The Pre-Existence of The Son of God


The Oneness Pentecostal pastor Steven Ritchie claims: Jesus Christ is the full incarnation of the only true God the Father who became a man. Therefore the title Son of Man is an incarnational title which proves that the Son is the man who could not have pre-existed His birth as an eternally born Son.


It is not much good to have the same Bible if you are tricked by a new dictionary. Trinitarians believe what the Bible teaches: Jesus, Christ, Jesus Christ, are all names for just the eternal Son of God, not the Father.


All agree that the title "Son of Man" is an incarnational title. But the title "Son of God" is not, just like Father is not. The titles of Jesus "Son of David" (Rev 22:16), "Root of Jesse" (Isaiah 11:10) are also incarnational, but they don't disprove either the deity or eternality of Jesus Son of God either. Just as the title "Jesus of Nazareth" does not deny the pre-existence of Jesus either.


Denying the pre-existence of the Son of God can lead to serious error. Why do you deny that Christ, by whom all things were made, is the same person who suffered and died on the cross for our sins?


1. One God: inseparable, but distinct also

There is one (and only one) true God. (Dt 4:35-39; 6:4; Mk 12:29-33; Isa 43:10-12; 44:6,8,24; 45:5-6,14,21; 46:9; Joel 2:27; Mal 2:10; 1 Tim 1:17; 2:5; 6:15-16)

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not separate, but distinct (Mt 3:16-17; Lk 3:21-22; Jn 1:1; 6:38; 14:31; 15:26; 16:28; 17:5; Acts 5:31-32; Heb 5:7-8.)


1.2 The early church Christians believed the Trinity too.

(TheoA, ClemA, Tert, Hipp, Orig, Nov, AgainstNov, CypC, Firm, 7th Council (2), GregT, DionA, DionR, Method, AlexA. Partial: JM, Evarestus, Athen, Iren, Scill, PeterA)

I bring up the early Christians, many of whom spoke New Testament Greek, because they learned under the apostles and their disciples.


2. The Son of God appeared in the Old Testament

Proverbs 30:4b "What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know?"

Daniel 3:25 "'Look!' he answered, 'I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.'"

Multi-personal God: Genesis 1:26; 18:12; Isaiah 6:8

4.2 The early church believed similar. (Justin, Theo-philus, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Novatian)


3. The Bible teaches us that all things were made through the Son


Hebrews 1:2 [God] "has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;"


3.2 The early church believed the Bible. (Athen, Mel, TheoA, Iren, ClemA, Tert, Hipp, Orig, Nov, GregT, DionA, VictP, LucA. Partial: Herm)


Colossians 1:15 "He [the Son of His love] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have preeminence."


4. The Bible teaches that all things were made through Christ (Colossians 1:16-17, the Word in Jn 1:1) who suffered and died for us (Hebrews 5:8)

Colossians 1:22 "in the body of His [Christ's] flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight"


Matthew 27:45 "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'"

Who was it that said He was forsaken by God?


Romans 14:9 "For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living."


4.2 At least 24 early church writers believed the Bible on the pre-existence of the Son.


5. But the Son's human body was created in Mary of (ek) the Holy Ghost. (Mt 1:18,20)


6. The mystery of Christ Jesus (Eph 3:4-6) was revealed and gloriously declared at His birth (1 Peter 1:20; Psalm 2:7; Heb 1:5b, 5:5). But His becoming the Son of God by incarnation does not deny Him being "with God" in the beginning. (John 1:1-2,10,14-15)


7. God the Father is the Father of Jesus

Luke 23:34 "Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.'" Who is Jesus' Father?


Romans 15:6 "that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Who is the Father of Jesus Christ?


From Rom 15:6; 2 Cor 1:3; 11:31; Eph 1:3; Col 1:3; 1 Pet 1:3, who is now the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?


Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."


Bring Forth Your Witnesses!


Steven Ritchie's website apostolic Faith, says:

The vast majority of the Christians living within the first 300 years of Christian history did not believe in a coequal and coeternal Son. Actually seven Christian writers used the word equal, co-equal, not unequal, etc, and none denied an equality of the Father and Son. But let's look at pre-existence.


Hebrews 1:2 [God] "has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;"


The theology of Steven Ritchie and David K. Bernard, is a new, innovative teaching, unknown and alien to early Christians. No early Christian can be found who denied the pre-existence of the Son of God.

No Sabellian heretics denied the pre-existence of the Son. - they taught they were merely different roles.

24 Early Christians are documented who believed in the pre-existence of the Son of God.

Clement of Rome (96-98 A.D.) (partial, Jesus Christ)

Ignatius of Antioch (100-107/116 A.D.) (implied)

Letter to Diognetus ch.11 p.29 (130-150 A.D.)

Letter of Barnabas (100-150 A.D.)

Justin Martyr (c.136-168 A.D.) (in time)

Shepherd of Hermas (c.160 A.D.)

Athenagoras (177 A.D.)

Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.)

Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.)

Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.)

Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.)

Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) (in time)

Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.)

Origen (250-254 A.D.)

Novatian (250/4-256/7 A.D.)

Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.)

Gregory Thaumaturgus (240-265 A.D.)

Dionysius of Alexandria (246-265 A.D.)

Dionysius of Rome (259-269 A.D.)

Adamantius (c.300 A.D.)

Victorinus of Petau (martyred 304 A.D.)

Lucian of Antioch (c.300-311 A.D.)

Methodius (270-311/312 A.D.)

Athanasius (c.318 A.D.) (partial before Nicea)

Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.)

Alexander of Alexandria (313-326 A.D.)


Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) "We have collected together extracts from the Law and the Prophets relating to those things which have been declared concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may prove to your love that this Being is perfect reason, the Word of God; He who was begotten before the light; He who is Creator together with the Father; He who is the Fashioner of man; He who is all in all; He who among the patriarchs is Patriarch; He who in the law is the Law; among the priests, Chief Priest; among kings, the Ruler; among prophets, the Prophet; among the angels, Archangel; in the voice of the preacher, the Word; among spirits, the Spirit; in the Father, the Son; in God, God; King for ever and ever. For this is He who was pilot to Noah; He who was guide to Abraham; He who was bound with Isaac; He who was in exile with Jacob; He who was sold with Joseph; He who was captain of the host with Moses; He who was the divider of the inheritance with Jesus the son of Nun; He who in David and the prophets announced His own sufferings; He who put on a bodily form in the Virgin; He who was born in Bethlehem; He who was wrapped in swaddling-clothes in the manger; He who was seen by the shepherds; He who was glorified by the angels; He who was worshipped by the Magi; He who was pointed out by John; He who gathered together the apostles; He who preached the kingdom; He who cured the lame; He who gave light to the blind; He who raised the dead; He who appeared in the temple; He who was not believed on by the people; He who was betrayed by Judas; He who was apprehended by the priests; He who was condemned by Pilate; He who was pierced in the flesh; He who was hanged on the tree; He who was buried in the earth; He who rose from the place of the dead; He who appeared to the apostles; He who was carried up to heaven; He who is seated at the right hand of the Father; He who is the repose of those that are departed; the recoverer of those that are lost; the light of those that are in darkness; the deliverer of those that are captive; the guide of those that go astray; the asylum of the afflicted; the bridegroom of the Church; the charioteer of the cherubim; the captain of the angels; God who is from God; the Son who is from the Father; Jesus Christ the King for evermore. Amen." On Faith (ANF vol.8) p.756


It is not enough to believe the words of the Bible if you are tricked by the new dictionary. As demonstrated from Scripture, the universe was created through the Son, through Christ who was the One who suffered and died for our sins, whose Father is God the Father.

(Bible Verses are from the NKJV.)


A Sabellian (Patripassian) would say that the Son existed before the incarnation because God did, and the Father and Son are merely different roles for the same, single person.


Answering Objections


Q: Is Pre-existence something that early Christians got from the Hellenistic Jew, Philo of Alexandria?

A: No. Early Christians did not refer to Philo much. Here are the only references to Philo of Alexandria.

Anatolius of Laodicea (270-280 A.D.) "And this may be learned from what Philo, and Josephus, and Musaeus have written;" Paschal Canon ch.3 p.147

Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) "And Philo interprets Hagar to mean 'sojourning.'" Stromata book 1 ch.5 p.306

Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) "The rest of the usual course of instruction, Greeks taught him in Egypt as a royal child, as Philo says in his life of Moses." Stromata book 1 ch.22 p.334-335

Origen (225-254 A.D.) "On this subject Philo has composed a treatise which deserves the thoughtful and intelligent investigation of all lovers of truth." Origen Against Celsus book 6 ch.21 p.583

Origen (225-254 A.D.) "He [Celsus] seems to refer in these words to the works of Philo, or to those of still older writers, such as Aristobulus." Origen Against Celsus book 4 ch.51 p.521

Among corrupt or spurious books

Pseudo-Justin Martyr (before 300 A.D.) "also the very well informed writers on Jewish affairs, Philo and Josephus, have mentioned Moses as a very ancient and time-honoured prince of the Jews." Justin's Hortatory Address to the Greeks ch.9 p.277 Also ch.10 p.277 and ch.13 p.279

A much simpler explanation is that they got it from the Bible, including John 1:1-15.


Q: Why trust Tertullian, if He did not know Greek?

A: Tertullian wrote in Latin, but Tertullian was familiar with Greek too, for he used Greek words to explain things. For example: A Treatise on the Soul ch.25 p.206

Tertullian was familiar with Hebrew. Five Books Against Marcion book 4 ch.39; Against Praxeas ch.5; Against the Jews ch.9.


The Audacity of the Incarnation


There is a TV show called Undercover Boss, where a company's CEO secretly gets hired as a low-level worker to see how things are going. It might be humiliating being told what to do, and not being good at a job. Now multiply that humiliation by a billion, and that is still less than the audacity of the humiliation that Jesus suffered as a man. Oops! Some oneness don't think "Jesus" was a man. Anyway, here is that Hippolytus said about "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5-6)


Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.) "Thus then, too, though demonstrated as God, He does not refuse the conditions proper to Him as man, since He hungers and toils and thirsts in weariness, and flees in fear, and prays in trouble. And He who as God has a sleepless nature, slumbers on a pillow. And He who for this end came into the world, begs off from the cup of suffering. And in an agony He sweats blood, and is strengthened by an angel, who Himself strengthens those who believe on Him, and taught men to despise death by His work. And He who knew what manner of man Judas was, is betrayed by Judas. And He, who formerly was honoured by him as God, is contemned by Caiaphas. And He is set at nought by Herod, who is Himself to judge the whole earth. And He is scourged by Pilate, who took upon Himself our infirmities. And by the soldiers He is mocked, at whose behest stand thousands of thousands and myriads of myriads of angels and archangels. And He who fixed the heavens like a vault is fastened to the cross by the Jews. And He who is inseparable from the Father cries to the Father, and commends to Him His spirit; and bowing His head, He gives up the ghost, who said, 'I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again;' and because He was not overmastered by death, as being Himself Life, He said this: 'I lay it down of myself.' And He who gives life bountifully to all, has His side pierced with a spear. And He who raises the dead is wrapped in linen and laid in a sepulchre, and on the third day He is raised again by the Father, though Himself the Resurrection and the Life. For all these things has He finished for us, who for our sakes was made as we are. For 'Himself hath borne our infirmities, and carried our diseases; and for our sakes He was afflicted,' as Isaiah the prophet has said. This is He who was hymned by the angels, and seen by the shepherds, and waited for by Simeon, and witnessed to by Anna. This is He who was inquired after by the wise men, and indicated by the star; He who was engaged in His Father's house, and pointed to by John, and witnessed to by the Father from above in the voice, 'This is my beloved Son; hear ye Him.' He is crowned victor against the devil. This is Jesus of Nazareth, who was invited to the marriage-feast in Cana, and turned the water into wine, and rebuked the sea when agitated by the violence of the winds, and walked on the deep as on dry land, and caused the blind man from birth to see, and raised Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days, and did many mighty works, and forgave sins, and conferred power on the disciples, and had blood and water flowing from His sacred side when pierced with the spear." Against the Heresy of One Noetus ch.18 p.230


