第四课 (lesson 4)尼西亚信经的历史背景

第四课 (lesson 4)尼西亚信经的历史背景 分类:信经 Creed 作者:CSI 点击数:2299 Lesson Four: Historical Background to the Nicene Creed 第四课: 尼西亚信经的历史背景 A. As the Christian Church grew after Pentecost, opposition to Christianity came from both Romans and Jews. For a time there were fearful persecutions which the early Christians endured because of their faith. But with the rise of the first Christian emperor, Constantine (ruled the western half of the empire beginning in 312 and the entire empire from 324-337), the church began to achieve social acceptance and respectability. However, opposition to the Christian faith continued. During this time such opposition took the form of false teachings. They threatened to destroy the true teaching of the Bible and to split the church itself. One of these early controversies concerned the central doctrine of the Bible and Christianity, the doctrine of the God. While it actually had to do with the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, the immediate theological issue was the relation of the Word or the second person of the Trinity to the Godhead. It raised two very basic questions: Was Jesus Christ really God? In what way if he were God, did God become a human being? 当基督教会在五旬节之后开始壮大时,在罗马人和犹太人中出现了仇视基督教的人。有一段时间早期的基督徒由于他们的信仰遭受了可怕的迫害。但是随着第一个基督徒皇帝,康斯坦丁的即位(从公元312年开始统治西方帝国的一半并于公元324-337年统治整个帝国),教会开始获得社会的承认和尊重。然而,仇视基督徒信仰的实力继续存在。这个时期的敌对形式为错误教导。他们威胁要毁掉圣经的真理教导并分裂教会。其中一个早期的争论关注的是圣经和基督教的核心教义,上帝的教义。然而它的确与三位一体的圣经教义有关,最直接的神学问题就是关于道的关系或者说是上帝三位一体中第二位的关系。出现的两个最基本的问题是:耶稣基督真的是上帝吗?如果他真是上帝,上帝以怎样的方式成为人? B. The Old Testament had particularly emphasized the unity or oneness of God (monotheism) over against the multiple gods (polytheism) of the pagan religions. The New Testament carries the same emphasis (Mark 12:29,32). At the same time, the New Testament clearly teaches the Trinity of God, that is, that there are three distinct persons in the undivided being of God (Matt. 28:19). As long as there was a large number of Jewish converts to the Christian faith, monotheism (the teaching that God is one) was unquestioned. 旧约已经特别强调了合一或一神论(monotheism)来反对异教的多神论(polytheism)。新约强调了同样的内容(马可福音12:29,32)。同时,新约明确地教导上帝的三位一体是,有三个不同的位格的在一位不可分割的上帝本体里(马太福音28:19)。既然有一大批犹太人转变相信基督徒的信仰,一神论(教导上帝只有一位)是毫无疑问的。 C. But as the number of Gentile converts increased and became a majority and as the church began to play a larger role in society, pagan philosophies of various sorts came to influence the thinking of some Christians, especially some of the intellectual Christian leaders. One of the first problems they began to wrestle with was how to maintain monotheism and yet recognize the three persons. To put the question more specifically: How can the Bible say that the Son is not the same person as the Father and yet teach that the Son is of one substance with the Father? 但是由于大量的外邦人信主并且占多数以及教会开始在社会中扮演更重要的角色,各样异教徒哲学家开始影响一些基督徒的思想,特别是一些善于思考的基督徒领导者。他们首先挣扎的一个问题就是如何保持一神论而又承认存在三个位格。这个问题更具体地说就是:圣经怎么能说子与父不是同样的位格而又教导子与父是同质的呢? D. This controversy developed chiefly in the Eastern Greek-speaking part of the church, starting at Alexandria in Egypt. There a theologian named Arius (c. 250-336) began to preach about the Son in a way that disagreed with the Scriptures. Although many of the clergy were quick to see that his theology would undermine the certainty of our redemption and open the door for a return to paganism, others were quite slow to recognize this. 这个争论主要在东方部分希腊语教会中发展,开始于埃及的亚历山大港。有一个叫阿里乌的神学家(大约公元250-336年)开始用与圣经不同的方式传讲圣子。虽然很多神职人员立刻就发现他的神学理论将渐渐破坏我们对救赎的确信并为异教徒的归来开来一扇门,但是其他人用了相当漫长的时间才意识到这个问题。 