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Who is Jesus?










Who is Jesus?



Heresies had a definite function in the development of Christian Faith. Though most often they

were dealt with as a criminal offense against the absolute truths their real role lay in the rational

development of a theology. In the early Judaism and Christianity God was outside of human

realm and material reality and the idea of God incarnating was regarded as impossible. Yet the

central theme of Christian faith is just that. In fact almost all “heresies” within the church was around

the theme. The heretics were those who insisted on rethinking and making God being understood.

“No Blind faith” says the heretics. “Let us reason together”. As long as mankind can think, this

rethinking and reasserting what has been handed down will continue. That is essentially the

requirement of true faith.

God is not dead yet. He will continue to reveal himself to anyone who is open to Him. Revelation

is an ongoing process and in that process rationality and even heresy has its role.

When Jesus came into the world and claimed to be God, the whole Abrahamic children went wild.

To the monistic Abrahams this was impossible. They picked up stones to execute Jesus for

blasphemy/ At every turn of history, the

children of Abraham everywhere reverted or

tried to revert this return to extreme monism.

This is what happened in Islam in the middle

east, Judaism in the lands of Jesus and

Upanishadic India. The process still

continues. It is in this context, the heretics

are important in defining faith. Creeds were

defined just because heretics came with a

force into the theological arena.

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble

character than those in Thessalonica, for

they received the message with great

eagerness and examined the Scriptures

every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Act 17:11 NIV


Normal, IL




Who is Jesus?







Presbyter Saint Arius - remembered for his views

concerning the trinity and

the divinity of


Two centuries has passed since the Nazarene called Jesus broke into history in the religious

context of the Judaism. His mother Mary claimed that he was born of the Holy Spirit of God

without the intervention of a man. His cousin John proclaimed him as the Lamb of God who take

away the sins of he world. He was well versed in the scriptures of the day and when he came of




age, gathered up a group of people who became his constant companions for over three years.

What they saw and heard was beyond their expectations and understanding and was handed down

through generations. Jews who were to the core monotheists of the tradition of Abraham could

not understand him or place him. Jesus certainly claimed that he was God or one with God. He

antagonized the Rabbis and Priests of Judaism which resulted in his crucifixion. However his

grave was found empty on the third day and his disciples claimed that he was risen from the dead.

His disciples went all over the world declaring Jesus as God who took flesh. A new religion was

born. It was established with signs and miracles confirming the words of the messengers.

The small communes that grew in various parts of the world grew into large churches and

institutional edifices came into existence with hierarchies of priests, authorities and teachers.

Theological Schools formed around them.

As it came into cultures that were different, they required new answers in new context. Major

culture which tried to absorb Christianity was the Greco-Roman culture. They began to ask new


What is God? Who is this God?

Who is this Jesus?

Man, Angel, Messiah, God?

According to Thomas F. Torrance, the Arian thought came out of the strict dualistic Greek

(Hellenized) philosophy. That philosophy posited that God, being one, perfect and unchangeable,

must, necessarily, be separate from and have nothing to do with physical matter (including flawed

human beings). Influenced by this philosophy, some Arius reasoned that in order to remain aloof

from the flawed, changing world of matter, God created angels who created and then interacted

with the physical world (thus keeping God at arm's length from the world). In like manner, they

reasoned that Jesus Christ (who came into the world of matter and took on flesh) must also be a

created intermediary, not eternal (uncreated) God. This view was championed by Arius.

This struggle to understand God and his relation to the man Jesus brought forth new ideas and new

explanations based on human understanding in the cultural context of Platonic Philosophy of its

time. The Church had always confessed belief in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ. She

believed that God was divine and that Jesus was divine. Baptism was administered in the name of

the Father and of the Son, and in the Apostolic Creed the Church confessed, "We believe in God

the Father, Almighty . . . and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord. But on the other hand

she maintained a strict monotheism over against all pagan and heretical polytheism. The problem,

then, was to confess both, without denying either. Sometimes they were considered pernicious and

they called them heretics. But they in their turn enriched the church with their new approaches

and explanations of the mysteries which remained hidden. These so called heretics put on their

thinking cap and enriched the church in trying to make unknown-unthinkable a little better known

and understandable even in their errors. Man, did they pay for that!!

One such bold heretic was Arius.

Arius (256 - 336 AD) was a Libyan theologian and of Berber descent. Berbers call themselves

Imazighen which in their language means "Free People" or "Freemen". His father’s name is given

as Ammonius. He was educated in the theological school of Antioch (now Antakya) under the

distinguished Greek scholar, Presbyter and non-trinitarian Lucian of Antioch (240-312). Lucian

himself was a student of another Neo-Platonic scholar Paul of Samosata.




Paul of Samosata,Bishop of Antioch, was a third-century Syrian theologian and bishop of Antioch.

To defend Christianity's monotheism against charges of tri-theism, Paul espoused a definition of the

relationship among the three persons of the Godhead that denied the personal distinction of the

divine Son and Holy Spirit in contrast to God the Father, thus contradicting the Orthodox doctrine of

the Trinity.




Christology of Paul of Samosata

"He denied the personality of the Logos and of the Holy Spirit, and

considered them merely powers of God, like reason and mind in man;

but granted that the Logos dwelt in Christ in a larger measure than in

any former messenger of God, and taught, like the Socinians in later

times, a gradual elevation of Christ, determined by his own moral

development, to divine dignity. He admitted that Christ remained free

from sin, conquered the sin of our forefathers, and then became the

Saviour of the race" (Schaff).

He taught that God, being One, could not appear substantially on earth;

therefore He could not have become man in Jesus Christ, but rather

filled the man, Jesus, with His Logos and power.


Paul's teaching is a form of Monarchianism, which emphasized the oneness of God. Paul taught

that Jesus was born a mere man, but that he was infused with the divine Logos or word of God.

Hence, Jesus was seen not as God-become-man but as man-become-God. In his Discourses to

Sabinus, of which only fragments are preserved in a book against heresies ascribed to Anastasius,

Paul writes:

• "Having been anointed by the Holy Spirit he received the title of the anointed (i.e.

Christos), suffering in accordance with his nature, working wonders in accordance

with grace. For in fixity and resoluteness of character he likened himself to God;

and having kept himself free from sin was united with God, and was empowered to

grasp as it were the power and authority of wonders. By these he was shown to

possess over and above the will, one and the same activity (with God), and won the

title of Redeemer and Saviour of our race."

• "The Saviour became holy and just; and by struggle and hard work overcame the

sins of our forefather. By these means he succeeded in perfecting himself, and was

through his moral excellence united with God; having attained to unity and

sameness of will and energy (i.e. activity) with Him through his advances in the

path of good deeds. This will be preserved inseparable (from the Divine), and so

inherited the name which is above all names, the prize of love and affection

vouchsafed in grace to him."

• "We do not award praise to beings which submit merely in virtue of their nature; but

we do award high praise to beings which submit because their attitude is one of




love; and so submitting because their inspiring motive is one and the same, they

are confirmed and strengthened by one and the same indwelling power, of which

the force ever grows, so that it never ceases to stir. It was in virtue of this love that

the Saviour coalesced with God, so as to admit of no divorce from Him, but for all

ages to retain one and the same will and activity with Him, an activity perpetually at

work in the manifestation of good."

• "Wonder not that the Saviour had one will with God. For as nature manifests the

substance of the many to subsist as one and the same, so the attitude of love

produces in the many a unity and a sameness of will which is manifested by unity

and sameness of approval and well-pleasingness."

Paul was an early forerunner of Adoptionism. Possibly, the Paulicians of Armenia

adhered to his teachings, and received their name from him. However, historical

records show that the Paulicians were bitterly persecuted more for their gnostic and

iconoclastic views than for their adherence to Adoptionism.

Paul's pupil Lucian of Antioch is considered to have had a major influence on Arius the

founder of Arianism.

Lucian of Antioch (240-312)

"the Arius before Arius."

Lucian was born at Samosata, Kommagene, Syria, to Christian parents, and was

educated in the neighbouring city of Edessa, Mesopotamia, at the school of

Macarius. However, this tradition might be due to a conflation with his famous

namesake, Lucian of Samosata, the pagan satirist of the second century.

Arius (Presbyter of Alexandria) along with Eusebius (Bishop of Nicomedia and

Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 342)), Maris of Chalcedon and Theognis of Nicaea

were students of St Lucian of Antioch (c. 240 - 312)




Theology of the Period - Origen Adamantius (184/185 – 253/254)

Origen Adamantius (184/185 – 253/254)

Child prodigy Origen Adamantius ("man of steel") was born near Alexandria around A.D. 185. The

oldest of seven children in a Christian home, he grew up learning the Bible and the meaning of

commitment. In 202 when his father, Leonidas, was beheaded for his Christian beliefs, Origen

wanted to die as a martyr, too. But his mother prevented him from even leaving the house—by

hiding his clothes.

Theology in itself was in formation and one of the earliest theologian was Origen. He was a prolific

writer in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and

hermeneutics, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality written in Greek. He was

anathematised at the Second Council of Constantinople.

Origen is regarded as the greatest theologian that the Church had ever produced. He was generally

thought to be orthodox at all points. As the first serious propounder of Christology his theology was

riddled with problems. His analysis was probably the first on this Christological isssue.

Origen was the first to speak of the eternal generation of the Son. This doctrine teaches that the

Father eternally and continuously communicates the divine essence to the Son without division or

change so that the Son shares an equality of nature with the Father (sharing all the attributes of

deity) yet is also eternally distinct from the Father. Later the Holy Spirit also precede from the father

giving us the relationship within the Holy Trinity as the Orthodox tradition defines.

In connection with the divinity of Christ he recognized and pointed out the fact that the words "only

begotten Son" could only mean that Jesus Christ was eternally the Son of God. If He was begotten

in time He would be no different from any other creature, and then He could not be called "only

begotten." Origen described the Trinity as a hierarchy, not as an equality of Father, Son, and

Spirit. And though he attacked Gnostic beliefs, like them, he rejected the goodness of material

creation.On the other hand, however, Origen also taught that the Son is not God in the same sense

as the Father. The Father is "the God" (ò theós), while the Son is only "God" (theós). The Son, he

said, is "of a different essence" (heteros tãs oúsías or tou hupokeiménou), "begotten out of the will

of the Father." He called the Son "a secondary God" (deúteros theós) ) in distinction from the Father

(autotheós), and thus he made the Son subordinate to the Father. In his Commentary on John, II, 6

he says:

“Thus, if all things were made, as in this passage also (John 13;), through the Logos, then they were

not made by the Logos, but by a stronger and greater than He. And who else could this be but the


We consider, therefore, that there are three hypostases, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit;

and at the same time we believe nothing to be uncreated but the Father. We therefore, as the more




pious and the truer course, admit that all things were made by the Logos, and that the Holy Spirit is

the most excellent and the first in order of all that was made by the Father through Christ.

And in this connection he also speaks of the tact that the Son is begotten as an act of the Father's


Now these two cannot be reconciled. If the Son is begotten in eternity then He cannot be begotten

out of the will of the Father. If He is begotten of the Father's will then He is a creature and not the

natural Son of God. If He is eternal, then He must be equal and not subordinate to the Father, for

only God is eternal. If He is God, but of a different essence than the Father, then there are two

Gods. But Origen did not see these contradictions, although that was in part because the distinction

of essence and person had not yet been made clear.

Both sides appealed to Origen's teachings in the Arian controversy.

root of the Arian Controversy.”

(Rev. Ronald Hanko)

This, theologically, was the

At Antioch, Lucian was ordained presbyter. Eusebius of Caesarea notes his

theological learning and Lucian's vita (composed after 327) reports that he founded

a Didaskaleion, a school. He is considered as the first head of the School of Antioch.

After the deposition of Antioch's bishop Paul of Samosata, he fell under suspicion fof

heresy, and was excommunicated. According to Alexander of Alexandria, he

remained in schism during the episcopates of three bishops, Domnus, Timaeus and

Cyril, whose administration extended from 268 to 303. Lucian was reconciled with

the Church either early in the episcopate of Cyril (perhaps about 285), which seems

more likely, or under Cyril's successor Tyrannus.

During the persecution of Maximinus Daia, Lucian was arrested at Antioch and sent

to Nicomedia, where he endured many tortures over nine years of imprisonment. He




was twice brought up for examination, and both times defended himself ably and

refused to renounce his Christian faith.

His death is uncertain. He might have been starved to death. Another, more likely,

possibility is that he was beheaded. The traditional date ascribed to his execution is

January 7, 312, in Nicomedia. There is a late tradition of uncertain origin that he had

been drowned in the sea and that his body was returned to land by a dolphin.

He was buried at Drepanum on the Gulf of Nicomedia, He is also commemorated

as a saint, with a feast day of January 7 in the Roman Catholic Church and October

15 in the Orthodox Church.

The Church of Antioch was established by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas in 42 A.D., with St.

Peter serving for the next eight years as its first prelate. The Church of Antioch is one of the five

ancient Patriarchates of the Christian Church, along with Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem,

and Rome. Antiochians are in full communion with other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, such as

the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Church in America, as well as many

other Orthodox jurisdictions around the world.

Arius along with his teacher Lucians were strict monotheists and were opposed to the trinitarian

concept of God. All his attempt were to return to the concept of judaism’s monotheism. The

position of Jesus remained to be explained.

Arius is described as a tall, lean man, with a downcast brow, austere habits, considerable learning,

and a smooth, winning address, but a confident unbeatable quarrelsome disposition. The silence of

his enemies conclusively proves that his general moral character was irreproachable. His

opponents said that he cherished a personal grudge against Alexander, because he was not

himself elected bishop.

Three synods were convened between 264 and 269 in the matter of Paul of Samosata ( 200 to 275

AD) who was the Bishop of Antioch from 260 to 268. He was a believer in monarchianism, a

nontrinitarian theology where it emphasize God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism

which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being.




Men of great weight of character, and whose counsels were highly respected, were particularly

desired to attend from other places, and the convening of the council was, at times, delayed in

order to ensure their attendance. Origen, in this capacity, attended the council in Arabia, and, by his

learning and talents, settled the point in dispute to the satisfaction of the council. The bishops of

Antioch also were so much embarrassed by the learning of Paul of Samosata, whom they would

convict of heresy, that they invited the attendance of bishops trom the various provinces in

Asia,including Palestine and Egypt. They included —Firmilian from Cappadocia, Gregory and

Athenodorus from Pontus, Helenus of Tarsus, Nieomas of lconium ; and the arehbishops

Ilyrnenaeus of Jerusalem, and Theotecnus of Caesaren, together with the bishop Maxirnus, from

Arabia. Paul, however, by his talents withstood them all ; and the council dispersed without gaining

any advantage over him?’ Foreigners, in like manner, attended both the second and third councils

which were held for the same purpose. in the last council, e presbyter, Malchion, bore a

conspicuous part, and was the principal agent in putting an end to the discussion.

About the same period of time other councils were held which were sometimes more than

provincial synods. The council of lconium, A. D. 235, consisted of bishops from Phrygia, Gelatin,

Cilicia,- and other neighboring provinces. Another council was also held in opposition to this in a

neighboring town, Synnada, of‘ which we know only that it had little or no influence against the first

at Iconium. But this is sufiicient to show that no established system of ecclesiastical jurisdiction at

this time prevailed, even in the states of Greece, where such councils were first held.

As one can notice various theological explanations were proposed and anlysed to explain the

person of Jesus of History. All the versions were involved in the ongoing discussions in the

synods and councils.

Sabellius in attempting to avoid three gods, used the principle of modalism - that God appeared in

three forms - as the Father in the Old Testament, as Creator, as the Son in the New Testament, as

redeemer; and as the Holy Spirit after the Resurrection. These are not three persons but three

manifestations or three modes of appearance.

Two contradictory models of monarchianism have been propounded:

• Modalism (or modalistic monarchianism ) considers God to be one person appearing and

working in the different "modes" of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The chief

proponent of modalism was Sabellius, hence the view is commonly called Sabellianism. It

has also been rhetorically labeled Patripassianism (from Latin patri- "father" and passio

"suffering") by its opponents, because according to them it purports that the Person of God

the Heavenly Father suffered on the cross.

• Adoptionism (or dynamic monarchianism) holds that God is one being, above all else, wholly

indivisible, and of one nature. It reconciles the "problem" of the Trinity (or at least Jesus) by

holding that the Son was not co-eternal with the Father, and that Jesus Christ was

essentially granted godhood (adopted) for the plans of God and for his own perfect life and

works. Different variations of Dynamism hold that Jesus was "adopted" either at the time of

his baptism or his ascension. An early exponent of this belief was Theodotus of Byzantium.




According to the adoptionist theology, Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary.

Thus Jesus was the son of Man.

He was adoped as the Son of God at the time of baptism when the Holy Spirit engulfed Him.

This is the Ebionite Theology of that period.








Socianism, Modalism or Oneness

The Father alone is the only true God and alone eternal

The Son did not pre-exist His humanity

The Son was the plan or idea in the mind of God before His earthly life.

The Son is not the Creator of the cosmos, nor was he eternal

The Son received Godship and Lordship from the Father.

The Son acts as God on earth

The Father-Son relationship began at a point in time

The Son is finite, human Messiah

God the Son is not really acceptable

The Son reveals or manifests the Father on earth.

The Son is prayed to and Worshipped by men.

As such we should sustain that at that time of the Christian history, the non-trinitarian, monotheistic

understanding of God as the Father alone remains certain. They were not able to define the

position of Jesus, though early church did worship Jesus even as the disciples in certain occasions

did as mentioned in the gospels.

As such it was not Arius who started the contoversy and it started long before him and he inherited

it from Paul of Samosata who was his teacher. It was an on going theological controversy and if

we look into all the church denominations, we can see that it still is continuing. History tells us that

more than thirty councils were held in Antioch on this subject area alone. It is understandable that

while no consensus was reached the theology of the period indeed was non-trinitarian. There were

in fact over thirty such synods which could not make a final decision on the position of Jesus in

relation to God of Judaism.

Beginning with three synods convened between 264 and 269 in the matter of Paul of Samosata,

more than thirty councils were held in Antioch in ancient times. Most of these dealt with phases of

the Arian and of the Christological controversies. The most celebrated took place in the summer of

341 at the dedication of the golden Basilica, and is therefore called in encaeniis (iv iyrcatviois), in




dedicatione. Nearly a hundred bishops were present, all from the Orient, but the bishop of Rome

was not represented. The emperor Constantius attended in person. The council approved three


One of the synods condemned and excommunicated Paul, and Domnus was appointed bishop in

his place. The date of this synod is ordinarily fixed at 268

It was during its last phase Arius who was a powerful debater came to the scene.


Arius, a Libyan by descent, brought up at Antioch and a school-fellow of Eusebius, afterwards

became Bishop of Nicomedia. Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 310–320 – 403) was bishop of Salamis,

Cyprus) describes Arius as tall, grave, and winning personality with no aspersion on his moral

character. He is said to have taken part (306) in the Meletian schism, and was made presbyter of

the church called "Baucalis," at Alexandria, He was a staunch opponent of the Sabellians,

themselves committed to a view of the Trinity which denied all real distinctions in the Supreme.

Arius probablly had personal differences with Patriarch Alexander whom, in public synod, he

accused of teaching that the Son was identical with the Father (319). Alexander condemned Arius

in public in front of a great assembly. Arius found a refuge with Eusebius, the Church historian, at

Caesarea and with other Lucianists. . Synods in Palestine and Bithynia were opposed to synods in


Arius was a thoroughgoing Greek rationalist. He inherited the almost universally held Logos

Christology of the East. He labored in Alexandria, the center for Origenist teachings on the

subordination of the Son to the Father. He blended this heritage into a rationalist Christology that

lost the balance Origen had maintained in his subordinationist theology by his insistence on the

eternal generation of the Son. Again in the Kingdom of God, subordination of one to another is the

expression of love. The greatest is the one who serve most. Jesus himself gave his life for his

creation indicative of the greatest love. “God so loved the world, that He gave”. Matt. 23:11-12

“The greatest among you shall be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and

whoever humbles himself will be exalted”

Emperor Constantine Byzantine mosaic and Roman coin with Constantine with Cross

It was on July 3, 324 the Battle of Adrianople was fought as part of the Roman civil war between

the two emperors Constantine I and Licinius; Licinius was defeated and Constantine became

master of the Roman world. Constantine determined on restoring ecclesiastical order in the East,

as he has already done in the West puttign down the Donatists at the Council of Arles.




Roman Pope Alexander of Alexandria’s Catholic Epistle

319 A.D.

(ANF, 6, 296-298.)

To our beloved and most reverend fellow-ministers of the Catholic Church in every place, Alexander

sends greeting in the Lord:

1. Since the body of the Catholic Church is one, and it is commanded in Holy Scripture that we

should keep the bond of unanimity and peace, it follows that we should write and signify to one

another the things which are done by each of us; that whether one member suffer or rejoice we

may all either suffer or rejoice with one another. In our diocese, then, not so long ago, there have

gone forth lawless men, and adversaries of Christ, teaching men to apostatize; which thing, with

good right, one might suspect and call the precursor of Antichrist. I indeed wished to cover the

matter up in silence, that so perhaps the evil might spend itself in the leaders of the heresy alone,

and that it might not spread to other places and defile the ears of any of the m ore simple-minded.

But since Eusebius, the present bishop of Nicomedia, imagining that with him rest all ecclesiastical

matters, because, having left Berytus and cast his eyes upon the church of the Nicomedians, and

no punishment has been inflicted upon him, he is set over these apostates, and has undertaken to

write everywhere, commending them, if by any means he may draw aside some who are ignorant

to this most disgraceful and Ant;christian heresy; it became necessary for me, as knowing what is

written in the law, no longer to remain silent, but to announce to you all, that you may know both

those who have become apostates, and also the wretched words of their heresy; and if Eusebius

write, not to give heed to him.

2. For he, desiring by their assistance to renew that ancient wickedness of his mind, with respect to

which he has for a time been silent, pretends that he is writing in their behalf, but he proves by his

deed that he is exerting himself to do this on his own account. Now the apostates from the Church

are these: Arius, Achilles, Aithales, Carpones, the other Arius, Sarmates, who were formerly priests;

Euzoius, Lucius, Julius, Menas, Helladius, and Gains, formerly deacons; and with them Secundus

and The onas, who were once called bishops.

And the words invented by them,

and spoken contrary to the mind of Scripture,

are as follows:--

“God was not always the Father; but there was a time when God was not the Father.

The Word of God was not always, but was made ‘from things that are not;’

for He who is God fashioned the non-existing from the non-existing;

wherefore there was a time when He was not.

For the Son is a thing created, and a thing made:

nor is He like to the Father in substance;

nor is He the true and natural Word of the Father;

nor is He His true Wisdom;

but He is one of the things fashioned and made.

And He is called, by a misapplication of the terms, the Word and Wisdom, since He is

Himself made by the proper Word of God, and by that wisdom which is in God, in which, as

God made all other things, so also did He make Him.


He is by His very nature ch angeable and mutable, equally with other rational beings.

The Word, too, is alien and separate from the substance of God.




The father also is ineffable to the Son;

for neither does the Word perfectly and accurately know the Father,

neither can He perfectly see Him.

For neither does the Son indeed know His own substance as it is.

Since He for our sakes was made, that by Him as by an instrument God might create us;

nor would He have existed had not God wished to make us.

Some one asked of them whether the So n of God could change even as the devil changed;

and they feared not to answer that He can;

for since He was made and created, He is of mutable nature.”

Since those about Arius speak these things and shamelessly maintain them, we, coming

together with the Bishops of Egypt and the Libyas , nearly a hundred in number, have

anathematized them, together with their followers. But those about Eusebius have received them,

earnestly endeavouring to mix up falsehood with truth, impiety with piety. But they will not prevail;

for the truth prevails, and there is no communion betwixt light and darkness, no concord between

Christ and Belial.

For who ever heard such things?

Or who, now hearing them, is not astonished, and does not stop his ears that the pollution of these

words should not touch them?

Who that hears John saying, “In the beginning was the Word,” does not condemn those who say

there was a time when He was not?

Who that hears these words of the Gospel, “the only-begotten Son;” and, “by Him were all

things made,” will not hate those who declare He is one of the things made?

For how can He be one of the things made by Him?

Or how shall He be the only-be gotten who, as they say, is reckoned with all the rest, if indeed He is

a thing made and created?

And how can He be made of things which are not, when the Father says, “My heart belched forth a

good Word;” and, “From the womb, before the morning have I be gotten Thee?”

Or how is He unlike to the substance of the Father, who is the perfect image and brightness of the

Father, and who says, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father?”

And how, if the Son is the Word or Wisdom and Reason of God, was there a ti me when He was not?

It is all one as if they said, that there was a time when God was without reason and wisdom. How,

also, can He be changeable and mutable, who says indeed by Himself:

“I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,”


“I and My Father are one;”

and by the prophet,

“I am the Lord, I change not?”

For even though one saying may refer to the Father Himself, yet it would now be more aptly

spoken of the Word, because when He became man, He changed not; but, as says the apostle,

“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever.”

Who hath induced them to say, that for our sakes He was made; although Paul says,

“for whom are all things, and by whom are all things?”

4. Now concerning their blasphemous assertion who say that

the Son does not perfectly know the Father,

we need not wonder: for having once purposed in their mind to wage war against Christ, they

impugn also these words of His, “As the Father knoweth Me , even so know I the Father.”

Wherefore, if the Father only in part knoweth the Son, then it is evident that the Son doth not

perfectly know the Father. But if it be wicked thus to speak, and if the Father perfectly knows the




Son, it is plain that, even a s the Father knoweth His own Word, so also the Word knoweth His own

Father, of whom He is the Word.

5. By saying these things, and by unfolding the divine Scriptures, we have often refuted them. But

they, chameleon-like, changing their sentiments, endeavour to claim for themselves that saying:

“When the wicked cometh, then cometh contempt.” Before them, indeed, many heresies existed,

which, having dared more than was right, have fallen into madness. But these by all their words

have attempted to do away with the Godhead of Christ, have made those seem righteous, since

they have come nearer to Antichr ist. Wherefore they have been excommunicated and

anathematized by the Church. And indeed, although we grieve at the destruction of these men,

especially that after having once learned the doctrine of the Church, they have now gone back; yet

we do not wond er at it; for this very thing Hymenaeus and Philetus suffered, and before them

Judas, who, though he followed the Saviour, afterwards became a traitor and an apostate.

