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The Divinity of Christ: According to the First Christians


An early depiction of Jesus. Public Domain.



Epistle of Barnabas, (end of first - beginning of second century)


[5] And yet another thing, my brothers: if the Lord endured to suffer for our souls, even

though he was the Lord of the Universe, to whom God said from the foundation of the world:

"Let us make man in our image and likeness", how at least did he endure to suffer at the hands of men?...


...[10] If he had not come in the flesh, how could men have remained safe at the sight of him,

since in front of the sun which is going to nothing and which is the work of his hands, they

cannot lift their eyes and gaze at its rays. [11] If the Son of God came in the flesh, then, it was to put an end to the sins of those who had pursued his prophets to death. [12] This is why he endured to suffer. God says that the wound in his flesh is from them: "When they have struck their shepherd, the sheep of the flock will perish.



St. Ignatius of Antioch (AD 35-108), disciple of St. Peter and St. John


Letter to Saint Polycarp:


It is the characteristic of a true athlete to be torn to shreds and to overcome. We must know how to endure everything for the sake of God, to deserve his support. Redouble your vigilance, weigh the value of time. Wait for him who is beyond time; he is the eternal, the invisible, made visible for us; the impalpable, the impassible, for us made capable of suffering, to give us over to all kinds of suffering.


Letter to the Smyrnaeans :


I give glory to Jesus Christ that he has given you wisdom; for I know that you are true disciples by the constancy of your faith, attached as you are in heart and mind to the cross of our Lord, strengthened in love by his blood, fully convinced that he is God, truly of the blood of David according to the flesh; That he was baptized by John, to fulfill all righteousness; that he was truly crucified for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate and the tetrarch Herod.


Letter to the Magnesians:


Jesus Christ is One, and nothing is above him. See, then, but one temple, but one altar of the Lord, but one Jesus Christ, who comes from one Father, and who returns to his unity


Letter to the Romans:


Ignatius, surnamed Theophore to this Church rich in the mercies received from the

magnificence of the Most High, and of his only son; to this beloved Church, bright with light: according to the will of him who wills all that is in accordance with the charity of Jesus Christ, our God; to this Church which commands all others in the capital of the Roman Empire, a Church so worthy of our God, so beautiful!


So justly called happy, whose order is so admirable, whose virtues so pure, whose charity so perfect! Depository of the law of Jesus Christ, adorned with the name of Church of the Father: greeting in Jesus Christ, son of God the Father, to this Church and to you so closely united, according to the flesh and the spirit, in the practice of all his commandments; to you filled with his grace received without measure; to you pure of all foreign error: greeting and holy and abundant blessings in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God.



Epistle to Diognetus (2nd century)


God himself, the Almighty, the creator of all things, has sent down to earth the truth, that is, his holy and incomprehensible Word. John 1:1


He willed that the hearts of men should be his dwelling place forever. It is not, therefore, as some might think, a minister of the Most High who has been sent to us, an angel, an archangel, one of the spirits who watch over the conduct of the world, or who presides over the government of heaven. He who has come to us is the Author, the Creator of the World, through whom God the Father made the heavens, gave limits to the sea; he is the one to whom the sun obeys, whose path he traced in the heavens with orders to travel it every day without leaving the traced line, and the Moon who must lend his torch to the night, and the stars that follow its course; Finally, it is he who has arranged everything in order and circumcised everything within proper limits; to whom everything is subject, the heavens and everything in the heavens, the earth and everything on the earth, the sea and everything in the sea, the fire, the air, the depths, the heights of the sky, the depths of the earth, the regions between the earth and the heavens, this is the one whom God has sent us. Not as a conqueror to sow terror and exercise a tyrannical empire, as some might think. No, He has sent him as a King sends his Son, giving him meekness and clemency as his entourage; He has sent this Son as God himself; He has sent him as a Father who wants to save them, who only demands their submission, who does not know violence, violence is not in God; He has sent him as a friend who calls and not as a persecutor; He has sent him listening only to love; He will send him as a judge and who will support this coming?



