Letter: Jesus may have been a revolutionary but never a philosopher

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL ROLL (Letters, 10 July) informs us that the Catholic Christian doctrines and dogmas date from the 4th century, were defined at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, and that they have nothing to do with a philosopher called Jesus.

To describe Jesus as a 'philosopher' is a gross anachronism. Jesus was a 1st century Jew, steeped in the religion and culture of his time, concerned to point his disciples towards God. Neither, to borrow Michael Roll's loaded phrase, was Jesus 'made into God' at the Council of Nicaea.

The doctrine of Christ's divinity is either true or it is false, and the Council determined that the Church would accept it as true - no more; it certainly did not 'make' it true. Further, it is not even true that all of the Catholic dogmas were defined at Nicaea, even if 'catholic' is spelt with a small 'c'.

Has not Michael Roll heard of the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451 - six centuries before the schism between the Eastern and Western halves of Christianity? For that matter, hasn't he read the New Testament, in which case it should be obvious that the early Church was trying to thrash out its beliefs long before the Council of Nicaea convened?

Leslie Dellow

Minsterley, Shrewsbury