The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Early Church

The most significant developments in articulating the doctrine of the Triune God took place in the 4th century, A.D. with a group of men known as the Theologians.

Introduction


The doctrine of God has always been of primary importance to Christianity.  A correct view of God is pivotal to every other doctrine that the church holds dear.  The most significant developments in articulating the doctrine of the Triune God took place in the 4th century, A.D. with a group of men known as the Theologians.  Though the earliest church fathers had affirmed the doctrine of the apostles, they were focused on their pastoral duties to a persecuted church and thus were unable to compose doctrinal treatises.  With the relaxing of the persecution of the church during the rise of Constantine to power in the Roman empire, the stage was set for wide-ranging ecumenical dialogue.  The resultant councils and creeds did not discover or create Trinitarian doctrine.  The Theologians, responding to serious heresies such as Arianism, articulated in the creeds the truths that the orthodox church had believed since the time of the apostles.1

1Bingham, Jeffrey, “HT200 Class Notes,” Dallas Theological Seminary , ( 2004).