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Is. in the Indian ocean W of Sumatra. See also Indonesia, 4; Sundermann, Wilhelm Heinrich.

Nicaea, Councils of

(modern Iznik, NW Turkey in Asia). 1. The 1st Ecumenical Council (Nicaea I). Convened by Constantine* I; probably began May or June and ended ca. August 25, 325; ca. 300 bps. present; chief concern: doctrinal issues, esp. Christology. Arians (see Arianism) proposed a creed that was rejected. Eusebius* of Caesarea proposed a creed, probably that which was used at baptism in his ch.; it found gen. approval but was found to lack necessary precision against Arianism; clauses were added (ek tes ousias tou patros, “of the substance of the Father”; gennethenta, ou poiethenta, “begotten, not made”; homoousion to patri, “of one substance with the Father”). The 3d art. has the statement “and in the Holy Spirit” and then anathematizes those who hold Arian propositions. The “Nicene Creed” as we know it is a later modification of the creed adopted 325 at Nicaea; see Constantinople, Councils of, 1; Ecumenical Creeds, B See also Homoousios. The Council also fixed the date of Easter (see Easter Controversy). See also Agapetae.

2. The 7th Ecumenical Council (Nicaea II). Convened by Byzantine Empress Irene (ca. 752–803; b. Athens, Greece; wife of Emp. Leo IV [the Khazar; ca. 750–780; m. Irene 769; E Roman emp. 775–780]; coruler with her son Constantine VI 780–797; sole ruler 797–802; deposed) in the name of Constantine VI; met August 786–October 787; opened in the basilica of the Holy Apostles, Constantinople; disrupted by iconoclastic soldiers; transferred to Nicaea, where it met September 24–October 23, 787; est. legitimacy of veneration of images as opposed to latria*; declared belief in efficacy of prayers of saints. See also Mariology.

See also Councils and Synods; Doctrine, Christian, History of, 3.


(ca. 750/758–ca. 828). Represented Leo IV at 2d Council of Nicaea*; patriarch Constantinople 806; founded monastery on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara); defended veneration of images; deposed 815. MPG, 100, 9–1068.

Nicephorus Callistus

(Xanthopoulos; ca. 1256–ca. 1335). B. perhaps Constantinople; hist. Works include ch. hist. from time of Christ to death of Phocas (E Roman emp. 602 till his death 610). MPG, 145, 549–1332; 146; 147, 9–632.

Nicephorus Gregoras

(ca. 1295–ca. 1359). B. Heraclea Pontica, NW Turkey in Asia, on Black Sea; hist.; opposed hesychasm.* Works include Roman hist. 1204–1359.


(Nic[a]eus of Dacia; perhaps ca. 340-after 414). Bp. Remesiana (Civitas Romatiana; modern Bela Palanka, Yugoslavia) perhaps ca. 366/367. Works include Explanatio symboli (contains first known use of the term communio* sanctorum); Competentibus ad baptismum instructionis libelli sex.

A. E. Burn, Niceta of Remesiana (Cambridge, Eng., 1905).

Nicetas of Chonia

(Khonae; Khonas; Nicetas Choniates; incorrectly called Akominatos [Acominatos; Acominatus]; perhaps ca. 1140/50–ca. 1212/13). Theol., hist.; b. Chonae (Khonae; Khonas; ancient Colossae), Phrygia; fled to Nicaea when Crusaders took Constantinople 1204 (see Crusades, 5). Works include a hist. covering 1118–1206.

MPG, 139, 287–1444; 140, 9–292.


(1222–82). B. Kominato, prov. Awa, Jap.; founded Hokkes, or Nichiren, a Buddhist sect.


(“True Nichiren sect”). Sect of Nichiren* Buddhism. In the US the lay organization equivalent to the Soka* Gakkai is called Nichiren-sho-shu of Am. See also Nichiren Buddhism.

Nichiren Buddhism.

