Identify the titles and terms used to define Jesus’s divinity & relationship to God the Father/Creator in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (381 CE).

Religion

Week 5 Critical Analysis. Controversies, Councils, Creeds (Christology of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed [381 CE])

When the bishops at both the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) and the Council of Constantinople (381 CE) composed and revised (respectively) a creed that articulates the essence of Christian belief, they claimed to have used biblical language exclusively. (There is one exception, “consubstantial”–it is explained in your reading assignments. Check the Notes in Unit 2 >R for more discussion.) Your task is to see whether this claim holds up, by examining the revised creed (the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed) for its terminology describing the Son of God and comparing those terms to what is said about or by Jesus in Luke, using the research format Question – Evidence – Conclusion. Write up and post your results in a formal essay of at least 3 paragraphs (your Initial Critical Analysis mini-essay), and follow up with two Critical Analysis Responses (also mini-essays, at least 3 paragraphs each) that analyze the findings and conclusions of two of your classmates. All postings must fully present your evidence with documentation.

Research:

  • Question: Are the terms and titles that refer to Jesus’s divine nature and relate him to God the Creator/Father in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (381 CE), in fact based on the New Testament, as the bishops claimed? To test the question, use the Creed of 381 and evidence from the Lukan Gospel (you are only responsible for passages assigned in Unit 1).
  • Evidence: To test the claim, your task is twofold:
    • (1) Identify the titles and terms used to define Jesus’s divinity & relationship to God the Father/Creator in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (381 CE), ONLY from articles 2, 6 & 7 (those numbers in square brackets in the Pelikan & Hotchkiss translation). Take account of all titles (except the name “Jesus”) and descriptive terms, not just philosophical-sounding ones; there are about 10 of them.
    • (2) Then compare these terms & descriptions to those used in the Lukan Gospel and Acts of the Apostles (you need consult only passages assigned in Unit 1). Evidence-gathering is the most important part of your research.
  • Conclusion: What Conclusion (answer to the Question) does your Evidence point to? Present your Evidence as it speaks to your Conclusion(s).