Concept of Trinity

The first ecumenical synod at Nicaea in A.D. 325 formulated the fundamental beliefs of all Christians in what has since been known as the Nicene creed. The second and third synods at Constantinople and Ephesus expanded this statement of faith. To this day, this remains the creed of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

It is believed by the Syriacs that there was the presence of Holy Spirit in the Nicene creed. There were 318 bishops but 319 chairs, however when all bishops sat down, there was no empty chair. The Nicene creed was lead by Eustathius of Antioch, our 23rd Patriarch and Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria.

The Nicene Creed About the Trinity
We believe in One God( Exodus), The Father (Mathew 5) Almighty (John 10:29), Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible (Genesis).

And in One Lord (1 Cor 8:6), Yeshuwa Messiah, the Only-Begotten Son of God (John 3:16, Mat 3:17, 16:16, 17:5, John 5:32, 5:37, Rom 1:5), Who was begotten of the Father before all worlds (Colo 1:15, 17). Light of Light (John 8:12, 1:8), True God of True God (1 John 5:20), begotten and not made (John 1:14), and being of one substance with His Father (Colo 1:15, Phili 2:6, 2 Cor 4:4, Ebr 1:13); by Whom all things were made (John 1:3, 1 Cor 8:6, Colo 1:16); Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven (Mat 1:21, Luk 2:11, John 4:42, Phili 2:6-8, 2 Cor 8:9, John 3:13) and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God (Luke 1:43). And He became man (Luke 1:35, 43, Isaiah 7:14, Ebr 2:18, 4:15, John 19:5, Mat 8:20, 11:19, 13:54, Luke 8:25, 23:50, 53, Mark 10:45) , and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate (Mat 27:17, 26:35, 50, 59, 60), and He suffered, died, and was buried (1 Pet 3:18, 2:21, 4:1, Rom 6:1, Colo 1:20), and on the third day He rose according to His will (Mat 28:6,7). And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of His Father (Acts 1:9, 7:55, 56, 1 John 2:2). And He will come again with great glory to judge both the living and the dead(Mat 16:2, 2 Peter 3:13-16, Acts 10:42, 2 Tim 4:1), and His kingdom shall have no end (Luke 1., 12:32, Rom 14:17).

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life to all (John 6:63, Rom 8:11), Who proceeds from the Father (John 14:16, 26, 15:26), Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified (John 16:14), Who spoke through the Prophets and Apostles (2 Peter 1:21, Mat 10:20, Acts 16:6, 28:26, 27, 5:3). And in one Holy Catholic (Universal) and Apostolic Church (Mat 16).

We confess one baptism (Acts 2:38, 22:16) for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead (Mat, 1 Thess), and the new life in the world to come (1 Themo ). Amen.

Faith And Doctrine

The faith of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch is in accordance with the Nicene Creed. It believes in the Trinity, that is one God, subsisting in three separate persons called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The three being of one Essence, of one Godhead, have one Will, one Work and one Lordship. The special aspect of the First Person is His Fatherhood, that of the Second Person His Sonship, and that of the Third Person His Procession.

The Syriac Orthodox Church believes in the mystery of Incarnation. That is, the Only Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, took to Himself a body and became man. It further believes that at the time of Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit came upon her and cleansed her of all natural impurity, filling her with His grace. Then the Only Son of God came down and entered her immaculate womb, and took to Himself a body through her, thus becoming a perfect Man with a perfect Soul. After nine months, He was born of her and her virginity was maintained contrary to the laws of nature. It further believes that His true Godhead and His true Manhood were in Him essentially united, He being one Lord and one Son, and that after the union took place in Him, He had but one Nature Incarnate, was one Person, had one Will and one Work. This union is marked by being a natural union of persons, free of all separateness, intermixture, confusion, mingling, change and transformation.

The Syriac Orthodox Church calls Mary as Yoldath aloho, 'Bearer of God', because she gave birth to Christ, God truly incarnate.

The Syriac Orthodox Church believes that the death of Christ was the separation of His soul from His body, but His deity did not at any time leave either His body or His soul. It further believes that by His death for us, He conferred upon us salvation from eternal death and reconciliation with His Heavenly Father.

The Syriac Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Spirit of Truth, proceeding from the Father. The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. (Note. The word for 'spirit' in Syriac, ruho (which is also the word for 'wind'), is grammatically feminine. Holy Spirit is referred to with the feminine pronoun in almost all early Syriac writings, though later writings refer to it in the masculine.)

Concerning the Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church believes the Church is the body of true believers in Christ, and that the Head of the Church is Our Lord God Jesus Christ. The Chief Bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church is the Patriarch of Antioch.

With regards to Sacraments, the Syriac Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Sacraments are tangible signs designated by the Lord Christ to proclaim divine grace, which He gave for our sanctification.

The Sacraments of the Church are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Repentance, the Priesthood, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage. Holy Sacraments are offered by the Bishops and the Priests. Only believers can receive the Sacraments. All but four of the Sacraments are essential for salvation: Baptism, Confirmation, Repentance and Eucharist. Of the sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation and the Priesthood may be received only once.

The Syriac Orthodox Church conforms to the teachings of the Three Ecumenical Councils of Nicea (A.D. 325), Constantinople (A.D. 381) and Ephesus (A.D. 431). It rejects the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451).