Records of how early Christians worshipped and what doctrine they believed!
Trinity, Deity and eternal pre-existence of Jesus Christ Person & Personality of the Holy Spirit.
74 AD The Letter of Barnabas
- 74 AD The Letter of Barnabas “And further, my brethren, if the Lord [Jesus] endured to suffer for our soul, he being the Lord of all the world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, ‘Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness,’ understand how it was that he endured to suffer at the hand of men” (Letter of Barnabas 5).
80 AD Hermas
- 80 AD Hermas “The Son of God is older than all his creation, so that he became the Father’s adviser in his creation. Therefore also he is ancient” (The Shepherd 12).
- 140 AD Aristides “[Christians] are they who, above every people of the Earth, have found the truth, for they acknowledge God, the creator and maker of all things, in the only-begotten Son and in the Holy Spirit” (Apology 16).
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “The Father of the universe has a Son, who also being the first begotten Word of God, is even God.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch 63)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts.” (Dialogue with Trypho, ch, 36)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “Moreover, in the diapsalm of the forty-sixth Psalm, reference is thus made to Christ: ‘God went up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.” (Dialogue with Trypho, ch 37)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr quotes Hebrews 1:8 to prove the Deity of Christ. “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.” (Dialogue with Trypho, ch 56)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “Therefore these words testify explicitly that He [Christ] is witnessed to by Him who established these things, as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ.” – Dialogue with Trypho, ch. 63.
- 150 AD Justin Martyr in Chap. LXVI. He (Justin) Proves From Isaiah That God Was Born From A Virgin. (Chapter Title, Chap. LXVI)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “And Trypho said, “You endeavor to prove an incredible and well-nigh impossible thing;[namely], that God endured to be born and become man…some Scriptures which we mention, and which expressly prove that Christ was to suffer, to be worshipped, and [to be called] God, and which I have already recited to you, do refer indeed to Christ.” (Dialogue with Trypho, ch 68)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “But if you knew, Trypho,” continued I, “who He is that is called at one time the Angel of great counsel, and a Man by Ezekiel, and like the Son of man by Daniel, and a Child by Isaiah, and Christ and God to be worshipped by David, and Christ and a Stone by many, and Wisdom by Solomon, and Joseph and Judah and a Star by Moses, and the East by Zechariah, and the Suffering One and Jacob and Israel by Isaiah again, and a Rod, and Flower, and Corner Stone, and Son of God, you would not have blasphemed Him who has now come, and been born, and suffered, and ascended to heaven; who shall also come again, and then your twelve tribes shall mourn. For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God. For Moses says somewhere in Exodus the following: `The Lord spake to Moses, and said to him, I am the Lord, and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, being their God; and my name I revealed not to them, and I established my covenant with them.’ And thus again he says, `A man wrestled with Jacob,’ and asserts it was God; narrating that Jacob said, `I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.'” (Dialogue of Justin with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. CXXVI [See also The First Apology of Justin, Chap. XIII; XXII; LXIII; Dialogue of Justin with Trypho, A Jew, Chap. XXXVI; XLVIII; LVI; LIX; LXI; C; CV; CXXV; CXXVIII)
- [Trypho to Justin] “…you say that this Christ existed as God before the ages, and that He submitted to be born and become man” – Dialogue with Trypho, ch.48.
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “We will prove that we worship him reasonably; for we have learned that he is the Son of the true God Himself, that he holds a second place, and the Spirit of prophecy a third. For this they accuse us of madness, saying that we attribute to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all things; but they are ignorant of the Mystery which lies therein” (First Apology 13:5-6).
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “Jesus Christ is the only proper Son who has been begotten by God, being His Word and first-begotten, and power; and, becoming man according to His will, He taught us these things for the conversion and restoration of the human race” (First Apology 23).
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch 6) Notice what else Justin say: “Worship God alone.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch 16) “Whence to God alone we render worship.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch 17)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “God begot before all creatures a Beginning, who was a certain rational power from himself and whom the Holy Spirit calls . . . sometimes the Son, . . . sometimes Lord and Word … We see things happen similarly among ourselves, for whenever we utter some word, we beget a word, yet not by any cutting off, which would diminish the word in us when we utter it. We see a similar occurrence when one fire enkindles another. It is not diminished through the enkindling of the other, but remains as it was” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 61).
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “God speaks in the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words: ‘Let us make man after our image and likeness’ . . . I shall quote again the words narrated by Moses himself, from which we can indisputably learn that [God] conversed with someone numerically distinct from himself and also a rational being. . . . But this Offspring who was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with him” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 62).
- 150 AD Justin Martyr [Note: Justin never says Jesus is a created angel. Justin never refers to Jesus as an angel before creation, although JW’s will falsely affirm such from the text below. Justin, however, does refer to Jesus as the “angel of the Lord” after creation in various appearances to man. Many but not all Trinitarians would have no problem affirming, along side of Justin, that Jesus as uncreated God, was referred to as the Angel of Jehovah.] “HOW GOD APPEARED TO MOSES. And all the Jews even now teach that the nameless God spake to Moses; whence the Spirit of prophecy, accusing them by Isaiah the prophet mentioned above, said “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know Me, and My people do not understand.” And Jesus the Christ, because the Jews knew not what the Father was, and what the Son, in like manner accused them; and Himself said, “No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son, but the Father, and they to whom the Son revealeth Him.” Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said. And He is called Angel and Apostle; for He declares whatever we ought to know, and is sent forth to declare whatever is revealed; as our Lord Himself says, “He that heareth Me, heareth Him that sent Me.” From the writings of Moses also this will be manifest; for thus it is written in them, “And the Angel of God spake to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers; go down into Egypt, and bring forth My people.” And if you wish to learn what follows, you can do so from the same writings; for it is impossible to relate the whole here. But so much is written for the sake of proving that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God and His Apostle, being of old the Word, and appearing sometimes in the form of fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels; but now, by the will of God, having become man for the human race, He endured all the sufferings which the devils instigated the senseless Jews to inflict upon Him; who, though they have it expressly affirmed in the writings of Moses, “And the angel of God spake to Moses in a flame of fire in a bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” yet maintain that He who said this was the Father and Creator of the universe. Whence also the Spirit of prophecy rebukes them, and says, “Israel doth not know Me, my people have not understood Me.” And again, Jesus, as we have already shown, while He was with them, said, “No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and those to whom the Son will reveal Him.” The Jews, accordingly, being throughout of opinion that it was the Father of the universe who spake to Moses, though He who spake to him was indeed the Son of God, who is called both Angel and Apostle, are justly charged, both by the Spirit of prophecy and by Christ Himself, with knowing neither the Father nor the Son. For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign, having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin, according to the counsel of the Father, for the salvation of those who believe on Him, He endured both to be set at nought and to suffer, that by dying and rising again He might conquer death. And that which was said out of the bush to Moses, “I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and the God of your fathers,” this signified that they, even though dead, are let in existence, and are men belonging to Christ Himself. For they were the first of all men to busy themselves in the search after God; Abraham being the father of Isaac, and Isaac of Jacob, as Moses wrote.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, ch 63)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “It is not on this ground solely,” I said, “that it must be admitted absolutely that some other one is called Lord by the Holy Spirit besides Him who is considered Maker of all things; not solely [for what is said] by Moses, but also [for what is said] by David. For there is written by him: ‘The Lord says to my Lord, Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool,’ as I have already quoted. And again, in other words: ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” (Dialog of Justin with Trypho, a Jew, ch 56)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “Then I replied, “Reverting to the Scriptures, I shall endeavor to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called God, is distinct from Him who made all things, — numerically, I mean, not [distinct] in will. For I affirm that He has never at any time done anything which He who made the world — above whom there is no other God — has not wished Him both to do and to engage Himself with.” (Dialog of Justin with Trypho, a Jew, ch 56)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “… even so here, the Scripture, in announcing that the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses, and in afterwards declaring him to be Lord and God, speaks of the same One, whom it declares by the many testimonies already quoted to be minister to God, who is above the world, above whom there is no other [God].” (Dialog of Justin with Trypho, a Jew, ch 60)
- 150 AD Justin Martyr “I shall give you another testimony, my friends,” said I, “from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning, [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave (Nun). For He can be called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father’s will, and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will; just as we see happening among ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word; yet not by abscission, so as to lessen the word [which remains] in us, when we give it out: and just as we see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not lessened when it has kindled [another], but remains the same; and that which has been kindled by it likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it was kindled. The Word of Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things, and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter, …” (Dialog of Justin with Trypho, a Jew, ch 60)
150 AD Polycarp of Smyrna
- 150 AD Polycarp of Smyrna “I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, with whom, to you and the Holy Spirit, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen” (Martyrdom of Polycarp 14).
160 AD Mathetes
- 160 AD Mathetes “[The Father] sent the Word that he might be manifested to the world . . . This is he who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old . . . This is he who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son” (Letter to Diognetus 11).
