Beryllus, bp. of Bostra
Beryllus, bp. of Bostra,2424Socr. H. E. iii. 7, erroneously
makes Beryllus bp. of Philadelphia. in Arabia, known in his day as one of
the most learned teachers of the church. He conceived heretical views as to the
person of our blessed Lord, to consider which a synod assembled at Bostra,
a.d.244. The bishops unanimously condemned
his teaching, and declared that Christ at His Incarnation was endowed with a human
soul (Socr. H. E. iii. 7), but were unable to convince Beryllus of his error.
Origen, however, who, having been recently degraded from Holy Orders and excommunicated
at Alexandria, was then residing at Caesarea, had been invited to the synod, and
by his intellectual superiority, dialectical skill, and friendly moderation succeeded
in proving to Beryllus the unsoundness of his tenets, and in leading him back to
the orthodox faith. For this, according to Jerome, he received the thanks of Beryllus
in a letter extant in his time. Our only authority as to the tenets of Beryllus
is a somewhat obscure passage of Eusebius, H. E. vi. 33, and a fragment of
Origen's commentary on the Epistle to Titus, found in the
Pamphilus, Orig. Opp. tom. iv. p. 22, ed. Bened., which have led to very
opposite conclusions. These may be seen in Dorner, where the whole question is discussed
at length. His views were Monarchian, and are identified by Schleiermacher with
those of the Patripassians, and by Baur with those of Artemon and the neo-Ebionites.
According to Dorner, Beryllus occupies a middle place, forming a connecting link
between the Patripassians and Sabellius. The leading ideas of his teaching as developed
by Dorner from Eusebius were as follows: (1) there existed a
πατρικὴ θεότης in Christ, but not an
ἰδία θεότης: (2) Christ had no independent
existence in a circumscribed form of being of His own (κατ᾿
ἰδίαν οὑσίας περιγραφήν), before His Incarnation (ἐπιδημία).
(3) Subsequently to His Incarnation, He Who had been identified with the
πατρικὴ θεότης became a circumscribed Being
possessed of an independent existence; the being of God in Christ being a circumscription
of the θεότης of the Father, i.e. of
God Himself. According to Eusebius, H. E. vi. 20, Beryllus was the author
of epistles and treatises displaying considerable elegance. Hieron. de Script.
Eccl. No. lx.; Niceph. H. E. v. 22; Neander ii. pp. 350 ff.; Gieseler,
v. p .219; Dorner, Person of Christ, First Period, Second Epoch, § i. c.
2, div. i. vol. ii. pp. 35-45, Clark's trans.; Schröckh, iv. 38; Mosheim, de
Reb. Christ. ante Constant. p. 699; Ullman, Comment. de Beryll. Bost.
(Hamb. 1835); Fock, Diss. de Christolog. Beryll. Bost. (1843).