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The Christology of Callistus.

One of the central problems of late second and early third century theology was how to maintain the deity of Jesus without denying the oneness of God. Modalistic monarchianism was a widely accepted solution to this problem.(1) Hippolytus' Refutatio omnium haeresium (Ref.)(2) is a major source for our knowledge of this theology and the disputes related to it, and in the case of Callistus, it is our only source. Unfortunately, Hippolytus is not always a reliable witness.

K. Koschorke has argued that Hippolytus has an Arbeitsplan which he pursues throughout the Ref., and which skews the results.(3) This plan, revealed in the preface to Ref. 1, consists of three points according to Koschorke. First, he exposes the secret teachings of the heresies (Pref. 25), and then, he shows that they derive from Greek wisdom, and not the Scriptures (Pref. 8). Finally Koschorke argues, while admitting that this point is not to be found in the preface to Ref. I, that Hippolytus wants to show an inner relationship between all the heresies. Koschorke calls this a successio haereticorum, and thinks that behind this lies a Depravationstheorie, which begins with the teachings of the Jews, and progresses through Barbarians, Greeks, and the other heretics to its present depravity in the teachings of Callistus.(4) While Koschorke's third point is questionable,(5) he is clearly correct on the first two. The study is especially successful in showing that Hippolytus often alters the material content of his heretical sources to prove their reliance on philosophy.(6) J. Mansfeld's study of the fragments of the Greek philosophers cited in Ref. has further shown that Hippolytus also sometimes `doctors' his philosophical sources to bring them into line with the teachings of the heretics.(7)

It is important, therefore, to have some kind of control with which to compare Hippolytus' assertions, and especially in regard to Callistus, for whether Koschorke is right or wrong on Callistus being the focal point of the entire Ref., it is quite obvious that Hippolytus has a strong bias against him. The fact that Hippolytus is the only witness to Callistus' doctrines, however, makes all controls tentative. I attempt to provide controls from Tertullian's Adversus Praxean (Prax.), and the first two books of Origen's Commentary on John (Io.).

The significance of Origen as a control lies in the fact that he visited Rome in the time of Zephyrinus when there was considerable turmoil there over the modalist issue.(8) Hagemann argued in the mid-nineteenth century that some of Origen's arguments against modalism are directed against the views of Callistus.(9) That may be too narrow in its approach, but Origen's arguments do seem to reflect the modalism of the Roman school, of which Callistus was one representative, and Io. is especially important in this connection. The first two books were written soon after Origen returned from Rome, and are largely structured by the modalist question.(10) Origen does not, of course, conduct a single-minded polemic against modalists in these books. He also argues against Marcionites (1.253), Gnostics (2-155, 171), and particularly Heracleon (2.100-104, 137-39). Nevertheless, the modalist problem appears several times in his exegetical comments on John 1: 1-5, and appears to have been much on his mind. References to modalism appear also in the later books of the commentary, and are scattered throughout his writings, but there is a concentration on the subject in Io. 1-2.(11) This suggests that, as Hagemann argued, Origen was looking back at the controversy in Rome when he began work on Io., and perhaps even chose to work on this Gospel at that time because of the importance of John in this Christological debate. The limitation of this control is that Origen never names his modalistic opponents, and Hagemann's argument, and mine, therefore, is possible only by juxtaposing Origen's remarks with what Hippolytus has said about Callistus' doctrine. Nevertheless, some of Origen's remarks throw considerable light on Hippolytus' report when placed in such juxtaposition.

Praxeas is a shadowy figure. I pass over the question of his identity, except to say that I consider Praxeas to have been his actual name, and not a pseudonym for Callistus or one of the other monarchians mentioned by Hippolytus.(12) He is mentioned only by Tertullian (Prax.) and the unknown author of the small treatise preserved among Tertullian's works entitled Adversus Omnes Haereses (Ch. 8).(13) The latter credits Praxeas with originating the monarchian heresy, and says that the heresy was corroborated by `Victorinus'. Victorinus is unknown. The name may be a scribal corruption combining the names of Victor (Bishop of Rome 189-99) and his successor Zephyrinus (Bishop 199-217). Tertullian credits Praxeas with introducing monarchianism to Rome from Asia (Prax. I), and names no other monarchians. He further states that Praxeas introduced monarchianism to Carthage (ibid). Praxeas' visit to Rome is, therefore, usually dated either in the time of Victor(14) or of Zephyrinus.(15) I follow those who accept Zephyrinus as the Bishop when Praxeas visited Rome.(16)

There are significant correspondences between the views Tertullian attributes to the followers of Praxeas and those Hippolytus attributes to Callistus and the Roman school of modalists. One might explain this correspondence, if Praxeas was in Rome in the time of Zephyrinus, by assuming that he was present when such teachings were discussed in the school of Cleomenes, and that he then transmitted these views of the Roman school to Carthage. This does not, however, explain the disparity between the views Tertullian attributes to Praxeas in Prax. 1 and 27-29. In the former passage Praxeas is a patripassianist; in the latter he attempts to avoid patripassianism. It is the latter position that corresponds with the Roman school. I suggest, therefore, that Tertullian uses Praxeas' name as a cover to attack the views of Callistus. It is clear in Prax. I that Praxeas himself is not at issue in the discussions in the book. He had, according to Tertullian, earlier renounced his error in a written document, resumed his former faith, and passed into oblivion. Recently, however, there has been a revival of modalism, which Tertullian associates with the seeds previously sown by Praxeas. It is this fresh outbreak that Tertullian combats. It is possible that the fresh outbreak of modalism in Carthage which Tertullian combats is the result of the new lease on life that modalism was receiving in Rome from the support of Zephyrinus and Callistus (Ref. 9.7-2-3).(17) Tertullian combats it under the guise of the teachings of Praxeas, but the views he attacks are those of Callistus which are having the effect of reviving modalism in Carthage.

The difficulties concerning the sources, and the ambiguities related to the controls make all conclusions about Callistus' doctrines tentative. Nevertheless, Callistus stands in a critical position in relation to Christological thought in third-century Rome. Hippolytus, by his own indirect admission, represented a minority viewpoint (Ref. 9.12.21).

What I hope to accomplish is to show (I) what can be accepted, with relative certainty, as Callistus' Christological views, and consequently as the views of the Roman school of modalists, (2) that this Christology was no compromise between the modalism of Sabellius and the Logos Christology of Hippolytus, (3) that the Roman school had modified the earlier Asian doctrines of Noetus, and (4) that this modification was part of the basis of the break between Callistus and Sabellius.


My critique of Hippolytus' account of Callistus' Christology works from the assumption that Hippolytus may have skewed the information in any or all of the following ways. (I) The selection itself of what to include and what to omit may reflect his bias. This is most obvious in the omission of the scriptural texts from which Callistus drew his views to make it appear that his doctrine was not derived from Scripture. That the modalists made abundant and effective use of Scripture is evident from (a) the account of Noetus' teachings in CN which will be discussed in [sections] 2 below, (b) Hippolytus' own remark about how Callistus supported his doctrine of the nature of the Church from Scripture (Ref. 9.12.22-23), and (c) the lengthy scriptural debates in which Tertullian and Origen engage against them. This same selection bias may also manifest itself in slightly different form in the emphasis put on a particular concept, which may misrepresent Callistus' emphasis. (2) Hippolytus' biases may also appear in the manipulation of the reported words to make what is attributed to Callistus better fit his own argument, and (3) the interpretations that Hippolytus gives to Callistus' words are probably biased.

The last two points are affected, among other things, by the differing intellectual frameworks of Hippolytus and Callistus. The tradition of the Logos theology which Hippolytus represented, and that of modalism represented by Callistus relied respectively on the Middle Platonic philosophical tradition and Stoicism. Throughout his detailed study Mansfeld has shown that the particular philosophers Hippolytus chooses to discuss, the chains of succession in which he places them, and the interpretation that he gives to them all fit within the framework of the Middle Platonic historical and exegetical works on the philosophers dating from the first century BCE through the first two centuries CE. Hippolytus' choice of philosophers on whom he concentrates, Mansfeld says, `corresponds with a Middle Platonic focus. As an intellectual Hippolytus is a child of his time'.(18) The Stoicism of the modalists, on the other hand, is evident in our texts in the identification of the concepts God-spirit-Logos, in the use of Stoic logic, in the reduction of the Logos concept to the Stoic definition of a pronounced word, and as I shall argue, in the use of Stoic physical theory to explain the incarnation.(19) Callistus himself may not have been a deep student of Stoic thought, but may simply repeat views that had become common to the modalist tradition, or had been developed in the Roman school of modalists.(20)

C. Andresen, who has subjected the texts relevant to our study to an incisive critique,(21) dismisses Ref. 10.27.3-4 because it is, in his opinion, a construction of Hippolytus. On the other hand, he puts much confidence in Hippolytus' report of Callistus' teachings in Ref. 9. 12. 16-19, which he thinks may be based on the record of an actual discussion between Hippolytus and Callistus. He thinks it represents a statement, with argumentation, on the single theological problem of the incarnation in relation to the Logos concept.(22)

Andresen's critique probably errs both in putting too much confidence in the account in Ref. 9, and in its complete dismissal of that in Re 10. Nevertheless, it must be taken seriously, and while I disagree with it at some points, on the whole I build on the conclusions that he has reached. Consequently, I base this study on Ref. 9, and accept from that in Ref. 10 only what can be shown to cohere with the views indicated in Ref. 9.

Ref. 9.12.16-19.(23)



(16) ... [Callistus] says that the Logos himself is Son. [The Logos](25) is also given the name Father, but is one indivisible spirit. (17) Father and Son are not distinct,(26) but are one and the same, even as all things are full of the divine spirit above and below. And the spirit which was made flesh in the virgin(27) is not different from the Father, but is one and the same. And this is what has been said, `Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?' (John 14: 10).(28) (18) For that which is seen (1 John 1: 1), which is man, is the Son, but the spirit contained in the Son is the Father. For I will not, he says, speak of two Gods, Father and Son, but of one. For the Father who was in him (John 14: 10) assumed the flesh and made it God by uniting it with himself, and made it one, so that Father and Son are designated one God, and this unity, being a person, cannot be two, and so the Father suffered with the Son. (19) For he is not willing to say that the Father suffered and is one person, but this senseless and wily man, who utters blasphemies high and low off the cuff, [wants] to avoid blasphemy against the Father, so that he may appear to speak only in accordance with the truth. At one moment he falls into the teaching of Sabellius, and at another he is not ashamed to lapse into that of Theodotus.

The placing of the Logos concept first suggests Hippolytus' agenda to connect Callistus thought with Heraclitus. C. Osborne argues that Hippolytus' choice of Heraclitean material was determined by what he considered to be the parallel system of thought in Noetus, and calls attention to the prominence of the term Logos in the citations of Heraclitus in Ref. 9.9.1-3. She further links this with the statement about the Logos in Ref. 9.12.16.(29) Hippolytus wants to establish this connection at the beginning, but there is no reason to think that there was any such connection in Callistus' own thought, or that he gave any such prominence to the Logos concept in his own teaching. Hippolytus may intend to point to Heraclitus also when he makes both Son and Father predicates of the Logos, for according to Hippolytus, Heraclitus identified the Logos as the All ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Ref. 9.9-3). The joining of Father and Son in this opening statement further suggests the Heraclitean connection intended by Hippolytus, for this is one of the pairs of opposites that he lists as part of the teaching of Heraclitus (Ref. 9.9.1). This pair of opposites, moreover, represents Hippolytus' `doctoring' of the views of Heraclitus, for, as Mansfeld has shown, `the pair "Father" and "Son" is Christian rather than Heraclitean'.(30) The opening statement may further misrepresent Callistus' thought in that it seems to assume the Son's pre-existence, in the manner of the Logos theologians, which I will argue later Callistus did not grant.

