Are Arians apart of the body of Christ? As someone who aligns with Arianism (Postmill-Arian-Christian), the goal of this blog article is to restore the Arian view by correcting inaccurate information regurgitated in modern times. Arians are followers of Yeshua as a part of the Church that differs from our Nicene Trinitarian brothers but is in unison with Yeshua's title, divinity and gospel. *Arians are not Oneness Pentecostals, Arians are not Unitarians, Arians are not Mormons, and Arians are not Jehovah's Witnesses.
Here are the foundational beliefs of a true Christian that are non-negotiable:
As a "church", we're burning a bridge to the gospel from potential believers by dismissing anyone who resonates with the Arian view as heretics which does more harm than good (John 17:20-26, 1 Corinthians 1:10-12) – aside from my own exegesis of scripture with various verses that support the Arian view before I ever heard about the true details of the Nicene Creed, learning about Arianism is what convinced me to return to Yeshua's gospel as if my heart was right all along...and the joy from that broke me down to tears. As my contribution to Arian-Christian Apologetics, below is my exegesis of how Arianism is not heretical to the Bible.
Arius' legitimate views and teachings were lost in history and misrepresented in the writings of his enemies, led by Athanasius and his followers. His most notable work titled "Thalia" only exists in quoted fragmentary form since it was burned and banned after The Nicene Creed. The only sources are mostly from writings by his opponents which of course twisted his original teaching (ie. implying that Arius taught "participation" as Yeshua's way of attaining (or maintaining) Godhood as if Yeshua had to earn his divinity, which is not found in any genuine Thalia excerpts!). Athanasius held that Yeshua and God the Father were "of the same substance (aka Homoousious)." We might call them "dualitarians" since the Holy Spirit had not been given the same status yet as a "person" within the divinity; that is, the doctrine of the Trinity had not yet been invented – the official Catholic doctrine was established with the addition of the Holy Spirit as the third persona of God in 381 CE at the First Council of Constantinople.
In contrast, an excerpt from Bart Ehrman's blog details the schism: "For Arius, by definition there could not be *two* beings who were “Almighty,” since then neither one of them could be All-mighty, since another being would be *just* as mighty. And so there can only be one Almighty. That would be God the Father. Christ, then, was a subordinate deity and there was a time before which he did not exist. As I indicated, some such view had been around for a very long time. It is attested in earlier theologians such as Tertullian just over a hundred years earlier, the theologian who first coined the term “the Trinity.” But by Arius’s day, there was another school of thought, and his bishop Alexander held to it." — so considering that historical fact from Bart's blog, the original Trinity was not the trinitarian view of today!
More Info on the Thalia (source: Fourth Century Christianity):
Αὐτὸς γοῦν ὁ θεὸς καθό ἐστιν ἄρρητος ἅπασιν ὑπάρχει.
ἴσον οὐδὲ ὅμοιον, οὐχ ὁμόδοξον ἔχει μόνος οὗτος.
ἀγέννητον δὲ αὐτόν φαμεν διὰ τὸν τὴν φύσιν γεννητόν·
τοῦτον ἄναρχον ἀνυμνοῦμεν διὰ τὸν ἀρχὴν ἔχοντα,
ἀίδιον δὲ αὐτὸν σέβομεν διὰ τὸν ἐν χρόνοις γεγαότα.
ἀρχὴν τὸν υἰὸν ἔθηκε τῶν γενητῶν ὁ ἄναρχος
καὶ ἤνεγκεν εἰς υἱὸν ἑαυτῷ τόνδε τεκνοποιήσας,
ἴδιον οὐδὲν ἔχει τοῦ θεοῦ καθ᾽¦ ὑπόστασιν ἰδιότητος,
οὐδὲ γάρ ἐστιν ἴσος, ἀλλ' οὐδὲ ὁμοούσιος αὐτῷ.
σοφὸς δέ ἐστιν ὁ θεός, ὅτι τῆς σοφίας διδάσκαλος αύτός.
