Nicea - heavenly witnesses use by Heraclianus contra the arian Germinius

Steven Avery


heavenly witnesses by Heraclianus contra arian Germinius, Nicea

We have two specific evidences of heavenly witnesses phrasing in the Nicean controversies. One, in Greek, is the Disputation between Athanasius and Arius at Nicea. Covered especially well by Charles Forster and hand-waved by being from a supposed later author, or ignored, by the contras.

Here is our new one today.

Germinius of Sirmium

"responsible for drafting the theological statement known as the Blasphemy of Sirmium in 357 ... He also appears in the Altercatio Heracliani laici cum Germinio episcopo Sirmiensi, which purports to be the minutes of a public disputation between Germinius and a Nicene layman called Heraclianus in January 366"

Carl Paul Caspari (1814–1892) is more famous on the heavenly witnesses for the Expositio Fidei, an incredibly important 4th century evidence. Here Caspari publishes in 1883 a Latin manuscript, a conversation of the dispute from Nicea. Heraclianus is one of the laymen disputing with Germinius.


Kirchenhistorische anecdota, veröffentl. von C.P. Caspari. I. Lateinische Schriften (1883)
Carl Caspari

Altercatio Heracliani Laici Cum Germino Episcopo Sirmiensi

To Germinius, Herclianus declares:

Her. d.: Non sic credimus. Sicut enim unus pater, unus et filius et spiritus sanctus, unus uigor. Nam et tres unum sun

Clearly the heavenly witnesses.

This leads to a long note from Caspari going into Tertullian, Cyprian, Facundus, Fulgentius and more.


Another evidence of early century dispute in Greek on the heavenly witnesses. Allowing that we can not prove that it is a later creation, rather than a historical account.

This needed some documentation, more visible than the Facebook thread.

Gerhard Schmid offered some objections to this on the NT Textual Criticism forum:
which I will add. When I also offered the Expositio Fidei he really harumphed!
"We already know it was present in Latin witnesses even earlier than the fourth century"
Actually you would not know that from Metzger, Wallace, Snapp, et al.

Steven Avery
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