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After Patmos

The research of this website is concerned almost exclusively with the biblical material. However, here is a single Page devoted to quotations from the early centuries (including from non-Christians and anti-Christians), starting just after the biblical canon was completed by John on the island of Patmos around A.D. 95, up until the last definitive Council dealing with issues of God's triunity, at the second Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553. At the bottom are a few quotes from modern scholars who have synopsized the historical record. 

AP 1st Century


ca. 95 A.D.
Clement of Rome, 1 Clement.

AP 2nd Century


ca. 101 A.D.

The Didache

ca. 107-111 A.D.

Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle to the Ephesians.

§7.2 "There is only one physician, of flesh and of the Spirit, generate [born] and ingenerate [unborn], God in man, life in death, Son of Mary and Son of God, first passible [subject to suffering] then impassible [beyond suffering], Jesus Christ our Lord." (Komoszewski 2006, 202)

§18.1 "[Christ is] our God." (Komoszewski 2006, 201)

§19 "God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life." (Olson 1999, 47)


Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle to the Smyrnaeans.

§5.2 "blasphemes my Lord by not confessing that he was clothed in flesh." (Komoszewski 2006, 200)

Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle to the Magnesians.

§6.1 "[Christ] before the ages was with the Father." (Komoszewski 2006, 201)


The Epistle to the Trallians,
The Epistle to the Romans,
The Epistle to the Philadelphians,
The Epistle to Polycarp

ca. 112 A.D.
Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia, in a letter to Emperor Trajan.

Epistles, Book 10, Letter 96

"they [Christians] regularly assembled on a fixed day before daybreak to chant verses alternately among themselves to Christ as to a god."

ca. 155 A.D.

Justin Martyr, First Apology of Justin.

"For the sake of proving that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God ..., being of old [i.e., during the Old Testament era] the Word, [who] ... sometimes [appeared] in the form of fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels." (Komoszewski 2006, 315, n33)

ca. 160 A.D.

Justin Martyr, Second Apology of Justin.

§13 "For next to God, we worship and love the Word who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God, since also he became man for our sakes, that, becoming a partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing." (Olson 1999, 61)

ca. 161 A.D.

Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew.

§68 Trypho: "You endeavor to prove an incredible and well-nigh impossible thing: that God endured to be born and become man." (Olson 1999, 61)

§127 "neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any other man, saw the Father [...], but [saw] Him who was according to His will His Son, being God, and the Angel because He ministered to His will; whom also it pleased Him to be born man by the Virgin; who also was fire when He conversed with Moses from the bush."

ca. 170 A.D.
Lucian of Samosata, Greek satirist.

Lucian blasted Christians for their devotion to Jesus: "whom they still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine." (Komoszewski 2006, 197)

The Death of Peregrinus (Περὶ τῆς Περεγρίνου Τελευτῆς | De Morte Peregrini)


ὡς θεὸν αὐτὸν ἐκεῖνοι ᾐδοῦντο
they honored him like a god

ca. 175-180 A.D.
Celsus, On the True Doctrine (Λόγος Ἀληθής).

quoted 248 A.D., by Origen of Alexandria, in Against Celsus (Contra Celsum).

"Christians…worship a man who appeared only recently. They do not consider what they are doing a breach of monotheism; rather they think it perfectly consistent to worship the great God and to worship his servant as God." (Olson 1999, 34)

"It cannot be the case that God came down to earth, since in so doing he would have undergone an alteration of his nature." (Olson 1999, 35)

§1.38 "He was brought up in secret and hired himself out as a workman in Egypt, and having tried his hand at certain magical powers he returned from there, and on account of those powers gave himself the title of God." (Evans 2006)

ca. 176-177 A.D.

Athenagoras of Athens, Plea for the Christians.

§24 "We acknowledge a God, and a Son his Logos, and Holy Spirit, united in essence—the Father, the Son, the Spirit, because the Son is the Intelligence, Reason, Wisdom of the Father, and the Spirit an effluence, as light from fire." (Olson 1999, 63)

ca. 177-200 A.D.

Irenaeus, Against Heresies.

"[Jesus] took up man into himself, the invisible becoming visible, the incomprehensible being made comprehensible, the impassible becoming capable of suffering, and the Word being made man." (Komoszewski 2006, 203)

§3.17.7 "God recapitulated in Himself the ancient formation of man [Adam], that he might kill sin, deprive death of its power, and vivify man....." (Olson 1999, 75)

§5.6.1 "Now God shall be glorified in His handiwork, fitting it so as to be conformable to, and modelled after, His own Son. For by the hands of the Father, that is, by the Son and the Holy Spirit, man, and not [merely] a part of man, was made in the likeness of God."

Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching.

"the Father is God and the Son is God; for He who is born of God is God." (Komoszewski 2006, 203)

ca. 180 A.D.

Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus.

ca. 200 A.D.

anonymous, "Alexamenos Graffito."

