Saint Theophilus of Antioch
|Apologist and Patriarch of Antioch|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
Theophilus, Patriarch of Antioch (Greek: Θεόφιλος ὁ Ἀντιοχεύς) succeeded Eros c. 169, and was succeeded by Maximus I c. 183, according to Henry Fynes Clinton, but these dates are only approximations. His death probably occurred between 183 and 185.
We gather from his writings (the only remaining being his apology to Autolycus) that he was born a pagan, not far from the Tigris and Euphrates, and was led to embrace Christianity by studying the Holy Scriptures, especially the prophetical books. He makes no reference to his office in his existing writings, nor is any other fact in his life recorded. Eusebius, however, speaks of the zeal which he and the other chief shepherds displayed in driving away the heretics who were attacking Christ's flock, with special mention of his work against Marcion. He made contributions to the departments of Christian literature, polemics, exegetics, and apologetics. William Sanday describes him as "one of the precursors of that group of writers who, from Irenaeus to Cyprian, not only break the obscurity which rests on the earliest history of the Church, but alike in the East and in the West carry it to the front in literary eminence, and distance all their heathen contemporaries".
Eusebius and Jerome mention numerous works of Theophilus existing in their time. They are:
The one undoubted extant work of Theophilus, the 7th Bishop of Antioch (c. 169–c. 183), is his Apology to Autolycus (Apologia ad Autolycum), a series of books defending Christianity written to a pagan friend.
The ostensible object of Ad Autolycum is to convince a pagan friend, Autolycus, a man of great learning and an earnest seeker after truth, of the divine authority of the Christian religion, while at the same time exhibiting the falsehood and absurdity of paganism. His arguments, drawn almost entirely from the Old Testament, with but very scanty references to the New Testament, are largely chronological. He makes the truth of Christianity depend on his demonstration that the books of the Old Testament were long anterior to the writings of the Greeks and were divinely inspired. Whatever truth the pagan authors contain he regards as borrowed from Moses and the prophets, who alone declare God's revelation to man. He contrasts the perfect consistency of the divine oracles, which he regards as a convincing proof of their inspiration, with the inconsistencies of the pagan philosophers. He contrasts the account of the creation of the universe and of man, on which, together with the history contained in the earlier chapters of Genesis, he comments at great length but with singularly little intelligence, with the statements of Plato, "reputed the wisest of all the Greeks", of Aratus, who had the insight to assert that the earth was spherical, and other Greek writers on whom he pours contempt as mere ignorant retailers of stolen goods. He supplies a series of dates, beginning with Adam and ending with Marcus Aurelius, who had died shortly before he wrote, thus dating this work to the years of the reign of Commodus, 180-92.
Theophilus regards the Sibylline books that were still in Rome as authentic and inspired productions, quoting the Sibylline oracles (scholars dispute that these are the same) largely as declaring the same truths with the prophets. The omission by the Greeks of all mention of the Old Testament from which they draw all their wisdom, is ascribed to a self-chosen blindness in refusing to recognize the only God and in persecuting the followers of the only fountain of truth. He can recognize in them no aspirations after the divine life, no earnest gropings after truth, no gleams of the all-illumining light. The pagan religion was a mere worship of idols, bearing the names of dead men. Almost the only point in which he will allow the pagan writers to be in harmony with revealed truth is in the doctrine of retribution and punishment after death for sins committed in life. Theophilus's critical powers were not above his age. He adopts Herodotus's derivation of θεός (theòs) from τίθημι (tithemi), since God set all things in order, comparing with it that of Plato from θεεῖν (theein), because the Deity is ever in motion. He asserts that Satan is called the dragon (Greek drakon) on account of his having revolted apodedrakenai from God, and traces the Bacchanalian cry "Evoe" to the name of Eve as the first sinner. He discovers the reason of blood coagulating on the surface of the ground in the divine word to Cain, the earth struck with terror refusing to drink it in. In addition, Theophilus misquotes Plato several times, ranking Zopyrus among the Greeks, and speaking of Pausanias as having only run a risk of starvation instead of being actually starved to death in the temple of Minerva.
