John of Jerusalem (1)

John Of Jerusalem (1), originally a monk, was bishop of Jerusalem (A.D. 386) when not much more than thirty years of age (Jerome, Epist. 82, 8). Some speak of him as patriarch, but Jerusalem was not elevated to the dignity of a patriarchate until the following century. John was a man of insignificant personal appearance (Jerome, Lib. contra Joan. c. 10), but he was generally celebrated for eloquence, talent, and learning.. He was acquainted, at least in some degree, with the Hebrew and Syriac languages, but it is doubtful it he was acquainted with Latin. He is said to have been at one period an Arian, or to have sided with the Arians when they were in the ascendant under the emperor Valens (Jerome, Lib. contra Joan. c. 4, 8). For eight years after his appointment to the bishopric he was on friendly terms with St. Jerome, who was then living a monastic life in Bethlehem or its neighborhood; but towards the close of that period strife was stirred up by Epiphanius of Constantia (or Salamis), in Cyprus, who came to Palestine to ascertain the truth of a report which had reached him, that the obnoxious sentiments of Origen were gaining ground under the patronage of John. Epiphanius' violence against all that had even the appearance of Origenism led him into a controversy with John also. SEE EPIPHANIUS . Whether John really cherished opinions at variance with the orthodoxy of that time, or only exercised towards those who held them a forbearance which was looked upon with suspicion, we do not know; but he became again involved in squabbles with the supporters of orthodox views. He was charged by them with favoring Pelagins, who was then in Palestine, and who was accused of heresy in the councils of Jerusalem and Diospolis (A.D. 415), but was in the latter council acquitted of the charge, and restored to the communion of the Church. SEE PELAGIUS. In the controversies waged against Chrysostom, John of Jerusalem always sided decidedly with Chrysostom. SEE CHRYSOSTOM. John wrote, according to Gennadius (De Viris Illustr. c. 30), Adversus Obtrectatores sui Studii Liber, in which he showed that he rather admired the ability than followed the opinions of Origen. Fabricius and Ceillier think, and with apparent reason, that this work, which is lost, was the apologetic letter addressed by John to Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, which resulted in a reconciliation between John and Jerome. No other work of John is noticed by the ancients; but in the 17th century two huge volumes appeared, entitled Joannis Nepotis Sylvani, Hierosolym. Episcopi 44, Opera omnia quoe hactenus incognita, reperiri potuerunt: in unum collecta, suoque Auctori et Auctoritati tribus Vindiciarum libris asserta per A.R.P. Petrum Wastelium (Brussels, 1643, fol.). The Vindiciae occupied the second volume. The works profess to be translated from the Greek, and are as follows:

(1) Liber de Institutione primorum Monachorumn, in Lege Veteri exortorum et in Nova perseverantium, ad Capirasium Monachum. Interprete Aymerico Patriarcha Antiocheno. This work is mentioned by Trithemius (apud Fabricius, Bibl. Gr. 10, 526) as "Volumen insigne de principio et profectu ordinis Carmelitici," and is ascribed by him to a later John, patriarch of Jerusalem (in the 8th century). It is contained in several editions of the Bibliotheca Patrum, in which work, indeed, it seems to have been first published (vol. 9, Par. 1589, fol.), and in the works of Thomas a Jesu, the Carmelite (1, 416, etc., Cologne, 1684, folio). It is generally admitted to be the production of a Latin writer, and of much later date than our John: —

(2) in stratagemata Beati Jobi Libri 3, a commentary on the first three chapters of the book of Job, often printed in Latin among the works of Origen, but supposed to belong neither to him nor to John: —

(3) In S. Matthoeum, an imperfect commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, usually printed, under the title of Opus inperfectum in Matthoeum, among the works of Chrysostom, in the Latin or Graeco-Latin editions of that father, but supposed to be the work of some Arian or Anomoean about the end of the 6th or some part of the 7th century: —

(4) Fragmenta ex Commentario ad prima Capita xi S. Marci, cited by Thomas Aquinas (Catena Aurea ad Evang.) as a work of Chrysostom: —

(5) Fragmenta ex Commentario in Lucam, extant under the name of Chrysostom, partly in editions of his works, partly in the Latin version of a Greek Catena in Lucam published by Corderius (Antw. 1628, folio), and partly in the Catena Aurea of Thomas Aquinas: —

(6) Homilioe 58, almost all of them among those published in the works of Chrysostom. There is no good reason for ascribing any of these works to John; nor are they, in fact, ascribed to him except by the Carmelites. See Fabricius, Bibl. Gr. 9, 299; 10, 525, etc.; Cave, Hist. Litt. 1, 281, etc.; Dupin, Nouv. Bibliotheque des Auteurs Ecclesiastiques, 3, 87, ed. Par. 1690; Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, 2, 596.

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