170 AD Tatian the Syrian
- 170 AD Tatian the Syrian “We are not playing the fool, you Greeks, nor do we talk nonsense, when we report that God was born in the form of a man” (Address to the Greeks 21).
177 AD Athenagoras
- 177 AD Athenagoras “The Son of God is the Word of the Father in thought and actuality. By him and through him all things were made, the Father and the Son being one. Since the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son by the unity and power of the Spirit, the Mind and Word of the Father is the Son of God. And if, in your exceedingly great wisdom, it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by `the Son,’ I will tell you briefly: He is the first- begotten of the Father, not as having been produced, for from the beginning God had the Word in himself, God being eternal mind and eternally rational, but as coming forth to be the model and energizing force of all material things” (Plea for the Christians 10:2-4).
177 AD Melito of Sardis
- 177 AD Melito of Sardis “It is no way necessary in dealing with persons of intelligence to adduce the actions of Christ after his baptism as proof that his soul and his body, his human nature, were like ours, real and not phantasmal. The activities of Christ after his baptism, and especially his miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the deity hidden in his flesh. Being God and likewise perfect man, he gave positive indications of his two natures: of his deity, by the miracles during the three years following after his baptism, of his humanity, in the thirty years which came before his baptism, during which, by reason of his condition according to the flesh, he concealed the signs of his deity, although he was the true God existing before the ages” (Fragment in Anastasius of Sinai’s The Guide 13).
180 AD Theophilus of Antioch
- 180 AD Theophilus of Antioch Chapter XV. – Of the Fourth Day. “On the fourth day the luminaries were made; because God, who possesses foreknowledge, knew the follies of the vain philosophers, that they were going to say, that the things which grow on the earth are produced from the heavenly bodies, so as to exclude God. In order, therefore, that the truth might be obvious, the plants and seeds were produced prior to the heavenly bodies, for what is posterior cannot produce that which is prior. And these contain the pattern and type of a great mystery. For the sun is a type of God, and the moon of man. And as the sun far surpasses the moon in power and glory, so far does God surpass man. And as the sun remains ever full, never becoming less, so does God always abide perfect, being full of all power, and understanding, and wisdom, and immortality, and all good. But the moon wanes monthly, and in a manner dies, being a type of man; then it is born again, and is crescent, for a pattern of the future resurrection. 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.” [Triavdo” The earliest use of this word “Trinity.” It seems to have been used by this writer in his lost works, also; and, as a learned friends suggests, the use he makes of it is familiar. He does not lug it in as something novel: “types of the Trinity,” he says, illustrating an accepted word, not introducing a new one.] “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 cared planets, they too are a type of the men who have wandered from God, abandoning His law and commandments.” (180 AD, Theophilus of Antioch Chapter XV. – Of the Fourth Day, To Autolycus 2:15)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “…so that He indeed who made all things can alone, together with His Word, properly be termed God and Lord: but the things which have been made cannot have this term applied to them, neither should they justly assume that appellation which belongs to the Creator.” – Against Heresies, Book III, ch. 8, section 3.
- 180 AD Irenaeus “But the Son, eternally co-existing with the Father, from of old, yea, from the beginning, always reveals the Father to Angels, Archangels, Powers, Virtues…” (Against Heresies, Book II, ch. 30, section 9)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “Christ Jesus is our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King.” (Against Heresies, Book I, ch. 10, section 1)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “For I have shown from the scriptures, that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord. But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth. Now, the scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man. (Irenaeus Against Heresies, chapter xix.2)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the Earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, Father Almighty, the creator of heaven and Earth and sea and all that is in them; and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who announced through the prophets the dispensations and the comings, and the birth from a Virgin, and the passion, and the Resurrection from the dead, and the bodily Ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus our Lord, and his coming from heaven in the glory of the Father to re-establish all things; and the raising up again of all flesh of all humanity, in order that to Jesus Christ our Lord and God and Savior and King, in accord with the approval of the invisible Father, every knee shall bend of those in heaven and on Earth and under the earth . . . ” (Against Heresies 1:10:1).
- 180 AD Irenaeus “[The Gnostics] transfer the generation of the uttered word of men to the eternal Word of God, attributing to him a beginning of utterance and a coming into being . . . In what manner, then, would the word of God–indeed, the great God himself, since he is the Word–differ from the word of men?” (Against Heresies 2:13:8).
- 180 AD Irenaeus “Nevertheless, what cannot be said of anyone else who ever lived, that he is himself in his own right God and Lord . . . may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth” (Against Heresies, 3:19:1).
- 180 AD Irenaeus “It was not angels, therefore, who made us, nor who formed us, neither had angels power to make an image of God, nor any one else, except the Word of the Lord, nor any Power remotely distant from the Father of all things. For God did not stand in need of these [beings], in order to the accomplishing of what He had Himself determined with Himself beforehand should be done, as if He did not possess His own hands. For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, “Let Us make man after Our image and likeness; ” [Gen. 1:26]” (Against Heresies 4:20:1).
- 180 AD Irenaeus [Quoting John 1:1] “‘…and the Word was God,’ of course, for that which is begotten of God is God.” (Against Heresies, Book I, ch. 8, section 5)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “And again when the Son speaks to Moses, He says, ‘I am come down to deliver this people,’ (Exodus 3:8 – the burning bush). For it is He who descended and ascended for the salvation of men.” (Against Heresies, Book III, ch. 6, section 2)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “Proofs From The Apostolic Writings, That Jesus Christ Was One And The Same, The Only Begotten Son Of God, Perfect God And Perfect Man.” (Against Heresies, Book III, ch. 16, Chapter Title)
- 180 AD Irenaeus [in reference to Jesus] “For I have shown from the Scriptures, that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord. But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself,…Now, the Scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man.” (Against Heresies, Book III, ch. 19, section 2)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “God, then, was made man, and the Lord did Himself save us, giving us the token of the Virgin.” (Against Heresies, Book III, ch. 21, section 1)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “Christ Himself, therefore, together with the Father, is the God of the living, who spake to Moses, and who was also manifested to the fathers.” (Against Heresies, Book IV, ch. 5, section 2)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “And for this reason all spake with Christ when He was present [upon earth], and they named Him God.” (Against Heresies, Book IV, ch.6, section 6)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “God formed man…it was not angels, therefore, who made us…neither had angels power to make an image of God.” (Against Heresies, Book IV, ch. 20, section 1)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “Wherefore the prophets, receiving the prophetic gift from the same Word, announced His advent according to the flesh, by which the blending and communion of God and man took place according to the good pleasure of the Father, the Word of God foretelling from the beginning that God should be seen by men, and hold converse with them upon earth.” (Against Heresies, Book IV, ch. 20, section 4)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “The Word, that is, the Son, was always with the Father.” (Against Heresies, Book IV, ch. 20, section 3)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “Christ Jesus, the Son of God, because of His surpassing love for His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin.” (Against Heresies, Book III, ch. 4, section 2)
- 180 AD Irenaeus “Therefore neither would the Lord, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the apostles, have ever named as God, definitely and absolutely, him who was not God, unless he were truly God; nor would they have named any one in his own person Lord, except God the Father ruling over all, and His Son who has received dominion from His Father over all creation, as this passage has it: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Here the [Scripture] represents to us the Father addressing the Son; He who gave Him the inheritance of the heathen, and subjected to Him all His enemies. Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit has fitly designated them by the title of Lord. And again, referring to the destruction of the Sodomites, the Scripture says, “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the LORD out of heaven.” For it here points out that the Son, who had also been talking with Abraham, had received power to judge the Sodomites for their wickedness. And this [text following] does declare the same truth: “Thy throne, O God; is for ever and ever; the scepter of Thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee.” For the Spirit designates both [of them] by the name, of God — both Him who is anointed as Son, and Him who does anoint, that is, the Father.” (Book 3, ch 6)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria [note: Clement NEVER calls Jesus a creature.] “There was then, a Word importing an unbeginning eternity; as also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God, who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreated.” (Fragments, Part I, section III)
- “that so great a work was accomplished in so brief a space by the Lord, who, though despised as to appearance, was in reality adored, the expiator of sin, the Saviour, the clement, the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son, and the Word was in God, not disbelieved in by all when He was first preached, nor altogether unknown when, assuming the character of man, and fashioning Himself in flesh, He enacted the drama of human salvation:for He was a true champion and a fellow-champion with [ie. God among creatures, not that Jesus is classed as a creature] the creature.” (Exhortations, Chap 10)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “I understand nothing else than the Holy Trinity to be meant; for the third is the Holy Spirit, and the Son is the second, by whom all things were made according to the will of the Father.” (Stromata, Book V, ch. 14)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “When [John] says: ‘What was from the beginning [1 John 1:1],’ he touches upon the generation without beginning of the Son, who is co-equal with the Father. ‘Was,’ therefore, is indicative of an eternity without a beginning, just as the Word Himself, that is the Son, being one with the Father in regard to equality of substance, is eternal and uncreated. That the word always existed is signified by the saying: ‘In the beginning was the Word’ [John 1:1].” (fragment in Eusebius History, Bk 6 Ch 14; Jurgens, p. 188)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria ‘For both are one — that is, God. For He has said, “In the beginning the Word was in God, and the Word was God.” (The Instructor, Book 1, ch 8)
- 190 AD Clement of Alexandria “Despised as to appearance but in reality adored, [Jesus is] the Expiator, the Savior, the Soother, the Divine Word, he that is quite evidently true God, he that is put on a level with the Lord of the universe because he was his Son.” (Exhortation to the Greeks, 10:110:1).
