Christian Cyclopedia

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Épée, Charles Michel de l'

(1712–89). Fr. abbé; obtained manual alphabet from J. R. Pereire*; perfected one-hand sign alphabet for deaf and dumb; founded institution for deaf and dumb at Paris.

Ephesus, “Robber Synod” of

(Called Latrocinium. Lat. “highway robbery,” by metonymy “a band of robbers”; 449). By brutality and violence and support of imperial troops Dioscorus* (d. 454) obtained temporary restoration of Eutyches* and condemnation of Flavian,* Eusebius* of Dorylaeum, Theodoret* of Cyrrhus (in Syria), et al.; decisions reversed by Council of Chalcedon.*

Ephesus, Third Ecumenical Council of

(431). Convoked by E Roman Emp. Theodosius* II, who favored Nestorius.* Opening of the council was postponed from day to day for 15 days because John of Antioch and other bps. from Syria and elsewhere in the E (adherents of Nestorius) and the representatives of Rome had not arrived. On June 22 Cyril* of Alexandria, chief opponent of Nestorius, refusing to wait longer, opened the council; the same day it condemned, deposed, and excommunicated Nestorius. The doctrine that Mary is Theotokos* (mother of God), and that God the Word was born, suffered, and died in the flesh, was adopted. The legates of Celestine I of Rome (pope 422–432), arriving later, joined in the condemnation of Nestorius July 10–11, trying to use the occasion in the interest of the primacy of Rome. The council also condemned Pelagianism* (in the doctrine of Celestius*) and the Messalians (Euchites*). See also Councils and Synods, 4.


(Gk. “magistrate,” esp. in Sparta). Term used for several ecclesiastical officials with supervisory functions. In Luth. chs. it is used for officials whose functions correspond to those of bp. or supt., e.g., in Saxony. See also Bataks.


(Ephraim; Ephrem; Ephraem Syrus, i. e. the Syrian; ca. 306–ca. 373). B. Nisibis; possibly accompanied Jacob* of Nisibis to Nicaea 325 AD; after cession of Nisibis to Persia 363, went to Edessa.* Exegetic, dogmatic, controversial, and ascetic writings, mostly in verse, reveal efforts to be a Scriptural theol. Wrote hymns for feast days and funerals, against heretics, and on the Last Judgment. Enjoined devotion to saints, esp. Mary, whose sinlessness he taught. Called “Harp (or Lyre, or Zither) of the Holy Ghost; Prophet of the Syrians.” See also Manuscripts of the Bible, 3 a; Patristics, 6; Schools, Early Christian, 4–6.

J. Alsleben, Das Leben des heiligen Ephraem, des Syrers (Berlin, 1853); Des heiligen Ephräm des Syrers ausgewählte Schriften, vol. 1 ed. O. Bardenhewer, tr. S. Euringer and A. Rücker, vol. 2 ed. and tr. A. Rücker, Bibliothek der Kirchenväter, series vols. 37 and 61, ed. O. Bardenhewer, K. Yeyman, and J. Zellinger (Kempten and Munich, 1919, 28); A. Vööbus, Literary, Critical, and Historical Studies in Ephrem the Syrian (Stockholm, 1958).


Petition in E anaphora* asking God the Father to send the Spirit on the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper to change them into the body and blood of Christ.


(ca. 50–ca. 130). B. probably Hierapolis, Phrygia; Gk. Stoic (see Stoicism) philos.; concentrated on ethics, stressing the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of men; mentions Christians only once, contemptuously.

A. F. Bonhöffer, Epictet und die Stoa (Stuttgart, 1890), Die Ethik des Stoikers Epictet (Stuttgart, 1894), and Epictet und das Neue Testament, in Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten, X, ed. R. Wünsch and L. Deubner, (Giessen, 1911); D. S. Sharp, Epictetus and the New Testament (London, 1914); Epictetus: The Discourses as Reported by Arrian, the Manual, and Fragments, ed. and tr. W. A. Oldfather, 2 vols., in The Loeb Classical Library, ed. E. Capps, W. H. D. Rouse, and T. E. Page (New York, 1925–28). EK


