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Thread: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

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    The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Here are some Early Christian Writings that reference the Trinity, or the deity of Jesus Christ specifically in either word or concept.

    circa 45 A.D. Clement of Rome
    "Have we not one God and one Christ? Is not the Spirit of grace, which was poured out upon us, one?"
    "For, as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost live"
    "I Clement" 46, 58

    circa 50 A.D. Huleatt
    "She poured it [the perfume] over his [Jesus'] hair when he sat at the table. But, when the disciples saw it, they were indignant. God, aware of this, said to them: 'Why do you trouble this woman? She has done [a beautiful thing for me.] . . . Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priest and said, 'What will you give me for my work?' [Matt. 26:7-15]"
    "Huleatt fragments 1-3"

    circa 50-150 A.D. The Didache
    "After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
    "Didache" 7:1

    circa 110 A.D. Ignatius
    "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 in Jesus Christ our God"
    "Epistle to the Ephesians, C 1"

    "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"
    "Epistle to the Ephesians, C 18"

    "To the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of him that has willed everything which is"
    "Epistle to Romans", C 1

    "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."
    "Epistle to Philippians", C 2

    "there is but One that became incarnate, and that neither the Father nor the Paraclete, but the Son only"
    "Epistle to Philippians", C 3

    "according to God. Be ye subject to the bishop, and to one another, as Jesus Christ to the Father, according to the flesh, and the apostles to Christ, and to the Father, and to the Spirit"
    "Epistle to Magnesians", C 13

    circa 140 A.D. 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"

    circa 150 A.D. 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"

    circa 150 A.D. Justin Martyr
    "the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. 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, knowing them in reason and truth"
    "First Apology" C 6

    "(Jesus Christ) is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third"
    "First Apology" C 13

    "gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost"
    "First Apology" C 35

    "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"

    circa 170 A.D. Tatian
    "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"

    circa 170 A.D. Athenagoras
    "we acknowledge a God, and a Son his Logos, and a Holy Spirit, united in essence, - the Father, the Son, the Spirit"
    "A Plea for Christians", 2:18

    circa 177 A.D. 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"

    circa 180 A.D. Irenaeus
    "the baptism of our regeneration proceeds through these three points: God the Father bestowing on us regeneration through His Son by the Holy Spirit. For as many as carry (in them) the Spirit of God are led to the Word, that is to the Son; and the Son brings them to the Father; and the Father causes them to possess incorruption. Without the Spirit it is not possible to behold the Word of God, nor without the Son can any draw near to the Father: for the knowledge of the Father is the Son, and the knowledge of the Son of God is through the Holy Spirit; and, according to the good pleasure of the Father, the Son ministers and dispenses the Spirit to whomsoever the Father wills and as He wills"
    "The Apostolic Preaching", C 7

    "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"

    circa 180 A.D. Theophilus of Antioch
    "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."
    "To Autolycus", Book 2, C 15

    circa 202 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" 5:15

    "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"

    "The Word, then, the Christ, is the cause both of our ancient beginning — for he 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"

    circa 210 A.D. Tertullian
    "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"
    "Against Praxeas", C 2

    "God alone is without sin. The only man who is without sin is Christ; for Christ is also God"
    "The Soul 41:3"

    "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"

    "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"

    circa 220 A.D. Hippolytus
    "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matt 28:19) And by this he showed that whosoever omitted any one of these, failed in glorifying God perfectly. For it is through the Trinity that the Father is glorified."
    "Against Noetus", C 14

    "For Christ is the God over all, who has arranged to wash away sin from mankind, rendering the old man new"
    "Refutiation of all Heresies 10"

    circa 225 A.D. Origen
    "he who is 'born again through God' to salvation has need of both Father and Son and Holy Spirit and will not obtain salvation apart from the entire Trinity, and why it is impossible to become partaker of the Father or the Son without the Holy Spirit."
    "The Principiis", Book 1, C 3

    "Although he was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was: God"
    "The Fundamental Doctrines 1:0:4"

    circa 235 A.D. Novatian
    "it is so very clear that Christ is declared in the Scriptures to be God, many heretics moved by the magnitude and truth of this divinity exaggerate His honors above measure. And they have dared to declare or to think that He is not the Son, but the God the Father Himself"
    "De Trinitate" C 31

    "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."

    circa 250 A.D. Ignatius
    "To the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God"
    "Letter to the Romans 1"

    circa 250 A.D. Thammaturgus
    "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 forever"
    "Declaration of Faith"

    circa 253 A.D. Cyprian
    "One who denies that Christ is God cannot become his temple [of the Holy Spiriti]"
    "Letters 73:12"

    circa 262 A.D. 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"

    circa 305 A.D. 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"


    circa 305 A.D. Arnobias
    "Well, then," some raging, angry, and excited man will say, "is that Christ your God?" "God indeed" we shall answer"
    "Against the Pagans 1:42"

    circa 313 A.D. Didymus
    "I am the Father and the Son and the Paraclete."
    "De Trinitate", 3, 41:4


    These references show me, at a minimum, that the concept of the Trinity, was not a RCC invention, nor a creedal creation that originated much later....the string of NT scriptures with the above ECF writings, give us a string of unbroken references of the concept of the Trinity from the time of Christ forward to Nicea, and onward unto today and forevermore.


