Talk:Arianism

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Talk:Arianism/Archive 1 21:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

I have to say thanks to whoever posted that letter between Arius and Eusebius of Nicomedia. It has been a blessing to teach about the Arianism heresy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Glorthac (talkcontribs) 03:44, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Heresy? Says who? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.198.177.73 (talk) 01:24, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

-- this article is useful in showing how superstition and stupidity reigned in the councils mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.112.142.34 (talk) 19:38, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Please make more accessible to the the lay reader[edit]

Hello I came across this article and found the introduction very difficult to understand even though I know a little about the history of the christian church. I appreciate that theological concepts can be difficult to describe but I found the intro completely opaque. Please could you describe it in more simple language. Thanks 85.210.13.213 19:47, 29 October 2006 (UTC)


Agree! The below is just some of the jargon that needs to be cleaned up so that ordinary people can understand it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism#Beliefs
the Son (Jesus?) is 1) an eructation, others that he is 2) a production, others that he is 3) also unbegotten.

...the Son is 4) not unbegotten

...For he (Jesus?) was 4b) not unbegotten. We are persecuted, because we say that the Son has 5) a beginning, but that God is 6) without beginning.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism#Origin
"...He taught that the pre-incarnate Jesus was a divine being created by (and therefore inferior to) God the Father at some point, before which the Son did not exist In English-language works, it is sometimes said that Arians believe that Jesus is or was a "creature", in the sense of "created being". "
Isn't that what most people believe and what the Christmas story teaches? It seems like much over little. Yes or not, this point should be explained.

And if Jesus wasn't a "creature", wouldn't the short crucification as punishment/sacrifice be far, far less sacrifice than a modern long cancer death? "Only three days of torture with a ticket to heavan!? Where do I get into THAT line?!"

quotes from: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:LEAD
The lead section (also known as the introduction, lead, or lede of a Wikipedia article is the section before the table of contents and the first heading. The lead serves both as an introduction to the article and as a summary of its most important aspects.
The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article's subject should usually be established in the first few sentences.
While consideration should be given to creating interest in reading more of the article, the lead nonetheless should not "tease" the reader by hinting at—but not explaining—important facts that will appear later in the article. The lead should contain no more than four paragraphs, must be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style with a neutral point of view to invite a reading of the full article.....


... Introductory text

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MOSINTRO#Introductory_text

Provide an accessible overview

The lead section should briefly summarize the most important points covered in an article in such a way that it can stand on its own as a concise version of the article. The reason for the topic being noteworthy should be established early on in the lead. It is even more important here than for the rest of the article that the text be accessible.

"...In general, specialized terminology and symbols should be avoided in an introduction. ....Where uncommon terms are essential to describing the subject, they should be placed in context, briefly defined, and linked. The subject should be placed in a context with which many readers could be expected to be familiar.

First sentence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MOSINTRO#First_sentence

The article should begin with a declarative sentence telling the nonspecialist reader what (or who) is the subject.

...If its subject is amenable to definition, then the first sentence should give a concise definition: where possible, one that puts the article in context for the nonspecialist. Similarly, if the title is a specialised term, provide the context as early as possible.

--69.110.90.60 (talk) 23:25, 20 February 2011 (UTC)Doug

Theodosius and Arianism in this Article[edit]

A large portion of the latter half of this article describes Theodosius and his role in early Christianity. Isn't this information extraneous in an article specifically about Arianism? -- DH

Thedosius forms a critical part of the history of Arianism, especially in Italy. Removing it would leave a huge question mark as to why it disappeared in Rome. 24.247.157.122 01:54, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Definitely. Theodosius essentially ended the Arian-Nicene conflict by bringing the apparatus of the Roman state decisively down on the Nicene side. --Jfruh 01:58, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Idiots' guide[edit]

I may have misunderstood this concept when I studied it at Uni, but I thought it could be summed up for idiots (like me) as follows:

First God was the Father... then the Son... and then he became the Holy Spirit

Is that simplistic rendering totally inaccurate? Or just usefully simplistic? Or just a waste of a couple of minutes' typing? --Dweller 14:35, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

It is a simplistic rendering of a complex theological idea: The Arian's Believe that Jesus was created by god, as he was born, the fundamental idea in the Nicene creed is that Jesus was created by god, long before his birth, and that "In the beginning was the Word...", was that "The Word" was God's promise, and that Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise, and the Holy spirit was the source of the divine life of Jesus on earth. All of this is read aloud by Catholics and Anglicans every Sunday, so for them, its literally rote reading, and for others who wish to find the words of that expound on that idea, then one merely needs to read the idiots guide called "The Book of common prayer." Book Of Common Prayer
Are you talking about the views of mainstream Christianity, or Arianism? Christians who follow the Nicene creed (which is pretty much anyone who calls him or herself a Christian today) believe that Jesus has always existed (beginning of Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word...", the Word being Jesus). Some early Christians (who tend to be lumped together as Ariana, though they wouldn't have all necessarily called themselves that) believed that the Son was created by the Father at some point after the beginning of time, though they did not agreed on whether that made Jesus "inferior" in some way to God the Father.
Fundamentally, from the Sola scriptana, Jesus said My father is greater.
And Hermeneutics, "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was God." The Word, was Gods promise given in integrity, in which he is promising salvation, by means of Jesus, and the fulfillment of the prophecy, i.e. The prophecy is Gods promise. So logically if A gives you B, and B Gives you C, then A does give you C, It is NOT C, but gives you C. Lets be clear.
I admit that I don't really understand how the Holy Spirit fits into all this. But both Nicene and Ariana's don't believe that one person of the trinity replaced another. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are believed to all coexist and yet together make up one God. --Jfruh (talk) 15:07, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
It would be essentially apropos to insert the text of the actual Nicene creed. It kind of spells it out.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.

Sorry, I thought it was clear that I was trying to give an Idiot's Guide to the Arian doctrine. I also thought that a central plank of that was that the entities didn't co-exist. I must've been wrong. --Dweller 15:13, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I think the idea is that in Arian beliefs they didn't always coexist. That is, at some point there was just the Father, and later the Father and the Son. But one did not replace the other.
Again, I don't know how the Holy Ghost fits in. He is a wily character, that one. --Jfruh (talk) 15:21, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
lol --Dweller 15:34, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Arianism, in a nutshell: "There was when he [the Son], was not" (an Arian slogan). The issue (from Arius' perspective) is that the 1st person of the trinity (Father) most in some some way "produce" (whether creation or begetting) the 2nd person of the Trinity -- and thus there must be a time when the 2nd person was not. The Spirit was not really considered until after Nicaea, other than to acknowledge that the SPirit is also divine. Pastordavid 11:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Obviously Jesus believed he was younger than Yahweh. Why the heck would he call himself the Son, if he didn't believe he was younger than the Father? If he thought he was the same age as Yahweh, he would have used the word "brother" instead of "son" in Matthew 21:37, Mark 12:6 and Luke 20:13.
If believing that Jesus is younger than his Father makes you Arian, then Jesus himself was Arian. --WillJ 70.168.185.11 04:27, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the idea is that while Jesus as Jesus was born in 4 BC or whenever, the Word, as the beginning of the gospel of John says, had always existed and was co-eternal with the Father. Jesus was the Word made flesh. I'm not a Christian, so this all has a certain angels-dancing-on-a-pin quality for me, but the belief that all three persons of the Trinity have always existed in one form or another has defined mainstream Christianity for the last 1700 years. --Jfruh (talk) 02:02, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I think really what we are saying is, so that we can continue to support the Pope as divinely assigned political role, we should close our eyes and continue to spout the Trinitarian dogma. 69.51.152.180 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:51, 8 February 2010 (UTC).