St. Justin Martyr (100-165 AD)


Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon, CXXVII:


[4] Therefore neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any man saw the sovereign arbiter whose name is unutterable, the Father of all things and of Christ himself; but they saw him who, according to the will of the Father, is his Son and God himself, and his angel, because he carries out his commands; he who became man in the midst of and willed to be born of a virgin, and who formerly spoke to Moses from the midst of a bush in the form of fire. Exodus 3:1-7





First Apology, LXII:


To call the Father Son is to prove that one does not know the Father and that one does not

know that the Father of the universe has a Son, who is the Word, the firstborn of God, and

God. John 1:1


[16] First he manifested himself in the form of fire and in an incorporeal figure to Moses and

the other prophets; and now, in the days of your empire, as we have told you, he became man, born of a virgin, according to the will of the Father, for the salvation of those who believe in him; he was willing to be counted





Second Apology, XIII:


[4] All the good things they taught belong to us Christians. For after God we worship the Word born of the unbegotten and ineffable God, since he became man for us. That he might heal us of our ills by taking part in them.





St. Melito of Sardis (100-185)


Homily on Easter, SC 123, page 64-65


[8] "Indeed, born as a Son,

And brought forth as a lamb is,

And slain as a sheep is,

And buried as a Man is,

He rose from the dead as a God does,

Being by nature God and Man.

[9] He who is all:

Law as he judges,

Logos as he teaches,

Grace as he saves,

Father as he begets,

Sheep as he suffers,

Man as he is buried,

God inasmuch as he resurrects.

[10] This is Jesus, the Christ;

To him be glory for ever and ever, Amen.

[11] This is the mystery of the Passover. (Easter)





Fragment II, SC 123, page 222-223


Melito, bishop of Sardis, says after many of these things which were added by the same

Justin:


"We are not of stone who have no feeling, but we pay divine honors to the one God who is before all things and above all things, and to his Christ who is Word of God before all things."





Fragment on the Incarnation of Christ, SC 123, pp 226-227


"[...] actions performed by Christ after baptism, and especially miracles, manifested his

divinity hidden in the flesh, and they were known to the world. Indeed, since he was God and

at the same time a perfect man, it was he himself who made known to us his two substances: his divinity through the miracles performed during the three years following baptism, and his humanity during the thirty years prior to baptism, when he hid the signs of his divinity through the imperfections inherent in the flesh, even though he was God from eternity."





Tatian the Syrian (120-180 AD)


Discourse against the Greeks, XXI:


XXI. We are not fools, O Greeks! It is not a childishness to announce you God under the shape of a Man. You mock us. Compare your fables with our stories. Minerva, say your poets, took the form of Deiphobe to help Hector; Apollo, with his long hair, was grazing oxen in the service of King Admetus; and the wife of Jupiter came to Semel in the guise of an old woman. Why do you laugh at us, when you admit such absurdities?



Athenagoras of Athens (133-190 AD)


Apology of the Christians, X:


"[...] unutterable, who created all things, ordered all things, and preserves all things by his Word; for we also recognize the Son of God. And let it not be thought ridiculous to give God a Son. For what we believe of God the Father or of his Son is not like the fabulous inventions of those poets who do not make their gods better than men. But the Son of God is the Word, the thought and the virtue of the Father, for all things were made by him and with him, since the Father and the Son are but One. Now as the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father, by unity and virtue it follows that the Son of God is the thought and the Word of the Father


" [...] Who will not be surprised that Christians who say that there is a God the Father, a God the Son, and a Holy Spirit, united in power and distinguished in order, are called atheists? This is not the limit of our theology; for we also recognize a multitude of angels and ministers whom God, the author and creator of all things, has established and distributed to be present everywhere and to take care of the elements, the heavens and the universe.



