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Encyclopedia > Adoptionism

Adoptionism is a minority Christian belief that Jesus was born merely human and that he became divine later in his life. By these accounts, Jesus earned the title Christ through his sinless devotion to the will of God, thereby becoming the perfect sacrifice to redeem humanity. Adoptionists typically portray two key points in Jesus' life as stages in Jesus' theosis: his baptism and his resurrection. They consider God to have given Jesus his miraculous power and divine authority after Jesus proved his holiness. Adoptionism arose among early Christians seeking to reconcile the claims that Jesus was the son of God with the radical monotheism of Judaism[citation needed]. This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In Eastern Orthodox and... The Early Christians is a term used to refer to the early followers of Jesus of Nazareth, before the emergence of established Christian orthodoxy. ... Son of God is a biblical phrase from the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), and the New Testament. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Adoptionism was common before it was first declared heresy at the end of the 2nd century. Some scholars see adoptionist concepts in the Gospel of Mark and in Paul's epistles. Adoptionism, however, contradicts the identification of Jesus as the divine Logos, as put forth in the Gospel of John.


Adoptionism was condemned by the church as heresy at various times, most explicitly at the First Council of Nicaea. The belief contradicts the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, which identifies Jesus as eternally God. It has been suggested that Ecclesia (Church) be merged into this article or section. ... The use of the term heresy in the context of Christianity is less common today, with some notable exceptions: see for example Rudolf Bultmann and the character of debates over ordination of women and gay priests. ... The First Council of Nicaea, held in Nicea in Bithynia (in present-day Turkey), convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first ecumenical[1] conference of bishops of the Catholic Church, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Nicene Creed. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In Christianity, the doctrine...


Adoptionism is also called adoptianism or dynamic monarchianism. Monarchianism, or Monarchism as it is sometimes called, is a set of beliefs that emphasize God as being one, that God is the single and only ruler. ...

Contents

Adoptionism and Christology

Adoptionism is one of two main forms of monarchianism (the other is modalism, which regards "Father" and "Son" as two aspects of the same subject). Adoptionism (also known as dynamic monarchianism) denies the pre-existence of Christ and although it does not deny his deity many Trinitarians claim that it does. Under Adoptionism Jesus is currently divine and has been since his adoption, although he is not equal to the Father. Monarchianism, or Monarchism as it is sometimes called, is a set of beliefs that emphasize God as being one, that God is the single and only ruler. ... In Christianity, Sabellianism (also known as modalism) is the second-century belief that the three persons of the Trinity are merely different modes or aspects of God, rather than three distinct persons. ... Adoptionism is a minority Christian belief that Jesus was born merely human and that he became divine later in his life. ...


Adoptionism was one position in a long series of Christian disagreements about the precise nature of Christ (see Christology) in the developing dogma of the Trinity, an attempt to explain the relationship between Jesus of Nazareth, both as man and (now) God, and God the Father while maintaining Christianity's monotheism. It differs significantly from the doctrine of the Trinity that was later accepted by the ecumenical councils. Christology is a field of study within Christian theology which is concerned with the nature of Jesus the Christ. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In Christianity, the doctrine... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or in the oneness of God. ... In Christianity, an Ecumenical Council or general council is a meeting of the bishops of the whole church convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice. ...


History of adoptionism

In The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture Bart D. Ehrman argues that the adoptionist view may date back almost to the time of Jesus and this view is shared by many other scholars. In academic circles some consider both Paul the Apostle and the Gospel of Mark to have adoptionist Christologies, although they differ in that Paul is generally said to have placed the adoption at the Resurrection while Mark places it at Jesus' Baptism (orthodox Christianity would accept neither of these interpretations as accurate). In the 2nd century, adoptionism was one of two competing doctrines about the nature of Jesus Christ, the other (as in the Gospel of John) being that he pre-existed as a divine spirit (Logos)[1]. Bart D. Ehrman is a New Testament scholar and an expert on early Christianity. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Saint Paul the Apostle... The Gospel of Mark (literally, according to Mark; Greek, Κατά Μαρκον, Kata Markon),(anonymous[1] but ascribed to Mark the Evangelist) is a Gospel of the New Testament. ... The 2nd century is the period from 101 - 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... The Gospel of John is the fourth gospel in the canon of the New Testament, traditionally ascribed to John the Evangelist. ... Look up logos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Historically, there were three waves of Adoptionist speculation if we exclude the hypothetical beliefs of the primitive church that cannot be determined with certainty. The first, which dates from the 2nd century, differs significantly from the subsequent two (dating respectively from the 8th and the 12th century), which follow the definition of the dogma of the Trinity and Chalcedonian Christology.