Arianism[edit]

"Most orthodox or mainstream Christian historians define and minimize the Arian conflict as the exclusive construct of Arius and handful of rogue bishops engaging in "heresy." Of the roughly three hundred bishops in attendance at the Council of Nicea, only three bishops did not sign the Nicene Creed."

Would be useful to add here the information about the total of bishops at that time was about 1800, as shown at Heresy:Early Christian heresies and First Council of Nicaea:Attendees? I think that to say that only 3 bishops out of 318 did not sign the Nicene Creed would be more properly understandable if this info is added. What do you think?

ZackTheJack 18:57, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

"relevant" and "irrelevant"[edit]

This was added and removed: "Trivia In Chilean TV Programm "Tertulia" broadcast in Canal 13 Cable is a recurring joke between José Luis Rosasco and Monseñor Luis Eugenio Silva to say that Rosasco is "Semi-Arian"" In order to underrstand the banter one needs to known what "Arian" means: i.e. "Arian" is relevant at Canal 13 Cable. The converse however is not true: this statement is vacuous (a technical term, not just a "pejorative"). This needs to be re-explained a thousand times at Wikipedia: relevance is not a concept taught in public schools. --Wetman 07:26, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree. If someone wants to set up a wiki on the subject of television programming in Chile, then they can include this reference. As it happens, I recall an abstruse joke being made about Arianism at a faculty cocktail party I attended more than a decade ago. I forbore to include a retelling of the incident in this article. . . . --Michael K. Smith (talk) 19:00, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

For clarity's sake[edit]

Arianism is a Trinitarian heresy, not a christological heresy. That is, Arianism is fundamentally about how the Father is related to the Son (the doctrine of the Trinity), not about how the divine and human are related in the person of Christ (the Christological doctrine). Yes, as in most trinitarian controversies, there are Christological implications -- but the issue was fundamentally understood as dealing with the relations of the persons of the Godhead. -- Pastordavid 11:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


Hahaha...Arians did not believe in 3 Persons; therefore, they did not believe in a Trinity. So, Arianism was NOT a Trinitarian heresy NOR a Trinitarian christological heresy. To Arians, Theology was about God the Father and Christology was about the Son of God. Arians believe that God the Father is the only true God and that the Son of God is the Logos. Arians believed that God the Father and the Son of God are both divine/holy in nature but that only God the Father is a Deity. Arians believed that the Logos became flesh and that He emptied Himself of His divine/holy nature. Arians believed that God the Father and the Son of God are not equal in rank. Arians believed that the Holy Spirit is power of God.


I very much urge you to read the following links about Wikipedia policy: Wikipedia:Reliable sources, Wikipedia:Secondary sources and Wikipedia:Verifiabilityl, since your additions are exclusively based on primary sources, especially the Bible, and not on any sources mentioning Arianism at all. --Saddhiyama (talk) 23:13, 9 May 2014 (UTC)


I have been writing and editing on Wikipedia for 5 years. Just because I do not have an account, it does not mean that I do not know Wikipedia policy. My contributions to the article are based on published sources of Arians. The Letter of Auxentius is one published source, which contains the creed of Arian Ulfilas (who is a Goth). The Goths in the 4th Century is a second published source, which contains the creed of Arian Ulfilas. Posting a creed is not original research. A secondary source is not needed to post a creed, a primary source is sufficient. I provided two primary sources for the creed of Arian Ulfilas (who is a Goth). Next time, read the sources before falsely accusing people of original research. My contributions are NOT based on the Bible at all! You would have known this, had you read the sources and the creed of Arian Ulfilas itself; instead of assuming things and reverting my contributions, just to get it your way. I understand you probably despise Arians and Arianism but that does not mean that you can delete factual contributions nor does that mean that Athanasians (i.e. Trinitarians) can misrepresent Arian beliefs by contributing the personal opinion of some Athanasians (i.e. Trinitarians) (such as: Arians believe in an unorthodox form of the Trinity) and by contributing a secondary source of Athanasians (i.e. Trinitarians) (such as: false attribution of Gnosticism) that misrepresents Arians and Arianism. Arian beliefs are not Gnostic but Christian. By the way, the Bible supports both Athanasianism (i.e. Trinitarianism) and Arianism. According to the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Catholic Church, Matthew 28:19 and 1 John 5:7 used to not state "the Father, the Son (i.e. the Word), and the Holy Spirit".


Your method of using talk pages doesn't exactly inspire confidence in your claim that "you know Wikipedia policy". Also your blatant disregard of the fact that the edit I reverted was basically sourced with Scripture, as well as your closing comment, does not really speak in your favour. Ãnd please refrain from conjectures about my personal opinion of Arianism. Not only is your guess way off, you shold know better than to comment on the editor rather than the content. --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:31, 16 May 2014 (UTC)


I do NOT care what your opinion is of my method of using talk pages. I do not have a Wikipedia account; therefore, I am not bond my Wikipedia policy. Knowing something and doing something is not the same thing. Like I already stated, my edit was NOT sourced with Scripture but with two published sources. You need to stop falsely accusing me. The beliefs of Arian Ulfilas (who is a Goth) are grounded in the Bible, hence, why Bible verses are in parentheses. Since I'm the one who added the Bible verses, I know better why I added them and your assumption is based on your opinion. Tip: You should first read the sources (Letter of Auxentius and Goths in the 4th Century) before assuming things and prematurely deleting edits. Also, you should have asked why I added Bible verses in parentheses; instead, of accusing me of using them as a primary source because you obviously are confused. Since you find it confusing, maybe, you would like helping me to improve it? It was not a personal attack nor was it an attack at all because it was about the deletion of my content; your assumption is wrong. I have no reason to attack you, you are full of it.


"And to the Apostles he gives the command: Going around preach ye and baptize those who believe in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit." Theodotus, a Gnostic, quoted by Clement of Alexandria in Excerpts from Theodotus.

"With one word and voice He said to His disciples: 'Go, and make disciples of all nations in My Name, teaching them to observe all things whatsover I have commanded you.' That 'name' is Jesus." Matthew 28:19-20 as quoted by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea.

"The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the catholic Church in the second Century." The Catholic Encyclopedia, II, page 263.

"This formula so far as the fullness of its expression is concerned, is a reflection of the liturgical usage established later in the primitive community. It will be remembered that Acts speaks of baptizing "in the name of Jesus,"..." The Jerusalem Bible, a scholarly Roman Catholic work.

