Docetism

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Docetism

(dōsēt`ĭzəm) [Gr.,=to appear], early heretical trend in Christian thought. Docetists claimed that Christ was a mere phantasm who only seemed to live and suffer. A similar tendency to deny Jesus' humanity appeared in the teachings of Simon Magus, Marcion, Gnosticism, and certain phases of monarchianism.
References in periodicals archive ?
(45) See for example the commentary by Schoedel, Ignatius of Antioch, who reviews the debate as to whether Ignatius is fighting on one front (a Jewish-Docetist hybrid) or two (distinct Jewish and Docetist groups).
The Docetists held that Jesus only "seemed" to be human.
It may well be that polymorphy is not necessarily a sign of gnosticism, but it was a feature used by and congenial to docetists. In this connexion the essay (by Luttikbuizen) on the gnostic character of AJ 94-102 in relation to the work as a whole is particularly important.
Early in the second Christian century, the Docetists (from the Greek dokein, "to appear to seem") were still reassuring their body-hating followers that the divine Word had merely pretended to be human.