Church Fathers: Jesus is God

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ Κυρίου ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ. 

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:2

Some say that Jesus was not called God in the first 300 years of Christianity. However, early Christians referred to Jesus as God and emphasized the three distinct persons of the Godhead. Consider the quotations below (not exhaustive, just a few 🙂 ):

  • POLYCARP (AD 69-155)
    • “our Lord and God Jesus Christ”
    • “The Eternal, the Invisible, who for our sake became visible”
    • “our God, Jesus the Christ”
    • You being stones of a temple, prepared before as a building of God the Father, being raised up to the heights through the mechanism of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, and using as a rope the Holy Spirit …
  • IRENAEUS OF LYONS (AD 130-202)
    • “Christ… together with the Father, is the God of the living”
    • For Irenaeus, the Son is fully divine (Dem. 7), as is the Spirit (Her. 5.12.2). Thus Irenaeus progressed beyond the Apologists in a fuller recognition of the place of the Spirit in his idea of economy. Still, he is clearly a second-century theologian as his picture of the Trinity discloses.
    • Here are some phrases from Demonstration of Apostolic Preaching
      • God the Father, not made, not material, invisible; one God, the Creator of all things…
      • The Word of God, Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord.
      • The Holy Spirit, through whom the prophets prophesied, and the fathers learned the things of God, and the righteous were led into the way of righteousness.
  • JUSTIN MARTYR (AD 100-165)
    • “The Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God”
    • In the name of God, the Father, and Lord of the Universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water.
  • TATIAN (AD 110-172)
    • “God was born in the form of man”
  • MELITO OF SARDIS (died AD 180)
    • “He that fixed the heavens was fixed with nails”
    • “God put to death!”
    • “He alone being both God and man”
    • For as God lives, and the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit, who are the faith and hope of the chosen ones—the one who in humility of mind, with extended gentleness, without regret has done the ordinances and commandments given by God, this one will be enrolled and given a name among the number of the saved through Jesus Christ, through whom is the glory unto him forever and ever, amen
      TERTULLIAN (AD 150-225) “Christ is Spirit of Spirit, and God & of God
  • ORIGEN (AD 185-254)
    • “while made a man remained the God which He was”
    • The Only-begotten Son of God is His Wisdom existing substantially… How could anyone believe that God the Father could have existed at any time without begetting Wisdom?… We must believe that Wisdom is without beginning…
    • He is called the Logos because He is as it were the interpreter of the secrets of the mind of God.


  • POLYCARP Pol. Phil 12.2 Holmes, AF, 295
  • IGNATIUS Letter to Polycarp, 3.2. Holmes, AF, 265; Letter to the Ephesians, 18.2
  • IRENAEUS Against Heresies, 4.5.2. Ephesians 9.
  • JUSTIN MARTYR First Apology, 63. ANF, 1:184, & 61.
  • TATIAN Address to the Greeks, 21. ANF, 11:74
  • CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA Exhortation to the Heathen, 1, 1 Clement, 58.
  • TERTULLIAN Apology, 21
  • ORIGEN De Principiis, Preface, 4
  • Michael Burgos, Our Triune God.

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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