The Three Chapters

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The Three Chapters [1]

a title given to three points ( Κεφάλαια , Capitula) condemned by the fifth Council of Constantinople. They were, 1. The person and writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia; 2. The writings of Theodoret, so far as they were directed against Cyril; 3. The letter of Ibas of Edessa to Maris, concerning the Council of Ephesus. The emperor Justinian, under the influence of his wife Theodora, who was at heart a Monophysite, and of Theodore, bishop of Caesarea, published an edict A.D. 544, in which the above were condemned. This edict was signed by most of the Eastern bishops, but was opposed by the African and Western bishops, especially by Vigilius, the Roman pontiff, who was ordered to Constantinople (A.D. 547), and obliged to give a written declaration (Judicatum) approving the condemnation of the "Three Chapters." They were afterwards condemned anew by Justinian, A.D. 551, and by the fifth Council of Constantinople, A.D. 553. Dr. Schaff remarks (3:770) that the "controversy of the 'Three Chapters' has filled more volumes than it is worth lines." Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 6, pt. 2, ch. 3, § 10, note; Schaff, Ch. History, 3, § 144; Gieseler, Church History, 1, § 109. (See Constantinople).