either dogmata or dogmas; Greek δόγμα, plural δόγματα) is the established belief or doctrine which is authoritative and is not to be disputed or doubted.
The word " dogma" was used by the ancient classical writers as an opinion or as a truth to a person as in philosophical doctrines, particularly those philosophical doctrines of particular schools of philosophers. The word was used as well to signify a public decree or ordinance. It is used in the [[ Holy Scripture]], in the sense of a decree or civil edict as in [[ Gospel of Luke| Luke]] 2:1: " And it came to pass, that in those days that there went out a '' decree'' (dogma) from Caesar Augustus"; in the sense of an ordinance of the Mosaic Law as in [[ Ephesians| Eph]]. 2:15: " Having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in '' ordinances'' (dogmasin)"; and as applied to the ordinances or decrees of the first Apostolic Council in Jerusalem: " And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the '' decrees'' (dogmata) for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem" ([[ Acts of the Apostles| Acts]] 16:4).
Among the early [[ Church Fathers]] the word " dogma" was used most often for the doctrines and moral precepts taught by [[ Christ]] and the holy [[ Apostles]] with a distinction made for dogmas as having been taught by Christ, by the Apostles, and having come from the Church.
But according to long-standing usage, a dogma is now understood to be a truth appertaining to faith or morals, revealed by [[ God]], transmitted from the Apostles in the Scriptures or by tradition, and proposed by the Church for the acceptance of the faithful. It might be described briefly as a revealed truth defined by the Church— but private revelations do not constitute dogmas, and some theologians confine the word defined to doctrines solemnly defined by general councils, while a revealed truth becomes a dogma when proposed by the Church through her teaching office. A dogma therefore implies a twofold relation: to Divine revelation and to the authoritative teaching of the Church.
For Orthodox Christians, the dogmata are contained in the [[ Nicene Creed]] and the [[ canon (law)| canons]] of the seven [[ ecumenical councils]]. These tenets are summarized by St. [[ John of Damascus]] in his '' Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith'', which is the third book of his main work, titled '' The Fount of Knowledge''. In this book he takes a dual approach in explaining each article of the Orthodox faith: one for Christians, where he uses quotations from Scripture and, occasionally, from works of other Fathers of the Church, and the second, directed both at non- Christians ( but who, nevertheless, hold some sort of religious belief) and at [[ Atheism| atheist]] s, where he quite skillfully employs Aristotelian logic and dialectics, especially ''reductio ad absurdum''.
See also==*[[ Dogmatic theology]]
Source==*[[w:Dogma|''Dogma'' at Wikipedia]]
*[http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0824.HTM Orthodox Dogmatic Theology] by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky
*[http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8038.asp The Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Church] by Rt. Rev. [[Maximos (Aghiorgoussis) of Pittsburgh|Maximos Aghiorgoussis]], Th.D., Bishop of Pittsburgh ([[GOARCH]])