The Council of Nicaea, held in 325, marks a watershed in the history of Christian theology. The precise nature of the difference between the Orthodox and the Arians, between Alexander and Athanasius, on the one hand, and Arius, on the other, has been the subject of much scholarly debate. The point of difference is clear: for the Orthodox the Word or the Son was of one substance (homoousios) with the Father, for the Arians he was a creature, albeit a very exalted one.
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