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Arian Creeds are the creeds of Arian Christians, developed mostly in the fourth century when Arianism was one of the main varieties of Christianity. A creed is a brief summary of the beliefs of a group of religious practitioners, expressed in a more or less standardized format. Arian creeds are a subset of Christian Creeds.
Christian creeds originate in the genres of the trinitarian formula and the Christological confession. In the mid-2nd century a type of doctrinal formula called the Rule of Faith emerged. These were seen as demonstrating the correctness of one's beliefs and helping to avoid heretical doctrines. In the third century, more elaborate professions of faith developed combining the influence of baptismal creeds (i.e., trinitarian formulae) and rules of faith. Learning the creeds was part of the process of gaining admission to the Christian religion. Interrogatory creeds were varieties of creeds used to test candidates for baptism, while declaratory creeds allowed the candidate to express their beliefs in the first person. Among the oldest known Christian Creeds are the Roman Creed and the Nicene Creed.
Most Arian creeds were written in the fourth century during the Arian controversy. Arian creeds generally represent the beliefs of those Christians opposed to the Nicene Creed. The Arian controversy began when Alexander of Alexandria accused a local presbyter, Arius, of heresy, in the late 310s and early 320s. It lasted until the proclamation of the Creed of Constantinople in 381. The opponents of Arius expressed their beliefs in the Nicene Creed. Arians expressed their beliefs in their own, Arian creeds. Advocates of Nicene Christianity and Arian Christianity debated and competed throughout the fourth century, each claiming to be the orthodox variant. Nicene Christians called their opponents, as a group, Arians although many of them differed significantly from the original doctrines of Arius, and many opponents of the Nicene Creed did not identify as Arians.
The oldest known Arian creed is the Profession of Faith of Arius. Many more creeds were produced after the rise of the Homoian Arian group in the 350s, by theologians who were either Homoian Arian or at one time had been. These include the Second Sirmian Creed (357), the Creed of Nike (360), the Creed of Acacius (359), the Rule of Faith and the Creed of Ulfilas (383), Eudoxius' Rule of Faith, the Creed of Auxentius (364), and the Creed of Germinius.
Arius was a presbyter of Alexandria in the early fourth century. His teachings emphasized the differences between God the Father and the Son of God, in contrast to other churches that emphasized the divinity of the Son. Arius entered into conflict with his bishop, Alexander. Alexander excommunicated Arius in about 318. In a letter to his friend Eusebius of Nicomedia, Arius stated that he was being excommunicated for teaching that "the Son has an origin, but God is unoriginated ... and also that the Son derives from non-existence." Arius stated that he taught these things because the Son was not a part () of the Father, nor an emanation or exhalation of the substance of the Father. For his part, Alexander stated that Arius' beliefs were as follows: There was a time when God was not Father, and the Son was created out of nothing. The Son is a created product and is not like in substance to the Father. He has come into existence whereas the Father has no origin. The Son is mutable and alterable while the Father is not. The Father is invisible to the Son. The Father created the Son in order to create humans. The father and the son are not consubstantial. Arius also argued that the word homoousios (consubstantial, or having the same substance) should not be used to describe the relation between God the Father and God the Son: Father and Son are not consubstantial according to Arius.
Initially, Arius gained a great deal of support from other bishops in the Eastern Roman Empire. His early supporters included Eusebius of Nicomedia, Asterius, Athanasius of Anazarbus, Theognis of Nicaea, George of Laodicea, Paulinus of Tyre, and Eusebius of Caesarea. In about the year 320, Arius and his supporters wrote a letter to Alexander of Alexandria setting out their beliefs in the hope of getting Arius' excommunication rescinded. The letter contained a profession of faith, the earliest known Arian creed.
|Profession of Faith of Arius||Hanson paraphrase and translation|
|? ? ? ?. ? ? ? , , ? ?, ?· ? ?, , , ?, , , , , , , , , , , ? ,||They have set out their beliefs on the points under dispute: They profess the uniqueness of the Father, with much use of the world 'sole' (monos), including 'sole true, sole wise, sole good', and then,|
|? ? ? ?, »' ? «, ? ?, ? ?· ? ? ?, ' · ?, ' ,||He who has begotten the only-begotten Son before aeonian times ( ?), through whom also he made the aeons and everything, who produced him not in appearance but in truth, giving him existence () by his own will, unchangeable and unalterable ( ), a perfect creature () of God, but not like one of the creatures, a product (?), but not like one of the things produced (),|
|' ? , ' ? ?, ' ? , ' ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ?,||the product of the Father not as Valentinus laid down an issue (), nor as Mani taught a consubstantial part ( ) of the Father, nor as Sabellius said, dividing the Monad, a 'Sonfather' (), nor, as Hieracas, a light lit from a light or as a lamp (spread) into two, nor as one who existed before but was later made into a Son by begetting or creation...|
|, ? ?, ? ? ? ,|
|' ? ? , ? . ? ? ? ? · ? ? . ? ?.||but, as we hold, created by the will of God before times and before aeons and having received life and being from the Father and various kinds of glory, since he gave him existence, alongside himself. For when the Father gave him the inheritance of everything he did not deprive himself of that which he possesses unoriginatedly () in himself; for he is the source of all. Consequently, there are three existing realities (?).|
|? ? ? , ? ? ? ?, ? ? . ? ? ? , ? ?, ? ? ? , ' ? , ? ? ?.||And God is the cause of them all for he is supremely sole () without beginning (?), and the Son, having been begotten timelessly by the Father and created and established before aeons, did not exist before he was begotten, but, begotten timelessly before everything, alone has been given existence by the Father; for he is not external nor co-external nor co-unoriginated, with the Father, nor does he possess being parallel with () the Father, as some say who rely on the argument from relations thereby introducing two unoriginated ultimate principles, but as the Monad () and origin (?) of everything, so God is prior to everything.|
|? , ? ? ?.||Therefore, he is also prior to the Son, as we have learnt from you (i.e. Alexander) when you were preaching in the midst of the church.|
|? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ?. ? . » « » ?« » ? « ? ?, ? ? ? ' ? ' ? ?.||The Father, Arius continues, is the Son's origin (?) from which he derives his glories and life everlasting, and the Father is the Son's God. Arius dislikes any statement that the Son is 'from' () the Father, because it implies that the Son is 'a consubstantial part of him and like an issue', and this means that God is composite and divisible and mutable and even corporeal.|
In an attempt to resolve the doctrinal controversy between the followers of Arius and of Alexander, Emperor Constantine called of the Council of Nicaea in 325. The council of Nicaea produced the Nicene Creed, which backed the doctrines of Alexander against those of Arius. Where Arius had declared that the Father and Son should not be considered consubstantial (homoousios), the Nicene Creed specifically declared the Father and Son to be consubstantial by declaring that the Son was of the substance of the Father ( ). The Arian controversy persisted for the next sixty years, centering on the use of the term substance (ousia) to describe the relation between Father and Son in Christian theology, but extending to many related aspects of Christian theology such as the Incarnation and the Holy Spirit.