Moreover, concerning these very men, warnings are not wanting to us, for the Lord foret old: “Take

heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time

draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” Paul, too, having learnt these things from the Saviour,

wrote, “In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and

doctrines of devils which turn away from the truth.”

6. Since, therefore, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has thus Himself exhorted us, and by His

apostle hath signified such things to us; we, who have heard their impiety with our own ears, have

consistently anathematized such men, as I have already said, and have declared them to be

aliens from the Catholic Church and faith, and we have made known the thing, beloved

and most honoured fellow-ministers, to your piety, that you should not receive any of them, should

they venture rashly to come unto you, and that you should not trust Eusebius or any one else who

writes concerning them. For it becomes us as Christians to turn with aversion from all who speak or

think against Christ, as the adversaries of God and the destroyers of souls, and “not even to wi sh

them Godspeed, lest at any time we become partakers of their evil deeds,” as the blessed John

enjoins. Salute the brethren who are with you. Those who are with me salute you.

Arius’ Letter to Roman Pope Alexander of Alexandria (excerpt)

320 A.D.

(from Athanasius, De Synodis, 16. LNPF ser. 2, vol. 4, 458)

Our faith from our forefathers, which also we have learned from thee, Blessed Pope, is this:-

We ackowledge One God,

alone Ingenerate, alone Everlasting, alone Unbegun, alone True, alone having Immortality,

alone Wise, alone Good, alone Sovereign;

Judge, Governor, and Providence of all, unalterable and unchangeable, just and good, God

of Law and Prophets and New Testament;

who begat an Only-begotten Son before eternal times, through whom He has made both the

ages and the universe;

and begat Him, not in semblance, but in truth; and that He made Him subsist at His own will,

unalterable and unchangeable; perfect creature of God, but not as one of the creatures;

offspring, but not as one of things begotten;

nor as Valentinus pronounced that the offspring of the Father was an issue;

nor as Manichaeus taught that the offspring was a portion of the Father, one in essence; or

as Sabellius, dividing the Monad, speaks of a Son-and-Father;




nor as Hieracas, of one torch from another, or as a lamp divided in two;

nor that He was was before, was afterwards generated or new-created into a Son,

as thou too thyself, Blessed Pope, in the midst of the Church and in session has often condemned;

but, as we say,

at the will of God,

created before times and ages,

and gaining life and being from the Father,

who gave subsistence to His glories together with Him.

For the Father did not, in giving to Him the inheritance of all things, deprive Himself of what He has

ingenerately in Himself; for He is the Fountain of all things.

Thus there are Three Subsistences.

And God, being the cause of all things, is Unbegun and altogether Sole,

but the Son being begotten apart from time by the Father,

and being created and founded before ages,

was not before His generation,

but being begotten apart from time before all things,

alone was made to subsist by the Father.

For He is not eternal or co-eternal or co-unoriginate with the Father,

nor has He His being together with the Father, as some speak of relations, introducing two

ingenerate beginnings, but God is before all things as being Monad and Beginning of all.

Wherefore also He is before the Son; as we have learned also from they preaching in the midst

of the Church. So far then as from God He has being, and glories, and life, and all things are

delivered unto Him, in such sense is God His origin.

For He is above Him, as being His God, and before Him.

But if the terms “from Him,” and “from the womb,” and “I came forth from the Father, and I am

come” (Rom. xi. 36; Ps. cx. 3; John xvi. 28) be understood by some to mean as if a part of Him, one

in essence or as an issue, then the Father is according to them compounded and divisible and

alterable and material, and, as far as their belief goes, has the circumstances of a body, Who is the

incorporeal God.

Pope Alexander I of Alexandria ’s Letter to Alexander of Constantinople

324 A.D.

requesting their cooperation in combatting what he perceived to be heresy.

(ANF, 6, 291-296.)

To the most reverend and like-minded brother, Alexander, Alexander sends greeting in the Lord;

1. The ambitious and avaricious will of wicked men is always wont to lay snares against those

churches which seem greater, by various pretexts attacking the ecclesiastical piety of such. For

incited by the devil who works in them, to the lust of that which is set before them, and throwing

away all religious scruples, they trample under foot the fear of the judgment of God. Concerning

which things, I who suffer, have thought it necessary to show to your piety, in order that you may be

aware of such men, lest any of them presume to set foot in your dioceses, whether by themselves

or by others; for these sorcerers know how to use hypocrisy to carry out their fraud; and to employ

letters composed and dressed out with lies, which are able to deceive a man who is intent upon a

simple and sincere faith. Arius, therefore, and Achilles, having lately entered into a conspiracy,

emulating the ambition of Colluthus, have turned out far worse than he. For Colluthus, indeed, who




reprehends these very men, found some pretext for his evil purpose; but these, beholding his

battering of Christ, endured no longer to be subject to the Church; but building for themselves dens

of thieves, they hold their assemblies in them unceasingly, night and day directing their calumnies

against Christ and against us. For since they call in question all pious and apostolical doctrine, after

the manner of the Jews, they have constructed a workshop for contending against Christ, denying

the Godhead of our Saviour, and preaching that He is only the equal of all others. And having

collected all the passages which speak of His plan of salvation and His humiliation for our sakes,

they endeavour from these to collect the preaching of their impiety, ignoring altogether the

passages in which His eternal Godhead and unutterable glory with the Father is set forth. Since,

therefore, they back up the impious opinion concerning Christ, which is held by the Jews and

Greeks, in every possible way they strive to gain their approval; busying themselves about all those

things which they are wont to deride in us, and daily stirring up against us seditions and

persecutions. And now, indeed, they drag us before the tribunals of the judges, by intercourse with

silly and disorderly women, whom they have led into error; at another time they cast opprobrium

and infamy upon the Christian religion, their young maidens disgracefully wandering about every

village and street. Nay, even Christ’s indivisible tunic, which His executioners were unwilling to

divide, these wretches have dared to rend.

2. And we, indeed, though we discovered rather late, on account of their concealment, their manner

of life, and their unholy attempts, by the common suffrage of all have s cast them forth from the

congregation of the Church which adores the Godhead of Christ. But they, running hither and

thither against us, have begun to betake themselves to our colleagues who are of the same mind

with us; in appearance, indeed, pretending to seek for peace and concord, but in reality seeking to

draw over some of them by fair words to their own diseases, asking long wordy letters from them, in

order that reading these to the men whom they have deceived, they may make them impenitent in

the errors into which they have fallen, and obdurate in impiety, as if they had bishops thinking the

same thing and siding with them. Moreover, the things which amongst us they have wrongly taught

and done, and on account of which they have been expelled by us, they do not at all confess to

them, but they either pass them over in silence, or throwing a veil over them, by feigned words and

writings they deceive them. Concealing, therefore, their pestilent doctrine by their specious and

flattering discourse, they circumvent the more simple-minded and such as are open to fraud, nor do

they spare in the meanwhile to traduce our piety to all. Hence it comes to pass that some,

subscribing their letters, receive them into the Church, although in my opinion the greatest guilt lies

upon those ministers who venture to do this; because not only does the apostolic rule not allow of it,

bat the working of the devil in these men against Christ is by this means more strongly kindled.

Wherefore without delay, brethren beloved, I have stirred myself up to show you the faithlessness

of these men who say that there was a time when the Son of God was not; and that He who was

not before, came into existence afterwards, becoming such, when at length He was made, even as

every man is wont to be born. For, they say, God made all things from things which are not,

comprehending even the Son of God in the creation of all things rational and irrational. To which

things they add as a consequence, that He is of mutable nature, and capable both of virtue and vice.

And this hypothesis being once assumed, that He is “from things which are not,” they overturn the

sacred writings concerning His eternity, which signify the immutability and the Godhead of Wisdom

and the Word, which are Christ.

3. We, therefore, say these wicked men, can also be the sons of God even as He. For it is written, “I

have nourished and brought up children.” But when what follows was objected to them, “and they

have rebelled against me,” which indeed is not applicable to the nature of the Saviour, who is of an

immutable nature; they, throwing off all religious reverence, say that God, since He foreknew and

had foreseen that His Son would not rebel against Him, chose Him from all. For He did not choose

Him as having by nature anything specially beyond His other sons, for no one is by nature a son of

God, as they say; neither as having any peculiar property of His own; but God chose Him who was

of a mutable nature, on account of the carefulness of His manners and His practice, which in no




way turned to that which is evil; so that, if Paul and Peter had striven for this, there would have

been no difference between their sonship and His. And to confirm this insane doctrine, playing with

Holy Scripture, they bring forward what is said in the Psalms respecting Christ: “Thou lovest

righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of

gladness above Thy fellows,”

4. But that the Son of God was not made “from things which are not,”

and that there was no “time when He was not,”

the evangelist John sufficiently shows, when he thus writes concerning Him:

“The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father.”

For since that divine teacher intended to show that the Father and the Son are two things

inseparable the one from the other, he spoke of Him as being in the bosom of the Father. Now that

also the Word of God is not comprehended in the number of things that were created “from things

which are not,” the same John says,

“All things were made by Him.”

For he set forth His proper personality, saying,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things

were made by Him; and with out Him was not anything made that was made.”

For if all things were made by Him, how comes it that He who gave to the things which are

made their existence, at one time Himself was not.

For the Word which makes is not to be defined as being of the same nature with the things which

are made; since He indeed was in the beginning, and all things were made by Him, and fashioned

“from things which are not.” Moreover, that which is seems to be contrary to and far removed froth

those things which are made “from things which are not.”

For that indeed shows that there is no interval between the Father and the Son, since not even in

thought can the mind imagine any distance between them. But that the world was created “from

things which are not,” indicates a more recent a and later origin of substance, since the universe

receives an essence of this sort from the Father by the Son. When, therefore, the most pious John

contemplated the essence of the divine Word at a very great distance, and as placed beyond all

conception of those things that are begotten, he thought it not meet to speak of His generation and

creation; not daring to designate the Creator in the same terms as the things that are made. Not

that the Word is unbegotten, for the Father alone is unbegotten, but because the inexplicable

subsistence of the only-begotten Son transcends the acute comprehension of the evangelists, and

perhaps also of angels.

5. Wherefore I do not think that he is to be reckoned amongst the pious who presumes to inquire

into anything beyond these things, not listening to this saying:

“Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy


For if the knowledge of many other things that are incomparably inferior to this, are hidden from

human comprehension, such as in the apostle Paul,

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God

hath prepared for them that love Him.”

As also God said to Abraham, that “he could not number the stars;” and that passage,

“Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rainy”

How shall any one be able to investigate too curiously the subsistence of the divine Word, unless

he be smitten with frenzy?




Concerning which the Spirit of prophecy says, “Who shall declare his generation?”

And our Saviour Himself, who blesses the pillars of all things in the world, sought to unburden them

of the knowledge of these things, saying that to comprehend this was quite beyond their nature,

and that to the Father alone belonged the knowledge of this most divine mystery.

“For no man,” says He, “knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither knoweth any man the Father,

save the Son.”

Of this thing also I think that the Father spoke, in the words, “My secret is to Me and Mine.”

6. Now that it is an insane thing to think that the Son was made from things which are not, and was

in being in time, the expression, “from things which are not,” itself shows, although these stupid

men understand not the insanity of their own words. For the expression, “was not,” ought either to

be reckoned in time, or in some place of an age. But if it be true that “all things were made by Him,”

it is established that both every age and time and all space, and that “when” in which the “was not”

is found, was made by Him. And is it not absurd that He who fashioned the times and the ages and

the seasons, in which that “was not” is mixed up, to say of Him, that He at some time was not? For

it is devoid of sense, and a mark of great ignorance, to affirm that He who is the cause of everything

is posterior to the origin of that thing. For according to them, the space of time in which they say

that the Son had not yet been made by the Father, preceded the wisdom of God that fashioned all

things, and the Scripture speaks falsely according to them, which calls Him “the First-born of every

creature.” Conformable to which, that which the majestically-speaking Paul says of Him: “Whom He

hath appointed heir of all things. By whom also He made the worlds. But by Him also were all things

created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or

dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is

before all things.”

7. Wherefore, since it appears that this hypothesis of a creation from things which are not is most

impious, it is necessary to say that the Father is always the Father. But He is the Father, since the

Son is always with Him, on account of whom He is called the Father. Wherefore, since the Son is

always with Him, the Father is always perfect, being destitute of nothing as regards good; who, not

in time, nor after an interval, nor from things which are not, hath begotten His only-begotten Son.

How, then, is it not impious to say, that the wisdom of God once was not which speaks thus

concerning itself: “I was with Him forming all things; I was His delight;” or that the power of God

once did not exist; or that His Word was at any time mutilated; or that other things were ever

wanting from which the Son is known and the Father expressed? For he who denies that the

brightness of the glory existed, takes away also the primitive light of which it s the brightness. And if

the image of God was not always, it is clear also that He was not always, of which it is the image.

Moreover, in saying that the character of the subsistence of God was not, He also is done away

with who is perfectly expressed by it. Hence one may see that the Sonship of our Saviour has

nothing at all in common with the sonship of the rest. For just as it has been shown that His

inexplicable subsistence excels by an incomparable excellence all other things to which He has

given existence, so also His Sonship, which is according to the nature of the Godhead of the Father,

transcends. by an ineffable excellence. the sonship of those who have been adopted by Him. For

He, indeed, is of an immutable nature, every way perfect, and wanting in nothing; but these since

they are either way subject to change, stand in need of help from Him. For what progress can the

wisdom of God make? What increase can the truth itself and God the Word receive? In what

respect can the life and the true light be made better? And if this be so, how much more unnatural is

it that wisdom should ever be capable of folly; that the power of God should be con-joined with

infirmity; that reason should be obscured by unreason; or that darkness should be mixed up with

the true light? And the apostle says, on this place, “What communion hath light with darkness? and

what concord hath Christ with Belial?” And Solomon says, that it is not possible that it should come

to pass that a man should comprehend with his understanding “the way of a serpent upon a rock,”

which is Christ, according to the opinion of Paul. But men and angels, who are His creatures, have

received His blessing that they might make progress, exercising themselves in virtues and in the




commandments of the law, so as not to sin. Wherefore our Lord, since He is by nature the Son of

the Father, is by all adored. But these, laying aside the spirit of bondage, when by brave deeds and

by progress they have received the spirit of adoption, being blessed by Him who is the Son by

nature, are made sons by adoption.

8. And His proper and peculiar, natural and excellent Sonship, St. Paul has declared, who thus

speaks of God: “Who spared not His own Son, but for us,” who were not His natural sons,

“delivered Him up.” For to distinguish Him from those who are not properly sons, He said that He

was His own Son. And in the Gospel we read: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Moreover, in the Psalms the Saviour says: “The Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son.” Where,

showing that He is the true and genuine Son, He signifies that there are no other genuine sons

besides Himself. And what, too, is the meaning of this: “From the womb before the morning I begat

thee”? Does He not plainly indicate the natural sonship of paternal bringing forth, which he obtained

not by the careful framing of His manners, not by the exercise of and increase in virtue, but by

property of nature? Wherefore, the only-begotten Son of the Father, indeed, possesses an

indefectible Sonship; but the adoption of rational sons belongs not to them by nature, but is

prepared for them by the probity of their life, and by the free gift of God. And it is mutable as the

Scripture recognises: “For when the sons of God saw the daughters of men, they took them wives,”

etc. And in another place: “I have nourished and brought up children, but they have rebelled against

Me,” as we find God speaking by the prophet Isaiah.

9. And though I could say much more, brethren beloved, I purposely omit to do so, as deeming it to

be burdensome at great length to call these things to the remembrance of teachers who are of the

same mind with myself. For ye yourselves are taught of God, nor are ye ignorant that this doctrine,

which hath lately raised its head against the piety of the Church, is that of Ebion and Artemas; nor is

it aught else but an imitation of Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch, who, by the judgment and

counsel of all the bishops, and in every place, was separated from the Church. To whom Lucian

succeeding, remained for many years separate from the communion of three bishops. And now

lately having drained the dregs of their impiety, there have arisen amongst us those who teach this

doctrine of a creation from things which are not, their hidden sprouts, Arius and Achilles, and the

gathering of those who join in their wickedness. And three bishops in Syria , having been, in some

manner, consecrated on account of their agreement with them, incite them to worse things. But let

the judgment concerning these be reserved for your trial. For they, retaining in their memory the

words which came to be used with respect to His saving Passion, and abasement, and examination,

and what they call His poverty, and in short of all those things to which the Saviour submitted for our

sakes, bring them forward to refute His supreme and eternal Godhead. But of those words which

signify His natural glory and nobility, and abiding with the Father, they have become unmindful.

Such as this: “I and My Father are one,” which indeed the Lord says, not as proclaiming Himself to

be the Father, nor to demonstrate that two persons are one; but that the Son of the Father most

exactly preserves the expressed likeness of the Father, inasmuch as He has by nature impressed

upon Him His similitude in every respect, and is the image of the Father in no way discrepant, and

the expressed figure of the primitive exemplar. Whence, also, to Philip, who then was desirous to

see Him, the Lord shows this abundantly. For when he said, “Show us the Father,” He answered:

“He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father,” since the Father was Himself seen through the

spotless and living mirror of the divine image. Similar to which is what the saints say in the Psalms:

“In Thy light shall we see light. Wherefore he that honoureth the Son, honoureth the Father also;”

and with reason, for every impious word which they dare to speak against the Son, has reference to

the Father.

10. But after these things, brethren beloved, what is there wonderful in that which I am about to

write, if I shall set forth the false calumnies against me and our most pious laity? For those who

have set themselves in array against the Godhead of Christ, do not scruple to utter their ungrateful

ravings against as. Who will not either that any of the ancients should be compared with them, or




suffer that any of those whom, from our earliest years, we have used as instructors should be

placed on a level with them. Nay, and they do not think that any of all those who are now our

colleagues, has attained even to a moderate amount of wisdom; boasting themselves to be the

only men who are wise and divested of worldly possessions, the sole discoverers of dogmas, and

that to them alone are those things revealed which have never before come into the mind of any

other under the sun. Oh, the impious arrogance! Oh, the immeasurable madness! Oh, the vainglory

befitting those that are crazed! Oh, the pride of Satan which has taken root in their unholy souls.

The religious perspicuity of the ancient Scriptures caused them no shame, nor did the consentient

doctrine of our colleagues concerning Christ keep in check their audacity against Him. Their impiety

not even the demons will bear, who are ever on the watch for a blasphemous word uttered against

the Son.

11. And let these things be now urged according to our power against those who, with respect to

matter which they know nothing of, have, as it were, rolled in the dust against Christ, and have

taken in hand to calumniate our piety towards Him. For those inventors of stupid fables say, that we

who turn away with aversion from the impious and unscriptural blasphemy against Christ, of those

who speak of His coming from the things which are not assert, that there are two unbegottens. For

they ignorantly affirm that one of two things must necessarily be said, either that He is from things

which are not, or that there are two unbegottens; nor do those ignorant men know how great is the

difference between the unbegotten Father, and the things which were by Him created from things

which are not, as well the rational as the irrational. Between which two, as holding the middle place,

the only begotten nature of God, the Word by which the Father formed all things out of nothing, was

begotten of the true Father Himself. As in a certain place the Lord Himself testified, saying, “Every

one that loveth Him that begat, loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.”

12. Concerning whom we thus believe, even as the Apostolic Church believes. In one Father

unbegotten, who has from no one the cause of His being, who is unchangeable and immutable,

who is always the same, and admits of no increase or diminution; who gave to us the Law, the

prophets, and the Gospels; who is Lord of the patriarchs and apostles, and all the saints. And in

one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; not begotten of things which are not, but of

Him who is the Father; not in a corporeal manner, by excision or division as Sabellius and

Valentinus thought, but in a certain inexplicable and unspeakable manner, according to the words

of the prophet cited above: “Who shall declare His generation?” Since that His subsistence no

nature which is begotten can investigate, even as the Father can be investigated by none; because

that the nature of rational beings cannot receive the knowledge of His divine generation by the

Father. But men who are moved by the Spirit of truth, have no need to learn these things from me,

for in our ears are sounding the words before uttered by Christ on this very thing, No man knoweth

the Father, save the Son; and no man knoweth who the Son is, save the Father.” That He is equally

with the Father unchangeable and immutable, wanting in nothing, and the perfect Son, and like to

the Father, we have learnt; in this alone is He inferior to the Father, that He is not unbegotten. For

He is the very exact image of the Father, and in nothing differing from Him. For it is clear that He is

the image fully containing all things by which the greatest similitude is declared, as the Lord Himself

hath taught us, when He says, “My Father is greater than I.” And according to this we believe that

the Son is of the Father, always existing. “For He is the brightness of His glory, the express image

of His Father’s person.” But let no one take that word always so as to raise suspicion that He is

unbegotten, as they imagine who have their senses blinded. For neither are the words, “He was,” or

“always,” or “before all worlds,” equivalent to unbegotten. But neither can the human mind employ

any other word to signify unbegotten. And thus I think that you understand it, and I trust to your right

purpose in all things, since these words do not at all signify unbegotten. For these words seem to

denote simply a lengthening out of time, but the Godhead, and as it were the antiquity of the

only-begotten, they cannot worthily signify; but they have been employed by holy men, whilst each,

according to his capacity, seeks to express this mystery, asking indulgence from the hearers, and

pleading a reasonable excuse, in saying, Thus far have we attained. But if there be any who are




expecting from mortal lips some word which exceeds human capacity, saying that those things

have been done away which are known in part, it is manifest that the words, “He was,” and

“always,” and “before all ages,” come far short of what they hoped. And whatever word shall be

employed is not equivalent to unbegotten. Therefore to the unbegotten Father, indeed, we ought to

preserve His proper dignity, in confessing that no one is the cause of His being; but to the Son must

be allotted His fitting honour, in assigning to Him, as we have said, a generation from the Father

without beginning, and allotting adoration to Him, so as only piously and properly to use the words,

“He was,” and “always,” and “before all worlds,” with respect to Him; by no means rejecting His

Godhead, but ascribing to Him a similitude which exactly answers in every respect to the Image

and Exemplar of the Father. But we must say that to the Father alone belongs the property of being

unbegotten, for the Saviour Himself said, “My Father is greater than I.” And besides the pious

opinion concerning the Father and the Son, we confess to one Holy Spirit, as the divine Scriptures

teach us; who hath inaugurated both the holy men of the Old Testament, and the divine teachers of

that which is called the New. And besides, also, one only Catholic and Apostolic Church, which can

never be destroyed, though all the world should seek to make war with it; but it is victorious over

every most impious revolt of the heretics who rise up against it. For her Goodman hath confirmed

our minds by saying, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” After this we know of the

resurrection of the dead, the first-fruits of which was our Lord Jesus Christ, who in very deed, and

not in appearance merely, carried a body, of Mary Mother of God, who in the end of the world came

to the human race to put away sin, was crucified and died, and yet did He not thus perceive any

detriment to His divinity, being raised from the dead, taken up into heaven, seated at the right hand

of majesty.

13. These things in part have I written in this epistle, thinking it burdensome to write out each

accurately, even as I said before, because they escape not your religious diligence. Thus do we

teach, thus do we preach. These are the apostolic doctrines of the Church, for which also we die,

esteeming those but little who would compel us to forswear them, even if they would force us by

tortures, and not casting away our hope in them. To these Arius and Achilles opposing themselves,

and those who with them are the enemies of the truth, have been expelled from the Church, as

being aliens from our holy doctrine, according to the blessed Paul, who says, “If any man preach

any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed; even though he feign

himself an angel from heaven.” And also, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the

wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he

is proud, knowing nothing,” and so forth. These, therefore, who have been anathematized by the

brotherhood, let no one of you receive, nor admit of those things which are either said or written by

them. For these seducers do always lie, nor will they ever speak the truth. They go about the cities,

attempting nothing else but that under the mark of friendship and the name of peace, by their

hypocrisy and blandishments, they may give and receive letters, to deceive by means of these a

few “silly women, and laden with sins, who have been led captive by them,” and so forth.

14. These men, therefore, who have dared such things against Christ; who have partly in public

derided the Christian religion; partly seek to traduce and inform against its professors before the

judgment-seats; who in a time of peace, as far as in them lies, have stirred up a persecution against

us; who have enervated the ineffable mystery of Christ’s generation; from these, I say, beloved and

like-minded brethren, turning away in aversion, give your suffrages with us against their mad daring;

even as our colleagues have done, who being moved with indignation, have both written to us

letters against these men, and have subscribed our letter. Which also I have sent unto you by my

son Apion the deacon, being some of them from the whole of Egypt and the Thebaid, some from

Libya and Pentapolis. There are others also from Syria , Lycia , Pamphylia, Asia, Cappadocia , and

the other neighbouring provinces. After the example of which I trust also that I shall receive letters

from you. For though I have prepared many helps towards curing those who have suffered injury,

this is the especial remedy that has been devised for healing the multitudes that have been

deceived by them, that they may comply with the general consent of our colleagues, and thus




hasten to return to repentance. Salute one another, together with the brethren who are with you. I

pray that ye may be strong in the Lord, beloved, and that I may profit by your love towards Christ.

Arius’ Letter to the Emperor Constantine

327 A.D.

(from Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, 2, 27. LPNF, ser. 2, vol. 2, 277.

Arius and Euzoius, presbyters, to Constantine , our most pious emperor and most beloved of God.

According as your piety, beloved of God, commanded, O sovereign emperor, we here furnish a

written statement of our own faith, and we protest before God that we, and all those who are with us,

believe what is here set forth.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, and in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, who was

begotten from Him before all ages, God the Word, by whom all things were made, whether things in

heaven or on earth; He came and took upon Him flesh, suffered and rose again, and ascended into

heaven, whence He will again come to judge the quick and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Ghost, in the resurrection of the body, in the life to come, in the kingdom of

heaven, and in one Catholic Church of God, established throughout the earth. We have received

this faith from the Holy Gospels, in which the Lord says to his disciples, “Go forth and teach all

nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” If we do

not so believe this, and if we do not truly receive the doctrines concerning the Father, the Son, and

the Holy Ghost, as they are taught by the whole Catholic Church and by the sacred Scriptures, as

we believe in every point, let God be our judge, both now and in the day which is to come.

