Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to: help them better understand Christian tenets make comparisons between Christianity and other traditions defend Christianity against objections and criticism facilitate reforms in the Christian church assist in the propagation of Christianity draw on the resources of the Christian tradition to address some present situation or perceived needChristian theology has permeated much of Western culture in pre-modern Europe. Systematic theology as a discipline of Christian theology formulates an orderly and coherent account of Christian faith and beliefs. Systematic theology draws on the foundational sacred texts of Christianity, while investigating the development of Christian doctrine over the course of history through philosophical evolution.
Inherent to a system of theological thought is the development of a method: one which one can apply both broadly and particularly. Christian systematic theology will explore: God the attributes of God the Trinity as espoused by trinitarian Christians revelation biblical hermeneutics - the interpretation of Biblical texts the creation divine providence theodicy - accounting for a benign God's tolerance of evil philosophy hamartiology - the study of sin Christology - the study of the nature and person of Christ pneumatology - the study of the Holy Spirit soteriology - the study of salvation ecclesiology - the study of the Christian church missiology - the study of the Christian message and of missions spirituality and mysticism sacramental theology eschatology - the ultimate destiny of humankind moral theology Christian anthropology the afterlife Revelation is the revealing or disclosing, or making something obvious through active or passive communication with God, can originate directly from God, or through an agent, such as an angel.
One who has experienced such contact is called a prophet. Christianity considers the Bible as supernaturally revealed or inspired; such revelation does not always require the presence of an angel. For instance, in the concept called of interior locution by Catholics, supernatural revelation can include just an inner voice heard by the recipient. Thomas Aquinas first described in two types of revelation in Christianity as general revelation and special revelation. General revelation occurs through observation of the created order; such observations can logically lead to important conclusions, such as the existence of God and some of God's attributes. General revelation is an element of Christian apologetics. Certain specifics, such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, are revealed in the teachings in the Scriptures and can not otherwise be deduced except by special revelation; the Bible contains many passages in which the authors claim divine inspiration for their message or report the effects of such inspiration on others.
Besides the direct accounts of written revelation, such as Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, the Prophets of the Old Testament claimed that their message was of divine origin by prefacing the revelation using the following phrase: "Thus says the LORD". The Second Epistle of Peter claims that "no prophecy of Scripture... was produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit". The Second Epistle of Peter implies that Paul's writings are inspired. Many Christians cite a verse in Paul's letter to Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, as evidence that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, is profitable..." Here St. Paul is referring to the Old Testament, since the scriptures have been known by Timothy from "infancy". Others offer an alternative reading for the passage. A similar translation appears in the New English Bible, in the Revised English Bible, in the New Revised Standard Version; the Latin Vulgate can be so read. Yet others defend the "traditional" interpretation.
Christianity regards the collections of books known as the Bible as authoritative and written by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Some Christians believe that the Bible is infallible. In addition, for some Christians, it may be inferred that the Bible cannot both refer to itself as being divinely inspired and be errant or fallible. For if the Bible were divinely inspired the source of inspiration being divine, would not be subject to fallibility or error in that, produced. For them, the doctrines of the divine inspiration and inerrancy, are inseparably tied together; the idea of biblical integrity is a further concept of infallibility, by suggesting that current biblical text is complete and without error, that the integrity of biblical text has never been corrupted or degraded. Historians note, or claim
The Vulgate is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible that became the Catholic Church's promulgated Latin version of the Bible during the 16th century. The translation was the work of Jerome, who in 382 had been commissioned by Pope Damasus I to revise the Vetus Latina Gospels in use by the Roman Church. Jerome, on his own initiative, extended this work of revision and translation to include most of the books of the Bible, once published, the new version was adopted and eclipsed the Vetus Latina; the Catholic Church affirmed the Vulgate as its official Latin Bible at the Council of Trent, though there was no authoritative edition at that time. The Clementine edition of the Vulgate of 1592 became the standard Bible text of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and remained so until 1979 when the Nova Vulgata was promulgated; the Vulgate has a compound text, not the work of Jerome. While Jerome revised all the Gospels of the Vetus Latina from the Greek, it is unknown who revised the rest of the New Testament.
