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2. The Secession of Dynamistic Monarchianism or Adoptianism.
(a). The so-called Alogi in Asia Minor.2121Merkel, Aufklärung der Streitigkaiten der Aloger, 1782. Heinichen, De Alogis, 1829; Olshausen, Echtheit der vier Kanonischen Evangelien, p. 241 f.; Schwegler, Montanismus, p. 265 ff. etc.; Volkmar, Hippolytus, p. 112 f.; Döllinger, Hippolytus u. Kallistus, p. 229 ff.; Lipsius, Quellenkritik des Epiphanius p. 23 f., 233 f.; Harnack in d. Ztschr. L. d. histor. Theol. 1874, p. 166 f.; Lipsius, Quellen der ältesten Ketzergeschichte, p. 93 f., 214 f.; Zahn in d. Ztschr. für die histor. Theol., 1875, p. 72 f.; Caspari, Quellen III., p. 377 f., 398 f., Soyres, Montanism, p. 49 f.; Bonwetsch, Montanismus vv. ll.; Iwanzov-Platonov, Häresien und Schismen der drei ersten Jahr. I, p. 233 f.; Zahn, Gesch. d. N. T. Kanons I., p. 220 ff.; Harnack, das N. T. um d. J. 200, p. 38 ff.; Jülicher, Theol. Lit. Ztg., 1889, No. 7; Salmon i. Hermathena, 1892, p. 161 ff.
Epiphanius2222Hær.51; after him Augustine H.30, Prædest. H.30 etc. The statement of the Prædest. that a Bishop named Philo refuted the Alogi is worthless. Whether the choice of the name was due to the Alexandrian Jew is unknown. and Philastrius (H. 60) know, from the Syntagma of Hippolytus, of a party to which the latter had given the nickname of “Alogi”. Hippolytus had recorded that its members rejected the Gospel and the Apocalypse of John,2323Nothing is reported as to the Letters. Epiphanius is perhaps right in representing that they were also rejected (1.c. ch. 34); but perhaps they were not involved in the discussion. attributing these books to Cerinthus, and had not recognised the Logos of God to whom the Holy Spirit had borne witness in the Gospel. Hippolytus, the most prolific of the opponents of the heretics, wrote, besides his Syntagma, a special work against these men in defence of the Johannine writings;2424See the list of writings on the statue of Hippolytus: υπερ του κατα ιωαν[ν]ην ευαγγελιου και αποκαλυψεως; and Ebed Jesu, catal. 7 (Assemani, Bibl. Orient. III. 1, 15): “Apologia pro apocalypsi et evangelio Johannis apostoli et evangelistæ.” Besides this Hippolytus wrote: “Capita adversus Caium,” a Roman sympathiser with the Alogi. Of this writing a few fragments have been preserved (Gwynn, Hermathena VI., p. 397 f.; Harnack, Texte und Unters. VI. 3, p. 121 ff.; Zahn, Gesch. des N. T. Kanons, II., p. 973 ff. and he perhaps 15also attacked them in another work aimed at all Monarchians.2525It is certain that Epiphanius, besides the relative section of the Syntagma, also copied at least a second writing against the “Alogi”, and it is probable that this likewise came from Hippolytus. The date of its composition can still be pretty accurately determined from Epiphan. H.31, ch. 33. It was written about A.D. 234; for Epiphanius’ authority closes the period of the Apostles 93 years after the Ascension, and remarks that since that date 112 years had elapsed. Lipsius has obtained another result, but only by an emendation of the text which is unnecessary (see Quellen der ältesten Ketzergeschichte, p. 109 f.). Hippolytus treats his unnamed opponents as contemporaries; but a closer examination shows that he only knew them from their writings — of which there were several (see ch. 33), and therefore knew nothing by personal observation of the conditions under which they appeared. A certain criterion of the age of these writings, and therefore of the party itself, is given by the fact that, at the time when the latter flourished, the only Church at Thyatira was, from their own testimony, Montanist, while the above-mentioned authority was already able to tell of a rising catholic Church, and of other Christian communities in that place. A Christian of Thyatira, by name Papylus, appears in the Martyrium Carpi et Papyli (see Harnack, Texte u. Unters. III. 3, 4). The date when this movement in Asia Minor flourished can be discovered more definitely, however, by a combination, proved by Zahn to be justified, of the statements of Hippolytus and Irenæus III. 11. 9. According to this, the party existed in Asia Minor, A.D. 170-180. The character of the party can still be defined, in its main features, from the passages taken by Epiphanius from these writings, due regard being given to Irenæus III. 11, 9. The Christological problem seems not to have occupied a foremost place in the discussion, but rather, the elimination of all docetic leaven, and the attitude to prophecy. The non-descript, the Alogi, were a party of the radical, anti-montanist, opposition in Asia Minor, existing within the Church — so radical that they refused to recognise the Montanist communities as Christian. They wished to have all prophecy kept out of the Church; in this sense they were decided contemners of the Spirit (Iren. l.c.; Epiph. 51, ch. 35). This attitude led them to an historical criticism of the two Johannine books, the one of which contained Christ’s announcement of the Paraclete, a passage which Montanus had made the most of for his own ends, while the other imparted prophetic revelations. They came to the conclusion, on internal grounds, that these books could not be genuine, that they were composed “in the name of John” (εἰς ὄνόα Ἰωάννου ch. 3, 18), and that by Cerinthus (ch. 3, 4,); the books ought not therefore to be received in the 16Church (ch. 3: οὐκ ἄξια αὐτά φασιν εἶναι ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ). The Gospel was charged with containing what was untrue; it contradicted the other Gospels,2626Epiph. LI., ch 4: φάσκουσι ὅτι οὐ συμφωνεῖ τὰ βιβλία τοῦ Ἰωάννου τοῖς λοιποῖς ἀποστόλοις, ch. 18: τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τὸ εἰς ὅνομα Ἰωάννου ψεύδεται . . . λέγουσι τὸ κατὰ Ἰωάννην εὐαγγέλιον, ἐπειδὴ μὴ τὰ αὐτὰ τοῖς ἀποστόλοις ἔφη, ἀδιάθετον εἶναι. and gave a quite different and, indeed, a notoriously false order of events; it was devoid of any sort of arrangement; it omitted important facts and inserted new ones which were inconsistent with the Synoptic Gospels; and it was docetic.2727Epiphanius has preserved for us in part the criticism of the Alogi on John I. II., and on the Johannine chronology (ch. 3, 4, 15, 18, 22, 26, 28, 29). In their conception the Gospel of John precluded the human birth and development of Jesus. Against the Apocalypse it was alleged, above all, that its contents were often unintelligible, nay, absurd and untrue (ch. 32-34). They ridiculed the seven angels and seven trumpets, and the four angels by the Euphrates; and on Rev. II. 18, they supposed that there was no Christian community in Thyatira at the time, and that accordingly the Epistle was fictitious. Moreover, the objections to the Gospel must also have included the charge (ch. 18) that it favoured Docetism, seeing that it passed at once from the incarnation of the Logos to the work of the ministry of Christ. In this connection they attacked the expression “Logos” for the Son of God;2828Epiph. LI. 3, 28: τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀποβάλλονται τὸν διὰ Ἰωάννην κητυχθέντα. indeed, they scented Gnosticism in it, contrasted John I. with the beginning of Mark’s Gospel,2929Epiph. LI., ch. 6: λέγουσιν· Ἰδοὺ δεύτερον εὐαγγέλιον περὶ Χριστοῦ σημαῖνον καὶ οὐδαμοῦ ἄνωθεν λέγον τὴν γέννησιν· ἀλλά, φησίν, Ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ κατῇλθε τὸ τνεῦμα ᾽επ᾽ αὐτὸν καί φωνή· Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς ὁ ἀγαπητός, ᾽ἐφ ὃν ηὐδόκησα. and arrived at the result, that writings whose contents were partly docetic, partly sensuously Jewish and unworthy of God, must have been composed by Cerinthus, the gnosticising Judaist. In view of this fact it is extremely surprising to notice how mildly the party was criticised and treated by Irenæus as well as by Hippolytus. The former distinguishes them sharply from the declared heretics. He places them on a line with the Schismatics, who gave up communion with the Church on account of the hypocrites 17to be found in it. He approves of their decided opposition to all pseudo-prophetic nonsense, and he only complains that in their zeal against the bad they had also fought against the good, and had sought to eject all prophecy. In short, he feels that between them and the Montanists, whom likewise he did not look on as heretics,3030This milder criticism — and neither Montanists nor Alogi stand in Irenæus’ catalogue of heretics — naturally did not prevent the view that those “unhappy people” had got into an extremely bad position by their opposition to the prophetic activity of the Spirit in the Church, and had fallen into the unforgivable sin against the Holy Ghost. he held the middle position maintained by the Church. And so with Hippolytus. The latter, apart from features which he could not but blame, confirms the conformity to the Church, claimed by the party itself (ch. 3), and conspicuous in their insistence on the harmony of the Scriptures (συμφωνία τῶν βιβλῶν).3131In Epiph. LI., ch. 4: δοκῦσι καὶ αὐτοὶ τὰ ἴσα ἡμῖν πιστεύειν. He nowhere sets them on a line with Cerinthus, Ebion, etc., and he has undoubtedly treated even their Christological views, on which Irenæus had communicated no information, more mildly, because he found so much in them of an anti-docetic, anti-montanistic nature, with which he could agree. But what was their teaching as to Christ? If Lipsius3232Quellen, p. 102 f., 112. were correct in his opinion that the Alogi only saw in Jesus a man naturally procreated, that they only pretended to hold by the current doctrine, then the attitude to them of Irenæus and Hippolytus would be incomprehensible. But our authority gives no support to such a view. It rather shows plainly that the Alogi recognised the first three Gospels, and consequently the miraculous birth from the Holy Ghost and the virgin. They placed, however, the chief emphasis on the human life of Jesus, on his birth, baptism, and temptation as told by the Synoptics, and for this very reason rejected the formula of the Logos, as well as the “birth from above”, i.e., the eternal generation of Christ. The equipment of Christ at his baptism was to them, in view of Mark, ch. I., of crucial importance (see p. 16, Note 4) and thus they would assume, without themselves making use of the phrase “a mere man” “(ψιλὸς ἄνθρωπος), an advancement 18(προκοπή) of the Christ, ordained at his baptism to be Son of God.3333It is not quite certain whether we may appeal to the words in Epiph. LI., ch. 18 (20): νομίζοντες ἀπὸ Μαρίας καὶ δεῦρο Χριστὸν αὐτὸν καλεῖσθαι καί υἱὸν Θεοῦ, καὶ εἷναι μὲν πρότερον ψιλὸν ἄνθρωπον, κατὰ προκοπὴν δὲ εἰληφέναι τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ προσηγορίαν.