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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    I agree with you, and these are all good references, but regardless of whether or not these references existed the deity of Christ should be easily discerned for a believer. A believer should just know it in their spirit. Not to mention that it's pretty much common sense. How could an ordinary man save anyone?
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    I agree with you, and these are all good references, but regardless of whether or not these references existed the deity of Christ should be easily discerned for a believer. A believer should just know it in their spirit. Not to mention that it's pretty much common sense. How could an ordinary man save anyone?
    Are you an ordinary man?

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    I agree with you, and these are all good references, but regardless of whether or not these references existed the deity of Christ should be easily discerned for a believer. A believer should just know it in their spirit. Not to mention that it's pretty much common sense. How could an ordinary man save anyone?
    You're correct. Our belief in the deity of Jesus Christ is by direct intervention of God. The truth is revealed to us, not learned by us.

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by nycarter31 View Post
    Are you an ordinary man?
    Last time I checked.
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    So many references, a lot of research, so while you were at it, why didn't you use the Messiah's true name instead of the one given to him by those who wished to conceal the fact that he was Jewish? Oy, Baruch Yeshua.

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Why should anyone care what the Early church fathers thought? Please. Does anyone believe in sola scriptura anymore?

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by Yochanan View Post
    So many references, a lot of research, so while you were at it, why didn't you use the Messiah's true name instead of the one given to him by those who wished to conceal the fact that he was Jewish? Oy, Baruch Yeshua.
    Sorry, I just used English....none of the quotes I researched were written in Hebrew or Aramaic. I know it's silly, but I try to stay with English when posting on an English forum, unless otherwise needed.
    Shall we get our gnat strainer out?

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    Why should anyone care what the Early church fathers thought? Please. Does anyone believe in sola scriptura anymore?
    Have you been on vacation? There have been a half-dozen threads running around on Trinity scriptures, and Christ's deity.

    This specific ECF thread was spun off my other thread of scripture - only citations. One of the guys specifically asked if the ECF had always taught the deity of Christ, or was it a late appearing teaching and interpretation.

    I just wanted to be thorough and cover all bases for those having doubts.

    People care about the ecf, not because they are inspired, theyre not, but they help show if teachings were always held, or were later inventions.

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    Why should anyone care what the Early church fathers thought? Please. Does anyone believe in sola scriptura anymore?
    Arius used the Scriptures to prove that Jesus is a created being... and he was quite the debate winner. That battle wasn't won because one camp "knew their Bible" better. Ultimately, the battle was won because the belief that Jesus is fully God had been the historic witness of the church, as testified by those ECF quotes, among others.

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by VerticalReality View Post
    Last time I checked.
    When God becomes your Father

    you will no longer be ordinary.

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by Psalms Fan View Post
    Arius used the Scriptures to prove that Jesus is a created being... and he was quite the debate winner. That battle wasn't won because one camp "knew their Bible" better. Ultimately, the battle was won because the belief that Jesus is fully God had been the historic witness of the church, as testified by those ECF quotes, among others.
    Good point...as we've seen in some of these threads, the Watchtower and it's followers know the bible quite well from a knowledge and regurgitation perspective....Satan in tempting Christ was quite versed in the scriptures. However, as others have said before, it is not just knowlege as the gnostics believed, but more. God works through the spirit and through faith.

    Simple belief. Just like the Pharisees knew the Scriptures very, very knowledgable in them....yet Jesus told them:

    John 5:38 "And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by Yochanan View Post
    So many references, a lot of research, so while you were at it, why didn't you use the Messiah's true name instead of the one given to him by those who wished to conceal the fact that he was Jewish? Oy, Baruch Yeshua.
    For the same reason Yehoshua is translated as Iesous (Jesus) in Greek, or Yochanan is translated as John. It's not a conspiracy, really. Come, let's get over intellectual pride.

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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit

    Luk 3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."

    ...35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

    Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    Joh 1:32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, [God's words, repeated by John in blue]'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'

    Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. .....26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

    Joh 16:7
    Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will sendHim to you. ... 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.




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    Re: The Early Church Fathers taught the deity of Jesus Christ; from the beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC View Post
    When God becomes your Father

    you will no longer be ordinary.
    Why?

    I would say that's dependent upon your perspective. If there is anything in me that's different than someone else, is this not attributed to God rather than me? If it is attributed to God and not me, why then would I be seen as anything more than ordinary? I prefer to look at things as the Apostle Paul did.

    Galatians 6:3
    For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

    God is something . . . I'm nothing. If anything good is done in me, God will get the glory.
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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