Several unrevised books of the Vetus Latina Old Testament commonly became included in the Vulgate. Medieval Vulgate Bibles might further include the Prayer of Manasses, 4 Esdras, the Epistle to the Laodiceans and Psalm 151. Jerome himself translated all books of the Jewish Bible from Hebrew; the Vulgate's components include: Independent translation from the Hebrew by Jerome: the books of the Hebrew Bible, including a translation of the Psalms from the Hebrew, found in early medieval Vulgate manuscripts but is supplanted by Jerome's Gallican version in bibles. This was completed in 405. Free translation from a secondary Aramaic version by Jerome: Tobias and Judith. Translation from the Greek of Theodotion by Jerome: The three additions to the Book of Daniel; the Song of the Three Children was retained within the narrative of Daniel, Susanna was moved by Jerome from before the beginning of Daniel to the end of the book along with Bel and the Dragon. These additions he marked with an obelus to distinguish them from the canonical text.
Translation from the Common Septuagint by Jerome: the Additions to Esther. Jerome gathered all these additions together at the end of the Book of Esther, marking them with an obelus. Translation from the Hexaplar Septuagint by Jerome: his Gallican version of the Book of Psalms. Jerome's Hexaplaric revisions of other books of Old Testament continued to circulate in Italy for several centuries, but only Job and fragments of other books survive. Revision of the Old Latin by Jerome: the Gospels, corrected with reference to the best Greek manuscripts Jerome considered available. Revision of the Old Latin: the Roman Psalter including Psalm 151, undertaken prior to Jerome but continuing in liturgical use, included in many medieval Vulgate Old Testaments and liturgical psalters. Revision of the Old Latin by a person or persons unknown, contemporary with Jerome: Acts, Pauline epistles, Catholic epistles and the Apocalypse. Old Latin, wholly unrevised: Epistle to the Laodiceans, Prayer of Manasses, 4 Esdras, Ecclesiasticus, 1 and 2 Maccabees.
The Book of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah were excluded by Jerome as non-canonical, but sporadically re-admitted into the Vulgate tradition from the Additions to the Book of Jeremiah of the Old Latin from the 9th century onwards. Independent translation, distinct from the Old Latin, he had been commissioned by Damasus I in 382 to revise the Old Latin text of the four Gospels from the best Greek texts. By the time of Damasus' death in 384, Jerome had completed this task, together with a more cursory revision from the Greek Common Septuagint of the Old Latin text of the Psalms in the Roman Psalter, a version which he disowned and is now lost. How much of the rest of the New Testament he revised is difficult to judge today, but none of his work survived in the Vulgate text of these books; the revised text of the New Testament outside the Gospels is the work of one or more other scholars. This unknown reviser worked more than Jerome had done using older Greek manuscript sources of Alexandrian text-type, had published a complete revised New Testament text by 410 at the latest, when Pelagius quoted from it in his commentary on the letters of Paul.
In 385, Jerome was forced out of Rome and settled in Bethlehem. There he was able to use a surviving manuscript of the Hexapla from the nearby Theological Library of Caesarea Maritima, a column
Assyrian people, or Syriacs, are an ethnic group indigenous to Western Asia. Some of them self-identify as Chaldeans. Speakers of modern Aramaic and as well as the primary languages in their countries of residence, modern Assyrians are Syriac Christians who claim descent from Assyria, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating back to 2500 BC in ancient Mesopotamia; the tribal areas that form the Assyrian homeland are parts of present-day northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and, more northeastern Syria. The majority have migrated to other regions of the world, including North America, the Levant, Europe and the Caucasus during the past century. Emigration was triggered by events such as the Massacres of Diyarbakır, the Assyrian Genocide during World War I by the Ottoman Empire and allied Kurdish tribes, the Simele Massacre in Iraq in 1933, the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Arab Nationalist Ba'athist policies in Iraq and Syria, the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its takeover of most of the Nineveh plains.
