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Who is Jesus?<br />

PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />









Who is Jesus?<br />

PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />


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

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

development of a theology. In the early Judaism and Christianity God was outside of human<br />

realm and material reality and the idea of God incarnating was regarded as impossible. Yet the<br />

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

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

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

rethinking and reasserting what has been handed down will continue. That is essentially the<br />

requirement of true faith.<br />

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

is an ongoing process and in that process rationality and even heresy has its role.<br />

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

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

blasphemy/ At every turn of history, the<br />

children of Abraham everywhere reverted or<br />

tried to revert this return to extreme monism.<br />

This is what happened in Islam in the middle<br />

east, Judaism in the lands of Jesus and<br />

Upanishadic India. The process still<br />

continues. It is in this context, the heretics<br />

are important in defining faith. Creeds were<br />

defined just because heretics came with a<br />

force into the theological arena.<br />

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble<br />

character than those in Thessalonica, for<br />

they received the message with great<br />

eagerness and examined the Scriptures<br />

every day to see if what Paul said was true.”<br />

Act 17:11 NIV<br />

Prof.M.M.Ninan<br />

Normal, IL


PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />


Who is Jesus?<br />

PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />


ARIUS<br />

Presbyter Saint <strong>Arius</strong> - remembered for his views<br />

concerning the trinity and<br />

the divinity of<br />

Christ<br />

Two centuries has passed since the Nazarene called Jesus broke into history in the religious<br />

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

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

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

What they saw and heard was beyond their expectations and understanding and was handed down<br />

through generations. Jews who were to the core monotheists of the tradition of Abraham could<br />

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

antagonized the Rabbis and Priests of Judaism which resulted in his crucifixion. However his<br />

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

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

born. It was established with signs and miracles confirming the words of the messengers.<br />

The small communes that grew in various parts of the world grew into large churches and<br />

institutional edifices came into existence with hierarchies of priests, authorities and teachers.<br />

Theological Schools formed around them.<br />

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

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

questions.<br />

What is God? Who is this God?<br />

Who is this Jesus?<br />

Man, Angel, Messiah, God?<br />

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

(Hellenized) philosophy. That philosophy posited that God, being one, perfect and unchangeable,<br />

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

human beings). Influenced by this philosophy, some <strong>Arius</strong> reasoned that in order to remain aloof<br />

from the flawed, changing world of matter, God created angels who created and then interacted<br />

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

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

created intermediary, not eternal (uncreated) God. This view was championed by <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />

This struggle to understand God and his relation to the man Jesus brought forth new ideas and new<br />

explanations based on human understanding in the cultural context of Platonic Philosophy of its<br />

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

believed that God was divine and that Jesus was divine. Baptism was administered in the name of<br />

the Father and of the Son, and in the Apostolic Creed the Church confessed, "We believe in God<br />

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

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

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

they called them heretics. But they in their turn enriched the church with their new approaches<br />

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

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

and understandable even in their errors. Man, did they pay for that!!<br />

One such bold heretic was <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> (256 - 336 AD) was a Libyan theologian and of Berber descent. Berbers call themselves<br />

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

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

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

himself was a student of another Neo-Platonic scholar Paul of Samosata.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

relationship among the three persons of the Godhead that denied the personal distinction of the<br />

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

the Trinity.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Christology of Paul of Samosata<br />

"He denied the personality of the Logos and of the Holy Spirit, and<br />

considered them merely powers of God, like reason and mind in man;<br />

but granted that the Logos dwelt in Christ in a larger measure than in<br />

any former messenger of God, and taught, like the Socinians in later<br />

times, a gradual elevation of Christ, determined by his own moral<br />

development, to divine dignity. He admitted that Christ remained free<br />

from sin, conquered the sin of our forefathers, and then became the<br />

Saviour of the race" (Schaff).<br />

He taught that God, being One, could not appear substantially on earth;<br />

therefore He could not have become man in Jesus Christ, but rather<br />

filled the man, Jesus, with His Logos and power.<br />

(http://www.dividingword.net/Original%20Sin/Greek%20Philosophy.html)<br />

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

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

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

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

Paul writes:<br />

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

Christos), suffering in accordance with his nature, working wonders in accordance<br />

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

and having kept himself free from sin was united with God, and was empowered to<br />

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

possess over and above the will, one and the same activity (with God), and won the<br />

title of Redeemer and Saviour of our race."<br />

• "The Saviour became holy and just; and by struggle and hard work overcame the<br />

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

through his moral excellence united with God; having attained to unity and<br />

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

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

inherited the name which is above all names, the prize of love and affection<br />

vouchsafed in grace to him."<br />

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

we do award high praise to beings which submit because their attitude is one of<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

love; and so submitting because their inspiring motive is one and the same, they<br />

are confirmed and strengthened by one and the same indwelling power, of which<br />

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

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

ages to retain one and the same will and activity with Him, an activity perpetually at<br />

work in the manifestation of good."<br />

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

substance of the many to subsist as one and the same, so the attitude of love<br />

produces in the many a unity and a sameness of will which is manifested by unity<br />

and sameness of approval and well-pleasingness."<br />

Paul was an early forerunner of Adoptionism. Possibly, the Paulicians of Armenia<br />

adhered to his teachings, and received their name from him. However, historical<br />

records show that the Paulicians were bitterly persecuted more for their gnostic and<br />

iconoclastic views than for their adherence to Adoptionism.<br />

Paul's pupil Lucian of Antioch is considered to have had a major influence on <strong>Arius</strong> the<br />

founder of Arianism.<br />

Lucian of Antioch (240-312)<br />

"the <strong>Arius</strong> before <strong>Arius</strong>."<br />

Lucian was born at Samosata, Kommagene, Syria, to Christian parents, and was<br />

educated in the neighbouring city of Edessa, Mesopotamia, at the school of<br />

Macarius. However, this tradition might be due to a conflation with his famous<br />

namesake, Lucian of Samosata, the pagan satirist of the second century.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> (Presbyter of Alexandria) along with Eusebius (Bishop of Nicomedia and<br />

Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 342)), Maris of Chalcedon and Theognis of Nicaea<br />

were students of St Lucian of Antioch (c. 240 - 312)<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

Origen Adamantius (184/185 – 253/254)<br />

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

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

commitment. In 202 when his father, Leonidas, was beheaded for his Christian beliefs, Origen<br />

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

hiding his clothes.<br />

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

writer in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and<br />

hermeneutics, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality written in Greek. He was<br />

anathematised at the Second Council of Constantinople.<br />

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

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

riddled with problems. His analysis was probably the first on this Christological isssue.<br />

Origen was the first to speak of the eternal generation of the Son. This doctrine teaches that the<br />

Father eternally and continuously communicates the divine essence to the Son without division or<br />

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

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

giving us the relationship within the Holy Trinity as the Orthodox tradition defines.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

he says:<br />

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

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

Father?<br />

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

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

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

will.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

of essence and person had not yet been made clear.<br />

Both sides appealed to Origen's teachings in the Arian controversy.<br />

root of the Arian Controversy.”<br />

(Rev. Ronald Hanko)<br />

This, theologically, was the<br />

At Antioch, Lucian was ordained presbyter. Eusebius of Caesarea notes his<br />

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

a Didaskaleion, a school. He is considered as the first head of the School of Antioch.<br />

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

heresy, and was excommunicated. According to Alexander of Alexandria, he<br />

remained in schism during the episcopates of three bishops, Domnus, Timaeus and<br />

Cyril, whose administration extended from 268 to 303. Lucian was reconciled with<br />

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

more likely, or under Cyril's successor Tyrannus.<br />

During the persecution of Maximinus Daia, Lucian was arrested at Antioch and sent<br />

to Nicomedia, where he endured many tortures over nine years of imprisonment. He<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

was twice brought up for examination, and both times defended himself ably and<br />

refused to renounce his Christian faith.<br />

His death is uncertain. He might have been starved to death. Another, more likely,<br />

possibility is that he was beheaded. The traditional date ascribed to his execution is<br />

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

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

He was buried at Drepanum on the Gulf of Nicomedia, He is also commemorated<br />

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

15 in the Orthodox Church.<br />

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

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

ancient Patriarchates of the Christian Church, along with Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem,<br />

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

the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Church in America, as well as many<br />

other Orthodox jurisdictions around the world.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> along with his teacher Lucians were strict monotheists and were opposed to the trinitarian<br />

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

position of Jesus remained to be explained.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> is described as a tall, lean man, with a downcast brow, austere habits, considerable learning,<br />

and a smooth, winning address, but a confident unbeatable quarrelsome disposition. The silence of<br />

his enemies conclusively proves that his general moral character was irreproachable. His<br />

opponents said that he cherished a personal grudge against Alexander, because he was not<br />

himself elected bishop.<br />

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

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

nontrinitarian theology where it emphasize God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism<br />

which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Men of great weight of character, and whose counsels were highly respected, were particularly<br />

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

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

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

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

convict of heresy, that they invited the attendance of bishops trom the various provinces in<br />

Asia,including Palestine and Egypt. They included —Firmilian from Cappadocia, Gregory and<br />

Athenodorus from Pontus, Helenus of Tarsus, Nieomas of lconium ; and the arehbishops<br />

Ilyrnenaeus of Jerusalem, and Theotecnus of Caesaren, together with the bishop Maxirnus, from<br />

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

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

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

conspicuous part, and was the principal agent in putting an end to the discussion.<br />

About the same period of time other councils were held which were sometimes more than<br />

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

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

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

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

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

As one can notice various theological explanations were proposed and anlysed to explain the<br />

person of Jesus of History. All the versions were involved in the ongoing discussions in the<br />

synods and councils.<br />

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

three forms - as the Father in the Old Testament, as Creator, as the Son in the New Testament, as<br />

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

manifestations or three modes of appearance.<br />

Two contradictory models of monarchianism have been propounded:<br />

• Modalism (or modalistic monarchianism ) considers God to be one person appearing and<br />

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

proponent of modalism was Sabellius, hence the view is commonly called Sabellianism. It<br />

has also been rhetorically labeled Patripassianism (from Latin patri- "father" and passio<br />

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

the Heavenly Father suffered on the cross.<br />

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

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

holding that the Son was not co-eternal with the Father, and that Jesus Christ was<br />

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

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

his baptism or his ascension. An early exponent of this belief was Theodotus of Byzantium.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

According to the adoptionist theology, Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary.<br />

Thus Jesus was the son of Man.<br />

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

This is the Ebionite Theology of that period.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

http://www.twoagespilgrims.com/doctrine/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/portage-glacier_trinity2a.jpg<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Socianism, Modalism or Oneness<br />

The Father alone is the only true God and alone eternal<br />

The Son did not pre-exist His humanity<br />

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

The Son is not the Creator of the cosmos, nor was he eternal<br />

The Son received Godship and Lordship from the Father.<br />

The Son acts as God on earth<br />

The Father-Son relationship began at a point in time<br />

The Son is finite, human Messiah<br />

God the Son is not really acceptable<br />

The Son reveals or manifests the Father on earth.<br />

The Son is prayed to and Worshipped by men.<br />

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

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

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

did as mentioned in the gospels.<br />

As such it was not <strong>Arius</strong> who started the contoversy and it started long before him and he inherited<br />

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

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

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

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

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

relation to God of Judaism.<br />

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

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

the Arian and of the Christological controversies. The most celebrated took place in the summer of<br />

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

was not represented. The emperor Constantius attended in person. The council approved three<br />

creeds.<br />

One of the synods condemned and excommunicated Paul, and Domnus was appointed bishop in<br />

his place. The date of this synod is ordinarily fixed at 268<br />

It was during its last phase <strong>Arius</strong> who was a powerful debater came to the scene.<br />

ARIUS<br />

<strong>Arius</strong>, a Libyan by descent, brought up at Antioch and a school-fellow of Eusebius, afterwards<br />

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

Cyprus) describes <strong>Arius</strong> as tall, grave, and winning personality with no aspersion on his moral<br />

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

the church called "Baucalis," at Alexandria, He was a staunch opponent of the Sabellians,<br />

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

<strong>Arius</strong> probablly had personal differences with Patriarch Alexander whom, in public synod, he<br />

accused of teaching that the Son was identical with the Father (319). Alexander condemned <strong>Arius</strong><br />

in public in front of a great assembly. <strong>Arius</strong> found a refuge with Eusebius, the Church historian, at<br />

Caesarea and with other Lucianists. . Synods in Palestine and Bithynia were opposed to synods in<br />

Egypt.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> was a thoroughgoing Greek rationalist. He inherited the almost universally held Logos<br />

Christology of the East. He labored in Alexandria, the center for Origenist teachings on the<br />

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

lost the balance Origen had maintained in his subordinationist theology by his insistence on the<br />

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

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

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

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

whoever humbles himself will be exalted”<br />

Emperor Constantine Byzantine mosaic and Roman coin with Constantine with Cross<br />

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

the two emperors Constantine I and Licinius; Licinius was defeated and Constantine became<br />

master of the Roman world. Constantine determined on restoring ecclesiastical order in the East,<br />

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Roman Pope Alexander of Alexandria’s Catholic Epistle<br />

319 A.D.<br />

(ANF, 6, 296-298.)<br />

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

sends greeting in the Lord:<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

matters, because, having left Berytus and cast his eyes upon the church of the Nicomedians, and<br />

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

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

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

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

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

write, not to give heed to him.<br />

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

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

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

are these: <strong>Arius</strong>, Achilles, Aithales, Carpones, the other <strong>Arius</strong>, Sarmates, who were formerly priests;<br />

Euzoius, Lucius, Julius, Menas, Helladius, and Gains, formerly deacons; and with them Secundus<br />

and The onas, who were once called bishops.<br />

And the words invented by them,<br />

and spoken contrary to the mind of Scripture,<br />

are as follows:--<br />

“God was not always the Father; but there was a time when God was not the Father.<br />

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

for He who is God fashioned the non-existing from the non-existing;<br />

wherefore there was a time when He was not.<br />

For the Son is a thing created, and a thing made:<br />

nor is He like to the Father in substance;<br />

nor is He the true and natural Word of the Father;<br />

nor is He His true Wisdom;<br />

but He is one of the things fashioned and made.<br />

And He is called, by a misapplication of the terms, the Word and Wisdom, since He is<br />

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

God made all other things, so also did He make Him.<br />

Wherefore,<br />

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

The Word, too, is alien and separate from the substance of God.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The father also is ineffable to the Son;<br />

for neither does the Word perfectly and accurately know the Father,<br />

neither can He perfectly see Him.<br />

For neither does the Son indeed know His own substance as it is.<br />

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

nor would He have existed had not God wished to make us.<br />

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

and they feared not to answer that He can;<br />

for since He was made and created, He is of mutable nature.”<br />

Since those about <strong>Arius</strong> speak these things and shamelessly maintain them, we, coming<br />

together with the Bishops of Egypt and the Libyas , nearly a hundred in number, have<br />

anathematized them, together with their followers. But those about Eusebius have received them,<br />

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

for the truth prevails, and there is no communion betwixt light and darkness, no concord between<br />

Christ and Belial.<br />

For who ever heard such things?<br />

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

words should not touch them?<br />

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

there was a time when He was not?<br />

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

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

For how can He be one of the things made by Him?<br />

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

a thing made and created?<br />

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

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

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

Father, and who says, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father?”<br />

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

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

also, can He be changeable and mutable, who says indeed by Himself:<br />

“I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,”<br />

and,<br />

“I and My Father are one;”<br />

and by the prophet,<br />

“I am the Lord, I change not?”<br />

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

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

“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever.”<br />

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

“for whom are all things, and by whom are all things?”<br />

4. Now concerning their blasphemous assertion who say that<br />

the Son does not perfectly know the Father,<br />

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

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

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

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

Father, of whom He is the Word.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

they have come nearer to Antichr ist. Wherefore they have been excommunicated and<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

doctrines of devils which turn away from the truth.”<br />

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

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

consistently anathematized such men, as I have already said, and have declared them to be<br />

aliens from the Catholic Church and faith, and we have made known the thing, beloved<br />

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

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

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

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

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

enjoins. Salute the brethren who are with you. Those who are with me salute you.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong>’ Letter to Roman Pope Alexander of Alexandria (excerpt)<br />

320 A.D.<br />

(from Athanasius, De Synodis, 16. LNPF ser. 2, vol. 4, 458)<br />

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

We ackowledge One God,<br />

alone Ingenerate, alone Everlasting, alone Unbegun, alone True, alone having Immortality,<br />

alone Wise, alone Good, alone Sovereign;<br />

Judge, Governor, and Providence of all, unalterable and unchangeable, just and good, God<br />

of Law and Prophets and New Testament;<br />

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

ages and the universe;<br />

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

unalterable and unchangeable; perfect creature of God, but not as one of the creatures;<br />

offspring, but not as one of things begotten;<br />

nor as Valentinus pronounced that the offspring of the Father was an issue;<br />

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

as Sabellius, dividing the Monad, speaks of a Son-and-Father;<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

nor that He was was before, was afterwards generated or new-created into a Son,<br />

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

but, as we say,<br />

at the will of God,<br />

created before times and ages,<br />

and gaining life and being from the Father,<br />

who gave subsistence to His glories together with Him.<br />

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

ingenerately in Himself; for He is the Fountain of all things.<br />

Thus there are Three Subsistences.<br />

And God, being the cause of all things, is Unbegun and altogether Sole,<br />

but the Son being begotten apart from time by the Father,<br />

and being created and founded before ages,<br />

was not before His generation,<br />

but being begotten apart from time before all things,<br />

alone was made to subsist by the Father.<br />

For He is not eternal or co-eternal or co-unoriginate with the Father,<br />

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

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

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

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

delivered unto Him, in such sense is God His origin.<br />

For He is above Him, as being His God, and before Him.<br />

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

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

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

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

incorporeal God.<br />

Pope Alexander I of Alexandria ’s Letter to Alexander of Constantinople<br />

324 A.D.<br />

requesting their cooperation in combatting what he perceived to be heresy.<br />

(ANF, 6, 291-296.)<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

simple and sincere faith. <strong>Arius</strong>, therefore, and Achilles, having lately entered into a conspiracy,<br />

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

reprehends these very men, found some pretext for his evil purpose; but these, beholding his<br />

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

of thieves, they hold their assemblies in them unceasingly, night and day directing their calumnies<br />

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

the manner of the Jews, they have constructed a workshop for contending against Christ, denying<br />

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

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

they endeavour from these to collect the preaching of their impiety, ignoring altogether the<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

and infamy upon the Christian religion, their young maidens disgracefully wandering about every<br />

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

divide, these wretches have dared to rend.<br />

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

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

congregation of the Church which adores the Godhead of Christ. But they, running hither and<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

writings they deceive them. Concealing, therefore, their pestilent doctrine by their specious and<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sacred writings concerning His eternity, which signify the immutability and the Godhead of Wisdom<br />

and the Word, which are Christ.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

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

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

gladness above Thy fellows,”<br />

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

and that there was no “time when He was not,”<br />

the evangelist John sufficiently shows, when he thus writes concerning Him:<br />

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

For since that divine teacher intended to show that the Father and the Son are two things<br />

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

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

which are not,” the same John says,<br />

“All things were made by Him.”<br />

For he set forth His proper personality, saying,<br />

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things<br />

were made by Him; and with out Him was not anything made that was made.”<br />

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

made their existence, at one time Himself was not.<br />

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

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

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

those things which are made “from things which are not.”<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

that the Word is unbegotten, for the Father alone is unbegotten, but because the inexplicable<br />

subsistence of the only-begotten Son transcends the acute comprehension of the evangelists, and<br />

perhaps also of angels.<br />

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

into anything beyond these things, not listening to this saying:<br />

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

strength.”<br />

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

human comprehension, such as in the apostle Paul,<br />

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

hath prepared for them that love Him.”<br />

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

“Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rainy”<br />

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

he be smitten with frenzy?<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

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

and that to the Father alone belonged the knowledge of this most divine mystery.<br />

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

save the Son.”<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or<br />

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

before all things.”<br />

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

impious, it is necessary to say that the Father is always the Father. But He is the Father, since the<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

inexplicable subsistence excels by an incomparable excellence all other things to which He has<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

infirmity; that reason should be obscured by unreason; or that darkness should be mixed up with<br />

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

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

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

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

received His blessing that they might make progress, exercising themselves in virtues and in the<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

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

nature, are made sons by adoption.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

not by the careful framing of His manners, not by the exercise of and increase in virtue, but by<br />

property of nature? Wherefore, the only-begotten Son of the Father, indeed, possesses an<br />

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

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

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

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

Me,” as we find God speaking by the prophet Isaiah.<br />

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

be burdensome at great length to call these things to the remembrance of teachers who are of the<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

doctrine of a creation from things which are not, their hidden sprouts, <strong>Arius</strong> and Achilles, and the<br />

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

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

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

words which came to be used with respect to His saving Passion, and abasement, and examination,<br />

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

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

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

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

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

exactly preserves the expressed likeness of the Father, inasmuch as He has by nature impressed<br />

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

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

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

“He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father,” since the Father was Himself seen through the<br />

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

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

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

the Father.<br />

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

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

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

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

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

only men who are wise and divested of worldly possessions, the sole discoverers of dogmas, and<br />

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

other under the sun. Oh, the impious arrogance! Oh, the immeasurable madness! Oh, the vainglory<br />

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

The religious perspicuity of the ancient Scriptures caused them no shame, nor did the consentient<br />

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

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

the Son.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

difference between the unbegotten Father, and the things which were by Him created from things<br />

which are not, as well the rational as the irrational. Between which two, as holding the middle place,<br />

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

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

one that loveth Him that begat, loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.”<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valentinus thought, but in a certain inexplicable and unspeakable manner, according to the words<br />

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

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

that the nature of rational beings cannot receive the knowledge of His divine generation by the<br />

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

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

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

with the Father unchangeable and immutable, wanting in nothing, and the perfect Son, and like to<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

according to his capacity, seeks to express this mystery, asking indulgence from the hearers, and<br />

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

expecting from mortal lips some word which exceeds human capacity, saying that those things<br />

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

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

employed is not equivalent to unbegotten. Therefore to the unbegotten Father, indeed, we ought to<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

of majesty.<br />

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

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

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

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

tortures, and not casting away our hope in them. To these <strong>Arius</strong> and Achilles opposing themselves,<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

derided the Christian religion; partly seek to traduce and inform against its professors before the<br />

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

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

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

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

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

son Apion the deacon, being some of them from the whole of Egypt and the Thebaid, some from<br />

Libya and Pentapolis. There are others also from Syria , Lycia , Pamphylia, Asia, Cappadocia , and<br />

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

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

this is the especial remedy that has been devised for healing the multitudes that have been<br />

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

<strong>Arius</strong>’ Letter to the Emperor Constantine<br />

327 A.D.<br />

(from Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, 2, 27. LPNF, ser. 2, vol. 2, 277.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> and Euzoius, presbyters, to Constantine , our most pious emperor and most beloved of God.<br />

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

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

believe what is here set forth.<br />

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

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

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

heaven, whence He will again come to judge the quick and the dead.<br />

We believe in the Holy Ghost, in the resurrection of the body, in the life to come, in the kingdom of<br />

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

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

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

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

the Holy Ghost, as they are taught by the whole Catholic Church and by the sacred Scriptures, as<br />

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

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

among the members of the clergy, and as we hold the faith and thought of the Church and of the<br />

sacred Scriptures, we may be openly reconciled to our mother, the Church, through your<br />

peacemaking and pious piety; so that useless questions and disputes may be cast aside, and that<br />

we and the Church may dwell together in peace, and we all in common may offer the customary<br />

prayer for your peaceful and pious empire and for your entire family.<br />

Constantine’s Letter to Alexander and <strong>Arius</strong> Requesting Reconciliation<br />

But Constantine treated the controversy as an idle dispute about words and<br />

compromise between the two.<br />

proposed a<br />

The Victor Constantine, the Great Augustus, to Alexander and <strong>Arius</strong>;<br />

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

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

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

of settled uniformity.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Secondly I hoped to restore to health the civil liberties of the empire, then suffering under the<br />

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

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

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

common harmony of sentiment among all the servants of God, the general course of affairs<br />

would also experience a change corresponding to the pious desires of all.<br />

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

the influence of those who with heedless frivolity had presumed to divide the religion of the people<br />

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

common enemy of mankind [Licinius] who had interposed his lawless sentence which prohibited<br />

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

you churchmen to aid in restoring mutual harmony among the disputants.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

heart receive when it was reported that divisions existed among yourselves more grievous<br />

