Church and religion are integral components of the society’s life. Religion, if shared by many people, can be a powerful tie.1 Contemporary church does not seem to have much connection with history. Nevertheless, Christianity has deeper historical roots than any other religion. Christian faith is grounded on the belief that God came to earth as a man in person of Jesus Christ. The Christian history of his life, sacrifice, burial and resurrection is the central point of Christianity. The Bible is not considered fiction or a fairy tale, but a historical evidence of the heavenly plan of atonement for people on earth. Thus, the investigation of the church history is treated as tracing the presence of a hand of God everywhere in men’s life ways.
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The research of church history is necessary as it provides the comprehension of the Christian church as an institution. Its structure, role and attitudes of the population have been changing greatly since the period of the apostles till the present day. The history of Church includes many events which contributed to obtaining significance, trust and respect. Despite skepticism connected, for example, with associating Christianity with crusades and their violence, the unbiased historical analysis of the events can give reasons for these and other events in connection with the epoch in which they took place. At present, new emerging religious trends, which are often bizarre, present themselves as Christian.
Nevertheless, it is not a new happening since in older times heresies appeared as well. They tried to penetrate Christianity with made up concepts such as Arianism, Gnosticism, Montanism and Marcionism and shake its positions.2 The investigation of the Christian history will shed light on its doctrine and help to differentiate facts and fiction in the course of the Christian faith development.
East & West
Eastern Orthodoxy includes churches prevalent in Europe and parts of Asia.3 They have a common faith and share commitment to the “honorary primacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople.”4 The difference with the Pope in west is that the Patriarch is not considered a supreme authority on earth. Orthodoxy means not only “right belief” but “right worship” as well.5 The Orthodox consider their faith a continuation of the beliefs of the earliest Christians. Also, similar to Catholics, they assume that their leaders are the direct followers of the apostles according to the succession of the episcopacy. In fact, the Orthodox Church is rooted in the Byzantine Empire and is still closely connected with Greece in terms of culture.6
There have been discrepancies between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church long before they separated. The controversies were mainly connected with the preparation of the bread for the Eucharist and theological conflict concerning the relations between the holy Trinity. In addition, a break between the Roman Church and Orthodox Christians in the Great Schism of 1054 was conditioned by the “tensions over the scope of the Bishop of Rome’s ecclesial authority.”7
After the split, the Western Pope and the Eastern Patriarch stopped communication. The discrepancy concerning the Trinity is also known as “filioque controversy.”8 The supporters of Eastern Christianity refused to acknowledge traditional addition of the word “filioque” (Latin analogue of “and the Son”) to the Nicene Creed. This addition meant that not only the Father but the Son as well produces the Spirit of God.
For almost two centuries, there still was hope of reconciliation. However, the Fourth Crusade of 1200-1204 ruined this hope.4 The crusaders invaded Constantinople at that time. Nevertheless, at present, leaders both confessions demonstrate loyalty and readiness to communicate. Despite this fact, Catholic and Orthodox believers still support rather contradictory beliefs.
The activity of the Church in the earlier Byzantine period was governed by the seven general councils.9 These councils had two major tasks. Firstly, they were making the visible organization of the Church clearer and more articulated, focusing on the position of the five great sees or Patriarchates. Secondly, they outlined the Church’s guidelines concerning the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith such as the Trinity and the Incarnation.10
These issues are considered mysteries by all Christians which cannot be understood or described. At councils, the bishops developed definitions for these concepts and thus unwillingly disclosed the mystery. They did not intend to do so but to avoid false interpretations. After all, a barrier was created around the mystery “to prevent people from deviating into error and heresy.”11
From the start, Church councils were typically bureaucratic practices. Every council included circulation of documents, creation of speeches and responses to them, taking votes, and publication of final documents with their further distribution. These documents became the sources of contemporary knowledge about beliefs of heresies. Documents known as Canons were also published for each Council. Some of them together with other documents survived.12
These canons of church councils became the basis for the formation of canon law. They were particularly helpful in the cases of some contradictory canons to set the priority. Eastern Orthodoxy usually considers doctrinal canons to be dogmatic and thus relevant to the whole church at any time. At the same time, the disciplinary canons are applied in a certain time and place and can be suitable or not appropriate in different situations.
