The Gospel of Early Christianity

(Part 2)

Compiled and Presented by Don R. Hender

   In part 2 of the Gospel of Early Christianity it is proposed that we take a break from that Gospel as taken from the presentation of such in the Ecclesiasical History of Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea and turn for the time to that event of history which seems to have set upon the table of Christianity the very determination of the nature of God and that nature of Christ's Dispensation just spoken of into an eventual 'Creed' developed over time by the mind, philosophy and innovation of man.

We have just well established from the writings of Bishop Eusebius his understanding of God the Father, Our Father in Heaven and that of Jesus Christ - Jehovah and that dispenstion or 'oikonomia' set upon our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ by the Father beginning from the pre-existence to the Second Coming of the Lord as per the vision of Daniel the prophet. Thus hopefully we have a grasp upon who Jesus Christ is and what his 'dispensation' or role all envolves in being our Redeemer and King.

    "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." ~ Colossians 2:8

It was Jesus Christ himself in his instructions to the boy prophet Joseph Smith who said of the various churches of Joseph day that 'their creeds were an abomination in his sight, that those professors were all corupt; that "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for the doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."' These 'creeds' of Traditional Christianity are not consistant with that Gospel of Jesus Christ which we have so far extracted from the writings of Bishop Eusebius in his day and time. And what was going to happen that would change this would be such events of developing these 'abominal creed' by the mixing of the innovations and philosophies of men as emposed upon the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this second part of the Early Christion Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will attempt to present an understanding just how this did come about.

A Historical Background Concerning the Theological Philosophies of God as Innovated by the Learnings of Men

Well before the birth of Jesus Christ, and therefore that fulness of Gospel understanding which his ministry did bring into the World, there were the developing Philosophies of the workings of the Minds of Men. Such 'high' learning of theological philosophy began due to two sets of circumstance. First the world had been solidified by such as Alexander the Great and second, thus the high learning of the philosophers of the Greeks were set upon the known nations of the earth, particularly those which the Hellenistic Kingdom did preside over up to and included by such as Alexandria of Egypt, and even down to and including by the processes of aboption of the subsequent Roman Emphirer of the time of Christ and the sugsequent centuries follow.

Now such as the great philosopher Plato lived some 428/427 BC - 348/347 BC, well before the day and age and truths spoken of by and revealed through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Plato never knew of Jesus Christ nor did he much consider the concepts of the Hebrew God in so developing his own philosophical basis of God. Aristotle was a student of Plato who lived 384 BC - 322 BC. He it was who was techer of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great lived 20/21 July 356 - 10/11 June 323 BC and round about 336 BC, after Philip's death, Alexander inherited the strong kingdom and experienced army of the Greeks. Armed such and with the unbridaled mind of youth by 334 BC Alexander invaded Persian-ruled Asia Minor and in a series of decisive battle Alexander overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire ruling from Egypt to Persia to Greece. Alexander's great established Kingdom was upon Alexander's death, divided betwen Alexanders three sons. And the Greek philogophical taught lead forth in the high learning of men.

All this concerning the estabishment of the Hellenistic Empire occured well before the coming birth of Jesus Christ. But the Philosophical foundations of the civilized world were laid and even when the Greek Empire fell to Roman, the philosophy and learning of the Greeks prevailed on and were studied and esteemed of men even the western centers of Christian learning and of Christian ministers and leaders did so come to study and learn and become endoctrinated in the high philosophical thoughts of the great Greek Philosophers. Now there are any number of scholarly writters who have published concerning this infiltration of Greek Philosophy in to Traditional Christiantity thought, so rather than to draw solely upon them I'd like to list a representative internet connective resourse list to them and their writtings:

Why Early Christianity Adopted Greek Philosophy, by Noel B. Reynolds
The Introduction of Philosophy into Early Christianity by Daniel W. Graham and James L. Siebach
The Influence of Greek Philosophy On the Development of Christian Theology by J. W. Jepson, D. Min.
Christianity And Greek Philosophy - by B. F. Cocker, D.D.
The Greek Philosopher's Search for the Meaning of Life Illuminated by the Divine Revelation of Christian Theology

