Author Topic: Early Church Fathers  (Read 102737 times)

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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #405 on: May 08, 2017, 04:54:39 PM »
Understand, then, you children of gladness, that the good Lord has foreshown all things to us, that we might know to whom we ought for everything to render thanksgiving and praise. If therefore the Son of God, who is Lord [of all things], and who will judge the living and the dead, suffered, that His stroke might give us life, let us believe that the Son of God could not have suffered except for our sakes. Moreover, when fixed to the cross, He had given Him to drink vinegar and gall. (Matt. 27:34) Hearken how the priests of the people gave previous indications of this. His commandment having been written, the Lord enjoined, that whosoever did not keep the fast should be put to death, because He also Himself was to offer in sacrifice for our sins the vessel of the Spirit, in order that the type established in Isaac when he was offered upon the altar might be fully accomplished. What, then, says He in the prophet? "And let them eat of the goat which is offered, with fasting, for all their sins." Attend carefully: "And let all the priests alone eat the inwards, unwashed with vinegar." Wherefore? Because to me, who am to offer my flesh for the sins of my new people, you are to give gall with vinegar to drink: eat alone, while the people fast and mourn in sackcloth and ashes. [These things were done] that He might show that it was necessary for Him to suffer for them.

How, then, ran the commandment? Give your attention. Take two goats of goodly aspect, and similar to each other, and offer them. And let the priest take one as a burnt-offering for sins. And what should they do with the other? "Accursed," says He, "is the one." Mark how the type of Jesus now comes out. "And all of you spit upon it, and pierce it, and encircle its head with scarlet wool, and thus let it be driven into the wilderness." And when all this has been done, he who bears the goat brings it into the desert, and takes the wool off from it, and places that upon a shrub which is called Rachia, of which also we are accustomed to eat the fruits when we find them in the field. Of this kind of shrub alone the fruits are sweet.  Why then, again, is this? Give good heed. [You see] "one upon the altar, and the other accursed;" and why [do you behold] the one that is accursed crowned? Because they shall see Him then in that day having a scarlet robe about his body down to his feet; and they shall say, Is not this He whom we once despised, and pierced, and mocked, and crucified? Truly this is He who then declared Himself to be the Son of God. For how like is He to Him! With a view to this, [He required] the goats to be of goodly aspect, and similar, that, when they see Him then coming, they may be amazed by the likeness of the goat. Behold, then, the type of Jesus who was to suffer. But why is it that they place the wool in the midst of thorns? It is a type of Jesus set before the view of the Church. [They place the wool among thorns], that any one who wishes to bear it away may find it necessary to suffer much, because the thorn is formidable, and thus obtain it only as the result of suffering. Thus also, says He, "Those who wish to behold Me, and lay hold of My kingdom, must through tribulation and suffering obtain Me." (Acts 14:22)

-- Epistle of Barnabas (1st century)

(so far as I can tell, it is unknown which Jewish text the author is referencing)
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #406 on: May 09, 2017, 09:41:49 PM »
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.

Any idea on specifics? I looked around a bit before posting it, but it certainly wasn't an exhaustive search.
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #407 on: May 09, 2017, 09:47:55 PM »
He said to me, "Be simple and guileless, and you will be as the children who know not the wickedness that ruins the life of men. First, then, speak evil of no one, nor listen with pleasure to any one who speaks evil of another. But if you listen, you will partake of the sin of him who speaks evil, if you believe the slander which you hear; for believing it, you will also have something to say against your brother. Thus, then, will you be guilty of the sin of him who slanders. For slander is evil and an unsteady demon. It never abides in peace, but always remains in discord. Keep yourself from it, and you will always be at peace with all. Put on a holiness in which there is no wicked cause of offense, but all deeds that are equable and joyful. Practise goodness; and from the rewards of your labours, which God gives you, give to all the needy in simplicity, not hesitating as to whom you are to give or not to give. Give to all, for God wishes His gifts to be shared among all. They who receive, will render an account to God why and for what they have received. For the afflicted who receive will not be condemned, but they who receive on false pretences will suffer punishment. He, then, who gives is guiltless. For as he received from the Lord, so has he accomplished his service in simplicity, not hesitating as to whom he should give and to whom he should not give. This service, then, if accomplished in simplicity, is glorious with God. He, therefore, who thus ministers in simplicity, will live to God. Keep therefore these commandments, as I have given them to you, that your repentance and the repentance of your house may be found in simplicity, and your heart may be pure and stainless."

-- Hermas (mid-2nd century), The Shepherd, 2.2
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #408 on: May 10, 2017, 12:15:15 AM »
Asteriktos,
How do you get these quotes, are they random things you choose yourself?
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #409 on: May 10, 2017, 12:16:52 AM »
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.

Any idea on specifics? I looked around a bit before posting it, but it certainly wasn't an exhaustive search.
My favorite editions of the church fathers are the ones with footnotes showing cross references. Most of the time the editions don't have the footnotes, but some do.

Also, epistle of barnabas seemed to sometimes beparaphrasing general concepts from memory.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 12:18:43 AM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #410 on: May 10, 2017, 12:27:42 AM »
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.

Any idea on specifics? I looked around a bit before posting it, but it certainly wasn't an exhaustive search.
One annotated version pointed to this:

Lev 16:3-37; 23:26-32; Num 29:7-11
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=+Lev+16%3A3-37%3B+23%3A26-32%3B+25%3A9%2C+Ex+30%3A10%2C+Num+29%3A7-11&version=KJV

Three Commentaries & Endnotes:
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rak/publics/barn/barndiss01.htm

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob17.htm#fn_640

https://books.google.com/books?id=Sio-XwY4Q4AC&pg=PT31&lpg=PT31&dq=%22epistle+of+barnabas%22+endnotes+OR+footnotes&source=bl&ots=sZSFdFiUli&sig=woroyXManqD4xoU96tZCgx2AEtE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjP74GvvOTTAhUC6yYKHc7QDMIQ6AEITzAI#v=onepage&q=%22epistle%20of%20barnabas%22%20endnotes%20OR%20footnotes&f=false

Quote
3 Hear therefore how the priests of the temple did foreshew this also:  1 the Lord by his command which was written, declared that whosoever did not fast the appointed fast he  2 should die the death: because he also was himself one day to offer up his  3 body for our sins; that so the type of what was done in  4 Isaac might be fulfilled, who was offered upon the altar.