Caius (end of 2nd - beginning of 3rd century)


Fragment quoted by Bushebes of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History V, chapter 28:





"One of these authors composed a work against the heresy of Artemon, which Paul of Samostate has still tried to renew in our days: this writing offers us an account which goes to the story we are studying. [2] The above-mentioned heresy, which asserts that the Savior was simply a man, is refuted, and this is a very recent novelty, although these authors wanted to gain respect for it by making it older. Many other reasons are then given to confound this false and blasphemous statement. Here the book tells in its own words. [3] "For they say that all the elders and the apostles themselves received and taught what they themselves teach today, that the truth of the preaching was kept until the time of Victor, the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter, but that since Zephyrinus, his successor, it has been altered. [4] Their statement might seem plausible if it were not for the fact that the divine Scriptures were against him. There are also writings of certain brothers, prior to the time of Victor, concerning the truth, against the Gentiles and against the heresies of that time: I mean Justin, Miltiades, Tatian, Clement and many others, and in all these works Christ is treated as a God. [5] Who, in fact, does not know the books of Irenaeus, Melito and others, in which it is proclaimed that Christ is God and Man? Who is unaware of the many hymns and songs written by the faithful brethren of the early days? Where they sing of Christ as the Word of God? And celebrate him as God? [6] How, then, can one admit that the sentiment of the Church has..."



St. Irenaeus of Lyon (130-202 AD), disciple of St. Polycarp, disciple of the apostles.


Against heresies III, 1:


You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore, O God, your God has anointed you. The Spirit has designated both of them by the name of "God", both the one who receives the anointing, that is the Son, and the one who confers it, that is the Father. Again, "God stood in the assembly of God; in the midst of it he judges the gods."


This text speaks of the Father, the Son, and those who have received the adopted sonship. The latter are the Church: for it is "the assembly of God", which "God", i.e. the Son, has himself and by himself gathered together. It is of this same Son, again, that it is said, "the God of gods, the Lord spoke and called the earth." Who is this "God"? He of whom it is said: "God will come in a manifest manner, yes, our God will come, and he will not keep silent." It is the Son, who came to mankind in a manifestation of himself, who said, "I have manifested myself to those who did not seek me." And who are these "gods"? Those to whom he says: "I said, 'You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High: Abba, Father"


Against Heresies III, 2:


Therefore, "who shall tell of his generation?" For "he is a man, and yet who shall know him?"

Only he will know him to whom the Father in heaven has revealed that "The Son of Man"

who "was not born of the will of the flesh nor of the will of Man" is "Christ, the Son of the

living God" Matthew 16:16


That not one among the sons of Adam is called God or Lord in the absolute sense of these

terms, we have shown by the Scriptures; But that Christ, to the exclusion of all men of all

times, is proclaimed God, Lord, eternal King, only begotten Son, and Word incarnate, by all

the prophets, the apostles, and the Spirit Himself, is a testimony to all who have attained even a small portion of the truth. This testimony would not be given by the scriptures if he were only a man like all the others. But because he alone among all received the glorious

generation from the Father Most High, and because he also accomplished the glorious birth

from the Virgin, the Scriptures give this twofold testimony about him: On the one hand, he is

Man without beauty, subject to suffering, sitting on the foal of an ass, drunk with vinegar and

gall, despised by the people, descending even to death; on the other hand, he is Holy Lord,

admirable counselor, dazzling with beauty, strong God, coming on the clouds as universal

Judge.


Against Heresies IV, 1:


Again: "I will worship the Lord my God, because he is the living God" Thus the God whom the prophets worshipped, the living God, is the God of the living, as well as his Word, who spoke to Moses, who also confounded the Sadducees and granted the resurrection, demonstrating from the Law to these blind people two things, the resurrection and God. For if He is not God of the dead, but of the living, and if He Himself is called the God of the fathers who have fallen asleep, then without doubt they are alive to God and have not perished, "since they are the Sons of the Resurrection." Now the Resurrection is our Lord in person, as He Himself says, "I am the resurrection and the Life." John 11:25


And the fathers are his sons, for it was said by the prophet, "Instead of being fathers, they have become your sons. Christ Himself, then, is indeed with the Father, the God of the living who spoke to Moses and manifested Himself to the fathers.