Now this short list does give but a random short list of the topic of the relationship between Greek Philosophy and Christianity. Some consider that the Greek Philosophy was a providencial preparation for the coming Christianity and therefore provided much benefit and needed structure, others will point out that in their consideration that the Greek Philosophy of men hundreds of years before and apart from Christ and Christianity did but corrupt the truth of Christian Gospel. Yet in exactly what it was certainly not all in agreement. But for sure there is a relationship betwix the two, no denying it, for better or worse. In this presentation it has been selected to present what is considered to be a very central portrayal of what the Early Christian Gospel was, using Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea as the prime authority, often from his period written Ecclesiastical History of the Church and what from that through the process of such as the development of the Nicene Creed which introduced elements of Greek Philosophy and innovations of men did evolve into being in that 'finished' creed.

From an LDS perspective, such creeds have been denounced by the voice of Christ as spoken and revealed to man of our day and time. From what was as such as presented as Bishop Eusebius' understanding of the Gospel of Christ to what it would become as such a result of the development of such a Greek Philosophically influenced and also so influenced by the innovations of man is now where this text will turn.

Depending upon your source and 'authority' Bishop Eusebius is given to be any thing and any where from being the entitled 'Father of the Nicene Creed' to being one of the absolute foes of it. Upon the adoption of Christianity as the state Church of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine, think of his conversion, his intenting and underlying purpose as you may; Constantine proposed to unify the then divided into factions often by regions of the various 'parish churches' of Christianity into one unified by doctrine Christian Religion of the State.

Pending upon whose and which account one may read, Constantine selects Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea as 'the' or one of the leading scholarly leaders of the faith to speak either the enuageral or primarly address on the central day of the Council to set out a proposed central theme of common belief. As per Bishop Eusebius' own words, it was to such standard simple belief from that which he considered to be acceptable to all of the faith as it was but the considered baptismal theme of belief he thought that they might all be able to concluded upon. After all it was the purpose and intent of the senode to come to such foundational agreement. To this end I will present a letter written by Bishop Eusebius concerning the events of the Nicene Council in a two columnar manner, one column containing Bishop Eusebius' text and the other a place for commentary, facts and scriptural reference.

Now the letter of Bishop Eusebius was written shortly after the conclusion of the Nicene Council. In that council there had seem to be a matter of agreement upon a basic statement of belief so negociated between the majority of the attending Bishops. Yet Bishop Eusebius found by some means that what had been that matter of agreement was actually already being departed from by any number of the Bishops and their particular groups. As a result of the Council such as Bishop Arius, who would not agree had been expelled, he being one of the more extreme detractors from agreement. But now Bishop Eusebius found himself in a position that he had to communicate to his congregation that in fact the whole of the senode's bargined agreement was in fact not as had been agreed upon, as others had regressed from being acceptable to the agreement as so stated and worked out before the Emperor Constantine. Here now is that letter:

[NOTE: A number of 'subjective translations of Bishop Eusebius' letter have 'forced' the translation to fit their own theology and ability to tout Bishop Eusebius as one of the 'Founding Fathers' of the Nicene Creed as it stands today. He is NOT and their translation is neither objective or truthful. We've been reading and presenting Bishop Eusebius' 'true mind set' on the matter of the Father and the Son as being two separate beings and their relationships to each other found in his Ecclesiastical History of the Church. The following translation is one which is about as objective and truthful as they come. Just be aware that there are those who purposefully misrepresent Bishop Eusebius of Ceasarea in many different ways depending upon their own subjective theological intents and skews.]