Second century: pre-Nicene Christology

The first known exponent of Adoptionism in the second century is Theodotus of Byzantium. He taught[2] that Jesus was a man born of a virgin according to the counsel of the Father, that He lived like other men, and was most pious; that at His baptism in the Jordan the Christ came down upon Him in the likeness of a dove, and therefore wonders (dynameis) were not wrought in Him until the Spirit (which Theodotus called Christ) came down and was manifested in Him. The belief was declared heretical by Pope Victor I. Theodotus of Byzantium (also known as Theodotus the Tanner) (fl. ... The use of the term heresy in the context of Christianity is less common today, with some notable exceptions: see for example Rudolf Bultmann and the character of debates over ordination of women and gay priests. ... Pope Saint Victor I was an African Bishop of Rome (controversially called Pope) from 189 to 199 (the Vatican cites 186 or 189 to 197 or 201). ...


The second-century work Shepherd of Hermas also taught that Jesus was a virtuous man filled with the Holy Spirit and adopted as the Son[3]. While Shepherd of Hermas was popular and sometimes bound with the canonical scriptures, it never achieved canonical status. The Shepherd of Hermas is a Christian work of the first or second century which had great authority in ancient times and was considered by some as one of the books of the Bible. ...


In the 3rd century, Paul of Samosata, Patriarch of Antioch, promoted adoptionism. He said Jesus had been a man who kept himself sinless and achieved union with God. His views, however, did not neatly fit in either of the two main forms of Monarchianism.[citation needed] Paul of Samosata, patriarch of Antioch (260-269), Life Paul was born at Samosata into a family of humble origin. ... Patriarch of Antioch is the traditional title carried by the Bishop of Antioch. ...


Eight century: Hispanicus error

The second movement of adoptionism, called Hispanicus error, in the late 8th century maintained by Elipandus, bishop of Toledo in the Caliphate of Cordoba and by Felix, bishop of Urgell in the foothills of the Pyrenees; Alcuin, the leading intellect at the court of Charlemagne was called in to write refutations against both of the bishops. Against Felix he wrote: Elipando (named in some sources as Elipandus) (717 - 808?) was a Spanish archbishop and theologian. ... This article is about the city in Spain. ... The interior of the Great Mosque in Córdoba, now a Christian cathedral. ... Felix, Bishop of Urgel (or Urgell), was a religious figure who lived at the monastery Sant Sadureni de Tabernoles in the foothills of the Pyrenees. ... Urgell is one of the historical Catalan counties, bordering on the counties of Pallars and Cerdanya. ... Rabanus Maurus (left), supported by Alcuin (middle), presents his work to Otgar of Mainz Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus or Ealhwine (c. ...

"As the Nestorian impiety divided Christ into two persons because of the two natures, so your unlearned temerity divided Him into two sons, one natural and one adoptive"

Beatus of Liébana, from the Kingdom of Asturias, also fought Adoptionism, which was a cause of controversy between Christians under Muslim rule in the former Visigothic capital of Toledo and the peripherical kingdom. The doctrine was condemned as heresy by the Council of Frankfurt (794). The term Nestorianism is eponymous, even though the person who lent his name to it always denied the associated belief. ... The world map called St. ... Flag Motto: Hoc Signo Tuetur Pius, Hoc Signo Vincitur Inimicus (English: With this sign thou shalt defend the pious, with this sign thou shalt defeat the enemy) Capital Cangas de Onis, San Martín, Pravia, Oviedo Language(s) Asturian, Latin Religion Roman Catholicism Government Monarchy King  - 718-737 Pelayo of... Migrations The Visigoths (Western Goths) were one of two main branches of the Goths, an East Germanic tribe (the Ostrogoths being the other). ... This article is about the city in Spain. ...


