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In Christianity, Arianism
Arianism
is a Christological[1] concept which asserts the belief that Jesus
Jesus
Christ is the Son of God
Son of God
who was begotten by God the Father
Father
at a point in time, is distinct from the Father
Father
and is therefore subordinate to the Father.[2] Arian teachings were first attributed to Arius
Arius
(c. AD 256–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt. The teachings of Arius
Arius
and his supporters were opposed to the theological views held by Homoousian Christians, regarding the nature of the Trinity
Trinity
and the nature of Christ. The Arian concept of Christ is based on the belief that the Son of God
Son of God
did not always exist but was begotten by God the Father.[2] There was a dispute between two interpretations ( Arianism
Arianism
and Homoousianism) based upon the theological orthodoxy of the time, and both of them attempted to solve its theological dilemmas.[2] So there were, initially, two equally orthodox interpretations which initiated a conflict in order to attract adepts and define the new orthodoxy.[2] Homoousianism was formally affirmed by the first two Ecumenical Councils. The Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
of 325 deemed Arianism
Arianism
to be a heresy.[3] All mainstream branches of Christianity now consider Arianism
Arianism
to be heterodox and heretical.[4] According to Everett Ferguson, "The great majority of Christians had no clear views about the nature of the Trinity
Trinity
and they did not understand what was at stake in the issues that surrounded it."[3] At the regional First Synod of Tyre in 335, Arius
Arius
was exonerated.[5] Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
was baptized by the Arian bishop Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia.[6][7] After the deaths of both Arius
Arius
and Constantine, Arius was again anathemised and pronounced a heretic again at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople
First Council of Constantinople
of 381.[8] The Roman Emperors Constantius II
Constantius II
(337–361) and Valens
Valens
(364–378) were Arians or Semi-Arians, as was the first King of Italy, Odoacer
Odoacer
(433?–493), and the Lombards
Lombards
were also Arians or Semi-Arians
Semi-Arians
until the 7th century. Arianism
Arianism
is also used to refer to other nontrinitarian theological systems of the 4th century, which regarded Jesus
Jesus
Christ—the Son of God, the Logos—as either a begotten being (as in Arianism
Arianism
proper and Anomoeanism) or as neither uncreated nor created in the sense other beings are created (as in Semi-Arianism).

Contents

1 Origin 2 Beliefs 3 Homoian Arianism 4 Struggles with orthodoxy

4.1 First Council of Nicaea 4.2 Aftermath of Nicaea 4.3 Council of Constantinople

5 Among medieval Germanic tribes 6 From the 5th to the 7th century 7 From the 16th to the 19th century 8 Today

8.1 Jehovah's Witnesses 8.2 Others

9 See also 10 References

10.1 Notes 10.2 Bibliography

11 Further reading 12 External links

Origin[edit] Main articles: Arius
Arius
and Arian controversy Arius
Arius
had been a pupil of Lucian of Antioch
Lucian of Antioch
at Lucian's private academy in Antioch and inherited from him a modified form of the teachings of Paul of Samosata.[9] He taught that God the Father
God the Father
and the Son of God
Son of God
did not always exist together eternally.[10] Arians taught that the Logos was a divine being begotten by God the Father before the creation of the world, made him a medium through whom everything else was created, and that the Son of God
Son of God
is subordinate to God the Father.[11] A verse from Proverbs was also used: "The Lord created me at the beginning of his work" (Proverbs.[12][13] Therefore, the Son was rather the very first and the most perfect of God's creatures, and he was made "God" only by the Father's permission and power.[14][15] Controversy over Arianism
Arianism
arose in the late 3rd century and persisted throughout most of the 4th century. It involved most church members—from simple believers, priests, and monks to bishops, emperors, and members of Rome's imperial family. Two Roman emperors, Constantius II
Constantius II
and Valens, became Arians or Semi-Arians, as did prominent Gothic, Vandal, and Lombard warlords both before and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Such a deep controversy within the Church during this period of its development could not have materialized without significant historical influences providing a basis for the Arian doctrines.[16] Of the roughly three hundred bishops in attendance at the Council of Nicea, two bishops did not sign the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
that condemned Arianism.[17] Emperor Constantine also ordered a penalty of death for those who refused to surrender the Arian writings:

"In addition, if any writing composed by Arius
Arius
should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment. ... " — Edict by Emperor Constantine
Emperor Constantine
against the Arians[18]

