Hierax or Hieraoas

Hierax or Hieraoas an Egyptian ascetic philosopher, native of Leontus or Leontopolis, classed among the heretics of the 3rd century. Epiphanius, Photius, and Peter of Sicily considered him a Manichaean. "He was, at all events, a perfectly original phenomenon, distinguished for his varied learning, allegorical exegesis, poetical talent, and still more for his eccentric ascetism. He taught that, as the business of Christ on earth was to promulgate a new law, more perfect and strict than that of Moses, he prohibited the use of wine, flesh, matrimony, and whatever was pleasing to the senses. Hierax denied the historical reality of the fall and the resurrection of the body; excluded children dying before years of discretion from the kingdom of heaven; distinguished the substance of the Son from that of the Father; taught that Melchizedec was the Holy Ghost; obscured the sacred volume with allegorical interpretations; and maintained that paradise was only the joy and satisfaction of the mind. His followers were sometimes called Abstinents, because of their scrupulously abstaining from the use of wine and certain meats. He wrote some commentaries on Scripture, and hymns, which are only known by quotations in Epiphanius. See Lardner, Works, 3, 285; Mosheim, Comm. 2, 404; Neander, Church History, 1, 713; Schaff, History of the Christian Church, p. 510; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, 24, 647.

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