Special People

Monday, Sept. 19                               

I feel compelled to share a few other tidbits from our pantheon of Early Church Fathers.  Eusebius (263-339).  His forté was church history and canonicity.  His book on canonicity was very useful as early Church Fathers determined what writings should be included in the New Testament.  Epiphanius (310-403).  A staunch defender of the faith, he wrote “The Panarium,” a handbook on false doctrines that was much used in succeeding centuries.  Didymus (313-398).  He became blind at four years of age.  He had an incredible memory, became a great scholar and teacher.  He was lovingly given the title “Didymus the Blind.”  He was renowned as the Master of the catechetical school in Alexandria for 50 years.  He was an exceptional theologian and a prolific writer.  He wrote a number of commentaries on Bible books and special topics such as “The Gospel of John Against the Arians.”  Jerome referred to him as “My master” and said that Didymus “surpassed all of his day in knowledge of the Scripture.”  Jerome (347-420).  Son of Eusebius, he was wayward in his youth, but after conversion became a great Bible scholar.  He learned Hebrew and did a complete revision of the Latin Bible, based on the Septuagint.  This became known as the Vulgate Bible.  Chrysostom (349-407).  He was born into a pagan family, studied under a pagan teacher, became a lover of the Greek language, excelling in rhetoric.  Not satisfied with the pagan way of life, he decided to go to Antioch to study the Bible, and became a Christian.  Thanks to his studies under Diodore, he had a literal interpretation of Scripture. He memorized the entire Bible and became known as the “golden tongued preacher.”  His exposition of Scripture and excellent homilies were very effective.  All these outstanding men were human.  They had their faults, they made mistakes, sometimes their doctrine was faulty, and they sometimes rubbed people the wrong way.  But their hearts were right, they loved God and they loved the truth.  Behind them was a God who was determined to reach the world with the “good news.”

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