Essay on The First Great Heresy For The Christian Religion

1270 Words Dec 12th, 2016 6 Pages
The first great heresy for the Christian religion is considered to be the Arian heresy-- with the name deriving from its most influential preacher, a parish priest named Arius from Antioch. The Arian heresy arose, in the year 318, from the fact that it was difficult to explain the difference between “the One and the Many, between the ultimate unity that lay behind the visible universe and the incapable variety that exists in the world as we know it”. Arius resolved this problem by preaching Jesus Christ, as the son of God, to be a separate entity from God, and thus not of the same divine material as God. This deviated from orthodox thought as it denied the divinity of Christ and was thus considered to be a denial of orthodox Christianity. The Arian movement gained momentum throughout the fourth century and beyond-- influencing the several later heretical ideologies, such as Semi-Arianism-- even gaining the support of several Emperors throughout this era, and later the invading VisiGothic tribes as well. This paper details solely the origins and progression of Arianism-- and the large problem it posed for early Orthodox Christianity.

The birth of Arianism is centered around the Church of Antioch, in Alexandria. The Church of Antioch was a metropolis of early Christianity as one of the original apostolic missions, with St. Peter as the first bishop. Ironically, it gave rise to the greatest number of heretics, including the prominent figures supporting the spread of Arianism…

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