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Emperor Constantine Did NOT Choose the Books of the Bible

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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. Patreon: www.patreon.com/religionforbreakfast Twitter: @andrewmarkhenry Facebook: www.facebook.com/religionforbreakfast Blog: www.religionforbreakfast.com Bibliography: 20 Canon Laws from Nicaea: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3801.htm Theodoret Ecclesiastical History: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/27021.htm Athanasius De Decretis: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2809.htm Athanasius Festal Letter info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_letter Voltaire Dictionnaire Philosophique Section 3: (see edition: Oeuvres Completes de Voltaire, 1874, p. 357). Synodicon Vetus (out of print): http://www.doaks.org/resources/publications/books-in-print/the-synodicon-vetus Thanks especially to our Patrons on Patreon!: Brian B. Daniel D. Kalei W. Alex B. Mark H. Alice C. Wilson Cain D.
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Text Comments (577)
Photios (12 days ago)
There is another suggestion that the Emperor Constantine had an indirect role in shaping the biblical canon that doesn't involve the Nicene Council. According to the _Life of Constantine_ by Eusebius of Caesarea, the Emperor ordered "fifty copies of the sacred Scripture...for the instruction of the Church." The order was immediately carried out as scribes copied out "magnificent and elaborately bound volumes of a threefold and fourfold form." It seems logical that these Bibles would have been distributed to the chief churches throughout his empire and therefore became a standard Bible to which scribes would have a natural tendency to conform their own copies. The production of any Bible under imperial decree would necessarily require decisions to be made about which books to include and which to exclude, which probably had some impact on the beliefs of the Christian bishops and their congregations about the boundaries of the biblical canon.
Benjamin Koehler (19 days ago)
Say it louder for the people in the back
Ser Petiks (22 days ago)
Only protestants believe this I presume. I never encountered someone saying this since Protestants are minority in my country.
Edward Adorno (24 days ago)
That’s odd, first century christian beliefs and the text themselves point to Jesus being “the son of god” yet only 200 odd years later they’re arguing over the subject.
Orestis Papadopoulos (27 days ago)
Other myths about the catholic church: 1) It believed the Earth was flat till Christopher Columbus proved it wrong. 2) It believed women do not have a soul and gathered at the third synod of Macon to descuss the issue. 3) It presided the institution which is the epitomy of evilness: the Spanish Inquisition. 4) The Catholic Church held Europe back for a thousand years sucking it into the Dark Ages.
Saint Dragon (9 days ago)
Here are some links that may disprove those myths. 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I1BkWJ3634 2. https://www.firstthings.com/article/1997/04/the-myth-of-soulless-women
Christa L (1 month ago)
That consensus was reached after the Arians (Unitarians) and many Gnostic sects were excommunicated, executed, or went underground. Christendom STILL doesn't entirely agree on a single Canon.
Christa L (1 month ago)
So tell us now when the Xian Canon was closed!
Saint Dragon (9 days ago)
Christian*
Victor Souza (1 month ago)
Before this, I would've believe that heliocentrism can't be debunked and I shall bite my tongue.
maria q (1 month ago)
No.There is no possibility that there was a discussion of the sacred books in the council of Nicea. If there was a secret discussion for that,then why would Jerome even write that in the introduction of the book of Judith.And if it wasn't secret at all , then why did Thedoeret,Gelasius,Rufinus, Athanasius and Eusebius not write about it?Paradox!
Froggy711 (1 month ago)
What is in Judith that would be relevant to the Arius debate?
Carlos cabrera (1 month ago)
Thank you for this video! I was in a debate with someone about Jesus being the Son of God and they mentioned the council of Nicea. I had never heard of the council of Nicea before. This helps a lot. Imo anybody that buys into the Da Vinci Code info is misguided. Thete's more I want to but I'll keep this brief. I am subscribed for sure. I want to study up on similiar info to effectively debate my beliefs✌
MAN AND THE GOD (1 month ago)
very nice info
Rev. J. Roger Allen (1 month ago)
You forgot to mention the council of Carthage in AD 397. This is were the 27 books of the NT were canonized and this was later reaffirmed by the 5th Ecumenical Council.
Bethsheba Overcame (1 month ago)
Yep!
chris barlow (1 month ago)
And Constantine was about as much a true Christian as Stalin was a pacifist.
Joseph B, Malki (2 months ago)
Is there a list of books that were once included but later removed from the "new testament"?
mitzvos Golem (2 months ago)
Johannine Comma 1John 5-7:8 Trinity a good show. Major battles over that one. Martin Luther and Erasmus rejected adding Trinity 1John.