Beliefs[edit] Reconstructing what Arius
Arius
actually taught, and why, is a formidable task, both because little of his own work survives except in quotations selected for polemical purposes by his opponents, and also because there is no certainty about what theological and philosophical traditions formed his thought.[19] Arians do not believe in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity.[20] The letter of Arian Auxentius[21] regarding the Arian missionary Ulfilas
Ulfilas
gives a picture of Arian beliefs. Arian Ulfilas, who was ordained a bishop by Arian Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work as a missionary, believed: God, the Father, ("unbegotten" God; Almighty God) always existing and who is the only true God (John 17:3). The Son of God, Jesus
Jesus
Christ, ("only-begotten God" John 1:18;[22] Mighty God Isaiah 9:6) begotten before time began (Proverbs 8:22–29; Revelation 3:14; Colossians 1:15) and who is Lord/Master (1 Cor 8:6). The Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
(the illuminating and sanctifying power, who is neither God the Father
God the Father
nor Lord/Master. First Corinthians 8:5–8:6 was cited as proof text:

Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords/masters—yet for us there is one God (Gk. theos – θεός), the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord/Master (kyrios – κύριος), Jesus
Jesus
Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. — NRSV

The creed of Arian Ulfilas
Ulfilas
(c. 311 – 383), which concludes a letter praising him written by Auxentius,[21] distinguishes God the Father ("unbegotten"), who is the only true God from Son of God ("only-begotten"), who is Lord/Master; and the Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power, who is neither God the Father
God the Father
nor Lord/Master:

I, Ulfila, bishop and confessor, have always so believed, and in this, the one true faith, I make the journey to my Lord; I believe in only one God the Father, the unbegotten and invisible, and in his only-begotten son, our Lord/Master and God, the designer and maker of all creation, having none other like him. Therefore, there is one God of all, who is also God of our God; and in one Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power, as Christ said after his resurrection to his apostles: "And behold, I send the promise of my Father
Father
upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49) and again "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8); Neither God nor Lord/Master, but the faithful minister of Christ; not equal, but subject and obedient in all things to the Son. And I believe the Son to be subject and obedient in all things to God the Father.[23]

A letter from Arius
Arius
(c. 250–336) to the Arian Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia (died 341) succinctly states the core beliefs of the Arians:

Some of them say that the Son is an eructation, others that he is a production, others that he is also unbegotten. These are impieties to which we cannot listen, even though the heretics threaten us with a thousand deaths. But we say and believe and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way part of the unbegotten; and that he does not derive his subsistence from any matter; but that by his own will and counsel he has subsisted before time and before ages as perfect as God, only begotten and unchangeable, and that before he was begotten, or created, or purposed, or established, he was not. For he was not unbegotten. We are persecuted because we say that the Son has a beginning but that God is without beginning. — Theodoret: Arius's Letter to Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia, translated in Peters' Heresy
Heresy
and Authority in Medieval Europe, p. 41

According to Bart Ehrman, the dispute between Trinitarianism
Trinitarianism
and Arianism
Arianism
was about:

has the Son always existed next to the Father
Father
or was the Son begotten at a certain time in eternity past? is the Son equal to the Father
Father
or subordinated to the Father? for Constantine it was minor theological claptrap that stood in the way of uniting the Empire, but for the theologians it was of huge importance.[2]

Homoian Arianism[edit] Arianism
Arianism
had several different variants, including Eunomianism
Eunomianism
and Homoian Arianism. Homoian Arianism
Arianism
is associated with Akakius and Eudoxius. Homoian Arianism
Arianism
avoided the use of the word ousia to describe the relation of Father
Father
to Son, and described these as "like" each other.[24] Hanson lists twelve creeds that reflect the Homoian faith:[25]

The Second Sirmian Creed of 357 The Creed of Nice (Constantinople) 360 The creed put forward by Akakius at Seleucia, 359 The Rule of Faith of Ulfilas The creed uttered by Ulfilas
Ulfilas
on his deathbed, 383 The creed attributed to Eudoxius The Creed of Auxentius of Milan, 364 The Creed of Germinius professed in correspondence with Valens
Valens
and Ursacius Palladius' rule of faith Three credal statements found in fragments, subordinating the Son to the Father

Struggles with orthodoxy[edit] First Council of Nicaea[edit]

Constantine burning Arian books, illustration from a compendium of canon law, c. 825.

