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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

The Theodotians believed that Jesus Christ was a man


3d.

That it was only long after the council of Nice that its decision, in favor of the doctrine of the supreme divinity of Jesus Christ, prevailed among the churches which depended on the Emperor of Constantinople, and on the Bishop of Rome.

4th. We will also present a succinct view of the large number of Christians, who, without the pale of the communion of Rome, preserved the former belief that Jesus Christ was not God.

1st. We prove that in the Church of Rome herself, the doctrine of the supreme divinity of Jesus Christ was established only at about the year 180.

Bergier himself makes the following confession: "An ancient author, who is believed to be Caius, bishop of Rome, who had written against Artemon, and of whom Eusebe has related the words, Ecclesiastical History, book 5, chap. 22, seems to confound together the Theodotians and the Artemonians.... They maintain, he says, that their doctrine is not new; that it has been taught by the apostles, and that it has been followed in the church until the pontificates of Victor and of Zephyrine his successor, but that since that time the truth has been altered."

Bergier adds, "The Theodotians believed that Jesus Christ was a man, and not God, that Jesus Christ was above the other men only by his miraculous birth, and by his extraordinary virtues." Also, Bergier says, that, although Theodote was

a native of Bysance, he resided in Rome, where he preached the same doctrine as Theodote, at least in regard to Jesus Christ being a man and not God.

Therefore in the Church of Rome herself, the doctrine of the supreme divinity of Jesus Christ was established only at about the year 180.

2d. We prove that in the council of Nice, held in 325, despite the efforts of the Bishop of Rome; and despite the tyranny of the emperor Constantine I., who convoked the council at his own expense, attended, surrounded, and enforced it with military force, it was with the greatest difficulty that the Church of Rome obtained, from the bishops who composed it, a decision in favor of the doctrine she held, that Jesus Christ was God.

Arius, a priest of Alexandria, surprised at hearing Alexander, his bishop, teaching in an assembly of priests, that Jesus Christ was God, protested against this new doctrine. An animated controversy between him and Alexander, and then between the friends of the Church of Rome, which held this doctrine, and other churches which did not, ensued. The council of Nice assembled, and there seventeen bishops boldly faced the legate of Sylvestre, the emperor Constantine and his military force; and they sided with Arius. Eusebe, bishop of Cesarea, the most learned of the bishops who composed the council, sided with Arius. He is the same Eusebe who wrote the Evangelical Preparation and Demonstration, in two volumes in folio; who wrote an Ecclesiastical History, the Life of Constantine, a Chronic and a Commentary on the Psalms and on Isaiah. Constantine forced them either to yield and to acquiesce to the doctrine of the supreme divinity of Jesus Christ, or to be expelled from their episcopal sees; and Arius, exiled, had to retire in Palestine.

Consequently, in the council of Nice, held in 325, despite the efforts of the Bishop of Rome; and despite the tyranny of the emperor Constantine I., who convoked the council at his own expense, attended, surrounded, and enforced it with military force, it was with the greatest difficulty that the Church of Rome obtained, from the bishops who composed it, a decision in favor of the doctrine she held, that Jesus Christ was God himself.


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