "There is no God worthy of worship, except the One True God. He has no partners."

This aligns nicely with the belief of the early followers of Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon, peace be upon them all.

In an effort to resolve this issue once and for all, Emperor Constantine ordered the bishops from the different factions to assemble in His land.

What took place next was to change the way most Christians think of God for many centuries to come.


To offer the reader the opportunity to read what the Catholic Church claims took place in the year 325 under the direction of the pagan-turned-Christian-emperor Constantine, we have attempted to faithfully reproduce from their own writings, exactly how they view what took place 1,680 years ago during the Council of Nicaea.


[begin quote]

Arianism Versus the Council of Nicaea
By Brother John Raymond


Introduction

Arianism with its fundamental Trinitarian controversy must not be looked upon as an isolated theory by its founder Arius.


Its appeal, which began in Alexandria and spread through the whole Empire, must be seen in the context of the times. The Church emerged in a Jewish and Greek world. The question occupying this non-Christian world was the contrast between the "One and the Many, between the ultimate unity that lay behind the visible universe and the incalculable variety that exists in the world (Ward 1955, 38)."

The relationship between God and the world had to be solved. The Jews proposed a supreme God who created by His word. It was an idea of a mediating "Word or Wisdom - the Word which is pronounced, the Wisdom which is created - whereby the Father communicated Himself to man and took possession of him (Guitton 1965, 81)."


The Greeks could not see how a finite and changeable world could come from an eternal and changeless God. They proposed the idea of a "mediating Intelligence or even Word, a first emanation of the first principle which reduced the distance between God and the world (Guitton 1965, 81)."

The primitive Church had to "reconcile the notions they had inherited from Judaism with those they had derived from philosophy. Jew and Greek had to meet in Christ. They had to find an answer that would agree with the revelation they had received from Christ as recorded in the scriptures (Ward 1955, 39)."

This struggle for a reconciliation of thought reached its climax with the Arian controversy. The Church responded with the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea that brought together Scriptural and philosophical thought to explain the Trinity. The Council did triumph over Arianism but only after fifty years of bitter battling. Imperial support and confusion in theological terminology were the principal reasons for such a long drawn out battle as we will see.


Arius and His Teaching
Arius, who was born in Egypt in 256 A.D., was a parish priest in Alexandria. He had studied under St. Lucian of Antioch, the founder of the school of Antioch, who had earlier been condemned for holding that Christ was only a man; although he was later reconciled. He is called the "Father of Arianism" because "Arius and almost all the 4th-century Arian theologians were his students.

Calling themselves Lucianists and Collucianists, they developed his adoptionist and subordinationist tendencies into a full heresy (Harkins 1967, 1057, 1058)."

With this background Arius struggled with the question of the Trinity. His teaching in Alexandria was the following: "Personal distinctions were not eternally present within the nature of God. . . the Godhead Himself was responsible for them. . . Identifying the eternal Godhead with the Father and regarding the Logos ('Logos' is simply a Greek word for 'word') as no more than a power or quality of the Father, he said that before time began the Father had created the Son by the power of the Word to be His agent in creation.


The Son was not therefore to be identified with the Godhead, He was only God in a derivative sense, and since there was once when he did not exist He could not be eternal. Arius stressed the subordination of the Logos to such an extent as to affirm His creaturehood, to deny His eternity and to assert His capacity for change and suffering (Ward 1955, 41)." This teaching of Arius "drove the distinctions outside the Deity and thus destroyed the Trinity. It meant solving the difficulty of the One and the Many by proposing a theory of one Supreme Being and two inferior deities (Ward 1955, 43)." The Person of Christ "belonged to no order of being that the Church could recognize. . . He was neither God nor man (Ward 1955, 42)."

Arius Versus the Alexandrian Bishop
Arius' views began to spread among the people and the Alexandrian clergy. Alexander the Bishop called a meeting of his priests and deacons. The Bishop insisted on the unity of the Godhead. Arius continued to argue that since the Son was begotten of the Father then at some point He began to exist. Therefore there was a time when the Son did not exist. Arius refused to submit to the Bishop and continued to spread his teaching. Alexander called a synod of Bishops of Egypt and Libya. Of the hundred Bishops who attended eighty voted for the condemnation and exile of Arius. After the synod Alexander wrote letters to the other Bishops refuting Arius' views. In doing so the Bishop used the term "homoousios" to describe the Father and Son as being of one substance. Alexander "used a term which was to become the keyword of the whole controversy (Ward 1955, 43, 44)."


