Published on Oct 4, 2016
One of the most enduring myths today about the Council of Nicaea is that the council members voted on which books to include in the Bible. This myth is sometimes expanded to include Emperor Constantine as some driving political force behind the formation of the canon. This, in actuality, is almost certainly a fable. Dive into the historical evidence to see why.
20 Canon Laws from Nicaea:
Theodoret Ecclesiastical History:
Athanasius De Decretis:
Athanasius Festal Letter info:
Voltaire Dictionnaire Philosophique Section 3: (see edition: Oeuvres Completes de Voltaire, 1874, p. 357).
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Comments • 101
Victor Weis6 months ago
Someone needs to tell Joe Rogan…
Rois GlasSco8 months ago
I appreciate how difficult it is to make a concise and informative presentation on this subject, but I do feel that your idea of a ‘consensus’ process of forming the bible canon might sound just as naive as Dan Brown’s claims about Constantine: “General agreement among the members of a given group or community, each of which exercises some discretion in decision-making and follow-up action”. Where is the evidence that there was some sort of democratic debate and vote among equal bishops and elder-presbyters? I mean, for starters, the bishops were overseers-episkopos and church ‘fathers’, which sounds a lot to me like religious governers, comparible to the guardian council of modern day Iran. Political figures such as Emperor Constantine (but more so Theodosius I) and his generals did have an influence on which ones were prominent and the fathers in turn dictated what their communities would hear read out in Church services – it’s not like people really had any choice, unless they went into hiding. I mean why do you think the Nag Hammadi library was stashed away in hiding from the mad bishops of Alexandria? …because it lost the debate fair and square? Take the Gospel of the Nazarenes for instance, apparently an early hebrew version of Matthew, studied by the translator of the vulgate latin, Jerome, from a copy in Caesaria. When was a translation of that ever included in any of the potential lists? You would think that it would at least be considered, but there’s no evidence of that. Same for the Gospel of Thomas, around half of which can be found mixed in with the four gospels anyway. The later justification they used of ‘consistency’ makes no sense, since as Bart Ehrman has been pointing out for years, the four main accounts they chose are wildly inconsistent. There’s also various superstitious statements made by early church fathers about how the number four was special and holy – that’s not consensus forming based on grass-roots popularity, it’s just an arbitrary limit decided behind closed doors for reasons we’ll never know. While the Council of Nicaea did not declare a biblical canon, by the year 391, only 66 years after the first council, the Synod of Hypo was already declaring a canon identical to the modern Catholic Church’s. There had only been one additional Nicaean Creed in between those two events in 381. Officially, most of these councils post legalisation just seem to deal with condemning heretics, sometimes for quite obscure theological reasons that the majority of Christians would not understand. What part of that is consensus building? I think that if heresy was their main concern, part of the discussion and the declarations made by the dominant figures in the councils must have involved what texts should be excluded from consideration. It seems very implausible that this topic would be completely absent. It’s my opinion that one of the main things that influenced the direction of development was antisemitism e.g. the creed of Constantinople later in the same century: “I renounce everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom and if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition” – did the Syriac-Aramaic church get any say in that ‘consensus’?
D MONEY5 months ago
All the research you doing you know the TRUTH! If you truly love Our Creator and love your Brothers and Sisters tell them the truth!
Steven Starr7 months ago (edited)
This myth got real exposer in America with the Jehovah Witnesses and Adventist movement it was picked up by anti-Catholic evangelicals to fit their narrative of the Church of Rome being ‘evil’ and ‘apostate’
StarShade10 months ago
I’d always heard that the Western Church and the Eastern Church had a long debate on the canon and finalized it as the books we have today, but they were iffy on Revelation. Truthfully, I think I may have been lied to by those who spun that tale.
lshulman588 months ago
bad enough we have to deal with “fake news”, now it seems we also need to be wary of “fake facts” and “fake history”!
Niels1 year ago
my dad told me some books of Bible were hidden/deleted to agree on the Trinity (God Jesus Spirit) including things like Jesus marrying a woman. Is this true, or is the bible we have (prefer to refer to King James) an accurate book and all-including of Gods word? Would help me tremendously if you could answer, but only do if you have the knowledge to! thanks in advance!
