The Early Church Fathers on
The Divinity of Christ

 

The Early Church Fathers believed and taught that Jesus Christ, as the second person of the Trinity, was God. He spoke with the authority of God and did things that only God could do. It is the reason why He was accused of blasphemy.

Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church at Ephesus in Asia . . . predestined from eternity for a glory that is lasting and unchanging, united and chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God (Letter to the Ephesians 1 [A.D. 110]).

For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God's plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit (ibid., 18:2).

To the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of him that has willed everything which is (Letter to the Romans 1 [A.D. 110]).

Aristides

[Christians] are they who, above every people of the earth, have found the truth, for they acknowledge God, the Creator and maker of all things, in the only-begotten Son and in the Holy Spirit (Apology 16 [A.D. 140]).

Tatian the Syrian

We are not playing the fool, you Greeks, nor do we talk nonsense, when we report that God was born in the form of a man (Address to the Greeks 21 [A.D. 170]).

Melito of Sardis

It is no way necessary in dealing with persons of intelligence to adduce the actions of Christ after his baptism as proof that his soul and his body, his human nature, were like ours, real and not phantasmal. The activities of Christ after his baptism, and especially his miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the deity hidden in his flesh. Being God and likewise perfect man, he gave positive indications of his two natures: of his deity by the miracles during the three years following after his baptism, of his humanity in the thirty years which came before his baptism during which, by reason of his condition according to the flesh, he concealed the signs of his deity, although he was the true God existing before the ages (Fragment in Anastasius of Sinai's The Guide 13 [A.D. 177]).

Irenaeus

For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, Father Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them; and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who announced through the prophets the dispensations and the comings, and the birth from a Virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus our Lord, and his coming from heaven in the glory of the Father to reestablish all things; and the raising up again of all flesh of all humanity, in order that to Jesus Christ our Lord and God and Savior and King, in accord with the approval of the invisible Father, every knee shall bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]).

Clement of Alexandria

The Word, then, the Christ, is the cause both of our ancient beginning for he was in God and of our well-being. And now this same Word has appeared as man. He alone is both God and man, and the source of all our good things (Exhortation to the Greeks 1:7:1 [A.D. 190]).

Despised as to appearance but in reality adored, [Jesus is") the expiator, the Savior, the soother, the divine Word, he that is quite evidently true God, he that is put on a level with the Lord of the universe because he was his Son (ibid.,10:110:1).

Tertullian

The origins of both his substances display him as man and as God: From the one, born, and from the other, not born (The Flesh of Christ 5:6-7 [A.D. 210]).

That there are two gods and two Lords, however, is a statement which we will never allow to issue from our mouth; not as if the Father and the Son were not God, nor the Spirit God, and each of them God; but formerly two were spoken of as gods and two as Lords, so that when Christ would come, he might both be acknowledged as God and be called Lord, because he is the Son of him who is both God and Lord (Against Praxeas 13:6 [A.D. 216]).

Origen

Although he was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was: God (On First Principles 1:0:4 [A.D. 225]).

Hippolytus

Only [God's] Word is from himself and is therefore also God, becoming the substance of God (Refutation of All Heresies 10:33 [A.D. 228]).

For Christ is the God over all, who has arranged to wash away sin from mankind, rendering the old man new (ibid. 10:34).

Cyprian of Carthage

One who denies that Christ is God cannot become his temple [of the Holy Spiriti . . . (Letters 73:12 [A.D. 253]).

Arnobius

"Well, then," some raging, angry, and excited man will say, "is that Christ your God?" "God indeed" we shall answer, "and God of the hidden powers" (Against the Pagans 1:42 [A.D. 305]).

Lactantius

He was made both Son of God in the spirit and Son of man in the flesh, that is, both God and man (Divine Institutes 4:13:5 [A.D. 307]).

Council of Nicea

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made (Creed of Nicea [A.D. 325]).

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For Further Study

Books - The One Thing is Three-How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything by Michael E. Gaitley and The Holy Trinity (For Children) by Rev. L. Lovasik, S.V.D and Rev. J. Winkler, OFM Conv.


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