Monday, May 25, 2009

Worthy Church Writings

The following list is part of an attempt on my part to distinguish worthy, substantial Church writings throughout the ages from those that are unworthy (at best heterodox, at worst heretical). These lists are meant to guide Christians who want to broaden their theological horizons and strengthen their understanding of Christian thought. The "Worthy" List contains those major writings which have met the standards I have described below.

I use three primary criteria in deciding what is worthy and what is unworthy. In descending order of precedence, they are as follows: first, the writing must conform to the plain words of Scripture. As scripture is not always plain (and as our God is by nature mysterious), where a debate may come up about the scriptural conformity of a writing, we look to the second and third criteria for guidance. The second criterion that I use is conformity to the Ecumenical Councils (in order of rank or precedence: 1 & 2, then 3 & 4, and finally 5 through 7). But as even these are debated from one group of Christians to the next, I primarily use the First Council of Nicaea (325 AD), the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD) and the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem (c. 50 AD). The final criterion I use is Church tradition. Those teachings generally held to be influential through the ages, written by the apostles or those who knew them (i.e. the Apostolic Fathers) or those attested by accepted orthodox historians are included in the Worthy Church Writings list (assuming they meet the first two criteria, of course).

Those teachings which meet all of the above criteria are generally considered worthy and should allowed for use in Christian discipleship. It is the Worthy List that I enumerate below.

I. Old Testament (39 Readings)

A. Pentateuch

1. Genesis (922 – 401) Read

2. Exodus (700 – 401) Read

3. Leviticus (550 – 401) Read

4. Numbers (550 – 401) Read

5. Deuteronomy (c. 621) Read

B. Historical Books

1. Joshua (640 – 600) Read

2. Judges (640 – 538) Read

3. Ruth (c. 900 – 500) Read

4. 1 Samuel (Gk 1 Kingdoms; Vulgate 1 Kings) (640 – 538) Read

5. 2 Samuel (Gk 2 Kingdoms; Vulgate 2 Kings) (640 – 538) Read

6. 1 Kings (Gk 3 Kingdoms; Vulgate 3 Kings) (621 – 586) Read

7. 2 Kings (Gk 4 Kingdoms; Vulgate 4 Kings) (621 – 586) Read

8. 1 Chronicles (Gk 1 Paralipomenon) (450 – 435) Read

9. 2 Chronicles (Gk 2 Paralipomenon) (450 – 435) Read

10. Ezra (Gk 2 Esdras; Vulgate App. 1 Esdras) (c. 459) Read

11. Nehemiah (Gk 2 Esdras; Vulgate App. 2 Esdras) (c. 459) Read

12. Esther (355 – 201) Read

C. Poetical and Wisdom Books

1. Job (400 – 301) Read

2. Psalms (1000 – 501)

3. Proverbs (970 – 201)

4. Ecclesiastes (400 – 150)

5. Song of Solomon (400 – 200)

D. Major Prophetic Books

1. Isaiah (785 – 500)

2. Jeremiah (c. 586)

3. Lamentations (c. 586)

4. Ezekiel (593 – 571) Read

5. Daniel (c. 167)

E. Minor Prophetic Books

1. Hosea (c. 780 – 710) Read

2. Joel (835 – 500) Read

3. Amos (750 – 749) Read

4. Obadiah (600 – 550) Read

5. Jonah (500 – 300) Read

6. Micah (735 – 700) Read

7. Nahum (740 – 700) Read

8. Habakkuk (609 – 598) Read

9. Zephaniah (640 – 622) Read

10. Haggai (520) Read

11. Zechariah (520 – 518) Read

12. Malachi (515 – 445) Read

II. Apocrypha/Deuterocanonon (28 Readings)

A. Roman Catholic

1. Tobit (c. 200 – 101 BC)

2. Judith (165 – 37 BC) Antilegomena

3. Additions to Esther (+ Gk Esther) (200 BC – 93 AD) Antilegomena

4. Wisdom of Solomon (c. 200 – 1 BC) Antilegomela

5. Ecclesiasticus/Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach (180 – 175 BC)

6. Baruch (164 – 63 BC)

7. Letter of Jeremiah (Baruch Ch. 6) (317 – 100 BC)

8. Additions to Gk Daniel

a. Prayer of Azariah & Song of the Three Jews (175 – 164 BC)

b. Susanna (c. 100 BC)

c. Bel and the Dragon (500 – 300 BC)

9. 1 Maccabees (c. 100 BC)

10. 2 Maccabees (c. 100 – 50 BC)