In 321, Arius
Arius
was denounced by a synod at Alexandria
Alexandria
for teaching a heterodox view of the relationship of Jesus
Jesus
to God the Father. Because Arius
Arius
and his followers had great influence in the schools of Alexandria—counterparts to modern universities or seminaries—their theological views spread, especially in the eastern Mediterranean. By 325, the controversy had become significant enough that the Emperor Constantine called an assembly of bishops, the First Council of Nicaea, which condemned Arius's doctrine and formulated the original Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
of 325.[26] The Nicene Creed's central term, used to describe the relationship between the Father
Father
and the Son, is Homoousios (Ancient Greek: ὁμοούσιος), or Consubstantiality, meaning "of the same substance" or "of one being". (The Athanasian Creed is less often used but is a more overtly anti-Arian statement on the Trinity.) The focus of the Council of Nicaea was the nature of the Son of God and his precise relationship to God the Father. (see Paul of Samosata and the Synods of Antioch). Arius
Arius
taught that Jesus
Jesus
Christ was divine/holy and was sent to earth for the salvation of mankind[20] but that Jesus
Jesus
Christ was not equal to God the Father
God the Father
(infinite, primordial origin) in rank and that God the Father
God the Father
and the Son of God were not equal to the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
(power of God the Father).[10] Under Arianism, Christ was instead not consubstantial with God the Father[27] since both the Father
Father
and the Son under Arius
Arius
were made of "like" essence or being (see homoiousia) but not of the same essence or being (see homoousia).[27] In the Arian view, God the Father
God the Father
is a Deity and is divine and the Son of God is not a Deity but divine (I, the LORD, am Deity alone. Isaiah 46:9).[20] God the Father
God the Father
sent Jesus
Jesus
to earth for salvation of mankind (John 17:3). Ousia
Ousia
is essence or being, in Eastern Christianity, and is the aspect of God that is completely incomprehensible to mankind and human perception. It is all that subsists by itself and which has not its being in another,[28] God the Father
God the Father
and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
all being uncreated.[29] According to the teaching of Arius, the pre-existent Logos and thus the incarnate Jesus
Jesus
Christ was a begotten being; only the Son was directly begotten by God the Father, before ages, but was of a distinct, though similar, essence or substance from the Creator. His opponents argued that this would make Jesus
Jesus
less than God and that this was heretical.[27] Much of the distinction between the differing factions was over the phrasing that Christ expressed in the New Testament to express submission to God the Father.[27] The theological term for this submission is kenosis. This Ecumenical council declared that Jesus
Jesus
Christ was a distinct being of God in existence or reality (hypostasis), which the Latin fathers translated as persona. Jesus
Jesus
was God in essence, being, and/or nature (ousia), which the Latin fathers translated as substantia. Constantine is believed to have exiled those who refused to accept the Nicean creed— Arius
Arius
himself, the deacon Euzoios, and the Libyan bishops Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais—and also the bishops who signed the creed but refused to join in condemnation of Arius, Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea. The Emperor also ordered all copies of the Thalia, the book in which Arius
Arius
had expressed his teachings, to be burned. However, there is no evidence that his son and ultimate successor, Constantius II, who was a Semi-Arian Christian, was exiled. Although he was committed to maintaining what the church had defined at Nicaea, Constantine was also bent on pacifying the situation and eventually became more lenient toward those condemned and exiled at the council. First he allowed Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia, who was a protégé of his sister, and Theognis to return once they had signed an ambiguous statement of faith. The two, and other friends of Arius, worked for Arius's rehabilitation.[30] At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, now bishop of Alexandria, the primary opponent of Arius. After this, Constantine had Athanasius banished since he considered him an impediment to reconciliation. In the same year, the Synod
Synod
of Jerusalem under Constantine's direction readmitted Arius
Arius
to communion in AD 336. Arius
Arius
died on the way to this event in Constantinople. Some scholars suggest that Arius
Arius
may have been poisoned by his opponents.[30] Eusebius
Eusebius
and Theognis remained in the Emperor's favor, and when Constantine, who had been a catechumen much of his adult life, accepted baptism on his deathbed, it was from Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia.[6] The historian Jacob Burckhardt
Jacob Burckhardt
wrote of the Council:

It is one of the most intolerable spectacles in all history to see the Church, barely saved from persecution...wholly consumed in strenuous conflict over the relations of the three Persons of the Trinity. Oriental rigidity and Greek sophistry, equally represented in the episcopal thrones, tormented themselves and the letter of Scripture to produce some symbol which would make the incomprehensible comprehensible and to give general validity to some expression of the idea. From homoousios and homoiousios ("equal" and "similar") the conflict proceeded through a hundred metamorphoses and several hundred years and split the Eastern Church into sects.... A host of other interests, in part very worldly, attached themselves to the conflict and were concealed in it, so that it assumes the aspect of a merely hypocritical pretext. For the sake of this quarrel the Church made itself inwardly hollow; for the sake of orthodox dogma it suffered the inward man to be famished, and, itself demoralized, it completely forfeited its higher moral effect upon the individual.[31]

