2.3.1 “To our beloved and most honorable fellow ministers everywhere within the catholic church. From Alexander. Greetings in the Lord.

2.3.2 Since the catholic church is one body, and since there is the command in the sacred Scriptures to preserve the bond of unity and peace, it is fitting that we write and report to each other the things which are happening among each of us, so that if one part suffers or rejoices, we may all suffer or rejoice with them.

2.3.3 Now then, in the area under our jurisdiction, lawless and Christ-fighting men recently went out teaching apostasy, a teaching which one might fairly regard and label as a forerunner of the Antichrist.

2.3.4 And I wanted to handle this kind of matter quietly so that the evil would be destroyed among the apostates in private and this kind of thing would not advance into other places and defile the ears of any innocent people. But then Eusebius, who is now in Nicomedia, thinking he could take church matters into his own hands, abandoned the church of Beirut because he jealously eyed the church of Nicomedia. Since he has not been punished for these actions of his, he has become the ringleader of these apostates. And he has set out to write letters to everywhere commending them, in order that he might drag some unsuspecting people down into this latest heresy which fights against Christ. Because of this and since I know what is written in the law, I must no longer be silent. But I must finally report to all of you, so that you may know both who the apostates are and what the wretched slogans of their heresy are. And if Eusebius writes to you, do not listen to anything he says.

2.3.5 For through these men, he now wants to revive his old evil ideas which he kept secret for a time. Thus he makes it look like he is writing for their sake. But in reality, he shows that he is making every effort to do this for his own sake.

2.3.6 These, then, are the ones who have become apostates: Arius, Achilles, Thales, Carpones, another Arius, Sarmates, Euzoius, Lucius, Julius, Menas, Helladius, and Gaius; as well as Secundus and Theonas, who were once called bishops.

2.3.7 These are the kinds of things they have invented and speak in violation of the Scriptures: ‘God was not always a Father. Rather, there was a time when God was not a Father. The Word of God did not always exist. Rather, he came into being [γίγνομαι] from that which did not exist. For God, who did exist, made the one who did not exist from that which did not exist. And therefore, there was a time when he did not exist. For the Son is a created being [κτῖσμα] and a something made [ποίημα]. And he is not similar [ὅμοιος] in essence [οὐσία] to the Father, and by nature [φύσις] he is neither the true Word of the Father nor his true Wisdom. Rather, he is one of the things which was made [ποίημα] and came into being [γενητός]. Only by a loose use of the terms is he called “Word” and “Wisdom.”

2.3.8 For even he himself came into being by the very word of God and by the wisdom which is in God, by which God made all things—including him. Therefore, he is also mutable and subject to change in respect to his nature, just like all rational beings.

2.3.9 The Word is foreign to, different than, and completely separate from the essence of God, and the Father is unable to be described by the Son. For the Word does not know the Father perfectly or exactly, nor can he see him perfectly. For the Son, as he is, also does not even know his own essence. For he came into being for our sake in order that God might create us through him, as through a tool. And he would not have come into existence if God had not wanted to make us.’

2.3.10 Indeed, someone asked them if it were possible for the Word of God to fall away like the devil fell away, and they were not afraid to say, ‘Yes, he could, for he has a mutable nature because he is made and created.’ We assembled together with nearly one hundred bishops from across Egypt and Libya and anathematized Arius and his close supporters who themselves are saying these things and act shamelessly concerning these matters, as well as those who follow them.

2.3.11 Eusebius and his close supporters, however, welcomed them and eagerly tried to blend their falsehood with the truth and their impiety with piety. But they will not succeed! For the truth shall prevail and there is no ‘fellowship at all between light and darkness,’ nor is there ‘any agreement between Christ and Belial.’

2.3.12 For who has ever heard these kinds of things? Or who, as he hears them now, is not astonished and plugs his ears to stop from hearing the filth of these words? For who hears John say, ‘In the beginning was the Word’ [John 1:1] and does not condemn those who say, ‘There was a time when he did not exist’? Or who hears in the Gospel, ‘only-begotten Son’ and ‘through him all things were made’ and does not despise those who pronounce, ‘He is one of the things that were made’? For how could he be one of the things which came into existence through himself? Or how could he, who, according to them, is numbered with all things, be only-begotten? And how could he be from things which did not exist when the Father says, ‘My heart overflows with a good Word’ and ‘I begot you from the womb before the morning star’?

2.3.13 Or how could he who is the perfect image and reflection of the Father and who says, ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father,’ [John 14:9] have an essence unlike [ἀνόμοιος] the Father’s? And if the Son is the Word and Wisdom of God, how was there ever ‘a time when he did not exist’? For that is the same thing as them saying that there was a time when the Father had no word or wisdom!

2.3.14 And how could the one who himself says, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father is in me’ [John 14:10] and ‘I and the Father are one’ [John 10:30] and who says through the prophet, ‘Look, I am, and I do not change,’ be mutable and subject to change? For even though one can interpret the passage as referring to the Father himself, it would now, however, be more fittingly said about the Word because even when he became man, he did not change. But as the apostle said, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ [Hebrews 13:8] What, then, has persuaded them to say that he came into being for our sake, even though Paul says, ‘All things are because of him, and all things are through him’? [Hebrews 2:10]

2.3.15 We need not be surprised by their blasphemous statement that the Son does not know the Father completely. For the moment they decided to fight against Christ, they also cast aside his words, when he says, ‘Just as the Father knows me, I also know the Father.’ [John 10:15] So if the Father knows the Son in part, then it is clear that the Son also does not know the Father perfectly. But if it is not right to say this, and the Father does know the Son perfectly, then it is clear that just as the Father knows his own Word, so also the Word knows his own Father, whose Word he also is.