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

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

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

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

character, and quite unworthy of such fierce contention.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

easier and more speedy resolution of this difference, when the cause which hinders general<br />

harmony of sentiment is intrinsically trifling and of little importance?<br />

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

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

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

then, <strong>Arius</strong>, inconsiderately insisted on what ought never to have been speculated about at all, or if<br />

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

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

longer preserving the unity of the one body.<br />

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

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

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

when they were presented.<br />

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

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

though they may be intended merely as an intellectual exercise, they ought certainly to be confined<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

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

accurately to comprehend, or adequately to explain subjects so sublime and difficult to comprehend<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

schism.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

difference between ourselves, should brothers assume towards each other the attitude of<br />

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

wrangle together on points so trivial and altogether unessential? This is vulgar, and more<br />

characteristic of childish ignorance, than consistent with the wisdom of priests and sensible men.<br />

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

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

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

enabled, through my exhortations, diligence, and earnest warning, to recall his people to<br />

communion and fellowship.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

subject, nor is there such a thing as one universal disposition and judgment.<br />

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

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

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

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



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

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

remain immovably among you. Resume your mutual feelings of friendship, love, and respect.<br />

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

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

effected by the removal of the causes of hostility, friendship becomes even sweeter than it was<br />

before.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

peoples rejoicing together. Render due acknowledgment to God in the language of praise and<br />

thanksgiving for the restoration of general peace and liberty to all.<br />

Translation from NPNF 2 vol. 1, pp. 515-8, adapted by AJW<br />

Sections 6-15 also found translated in NPNF2 vol. 2, pp. 6-7 and New Eusebius, no. 287<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> and his supporters would not yield.<br />

In the East these different representations were discussed and found advocates, and a synod at<br />

Antioch (268) rejected the doctrine that the Father and Son were of the same substance. Through<br />

the Antiochian School the doctrine of the subordination of the Son was worked out. Lucian, the<br />

teacher of <strong>Arius</strong> and of Eusebius of Nicomedia, exercised a controlling influence on the views of<br />

<strong>Arius</strong>; Harnack calls Lucian "the <strong>Arius</strong> before <strong>Arius</strong>."<br />

Alexander & Athanasius<br />

The first opponent of <strong>Arius</strong> was Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and the greatest doctrinal<br />

opponent of the Arian Christology was Athanasius.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Athanasius<br />

“The Black Dwarf” is what his enemies called him. Athanasius was a dark-skinned Egyptian bishop<br />

who had few friends and plenty of enemies. He was exiled from the church five times by four<br />

Roman emperors, spending almost half of his 45 years as bishop of Alexandria in exile.<br />

The reason for Athanasius’ exile-upon-exile was his persistence in declaring Arianism, the church’s<br />

most cherished theological thought of the day, as a heresy.<br />

During the spread of this false doctrine, Athanasius was serving Jesus and His church as the chief<br />

deacon assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. These two men contended against <strong>Arius</strong>,<br />

exposing that his views denied the Trinity. Opposing <strong>Arius</strong>’ notion that Christ had an origin and<br />

came out of the Father, Alexander and Athanasius argued that Christ and the Father have always<br />

been eternally united as one in the Godhead (Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:1-2, etc.).<br />

The Trinity: an essential doctrine<br />

Athanasius contended that the doctrine of the Trinity was no minor, non-essential matter. Only one<br />

who was both fully human and fully God could atone for our our sin and depravity and hold the<br />

power to save us. The Christian understanding of salvation was at hand. Athanasius famously<br />

argued, “Those who maintain that there was a time when the Son was not rob God of His Word, like<br />

plunderers.”<br />

According to Socrates, Alexander gave the first impulse to the controversy by insisting, in a meeting<br />

of presbyters and other clergy, on the eternity of the Son; whereupon <strong>Arius</strong> openly opposed, and<br />

charged him with Sabellianism. He reasoned thus:<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

"If the Father begat the Son, he must be older than the Son, and there was a time<br />

when the Son was not; from this it further follows that the Son has his subsistence<br />

(hypostaaie) from nothing."<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> was condemned by a synod at Alexandria in 320 or 321, and was forced to leave city. But<br />

was kindly received both by Eusebius of Cesarea (He became the bishop of Cesarea around 313<br />

and was head of the Council of Nicea in 325, supposedly. He seems to have temporarily Fallen out<br />

of favor of Constantine. Surviving letters show that Constantine advised the city of Antioch not to<br />

elect Eusebius as their bishop. Eusebius wrote everything down, but little ofhis speech is known.<br />

His eath is placed somewhere between 337 and 340) and Eusebius of Nicomedia (Eusebius of<br />

Nicomedia (died 341) was the man who baptised Constantine the Great. He was a bishop of<br />

Berytus (modern-day Beirut) in Phoenicia, then of the See of Nicomedia, where the imperial court<br />

resided, and finally of Constantinople from 338 up to his death. Like <strong>Arius</strong>, he was a pupil of Lucian<br />

of Antioch ), and it was evident that not a few of the Asiatic churches favored his ideas.<br />

A reconciliation was brought about between him and Alexander; but hardly had he returned to<br />

Alexandria before the strife broke out again, and with still greater violence. In spite of his many and<br />

powerful friends, <strong>Arius</strong> was defeated at the Council of Nicæa (325), and banished to Illyria.<br />

• Soon, however, a reaction in his favor set in. The Eusebian party espoused his cause more openly, and<br />

through Constantia, the sister of the emperor, he got access to the court. He was formally recalled from<br />

banishment; and all the chiefs of the Eusebians were assembled in Constantinople to receive him back<br />

into the bosom of the Church, when he suddenly died the day before the solemnity at the age of over<br />

eighty years, at a time and in a manner that seemed to the orthodox to be a direct interposition of<br />

Providence, and a condemnation of his doctrine; while his friends attributed his death to poison.<br />

Outbreak of the Controversy<br />

In 320 or 321 Alexander convened a synod of about a hundred Egyptian and Lybian bishops at<br />

Alexandria, which excommunicated <strong>Arius</strong> and his followers.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> found powerful friends in Eusebius of Nicomedia, Eusebius of Casarea, Paulinus of Tyre,<br />

Gregory of Berytus, Aetius of Lydda, and other bishops who either shared his view, or at least<br />

considered it viable alternate perspective<br />

He took refuge with Eusebius at Nicomedia,and presented his teachings in half-poetic work, Thalia<br />

(" The Banquet"), of which Athanasius has preserved fragments.<br />

The attention of the Emperor Constantine was called to the controversy, and in a letter to<br />

Alexander and <strong>Arius</strong> be pronounced it a mere battle of words, a wrangle over things<br />

incomprehensible; he also sent Hosius of Cordova to Egypt to mediate between the contending<br />

parties. From political considerations, however, at the suggestion of certain bishops, he called the<br />

first ecumenical council of the Church, to settle the Arian controversy together with the question of<br />

the time of celebrating Easter and the Meletian schism in Egypt.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



Council of Nicea<br />

The opposing thoughts caused so much controversy that the newly converted Emperor<br />

Constantine the Great intervened in 325 A.D. to call the Council of Nicea. He was cited as saying,<br />

“Division in the church is worse than war.” The council, comprised of around 300 bishops, drafted<br />

the first copy of the Nicene Creed. Athanasius had grown to be the most prolific writer on Nicene<br />

orthodoxy and orthodox Trinitarian doctrine. He saw major flaws in <strong>Arius</strong>’ writings and called his<br />

heresy the “forerunner of the Antichrist” (Athanasius, Orations Ar. 1:1).<br />

The council ultimately condemned <strong>Arius</strong> as a heretic, exiled him from the church, and considered it<br />

illegal to possess his writings. Finally, peace was restored in the church and orthodox Christian<br />

beliefs were unified. Athanasius was hailed as a “noble champion for Christ.”<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Santa Claus (Nicholas) slapping <strong>Arius</strong> at Nicea<br />

"Well, at Nicea, <strong>Arius</strong> began telling the pastors that Jesus wasn't really God but, instead, that the<br />

Father had created him, just like the angels. Now they knew that he was telling lies because Jesus<br />

is our savior and only God can save us. Plus, he forgave sins, which only God can do. And the<br />

Bible calls him the creator, but there aren't any creators other than God. The pastors also knew that<br />

we should worship Jesus, but it doesn't make sense to worship anybody besides God. So, Nicholas<br />

listened quietly but, after a while, all the lies made him really angry. When he couldn't take it<br />

anymore, sweet Nicholas stood up, walked over to <strong>Arius</strong>, and punched him in the face! I know that's<br />

not a nice thing to do, but <strong>Arius</strong> was being a really, really big dork”<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

A fresco from the Sistine Chapel depicting the Council of Nicaea<br />

A council was, therefore, assembled in Nicaea, in Bithynia, which has ever been counted the first<br />

ecumenical, and which held its sittings from the middle of June, 325. .<br />

It is commonly said that Hosius of Cordova presided.<br />

The Emperor Constantine himself was present.<br />

The Pope, St. Silvester, was represented by his legates,<br />

and 318 Fathers attended,<br />

almost all from the East.<br />

Unfortunately, the acts of the Council are not preserved.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The emperor, who was present, paid religious deference to a gathering which displayed the<br />

authority of Christian teaching in a manner so remarkable.<br />

From the first it was evident that <strong>Arius</strong> could not reckon upon a large number of patrons among the<br />

bishops.<br />

Alexander was accompanied by his youthful deacon, the ever-memorable Athanasius who<br />

engaged in discussion with the heresiarch himself, and from that moment became the leader of the<br />

Catholics during well-nigh fifty years.<br />

The Fathers appealed to tradition against the innovators, and were passionately orthodox; while a<br />

letter was received from Eusebius of Nicomedia, declaring openly that he would never allow Christ<br />

to be of one substance with God. This avowal suggested a means of discriminating between true<br />

believers and all those who, under that pretext, did not hold the Faith handed down.<br />

The debate<br />

keyed in on four main words<br />

Homoousians- Son is of the same substance as the Father<br />

Homoiousians- Son is of similar substance to the Father<br />

Homoeans- the Son is of likeness to the Father<br />

Anomoeans- the Son is unlike the Father<br />

The first of the four is the word adopted by the Council of Nicaea and was supported by Athanasius<br />

(east), Hilary of Poitiers (west), and with some reservation the bishop of Rome which made it<br />

official catholic dogma.<br />

A creed was drawn up on behalf of the Arian party by Eusebius of Caesarea in which every term of<br />

honour and dignity, except the oneness of substance, was attributed to Our Lord.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Finally a statement with “Jesus is "consubstantial" with God” was accepted, with only thirteen<br />

bishops dissenting, and these were speedily reduced to seven. The Nicene Creed's central term,<br />

used to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son, is Homoousios (Ancient Greek:<br />

ὁμοούσιος), or Consubstantiality, meaning "of the same substance" or "of one being"<br />

The council consisted of three hundred and eighteen bishops (about one-sixth of all the bishops<br />

of the Greco-Roman Empire), resulted in the formal condemnation of <strong>Arius</strong>, and the adoption of the<br />

"Nicene Creed," which affirms in unequivocal terms the doctrine of the eternal deity of Christ in<br />

these words:<br />


We believe in one God the Father Almighty,<br />

maker of all things visible and invisible:<br />

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,<br />

the Son of God,<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

begotten of the Father,<br />

only-begotten,<br />

that is, of the substance of the Father,<br />

God of God,<br />

Light of Light,<br />

true God of true God,<br />

begotten not made,<br />

of one substance with the Father,<br />

through whom all things were made,<br />

both those in heaven and those on earth:<br />

who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh,<br />

and entered humanity and suffered,<br />

and rose the third day,<br />

ascended into heaven, I<br />

s coming to judge the living and the dead:<br />

And in the Holy Spirit.<br />

But as for those who say<br />

that there was a time when He was not,<br />

and that before He was begotten He was not,<br />

and that He came into being from things that were not,<br />

or who affirm that the Son of God is of a different subsistence or essence,<br />

or created, subject to change or alteration,<br />

them the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.<br />

Every bishop made this declaration except six, of whom four at length gave way.<br />

Nicaea's "in one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only-begotten,<br />

that is from the substance of the Father"<br />

was to offset <strong>Arius</strong>'s central assertion that God was immutable, unique, unknowable, only one.<br />

Therefore Arians felt no substance of God could in any way be communicated or shared with any<br />

other being.<br />

The council's "true God from true God, begotten not made"<br />

set aside <strong>Arius</strong>'s contention that, since God was immutable and unknowable, Christ had to be a<br />

created being, made out of nothing by God, first in the created order certainly, but of it. This limited<br />

the concept of the preexistence of Christ even while adapting the dominant Logos Christology to<br />

Arianism. The Logos, first born, created of God, was incarnate in the Christ but, asserted <strong>Arius</strong>,<br />

"there was when he was not."<br />

Nicaea's "of one substance with the Father"<br />

made the Greek term homoousios the catchword of the orthodox.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Eusebius of Nicomedia withdrew his opposition to the Nicene term, but would not sign the<br />

condemnation of <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />


We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible:<br />

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, the<br />

only-begotten Son, first-born of all creation, begotten of God the Father before all worlds, through<br />

whom also all things were made; who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived his life among<br />

men; and suffered, and rose on the third day; and ascended to the Father; and will come again in<br />

glory to judge the living and the dead:<br />

And in one Holy Spirit. vWe believe that each of these is and exists, the Father truly father, and the<br />

Son truly son, and the Holy Spirit truly holy spirit; even as our Lord, when sending forth His<br />

disciples to preach, said: "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the<br />

Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."<br />

And concerning these things we affirm that we so hold and so think, and have of old so held, and<br />

will so hold till death, and stand steadfast in this faith, anathematizing all ungodly heresy. We testify<br />

before Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ that we have thought all this in heart and soul ever<br />

since we knew ourselves, and we now so think and speak in truth, being able to show by evidence<br />

and to convince you that we in past times so believed and preached accordingly.<br />

By the emperor, who considered heresy as rebellion, the alternative proposed was subscription or<br />

banishment; and, on political grounds, the Bishop of Nicomedia was exiled not long after the<br />

council, involving <strong>Arius</strong> in his ruin. <strong>Arius</strong> who is now pronounced by the council as a heretic were<br />

exiles to Illyria.<br />

The creed was signed by nearly all the bishops, Hosius at the head, even by Eusebius of<br />

Caesarea, who, before and afterward, occupied a middle position between Athanasius and <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />

This is the first instance of such signing of a doctrinal symbol. Eusebius of Nicomedis and Theognis<br />

of Nicæa signed the creed, but not the condemnatory formula appended, and for this they were<br />

deposed, and banished for a short time.<br />

Two Egyptian bishops-Theonas and Secundus-persistently refused to sign, and were banished,<br />

with <strong>Arius</strong>, to Illyria. This is the first example of the civil punishment of heresy, and opened the long<br />

and dark era of persecution for all departures from the catholic or orthodox faith.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Emperor burns all the writings and documents of <strong>Arius</strong> to destroy the heresy.<br />

This has become a practice since then.<br />

Emperor Constantine also ordered a penalty of death for those who refused to surrender the Arian<br />

writings:<br />

"In addition, if any writing composed by <strong>Arius</strong> should be found, it should be handed<br />

over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated,<br />

but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public<br />

order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by<br />

<strong>Arius</strong>, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his<br />

penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be<br />

submitted for capital punishment. ... "<br />

— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians<br />

The books of <strong>Arius</strong> were burnt, and his followers branded as enemies of Christianity.<br />

As a result almost all original documents are lost and we depend only on the writings of the<br />

opponents of Arianism to reconstruct the doctrine and even what happenned.<br />

But this was only the beginning of the problem as politics took over the theology. . While the plain<br />

Arian creed was defended by few, those political prelates who sided with Eusebius carried on a<br />

double warfare against the term "consubstantial", and its champion, Athanasius. This greatest of<br />

the Eastern Fathers had succeeded Alexander in the Egyptian patriarchate (326). He was not more<br />

than thirty years of age; but his published writings, antecedent to the Council, display, in thought<br />

and precision, a mastery of the issues involved which no Catholic teacher could surpass. His<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

unblemished life, considerate temper, and loyalty to his friends made him by no means easy to<br />

attack.<br />

Eusebius, by his scholarship and personality won over Constantine in 328 and a period of Arian<br />

reaction set in.<br />

Eustathius of Antioch was deposed on a charge of Sabellianism (331), and the Emperor sent his<br />

command that Athanasius should receive <strong>Arius</strong> back into communion. The saint firmly declined. In<br />

325 the <strong>Arius</strong> was absolved by two councils, at Tyre and Jerusalem, while in the council of Tyre<br />

Athanasius was depose from his position on false grounds of personal misconduct and was<br />

banished to Trier for a period of an year and a half.<br />

Meanwhile, Constantia, the Emperor's sister, had recommended <strong>Arius</strong>, whom she thought an<br />

injured man, to Constantine's leniency. Her dying words affected him, and he recalled the Lybian,<br />

extracted from him a solemn adhesion to the Nicene faith, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of the<br />

Imperial City, to give him Communion in his own church (336). According to tradition Alexander<br />

prayed for a divine verdict by taking the life of his own or that of <strong>Arius</strong>, before the ceremony took<br />

place the next day. That evening <strong>Arius</strong> died suddenly.<br />

The Nicene Creed has outlived all the subsequent storms, and, in the improved form recognized at<br />

Constantinople in 381, it remains to this day the most generally received creed of Christendom; and,<br />

if the later Latin insertion, the filioqua, be omitted, a bond of union between the Greek, the Roman,<br />

and the orthodox Protestant Churches.<br />

But this didn’t last long.<br />

Athanasius exiled<br />

Within months, <strong>Arius</strong>’ supporters convinced Emperor Constantine into ending <strong>Arius</strong>’ exile. When<br />

Athanasius conversely defended the doctrine of the Trinity and refused to recognize <strong>Arius</strong> and his<br />

writings back into God’s church, <strong>Arius</strong> and others began to spread false charges against him,<br />

including sorcery and treason. This accusation of treason forced Constantine to exile Athanasius<br />

from the land.<br />

At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, now bishop of<br />

Alexandria, the primary opponent of <strong>Arius</strong>. After this, Constantine had Athanasius banished since<br />

he considered him an impediment to reconciliation. In the same year, the Synod of Jerusalem<br />

under Constantine's direction readmitted <strong>Arius</strong> to communion in AD 336. <strong>Arius</strong> died on the way to<br />

this event in Constantinople. Some scholars suggest that <strong>Arius</strong> may have been poisoned by his<br />

opponents. Eusebius and Theognis remained in the Emperor's favor, and when Constantine, who<br />

had been a catechumen much of his adult life, accepted baptism on his deathbed, it was from<br />

Eusebius of Nicomedia.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

After Constantine's death in 337, open dispute resumed again. Constantine's son Constantius II,<br />

who had become Emperor of the eastern part of the Empire, actually encouraged the Arians and<br />

set out to reverse the Nicene creed. His advisor in these affairs was Eusebius of Nicomedia, who<br />

had already at the Council of Nicea been the head of the Arian party, who also was made bishop of<br />

Constantinople.<br />

The third Council of Sirmium in 357 was the high point of Arianism. The Seventh Arian Confession<br />

(Second Sirmium Confession) held that both homoousios (of one substance) and homoiousios (of<br />

similar substance) were unbiblical and that the Father is greater than the Son. (This confession was<br />

later known as the Blasphemy of Sirmium.)<br />

Constantius used his power to exile bishops adhering to the Nicene creed, especially St Athanasius<br />

of Alexandria, who fled to Rome. In 355 Constantius became the sole Emperor and extended his<br />

pro-Arian policy toward the western provinces, frequently using force to push through his creed,<br />

even exiling Pope Liberius and installing Antipope Felix II.<br />

But by this time, Arianism had become the dominant position of the day. He was banished and<br />

exiled four more times over the next several years.<br />

By the time he was in his 70s, elderly Athanasius was permanently restored to his position in the<br />

church at Alexandria. During his exile, Athanasius wrote many books, including a biography on St.<br />

Antony that is considered the most historically reliable to this day. God used this biography to help<br />

lead many unbelievers to belief in Christ including St. Augustine. It also put him back in favorable<br />

light with the church.<br />

Among his writings, Athanasius wrote a list of what he believed were the 27 divinely-inspired books<br />

of the New Testament. By the grace of God, his list is the one that the church eventually adopted<br />

and agreed with. And as far as Arianism is concerned, its lack of biblical basis led to its own demise.<br />

And as God has always been faithful to do, the gospel truths of Scripture prevailed throughout the<br />

ages, including the doctrine of the Trinity, which Athanasius so faithfully defended for so many<br />

years.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

No Christological heresy of ancient Christianity was more widely accepted or tenacious. During a<br />

part of the fourth century it was the ruling creed in the Eastern Church, though there were constant<br />

and vigorous protests by the orthodox party. It was also the form of Christianity to which most of the<br />

barbarian Teutonic races were at first converted.<br />

After the Nicean Synod<br />

AD<br />

“Not long after the Nicene Council an Arian and semi-Arian reaction took place, and acquired for a<br />

time the ascendency in the empire. Arianism now entered the stage of its political power. This was a<br />

period of the greatest excitement in Church and State: Council was held against council; creed was<br />

set up against creed; anathema was hurled against anathema." The highways,"says the impartial<br />

non-Christian historian, Ammianus Mascellinus, "were covered with galloping bishops." The<br />

churches, the theaters, the hippodromes, the feasts, the markets, the streets, the baths, and the<br />

shops of Constantinople and other large cities were filled with dogmatic disputes. In intolerance and<br />

violence the Arians even exceeded the orthodox. The interference of emperors and their courts<br />

only poured oil on the flames, and heightened the bitterness of contest by adding confiscation and<br />

exile to the spiritual punishment of synodical excommunication.<br />

The unflinching leader of the orthodox party was Athanasius, a pure and sublime character, who<br />

had figured at the Council of Nicæa as a youthful archdeacon, in company with Alexander, whom<br />

he succeeded as bishop (326); but he was again and again deposed by imperial despotism,<br />

and spent twenty years in exile. He sacrificed everything to his conviction, and had the courage<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

to face the empire in arms (hence the motto: Athanasius contra mundum - “Athanasius against the<br />

world.” ). He was a man of one idea and one passion,-the eternal divinity of Christ, which he<br />

considered the cornerstone of the Christian system.<br />

The -politico- ecclesiastical leader of the Arian party was Eusebias of Nicomedia (the Arian) who,<br />

probably owing to the influence of the Emperor Constantine, was recalled from exile and<br />

baptised Constantine on his deathbed. Constantine was turned favorably to <strong>Arius</strong>, accepted<br />

a confession he prepared, recalled him from exile, and ordered him to be solemnly restored<br />

to the communion of the catholic Church at Constantinople; he even demanded his restoration<br />

in Alexandria by Athanasius; but, on the day preceding his intended restoration, the heretic<br />

suddenly died (336).<br />

In the year following, Constantine himself died, and his son Constantine II. recalled Athanasius<br />

from his first exile.<br />

In the West the Nicene statement found universal Acceptance.<br />

But in the East, when Constantius, the second son of Constantine the Great, ruled,<br />

opposition to the Nicene formula was well-nigh universal, and was maintained with fanatical zeal<br />

by the court and by Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was transferred to Constantinople in 338.<br />

Athanasius was attacked on personal charges with great vehemence by the Eusebians, who<br />

sought to supersede the doctrine of the homoousia by indirect methods. He was banished to Gaul<br />

in 335.<br />

Eustathius of Antioch, A supporter of Athanasius, had been deposed at a synod at Antioch in 330,<br />

the charge being that he advocated Sabellianism.<br />

First Synod of Tyre<br />

Accused of mistreating Arians and Meletians, Athanasius answered those charges at a gathering of<br />

bishops in Tyre, the First Synod of Tyre, in 335.<br />

Athanasius, who had succeeded Alexander as Bishop of Alexandria, was deposed by the First<br />

Synod of Tyre in 335 and Marcellus of Ancyra followed him in 336.<br />

At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, now bishop of<br />

Alexandria, the primary opponent of <strong>Arius</strong>; after this, Constantine had Athanasius banished since<br />

he considered him an impediment to reconciliation.<br />

Marcellus of Ancyra, another vigorous defender of the Nicene symbol, was also deposed at a<br />

synod in Constantinople.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong>'s death occurred a little later, but the work of punishing his opponents went on. Athanasius<br />

was deposed a second time (339), and took refuge with Julius of Rome, who, with the great<br />

body of the Western Church, believed him a martyr.<br />

It is unnecessary to follow the varying fortunes of the two parties, and the history of councils, which<br />

neutralized one another, without materially advancing the points in dispute.<br />

