25 Mar

For hundreds of years after the death of Jesus, groups adopted radically conflicting writings about the details of his life and the meaning of his ministry, and murdered those who disagreed. For many centuries, Christianity was first a battle of books and then a battle of blood. The reason, in large part, was that there were no universally accepted manuscripts that set out what it meant to be a Christian, so most sects had their own gospels.

There was the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of Simon Peter, the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Barnabas. One sect of Christianity — the Gnostics — believed that the disciple Thomas was not only Jesus’s twin brother but also the founder of churches across Asia. Christianity was in chaos in its early days, with some sects declaring the others heretics. And then, in the early 300s, Emperor Constantine of Rome declared he had become follower of Jesus, ended his empire’s persecution of Christians and set out to reconcile the disputes among the sects. Constantine was a brutal sociopath who murdered his eldest son, decapitated his brother-in-law and killed his wife by boiling her alive, and that was after he proclaimed that he had converted from worshipping the sun god to being a Christian. Yet he also changed the course of Christian history, ultimately influencing which books made it into the New Testament.

By that point, the primary disputes centred on whether Jesus was God — he followers of a priest named Arius said no, that God created Jesus. But the Bishop of Alexander said yes, that Jesus had existed throughout all eternity. The dispute raged on in the streets of Constantinople, with everyone—shopkeepers, bakers and tradesmen—arguing about which view was right. Constantine, in a reflection of his shallow understanding of theology, was annoyed that what he considered a minor dispute was causing such turmoil, and feared that it weaken him politically. So he decided to force an agreement on the question.

Constantine convened a meeting in the lakeside town of Nicaea. Invitations were sent around the world to bishops and leaders of various sects, although not all of them. The group included the educated and the illiterate, zealots and hermits. Constantine arrived wearing jewels and gold on his scarlet robe and pearls on his crown, eager to discuss the true essence of a poor carpenter who had died 300 years before. 

Things that are today accepted without much thought were adopted or reinforced at Nicaea. For example, the Old Testament was clear in declaring that God rested on the seventh day, making it the Sabbath. The seventh day of the week is Saturday, the day of Jewish worship and rest. (Jesus himself invoked the holiness of the Jewish Sabbath.) The word Sunday does not appear in the Bible, either as the Sabbath or anything else. But four years before Nicaea, Constantine declared Sunday as a day of rest in honour of the sun god.

At Nicaea, rules were adopted regarding the proper positions for prayer on Sundays — standing, not kneeling; nothing was said of the Jewish Sabbath or Saturday. Many theologians and Christian historians believe that it was at this moment, to satisfy Constantine and his commitment to his empire’s many sun worshippers, that the Holy Sabbath was moved by one day, contradicting the clear words of what ultimately became the Bible. And while the Bible mentioned nothing about the day of Jesus’s birth, the birth of the sun god was celebrated on December 25 in Rome; Christian historians of the 12th century wrote that it was the pagan holiday that led to the designation of that date for Christmas.

The majority of the time at Nicaea was spent debating whether Jesus was a man who was the son of God, as Arius proclaimed, or God himself, as the church hierarchy maintained. The followers of Arius marshalled evidence from the letters of Paul and other Christian writings. In the Gospel of Mark, speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus said,

 “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” 

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote that

 “there is but one God, the Father…and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ.”

In his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote,

 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 

Paul’s writings are consistent in his reference to God as one being and Jesus as his son. Same with the Gospel of Matthew, where Peter tells Jesus that he is the

 “Son of the living God” 

and Jesus responds that

 “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.’’ 

Jesus even called out to God as his “Father” as he was dying on the cross.

But Constantine sided with those who believed Jesus was both God and man, so a statement of belief, called the Nicene Creed, was composed to proclaim that. Those who refused to sign the statement were banished. Others were slaughtered. After they had returned home and were far from Rome, some who signed the document later sent letters to Constantine saying they had only done so out of fear for their lives. 

