Definition of Sabellian in English:



  • Relating to the teachings of Sabellius (fl. c.220 in North Africa), who developed a form of the modalist doctrine that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not truly distinct but merely aspects of one divine being.

    • ‘In particular, he defended the vital biblical doctrine of the Trinity against the Arian Heresy which denied the deity of Christ, and later against the Sabellian Heresy which denied the distinctness of the three Persons.’
    • ‘So while the Sabellian doctrine may preserve a sense in which the nature of Christ can be adequately expressed in ordinary experience-describing language, it is difficult to see how the ‘incarnation strategist’ can resort to it.’
    • ‘We do not make a Sabellian error simply for the fact that Sabellian modalism is Unitarian, and not Trinitarian.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the Sabellian heresy loses a proper conception of distinction among the persons by speaking of God as singular, alone, solitary, and the like.’


  • A follower of the teachings of Sabellius.

    • ‘He was presbyter of the church of Antioch, where he wrote a confession of faith in opposition to the Sabellians.’
    • ‘Dionysius exemplifies the concern of the East to do greater justice to the distinction and reality of the Three within the One than did the Sabellians or even the other orthodox theologians of the West.’