By David K. Bernard
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Read Online or Download A History of Christian Doctrine: The Post Apostolic Age to the Middle Ages A.D. 100 - 1500, Vol. 1 PDF
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4. Tatian of Syria, a disciple of Justin who eventually became a Gnostic and founded an ascetic sect known as the Encratites (“abstainers”). He wrote Address to the Greeks (c. 150), and he compiled the Diatessaron, the 46 The Greek Apologists earliest harmony of the Gospels, of which only fragments remain. 5. Melito, bishop of Sardis, of whose writings only fragments remain. He authored Apology, or To Marcus Aurelius (c. 170), On God Incarnate, The Key, Discourse on the Cross, On the Nature of Christ, Discourse on Soul and Body, and On Faith.
This dualism greatly affected the Gnostics’ doctrine of God. They said that the God who created this world of matter was actually inferior and antagonistic to us. He was not the supreme God, or else He would not have created such an evil thing as this world. The supreme God is 34 Early Heresies pure spirit, and out of Him came various emanations, a progression of lesser and lesser divine beings called aeons. The most inferior of these is Jehovah, also called the Demiurge. He is the Creator and in essence responsible for our current predicament because he created the world of matter in which we have become imprisoned.
Some third-century writers said that one faction of the Montanists was modalist,4 so evidently others of them 41 A History of Christian Doctrine eventually embraced trinitarianism. In fact, as we shall see, a famous third-century convert to Montanism named Tertullian was quite instrumental in developing the doctrine of the trinity. Conclusion Of the four major schismatic groups that challenged the established church in the second century, the first three—the Ebionites, the Gnostics, and the Marcionites— were definitely heretical in their doctrine.