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Creed of Gregory of Neocaesarea
(mid-third century)

Dennis Bratcher, ed.

Gregory was born to a pagan family in Neocaesarea in Pontus (northeastern Asia Minor, modern Turkey). He took the name Gregory after his conversion and baptism at Caesarea in Palestine under the influence of Origen, an outstanding early theologian and teacher of the Church. After a time as a student of Origen, he returned to his hometown, and around AD 240 became bishop of the city. He gained a reputation as a miracle worker and was known by the name Thaumaturgus ("wonder-worker").

As a pupil of Origen, Gregory continued to expound Origen’s ideas. This third century creed by Gregory of Neocaesarea is preserved in a biography of him written by Gregory of Nyassa. It emphasizes the eternal divinity of Jesus as the Son of God, without addressing what exactly distinguishes the Son from the Father. Origen had strongly affirmed the eternity of Jesus as the Son of God while at the same time tending to subordinate the Son to God the Father. Gregory follows Origen on the first point, but does not deal with the subordination theme. That issue would be left to later Christian writers, and to the Council of Nicea (see The Nicene Creed), to work out. -Dennis Bratcher, ed.

Creed of Gregory of Neocaesarea

There is one God, the Father of the living Word, who is His subsistent Wisdom and Power and Eternal Image: perfect Begetter of the perfect Begotten, Father of the only-begotten Son.

There is one Lord, Only of the Only, God of God, Image and Likeness of Deity, Efficient Word, Wisdom comprehensive of the constitution of all things, and Power formative of the whole creation, true Son of true Father, Invisible of Invisible, and Incorruptible of Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal and Eternal of Eternal.

And there is One Holy Spirit, having His subsistence from God, and being made manifest by the Son, [to wit to men*]: Image of the Son, Perfect Image of the Perfect; Life, the Cause of the living; Holy Fount; Sanctity, the Supplier, or Leader, of Sanctification; in whom is manifested God the Father, who is above all and in all, and God the Son, who is through all.

There is a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided nor estranged. Wherefore there is nothing either created or in servitude in the Trinity; nor anything superinduced, as if at some former period it was non-existent, and at some later period it was introduced. And thus neither was the Son ever wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son; but without variation and without change, the same Trinity abides ever.

*usually recognized to be a later addition

-Dennis Bratcher, ed. Copyright © 2013, Dennis Bratcher, All Rights Reserved
(No copyright claims are made for the text of the original document.)
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