Although the Nicene Creed had orthodox status, backing from a large council of bishops (the Council of Nicaea), and the support of Emperor Constantine I, many bishops, especially in the East, were not comfortable with its doctrine. In particular, the term homoousios, or 'consubstantial', troubled many bishops, firstly because, they stated, it was not to be found in the Scriptures; and second because it could imply that the Son was a piece of the Father, or even that the Son was indistinguishable from the Father, beliefs that were considered Sabellian and therefore heretical. This widespread opposition to the Nicene Creed meant that Arius and the Arians enjoyed widespread sympathy and support. But at the same time as they resisted the Nicene Creed and sympathized with Arius, many Eastern bishops were not convinced that Arius' theology was entirely correct. Eusebius of Nicomedia, in particular, took vigorous measures to reduce the influence of pro-Nicene bishops and enhance the influence of those opposed to the Nicene Creed. However, the creed proposed by this group was, though anti-Nicene, not entirely Arian, as were these bishops themselves.
In 341, approximately 90 bishops met in a Council of Antioch, formally presided over by bishop Flacillus of Antioch. Officially, the bishops were meeting to celebrate the dedication of a new church built by Constantius II. Because of this, the creed produced at the Council of Antioch is often known as the Dedication Creed. Four creeds were produced at the same council; the Dedication Creed is also known as the Second Creed of Antioch.
The leaders of the Council of Antioch of 341 were Eusebius of Nicomedia, now bishop of Constantinople, and Acacius of Caesarea, who become bishop of Caesarea in 340. Aside from Flacillus of Antioch, other leading bishops present were Gregory of Alexandria, George of Laodicea, Eudoxius of Germanicia, Patrophilus of Scythopolis, Theodore of Heraclea, Narcissus of Neronias, Dianius of Cappadocian Caesarea, and Asterius. In the First Creed of Antioch, these bishops made clear that they were not following Arius, but rather investigating or judging him. Their goal was thus not to produce an Arian creed, but rather a creed that criticized the use of homoousios, but also reflected concerns with Arian doctrine. The resultant Dedication Creed was anti-Nicene rather than pro-Arian.
Some authors consider the Dedication Creed to be Arian or friendly to Arianism. Gwatkin argued that the Dedication Creed was written in such a way as to allow Arians within its broad scope, and that many Arians accepted and reproduced it; to Gwatkin it was, if not Arian, "Arianizing." Simonetti also argued that the Dedication Creed was specifically written to be acceptable to Arians. Boularand called the Dedication Creed "crypto-Arian." However, several of the statements in the Dedication Creed directly or indirectly contradicted Arian beliefs, so that other authors have considered the Dedication Creed anti-Arian, including Schwartz and Klein. Of ancient authors, Hilary considered it orthodox while Athanasius considered it Arian.
|Dedication Creed (Athanasius version)||English translation|
|? ? ? ? , ? ? ? , ·||Following the evangelical and apostolic tradition, we believe in one God Father Almighty, artificer and maker and designer () of the universe:|
|?, ? , ?, ' , ? , ? ?, ? ?, , ? ?, ? , , , , , ?, , , ?, , , , ? ?, ? ? ? ?, ? ? · » ? ? «, ' ?, ? , ' ? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ?, »? ?, ? ?, ? «, ? ? ? , ? ? ?.||And in one Lord Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son, God, through whom (are) all things, who was begotten from the Father before the ages, God from God, whole from whole, sole from sole, perfect from perfect, King from King, Lord from Lord, living Wisdom, true Light, Way, Truth, unchanging and unaltering, exact image of the Godhead and the substance and will and power and glory of the Father, first-born of all creation, who was in the beginning with God, God the Word according to the text in the Gospel [quotation of Jn 1:1, 3, and Col 1:17] who at the end of the days came down from above and was born of a virgin, according to the Scriptures, and became man, mediator between God and men, the apostle of our faith, author of life, as the text runs [quotation of Jn 6:38], who suffered for us and rose again the third day and ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father and is coming again with glory and power to judge the living and the dead:|
|, ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? » ? ? «, , , ? ? , , ? , ? ? ? ? , ?, .||And in the Holy Spirit, who is given to those who believe for comfort and sanctification and perfection, just as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples, saying [quotation of Matt 28:19], obviously (in the name) of the Father who is really Father and the Son who is really Son and the Holy Spirit who is really Holy Spirit, because the names are not given lightly or idly, but signify exactly the particular hypostasis and order and glory of each of those who are named, so that they are three in hypostasis but one in agreement.|
|? ? ? ? ? ? . ? ?  ? ? ? ? ? ? ?, ? ?. ? ?  ? ? ? ? ? ? ?, ? ?. ? ? ? ? ? [' ?], ? ? ? ?, ' ? , ? ?. ? ? ? ? .||Since we hold this belief, and have held it from the beginning to the end, before God and Christ we condemn every form of heretical unorthodoxy. And if anybody teaches contrary to the sound, right faith of the Scriptures, alleging that either time or occasion or age exists or did exist before the Son was begotten, let him be anathema. And if anyone alleges that the Son is a creature like one of the creatures or a product (?) like one of the products, or something made () like one of the things that are made, and not as the Holy Scriptures have handed down concerning the subjects which have been treated one after another, or if anyone teaches or preaches anything apart from what we have laid down, let him be anathema. For we believe and follow everything that has been delivered from the Holy Scriptures and by the prophets and apostles truly and reverently.|
According to Hanson, at least two statements in the Dedication Creed would have been difficult for Arians to accept. The Dedication Creed stated that the Son is an image of the substance of the Father, using the term ousia for 'substance', but Arians had rejected the use of the term ousia as not being found in the Scriptures. In addition, Arians believed that the Son was begotten, but the Dedication Creed stated that there was no occasion when the Son was begotten, implying the immanence of the Son in the Godhead, an idea the Arians rejected. On the other hand, the statement that the Son 'was not a creature like the other creatures' was familiar to Arians, and could be taken to accept the Arian belief that the Son was a creature of God, though a special and unique creature. Furthermore, the Dedication Creed graded and ranked Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the way preferred by Arians. Hanson, however, argues that 'subordinationism,' or the belief that the members of the Trinity should be ranked and that the Son was subordinate to the Father, was very common in the Eastern church at the time, and that the subordinationism of the Dedication Creed reflects such a generalized Eastern belief, rather than being a specifically Arian doctrine.
For Hanson, the Dedication Creed was drawn up "in order to counter what were thought to be the dangerous tendencies of" the Nicene Creed. The greatest danger of the Nicene Creed, these bishops believed, was Sabellianism, "the denial of a distinction between the three within the Godhead." The Nicene Creed was thought to make this mistake and to leave the door open to Sabellianism by asserting consubstantiality and denying separate beings (hypostases) to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the Dedication Creed was intended to shut that door.