"The basic form of our profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text came from the city of Rome." Catholic Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

72.69.6.107 (talk) 13:17, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Some General Concerns[edit]

Does Arianism refer to the teachings of Arius of Alexandria in particular, to the various concerns of the school of Lucian, or to the various different-substance, similar-substance, and like-substance groups of the 4th-6th centuries? In the first case, the article should stick as closely as possible to Arius, and should limit references to other teachers (e.g. Auxentius) propounding other not-same-substance teachings. In the second case, the article should focus much more on Lucian, much less on Arius, and much more on different teachers addressing recurring concerns, some with teachings closer to Nicaea, and some with teachings farther from Nicaea. But that could be another article (Co-Lucianism?). In the third case, I don't know. Jacob Haller 20:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

IIRC, some authors suggest that the Logos may be not uncreated, and not created at some specific time, but continually created, and perhaps changible (within limits) or perhaps unchangible. Thus the idea of the created Logos does not imply the idea of a time before the creation of the Logos, although Arius probably taight that "there was a time when He was not" early in the controversy. Eunomius of Cyzicus considers and rejects the theory of continual creation in his First Apology (chapter 23). Jacob Haller 20:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Name Issues Persist[edit]

[I asked about this on talk: Naming conventions.] The term Arianism is very common, but suffers several problems. It is a derogatory name given by its opponents; it has acquired additional meanings (e.g. teaching that Jesus was not divine) that would exclude Arius et al.; and it describes two larger overlapping groups ((1) the critics of Nicaea and (2) Lucian of Antioch and his followers) as well as one smaller subgroup (Arius of Alexandria and his followers). So it's hard to tell when the article means "Arians, as in Arius, Eusebius, George, Aetius, Wulfila, etc." or "Arians, as in Arius, but not these other guys." Jacob Haller 04:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Mormons Support Arius?[edit]

I have to question the addition of Mormonism in the list of faiths prescribing to Arius' teachings. Without reference side by side with what Arius taught vs. what Mormons believe, it seems as though this section is trying to find ways to prove Mormons follow Arius' teachings. In fact, I can prove via cited reference that they do *not* subscribe to Arius' teachings. Please see http://www.geocities.com/essays12/UScreeds.pdf for a great explanation on Mormon beliefs on the subject. Without cited evidence to the contrary, I suggest Mormons be removed from the list, as I think more than anything, Mormons support the Catholic belief that Arius was a Heretic.Jstayii 22:52, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Hi there, did you read the paragraph leading into that list at all? Or the headline, "'Arian' as a polemical epithet"? The point is not that the groups on that list are Arians -- in fact, the intro material states exactly the opposite. The point is that the groups don't follow the Nicene Creed, and thus have been labelled Arians by others. --Jfruh (talk) 22:33, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Did you read the example I provided? It makes very good evidence that Mormons do support the Nicene creed. We may have different interpretations of what 1 in 3 and 3 in 1 actually mean, but Mormons agree with the sections of the Nicene creed and others that were added to contradict Arianism. Should Mormons be in that list, Catholics should as well for the same reasons as Mormons. Catholics and Mormons are very much in agreement with not following any of the teachings of Arius. Jstayii 22:52, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Look, I think we're arguing at counterpurposes here. I, and more importantly, this article, is in no way arguing that Mormons (or Jehovah's Witnesses or Muslims or whatever) are really secret Arians or something. I'm not that familiar with Mormon trinitarianism, so apologies if I misspoke. But such accusations have historically been a feature of anti-Mormon polemic. The interesting thing from the standpoint of this article is that the Arian controversy so marked the early Church that "Arian" became frequently used insult or attack word in debates about the trinity, centuries after the last Arians (in the strict sense of "those who follow the teachings of Arius") died out. To summarize: This article is not trying to say that Mormons are Arians. This article is only noting that others have called Mormons Arians.
Frankly, this whole section is a bother and it may need to be eliminated or seriously rewritten. The problem is that this exact thing keeps happening over and over: someone sees their religion on this list, feels that Wikipedia is insulting them by calling them Arians, and adds some elaborate theological argument proving that they aren't, really. I'm pretty sure I wrote this section way back when, and it originally just noted that "Arian" was used in theological debates about the trinity, and then mentioned in passing some of the groups that have been so accused. Then everyone wanted to add descriptions. The rest is sorry history, and I'm open to suggestions on how it can be reworked to make it more obvious that Wikipedia isn't in the business of deciding who's an Arian and who isn't. --Jfruh (talk) 01:57, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I would say cut the section. The fact is, any non-trinitatian or subordinationist group will always be compared to arianism. Indeed, throughout the middle ages it was a common term to through around as an accusation against one's theological opponents. Arians are Arians - and that is what this article should be concerned with. Not who is like arians, or has been accused of being like arians. -- Pastordavid 02:44, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Yep. And there are very different non-trinitarian theologies. Jacob Haller 03:17, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I do honestly think it's worthwhile to keep the part that points out that "Arian" is a frequent term of abuse in theological disputation -- it may be the first context in which most people will encounter the term, so they'll be confused if they come here and find that they all died out in the firth century. I think the list of not-Arians can be safely cut, though. --Jfruh (talk) 03:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree - thanks for cutting it. It either needs to be rewritten to state your purposes, or removed to avoid any evidence of bias. I realize it wasn't the intent, but the wording made it look as so. I think if it were to be shown again, references of people calling certain religions "Arian" should be cited, along with cited references of both sides of the story on why people claim such, and why the particular religion does not agree that they subscribe to Arian teachings. So long as it remains neutral there should be no complaints on either side. That, unfortunately is not an easy thing to do - hence why I think it's just a good idea to remove the section. Jstayii 04:18, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Not to grumble, but I did state my purposes -- the text said clearly that there was no historical continuity between Arians and the listed groups and that the members of those groups didn't consider themselves Arians. I'm not sure how much clearer I could have made it. I just got sick of the endless fights and the pointless "they say"-"they say" accretions of text to this section. --Jfruh (talk) 04:37, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The current (October 18 2013) paragraph on Latter-Day Saint beliefs on this subject is clear, concise and correct. Very few of them would care at all whether others call them Arians or not. Terrel Shumway (talk) 17:32, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Modern times arianism?[edit]

It should probably be stated that “even, there has been no historically continuous survival of Arianism into the modern era, there are in the modern times, religious that held the arian point of view, such as Jehovah Witness, and others”.

Oh man, please read the entire previous section of this talk page for the troubles that starts. Thanks. --Jfruh (talk) 22:02, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
To call a modern view "Arianism", in addition to being horrible POV, is an anachronism. Please read above. -- Pastordavid 01:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Arianism as heresy[edit]

I don't know why this is covered up. According to heresy and the source quoted in it:

Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. By extension, heresy is an opinion or doctrine in philosophy, politics, science, art, etc., at variance with those generally accepted as authoritative."