12th century and later: neo-adoptionism

A third wave was the revived form ("Neo-Adoptionism") of Abelard in the 12th century. Later, various modified and qualified Adoptionist tenets of some theologians from the 14th century. Duns Scotus (1300) and Durandus of Saint-Pourçain (1320) admit the term Filius adoptivus in a qualified sense. In more recent times the Jesuit Gabriel Vasquez, and the Lutheran divines Georgius Calixtus and Johann Ernst Immanuel Walch, have defended the Adoptionists as essentially orthodox. Pierre Abélard (in English, Peter Abelard) or Abailard (1079 - April 21, 1142) was a French scholastic philosopher. ... Blessed John Duns Scotus (c. ... Durandus of Saint-Pourçain (b. ... Gabriel Vasquez (b. ... Georgius Calixtus or Calisen (born December 14, 1586 in Medelby, Schleswig, Germany; died 1656) was a Lutheran theologian. ... Johann Ernst Immanuel Walch (1725 - 1778) was a German theologian. ...


Notes

  1. ^ "Jesus was either regarded as the man whom God hath chosen, in whom the Deity or the Spirit of God dwelt, and who, after being tested, was adopted by God and invested with dominion, (Adoptian Christology); or Jesus was regarded as a heavenly spiritual being (the highest after God) who took flesh, and again returned to heaven after the completion of his work on earth (pneumatic Christology)." Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma [1]
  2. ^ Hippolytus of Rome, Philosophumena, VII, xxxv.
  3. ^ "The Holy Pre-existent Spirit. Which created the whole creation, God made to dwell in flesh that He desired. This flesh, therefore, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt, was subject unto the Spirit, walking honorably in holiness and purity, without in any way defiling the Spirit. When then it had lived honorably in chastity, and had labored with the Spirit, and had cooperated with it in everything, behaving itself boldly and bravely, He chose it as a partner with the Holy Spirit; for the career of this flesh pleased [the Lord], seeing that, as possessing the Holy Spirit, it was not defiled upon the earth. He therefore took the son as adviser and the glorious angels also, that this flesh too, having served the Spirit unblamably, might have some place of sojourn, and might not seem to have lost the reward for its service; for all flesh, which is found undefiled and unspotted, wherein the Holy Spirit dwelt, shall receive a reward." [2]

Adolf von Harnack, German theologian Adolf von Harnack (May 7, 1851 - June 10, 1930), was a German theologian and science administrator. ... In Greek mythology, Hippolytus was a son of Theseus and either Antiope or Hippolyte. ... The Refutation of All Heresies is a compendious Christian polemical work of the early third century, now generally attributed to Hippolytus of Rome. ...

References

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Philip Schaff History of the Christian Church, Volume IV, 1882

Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... Philip Schaff (January 1, 1819-1893), was a Swiss-born, German-educated theologian and a historian of the Christian church, who, after his education, lived and taught in the United States. ...

See also

The Adoptivi, or Adoptiani, were an ancient religious sect whose name comes from the manner in which they understood Jesus to be the son of God in Christianity. ... This article is about theological views like those of Arius. ... Binitarianism is a theology of two in one God, as opposed to one (unitarianism) or three (trinitarianism). ...

External links

Wikisource has an original article from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica about:
Adoptianism

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wikipedia: Adoptionism (127 words)
Adoptionism is a view held by some early Christians that Christ was born a human only, and was not divine until his baptism, at which point he was adopted as the Son by God the Father.
Adoptionism was an early attempt to explain the relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father, while maintaining Christianity's monotheism.
One of the early exponents of Adoptionism was Theodotus of Byzantium.
Adoptionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (481 words)
Adoptionism, or adoptianism, is a view held by some early Christians, that claims Jesus was born human, and later became divine during his baptism, at which point he became the adopted son of God.
Adoptionism held that in his divinity Jesus was the son of God by nature, but in his humanity by adoption only.
Adoptionism held that Christ as God is indeed the Son of God by generation and by nature, but Christ as man is Son of God only by adoption and grace, dispensed from the moment of his baptism.
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