Marcellus of Ancyra
(died c. 374 C.E.
) was one of the bishops
present at the Councils of Ancyra
and of Nicaea
. He was a strong opponent of Arianism
, but was accused of adopting the opposite extreme of modified Sabellianism
. He was condemned by a council of his enemies and expelled from his see, though he was able to return there to live quietly with a small congregation in the last years of his life.
A few years after the Council of Nicaea
(in 325) Marcellus wrote a book against Asterius the Sophist
, a prominent figure in the party which supported Arius. In this work (only fragments of which survive), he was accused of maintaining that the Trinity
of persons in the Godhead was but a transitory dispensation. According to the surviving fragments, God
was originally only One Being (hypostasis), but at the creation of the universe the Word or Logos went out from the Father and was God's Activity in the world. This Logos became incarnate
and was thus constituted Image of God. The Holy Ghost
likewise went forth as third Divine Personality from the Father and from Christ according to 22
. At the consummation of all things, however (28
), Christ will return to the Father and the Godhead be again an absolute Unity. The fragmentary nature of his surviving work makes reconstructing his thought more of an art than a science.
The bishops at the First Synod of Tyre
in 335 (which also deposed Athanasius) seem to have written to Constantine against Marcellus when he refused to... Read More