The earliest opponents known to us of the Logos Christology were men whose adherence to the position of the Church in Asia Minor was strongly marked. This attitude of theirs was exhibited in a decided antagonism both to the Gnosticism, say, of Cerinthus, and to “Kataphrygian” prophecy. In their hostility to the latter they anticipated the development of the Church by about a generation; while rejecting all prophecy and “gifts of the Spirit” (ch.35), they, in doing so, gave the clearest revelation of their Catholic character. Since they did not believe in an age of the Paraclete, nor entertain materialistic hopes about the future state, they could not reconcile themselves to the Johannine writings; and their attachment to the conception of Christ in the Synoptics led them to reject the Gospel of the Logos. An explicitly Church party could not have ventured to promulgate such views, if they had been confronted by a Canon already closed, and giving a fixed place to these Johannine books. The uncompromising criticism, both internal and external — as in the hypothesis of the Cerinthian authorship — to which these were subjected, proves that, when the party arose, no Catholic Canon existed as yet in Asia Minor, and that, accordingly, the movement was almost as ancient that of the Montanists, which it followed very closely.3434As regards the problem of the origin and gradual reception of the Johannine writings, and especially of the Gospel, their use by Montanus, and their abrupt rejection by the Alogi, are of the greatest significance, especially when we bear in mind the Churchly character of the latter. The rise of such an opposition in the very region in which the Gospel undoubtedly first came to light; the application to the fourth of a standard derived from the Synoptic Gospels; the denial without scruple, of its apostolic origin; are facts which it seems to me have, at the present day, not been duly appreciated. We must not weaken their force by an appeal to the dogmatic character of the criticism practised by the Alogi; the attestation of the Gospel cannot have been convincing, if such a criticism was ventured on in the Church. But the Alogi distinctly denied to John and ascribed to Cerinthus the Apocalypse as well as the Gospel. Of Cerinthus we know far too little to be justified in sharing in the holy horror of the Church Fathers. But even if the above hypothesis is false, and it is in fact very probable that it is, yet the very fact that it could be set up by Churchmen is instructive enough; for it shows us, what we do not know from any other source, that the Johannine writings met with, and had to overcome, opposition in their birth-place. On this 19understanding, the party had a legitimate place within the developing Catholic Church, and only so can we explain the criticism which their writings encountered in the period immediately succeeding. Meanwhile, the first express opposition with which we are acquainted to the Logos Christology was raised within the Church, by a party which, yet, must be conceived by us to have been in many respects specifically secularised. For the radical opposition to Montanism, and the open, and at the same time jesting, criticism on the Apocalypse,3535The Roman Caius took over this criticism from them, as is shown by Hippolytus’ Cap. adv. Caium. But, like Theodotus, to be mentioned presently, he rejected the view of the Alogi as regards John’s Gospel. can only be so regarded. Yet the preference of the Logos Christology to others is itself indeed, as Celsus teaches, a symptom of secularisation and innovation in the creed. The Alogi attacked it on this ground when they took it as promoting Gnosticism (Docetism). But they also tried to refute the Logos Doctrine and the Logos Gospel on historical grounds, by a reference to the Synoptic Gospels. The representatives of this movement were, as far as we know, the first to undertake within the Church a historical criticism, worth of the name, of the Christian Scriptures and the Church tradition. They first confronted John’s Gospel with the Synoptics, and found numerous contradictions; Epiphanius, — and probably, before him, Hippolytus, — called them, therefore, word-hunters (λεξιθηροῦντες H. 51, ch. 34). They and their opponents could retort on each other the charge of introducing innovations; but we cannot mistake the fact that the larger proportion of innovations is to be looked for on the side of the Alogi. How long the latter held their ground; how, when, and by whom they were expelled from the Church in Asia Minor, we do not know.20
(b). The Roman Adoptians. — Theodotus the leather-worker and his party: Asclepiodotus, Hermophilus, Apollonides, Theodotus the money-changer, and also the Artemonites.3636See Kapp, Hist. Artemonis, 1737; Hagemann, Die römische Kirche in den drei ersten Jahrh., 1864; Lipsius, Quellenkritik, p. 235 f.; Lipsius, Chronologie der römischen Bischöfe, p. 173 f.; Harnack, in the Ztschr. f. d. hist. Theol., 1874, p. 200; Caspari, Quellen III., pp. 318-321, 404 f.; Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche I., p. 192 f.; Caspari, Om Melchizedekiternes eller Theodotianernes eller Athinganernes Laerdomme og om hvad de herve at sige, naar de skulle bline optagne i. den kristelige Kirke, in the Tidsskr f. d. evang. luth. Kirke. Ny Raekke, Bd. VIII., part 3, pp. 307-337. Authorities for the older Theodotus are; (1) the Syntagma of Hippolytus according to Epiph. H.54, Philaster H. 50. and Pseudo-Tertull. H. 28; (2) the Philosophumena VII. 35, X. 23, IX. 3, 12, X. 27; (3) the fragment of Hippolytus against Noëtus, ch. 3. 4) the fragments from the so-called Little Labyrinth (in Euseb. H. E. V. 28), which was perhaps by Hippolytus, and was written in the fourth decade of the third century, and after the Philosophumena. This work was directed against Roman Dynamistic Monarchians under the leadership of a certain Artemas, who are to be distinguished from the Theodotians. (For the age and author of the Little Labyrinth, and for its connection with the writings against the Alogi and against Noëtus; also for the appearance of Artemas, which is not to be dated before ± 235: see Caspari, Quellen l.c., and my art. “Monarchianismus”, p. 186). Eusebius has confined his extracts from the Little Labyrinth to such as deal with the Theodotians. These extracts and Philos. Lib. X. are used by Theodoret (H. F. II. 4. 5); it is not probable that the latter had himself examined the Little Labyrinth. A writing of Theodotus seems to have been made use of in the Syntagma of Hippolytus. As regards the younger Theodotus, his name has been handed down by the Little Labyrinth, the Philosoph. (VII. 36) and Pseudo-Tertull. H. 29 (Theodoret H. F. II. 6). The Syntagma tells of a party of Melchizedekians, which is traced in the Philosoph. and by the Pseudo-Tertullian to the younger Theodotus, but neither the party nor its founder is named. Very mysterious in contents and origin is the piece, edited for the first time from Parisian MSS. by Caspari (see above): περὶ Μελχισεδεκιανῶν καὶ Θεοδοτιανῶν καὶ Ἀθιγγανῶν. The only controversial writing known to us against Artemas (Artemon) is the Little Labyrinth. Unfortunately Eusebius has not excerpted the passages aimed at him. Artemas is, again, omitted in the Syntagma and in the Philosoph. For this reason Epiphanius, Pseudo-Tertull. and Philaster have no articles expressly dealing with him. He is, however, mentioned prominently in the edict of the last Synod of Antioch held to oppose Paul of Samosata (so also in the Ep. Alexandri in Theodoret H. E. I. 3 and in Pamphilus’ Apology Pro Orig. in Routh, Reliq. S. IV. p. 367); therefore many later writers against the heretics have named him (Epiph. H. 65. 1, esp. Theodoret H. F. II. 6. etc.). Finally, let it be noticed that the statements in the Synodicon Pappi, and in the Prædestinatus are worthless, and that the identification of the younger Theodotus with the Gnostic of the same name, extracts from whose works we possess, is inadmissable, not less so than the identification with Theodotus, the Montanist, of whom we are informed by Eusebius. In this we agree with Zahn (Forschungen III., p. 123) against Neander and Dorner. As an authority for the Roman Monarchians, Novatian, De Trinitate, also falls to be considered.
Towards the end of the episcopate of Eleutherus, or at the beginning of that of Victor (± 190) there came from Byzantium to Rome the leather-worker Theodotus, who afterwards was 21characterised as the “founder, leader, and father of the God-denying revolt”, i.e., of Adoptianism. Hippolytus calls him a “rag” (ἀπόσπασμα) of the Alogi, and it is in fact not improbable that he came from the circle of those theologians of Asia Minor. Stress is laid on his unusual culture; “he was supreme in Greek culture, very learned in science” (ἐν παιδείᾳ Ἑλληνικῇ ἀκρός, πολυμαθὴς τοῦ λόγου); and he was, therefore, highly respected in his native city. All we know for certain of his history is that he was excommunicated by the Roman Bishop, Victor, on account of the Christology which he taught in Rome (Euseb. V. 28. 6: ἀπεκήρυξε τῆς κοινωνίας); his is, therefore, the first case of which we are certain, where a Christian who took his stand on the rule of faith was yet treated as a heretic.3737It is significant that this took place in Rome. The Syntagma is further able to tell that Theodotus had denied Christ during the persecution in his native city before he came to Rome. See on this point my article on Monarchianism) p. 187. As regards his teaching, the Philosophumena expressly testify to the orthodoxy of Theodotus in his theology and cosmology.3838VII. 35: φάσκων τὰ περὶ μὲν τῆς τοῦ παντὸς ἀρχῆς σύμφωνα ἐκ μέρους τοῖς τῆς ἀληθοῦς ἐκκλησίας, ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ πάντα ὁμολογῶν γεγονέναι. In reference to the Person of Christ he taught: that Jesus was a man, who, by a special decree of God, was born of a virgin through the operation of the Holy Spirit; but that we were not to see in him a heavenly being, who had assumed flesh in the virgin. After the piety of his life had been thoroughly tested, the Holy Ghost descended upon him in baptism; by this means he became Christ and received his equipment (δυνάμεις) for his special vocation; and he demonstrated the righteousness, in virtue of which he excelled all men, and was, of necessity, their authority. Yet the descent of the Spirit upon Jesus was not sufficient to justify the contention that he was now “God”. Some of the followers of Theodotus represented 22Jesus as having become God through the resurrection; others disputed even this.3939Philos. VII. 35: Θεὸν δὲ οὐδέποτε τοῦτον γεγονέναι θέλουσιν ἐπὶ τῇ καθόδῳ τοῦ πνεύματος, ἕτεροι δὲ μετὰ τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀνάστασιν. The description in the text is substantially taken from the Philos., with whose account the contents of the Syntagma are not inconsistent. The statement that Theodotus denied the birth by the virgin is simply a calumny, first alleged by Epiphanius. The account of the Philos. seems unreliable, at most, on a single point, viz., where, interpreting Theodotus, it calls the Spirit which descended at the baptism “Christ” But possibly this too is correct, seeing that Hermas, and, later, the author of the Acta Archelai have also identified the Holy Spirit with the Son of God. (Compare also what Origen [περὶ ἀρχ. pref.] has reported as Church tradition on the Holy Spirit.) In that case we would only have to substitute the “Son of God” for “Christ”, and to suppose that Hippolytus chose the latter term in order to be able to characterise the teaching of Theodotus as Gnostic (Cerinthian). On the possibility that the Theodotians, however, really named the Holy Spirit “Christ”, see later on. This Christology, Theodotus and his party sought to prove from Scripture. Philaster says in general terms: “they use the chapters of Scripture which tell of Christ as man, but they avoid those which speak of him as God, reading and by no means understanding” (Utuntur capitulis scripturarum quæ de Christo veluti de homine edocent, quæ autem ut deo dicunt ea vero non accipiunt, legentes et nullo modo intellegentes). Epiphanius has, fortunately, preserved for us fragments of the biblical theological investigations of Theodotus, by the help of the Syntagma. These show that there was no longer any dispute as to the extent of the N. T. Canon; the Gospel of John is recognised, and in this respect also Theodotus is Catholic. The investigations are interesting, however, because they are worked out by the same prosaic methods of exegesis, adopted in the above discussed works of the Alogi.4040Epiphanius mentions the appeal of the Theodotians to Deut. XVIII. 15; Jer. XVII. 9; Isa. LIII. 2 f.; Mat. XII. 31; Luke I. 35; John VIII. 40; Acts II. 22; 1 Tim. II. 5. They deduced from Mat. XII. 31, that the Holy Spirit held a higher place than the Son of Man. The treatment of the verses in Deut. and Luke is especially instructive. In the former Theodotus emphasised, not only the “προφήτην ὡς ἐμέ”, and the “ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν”, but also the “ἐγερεῖ”, and concluded referring the passage to the Resurrection: ὁ ἐκ Θεοῦ ἐγειρόμενος Χριστὸς οὗτος οὐκ ἦν Θεὸς ἀλλὰ ἄνθρωπος, ἐπειδὴ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἦν, ὡς καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἄνθρωπος ἦν — accordingly the resuscitated Christ was not God. On Luke I. 35 he argued thus: “The Gospel itself says in reference to Mary: ‘the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee’; but it does not say: ‘the Spirit of the Lord will be in thy body’, or, ‘will enter into thee.’” — Further, if we may trust Epiphanius, Theodotus sought to divide the sentence — διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἐκ σοῦ ἅγιον κληθήσεται υἱὸς Θεοῦ — , from the first half of the verse, as if the words “διὸ καὶ” did not exist, so that he obtained the meaning that the Sonship of Christ would only begin later, — subsequent to the test. Perhaps, however, Theodotus entirely deleted “διὸ καὶ”, just as he also read “πνεῦμα κυρίου” for “πνεῦμα ἅγιον” in order to avoid all ambiguity. And since Hippolytus urges against him that John I. 14 did not contain “τὸ πνεῦμα σὰρξ ἐγένετο”, Theodotus must at least have interpreted the word “λόγος” in the sense of “πονῦμα”; and an ancient formula really ran: “Χριστὸς ὢν μὲν τὸ πρῶτον πνεῦμα ἐγένετο σάρξ” (2 Clem. IX. 5), where later “λόγος” was, indeed, inserted in place of “πνεῦμἀ”. See the Cod. Constantinop.23