The most important are the synod of Antioch, 341, which set forth an orthodox creed, but deposed<br />

Athanasius;<br />

the orthodox synod of Sardica, which declared Athanasius and Marcaus orthodox,<br />

and the Arian counter-synod of Philippopolis, 343; the synods of Sirmium, 351, which protested<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

against Athanasius's reinstatement at Alexandria;<br />

Arles, 353; Milan, 355, which condemned Athanasius in obedience to Constantine;<br />

the second synod at Sirmium, 357; the third, 358; at Antioch, 358; at Aneyra, 368; at Constantinople,<br />

360; at Alexandria, 362.<br />

Aided by Constantius, Arianism, under the modified form represented by the term homoiousios ("<br />

similar in substance," as distinct from the Nicene homoourios "same in substance" and the strictly<br />

Arian heteroousios "different in substance"), gained the power in the empire; and even the papal<br />

chair in Rome was for a while desecrated by heresy during the Arian interregnum of Felix II.<br />

But the death of Constantius in 361, the indifference of his successor, the Emperor Julian, to all<br />

theological Disputes (the exiled bishops were at liberty to return to their sees, though he afterward<br />

banished Athanasius), the toleration of Jovian (d. 364), and especially the internal dissensions of<br />

the Arians, prepared the way for a new triumph of orthodoxy.<br />

The Eussebians, or semi-Arians, taught that the Son was similar in substance (homoiousios) to the<br />

Father; while the Aetians (from Aetius, a deacon of Antioch who revived Arianism) and the<br />

Eunomians (from Eunomius, Bishop of Cyzicus in Mysia) taught that he was of a different<br />

substance (heteroousios), and unlike the Father in everything. A number of compromising synods<br />

and creeds undertook to heal these dissensions, but without permanent effect.<br />


Creator of Heaven and earth,<br />

And of all things visible and invisible.<br />

The Arian Catholic Creed<br />

And in his Spiritual Son, Yeshua the Messiah,<br />

Whom was born of Mary and Joseph,<br />

Was not consubstantial nor co-eternal with God the Father almighty,<br />

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried.<br />

On the third day His Spirit was resurrected.<br />

He ascended into Heaven,<br />

And sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty.<br />

Whence he shall come again to judge the living and the dead,<br />

Of whose Kingdom there shall be no end.<br />


And I believe in the Holy Spirit,<br />

The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,<br />

The communion of saints,<br />

The forgiveness of sins,<br />

The resurrection of the Spirit,<br />

And life everlasting.<br />

Amen.<br />

Defenders of Nicene Creed<br />


PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Cappadocian Fathers:<br />

Basil the Great, Gregory of Naziansus and Gregory of Nyssa.<br />

On the other hand, the defenders of the Nicene Creed, Athanasius, and, after his death in 373, the<br />

three Cappadocian bishops, Basil the Great (329-379), Gregory of Naziansus (c. 329-390) and<br />

Gregory of Nyssa ( C335 - C394) triumphantly vindicated the catholic doctrine against all the<br />

arguments of the opposition. The Cappadocians made the homoourios the starting point of their<br />

discussions, as is apparent from the correspondenoe of Basil with Apollinaris. Damasus, the<br />

Roman bishop, true to the general policy of his predecessors and of Julius in particular, had<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Arianism condemned at two Roman synods, 369, 377. When Gregory of Nazismus was called to<br />

Constantinople in 379, there was but one small congregation in the city which had not become<br />

Arian; but his able and eloquent sermons on the deity of Christ, which won him the title of "the<br />

Theologian," contributed powerfully to the resurrection of the catholic faith. The rising influence of<br />

monasticism, especially in Egypt and Syria, was bound up with the cause of Athanasius and the<br />

Cappadocians; and the more conservative portion of the semi-Arians gradually approached the<br />

orthodox in spite of the persecutions of the violent Arian emperor, Valens.<br />

Constantius, who nominally governed the East, was himself the puppet of his empress and the<br />

palace-ministers. He obeyed the Eusebian faction; his spiritual director, Valens, Bishop of Mursa,<br />

himself supported the Arian dogmas.Constantine had postponed his baptism with the false<br />

understanding that baptism will absolve all sins. On his death bed he called Eusebius of<br />

Nicodemia and got himself baptised giving the Arian theologiansan edge over in the christological<br />

issue. He died in AD 337. In 339 or 340, nearly one hundred bishops met at Alexandria, declared<br />

in favor of Athanasius, and vigorously rejected the criticisms of the Eusebian faction at Tyre. Plus,<br />

Pope Julius I wrote to the supporters of <strong>Arius</strong> strongly urging Athanasius's reinstatement, but that<br />

effort proved in vain. Pope Julius I called a synod in Rome in 340 to address the matter, which<br />

proclaimed Athanasius the rightful bishop of Alexandria.<br />

In 341 the celebrated Antiochene Council of the Dedication a second time degraded Athanasius,<br />

who now took refuge in Rome. There he spent three years.<br />

Over fourteen councils were held between 341 and 360, in which every shade of heretical<br />

subterfuge found their expression. Five times Athanasius of Alexandria was driven into exile,<br />

spending a total of seventeen years as a bishop in exile, interrupting his long episcopate. A series<br />

of synods repudiated the Nicene symbol in various ways, Antioch in 341, Arles in 353; and in 355<br />

Liberius of Rome and Ossius of Cordoba were exiled and a year later Hilary of Poitier was sent to<br />

Phrygia. In 360 in Constantinople all earlier creeds were disavowed and the term substance (ousia)<br />

was outlawed. The Son was simply declared to be "like the Father who begot him."<br />

Emperor Julian the Apostate (331- 362)<br />

When the vacillating Emperor died (361), Julian, known as the Apostate, suffered all alike to<br />

return home who had been exiled on account of religion. A momentous gathering, over which<br />

Athanasius presided, in 362, at Alexandria, united the orthodox Semi-Arians with himself and the<br />

West. Four years afterwards fifty-nine Macedonian, i.e., hitherto anti-Nicene, prelates gave in their<br />

submission to Pope Liberius. But the Emperor Valens, a fierce heretic, still laid the Church waste.<br />

Athanasius died in 373. While the politics of Arianism and Trinitarianism went on by the year 381<br />

of the Second General Council in which Meletius of Antioch presided Arianism lost its place within<br />

the Christendom. .<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Council of Constantinople, 381<br />

Fresco depicting the First General Council of Constantinople in the narthex<br />

of St. Athanasius church on Mount Athos<br />

The final triumph of the Nicene Orthodoxy came up when Theodosius the Great, a Spaniard by<br />

birth, and reared in the Nicene faith on entering Constantinople removed the Arians from the<br />

charge of the churches and substituted the orthodox party. During his reign (379-395) he completed<br />

externally the spiritual and intellectual victory of orthodoxy already achieved. He convened the<br />

second ecumenical council at Constantinople in 381, which consisted of only one hundred and fifty<br />

bishops, and was presided over successively by Meletius, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Nectarius of<br />

Constantinople.<br />

Theodosius I, (347-395)<br />

also known as<br />

Theodosius the Great,<br />

was Roman Emperor from AD 379 to AD 395.<br />

Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The council condemned the Pneumatomachian heresy (which denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit),<br />

the Sabellians, Eunomians, Apollinarians, and virtually completed the orthodox dogma of the Holy<br />

Trinity. The Nicene Creed now in common use (with the exception of the Latin clause filioque, which<br />

is of much later date and rejected by the Greek Church) can not be traced to this synod of<br />

Constantinople, but existed at an earlier date; it is found in the Ancoratus of Epiphanius (373), and<br />

derived by him from a still older source, namely, the baptismal creed of the Church of Jerusalem. It<br />

is not in the original acts of the Council of Constantinople, but was afterward incorporated in them<br />

and may have been approved by the Council. Dr. Hort derives it mainly from Cyril of Jerusalem,<br />

about 362-364. The emperor gave legal effect to the doctrinal decisions and disciplinary canons,<br />

and in July, 381, he enacted a law that all church property should be given up to those who believed<br />

in the equal divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Bishops like Ambrose of Milan<br />

supported the emperor and did much to bring the Nicene doctrine into complete acceptance.<br />

Comparison of of the Creeds of Nicaea and Constantinople<br />

First Council of Nicaea (325) First Council of Constantinople (381)<br />

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty,<br />

Maker of all things visible and invisible.<br />

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,<br />

begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is,<br />

of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light<br />

of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not<br />

made, being of one substance with the Father;<br />

by whom all things were made [both in heaven<br />

and on earth];<br />

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down<br />

and was incarnate and was made man;<br />

he suffered, and the third day he rose again,<br />

ascended into heaven;<br />

from thence he shall come to judge the quick and<br />

the dead.<br />

And in the Holy Ghost.<br />

[But those who say: 'There was a time when he<br />

was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;'<br />

and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of<br />

another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of<br />

God is created,' or 'changeable,' or<br />

'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy<br />

catholic and apostolic Church.]<br />

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of<br />

heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.<br />

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of<br />

God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons),<br />

Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made,<br />

being of one substance with the Father;<br />

by whom all things were made;<br />

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from<br />

heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the<br />

Virgin Mary, and was made man;<br />

he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered,<br />

and was buried, and the third day he rose again,<br />

according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven,<br />

and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;<br />

from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the<br />

quick and the dead;<br />

whose kingdom shall have no end.<br />

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who<br />

proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the<br />

Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by<br />

the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church;<br />

we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;<br />

we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the<br />

world to come. Amen.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The truth which was expressed at Nicea was the basis of all subsequent developments in<br />

Christology. But this doctrine of the divinity of the Son of God is also the foundation of the whole<br />

Christian faith. It was the substance of Christianity which was the issue at Nicea in 325. Faith in a<br />

God Who sovereignly saves His people by Himself making an atonement for their sins in the<br />

Person of His own Son is the heart of the Christian religion. Take away the truth of a divine Son of<br />

God from the Christian faith and you have nothing left.<br />

Historically this period also marks several firsts.<br />

In this period we see, for the first time, the Church officially recognized by the civil government.<br />

Until then the Church of Christ everywhere were a persecuted church.<br />

The Council of Nicea, the first Ecumenical Council. All other Synods and Councils before it had<br />

been local in character.<br />

As the Council, so also its creed is ecumenical, even today. The Creed of Nicea (with its<br />

subsequent revisions by the Council of Constantinople) is the only creed which is accepted by all of<br />

Christendom, Eastern and Western, Roman and Protestant.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

This document which is normally referred to as the Nicene Creed is the Nicene Creed modified by<br />

Synod.<br />

Constantinople<br />

The Later Arianism<br />

After Theodosius, Arianism ceased to exist as an organised moving force in theology and church<br />

history; but it reappeared from time to time as an isolated theological opinion, especially in England.<br />

Emlyn, Whiston, Whitby, Samuel Clarke, Lardner, and many who are ranked among Socinians and<br />

Unitarians, held Arian sentiments; but Milton and Isaac Newton, though approaching the Arian view<br />

on the relation of the Son to the Father, differed widely from Arianism in spirit and aim.<br />

At the turn of the fourth century <strong>Arius</strong> was already known to hold strong views on theology and was<br />

a close associate of Lucian and Meletius (an Egyptian schismatic against Peter I), however<br />

following reconciliation in AD 306 <strong>Arius</strong> was ordained as a Deacon by Peter I (Patriarch of<br />

Alexandria: AD 300 - 311). Further disputes led the Bishop (Peter I) to excommunicate <strong>Arius</strong>, who,<br />

however, gained the friendship of Achillas, Peter’s successor. <strong>Arius</strong> was re-instated and then<br />

ordained by Achillas (Patriarch of Alexandria 312 - 313) as the Presbyter of the district of Baucalis<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

in Alexandria in AD 313, but when Achillas died that same year <strong>Arius</strong> was denied the Patriarchate of<br />

Alexandria (to which he aspired) by Alexander I of Alexandria (a Sebellianist heretic).<br />

<strong>Arius</strong>’s most important work was “Thalia” (The Banquet, 323), a work comprising both prose and<br />

poetry, in which he defended his beliefs. The document was destroyed by the trinitarians and is no<br />

longer extant, and knowledge of most of <strong>Arius</strong>’s writings comes only from the works of his critics,<br />

who, in condemning him, revealed much information.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> continued to campaign against trinitarianism. He was excommunicated locally in 321 AD. He<br />

was declared orthodox in Asia Minor, where he had fled (323), but he was anathematised by the<br />

Council of Nicaea (324) and banished by the Roman Emperor Constantine I (325). But in the<br />

reaction after Nicaea, where <strong>Arius</strong> gained support from Clergy across all Europe especially in the<br />

east and at one point Arians outnumbered the trinitarians, he came into imperial favour. The<br />

emperor had ordered the Athanasians at Alexandria to receive him at communion when he<br />

suddenly died under suspicious circumstances immediately after having an audience with the<br />

Emperor at the imperial palace. Arians believed that <strong>Arius</strong> had been poisoned.<br />

“The Mysterious Sudden Death of St. <strong>Arius</strong><br />

The triumphant vindication of Athanasius at that council belong rather to the history of Athanasius<br />

than of <strong>Arius</strong>. However, Eusebius proved ultimately to be master of the situation. With consummate<br />

dexterity the wily tactician contrived fresh charges of interference with the secular affairs of the<br />

empire. By now, Constantine was weary of the strife. His only object had been the settlement of the<br />

question; the shape that settlement took was to him a secondary matter. He now turned fiercely<br />

upon those he believed were responsible for the continuing unrest. Athanasius was exiled to Trier,<br />

and Alexander of Constantinople was ordered to receive <strong>Arius</strong> back into church communion.<br />

Alexander was in dire perplexity. He dared not disobey the command, neither dare he obey it. In his<br />

extremity he asked the prayers of the Orthodox that either he or <strong>Arius</strong> might be removed from the<br />

world before the latter was admitted to communion. The prayer was, the very reverend Henry Wace<br />

notes, a strange one. Meanwhile <strong>Arius</strong> was ordered to appear before the Emperor, and asked<br />

whether he was willing to sign the Nicaene decrees. He replied, without hesitation, that he was<br />

ready to do so. And yet, the very day before he was to be readmitted to communion, <strong>Arius</strong> died<br />

suddenly, and in a most remarkable manner, as Socrates Scholasticus (c380 - c450 A.D.), whose<br />

account was written nearly a century after <strong>Arius</strong>’ death, describes:<br />

It was then Saturday, and . . . going out of the imperial palace, attended by a crowd of<br />

Eusebian [Eusebius of Nicomedia is meant] partisans like guards, he [<strong>Arius</strong>] paraded<br />

proudly through the midst of the city, attracting the notice of all the people. As he<br />

approached the place called Constantine’s Forum, where the column of porphyry is<br />

erected, a terror arising from the remorse of conscience seized <strong>Arius</strong>, and with the<br />

terror a violent relaxation of the bowels: he therefore enquired whether there was a<br />

convenient place near, and being directed to the back of Constantine’s Forum, he<br />

hastened thither. Soon after a faintness came over him, and together with the<br />

evacuations his bowels protruded, followed by a copious haemorrhage, and the<br />

descent of the smaller intestines: moreover portions of his spleen and liver were<br />

brought off in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died. The scene of<br />

this catastrophe still is shown at Constantinople, as I have said, behind the shambles<br />

in the colonnade: and by persons going by pointing the finger at the place, there is a<br />

perpetual remembrance preserved of this extraordinary kind of death.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Was <strong>Arius</strong> murdered?<br />

After struggling against the Orthodox church for sixteen years, did <strong>Arius</strong> really acknowledge the<br />

Nicene (Nicaean) decrees so readily?<br />

<strong>Arius</strong>’s legacy however has lived on in spite of its condemnation by the Council of Constantinople<br />

(381). Arianism was reinstated by Constantine I who was Baptised as an Arian Christian on his<br />

deathbed, and was supported by his son Constantius II who even raised St Felix II as the Arian<br />

bishop of Rome. The Arian controversy itself lasted for over 250 years until it was driven<br />

underground. Throughout the dark and middle ages trinitarians have brutally attempted to<br />

stamp-out Arianism, even the Spanish Inquisition could not quell <strong>Arius</strong>’s beliefs. As Roman<br />

Catholicism began to decline in central Europe, Arianism rose again, even in the Church of England!<br />

Today Arianism has returned to the fore with the Arian-Catholic Church lead by the Primus Inter<br />

Pares (First Among Equals): Rev Dr Brian B. Michael-John Mackenzie-Hanson.<br />

Two Roman emperors, Constantius II and Valens, became Arians or Semi-Arians, as did prominent<br />

Gothic, Vandal, and Lombard warlords both before and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> was recognised as a Saint and Martyr by the Arian Catholic Church on 16th June 2006, which<br />

has become his memorial day.<br />

The heretical <strong>Arius</strong> being swallowed by the Great Beast<br />

A mural at the Monastery church of Agia Paraskevi which is situated some 2 km west and downhill from Kato Doli.<br />

There is a vivid depiction on the left of the altar which portrays the figure of <strong>Arius</strong> being condemned to the flames of<br />

hell.This corresponds well with that in the church of the Zoodokos Pigi in Zarnata (by the same painters) and shows the<br />

'whale' as a great sea beast engulfed in flames. In the Zarnata version the <strong>Arius</strong>/Jonah is a Mussulman in turban but<br />

here the figure is an Orthodox priest in his stove pipe hat and is linked to the adjacent painting of St. Peter of Alexandria<br />

and depict his arch rival, the heretic <strong>Arius</strong>, author of the 4th century Arian Heresy which denied the divinity of Christ. It is<br />

a relatively common theme in 18th century Maniate church paintings but is often covered by drapery and altar cloths.<br />

Council of Constantinople<br />

It was not until the co-reigns of Gratian and Theodosius that Arianism was effectively wiped out<br />

among the ruling class and elite of the Eastern Empire. Theodosius' wife St Flacilla was<br />

instrumental in his campaign to end Arianism. Valens died in the Battle of Adrianople in 378 and<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

was succeeded by Theodosius I, who adhered to the Nicene creed. This allowed for settling the<br />

dispute.<br />

Two days after Theodosius arrived in Constantinople, 24 November 380, he expelled the<br />

Homoiousian bishop, Demophilus of Constantinople, and surrendered the churches of that city to<br />

Gregory Nazianzus, the leader of the rather small Nicene community there, an act which provoked<br />

rioting. Theodosius had just been baptized, by bishop Acholius of Thessalonica, during a severe<br />

illness, as was common in the early Christian world. In February he and Gratian had published an<br />

edict[33] that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria (i.e.,<br />

the Nicene faith), or be handed over for punishment for not doing so.<br />

Although much of the church hierarchy in the East had opposed the Nicene creed in the decades<br />

leading up to Theodosius' accession, he managed to achieve unity on the basis of the Nicene creed.<br />

In 381, at the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, a group of mainly Eastern bishops<br />

assembled and accepted the Nicene Creed of 381,[34] which was supplemented in regard to the<br />

Holy Spirit, as well as some other changes: see Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of<br />

381. This is generally considered the end of the dispute about the Trinity and the end of Arianism<br />

among the Roman, non-Germanic peoples.<br />



(Approximate)<br />

256 Birth of <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />

274 Birth of Constantine the Great.<br />

295 Birth of Athanasius.<br />

306 Death of Constantine Chlorus, father of Constantine the Great.<br />

312 Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Alexander becomes Bishop of Alexandria.<br />

313 Edict of Milan (Third Edict of Toleration).<br />

318 First outbreak of Arianism.<br />

323 Battle of Chrysopolis; Constantine becomes sole Emperor.<br />

Council at Alexandria deposes <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />

A council in Bithynia vindicates <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />

1. From A.D.325 to 337<br />

325. (From June 19 to August 25.) COUNCIL OF NICÆA.<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> and his partisans anathematized and banished,<br />

<strong>Arius</strong> to Illyricum. The Eusebians subscribe to the Homoüsion.<br />

326. Athanasius raised to the See of Alexandria at the age of about 30.<br />

328-9. Eusebius of Nicomedia in favour with Constantine. Death of Alexander.<br />

Consecration of Athanasius.<br />

329 Synod at Antioch, Eustathius deposed.<br />

330. An Arian priest gains the ear of Constantine, who recalls <strong>Arius</strong> from exile to Alexandria.<br />

331. Athanasius refuses to restore him to communion.<br />

Eustathius deposed by the Eusebians on a charge of Sabellianism; other Bishops deposed.<br />

334. Council of Cæsarea against Athanasius, who refuses to attend it.<br />

335. Council of Tyre and Jerusalem, in which <strong>Arius</strong> and the Arians are formerly readmitted.<br />

Athanasius, forced by the emperor to attend, abruptly leaves it in order to appeal to<br />

Constantine.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



336. Eusebians hold a Council at Constantinople to condemn Marcellus on the ground of his<br />

Sabellianism; and to recognize <strong>Arius</strong>.<br />



The Eusebian Constantius succeeds him in the East, the orthodox Constans and<br />

Constantine in the West.<br />

Death of Constantine the Great, accession of his three sons. Restoration of Athanasius.<br />

2. From 337 to 342<br />

338 Exiles recalled by the three new Emperors.<br />

(End of June.) Athanasius leaves Treves for Alexandria.<br />

339 Eusebius sends to Pope Julius for a Council.<br />

Council at Alexandria vindicates Nicene doctrine. Second exile of Athanasius.<br />


Papal Legates sent to Antioch from Rome.(Early in year) Athanasius goes to Rome.<br />

Papal Legates, &c.(End of year) Athanasius returns to Alexandria.<br />

Murder of Constantine II.<br />




after the Council of the Dedication, immediately before or after the Papal Legates set<br />

out from Rome.<br />


Death of Eusebius of Nicomedia.<br />

Council at Rome vindicates Athanasius.<br />

342 (End of year) Athanasius returns to Alexandria.<br />

(Or beginning Lent.) THE ARIAN GREGORY IN ALEXANDRIA.<br />

The Papal Legates arrive at Rome.<br />

ATHANASIUS ESCAPES TO ROME shortly after the Roman Council there.<br />

343 Councils at Sardica and Philipopolis.<br />

3. From 342 to 351<br />

(Mainly from Tillemont.)<br />

345. COUNCIL OF ANTIOCH (Eusebian), at which the Macrostich is drawn up.<br />

346 Council of Milan.<br />

347. GREAT COUNCIL OF SARDICA, at the instance of the orthodox Constans.<br />

Restoration of Athanasius.<br />

Council of Milan against Photinus. Ursacius and Valens sue for reconciliation to the Church.<br />

349. Council of Jerusalem, at which Athanasius is present. Athanasius returns to Alexandria.<br />

Ursacius and Valens recant, and are reconciled at Rome.<br />

Council at Sirmium or at Rome against Photinus.<br />

350. DEATH OF CONSTANS. The Eusebian Constantius sole Emperor.<br />

351. GREAT COUNCIL OF SIRMIUM, at which Photinus is deposed. First Sirmian creed, &c.<br />

4. From 351 to 361<br />

353 Constantius becomes sole Emperor. Second Council of Arles.<br />

355 Second Council of Milan, Athanasius deposed.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

356 George of Cappadocia made Bishop of Alexandria. Beginning of Athanasius' third exile.<br />

357 Second Council of Sirmium, (the second creed of Sirmium).<br />

358 Third Council of Sirmium (the Dated Creed). Expulsion of George from Alexandria.<br />

359 Double Council at Ariminium and Selucia.<br />

Council at Nice.<br />

Beginning of Macedonianism.<br />

360 Dedication Council at Constantinople.<br />

361 Death of Constantius, accession of Julian the Apostate.<br />

Great Council of Sirmium<br />

Photinus deposed<br />

First Sirmian Creed (Semi-Arian)<br />

Signed by Pope Liberius with a condemnation of Athanasius<br />

Council of Arles (Eusebian) Athanasius condemned<br />

Great Council of Milan (Eusebian) Athanasius condemned<br />

Rise of the Eunomians<br />

Syrianus in Alexandria, and George in Cappadocia<br />

Council of Beziers. Hilary deposed and banished<br />

Fresh Council or Conference at Sirmium<br />

Second Sirmian Creed, the blasphemy of Potamius and Hosius (Homœan, if not<br />

Anomœan)<br />

Signed by Hosius, but without condemning Athanasius<br />

Signed by Liberius, with a condemnation of Athanasius<br />

Another or an altered Creed signed by Liberius with condemnation of Athanasius<br />

Council of Antioch in favour of Eunomius Its Creed (Anomœan)<br />

Council of Ancyra of 12 Bishops<br />

Its Creed (Semi-Arian) against both the Homoüsian and the Anomœan, signed by Liberius<br />