With the decision of the synod Arius fled to Palestine. Some of the Bishops there, especially Eusebius of Caesarea, supported him. From here Arius continued his journey to Nicomedia in Asia Minor. The Bishop of that city, Eusebius, had studied under Lucian of Antioch. He became Arius' most influential supporter. From this city Arius enlisted the support of other Bishops, many of whom had studied under Lucian. His supporters held their own synod calling Arius' views orthodox and condemning Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. Arius seemed to have good grounds for this condemnation. The term homoousios was rejected by Alexander's own predecessor Dionysus when arguing against the Sabellians (who claimed the Father and Son were identical). All this controversy was taking place just as the Church was emerging from Roman oppression.

Constantine and Ossius


With the rise of Constantine to power Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine had politically united the Empire but he was distressed to find a divided Christianity. Constantine, certainly not understanding the significance of the controversy, sent Ossius his main ecclesiastical adviser with letters to both Alexander and Arius. In the letters he tried to reconcile them by saying that their disagreement was merely just a matter of words. Both of them really were in agreement on major doctrines and neither were involved in heresy. The letters failed to have an effect.

In 325 A.D. Ossius presided over a Council of the Orient in Antioch that was attended by fifty-nine bishops, forty-six of whom would soon attend the Council of Nicaea. This Council in Antioch was a forerunner of the latter Council in Nicaea. Under the influence of Ossius a new Church practice was inaugurated - that of issuing a creedal statement. At this Council Arianism was condemned, a profession of faith resembling the Alexandrian creed was promulgated and three Bishops who refused to agree with the teaching of this Council were provisionally excommunicated until the Council of Nicaea.

Roman Emperor Calls Council of his Church (Universal or Catholic Church of Rome)

It was the year 325 AD in what is now Turkey and in the summer of that year, probably under the suggestion of Ossius, Constantine called for a general council of the Church at Nicaea in Bithynia. That an Emperor should invoke a Council should not be considered unusual since in Hellenistic thought he "`was given by God supreme power in things material and spiritual (Davis 1987, 56).'"

The Council of Nicaea


The General Council was well attended by the major sees of the Eastern Empire. Also some Western Bishops were present. Because of old age and sickness Pope Sylvester did not attend but sent two papal legates. The total number of Bishops who attended the Council has been disputed. Eusebius of Ceasarea who attended it claimed 250; Athanasius also in attendance mentioned 300; after the Council a symbolic number of 318 was used; modern scholars put the number at 220.


If there were minutes taken of the Council proceedings they are no longer in existence. We know from the writings of Rufinus that "daily sessions were held and that Arius was often summoned before the assembly; his arguments attentively considered. The majority, especially those who were confessors of the Faith, energetically declared themselves against the impious doctrines of Arius (LeClercq 1913, 45)."

Concerning the Creed that was drafted at the Council "Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius of Alexandria and Philostorgius have given divergent accounts of how this Creed was drafted (LeClercq 1967, 792)." But from one reconstruction of the events Eusebius of Nicomedia offered a creed that was favorable to Arian views. This creed was rejected by the Council. Eusebius of Caesarea proposed the baptismal creed used in Caesarea. Although accepted it does not seem to form the basis of the Council's Creed. Attempts were made to construct a creed using only scriptural terms. These creeds proved insufficient to exclude the Arian position. "Finally, it seems, a Syro-Palestinian creed was used as the basis for a new creedal statement . . . The finished creed was preserved in the writings of Athanasius, of the historian Socrates and of Basil of Caesarea and in the acts of the Council of Chalcedon of 451 (Davis 1987, 59)." When the creed was finished eighteen Bishops still opposed it. Constantine at this point intervened to threaten with exile anyone who would not sign for it. Two Libyan Bishops and Arius still refused to accept the creed. All three were exiled.


The Creed and an Analysis

Some parts of the literal translation of the Nicaea Creed are as follows:

"We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance (ousia) of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of the same substance (homoousios) with the Father, through whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth . . . Those who say: `There was a time when He was not, and He was not before He was begotten;' and that `He was made out of nothing;' or who maintain that `He is of another hypostasis or another substance,' or that `the Son of God is created, or mutable, or subject to change,' the Catholic Church anathematizes (LeClercq 1913, 45)."

