Trinity - Different Views  
The Christian Trinity evolved over many years from the religious verdicts given at meetings and councils
In addition to the official council-sanctioned Creeds, the actual concept of Trinity was disagreed over. The table below details the Trinitarian positions held by Christians of their time.

Theories On Trinity
1Jesus is the Father
Jesus Christ is the same personage as God. He is the Father manifest in the flesh. There are not three persons; there is only one God.

Known As:
Oneness Pentecostalism
"Jesus Only"

Supported By:
Noetus of Smyrna
Pope Callistus I of Rome (d. 223 AD)
2Jesus, manifestation of God
Jesus Christ is but one of several modes, or manifestations of the one true God.

Known As:

Supported By:
Noetus at Rome
Marcellus of Ancyra

3Jesus, attribute of God
Jesus Christ is but one of several attributes or appropriation, such as power, love, wisdom etc. of a single God.

Supported By:
Monoimus (150-210 AD)
Peter Abelard (1079-1142)
Roland Bandinelli
Pope Alexander III (1159-1181)
Peter Lombard
Gilbert de la Porree
4Jesus, part of God
Jesus Christ is the same thing as the Father, but distinguishable, even as the root is the same as, but distinguishable from the tree, and the sun from its rays. The Father is the "whole", while Jesus Christ is the part.

Supported By:
5Jesus, a Prophet
Jesus Christ is not God except in an 'honorific sense' through the Father's grace, but is subordinate to the Father. He is made of a 'similar' or 'same type of' substance (Homoiousios) as the Father. And, because Jesus was created by the Father, only the Father is eternal.

Jesus is even considered by some to be a great man, prophet, religious leader, teacher, angel sent from God, or a Messiah.

Known As:

Proclaimed At:
  • Arius' Letter to Eusebius of Nicomedia
  • Arius' Letter to Alexander of Alexandria
  • Arius' Letter to the Emperor Constantine
  • Pronouncement of the Synod of Tyre and Jerusalem (335 AD)
  • Confessions of Faith (1st, 2nd, 3rd) of the first Arian Council at Antioch (341 AD)
  • Confession of Faith (4th) of the second Arian Council at Antioch (341 AD)
  • Confession of Faith (5th) of the Arian Council at Antioch (344 AD)
  • Confession of Faith (6th) of the second Arian Council at Sirmium (351 AD)
  • Confession of Faith (7th) of the third Arian Council at Sirmium (357 AD)
  • Confession of Faith (9th) of the first Synod of Ariminum and first Synod of Seleucia (359 AD)
  • Confession of Faith (10th) of the Synod of Nice (359 AD) and Constantinople (360 AD)

  • Supported By:
    Justin Martyr (100-165 AD)
    Bishop of Corinth (170 AD)
    Arius of Alexandria (250-336 AD)
    Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 339 AD)
    Eusebius of Nicomedia (d. 342 AD)
    Emperor Constantius (337-361 AD)
    97 Bishops at Arian Councils at Antioch (341-344 AD)
    400 Bishops attending Synod of Ariminum (350 AD)
    160 Bishops attending the Synod of Seleucia (359 AD)
    Jehovah Witnesses (Today)

    Islam agrees in part with the Arian Trinity Theory. That Jesus, was a Prophet sent by the Father. He was a special Man who performed numerous miracles and delivered God's monotheist message to his disciples.
    6Trinity (Athanasius)
    Jesus Christ is 'begotten' and not created, and is therefore, eternal, and of the same substance (Homoousios) as the Father. But, God is also comprised of three substances (Hypostasis).

    Known As:

    Supported By:
    Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria (296-373 AD)
    Marcellus, Bishop of Ancyra (Council at Nicaea)
    325 AD Nicene Creed Signatories
    7Three Substances, One Person
    The Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit are three individual substances (Hypostasis) that are of one substance (Ousis) analogous to three people (Hypostasis), who are all human (Ousis).

    Jesus Christ is 'the Son' (Hypostasis), and 'God' (Ousis). However, since the three Hypostasis are the only form that the Ousis has, or ever will take, the 'Threeness' cannot be separated from the 'Oneness'. The emphasis is on the 'Threeness' over the 'Oneness'.

    Known As:
    Contemporary Trinitarianism

    Supported By:
    Basil of Ceasarea (329-379 AD)
    Gregory of Nyssa
    Gregory of Nazianzus
    Councils at Philippopolis (343 AD)
    Councils at Sirmium (351 AD)
    Councils at Ancyra (358 AD)
    8One Substance, Three Persons
    The Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are of one substance (Substantia), three persons (Personea). Emphasis on the 'Oneness' over the 'Threeness'. The distinction of 'Persons' is only that of 'Relations'.

    Known As:

    Supported By:
    Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD)
    Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
    Athanasian Creed (5th Century) Adherents
    9 One Substance Three Persons
    The Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are of one substance (Substantia), three persons (Personea). The endeavor is to think simultaneously Unity and Threefoldness.

    Known As:
    Calvinistic Trinitarianism

    Supported By:
    John Calvin
    10Three Distinct Gods
    Jesus is one of three Gods (in one sense of the term 'God') comprising a Godhead. Yet there is only one God and mankind has the potential to become Gods, just as generations of other worlds have produced Gods.

    Known As:
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    Supported By:
    Pope Clement I (died 99 AD)
    Origen (185-254 AD)
    Ignatius of Antioch (50-117 AD)
    11 Valentianism
    There exist 16 male/female pairs of emissions (Aeon) from the divine substance; which, along with the Supreme God (Bythius), constitute the Pleroma ('Fulness', Godhead or world of gods).

    Jesus is depicted as a man (Aeon or Projection) who descends from the Pleroma in order to impart saving knowledge. Some have suggested that he was the incarnation of Simon Magus.

    Supported By:
    Simon Magus
    Valentius (d. 160 AD)
    Basilides (85-150 AD)
    Ptolemy (100-178 AD)

    Known As:
    Christian Gnosticism

    Supported By Texts:
    Odes of Solomon
    Gospel of Truth
    Letters to Flora
    Books of Jeu
    Shepherd of Hermas
    12Hierarchy of Gods
    There exists a hierarch of Gods and Jehovah (creator God) being a 'lower God'.

    Known As:
    Christian Gnosticism

    Supported By:
    Saturninus (d. 150 AD)
    13 Tritheism - Three Gods
    Jesus is one of three Gods (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

    Supported By:
    Roscelin (d. 1093)
    John Ascunages
    John Philoponus
    Conon, Bishop of Tarsus
    Eugenius, Bishop of Seleucia in Isauria

    Known As:
    Christian Gnosticism
    14Bithestic Variants
    Jesus was the human body, while Christ was the spirit personage that inhabited the body until the time of Crucifixion. Christ is a part of the Godhead.

    Known As:
    Christian Gnosticism

    Supported By:
    Montanus (156-172 AD)
    Catholic Apostolic Church (Irvingites 1832)
    Church of God in Christ (1907)
    Assemblies of God (1914)
    United Pentecostal Church (1914)
    Pentecostal Church of God (1919)
    15Good God vs Evil God
    There are two Gods: the Evil and Merciless God of the Old Testament; and the Good and Merciful God of the New Testament.

    There is also the Messiah of the Old Testament, who is seen as the enemy of the Christ of the New Testament. The Christ of the New Testament was not incarnate.

    Known As:

    Supported By:
    Marcion of Pontus (85-165 AD)
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