Aftermath of Nicaea[edit] The Council of Nicaea did not end the controversy, as many bishops of the Eastern provinces disputed the homoousios, the central term of the Nicene creed, as it had been used by Paul of Samosata, who had advocated a monarchianist Christology. Both the man and his teaching, including the term homoousios, had been condemned by the Synods of Antioch in 269. Hence, after Constantine's death in 337, open dispute resumed again. Constantine's son Constantius II, who had become Emperor of the eastern part of the Empire, actually encouraged the Arians and set out to reverse the Nicene creed. His advisor in these affairs was Eusebius of Nicomedia, who had already at the Council of Nicea been the head of the Arian party, who also was made bishop of Constantinople. Constantius used his power to exile bishops adhering to the Nicene creed, especially St Athanasius of Alexandria, who fled to Rome. In 355 Constantius became the sole Emperor and extended his pro-Arian policy toward the western provinces, frequently using force to push through his creed, even exiling Pope Liberius
Pope Liberius
and installing Antipope Felix II. The third Council of Sirmium in 357 was the high point of Arianism. The Seventh Arian Confession (Second Sirmium Confession) held that both homoousios (of one substance) and homoiousios (of similar substance) were unbiblical and that the Father
Father
is greater than the Son. (This confession was later known as the Blasphemy of Sirmium.)

But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is called in Latin substantia, but in Greek ousia, that is, to make it understood more exactly, as to 'coessential,' or what is called, 'like-in-essence,' there ought to be no mention of any of these at all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about them, and that they are above men's knowledge and above men's understanding;[32]

As debates raged in an attempt to come up with a new formula, three camps evolved among the opponents of the Nicene creed. The first group mainly opposed the Nicene terminology and preferred the term homoiousios (alike in substance) to the Nicene homoousios, while they rejected Arius
Arius
and his teaching and accepted the equality and coeternality of the persons of the Trinity. Because of this centrist position, and despite their rejection of Arius, they were called "semi-Arians" by their opponents. The second group also avoided invoking the name of Arius, but in large part followed Arius' teachings and, in another attempted compromise wording, described the Son as being like (homoios) the Father. A third group explicitly called upon Arius
Arius
and described the Son as unlike (anhomoios) the Father. Constantius wavered in his support between the first and the second party, while harshly persecuting the third. Epiphanius of Salamis
Epiphanius of Salamis
labelled the party of Basil of Ancyra in 358 "Semi-Arianism". This is considered unfair by Kelly who states that some members of the group were virtually orthodox from the start but disliked the adjective homoousios while others had moved in that direction after the out-and-out Arians had come into the open.[33] The debates among these groups resulted in numerous synods, among them the Council of Sardica in 343, the Council of Sirmium in 358 and the double Council of Rimini and Seleucia in 359, and no fewer than fourteen further creed formulas between 340 and 360, leading the pagan observer Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus
to comment sarcastically: "The highways were covered with galloping bishops." None of these attempts were acceptable to the defenders of Nicene orthodoxy: writing about the latter councils, Saint Jerome
Jerome
remarked that the world "awoke with a groan to find itself Arian." After Constantius' death in 361, his successor Julian, a devotee of Rome's pagan gods, declared that he would no longer attempt to favor one church faction over another, and allowed all exiled bishops to return; this resulted in further increasing dissension among Nicene Christians. The Emperor Valens, however, revived Constantius' policy and supported the "Homoian" party, exiling bishops and often using force. During this persecution many bishops were exiled to the other ends of the Empire, (e.g., St Hilary of Poitiers
St Hilary of Poitiers
to the Eastern provinces). These contacts and the common plight subsequently led to a rapprochement between the Western supporters of the Nicene creed
Nicene creed
and the homoousios and the Eastern semi-Arians. Council of Constantinople[edit] Main article: Theodosius I It was not until the co-reigns of Gratian
Gratian
and Theodosius that Arianism was effectively wiped out among the ruling class and elite of the Eastern Empire. Theodosius' wife St Flacilla was instrumental in his campaign to end Arianism. Valens
Valens
died in the Battle of Adrianople in 378 and was succeeded by Theodosius I, who adhered to the Nicene creed. This allowed for settling the dispute. Two days after Theodosius arrived in Constantinople, 24 November 380, he expelled the Homoiousian bishop, Demophilus of Constantinople, and surrendered the churches of that city to Gregory Nazianzus, the leader of the rather small Nicene community there, an act which provoked rioting. Theodosius had just been baptized, by bishop Acholius of Thessalonica, during a severe illness, as was common in the early Christian world. In February he and Gratian
Gratian
had published an edict[34] that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria
Alexandria
(i.e., the Nicene faith), or be handed over for punishment for not doing so. Although much of the church hierarchy in the East had opposed the Nicene creed
Nicene creed
in the decades leading up to Theodosius' accession, he managed to achieve unity on the basis of the Nicene creed. In 381, at the Second Ecumenical Council
Ecumenical Council
in Constantinople, a group of mainly Eastern bishops assembled and accepted the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
of 381,[35] which was supplemented in regard to the Holy Spirit, as well as some other changes: see Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381. This is generally considered the end of the dispute about the Trinity and the end of Arianism
Arianism
among the Roman, non-Germanic peoples. Among medieval Germanic tribes[edit] Main articles: Gothic Christianity
Gothic Christianity
and Germanic Christianity

The ceiling mosaic of the Arian Baptistry.