4 What therefore is it that he says by the prophet?  5 And let them eat of the goat which is offered in the day of the fast for all their sins. Hearken diligently (my brethren,) and all the priests, and they only shall eat the inwards not washed with vinegar.

5 Why so? because  6 I know that when I shall hereafter offer my flesh for the sins of a new people, ye will give me vinegar to drink mixed with gall; therefore do ye only eat, the people fasting the while, and lamenting in sackcloth and ashes.

6 And that he might foreshew that he was to suffer for them, hear then how he appointed it.

7  7 Take, says he, two goats, fair and alike, and offer them, and let the high priest take one of them for a burnt offering. And what must be done with the other? Let it says he be accursed.

8 Consider how exactly this appears to have been a type of Jesus.  8 And let all the congregation spit upon it, and prick it; and put the scarlet wool about its head, and thus let it be carried forth into the wilderness.

9 And this being done, he that was appointed to convey the goat, led it into the wilderness,  9 and took away the scarlet wool, and put it upon a thorn bush, whose  10 young sprouts when we find them in the field we are wont to eat: so the fruit of that thorn only is sweet.

10 And to what end was this ceremony? Consider; one was offered upon the altar, the other was accursed.

11 And why was that which was accursed crowned? Because they shall see Christ in that day having a scarlet garment about his body; and shall say: Is not this he whom we crucified; having despised him, pierced him, mocked him? Certainly, this is he, who then said, that he was the Son of God.

12  11 As therefore he shall be then like to what he was on earth, so were the Jews heretofore commanded, to take two goats fair and equal. That when they shall see (our Saviour) hereafter coming (in the clouds of heaven), they may be amazed at the likeness of the goats.

13 Wherefore  12 ye here again see a type of Jesus who was to suffer for us.


Endnotes

152:1 In same manner applied Heb. ix.

152:2 Lev. xxiii. 29.

152:3 The vessel of his spirit.

152:4 Gen. xxii.

152:5 Numb. xxix., &c., Vic. Cot. in Marg. et Annot. in loc.

152:6 Vid. Annot. Cot.

152:7 Levit xi. Vid. Maimon, tract. de die Exv. Edit. du Veil, p. 350, &c.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob17.htm#fn_640

Was there something unusual that made you ask about this?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 12:29:06 AM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #411 on: May 10, 2017, 01:28:49 PM »
Asteriktos,
How do you get these quotes, are they random things you choose yourself?

There's some semblance of a process, but more or less random yeah. I usually pick a name at random, someone who hasn't been quoted in a while (or ever), and then find something by or about them and just start reading. When I come across something that seems interesting I post it. The only thing beyond that is I try to be somewhat balanced (not all Eastern Fathers, not just quotes I happen to agree with, etc.)
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #412 on: May 13, 2017, 01:35:44 AM »
Was there something unusual that made you ask about this?

Just came up empty with my own search and was curious... thanks for posting the material :)
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #413 on: May 13, 2017, 02:03:29 AM »
And furthermore, on the ground of difference in diction, it is possible to prove a distinction between the Gospel and the Epistle [of John] on the one hand, and the Revelation on the other. For the former are written not only without actual error as regards the Greek language, but also with the greatest elegance, both in their expressions and in their reasonings, and in the whole structure of their style. They are very far indeed from betraying any barbarism or solecism, or any sort of vulgarism, in their diction. For, as might be presumed, the writer possessed the gift of both kinds of discourse, the Lord having bestowed both these capacities upon him, viz., that of knowledge and that of expression. That the author of the latter, however, saw a revelation, and received knowledge and prophecy, I do not deny. Only I perceive that his dialect and language are not of the exact Greek type, and that he employs barbarous idioms, and in some places also solecisms. These, however, we are under no necessity of seeking out at present. And I would not have any one suppose that I have said these things in the spirit of ridicule; for I have done so only with the purpose of setting right this matter of the dissimilarity subsisting between these writings.

-- St. Dionysius the Great (d. 264), Fragments from the Two Books on Promises, 7

(There's a good deal more of this kind of biblical criticism, especially in paragraphs 4-6)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 02:04:24 AM by Asteriktos »
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #414 on: May 13, 2017, 02:47:19 PM »
"She is truly blessed who was greater than heaven, stronger than the earth, vaster than the world. She alone contained within herself that God whom the world cannot contain; she bore him who bears the world; she gave birth to her Father; she nursed him who nurtures every living thing." -- Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 143, 7

From: Reynolds, B. K. (2012). Gateway to Heaven: Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Image and Typology in the Patristic and Medieval Periods (Vol. 1: Doctrine and Devotion). Hyde Park, New York: New City Press, p. 32.

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #415 on: May 14, 2017, 07:21:27 PM »
Again I believe the words of the prayer of the saints to be full of power above all when praying "with the spirit," they pray "also with the understanding," which is like a light rising from the suppliant's mind and proceeding from his lips to gradually weaken by the power of God the mental venom injected by the adverse powers into the intellect of such as neglect prayer and fail to keep that saying of Paul's in accordance with the exhortations of Jesus, "Pray without ceasing." For it is as if a dart from the suppliant's soul, sped by knowledge and reason or by faith, proceeds from the saint and wounds to their destruction and dissolution the spirits adverse to God and desirous of casting round us the bonds of sin. Now, since the performance of actions enjoined by virtue or by the commandments is also a constituent part of prayer, he prays without ceasing who combines prayer with right actions, and becoming actions with prayer. For the saying "pray without ceasing" can only be accepted by us as a possibility if we may speak of the whole life of a saint as one great continuous prayer.

