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Moreover, the meanings of "ousia" and "hypostasis" overlapped then, so that "hypostasis" for some meant "essence" and for others "person".

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Of these controversies, the most significant developments were articulated in the first four centuries by the Church Fathers in reaction to Adoptionism, Sabellianism, and Arianism.

Adoptionism was the belief that Jesus was an ordinary man, born of Joseph and Mary, who became the Christ and Son of God at his baptism.

The first of the early church fathers to be recorded using the word "Trinity" was Theophilus of Antioch writing in the late 2nd century.

He defines the Trinity as God, His Word (Logos) and His Wisdom (Sophia) The first defense of the doctrine of the Trinity was in the early 3rd century by the early church father Tertullian. in a work that he entitled On the Three Natures," which he says Valentinus "filched from Hermes and Plato." This statement is problematic, however, in that Marcellus was known for launching unsubstantiated attacks against his opponents, Likewise, Irenaeus indicates that Valentinus believed in the pre-existent Aeon known as Proarche, Propator, and Bythus who existed alongside Ennœa, and they together begot Monogenes and Aletheia: and these constituted first-begotten Pythagorean Tetrad, from whom thirty Aeons were produced.

After more than fifty years of debate, homoousios was recognised as the hallmark of orthodoxy, and was further developed into the formula of "three persons, one being".

The third Council of Sirmium, in 357, was the high point of Arianism.

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When I think of any of the Three, I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me.

I cannot grasp the greatness of that One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the rest.

According to this Faith there is one Godhead, Power, and Being of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." may be taken to indicate that baptism was associated with this formula from the earliest decades of the Church's existence.

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