For more than half a century after its codification, the Nicene Creed provoked reaction from Arians, who employed political intrigue to gain the favor of the sitting Roman emperor and called several of their own councils to undermine the concept of Jesus as uncreated God. By 336, the Arians had convinced Constantine of their views, who proceeded to exile Athanasius to the Germanic city of Treves (now Trier). Although Athanasius returned to Alexandria after Constantine’s death, the theologian would be banished from the empire four more times under successive pro-Arian emperors, returning after the death of each one. The most important Arian council assembled in 357 at Sirmium, a Bohemian (now Serbian) city, formulating its own creed asserting that Christ and the Holy Spirit are heteroousios with God and not homoousios with God. Moreover, the Nicene Creed’s ambiguity concerning the Holy Spirit led Bishop Macedonius of Constantinople to propose, in 341, that the Spirit...
”Holy Trinity with the Virgin and Saints" by Master of the Ashmolean Predella (Yale University Art Gallery)View Full Size