Theodotus’ form of teaching was, even in the life-time of its author, held in Rome to be intolerable, and that by men disposed to Modalism — e.g., the Bishop himself, see under — as well as by the representatives of the Logos Christology. It is certain that he was excommunicated by Victor, accordingly before A.D. 199, on the charge of teaching that Christ was “mere man” (ψιλὸς ἄνθρωπος). We do not know how large his following was in the city. We cannot put it at a high figure, since in that case the Bishop would not have ventured on excommunication. It must, however, have been large enough to allow of the experiment of forming an independent Church. This was attempted in the time of the Roman Bishop Zephyrine (199-218) by the most important of the disciples of Theodotus, viz., Theodotus the money changer, and a certain Asclepiodotus. It is extremely probable that both of these men were also Greeks. A native, Natalius the confessor, was induced, so we are told by the Little Labyrinth, to become Bishop of the party, at a salary of 150 denarii a month. The attempt failed. The oppressed Bishop soon deserted and returned into the bosom of the great Church. It was told that he had been persuaded by visions and finally by blows with which “holy angels” pursued him during the night. The above undertaking is interesting in itself, since it proves how great had already become the gulf between the Church and these Monarchians in Rome, about A.D. 210; but still more instructive is the sketch given of the leaders of the party by the Little Labyrinth, a sketch that agrees excellently with the accounts given of the ‘λεξιθηροῦντες’ in Asia, and of the exegetic labours of the older Theodotus.4141Euseb. (H. E. V. 28): “They falsified the Holy Scriptures without scruple, rejected the standards of the ancient faith, and misunderstood Christ. For they did not examine what the Scriptures said, but carefully considered what logical figure they could obtain from it that would prove their godless teaching. And if any one brought before them a passage from Holy Scripture, they asked whether a conjunctive or disjunctive figure could be made of it. They set aside the Holy Scriptures of God, and employ themselves, instead, with geometry, being men who are earthly, and talk of what is earthly, and know not what comes from above. Some of them, therefore, study the geometry of Euclid with the greatest devotion; Aristotle and Theophrastus are admired; Galen is even worshipped by some. But what need is there of words to show that men who misuse the sciences of the unbelievers to prove their heretical views, and falsify with their own godless cunning the plain faith of Scripture, do not even stand on the borders of the faith? They have therefore laid their hands so unscrupulously on the Holy Scriptures under the pretext that they had only amended it critically (διωρθωκέναι). He who will can convince himself that this is no calumny. For, if one should collect the manuscripts of any one of them and compare them, he would find them differ in many passages. At least, the manuscripts of Asclepiodotus do not agree with those of Theodotus. But we can have examples of this to excess; for their scholars have noted with ambitious zeal all that any one of them has, as they say, critically amended, i.e., distorted (effaced?). Again, with these the manuscripts of Hermophilus do not agree; and those of Apollonides even differ from each other. For if we compare the manuscripts first restored by them (him?) with the later re-corrected copies, variations are found in many places. But some of them have not even found it worth the trouble to falsify the Holy Scriptures, but have simply rejected the Law and the Prophets, and have by this lawless and godless doctrine hurled themselves, under the pretext of grace, into the deepest abyss of perdition. 24The offence charged against the Theodotians was threefold: the grammatical and formal exegesis of Holy Scripture, the trenchant textual criticism, and the thorough-going study of Logic, Mathematics, and the empirical sciences. It would seem at a first glance as if these men were no longer as a rule interested in theology. But the opposite was the case. Their opponent had himself to testify that they pursued grammatical exegesis “in order to prove their godless tenets,” textual criticism in order to correct the manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures, and philosophy “in order by the science of unbelievers to support their heretical conception.” He had also to bear witness to the fact that these scholars had not tampered with the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, or the extent of the Canon (V. 28. 18).4242See under. Their whole work, therefore, was in the service of their theology. But the method of this work, — and we can infer it to have been also that of the Alogi and the older Theodotus — conflicted with the dominant theological method. Instead of Plato and 25Zeno, the Adoptians revered the Empiricists; instead of the allegorical interpretation of Scripture, the grammatical was alone held to be valid; instead of simply accepting or capriciously trimming the traditional text, an attempt was made to discover the original.4343See V. 28. 4, 5. How unique and valuable is this information! How instructive it is to observe that this method struck the disciple of the Apologists and Irenæus as strange, nay, even as heretical, that while he would have seen nothing to object to in the study of Plato, he was seized with horror at the idea of Aristotle, Euclid, and Galen, being put in the place of Plato! The difference was, indeed, not merely one of method. In the condition of the theology of the Church at that time, it could not be supposed that religious conviction was especially strong or ardent in men who depreciated the religious philosophy of the Greeks. For whence, if not from this source, or from Apocalyptics, did men then derive a distinctively pious enthusiasm?4444The triumph of Neo-platonic philosophy and of the Logos Christology in Christian theology is, in this sense, to be considered an advance. That philosophy, indeed, in the third century, triumphed throughout the empire over its rivals, and therefore the exclusive alliance concluded with it by Christian tradition was one which, when it took place, could be said to have been inevitable. Suppose, however, that the theology of Sabellius or of Paul had established itself in the Church in the 3rd century, then a gulf would have been created between the Church and Hellenism that would have made it impossible for the religion of the Church to become that of the empire. Neo-platonic tradition was the final product of antiquity; it disposed, but as a living force, of the intellectual and moral capital of the past. It is also little to be wondered at that the attempt made by these scholars to found a Church in Rome, was so quickly wrecked. They were fated to remain officers without an army; for with grammar, textual criticism, and logic one could only throw discredit, in the communities, on the form of Christological doctrine which held the highest place and had been rendered venerable by long tradition. These scholars, therefore, although they regarded themselves as Catholic, stood outside the Church.4545As “genuine” scholars — and this is a very characteristic feature — they took very great care that each should have the credit of his own amendments on the text. Of the works of these, the earliest exegetical scholars, nothing has come down to us.4646The Syntagma knows of these; Epiph. H. 55. c. 1: πλάττουσιν ἑαυτοῖς καὶ βίβλους ἐπιπλάστους, They have gone 26without leaving any appreciable effect on the Church. Contrast the significance gained by the schools of Alexandria and Antioch! The latter, which rose about 60 years later, took up again the work of this Roman school. It, too, came to stand outside the great Church; but it brought about one of the most important crises in the dogmatics of the Church, because in its philosophico-theological starting-point it was at one with orthodoxy.
The methodical and exegetical examination of the Holy Scriptures confirmed the Theodotians in their conception of Christ as the man in whom in an especial manner the Spirit of God had operated, and had made them opponents of the Logos Christology. The author of the Little Labyrinth does not state wherein the doctrine of the younger Theodotus differed from that of the older. When he says that some of the Theodotians rejected the law and the prophets προφάσει χάριτος, we may well suppose that they simply emphasised — in a Pauline sense, or because of considerations drawn from a historical study of religion — the relativity of the authority of the O. T.;4747Even the great anti-gnostic teachers had come to this view (see Vol. II., p. 304) without indeed drawing the consequences which the Theodotians may have deduced more certainly. for there is as little known of any rejection of the Catholic Canon on the part of the Theodotians, as of a departure from the rule of faith. Now Hippolytus has extracted from the exegetical works of the younger Theodotus one passage, the discussion of Hebr. V. 6, 10; VI. 20 f.; VII. 3, 17; and out of this he has made an important heresy. Later historians eagerly seized on this; they ascribed to the younger Theodotus, as distinguished from the older, a cultus of Melchizedek and invented a sect of Melchizedekians (= Theodotians). The moneychanger taught, it was said (Epiph. H. 55), that Melchizedek was a very great power, and more exalted than Christ, the latter being merely related to the former as the copy to the original. Melchizedek was the advocate of the heavenly powers before God, and the High Priest among men,4848L.c. Δεῖ ἡμᾶς τῷ Μελχισεδὲκ προσφέρειν, φασίν, ἵνα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ προσενεχθῇ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, καὶ εὕρωμεν δι᾽ αὐτοῦ ζωήν. while Jesus as 27priest stood a degree lower. The origin of the former was completely concealed, because it was heavenly, but Jesus was born of Mary. To this Epiphanius adds that the party presented its oblations in the name of M. (εἰς ὄνομα τοῦ Μελχισεδέκ); for he was the guide to God, the prince of righteousness, the true Son of God. It is apparent that the Theodotians cannot have taught this simply as it stands. The explanation is not far to seek. There was a wide-spread opinion in the whole ancient Church, that Melchizedek was a manifestation of the true Son of God; and to this view many speculations attached themselves, here and there in connection with a subordinationist Christology.4949See Clem. Alex. Strom. IV. 25. 161; Hierakas in Epiph. H. 55, c. 5, H. 67, c. 3; Philast. H. 148. Epiph. has himself to confess (H. 55, c. 7), that even in his time the view to be taken of Melchizedek was still a subject of dispute among Catholic Christians: οἱ μὲν γὰρ αὐτὸν νομίζουσι φύσει τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν ἰδέᾳ ἀνθρώπου τότε τῷ Ἀβραὰμ πεφηνέναι. Jerome Ep. 73 is important. The Egyptian hermit, Marcus, wrote, about A.D. 400, an independent work εἰς τὸν Μελχισεδὲκ κατὰ Μελχισεδεκειῶν, i.e., against those who saw in Melchizedek a manifestation of the true Son of God (see Photius, Biblioth. 200; Dict. of Christ. Biog. III. p. 827; Herzog’s R. E., 2 Aufl. IX. p. 290); cf. the above described fragment, edited for the first time by Caspari; further Theodoret H. F. II. 6, Timotheus Presb. in Cotelier, Monum. Eccl. Græcæ III. p. 392 etc. The Theodotians shared this conception. Immediately after the sentence given above Epiphanius has (55, c. 8): And Christ, they say, was chosen that he might call us from many ways to this one knowledge, having been anointed by God, and chosen, when he turned us from idols and showed us the way. And the Apostle having been sent by him revealed to us that Melchizedek is great and remains a priest for ever, and behold how great he is; and because the less is blessed by the greater, therefore he says that he as being greater blessed Abraham the patriarch; of whom we are initiated that we may obtain from him the blessing.5050Καὶ Χριστὸς μὲν, φάσίν, ἐξελέγη, ἵνα ἡμᾶς καλέσῃ ἐκ πολλῶν ὁδῶν εἰς μίαν ταύτην τὴν γνῶσιν, ὑπὸ Θεοῦ κεχρισμένος καὶ ἐκλεκτὸς γένόμενος, ἐπειδὴ ἀπέστρεψεν ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ εἰδώλων καὶ ὑπέδειξεν ἡμῖν τὴν ὁδόν. Ἐξ οὗπερ ὁ ἀπόστολος ἀποςταλεὶς ἀπεκάλυψεν ἡμῖν, ὅτι μέγας ἐστὶν ὁ Μελχισεδέκ, καὶ ἱερεὺς μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, καὶ, Θεωρεῖτε πηλίκος οὗτος· καὶ ὅτι τὸ ἔλασσον ἐκ τοῦ μείζονος εὐλογεῖται, διὰ τοῦτο, φησὶ, καὶ τὸν Ἁβαὰμ τὸν πατριάρχην εὐλόγησεν ὡς μείζων ὤν· οὗ ἡμεῖς ἐσμὲν μύσται, ὅπως τύχωμεν παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ τῆς εὐλογίας.
Now the Christological conception, formulated in the first half 28of this paragraph, was certainly not reported from an opponent. It is precisely that of the Shepherd,5151Cf. the striking agreement with Sim. V., especially ch. VI. 3: αὐτὸς καθαρίσας τὰς ἁμαρτίας τοῦ λαοῦ ἔδειξεν αὐτοῖς τὰς τρίβους τῆς ζωῆς. and accordingly very ancient in the Roman Church.5252The theologico-philosophical impress which, as distinguished from Sim. V., marks the whole passage, is of course unmistakable. Notice what is said as to Paul, and the expression “μύσται”. From this, and by a reference to the controversial writing of Hippolytus (Epiph. l.c. ch. 9), the “heretical” cultus of Melchizedek is explained. These Theodotians maintained, as is also shown by their exegesis on 1 Cor. VIII. 6,5353The Theodotians seem to have taken Christ in this verse to mean not Jesus, but the Holy Spirit, the eternal. Son of God, deleting the name Jesus (Epiph. H. 55, ch. 9). If that is so then the Philosophumena is right when it relates that the Theodotians had also given the name of Christ to the pre-existent Son of God, the Holy Ghost. Yet it is not certain whether we should regard the above quoted chapter of Epiphanius at all as reporting the Theodotian interpretation of 1 Cor. VIII. 6. three points: First, that besides the Father the only divine being was the Holy Spirit, who was identical with the Son — again simply the position of Hermas; secondly, that this Holy Spirit appeared to Abraham in the form of the King of Righteousness — and this, as has been shown above, was no novel contention; thirdly, that Jesus was a man anointed with the power of the Holy Ghost. But, in that case, it was only logical, and in itself not uncatholic, to teach that offerings and worship were due, as to the true, eternal Son of God, to this King of Righteousness who had appeared to Abraham, and had blessed him and his real descendants, i.e., the Christians. And if, in comparison with this Son of God; the chosen and anointed servant of God, Jesus, appears inferior at first, precisely in so far as he is man, yet their position was no more unfavourable in this respect than that of Hermas. For Hermas also taught that Jesus, being only the adopted Son of God, was really not to be compared to the Holy Spirit, the Eternal Son; or, rather, he is related to the latter, to use a Theodotian expression, as the copy to the original. Yet there is undoubtedly a great distinction between the Theodotians and Hermas. They unmistakably used their speculations as to the eternal 29Son of God in order to rise to that Son from the man Jesus of history, and to transcend the historical in general as something subordinate.5454Epiph. H. 55, ch. 8: εἰς ὄνομα δὲ τούτου τοῦ Μελχισεδὲκ ἡ προειρημένη αἵρεσις καὶ τὰς προσφορὰς ἀναφέρει, καὶ αὐτὸν εἶναι εἰσαγωγέα πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν καὶ δι᾽ αὐτοῦ, φησὶ, δεῖ τῷ Θεῷ προσφέρειν, ὅτι ἄρχων ἐστὶ δικαιοσύνης, ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ τούτῳ κατασταθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν οὐρανῷ, πνευματικός τις ὢν, καὶ υἱὸς Θεοῦ τεταγμένος . . . . c. 1: Χριστός, φησίν, ἐστὶν ἔτι ὑποδεέστερος τοῦ Μελχισεδέκ. There is not a word of this to be found in Hermas. Thus, the Theodotians sought, in a similar way to Origen, to rid themselves by speculation of what was merely historical, setting, like him, the eternal Son of God above the Crucified One. We have evidence of the correctness of this opinion in the observation that these speculations on Melchizedek were continued precisely in the school of Origen. We find them, and that with the same tendency to depreciate the historical Son of God, in Hieracas and the confederacy of Hieracite monks;5555See my art. in Herzog R. E., 2 Aufl. VI. p. 100 (Epiph. LV. 5; LXVII. 3). as also in the monks who held the views of Origen in Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries.
