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The first chapter in this volume forms the concluding chapter of the First Volume of the German Work. It answers to the Seventh Chapter of the Second Book of the first great division of the subject, which has for its aim to shew the origin of Ecclesiastical Dogma. The First Book treats of the Preparation for Dogma; the Second of the Laying of the Foundation. This Second Book begins with the second volume of the English Translation, and closes with the first chapter of the third volume now published. Thereafter commences the Second Part of the Work, which deals with the Development of Dogma. The numbering of the chapters here begins anew, running on from I. to VI.

The Second Volume of the German Work commences with the Second Part, and tells the story of the Development of Dogma till the time of Augustine. Only a portion of it appears in this volume. The remainder will form the contents of the Fourth Volume. The author has prefixed to the volume two prefaces, one to the first, the other to the third Edition. These are here given.

The Appendix on Manichæism is the last of four which appear at the end of the first volume of the German Edition. The first three of these will be found at the end of the first volume of the English Edition.


Glasgow, August, 1897.



THE first half of the second part of the History of Dogma is here given apart and as the second volume, because it is complete in itself, and I shall be prevented from completing the work at once by other tasks.

The account contained in the following pages would have been shorter, if I could have persuaded myself of the correctness of the opinion, that a single, all-determining thought obtained its true development in the History of Dogma from the fourth to the eighth century. This opinion dominates, apart from a few monographs, all writings on the History of Dogma, and gives a uniform impress to the accounts of Protestants and Catholics. I share it within certain limits; but these very limits, which I have endeavoured to define,11Vide pp. 167 ff. of this volume. have not yet received due attention. In the fourth century the formula that was correct, when judged by the conception of redemption of the ancient Church, prevailed; but the Fathers, who finally secured its triumph, did not give it the exposition which it originally demanded. In the fifth century, or the seventh, on the contrary, a formula that, measured by the same standard, was incorrect, prevailed; yet it was associated with an exposition that to some extent compensated for the incorrectness. In both cases, however, the imperfections of the conclusion, which are explained from various circumstances, became of the highest importance. For in them we find the reason why the phantom Christ did not wholly oust the historical; and, in order to overcome them, men turned anew to Philosophy, especially to Aristotle. The orthodox Church owes two things to the incorrect form in which the Trinitarian and Christological Dogma was finally stated: (1) contact with the Gospel, and (2) renewed contact with ancient science, i.e., scholasticism.


The account of these conditions demanded a more minute discussion of the process of the History of Dogma, than is usual in the ordinary text-books. Dogma developed slowly and amid great obstacles. No single step should be overlooked in the description, and, in particular, the period between the fourth and fifth Councils is not less important than any other. Political relationships, at no point decisive by themselves, yet everywhere required, as well as western influences, careful attention. I should have discussed them still more thoroughly, if I had not been restrained by considerations of the extent of the book. I have included the state of affairs and developments in the West, so far as they were related to, and acted upon, those in the East. In the following Book I shall begin with Augustine. The scientific theological expositions of the Fathers have only been brought under review, where they appeared indispensable for the understanding of Dogma. In any case I was not afraid of doing too much here. I am convinced that a shorter description ought not to be offered to students of Theology, unless it were to be a mere guide. The history of Christian Dogma—perhaps the most complicated history of development which we can completely review—presents the investigator with the greatest difficulties; and yet it is, along with the study of the New Testament, and in the present position of Protestantism, the most important discipline for every one who seeks really to study Theology. The theologian who leaves the University without being thoroughly familiar with it, is, in the most critical questions, helplessly at the mercy of the authorities of the day. But the royal way to the understanding of the History of Dogma, opened up by F. Chr. Baur, and pursued by Thomasius, does not lead to the goal; for by it we become acquainted with the historical matter only in the abbreviated form required for the defence of the completed Dogma.

The history of the development of Dogma does not offer the lofty interest, which attaches to that of its genesis. When we return from the most complicated and elaborate doctrinal formulas, from the mysticism of the Cultus and Christian Neoplatonism, from the worship of saints and ceremonial ritual of the seventh and eighth centuries, back to Origen and the third century, we are astonished to find that all we have mentioned was really in existence at the earlier date. Only it existed. then amid a mass of different material, and its footing was insecure In many respects the whole historical development of Dogma from the fourth century to John of Damascus and Theodore of Studion was simply a vast process of reduction, selection, and definition. In the viEast we are no longer called upon to deal in any quarter with new and original matter, but always rather with what is traditional, derivative, and, to an increasing extent, superstitious. Yet that to which centuries devoted earnest reflection, holding it to be sacred, will never lose its importance, as long as there still exists among us a remnant of the same conditions which belonged to those times. But who could deny that those conditions—in the Church and in learning —are still powerful among us? Therefore even the religious formulas are still in force which were created in the Byzantine age; nay, they are the dogmas κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν in all Churches, so that the popular idiom is nowise wrong which with the word "dogma" primarily designates the doctrines of the Trinity and the divine humanity of Christ. The inquirer who follows the development of these dogmas after the fourth century, and who, owing to the want of originality and freshness in his material, loses pleasure in his work, is ever and again reanimated, when he considers that he has to deal with matters which have gained, and still exercise, an immense power over the feelings and minds of men. And how much it is still possible for us to learn, as free Evangelical Christians, especially after generations of scholars have dedicated to this history the most devoted industry, so that no one can enter into their labours without becoming their disciples!