The phrases 'God from God,' 'whole from whole', and similar ones in the Dedication Creed were intended to deny the idea that the Son was a piece of the father that had been broken off or separated. Arians rejected the idea of the Son as a piece of the Father, so this is another sense in which the Dedication Creed was friendly to Arians. However, Hanson considers the rejection of the idea of the Son as a piece of the Father to be an Origenist doctrine rather than specifically an Arian one. The distinction of hypostases within the Godhead is also reminiscent of Origen, so that the Dedication Creed can be considered 'Origenist.' Hanson also finds a possible influence of Asterius in the terminology of hypostases 'agreeing' (), a phrase found in the known fragments of Asterius.
For Hanson, the Dedication Creed was put forth as an alternative to the Nicene Creed and was intended to replace it. The Dedication Creed excluded the kind of Arianism originally proposed by and associated with Arius himself. Because of this, Simonetti believes that by 341, Eusebius of Nicomedia had shifted his views from his earlier support of Arius. On the other hand, the Dedication Creed resembled the doctrines taught by Eusebius of Caesarea prior to the Arian controversy. Thus, Hanson concludes that the intellectual ancestors of the Dedication Creed are Origen, Asterius, and Eusebius of Caesarea.
[The Dedication Creed] represents the nearest approach we can make to discovering the views of the ordinary educated Eastern bishop who was no admirer of the extreme views of Arius but who had been shocked and disturbed by the apparent Sabellianism of [the Nicene Creed], and the insensitiveness of the Western Church to the threat to orthodoxy which this tendency represented.
In the 350s Constantius II became sole Emperor of the Roman Empire. Constantius generally favored Arians over Nicenes and encouraged the calling of councils to resolve doctrinal disputes. A council was held in Sirmium, which was Constantius' main capital city, in 357. Attendants at the Third Council of Sirmium in 357 included Germinius of Sirmium, Valens of Mursa, Ursacius of Singidunum, Potamius of Lisbon, and Hosius of Corduba. Hanson also cites evidence that Mark of Arethusa and George of Alexandria were in attendance. The Council of Sirmium produced the creed known as the Second Sirmian Creed. The most likely authorship is by Valens, Ursacius, and Germinius, who are all well known advocates of Arian beliefs. Hilary of Poitiers attributed authorship to Hosius, but this is unlikely because Hosius had been an author and advocate of the Nicene Creed. Instead, Hosius may have been coerced by Constantius into signing the Sirmian Creed. This creed marks the emergence of the Homoian Arians as a visible movement within Arianism.
The Second Sirmian Creed was written in Latin and is preserved in the writings of Hilary of Poitiers.
|Second Sirmian Creed||English translation |
|Cum nonnulla putaretur esse de fide disceptatio, diligenter omnia apud Sirmium tractata sunt et discussa, praesentibus sanctissimis fratribus et coepiscopis nostris, Valente, Ursacio, et Germinio.||Since there was thought to be no little difference concerning the faith, all the points were carefully considered and discussed at Sirmium. Our brothers and fellow-bishops Valens, Ursacius, and Germinius were present.|
|Unum constat Deum esse omnipotentem et patrem, sicut per universum orbem creditur: et unicum filium ejus Jesum Christum Dominum salvatorem nostrum, ex ipso ante saecula genitum.||It is agreed that there is one almighty God and Father, as is believed throughout the whole world, and his only Son Jesus Christ the lord, our Saviour, born (genitum) from him before the ages;|
|Duos autem deos nec posse nec debere praedicari; quia ipse Dominus dixit: Ibo ad patrem meum et ad patrem vestrum, ad Deum meum et ad Deum vestrum (Joan. xx, 17).||but there cannot be two gods, nor should they be preached, as the text runs [Jn 20:17].|
|Ideo omnium Deus unus est, sicut Apostolus docuit. An Judaeorum Deus tantum? nonne et gentium? Imo et gentium. Quoniam quidem unus Deus, qui justificat circumcisionem ex fide, et praeputium per fidem (Rom. III, 29, 30). Sed et Caetera convenerunt, nec ullam habere potuerunt discrepantiam.||Therefore, there is one God of all, as the apostle taught [Rom 3:29, 30], and the rest (of the passage, or of the Scriptures) agrees and can contain no ambiguity.|
|Quod vero quosdam aut multos movebat de substantia, quae graece usia appellatur, id est (ut expressius intelligatur), homousion, aut quod dicitur homoeusion, nullam omnino fieri oportere mentionem; nec quemquam praedicare ea de causa et ratione quod nec in divinis Sripturis contineatur, et quod super hominis scientiam sit, nec quisquam possit nativitatem Filii enarrare, de quo Scriptum est, Generationem ejus quis enarrabit (Esai. LIII, 8)?||But as for the fact that some, or many, are concerned about substance (substantia) which is called usia in Greek, that is, to speak, more explicitly, homousion, or homoeusion as it is called, there should be no mention of it whatever, nor should anyone preach it. And this is the cause and reason, that it is not included in the divine Scriptures, and it is beyond man's knowledge nor can anyone declare the birth of the Son, and it is written on this subject [Isa 53:8].|
|Scire autem manifestum est solum Patrem quomodo genuerit filium suum, et Filium quomodo genitus sit a Patre.||For it is clear that only the Father knows how he begot his Son, and the Son how he was begotten by the Father.|
|Nulla ambiguitas est, majorem esse Patrem. Nulli potest dubium esse, Patrem honore, dignitate, claritate, majestate, et ipso nomine patris majorem esse Filio, ipso testante, Qui me misit, major me est (Joan. XIV, 28).||There is no uncertainty about the Father being greater: it cannot be doubted by anyone that the Father is greater in honour, in dignity, in glory, in majesty in the very name of "Father", for he himself witnesses [Jn 14:28, in the form "he who sent me is greater than I"].|
|Et hoc catholicum esse nemo ignorat, duas personas esse Patris et Filii, majorem Patrem, Filium subjectum cum omnibus his quae ipsi Pater subjecit.||And nobody is unaware that this is catholic doctrine, that there are two Persons (personas) of the Father and the Son, and that the Father is greater, and the Son is subjected in common with all the things which the Father subjected to him;|
|Patrem initium non habere, invisibilem esse, immortalem esse, impassibilem esse.||that the Father has no beginning, is invisible, immortal, and impassible;|
|Filium autem natum esse ex Patre, Deum ex Deo, lumen ex lumine.||but that the Son is born from the Father, God from God, Light from Light,|
|Cujus Filii generationem, ut ante dictum est, neminem scire nisi Patrem suum.||whose generation as Son, as has been said already, no one knows except the Father;|
|Ipsum autem Filium Dei Dominum et Deum nostrum, sicuti legitur, carnem vel corpus, id est, hominem suscepisse ex utero virginis Mariae, sicut Angelus praedicavit (Luc. I, 31).||and that the Son of God himself our Lord and God, as it is said, assumed flesh or body, that is man from the womb of the Virgin Mary, as the angel foretold.|
|Ut autem Scripturae omnes docent, et praecipue ipse magister gentium Apostolus, hminem suscepisse de Maria Virgine, per quem compassus est.||As all the Scriptures teach, and especially the teacher of the Gentiles himself, the apostle, he took human nature (hominem) from the Virgin Mary, and it was through this (man) that he suffered.|
|Illa autem clausula est totius fidei et illa confirmatio, quod Trinitas semper servanda est, sicut legimus in Evangelio: Ite et baptizate omnes gentes in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti (Matth. XXVIII, 19).||But that is the summary of the whole faith and the confirmation of it, that the Trinity should always be preserved, as we read in the gospel [Matt 28:19].|
|Integer, perfectus numerus Trinitatis est.|
|Paracletus autem Spiritus per Filium est; qui missus venit juxta promissum, ut Apostolos et omnes credentes instrueret, doceret, sanctificaret.||And the Comforter the Spirit is through the Son, who was sent and came according to the promise, so that he might support, teach and sanctify the apostles and all the believers.|
The Second Sirmian Creed avoids the following beliefs characteristic of Arius' own beliefs: it does not discuss the relation of Son to Logos, it does not say that the Son was produced out of nothing, and it does not state that the Son is created, using instead terms translatable as begotten and born. However it is Arian in subordinating the Son to the Father, insisting on a unique status for the Father, rejecting the concept of substance (ousia), and asserting that the Son suffered by means of his body (reflecting the Arian belief that God the Father did not suffer). The Second Dedication Creed does not follow the Eunomian Arianism. It represents instead the Arians known as Homoian, who had broken with some of Arius' beliefs and refused to accept Eunomius'.