Among the councils, there were seven which are related to Christianity as the whole without division into Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.13
First Council of Nicaea, (325): declared that “Jesus is truly God and equal to the Father;” rejected Arianism, and accepted the Nicene Creed.14
First Council of Constantinople, (381): declared that “Jesus was perfectly man against the Apollinarians;”15 edited the Nicene Creed into the form it is used now in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches; banned any other changes in the Creed unless an Ecumenical Council is gathered.
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Council of Ephesus, (431): declared that Jesus is one person against Nestorianism; announced the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God, and also criticized Pelagianism.
Council of Chalcedon, (451): declared that “in Jesus there are two distinct natures in one person that are hypostatically united without confusion, change, division or separation”;16 abandoned the Eutychianism and Monophysitism; and accepted the Chalcedonian Creed.
Second Council of Constantinople, (553): declared again decisions and doctrines clarified by previous Councils, criticized new Arian, Nestorian, and Monophysite written works.
Third Council of Constantinople, (680–681): declared that “Jesus had both a divine and human will”; and abandoned Monothelitism.17
Second Council of Nicaea, (787); renewed the honoring of icons and finished the first iconoclasm. Some of Protestant denominations still reject this Council giving preference to the Council of Hieria (754) instead. It was called the Seventh Ecumenical Council and had criticized the honoring of icons.18
The disputes held at the councils sometimes seemed purposeless and abstract. Nevertheless, they had a noble aim to rescue the people. According to the New Testament, sin separates people from God.19 A person cannot break this separation independently without help. Thus, a mediator was necessary between person and God to break this wall of separation. Thus, God “has become man, has been crucified, and has risen again from the dead, thereby delivering humanity from the bondage of sin and death.”20 It is the major message of the Christian faith which was supposed to be supported and proclaimed by the Councils.
Differences in Church’s Organization
At present, Orthodox Church consists of many different members. Together with long existing independent patriarchal churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem there are some national churches.21 Here belong the Catholicate of Georgia and the Church of Cyprus. In addition, there exist the monastic republic of Athos, characterized with democratic constitution, and the Church of Sinai, which is a product of monasticism. There are also Slavic churches such as the Bulgarian Church, the Serbian Church and the Church of the Duchy of Kiev.
In the nineteenth century, some new national Orthodox churches were created as the result of liberation of Balkan countries from the Turkish tyrants. The end of the First World War gave birth to some more national churches. These were the Orthodox churches of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland.22
At the same time appeared the Czechoslovak and Polish Orthodox churches. During the nineteenth century, there appeared many Orthodox churches both in North and South America. More churches grew up in Europe, Australia and America after the Bolshevist Revolution as the result of the Soviet Union’s persecution of the Russian Church. The existing Orthodox churches redistributed again after the Second World War.
Although these Orthodox churches share the same faith, their organization can vary. This diversity can surprise a non-Orthodox investigator. The preconceptions about the primitive church prevent people from understanding its structure and organization. The image of an “institutional, organizational, dogmatic and liturgical uniformity” similar to the contemporary Roman Catholic Church prevails.23 Nevertheless, it does not have historical evidence.
The first centuries after the Church foundation were characterized by substantial diversity in constitution, liturgy and dogma. Even the canon of the New Testament differed in newly emerged national churches. Only after the Christian Church became the state church of the Roman Empire due to Constantine, there appeared an idea to unify the church organization. The uniformity could be achieved through the Councils organized under the rule of the Roman Empire. were the most important instruments for achieving that uniformity. Earlier, most of Christian communities both in East and West followed their individual beliefs, had particular liturgies, separate systems of doctrine, individual traditions in every aspect of life.
