God

Melchizedek (NHC IX, 1)

MELCHIZEDEK (NHC IX, 1) A Sethian Gnostic apocalypse written in the name of Melchizedek, “Priest of God Most High” (see Gen. 14:18). Its title occurs at the beginning. Codex IX is quite fragmentary; much of the text is lost in lacunae. The text reflects influence from early Jewish lore concerning Melchizedek, but also features Jesus …

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Nicene Creed

NICENE CREED This Creed was formulated at the Council of Nicaea (325 a.d.). It was inspired by the Syro-Palestinian and Eusebius’ creeds. It mentioned for the first time the word homoousios, meaning “the same substance.” This term was condemned during the crisis of Paul of Samosata, but Alexander of Alexandria and Athanasius gave the true …

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Psalmodia

PSALMODIA The name is applied to (a) the book that contains the principal hymns for the ecclesiastical year; (b) the service that follows the offices of the Compline, midnight prayer, and morning prayer. This book contains the biblical odes (Exod. 15:1-21; Ps. 136; Dan. 3: 52-58; Ps. 148, 149, 150), the seven Theotokia (seven hymns …

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Sabellianism

SABELLIANISM Sabellianism is named after its originator, Sabellius from Cyrenaica. The followers of this heresy believed that God was one substance but three activities. He manifested Himself as the Father in the Old Testament, as the Son in the New Testament, and as the Holy Spirit in Church life. Dionysius of Alexandria condemned this heresy …

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Semi-Arians

SEMI-ARIANS Semi-Arian is the name given to those who believed that Christ has a “like substance” of God (homeosius) but not the same substance (homoousius). The key figure of this group is Basil of Ancyra (356 a.d.). St. Athanasius, after his return from exile, was able to convince them that Christ is “like” substance, meaning …

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Patriarch Gabriel III

PATRIARCH GABRIEL III The life of the monk and priest Ghubriyāl, who eventually became Coptic patriarch Gabriel III (usually counted as the 77th patriarch, 1268–1271), bears witness to both the flourishing of literary and scientific activity as well as to the turbulence of ecclesiastical and social affairs that characterize Coptic Orthodox history in the middle decades …

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Jesus Prayer

JESUS PRAYER The Jesus Prayer is a supplication of penance, known today by its modern prayer formula “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Both the practice and the wording of the Jesus Prayer are deeply rooted in biblical spirituality. The Jesus Prayer is recited repeatedly in penitential contemplation, following …

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