Acts of the Councils


I’m not sure if this is the right section for this thread so my apologies; I’m reading through some of the ecumenical councils and there are sections that say “Extracts from the Acts.” Are these the full written documents from the councils? Or are they just condensed or summed up forms?

Please check it out and let me know…



Also, why does the council seem to jump from session 3 all the way to 7 here?!

Bit weird.

God bless :slight_smile:




Newadvent does not host the full text of the first seven ecumenical councils. They only host the content which was translated by an Anglican gentleman named Philip Schaff, who was a Church historian. (Mr. Schaff also had other men helping him with the project, btw.) Philip Schaff had a limited purpose in translating the ecumenical councils, and a limited amount of time. He did not intend to give a complete text of all seven councils, not because that would not be useful, but because he had limited resources and needed to produce books quickly, and in fact producing a complete translation was not his purpose. As he explains in the introduction (which is not at NewAdvent), his purpose was to translate the Canons and Decrees of the Councils. The Canons and Decrees are a relatively small amount of material compared to the Sessions. Importantly, however, the Sessions are not infallible. They are the text of the various debates and discussions and proceedings as they were transcribed by the stenographers and edited by the Council Fathers.

Philip Schaff’s team only translated some extracts of these Sessions, because his main purpose was to translate the Decrees and Canons – the infallible parts – and he felt that only some of the Sessions were useful for discerning the true meaning of the Canons and Decrees. He was open about the reasons why he did this, and when he published his translation he spent some time covering its limitations, because he was being honest with his audience. He wasn’t trying to hide anything, if that’s in your suspicions at all, not that I’m saying it is. If you want to know more, the introduction to his translation is available at this link:


Thank you :slight_smile:


Sorry to post on here again,

but it is safe for me to assume that the canons and decrees are there in their fullness? Meaning, they are the fullness of the text from the councils? And these are the infallible parts?

Thanks again :slight_smile:


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