Wherefore we appeal to your piety, O our emperor most beloved of God, that, as we are enrolled

among the members of the clergy, and as we hold the faith and thought of the Church and of the

sacred Scriptures, we may be openly reconciled to our mother, the Church, through your

peacemaking and pious piety; so that useless questions and disputes may be cast aside, and that

we and the Church may dwell together in peace, and we all in common may offer the customary

prayer for your peaceful and pious empire and for your entire family.

Constantine’s Letter to Alexander and Arius Requesting Reconciliation

But Constantine treated the controversy as an idle dispute about words and

compromise between the two.

proposed a

The Victor Constantine, the Great Augustus, to Alexander and Arius;

(1.) I call God to witness, as is fitting, who is the helper of my endeavors and the preserver of all

men, that I had a twofold reason for undertaking this duty which I have now performed.

My design then was first to bring the various beliefs formed by all nations about God to a condition

of settled uniformity.




Secondly I hoped to restore to health the civil liberties of the empire, then suffering under the

malignant power of an angry tyrant. Keeping these objects in view, I sought to accomplish the one

by thought, which is hidden from the eye, while the other I tried to rectify by the power of military

authority. For I was aware that, if I should succeed in establishing, according to my hopes, a

common harmony of sentiment among all the servants of God, the general course of affairs

would also experience a change corresponding to the pious desires of all.

(2.) So when I found that an intolerable spirit of mad folly had overcome the whole of Africa, through

the influence of those who with heedless frivolity had presumed to divide the religion of the people

into diverse sects, I was anxious to stop the course of this disorder. After I had removed the

common enemy of mankind [Licinius] who had interposed his lawless sentence which prohibited

your holy synods, I could discover no other remedy equal to the occasion, except to send some of

you churchmen to aid in restoring mutual harmony among the disputants.

(3.) I naturally believed that you in the East would be the first to promote the salvation of other

nations, since the power of Divine light and the law of sacred worship, which proceeded in the first

instance through the favor of God, from the bosom, as it were, of the East, have illumined the world

by their sacred radiance. So I resolved with all energy of thought and diligence of enquiry to seek

your aid. As soon, as I had secured my decisive victory and unquestioned triumph over my enemies,

my first enquiry was concerning that object which I felt to be of paramount interest and importance.

(4.) But, O glorious Providence of God! How deep a wound did not my ears only, but my very

heart receive when it was reported that divisions existed among yourselves more grievous

still than those which continued in that country [Africa, i.e. the Donatist schism]! You, through

whose aid I had hoped to procure a remedy for the errors of others, are in a state which needs

healing even more than theirs. And yet, now that I have made a careful enquiry into the origin

and foundation of these differences, I have found the cause to be of a truly insignificant

character, and quite unworthy of such fierce contention.

I feel compelled to address you in this letter, and to appeal at the same time to your unity and

discernment. I call on Divine Providence to assist me in the task, while I interrupt your dissension

as a minister of peace. (5.) I have hope for success: Even in a great disagreement I might expect

with the help of the higher Power, to be able without difficulty, by a judicious appeal to the pious

feelings of those who hear me, to recall them to a better spirit. How can I help but to expect a far

easier and more speedy resolution of this difference, when the cause which hinders general

harmony of sentiment is intrinsically trifling and of little importance?

(6.) I understand that the origin of the present controversy is this. When you, Alexander, demanded

of the priests what opinion they each maintained respecting a certain passage in Scripture, or

rather, I should say, that you asked them something connected with an unprofitable question. You

then, Arius, inconsiderately insisted on what ought never to have been speculated about at all, or if

pondered, should have been buried in profound silence. Hence it was that a dissension arose

between you, fellowship was withdrawn, and the holy people were rent into diverse factions, no

longer preserving the unity of the one body.

(7.) And so I now ask you both to show an equal degree of consideration for the other, and to

receive the advice which your fellow-servant impartially gives. What then is this advice? It was

wrong in the first instance to propose such questions as these, and also wrong to reply to them

when they were presented.

(8.) For those points of discussion are not commanded by the authority of any law, but are rather

the product of an argumentative spirit which is encouraged by the idle useless talk of leisure. Even

though they may be intended merely as an intellectual exercise, they ought certainly to be confined




to the region of our own thoughts, and not hastily produced in the popular assemblies, nor

unadvisedly entrusted to the ears of the general public. For how very few are there able either

accurately to comprehend, or adequately to explain subjects so sublime and difficult to comprehend

in their nature? Or, granting that one were fully competent for this, how many people will he

convince? Or again, who in dealing with questions involving such subtle distinctions as these can

be sure he is not dangerously departing from the truth in some point? We ourselves may be unable,

through the weakness of our natural abilities, to give a clear explanation of the subject before us, or,

on the other hand, our hearers understanding may prevent them from arriving at an accurate

understanding of what we say. Lest that be the case, it is our obligation to be sparing with our words,

so that neither of these situations will cause the people to be reduced either to blasphemy or to


(9.) Now forgive one another for both the careless question and the ill-considered answer.

The cause of your difference has not been any of the leading doctrines or precepts of the Divine law,

nor has any new heresy respecting the worship of God arisen among you. You are really of one and

the same judgment; and so it is fitting for you to join in communion and fellowship.

(10.) As long as you continue to contend about these small and very insignificant questions, it is

not fitting that so large a portion of God’s people should be under the direction of your judgment,

since you are thus divided between yourselves. In my opinion, it is not merely unbecoming, but

positively evil, that such should be the case. Let me arouse your minds by the following little

illustration. You know that philosophers, though they all adhere to one system, are yet frequently at

issue on certain points, and differ, perhaps, in their degree of knowledge. Yet they are brought back

to harmony of opinion by the uniting power of their common teachings. If this be true, is it not far

more reasonable that you, who are the ministers of the Supreme God, should be of one mind in the

profession of the same religion? Let us still more thoughtfully and with closer attention examine

what I have said, and see whether it be right: On the ground of some trifling and foolish verbal

difference between ourselves, should brothers assume towards each other the attitude of

enemies? Should the honorable synod be torn in two by profane disunion, because of you who

wrangle together on points so trivial and altogether unessential? This is vulgar, and more

characteristic of childish ignorance, than consistent with the wisdom of priests and sensible men.

(11.) Let us withdraw ourselves with a good will from these temptations of the devil. Our great God

and our common Savior has granted us all the same light. Permit me, who am his servant, to

successfully bring my task to conclusion, under the direction of his providence, that I may be

enabled, through my exhortations, diligence, and earnest warning, to recall his people to

communion and fellowship.

(12.) You have, as I said, only one faith, and one opinion about our religion, and the Divine

commandment in all its parts imposes upon us all the duty of maintaining a spirit of peace. Because

of this, you should not let the circumstance which has led to a slight difference between you cause

any division or schism among you, since it does not affect the validity of the whole.

(13.) I say this without in any way desiring to force you to a complete unity of judgment in regard to

this truly idle question, whatever its real nature may be. For the dignity of your synod can be

preserved, and the communion of your whole body can be maintained unbroken, no matter how

wide a difference exists among you about unimportant matters. We are not all like-minded on every

subject, nor is there such a thing as one universal disposition and judgment.

(14.) As far, then, as regards Divine Providence, let there be one faith, and one understanding

among you, one united judgment concerning God. But as to your subtle disputations on questions

of little or no significance, though you may be unable to harmonize in opinion, such differences

should be confined to your own private minds and thoughts. And now, let the preciousness of




common affection, let faith in the truth, let the honor due to God and to the observance of his law

remain immovably among you. Resume your mutual feelings of friendship, love, and respect.

Restore to the people their customary embraces; and you yourselves purify your souls, as it were,

and once more acknowledge one another. For it often happens that when a reconciliation is

effected by the removal of the causes of hostility, friendship becomes even sweeter than it was


(15.) Restore me then my quiet days, and untroubled nights, that the joy of undimmed light, the

delight of a tranquil life, may be my portion from here on. Otherwise I will be forced to mourn with

constant tears, and I will not be able to pass the remainder of my days in peace. While the people

of God, whose fellow-servant I am, are so divided among themselves by an unreasonable and

wicked spirit of contention, how is it possible that I shall be able to maintain a tranquil mind? And I

will give you a proof how great my sorrow has been in this regard. Not long ago I visited Nicomedia,

and had intended to proceed immediately from that city to the East. It was while I was hurrying

towards you, and had already finished the greater part of the journey, that the news of this matter

reversed my plan, so that I would not be forced to see with my own eyes that which I felt myself

scarcely able even to hear. So open for me by your unity of judgment that road to the regions of the

East which your dissensions have closed to me, and permit me speedily to see you and all other

peoples rejoicing together. Render due acknowledgment to God in the language of praise and

thanksgiving for the restoration of general peace and liberty to all.

Translation from NPNF 2 vol. 1, pp. 515-8, adapted by AJW

Sections 6-15 also found translated in NPNF2 vol. 2, pp. 6-7 and New Eusebius, no. 287

Arius and his supporters would not yield.

In the East these different representations were discussed and found advocates, and a synod at

Antioch (268) rejected the doctrine that the Father and Son were of the same substance. Through

the Antiochian School the doctrine of the subordination of the Son was worked out. Lucian, the

teacher of Arius and of Eusebius of Nicomedia, exercised a controlling influence on the views of

Arius; Harnack calls Lucian "the Arius before Arius."

Alexander & Athanasius

The first opponent of Arius was Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and the greatest doctrinal

opponent of the Arian Christology was Athanasius.





“The Black Dwarf” is what his enemies called him. Athanasius was a dark-skinned Egyptian bishop

who had few friends and plenty of enemies. He was exiled from the church five times by four

Roman emperors, spending almost half of his 45 years as bishop of Alexandria in exile.

The reason for Athanasius’ exile-upon-exile was his persistence in declaring Arianism, the church’s

most cherished theological thought of the day, as a heresy.

During the spread of this false doctrine, Athanasius was serving Jesus and His church as the chief

deacon assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. These two men contended against Arius,

exposing that his views denied the Trinity. Opposing Arius’ notion that Christ had an origin and

came out of the Father, Alexander and Athanasius argued that Christ and the Father have always

been eternally united as one in the Godhead (Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:1-2, etc.).

The Trinity: an essential doctrine

Athanasius contended that the doctrine of the Trinity was no minor, non-essential matter. Only one

who was both fully human and fully God could atone for our our sin and depravity and hold the

power to save us. The Christian understanding of salvation was at hand. Athanasius famously

argued, “Those who maintain that there was a time when the Son was not rob God of His Word, like


According to Socrates, Alexander gave the first impulse to the controversy by insisting, in a meeting

of presbyters and other clergy, on the eternity of the Son; whereupon Arius openly opposed, and

charged him with Sabellianism. He reasoned thus:




"If the Father begat the Son, he must be older than the Son, and there was a time

when the Son was not; from this it further follows that the Son has his subsistence

(hypostaaie) from nothing."

Arius was condemned by a synod at Alexandria in 320 or 321, and was forced to leave city. But

was kindly received both by Eusebius of Cesarea (He became the bishop of Cesarea around 313

and was head of the Council of Nicea in 325, supposedly. He seems to have temporarily Fallen out

of favor of Constantine. Surviving letters show that Constantine advised the city of Antioch not to

elect Eusebius as their bishop. Eusebius wrote everything down, but little ofhis speech is known.

His eath is placed somewhere between 337 and 340) and Eusebius of Nicomedia (Eusebius of

Nicomedia (died 341) was the man who baptised Constantine the Great. He was a bishop of

Berytus (modern-day Beirut) in Phoenicia, then of the See of Nicomedia, where the imperial court

resided, and finally of Constantinople from 338 up to his death. Like Arius, he was a pupil of Lucian

of Antioch ), and it was evident that not a few of the Asiatic churches favored his ideas.

A reconciliation was brought about between him and Alexander; but hardly had he returned to

Alexandria before the strife broke out again, and with still greater violence. In spite of his many and

powerful friends, Arius was defeated at the Council of Nicæa (325), and banished to Illyria.

• Soon, however, a reaction in his favor set in. The Eusebian party espoused his cause more openly, and

through Constantia, the sister of the emperor, he got access to the court. He was formally recalled from

banishment; and all the chiefs of the Eusebians were assembled in Constantinople to receive him back

into the bosom of the Church, when he suddenly died the day before the solemnity at the age of over

eighty years, at a time and in a manner that seemed to the orthodox to be a direct interposition of

Providence, and a condemnation of his doctrine; while his friends attributed his death to poison.

Outbreak of the Controversy

In 320 or 321 Alexander convened a synod of about a hundred Egyptian and Lybian bishops at

Alexandria, which excommunicated Arius and his followers.




Arius found powerful friends in Eusebius of Nicomedia, Eusebius of Casarea, Paulinus of Tyre,

Gregory of Berytus, Aetius of Lydda, and other bishops who either shared his view, or at least

considered it viable alternate perspective

He took refuge with Eusebius at Nicomedia,and presented his teachings in half-poetic work, Thalia

(" The Banquet"), of which Athanasius has preserved fragments.

The attention of the Emperor Constantine was called to the controversy, and in a letter to

Alexander and Arius be pronounced it a mere battle of words, a wrangle over things

incomprehensible; he also sent Hosius of Cordova to Egypt to mediate between the contending

parties. From political considerations, however, at the suggestion of certain bishops, he called the

first ecumenical council of the Church, to settle the Arian controversy together with the question of

the time of celebrating Easter and the Meletian schism in Egypt.






Council of Nicea

The opposing thoughts caused so much controversy that the newly converted Emperor

Constantine the Great intervened in 325 A.D. to call the Council of Nicea. He was cited as saying,

“Division in the church is worse than war.” The council, comprised of around 300 bishops, drafted

the first copy of the Nicene Creed. Athanasius had grown to be the most prolific writer on Nicene

orthodoxy and orthodox Trinitarian doctrine. He saw major flaws in Arius’ writings and called his

heresy the “forerunner of the Antichrist” (Athanasius, Orations Ar. 1:1).

The council ultimately condemned Arius as a heretic, exiled him from the church, and considered it

illegal to possess his writings. Finally, peace was restored in the church and orthodox Christian

beliefs were unified. Athanasius was hailed as a “noble champion for Christ.”




Santa Claus (Nicholas) slapping Arius at Nicea

"Well, at Nicea, Arius began telling the pastors that Jesus wasn't really God but, instead, that the

Father had created him, just like the angels. Now they knew that he was telling lies because Jesus

is our savior and only God can save us. Plus, he forgave sins, which only God can do. And the

Bible calls him the creator, but there aren't any creators other than God. The pastors also knew that

we should worship Jesus, but it doesn't make sense to worship anybody besides God. So, Nicholas

listened quietly but, after a while, all the lies made him really angry. When he couldn't take it

anymore, sweet Nicholas stood up, walked over to Arius, and punched him in the face! I know that's

not a nice thing to do, but Arius was being a really, really big dork”







A fresco from the Sistine Chapel depicting the Council of Nicaea

A council was, therefore, assembled in Nicaea, in Bithynia, which has ever been counted the first

ecumenical, and which held its sittings from the middle of June, 325. .

It is commonly said that Hosius of Cordova presided.

The Emperor Constantine himself was present.

The Pope, St. Silvester, was represented by his legates,

and 318 Fathers attended,

almost all from the East.

Unfortunately, the acts of the Council are not preserved.




The emperor, who was present, paid religious deference to a gathering which displayed the

authority of Christian teaching in a manner so remarkable.

From the first it was evident that Arius could not reckon upon a large number of patrons among the


Alexander was accompanied by his youthful deacon, the ever-memorable Athanasius who

engaged in discussion with the heresiarch himself, and from that moment became the leader of the

Catholics during well-nigh fifty years.

The Fathers appealed to tradition against the innovators, and were passionately orthodox; while a

letter was received from Eusebius of Nicomedia, declaring openly that he would never allow Christ

to be of one substance with God. This avowal suggested a means of discriminating between true

believers and all those who, under that pretext, did not hold the Faith handed down.

The debate

keyed in on four main words

Homoousians- Son is of the same substance as the Father

Homoiousians- Son is of similar substance to the Father

Homoeans- the Son is of likeness to the Father

Anomoeans- the Son is unlike the Father

The first of the four is the word adopted by the Council of Nicaea and was supported by Athanasius

(east), Hilary of Poitiers (west), and with some reservation the bishop of Rome which made it

official catholic dogma.

A creed was drawn up on behalf of the Arian party by Eusebius of Caesarea in which every term of

honour and dignity, except the oneness of substance, was attributed to Our Lord.




Finally a statement with “Jesus is "consubstantial" with God” was accepted, with only thirteen

bishops dissenting, and these were speedily reduced to seven. The Nicene Creed's central term,

used to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son, is Homoousios (Ancient Greek:

ὁμοούσιος), or Consubstantiality, meaning "of the same substance" or "of one being"

The council consisted of three hundred and eighteen bishops (about one-sixth of all the bishops

of the Greco-Roman Empire), resulted in the formal condemnation of Arius, and the adoption of the

"Nicene Creed," which affirms in unequivocal terms the doctrine of the eternal deity of Christ in

these words:


We believe in one God the Father Almighty,

maker of all things visible and invisible:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Son of God,




begotten of the Father,


that is, of the substance of the Father,

God of God,

Light of Light,

true God of true God,

begotten not made,

of one substance with the Father,

through whom all things were made,

both those in heaven and those on earth:

who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh,

and entered humanity and suffered,

and rose the third day,

ascended into heaven, I

s coming to judge the living and the dead:

And in the Holy Spirit.

But as for those who say

that there was a time when He was not,

and that before He was begotten He was not,

and that He came into being from things that were not,

or who affirm that the Son of God is of a different subsistence or essence,

or created, subject to change or alteration,

them the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.

Every bishop made this declaration except six, of whom four at length gave way.

Nicaea's "in one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only-begotten,

that is from the substance of the Father"

was to offset Arius's central assertion that God was immutable, unique, unknowable, only one.

Therefore Arians felt no substance of God could in any way be communicated or shared with any

other being.

The council's "true God from true God, begotten not made"

set aside Arius's contention that, since God was immutable and unknowable, Christ had to be a

created being, made out of nothing by God, first in the created order certainly, but of it. This limited

the concept of the preexistence of Christ even while adapting the dominant Logos Christology to

Arianism. The Logos, first born, created of God, was incarnate in the Christ but, asserted Arius,

"there was when he was not."

Nicaea's "of one substance with the Father"

made the Greek term homoousios the catchword of the orthodox.







Eusebius of Nicomedia withdrew his opposition to the Nicene term, but would not sign the

condemnation of Arius.


We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, the

only-begotten Son, first-born of all creation, begotten of God the Father before all worlds, through

whom also all things were made; who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived his life among

men; and suffered, and rose on the third day; and ascended to the Father; and will come again in

glory to judge the living and the dead:

And in one Holy Spirit. vWe believe that each of these is and exists, the Father truly father, and the

Son truly son, and the Holy Spirit truly holy spirit; even as our Lord, when sending forth His

disciples to preach, said: "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the

Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

And concerning these things we affirm that we so hold and so think, and have of old so held, and

will so hold till death, and stand steadfast in this faith, anathematizing all ungodly heresy. We testify

before Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ that we have thought all this in heart and soul ever

since we knew ourselves, and we now so think and speak in truth, being able to show by evidence

and to convince you that we in past times so believed and preached accordingly.

By the emperor, who considered heresy as rebellion, the alternative proposed was subscription or

banishment; and, on political grounds, the Bishop of Nicomedia was exiled not long after the

council, involving Arius in his ruin. Arius who is now pronounced by the council as a heretic were

exiles to Illyria.

The creed was signed by nearly all the bishops, Hosius at the head, even by Eusebius of

Caesarea, who, before and afterward, occupied a middle position between Athanasius and Arius.

This is the first instance of such signing of a doctrinal symbol. Eusebius of Nicomedis and Theognis

of Nicæa signed the creed, but not the condemnatory formula appended, and for this they were

deposed, and banished for a short time.

Two Egyptian bishops-Theonas and Secundus-persistently refused to sign, and were banished,

with Arius, to Illyria. This is the first example of the civil punishment of heresy, and opened the long

and dark era of persecution for all departures from the catholic or orthodox faith.




Emperor burns all the writings and documents of Arius to destroy the heresy.

This has become a practice since then.

Emperor Constantine also ordered a penalty of death for those who refused to surrender the Arian


"In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed

over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated,

but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public

order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by

Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his

penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be

submitted for capital punishment. ... "

— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians

The books of Arius were burnt, and his followers branded as enemies of Christianity.

As a result almost all original documents are lost and we depend only on the writings of the

opponents of Arianism to reconstruct the doctrine and even what happenned.

But this was only the beginning of the problem as politics took over the theology. . While the plain

Arian creed was defended by few, those political prelates who sided with Eusebius carried on a

double warfare against the term "consubstantial", and its champion, Athanasius. This greatest of

the Eastern Fathers had succeeded Alexander in the Egyptian patriarchate (326). He was not more

than thirty years of age; but his published writings, antecedent to the Council, display, in thought

and precision, a mastery of the issues involved which no Catholic teacher could surpass. His




unblemished life, considerate temper, and loyalty to his friends made him by no means easy to


Eusebius, by his scholarship and personality won over Constantine in 328 and a period of Arian

reaction set in.

Eustathius of Antioch was deposed on a charge of Sabellianism (331), and the Emperor sent his

command that Athanasius should receive Arius back into communion. The saint firmly declined. In

325 the Arius was absolved by two councils, at Tyre and Jerusalem, while in the council of Tyre

Athanasius was depose from his position on false grounds of personal misconduct and was

banished to Trier for a period of an year and a half.

Meanwhile, Constantia, the Emperor's sister, had recommended Arius, whom she thought an

injured man, to Constantine's leniency. Her dying words affected him, and he recalled the Lybian,

extracted from him a solemn adhesion to the Nicene faith, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of the

Imperial City, to give him Communion in his own church (336). According to tradition Alexander

prayed for a divine verdict by taking the life of his own or that of Arius, before the ceremony took

place the next day. That evening Arius died suddenly.

The Nicene Creed has outlived all the subsequent storms, and, in the improved form recognized at

Constantinople in 381, it remains to this day the most generally received creed of Christendom; and,

if the later Latin insertion, the filioqua, be omitted, a bond of union between the Greek, the Roman,

and the orthodox Protestant Churches.

But this didn’t last long.

Athanasius exiled

Within months, Arius’ supporters convinced Emperor Constantine into ending Arius’ exile. When

Athanasius conversely defended the doctrine of the Trinity and refused to recognize Arius and his

writings back into God’s church, Arius and others began to spread false charges against him,

including sorcery and treason. This accusation of treason forced Constantine to exile Athanasius

from the land.

At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, now bishop of

Alexandria, the primary opponent of Arius. After this, Constantine had Athanasius banished since

he considered him an impediment to reconciliation. In the same year, the Synod of Jerusalem

under Constantine's direction readmitted Arius to communion in AD 336. Arius died on the way to

this event in Constantinople. Some scholars suggest that Arius may have been poisoned by his

opponents. Eusebius and Theognis remained in the Emperor's favor, and when Constantine, who

had been a catechumen much of his adult life, accepted baptism on his deathbed, it was from

Eusebius of Nicomedia.




After Constantine's death in 337, open dispute resumed again. Constantine's son Constantius II,

who had become Emperor of the eastern part of the Empire, actually encouraged the Arians and

set out to reverse the Nicene creed. His advisor in these affairs was Eusebius of Nicomedia, who

had already at the Council of Nicea been the head of the Arian party, who also was made bishop of


The third Council of Sirmium in 357 was the high point of Arianism. The Seventh Arian Confession

(Second Sirmium Confession) held that both homoousios (of one substance) and homoiousios (of

similar substance) were unbiblical and that the Father is greater than the Son. (This confession was

later known as the Blasphemy of Sirmium.)

Constantius used his power to exile bishops adhering to the Nicene creed, especially St Athanasius

of Alexandria, who fled to Rome. In 355 Constantius became the sole Emperor and extended his

pro-Arian policy toward the western provinces, frequently using force to push through his creed,

even exiling Pope Liberius and installing Antipope Felix II.

But by this time, Arianism had become the dominant position of the day. He was banished and

exiled four more times over the next several years.

By the time he was in his 70s, elderly Athanasius was permanently restored to his position in the

church at Alexandria. During his exile, Athanasius wrote many books, including a biography on St.

Antony that is considered the most historically reliable to this day. God used this biography to help

lead many unbelievers to belief in Christ including St. Augustine. It also put him back in favorable

light with the church.

Among his writings, Athanasius wrote a list of what he believed were the 27 divinely-inspired books

of the New Testament. By the grace of God, his list is the one that the church eventually adopted

and agreed with. And as far as Arianism is concerned, its lack of biblical basis led to its own demise.

And as God has always been faithful to do, the gospel truths of Scripture prevailed throughout the

ages, including the doctrine of the Trinity, which Athanasius so faithfully defended for so many





No Christological heresy of ancient Christianity was more widely accepted or tenacious. During a

part of the fourth century it was the ruling creed in the Eastern Church, though there were constant

and vigorous protests by the orthodox party. It was also the form of Christianity to which most of the

barbarian Teutonic races were at first converted.

After the Nicean Synod


“Not long after the Nicene Council an Arian and semi-Arian reaction took place, and acquired for a

time the ascendency in the empire. Arianism now entered the stage of its political power. This was a

period of the greatest excitement in Church and State: Council was held against council; creed was

set up against creed; anathema was hurled against anathema." The highways,"says the impartial

non-Christian historian, Ammianus Mascellinus, "were covered with galloping bishops." The

churches, the theaters, the hippodromes, the feasts, the markets, the streets, the baths, and the

shops of Constantinople and other large cities were filled with dogmatic disputes. In intolerance and

violence the Arians even exceeded the orthodox. The interference of emperors and their courts

only poured oil on the flames, and heightened the bitterness of contest by adding confiscation and

exile to the spiritual punishment of synodical excommunication.

The unflinching leader of the orthodox party was Athanasius, a pure and sublime character, who

had figured at the Council of Nicæa as a youthful archdeacon, in company with Alexander, whom

he succeeded as bishop (326); but he was again and again deposed by imperial despotism,

and spent twenty years in exile. He sacrificed everything to his conviction, and had the courage




to face the empire in arms (hence the motto: Athanasius contra mundum - “Athanasius against the

world.” ). He was a man of one idea and one passion,-the eternal divinity of Christ, which he

considered the cornerstone of the Christian system.