    "What was transacted concerning ecclesiastical faith at the Great Council assembled at Nicaea you have probably learned, Beloved, from other sources, rumour being wont to precede the accurate account of what is doing. But lest in such reports the circumstances of the case have been misrepresented, we have been obliged to transmit to you, first, the formula of faith presented by ourselves; and next, the second, which the Fathers put forth with some additions to our words. Our own paper, then, which was read in the presence of our most pious Emperor, and declared to be good and unexceptionable, ran thus:-

Bishop Eusebius has already caught wind that what was tentatively agreed upon was already being inaccurately and misrepresntedly dissembled and renaged upon. Thus Bishop Eusebius wanted to give a correct account as to what did occur for his congregation to understand by first giving what was actually first presented by him at the council, then what was in fact added to it and finally the agreements as to what it did mean in a proper agreed upon interpretation of the basic statement of faith.

How often have business men sat down to come to an agreement and then seemly verbally agreed only to find out later in the written context of the agreement and the interpretation of it, is was not at all what had been actually agreed upon during the meeting? This was the situation which Bishop Eusebius seemed to have found himself and his party in.

    "`As we have received from the Bishops who preceded us, and in our first catechisings, and when we received the Holy Layer, and as we have learned from the divine Scriptures, and as we believed and taught in the presbytery, and in the Episcopate itself, so believing also at the time present, we report to you our faith, and it is this:-

Bishop Eusebius' intent was to make the basic statement of faith as simple, standard and acceptable to everyone as possible. What could be more generally acceptable than what had been taught and accepted by the Bishops before as had is the basic 'manuel' or 'catechisings' of the church so based in and learn directly from the Scriptures and so taught in the presbytery and in the Episcopate itself? And all would so generally agree to it and accept it - BUT - with just a little tweeking to add what would allow them to eventually 'sneak in' their own particular flavoring of the oh so basic doctrine of the church.

    "`We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God from God, Light from Light, Life from Life, Son Only-begotten, first-born of every creature, before all the ages [Col. 1:15], begotten from the Father, by whom also all things were made; who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived among men, and suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended to the Father, and will come again in glory to judge quick and dead, And we believe also in One Holy Ghost; believing each of These to be and to exist, the Father truly Father, and the Son truly Son, and the Holy Ghost truly Holy Ghost, as also our Lord, sending forth His disciples for the preaching, said, Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Concerning whom we confidently affirm that so we hold, and so we think, and so we have held aforetime, and we maintain this faith unto the death, anathematizing every godless heresy. That this we have ever thought from our heart and soul, from the time we recollect ourselves, and now think and say in truth, before God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ do we witness, being able by proofs to show and to convince you, that, even in times past, such has been our belief and preaching.'

In Bishop Eusebius' presented statement of faith, that is said to be from a prescribed 'baptismal text' of statement of faith and agreement common in the church, and with what we know of Bishop Eusebius' gospel understanding concerning the Father and Son and the Dispensaton of Jesus Christ, we are able to disect this statement of belief into some recognizable conponents. First it presents the existence of God the Father. Second it presents the Son Jesus Christ and a very short 'mission' or 'dispensation' statement of the Son from being with the Father in the pre-existence as the 'first-born' of every creature, to the Son's participation role in the creation then to his central role of providing for the salvation of man, to the resurrection, to even his Second Coming to judge the quick and the dead. And then Thrid he briefly inserts the belief in the Holy Ghost. And he gives a summary of the three separate and distinct members of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

To this Eusebius ads the charge to the Apostles to take the gospel to all the earth baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And isn't that the baptismal prayer? Then it ends with testimony and committment with an order of dismissing those who do not accept the truth of this basic Gospel. Then there is an additional witness to the truth of this statement of beief before God and Christ etc. All in all it is quite the compact statement which included the central mision of the central figure of the Gospel Plan of Redeption. In fact there is nothing in Bishop Eusebius statement of faith that we could not ourselves accept given the proper and correct interpretation of it.