Apostolic Preaching, II:


47a. Therefore the Father is Lord, and the Son is Lord. And the Father is God, and the Son is God, for that which is born of God is God. So if we look at the being of God, his power and his nature, we recognize that there is only one God. But if we look at the work that God does for our salvation, there is the Father and the Son. For the Father of all things being invisible and unreachable, it is through the Son that those who are to approach God come to the Father. John 14:6


"Thy throne, O God, is from everlasting."


47b. David expresses himself even more clearly about the Father and the Son: "Your throne, O God, has been for ever and ever. You have loved justice and hated evil. That is why God, your God, has chosen you. On your head he has poured festive oil, more abundantly than on those who share it with you (Psalm 44/45, 7-8). For the Son, who is God, has received from the Father, that is, from God, the royal throne for ever, and he has also received the festive oil more abundantly than those who share it with him. The oil of the feast is the Spirit that he has received. And those who share it with him are the prophets, the righteous, the apostles, and all those who share in his kingship, that is, his disciples.



Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD)


The Divine Master, Book I, V:





And indeed, the Church, which gives the sweet name of lamb to the little children, also gives

to the Word who is God, who became man for our sake and who wanted to resemble us in

everything, the name of lamb of God, Son of God, child of the Father.



Against the Gentiles, X, 106:



O man, believe in the God-Man! O man, believe in the living God who suffered and is worshipped! Slaves, believe in him who died. Men, whoever you are, believe in him who is the only God of all men. Believe, and you will receive salvation as the reward of your faith. "Seek God, and your soul shall live," Whoever seeks God is concerned about his salvation. Have you found God? You have life.



Against the Gentiles, X, 110:




(110) Moreover, the divine power, shining on the Universe with incredible rapidity, and with a benevolence which opens to all a free access, has filled the world with the seed of salvation. No, it is not without the assistance of an eternal Providence that has been accomplished by the Lord in such a short interval of time, such a prodigious revolution; by the Lord, despised in appearance, but adored in fact, expiator, savior, merciful, divine Word, true God without any doubt, equal to the master of the Universe, because he was in son and "the Word was in God." John 1:1



Tertullian (155-220 AD)


Apologetics XXI, 10-13:


We have learned that God spoke this spirit and that by speaking it he generated it, and that for this reason he is called Son of God and God himself because of the unity of substance; for God also is spirit.


12. When a ray is thrown out of the sun, it is a part that goes out of the whole; but the sun is in the ray because it is a ray of the sun and the substance is not divided but extended. Thus the Spirit comes from the Spirit and God from God, like light that is kindled in the light. The


Against Marcion, II, XXVII:


God could not descend among men in an invisible way, without taking the organs and the

affections of humanity, a protective veil under which He tempered the rays of the divine

majesty that our weakness could not have supported. Organs and affections unworthy of him, I agree, but necessary to man. I would insist more on this matter if I had to discuss it with idolaters, although in truth, from paganism to heresy, the distance is slight. (modifié)


However, since you believe that God has put on a fantastic chair, and has not ceased only in

appearance through all the degrees of the human condition, we will not need long arguments

to persuade you that God is in conformity with our humanity. The articles of your faith will

themselves serve to convince you.


Against Praxeas, II:


Possessing pure truth, imagining that the only legitimate way to believe in the unity of God is to confuse in one and the same person the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; as if one were not everything, when everything derives from One, nevertheless keeping the sacrament of economy which divides Unity into Trinity, where we distinguish three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are three, not in essence, but in degree; not in substance, but in form. Not in power, but in kind; all three having one and the same substance, one and the same nature, one and the same power, because there is only One God from whom proceed these degrees, these forms and these kinds, under the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


De Anima, XLI:


Thus there are wicked and righteous men, though we all have a soul of a similar nature: so there is some good in the most wicked, some evil in the most righteous, because God alone is without sin, "and Christ is the only sinless man" Luke 18:19


Whereas Christ is God. Thus again the divinity of the soul, in virtue of its former good, bursts forth in foreshadowing, and the conscience takes a voice to testify to God...