School of Jap. Buddhism founded by Nichiren.* Holds that all life may become a Buddha by repeated transmigrations and that salvation is attained by prayer and obedience to the law. See also Nichiren-sho-shu; Soka Gakkai.


(Nicolaus Kemph de Argentina; 1397–1497). B. Strasbourg, Ger.; studied in Vienna; Carthusian; mystic theol.

Nicholas, St.

(fl. 1st half of 4th c.). Bp. Myra, in Lycia, Asia Minor; patron saint of Russ., sailors, and children; acc. to legend, provided dowries for 3 maidens; stories of his secret gifts to children on his feast, December 6, came to be connected with Christmas* and his name was corrupted in Am. into Santa Claus. See also Church Year, 17.

Nicholas of Amiens

(fl. 2d half of 12th c.). Probably wrote De arte sea articulis catholica fidei, formerly ascribed to Alain* de Lille.

MPL, 210, 595–618.

Nicholas of Basel

(d. ca. 1395). Beghard (see Beghards and Beguines); claimed inspiration; became prominent through preaching in the area around Basel; held that his followers were sinless and need not obey any authority; at one time identified as the “Great Friend” of the Friends* of God; burned at stake under the Inquisition.*

Nicholas of Clémanges

(Nicolas de Clémanges; Nikolaus von Clémanges; Clamenges; Clamanges; Nicolaus de Clemangiis; originally Nicholas Poillevillain; ca. 1360/67–1437). Theol.; Christian humanist; b. Clémanges, Champagne, NE Fr.; educ. Paris; rector U. of Paris; tried to help heal the papal schism that began 1378 (see Schism, 8); secy. to antipope Benedict XIII (see Benedict XIII, 1) 1397; resigned 1407; lived with Carthusians; later taught again in Paris. Works include De corrupto ecclesiae statu; Disputatio super materia concilii generalis.

Nicholas of Cusa

(Nicolas; Cues; Nikolaus Cryftz; Khrypffs; Kryfts; Chrypffs; Nicolaus Cusanus; name originally Nicolaus Krebs of Cues or Cusa; 1401–64). B. Kues or Cusa, on the Moselle, in the archbishopric of Trier (Treves); educ. Deventer (?), Heidelberg, and Padua; mem. council of Basel; supported first the conciliar, then the papal party; cardinal 1448; bp. and reformer Brixen (Bressanone), NE It. Doubted scholastic proofs of theol. truths; extolled “learned ignorance”; held that God is the coincidence of opposites; tried to give intuition cognitive meaning in mathematical terms; anticipated Copernicus with a theory of the rotation of the earth on its axis; proposed calendar reform; said the world would end 1734. Works include De docta ignorantie; De coniecturis; Apologia doctae ignorantiae; De visione Dei; De concordantia catholica; De auctoritate praesidendi in consilio generali; De pace fidei. Works pub. Paris 1514, Basel 1565, Leipzig 1932-. See also Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.

F. A. Scharpff, Der Cardinal und Bischof Nicolaus von Cusa als Reformator in Kirche, Reich und Philosophic des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts (Tübingen, 1871); E. Vansteenberghe, Le Cardinal Nicolas de Cues (Paris, 1920); E. Cassirer, Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance (Leipzig, 1927), tr. with an introd. M. Domandi, The Individual and the Cosmos in Renaissance Philosophy (New York, 1963); H. Bett, Nicholas of Cusa (London, 1932); P. E. Sigmund, Nicholas of Cusa and Medieval Political Thought (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1963). PR

Nicholas of Flüe

(Nikolaus von der Flüe; orig. Nikolaus Löwenbugger; 1417–87). “Bruder Klaus”; b. at what is now Flüeli, near Sachseln, cen. Switz.; farmer, soldier, councillor, judge; with wife's consent, left her and 10 children to be hermit in Ranft ravine, near Flüeli, ca. 19 yrs.; helped avert Swiss civil war 1481.

