بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم What did the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers Believe About Jesus? Read as PDF “…but of His Son the Master said thus, Thou art My Son, I this day have begotten thee. A…
This came from a Muslim website, where he claim that all Ante-Nicene church fathers had different interpretation of Trinity that differed from the Trinity we believe today. He also said that it was only by Constantine’s political authority that the Trinity we believe today was capable to be established. He cites many sources there and claims that what he said there was the thing Christian apologists are afraid to examine or tell Christians about. I’m not an expert on this field. So, my question is, is there some truth in his article? Or it’s just another “red herring” and false conclusion/claim?
The article you found is better than most Muslim sources. I will give them credit. There is some good research behind this article, and their information is at least largely factual. Even their conclusions have a grain of truth to them. However, in the end this is an extremely biased and even deceptive article. Here is why.
The grain of truth here is that in the primitive church, from almost the beginning, there was a rather wide–sometimes shockingly wide–range of views about Jesus. Guess what, the same is true today. This always has and always will be true. The problem is that the article grossly exaggerates the situation. From the New Testament to Nicaea, the vast majority of all church leaders (and presumably its members) were “orthodox” in their views of Jesus. That Jesus was God and that he claimed to be God was always the view of the vast majority, and claims to the contrary are simply false. This is a fact which is proved by the data. The idea that Constantine could have affected the content of the New Testament or the belief of the bishops in the early fourth century is simply not true. This goes against all the evidence. By that time (about AD 325) the New Testament canon had been established for close to two hundred years, and the Bible had been quoted extensively. We even have detailed reports form the Nicene Council, and Constantine was not directly involved. The Arian heresy was roundly rejected by this general council of the bishops, not by Constantine, and he had no role in writing the Nicene Creed.
The article mentions Clement of Rome and the author of Didache, claiming that they did not believe Jesus is God. This is simply a false statement. Plain and simple. It is a calumny. All anyone has to do is simply read the letter of Clement to Rome or read the Didache and you will realize instantly that this is a bold-faced lie! Please, do yourself a favor. These letters are available on the internet. Just read them and you will see that this claim is utterly false.
It will be a lot of work, but what you can do is check this claim out for yourself. You can read Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Polycarp, Ignatius, Papias, Tertullian or any of the second century Christian authors and you will find a unanimous voice. They considered Jesus to be human, but also to be God. The quotes in the article above tend to confirm this! Were there some dissenting voices among the Gnostics and a few other voices as well? Yes! Were these even heard in the church? Is some instances yes. However, that the accepted view of Jesus was the view of the vast majority is proved by the things they wrote, many of which have come down to us. This Muslim claim is disingenuous, it is inaccurate, it is unreliable and it is simply not true.
My suggestion is that you stop listening to dishonest Muslim voices and instead read the actual things written by the early church fathers. Maybe you could read Christian takes on these writings. We should avoid listening to propaganda and misleading interpretations of Muslims. It is unhealthy.