Canon 95 – Council of Trullo
This is a translation of Canon 95 into English in order to give it a more accurate reading than present translations. There are a number of Greek versions of this canon that vary regarding the final two or three sentences, which have caused some confusion as to their meaning. The Greek version used here is that from the Pendalion of St Nicodemus as in the 1864 version of the text.
Two English translations are commonly used. One is found in the Rudder (Cummings, 1957):
As for heretics who are joining Orthodoxy and the portion of the saved, we accept them in accordance with the subjoined sequence and custom. Arians and Macedonians and Novations, who called themselves Cathari and Aristeri, and the Tessarakaidekatitae, or, at any rate, those called Tetradites and Apolinarists, we accept, when they give us certificates (called libelli); and when they anathematize every heresy that does not believe as the holy catholic and Apostolic Church of God believes, and are sealed, i. e., are anointed first with holy myron on the forehead and the eyes, and the nose and mouth, and the ears, while we are anointing them and sealing them we say, “A seal of a gift of Holy Spirit.” As concerning Paulianists who have afterwards taken refuge in the Catholic Church, a definition has been promulgated that they have to be rebaptized without fail. As for Eunomians, however, who baptize with a single immersion, and Montanists who are hereabouts called Phrygians and Sabellians, who hold the tenet Hyiopatoria (or modalistic monarchianism) and do other embarrassing things; and all other heresies — for there are many hereabouts, especially those hailing from the country of the Galatians — as for all of them who wish to join Orthodoxy, we accept them as Greeks. Accordingly, on the first day, we make them Christians; on the second day, catechumens; after this, on the third day we exorcise them by breathing three times into their faces and into their ears. And thus we catechize them, and make them stay for a long time in church and listen to the Scriptures, and then we baptize them. As for Manicheans, and Valentinians, and Marcionists, and those from similar heresies, they have to give us certificates (called libelli) and anathematize their heresy, the Nestorians, and Nestorius, and Eutyches and Dioscorus, and Severus, and the other exarchs of such heresies, and those who entertain their beliefs, and all the aforementioned heresies, and thus they are allowed to partake of holy Communion.
And the other in Schaff’s Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers series:
THOSE who from the heretics come over to orthodoxy, and to the number of those who should be saved, we receive according to the following order and custom. Arians, Macedonians, Novatians, who call themselves Cathari, Aristeri, and Testareskaidecatitæ, or Tetraditæ, and Apollinarians, we receive on their presentation of certificates and on their anathematizing every heresy which does not hold as does the holy Apostolic Church of God: then first of all we anoint them with the holy chrism on their foreheads, eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears; and as we seal them we say—“The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
But concerning the Paulianists it has been determined by the Catholic Church that they shall by all means be rebaptized. The Eunomeans also, who baptize with one immersion; and the Montanists, who here are called Phrygians; and the Sabellians, who consider the Son to be the same as the Father, and are guilty in certain other grave matters, and all the other heresies—for there are many heretics here, especially those who come from the region of the Galatians—all of their number who are desirous of coming to the Orthodox faith, we receive as Gentiles. And on the first day we make them Christians, on the second Catechumens, then on the third day we exorcise them, at the same time also breathing thrice upon their faces and ears; and thus we initiate them, and we make them spend time in church and hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.
And the Manichæans, and Valentinians and Marcionites and all of similar heresies must give certificates and anathematize each his own heresy, and also Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus, and the other chiefs of such heresies, and those who think with them, and all the aforesaid heresies; and so they become partakers of the holy Communion.
Canon 95 is a amalgamation of previous canons almost verbatim, one inserted into the other and then new clauses are added at the end. The core of the canon is canon 7 of the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, within this is inserted the first sentence of canon 19 of the first Ecumenical Council. After this, there is added another section in addition to what had been decided in earlier canons. It is this addition that seems to cause problems for interpreting the canon. It is helpful though to remember that the canon is amalgamation of canons with an addition to the end to expand the canon.
The Greek of the amalgamated canon with added sentence(s) will be written below. Initially, it will be written as found in the Pendalion, of St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, and then rewritten with different punctuation. The translation will reflect the latter punctuation.