Nicholas of Hereford

(Nicholas Hereford [Herford]; d. ca. 1420). Wycliffite; b. probably Hereford, Eng.; educ. Oxford; excommunicated 1382; in Rome appealed to pope; imprisoned; escaped 1385; returned to Eng.; resumed Wycliffite activity; recanted and repudiated Wycliffites in the early 1390s; Carthusian monk Coventry 1417. Helped J. Wycliffe* tr. Bible. See also Bible Versions, L 1.

Nicholas of Strasbourg

(fl. ca. 1323–29). Dominican mystic; lector at monastery at Cologne, Ger., ca. 1323–29. Works include sermons and a philos. Summa.

Nicholas of Tolentino

(ca. 1245–ca. 1305). Augustinian friar; devoted to preaching and pastoral work among poor; fragments of his body at Tolentino, It., reputed to bleed in connection with unusual events in ch. hist.

Nicholas V

(Pietro Rainalducci; d. 1333). B. Corvaro, Rieti, It.; antipope to John XXII (see Babylonian Captivity, 2; Popes, 13) 1328 (see Louis IV); submitted to John XXII 1330.


Also called New Quakers. Sect founded by Joseph Nichols in latter half of 18th c. in Caroline Co., Maryland, with religious beliefs much like those of the Soc. of Friends,* with whom they united after ca. 20 yrs. of indep. existence.

Niclaes, Hendrik

(Niclas; Henry Nicolas; ca. 1502–ca. 1580). B. probably Münster, Westphalia, of RC parents; believed he saw visions at an early age; to Amsterdam, Neth., ca. 1529; in Emden, Ger., 1540–60; founded Familists*; before proceedings could be taken against his antinomianism at Emden he escaped; fugitive during his last yrs.

Nicolai, Christoph Friedrich

(1733–1811). B. Berlin, Ger.; rationalistic author, critic, and bookseller. Founded and ed. Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek. See also Enlightenment, 3.

Nicolai, Melchior

(Nikolai; 1578–1659). B. Schorudoff, Ger.; educ. Tübingen; held various positions; prof. Tübingen 1619. Works include polemical writings against RCs Ref., Anabaps.; treatise on the kenosis of Christ (see also Crypto-Kenotic Controversy).

Nicolai, Philipp

(1556–1608). Luth. preacher and hymnist; b. Mengeringhausen, Waldeck, Ger.; educ. Erfurt and Wittenberg; held various pastorates; helped sustain staunch Lutheranism during the Counter* Reformation. Credited with words and music of “Wie schön leucht's uns der Morgenstern” and “Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme,” called resp. the Queen and King of Chorales.

Nicoll, William Robertson

(1851–1923). B. Lumsden, Aberdeenshire, Scot.; educ. Aberdeen; Free Ch. minister Dufftown, Banffshire (1874–77), and Kelso, Roxburghshire (1877–85); resigned because of ill health and devoted himself to literary work; knighted 1909. Ed. The Expositor's Greek Testament.

Nicum, John

(January 6, 1851–November 1, 1909). B. Winnenden, Wüttemberg, Ger.; educ. Muhlenberg Coll., Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Luth. Theol. Sem., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Pastor Frackville and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Syracuse and Rochester, New York; prof. and pres. Wagner Mem. Lutheran Coll., Staten Is., New York, 1894–1902. Works include The Beginnings of the Lutheran Church on Manhattan Island; Geschichte des Evangelisch-Lutherischen Ministeriums vom Staate New York und angrenzenden Staaten und Ländern; Laws of the State of New York Relating to Churches; The Confessional History of the Lutheran Church in the United States.

Niebuhr, Helmut Richard

(1894–1962). Brother of R. Niebuhr*; b. Wright City, Missouri; educ. Elmhurst (Illinois) Coll. and Eden Theol. Sem., Webster Groves (St. Louis), Missouri; ordained Ev. Syn. of N Am. 1916; pastor St. Louis 1916–18; prof. Eden Theol. Sem. 1919–22, 1927–31; pres. Elmhurst Coll. 1924–27. Works include The Kingdom of God in America; The Meaning of Revelation; The Social Sources of Denominationalism; Christ and Culture.