B. Greek and Slavonic

1. 1 Esdras (Slav. 2 Esdras; Vulgate App. 3 Esdras) (c. 200 BC – 100 BC)

2. Prayer of Manasseh (Vulgate App.) (200 – 1 BC)

3. Psalm 151 (Gk follows 150) by David King of Israel Read

4. 3 Maccabees (c. 50 – 1 BC)

C. Slavonic and Latin Vulgate Appendix

1. 2 Esdras (Slav. 3 Esdras; Vulgate App. 4 Esdras) (70 – 450/800 AD)

D. Greek Appendix

1. 4 Maccabees (c. 100 BC – 40 AD)

2. Book of Odes

E. Ethiopian Orthodox

1. Enoch (c. 160 BC) Antilegomena Read

2. Jubilees (135 – 105 BC)

3. 1 Meqabyan/Maccabees

4. 2 Meqabyan/Maccabees

5. 3 MeqabyanMaccabees

6. 4 Baruch (Paraleipomena of Jeremiah)

F. Syriac Peshitta

1. Psalms 152 – 155 Read

2. 2 Baruch (Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch) (70 – 150 AD)

G. Old Church Slavonic

1. 3 Baruch (Greek Apocalypse of Baruch) (70 – 150 AD)

III. Dead Sea Scrolls (13 Readings – only those not included elsewhere)

A. Phylactery (200 BC – 100 AD)

B. Rule of the Congregation (200 BC – 100 AD)

C. Community Rule/Discipline Scroll/Manual of Discipline (200 BC – 100 AD)

D. Rule of the Blessing (200 BC – 100 AD)

E. Calendrical Document (200 BC – 100 AD)

F. Torah Precepts (200 BC – 100 AD)

G. Hosea Commentary (200 BC – 100 AD)

H. Prayer for King Jonathan (200 BC – 100 AD)

I. Sabbath Sacrifice Scroll (200 BC – 100 AD)

J. Damascus Document (200 BC – 100 AD)

K. War Rule Scroll/War of the Sons of Levi Against the Sons of Darkness (200 BC – 100 AD)

L. Testament of Levi (200 BC – 100 AD)

M. Copper Scroll (200 BC – 100 AD)

IV. New Testament (27 Readings)

A. Gospels

1. Matthew (c. 70 – 100) Apostle, Martyr Read

2. Mark (c. 65 – 75) Pope of Alexandria, Martyr Read

3. Luke (c. 70 – 100) Read

4. John by St. John the Evangelist (c. 90 – 100) Apostle, Pillar of the Church Read

B. Acts of the Apostles by St. Luke (c. 70 – 100) Read

C. Pauline & Pastoral Epistles

1. Romans by St. Paul (58) Apostle, Martyr Read

2. 1 Corinthians by St. Paul (57) Apostle, Martyr Read

3. 2 Corinthians by St. Paul (58) Apostle, Martyr Read

4. Galatians by St. Paul (57 – 58) Apostle, Martyr Read

5. Ephesians by Disputed (c. 62 – 170) Read

6. Philippians by St. Paul Apostle, Martyr Read

7. Colossians by St. Paul/Disputed (57 – 62) Read

8. 1 Thessalonians by St. Paul (52) Apostle, Martyr Read

9. 2 Thessalonians by Disputed Read

10. 1 Timothy by Disputed (62 – 140) Read

11. 2 Timothy by Disputed Read

12. Titus by Disputed (66 – 67) Read

13. Philemon by St. Paul Apostle, Martyr Read

14. Hebrews by Disputed (60 – 100) Antilegomena Read

D. Catholic Epistles

1. Epistle of James By St. James the Just/Disputed (c. 54 – 62) Desposyni, Pillar of the Church, Patriarch of Jerusalem, Martyr Read

2. 1 Peter by St. Peter/Disputed (c. 60 – 64/70 – 90) Apostle, Pillar of the Church, Pope of Rome, Martyr Read

3. 2 Peter by Disputed (c. 150) Antilegomena Read

4. 1 John by St. John the Evangelist (90 – 110) Apostle, Pillar of the Church Read