ἱκανὴ δὲ ἀπόδειξις ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀόρατος ἅπασι,
τοῖς τε διὰ υἱοῦ καὶ αὐτῷ τῷ υἱῷ ἀόρατος ὁ αὐτός.
ῥητῶς δὲ λέχω, πῶς τῷ υἱῷ ὁρᾶται ὁ ἀόρατος·
τῇ δυνάμει ᾗ δύναται ὁ θεὸς ἰδεῖν· ἰδίοις τε μέτροις
ὑπομένει ὁ υἱὸς ἰδεῖν τὸν πατέρα, ὡς θέμις ἐστίν.
ἤγουν τριάς ἐστι δόξαις οὐχ ὁμοίαις, ἀνεπίμικτοι ἑαυταῖς εἰσιν αἱ ὑποστάσεις αὐτῶν,
μία τῆς μιᾶς ἐνδοξοτέρα δόξαις ἐπ' ἄπειρον.
ξένος τοῦ υἱοῦ κατ' οὐσίαν ὁ πατήρ, ὅτι ἄναρχος ὐπάρχει.
σύνες ὅτι ἡ μονὰς ἦν, ἡ δυὰς δὲ οὐκ ἦν, πρὶν ὑπάρξῃ.
αὐτίκα γοῦν υἱοῦ μὴ ὄντος ὁ πατὴρ θεός ἐστι.
λοιπὸν ὁ υἰὸς οὐκ ὢν (ὐπῆρξε δὲ θελήσει πατρῴᾳ)
μονογενὴς θεός ἐστι καὶ ἑκατέρων ἀλλότριος οὗτος.
ἡ σοφία σοφία ὑπῆρξε σοφοῦ θεοῦ θελήσει.
επινοεῖται γοῦν μυρίαις ὅσαις ἐπινοίαις πνεῦμα, δύναμις, σοφία,
δόξα θεοῦ, ἀλήθειά τε καὶ εἰκὼν καὶ λόγος οὗτος.
σύνες ὅτι καὶ ἀπαύγασμα καὶ φῶς ἐπινοεῖται.
ἴσον μὲν τοῦ υἱοῦ γεννᾶν δυνατός ἐστιν ὁ κρείττων,
διαφορώτερον δὲ ἢ κρείττονα ἢ μείζονα οὐχί.
θεοῦ ¦ θελήσει ὁ υἱὸς ἡλίκος καὶ ὅσος ἐστίν,
ἐξ ὅτε καὶ ἀφ' οὖ καὶ ἀπὸ τότε ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ὑπέστη,
ἰσχυρὸς θεὸς ὢν τὸν κρείττονα ἐκ μέρους ὑμνεῖ.
συνελόντι εἰπεῖν τῷ υἱῷ ὁ θεὀς ἄρρητος ὑπάρχει·
ἔστι γὰρ ἑαυτῷ ὅ ἐστι τοῦτ' ἔστιν ἄλεκτος,
ὥστε οὐδὲν τῶν λεγομένων κατά τε κατάληψιν συνίει ἐξειπεῖν ὁ υἱός.
ἀδύνατα γὰρ αὐτῷ τὸν πατέρα τε ἐξιχνιάσει, ὅς ἐστιν ἐφ' ἑαυτοῦ.
αὐτὸς γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ οὐσίαν οὐκ οἶδεν,
υἱὸς γὰρ ὢν θελήσει πατρὸς ὑπῆρξεν ἀληθῶς.
τίς γοῦν λόγος συγχωρεῖ τὸν ἐκ πατρὸς ὄντα
αὐτὸν τὸν γεννήσαντα γνῶναι ἐν καταλήψει;
δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι τὸ αρχὴν ἔχον, τὸν ἄναρχον, ὡς ἔστιν,
ἐμπερινοῆσαι ἢ ἐμπεριδράξασθαι οὐχ οἷόν τέ ἐστιν.
... And so God Himself, as he really is, is inexpressible to all.
He alone has no equal, no one similar, and no one of the same glory.
We call him unbegotten, in contrast to him who by nature is begotten.
