Reference numbers Urk. 3
Doc. 10
CPG 3500
Incipit Τῷ δεσπότῃ μου κατὰ πάντα
Date c. 318-323
Ancient source (paragraphs 1-3) 2nd Council of Nicaea, Sessions (Actiones) 5 and 6
Modern editions used (paragraph 1-3) Labbe, vol. 7, col. 365; Mansi, vol. 13, coll. 176-177 and 317
Ancient source (paragraphs 4-5) Eusebius, Contra Marcellum 1.4.40-41; 1.40.57
Modern edition used (paragraphs 4-5) G.C. Hansen and E. Klostermann, Eusebius Werke, Band 4: Gegen Marcell. Über die kirchliche Theologie. Die Fragmente Marcells [Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 14, 2nd edn. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1972] via the TLG


(1.) A letter of Eusebius of Pamphylia to Euphration, which begins:  I confess to my lord by every grace….  And it continues later:

For we do not say that the Son is coexisting with the Father, but instead that the Father existed before the Son.  For if they coexisted, how could the Father be a father, and the Son be a son?  Or how could one indeed be the first, and the other second?  And how could one be unbegotten and the other begotten?   For the two, if they are equal, likewise exist mutually and are honored equally, one must conclude that either they are both unbegotten or both begotten, as I have said, but it is clear that neither of these is true.  For they are neither both unbegotten nor both begotten.  For one is indeed the first and best and leads to/precedes the second, both in order and in honor, so that he is the occasion for the second’s existing and for his existing in this particular way.

(2.) For the Son of God himself, who quite clearly knows all things, knows that he is different from, less, and inferior to the Father, and with full piety also teaches us this when he says, “The Father who sent me is greater than me” [John 14:28].

(3.) [And it is also written in the same letter:]  But he teaches that that one [the Father] is alone true when he says, “that they may know you, the only true God” [John 17:3], not as if one only is God, but that one is the (only) true God, with the very necessary addition of true.  For also he himself is Son of God, but not true, as God is.  For there is but one true God, the one before whom nothing existed.  But if the Son himself is true, it is simply as an image of the true God, and he is God, for [Scripture says] “and the Word was God” [John 1:1], but not as the only true God.

(4.) For daring to divide the Word of God and to name the Word as another God, differing in essence and power from the Father, he has departed into as great a blasphemy, as is easily discerned from those very terms he uses.  The following is an exact quote from his writings:

But surely the image and the one whose image it is are not considered one, but they are two Beings and two Things and two Powers, similarly with other titles [on image of God, see Col 1:15, 2 Cor 4:4].

(5.) He writes as follows, wishing to show the savior as only a man, as the great unspoken mystery unveiled to us by the apostle:

For more clearly also the divine Apostle transmits to us the unspoken and mystical theology when he calls and cries out, “There is one God;” then after saying one God he continues to describe another, “One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” [1 Tim 2:5].

Back to Early Arian DocumentsNext Arian Document

Translation by GLT

No Responses yet