5. 2 John by St. John the Presbyter (90 – 110) Priest Read

6. 3 John by St. John the Presbyter (90 – 110) Priest Read

7. Jude by Disputed (c. 66 – 125) Antilegomena Read

E. Revelation/Apocalypse of John by St. John of Patmos (68 – 96) Apostle, Pillar of the Church, Antilegomena Read

V. Apostolic Fathers (16 Readings)

A. The Didache (c. 50 – 120) Read

B. Epistle of St. Barnabas by St. Barnabas/Disputed (c. 70 – 120) Apostle, Martyr Read

C. First Epistle to the Corinthians by St. Clement I (96) Pope of Rome, Martyr, Eth.O. NT Read

D. Seven Epistles of St. Ignatius (107) Patriarch of Antioch, Martyr

1. Ephesians Read

2. Magnesians Read

3. Trallians Read

4. Romans Read

5. Philadelphians Read

6. Smyrnaeans Read

7. Polycarp Read

E. The Shepherd of Hermas (88 - 155) Eth.O. NT

F. Epistle to the Philippians by St. Polycarp (c. 107 – 140) Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr Read

G. Interpretations of the Sayings of the Lord (Fragment) by St. Papias (c. 115 – 140) Bishop of Hierapolis, Martyr Read

I. Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (c. late 100s) Read

J. Second (Clementine) Epistle to the Corinthians by Disputed (140 – 160) Antilegomena Read

K. Martyrdom of St. Polycarp (150 – 160) Read

VI. Ante-Nicene Fathers (39 Readings)

A. St. Justin Martyr Martyr

1. First Apology (c. 155)

2. Dialogue with Trypho (c. 100 – 165)

3. Second Apology (c. 161)

B. Acts of Paul (c. 160) Apocryphal, Antilegomena, Eth.O. NT

1. Acts of Paul and Thecla Read

2. Third Epistle to the Corinthians Read

3. Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul Read

4. Martyrdom of Paul Read

C. St. Clement of Alexandria * (c. 150 – 216)

1. Protrepticus/Exhortation to the Greeks

2. Paedagogus/Instructor

3. Stromata/Miscellanies

4. The Rich Man’s Salvation Read

D. Octavius by Marcus Minucius Felix (c. 150 – 260)

E. Apologia ad Autolycum by Theophilus (c. 169 – 183) Patriarch of Jerusalem

F. The Muratorian Fragment (c. 170) Read

G. Tatian

1. Diatessaron (c. 175)

2. Oratio ad Graecos

H. Athenagoras of Athens (c. 177 – 190)

1. On the Resurrection of the Dead

2. A Plea for the Christians Read

I. Against Heresies by St. Irenaeus (c. 185) Bishop of Lugdunum

J. St. Serapion (190 – 211) Patriarch of Antioch

1. Epistle to Caricus and Ponticus Fragment Read

2. Concerning the Gospel of Peter Fragment Read

K. Tertullian (197) Priest

1. Apologeticum (197)

2. Prescription Against Heretics

3. The Chaplet

L. Refutation of All Heresies – Philosophoumena I, IV – X by St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 200 – 250) Priest, Doctor of the Church, Anti-Pope of Rome **

M. St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 245 – 258) Bishop of Carthage, Martyr

1. De Unitate Ecclesiae

2. Treatise VIII – On Works and Alms (254) Read

N. Origen (248) Priest ***

1. Against Celsus

2. De Principiis

O. Epistles of St. Dionysius the Great of Alexandria (c. 248 – 264) Pope of Alexandria

1. Pope Stephen

2. Pope Xystus

P. Commodianus (c. 250)

1. Instructiones

2. Carmen Apologeticum

Q. Ekthesis tis Pesteos/Exposition of the Faith by St. Gregory Thaumaturgus the Wonder Worker (260 – 270) Bishop of Neocaesarea

R. Preparation for the Gospel by Eusebius (c. 275 – 339) Bishop of Caesarea

S. St. Methodius (c. 300) Bishop of Olympus, Martyr

1. Peri tou Autexousiou/On Free Will

2. Aglaophon he peri tes Anastaseos/On the Resurrection

T. Adversus Nationes by Arnobius of Sicca (c. 303)

U. De Opificio Dei/The Works of God by Lactantius (303 – 304)

VII. Desert Fathers (8 Readings)

A. St. Anthony the Great (c. 251 – 356) Monk

1. Discourse on Demons

2. Letter to Theodore Read

B. The Paradise of the Desert Fathers (c. 300 – 450) translated and compiled by Benedicta Ward SLG, D.Phil.

1. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers Read

2. The Lives of the Desert Fathers Read

3. The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers

C. St. John Cassian (360 – 433) Monk

3. The Institutes

4. The Conferences

D. Historia Eremitica by Tyrannius Rufinus of Aquileia (390 – 410) Priest, Monk

VIII. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (71 Readings)