Hippolytus of Rome (170-235), student of St. Irenaeus


Against the heresy of Noët, II, 8:


8. There are many other texts, or rather all of them, which bear witness to the truth. Noët is

thus forced, even against his will, to confess the Father God Almighty, Christ Jesus, Son of

God, God made Man, to whom the Father has subjected all but himself [43] and the Holy

Spirit, and that They are indeed three.


Against the heresy of Noët, III, 17-18:


We have completely demonstrated the Word of Truth. [72], namely: The Father is One, and

He has a Word, through whom He made everything, and in the last times, as we said above,

the Father sent Him for the salvation of Men. The Law and the prophets had foretold his

coming into the world [73]; coming, then, in the way he had been foretold, he manifested

himself, becoming New Man, [74] by the birth of the Virgin and the Holy Spirit, possessing

on the one hand what is heavenly through the Father as Word, and on the other hand what is earthly from the old Adam, as incarnate through the Virgin. Coming into the world, he

manifested himself as God in a body, he came as a perfect man, for he did not become man by appearance or manner of speaking, but truly.


18. Therefore he does not refuse to show his humanity while being God, when he is hungry, when he is weary, and when he is thirsty, when he is fearful, he groans in prayer, and when he sleeps on a pillow, he who is exempt from sleep because he is God.


Exegetical fragment on Luke, Chapter 23:


Chap XXIII. For this reason the warders of Hades trembled when they saw Him, and the gates of brass and the bolts of iron were broken. For, lo, the Only-begotten entered, a soul among souls, God the word with a (human) soul. For His body lay in the tomb, not emptied of divinity; but as, while in Hades, He was in essential being with His Father, so was He also in the body and in Hades. For the Son is not contained in space, just as the Father; and He comprehends all things in Himself. But of His own will he dwelt in a body animated by a soul, in order that with His soul He might enter Hades, and not with his pure divinity.````


Refutation of All Heresies, Book X, Chapter 30:


"Know yourself; i.e, discover God within yourself, for He has formed you after His own image. For with the knowledge of self is conjoined the being an object of God's knowledge, for you are called by the Deity Himself. Be not therefore inflamed, O you men, with enmity one towards another, nor hesitate to retrace with all speed your steps. For Christ is the God above all, and He has arranged to wash away sin from human beings, rendering regenerate the old man. And God called man His likeness from the beginning, and has evinced in a figure His love towards you. And provided you obey His solemn."



Minucius Felix (200-250)


Octavius, chapitre XXIX:





Theophilus of Antioch (120-185 AD)


Treatise to Autolycus, II, 15 & 22


[...] The three days which precede the luminous body are the image of the Trinity, that is to

say of God, of his Word and of his Spirit.


[...] The Scripture itself teaches us, indeed, that Adam heard a voice. Now who could this

voice be but the Word of God, who is also his Son; not that he was begotten in a carnal way,

as the children of their gods represent to us, but He was always in the bosom of his Father, as the truth tells us; he is from all eternity his counsel, even before all things, since he is his

thought and his wisdom.



Didascalia of the Apostles, (3rd century)


Chapter I:


You who possess, through your faith, his eternal kingdom, who have the strength and

communion of his Holy Spirit, who are strengthened by him and supported by fear, you who

have participated in the shedding, of the pure and precious blood of the great God, Jesus the

Messiah, you who have received the confidence to call Father the God [...]


Chapter VII:


You, therefore, like a compassionate shepherd, full of love and tenderness, who cares for his

flock, search, count your flock, look for the lost sheep, as the Lord God, Jesus the Messiah,

our master and good Savior, has said.