The two interrelated aspects of Church organization are linguistic and national. Linguistic variety was the most obvious due to many national Churches. the language component could not be unified. The word of God had to be understood by every person of any nation. It is connected with the miracle of the Spirit conferring the “gift of tongues” upon the apostles.24 This event was considered a heavenly authorization of differences in language. In its turn, the rule of conducting the gospel and the liturgy in a language native to each person, conditioned the creation of many national churches.
One of the peculiar features in the development of Orthodoxy in different countries was close connection between state and Church. Some of national churches actively participated in the events of stated. Thus, for example Church in the Balkans was an active member of the struggle between the Bulgarian and Serbian kingdoms and the Byzantine Empire. The association of Church and state indicated the fact that the Orthodox churches of these countries were under the influence of permanent changes of frontiers in Europe.
Political factors cannot be excluded from the Church organization. Another differentiating element of Church was taken from the political organization of the Roman Empire.25 Thus, when the Empire divided into western and eastern parts, one of them with the old capital became the home for the patriarchate of Rome. At the same time, another part with the new capital became home for the patriarchate of Byzantium. Both bishops of Rome and Byzantium made attempts to spread their religious influence over the whole Empire. Nevertheless, none of them succeeded. Together with these claims, the patriarchs considered the preservation of autonomy and keeping control over the provinces belonging to their part of the country.
The history of Christianism is characterized with multiple splits. There were splits between Chalcedonian and Monophysite, Roman Catholic and Evangelical Protestant, or High Calvinist and Arminian.26 However, the greatest split in the history of Christian church was between east and west, i.e. between Roman Catholic and eastern Orthodox churches. In Medieval period there were attempts to prevent the growth of this breach. Nevertheless, the discrepancies grew bibber and the break was inevitable.27
Eastern Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics appeared in the result of a Church split which is known as the East-West Schism (or Great Schism) of 1054.28 That was the time when Medieval Christianity divided into two branches. In the course of history, the Eastern Church and Western Church became more isolated one from another. It happened due to some reasons. First of all, it was about geography. Western Europe, northern and western areas of the Mediterranean were the sphere of interest for the Western Church. At the same time, the Eastern Church spread its influence over the Middle East, Asia Minor, and Northern Africa.
The second reason of the split was ignorance. The Byzantine Church did not know much Latin or Latin tradition; and in was vice versa about Rome. Thus, Constantinople patriarchs couldn’t read Latin, and Roman popes did not understand Greek. Thirdly, different theologies with own perspectives existed. They both were working but Western one had more practical character and Eastern was rather theoretical. Another decisive factor included personalities and politics. For example, Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Pope St. Leo IX were not in friendly relations. They had many disparities and did not trust each other.29
On the whole, the Eastern Orthodox branch comprises the Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Greek Catholic, Melkite, Romanian, and Italo-Albanian Byzantine Churches. apart from the Byzantine, Eastern Catholics also include Maronite, Coptic or Chaldean Catholic Churches.
History of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Byzantine Christianity can be characterized by certain peculiarities of theological and spiritual life and some geographical and chronological boundaries as well. Christianity was the major religion in the Byzantine Empire. The capital of the Empire Constantinople was founded in 324 by Constantine the Great.
The structure and organization of Byzantine Christianity is a complicated issue. It comprises some autocephaly together with devotion to the Ecumenical Councils. These Councils can be considered tools within Christianity. The Canons accepted there determined the activity of Church and had some influence on secular issues as well.30 The New Testament developed by the Church provides the prototype for religious leaders.
The Byzantine period gave birth to the term “autocephalous” which derived from canon law. it means the right for the choice of a bishop. After the First Council of Constantinople (381) the suggestion was made to consider the patriarch of Constantinople second only to the pope in Rome. Moreover, Byzantium was treated as the “new Rome.”31 The position of bishop changed to the “patriarch” of Constantinople.
Theology: Types of Monasticism and the Influential Leaders
The Palestinian hermitages appeared as communities “for the isolated ascetics of the region.”32 These hermitages turned into cenobitic monasteries also known as lauras. The written works of Cyril of Skythopolis (515-58) present the history of fathers of monasticism and are well-known writings in early Christian literature. They depict daily routines of these first monks. Between the fourth and sixth centuries monasticism of the Eastern church gained much influence.