    "On this faith being publicly put forth by us, no room for contradiction appeared; but our most pious Emperor, before any one else, testified that it comprised most orthodox statements. He confessed, moreover, that such were his own sentiments; and he advised all present to agree to it, and to subscribe its articles and to assent to them, with the insertion of the single word, `One in substance' (omoousioj) [homoousios/homoiousios], which, moreover, he interpreted as not in the sense of the affections of bodies, nor as if the Son subsisted from the Father, in the way of division, or any severance; for that the immaterial and intellectual and incorporeal nature could not be the subject of any corporeal affection, but that it became us to conceive of such things in a divine and ineffable manner. And such were the theological remarks of our most wise and most religious Emperor; but they, with a view to the addition of `One in substance,' drew up the following formula:

So well was the statement of faith which Bishop Eusebius had prepared that none could be found in objection. Yet my some means those of the school of Greek Philosophy now had an addition to be made which they did by way of the Emperor suggesting it. This is the 'omoousioj' addition. And yet another altaration was also in the works which would cut out such imformation concerning one of the very critical componant parts of the assigned 'mission' or 'dispensation' of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Of these matters Bishop Eusebius was drawn into but the meaning and intent of the addition, most being as concerned about the cutting short his statement concerning the whole of the misssion of the Savior which included his presence with the Father in the pre-existence performing as a separate and distinct entitiy. Concerning the matter of 'omoousioj' Bishop Eusebius came to a verbal agreement with the Bishops that while it could refer to the fact that the Son was from the Father as being his offspring and like Father like son and thus incorporeal and not other wise more of being the same as the father, they both being two separate and diferent corporeal beings. With this agreement the revised statement of belief was presented as edited out and added to.

The Greek Philosophical Concept of God - OUSIA

   We need to interupt Bishop Eusebius letter and its direct analysis at this point for here in is markedly the departure from the Biblical God of Scripture and the adjunct of the meta-physical make up of the ancient determined nature of God according to Greek Philosophy which was innovated hundreds of years before the birth of Christ but indeed thousands upon thousands of years after the fact of the pre-existence where God the Father and the Son stood together and side by side orchestrated the temporal creation of heaven and earth, the Father commanding and the Son performing as has been set out by Bishop Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History of the Church which we have already covered in Part 1 of this determination of the Early Christain Church's Gospel truth.

When the Emperor Constintine, according to the account of Bishop Eusebius, interjected that the addition of the term 'homoosios/homoiousios' be added, Constantine, for whatever purpose, cause or from whatever source, was inserting into the statement of faith in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost the long debated and ill understood Greek Philosophical debate as to the very meta-physical nature of the 'being' - 'ousia' of God which was not taken from Scripture or the faith and belief of the Bible of the Children of Israel but rather from the pages of the Greek Philosophers. Which 'Philosophers' were not even masters of the field of physics to know of such matters of the actual break down of matter, element, atom, and so on to all the verious rudimenty component levels. No wonder the Philosophical determined 'ousia' concept of God is scoffed at by the advanced meta-physical scientists of today with such as their sarcasticly attributed 'god-element' discovery paralleled to the 'ousia' of the being of God.

The Greek Philosophical conception of God was that there was such a pure state of 'being'/'ousia', mistranslated into latin as subsatance or essence which was in that pure state of perfection of which God was constituded of. Without any such temporal or physical attribute as 'body', 'parts', or 'passions' or any such corruptable natural temporal matter whatsoever.

The Ancient Greek noun 'ousia' is formed on the 'feminine' present participle of (to be) which seems to parallel the concept of (I AM) and it is analogous to the English participle 'being'. Not in the sense of spirit being or human - being, but merely in the sense of 'existing'. Attempting to fit a sqaure peg into a round hole seems to fit just what it was or is that those who attempt/attempted to force the God of Israel, particularly Jesus/Jehovah, into the compartmentalized pigeonhole of narrowly mentally contrived god of the men who formed Greek Philosophy. Some 'mental geniuses' with their own subjective intent have even gone so far as to the extreme to determine of them ownselves that 'since was feminine' in language form, then God is actually female or feminine too rather than male. Talk about a 'designer god' to fit a personally determined contrivance of one's own god.

