Friday, October 2, 2015

Divinity of Christ

Evidence for the Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Early Church Fathers
complied by Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.


The DaVinci Code repeats the old claim, by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Others, that no one believed in the Divinity of Jesus Christ in the early Church, but that this idea was invented and promulgated by the emperor Constantine who gained control of the Roman Empire in 312 AD.  This historical claim in absolute nonsense.  The following texts from Christian writers who lived between New Testament times and the reign of Constantine make abundantly clear that belief in Christ's divinity and equality with God the Father is an indisputable part of the Christian tradition from the beginning.  These quotes demonstrating belief in Jesus' divine as well as human nature are by no means exhaustive – they are just a very limited selection.  Most or all of the direct quotes below come from the collection edited by Cyril Richardson entitled Early Christian Fathers (NY: Macmillan, 1970), abbreviated here as ECF.

A.Ignatius of Antioch, on the Divinity of Christ, calls Jesus God 16x in 7 letters (ca. 110 AD)


1. “Jesus Christ our God” Eph inscr, Eph 15:3, Eph 18:2, Tral 7, Ro inscr 2x, Ro 3:3, Smyr 10:1.

2. He speaks of Christ’s blood as “God's blood” Eph 1:1

3.  He calls Jesus “God incarnate” Eph 7:2

4.  In Jesus “God was revealing himself as a man”  Eph 19:3


B. Epistle to Diognetus (ca. 125 AD) speaking of God the Father, he says:

1. Diognetus 7:2  "he sent the Designer and Maker of the universe himself, by whom he created the heavens and confined the sea within its own bounds" (ca. 125 AD)

2. Diognetus 7:4 “He sent him as God; he sent him as man to men."


C. Saint Justin Martyr on the Divinity of Christ (c. 155 AD)

1.   says that Christians adore and worship the Son as well as the Father.  1st Apology 6.

2.  says Christ, the Word incarnate, is divine 1 Apol 10 & 63


D. Irenaeus on Christ's Divinity (ca. 185) in his work Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies)


1. Of Jesus he says "He is the holy Lord, the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Beautiful in appearance, and the Mighty God, coming on the clouds as the Judge of all men; --all these things did the Scriptures prophesy of Him."  AH III.19.2 (Ante Nicene Fathers 1: 449).

2. "He, therefore who was known, was not a different being from Him who declared, 'No man knoweth the Father,' but one and the same, the Father making all things subject to Him; while He received testimony from all that He was very [true] man, and that He was very [true] God, from the Father, from the Spirit, from angels, from the creation itself, from men, from apostate spirits and demons, from the enemy, and last of all, from death itself."  AH, IV, 6,7 (ANF, 469).



God Bless

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