At that time, Emperor Justinian (527-65) paid much attention to legislation for the regulation of monastic organization.33 The period of the iconoclastic controversy during eighth and ninth centuries was challenging for monasticism since “the monks were totally committed to the veneration of icons.”34 After all, the monasticism gained importance and proved its significance for the Church. The period of the iconoclastic controversy developed in the most glorious period for monasticism. There were more monasteries built and the impact of monks on the Church increased. Monasteries became so important that Byzantium was often treated as the “realm of the monks” and to the whole era as the was called “era of monkish glory.”35
On the whole, the appearance of Orthodox Monasticism is connected with the name of St.Anthony. Thus, Monasticism originated in the Christian East, when St. Anthony first found the isolation in the desert to be closer to God and avoid any city distractions.36
He started the tradition of seeking God in distant silent places where nothing and no one would interfere. Thus, St.Anthony had many followers. The early centuries of Christianity are marked with the rose of the names of St. Pachomius, St. Athanasius, St. Basil the Great, and St. John Cassian. They were related to the creation of rules for different forms or styles of monastic life. There were hermetic (individual), idiorythmic (sharing a prayer), and cenobitic (a religious community leading a common life).
The traditions of St. Basil became a major source for St. Benedict who is considered the father of Western monasticism. The originally created rules and guidelines had to be sometimes revised by special communities to remain appropriate to any situation. One of the well-known guidelines is that of St. Theodore. It has greatly influenced monasticism in the Byzantine Empire (including territories of Greece, Turkey, the Middle East) together with Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine and Russia.
Way of Life, Values, and Culture
A conceptual framework of the Byzantine Christianity is similar to that of contemporary Eastern Orthodox Church. It is grounded on the “concept of tradition and rooted in study of patristics and scripture.”37 Byzantine culture was greatly influenced by the development of Christianity. The Empire considered itself as “universal, appointed by God to govern the Christian world, and so those unfortunate enough to be outside this great society had to live awaiting the civilising benefits of Roman and Christian rule.” 38
The Byzantine culture preserved Greek components. However, it was significantly influenced by Eastern, Roman and Latin cultures. That, Byzantine Church and culture cannot be considered purely eastern. Since Church and culture are the sane in Byzantine tradition, worship can be considered an elegant element of culture. Another characteristic feature here is the universalization of Church.39
Architecture became important for the Byzantine culture since it created the churches as homes for God. One of the outstanding buildings of that epoch is the church of Hagia Sophia. Another aspect of culture is related to the depictive arts. In the context of religion, it included creation of icons which were supposed to evoke the presence of Gog, and mosaics which were usually used to decorate churches and depicted bible scenes. The major values of the Byzantine Empire included the faith in God and His power. It also included worshiping an Emperor who was considered a God’s representative on earth.
Distinct Sub-Groups in Different Periods of Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church unites many subgroups. They appeared in the process of becoming of the Eastern Church and had certain impact on its history. The major subgroups include Byzantine, Coptic, Syrian, Oriental, and Nestorian ones.
In the history of Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches and cultures were traditionally connected with Constantinople of the Byzantine Empire. The city was christened as a new capital by the Roman emperor Constantine on May 11, 330. This date is considered the birth of the Byzantine Empire.40 Constantine positioned himself as the representative of God on earth. He also made Christianity the legal religion of the Empire. During his rule, Constantine attacked Rome since it was a major city in Christendom. The Byzantine Orthodox Church accepted seven ecumenical councils within the period between 325-787.
At that time, religion influenced any sphere of life in the Empire. Famous locations of Christianity such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the Hagia Sophia church in Constantinople were built during that period. That time was also characterized by the active spread of the Greek New Testament. Later it was recognized as the Byzantine Text.41 Byzantine Church was also active in the missionary work.