Chapter XV:


As for you, pray for him, (your benefactor) hiding his name; thus you will fulfill the scripture,

you and the widows who resemble you, you (all of you) who are the holy altar of God, Jesus

the Messiah.


Chapter XXIV:


Since the whole Church was in danger of having heresies, we, the twelve apostles, met

together in Jerusalem and considered what should be. It seemed good to us all unanimously to write this Catholic didascalia for the confirmation of all.


In it we wrote that you will worship God (the Father) Almighty and Jesus (his Son) the

Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.



Sibylline Oracles (3rd century)


Book VI, Christian apocryphal writings, Vol. 2:


"Bitter trials are in store for you, for you yourself, foolish woman, have not recognized your God, who came in mortal guise, but have girded him with a crown of thorns, and have mixed terrible gall as an insult and a test."


"Once washed in its streams and the Spirit flew over it like a dove. He who, even before the Earth and the starry Heaven, was a sovereign Word with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, and who, having put on flesh, flew swiftly to the abode of the Father."


"He who now has his initials written in acrostic is our saving God, immortal King, who suffered for us."


"He will later fall into the hands of criminals and the ungodly; with their sacrilegious hands they will slap God, and with their defiled mouths they will spit poisonous spittle."


"Acknowledge him as your God, who is the Son of God (the Father). Keep him in your heart, love him with all your soul and bear his name."



Epistle of the Apostles (3rd century)


Christian apocryphal writings, vol.1:


"Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God and Son of God, is the one who was sent by God, the master of the whole world, the author and creator of the universe. "God the Lord, the Son of God, we believe that he is the word that became the flesh of Mary..."



Origen (185-253)


Commentary on John 1:7:


202. They must be told that there are many reasons for believing, some of them not being struck by one proof but by another, and that God has many reasons to present to men to make them admit that it is the God exalted above all creatures who made himself Man.````





Against Celsus, book VIII:


Celsus says that it will appear all the better that we will see the great God again if we also give our praise to the Sun and to Minerva. But for us, we know the opposite. We address our hymns and our praises only to the sovereign God and to his only Son God the Word. And we praise God and his Son as do the sun and the moon and the stars, and all the heavenly host; for they compose a whole divine choir which joins with holy men in singing hymns to the honor of the sovereign God, and of his only Son (Ps. CLXVIII. 3).


Treatise on Principles, I, preface:



Then Jesus Christ, the one who came, was born of the Father before all creation. As he helped the Father in the creation of all things, for all things were made by him, so in the last times, annihilating himself, he became man, he became incarnate, while he was God, and becoming man, he remained what he was, God. He took on a body similar to our body, with the only difference that he was born of a Virgin and of the Holy Spirit (and not of two men)


Treatise on Principles I, 2:


The Father and the Son are one and the same almighty power, just as the Lord Himself is one and the same God with the Father; this is what John expresses in Revelation, "These are the words of the Lord God who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8





Commodianus (3rd century)


XXVI To those who fight against the law of Christ, the living God:


"Second Book The Holy Hidden People of the Almighty Christ, the Living God. Future citizens of heaven with Christ God, Who holds the command, who sees all from heaven, Simplicity, goodness dwell in your bodies;"





St. Cyprian of Carthage (200-258 AD)


Letter 63 to Cecilius:


For if Christ Jesus our Lord and our God is Himself the high priest of His divine Father, and has offered Himself to this Father as a sacrifice, then surely the priest fulfills the role of Christ who does what Christ did, and he offers to God the Father, in the Church, the truth and fullness of the sacrifice, only insofar as he offers as he sees that Christ Himself has offered.


Letter 73 to Jubianus:


For it is not unimportant that heretics should be given their baptism, for it is from this that faith originates, and that the hope of eternal life enters into us, that divine Goodness purifies and vivifies his servants. If one has been able to receive baptism from heretics, one has certainly obtained the remission of one's sins. If someone has obtained the remission of his sins, he has been sanctified, he has become the temple of God. But of which God, the Creator God?