Cody Markley (2 months ago)
It's cool to see people account for their myth perpetuating.
Richunix Unix (2 months ago)
ReligionForBreakfast : Nice video series, very informative. Like you, I really like and dislike Dan Brown, but he did bring the whole issue up in 2006 and made a lot of people wonder about the truth behind the Bible. Now to my point. I was thinking about you said about the remark Jerome had made about translating the "Book of Judith". This reminded me that according to Eusebius, Constantine had requested at the end of the Council of Nicaea 50 Bibles or canon created. Now granted we have no evidence to support Eusebius claim to who wrote or even what these Bibles (Books) contained, but it does give us "Food for thought". As you stated It wasn't until 367 c.e. that Bishop Athanasius gives us our list of what the canon (Bible) should contained, so gives me to believe that the canon was pretty much settled probably by the middle or late 3rd century. We just don't know the names until the middle of the 4th century, this is my opinion. Your thoughts and thank you in advance?
tim lee (2 months ago)
You should do the removal of the 14 books by the Catholic Church another favourite of atheists
Constantine changed the sabbath to Sunday he killed an tortured thousands cause they didn't wanna follow the Sunday law. Catacombs under Rome that were the Christian's hid so where they wouldn't get killed
blaquehart b (2 months ago)
Constantine may have not of compiled the bible but 27 books were sanctioned at the coucil of Hippo and 4 years later 27 books were sanctioned in Carthage. Christians were also prohibited from reading the bible, so they would have had no way to interpret nor discover revisions. Tye entire situation is murky and had everything to do with consolidation. Nothing more.
Gregorian (1 month ago)
+blaquehart b Fyi, it says you've replied to me but I can't see it.
Gregorian (1 month ago)
+blaquehart b What are the implications?
blaquehart b (1 month ago)
+Gregorian Unauthorized translations?........I want you to think about that for a moment and its implications. Amazing set of words you have chosen. You've done nothing except prove my point.
Gregorian (1 month ago)
The Councils of Toulouse and Tarragona were both regional councils that were dealing with the Albigensian heresy in southern France, they did not apply to the whole Church. And the reading of bible wasn't even the main problem(Innocent III the pope at the time even commended them for their desire to read scripture), it was the unauthorized translations. And Tyndale was not the first to translate the bible into English, nor was simply translating that got him killed.
blaquehart b (2 months ago)
The Septuagint is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew. Decree of the Council of Toulouse (1229 C.E.): “We prohibit also that the laity (non-clergy) should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books Ruling of the Council of Tarragona of 1234 C.E.: “No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned...” Proclamations at the Ecumenical Council of Constance in 1415 C.E.: Oxford professor, and theologian John Wycliffe, was the first (1380 C.E.) to translate the New Testament into English to “...helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence.” For this “heresy” Wycliffe was posthumously condemned by Arundel, the archbishop of Canterbury. By the Council’s decree “Wycliffe’s bones were exhumed and publicly burned and the ashes were thrown into the Swift River.” Fate of William Tyndale in 1536 C.E.: William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. According to Tyndale, the Church forbid owning or reading the bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance.
Rev. J. Roger Allen (2 months ago)
Thank you.
Anup Bhatt (2 months ago)
You should call your channel "defender of christianity" because that is literally what you're doing in the guise of "religion for breakfast"
ReligionForBreakfast (2 months ago)
Go watch my video on Hell and see if I'm defending Christianity. I'm a historian, and this was my analysis of the sources at hand.
DJ Funksy (2 months ago)
So we cant belive so called historical facts but what about youtube videos disproving those facts. How do we know this is now the truth. How do we know anything like this aprt from what we are told. Its not like we can look up the documents used as evidence.
Alfonso Corpuz (2 months ago)
Great academic discussion and doesn't show bias against for OR religion, nor dismisses Christian sources in favor of secular ones.
will (2 months ago)
ok he had a new set of codex's printed after wards'' they had too decide what went in and what stayed out'' it wasnt Constantine he didnt give a crap it was the council
Truthshallsetyoufree (2 months ago)
The heretic arius and his followers are well and alive today in form of Mormons Islam Jehovah witnesses...all heretics...Trinity God is the only true God.
Michael Jurney (2 months ago)
It doesnt really matter when or where it happened. The 'SPIRIT' of the rumor still holds true, someone (or many) with their own interests to preserve, decided which books were to be included in the bible, and you can be sure that decision was subject to their biases at the time.