In 359, Constantius II called a small council of leading bishops in Sirmium to produce a document that, he hoped, would be signed by bishops on opposing sides of the Arian controversy, bringing an end to the conflict. Constantius brought together advocates of the Homoiousian position and of the Homoian Arian position, while excluding the extremes on either side of the controversy, represented by the supporters of Athanasius on the Nicene side and the Eunomians on the Arian side. This Fifth Council of Sirmium produced a creed called the Dated Creed, which itself served as the basis for the Creed of Nike.
The Homoiousians had emerged only a year before, at the Council of Ancyra of 358. This council was called by Basil of Ancyra to discuss allegations made by George of Laodicea that the bishop of Antioch was encouraging extreme Arian positions such as Eunomianism, and specifically the doctrine that the Father and Son are unlike in substance. The Council of Ancyra of 358 included bishops Basil of Ancyra, Macedonius of Constantinople, Eugenius of Nicaea, and Eustathius of Sebaste. George of Laodicea was a signatory to the statement it produced though not present.
The position taken at the Council of Ancyra has often been called Semi-Arianism, but today is more often called Homoiousian theology. Hanson emphasizes that this group, centered on Basil of Ancyra, did not use the word homoiousian themselves. Their formula was that the Father and Son are 'like in ousia' ( ' ). They argued that while it was possible to state that the Father was creator (ktistes) and the Son, creature (ktisma), they were also Father and Son. Since all fathers beget sons that are like them in ousia, this must be so of the Father and Son. Therefore, to refer to the Father and Son without the notion of similar ousia is to reduce the relation to one of creator and creature. This group also opposed the idea of homoousios, or consubstantiality, for following their line of argumentation, Father and Son did not have the same but only like substance; assuming consubstantiality could reduce the Son to a part of the Father, or even suggest that Father and Son were in fact the same being, which was considered an approach to the Sabellian heresy.
Following the Council of Ancyra, Basil of Ancyra traveled to Sirmium with a delegation including Eustathius of Sebaste and Eleusius of Cyzicus. This delegation gained the approval of Constantius II, who declared his belief that the Son was like the Father in ousia (' ), the homoiousian position. A Fourth Council of Sirmium was called in which the homoiousians (Basil, Eustathius, and Eleusius) met with the Homoian Arians (Valens, Ursacius, and Germinius) along with some other bishops from North Africa. Since these groups appeared were able to work out common statements of belief, Constantius decided to call a larger council to try to end the Arian controversy. In preparation for this council, Constantius asked for a smaller council to meet to prepare a creed that attendants would be asked to assent to. This smaller preparatory council was the Fifth Council of Sirmium, held in 359.
Those present at the Fifth Council of Sirmium were Germinius of Sirmium, Valens of Mursa, and Ursacius of Singidunum, Basil of Ancyra, George of Alexandria, Pancratius of Pelusium, and Mark of Arethusa. According to Germinius, after a long night's discussion they agreed to accept the formula proposed by Mark of Arethusa, 'the Son like the Father in everything as the holy Scriptures declare and teach.' The creed was written by Mark of Arethusa and was precisely dated to 22 May 359. For this reason it is often called the Dated Creed instead of the Fourth Sirmian Creed.
Following the Fifth Council of Sirmium, Constantius II summoned Christian bishops to a general church council. To avoid conflict between Western and Eastern churches, he summoned the Eastern bishops to meet at Seleucia and the Western bishops at Ariminium. His intention was that both councils would discuss and approve the Dated Creed. At the Council of Seleucia approximately 150 bishops attended. The largest contingent was homoiousian, led by Eleusius of Cyzicus, George of Laodicea, and Silvanus of Tarsus. Basil of Ancyra, Macedonius of Constantinople, and Eustathius of Sebaste did not attend as other bishops had them under accusation for ecclesiastical misdemeanors. The Homoians were also in attendance, represented by Acacius of Caesarea, George of Alexandria, Uranius of Tyre, and Eudoxius of Antioch. The Eunomians were not present. The Council did not agree to sign the Dated Creed. Instead, Acacius submitted his own creed for consideration. This creed was not accepted by a majority, and the council eventually dissolved without coming to any agreement. The various groups at the Council sent representatives to Constantinople, where Constantius II was now in residence.
Meanwhile, Western bishops were meeting at the Council of Ariminum. 400 bishops assembled at the Council. The Homoian Arians were represented by Valens of Mursa, Ursacius of Singidunum, Germinius of Sirmium, Gaius and Demophilus. This group proposed the Dated Creed, but the assembled bishops rejected it and reaffirmed their adherence to the Nicene Creed. They sent ten bishops to meet with Constantius II at Constantinople, but the Emperor refused to see them and made them wait at Adrianople. Constantius them moved the entire council from Ariminum to a placed called Nike in Thrace. He them sent Valens of Mursa back to pressure the bishops to sign a version of the Dated Creed. The Western bishops, and especially Claudius of Picenum made Valens publicly anathematize a series of Arian beliefs, and publicly reject Arius and Arianism. A series of anathemas were added to the Dated Creed that watered down its sense so that it no longer appeared a truly Arian creed. The bishops then signed the creed and Constantius allowed them to return to their homes for the winter.
