Talk:Arianism

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Re:edit on Arianism[edit]

I apologize, I thought I was simply bringing the article into compliance with the “neutral pov” position of Wikipedia by simply rephrasing the existing statement regarding the “equally orthodox” status of the Arian and Homoousian interpretations. Categorizing the two positions as “equally orthodox” seemed to make a value judgment whereas “potential interpretations” seemed to leave out such a judgment, especially given that the question of orthodoxy was what was under dispute. ScottSmith1983 (talk) 19:25, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

@ScottSmith1983: It's Ehrman's judgment, not ours. Our own judgment is prohibited per WP:OR. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:32, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
So be it, although that seems a bit silly on the face of it. Perhaps, then, a better edit might be something along the lines of “according to Bart Ehrman...” rather than making a bald statement? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ScottSmith1983 (talkcontribs) 19:54, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
@ScottSmith1983: Show me your WP:SOURCES that Ehrman's view is contested/controversial. No sources means no allowable edits. This is Ehrman's whole point: initially Arius's view was completely orthodox, it was deemed a heresy later, when it was formulated it wasn't heresy. Arius has advanced a neat explanation for what orthodox Christians already believed. He devised the explanation, but he did not invent their beliefs. Arius wasn't writing a dissenting opinion, he wasn't writing in order to divide the orthodox community (like Paul the Apostle before the Sanhedrin), we was simply giving an orthodox account of orthodox beliefs. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:42, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
I understand that this is Ehrman’s point... That’s why I think it ought to be attributed to him. The problem that I’m finding is that ‘x’ pages of reading and citation to deal with one quick quip from Ehrman on his blog. I only posited the rephrasing, and I might emphasize that it was a rephrasing, is because in all of my studying thus far, the presupposition of church history is that “orthodoxy” as a category is something established after the fact. That is, after the decision is made. Up until that point, there are “potential” interpretations within the accepted realm of orthodoxy, but calling two interpretations within that realm both “equally orthodox” is something of a misnomer. ScottSmith1983 (talk) 00:44, 2 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, in the beginning Arius viewpoint was orthodoxy. Then it was opposed by Alexander and orthodox theologians were divided upon this issue. Then at the council one side had prevailed, and only then Arius's view became heresy. Ehrman, Bart (2005) [2003]. Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-19-514183-2. Retrieved 26 July 2010. As a result of this ongoing scholarship, it is widely thought today that proto-orthodoxy was simply one of many competing interpretations of Christianity in the early church. It was neither a self-evident interpretation nor an original apostolic view. The apostles, for example, did not teach the Nicene Creed or anything like it. Indeed, as far back as we can trace it, Christianity was remarkably varied in its theological expressions. See also pp. 250, 253-255, 259 of the same book: briefly, all bishops there were orthodox since other brands of Christianity had been already excluded, suppressed, reformed or destroyed; then the former orthodox theologians (proto-orthodox) were vanquished by the newer orthodox theologians with their own weapons, not because the proto-orthodox opposed views seen as orthodox, but because they missed the theological refinement needed for rubber stamping contradictory theses simultaneously accepted by the orthodox. Also, Berndt and Steinacher nowhere deny Ehrman's view, their work is available on Google Books, they dedicate more text to it than Ehrman's blog. So, yes, Arius's view was orthodox at a certain moment, later it became controversial and then it became heresy. This agrees with what you say about potential interpretations, it just wasn't a static situation, but it was changing dynamically. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:43, 2 June 2018 (UTC)
It was a clash between homoousian trinitarians and homoiousian trinitarians. Before Arius, it was not fully thought out what the Trinity might be like. Both homoousianism and homoiousianism were interpretations of orthodox teachings. During their initial clash, they were regarded as having equal claim to orthodoxy. Homoiousianism became a heresy due to losing this clash. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:08, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
It is not true to say that "they were regarded as having equal claim to orthodoxy"; the Council affirmed what had always been taught and repudiated the novel teachings of Arius. That some had been deluded by the errors does not give them equal weighting or validity. Laurel Lodged (talk) 21:20, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Saying "That some had been deluded by the errors" is saying the Council was right and Arius wrong. Wikipedia has to be neutral, not take sides. Dudley Miles (talk) 21:49, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Homoousianism was more novel than Homoiousianism. It seems therefore that the later innovation was accepted as orthodoxy, to the detriment of the older teaching. Let me rephrase it: before Arius Homoousianism and Homoiousianism did not exist. Arius noticed that the orthodoxy of his time left some stuff about God unexplained and he offered an explanation which seemed perfectly orthodox to him and to many other Christians. Alexander disagreed with Arius's explanation, so Alexander devised Homoousianism as a response to Arius's teachings. So, Homoiousianism was first, Homoousianism appeared only as an alternative explanation in order to challenge Homoiousianism. Obviously, theologians noticed that they could not be both right, so they had to choose between the two views. But the choice wasn't easy and was not in any way foreseen by the orthodoxy previously to Arius. Homoousianism was a political choice which made many orthodox Christians unhappy; the choice was dictated by Constantine's wish of having a united Christianity, instead of a Christianity split between two major parties. He had no understanding of the details of the debate, he merely wanted that one side prevails and defines what Christianity means. Later, he wanted to conciliate the two factions, so he advocated for the exoneration of Arius, which got rubber stamped by the bishops. And it was merely a caprice of history that Homoousianism won in the long term, it wasn't written in the stars that Homoousianism would win and historians of Christianity have no access to the will of God, so they cannot tell us if this is what God wanted. The idea that Homoousianism prevailed because this was the will of God is theology, it isn't history. Historians have no access to God, as Bart Ehrman emphatically stated. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:59, 28 August 2018 (UTC)