Montanism was a movement begun by Montanus in the second century A.D., shortly after Montanus' conversion to Christianity. He claimed to have received a series of direct revelations from the Holy Spirit or the paraclete, and was joined by two women, Prisca and Maximilla. His preachings spread from his native Phrygia, where he proclaimed the village of Pepuza as the site of the New Jerusalem, across the contemporary Christian world, and threatened the church hierarchy. The beliefs of Montanism included the belief that the Trinity consisted of only a single person, similar to Sabellianism.
Although the mainstream Christian church prevailed against Montanism within a few generations, inscriptions in the Tembris valley of northern Phrygia, dated between 249 and 279, openly proclaim their allegiance to Montanism. This sect persisted into the eighth century, although some people have drawn parallels between it and Pentecostalism (which some call Neo-Montanism). The most widely known Montanist was undoubtedly Tertullian, who is sometimes called the "Father of the Western Church".
The following text is a letter from Jerome to Marcella, in response to her question concerning Montanism. An effort having been made to convert Marcella to Montanism, Jerome here summarizes for her its leading doctrines, which he contrasts with those of the Church. Written at Rome in AD 385
sources:St. Jerome on the heresy of Montanus
Categories: Ancient Roman Christianity | Charismatic and Pentecostal Topics
In his Apologeticus, he was the first Latin author to qualify Christianism as the 'vera religio', and symmetrically relegating the classical Empire religion and other accepted cults as mere 'superstitions'.
In middle life (about 207) he broke with the Catholic Church and became the local leader and the passionate and brilliant exponent of Montanism, that is, he became a heretic.
It is in part determined by the Montanistic views that are set forth in some of them, by the author's own allusions to this writing or that as ante-dating others (cf.
After espousing Montanist doctrines, he was a severe critic of orthodox Christians, whom he accused of moral laxity.
Of his doctrinal treatises refuting heresy, the most important is De praescriptione hereticorum (On the Claims of Heretics), in which he argued that the church alone has the authority to declare what is and is not orthodox Christianity.
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