The -politico- ecclesiastical leader of the Arian party was Eusebias of Nicomedia (the Arian) who,

probably owing to the influence of the Emperor Constantine, was recalled from exile and

baptised Constantine on his deathbed. Constantine was turned favorably to Arius, accepted

a confession he prepared, recalled him from exile, and ordered him to be solemnly restored

to the communion of the catholic Church at Constantinople; he even demanded his restoration

in Alexandria by Athanasius; but, on the day preceding his intended restoration, the heretic

suddenly died (336).

In the year following, Constantine himself died, and his son Constantine II. recalled Athanasius

from his first exile.

In the West the Nicene statement found universal Acceptance.

But in the East, when Constantius, the second son of Constantine the Great, ruled,

opposition to the Nicene formula was well-nigh universal, and was maintained with fanatical zeal

by the court and by Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was transferred to Constantinople in 338.

Athanasius was attacked on personal charges with great vehemence by the Eusebians, who

sought to supersede the doctrine of the homoousia by indirect methods. He was banished to Gaul

in 335.

Eustathius of Antioch, A supporter of Athanasius, had been deposed at a synod at Antioch in 330,

the charge being that he advocated Sabellianism.

First Synod of Tyre

Accused of mistreating Arians and Meletians, Athanasius answered those charges at a gathering of

bishops in Tyre, the First Synod of Tyre, in 335.

Athanasius, who had succeeded Alexander as Bishop of Alexandria, was deposed by the First

Synod of Tyre in 335 and Marcellus of Ancyra followed him in 336.

At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, now bishop of

Alexandria, the primary opponent of Arius; after this, Constantine had Athanasius banished since

he considered him an impediment to reconciliation.

Marcellus of Ancyra, another vigorous defender of the Nicene symbol, was also deposed at a

synod in Constantinople.

Arius's death occurred a little later, but the work of punishing his opponents went on. Athanasius

was deposed a second time (339), and took refuge with Julius of Rome, who, with the great

body of the Western Church, believed him a martyr.

It is unnecessary to follow the varying fortunes of the two parties, and the history of councils, which

neutralized one another, without materially advancing the points in dispute.

The most important are the synod of Antioch, 341, which set forth an orthodox creed, but deposed


the orthodox synod of Sardica, which declared Athanasius and Marcaus orthodox,

and the Arian counter-synod of Philippopolis, 343; the synods of Sirmium, 351, which protested




against Athanasius's reinstatement at Alexandria;

Arles, 353; Milan, 355, which condemned Athanasius in obedience to Constantine;

the second synod at Sirmium, 357; the third, 358; at Antioch, 358; at Aneyra, 368; at Constantinople,

360; at Alexandria, 362.

Aided by Constantius, Arianism, under the modified form represented by the term homoiousios ("

similar in substance," as distinct from the Nicene homoourios "same in substance" and the strictly

Arian heteroousios "different in substance"), gained the power in the empire; and even the papal

chair in Rome was for a while desecrated by heresy during the Arian interregnum of Felix II.

But the death of Constantius in 361, the indifference of his successor, the Emperor Julian, to all

theological Disputes (the exiled bishops were at liberty to return to their sees, though he afterward

banished Athanasius), the toleration of Jovian (d. 364), and especially the internal dissensions of

the Arians, prepared the way for a new triumph of orthodoxy.

The Eussebians, or semi-Arians, taught that the Son was similar in substance (homoiousios) to the

Father; while the Aetians (from Aetius, a deacon of Antioch who revived Arianism) and the

Eunomians (from Eunomius, Bishop of Cyzicus in Mysia) taught that he was of a different

substance (heteroousios), and unlike the Father in everything. A number of compromising synods

and creeds undertook to heal these dissensions, but without permanent effect.


Creator of Heaven and earth,

And of all things visible and invisible.

The Arian Catholic Creed

And in his Spiritual Son, Yeshua the Messiah,

Whom was born of Mary and Joseph,

Was not consubstantial nor co-eternal with God the Father almighty,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried.

On the third day His Spirit was resurrected.

He ascended into Heaven,

And sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty.

Whence he shall come again to judge the living and the dead,

Of whose Kingdom there shall be no end.


And I believe in the Holy Spirit,

The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,

The communion of saints,

The forgiveness of sins,

The resurrection of the Spirit,

And life everlasting.


Defenders of Nicene Creed



The Cappadocian Fathers:

Basil the Great, Gregory of Naziansus and Gregory of Nyssa.

On the other hand, the defenders of the Nicene Creed, Athanasius, and, after his death in 373, the

three Cappadocian bishops, Basil the Great (329-379), Gregory of Naziansus (c. 329-390) and

Gregory of Nyssa ( C335 - C394) triumphantly vindicated the catholic doctrine against all the

arguments of the opposition. The Cappadocians made the homoourios the starting point of their

discussions, as is apparent from the correspondenoe of Basil with Apollinaris. Damasus, the

Roman bishop, true to the general policy of his predecessors and of Julius in particular, had




Arianism condemned at two Roman synods, 369, 377. When Gregory of Nazismus was called to

Constantinople in 379, there was but one small congregation in the city which had not become

Arian; but his able and eloquent sermons on the deity of Christ, which won him the title of "the

Theologian," contributed powerfully to the resurrection of the catholic faith. The rising influence of

monasticism, especially in Egypt and Syria, was bound up with the cause of Athanasius and the

Cappadocians; and the more conservative portion of the semi-Arians gradually approached the

orthodox in spite of the persecutions of the violent Arian emperor, Valens.

Constantius, who nominally governed the East, was himself the puppet of his empress and the

palace-ministers. He obeyed the Eusebian faction; his spiritual director, Valens, Bishop of Mursa,

himself supported the Arian dogmas.Constantine had postponed his baptism with the false

understanding that baptism will absolve all sins. On his death bed he called Eusebius of

Nicodemia and got himself baptised giving the Arian theologiansan edge over in the christological

issue. He died in AD 337. In 339 or 340, nearly one hundred bishops met at Alexandria, declared

in favor of Athanasius, and vigorously rejected the criticisms of the Eusebian faction at Tyre. Plus,

Pope Julius I wrote to the supporters of Arius strongly urging Athanasius's reinstatement, but that

effort proved in vain. Pope Julius I called a synod in Rome in 340 to address the matter, which

proclaimed Athanasius the rightful bishop of Alexandria.

In 341 the celebrated Antiochene Council of the Dedication a second time degraded Athanasius,

who now took refuge in Rome. There he spent three years.

Over fourteen councils were held between 341 and 360, in which every shade of heretical

subterfuge found their expression. Five times Athanasius of Alexandria was driven into exile,

spending a total of seventeen years as a bishop in exile, interrupting his long episcopate. A series

of synods repudiated the Nicene symbol in various ways, Antioch in 341, Arles in 353; and in 355

Liberius of Rome and Ossius of Cordoba were exiled and a year later Hilary of Poitier was sent to

Phrygia. In 360 in Constantinople all earlier creeds were disavowed and the term substance (ousia)

was outlawed. The Son was simply declared to be "like the Father who begot him."

Emperor Julian the Apostate (331- 362)

When the vacillating Emperor died (361), Julian, known as the Apostate, suffered all alike to

return home who had been exiled on account of religion. A momentous gathering, over which

Athanasius presided, in 362, at Alexandria, united the orthodox Semi-Arians with himself and the

West. Four years afterwards fifty-nine Macedonian, i.e., hitherto anti-Nicene, prelates gave in their

submission to Pope Liberius. But the Emperor Valens, a fierce heretic, still laid the Church waste.

Athanasius died in 373. While the politics of Arianism and Trinitarianism went on by the year 381

of the Second General Council in which Meletius of Antioch presided Arianism lost its place within

the Christendom. .




The Council of Constantinople, 381

Fresco depicting the First General Council of Constantinople in the narthex

of St. Athanasius church on Mount Athos

The final triumph of the Nicene Orthodoxy came up when Theodosius the Great, a Spaniard by

birth, and reared in the Nicene faith on entering Constantinople removed the Arians from the

charge of the churches and substituted the orthodox party. During his reign (379-395) he completed

externally the spiritual and intellectual victory of orthodoxy already achieved. He convened the

second ecumenical council at Constantinople in 381, which consisted of only one hundred and fifty

bishops, and was presided over successively by Meletius, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Nectarius of


Theodosius I, (347-395)

also known as

Theodosius the Great,

was Roman Emperor from AD 379 to AD 395.

Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire.




The council condemned the Pneumatomachian heresy (which denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit),

the Sabellians, Eunomians, Apollinarians, and virtually completed the orthodox dogma of the Holy

Trinity. The Nicene Creed now in common use (with the exception of the Latin clause filioque, which

is of much later date and rejected by the Greek Church) can not be traced to this synod of

Constantinople, but existed at an earlier date; it is found in the Ancoratus of Epiphanius (373), and

derived by him from a still older source, namely, the baptismal creed of the Church of Jerusalem. It

is not in the original acts of the Council of Constantinople, but was afterward incorporated in them

and may have been approved by the Council. Dr. Hort derives it mainly from Cyril of Jerusalem,

about 362-364. The emperor gave legal effect to the doctrinal decisions and disciplinary canons,

and in July, 381, he enacted a law that all church property should be given up to those who believed

in the equal divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Bishops like Ambrose of Milan

supported the emperor and did much to bring the Nicene doctrine into complete acceptance.

Comparison of of the Creeds of Nicaea and Constantinople

First Council of Nicaea (325) First Council of Constantinople (381)

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty,

Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,

begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is,

of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light

of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not

made, being of one substance with the Father;

by whom all things were made [both in heaven

and on earth];

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down

and was incarnate and was made man;

he suffered, and the third day he rose again,

ascended into heaven;

from thence he shall come to judge the quick and

the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

[But those who say: 'There was a time when he

was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;'

and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of

another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of

God is created,' or 'changeable,' or

'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy

catholic and apostolic Church.]

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of

heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of

God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons),

Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made,

being of one substance with the Father;

by whom all things were made;

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from

heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the

Virgin Mary, and was made man;

he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered,

and was buried, and the third day he rose again,

according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven,

and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;

from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the

quick and the dead;

whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who

proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the

Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by

the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church;

we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the

world to come. Amen.




The truth which was expressed at Nicea was the basis of all subsequent developments in

Christology. But this doctrine of the divinity of the Son of God is also the foundation of the whole

Christian faith. It was the substance of Christianity which was the issue at Nicea in 325. Faith in a

God Who sovereignly saves His people by Himself making an atonement for their sins in the

Person of His own Son is the heart of the Christian religion. Take away the truth of a divine Son of

God from the Christian faith and you have nothing left.

Historically this period also marks several firsts.

In this period we see, for the first time, the Church officially recognized by the civil government.

Until then the Church of Christ everywhere were a persecuted church.

The Council of Nicea, the first Ecumenical Council. All other Synods and Councils before it had

been local in character.

As the Council, so also its creed is ecumenical, even today. The Creed of Nicea (with its

subsequent revisions by the Council of Constantinople) is the only creed which is accepted by all of

Christendom, Eastern and Western, Roman and Protestant.




This document which is normally referred to as the Nicene Creed is the Nicene Creed modified by



The Later Arianism

After Theodosius, Arianism ceased to exist as an organised moving force in theology and church

history; but it reappeared from time to time as an isolated theological opinion, especially in England.

Emlyn, Whiston, Whitby, Samuel Clarke, Lardner, and many who are ranked among Socinians and

Unitarians, held Arian sentiments; but Milton and Isaac Newton, though approaching the Arian view

on the relation of the Son to the Father, differed widely from Arianism in spirit and aim.

At the turn of the fourth century Arius was already known to hold strong views on theology and was

a close associate of Lucian and Meletius (an Egyptian schismatic against Peter I), however

following reconciliation in AD 306 Arius was ordained as a Deacon by Peter I (Patriarch of

Alexandria: AD 300 - 311). Further disputes led the Bishop (Peter I) to excommunicate Arius, who,

however, gained the friendship of Achillas, Peter’s successor. Arius was re-instated and then

ordained by Achillas (Patriarch of Alexandria 312 - 313) as the Presbyter of the district of Baucalis




in Alexandria in AD 313, but when Achillas died that same year Arius was denied the Patriarchate of

Alexandria (to which he aspired) by Alexander I of Alexandria (a Sebellianist heretic).

Arius’s most important work was “Thalia” (The Banquet, 323), a work comprising both prose and

poetry, in which he defended his beliefs. The document was destroyed by the trinitarians and is no

longer extant, and knowledge of most of Arius’s writings comes only from the works of his critics,

who, in condemning him, revealed much information.

Arius continued to campaign against trinitarianism. He was excommunicated locally in 321 AD. He

was declared orthodox in Asia Minor, where he had fled (323), but he was anathematised by the

Council of Nicaea (324) and banished by the Roman Emperor Constantine I (325). But in the

reaction after Nicaea, where Arius gained support from Clergy across all Europe especially in the

east and at one point Arians outnumbered the trinitarians, he came into imperial favour. The

emperor had ordered the Athanasians at Alexandria to receive him at communion when he

suddenly died under suspicious circumstances immediately after having an audience with the

Emperor at the imperial palace. Arians believed that Arius had been poisoned.

“The Mysterious Sudden Death of St. Arius

The triumphant vindication of Athanasius at that council belong rather to the history of Athanasius

than of Arius. However, Eusebius proved ultimately to be master of the situation. With consummate

dexterity the wily tactician contrived fresh charges of interference with the secular affairs of the

empire. By now, Constantine was weary of the strife. His only object had been the settlement of the

question; the shape that settlement took was to him a secondary matter. He now turned fiercely

upon those he believed were responsible for the continuing unrest. Athanasius was exiled to Trier,

and Alexander of Constantinople was ordered to receive Arius back into church communion.

Alexander was in dire perplexity. He dared not disobey the command, neither dare he obey it. In his

extremity he asked the prayers of the Orthodox that either he or Arius might be removed from the

world before the latter was admitted to communion. The prayer was, the very reverend Henry Wace

notes, a strange one. Meanwhile Arius was ordered to appear before the Emperor, and asked

whether he was willing to sign the Nicaene decrees. He replied, without hesitation, that he was

ready to do so. And yet, the very day before he was to be readmitted to communion, Arius died

suddenly, and in a most remarkable manner, as Socrates Scholasticus (c380 - c450 A.D.), whose

account was written nearly a century after Arius’ death, describes:

It was then Saturday, and . . . going out of the imperial palace, attended by a crowd of

Eusebian [Eusebius of Nicomedia is meant] partisans like guards, he [Arius] paraded

proudly through the midst of the city, attracting the notice of all the people. As he

approached the place called Constantine’s Forum, where the column of porphyry is

erected, a terror arising from the remorse of conscience seized Arius, and with the

terror a violent relaxation of the bowels: he therefore enquired whether there was a

convenient place near, and being directed to the back of Constantine’s Forum, he

hastened thither. Soon after a faintness came over him, and together with the

evacuations his bowels protruded, followed by a copious haemorrhage, and the

descent of the smaller intestines: moreover portions of his spleen and liver were

brought off in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died. The scene of

this catastrophe still is shown at Constantinople, as I have said, behind the shambles

in the colonnade: and by persons going by pointing the finger at the place, there is a

perpetual remembrance preserved of this extraordinary kind of death.




Was Arius murdered?

After struggling against the Orthodox church for sixteen years, did Arius really acknowledge the

Nicene (Nicaean) decrees so readily?

Arius’s legacy however has lived on in spite of its condemnation by the Council of Constantinople

(381). Arianism was reinstated by Constantine I who was Baptised as an Arian Christian on his

deathbed, and was supported by his son Constantius II who even raised St Felix II as the Arian

bishop of Rome. The Arian controversy itself lasted for over 250 years until it was driven

underground. Throughout the dark and middle ages trinitarians have brutally attempted to

stamp-out Arianism, even the Spanish Inquisition could not quell Arius’s beliefs. As Roman

Catholicism began to decline in central Europe, Arianism rose again, even in the Church of England!

Today Arianism has returned to the fore with the Arian-Catholic Church lead by the Primus Inter

Pares (First Among Equals): Rev Dr Brian B. Michael-John Mackenzie-Hanson.

Two Roman emperors, Constantius II and Valens, became Arians or Semi-Arians, as did prominent

Gothic, Vandal, and Lombard warlords both before and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Arius was recognised as a Saint and Martyr by the Arian Catholic Church on 16th June 2006, which

has become his memorial day.

The heretical Arius being swallowed by the Great Beast

A mural at the Monastery church of Agia Paraskevi which is situated some 2 km west and downhill from Kato Doli.

There is a vivid depiction on the left of the altar which portrays the figure of Arius being condemned to the flames of

hell.This corresponds well with that in the church of the Zoodokos Pigi in Zarnata (by the same painters) and shows the

'whale' as a great sea beast engulfed in flames. In the Zarnata version the Arius/Jonah is a Mussulman in turban but

here the figure is an Orthodox priest in his stove pipe hat and is linked to the adjacent painting of St. Peter of Alexandria

and depict his arch rival, the heretic Arius, author of the 4th century Arian Heresy which denied the divinity of Christ. It is

a relatively common theme in 18th century Maniate church paintings but is often covered by drapery and altar cloths.

Council of Constantinople

It was not until the co-reigns of Gratian and Theodosius that Arianism was effectively wiped out

among the ruling class and elite of the Eastern Empire. Theodosius' wife St Flacilla was

instrumental in his campaign to end Arianism. Valens died in the Battle of Adrianople in 378 and




was succeeded by Theodosius I, who adhered to the Nicene creed. This allowed for settling the


Two days after Theodosius arrived in Constantinople, 24 November 380, he expelled the

Homoiousian bishop, Demophilus of Constantinople, and surrendered the churches of that city to

Gregory Nazianzus, the leader of the rather small Nicene community there, an act which provoked

rioting. Theodosius had just been baptized, by bishop Acholius of Thessalonica, during a severe

illness, as was common in the early Christian world. In February he and Gratian had published an

edict[33] that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria (i.e.,

the Nicene faith), or be handed over for punishment for not doing so.

Although much of the church hierarchy in the East had opposed the Nicene creed in the decades

leading up to Theodosius' accession, he managed to achieve unity on the basis of the Nicene creed.

In 381, at the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, a group of mainly Eastern bishops

assembled and accepted the Nicene Creed of 381,[34] which was supplemented in regard to the

Holy Spirit, as well as some other changes: see Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of

381. This is generally considered the end of the dispute about the Trinity and the end of Arianism

among the Roman, non-Germanic peoples.




256 Birth of Arius.

274 Birth of Constantine the Great.

295 Birth of Athanasius.

306 Death of Constantine Chlorus, father of Constantine the Great.

312 Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Alexander becomes Bishop of Alexandria.

313 Edict of Milan (Third Edict of Toleration).

318 First outbreak of Arianism.

323 Battle of Chrysopolis; Constantine becomes sole Emperor.

Council at Alexandria deposes Arius.

A council in Bithynia vindicates Arius.

1. From A.D.325 to 337

325. (From June 19 to August 25.) COUNCIL OF NICÆA.

Arius and his partisans anathematized and banished,

Arius to Illyricum. The Eusebians subscribe to the Homoüsion.

326. Athanasius raised to the See of Alexandria at the age of about 30.

328-9. Eusebius of Nicomedia in favour with Constantine. Death of Alexander.

Consecration of Athanasius.

329 Synod at Antioch, Eustathius deposed.

330. An Arian priest gains the ear of Constantine, who recalls Arius from exile to Alexandria.

331. Athanasius refuses to restore him to communion.

Eustathius deposed by the Eusebians on a charge of Sabellianism; other Bishops deposed.

334. Council of Cæsarea against Athanasius, who refuses to attend it.

335. Council of Tyre and Jerusalem, in which Arius and the Arians are formerly readmitted.

Athanasius, forced by the emperor to attend, abruptly leaves it in order to appeal to







336. Eusebians hold a Council at Constantinople to condemn Marcellus on the ground of his

Sabellianism; and to recognize Arius.



The Eusebian Constantius succeeds him in the East, the orthodox Constans and

Constantine in the West.

Death of Constantine the Great, accession of his three sons. Restoration of Athanasius.

2. From 337 to 342

338 Exiles recalled by the three new Emperors.

(End of June.) Athanasius leaves Treves for Alexandria.

339 Eusebius sends to Pope Julius for a Council.

Council at Alexandria vindicates Nicene doctrine. Second exile of Athanasius.


Papal Legates sent to Antioch from Rome.(Early in year) Athanasius goes to Rome.

Papal Legates, &c.(End of year) Athanasius returns to Alexandria.

Murder of Constantine II.




after the Council of the Dedication, immediately before or after the Papal Legates set

out from Rome.


Death of Eusebius of Nicomedia.

Council at Rome vindicates Athanasius.

342 (End of year) Athanasius returns to Alexandria.


The Papal Legates arrive at Rome.

ATHANASIUS ESCAPES TO ROME shortly after the Roman Council there.

343 Councils at Sardica and Philipopolis.

3. From 342 to 351

(Mainly from Tillemont.)

345. COUNCIL OF ANTIOCH (Eusebian), at which the Macrostich is drawn up.

346 Council of Milan.

347. GREAT COUNCIL OF SARDICA, at the instance of the orthodox Constans.

Restoration of Athanasius.

Council of Milan against Photinus. Ursacius and Valens sue for reconciliation to the Church.

349. Council of Jerusalem, at which Athanasius is present. Athanasius returns to Alexandria.

Ursacius and Valens recant, and are reconciled at Rome.

Council at Sirmium or at Rome against Photinus.

350. DEATH OF CONSTANS. The Eusebian Constantius sole Emperor.

351. GREAT COUNCIL OF SIRMIUM, at which Photinus is deposed. First Sirmian creed, &c.

4. From 351 to 361

353 Constantius becomes sole Emperor. Second Council of Arles.

355 Second Council of Milan, Athanasius deposed.




356 George of Cappadocia made Bishop of Alexandria. Beginning of Athanasius' third exile.

357 Second Council of Sirmium, (the second creed of Sirmium).

358 Third Council of Sirmium (the Dated Creed). Expulsion of George from Alexandria.

359 Double Council at Ariminium and Selucia.

Council at Nice.

Beginning of Macedonianism.

360 Dedication Council at Constantinople.

361 Death of Constantius, accession of Julian the Apostate.

Great Council of Sirmium

Photinus deposed

First Sirmian Creed (Semi-Arian)

Signed by Pope Liberius with a condemnation of Athanasius

Council of Arles (Eusebian) Athanasius condemned

Great Council of Milan (Eusebian) Athanasius condemned

Rise of the Eunomians

Syrianus in Alexandria, and George in Cappadocia

Council of Beziers. Hilary deposed and banished

Fresh Council or Conference at Sirmium

Second Sirmian Creed, the blasphemy of Potamius and Hosius (Homœan, if not


Signed by Hosius, but without condemning Athanasius

Signed by Liberius, with a condemnation of Athanasius

Another or an altered Creed signed by Liberius with condemnation of Athanasius

Council of Antioch in favour of Eunomius Its Creed (Anomœan)

Council of Ancyra of 12 Bishops

Its Creed (Semi-Arian) against both the Homoüsian and the Anomœan, signed by Liberius

Fresh Council or Conference at Sirmium

Third Sirmian. Creed (Homœan) drawn up by Semi-Arians

Signed by Liberius

BI-PARTITE COUNCIL OF ARIMINUM (Homœan) and of Seleucia (Semi-Arian)

Council of Constantinople (Homœan)

Council of Antioch (Anomœan)


5. From 361 to 381

362. COUNCIL OF ALEXANDRIA.Restoration of Athanasius. Council at Alexandria.

Fourth exile of Athanasius. Outbreak of Apollinarianism.

363 Death of Julian, accession of Jovian.

364 Restoration of Athanasius. Death of Jovian, accession of Valentinian (West) and Valens (East).

365. Council of Lampsacus (Semi-Arian or Macedonian).Fifth exile and restoration of Athanasius.

366. Macedonian Bishops reconciled to the Church at Rome.

367. Council of Tyre for the same purpose.


375 Death of Valentinian, accession of Gratian.

378 Death of Valens, accession of Theodosius.


383 Death of Gratian, accession of Valentinian II.


Short Summary of Events



Semi Arians: Homoian Arianism

Arianism had several different variants, including Eunomianism and Homoian Arianism.

The Anomoeans, also spelled "Anomeans" and known also as Heterousians, Aëtians, or

Eunomians, were a sect that upheld an extreme form of Arianism, that Jesus Christ was not of the




same nature (consubstantial) as God the Father nor was of like nature (homoiousian), as

maintained by the semi-Arians.

The word "anomoean" comes from Greek ἀ(ν)- 'not' and ὅμοιος 'similar': "different; dissimilar". In

the 4th century, during the reign of Constantius II, this was the name by which the followers of

Aëtius and Eunomius were distinguished as a theological party.

The semi-Arians condemned the Anomoeans in the Council of Seleucia, and the Anomoeans

condemned the semi-Arians in their turn in the Councils of Constantinople and Antioch; erasing the

word ὅμοιος from the formula of Rimini and that of Constantinople and protesting that the Word had

not only a different substance but also a will different from that of the Father. From that, they were

to be called ἀνόμοιοι.

In the 5th century, the Anomoean presbyter Philostorgius wrote an Anomoean Church history.

Homoeanism (also from hómoios) declared that the Son was similar to God the Father, without

reference to substance or essence. Homoian Arianism is associated with Akakius and Eudoxius.