This is not to suggest that Callistus did not make a statement similar, at least, to what is represented here, or that he did not join Father and Son as one. It is to suggest, however, that Callistus would never have put the Logos concept first in any discussion of the incarnation in which he intended to set forth his own view. In what follows in this account it is the concept of spirit, not Logos, which links Father and Son. Father and Son are one inseparable spirit. The spirit was made flesh in the virgin.(31) This spirit was the Father. Callistus did not need the Logos concept to identify Father and Son. The concept occupies a secondary position in relation to that of spirit.

Tertullian shows, furthermore, that the difference between the Logos theologians and modalists did not lie in the modalists' identification of the Logos with the spirit, for he makes that identification explicit for his own theology.(32) He assumes that John's statement, `The Logos became flesh,' includes the spirit, and says, duo unum sunt (Prax. 26; 27). The difference between the Logos theologians and the modalists lay in the definition of the Logos as either substantial or insubstantial, and this difference was debated exegetically, as both Tertullian and Origen show, in relation to Ps. 44: 2.

The use of Ps. 44: 2 to suggest the origin of the Logos had a long history among Logos theologians, extending as far back as Justin and Theophilus of Antioch.(33) It was a significant Christological text for Tertullian, who cited it against the followers of Praxeas to prove that the Logos (sermo) was begotten from the `womb' of God's `heart' as a substantive `object and person' (res et persona), and as such constituted a `second beside God' (secundus a deo), making `two, Father and Son, God and the Logos'. Tertullian speaks here of the pre-existent, not the incarnate, Logos. He identified the separation of the Logos from God with the first words God is recorded to have spoken in the Bible, `Let there be light' (Gen 1: 3). This, he says, est nativitas Perfecta sermonis, cum ex deo, procedit (Prax. 7). But the modalists will respond, Tertullian claims, by saying, `What ... is logos (sermo) [i.e. speech) except voice and oral sound (vox et sonus oris) and (as the grammarians' tradition has it) smitten air (aer offensus) intelligible in the hearing, for the rest an empty something, void and incorporeal (inane et incorporale)?'(34) Tertullian's statement of the modalist argument may, of course, be a case of occupatio.(35) The fact that Origen's comments reflect a similar exegesis of Ps. 44: 2, as I will show, strongly suggests, however, that Tertullian's statement represents a known tradition of exegesis of this verse among the modalists.

Origen's treatment of the exegetical tradition related to Ps. 44: 2 differs from Tertullian's because he thinks both sides in the argument are wrong. He introduces the problem of how the term Logos in general should be understood at Io. 1.125. This problem structures his discussion from there to Io. 1.288. PS. 44: 2 is brought into the discussion at Io. 1.151, where he refers to people who

continually use the verse ... as though they think the Son of God is an expression of the Father occurring in syllables. And in accordance with this view, if we inquire of them carefully, they do not give him hypostasis, nor do they make his ousia clear. I do not mean that it is this or that, but in what manner [he has] ousia.(36)

This corresponds very closely with what Tertullian says of the modalists, who reduce the Logos (sermo) to an empty, incorporeal spoken sound.

Origen returns to Ps. 44: 2 at Io. 1.280-87 where he considers what the verse would mean should the Father be the speaker, which he himself rejects. He focuses on the strange verb, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which literally means `to belch forth'. A belch, he says, brings hidden wind ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) into the open. On this basis, he suggests, sarcastically I think, that perhaps `the Father belches forth visions of the truth in a disconnected manner and produces their form in the Logos' (Io. 1.283). This again, in my opinion, is aimed at the modalistic reduction of the Logos, based scripturally on Ps. 44: 2, to an empty sound.

This modalist exegesis of Ps. 44: 2 treats the term Logos as a category of speech rather than a category of ontology.(37) This move appears to have had its basis in Stoicism. The definitions Tertullian relates can be attested in Stoic philosophy (D.L. 7.55-6).(38) That Tertullian attributes the definitions to the grammarians is not incompatible with this observation, for the discussion of grammar was an important part of Stoic philosophy, and Stoicism had a strong influence on ancient linguistic theory.(39) If we view the statement in Ps. 44: 2 from a Stoic standpoint, then the exegetical argument of the modalists becomes clear. The Stoics distinguished between [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (reason) and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (speech). Ps. 44: 2 is clearly about the latter. The arguments and definitions Tertullian repeats then follow from a Stoic perspective. They argued that [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was nothing special even in mankind, `for ravens, parrots, and jays also utter articulate utterances ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])', and that it is only `in reason ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [sc. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])' that mankind surpasses the irrational animals (SVF 11.223). Consequently, when the term Logos was used of Christ in the sense of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] it could only refer to a spoken word ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], vox or sonus oris) from a Stoic standpoint. And this is precisely what Tertullian and Origen accuse the modalists of saying in their exegesis of Ps. 44: 2.(40)

If we transfer these observations to the opening verses of John's Gospel, the debate between the modalists and the Logos theologians must have gone somewhat as follows. The modalists must have read [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in John 1: 1-2 as the Stoic [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. As such, the Logos was not separate from God, and therefore, was a part of God's being, which they identified as spirit, and said, consequently, that the Logos is spirit (cf. Ref. 9.12.16-17a and 10.27-3). They must have interpreted the references to creation in John 1: 3-5 as the activity of God's spoken word, i.e. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], as related in Genesis 1. John 1: 14, however, would refer to the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],as it was the Father himself as spirit or Logos which became flesh in the Son (Ref. 9.17.18; cf. 10.27-4). On the other hand, they must have argued that the Logos theologians could only mean [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]when they understood the Logos to be separate from God in John 1: 1-2. Consequently, the pre-existent Logos of which they spoke could only be oral sound. The Logos theologians, however, stood in the Middle Platonic tradition which had joined the Stoic Logos with Plato's creative Demiurge.(41) They thought of the Logos, therefore, as a second God,(42) and argued that he had his own independent existence, and bridged the gap between the transcendent (Platonic) God and the material order. Both Hippolytus and Tertullian explained creation as God giving commands and the Logos carrying out the commands in the act of creation (Ref. 10-33.2; Prax. 12). And both identified this independently existing Logos as the God who became incarnate (Ref. 10-33-14-17; Prax. 2, 27).

Hippolytus reflects these antithetical understandings of Logos when he speaks of the generation of the Logos, though not in texts dealing specifically with the modalists, for he did not want to link their doctrines with scriptural exegesis. When he describes the begetting of the Logos in his `demonstration of the truth' (Ref. 10-33.1), however, he immediately inserts the defensive phrase, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. This, I think, is his recognition of the modalist exegesis cited above in which Logos is understood as [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and treated as a category of speech. He then immediately attempts to locate his own understanding of the Logos in the category of ontology by making it the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Given the fact that Origen was writing Book 1 of Io. shortly after his visit to Rome, his descriptions of the opposing exegeses of Ps. 44: 2 in regard to the Logos may reflect the debates he heard there between the modalists and Hippolytus.

This discussion shows, I think, the basic difference between Callistus' and Hippolytus' understanding of the term Logos, and the rather minor significance it had for Callistus in relation to the crucial role that it played in Hippolytus' theology. The central thesis of Callistus' theology is found not in the Logos concept with which Hippolytus begins the discussion, but in Ref. 9.12.18, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. It is this basic monarchian thesis that there can be only one God, which most concerns Callistus. Hippolytus, significantly, introduces this statement with the verb [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. M. Marcovich has argued that Hippolytus uses this verb in two senses, one being explanatory, meaning `he teaches, affirms, or means', and the other to introduce a quotation, `he says verbis expressis', and thinks the two uses `can be easily distinguished'.(43) It is clearly intended in the latter sense here, for the verb ascribed to Callistus is first person ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). ...This appears to be one statement, at least, in Hippolytus' report that we can, with a great deal of confidence, assume came from the lips of Callistus himself. This is further strengthened by the fact that it was Callistus' charge against Hippolytus and his followers, again reported in the form of direct address, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],that Hippolytus took to mark the dividing line between himself and Callistus (Ref. 9.12.16).(44) This central thesis, which can with most assurance be assigned to Callistus, sets his Christology firmly against that of the Logos theologians, and rules out any use of the Logos concept in a substantial sense distinct from the Father.

Hippolytus' report next focuses on Callistus' use of the concept of spirit to explain the incarnation (Ref. 9.12-17-18a). This section, again, reflects Hippolytus' desire to show that the views of Callistus have their ultimate source in Heraclitus. It contains a concentration of Heraclitean phraseology, as Hippolytus has represented it at least. Part of the phraseology, along with the basic idea of the unity of apparent opposites, is derived from one of the sayings of Heraclitus quoted in Ref. 9.9-4, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].(45) The phrase, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],which is Hippolytus' exegesis of Heraclitus, appears twice in 9.12.17, 46 and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] once.(47) In addition, the word [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] at the end of 9.112.16 comes from one of Hippolytus' pairs of Heraclitean opposites, and the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] pair, which underlies the whole of 9.12.17 is, as noted above, another such set (9.9.1).(48) Hippolytus wants to show that when Callistus brings the Father and the Son together in the one spirit he is, in effect, following the Heraclitean fusion of opposites.(49) I think it probable that the opening statement in Ref. 9.12.17, beginning with [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]and extending to [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], is Hippolytus' comment on the `one [indivisible (probably also Hippolytus' word)] spirit' with which Ref. 9.12.16 concludes. Further, the phrase, `but is one and the same', which concludes the next statement in 9.12.17, appears to be tacked on by Hippolytus to remind the reader again of Callistus' (presumed) reliance on Heraclitus.

Disregarding this Heraclitean packaging, we have, beginning in 9.12-17, Callistus' explanation of the incarnation.

And the spirit which was made flesh in the virgin is not different from the Father. ... And this is what has been said, `Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?' (John 14: 10). (18) For that which is seen (1 John 1: 1), which is man, is the Son, but the spirit contained in the Son is the Father.