E. Arius began his reasoning with a true biblical statement – that God is absolutely unique and alone in being “un-generated.” By this he meant that God alone is eternal, without a beginning and exists with no help from anyone or anything else. But by the term, “God” he meant only God the father. The Son, or the Logos (Word) as Greek Bible calls him in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, must therefore be a creature, that is, part of God’s creation. He is a perfect creature to be sure, and not to be compared with the rest of creation; but He is still a creature. 阿里乌开始以圣经中的陈述来进行他的推理-上帝是绝对独特和唯一“不可造的”神。通过这句话他所说的是唯有上帝是永恒的,亘古就存在并且他的存在不靠任何人或任何其他物体的帮助。但是通过这个词,他所指的“上帝”只是圣父。因此圣子,或希腊语圣经的约翰福音第一章中称他为Logos (道),一定是一个受造物,就是说,上帝所创造的一部分。可以确定他是一个完美的受造物,而且其他受造物无法与他相比;但他仍然只是一个受造物。 F. Arius said that since the Son, or Logos (Word), was a creature, he must have had a beginning. Arius taught that the Father had brought the Son (Logos) into being so that this Son might create all things or as one of Arius’ slogans went, “there was a time when He did not exist.” From this it follows, asserted Arius, that although we can speak of the Son as God’s Word and Wisdom, He is not that Word and Wisdom which belongs to God’s very essence. The Son was an intermediary between God and the world and could hence be called the Word, or even the Son of God, or even God, but these were only titles of courtesy. The net result of Arius’ teachings was to reduce the Son to a sort of half-God. 阿里乌说因为圣子,或道,是一个受造物,他一定有一个起始的时间。阿里乌教导圣父使圣子(道)成为神这样这位圣子才能创造一切或如阿里乌的一个口号中说的,“曾有一段时期他不存在”。由这一结论,阿里乌断言,虽然我们谈到子同样有上帝的道和智慧,他不是属于上帝本质的道和智慧。圣子是上帝和世人之间的一位中保,因此,他被称为道,或者甚至被称为上帝的儿子,或者是上帝,但是这些只是出于礼节的称呼。阿里乌教导的最终目的是将圣子降低为类似于半神的人。 G. Since Arius was brilliant, politically sophisticated and tactful, he quickly gained a following for his new doctrine. However just as quickly many voices were raised against him in Alexandria, his home city. Finally his bishop, Alexander, called a meeting of the church of Alexandria, came out strongly against him, and excommunicated him. But the number of Arians (those who followed Arius’ teachings) continued to grow, and they threatened to divide the church, especially in the Eastern part of the empire where they were very numerous and powerful. 由于阿里乌如此精明,在政治方面老练和圆滑,他很快为他的新教义赢得了追随者。然而同样很快很多反对他的声音在亚历山大,他的家乡出现。最终,他的主教,亚历山大,召集了一次亚历山大港教会会议,结果强烈反对阿里乌的教导并开除了他的教籍。但是一些阿里乌派(那些追随阿里乌教导的人)继续壮大并威胁分裂教会,特别是在帝国东部地区的阿里乌人数众多并势力强大。 H. THE COUNCIL OF NICEA (325 A. D.) 尼西亚会议(公元325年) Emperor Constantine believed that the Roman Empire could only remain strong if it had a unified religion. When he realized how sharply the church was divided by Arianism (the teachings of Arius), he resolved to summon church leaders or bishops to a meeting at which the problem could be discussed and solved. Though most of the bishops who attended were from the eastern half of the empire (where Arius’ teachings had especially taken root) it is called the “First Ecumenical (or General) Council” in contrast to local councils or synods. Although Constantine had not yet been baptized, he considered himself a Christian. However, Hossius of Cordova, a bishop from Spain, was his chief theological advisor. 皇帝康斯坦丁相信只有拥有统一的宗教罗马帝国才能保持强大。当他意识到由阿里乌主义(阿里乌的教导)引起的教会分裂是多么严重时,他决心召集教会领导者或主教举行一个会议讨论哪些问题可以被讨论和解决。尽管参加会议的大多数主教来自帝国的东半区(阿里乌的教导建立的地方),会议却被称为 “第一次全基督大会”这与地方会议或教区会议不同。虽然康斯坦丁还未受洗,但是他认为自己是一名基督徒。而克多瓦的胡西亚,来自西班牙的一个主教,是他的首席神学顾问。 I. The Council met in May and June, 325, in Nicaea, a city not far from Constantinople (in modern Turkey), where Constantine has a palace. More than two hundred bishops were present. Though the council dealt with many issues, its main purpose was to formulate clearly what the Scripture taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. The great question was: Is the Son true God of true God? Is he truly and completely divine, or was he, as Arius and his supporters said, a lesser being, in some way divine but not with the same divinity as God the Father? 