- 190 AD Clement of Alexandria “The Word, then, the Christ, is the cause both of our ancient beginning, for lie was in God, and of our well-being. And now this same Word has appeared as man. He alone is both God and man, and the source of all our good things” (Exhortation to the Greeks 1:7:1).
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “Now, O you, my children, our Instructor is like His Father God, whose son He is, sinless, blameless, and with a soul devoid of passion; God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of His Father’s will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father’s right hand, and with the form of God is God.” (Instructor, Book I, ch. 2)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “His Son Jesus, the Word of God, is our Instructor…. He is God and Creator.” (Instructor, Book I, ch. 11)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “This is the New Song, the manifestation of the Word that was in the beginning, and before the beginning. The Savior, who existed before, has in recent days appeared. He, who is in Him that truly is, has appeared; for the Word, who “was with God,” and by whom all things were created, has appeared as our Teacher. The Word, who in the beginning bestowed on us life as Creator when He formed us, taught us to live well when He appeared as our Teacher; that as God He might afterwards conduct us to the life which never ends.” (Exhortation To The Heathen, ch 2)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “This Word, then, the Christ, the cause of both our being at first (for He was in God) and of our well-being, this very Word has now appeared as man, He alone being both, both God and man” (Exhortation To The Heathen, ch 2)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “For it was not without divine care that so great a work was accomplished in so brief a space by the Lord, who, though despised as to appearance, was in reality adored, the expiator of sin, the Savior, the clement, the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made [made = appointed not created, ie. made king after resurrection.] equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son, and the Word was in God, not disbelieved in by all when He was first preached, nor altogether unknown when, assuming the character of man, and fashioning Himself in flesh” (Exhortation To The Heathen, ch 10)
- 190 AD Clement Of Alexandria “Now, O you, my children, our Instructor is like His Father God, whose son He is, sinless, blameless, and with a soul devoid of passion; God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of His Father’s will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father’s right hand, and with the form of God is God.” (The Instructor, Book 1, ch 2)
- 200 AD Tertullian “Never did any angel descend for the purpose of being crucified, of tasting death, and of rising again from the dead.” (The Flesh of Christ, ch 6)
- 200 AD Tertullian “All the Scriptures give clear proof of the Trinity, and it is from these that our principle is deduced…the distinction of the Trinity is quite clearly displayed.” (Against Praxeas, ch 11)
- 200 AD Tertullian “The origins of both his substances display him as man and as God: from the one, born, and from the other, not born” (The Flesh of Christ, 5:6-7).
- 200 AD Tertullian “[God speaks in the plural ‘Let us make man in our image’] because already there was attached to Him his Son, a second person, his own Word, and a third, the Spirit in the Word….one substance in three coherent persons. He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.” (Against Praxeas, ch 12)
- 200 AD Tertullian “Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are, one essence, not one Person, as it is said, ‘I and my Father are One’ [John 10:30], in respect of unity of Being not singularity of number” (Against Praxeas, 25)
- 200 AD Tertullian “As if in this way also one were not All, in that All are of One, by unity (that is) of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect; yet of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, inasmuch as He is one God, from whom these degrees and forms and aspects are reckoned, under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Against Praxeas, by Tertullian)
- 200 AD Tertullian “So too, that which has come forth out of God is at once God and the Son of God; and the two are one…. In his birth he is God and man united.” (Apology, ch 21)
- 200 AD Tertullian “There is one only God, but under the following dispensation, or oikonomia, as it is called, that this one only God has also a Son, His Word, who proceeded from Himself, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. Him we believe to have been sent by the Father into the Virgin, and to have been born of her — being both Man and God, the Son of Man and the Son of God, and to have been called by the name of Jesus Christ; we believe Him to have suffered, died, and been buried, according to the Scriptures, and, after He had been raised again by the Father and taken back to heaven, to be sitting at the right hand of the Father, and that He will come to judge the quick and the dead; who sent also from heaven from the Father, according to His own promise, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost. That this rule of faith has come down to us from the beginning of the gospel, even before any of the older heretics.” (Against Praxeas, ch 2)
- 200 AD Tertullian “That there are two Gods and two Lords, however, is a statement which we will never allow to issue from our mouth; not as if the Father and the Son were not God, nor the Spirit God, and each of them God; but formerly two were spoken of as Gods and two as Lords, so that when Christ would come, he might both be acknowledged as God and be called Lord, because he is the Son of him who is both God and Lord” (Against Praxeas 13:6)
- 200 AD Tertullian “The Spirit is God, and the Word is God, because proceeding from God, but yet is not actually the very same as He from whom He proceeds..” (Against Praxeas, ch 26)
- 200 AD Tertullian “For He could not have been the Father previous to the Son, nor a judge previous to sin” (Against Hermogones, Ch 3)
- 200 AD Tertullian “He will be God, and the Word – the Son of God. We see plainly the twofold state, which is not confounded, but conjoined in One Person – Jesus, God and Man..” (Against Praxeas, ch 27)
- 200 AD Tertullian “God alone is without sin. The only man who is without sin is Christ; for Christ is also God” (The Soul 41:3)
- 200 AD Tertullian “We do indeed believe that there is only one God, but we believe that under this dispensation, or, as we say, oikonomia, there is also a Son of this one only God, his Word, who proceeded from him and through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made. . . . We believe he was sent down by the Father, in accord with his own promise, the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father and the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. . . . this rule of faith has been present since the beginning of the Gospel, before even the earlier heretics” … “And at the same time the mystery of the oikonomia is safeguarded, for the unity is distributed in a Trinity. Placed in order, the Three are the Father, Son, and Spirit. They are three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in Being, but in form; not in power, but in kind; of one Being, however, and one condition and one power, because he is one God of whom degrees and forms and kinds are taken into account in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Against Praxeas 2).
- 200 AD Tertullian “While keeping to this demurrer always, there must, nevertheless, be place for reviewing for the sake of the instruction and protection of various persons. Otherwise it might seem that each perverse opinion is not examined but simply prejudged and condemned. This is especially so in the case of the present heresy [Sabellianism], which considers itself to have the pure truth when it supposes that one cannot believe in the one only God in any way other than by saying that Father, Son, and Spirit are the selfsame person. As if one were not all . . . through the unity of substance” (Against Praxeas 2:3-4)
- 200 AD Tertullian “Keep always in mind the rule of faith which I profess and by which I bear witness that the Father and the Son and the Spirit are inseparable from each other, and then you will understand what is meant by it. Observe now that I say the Father is other [distinct], the Son is other, and the Spirit is other. This statement is wrongly understood by every uneducated or perversely disposed individual, as if it meant diversity and implied by that diversity a separation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Against Praxeas, 9)
- 200 AD Tertullian “[W]hen God says, ‘Let there be light’ [Gen. 1:3], this is the perfect nativity of the Word, while he is proceeding from God. . . . Thus, the Father makes him equal to himself, and the Son, by proceeding from him, was made the first-begotten, since he was begotten before all things, and the only-begotten, because he alone was begotten of God, in a manner peculiar to himself, from the womb of his own heart, to which even the Father himself gives witness: ‘My heart has poured forth my finest Word’ [Ps. 45:1Against Praxeas 7:1).