The homoiousian group from the Council of Seleucia, now in Constantinople, was finally convinced to sign a creed similar to the Dated Creed, on 31 December 359. The words 'in all respects' were eliminated after 'like the Father', so that the homoiousian formula 'like the Father in all respects', which had been in the Dated Creed, was not in the Creed of Nike. Further, two sentences were added: one of them argued that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit should not be regarded as having one 'hypostasis', while the other one anathematized all beliefs opposed to this creed. The creed signed by the homoiousians on New Year's Eve, 359, and by the Council of Ariminum relocated to Nike, has been called Creed of Nike, but is also known as the Creed of Constantinople since some of the Eastern bishops signed in Constantinople. However it should not be confused with the more famous Creed of Constantinople of 381.
|Hanson English translation||Dated Creed (Athanasius version)||Creed of Nike (Theodoret version)||Creed of Nike (Athanasius version)|
|We believe in one sole and true God, the Father Almighty, creator and maker of all things: And in one only-begotten Son of God who before all ages and before all beginning and before all conceivable time and before all comprehensible substance () was begotten impassibly from God through whom the ages were set up and all things came into existence, begotten as only-begotten, sole from the sole Father, like to the Father who begot him, according to the Scriptures, whose generation nobody understands except the Father who begot him.||? ? ? ? , ? ?, ? ?, ' ?, , , ? ?, ? ? , ? ? .||? ?, , . ? ?, ? ?, ' ?, . ? o? , ? ?· ? . , ? .||? ?, , , ? ?, ? ?, ' ?, , ? , , ? ?, ? ? , ? ? .|
|Him we know to be the only-begotten Son of God, who came down from the heavens at the Father's bidding in order to put an end to sin, and was born (?) from Mary the Virgin, and went around with his disciples and fulfilled all the strategy (?) according to his Father's will; he was crucified and died and went down to the subterranean places and fulfilled his mission there, and the gate-keepers of Hell (Hades) shuddered when they saw him; and he rose from the dead on the third day and conversed with his disciples and fulfilled all the dispensation (?) and when the forty days were fulfilled he was taken up into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again on the last day of the resurrection in his Father's glory to reward everyone according to his deeds:||? ?, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? ? ?, »? ? ?«, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? .||T ? ? ?, , ?, , ? ?· ? , , ? · ? ?· ? ? , , ? ? ? · ? ? · · ? , · ? ? , ? ? .||? ? ? ?, , ? ? , ? , , ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?, ? ? ?, ? ?, ? ? ? ?, ? ? .|
|And in the Holy Spirit whom the only-begotten of God Jesus Christ himself promised to send to the race of men, the Paraclete, according to the text [conflation of Jn 16.7, 13f.; 14.16f; 15.26].||, ? ? , , ? · » ? ? ? ? ?, ? ? ? ? ? «.||, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , , . ? ? ? ? ?, ? · ? ?.||, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ? · » ?«, ? ?, ? ? ?.|
|The word ousia, because when it was naively inserted by our fathers though not familiar to the masses, it caused disturbance, and because the Scriptures do not contain it, we have decided should be removed, and that there should be absolutely no mention of ousia in relation to God for the future, because the Scriptures make no mention at all of the ousia of the Father and the Son.||, ? ? , ? , ? , ? ? ? ? ? o .||, ? ? ?, ? , ? ? ?, ?, , ? ? ? ? .||, ? ? , ? , ? , ? ? , ? ? ?.|
|nor should one hypostasis be applied to the Person (prosopon) of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit.||? ? ? ? .||? ? ? ? .|
|But we declare that the Son is like the Father in all respects ( ? ), as the holy Scriptures also declare and teach.||? ? ? ? ?.||? ?, ? ?.||? ?, ?.|
|And let all the heresies which have already been previously condemned, and any others which have recently grown up opposed to the creed set out here, be anathema.||, ?, ? ? ?, ? ?.||, ? ? , ? ? , ? ?.|
In 360, a follow-up council was held in Constantinople, the Council of Constantinople of 360. Acacius of Caesarea was now Constantius' main advisor, Basil of Ancyra having lost influence as the homoiousian formula 'like in all respects' had been unable to convince the bishops at the councils of Ariminum and Seleucia. The Council of Constantinople promulgated once again the Creed of Nike as it had been signed by the twin councils the year before. For a time, the Creed of Nike became the official orthodox creed, replacing the Nicene Creed. It also became the creed of most Arians. Homoian Arianism replaced the old ideas of Arius as the leading variant of Arianism, and also gained strength against the rival Arian variant of Eunomianism.
|Creed of Acacius||Hanson paraphrase and translation|
|? ? ?, ? , ? , ? ?, ? ? ?, ? ? , ? ? ? ? , ? ? , ? ? ? ? . , ? ? ?, ? , · ? ? ?· ? '· ? ? ?, ? , ? ? , · ? ? ? ? ? ? ?, ? , ? ? ? ?, · ? ? ? ?, , · ? , ? . ? ? , ? ? ? ?, ?.||It began by referring to the confusion produced by varying opinions and by the presence of some who were under accusation, paid a compliment to the imperial officials, expressed the writer's readiness to accept the Second ('Dedication') Creed of Antioch 341, rejected both homoousion and homoiousion, and also anhomoion as unsuitable and commended 'like' (homoios) simply, after the example of Col I:15, and then continued:|
|? ?, · ? ? , ?.||We confess and believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible;|
|? ? ? , ? , ? ? , , ?, , · ' ?, ? , ? ? ? .||And we believe in our Lord Jesus Christ his Son, who was begotten impassibly from him before all the ages, God Logos God from God, only-begotten, Light, Life, Truth, Wisdom, Power, through whom all things came into existence, things in the heaven and things on the earth, whether visible or invisible.|
|? · , ? ? ?, , , ? · ? ?.||We also believe that at the end of the ages in order to abolish sin he took flesh from the holy Virgin Mary and became man, suffered for our sins, rose again, and was taken into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he is coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead.|
|? ?, ? ? ? ? ?, ? , ? , ? · ' ? ? , ? ? ? .||We also believe in the Holy Spirit, whom the Saviour our Lord also called the Paraclete, when he promised that after his departure he would send him to the disciples, and he did send him; through whom he also sanctifies those in the Church who believe and who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.|
|? ? ? , ? .||Those who preach anything else except this creed are alien to the Catholic Church. And that the creed recently put forth in the presence of our pious Emperor at Sirmium [i.e. the 'Dated' Creed] is to the same effect as this one those who have examined it know.|
Hanson describes the Creed of Acacius as "a wholly characterless, insignificant creed (though it may have represented the kind of doctrine which the Emperor at that time favoured)." The bishops assembled at Seleucia did not accept this creed. Instead, since Acacius had previously argued with Cyril of Jerusalem, the bishops at Seleucia decided to examine Acacius' accusations against Cyril. Since Acacius refused to submit to this examination, the bishops deposed him on paper. The imperial officials at the council, Leonas and Lauricius, broke up the council, and Acacius went directly to Constantinople to present his case to the Emperor Constantius II. Acacius was not adversely affected, and became the Emperor's main advisor on ecclesiastical affairs. The Homoian Arians remained the most powerful group until the death of Constantius in November 361.