Homoian Arianism avoided the use of the word ousia to describe the relation of Father to Son, and

described these as "like" each other. Hanson lists twelve creeds that reflect the Homoian faith:

The Second Sirmian Creed of 357

The Creed of Nice (Constantinople) 360

The creed put forward by Akakius at Seleucia, 359

The Rule of Faith of Ulfilas

The creed uttered by Ulfilas on his deathbed, 383

The creed attributed to Eudoxius

The Creed of Auxentius of Milan, 364

The Creed of Germinius professed in correspondence with Valens and Ursacius

Palladius' rule of faith

Three credal statements found in fragments, subordinating the Son to the Father






The faith is as follows:

to believe in one God, the Father Almighty, incomprehensible, immutable and unchangeable,

protector and ruler of the universe, just, good, maker of heaven and earth and of all the things in

them, Lord of the law and of the prophets and of the new covenant;

and in one Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son, begotten not from that which is not but from the

Father, not as made but as properly an offspring, but begotten in an ineffable, indescribable manner,

because only the Father Who begot and the Son Who was begotten know (for ‘no one knows the

Father but the Son, nor the Son but the Father'), Who exists everlastingly and did not at one time

not exist. For we have learned from the Holy Scriptures that He alone is the express image, not

(plainly) as if He might have remained unbegotten from the Father, nor by adoption (for it is impious

and blasphemous to say this); but the Scriptures describe Him as validly and truly begotten as Son,

so that we believe Him to be immutable and unchangeable, and that He was not begotten and did

not come to be by volition or by adoption, so as to appear to be from that which is not, but as it

befits Him to be begotten; not (a thing which it is not lawful to think) according to likeness or nature

or commixture with any of the things which came to be through Him, but in a way which passes all

understanding or conception or reasoning we confess Him to have been begotten of the

unbegotten Father, the divine Logos, true light, righteousness, Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour of all.

For He is the express image, not of the will or of anything else, but of His Father's very substance.

This Son, the divine Logos, having been born in flesh from Mary the Mother of God and made

incarnate, having suffered and died, rose again from the dead and was taken up into heaven, and

sits on the right hand of the Majesty most high, and will come to judge the living and the dead.

Furthermore, as in our Saviour, the holy Scriptures teach us to believe also in one Spirit, one

Catholic Church, the resurrection of the dead and a judgment of requital according to whether a

man has done well or badly in the flesh.

And we anathematize those who say or think or preach that the Son of God is a creature or has

come into being or has been made and is not truly begotten, or that there was when He was not.

For we believe that He was and is and that He is light. Furthermore, we anathematize those who

suppose that He is immutable by His own act of will, just as those who derive His birth from that

which is not, and deny that He is immutable in the way the Father is. For just as our Saviour is the

image of the Father in all things, so in this respect particularly He has been proclaimed the Father's



We believe, conformably to the evangelical and apostolical tradition, in one God, the Father

Almighty, the Framer, and Maker, and Provider of the universe, from whom are all things.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, Only-begotten God (John 1:18), by whom are all things,

who was begotten before all ages from the Father, God from God, whole from whole, sole from sole,

perfect from perfect, King from King, Lord from Lord, Living Word, Living Wisdom, true Light, Way,

Truth, Resurrection, Shepherd, Door, both unalterable and unchangeable; exact image of the

Godhead, Essence, Will, Power, and Glory of the Father; the first-born of every creature, who was




in the beginning with God, God the Word, as it is written in the Gospel, "and the Word was God"

(John 1:1); by whom all things were made, and in whom all things consist (Col 1:17); who in the last

days descended from above, and was born of a virgin according to the Scriptures, and was made

man, Mediator between God and man, and Apostle of our faith, and Prince of life, as He says, "I

came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me" (John 6:38); who

suffered for us and rose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and sat down on the

right hand of the Father, and is coming again with glory and power, to judge quick and dead.

And in the Holy Ghost, who is given to those who believe for comfort, and sanctification, and

initiation, as also our Lord Jesus Christ enjoined His disciples, saying, "Go ye, teach all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost" (Matt 28:19); namely, of

a Father who is truly Father, and a Son who is truly Son, and of the Holy Ghost who is truly Holy

Ghost, the names not being given without meaning or effect, but denoting accurately the peculiar

subsistence, rank, and glory of each that is named, so that they are three in subsistence, and in

agreement one.

Holding then this faith, and holding it in the presence of God and Christ, from beginning to end, we

anathematise every heretical heterodoxy. And if any teaches beside the sound and right faith of the

Scriptures, that time, or season, or age, either is or has been before the generation of the Son, be

he anathema. Or if anyone says that the Son is a creature as one of the creatures, or an offspring

as one of the offsprings, or a work as one of the works, and not the aforesaid articles one after

another, as the Divine Scriptures have delivered, or if he teaches or preaches beside what we have

received, be he anathema. For all that has been delivered in the Divine Scriptures, whether by

prophets or apostles, do we truly and reverently both believe and follow.


We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator and Maker of all things; from whom all

fatherhood in heaven and earth is named (Eph 3:15).

And in His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who before all ages was begotten from

the Father, God from God, Light from Light, by whom all things were made in the heavens and on

the earth, visible and invisible, being Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Life, and True Light; who

in the last days was made man for us, and was born of the Holy Virgin; who was crucified, and dead,

and buried, and rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat

down on the right hand of the Father; and is coming at the consummation of the age, to judge quick

and dead, and to render to everyone according to his works; whose kingdom endures indissolubly

into the infinite ages; for He shall be seated on the right hand of the Father, not only in this age but

in that which is to come.

And in the Holy Ghost; that is the Paraclete; which having promised to the apostles, He sent

forth after His ascension into heaven, to teach them and to remind of all things; through whom also

shall be sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.

But those who say that the Son was from nothing, or from some other substance and not from God,

and there was time when He was not, the Catholic Church regards as aliens.


We believe in one Only and True God, the Father Almighty, Creator and Framer of all things.

And in one Only-begotten Son of God, who, before all ages, and before all origin, and before all

conceivable time, and before all comprehensible essence, was begotten impassibly from God:




through whom the ages were disposed and all things were made; and Him begotten as the

Only-begotten, Only from the Only Father, God from God, like to the Father who begat Him,

according to the Scriptures; whose origin no one knoweth save the Father alone who begat Him.

We know that He, the Only-begotten Son of God, at the Father's bidding came from the heavens for

the abolishment of sin, and was born of the Virgin Mary, and conversed with the disciples, and

fulfilled all the Economy according to the Father's will, was crucified and died and descended into

the parts beneath the earth, and regulated the things there, whom the gate-keepers of hell saw

(Job 38:17) and shuddered; and He rose from the dead the third day, and conversed with the

disciples, and fulfilled all the Economy, and when the forty days were full, ascended into the

heavens, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and is coming in the last day of the

resurrection in the glory of the Father, to everyone according to his works. And in the Holy Ghost,

whom the Only-begotten of God Himself, Jesus Christ, had promised to send to the race of men,

the Paraclete, as it is written: "I go to My Father, and I will ask the Father, and He shall send you

another Paraclete, even the Spirit of Truth, He shall take of Mine and shall teach and bring to your

remembrance all things" (John 14:16, 17, 26; 16:14). But whereas the term "essence" has been

adopted by the Fathers in simplicity, and gives offence as being misconceived by the people,

because it is not contained in the Scriptures, it has seemed good to remove it, that no mention of

"essence" with regard to God should be made at all in the future, because the Divine Scriptures

nowhere mention "essence" of the Father and Son. But we say the Son is like the Father in all

things, as also the Holy Scriptures say and teach.


We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible

and invisible:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten of His Father before all worlds, (God of God),

Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made being of one substance with the Father,

through whom all things were made who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven

and made flesh of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and entered humanity; and crucified also for

us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the

Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and shall come

again with glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father (and the Son),

who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake through the

Prophets in the catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism unto remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the

dead; and the life of the world to come.





the defender of the Trinitarian Faith.

The Athanasian Creed

This Creed is named after Athanasius, allthough Athanasius did not write this Creed. It was probably written in the sixth

century. Roman and Anglican Churches used to chant this Creed in public worship

(1) Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

(2) Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish


(3) And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

(4) Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.

(5) For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.

(6) But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the

majesty co-eternal.

(7) Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Spirit.




(8) The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate.

(9) The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

(10) The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

(11) And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.

(12) As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one


(13) So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty;

(14) And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

(15) So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

(16) And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

(17) So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

(18) And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.

(19) For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to

be God and Lord;

(20) so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.

(21) The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

(22) The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

(23) The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but


(24) So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three

Holy Spirits.

(25) And in this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater, or less than another.

(26) But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.

(27) So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be


(28) He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

(29) Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation

of our Lord Jesus


(30) For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is

God and man.

(31) God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and made of the substance of

His mother, born in

the world.

(32) Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

(33) Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His


(34) Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

(35) One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.

(36) One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

(37) For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

(38) Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

(39) He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;

(40) From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

(41) At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

(42) And shall give account of their own works.

(43) And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into

everlasting fire.

(44) This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

Formated by James Richardson 4/04/2016.

You can Download Christian Confessions, Creeds,


The Chalcedonian Creed



The Chalcedonian Creed was adopted in A.D. 451 at the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon (Located in what is

now Istanbul). It primarily establishes the Orthodox doctrine of Christology.

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same

Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God

and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the

Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without

sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for

us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one

and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, unconfusedly,

unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by

the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person

and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only

begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning have declared

concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy

Fathers has handed down to us.






It is often alleged that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a biblical doctrine and that even the word

‘Trinity’ itself is not found in the Bible. However over 700 reference text will testify to the validity of

this theological construct. There are a large number of websites that detail the explanations of how

Trinity is embeded throughout the Bible. The following are only a few that help.

How the concept of Trinity as defined in the Nicean Creed came about from the Scripture.

1. There Is One God

1. One God: Explicit Statements

1. OT: Deut. 4:35; 4:39; 32:39; 2 Sam. 22:32; Isa. 37:20: 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5;

45:14; 45:21-22; 46:9

2. NT: John 5:44; Rom. 3:30; 16:27; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Gal. 3:20; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17;

1 Tim. 2:5; James 2:19; Jude 25

2. None like God (in his essence)

1. Explicit statements: Ex. 8:10; 9:14; 15:11; 2 Sam. 7:22; 1 Kgs. 8:23; 1 Chr.

17:20; Psa. 86:8; Isa. 40:18, 40:25: 44:7; 46:5, 46:9; Jer. 10:6-7; Micah 7:18

2. Being like God a Satanic lie: Gen. 3:5; Isa. 14:14; John 8:44

3. Fallen man become "like God" only in that he took upon himself to know good

and evil, not that he acquired godhood: Gen. 3:22

3. Only one true God: 2 Chr. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20-21

4. All other "gods" are therefore false gods (idols), not gods at all: Deut. 32:21; 1 Sam.

12:21; Psa. 96:5; Isa. 37:19; 41:23-24, 41:29; Jer. 2:11; 5:7; 16:20; 1 Cor. 8:4;


5. Demons, not gods, are the power behind false worship: Deut. 32:17; Psa. 106:37; 1

Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8

6. How human beings are meant to be "like God"




1. The image of God indicates that man is to represent God and share his moral

character, not that man can be metaphysically like God: Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 1

Cor. 11:7; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10

2. The goal of being like Christ has the following aspects only:

1. Sharing His moral character: 1 John 3:2; Rom. 8:29

2. Being raised with glorified, immortal bodies like His: Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor.


3. Becoming partakers of the divine nature refers again to moral nature ("having

escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust"), not metaphysical nature: 2

Pet. 1:4; see also Heb. 12:10; on the meaning of "partakers," See 1 Cor. 10:18,

10:20; 2 Cor. 1:17; 1 Pet. 5:1

7. Are mighty or exalted men gods?

1. Scripture never says explicitly that men are gods

2. Powerful, mighty men are explicitly said not to be gods: Ezek. 28:2, 28:9; Isa.

31:3; 2 Thess. 2:4

3. Men and God are opposite, exclusive categories: Num. 23:19; Isa. 31:3; Ezek.

28:2; Hosea 11:9; Matt. 19:26; John 10:33; Acts 12:22; 1 Cor. 14:2

4. Moses was "as God," not really a god: Ex. 4:16; 7:1

5. Ezek. 32:21 speaks of warriors or soldiers as "mighty gods," but in context they

are so regarded by their pagan nations, not by God or Israel; cf. Ezek. 28:2,


6. The elohim before whom accused stood in Exodus was God Himself, not

judges, as many translations incorrectly render: Ex. 22:8-9, 22:28; compare

Deut. 19:17

7. The use of elohim in Psalm 82:1, probably in reference to wicked judges, as

cited by Jesus in John 10:34-36, does not mean that men really can be gods.

1. It is Asaph, not the Lord, who calls the judges elohim in Psa. 82:1, 82:6.

This is important, even though we agree that Psa. 82 is inspired.

2. Asaph's meaning is not "Although you are gods, you will die like men,"

but rather "I called you gods, but in fact you will all die like the men that

you really are"

3. The Psalmist was no more saying that wicked judges were truly gods

than he was saying that they were truly "sons of the Most High" (Psa

82:6 b)

4. Thus, Psa. 82:1 calls the judges elohim in irony. They had quite likely

taken their role in judgment (cf. point 5 above) to mean they were

elohim, or gods, and Asaph's message is that these so-called gods

were mere men who would die under the judgment of the true elohim

(vss. Psa. 82:1-2, 82:7-8)

5. Christ's use of this passage in John 10:34-36 does not negate the

above interpretation of Psalm 82

6. The words, "The Scripture cannot be broken," means "the Scripture

cannot go without having some ultimate fulfillment" (cf. John 7:23; Matt.

5:17). Thus Jesus is saying that what the OT judges were called in irony,

He is in reality; He does what they could not do, and is what they could

never be (see the Adam-Christ contrasts in Rom. 5:12-21 and 1 Cor.

15:21-22, 15:45 for a similar use of OT Scripture)

7. The clause, "those against whom the word of God came" (John 10:35)

shows that this "word" was a word of judgment against the so-called

gods; which shows that they were false gods, not really gods at all

8. Finally, these wicked men were certainly not "godlike" or "divine" by

nature, so that in any case the use of elohim to refer to them must be

seen as figurative, not literal




8. Even if men were gods (which they are not), this would be irrelevant to Jesus,

since He was God as a preexistent spirit before creation: John 1:1

8. Are angels gods?

1. Scripture never explicitly states that angels are gods

2. Demonic spirits are not gods, 1 Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8; thus, being "mighty

spirits" does not make angels gods

3. Satan is therefore also a false god: 2 Cor. 4:4

4. Psalm 8:5 does not teach that angels are gods

1. Psa. 8:5 is paraphrased in Heb. 2:7, not quoted literally (cf. Psa. 68:18

with Eph. 4:8). In Psa. 8:5, elohim certainly means God, not angels,

since Psa. 8:3-8 parallels Gen. 1:1, 1:8, 1:16, 1:26-28. Note that the

Psalmist is speaking of man's exalted place in creation, whereas

Hebrews is speaking of the lower place taken by Christ in becoming a

man. Thus, Heb. 2:7 may not mean to equate angels with gods at all.

2. Even if Heb. 2:7 does imply that angels are "gods," in the context of

Hebrews 1-2 these angels would be those falsely exalted above Christ:

Note Heb. 1:6 (which quotes Psa. 97:7, which definitely speaks of

"gods" in the sense of false gods); and cf. Col. 2:16 on the problem of

the worship of angels.

5. Elsewhere in the Psalms angels, if spoken of as gods (or as "sons of the

gods"), are considered false gods: Psa. 29:1; 86:8-10; 89:6; 95:3; 96:4-5;

97:7-9 (note that these false gods are called "angels" in the Septuagint); Psa.

135:5; 136:2; 138:1; cf. Ex. 15:11; 18:11; Deut. 10:17; 1 Chr. 16:25; 2 Chr. 2:5.

6. Even if the angels were gods (which the above shows they are not), that would

be irrelevant to Jesus, since He is not an angelic being, but the Son who is

worshiped by the angels as their Creator, Lord, and God: Heb. 1:1-13.

9. Conclusion: If there is only one God, one true God, all other gods being false gods,

neither men nor angels being gods, and none even like God by nature - all of which

the Bible says repeatedly and explicitly - then we must conclude that there is indeed

only one God.

2. This One God Is Known in the OT as "Jehovah/Yahweh" ("The Lord")

1. Texts where Jehovah is said to be elohim or el: Deut. 4:35, 4:39; Psa. 100:3; etc.

2. Texts where the compound name "Jehovah God" (Yahweh Elohim) is used: Gen.

2:3; 9:26; 24:3; Ex. 3:15-18; 4:4; 2 Sam. 7:22, 7:25; etc.

3. Only one Yahweh/Jehovah: Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29

4. Conclusion: Jehovah is the only God, the only El or Elohim

From the beginning of creation in Genesis to the end of times in Revelation, God refers to Himself

as "us" or "our" and thus describes the doctrine of the Trinity. The word trinity comes from "tri"

meaning three and "unity" meaning one. God is three distinct individuals - God the Father, the Son

Jesus, and the Holy Spirit - in one true God.

While El denotes one God, Elohim is a plural form which is used all the time whenever God is

mentioned.Even the Shema of Israel literally reads the unity is the word used for unity in plurality.




Shema Ysrael YHVH Elohenu YHVH echad

Hear O Israel, YHVH Our Gods, YHVH is United One

3. God Is a Unique, Incomprehensible Being

1. Only one God, thus unique: See I.A.

2. None are even like God: See I.B.

3. God cannot be fully comprehended: 1 Cor. 8:2-3

4. God can only be known insofar as the Son reveals Him: Matt. 11:25-27; John 1:18

5. Analogical language needed to describe God: Ezek. 1:26-28; Rev. 1:13-16

6. God is transcendent, entirely distinct from and different than the universe, as the

carpenter is distinct from the bench

1. Separate from the world: Isa. 40:22; Acts 17:24

2. Contrasted with the world: Psa. 102:25-27; 1 John 2:15-17

3. Created the world: Gen. 1:1; Psa. 33:6; 102:25; Isa. 42:5; 44:24; John 1:3;

Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:2; 11:3

4. Is God One Person?

1. God is one God (cf. I above), one Yahweh, one Lord (cf. II above), one Spirit (John


2. However, the Bible never says that God is "one person"

1. Heb. 1:3 KJV speaks of God's "person," but the word used here, hupostasis, is

translated "substance" in Heb. 11:1 KJV; also in Heb. 1:3 "God" refers

specifically to the Father

2. Gal. 3:20 speaks of God as one party in the covenant between God and man,

not as one person

3. Job 13:8 KJV speaks of God's "person," but ironically the Hebrew literally

means "his faces"

3. The use of singular and plural pronouns for God

1. Over 7000 times God speaks or is spoken of with singular pronouns (I, He,

etc.); but this is proper because God is a single individual being; thus these

singular forms do not disprove that God exists as three "persons" as long as

these persons are not separate beings

2. At least three times God speaks of or to himself using plural pronouns (Gen.

1:26; 3:22; 11:7), and nontrinitarian interpretation cannot account for these


1. A plural reference to God and the angels is possible in Isa. 6:8, but not

in the Genesis texts: in Gen 1:26 "our image" is explained in Gen 1:27,

"in God's image"; in Gen 3:22 "like one of us" refers back to Gen 3:5,

"like God."




2. The "literary plural" (possibly, though never clearly, attested in Paul) is

irrelevant to texts in which God is speaking, not writing.

3. The "plural of deliberation" (as in "Let's see now…") is apparently

unattested in biblical writings, and cannot explain Gen. 3:22 ("like one of


4. The "plural of amplitude" or of "fullness" (which probably does explain

the use of the plural form elohim in the singular sense of "God") is

irrelevant to the use of plural pronouns, and again cannot explain Gen.


5. The "plural of majesty" is possibly attested in 1 Kgs. 12:9; 2 Chron. 10:9;

more likely Ezra 4:18; but none of these are certain; and again, it cannot

explain Gen. 3:22; also nothing in the context of the Genesis texts

suggests that God is being presented particularly as King.

4. The uniqueness of God (cf. III above) should prepare us for the possibility that the

one divine Being exists uniquely as a plurality of persons

5. The Father of Jesus Christ Is God

1. Explicit statements: John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; etc.

2. The expression, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ": 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; 1

Pet. 1:3

6. Jesus Christ Is God

1. Explicit statements

1. Isa. 9:6; note Isa. 10:21. Translations which render "mighty hero," are

inconsistent in their rendering of Isa. 10:21. Also note that Ezek. 32:21 is (a)

not in the same context, as is Isa. 10:21, and (b) speaking of false gods, cf.

I.G.5. above.

2. John 1:1 Even if Jesus is here called "a god" (as some have argued), since

there is only one God, Jesus is that God. However, the "a god" rendering is

incorrect. Other passages using the Greek word for God (theos) in the same

construction are always rendered "God": Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38; John 8:54;

Phil 2:13; Heb. 11:16. Passages in which a shift occurs from ho theos ("the

God") to theos ("God") never imply a shift in meaning: Mark 12:27; Luke

20:37-38; John 3:2; 13:3; Rom. 1:21; 1 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 4:10-11

3. John 1:18. The best manuscripts have "the unique God" (monogenês,

frequently rendered "only-begotten," actually means "one of a kind," "unique,"

though in the NT always in the context of a son or daughter). Even if one

translates "only-begotten," the idea is not of a "begotten god" as opposed to an

"unbegotten god."

4. John 20:28. Compare Rev. 4:11, where the same construction is used in the

plural ("our") instead of the singular ("my"). See also Psa. 35:23. Note that

Christ's response indicates that Thomas' acclamation was not wrong. Also

note that John 20:17 does show that the Father was Jesus' "God" (due to

Jesus becoming a man), but the words "my God" as spoken by Thomas later

in the same chapter must mean no less than in John 20:17. Thus, what the

Father is to Jesus in His humanity, Jesus is to Thomas (and therefore to us as


5. Acts 20:28: "the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." The

variant readings (e.g. "the church of the Lord") show that the original was

understood to mean "His own blood," not "the blood of His own [Son]" (since




otherwise no one would have thought to change it). Thus all other renderings

are attempts to evade the startling clarity and meaning of this passage.

6. Rom. 9:5. While grammatically this is not the only possible interpretation, the

consistent form of doxologies in Scripture, as well as the smoothest reading of

the text, supports the identification of Christ as "God" in this verse.

7. Titus 2:13. Grammatically and contextually, this is one of the strongest

proof-texts for the deity of Christ. Sharp's first rule, properly understood,

proves that the text should be translated "our great God and Savior" (cf. same

construction in Luke 20:37; Rev. 1:6; and many other passages). Note also

that Paul always uses the word "manifestation" ("appearing") of Christ: 2

Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 4:8.

8. Heb. 1:8. The rendering, "God is your throne," is nonsense - God is not a

throne, He is the one who sits on the throne! Also, "God is your throne," if

taken to mean God is the source of one's rule, could be said about any angelic

ruler - but Hebrews 1 is arguing that Jesus is superior to the angels.

9. 2 Pet. 1:1. The same construction is used here as in Titus 2:13; see the

parallel passages in 2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 3:18.

10.1 John 5:20. Note that the most obvious antecedent for "this" is Jesus Christ.

Also note that the "eternal life" is Christ, as can be seen from John 1:2.

2. Jesus is Jehovah/Yahweh

1. Rom. 10:9-13: Note the repeated "for," which links these verses closely

together. The "Lord" of Rom. 10:13 must be the "Lord" of Rom. 10:9, 10:12.

2. Phil. 2:9-11. In context, the "name that is above every name" is "Lord" (Phil.

2:11), i.e., Jehovah.

3. Heb. 1:10: Here God the Father addresses the Son as "Lord," in a quotation

from Psa. 102:25 (cf. Psa. 102:24, where the person addressed is called

"God"). Since here the Father addresses the Son as "Lord," this cannot be

explained away as a text in which a creature addresses Christ as God/Lord in

a merely representational sense.

4. 1 Pet. 2:3-4: This verse is nearly an exact quotation of Psa. 34:8 a, where

"Lord" is Jehovah. From 1 Pet. 2:4-8 it is also clear that "the Lord" in 1 Pet. 2:3

is Jesus.

5. 1 Pet. 3:14-15: these verses are a clear reference to Isa. 8:12-13, where the

one who is to be regarded as holy is Jehovah.

6. Texts where Jesus is spoken of as the "one Lord" (cf. Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29): 1

Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:5; cf. Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 12:5.

It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him so that he

might save us. This is YHWH for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice

in his salvation.' (Isa. 25:9)

Then YHWH will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of

battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives … Then YHWH my

God will come , and all the holy ones with him … And YHWH will become king

over all the earth; and on that day YHWH will be one and his name one. (Zech. 14:3


This form of Christology finds particularly vivid expression in Lk. 19:41 ff., wherein Jesus, near the

end of his ministry, rides into Jerusalem on a colt, crying over the city that did not recognize your

visitation from God. (vs. 44)




The use of 'God' for Jesus that is attested in the early 2d century was a continuation of a usage that

had begun in NT times. There is no reason to be surprised at this.

'Jesus Christ is Lord' was evidently a popular confessional formula in NT times, and in this formula

Christians gave Jesus the title kyrios which was the Septuagint translation for YHWH. If Jesus

could be given this title, why could he not be called 'God' (theos), which the Septuagint often used

to translate Elohim? The two Hebrew terms had become relatively interchangeable, and indeed

YHWH was the more sacred term. (Ray Brown : An Introduction to New Testament Christology).

3. Jesus has the titles of God

1. Titles belonging only to God

1. The first and the last: Rev. 1:17; 22:13; cf. Isa. 44:6

2. King of kings and Lord of lords: 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16

2. Titles belonging in the ultimate sense only to God

1. Savior: Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; Titus 2:13, cf. Titus 2:10; etc.;

cf. Isa. 43:11; 45:21-22; 1 Tim. 4:10; on Jesus becoming the source of

salvation; Heb. 5:9, cf. Ex. 15:2; Psa. 118:14, 118:21

2. Shepherd: John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; cf. Psa. 23:1; Isa. 40:11

3. Rock: 1 Cor. 10:4; cf. Isa. 44:8

4. Jesus received the honors due to God alone

1. Honor: John 5:23

2. Love: Matt. 10:37

3. Prayer: John 14:14 (text debated, but in any case it is Jesus who answers the

prayer); Acts 1:24-25; 7:59-60 (cf. Luke 23:34, 23:46); Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor.

1:2; 2 Cor. 12:8-10 (where "the Lord" must be Jesus, cf. 2 Cor. 12:9); 2 Thess.

2:16-17; etc.