And while it seems to be obvious that the Greek Philosophical determination of 'God' which was being formulatd by those who lived and died without much consideration of the Biblical Hebrew God, living hundreds of years before the earthly coming of Christ and thousands upon thousands of year after the pre-existence events of Christ with the Father and the actual temporal cration; that is those such as Plato, Aristotle and the rest, indeed 'they' ought not be those to force upon the 'actual and real' Biblical God, by way of those of the age of the Nicene Creed into the meta-physical 'ousia' of Greek philosophy. Many if not most of the 'learned' Bishops of the west were often well schooled in and had an understanding of Greek Philosophy and the Greek Philosophical view of God. It seems obvious that Bishop Alexander of Alexandrea, who postulated or build upon the concept of 'three gods in one' in order to fit God the Father, the Son Jesus/Jehovah Christ and the Holy Ghost into that one perfect God essence or substance was certainly one such Bishop. His commitment to the Greek Philosophical concept of God, the 'ousia' of God and there being but one such pure and perfect substance, essesence or even 'being' of God force him to innovate and contrive that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost were but one and the same God, God being only one.

In so forcing God, the Father, Son and even the Holy Ghost into the innovation of the men of Greek Philosophy concerning their concept of God, God was striped of form, body, parts, and passions and though the Hebrew scriptures spoke of the anger, mercy, love, hatred, etc. of God; and also spoke of the eyes, ears, hands, face, fingers, etc. of God; and that men were actually the children and even 'offspring' of God created in the image of God, these things did the concept of the Greek Philosophical god necessity take away from God. Gods children and parenthood was taken away, God's glorified and Celestial Body was taken away, God's kindness, love, mercy, anger, hatred toward sin and so forth were all taken away and so on. Whatever did not fit the Greek Philosophical model of the 'ousia' of God was removed from God. And God was forced into the compartmentalized pigeon hole of the human mind determined god of Greek Philosophy.

And worst of all a clear understanding of the 'oikonomia', that is the dispensational mission bestowed upon Jehvoah by the Father was deminished and all but lost from the concept of Jesus/Jehovah creating all things in concert and under the direct command and direction of the Father as explained by Bishop Eusebius to various stages and function performed by the Son as directed by the Father in being the Intercessor, Mediator, Advocate between man and God the Father as well as being the only means given by the Father by which men may return to God as effected by the act of the atonement, resurrection and final judgement of man before that God of Heaven, our Heavenly Father.

Sir Isaac Newton's assessment of it puts it well. Did Jesus Christ send his Apostles forth to preach of the debatable metaphysics of the nature of God to the unlearned common people, their wives, and their children? Or rather were the principles of Christian living as taught by Jesus and as he deliverd in the Sermon on the Mount as being the true message of God. Were the Apostles to preach faith, repentance, baptism and living by the guidance of the Spirit of God. Or were they to spend there effort to determine the mystery of the nature of the existence of God? Clearly the important message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was in the living of the Gospel according to the laws, commandments, principles and ordinances of that Gospel of Jesus Christ and not to be that of a Philosophical and Scientific debate over the metaphysics of God.

Even Constantine identified the dilemma of it as he admonished the central two who seemed to have started it, Bishop Alexander and Arius: "When you, Alexander, demanded of the presbyters what opinion they severally maintained respecting a certain passage in the Divine law, or rather, I should say, that you asked them something connected with an unprofitable question, then you, Arius, inconsiderately insisted on what ought never to have been conceived at all, or if conceived, should have been buried in profound silence. Hence it was that a dissension arose between you, fellowship was withdrawn, and the holy people, rent into diverse parties, no longer preserved the unity of the one body. Now, therefore, do ye both exhibit an equal degree of forbearance, and receive the advice which your fellow-servant righteously gives. What then is this advise? It was wrong in the first instance to propose such questions as these, or to reply to them when propounded. For those points of discussion which are enjoined by the authority of no law, but rather suggested by the contentious spirit which is fostered by misused leisure, even though they may be intended merely as an intellectual exercise, ought certainly to be confined to the region of our own thoughts, and not hastily produced in the popular assemblies, nor unadvisedly intrusted to the general ear. For how very few are there able either accurately to comprehend, or adequately to explain subjects so sublime and abstruse in their nature? Or, granting that one were fully competent for this, how many people will he convince? Or, who, again, in dealing with questions of such subtle nicety as these, con secure himself against a dangerous declension from the truth? It is incumbent therefore on us in these cases to be sparing of our words, lest, in case we ourselves are unable, through the feebleness of our matural faculties, give a clear explanation of the subject before us, or, on the other hand, in case the slowness of our hearers' understanding disables them from arriving at an accurate apprehension of what we say, from one or other of these causes the people be reduced to the alternative either of blasphemy or schism."

