Niphon of Constantinople

Niphon Of Constantinople, an Eastern ascetic who, near the beginning of the reign of emperor Emmanuel Comnenus.(middle of the 12th century), headed a movement for the reform of the Church practices. He joined the Bogomiles (q.v.), and is believed to have approved of many of their fanatical excesses, yet for his pious and strict life he was paid: universal reverence. He is described as a man well versed in the Holy Scriptures, to the study of which he devoted his time mainly. Niphon's adherence to Bogomilian ideas has on this account seemed strange, but it is possible that he was educated under Bogomilian influences, and thus harmonized their views with Biblical teachings. He made public his peculiar views, and was by an ecclesiastical synod condemned to perpetual confinement in a monastery. But the patriarch Cosmas restored Niphon to liberty; and he stood high in the estimation of that prelate, insomuch that he made him his confidant and table-companion. The friendship of such a man would lead us to judge favorably of Niphon's character, for all the accounts agree in describing Cosmas as a person of great piety and worth; of a strict life, self-denying love, and a benevolence which prompted him to give away everything, to the very raiment which he wore. Similarity of disposition, and a like dissatisfaction with the corrupt state of the Greek Church, may perhaps have made Cosmas the friend and protector of Niphon. As Cosmas would not abandon Niphon, notwithstanding that the latter had been condemned by an endemic synod, but persisted in declaring that he was a holy man, the sentence of deposition was passed upon him also. He signified to the synod his abhorrence of the corrupt. Church, saying that he was like Lot in the midst of Sodom. Niphon flourished for a while, and died finally in comparative obscurity. See Neander, Ch. Hist. 4:563-564. (J. H. W.)

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.