Arius, Alexander & Athanasius

The Trinitarian view of the Godhead was first imposed on Christianity in 325 CE at the Council of Nicea, with an initial Binitarian definition and then cemented in 381 CE, at the Council of Constantinople, with the addition of the Holy ‘Ghost’ as a person. It is a confusing doctrine for it is concocted by men in error and not drawn from the simplicity of the scriptures; founded in truth. This new view – for Christianity, though actually an ancient idea – of the Godhead is, in paraphrased terms: 

A unity of a singular Deity, composed of three co-eternal, yet distinct identities. 

The doctrine is convoluted and serpentine and cannot be supported by scripture, hard as people endeavour. It willingly misinterprets and mis-understands, the uniqueness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The concept of a triune of Gods was not new. A Queen of Heaven and Mother of God reach back into time, way farther than the beginning of humankind. This is why Christ’s mother Mary, has been elevated to Mother of God status – the real Trinity of the Universal Church – hidden in plain sight, in the shadow of the Trinity doctrine, but no less foisted on unsuspecting believers. 

Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz were a triad in ancient Babylon. In Egypt it was Osiris, Isis and Horus and in Mesopotamia, Anu, Enlil and Ea [Enki]. Hinduism has Brahma, Shivu and Vishnu and even Plato taught of an Unknown Father, Logos and a World Soul. In Greece, there was Zeus, Athena and Apollo [or Zeus, Poseidon and Pluto] and in Rome, the most well known trio of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, though just one triad of a myriad believed by the ancient Romans. There is the triad of Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manat in the time of Muhammed. The Lugus – Esus, Toutatis and Taranis – in Celtic mythology and the Saha Realm in Mahayana Buddhism – Shakyamuni, Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha. The Three Pure Ones of Taoism, Fu, Lu and Shou and the Hooded Spirits of the Gauls, to name literally just a few.

Let no one persuade the reader that the Trinity is unique to Christianity, that it is Bible based or that it was taught by Christ and the apostles in the early church. 

Bishop’s Encylopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy aptly describes the Arian controversy.

‘The Arian controversy began in Alexandria when its bishop, Alexander (250-326), clashed with the presbyter Arius (256-336) over matters of theology.’

“Although the points debated were many, the main issue at stake was whether the Logos, the Word of God, was coeternal with God. The phrase that eventually became the Arian motto, “there was when He was not,” aptly focuses on the point at issue. Alexander held that the Word existed eternally with the Father; Arius argued that the Word was not coeternal with the Father”

‘Whereas Alexander believed in the divinity of the Word, Arius, although accepting the preexistence of the Word, claimed that the Word was not God, but the first of all creatures created by God. But in Alexander’s view, the Word was divine and therefore could not be created. It is coeternal with the Father.

Arius argued that Alexander’s view entailed a denial of monotheism. In Alexander’s view, there were two who were divine, and thus there were two gods. Alexander countered that Arius’s position denied the divinity of the Word and therefore the divinity of the Son. He also saw how Arius’s view had grave consequences for the Church’s worship of Jesus by suggesting that it had been worshiping a creature.

In 325 CE, the bishops gathered in Nicea in what would become known as the First Ecumenical Council. There was a small group of Arians led by the bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia (d. 341). Arius himself was not a bishop so could not sit in the council and Eusebius of Nicomedia had to represent him and his theology. The Arian position was… opposed by another small group of bishops, led by Alexander… One of Alexander’s followers was the deacon Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296-373) who, while not permitted to sit in the council, would become a leading defender of Nicene orthodoxy against Arianism. 

A creed was agreed upon that presented the views of the council that deliberately excluded Arianism. Constantine, either by his own accord or through his ecclesiastical advisor Hosius of Cordoba, suggested that the word homoousios (“of the same substance”) be included in the creed showing that the Son is just as divine as the Father.’

“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, that is, from the substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made, both in heaven and on earth, who for us humans and for our salvation descended and became incarnate, becoming human, suffered and rose again on the third day… But those who say that there was when He was not, and that before being begotten He was not, or that He came from that which is not, or that the Son of God is of a different substance (hypostasis) or essence (ousia), or that He is created, or mutable, these the Catholic church anathematizes.”