Moreover, the scholarly sources invoked in this page study Arianism under the sign of heresy. Is any ground to consider Arianism not a heresy? Daizus 11:17, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia should cover the issues. Nicaea condemned Arianism as heresy. Wikipedia should state that Nicaea did so (and the article does). Wikipedia should not, however, condemn any tradition as heresy, as that violates NPOV (as the category tag would). Jacob Haller 11:38, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
A personal issue: I am not an Arian (closer to Anomean) but my own position is also condemned by Nicaea. I try not to push my own POV, but to stay neutral and stay close to the sources. If our positions were reversed, if history had gone another way, and people were tagging Athanasianism as heresy, I hope I would not be doing so. Jacob Haller 11:38, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia simply has to follow the sources and the sources say Arianism was a heresy. To say it was not it means to engage in original research. Also to say it is a NPOV violation it means there's another POV represented by reliable sources. Yet I don't see it. Is any scholarship claiming Arianism was not a heresy? Is any scholarship claiming the Nicene creed was not mainstream/orthodox at that time? Daizus 11:44, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
For the first question, it depends how we define Arianism. For the second question:
Eunomius' First Apology?
Philostorgius's Church History?
Auxentius' Letter?
Of course these are partisan works. Athanasius' and Sozomen's are also partisan works, as are Newman's, Schaff's and Kelly's IIRC. Jacob Haller 12:09, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Nice try. I asked for reliable sources, I asked for scholarship. Let's leave aside the theologicians (though some of them were/are professors of Church history, as well), check Edward Peters (present in the article's bibliography), check Mircea Eliade (not present, try "A History of Religious Ideas", vol. II). Daizus 12:25, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Which sources are you using which (1) you consider reliable (2) you do not consider theologians and (3) describe Arianism as a heresy? And Philostorgius was more historian than theologian. Jacob Haller 12:50, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I've already provided two: Edward Peters (in Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe) and Mircea Eliade (in A History of Religious Ideas). Philostorgius doesn't qualify (and even so I wonder what part of his work are you using, as it is largely lost) because its usage fails to meet WP:RS and WP:NOR; can you name a peer-review journal he published in? Can you present a scholary review of his work assessing the quality of his interpretation? I thought so. Daizus 12:55, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
As long as you keep moving the goalposts, redefining scholarly sources to exclude any sources which (1) I have access to and (2) contradict your POV, you can dodge the issue. But why should wikipedia condemn anything as a false religion? Jacob Haller 13:35, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
But I did not redefine them, from the beginning I was referring to them as reliable sources. Moreover Edward Peters is included in the article and it is available online ([1] "Arianism began, as many schismatical and heretical movements did"). Therefore your objections do not hold.
The condemnation issue is actually a straw man. Barbarian is generaly a pejorative term but is used by modern scholarship in a non-pejorative way to describe the non-Romans. Similarly heresy, regardless of what heavy conotations you may assign to it, is used by modern scholarship to describe certain schismatic movements inside major religions (in this case, Christianity). The definition provided by Oxford Dictionary shows it as well. Daizus 15:25, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

As an alternative, I suggest creating categories for views condemned at various councils or by various churches. Perhaps Category: Condemned at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople? Jacob Haller 12:50, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Neutral point of view specifically addresses this issue: Jacob Haller 14:41, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints. It is a point of view that is neutral – that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject.

To label the subject Heresy is in opposition to its subject.

NPOV requires views to be represented without bias.

assert facts, including facts about opinions — but do not assert the opinions themselves.

If we are going to characterize disputes neutrally, we should present competing views with a consistently fair and sensitive tone.

Let the facts speak for themselves

Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/FAQ#Religion also addresses this issue:

NPOV policy often means presenting multiple points of view. This means providing not only the points of view of different groups today, but also different groups in the past.

Wait a minute ... did I see a little further up the implication that theologians are not reliable sources about theology? Of course they are. Actually, the sources J. Haller quoted are indeed RS. However, they are in the minority. The mroe important point is the issue with the category -- if Category:Christian heresy or Category:Heresy is still around, this article should be in it. However, the article is inherently POV, and has been up at CfD -- or at least considered for one - repeatedly. I would take the debate about the validity of categorizing terms as heresy where it belongs - to that category, not here. What happens here should be a result of that discussion. -- Pastordavid 14:55, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
What proves the reliability (per WP:RS and WP:NOR) of Auxentius or Philostorgius (again I must stress the work of the latter is largely lost, bringing forward a weird situation of how can one discuss the reliability of a source he hasn't read??)?
Theologians may be reliable sources on theology, but not on the history of the Church. It is a fact (according to these historians) at Nicaea Arianism was declared heretical (through a majority of votes). It is a fact the Nicene creed was declared orthodox. It is a fact that historically the heresy can be defined in a certain way and Arianism falls under this definition. Daizus 15:42, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
The point is that "heresy" is a theological term that basically means "theology that we don't believe in" and Wikipedia does not exist to take theological positions. Why is it so terrible and a "cover up" to say "Mainstream Christian churches consider Arianism to be heretical" rather than state in Wikipedia's voice that "Arianism is heretical"? --Jfruh (talk) 17:13, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
"Heresy" it is not just a theological term. I provided the Oxford Dictionary definition, I provided scholars (contemporary historians and historians of religion, with reputation, credentials, peer-reviewed) using "heresy" and "heretical" in a narrative about the history of Christianity, and having a different meaning that the one you claim it has.
You know, I have not encountered yet a history of Christianity (written by modern reputable scholars, of course) which considers Arianism anyhow else than a Christian heresy. It's not about putting a blame, but recognizing a certain derivative nature, a certain schismatic nature.
There's an article already about Christian heresy, I have nothing against restructuring the "heresy" category (i.e. having some subcategories and "Christian heresy/ies" to be one of them), just please do not try to claim things which are at odds with current scholarship. There were such things as heresies and Arianism was one of them, so let's just deal with the fact and do not hide it. Daizus 20:09, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Now that I'm looking at what the edit history, I'm seeing that this debate is about including "Heresies" as a category, which I don't actually have any objection to. There's just been a lot of POV pushing on this page that seeks to "prove" that Arianism is "wrong", which is what I object to. --Jfruh (talk) 20:43, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Why is the Catholic Church or the Orthodox lay claim to the christian mantle? The church is right and everyone who is opposed to the trinitarian belief is wrong and not a real christian? In this case every religous movement with the exception of the Catholic Church would be non-christian and heretic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SonofSieglinde (talkcontribs) 19:07, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Conflict[edit]

This article says three bishops voted in favour of Arianism at the First Council of Nicaea, but that page itself says only two. Which is wrong, or have I misunderstood? Larklight 16:08, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Split proposal[edit]

I suggest we divide this article into at least two and preferably three parts:

  1. Arian controversy An article on the history and development of the controversy. This would cover all sides, cover Church councils from Nicaea to Constantinople, etc.
  2. Arianism An article on the doctrines and practices of Arias and those closest to Arius' teachings.
  3. (Untitled) An article on common doctrines and practices of those generally considered "Arian" including Anomeans and Semi-Arians, and possibly non-"Arian" developments within the school of Lucian of Antioch. Jacob Haller 06:59, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I have started an Arian controversy stub and would like help filling it out, and splitting this article. Jacob Haller 03:00, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Why split an article that is this short?
This article is not even 25KB long yet and is not a good candidate for a split. In fact I came here because I was going to propose merging some bio stubs of famous Arians into this article. -- SECisek 18:59, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, the article is that size after the split, carry on. -- SECisek 19:03, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Arius' death[edit]

I don't see much of a discussion of this death. I've read at least 3 accounts, including the classic, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" that suggest he was poisoned as he went to baptize Constantine. The poison caused his bowels to dissolve and he died on the toilet according to each of these accounts. That he was poisoned seems to indicate that he still had great power at the time. I may come back and add this discussion with references if I have the time. Gvharrier 00:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I suspected the same thing. PalindromeKitty (talk) 00:01, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I thought I'd read that he died around the time of the Nicene Council (325). It was really 336? Date of death? Sources? Thanks! Misty MH (talk) 20:42, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Changes to intro paragraph[edit]

It seems to me, in general, that a thing should be defined first in terms of itself, and only secondly in terms of its relationship with other things. Thus, I am rearranging the intro sentences first to describe Arianism itself, and second to describe it as a heresy with regard to the Council of Nicea. Also I plan to correct the grammatical error. --Ginkgo100talk 23:32, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

"Arianism" as idiomatic expression[edit]

The current intro section contains the statement:

Also, an "arianism" is usually used to indicate a feat of failure. An "arianism" would be followed by the line "0 for (insert absurdly high number here)"

This is both confusing - an example would be helpful - and unsourced. It also appears somewhat dubious. --J. G. Graubart (talk) 22:40, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


Introduction / Overview[edit]

The following statement in the overview/introduction section is incorrect:

"This teaching of Arius conflicted with trinitarian christological positions which were held by the Church (and subsequently maintained by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and most Protestant Churches)."

