Malankara World

What Shall I Do To Be Saved?

By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil


Question 33. Even if the church fathers did not teach us that Jesus Christ
and Holy Spirit is God, is it not mentioned in the Bible?

The New Testament came into being much later than their teachings. The various books of the New Testament and the other books found in the manuscripts from various places purported to be written by various authors, were collected and examined by the church fathers, and they approved only a few of the books which were in line with the true faith. If they had not done this, there would not have been a New Testament or Bible.

If the early church fathers did not teach, it was not possible to learn anything from the Bible because there was no Bible during that time. The Bible in the book form was codified in AD 401. Let us examine this a little further.

1) There were a plethora of heretics in the first few centuries.

Had the church fathers not objected these heretic teachings and had they not given us the New Testament, what would have been the result? Naturally the true faith would not have survived.

Again in the 4th century, there began a powerful heresy propagated by Arius. He said that the Son is not equal to the Father Almighty and that the Son is not God. Arius was a very influential speaker and by strong propaganda and by the help of rulers, his teachings were spread through out the world. Those who believed and proved that Christ was the Son of God, were persecuted and exiled. Hence, the Synod of Nicea (AD 325) was held in which 318 church fathers attended. Athanasius of Alexandria (though a deacon) was the main speaker and proved that the Son is one with the Father and that He is God? Had he and other church fathers not proved this, and if this was not approved by the synod, Christians would not have believed that Christ is God. The New Testament did not exist at this point in time for the New Testament came into being 71 years later. Christians cannot ignore what Athanasius and other church fathers wrote regarding the theology of the Church.

Again another heretic named Macidonius propagated that the Holy Spirit was not God? This too was well propagated through out the world. Again the Lord revealed the true faith through the church fathers in the synod of Constantinople, in AD 381, and coded the third paragraph of the creed. Had they not done this, the Holy Spirit would not have been believed to be God. These church fathers had also written about the church theology and Christians cannot ignore their writings either.

It was Nestor who declared that? Jesus was only a human child, not an incarnation of the Word? This move was also defeated by the church fathers in the synod of Ephesus in AD 431.

Thus our faith was preserved by these early church fathers. We should believe and respect their early writings. We cannot reject their writings just because they are not part of the Bible. We believe the Jewish historian Josephus (a contemporary of Jesus Christ) and other historians. We believe in early church history as recorded by St. Luke (The book of Acts). Isn't it fair that on believes and acts according to the writings of the church fathers? They codified the Bible, fought against heresies, and also suffered for the preservation of the Christian faith!

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