We have accordingly found that these theologians retained the ancient Roman Christology represented by Hermas; but that they edited it theologically and consequently changed its intention. If, at that time, the “Pastor” was still read in the Roman Church, while the Theodotian Christology was condemned, then its Christology must have been differently interpreted. In view of the peculiar character of the book, this would not be difficult. We may ask, however, whether the teaching of the Theodotians is really to be characterised as Monarchian, seeing that they assigned a special, and as it seems, an independent role to the Holy Spirit apart from God. Meanwhile, we can no longer determine how these theologians reconciled the separate substance (hypostasis) of the Holy Ghost, with the unity of the Person of God. But so much is certain, that in their Christology the Spirit was considered by them only as a power, and that, on the other hand, their rejection of the Logos Christology was not due to any repugnance to the idea of a second divine being. This is proved by their teaching as to the Holy Spirit and His appearance in the Old Testament. 30But then the difference between them and their opponents does not belong to the sphere of the doctrine of God; they are rather substantially at one on this subject with a theologian like Hippolytus. If that is so, however, their opponents were undoubtedly superior to them, while they themselves fell short of the traditional estimate of Christ. In other words, if there was an eternal Son of God, or any one of that nature, and if He appeared under the old covenant, then the traditional estimate of Jesus could not be maintained, once he was separated from that Son.5656Hermas did not do this, in so far as in the language of religion he speaks only of a Son of God (Simil. IX.). The formula of the man anointed with the Spirit was no longer sufficient to establish the transcendent greatness of the revelation of God in Christ, and it is only a natural consequence that the O. T. theophanies should appear in a brighter light. We see here why the old Christological conceptions passed away so quickly, comparatively speaking, and gave place so soon in the Churches to the complete and essential elevation of Jesus to the rank of deity, whenever theological reflection awoke to life. It was, above all, the distinctive method of viewing the Old Testament and its theophanies that led to this.
In certain respects the attempt of the Theodotians presents itself as an innovation. They sought to raise a once accepted, but, so to speak, enthusiastic form of faith to the stage of theology and to defend it as the only right one; they expressly refused, or, at least, declared to be matter of controversy, the use of the title “God” (Θεός) as applied to Jesus; they advanced beyond Jesus to an eternal, unchangeable Being (beside God). In this sense, in consequence of the new interest which the representatives of the above doctrine took in the old formula, it is to be regarded as novel. For we can hardly attribute to pre-catholic Christians like Hermas, a special interest in the essential humanity of Jesus. They certainly believed that they gave full expression in their formulas to the highest possible estimate of the Redeemer; they had no other idea. These theologians, on the other hand, defended a lower conception of Christ against a higher. Thus we may judge them on their own ground; for they let the idea of a heavenly Son of God 31stand, and did not carry out the complete revision of the prevailing doctrine that would have justified them in proving their Christological conception to be the one really legitimate and satisfactory. They indeed supported it by Scriptural proof, and in this certainly surpassed their opponents, but the proof did not cover the gaps in their dogmatic procedure. Since they took their stand on the regula fidei, it is unjust and at the same time unhistorical to call their form of doctrine “Ebionitic”, or to dispose of them with the phrase that Christ was to them exclusively a mere man (ψιλὸς ἂνθρωτος). But if we consider the circumstances in which they appeared, and the excessive expectations that were pretty generally attached to the possession of faith — above all, the prospect of the future deification of every believer — we cannot avoid the impression, that a doctrine could not but be held to be destructive, which did not even elevate Christ to divine honours, or, at most, assigned him an apotheosis, like that imagined by the heathens for their emperors or an Antinous. Apocalyptic enthusiasm passed gradually into Neo-platonic mysticism. In this transition these scholars took no share. They rather sought to separate a part of the old conceptions, and to defend that with the scientific means of their opponents.
Once more, 20 to 30 years later, the attempt was made in Rome by a certain Artemas to rejuvenate the old Christology. We are extremely ill informed as to this last phase of Roman Adoptianism; for the extracts taken by Eusebius from the Little Labyrinth, the work written against Artemas and his party, apply almost exclusively to the Theodotians. We learn, however, that the party appealed to the historical justification of their teaching in Rome, maintaining that Bishop Zephyrine had first falsified the true doctrine which they defended.5757Euseb. H. E. V. 28. 3: φασὶ γὰρ τοὺς μὲν προτέρους ἅπαντας καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἀποστόλους, παρειληφέναι τε καὶ δεδιδαχέναι ταῦτα, ἅ νῦν οὗτοι λέγουσι, καὶ τετηρῆσθαι τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ κηρύγματος μέχρι τῶν χρόνων τοῦ Βίκτορος . . . ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ διαδόχου αὐτοῦ Ζεφυρίνου παρακεχαράχθαι τὴν ἀλήθειαν. The relative correctness of this contention is indisputable, especially if we consider that Zephyrine had not disapproved 32of the formula, certainly novel, that “the Father had suffered”. The author of the Little Labyrinth reminds them that Theodotus had been already excommunicated by Victor, and of this fact they themselves cannot have been ignorant. When, moreover, we observe the evident anxiety of the writer to impose Theodotus upon them as their spiritual father, we come to the conclusion that the party did not identify themselves with the Theodotians. What they regarded as the point of difference we do not know. It is alone certain that they also refused to call Christ “God”; for the writer feels it necessary to justify the use of the title from tradition.5858Euseb. H. E. V. 28. 4, 5. Artemas was still alive in Rome at the close of the 7th decade of the 3rd century, but he was completely severed from the great Church, and without any real influence. No notice is taken of him even in the letters of Cyprian.5959We know that he still lived about 270 from tile document of the Synod of Antioch in the case of Paul of Samosata. We read there (Euseb. H. E. VII. 30. 17): “Paul may write letters to Artemas and the followers of A. are said to hold communion with him.” We have probably to regard as Artemonites those unnamed persons, mentioned in Novatian De Trinitate, who explained Jesus to be a mere man (homo nudus et solitarius). Artemas is also named in Methodius Conviv. VIII. 10, Ed. Jahn, p. 37. Since Artemas was characterised as the “father” of Paul in the controversy with that Bishop (Euseb. H. E. VII. 30. 16), he had afterwards attained a certain celebrity in the East, and had supplanted even Theodotus in the recollection of the Church. In the subsequent age, the phrase: “Ebion, Artemas, Paulus (or Photinus)” was stereotyped; this was afterwards supplemented with the name of Nestorius, and in that form the phrase became a constant feature in Byzantine dogmatics and polemics.
(c). Traces of Adoptian Christology in the West after Artemas.
Adoptian Christology — Dynamistic Monarchianism — apparently passed rapidly and almost entirely away in the West. The striking formula, settled by the Symbol, “Christus, homo et deus”, and, above all, the conviction that Christ had appeared in the O. T., brought about the destruction of the party. Yet, 33here and there — in connection, doubtless, with the reading of Hermas6060Even Tertullian used the Christological formula of Hermas when he was not engaged in Apologetics or in polemics against the Gnostics. — the old faith, or the old formula, that the Holy Spirit is the eternal Son of God and at the same time the Christ-Spirit, held its ground, and, with it, conceptions which bordered on Adoptianism. Thus we read in the writing “De montibus Sina et Sion”6161Hartel, Opp. Cypr. III., p. 104 sq. composed in vulgar Latin and attributed wrongly to Cyprian, ch. IV: “The body of the Lord was called Jesus by God the Father; the Holy Spirit that descended from heaven was called Christ by God the Father, i.e., anointed of the living God, the Spirit joined to the body Jesus Christ” (Caro dominica a deo patre Jesu vocita est; spiritus sanctus, qui de cælo descendit, Christus, id est unctus dei vivi, a deo vocitus est, spiritus carni mixtus Jesus Christus). Compare ch. XIII.: the H. S., Son of God, sees Himself double, the Father sees Himself in the Son, the Son in the Father, each in each (Sanctus spiritus, dei filius, geminatum se videt, pater in filio et filius in patre utrosque se in se vident). There were accordingly only two hypostases, and the Redeemer is the flesh (caro), to which the pre-existent Holy Spirit, the eternal Son of God, the Christ, descended. Whether the author understood Christ as “forming a person” or as a power cannot be decided; probably, being no theologian, the question did not occur to him.6262Hilary’s work “De trinitate” also shows (esp. X. 18 ff., 50 ff.) what different Christologies still existed in the West in the middle of the 4th century. There were some who maintained: “quod in eo ex virgine creando efficax dei sapientia et virtus exstiterit, et in nativitate eius divinæ prudentiæ et potestatis opus intellegatur, sitque in eo efficientia potius quam natura sapientiæ. We do not hear that the doctrine of Photinus, who was himself a Greek, gained any considerable approval in the West. But we learn casually that even in the beginning of the 5th century a certain Marcus was expelled from Rome for holding the heresy of Photinus, and that he obtained a following in Dalmatia. Incomparably more instructive, however, is the account given by Augustine (Confess. VII. 19. ) of his own and his friend Alypius’ Christological belief, at a time when both stood quite near the Catholic 34Church, and had been preparing to enter it. At that time Augustine’s view of Christ was practically that of Photinus; and Alypius denied that Christ had a human soul; yet both had held their Christology to be Catholic, and only afterwards learned better.6363Augustine, l.c. . . . Quia itaque vera scripta sunt (sc. the Holy Scriptures) totum hominem in Christo agnoscebam; non corpus tantum hominis, aut cum corpore sine mente animam, sed ipsum hominem, non persona veritatis, sed magna quadam natureæ humanæ excellentia et perfectiore participatione sapientiæ præferri cæteris arbitrabar. Alypius autem deum carne indutum ita putabat credi a Catholicis, ut præter deum et carnem non esset in Christo anima, mentemque hominis non existimabat in eo prædicari . . . Sed postea hæreticorum Apollinaristarum hunc errorem esse cognoscens, catholicæ fidei collætatus et contemperatus est. Ego autem aliquanto posterius didicisse me fateor, in eo quod “verbum caro factum est” quomodo catholica veritas a Photini falsitate dirimatur. Now let us remember that Augustine had enjoyed a Catholic education, and had been in constant intercourse with Catholics, and we see clearly that among the laity of the West very little was known of the Christological formulas, and very different doctrines of Christ were in fact current even at the close of the 4th century.6464In the Fragment, only preserved in Arabic, of a letter of Pope Innocent I. to Severianus, Bishop of Gabala (Mai, Spicile.g. Rom. III., p. 702) we still read the warning: “Let no one believe that it was only at the time when the divine Word on earth came to receive baptism from John that this divine nature originated, when, i.e., John heard the voice of the Father from heaven. It was certainly not so, etc.”
(d). The Ejection of the Adoptian Christology in the East, — Beryll of Bostra, Paul of Samosata, etc.
