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monarchianism

monarchianism (mōnär´kēənĬzəm) [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. Dynamistic monarchians, such as the Theodotians and Paul of Samosata, held that Jesus was born a man and received the Christ as a power from God at a later time (see adoptionism). Modalistic monarchians taught that God is unknowable, except for his manifestations, or modes; Christ is one of these. Because of the consequent implication that God the Father must have died on the cross, they were called Patripassians [Lat.,= the Father suffering]. Sabellius fully developed modalism.

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Monarchianism

Monarchianism. A Christian understanding of God, of the 2nd–3rd cents. Concerned to uphold monotheism and the unity (‘monarchy’) of God, it was condemned as heretical for threatening the independence of the Son. The modalist monarchians held that within the Godhead there was no difference of persons, only a succession of transitory modes of operation. Modern scholars also speak of those adoptianists who held that Christ was a mere man, endued with God's power at his baptism, as ‘dynamic’ monarchians.

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