Theophilus's apology is most notable for being the earliest extant Christian work to use the word "Trinity" (Greek: τριάς trias), although it does not use the common formula of "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" to describe the Trinity. Rather, Theophilus himself puts it as "God, his Word (Logos) and his Wisdom (Sophia)," perhaps following the early Christian practice of identifying the Holy Spirit as the Wisdom of God, as he seems to demonstrate in his interpretation of Psalm 33:6, and which is also expressed in the works his contemporary, Irenaeus of Lyon, who commenting on that selfsame verse writes,
“By the word of the Lord were the heavens established, and by his spirit all their power." Since then the Word establishes, that is to say, gives body and grants the reality of being, and the Spirit gives order and form to the diversity of the powers; rightly and fittingly is the Word called the Son, and the Spirit the Wisdom of God.
This practice served as a way to express Christian doctrine in a way that is more relatable to contemporary views—to ideas found in Greek philosophy or Hellenistic Judaism in which such concepts as Nous (Mind), Logos (Word, Reason) and Sophia (Wisdom) were common. As the Patripassionist heresies arose, however, the formula of "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" became more prominently featured, as such beliefs denied the persons of the Economy (an earlier developed term for the Trinity). As Theophilus does not appear to be introducing the word Trinity in novel fashion, it is probable that the word was in use before this time. The context for his use of the word Trinity is commentary on the successive work of the creation weeks (Genesis chapters 1-3), where Theophilus expresses the Trinity as follows:
In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man.— Theophilus
The concept of intermediate divine beings was common to Platonism and certain Jewish sects. In Proverbs 8 Wisdom (as feminine consort) is described as God's Counsellor and Workmistress, who dwelt beside Him before the creation of the world.
The theology of Theophilus was rooted in Jewish ideas and the Hebrew scriptures. Theophilus's quotation from the Old Testament scripture is copious, drawing largely from the Pentateuch and to a smaller extent from the other historical books. His references to Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, and Jeremiah are also numerous, and he quotes from Ezekiel, Hosea and other minor prophets. His direct evidence respecting the canon of the New Testament does not go much beyond a few precepts from the Sermon on the Mount, a possible quotation from Luke 18:27, and quotations from Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy. More important is a distinct citation from the opening of the Gospel of St. John (1:1-3), mentioning the evangelist by name, as one of the inspired men by whom the Holy Scriptures were written The use of a metaphor found in 2 Peter 1:19 bears on the date of that epistle. According to Eusebius, Theophilus quoted the Book of Revelation in his work against Hermogenes; a very precarious allusion has been seen in ii. 28, cf. Revelation 12:3, 7, etc. A full index of these and other possible references to the Old and New Testament is given by Otto.
Although Theophilus cites the opening of the Gospel of St. John (1:1), he does not go on to speak of the incarnation of the Word and his (Jesus's) atoning sacrificial death. While Theophilus makes no mention of the name of Jesus or use the word Christ or the phrase Son of God, he identifies the Logos as the Son of God in his second letter, when he writes,
For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. But what else is this voice but the Word of God, who is also His Son? Not as the poets and writers of myths talk of the sons of gods begotten from intercourse [with women], but as truth expounds, the Word, that always exists, residing within the heart of God. For before anything came into being He had Him as a counsellor, being His own mind and thought. But when God wished to make all that He determined on, He begot this Word, uttered, the first-born of all creation, not Himself being emptied of the Word [Reason], but having begotten Reason, and always conversing with His Reason. And hence the holy writings teach us, and all the spirit-bearing [inspired] men, one of whom, John, says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God," showing that at first God was alone, and the Word in Him. Then he says, "The Word was God; all things came into existence through Him; and apart from Him not one thing came into existence." The Word, then, being God, and being naturally produced from God, whenever the Father of the universe wills, He sends Him to any place; and He, coming, is both heard and seen, being sent by Him, and is found in a place.