Of such prayer what is usually termed prayer is indeed a part, and ought to be performed at least three times each day, as is plain from the account of Daniel who, in spite of the grave danger that impended, prayed three times daily. Peter furnishes an instance of the middle prayer of the three when he goes up to the housetop about the sixth hour to pray on that occasion on which he also saw the vessel which descended from heaven let down by four corners. The first is spoken of by David: "In the morning shall you hear my prayer: in the morning will I present myself to you and keep watch." The last is indicated in the words: "the lifting up of my hands in evening sacrifice." Indeed we shall not rightly speak even the season of night without such prayer as David refers to when he says "at midnight I arose to make acknowledgment to you for your righteous judgments" and as Paul exemplifies when, as it is said in the Acts of the Apostles, along with Silas he offers prayer and praise to God "about midnight" in Phillipi so that the prisoners also heard them.

-- Origen of Alexandria (d. 254), On Prayer, 7
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #416 on: May 16, 2017, 05:35:15 PM »
Theophilus, bishop of the church of Alexandria, wrote one great volume Against Origen in which he condemns pretty nearly all his sayings and himself likewise, at the same time saying that he was not original in his views but derived them from the ancient fathers especially from Heraclas, that he was deposed from the office of presbyter driven from the church and compelled to fly from the city. He also wrote Against the Anthropomorphites, heretics who say that God has the human form and members, confuting in a long discussion and arguing by testimonies of Divine Scripture and convincing.

He shows that, according to the belief of the Fathers, God is to be thought of as incorporal, not formed with any suggestion of members at all, and therefore there is nothing like Him among created things in substance, nor has the incorruptibility nor unchangeableness nor incorporeality of his nature been given to any one but that all intellectual natures are corporeal, all corruptible, all mutable, that He alone should not be subject to corruptibility or changeableness, who alone has immortality and life. Likewise the return of the paschal feast which the great council at Nicea had found would take place after ninety years at the same time, the same month and day adding some observations on the festival and explanations he gave to the emperor Theodosius. I have read also three books On faith, which bear his name but, as their language is not like his, I do not very much think they are by him.

-- Gennadius of Massilia (d. 496), Additions to 'On Illustrious Men,' 34
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #417 on: May 17, 2017, 09:28:47 PM »
It must be noted, that he names the law a good gift, on account of the man who takes gifts into his bosom unrighteously. And he forsakes the law who transgresses it; the law, namely, of which he speaks, or which he has kept. (Prov. 4:2) And what is meant by "exalt (fortify) her" (Ps. 4:8)? Surround her with holy thoughts; for you have need of large defence, since there are many things to imperil such a possession. But if it is in our power to fortify her, and if there are virtues in our power which exalt the knowledge of God, these will be her bulwarks—as, for example, practice, study, and the whole chain of other virtues; and the man who observes these, honours wisdom; and the reward is, to be exalted to be with her, and to be embraced by her in the chamber of heaven.

The heterodox are the wicked, and the transgressors of the law are evil men, whose ways— that is to say, their deeds— he bids us not enter. (Prov. 4:14-15) He looks right on who has thoughts free of passion; and he has true judgments, who is not in a state of excitement about external appearances. When he says, "Let your eyes look right on" (Prov. 4:25), he means the vision of the soul; and when he gives the exhortation, "Eat honey, my son, that it may be sweet to your palate" (Prov. 24:13) he uses honey figuratively, meaning divine doctrine, which restores the spiritual knowledge of the soul. But wisdom embraces the soul also; "for," says he, "love her, that she may embrace you" (Prov. 4:6). And the soul, by her embrace being made one with wisdom, is filled with holiness and purity. Yea more, the fragrant ointments of Christ are laid hold of by the soul's sense of smell.

-- St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235), Exegetical Fragments On Proverbs
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #418 on: May 18, 2017, 09:56:36 PM »
"God created man," it says, "in the image of God created He him" (Gen. 1:27). There is an end of the creation of that which was made in the image: then it makes a resumption of the account of creation, and says, "male and female created He them." I presume that every one knows that this is a departure from the Prototype: "for in Christ Jesus,"  as the apostle says, "there is neither male nor female." (Gal. 3:28)  Yet the phrase declares that man is thus divided. Thus the creation of our nature is in a sense twofold: one made like to God, one divided according to this distinction: for something like this the passage darkly conveys by its arrangement, where it first says, "God created man, in the image of God created He him," and then, adding to what has been said, "male and female created He them"— a thing which is alien from our conceptions of God.

I think that by these words Holy Scripture conveys to us a great and lofty doctrine; and the doctrine is this. While two natures— the Divine and incorporeal nature, and the irrational life of brutes— are separated from each other as extremes, human nature is the mean between them: for in the compound nature of man we may behold a part of each of the natures I have mentioned—of the Divine, the rational and intelligent element, which does not admit the distinction of male and female; of the irrational, our bodily form and structure, divided into male and female: for each of these elements is certainly to be found in all that partakes of human life. That the intellectual element, however, precedes the other, we learn as from one who gives in order an account of the making of man; and we learn also that his community and kindred with the irrational is for man a provision for reproduction.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. 395), On the Making of Man
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #419 on: May 19, 2017, 08:45:37 PM »
For they say that all those of the first age, and the apostles themselves, both received and taught those things which these men now maintain; and that the truth of Gospel preaching was preserved until the times of Victor, who was the thirteenth bishop in Rome from Peter, and that from his successor Zephyrinus the truth was falsified. And perhaps what they allege might be credible, did not the Holy Scriptures, in the first place, contradict them. And then, besides, there are writings of certain brethren older than the times of Victor, which they wrote against the heathen in defence of the truth, and against the heresies of their time: I mean Justin and Miltiades, and Tatian and Clement, and many others, in all which divinity is ascribed to Christ. For who is ignorant of the books of Irenaeus and Melito, and the rest, which declare Christ to be God and man? All the psalms, too, and hymns of brethren, which have been written from the beginning by the faithful, celebrate Christ the Word of God, ascribing divinity to Him.

-- Fr. Caius of Rome (d. early-3rd century), Fragments from Against the Heresy of Artemon
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #420 on: May 21, 2017, 02:39:26 AM »
Augustine on John 14:1-3:
Quote
1. Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
2. In my Father"s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
4. And where I go you know, and the way you know.


