Paolo Veronese, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (ca. 1560).
9th century Byzantine manuscript illumination of I Constantinople. Homilies of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 879–883.
Christ Pantocrator, Holy Trinity's monastery, Meteora, Greece
Gregory of Nazianzus presided over part of the Council
Saint Paul delivering the Areopagus sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515
The Four Evangelists, by Pieter Soutman, 17th century
Christological spectrum during the 5th–7th centuries showing the views of the Church of the East (light blue), the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches (light purple), and the Miaphysite Churches (pink).

With the discussion of Trinitarian doctrine now developed, the focus of discussion changed to Christology, which would be the topic of the Council of Ephesus of 431 and the Council of Chalcedon of 451.

- First Council of Constantinople

In 325, the First Council of Nicaea defined the persons of the Godhead and their relationship with one another, decisions which were ratified at the First Council of Constantinople in 381.

- Christology
Paolo Veronese, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (ca. 1560).

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Ecumenical council

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Meeting of bishops and other church authorities to consider and rule on questions of Christian doctrine, administration, discipline, and other matters in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

Meeting of bishops and other church authorities to consider and rule on questions of Christian doctrine, administration, discipline, and other matters in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

Disputes over Christological and other questions have led certain branches to reject some councils that others accept.

Thus the Eastern First Council of Constantinople became ecumenical only when its decrees were accepted in the West also.

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey

Eastern Orthodox Church

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Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members.

Saint George's Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey
Christ Pantocrator, sixth century, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai; the oldest known icon of Christ, in one of the oldest monasteries in the world
Emperor Constantine presents a representation of the city of Constantinople as tribute to an enthroned Mary and baby Jesus in this church mosaic (Hagia Sophia, c. 1000)
An icon of Saint John the Baptist, 14th century, North Macedonia
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Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Hagia Sophia, the largest church in the world and patriarchal basilica of Constantinople for nearly a thousand years, later converted into a mosque, then a museum, then back to a mosque.
The baptism of Princess Olga in Constantinople, a miniature from the Radzivill Chronicle
Latin Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Orthodox controlled Byzantine Empire, in 1204.
Timeline showing the main autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches, from an Eastern Orthodox point of view, up to 2021
Canonical territories of the main autocephalous and autonomous Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions as of 2020
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Percentage distribution of Eastern Orthodox Christians by country
John of Damascus
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Our Lady of Tinos is the major Marian shrine in Greece.
The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary
Last Judgment: 12th-century Byzantine mosaic from Torcello Cathedral
David glorified by the women of Israel from the Paris Psalter, example of the Macedonian art (Byzantine) (sometimes called the Macedonian Renaissance)
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Chanters singing on the kliros at the Church of St. George, Patriarchate of Constantinople
An illustration of the traditional interior of an Orthodox church.
Shards of pottery vases on the street, after being thrown from the windows of nearby houses. A Holy Saturday tradition in Corfu.
An Eastern Orthodox baptism
Eucharistic elements prepared for the Divine Liturgy
The wedding of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Eastern Orthodox subdeacon being ordained to the diaconate. The bishop has placed his omophorion and right hand on the head of the candidate and is reading the Prayer of Cheirotonia.
The consecration of the Rt Rev. Reginald Heber Weller as an Anglican bishop at the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle in the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, with the Rt. Rev. Anthony Kozlowski of the Polish National Catholic Church and Saint Tikhon, then Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska (along with his chaplains Fr. John Kochurov and Fr. Sebastian Dabovich) of the Russian Orthodox Church present
Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, 2014
The Constantinople Massacre of April 1821: a religious persecution of the Greek population of Constantinople under the Ottomans. Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople was executed.
The Pan-Orthodox Council, Kolymvari, Crete, Greece, June 2016
Cathedral of Evangelismos, Alexandria
Patriarchate of Peć in Kosovo, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century when its status was upgraded into a patriarchate
Traditional Paschal procession by Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Church
Greek Orthodox massacred during the Greek Genocide in Smyrna in 1922.

Before the Council of Ephesus in AD 431, the Church of the East also shared in this communion, as did the various Oriental Orthodox Churches before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, all separating primarily over differences in Christology.

The seven ecumenical councils recognized by the Eastern Orthodox churches are: Nicaea I, Constantinople I, Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II.

Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, 1876 painting by Vasily Surikov

Council of Chalcedon

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The fourth ecumenical council of the Christian Church.

The fourth ecumenical council of the Christian Church.

Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, 1876 painting by Vasily Surikov
Council of Chalcedon
Spectrum of Christological views in late antiquity
Council of Chalcedon in the Nuremberg Chronicle

Whilst this judgment marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates, it also generated heated disagreements between the Council and the Oriental Orthodox Church, who did not agree with such conduct or proceedings.

This was reaffirmed at the First Council of Constantinople (381) and the Council of Ephesus (431).

Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Arianism

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Imagined portrait of Arius; detail of a Cretan School icon, c. 1591, depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
Constantine burning Arian books, illustration from a compendium of canon law, c. 825.
Once the orthodox Trinitarians succeeded in defeating Arianism, they censored any signs that the perceived heresy left behind. This mosaic in Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna has had images of the Arian king, Theoderic, and his court removed. On some columns their hands remain.
The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistery, built in Ravenna by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great.
Page from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century illuminated manuscript of the Gothic Bible
Arian and Chalcedonian kingdoms in 495

Arianism (, Areianismós) is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (c.