- 200 AD Tertullian “… it is not by division that He is different, but by distinction; because the Father is not the same as the Son, since they differ one from the other in the mode of their being. For the Father is the entire substance, but the Son is a derivation and portion of the whole, as He Himself acknowledges: “My Father is greater than I.” In the Psalm His inferiority is described as being “a little lower than the angels.” Thus the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son, inasmuch as He who begets is one, and He who is begotten is another; He, too, who sends is one, and He who is sent is another” (Against Praxeas, by Tertullian)
- 200 AD Tertullian [Just as JW’s attribute words to Tertullian that he never said. We draw your attention to the fact that the quoted words (from “Should you believe in the trinity”, Watchtower booklet), “There was a time when the Son was not” are not Tertullian’s, but those of Bishop Kaye in his appendix section on Tertullian. (Bishop Kaye, Account of the Writings of Tertullian, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 3, p 1181). Kaye, Tertullian, some Trinitarians and all Modalists teach that Jesus was eternally pre-existent as God, and that the title of “Son” was first applied to Jesus after his incarnation. Just as a man cannot be called a father, until after he has a son, so too Jesus cannot be called a Son until after he was physically born via incarnation. This is the gist of what Kaye is saying Tertullian taught. To support this, notice this comment by Tertullian,] “For He could not have been the Father previous to the Son, nor a judge previous to sin” (Against Hermogones, Ch 3) see next quote:
- 200 AD Tertullian [Interesting that Tertullian being a modalist, not only says there was a time before the Son became the Son, so too a time before God was the Father] Because God is in like manner a Father, and He is also a Judge; but He has not always been Father and Judge, merely on the ground of His having always been God. For He could not have been the Father previous to the Son, nor a Judge previous to sin. There was, however, a time when neither sin existed with Him, nor the Son; the former of which was to constitute the Lord a Judge, and the latter a Father. In this way He was not Lord previous to those things of which He was to be the Lord. But He was only to become Lord at some future time: just as He became the Father by the Son, and a Judge by sin, so also did He become Lord by means of those things which He had made, in order that they might serve Him. (Tertullian, Against Hermogenes, chapter 3)
- 200 AD Tertullian “For before all things God was alone — being in Himself and for Himself universe, and space, and all things. Moreover, He was alone, because there was nothing external to Him but Himself. Yet even not then was He alone; for He had with Him that which He possessed in Himself, that is to say, His own Reason. For God is rational, and Reason was first in Him; and so all things were from Himself. This Reason is His own Thought (or Consciousness) which the Greeks call , by which term we also designate Word or Discourse and therefore it is now usual with our people, owing to the mere simple interpretation of the term, to say that the Word was in the beginning with God;” (Against Praxeas, by Tertullian)
200 AD Hippolytus
- 200 AD Hippolytus “For who will not say that there is one God? Yet he will not on that account deny the economy (i.e., the number and disposition of persons in the Trinity).” (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “As far as regards the power, therefore, God is one. But as far as regards the economy there is a threefold manifestation, as shall be proved afterwards when we give account of the true doctrine” (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “Let us look next at the apostle’s word: “Whose are the fathers, of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.”(13) This word declares the mystery of the truth rightly and clearly. He who is over all is God; for thus He speaks boldly, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father.”(14) He who is over all, God blessed, has been born; and having been made man, He is (yet) God for ever. For to this effect John also has said, “Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”(15) And well has he [John] named Christ the Almighty. For in this he has said only what Christ testifies of Himself. For Christ gave this testimony, and said, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father;”(16) and Christ rules all things, and has been appointed” (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus 6)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “For Christ is the God above all, and He has arranged to wash away sin from human beings,(7) rendering regenerate the old man. And God called man His likeness from the beginning, and has evinced in a figure His love towards thee. And provided thou obeyest His solemn injunctions, and becomest a faithful follower of Him who is good, thou shall resemble Him, inasmuch as thou shall have honour conferred upon thee by Him. For the Deity, (by condescension,) does not diminish ought of the divinity of His divine(8) perfection; having made thee even God unto His glory” (Elucidations, Ch. 30, Author’s Concluding Address)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “She hath mingled her wine” in the bowl, by which is meant, that the Saviour, uniting his Godhead, like pure wine, with the flesh in the Virgin, was born of her at once God and man without confusion of the one in the other. “And she hath furnished her table:” that denotes the promised knowledge of the Holy Trinity.” (Hippolytus on Prov 9:1, fragment, “Wisdom hath builded her house.”)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “But there is also that which is more honourable than all–the fact that Christ, the Maker of all, came down as the rain, and was known as a spring, and diffused Himself as a river, and was baptized in the Jordan.” (Discourse On The Holy Theophany)
- 200 AD Hippolytus [Applying Rev 1:8 to Christ] “He who is over all, God blessed, has been born, and having been made man. He is God forever. For to this effect John also has said, ‘Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ And well has he named Christ the Almighty.” (Against Noetus, Part 6)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “Beside Him there was nothing; but He [God], while existing alone, yet existed in plurality.” (Against Noetus, Part 10)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “Let us believe then, dear brethren, according to the tradition of the apostles, that God the Word came down from heaven,… He now, coming forth into the world, was manifested as God in a body, coming forth too as a perfect man..” (Against Noetus, Part 17)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “The Logos is God, being the substance of God.” (Refutation of all Heresies, Book X, ch 29)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “For Christ is the God above all…” (Refutation of all Heresies, Book X, ch 30)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “The Word alone of this God is from God himself, wherefore also the Word is God, being the Being of God. Now the world was made from nothing, wherefore it is not God” (Refutation of All Heresies 10:29).
- 200 AD Hippolytus “Therefore, this sole and universal God, by reflecting, first brought forth the Word–not a word as in speech, but as a mental word, the reason for everything. . . . The Word was the cause of those things which came into existence, carrying out in himself the will of him by whom he was begotten. . . . Only [God’s] Word is from himself and is therefore also God, becoming the substance of God” … “For Christ is the God over all, who has arranged to wash away sin from mankind, rendering the old man new” (Refutation of All Heresies 10:33,34).
- 200 AD Hippolytus “Thus, after the death of Zephyrinus, supposing that he had obtained (the position) after which he so eagerly pursued, he [Callistus] excommunicated Sabellius, as not entertaining orthodox opinions” (Refutation of All Heresies 9:7).
- 200 AD Hippolytus “Against The Heresy Of One Noetus: 1. Some others are secretly introducing another doctrine, who have become disciples of one Noetus, who was a native of Smyrna, (and) lived not very long ago. This person was greatly puffed up and inflated with pride, being inspired by the conceit of a strange spirit. He alleged that Christ was the Father Himself, and that the Father Himself was born, and suffered, and died. Ye see what pride of heart and what a strange inflated spirit had insinuated themselves into him. Froth his other actions, then, the proof is already given us that he spoke not with a pure spirit; for he who blasphemes against the Holy Ghost is cast out from the holy inheritance. He alleged that he was himself Moses, and that Aaron was his brother. When the blessed presbyters heard this, they summoned him before the Church, and examined him. But he denied at first that he held such opinions. Afterwards, however, taking shelter among some, and having gathered round him some others who had embraced the same error, he wished thereafter to uphold his dogma openly as correct. And the blessed presbyters called him again before them, and examined him. But he stood out against them, saying, “What evil, then, am I doing in glorifying Christ?” And the presbyters replied to him, “We too know in truth one God; we know Christ; we know that the Son suffered even as He suffered, and died even as He died, and rose again on the third day, and is at the right hand of the Father, and cometh to judge the living and the dead. And these things which we have learned we allege.” Then, after examining him, they expelled him from the Church. And he was carried to such a pitch of pride, that he established a school. 2. Now they [Noetus] seek to exhibit the foundation for their dogma by citing the word in the law, “I am the God of your fathers: ye shall have no other gods beside me;” and again in another passage, “I am the first,” He saith, “and the last; and beside me there is none other.” Thus they say they prove that God is one. And then they answer in this manner: “If therefore I acknowledge Christ to be God, He is the Father Himself, if He is indeed God; and Christ suffered, being Himself God; and consequently the Father suffered, for He was the Father Himself.” But the case stands not thus; for the Scriptures do not set forth the matter in this manner. But they make use also of other testimonies, and say, Thus it is written: “This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant (son), and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He show Himself upon earth, and conversed with men.” You see, then, he says, that this is God, who is the only One, and who afterwards did show Himself, and con-versed with men.” And in another place he says, “Egypt hath laboured; and the merchandise of Ethiopia and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, (and they shall be slaves to thee); and they shall come after thee bound with manacles, and they shall fall down unto thee, because God is in thee; and they shall make supplication unto thee: and there is no God beside thee. For Thou art God, and we knew not; God of Israel, the Saviour.” Do you see, he says, how the Scriptures proclaim one God? And as this is clearly exhibited, and these passages are testimonies to it, I am under necessity, he says, since one is acknowledged, to make this One the subject of suffering. For Christ was God, and suffered on account of us, being Himself the Father, that He might be able also to save us. And we cannot express ourselves otherwise, he says; for the apostle also acknowledges one God, when he says, “Whose are the fathers, (and) of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.” … “8. In this way, then, they