Brent Kaufman (2 months ago)
"Judith is a Jewish text of a Greek translation from the Hebrew bible." First of all, what does that statement even mean? It is such a convoluted sentence that it has no meaning whatsoever. Judith is not in the Hebrew bible, which he should know is called the Torah, not "the Hebrew bible". Second, no it's not. There is no Judith in the Torah. It was an early book, that wasn't holy and therefore was not canonized into what is called the "TaNaCh" (acronym for: Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim = Torah- 5 Books of Moses, Nevi'im - Prophets, Ketuvim- holy Writings).
Photios (1 day ago)
He shouldn't have called the "Old Testament" accepted by Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians the "Hebrew Bible." This Old Testament includes the same books found in the Hebrew Bible, albeit in translated form and in some cases these translations are biased towards Christian theology (e.g. the use of "virgin" in Isaiah 7.14). It also includes some other books like Judith that were popular (albeit not canonical) among some Second Temple era Jews and later found favor within the early Christian community. Moroever some books found in this Old Testament like 1 & 2 Maccabees were originally written in Greek and never existed in the Hebrew language so it would be absurd to speak of them as being part of the "Hebrew Bible."
Demiurge Shadow (2 months ago)
I wouldn't say it had nothing to do with the new testament. But just not about determining which books should compromise the entirety of tbe n.t.
cherre wyll (2 months ago)
You are a plant by the christian church
aubi faedra (3 months ago)
You seem to have slipped out of your straight jacket again ~ heaven forbid you lost the medications..? ~ very sad little dropping.
Koyote Mark (3 months ago)
THE COUNCIL OF NICEA, (AN ILLEGAL COUNSEL)) DECIDED THAT GOD WAS SOMEHOW SCHIZOPHRENIC AND WAS 3 PERSONS, EVEN THOUGH THE GREATEST COMANDMENT STATES THAT, "THE LORD IS GOD"........ SO... WHO IS "THE LORD".?.......GO FIGGER!! http://churchofchristpreaching.com
Saint Dragon (2 months ago)
https://carm.org/early-trinitarian-quotes
Brian Purcell (3 months ago)
Somehow found your videos on my home page. I'm really enjoying how you succinctly describe some of the early church history, as well as its myths. Keep it up!
Ziey Raj (3 months ago)
I will believe this, if the Vatican allowed people to freely view its archives
alan cope (3 months ago)
Maybe it never happened at the council of Nicaea, but who's to say that Emperor Constantine never had a strong hand in the final decision?
alan cope (2 months ago)
+Gregorian thats that settled then lol
Gregorian (2 months ago)
Constantine would die decades before the councils dealing with the canon would even happen.
Larry L (3 months ago)
"This is almost certainly not true" LOL
Lord Dice X (3 months ago)
I learned this in ministry school 20 years before Dan Brown.. Glad to finally know the truth though. I'd now like to know when and how the New Testament was resolved! Thanks ☺
Kitty Machine (3 months ago)
Thank you
Regardless of what is chosen to believe, the fact that books in the bible were cherry picked is indisputable. The marriage between Christianity and Paganism changed the message and nature of Christianity. If you are curious how the message changed I urge people to read the gospel of Thomas. Christianity in it's original form was much more esoteric. The Roman Catholic church finished purging the Cathars in the 1200s in France. When Rome burnt the Great Library of Alexandria, the bulk of the Gnostic ancient knowledge was lost until the 1940's when the scriptures were found in Egypt. The closest and truest form of Christianity in my opinion is Orthodox Christianity, as they study and include the Dead Sea scrolls and gnostic texts ( book of Enoch, Thomas, Judas ect.)
Billy Jesusworth (3 months ago)
We can say with some certainty that the first widespread edition of the Bible was assembled by St. Jerome around A.D. 400. but it was in 367 AD that the church father Athanasius first provided the complete listing, the 367 Athanasius’s Festal Letter lists complete New Testament canon (27 books) for the first time and the complete 66 books belonging to the canon. He distinguished those from other books that were widely circulated and he noted that those 66 books were the ones, and the only ones, it was universally accepted that.the need to have a definite list of the "inspired" Scriptures became apparent. Heretical movements were rising, each one choosing its own selected Scriptures, including such documents as the Gospel of Thomas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Epistle of Barnabas The bible was the product of centuries of reflection and decades of debate between the time of the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 and the First Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381.
George Young (3 months ago)
What did happen at the Council was the laying of a much firmer foundation for the apostate Roman Catholic Church. Arianism is not heresy BTW. It is exactly what the Bible teaches.
Saint Dragon (2 months ago)
+George Young That Jesus is God.
George Young (2 months ago)
+Saint Dragon That Yahshua had a beginning and has an end.
