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Don Stewart :: What Were Some of the Early Heresies regarding the Trinity?

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Don Stewart

In the early years of the church there were a number of false beliefs that arose around the doctrine of the Trinity. These include the following.

Unitarianism

Unitarianism emphasized the unity of God at the expense of God's diversity. It rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.

Binitarianism

Binitarianism rejected the Deity of the Holy Spirit while acknowledging the Deity of God the Father and God the Son.

Modalism (Sabellianism)

Modalism believed that God existed in only one Person but at times, put on different modes or faces.

Arianism

Arianism rejected the Deity of Christ and the Deity of the Holy Spirit. According to Arius, God the Father created Jesus as his highest and greatest creation. Jesus, in turn, then created the Holy Spirit.

Summary

In the early years of the church there arose a number of different false doctrines concerning the nature of God. Unitarianism denied the Trinity. It emphasized the unity of the one God but at the expense of denying the Deity of the Son and Holy Spirit. Binitarianism accepted the Deity of Christ but denied the Deity of the Holy Spirit. It equated Christ and the Holy Spirit. Adoptionism said Jesus was a mere man who was adopted as the Son of God at his baptism. Modalism says that the one God puts on three modes or three faces. The Monophysite heresy said Jesus had just one nature. All of these views are contrary to what the Scripture teaches about the nature of God.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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