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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Jerusalem, Synod of, 1672

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Of all synods which were held at Jerusalem since the apostles' time this is the most important. The doctrines of Cyril Lucar (q.v.) were condemned by his successor, Cyril of Berrhoe, at the Council of Constantinople in 1638, and again by the next patriarch, Parthenius, at the Synod of Jassy in 1642. The metropolitan of Kiew, Petrus Mogilas, also found it necessary to protest against these doctrines; and his confession, ὀρθόδοξος ὁμολογία τῆς πίστεως τῆς καθολικῆς καὶ ἀποστολικῆς ἐκκλεσίας τῆς ἀνατολικῆς, was sanctioned, in 1643, by the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Moscow. Thus an effective barrier was erected against the Calvinistic invasions of the orthodoxy of the Eastern Church. Nevertheless, both the Reformed and the Roman Catholic theologians continued to hint that the Greek Church was leaning respectively either this or that way. In the controversy between the Reformed minister, Jean Claude, and the Jansenists, Nicole and Arnauld, concerning the eucharist and transubstantiation, the former alleged, in support of his views, the dogma of the Eastern Church, such as it appeared in its oldest form, and such as it had been revived by Cyril Lucarm; while the latter appealed to the dogma of the Eastern Church in its oecumenical form. In 1660 the patriarch of Jerusalem, Nectarius, published a book against Claude, and in 1672 his successor, Dosithens, convened a synod at Jerusalem for the purpose of still further defending the orthodoxy of the Eastern Church. The synod was attended by sixty-eight representatives, and resulted in the so-called Shield of Orthodoxy, March 20, 1672, one of the most important confessional works of the Eastern Church, the full title of which is, Ἀσπὶς ὀρθοδοξίας, ἀπολογία καὶ ἔλεγχος πρὸς τοὺς διασύροντας τὴν ἀνατολικὴν ἐκκλησίαν αἱρετικῶς φρονεῖν ἐν τοῖς περὶ θεοῦ καὶ τῶν θείων, ὡς κακοφρονοῦσιν ουτοι αὐτοὶ οἱ Καλουῖνοι δηλονότι . The first part is directed against the Calvinists, and contains a strong condemnation of the views ascribed to Cyril Lucar, and at the same time an adroit vindication of him personally, flatly denying that he ever held such opinions, ever wrote the books containing them, etc. The second part is critico-dogmatical, and presents a full confession of the Orthodox Greek faith in the form of a refutation of the theses of Cyril. This second part, or σύντομος ὁμολογία, treats in eighteen decretaa and four questiones the following subjects:

1. Trinity;

2. The holy Scriptures and their interpretation by the Church;

3. Predestination;

4. Origin of the evil;

5. Relation of divine Providence to the evil;

6. Original sin;

7. Incarnation of the Son of God;

8. The mediatorship of Christ and the saints;

9. Faith acting in charity;

10. Church and episcopacy;

11. Church membership;

12. Infallibility of the Church;

13. Justification by faith and works;

14. Ability of the natural and of the regenerated man;

15. Seven sacraments;

16. Infant baptism;

17. Eucharist;

18. State after death. The four quaestiones are:

1. Can all Christians read the Bible?

2. Is the Bible conspicuous for all?

3. What constitutes the holy Scriptures? (acceptance of the apocryphal books);

4. What is to be believed concerning images and veneration of the saints?

The synodical acts were first published in Greek and Latin, Paris, 1676, and again in 1678. The best editions are found in Harduin, Acta Concil. 11:179 sq., and in Kimmel, Monumenta Fidei Eccl. Orientalis (Jena, 1850). See also Gass, Symbolik der griechischen Kirche (Berlin, 1872), page 79 sq.; Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 1:61-67; Plitt-Herzog, Real- Encyklop. s.v. (B.P.)


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Jerusalem, Synod of, 1672'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/j/jerusalem-synod-of-1672.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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