choose to set forth these things, and they make use only of one class of passages; just in the same one-sided manner that Theodotus employed when he sought to prove that Christ was a mere man. But neither has the one party nor the other understood the matter rightly, as the Scriptures themselves confute their senselessness, and attest the truth. See, brethren, what a rash and audacious dogma they have introduced, when they say without shame, the Father is Himself Christ, Himself the Son, Himself was born, Himself suffered, Himself raised Himself. But it is not so. The Scriptures speak what is right; but Noetus is of a different mind from them. Yet, though Noetus does not understand the truth, the Scriptures are not at once to be repudiated. For who will not say that there is one God? Yet he will not on that account deny the economy (i.e., the number and disposition of persons in the Trinity). The proper way, therefore, to deal with the question is first of all to refute the interpretation put upon these passages by these men, and then to explain their real meaning. For it is right, in the first place, to expound the truth that the Father is one God, “of whom is every family,” “by whom are all things, of whom are all things, and we in Him.” (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “Against The Heresy Of One Noetus: Many other passages, or rather all of them, attest the truth. A man, therefore, even though he will it not, is compelled to acknowledge God the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus the Son of God, who, being God, became man, to whom also the Father made all things subject, Himself excepted, and the Holy Spirit; and that these, therefore, are three. But if he desires to learn how it is shown still that there is one God, let him know that His power is one. As far as regards the power, therefore, God is one. But as far as regards the economy there is a threefold manifestation, as shall be proved afterwards when we give account of the true doctrine. In these things, however, which are thus set forth by us, we are at one. For there is one God in whom we must believe, but unoriginated, impassible, immortal, doing all things as He wills, in the way He wills, and when He wills. What, then, will this Noetus, who knows nothing of the truth, dare to say to these things? And now, as Noetus has been confuted, let us turn to the exhibition of the truth itself, that we may establish the truth, against which all these mighty heresies have arisen without being able to state anything to the purpose. (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “A man, therefore, even though he will it not, is compelled to acknowledge God the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus the Son of God, who, being God, became man, to whom also the Father made all things subject, Himself excepted, and theHoly Spirit; and that these, therefore, are three. But if he desires to learn how it is shown still that there is one God, let him know that His power is one. As far as regards the power, therefore, God is one. But as far as regards the economy there is a threefold manifestation, as shall be proved afterwards when we give account of the true doctrine. In these things, however, which are thus set forth by us, we are at one. For there is one God in whom we must believe, but unoriginated, impassible, immortal, doing all things as He wills, in the way He wills, and when He wills.” (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus)
- 200 AD Hippolytus “As far as regards the power, therefore, God is one. But as far as regards the economy there is a threefold manifestation, as shall be proved afterwards when we give account of the true doctrine” (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus)
- 225 AD Origen “And that you may understand that the omnipotence of Father and Son is one and the same, as God and the Lord are one and the same with the Father, listen to the manner in which John speaks in the Apocalypse: “Thus saith the Lord God, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”(3) For who else was “He which is to come” than Christ? And as no one ought to be offended, seeing God is the Father, that the Saviour is also God; so also, since the Father is called omnipotent, no one ought to be offended that the Son of God is also cared omnipotent.” (De Principis, On Christ, Book 1, Ch 2)
- 225 AD Origen “Nothing in the Trinity can be called greater or less, since the fountain of divinity alone contains all things by His word and reason, and by the Spirit of His mouth sanctifies all things which are worthy of sanctification.” (De Principis, Book I, ch. 3, section 7)
- 225 AD Origen “Saving baptism was not complete except by the authority of the most excellent Trinity of them all, i.e., by the naming of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (De Principis, Book I, ch. 3, section 2)
- 225 AD Origen “The holy Apostles, in preaching the faith of Christ, treated with the utmost clarity of certain matters which they believed to be of absolute necessity to all believers…The specific points which are clearly handed down through the Apostolic preaching [are] these: First, that there is one God who created and arranged all things…Secondly, that Jesus Christ himself was born of the Father before all creatures…Although He was God, He took flesh, and having been made man, He remained what He was, God” (De Principis, Preface, sections 3 – 4)
- 225 AD Origen “For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a substance outside Himself, so that there was a time when He did not exist.” (De Principis, Book V, Summary, section 28)
- 225 AD Origen “We worship one God, the Father and the Son.” (Against Celsus, Book VIII, section 12)
- 225 AD Origen “The specific points which are clearly handed down through the apostolic preaching are these: First, that there is one God who created and arranged all things, and who, when nothing existed, called all things into existence, and that in the final period this God, just as he had promised beforehand through the prophets, sent the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, that Jesus Christ himself, who came, was born of the father before all creatures; and after he had ministered to the father in the creation of all things, for through him all things were made” … “Although he was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was. God” (The Fundamental Doctrines 1:0:4).
- 225 AD Origen “For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that some part of the Being of God was converted into the Son, or that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a Being outside himself, so that there were a time when he [the Son] did not exist” … “No, rejecting every suggestion of corporeality, we hold that the Word and the Wisdom was begotten out of the invisible and incorporeal God, without anything corporal being acted upon . . . the expression which we employ, however that there was never a time when he did not exist is to be taken with a certain allowance. For these very words `when’ and `never’ are terms of temporal significance, while whatever is said of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is to be understood as transcending all time, all ages, and all eternity” … “For it is the Trinity alone which exceeds every sense in which not only temporal but even eternal may be understood. It is all other things, indeed, which are outside the Trinity, which are to be measured by time and ages” (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:4:1).
- 225 AD Origen “While we have been sketching the proof of the divinity of Jesus, we have made use of the prophetic statements concerning him, and have at the same time demonstrated that the writings which prophesied about him are divinely inspired” (The Fundamental Doctrines, 4:1:6).
- 225 AD Origen “So also Wisdom, since he proceeds from God, is generated from the very substance of God” (Commentary on Hebrews).
- 225 AD Origen “In what follows, some may imagine that he says something plausible against us. “If,” says he, “these people worshipped one God alone, and no other, they would perhaps have some valid argument against the worship of others. But they pay excessive reverence to one who has but lately appeared among men, and they think it no offence against God if they worship also His servant.” To this we reply, that if Celsus had known that saying,” I and My Father are one,” and the words used in prayer by the Son of God, “As Thou and I are one, he would not have supposed that we worship any other besides Him who is the Supreme God. “For,” says He, “My Father is in Me, and I in Him.” And if any should from these words be afraid of our going over to the side of those who deny that the Father and the Son are two persons, let him weigh that passage, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul,” that he may understand the meaning of the saying, “I and My Father are one.” We worship one God, the Father and the Son, therefore, as we have explained; and our argument against the worship of other gods still continues valid. And we do not “reverence beyond measure one who has but lately appeared,” as though He did not exist before; for we believe Himself when He says, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Again He says, “I am the truth; ” and surely none of us is so simple as to suppose that truth did not exist before the time when Christ appeared. We worship, therefore, the Father of truth, and the Son, who is the truth; and these, while they are two, considered as persons or subsistences, are one in unity of thought, in harmony and in identity of will. So entirely are they one, that he who has seen the Son, “who is the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of His person,” has seen in Him who is the image, of God, God Himself.” (Origen Against Celsus, book 8, chapter 12, 225 AD)
- 235 AD Novatian “For Scripture as much announces Christ as also God, as it announces God Himself as man. It has as much described Jesus Christ to be man, as moreover it has also described Christ the Lord to be God. Because it does not set forth Him to be the Son of God only, but also the Son of man; nor does it only say, the Son of man, but it has also been accustomed to speak of Him as the Son of God. So that being of both, He is both, lest if He should be one only, He could not be the other. For as nature itself has prescribed that he must be believed to be a man who is of man, so the same nature prescribes also that He must be believed to be God who is of God . . . Let them, therefore, who read that Jesus Christ the Son of man is man, read also that this same Jesus is called also God and the Son of God” (Treatise on the Trinity 11).
- 235 AD Novatian “If Christ was only man, why did He lay down for us such a rule of believing as that in which He said, ‘And this is life eternal, that they should know you, the only and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent?’ [John 17:3]. Had He not wished that He also should be understood to be God, why did He add, ‘And Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent,’ except because He wished to be received as God also? Because if He had not wished to be understood to be God, He would have added, ‘And the man Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent;’ but, in fact, He neither added this, nor did Christ deliver Himself to us as man only, but associated Himself with God, as He wished to be understood by this conjunction to be God also, as He is. We must therefore believe, according to the rule prescribed, on the Lord, the one true God, and consequently on Him whom He has sent, Jesus Christ, who by no means, as we have said, would have linked Himself to the Father had He not wished to be understood to be God also. For He would have separated Himself from Him had He not wished to be understood to be God” (Treatise on the Trinity 16).