Niebuhr, Reinhold

(1892–1971). Brother of H. R. Niebuhr*; b. Wright City, Missouri; educ. Elmhurst (Illinois) Coll. and Eden Theol. Sem., Webster Groves (St. Louis), Missouri; ordained Ev. Syn. of N Am. 1915; pastor Detroit, Michigan, 1915–28; prof. Union Theol. Sem., NYC 1928–60. Favored labor movement and became interested in social* ethics; opposed theol. and pol. liberalism; exponent of dialectical* theol.; regarded pride as chief threat to mankind; emphasized original sin; held that human structures are limited and pol. visions should not be confounded with the kingdom of God. Works include Moral Man and Immoral Society; The Nature and Destiny of Man; Faith and History; An Interpretation of Christian Ethics; Christian Realism and Political Problems. See also Encounter; Neoorthodoxy; Simmel, Georg.

Niedner, Christian Wilhelm

(1797–1865). B. Oberwinkel, Saxony, Ger.; educ. Leipzig; prof. Leipzig 1829–50; resigned because of differences arising out of the 1848 revolution; prof. Berlin and mem. Brandenburg consistory 1859. Works include Geschichte der christlichen Kirche.

Niedner, Frederic H.

(July 8, 188–November 13, 1974). B. Fredericktown, Missouri; educ. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri, and U. of Minnesota; ordained 1910 at St. Paul, Minnesota; city miss. St. Paul-Minneapolis area; taught at Conc. Coll., St. Paul, Minnesota; pastor Atchison, Kansas, St. Charles, Missouri, Pagedale, Missouri; served on bds. in the area of ch. extension, missions, ministerial training. Works include The Great Physician; numerous homiletic studies and sermon outlines.

Nielsen, Anders Sixtus

(1832–March 26, 1909). “Gamle Nielsen ('Old Nielsen')”; Dan. cleric; to Am. 1871; ordained 1871. Pastor Cedar Falls, Iowa, 1871; Chicago, Illinois, 1879; Withee, Wisconsin, 1893–1903. Pres. The Dan. Ev. Luth. Ch. in Am. 1879–83, 1885–87, 1891–93, 1893–94 (see also Danish Lutherans in America, 3); ordainer 1872–1901.

Nielsen, Jörgen Peter

(December 18, 1877–August 1, 1963). B. Sludstrup, Parish Sjalland, Den.; to Am. 1879; educ. Dana Coll. and Trin. Sem., both at Blair, Nebraska; pastor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1905–07; principal Brorson Folk High School, Kenmare, N. D., 1908–09; miss. to Jap. 1910–27; prof., then pres. (1932) Trin. Sem. 1927–46; supt. Good Shepherd Home for the Aged, Blair, 1949–56.

Nielsen, Rasmus

(1809–84). B. on the is. of Fyn (Fünen), Den.; educ. Copenhagen; prof. Copenhagen; successively a follower of G. W. F. Hegel,* S. A. Kierkegaard,* and N. F. S. Grundtvig.* Opposed H. L. Martensen's* speculative theol.

Niem, Dietrich von

(Nieheim; Nyem; Theodoricus; ca. 1340–ca. 1418). B. Nicheim, Westphalia; officer in papal chancellery under Gregory XI (see Popes, 14) at Avignon and Rome. Works include a life of antipope John XXIII (see John XXIII, 1) and a hist. of the papal schism that began 1378 (see Schism, 8).

Niemann, Johann Heinrich

(April 11, 1848–March 15, 1910). B. Hoyel, near Melle, Hannover, Ger.; educ. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri Pastor Little Rock, Arkansas, 1869; Cleveland, Ohio, 1876. Pres. Cen. Dist. of the Mo. Syn. 1880–1909.

Niemeyer, August Hermann

(1754–1828). Greatgrandson of A. H. Francke*; father of H. A. Niemeyer*; b. Halle, Ger.; prof. (1779), chancellor (1808) of the U. at Halle; asst. dir. (1785), dir. (1789) of the Francke institutions.

