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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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A sect so called from their founder, Paulus Samosatenus, a native of Samosata, elected bishop of Antioch, in 262. His doctrine seems to have amounted to this: that the Son and the Holy Ghost exist in God in the same manner as the faculties of reason and activity do in man; that Christ was born a mere man; but that the reason or wisdom of the Father descended into him, and by him wrought miracles upon earth, and instructed the nations, and, finally, that on account of this union of the divine Word with the man Jesus, Christ might though improperly, be called God. It is also said that he did not baptise in the name of the Father and the Son, &c. for which reason the council of Nice ordered those baptised by him to be re-baptised. Being condemned by Dionysius Alexandrinus in a council, he abjured his errors to avoid deposition; but soon after he resumed them, and was actually deposed by another council in 269. He may be considered as the father of the modern Socinians; and his errors are severely condemned by the council of Nice, whose creed differs a little from that now used under the same name in the church of England. The creed agreed upon by the Nicene fathers with a view to the errors of Paulus Samosatenus concludes thus: "But those who say there was a time when he was not, and that he was not before he was born, the Catholic and apostolic church anathematize."

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Paulianists'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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