But this was impossible for him, because he did not believe in Him. Of God the Christ? But he could not become his temple either, because he did not know the Holy Spirit. But there are three of them who are one: how then could the Holy Spirit be pleasing to the one who is the enemy of the Father or the Son?



Novatian (200-258 AD)


"Novatian and the doctrine of the Trinity in Rome in the mid-third century" On the Trinity, 13:


[Who is in heaven (John 3:13), who before the world began was associated with the glory of

the Father, (John 17:5) and as the price of his condescension to the flesh, comes into possession of that same glory. If he knows the secrets of hearts (Matt 9:4, John 2:25), if he forgives sins (Mark 2:5), if he comes from Heaven, (John 3:13) if he can say "The Father and I are One" (John 10:30) if he is called by the apostle Thomas "My Lord and my God." (John 20:28) By the apostle Paul "God blessed for ever" (Romans 9:5), if he revealed to the same apostle the Gospel and Paul declares that he does not take from Man (Galatians 1:1 Galatians 1:12)


It is because He is God. If all these things were made by Him, (Colossians 1:16), it is because He is God.


"Novatian and the doctrine of the Trinity in Rome in the middle of the third century" On the Trinity 31


The only Son and firstborn of Him who, having no origin, is the only principle and Head of all things, He manifested the Father, the only God. Subjected to the Father in all things, although God Himself, He shows by His obedience, only God the Father, from whom He proceeds. He is God, but begotten to be God. He is Lord, but born of the Father to be Lord. He is Angel, but destined by his Father to be the Angel who announces the great divine council. Before the Father, He is subject as Son; before all the rest, He is Lord and God. He receives from the Father, with the empire over all things, all the rights and the very substance of the divinity, but hands them over to the Father. Thus it appears that the Father alone is God, because the divinity which He communicates to the Son, returns from the Son to Him. Mediator between God and men [...]


Pope Dionysius (259)


St. Athanasius, De decretis, Chapter VI, 26:





Gregory Thaumaturgus (213-270)


Thanks to Origen:


[...] And he alone can make up for what we lack, the protector and Savior of our souls, the firstborn Son of God, the Word who created all things and governs all things. 36 He alone, for himself and for us, for each man in particular, and at the same time for the whole of mankind, can make continuous and unceasing thanksgiving rise to Heaven. Because he is the truth, wisdom and power of the Father in all things, because he is in him, being naturally one with him, it is not possible that, through forgetfulness, through foolishness, or through some weakness, as a being separated from the unity of his Father, or through impotence, he should fail to praise him: nor is it possible that, in succeeding in doing so, of his own free will, he does not leave what He is ungodly to say, his Father without praise.


37 He alone can, in a most perfect manner, worthily fill the measure of praise that belongs to the Father. And He Himself, the Father of all things, who made Him one with Himself, who, so to speak, envelops Himself in the power of His Son, which is quite equal to His own, honors Him in a certain way at the same time as He is honored by it; a privilege which His only Son, the Word of God, obtained, the first and only of all beings.





Letter to Theopompus, The Father of the Church patristic series, 98, p158:




(p.160)



Archelaus (bishop of Carrhae) (274 AD)


Against Mani, 34:


[...] And He sent this Paul to us in the Spirit. Into him the Spirit was poured; and as that Spirit could not abide upon all men, but only on Him who was born of Mary the Mother of God, so that Spirit, the Paraclete, could not come into any other, but could only come upon the apostles and the sainted Paul. "For he is a chosen vessel," He says, "unto me, to bear my name..."



Pope Theonas of Alexandria (282 AD)


Letter to Lucianus, VII:


Philadelphus caused to be translated into our language; and sometimes, too, the Gospel and the Apostle will be lauded for their divine oracles; and there will be an opportunity for introducing the mention of Christ; and little by little, His exclusive divinity will be explained; and all these things may happily come to pass by the help of Christ.