I know very well that it would be possible to treat the material reviewed in this book more universally than I have done. My chief purpose was to show how matters arose and were in their concrete manifestation. But the task of making dogma really intelligible in all its aspects within the limits of a History of Dogma, is after all as insoluble as any similar problem which isolates a single object from Universal History, and requires its investigation in and by itself. This limitation I need only recall. But something further has to be said. Dogmas, undoubtedly, admit of a process of refinement, which would bring them closer to our understanding and our feeling. But my powers are not equal to this lofty task, and even if I possessed the uncommon qualities of the psychologist and the religious philosopher, I should have hesitated about employing them in this book; for I did not wish to endanger the reliability of what I had to present by reflections, which must always remain more or less subjective. Thus I have limited myself to a few hints; these will only be found where the nature of the material itself induced me to seek for the far remote thought underlying the expression.

I have throughout striven in this volume, to give such an account as vii would demand to be read connectedly; for a work on the history of dogma, which is used only for reference, has missed its highest aim. I have believed that I could not dispense with the addition of numerous notes, but the text of the book is so written that the reader, if he prefers it, may disregard them.

Marburg, 14 June, 1887.


I HAVE subjected this volume to a thorough revision, and have sought to improve and strengthen it in not a few places. May this new edition also promote the study of a historical period whose products are still held by many among us to be incapable of reform.


Berlin, 28 May, 1894.



FIRST PART: SECOND BOOK CONTINUED.22Vide Editor’s Preface to this volume.

CHAPTER I.—The decisive success of theological speculation in the sphere of the Rule of Faith, or, the defining of the norm of the Doctrine of the Church due to the adoption of the Logos Christology

  1. Introduction 1
  Significance of the Logos Doctrine 2
Consequences 3
Historical retrospect 5
Opposition to the Logos Doctrine 7
The Monarchians, within Catholicism 8
Precatholic only among the Alogi 12
Division of subject, defective information 13
  2. Secession of Dynamistic Monarchianism, or Adoptianism 14 14
a. The so-called Alogi in Asia Minor 14

The Roman Monarchians: Theodotus the leatherworker and his party; Asclepiodotus, Hermophilus, Apollonides. Theodotus the money-changer, also the Artemonites

c. Traces of Adoptian Christology in the West after Artemas 32

Ejection of Adoptian Christology in the East.—Beryll of Bostra, Paul of Samosata etc.


Acta Archelai, Aphraates

  3. Expulsion of Modalistic Monarchianism 51

Modalistic Monarchians in Asia Minor and in the West: Noetus, Epigonus, Cleomenes, Æschines, Praxeas, Victorinus, Zephyrinus, Sabellius, Callistus

b. The last stages of Modalism in the West, and the state of Theology 73

Commodian, Amobius, Lactantius


Theology of the West about A.D. 300


Modalistic Monarchians in the East: Sabellianism and the History of Philosophical Christology and Theology after Origen

Various forms of Sabellianism 82
Doctrine of Sabellius 83
The fight of the two Dionysii 88
The Alexandrian training school 95
Pierius 96
Theognostus 96
Hieracas 98
Peter of Alexandria 99
Gregory Thaumaturgus 101

Theology of the future: combination of theology of Irenæus with that of Origen: Methodius

Union of speculation with Realism and Traditionalism 105
Dogmatic culminating in Monachism 110
Close of the development: Identification of Faith and Theology 113

FIRST BOOK. The History of the Development of Dogma as the Doctrine of the God-man on the basis of Natural Theology.