2.3.16 By saying these things and unfolding the sacred Scriptures, we have put them to shame many times. And, in turn, they kept changing like chameleons, contentiously striving to bring upon themselves what has been written: ‘When an ungodly man goes to the depths of evil, he becomes contemptuous.’ [Proverbs 18:3] For indeed, many heresies have previously appeared which, being more audacious than they ought to have been, have fallen into foolishness. But these people—who by all their slogans have attempted to destroy the deity of the Word—have vindicated those previous ones in comparison, since these ones are nearer to the Antichrist. For this reason, they were both publicly banished from and anathematized by the church.

2.3.17 Therefore, we are grieved by their destruction, and especially by the fact that although they at one time learned the teachings of the church, they have now turned away from them. But we are not shocked. For this is what happened to Hymenaeus and Philetus, and before them, to Judas, who followed the Savior but later became a traitor and an apostate.

2.3.18 And we have not been left uninformed about these very things. But the Lord foretold, ‘Look out so that no one may deceive you. For many will come in my name, saying, “I am he” and “The time has come,” and they will deceive many. Therefore, do not follow them.’ And Paul, who learned these things from the Savior, wrote, ‘In later times, some will apostatize from the sound faith and pay attention to spirits of deception and teachings of demons which reject the truth.’

2.3.19 So then, since our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ both announced these sorts of things himself and pointed them out through the apostle, we who have heard their ungodliness firsthand have accordingly anathematized such people, as we said before, proclaiming them to be outsiders [ἀλλότριος] of the catholic church and faith.

2.3.20 Therefore, we have explained these things even to your godliness, beloved and most honorable fellow ministers, so that you will not welcome any of them if they should be so audacious as to come to you, and you will not to be convinced if Eusebius or anyone else writes about them. For since we are Christians, it is fitting for us to turn from all those who speak and think against Christ and who thus fight against God and corrupt souls. It is also fitting that we not even greet such people so that we never become participants of their sins, as the blessed John proclaimed. Greet the brothers with you. Those with me send their greetings to you.

2.3.21 The priests of Alexandria:

I, Colluthos the priest, am in agreement with the things written here and with the deposing of Arius and those who have acted impiously along with him.

Likewise, Alexander the priest
Likewise, Dionysius the priest
Likewise, Alexander the priest
Likewise, Harpocration the priest
Likewise, Nemesius the priest
Likewise, Silvanus the priest
Likewise, Apis the priest
Likewise, Paul the priest
Likewise, Dioscorus the priest
Likewise, Eusebius the priest
Likewise, Silas the priest
Likewise, Agathon the priest
Likewise, Longus the priest
Likewise, Piröus the priest
Likewise, Proterius the priest
Likewise, Cyrus the priest

 
The deacons [of Alexandria]:

Likewise, Ammonius the deacon
Likewise, Pistus the deacon
Likewise, Eumenes the deacon
Likewise, Olympius the deacon
Likewise, Athanasius the deacon
Likewise, Paul the deacon
Likewise, Amyntianus the deacon
Likewise, Macarius the deacon
Likewise, Athanasius the deacon
Likewise, Apollonius the deacon
Likewise, Aphthonius the deacon
Likewise, Macarius the deacon
Likewise, Peter the deacon
Likewise, Gaius the deacon

 
The priests of Mareotis:

Likewise, Apollos the priest
Likewise, Ammonas the priest
Likewise, Sostras the priest
Likewise, Tyrannus the priest
Likewise, Ammonas the priest
Likewise, Serenus the priest
Likewise, Heracles the priest
Likewise, Agathon the priest
Likewise, Ingenius the priest
Likewise, Dioscorus the priest
Likewise, Theon the priest
Likewise, Copres the priest
Likewise, Orion the priest
Likewise, Didymus the priest
Likewise, Boccon the priest
Likewise, Achillas the priest

 
The deacons [of Mareotis]:

Likewise, Sarapion the deacon
Likewise, Didymus the deacon
Likewise, Maurus the deacon
Likewise, Comon the deacon
Likewise, Tryphon the deacon
Likewise, Didymus the deacon
Likewise, Seras the deacon
Likewise, Hierax the deacon
Likewise, Justus the deacon
Likewise, Demetrius the deacon
Likewise, Marcus the deacon
Likewise, Alexander the deacon
Likewise, Ammonius the deacon
Likewise, Ptollarion the deacon
Likewise, Gaius the deacon
Likewise, Marcus the deacon”

 
2.3.22 After Alexander wrote these kinds of things to his fellow ministers in every city, things went from bad to worse. When Emperor Constantine found out about these things, his soul was deeply grieved and he considered the matter to be his personal misfortune. Immediately hastening to extinguish the evil which had been kindled, the emperor sent letters to Alexander and Arius through a trustworthy man, the bishop of Cordova (one of the cities of Spain), since the emperor loved him and held him in honor.

 

Next Chapter – 2.4 Emperor Constantine’s letter to Alexander and Arius, which was sent through Hosius, the Bishop of Cordova

Previous Chapter – 2.2 The heresy invented by Arius, the fighter-against-God

Click here to read Book 1 in its entirety.

 

Created by NJ 7-5-17

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