The Arians were very clever in twisting phrases in creedal statements to reflect their own doctrine. The Son being "begotten of the Father" was seen by them as saying that the Son was created from nothing. But to counter their doctrine the phrase "begotten not made" was added to the creed that totally ruled out their position of the Son having a beginning. Another Arian teaching was that the Son was God by grace and name only. The creedal statement "true God of true God" was an affirmation that the Son was really truly God against this Arian position. The most important statement in the creed that affirms "that the Son shares the same being as the Father and is therefore fully divine" was the phrase "of one substance (homoousios) with the Father" (Davis 1987, 61). This statement totally destroyed the Arian view of the Son as an intermediary being between God and Creation.


In case the creed was not enough to end the Arian controversy anathemas were attached directly condemning Arian positions. The Arian denial of the Son's co-eternity with the Father is expressed in the two phrases "there was when the Son of God was not" and "before He was begotten He was not." The Arian belief in the Son being created out of nothing is expressed in the phrase "He came into being from things that are not." The Arian doctrine that the Son being a creature was subject to moral changeability and only remained virtuous by an act of the will is expressed in the phrase "He is mutable or alterable." Finally the Arian position of the Son as subordinate to the Father and not really God is expressed in the phrase "He is of a different hypostasis or substance." With these specific anathemas against them the Arians and their heresy seemed to be finished.

Terminology Problem


With the Eastern Church using Greek and the Western Church using Latin misunderstandings were bound to arise over theological terminology. Once instance of confusion is the statement "He is of a different hypostasis or substance." The two words in the Eastern Church were seen to be synonymous. In the West hypostasis meant person. So for a Westerner the Council would look as if it was condemning the statement that the Son was a different Person from the Father, which would clearly be erroneous. Only later would the East come to distinguish hypostasis from substance (ousia) as in the West. This instance of confusion "points up the terminological difficulty which continued to bedevil Eastern theology and to confuse the West about the East's position (Davis 1987, 63)."


A second and very important termed used by the Council was homoousios. At that time this word could have three possible meanings. "First, it could be generic; of one substance could be said of two individual men, both of whom share human nature while remaining individuals. Second, it could signify numerical identity, that is, that the Father and the Son are identical in concrete being. Finally, it could refer to material things, as two pots are of the same substance because both are made of the same clay (Davis 1987, 61)." The Council intended the first meaning to stress the equality of the Son with the Father. If the second meaning for the word was taken to be the Council's intention it would mean that the Father and Son were identical and indistinguishable - clearly a Sabellian heresy. The third meaning gave the word a materialistic tendency that would infer that the Father and Son are parts of the same stuff.

Along with these possible misunderstandings of the meaning of the word homoousios the history of the word is closely associated with heresies. The word was originally used by the Gnostics. The word had even been condemned at the Council of Antioch in 268 regarding its use by the Adoptionist Paul of Samosata. Another factor making the word unpopular was that it was never used in Sacred Scripture.

The Council's defeat by Arianism


It is not surprising that with its use of the word homoousios the Council could be called into question. Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia gained the confidence of Emperor Constantine. He convinced Constantine that the Council's use of the word homoousios was Sabellian (Father and Son were identical). The Emperor now favored the Arians. With the death of Constantine the Empire was divided between his sons. Constans who ruled in the West favored Nicaea while his brother Constantius who ruled the East was anti-Nicaea. Supporters of Nicaea in the East especially Bishop Athanasius were deposed and excommunicated by the Dedication Council of Antioch. This Council directly attacked the Nicaea Council by promulgating its own creed that omitted the phrases "from the substance of the Father" and "homoousios." Some attempts were made to find a substitute word for homoousios. As many as fourteen Councils were held between 341 and 360 "in which every shade of heretical subterfuge found expression . . . The term `like in substance,' homoiousion . . . had been employed merely to get rid of the Nicene formula (Barry 1913, 709)." Not all Arians, or their new name of Semi-Arian, agreed with this new word. One group emphasized that the Father and Son were "dissimilar" or anomoios. Another group used the word "similar" or homoios to describe the Father and Son relationship.


With the death of Constans in 350 his anti-Nicaea brother Constantius became sole ruler of the Empire. The new Emperor demanded that all the Bishops of his Empire should agree with the homoios formula. In 359 he summoned two Councils, one in the East at Seleucia and the other in the West at Rimini. Both Councils, under the Emperor's threats and with rationalizing arguments aimed at calming consciences, were induced to sign the homoios formula. "This Homoean victory was confirmed and imposed on the whole Church by the Council of Constantinople in the following year" which condemned the terms homoousios, homoousios and anomoios (Ward 1955, 57). It seemed that the Arians had triumphed over the Nicaea creed.