  CHAPTER I.—Historical Situation 121-162
  Internal position of the Church at the beginning of the fourth Century 121

Relative unity of the Church as World-Church, apostolicity and secularisation

Asceticism culminating in monachism as bond of unity 127
State of Theology 131
Theology influenced by Origen departs from strict monotheism 135
      Conservative Theology in the East 137

Critical state of the Logos doctrine, and the epochmaking importance of Athanasius


The two lines in which Dogma developed historically after Nicene Council

Periods of History of Dogma, chiefly in the East 148
First period up to A.D. 381 150
Second period up to A.D. 451 152
Third period up to A.D. 553 154
Fourth period up to A.D. 680 156
Last period and close of process of History of Dogma 157

CHAPTER II.—Fundamental Conception of Salvation and General Outline of System of Doctrine

§ 1.

Conception of Redemption as deification of humanity consequent upon Incarnation of Deity


Reasons for delay, and for acceptance in imperfect form, of dogmatic formulas corresponding to conception of Redemption

§ 2.

Moral and Rational element in System of Doctrine. Distinction between Dogmas and Dogmatic presuppositions or conceptions

Sketch of System of Doctrine and History of Dogma 177
Supplement 1. Criticism of principle of Greek System of doctrine 178
         ”          2. Faith in Incarnation of God, and Philosophy 179
         ”          3. Greek Piety corresponding to Dogma 179

         ”          4. Sources from which Greek Dogma is to be derived; Difficulty of selecting and using them; Untruthfulness and forgeries

         ”          5. Form to which expression of faith was subject 185

         ”          6. Details of Eschatology: agreement of Realism and Spiritualism; Obscuration of idea of Judgment


CHAPTER III.—Sources of knowledge: or Scripture, Tradition and the Church

  Introduction 191
1 Holy Scripture. Old Testament in the East 192
Old Testament in the West 194

New Testament in the East; its close; and hesitations New Testament in the West

Dogma of Inspiration and pneumatic exegesis 199
Uncertainties of exegesis (Spiritualism and literalism) 199
      Exegesis of Antiochenes 201
Exegesis in the West, Augustine 202
Uncertainties as to attributes and sufficiency of Scripture 205
The two Testaments 206
2. 2. Tradition. Scripture and Tradition 207

The creed or contents of Symbol is tradition; Development of symbol, Distinction between East and West


Cultus, Constitution, and Disciplinary regulations covered by notion of Apostolic Tradition, the παράδοσις ἄγραφος

Authority and representation of the Church 214
Councils 215
Common Sense of Church 219
"Antiquity"; Category of the "Fathers" 219
Apostolic Communities, Patriarchate 221
Rome and the Roman Bishop: prestige in East 224
View of innovations in the Church 228
Summing up on general notion of Tradition 230
Vincentius of Lerinum on Tradition 230
3. The Church. Notion and definition of the Church 233
Unimportance of the Church in Dogmatics proper 235

Reasons for considering the Church: predominance of interest in the Cultus

Divisions of the One Church 237
A.—Presuppositions of Doctrine of Redemption or Natural Theology.

CHAPTER IV.—Presuppositions and Conceptions of God the Creator as Dispenser of Salvation

  Proofs of God, method in doctrine of God 241
Doctrine of nature and attributes of God 244
Cosmology 247
The upper world 248
Doctrine of Providence. Theodicies 249
Doctrine of Spirits; Influence of Neoplatonism 251
Significance of doctrine of angels in practice and cultus 251
Criticism 254

CHAPTER V.—Presuppositions and conceptions of man as recipient of Salvation

  The common element 255
Anthropology 256
Origin of Souls 259
Image of God 260
      Primitive State 261
Primitive State and Felicity 261
Doctrine of Sin, the Fall and Death 263
Influence of Natural Theology on Doctrine of Redemption 265
Blessing of Salvation something natural 266
Felicity as reward 266
Revelation as law; rationalism 267
Influence of rationalism on Dogma 269
Neutralising of the historical; affinity of rationalism and mysticism 270
More precise account of views of Athanasius 272
Of Gregory of Nyssa 276
Of Theodore 279
Of John of Damascus 283
Conclusion 287

B.—The doctrine of Redemption in the Person of the God-man, in its historical development.


CHAPTER VI.—Doctrine of the necessity and reality of Redemption through the Incarnation of the Son of God

  The decisive importance of the Incarnation of God 288
Theory of Athanasius 290
Doctrines of Gregory of Nyssa 296
Pantheistic perversions of thought of Incarnation 299
Other teachers up to John of Damascus 301
Was Incarnation necessary apart from sin? 303
Idea of predestination 303

Appendix. The ideas of redemption from the Devil, and atonement through the work of the God-man

Mortal sufferings of Christ 305
Christ's death and the removal of sin 306
Ransom paid to the Devil 307
Christ's death as sacrifice—vicarious suffering of punishment 308
Western views of Christ's work. Juristic categories, satisfactio 310
Christ as man the atoner 313
Appendix on Manichæism 316
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