But why has He gone away to prepare it, if it is ourselves that He prepares: if He leaves us, how can He prepare us? The meaning is, that, in order that those mansions may be prepared, the just must live by faith and if you see, there is no faith. Let Him go away then, that He be not seen; let Him be hid, that He be believed. Then a place is prepared, if you live by faith: let faith desire, that desire may enjoy.
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gcc/john-14.html
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #421 on: May 21, 2017, 02:59:57 PM »
Neither shall light ever be darkness as long as light exists, nor shall the truth of the things pertaining to us be controverted. For truth is that than which nothing is more powerful. Every one who might speak the truth, and speaks it not, shall be judged by God.

-- St. Justin Martyr (d. 165), Source
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #422 on: May 27, 2017, 08:37:16 PM »
What "will rise beneath" (Zech. 6:12 LXX) the man called Dawn is either a light or a plant bearing fruits of salvation (the word "rising" being applied equally to lights and plants). They will rise beneath the great teacher, lawgiver, and king. What is underneath him are the rational beings subject to divine laws and to teaching germane to them. After all, how could everyone properly called man not be underneath Christ as their head? All the members of Christ that compose the Church, the body of Christ, are underneath Christ, who is head of the Church. This is also the way in which you could say subjects and pupils are under a king and a teacher, since from them comes a dawning of light of the knowledge of the truth and of a tree bearing good fruit. Speaking of the latter, God the vine-dresser says, "I planted you as a quite choice fruit-bearing vine"; may the sequel not be true of every devout person, "How did you turn bitter, becoming a wild vine?" (Jer. 2:21)

Underneath the spiritual farmer you could say there rise also different kinds of virtues and their works, produce of justice, of whom the apostle writes, "May God sanctify the produce of your righteousness," (2 Cor. 9:10) while the prophet Hosea says, "Seek out the Lord until the produce of justice reaches you." (Hos. 10:12) "Those who sow it in tears"--that is, with labor and sweat for the sake of their religion--"will reap with rejoicing" this produce. (Ps. 126:5)

It is possible to take the clause "It will rise beneath him" this way as well: the Word made flesh, "born of a woman," (Gal. 4:4) Jesus, rose beneath the dawning from on high: of God the Word, the true light. Furthermore, this must be said as well: when the Son was seated at the right hand of the Father, "his enemies like a footstool were placed" under him (Ps. 110:1), all of whom benefited from being under his feet and rose like a light and like produce. The person rising beneath the one confessed to be God "will rebuild the house of the Lord," the Church of the living God--in particular, the human being rising beneath God the Word in his coming. As well, however, those rising beneath according to the other interpretations, subjects of the great kind and good teacher, putting into action the commands of the one commanding in instructing them, built their lives like a house on the rock which is Christ, establishing the base and foundation of the house on the firm and indestructible faith in the Trinity.

The name "rock" is given to the one making a confession of the one confessed, according to the saying: "You are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18) The enemies who according to the third interpretation, however, were placed under the feet of the great king will become friends instead of adversaries, and rebuild the house of the Lord so that "he will dwell and walk among them," (2 Cor. 6:16) having summoned and transformed them. The one who in his coming rose from beneath in a manner like the text, "Truth rose from the earth," (Ps. 85:11) will receive virtue since those saved by him and brought to a high degree of glory produce it as fruit. After all, how does he not receive it from those who become God's righteousness through him when he became sin for them, accord to the apostle's sound observation, "The one who did not know sin he made sin for our sake so that through him we might become God's righteousness"? (2 Cor. 5:21) I mean, how does he not receive as virtue the righteousness and abundance of people occurring in the days of his Incarnation?

Since he does agree to receive the virtue found among human beings, however, let each of the faithful bear fruit and make an offering of it--the one committed to being continent produce modesty and continence, purity, and virginity; the one committed to controlling himself, self-control--"always carrying about in the body the death of Jesus." (2 Cor. 4:10) They also make an offering of virtue who are sharers in the honorable state of marriage and an undefiled marriage bed, (Heb. 13:4) the condition of Joseph, Susanna, Anna the prophetess, Elizabeth the mother of the Baptist, and all other such men and women who were distinguished for purity.

-- St. Didymus the blind (d. 398), Commentary on Zechariah 6
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #423 on: May 29, 2017, 04:38:17 PM »
Some say that the Eucharist ought to be received daily unless some sin comes in the way; for, at the Lord's command, we request that this bread be given to us daily, saying: "Give us each day our daily bread" (Luke 11:3). They say this well if they receive it with reverence and devotion and humility, and if they do not perform this action, proudly believing in the presumption of their own righteousness. On the other hand, if there are such sins that would move them back ffrom the altar as if dead, penance is to be accomplished first and then this salvific medication is to be received. "For whoever eats in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment against themselves" (1 Cor. 11:27, 29). And this is to receive unworthily--if one receives at the very time that one ought to be doing penance.

On the other hand, if the sins are not so great that it is judged one ought to be kept from communion, one should not separate oneself from the medicine of the Lord's body, lest, the abstaining person being prohibited for a long time, he would be separated from the body of Christ. It is clear that they live who draw near to his body. Thus, it is to be feared, lest, while one is separated for a long time from the body of Christ, one would remain separated from salvation, the Lord himself saying: "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:54). Thus whoever has presently ceased from sinning ought not to stop from communicating. However, marital couples ought to abstain from conjugal union and [they ought] to free themselves for many days of prayer, and thus then approach the body of Christ.

-- St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #424 on: June 02, 2017, 05:31:13 PM »
Abba John the Sabbaite said, “When I stayed once in the further desert I received a brother who came from the monastery to visit me. I asked him how the fathers were. He said, ‘Through your prayers they are well.’ I asked him about a certain brother who had a bad reputation and name. ‘Believe me, father, he is not at all departing from that reputation.’ Hearing that I heard an ‘Ouph!’ And as I heard this ‘Ouph!’ I was transported as if out of myself as in sleep and I saw myself placed before the holy Golgotha and I saw the Lord crucified between the two thieves. I wanted to worship and come near him. As soon as He saw it there was a great voice saying to the angels who stood around, ‘Throw him out, because he is antichrist to me. Before I judged he condemned his brother.’ They drove me out and when we came to the door they grabbed my cloak and locked the door behind me.