I believe in one God the Father, alone ingenerate and invisible, and in his only-begotten Son, our Lord and God, artificer and maker of the whole creation, who has nobody like him (similem suum) - therefore there is one God the Father of all who is also God of our God - and in one Holy Spirit, the power which illuminates and sanctifies, as Christ said after the resurrection to his apostles (quotation of Luke 24:49 and Acts I:8), and he (i.e. the Spirit) is not God nor our God, but the minister of Christ ... subordinate and obedient in all things to the Son, and the Son subordinate and obedient in all things to his God and Father ...
This Rule of Faith demonstrates one of the characteristics of Arian belief, the "drastic subordination of the Son".
He never hesitated to preach ... one sole true God the Father of Christ according to Christ's own teaching, knowing that this sole true God is solely ingenerate, whitout beginning, without end, eternal, supernal, high, exalted, the highest origin, higher than any superiority, better than any goodness, infinite, incomprehensible, invisible, immeasurable, immortal, indestructibel, incommunicable, incorporeal, uncomposite, simple, immutable, undivided, unmoving, needing nothing, unhapproachable, whole (inscissum), not subject to rule, uncreated, unmade, perfect, existing uniquely (in singularitate extantem), incomparably greater and better than everything. And when he was alone, not to create division or reduction of his Godhead but for the revelation (ostensionem) of his goodness and power, by his will and power alone, impassibly himself impassible, indestructibly himself indestructible, and immovably himself unmoved he created and begot, made and founded the Only-begotten God.
According to the tradition, and the authority of the divine Scriptures he (Ulfilas) never concealed that this second God and originator of everything is from the father and after the Father and because of the Father and for the glory of the Father, but he always showed that according to the holy Gospel he (Christ) is also the great God and great Lord and great Mystery and great Light ... the Lord who is the Provider and Lawgiver, Redeemer, Saviour ... the Originator, the first Judge of living and dead, who has this God and Father as his superior, because he (Ulfilas) despised and trampled upon the hateful and execrable, evil and perverse creed of the Homoousians as a devilish invention and doctrine of demons, and he himself knew and handed down to us that if the unwearying power of the only-begotten God is openly proclaimed as having easily made everything heavenly and earthly, invisible and visible, and is rightly and faithfully believed by us Christians why should the impassible power of God the Father not be credited with having made One suitable for himself?
But ... through his sermons and his writings he (Ulfilas) showed that there is a differenece of deity between the Father and the Son, between the ingenerate and the only-begotten god, and that the Father is the creator of the whole creator, but the Son the creator of the whole creation, and the Father is the God of the Lord, but the Son the God of the whole of creation.
Eudoxius of Antioch is sometimes considered a moderate Arian of the Homoian tendency, but was at times friendly to Aëtius and Eunomius, representatives of the Eunomian tendency. According to Hanson, "he made the transition from Eunomian to Homoian Arianism."
Hanson translates a section of Eudoxius' Rule of Faith that, he states, exemplifies the Arian belief concerning a suffering God. "It was a central part of Arian theology that God suffered" This is because Arians, in common with other Christians, believed that God had become incarnate in a human body. In Arian theology, God the Father begat God the Son, and God the Son was incarnated in a human body, where he was crucified and died in order to show humans the way to overcome death. However Arians also believed that God the Father was perfect and could not suffer. Thus suffering was transposed onto the Son, who experienced suffering when incarnate in a human body. Arians believed that the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, had no human soul, because it was God occupying a human body. This doctrine went together with the doctrine that Jesus was not "mere human," because if he were mere human his death would not lead to salvation for humanity. Thus Jesus had to be God, Word, or Logos incarnate, and not mere human; and as such it was the God within that animated the flesh, not a human soul.
He became flesh, not man, for he did not take a human soul, but he became flesh, in order that he might be called for men God for us (? ?) by means of the flesh as by means of a veil; there were not two natures, because he was not a complete man, but he was God in the flesh instead of a soul: the whole was a single composite nature; he was p?ssible by the Incarnation (?) for if only soul and body suffered he could not have saved the world. Let them answer then how this passible and mortal person could be consubstantial with God who is beyond these things: suffering and death.
In 364, Hilary of Poitiers tried to have Auxentius of Milan deposed for heresy. Hilary was a committed advocate of the Nicene Creed, while Auxentius was an Arian. Hilary and Eusebius of Vercelli reported Auxentius to the Emperor Valentinian I. Unlike Constantius II, Valentinian tried to remain neutral and avoid involvement in ecclesiastical affairs. The Emperor ordered an investigation of Auxentius' beliefs. In response, Auxentius wrote the following letter declaring his beliefs.
|Creed of Auxentius||Hanson paraphrase|
|Ego quidem, piissimi Imperatores, aestimo non oportere sexcentorum episcoporum unitatem post tantos labores ex contentione paucorum hominum refriocari ab abjectis ante anos decem, sicut et scripta manifestant. Sed si aliqui ex plebe, qui numquam communicaverant, nec his qui ante me fuerunt episcopis, nunc amplius excitati ab Hilario et Eusebio, perturbantes quosdam, haereticum me vocaverunt: jussit vero pietas vestra cognoscere de his viros laudabiles, Quaestorem et Magistrum: et sicut praecixi, non eos personam habere accusatorum aut judicare qui semel depositi sunt (dico autem Hilarium et qui ei consentiunt): tamen obediens Serentiati vestrae, processi manifestare falsa dicentibus, et blasphemantibus, et vocantibus me Arianum, et quasi non confitentem Christum filium Dei Deum esse.|
Exposui amicis pietatis vestrae meam confessiionem, primum satisfaciens, quia numquam scivi Arium, non vidi oculis, non cognovi ejus docrinam: sed ex infantia, quemadmodum doctus sum, sicut accepi de sanctis Scripturis, credidi, et credo in unum solum verum Deum patrem omnipotentem, invisibilem, impassibilem, immortalem: et in filium ejus unigenitum Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, ante omnia saecula et ante omne principium natum ex patre DEUM VERUM FILIUM ex vero Deo patre, secundum quod scriptum est in Evangelio: Haec est autem vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum verum Deum, et quem misisti Jesum Christum (Joan. XVII, 3). Per ipsum enim omnia facta sunt, visibilia et invisibilia. Qui descendit de coelis voluntate Patris propter nostram salutem, natus de Spiritu sancto et Maria Virgine secundum carnem, sicut scriptum est, et crucifixum sub Pontio Pilato, sepultum tertia die resurrexisse, adscendisse in coleis, sedere ad desteram Patris, venturum judicare vivos et mortuos. Et in Spiritum sanctum paracletum, quem misit Dominus et Deus noster salvator Jesus Christus discipulis, Spiritum veritatis. Sic credidi, et credo, sicuti, et adscendens in coelos unicus filius Dei tradidit discipulis, dicens: Euntes docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti (Matth. XXVIII, 19).