T5. The Son existed from ages past


John 1:1; 17:5; Hebrews 7:3


p46 Chester Beatty II - 1,680 verses 70% Paul + Hebrews (100-150 A.D.) Hebrews 7:3

p66 Bodmer II papyri - 817 verses (92%) of John (125-175 A.D.) John 1:1; 17:5

p45 Chester Beatty I - 833 verses (4 gospels + Acts) (200-225 A.D.) John 10:7-9; Luke 13:24 (partial)

p75 Luke 3:18-22; 3:33-4:2; 4:34-5:10; 5:37-6:4; 6:10-7:32; 7:35-39,41-43; 7:46-9:2; 9:4-17:15; 17:19-18:18; 22:4-24,53; John 1:1-11:45; 48-57; 12:3-13:1,8-9; 14:8-29;15:7-8; (175-225 A.D.) John 1:1; 17:5

Sinaitic Syriac (SyrS) (3rd/4th century) Matthew 1:1-6:10, 7:3-12:4; 12:6-25; 12:29-16:15; 18:11-20:24; 21:20-25:15; 25:17-20,25-26; 25:32-28:7; Mark 1:12-44; 2:21-4:17; 5:1-26; 6:5-16:18; Luke 1:36-5:28; 6:12-24:52; John 1:25-47; 2:16-4:37; 5:6-25; 5:46-18:31; 19:40-end. John 17:5

Vaticanus (B) Most of the Old Testament and all of New Testament up to Hebrews 9:15 (325-350 A.D.) John 1:1; 17:5

Sinaiticus (340-350 A.D.) John 1:1; 17:5


Clement of Rome (96-98 A.D.) (partial, Jesus Christ) "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and with all everywhere that are the called of God through Him, by whom be to Him glory, honour, power, majesty, and eternal dominion, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen." 1 Clement ch.59 vol.1 p.21. See also vol.9 ch.65 p.248

Ignatius of Antioch (-107/116 A.D.) (implied) "I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life." Letter of Ignatius to the Romans ch.7 p.77

Ignatius of Antioch (-107/116 A.D.) (partial, Jesus Christ) "who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time and in the end was revealed." Letter of Ignatius to the Magnesians ch.6 p.61 [Greek, Latin is similar]

Ignatius of Antioch (-107/116 A.D.) "Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the ages, and in the end was revealed." Letter of Ignatius to the Ephesians ch.7 p.52

Letter to Diognetus ch.11 p.29 (130-150 A.D.) "This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is He, who, being from everlasting, is to-day called the Son;"

Letter of Barnabas (100-150 A.D.) ch.5 p.140 "For the Scripture says concerning us, while He speaks to the Son, 'Let us make man after Our image, and after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the beasts of the earth, the fowls of heaven, and the fishes of the sea.'" [Genesis 1:26]

Justin Martyr (c.136-168 A.D.) "I shall give you another testimony, my friends, from the Scriptures, that God begot before all creatures a Beginning, [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos;" Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew ch.61 p.227

Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.) "In saying, therefore, 'as one of us, '[Moses] has declared that [there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two. For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you (The Jews had their own heresies which supplied many things to the Christian heresies) is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that [God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures." Dialogue of Justin Martyr with Trypho, a Jew ch.62 p.228

Shepherd of Hermas (c.160 A.D.) book 3 ninth similitude ch.12 p.47 says that the Son of God is older than all His creatures, and "He was a fellow-councillor with the Father in His work of creation."

Tatian's Diatessaron (died 172 A.D.) section 1 p.43 (partial, Word) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God is the Word. This was in the beginning with God. Everything was by his hand, and without him not even one existing thing was made."

Athenagoras (177 A.D.) "But the Son of God is the Logos of the Father, in idea and in operation; for after the pattern of Him and by Him were all things made, the Father and the Son being one. And, the Son being in the Father and the Father in the Son, in oneness and power of spirit, the understanding and reason of the Father is the Son of God. But if, in your surpassing intelligence, it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by the Son, I will state briefly that He is the first product of the Father, not as having been brought into existence (for from the beginning, God, who is the eternal mind [nous], had the Logos in Himself, being from eternity instinct [distinct] with Logos [logikos]); but inasmuch as He came forth to be the idea and energizing power of all material things," A Plea for Christians ch.10 p.133

Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) says the Jesus is the firstborn of God, begotten before the sun. vol.8 ch.5 p.757

Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) "We have collected together extracts from the Law and the Prophets relating to those things which have been declared concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may prove to your love that this Being is perfect reason, the Word of God; He who was begotten before the light; He who is Creator together with the Father; He who is the Fashioner of man; He who is all in all; He who among the patriarchs is Patriarch; He who in the law is the Law; among the priests, Chief Priest; among kings, the Ruler; among prophets, the Prophet; among the angels, Archangel; in the voice of the preacher, the Word; among spirits, the Spirit; in the Father, the Son; in God, God; King for ever and ever. For this is He who was pilot to Noah; He who was guide to Abraham; He who was bound with Isaac; He who was in exile with Jacob; He who was sold with Joseph; He who was captain of the host with Moses; He who was the divider of the inheritance with Jesus the son of Nun; He who in David and the prophets announced His own sufferings; He who put on a bodily form in the Virgin; He who was born in Bethlehem; He who was wrapped in swaddling-clothes in the manger; He who was seen by the shepherds; He who was glorified by the angels; He who was worshipped by the Magi; He who was pointed out by John; He who gathered together the apostles; He who preached the kingdom; He who cured the lame; He who gave light to the blind; He who raised the dead; He who appeared in the temple; He who was not believed on by the people; He who was betrayed by Judas; He who was apprehended by the priests; He who was condemned by Pilate; He who was pierced in the flesh; He who was hanged on the tree; He who was buried in the earth; He who rose from the place of the dead; He who appeared to the apostles; He who was carried up to heaven; He who is seated at the right hand of the Father; He who is the repose of those that are departed; the recoverer of those that are lost; the light of those that are in darkness; the deliverer of those that are captive; the guide of those that go astray; the asylum of the afflicted; the bridegroom of the Church; the charioteer of the cherubim; the captain of the angels; God who is from God; the Son who is from the Father; Jesus Christ the King for evermore. Amen." On Faith in ANF vol.8 ch.4 p.756

Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) vol.8 ch.2 p.756 in his Discourse on the Cross says that Jesus "was born man". In On the Nature of Christ ch.7 Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.8 p.760 says, "His soul and His body, His human nature like ours, were real, and no phantom of the imagination. ... For, being at once both God and perfect man likewise, He gave us sure indications of His two natures: of His Deity, by His miracles during the three years that elapsed after His baptism; of His humanity, during the thirty similar periods which preceded His baptism, ... He was the true God existing before all ages."

Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) "For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. But what else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son?" Later he quotes John 1:1 as by John in the holy writings. Theophilus to Autolycus book 2 ch.22 p.103

Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.) says "the Word, namely the Son, was always with the Father; and that Wisdom also, which is the Spirit, was present with Him, anterior to all creation." He then goes on quoting Proverb 3:19,20 and so forth, showing that the Holy Spirit is the third person. Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.20.3 p.488

Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.) "His only-begotten Word, who is always present with the human race, united to an mingled with his own creation, according to the Father's pleasure, and who became flesh, is Himself Jesus Christ our Lord," Irenaeus Against Heresies book 3 ch.16.6 p.442

Irenaeus of Lyons (182-188 A.D.) "It was not angels, therefore, who made us, nor who formed us, neither had angels power to make an image of God, nor any one else, except the Word of the Lord, nor any Power remotely distant from the Father of all things. For God did not stand in need of these [beings], in order to the accomplishing of what He had Himself determined with Himself beforehand should be done, as if He did not possess His own hands. For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, 'Let Us make man after Our image and likeness;'" [Genesis 1:26] Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.20.1 p.487

Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) "For when he says, 'That which was from the beginning,' he touches upon the generation without beginning of the Son, who is co-existent with the Father. There was; then, a Word importing an unbeginning eternity; as also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God, who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreate. That He was always the Word, is signified by saying, 'In the beginning was the Word.' But by the expression, 'we have seen with our eyes,' he signifies the Lord's presence in the flesh, 'and our hands have handled,' he says, 'of the Word of life.' He means not only His flesh, but the virtues of the Son, like the sunbeam which penetrates to the lowest places,-this sunbeam coming in the flesh became palpable to the disciples." Comments on the First Epistle of John In Cassiodorus' Latin translation p.574

Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) "And we also have already heard that angels learned the truth, and their rulers over them; for they had a beginning. It remains, then, for us, ascending to seek their teacher. And since the unoriginated Being is one, the Omnipotent God; one, too, is the First-begotten, 'by whom all things were made, and without whom not one thing ever was made.' 'For one, in truth, is God, who formed the beginning of all things; 'pointing out 'the first-begotten Son,' Peter writes, accurately comprehending the statement, 'In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth.' And He is called Wisdom by all the prophets. This is He who is the Teacher of all created beings, the Fellow-counsellor of God, who foreknew all things;" Stromata book 6 ch.7 p.493

Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) quotes John 1:1 that in the beginning was the Word, etc. The Instructor book 1 ch.8 p.225

Tertullian (c.213 A.D.) "If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, 'let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness;' whereas He ought to have said, 'Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness,' as being a unique and singular Being? In the following passage, however, 'Behold the man is become as one of us,' He is either deceiving or amusing us in speaking plurally, if He is One only and singular. Or was it to the angels that He spoke, as the Jews interpret the passage, because these also acknowledge not the Son? Or was it because He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that He spoke to Himself in plural terms, making Himself plural on that very account? Nay, it was because He had already His Son close at His side, as a second Person, His own Word, and a third Person also, the Spirit in the Word, that He purposely adopted the plural phrase, 'Let us make;' and, 'in our image;' and, 'become as one of us.'" Against Praxeas ch.12 p.606

Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "In the first place, because all things were made by the Word of God, and without Him was nothing made. Now the flesh, too, had its existence from the Word of God, because of the principle, that here should be nothing without that Word. 'Let us make man,' said He, before He created him, and added, 'with our hand,' for the sake of his pre-eminence, that so he might not be compared with the rest of creation." On the Resurrection of the Flesh ch.5 p.549

Tertullian (207/208 A.D.) says that Christ existed from ages past and appeared on the earth. Five Books Against Marcion book 5 ch.19 p.470

Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "Since then he is the image of the Creator (for He, when looking on Christ His Word, who was to become man, said, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness"), how can I possibly have another head but Him whose image I am? For if I am the image of the Creator there is no room in me for another head" Five Books Against Marcion book 5 ch.8 p.445

Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.) "they killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is coeternal with the Father." Expository Treatise Against the Jews ch.7 p.220

Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.) quotes Psalm 110:3 and says the God the Father had begotten Jesus before the morning star. Against the Heresy of One Noetus ch.15 p.229

Origen (250-254 A.D.) "For the Son of God, 'the First-born of all creation,' although He seemed recently to have become incarnate, is not by any means on that account recent. For the holy Scriptures know Him to be the most ancient of all the works of creation; for it was to Him that God said regarding the creation of man, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness." Origen Against Celsus book 5 ch.37 p.560

Origen (225-254 A.D.) "there was no time when the beginning was devoid of the Word" Commentary on John book 2 ch.13 p.334

Origen (225-254 A.D.) says that Jesus pre-existed with God, and all things were made through Him. Commentary on John book 2 ch.5 p.327-328

Origen (c.240 A.D.) says that Christ was with Moses, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. Homilies on Jeremiah homily 9 ch.1 p.86

Novatian (250-257 A.D.) "He then, since He was begotten of the Father, is always in the Father. And I thus say always, that I may show Him not to be unborn, but born. But He who is before all time must be said to have been always in the Father; for no time can be assigned to Him who is before all time. And He is always in the Father, unless the Father be not always Father, only that the Father precedes Him, - in a certain sense," Concerning the Trinity ch.31 p.643

Novatian (250/4-256/7 A.D.) says that Jesus was in heaven before the foundation of the world. Treatise on the Trinity ch.16 p.626. All things were created and founded by the Son of God, that is, by the Word of God. Then he quotes John 1:3. Treatise Concerning the Trinity ch.17 p.626. See also p.624.