“And immediately I woke up. I said to the brother who came to me, that this is an evil day for me. He said to me, ‘For what reason, father?’ Then I told him the vision and said, ‘Believe me, my cloak is the protection of God, which was on me, and I was deprived of it.’ “From that day I passed seven years sojourning in the wilderness never tasting sleep, never coming under a roof, never eating with people until I saw again the Lord permit (them) to give me back my cloak.” When we heard this from the venerable John, we said, “If the righteous are barely saved, the impious and the sinner - where will he appear?” So from this is shown the appropriate great evil.

-- St. Anastasius of Sinai  (d. early 8th century), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #425 on: June 04, 2017, 02:51:13 PM »
This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is He who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful, giving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is known, and the faith of the gospels is established, and the tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and the grace of the Church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases. For whatever things we are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us.

-- Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (mid-2nd century)
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #426 on: June 06, 2017, 09:11:33 PM »
The Arians, as is customary with the prosperous, because more insolent, persecuted unmercifully all Christians whose religious sentiments were opposed to their own. These Christians being exposed to bodily injuries, and betrayed to magistrates and prisons, and finding themselves moreover gradually impoverished by the frequent fines, were at length compelled to appeal for redress to the emperor. Although exceedingly angry, the emperor did not openly manifest any wrath, but secretly commanded the prefect to seize and slay the whole deputation.

But the prefect, being apprehensive that a whole popular insurrection would be excited if he were to put so many good and religious men to death without any of the forms of justice, pretended that they were to be sent into exile, and under this pretext compelled them to embark on board a ship, to which they assented with the most perfect resignation. When they had sailed to about the center of the bay, which was called Astacius, the sailors, according to the orders they had received, set fire to the vessel and leaped into the tender. A wind arising, the ship was blown along to Dacibiza, a place on the sea-coast of Bithynia; but no sooner had it neared the shore, than it was utterly consumed with all the men on board.

-- Sozomen (d. 450), Ecclesiastical History, 6.14
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #427 on: June 09, 2017, 10:26:50 PM »
But the Empress [Eudoxia], when the Emperor [Arcadius] came in to her, told him the business of the bishops, and asked him that the [pagan] temples of Gaza might be destroyed. But the Emperor, when he heart it, was vexed, and said: "I know that the city is idolatrous, but it is well-disposed in the matter of the paying of taxes, contributing much money If therefore we come suddenly upon them, and affright them, they will flee and we shall lose so much tribute. But if it seem good, we shall afflict them piecemeal, taking away the dignities from the idol-madmen, and the other civic offices, and will command their temples to be shut up and to give oracles no longer. For when they are afflicted and brought altogether into a strait place, they will acknowledge the truth. For a change that is over-sudden is heavy thing for subjects to bear."  But the Empress when she heard it was sore grieved (for she was fervent in the faith), but answered not the Emperor save only this: "The Lord is able to succour his servants the Christians, whether we wish it or whether we wish it not." These things the God-fearing Amantius, the chamberlain, related to us.

On the next day the Augusta sent for us, and having first after her wont saluted the holy bishops bad them sit down. And after they had spoken much of spiritual matters, she saith unto them: "I spake unto the Emperor and le was a little vexed. But be not discouraged; for, if God will, I will not cease until ye be satisfied and depart having accomplished your desire which is of God." And the bishops, when they heard her words, worshipped her. And our Saint Porphyry, being sore moved, and remembering the words of the thrice blessed Procopius, the anchorite, said to the Empress: "Do though labour for Christ, and he shall grant thee for thy labour a son, who shall live and reign, for thee to see and enjoy many years." And when the Empress heard his words she was filled with joy and blushed, and the beauty which was in her countenance was increased; for the things which are apparent make manifest the things which are unseen.

The saith she unto the most holy bishops: "Pray ye, Fathers, that according to your words by God's will I may bring forth the male child, and if this comes to pass, I promise you to do all that ye ask. And another thing which ye did not ask I purpose to do, with Christ's will; for I will found a holy church in Gaza in the midmost of the city. Depart ye, therefore, in peace and abide quietly, praying continually for me that my travail may be happy; for this is the ninth month and it is night to be fulfilled." So the bishops having taken their leave and commended her to God went forth from the palace. And prayer was made that she should bring forth a male child; for we trusted in the words of the holy Procopius, the anchorite. And we went daily to the most holy John [Chrysostom], the archbishop, and enjoyed his holy words, which were sweeter than honey and the honey-comb. And Amantius the chamberlain came continually to us, sometimes bringing us answers from the Empress, and sometimes for the sake of our conversation.

-- Mark the Deacon, The Life of Saint Porphyry of Gaza (d. 420)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2017, 10:27:28 PM by Asteriktos »
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #428 on: June 13, 2017, 02:04:10 AM »
Abba John the Dwarf said, 'a house is not built by beginning at the top and working down. You must begin with the foundations in order to reach the  top. They said  to him, 'What  does this saying  mean?' He said, 'The foundation is our neighbor, whom we must win, and that is  the place to begin. For all the commandments of Christ depend on this one.'

-- St. John the Dwarf (d. 405), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #429 on: June 17, 2017, 09:00:34 PM »
Reading the Lives of the holy martyrs, Saint Anastasius was inspired with the desire to imitate them. A mysterious dream, which he had on Great and Holy Saturday, the day before the Resurrection of Christ, urged him to do this. Having fallen asleep after his daily tasks, he beheld a radiant man giving him a golden chalice filled with wine, who said to him, “Take this and drink.” Draining the chalice, he felt an ineffable delight. Saint Anastasius then realized that this vision was his call to martyrdom.

He went secretly from the monastery to Palestinian Caesarea. There he was arrested for being a Christian, and was brought to trial. The governor tried in every way to force Saint Anastasius to renounce Christ, threatening him with tortures and death, and promising him earthly honors and blessings. The saint, however, remained unyielding. Then they subjected him to torture: they beat him with rods, they lacerated his knees, they hung him up by the hands and tied a heavy stone to his feet, they exhausted him with confinement, and then wore him down with heavy work in the stone quarry with other prisoners.

Finally, the governor summoned Saint Anastasius and promised him his freedom if he would only say, “I am not a Christian.” The holy martyr replied, “I will never deny my Lord before you or anyone else, neither openly nor even while asleep. No one can compel me to do this while I am in my right mind.” Then by order of the emperor Chozroes, Saint Anastasius was strangled, then beheaded.