In short the question of the meta-physical nature of God accroding to Greek Philosophy of 'ousia' ought not have ever reached the floor of Nicaea. It never ought to have been a part of the basic belief agreed upon as the basic creed of Christianity. Even today they who still support it cannot explain it but state that it is a mystery without capable human comprehension. The acceptance and the living of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not dependent upon it. In fact it only tends to be divisive and a tool of schism, when and where there should be the unity of the faith in Christ, it has divided it. We now return to covering the the letter of Bishop Eusebius which details the events of the Nicene Council and what was concluded upon there. We restart with the altared formula of the creed which then contained the concept of 'homo - ousios(ousia)' sourced from out of Gree Philosophy.

    "`We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible:- And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Only-begotten, that is, from the Substance [ousios/homoiousios] of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, very God from very God, begotten, not made, One in substance [homoousios] with the Father, by whom all things were made, both things in heaven and things in earth; who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh, was made man, suffered, and rose again the third day, ascended into heaven, and cometh to judge quick and dead.

    "`And in the Holy Ghost. But those who say, "Once He was not," and "Before His generation He was not," and "He came to be from nothing," or those who pretend that the Son of God is "Of other subsistence or substance [ousios]," or "created," or "alterable," or "mutable," the Catholic Church anathematizes.'



    [It may be noted that the original meaning in Greek of 'ousia/ousios' is 'being' as in 'existing' which would match well with the concept of 'I AM' that is 'I EXIST'. The various Latin or Roman translations which have been used are those of 'substance', 'essence' and even 'subsistence' which is more to actually 'existing' in the 'being' sense. The Catholic seems to like the translation of 'essence' as it seems to place God as being less of a God of 'form' and more of a God without any type of embodiment limits at all. This also tends to make of God less of a personal God whom one may commune with even though throughout most every Christian Church including the Catholic Chruch images of God as a man with shape and form prominantly are present. Even a number of visual images are in the Catholic Church which show Father, Son and Holy Ghost as three distinct and separte men, persona, people or beings. Just look up Father, Son and Holy Ghost 'images search' on the internet.]

Now herein the 'talking points' of the original presented by Bishop Eusebius have been changed. As the 'dispensation' of Jesus Christ from his being the first born in the spirit of all creatures as taught by Paul, the Pre-existence selection, empowerment, and his having taken part in the creation in concert with the Father as presented by John; all this is lost. And rather the insertion of the concept of 'substance/ousia' is interjected and that the Son is One in substance with the Father. As one reads the one and compares the other one might readily notice that what has been changed is significant for indeed it now becomes more of a matter of 'interpretation'. This Eusebius will take note of and seek for a proper acceptable interpretation.

Even in the Gospel today we understand that the basic essential matter, material or spirit of 'intelligence' is that which is requesite from which even God and all of God's children are from. This 'intelligence' can be interpreted and defined as the fundamental 'subsatance' or 'ousia' as it may be defined and interpreted. But in a progression of eternal progression neither God, Jesus Christ or man remains in the that state of 'being' merely intelligence or intelligences. There is a progression, the first 'step' of which has been removed when Paul's scriptural statement was removed that Christ was the first born of every creature, that is Jesus/Jehovah was the first-born son of God the Father in the spirit, that birth of combining of intelligence to the 'spirit body'. And herein did the Nicene Creed begin to take from God our Heavenly Father that divine parenthood of us all, as we all are the spirit children of God, Christ being the First-born.

