Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A movement in the early church that distinguished the divinity of God the Father from the divinity of Christ by arguing that Jesus was a created being. The movement derived from the teachings of Arius. In the early fourth century ad, the church was still debating the nature of Christ and his relationship to God the Father. Arius taught that Christ was a created being—the first one created by God the Father. This view made Christ subordinate to the Father and set off what is often called the “Arian controversy.” Church leaders opposed Arianism because they felt it denied full divinity to Jesus. The debate over Arianism raged throughout the fourth century, but the now-orthodox view that Christ was co-equal and co-eternal with the Father was strongly defended by the Cappadocian fathers: Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianus, and Gregory of Nyssa. The orthodox view was ultimately accepted as the official position of the Church at the Council of Constantinople in 381. After this, Arianism gradually died out. For more information, see these articles: Church Fathers; Eusebius of Caesarea; Incarnation.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Arianism A movement in the early church that distinguished the divinity of God the Father from the divinity of Christ by arguing that Jesus was a created being. The movement derived from the teachings of Arius. In the early fourth century ad, the church was still debating the nature of Christ and his
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Arius, Arianism
ARIUS, ARIANISM. Arius (256–336 c.e.), a presbyter of the Baucalis region of Alexandria (Boulerand 1964: 175), began a controversy ca. 318 (Schneemelcher 1954: 394) with Bishop Alexander of Alexandria over the nature of Christ’s relation to the Father (Gregg and Groh 1977: 263). This controversy led
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Arianism. The principal heresy which denied the full Divinity of Jesus Christ, so called after its author, *Arius (q.v.).Arius appears to have held that the Son of God was not eternal but created before the ages by the Father from nothing as an instrument for the creation of the world; He was therefore
The Dictionary of Historical Theology
ArianismFourth-century Christological heresy. Arianism cannot be understood unless it is seen, in intention at least and in particular at its onset, as being biblically orientated. Arius (c. 250–c. 336) claimed to be a conservative Christian, seeking not only to preserve the monotheism of God by denying
A Catholic Dictionary
Arius and Arianism
arius and arianism. The heresy of Arius consisted in the denial of the Son’s consubstantiality with the Father, and so virtually of Christ’s true and eternal Godhead. In opposition to this error, the first Nicene Council defined that the Son is “only-begotten, born of the Father, i.e. of the Father’s
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Arians. The followers of Arius, a presbyter of the church of Alexandria, in the fourth century. He maintained (1) that the Father and Son are distinct beings; (2) that the Son, though divine, is not equal to the Father; (3) that the Son had a state of existence previous to His appearance on earth, but
Ecclesiastical Dictionary: Containing, in Concise Form, Information upon Ecclesiastical, Biblical, Archæological, and Historical Subjects
Arianism.—Name of the most formidable heresy of ancient times, having for its founder one Arius, a native of Cyrenaic Libya, and generally supposed to have been born about the year 296. In early life, we find him mixed up in the religious disputes going on at Alexandria. Having studied under Lucian,
Ærians.—Heretics of the fourth century, who derived their name from Ærius, an Arian priest of Sebaste. He maintained the equality of bishops and priests, rejected prayers for the dead and observance of Easter, and all appointed feasts, as Jewish superstitions.
Semi-Arians.—Name given to those Arians who denied that the Son of God was consubstantial with the Father, although they otherwise adhered to the opinions of the Arians. See Arianism.
The Thiselton Companion to Christian Theology
Arius, ArianismArius (c. 250–336), a priest of Alexandria, came into conflict with his bishop in c. 318–320 in his effort to extol and honor God the Father, even at the expense of devaluing the status of Jesus, the Son. His bishop, Alexander, argued that God the Son was eternally generated by God the
Pocket Dictionary of Church History: Over 300 Terms Clearly and Concisely Defined
Arianism. Arianism was a prominent heresy that denied that the preincarnate Christ (the Logos) was co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father. Arius (d. 336) argued that Christ was created by God out of nothing and was therefore a creature. Christ was to be the instrument through which all subsequent
A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines, Volumes I–IV
ARIANISM, one of the most powerful and tenacious heresies in the history of the Church, so called from Arius (Ἄρειος), a presbyter of Alexandria, who first reduced the doctrine to a clear expression, and made it the subject of public agitation in Church and State. [Arius.] It involves the question
Dictionary of Theological Terms
ArianismNamed after Arius, this heresy maintained that God the Father alone is eternal and made His Son to be the first creature He created ex nihilo. Some Arians went on to teach that the Holy Spirit was the first and greatest creature produced by the Son. The Council of Nicea met in a.d. 325 to deal
A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs: A Reference Guide to More than 700 Topics Discussed by the Early Church Fathers
Arius, Arianism
ARIUS, ARIANISMArius (c. 250–336) was a presbyter in Alexandria who taught that the Son of God was not of the same substance as the Father and that he was created out of nothing. His bishop, Alexander of Alexandria, strongly opposed Arius’s teachings. Arius’s heresy was condemned at the Council of Nicaea.
See also
Topics & Themes