During the time of Arianism's flowering in Constantinople, the Gothic convert Ulfilas
Ulfilas
(later the subject of the letter of Auxentius cited above) was sent as a missionary to the Gothic tribes across the Danube, a mission favored for political reasons by emperor Constantius II. Ulfilas' initial success in converting this Germanic people to an Arian form of Christianity
Christianity
was strengthened by later events. When the Germanic peoples entered the provinces of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
and began founding their own kingdoms there, most had been Arian Christians for more than a century. The conflict in the 4th century AD had seen Arian and Nicene factions struggling for control of the Church. In contrast, among the Arian German kingdoms established in the collapsing Western Empire in the 5th century, there were entirely separate Arian and Nicene Churches with parallel hierarchies, each serving different sets of believers. The Germanic elites were Arians, and the Romance majority population was Nicene. Most Germanic tribes were generally tolerant of the Nicene beliefs of their subjects. However, the Vandals
Vandals
tried for several decades to force their Arian beliefs on their North African Nicene subjects, exiling Nicene clergy, dissolving monasteries, and exercising heavy pressure on non-conforming Nicene Christians.

Arian and Chalcedonian states in 495 AD

The apparent resurgence of Arianism
Arianism
after Nicaea was more an anti-Nicene reaction exploited by Arian sympathizers than a pro-Arian development.[36] By the end of the 4th century it had surrendered its remaining ground to Trinitarianism.[37] In western Europe, Arianism, which had been taught by Ulfilas, the Arian missionary to the Germanic tribes, was dominant among the Goths, Lombards
Lombards
and Vandals. By the 8th century it had ceased to be the tribes' mainstream belief as the tribal rulers gradually came to adopt Nicene orthodoxy. This trend began in 496 with Clovis I
Clovis I
of the Franks, then Reccared I
Reccared I
of the Visigoths
Visigoths
in 587 and Aripert I
Aripert I
of the Lombards
Lombards
in 653. The Franks
Franks
and the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
were unlike the other Germanic peoples in that they entered the empire as pagans and converted to Chalcedonian Christianity
Christianity
directly, guided by their kings, Clovis[38] and Æthelberht of Kent. The remaining tribes – the Vandals
Vandals
and the Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
– did not convert as a people nor did they maintain territorial cohesion. Having been militarily defeated by the armies of Emperor Justinian I, the remnants were dispersed to the fringes of the empire and became lost to history. The Vandalic War
Vandalic War
of 533–534 dispersed the defeated Vandals.[39] Following their final defeat at the Battle of Mons Lactarius
Battle of Mons Lactarius
in 553, the Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
went back north and (re)settled in south Austria.

Once the Orthodox Trinitarians succeeded in defeating Arianism, they censored any signs that the perceived heresy left behind. This mosaic in Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo
Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo
in Ravenna has had images of the Arian king, Theoderic, and his court removed. On some columns their hands remain.

