The History Of Arianism Essay

1436 words - 6 pages

As we all seem to wonder about how, when and why Arianism arose, you must first be able to understand the man who created such a branch of Christianity. His name was Arius and he was a churchman and noble scholar who was the founder of Arianism. It is believed that he came from Libya and it is estimated that he was born in 256. He also liked to refer to himself as a student of Lucian of Antioch. This aged man contended that Christ the Son, although the highest of all creatures, was still a creature (Arianism). His teachings where like a mixture of adoptionism and logos theology. His basic notion was the Son came into being through the will of the Father; the Son therefore had a beginning. Although the Son was before all eternity, he was not eternal, and Father and Son were not of the same essence, In Jesus who suffered pain and wept, the logos became human. A Strength of Arius’s position was that it appeared to safeguard a strict monotheism while offering and interpretation of the language of the New Testament- notable, the word Son- which was conformed to general usage of meaning. The weakness of his view was that, precisely because Jesus was capable of suffering as a human, it was difficult to understand how he could be fully divine and thus affect the redemption of humankind (Christology). So basically the main problem that he was trying to address was how the Son of the Father can be divine and human at once, or is he a little bit of both. The trouble with this issue is that no one really knows the true answer and there are many passages in the bible to support both sides of the argument.
Arius attracted a large following through a message integrating Neoplatonism, which accented the absolute ones of the divinity as the highest perfection, with literal, rationalist approach to the New Testament texts. This point of view was publicized about in 323C.E. through the poetic verse of his major work, the Thalia. It was widely spread by popular songs written for laborers and travelers. He started off as a priest in Alexandria, where he tried to teach his beliefs but was shortly exonerated locally from his community for teaching Arianism (Arius). After being condemned and deprived of his office Arius fled to Palestine and spread his doctrine there among the masses through his poetry and popular songs. He also had some help spreading his teachings through influential leaders, such as Eusebius of Nicomedia and Eusebius of Caesarea (Arianism).
Because the leader of the Roman Empire, Constantine was seeing his empire going up in flames from the torn teachings of Christianity, and seeing Arius’s teachings were disrupting even the dock hands in Alexandria. This is when Constantine wrote a letter to the Alexandrians claiming that Arius had embraced the Christian faith in order to consolidate the empire (Arianism). This whole debate is what caused the first ecumenical council of Nicaea.
When Constantine called the first ecumenical council, better...

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