We can see from the writings of Origen that there were also many in the East who rejected the Logos Christology. Those were undoubtedly most numerous who identified the Father and the Son; but there were not wanting such as, while they made a distinction, attributed to the Soh a human nature only,6565Orig. on John II. 2, Lomm. I., p. 92: Καὶ τὸ πολλοὺς φιλοθέους εἶναι εὐχομένους ταράσσον, εὐλαβουμένους δύο ἀναγορεῦσαι θεούς, καὶ παρὰ τοῦτο περιπίπτοντας ψευδέσι καὶ ἀσεβέσι δόγμασιν, ἤτοι ἀρνουμένους ἰδιότητα υἱοῦ ἑτέραν παρὰ τὴν τοῦ πατρός, ὁμολογοῦντας Θεὸν εἶναι τὸν μέχρι ὀνόματος παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς υἱὸν προσαγορευόμενον, ἠ ἀρνουμένους τὴν θεότητα τοῦ υἱοῦ, τιθέντας δὲ αὐτοῦ τὴν ἰδιότητα καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν κατὰ περιγραφὴν τυγχάνουσαν ἑτέραν τοῦ πατρός, ἐντεῦθεν λύεσθαι δύναται, see also what follows. Pseudo-Gregor. (Apollinaris) in Mai (Nov. Coll. VII. 1, p. 171) speaks of men who conceived Christ as being ‘filled with divinity’, but made no specific distinction between Him and the prophets, and worshipped a man with divine power after the manner of the heathens. and 35accordingly taught like the Theodotians. Origen by no means treated them, as a rule, as declared heretics, but as misled, or “simple”, Christian brethren who required friendly teaching. He himself, besides, had also inserted the Adoptian Christology into his complicated doctrine of Christ; for he had attached the greatest value to the tenet that Jesus should be held a real man who had been chosen by God, who in virtue of his free will, had steadfastly attested his excellence, and who, at last, had become perfectly fused with the Logos in disposition, will, and finally also in nature (see Vol. II., p. 369 f.). Origen laid such decided emphasis on this that his opponents afterwards classed him with Paul of Samosata and Artemas,6666Pamphili Apolog. in Routh, IV., p. 367; Schultz in the Jahrbb. f. protest. Theol. 1875, p. 193 f. On Origen and the Monarchians, see Hagemann, l.c., p. 300 f. and Pamphilus required to point out “that Origen said that the Son of God was born of the very substance of God, i.e., was ὁμοούσιος, which means, of the same substance with the Father, but that he was not a creature who became a son by adoption, but a true son by nature, generated by the Father Himself” (quod Origines filium dei de ipsa dei substantia natum dixerit, id est, ὁμοούσιον, quod est, eiusdem cum patre substantiæ, et non esse creaturam per adoptionem sed natura filium verum, ex ipso patre generatum).6767See l.c., p, 368. >So Origen in fact taught, and he was very far from seeing more in the Adoptian doctrine than a fragment of the complete Christology. He attempted to convince the Adoptians of their error, more correctly, of their questionable one-sidedness,6868Orig. in Ep. ad Titum, Lomm. V., p. 287 “Sed et eos, qui hominem dicunt dominum Iesum præcognitum et prædestinatum, qui ante adventum carnalem substantialiter et proprie non exstiterit, sed quod homo natus patris solam in se habuerit deitatem, ne illos quidem sine periculo est ecclesiæ numero sociari.” This passage, undoubtedly, need not necessarily be applied to Dynamistic Monarchians, any more than the description about to be quoted of the doctrine of Beryll. There may have existed a middle type between Dynamistic and Modalistic Monarchianism, according to which the humanity as well as the deitas patris in Jesus Christ was held to be personal. but he had seldom any other occasion to contend with them.36
Perhaps we should here include the action against Beryll of Bostra. This Arabian Bishop taught Monarchianism. His doctrine aroused a violent opposition. The Bishops of the province were deeply agitated and instituted many examinations and discussions. But they appear not to have come to any result. Origen was called in, and, as we are informed by Eusebius, who had himself examined the acts of the Synods, he succeeded in a disputation in amicably convincing the Bishop of his error.6969Euseb. H. E. VI. 33. See also Socrates H. E. III. 7. This happened, according to the common view, in A.D. 244. We have to depend, for the teaching of Beryll, on one sentence in Eusebius, which has received very different interpretations.7070L.c.: τὸν σωτῆρα καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν μὴ προϋφεστάναι κατ᾽ ἰδίαν οὐσίας περιγραφὴν πρὸ τῆς εἰς ἀνθρώπους ἐπιδημίας, μηδὲ θεότητα ἰδίαν ἔχειν, ἀλλ ἐμπολιτευομένην αὐτῷ μόνην τὴν πατρικήν. The word περιγραφή is first found in the Excerpta Theodoti 19, where κατὰ περιγραφήν is contrasted in the sense of personality with the κατ᾽ οὐσίαν (τοῦ Θεοῦ)). The latter was accordingly felt to be Modalistic: καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο, οὐ κατὰ τὴν παρουσίαν μόνον ἄνθρωπος γενόμενος, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν ἀρχῇ ὁ ἐν ταυτότητι λόγος κατὰ περιγραφὴν καὶ οὐ κατ᾽ οὐσίαν γενόμενος, ὁ υἱὸς; cf., ch. 10, where περιγράφεσθαι also expresses the personal existence, i.e., what was afterwards termed ὑπόστασις. This word was not yet so used, so far as I know, in the 3rd century. In Origen περιγραφή is likewise the expression for the strictly self-contained personality; see Comm. on John I. 42, Lomm. I. 88: ὥσπερ οὖν δυνάμεις Θεοῦ πλείονές εἰσιν, ὧν ἑκάστη κατὰ περιγραφήν, ὧν διαφέρει ὁ σωτήρ, οὗτως ὁ λόγος — εἰ καὶ παρ᾽ ἡμῖν οὐκ ἔστι κατὰ περιγραφὴν εκτὸς ἡμῶν — νοηθήσεται ὁ Χριστὸς κ.τ.λ. In our passage and Pseudo-Hippol. c. Beron. 1, 4, it means simply “configuration”. Nitzsch says rightly,7171Dogmengesch. I., p. 202. See on Beryll, who has become a favourite of the historians of dogma, apart from the extended historical works, Ullmann, de Beryllo, 1835; Theod. Stud. u. Krit., 1836; Fock Diss. de Christologia B. 1843; Rossel in the Berliner Jahrbb., 1844, No. 41 f.; Kober in the Theol. Quartalschr., 1848, I. that Eusebius missed in Beryll the recognition of the separate divine personality (hypostasis) in Christ and of his pre-existence, but not the recognition of his deity. However, this is not enough to class the Bishop with certainty among the Patripassians, since Eusebius’ own Christological view, by which that of Beryll was here gauged, was very vague. Even the circumstance, that at the Synod of Bostra (according to Socrates) Christ was expressly decreed to have a human soul, is not decisive; for Origen might have carried the recognition of this dogma, which was 37of the highest importance to him, whatever the doctrine of Beryll had been. That the Bishop rather taught Dynamistic Monarchianism is supported, first, by the circumstance that this form of doctrine had, as we can prove, long persisted in Arabia and Syria; and, secondly, by the observation that Origen, in the fragment of his commentary on the Ep. of Titus (see above), has contrasted with the Patripassian belief7272It is contained in the words of Origen given above, p. 35, note 3. a kind of teaching which seems to coincide with that of Beryll. Primitive Dynamistic Monarchian conceptions must, however, be imputed also to those Egyptian Millenarians whom Dionysius of Alexandria opposed, and whom he considered it necessary to instruct “in the glorious and truly divine appearing of our Lord” (περὶ τῆς ἐνδόξου καὶ ἀληθῶς ἐνθέου τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ἐπιφανείας7373Euseb. H. E. VII. 24, 5. By the Epiphany we have to understand the future appearing; but thorough-going Millenarians in the East, in the country districts, hardly recognised the doctrine of the Logos.
These were all, indeed, isolated and relatively unimportant phenomena; but they prove that even about the middle of the 3rd century the Logos Christology was not universally recognised in the East, and that the Monarchians were still treated indulgently.7474The uncertainty which still prevailed in the 3rd century in reference to Christology is seen whenever we take up works not written by learned theologians. Especially the circumstance that, according to the Creed and the Gospel, the Holy Ghost took part in the conception of Jesus, constantly prompted the most curious phrases regarding the personal divinity of Christ, and the assumptio carnis of the Logos, see, e.g., Orac. Sibyll. VI. V. 6, where Christ is called “Sweet God whom the Spirit, in the white plumage of the dove, begot.” Decisive action was first taken and Adoptianism was ranked in the East with Ebionitism as a heresy, in the case of the incumbent of the most exalted Bishopric in the East, Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch from 260, but perhaps a little earlier. He opposed the already dominant doctrine of the essential natural deity of Christ, and set up once more the old view of the human Person of the Redeemer.7575Feuerlein, De hæresi Pauli Samosat., 1741; Ehrlich, De erroribus P.S., 1745; Schwab, Diss. de P.S. vita atque doctrina, 1839; Hefele, Conciliengesch. 2 Aufl. I., p. 135; Routh, Reliq. S. III., pp. 286-367; Frohschammer, Ueber die Verwerfung des ὁμοούσιος, in the Theol. Quartalschr. 1850, I. That happened 38at a time when, through Alexandrian theology, the use of the categories λόγος (word), οὐσία (being), ὑπόστασις (substance), ἐνυπόστατος (subsisting), πρόσωπον (person), περιγραφὴ οὐσίας (configuration of essence), etc., had almost already become legitimised, and when in the widest circles the idea had taken root that the Person of Jesus Christ must be accorded a background peculiar to itself, and essentially divine.
