The Theology of the Montanists, Response to Dr. Morrison Part 7

The Theology of the Montanists

At 17:00 into Dr. Morrison’s Part 2 video on Church History (, Mr. Morrison rightly states that Tertullian joined the Montanists from Asia Minor. Yet even the majority of the Montanists were Modalistic in their theology. The New Advent Encyclopedia states that Montanus was himself a Modalist because he prophesied saying,

“I am the Father, the Word, and the Paraclete,”… (Didymus, "De Trin.", III, xli); and again: “I am the Lord God omnipotent, who have descended into man”, and “neither an angel, nor an ambassador, but I, the Lord, the Father, am come” (Epiphanius, "Hær.", xlviii, 11).

According to Montanus, “the Word, and the Spirit (Paraclete)” is “the Father” who has “come” to “descend into man.”

Under “Montantists,” The New Advent Encyclopedia states that Jerome “described them as Sabellians in their idea of the Trinity.”

“It is interesting to take St. Jerome's account, written in 384, of the doctrines of Montanism as he believed them to be in his own time (Ep., xli). He describes them as Sabellians in their idea of the Trinity.” (New Advent Encyclopedia, under Montanism)

Hippolytus described the Montanists as Noetian Modalists in the early third century:

“But others of them, being attached to the heresy of the Noetians [Noetus was a Modalist], entertain similar opinions to those relating to the silly women of the Phrygians, and to Montanus. As regards, however, the truths appertaining to the Father of the entire existing things, they are guilty of blasphemy, because they assert that He is Son and Father, visible and invisible, begotten and unbegotten, mortal and immortal. These have taken occasion from a certain Noetus to put forward their heresy.” (Hippolytus, Book 5, “CHAP. XXII.--THE PHRYGIANS OR MONTANISTS)

Under Montanism, the New Advent Encyclopedia says,

“Another Montanist (about 200), who seems to have separated from Proclus, was Æschines, who taught that "the Father is the Son", and is counted as a Monarchian of the type of Noetus or Sabellius.”

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