From the 5th to the 7th century[edit] Much of south-eastern Europe and central Europe, including many of the Goths
Goths
and Vandals
Vandals
respectively, had embraced Arianism
Arianism
(the Visigoths converted to Arian Christianity
Christianity
in 376), which led to Arianism
Arianism
being a religious factor in various wars in the Roman Empire.[40] In the west, organized Arianism
Arianism
survived in North Africa, in Hispania, and parts of Italy until it was finally suppressed in the 6th and 7th centuries. Grimwald, King of the Lombards
Lombards
(662–671), and his young son and successor Garibald
Garibald
(671), were the last Arian kings in Europe. From the 16th to the 19th century[edit] Following the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
from 1517, it did not take long for Arian and other non-trinitarian views to resurface. The first recorded English antitrinitarian was John Assheton, who was forced to recant before Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer
in 1548. At the Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Council of Venice 1550, the early Italian instigators of the Radical Reformation committed to the views of Miguel Servetus
Servetus
(burned alive by Calvin in 1553), and these were promulgated by Giorgio Biandrata
Giorgio Biandrata
and others into Poland and Transylvania.[41] The antitrinitarian wing of the Polish Reformation
Reformation
separated from the Calvinist
Calvinist
ecclesia maior to form the ecclesia minor or Polish Brethren. These were commonly referred to as "Arians" due to their rejection of the Trinity, though in fact the Socinians, as they were later known, went further than Arius
Arius
to the position of Photinus. The epithet "Arian" was also applied to the early Unitarians such as John Biddle though in denial of the pre-existence of Christ they were again largely Socinians
Socinians
not Arians.[42] In 1683, when Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, lay dying in Amsterdam – driven into exile by his outspoken opposition to King Charles II – he spoke to the minister Robert Ferguson, and professed himself an Arian. In the 18th century the "dominant trend" in Britain, particularly in Latitudinarianism, was towards Arianism, with which the names of Samuel Clarke, Benjamin Hoadly, William Whiston
William Whiston
and Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
are associated.[43] To quote the Encyclopædia Britannica's article on Arianism: "In modern times some Unitarians are virtually Arians in that they are unwilling either to reduce Christ to a mere human being or to attribute to him a divine nature identical with that of the Father."[44] However, their doctrines cannot be considered representative of traditional Arian doctrines or vice versa.[citation needed] A similar view was held by the ancient anti-Nicene Pneumatomachi (Greek: Πνευματομάχοι, "breath" or "spirit" and "fighters", combining as "fighters against the spirit"), so called because they opposed the deifying of the Nicene Holy Ghost. However, the Pneumatomachi
Pneumatomachi
were adherents of Macedonianism, and though their beliefs were somewhat reminiscent of Arianism,[45] they were distinct enough to be distinguishably different.[45] The Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo
is one of the largest groups that teaches a similar doctrine, though they are really closer to Socinianism, believing the Word in John 1:1 is God's plan of salvation, not Christ. So Christ did not preexist. Today[edit] The teachings of the first two ecumenical councils – which entirely reject Arianism
Arianism
– are held by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and all churches founded during the Reformation
Reformation
in the 16th century or influenced by it (Lutheran, Reformed/Presbyterian, and Anglican). Also, nearly all Protestant groups (such as Methodists, Baptists, and most Pentecostals) entirely reject the teachings associated with Arianism. Modern groups which currently appear to embrace some of the principles of Arianism
Arianism
include Unitarians and Jehovah's Witnesses. Although the origins of their beliefs are not necessarily attributed to the teachings of Arius, many of the core beliefs of Unitarians and Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
are entirely similar to them. Jehovah's Witnesses[edit] Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
are often referred to as "modern-day Arians" or they are sometimes referred to as "Semi-Arians",[46][47] usually by their opponents.[48][49][50] While there are some significant similarities in theology and doctrine, the Witnesses differ from Arians by saying that the Son can fully know the Father
Father
(something which Arius
Arius
himself denied), and by their denial of personality to the Holy Spirit. The original Arians also generally prayed directly to Jesus, whereas the Witnesses pray to God, through Jesus
Jesus
as a mediator.[51] Others[edit] The Church of God (7th day) - Salem Conference, a line of Sabbatarian Adventists
Adventists
hold views similar to Arianism:[non-primary source needed][original research?]

We believe in one true God who is the creator of all. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He sent his son to Earth to be a sacrifice for our sins. He is a separate being from his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
is the power of God and not a separate being with a separate consciousness. We do not believe in the teaching of the Trinity, in which the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
are three parts of a single being who is God. We believe the Father
Father
and the Son are separate beings with separate consciousnesses and that the Holy Spirit is not a conscious being but instead the power of God. — FAQs – Does the Church of God (7th Day) believe in the Trinity?[52]

Other groups which oppose the belief in the Trinity
Trinity
are not necessarily Arian.

The Iglesia ni Cristo,[53] Christadelphians,[54] Church of God General Conference[55] and other "Biblical Unitarians" are typically Socinian in their Christology, not Arian. There are also various Binitarian churches, which basically believe that God is two persons, the Father
Father
and the Son, but they believe that the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
is not a person. They include the Church of God (Seventh Day) and its various offshoots, in particular the former Radio Church of God, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, renamed the Worldwide Church of God, which after Armstrong's death converted to Trinitarianism, causing many small breakaway churches to form, and most of them remain loyal to the teachings of Armstrong, for example the Restored Church of God, the United Church of God, the Philadelphia Church of God, the Living Church of God, and many others. Other Binitarian churches include the Gospel
Gospel
Assemblies, a group of Pentecostal denominations which believe that God adopted the name Jesus, and the Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ (Bickertonite), an offshoot of Mormonism, which believes that God is two personages, not two persons. Binitarian churches generally believe that the Father
Father
is greater than the Son, a view somewhat similar to Arianism.

