ht: Justin Taylor
Nicholas Perrin on a BBC story, ‘The Oldest Bible‘:
According to the online Urban Dictionary, the word ‘beepbop’ is not really a word at all: it is a nonsense word to be used only when you want to really annoy someone. In that case, the British Broadcasting Corporation, otherwise known as the BBC, or more affectionately as ‘the Beeb’, has aired its own sort of ‘beepbop’ in its coverage of the digitization of the Codex Sinaiticus. Roger Bolton’s October 6 story, ‘The Oldest Bible’, which premiered on Radio 4, might in fact be a textbook example of ‘beepbop’ nonsense, intended in this case to provoke Bible-believing Christians. Of course, I understand that journalists often have a goal of taking what are otherwise mundane news items and spicing them up, even sensationalizing them. But the Beeb has a problem here. You cannot position yourself as one of the most reputable and responsible news organizations in the world and at the same time go public with a piece like this one.
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“My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet…a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.”
“Not the Son of God?”
“Right,” Teabing said. “Jesus’ establishment as ‘the Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicæa.”
“Hold on. You’re saying Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote?”
“A relatively close vote at that,” Teabing added. “Nonetheless, establishing Christ’s divinity was critical to the further unification of the Roman empire and to the new Vatican power base. By officially endorsing Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity who existed beyond the scope of the human world, an entity whose power was unchallengeable. This not only precluded further pagan challenges to Christianity, but now the followers of Christ were able to redeem themselves only via the established sacred channel—the Roman Catholic Church.”
Dan Brown makes so enormous claims in his book The Da Vinci Code. So do they square with the historical record? This paper walks through the major church histories to examine his claims.
Constantine and the Council of Nicaea
This contention has not arisen respecting any important command of the law, nor has any new opinion been introduced with regard to the worship of God; but you both entertain the same sentiments, so that you may join in one communion. It is thought to be not only indecorous, but altogether unlawful, that so numerous a people of God should be governed and directed at your pleasure, while you are thus emulously contending with each other, and quarrelling about small and very trifling matters.”
From a letter to Alexander and Arius, Eusebius, pg. 37, The Council of Nice