PROTESTANT churches did not exist in this time period. There may have communities that existed that did not agree with Church teaching however they were not known as "Protestant" as the way most understand these denominations today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mckfouch (talkcontribs) 13:38, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Of course protestant churches did not exist yet. Therefore the section writes subsequently, to indicate that these views did not change when the Church split into its current streams. I don't think the current phrasing is confusing on that point, but feel free to replace 'subsequently' with 'later' if you think that helps. (BTW: I moved your comment to the bottom of the talk page, as they are normally ordered chronologically.) Classical geographer (talk) 14:09, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Arianism is a heresy and this should be stated[edit]

Ok, I know that some people today do accept the teachings of Arius. However, that does NOT remove the fact that the original Christian Church declared Arius a heretic and his teachings as heresies. If we are to claim Arius is a "Christian", then we HAVE to clarify that his teachings are considered heresies BY Christians. We cannot simply state that Arianism is a "Christian" idea. It HAS to be pointed out in the first sentences that it is considered a heresy by the majority of Christians out there.

We have no real idea what Arius teachings were, because they were all destroyed, except for what his enemies painted them to be. Basically, anyone who disagrees with the trinitarian formula becomes a heretic along with Arius, because there are in fact no known specifics to Arius. Here is a sample Dialogue:
Bill: Jesus must have been very powerful and great, he must have been a Superhero to perform all those miracles.
Chuck: No Bill, if he were a superhero, then his miracles could have been flawed and in fact guided by evil. He must have been an angel to perform those miracles.
Bill: Actually Chuck, if he were just an angel, then he could have been a fallen angel like Satan. He must be divine. He must be part of God.
Chuck: You're right! That would make everything he did and said right.
Arius: You guys are nuts.
Bill and Chuck (together): Heretic!

69.51.152.180 (talk) 11:56, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


This is the SAME as Mormonism. Many Mormons would like to see themselves to be considered to be Christians. HOWEVER, that DOES NOT make them Christians.

Another example... Today, if someone in the Republican party turns and begins to espouse views that are in heavy agreement with the Democrats, is it not right then for the Republican party to "Disown" that person and thus call him a Democrat?

Christians original DID have a solid set of doctrines they had to adhere to. You can even read the Gospels and Epistles and find this. The Apostles repeatedly denounce heretics and people that taught false doctrines. Just because one believes in Jesus as the messiah doesn't always make them a Christian. As I said, we can see this in the New Testament. The Apostles (and God even) denounce "heretics" for their teachings and call for their repentence and the resistance of Christians.

Therefore, is it not also right to show to the world that these people are considered heretics by Christians? It does NOT matter what more liberal Christians believe today about different people or different issues. The fact remains that the early Christians, who were taught by the Apostles themselves and the disciples of the Apostles thus saw that the people teaching these doctrines were straying dangerously far away from what the Apostles and their disciples had taught, and thus called these people heretics.

The First Council of Nicaea was in 325 A.D. St. Alexander of Alexandria presided over this. He was the Bishop of Alexandria, an Apostolic See. Here is the succession of Alexander... Pope Alexander
Pope Achillas
Pope Peter I
Pope Theonas
Pope Maximus
Pope Dionysius
Pope Heraclas
Pope Demetrius
Pope Julian
Pope Agrippinus
Pope Celadion
Pope Markianos
Pope Eumenes
Pope Justus
Pope Primus
Pope Kedron
Pope Avilus (about this time was when St. John the Theologian reposed)
Pope Anianus (ordained by St. Mark the Evangelist)
St. Mark the Evangelist

That is not very many Popes/bishops that continued the Church in Alexandria which was founded by the Apostles. We can easily do this with the other Apostolic Sees and the bishops that participated in the Council of Nicaea.

They were simply continuing the tradition and beliefs of the Apostles and the Disciples of the Apostles. How then, can we claim that Arianism is NOT heretical/heterodox when it contradicts the teachings of the Apostles, their Disciples and the successors to them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by KCMODevin (talkcontribs) 20:01, 1 August 2008

Agreed. To call Arianism "Christian" is to call Christianity "Arian" -- which it is not. The definitions do not match. Thanks for the catch.Tim (talk) 20:07, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
This is incorrect. To say that Arians are Christians is definately NOT saying that Christianity is Arian. All cats are mammals, but not all mammals are cats. It is beyond the scope of Wikipedia to give God's perspective.--66.162.55.3 (talk) 21:03, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
BTW -- the reason to call Arius a heretic is not that he's "wrong." Let's say that he's "right." Let's say that the New Testament and apostles believed and taught Arianism, and yet the large corpus of the religion we call Christianity actually sabotaged the true faith. Nevertheless, they now use the name and are identified under that title. As their self definition is the Nicene Creed, which specifically prohibits Arianism, Arianism is now a heresy with respect to the Christian church -- simply meaning that the belief is not accepted within the mainstream of the religion known by the name "Christianity." The same is true for any set of ideas. Messianic Jews claim to represent Judaism, but by Jewish standards (Orthodoxy) Messianic Judaism is a heresy -- meaning that it does NOT represent the group normally known as "Judaism." The word heresy doesn't mean you are wrong -- only that you are different from the group giving you that label. If you don't CLAIM to be in that group, you may never get the label. For instance, Hindus are not "heretics" by Christian standards for the simple reason that they don't CLAIM to be Christians. They are simply a different religion. Clarity and consistency in terms and definitions in their historical context are the reasons to make distinctions on Wikipedia, not truth and falsehood. No doubt you do not consider the Roman Catholic church to be heretical. But if you were a third century Pharisee you would. One person's heretic is another person's prophet -- but the distinctions MUST be made for sound Wikipedia articles, without judgment of who is "right" or "wrong."Tim (talk) 20:21, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Exactly, it isn't stating they are "right" or that they are "wrong", it's simply clarifying that ever since 325 A.D. Christians have regarded Arianism as heretical. Look at Mormonism, some Mormons want to be considered Christians, but because of their beliefs, they are considered heretical in Christianity. It isn't that we are saying they are wrong or right, we are just stating that they aren't part of mainstream Christianity and are in fact considered heretical. --KCMODevin (talk) 15:24, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

The opening paragraph reads:

Arianism is the heretical/heterodox teachings of the Christian heretic Arius (c. AD 250-336), who lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt, in the early 4th century. The most controversial of his teachings, considered contrary to the Nicene creed and heretical by the Council of Nicaea, dealt with the relationship between God the Father and the person of Jesus, saying that Jesus was not one with the father, and that he was not fully, although almost, divine in nature.

I have reverted the new edits in the first sentence so that there is not the repetition of heretic. However, some editors insist that it is the preferred language. I find the language clumsy and repetitive. I think the way it should read is:

Arianism is the heterodox teachings of the Christian Arius (c. AD 250-336), who lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt, in the early 4th century.