4. Worship (proskuneô): Matt. 28:17; Heb. 1:6 (cf. Psa. 97:7); cf. Matt 4:10

5. Religious or sacred service (latreuô): Rev. 22:13

6. Doxological praise: 2 Tim. 4:18; 2 Pet. 3:18; Rev. 1:5-6; 5:13

7. Faith: John 3:16; 14:1; etc.

5. Jesus does the works of God

1. Creation: John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 3:14 (where archê

probably means ruler); on "through" and "in" cf. Rom. 11:36; Heb. 2:10; Acts

17:28; cf. also Isa. 44:24

2. Sustains the universe: Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3, 1:11-12

3. Salvation:

1. In General: See C.2.a. above

2. Forgives sins: Matt. 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26; note that Jesus

forgives sins not committed against Him.

4. All of them: John 5:17-29 (including judgment, cf. Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Cor. 5:10)

6. Jesus has all the incommunicable attributes of God

1. All of them: John 1:1; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:15; 2:9; Heb. 1:3

2. Self-existent: John 5:26

3. Unchangeable: Heb. 1:10-12 (in the same sense as YHWH); Heb. 13:8

4. Eternal: John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:2

5. Omnipresent: Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13; Eph. 1:23; 4:10; Col. 3:11

6. Omniscient: John 16:30; 21:17; cf. John 2:23-24

7. Incomprehensible: Matt. 11:25-27

7. Jesus is "equal with God"

1. John 5:18: Although John is relating what the Jews understood Jesus to be

claiming, the context shows they were basically right: In John 5:17 claimed to

be exempt from the Sabbath along with His Father, and in John 5:19-29 Jesus




claimed to do all of the world of the Father and to deserve the same honor as

the Father

2. Phil. 2:6: Jesus did not attempt to seize recognition by the world as being

equal with God, but attained that recognition by humbling himself and being

exalted by the Father (Phil. 2:7-11)

8. Jesus is the Son of God

1. "Son" in Scripture can mean simply one possessing the nature of something,

whether literal or figurative (e.g. "Son of man," "sons of thunder," "sons of

disobedience," cf. Mark 3:7; Eph. 2:1).

2. Usually when "son of" is used in relation to a person (son of man, son of

Abraham, son of David, etc.) the son possesses the nature of his father.

3. Jesus is clearly not the literal Son of God, i.e., He was not physically

procreated by God.

4. On the other hand, Jesus is clearly the Son of God in a unique sense (cf.

"only-begotten son," John 1:14; 3:16, 3:18; 1 John 4:9) and in a preeminent

sense (i.e. the term is more fitting for Him than for anyone else).

5. Scripture is explicit that the Son possesses God's essence or nature (cf. F.


6. Jesus' repeated claim to be the Son of God was consistently understood by

the Jewish leaders as a blasphemous claim to equality with God, an

understanding Jesus never denied: John 5:17-23; 8:58-59; 10:30-39; 19:7;

Matt. 26:63-65.

7. Jesus is therefore by nature God's Son, not God's creation or God's servant;

Jesus is God's Son who became a servant for our sake and for the Father's

glory (John 13:13-15; 17:4; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:4-13; 3:1-6; 5:8; etc.).

9. Objections

1. Prov. 8:22: This text is not a literal description of Christ, but a poetic

personification of wisdom (cf. all of Prov. 1-9, esp. Prov. 8:12-21; Prov. 9:1-6),

poetically saying that God "got" His wisdom before He did anything - i.e., that

God has always had wisdom.

2. Col. 1:15: Does not mean that Christ is the first creature, since He is here

presented as the Son and principal heir of the Father (cf. Col. 1:12); thus

"firstborn" here means "heir" (cf. Gen. 43:33; 48;14-20; Ex. 4:22; 1 Chron.

5:1-3; Psa. 89:27; Jer. 31:9); note that Col. 1:16 speaks of the Son as the

Creator, nor creature (cf. E.1. above).

3. Rev. 3:14: "Beginning" (archê) in Rev. as a title means source or one who

begins, i.e. Creator (cf. Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13); elsewhere Christ is called the

archê in the sense of "ruler," Col. 1:18, cf. plural archai, "rulers," in Col. 1:16;

2:10, 2:15, also Luke 12:11; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Tit. 3:1; cf. Luke

20:20; Jude 6; 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21.

4. 1 Cor. 11:3; 15:28: Jesus is still subordinate to God, but as the Son to the

Father; i.e., they are equal in nature, but the Son is subordinate relationally to


5. John 20:17; Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 15:24; 2 Cor. 1:3; Rev. 1:6; 3:12: Jesus calls the

Father "My God" because He is still man as well as God; note the distinction

between "My God" and "your God" in John 20:17 (i.e., Jesus never speaks of

"our God" including Himself with the disciples).

6. Mark 13:32: Jesus' statement that He did not know the time of His return is to

be explained by His voluntary acceptance of the humble form and likeness of a

man (Phil. 2:7); in fact Jesus, as God, did know all things (John 16:30), and

after His resurrection He does not including Himself as not knowing (Acts





7. Mark 10:17-18: Jesus does not deny being God, but simply tells the man that

he has no business calling anyone "good" in an unqualified sense except God.

8. Heb. 5:14: Jesus was tempted, cf. James 1:13; but note that Jesus could not

sin, John 5:19.

9. John 1:18: No one has seen God, but men have seen Jesus, e.g. 1 John 1:1-2;

but note that no man can see the glorified Jesus either, 1 Tim. 6:16, and to see

Jesus is to see the Father, John 14:9.

10.1 Tim. 1:17: God cannot die, but Jesus did, e.g. Phil. 2:8; but note that no one

could take Jesus' life from Him, He could not remain dead, and He raised

Himself: John 10:18; Acts 2:24; John 2:19-22.

11.1 Cor. 8:6: Father called God, Jesus called Lord: but here "God" and "Lord" are

synonymous (cf. 1 Cor. 8:5; cf. also Rom. 14:3-12 for a good example of "God"

and "Lord" as interchangeable); moreover, this text no more denies that Jesus

is God than it does that the Father is Lord (Matt. 11:25); cf. Jude 4, where

Jesus is the only Lord.

12.1 Tim. 2:5: Jesus here supposedly distinct from God; but Jesus is also distinct

from (fallen) men, yet is Himself a man; likewise Jesus is distinct from God (the

Father), but is also God.

13.Deut. 4:12, 4:15-25; God not appear in a human form to Israel, lest they fall

into idolatry; but this does not rule out His appearing in human form later after

they had learned to abhor idolatry.

14.In many texts Jesus is distinguished from God: He is the Son of God, was sent

by God, etc.; in all these texts "God" is used as a name for the person most

commonly called God, i.e., the Father.

7. The Holy Spirit Is God

1. Equated with God: Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17-18

2. Has the incommunicable attributes of God

1. Eternal: Heb. 9:14

2. Omnipresent: Psa. 139:7

3. Omniscient: 1 Cor. 2:10-11

3. Involved in all the works of God

1. Creation: Gen. 1:2; Psa. 104:30

2. Incarnation: Matt. 1:18, 1:20; Luke 1:35

3. Resurrection: Rom. 1:4; 8:11

4. Salvation: Rom. 8:1-27

4. Is a person

1. Has a name: Matt. 28:19; note that even though "name" might be used of a

nonperson, here, in conjunction with the Father and the Son, it must be used of

a person

2. Is the "Helper"

1. Is another Helper: John 14:16, cf. 1 John 2:1; note also that "Helper"

(paraklêtos) was used in Greek always or almost always of persons.

2. Is sent in Jesus' name, to teach: John 14:26.

3. Will arrive, and then bear witness: John 15:26-27.

4. Is sent by Christ to convict of sin, will speak not on his own but on behalf

of Christ, will glorify Christ, thus exhibiting humility: John 16:7-14.

3. Is the Holy Spirit, in contrast to unholy spirits: Mark 3:22-30, cf. Matt. 12:32; 1

Tim. 4:1; 1 John 3:24-4:6.

4. Speaks, is quoted as speaking: John 16:13; Acts 1:16; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2;

16:6; 20:23; 21:11; 28:25-27; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:7-11; 10:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:11;

Rev. 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29; 3:6, 3:13, 3:22.

5. Can be lied to: Acts 5:3




6. Can make decisions, judgments: Acts 15:28

7. Intercedes for Christians with the Father: Rom. 8:26

8. "Impersonal" language used of the Spirit paralled by language used of other


1. The Holy Spirit as fire: Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; cf. Ex. 3:2-4; Deut. 4:24;

9:3; Heb. 12:29

2. The Holy Spirit poured out: Acts 2:17, 2:33; cf. Isa. 53:12; Phil. 2:17; 2

Tim. 4:6

3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit: Eph. 5:18, etc.; cf. Eph. 3:17, 3:19; 4:10

8. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Are Distinct Persons

1. Matt. 28:19

1. "the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit": use of definite article before

each personal noun indicates distinct persons unless explicitly stated

otherwise; compare Rev. 1:17; 2:8, 2:26

2. The views that "Father" and "Son" are distinct persons but not the Holy Spirit,

or that the Holy Spirit is not a person at all, or that all three are different offices

or roles of one person, are impossible in view of the grammar (together with

the fact that in Scripture a "spirit" is a person unless context shows otherwise).

3. Does singular "name" prove that the three are one person? No; cf. Gen. 5:2;

11:14; 48:6; and esp. Gen. 48:16

4. "Name" need not be personal name, may be title: Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:23. If a

single personal name is sought, the name shared by all three persons is

"Yahweh" or "Jehovah."

2. Acts 2:38 and Matt. 28:19

1. Neither passage specifies that certain words are to be spoken during baptism;

nor does the Bible ever record someone saying, "I baptize you in the name


2. Those said to be baptized in the name of Jesus (whether or not the formula "in

the name of Jesus" was used) were people already familiar with the God of the


1. Jews: Acts 2:5, 2:38; 22:16

2. Samaritans: Acts 8:5, 8:12, 8:16

3. God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 10:1-2, 10:22, 10:48

4. Disciples of John the Baptist: Acts 19:1-5

5. The first Christians in Corinth were Jews and God-fearing Gentiles: Acts

18:1-8; 1 Cor. 1:13

3. Trinitarian formula for baptism (if that is what Matt. 28:19 is) was given in

context of commissioning apostles to take the gospel to "all the nations,"

including people who did not know of the biblical God

3. God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ are two persons

1. The salutations: Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; 6:23; Phil.

1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1-2; 1 Tim. 1:1-2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Phm. 3;

James 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:2; 2 John 3

2. Two witnesses: John 5:31-32; 8:16-18; cf. Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15

3. The Father sent the Son: John 3:16-17; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:10; etc.; cf. John 1:6;

17:18; 20:21

4. The Father and the Son love each other: John 3:35; 5:20; 14:31; 15:9;

17:23-26; cf. Matt. 3:17 par.; Matt. 17:5 par.; 2 Pet. 1:17

5. The Father speaks to the Son, and the Son speaks to the Father: John

11:41-42; 12:28; 17:1-26; etc.

6. The Father knows the Son, and the Son knows the Father: Matt. 11:27; Luke

10:22; John 7:29; 8:55; 10:15




7. Jesus our Advocate with the Father: 1 John 2:1

4. Jesus is not God the Father

1. Isa. 9:6: "Father of eternity" means eternal; compare other names formed with

word "father": Abialbon, "father of strength" = strong (2 Sam. 23:31); Abiasaph,

"father of gathering" = gatherer (Ex. 6:24); Abigail, a woman's name(!), "father

of exultation" = exulting (1 Chron. 2:16).

2. John 10:30

1. Jesus did not say, "I am the Father," nor did He say, "the Son and the

Father are one person."

2. The first person plural esmen ("we are") implies two persons.

3. The neuter word for "one" (hen) is used, implying essential unity but not

personal unity (compare John 17:21-23).

3. John 5:43: Jesus' coming in His Father's name means not that He was the

Father because He had the Father's name, but that, while others come in their

own name (or their own authority), Jesus does not; He comes in His Father's

name (on His Father's authority).

4. John 8:19; 16:3: Ignorance of Jesus is indeed ignorance of the Father, but that

does not prove that Jesus is the one He calls "My Father."

5. John 14:6-11

1. Jesus and the Father are one being, not one person.

2. Jesus said, "I am in the Father," not "I am the Father."

3. The statement, "the Father is in Me," does not mean Jesus is the Father;

compare John 14:20; 17:21-23.

6. John 14:18: An older adult brother can care for his younger siblings, thus

preventing them from being "orphans," without being their father.

7. Colossians 2:9: Does not mean that Jesus is the Father, or that Jesus is an

incarnation of the Father; rather, since "Godhead" (theotês) means Deity, the

state of being God, the nature of God, Jesus is fully God, but not the only

person who is God. "The Godhead" here does not = the Father (note that

Jesus is in the Father, John 10:38; 14:10, 14:11; 17:21), but the nature of the


8. The Father and the Son are both involved in various activities: raising Jesus

(Gal. 1:1; John 2:19-22), raising the dead (John 5:21; 6:39-40, 6:44, 6:54, 1

Cor. 6:14), answering prayer (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23), sending the Holy

Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7), drawing people to Jesus (John 6:44; 12:32),

etc. These common works do prove that the two persons are both God, but not

that Jesus is the Father

5. The Son existed before his Incarnation, even before creation

1. Prov. 30:4: This is not predictive prophecy; "prophecy" in Prov. 30:1 translates

massa, which is rendered elsewhere as "burden."

2. The Son created all things: See VI.E.1

3. Jesus was "with" (pros or para) God the Father before creation: John 1:1; 17:5;

pros in John 1:1 does not mean "pertaining to," although it does in Hebrews

2:17; 5:1 (which use pros with ta).

4. Jesus, the Son of God, existed before John the Baptist (who was born before

Jesus): John 1:15, cf. John 1:14-18, 1:29-34

5. Jesus, the Son, came down from heaven, sent from the Father, and went back

to heaven, back to the Father: John 3:13, 3:31; 6:33; 6:38, 6:41, 6:46, 6:51,

6:56-58, 6:62; 8:23, 8:42; 13:3; 16:27-28; cf. Acts 1:10-11; cf. the sending of

the Holy Spirit, John 16:5-7; 1 Pet. 1:12

6. Jesus, speaking as the Son (John 8:54-56), asserts His eternal preexistence

before Abraham: John 8:58

7. The Son explicitly said to exist "before all things": Col. 1:17, cf. Col. 1:12-20




8. These statements cannot be dismissed as true only in God's foreknowledge

1. We are all "in God's mind" before creation; yet such passages as John

1:1 and John 17:5 clearly mean to say something unusual about Christ.

2. To say that all things were created through Christ means that He must

have existed at creation.

3. No one else in Scripture is ever said to have been with God before


9. Texts which speak of the Son being begotten "today" do not mean He became

the Son on a certain day, since they refer to His exaltation at the resurrection

(Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:3-5; 5:5; cf. Psa. 2:7; cf. also Rom. 1:4).

6. Jesus is not the Holy Spirit

1. The Holy Spirit is "another Comforter": John 14:16; compare 1 John 2:1.

2. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit: John 15:26; 16:7.

3. The Holy Spirit exhibits humility in relation to, and seeks to glorify, Jesus (John


4. The Son and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19.

5. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus: Luke 3:22.

6. Is Jesus the Holy Spirit?

1. 2 Cor. 3:17: the Spirit is here called "Lord" in the sense of being

Yahweh or God, not Jesus (cf. 2 Cor. 3:16, citing Ex. 34:34; cf. 2 Cor.

3:17 in the Revised English Bible); note Acts 28:25-27, cf. Isa. 6:8-10.

2. 1 Cor. 15:45: Jesus is "a life-giving Spirit," not in the sense that He is

the Holy Spirit whom He sent at Pentecost, but in the sense that He is

the glorified God-man; and as God He is Spirit by nature. All three

persons of the Trinity are Spirit, though there are not three divine Spirits;

and only one person is designated "the Holy Spirit."

3. Rom. 8:27, 8:34: the fact that two persons intercede for us is consistent

with the fact that we have two Advocates (John 14:16; Rom. 8:26; 1

John 2:1).

4. John 14:18: Jesus here refers to His appearances to the disciples after

the resurrection (compare John 14:19), not to the coming of the Spirit.

5. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both involved in various activities: raising

Jesus (John 2:19-22; Rom. 8:9-11), raising the dead (John 5:21;

6:39-40, 6:44, 6:54, Rom. 8:9-11), dwelling in the believer (John 14:16;

2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 1:27), interceding for the believer (Rom. 8:26; Heb.

7:25), sanctifying believers (Eph. 5:26; 1 Pet. 1:2), etc. These works

prove that the two persons are both God, but not that Jesus is the Holy


7. The Father is not the Holy Spirit

1. The Father sent the Holy Spirit: John 14:15; 15:26.

2. The Holy Spirit intercedes with the Father for us: Rom. 8:26-27.

3. The Father and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19.

4. Is the Father the Holy Spirit?

1. Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35: It is argued that the Holy Spirit is the Father of the

incarnate Son of God; this argument ignores the fact that the

"conception" is not a product of physical union between a man and a


2. The Father and the Holy Spirit are both said to be active in various

activities; the resurrection of Jesus (Gal. 1:1; Rom. 8:11), comforting

Christians (2 Cor. 1:3-4; John 14:26), sanctifying Christians (Jude 1; 1

Pet. 1:2), etc. The most these facts prove is that the two work together;

they do not prove the two are one person.




9. Conclusion: The Bible teaches the Trinity

1. All the elements of the doctrine are taught in Scripture.

1. One God

2. The Father is God.

3. The Son is God.

4. The Holy Spirit is God.

5. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons (i.e., they are not each

other, nor are they impersonal; they relate to one another personally).

2. The New Testament presents a consistent triad of Father, Son, Holy Spirit (God,

Christ, Spirit): Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:3-4; also Luke 1:35; 3:21-22 par.; Luke 4:1-12;

John 4:10-25; 7:37-39; 7:14-16; 20:21-22; Acts 1:4-8; 2:33, 38-39; 5:3-4, 5:9, 5:30-32;

7:55-56; 10:36-38, 10:44-48; 11:15-18; 15:8-11; 20:38; 28:25-31; Rom. 1:1-4; 5:5-10;

8:2-4, 8:9-11, 8:14-17; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:4-6, 12:11-12, 12:18; 2 Cor. 1:19-22; 3:6-8,

3:14-18; Gal. 3:8-14; 4:4-7; Eph. 1:3-17; 2:18, 2:21-22; 3:14-19; 4:4-6, 4:29-32;

5:18-20; Phil. 3:3; 1 Thess. 1:3-6; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Tit. 3:4-6; Heb. 2:3-4; 9:14;

10:28-31; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 John 3:21-24; 4:13-14; Jude 20-21; Rev. 2:18, 2:27-29.

3. Therefore, the Bible does teach the Trinity.

This is how we represent trinity showing all the attributes described above

They are one in essence, Three Persons, always One in Thought, Deed and Purpose.

10.What Difference Does the Doctrine of the Trinity Make?

1. Sovereignty: Because the three persons have each other, we can be assured that

God created us only to share the love they have and not as a means to His own end:

Acts 17:25; John 17:21-26.

2. Mystery: The triune God is totally unlike anything in our world, and therefore greater

than anything we can comprehend: Rom. 11:33-36; Isa. 40:18.




3. Salvation: God alone planned our salvation, came to save us, and dwells in us to

complete our salvation: 1 Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1:3-18; etc.

4. Prayer: We pray to the Father through the Son, and also pray to the Son directly, in

the Spirit: John 14:13-14; Eph. 2:18; etc.

5. Worship: We worship Father and Son in the Spirit: John 4:23-24; Phil. 3:3; Heb. 1:8;


6. Love: The love among the three persons is the basis and model for our love for one

another: John 17:26.

7. Unity: The unity of the three persons is the basis and model for the unity of the

church: John 17:21-23.

8. Humility: As the persons of the Trinity seek the glory of each other, so we should

seek the interests of others above our own: Phil. 2:5-11; John 16:13-14.

9. Sonship: We are "sons of God" as we are united with the Son of God by the work of

the Holy Spirit and the adoption of the Father: John 1:12-23; Rom. 8:14-17.

10.Truth: All those who wish to worship and love God must seek to know Him as He is in

truth, for God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is truth: John 4:24; 14:6, 14:17; 15:26;


The Most Holy Trinity: Model of Marital and Familial Love And Unity

When couples begin to look upon themselves and their relationship in Trinitarian light, upon their

bond of love which is sealed in the sacrament of matrimony, the depth and meaning of the lifetime

commitment they have made to one another takes on a profound significance. This is so because

marriage is to be modeled after the three divine Persons of the Trinity whose gift of themselves is

one of totality, unity, and fidelity. Thus marriage should reflect these same traits:

"The characteristic traits of marriage are: totality, by which the spouses give themselves to each

other mutually in every aspect of their person, physical and spiritual; unity which makes them "one

flesh" (Gen 2:24); indissolubility and fidelity which the definitive mutual giving of self requires; the

fruitfulness to which this naturally opens itself" (CSDC, No. 217).

As we reflect on the Holy Trinity one of the first things we notice is the inseparable relationship

between the three distinct Persons who are the one God. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves

the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. We might say that the life of the

Triune God is the highest and supreme principle of familial relationship. This profound bond of unity

among the three divine Persons makes them "inseparable in what they are," and "inseparable in

what they do" (CCC No. 267). This inseparable unity also occurs in matrimony: that Christian

marital bond between man and wife which is established and sealed by God himself (see CCC Nos.


The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father

and the Son in the Holy Spirit.




When we think of a family, we can see how a father, mother, and child can be distinct persons and

yet possess the same nature (human), just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct

persons who each possess the same nature (divine).

The weakness, of course, is that in God each person possesses the one infinite and immutable

divine nature, and is therefore, one being. Our analogous family consists of three beings. Again, no

analogy is perfect.

"Let US make man in OUR image":

Three plural pronouns, (We, Us, Our) used 6 different times in four different passages:

Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8.

Family is the image of God - Father , Mother and Children

Ruach in Hebrew is feminine gender and it is the spirit that give life.

In fact the whole creation is within God as one. Only they are not one in essence. The

creation is part of the emanation and not essence.

The following chart should help you understand how the Trinity doctrine is derived.

Father Son Holy Spirit

Called God Phil. 1:2 John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9 Acts 5:3-4

Creator Is. 64:8; 44:24 John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17 Job 33:4,26:13

Resurrects 1 Thess. 1:10 John 2:19, 10:17 Rom. 8:11

Indwells 2 Cor. 6:16 Col. 1:27 John 14:17

Everywhere 1 Kings 8:27 Matt. 28:20 Ps. 139:7-10

All knowing 1 John 3:20 John 16:30; 21:17 1 Cor. 2:10-11

Sanctifies 1 Thess. 5:23 Heb. 2:11 1 Pet. 1:2

Life giver Gen. 2:7: John 5;21 John 1:3; 5:21 2 Cor. 3:6,8

Fellowship 1 John 1:3 1 Cor. 1:9 2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1

Eternal Ps. 90:2 Micah 5:1-2 Rom. 8:11; Heb. 9:14

A Will Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42 1 Cor. 12:11

Speaks Matt. 3:17; Luke 9:25 Luke 5:20; 7:48 Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2

Love John 3:16 Eph. 5: 25 Rom. 15:30

Searches the heart Jer. 17:10 Rev. 2:23 1 Cor. 2:10

We belong to John 17:9 John 17:6

Savior 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10 2 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 1:4; 3:6

We serve Matt. 4:10 Col. 3:24




Believe in John 14:1 John 14:1

Gives joy John 15:11 Rom. 14:7

Judges John 8:50 John 5:21,30

Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine, H. Wayne House, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publ.

House, 1992), pp. 48-49


1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for

whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and

through whom we live.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is


2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the

fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his

shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the LORD says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am

the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the

glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 10:30 I and the Father are one.

Luke 1:35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High

will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Matthew 1:23“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”

(which means “God with us”).

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the

Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope

when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,

who is over all and through all and in all.

Colossians 1:15-17 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over

all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth,

visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all




things have been created through him and for him.

and in him all things hold together.

He is before all things,

John 14:9-11 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such

a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say,

‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the

Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.

Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I

say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the

evidence of the works themselves.

Philippians 2:5-8

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ

Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God

something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself

nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming

obedient to death— even death on a cross!

John 10:30-36 I and the Father are one.” Again his Jewish opponents picked

up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many

good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are

not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because

you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in

your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the

word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one

whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then

do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

Jesus echoes the "I AM" statements in Isaiah chapters 40-55.

I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn

back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. Isaiah 45:23-24

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will

go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of

eternity. Micah 5:2

Mark 2:5-12Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but

God alone?

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He

was in the beginning with God.

John 5:18For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not

only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal

with God.

John 8:58"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." The Jews

therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to




them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." Therefore they picked up

stones to throw at Him.

John 19:7The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He

made Himself out to be the Son of God."

The jews understood Jesus as declaring himself as God and so they took stones for the


John 10:33"I and the Father are one." The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. ... Has it

not been written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'?"

John 12:41 + Isaiah 6A simple reading of the context of John 12 makes it clear that John is saying

that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus Christ himself in Isaiah 6. This proves Jesus is Yahweh.

Romans 14:11For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every

tongue shall give praise to God."

This sort of thing occurs over and over in the Bible: equivalent characteristics in many respects are

applied to all three Divine Persons:

1. Who raised Jesus from the dead? Well, it was God the Father (Gal 1:1; 1 Thess 1:10); it was also

Jesus Himself (Jn 2:19; 10:17-18); and it was the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:11).

2. Who gave the new covenant? The Father (Jer 31:33-34); Jesus (Heb 8:1-13; 10:29; 12:24;

13:20); the Holy Spirit (Heb 10:15-17).

3. Who sanctifies believers? The Father (1 Thess 5:23); Jesus (Heb 13:12); the Holy Spirit (1 Pet


4. Who is the creator? The Father (Gen 1:1; Is 44:24; Acts 17:24; Eph 3:9); Jesus (Jn 1:3; Col 1:16;

Heb 1:8, 10); the Holy Spirit (Job 33:4).Job 33:4.

5. Who indwells believers? The Father (1 Cor 3:16a; 2 Cor 6:16; 1 Jn 3:24); Jesus (Jn 6:56; Rom

8:10; Eph 3:17); the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16-17; Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Cor 3:16b). The Bible even describes

this in terms of different combinations: Father and Son (Jn 14:23); Father and Holy Spirit (Eph

2:21-22; 1 Jn 3:24); Son and Holy Spirit (Gal 4:6).