Although often criticized for the lack of missionary spirit, the Byzantine Church applied certain efficient methods. The Church missions went to all parts of the world including Persia, India, China, Mongolia, etc. In the western direction, missions dealt with migrating Germanic tribes and were the first to Christianize them. The Byzantine Church also had missions to the north, northeast and northwest to Christianize Slavs. In the beginning, the missionary activity was a great achievement. However, later its efficiency ceased.
Another significant phase of Christianity becoming was Coptic. It is formally regarded as the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt. It is traditionally related to the author of Gospel Mark. The presence of the early Christianity in Egypt is proved by the copies of the Bible translated into the Coptic language and dated to the second century. Another evidence is the Catechetical School of Alexandria which was founded around 190.
The head of the Coptic Church is known as Pope or Patriarch who lives in Alexandria. The number of Coptic Christians is about 15 million people. The Coptic language was used for creation of many theological written works including the Bible. The Coptic Church can be considered a branch of the Roman and Byzantine Churches which appeared after the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon in 451.42 The Coptic were chased both by the Romans and by other Christians.
They were significantly influenced by Muslims who conquered Egypt in the middle of the seventh century. The invaders put certain restrictions on the faith of the locals. After some centuries, the Crusades activated. Thus, the Coptic Christians were in the epicenter of controversy between Muslims and Roman Catholics. At present, the Coptic Christians make a minority of ten percent of the Egyptian population. The present-day Coptic Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox Churches which have some peculiarities. Thus, these churches recognize just the first three ecumenical councils as valid.4
Syrian bishops, unlike some others who felt defeated in Chalcedon, came back home satisfied with the formula of “two natures” which was a certain declaration of an imperial council. A bishop named Ibas was a spokesman for the Antiochene tradition. He is mainly famous due to the letter he wrote to the principal bishop of the Christian community in the Persian Empire Mari. Ibas had been appointed by the bishop of Antioch, but Antioch was mainly Greek area.43
The place was a crossroad for important trade routes. Thus, there was the way from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean coast for example. Another road came down from Armenia and was directed south to Harran, and one more rout stretched eastward along the Silk Road to Persia (Iraq and Iran), India, and China.
Oriental Orthodox Christians traditionally do not recognize the Council of Chalcedon in 451 which defined that Christ is one heavenly Person with both divine and human natures. The Oriental Churches include Armenian Apostolic Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India, Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Eritrean Orthodox Church, and the Oriental Orthodox Communion of Churches.
This group of Orthodox Churches is also recognized as Oriental Orthodox (as opposed to the Eastern Orthodox), Non-Chalcedonian (because they do not accept the Council of Chalcedon), Jacobites (to commemorate Jacob Baradaeus, the Miaphysite Bishop of Edessa), Miaphysites (due to the term used by Saint Cyril which means “one nature”), and Monophysites. The issue of “Two Natures is one of the major controversies between the Oriental Orthodox Church and other Christian churches.
Nestorianism proclaims heretical teaching which states that “the second person of the Trinity was two persons: the man Jesus who was born, suffered and died, and the divine Logos, eternal and unbegotten.”44 This name is also used to refer to the “Church of the East.” However, it is historically wrong. This name developed from the Christological discrepancies of the fifth century. It is rooted in the name from Nestorius (AD 386-451), a bishop of Constantinople. He expressed the idea of the unity of the two essences (human and divine) in the one person of Jesus Christ. Nestorius was anathematized by the First Council of Ephesus for his heretic teachings.
He was sent to the former monastery in Antioch, and later to the Libyan desert, and finally to Egypt. After all, his last supporter agreed to anathematize him at the Council of Chalcedon. However, the Church of the East, particularly in eastern Mesopotamia and Persia, rejected this fact and was called the Nestorian Church to commemorate their leader. Apart from the wrong interpretation of the person of Christ as the Godman, Nestorianism is not appropriate for the doctrine of salvation. It rises many questions on the death of Jesus on the cross and its value.
On the whole, the history of the Eastern Church is one of the most complicated aspects of history and a fruitful field for research. For centuries, it unites people all over the world. The Eastern Church has a rich culture which was mainly influenced by the religious component. Its unique samples such as ancient churches, icons and pieces of mosaic pictures generate the image of culture of that time. The Church development was not peaceful.
