The Council of Nicaea asserted that the Son was of one substance with the Father—Jesus was fully divine. Also against the teaching of Eutyches, a monk from Constantinople, who denied that Jesus had two natures, the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451 expressed the Incarnation of Jesus in terms of one person with two natures―human and divine (Hypostatic Union).
Contrary to Dan Brown‘s assertion in "The Da Vinci Code" that Emperor Constantine invented the divinity of Jesus at the Council of Nicaea, the Church Fathers considered Jesus divine long before the Council of Nicaea:
1. Ignatius: ―God Himself was manifested in human form (AD 105).
2. Clement: ―It is fitting that you should think of Jesus as of God (AD 150).
3. Justin Martyr: ―Being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God; Both God and Lord of hosts; The Father of the universe has a Son. And He . . . is even God (AD 160).
4. Irenaeus: ―Our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King; He is God, for the name Emmanuel indicates this (AD 180).
5. Tertullian: ―Christ our God (AD 200).
6. Origen: ―No one should be offended that the Savior is also God (AD 225).
7. Novatian: ―He is not only man, but God also (AD 235).
8. Cyprian: ―Jesus Christ, our Lord and God (AD 250).
9. Methodius: ―He truly was and is . . . with God, and being God(AD 290).
10. Lactantius: ―We believe Him to be God (AD 304).
11. Arnobius: ―Christ performed all these miracles . . . the duty of Divinity (AD 305).
J.N.D Anderson also stated:
"Similar tributes have been paid by many others who may or may not have professed any personal allegiance to him. Speaking of Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and himself, Napoleon wrote: I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man: none else is like Him; Jesus Christ was more than a man".
And it is in a similar vein that Raymond Fletcher, an agnostic Member of Parliament and himself an author wrote in "The Guardians" that "Christians do not need miracles to sustain their beliefs. Christ himself was the miracle".
The titles ascribed to Jesus provides conclusive evidence for the New Testament‘s estimate of His person as God: Jesus is Lord‘ (Phil.2:11), ―Lord of lords (I Tim.6:15), ―the Lord of glory (I Cor.2: , ―the mediator (Heb. 12:24), and ―Who is God over all, blessed forever (Rom. 9:5).
John Stott sums it up: "So close was his identification with God that it was natural for him to equate a man's attitude to himself with his attitude to God. Thus, to know him was to know God; to see him was to see God; to believe in him was to believe in God; to receive him was to receive God; to hate him was to hate God; to honour him was to honour God".
Therefore, Emperor Constantine did not invent the divinity of Jesus. Jesus walked on earth perfectly aware of His deity. He received worship due only to God and He claimed divinity for Himself.
©2022 Ebenezer Afolabi
Culled from "Doing Apologetics with an African Mindset" .