We do not know the circumstances in which Paul felt himself impelled to attack the form of doctrine taught by Alexandrian philosophy. Yet it is noticeable that it was not a province of the Roman Empire, but Antioch, then belonging to Palmyra, which was the scene of this movement. When we observe that Paul held a high political office in the kingdom of Zenobia, that close relations are said to have existed between him and the Queen, and that his fall implied the triumph of the Roman party in Antioch, then we may assume that a political conflict lay behind the theological, and that Paul’s opponents belonged to the Roman party in Syria. It was not easy to get at the distinguished Metropolitan and experienced theologian, who was indeed portrayed by his enemies as an unspiritual ecclesiastical prince, vain preacher, ambitious man of the world, and wily Sophist. The provincial Synod, over which he presided, did not serve the purpose. But already, in the affair of Novatian, which had threatened to split up the East, the experiment had been tried A.D. 252 (253) of holding an Oriental general-council, and that with success. It was repeated. A great Synod — we do not know who called it — met in Antioch A.D. 264; Bishops from various parts of the East attended it, and, especially, Firmilian of Caesarea. The aged Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, excused his absence in a letter in which he did not take Paul’s side. The first Synod came to an end without result, because, it is alleged, the accused had cunningly concealed his false doctrines.7676Eusebius speaks (H. E. VII. 28. 2) of a whole party (οἱ ἀμφὶ τὸν Σαμοσατέα) having been able to conceal their heterodoxy at the time. A second was also unsuccessful. Firmilian himself gave up the idea of a condemnation “because Paul promised to change his opinions.” It was only at a third Synod, between 266 and 269, probably 39268, at Antioch, Firmilian having died at Tarsus on his way thither, that excommunication was pronounced on the Bishop, and his successor Domnus was appointed. The number of the members of Synod is stated differently at 70, 80, and 180; and the argument against Paul was led by Malchion, a sophist of Antioch and head of a high school, as also a presbyter of the Church. He alone among them all was in a position to unmask that “wily and deceitful man.” The Acts of the discussion together with a detailed epistle, were sent by the Synod to Rome, Alexandria, and all Catholic Churches. Paul, protected by Zenobia, remained four years longer in his office; the Church in Antioch split up: “there took place schisms among the people, revolts among the priests, confusion among the pastors” (ἐγένοντο σχίσματα λαῶν, ἀκαταστασίαι ἱερέων, ταραχὴ ποιμένων).7777Basilius Diac., Acta Concilii Ephes., p. 427, Labb. In the year A.D. 272 Antioch was at last taken by Aurelian, and the Emperor, to whom an appeal was brought, pronounced on the spot the famous judgment, that the Church building was to be handed to him with whom the Christian Bishops of Italy and of Rome corresponded by letter. This decision was of course founded on political grounds.7878The most important authorities for Paul’s history and doctrine are the Acts of the Synod of Antioch held against him, i.e., the shorthand report of the discussion between Paul and Malchion, and the Synodal epistle. These still existed in the 6th century, but we now possess them only in a fragmentary form: in Euseb. H. E. VII. 27-30 (Jerome de vir. inl. 71); in Justinian’s Tract. c. Monophys.; in the Contestatio ad Clerum C.P.; in the Acts of the Ephesian Council; in the writing against Nestor. and Eutych. by Leontius of Byzant.; and in the book of Petrus Diaconus, “De incarnat. ad Fulgentium”: all in Routh l.c. where the places in which they are found are also stated. Not certainly genuine is the Synodal epistle of six Bishops to Paul, published by Turrianus (Routh, l.c., p. 289 sq.); yet its authenticity is supported by overwhelming reasons. Decidedly inauthentic is a letter of Dionysius of Alex. to Paul (Mansi, I., p. 1039 sq.), also a pretended Nicene Creed against him (Caspari, Quellen IV., p. 161 f.), and another found in the libel against Nestorius (Mansi, IV., p. 1010). Mai has published (Vet. Script. Nova Coll. VII., p. 68 sq.) five fragments of Paul’s speeches: οἱ πρός Σαβῖνον λόγοι (not quite correctly printed in Routh, l.c., p. 328 sq.) which are of the highest value, and may be considered genuine, in spite of their standing in the very worst company, and of many doubts being roused by them which do not admit of being completely silenced. Vincentius mentions writings by Paul (Commonit. 35). In the second grade we have the testimony of the great Church Fathers of the 4th century, which rested partly on the Acts, partly on oral tradition: see, Athanas c. Apoll. II. 3, IX. 3; de Synod. Arim. et Seleuc. 26, 43-45, 51, 93; Orat. c. Arian. II., No. 43; Hilarius, De synod. §§ 81, 86, pp. 1196, 1200; Ephræm Junior in Photius, Cod. 229; Gregor Nyss, Antirrhet. adv. Apoll., § 9, p. 141; Basilius, ep. 52 (formerly 300); Epiphan. H. 65 and Anaceph.; cf. also the 3 Antiochian formulas and the Form. Macrostich. (Hahn Biblioth. der Symbole, 2 Aufl. §§ 85, 89), as also the 19 Canon of the Council of Nicæa, according to which Paul’s followers were to be re-baptised before reception into the Catholic Church. One or two notes also in Cramer Catena on S. John. pp. 235, 259 sq. Useful details are given by Innocentius I., ep. 22; by Marius Mercator, in the Suppl. Imp. Theodos. et Valentinian adv. Nestor. of the Deacon Basilius; by Theodorus of Raithu (see Routh, l.c., pp. 327 sq. 357); Fulgentius, etc. In the later opponents of the heretics from Philaster, and in resolutions of Synods from the 5th century, we find nothing new. Sozom. H. E. IV. 15 and Theodoret H. F. II. 8 are still of importance. The Libellus Synodicus we must leave out of account.40
The teaching of Paul was characterised by the Fathers as a renewal of that of Artemas, but sometimes also as Neo-Jewish, Ebionitic, afterwards as Nestorian Monothelite, etc. It was follows. God was simply to be regarded as one person. Father, Son, and Spirit were the One God (ἓν πρόσωπον). In God a Logos (Son) or a Sophia (Spirit) can be distinguished — both can again according to Paul become identified — but they are qualities.7979Μὴ εἶναι τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐνυπόστατον, ἀλλὰ ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ Θεῷ — ἐν Θεῷ ἐπιστήμη ἐνυπόστατος — εἷς Θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ καὶ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ὡς λόγος ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ. God puts forth of Himself the Logos from Eternity, nay, He begets him, so that he can be called Son and can have being ascribed to him, but he remains an impersonal power.8080Λόγος προφορικός — ὁ πρὸ αἰώνων υἱὸς — τὸν λόγον ἐγέννησεν ὁ Θεός ἄνευ παρθένου καὶ ἄνευ τινὸς οὐδενὸς ὄντος πλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ· καὶ οὕτως ὑπέστη ὁ λόγος. Therefore it was absolutely impossible for him to assume a visible form.8181Σοφία οὐκ ἦν δυνατὸς ἐν σχήματι εὑρίσκεσθαι, οὐδὲ ἐν θέᾳ ἀνδρός· μείζων γὰρ τῶν ὁρωμένων ἐστίν. This Logos operated in the prophets, to a still higher degree in Moses, then in many others, and most of all (μᾶλλον καὶ διαφερόντως) in the Son of David, born of the virgin by the Holy Ghost. The Redeemer was by the constitution of his nature a man, who arose in time by birth; he was accordingly “from beneath”, but the Logos of God inspired him from above.8282‘Λόγος μὲν ἄνωθεν, Ἰησοῦς δὲ Χριστὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐντεῦθεν — Χριστὸς ἀπο Μαρίας καὶ δεῦρό ἐστιν — ἄνθρωπος ἦν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ ἐνέπνευσεν ἄνωθεν ὁ λόγος· ὁ πατὴρ γὰρ ἅμα τῷ υἱῷ (scil. τῶ λόγῳ) εἷς Θεός, ὁ δὲ ἄνθρωπος κάτωθεν τὸ ἴδιον πρόσωπον ὑποφαίνει, καὶ οὕτως τὰ δύο πρόσωπα πληροῦνται — Χριστὸς ἐντεῦθεν τῆς ὑπάρξεως τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐσχηκώς — λέγει Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν κάτωθεν,The union of the Logos 41with the man Jesus is to be represented as an indwelling8383Ὡς ἐν ναῷ — ἐλθόντα τὸν λόγον καὶ ἐνοικήσαντα ἐν Ιησοῦ ἀνθρώπῳ ὄντι; in support of this Paul appealed to John XIV. 10: “sapientia habitavit in eo, sicut et habitamus et nos in domibus” — by means of an inspiration acting from without,8484Λόγον ἐνεργὸν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ — σοφίας ἐμπνεούσης ἔξωθεν. so that the Logos becomes that in Jesus which in the Christian is called by the Apostle “the inner man”; but the union which is thus originated is a contact in knowledge and communion (συνάφεια κατὰ μάθησιν καὶ μετουσίαν) a coming together (συνέλευσις); there does not arise a being existent in a body (οὐσία οὐσιωμένη ἐν σώματι), i.e., the Logos dwelt in Jesus not “in substance but in quality” (οὐσιωδῶς, αλλὰ κατὰ ποιότητα).8585Οὐ δίδως, says Malchion, οὐσιῶσθαι ἐν τῷ ὅλῳ σωτῆρι τὸν μονογενῆ. Therefore the Logos is to be steadily distinguished from Jesus;8686Ἄλλος γάρ ἐστιν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς καὶ ἄλλος ὁ λόγος. he is greater than the latter.8787Ὁ λόγος μείζων ἦν τοῦ Χριστοῦ· Χριστὸς γὰρ διὰ σοφίας μέγας ἐγένετο. Mary did not bear the Logos, but a man like us in his nature, and in his baptism it was not the Logos, but the man, who was anointed with the Spirit.8888Μαρία τὸν λόγον οὐκ ἔτεκεν οὐδὲ γὰρ ἦν πρὸ αἰώνων ἡ Μαρία, ἀλλὰ ἄνθρωπον ἡμῖν ἶσον ἔτεκεν — ἄνθρωπος χρίεται, ὁ λόγος οὐ χρίεται· ὁ Ναζωραῖος χρίεται, ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν, However, Jesus was, on the other hand, vouchsafed the divine grace in a special degree,8989Οὔκ ἐστιν ὁ ἐκ Δαβὶδ χρισθεὶς ἀλλότριος τῆς σοφίας. and his position was unique.9090Ἡ σοφία ἐν ἄλλῳ οὐχ οὕτως οἰκεῖ — κρείττων κατὰ πάντα, ἐπειδὴ ἐκ τνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ ἐξ ἐπαγγελιῶν καὶ ἐκ τῶν γεγραμμένων ἡ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ χάρις. Moreover, the proof he gave of his moral perfection corresponded to his peculiar equipment.9191Paul has even spoken of a διαφορὰ τῆς κατασκευῆς (συστάσεως) τοῦ Χριστοῦ. The only unity between two persons, accordingly between God and Jesus, is that of the disposition and the will.9292From this point we refer to the Λόγοι πρὸς Σαβῖνον of Paul. We give them here on account of their unique importance: (1) Τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι χρισθεὶς προσηγορεύθη Χριστός, πάσχων κατὰ φύσιν, θαυματουργῶν κατὰ χάριν· τῷ γὰρ ἀτρέπτῳ τῆς γνώμης ὁμοιωθεὶς τῷ Θεῷ, καὶ μείνας καθαρὸς ἁμαρτίας ἡνώθη αὐτῷ, καὶ ἐνηργήθη που ἑλέσθαι τὴν τῶν θαυμάτων δυναστείαν, ἐξ ὧν μίαν αὐτὸς καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν πρὸς τῇ θελήσει ἐνέργειαν ἔχειν δειχθείς, λυτρωτὴς τοῦ γένους καὶ σωτὴρ ἐχρημάτισεν. — (2) Αἱ διάφοροι φύσεις καὶ τὰ διάφορα πρόσωπα ἕνα καὶ μόνον ἑνώσεως ἔχουσι τρόπον τὴν κατὰ θέλησιν σύμβασιν, ἐξ ἧς ἡ κατὰ ἐνέργειαν ἐπι τῶν οὕτῶς συμβιβασθέντων ἀλλήλοις ἀναφαίνεται μονάς. — (3) Ἅγιος καὶ δίκαιος γεγενημένος ὁ σωτήρ, ἀγῶνι καὶ πόνῳ τὰς τοῦ προπάτορας ἡμῶν κρατήσας ἁμαρτίας· οἷς κατορθώσας τῇ ἀρετῇ συνήφθη τῷ Θεῷ, μίαν καὶ τήν αὐτὴν πρὸς αὐτὸν βούλησιν καὶ ἐνέργειαν ταῖς τῶν ἀγαθῶν προκοπαῖς ἐσχηκώς· ἣν ἀδιαίρετον φυλάξας τὸ ὄνομα κληροῦται τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα, στοργῆς ἔπαθλον αὐτῷ χαρισθέν. — (4) Τὰ κρτούμενα τῷ λόγῳ τῆς φύσεως οὐκ ἔχει ἔπαινον· τὰ δὲ σχέσει φιλίας κρατούμενα ὑπεραινεῖται, μιᾷ καὶ τῇ αὐτῇ γνώμῃ κρατούμενα, δίὰ μιᾶς καὶ τῆς αὐτῆς ἐνεργείας βεβαιούμενα, καὶ τῆς κατ᾽ ἐπαύξησιν οὐδέποτε παυομένης κινήσεως· καθ᾽ ἣν τῷ Θεῷ συναφθεὶς ὁ σωτὴρ οὐδέποτε δέχεται μερισμὸν εἰς τοὺς αἰώνας μίαν αὐτὸς καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν ἔχων θέλησιν καὶ ἐνέργειαν, ἀεὶ κινουμένην τῇ φανερώσει τῶν ἀγαθῶν. — (5) Μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι μίαν μετὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τὴν θέλησιν εἷχεν ὁ σωτὴρ· ὥστερ γὰρ ἡ φύσις μίαν τῶν πολλῶν καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν ὐπάρχουσαν φανεροῖ τὴν οὐσίαν, οὕτως ἡ σχέσις τῆς ἀγάπης μίαν· τῶν πολλῶν καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν ἐργάζεται θέλησιν διὰ μιᾶς καὶ τῆς αὐτῆς φανερουμένην εὐαρεστήσεως. Similar details are to be found in Theodorus of Mops.; but the genuineness of what is given here seems to me to be guaranteed by the fact that there is absolutely not a word of an ethical unification of the eternal Son of God (the Logos) with Jesus. It is God Himself Himself who is thus united with the latter. 42Such unity springs from love alone; but love can certainly produce a complete unity, and only that which is due to love — not that attained by “nature” — is of worth. Jesus was like God in the unchangeableness of his love and his will, and became one with God, being not only without sin himself, but vanquishing, in conflict and labour, the sins of our ancestor. As he himself, however, advanced in the manifestation of goodness and continued in it, the Father furnished him with power and miracles, in which he made known his steadfast conformity to the will of God. So he became the Redeemer and Saviour of the human race, and at the same time entered into an eternally indissoluble union with God, because his love can never cease. Now he has obtained from God, as the reward of his love, the name which is above every name; God has committed to him the judgment,9393Χρὴ δὲ γιγνώσκειν, we read in the Catena S. Joh., ὅτι ὁ μὲν Παῦλος ὁ Σαμ. οὕτω φησίν· ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ κρίσιν ποιεῖν, ὅτι υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου ἐστὶν. and invested him with divine dignity, so that now we can call him “God [born] of the virgin”.9494Athanas.: Παῦλος ὁ Σαμ. Θεὸν ἐκ τῆς παρθένου ὁμολογεῖ, Θεὸν ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ ὀφθέντα. So also we are entitled to speak of a pre-existence of Christ in the prior decree9595Athanas.: Ὁμολογεῖ Θεὸν ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ ὀφθέντα, καὶ ἐντεῦθεν τῆς ὑπάρξεως τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐσχηκότα, καὶ ἀρχὴν βασιλείας παρειληφότα, Λόγον δὲ ἐνεργὸν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ σοφίαν ἐν αὐτῷ ὁμολογεῖ, τῷ μεν προορισμῷ πρὸ αἰώνων ὄντα, τῇ δὲ ὑπάρξει ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ ἀναδειχθέντα, ἵνα εἷς εἴη, φησίν, ὁ ἐπὶ πάντα Θεὸς ὁ πατήρ. Therefore it is said in the letter of the six Bishops that Christ is God from eternity, οὐ προγνώσει, ἀλλ᾽ οὐσίᾳ καὶ ὑποστάσει. and prophecy9696Προκαταγγελτικῶς. See p.41, note 8. of God, and 43to say that he became God through divine grace and his constant manifestation of goodness.9797Κάτωθεν ἀποτεθεῶσθαι τὸν κύριον — ἐξ ἀνθρώπου γεγονέναι τὸν Χριστὸν Θεόν — ὕστερον αὐτὸν ἐκ προκοπῆς τεθεοποιῆσθαι. Paul undoubtedly perceived in the imparting of the Spirit at the baptism a special stage of the indwelling of the Logos in the man Jesus; indeed Jesus seems only to have been Christ from his baptism: “having been anointed with the Holy Spirit he was named Christ — the anointed son of David is not different from wisdom” (τῷ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι χρισθεὶς προσηγορεύθη Χριστός — ὁ ἐκ Δαβὶδ χρισθεὶς οὐκ ἀλλότριός ἐστι τῆς σοφίας) The Bishop supported his doctrine by copious proofs from Scripture,9898Vincentius, Commonit. 35 — Athanasius (c. Ariam IV. 30) relates that the disciples of Paul appealed to Acts X. 36 in support of their distinction between the Logos and Jesus: τὸν λόγον ἀπέστειλεν τοῖς υἱοῖς Ἰσραὴλ εὐαγγελιζόμενος εἰρήνην διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ They said that there was a distinction here like that in the O. T. between the word of the Lord and of the prophets. and he also attacked the opposite views. He sought to prove that the assumption that Jesus was by nature (φύσει) Son of God, led to having two gods,9999Epiphan. l.c., c. 3; see also the letter of the six Bishops in Routh, l.c., p. 291. to the destruction of Monotheism;100100On the supreme interest taken by Paul in the unity of God see p. 42, note 3, Epiph. l.c., ch. I. he fought openly, with great energy, against the old expositors, i.e., the Alexandrians,101101Euseb. H. E. VII. 30. 9. and he banished from divine service all Church psalms in which the essential divinity of Christ was expressed.102102Euseb. l.c.,§ 10.