The struggles for power were often justified with the good intentions and people’s redemption. At different moments in history, the Eastern Church divided or united people. The Church has diverse branches which appeared with the rise of new states. These filiations rose and declined depending on the position of the country on the world arena. In fact, almost every country has a Church which considers its cultural, language, and political peculiarities. Nevertheless, whatever is the language a bishop speaks, the Church has one primary goal. It unites all efforts to bring God to people and people to God.
Angold, Michael. The Cambridge History of Christianity. Volume 5: Eastern Christianity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Benz, Ernst. The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1963.
Binns, John. An Introduction to the Christian Orthodox Churches. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Chadwick, Henry. East and West: The Making of a Rift in the Church: From Apostolic Times Until the Council of Florence. Oxford: University Press, 2003.
Clendenin, Daniel B. Eastern Orthodox Theology: A Contemporary Reader. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company, 2003.
Fortescue, Adrian. The Orthodox Eastern Church. London: Catholic True Society, 1911.
Freeman, Charles. A new History of Early Christianity. Yale, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.
Freis, Paul and Tirian Nersoyal. Christ in East and West. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987.
Hindson, Ed and Dan Mitchell. The Popular Encyclopedia of Church History: The People, Places, and Events that Shaped Christianity. Eugen, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013.
Johnson, Paul. History of Christianity. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2012.
Kidd, B.J. The Churches of Eastern Christendom. New York: Burt Franklin, 1973.
Meyendorff, John. Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes. New York: Fordham University Press, 1979.
Parry, Ken. The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Ware, Timothy. Then Orthodox Church: New Edition. London, UK: Penguin Books, 1997.
Wilken, Robert Luis. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity. Yale, CT: Yale University Press, 2012.
- Henry Chadwick, East and West: The Making of a Rift in the Church: From Apostolic Times Until the Council of Florence (Oxford: University Press, 2003), 1.
- Paul Johnson, History of Christianity. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012), 51-56.
- Ed Hindson and Dan Mitchell, The Popular Encyclopedia of Church History: The People, Places, and Events that Shaped Christianity. (Eugen, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013), 127-128.
- Adrian Fortescue, The Orthodox Eastern Church. (London: Catholic True Society, 1911), 152-156.
- Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church: New Edition. (London, UK: Penguin Books, 1997), 32-40.
- Paul Freis and Tirian Nersoyal. Christ in East and West. (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987),.
- Ware, The Orthodox Church, 32-40.
- Charles Freeman, A new History of Early Christianity. (Yale, CT: Yale University Press, 2009), 97-101.
- Ware, The Orthodox Church, 32-40.
- Ernst Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life. (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1963), 38-42.
- Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church, 39.
- Michael Angold, The Cambridge History of Christianity. Volume 5: Eastern Christianity. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), 112.
- Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church, 39-41.
- Hindson and Mitchell, The Popular Encyclopedia of Church History, 163-164.
- Ware, The Orthodox Church, 57-63.
- Ken Parry, The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. (Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., 2010), 73-75.
- B.J. Kidd, The Churches of Eastern Christendom. (New York: Burt Franklin, 1973), 134.
- Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church, 47.
- Benz, The Eastern Orthodox Church, 47.
- John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes. (New York: Fordham University Press, 1979), 66.
- Parry, The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity, 80.
- John Binns, An Introduction to the Christian Orthodox Churches. (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 3-8.
- Daniel B. Clendenin, Eastern Orthodox Theology: A Contemporary Reader. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company, 2003), 69-71.
- Hindson and Mitchell, The Popular Encyclopedia of Church History, 77.
- Fortescue, The Orthodox Eastern Church, 152-156.
- Hindson and Mitchell, The Popular Encyclopedia of Church History, 107.
- Robert Luis Wilken, The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity. (Yale, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 198-201.
- Hindson and Mitchell, The Popular Encyclopedia of Church History, 243-244.