(1) The Father is called God (John 6:27; 20:17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; Phil. 2:11; 1 Pet.


(2) Jesus Christ, the Son is declared to be God. His deity is proven by the divine names given to

Him, by His works that only God could do (upholding all things, Col. 1:17; creation, Col. 1:16, John

1:3; and future judgment, John 5:27), by His divine attributes (eternality, John 17:5; omnipresence,

Matt. 28:20; omnipotence, Heb. 1:3; omniscience, Matt. 9:4), and by explicit statements declaring

His deity (John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8).

(3) The Holy Spirit is recognized as God. By comparing Peter’s comments in Acts 5:3 and 4, we

see that in lying to the Holy Spirit (vs. 3), Ananias was lying to God (vs. 4). He has the attributes

which only God can possess like omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10) and omnipresence (1 Cor. 6:19), and

He regenerates people to new life (John 3:5-6, 8; Tit. 3:5), which must of necessity be a work of

God for only God has the power of life. Finally, His deity is evident by the divine names used for the

Spirit as “the Spirit of our God,” (1 Cor. 6:11), which should be understood as “the Spirit, who is our





Ryrie writes: “Matthew 28:19 best states both the oneness and threeness by associating equally

the three Persons and uniting them in one singular name. Other passages like Matthew 3:16-17

and 2 Corinthians 13:14 associate equally the three Persons but do not contain the strong

emphasis on unity as does Matthew 28:19.”




Some of the websites that gives details of scriptural references to Trinity:









https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/bowman_robert/trinity/trinity.cfm give the following references:






Among medieval Germanic tribes


The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistry.

During the time of Arianism's flowering in Constantinople, the Gothic convert Ulfilas (later the

subject of the letter of Auxentius cited above) was sent as a missionary to the Gothic barbarians

across the Danube, a mission favored for political reasons by emperor Constantius II.

Arianism Among the Barbarians

The church legislation of Theodosius was confined, of course, to the limits of the Roman Empire.

Beyond it, among the barbarians of the West, who had received Christianity in the form of Arianism

during the reign of the Emperor Valens, it maintained itself for two centuries or longer, though more

as a matter of accident than choice and conviction.

The Ostrogoths remained Arians till 563;

the Visigoths, till the Synod of Toledo in 584;

the Suevi in Spain, till 560;

the Vandals, who conquered North Africa in 429,

and furiously persecuted the catholics, till 534, when they were expelled by Belisarius;

the Burgundians, till their incorporation in the Frank Empire in 534;

the Lombards in Italy, till the middle of the seventh century.

Alaric, the first conqueror of Rome, Genseric, the conqueror of North Africa, Theodoric the Great,




King of Italy, were Arians; and the fast Teutonic translation of the Scriptures of which important

fragments remain came from the Arian or semi-Arian missionary Ulfilas.

Ulfilas' (c. 311–383) (Gothic Wulfila, literally "Little Wolf") parents were of non-Gothic

Cappadocian Greek origin. Ulfilas, was the grandson of one female Christian captive from

Sadagolthina in Cappadocia. This supposedly took place in 264.

Ulfilas was ordained a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work as a

missionary. He served in this position for the next seven years. In 348, one of the remaining Pagan

Gothic kings (reikos) began persecuting the Christian Goths, and he and many other Christian

Goths fled to Moesia Secunda in the Roman Empire. He continued to serve as bishop to the

Christian Goths in Moesia until his death in 383 AD, according to Philostorgius.Raised as a Goth,

he later became proficient in both Greek and Latin. Ulfilas converted many among the Goths and

preached an Arian Christianity, which, when they reached the western Mediterranean, set them

apart from their orthodox neighbours and subjects.

In 348, in order to escape religious persecution by a Gothic chief, probably Athanaric Ulfilas

obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle

near Nicopolis ad Istrum in modern northern Bulgaria.

There, Ulfilas translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language and devised the Gothic

alphabet. Fragments of his translation have survived, notably the Codex Argenteus held since 1648

in the University Library of Uppsala in Sweden. A parchment page of this Bible was found in 1971 in

the Speyer Cathedral.




Between 348 and 383, Ulfila translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language.Ulfilas

developed the Gothic alphabet in order to translate the Bible. Ulphilas translated the Scriptures

into Maeso-Gothic, taught the Goths across the Danube an Homoean theology.

The creed of Arian Ulfilas (c. 311 – 383), which concludes a letter praising him written by Auxentius,

distinguishes God the Father ("unbegotten"), who is the only true God from Son of God

("only-begotten"), who is Lord/Master; and the Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power,

who is neither God the Father nor Lord/Master:

I, Ulfila, bishop and confessor, have always so believed, and in this, the one true faith,

I make the journey to my Lord; I believe in only one God the Father, the unbegotten

and invisible, and in his only-begotten son, our Lord/Master and God, the designer

and maker of all creation, having none other like him. Therefore, there is one God of

all, who is also God of our God; and in one Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying

power, as Christ said after his resurrection to his apostles: "And behold, I send the

promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be

clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49) and again "But ye shall receive power,

when the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8); Neither God nor Lord/Master, but

the faithful minister of Christ; not equal, but subject and obedient in all things to the

Son. And I believe the Son to be subject and obedient in all things to God the Father.

As a result Arian kingdoms arose in Spain, Africa, Italy. However these were taken over by the

sword by Clovis under the Roman papacy and were totally taken over to Catholic faith by force.

Ulfilas' initial success in converting this Germanic people to an Arian form of Christianity was

strengthened by later events. When the Germanic peoples entered the provinces of the Western

Roman Empire and began founding their own kingdoms there, most had been Arian Christians for

more than a century.

The conflict in the 4th century AD had seen Arian and Nicene factions struggling for control of the

Church. In contrast, among the Arian German kingdoms established in the collapsing Western

Empire in the 5th century, there were entirely separate Arian and Nicene Churches with parallel

hierarchies, each serving different sets of believers. The Germanic elites were Arians, and the

Romance majority population was Nicene.




Most Germanic tribes were generally tolerant of the Nicene beliefs of their subjects. However, the

Vandals tried for several decades to force their Arian beliefs on their North African Nicene subjects,

exiling Nicene clergy, dissolving monasteries, and exercising heavy pressure on non-conforming

Nicene Christians.

The apparent resurgence of Arianism after Nicaea was more an anti-Nicene reaction exploited by

Arian sympathizers than a pro-Arian development. By the end of the 4th century it had surrendered

its remaining ground to Trinitarianism. In western Europe, Arianism, which had been taught by

Ulfilas, the Arian missionary to the barbarian Germanic tribes, was dominant among the Goths,

Lombards and Vandals.

After 493, the Ostrogothic Kingdom included two areas, Italy and much of the Balkans, which had

large Arian churches. Arianism had retained some presence among Romans in Italy during the time

between its condemnation in the empire and the Ostrogothic conquest.[5] However, since Arianism

in Italy was reinforced by the (mostly Arian) Goths coming from the Balkans, the Arian church in

Italy had eventually come to call itself "Church of the Goths" by the year 500.

By the 8th century it had ceased to be the tribes' mainstream belief as the tribal rulers gradually

came to adopt Nicene orthodoxy. This trend began in 496 with Clovis I of the Franks, then

Reccared I of the Visigoths in 587 and Aripert I of the Lombards in 653.

The Franks and the Anglo-Saxons were unlike the other Germanic peoples in that they entered the

empire as pagans and converted to Chalcedonian Christianity directly, guided by their kings, Clovis

and Æthelberht of Kent. The remaining tribes – the Vandals and the Ostrogoths – did not convert as

a people nor did they maintain territorial cohesion. Having been militarily defeated by the armies of

Emperor Justinian I, the remnants were dispersed to the fringes of the empire and became lost to

history. The Vandalic War of 533–534 dispersed the defeated Vandals.[38] Following their final

defeat at the Battle of Mons Lactarius in 553, the Ostrogoths went back north and (re)settled in

south Austria.


From the 5th to 7th century



Much of south-eastern Europe and central Europe, including many of the Goths and Vandals

respectively, had embraced Arianism (the Visigoths converted to Arian Christianity in 376), which

led to Arianism being a religious factor in various wars in the Roman Empire. In the west, organized

Arianism survived in North Africa, in Hispania, and parts of Italy until it was finally suppressed in the

6th and 7th centuries. Grimwald, King of the Lombards (662–671), and his young son and

successor Garibald (671), were the last Arian kings in Europe.

St. Apollinare in Classe, 549 AD,

Bishop Maximian, San Vitale, 547 AD & Dome of the Arian Baptistry, 500 AD

Islam is the largest descendant of Arianism

Archbishop Dmitri of the Orthodox Church in America said Islam is the largest descendant of

Arianism today. Theologically there is almost identity between Islam and the extreme Arianic

position. There is some superficial similarity in Islam's teaching that Jesus was a great prophet, but

very distinct from God, although Islam sees Jesus as a human messenger of God without the

divine properties that Arianism attributes to Christ. Islam sees itself as a continuation of the Jewish

and Christian traditions and reveres many of the same prophets, though Islam denies the

crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and historical Arians claimed it.

There is a historical tradition where Mohamed when he was boy of 12 years met with an Arian

monk called Bahira who lived in Syria. The story goes that Bahira identified Mohammed as a




future prophet. Mohammed apparently was tutored in the Arian theology and the Tanak and the

Christian Bible by him. In the Christian tradition Bahira became a heretical monk, whose errant

views inspired the Qur'an. Bahira is at the center of the Apocalypse of Bahira, which exists in Syriac

and Arabic which makes the case for an origin of the Qur'an from Christian apocrypha. Certain

Arabist authors maintain that Bahira's works formed the basis of those parts of the Qur'an that

conform to the principles of Christianity, while the rest was introduced either by subsequent

compilers such as Uthman Ibn Affan or contemporary Jews and Arabs." The names and religious

affiliations of the monk vary in different Christian sources.

In the Christian tradition Bahira became a heretical monk, whose errant views inspired the Qur'an.

Bahira is at the center of the Apocalypse of Bahira, which exists in Syriac and Arabic which makes

the case for an origin of the Qur'an from Christian apocrypha. Certain Arabist authors maintain that

Bahira's works formed the basis of those parts of the Qur'an that conform to the principles of

Christianity, while the rest was introduced either by subsequent compilers such as Uthman Ibn

Affan or contemporary Jews and Arabs. The names and religious affiliations of the monk vary in

different Christian sources.

For example, John of Damascus states that Muhammad "having chanced upon the Old and New

Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy."

John states:

"From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This

man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having

conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the

good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been

sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his

and he gave it to them as an object of veneration." http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_islam.aspx

Sometimes Bahira is called a Jacobite or an Arian. The early Christian polemical biographies of

Muhammad share in claiming that Bahira was a secret, religious teacher to Muhammad and most

of the quoran was derived from those teachings handed down by Bahira.

The story of Muhammad's encounter with Bahira is found in the works of the early Muslim

historians Ibn Hisham, Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi, and Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, whose versions

differ in some details.





Within Islam,a concept of plurality within God is a denial of monotheism and foreign to the

revelation found in Muslim scripture. Shirk, the act of ascribing partners to God – whether they be

sons, daughters, or other partners – is considered to be a form of unbelief in Islam. The Qur'an

repeatedly and firmly asserts God's absolute oneness, thus ruling out the possibility of another

being sharing his sovereignty or nature.

Three Qur'anic verses may directly refer to this doctrine. Possible Qur'anic references to the

doctrine of "Trinity" are verses 4:171, 5:73, and 5:116.

“People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God

except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His

word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not speak

of a 'Trinity'—stop, that is better for you—God is only one God, He is far above having a son,

everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust.” — Qur'an, sura

4 (An-Nisa), ayat 171

“Those who say, "God is the Messiah, son of Mary," have defied God. The Messiah himself said;

"Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord." If anyone associates others with God,

God will forbid him from the Garden, and Hell will be his home. No one will help such evildoers.

Those people who say that God is the third of three are defying [the truth]: there is only One God. If

they persist in what they are saying, a painful punishment will afflict those of them who persist. Why

do they not turn to God and ask his forgiveness, when God is most forgiving, most merciful? The

Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger; other messengers had come and gone before him;

his mother was a virtuous woman; both ate food. See how clear We make these signs for them; see

how deluded they are”.— Qur'an, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayat 72-75

“And when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother

as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I

have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not

know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.” — Qur'an, sura 5

(Al-Ma'ida), ayat 116

Furthermore, verses 19:88-93, 23:91, and 112:1-4 are relevant to the doctrine of "Trinity":

“They say: "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!" Indeed ye have put forth a thing most

monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall

down in utter ruin, that they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant

with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the

heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant.” — Qur'an, sura 19

(Maryam (sura)), ayat 88-93




“No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold,

each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others!

Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!” — Qur'an, sura 23

(Al-Mumenoon), ayat 91

“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He

begotten; And there is none like unto Him.”— Qur'an, sura 112 (Al-Ikhlas), ayat 1-4

Obviously one can see the deep rooted Arian teaching with firmer note in Islam today. Islam was

actually a going back onto rigid monism of Judaism which all Abrahamic tradition attempts

whenever they are threatened.






From the 16th century

The teachings of the first two ecumenical councils – which entirely rejected Arianism – are held by

the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian

Church of the East and all churches founded during the Reformation in the 16th century or

influenced by it (Lutheran, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Anglican). Also, nearly all Protestant

groups (such as Methodist, Baptist, most Pentecostals) entirely reject the teachings associated

with Arianism.

John Assheton

Following the Protestant Reformation from 1517, it did not take long for Arian and other

non-trinitarian views to resurface. The first recorded English antitrinitarian was John Assheton who

was forced to recant before Thomas Cranmer in 1548. At the Anabaptist Council of Venice 1550,

the early Italian instigators of the Radical Reformation committed to the views of Miguel Servet

(died 1553), and these were promulgated by Giorgio Biandrata and others into Poland and


The antitrinitarian wing of the Polish Reformation separated from the Calvinist ecclesia maior to

form the ecclesia minor or Polish Brethren. These were commonly referred to as "Arians" due to

their rejection of the Trinity, though in fact the Socinians, as they were later known, went further




than Arius to the position of Photinus. The epithet "Arian" was also applied to the early Unitarians

such as John Biddle though in denial of the pre-existence of Christ they were again largely

Socinians not Arians.

In the 18th century the "dominant trend" in Britain, particularly in Latitudinarianism, was towards

Arianism, with which the names of Samuel Clarke, Benjamin Hoadly, William Whiston and Isaac

Newton are associated. To quote the Encyclopædia Britannica's article on Arianism: "In modern

times some Unitarians are virtually Arians in that they are unwilling either to reduce Christ to a mere

human being or to attribute to him a divine nature identical with that of the Father." However, their

doctrines cannot be considered representative of traditional Arian doctrines or vice versa.

A similar view was held by the ancient anti-Nicene Pneumatomachi (Greek: Πνευματομάχοι,

"breath" or "spirit" and "fighters", combining as "fighters against the spirit"), so called because they

opposed the deifying of the Nicene Holy Ghost. However, the Pneumatomachi were adherents of

Macedonianism, and though their beliefs were somewhat reminiscent of Arianism, they were

distinct enough to be distinguishably different.

The Iglesia ni Cristo is one of the largest groups that teaches a similar doctrine, though they are

really closer to Socinianism, believing the Word in John 1:1 is God's plan of salvation, not Christ.

So Christ did not preexist.

There a large number various Christian group which has now teaching the various ‘heresies’ of the

early christian period. Here I have given ten groups which are representative of the current

Christian groups which are in varying shades of early ‘heretic’ teachings.

In terms of number of adherents, nontrinitarian denominations comprise a small minority of modern

Christianity. By far the three largest nontrinitarian Christian denominations are The Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons"), Jehovah's Witnesses and the Iglesia Ni

Cristo, though there are a number of other smaller groups, including Christadelphians, Christian

Scientists, Dawn Bible Students, Living Church of God, Oneness Pentecostals, Members

Church of God International, Unitarian Universalist Christians, The Way International, The

Church of God International and the United Church of God.

Nontrinitarian views differ widely on the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Various

nontrinitarian philosophies, such as Adoptionism, Monarchianism, and Subordinationism.

Nontrinitarianism was later renewed by Cathars who believed in dual powers - a good God and an

evil God. They flourished in the 11th through 13th centuries. Then there was the Unitarian

movement during the Protestant Reformation, in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, and

recently in some groups arising during the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century.





Founded By: Charles Taze Russell, 1879. Succeeded by Joseph F. Rutherford, 1917 Early names

include the Millennial Dawn People, Russellites (after their founder Charles Taze Russell), and

International Bible Students (which is actually still an independent organization of sorts).

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God is one person, Jehovah. Jesus was Jehovah's first creation.

Jesus is not God, nor part of the Godhead. He is higher than the angels but inferior to God.

Jehovah used Jesus to create the rest of the universe. Before Jesus came to earth he was known

as the archangel Michael. The Holy Spirit is an impersonal force from Jehovah, but not God.




Jehovah's Witnesses emphasize use of the name Jehovah—a representation of God's name

based on the Tetragrammaton. They believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all

things, and the "Universal Sovereign". They believe that all worship should be directed toward him,

and that he is not part of a Trinity; consequently, the group places more emphasis on God than on

Christ. They believe that the holy spirit is God's applied power or "active force", rather than a


Jehovah's Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being. Witnesses reject the Trinity

doctrine, which they consider unscriptural. They view God as the Father, an invisible spirit "person"

separate from the Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is described as God's "active force", rather

than the third part of the Trinity. They believe God, whose personal name is Jehovah, is "infinite, but

approachable"; he is not omnipresent, but has a location in heaven; it is possible to have a personal

relationship with him as a friend; he is kind and merciful, and would not eternally "torture" wicked

people. Being respectful of the principle of free will, he does not force his sovereignty on people,

choosing to save only those who want to serve him, even though the course of mankind in general

may lead them to harm.

Witnesses teach that God must be distinguished by his personal name—Jehovah. The name is a

common modern Latinized form of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, or four-letter name, transliterated

as YHWH. The use of his personal name is regarded as vital for true worship, and Witnesses

usually preface the term God with the name Jehovah. The title, LORD (Greek: Kyrios), is rarely

used by Witnesses when speaking about God. Because no other religion uses the name Jehovah

with the same prevalence, they believe that only Jehovah's Witnesses are making God's name


Jesus Christ

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's "only-begotten Son", and that his life began in

heaven. He is described as God's first creation and the "exact representation of God", but is

believed to be a separate entity and not part of a Trinity. Jesus is said to have been used by God in

the creation of all other things. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Archangel, Michael, "the

Word" of John 1:1, and wisdom personified in Proverbs 8 refer to Jesus in his pre-human existence




and that he resumed these identities after his ascension to heaven following his death and

resurrection. They also identify him with the "rider of the white horse" at Revelation 6 and 19. His

birth on earth was accomplished when he willingly allowed himself to be transferred, by God, from

heaven to the womb of the virgin, Mary. While on earth, Jesus was executed as a sacrifice to atone

for mankind's sins, becoming the "eternal father" to the human family.

They believe that after his death, Jesus appeared to his disciples, convinced them of his

resurrection, and then ascended into heaven to sit at Jehovah's right hand until he would become

the promised king of God's heavenly kingdom. Jesus acts as the mediator of a "new covenant"

referred to in Jeremiah 31:31, Luke 22:20, and Hebrews 9:15; 12:24, directly mediating only for

those going to heaven (the 144,000). Those with an earthly hope are said to be beneficiaries of that

covenant. Even as king of God's kingdom, Jesus remains subordinate to God. Witnesses reject the

doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, who they believe bore more children after Jesus.

Now there are also some differences between the Christology of Arius and that of the Jehovah's


For instance, whereas Arius would teach that Jesus' human element is merely the material with the

Logos being the soul (no human soul), the Jehovah's Witnesses would teach that Jesus was purely

man, and as such, he did not possess a soul but he was a living soul.

Also, Arius believed Jesus should be worshipped whereas the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that

since one is to worship God alone Jesus should not be worshipped, since he is merely a creature.

However, as demonstrated above, in the most important of doctrines in the Church, Christology,

there is more than enough similarity between the two to leave no doubt that the Jehovah's

Witnesses are the Arians of our day.

Jehovah's Witnesses are often referred to as "modern-day Arians" or sometimes

"Semi-Arians", usually by their opponents. While there are some significant similarities in theology

and doctrine, the Witnesses differ from Arians by saying that the Son can fully know the

Father (something Arius himself denied), and by their denial of personality to the Holy Spirit.

The original Arians also generally prayed directly to Jesus, whereas the Witnesses pray to God,

through Jesus as a mediator.

The Witnesses have developed their own bible translation, but it is unknown what principles that

they used or who actually translated the work. In John 1.1, the New World Translation read, In the

beginning the Word was, and the word was with God, and the Word was a god.

Most Adventists groups, included the above two, deny the immortality of the soul, the force of the

adversary, and the existence of hell. It is not these doctrines that are the most controversial, but the

denial of the deity of Christ. The Trinitarians and Modalists will disagree as to the nature of the Deity,

but in the end, we both agree that Christ was Deity. The issue with these people is that they deny

the that since the time of the Apostles, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has been worshiped as God, and

His preexistence has been accepted.






The Church of God (7th day) - Salem Conference may be considered to be Arian:

“We believe in one true God who is the creator of all. He is omnipotent, omniscient,

and omnipresent. He sent his son to Earth to be a sacrifice for our sins. He is a

separate being from his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the power of God and not a

separate being with a separate consciousness. We do not believe in the teaching of

the Trinity, in which the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three parts of a single being

who is God. We believe the Father and the Son are separate beings with separate

consciousnesses and that the Holy Spirit is not a conscious being but instead the

power of God.” — FAQs – Does the Church of God (7th Day) believe in the Trinity?

“We believe in one true God who is the creator of all. He is omnipotent, omnicient,

and omnipresent. He sent his son to Earth to be a sacrifice for our sins. He is a

separate being from his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the power of God and not a

separate being with a separate consciousness”

”We do not believe in the teaching of the Trinity, in which the Father, Son, and Holy

Spirit are three parts of a single being who is God. We believe the Father and the

Son are separate beings with separate consciousnesses and that the Holy Spirit is

not a conscious being but instead the power of God”.


It is noteworthy, that although the doctrinal beliefs among the different Churches of God (7th Day)

or (Seventh Day) are very similar, some major points of disagreement still remain, either

concerning christological beliefs or Church organization.




Outlining some beliefs of the Churches of God (7th Day), the Statement of Faith of the General

Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) - Denver Conference states the following:

Christology has been a long debated issue in the Churches of God (7th Day). Gilbert Cranmer,

the founder of the Church of God (Seventh Day), left the Methodist Church to join the

Christian Connection "over the doctrine of the Trinity". Gilbert Cranmer was a Biblical Unitarian.

He did not believe Jesus preexisted his birth and he "believed the Father alone is God" Today,

according to the Denver Conference, God is revealed in Scripture as Father and Son. From

eternity the Son existed with Father and shared His glory (Section 2). This christological belief

is a departure from their long held doctrinal beliefs in that regard. The Denver Conference, part

of the greatest Church of God (7th Day) movement had an Arian Christology for much of the

twentieth century, before leaving part of his heritage and reverting to a more classical view of

Christ. NOTA BENE: The Salem Conference, the Churches previously affiliated or linked to

the Jerusalem Conference and a number of independent Churches of God (7th Day) still

believe that Jesus Christ, as the Word of God, is a created being.] Some independent churches

or individuals retain a Biblical Unitarian Christology. A position paper written by the Jerusalem

Conference states the following:

"The Amen, the faithful and the true witness is no one else but Jesus Christ and

speaking of himself he said, he is "the beginning of the creation of God" i.e. the very

first manifested act of YHWH was the creation of his son Yehoshua (Jesus). Do other

scriptures support this? Col 1:15 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn

of every creature". A creature is life which has been created, whether terrestrial or

celestial: Colossians support Revelation, it says of Christ he is "the firstborn of every


A recent published book by individuals related to the Churches of God (7th Day) movement

affirms that:

“There is a lot of confusion in Christendom concerning Yeshua the Messiah. Some

believe Yeshua to be one and the same with the Father. Others believe in a triune

God. To make Yeshua equal to God is actually the equivalent of breaking the first of

the Ten Words, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" “(Exod. 20:3).

According to the Denver Conference, salvation is by God's grace, received by faith

in Jesus





John Thomas (1805 - 1871)

The movement was founded by physician John Thomas (1805-1871) who had left the Disciples of

Christ in 1844, because of a number of theological disagreements. He started a periodical that

same year, called "The Herald of the Future Age". Thomas wrote a book in 1848, titled "Elpis Israel

- An Exposition of the Kingdom of God." He founded a number of groups, starting in 1848. They

were commonly referred to as the Thomasites. His motivation was to return to what he believed to

be the beliefs of the very early Christian church. In 1864, the group adopted a formal name, the

Christadelphians (Brothers of Christ).

The movement survived the death of its founder in 1871. However, a conflict started during the

1880's in the US over the topic of resurrectional responsibility and it split as two groups.:The

Unamended group believes that only the deceased who are "in Christ" will be raised from the dead

and have eternal life; the rest will simply remain dead, without conscious existence. The Amended

group believes that all who are responsible will be raised from the dead at the time of the Final

Judgment. The "responsible" are those who have been exposed to the Gospel. The righteous

among the responsible ones will be judged according to their works, rewarded appropriately, and

live forever. The wicked will be annihilated, and cease to exist. Those who are not responsible,

since they had never heard the Gospel, will not be raised.

“Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is not the ‘second person’ of an eternal Trinity.”




Doctrinal Summary

God: One Person only (Unitarian)

Jesus: A created being in need of redemption.

Holy Spirit: The impersonal power of God.

Trinity: A pagan teaching.

Salvation: By faith in Christ and works of righteousness.

Man: A physical being without an immortal soul.

Sin: Transgression of God’s law.

Satan: Synonym for sin; any adversary.

Second coming: Jesus will return to reign on earth.

Fall: Sexual in nature.

Bible: The Word of God, the final authority for faith and practice.

Death: Unconsciousness or annihilation.

Hell and Heaven: Myths.

Founded By: Dr. John Thomas, 1864.

“Christadelphians believe God is one indivisible unity, not three distinct persons existing in one God.

