MONARCHIANS (from Gk. p-ovapx(a, mon archia, sole power, from Ovapxos% monarchos, monarch, from abpos, mottos, single + dpv(p, arehein, to rule). A term of Christian theology, ap plied to certain persons in the early Church who ob jected to the orthodox Christolog,v, on the ground that it suggested two gods (or three, if the Holy Spirit was included), and who maintained, in op position. what was called the divine 'Monarchy' (Gk. aovapxta), or essential oneness of the Deity. The questions at issue were the relationship of Christ to the Father and Christ's preexistence. If Christ was God incarnate, as the Church taught, then it must follow, said some. that God the Father has entered the world, and has lived. suffered, and (lied among men. Christ then would be merely a form or mode of manifestation of the supreme Deity, who might reveal 'Himself as Father. Son, or Spirit. This doctrine was called Modalism, or, more exactly, Modalistic INIonarchi anistn. It was also known as Patripassianism. from the fact that it represented the Father as suffering. Among its adherents were Praxeas, an Asiatic Christian, who visited Rome late in the second century. and was opposed by Tertul Han and by Noetus of Smyrna. whose views were combated by Hippolytus. The most cele brated Modalist, however, was Sabellius (q.v.), who flourished early in the third century, and who taught that the Trinity consisted of three successive manifestations of God in history. Eastern Modalism was commonly called Sabel lianism after him, and this name ultimately came into use in the West also.
But there were some Christians who attempted. in just the opposite fashion, to answer the question how Christ was related to God. Their method was not identification, hut distinction. Christ they held to be a created being, a man like other men, but they believed He became the Son of God by adoption, through an impartation of divine pow ers, usually regarded as received at His baptism. These persons are known as Dynamic Monarch bins (from Gk. Supd1ef4s, powers), to distin
guish them from the other Monarehians described above. One of the leaders of this school was Theodotus the Tanner, who came to Ronne from Byzantium late in the second century, and was there excommunicated by Pope Victor I. Another leader also bore the name Theodolus. He was a money-changer, a disciple of Theodotns the Tanner. Artemon, in the third century, con tinued the same teaching. All these three appear to have been laymen. The Thcodotinns and Artemonites were called after them, and figure prominently among the third century heretics. Dynamic Monarehianistn found an able repre sentative in Paul. Bishop of Samosata and Prime Minister of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, who was excommunicated by an Asiatic synod about 263. (See PAri„ or SAMOSATA. ) The Dynamic Monarch ians were probably much less numerous than the Modalist s.
Over against all these Monarchians of either type the main body of the Church maintained the divinity of Christ along with His personal distinc tion from the Father. The orthodox Logos-Chris tology was developed into the doctrine that Christ is a preexistent divine hypostasis (q.v.), who be came man through the incarnation, and is there fore both Clod and man, two natures in one per son. A similar view was held, although with less distinctiveness as yet, respecting the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity (q.v.). tremens, Tertullian. Hippolytus, Novatian. and especially Origen. all contributed toward this doctrinal de velopment. Yet by teaching that the Son was subordinate to the Father, as he was forced to do in refuting lonarehianism, Origen prepared the way for Arianism, the most serious heresy of the fourth century. (See Ann's.) Con sult: lIarnack. History of Dogma, vol. iii. (Lon don. 1897) ; Fisher. History of Christian. Doc trine (New York, 1896) ; South and \Vaee. Die tiomiry of Christian Itiography. articles "Theodo t us," "A rt emon." "Pra seas." "Noetus," "Sabel lius," "Paul of Samosata," etc.