And further, though Eusebius will get a alternate interpretation from the Bishops at Nicaea, the making of Father and Son as one 'ousia'[homoousios] 'being' has been laid to the benefit of Bishop Alexander's concept of the 'doctrine of the trinity'.

    "On their dictating this formula, we did not let it pass without inquiry in what sense they introduced `of the substance of the Father,' and `one in substance with the Father.' Accordingly questions and explanations took place, and the meaning of the words underwent the scrutiny of reason. And they professed that the phrase 'of the substance' was indicative of the Son's being indeed from the Father, yet without being as if a part of Him. And with this understanding we thought good to assent to the sense of such religious doctrine, teaching, as it did, that the Son was from the Father, not, however, a part of His substance. On this account we assented to the sense ourselves, without declining even the term `One in substance,' peace being the object which we set before us, and steadfastness in the orthodox view. In the same way we also admitted `begotten, not made'; since the Council alleged that `made' was an appellative common to the other creatures which came to be through the Son, to whom the Son had no likeness. Wherefore, said they, He was not a work resembling the things which through Him came to be, but was of a substance which is too high for the level of any work, and which the Divine oracles teach to have been generated [begotten] from the Father, the mode of generation being inscrutable and incalculable to every generated nature. And so, too, on examination there are grounds for saying that the Son is `one in substance' with the Father; not in the way of bodies, nor like mortal beings, for He is not such by division of substance, or by severance; no, nor by any affection, or alteration, or changing of the Father's substance and power (since from all such the ingenerate nature of the Father is alien), but because `one in substance with the Father' suggests that the Son of God bears no resemblance to the generated creatures, but that to His Father alone who begat Him is He in every way assimilated, and that He is not of any other subsistence and substance, but from the Father.

Now when the Emperor Constantine had requested the inclusion of the Greek Philosophical terminology of 'ousia' in 'homoousios/homoiousios' Bishop Eusebius had immediate obtained the assurance of Constantine that it was his sense and meaning that the Father and Son were not the 'same being' and that the 'likeness or sameness' did not infringe on the fact that the Father and Son were two separate entities as to intelligence and their corporeal natures as Father and Son. And when they who had edited the formula to include the concept of 'homoousios' in the manner and form that they did, Eusebius again sought an assurance as to the exact interpretation intended, that it did not mean to make of the two separate entities of Father and Son as being but one and the same being. And this he obtained their word on that is was that the Son came from the Father 'without being as if a part of Him.' That is 'the Son was from the Father, not, however, as part of His substance'. Eusebius knew that son as any son did come from his father by the form of birth, and he had their prior commitment to the first formula which referenced scripture that Jesus/Jehovah was the first born of every creature in spirit as applicable to the pre-existence even though the edited formula did not now include that reference from the teachings of Paul.

Certainly Bishop had his suspicsions as it was such a 'oneness' which he was aware that Bishop Alexander needed for his proposed doctrine of his trinity. But as Bishop Eusebius puts it, 'peace being the object which we set before us' and because there was one such possible acceptable interpretation of 'one in substance' for the sake of achieving a unity of the faith, Bishop Eusebius and those with him agreed with the formula based upon the 'gauranteed interpretation' which all the other Bishops did likewise agree to according to Eusebius' detailed explanation as presented here in his letter at the left.