The Final Battle


The seeming triumph of homoeism was short lived. First it gained its popularity solely by imperial imposition. With the death of Constantius in 361 it collapsed. Second by persecuting both homoousios and homoousios supporters alike "it brought about better understanding and, ultimately, reconciliation between the two groups (DeClercq 1967, 793)." Athanasius an ardent defender of the homoousios position and following the Alexandrian train of thought had begun his reasoning with the unity of God. From their he had concluded that the Son and Spirit Who shared that unity must have the same essential substance. The Cappadocian Fathers Basil of Caesarea, Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa were associated with Homoiousians. The point of departure for them as well as the Antiochenes had been the individual aspect of the divine personality. With the help of Athanasius they came to the realization that the three Persons as God must share the same identical substance also. By using the term homoousios the Cappadocian Fathers "had never meant to deny the unity but only to preserve the distinction of persons (Ward 1955, 58)." Both came to the conclusion that although they used different terms what they meant to say was the same. The Cappadocian Fathers came to accept the term homoousios. Athanasius, on the other hand, accepted the Cappadocian formula for the Trinity - one substance (ousia) in three persons (hypostaseis).

At about the same time as Athanasius and the Cappadocian Fathers were reaching an agreement another development was taking place. The East and the West were arriving at a better understanding of each others theological terminology. At the Synod of Alexandria in 362 the Nicene Creed was re-affirmed, the terms ousia and hypostasis were explained and Macedonianism (sometimes referred to as another form of Semi-Arianism in its subordination of the Holy Spirit) was condemned. Under the Eastern Emperor Valens (364-378) homoeism still had imperial favor.


In the West Ambrose of Milan led the fight for the Nicene Creed. At the Council of Sirmium in 378, with the support of the Western Emperor Gratian, six Arian Bishops were deposed. A series of laws were passed in 379 and 380 the Emperor prohibited Arianism in the West.


In the East with the succession of Valens by a Nicene sympathizing Emperor Theodosius I all exiled Bishops under Valens to return to their sees. In 381 he convoked a regional Council at Constantinople. The first canon from this Council states that "`the faith of the 318 fathers who assembled at Nicaea in Bithynia is not to be made void, but shall continue to be established (Davis 1987, 126).'" In 380 the Emperor Theodosius outlawed Arianism. The last victory over Arianism came in 381 with the Council of Constantinople in the East and the Council of Aquileia in the West. Both of them "sealed the final adoption of the faith of Nicaea by the entire Church (DeClercq 1967, 793)."

Conclusion


The Council of Nicaea was victorious in the end. It took over fifty years of bitter battling between the upholders of the Council of Nicaea and those against it. The Arian heresy seemed finished when the Council so specifically anathematized their teachings one by one. The Arian doctrines condemned were the following: The Son was created by the Father out of nothing. Thus the Son was not God in the strict sense but by grace and in name only. The Father and Son did not share the same substance. The Son being a creature was subject to moral changeability and only remained virtuous by an act of the will.

Terminology difficulties had kept the door open for the Arians to continue after the Council. This was especially true with the term homoousios (of the same substance) used by the Council to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son. The Arians took advantage of one of the term's other meaning, that of identity, to claim that the Council said the Father and Son were identical thereby invalidating the Council. The Arians then started producing their own creeds either eliminating this term or substituting another for it. This lead to the breaking up of the Arians into diverse groups according to which term they supported - anomoios (dissimilar), homoios (similar) or homoiousion (like in substance).

It is obvious that Imperial involvement in the controversy determined at any given moment whether the Council of Nicaea or the Arianism was dominating the controversy. With the imposition of the term homoios on the Church by the Emperor Constantius the work of the Council of Nicaea seemed doomed. But the popularity of this term died with the Emperor. The persecution of both the Homoiousians and the Homoiousians forced them to begin to dialogue. With the two great representatives of these positions, St. Athanasius and the Cappadocian Fathers, finding theological grounds for their eventual agreement the way was paved for the triumph of the Council of Nicaea. This incident later coupled with Eastern and Western Emperors who were pro-Nicaea led to the final Arian downfall.


Works Cited:

The New Catholic Encyclopedia. 1967. New York: McGraw-Hill
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The New Catholic Encyclopedia. 1967. New York: McGraw-Hill
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Davis S.J., Leo D. 1987. The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787):
Their History and Theology. Wilmington: Michael Glazier, Inc.

Guitton, Jean. 1965. Great Heresies and Church Councils. New York:
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Herbermann, Charles G., Edward A. Pace, Conde B. Pallen,
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