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(Adoptianism). The view that Christ acc. to His humanity is the Son of God by adoption only. Its first exponent was Theodotus* the Fuller, who came to Rome from Byzantium ca. 190, teaching that Jesus was a mere man, whose deity was only a miraculous power that, as Christ or the Holy Spirit (identifying the two), came upon Him at His baptism. Paul* of Samosata held similar views, declaring that Jesus was a mere man who, inspired by the Logos (Word), gradually acquired a divine dignity that eventually merited the designation “God.” An Adoptionist Controversy was stirred up in Sp. by Elipando* and Félix* of Urgel, who held that Christ as the 2d Person of the Trinity is the only-begotten Son of the Father, that as the Son of Mary He is the adopted Son of God. They were opposed by Beatus* of Liébana and Heterius,* who (ca. 785) emphasized the divine Christ made man for us. Alcuin* wrote 7 treatises against Félix of Urgel. The Frankish Syn. at Regensburg 792, Frankfort 794, and Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) ca. 799 condemned adoptionism, as did Adrian* I and Leo* III. A similar controversy arose in the 12th c., when Bp. Eberhard II of Bamberg defended Adoptionist views, accusing his opponents of Eutychianism.* See also Monarchianism, A.

See references to hist. treatment under Dogmatics; A. Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (Freiburg, 1890); J. Bach, Dogmengeschichte des Mittelalters (Vienna, 1873–75).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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