Saint Dragon (2 months ago)
"It is exactly what the Bible teaches." What?
Willtakemorethan_ (3 months ago)
Jesus is divine. We are divine. The kingdom of heaven is within us.
Alexis Albao (3 months ago)
Read Daniel 7:8 more specifically the little horn, which refers to Constantine.
Ebony Landrum (3 months ago)
I have heard this so many times. Thank you so much your video. I just subscribed.
Lars Pallesen (3 months ago)
I blame Dan Brown for perpetuating this myth. It's incredible how a single succesful novel writer can distort the truth for millions of people for Decades. It's probably gonna take another couple of Decades to dispel this popular myth about the council of Nicea and Emperor Constantin's role in spreading Christianity.
Billy Jesusworth (3 months ago)
" dispel this popular myth about the council of Nicea and Emperor Constantin's role in spreading Christianity." ....sorry but that Constantine bit is not a myth... "He soon used his power to address the status of Christians, issuing the Edict of Milan in 313. This proclamation legalized Christianity and allowed for freedom of worship throughout the empire". Constantine was also the first emperor to adhere to Christianity. He issued an edict that protected Christians in the empire and converted to Christianity on his deathbed in 337.
Christopher Ellis (3 months ago)
Anyone who subscribed to that myth had no idea of history.
Elm Technical (3 months ago)
If I was a powerful king and had a private meeting to change or form what will unite people's beliefs under my rule could I not declare it be unwritten or not spoken of with such a event that would impact many? Isn't the theory of the bible being compiled by a group of people selecting stories the reason why it's a topic of debate in the first place? Obviously it is hence why it would of been important to not document such an event. Just because something was not documented does not mean it didn't happen-----> ( common sense )
Elm Technical (3 months ago)
I am not debating the authenticity of anything. Im simply saying Powerful men in history can rewrite events only to be found thousands of years later and be used as truth and why, because who can debate the only material to go off of. Just because there is only one record of something doesnt make it true, even a lie can be true if there is no truth to challenge it. Again--- ( common sense )
Segata Jonshiro (3 months ago)
Elm Technical You’re right. But we have a vast swathe of pre-constantine scriptures and fragments from before the council and they present no differences from those after the council, Kings can change a lot, but they can’t go back in time. Additionally we have numerous writers that attest to the same canon more than 100 years before Nicea, so it’s obvious the canon was already well established before Constantine was even a Christian. *Additionally* Constantine was actually a friend of Arius and supported his beliefs, so if Constantine didn’t get the council to rule in favor of Arius, and rather allowed him to be deposed, and anathematized (only to later attempt to convince bishops to return him to power after the council) then it’s obvious he was not dictating the policy of the council. His side of the argument lost.
Karen Abrams (3 months ago)
NT came from Titus Flavius’s scribe or fam according to Joseph Atwill.
gina Mo (3 months ago)
It does have to do with certain beliefs Christians have... When they talk about the role of Jesus and God..There were two banished at the council because they didn’t agree.
BeckyOTC (4 months ago)
False teaching of trinity not biblical
TheEudaemonicPlague (2 months ago)
+Saint Dragon Out of curiosity, what inspired you to be Saint Dragon? BTW, you might enjoy The Dragon and the George. It's funny, it's fantasy, and it has dragons and knights in it. What's not to like about that, hey? Oh, the author was (he's dead) Gordon R. Dickson.
Saint Dragon (2 months ago)
+TheEudaemonicPlague I haven't read The Dragon and the George.
TheEudaemonicPlague (2 months ago)
+Saint Dragon and the George. Excellent story...which, expanded, became The Dragon and the George. Presumably, you've read it....or have you? “Sorry, not my day for dragons!” he snapped. “Come back next Tuesday.”
Saint Dragon (2 months ago)
+Ian M "Have you actually followed the (for want of a better word) "logic" behind the claim?" Yes, why did you ask that for?
Ian M (3 months ago)
+Saint Dragon Have you actually followed the (for want of a better word) "logic" behind the claim? It is, at best, spurious. BTW As an atheist, I don't have a dog in this fight. I just call it as I see it.
roy a (4 months ago)
In this meeting they decided that the father son and holy spirit were one. But that is were the debate started because before then it was only taught that the father sent the son and the holy spirit is God's active force. But because of the new church inviting all the pegans in and the many celebrations to their gods that came in 3's like the way it was started in Babylon, this way would pretty much just shut every one up. Not realizing now that a new question came about, if Jesus is God is Mary the mother of God? Confusion starts.
roy a (3 months ago)
I read everything. As Jesus said, seek first the kingdom.... and as he also stated, go and preach the good news of the kingdom to all the nations ...." this systen is quickly coming to it's end. But as a true Christian I will not tell you what to do or say because of the free speech Jehovah gave us. I should of not even commented or even watched this video. So you commenting on my comment was my fault. Be at peace .
