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A version of Monarchianism holding that the Godhead is a single being, differentiated only into a succession of modes or operations.

[After Sabellius (fl. 3rd cent. ad), Monarchian theologian.]


the modalistic doctrines of Sabellius, 3rd-century prelate, espe-cially that the Trinity has but one divine essence and that the persons are only varying manifestations of God. Also called Modalistic Monarchianism. — Sabellian, n., adj.
See also: Heresy
References in periodicals archive ?
These attributes present a clear relationship with Monarchianism or Sabellianism (II and III centuries) (46), heresy that identified Jesus with the unique God and denied the true humanity of Christ (47).
A rigidly chronological approach, that sees the old covenant era as the age of the Father, Christ's earthly ministry as that of the Son, and the church after Pentecost as that of the Spirit, contains an implicit Sabellianism (Kuyper, 1900).
Morgan discusses Sabellianism, based on modalistic Monarchiansim and also leading to Patripassianism.
Rooted in the apostolic era, as recent scholars on Christian Origins have argued, (1) the christological exegesis of OT theophanies gained prominence in the second and third centuries, and played an important role in anti-Jewish, antidualistic, and antimonarchian polemics: it figured significantly in a catechetical manual such as Irenaeus's Demonstration; it was part of the antidualistic arsenal deployed by Irenaeus and Tertullian; it was the crucial argument used by Tertullian and Hippolytus against "Monarchians," as well as by later polemicists against the "Sabellianism" of a Marcellus of Ancyra or Photinus of Sirmium.
Thorn has provided explanatory summaries of Arianism viewed as holding that the Son was inferior to and did not exist prior to his generation by the Father, thus seriously compromising the unity and simplicity of the Godhead; Pneumatomachianism denying the divinity of the Holy Spirit; and Sabellianism as affirming only one person in the divinity.
His doctrine, Sabellianism (like Arianism), is considered a Christian heresy because God is not viewed as three separate entities, Father, Son, and Spirit.
Bushnell had set the stage for the accusations of Sabellianism that would hound him.
Sabellianism, Adoptionism, Modalism, Arianism) had loomed the inconceivability of assigning the Son the same godly nature and status as held by the Father.