Τοὺς προστιθμένους τῇὀρθοδοξία καὶτῇμερίδι τῶν σωζομένων, ἀπὸαἱρετικῶν δεχόμεθα κατὰτὴν ὑποτεταγμένην ἀκολουθίαν τε καὶσυνήθειαν, Ἀρειανοὺς μὲν καὶΜακεδονιανοὺς, καὶΝαυτιανοὺς, τοὺς λέγοντας ἑαυτοὺς καθαροὺς καὶἈριστεροὺς καὶτοὺς Τεσσερασκαιδεκατίτας, ἤγουν Τετραδίτας, καὶἈπολιναριστὰς δεχόμεθα, διδόντας λιϐέλλους, καὶἀναθεματίζοντας πᾶσαν αἵρεσιν μὴφρονοῦσαν, ὠς φρονεῖἡἁγία τοῦΘεοῦΚαθολικὴκαὶἈποστολικὴἘκκλησίᾳ, σφραγιζομένους,ἤτοι χρισμένους πρῶτον τῷἀγίῳΜύρῳτὸμέτωπον καὶτοὺς ὀφθαλοὺς, καὶτὰς ρίνας καὶτὸστόμα καὶτὰὦτα· καὶσφραγίζοντες αὐτοὺς λέγομεν· Σφραγὶς δωρεᾶς Πνεύματος Ἁγίου. Περὶδὲτῶν Παυλιανιστῶν, εἶτα προσφυγόντων τῇκαθολικὴἘκκλησίᾳ, ὄρος ἐκτέθειται, ἀναβαπτίζεσται αὐτοὺς ἐξάπαντος. Εὐνομιανοὺς μέντοι τοὺς εἰς μίαν κατάδυσιν βαπτιζομένους, καὶΜοντανιστὰς τοὺς ἐνταῦθα λεγομένους Φρύγας, καὶΣαβελλιανοὺς τοὺς υἱοπατορίν δοξάζοντας, καὶἔτερά τινα χαλεπὰποιοῦτας, καὶπάσας τὰς ἄλλας αἱρέσις, ἐπειδὴπολλαί εἰσιν ἐνταῦθα, μάλιστα οἰἀπὸτῆς Γαλατῶν χώρας ἐρχόμενοι, πάντας τοὺς ἀπ᾽αὐτῶν θέλοντας προστίθεσθαι τῇὀρθοδξία, ὠς Ἔλληνας δεχόμεθα. Καὶτήν πρώτην ἠμέραν, ποιοῦμεν αὐτοὺς Χριστιανοὺς, τὴν δὲδευτέραν κατηχουμένους· εἶτα τὴν τρίτην ἐξορκίζομεν αὐτοὺς μετὰτοῦἐμφυσᾶν τρίτον εἰς τὸπρόσωπον καὶεἰς τὰὦτα, καὶοὔτω κατηχοῦμεν αὐτοὺς, καὶποιοῦμεν χρονίζειν ἐν τῇἘκκλησίᾳκαὶἁκροᾶσθαι τῶν Γραφῶν, καὶτότε αὐτοὺς βαπτίζομεν. Καὶτοὺς Μανιχαίους δὲ, καὶτοὺς Οὑαλεντιανοὺς, καὶΜαρκιονιστὰς καὶτοὺς ὲκ τῶν ὀμοίων αἱρέσεων, χρὴποιεῖν λιϐέλλους, καὶἀναθεματίζειν τὴν αἵρεσιν αὐτῶν τοὺς Νεστοριανοὺς, καὶΝεστόριον, καὶΕὐτυχέα, καὶΔιόσκορον, καὶΣεβῆρον, καὶτοὺς λοιποὺς ἐξάρχους τῶν τοιούτων αἱρέσεων, καὶτοὺς φρονοῦωτας τὰαὐτῶν καὶπάσας τὰς προαναφερομένας αἱρέσεις, καὶοὕτω μεταλαμβάνειν τῆς ἁγίας Κοινωνίας.
The text found in the commentary of Balsamon (PG 137: 841C) has a full stop as in the second translation then a reordered following sentence attempting to make Nestorians a type of subject and the final clause is separated by an semi-colon:
…καὶποιοῦμεν χρονίζειν ἐν τῇἘκκλησίᾳκαὶἁκροᾶσθαι τῶν Γραφῶν, καὶτότε αὐτοὺς βαπτίζομεν καὶτοὺς Μανιχαίους δὲκαὶτοὺς Οὑαλεντιανοὺς, καὶΜαρκιονιστὰς, καὶτοὺς ὲκ τῶν ὀμοίων αἱρέσεων. Τοὺς δὲΝεστοριανοὺς χρὴποιεῖν λιϐέλλους, καὶἀναθεματίζειν τὴν αἵρεσιν αὐτῶν τοὺς Νεστοριανοὺς, καὶΝεστόριον, καὶΕὐτυχέα, καὶΔιόσκορον, καὶΣεβῆρον, καὶτοὺς λοιποὺς ἐξάρχους τῶν τοιούτων αἱρέσεων, καὶτοὺς φρονοῦωτας τὰαὐτῶν καὶπάσας τὰς προαναφερομένας αἱρέσεις· καὶοὕτω μεταλαμβάνειν τῆς ἁγίας κοινωνίας.