Segata Jonshiro (3 months ago)
roy a If you’re going to completely ignore my statements and just throw out a bunch of historically unverified claims that have nothing to do with what I said then have fun, but if you _actually_ want to learn what the Apostolic church believed, read some writings from the first and second century and decide for yourself, don’t just google it once and assume your search is over.
roy a (3 months ago)
The celebration of the birthday came from Babylon. Do you know that the celebration of ones birth is the holiest day in the Satanic bible?? Just about The whole world celebrates it and even many different " Christians" celebrate. In the Corinthians is states what does light and dark have to do with each other, and to stop touching the unclean thing. Satan has confused the minds of all men. Even the sun worshipers , which is known as the Pegan religion celebrates on Dec 25th. The have their festival in the desert near Las Vegas.so Babylon the great that is mentioned in Revelation is all false religion. One world religion is happening now if it is false it is part of Babylon the great. Jesus said " you are either with me or against me"
roy a (3 months ago)
Those ideas were invented in Babylon where they worshiped gods in 3's as did the Egyptions and so forth. It is all false religion. As worshipping engraven images or idols. People of the churches worship or put trust in thing they can see and even symbolizing their place of worship. No different than the Isrealites worshiping the sacrite poles that Hezekiah cut down. .... I bet we can go on and on. Lol... take care
roy a (3 months ago)
Also Jehovah gave Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth. The holy spirit is God's active force. He can give it to anyone. And Jesus has it as he shared it with the apostles and as the apostles shared it with others by healing them and even raising the dead. But that does not make them God.
Doug Frank (4 months ago)
Way late but curious, if the debate was about whether jesus was god or man, is it a leap to think they would exclude stories of jesus being just a man?
Segata Jonshiro (3 months ago)
Solid question! But the debate wasn’t about wether Jesus was God or Man, the debate was about wether Jesus was co-equal and co-eternal with the Father, or if he was a lesser deity created in the distant past, through which God created the heavens and the earth. So.. god or *God* basically. We also have contemporary writings from the time where people are debating against the Arians, and it’s stated that the Arians used the same exact canon of scripture that the “Trinitarians” used, so there wouldn’t need to be anything removed. Both groups were using the same canon already.
awolke4 (4 months ago)
Say it louder for the people in the back!!
Pharaoh Iam (4 months ago)
This guy forgot one thing. No one would admit to anything that would shed light on their shenanigans for fear of them looking bad and also, things are called secret for a reason. I guess because Dan Brown wrote it that makes it false. This has been proven several times in several different documentaries and documents. Dan Brown was just a person trying to make a quick buck manipulating certain facts to tell a good story.
Ian M (3 months ago)
Documentaries don't count. What counts is the consensus of Biblical historians
Michael Jones (4 months ago)
If it were a big council, likely the standard version of scripture was handed out.
Lorraine B (4 months ago)
Then who did decide what books went into the Bible?
Saint Dragon (3 months ago)
The canon evolve on it own over time
Yeiger (4 months ago)
This was fascinating, but if this is the truth it means that the study of divinity was simply a popularity contest. That's unsettling.
Ian M (3 months ago)
You have just taken your first step into a larger universe young Padawan
mrblaque (4 months ago)
At the beginning of 'The Da Vinci Code' there is a line that says "...this is a work of fiction". Why are people STILL acting as if it were a statement of fact?
Alexander Vlk (4 months ago)
Love the passion
MrHMQ52 (4 months ago)
Sunday?
Danny Lerman (5 months ago)
Well even if Jerome was right and they did talk about which books should be in the Bible, they decided Judith should be there and very few actually followed through because it's rarely considered canon so it sounds like it wouldn't have had any impact on it.
Gerzon Chon (5 months ago)
Your voice sounds a lot like the guy from the channel Bright Insight. You guys related?
Debra Green (5 months ago)
I'm glad you study all these things so I don't have to
Mike Cox (5 months ago)
So naive. Constantine did not advertise his editing of scriptures.
braincompactor (5 months ago)
Sounds like there is evidence that the selection of books happened at this time but perhaps not all during a single counsel. Sounds natural to me. I would not dig my heels in to say that no books were codified into cannon at the counsel, and the selection of text does have bearing on the divinity of Christ.
