2.16.1 The philosopher’s response: “Allow me to defer this topic for the time being. Instead, we must further inquire about him through whom God made man and all things, visible and invisible. Your statement that the Father and the Son are eternally one in the same relationship and that the Son eternally coexists with the Father does not seem correct to me.

2.16.2 Rather, I would assert that God made him as an assistant for his creating acts. God needed an assistant to create man and the universe. Therefore, when the Creator God was going to create the created beings, he brought a tool into existence for himself, through which he would create all beings.

2.16.3 As a builder first makes tools for building the buildings he is going to make, so also one can presume in the case of God that after he brought the Son into existence as a tool for himself, he created the universe through him.

2.16.4 This is what the apostles said: ‘All things were made through him’ [John 1:3]. So beings were created through him as through a tool. When God said, ‘in our image and likeness,’ he was saying that man was created through a tool, that is, through the Son, in his own image and likeness.”

2.16.5 The holy fathers’ answer through Leontius, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and Eupsychius, bishop of Tyana: “If, as you say, the Son was created by the Father as a tool to make created beings, you fall by your own words, philosopher. The word of the Gospel, as you yourself just mentioned, says, ‘All things were made through him.’ It continues, ‘Without him nothing was made that has been made.’

2.16.6 Therefore, if every created thing was made through him and nothing was made without him, and if, as you say, the Son is also a creature, then he created himself, not the Father.”

2.16.7 The philosopher’s response: “I already said that God made all things through him as through a tool. For this very reason he made him before all creation and prepared him as a tool for making created beings.”

2.16.8 The holy fathers’ answer through the same Bishops Leontius and Eupsychius: “Please tell us, most excellent man, where has anyone spoken to you of the Son of God or his Holy Spirit as tools? Provide us with evidence for these suppositions. Which man was inspired by the Spirit to give the descriptions you maintain, namely, that the Son of God, the creator of all ages, all heavenly hosts, and everything on earth, is a tool?

2.16.9 Therefore, philosopher, listen to the passages of the Holy Scriptures which teach that the Son is God, coeternal with the Father, creator and craftsman of all created beings.

2.16.10 In Genesis the prophet Moses called the Son co-craftsman with God the Father, as we already said to you, most excellent man: ‘God said, “Let us make man in our image and likeness.”’ He naturally calls a person co-craftsman, not a tool. The wording, ‘God made man; in the image of God he made him; male and female he made them,’ indicates their status as persons.

2.16.11 By saying, ‘Let us make man,’ he removes any notion of tools. Take an even clearer authentic passage, which deals solely with the person of the Son and shows that he is the craftsman of all created beings. It is written in the book of Baruch dictated by the prophet Jeremiah:

2.16.12 ‘He who established the earth for time everlasting filled it with four-footed animals. He sends the light out, and it goes. He called it, and it obeyed him with trembling. The stars shone in their stations and rejoiced. He called them, and they said, “We are here.” They shone with joy for him who made them. This is our God. No one can be compared to him. He uncovered every way of knowledge and presented it to his child Jacob, his beloved Israel. Then he appeared on the earth and lived with humans.’1

2.16.13 Isaiah says to Israel, ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? God, who established the ends of the earth, is the eternal God’ [Isaiah 40:28]. Who, then, philosopher, is the eternal God, who established the ends of the earth, appeared on the earth, and lived with humans? What do you say? Was it the Son or the Father who lived with humans?”

2.16.14 The philosopher’s response: “The Son lived with humans, just as the Holy Scriptures say and I accept since I believe them. But I still have a powerful, indisputable argument showing that God created him before all creation in order to create everything through him. I will prove this as the debate goes on.”

2.16.15 The holy fathers’ answer through the same devout Bishops Leontius and Eupsychius: “Not so, philosopher. You cannot prove what you are saying. He is begotten of God and not a product, as we have proven with many passages. Who among men rich in godliness and wisdom is not amazed at the magnificent workmanship of the beings he crafted (that is, created) as God, philosopher? As Scripture proclaims, ‘God made man,’ and, ‘God saw everything he had made, and it was very good.’

2.16.16 John the Evangelist clearly demonstrates that he always coexists with the Father and is coeternal and without beginning with the Father, for he says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made.’

2.16.17 This clearly proves, philosopher, that the Son is the craftsman of every created being. Therefore, if he is the craftsman of all creatures, both perceivable and only conceivable, as he really is, then he is clearly true God by nature and not, as you say, a tool, nor a creature, nor a product, nor younger than the Father.

2.16.18 For the word, ‘was,’ which the Evangelist uses four times, does not admit of anything existing before him. But so that you may know beyond doubt that he is not subordinate, but rather autonomous, as the Father is, take another transparent passage.

2.16.19 Listen to what the prophet Isaiah proclaims: ‘They will wish they were burnt with fire,’2 prophesying about the Jews, ‘For3 a child was born; to us a son was given. His government is on his shoulder, and his name is called “Messenger of Great Counsel,” “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Authoritative One”’ [Isaiah 9:5-6, LXX 9:4-5].4 Take note, philosopher, that he calls him authoritative and not subordinate, as you claim.

2.16.20 But let us return to the passage: ‘“Mighty God,” “Authoritative One,” “Ruler of Peace,” “Father of the Age to Come.”’ In one of his merciful deeds, the same only-begotten Son of God presents himself as both autonomous and the creator of man. (I am speaking about the healing of the man blind from birth, which he accomplished as the Son of God.5

2.16.21 He is the coeternal radiance of the Father and the exact representation of his whole being, as his chosen vessel, the apostle Paul, says.6

2.16.22 So many people, philosopher, have shown that the Son of God is without beginning, for he is uncreated with the Father, and that he is the creator of all created beings, both perceivable and only conceivable, as we have often said.

2.16.23 But where are the passages which speak of tools? Speak, if you have any. Perhaps you were baptized into a belief in tools, if you really do believe in God, as you claim.”


Next Chapter – 2.17 The philosopher’s counter-argument concerning the phrase from Solomon’s proverbs:  “The Lord created me as the first of his paths for his works”

Previous Chapter – 2.15 The philosopher’s counter-argument on behalf of Arius

Click here to read Book 1 in its entirety.


Created by RR 7-11-21

  1. Baruch 3:32-38.
  2. The LXX differs in meaning from the MT. Hansen says that this has been deliberately taken out of context and misinterpreted in an anti-Semitic sense.
  3. LXX adds ‘to us,’ following the MT.
  4. Rahlfs’ edition of the LXX prints a shorter text of this verse, following Vaticanus, but other manuscripts (Alexandrinus, Ephraemi, marginal reading in Sinaiticus) and Lucian’s recension have the longer version of the text which the author quotes here and which more closely resembles the MT.
  5. Cf. John 9.
  6. Cf. Hebrews 1:3 and Acts 9:15.

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