3 weeks ago
Did the Early #Church Believe in the Deity of #Christ ? Ask your average #Muslim , #Unitarian , Jehovah’s Witness, or just about any non-Christian skeptic who has read (or watched) The #DaVinci Code, and they’ll try to convince you the answer is no. From such sources we are told that the deity of Christ was a doctrine invented centuries after Jesus’ death, a result of pagan influences on the church in the fourth century when the #Roman Empire adopted #Christianity as its official religion. So how can believers answer such allegations? The best response is to demonstrate from #Scripture that #Jesus is #God. We can be confident that the early church affirmed Christ’s deity because the New Testament clearly teaches that truth. The biblical case can be made from many places. Without going into detail, here is a small sampling of texts that teach the deity of Christ: Isaiah 9:6; Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14, 18; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 1 Cor. 1:24; 2 Cor. 4:4; Php. 2:6; Col. 1:15–16; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3, 8; 2 Pet. 1:1; 1 John 5:20.
But what about church history outside of the New Testament? Did the early church fathers affirm the deity of Jesus Christ? Or was it only after the fourth century (and the Council of Nicaea) that Christian leaders began to articulate their belief in God the Son? Though it’s not an exhaustive list, here are quotations from a number of ante-Nicene church fathers demonstrating their belief in the deity of Jesus Christ. These early Christian theologians all lived before the time of Constantine and the Council of Nicaea:
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH (C. 50–117)
“For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit.”
EPISTLE OF BARNABAS (WRITTEN C. 70–130)
“If the Lord submitted to suffer for our souls, even though he is Lord of the whole world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, ‘Let us make humankind according to our image and likeness,’ how is it, then, that he submitted to suffer at the hands of humans?” [Continued in comments] ...