This explanation involves, as its basis, `the two-fold assessment of Christ [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].(50) The spirit which was made flesh in the virgin is identified with the Father on the basis of John 14: 10) which was an important modalist text.(51) The flesh, which was the visible human being, was the Son. The spirit contained in the Son was the Father (9.12.18).(52)

There are two important points to note about this description. The first is that the spirit has no distinct existence apart from the Father for Callistus. In Io. 2.73-5 Origen enumerates three possible views of the Holy Spirit. One may say, he says in relation to John 1: 3, (a) that the Spirit was made through the Logos, or (b) that he is unbegotten, or (c) that the Spirit has no distinctive essence different from the Father and the Son. If the one who holds the last view `thinks the Son is different from the Father', he may further propose, he says, `that the Spirit is the same with the Father'. This last view, as Hagemann noted,(53) is identical with the view here attributed to Callistus. The Son is differentiated from the Father, and the spirit is equated with the Father. Tertullian also says that his modalist opponents `wish the Spirit to be taken to be the Father himself, since God is spirit' (Prax. 27).(54) While Tertullian does not call attention to it, his statement gives John 4: 24 as the basis of this identification by the modalists.(55) It is possible, furthermore, by some rather simple textual emendations at Ref. 10.27.3, to see John 4: 24 quoted there by Callistus. I suggest reading the text as follows: ... [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ... .(56) If these emendations should be correct, then the introduction of these words from John 4: 24 by [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] suggests they are authentic words of Callistus,(57) and provides the scriptural basis for his identification of the spirit with the Father.

The other point to be noted in this passage is that Callistus posited a real human-divine distinction in the Son. The statement with which Ref. 9.12.18 begins is a strong assertion that the Son was human. It appears to have been on the basis of the humanity of the Son that Callistus says he will not `speak of two Gods, Father and Son, but of one'. What he seems to mean is that only the Father is God; the Son, who does not pre-exist his appearance in flesh, is human. This sounds, superficially at least, more like adoptianism than modalism. The flesh designated Son, however, is made God when the Father, who indwells it as spirit, unites it with himself (Ref. 9-12.18b). This allows him, then, to designate the Son `one God' along with the Father. Tertullian confirms this human-divine distinction in the Son. He says the modalists say, filium carnem esse, id est hominem, id est Iesum, patrem autem spiritum, id est deum, id est Christum (Prax. 27). Furthermore, they derive this from Luke 1: 35, arguing, he says, from this verse that since caro ... nata est: caro itaque erit filius dei (ibid.). This latter statement also suggests that they did not conceive of any preexistence of the Son, for it is the `flesh' which is `the Son of God'.

It must have been this distinction between the `man' (=`the Son') and the `spirit' (=`the Father') which Hippolytus claimed that Callistus took over from Theodotus.(58) The Theodotians also made a distinction between the `man' (=Jesus) and the `spirit' (=Christ) which indwelt him. The latter taught that the Christ, or the spirit, descended on the man Jesus at his baptism. The Theodotians did not think, however, that this indwelling made the man Jesus to be God (Ref. 7.35.2; 10.23.1-2). Callistus, however, was quite explicit that the assumption of the flesh of the `man' by the Father made the flesh divine.

A further distinction between Callistus and the Theodotians, assuming that Tertullian's attack on Praxeas is aimed either at Callistus himself or at someone who shared the views of the Roman modalists, is that the modalists, on the basis of Luke 1: 35, brought the divine and the human together in the Son at his conception rather than at his baptism (Prax. 26). Callistus, it appears, made a real divine-human distinction in the Son, but that this represents the influence of Theodotus on him, as Hippolytus asserts, is unlikely. Loofs was correct, in my opinion, when he understood all monarchians, i.e. modalists as well as adoptianists, to have seen `the "Son" only in the historical Christ'.(59)

The remainder of Hippolytus' report (9.12.18c-19a) continues the discussion of the incarnation, but is focused on the question of patripassianism. We may with assurance regard the whole of Ref. 9.12.19 as Hippolytus' interpretative comments. There are, then, two critical questions to be addressed concerning the contents of 9.12.18. Did Callistus use the expression `one person' ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in his teaching, and what did he mean by saying, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]? Hippolytus' own statement in Ref. 9.12.19 suggests these two questions, `For he is not willing to say that the Father suffered, and is one person'.

J. Dollinger questioned the trustworthiness of Hippolytus' attribution of the view that Father and Son constituted one person to Callistus in the mid-nineteenth century, and argued that this was `nur eine consequenz, die Hippolyt seinem Gegner unterschieben mochte'. He further suggested that the final clause in Hippolytus' remark translated above should be rendered, `and that there is only one person'.(60) When Callistus spoke of `one', he argued, he meant spirit, not person.(61) Andresen, who wanted to discover the origin of the `person' concept in trinitarian theology, eliminated the appearance of the term in Ref. 10.27.4 as a comment of Hippolytus, arguing that Hippolytus wanted to associate Callistus' theology with Sabellius by the use of this term.(62) He did not, however, question the attribution of `person' in 9.12.18 to Callistus as authentic, but dismissed it as not being significant for his purpose, arguing that Callistus had not taken it over from the current theological debate, but from the linguistic environment, and concluded that for Callistus `person' is an anthropological rather than a trinitarian concept.(63) Simonetti, on the other hand, thinks, on the basis of Ref. 10.27.4, that Callistus did speak of a single prosopon, divided in name, but not in essence, and, because he also expounded his doctrine in Latin, may even have rendered the Greek term with the Latin persona.(64)

I raise the question, however, whether Callistus spoke of `person' at all in relation to the Father and Son, and whether the appearance of this term in Hippolytus' accounts may not represent either the latter's attempt to argue with Callistus within the purview of his own intellectual framework, or as Andresen suggested, to associate Callistus with Sabellius? Hippolytus never mentions `person' in his account of the doctrines of the Roman school of modalists headed by Cleomenes (Ref. 9.10.9-12), with which school he is intent to associate Callistus (Ref. 9.3; 9.7.2; 9.11.2). The evidence in Prax., moreover, while not unambiguous, does not demand the conclusion that the modalists themselves used the term. The two most important passages are in Prax. 7. Tertullian says there that the modalists do not give the Logos his own substance `that he may be seen to be an object and a person' (res et persona).(65) Then, a few lines later, Tertullian replies that `whatever ... the substance of the Word was, that I call a Person' (illam dico personam).(66) Tertullian's first remarks make clear that he considered the possession of substance essential if the Logos is to be considered a person, and that the modalists denied the first, and consequently also the second. His next quoted remarks then emphasize that he attributes both to the Logos. That Tertullian himself used the concept of person to express his own doctrine is quite evident in the many appearances of the term in Prax. There are four passages (in Prax. 13, 22, 23, 27) where he speaks of (one) person in relation to the modalists. He never actually asserts, however, that they themselves use the expression. Each of the four passages can be understood as Tertullian posing the problem to the modalists from the framework of his own understanding and terminology, i.e. if one thinks of God in terms of `person', then the modalists must think that there is only one.

The evidence of Origen's Io. 1-2, while also ambiguous because he does not use the term [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],(67) appears to agree with Tertullian's statements in Prax. 7. The significant passage is Io. 1.151 where Origen says the exegetes of Ps. 44: 2, whom I have identified with modalists, do not give the Logos-Son [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].(68) Whatever precise meaning Origen gave to [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], it is clearly the term he uses to distinguish the individual existences of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,(69) and approximates, at least, what Tertullian means by persona, and Hippolytus by [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. He denies that the modalists used this term of the Son. Furthermore, in Io. 1-2 he never speaks of anyone claiming that there was only one hypostasis, although it must be admitted that he does so in his later writings, including later books of Io.(70) The writings composed later in Origen's life, however, as I noted earlier,(71) may refer to the later teachings of the Sabellians, who do seem to have spoken of one person.

The evidence I have cited does not demonstrate that the modalists did not use the expression `one person' of the Father, but that they did not apply this concept to the Logos because they did not consider the Logos a separate being. It must be kept in mind that this debate did not concern first or primarily the incarnate Son of God, but the pre-existent Logos. What the modalists refused to posit was a separate, distinct divine being beside God the Father either from all eternity, as Origen argued, or from the time of creation, as Tertullian and Hippolytus argued. They seem not to have posited any distinct existence to the Son until the time of the incarnation, as I argued above on Ref. 9.12.18a, and they identified spirit wholly with the being of the Father. They did not, therefore, need the concept of person, as the Logos theologians did, to distinguish and designate three separate divine beings. It seems highly probably to me, therefore, that they did not use the concept of person at all, and that the phrase [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Ref. 9.12.18 is an interpretative insertion by Hippolytus based on his own theological understanding.

To what then does the neuter [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] refer, which appears twice in the statement in Ref. 9.12.18, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]? It seems likely to me that Callistus meant it in the sense of the neuter [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in John 10: 30, where it does not mean `person', but `one' in the abstract sense of `a unity'." If this is so, then the earlier citation of John 14: 10 (Ref. 9.12-17) and allusion to the same again (Ref. 9. 12. 18) suggest that Callistus and the modalists used John 14: 10 to explain the divine unity stated in John 10: 30. This suggestion is strengthened by the fact that Tertullian cites these two verses together, and complains that the modalists build their whole theology on these two verses in conjunction with Isa. 45: 5 (Prax. 20).

Finally, what did Callistus mean by saying [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Ref. 9.12.18)? Tertullian confirms the same expression (Prax. 29). [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in first and second century Christian usage, usually meant `to die', being associated especially with the death of Christ, and, in the second century, with the death of martyrs.(73) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], accordingly, was normally used to mean `to die with', especially in reference to martyrdom, or `to suffer with or the same as', but rarely with the meaning `to sympathize'.(74) The Roman modalists, however, cannot have meant `to die with', or `to suffer the same as', for they denied that they taught that the Father died. Hippolytus reports that Zephyrinus, whom he associated closely with Callistus, said, `The Father did not die, but the Son' (Ref. 9.11-3). He even admits indirectly that Callistus did not teach that the Father suffered when he comments, `He is not willing to say that the Father suffered .... but ... [wants] to avoid blasphemy against the Father ...' (Ref. 9.12.19). Tertullian reports, furthermore, that the modalists claimed that they did not blaspheme, because they set forth their doctrine on this point in precisely the same way as their opponents. We say, they argued, that the Son `did not die in respect to his divine substance, but his human' (Prax. 29).(75)

It is possible to make a suggestion, at least, concerning the basis on which Callistus and the Roman modalists used [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of the Father. There was a philosophical use of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and its cognates [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] among the Stoics.(76) This terminology was a part of their basic physical theory of how the active principle (God/Logos/Spirit) and the passive principle (matter) related to one another, which they called `blending' ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Chrysippus set forth the overall theory as follows. `The whole of substance is unified ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) by a breath ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) which pervades it all, and by which the universe is sustained and stabilized and made interactive with itself ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])'.(77) He then explains three different kinds of mixtures of substances that are possible: mere juxtaposition in which each retains its own substance; complete fusion ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in which each loses its peculiar qualities and something new results from the fusion; and blending, which was uniquely Stoic and most important to their physical theory. In blending two substances mutually coextend through one another, and completely participate in one another, but each retains its characteristics so that they can again be separated. They considered the blending of soul and body to prove this point. The soul, they maintained, pervades the whole body, but maintains its own substantiality.(78) Cleanthes, furthermore, in the context of a different argument, but based on the same assumptions, used [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of the relation between soul and body. He said that `the soul interacts with ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) the body when it is sick and being cut, and the body with the soul; thus when the soul feels shame and fear the body turns red and pale respectively'.(79)

It seems possible to me that the Roman modalists used this Stoic model of blending, especially as understood in respect to soul and body, to explain the incarnation and used the verb [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in this Stoic sense. Three of the key terms in Chrysippus' explanation of the theory of blending appear in Hippolytus' report of Callistus' doctrine of the incarnation (Ref. 9.12.18). First, it is the Father as [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] that is joined with the Son as flesh. Second, the spirit and flesh are unified ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in this joining, and third, they interact with one another ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). If the Roman modalists thought in this way, they would have conceived the divine substance of spirit to have been blended with the human substance of flesh, with the capability to again be separated from one another, which, I presume, they would have argued happened at the death of the Son.