Sol Mon11 months ago
Who was Sol Invictus? And did Constantine believe in that deity?
Johnny Clash3 months ago
Dumbest Christian apologetic channel on the internet…
Percy Barbarossa1 week ago
TY for clearing this up, its seems i’ve been in err for a while now . My appologies to anyone i’ve mistakenly reffered to the council of nicea about in any comments or discussions.
Mark Letts3 weeks ago
Easy mate..its only a book,.never believe all you read.especially 2000 yr old stuff..shit most of what’s on you tube is fiction..
Tom Dick4 weeks ago
Deceiving the Christians to believe that Jesus was God is satanic
Marc Bell4 weeks ago
The Decree of the Council of Rome (AD 382) on the Canon of Scripture during the reign of Pope Damasus I (AD 366-384), reads thus: “Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she ought to shun…
D LongWood1 month ago
Have you ever heard of Church of God?
A Voice1 month ago
Everything leads back to Babylon through Ancient Rome! CONSTANTINE HIJACKED THE FAITH! THE BIBLE IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST Constantine the first beast compiled 50 bibles, legalized Christianity and set up the false prophet (Pope) King James the second beast, born 6/1566, 6th of Scotland, authorized a bible in 1611 that now has 66 books to control the people with, an image of God’s word they make to speak (the bible says). They carry it in their hand and memorize it in their head. If it were possible Satan would deceive the elect with this delusion. By having faith in this idol, they break the new covenant of having faith in the Living Jesus through the Holy Spirit who is the word of God. The bible is only history and has no authority. It is only history about God and has been used to control man with and to misdirect them from God in the Spirit. Satan uses it to deceive the world into thinking they are saved. The bible of itself is nothing, but when you have faith in it as the word of God then you have taken the mark of the beast. If you claim to know God from it you are deceived and are stealing the faith of others from the past and your faith will fail. Seek Jesus for the Holy Spirit; it is the only way to overcome the mark. Mathew, Mark, Luke and John were under the Old Covenant. A testament is of force after men are dead. It has no strength at all while the testator lives. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. So Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are under the Old Covenant because Jesus had not yet shed His Blood. We are to be led by the Spirit and not history books that have been interpolated. Ask Jesus for the Holy Spirit and He will lead you home to God. THE BIBLE IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST! CLOSE THE BOOK AND COME TO JESUS!
*****1 month ago (edited)
In what way can you claim that Voltaire actually thought that bishops lined the books up on an altar to choose the Canon? Come on… that was just an anecdote from the book. It would be like claiming Einstein actually thought he could ride alongside a beam of light!
Mike Coe1 month ago
But couldn’t you make the case that the books of the Bible which promoted Arius’ arguments were taken out of the cannon at this time, either by direction or omission? You mention the translation into the volgate, couldn’t they also have omitted the book of judas, which makes the case for arius’ belief about the origin of Jesus in the first place? It’s sort of saying the same thing a different way. Once solving the Arian controversy, you aren’t going to allow the books that make that argument into the canon.
Denny of Den Kat Games
Denny of Den Kat Games1 month ago
The book of Judith would have belonged to the Old Testament anyway, so even if it was somehow part of the discussion at the counsil, this still doesn’t hint that the discussion was about the New Testament canon.
Coen Stiennissen1 month ago
If the Councel of Nicaea did ban certain books from the new testament and wrote this down. dont you think by the time this topic became Controvert the church would have already stored these to put in their archives (like those in the vatican) cause this wil have huge affects on christianity Btw i love your videos. as an atheist with a lot of questions about the misconceptions of christianity your channel is so interesting !!! greetings from the Netherlands
Dr. Jones1 month ago
If one was not at the Council of Nicaea then he cannot discredit was some may view as a qualitative review. If such belief as a debate was assumed then why suggest that quantitative finds are more important. The 20 laws of the Canon is an exact number. Yet, it does not assume conversations were not apparent. There very well could have been a debate.