Theophilus explains the meaning of the term Christian as follows:
And about your laughing at me and calling me Christian, you know not what you are saying. First, because that which is anointed is sweet and serviceable, and far from contemptible. For what ship can be serviceable and seaworthy, unless it be first anointed? Or what castle or house is beautiful and serviceable when it has not been anointed? And what man, when he enters into this life or into the gymnasium, is not anointed with oil? And what work has either ornament or beauty unless it be anointed and burnished? Then the air and all that is under heaven is in a certain sort anointed by light and spirit; and are you unwilling to be anointed with the oil of God? Wherefore we are called Christians on this account, because we are anointed with the oil of God.— Theophilus
In his third book Theophilus presents a detailed chronology “from the foundation of the world" to emperor Marcus Aurelius. This begins with the Biblical first man Adam through to emperor Marcus Aurelius. Theophilus lived in the reign of this emperor. The chronology puts the creation of the world at about 5529 BC: "All the years from the creation of the world amount to a total of 5,698 years." He uses this chronology to prove that Moses and the other Hebrew prophets preceded the philosophers. The leading chronological epochs correspond to the Old Testament prophets.
The silence regarding his Apology in the East is remarkable; we fail to find the work mentioned or quoted by Greek writers before the time of Eusebius. Several passages in the works of Irenaeus show an undoubted relationship to passages in one small section of the Apologia, but Harnack thinks it probable that the quotations, limited to two chapters, are not taken from the Apologia, but from Theophilus's work against Marcion In the West there are a few references to the Autolycus. It is quoted by Lactantius under the title Liber de Temporibus ad Autolycum. There is a passage first cited by Maranus in Novatian which shows great similarity to the language of Theophilus. In the next century the book is mentioned by Gennadius as "tres libelli de fide." He found them attributed to Theophilus of Alexandria, but the disparity of style caused him to question the authorship.
Jacques Paul Migne's Patrologia Graeca, and a small edition (Cambridge 1852) by W. G. Humphry. Johann Carl Theodor von Otto's edition in the Corpus apologetarum christianorum saeculi secundi vol. ii. (Jena, 1861) is by far the most complete and useful. English translations by Joseph Betty (Oxford 1722), W. B. Flower (London, 1860), Marcus Dods (Clark's Ante-Nicene Library), and Robert M. Grant (Clarendon Press, 1970).
Ὡσαύτως καὶ αἱ τρεῖς ἡμέραι τῶν φωστήρων γεγονυῖαι τύποι εἰσίν τῆς Τριάδος, τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τοῦ Λόγου αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῆς Σοφίας αὐτοῦ.
|Titles of the Great Christian Church|
| Patriarch of Antioch
Year 169 (CLXIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Senecio and Apollinaris (or, less frequently, year 922 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 169 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.Apollonius of Egypt
Apollonius (Ancient Greek: Απολλώνιος), a native of Egypt, was a writer who is referred to by Theophilus of Antioch as an authority respecting various opinions upon the age of the world.Whether he is the same as the Apollonius from whom Athenaeus quotes a passage concerning the symposia of the ancient Egyptians, is uncertain. The number of persons of the name of Apollonius, who were natives of Egypt, is so great that unless some other distinguishing epithet is added, it is impossible to say who they were. An Apollonius, an Egyptian, is mentioned as a soothsayer, who prophesied the death of Caligula.Athleta Christi
"Athleta Christi" (Latin: "Champion of Christ") was a class of Early Christian soldier martyrs, of whom the most familiar example is one such "military saint," Saint Sebastian.Autolycus (disambiguation)
Autolycus (Greek: Αὐτόλυκος) may be:
Autolycus, renowned thief and grandfather of Odysseus
Autolycus, son of Deimachus, Thessalian and Argonaut
Autolycus of Athens (5th century BC), Athenian sportsman
Autolycus (areopagite) (4th century BC), Athenian judge
Autolycus of Pitane, ancient Greek mathematicianAutolycus may also refer to:
Autolycus (comics), a Marvel Comics character
Autolycus (crater), a lunar crater named after Autolycus of Pitane
Autolycus (submarine detector), a detector for diesel fumes, used for submarine detection during the Cold War
Ad Autolycum (Apology to Autolycus), writing of Theophilus of Antioch
A character in The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
A character in the Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess television programs.
