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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Sabellius, Heretic

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Sabellius , heretic, after whom the sect of the Sabellians was called (see preceding art.). The known facts of his history are but few. All 4th-cent. writers follow Basil in saying that he was born in Africa. The scene of Sabellius's activity was Rome, where we find him during the episcopate of pope Zephyrinus, a.d. 198–217. >From the statement of Hippolytus, he was apparently undecided in his views when he came to Rome, or when he first began to put forward his views at Rome, for the silence of Hippolytus about his birthplace suggests that it may have been Rome. In Refut. ix. 6, Hippolytus says that Callistus perverted Sabellius to Monarchian views. Hippolytus argued with him and with Noetus and his followers ( ib. iii.). Sabellius, convinced for a time, was again led astray by Callistus. In fact, during the episcopate of Zephyrinus, Callistus, Sabellius and the pope seem to have united in persistently opposing Hippolytus. Soon after his accession Callistus (a.d. 217) excommunicated Sabellius, wishing to gain, as Hippolytus puts it, a reputation for orthodoxy and to screen himself from the attacks of his persistent foe. Sabellius thereupon disappears from the scene. He seems to have written some works, to judge from apparent quotations by Athanasius in his 4th treatise against Arianism.

[G.T.S.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Sabellius, Heretic'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/s/sabellius-heretic.html. 1911.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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