Irenaeus on the Three Articles

Today is the one-month anniversary of The Recapitulator.  It would have been nice if I could have finished up my “What is Biblical Theology?” series today; but I’m still working away at it.  I couldn’t, however, let this one-month anniversary come and go without having its own post.  So, without comment from me, I thought I would invite Irenaeus, my second dedicatee, to talk to us about what he refers to as the three articles of our faith.  This comes from his Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching.  The translation is that of  John Behr in the Popular Patristics Series.

And this is the order of our faith, the foundation of the edifice and the support of our conduct: God, the Father, uncreated, uncontainable, invisible, one God, the Creator of all: this is the first article of our faith.

And the second article: the Word of God, the Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord, who was revealed by the prophets according to the character of their prophecy and according to the nature of the economies of the Father, by whom all things were made, and who, in the last times, to recapitulate all things, became a man amongst men, visible and palpable, in order to abolish death, to demonstrate life, and to effect communion between God and man.

And the third article: the Holy Spirit, through whom the prophets prophesied and the patriarchs learnt the things of God and the righteous were led in the path of righteousness, and who, in the last times, was poured out in a new fashion upon the human race renewing man, throughout the world, to God.

Jerry Shepherd
September 23, 2013