The fact we state it is a heterodox teaching already covers the topic of heretical. Heterodox is defined as being "not in accordance with established or accepted doctrines or opinions, esp. in theology; unorthodox".[2] I am not questioning the fact that the teaching was heretical, I am seeking for using better sentence structure.

As an aside, Arius was to have been brought back into communion the day after he died. At the time of his death it would appear that his personal beliefs were in accordance with the church. To me this language is just exaggerated repetition. The language I have proposed states the same thing that is desired, but states it sensibly and without overkill. --Storm Rider (talk) 17:25, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Does this clear it up?
Arianism is the theological teachings of the Christian heretic Arius (c. AD 250-336), who lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt, in the early 4th century. The most controversial of his teachings, considered contrary to the Nicene creed and heretical by the Council of Nicaea, dealt with the relationship between God the Father and the person of Jesus, saying that Jesus was not one with the father, and that he was not fully, although almost, divine in nature.
I see your point, and this eliminates the duplication without making him look mainstream Christian.Tim (talk) 17:34, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I prefer to qualify Arianism, the topic, as heterodox and heretical. I tend to lean away from qualifying Arius as a heretic because he was accepted back into the church after his first excommunication if I recall correctly. More importantly he was already accepted back in again. This was a muddy time in church history where one day one was in and the next day one was out. I am thinking of both Arius and Athanasius here. Calling Arius a Christian does not mean that his teachings were acceptable; they were not. Calling him a heretic now overlooks that he personally was found acceptable for communion. I am making a distinction between the man and his previous teachings. Does this make sense to you? --Storm Rider (talk) 18:28, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it does make sense, and you could be right. The problem is the wording. One man's heresy is another man's orthodoxy. For instance, Paul is both Orthodox and Heretical, depending on which person you asked. Is he an Orthodox Christian? By definition, one would hope! Is he a heretical Jew? Absolutely.
So, Christianity... the heretical teachings of the Jew Paul... well, that works, but only because we know who Paul is. If we were a little fuzzy there would be a problem. So, that's why Christian and Heretic really need to be crammed together for Aruis. He isn't a Jewish heretic or a Buddhist heretic. He's a Christian heretic. So we know the context. Does that make sense to you as well? To say that X is the heretical teaching of the Christian Y, one is left with the question of -- heretical to who?Tim (talk) 18:35, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm changing the introduction. It says that Arius said that Christ was not fully divine, but the article later states that he said Christ was divine. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:26, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Origin section contentious[edit]

This part: "That doctrine that Arius wrote was the main theology of the first century Christians. Scriptures such as John 14:28 where Jesus says that the father is "greater than I" to John 17:20-26 where Jesus asks that the Apostles become "one as we are one" so that all of them including Jesus and God become one, thus demonstrating that the oneness refers to thought and will, and not a physical Trinity." is both a grammatical chaos and contentious. It attempts to hoist Arianism onto 1st century christianity which is tantamount to saying "the Bible supports Arianism". It is true that the full blown Trinity is not there, and that the early years of Christianity were at least partly marked by subordinationism; but that is not the same as Arianism.

Indeed, the whole section is written from a pro-arian perspective. Grahbudd (talk) 06:27, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I haven't gotten all the way through the article yet, but what you quote here doesn't even make sense as a criticism of orthodoxy. What the heck is intended by "physical Trinity"? The only kind of physical trinity I know of is a billiard ball: one ball in three spacial dimensions. Although useful as an analogy, that's all it is.
Thanks for the heads up!Tim (talk) 09:52, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Crucifixion[edit]

Perhaps the article could clarify the Arian view of the Crucifixion. Did they reject that the Crucifixion had happened, or was it merely that they did not view it as an act of redemption for the world, as the orthodox Christians do? The article suggests that Arianism, unlike Islam, did believe that there was a Crucifixion. I was under the impression that they did not.

Heresy as a method of disqualifying the Enemy[edit]

Although I have read the whole Wikipedia on the Arianism issue, as well as other sources, I haven't read anywhere a clear analysis about the practicalities of the problem nor the relationship between the whole "heretic" issue and the political motivations.

Philosophically speaking, and having studied eastern and western mysticism and philosophy, it is most probably that Arianism is more accurate to the truth about Christ, Logos, God, etc. than the politically motivated "official dogma".

The Church's Fathers and Doctors were, most probably, good men, but not sages. And many of their dogmas, if not reinterpretations of old doctrines, were mere convenient opinions: If Jesus is God, then the Church would have the monopoly on spirituality. And in a time where Religion is the official knowledge (in the same way that today's official epistemology is scientific) this would be a source of earthly power.

Why this specific issue doesn't arise on the study of heresies and dogmas?--Giordano1507 (talk) 15:28, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Religion is not and has never been knowledge is a rational-modernist sense, it has always been faith in a supernatural sense. The Church has always been against Gnosticism, which is an early form of Scientism, since it puts everything on a naturalistic scale. ADM (talk) 02:26, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The Church has also been against anything that threatened its power base, including Arianism. 69.51.152.180 (talk) 19:48, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Personalist christology and Freedom of conscience[edit]

Is there any evidence to suggest that Arius advocated a personalist form of christology and an accompanied doctrine on freedom of conscience ? According to Fr. Romanides, Arius insisted that the Father is related to and generates the Son not by nature, but by will. Athanasius insisted that the Father is related to and generates the Son not by will, but by nature. [3] ADM (talk) 02:14, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

References and WP:NFC[edit]

I have removed from the footnotes several pages worth of material taken from Michael Pomazansky, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. I haven't found any indication that the original (much less the foreign language translation) are public domain. We can't quote extensively from copyrighted texts even in footnotes--certainly not when that extensive quotations basically amounts to several pages worth of material. This is inconsistent with WP:NFC. If it can be verified that the original and the translation are both PD, please feel free to restore. Otherwise, it may be appropriate to paraphrase as long as the paraphrase doesn't follow too closely on the original. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:15, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Examples in Modern Culture[edit]

We need a section on modern examples of Arianism. Something like experts in a field that attempt to edit Wikipedia Articles and are accused of Vandalism and generally being East Geman. Also any attempt at humor on a users own talk page is another example of Arianism.66.236.143.130 (talk) 16:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)


Arian and Nicene (Catholic) congregations?[edit]

During the 400's and 500's were there distinct Arian and Nicene congregations in Constantinople, Ravenna and other places? If so, how did the congregational hierarchies work? 118.208.238.98 (talk) 02:39, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Remnants in the West, 5th-7th C.[edit]

Present text suggests that Islam was a factor in the attrition of the sect. This is misleading, if not incorrect. Arianism, being a form of unitarianism, was closer to Islamic Christology. In fact, the attrition, if any, due to Islam is likely to be due to the adherents of the sect merging into Islam. If the preceding commentary is supported by existing mainstream scholorship, I would like to amend the section accordingly. Anasim (talk) 14:37, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I saw that too, and intended to make a note here. Instead I'm going to remove the subclause blaming Islam. If there had been Arianism left when they reached the Iberian peninsula, then the survival of Arianism would have been far longer than it really was, c.f. the pre-Calchedonian Syrian Orthodoxes and the (nowadays formerly) Nestorians in the Assyrian Church of the East.
The real reason why Arianism finally "failed" in the West was that the Visigothic kings forcibly merged the Arian church with the Catholic church. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:55, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Arius' bishop's prayer[edit]

The claim that "Arius' own bishop" prayed for Arius' death was added on 23 Oct 2008. It seems to be an attempt to weaken the suggestion that Arius was poisoned while also insinuating that Arius' death was a divine act. I doubt a proper citation can ever be produced, and I suspect the statement should just be removed.TrippingTroubadour (talk) 19:26, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I removed it. TrippingTroubadour (talk) 15:31, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

216.240.249.190 contribs[edit]

Interesting enough to be dumped here:

It was also one of the earliest apostasies away from the teachings of the Christ, and his apostles. While the so-called doctrine of "Arianism" was among the earliest Christian doctrines disputed by the early Catholic religion, it was only one of many that defy the teachings of the Bible.