Assyrians are predominantly Christian adhering to the East and West Syrian liturgical rites of Christianity. The churches that constitute the East Syrian rite include the Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, whereas the churches of the West Syrian rite are the Syriac Orthodox Church and Syriac Catholic Church. Both rites use Classical Syriac as their liturgical language. Most the post-2003 Iraq War and the Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011, have displaced much of the remaining Assyrian community from their homeland as a result of ethnic and religious persecution at the hands of Islamic extremists. Of the one million or more Iraqis reported by the United Nations to have fled Iraq since the occupation, nearly 40% were Assyrians though Assyrians accounted for only around 3% of the pre-war Iraqi demography. According to a 2013 report by a Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council official, it is estimated that only 300,000 Assyrians remain in Iraq.
Because of the emergence of ISIL and the taking over of much of the Assyrian homeland by the terror group, another major wave of Assyrian displacement has taken place. ISIL was driven out from the Assyrian villages in the Khabour River Valley and the areas surrounding the city of Al-Hasakah in Syria by 2015, from the Nineveh plains in Iraq by 2017. Since the expulsion of ISIL, the Nineveh plains have been divided into Iraqi and Kurdish-controlled zones, with Assyrian militias on both sides. In northern Syria, Assyrian groups have been taking part both politically and militarily in the Kurdish-dominated but multiethnic Syrian Democratic Forces and Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Assyria is the homeland of the Assyrian people. In prehistoric times, the region, to become known as Assyria was home to Neanderthals such as the remains of those which have been found at the Shanidar Cave; the earliest Neolithic sites in Assyria belonged to the Jarmo culture c. 7100 BC and Tell Hassuna, the centre of the Hassuna culture, c. 6000 BC.
The history of Assyria begins with the formation of the city of Assur as early as the 25th century BC. The Assyrian king list records kings dating from the 25th century BC onwards, the earliest being Tudiya, a contemporary of Ibrium of Ebla. However, many of these early kings would have been local rulers, from the late 24th century BC to the early 22nd century BC, they were subjects of the Akkadian Empire. During the early Bronze Age period, Sargon of Akkad united all the native Semitic-speaking peoples and the Sumerians of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire; the cities of Assur and Nineveh, the oldest and largest city of the ancient Assyrian empire, together with a number of other towns and cities, existed as early as the 25th century BC, although they appear to have been Sumerian-ruled administrative centres at this time, rather than independent states. The Sumerians were absorbed into the Akkadian population. In the traditions of the Assyrian Church of the East, they are descended from Abraham's grandson, progenitor of the ancient Assyrians.
However, there is no historical basis for the biblical assertion whatsoever. Ashur-uballit I overthrew the Mitanni c. 1365 BC, the Assyrians benefited from this development by taking control of the eastern portion of Mitanni territory, also annexing Hittite, Babylonian and Hurrian territories. The Assyrian people, after the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 609 BC were under the control of the Neo-Babylonian and the Persian Empire, which consumed the entire Neo-Babylonian or "Chaldean" Empire in 539 BC. Assyrians became front line soldiers for the Persian Empire under Xerxes I, playing a major role in the Battle of Marathon under Darius I in 490 BC. Herodotus, whose Histories are the main source of information about that battle, makes no mention of Assyrians in connection with it. Despite the influx of foreign elements, the presence of Assyrians is confirmed by the worship of the god Ashur; the Greeks and Romans had a rather low-level of integration with the local population in Mesopotamia, which allowed their cultures to survive.