-- St. Anastasius the Persian (d. 628), Source
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #430 on: June 19, 2017, 04:15:39 AM »
As your wisdom well knows, the whole Church is undone. And you see everything in all directions in your mind's eye like a man looking from some tall watch tower, as when at sea many ships sailing together are all dashed one against the other by the violence of the waves, and shipwreck arises in some cases from the sea being furiously agitated from without, in others from the disorder of the sailors hindering and crowding one another. It is enough to present this picture, and to say no more. Your wisdom requires nothing farther, and the present state of affairs does not allow me freedom of speech.

What capable pilot can be found in such a storm? Who is worthy to rouse the Lord to rebuke the wind and the sea? Who but he who from his boyhood fought a good fight on behalf of true religion? Since now truly all that is sound among us is moving in the direction of fellowship and unity with those who are of the same opinion, we have come confidently to implore you to send us a single letter, advising us what is to be done. In this way they wish that they may have a beginning of communication which may promote unity.

-- St. Basil the Great (d. 379), Letter 82: To Athanasius of Alexandria
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #431 on: June 20, 2017, 11:31:07 PM »
Thanks for continuing to post quotes from the Fathers, Asteriktos. They are edifying.
Oh Holy Apostle, St. John, pray for us

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #432 on: July 14, 2017, 11:04:38 PM »
For in other matters also which go to make up life, we shall find differences according to circumstances. For example, it is not right to kill, yet in war it is lawful and praiseworthy to destroy the enemy; accordingly not only are they who have distinguished themselves in the field held worthy of great honours, but monuments are put up proclaiming their achievements. So that the same act is at one time and under some circumstances unlawful, while under others, and at the right time, it is lawful and permissible.

-- St. Athanasius of Alexandria (d. 373), Letter 48
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #433 on: July 15, 2017, 10:21:25 PM »
But the assembly of monks and clergy went back to Jerusalem. And the people and the bishops who were with them, were distressed, and they consulted together as to what they should do. And they decided to appoint another bishop instead of [St.] Juvenal. When they were speaking of the chaste monks, Romanus and Marcian, and of other men of wonderful excellence, at length it was agreed that they should appoint Theodosius, who had been found zealous, and who also had contended for years on behalf of the faith. And they took him by force, while he persisted in refusing, and conjuring them not to do so, and begging them to allow him to be the helper of the person whom they appointed from amongst themselves. However, they would not yield to his entreaties; but blessed him and placed him on the throne. And when the other cities of Palestine heart it; inasmuch as they knew him to be a man of surpassing virtue, and zealous for the truth; they severally brought persons to receive his blessing and be admitted to the priesthood...

And when Theodosius was prospering in this manner, the report of all that he was doing reached Marcian the Emperor. And Juvenal returned, having with him Count Dorotheus and an army; for the purpose of taking Theodosius, and making him a prisoner, and deposing all the bishops whom he had made in his district and punishing the monks and the people, and expelling them in consequence of their insolence and rashness in setting up Theodosius as bishop in Jerusalem. But, by the desire of the Empress, Peter the Iberian alone was to be spared; even though he should not consent to hold communion with the other bishops. 

And when Juvenal arrived at Neapolis, he found a large number of monks there; and at first he tried to seduce them, simple men as they were, and single-minded, whose arms and helmet were the truth faith and works of righteousness. These he endeavored to persuade to hold communion with himself. And when they turned away from this proposal with disgust, unless he would anathematize the violent transactions of Chalcedon; he then said, "It is the Emperor's will." And they still refused. Whereupon he gave orders to the Romans and the Samaritans, who smote and killed these monks, while they were singing psalms and saying, "O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance, and they have defiled Thy holy temple; and behold they are making Jerusalem a waste place!" And some of the Romans were overcome with pity, and wept. But some of them, along with the Samaritans, killed many of the monks, whose blood also was poured out upon the ground.

There was a certain blind Samaritan who deceived his own guide, and said, "since mine eyes cannot see the blood of the slaughter of these Christians, so that I may delight myself in it, bring me near and I shall feel it." And when the guide brought him near and caused him to feel it, he dipped his hands in the blood. And he prostrated himself upon the ground, and he wept, with prayer and supplication, that he might be a sharer in their martyrdom. Then he arose, and smeared his eyes, and lifted up his hands to heaven, and his eyes were opened, and he received his sight. And all who were witnesses of this miracle, were astonished and believed in God. And the blind man also believed, and was baptized. But the party who administered the [Emperor's] orders, laid hold upon the surviving believers, and expelled them from the whole district.

The Syriac Chronicle, 3.3-6 (late 5th century)
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #434 on: July 18, 2017, 03:45:24 PM »
This Good is celebrated by the sacred theologians, both as beautiful and as Beauty, and as Love, and as Beloved; and all the other Divine Names which beseem the beautifying and highly-favoured comeliness. But the beautiful and Beauty are not to be divided, as regards the Cause which has embraced the whole in one. For, with regard to all created things, by dividing them into participations and participants, we call beautiful that which participates in Beauty; but beauty, the participation of the beautifying Cause of all the beautiful things. But, the superessential Beautiful is called Beauty, on account of the beauty communicated from Itself to all beautiful things, in a manner appropriate to each, and as Cause of the good harmony and brightness of all things which flashes like light to all the beautifying distributions of its fontal ray, and as calling all things to Itself (whence also it is called Beauty), and as collecting all in all to Itself.

-- Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (6th century), On Divine Names, 4.7
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #435 on: July 19, 2017, 06:34:11 PM »
But what he says here--"We will make you a likeness of gold with chasings of silver" (Song 1:11)--when it says "gold" is referring to the bright splendor of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Magi presented gold to the Lord in order to declare his kingly majesty. Silver, however, denotes the lustrous holiness of virginal flesh. Therefore the Holy Spirit, when joined with the pure and unspoiled flesh, constitutes "a likeness of gold with chasings of silver." And because on the authority of the apostle we have learned that we are members of the body of Christ, which is the Church, so too the martyrs are compared with gold (as it is written: "Like gold in the furnace he will try them"--Wis. 3:6), the virgins with silver, and the righteous confessors with precious stones because, by subjecting the neck of the churchly body to the discipline of the gospel yoke, they adorn minds with the fair beauty of their virtues; and this is why he says, "Your neck is like a jeweled necklace; we will make you a likeness of gold with chasings of silver." (Song 1:10-11) He was declaring clearly that there will be spiritual persons in the Church to serve as jewels.