The philos. system of Epicurus.* The community that he est. at Athens was called The Garden from the garden in which he taught. Though he is said to have written voluminously, only 3 letters and numerous aphorisms survive. From these remains and from the works of such followers as Lucretius* and Philodemus it is evident that the school's chief tenets were organized under a few main heads: canonic (Epicurean logic), physics, and ethics. Of these divisions the first two interested Epicurus only to the extent that they provided a basis for the 3d. Prominent among his principles: The only avenue to knowledge is sense-perception, which all men have in common. Through senseperception we learn that there are only 2 things in the universe whose existence is certain and enduring: atoms and void. From these primordial, eternal atoms of matter and their chance combination everything else arises: this world with its human inhabitants and an infinite number of other worlds, with anthropomorphic gods inhabiting the empty regions bet. the worlds and beyond. The gods are blissfully and immortally free of all concern for this world or any other. Man, on the other hand, is characterized by mortality. When he dies, the atoms of his body patently begin slow dissolution; the atoms of his soul, being much finer, are dispersed at once. Consequently, after death there is no life or consciousness; for when we are, death is not, and when death is, we are not. Therefore man's proper concern is with this life only, in which pleasure is the greatest good of man's nature and as such the aim of human existence. Pleasure must not be understood in the crass sense but as a peaceful, indep. state of body and mind, free from pain and trouble, resulting in imperturbability. In fact, “imperturbability” rather than “pleasure” is the catchword that marks Epicurus' ambition to free men from the fears that rob them of happiness: fear of death and fear of gods or of mysterious powers in nature. To maintain the imperturbability for which he believed his physics furnished a basis, Epicurus counseled shunning pub. life and withdrawing from the world.

Epicurea, ed. H. K. Usener (Leipzig, 1887); Epicurus: The Extant Remains, ed. and tr. C. Bailey Oxford, 126); The Philosophy of Epicurus: Letters, Doctrines, and Parallel Passages from Lucretius, ed. and tr. G. K. Strodach (Evanston, Illinois, 1963). RJ


(ca. 341–ca. 270 BC). B. Samos; Gk. philos.; founded Epicureanism*; probably studied under Pamphilus (Platonist) and Nausaphanes (Democritean); character changed from aggressive to gentle and considerate; founded school at Mytilene, on the is. of Lesbos, and at Lampsacus, Mysia; ca. 306 founded school at Athens. Adopted the materialistic atomism* of Democritus.*

N. W. DeWitt, Epicurus and His Philosophy (Minneapolis, 1954); A. M. J. Festugière, Epicurus and His Gods, tr. C. W. Chilton (Oxford, 1955); Epicurus: Letters, Principal Doctrines, and Vatican Sayings, ed. and tr. R. M. Geer (Indianapolis, 1964).


(from Gk. for “on” and “knee”). Rhombic vestment worn on right hip by bps. and some other ecclesiastical dignitaries of the E Orthodox Ch.


(ca. 315–403). B. near Eleutheropolis, Palestine; Gk. ch. father; bp. Salamis (Constantia), Cyprus, 367; highly esteemed for monastic asceticism, learning, piety, self-denying care for the poor, and zeal for orthodoxy (but zeal not always according to knowledge; see Origen). Works include Ancoratus; Panarion. See also Acacius of Bercea; Tripartite History.

MPG, 41; 42; 43, 9–664.


(Gk. “manifestation”). Term applied to the birth, Baptism, appearance of the star, and similar events in Christ's life. It is also applied to January 6, celebrated in commemoration of the visit of the Magi. See also Church Year, 2, 11, 16.


(from Gk. episkopos, “overseer, bishop”). Govt. of ch. by bps. See also Bishop; Hierarchy; Polity, Ecclesiastical, 6.

Episcopal Synod

(Diocese of Jordan). See Middle East, C.

Episcopal Throne.

In E Orthodox Ch., place from which bp. supervises the people when he is not in the sanctuary.

Episcopius, Simon

(Bischop; Biscop; Bisschop; 1583–1643). B. Amsterdam; educ. Leiden; influenced by Arminius; prof. Leiden 1612; with other Remonstrants deposed and excommunicated 1619 by Syn. of Dordrecht* and expelled from the country; prof. Arminian Coll., Amsterdam, 1634. Works include a confession of faith and liturgical forms for Remonstrant Brotherhood. See also Arminianism.


(Gk. “study of knowledge”). Branch of philos. that investigates the possibility, limits, origin, kinds, structure, and other problems of knowledge and tries to determine the nature of truth. See also Philosophy.

Epistle of Jeremiah

(Letter of Jeremiah). See Apocrypha, B 3.

Epistle of the Apostles

(Epistola Apostolorum). 2d c. apocryphal writing containing supposed conversations of the risen Christ with the apostles; directed against gnosticism* and docetism*; Coptic tr. found 1895 in Cairo by Carl Schmidt (1868–1938). See also Apocrypha, C 4.

Epistle Side of Altar.

Liturgical south*; to the right as one faces the altar. See also Church Furniture, 1.


E Orthodox term denoting fasting, praying, giving alms, reading sacred books, etc. imposed on great sinners.


(from Gk. for “on” and “neck”). Long narrow stole worn by priests and bps. in the E Orthodox Ch. See also Vestments, Clerical.


In E. Husserl,* suspension of judgment, or reduction of object to pure phenomenon.

Epworth League.

Organization for young people in Meth. chs. of Am., named after J. Wesley's* birthplace, Epworth, Eng. Organized 1889 at Cleveland, Ohio, by merging 5 organizations into 1. See also Young People's Organizations, Christian, III 12.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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