Niemeyer, Herman Agathon

(1802–51). Son of A. H. Niemeyer*; b. Halle, Ger.; educ. Halle and Göttingen; prof. Jena 1826, Halle 1829; dir. of the A. H. Francke* institutions. Works include Collectio confessionum in ecclesiis reformatis publicatarum.

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm

(1844–1900). Philos.; b. Röcken, near Lützen, Ger.; educ. Bonn and Leipzig; prof. classical philol. Basel 1869–79; resigned and devoted himself to writing; declared incurably insane 1889.

First followed Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813–83; composer) and A. Schopenhauer,* then turned against the former as the musician of decadent emotionalism and rejected the latter's pessimism. Developed an individualistic, antidemocratic, and bitterly anti-Christian atheistic philos.; its fundamental idea is the “will to power” (Ger.: Wille zur Macht) that underlies Herrenmoral,* opposed to Sklavenmoral (slave morality; represented by Christianity, which makes a virtue of humility and tends to weakness); held that Christianity is a stain on the hist. of mankind and that Herrenmoral produces the highest type of humanity, the Übermensch (“superman”), in contrast, or antithesis, to God. Works include Also sprach Zarathustra; Jenseits von Gut und Böse; Zur Genealogie der Moral. See also Christian Faith and the Intellectual, 4.

Nightingale, Florence

(1820–1910). Hospital reformer, philanthropist; “The Lady with the Lamp”; b. Florence, It., of Eng. parents and named after that city; trained at deaconess institute, Kaiserswerth, Ger. (see Deaconesses, 5), then studied the nursing system and management in hosps. of the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, Paris; with money raised in recognition of her services in the Crimea 1854–56 she est. the Nightingale Home for training nurses at St. Thomas's and King's Coll. Hosps., London. Works include Notes on Nursing.

The Florence Nightingale pledge;

“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this essembly to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.

“I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will nott take or knowingly administer any harmful rug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard f my profession, and will hold in confidence all pwrsonal metters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.

“With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”

Nigrinus, Georg

(1530–1602). Luth. theol.; b. Battenberg, Ger.; educ. Marburg; pastor Homburg 1556, Giessen 1564; supt. Alsfeld and Nidda 1580; promoted FC Works include tr. of M. Chemnitz's* Examen Concilii Tridentini into Ger.

Nigrinus, Theobald

(d. 1566). B. Haguenau (Hagenau), Fr.; Dominican; won for the Reformation and advanced it in Strasbourg.


The teaching that Christ's essential being is in His Godhead only, His human nature being nothing; held by some 12th-c. theologians.


In philos., the view that nothing exists and that knowledge is therefore impossible. In politics, the program of 19th and 20th c. Russians who opposed despotic absolutism and tried to destroy soc. and pol. institutions; fostered by materialism; developed terroristic methods (e.g., assassination of Russ. Romanov emp. [czar] Alexander II 1881).

Nihil obstat

(Lat. “nothing stands in the way”). In RCm clearance for pub. issued by an official censor.

Nikander, Juho Kustaa

(John; September 3 [March 9?], 1855–January 13, 1919). B. Lammi, Fin.; educ. Lyceum and Theol. Dept., U. of Helsinki (Helsingfors); ordained 1879 by bp. of Porvoo; to US 1884 [1885?]; pastor Hancock, Calumet, and Allouez, Michigan, 1885–97; pres. Suomi Coll. and Sem., Hancock; pres. Suomi Syn. 1890 (see Finnish Lutherans in America, 2). Works include a Bible hist. and a life of Luther, both in Finnish.


(Nikita Minin [or Minov]; 1605–81). B. Valmanovo, near Nizhni Novgorod (modern Gorki), Russ.; received monastic educ.; became a married secular priest; children died; separated from wife, who entered a convent; withdrew to monastic life; metropolitan Novgorod; patriarch Moscow 1652; reformed the liturgy; deposed and banished 1666 (1667?); pardoned; d. on way back to Moscow; now regarded as a great bp.

