God from God & true God from true God

In the Nicene Creed, there is the part that says:

"…We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,** God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God**, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father…

In my CCD class, a boy asked about the part that I bolded and underlined, asking what this particular part meant. I explained how the Creed is the statement of our faith in a nutshell, and it was done to combat certain heresies of the time.

But I would like to go deeper and find out just what each phrase is defining. How is “true God from true God” different from “God from God”? And why did they find it necessary to add “Light from Light”?

Until near modern era, the concept of eternity was hardly understood. No one had seen or touched anything eternal (tacet Jesus and God’s encounters with man). WIth that said, the Nicene crede’s purpose is to reinstitute faith into our everday lives: Almost like keeping in touch with a friend by calling them on the phone. By stating “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,” we are both declaring that God is eternal, and nothing comes to him but through him, and that through he alone is “light”, and “truth”. Just for a second, think about when Pontious Pilate (not sure if I spelled that right) asked Jesus what truth is. How did Jesus react? What happened thereafter?

“God from God” only means that Jesus is a god. True God from true God only means that Jesus is not just one of the gods and goddesses but rather the God as the statement will later say “one in being with the Father.”

For “Light from Light,” one needs to go deep into the Eastern or even Jewish meaning of Light as one would first look into the idea that Jesus is the Word (greek: Logos) of God in interpreting John 1.

In essence, these statements are counter to heresies during the Nicene period when Jesus’ divinity were challenged. One can even see some of these heresies surviving today.

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