Gnostic Doctrine

Sunday, 12 April 2020

True Church Fathers Theodotus of Byzantium

Theodotus of Byzantium

Theodotus of Byzantium (Ancient Greek: Θεoδoτoς; also known as Theodotus the Tanner, Theodotus the Shoemaker, lived late 2nd century) was an early Christian writer from Byzantium, one of several named Theodotus whose writings were condemned as heresy in the early church.

Theodotus believed that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit as a non-divine man, and though later "adopted" by God upon baptism (that is to say, he became the Christ), was not himself God until after his resurrection.

This doctrine, was declared Heresy by Pope Victor I, and Theodotus was excommunicated.

Condemned and excommunicated by Pope Victor in 190, Theodotus nevertheless continued to acquire disciples, forming his own Church community that lasted until the end of the 4th century.

This Church community of Theodotus held the original doctrine of the church which, had continued in-corrupted until Victor I came to the office of bishop of Rome, the truth being first perverted by Victor I and his successor Zephyrinus (c. 199).

Hippolytus reports that as to the Deity and the work of creation the doctrine of Theodotus was orthodox, but as to our Lord's person he agreed with Gnostic speculations, especially in distinguishing Jesus and Christ. The miraculous conception of Jesus he was willing to admit; but he held Him a man like others, though of the highest virtue and piety. He taught that at the baptism of Jesus, Christ descended on Him in the form of a dove, and that He was then able to work miracles, though He had never exhibited any before: but even so He was not God; though some of the sect were willing to acknowledge His right to the title after His resurrection.

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