会议于公元325年五月和六月在距君士坦丁堡(在如今的土耳其)不远的尼西亚康斯坦丁的一个宫殿中举行。超过200名主教出席了这次会议。虽然会议涉及许多问题,但是它的主要目的是清楚地找出圣经中关于主耶稣基督的教导。最主要的问题是:圣子是从真神所出之真神吗?他是真的和完全的具有神性吗?还是他正如阿里乌和他的支持者所说的,他的神性少一些,从某些方面来说他的神性是与天父的神性不同的? J. At the Council of Nicaea, the opposition to Arius was led by Bishop Alexander, who had sought to keep Egypt and its capital city of Alexandria (the second largest in the Empire) true to the Biblical teaching. As the debate at the council proceeded, the vast majority of bishops came to understand the false teaching of Arius and completely rejected it. The council knew without doubt that Arius was wrong. Still because Arius could accept almost all Scriptural terms which seemed to eliminate his false view and twist them around so that he could read his own teachings into them, the council had a harder time finding clear and unmistakable language with which to confess the truth of the Bible and yet reject what Arius had said. 在尼西亚的会议上,领导反对阿里乌的人是主教亚历山大,他试图使埃及以及它的首都亚历山大港(帝国的第二大城市)忠实于圣经的教导。随着会议上辩论的进行,大多数主教明白了阿里乌的教导是错误的并完全拒绝了它。会议上明确了毫无疑问阿里乌是错误的。但仍因为阿里乌基本上接受所有圣经的话语,看似可以使他的错误观点和歪曲圣经的话语被忽视,从而将他自己的教导加入圣经中,会议为了找出明确无可置疑的语言来告白圣经中的真理同时拒绝阿里乌所说的经历了更艰难的时期。 K. To solve this problem and to overcome the difficulty, the Council began with an already existing creed. This creed (probably the baptismal creed from Jerusalem) was very similar to the Apostles’ Creed. The council then inserted some new clauses in order to explain very clearly what the scriptural doctrine was. The clauses were worded in such a way that the followers of Arius could not twist them to suit their own meaning. 为了解决这个问题和克服困难,会议开始讨论一个已经存在的信经。这个信经(可能就是从耶路撒冷来的洗礼信经)与使徒信经非常相似。然后会议加入了一些新的短语从而非常清楚地解释圣经教义是什么。这些短语的措辞方式使得阿里乌的追随者们不能歪曲圣经中的话语而适用于他们的目的。 L. The council added several important new clauses to emphasize the Biblical doctrine about the Son. These are “from the substance of the Father” and “of one substance with the Father.” The Greek word which Emperor Constantine himself had suggested be inserted was homoousion, and it is translated “of the same substance with.” The English word which in theological language has come to stand for this term is “consubstantial.” 会议添加了一些重要的新短语来强调圣经中关于圣子的教义。这些短语是“从父本身而来”和“与父同质”。由皇帝康斯坦丁本人建议而插入的一个希腊语单词是homoousion,并且这个词被翻译为“与…同质”。在神学中代表这个短语的英语单词是 “consubstantial”“同质的”。 M. Besides Arius, only five persons at the council refused to sign the statement. The Emperor banished them. But because of their interest in political peace and unity, Constantine’s successors later allowed them back and, at times, even supported the Arian party, with the result that the church remained divided. 除了阿里乌以外,只有另外五个人在会议上拒绝签署声明。皇帝驱逐了他们。但是出于他们在政治和平和统一中的利益,康斯坦丁的继任者们允许他们回到教会中,甚至有时支持阿里乌派,其结果就是教会仍处于分裂中。 N. Also present at the Council at Nicaea was a young Egyptian pastor who served as secretary for Bishop Alexander. His name was Athanasius (296-373), and he became bishop at Alexander’s death. We are told that physically Athanasius was a small man; in fact, his opponents called him a dwarf. But as a Biblical theologian, his was a giant. Ever since the time of the council of Nicaea and because of his unwavering loyalty to the truth of that confession and all the persecution he suffered because of it, people have described his life as “Athanasius against the world.” He was a person of great stability and of genuineness of character. In a long life he remained immovable in the convictions he had gained from Scripture. 一位年轻的埃及牧师,主教亚历山大的秘书也出席了尼西亚会议。