Below are several definitions which will prove helpful in your investigation


Trinitarianism: the belief that God exists eternally in three distinct and co-equal persons; the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, but they are mysteriously not three gods, but one God.  This view also involves a belief in Christ’s pre-existence as God before incarnating as man, that is, before coming into the womb of Mary and uniting with a human nature.  This Jesus is said to hold two natures in his one person; a God nature and a man nature.  Also, according to the “orthodox” view, Jesus also has two wills and two minds. 

Unitarianism: the belief that God is only one self, the Father.

Subordinationism: the belief that the Son is subject to the Father and is inferior to him nature and being.

Arianism: a form of unitarian theology, Arians also believe the Father is the one true God.  Arian Christology is Subordinationist.  It holds that Jesus first pre-existed as a lesser god, a spirit-being or a form of high-angel before creation, and later incarnated as the man Jesus Christ.

Socinian Christology: the belief that Jesus is a man born of the virgin Mary; He did not literally pre-exist, but came into existence only in his mother’s womb.

Sabellianism (Modalism): the belief that God is only one person, but he exists in different modes; first as the Father, then as the Son, then as the Holy Spirit.

Platonism: an ancient Greek philosophy with many forms, but generally involving beliefs in the pre-existence and transmigration of the soul, a dualistic view of matter, and God creating by means of an agent known as the Demiurge.  Many of the Greek and Latin converts to Christianity who solidified orthodox beliefs were avowed Platonist philosophers.

Christian Gnosticism: a mystical Christian movement which held that the Creator of the Old Testament was a wicked God, and Jesus was another good God who came to rescue mankind from the creator by imparting divine knowledge.  Gnostic groups held a variety of docetic and partly docetic Christologies.

Docetism: the belief that Jesus was a God who incarnated, but only looked human.  He was fully God, but only appeared to have a body, and only appeared to suffer and die.

Valentinian Christology: a type of Gnostic Christology which held that Jesus was fully God, but had a real human body, and truly suffered.