“And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.”
“And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.”
“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”
Order of Contents
On Specific Councils
This has the main early Church creeds.
Translated Texts for Historians
vol. 45, The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon
vol. 51, The Acts of the Council of Constantinople of 553… with the Three Chapters Controversy
vol. 61, The Acts of the Lateran Synod of 649
In Greek & Latin
ed. Schaff, Philip – The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 2 (1896)
A standard edition of most all of the early Church creeds, with the English and original languages on opposing columns. See vol. 1 below for historical background on these creeds.
This is easy to use for the creeds in the original languages opposite an English translation. Scroll down, click on the bolded councils, click ‘English’, click ‘ok’.
ed. Percival – The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church: their Canons & Dogmatic Decrees, Together with the Canons of All the Local Synods which have Received Ecumenical Acceptance in ed. Schaff & Wace, Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vol. 14
In Greek & Latin
Here is an easy edition to consult for the first four councils:
ed. Lambert, William – The Canons of the First Four General Councils of the Church & those of the Early, Local, Greek Synods, in Greek with Latin, with English in Parallel Columns (London: R.D. Dickinson, 1869) 185 pp. ToC
Lambert was an Anglican rector.
The standard, older edition of all the councils in Latin from the beginning up to AD 1902 is:
ed. Mansi, Giovan et al. – Sacrorum Conciliorum Nova et Amplissima Collectio, 51 vols. (Paris: H. Welter, 1903-1927)
Here is a very brief table of contents of all the volumes. Here is a very detailed table of contents up through volume 46 (1902). Here is an Author Index up through the first 35 volumes (1724).
Secondary Sources on the Creeds & Councils Generally
Pusey, E.B. – The Councils of the Church from the Council of Jerusalem A.D. 51 to the Council of Constantinople A.D. 381, Chiefly as to their Constitution but also as to their Objects & History (London: John Henry Parker, 1857) 380 pp.
Pusey was a high-church Anglican who had a following named after him. He wrote an excellent scholarly defense of the book of Daniel.
Lumby, J. Rawson – The History of the Creeds (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell & Co., 1873) 280 pp. The work covers ante-Nicene creeds, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed & the Athanasian Creed
ed. Schaff, Philip – The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 1 4th ed. rev. & enlarged (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1896) 960 pp. ToC
This gives the historical background on the early Church creeds. For the creeds themselves, see vol. 2 above.
Turner, Cuthbert Hamilton – The History & Use of Creeds & Anathemas in the Early Centuries of the Church 2nd ed. (SPCK, 1910) 120 pp. ToC
Early Christian Creeds 3rd ed. Buy (David McKay Co., 1972) 450 pp. ToC
Early Christian Doctrine 2nd ed. (NY: Harper & Row) 510 pp. ToC
Jedin, Hubert – Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church Buy (Herder & Herder, 1960) 260 pp. ToC
An outline survey by a Roman Catholic historian.
ed. Margull, Hans J. – The Councils of the Church: History & Analysis (1961; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1966) 550 pp. ToC
Hefele, Charles – A History of the Councils of the Church from the Original Documents, vol. 1 (to 326), 2 (326-429), 3 (431-451), 4 (451-680), 5 (626-780) (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1894 / 1896)
Landon, Edward H. – A Manual of Councils of the Holy Catholic Church, vol. 1 (A-N), 2 (O-Z) rev. ed. (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1909)
On Specific Councils
The Apostles’ Creed
King, P. – The History of the Apostles’ Creed, with Critical Observations on its Several Articles (1719) 430 pp.
The Council of Nicea, 325 AD
Kaye, John – Some Account of the Council of Nicea, in Connexion with the Life of Athanasius (1853) 320 pp.
Ayres, Lewis – Nicaea & its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth Century Trinitarian Theology Buy (Oxford Univ. Press, 2006) 490 pp. ToC
Ayres is a lay, Romanist theologian and is a professor of Romanist and Historical Theology at Durham University in the United Kingdom.
The Athanasian Creed
Waterland, Daniel – A Critical History of the Athanasian Creed rev. King (1723; 1870) 320 pp.
Waterland (1683–1740) was a conservative Anglican.
Horne, Thomas Hartwell – A Concise History & Analysis of the Athanasian Creed (1834) 35 pp.
Horne was a very conservative English theologian and librarian. His introduction and background to the Bible was long used at Princeton.
Council of Chalcedon
Translated Texts for Historians, Contexts
vol. 1, Chalcedon in Context: Church Councils, 400-700 A.D.
Patristica.net for 2 of the exhaustive older works.
EWTN – Church Councils et al.
Pearse, Roger – ‘Ancient Collections of Church Council Canons & Acts’
Hess, Hamilton, The Early Development of Canon Law & the Council of Serdica in Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford Univ. Press) Pre
Includes an appendix with an English translation of the canons of the council.