First Council of Dvin

The First Council of Dvin (Armenian: Դվինի առաջին ժողով, Dvini ařaĵin žoğov or Դվինի Ա ժողով, Dvini A žoğov) was a church council held in 506 in the Armenian city of Dvin. It convened to discuss the Henotikon, a christological document issued by Byzantine emperor Zeno in an attempt to resolve theological disputes that had arisen from the Council of Chalcedon.

The Council was convoked by the Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church Babgen I Umtsetsi.[1] Besides the Armenians, delegates from the Georgian and Albanian churches were present.[2] According to the Book of Epistles, 20 bishops, 14 laymen, and many Nakharars (princes) attended the council.[3]

The Armenian Church had not accepted the conclusions of the Council of Chalcedon, which had defined that Christ is 'acknowledged in two natures', thus condemning monophysitism (though not Cyril of Alexandria's miaphysitism), which insisted on the unification of human and divine natures into Christ. Miaphysitism was the doctrine of the Armenian Church among others. The Henotikon, Emperor Zeno's attempt at conciliation, was published in 482. It reminded bishops of the condemnation of Nestorian doctrine, which emphasized the human nature of Christ, and did not mention the Chalcedonian dyophysite creed. The First Council of Dvin was thus able to accept the Henotikon and keep open a possibility of conciliation with the Patriarchate of Constantinople while remaining steady in its christological doctrine.[4]

The Council stopped short of formally rejecting the Chalcedonian Definition of the dual nature of Christ. Such a step, which formalized the Armenian break from the Roman church, would not take place until the Second Council of Dvin, in 554/555.[4]

The Acts of the Council were discovered by Karapet Ter Mkrtchian and published by him in 1901.[1]


  1. 1 2 Augustine Casiday (21 August 2012). The Orthodox Christian World. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-136-31484-1.
  2. Grdzelidze, Tamara (2011). ""Georgia, Patriarchal Orthodox Church of"". In John Anthony McGuckin. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. p. 267. ISBN 978-1-4051-8539-4. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  3. "Armenian Church Councils". Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
  4. 1 2 Rouben Paul Adalian (13 May 2010). Historical Dictionary of Armenia. Scarecrow Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-8108-7450-3.


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