Nilssön, Jens

(1538–1600). B. Christiania (Oslo), Norw.; educ. Copenhagen, Den.; bp. Oslo 1580; preached Reformation; espoused humanism.

Nilus the Ascetic

(d. ca. 430 AD). B. probably Ancyra; acc. to doubtful legend, resigned from high court position in Constantinople and lived as ascetic on Mount Sinai; more probably founded a monastery near Ancyra. Works include letters and ascetic writings.


Halo, or circle of light, represented in art as surrounding heads of holy persons; found in Brahmanic, Buddhist, Christian, Greek, and Roman art.

Nineveh, Fast of.

Two-week pre-Lenten fast observed by Nestorians, Jacobites (see Jacobites, 1), Copts, and Armenians.

Nippold, Friedrich Wilhelm Franz

(1838–1918). Prot. ch. hist.; b. Emmerich, Ger.; educ. Halle and Bonn; prof. Heidelberg, Ger., Bern, Switz., and Jena, Ger. Works include Handbuch der neuesten Kirchengeschichte.


(Skt. “blowing out”). In Buddhism, the highest goal of spiritual discipline. See also Buddhism, 3.


Apparently a Babylonian name used by Jews from the time of the Exile for the opening mo. of the ecclesiastical yr., 7th mo. of civil yr.; roughly April, in which the Passover was celebrated; older name: Abib.


(Nisibin). Modern Nusaybin, SE Turkey in Asia; important on ancient trade routes; residence of Armenian kings ca. 150 BCca. 115, when it was captured by Trajan*; center of theol. studies ca. the middle of the 4th c.; when Nisibis came under Persian rule 363, the school moved to Edessa, where it became Nestorian after ca. 431; returned to Nisibis ca. 457 and flourished ca. 200 yrs. See also Barsumas, Thomas; Schools, Early Christian, 4, 5.

Nissen, Rasmus Tönder

(1822–82). Prof. ch. hist. Christiania (Oslo), Norw.; councillor of state and pres. Norw. Ch. Dept. 1874. Works include De nordiske kirkers historie and a gen. ch. hist.

Nitschmann, David.

1. (d. 1758 at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania). B. Moravia; from Kunwald, Moravia, to Herrnhut, Ger., 1725; daughter Anna became N. L. v. Zinzendorf's 2d wife 1757. 2. David I (d. 1729 in prison in Moravia). “The Confessor.” 3. David II (1696–1772). “The Bishop”; b. Zauchtenthal (Zauchtel), Moravia; imprisoned 1725 in Kremsier (Kromeríz) for religious reasons; to Herrnhut 1727; with J. L. Dober* to St. Thomas 1732; returned soon; active in Holland and Holstein in the interest of Herrnhut Moravians; consecrated bp. 1735 in Berlin by Jablonski (see Jablonski, 2); met C. and J. Wesley on a trip to Am. 1735/36; traveled extensively; d. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 4. David III (d. 1779). “The Syndic”; miss. to Ceylon 1739/40; succeeded Zinzendorf as leader; Moravian archivist.

See also Moravian Church, 3, 4.

Nitzsch, Friedrich August Berthold

(1832–98). Son of K. I. Nitzsch*; Prot. theol.; b. Bonn, Ger.; educ. Berlin, Halle, and Bonn; prof. Giessen 1868, Kiel 1872; influenced by A. B. Ritschl.* Works include Grundriss der christlichen Dogmengeschichte (incomplete).

Nitzsch, Karl Immanuel

(Carl; 1787–1868). Father of F. A. B. Nitzsch*; Prot. theol.; b. Borna, Ger.; educ. Wittenberg; mediating theol. (see Mediating Theology); defended Prussian* Union; influenced by F. D. E. Sehleiermacher.* Works include System der christlichen Lehre; Praktische Theologie. See also Pericope, 2.

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

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