monarchianism mōnärˈkēənĭzəm [key] [Gr.,=belief in the rule of one], the concept of God that maintains his sole authority even over Christ and the Holy Spirit. Its characteristic tenet, that God the Father and Jesus are one person, was developed in two forms in early Christianity. Dynamistic monarchians, such as the Theodotians and Paul of Samosata, held that Jesus was born a man and received the Christ as a power from God at a later time (see adoptionism). Modalistic monarchians taught that God is unknowable, except for his manifestations, or modes; Christ is one of these. Because of the consequent implication that God the Father must have died on the cross, they were called Patripassians [Lat.,= the Father suffering]. Sabellius fully developed modalism.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Christianity: General