The kingdoms of Osrhoene, Adiabene and Assur, which were under Parthian overlordship, had an Assyrian identity. Emerging in Sumer c. 3500 BC, cuneiform writing began a
Vetus Latina known as Vetus Itala, Itala and Old Italic, is the collective name given to the Latin translations of biblical texts that existed before the Vulgate, the Latin translation produced by Jerome in the late 4th century. The Vetus Latina translations continued to be used alongside the Vulgate, but the Vulgate became the standard Latin Bible used by the Catholic Church after the Council of Trent affirmed the Vulgate translation as authoritative for the text of Scripture. However, the Vetus Latina texts survive in some parts of the liturgy; as the English translation of Vetus Latina is "Old Latin", they are sometimes referred to as the Old Latin Bible, although they are written in the form of Latin known as Late Latin, not that known as Old Latin. The Vetus Latina manuscripts that are preserved today are dated from AD 350 to the 13th century. There is no single "Vetus Latina" Bible. Instead, Vetus Latina is a collection of biblical manuscript texts that are Latin translations of Septuagint and New Testament passages that preceded Jerome's Vulgate.
After comparing readings for Luke 24:4–5 in Vetus Latina manuscripts, Bruce Metzger counted "at least 27 variant readings in Vetus Latina manuscripts that have survived" for this passage alone. To these witnesses of previous translations, many scholars add quotations of biblical passages that appear in the works of the Latin Fathers, some of which share readings with certain groups of manuscripts; as such, many of the Vetus Latina "versions" were not promulgated in their own right as translations of the Bible to be used in the whole Church. There are some Vetus Latina texts that seem to have aspired to currency. Other biblical passages, are extant only in excerpts or fragments; the language of Vetus Latina translations is uneven in quality, as Augustine of Hippo lamented in De Doctrina Christiana. Grammatical solecisms abound; the various Vetus Latina translations reflect the various versions of the Septuagint circulating, with the African manuscripts preserving readings of the Western text-type, while readings in the European manuscripts are closer to the Byzantine text-type.
Many grammatical idiosyncrasies come from the use of Vulgar Latin grammatical forms in the text. When Jerome undertook the revision of Latin translations of Old Testament texts in the late 4th century, he checked the Septuagint and Vetus Latina translations against the Hebrew texts that were available, he broke with church tradition and translated most of the Old Testament of his Vulgate from Hebrew sources rather than from the Greek Septuagint. His choice was criticized by Augustine, his contemporary. While on the one hand he argued for the superiority of the Hebrew texts in correcting the Septuagint on both philological and theological grounds, on the other, in the context of accusations of heresy against him, Jerome would acknowledge the Septuagint texts as well. Jerome's Vulgate offered a single, stylistically consistent Latin text translated from the original tongues, the Vetus Latina translations fell out of use. Jerome, in a letter, complains that his new version was disliked by Christians who were familiar with the phrasing of the old translations.
However, as copies of the complete Bible were infrequently found, Vetus Latina translations of various books were copied into manuscripts alongside Vulgate translations exchanging readings. Vetus Latina translations of single books continued to be found in manuscripts as late as the 13th century. However, the Vulgate displaced the Vetus Latina as the standard Latin translation of the Bible to be used by the Catholic church after the Council of Trent. Below are some comparisons of the Vetus Latina with text from critical editions of the Vulgate; the following comparison is of Luke 6:1–4, taken from the Vetus Latina text in the Codex Bezae: The Vulgate text survives in places in the liturgy, such as the following verse well known from Christmas carols, Luke 2:14, whilst the Vetus Latina is closer to the Byzantine tradition: The Vetus Latina text means, "Glory to God among the high, peace to men of good will on earth". The Vulgate text means "Glory to God among the most high and peace among men of good will on earth".
