The Second Sirmian Creed (357 AD)

In this episode we first hear about the years between 351 and 357, including some now obscure councils, the interesting case of bishop of Ossius of Cordova, the religious policy of emperor Constantius II, and his struggles with Athanasius. We then hear the creed from the second council at Sirmium, and why it was labelled as “blasphemy” by some Nicenes. Often derided even today as “Arian,” it did not assert or defend any of the distinctive theses of Arius which had been condemned by many councils dating back to 325. But it was strongly in the two-hypostasis (two being) school of thought when it came to God and his Logos.

This creed is what scholars now call “subordinationist;” for them, the one God is the Father, and the Logos is a lesser, divine being. They quoted Jesus, viewed as the mouthpiece of the Logos, as saying “The Father is greater than I.” The Incarnate Logos differed, in their view from God in being visible, passible, mortal. Nonetheless, they call him “God from God,” referring to his (in their view mysterious, impenetrable) eternal generation by God. Still, they forbid ousia-terms as unscriptural; it is yet another council objecting to the new language introduced by Constantine’s 325 council.

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Bible reference(s): Matthew 28:19, John 1:1-3, John 1:14, John 1:18, Joh 10:30, Joh 17:3, Joh 20:28, 1Co 8:6, Eph 4:6, 1 Tim 2:5, 1 Tim 3:16, 1 John 5:7-8

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