8 October 451 Council of Chalcedon forbids marriage to Jewish people #otdimjh


The Council of Chalcedon forbids Christians leaders marrying or giving their children in marriage to Jewish people. Who would this most affect? Jewish believers in Jesus in the Church who were in positions of leadership. The Council does not prevent ordinary Christians from marrying a Jewish person.


At Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor, the first session of the Council of Chalcedon begins (ends on November 1). In addition to discussing doctrinal issues it passed anti-Jewish legislation to consolidate and homogenise the membership of the Catholic Church. This included preventing the ongoing Jewish identity of its its members and leaders.

The General Council of Chalcedon (451) went a step further, though only as a result of previous resolutions, in forbidding intermarriage—at first only in the case of the children of lectors or precentors (canon 14).


Canon 14

Since in certain provinces it is permitted to the readers and singers to marry, the holy Synod has decreed that it shall not be lawful for any of them to take a wife that is heterodox. But those who have already begotten children of such a marriage, if they have already had their children baptized among the heretics must bring them into the communion of the Catholic Church; but if they have not had them baptized they may not hereafter baptize them among heretics nor give them in marriage to a heretic or a Jew, or a heathen, unless the person marrying the orthodox child shall promise to come over to the orthodox faith. And if any one shall transgress this decree of the holy synod, let him be subjected to canonical censure.

Prayer: Father, forgive the way Church leaders over the centuries distanced themselves from Jews and Judaism, often with horrific consequences. May the rapprochement between the two faiths and their community members be restored with mutual respect and reconciliation. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

About richardsh

Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
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2 Responses to 8 October 451 Council of Chalcedon forbids marriage to Jewish people #otdimjh

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow I never knew about this decision with the council of Chalcedon. Like most Christians I only think of the council’s pronouncement on Christology. Thanks for revealing this history.


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