-- St. Gregory of Elvira (d. 392), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #436 on: July 20, 2017, 09:49:08 PM »
The bishops of the other party remaining at Constantinople, entered into a consultation about the ordination of a bishop; for [St.] Gregory, as we have before said, had resigned that see, and was preparing to return to Nazianzus. Now there was a person named [St.] Nectarius, of a senatorial family, mild and gentle in his manners, and admirable in his whole course of life, although he at that time bore the office of proctor. This man was seized upon by the people, and elected to the episcopate, and was ordained accordingly by one hundred and fifty bishops then present. The same prelates moreover published a decree, prescribing 'that the bishop of Constantinople should have the next prerogative of honor after the bishop of Rome, because that city was New Rome.' They also again confirmed the Nicene Creed. Then too patriarchs were constituted, and the provinces distributed, so that no bishop might exercise any jurisdiction over other churches out of his own diocese: for this had been often indiscriminately done before, in consequence of the persecutions.

-- Socrates of Constantinople (d. mid-5th century), Ecclesiastical History, 5.8
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #437 on: July 24, 2017, 06:52:41 PM »
Now, in the first year of that period of 1020 years, stretching from Moses and Ogygus to the first Olympiad, the passover and the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt took place, and also in Attica the flood of Ogygus. And that is according to reason. For when the Egyptians were being smitten in the anger of God with hail and storms, it was only to be expected that certain parts of the earth should suffer with them; and, in special, it was but to be expected that the Athenians should participate in such calamity with the Egyptians, since they were supposed to be a colony from them, as Theopompus alleges in his Tricarenus, and others besides him.

-- Sextus Julius Africanus (d. 240), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #438 on: October 10, 2017, 09:59:03 PM »
But let those who repent learn how they ought to carry it out, with what zeal, with what affection, with what intention of mind, with what shaking of the inmost bowels, with what conversion of heart: "Behold," he says, "O Lord, that I am in distress, my bowels are troubled by my weeping, my heart is turned within me." (Lam. 1:20) Here you recognize the intention of the soul, the faithfulness of the mind, the disposition of the body: "The elders of the daughters of Sion sat, he says, upon the ground, they put dust upon their heads, they girded themselves with haircloth, the princes hung their heads to the ground, the virgins of Jerusalem fainted with weeping, my eyes grew dim, my bowels were troubled, my glory was poured on the earth." (Lam. 2:10-11)  So, too, did the people of Nineveh mourn, and escaped the destruction of their city. (Jon. 3:5)  Such is the remedial power of repentance, that God seems because of it to change His intention. To escape is, then, in your own power; the Lord wills to be entreated, He wills that men should hope in Him, He wills that supplication should be made to Him.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Concerning Repentance, 2.6
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #439 on: October 11, 2017, 08:03:20 PM »
We said in the first book that that heresy which copies and follows the lead of Pelagianism, strives and contends in every way to make it believed that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, when born of the Virgin was only a mere man; and that having afterwards taken the path of virtue He merited by His holy and pious life to be counted worthy for this holiness of His life that the Divine Majesty should unite Itself to Him: and thus by cutting off altogether from Him the honour of His sacred origin, it only left to Him the selection on account of His merits. And their aim and endeavour was this; viz., that, by bringing Him down to the level of common men, and making Him one of the common herd, they might assert that all men could by their good life and deeds secure whatever He had secured by His good life. A most dangerous and deadly assertion indeed, which takes away what truly belongs to God, and holds out false promises to men; and which should be condemned for abominable lies on both sides, since it attacks God with wicked blasphemy, and gives to men the hope of a false assurance.

-- St. John Cassian (d. 435), On the Incarnation, 5.1
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #440 on: October 13, 2017, 07:18:09 PM »
Moreover, the souls of the martyrs being worthy of the kingdom of heaven are in honour together with the company of the prophets and apostles. Let us therefore, likewise, who stand in need of the aid of their prayers, and have been also charged in the book of the Apostles, that we should be partakers in the remembrance of the Saints,-- let us also be partakers with them, and begin to describe those conflicts of theirs against sin, which are at all times published abroad by the mouth of those believers who were acquainted with them...

-- Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 339), On the Martyrs in Palestine
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #441 on: October 14, 2017, 04:30:32 PM »
Unto one of the saints, because of his serenity, the gift was granted that he knew beforehand if any one should visit him; but he asked God, and he persuaded others to pray for this, that the gift might be taken away from him.

-- St. Isaac the Syrian (d. 700), Mystical Treatises, 60
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #442 on: October 15, 2017, 10:57:12 AM »
Asteriktos,

How late do you think the church's period of the Apostolic Fathers lasted? That is the time of Papias, Polycarp and others who may have known the apostles.


Some scholars interpret Jesus to have predicted apocalyptic events to occur during the time of the generation then living, or while some are still "standing" in 33 AD. 120 years for a generation + 33 AD = 153 AD.

I read that Marcion the gnost lived in 85 to 160 ad, and there is a medieval drawing of him meeting St John, so maybe this reflects possible lifespans and ranges for that time.

The synod condemning Montanism, which looks like a solid end point for frequent widespread prophecying in the church, was in 160 ad.

I read different ideas on whether Papias and Polycarp died in about 155 or 164 AD. Irenaeus called Papias "ancient" in age. And Polycarp was martyred at 82.

I think St John supposedly lived in 15 to 100 ad, living 85 years. Someone who was 15 years old and knew St John in 100 ad would have been 85 in 170 ad.

I read different writers say that the time of the Apostolic Fathers ended in the early 2nd c., in 170 ad, or in 180 ad.

Someone who was 13 years old in 33 AD and heard Jesus teach would be 90 in 110 ad. Another person who was 13 in 110 ad and heard that 90 year old teach then would be 90 in 187 ad.

