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Arianism is not to be confused with Aryanism and has nothing to do with Nazis, except those poor at spelling. It is named instead for Arius, a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt who lived from c. 250 AD to 336, and is a view of the Trinity where Jesus is a created being, rather than being one with God.

Arian Christology[edit]

Arianism considers Jesus distinct from God the Father, having been created by him, but nonetheless describes him as Lord or Master, while denying that he can know the Father fully. The Arian viewpoint on the Holy Spirit is that it is a "sanctifying power" subordinate even to the Son. They point to such scriptures as 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 and John 1:18 in support of their claim that Jesus is distinct from the Father, and Colossians 1:13-15 and Revelation 3:14 in support of their claim that he was created by God.


Arius taking a snooze beneath Emperor Constantine and the bishops

Arianism is very third-century, and the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) threw it out as a belief-system.[1] Arius himself was exonerated in 335, and his teachings enjoyed the support of the next two emperors. Finally, the First Council of Constantinople in 381 anathematised Arius again (posthumously).[2] Despite all the Orthodox condemnation floating about, Arian teachings have resurfaced occasionally since then, including among Germanic tribes (notably the Goths) in the early Medieval period, and recently in the Yorkshire-based Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Arian Catholicism.[3]

Jehovah's Witnesses, though sometimes characterised as modern-day Arians, only describe the Son as having been created by the Father - they do not share the remainder of Arius's beliefs. Mormonism can also count as Arian, as it views Yahweh and Jesus as distinct entities.

See also[edit]