Autolycus, the pet jackdaw of fictional detective Albert Campion
Pen name of South Australian journalist Charles Richard WiltonConfessor of the Faith
The title Confessor, the short form of Confessor of the Faith, is a title given by the Christian Church to a type of saint.Dalua of Tibradden
Saint Dalua of Tibradden (Irish: Do-Lúe, Latin: Daluanus), also called Dalua of Craoibheach, was an early Irish saint who is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick. He founded a church that became known as Dun Tighe Bretan (Tibradden) which is located today in the townland of Cruagh, Co. Dublin.Eros of Antioch
Eros of Antioch was Bishop and Patriarch of Antioch from about 154 AD until c.169AD.Eusebius puts his reign from the fifth year of Antoninus Pius and his successor Theophilus of Antioch as dating from the ninth year of Marcus Aurelius. Jerome says his rule began in 142AD though this is doubted.We know nothing of his bishopric, though his was a time of great persecution of the church generally.Firmament
In biblical cosmology, the firmament is the structure above the atmosphere of Earth, conceived as a vast solid dome. According to the Genesis creation narrative, God created the firmament to separate the "waters above" the earth from the "waters below" the earth. The word is anglicized from the Latin firmamentum, which appears in the Vulgate, a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible.Gender of the Holy Spirit
In Christian theology, the gender of the Holy Spirit has been the subject of some debate from earliest times.
The grammatical gender of the word for "spirit" is both masculine and feminine in Hebrew (רוּחַ, rūaḥ), neuter in Greek (πνεῦμα, pneûma) and masculine in Latin (spiritus). The neuter Greek πνεῦμα is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew רוּחַ.
The Holy Spirit was furthermore equated with the (grammatically feminine) Wisdom of God by two early Church fathers, Theophilus of Antioch (d. 180) and by Irenaeus (d. 202/3). However, the majority of theologians have, historically, identified Wisdom with Christ the Logos.
Gregory of Nazianzus in the fourth century wrote that terms like "Father" and "Son" in reference to the persons of the trinity are not to be understood as expressing essences or energies of God but are to be understood as metaphors. The same position is still held in the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church.Great martyr
Great Martyr or Great-Martyr (Greek: μεγαλομάρτυς or μεγαλομάρτυρ, megalomartys or megalomartyr, from megas, "great" + "martyr") is a classification of saints who are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.
Generally speaking, a Great Martyr is a martyr who has undergone excruciating tortures—often performing miracles and converting unbelievers to Christianity in the process—and who has attained widespread veneration throughout the Church. These saints are often from the first centuries of the Church, before the Edict of Milan. This term is normally not applied to saints who could be better described as hieromartyrs (martyred clergy) or protomartyrs (the first martyr in a given region).Judas Barsabbas
Judas Barsabbas was a New Testament prophet and one of the 'leading men' in the early Christian community in Jerusalem at the time of the Council of Jerusalem in around 50 A.D.List of Christian apologetic works
This is a list of Christian apologetic works.Logos (Christianity)
In Christology, the Logos (Greek: Λόγος, lit. ''Word", "Discourse", or "Reason'') is a name or title of Jesus Christ, derived from the prologue to the Gospel of John (c 100) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God", as well as in the Book of Revelation (c 85), "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." These passages have been important for establishing the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus since the earliest days of Christianity.