Fresh Council or Conference at Sirmium<br />

Third Sirmian. Creed (Homœan) drawn up by Semi-Arians<br />

Signed by Liberius<br />

BI-PARTITE COUNCIL OF ARIMINUM (Homœan) and of Seleucia (Semi-Arian)<br />

Council of Constantinople (Homœan)<br />

Council of Antioch (Anomœan)<br />


5. From 361 to 381<br />

362. COUNCIL OF ALEXANDRIA.Restoration of Athanasius. Council at Alexandria.<br />

Fourth exile of Athanasius. Outbreak of Apollinarianism.<br />

363 Death of Julian, accession of Jovian.<br />

364 Restoration of Athanasius. Death of Jovian, accession of Valentinian (West) and Valens (East).<br />

365. Council of Lampsacus (Semi-Arian or Macedonian).Fifth exile and restoration of Athanasius.<br />

366. Macedonian Bishops reconciled to the Church at Rome.<br />

367. Council of Tyre for the same purpose.<br />


375 Death of Valentinian, accession of Gratian.<br />

378 Death of Valens, accession of Theodosius.<br />


383 Death of Gratian, accession of Valentinian II.<br />


Short Summary of Events<br />


PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Semi Arians: Homoian Arianism<br />

Arianism had several different variants, including Eunomianism and Homoian Arianism.<br />

The Anomoeans, also spelled "Anomeans" and known also as Heterousians, Aëtians, or<br />

Eunomians, were a sect that upheld an extreme form of Arianism, that Jesus Christ was not of the<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

same nature (consubstantial) as God the Father nor was of like nature (homoiousian), as<br />

maintained by the semi-Arians.<br />

The word "anomoean" comes from Greek ἀ(ν)- 'not' and ὅμοιος 'similar': "different; dissimilar". In<br />

the 4th century, during the reign of Constantius II, this was the name by which the followers of<br />

Aëtius and Eunomius were distinguished as a theological party.<br />

The semi-Arians condemned the Anomoeans in the Council of Seleucia, and the Anomoeans<br />

condemned the semi-Arians in their turn in the Councils of Constantinople and Antioch; erasing the<br />

word ὅμοιος from the formula of Rimini and that of Constantinople and protesting that the Word had<br />

not only a different substance but also a will different from that of the Father. From that, they were<br />

to be called ἀνόμοιοι.<br />

In the 5th century, the Anomoean presbyter Philostorgius wrote an Anomoean Church history.<br />

Homoeanism (also from hómoios) declared that the Son was similar to God the Father, without<br />

reference to substance or essence. Homoian Arianism is associated with Akakius and Eudoxius.<br />

Homoian Arianism avoided the use of the word ousia to describe the relation of Father to Son, and<br />

described these as "like" each other. Hanson lists twelve creeds that reflect the Homoian faith:<br />

The Second Sirmian Creed of 357<br />

The Creed of Nice (Constantinople) 360<br />

The creed put forward by Akakius at Seleucia, 359<br />

The Rule of Faith of Ulfilas<br />

The creed uttered by Ulfilas on his deathbed, 383<br />

The creed attributed to Eudoxius<br />

The Creed of Auxentius of Milan, 364<br />

The Creed of Germinius professed in correspondence with Valens and Ursacius<br />

Palladius' rule of faith<br />

Three credal statements found in fragments, subordinating the Son to the Father<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



The faith is as follows:<br />

to believe in one God, the Father Almighty, incomprehensible, immutable and unchangeable,<br />

protector and ruler of the universe, just, good, maker of heaven and earth and of all the things in<br />

them, Lord of the law and of the prophets and of the new covenant;<br />

and in one Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son, begotten not from that which is not but from the<br />

Father, not as made but as properly an offspring, but begotten in an ineffable, indescribable manner,<br />

because only the Father Who begot and the Son Who was begotten know (for ‘no one knows the<br />

Father but the Son, nor the Son but the Father'), Who exists everlastingly and did not at one time<br />

not exist. For we have learned from the Holy Scriptures that He alone is the express image, not<br />

(plainly) as if He might have remained unbegotten from the Father, nor by adoption (for it is impious<br />

and blasphemous to say this); but the Scriptures describe Him as validly and truly begotten as Son,<br />

so that we believe Him to be immutable and unchangeable, and that He was not begotten and did<br />

not come to be by volition or by adoption, so as to appear to be from that which is not, but as it<br />

befits Him to be begotten; not (a thing which it is not lawful to think) according to likeness or nature<br />

or commixture with any of the things which came to be through Him, but in a way which passes all<br />

understanding or conception or reasoning we confess Him to have been begotten of the<br />

unbegotten Father, the divine Logos, true light, righteousness, Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour of all.<br />

For He is the express image, not of the will or of anything else, but of His Father's very substance.<br />

This Son, the divine Logos, having been born in flesh from Mary the Mother of God and made<br />

incarnate, having suffered and died, rose again from the dead and was taken up into heaven, and<br />

sits on the right hand of the Majesty most high, and will come to judge the living and the dead.<br />

Furthermore, as in our Saviour, the holy Scriptures teach us to believe also in one Spirit, one<br />

Catholic Church, the resurrection of the dead and a judgment of requital according to whether a<br />

man has done well or badly in the flesh.<br />

And we anathematize those who say or think or preach that the Son of God is a creature or has<br />

come into being or has been made and is not truly begotten, or that there was when He was not.<br />

For we believe that He was and is and that He is light. Furthermore, we anathematize those who<br />

suppose that He is immutable by His own act of will, just as those who derive His birth from that<br />

which is not, and deny that He is immutable in the way the Father is. For just as our Saviour is the<br />

image of the Father in all things, so in this respect particularly He has been proclaimed the Father's<br />

image.<br />


We believe, conformably to the evangelical and apostolical tradition, in one God, the Father<br />

Almighty, the Framer, and Maker, and Provider of the universe, from whom are all things.<br />

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, Only-begotten God (John 1:18), by whom are all things,<br />

who was begotten before all ages from the Father, God from God, whole from whole, sole from sole,<br />

perfect from perfect, King from King, Lord from Lord, Living Word, Living Wisdom, true Light, Way,<br />

Truth, Resurrection, Shepherd, Door, both unalterable and unchangeable; exact image of the<br />

Godhead, Essence, Will, Power, and Glory of the Father; the first-born of every creature, who was<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

in the beginning with God, God the Word, as it is written in the Gospel, "and the Word was God"<br />

(John 1:1); by whom all things were made, and in whom all things consist (Col 1:17); who in the last<br />

days descended from above, and was born of a virgin according to the Scriptures, and was made<br />

man, Mediator between God and man, and Apostle of our faith, and Prince of life, as He says, "I<br />

came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me" (John 6:38); who<br />

suffered for us and rose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and sat down on the<br />

right hand of the Father, and is coming again with glory and power, to judge quick and dead.<br />

And in the Holy Ghost, who is given to those who believe for comfort, and sanctification, and<br />

initiation, as also our Lord Jesus Christ enjoined His disciples, saying, "Go ye, teach all nations,<br />

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost" (Matt 28:19); namely, of<br />

a Father who is truly Father, and a Son who is truly Son, and of the Holy Ghost who is truly Holy<br />

Ghost, the names not being given without meaning or effect, but denoting accurately the peculiar<br />

subsistence, rank, and glory of each that is named, so that they are three in subsistence, and in<br />

agreement one.<br />

Holding then this faith, and holding it in the presence of God and Christ, from beginning to end, we<br />

anathematise every heretical heterodoxy. And if any teaches beside the sound and right faith of the<br />

Scriptures, that time, or season, or age, either is or has been before the generation of the Son, be<br />

he anathema. Or if anyone says that the Son is a creature as one of the creatures, or an offspring<br />

as one of the offsprings, or a work as one of the works, and not the aforesaid articles one after<br />

another, as the Divine Scriptures have delivered, or if he teaches or preaches beside what we have<br />

received, be he anathema. For all that has been delivered in the Divine Scriptures, whether by<br />

prophets or apostles, do we truly and reverently both believe and follow.<br />


We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator and Maker of all things; from whom all<br />

fatherhood in heaven and earth is named (Eph 3:15).<br />

And in His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who before all ages was begotten from<br />

the Father, God from God, Light from Light, by whom all things were made in the heavens and on<br />

the earth, visible and invisible, being Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Life, and True Light; who<br />

in the last days was made man for us, and was born of the Holy Virgin; who was crucified, and dead,<br />

and buried, and rose again from the dead the third day, and was taken up into heaven, and sat<br />

down on the right hand of the Father; and is coming at the consummation of the age, to judge quick<br />

and dead, and to render to everyone according to his works; whose kingdom endures indissolubly<br />

into the infinite ages; for He shall be seated on the right hand of the Father, not only in this age but<br />

in that which is to come.<br />

And in the Holy Ghost; that is the Paraclete; which having promised to the apostles, He sent<br />

forth after His ascension into heaven, to teach them and to remind of all things; through whom also<br />

shall be sanctified the souls of those who sincerely believe in Him.<br />

But those who say that the Son was from nothing, or from some other substance and not from God,<br />

and there was time when He was not, the Catholic Church regards as aliens.<br />


We believe in one Only and True God, the Father Almighty, Creator and Framer of all things.<br />

And in one Only-begotten Son of God, who, before all ages, and before all origin, and before all<br />

conceivable time, and before all comprehensible essence, was begotten impassibly from God:<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

through whom the ages were disposed and all things were made; and Him begotten as the<br />

Only-begotten, Only from the Only Father, God from God, like to the Father who begat Him,<br />

according to the Scriptures; whose origin no one knoweth save the Father alone who begat Him.<br />

We know that He, the Only-begotten Son of God, at the Father's bidding came from the heavens for<br />

the abolishment of sin, and was born of the Virgin Mary, and conversed with the disciples, and<br />

fulfilled all the Economy according to the Father's will, was crucified and died and descended into<br />

the parts beneath the earth, and regulated the things there, whom the gate-keepers of hell saw<br />

(Job 38:17) and shuddered; and He rose from the dead the third day, and conversed with the<br />

disciples, and fulfilled all the Economy, and when the forty days were full, ascended into the<br />

heavens, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and is coming in the last day of the<br />

resurrection in the glory of the Father, to everyone according to his works. And in the Holy Ghost,<br />

whom the Only-begotten of God Himself, Jesus Christ, had promised to send to the race of men,<br />

the Paraclete, as it is written: "I go to My Father, and I will ask the Father, and He shall send you<br />

another Paraclete, even the Spirit of Truth, He shall take of Mine and shall teach and bring to your<br />

remembrance all things" (John 14:16, 17, 26; 16:14). But whereas the term "essence" has been<br />

adopted by the Fathers in simplicity, and gives offence as being misconceived by the people,<br />

because it is not contained in the Scriptures, it has seemed good to remove it, that no mention of<br />

"essence" with regard to God should be made at all in the future, because the Divine Scriptures<br />

nowhere mention "essence" of the Father and Son. But we say the Son is like the Father in all<br />

things, as also the Holy Scriptures say and teach.<br />


We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible<br />

and invisible:<br />

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten of His Father before all worlds, (God of God),<br />

Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made being of one substance with the Father,<br />

through whom all things were made who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven<br />

and made flesh of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and entered humanity; and crucified also for<br />

us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the<br />

Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and shall come<br />

again with glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.<br />

And in the Holy Spirit, the lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father (and the Son),<br />

who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake through the<br />

Prophets in the catholic and apostolic Church.<br />

We acknowledge one baptism unto remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the<br />

dead; and the life of the world to come.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

St.Athanasius<br />

the defender of the Trinitarian Faith.<br />

The Athanasian Creed<br />

This Creed is named after Athanasius, allthough Athanasius did not write this Creed. It was probably written in the sixth<br />

century. Roman and Anglican Churches used to chant this Creed in public worship<br />

(1) Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;<br />

(2) Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish<br />

everlastingly.<br />

(3) And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;<br />

(4) Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.<br />

(5) For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.<br />

(6) But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the<br />

majesty co-eternal.<br />

(7) Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Spirit.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

(8) The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate.<br />

(9) The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.<br />

(10) The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.<br />

(11) And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.<br />

(12) As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one<br />

incomprehensible.<br />

(13) So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty;<br />

(14) And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.<br />

(15) So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;<br />

(16) And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.<br />

(17) So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;<br />

(18) And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.<br />

(19) For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to<br />

be God and Lord;<br />

(20) so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.<br />

(21) The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.<br />

(22) The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.<br />

(23) The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but<br />

proceeding.<br />

(24) So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three<br />

Holy Spirits.<br />

(25) And in this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater, or less than another.<br />

(26) But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.<br />

(27) So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be<br />

worshipped.<br />

(28) He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.<br />

(29) Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation<br />

of our Lord Jesus<br />

Christ.<br />

(30) For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is<br />

God and man.<br />

(31) God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and made of the substance of<br />

His mother, born in<br />

the world.<br />

(32) Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.<br />

(33) Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His<br />

manhood.<br />

(34) Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.<br />

(35) One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.<br />

(36) One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by unity of person.<br />

(37) For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;<br />

(38) Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;<br />

(39) He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;<br />

(40) From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.<br />

(41) At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;<br />

(42) And shall give account of their own works.<br />

(43) And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into<br />

everlasting fire.<br />

(44) This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.<br />

Formated by James Richardson 4/04/2016.<br />

You can Download Christian Confessions, Creeds,<br />


The Chalcedonian Creed<br />


PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Chalcedonian Creed was adopted in A.D. 451 at the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon (Located in what is<br />

now Istanbul). It primarily establishes the Orthodox doctrine of Christology.<br />

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same<br />

Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God<br />

and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the<br />

Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without<br />

sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for<br />

us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one<br />

and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, unconfusedly,<br />

unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by<br />

the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person<br />

and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only<br />

begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning have declared<br />

concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy<br />

Fathers has handed down to us.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



It is often alleged that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a biblical doctrine and that even the word<br />

‘Trinity’ itself is not found in the Bible. However over 700 reference text will testify to the validity of<br />

this theological construct. There are a large number of websites that detail the explanations of how<br />

Trinity is embeded throughout the Bible. The following are only a few that help.<br />

How the concept of Trinity as defined in the Nicean Creed came about from the Scripture.<br />

1. There Is One God<br />

1. One God: Explicit Statements<br />

1. OT: Deut. 4:35; 4:39; 32:39; 2 Sam. 22:32; Isa. 37:20: 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5;<br />

45:14; 45:21-22; 46:9<br />

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;<br />

1 Tim. 2:5; James 2:19; Jude 25<br />

2. None like God (in his essence)<br />

1. Explicit statements: Ex. 8:10; 9:14; 15:11; 2 Sam. 7:22; 1 Kgs. 8:23; 1 Chr.<br />

17:20; Psa. 86:8; Isa. 40:18, 40:25: 44:7; 46:5, 46:9; Jer. 10:6-7; Micah 7:18<br />

2. Being like God a Satanic lie: Gen. 3:5; Isa. 14:14; John 8:44<br />

3. Fallen man become "like God" only in that he took upon himself to know good<br />

and evil, not that he acquired godhood: Gen. 3:22<br />

3. Only one true God: 2 Chr. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20-21<br />

4. All other "gods" are therefore false gods (idols), not gods at all: Deut. 32:21; 1 Sam.<br />

12:21; Psa. 96:5; Isa. 37:19; 41:23-24, 41:29; Jer. 2:11; 5:7; 16:20; 1 Cor. 8:4;<br />

10:19-20<br />

5. Demons, not gods, are the power behind false worship: Deut. 32:17; Psa. 106:37; 1<br />

Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8<br />

6. How human beings are meant to be "like God"<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

1. The image of God indicates that man is to represent God and share his moral<br />

character, not that man can be metaphysically like God: Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 1<br />

Cor. 11:7; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10<br />

2. The goal of being like Christ has the following aspects only:<br />

1. Sharing His moral character: 1 John 3:2; Rom. 8:29<br />

2. Being raised with glorified, immortal bodies like His: Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor.<br />

15:49<br />

3. Becoming partakers of the divine nature refers again to moral nature ("having<br />

escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust"), not metaphysical nature: 2<br />

Pet. 1:4; see also Heb. 12:10; on the meaning of "partakers," See 1 Cor. 10:18,<br />

10:20; 2 Cor. 1:17; 1 Pet. 5:1<br />

7. Are mighty or exalted men gods?<br />

1. Scripture never says explicitly that men are gods<br />

2. Powerful, mighty men are explicitly said not to be gods: Ezek. 28:2, 28:9; Isa.<br />

31:3; 2 Thess. 2:4<br />

3. Men and God are opposite, exclusive categories: Num. 23:19; Isa. 31:3; Ezek.<br />

28:2; Hosea 11:9; Matt. 19:26; John 10:33; Acts 12:22; 1 Cor. 14:2<br />

4. Moses was "as God," not really a god: Ex. 4:16; 7:1<br />

5. Ezek. 32:21 speaks of warriors or soldiers as "mighty gods," but in context they<br />

are so regarded by their pagan nations, not by God or Israel; cf. Ezek. 28:2,<br />

28:9<br />

6. The elohim before whom accused stood in Exodus was God Himself, not<br />

judges, as many translations incorrectly render: Ex. 22:8-9, 22:28; compare<br />

Deut. 19:17<br />

7. The use of elohim in Psalm 82:1, probably in reference to wicked judges, as<br />

cited by Jesus in John 10:34-36, does not mean that men really can be gods.<br />

1. It is Asaph, not the Lord, who calls the judges elohim in Psa. 82:1, 82:6.<br />

This is important, even though we agree that Psa. 82 is inspired.<br />

2. Asaph's meaning is not "Although you are gods, you will die like men,"<br />

but rather "I called you gods, but in fact you will all die like the men that<br />

you really are"<br />

3. The Psalmist was no more saying that wicked judges were truly gods<br />

than he was saying that they were truly "sons of the Most High" (Psa<br />

82:6 b)<br />

4. Thus, Psa. 82:1 calls the judges elohim in irony. They had quite likely<br />

taken their role in judgment (cf. point 5 above) to mean they were<br />

elohim, or gods, and Asaph's message is that these so-called gods<br />

were mere men who would die under the judgment of the true elohim<br />

(vss. Psa. 82:1-2, 82:7-8)<br />

5. Christ's use of this passage in John 10:34-36 does not negate the<br />

above interpretation of Psalm 82<br />

6. The words, "The Scripture cannot be broken," means "the Scripture<br />

cannot go without having some ultimate fulfillment" (cf. John 7:23; Matt.<br />

5:17). Thus Jesus is saying that what the OT judges were called in irony,<br />

He is in reality; He does what they could not do, and is what they could<br />

never be (see the Adam-Christ contrasts in Rom. 5:12-21 and 1 Cor.<br />

15:21-22, 15:45 for a similar use of OT Scripture)<br />

7. The clause, "those against whom the word of God came" (John 10:35)<br />

shows that this "word" was a word of judgment against the so-called<br />

gods; which shows that they were false gods, not really gods at all<br />

8. Finally, these wicked men were certainly not "godlike" or "divine" by<br />

nature, so that in any case the use of elohim to refer to them must be<br />

seen as figurative, not literal<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

8. Even if men were gods (which they are not), this would be irrelevant to Jesus,<br />

since He was God as a preexistent spirit before creation: John 1:1<br />

8. Are angels gods?<br />

1. Scripture never explicitly states that angels are gods<br />

2. Demonic spirits are not gods, 1 Cor. 10:20; Gal. 4:8; thus, being "mighty<br />

spirits" does not make angels gods<br />

3. Satan is therefore also a false god: 2 Cor. 4:4<br />

4. Psalm 8:5 does not teach that angels are gods<br />

1. Psa. 8:5 is paraphrased in Heb. 2:7, not quoted literally (cf. Psa. 68:18<br />

with Eph. 4:8). In Psa. 8:5, elohim certainly means God, not angels,<br />

since Psa. 8:3-8 parallels Gen. 1:1, 1:8, 1:16, 1:26-28. Note that the<br />

Psalmist is speaking of man's exalted place in creation, whereas<br />

Hebrews is speaking of the lower place taken by Christ in becoming a<br />

man. Thus, Heb. 2:7 may not mean to equate angels with gods at all.<br />

2. Even if Heb. 2:7 does imply that angels are "gods," in the context of<br />

Hebrews 1-2 these angels would be those falsely exalted above Christ:<br />

Note Heb. 1:6 (which quotes Psa. 97:7, which definitely speaks of<br />

"gods" in the sense of false gods); and cf. Col. 2:16 on the problem of<br />

the worship of angels.<br />

5. Elsewhere in the Psalms angels, if spoken of as gods (or as "sons of the<br />

gods"), are considered false gods: Psa. 29:1; 86:8-10; 89:6; 95:3; 96:4-5;<br />

97:7-9 (note that these false gods are called "angels" in the Septuagint); Psa.<br />

135:5; 136:2; 138:1; cf. Ex. 15:11; 18:11; Deut. 10:17; 1 Chr. 16:25; 2 Chr. 2:5.<br />

6. Even if the angels were gods (which the above shows they are not), that would<br />

be irrelevant to Jesus, since He is not an angelic being, but the Son who is<br />

worshiped by the angels as their Creator, Lord, and God: Heb. 1:1-13.<br />

9. Conclusion: If there is only one God, one true God, all other gods being false gods,<br />

neither men nor angels being gods, and none even like God by nature - all of which<br />

the Bible says repeatedly and explicitly - then we must conclude that there is indeed<br />

only one God.<br />

2. This One God Is Known in the OT as "Jehovah/Yahweh" ("The Lord")<br />

1. Texts where Jehovah is said to be elohim or el: Deut. 4:35, 4:39; Psa. 100:3; etc.<br />

2. Texts where the compound name "Jehovah God" (Yahweh Elohim) is used: Gen.<br />

2:3; 9:26; 24:3; Ex. 3:15-18; 4:4; 2 Sam. 7:22, 7:25; etc.<br />

3. Only one Yahweh/Jehovah: Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29<br />

4. Conclusion: Jehovah is the only God, the only El or Elohim<br />

From the beginning of creation in Genesis to the end of times in Revelation, God refers to Himself<br />

as "us" or "our" and thus describes the doctrine of the Trinity. The word trinity comes from "tri"<br />

meaning three and "unity" meaning one. God is three distinct individuals - God the Father, the Son<br />

Jesus, and the Holy Spirit - in one true God.<br />

While El denotes one God, Elohim is a plural form which is used all the time whenever God is<br />

mentioned.Even the Shema of Israel literally reads the unity is the word used for unity in plurality.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Shema Ysrael YHVH Elohenu YHVH echad<br />

Hear O Israel, YHVH Our Gods, YHVH is United One<br />

3. God Is a Unique, Incomprehensible Being<br />

1. Only one God, thus unique: See I.A.<br />

2. None are even like God: See I.B.<br />

3. God cannot be fully comprehended: 1 Cor. 8:2-3<br />

4. God can only be known insofar as the Son reveals Him: Matt. 11:25-27; John 1:18<br />

5. Analogical language needed to describe God: Ezek. 1:26-28; Rev. 1:13-16<br />

6. God is transcendent, entirely distinct from and different than the universe, as the<br />

carpenter is distinct from the bench<br />

1. Separate from the world: Isa. 40:22; Acts 17:24<br />

2. Contrasted with the world: Psa. 102:25-27; 1 John 2:15-17<br />

3. Created the world: Gen. 1:1; Psa. 33:6; 102:25; Isa. 42:5; 44:24; John 1:3;<br />

Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:2; 11:3<br />

4. Is God One Person?<br />

1. God is one God (cf. I above), one Yahweh, one Lord (cf. II above), one Spirit (John<br />

4:24)<br />

2. However, the Bible never says that God is "one person"<br />

1. Heb. 1:3 KJV speaks of God's "person," but the word used here, hupostasis, is<br />

translated "substance" in Heb. 11:1 KJV; also in Heb. 1:3 "God" refers<br />

specifically to the Father<br />

2. Gal. 3:20 speaks of God as one party in the covenant between God and man,<br />

not as one person<br />

3. Job 13:8 KJV speaks of God's "person," but ironically the Hebrew literally<br />

means "his faces"<br />

3. The use of singular and plural pronouns for God<br />

1. Over 7000 times God speaks or is spoken of with singular pronouns (I, He,<br />

etc.); but this is proper because God is a single individual being; thus these<br />

singular forms do not disprove that God exists as three "persons" as long as<br />

these persons are not separate beings<br />

2. At least three times God speaks of or to himself using plural pronouns (Gen.<br />

1:26; 3:22; 11:7), and nontrinitarian interpretation cannot account for these<br />

occurrences.<br />

1. A plural reference to God and the angels is possible in Isa. 6:8, but not<br />

in the Genesis texts: in Gen 1:26 "our image" is explained in Gen 1:27,<br />

"in God's image"; in Gen 3:22 "like one of us" refers back to Gen 3:5,<br />

"like God."<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

2. The "literary plural" (possibly, though never clearly, attested in Paul) is<br />

irrelevant to texts in which God is speaking, not writing.<br />

3. The "plural of deliberation" (as in "Let's see now…") is apparently<br />

unattested in biblical writings, and cannot explain Gen. 3:22 ("like one of<br />

us").<br />

4. The "plural of amplitude" or of "fullness" (which probably does explain<br />

the use of the plural form elohim in the singular sense of "God") is<br />

irrelevant to the use of plural pronouns, and again cannot explain Gen.<br />

3:22.<br />

5. The "plural of majesty" is possibly attested in 1 Kgs. 12:9; 2 Chron. 10:9;<br />

more likely Ezra 4:18; but none of these are certain; and again, it cannot<br />

explain Gen. 3:22; also nothing in the context of the Genesis texts<br />

suggests that God is being presented particularly as King.<br />

4. The uniqueness of God (cf. III above) should prepare us for the possibility that the<br />

one divine Being exists uniquely as a plurality of persons<br />

5. The Father of Jesus Christ Is God<br />

1. Explicit statements: John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; etc.<br />

2. The expression, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ": 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; 1<br />

