As I wander around the web, I come across supposed quotations which slap me in the face and shriek at me “fake”. Today I found this:
The following creed is that of a church at Constantinople around the time of the “Council of Nicea”:
“I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms, unleavened breads & sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews, and all other feasts of the Hebrews, sacrifices, prayers, aspersions, purifications, sanctifications and propitiations and fasts, and new moons, and Sabbaths, and superstitions, and hymns and chants and observances and Synagogues, and the food and drink of the Hebrews; in one word, I renounce everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom and if afterwards I shall wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition, or shall be found eating with the Jews, or feasting with them, or secretly conversing and condemning the Christian religion instead of openly confuting them and condemning their vain faith, then let the trembling of Gehazi cleave to me, as well as the legal punishments to which I acknowledge myself liable. And may I be anathema in the world to come, and may my soul be set down with Satan and the devils.”
DO you think that this religion (constantinianism) is what Yeshua wanted us to become entangled in
This is a canon of Nicaea I? It sounds like a personal confession of faith. The poster, of course, gave no reference. But a google search on I renounce all customs, rites, legalisms, unleavened breads & sacrifices of lambs of the Hebrews gave me this link at Fordham.edu, which said nothing about Nicaea and gave “From Assemani, Cod. Lit., 1, p. 105″ as the reference, and “from James Parkes: The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue: A Study in the Origins of Antisemitism, (New York: JPS, 1934), 394-400.”
Assemani was an oriental scholar, publishing texts from Syriac at Rome in the 18th century, most of them medieval. So this also is not in accord with the starting post.
Adding Assemani to the Google search brought up a slew of material such as this, headed Constantine’s and Romes Christian Creed, giving “Stefano Assemani, Acta Sanctorium Martyrum Orientalium at Occidentalium, Vol. 1, Rome 1748, page 105” as the reference for the very same paragraph.
We’re clearly in the realm of the polemical quote, when we have two references for the same thing. Of course “Sanctorium” is itself a typo, but suggestive of someone who has repeated, rather than checked, the data.
Is the book online? Not in google books or archive.org — not a good start.
What about the “Cod. Lit.” reference? This site tells us that J. A. Assemani published, inter alia:
“Codex liturgicus ecclesiae universae in XV libros distributus” (Rome, 1749-66). — This valuable work has become so rare that a bookseller of Paris recently issued a photographic impression of it.
So the “quote” has two references, neither readily accessible, both in Latin at best.
Volume 8 of the codex liturgicus is here, and several others are accessible. Is volume 1, I wonder? After a lot of searching, I found it here. Page 105 is p.162 of the PDF. The renunciation starts at the top of p.106, and starts as per the quote.
But … it’s misleading. For this is not the whole statement. A huge chunk has been omitted from the middle, without being marked. For it should at least indicate the omission: “in one word, I renounce everything Jewish, every law, rite and custom …. and if afterwards I shall wish to deny”. In fact the sentence before the break is truncated, and the one afterwards starts before the ‘and’.
in one word, I renounce everything Jewish, legalism, custom and rite; and above all he who is expected by all the Jews in the shape and dress of Christ, I renounce Anti-Christ, and join myself to the true Christ and God. And I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; the holy and consubstantial and individual Trinity; I profess the dispensation where one of the holy trinity, the Word of God took flesh and became man; …
…if I pretend to be a Christian and then I wish to deny and return to Jewish superstition….
I don’t have time to translate the whole confession, but the extracts are more than a little misleading.
The other question — is this Nicene? — must be answered in the negative. There is no trace of such a statement in all this. No, this is a medieval Greek catechism, for someone converting to Christianity from Judaism.
Quite why the Christians should not require a Jew professing conversion to be sincere, of course, we are not told by the original post.