A friend recently made the following statement regarding the heresy of Arianism:

The conflict was about the nature of Christ before the Creation of the Universe. It was a Philosophical/Metaphysical cum Theological difference which really had no practical manifestation in terms of Saving Faith or practice.

As Arianism denies the divinity of Christ and the fullness of the Godhead, I am inclined to disagree. (The emphasis of my studies are mostly biblical theology with an Old Testament emphasis and this is a systematics issue.)

What impact, if any, does an Arian view of Christ have on a person's salvation?

While I welcome answers from a purely biblical perspective, I also welcome historical arguments and answers quoting authors from the time of and close to the controversy.

  • Welcome here! This question might attract completely different answers, it's very subjective. Still, I think it's not too subjective, or at least that it can be answered in quite objective manner. There must have been some answers for this question from the time Arianism was still living, and some of these accounts must have survived until today (at least from the orthodox Catholic camp, and perhaps from Arians too) and are somewhere on net. Any answer based on these documents has my +1 if it's not completely wrong (unless it's my answer, off course).
    – Pavel
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 21:49
  • To close voters, yes there is an element of opinion on this question, but this is exactly the kind of good subjective that we want. We should leave it open.
    – user3961
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:22
  • Interestingly, RPC Hanson argues that soteriology was the basis for Arianism. In short, God had to suffer for our redemption but, in the Greek philosophy which became the basis for the church doctrine of God in the time before Arius, God cannot suffer. For God to suffer, He had to beget/create a Son and give Him a body so that He could suffer. The Arian Controversy was confined to the cosmological rather than the soteriological aspects of Christology but the basis was soteriology, i.e., to explain the incarnation. See page 25 of The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God.
    – Andries
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


I don't see why this should be complicated. Soteriology is the study of salvation (Greek σωτηρία). Succinctly stated, Arianism posits that the Lord Jesus Christ is not "the only true god" (ὁ μόνος ἀληθινὸς θεός; cp. John 17:3), Yahveh (cp. Isa. 44:6), but rather, a creation of the one true god (i.e., a creature).

According to Isa. 43:11 (cp. Isa. 45:21; Hos. 13:4), it is written,

I, [even] I, am Yavheh, and there is no savior besides Me.

אָנֹכִי אָנֹכִי יַהְוֶה וְאֵין מִבַּלְעָדַי מוֹשִׁיעַ

If the Lord Jesus Christ is not Yavheh, then he cannot effect salvation for humanity, for Yavheh Himself states, "There is no savior besides Me."

Some may suppose that salvation is ultimately effected by Yahveh via the proxy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, this is refuted by Psa. 49, in which it is written,

7 A man certainly shall not redeem his brother, nor give his ransom to God.

7 אָח לֹא־פָדֹה יִפְדֶּה אִישׁ לֹא־יִתֵּן לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרוֹ

15 But God shall redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me. Selah.

15 אַךְ־אֱלֹהִים יִפְדֶּה נַפְשִׁי מִיַּד־שְׁאֹול כִּי יִקָּחֵנִי סֶֽלָה

When it comes to the redemption of a man's soul from the power of the grave, man cannot redeem his brother. Only God can. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be just a man, otherwise he is wholly incapable of effecting the redemption of humanity. Consequently, if the Lord Jesus Christ is not God, then he cannot be the savior or redeemer of humanity.

  • 1
    And if Jesus is not God, then He cannot be savior.
    – Frank Luke
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 21:15
  • @Frank Luke John 1:1 says that Jesus was the word and that He is God and was with God the father before he created the universe. (In the beginning) He is God's son it says it 47 times in KJV. However, when He came to earth being born of Mary he was 100% man. 1 Tim 2:5, John 8:17-18, Romans 5:15 just for examples. No such thing as half God: half man. When Jesus was on earth he was a perfect man, otherwise he couldn't be a sacrifice for our sins. Once crucified and sat on the right hand of the Father He again took up his position as God and could redeem our souls .
    – Rosie
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 3:29
  • The KJV clearly says that Jesus gave up his Position as God and took on the form of sinful flesh.....but, he never did sin we know that. See Phillipians 2:6-8 and Romans 8:3
    – Rosie
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 3:49

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