Novatian (250-257 A.D.) "For who does not acknowledge that the person of the Son is second after the Father, when he reads that it was said by the Father, consequently to the Son, 'Let us make man in our image and our likeness;' and that after this it was related, 'And God made man, in the image of God made He him?' Or when he holds in his hands: 'The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord from heaven?'" Concerning the Trinity ch.26. p.636

Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) And that Melchizedek bore a type of Christ, the Holy Spirit declares in the Psalms, saying from the person of the Father to the Son: 'Before the morning star I begat Thee; Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek;'" Letters of Cyprian Letter 62 ch.4 p.359

Cyprian of Carthage (c.248-256 A.D.) quotes John 1:1 Treatise of Cyprian Treatise 12 Second book ch.6 p.518

Gregory Thaumaturgus (240-265 A.D.) "Wherefore there is nothing either created or in servitude in the Trinity; nor anything superinduced, as if at some former period it was non-existent, and at some later period it was introduced. And thus neither was the Son ever wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son; but without variation and without change, the same Trinity abideth ever." A Declaration of Faith p.7

Dionysius of Alexandria (246-265 A.D.) ch.1 "There certainly was not a time when God was not the Father" ch.4 "Since, therefore, the Father is eternal, the Son also is eternal, Light of Light. For where there is the begetter, there is also the offspring. And if there is no offspring, how and of what can He be the begetter? But both are, and always are." Letter 4 Letter to Dionysius, bishop of Rome p.92

Dionysius of Rome (259-269 A.D.) "For if the Son was made, there was a time when He was not; but He always was, if, as He Himself declares, He is undoubtedly in the Father. And if Christ is the Word, the Wisdom, and the Power,-for the divine writings tell us that Christ is these, as ye yourselves know,-assuredly these are powers of God. Wherefore, if the Son was made, there was a time when these were not in existence; and thus there was a time when God was without these things, which is utterly absurd." Against the Sabellians (ANF vol.7) ch.2 p.365

Adamantius (c.300 A.D.) "I believe in One God, Creator and Maker of all things; and in God the Word, Who was born of Him, of the same Essence, and exists eternally. In the last time He assumed human form through Mary, was crucified and rose from the dead. I also believe the Holy Spirit, existing eternally." [Adamantius is speaking] Dialogue on the True Faith first part ch.2 p.37

Victorinus of Petau (martyred 304 A.D.) "Moreover, we say that the measure of God's temple is the command of God to confess the Father Almighty, and that His Son Christ was begotten by the Father before the beginning of the world, and was made man in very soul and flesh," Commentary on the Apocalypse from the 11th chapter no.1 p.354

Victorinus of Petau (martyred 304 A.D.) quotes John 1:1 On the Creation of the World p.343.

Lucian of Antioch (c.300-311 A.D.) "And if any one, contrary to the right faith of the Scriptures, teaches and says there has been a season or time or age before the Son of God was begotten, let him be accursed." Creed of Lucian of Antioch in The Creeds of Christendom by Philip Schaff vol.2 p.27-28

Lucian of Antioch (c.300-311 A.D.) "one Lord Jesus Christ His Son, ... who was begotten of the Father before all ages" Creed of Lucian of Antioch in The Creeds of Christendom by Philip Schaff vol.2 p.26

Methodius (270-311/312 A.D.) "For the kingdom of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one, even as their substance is one and their dominion one. Whence also, with one and the same adoration, we worship the one Deity in three Persons, subsisting without beginning, uncreate, without end, and to which there is no successor. For neither will the Father ever cease to be the Father, nor again the Son to be the Son and King, nor the Holy Ghost to be what in substance and personality He is. For nothing of the Trinity will suffer diminution, either in respect of eternity, or of communion, or of sovereignty. For not on that account is the Son of God called king, because for our sakes He was made man," Oration on Psalms ch.5 p.397. (also The Banquet of the Ten Virgins discourse 8 ch.10 p.338 and ch.11 p.339)

Methodius (270-311/312 A.D.) (Partial, Jesus) says that Jesus was in the beginning with God, being God. The Banquet of the Ten Virgins discourse 3 ch.6 p.318.

Athanasius (c.318 A.D.) (partial) "But in fact He did not do so; but He gives the command thus: "Let us make man," and "let the green herb come forth." By which God is proved to be speaking about them to some one at hand: it follows then that some one was with Him to Whom He spoke when He made all things. 6. Who then could it be, save His Word? For to whom could God be said to speak, except His Word? Or who was with Him when He made all created Existence, except His Wisdom, which says "When He was making the heaven and the earth I was present with Him?" But in the mention of heaven and earth, all created things in heaven and earth are included as well. 7. But being present with Him as His Wisdom and His Word, looking at the Father He fashioned the Universe, and organised it and gave it order; and, as He is the power of the Father, He gave all things strength to be, as the Saviour says "What things soever I see the Father doing, I also do in like manner." And His holy disciples teach that all things were made "through Him and unto Him;'" Against the Heathen ch.46 p.29

Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.) mentions that Jesus was Son of God from the beginning, but born a second time by the virgin Mary. The Divine Institutes book 4 ch.8 p.106.