The pivotal fulcrum of the debate about God, is not the nature of the Ancient of Days, but rather the Son of Man, with two key central points. First, was he a created being, or had he lived forever with the Almighty? Second, was he divine while on earth as Jesus Christ or was he fully human? This is where people have become extremely confused, with the debate raging for seventeen centuries. It is remarkably, still just as significant even in our present materialistic age, judging by forums like Quora. Yet, the Bible is very clear and the answer is simple to understand on both points.

The apostle Paul explains in his letter to the Hebrews; that is, the true peoples descended from the sons of Jacob.

‘Since therefore the children [humanity] share in flesh and blood, he [Christ] himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one [Satan] who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery… Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.’ Hebrews 2:14–18 English Standard Version.

In order for the Messiah to be the Saviour, he had to become fully human, just like us. Paul says ‘in every repect.’ That meant he felt pain, psychological and physical. He got sick, had to repress negative thoughts and control negative emotions like depression and wrath [Isaiah 53:1–12]. He also had to fight the greatest temptation, sexual sin. Here lies the key, Deity cannot be tempted.

Christ could only fulfil the role of the Saviour as a human being. Therefore, he was not a deity or God. If he had been, it would have been an unfair fight against Satan. It still had to be an unfair fight, though in the Devil’s favour, while Christ was human. As a mortal, Christ was still the son of God and worthy of respect [John 13:13].

‘And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. John 17:3–5, ESV.

When Christ fulfilled his mission here on Earth, he returned to the glory he had previously at the right hand of the Almighty. Revelation 1.14–15 describes the Son. It is remarkably similar to a description of the Father. Though it is obvious they are two separate entities, who each have their own throne.

In Daniel 7:9-10, New English Translation: 

“While I was watching, thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His attire was white like snow; the hair of his head was like lamb’s wool. His throne was ablaze with fire and its wheels were all aflame.  A river of fire [the Holy Spirit] was streaming forth and proceeding from his presence.

The Ancient of Days can be translated as Ancient One, Eternal God and the One who had been living forever. The Son of Man is not described similarly. The Eternal is the only being who had life inherent in Himself and is the source of all life [Acts 17:23–24]. Notice the Holy Spirit being described as issuing forth from the Ancient of Days. One can call it a ghost to help make it sound like an individual but it is non-biblical, with no scriptural support.

The Arian view, upheld by the Goths for centuries, simply held that the Holy Spirit and Christ were not God, like the Father. Rather, the Father is the one true God; Christ his begotten, created son and the Holy Spirit, God’s divine essence and being, as well as His power with which He simultaneously creates and then upholds the creation [1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 3:14; Acts 1:8].

A verse that has added to the confusion regarding the nature of the Godhead is John 1:1. It has been translated in English to support the Trinitarian doctrine and represent Christ as one and the same as God; whereas in the original Greek it is actually saying that when God reasoned, thought and spoke… His Word came into existence.

In the beginning was the Word [G3056 – logos], and the Word was with [G4314 – pros] God, and [G2532 – kai] the [G3588 – ho] Word was [G2258 – en] God [G2316 – Theos].’

In English the verse says the Word existed with God from the beginning – that is with no beginning – and was [the same as ] God. 

The word logos means: to ‘reason’ or ‘calculate’, ‘think’ and ‘speak’ ‘to command, to call by name.’ The word pros means: ‘near’ or ‘towards, above’ and ‘before.’ The word en means: ‘to be, to exist, to happen.’

The Interlinear shows the Greek to say in English, at the end of verse one: ‘… and God was the Word.’ In Greek it is ‘… kai Theos en ho logos.’

A paraphrased rendering of verse one to three: 

‘One of the first things the mind of God thought, He spoke… and his Word, that had always been part of Him, came into existence to fulfil all of His creation.’

It is by God’s spoken Word that the creation came into existence.

Psalm 33:6-9 The Voice

‘The unfathomable cosmos came into being at the word of the Eternal’s imagination [Wisdom], a solitary voice in endless darkness. The breath of His mouth whispered the sea of stars [Angels] into existence. He gathers every drop of every ocean as in a jar, securing the ocean depths as His watery treasure. Let all people stand in awe of the Eternal; let every man, woman, and child live in wonder of Him. For He spoke, and all things came into being. A single command from His lips, and all creation obeyed and stood its ground.