A. Four Great Western Doctors

1. St. Ambrose (c. 340 – 397) Archbishop of Milan

a. De incarnationis Dominicae sacramento

b. Hymns

(1) Deus creator omnium/God that all Things Didst Create Read

(2) Aeterne rerum conditor/Maker of all, Creator King Read

(3) Jam (or Iam) surgit hora tertia

(4) Veni, redemptor gentium/O Come, Redeemer of the Earth Read

2. Against Jovinianus by St. Jerome (393) Priest, Monk

3. St. Augustine of Hippo Bishop of Hippo, Monk, Doctor Gratiae

a. Confessions (397 – 398)

b. On Christian Doctrine (397 – 426)

c. The City of God (410 – 430)

d. On Free Choice of the Will

4. St. Gregory the Great Pope of Rome

a. The Rule for Pastors (c. 590)

b. Dialogues: 2nd Book – The Life of Saint Benedict Read

B. Four Great Eastern Doctors

1. St. Athanasius (c. 298 – 373) Pope of Alexandria

a. On the Holy Spirit

b. Life of Antony

c. Nicene Creed (325) Read

d. On the Incarnation Read

e. Letter to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of the Psalms

2. St. Basil the Great (c. 330 – 379) Bishop of Caesarea, Hierarch, Monk

a. De Spiritu Sancto/On The Holy Spirit

b. Against Eunomius

c. Lesser Asketikon

d. Letters

(1) II – To Gregory

(2) XIV – To His Friend

3. St. Gregory of Nazianzus the Theologian (c. 329 – 389) Patriarch of Constantinople, Hierarch

a. Five Theological Orations

b. First Letter to Cledonius the Presbyter

c. Second Letter to Cledonius the Presbyter

4. St. John Chrysostom Patriarch of Constantinople, Monk, Hierarch

a. Homilies on Matthew: LXIII Read

b. Against Those Who Oppose the Monastic Life (before 386)

c. On the Priesthood

C. Hymns Against Heresies by St. Ephrem the Syrian (310 – 373) Deacon, Monk

D. Canons of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325) †

E. Apostles’ Creed (c. 340 – 750) Read

F. The Demonstrations by Aphrahat of Persia (344)

G. Katecheseis by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (347 – 348) Patriarch of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church

H. Philokalia compiled by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain (c. 350 – 1450) Monk

H. De Synodis/ De Fide Orientalum by St. Hilary of Poitiers (358) Bishop of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church

I. St. Gregory of Nyssa (372 – 394) Bishop of Nyssa

1. Why There are not Three Gods

2. Catechesis

J. Canons of the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (381) †

K. St. Cyril of Alexandria (412 – 444) Pope of Alexandria

1. De Incarnatione Unigeniti

2. Quod unus sit Christus

L. Theodoret (423 – 457) Bishop of Cyrrhus

1. De Providential

2. Eranistes etoi Polymorphos/Beggars or Multiform

M. Athanasian Creed (428 – 542) Read

N. The Commonitory by St. Vincent of Lérins (434)

O. Historia Ecclesiastica by Soctrates of Constantinople (c. 439)

P. The Tome by St. Leo I the Great (449) Pope of Rome

Q. De Viris Illustribus by Gennadius Scholasticus of Massilia (c. 495) Priest

R. Rule of St. Benedict by St. Benedict of Nursia (c. 530) O.S.B.

S. Book of the Union by Babai the Great (d. 628)

T. Fountain Head of Knowledge by St. John of Damascus (c. 660 – 750) Priest, Monk, Doctor of the Church

U. Collected Works: Part I (82 Homilies) by Isaac of Nineveh (c. 676 – 700) Bishop of Nineveh, Monk

V. Proslogion by St. Anselm of Canterbury (1077 – 1078) Archbishop of Canterbury

W. Sententiarum Libri Quatuor by Peter Lombard (1155 – 1158) Bishop of Paris

X. Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1265 – 1274) Priest, O.P., Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Universalis

Y. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (c. 1418) Priest, Monk

Z. St. Teresa of Avila O.C.D., Doctor of the Church

1. El Camino de Perfeccion (The Way of Perfection) (1535 – 1567)

2. El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle) (1577)

AA. St. John of the Cross (c. 1577 – 1591) Priest, O.C.D., Doctor of the Church

1. Collected Works

a. Poems Read

b. Sayings of Light and Love Read

c. Ascent of Mount Carmel

d. Dark Night of the Soul

e. Spiritual Canticle (1577 – 1578)

f. Living Flame of Love

g. Special Counsels

(1) Precautions

(2) Counsels to a Religious

(3) Censure and Opinion

h. Letters

BB. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (c. 1610 – 1691) Monk

CC. Pensées by Blaise Pascal (c. 1662)

DD. Thomas Merton Priest, O.C.S.O.