The most well known difference between the Vetus Latina and the Vulgate is in the Pater Noster, where the phrase from the Vetus Latina, quotidianum panem, "daily bread", becomes supersubstantialem panem, "supersubstantial bread" in the Vulgate. Latin Psalters List of New Testament Latin manuscripts The Vetus Latina Institut, Beuron/Germany Vetus Latina – Resources for the study of the Old Latin Bible Vetus Latina Iohannes – An electronic edition of the manuscripts of John The old Latin Acts of the Apostles – About the edition of the Latin versions of the Books of Acts Tanakh.info – Polyglot of the Tanakh featuring the text of Old Latin version of the Old Testament with a new English translation
Epiphanius of Salamis
Epiphanius of Salamis was the bishop of Salamis, Cyprus at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a Church Father by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, he gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. He is best known for composing the Panarion, a large compendium of the heresies up to his own time, full of quotations that are the only surviving fragments of suppressed texts. According to Ernst Kitzinger, he "seems to have been the first cleric to have taken up the matter of Christian religious images as a major issue", there has been much controversy over how many of the quotations attributed to him by the Byzantine Iconoclasts were by him. Regardless of this he was strongly against some contemporary uses of images in the church. Epiphanius became a Christian in his youth. Either way, he was a Romaniote Jew, born in the Old Yishuv in the small settlement of Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis, lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups.
He returned to Palestine around 333, when he was still a young man, he founded a monastery at Ad nearby, mentioned in the polemics of Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest, lived and studied as superior of the monastery in Ad that he founded for thirty years and gained much skill and knowledge in that position. In that position he gained the ability to speak in several tongues, including Hebrew, Egyptian and Latin, was called by Jerome on that account Pentaglossis, his reputation for learning prompted his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, in 365 or 367, a post which he held until his death. He was the Metropolitan of the Church of Cyprus, he served as bishop for nearly forty years, as well as travelled to combat unorthodox beliefs. He was present at a synod in Antioch where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism, he upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome, over that of Meletius of Antioch, supported by the Eastern Churches.
In 382 he was present at the Council of Rome, again upholding the cause of Paulinus. During a visit to Palestine in 394 or 395, while preaching in Jerusalem, he attacked Origen's followers and urged the Bishop of Jerusalem, John II, to condemn his writings, he urged John to be careful of the "offence" of images in the churches. He noted that when travelling in Palestine he went into a church to pray and saw a curtain with an image of Christ or a saint which he tore down, he told Bishop John that such images were "opposed... to our religion". This event sowed the seeds of conflict which erupted in the dispute between Rufinus and John against Jerome and Epiphanius. Epiphanius fuelled this conflict by ordaining a priest for Jerome's monastery at Bethlehem, thus trespassing on John's jurisdiction; this dispute continued during the 390s, in particular in the literary works by Rufinus and Jerome attacking one another. In 399, the dispute took on another dimension, when the Bishop of Alexandria, who had supported John, changed his views and started persecuting Origenist monks in Egypt.
As a result of this persecution, four of these monks, the so-called Tall Brothers, fled to Palestine, travelled to Constantinople, seeking support and spreading the controversy. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, gave the monks shelter. Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria saw his chance to use this event to bring down his enemy Chrysostom: in 402 he summoned a council in Constantinople, invited those supportive of his anti-Origenist views. Epiphanius, by this time nearly 80, was one of those summoned, began the journey to Constantinople. However, when he realised he was being used as a tool by Theophilus against Chrysostom, who had given refuge to the monks persecuted by Theophilus and who were appealing to the emperor, Epiphanius started back to Salamis, only to die on the way home in 403. Letter LI in Jerome's letters gives Jerome's Latin translation, made at Epiphanius' request, of his letter in Greek from c. 394, "From Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem".
The final section covers the quoted incident of the curtain, which unlike other passages attributed to Epiphanius and quoted by the Iconoclasts, is accepted as authentic by modern scholars: 9. Moreover, I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church and embroidered, it bore an image either of one of the saints. Seeing this, being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place.
As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, said that I would send it at once. Since there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, thought it right to se
Clement of Alexandria
Titus Flavius Clemens known as Clement of Alexandria, was a Christian theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. A convert to Christianity, he was an educated man, familiar with classical Greek philosophy and literature; as his three major works demonstrate, Clement was influenced by Hellenistic philosophy to a greater extent than any other Christian thinker of his time, in particular by Plato and the Stoics. His secret works, which exist only in fragments, suggest that he was familiar with pre-Christian Jewish esotericism and Gnosticism. In one of his works he argued that Greek philosophy had its origin among non-Greeks, claiming that both Plato and Pythagoras were taught by Egyptian scholars. Among his pupils were Origen and Alexander of Jerusalem. Clement is regarded as a Church Father, he is venerated as a saint in Ethiopian Christianity and Anglicanism. He was revered in the Roman Catholic Church, but his name was removed from the Roman Martyrology in 1586 by Pope Sixtus V on the advice of Baronius.