See also[edit]

Christianity
Christianity
portal

Arian controversy First Council of Nicea Christology Germanic Christianity Non-Trinitarian churches Nontrinitarianism Subordinationism Unitarianism

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ "Arianism". Encyclopædia Britannica.  ^ a b c d e "The Controversies about Christ: Arius
Arius
and Alexander – The Bart Ehrman
Bart Ehrman
Blog". ehrmanblog.org.  ^ a b Ferguson, Everett (26 November 2013). Church History, Volume One: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context. Zondervan. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-310-51657-6.  ^ Ben Witherington III, The Living Word of God: Rethinking the Theology of the Bible (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009), p.241. ^ Socrates of Constantinople, Church History, book 1, chapter 33. Anthony F. Beavers, Chronology of the Arian Controversy. ^ a b Gonzalez, Justo (1984). The Story of Christianity
Christianity
Vol.1. Harper Collins. p. 176. ISBN 0-06-063315-8.  ^ " Eusebius
Eusebius
of Nicomedia". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-02-18.  ^ "First Council of Constantinople, Canon 1". ccel.org.  ^ Leighton Pullan, Early Christian Doctrine, Third Edition, Oxford Church Text Books (New York: Edwin S. Gorham, 1905), p.87. ^ a b Ritchie, Mark S. "The Story of the Church – Part 2, Topics 2 & 3". The Story of the Church.  ^ M'Clintock, John; James Strong. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. 7. p. 45.  ^ 8:22 ^ Francis Schüssler Fiorenza; John P. Galvin (1991). Systematic theology: Roman Catholic perspectives. Fortress Press. pp. 164–. ISBN 978-0-8006-2460-6. Retrieved 14 April 2010.  ^ Kelly, J N D (29 March 1978). Early Christian Doctrine. Chapter 9. San Francisco: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-064334-8.  ^ Davis, Leo Donald (1983). The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787). Collegeville: Liturgical Press. pp. 52–54. ISBN 978-0-8146-5616-7.  ^ Hanson, R P C (2007). The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. pp. 127–128. ISBN 0-8010-3146-X.  ^ Chadwick, Henry (July 1960). "Faith and Order at the Council of Nicea". The Harvard Theological Review. 53 (3): 171–195. doi:10.1017/S0017816000027000. JSTOR 1508399.  ^ "Emperor Constantine's Edict against the Arians". fourthcentury.com. 23 January 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.  ^ Richard Bauckham, “Review of Arius: Heresy
Heresy
and Tradition by Rowan Williams,” Themelios: Volume 14, No. 2, January/February 1989, 1989, 75. ^ a b c "Newton's Arian beliefs". Scotland: School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews.  ^ a b "Auxentius on Wulfila: Translation by Jim Marchand".  ^ "New American Standard Bible – John 1". Bible Hub.  ^ Heather and Matthews. Goths
Goths
in the Fourth Century. p. 143.  ^ Hanson, R.P.C. (1988). The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. pp. 557–558.  ^ Hanson, R.P.C. (1988). The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. pp. 558–559.  ^ The Seven Ecumenical Councils, Christian Classics Ethereal Library  ^ a b c d "The oneness of Essence, the Equality of Divinity, and the Equality of Honor of God the Son with the God the Father." Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 92–95 ^ The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarkef & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9) V Lossky pg 50–51 ^ Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 57 As quoted by John Damascene:

God is unoriginate, unending, eternal, constant, uncreated, unchanging, unalterable, simple, incomplex, bodiless, invisible, intangible, indescribable, without bounds, inaccessible to the mind, uncontainable, incomprehensible, good, righteous, that Creator of all creatures, the almighty Pantocrator.

^ a b Edward Gibbons "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", Chapter 21, (1776–88), Jonathan Kirsch, "God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism", 2004, and Charles Freeman, The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason, 2002. ^ Burckhardt, Jacob (1852). The Age of Constantine the Great. Univ California Press. pp. 312–313. ISBN 978-0-520-04680-1.  ^ "Second Creed of Sirmium or "The Blasphemy of Sirmium"". www.fourthcentury.com. Retrieved 2017-03-09.  ^ Kelly J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines A&G Black 1965, p. 249 ^ "Sozomen's Church History VII.4". ccel.org.  ^ The text of this version of the Nicene creed
Nicene creed
is available at "The Holy Creed Which the 150 Holy Fathers Set Forth, Which is Consonant with the Holy and Great Synod
Synod
of Nice". ccel.org. Retrieved 27 November 2010.  ^ Everett Ferguson, Church History: From Christ to Pre-Reformation, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), 200. ^ " Arianism
Arianism
and Its Influence TodayAriusIdea That Jesus
Jesus
Christ Is Not Equal to the Father
Father
By Nature". carm.org. Retrieved 23 October 2015.  ^ Frassetto, Michael, Encyclopedia of barbarian Europe, (ABC-CLIO, 2003), 128. ^ Procopius, Secret Histories, Chapter 11, 18 ^