It is said to be based on John 14:28 and Proverbs 8:22. That may be true of the position taken by Arius, but in fact other scriptures also support the doctrine. In particular, Colossians 1:15-16, where the Christ Jesus, "the Son"( of verse 13), is referred to as; "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation". Other scriptures that disprove the "Trinity" doctrine and support the more ancient teaching of a "Unitarian" God include Acts 7:55-56, Matthew 26:39, John 8:17-18, Revelation 3:14, Mark 13:32, Matthew 20:20-23, Matthew 12:31-32, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 15:27-28, John 17:1-3, 1 Corinthians 8:5-6, 1 Peter 1:3, and others.

A number of reference works also indicate that the so-called "orthodox" view is in error include The New Catholic Encyclopedia, which states:

“The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.”—(1967), Vol. XIV, p. 299.

The Encyclopedia Americana reads: “Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.”—(1956), Vol. XXVII, p. 294L. [See Reasoning From the Scriptures, pp. 405-423.]

There are a few troubles with the text:

  • the writing style is not neutral,
  • the text is somewhat valid and true, but it partially duplicates information already elsewhere in the text,

The possible benefits:

  • the tertiary references, Catholic Encyclopedia, —(1967), Vol. XIV, p. 299 and —(1956), Vol. XXVII, p. 294L. [See Reasoning From the Scriptures, pp. 405-423.] can be salvaged for relevant passages already in the article,
  • it stresses the widely known secret that original Christianity was undefined regarding trinity, christology etc..

Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:17, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Information box for "Germanic Peoples" at bottom of page[edit]

There is an information box for "Germanic peoples" located at the bottom of this page. Most likely this was placed here due to confusion with the "Aryanism" page. If nobody can give a good reason why this box is located on the page, it needs to be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.241.86.219 (talk) 03:29, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Who cares?[edit]

I would like to see some discussion of why it mattered whether the father and the son were of different substances, similar substances or identical substances. It seems now (to me) that these arguments are academic or even semantic, but it must have seemed very important in the fourth century. It may have been a matter of eclesiastical power politics, but I sense there must have been something more.

On the basis of no evidence I offer some speculations in the hope that someone with the appropriate scholarship can add a section that fleshes out what I consider the sterility of this contoversy:

1) A personal connection with many gods and spirits is probably more satisfying than trying to connect to the one distant and authoritarian god of a monotheism. A few intermediaries like Mary and Jesus, might help but it probably wouldn't matter how you conceived them provided they were your path to God. On the other hand perhaps the heresies of those times were trying to work out just how near to man and how near to God these intermediaries needed to be.

2) If salvation were as important then as it became in the middle ages, then ecclesiastical power would presumably be increased by convincing the people that there was only one correct path through a field of error leading to salvation. Any theological distinction would be useful in that case and provide the grounds for appropriating the truth.RobLandau (talk) 17:28, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

My observation is that the more obscure and incomprehensible a difference, the more bitterly theologians will fight over it. thx1138 (talk) 20:32, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps this is sometimes true, but it hardly applies in this case. This is an issue that is fundamental to any Christian, even today, who understands the issue.
There are three ways (off the top of my head) in which this controversy is of fundamental importance. (1) Christians have always believed ourselves to be monotheists, and yet we worship Jesus a.k.a. Christ a.k.a. the Logos a.k.a. the Son. Now, if Jesus were not one-in-being with God the Father, then there would be only two possibilities: either Jesus is not God (in which case, Christians are worshipping a false God), or Jesus is God (in which case, Christians are not monotheists, because that would mean that the Father is a god and the Son is a different God). That's why the view of Catholic, Orthodox, and virtually all Protestant churches -- that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are together one God -- is so important. (2) Christians believe that salvation was achieved when God became a human being, thus creating a bridge between God and humanity. Different theologians explain this differently, but that's always the key part. But if Christ wasn't really God, then he wouldn't have created a bridge between us and God, but merely a bridge between us and whatever kind of creature he was. [This is Athanasius' primary argument.] (3) Christians consider a personal relationship with God to be fundamental to our faith, and we relate first and foremost to Jesus, who became human to show us what God's love is like. But if Jesus wasn't God, then our relationship with Jesus would not be a relationship with God.
Do people feel this article should explain why this is important? Obviously my summary above isn't sourced, but all of this could be found in reliable sources.
Lawrence: I believe that the article *should* include such an explanation, and I think your clarification above is just what's needed. For those with no faith it puts the issue in focus, and for those with faith but no theology it's clear and explanatory. I suppose it's a bit of work to locate all the sources you'd need, but I think it would improve the article significantly. And for those reasons I also think you should try to include the quote from Gregory of Nissa below.RobLandau (talk) 18:57, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Also, should there be something in this article indicating how important people have found the issue? Here is a famous quote from Gregory of Nyssa, in which he describes how all the people of Constantinople in the mid-fourth-century cared about this issue a great deal: "The whole city is full of it, the squares, the market places, the cross-roads, the alleyways. Old-clothes men, money changers, food sellers: they are all busy arguing. If you ask someone to give you change, he philosophizes about the Begotten and the Unbegotten; if you inquire about the price of a loaf, you are told by way of reply that the Father is greater and the Son inferior; if you ask “Is my bath ready?” the attendant answers that the Son was made out of nothing." — Lawrence King (talk) 21:13, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Mormonism[edit]

I know this has been discussed already, but the Latter-Day Saints should be mentioned at least somewhere on this page. I don't know who it was that suggested that Mormons still believe in some kind of trinity or accept parts of the Nicene Creed, but we most definitely do not. We believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three separate beings with a unity of purpose but a separation of substance. This may not be exactly what Arius taught but we are certainly closer to Arianism than we are to Nicene trinitarianism. I am not ashamed of this label because I personally have great respect for Arius—anyone who was persecuted by the Catholic Church for "heresy" is a hero in my book. --Antodav2007 (talk) 04:43, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

You are correct that the LDS understanding of the Godhead differs from the Nicene (Trinitarian) view. But it also differs from Arius' view. Arius believed that the Father is eternal, outside of time, not subject to any change; he was not created or begotten by anyone, and there is no other being who existed before him or alongside him, as he is the only being outside of time and before all time. This differs from how most Mormons understand the "Heavely Father". Moreover, Arius believed that the Son was a kind of super-angel, created by the Father, subject to time, and doing the bidding of the Father without any free choice in the matter; the Son (whom Arius preferred to call "the Logos" or "the Word") was not truly the Father's "son" in any real sense, nor was he "God" in any real sense, but was entirely a creature. This differs from how all Mormons understand the Son. You are certainly free to respect anyone whom the Church called a heretic, just as you are free to respect anyone who disbelieves in modern science. But not everyone who disagrees with the Catholic Church agrees with each other, any more than everyone who disbelieves in modern science agrees with each other. — Lawrence King (talk) 21:20, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Erroneous pictures description[edit]

