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The Early Church Fathers on the Divinity of Christ.


  • Early Church Fathers
  • From the Scriptures



  1. St. Ignatius of Antioch, (A.D. 50-107)
    Aristides of Athens, (A.D. 110-180)
    Melito of Sardis, (A.D. c.110-c.180)
    Tatian the Assyrian, (the Syrian), (A.D. c.120-180)
    St. Irenæus of Lyons, (A.D. 125-202)
    St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220)
    Tertullian, (A.D. 160-218)
    St. Hippolytus of Rome, (A.D. 170-236)
    Origen of Alexandria, (A.D. 184-253)
St. Ignatius of Antioch, (A.D. 50-107), Syrian; ecclesiastical writer, bishop, martyr. A disciple of St. John, the Apostle; he was bishop of Antioch, in which see he succeeded St. Peter, or, as others think, Evodius. He is supposed to have governed that church for about forty years. He suffered martyrdom at Rome in the year 107.

Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church at Ephesus in Asia . . . predestined from eternity for a glory that is lasting and unchanging, united and chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God.

Letter to the Ephesians 1 [A.D. 110]

For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God's plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit.

Letter to the Ephesians 1 18:2

To the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of him that has willed everything which is.

Letter to the Romans 1 [A.D. 110]

Aristides of Athens, (A.D. 110-180), Greek; second century Greek Christian author who is primarily known as the author of the Apology of Aristides.

[Christians] are they who, above every people of the earth, have found the truth, for they acknowledge God, the Creator and maker of all things, in the only-begotten Son and in the Holy Spirit.

Apology 16 [A.D. 140]

Melito of Sardis, (A.D. c.110-c.180) was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, was an exegete and apologist and a great authority in Early Christianity.

It is no way necessary in dealing with persons of intelligence to adduce the actions of Christ after his baptism as proof that his soul and his body, his human nature, were like ours, real and not phantasmal. The activities of Christ after his baptism, and especially his miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the deity hidden in his flesh. Being God and likewise perfect man, he gave positive indications of his two natures: of his deity by the miracles during the three years following after his baptism, of his humanity in the thirty years which came before his baptism during which, by reason of his condition according to the flesh, he concealed the signs of his deity, although he was the true God existing before the ages.

Fragment in Anastasius of Sinai's The Guide 13 [A.D. 177]

Tatian the Assyrian, (the Syrian), (A.D. c.120-180), Assyrian; was an early Christian writer and theologian. A disciple of St. Justin. Tatian's most influential work is the Diatessaron, a Biblical paraphrase, or "harmony", of the four gospels that became the standard text of the four gospels in the Syriac-speaking churches until the 5th century.

We are not playing the fool, you Greeks, nor do we talk nonsense, when we report that God was born in the form of a man.

Address to the Greeks 21 [A.D. 170]

St. Irenæus of Lyons, (A.D. 125-202), Asia Minor; bishop, missionary, theologian, defender of orthodoxy. Though by birth a Greek, he was Bishop of Lyons in the second century. He tells us that, in his early youth, he learned the rudiments of religion from St. Polycarp, the disciple of St. John the Apostle. He wrote several works, of which only a few fragments are now known, with the exception of his Treatise against Heretics which we have in five books.

For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, Father Almighty, the creator of Heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them; and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who announced through the prophets the dispensations and the comings, and the birth from a Virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into Heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus our Lord, and his coming from Heaven in the glory of the Father to reestablish all things; and the raising up again of all flesh of all humanity, in order that to Jesus Christ our Lord and God and Savior and King, in accord with the approval of the invisible Father, every knee shall bend of those in Heaven and on earth and under the earth.

Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]

St. Clement of Alexandria, (A.D. 150-220), Greek; theologian, a scholar of Pantaenus, to whom he succeeded as head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, Egypt. His writings display great acquaintance with the Gentile philosophy. He wrote with the express design of hiding the mysteries of the Christian religion from the Pagans, and the uninitiated, while at the same time, laboring to show the immense practical superiority of the Christian code of morals over that of every Pagan sect and system of philosophy.

The Word, then, the Christ, is the cause both of our ancient beginning— for he was in God— and of our well-being. And now this same Word has appeared as man. He alone is both God and man, and the source of all our good things.

Exhortation to the Greeks 1:7:1 [A.D. 190]

Despised as to appearance but in reality adored, [Jesus is") the expiator, the Savior, the soother, the divine Word, he that is quite evidently true God, he that is put on a level with the Lord of the universe because he was his Son.

Exhortation to the Greeks 10:110:1

Tertullian, (A.D. 160-218), North African; ecclesiastical writer, Christian apologist and lawyer, son of a centurion and contemporary of St. Irenæus, a native and citizen of Carthage. The zeal and ability with which he defended the Christian cause, and vindicated its faith and discipline, have immortalized his name, though it has suffered by his adoption, around the year A.D. 200, of some of the Montanist's errors, whose cause he is thought to have supported until his death. His works are numerous, and are written with great ability and erudition, but in an harsh style.

The origins of both his substances display him as man and as God: From the one, born, and from the other, not born.

The Flesh of Christ 5:6-7 [A.D. 210]

That there are two gods and two Lords, however, is a statement which we will never allow to issue from our mouth; not as if the Father and the Son were not God, nor the Spirit God, and each of them God; but formerly two were spoken of as gods and two as Lords, so that when Christ would come, he might both be acknowledged as God and be called Lord, because he is the Son of him who is both God and Lord.

Against Praxeas 13:6 [A.D. 216]

St. Hippolytus of Rome, (A.D. 170-236), Roman; bishop and martyr, probably a scholar of St. Irenæus of Lyons.

Only [God's] Word is from himself and is therefore also God, becoming the substance of God.

Refutation of All Heresies 10:33 [A.D. 228]

For Christ is the God over all, who has arranged to wash away sin from mankind, rendering the old man new.

Refutation of All Heresies 10:34

Origen of Alexandria, (A.D. 184-253), Alexandrian; born in Egypt, philosopher, theologian, writer.

Although he was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was: God.

On First Principles 1:0:4 [A.D. 225]


The Early Church Fathers believed and taught that Jesus Christ, as the second person of the Trinity, was God. He spoke with the authority of God and did things that only God could do. It is the reason why He was accused of blasphemy.


The Church's Scriptures that support the Divinity of Christ:



The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.


John 1:1-4

The Testimony of John the Baptist: glory of Father's only Son, full of grace and truth

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15 John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.' "


John 1:14-15

Jesus says, "if you knew me, you would know my Father."

19 They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also."


John 8:19


Jesus states, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.


John 8:58-59

The Father and I are one.

30 I and the Father are one." 31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?" 33 The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God."

John 10:30-33


Note: The Greek word that Jesus used in John 10:30-33 is the Greek equivalent of echad which is the Hebrew word used in Deuteronomy 6:4


See Exodus 3:14, 20:7; Leviticus 19:12, Leviticus 24:14-16.

The Father is in me and I am in the Father

37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."


John 10:37-38

Who ever sees me, sees the one who sent me — and — I have not spoken on my own authority

44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And he who sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me."


John 12:44-50

Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father.

8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip?
He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that
I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.

John 14:8-12

Jesus accepts Thomas' "My Lord and my God!"

28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."


John 20:28-29

The Church of God he acquired with His Blood

28 Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.


Acts 20:28

In him we have redemption by His Blood

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace


Ephesians 1:7

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily

9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fullness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.


Colossians 2:9-10

Glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ

11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, 12 training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, 13 awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.


Titus 2:11-14

The Blood of His Son Jesus cleanses from all sin.

6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; 7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.


1 John 1:6-7


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