Though Arianism had spread, Athanasius and other Nicene Christian church leaders crusaded against Arian theology, and Arius was anathemised and condemned as a heretic once more at the ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381 (attended by 150 bishops).

Constantine the Great summoned the bishops of the Christian Church to Nicaea to address divisions in the Church (mosaic in Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (Istanbul), ca. 1000).

First Council of Nicaea

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Council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325.

Council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325.

Constantine the Great summoned the bishops of the Christian Church to Nicaea to address divisions in the Church (mosaic in Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (Istanbul), ca. 1000).
The synod of Nicaea, Constantine and the condemnation and burning of Arian books, illustration from a northern Italian compendium of canon law, c. 825
The Council of Nicaea, with Arius depicted as defeated by the council, lying under the feet of Emperor Constantine
Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381
A fresco depicting the First Council of Nicaea at the Vatican's Sixtine Salon

Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of God the Son and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed, mandating uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law.

Derived from Greek, "ecumenical" means "worldwide" but generally is assumed to be limited to the known inhabited Earth, and at this time in history is nearly synonymous with the Roman Empire; the earliest extant uses of the term for a council are Eusebius' Life of Constantine 3.6 around 338, which states "he convoked an ecumenical council" (σύνοδον οἰκουμενικὴν συνεκρότει, sýnodon oikoumenikḕn synekrótei) and the Letter in 382 to Pope Damasus I and the Latin bishops from the First Council of Constantinople.

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Oriental Orthodox Churches

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Distribution of Oriental Orthodox Christians in the world by country:
Main religion (more than 75%)
Main religion (50–75%)
Important minority religion (20–50%)
Important minority religion (5–20%)
Minority religion (1–5%)
Tiny minority religion (below 1%), but has local autocephaly

The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian churches adhering to Miaphysite Christology, with a total of approximately 60 million members worldwide.

The Oriental Orthodox Churches are distinguished by their recognition of only the first three ecumenical councils during the period of the State church of the Roman Empire: the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and the Council of Ephesus in 431.

A diagram of the Trinity

Trinity

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The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Trinitas, from trinus 'threefold') defines one God existing in three coequal, coeternal, consubstantial divine persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons sharing one homoousion (essence).

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Trinitas, from trinus 'threefold') defines one God existing in three coequal, coeternal, consubstantial divine persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons sharing one homoousion (essence).

A diagram of the Trinity
Russian icon of the Old Testament Trinity by Andrei Rublev, between 1408 and 1425
God in the person of the Son confronts Adam and Eve, by Master Bertram (d. c. 1415)
Detail of the earliest known artwork of the Trinity, the Dogmatic or Trinity Sarcophagus, c. undefined 350 (Vatican Museums): Three similar figures, representing the Trinity, are involved in the creation of Eve, whose much smaller figure is cut off at lower right; to her right, Adam lies on the ground
The Adoration of the Trinity by Albrecht Dürer (1511): from top to bottom: Holy Spirit (dove), God the Father and the crucified Christ
The "Heavenly Trinity" joined to the "Earthly Trinity" through the Incarnation of the Son – The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities by Murillo (c. 1677).
The Glory of Saint Nicholas, by António Manuel da Fonseca. Nicholas of Myra, a participant in the First Council of Nicaea, achieves the beatific vision in the shape of the Holy Trinity.
The Baptism of Christ, by Piero della Francesca, 15th century
A depiction of the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, at which the Deity of Christ was declared orthodox and Arianism condemned
A Greek fresco of Athanasius of Alexandria, the chief architect of the Nicene Creed, formulated at Nicaea.
Depiction of Trinity from Saint Denis Basilica in Paris (12th century)
Father, The Holy Spirit, and Christ Crucified, depicted in a Welsh manuscript. {{circa|1390–1400}}
The Holy Trinity in an angelic glory over a landscape, by Lucas Cranach the Elder (d. 1553)
God the Father (top), and the Holy Spirit (represented by a dove) depicted above Jesus. Painting by Francesco Albani (d. 1660)
God the Father (top), the Holy Spirit (a dove), and child Jesus, painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (d. 1682)
Pope Clement I prays to the Trinity, in a typical post-Renaissance depiction by Gianbattista Tiepolo (d. 1770)
Atypical depiction. The Son is identified by a lamb, the Father an Eye of Providence, and the Spirit a dove, painting by Fridolin Leiber (d. 1912)
13th-century depiction of the Trinity from a Roman de la Rose manuscript

The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the early Christians and fathers of the Church as they attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions.

Later, at the First Council of Constantinople (381), the Nicene Creed would be expanded, known as Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, by saying that the Holy Spirit is worshiped and glorified together with the Father and the Son (συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον), suggesting that he was also consubstantial with them:

Council of Ephesus

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Council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II.

Council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II.

Council of Ephesus in 431, in the Basilica of Fourvière, Lyon
Cyril of Alexandria
Christological spectrum during the 5th–7th centuries showing the views of The Church of the East (light blue), Miaphysite (light red) and the western churches i.e. Eastern Orthodox and Catholic (light purple)

Shortly after his arrival in Constantinople, Nestorius became involved in the disputes of two theological factions, which differed in their Christology.

It quoted the Nicene Creed as adopted by the First Council of Nicaea in 325, not as added to and modified by the First Council of Constantinople in 381.