Tertullian appears to be arguing against such a doctrine in Prax. 27 in relation to the modalist interpretation of Luke 1: 35 in which they identified the flesh with the Son and the spirit with the Father. He takes up the question of how the Logos became flesh, and argues that it was by clothing himself with flesh rather than being transformed into flesh. He speaks of the Logos throughout the argument, and not the Father, but this, I think, is because he is setting forth his own understanding against that of the modalists. He argues that for the Logos to have been transformed into flesh would have meant that Jesus was a substance compounded of the two substances, flesh and spirit (ex duabus ... mixtura quaedam), which would have made him a third substance, neither flesh nor spirit. This argument bypasses the Stoic idea of blending as a possibility. When two substances are brought together other than in juxtaposition, which would have been Tertullian's view of the incarnation expressed as the Logos clothing himself with flesh, a fusion results in which the two substances lose their independent identity, and the ability to be separated, and consequently a different substance results from the fusion. Alexander of Aphrodisias argued similarly against Chrysippus' doctrine of blending in the early third century. He concluded that the Stoic distinction between fusion and blending is impossible, and that there can only be either juxtaposition or complete fusion ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Tertullian uses the comparable Latin terms confundere and confusio in his argument. `But if he had been some tertium quid, mixed together from both (ex utroque confusum), like electrum, such distinct examples of both substances would not be manifest, but the spirit, by transferal, would have done things belonging to the flesh, and the flesh things belonging to the spirit, or they would have done things belonging to neither the flesh nor the spirit, but to some other third form, as a result of the fusion' (ex confusione; Prax. 27).(81)

It seems to me, however, that when Tertullian comes to argue specifically with the modalists' term [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] that he, as well as Hippolytus (Ref. 9.12.19), insists that it can only mean what it did in the earlier Christian tradition which I noted above. He clearly wants to make them guilty of patripassianism when he claims that they blaspheme by virtue of the curse in Gal. 3: 13, since they placed the Father on the cross and, therefore, made the curse apply to him. Further, he raises the question of the meaning of compati; Quid est enim compati quam cum alio pati? Porro si impassibilis pater, utique et incompassibilis; aut si compassibilis, utique passibilis (Prax. 29). He wants to deny the meaning which the modalists claimed for the verb. If my argument is correct, Tertullian appears to be guilty of special pleading, for he knew the Stoic use of this term.(82) In his earlier De Anima (5), he himself uses the above argument of Cleanthes to argue for his own doctrine of the corporeality of the soul, and translates Cleanthes' [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] with compati.

The Roman modalists appear to have denied the death of deity on the cross as strongly as the Logos theologians did. What Callistus and the Roman modalists appear to have argued was that the Son had no divine substance distinct from the Father, for they were both one spirit (and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in substance. As Son, however, he differed from the Father in having the substance flesh. The latter admitted him to the human world of suffering and death. Because the Father, as spirit, was united with the flesh and interacted with it, he also partook of the experiences of the Son, though this partaking was limited by the respective capabilities of spirit and flesh.(83) Just as the soul, though it interacts ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) with the body when the latter is cut, does not bleed, so the Roman modalists could have thought of the Father's interaction with the Son in the Son's suffering.

Modern scholars have tended to regard Callistus' Christology as a compromise between the modalism. of Sabellius and the Logos Christology of Hippolytus.(84) Andresen seems to support such a view when he argues that Callistus wants to show that the inclusion of the Logos concept in his doctrine `need not lead to the surrender of traditional monarchianism'.(85) W. A. Bienert thinks it unclear from Hippolytus' report to what extent Callistus sought a theological rapprochement with Hippolytus and his followers, but notes that none occurred.(86) Simonetti argues in support of the view that Callistus was seeking a conciliatory formula, but concludes, significantly I think, that Callistus' attempt to find a middle ground was political and not doctrinal, for the Logos concept was introduced `in a rather surreptitious manner,' and while he avoided asserting that the Father had suffered on the cross, nevertheless `his inspiration was decisively monarchian'.(87) If my arguments in this section are correct, there is even more reason to say with Simonetti that Callistus' `inspiration was decisively monarchian', for the doctrine revealed here, as I understand it, yields no ground at all to the Logos theologians.


I shall set the Christology of Callistus in the contexts of the teachings of (a) Noetus and Asian Modalism, and (b) Cleomenes and the school of Roman modalists.

Noetus and Asian Modalism

It is not possible to reconstruct with certainty the teachings of Noetus of Smyrna himself, who is attributed with first teaching the modalistic views in both CN (1.1) and Ref. (9.7.1).(88) The CN, which is a better source than Ref. for this,(89) itself begins with the disciples of Noetus (1.1). The report in Ref. 9.10.9-12 is clearly concerned with the teachings of the Roman disciples who gathered around Cleomenes,(90) as is also, it seems, that in 10.27.1-2.(91) Mouraviev finds what he calls the `primitive doctrine' of Noetus and his disciples alluded to in Ref. 8.19.3 where Hippolytus reports the views of some Montanists who `agreed with the heresy of the Noetians', and thinks he finds the same alluded to again at places in Ref. 9.10.10-12.(92) I shall later argue that it is the position of Cleomenes of Rome that is presented in the latter passage, though his views must, of course, have included the earlier doctrines of Noetus. Ref. 8.19.3 may represent Noetus' views, but here again they are presented as the views of some Montanist disciples of Noetus. These two treatises (CN and Ref.) are the bases for all the later accounts of the Noetians.(93)

Noetus is important to Hippolytus in Ref. only to establish `the succession of their genealogy' ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).(94) This succession, as Hippolytus sets it forth, is Noetus, Epigonus, Cleomenes, [Zephyrinus], and Callistus.(95) Hippolytus' virtual silence about the first two in this list indicates either that he knew nothing about them, or that he had no interest in them and was concerned only with the Romans. Noetus is simply mentioned as being a Smyrnian and introducing the teaching, which is not described.(96) Epigonus became his disciple and brought `the godless view' to Rome. Then Hippolytus' interest in the persons involved increases. Cleomenes, who became a disciple and leader at Rome, is described as `alien from the Church both in his way of life and habits' (Ref. 9.7.1). The teachings of Cleomenes and his followers are then set forth in Ref. 9.10.9-12. Zephyrinus is described as a dunce who was manipulated by Callistus (Ref. 9.11.1). Two of his public Christological statements are presented (9.11.3), though Hippolytus says they were made at the prompting of Callistus. Finally, Callistus is described at length as an unscrupulous, crafty opportunist, who, in his drive to become powerful, lowered the disciplinary standards of the Church and introduced false teaching (Ref. 9.12.1-26). Very little can be learned with certainty about Noetus himself from the report in Ref. 9.

We must turn our attention, therefore, to the CN for the teachings of Noetus. The treatise has a threefold structure. It first sets out Noetus' teachings briefly (1.1-2.8), and then attempts to refute his teaching by (a) showing that he has misinterpreted the Scriptures from which he claims to derive his doctrine, and (b) citing and interpreting other Scriptures thought to refute Noetus' teachings (3.1-8.3). Finally, it presents what the author calls a `demonstration of the truth' (8.4-18.10). Our concern is primarily with the first part of the treatise.

The CN begins with a short account of Noetus and his doctrine. He was a Smyrnian who lived not long ago. `He was excited by the opinion of an alien spirit and said that Christ himself was the Father, and that the Father himself was born, suffered, and died' (CN 1.2).(97) This is supplemented later by the addition that Christ also `raised himself' from the dead (CN 3.2). When examined by the presbyters, Noetus argued, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (CN 1.6).(98)

This teaching is presented as the views of Noetus which his disciples are now introducing.(99) The doctrine is straightforward, simple patripassianism. Christ was God the Father in the flesh, and as such, was born, suffered, and died. The source of Noetus' teaching is twice attributed to `an alien spirit'. In Ref. 9.7.1 his teaching is attributed to the doctrines of Heraclitus.

CN 2.1-8 discusses the proof offered by the Noetians for their doctrine. The distinction between Noetus and his followers is blurred in the report, the introductory verbs sometimes being plural, suggesting the followers, and sometimes singular, suggesting Noetus himself.(100) The assumption, however, is that everything put forth in this report is attributable ultimately to Noetus himself.

The proof begins by appealing to the law. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (CN 2.1). This is a loose quotation of Exod. 3:6a and 20:3. This is followed by a paraphrastic citation of Isa. 44: 6b, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (CN 2.2).(101) Instead of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] the LXX of Isaiah has [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The words `first and last' as a title of deity appear only in Rev. 11: 17, 2: 8 (in the letter to Smyrna), and 22: 13 in the Greek Bible, where they are used of Christ.(102) If CN has accurately preserved what the Noetians said, then this blending of a formula used of Christ with a statement made in reference to God may reflect the transposition the Noetians made of statements made of Christ to God as they read the Bible. That the Noetians did take this phrase, `the first and the last', from the texts in Revelation where it is used of Christ and apply it to the Father is suggested by an argument of Tertullian against the monarchians he knew. He says that they argued that certain names belong properly only to the Father, and that when these names appear in relation to the Son it is the Father who is indicated. He states that they derive this argument especially from Rev. 1:8, and assert that the designation `Almighty' is `unsuitable to the Son' (Prax. 17).

The three (or four) quotations brought together in CN 2.1 constitute the `dossier of text'(103) which underpin the basic theological position of Noetus. These texts are, significantly, associated with `the law' (CN), or `Moses' (Epiphanius), which is where Noetus grounded his basic theological point of the one God.

This dossier served as the basis for two important arguments for the Noetians, which appear to have been constructed along the lines of what was designated the first undemonstrated argument in Stoic logic.(104) The first argument established the identity of Christ with God the Father. It was based on two major assumptions: (a) there is only one God, and (b) Christ is God. The first assumption rested on the Old Testament texts cited above, and was held by all Christians, and the second was the common belief of the majority, at least, in the Church.(105) The Stoic argument has the form, `If the first, the second, the first, therefore, the second', and was thought to provide an unquestionable conclusion. CN does not set the argument forth in its full form, but the argument form can be seen lying behind the text. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] This conclusion that Christ must be identified with the Father if he is considered to be God provided the basis for the second argument of the same form that proved for them that if Christ, who is God, suffered, then the Father suffered. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII](106) [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII](107) (CN 2.3). Whether this Stoic argument form was used by Noetus himself, or was introduced by his disciples is not certain. Later in this same chapter we appear to have a direct quotation from Noetus, and the argument there lacks this formal logical format, and depends instead, as noted below, on a simple reading of Scripture.

