H. C. FREND

Council Of Neocaesarea

COUNCIL OF NEOCAESAREA A synod held during the period of toleration for the Christians (313-c. 321) in the reign of Licinius. The council’s canons deal mainly with moral questions and indicate the ecclesiastical concern with sexual issues at this time. Other canons deal with the catechumenate, with the age for ordination to the priesthood (not …

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Nero, Titus Claudius

NERO, TITUS CLAUDIUS, Roman emperor from 54 to 68. From the point of view of the history of Christianity, Nero is important for the ferocious persecution that he unleashed in the late summer of A.D. 64 against the Christians in Rome. The account given by Tacitus (The Annals 15.44), writing some fifty years after the …

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Third Council Of Ephesus

THIRD COUNCIL OF EPHESUS A large synod of bishops from the provinces of Asia Minor, Ephesus III was presided over by TIMOTHY II AELURUS in 476, on his way from Constantinople to Alexandria, during the latter stages of the usurpation of Basiliscus (475-476). The convening of the synod was Timothy’s final effort to gain the …

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Defensor Ecclesiae

DEFENSOR ECCLESIAE A layman, usually a lawyer, charged with the defense of the interests of the church in lawsuits and in any conflicts with secular authorities. Most of the evidence for the existence of defensores ecclesiae comes from North Africa, where they are mentioned by Possidius, bishop of Calama in 403 (Vita Augustini 12). They …

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Ebionites

EBIONITES Judaizing Christians who developed into a separate sect by the last quarter of the second century and had some influence on the early history of the church in Egypt. The term “Ebion” is probably derived from the Hebrew ebyon (the poor). It is an attribute of those who serve the Lord, in contrast with …

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Agnoetae

AGNOETAE A name was given to those who attributed either ignorance (agnoia) to Christ relating to subjects such as the timing of the Day of Judgment (cf. Mk. 13:32) or, alternatively, a gradual ascension to knowledge and wisdom (cf. Lk. 2:52). In Alexandria, the issue grew out of the controversy between SEVERUS OF ANTIOCH and …

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