Christian theology, term
Patriology refers to the study of the God
the Father. The word
Patriology comes from two Greek words:
πατέρας (pateras, father) and λογος (logos, teaching
about). As a theological discipline,
Patriology is closely connected
Christology (study of
Christ as God the Son) and Pneumatology
(study of Holy Ghost as God the Spirit).
Patriology should not be confused with similar term Patrology
that involves the study of teachings of the Church Fathers.
There are three basic forms of the name of
God the Father
God the Father in the New
Testament: Theos (θεός the Greek woed for God),
Kyrios (i.e. Lord
in Greek) and Pateras (πατέρας i.e. Father in Greek). Also,
the Aramaic word "Abba" (אבא), meaning "Father" is used in Mark
14:36 and in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6. The word for Father was
chosen to coin the name of the discipline because
particular studies of the person of God the Father, and the works of
Christian denominations have different theological
approaches to various patriological issues, concerning the person and
works of God the Father.
Patriology is primarily based on the study and
Bible verses that are referring to God as "Father".
In the Old Testament, God is called by the title "Father". The God is
seen as "Father" to all men because he created the world (and in that
sense "fathered" the world). In the Hebrew Scriptures, in Isaiah 63:16
(JP) it reads: "For You are our father, for Abraham did not know us,
neither did Israel recognize us; You, O Lord, are our father; our
redeemer of old is your name." According to Judaism, God is attributed
with fatherly role of protector. He is titled the Father of the poor,
of the widows and orphans. He is also titled the Father of the king,
as the teacher and helper over the judge of Israel. In both the Old
New Testament the term "Father" when used for God is a
metaphor. It is not a proper name for God but just one of many titles
Christians speak of and to God.
Christian theology fatherhood of God is seen in a more substantive
sense, centered around metaphysical rather than metaphorical
interpretations of various questions about relations between the
Father and the Son.
Christian sense of participation in the eternal
relationship of Father and Son, through
Jesus Christ, is symbolically
represented by the notion that
Christians are adopted children of
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born
of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons,
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!
Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then
an heir through God.
— Galatians 4:4–7
In Christianity, the concept of God as the Father of
from the concept of God as the Creator and Father of all people.
At the end of the first century,
Clement of Rome
Clement of Rome was referring to the
Father regarding creation, 1 Clement 19.2 stating: "let us look
steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe". Around AD
213 in Adversus Praxeas (chapter 3)
Tertullian was developing a formal
representation of the concept of the Trinity, meaning that God exists
as one "substance" but three "Persons": The Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit, and with
God the Father
God the Father being the Head. This,
however, is disputed by other scholars, according to whom Tertullian
taught only the Father is truly God, as only he is eternal and not
derived from any other substance, as the Son and Holy Spirit are.
Tertullian was also discussing the relations of Holy Spirit to the
Father and the Son. including the notion of procession "from the
Father through the Son".
Early creeds in the
Western Church were affirming the belief in "God
the Father (Almighty)", the primary reference being to "God in his
capacity as Father and creator of the universe". This did not
exclude the fact that "eternal father of the universe was also the
Jesus the Christ" nor that he had even "vouchsafed to adopt
[the believer] as his son by grace".
Creeds in the
Eastern Church began with an affirmation of faith in
"one God" and usually expanded this by adding "the Father Almighty,
Maker of all things visible and invisible" or similar words to that
effect. The Nicene Creed, which dates to 325 and 381, states that
the Son (
Jesus Christ) is "eternally begotten of the Father",
indicating that their divine Father-Son relationship is seen as not
tied to an event within time or human history.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to God the Father.
Look up patriology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
God in Christianity
God the Father
Names of God in Christianity
^ All the Doctrines of the
Bible by Herbert Lockyer (Sep 29, 1988)
ISBN 0310280516 pages 25-26
^ Mills 1990, p. 2.
^ Thompson 2000, p. 35.
God the Father
God the Father in Rabbinic
Judaism and Christianity: Transformed
Background or Common Ground?, Alon Goshen-Gottstein. The Elijah
Interfaith Institute, first published in Journal of Ecumenical
Studies, 38:4, Spring 2001 Archived 2012-12-17 at WebCite
^ Scott 2008, p. 159–160.
^ Pillars of Paul's Gospel: Galatians and Romans by John F. O?Grady
(May 1992) ISBN 080913327X page 162
^ The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction by Veli-Matti
Kärkkäinen 2004 ISBN 0801027527 pages 70–74
^ a b The
Trinity by Roger E. Olson, Christopher Alan Hall 2002
ISBN 0802848273 pages 29–31
^ Tertullian, First Theologian of the West by Eric Osborn (4 Dec 2003)
ISBN 0521524954 pages 116–117
Trinity > History of Trinitarian Doctrines (Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved
Tertullian Adversus Praxeas 4 (ANF 3:599–600): "I believe the
Spirit to proceed from no other source than from the Father through
Tertullian Adversus Praxeas 5 (ANF 3:600–601).
^ O'Collins & Farrugia 2015, p. 157.
^ Kelly 1950, p. 136.
^ Kelly 1950, p. 139.
^ Kelly 1950, p. 195.
Kelly, J.N.D. (1950). Early
Christian Creeds. London: Longmans, Green
Mills, Watson E., ed. (1990). Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. Macon:
Mercer University Press.
Thompson, Marianne Meye (2000). The Promise of the Father:
God in the New Testament. Louisville: Westminster John Knox
Scott, Ian W. (2008). Paul's Way of Knowing: Story, Experience, and
the Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
O'Collins, Gerald; Farrugia, Mario (2015). Catholicism: The Story of
Christianity (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University
Law and Gospel
Son (Hypostatic union
Means of grace
Union with Christ
Incurvatus in se
Summary of differences
Millenarianism (Pre- / Post- / A-millennialism)
New Covenant theology
War in Heaven
Assumption of Mary
Protestant ecclesiology (Branch theory)
Priesthood of all believers
Arminian / Wesleyan
Conditional preservation of the saints
Theology of the Cross
Five solae (Sola fide
Soli Deo gloria
Baptism with the Holy Spirit