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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 ?
Adoptionists (note Theodotus) believed the human Jesus became a divine person at baptism, or even more likely after the resurrection.
the theory of an early adoptionist Christology proves inadequate for explaining such a confession of faith.
consider this: Before the first Christians had any ideas about the pre-existence of the Christ, the first Christology was adoptionist.
Thus he proposes what can be regarded as either a trinitarian account of God as holy being, or an existential account of God as Trinity; similarly his Christology endeavors to be ontologically kenotic and at the same time adoptionist.
draws fruitfully from Lonergan's proposal, especially his distinction between consciousness and knowledge, to present neither an adoptionist Christ (self-doubting rabbi not knowing what he was doing), nor a docetic Christ (timeless omniscient being engaged in a pedagogy of pretense), but a human Christ possessed non-thematically but knowledgeably of the vision of God.
It is a very undeveloped adoptionist Christology, or more accurately, a monotheistic theology with roles for a preexistent but not necessarily divine spirit and the exalted Son of God.
But the only way this could be true is if the homoousion is first replaced with an adoptionist perspective.
finds any adoptionist overtones unacceptable, and when he explores Moltmann's wish to restructure Chalcedon's understanding of Christ by making suffering the determinative factor of Jesus' person and work, he wonders correctly whether or not Moltmann has allowed history to define God's nature rather than the other way around.
64) The question then becomes how Irenaeus would have understood the adoption of which he wrote; or, to pose the question as Orbe does, whether Irenaeus is an adoptionist.
And in its exposition I have invoked both Augustine and Rahner to support my contention that it is not adoptionist.
30) Thomas does not raise this issue, but to reverse the priority of the temporal and the eternal in this matter would be to move into an adoptionist position--a human person becomes divine; see God For Us 127, 296.
This text is considered adoptionist by both Conybeare (Rituale Armenorum viii) and Nina G.