Gegnaesius Timothieus

Gegnaesius Timothieus, a leader of the Paulicians about A.D. 700. About this time "the sect was divided into two parties. The schism grew out of the antagonism betwixt a Catholic and a Protestant principle. Gegnsesius held that spiritual gifts were communicated by tradition, and connected with the regularity of succession. But his younger brother, Theodore, refused to acknowledge any such principle, maintaining that any such outward mediation was unessential, and that he had received the Spirit immediately from the same divine source with his father. Under the reign of Leo the Isaurian, new complaints were lodged against the Pauilicians at Constantinople, and the emperor ordered Gegnaesitus to appear at the capital and undergo a trial.

The examination was committed to the patriarch, before whom Gegnaesius contrived to answer all the questions proposed to him respecting his orthodoxy in a satisfactory manner; attaching, however, quite a different sense from the true one to the formularies of Church orthodoxy. The patriarch asked him why he had left the Catholic Church? Gegnaesius replied that he had never entertained the remotest wish of forsaking the Catholic Church, within which alone salvation was to be found. But by the Catholic Church he meant only the Paulician communities called, as they believed, to restore the Church of Christ to its primitive purity. The patriarch demanded why he refused to give the mother of God the reverence which was her due? Gegnaesius here pronounced the anathema himself on all who refused reverence to the mother of God — to her into whom Christ entered, and from whom he came — the mother of us all. But he meant the invisible, heavenly city of God, the celestial Jerusalem, mother of the divine life, for admission of the redeemed into which Christ had prepared the way by first entering it himself as their forerunner. He was asked why he did not pay homage to the cross? Gegnaesius here pronounced the anathema on all who refused to venerate the cross; but by this he understood Christ himself, called by that symbolical name. Furthermore, he was asked why he despised the body and blood of Christ? The reply to this also was satisfactory; but by the body and blood of Christ he was accustomed to understand the doctrines of Christ, in which he communicated himself. So also he answered the question respecting baptism; but by baptism he understood Christ himself, the living water, the water of life. This trial having been reported to the emperor, Gegneesius received from his sovereign a letter of protection securing him against all further complaints and persecutions." — Neander, Church History (Torrey's transl.), 3:249. SEE PAULICIANS.

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