- 235 AD Novatian “[W]ho does not acknowledge that the person of the Son is second after the Father, when he reads that it was said by the Father, consequently to the Son, ‘Let us make man in our image and our likeness’ [Gen. 1:26] . . . Or when he reads (as having been said) to Christ: ‘Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the heathens for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession?’ [Ps. 2:7-8]. Or when also that beloved writer says: ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand, until I shall make your enemies the stool of your feet?’ [Ps. 110:1]. Or when, unfolding the prophecies of Isaiah, he finds it written thus: ‘Thus says the Lord to Christ my Lord?’ Or when he reads: ‘I came not down from heaven to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me?’ [John 6:28]. Or when he finds it written: ‘Because He who sent me is greater than I?’ [cf. John 14:24, 28]. . . . Or when he finds it placed side by side with others: ‘Moreover, in your law it is written that the witness of two is true. I bear witness of myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness of me?’ [cf. John 8:14-18]” … “And I should have enough to do were I to endeavor to gather together all the passages [of the kind in the previous quotation] . . . since the divine Scripture, not so much of the Old as also of the New Testament, everywhere shows Him to be born of the Father, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made, who always has obeyed and obeys the Father; that He always has power over all things, but as delivered, as granted, as by the Father Himself permitted to Him. And what can be so evident proof that this is not the Father, but the Son; as that He is set forth as being obedient to God the Father, unless, if He be believed to be the Father, Christ may be said to be subjected to another God the Father?” (Treatise on the Trinity 26).
- 235 AD Novatian “God the Father, found and creator of all things, who alone knows no beginning, who is invisible, immeasurable, immortal, and eternal, is one God. Neither his greatness nor his majesty nor his power can possibly be–I should not say exceeded, for they cannot even be equaled. From him . . . the Word was born, his Son. . . . And the latter, since he was born of the Father, is always in the Father. And I indeed say always . . . He that exists before all time must be said to have been in the Father always, for he that exists before all time cannot be spoken of in relation to time. . . . [A]ssuredly, he [the Son] is God, proceeding from God, causing, as Son, a second person after the Father, but not taking away from the Father the fact that God is one” (Treatise on the Trinity, 31).
- 235 AD Novatian “But although it is not possible to maintain that one who is himself mortal can make another immortal, yet this word of Christ not only sets forth, but affords immortality: certainly He is not man only who gives immortality, which if He were only man He could not give; but by giving divinity by immortality, He proves Himself to be God by offering divinity, which if He were not God He could not give. If Christ was only man, how did He say, “Before Abraham was, I Am? ” For no man can be before Him from whom he himself is; nor can it be that any one should have been prior to him of whom he himself has taken his origin. And yet Christ, although He is born of Abraham, says that He is before Abraham. Either, therefore, He says what is not true, and deceives, if He was not before Abraham, seeing that He was of Abraham; or He does not deceive, if He is also God, and was before Abraham. And if this were not so, it follows that, being of Abraham, He could not be before Abraham. If Christ was only man, how does He say, “And I know them, and my sheep follow me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish? ” And yet, since every man is bound by the laws of mortality, and therefore is unable to keep himself for ever, much more will he be unable to keep another for ever. But Christ promises to give salvation for ever, which if He does not give, He is a deceiver; if He gives, He is God. (A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity, Chapter XV. Argument.—Again He Proves from the Gospel that Christ is God., 235 AD)
250 AD Ignatius of Antioch
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “We have also a Physician the Lord our God, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin.” (Letter to the Ephesians.)
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “By the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God.” (Letter to the Ephesians)
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that hath found mercy in the bountifulness of the Father Most High and of Jesus Christ His only Son; to the church that is beloved and enlightened through the will of Him who willed all things that are, by faith and love towards Jesus Christ our God; even unto her that hath the presidency in the country of the region of the Romans…” (Letter to the Romans 1)
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “Nothing visible is good. For our God Jesus Christ, being in the Father, is the more plainly visible. The Work is not of persuasiveness, but Christianity is a thing of might, whensoever it is hated by the world.” (Letter to the Romans)
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “I give glory to Jesus Christ the God who bestowed such wisdom upon you” (Letter to the Smyraeans)
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “Jesus Christ . . . was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. . . . Jesus Christ . . . came forth from one Father and is with and has gone to one [Father]. . .. [T]here is one God, who has manifested himself by Jesus Christ his Son, who is his eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence, and who in all things pleased him that sent him” (Letter to the Magnesians 6-8).
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church at Ephesus in Asia . . . predestined from eternity for a glory that is lasting and unchanging, united and chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father and Jesus Christ our God” (Letter to the Ephesians 1).
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit” (Letter to the Ephesians, 18:2).
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “[T]o the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of him that has willed everything which is” (Letter to the Romans 1).
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “There is then one God and Father, and not two or three; One who is; and there is no other besides Him, the only true [God]. For “the Lord thy God,” saith [the Scripture], “is one Lord.” And again, “Hath not one God created us? Have we not all one Father? And there is also one Son, God the Word. For “the only-begotten Son,” saith [the Scripture], “who is in the bosom of the Father.” And again, “One Lord Jesus Christ.” And in another place, “What is His name, or what His Son’s name, that we may know? ” And there is also one Paraclete. For “there is also,” saith [the Scripture], “one Spirit,” since “we have been called in one hope of our calling.” And again, “We have drunk of one Spirit,” with what follows. And it is manifest that all these gifts [possessed by believers] “worketh one and the self-same Spirit.” There are not then either three Fathers, or three Sons, or three Paracletes, but one Father, and one Son, and one Paraclete. Wherefore also the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to “baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” not unto one [person] having three names, nor into three [persons] who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honour.” (Letter to the Philadelphians 2).
- 250 AD Ignatius of Antioch “Chapter VI.-Abstain from the Poison of Heretics. “I therefore, yet not I, but the love of Jesus Christ, entreat you that ye use Christian nourishment only, and abstain from herbage of a different kind; I mean heresy. For those [that are given to this] mix up Jesus Christ with their own poison, speaking things which are unworthy of credit, like those who administer a deadly drug in sweet wine, which he who is ignorant of does greedily take, with a fatal pleasure leading to his own death. I therefore, yet not I, out the love of Jesus Christ, “entreat you that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” For there are some vain talkers and deceivers, not Christians, but Christ-betrayers, bearing about the name of Christ in deceit, and “corrupting the word” of the Gospel; while they intermix the poison of their deceit with their persuasive talk, as if they mingled aconite with sweet wine, that so he who drinks, being deceived in his taste by the very great sweetness of the draught, may incautiously meet with his death. One of the ancients gives us this advice, “Let no man be called good who mixes good with evil.” For they speak of Christ, not that they may preach Christ, but that they may reject Christ; and they speak of the law, not that they may establish the law, but that they may proclaim things contrary to it. For they alienate Christ from the Father, and the law from Christ. They also calumniate His being born of the Virgin; they are ashamed of His cross; they deny His passion; and they do not believe His resurrection. They introduce God as a Being unknown; they suppose Christ to be unbegotten; and as to the Spirit, they do not admit that He exists. Some of them say that the Son is a mere man, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but the same person, and that the creation is the work of God, not by Christ, but by some other strange power.” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, Chap. VI)
- 250 AD Ignatius “But our Physician is the only true God, the unbegotten and unapproachable, the Lord of all, the Father and Begetter of the onlybegotten Son. We have also as a Physician the Lord our God, Jesus the Christ, the onlybegotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For “the Word was made flesh.” Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passible body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts. (long version The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chap. VII. See also Chap. XV; XVIII; XIX; The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, chap.VI; The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, Chap. X; The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans (Introduction); The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, Chap. IV; VI; The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Chap. I; III; V)
253 AD Cyprian of Carthage
- 253 AD Cyprian of Carthage “One who denies that Christ is God cannot become his temple [of the Holy Spirit] . . . ” (Letters 73:12)
262 AD Dionysius
- 262 AD Dionysius “Next, then, I may properly turn to those who divide and cut apart and destroy the Monarchy, the most sacred proclamation of the Church of God, making of it, as it were, three powers, distinct substances, and three godheads. I have heard that some of your catechists and teachers of the divine word take the lead in this tenet. They are, so to speak, diametrically opposed to the opinion of Sabellius. He, in his blasphemy, says that the Son is the Father and vice versa” (Letters of Dionysius to Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria 1:1).
- 262 AD Dionysius “Therefore, the divine Trinity must be gathered up and brought together in one, a summit, as it were, I mean the omnipotent God of the universe. . . . It is blasphemy, then, and not a common one but the worst, to say that the Son is in any way a handiwork [creature]. . . . But if the Son came into being [was created], there was a time when these attributes did not exist; and, consequently, there was a time when God was without them, which is utterly absurd” (Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria, 1-2)
- 262 AD Dionysius “Neither, then, may we divide into three godheads the wonderful and divine unity . . . Rather, we must believe in God, the Father almighty; and in Christ Jesus, his Son; and in the Holy Spirit; and that the Word is united to the God of the Universe. `For,’ he says, ‘The Father and I are one,’ and `I am in the Father, and the Father in me'” (Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria, 3).
