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Agnoetae (ἀγνοηταί agnoetai, from ἀγνοέω agnoeo, to be ignorant of) was a general name given to those heretical sects which in one form or another denied the divine omniscience either of the incarnate Christ or of God the Father.

  • Theophronius of Cappadocia (370), a disciple of Eunomius, denied that God knew the past by memory or the future with certainty; and taught that even for a knowledge of the past he required study and reflection. "Though God foreknows that which is not, and knows that which is, and remembers what has happened, he does not always have that knowledge in the same manner with respect to the future and present, and changes his knowledge of the past." [1] His ideas were so strange that even the Eunomians excommunicated him. His followers were called Theophronians.
  • The Arians, who taught that the nature of Christ was inferior to that of his Father, claimed that Jesus was ignorant of many things, according to their interpretation of his own statements about the day of judgment (Mark 13:32) and by the fact that he frequently asked questions of his companions (John 11:34) and of the Jews.
  • The Apollinarists, denying that Christ had a human soul, or, at least, that he had a human intellect (nous), necessarily regarded him as devoid of knowledge.


  1. ^ Sozomen. Ecclesiastial History, Book VII, Chap. 17.
  2. ^ Monks, George. "The Church of Alexandria and the City's Economic Life in the Sixth Century". Speculum April 1953 pp. 349-362.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. , s.v., Agnoetae
 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Agnoetae". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.