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Encyclopedia > Theodotus of Byzantium

Theodotus of Byzantium (also known as Theodotus the Tanner) (fl. late 2nd century) was an early Christian theologian from Byzantium, one of several named Theodotus whose writings were condemned as heresy in the early church.


Theodotus claimed that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit as a mortal man, and though later adopted by God upon baptism, was not himself God until after his resurrection.


This doctrine, sometimes called "Dynamic Monarchianism" or "Adoptionism", was declared heresy by Pope Victor I, and Theodotus was excommunicated.


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CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Monarchians (2700 words)
He added to his master's doctrine the view that Melchisedech was a celestial power, who was the advocate for the angels in heaven, as Jesus Christ was for men upon earth (a view found among later sects).
After the death of Pope Victor, Theodotus, the banker, and Asclepiodotus designed to raise their sect from the position of a mere school like those of the Gnostics to the rank of a Church like that of Marcion.
In Hermas, as in Theodotus, the Son and the Holy Ghost are confused.
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