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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. Variations of this doctrine had been held as early as the 3d cent. by 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).
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, 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.
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, and by the Nestorians. It reappeared in the neo-adoptionist heresy among the followers of Peter Abelard. Elipandus and Felix were condemned at Frankfurt (794). The vigorous refutation of AlcuinAlcuin
or Albinus
, 735?–804, English churchman and educator. He was educated at the cathedral school of York by a disciple of Bede; he became principal in 766. Charlemagne invited him (781?) to court at Aachen to set up a school.
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 had much to do with the sect's disappearance in the early 9th cent. See also monarchianismmonarchianism
[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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The adoptionist approach does not require any specific legislation for customary international law to be incorporated into domestic Canadian law.
Adoptionists (note Theodotus) believed the human Jesus became a divine person at baptism, or even more likely after the resurrection.
To achieve such an objective, they readily grasped at the adoptionist theories of the 1920s, which advocated the education of Africans "along their own lines".
Historically, Calvinists have tended to favor an adoptionist Christology described by Paul as Christ's "self-emptying" (kenosis) in his letter to the Philippi.
"Victor also excommunicated Theodotus of Byzantium, the leader of the Adoptionist group that taught that Jesus was not the real son of God, but only God's 'adopted' son," McBrien adds, showing how rough Victor ruled the roost.
Analysis of this new evidence reveals the thoroughly Christian nature of Alcuin's philosophy, suggesting he wrote the Disputatio de vera philosophia in the later 790s, while actively engaged in the Adoptionist controversy and eager to educate a new generation of the Church's doctors to refute heresy.
De Wolfe tells us that the first Christology was adoptionist. What about Paul in Philippians 2 and 2Corinthians 8?
Instead of finding that Paul flattens out identity into a thin universal, Boyarin asserts that Paul's "adoptionist Christology" is rich with meaning.
This kenotic description is paralleled by an adoptionist stance as he progressively comes into his own, claiming what is rightly his.
Although Dunn admits that the unifying faith of Christianity later found its expression in the creedal doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation, the formula that he uses to express the core belief of early Christians, Jesus-the-man-now-exalted, is perplexingly adoptionist and warrants more serious justification than is accorded in his article.
Similarly, since Vigne thinks that at Luke 3: 22, the words are the original text, later harmonized in the interest of removing a doctrinally misleading phrase, he must agree that the adoptionist interpretation was perceived as latent in the phrase in this context.