|He said that he had never met Arius even when he (Auxentius) was a presbyter in the Church of Alexandria under George as bishop. Hilary believed that the Milanese Arians, led by Auxentius, were ready to confess that Christ was Deum verum filium, meaning 'the true Son of God' and not 'true God the Son'. But Auxentius, who had submitted a number of documents to Valentinus designed to show that he believed as the Emperor believed, was ready to say that 'he believed that Christ is true God and of one Godhead and substance with God the Father'. He submitted a creed which was probably the traditional creed of the Church of Milan; as it was composed before the Arian Controversy it was a quite innocuous and irrelevant one.|
|Duos autem deos numquam praedicavi: nec enim sunt duo patres, ut duo dii dicantur, nec duo filii; sed unus filius ex uno patre, solus a solo, Deus ex Deo, sicut scriptum est: Unus Pater Deus ex quo omnia, et unus Dominus Jesus Christus per quem omnia (I Cor. VIII, 6): propter quod et unam deitatem praedicamus.||He never believed in two gods, two Fathers or two Sons, but 'one Son from one Father, Sole from the Sole, God from God ... and that is why we profess one Godhead.'|
|Omnes ergo haereses, quae adversus catholicam difem veniunt, semper quidem congregati espiscopi catholici condemnaverunt et anathematizaverunt, specialiter autem convenientes Arimino, et inde condemnavimus. Catholicam autem et Evangeliorum, quam tradiderunt Apostoli, hanc fideliter custodivimus. Ut autem pietas vestra verius cognosceret ea, quae gesta sunt in concilio Ariminensi, transmisi, et pet ut ea libenter legi praciiatis: sic enim cognoscet Serentiats vestra, quia qui jam dudum depositi sunt, hoc est, Hilarius et Eusebius, contendunt ubique schismata facere. Quae enim bene de sanctis Scripturis catholicae fidei exposita sunt, pietas vestra pervidet haec ratractari non oportere.||He appealed to the authority of the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia which had produced a creed not to be abandoned at the request of a few bishops who (Auxentius alleged) had been deposed several years ago.|
The letter convinced Valentinian I that Auxentius was no heretic. He dismissed the case and ordered Hilary back to Poitiers. Hilary wrote Contra Auxentium to describe the events. Hanson states that the creed of Auxentius is not representative of Homoian Arian doctrine, because Auxentius chose to defend himself by using traditional formulae passed down in the Milanese church since before the Arian controversy.
Germinius was the bishop of Sirmium and as such was present at the Councils of Sirmium. He was present at and involved in the drafting of the Dated Creed. In 365 he produced a creed called the Symbol of Germinius of Sirmium.
|Symbol of Germinius||English Translation|
|Ego Germinius episcopus credo et profiteor esse unum verum Deum paterm, aeternam, omnipotentem: et Christum filium ejus unicum et Dominum Deum nostrum, de vero Deo patre verum Dei filium, ante omnia genitum, divinitate, charitate, majestate, virtute, claritate, vita, sapientia, scientia Patri per omnia similem, utpote perfectum de perfecto genitum: suseceptionem etiam himinis ex virgine Maria, sicut prophetae futurum praedixerunt, et evangelicae atque apostolicae voces completum docent. Passiones quoque ejus et mortem et resurrectionem et in coelis adscensionem suscipimus, credimus, profitemur: et quod in fine mundi de coelis descensurus sit judicare vivos et mortuos, et reddere unicuique decundum opera ejus. Et in Spiritum sanctum, id est paraclitum, qui nobis a Deo patre per Filium datus est. Explicit.||I bishop of Germinius believe and confess that there is one true God the Father, eternal, almighty; and Christ his only Son and our Lord God, the ture Son of God from the true God the Father, born before all things, in deity, love, majesty, power, glory, love, wisdom, knowledge, like in all things to the Father, since he is born perfect from the Perfect. His taking of manhood from he Virgin Mary, as the prophets predicted would happen, and as the texts of the gospels and apostles inform us to have been accomplished; his sufferings too and death and resurrection and ascension into heaven we accept, believe and profess; and that at the end of the world he will descend from heaven to judge the living and the dead and to reward each according to his workds. And in the Holy Spirit, that is the Paraclete who was given to us from God the Father through the Son. That is all.|
This profession of faith caused concern among Homoian Arian bishops because Germinius said that the Son was like the Father 'in all things' (per omnia similem). This was the Homoiousian formula proposed by Basil of Ancyra and rejected at the Council of Seleucia. Valens of Mursa, Ursacius of Singidunum, Gaius, and Paulus met in a council at Singidunum in 366. They wrote a letter to Germinius asking him to say that the Son is like the Father 'according to the Scriptures' because 'in all respects' could be taken to accept homoousianism, that is, commonality of substance, which Arians consistently rejected. In response, Germinius produced the following creed.
