Paul of Samosata

(third century)
   Bishop, Heretic and Sect Founder.
   Paul was consecrated Bishop of Antioch in c. 260, but he was deposed in 268 because of his heretical views. He seems to have taught that the divine Word of God was to be distinguished from the human Jesus and that during the incarnation, the Word descended on the human being. Paul is seen as a forerunner of nestorius. His followers were known as Paulianists and they survived at least until the Council of Nicaea in 325. The Paulician sect which was still in existence in the eleventh century may also have taken its name from Paul of Samosata. Adherents taught a dualistic doctrine in which the Good God created Heaven and the human soul and the Evil God made the material universe. They denied the reality of Jesus’s body; they rejected the orthodox doctrine of the cross and they revered Jesus only as a great teacher.
   N.G. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy (1967);
   H. de Riedmatten, Les Actes du Procès de Paul de Samosate (1952) [no English translation available].

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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