Of God and His Creatures
Of the Opinion of Arius concerning the Son of God*
WHEREAS it is not in accordance with sacred doctrine to say, with
Photinus, that the Son of God took His beginning from Mary; or, with
Sabellius, that the eternal God and Father began to be the Son by
taking flesh; there were others who took the view, which Scripture
teaches, that the Son of God was before the Incarnation and even before
the creation of the world; but because the Son is other than the
Father, they accounted Him to be not of the same nature with the
Father: for they could not understand, nor would they believe, that any
two beings, distinct in person, had the same essence and nature. And
because, according to the doctrine of faith, alone of natures the
nature of God the Father is believed to be eternal, they believed that
the nature of the Son was not from eternity, although the Son was
before other creatures. And because all that is not eternal is made out
of nothing and created by God, they declared that the Son of God was
made out of nothing and is a creature. But because they were driven by
the authority of Scripture to call the Son also God, they said that He
was one with God the Father, not by nature, but by a union of wills,
and by participation in the likeness of God beyond other creatures.
Hence, as the highest creatures, the angels are called in Scripture
'gods' and 'sons of God,' -- e.g., Where werst thou, when the
morning stars praised me, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
(Job xxxviii, 4-7): God stood in the assembly of gods (Ps.
lxxxi, 1): -- they considered that He should be called 'Son of God'
and 'God' pre-eminently above others, inasmuch as through Him the
Father created every other creature.*
4.5 : Rejection of the Opinion of Sabellius concerning the Son of God
4.7 : Rejection of Arius's Position