262 AD Gregory the Wonder-worker
- 262 AD Gregory the Wonder-worker “But some treat the Holy Trinity in an awful manner, when they confidently assert that there are not three persons, and introduce (the idea of) a person devoid of subsistence. Wherefore we clear ourselves of Sabellius, who says that the Father and the Son are the same [Person] . . . We forswear this, because we believe that three persons–namely, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–are declared to possess the one Godhead: for the one divinity showing itself forth according to nature in the Trinity establishes the oneness of the nature” (A Sectional Confession of Faith 8).
- 262 AD Gregory the Wonder-worker “But if they say, ‘How can there be three Persons, and how but one Divinity?’ we shall make this reply: That there are indeed three persons, inasmuch as there is one person of God the Father, and one of the Lord the Son, and one of the Holy Spirit; and yet that there is but one divinity, inasmuch as . . . there is one substance in the Trinity” (A Sectional Confession of Faith, 14).
- 262 AD Gregory the Wonderworker “We therefore acknowledge one true God, the one First Cause, and one Son, very God of very God, possessing of nature the Father’s divinity,–that is to say, being the same in substance with the Father; and one Holy Spirit, who by nature and in truth sanctifies all, and makes divine, as being of the substance of God. Those who speak either of the Son or of the Holy Spirit as a creature we anathematize” (A Sectional Confession of Faith 15).
- 262AD Gregory the Wonderworker “There is one God, the Father of the living Word, who is His subsistent Wisdom and Power and Eternal Image: perfect Begetter of the perfect Begotten, Father of the only-begotten Son. There is one Lord, Only of the Only, God of God, Image and Likeness of Deity, Efficient Word, Wisdom comprehensive of the constitution of all things, and Power formative of the whole creation, true Son of true Father, Invisible of Invisible, and Incorruptible of Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal and Eternal of Eternal . . . There is a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided nor estranged. Wherefore there is nothing either created or in servitude in the Trinity; nor anything superinduced, as if at some former period it was non-existent, and at some later period it was introduced. And thus neither was the Son ever wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son; but without variation and without change, the same Trinity abides ever” (Declaration of Faith).
305 AD Methodius
- 305 AD Methodius “For the kingdom of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is one, even as their substance is one and their dominion one. Whence also, with one and the same adoration, we worship the one Deity in three Persons, subsisting without beginning, uncreated, without end, and to which there is no successor. For neither will the Father ever cease to be the Father, nor again the Son to be the Son and King, nor the Holy Ghost to be what in substance and personality He is. For nothing of the Trinity will suffer diminution, either in respect of eternity, or of communion, or of sovereignty” (Oration on the Psalms 5).
305 AD Arnobius
- 305 AD Arnobius “‘Well, then,’ some raging, angry, and excited man will say, ‘Is that Christ your God?’ ‘God indeed,’ we shall answer, ‘and God of the hidden powers'” (Against the Pagans 1:42).
307 AD Lactantius
- 307 AD Lactantius “He was made both Son of God in the spirit and Son of man in the flesh that is, both God and man” (Divine Institutes 4:13:5).
- 307 AD Lactantius “When we speak of God the Father and God the Son, we do not speak of them as different, nor do we separate them, because the Father cannot exist without the Son, nor can the Son be separated from the Father, since the name of ‘Father’ cannot be given without the Son, nor can the Son be begotten without the Father. . . . [T]hey both have one mind, one spirit, one substance; but the former [the Father] is as it were an overflowing fountain, the latter [the Son] as a stream flowing forth from it. The former as the sun, the latter as it were a ray [of light] extended from the sun” … “We, on the other hand, are [truly] religious, who make our supplications to the one true God. Some one may perhaps ask how, when we say that we worship one God only, we nevertheless assert that there are two, God the Father and God the Son–which assertion has driven many into the greatest error . . . [thinking] that we confess that there is another God, and that He is mortal. . . . [But w]hen we speak of God the Father and God the Son, we do not speak of them as different, nor do we separate each, because the Father cannot exist without the Son, nor can the Son be separated from the Father” (Divine Institutes , 4:28-29).
325 AD Council of Nicaea
- 325 AD Council of Nicaea I “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things, visible and invisible” … “We believe . . . in our one Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, the only-begotten born of the Father, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, born, not made. One in being with the Father. Through him all things were made . .” (The Creed of Nicaea).
- 325 AD Council of Nicaea I “But those who say, ‘There was a time when he [the Son] did not exist,’ and ‘Before he was born, he did not exist,’ and ‘Because he was made from non-existing matter, he is either of another substance or essence,’ and those who call ‘God the Son of God changeable and mutable,’ these the universal church anathematizes” (Appendix to the Creed of Nicaea).
350 AD Cyril of Jerusalem
- 350 AD Cyril of Jerusalem “Believe also in the Son of God, the one and only, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is God begotten of God, who is life begotten of life, who is light begotten of light, who is in all things like unto the begetter, and who did not come to exist in time but was before all the ages, eternally and incomprehensibly begotten of the Father. He is the Wisdom of God” (Catechetical Lectures 4:7).
- 350 AD The Long Ignatius “[O]ur God, Jesus the Christ, the only-begotten Son and Word before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the Virgin. For ‘the Word was made flesh’ [John 1:14]” (Letter to the Ephesians 7).
350 AD The Long Ignatius
- 350 AD The Long Ignatius “For the Son of God, who was begotten before time began, and established all things according to the will of the Father, He was conceived in the womb of Mary, according to the appointment of God, of the seed of David, and by the Holy Ghost” (Letter to the Ephesians, 18).
- 350 AD The Long Ignatius “Jesus Christ . . . being begotten by the Father before the beginning of time, was God the Word, the only-begotten Son, and remains the same for ever; for ‘of His kingdom there shall be no end’ [Luke 1:32]” (Letter to the Magnesians 6).
360 AD Athanasius
- 360 AD Athanasius “[The Trinity] is a Trinity not merely in name or in a figurative manner of speaking; rather, it is a Trinity in truth and in actual existence. Just as the Father is he that is, so also his Word is one that is and is God over all. And neither is the Holy Spirit nonexistent but actually exists and has true being. Less than these the Catholic Church does not hold, lest she sink to the level of the Jews of the present time, imitators of Caiaphas, or to the level of Sabellius” (Letters to Serapion 1:28).
- 360 AD Athanasius “When these points have been demonstrated, then they [the Arians] speak even more impudently: ‘If there never was a time when the Son was not, and if he is eternal and coexists with the Father, then you are saying that he is not a Son at all, but the Father’s brother.’ O dull and contentious men! Indeed, if we said only that he coexisted eternally and had not called him Son, their pretended difficulty would have some plausibility. But if while saying that he is eternal, we confess him as Son of Father, how were it possible for him that is begotten to be called a brother of him that begets? . . . For the Father and the Son were not generated from some preexisting source, so that they might be accounted as brothers. Rather, the Father is the source and begetter of the Son. . . . It is proper for men to beget in time, because of he imperfections of their nature; but the offspring of God is eternal because God’s nature is ever perfect” (Discourses against the Arians 1:14).
- 360 AD Athanasius “They [the Father and the Son] are one, not as one thing now divided into two, but really constituting only one, nor as one thing twice named, so that the same becomes at one time the Father and at another his own Son. This latter is what Sabellius held, and he was judged a heretic. On the contrary, they are two, because the Father is Father and is not his own Son, and the Son is Son and not his own Father” (Discourses Against the Arians 3:4).
368 AD Basil The Great
- 368 AD Basil The Great “When I speak of one essence, do not think as two separated from one, but of a Son subsisting from the Father from the beginning, not of Father and Son emerging from one essence. Indeed, do not speak of brothers; we confess Father and Son. There is identity of essence because the Son is from the Father; not made by his decree, but born of his nature” (Eulogies and Sermons, 24:4).
- 368 AD Basil The Great “What was in the beginning? ‘The Word,’ he says. . . . Why the Word? So that we might know that he proceeded from the mind. Why the Word? Because he was begotten without passion. Why the Word? Because he is image of the Father who begets him, showing forth the Father fully, in no way separated from him, and subsisting perfectly in himself, just as our word entirely befits our thought” (Eulogies and Sermons 16:3).
374 AD Epiphanius of Salamis
- 374 AD Epiphanius of Salamis “We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only-begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father; God of God, light of light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; consubstantial with the Father; through whom all things were made, both those in heaven and those on earth, both visible and invisible; who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, was made man, that is, he received perfect man, soul and body and mind and all that man is, except sin” (The Man Well-Anchored 120).
375 AD Gregory of Elvira
- 375 AD Gregory of Elvira “[In Genesis 49:9 the Son] is called a [lion’s] whelp so as to show that it refers not to the Father, but to the Son of God. For when both a lion and the whelp of a lion are named, both the Father and the Son are indicated. Their nature is not divided, but distinct Persons are manifested. For just as a lion is born of a lion, so too it is said that God proceeds from God and light from light” (Homilies on the Books of Sacred Scripture 6).