The CN then quotes Bar. 3: 36-38, Isa. 45: 14-15, and Rom. 9: 5, which, it says, constitute other `testimonies' that `they use' (2-5). The exegetical comments and the introductory verbs to the end of CN 2.8, are significantly in the singular. These Scriptures and comments are passed on as Noetus' own comments, perhaps as his own words, since the text shifts to direct address, and even to the first person in CN 2.7.(108)

The conclusion drawn from these three texts is based on a simple reading of Scripture. In Baruch 3 Jeremiah speaks of the one God who revealed his way to Israel, and later `was seen on earth and conversed with men'. It is not clear if Noetus took the latter to be the incarnate Christ, with whom he then identified the one God discussed in the first part of the text, or if he took Baruch 3 to refer to the Old Testament theophanies.(109) The Scripture from Isaiah, however, is clearly read in terms of Christ. The CN takes Noetus' argument from Isaiah 45 to turn on the statement, `For you are the God of Israel, the Saviour' (CN 4.2). Noetus understands `the Saviour' to mean Christ, and reads the statement as an identification of `the God of Israel' with Christ. Rom. 9: 5 is understood to mean that Paul's reference to Christ as `the God who is over all' indicates that Paul identified Christ with the one God.

No Scriptures are cited to support the patripassianist thesis in either CN 2.3 or 2.6-7. The monarchian thesis, in which the Noetians included Christ, is derived from their reading of Scripture, but the patripassianist thesis is supported solely by logic based on the monarchian thesis. In CN 2.3 it is the formal Stoic logic that proves the patripassianist thesis, and in CN 2.6-7 it rests on what is considered to be a simple, obvious deduction from the monarchian thesis.

Furthermore, no texts from the Gospel of John are cited as used by Noetus or his followers. The author of CN, however, clearly knows that the modalists appealed to John's Gospel, for he uses it extensively in his refutation of Noetus' doctrine (CN 4.1-8.3), and introduces there two Johannine texts usually associated with modalistic monarchianism (10: 30; 14: 8-10). The argument is presented in both cases, however, as a preventive measure (CN 7.1, 4),(110) and appears to be the rhetorical move called occupatio.(111)

It is also noteworthy that there is no indication that Noetus gave any special place to either the Spirit or the Logos in his Christology.(112) Neither concept appears in this report of his teachings. The one place in CN where someone other than the author refers to the Logos is in the final section which treats the demonstration of the truth and again appears to be a case of occupatio. `But someone will say to me: "It sounds strange to me when you call the Son `Word'. Of course John says `Word' but he is speaking merely figuratively"' (CN 15.1).(113) It is not the objector, however, who `calls the Son "Word"', but the author of CN. The latter makes extensive use of the Logos concept in his own demonstration of the truth, drawing on both John's prologue and the Old Testament prophets (especially CN 10.1-17.5).

Hippolytus' Account of Cleomenes and the School of Roman Modalism

The approach to the Noetians in Ref. (9.10.9-12 and 10.27.1-2)(114) differs completely from that taken in CN. CN concentrates on scriptural texts used by Noetus and his followers, and argues first that they have misinterpreted these texts, and then argues against their views from other Scriptures. No notice is taken of Scripture at all in the discussion of the Noetians in Ref. Instead, Hippolytus wants to show that they derived their doctrines from the philosopher Heraclitus instead of Christ (Ref. 9.8.2). This fiction is maintained only by a strained exegesis of Heraclitus.(115) He admits that the Roman exponents of these views are not aware that they are following Heraclitus (Ref. 9.8.1; 9.10.9).

Mouraviev analyzes the material in CN and Ref. in the following four categories: (a) The primitive doctrine as found in CN, (b) the primitive doctrine as presented in Ref. 8.19.3 and 9.10.110-12, (c) the doctrine of the successors in Ref. 9.10.9-10, and (d) the composite doctrine in Ref. 10.27.1-2.1 bracket out what Mouraviev calls the primitive doctrine of the Montanist monarchians found in Ref. 8.19.3 and 10.26.1 as insignificant for our purposes, and join his points 2-4. Mouraviev separates the primitive doctrine found in Ref. 9.10.9-12 from the doctrine of the successors found in the same passage. He, consequently, asserts that the primitive doctrine found in Ref. lacks the monarchian thesis of the report in CN, though he finds it in the doctrine of the successors, and, more significantly, that the patripassianist thesis is absent in its primitive form in the doctrine of the successors, though it is present in the report in Ref. 9.10.9-12 in what he has separated out as the primitive doctrine.(116)

I take Ref. 9.10.9-12 in its entirety to be Hippolytus' report of the teachings of the Roman successors.(117) The teachings of these Roman successors included, of course, the doctrines of Noetus, otherwise they could not have been identified with him, though the primitive doctrines may have been modified, or other emphases made, as I will show. Furthermore, I will argue that parts of the report are Hippolytus' own additions to relate the modalists' teachings to Heraclitus.

My reason for taking the whole of Ref. 0.10.9-12, minus the Heraclitean additions of Hippolytus, to be the teaching of the Roman successors, and especially of Cleomenes, are the two verbs, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (9.10.9) and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (9.10.12) which bracket the material. The verb [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in 9.10.9, which introduces the whole block of material, must have `the stupid successors ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of Noetus and the proponents of this heresy' (i.e. in Rome; 9.10.9) as its implicit subject. The verb [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], at the end of the account of the teachings in 9.10.12, has [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as its explicit subject. This bracketing of the report with verbs claiming that these doctrines are those of Cleomenes and his crowd show clearly that Hippolytus presents this material in its entirety as the teachings of the Roman successors.

There are also three singular introductory verbs in the middle of the material with no explicit subjects which must be taken into account. [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].... (Ref. 9.10.10-11). Noetus appears to be the most natural subject for the first verb.(118) `Everyone knows that he (i.e. Noetus) says that the same one is Son and Father' (9.10.10). That Noetus said this can be confirmed from CN 1.2. If Noetus is to be understood as the subject of this first verb, then he is probably the subject of the next two singular introductory verbs. The statements introduced by these two latter verbs cannot be confirmed from the CN. They appear to be Hippolytus' exegesis of Noetus' view `doctored', perhaps, to make it more compatible with his rendering of Heraclitus. The appearance of the term [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in conjunction with the third of these verbs is significant. Noetus, of course, was interested in guarding the doctrine of a single God, but there is no indication, in the CN at least, that he used this term.(119) Hippolytus' opponents at Rome, however, may well have used this technical term of their own doctrine, for Hippolytus twice says that he and those who agreed with him had been accused of what, in this conflict, was considered its technical opposite, namely of being [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (9.11.3; 12.16). That Noetus should probably be understood as the subject of these three verbs in the middle of this block of material does not contradict the argument concerning the successors. Hippolytus discusses these doctrines of Noetus to show that Cleomenes' teachings are those of the heretic Noetus. Furthermore, he exegetes these doctrines in such a way as to show that Noetus was dependent on the philosopher Heraclitus for his views, and consequently, so are Cleomenes and his followers, although they do not know it.

What were, then, the teachings of Cleomenes through which the doctrines of Noetus were mediated to Callistus, and did they differ in any respects from what we know of Noetus teachings in the CN? The report begins by asserting that they identify the creator ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of the universe and the Father as the same God (9.10.9; 10.27.1).(120) Mouraviev identifies this as the monarchian thesis,(121) which, in one sense it is, but it is not yet the heretical monarchian thesis, for that adds Christ to this identification.(122)

This initial statement about the one God continues with a reference to the Old Testament theophanies (Ref. 9.10.9-10; 10.27.1-2).(123) Whether Noetus himself discussed the Old Testament theophanies is not clear in the CN.(124) That the monarchians in general talked of the invisible (creator) God and the visible God (of the theophanies) being one is made clear by Tertullian's lengthy discussion of this subject (Prax. 14-16). He, along with Hippolytus and earlier Logos theologians, held that it was the Logos-Son who appeared in the theophanies of the Old Testament. The monarchians, Tertullian says, eundem volunt accipi et visibilem et invisibilem, quomodo eundem et patrem et filium (Prax. 14).

The report moves next to the identification of the Son and the Father to complete the heretical monarchian thesis.(125) Hippolytus places it in a Heraclitean setting:

Thus according to the same teaching, he is intangible and tangible, unbegotten and begotten, immortal and mortal. How will such people not be proven to be disciples of Heraclitus? Did not the Obscure anticipate (them) and contrive his philosophy in this precise characteristic phraseology? (Ref. 9.10.10; 10.27.2).(126)

The first polarity of `intangible and tangible' is absent from the account in Ref. 10.27.2, and also from the summary of Heraclitus' philosophy given in Ref. 9.9.1.(127) Mansfeld considers the other two pairs to `resemble Heraclitean, or Heraclitean-inspired, opposites'.(128) The `unbegotten-begotten' pair, however, is Christian, going back at least as far as the time of Ignatius.(129) Hippolytus appears to have `doctored' Heraclitus here to position the central tenet of the modalists in his philosophy. `Now everyone knows that he says that the same one is Son and Father' (Ref. 9.10.10; cf. CN 1.2). The Father-Son antithesis does appear in the summary list of Heraclitean opposites in Ref. 9.9.1, but this pair, as noted earlier,(130) is also Christian.

The Father-Son identification is then explicated at some length by Hippolytus:

Now he speaks as follows: When, then, the Father had not yet been born, he was properly designated Father, but when he wished to submit to birth, the Fathere,(131) having been born, became a son, himself his own [son], not another's. For it is in this way that he thinks he preserves the monarchy, by declaring that the Father, who is also called Son, is one and the same thing,(132) not being one from another, but himself from himself, being given the name Father and Son at different times, but this being, who appeared, who submitted to birth from a virgin, and who dwelt as a man among men (Bar. 3: 38),(133) confessing himself, on the one hand, to be Son to those who saw him because of the birth which had occurred, but not hiding the fact that he was Father also from those who were capable, is one (Ref. 9.10.11).

Nothing in this, beyond the simple Father-Son identification, can be confirmed from the CN as coming from Noetus himself. The first statement, nonetheless, is introduced as a statement from Noetus and may go back to him. The remainder, introduced by [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] certainly shows Hippolytus' hand in the telling at least. That the general concepts, however, derive from the Roman successors is suggested by the similar distinction between Father and Son in Callistus' doctrine based on identifying the one who was seen with the Son.(134) This much of the report (Ref. 9.10.9-11) constitutes the monarchian thesis of the modalists in Rome.

The report then turns to the patripassianist thesis. `Cleomenes and his crowd say that this one who was affixed to the suffering of the tree and delivered his spirit to himself, who died and did not die, and raised himself on the third day, who was buried in the tomb after he had been wounded with a spear and nailed down, is the God and Father of the universe' (Ref. 9.10.12). Hippolytus' report is shot through with sarcasm, and it seems unlikely to me that anyone presented the doctrine in the way it is related here.