We praise him as without beginning in contrast to him who has a beginning.
We worship him as timeless, in contrast to him who in time has come to exist.
He who is without beginning made the Son a beginning of created things
He produced him as a son for himself by begetting him.
He [the son] has none of the distinct characteristics of God's own being
For he is not equal to, nor is he of the same being as him.
God is wise, for he himself is the teacher of Wisdom
Sufficient proof that God is invisible to all:
He is invisible both to things which were made through the Son, and also to the Son himself.
I will say specifically how the invisible is seen by the Son:
by that power by which God is able to see, each according to his own measure,
the Son can bear to see the Father, as is determined
So there is a Triad, not in equal glories. Their beings are not mixed together among themselves.
As far as their glories, one infinitely more glorious than the other.
The Father in his essence is a foreigner to the Son, because he exists without beginning.
Understand that the Monad [eternally] was; but the Dyad was not before it came into existence.
It immediately follows that, although the Son did not exist, the Father was still God.
Hence the Son, not being [eternal] came into existence by the Father's will,
He is the Only-begotten God, and this one is alien from [all] others
Wisdom came to be Wisdom by the will of the Wise God.
Hence he is conceived in innumerable aspects. He is Spirit, Power, Wisdom,
God's glory, Truth, Image, and Word.
Understand that he is also conceived of as Radiance and Light.
The one who is superior is able to beget one equal to the Son,
But not someone more important, or superior, or greater.
At God's will the Son has the greatness and qualities that he has.
His existence from when and from whom and from then – are all from God.
He, though strong God, praises in part his superior.
In brief, God is inexpressible to the Son.
For he is in himself what he is, that is, indescribable,
So that the son does not comprehend any of these things or have the understanding to explain them.
For it is impossible for him to fathom the Father, who is by himself.
For the Son himself does not even know his own essence,
For being Son, his existence is most certainly at the will of the Father.
What reasoning allows, that he who is from the Father
should comprehend and know his own parent?
For clearly that which has a beginning
is not able to conceive of or grasp the existence of that which has no beginning.
|A slightly different edition of the fragment of the Thalia from De Synodis is given by G.C. Stead, and served as the basis for a translation by R.P.C. Hanson. Stead argued that the Thalia was written in anapestic meter, and edited the fragment to show what it would look like in anapests with different line breaks. Hanson based his translation of this fragment directly on Stead's text.|
*Have your Bible's ready! Read the verses first for context before reading the commentary.
The amount of info I referenced only scratches the surface of the hours (totaling 2+ years) I researched, but I feel like these are the strongest sources I can use to make my point (while trying not to write a book...which I clearly at least wrote a pamphlet by the size of this blog haha). I sincerely hope this information helps anyone interested in the true views of Arius. *Note: I am not insisting that my understanding is irrefutably correct, I am willing to admit I am wrong about the trinity so I enthusiastically invite anyone to debate me so I can polish my views if necessary (Iron sharpens iron right?)...but from my honest wholehearted prayer to Yeshua and the Holy Spirit, and hours on hours of time-consuming research with sincere request for clarity from God (Hebrews 10:16-17), in good conscious, I cannot align with the Nicene Trinitarian view. Until someone can disprove the notion of "Wisdom" being created as a personified being as taught in Proverbs 8:22, I cannot recant my belief. But, I also do not see why the body of Christ needs to rip apart over this schism considering the true facts of how these views were debated in history. To read my brief testimony how I became a passionate follower of Yeshua, click here.
Bonus food for thought:
Much love and salute to all the soldiers of God during these Last Days...
– Airic aka "blxck airius"
*Note: I'm currently writing my first book (called "Thalia Unveiled") by converting this blog post into an entertaining novel story adaptation for easier consumption since I know it's a lot of information...if you're interested, get a free copy as soon as the book is released by texting "ARIUS" to +1 305-705-5533!
[Blog edited 10/14/2023. *Added a note on the history of Origen's views.]
Join my Bible Study & Cultural Commentary group based on Arianism here.