Alexander of Alexandria (313-326 A.D.) Wherefore without delay, brethren beloved, I have stirred myself up to show you the faithlessness of these men who say that there was a time when the Son of God was not; and that He who was not before, came into existence afterwards, becoming such, when at length He was made, even as every man is wont to be born. Epistles on the Arian Heresy Epistle 1 ch.2 p.292

Alexander of Alexandria (313-326 A.D.) "And how, if the Son is the Word or Wisdom and Reason of God, was there a time when He was not? It is all one as if they said, that there was a time when God was without reason and wisdom. How, also, can He be changeable and mutable, who says indeed by Himself: 'I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,'" Epistles on the Arian Heresy Epistle 2 ch.3 p.297-298

Alexander of Alexandria (313-326 A.D.) (implied) says that God sent down from heaven His incorporeal Son to take flesh. Epistles on the Arian Heresy Epistle 5.5 p.300


T6. All things were created through Christ / the Son of God


John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2


p46 Chester Beatty II - 1,680 verses 70% Paul + Hebrews (100-150 A.D.) Hebrews 1:2

p66 Bodmer II papyri - 817 verses (92%) of John (125-175 A.D.) John 1:3,10

p75 Luke 3:18-22; 3:33-4:2; 4:34-5:10; 5:37-6:4; 6:10-7:32; 7:35-39,41-43; 7:46-9:2; 9:4-17:15; 17:19-18:18; 22:4-24,53; John 1:1-11:45; 48-57; 12:3-13:1,8-9; 14:8-29;15:7-8; (175-225 A.D.) John 1:3,10

Vaticanus (B) Most of the Old Testament and all of New Testament up to Hebrews 9:15 (325-350 A.D.) John 1:3,10

Sinaiticus (340-350 A.D.) John 1:3,10


Shepherd of Hermas (c.160 A.D.) book 3 ninth similitude ch.12 p.47 (partial) says that the Son of God is older than all His creatures, and "He was a fellow-councillor with the Father in His work of creation."

Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) says Jesus made the heaven and earth, in the beginning together with the Father, fashioned man. discourse ch.5 Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.8 p.757.

Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) (partial) says that Jesus is Creator with the Father. From the discourse on Soul and Body ch.2 Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.8 p.756

Melito of Sardis (170-177/180 A.D.) (implied) says that God created haven and earth and everything in them through the Word. On Pascha p.49

Athenagoras (177 A.D.) says, "Nor let any one think it ridiculous that God should have a Son. ... But the Son of God is the Logos of the Father, in idea and operation; for after the pattern of Him and by Him were all things made, the Father and the Son being one. And, the Son being in the Father and the Father in the Son,..." A Plea for Christians ch.10 p.133

Athenagoras (177 A.D.) "That we are not atheists, therefore, seeing that we acknowledge one God, uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassible, incomprehensible, illimitable, who is apprehended by the understanding only and the reason, who is encompassed by light, and beauty, and spirit, and power ineffable, by whom the universe has been created through His Logos, and set in order, and is kept in being-I have sufficiently demonstrated. [I say 'His Logos'], for we acknowledge also a Son of God." A Plea for Christians ch.10 p.133

Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) says that all things came into existence through the Word. Theophilus to Autolycus book 2 ch.22 p.103

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) quotes John 1:3 and says all things were made through the Word, and nothing. Irenaeus Against Heresies book 1 ch.22.1 p.347. See also book 3 ch.8.3 p.421

Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) says that all things were made through the Word [Christ] and quotes John 1:3. The Instructor book 1 ch.11 p.234. See also Stromata (193-202 A.D.) book 6 ch.15 p.509

Tertullian (c.213 A.D.) quotes John 1 and says without the Son nothing was made. Against Praxeas ch.21 p.615. Also ch.15 p.611

Hippolytus bishop of Portus (222-235/236 A.D.) says that by Him [Jesus] God made all things. Against the Heresy of One Noetus ch.10 p.227

Origen (225-254 A.D.) "'We answered to the best of our ability this objection to God's 'commanding this first, second, and third thing to be created,' when we quoted the words, 'He said, and it was done; He commanded, and all things stood fast;' remarking that the immediate Creator, and, as it were, very Maker of the world was the Word, the Son of God; while the Father of the Word, by commanding His own Son-the Word-to create the world, is primarily Creator." Origen Against Celsus book 6 ch.60 p.600-601

Origen (225-254 A.D.) quotes John 1:3a and discusses how all things were made through Christ. Commentary on John book 2 ch.6 p.328. See also ibid book 2 ch.9 p.331.

Novatian (250/4-256/7 A.D.) says that all things were created and founded by the Son of God, that is, by the Word of God. And quotes John 1:3. Treatise Concerning the Trinity ch.17 p.626. Also ch.13 p.623

Gregory Thaumaturgus (246-265 A.D.) says that Christ is the "Maker and Ruler of all things" Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen argument 4 p.24

Dionysius of Alexandria (246-265 A.D.) "There was never a time when God was not the Father." Letter to Dionysius of Rome book 1 ch.1 p.92

Victorinus of Petau (martyred 304 A.D.) quotes John 1:1 and says that all things were made through Christ. On the Creation of the World ch.1.4 p.342

Lucian of Antioch (c.300-311 A.D.) "one Lord Jesus Christ His Son, the only-begotten God through whom all things were made" Creed of Lucian of Antioch in The Creeds of Christendom by Philip Schaff vol.2 p.26

Athanasius (318 A.D.) says that all things were made through Christ. Incarnation of the Word part 3 ch.46 p.29. Also Incarnation of the Word ch.2 p.37.

Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.) quotes John 1:3 that all things were created through Christ. The Divine Institutes book 4 ch.8 p.107.