Arash Sh (5 months ago)
This funny how ppl like to establish a superior for themselves, and let them decide for them.
Norman Adison (5 months ago)
The fourth rules of The 10 Commandments. Read It!
Richard Pepper (5 months ago)
Neither...says, not neither...say.
Laurie Thomas (5 months ago)
Indirectly, the Council of Nicaea did endorse the four canonical gospels because the Nicene Creed asserts that Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate, which places the Crucifixion in the first century AD in Judea, which agrees with the gospel accounts. In contrast, Paul's letters do not specify where and when the Crucifixion took place.
P R (5 months ago)
There were more than one council of Council of Nicaea, not just the one in 325 AD.
Anglomik (5 months ago)
"...almost certainly not true."
Mel and Ben Vaughn (5 months ago)
Are you a God fearing Christian? Just want to make sure of what side you might be on ... carbon dating seems bogus
BFDT (5 months ago)
What did you do that you have to fear your "God"? Why does carbon dating put you on one side or the other? How do you know these things are true?
DAudIcI (5 months ago)
What a silly rumour. Everybody knows that the Council was about censuring Magnus the Red for his sorcerous ways.
rutger5000 (5 months ago)
Come one, it might not have happened at Nicaea. But the notion that the many dozens of evangalian books could be reduced to just 7 that spread across a pan-continental empire wihout an authoritive council or figure deciding which books should be included and which not is just absurd. Sure the process could have happened semi organically. Some of those books would lose popularity and eventually fade into obscurity. But the testimony of Jerome is enough that someone somewhere at sometime dictated what books should and should not be included into the new testament.
Don Crawallo (20 days ago)
Also the Roman empire wasn't that strictly organized with only 1 bureaucrat for 10000 inhabitants
Segata Jonshiro (3 months ago)
rutger5000 Worth noting that the church had a defined and somewhat centralized authority structure from the first century with appointed leadership to which many of the epistles were written. This is attested by the epistles themselves and confirmed by the Roman bishop Clement in 96, and the Bishop Ignatius in 108. With central bishops in each city that were communicating with each other from the time of the authorship of the New Testament literature, the earliest of whom much of the New Testament literature was written *to* in the first place, it would be very easy for a canon to be defined organically just by whatever books they considered more valuable being the most read and copied, and indeed this is what we see happen with the canonical lists of different parts of the world only being different by a few books here and there. These canons eventually converged over time until a consensus was reached.
William Dwyer (5 months ago)
I have read that Constantine didn't convert to Christianity until he was on his death bed. Any truth to that? As always, your documentaries are well worth watching.
ReligionForBreakfast (5 months ago)
Eusebius describes Constantine asking for baptism near his death. Though, we'd need to trust Eusebius' account to accept this as historically accurate, and Eusebius was famously a Constantine fanboy.
Anthony Butler (5 months ago)
It is pretty obvious that when you are dealing with a religion that was made up over time you will have to try to codify it at some time. It sort worked but not really which is why we now have myriad of different forms of Christianity including many which are obviously stand alone cults.
Fire Smollett (5 months ago)
Why blame Dan Brown? All he did was reboot the 1980's book "Holy Blood Holy Grail". He didn't include anything original. Just as E.L. James published a retards version of the "Story of O" with "Fifty Shades of Grey". All Dan Brown and James did was prove how little modern society reads and how little they actually know. Guess maybe that's why give so much authority to a lab coat. Even if it's worn by a butcher.
Fire Smollett (5 months ago)
Wait, we also have the letters between the then pope and Constantine. We have Constantine's orders and his direction to the council and why he moved the council to Nicea so the pope couldn't attend. The Pope was unwell and didn't agree with Constantines "directing". So Constantine moved the location of the council and the Pope was out. Notice, the popes signature isn't on the council attendance. Constantine ordered that Jesus must be given divinity.
Fire Smollett (5 months ago)
+Melvin Carter I never said the pope wasn't sick. I simply said he didn't attend and I also know there was... stop trying to change the topic of the discourse. You said the letter or letters were fake. I asked you to prove it. You don't even have to prove it. Just tell me which letter. Then we'll address the illness of the pope. Which of course there would have been no reason to change the location of the council of the pope had only been sick. Also you shouldn't assume I'm a Catholic. It's wrong of you to assume anything without some evidence.
Melvin Carter (5 months ago)
+Fire Smollett and I told you since you are a scholar in the field you would have know which one I was referring too. You say you are a scholar funny thing is I wonder why you did not know that the Pope was sick at the time of the Council that's why he did not attend, the Pope also sent two priest to represent him. I notice you didn't say that.
