Trinity Presentation 2nd Century

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  • 1. nd 2 Century Doctrinal Development from Pastors and Philosophers There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both begotten and unbegotten; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible— even Jesus Christ our Lord. - Bishop Ignatius to the Ephesians, 7
  • 2. Church Fathers
  • 3. Apostolic Succession Rome • Upon the death of Clement in 99, Evaristus was elected Bishop Alexandria •Avilius elected bishop in 83 upon death of Anianus •Elected by other Bishops Antioch •Ignatius martyred in 110, no appointment of a successor
  • 4. Important Works First Clement •Written about 96 from Rome to Corinth •Considered Canonical by some until 8th Century •Did not proclaim Roman authority, but stressed the need for continuing authority Letters of Ignatius •Written to 6 Churches and Polycarp •Written on the away to martyrdom •Stressed the Episcopal nature of the Church •Considered the Bishops the unifying factor of the Church •Apostolic and Catholic
  • 5. POLYCARP 1. Epistle to Diognetus 1. Assumed by some to be written by Polycarp 2. C. 125 3.Written to an unknown, likely Roman Emperor 4. Focused on establishing Christianity as the successor of Judaism 2.To the Philippians 1. C 110 2.Stressed holding to the right doctrines 3. Encourages a strong stand against Valens 3.Martyrdom of Polycarp 1. C 180 2.Eyewitness account of Polycarp’s death
  • 6. Shepherd of Hermes • Written in early to middle of century • Considered Canonical until 3rd century • Written by the brother of a bishop of Rome • Christology is Economic to Adoptionist She said to me, “Lo! do you not see opposite to you a great tower, built upon the waters, of splendid square stones?” For the tower was built square by those six young men who had come with her. But myriads of men were carrying stones to it, some dragging them from the depths, others removing them from the land, and they handed them to these six young men. They were taking them and building; and those of the stones that were dragged out of the depths, they placed in the building just as they were: for they were polished and fitted exactly into the other stones, and became so united one with another that the lines of juncture could not be perceived.
  • 7. Early Creeds and Confessions Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Corinthians 12:3 KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9 KJV) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16 KJV)
  • 8. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 KJV)
  • 9. Irenaeus and the Rule of Faith believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of To which course many nations of those Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of barbarians who believe in Christ do His surpassing love towards His •Memorized by the baptismal candidates as a measure against the Gnostics assent, having salvation written in their hearts creation, condescended to be born of the •Held to the Scripturesby virgin,source of Tradition through Himself asthe Spirit,Himself uniting man the He without paper or •Believed that Tradition was necessary preserving the ancient not around ink, and, carefully when Scriptures were to God, and having suffered under Pontius tradition: barbarians without the Scriptures: •Wrote, as the Rule of Faith forand rising again, and having been Pilate, received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, book 3, 4, 1-2)
  • 10. The Gnostic Valentinus 1. Valens (Valentinus) of Rome (100-160) 1. Originally a Hellenist from Alexandria 2. Stood as a possible successor to bishop of Rome, but another chosen 3. Taught three kinds of people (spiritual, psychical, and material) 1. Spiritual people, his followers, has gnosis, had a greater salvation 2. Psychical people, ordinary Christians, has a lesser salvation 3. Material people were doomed to perish 4. Combined the dualism of Platonic thought with Christian theology 5. Taught that God is three natures called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit 6. Expressly Denounced by Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna 2. Theodotus of Byzantium (the Tanner or the Showmaker) 1. Late second century 2. Taught adoptionism 1. Jesus born of Mary and Spirit, but still a mortal man until adopted by God 2. Become God after the Resurrection 3. Excommunicated by Victor I of Rome.
  • 11. The Apostles Doctrine Ignatius of Antioch Freely called Jesus Christ God Never called the Son God Ignatius was really an ‘economic trinitarian’, i.e., regarded God as an undifferentiated monad in His essential being, the Son and the Spirit being merely forms or modes of the Father’s self-revelation, only distinguished from Him in the process of revelation – RND Kelly (Early Christian Doctrines (Kelly, p.93) )
  • 12. 1. Papias 1. Condemned anything outside of the Apostle’s words 2. Polycarp 1. Condemned the godhead of Valens 2. Death ended Apostolic Era 3. Theophilius of Antioch 1. Bishop of Antioch 169-183 2. One work survives, Autolycus 3. First used the word ‘trinity’ 4. Consistently saw God as One
  • 13. Theophilus’ Trinity In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man. Wherefore also on the fourth day the lights were made. The disposition of the stars, too, contains a type of the arrangement and order of the righteous and pious, and of those who keep the law and commandments of God. For the brilliant and bright stars are an imitation of the prophets, and therefore they remain fixed, not declining, nor passing from place to place. And those which hold the second place in brightness, are types of the people of the righteous. And those, again, which change their position, and flee from place to place, which also are called planets, they too are a type of the men who have wandered from God, abandoning His law and commandments
  • 14. 1. Melito of Sardis 1. First to use Hebrew Old Testament exclusively 2. Christ equated with God with no apology 2. Athenagoras 1. Notes the oneness of the Father and Son 2. God is indivisible 3. The Word/Son is an Emanation from the Father
  • 15. Irenaeus 1. Knew Polycarp as a youth in Asia Minor 2. Denied Doctrinal Development 3. God was one hypostasis 1. Word and Wisdom were two hands of God 4. Fought the Gnostics 1. Attempted to use words that the Gnostics did not 1. Emanation became a Gnostic word
  • 16. Justin Martyr/Philosopher 1. Conversion 1. Philosopher 2. Saw Plato, Socrates as divinely inspired 1. Referred to 11/36 of Plato’s works 2. School in Rome 3. Development of Logos 1. Another God Justin, after he became a Christian, continued to wear the pallium, or cloak, as Eusebius and Jerome inform us, which was the singular badge of a philosopher. Aristides, the Athenian philosopher and a Christian, did the same; so did Heraclas, even when he was bishop of Alexandria.
  • 17. Plato sets forth the doctrine of the Trinity in his Phaedon, written four hundred years BC. His terms conform striking Justin’s doctrine on the Godhead. Plato's first term for the Trinity was in Greek, the Agathon, the supreme God or Father. Next was the Logos meaning the Word and then Psyche meaning the soul, spirit or ghost, the Holy Ghost.