The icon in the main body described as depicting Arius actually depicts Saint Spyridon (the name is written in greek on the icon). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.40.225.38 (talk) 03:47, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

You are right! I looked into it also and it is as you say. When I came to this article it looked a little weird, went to comment section to see if anyone talked about it, and there you are! It indeed says "O ΑΓΙΟΣ ΣΠΥΡΙΔΩΝ". Perhaps the information for the picture could have been changed to have it say that he was a great opponent of Arius (he debated against him during the ecumenical council) but it does not feel right to have that as the first picture. The icon of him debating Arius would have been more fitting, but I just left it all blank so the modern Arians would not go insane ;P (A JOKE!)75.73.114.111 (talk) 10:31, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Relationship with East-West Schism[edit]

I'm not sure if this is accurate, as the centuries differ. However, there seems to be a similarity with the dispute of the holy trinity and the East–West Schism. Clearly the movement of Christianity was widely accepted, but changed dramatically on the continent of Africa and the Middle East. Anyone have information about this relationship and its correlation with Arianism? Twillisjr (talk) 18:48, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

There isn't any major connection. Arianism lived on for a few centuries in some of the Western European Germanic tribes, but it eventually died out there. In Rome, Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Persia it never had any significant presence after the fourth century. There were later theological disputes (such as the disputes over Nestorianism and Monophysitism) in the fifth century that proved long-lasting. But even on those disputes, Greece and Rome were on the same side. The great East-West Schism between the Catholic Church (based in Rome) and the Orthodox Churches (based in Constantinople) was primarily political; it did have a theological element, but that was the Filioque, a controversy that arose later. All of these controversies can be seen as similar, insofar as they all involved the nature of God or the nature(s) of Jesus Christ, but they were very different controversies. — Lawrence King (talk) 21:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree regarding the schism between Rome and Constantinople, but Arianism did not "die out" in the West. It was removed by force. On the one hand, Vandals and Ostrogoths were crushed by Roman armies, and then, after a bloody civil war, the young Visigoth king, Reccared I, publicly announced his conversion to Catholicism, and the Arian faith was outlawed after the 3rd Council of Toledo (589). One point in common, although most probably non-influential, was that this Council included the filioque formula in their new official (Trinitarian) creed. --Jdemarcos (talk) 09:58, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Improving this article[edit]

The article as it stands is a muddle. I have removed statements from the section "Origin" which do not correspond to it; but there are far more major defects. The fundamental problem is that there is no current agreement among academics as to the contents of Arius' teaching. Rowan Williams goes as far stating that Arianism is an invention of Athanasius (Arius page to be supplied later) I am not clear as to how the article should be reworked, but I sense that its revision should be part of a project which includes the other two main articles Arius and Arian controversy. It is hardly worth trying to tidy up the missing citation references until the overall structure of the article has been rethought. Jpacobb (talk) 00:15, 7 January 2014 (UTC)


The German page on Arianism has a lot contradictory to this English entry. It says the Unitarians are a late renewal of Arianism, as are some other of the reformist churches.

Further Constantine is said to be baptized etc. by an Arian. At the same time it is reported that he got their books burned. Why does an Arian burn the books of the Arians?

The whole question is an Owl-to-Athens. The Protestant Church of Germany today teaches that God alone is holy. The trinity is part of the doctrine. The son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are not worshipped. The Church further says God is the Trinity.

They are deceivers, especially to lay men. Further it seems interesting to look at the heresy before Arius. Church of today says there was only one God ever since. The acceptance of one of the trinity elements, the father, could be closer to an older core theology, perhaps non-Christian?

And further the question arises, does one know more if one knows only one unknown element or all three of them together or the result of it. An irrational question in itself.


— Preceding unsigned comment added by 46.115.80.198 (talk) 23:10, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Bible as only source[edit]

I reverted this edit (again) because it is solely sourced by Scripture. The Bible is a primary source and cannot be used to back up distinct claims about Arian beliefs. The Bible is used by all Christian nominations, so it does not in itself support one or another. We will need some reliable secondary sources that supports claims distinct to Arianism. Thanks. Also please do not add sections in the main text like these: "See also Colossians 1:15—"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;"; also, Revelation 3:14—"These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God"; and Proverbs 8:22–29.". That is not encyclopedic and is a direct violation of WP:NPOV as well as WP:OR. --Saddhiyama (talk) 12:16, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Influence upon the founding of Islam[edit]

I came across this passage in St. John of Damascus' critique of Islam, and he says that Muhammad may have possibly conversed with an "Arian monk," which later influenced influenced how he formulated is doctrine. [4] St. John of Damascus' critique is mentioned in the Medieval Christian views on Muhammad Wikipedia article, but I figured it'd be helpful for that influence to be mentioned on this page as well. Thoughts? Yadojado (talk) 19:52, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Confusion with Sabellianism[edit]

The article as it currently reads states that modern Christian groups which may be seen as espousing some of the principles of Arianism include, among others, Oneness Pentecostals. This is incorrect as they espouse modalistic monarchianism or Sabellianism. The article seems a bit muddled in that it seems to view all non-trinitarian views as being a form or variation of Arianism, which is incorrect.

I will make some edits in the future to clarify this and improve the wording on the differences between the various non-trinitarian views of the Godhead. Happy to discuss any of the edits related to this issue. Taxee (talk) 20:29, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Heretics, cults, apostates, and negative words[edit]

After reading the article and the talk pages it appears that there's a bit of an emotional issue surrounding the use of "heresy" to describe Arianism, arian's (potentially possibly reconstructed) teaching, and related concepts. I think it's because of the charged nature of these words that connote very negative tones. The word "heterodox" was a very interesting choice in one of the sections that does not seem to have the same emotional charge. The dictionary definition of heresy provided at one point was a bit flat and didn't capture the gut feeling reaction it evokes that means not only are you in the minority, you are a dangerous crazy person for holding said belief.

I think that it is clear from the cited sources that Arian-like (to be non specific) teaching and teachers were a strong minority in many areas, and a strong majority in many other areas. Later they were named, grouped, and condemned as heretical by the majority view in one place, that through shrewd political efforts, prostelityzing, and sometimes coercion spread their view to became the dominant and majority view in most places and for most teachers. So the view that Arian = heresy grew and changed over time, eventually becoming commonplace and core enough to several Mediterranean ecclesiastical power structures to be used as an epithet or slur in debates against each other. This is analysis of the sources.

Calling something "heresy" or "heretical" outright hurts feelings of people who share similar beliefs today in earnestness and with good intentions. I think it's somewhat unnecessary except to describe the view of party A towards party B, and to provide the context of actions. it may be like using a racial slur when talking about Africans, because the dominant groups of Europe at a point in history considered Africans inferior morally, mentally, societally, etc. obviously writing an article thus this would be offensive to earnest people on both sides. Clearly passion gets involved with word choice in articles like these occasionally.

just a thought. TL:DR heterodox might be a better way to refer to something like this gererally, which withholds the implied moral judgement of calling something a heresy, except for in cases when You're talking about a historical figure's specific view or providing context for their actions.

Hugs not flame wars

Trebor42k (talk) 05:29, 25 January 2015 (UTC)