Fire Smollett (5 months ago)
+Melvin Carter I'm assuming you are thinking of the donation of Constantine. Which isn't their personal correspondences. If I'm assuming wrongly, then I'm still correct. If I'm assuming correctly, again, I'm still correct. If you affect referring to that then please tell me then which letters.
Fire Smollett (5 months ago)
+Melvin Carter Again, which letter. There were several correspondences. It's an easy question. You claim it was fake. I simply ask which one is it you claim is a fake?
Melvin Carter (5 months ago)
+Fire Smollett ok mr scholar the letter between the Pope and Constantine was consider a fake by many of your peers
David Lutke (5 months ago)
Who said he did ?
The Rev. Zell (6 months ago)
Thanks for giving us the sources!
Jonathan Soko (6 months ago)
I worry about the future. As time goes on history gets more and more blurry and more and more lies are passed off as facts. I have faith in God, but man is sure doing a good job at muddying the water for other people.
P. B Amygdala (6 months ago)
Great video! There could be a plethora or reasons for why people might believe that the council was about the bible, and many varying degrees of conviction on the matter. Sometimes people have a hard time letting go of a preconception. I often find that it becomes easier if you replace it with something else. In this case, the “something else” could be some precise dates, places, and names involved in the forming of the bible. Then, people will have a substitute quip to use. Many people are uneasy with having “no answer” on a given topic, so as long as we can provide them with something tangible, they will have something and will be at ease.
Thanks for clarifying, I also believed in that lie of the books of the Bible being chosen in a single council(but I always thought that the claim that Constantine chose them was ridiculous).
RustyTube (6 months ago)
If you counted the times someone argued with me about the _Da Vinci Code_ being historically accurate, you’d probably start referring to its author as Damn Brown!
Zirious23 (6 months ago)
I can't speak for Orthodox Churches who have varying canons or Protestant Churches, but as far as the Catholic Church is concerned: the definitive decree of which books are in the Bible was made at the Council of Trent 1543-63 in response to Protestantism (https://goo.gl/U3Ucne). So in the case of Catholics, the canon list began organically and was then declared officially at that Council.
sdnlawrence (6 months ago)
I'm not going to watch this video, even though I'm a subscriber. I just clicked to ask this question: Are there really people that are so ignorant as to believe he did? And if there are? Find a local Orthodox Christian church and sit through their introductory classes.
ReligionForBreakfast (6 months ago)
This is one of the most persistent conspiracy theories out there, yes. No thanks to Dan Brown's book "The Da Vinci Code."
David Fraser (6 months ago)
So it's ancient fake news, just like most of the bible.
Zachary Pfefferkorn (6 months ago)
I have to say that it is interesting that nobody you consider to be evidence that the Council didn't decide on validity of texts is based on people NOT saying things. Maybe I fuzzed out for a bit, but I don't think you quoted a single person as saying that it DIDN'T occur, only that you would personally have expected them to have commented if it did. It seems to me, in the course of a serious discussion about...for lack of a better word, catechism, the people making the determination would use the texts to derive the 'truth'. Is there any evidence that what was considered to be valid gospel was already agreed upon by the various parties at the time? If not, would that obviously necessitate discussions about which texts were to be considered? I've just watched several of your videos and I found this one to be the least convincing. You seem to have cited absence of evidence versus ACTUAL evidence in the form of Jerome's writing. Additionally, my suspicion is that bickering over which texts were sources of divine knowledge was so commonplace and constant that it didn't bear noting as it was inherently intertwined with the underlying actions of the Council itself. Anyway, great videos.
Segata Jonshiro (3 months ago)
Zachary Pfefferkorn The question isn’t was the canon discussed, it’s was the canon _established,_ and all the evidence we have points to no. Later regional councils like Laodicia and Carthage, and even the mentioned festal letter of Athanasius wouldn’t have needed to exist if a canon was already defined. Also, all the records that we have of the canon from before the Council of Nicea are the same as those after, so there was no apparent change. I’m sure MANY things were discussed at the council, but nothing on the canon was decided or enacted, and we can see that because all the declarations of the council have been passed down to us intact today.