The teaching of Paul was certainly a development of the old doctrine of Hermas and Theodotus, and the Church Fathers had a right to judge it accordingly; but on the other hand we must not overlook the fact that Paul not only, as regards form, adapted himself more closely to the accepted terminology, but that he also gave to the ancient type of doctrine, already heterodox, a philosophical, an Aristotelian, basis, and treated it ethically and biblically. He undoubtedly learned much from Origen; but he recognised the worthlessness of the double personality construed by Origen, for he has deepened 44the exposition given by the latter of the personality of Christ, and seen that “what is attained by nature is void of merit” (τὰ κρατούμενα τῷ λόγῳ τῆς φύσεως οὐκ ἔχει ἔπαινον). Paul’s expositions of nature and will in the Persons, of the essence and power of love, of the divinity of Christ, only to be perceived in the work of His ministry, because exclusively contained in unity of will with God, are almost unparalleled in the whole dogmatic literature of the Oriental Churches in the first three centuries. For, when such passages do occur in Origen, they at once disappear again in metaphysics, and we do not know the arguments of the Alogi and the Theodotians.103103The three fragments of “Ebion” given by Mai, l.c., p. 68, and strangely held by Hilgenfeld to be genuine (Ketzergeschichte, p. 437 f.), seem to me likewise to belong to Paul: at any rate they correspond to his doctrine: Ἐκ τῆς περὶ προφητῶν ἐξηγήσεως (1) Κατ᾽ ἐπαγγελείαν μέγας καὶ ἐκλεκτὸς προφήτης ἐστίν, ἴσως μεσίτης καὶ νομοθέτης τῆς κρείττονος διαθήκης γενόμενος· ὅστις ἑαυτὸν ἱερουργήσας ὑπὲρ πάντων μίαν ἐφάνη καί θέλησιν καὶ ἐνέργειαν ἔχων πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, θέλων ὥσπερ Θεὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους σωθῆναι καὶ εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν τῆς δι᾽ αὐτοῦ τῷ κόσμῳ δι᾽ ὧν εἰργάσατο φανερωθείσης. — (2) Σχέσει γὰρ τῇ κατὰ δικαιοσύνην καὶ πόθῳ τῷ κατὰ φιλανθρωπίαν συναφθεὶς τῷ Θεῷ, οὐδὲν ἔσχεν μεμερισμένον πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, διὰ τὸ μίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ γενέσθαι τὴν θέλησιν καὶ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τῶν ἐπὶ τῇ σωτηρίᾳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀγαθῶν. — (3) Εἰ γὰρ ἐθέλησεν αὐτὸν Θεὸς σταυρωθῆναι, καὶ κατεδέξατο λέγων. Μὴ τὸ ἐμόν, ἀλλὰ τὸ σὸν γενέσθω θέλημα, δῆλον ὅτι μίαν ἔσχεν μετὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τὴν θέλησιν καὶ τὴν πρᾶξιν, ἐκεῖνο θελήσας καὶ πράξας, ὅπερ ἔδοξε τῷ Θεῷ. The second and third fragments may be by Theodorus of Mops., but hardly the first. It is, above all, the deliberate rejection of metaphysical speculation which distinguishes Paul; he substituted for it the study of history and the determination of worth on moral grounds alone, thus reversing Origen’s maxim: ὁ σωτὴρ οὐ κατ᾽ μετουσίαν, ἀλλὰ κατ᾽ οὐσίαν ἐστὶ θεός (the Saviour is God not by communion, but in essence). As he kept his dogmatic theology free from Platonism, his difference with his opponents began in his conception of God. The latter described the controversy very correctly, when they said that Paul “had betrayed the mystery of the Christian faith,”104104In Euseb. H. E. VII. 30. 10. i.e., the mystic conception of God and Christ due to natural philosophy; or105105Epiph. l. c., ch. III.: Παῦλος οὐ λέγει μόνον Θεὸν διὰ τὸ πηγὴν εἶναι τὸν πατέρα. when they complained of Paul’s denial that the difficulty of maintaining the unity of deity, side by side with a plurality of persons, was got 45over simply by making the Father their source. What is that but to admit that Paul started in his idea of God, not from the substance, but from the person? He here represented the interests of theism as against the chaotic naturalism of Platonism And in appreciating the character of Jesus he refused to recognise its uniqueness and divinity in his “nature”; these he found only in his disposition and the direction of his will. Therefore while Christ as a person was never to him “mere man” (ψιλὸς ἄνθρωπος), yet Christ’s natural endowment he would not recognise as exceptional. But as Christ had been predestinated by God in a unique manner, so in conformity to the promises the Spirit and the grace of God rested on him exceptionally; and thus his work in his vocation and his life, with and in God, had been unique. This view left room for a human life, and if Paul has, ultimately, used the formula, that Christ had become God, his appeal to Philipp. II. 9 shows in what sense he understood the words.
His opponents, indeed, charged him with sophistically and deceitfully concealing his true opinion behind phrases with an orthodox sound. It is possible, in view of the fact, e.g., that he called the impersonal Logos “Son”, that there is some truth in this; but it is not probable. He was not understood, or rather he was misunderstood. Many theologians at the present day regard the theology of Hermas as positively Nicene, although it is hardly a whit more orthodox than that of Paul. If such a misunderstanding is possible to the scholars of to-day — and Hermas was certainly no dissembler, — why can Firmilian not have looked on Paul as orthodox for a time? He taught that there was an eternal Son of God, and that he dwelt in Jesus; he proclaimed the divinity of Christ, held there were two persons (God and Jesus), and with the Alexandrians rejected Sabellianism. On this very point, indeed, a sort of concession seems to have been made to him at the Synod. We know that the Synod expressly censured the term “ὁμοούσιος”,106106This was a well-known matter at the time of the Arian controversy, and the Semi-Arians, e.g., appealed expressly to the decision at Ancyra. See Sozomen H. E. IV. 15; Athanas., De Synod. 43 sq.; Basilius, Ep. 52; Hilarius de synodis 81, 86; Routh, 1.c., pp. 360-365. Hefele, Conciliengesch. I., 2, p. 140 f.: Caspari, Quellen IV., p. 170 f. and this 46was done, Athanasius conjectures, to meet an objection of Paul. He is said to have argued as follows: — If Christ is not, as he taught, essentially human, then he is ὁμοούσιος; with the Father. But if that be true then the Father is not the ultimate source of the deity, but Being (the οὐσία), and thus we have three οὐσίαι;107107Athanas. l.c.; ἀνάγκη τρεῖς οὐσίας εἶναι, μίαν μὲν προηγουμένην, τὰς δὲ δύο ἐξ ἐκαίνης. in other words the divinity of the Father is itself derivative, and the Father is of identical origin with the Son, — “they become brothers”. This can have been an objection made by Paul. The Aristotelian conception of the οὐσία would correspond to his turn of thought, and so would the circumstance, that the possibility of a subordinate, natural, divinity on the part of the Son is left out of the question. The Synod again can very well have rejected ὁμοούσιος in the interests of anti-sabellianism.108108This is also the opinion of Basilius (l.c.): ἔφασαν γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι (the Bishops assembled against Paul) τὴν τοῦ ὁμοουσίου φωνὴν παριστᾷν ἔννοιαν οὐσίας τε καὶ τῶν ἀπ᾽ αὐτῆς, ὥστε καταμερισθεῖσαν τὴν οὐσίαν παρέχειν τοῦ ὁμοουσίου τὴν προσηγορίαν τοῖς εἰς ἃ διῃρέθη. Yet it is just as possible that, as Hilarius says, the Synod condemned the term because Paul himself had declared God and the impersonal Logos (the Son) to be ὁμοούσιος, i.e., “of the same substance, of one substance.”109109Dorner’s view (l.c. I. p.513) is impossible because resting on a false interpretation of the word ὁμοούσιος; Paul held the Father and Jesus to be ὁμοούσιοι in so far as they were persons, and therefore the Synod condemned the term. However that may be, whenever Paul’s view was seen through, it was at once felt by the majority to be in the highest degree heretical. No one was yet quite clear as to what sort of thing this “naturally — divine” element in Christ was. Even Origen had taught that he possessed a divinity to which prayer might not be offered.110110See De orat. 15, 16. But to deny the divine nature (physis) to the Redeemer, was universally held to be an attack on the Rule of Faith.111111Euseb. H. E. VII. 30. 6, 16. They correctly perceived the really weak point in Paul’s Christology, his teaching, namely, that there were actually two Sons of God;112112See Malchion in Leontius (Routh, l.c., p. 312): Παῦλος φησίν, μὴ δύο ἐπίστασθαι υἱούς· εἰ δὲ υἱὸς ὁ Ἰ. Χρ. τοῦ Θεοῦ, υἰὸς δὲ καὶ ἡ σοφία, καὶ ἄλλο μὲν ἡ σοφία, ἄλλο δὲ Ἰ. Χρ., δύο ὑφίστανται υἱοί. See also Ephraem in Photius, biblioth. cod. 229. Farther the Ep. II. Felicis II. papæ ad Petrum Fullonem. Hermas, however, had already preached 47this, and Paul was not in earnest about the “eternal Son”. Yet this was only a secondary matter. The crucial difference had its root in the question as to the divine nature (physis) of the Redeemer.