Alexander of Alexandria (313-326 A.D.) says that all things were made through Christ Epistles on the Arian Heresy Epistle 1 ch.4 p.292


T21. An Equality of the Father and Son


Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) For it was not without divine care that so great a work was accomplished in so brief a space by the Lord, who, though despised as to appearance, was in reality adored, the expiator of sin, the Saviour, the clement, the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son, and the Word was in God, not disbelieved in by all when He was first preached, nor altogether unknown when, assuming the character of man, and fashioning Himself in flesh, He enacted the drama of human salvation: for He was a true champion and a fellow-champion with the creature. Exhortation to the Heathen ch.10 p.202

Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) "For when he says, 'That which was from the beginning,' he touches upon the generation without beginning of the Son, who is co-existent with the Father. There was; then, a Word importing an unbeginning eternity; as also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God, who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreate. That He was always the Word, is signified by saying, 'In the beginning was the Word.' But by the expression, 'we have seen with our eyes,' he signifies the Lord's presence in the flesh, 'and our hands have handled,' he says, 'of the Word of life.' He means not only His flesh, but the virtues of the Son, like the sunbeam which penetrates to the lowest places,-this sunbeam coming in the flesh became palpable to the disciples." Comments on the First Epistle of John In Cassiodorus' Latin translation p.574

Tertullian (c.213 A.D.) "...but unity of essence, likeness, conjunction, affection on the Father's part, who loves the Son, and submission on the Son's, who obeys the Father's will. When He says, 'I and my Father are one' in essence-Unum-He shows that there are Two, whom He puts on an equality and unites in one." Against Praxeas ch.22 p.618

Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "For so did the Father previously say to the Son: 'Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.' And God made man, that is to say, the creature which He moulded and fashioned; after the image of God (in other words, of Christ) did He make him And the Word was God also, who being in the image of God, 'thought it not robbery to be equal to God.'" On the Resurrection of the Flesh ch.6 p.549

Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.) (implied) "Among Christians it is settled as the doctrine of piety, that, according to nature itself, and to the activity and to whatever else pertains thereunto, God is equal and the same with Himself, having nothing that is His unequal to Himself at all and heterogeneous. If, then, according to Beron, the flesh that He assumed to Himself became possessed of the like natural energy with them, it is evident that it also became possessed of the like nature with Him in all wherein that nature consists,-to wit, non-origination, non-generation, infinitude, eternity, incomprehensibility, and whatever else in the way of the transcendent the theological mind discerns in deity; and thus they both underwent conversion, neither the one nor the other preserving any more the substantial relation of its own proper nature. For he who recognises an identical operation in things of unlike nature, introduces at the same time a fusion of natures and a separation of persons, their natural existence being made entirely undistinguishable by the transference of properties." Against Beron and Helix fragment 6 p.233

Origen (225-254 A.D.) He who is 'humble and becomingly adorned,' is so in a greater degree than Plato's 'humble and becomingly adorned' individual: for he is becomingly adorned, on the one hand, because 'he walks in things great and wonderful,' which are beyond his capacity; and humble, on the other hand, because, while being in the midst of such, he yet voluntarily humbles himself, not under any one at random, but under 'the mighty hand of God,' through Jesus Christ, the teacher of such instruction, 'who did not deem equality with God a thing to be eagerly clung to, but made Himself of no reputation, and took on Him the form of a servant, and being found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.' Origen Against Celsus book 6 ch.15 p.580

Novatian (250-257 A.D.) "And His [the Son's] divinity is thus declared, that it may not appear by any dissonance or inequality of divinity to have caused two Gods." Concerning the Trinity ch.31 p.644

Novatian (250-257 A.D.) "For all things are after Him, because they are by Him. And reasonably, He is before all things, but after the Father, since all things were made by Him, and He proceeded from Him of whose will all things were made. Assuredly God proceeding from God, causing a person second to the Father as being the Son, but not taking from the Father that characteristic that He is one God. For if He had not been born-compared with Him who was unborn, an equality being manifested in both-He would make two unborn beings, and thus would make two Gods. If He had not been begotten-compared with Him who was not begotten, and as being found equal-they not being begotten, would have reasonably given two Gods, and thus Christ would have been the cause of two Gods. Had He been formed without beginning as the Father, and He Himself the beginning of all things as is the Father, this would have made two beginnings, and consequently would have shown to us two Gods also. Or if He also were not the Son, but the Father begetting from Himself another Son, reasonably, as compared with the Father, and designated as great as He, He would have caused two Fathers, and thus also He would have proved the existence of two Gods." Concerning the Trinity ch.31 p.643

Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) "Also Paul to the Philippians: 'Who, being appointed in the figure of God, thought it not robbery that He was equal with God; but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, He was made in the likeness of man, and was found in fashion as a man. He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, and the death of the cross. For which cause also God hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name, that it may be above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowed, of things heavenly, and earthly, and infernal; and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in glory of God the Father.'" Treatises of Cyprian Treatise 12 part 3 ch.39 p.545

Alexander of Alexandria (313-326 A.D.) "That He is equally with the Father unchangeable and immutable, wanting in nothing, and the perfect Son, and like to the Father, we have learnt; in this alone is He inferior to the Father, that He is not unbegotten." Epistles on the Arian Heresy Letter 1 ch.12 p.295


Among corrupt or spurious works

pseudo-Methodius (after 312 A.D.) "and that Christ having thus suffered in the flesh, and having risen again the third day, might, with equal honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be by all created things equally adored; for to Him every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, sending up glory to Him, for ever and ever." Oration on Psalms ch.7 p.398


m2. Jesus appeared on earth prior to His birth


Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.) says that Jesus was one of the three who appeared to Abraham. Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew ch.56 p.223

Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) Theophilus to Autolycus book 2 ch.22 p.103

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) shows that Jesus appeared with the Ananias, Azarias, and Misael in the fire, and was the stone cut out of the mountain without hands in Daniel. Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.20.11 p.491

Irenaeus (170-212 A.D.) Demonstration of the Apostolic Teaching teaches that all of the OT Theophanies were appearances of Christ. It was Christ, "the Word of God," who walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden "prefiguring what was to come to pass in the future, how He would become man's fellow, and talk with him, and come among mankind, teaching them justice" (Dem. 12).79 It was Christ, "the Son of God," who appeared to Abraham as God and Lord in Genesis 18; 80 to Jacob in Genesis 28; 81 and to Moses in Exodus 3.82 In fact, it was not God the Father "but the Word of God, who was always with mankind, and foretold what was to come to pass in the future, and acquainted man with God" (Dem. 45). See http://www.earlychurch.org.uk/pdf/angel_juncker.pdf

