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monarchianism(mōnär`kēənĭzəm) [Gr.,=belief in the rule of one], the concept of God that maintains his sole authority even over Christ and the Holy Spirit. Its characteristic tenet, that God the Father and Jesus are one person, was developed in two forms in early Christianity. Dynamistic monarchians, such as the TheodotiansTheodotians,
small heretical sect, formed c.190 by Theodotus, a Byzantine. It lasted until the end of the 4th cent. The Theodotians taught that Jesus was a man, who became the Christ only after his baptism (a concept basic both to monarchianism and to adoptionism).
..... Click the link for more information. and Paul of SamosataPaul of Samosata
, fl. 260–72, Syrian Christian theologian, heretical patriarch of Antioch. He was a friend and high official of Zenobia of Palmyra. Paul enounced a dynamic monarchianism, denying the three Persons of the Trinity.
..... Click the link for more information. , held that Jesus was born a man and received the Christ as a power from God at a later time (see adoptionismadoptionism,
Christian heresy taught in Spain after 782 by Elipandus, archbishop of Toledo, and Felix, bishop of Urgel (Seo de Urgel). They held that Jesus at the time of his birth was purely human and only became the divine Son of God by adoption when he was baptized.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Modalistic monarchians taught that God is unknowable, except for his manifestations, or modes; Christ is one of these. Because of the consequent implication that God the Father must have died on the cross, they were called Patripassians [Lat.,= the Father suffering]. SabelliusSabellius,
fl. 215, Christian priest and theologian, b. probably Libya or Egypt. He went to Rome, became the leader of those who accepted the doctrine of modalistic monarchianism, and was excommunicated by Pope St. Calixtus I in 220.
..... Click the link for more information. fully developed modalism.