Theophilus of Antioch

Theophilus of Antioch a writer and bishop of the primitive Church, was educated a heathen; and afterwards converted to Christianity. He was ordained bishop of Antioch, succeeding Eros, about A.D. 170, and governed the Church twelve or thirteen years, at the end of which he died. Having been converted from heathenism by the study of the Scriptures, he wrote an apology for the Christian faith, addressed in the form of a letter to his friend Autolycus. The work shows much learning and more simplicity of mind. In its general structure it resembles the works of Justin Martyr and the other early apologists; but it contains a more detailed examination of the evidence for Christianity, derived both from Scripture and from history. The three books of Theophilus to Autolycus were first published in the collection of the monks Antonius and Maximus entitled Sententiarum sive Cajitum, Theologicorum prcecipue, ex Sacris et Profanis Libris, Tomi Tres. There have been a number of editions, the most complete being that of Johann Christoph Wolf (Hamb. 1724, 8vo), and an English translation by Joseph Betty (Oxford, 1722, 8vo). Theophilus was the author of several other works which were extant in the times of Eusebius and Jerome. Among them were works against the heresies of Marcion and Hermogenes: — Commentary on the Gospels (still extant in Latin, and published in the Bibliotheca Patrum [Paris, 1575, 1598, 1609, 1654, etc.]). Jerome refers to his Commentaries on the Proverbs. See Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Biog. s.v.; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. 7:101-106; Mosheim, Eccles. Hist.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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