According to Irenaeus of Lyon (c 130-202) a student of John's disciple Polycarp (c pre-69-156), John the Apostle wrote these words specifically to refute the teachings of Cerinthus, who both resided and taught at Ephesus, the city John settled in following his return from exile on Patmos. Cerinthus believed that the world was created by a power far removed from and ignorant of the Father, and that the Christ descended upon the man Jesus at his baptism, and that strict adherence to the Mosaic Law was absolutely necessary for salvation. Therefore, Irenaeus writes, The disciple of the Lord therefore desiring to put an end to all such doctrines, and to establish the rule of truth in the Church, that there is one Almighty God, who made all things by His Word, both visible and invisible; showing at the same time, that by the Word, through whom God made the creation, He also bestowed salvation on the men included in the creation; thus commenced His teaching in the Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made. What was made was life in Him, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not."Michael of Synnada
Michael of Synnada (Michael the Confessor) (died 818) was a bishop of Synnada from 784. He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. He was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm. Honored by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23.Patriarch Theophilus
Patriarch Theophilus or Theophilos may refer to:
Theophilus of Antioch, ruled in 169–182
Patriarch Theophilus I of Alexandria, ruled in 385–412
Patriarch Theophilus II of Alexandria, Greek Patriarch of Alexandria in 1010–1020
Theophilus I of Jerusalem (ruled in 1012–1020)
Theophilus II of Jerusalem (ruled in 1417–1424)
Abuna Theophilos (ruled in 1971–1976) was the second Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church
Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, ruled since 2005School of Antioch
The School of Antioch was one of the two major centers of the study of biblical exegesis and theology during Late Antiquity; the other was the Catechetical School of Alexandria. This group was known by this name because the advocates of this tradition were based in the city of Antioch, one of the major cities of the ancient Roman Empire.
While the Christian intellectuals of Alexandria emphasized the allegorical interpretation of Scriptures and tended toward a Christology that emphasized the union of the human and the divine, those in Antioch held to a more literal and occasionally typological exegesis and a Christology that emphasized the distinction between the human and the divine in the person of Jesus Christ. The school in general tended to what might be called, in a rather loose sense, an Adoptionist Christology. Nestorius, before becoming Patriarch of Constantinople, had been a monk at Antioch and had there become imbued with the principles of the Antiochene theological school.The school of Antioch is best divided into three periods:
the early school (170-early fourth century)The earliest author known of this period is Theophilus of Antioch. Then there is a gap of a century and in the first half of the fifth century there are three known antiochene authors: the best known is Eusebius of Emesa; other representatives are Acacius of Caesarea and Theodore bishop of Heraklea.
the middle school (350-433)This period includes at least three different generations: Diodorus of Tarsus, who directed an ἀσκητήριον (school) he may have founded. Among his disciples, the best known are John Chrysostom and Theodorus of Mopsuestia. The main figure of the third generation was Nestorius.
the late school (after 433).After the Council of Ephesus (431), the School of Antioch loses prestige. However, after the Council of Chalcedon (451), the Antiochian school becomes the sole theological school within Eastern and Western Christianity, where the Far-Eastern Churches adopted the Alexandrian School of Theology. Apparently only two later authors are known: Basil of Seleucia and Gennadius of Constantinople.Silas
Silas or Silvanus (; Greek: Σίλας/Σιλουανός; fl. 1st century AD) was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who accompanied Paul the Apostle on parts of his first and second missionary journeys.Sin el Fil
Sin el-Fil (Arabic: سنّ الفيل / ALA-LC: Sinn al-Fīl) is a suburb east of Beirut in the Matn District of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, Lebanon.Trinitarianism in the Church Fathers
Whether the earliest Church Fathers believed in the Trinity is a subject for debate. Some of the evidence used to support an early belief in the Trinity are triadic statements (referring to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) from the New Testament and the Church Fathers. The view that the Son was 'of the essence of the Father, God of God...very God of very God' was formally ratified at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The Holy Spirit was included at the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD), where the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one substance (ousia) and three co-equal persons (hypostaseis) was formally ratified.