Wulfila, Arianism and Gothic Bible

Gospel of John (14:28)
"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."
Фолклорни фестивали и събори
Arianism is a nontrinitarian belief that asserts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but is entirely distinct from and subordinate to the God the Father. Arianism is defined as those teachings attributed to Arius, which are in opposition to current mainstream Christian teachings on the nature of the Trinity and the nature of Christ. It was first attributed to Arius (c. AD 250–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt. The Arian concept of Christ is that the Son of God did not always exist, but was created by—and is therefore distinct from—God the Father.."
Ulfilas (c. 311–383), also known as Ulphilas and Orphila, all Latinized forms of Wulfila , who became bishop of the Goths in 341 AD, was the grandson of one such female Christian captive from Sadagolthina in Cappadocia. He served in this position for the next seven years. In 348, one of the remaining Pagan Gothic kings (reikos) began persecuting the Christian Goths, and Wulfila and many other Christian Goths fled to "Nicopolis ad Istrum", Moesia Secunda (Bulgaria). Ulfilas (Wulfila) obtained permission from Emperor Constantius II to immigrate with his flock of converts to settle Nicopolis ad Istrum.
Between 348 and 383, Wulfila translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language. Thus, some Arian Christians in the west used vernacular languages - in this case Gothic - for services, as did many Nicaean Christians in the east (cf. Syriac and Coptic Bible), while Nicaean Christians in the west only used Latin, even in areas where Vulgar Latin was not the vernacular. Ironically, Gothic probably persisted as a liturgical language of the Gothic-Arian church in some places even after its members had come to speak Vulgar Latin as their mother tongue.

Ulfilas is the first man known to have undertaken an extraordinarily difficult intellectual task - writing down, from scratch, a language which is as yet purely oral. He even devises a new alphabet to capture accurately the sounds of spoken Gothic, using a total of twenty-seven letters adapted from examples in the Greek and Roman alphabets. "Nicopolis ad Istrum" can be said to have been the birthplace of Germanic literary tradition.
God's work is Ulfilas' purpose. He needs the alphabet for his translation of the Bible from Greek into the language of the Goths. It is not known how much he completes, but large sections of the Gospels and the Epistles survive in his version - dating from several years before St. Jerome begins work on his Latin text.

Wulfila continued to serve as bishop to the Christian Goths in Moesia until his death in 383 AD.
Фолклорни фестивали и събори
The creed of Arian Ulfilas, which concludes a letter praising him written by Auxentius of Durostorum (today Silistra, Bulgaria. Auxentius of Durostorum a.k.a. Mercurinus was the foster-son of Ulfilas (Wulfila), the "apostle to the Goths". Auxentius was a deacon in Alexandria and a follower of the Arian bishop Auxentius of Milan.), distinguishes God the Father ("unbegotten"), who is the only true God from Son of God ("only-begotten"), who is Lord/Master; and the Holy Spirit (the illuminating and sanctifying power), who is neither God nor Lord/Master:
I, Ulfila, bishop and confessor, have always so believed, and in this, the one true faith, I make the journey to my Lord; I believe in only one God the Father, the unbegotten and invisible, and in his only-begotten son, our Lord/Master and God, the designer and maker of all creation, having none other like him. Therefore there is one God of all, who is also God of our God; and in one Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power, as Christ said after his resurrection to his apostles: "And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49) and again "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8); Neither God nor Lord/Master, but the faithful minister of Christ; not equal, but subject and obedient in all things to the Son. And I believe the Son to be subject and obedient in all things to God the Father.
After 493, the Ostrogothic kingdom included two areas, Italy and much of the Balkans, which had large Arian churches. Arianism had retained some presence among Romans in Italy during the time between its condemnation in the empire and the Ostrogothic conquest. However, since Arianism in Italy was reinforced by the (mostly Arian) Goths coming from the Balkans, the Arian church in Italy had eventually come to call itself "Church of the Goths" by the year 500.


"In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment. ... "

Edict by Emperor Constantine the Great
against the Arians



Фолклорни фестивали и събори
Voices from the past.


P.S. Surviving fragments of the Wulfila Bible consist of codices from the 6th to 8th century containing a large part of the New Testament and some parts of the Old Testament, largely written in Italy. These are the "Codex Argenteus", which is kept in Uppsala, the "Codex Ambrosianus A" through "Codex Ambrosianus E", containing the epistles, Skeireins, and Nehemiah 5–7, the "Codex Carolinus" (Romans 11–14), the "Codex Vaticanus Latinus 5750" (Skeireins), the "Codex Gissensis" (fragments of the Gospel of Luke) and the "Fragmenta Pannonica", and fragments of a 1 mm thick metal plate with verses of the Gospel of John.

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