The greatest creed of the Christian Church has been the whipping boy for revisionist intepretation for long enough. With the completion of the 2021 A.D. update, the AIC Christian Education Video series, The Nicene Creed, I discuss how and why the Council of Nicea came to meet at the resort town of Nicea in 325 A.D. According to Church historian Eusebius, it was the Emperor Constantine himself who rescued the First Ecumentical Council from failure. The 318 bishops and priests in attendance gave the world the definitive explanation of the most essential doctrines of the Church Universal (amended only at the Council of Constantinope, 381 A.D., which is discussed in Episodes 7 and 8.
In the series, I point out that the Nicene Creed is not the cause of heresy but the Church’s answer to the most common heresies of the 1st through the 4th C. The theme music, performed on his Church organ in England by Richard M. S. Irwin, is Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty,” written in 1826 by Reginald Heber and arranged to Nicaea, composed by John B. Dykes in 1861 A.D.
The Nicene Creed series is now available in eight episodes. The 2021 Edition includes many changes and enhancements, including illustrations from the 3rd through the early 20th C. and cross-references to Other AIC Resources, including video and podcast series and publications from the AIC Bookstore. Viewers will find additional information about the images used in the series, many of which were not explained in the earlier versions. Some images are displayed in different versions than those found in the earlier version, including a more complete history of one of the most famous images, Christ Pantokrator, found in the South Gallery of the Hagia Sophia.
The title image is a 17th C. tempera and gold on panel icon in the Russian Orthodox tradition in which the doctrines are illuminated by scenes in the life of Jesus Christ. Segments from the icon are used in the explanation of the images in the top row, which include God the Father, “maker of heaven and earth” seated enthroned surrounded by ten colored circles filled with angels. Note that the Orthodox have remained faithful to the early Church prohibition against depictions of God the Father in human form. He is shown as a duplicate image of God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ), based on John (“He who sees Me sees Him who sent Me” John 12:45). The Lord Jesus Christ occupies the center of the top tier and, at right, is Christ Emmanuel, also surrounded by colored circles.
In these eight revised episodes I have incorporated a wide range of images from both the Western and Eastern Church traditions, including frescoes, icons, engravings, watercolors, paintings and documents from the 2nd-3rd C. through the 20th C., plus a scattering of material from the early 21st C. All eight episodes are linked from the Digital Library page, where they are found at the bottom of the page under the heading Christian Education Videos. Podcast versions of these and other video episodes produced this year will be created and linked from the Podcast Archive page during April.
the historical background and identity of the major actors
“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth”
“and of all things, visible and invisible.”
“In one Lord Jesus Christ” through “being of one substance with the Father”
“by whom all things were made” through “He suffered and was buried.”
“And the third day He rose again” through “And whose kingdom shall have no end.”
“And I believe in the Holy Ghost” through “worshipped and glorified.”
“who spake by the prophets” through “Amen.”
The next video updates are changes and improvements in The Lord’s Prayer: Phrase-by-phrase (2 episodes); The War on Christianity (7 episodes); The Great “O” Antiphons (7 episodes); and the single episode program Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve.
As always, thank you for your interest and support. Glory be to God for all things! Amen!