Pet. 1:3<br />

6. Jesus Christ Is God<br />

1. Explicit statements<br />

1. Isa. 9:6; note Isa. 10:21. Translations which render "mighty hero," are<br />

inconsistent in their rendering of Isa. 10:21. Also note that Ezek. 32:21 is (a)<br />

not in the same context, as is Isa. 10:21, and (b) speaking of false gods, cf.<br />

I.G.5. above.<br />

2. John 1:1 Even if Jesus is here called "a god" (as some have argued), since<br />

there is only one God, Jesus is that God. However, the "a god" rendering is<br />

incorrect. Other passages using the Greek word for God (theos) in the same<br />

construction are always rendered "God": Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38; John 8:54;<br />

Phil 2:13; Heb. 11:16. Passages in which a shift occurs from ho theos ("the<br />

God") to theos ("God") never imply a shift in meaning: Mark 12:27; Luke<br />

20:37-38; John 3:2; 13:3; Rom. 1:21; 1 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 4:10-11<br />

3. John 1:18. The best manuscripts have "the unique God" (monogenês,<br />

frequently rendered "only-begotten," actually means "one of a kind," "unique,"<br />

though in the NT always in the context of a son or daughter). Even if one<br />

translates "only-begotten," the idea is not of a "begotten god" as opposed to an<br />

"unbegotten god."<br />

4. John 20:28. Compare Rev. 4:11, where the same construction is used in the<br />

plural ("our") instead of the singular ("my"). See also Psa. 35:23. Note that<br />

Christ's response indicates that Thomas' acclamation was not wrong. Also<br />

note that John 20:17 does show that the Father was Jesus' "God" (due to<br />

Jesus becoming a man), but the words "my God" as spoken by Thomas later<br />

in the same chapter must mean no less than in John 20:17. Thus, what the<br />

Father is to Jesus in His humanity, Jesus is to Thomas (and therefore to us as<br />

well).<br />

5. Acts 20:28: "the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." The<br />

variant readings (e.g. "the church of the Lord") show that the original was<br />

understood to mean "His own blood," not "the blood of His own [Son]" (since<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

otherwise no one would have thought to change it). Thus all other renderings<br />

are attempts to evade the startling clarity and meaning of this passage.<br />

6. Rom. 9:5. While grammatically this is not the only possible interpretation, the<br />

consistent form of doxologies in Scripture, as well as the smoothest reading of<br />

the text, supports the identification of Christ as "God" in this verse.<br />

7. Titus 2:13. Grammatically and contextually, this is one of the strongest<br />

proof-texts for the deity of Christ. Sharp's first rule, properly understood,<br />

proves that the text should be translated "our great God and Savior" (cf. same<br />

construction in Luke 20:37; Rev. 1:6; and many other passages). Note also<br />

that Paul always uses the word "manifestation" ("appearing") of Christ: 2<br />

Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 4:8.<br />

8. Heb. 1:8. The rendering, "God is your throne," is nonsense - God is not a<br />

throne, He is the one who sits on the throne! Also, "God is your throne," if<br />

taken to mean God is the source of one's rule, could be said about any angelic<br />

ruler - but Hebrews 1 is arguing that Jesus is superior to the angels.<br />

9. 2 Pet. 1:1. The same construction is used here as in Titus 2:13; see the<br />

parallel passages in 2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 3:18.<br />

10.1 John 5:20. Note that the most obvious antecedent for "this" is Jesus Christ.<br />

Also note that the "eternal life" is Christ, as can be seen from John 1:2.<br />

2. Jesus is Jehovah/Yahweh<br />

1. Rom. 10:9-13: Note the repeated "for," which links these verses closely<br />

together. The "Lord" of Rom. 10:13 must be the "Lord" of Rom. 10:9, 10:12.<br />

2. Phil. 2:9-11. In context, the "name that is above every name" is "Lord" (Phil.<br />

2:11), i.e., Jehovah.<br />

3. Heb. 1:10: Here God the Father addresses the Son as "Lord," in a quotation<br />

from Psa. 102:25 (cf. Psa. 102:24, where the person addressed is called<br />

"God"). Since here the Father addresses the Son as "Lord," this cannot be<br />

explained away as a text in which a creature addresses Christ as God/Lord in<br />

a merely representational sense.<br />

4. 1 Pet. 2:3-4: This verse is nearly an exact quotation of Psa. 34:8 a, where<br />

"Lord" is Jehovah. From 1 Pet. 2:4-8 it is also clear that "the Lord" in 1 Pet. 2:3<br />

is Jesus.<br />

5. 1 Pet. 3:14-15: these verses are a clear reference to Isa. 8:12-13, where the<br />

one who is to be regarded as holy is Jehovah.<br />

6. Texts where Jesus is spoken of as the "one Lord" (cf. Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29): 1<br />

Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:5; cf. Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 12:5.<br />

It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him so that he<br />

might save us. This is YHWH for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice<br />

in his salvation.' (Isa. 25:9)<br />

Then YHWH will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of<br />

battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives … Then YHWH my<br />

God will come , and all the holy ones with him … And YHWH will become king<br />

over all the earth; and on that day YHWH will be one and his name one. (Zech. 14:3<br />

ff.)<br />

This form of Christology finds particularly vivid expression in Lk. 19:41 ff., wherein Jesus, near the<br />

end of his ministry, rides into Jerusalem on a colt, crying over the city that did not recognize your<br />

visitation from God. (vs. 44)<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The use of 'God' for Jesus that is attested in the early 2d century was a continuation of a usage that<br />

had begun in NT times. There is no reason to be surprised at this.<br />

'Jesus Christ is Lord' was evidently a popular confessional formula in NT times, and in this formula<br />

Christians gave Jesus the title kyrios which was the Septuagint translation for YHWH. If Jesus<br />

could be given this title, why could he not be called 'God' (theos), which the Septuagint often used<br />

to translate Elohim? The two Hebrew terms had become relatively interchangeable, and indeed<br />

YHWH was the more sacred term. (Ray Brown : An Introduction to New Testament Christology).<br />

3. Jesus has the titles of God<br />

1. Titles belonging only to God<br />

1. The first and the last: Rev. 1:17; 22:13; cf. Isa. 44:6<br />

2. King of kings and Lord of lords: 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16<br />

2. Titles belonging in the ultimate sense only to God<br />

1. Savior: Luke 2:11; John 4:42; 1 John 4:14; Titus 2:13, cf. Titus 2:10; etc.;<br />

cf. Isa. 43:11; 45:21-22; 1 Tim. 4:10; on Jesus becoming the source of<br />

salvation; Heb. 5:9, cf. Ex. 15:2; Psa. 118:14, 118:21<br />

2. Shepherd: John 10:11; Heb. 13:20; cf. Psa. 23:1; Isa. 40:11<br />

3. Rock: 1 Cor. 10:4; cf. Isa. 44:8<br />

4. Jesus received the honors due to God alone<br />

1. Honor: John 5:23<br />

2. Love: Matt. 10:37<br />

3. Prayer: John 14:14 (text debated, but in any case it is Jesus who answers the<br />

prayer); Acts 1:24-25; 7:59-60 (cf. Luke 23:34, 23:46); Rom. 10:12-13; 1 Cor.<br />

1:2; 2 Cor. 12:8-10 (where "the Lord" must be Jesus, cf. 2 Cor. 12:9); 2 Thess.<br />

2:16-17; etc.<br />

4. Worship (proskuneô): Matt. 28:17; Heb. 1:6 (cf. Psa. 97:7); cf. Matt 4:10<br />

5. Religious or sacred service (latreuô): Rev. 22:13<br />

6. Doxological praise: 2 Tim. 4:18; 2 Pet. 3:18; Rev. 1:5-6; 5:13<br />

7. Faith: John 3:16; 14:1; etc.<br />

5. Jesus does the works of God<br />

1. Creation: John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 3:14 (where archê<br />

probably means ruler); on "through" and "in" cf. Rom. 11:36; Heb. 2:10; Acts<br />

17:28; cf. also Isa. 44:24<br />

2. Sustains the universe: Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3, 1:11-12<br />

3. Salvation:<br />

1. In General: See C.2.a. above<br />

2. Forgives sins: Matt. 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26; note that Jesus<br />

forgives sins not committed against Him.<br />

4. All of them: John 5:17-29 (including judgment, cf. Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Cor. 5:10)<br />

6. Jesus has all the incommunicable attributes of God<br />

1. All of them: John 1:1; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:15; 2:9; Heb. 1:3<br />

2. Self-existent: John 5:26<br />

3. Unchangeable: Heb. 1:10-12 (in the same sense as YHWH); Heb. 13:8<br />

4. Eternal: John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:2<br />

5. Omnipresent: Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13; Eph. 1:23; 4:10; Col. 3:11<br />

6. Omniscient: John 16:30; 21:17; cf. John 2:23-24<br />

7. Incomprehensible: Matt. 11:25-27<br />

7. Jesus is "equal with God"<br />

1. John 5:18: Although John is relating what the Jews understood Jesus to be<br />

claiming, the context shows they were basically right: In John 5:17 claimed to<br />

be exempt from the Sabbath along with His Father, and in John 5:19-29 Jesus<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

claimed to do all of the world of the Father and to deserve the same honor as<br />

the Father<br />

2. Phil. 2:6: Jesus did not attempt to seize recognition by the world as being<br />

equal with God, but attained that recognition by humbling himself and being<br />

exalted by the Father (Phil. 2:7-11)<br />

8. Jesus is the Son of God<br />

1. "Son" in Scripture can mean simply one possessing the nature of something,<br />

whether literal or figurative (e.g. "Son of man," "sons of thunder," "sons of<br />

disobedience," cf. Mark 3:7; Eph. 2:1).<br />

2. Usually when "son of" is used in relation to a person (son of man, son of<br />

Abraham, son of David, etc.) the son possesses the nature of his father.<br />

3. Jesus is clearly not the literal Son of God, i.e., He was not physically<br />

procreated by God.<br />

4. On the other hand, Jesus is clearly the Son of God in a unique sense (cf.<br />

"only-begotten son," John 1:14; 3:16, 3:18; 1 John 4:9) and in a preeminent<br />

sense (i.e. the term is more fitting for Him than for anyone else).<br />

5. Scripture is explicit that the Son possesses God's essence or nature (cf. F.<br />

above).<br />

6. Jesus' repeated claim to be the Son of God was consistently understood by<br />

the Jewish leaders as a blasphemous claim to equality with God, an<br />

understanding Jesus never denied: John 5:17-23; 8:58-59; 10:30-39; 19:7;<br />

Matt. 26:63-65.<br />

7. Jesus is therefore by nature God's Son, not God's creation or God's servant;<br />

Jesus is God's Son who became a servant for our sake and for the Father's<br />

glory (John 13:13-15; 17:4; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 1:4-13; 3:1-6; 5:8; etc.).<br />

9. Objections<br />

1. Prov. 8:22: This text is not a literal description of Christ, but a poetic<br />

personification of wisdom (cf. all of Prov. 1-9, esp. Prov. 8:12-21; Prov. 9:1-6),<br />

poetically saying that God "got" His wisdom before He did anything - i.e., that<br />

God has always had wisdom.<br />

2. Col. 1:15: Does not mean that Christ is the first creature, since He is here<br />

presented as the Son and principal heir of the Father (cf. Col. 1:12); thus<br />

"firstborn" here means "heir" (cf. Gen. 43:33; 48;14-20; Ex. 4:22; 1 Chron.<br />

5:1-3; Psa. 89:27; Jer. 31:9); note that Col. 1:16 speaks of the Son as the<br />

Creator, nor creature (cf. E.1. above).<br />

3. Rev. 3:14: "Beginning" (archê) in Rev. as a title means source or one who<br />

begins, i.e. Creator (cf. Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13); elsewhere Christ is called the<br />

archê in the sense of "ruler," Col. 1:18, cf. plural archai, "rulers," in Col. 1:16;<br />

2:10, 2:15, also Luke 12:11; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Tit. 3:1; cf. Luke<br />

20:20; Jude 6; 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21.<br />

4. 1 Cor. 11:3; 15:28: Jesus is still subordinate to God, but as the Son to the<br />

Father; i.e., they are equal in nature, but the Son is subordinate relationally to<br />

God.<br />

5. John 20:17; Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 15:24; 2 Cor. 1:3; Rev. 1:6; 3:12: Jesus calls the<br />

Father "My God" because He is still man as well as God; note the distinction<br />

between "My God" and "your God" in John 20:17 (i.e., Jesus never speaks of<br />

"our God" including Himself with the disciples).<br />

6. Mark 13:32: Jesus' statement that He did not know the time of His return is to<br />

be explained by His voluntary acceptance of the humble form and likeness of a<br />

man (Phil. 2:7); in fact Jesus, as God, did know all things (John 16:30), and<br />

after His resurrection He does not including Himself as not knowing (Acts<br />

1:6-7).<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

7. Mark 10:17-18: Jesus does not deny being God, but simply tells the man that<br />

he has no business calling anyone "good" in an unqualified sense except God.<br />

8. Heb. 5:14: Jesus was tempted, cf. James 1:13; but note that Jesus could not<br />

sin, John 5:19.<br />

9. John 1:18: No one has seen God, but men have seen Jesus, e.g. 1 John 1:1-2;<br />

but note that no man can see the glorified Jesus either, 1 Tim. 6:16, and to see<br />

Jesus is to see the Father, John 14:9.<br />

10.1 Tim. 1:17: God cannot die, but Jesus did, e.g. Phil. 2:8; but note that no one<br />

could take Jesus' life from Him, He could not remain dead, and He raised<br />

Himself: John 10:18; Acts 2:24; John 2:19-22.<br />

11.1 Cor. 8:6: Father called God, Jesus called Lord: but here "God" and "Lord" are<br />

synonymous (cf. 1 Cor. 8:5; cf. also Rom. 14:3-12 for a good example of "God"<br />

and "Lord" as interchangeable); moreover, this text no more denies that Jesus<br />

is God than it does that the Father is Lord (Matt. 11:25); cf. Jude 4, where<br />

Jesus is the only Lord.<br />

12.1 Tim. 2:5: Jesus here supposedly distinct from God; but Jesus is also distinct<br />

from (fallen) men, yet is Himself a man; likewise Jesus is distinct from God (the<br />

Father), but is also God.<br />

13.Deut. 4:12, 4:15-25; God not appear in a human form to Israel, lest they fall<br />

into idolatry; but this does not rule out His appearing in human form later after<br />

they had learned to abhor idolatry.<br />

14.In many texts Jesus is distinguished from God: He is the Son of God, was sent<br />

by God, etc.; in all these texts "God" is used as a name for the person most<br />

commonly called God, i.e., the Father.<br />

7. The Holy Spirit Is God<br />

1. Equated with God: Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17-18<br />

2. Has the incommunicable attributes of God<br />

1. Eternal: Heb. 9:14<br />

2. Omnipresent: Psa. 139:7<br />

3. Omniscient: 1 Cor. 2:10-11<br />

3. Involved in all the works of God<br />

1. Creation: Gen. 1:2; Psa. 104:30<br />

2. Incarnation: Matt. 1:18, 1:20; Luke 1:35<br />

3. Resurrection: Rom. 1:4; 8:11<br />

4. Salvation: Rom. 8:1-27<br />

4. Is a person<br />

1. Has a name: Matt. 28:19; note that even though "name" might be used of a<br />

nonperson, here, in conjunction with the Father and the Son, it must be used of<br />

a person<br />

2. Is the "Helper"<br />

1. Is another Helper: John 14:16, cf. 1 John 2:1; note also that "Helper"<br />

(paraklêtos) was used in Greek always or almost always of persons.<br />

2. Is sent in Jesus' name, to teach: John 14:26.<br />

3. Will arrive, and then bear witness: John 15:26-27.<br />

4. Is sent by Christ to convict of sin, will speak not on his own but on behalf<br />

of Christ, will glorify Christ, thus exhibiting humility: John 16:7-14.<br />

3. Is the Holy Spirit, in contrast to unholy spirits: Mark 3:22-30, cf. Matt. 12:32; 1<br />

Tim. 4:1; 1 John 3:24-4:6.<br />

4. Speaks, is quoted as speaking: John 16:13; Acts 1:16; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2;<br />

16:6; 20:23; 21:11; 28:25-27; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:7-11; 10:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:11;<br />

Rev. 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29; 3:6, 3:13, 3:22.<br />

5. Can be lied to: Acts 5:3<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

6. Can make decisions, judgments: Acts 15:28<br />

7. Intercedes for Christians with the Father: Rom. 8:26<br />

8. "Impersonal" language used of the Spirit paralled by language used of other<br />

persons<br />

1. The Holy Spirit as fire: Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; cf. Ex. 3:2-4; Deut. 4:24;<br />

9:3; Heb. 12:29<br />

2. The Holy Spirit poured out: Acts 2:17, 2:33; cf. Isa. 53:12; Phil. 2:17; 2<br />

Tim. 4:6<br />

3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit: Eph. 5:18, etc.; cf. Eph. 3:17, 3:19; 4:10<br />

8. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Are Distinct Persons<br />

1. Matt. 28:19<br />

1. "the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit": use of definite article before<br />

each personal noun indicates distinct persons unless explicitly stated<br />

otherwise; compare Rev. 1:17; 2:8, 2:26<br />

2. The views that "Father" and "Son" are distinct persons but not the Holy Spirit,<br />

or that the Holy Spirit is not a person at all, or that all three are different offices<br />

or roles of one person, are impossible in view of the grammar (together with<br />

the fact that in Scripture a "spirit" is a person unless context shows otherwise).<br />

3. Does singular "name" prove that the three are one person? No; cf. Gen. 5:2;<br />

11:14; 48:6; and esp. Gen. 48:16<br />

4. "Name" need not be personal name, may be title: Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:23. If a<br />

single personal name is sought, the name shared by all three persons is<br />

"Yahweh" or "Jehovah."<br />

2. Acts 2:38 and Matt. 28:19<br />

1. Neither passage specifies that certain words are to be spoken during baptism;<br />

nor does the Bible ever record someone saying, "I baptize you in the name<br />

of…"<br />

2. Those said to be baptized in the name of Jesus (whether or not the formula "in<br />

the name of Jesus" was used) were people already familiar with the God of the<br />

OT:<br />

1. Jews: Acts 2:5, 2:38; 22:16<br />

2. Samaritans: Acts 8:5, 8:12, 8:16<br />

3. God-fearing Gentiles: Acts 10:1-2, 10:22, 10:48<br />

4. Disciples of John the Baptist: Acts 19:1-5<br />

5. The first Christians in Corinth were Jews and God-fearing Gentiles: Acts<br />

18:1-8; 1 Cor. 1:13<br />

3. Trinitarian formula for baptism (if that is what Matt. 28:19 is) was given in<br />

context of commissioning apostles to take the gospel to "all the nations,"<br />

including people who did not know of the biblical God<br />

3. God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ are two persons<br />

1. The salutations: Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; 6:23; Phil.<br />

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;<br />

James 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:2; 2 John 3<br />

2. Two witnesses: John 5:31-32; 8:16-18; cf. Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15<br />

3. The Father sent the Son: John 3:16-17; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:10; etc.; cf. John 1:6;<br />

17:18; 20:21<br />

4. The Father and the Son love each other: John 3:35; 5:20; 14:31; 15:9;<br />

17:23-26; cf. Matt. 3:17 par.; Matt. 17:5 par.; 2 Pet. 1:17<br />

5. The Father speaks to the Son, and the Son speaks to the Father: John<br />

11:41-42; 12:28; 17:1-26; etc.<br />

6. The Father knows the Son, and the Son knows the Father: Matt. 11:27; Luke<br />

10:22; John 7:29; 8:55; 10:15<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

7. Jesus our Advocate with the Father: 1 John 2:1<br />

4. Jesus is not God the Father<br />

1. Isa. 9:6: "Father of eternity" means eternal; compare other names formed with<br />

word "father": Abialbon, "father of strength" = strong (2 Sam. 23:31); Abiasaph,<br />

"father of gathering" = gatherer (Ex. 6:24); Abigail, a woman's name(!), "father<br />

of exultation" = exulting (1 Chron. 2:16).<br />

2. John 10:30<br />

1. Jesus did not say, "I am the Father," nor did He say, "the Son and the<br />

Father are one person."<br />

2. The first person plural esmen ("we are") implies two persons.<br />

3. The neuter word for "one" (hen) is used, implying essential unity but not<br />

personal unity (compare John 17:21-23).<br />

3. John 5:43: Jesus' coming in His Father's name means not that He was the<br />

Father because He had the Father's name, but that, while others come in their<br />

own name (or their own authority), Jesus does not; He comes in His Father's<br />

name (on His Father's authority).<br />

4. John 8:19; 16:3: Ignorance of Jesus is indeed ignorance of the Father, but that<br />

does not prove that Jesus is the one He calls "My Father."<br />

5. John 14:6-11<br />

1. Jesus and the Father are one being, not one person.<br />

2. Jesus said, "I am in the Father," not "I am the Father."<br />

3. The statement, "the Father is in Me," does not mean Jesus is the Father;<br />

compare John 14:20; 17:21-23.<br />

6. John 14:18: An older adult brother can care for his younger siblings, thus<br />

preventing them from being "orphans," without being their father.<br />

7. Colossians 2:9: Does not mean that Jesus is the Father, or that Jesus is an<br />

incarnation of the Father; rather, since "Godhead" (theotês) means Deity, the<br />

state of being God, the nature of God, Jesus is fully God, but not the only<br />

person who is God. "The Godhead" here does not = the Father (note that<br />

Jesus is in the Father, John 10:38; 14:10, 14:11; 17:21), but the nature of the<br />

Father.<br />

8. The Father and the Son are both involved in various activities: raising Jesus<br />

(Gal. 1:1; John 2:19-22), raising the dead (John 5:21; 6:39-40, 6:44, 6:54, 1<br />

Cor. 6:14), answering prayer (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23), sending the Holy<br />

Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7), drawing people to Jesus (John 6:44; 12:32),<br />

etc. These common works do prove that the two persons are both God, but not<br />

that Jesus is the Father<br />

5. The Son existed before his Incarnation, even before creation<br />

1. Prov. 30:4: This is not predictive prophecy; "prophecy" in Prov. 30:1 translates<br />

massa, which is rendered elsewhere as "burden."<br />

2. The Son created all things: See VI.E.1<br />

3. Jesus was "with" (pros or para) God the Father before creation: John 1:1; 17:5;<br />

pros in John 1:1 does not mean "pertaining to," although it does in Hebrews<br />

2:17; 5:1 (which use pros with ta).<br />

4. Jesus, the Son of God, existed before John the Baptist (who was born before<br />

Jesus): John 1:15, cf. John 1:14-18, 1:29-34<br />

5. Jesus, the Son, came down from heaven, sent from the Father, and went back<br />

to heaven, back to the Father: John 3:13, 3:31; 6:33; 6:38, 6:41, 6:46, 6:51,<br />

6:56-58, 6:62; 8:23, 8:42; 13:3; 16:27-28; cf. Acts 1:10-11; cf. the sending of<br />

the Holy Spirit, John 16:5-7; 1 Pet. 1:12<br />

6. Jesus, speaking as the Son (John 8:54-56), asserts His eternal preexistence<br />

before Abraham: John 8:58<br />

7. The Son explicitly said to exist "before all things": Col. 1:17, cf. Col. 1:12-20<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