There are, however, three points to note in this statement. (a) The statement [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] suggests the use of the Gospel of John by the Roman modalists, for only John says that Jesus [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (John 19:30), though not, of course, to himself.(135) (b) In relation to the statement that `he raised himself on the third day', Origen knew of modalists who joined John 2:19 (`I will raise it up') with other Scriptures which speak of God raising Jesus to prove that Father and Son are not distinct in number (Io. 10.246). (c) The most important phrase in this report, however, is Hippolytus' reference to the one `who died and did not die'. This could be Hippolytus' attempt to bring the Heraclitean opposites, mortal-immortal (Ref. 9.9.11), into the description. But [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is not the same as [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and could also allude to the same denial of the patripassianist thesis which, I argued, is present in Callistus' doctrine ([sections] 1 above). Hippolytus phrase here, in fact, is exactly parallel to the words he put in Zephryinus' mouth, `The Father did not die, but the Son' (Ref. 9.11.3). It was this denial of the patripassianist thesis while maintaining the monarchian thesis that, in my opinion, distinguished the Roman modalists from the earlier Asian modalism of Noetus. It was furthermore, I think, their success in providing a rational basis for this in Stoic philosophy (see ([sections] 1) that made them so threatening to Hippolytus.


I make no attempt here to give a complete account of the doctrine of Sabellius, but want to suggest briefly how what I have concluded above in [sections] 1 and 2 may provide a basis for understanding the separation between Callistus and Sabellius reported by Hippolytus (Ref. 9.12.15).(136) Hippolytus' comments on the relationship between Callistus and Sabellius are somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, he prefaces one of his reports of Callistus' teachings by giving two reason why Callistus invented his doctrine. The first concerned his public reproach of Hippolytus as a ditheist, and the second was because Sabellius had accused him of having abandoned his `first faith', which must mean the views shared by Sabellius (Ref. 9.12.16). On the other hand, he concludes the same report by attributing Callistus' heresy to the teachings of Sabellius and Theodotus (Ref. 9.12.19).

If these statements have any meaning beyond the pure rhetoric of accusation, then the introduction of Theodotus must be the key to the distinction between the doctrine of Callistus and Sabellius. As I suggested above ([sections] 1), what Hippolytus attributed to Theodotus in Callistus' doctrine was the distinction between the `man' and the `spirit', which allowed him to distinguish the physical suffering and death of the `man', from the interaction of the `spirit' (=the Father) contained in the `man' with this suffering.

Sabellius, on the other hand, appears not to have made such a distinction, but to have belonged to what we might call the old school of patripassianism as originally set forth by Noetus (cf. Epiphanius, Haer. 62.1.1).(137) Sabellius differed from Callistus in addition in that spirit appears to have been one of the three names (i.e. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of the one hypostasis, and was not simply identified with the Father. Furthermore, he appears to have identified the Father with the hypostasis itself (Epiphanius, Haer. 62.1.4-7).(138) Hippolytus must have considered Callistus to have held the monarchian thesis with Sabellius,(139) contra Hippolytus' view which he labelled ditheism, but to have denied the patripassianist thesis of Sabellius in dependence on Theodotus, and thereby to have abandoned his `first faith'. Furthermore, if Callistus, in conjunction with the Roman school of modalists, had succeeded in providing a way to hold the monarchian thesis without having also to defend the problematic patripassianist thesis, he could hardly have allowed, in the context of the current conflict in Rome, such a prominent patripassianist as Sabellius to have continued in his fellowship.

(1) See R. M. Hubner, `Melito von Sardes und Noet von Smyrna', in D. Papandreou, W. A. Bienert, and K. Schaferdiek (eds.), Oecumenica et Patristica: Festschrift Wilhelm Schneemelcher (Stuttgart, 1989), pp. 231-32.

(2) See my survey of modern Hippolytan research in the chapter, `Hippolytus, Ps.-Hippolytus and the Early Canons', in F. M. Young (ed.), The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature (to be published in due course). I bypass here the controversy over the identification of the author of Ref. and what other treatises in the traditional Hippolytan corpus he may have written as essentially irrelevant to my argument, and use the name `Hippolytus' to refer to the author of Ref. What seems certain about him is that he was a presbyter in Rome during the first third of the third century, and was a contemporary and enemy of Callistus. Of some importance to the argument, however, is whether the same person composed both the Ref. and the Contra Noetum (CN, See C. P. Bammel, `The State of Play with Regard to Hippolytus and the Contra Noetum, HeyJ' (1990), pp. 195-99). I am in agreement with those Hippolytan scholars who see the two as the work of different authors and shall assume this throughout the article, and refer to the Contra Noetum as CN without specifying an author. Should the recent proposal of A. Brent, Hippolytus and the Roman Church in the Third Century (Leiden, 1995), be accepted as correct, that the Hippolytan corpus is the result of a school, this could have relevance for the argument presented here. Brent argues that the founder of the school, who was not Hippolytus, wrote the Ref. plus other related works listed on the so-called statue of Hippolytus, and was a radical opponent of the Christology of Callistus. Hippolytus succeeded him as leader of the school, and attempted a rapprochement with Callistus' Christology in the CN. Furthermore, he edited the Ref. of his predecessor and made revisions in it. While there is much in this important study that I find highly plausible, I am not convinced by this latter argument concerning Ref. and CN (cf. the discussion of this book by M. Simonetti, `Una nuova proposta su Ippolito', Augustinianum (1996), pp. 13-46).

(3) Hippolyt's Ketzerbekampfung und Polemik gegen die Gnostiker. Gottinger Orientforschungen, VI. Reihe: Hellenistica, Band 4 (Wiesbaden, 1975).

(4) Ibid., pp. 5-9.

(5) See the review by C. Stead, JTS, NS XXX (1979), 552-53.

(6) Ketzerbekampfung, pp. 10-24.

(7) Heresiography in Context, PhA 56, (Leiden, 1992), p. xvii. The important study by J. Whittaker, noted also by Mansfeld, `The Value of Indirect Tradition in the Establishment of Greek Philosophical Texts or the Art of Misquotation', in J. N. Grant (ed.), Editing Greek and Latin Texts (New York, 1989), pp. 63-95, has shown, however, that the intentional modification of texts cited by ancient authors was a common and accepted editorial practice in the late Platonic school tradition. Hippolytus, therefore, was working within the accepted guidelines of his age when he introduced alterations into his texts.

(8) Eusebius, H.E. 6.14.10. P. Nautin, Origene, (Paris, 1977), p. 418, suggests c.215 for Origen's visit, when the controversy between Zephyrinus, Callistus and Hippolytus must have been raging. See also R. M. Hubner, `Der antivalentinianische Charakter der Theologie des Noet von Smyrna', in H. C. Brennecke, E. L. Grasmuck, and C. Markschies (eds.), Logos: Festschrift fur Luise Abramowski, BZNW 67 (Berlin, 1993), p. 75.

(9) H. Hagemann, Die Romische Kirche (Freiburg, Herder, 1864), pp. 300-28. A. H. B. Logan, `Origen and the Development of Trinitarian Theology', in L. Lies (ed.), Origeniana Quarta, Innsbrucker theologische Studien 19 (Innsbruck, 1987), pp. 424-29, takes the `real opponents' in Io. to have been monarchians. A. Orbe, `Origenes y los Monarquianos', Gregorianum (1991), pp. 39-72, does not relate the monarchian issue in Origen specifically to Rome.

(10) See R. E. Heine, `Stoic Logic as Handmaid to Exegesis and Theology in Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John', ITS (1993), 92-100.

(11) I limit myself to Io. 1-2 in this study because the references to modalism in the later works have a greater probability of embracing views of later Sabellians.

(12) For the attempt to identify Callistus as Praxeas, see Hagemann, Romische Kirche, 234-57, and most recently, Brent, Hippolytus and the Roman Church, 525-29, and for arguments against the identification, see A. Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte I (Tubingen, 1909), pp. 741-43. J. Moingt, Theologie trinitaire de Tertullien I (Aubier, 1966), pp. 90-91, attempts to identify Hippolytus' Epigonus with Praxeas. I will argue later, however, that Tertullian does use Praxeas' name as a cover for referring to Callistus' views.

(13) Later references to Praxeas depend on these sources.

(14) Harnack, Dogmengeschichte 1, p. 741, for example. Some have also suggested the time of Eleutherus, or even Anicetus, but these are less likely.

(15) P. de Labriolle, La crise Montaniste (Paris, 1913), pp. 257-75. Labriolle provides a survey of the earlier scholarly debate on the identity of the Bishop.

(16) The major problem connected with the conclusion that Praxeas was in Rome in the time of Zephyrinus is Hippolytus' silence concerning him, whereas Tertullian credits him with introducing monarchianism in Rome. Harnack, Dogmengeschichte 1, p. 741, who posits the time of Victor, can argue that he preceded Epigonus, and Hippolytus' recollections, remained only briefly, founded no school, and moved on to Carthage. Tertullian chose him later to attack monarchianism in Carthage, because Praxeas opposed Montanism. A different explanation must be given, however, if Praxeas were in Rome in the time of Zephyrinus. I accept Harnack's suggestion that Praxeas' visit was brief, etc. His major impact on Rome was to convince the Bishop to change his mind about Montanism. He formed no part of what Hippolytus considered to be the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of monarchianism in Rome (see [sections] 2 below). Hippolytus was interested in tracing modalism from Callistus to its originator, and thence to Heraclitus. Cleomenes, Epigonus, and Noetus sufficed. Not even Sabellius, who was present in Rome and known to both Callistus and Hippolytus, figured in Hippolytus' succession list. Both Hippolytus and Tertullian had very specific polemical goals, and each related only what served their goals.

(17) Prax. is usually dated c.213 or later (R. Braun, Deus Christianorum (Paris, 1977), p. 576), which would place it five years or less before Callistus succeeded Zephyrinus.

(18) Heresiography, p. 316.

(19) The most complete discussion of the influence of Stoicism on modalism is in Hagemann, Romische Kirche, pp. 345-71, and Harnack, Dogmengeschichte I, 737-39, n. 1. See also F. Loofs, Leitfaden zum Studium der Dogmengeschichte (Halle, [1906.sup.4]), p. 187, M. Simonetti, `Studi sulla cristologia del II e III secolo', Studia Ephemeridis Augustinianum, 4.4 (Rome, 1993), 198.

(20) C. Andresen, `Zur Entstehung und Geschichte des trinitarischen Personbegriffes', ZNW (1961), p. 6, suggested that the Stoic elements in Callistus' statements may be attributable to Roman popular philosophy which was indebted to Stoicism rather than an extensive philosophical education. I think, however, that the Stoic influences in Callistus' doctrine run deeper than popular philosophy, but that they do not necessarily derive from Callistus' own understanding of Stoic philosophy.

(21) Ibid. pp. 3-7.

(22) He thinks the argumentation, moreover, corresponds with what we learn elsewhere of Callistus whose gifts lay in the areas of organization and reform rather than in speculation, since the argumentation is based on Biblical passages common to the monarchian debate, general platitudes, and popular philosophy. It must be noted, however, that this information from `elsewhere' also comes from Hippolytus!

(23) I quote the text of P. Wendland, Hippolytus Refutatio omnium haeresium, GCS 26 (Leipzig, 1916/Georg Olms reprint, Hildesheim, 1977). Italics and quotation marks are my introductions to Wendland's text.

(24) Bunsen's conjecture: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; Wendland: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; M. Marcovich, Hippolytus Refutatio Omnium Haeresium, PTS 25 (Berlin/New York, 1986): [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].