A mocker of a Christian named Alexamenos drew a graffito of Alexamenos worshiping a man on a cross. The man on the cross had a donkey's head drawn on him. The inscription reads, "ΑΛΕ ΞΑΜΕΝΟϹ ϹΕΒΕΤΕ ΘΕΟΝ" (sic), meaning "Alexamenos worships [his] god." The griffito was discovered in 1857 on the wall of a building unearthed on Palatine Hill.

AP 3rd Century



200-201 A.D.

Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks (Προτρεπτικὸς πρὸς Ἕλληνας).

Jesus is "alone...both God and man."

Clement of Alexandria, Instructor (Παιδαγωγός).

§1.2 "God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of his father's will, the Word who is God..." (Olson 1999, 89)

ca. 200

Tertullian, Apology.

§21 "This ray of God, then, as it was always foretold in ancient times, descending into a certain virgin, and made flesh in her womb, is in his birth God and man united." (Olson 1999, 93)



ca. 200-212

Tertullian, Against Praxeas (Adversus Praxean).

"God and man" (Komoszewski 2006, 204)



ca. 200-235 A.D.
Hippolytus, Against the Heresy of One Noetus.

"the Word [pre-incarnate Christ] was made incarnate and became man" and was "manifested as God in a body." (Komoszewski 2006, 204)

ca. 230-250 A.D.
Origen, On First Principles (Περὶ Ἀρχῶν | De Principiis)

§1 "What belongs to the nature of deity is common to the Father and the Son." (Olson 1999, 109)

AP 4th Century



324-325 A.D.
Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History (Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἱστορία)

§5.28.4-5 "I refer to Justin, Miltiades, Tatian, Clement, and many others, in all of whose works Christ is spoken of as God (θεολογεῖται ὁ Χριστός). For who does not know the works of Irenæus and of Melito and of others which teach that Christ is God and man (θεὸν καὶ ἄνθρωπον καταγγέλλοντα τὸν Χριστόν)? And how many psalms and hymns, written by the faithful brethren from the beginning, hymn Christ the Word of God, speaking of him as God (τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ τὸν Χριστὸν ὑμνοῦσιν θεολογοῦντες)."

325 A.D.
The Council of Nicaea

"God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance (homoousios) with the Father, through Whom all things came into being"

335-337 A.D.

Athanasius, On the Incarnation

§54.3 "He manifested Himself by a body" (Olson 1999, 169)

356-360 A.D.

Athanasius, Against the Arians

§1.14 (speaking of Arians) "in maintaining 'Once the Son was not,' they rob God of His Word, like plunderers, and openly predicate of Him that He was once without His proper Word and Wisdom, and that the Light was once without radiance, and the Fountain was once barren and dry." (Olson 1999, 168)

§2.35 "But God is not as man, as Scripture has said; but is existing and is ever; therefore also His Word is existing and is everlasting with the Father as radiance of light.... Hence He is God also, as being God's Image, for 'the Word was God,' says Scripture." (Olson 1999, 168)

§2.67 "And how, were the Word a creature, had He power to undo God's sentence and to remit sin, whereas it is written in the Prophets, that this is God's doing?" (Olson 1999, 169)

ca. 360s-370s A.D.

Basil of Caesarea, Letters

Letter 38 §7 "For just as brightness is emitted by the flame, and the brightness is not after the flame, but at one and the same moment the flame shines and the light beams brightly, so does the Apostle mean the Son to be thought of as deriving existence from the Father, and yet the Only-begotten not to be divided from the existence of the Father by any intervening extension in space, but the caused to be always conceived of together with the cause." (Olson 1999, 182)

ca. 375 A.D.

Basil of Caesarea, On the Holy Spirit

ca. 380 A.D.

Gregory of Nazianzus, Theological Reflections

380 A.D.
Theodosius I, The Edict of Thessalonica

"let us believe the one deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity"  (Wilken 2019, 27)

381 A.D.
The Council of Constantinople​

"the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.... With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified."

AP 5th Century


ca. 392-428 A.D.

Theodore of Mopsuestia, Commentary on the Nicene Creed

"He [Christ] is truly both by nature, that is to say God and man: God the Word...." (Olson 1999, 209)

451 A.D.
The Council of Chalcedon

"our Lord Jesus Christ is...truly God and truly Man"


ca. 476-538 A.D.

Severus of Antioch

"He who was eternally consubstantial to him who begat him is the one who voluntarily descended and became consubstantial to this mother [Mary]. Thus, he became man, being God. ... he did not lose his divinity in his incarnation...." (Olson 1999, 243)

AP 6th Century
AP Scholars

Modern Scholars
1999, Olson, p47
There can be no serious doubt that Christians immediately after the apostolic age believed in Jesus Christ as both truly God and truly human.

2006, Komoszewski, Sawyer, and Wallace, p193
The notion that his divinity was invented nearly three hundred years after his time on earth is an absurd fable.

The Ilse of Patmos, Greece

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