The text in Amilka Alivizatos(1949) does something similar but more extensively, naming the other heresies as subjects too, after a semicolon separating out the first part, which is extended to reinforce that those heresies are to be received by baptism then the final clause is separated by a comma.
…καὶποιοῦμεν χρονίζειν ἐν τῇἘκκλησίᾳκαὶἁκροᾶσθαι τῶν Γραφῶν, καὶτότε αὐτοὺς βαπτίζομεν. Καὶτοὺς Μανιχαίους δὲ, καὶτοὺς Οὑαλεντιανοὺς, καὶΜαρκιονιστὰς, καὶτοὺς ὲκ τῶν ὀμοίων αἱρέσεων, ὠς Ἔλληνας δεχόμενοι,ἀναβαπτίζομεν. Νεστοριανοὺς δὲ, καὶΕὐτυχιανιστὰς, καὶΣεβῆριανοὺς καὶτοὺς ὲκ τῶν ὀμοίων αἱρέσεων χρὴποιεῖν λιϐέλλους, καὶἀναθεματίζειν τὴν αἵρεσιν αὐτῶν, καὶΝεστόριον, καὶΕὐτυχέα, καὶΔιόσκορον, καὶΣεβῆρον, καὶτοὺς λοιποὺς ἐξάρχους τῶν τοιούτων αἱρέσεων, καὶτοὺς φρονοῦωτας τὰαὐτῶν καὶπάσας τὰς προαναφερομένας αἱρέσεις, καὶοὕτω μεταλαμβάνειν τῆς ἁγίας κοινωνίας.
Finally as another reading, the Codex Barberini 336does something similar to this with the Manichians included in those to be received as Greeks.
Νεστοριανοὺς δὲκαὶΕὐτυχιανιστὰς χρὴποιεῖν λιϐέλλους, καὶἀναθεματίζειν τὴν αἵρεσιν, καὶΝεστόριον, καὶΕὐτυχέα, καὶΔιόσκορον, καὶΣεβῆρον, καὶτοὺς φρονοῦωτας τὰαὐτῶν καὶπάσας τὰς προαναφερομένας αἱρέσεις, καὶμεταλαμβάνειν τῆς ἁγίας κοινωνίας.
Εὐνομιανοὺς μέντοι τοὺς εἰς μίαν κατάδυσιν βαπτιζομένους, καὶΜοντανιστὰς τοὺς λεγομένους Φρύγας, καὶΜανιχαίους, καὶΣαβελλιανοὺς τοὺς υἱοπατορίν διδάσκοντας, καὶἔτερά τινα χαλεπὰποιοῦτας, καὶπάσας τὰς τοιαύτας αἱρσέις, ἤγουν τοὺς ἀπ᾽αὐτῶν θέλοντας προστίθεσθαι τῇἀληθεία, ὠς Ἔλληνας δεχόμεθα
Now to rewrite the final sentence with alternate punctuation:
Καὶτοὺς Μανιχαίους δὲ, καὶτοὺς Οὑαλεντιανοὺς, καὶΜαρκιονιστὰς, καὶτοὺς ὲκ τῶν ὀμοίων αἱρέσεων. Χρὴποιεῖν λιϐέλλους, καὶἀναθεματίζειν τὴν αἵρεσιν αὐτῶν τοὺς Νεστοριανοὺς, καὶΝεστόριον, καὶΕὐτυχέα, καὶΔιόσκορον, καὶΣεβῆρον, καὶτοὺς λοιποὺς ἐξάρχους τῶν τοιούτων αἱρέσεων, καὶτοὺς φρονοῦωτας τὰαὐτῶν καὶπάσας τὰς προαναφερομένας αἱρέσεις. Καὶοὕτω μεταλαμβάνειν τῆς ἁγίας κοινωνίας.