(26) The attempt to identify the neuter [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] with either [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is mistaken, as the expression is a grammatical idiom. See the parallel construction in R. B. Todd, Alexander of Aphrodisias on Stoic Physics, PhA 28 (Leiden, 1976), p. 126, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], `They ... say that mixture and blending are distinct' (ibid. 127).

(27) This phrase may be an allusion to the modalist exegesis of Luke 1: 35.

(28) Italicized words in quotation marks indicate an exact quotation from the Bible; italicized words without quotation marks indicate (probable) allusions to Biblical texts.

(29) Rethinking Early Greek Philosophy (Ithaca, 1987), p. 138. I will note in [sections] 2 below, however, that Noetus himself seems never to have appealed to the Logos concept.

(30) Heresiography, p. 233; Cf. p. 235.

(31) I disagree with Brent's translation of this phrase, Hippolytus and the Roman Church, 210, `that which was enfleshed in the Virgin ... was not a different Spirit ... .' He recognizes the possibility of translating as I have. I think the translation is necessary, since the structure of the phrase in question, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], is repeated by Hippolytus 4 lines later where it must be translated as I have here: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (cf. Ref. 1. Pref. 6, Wendland, p. 3.1-2).

(32) The Stoics used both terms for God (see, for Logos, SVF I.85, 102; for spirit, SVF II.1027, 1033, 1035, 1037, Origen, Cels. 6.71. Cf. Andresen, `Entstehung', 6). The author of CN twice identifies spirit and Logos (4-11; 16.2). Origen's lengthy polemics against taking John 4: 24 as the definition of the essence of God in a Stoic sense show that this view was widely accepted among early Christians (To. 13.123-53; Princ. 1.1.1-9; Cels. 6.70-72). See W. Bousset, Kyrios Christos, trans. J. E. Steely (Nashville, 1970), p. 389 for earlier Christian identification of Logos and spirit.

(33) Dial. 38.3-5; Autol. 2.10, 22.

(34) Prax 7; trans. E. Evans, Tertullian's Treatise Against Praxeas (London, 1948), pp. 137-38, modified. On the definitions cf. Origen, Cels. 2.72; 6.72, and Chadwick's note at Cels. 2.72.

(35) See J. H. Waszink, `Tertullian's Principles and Methods of Exegesis', in W. R. Schoedel and R. L. Wilken (eds), Early Christian Literature and the Classical Intellectual Tradition, ThH 54 (Paris, 1979), p. 23, for Tertullian's use of occupatio against the monarchians.

(36) Origen: Commentary on the Gospel According to John, Books 1-10, FOTC 80, trans. R. E. Heine (Washington, 1989), p. 64, modified. A. Orbe, `Origenes y los Monarquianos', pp. 54-65, discusses Origen's treatment of Pa. 44: 2 in Io. 1, and also links the exegesis to the monarchians via Prax. 7. He notes, too, that Origen is not concerned solely with refuting monarchian exegesis, but also attacks the kind of exegesis of this verse represented by Tertullian himself.

(37) Note Origen's comment quoted above that they seem to treat the Son of God as an expression `occurring in syllables'.

(38) For further examples see SVF IV under [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The general definition of sound as `struck air' was widespread. See n. 34 above.

(39) See R. H. Robins, A Short History of Linguistics (Bloomington, Indiana, 1968), pp. 9-65.

(40) Note Origen's remarks in relation to Ps. 44: 2 (10. 1.151-52), and cf. Hippolytus, Ref. 10-33-1.

(41) See J. Dillon, The Middle Platonists: A Study of Platonism 80 B.C. to A.D. 220 (London, 1977), p. 46.

(42) See Justin, Dial. 56.4; Origen, Dial. 1-2; cf. Tertullian, Prax. 7.

(43) `Hippolytus and Heraclitus', SP 7.1 (1966), p. 263. See also Osborne, Rethinking, pp. 17-19.

(44) Cf. the same charge in Ref. 9.11-3. Neither Hippolytus, of course, nor the other Logos theologians, thought of their theology as ditheistic. It sounded so, however, to the modalists, and to the majority of `simple' Christians, as Tertullian testifies (Prax. 3).

(45) There is a broad attestation for this saying of Heraclitus in ancient literature. See M. Marcovich, Heraclitus (Merida, 1967), pp. 165-70.

(46) It appears also in the report of Cleomenes doctrine in Ref. 9.10.11, noted also by Simonetti, Studi sulla cristologia, p. 197, n. 75.

(47) Andresen, `Entstehung', 6, attributes the phrase [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to Callistus considering it, along with the statement that everything is filled with the divine spirit, to show the superficiality of Callistus' thought. He does not note the connection of this vocabulary with Hippolytus' quotation and exegesis of Heraclitus earlier in the book.

(48) On the relationship of Hippolytus' pairs of opposites in 9.9.1 to Heraclitus, see Mansfeld, Heresiography, pp. 232-33.

(49) Cf. I. Mueller, `Heterodoxy and Doxography in Hippolytus' "Refutation of All Heresies"', ANRW II.36.6 (1992), p. 4350.

(50) Loofs, Dogmengeschichte, p. 187.

(51) Tertullian, Prax. p. 20.

(52) There was an early Christological tradition, known to Irenaeus who quotes it from an unnamed predecessor (perhaps Theophilus of Antioch), that the Son contained the Father (Adv. haer. 4.4.2; Cf. 3.6.2. See the discussion of the first passage in W. R. Schoedel, `Theophilus of Antioch: Jewish Christian?', in D. Sansone (ed.), ICS 18: Studies in Honor of Miroslav Marcovich (Atlanta, 1993), p. 295). This tradition was clearly not considered heretical by Irenaeus, for he introduces the quotation with `bene qui dixit'.

(53) Romische Kirche, p. 306.

(54) Tr. Evans, Praxeas, p. 175; cf. Prax. 31.

(55) Hagemann, Romische Kirche, p. 307, argued that Origen's attack on those who understood John 4: 24 to define God's essence was directed against Callistus. I think Origen's arguments, which may include Callistus, were not aimed exclusively at him, but at the broader audience of those who read the Bible literally, including people such as Tertullian (Prax. 7).

(56) The emendations consist of removing words inserted by Wendland, Refutatio, p. 283. 16-17, and Marcovich, Refutatio, p. 403-17-18, inserting a full stop after the (assumed) quotation of John 4: 24, and inserting the phrase [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which can be explained as lost by dittography.

(57) See n. 43 above.

(58) Ref. 9.2; 9.12.19; 10.27-4. Adoptianism was not limited to the followers of Theodotus. Cf. Ps.-Cyprian, `De montibus sina et sion', 4, 13; Hippolytus, Ref. 6.35; and Harnack, Dogmengeschichte, I, p. 718.

(59) Dogmengeschichte, p. 188. Hubner, `Melito von Sardes', p. 227, argues that, like Noetus, when Melito speaks of the Father begetting and the birth of the Son he does not mean a `vorzeitlichen Zeugung und Geburt'.

(60) Hippolytus und Kallistus (Regensburg, 1853), pp. 233-34; 238.

(61) The difference between saying `one spirit' and `one person', Dollinger argued, was that the first was the teaching of the Church, and the second that of Sabellius.

(62) `Entstehung', p. 5.

(63) `Entstehung', p. 6-7.

(64) Studi sulla cristologia, p. 234.

(65) Trans. Evans, Praxeas, p. 137. Braun, Deus christianorum, p. 230, takes this passage to show that the modalists recognized only one prosopon in God. This is possible, but it relies for its confirmation, as Braun admits, on Hippolytus' statements, two of which we have seen are his interpretative comments.

(66) Ibid., p. 138, emphasis mine.

(67) Braun's statement, Deus christianorum, p. 230, that Origen's Fragm in Titus (PG 14.1304) attests the same doctrine and terminology for the modalists as Hippolytus' Ref. 10.27.4, fails to note that the statement in question is Rufinus' interpretation of Origen's Greek term [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which he preserves in his text and then explains, id est unam personam duobus nominibus subjacentem.

(68) I disagree with Logan, `Trinitarian Theology', p. 429, n. 43, who thinks those referred to here were `partisans of an old-fashioned Logos theology', and different from the `more clearly modalist Monarchians' referred to in 10. 2.16. I have argued for their identity above on the basis of the similar exegesis of Ps. 44: 2 attacked by Tertullian, where the opponents are clearly modalists.

(69) Io. 1.292; 2.75.

(70) Io. 10.246; Frag. Tit. (PG 17.555A); Cels. 8.12; Comm. in Matt. 10-17 17: 14; cf. Comm. in Rom. 8: 5, which sounds like Sabellius, rather than Callistus, for it refers to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being improperly united.

(71) n. 11 above.

(72) Alternatively, Callistus could have referred back to the one spirit, mentioned in the preceding sentence in Ref. 9.12.18, which was also made the basis of the divine unity in Ref. 9. 12. 16-17.

(73) See W. Michaelis, `[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' etc, TDNT 5 (Grand Rapids, 1967), pp. 912-23. Ibid., pp. 925-26.

(74) For the validity of this claim cf. Novatian, Trin. 25.5 and Origen, 10. 32-322.

(75) See K. Reinhardt, Kosmos und Sympathie (Munich, 1926).

(77) SVF 2.473; trans. A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley, The Hellenistic Philosophers I (Cambridge, 19go), p. 290; cf. Todd, Alexander of Aphrodisias, pp. 132-43, where Alexander critiques this doctrine.

(78) Todd, Alexander of Aphrodisias, p. 119.

(79) SVF 1, p. 518; trans. Long & Sedley, Hellenistic Philosophers 1, p. 272.

(80) Todd, Alexander of Aphrodisias, pp. 126-29.

(81) Origen's use of forms of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in regard to modalists at Io. 10.246 and Comm. in Matt. 10-17 17: 14 do not seem to me to be related to this technical terminology of the Stoics.

(82) Cf. Braun, Deus Christianorum, pp. 62-63.

(83) Cf. Dollinger, Hippolytus und Kallistus, p. 240.

(84) So Harnack, Dogmengeschichte I, p. 740; Loofs, Dogmengeschichte, p. 185; J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (New York, [1960.sup.2]), pp. 124-25; R. Lyman, `Callistus', Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, pp. 168-69.

(85) `Entstehung', p. 6.

(86) `Das vornicaenische [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] als Ausdruck der Rechtglaubigkeit', ZKG 90 (1979), [173] 27.

(87) Studi sulla cristologia, pp. 198-99.

(88) Theodoret (Haer. 3.3; PG 83-404) attributes the origin of the heresy to Epigonus, and says that Noetus of Smyrna revived it, but this seems to be a confusion on his part. See Harnack, Dogmengeschichte 1, p. 739.

(89) For a contrary opinion see Hubner, `Melito von Sardes', 219-33, who thinks CN stems from the fourth century.

(90) See S. N. Mouraviev, `Hippolyte, Heraclite et Noet (Commentaire d'Hippolyte, Refut. omn. haer. IX 8-10)' ANRW II.36.6 (1992), pp. 4386-87.

(91) The latter begins with the singular [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which could point to Noetus, but the final verb is plural ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), which suggests the successors.

(92) `Hippolyte', 4379-80. He also thinks Ref. 10.27.1-2 contains one thesis which resembles the primitive doctrine.