8. These statements cannot be dismissed as true only in God's foreknowledge<br />

1. We are all "in God's mind" before creation; yet such passages as John<br />

1:1 and John 17:5 clearly mean to say something unusual about Christ.<br />

2. To say that all things were created through Christ means that He must<br />

have existed at creation.<br />

3. No one else in Scripture is ever said to have been with God before<br />

creation.<br />

9. Texts which speak of the Son being begotten "today" do not mean He became<br />

the Son on a certain day, since they refer to His exaltation at the resurrection<br />

(Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:3-5; 5:5; cf. Psa. 2:7; cf. also Rom. 1:4).<br />

6. Jesus is not the Holy Spirit<br />

1. The Holy Spirit is "another Comforter": John 14:16; compare 1 John 2:1.<br />

2. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit: John 15:26; 16:7.<br />

3. The Holy Spirit exhibits humility in relation to, and seeks to glorify, Jesus (John<br />

16:13-14).<br />

4. The Son and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19.<br />

5. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus: Luke 3:22.<br />

6. Is Jesus the Holy Spirit?<br />

1. 2 Cor. 3:17: the Spirit is here called "Lord" in the sense of being<br />

Yahweh or God, not Jesus (cf. 2 Cor. 3:16, citing Ex. 34:34; cf. 2 Cor.<br />

3:17 in the Revised English Bible); note Acts 28:25-27, cf. Isa. 6:8-10.<br />

2. 1 Cor. 15:45: Jesus is "a life-giving Spirit," not in the sense that He is<br />

the Holy Spirit whom He sent at Pentecost, but in the sense that He is<br />

the glorified God-man; and as God He is Spirit by nature. All three<br />

persons of the Trinity are Spirit, though there are not three divine Spirits;<br />

and only one person is designated "the Holy Spirit."<br />

3. Rom. 8:27, 8:34: the fact that two persons intercede for us is consistent<br />

with the fact that we have two Advocates (John 14:16; Rom. 8:26; 1<br />

John 2:1).<br />

4. John 14:18: Jesus here refers to His appearances to the disciples after<br />

the resurrection (compare John 14:19), not to the coming of the Spirit.<br />

5. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both involved in various activities: raising<br />

Jesus (John 2:19-22; Rom. 8:9-11), raising the dead (John 5:21;<br />

6:39-40, 6:44, 6:54, Rom. 8:9-11), dwelling in the believer (John 14:16;<br />

2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 1:27), interceding for the believer (Rom. 8:26; Heb.<br />

7:25), sanctifying believers (Eph. 5:26; 1 Pet. 1:2), etc. These works<br />

prove that the two persons are both God, but not that Jesus is the Holy<br />

Spirit.<br />

7. The Father is not the Holy Spirit<br />

1. The Father sent the Holy Spirit: John 14:15; 15:26.<br />

2. The Holy Spirit intercedes with the Father for us: Rom. 8:26-27.<br />

3. The Father and the Holy Spirit are distinguished as two persons in Matt. 28:19.<br />

4. Is the Father the Holy Spirit?<br />

1. Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35: It is argued that the Holy Spirit is the Father of the<br />

incarnate Son of God; this argument ignores the fact that the<br />

"conception" is not a product of physical union between a man and a<br />

woman!<br />

2. The Father and the Holy Spirit are both said to be active in various<br />

activities; the resurrection of Jesus (Gal. 1:1; Rom. 8:11), comforting<br />

Christians (2 Cor. 1:3-4; John 14:26), sanctifying Christians (Jude 1; 1<br />

Pet. 1:2), etc. The most these facts prove is that the two work together;<br />

they do not prove the two are one person.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

9. Conclusion: The Bible teaches the Trinity<br />

1. All the elements of the doctrine are taught in Scripture.<br />

1. One God<br />

2. The Father is God.<br />

3. The Son is God.<br />

4. The Holy Spirit is God.<br />

5. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons (i.e., they are not each<br />

other, nor are they impersonal; they relate to one another personally).<br />

2. The New Testament presents a consistent triad of Father, Son, Holy Spirit (God,<br />

Christ, Spirit): Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:3-4; also Luke 1:35; 3:21-22 par.; Luke 4:1-12;<br />

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;<br />

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;<br />

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,<br />

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;<br />

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;<br />

10:28-31; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 John 3:21-24; 4:13-14; Jude 20-21; Rev. 2:18, 2:27-29.<br />

3. Therefore, the Bible does teach the Trinity.<br />

This is how we represent trinity showing all the attributes described above<br />

They are one in essence, Three Persons, always One in Thought, Deed and Purpose.<br />

10.What Difference Does the Doctrine of the Trinity Make?<br />

1. Sovereignty: Because the three persons have each other, we can be assured that<br />

God created us only to share the love they have and not as a means to His own end:<br />

Acts 17:25; John 17:21-26.<br />

2. Mystery: The triune God is totally unlike anything in our world, and therefore greater<br />

than anything we can comprehend: Rom. 11:33-36; Isa. 40:18.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

3. Salvation: God alone planned our salvation, came to save us, and dwells in us to<br />

complete our salvation: 1 Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1:3-18; etc.<br />

4. Prayer: We pray to the Father through the Son, and also pray to the Son directly, in<br />

the Spirit: John 14:13-14; Eph. 2:18; etc.<br />

5. Worship: We worship Father and Son in the Spirit: John 4:23-24; Phil. 3:3; Heb. 1:8;<br />

etc.<br />

6. Love: The love among the three persons is the basis and model for our love for one<br />

another: John 17:26.<br />

7. Unity: The unity of the three persons is the basis and model for the unity of the<br />

church: John 17:21-23.<br />

8. Humility: As the persons of the Trinity seek the glory of each other, so we should<br />

seek the interests of others above our own: Phil. 2:5-11; John 16:13-14.<br />

9. Sonship: We are "sons of God" as we are united with the Son of God by the work of<br />

the Holy Spirit and the adoption of the Father: John 1:12-23; Rom. 8:14-17.<br />

10.Truth: All those who wish to worship and love God must seek to know Him as He is in<br />

truth, for God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is truth: John 4:24; 14:6, 14:17; 15:26;<br />

16:13.<br />

The Most Holy Trinity: Model of Marital and Familial Love And Unity<br />

When couples begin to look upon themselves and their relationship in Trinitarian light, upon their<br />

bond of love which is sealed in the sacrament of matrimony, the depth and meaning of the lifetime<br />

commitment they have made to one another takes on a profound significance. This is so because<br />

marriage is to be modeled after the three divine Persons of the Trinity whose gift of themselves is<br />

one of totality, unity, and fidelity. Thus marriage should reflect these same traits:<br />

"The characteristic traits of marriage are: totality, by which the spouses give themselves to each<br />

other mutually in every aspect of their person, physical and spiritual; unity which makes them "one<br />

flesh" (Gen 2:24); indissolubility and fidelity which the definitive mutual giving of self requires; the<br />

fruitfulness to which this naturally opens itself" (CSDC, No. 217).<br />

As we reflect on the Holy Trinity one of the first things we notice is the inseparable relationship<br />

between the three distinct Persons who are the one God. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves<br />

the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. We might say that the life of the<br />

Triune God is the highest and supreme principle of familial relationship. This profound bond of unity<br />

among the three divine Persons makes them "inseparable in what they are," and "inseparable in<br />

what they do" (CCC No. 267). This inseparable unity also occurs in matrimony: that Christian<br />

marital bond between man and wife which is established and sealed by God himself (see CCC Nos.<br />

1639-1640).<br />

The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father<br />

and the Son in the Holy Spirit.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

When we think of a family, we can see how a father, mother, and child can be distinct persons and<br />

yet possess the same nature (human), just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct<br />

persons who each possess the same nature (divine).<br />

The weakness, of course, is that in God each person possesses the one infinite and immutable<br />

divine nature, and is therefore, one being. Our analogous family consists of three beings. Again, no<br />

analogy is perfect.<br />

"Let US make man in OUR image":<br />

Three plural pronouns, (We, Us, Our) used 6 different times in four different passages:<br />

Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8.<br />

Family is the image of God - Father , Mother and Children<br />

Ruach in Hebrew is feminine gender and it is the spirit that give life.<br />

In fact the whole creation is within God as one. Only they are not one in essence. The<br />

creation is part of the emanation and not essence.<br />

The following chart should help you understand how the Trinity doctrine is derived.<br />

Father Son Holy Spirit<br />

Called God Phil. 1:2 John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9 Acts 5:3-4<br />

Creator Is. 64:8; 44:24 John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17 Job 33:4,26:13<br />

Resurrects 1 Thess. 1:10 John 2:19, 10:17 Rom. 8:11<br />

Indwells 2 Cor. 6:16 Col. 1:27 John 14:17<br />

Everywhere 1 Kings 8:27 Matt. 28:20 Ps. 139:7-10<br />

All knowing 1 John 3:20 John 16:30; 21:17 1 Cor. 2:10-11<br />

Sanctifies 1 Thess. 5:23 Heb. 2:11 1 Pet. 1:2<br />

Life giver Gen. 2:7: John 5;21 John 1:3; 5:21 2 Cor. 3:6,8<br />

Fellowship 1 John 1:3 1 Cor. 1:9 2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1<br />

Eternal Ps. 90:2 Micah 5:1-2 Rom. 8:11; Heb. 9:14<br />

A Will Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42 1 Cor. 12:11<br />

Speaks Matt. 3:17; Luke 9:25 Luke 5:20; 7:48 Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2<br />

Love John 3:16 Eph. 5: 25 Rom. 15:30<br />

Searches the heart Jer. 17:10 Rev. 2:23 1 Cor. 2:10<br />

We belong to John 17:9 John 17:6<br />

Savior 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10 2 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 1:4; 3:6<br />

We serve Matt. 4:10 Col. 3:24<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Believe in John 14:1 John 14:1<br />

Gives joy John 15:11 Rom. 14:7<br />

Judges John 8:50 John 5:21,30<br />

Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine, H. Wayne House, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publ.<br />

House, 1992), pp. 48-49<br />

https://bible.org/node/15556<br />

1 Corinthians 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for<br />

whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and<br />

through whom we live.<br />

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is<br />

freedom.<br />

2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the<br />

fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.<br />

Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,<br />

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his<br />

shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,<br />

Prince of Peace.<br />

Isaiah 44:6 “This is what the LORD says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am<br />

the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.<br />

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the<br />

glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.<br />

John 10:30 I and the Father are one.<br />

Luke 1:35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High<br />

will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.<br />

Matthew 1:23“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”<br />

(which means “God with us”).<br />

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the<br />

Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,<br />

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope<br />

when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,<br />

who is over all and through all and in all.<br />

Colossians 1:15-17 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over<br />

all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth,<br />

visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

things have been created through him and for him.<br />

and in him all things hold together.<br />

He is before all things,<br />

John 14:9-11 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such<br />

a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say,<br />

‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the<br />

Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.<br />

Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I<br />

say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the<br />

evidence of the works themselves.<br />

Philippians 2:5-8<br />

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ<br />

Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God<br />

something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself<br />

nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.<br />

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming<br />

obedient to death— even death on a cross!<br />

John 10:30-36 I and the Father are one.” Again his Jewish opponents picked<br />

up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many<br />

good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are<br />

not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because<br />

you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in<br />

your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the<br />

word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one<br />

whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then<br />

do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?<br />

Jesus echoes the "I AM" statements in Isaiah chapters 40-55.<br />

I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn<br />

back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. Isaiah 45:23-24<br />

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will<br />

go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of<br />

eternity. Micah 5:2<br />

Mark 2:5-12Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but<br />

God alone?<br />

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He<br />

was in the beginning with God.<br />

John 5:18For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not<br />

only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal<br />

with God.<br />

John 8:58"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." The Jews<br />

therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." Therefore they picked up<br />

stones to throw at Him.<br />

John 19:7The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He<br />

made Himself out to be the Son of God."<br />

The jews understood Jesus as declaring himself as God and so they took stones for the<br />

blasphemy.<br />

John 10:33"I and the Father are one." The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. ... Has it<br />

not been written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'?"<br />

John 12:41 + Isaiah 6A simple reading of the context of John 12 makes it clear that John is saying<br />

that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus Christ himself in Isaiah 6. This proves Jesus is Yahweh.<br />

Romans 14:11For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every<br />

tongue shall give praise to God."<br />

This sort of thing occurs over and over in the Bible: equivalent characteristics in many respects are<br />

applied to all three Divine Persons:<br />

1. Who raised Jesus from the dead? Well, it was God the Father (Gal 1:1; 1 Thess 1:10); it was also<br />

Jesus Himself (Jn 2:19; 10:17-18); and it was the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:11).<br />

2. Who gave the new covenant? The Father (Jer 31:33-34); Jesus (Heb 8:1-13; 10:29; 12:24;<br />

13:20); the Holy Spirit (Heb 10:15-17).<br />

3. Who sanctifies believers? The Father (1 Thess 5:23); Jesus (Heb 13:12); the Holy Spirit (1 Pet<br />

1:2).<br />

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;<br />

Heb 1:8, 10); the Holy Spirit (Job 33:4).Job 33:4.<br />

5. Who indwells believers? The Father (1 Cor 3:16a; 2 Cor 6:16; 1 Jn 3:24); Jesus (Jn 6:56; Rom<br />

8:10; Eph 3:17); the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16-17; Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Cor 3:16b). The Bible even describes<br />

this in terms of different combinations: Father and Son (Jn 14:23); Father and Holy Spirit (Eph<br />

2:21-22; 1 Jn 3:24); Son and Holy Spirit (Gal 4:6).<br />

(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.<br />

1:2).<br />

(2) Jesus Christ, the Son is declared to be God. His deity is proven by the divine names given to<br />

Him, by His works that only God could do (upholding all things, Col. 1:17; creation, Col. 1:16, John<br />

1:3; and future judgment, John 5:27), by His divine attributes (eternality, John 17:5; omnipresence,<br />

Matt. 28:20; omnipotence, Heb. 1:3; omniscience, Matt. 9:4), and by explicit statements declaring<br />

His deity (John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8).<br />

(3) The Holy Spirit is recognized as God. By comparing Peter’s comments in Acts 5:3 and 4, we<br />

see that in lying to the Holy Spirit (vs. 3), Ananias was lying to God (vs. 4). He has the attributes<br />

which only God can possess like omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10) and omnipresence (1 Cor. 6:19), and<br />

He regenerates people to new life (John 3:5-6, 8; Tit. 3:5), which must of necessity be a work of<br />

God for only God has the power of life. Finally, His deity is evident by the divine names used for the<br />

Spirit as “the Spirit of our God,” (1 Cor. 6:11), which should be understood as “the Spirit, who is our<br />

God.”<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Ryrie writes: “Matthew 28:19 best states both the oneness and threeness by associating equally<br />

the three Persons and uniting them in one singular name. Other passages like Matthew 3:16-17<br />

and 2 Corinthians 13:14 associate equally the three Persons but do not contain the strong<br />

emphasis on unity as does Matthew 28:19.”<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Some of the websites that gives details of scriptural references to Trinity:<br />

https://bible.org/article/trinity-triunity-god<br />

http://www.christianity.com/god/trinity/god-in-three-persons-a-doctrine-we-barely-understand-11634405.html<br />

https://www.everystudent.com/forum/trinity.html<br />

https://www.everystudent.com/features/faith.html<br />

https://www.thelordsnewchurch.org/trinity-explained.html<br />

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-doctrine-of-the-trinity<br />

https://bible.org/node/15556<br />

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/explaining-the-trinity<br />

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/bowman_robert/trinity/trinity.cfm give the following references:<br />

http://www.tektonics.org/guest/psnicea.html<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />


Among medieval Germanic tribes<br />


The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistry.<br />

During the time of Arianism's flowering in Constantinople, the Gothic convert Ulfilas (later the<br />

subject of the letter of Auxentius cited above) was sent as a missionary to the Gothic barbarians<br />

across the Danube, a mission favored for political reasons by emperor Constantius II.<br />

Arianism Among the Barbarians<br />

The church legislation of Theodosius was confined, of course, to the limits of the Roman Empire.<br />

Beyond it, among the barbarians of the West, who had received Christianity in the form of Arianism<br />

during the reign of the Emperor Valens, it maintained itself for two centuries or longer, though more<br />

as a matter of accident than choice and conviction.<br />

The Ostrogoths remained Arians till 563;<br />

the Visigoths, till the Synod of Toledo in 584;<br />

the Suevi in Spain, till 560;<br />

the Vandals, who conquered North Africa in 429,<br />

and furiously persecuted the catholics, till 534, when they were expelled by Belisarius;<br />

the Burgundians, till their incorporation in the Frank Empire in 534;<br />

the Lombards in Italy, till the middle of the seventh century.<br />

Alaric, the first conqueror of Rome, Genseric, the conqueror of North Africa, Theodoric the Great,<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

King of Italy, were Arians; and the fast Teutonic translation of the Scriptures of which important<br />

fragments remain came from the Arian or semi-Arian missionary Ulfilas.<br />

Ulfilas' (c. 311–383) (Gothic Wulfila, literally "Little Wolf") parents were of non-Gothic<br />

Cappadocian Greek origin. Ulfilas, was the grandson of one female Christian captive from<br />

Sadagolthina in Cappadocia. This supposedly took place in 264.<br />

Ulfilas was ordained a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work as a<br />

missionary. He served in this position for the next seven years. In 348, one of the remaining Pagan<br />

Gothic kings (reikos) began persecuting the Christian Goths, and he and many other Christian<br />

Goths fled to Moesia Secunda in the Roman Empire. He continued to serve as bishop to the<br />

Christian Goths in Moesia until his death in 383 AD, according to Philostorgius.Raised as a Goth,<br />

he later became proficient in both Greek and Latin. Ulfilas converted many among the Goths and<br />

preached an Arian Christianity, which, when they reached the western Mediterranean, set them<br />

apart from their orthodox neighbours and subjects.<br />

In 348, in order to escape religious persecution by a Gothic chief, probably Athanaric Ulfilas<br />

obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle<br />

near Nicopolis ad Istrum in modern northern Bulgaria.<br />

There, Ulfilas translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language and devised the Gothic<br />

alphabet. Fragments of his translation have survived, notably the Codex Argenteus held since 1648<br />

in the University Library of Uppsala in Sweden. A parchment page of this Bible was found in 1971 in<br />

the Speyer Cathedral.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Between 348 and 383, Ulfila translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language.Ulfilas<br />

developed the Gothic alphabet in order to translate the Bible. Ulphilas translated the Scriptures<br />

into Maeso-Gothic, taught the Goths across the Danube an Homoean theology.<br />

The creed of Arian Ulfilas (c. 311 – 383), which concludes a letter praising him written by Auxentius,<br />

distinguishes God the Father ("unbegotten"), who is the only true God from Son of God<br />

("only-begotten"), who is Lord/Master; and the Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power,<br />

who is neither God the Father nor Lord/Master:<br />

I, Ulfila, bishop and confessor, have always so believed, and in this, the one true faith,<br />

I make the journey to my Lord; I believe in only one God the Father, the unbegotten<br />

and invisible, and in his only-begotten son, our Lord/Master and God, the designer<br />

and maker of all creation, having none other like him. Therefore, there is one God of<br />

all, who is also God of our God; and in one Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying<br />

power, as Christ said after his resurrection to his apostles: "And behold, I send the<br />

promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be<br />

clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49) and again "But ye shall receive power,<br />

when the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8); Neither God nor Lord/Master, but<br />

the faithful minister of Christ; not equal, but subject and obedient in all things to the<br />

Son. And I believe the Son to be subject and obedient in all things to God the Father.<br />

As a result Arian kingdoms arose in Spain, Africa, Italy. However these were taken over by the<br />

sword by Clovis under the Roman papacy and were totally taken over to Catholic faith by force.<br />

Ulfilas' initial success in converting this Germanic people to an Arian form of Christianity was<br />

strengthened by later events. When the Germanic peoples entered the provinces of the Western<br />

Roman Empire and began founding their own kingdoms there, most had been Arian Christians for<br />

more than a century.<br />

The conflict in the 4th century AD had seen Arian and Nicene factions struggling for control of the<br />

Church. In contrast, among the Arian German kingdoms established in the collapsing Western<br />

Empire in the 5th century, there were entirely separate Arian and Nicene Churches with parallel<br />

hierarchies, each serving different sets of believers. The Germanic elites were Arians, and the<br />

Romance majority population was Nicene.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Most Germanic tribes were generally tolerant of the Nicene beliefs of their subjects. However, the<br />

Vandals tried for several decades to force their Arian beliefs on their North African Nicene subjects,<br />

exiling Nicene clergy, dissolving monasteries, and exercising heavy pressure on non-conforming<br />

Nicene Christians.<br />

The apparent resurgence of Arianism after Nicaea was more an anti-Nicene reaction exploited by<br />

Arian sympathizers than a pro-Arian development. By the end of the 4th century it had surrendered<br />

its remaining ground to Trinitarianism. In western Europe, Arianism, which had been taught by<br />

Ulfilas, the Arian missionary to the barbarian Germanic tribes, was dominant among the Goths,<br />

Lombards and Vandals.<br />

After 493, the Ostrogothic Kingdom included two areas, Italy and much of the Balkans, which had<br />

large Arian churches. Arianism had retained some presence among Romans in Italy during the time<br />

between its condemnation in the empire and the Ostrogothic conquest.[5] However, since Arianism<br />

in Italy was reinforced by the (mostly Arian) Goths coming from the Balkans, the Arian church in<br />

Italy had eventually come to call itself "Church of the Goths" by the year 500.<br />

By the 8th century it had ceased to be the tribes' mainstream belief as the tribal rulers gradually<br />

came to adopt Nicene orthodoxy. This trend began in 496 with Clovis I of the Franks, then<br />

Reccared I of the Visigoths in 587 and Aripert I of the Lombards in 653.<br />

The Franks and the Anglo-Saxons were unlike the other Germanic peoples in that they entered the<br />

empire as pagans and converted to Chalcedonian Christianity directly, guided by their kings, Clovis<br />

and Æthelberht of Kent. The remaining tribes – the Vandals and the Ostrogoths – did not convert as<br />

a people nor did they maintain territorial cohesion. Having been militarily defeated by the armies of<br />

Emperor Justinian I, the remnants were dispersed to the fringes of the empire and became lost to<br />

history. The Vandalic War of 533–534 dispersed the defeated Vandals.[38] Following their final<br />

defeat at the Battle of Mons Lactarius in 553, the Ostrogoths went back north and (re)settled in<br />

south Austria.<br />


From the 5th to 7th century<br />


PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Much of south-eastern Europe and central Europe, including many of the Goths and Vandals<br />

respectively, had embraced Arianism (the Visigoths converted to Arian Christianity in 376), which<br />

led to Arianism being a religious factor in various wars in the Roman Empire. In the west, organized<br />

Arianism survived in North Africa, in Hispania, and parts of Italy until it was finally suppressed in the<br />

6th and 7th centuries. Grimwald, King of the Lombards (662–671), and his young son and<br />

successor Garibald (671), were the last Arian kings in Europe.<br />

St. Apollinare in Classe, 549 AD,<br />

Bishop Maximian, San Vitale, 547 AD & Dome of the Arian Baptistry, 500 AD<br />

Islam is the largest descendant of Arianism<br />

Archbishop Dmitri of the Orthodox Church in America said Islam is the largest descendant of<br />

Arianism today. Theologically there is almost identity between Islam and the extreme Arianic<br />

position. There is some superficial similarity in Islam's teaching that Jesus was a great prophet, but<br />

very distinct from God, although Islam sees Jesus as a human messenger of God without the<br />

divine properties that Arianism attributes to Christ. Islam sees itself as a continuation of the Jewish<br />

and Christian traditions and reveres many of the same prophets, though Islam denies the<br />

crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and historical Arians claimed it.<br />

There is a historical tradition where Mohamed when he was boy of 12 years met with an Arian<br />

monk called Bahira who lived in Syria. The story goes that Bahira identified Mohammed as a<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

future prophet. Mohammed apparently was tutored in the Arian theology and the Tanak and the<br />

Christian Bible by him. In the Christian tradition Bahira became a heretical monk, whose errant<br />

views inspired the Qur'an. Bahira is at the center of the Apocalypse of Bahira, which exists in Syriac<br />

and Arabic which makes the case for an origin of the Qur'an from Christian apocrypha. Certain<br />

