Theophilus of Antioch: To Autolycus

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But men of God. Wherefore they were also deemed worthy of receiving this reward, that they should become For they predicted also pestilences, and famines, and wars. And there was not one or two, but many, at various times and seasons among the Hebrews; and also among the Greeks there was the Sibyl ; and they all have spoken things consistent and harmonious with each other, both what happened before them and what happened in their own time, and what things are now being fulfilled in our own day: And first, they taught us with one consent that God made all things out of nothing; for nothing was coeval with God: For he that is created is also needy; but he that is uncreated stands in need of nothing.

God, then, having His own Word internal within His own bowels , He had this Word as a helper in the things that were created by Him , and by Him He made all things. For the prophets were not when the world came into existence,.

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Theophilus of Antioch

His holy Word which was always present with Him. Wherefore He speaks thus by the prophet Solomon: Note this tribute to the inspired Scriptures and their converting power ; I might almost say their sacramental energy , referring to John vi. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: And Moses, who lived many years before Solomon, or, rather, the Word of God by him as by an instrument, says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

First he named the " beginning ," and " creation ," then he thus introduced God; For the divine wisdom foreknew that some would trifle Then having spoken of their creation, he explains to us: This, sacred Scripture teaches at the outset, to show that matter , from which God made and fashioned the world, was in some manner created, being produced by God. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? He that cometh from above is above all: And what he hath seen and heard , that he testifieth ; and no [natural? The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.


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He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth , but which the Holy Ghost teacheth ; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord , that he may instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ.

In order, therefore, that the truth might be obvious, the plants and seeds were produced prior to the heavenly bodies, And these contain the pattern and type of a great mystery. For the sun is a type of God, and the moon of man. And as the sun far surpasses the moon in power and glory, so far does God surpass man. And as the sun remains ever full, never becoming less, so does God always abide perfect, being full of all power, and understanding, and wisdom, and immortality, and all good.

But the moon wanes monthly, and in a manner dies, being a type of man; then it is born again, and is crescent, for a pattern of the future resurrection. In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, The earliest use of this word "Trinity. He contrasts the account of the creation of the universe and of man, on which, together with the history contained in the earlier chapters of Genesis , he comments at great length but with singularly little intelligence, with the statements of Plato , "reputed the wisest of all the Greeks", [8] of Aratus , who had the insight to assert that the earth was spherical, [9] and other Greek writers on whom he pours contempt as mere ignorant retailers of stolen goods.

Historical Proclamation Of The Christian Trinity Pt. 5 Church Fathers

He supplies a series of dates, beginning with Adam and ending with Marcus Aurelius , who had died shortly before he wrote, thus dating this work to the years of the reign of Commodus , Theophilus regards the Sibylline books that were still in Rome as authentic and inspired productions, quoting the Sibylline oracles scholars dispute that these are the same largely as declaring the same truths with the prophets.

The omission by the Greeks of all mention of the Old Testament from which they draw all their wisdom, is ascribed to a self-chosen blindness in refusing to recognize the only God and in persecuting the followers of the only fountain of truth. The pagan religion was a mere worship of idols, bearing the names of dead men.

Almost the only point in which he will allow the pagan writers to be in harmony with revealed truth is in the doctrine of retribution and punishment after death for sins committed in life. He discovers the reason of blood coagulating on the surface of the ground in the divine word to Cain , [16] the earth struck with terror refusing to drink it in.

Chapter 2. The Gods are Despised When They are Made; But Become Valuable When Bought.

In addition, Theophilus misquotes Plato several times, [17] ranking Zopyrus among the Greeks, [18] and speaking of Pausanias as having only run a risk of starvation instead of being actually starved to death in the temple of Minerva. Theophilus's apology is most notable for being the earliest extant Christian work to use the word "Trinity" Greek: Rather, Theophilus himself puts it as "God, his Word Logos and his Wisdom Sophia ," [19] perhaps following the early Christian practice of identifying the Holy Spirit as the Wisdom of God, as he seems to demonstrate in his interpretation of Psalm This practice served as a way to express Christian doctrine in a way that is more relatable to contemporary views — to ideas found in Greek philosophy or Hellenistic Judaism in which such concepts as Nous Mind , Logos Word, Reason and Sophia Wisdom were common.

As the Patripassionist heresies arose, however, the formula of "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" became more prominently featured, as such beliefs denied the persons of the Economy an earlier developed term for the Trinity. As Theophilus does not appear to be introducing the word Trinity in novel fashion, it is probable that the word was in use before this time. In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom.

And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man. The concept of intermediate divine beings was common to Platonism and certain Jewish sects.

CHURCH FATHERS: To Autolycus, Book II (Theophilus of Antioch)

In Proverbs 8 Wisdom as feminine consort is described as God's Counsellor and Workmistress, who dwelt beside Him before the creation of the world. The theology of Theophilus was rooted in Jewish ideas and the Hebrew scriptures. Theophilus's quotation from the Old Testament scripture is copious, drawing largely from the Pentateuch and to a smaller extent from the other historical books. His references to Psalms , Proverbs , Isaiah , and Jeremiah are also numerous, and he quotes from Ezekiel , Hosea and other minor prophets. His direct evidence respecting the canon of the New Testament does not go much beyond a few precepts from the Sermon on the Mount, [25] a possible quotation from Luke More important is a distinct citation from the opening of the Gospel of St.

According to Eusebius, Theophilus quoted the Book of Revelation in his work against Hermogenes ; a very precarious allusion has been seen in ii. A full index of these and other possible references to the Old and New Testament is given by Otto.

Chapter 1. Occasion of Writing This Book.

Although Theophilus cites the opening of the Gospel of St. While Theophilus makes no mention of the name of Jesus or use the word Christ or the phrase Son of God , he identifies the Logos as the Son of God in his second letter, when he writes,. For the divine writing itself teaches us that Adam said that he had heard the voice. What Theophilus seems to be implying, without making it particularly clear, is that when the same name is used by people to describe both an earthly ruler and God, it is important to remember the distinction between the two — only God has the right to be worshipped.

This passage is actually quoted later on in book III.

Theophilus to Autolycus

Kimberley Fowler Publishing date: Log in Create an account. Why Christians will not worship the emperor. Name of the author: Apologetic and Rhetorical treatise.