The Voice of God is the Building Block of the Universe, Genesis and Genetics, 2022:

‘One can model a human voice mathematically by the expression e^kt where e is 2.718 (base of the natural logarithm), k is an imaginary number, and t is time. Amazingly, we now know that the function e^kt can describe everything in the universe since everything is a wave. Thousands of years ago the Bible proclaimed that God spoke the creation into existence.

God converted his voice (energy) into mass (the creation). Quantum physics tells us that quantum waves create everything we see. God’s voice produced waves that have the ability to become quantum particles. These waves continue to vibrate forever. The quantum waves never die out because they are too small to be affected by friction. One might say they are eternal. Therefore, God’s Word and voice are the same.’

Now, in the Book of Jude written by the brother of Christ, we are admonished to: “contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.”

Even in Paul’s day, a mere twenty years after the Messiah’s death the true faith was being thwarted.

‘For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work’ [2 Thessalonians 2:7 ESV].

In his letter to the church of the Colossians, Paul speaks of another mystery: ‘the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great… are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ…’ [Colossians 1:26-27]. And, what is the mystery of Christ?

‘[Christ] is the image [G1504 eikon: likeness] of the invisible God, the firstborn [G4416 prototokos] of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before [G4253 pro: in front of, prior] all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.’ [Colossians 1:15-20].

The highlighted phrases in this passage of scripture all equal the same thing. That is, the Son of Man is not just the first or beginning of God’s plan figuratively or preeminently, he is literally, first of the creation. Christ as the image of the Eternal One, is a wholly separate yet near identical being. We will look at the Greek word for beginning shortly, though the main word of interest is firstborn. The word prototokos means: ‘the firstborn of all creation’ the ‘first begotten’ “literally and figuratively” according to Strongs Concordance.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he also mentions the church at Laodicea – more than once, for emphasis.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face… to reach… the… full… understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments [like the Trinity].” [Colossians 2:1-4 ESV].

The apostle Paul had not met the church at Colossae or Laodicea. Epaphras had been sent to teach the Colossians and Laodiceans [Colossians 1:7; 4:12-13]. Paul goes on to state:

“Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.” [Colossians 4:15-16].

We do not have the letter from Paul to the Laodiceans. We can guess that it is important to be mentioned, though it may well have been similar to the letter to the Colossians and therefore we are not missing anything relevant. The prevalent school of thought by a number of biblical scholars is that the Book of Ephesians is actually the Laodicean letter. What is highly pertinent though, is that there is another letter written to the Laodiceans recorded by the Apostle John.

It is immensely revealing that the final message to the body of Christ, the church in the very latter days, speaks of the nature of Christ in the very first sentence, revealing his created status and in the next breath, counsels Christians to anoint their eyes so that they may see. 

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.’

The Greek word for beginning is [G746] arche, meaning: ‘origin, first.’ It is ‘the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader.’ Though not just in rank or place, it also connotes order and time

The Greek word for creation is more telling. It is [G2937] ktisis, meaning: ‘the act of founding, establishing, building’ and ‘anything created.’ It applies to a ‘being that is a creature, that is a creation.’

‘For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked* [exposed as Adam and Eve were, 1 Peter 5:5,8]. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire [the Day of the Lord], so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe* yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve [the Holy Spirit] to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.’

The church in the end times is self-righteous, for it is encumbered with much knowledge; yet little understanding. The nature of Christ is forefront in this final warning letter. Proverbs 29:18 KJV says: ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ The Laodiceans like the Colossians, are reminded of the nature of Christ and the truth of this mystery.

‘For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man [G444 anthropos] Christ Jesus.’ [1 Timothy 2:5].

This is a pivotal verse, as it clearly shows that there is only one God and that the Son is different from the Father, with his role being ordained to serve the Father and humankind in bringing them ultimately together. The Greek word for man is anthropos and means ‘a human being’. It confirms that the Messiah was fully human while on the Earth.

John continues in the Laodicean letter, with the words of the Son of Man, just prior to his return:

‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…’” Revelation 3:14–22 ESV.

Do you see… do you hear?

Edited excerpt from Chapter XV Casluh & Caphtor and also in answer to questions posed on Quora: What is the Trinity? and What is Arianism?

One thought on “Arius, Alexander & Athanasius

  1. Pingback: Religion and believers #13 Superstition, misunderstanding and hatred leading up to the Nicene Creed – Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

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