musik102 (6 months ago)
One thing we surely can say about the creation of The Bible under Constantine is that Constantine would have had a big say in what went into the book! To think otherwise is pure fantasy! Constantine held all the cards! Who was going to oppose him! If the Christian bishops disagreed with any of his demands, he could simply kick them out and choose another religion to be the "official" religion of the Roman Empire. So much stuff would have been inserted into the finished "official" version of the Bible to strengthen the Roman position. Just let's pick up on one point. When when choosing Christianity, The Romans had a big problem...didn't they kill Jesus? Oh dear, now that is a big problem. The Roman Empire is about to endorse a sacred book that has The Romans as the baddies! What's to be done? And, this is where the Pontius Pilate hand washing episode was undoubtedly inserted to put all the blame on the Jews. ( by the way, it is now considered antisemitic to blame the Jews - as a people - for the death of Jesus) However, according to The Bible not one Jew protested against the crucifixion of Jesus. Now this seems strange as we know Jesus had a huge following. Remember the story of the feeding of the 5000? And, we also know that various Hebrew groups, around that time, did indeed take up arms against the Romans. With that in mind, surely, the arrest and killing of their Messiah would have been the ultimate reason to take up arms. It all comes across as very fishy, indeed.
musik102 (5 months ago)
It doesn't matter if it was Constantine or a subsequent Emperor, the point is the Romans would not have approved any official Christian document without having their people run over it to make sure it met with Roman approval. Again, to think otherwise would be crazy.
Marcel Costache (5 months ago)
Constantine did not make christianity the official religion of the empire as the Roman Empire was still a multi cultural multi religion empire he did help christians get recognition and respect.
Rick in Texas (6 months ago)
Thanks for setting the record straight.
Noah Nobody (6 months ago)
Almost certainly?
Ben Lundquist (7 months ago)
"The Council of Laodicea was held in AD 364 and is considered a minor convention in historical Christianity. The meeting featured only about thirty members, all from the local Middle Eastern churches." according to GotQuestions.org. They continued; "The 59th ruling of the Council of Laodicea declared that only canonical books should be read in church. The 60th ruling specified this canon as the traditional 27 books of the New Testament, minus Revelation; and the 39 books of the Old Testament, plus the book of Baruch and its extended ending, the Epistle of Jeremiah." So...it would appear that *_the Council of Nicaea has been erroneously accredited_* with the New Testament canon and we should be instead be citing the Council of Laodicea...and the Council of Trent of 1546. For adopting the agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation. In conclusion, we can state with certainty that the books in the New Testament are *_an agreed-upon list of 27 books_* where religious leaders met in Council and voted on what to leave out and what to include. Thanks for clearing up the myth of Nicaea’s canon creation.
Juan Miranda (7 months ago)
Love your videos you should do a history of the Catholic Church. With so much fake info it's good to see someone give actual facts.
TriangularChoke (2 months ago)
+Christopher Ellis They also jump from Constantine's era to the "Reformation" era (aka, "the great apostasy" or "trail of blood") to make up for their utter lack of history before the "reformation".
Christopher Ellis (3 months ago)
The so-called Protestants have to keep lying about the Church, in order to distract from their own lack of authority.
Pursuing Peas (7 months ago)
Ahhhhhh! Brown again! I have more faith in God than man for the simple fact that people I know watched a so so movie and actually believed the “facts” presented in it Lost all hope in humanity !
Laura Streeter (1 month ago)
Pursuing Peas You do realize that at the beginning of Brown's book it says...."This is a book of fiction".
Ian M (3 months ago)
I have more faith in (some) men than god because I read the Bible and it isn't true, and it isn't good.
andreasm1 (7 months ago)
Thanks for clarifying these matters in such an orderly, logical and scientifically manner transcending myths and gossip.
_agustin waisten_ (5 months ago)
andreasm1 thanks, but its not true obviusly Constantine make christianism, the modern Jesús is Lucyfer...thats why people loves so much
ABird971 (7 months ago)
My goodness, this video was the greatest thing that happened to me all of this Summer, except for my visit to the holy site of the Bektashi Order on the Albanien mountain of Krujë. See what I did there... ;) Great work! Thank you very much.
Εγω Ειμαι (7 months ago)
How about before the Council of Nicea.. The council of Antioch
Cernowain Greenman (7 months ago)
This rumor pops up ALL the time on social media like Quora and Facebook. People are convinced that Constantine not only picked the New Testament books, he edited them, and then made Christianity the official religion of the Empire; No, no and no.
Pecu Alex (2 months ago)
He didn't even edit them, at most he was there when they held the meeting to officially ban some texts, and even called the meeting but was not directly involved, and didn't choose the judges
debaditya bhowmik (3 months ago)
So... What are the answers to the questions?
Dee Yahudah (7 months ago)
Why was this information not known? Because these were not the original people that walked with Christ. Their spirits couldn't bear witness. These people stole and found the books and various writings of the Israelites and tried to figure them out. Didn't work never will. Good video very surprised of this Station.

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