Now here it is of the highest interest to notice how far, in the minds of many Bishops in Palestine and Syria, the speculative interpretation of the Rule of Faith had taken the place of that rule itself. If we compare the letter of Hymenæus of Jerusalem and his five colleagues to Paul with the regula fidei — not, say, that of Tertullian and Irenæus — but the Rule of Faith with which Origen has headed his great work: περὶ ἀρχῶν then we are astonished at the advance in the times. The Bishops explain at the opening of their letter,113113See Routh, l.c., p. 289 sq. that they desired to expound,” in writing, the faith which we received from the beginning, and possess, having been transmitted and kept in the Catholic Church, proclaimed up to our day by the successors of the blessed Apostles, who were both eye-witnesses and assistants of the Logos, from the law and prophets and the New Testament.” (ἔγγραφον τὴν πίστιν ἣν ἐξ ἀρχῆς παρελάβομεν καὶ ἔχομεν παραδοθεῖσαν καὶ τηρουμένην ἐν τῇ καθολικῇ καὶ ἁγίᾳ ἐκκλησίᾳ, μέχρι τῆς σήμερον ἡμέρας ἐκ διαδοχῆς ἀπὸ τῶν μακαρίων ἀποστόλων, οἳ καί αυτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γεγόνασι τοῦ λόγου, καταγγελλομένην, ἐκ νόμου καὶ προφητῶν καὶ τῆς καινῆς διαθήκης.) But what they presented as “the faith” and furnished with proofs from Scripture, was the speculative theology,114114The πίστις ἐξ ἀρχῆς παραληφθεῖσα reads (l.c.): Ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς ἀγέννητος, εἷς ἄναρχος, ἀόρατος, ἀναλλοίωτος, ὃν εἶδεν οὐδεὶς ἀνθρώπων, οὐδὲ ἰδεῖν δύναται· οὗ τὴν δόξαν ἢ τὸ μέγεθος νοῆσαι ἢ ἐξηγήσασθαι καθώς ἐστιν ἀξίως τῆς ἀληθείας, ἀνθρωπίνῃ φύσει ἀνέφικτον· ἔννοιαν δὲ καὶ ὁπωσοῦν μετρίαν περὶ αὐτοῦ λαβεῖν, ἀγαπητόν, ἀποκαλυπτοντος τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ . . . τοῦτον δὲ τὸν υἱὸν γεννητόν, μονογενῆ υἱόν, εἰκόνα τοῦ ἀοράτου Θεοῦ τυγχάνοντα, πρωτότοκον πάσης κτίσεως σοφίαν καὶ λόγον καὶ δύναμιν Θεοῦ, πρὸ αἰώνων ὄντα, οὐ προγνώσει, ἀλλ᾽ οὐσίᾳ καὶ ὑποστάσει Θεὸν Θεοῦ υἱὸν, ἔν τε παλαιᾷ καὶ νέᾳ διαθήκῃ ἐγνωκότες ὁμολογοῦμεν καὶ κηρύσσομεν. ὃς δ᾽ ἄν ἀντιμάχηται τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ Θεὸν μὴ εἶναι πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου (δεῖν) πιστεύειν καὶ ὁμολογεῖν, φάσκων δύο θεοὺς καταγγέλλεσθαι, ἐὰν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ Θεὸς κηρύσσηται τοῦτον ἀλλότριον τοῦ ἐκκλησιαστικοῦ κανόνος ἡγούμεθα, καὶ πᾶσαι αἱ καθολικαὶ ἐκκλησίαι συμφωνοῦσιν ἡμῖν. The prehistoric history of the Son is now expounded, and then it goes on: τὸν δὲ υἱὸν παρὰ τῷ πατρὶ ὄντα Θεὸν μὲν καὶ κύριον τῶν γενητῶν ἁπάντων, ὑπὸ δὲ τοῦ πατρὸς ἀποσταλέντα ἐξ οὐρανῶν καὶ σαρκωθέντα ἐνηνθρωπηκέναι. διόπερ καὶ τὸ ἐκ τῆς παρθένου σῶμα χωρῆσαν πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς, τῇ θεότητι ἀτρέπτως ἥνωται καὶ τεθεοποίηται and at the close: εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς Θεοῦ δύναμις καὶ Θεοῦ σοφία πρὸ αἰώνων ἐστίν· οὕτω καὶ καθὸ Χριστὸς ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ὢν τῇ οὐσίᾳ· εἰ καὶ τὰ μάλιστα πολλαῖς ἐπινοίαις ἐπινοεῖται. See also Hahn, Bibl. d. Symbol. 2 Aufl. § 82. In no other writing can 48we see the triumph in the sphere of religion of the theology of philosophy or of Origen, i.e., of Hellenism, so clearly, as in this letter, in which philosophical dogmatics are put forward as the faith itself. But further. At the end of the third century even the baptismal confessions were expanded in the East by the adoption of propositions borrowed from philosophical theology;115115The propositions are undoubtedly as a rule phrased biblically, and they are biblical; but they are propositions preferred and edited by the learned exegesis of the Alexandrian which certainly was extremely closely allied with philosophical speculation. or, to put it in another way, — baptismal confessions apparently now first formulated, were introduced in many Oriental communities, which also now contained the doctrine of the Logos. Since these statements were directed against Sabellianism as well as against “Ebionitism”; they will be discussed later on.
With the deposition and removal of Paul the historian’s interest in his case is at an end. It was henceforth no longer possible to gain a hearing, in the great forum of Church life, for a Christology which did not include the personal pre-existence of the Redeemer: no one was permitted henceforth to content himself with the elucidation of the divinely-human life of Jesus in his work. It was necessary to believe in the divine nature (physis) of the Redeemer.116116The followers of Paul were no longer looked upon as Christians even at the beginning of the fourth century, and therefore they were re-baptised. See the 19 Canon of Nicæa: Περὶ τῶν Παυλιανισάντων, εἶτα προσφυγόντων τῇ καθολικῇ ἐκκλησιᾳ, ὅρος ἐκτέθειται ἀναβαπτίζεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἐξάπαντος. The smaller and remote communities were compelled to imitate the attitude of the larger. Yet we know from the circular letter of Alexander of Alexandria, A.D. 321,117117Theodoret H. E. I. 4. that the doctrine of Paul did not by any means pass away without leaving a trace. Lucian and his 49famous academy, the alma mater of Arianism, were inspired by the genius of Paul.118118See my article “Lucian” in Herzog’s R.E. 2 Aufl., Bd. VIII., p. 767 ff. Lucian — himself perhaps, a native of Samosata — had, during the incumbency of three Bishops of Antioch, remained, like Theodotus and his party in Rome, at the head of a school outside of the great Catholic Church.119119See Theodoret 1.c.: αὐτοὶ γὰρ Θεοδίδακτοι ἐστέ, οὐκ ἀγνοοῦντες ὅτι ἡ ἔναγχος ἐπαναστᾶσα τῇ ἐκκλησιαστικῇ εὐσεβείᾳ διδασκαλία Ἐβίωνός ἐστι καὶ Ἀρτεμᾶ, καὶ ζῆλος τοῦ κατ᾽ Ἀντιόχειαν Παύλου τοῦ Σαμοσατέως, συνόδῳ καὶ κρίσει τῶν ἁπανταχοῦ ἐπισκόπων ἀποκηρυχθέντος τῆς ἐκκλησίας — ὃν διαδεξάμενος Λουκιανὸς ἀποσυνάγωγος έμεινε τριῶν ἐπισκόπων πολυετεῖς χρόνους — ὧν τῆς ἀσεβείας τὴν τρύγα ἐρροφηκότες (scil. Arian and his companions) νῦν ἡμῖν τὸ Ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐπεφύησαν, τὰ ἐκείνων κεκρυμμένα μοσχεύματα. In his teaching, and in that of Arius, the foundation laid by Paul is unmistakable.120120See esp. Athanas. c. Arian I. 5. “Arius says that there are two wisdoms, one which is the true one and at the same time exists in God; through this the Son arose and by participation in it he was simply named Word and Wisdom; for wisdom, he says, originated through wisdom according to the will of the wise God. Then he also says that there is another Word apart from the Son in God, and through participation therein the Son himself has been again named graciously Word and Son.” This is the doctrine of Paul of Samos., taken over by Arius from Lucian. On the distinction see above. But Lucian has falsified the fundamental thought of Paul in yielding to the assumption of a Logos, though a very subordinate and created Logos, and in putting this in the place of the man Jesus, while his disciples, the Arians, have, in the view sketched by them of the person of Christ, been unable to retain the features Paul ascribed to it; though they also have emphasised the importance of the will in Christ. We must conclude, however, that Arianism, as a whole, is nothing but a compromise between the Adoptian and the Logos Christology, which proves that after the close of the 3rd century, no Christology was possible in the Church which failed to recognise the personal pre-existence of Christ.
Photinus approximated to Paul of Samosata in the fourth century. Above all, however, the great theologians of Antioch occupied a position by no means remote from him; for the presupposition of the personal Logos Homousios in Christ, which they as Church theologians had to accept simply, could be combined much better with the thought of Paul, than the 50Arian assumption of a subordinate god, with attributes half-human, half-divine. So also the arguments of Theodore of Mopsuestia as to the relation of the Logos and the man Jesus, as to nature, will, disposition, etc., are here and there verbally identical with those of Paul; and his opponents, especially Leontius,121121See in Routh, l.c., p. 347 sq. were not so far wrong in charging Theodore with teaching like Paul.122122See the careful and comprehensive collection of the arguments of Theodore in reference to christology, in Swete, Theodori Episcopi Mopsuesteni in epp. B. Pauli Commentarii, Vol. II. (1882), pp. 289-339. Paul was in fact condemned a second time in the great scholars of Antioch, and — strangely — his name was once more mentioned, and for the third time, in the Monothelite controversy. In this case his statements as to the one will (μία θέλησις sc. of God and Jesus) were shamefully misused, in order to show to the opposition that their doctrine had been already condemned in the person of the arch-heretic.
We possess, however, another ancient source of information, of the beginning of the 4th century, the Acta Archelai.123123We have to compare also the treatises of Aphraates, written shortly before the middle of the 4th century. He adheres to the designation of Christ as Logos according to John I. 1; but it is very striking that in our Persian author there is not even the slightest allusion in which one could perceive an echo of the Arian controversies (Bickell, Ausgewählte Schriften der syr. Kirchenväter 1874, p. 15). See tract 1, “On faith”, and 17, “Proof that Christ is the Son of God.” This shows us that at the extreme eastern boundary of Christendom there persisted even among Catholic clerics, if we may use here the word Catholic, Christological conceptions which had remained unaffected by Alexandrian theology, and must be classed with Adoptianism. The author’s exposition of Christ consists, so far as we can judge, in the doctrine of Paul of Samosata.124124On the origin of the Acta Archelai see my Texte und Unters. I. 3, 137 ff. The principal passages are to be found in ch. 49 and 50. In these the Churchman disputes the view of Mani, that Jesus was a spirit, the eternal Son of God, perfect by nature. “Dic mihi, super quem spiritus sanctus sicut columba descendit? Si perfectus erat, si filius erat, si virtus erat, non poterat spiritus ingredi, sicut nec regnum potest ingredi intra regnum. Cuius autem ei cælitus emissa vox testimonium detulit dicens: Hic est filius meus dilectus, in quo bene complacui? Dic age nihil remoreris, quis ille est, qui parat hæc omnia, qui agit universa? Responde itane blasphemiam pro ratione impudenter allegas, et inferre conaris?” The following Christology is put in the lips of Mani: “Mihi pium videtur dicere, quod nihil eguerit filius dei in eo quod adventus eius procuratur ad terras, neque opus habuerit columba, neque baptismate, neque matre, neque fratribus.” On the other hand Mani says in reference to the Church views: “Si enim hominem eum tantummodo ex Maria esse dicis et in baptismate spiritum percepisse, ergo per profectum filius videbitur et non per naturam. Si tamen tibi concedam dicere, secundum profectum esse filium quasi hominem factum, hominem vere esse opinaris, id est, qui caro et sanguis sit?” In what follows Archelaus says: “Quomodo poterit vera columba verum hominem ingredi atque in eo permanere, caro enim carnem ingredi non potest? sed magis si Iesum hominem verum confiteamur, eum vero, qui dicitur, sicut columba, Spiritum Sanctum, salva est nobis ratio in utraque. Spiritus enim secundum rectam rationem habitat in homine, et descendit et permanet et competenter hoc et factum est et fit semper . . . Descendit spiritus super hominem dignum se . . . Poterat dominus in cælo positus facere quæ voluerat, si spiritum eum esse et non hominem dices. Sed non ita est, quoniam exinanivit semetipsum formam servi accipiens. Dico autem de eo, qui ex Maria factus est homo. Quid enim? non poteramus et nos multo facilius et lautius ista narrare? sed absit, ut a veritate declinemus iota unum aut unum apicem. Est enim qui de Maria natus est filius, qui totum hoc quod magnum est, voluit perferre certamen Iesus. Hic est Christus dei, qui descendit super eum, qui de Maria est . . . Statim (post baptismum) in desertum a Spiritu ductus est Iesus, quem cum diabolus ignoraret, dicebat ei: Si filius est dei. Ignorabat autem propter quid genuisset filium dei (scil. Spiritus), qui prædicabat regnum cælorum, quod erat habitaculum magnum, nec ab ullo alio parari potuisset; unde et affixus cruci cum resurrexisset ab inferis, assumptus est illuc, ubi Christus filius dei regnabat . . . Sicut enim Paracleti pondus nullus alius valuit sustinere nisi soli discipuli et Paulus beatus, ita etiam spiritum, qui de cælis descenderat, per quem vox paterna testatur dicens: Hic est filius meus dilectus, nullus alius portare prævaluit, nisi qui ex Maria natus est super omnes sanctos Iesus.” It is noteworthy that the author (in ch. 37) ranks Sabellius as a heretic with Valentinus, Marcion, and Tatian. Here we are shown clearly that the Logos Christology had, at the beginning of the 4th century, not yet passed beyond the borders of the Christendom comprehended in the Roman Empire.
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