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The Early Church Fathers on the Filioque Clause.


  • Early Church Fathers
  • From the Scriptures



  1. Tertullian, (A.D. 160-218)
    Origen of Alexandria, (A.D. 184-253)

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.

"I believe that the Spirit proceeds not otherwise than from the Father through the Son".

Against Praxeas 4:1 [A.D. 216]

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

"We believe, however, that there are three persons: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and we believe none to be unbegotten except the Father. We admit, as more pious and true, that all things were produced through the Word, and that the Holy Spirit is the most excellent and the first in order of all that was produced by the Father through Christ".

Commentaries on John 2:6 [A.D. 229]




The Catholic Church did not invent the idea that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The teaching is not only implied by Scripture but it was explicitly taught by the Early Fathers as well. This article may help others understand the Catholic position:

Straight Answers, The Wording Of The Nicene Creed, by Fr. William Saunders


The Church's Scriptures on the Filioque Clause:

The Holy Spirit will be sent from Jesus and His Father.

26 But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; 27 and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

John 15:26-27


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