Arabist authors maintain that Bahira's works formed the basis of those parts of the Qur'an that<br />

conform to the principles of Christianity, while the rest was introduced either by subsequent<br />

compilers such as Uthman Ibn Affan or contemporary Jews and Arabs." The names and religious<br />

affiliations of the monk vary in different Christian sources.<br />

In the Christian tradition Bahira became a heretical monk, whose errant views inspired the Qur'an.<br />

Bahira is at the center of the Apocalypse of Bahira, which exists in Syriac and Arabic which makes<br />

the case for an origin of the Qur'an from Christian apocrypha. Certain Arabist authors maintain that<br />

Bahira's works formed the basis of those parts of the Qur'an that conform to the principles of<br />

Christianity, while the rest was introduced either by subsequent compilers such as Uthman Ibn<br />

Affan or contemporary Jews and Arabs. The names and religious affiliations of the monk vary in<br />

different Christian sources.<br />

For example, John of Damascus states that Muhammad "having chanced upon the Old and New<br />

Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy."<br />

John states:<br />

"From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This<br />

man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having<br />

conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the<br />

good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been<br />

sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his<br />

and he gave it to them as an object of veneration." http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_islam.aspx<br />

Sometimes Bahira is called a Jacobite or an Arian. The early Christian polemical biographies of<br />

Muhammad share in claiming that Bahira was a secret, religious teacher to Muhammad and most<br />

of the quoran was derived from those teachings handed down by Bahira.<br />

The story of Muhammad's encounter with Bahira is found in the works of the early Muslim<br />

historians Ibn Hisham, Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi, and Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, whose versions<br />

differ in some details.<br />

https://www.al-islam.org/kamaaluddin-wa-tamaamun-nima-vol-1-shaykh-saduq/chapter-14-report-bahira-monk<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Within Islam,a concept of plurality within God is a denial of monotheism and foreign to the<br />

revelation found in Muslim scripture. Shirk, the act of ascribing partners to God – whether they be<br />

sons, daughters, or other partners – is considered to be a form of unbelief in Islam. The Qur'an<br />

repeatedly and firmly asserts God's absolute oneness, thus ruling out the possibility of another<br />

being sharing his sovereignty or nature.<br />

Three Qur'anic verses may directly refer to this doctrine. Possible Qur'anic references to the<br />

doctrine of "Trinity" are verses 4:171, 5:73, and 5:116.<br />

“People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God<br />

except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His<br />

word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not speak<br />

of a 'Trinity'—stop, that is better for you—God is only one God, He is far above having a son,<br />

everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust.” — Qur'an, sura<br />

4 (An-Nisa), ayat 171<br />

“Those who say, "God is the Messiah, son of Mary," have defied God. The Messiah himself said;<br />

"Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord." If anyone associates others with God,<br />

God will forbid him from the Garden, and Hell will be his home. No one will help such evildoers.<br />

Those people who say that God is the third of three are defying [the truth]: there is only One God. If<br />

they persist in what they are saying, a painful punishment will afflict those of them who persist. Why<br />

do they not turn to God and ask his forgiveness, when God is most forgiving, most merciful? The<br />

Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger; other messengers had come and gone before him;<br />

his mother was a virtuous woman; both ate food. See how clear We make these signs for them; see<br />

how deluded they are”.— Qur'an, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayat 72-75<br />

“And when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother<br />

as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I<br />

have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not<br />

know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.” — Qur'an, sura 5<br />

(Al-Ma'ida), ayat 116<br />

Furthermore, verses 19:88-93, 23:91, and 112:1-4 are relevant to the doctrine of "Trinity":<br />

“They say: "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!" Indeed ye have put forth a thing most<br />

monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall<br />

down in utter ruin, that they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant<br />

with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the<br />

heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant.” — Qur'an, sura 19<br />

(Maryam (sura)), ayat 88-93<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

“No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold,<br />

each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others!<br />

Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!” — Qur'an, sura 23<br />

(Al-Mumenoon), ayat 91<br />

“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He<br />

begotten; And there is none like unto Him.”— Qur'an, sura 112 (Al-Ikhlas), ayat 1-4<br />

Obviously one can see the deep rooted Arian teaching with firmer note in Islam today. Islam was<br />

actually a going back onto rigid monism of Judaism which all Abrahamic tradition attempts<br />

whenever they are threatened.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />



From the 16th century<br />

The teachings of the first two ecumenical councils – which entirely rejected Arianism – are held by<br />

the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian<br />

Church of the East and all churches founded during the Reformation in the 16th century or<br />

influenced by it (Lutheran, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Anglican). Also, nearly all Protestant<br />

groups (such as Methodist, Baptist, most Pentecostals) entirely reject the teachings associated<br />

with Arianism.<br />

John Assheton<br />

Following the Protestant Reformation from 1517, it did not take long for Arian and other<br />

non-trinitarian views to resurface. The first recorded English antitrinitarian was John Assheton who<br />

was forced to recant before Thomas Cranmer in 1548. At the Anabaptist Council of Venice 1550,<br />

the early Italian instigators of the Radical Reformation committed to the views of Miguel Servet<br />

(died 1553), and these were promulgated by Giorgio Biandrata and others into Poland and<br />

Transylvania.<br />

The antitrinitarian wing of the Polish Reformation separated from the Calvinist ecclesia maior to<br />

form the ecclesia minor or Polish Brethren. These were commonly referred to as "Arians" due to<br />

their rejection of the Trinity, though in fact the Socinians, as they were later known, went further<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

than <strong>Arius</strong> to the position of Photinus. The epithet "Arian" was also applied to the early Unitarians<br />

such as John Biddle though in denial of the pre-existence of Christ they were again largely<br />

Socinians not Arians.<br />

In the 18th century the "dominant trend" in Britain, particularly in Latitudinarianism, was towards<br />

Arianism, with which the names of Samuel Clarke, Benjamin Hoadly, William Whiston and Isaac<br />

Newton are associated. To quote the Encyclopædia Britannica's article on Arianism: "In modern<br />

times some Unitarians are virtually Arians in that they are unwilling either to reduce Christ to a mere<br />

human being or to attribute to him a divine nature identical with that of the Father." However, their<br />

doctrines cannot be considered representative of traditional Arian doctrines or vice versa.<br />

A similar view was held by the ancient anti-Nicene Pneumatomachi (Greek: Πνευματομάχοι,<br />

"breath" or "spirit" and "fighters", combining as "fighters against the spirit"), so called because they<br />

opposed the deifying of the Nicene Holy Ghost. However, the Pneumatomachi were adherents of<br />

Macedonianism, and though their beliefs were somewhat reminiscent of Arianism, they were<br />

distinct enough to be distinguishably different.<br />

The Iglesia ni Cristo is one of the largest groups that teaches a similar doctrine, though they are<br />

really closer to Socinianism, believing the Word in John 1:1 is God's plan of salvation, not Christ.<br />

So Christ did not preexist.<br />

There a large number various Christian group which has now teaching the various ‘heresies’ of the<br />

early christian period. Here I have given ten groups which are representative of the current<br />

Christian groups which are in varying shades of early ‘heretic’ teachings.<br />

In terms of number of adherents, nontrinitarian denominations comprise a small minority of modern<br />

Christianity. By far the three largest nontrinitarian Christian denominations are The Church of<br />

Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons"), Jehovah's Witnesses and the Iglesia Ni<br />

Cristo, though there are a number of other smaller groups, including Christadelphians, Christian<br />

Scientists, Dawn Bible Students, Living Church of God, Oneness Pentecostals, Members<br />

Church of God International, Unitarian Universalist Christians, The Way International, The<br />

Church of God International and the United Church of God.<br />

Nontrinitarian views differ widely on the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Various<br />

nontrinitarian philosophies, such as Adoptionism, Monarchianism, and Subordinationism.<br />

Nontrinitarianism was later renewed by Cathars who believed in dual powers - a good God and an<br />

evil God. They flourished in the 11th through 13th centuries. Then there was the Unitarian<br />

movement during the Protestant Reformation, in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, and<br />

recently in some groups arising during the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

I<br />

Founded By: Charles Taze Russell, 1879. Succeeded by Joseph F. Rutherford, 1917 Early names<br />

include the Millennial Dawn People, Russellites (after their founder Charles Taze Russell), and<br />

International Bible Students (which is actually still an independent organization of sorts).<br />

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God is one person, Jehovah. Jesus was Jehovah's first creation.<br />

Jesus is not God, nor part of the Godhead. He is higher than the angels but inferior to God.<br />

Jehovah used Jesus to create the rest of the universe. Before Jesus came to earth he was known<br />

as the archangel Michael. The Holy Spirit is an impersonal force from Jehovah, but not God.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Jehovah's Witnesses emphasize use of the name Jehovah—a representation of God's name<br />

based on the Tetragrammaton. They believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all<br />

things, and the "Universal Sovereign". They believe that all worship should be directed toward him,<br />

and that he is not part of a Trinity; consequently, the group places more emphasis on God than on<br />

Christ. They believe that the holy spirit is God's applied power or "active force", rather than a<br />

person.<br />

Jehovah's Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being. Witnesses reject the Trinity<br />

doctrine, which they consider unscriptural. They view God as the Father, an invisible spirit "person"<br />

separate from the Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is described as God's "active force", rather<br />

than the third part of the Trinity. They believe God, whose personal name is Jehovah, is "infinite, but<br />

approachable"; he is not omnipresent, but has a location in heaven; it is possible to have a personal<br />

relationship with him as a friend; he is kind and merciful, and would not eternally "torture" wicked<br />

people. Being respectful of the principle of free will, he does not force his sovereignty on people,<br />

choosing to save only those who want to serve him, even though the course of mankind in general<br />

may lead them to harm.<br />

Witnesses teach that God must be distinguished by his personal name—Jehovah. The name is a<br />

common modern Latinized form of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, or four-letter name, transliterated<br />

as YHWH. The use of his personal name is regarded as vital for true worship, and Witnesses<br />

usually preface the term God with the name Jehovah. The title, LORD (Greek: Kyrios), is rarely<br />

used by Witnesses when speaking about God. Because no other religion uses the name Jehovah<br />

with the same prevalence, they believe that only Jehovah's Witnesses are making God's name<br />

known.<br />

Jesus Christ<br />

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's "only-begotten Son", and that his life began in<br />

heaven. He is described as God's first creation and the "exact representation of God", but is<br />

believed to be a separate entity and not part of a Trinity. Jesus is said to have been used by God in<br />

the creation of all other things. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Archangel, Michael, "the<br />

Word" of John 1:1, and wisdom personified in Proverbs 8 refer to Jesus in his pre-human existence<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

and that he resumed these identities after his ascension to heaven following his death and<br />

resurrection. They also identify him with the "rider of the white horse" at Revelation 6 and 19. His<br />

birth on earth was accomplished when he willingly allowed himself to be transferred, by God, from<br />

heaven to the womb of the virgin, Mary. While on earth, Jesus was executed as a sacrifice to atone<br />

for mankind's sins, becoming the "eternal father" to the human family.<br />

They believe that after his death, Jesus appeared to his disciples, convinced them of his<br />

resurrection, and then ascended into heaven to sit at Jehovah's right hand until he would become<br />

the promised king of God's heavenly kingdom. Jesus acts as the mediator of a "new covenant"<br />

referred to in Jeremiah 31:31, Luke 22:20, and Hebrews 9:15; 12:24, directly mediating only for<br />

those going to heaven (the 144,000). Those with an earthly hope are said to be beneficiaries of that<br />

covenant. Even as king of God's kingdom, Jesus remains subordinate to God. Witnesses reject the<br />

doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, who they believe bore more children after Jesus.<br />

Now there are also some differences between the Christology of <strong>Arius</strong> and that of the Jehovah's<br />

Witnesses.<br />

For instance, whereas <strong>Arius</strong> would teach that Jesus' human element is merely the material with the<br />

Logos being the soul (no human soul), the Jehovah's Witnesses would teach that Jesus was purely<br />

man, and as such, he did not possess a soul but he was a living soul.<br />

Also, <strong>Arius</strong> believed Jesus should be worshipped whereas the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that<br />

since one is to worship God alone Jesus should not be worshipped, since he is merely a creature.<br />

However, as demonstrated above, in the most important of doctrines in the Church, Christology,<br />

there is more than enough similarity between the two to leave no doubt that the Jehovah's<br />

Witnesses are the Arians of our day.<br />

Jehovah's Witnesses are often referred to as "modern-day Arians" or sometimes<br />

"Semi-Arians", usually by their opponents. While there are some significant similarities in theology<br />

and doctrine, the Witnesses differ from Arians by saying that the Son can fully know the<br />

Father (something <strong>Arius</strong> himself denied), and by their denial of personality to the Holy Spirit.<br />

The original Arians also generally prayed directly to Jesus, whereas the Witnesses pray to God,<br />

through Jesus as a mediator.<br />

The Witnesses have developed their own bible translation, but it is unknown what principles that<br />

they used or who actually translated the work. In John 1.1, the New World Translation read, In the<br />

beginning the Word was, and the word was with God, and the Word was a god.<br />

Most Adventists groups, included the above two, deny the immortality of the soul, the force of the<br />

adversary, and the existence of hell. It is not these doctrines that are the most controversial, but the<br />

denial of the deity of Christ. The Trinitarians and Modalists will disagree as to the nature of the Deity,<br />

but in the end, we both agree that Christ was Deity. The issue with these people is that they deny<br />

the that since the time of the Apostles, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has been worshiped as God, and<br />

His preexistence has been accepted.<br />

http://unsettledchristianity.com/arianism-revisted-the-ancient-heresy-in-modern-denominations/<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

II<br />

The Church of God (7th day) - Salem Conference may be considered to be Arian:<br />

“We believe in one true God who is the creator of all. He is omnipotent, omniscient,<br />

and omnipresent. He sent his son to Earth to be a sacrifice for our sins. He is a<br />

separate being from his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the power of God and not a<br />

separate being with a separate consciousness. We do not believe in the teaching of<br />

the Trinity, in which the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three parts of a single being<br />

who is God. We believe the Father and the Son are separate beings with separate<br />

consciousnesses and that the Holy Spirit is not a conscious being but instead the<br />

power of God.” — FAQs – Does the Church of God (7th Day) believe in the Trinity?<br />

“We believe in one true God who is the creator of all. He is omnipotent, omnicient,<br />

and omnipresent. He sent his son to Earth to be a sacrifice for our sins. He is a<br />

separate being from his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the power of God and not a<br />

separate being with a separate consciousness”<br />

”We do not believe in the teaching of the Trinity, in which the Father, Son, and Holy<br />

Spirit are three parts of a single being who is God. We believe the Father and the<br />

Son are separate beings with separate consciousnesses and that the Holy Spirit is<br />

not a conscious being but instead the power of God”.<br />

http://www.churchofgod-7thday.org/FAQs.html<br />

It is noteworthy, that although the doctrinal beliefs among the different Churches of God (7th Day)<br />

or (Seventh Day) are very similar, some major points of disagreement still remain, either<br />

concerning christological beliefs or Church organization.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Outlining some beliefs of the Churches of God (7th Day), the Statement of Faith of the General<br />

Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) - Denver Conference states the following:<br />

<br />

Christology has been a long debated issue in the Churches of God (7th Day). Gilbert Cranmer,<br />

the founder of the Church of God (Seventh Day), left the Methodist Church to join the<br />

Christian Connection "over the doctrine of the Trinity". Gilbert Cranmer was a Biblical Unitarian.<br />

He did not believe Jesus preexisted his birth and he "believed the Father alone is God" Today,<br />

according to the Denver Conference, God is revealed in Scripture as Father and Son. From<br />

eternity the Son existed with Father and shared His glory (Section 2). This christological belief<br />

is a departure from their long held doctrinal beliefs in that regard. The Denver Conference, part<br />

of the greatest Church of God (7th Day) movement had an Arian Christology for much of the<br />

twentieth century, before leaving part of his heritage and reverting to a more classical view of<br />

Christ. NOTA BENE: The Salem Conference, the Churches previously affiliated or linked to<br />

the Jerusalem Conference and a number of independent Churches of God (7th Day) still<br />

believe that Jesus Christ, as the Word of God, is a created being.] Some independent churches<br />

or individuals retain a Biblical Unitarian Christology. A position paper written by the Jerusalem<br />

Conference states the following:<br />

"The Amen, the faithful and the true witness is no one else but Jesus Christ and<br />

speaking of himself he said, he is "the beginning of the creation of God" i.e. the very<br />

first manifested act of YHWH was the creation of his son Yehoshua (Jesus). Do other<br />

scriptures support this? Col 1:15 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn<br />

of every creature". A creature is life which has been created, whether terrestrial or<br />

celestial: Colossians support Revelation, it says of Christ he is "the firstborn of every<br />

creature:"<br />

A recent published book by individuals related to the Churches of God (7th Day) movement<br />

affirms that:<br />

“There is a lot of confusion in Christendom concerning Yeshua the Messiah. Some<br />

believe Yeshua to be one and the same with the Father. Others believe in a triune<br />

God. To make Yeshua equal to God is actually the equivalent of breaking the first of<br />

the Ten Words, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" “(Exod. 20:3).<br />

According to the Denver Conference, salvation is by God's grace, received by faith<br />

in Jesus<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

III<br />

John Thomas (1805 - 1871)<br />

The movement was founded by physician John Thomas (1805-1871) who had left the Disciples of<br />

Christ in 1844, because of a number of theological disagreements. He started a periodical that<br />

same year, called "The Herald of the Future Age". Thomas wrote a book in 1848, titled "Elpis Israel<br />

- An Exposition of the Kingdom of God." He founded a number of groups, starting in 1848. They<br />

were commonly referred to as the Thomasites. His motivation was to return to what he believed to<br />

be the beliefs of the very early Christian church. In 1864, the group adopted a formal name, the<br />

Christadelphians (Brothers of Christ).<br />

The movement survived the death of its founder in 1871. However, a conflict started during the<br />

1880's in the US over the topic of resurrectional responsibility and it split as two groups.:The<br />

Unamended group believes that only the deceased who are "in Christ" will be raised from the dead<br />

and have eternal life; the rest will simply remain dead, without conscious existence. The Amended<br />

group believes that all who are responsible will be raised from the dead at the time of the Final<br />

Judgment. The "responsible" are those who have been exposed to the Gospel. The righteous<br />

among the responsible ones will be judged according to their works, rewarded appropriately, and<br />

live forever. The wicked will be annihilated, and cease to exist. Those who are not responsible,<br />

since they had never heard the Gospel, will not be raised.<br />

“Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is not the ‘second person’ of an eternal Trinity.”<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Doctrinal Summary<br />

God: One Person only (Unitarian)<br />

Jesus: A created being in need of redemption.<br />

Holy Spirit: The impersonal power of God.<br />

Trinity: A pagan teaching.<br />

Salvation: By faith in Christ and works of righteousness.<br />

Man: A physical being without an immortal soul.<br />

Sin: Transgression of God’s law.<br />

Satan: Synonym for sin; any adversary.<br />

Second coming: Jesus will return to reign on earth.<br />

Fall: Sexual in nature.<br />

Bible: The Word of God, the final authority for faith and practice.<br />

Death: Unconsciousness or annihilation.<br />

Hell and Heaven: Myths.<br />

Founded By: Dr. John Thomas, 1864.<br />

“Christadelphians believe God is one indivisible unity, not three distinct persons existing in one God.<br />

They deny the divinity of Jesus, believing he is fully human and separate from God. They do not<br />

believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, but simply a force—the "unseen power" from<br />

God.<br />

The Christadelphians believe that Jesus the Christ is the son of God, who came to fulfill the Old<br />

Testament promises and covenants of God with mankind, primarily the covenants with Eve,<br />

Abraham and David.<br />

We believe that Jesus is a man, who was tried and tempted as we are, yet who resisted sin even till<br />

death. Three days later, the only true God, the Father raised him to eternal life, after which Christ<br />

ascended to his Father's side to await the appointed time of his return.<br />

The Christadelphians embrace the hope of resurrection to eternal life at the return of Christ. We<br />

believe that this will take place soon. At that time the kingdom of God will be established from<br />

Jerusalem, growing to encompass the whole world, offering freedom, hope and salvation to all<br />

mankind. The people of Israel, as the literal descendants of Abraham, will have a special place in<br />

this kingdom.<br />

The Christadelphians believe that salvation is attained through faith in Christ. It is through faith that<br />

we are baptized into Christ for forgiveness of sins, and thereby participate in the promises to<br />

Abraham: to inherit the earth forever.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Doctrinally, the Christadelphians are unique in Christendom in our understanding of the nature of<br />

Christ, and the way in which we are redeemed by his death. “We reject as unbiblical the idea that<br />

Christ could die as a replacement sacrifice for us, thus covering all our sins forever with that one act.<br />

Certainly it is through his sacrifice that we may be forgiven, but only if we walk the path of<br />

self-denial that he marked out for us.”<br />

The Christadelphians (Brothers of Christ) are strictly unitarian, teaching that<br />

Christ was not preexistent, but born of Mary by the power of God.<br />

Humanity is mortal, but eternal life will come only to the righteous.<br />

The unrighteous will either never rise, or as the Amended believe, rise and then be annihilated.<br />

They believe that God is the creator of all things and the father of true believers,<br />

that he is a separate being from his son, Jesus Christ,<br />

and that the Holy Spirit is the power of God used in creation and for salvation.<br />

They believe Christ is the Son of Man,<br />

in that he inherited sin-prone human nature from his mother,<br />

and the Son of God by virtue of his miraculous conception by the power of God.<br />

Although he was tempted, Jesus committed no sin,<br />

and was therefore a perfect representative sacrifice to bring salvation to sinful humankind.<br />

They believe that God raised Jesus from death and gave him immortality, and he ascended to<br />

Heaven.<br />

They also believe that the phrase Holy Spirit sometimes refers to God’s character/mind,<br />

depending on the context in which the phrase appears.<br />

IV<br />




PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Founded By: Joseph Smith, Jr., 1830.<br />

Mormons believe that God has a physical, flesh and bones, eternal, perfect body. Men have the<br />

potential to become gods as well. Jesus is God's literal son, a separate being from God the Father<br />

and the "elder brother" of men. The Holy Spirit is also a separate being from God the Father and<br />

God the Son. The Holy Spirit is regarded as an impersonal power or spirit being. These three<br />

separate beings are "one" only in their purpose, and they make up the Godhead.<br />

Because their official belief is that the Father, Son, and Spirit are each gods in one godhead,<br />

Mormonism is said to hold a form of tri-theism. Mormons believe that God created Christ, that he is<br />

subordinate to God the Father and that Christ created the universe. Some view Mormonism as<br />

a form of Arianism. Mormons assert that both God and the resurrected Christ have perfected<br />

glorified, physical bodies, but do not otherwise classify deity in terms of substance. While Mormons<br />

regard God the Father as the supreme being and literal father of the spirits of all humankind, they<br />

also teach that Christ and the Holy Spirit are equally divine in that they share in the Father's<br />

"comprehension of all things". The Members Church of God International believes in the divinity of<br />

Christ but rejects the doctrine of Trinity. They believe in a Subordationist viewpoint[citation needed]<br />

in which Jesus Christ, is the Father's only begotten son (in Romanized Greek: monogenestheos,<br />

meaning "only-begotten god").<br />

The concept of man growing into its fullness to form godhood is new to the Mormonism.<br />

God Is An Exalted Man<br />

God is the same essence as Man who evolved into the present status.<br />

Every Man is potentially a God.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Mormon General Authorities teach that God was not always God, but was once a mortal man.<br />

”God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man... I am going to tell you how God<br />

came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute<br />

that idea... He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an<br />

earth.”<br />

Joseph Smith - Mormonism founder<br />

Ensign, April 1971, p.13-14<br />

”Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we<br />

ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved<br />

forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point where He now is.”<br />

Orson Hyde - Mormon apostle;<br />

Journal of Discourses 1:123<br />

”He is our Father-the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and<br />

is now an exalted Being. How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time<br />

when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals<br />

that we are now passing through.”<br />

Brigham Young - Mormon prophet<br />

Journal of Discourses 7:333<br />

”God is a natural man... Where did he get his knowledge from? From his Father, just as we get<br />

knowledge from our earthly parents.”<br />

Heber C. Kimball - First Presidency Counselor<br />

Journal of Discourses 8:211<br />

”But if God the Father was not always God, but came to his present exalted position by<br />

degrees of progress as indicated in the teachings of the prophet, how has there been a God from<br />

all eternity? The answer is that there has been and there now exists an endless line of Gods,<br />

stretching back into the eternities.”<br />

B. H. Roberts - Mormon Seventy and LDS church historian<br />

New Witness for God 1:476<br />

“God is an exalted Man... The Prophet taught that our Father had a Father and so on.”<br />