Neither Clement's birthdate or birthplace is known with any degree of certainty. It is conjectured that he was born sometime around 150 CE. According to Epiphanius Scholasticus, he was born in Athens, but there is a tradition of an Alexandrian birth, his parents were pagans, Clement was a convert to Christianity. In the Protrepticus he displays an extensive knowledge of Greek mythology and mystery religions, which could only have arisen from the practice of his family's religion. Having rejected paganism as a young man due to its perceived moral corruption, he travelled in Greece, Asia Minor and Egypt. Clement's journeys were a religious undertaking. In Greece, he encountered an Ionian theologian, identified as Athenagoras of Athens. In around 180, Clement reached Alexandria, where he met Pantaenus, who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Eusebius suggests that Pantaenus was the head of the school, but it is controversial whether the institutions of the school were formalized in this way before the time of Origen.
Clement studied under Pantaenus, was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Julian before 189. Otherwise nothing is known of Clement's life in Alexandria, he may have been married, a conjecture supported by his writings. During the Severian persecutions of 202–203, Clement left Alexandria. In 211, Alexander of Jerusalem wrote a letter commending him to the Church of Antioch, which may imply that Clement was living in Cappadocia or Jerusalem at that time; the date and location of his death are unknown. Three of Clement's major works have survived in full, they are collectively referred to as the trilogy: the Protrepticus – written c. 195. The Paedagogus – written c. 198. The Stromata – written c. 198 – c. 203. The Protrepticus is, as its title suggests, an exhortation to the pagans of Greece to adopt Christianity, within it Clement demonstrates his extensive knowledge of pagan mythology and theology, it is chiefly important due to Clement's exposition of religion as an anthropological phenomenon. After a short philosophical discussion, it opens with a history of Greek religion in seven stages.
Clement suggests that at first, men mistakenly believed the Sun, the Moon and other heavenly bodies to be gods. The next development was the worship of the products of agriculture, from which he contends the cults of Demeter and Dionysus arose. Man paid reverence to revenge, deified human feelings of love and fear, among others. In the following stage, the poets Hesiod and Homer attempt to enumerate the Gods. Men proclaimed other men, such as Asclepius and Heracles, deities. Discussing idolatry, Clement contends that the objects of primitive religion were unshaped wood and stone, idols thus arose when such natural items were carved. Following Plato, Clement is critical of all forms of visual art, suggesting that artworks are but illusions and "deadly toys". Clement criticizes Greek paganism in the Protrepticus on the basis that its deities are both false and poor moral examples, he attacks the mystery religions for their obscurantism and trivial rituals. In particular, the worshippers of Dionysus are ridiculed for their ritual use of children's toys.
He suggests at some points that the pagan deities are based on humans, but at others that they are misanthropic demons, he cites several classical sources in support of this second hypothesis. Clement, like many pre-Nicene fathers, writes favourably about Euhemerus and other rationalist philosophers, on the grounds that they at least saw the flaws in paganism. However, his greatest praise is reserved for Plato, whose apophatic views of God prefigure Christianity; the figure of Orpheus is prominent throughout the narrative, Clement contrasts his song, representing pagan superstition, with the divine Logos of Christ. According to Clement, through conversion to Christianity alone can man participate in the Logos, universal truth; this work's title, translatable as "tutor", refers to Christ as the teacher of all mankind, it features an extended metaphor of Christians as children. It is not instructional: the author intends to show how the Christian should respond to the Love of God authentically.
Clement, following Plato, divides life into three elements: character and passions. The first having been dealt with in the Protrepticus, he devotes the Paedagogus to reflections on Christ's role in teaching us to act morally and to control our passions. Des