Know the Heretics

Know the Heretics

Taught by Justin S. Holcomb

In the Know the Heretics online course, Justin Holcomb—a priest, professor, and author—introduces students to the major heresies in Christian history, outlining not just the false teachings themselves but also the orthodox response to each one and their ongoing contemporary relevance.

Course Details

  • 14 Units

  • Self-paced

  • 3.5 hours of video

  • Beginner

  • Know the Heretics

12 Month Access
$179.99 USD

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Get academic credit for this course.
 Take this course via The BibleMesh Institute to get transfer credit for degree programs at select institutions.

Course Description

There is a lot of talk about heresy these days. The frequency and volume of accusations suggest that some Christians have lost a sense of the gravity of the word. On the other hand, many believers have little to no familiarity with orthodox doctrine or the historic distortions of it. What's needed is a strong dose of humility and restraint, and also a clear and informed definition of orthodoxy and heresy. In the Know the Heretics online course, scholar and author Justin Holcomb provides an accessible "travel guide" to the most significant heresies throughout Christian history.

Each unit covers a simple explanation of the unorthodox teaching, the orthodox response and a key defender, and reflections of contemporary relevance for application in today's world. As a part of the KNOW series, the Know the Heretics course is designed for personal study and traditional students, as well as small groups and Sunday school groups wanting to more deeply understand the foundations of the faith.

By completing this course, you’ll gain

  • Familiarity with common heresies dealt with over the history of Christianity
  • Insights into why a deep understanding of correct Christian doctrine matters
  • A greater ability to recognize the impact of heresy on the faith today
  • Confidence in your growing knowledge through personalized review sessions and unit assessments

Meet Your Instructors

Justin S. Holcomb

Ph.D., Emory University

Justin S. Holcomb is an Episcopal priest and a professor of theology and Christian thought at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously taught at the University of Virginia and Emory University. He has authored, co-authored, and edited several books, including On the Grace of God, Know the Heretics, and Know the Creeds and Councils, on which this course is based. He lives with his wife and daughters in Orlando, Florida.

Course Outline

  • Introduction: Why Heresy?

  • Judaizers: The Old Rules Still Apply

  • Gnostics: God Hides Messages for the Enlightened

  • Marcion: Vengeful Yahweh versus Gentle Jesus

  • Docetists: The Spiritual Is Good, the Physical Is Evil

  • Mani: God Must Be Freed

  • Sabellius: One Actor and Three Hats


  • Arius: Jesus Is a Lesser God

  • Apollinarius: Christ May Be Human, but His Mind Is Divine

  • Pelagius: God Has Already Given Us the Tools

  • Eutyches: Christ as a New Kind of Being

  • Nestorius: Christ’s Divinity Must Be Shielded

  • Socinus: The Trinity Is Irrelevant and Jesus’s Death Is Only an Example

  • Conclusion



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