Joseph Fielding Smith - Mormon prophet<br />

Doctrines of Salvation 1:10,12<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

V<br />


(The Worldwide Church of God)<br />

Herbert W. Armstrong Garner Ted Armstrong (1970)<br />

(Philadelphia Church of God, Global Church of God, United Church of God)<br />

Founded By: Herbert W. Armstrong, 1934.<br />

Traditional Armstrongism denies a Trinity, defining God as "a family of individuals."<br />

Original teachings say Jesus did not have a physical resurrection and the Holy Spirit is an<br />

impersonal force.<br />

The Doctrine of the ‘God Family’<br />

The God Family doctrine holds that the Godhead is not limited to God (the Creator) alone, or even<br />

to a trinitarian God of three persons, but God is a divine family into which every human who ever<br />

lived may be spiritually born, through a master plan being enacted in stages.<br />

The Godhead now - temporarily - consists of two co-eternal individuals (Binitarianism)<br />

= Jesus the Messiah, as the creator and spokesman (The Word or Logos), and<br />

Christ the Son and God the Father are co-eternal<br />


= God the Father.<br />


PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Thus originally there was a co-eternal "Duality", God and the Word.<br />

Holy Spirit is not God since the Holy Spirit is not a person it is the Spirit (Soul) within Gods.<br />

Armstrong theology holds that God is a "Family" and that "God reproduces Himself",<br />

According to this doctrine, humans who are called by God's Holy Spirit to repentance, and who<br />

accept this call willingly and hope to inherit the gift of eternal life, it is made possible by Jesus'<br />

sacrifice. But they should commit to live by "every word of God" (i.e. biblical scripture), and who<br />

"endure to the end" (i.e. remain faithful to live according to God's way of life until either the end of<br />

their own lifetime or the second coming of Jesus. At Jesus' return, these will be "born again" into<br />

the family of God as the literal spiritual offspring or children of God.<br />

VI<br />


Founded By: Mary Baker Eddy, 1879.<br />

Christian Scientists believe the trinity is life, truth, and love.<br />

As an impersonal principle, God is the only thing that truly exists.<br />

Everything else (matter) is an illusion.<br />

Jesus, though not God, is the Son of God.<br />

He was the promised Messiah but was not a deity.<br />

The Holy Spirit is divine science in the teachings of Christian Science.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The movement known as Christian Science is a religion "emphasizing divine healing as practiced<br />

by Jesus Christ." It is officially known as The Church of Christ, Scientist (CCS) (with headquarters<br />

in Boston, Massachusetts), founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy (1821-1910).<br />

Eddy claim that sickness, death, and even our physical bodies do not exist, but are only imagined.<br />

Based on this absurdity, Mary Baker Eddy formulated her unique interpretations of Scripture upon<br />

which Christian Science was founded (and recorded in Eddy's 1875 book, Science and Health with<br />

Key to the Scriptures. [HJB] In essence, Christian Science is a revival of ancient Pantheism. Jesus’<br />

healing techniques were based on this.<br />

Christian Science clearly repudiates the Trinitarian Godhead:<br />

"The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests polytheism,<br />

rather than the one ever-present I Am" (Science and Health, p. 256). I<br />

nstead, "Life, Truth, and Love constitutes the triune Person called God ... God the Father-Mother;<br />

Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter" (Science and Health, p.<br />

331-332).<br />

Christian Science teaches that the Biblical concept of the Trinity suggests "heathen gods" (Science<br />

and Health, p. 152). God is thus viewed as an impersonal "Divine Principle," a conception of one's<br />

mind (Science and Health, pp. 361, 469).<br />

On page 465 in another of Mrs. Eddy's "authoritative" books, entitled Miscellaneous Writings, she<br />

wrote: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite, mind, spirit, soul, principle, life, truth,<br />

love," but devoid of any personality. [HJB]<br />

Jesus Christ.<br />

Christian Science denies that the incarnation of Christ was the fullness of deity dwelling in human<br />

flesh, denies the perfection of the man Jesus, and attempts to explain away the historical death and<br />

bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (Science and Health, pp. 336, 29, 332, 53, 398, 313, 593;<br />

Miscellaneous Writings, p. 201) Christian Science believes that Mary's conception of Jesus was<br />

spiritual -- on pages 332 and 347 of Science and Health, the virgin birth of Christ is described and<br />

explained: "Jesus was the offspring of Mary's self-conscious communion with God. ... Mary's<br />

conception of him was spiritual." Christian Science believes that the names "Jesus" and "Christ" do<br />

not refer to the same person -- that Jesus is the human man and Christ is the "divine idea" (i.e.,<br />

"dualism"). They teach that the spiritual (good) cannot dwell in material bodies because they are<br />

evil; thus Jesus could not have been both God and man. [To the contrary, the Bible teaches that<br />

Jesus Christ is not the divine idea of God but was God uniquely manifested in the flesh, truly God<br />

and truly man, one divine Person with two indivisible natures, who is the only Savior and the only<br />

truth and Lord (John 1:1-3,14; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6-7; John 14:6).] Christian Science believes that<br />

Jesus was not God and the only way to heaven, but only the "wayshower" (cf. Jn. 20:31; I Jn.<br />

4:2,3).<br />

Christian Science not only denies that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, it also denies that Jesus is<br />

one Person with two natures -- fully God and fully man. Christian Science presents Jesus Christ in<br />

terms of a Gnostic duality: "The spiritual Christ was infallible: Jesus as material manhood was not<br />

Christ'' (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 84). "Christ as the true spiritual ideal, is the ideal of God now<br />

and forever ..." (Science and Health, p. 361). "The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual ..." while, "The<br />

corporeal [physical] man Jesus was human only (Science and Health, p 332). Yet "matter is mortal<br />

error … matter is the unreal and temporal" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 21). So what Christian<br />

Science actually concludes is that the physical humanity of Jesus was an illusion, ''as it seemed to<br />

mortal view" (Science and Health, p. 315).<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Concerning the blood atonement of Jesus Christ: "The material blood of Jesus was no more<br />

efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon 'the accursed tree,' than when it was flowing<br />

in his veins ..." (Science and Health, p. 25). Christian Science teaches that the death of Jesus<br />

Christ for sin was a "man-made" theory, and that Jesus was alive in the tomb, demonstrating the<br />

"power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense" (Science and Health, p. 44). Eddy states, "Christ<br />

was not crucified ... Jesus, being the man who possessed the Christ consciousness, was the one<br />

who went to the cross and who appeared to die." Thus, according to the theology of Christian<br />

Science, the Bible only appears to say that Jesus died on the cross and His body was laid in the<br />

tomb; it must instead be understood that Jesus actually never died, but was rather in the tomb<br />

denying death's reality!<br />

Holy Spirit. Christian Science denies that the Holy Spirit is a personal being. It teaches that the<br />

Holy Spirit is Christian Science. -- "This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science" (Science and<br />

Health, p. 55). It is the unfolding of the thoughts and infinite mind of God (pp. 502-503). [cf. Jn.<br />

16:13-14] Thus, God, the Holy Spirit, cannot indwell a person (Science and Health, p. 336).<br />

The Resurrection. It is obvious that if Jesus never physically died on the cross to atone for sins<br />

that mankind cannot commit (Science and Health, pp. 45-46), then the resurrection must also have<br />

a unique meaning in Christian Science. Eddy explains, "When Jesus reproduced his body after its<br />

burial, he revealed the myth or material falsity of evil; its powerlessness to destroy good and the<br />

omnipotence of the Mind that knows this: he also showed forth the error of nothingness of<br />

supposed life in matter, and the great somethingness of the good we possess, which is of Spirit,<br />

and immortal" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 201). Jesus resurrection was thus the manifestation of<br />

the error of evil. He demonstrated that sin and death are illusions and that if one wishes to rid<br />

themselves of these illusions, they only need to deny their reality.<br />

https://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/science.htm<br />

Instead of preachers (the CCS has no ordained clergy), Christian Science's Sunday services<br />

consist mainly of prescribed readings from the Bible, followed by interpretive readings from Science<br />

and Health with Key to the Scriptures (which Eddy thought was divinely inspired -<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

VII<br />


Founded By: Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, 1889.<br />

Similar to Christian Science, Unity adherents believe God is an unseen, impersonal principle, not a<br />

person. God is a force within everyone and everything. Jesus was only a man, not the Christ. He<br />

simply realized his spiritual identity as the Christ by practicing his potential for perfection. This is<br />

something all men can achieve. Jesus did not resurrect from the dead, but rather, he reincarnated.<br />

The Holy Spirit is the active expression of God's law. Only the spirit part of us is real, matter is not<br />

real.<br />

Unity does not affirm any Christian creeds. Unity holds five basic beliefs:<br />

1. "God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power.<br />

2. God is good and present everywhere.<br />

3. We are spiritual beings, created in God's image. The spirit of God lives within each person;<br />

therefore, all people are inherently good.<br />

4. We create our life experiences through our way of thinking. There is power in affirmative<br />

prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.<br />

5. Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them."<br />

Baptism and communion are practiced as symbolic acts. Many Unity members are vegetarians.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

VIII<br />


Founded By: Frank Ewart, 1913.<br />

Oneness Pentecostals believe that there is one God and God is one. Throughout time God<br />

manifested himself in three ways or "forms" (not persons), as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.<br />

Oneness Pentecostals take issue with the Trinity doctrine chiefly for its use of the term "person."<br />

They believe God cannot be three distinct persons, but only one being who has revealed himself in<br />

three different modes. It is important to note that Oneness Pentecostals do affirm the deity of Jesus<br />

Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Son is God manifest in flesh. The term Son always refers to the<br />

Incarnation, and never to deity apart from humanity." Jesus was "Son" only when he became flesh<br />

on earth, but was the Father prior to being made human. They refer to the Father as the "Spirit" and<br />

the Son as the "Flesh".<br />

Oneness of God - God is one, manifested in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He manifested himself<br />

as Jehovah in the Old Testament; as Jesus Christ, God and man, in the New Testament; and as the<br />

Holy Spirit, God with us and in us in our regeneration. This doctrine opposes the Tri-unity of God, or<br />

three distinct persons within one God.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

IX<br />


Sun Myung Moon(1920-2012) and his wife Hak Ja Han - the true mother - forming true parents<br />


Founded By: Sun Myung Moon, 1954.<br />


PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The official title of the Unification Church is The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World<br />

Christianity. Moon claims that in 1936, when he was 16, Jesus Christ appeared to him on Easter<br />

morning on a mountainside in Northwestern Korea and told him that God had chosen him for the<br />

mission of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, a mission that Christ had only begun.<br />

Christ supposedly told Moon that he would be "the completer of man's salvation by being the<br />

Second Coming of Christ" (Sun Myung Moon and The Unification Church, James Bjornstad, p. 9).<br />

After World War II, Moon returned to Pyongyang, the capital of communist North Korea, where he<br />

set up his first church (1945). It was officially founded in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon (which has led<br />

to the referring of his followers as "Moonies") and moved to America in 1959, where he established<br />

his international headquarters.<br />

Sun Myung Moon translates as "One who has clarified the Truth" . Unification adherents believe<br />

that God is positive and negative, male and female. The universe is God's body, made by him.<br />

Jesus was not God, but a man. He did not experience a physical resurrection. In fact, his mission<br />

on earth failed and will be fulfilled through Sun Myung Moon, who is greater than Jesus. The Holy<br />

Spirit is feminine in nature. She collaborates with Jesus in the spirit realm to draw people to Sun<br />

Myung Moon.<br />

Moonies deny the deity of Jesus Christ; instead they claim He was just a man, not God.<br />

"God is just like you and me. All human traits originate in God." -- Moon, Christianity in Crisis, p. 4;<br />

"He can by no means be God Himself." -- Divine Principle, pp. 210-211.<br />

They teach that Jesus was not virgin born, but was the bastard offspring of Zechariah and Mary!<br />

They also claim that Jesus failed in His earthly mission (Divine Principle, pp. 143-145), and that<br />

Christ's purpose in coming was to marry and to produce perfect children. However, He was killed<br />

before He could fulfill His mission<br />

"The Cross is the symbol of defeat of Christianity," Moon, 1973).<br />

Moonies believe that John the Baptist was responsible for the death of Jesus (by failing to convert<br />

his audience into a power bloc for Jesus) and that Christ's death on the cross was not an original or<br />

essential part of God's plan of redemption ("... however devout a man of faith may be, he cannot<br />

fulfill physical salvation by redemption through Jesus crucifixion alone." -- Divine Principle, p. 148),<br />

but that God merely used it to provide an incomplete, spiritual salvation. They do not believe that<br />

Jesus was physically resurrected (cf. 1 Cor. 15:12-20), but that He returned as a spirit, and that a<br />

"third Adam" must come to fulfill God's plan for physical salvation by marrying and producing the<br />

sinless race. The Unification Church has given titles to Moon that indicate it considers him to be this<br />

"third Adam." [HJB]<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

"In Unification theology the main point is that the Holy Spirit is not a separate entity, a being<br />

different from God the Father. The Holy Spirit simply refers to God's redemptive activity." Further,<br />

the Holy Spirit, "... appears feminine, masculine and impersonal. ... Like God Himself, the Spirit is<br />

invisible and incorporeal -- a bright light or a field of magnetic energy" (Unification Theology, pp.<br />

201-202). Moonies also teach that the Holy Spirit is a "female spirit" -- the "True Mother" and<br />

spiritual wife of Jesus (Divine Principle, p. 215). "She" also cleanses the sins of the people in order<br />

to restore them, thus indemnifying the sin committed by Eve.<br />

Moonies deny the Biblical concept of the Trinity. They teach that the "third Adam," his bride, and<br />

God constituted the first "trinity," and that mankind will be restored by forming trinities with God<br />

through marriage. [HJB]<br />

X<br />

American Unitarian Conference started as a reply to Unitarian Universalism becoming 'too<br />

theologically liberal'. They refrain from social activism and believe religion and science can<br />

improve the human condition.<br />

Unitarians, strictly speaking, are those Christians who reject the Church doctrine of the Trinity,<br />

and do not believe that Jesus is God the Son, equal with the Father, or that he is the Supreme<br />

Being. Unitarians also usually agree in rejecting the system of doctrines known as<br />

Orthodox, As these doctrines constitute a logical system, of which the doctrine of the Trinity is<br />

the keystone, when that is removed the arch falls.<br />

If, according to Christ and his Apostles, there is no such God as the "Trinity," it must be wrong to<br />

appear to worship this God, who is unknown to the Scriptures of the New Testament.<br />

http://www.americanunitarian.org/manual.htm<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

XI<br />

Edward Cooney (1867-1960)<br />

Edward Cooney was a noted preacher during the 1890s and early 20th century. He joined William<br />

Irvine's new movement as an itinerant evangelist.It seems that an orthodox understanding of the<br />

Trinity is not held to by Cooneyites, with the Father and the Son regarded as separate beings, and<br />

the Holy Spirit being merely a force/power coming from God.<br />

XII<br />


Iglesia ni Cristo (Tagalog for Church of Christ) views Jesus as human but endowed by God<br />

with attributes not found in ordinary humans, though lacking attributes found in God. They<br />

contend that it is God's will to worship Jesus. INC rejects the Trinity as heresy, adopting a<br />

version of unitarianism.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

The Iglesia ni Cristo believes that it is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ[ and was<br />

restored by Felix Manalo in the last days. They believe that the first century church apostasized in<br />

that century, or in the 4th century due to false teachings. INC says that this apostate church is<br />

the Roman Catholic Church. Meanwhile, its reestablishment is seen as the signal for the end of<br />

days.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Felix Y. Manalo (1886 - 1963) is said to be the restorer of the church of Christ, and "God's last<br />

messenger" (sugo in Tagalog). INC says that Manalo is the "angel from the east", mentioned in<br />

Revelation 7:1–3<br />

They believe that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the fulfillment of the Bible verse, Isaiah 43:5, where "east"<br />

refers to the Philippines where the Church of Christ would be founde<br />

The Iglesia ni Cristo believes that God the Father is the creator deity and the only true God. INC<br />

rejects the traditional Christian belief in the Trinity as heresy, adopting a version of unitarianism.<br />

They believe that this position is attested by Jesus Christ and the Apostles.<br />

Christ and the Apostles are united in teaching how many and who is the real God.<br />

Similar to other true Christians, according to Apostle Paul, there is only one God, the<br />

Father—not the Son and more so not the Holy Spirit. The Apostles also did not teach<br />

that there is one God who has three personas who are also Gods. ... It [Trinity] is not<br />

found in the Holy Scriptures or the Bible, and if [Catholic] priests ever use the Bible<br />

to prove this teaching of theirs, all are based only on suppositions and presumptions.<br />

—trans. from Pasugo (November 1968)<br />

The church believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the mediator between God the<br />

Father and humanity, and was created by God the Father. God sanctified him to be without sin,<br />

and bestowed upon him the titles "Lord" and "Son of God". The church sees Jesus as God's<br />

highest creation, and denies the deity of Jesus. Adherents profess Jesus' substitutionary role in<br />

the redemption of humankind. He is believed to have been "foreordained before the foundation of<br />

the world" and sent by God "to deal with sin". Members "are saved by Christ's blood" who died<br />

because of his "self-sacrificing love". INC believes that the Holy Spirit is the power of God and also<br />

not a deity, being sent by God the Father and Jesus Christ to guide God's people<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

XIII<br />

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) of Sweden<br />

Christian denominations that developed as a new religious movement, informed by the writings of<br />

Swedish scientist and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Swedenborg claimed to<br />

have received a new revelation from Jesus Christ through continuous heavenly visions which he<br />

experienced over a period of at least twenty-five years.<br />

Swedenborg held that God is one person revealed in Jesus Christ, which was later<br />

independently expressed by modern-day Oneness Pentecostalism. He stated that the doctrine of a<br />

trinity of three persons originated in the fourth century with the adoption of the Nicene Creed to<br />

combat the heresy of Arianism, but this was unknown to the early Apostolic Church, as shown by<br />

the Apostles' Creed which preceded the Nicene Creed , "It is a universal principle of faith that God<br />

is one in essence and in person, in whom is a Divine trinity, and that He is the Lord God the Savior<br />

Jesus Christ.<br />

Divine Trinity is defined as:<br />

"the three essentials of one God, and they make one as soul, body, and operation make one in<br />

man. Before the world was created this Trinity was not; but after creation, when God became<br />

incarnate, it was provided and brought about; and then in the Lord God the Redeemer and Savior<br />

Jesus Christ."<br />

As a trinity of soul, body and spirit exists in every man, so in Jesus this became the Holy Trinity. It is<br />

this doctrine of one God as one person which distinguishes the New Church from other Christian<br />

churches.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

In the New Church, monotheism is defined as one God who is one in person, and the immediate<br />

consequence of this doctrine is that only the Lord is worshipped, who is Jehovah. Worship and faith<br />

in Jesus is not placing worship in a created being: although born with a human body, His soul was<br />

the Divine from eternity. When He rose from the dead, He put off the human body he inherited from<br />

Mary, and put on a human body from the Divine within Him, which is known in the New Church as<br />

the Divine Human.<br />

The Father is the inmost Divine which became outwardly manifest in a human form, known as the<br />

Son. As the Lord is one with the Father, the Lord's Prayer is directed to the Lord only. In the phrase<br />

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name the word "name" is everything by which God<br />

is worshipped, especially His Divine Human, the Son, by which He is approached.<br />

In scripture it is known that Jesus at times prayed to the Father, and at other times declared Himself<br />

one with the Father. This was because during His life Jesus progressed towards God by gradually<br />

making the human body he inherited at birth one with the Divine: the progress towards union with<br />

the Divine was his state of exinanition (see Kenosis), and the unification itself was His state of<br />

glorification. It was this progress towards unification, completed by the passion on the cross, that<br />

is the means by which all of humanity was saved from hell.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Prof. Madathilparampil Mammen Ninan B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D.,<br />

Web Site: http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n<br />

Email: mm9n@hotmail.com<br />

Prof. Ninan was born in Kozhencheri, Kerala, India in a Syrian Christian Family which claims descent from one of<br />

the four families to whom St.Thomas the apostle of Jesus entrusted the gospel. His father Late.Mr.M.M.Mammen<br />

was a publisher Freedom fighter and Christian Reformer. His eldest Brother is the well known theologian Late<br />

Dr.M.M.Thomas, who was the Chairman of the World Council of Churches, the Governor of Nagaland, India and<br />

the Chairman of the Christian Institute of Study of Society and Religion. He belongs to the Malankara Mar Thoma<br />

Church, a reformed church holding the theology of the Eastern Churches which claims a 2000 year old heritage.<br />

He is by profession a Professor of Theoretical Physics and had been a teacher in various universities around<br />

world including Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, Sudan, Yemen, India and United States of America. He retired as the<br />

President of the Hindustan Academy of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Affiliated to the University of<br />

Bangalore, India.<br />

He was the first Moderator of the International Christian Fellowship, Sanaa, Yemen and<br />

the Co-founder of the Sudan Pentecostal Church and The Sudan Theological College. He has published over<br />

hundred books in History of Religions, Hinduism and Theology. Mrs. Ponnamma Ninan was a Sociologist and<br />

Teacher who taught in many different countries along with her husband.<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Published Books<br />

by Prof.M.M.Ninan<br />

www.mmninan.com<br />

A Study On Baptism<br />

Acts of the Apostle Thomas.<br />

Ambedkar's Philosophy of Hinduism and Contemperory Critiques<br />

Angels, Demons and All the Hosts of Heaven and Earth<br />

Apocryphal Thomas<br />

Apostle Paul Architect and Builder of the Church: Life and Mission<br />

Bible Canon<br />

Christ vs. Krishna<br />

Comparitive study of Kuku and Hebrew<br />

Cosmos - The Body of God<br />

Created in the Image of God<br />

Cultural Anthropology.for Missions..<br />

Dalit Theology<br />

Flying Together<br />

Foundations of Faith in Jesus<br />

Four Gospels<br />

Hinduism: A Christian Heresy; What Really Happened in India<br />

History of Christianity in India<br />

Honeymoon in Ethiopia<br />

I AM: Symbols Jesus Used to explain himself<br />

Introduction to Revelation<br />

Introduction to Biblical.Hermeneutics..<br />

Introduction to Revelations<br />

Isavasya Upanishad:The doctrine of the Immanence of Jesus<br />

Jamaica: The Land We Love<br />

James & John: Sons of Thunder<br />

Jiva, Jada & Isvara<br />

Joys of Ghana Col<br />

Katha Upanishad - The Complete...<br />

Kingdom Parables<br />

Krishna Yajur Veda<br />

Laws of Manu<br />

Life and Legacy of M.M.Thomas<br />

Life, Legacy and Theology.of M.M.Thomas..<br />

Lord's Appointed Festivals<br />

Paintings of Ninan-Life of Christ<br />

Perspectives On The Lord's Table.<br />

Peter and Andrew: The First.Disciples.<br />

Prester John, the Kalabhras.and Mahabali.<br />

Quantum Theology<br />



PROF. M. M. NINAN<br />

Reincarnation and Resurrection<br />

Resurrections and Judgments<br />

Rewriting Hindu History: How..do they do it?.<br />

Riddles In Hinduism<br />

Rig Veda<br />

Samaveda<br />

Secrets Of The Prayer Shawl<br />

Semiotics Of Sacraments<br />

Seven Churches<br />

Shukla Yajur Veda<br />

Sin, Death and Beyond<br />

Soteriology<br />

Sri Purusha Suktham: The fullness of Him - With commentary<br />

The Apostles<br />

The Biblical Concept of Man<br />

The Book of Revelation<br />

The Christian Understanding.of Trinity..<br />

The Development Of Hinduism<br />

The Development Of Mariolatory<br />

The Emergence Of Hinduism.from Christianity..<br />

The Four Gospels<br />

The Genealogy of Jesus<br />

The Historic Jesus<br />

The Mysteries of the Tallit, Titzit and Teklet<br />

The Mysteries of the Tallit...<br />

The Mystery of Melchizedek<br />

The Name<br />

The Principles of Prosperity in the Kingdom of God<br />

The Prophecy Of Daniel<br />

The Sudan: New Dimensions<br />

The Word Became Flesh<br />

Theodicy<br />

Theology of Paul<br />

Thinking loud on Theodicy, Soteriology,Trinity and Hermeneutics<br />

Thy Kingdom Come<br />

Tilak and the Aryan Origins<br />

Time Line Of Church History<br />

Understanding Sacraments<br />

Waiting for the Redemption...<br />

Wedding Blessings<br />

When was Jesus Born?<br />

Who is the Angel of the Lord?<br />


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