    "To which term also, thus interpreted, it appeared well to assent; since we were aware that, even among the ancients, some learned and illustrious Bishops and writers have used the term `one in substance' in their theological teaching concerning the Father and Son. So much, then, be said concerning the faith which was published; to which all of us assented, not without inquiry, but according to the specified senses, mentioned before the most religious Emperor himself, and justified by the fore-mentioned considerations. And as to the anathematism published by them at the end of the Faith, it did not pain us, because it forbade to use words not in Scripture, from which almost all the confusion and disorder of the Church have come. Since, then, no divinely inspired Scripture has used the phrases, `out of nothing' and `once He was not,' and the rest which follow, there appeared no ground for using or teaching them; to which also we assented as a good decision, since it had not been our custom hitherto to use these terms. Moreover, to anathematize `Before His generation He was not' did not seem preposterous, in that it is confessed by all that the Son of God was before the generation according to the flesh. Nay, our most religious Emperor did at the time prove, in a speech, that He was in being even according to His divine generation which is before all ages, since even before he was generated in energy, He was in virtue with the Father ingenerately, the Father being always Father, as King always and Saviour always, having all things in virtue, and being always in the same respects and in the same way. This we have been forced to transmit to you, Beloved, as making clear to you the deliberation of our inquiry and assent, and how reasonably we resisted even to the last minute, as long as we were offended at statements which differed from our own, but received without contention what no longer pained us, as soon as, on a candid examination of the sense of the words, they appeared to us to coincide with what we ourselves have professed in the faith which we have already published."  


    [Note: Among that which was 'already published' was that very Ecclesiastical History of the Church which in the first part we have been reviewing and studying. And from that we can readily see that that Gospel which Eusebius did publish therein was consistant with the letter of Bishop Eusebius in which he gives his first hand account of all his, Bishop Eusebius', presentations and explanations and agreements which he states were reached upon the part of all the Bishops while still at the council of Nicaea. And that 'creed' which later evolved under such other interpretations than that given by Bishop Eusebius in his letter and which was confirmed in the council of 381 AD are those false Greek Philosophical applications of the nature of God and the false Doctrine of the Trinity proposed by Bishop Alexander and supported by such as Athanasius.]

And so the 'edited' formula was accepted under these conditions of agreed explanations accepted by all. Bishop at the point of the said such agreement had no idea that there were those who were lying about the agreed accepted explanation who would after the fact of agreement turn from their 'word' and intrepret the formula differently. They would denouce that the Father and Son were separate and begin to teach that they were but one and the same God. They were not to be men of honor bound by their word of agreement but rather scoundrals who only sought temporary agreement to later invoc their own interpretation and intent upon and in the formula as they had altaered it, leaving out parts and inserting only that which their own minds had determind God to be like meta-physically. And that was like unto the Greek Philosophy proposed and written by the ancient Greek Philosophers relative to their innovative mental determinations of such men as to the nature of God. And this rather than to be true to that which was taken from the scriptures of Christianity and of the true God of Israel from the text of the Bible.

Thus in truth Bishop Eusebius and many other withdrew their support of the formula as so falsely interpreted. And in concert with the Emperor Constantine those who did support it that way were exiled such as Athenaius who was so exiled no less than seven times and deemed an enemy to the cause of orthodox Christianity. Even Arius, who had been excommunicated was brought back into the fold. Arius was the student and Alexander was the teacher. Arius knew that Father and Son were separate and not one as Alexander's doctrine of the trinity was set forth, though Arius, being student was not well enough schooled to defend with support evidence and was caught out having to create Christ meta-physically from his mind in relation to the Father. Since it is the historians of Athaneius who write what Arius stood for, Arius is villianized for standing by the fact that the Father and the Son were separate. Even Eusebius who in his history proclaimed the truth of the Divine Son as God with God the Father in the pre-existence according to the words of John, has been demonized by many of the Athaneaian historians as being Arian, which he indeed was not.

And not until 381 AD, after the deaths of Constantine, Eusebius, Arius and even Athanasius was ever any such 'creed' agreed to properly and then coming to the false conclusions which favored Greek Philosophy, Bishop Alexander's trinity and Athnasius' pursuit of it.

Having now processed the letter of Bishop Eusebius wherein he give his eye witness account of the critical events of the first Nicene Council, and the result of it. We will now return to the study of the Early Christian Gospel as contained in Bishop Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History of the Church.

End Part 2

Part 3