(93) Ibid., p. 4377, n. 3. This leaves out of account the possible use of the Syntagma of Hippolytus that Photius had read. Some, following P. Nautin, take the CN to be the end of the Syntagma, and others take it to be an independent treatise. See P. Nautin, Hippolyte contre les heresies, pp. 1-70, who argues that CN is the end of the Syntagma, and R. Butterworth, Hippolytus of Rome: Contra Noetum, HeyM 2 (London, 1977), 131). 1-33, who argues that it is an independent homily. I am sceptical of the view that CN is the end of the Syntagma. This assumption by Nautin has affected the critical text of CN that he edited. Because he assumes (a) that CN is the end of the Syntagma, and (b) that Epiphanius used the Syntagma as a major source in Haer. 57, he uses the latter to correct the single MS of CN. The resulting text of CN is, therefore, corrupted by Epiphanius' text.

(94) 9.8.1. On Hippolytus' concern with [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the discussion of the philosophers in Book 1, see J. Mansfeld, Heresiography in Context, pp. 20-43. See also A. Le Boulluec, La notion d'heresie dans la litterature grecque IIe-IIIe siecles I (Paris, 1985), pp. 84-91, on the use of the `succession' concept by Justin and Irenaeus, and its background in the Hellenistic philosophical schools.

(95) Zephyrinus is dropped from the list in Ref. 10.27. He appears not to have been very important to Hippolytus in his depiction of this heresy, since he was theologically unsophisticated and only repeated, according to Hippolytus, what Callistus told him to say. His importance to Hippolytus in Ref. 9 is that he brought Callistus to a position of power in the Roman Church. Cf. n. 16 above.

(96) Ref. 9.7-1 describes Noetus' teaching only as coming `from the teachings of Heraclitus'. At 10.27-1 he is called a `confused and unstable babbler'.

(97) References are to Butterworth's edition.

(98) For a basis in the Christology of Asia Minor, and of Smyrna in particular, for such a defence, see Ignatius, Smyr. 1.1.

(99) The MS title locates the CN in Rome, but this is debated.

(100) Plural: CN 2.1, 3, 5; singular: CN 2.6-7.

(101) In Epiphanius, Haer. 57.2.1 this quotation is reduced to the first half of the citation, and is cited exactly in Isaiah's words. It does not appear as a separate citation, but is inserted between the two citations from Exodus quoted above. The whole is introduced with the words, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(102) The final clause is also worded differently in Isaiah. The Hebrew ?? can be used of `last' in a temporal sense, and is so translated here in English Bibles. The Vulgate has `ego primus et ego novissimus'. According to the apparatus of the Gottingen LXX of Isaiah, however, all the Greek MS have [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

(103) This phrase was suggested to me by W. R. Schoedel.

(104) See J. B. Gould, The Philosophy of Chrysippus (Leiden, 1971), pp. 82 ff.

(105) See, for example, 2 Clem. 1.1; Ign. Eph. pref., Rom. pref.; passim; Pliny Secundus 10.96.7; and G. L. Prestige, God in Patristic Thought (London, 1952), pp. 76-79, and for Ignatius, W. R. Schoedel, Ignatius of Antioch, Hermeneia (Philadephia, 1985), p. 39. The identification of Christ as God did not necessarily indicate a modalistic view.

(106) I read apa with Nautin. Butterworth has apa. Apa was the common term which introduced the conclusion in a Stoic argument. See B. Mates, Stoic Logic (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1961). p. 133.

(107) Nautin's punctuation. Butterworth has a question mark.

(108) See at n. 43 above on the meaning of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Ref. This verb appears frequently in the passages under discussion, and may suggest that one is to consider these as Noetus' own words. Cf. Butterworth, CN, pp. 119-21, who uses the occurrences of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to argue for the diatribe style of CN.

(109) Hubner, `Antivalentinianische Charakter', P. 74, calls attention to echos of this Bar. passage in Ref. 9.10.11, and thinks Noetus used it of both the OT theophanies and the incarnation, for the echoes in Ref. are clearly associated with the incarnation.

(110) Epiphanius, Haer. 57-10.5, also refers to John 14: 8-10, but there is a lacuna immediately before the citation where the introductory verb would have been so that we do not know how he presented the text. Epiphanius does not include John 10: 30 among the texts used by the Noetians.

(111) See n. 35 above. P. Hofrichter, `Logoslehre und Gottesbild bei Apologeten, Modalisten und Gnostikern', in H.-J. Klauck (ed.), Monotheismus und Christologie, Quaestiones Disputatae 138 (Freiburg, 1992), pp. 198-99, treats these as texts used by the Noetians. P. Nautin, Hippolyte contre les heresies fragment etude et edition critique (Paris, 1949), pp. 134-35, questions that the Noetians used any of the Scriptures reported in CN on the basis of this same principle. This scepticism seems unwarranted to me. There is a clear difference between the way the two texts from John are treated in CN, where occupatio is probably being used, and the texts that are cited in the report of the teachings of the Noetians.

(112) So too, concerning the Logos, Hofrichter, `Logoslehre', p. 198; Harnack, Dogmengeschichte I, p. 744. It is carelessness on Osborne's part (Rethinking pp. 148, 150) which attributes a Logos doctrine to Noetus. The use of Logos in CN 3-7, which she cites, is that of the author against Noetus, as also in Epiphanius, Haer. 57, and Logos does not appear in the other text she cites (Ref. 9.10.11). Her one correct text (ibid. 138) refers to Callistus, not Noetus (Ref. 9.12.16).

(113) Trans. Butterworth, Hippolytus of Rome, 76. M. Simonetti, `Patripassians', EEC 2, p. 653, takes it to be Noetus himself who interpreted John I: I allegorically. Harnack, Dogmengeschichte I, p. 744, and Kelly, Doctrines, p. 120, take it to be the monarchians described in CN.

(114) The views of the Montanists who held Noetus' Christology do not differ from the simple patripassianism reported of Noetus himself (Ref. 8.19-3).

(115) See Mansfeld, Heresiography, pp. 231-42.

(116) Hippolyte', pp. 4379-85.

(117) Ref. 10-27.1-2 is, likewise, an account of the teaching of the Roman successors. Consequently, there is no account of the teachings of Noetus in Ref. apart from those embedded in the teachings of his successors, whether Montanists or the Roman school.

(118) It is also possible as Hubner, `Melito von Sardes', P. 223, assumes, that Cleomenes be understood as subject of this and the following two singular verbs. Whomever Hippolytus understood as subject of these verbs, it seems clear to me that he knew the teachings of Noetus, only through the school of Cleomenes. Hubner suggests that the antitheses in the first part of Ref. 9.10.9-10 come from Noetus' Glaubensregel (ibid., pp. 59-79), and that the final part of the report is drawn from a homily of Noetus on the passion (ibid., pp. 57, 79-80).

(119) Moingt, Theologie, I, p. 106, thinks that this was a term of technical polemic, and notes that Hippolytus never attributes it to Noetus. He links the origin of the term with Alexandrian Judaism, points out how rarely it appears before the end of the second century, and suggests that Praxeas introduced it to Rome, and that he may have taken it over directly from Judaism.

(120) See Marcovich, `Hippolytus and Heraclitus', P. 256. One could, of course, apply Andresen's critique that placing the doctrine of God and creation first represents Hippolytus' structuring of the material ('Entstehung', p. 4), but there is no reason to doubt that the modalists held this view.

(121) `Hippolyte', P. 4380.

(122) See Marcovich, `Hippolytus and Heraclitus', P. 257, who thinks this first thesis was an anti-Marcionite reaction of Noetus.

(123) For similar antitheses in Melito see Hubner, `Melito von Sardes', pp. 225-27. Hubner argues that Melito took them over from Noetus, perhaps through a student.

(124) See n. 109 above. If Hubner's thesis is correct, that this stems from Noetus' own rule of faith, then he did treat the theophanies (Antivalentinianische Charakter', pp. 57-86, esp. pp. 72-78). Osborne, Rethinking, p. 136, n. ii, is incorrect in linking the allusion to God's appearances in the OT with Isa. 45: 14-15 in CN 4. Noetus took Isa. 45: 14-15 to refer to the incarnation.

(125) Marcovich, `Hippolytus and Heraclitus', P. 257, incorrectly, I think, includes the material which identifies the Son and the Father in the patripassianist thesis.

(126) I have followed Marcovich's text for this translation. Mouraviev, `Hippolyte', p. 4382, takes the initial statement to have been a thesis of the Roman successors, and to correspond to the patripassianist thesis of the primitive doctrine.

(127) The [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] terminology reappears in the description of Callistus' teachings in Ref. 10-27.4, where the Son is described as [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. On the meaning of this terminology see Hubner, `Antivalentinianische Charakter', pp. 66-67.

(128) Heresiography, p. 232.

(129) Eph. 7: 2; Cf. the Teachings of Silvanus 101.35; 102.1, Schoedel, Ignatius of Antioch, pp. 60-62, idem, "'Topological" Theology', p. 105, and n. 123 above.

(130) See [sections] i.

(131) Following Marcovich's text.

(132) This is almost certainly Hippolytus' phrase (see n. 46 above).

(133) Noted by Hubner, `Antivalentinianische Charakter', p. 74.

(134) See Ref. 9.12.18a, and my discussion of this passage above in ([sections] 1.

(135) Hubner, `Antivalentinianische Charakter', p. 81, suggests that John 19: 34 is also alluded to in the phrase, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. He also notes that John 19: 30 is alluded to, but thinks the Hippolytan text a mixture from Luke 23: 46 and John 10: 30.

(136) On Sabellius see Simonetti, Studi sulla cristologia, pp. 217-38, and on the uncertainty surrounding all of our information about him, see W. A. Bienert, `Sabellius und Sabellianismus als historisches Problem', in H. C. Brennecke, E. L. Grasmuck, and C. Markschies (eds.), Logos: Festschrift fur Luise Abramowski, BZNW 67 (Berlin, 1993), pp. 124-39.

(137) See Loofs, Dogmengeschichte, p. 186; and Bienert, `Vornicaenische [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], [173] 27.

(138) This latter is clear in the two illustrations he gives, and especially in the second of the sun, where the warming aspect is the Holy Spirit, the illuminating the Son, but `the Father is the actual form of the whole entity' (F. Williams, trans., The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis Books II and III, Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 36 (Leiden, 1994), p. 121). See further the illustration cited by Ps.-Athanasius based on 1 Cor. 12: 4, `For just as there are a diversity of gifts, but the same Spirit, so also the Father is the same, but is expanded into Son and Spirit' (Orat. IV c. Arianos 25; Cf. 14, and the statements in 2 and 9 concerning the Father and Son being the same, with the Father being done away with when there is a Son, and the Son when there is a Father), and the title [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] which he used for this one being (Athanasius, De Synod. 16). See also Harnack, Dogmengeschichte I, pp. 763-67.

(139) Cf. the question Epiphanius attributes to the Sabellians, `Do we have one God or three Gods?' (Haer. 62.2.6), as their characteristic approach to simpler souls.
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Title Annotation:3rd century theologian
Author:Heine, Ronald E.
Publication:The Journal of Theological Studies
Date:Apr 1, 1998
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