Gnostic Doctrine

Sunday, 3 May 2020

True Church Fathers Paul of Samosata

Paul of Samosata

SARDIAN STATE The Pale Horse. 

From A.D. 248. Sword, famine, pestilence, wild beasts - Rev. vi. 8. Decian persecution. End of the world thought to be at hand. Spiritual death resulting from long peace and Platonism - Rev. iii. 1,2. The Thyatiran, or Jezebel and Satan, ethics, working death, or becoming Sardian. Dionysius of Alexandria; Paul the first hermit, A.D. 250; Paul of Samosata, 264. Gregory Thaumaturgus. Anthony the Egyptian, founder of Monkery, A.D. 270. Fifth seal

Paul of Samosata was another Sardian. He flourished A.D. 264, as bishop of Antioch, and instructor of Zenobia, the Queen of the East, in his own notions of christianity. He taught that Jesus Christ was by nature a common man like others. He was deposed A.D. 269 by a council of seventy bishops whose indictment against him argues an awful degeneracy from the truth in this primitive arena of the labors of Saul of Tarsus and his companions in the gospel.

Paul of Samosata (GreekΠαῦλος ὁ Σαμοσατεύς, lived from 200 to 275 AD) was Bishop of Antioch from 260 to 268. He was a believer in monarchianism, a nontrinitarian doctrine; his teachings reflect adoptionism

Paul's teaching is a form of Monarchianism, which emphasized the oneness of God. Paul taught that Jesus was born a mere man, but that he was infused with the divine Logos or word of God. Hence, Jesus was seen not as God-become-man but as man-become-God. In his Discourses to Sabinus, of which only fragments are preserved in a book against heresies ascribed to Anastasius, Paul writes:
  • "Having been anointed by the Holy Spirit he received the title of the anointed (i.e. Christos), suffering in accordance with his nature, working wonders in accordance with grace. For in fixity and resoluteness of character he likened himself to God; and having kept himself free from sin was united with God, and was empowered to grasp as it were the power and authority of wonders. By these he was shown to possess over and above the will, one and the same activity (with God), and won the title of Redeemer and Saviour of our race."
  • "The Saviour became holy and just; and by struggle and hard work overcame the sins of our forefather. By these means he succeeded in perfecting himself, and was through his moral excellence united with God; having attained to unity and sameness of will and energy (i.e. activity) with Him through his advances in the path of good deeds. This will be preserved inseparable (from the Divine), and so inherited the name which is above all names, the prize of love and affection vouchsafed in grace to him."
  • "We do not award praise to beings which submit merely in virtue of their nature; but we do award high praise to beings which submit because their attitude is one of love; and so submitting because their inspiring motive is one and the same, they are confirmed and strengthened by one and the same indwelling power, of which the force ever grows, so that it never ceases to stir. It was in virtue of this love that the Saviour coalesced with God, so as to admit of no divorce from Him, but for all ages to retain one and the same will and activity with Him, an activity perpetually at work in the manifestation of good."
  • "Wonder not that the Saviour had one will with God. For as nature manifests the substance of the many to subsist as one and the same, so the attitude of love produces in the many a unity and a sameness of will which is manifested by unity and sameness of approval and well-pleasingness."

Paul was an early forerunner of Adoptionism. Possibly, the Paulicians of Armenia adhered to his teachings, and received their name from him. However, historical records show that the Paulicians were bitterly persecuted more for their gnostic and iconoclastic views than for their adherence to Adoptionism.

Paul's pupil Lucian of Antioch is considered to have had a major influence on Arius the founder of Arianism.

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