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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The disciples of Joachim, abbot of Flora, in Calabria. Joachim was a Cistercian monk, and a great pretender to inspiration. He relates of himself, that, being very young, he went to Jerusalem in the dress of a hermit to visit the holy places: and that, while he was in prayer to God in the church of that city, God communicated to him, by infusion, the knowledge of divine mysteries, and of the Holy Scriptures. He wrote against Lombard, the master of the sentences, who had maintained that there was but one essence in God, though there were three persons; and he pretended, that, since there were three persons there must be three essences. This dispute was in the year 1195. Joachim's writings were condemned by the fourth Lateran council. His followers, the Joachimites, were particularly fond of certain ternaries. The Father they said operated from the beginning until the coming of the Son: the Son from that time to theirs, viz. the year 1260; and the Holy Spirit then took it up, and was to operate in his turn. They likewise divided every thing relating to men, doctrine, and manner of living, into three classes, according to the three persons of the Trinity. The first ternary was that of men; of whom, the first class was that of married men, which had lasted during the whole period of the Father; the second was that of clerks, which lasted during the time of the Son; and the last was that of monks, wherein was to be an uncommon effusion of grace by the Holy Spirit. The second ternary was that of doctrine, viz. the Old Testament, the New, and the everlasting Gospel; the first they ascribed to the Father, the second to the Son, and the third to the Holy Spirit. A third ternary consisted in the manner of living, viz. under the Father, men lived according to the flesh; under the Son, they lived according to the flesh and the spirit; and under the Holy Ghost, they were to live according to the spirit only.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Joachimites'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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