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Heretic

means “one who chooses,” and heresy means simply “a choice.” A heretic is one who chooses his own creed, and does not adopt the creed authorised by the national church. (Greek, hairēsis, choice.)

Heretics of the First Century were the Simoʹnians (so called from Simon Magus), Cerinʹthians (Cerinthus), Ebʹionites (Ebʹion), and Nicolaʹitans (Nicholas, deacon of Antioch).

Second Century: The Basilidʹians (Basilʹides), Carpocraʹtians (Carpocʹrates), Valentinʹians (Valentiʹnus), Gnostics (Knowing Ones), Nazareʹnes, Millenaʹrians, Cainʹites (Cain), Sethʹians (Seth), Quartodecimans (who kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the first month), Cerdoʹnians (Cerdon), Marʹcionites (Marʹcion), Montaʹnists (Montaʹnus), Taʹtianists (Taʹtian), Alogians (who denied the “Word”), Artotyʹrites (q.v.), and Angelʹics (who worshipped angels).

⁂ Tatianists belong to the third or fourth century. The Tatian of the second century was a Platonic philosopher who wrote Discourses in good Greek; Tatian the heretic lived in the third or fourth century, and wrote very bad Greek. The two men were widely different in every respect, and the authority of the heretic for “four gospels” is of no worth.

Third Century: The Patʹri-passians, Arabʹaci, Aquaʹrians, Novaʹtians, Orʹigenists (followers of Origen), Melchisedechʹians (who believed Melchisʹedec was the Messiah), Sabellians (from Sabelʹlius), and Manicheʹans (followers of Mani).

Fourth Century: The Aʹrians (from Arius), Colluthʹians (Colluʹthus), Macedoʹnians, Agneʹtœ, Apollinaʹrians (Apollinaʹris), Timoʹtheans (Timothy, the apostle), Collyridʹians (who offered cakes to the Virgin Mary), Seleuʹcians (Seleuʹcius), Priscillians (Priscillian), Anthropomorphites (who ascribed to God a human form), Jovinʹianists (Jovinʹian), Messaʹlians, and Bonoʹsians (Bonoʹsus).

Fifth Century: The Pelaʹgians (Pelaʹgius), Nestoʹrians (Nestoʹrius), Eutyehʹians (Euʹtychus), Theo-paschites (who said all the three persons of the Trinity suffered on the cross).

Sixth Century: The Predestinaʹrians, Incorrupʹtibilists (who maintained that the body of Christ was incorruptible), the new Agnoeʹtœ (who maintained that Christ did not know when the day of judgment would take place), and the Monothʹelites (who maintained that Christ had but one will).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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