他的名字是亚大纳西(公元296-373年),并且在亚历山大死时,他成为了主教。我们所知道的亚大纳西在身材上是个矮小的人;事实上,他的对手称他为侏儒。但作为一个圣经神学家,他是一个巨人。自从尼西亚会议开始,他遭受的所有迫害都是因为他对告白的真理毫不动摇的忠心,人们描绘他的一生是 “亚大纳西与世人为敌”。 他是一个具有坚定和真挚品格的人。很长一段时间里他都保持着他从圣经中所获得的确信毫不动摇。 O. Because of his opposition to the Arian party, which had achieved considerable political power during the decades following the Council of Nicaea, Athanasius spent many years of his life on the run or in exile. Five times he was exiled for his Biblical faith. The Arian party was for a time known as the Eusebians, when Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia was their leader. They tried to get the church to accept the team homoousion (of a similar substance with) as a compromise between the position of Arius and that of the Council of Nicaea. Athanasius, however, always continued preaching that Jesus was true God and homoousion (of the same substance) as the Father. He was the great champion of the orthodox (straight or true) Biblical teaching. Today his name remains an inspiration for those who resist society, popular interest, and even the leaders of the external church when those leaders give up the faith that was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). 因为他所对抗的阿里乌派在接下来几十年的尼西亚会议中获得了相当大的政治权利,亚大纳西在他一生中的许多年里都过着逃亡或流亡的生活。由于他的圣经信仰,他五次被流放。阿里乌派曾一度因优西比乌派而为人们所熟知,那时尼克米迪亚的主教优西比乌是他们的领导者。他们试图使教会接受他们 (具有相似本质)的观点作为他们在阿里乌的立场与尼西亚会议中间的妥协。然而,亚大纳西继续坚持传讲耶稣是真正的上帝而且与天父同质。他是正统(直白的或真实的)圣经教导的伟大胜利者。如今当那些领导者们放弃曾使他们成为圣徒的信心时,他的名字仍是对那些抵抗社会、公众利益甚至是教会外部领导者们的人的启示(犹大书3)。 P. Athanasius helped preserve the biblical teaching by his clear explanations of the doctrine of the Consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. He was that if Arius was right and the Word were not eternal, then the Triune God is not eternal. Only if the Son shares in the same nature and substance as the Father, can we speak of One God. He saw further that the Arian view destroyed the certainty of our salvation. If the word (Jesus) is a created being, as the Arians insisted, then He could not reveal the Father to us and He certainly could not be our Redeemer. Only if the Mediator was Himself divine could He reconcile us to the Father. 亚大纳西通过他对子与父同质的教义的明确解释帮助维护圣经的教导。他说如果阿里乌是正确的而且道不是永恒的,那么三位一体的上帝就不是永恒的。只有圣子与圣父拥有同样的属性和本质,我们才能说一位上帝。他进一步说阿里乌的观点将毁掉我们对救恩的确信。如果道(耶稣) 如阿里乌派所坚持的是一个受造物,那么他不可能向我们揭示圣父而且也绝对不可能成为我们的救主。只有这位中保具有圣父的神性才能使我们与圣父和好。 Q. In 381 a Second Ecumenical Council was held at Constantinople. Thanks to the work of Athanasius and that of three great church leaders in Cappadocia (Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzus), the doctrine approved at Nicaea was reaffirmed in a new and expanded creed. This is the form that we use in our churches today and still called the Nicene Creed. The fourth Ecumenical Council held at Chalcedon in 451 officially endorsed this expanded form of the Creed. 公元381年第二次全基督徒大会在君士坦丁堡举行。幸亏有了亚大纳西和卡帕多西亚的三位伟大教会领导者(凯撒利亚的巴兹尔、尼撒的格利高里和格利高里 纳齐安)的努力,在尼西亚获得认可的教义重新以新的和扩充的信经再次获得确认。这就是我们如今在教会中所用的版本并仍称为尼西亚信经。公元451年召开的第四次全基督徒大会正式承认了这个扩充后的信经。 R. The Nicene Creed with the additions of 381 reads as follows: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and became fully human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, And his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who in unity with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. 公元381年扩充后的尼西亚信经内容如下: 我等信独一之神,即全能之圣父,创造天地,及一切有形无形之万物之主。 我等信独一之主耶稣基督,上帝独生之圣子,是圣父在万世之先所生,是从神所出之神,从光所出之光,从真神所出之真神,是生非造,是与圣父同体,万物皆借圣子而造;圣子为要拯救我等世人,从天降临,为圣灵感动之童贞女马利亚所生,成为人身,在本丢彼拉多手下,为我等钉十字架,被害而葬,照圣经之言,第三日复活,升天,坐在圣父之右;将来复必有荣耀而降临,审判生人死人,其国无穷无尽。 我等信圣灵即是主,是赐生命者,是从圣父、圣子所出,与圣父、圣子,同是当拜, 当称颂者,众先知说预言,皆是被圣灵感动;我等信使徒所立独一圣而公之教会;我等信因为赦罪设立之独一洗礼;我等望死后复活,又望来世之永生。阿们。