Letter to Lucianus, II:


No filthy lucre, no duplicity, can befit the Christian who embraces the simple and unadorned Christ. Let no scurrilous or base talk have place among you. Let all things be done with modesty, courteousness, affability and uprightness, so that the name of our God and Lord Jesus-Christ may be glorified in all.



Methodius of Olympus (311 AD)


Oration on Psalms:





Oration concerning Simeon and Anne :






Lactantius (325 AD)


Divine Institutions, Book IV, chapter XIII:


He was made Son of God by the Spirit and Son of Man by the flesh, and so He is God and Man together. The power of God appeared in the miracles he performed, and the weakness of Man in the death he suffered.



Arnobius (330 AD)


Against the Gentiles, Book I, 42:


3. So then, will someone say, full of rage, anger and indignation, that Christ is God?


Yes, we will answer, and God of the interior powers, and something which is likely to increase the torments of the unbelievers by the most painful bitterness, it is for the most important mission that He was sent to us by the supreme King.





Conclusion:


What must be understood is that all these writings precede the Council of Nicaea, which supposedly imposed the belief in the divinity of Christ throughout the Christian world, but there is nothing more false than this myth.



Council of Nicea (325 AD)


It is also necessary to know that the Emperor Constantine, had no role in the conclusion of the bishops. He was only an honorary president who allowed the convocation of all these bishops, but made absolutely no theological decision.


Von Hefele, Karl Joseph, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux. Volume 1 Part 1. :




Eusebius, who was an eyewitness to the council and paid so much homage to the emperor, clearly reports, "After this (i.e., after the opening speech) the emperor gave the floor to the presidents of the council." From this it follows that Constantine, like Marcian in the sixth session of the Council of Chalcedon, was only an honorary president, and left the conduct of the essentially theological discussions to the ecclesiastical presidents of the council.


The following evidence further supports the testimony of Eusebius, an eyewitness: a) The acts of the Council of Nicaea, at least those which we possess, bear the signatures of the bishops, but not of the emperor. According to other information, Constantine signed the acts, but after all the bishops and this fact proves that he did not consider himself, strictly speaking, as president of the council. Moreover, the emperor was not present at the opening of the synod, and yet the council must have already had its presidents when it arrived. This is indicated by the short sentence of Eusebius: "To the presidents who had already led the previous discussions, he left the task of leading the next ones. When several writings of the bishops who complained about each other were sent to him, he had them burned and declared that it was not his place to decide about priests." Finally, let us recall the words of the emperor which we quoted above: "I am a bishop for the external affairs of the Church."


This is also what the theologian Jean-Marie Salamito explained very well:


"This cliché on the role of Constantine as having institutionalized the Church or fixed the dogma: Constantine has done nothing of the sort, the ecclesiastical institutions exist before Constantine. Constantine absolutely does not modify them, he has absolutely no power, moreover he does not care, he has no desire or reason to modify the structures of the Church, [and] on the theological level he is rather ignorant and not so interested. The Council of Nicaea was certainly convened by Constantine, but Constantine did not care at all about the theological question that was being debated, and the theological question that was settled in 325 was nourished by all the theological reflection of the second and third centuries, previous theological reflection to which Constantine had seen absolutely nothing, and of which he knew nothing.


"Why does he call this council then?"


"He convenes the council to have a majority and for people to keep quiet"


What really happened was that the hundreds of bishops from all over the world, who came to

the Council of Nicaea, all agreed except for 5 bishops to define the dogma of the Trinity. It is

interesting to note that according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, the Council of Nicaea did not decide

anything about the divinity of Christ, and that the divinity of Christ was widely accepted, but

it was only his relationship with the Father that was debated. He also said that the New

Testament had already described Christ as divine. What this thesis showed, in short, was that the true religion of Christ was the same in the beginning, and that he was indeed considered God from the beginning. And there never was a so-called true original religion that denied this divinity.



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