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The Treatise of Novatian on the Trinity

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Third-century theologian Novatian was one of the most influential and controversial Christians of his lifetime. A historical antipope, Novatian was highly intelligent, and his writings were undeniably significant. Pope Cornelius, the pope appointed by the clergy instead of Novatian, spoke of him as “this remarkable man,” and “this most illustrious man.” He was the first Christian to have studied Stoicism and literary composition, making his writings an important contribution to early Christian literature.

The Treatise of Novatian on the Trinity is divided into four parts—one for each aspect of the Trinity, plus a fourth part examining the Trinity’s unity. This treatise refuted his contemporaries’ heresies regarding Christ’s dual nature and God’s total spirituality.

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  • Contains significant writings of the early church
  • Refutes the heresies of Novatian’s contemporaries
  • Examines each aspect of the Trinity, as well as the Trinity as a whole
  • Part I: Of God the Father
  • Part II: Of God the Son
  • Part III: Of God the Holy Spirit
  • Part IV: Of the Unity of the Godhead
  • Title: The Treatise of Novatian on the Trinity
  • Author: Novatian
  • Translator: Herbert Moore
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Publication Date: 1919
  • Pages: 147

About Novatian

Novatian (c. AD 200–258) sometimes known as Novatus, was a scholar, theologian, and antipope. He was the first Roman theologian to write in Latin. In AD 251, Novatian was consecrated as pope, though he was later excommunicated. Pope Cornelius wrote that prior to Novatian’s baptism, a nearly fatal exorcism had been performed on him. Novatian was the first Christian convert to study Stoic philosophy and receive a literary education, and he quickly proved to be a highly intelligent theologian. His other works include The Spectacle, Jewish Foods, and In Praise of Purity.

About Herbert Moore

Herbert Moore (1863–1942) was an English scholar and priest.

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