Tertullian (c.213 A.D.) says that the appearances of God in the Old Testament were appearances of the Son, not the Father. Against Praxeas ch.21 p.616

Novatian (250/4-256/7 A.D.) mentions that the Son was one of the three angels visiting Abraham. Concerning the Trinity ch.18 p.628


T16. God the Son


Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.) "'And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God, and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said.' Then I repeated once more all that I had previously quoted from Exodus, about the vision in the bush, and the naming of Joshua (Jesus), and continued: 'And do not suppose, sirs, that I am speaking superfluously when I repeat these words frequently: but it is because I know that some wish to anticipate these remarks, and to say that the power sent from the Father of all which appeared to Moses, or to Abraham, or to Jacob, is called an Angel because He came to men (for by Him the commands of the Father have been proclaimed to men); is called Glory, because He appears in a vision sometimes that cannot be borne; is called a Man, and a human being, because He appears strayed in such forms as the Father pleases; and they call Him the Word, because He carries tidings from the Father to men: but maintain that this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as they say that the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the heavens; as when it sinks, the light sinks along with it; so the Father, when He chooses, say they, causes His power to spring forth, and when He chooses, He makes it return to Himself. In this way, they teach, He made the angels. But it is proved that there are angels who always exist, and are never reduced to that form out of which they sprang. And that this power which the prophetic word calls God, as has been also amply demonstrated, and Angel, is not numbered [as different] in name only like the light of the sun but is indeed something numerically distinct, I have discussed briefly in what has gone before; when I asserted that this power was begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided; as all other things partitioned and divided are not the same after as before they were divided: and, for the sake of example, I took the case of fires kindled from a fire, which we see to be distinct from it, and yet that from which many can be kindled is by no means made less, but remains the same." Dialogue with Trypho a Jew ch.128 p.264

Athenagoras (177 A.D.) "The Holy Spirit Himself also, which operates in the prophets, we assert to be an effluence of God, flowing from Him, and returning back again like a beam of the sun. Who, then, would not be astonished to hear men who speak of God the Father, and of God the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and who declare both their power in union and their distinction in order, called atheists?" A Plea for Christians ch.10 p.133

Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) "protected as it is by the power of God the Father, and the blood of God the Son, and the dew of the Holy Spirit." Who is the Rich Man That Shall be Saved? ch.36 p.601

Novatian (250/4-256/7 A.D.) "For this contempt of the heretics will recoil also upon God the Father, if God the Father could not beget God the Son. But, moreover, no blindness of the heretics shall prescribe to the truth." Concerning the Trinity ch.11 p.620

Gregory Thaumaturgus (246-265 A.D.) "in whom is manifested God the Father, who is above all and in all, and God the Son, who is through all. There is a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided nor estranged." Declaration of Faith p.7

Lactantius (c.303-c.325 A.D.) "When we speak of God the Father and God the Son, we do not speak of them as different, nor do we separate each: because the Father cannot exist without the Son, nor can the Son be separated from the Father, since the name of Father cannot be given without the Son, nor can the Son be begotten without the Father." The Divine Institutes book 4 ch.29 p.132


m2. Jesus appeared on earth prior to His birth


Justin Martyr (c.150 A.D.) writes how God appeared to Moses in the flame out of the bush. Justin believed it specifically was not the Father that appeared, but Christ. First Apology of Justin Martyr ch.63 p.184.

Justin Martyr (c.138-165 A.D.) says that Jesus was one of the three who appeared to Abraham. Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew ch.56 p.223

Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) "The God and Father, indeed, of all cannot be contained, and is not found in a place, for there is no place of His rest; but His Word, through whom He made all things, being His power and His wisdom, assuming the person of the Father and Lord of all, went to the garden in the person of God, and conversed with Adam." Theophilus to Autolycus book 2 ch.22 p.103

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) "But His Word [Christ],... For at one time He [Christ] was seen with those who were around Ananias, Azarias, Misael, as present with them in the furnace of fire, in the burning, and preserving them from [the effects of] fire: 'And the appearance of the fourth,' it is said, 'was like to the Son of God.'" Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.20.11 p.491

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) says the "Word" spoke to Moses through the bush, meaning Jesus. Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.29.2 p.502

Irenaeus (170-212 A.D.) Demonstration of the Apostolic Teaching teaches that all of the OT Theophanies were appearances of Christ. It was Christ, "the Word of God," who walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden "prefiguring what was to come to pass in the future, how He would become man's fellow, and talk with him, and come among mankind, teaching them justice" (Dem. 12).79 It was Christ, "the Son of God," who appeared to Abraham as God and Lord in Genesis 18; 80 to Jacob in Genesis 28; 81 and to Moses in Exodus 3.82 In fact, it was not God the Father "but the Word of God, who was always with mankind, and foretold what was to come to pass in the future, and acquainted man with God" (Dem. 45). See http://www.earlychurch.org.uk/pdf/angel_juncker.pdf

Tertullian (c.213 A.D.) says that the appearances of God in the Old Testament were appearances of the Son, not the Father. Against Praxeas ch.21 p.616

Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) taught that no one has seen the Father because no one can see God and lived. It was Jesus who spoke to Moses. An Answer to the Jews ch.8 p.163

Tertullian (198-205 A.D.) "...even Jesus the Creator. It was He who was seen by the king of Babylon in the furnace with His martyrs: 'the fourth, who was like the Son of man.'" Five Books Against Marcion book 4 ch.5 p.359

Tertullian (207/208 A.D.) says that it was Christ who appeared to Abraham. Five Books Against Marcion book 3 ch.9 p.329

Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.) in fragment 3 Commentary on Daniel ch.2.93 p.188 mentions that Jesus was in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, though Jesus was not yet born of a virgin.

Novatian (250/4-256/7 A.D.) mentions that the Son was one of the three angels visiting Abraham. Concerning the Trinity ch.18 p.628


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