375 AD Chrysostom
- 375 AD Chrysostom “Jesus saith unto them, Before Abraham was, I Am. Then took they up stones to cast at Him.” Seest thou how He proved Himself to be greater than Abraham? For the man who rejoiced to see His day, and made this an object of earnest desire, plainly did so because it was a day that should be for a benefit, and belonging to one greater than himself. Because they had said, “The carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55), and imagined nothing more concerning Him, He leadeth them by degrees to an exalted notion of Him. Therefore when they heard the words, “Ye know not God,” they were not grieved; but when they heard, “before Abraham was, I Am,” as though the nobility of their descent were debased, they became furious, and would have stoned Him. “He saw My day, and was glad.” He showeth, that not unwillingly He came to His Passion, since He praiseth him who was gladdened at the Cross. For this was the salvation of the world. But they cast stones at Him; so ready were they for murder, and they did this of their own accord, without inquiry. But wherefore said He not, “Before Abraham was, I was,” instead of “I Am”? As the Father useth this expression, “I Am,” so also doth Christ; for it signifieth continuous Being, irrespective of all time. On which account the expression seemed to them to be blasphemous. Now if they could not bear the comparison with Abraham, although this was but a trifling one, had He continually made Himself equal to the Father, would they ever have ceased casting stones at Him? (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers; Volume 14: Homilies On the Gospel of St. John, Homily 55, 375 AD, comparing Ex 3:14 & John 8:58)
379 AD Ambrose of Milan
- 379 AD Ambrose of Milan “[The Arians] think that they must posit the objection of his [Christ] having said, ‘I live on account of the Father.’ Certainly if they refer the saying to his divinity, the Son lives on account of the Father, because the Son is from the Father; on account of the Father, because he is of one substance with the Father; on account of the Father, because he is the Word given forth from the heart of the Father; because he proceeds from the Father” (The Faith 4:10:132).
380 AD Gregory of Nazianz
- 380 AD Gregory of Nazianz “He is called Son because he is identical to the Father in essence; and not only this, but also because he is of him. He is called only-begotten not because He is a unique Son . . . but because he is Son in a unique fashion and not in a corporeal way. He is called Word because he is to the Father what a word is to the mind” (Orations 30:20).
381 AD Council of Constantinople
- 381 AD Council of Constantinople I “We believe . . . in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only- begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages, light of light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father” (The Nicene Creed) .
382 AD Council of Rome
- 382 AD Council of Rome “We anathematize those also who follow the error of Sabellius in saying that the same one is both Father and Son” (Tome of Damasus, canon 2).
- 382 AD Council of Rome “If anyone does not say that the Son was begotten of the Father, that is, of the divine substance of him himself, he is a heretic” (Tome of Damasus, canon 11).
416 AD Augustine
- 416 AD Augustine “In the way that you speak a word that you have in your heart and it is with you . . . that is how God issued the Word, that is to say, how he begot the Son. And you, indeed, beget a word too in your heart, without temporal preparation; God begot the Son outside of time, the Son through whom he created all things” (Homilies on John 14:7).
444 AD Sechnall of Ireland
- 444 AD Sechnall of Ireland “Hymns, with Revelation and the Psalms of God [St. Patrick] sings, and does expound the same for the edifying of God’s people. This law he holds in the Trinity of the Sacred Name and teaches one Being in three Persons” (Hymn in Praise of St. Patrick 22).
447 AD St. Patrick
- 447 AD St. Patrick “[T]here is no other God, nor has there been heretofore, nor will there be hereafter, except God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, upholding all things, as we say, and his Son Jesus Christ, whom we likewise to confess to have always been with the Father–before the world’s beginning . . . Jesus Christ is the Lord and God in whom we believe . . . and who has poured out on us abundantly the Holy Spirit . . . whom we confess and adore as one God in the Trinity of the Sacred Name” (Confession of St. Patrick 4).
- 447 AD St. Patrick “I bind to myself to day the strong power of an invocation of the Trinity–the faith of the Trinity in Unity, the Creator of the universe” (The Breastplate of St. Patrick 1).
513 AD Fulgence of Ruspe
- 513 AD Fulgence of Ruspe “See, in short you have it that the Father is one, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit another; in person, each is other, but in nature they are not other. In this regard he [Christ] says, `The Father and I, we are one’ [John 10:30]. He teaches us that `one’ refers to their nature and `we are’ to their persons. In like manner it is said, `There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one’ [1John 5:7]. Let Sabellius hear ‘we are,’ let him hear ‘three,’ and let him believe that there are three Persons” (The Trinity 4:1).
553 AD Council of Constantinople
- 553 AD Council of Constantinople II “If anyone does not confess that there are two generations of the Word of God, one from the Father before all ages, without time and incorporeally, the other in the last days when the same came down from heaven and was incarnate . . . let such a one be anathema” (Anathemas Concerning the Three Chapters, canon 2).
1200 AD The Athanasian Creed
- 1200 AD The Athanasian Creed “The Father is not made nor created nor begotten by anyone. The Son is from the Father alone, not made or created, but begotten. . . . Let him who wishes to be saved, think thus concerning the Trinity. But it is necessary for eternal salvation that he faithfully believe also in the Incarnation . . . He is God begotten of the substance of the Father before time, and he is man born of the substance of his mother in time. . . . This is the Catholic faith; unless everyone believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved” (Athanasian Creed).
Regarding the “US”, in Gen 1:26 “Let us make man in our image”:
74 AD Epistle of Barnabas: “For the Scripture says concerning us, while He speaks to the Son, “Let Us make man after Our image, and after Our likeness” (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter VI.—The Sufferings of Christ, and the New Covenant, Were Announced by the Prophets.)
150 AD Justin Martyr: Speaking of Jewish theologians Justin calls the Jewish teaching that God spoke to angels a hersey: “In saying, therefore, ‘as one of us, ‘[Moses] has declared that [there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two. For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you (The Jews had their own heresies which supplied many things to the Christian heresies) is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that [God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures.” (Dialogue of Justin Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew: Chapter LXII.—The Words “Let Us Make Man”)
180 AD Irenaeus “It was not angels, therefore, who made us, nor who formed us, neither had angels power to make an image of God, nor any one else, except the Word of the Lord, nor any Power remotely distant from the Father of all things. For God did not stand in need of these [beings], in order to the accomplishing of what He had Himself determined with Himself beforehand should be done, as if He did not possess His own hands. For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, “Let Us make man after Our image and likeness; ” [Gen. 1:26]” (Against Heresies 4:20:1).
200 AD Tertullian: “If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, “Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness; ” whereas He ought to have said, “Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness,” as being a unique and singular Being? In the following passage, however, “Behold the man is become as one of us,” He is either deceiving or amusing us in speaking plurally, if He is One only and singular. Or was it to the angels that He spoke, as the Jews interpret the passage, because these also acknowledge not the Son? Or was it because He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that He spoke to Himself in plural terms, making Himself plural on that very account? Nay, it was because He had already His Son close at His side, as a second Person, His own Word, and a third Person also, the Spirit in the Word, that He purposely adopted the plural phrase, “Let us make; “and, “in our image; “and, “become as one of us.” (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter XII. Other Quotations from Holy Scripture Adduced in Proof of the Plurality of Persons in the Godhead.)
200 AD Tertullian: Tertullian rejects the idea that God was speaking to Angels because our head is the creator, not a creature: “Since then he is the image of the Creator (for He, when looking on Christ His Word, who was to become man, said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness”), how can I possibly have another head but Him whose image I am? For if I am the image of the Creator there is no room in me for another head” (Tertullian, Book V, Elucidations, Chapter VIII.—Man the Image of the Creator, and Christ the Head of the Man.)
200 AD Tertullian: “In the first place, because all things were made by the Word of God, and without Him was nothing made. Now the flesh, too, had its existence from the Word of God, because of the principle, that here should be nothing without that Word. “Let us make man,” said He, before He created him, and added, “with our hand,” for the sake of his pre-eminence, that so he might not be compared with the rest of creation.” (Tertullian: On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Elucidations, Chapter V.—Some Considerations in Reply Eulogistic of the Flesh. It Was Created by God.)
Origen: “it was to Him that God said regarding the creation of man, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” (Origen Against Celsus, Book V, Chapter XXXVII)
Novatian: “For who does not acknowledge that the person of the Son is second after the Father, when he reads that it was said by the Father, consequently to the Son, “Let us make man in our image and our likeness; ” and that after this it was related, “And God made man, in the image of God made He him? “Or when he holds in his hands: “The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord from heaven? ” (A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity, Chapter XXVI. Argument.—Moreover, Against the Sabellians He Proves that the Father is One, the Son Another.)
Constitutions of the Holy Apostles: “the divine Scripture testifies that God said to Christ, His only-begotten, “Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness. And God made man: after the image of God made He him; male and female made He them.”(Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book V., VII)