The inhibiting and paralyzing force of superstitious beliefs penetrated to every department of life, and the most primary and elementary activities of society were influenced. War, for example, was not a simple matter of a test of strength and courage, but supernatural matters had to be taken carefully into consideration. When Clovis said of the Goths
Goths
in southern Gaul, "I take it hard that these Arians should hold a part of the Gauls; let us go with God's aid and conquer them and bring the land under our dominion", [note: see p. 45 (Book II:37)] he was not speaking in a hypocritical or arrogant manner but in real accordance with the religious sentiment of the time. What he meant was that the Goths, being heretics, were at once enemies of the true God and inferior to the orthodox Franks
Franks
in their supernatural backing. Considerations of duty, strategy, and self-interest all reinforced one another in Clovis's mind. However, it was not always the orthodox side that won. We hear of a battle fought a few years before Gregory became bishop of Tours between king Sigibert and the Huns, [note: Book IV:29] in which the Huns
Huns
"by the use of magic arts caused various false appearances to arise before their enemies and overcame them decisively." Medieval Study Guide to Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours
History of the Franks. — St Gregory of Tours

^ Roland Bainton, Hunted Heretic. The Life and Death of Michael Servetus ^ George Huntston Williams. The Radical Reformation, 3rd edition. Volume 15 of Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brothers, 1992 ^ William Gibson, Robert G. Ingram Religious identities in Britain, 1660–1832 p92 ^ "Arianism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2007 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007. ^ a b Wace, Henry; Piercy, William C., eds. Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century (1911, third edition) London: John Murray. ^ Institute for Metaphysical Studies—The Arian Christian Bible – Metaphysical Institute, 2010. Page 209. Retrieved 10 June 2014. ^ Adam Bourque – Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Michigan Skeptics Association. Retrieved 10 June 2014. ^ Dorsett, Tommy. "Modern Day Arians: Who Are They?". Retrieved 2 May 2012.  ^ "Trinity: Arius
Arius
and the Nicene Creed". Retrieved 2 May 2012.  ^ Young, Alexey. "Jehovah's Witnesses". Retrieved 2 May 2012.  ^ "Should You Believe in the Trinity?". Awake!: 12–13. August 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2014.  ^ "FAQs". Churchofgod-7thday.org. Retrieved 18 September 2013.  ^ Bienvenido Santiago "Is Jesus
Jesus
Christ Called 'God' in John 1:1?" in God's Message magazine July–September 1995 ^ Pearce F. Jesus: God the Son or Son of God? CMPA ^ Anthony Buzzard and Charles Hunting The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity's Self-Inflicted Wound

Bibliography[edit]

Alexandria, Athanasius of (2013). History of the Arians. London. ISBN 978-1-78336-206-6.  Alexandria, Athanasius of. "History of the Arians".  Missing or empty url= (help) Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII Ayres, Lewis (2004). Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology. New York: Oxford University Press.  Belletini, Mark. Arius
Arius
in the Mirror: The Alexandrian Dissent And How It Is Reflected in Modern Unitarian Universalist Practice and Discourse.  Roland Steinacher Guido M. Berndt, ed. (2014). Arianism. Roman Heresy and Barbarian Creed. vol.1. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.  Davidson, Ivor J. (2005). "A Public Faith". Baker History of the Church. 2. ISBN 0-8010-1275-9.  Hanson, R. P. C. (1988). The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy 318–381. T & T Clark. ISBN 978-0-567-03092-4.  Kelly, J. N. D. (1978). Early Christian Doctrines. ISBN 0-06-064334-X.  Newman, John Henry (1833). "Arians of the Fourth Century".  Parvis, Sarah (2006). Marcellus of Ancyra And the Lost Years of the Arian Controversy 325–345. New York: Oxford University Press.  Documents of the Arian Controversy (in German). Berlin and New York: Walter De Gruyter. 2007.  Rodriguez, Eliseo. The Doctrine of the Trinity
Trinity
is Dead: The Original Gospel
Gospel
(Lost Fundamental Doctrines). vol. 1. ISBN 978-1490922164.  Rusch, William C. (1980). The Trinitarian Controversy. Sources of Early Christian Thought. ISBN 0-8006-1410-0.  Schaff, Philip. Theological Controversies and the Development of Orthodoxy: The History of the Christian Church. vols. III and IX.  Williams, Rowan (2001). Arius: Heresy
Heresy
and Tradition (revised ed.). ISBN 0-8028-4969-5. 

Further reading[edit]

Brennecke, Hanns Christof (1999), "Arianism", in Fahlbusch, Erwin, Encyclopedia of Christianity, 1, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, pp. 121–122, ISBN 0-8028-2413-7 

External links[edit]

Documents of the Early Arian Controversy Chronological survey of the sources English translations of all extant letters relating to early Arianism A map of early sympathizers with Arius  Barry, William (1913). "Arianism". Catholic Encyclopedia.  Jewish Encyclopedia: Arianism Concordia Cyclopedia: Arianism
Arianism
(page 1) (page 2) (page 3)  "Arianism". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.  The Arians of the fourth century by John Henry "Cardinal" Newman in "btm" format Concise Summary of the Arian Controversy Arianism
Arianism
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