Did Constantine INVENT Jesus as God?

Street Theologian
6 min readSep 24, 2023
Constantine’s Conversion Wikimedia Commons. All images from Wikimedia Commons unless mentioned otherwise.

Myths about the Council of Nicaea EXPOSED

No one thought Jesus is God before the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. Constantine redefined Christianity for political reasons. Constantine invented the idea of Jesus being divine.

Heard this before?

These or similar views are espoused by the likes of Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code and by countless atheist and Muslim internet apologists.

Subscribe to our Substack: https://streettheologian.substack.com/

How well do these views stand up against the facts?

1. The truth about Nicaea

2. Hidden books?

3. Divine Jesus in early church history

4. Divine Jesus in New Testament excluding the Gospels

5. Divine Jesus in the Gospel of John

6. Divine Jesus in the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke)

1. The truth about Nicaea

To say the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD invented the idea of Jesus being God is false. The Council voted to confirm the prevalent church view (only opposed by two bishops out of hundreds- a 99%+ landslide in favour overall) on Jesus’ divinity. It did not invent the belief Jesus is God. That doctrine goes back well before Nicaea!

Vote, not executive order

Note as well, that the conclusion was determined by a vote, not directly by Constantine despite Constantine convening the Council.

Persecuted despite voting for Christ’s divinity

Some of those who voted for Jesus’ divinity, such as Athanasius, later faced persecution and political oppression. Athanasius was banished five times and spent 17 years of his life in exile.

For example, in 336 AD, Constantine exiled Athanasius to Rhineland with no formal trial!

Athanasius was not exactly the sort of person who would bend over backwards to please politicians!

Lost limbs and missing family members

Some bishops in attendance would have likely lost family members and friends who died for their faith prior to Christianity being decriminalised in the Roman Empire.

Hardly the sort of people who took their convictions lightly.

Did not discuss what should be in the Bible

The Council of Nicaea did not meet to discuss what books should be in the Bible. However, books of what is now recognised as the Bible were used to draw a conclusion on Christ’s divinity.

Athanasius (again!)

Athanasius listed the 27 books of the New Testament we have as canonical in 367AD in his Easter letter. However, in his earlier Contra Arianos, he spoke against Arians (people who believed Christ was created) using passages from what we now know as the Bible.

Origen, Councils of Hippo and Carthage

These same 27 New Testament books were also agreed on at the Council of Hippo (c.393 AD) and later reaffirmed at the Council of Carthage (c. 397 AD).

Moreover, in Origen’s Homilies on Joshua (written about 240 AD) he lists all the books of the New Testament together with no other books. Origen referred to the Gospel of Thomas as heretical.

More here:

Frequently Avoided Questions: How did we get the Bible? A crash course

Short Conversations: How did we get the Bible?

2. Hidden books?

Nicaea did not suppress hidden books. The Gnostic Gospels were never recognised as authoritative books to begin with.

Ben Witherington notes, “The four biblical Gospels, as well as Paul’s letters, were recognised as sacred and authoritative tradition by AD 130, well before Constantine was born (The Gospel Code, p. 23)”.

Four Gospels recognised well before Constantine

Irenaeus referred to the four Gospels circulating together in the second century. Tatian’s Diatessaron (c.150–160 AD), merged the four biblical Gospels into one account.

The Muratorian Canon (c. 170), “names the four Gospels as authoritative in and for the church (Witherington, p. 23).”

3. Divine Jesus in early church history

Polycarp (AD 69–155), Ignatius (c. AD 50–117), Justin Martyr (c. AD 100–165), Melito of Sardis (AD 100- 180), Irenaeus of Lyons (AD 130–202), Clement of Alexandria (AD 150–215), Tertullian (c. AD 155–220), Hippolytus of Rome (AD 170–235) and Origen (AD 185–254) all taught Jesus is God and wrote well before the Council of Nicaea.

Ignatius of Antioch

4. Divine Jesus in the New Testament (excluding Gospels)

The New Testament writings are from the first century AD, with many books being written around the middle of the century (250+ years before Nicaea!).

Equal with God

Some examples demonstrating Jesus’ divinity include Titus 2:13 which refers to Jesus as our “God and Savior” (Granville Sharp grammatical rule suggests both refer to Jesus). 2 Peter 1:1 uses similar language.

Philippians 2:6 speaks of Christ having equality with God. The Son of God or Jesus is called God in Hebrews 1:8.


In Revelation 19:10 John is told to only worship God and Jesus, the Lamb of God, is worshipped in Revelation 5:13–14. Jesus has hair like pure white wool in Revelation 1:14 which the Ancient of Days or God has in Daniel 7:9 (metaphorical).

Jesus is the first and the last in Revelation 1:17 which echoes the description of the Lord of Isaiah 48:12–16 who is uncaused, timeless and formed the world.

5. Divine Jesus in the Gospel of John

Jesus is called the Word of God or Logos (John 1:1–18) who is called YHWH in Jer. 1:6. Jesus is also called the I AM (unique covenant name for God) of Exodus 3 (John 8:58).

Jesus was charged with making himself God by the Jews (John 5:17–18; 10:33) and Thomas calls him “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

Moreover, John describes Isaiah having seen Jesus’ divine glory (John 12:41–43), alluding to a passage where Isaiah saw YHWH’s glory (Isaiah 6:1–7).

6. Divine Jesus in the Synoptics

The evidence for a divine Jesus in the Synoptics is overwhelming.

Jesus applies passages concerning YHWH to himself, claims to be omnipresent (with his people always), Lord of the Sabbath, the divine Son of Man (charged with blasphemy), adds to God’s commands, determines your eternal destiny, has power over Satan, redefines God’s law, forgives sins when only God can, receives worship, is Lord over nature, passes by and walks on water like God and is King over all and Saviour.


Working back in time from the Council of Nicaea to the time of Jesus, the evidence early Christians and Christian writings taught Jesus is divine from well before Nicaea or Constantine is staggering.

Do you agree with the early Christians on Jesus being divine?

Subscribe to our Substack: https://streettheologian.substack.com/

Is Jesus GOD in Matthew, Mark and Luke? 20 Key Considerations

Quoting Ehrman: 20 Bart Ehrman quotes every NON-CHRISTIAN should know

Are the Gospels based on eyewitness accounts? 10 key considerations

Did Jesus rise from the dead? Your comprehensive 2023 Guide

Not all LOVE STORIES end well: Why the Gospel strikes at the heart

More regular updates? https://twitter.com/StreetTheologn

Article archives spanning back to 2020:






Street Theologian

Theology and apologetics for those who want to get their hands dirty