The Trinity Delusion An examination of the doctrine of the Trinity

Shepherd of Hermas

(ca. 140 A.D.)

The Shepherd of Hermas was widely read and accepted in the early church. Irenaeus and Tertullian cite the Shepherd as Scripture. Clement and Origen also quote from it with reverence. Hermas may be the individual mentioned at Romans 16:14 (Origen). The date of the book is contested and may have been written sometime between 90 AD and 140 AD. The more likely date seems to be the later date. The Muratorian Fragment (ca. 170) indicates Hermas was the brother of Pius I of Rome placing the date of composition around 140 A.D.

But Hermas wrote The Shepherd very recently, in our times, in the city of Rome, while bishop Pius, his brother, was occupying the chair of the church of the city of Rome. And therefore it ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly to the people in church either among the Prophets, whose number is complete,or among the Apostles, for it is after their time.


First, believe that there is one God who created and framed all things, and made all things out of nothing. (I).


The God of powers, who by His invisible mighty power and great wisdom has created the world, and by His glorious counsel has beautified His creation, and by His powerful Word has fixed the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth upon the waters. (I, 3)

Simultudes (Parables)

The field is this world; and the Lord of the field is He who created, and perfected, and strengthened all things; [and the son is the Holy Spirit; ] and the slave is the Son of God. (V,5).

But those who are weak and slothful in prayer, hesitate to ask anything from the Lord; but the Lord is full of compassion, and gives without fail to all who ask Him. But you, having been strengthened by the Holy Angel, and having obtained from Him such intercession, and not being slothful, why do not you ask of the Lord understanding, and receive it from Him? (V,4).

And why the Lord took His Son as councillor, and the glorious angels, regarding the heirship of the slave, listen. The Holy, pre-existent Spirit, that created every creature, God made to dwell in flesh, which He chose. This flesh, accordingly, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt, was nobly subject to that Spirit, walking religiously and chastely, in no respect defiling the Spirit; and accordingly, after living excellently and purely, and after labouring and co-operating with the Spirit, and having in everything acted vigorously and courageously along with the Holy Spirit, He assumed it as a partner with it. For this conduct of the flesh pleased Him, because it was not defiled on the earth while having the Holy Spirit. He took, therefore, as fellow-councillors His Son and the glorious angels, in order that this flesh, which had been subject to the body without a fault, might have some place of tabernacle, and that it might not appear that the reward [of its servitude had been lost ], for the flesh that has been found without spot or defilement, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt.
(V, 6).

This great tree that casts its shadow over plains, and mountains, and all the earth, is the law of God that was given to the whole world; and this law is the Son of God, proclaimed to the ends of the earth; and the people who are under its shadow are they who have heard the proclamation, and have believed upon Him. And the great and glorious angel Michael is he who has authority over this people, and governs them; for this is he who gave them the law into the hearts of believers: he accordingly superintends them to whom he gave it, to see if they have kept the same. (VIII, 3).

After I had written down the commandments and similitudes of the Shepherd, the Angel of repentance, he came to me and said, 'I wish to explain to you what the Holy Spirit that spake with you in the form of the Church showed you, for that Spirit is the Son of God.' (IX, 1).

The Son of God is older than all His creatures, so that He was a fellow-councillor with the Father in His work of creation: for this reason is He old. (IX, 12).

Last Update: January 25, 2011