Considering these the suggested translation of the entire canon in to English taking into account the recommended grammar to apply to the Greek is as follows:
We accept those from heresies being added to orthodoxy and to the portion of those being saved, according to both the service and custom submitted below. We accept Arians, indeed, and Macedonians and Novations, those calling themselves clean and Aristeri and the Fourteenists, considered Tetradites, and Apollinarists, giving documents and anathematising all heresies not thinking as thinks the holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of God, by sealing, that is by anointing first, by holy Myrrh, the forehead and the eyes and the nostrils and the mouth and the ears and sealing them saying: “Seal of gift of Holy Spirit”. And concerning the Paulanists, then taking refuge to the Catholic Church, a rule has been set forth to re-baptise them in every case. However, Eunomians, those baptising unto one immersion, and Montanists, those hereabouts called Phrygians, and Sabellians, those glorifying [teaching] son-father and doing other embarrassing things, and all the other heresies, for there are many hereabout, especially those coming from the Galatian region, all those from them willing to to be added to orthodoxy, we receive as Greeks. And the first day we make them Christians, and the second catechising them then, the third we exorcise them with the act of breathing thrice on their faces and then we baptise them. And also the Manichians and the Valentinians and Marconists, and those out of similar heresies. It is necessary to make documents and to anathematise their heresy, the Nestorians and Nestorius and Eutyches and Dioscorus, and Severus and the remaining exarchs of these heresies and those thinking their things, and all the aforementioned heresies. And thusly to partake of holy communion.
It will be noted that the sentence beginning: “And also the Manichians…” is written in the accusative case, thus the names of the heresies are not the subject of the sentence but the object. This would make this sentence something then adding these groups to the process described about rather than beginning a new thought. The Greek translation of Amilka Alivizatos (1949) captures this reading. So, that these heresies are also to be treated as Greeks and baptised. The version in PG along with the commentary of Theodore Balsamon also puts a full stop at the end of this sentence after similar heresies (τῶν ὀμοίων αἱρέσεων).
This sentence then is an addition to the canon of the second Ecumenical Council to include three more heresies by name. These are added to the end of the canon rather than written into it. The Greek conjunctions beginning the sentence and the accusative case of the names of the heresies indicates that these heresies are to be included into the latter part of the canon instructing to baptise them on reception as continuing the application of the verb in the preceding sentence.
The next sentence begins with “[It is] necesssary”. The nouns used in the sentence are in accusative, so there is no apparent subject of the sentence. Some have taken the previous sentence to provide the subject(s) but these were also in the accusative case and belong to the previous instructions about baptising as seen. Rather a solution to this problem is that this sentence ending at “the aforementioned heresies” (τὰς προαναφερομένας αἱρέσεις), is an extension of the earlier instruction about documents (λιϐέλλους). This was added to both ensure that those being baptised also provided the documents and to include more heresies as necessary to be named in the documents. This explains why opposed heresies, Nestorians and Eutychesians (Monophysities), are required to be anathematised and that these were not only expected of the heresies mentioned within the documents. Thus, the sentence should begin in English with “It is” so as to provide a general rule for all those being received to provide such documents. The Greek reads as such naturally.
The final sentence or phrase, “And thusly to partake of holy Communion.” (Καὶοὕτω μεταλαμβάνειν τῆς ἁγίας Κοινωνίας.) seems best to be regarded as not an ending to the sentence on the documents, which lacks any specific subject, but as a concluding sentence for the whole canon that once one is received by anointing or by baptism then they are able to partake of communion. This keeps the consistency of the canon with canon 1 of St Basil the Great, in which he decrees that all those received into the Church whether baptised or not must be anointed with the Chrism. Thus, this sentence should be punctuated as a separate sentence in its own right.
Overall, the canon is consistent with other canons, such as Apostolic canon 47, that require re-baptism of converts from heresy as the predominant and default position, “all the other heresies … we receive as Greeks”. There are five excepted groups: Arians, Macedonians, Novations, Tetradites and Apollinarists only requiring chrismation, which is consistent with the economy expressed by St Basil in his first canon, who also states that rebaptism of heretics is the default position. In practice, it seems, following Codex Barberini and the wording of the canon in other collections that Nestorians and Eutychians may have been received only with documents anathematising their heresy among others. This practice, though, is inconsistent with the rest of the Tradition, but the wording of canon 95 being rather unclear in its last part may be to blame for this. Certainly, the reading of the Rudder extending this practice to Manichians and Valentinians and Marconists is not the received practice, which is to baptise them.