What do you think?
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #443 on: October 15, 2017, 11:57:56 AM »
You've clearly thought a lot more about this than I have. For the typical use of the term, the best I could give for my own opinion would be an 'off the top of my head'... I'd assume that the last apostle (St. John) died c. 95, and that someone would have to be at least 15 years old at that time to understand and remember with any accuracy what he taught. And... that's about it. It seems to be a category or not when but who. However, I seriously doubt the usefulness of it for EOs. For a Protestant it might be important to get a message 'straight from the source,' because for many there is the idea that corruption is starting to set in right after the 'apostolic age,' and also their distrust of tradition. Not so for Orthodox and Catholics.
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #444 on: October 15, 2017, 03:06:37 PM »
Christ, who was called the Son of God before the ages, was manifested in the fullness of time, in order that He might cleanse us through His blood, who were under the power of sin, presenting us as pure sons to His Father, if we yield ourselves obediently to the chastisement of the Spirit. And in the end of time He shall come to do away with all evil, and to reconcile all things, in order that there may be an end of all impurities.

- St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202), Fragments, 39
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #445 on: October 16, 2017, 01:12:55 AM »
I seriously doubt the usefulness of it for EOs. For a Protestant it might be important to get a message 'straight from the source,' because for many there is the idea that corruption is starting to set in right after the 'apostolic age,' and also their distrust of tradition. Not so for Orthodox and Catholics.
The usefulness is not in subscribing to a "Great Apostasy" theory, whereby the Apostolic Fathers supposedly taught low church Reformed Protestantism. One of the elements of the Apostolic Fathers' usefulness is in dispelling this claim, as R.Arakaki notes about the early Church fathers:
Quote
One reason why many Protestants today bought the notion that the early Church Fathers were theological infants is their ignorance of church history.  The best remedy for that is getting to know the Church Fathers by actually reading their writings.  ...

Getting to know the early Church Fathers will not be an easy task for many Protestants.  For many reading the early Christian writings will be like stumbling into a foreign land where the customs and landmarks are either unfamiliar or entirely absent.  I remember struggling to make sense of the early Church Fathers when I was at seminary.  Looking back, one important lesson I learned was the need to hold in suspension the assumption that the early Church was Protestant and to pay attention to the issues, vocabulary, and the methods employed by the early Christians, only then could I make headway in comprehending the early Church Fathers.
...
Early documents like the Didache brings clarity to certain ambiguities in Scripture.  For example, the Eucharist as a normal part of Christian worship and early Christians worshiped on Sunday, not Saturday.

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/getting-know-church-fathers/
So it is useful in showing why we don't follow the Seventh Day Adventists in treating Saturday liturgically like we do Sunday, for example.

Another point of usefulness is in seeing how the tradition developed sequentially. Just as apostolic succession has a principle of bishops succeeding and passing on their office, the traditions are passed down too, with the apostles, and then the Apostolic Fathers being two of the early stages, as Vol. III in Church History notes:
Quote
Written in the years ­immediately after the era of the original Apostles, these invaluable writings provide a fascinating glimpse into what the Church believed, how it was structured, and how the Christians lived and worshiped in these early years. As such, these writings can be considered the sequel to the Book of Acts, and to the New Testament writings in general.
https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/church-history/second-century/the-apostolic-fathers

Some of the Apostolic Fathers' writings, like the Epistle of Barnabas, were even considered for inclusion in scripture. And there are noteworthy traits among the period of the Apostolic Fathers. For one, one scholar noted that their main writing often tended to be more in the form of Epistles (eg. the epistles of Barnabas, Clement, Polycarp, and Ignatius), than did later second century writings, which tended to be more often in the form of Apologia.

I also thought you made a good idea about dating the people's lives, with someone being 15 years old and listening to John in 95 AD. The person, if he lived to 85 like John did, would reach that age in 165 AD.

You also made a good point of asking "not when but who". I don't know of anyone who knew the apostles and lived past Polycarp, which writers tend to date as dying at c.157 AD.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 01:14:45 AM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #446 on: October 16, 2017, 06:30:41 PM »
Good points, rakovsky :)
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #447 on: October 16, 2017, 06:48:25 PM »
I have received the desired letters of my Desiderius, who in a foretelling of things to happen has obtained with Daniel a certain name beseeching that I might hand over to our hearers a translation of the Pentateuch in the Latin tongue from the Hebrew words. Certainly a dangerous work, open to the barkings of detractors, who accuse me of insult to the Seventy to prepare a new interpretation from the old ones...

Therefore, what? We condemn the ancients? By no means! But after those earlier in the House of God, we work at what we can. They are interpreted before the coming of Christ and what they didn’t know, they tranlated in ambiguous (or "uncertain") sentences. We write after His Passion and Resurrection, not so much prophecy as history. For in the one are told what things were heard, in the other what were seen. What we understand better, we also translate better. Hear, therefore, O rival; listen, O detractor! I do not condemn, I do not censure the Seventy, but I confidently prefer the Apostles to all of them. Christ speaks to me through their mouth, who I read were placed before the prophets among the Spiritual gifts, among which interpreters hold almost the last place...

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Prologue on the Pentateuch
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #448 on: Yesterday at 12:08:57 PM »
When God brought into being natures endowed with intelligence and intellect He communicated to them, in His supreme goodness, four of the divine attributes by which He sustains, protects and preserves created things. These attributes are being, eternal being, goodness and wisdom. Of the four He granted the first two, being and eternal being, to their essence, and the second two, goodness and wisdom, to their volitive faculty, so that what He is in His essence the creature may become by participation.

This is why man is said to have been created in the image and likeness of God (cf Gen. 1:26). He is made in the image of God, since his being is in the image of God's being, and his eternal being is in the image of God's eternal being (in the sense that, though not without origin, it is nevertheless without end). He is also made in the likeness of God, since he is good in the likeness of God's goodness, and wise in the likeness of God's wisdom, God being good and wise by nature, and man by grace. Every intelligent nature is in the image of God, but only the good and the wise attain His likeness.

-- St. Maximus the Confessor (d. 662), Centuries on Love, 3.25
"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isa. 28:20)