They deny the divinity of Jesus, believing he is fully human and separate from God. They do not

believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, but simply a force—the "unseen power" from


The Christadelphians believe that Jesus the Christ is the son of God, who came to fulfill the Old

Testament promises and covenants of God with mankind, primarily the covenants with Eve,

Abraham and David.

We believe that Jesus is a man, who was tried and tempted as we are, yet who resisted sin even till

death. Three days later, the only true God, the Father raised him to eternal life, after which Christ

ascended to his Father's side to await the appointed time of his return.

The Christadelphians embrace the hope of resurrection to eternal life at the return of Christ. We

believe that this will take place soon. At that time the kingdom of God will be established from

Jerusalem, growing to encompass the whole world, offering freedom, hope and salvation to all

mankind. The people of Israel, as the literal descendants of Abraham, will have a special place in

this kingdom.

The Christadelphians believe that salvation is attained through faith in Christ. It is through faith that

we are baptized into Christ for forgiveness of sins, and thereby participate in the promises to

Abraham: to inherit the earth forever.




Doctrinally, the Christadelphians are unique in Christendom in our understanding of the nature of

Christ, and the way in which we are redeemed by his death. “We reject as unbiblical the idea that

Christ could die as a replacement sacrifice for us, thus covering all our sins forever with that one act.

Certainly it is through his sacrifice that we may be forgiven, but only if we walk the path of

self-denial that he marked out for us.”

The Christadelphians (Brothers of Christ) are strictly unitarian, teaching that

Christ was not preexistent, but born of Mary by the power of God.

Humanity is mortal, but eternal life will come only to the righteous.

The unrighteous will either never rise, or as the Amended believe, rise and then be annihilated.

They believe that God is the creator of all things and the father of true believers,

that he is a separate being from his son, Jesus Christ,

and that the Holy Spirit is the power of God used in creation and for salvation.

They believe Christ is the Son of Man,

in that he inherited sin-prone human nature from his mother,

and the Son of God by virtue of his miraculous conception by the power of God.

Although he was tempted, Jesus committed no sin,

and was therefore a perfect representative sacrifice to bring salvation to sinful humankind.

They believe that God raised Jesus from death and gave him immortality, and he ascended to


They also believe that the phrase Holy Spirit sometimes refers to God’s character/mind,

depending on the context in which the phrase appears.






Founded By: Joseph Smith, Jr., 1830.

Mormons believe that God has a physical, flesh and bones, eternal, perfect body. Men have the

potential to become gods as well. Jesus is God's literal son, a separate being from God the Father

and the "elder brother" of men. The Holy Spirit is also a separate being from God the Father and

God the Son. The Holy Spirit is regarded as an impersonal power or spirit being. These three

separate beings are "one" only in their purpose, and they make up the Godhead.

Because their official belief is that the Father, Son, and Spirit are each gods in one godhead,

Mormonism is said to hold a form of tri-theism. Mormons believe that God created Christ, that he is

subordinate to God the Father and that Christ created the universe. Some view Mormonism as

a form of Arianism. Mormons assert that both God and the resurrected Christ have perfected

glorified, physical bodies, but do not otherwise classify deity in terms of substance. While Mormons

regard God the Father as the supreme being and literal father of the spirits of all humankind, they

also teach that Christ and the Holy Spirit are equally divine in that they share in the Father's

"comprehension of all things". The Members Church of God International believes in the divinity of

Christ but rejects the doctrine of Trinity. They believe in a Subordationist viewpoint[citation needed]

in which Jesus Christ, is the Father's only begotten son (in Romanized Greek: monogenestheos,

meaning "only-begotten god").

The concept of man growing into its fullness to form godhood is new to the Mormonism.

God Is An Exalted Man

God is the same essence as Man who evolved into the present status.

Every Man is potentially a God.




Mormon General Authorities teach that God was not always God, but was once a mortal man.

”God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man... I am going to tell you how God

came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute

that idea... He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an


Joseph Smith - Mormonism founder

Ensign, April 1971, p.13-14

”Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we

ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved

forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point where He now is.”

Orson Hyde - Mormon apostle;

Journal of Discourses 1:123

”He is our Father-the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and

is now an exalted Being. How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time

when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals

that we are now passing through.”

Brigham Young - Mormon prophet

Journal of Discourses 7:333

”God is a natural man... Where did he get his knowledge from? From his Father, just as we get

knowledge from our earthly parents.”

Heber C. Kimball - First Presidency Counselor

Journal of Discourses 8:211

”But if God the Father was not always God, but came to his present exalted position by

degrees of progress as indicated in the teachings of the prophet, how has there been a God from

all eternity? The answer is that there has been and there now exists an endless line of Gods,

stretching back into the eternities.”

B. H. Roberts - Mormon Seventy and LDS church historian

New Witness for God 1:476

“God is an exalted Man... The Prophet taught that our Father had a Father and so on.”

Joseph Fielding Smith - Mormon prophet

Doctrines of Salvation 1:10,12






(The Worldwide Church of God)

Herbert W. Armstrong Garner Ted Armstrong (1970)

(Philadelphia Church of God, Global Church of God, United Church of God)

Founded By: Herbert W. Armstrong, 1934.

Traditional Armstrongism denies a Trinity, defining God as "a family of individuals."

Original teachings say Jesus did not have a physical resurrection and the Holy Spirit is an

impersonal force.

The Doctrine of the ‘God Family’

The God Family doctrine holds that the Godhead is not limited to God (the Creator) alone, or even

to a trinitarian God of three persons, but God is a divine family into which every human who ever

lived may be spiritually born, through a master plan being enacted in stages.

The Godhead now - temporarily - consists of two co-eternal individuals (Binitarianism)

= Jesus the Messiah, as the creator and spokesman (The Word or Logos), and

Christ the Son and God the Father are co-eternal


= God the Father.



Thus originally there was a co-eternal "Duality", God and the Word.

Holy Spirit is not God since the Holy Spirit is not a person it is the Spirit (Soul) within Gods.

Armstrong theology holds that God is a "Family" and that "God reproduces Himself",

According to this doctrine, humans who are called by God's Holy Spirit to repentance, and who

accept this call willingly and hope to inherit the gift of eternal life, it is made possible by Jesus'

sacrifice. But they should commit to live by "every word of God" (i.e. biblical scripture), and who

"endure to the end" (i.e. remain faithful to live according to God's way of life until either the end of

their own lifetime or the second coming of Jesus. At Jesus' return, these will be "born again" into

the family of God as the literal spiritual offspring or children of God.



Founded By: Mary Baker Eddy, 1879.

Christian Scientists believe the trinity is life, truth, and love.

As an impersonal principle, God is the only thing that truly exists.

Everything else (matter) is an illusion.

Jesus, though not God, is the Son of God.

He was the promised Messiah but was not a deity.

The Holy Spirit is divine science in the teachings of Christian Science.




The movement known as Christian Science is a religion "emphasizing divine healing as practiced

by Jesus Christ." It is officially known as The Church of Christ, Scientist (CCS) (with headquarters

in Boston, Massachusetts), founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy (1821-1910).

Eddy claim that sickness, death, and even our physical bodies do not exist, but are only imagined.

Based on this absurdity, Mary Baker Eddy formulated her unique interpretations of Scripture upon

which Christian Science was founded (and recorded in Eddy's 1875 book, Science and Health with

Key to the Scriptures. [HJB] In essence, Christian Science is a revival of ancient Pantheism. Jesus’

healing techniques were based on this.

Christian Science clearly repudiates the Trinitarian Godhead:

"The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests polytheism,

rather than the one ever-present I Am" (Science and Health, p. 256). I

nstead, "Life, Truth, and Love constitutes the triune Person called God ... God the Father-Mother;

Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter" (Science and Health, p.


Christian Science teaches that the Biblical concept of the Trinity suggests "heathen gods" (Science

and Health, p. 152). God is thus viewed as an impersonal "Divine Principle," a conception of one's

mind (Science and Health, pp. 361, 469).

On page 465 in another of Mrs. Eddy's "authoritative" books, entitled Miscellaneous Writings, she

wrote: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite, mind, spirit, soul, principle, life, truth,

love," but devoid of any personality. [HJB]

Jesus Christ.

Christian Science denies that the incarnation of Christ was the fullness of deity dwelling in human

flesh, denies the perfection of the man Jesus, and attempts to explain away the historical death and

bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (Science and Health, pp. 336, 29, 332, 53, 398, 313, 593;

Miscellaneous Writings, p. 201) Christian Science believes that Mary's conception of Jesus was

spiritual -- on pages 332 and 347 of Science and Health, the virgin birth of Christ is described and

explained: "Jesus was the offspring of Mary's self-conscious communion with God. ... Mary's

conception of him was spiritual." Christian Science believes that the names "Jesus" and "Christ" do

not refer to the same person -- that Jesus is the human man and Christ is the "divine idea" (i.e.,

"dualism"). They teach that the spiritual (good) cannot dwell in material bodies because they are

evil; thus Jesus could not have been both God and man. [To the contrary, the Bible teaches that

Jesus Christ is not the divine idea of God but was God uniquely manifested in the flesh, truly God

and truly man, one divine Person with two indivisible natures, who is the only Savior and the only

truth and Lord (John 1:1-3,14; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6-7; John 14:6).] Christian Science believes that

Jesus was not God and the only way to heaven, but only the "wayshower" (cf. Jn. 20:31; I Jn.


Christian Science not only denies that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, it also denies that Jesus is

one Person with two natures -- fully God and fully man. Christian Science presents Jesus Christ in

terms of a Gnostic duality: "The spiritual Christ was infallible: Jesus as material manhood was not

Christ'' (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 84). "Christ as the true spiritual ideal, is the ideal of God now

and forever ..." (Science and Health, p. 361). "The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual ..." while, "The

corporeal [physical] man Jesus was human only (Science and Health, p 332). Yet "matter is mortal

error … matter is the unreal and temporal" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 21). So what Christian

Science actually concludes is that the physical humanity of Jesus was an illusion, ''as it seemed to

mortal view" (Science and Health, p. 315).




Concerning the blood atonement of Jesus Christ: "The material blood of Jesus was no more

efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon 'the accursed tree,' than when it was flowing

in his veins ..." (Science and Health, p. 25). Christian Science teaches that the death of Jesus

Christ for sin was a "man-made" theory, and that Jesus was alive in the tomb, demonstrating the

"power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense" (Science and Health, p. 44). Eddy states, "Christ

was not crucified ... Jesus, being the man who possessed the Christ consciousness, was the one

who went to the cross and who appeared to die." Thus, according to the theology of Christian

Science, the Bible only appears to say that Jesus died on the cross and His body was laid in the

tomb; it must instead be understood that Jesus actually never died, but was rather in the tomb

denying death's reality!

Holy Spirit. Christian Science denies that the Holy Spirit is a personal being. It teaches that the

Holy Spirit is Christian Science. -- "This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science" (Science and

Health, p. 55). It is the unfolding of the thoughts and infinite mind of God (pp. 502-503). [cf. Jn.

16:13-14] Thus, God, the Holy Spirit, cannot indwell a person (Science and Health, p. 336).

The Resurrection. It is obvious that if Jesus never physically died on the cross to atone for sins

that mankind cannot commit (Science and Health, pp. 45-46), then the resurrection must also have

a unique meaning in Christian Science. Eddy explains, "When Jesus reproduced his body after its

burial, he revealed the myth or material falsity of evil; its powerlessness to destroy good and the

omnipotence of the Mind that knows this: he also showed forth the error of nothingness of

supposed life in matter, and the great somethingness of the good we possess, which is of Spirit,

and immortal" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 201). Jesus resurrection was thus the manifestation of

the error of evil. He demonstrated that sin and death are illusions and that if one wishes to rid

themselves of these illusions, they only need to deny their reality.


Instead of preachers (the CCS has no ordained clergy), Christian Science's Sunday services

consist mainly of prescribed readings from the Bible, followed by interpretive readings from Science

and Health with Key to the Scriptures (which Eddy thought was divinely inspired -






Founded By: Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, 1889.

Similar to Christian Science, Unity adherents believe God is an unseen, impersonal principle, not a

person. God is a force within everyone and everything. Jesus was only a man, not the Christ. He

simply realized his spiritual identity as the Christ by practicing his potential for perfection. This is

something all men can achieve. Jesus did not resurrect from the dead, but rather, he reincarnated.

The Holy Spirit is the active expression of God's law. Only the spirit part of us is real, matter is not


Unity does not affirm any Christian creeds. Unity holds five basic beliefs:

1. "God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power.

2. God is good and present everywhere.

3. We are spiritual beings, created in God's image. The spirit of God lives within each person;

therefore, all people are inherently good.

4. We create our life experiences through our way of thinking. There is power in affirmative

prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.

5. Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them."

Baptism and communion are practiced as symbolic acts. Many Unity members are vegetarians.






Founded By: Frank Ewart, 1913.

Oneness Pentecostals believe that there is one God and God is one. Throughout time God

manifested himself in three ways or "forms" (not persons), as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Oneness Pentecostals take issue with the Trinity doctrine chiefly for its use of the term "person."

They believe God cannot be three distinct persons, but only one being who has revealed himself in

three different modes. It is important to note that Oneness Pentecostals do affirm the deity of Jesus

Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Son is God manifest in flesh. The term Son always refers to the

Incarnation, and never to deity apart from humanity." Jesus was "Son" only when he became flesh

on earth, but was the Father prior to being made human. They refer to the Father as the "Spirit" and

the Son as the "Flesh".

Oneness of God - God is one, manifested in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He manifested himself

as Jehovah in the Old Testament; as Jesus Christ, God and man, in the New Testament; and as the

Holy Spirit, God with us and in us in our regeneration. This doctrine opposes the Tri-unity of God, or

three distinct persons within one God.






Sun Myung Moon(1920-2012) and his wife Hak Ja Han - the true mother - forming true parents


Founded By: Sun Myung Moon, 1954.



The official title of the Unification Church is The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World

Christianity. Moon claims that in 1936, when he was 16, Jesus Christ appeared to him on Easter

morning on a mountainside in Northwestern Korea and told him that God had chosen him for the

mission of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, a mission that Christ had only begun.

Christ supposedly told Moon that he would be "the completer of man's salvation by being the

Second Coming of Christ" (Sun Myung Moon and The Unification Church, James Bjornstad, p. 9).

After World War II, Moon returned to Pyongyang, the capital of communist North Korea, where he

set up his first church (1945). It was officially founded in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon (which has led

to the referring of his followers as "Moonies") and moved to America in 1959, where he established

his international headquarters.

Sun Myung Moon translates as "One who has clarified the Truth" . Unification adherents believe

that God is positive and negative, male and female. The universe is God's body, made by him.

Jesus was not God, but a man. He did not experience a physical resurrection. In fact, his mission

on earth failed and will be fulfilled through Sun Myung Moon, who is greater than Jesus. The Holy

Spirit is feminine in nature. She collaborates with Jesus in the spirit realm to draw people to Sun

Myung Moon.

Moonies deny the deity of Jesus Christ; instead they claim He was just a man, not God.

"God is just like you and me. All human traits originate in God." -- Moon, Christianity in Crisis, p. 4;

"He can by no means be God Himself." -- Divine Principle, pp. 210-211.

They teach that Jesus was not virgin born, but was the bastard offspring of Zechariah and Mary!

They also claim that Jesus failed in His earthly mission (Divine Principle, pp. 143-145), and that

Christ's purpose in coming was to marry and to produce perfect children. However, He was killed

before He could fulfill His mission

"The Cross is the symbol of defeat of Christianity," Moon, 1973).

Moonies believe that John the Baptist was responsible for the death of Jesus (by failing to convert

his audience into a power bloc for Jesus) and that Christ's death on the cross was not an original or

essential part of God's plan of redemption ("... however devout a man of faith may be, he cannot

fulfill physical salvation by redemption through Jesus crucifixion alone." -- Divine Principle, p. 148),

but that God merely used it to provide an incomplete, spiritual salvation. They do not believe that

Jesus was physically resurrected (cf. 1 Cor. 15:12-20), but that He returned as a spirit, and that a

"third Adam" must come to fulfill God's plan for physical salvation by marrying and producing the

sinless race. The Unification Church has given titles to Moon that indicate it considers him to be this

"third Adam." [HJB]




"In Unification theology the main point is that the Holy Spirit is not a separate entity, a being

different from God the Father. The Holy Spirit simply refers to God's redemptive activity." Further,

the Holy Spirit, "... appears feminine, masculine and impersonal. ... Like God Himself, the Spirit is

invisible and incorporeal -- a bright light or a field of magnetic energy" (Unification Theology, pp.

201-202). Moonies also teach that the Holy Spirit is a "female spirit" -- the "True Mother" and

spiritual wife of Jesus (Divine Principle, p. 215). "She" also cleanses the sins of the people in order

to restore them, thus indemnifying the sin committed by Eve.

Moonies deny the Biblical concept of the Trinity. They teach that the "third Adam," his bride, and

God constituted the first "trinity," and that mankind will be restored by forming trinities with God

through marriage. [HJB]


American Unitarian Conference started as a reply to Unitarian Universalism becoming 'too

theologically liberal'. They refrain from social activism and believe religion and science can

improve the human condition.

Unitarians, strictly speaking, are those Christians who reject the Church doctrine of the Trinity,

and do not believe that Jesus is God the Son, equal with the Father, or that he is the Supreme

Being. Unitarians also usually agree in rejecting the system of doctrines known as

Orthodox, As these doctrines constitute a logical system, of which the doctrine of the Trinity is

the keystone, when that is removed the arch falls.

If, according to Christ and his Apostles, there is no such God as the "Trinity," it must be wrong to

appear to worship this God, who is unknown to the Scriptures of the New Testament.






Edward Cooney (1867-1960)

Edward Cooney was a noted preacher during the 1890s and early 20th century. He joined William

Irvine's new movement as an itinerant evangelist.It seems that an orthodox understanding of the

Trinity is not held to by Cooneyites, with the Father and the Son regarded as separate beings, and

the Holy Spirit being merely a force/power coming from God.



Iglesia ni Cristo (Tagalog for Church of Christ) views Jesus as human but endowed by God

with attributes not found in ordinary humans, though lacking attributes found in God. They

contend that it is God's will to worship Jesus. INC rejects the Trinity as heresy, adopting a

version of unitarianism.




The Iglesia ni Cristo believes that it is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ[ and was

restored by Felix Manalo in the last days. They believe that the first century church apostasized in

that century, or in the 4th century due to false teachings. INC says that this apostate church is

the Roman Catholic Church. Meanwhile, its reestablishment is seen as the signal for the end of





Felix Y. Manalo (1886 - 1963) is said to be the restorer of the church of Christ, and "God's last

messenger" (sugo in Tagalog). INC says that Manalo is the "angel from the east", mentioned in

Revelation 7:1–3

They believe that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the fulfillment of the Bible verse, Isaiah 43:5, where "east"

refers to the Philippines where the Church of Christ would be founde

The Iglesia ni Cristo believes that God the Father is the creator deity and the only true God. INC

rejects the traditional Christian belief in the Trinity as heresy, adopting a version of unitarianism.

They believe that this position is attested by Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

Christ and the Apostles are united in teaching how many and who is the real God.

Similar to other true Christians, according to Apostle Paul, there is only one God, the

Father—not the Son and more so not the Holy Spirit. The Apostles also did not teach

that there is one God who has three personas who are also Gods. ... It [Trinity] is not

found in the Holy Scriptures or the Bible, and if [Catholic] priests ever use the Bible

to prove this teaching of theirs, all are based only on suppositions and presumptions.

—trans. from Pasugo (November 1968)

The church believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the mediator between God the

Father and humanity, and was created by God the Father. God sanctified him to be without sin,

and bestowed upon him the titles "Lord" and "Son of God". The church sees Jesus as God's

highest creation, and denies the deity of Jesus. Adherents profess Jesus' substitutionary role in

the redemption of humankind. He is believed to have been "foreordained before the foundation of

the world" and sent by God "to deal with sin". Members "are saved by Christ's blood" who died

because of his "self-sacrificing love". INC believes that the Holy Spirit is the power of God and also

not a deity, being sent by God the Father and Jesus Christ to guide God's people





Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) of Sweden

Christian denominations that developed as a new religious movement, informed by the writings of

Swedish scientist and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Swedenborg claimed to

have received a new revelation from Jesus Christ through continuous heavenly visions which he

experienced over a period of at least twenty-five years.

Swedenborg held that God is one person revealed in Jesus Christ, which was later

independently expressed by modern-day Oneness Pentecostalism. He stated that the doctrine of a

trinity of three persons originated in the fourth century with the adoption of the Nicene Creed to

combat the heresy of Arianism, but this was unknown to the early Apostolic Church, as shown by

the Apostles' Creed which preceded the Nicene Creed , "It is a universal principle of faith that God

is one in essence and in person, in whom is a Divine trinity, and that He is the Lord God the Savior

Jesus Christ.

Divine Trinity is defined as:

"the three essentials of one God, and they make one as soul, body, and operation make one in

man. Before the world was created this Trinity was not; but after creation, when God became

incarnate, it was provided and brought about; and then in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior

Jesus Christ."

As a trinity of soul, body and spirit exists in every man, so in Jesus this became the Holy Trinity. It is

this doctrine of one God as one person which distinguishes the New Church from other Christian





In the New Church, monotheism is defined as one God who is one in person, and the immediate

consequence of this doctrine is that only the Lord is worshipped, who is Jehovah. Worship and faith

in Jesus is not placing worship in a created being: although born with a human body, His soul was

the Divine from eternity. When He rose from the dead, He put off the human body he inherited from

Mary, and put on a human body from the Divine within Him, which is known in the New Church as

the Divine Human.

The Father is the inmost Divine which became outwardly manifest in a human form, known as the

Son. As the Lord is one with the Father, the Lord's Prayer is directed to the Lord only. In the phrase

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name the word "name" is everything by which God

is worshipped, especially His Divine Human, the Son, by which He is approached.

In scripture it is known that Jesus at times prayed to the Father, and at other times declared Himself

one with the Father. This was because during His life Jesus progressed towards God by gradually

making the human body he inherited at birth one with the Divine: the progress towards union with

the Divine was his state of exinanition (see Kenosis), and the unification itself was His state of

glorification. It was this progress towards unification, completed by the passion on the cross, that

is the means by which all of humanity was saved from hell.




Prof. Madathilparampil Mammen Ninan B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D.,

Web Site: http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n

Email: mm9n@hotmail.com

Prof. Ninan was born in Kozhencheri, Kerala, India in a Syrian Christian Family which claims descent from one of

the four families to whom St.Thomas the apostle of Jesus entrusted the gospel. His father Late.Mr.M.M.Mammen

was a publisher Freedom fighter and Christian Reformer. His eldest Brother is the well known theologian Late

Dr.M.M.Thomas, who was the Chairman of the World Council of Churches, the Governor of Nagaland, India and

the Chairman of the Christian Institute of Study of Society and Religion. He belongs to the Malankara Mar Thoma

Church, a reformed church holding the theology of the Eastern Churches which claims a 2000 year old heritage.

He is by profession a Professor of Theoretical Physics and had been a teacher in various universities around

world including Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, Sudan, Yemen, India and United States of America. He retired as the

President of the Hindustan Academy of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Affiliated to the University of

Bangalore, India.

He was the first Moderator of the International Christian Fellowship, Sanaa, Yemen and

the Co-founder of the Sudan Pentecostal Church and The Sudan Theological College. He has published over

hundred books in History of Religions, Hinduism and Theology. Mrs. Ponnamma Ninan was a Sociologist and

Teacher who taught in many different countries along with her husband.




Published Books

by Prof.M.M.Ninan


A Study On Baptism

Acts of the Apostle Thomas.

Ambedkar's Philosophy of Hinduism and Contemperory Critiques

Angels, Demons and All the Hosts of Heaven and Earth

Apocryphal Thomas

Apostle Paul Architect and Builder of the Church: Life and Mission

Bible Canon

Christ vs. Krishna

Comparitive study of Kuku and Hebrew

Cosmos - The Body of God

Created in the Image of God

Cultural Anthropology.for Missions..

Dalit Theology

Flying Together

Foundations of Faith in Jesus

Four Gospels

Hinduism: A Christian Heresy; What Really Happened in India

History of Christianity in India

Honeymoon in Ethiopia

I AM: Symbols Jesus Used to explain himself

Introduction to Revelation

Introduction to Biblical.Hermeneutics..

Introduction to Revelations

Isavasya Upanishad:The doctrine of the Immanence of Jesus

Jamaica: The Land We Love

James & John: Sons of Thunder

Jiva, Jada & Isvara

Joys of Ghana Col

Katha Upanishad - The Complete...

Kingdom Parables

Krishna Yajur Veda

Laws of Manu

Life and Legacy of M.M.Thomas

Life, Legacy and Theology.of M.M.Thomas..

Lord's Appointed Festivals

Paintings of Ninan-Life of Christ

Perspectives On The Lord's Table.

Peter and Andrew: The First.Disciples.

Prester John, the Kalabhras.and Mahabali.

Quantum Theology




Reincarnation and Resurrection

Resurrections and Judgments

Rewriting Hindu History: How..do they do it?.

Riddles In Hinduism

Rig Veda


Secrets Of The Prayer Shawl

Semiotics Of Sacraments

Seven Churches

Shukla Yajur Veda

Sin, Death and Beyond


Sri Purusha Suktham: The fullness of Him - With commentary

The Apostles

The Biblical Concept of Man

The Book of Revelation

The Christian Understanding.of Trinity..

The Development Of Hinduism

The Development Of Mariolatory

The Emergence Of Hinduism.from Christianity..

The Four Gospels

The Genealogy of Jesus

The Historic Jesus

The Mysteries of the Tallit, Titzit and Teklet

The Mysteries of the Tallit...

The Mystery of Melchizedek

The Name

The Principles of Prosperity in the Kingdom of God

The Prophecy Of Daniel

The Sudan: New Dimensions

The Word Became Flesh


Theology of Paul

Thinking loud on Theodicy, Soteriology,Trinity and Hermeneutics

Thy Kingdom Come

Tilak and the Aryan Origins

Time Line Of Church History

Understanding Sacraments

Waiting for the Redemption...

Wedding Blessings

When was Jesus Born?

Who is the Angel of the Lord?


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