About 50 years later, in A.D. 381, the Romans held another meeting, this time in Constantinople. There, a new agreement was reached — Jesus wasn’t two, he was now three — Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Nicene Creed was rewritten, and those who refused to sign the statement were banished, and another wholesale slaughter began, this time of those who rejected the Trinity, a concept that is nowhere in the original Greek manuscripts and is often contradicted by it.

To this day, congregants in Christian churches at Sunday services worldwide recite the Nicene Creed, which serves as affirmation of their belief in the Trinity. It is doubtful many of them know the words they utter are not from the Bible, and were the cause of so much bloodshed. (Some modern Christians attempt to use the Gospel of John to justify the Trinity—even though it doesn’t explicitly mention it—but they are relying on bad translations of the Greek and sentences inserted by scribes.)


Maelle Doliveux writing for Newsweek: The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin

Preceding: The One Who divinely inspired the writers of the Bible can also preserve it

Additional reading

History: Arius and Constantine

  1. Demise of the Late Bronze Age
  2. The early days of Christianity 1.2. Considered as a danger 1.2.2.  
  3. The early days of Christianity - Considered as a danger - Raising digression
  4. The early days of Christianity - Hellenistic influences
  5. It happened on May 2 295
  6. 1691 years ago on June the 20th in 325
  7. Politics and power first priority #1 
  8. Politics and power first priority #2
  9. God’s forgotten Word 1 Introduction
  10. God’s forgotten Word 4 Lost Lawbook 3 Early digressions and Constantinic revolution
  11. A Father Who begat a son
  12. Tri-union gods and Pagan, Christian, Muslim and Jewish views on the Creator God
  13. Framework and vehicle for Christian Scholasticism and loss of confidence
  14. How Did Jesus Become White? By Richard Stockton
  15. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  16. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations 
  17. Application of old pagan concept of trinity 
  18. Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today
  19. Germanic mythological influences up to today’s Christmas celebrations
  20. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  21. Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50
  22. Creation of the earth and man #7 Of the Sabbath day #5 Respecting the day on which Christ Jesus rose from the dead
  23. Creation of the earth and man #8 Of the Sabbath day #6 If it be necessary to keep Sunday
  24. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  25. Problems correspondents have with the Trinity Doctrine 
  26. A rebellious movement founded on a fake?
  27. Christianity without the Trinity 


Concerning The One True God , deities and Trinity

  1. Are there certain books essential to come to faith
  2. Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  4. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  5. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #1 Many gods 
  6. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #2 Pantheon of gods and celebrations 
  7. Have no other gods besides Me 
  8. Only One God
  9. Attributes to God
  10. God is One
  11. Let us recognise how great God is
  12. El-Shaddai God Almighty Who no-one may see and live
  13. No man see the Almighty God and live  
  14. Almighty God above all other gods greater than all gods 
  15. God of gods
  16. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods 
  17. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods  
  18. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods 
  19. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God 
  20. Trinity-matter
  21. Trinity history
  22. Trinity -- Behind a false doctrine
  23. Trintiy --- Biblical contradiction
  24. Jesus & God


Being a Christian

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Called Christian
  3. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God 
  4. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  5. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God 
  6. Major Points of Belief 
  7. Faith
  8. Faith Requires a Basis 
  9. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  10. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  11. A Living Faith #4 Effort 
  12. Faith antithesis of rationality
  13. Faith is a pipeline
  14. A disciple of Christ “hating” the world
  15. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  16. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  17. Genuine Christians content with going through motions of ritualistic religion 
  18. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  19. Which Christian sect is the only true Christian church? 
  20. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  21. When having taken a new direction in life, having become a Christian
  22. Life and attitude of a Christian
  23. The Realm of profession in Christianity
  24. What’s church for, anyway?
  25. To be chained by love for another one
  26. Not he who prays most or fasts most is the greatest saint
  27. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint 
  28. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  29. Followers with deepening
  30. Foundation to go the distance
  31. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  32. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  33. A living faith #2 State of your faith
  34. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  35. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  36. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  37. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  38. A Living faith #7 Prayer
  39. A Living Faith #8 Change
  40. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  41. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  42. A Living Faith #11 My place in the body of Christ and my ecclesia
  43. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus 
  44. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  45. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time

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