The Early Christian Prayer Circle:
Sidebar, Minutes of the Second Council of Nicaea in AD 787

[This sidebar accompanies “The Early Christian Prayer Circle,” by Hugh W. Nibley. Ed.]

Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch, said: Let us view the document as a whole as contrary to the Gospel.

The Holy Synod said: Aye, sir: and it says that the human nature was only an appearance. . . .

Constantine the most holy bishop of Constantia in Cyprus said: This book is the basis of their unauthorized assemblies.

Tarasius the m. h. Patriarch said: These things are simply ridiculous.

Theodore the most God-beloved Bishop of Catana said: Yes, but this book has been undermining the authority [lit. wrenching the vestments] of the Holy Church of God!

Euthymius the most holy Bishop of Sardis said: Their false sects [parasynagogai] had to have this book to back them up [lit. as witnesses].

The Entire Synod declared: All heresy depends on this book.

Tarasius the most honorable Bishop said: Alas, how many heretical books support their false teachings!

Gregory the most holy bishop of Neocaesarea said: But this book is worthy of all vile infection [miasma] and a disgrace.

[On a motion by Tarasius] the Holy Synod said: Let it be condemned [anathema] from the first letter to the last.

John a most revered monk and vicar to the Eastern Patriarchs said: Behold, blessed Fathers, it is most clearly demonstrated herewith that the leaders of the heresy which criticizes true Christianity are really the companions and fellow travelers of Nebuchadnezzar and the Samaritans, to say nothing of the Jews and Gentiles (Greeks), and also of those cursed atheists the Manichaeans, whose testimony they cite. . . . Let them all be anathemized along with their writings!

The Holy Synod said: Anathema! . . .

John the Reverend Monk . . . then made a motion: May it please the Most Holy and Oecumenical Synod to vote that no further copies be made of this pestilential book.

The Holy Synod voted: Let no copies of it be made; furthermore we herewith declare it worthy to be consigned to the flames.

[Here Peter, the secretary of the meeting, signs his name to the minutes.]