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Title: "I and the father are one" : scriptural interpretation and Trinitarian construction in the Monarchian debate
Author: Cornell, Richard E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 7991
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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The role of scriptural interpretation in the Monarchian controversy of the early 3rd century C.E. has received relatively little scholarly attention. This oversight is due, in large part, to a persuasive if unstated belief held by many modern scholars that Scripture is a secondary or tertiary factor in the construction of doctrine. This thesis will argue that scriptural interpretation played a primary or generative role in the construction of doctrine. The Proto-Trinitarians and Monarchians believed their position to be superior to that of their opponents’ precisely because it made better sense of the scriptural data. This thesis will argue that the modern view which sees the early church fathers as poor exegetes may have more to do with questionable modern assumptions about the interpretive enterprise (especially when doctrine is considered) than it has to do with any interpretive incompetence of the early Christian interpreters. The introduction will offer a survey of the modern status quo view of patristic interpretation in general and patristic interpretation in a doctrinal context in particular. It will then consider some dissenting voices to the status quo view. Chapter 1 will offer a brief history of the Monarchian movement and examine the Monarchian doctrine of God and its scriptural basis, seeking first to provide an accurate picture of Monarchian belief and secondly to show that the Monarchians took Scripture seriously in their theologizing. Chapters 2 and 3 will consider the two most influential treatises in the demise of Monarchianism, the Contra Noetum (chapter 2) and Tertullian’s Adversus Praxeas (chapter 3). It will be demonstrated that scriptural interpretation was the decisive factor in their theological construction of the nature of God and that the Gospel of John played a decisive role in their rebutting of the Monarchian position.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Monarchianism ; Trinity ; Church history ; Theology, Doctrinal