Early Christian Quotes on God
Apology of Aristides (Early 2nd Century) Chapter 1:
God is not born, not made. He is an ever-abiding nature without beginning and without end, immortal, perfect, and incomprehensible. When I say that he is "perfect," this means that there is not any defect in Him, and He is not in need of anything but all things are in need of Him…The heavens do not limit Him, but the heavens and all things, visible and invisible, receive their bounds from Him. Adversary He has none, for there exists not any stronger than He…Ignorance and forgetfulness are not in His nature, for He is altogether wisdom and understanding.
For God cannot be called by any proper name, for names are given to mark out and distinguish their subject-matters…but neither did any one exist before God who could give Him a name, nor did He Himself think it right to name Himself, seeing that He is one and unique, as He Himself also by His own prophets testifies, when He says, "I God am the first," and after this, "And beside me there is no other God."
On this account, then, as I said before, God did not, when He sent Moses to the Hebrews, mention any name, but by a participle He mystically teaches them that He is the one and only God. "For," says He; "I am the Being;" manifestly contrasting Himself, "the Being," with those who are not, that those who had hitherto been deceived might see that they were attaching themselves not to real gods but to those who had no being.
Novatian’s On the Trinity (Mid-3rd Century) Chapter 2:
He contains all things, so there can be nothing beyond Himself. Since He didn’t have a beginning, He won’t have an ending…He is always unbounded, because nothing is greater than He; always eternal, because nothing is more ancient than He. He has no time, no beginning, so nothing can come before Him. He is immortal and fully complete in Himself. And since everything that is without beginning cannot be subject to any outside law, He owes nothing to no one.
The human mind cannot worthily conceive Him and all His attributes. No one is eloquent enough to do justice to His majesty. If we could conceive of Him or speak of all that He is, that would make Him less than what He really is. He is greater than our minds…For, to repeat once more, what can you worthily say of Him who is loftier than all excellence, and higher than all height, and deeper than all depth, and clearer than all light, and brighter than all brightness, more brilliant than all splendor, stronger than all strength, more powerful than all power, and more mighty than all might, and greater than all majesty, and more potent than all potency, and richer than all riches, more wise than all wisdom, and more benignant than all kindness, better than all goodness, juster than all justice, more merciful than all clemency?
Novatian’s On the Trinity (Mid-3rd Century) Chapter 4:
What He is, He always is; and who He is, He is always Himself; and what character He has, He always has. For if He could increase or grow, that would imply He had a beginning from which to grow. If He could decrease or experience some sort of loss, that would prove He could die. Therefore, He says, “I am God. I change not;” in that, what is not born cannot suffer change, holding His condition always. For whatever it is about Him that makes Him divine, that must always exist, maintaining itself by its own powers, so that He should always be God.
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Find more of what the early Christians thought on my Christian History page!