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Friday, May 27, 2011

Note (85.) to "History of the 'Christian' Trinity - HIST"

85. “The most influential answer given in the west [where the secular power resided, seated at Rome] was proposed by Tertullian. Indeed, it provided the foundation for the answer that the Catholic Church was to give to the problem at Nicaea in 325 [over 100 years later] and again at Constantinople in 381 [when the Holy Spirit was finally included as God]. Tertullian taught that there is one divine nature [substantia]. The Father and the Son have this one nature in common. They are separate and distinct, however, so far as their persons are concerned. Therefore, there is one divine nature, but there are two divine persons [see 72 ]. Each of these has a specific function. At the same time, Tertullian gave a distinctly subordinate place to the Son. The Son is not eternal. The eternal God became Father when he begot [or “generated” or “produced”] the Son, just as he became Creator when he made the world. On this point Tertullian is one with the Apologists. Later theology united Tertullian’s teaching of one nature and two persons with Origen’s[88, 89] teaching of the eternal generation of the Son to give the Catholic answer to the question of the relationship of the Son to the Father .... thus Tertullian [about 215 A. D.] provided the main outline for the Christian [?] doctrine of the trinity.” - pp. 112-113, Boer.

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