Paul of Samosata
Who was Paul of Samosata?
Paul of Samosata (AD 200-275) was elected bishop of Antioch in 260 and served in the position for eight years. Paul was ousted in 269 over his teaching on Monarchianism, which argues for the oneness of God. He further taught that Christ was born a mortal man, but absorbed the divine logos at his baptism. The following quotations reflect his beliefs:
"Having been anointed by the Holy Spirit he received the title of the anointed (i.e. Christos), suffering in accordance with his nature, working wonders in accordance with grace. For in fixity and resoluteness of character he likened himself to God; and having kept himself free from sin was united with God, and was empowered to grasp as it were the power and authority of wonders. By these he was shown to possess over and above the will, one and the same activity (with God), and won the title of Redeemer and Saviour of our race."
"The Saviour became holy and just; and by struggle and hard work overcame the sins of our forefather. By these means he succeeded in perfecting himself, and was through his moral excellence united with God; having attained to unity and sameness of will and energy (i.e. activity) with Him through his advances in the path of good deeds. This will be preserved inseparable (from the Divine), and so inherited the name which is above all names, the prize of love and affection vouchsafed in grace to him."
"We do not award praise to beings which submit merely in virtue of their nature; but we do award high praise to beings which submit because their attitude is one of love; and so submitting because their inspiring motive is one and the same, they are confirmed and strengthened by one and the same indwelling power, of which the force ever grows, so that it never ceases to stir. It was in virtue of this love that the Saviour coalesced with God, so as to admit of no divorce from Him, but for all ages to retain one and the same will and activity with Him, an activity perpetually at work in the manifestation of good."
"Wonder not that the Saviour had one will with God. For as nature manifests the substance of the many to subsist as one and the same, so the attitude of love produces in the many a unity and a sameness of will which is manifested by unity and sameness of approval and well-pleasingness."