|Creed of Germinius||Hanson paraphrase and translation|
|Vitalis V.C. militantis in officio sublimis Praefecturae relatione comperimus, desiderare Sanctitatem vestram significari vobis aperte quid est, quod de fide nostra Valenti, Ursacio, Gaio et Paulo displiceat. Necessarium duxi, his litteris patefaciendum Sanctitati vestrae, et id, quod in vobis ipsis ab initio esse confido, dicere.|
|Nos hoc quod et a patribus traditum acceptimus, et divinis Scripturis quod semel didicimus, et quotidie docemus, Christum Dei filium Dominum nostrum per omnia Patri similem, excepta innativitate, Deum de deo, lumen de lumine, virtutem de virtute, integrum de integro, perfectum de perfecto, ante sacecula et ante universa, quae intelligi vel dici possunt, genitum, cujus nativitatem nemo scit nisi solus Pater, impso Filio adserente: Quia nemo novit Filium Pater, neque Patrem quis novit nisi Filius, et cui voluerit Filius revelare (Matt. XI, 27): per quem facta snt omnia, sine quo factum est nihnil, secundum divinas voces ipsius Salvatoris nostri Filii dicentis: Pater meus usque modo operatur, et ego operor (Joan. V, 18); et iterum, Quaecumque enim Pater facit, haec et similiter Filius facit (Ibid., 19); et iterum, Ego et Pater unum sumus (Joan. X, 30); et iterum, qui me vidit, vidit et Patrem (Joan. XIV, 9); et iterum, quomodo Pater vitam habet in semelipso, ita dedit et Filio vitam habere in smelipso (Joan. V, 26); et iterum, Sicut Pater suscitat mortuos et vivificat, ita et Filius quos vult vivificat (Ibid., 21); et iterum, Creditis in Deum, et in me credite (Joan. XIV, 1); et iterum, Neque enim Pater judicat quemquam, ded omne judicium dedit Filio, ut omnes honorificent Filium sicut honorificant Patrem (Joan. V, 22, 23); et iterum cui Pater dixit, Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram (Gen. I, 26), nec dixit, ad imaginem tuam, vel, ad imaginem meam, ne aliquam dissimilitudinem in Filii sui divinitate demonstraret: sed propterea conjunxit, ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram, ut Filium suum sibi similem per omnia Deum manifestaret.||'We teach', he writes, 'Christ the Son of God our Lord like in all respects to the Father, ingenerateness excepted, God from God, Light from Light, Power from Power, Whole from Whole, Perfect from Perfect, generated (genitum) before the ages and before absolutely everything which can be conceived or uttered, whose generation nobody knows except the Father alone [quotation of Matt 11:27], through whom all things were made, without whom nothing was made' [quotations of Jn 5:17, 19, 21, 22, 26; 10:30; 14:1, 9, and finally Gn 1:26 ('Let us make man according to (our) image')]. Now argues Germinius, this does not say my image or your image 'to preclude the suggestion of any unlikeness in the divinity of his Son'. It must imply that he is like in all respects.|
|Iterum Evangelista, Vidiumus gloriam ejus, gloriam qusi unigeniti a Patre, plenum gratia et veritate. (Joan. I, XIV) Et Apostolus ad Corinthios, In quibus Deus hujus saeculi exc aecavit mentes infidelium, ut non refulgerent illuminatione Evengelii gloriae Christi, quae est imago Dei (II Cor. IV, 4). Et iterum idem Apostolus: Et transtulit nos in regno filii charitatis suae, in quo habemus redemptionem et remissionem paccatorum, qui est imago Dei invisibilis, primogenitus omnis creaturae (Coloss I, 13 et seqq.). Et iterum idem Apostolus: Hoc enim sentite in vobis, quod et in Christo Jesu, qui cum in forma Dei esset, no rapinam arbitratus est se esse aequalem Deo, sed semetipsum exinanivit formam servi accipiens, in similitudine hominum factus (Philip. II, 5 et seqq.). Quis non ingtelligat, quia quemadmodum secundum servi formam vera fuit caro nostra in Christo; ita et in Dei forma vera sit divinitas Patris in Filio? Et iterum: Videte ne quis vos seducat per philosophiam et inanem fallaciam secundum traditionem hominum, secudnum elementa hujus mundi, et non secundum Christum; quia in ipso habitat omnis pnelitudo divinitatis corporaliter (Coloss. II, 8). Si ergo omnis plenitudo divinitatis inhabitat in Christo, jam non ex part similis et ex parte dissimilis, sicut nunc asserunt, qui propter contentionem suae lbidinis retrorsum aeuntes, semetipsos a nobis averterunt.||Next he quotes Jn 11:14; 2 Cor 4:4; Col. 1:13-15 and Phil 2:5-7, and continues "Who will not see that just as our flesh was genuine in Christ according to the form of a servant, so the divinity of the Father in the Son was genuine in the form of God? [quotation of Col 2:8ff]. If therefore all the fulness of Godhead dwells in Christ, then they are not partly like and partly unlike.'|
|Nam quod putant se pro magno de divinis Scripturis proferre, ut dicant Christum facturam et craturma: e contrario nos secundum Scriptura dicimus scandali, et funamentum et brachium, et manum, et sapientam, et verbum, et agnum, et ovem, et pastorem, et sacerdotem, et vitem, et diem, et alia. Sed haec omnia sic intelligumus et dicumus, ut virtutes et operationes filii Dei intelligamus, non ut diinam ejus ex Patre nativitatem hujuscemodi nominibus comparemus; quia ex nihilo omnia per Filium facta sunt, Filius autem non ex nihilo, sed ex Deo patre est genitus.||The statement that Christ is something made or created refers to the Son's powers and activities only, as to many of his other titles in the Scriptures, and not to his divine birth, 'because everything was made from nothing by the Son, but the Son is not from nothing but is generated from God the Father.'|
|Miror autem praedictum Valentem aut oblitum esse, aut certe subdole dissimulare, quid in praeteritum gestum definitumque sit. Nam sub bonae memoriae Constantio imperatore, quando inter quosdam coepterat esse de fide dissensio, in conspectu ejusdem imperatoris, praesentibus Georgio episcopo Alexandrinorum Ecclesiae, Pancratio Palusinorum, basilio episcopo tunc Anquiritano, praesente etiam ipso Valente et Ursacio, et mea parvitate, post habitam usque in noctem de fide disputationem et ad certam regulam preductam, Marcum ab omnibus nobis electum fidem dictasse, in que fide sic conscriptum est: Filium similem Patri per omnia, ut sanctae dicunt et docent Scripturae: cujus integrae professioni consensimus omnes, et manu nostra suscripsimus. Si autem nunc aliquid apiritus hujus mundi suggerit, ex aperto adhuc scire non possumus. Nam ut nos professi sumus de Scripturis per omnia similem Filium Patri, excepta innativitate; exponant et illi de Scripturis, quemadmodum parte similis sit, parte dissimilis.||Valens, he goes on, seems to have forgotten that on one occasion in the presence of the Emperor Constantius, of George of Alexandria, Pancratius of Pelusium, Basil of Ancyra, of Valens and Ursacius themselves, and of Germinius himself, after a long discussion which lasted into the night, Mark [of Arethusa], deputed by all, drew up a formula to which all agreed, and that formula was 'the Son like the Father in all respects as the holy Scriptures say and teach'.|
|Et ideo, Fratres dilectissimi, haec intrepidanter et sine mora vestrae dilectionis ad conscientiam, per Cyriacum officialem, cujus prima inventa occasio est post Carinium diaconem quem ad vos misi, professionem destinavit: ut per vestram quoque vigilantissimam devotionem apud Deum universae fraternitati intimetur, ne quis fallacis diaboli laqueis ignorans implicetur. Jam vestrae est inanimitatis, rescribere mihi quid vobis sanctus Spiritus suggerat. Sane intimo Charitati Vestrae, me huic epistolae, propterea quod manus dolerem, subscribere non putuisse: subscribendum autem mandasse fratribus et compresbyteris nostris Innocentio, Octavio et Catulo.||He concludes by saying that he is sending the letter by the officialis Cyriacus, but is unable to sign it owing to pain in his hands.|
According to Hanson, although Germinius was at one time a committed Homoian Arian, this creed is not Homoian Arian, but instead shows that by 366 Germinius had abandoned Homoian Arianism. Instead, this position is similar to that of the Second Creed of Antioch or Dedication Creed produced at the Council of Antioch of 341.