1. Thirty Poems (1944)

2. The Seven Storey Mountain (1948)

3. Seeds of Contemplation (1949)

IX. Protestant Fathers (69 Readings)

A. Summa Theologiae by John Wycliffe (c. 1320 – 1384) D.D.

B. De Ecclesia by Jan Hus (c. 1370 – 1415) Priest, M.Th., Martyr

C. Petr Chelčický

1. On Spiritual Warfare (1421)

2. On the Triple Division of Society

3. Net of Faith (c. 1443)

D. Martin Luther Priest, Monk, Th.D.

1. 95 Theses on the Power of Indulgences (1517) Read

2. Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (1520)

3. On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520)

4. On the Freedom of a Christian (1520) Read

5. Open Letter to Pope Leo X (1520) Read

E. Huldrych Zwingli Priest, M.Div., Martyr

1. On the True & False Religion (1525)

2. Vom Erkiesen und Fryheit der Spysen

3. Archeteles

F. William Tyndale Martyr

1. Parable of the Wicked Mammon (1528)

2. Obedience of a Christian Man (1528)

G. Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (1536) LL.D

H. Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr

1. First Book of Homilies (1547)

2. 42 Articles

3. Book of Common Prayer

I. First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women by John Knox (1558) Priest

J. The Book of Martyrs (abridged) by John Foxe (1563) Priest, M.A.

K. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1660 – 1684) Pastor

L. Jonathan Edwards Pastor

1. Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (1746)

2. Freedom of the Will (1754)

3. Original Sin

4. Nature of True Virtue

5. Sermons

a. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741) Read

b. Pardon for the Greatest Sinners Read

c. The Excellency of Christ

d. Wicked Men Useful in Their Destruction Only

M. John Wesley Priest, M.A. (c. 1720 – 1791)

1. Earnest Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion

2. Farther Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion

3. A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (1766)

4. Sermons

a. Salvation by Faith

b. The Almost Christian

c. Catholic Spirit

N. Charles Haddon Spurgeon Pastor

1. The Saint and his Saviour (1857)

2. Commenting and Commentaries (1876)

3. Sermons

a. The Immutability of God (1855) Read

b. The Remembrance of Christ (1855)

c. The Sin of Unbelief (1855)

d. The Personality of the Holy Ghost (1855)

e. The Comforter (1855)

O. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (1908)

P. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr

1. The Cost of Discipleship (1937)

2. Letters and Papers from Prison

Q. Clive Staples Lewis M.A.

1. The Problem of Pain (1940)

2. The Screwtape Letters (1942) Read

3. Mere Christianity (1943)

4. The Great Divorce (1946) Read

5. Miracles (1947)

6. A Grief Observed (1961) Read

R. Aiden Wilson Tozer Pastor

1. The Pursuit of God (1957)

2. The Knowledge of the Holy (1961)

S. The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder (1972)

T. God of the Oppressed by James H. Cone (1975)

U. John Piper Pastor, Th.D.

1. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986)

2. Don’t Waste Your Life (2003)

3. The Passion of Jesus Christ (2004)

V. Daughters of the Church by Ruth A Tucker Ph.D. and Walter Liefeld Ph.D. (1987)

W. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem (1994) Ph.D.

X. Rob Bell Pastor, Mdiv.

1. NOOMA Videos: I – XXIV (2002 – 2008) I – III, VII – IX

2. Velvet Elvis (2005)

3. Sex God (2007)

4. Sermons

i. Everything is Spiritual (2006) Seen

ii. The Gods aren’t Angry (2007) Seen

Y. Donald Miller

1. Blue Like Jazz (2003)

2. Searching for God Knows What (2004)

3. Through Painted Deserts (2005)

310 Readings Total

112 Readings Read

Note: This list is only a shallow reflection of the diversity of Christian thought that can still be considered orthodox (right teaching), but which vary greatly both in geography and sectarian affiliation. It is an attempt at providing a guide to orthodox Christian thought through the ages in its many forms. Within this list are included prophets, saints, and martyrs, but also some who have been considered heretics and even one anti-pope. Even with all the politics, claims, and counter claims, to the best of my understanding, all these men and women sought to bring glory to God in their writing. This list is by no means comprehensive and is only a sampling of what each author wrote. Many wrote huge volumes, but I’m pretty sure nobody has the time to get through them all (at least I don’t, anyway). I did try to get a pretty good mix in; the list includes creeds, canons, poems, treatises, biographies, martyrologies, and sermons. I also tried to include writings from both the East and the West, spanning the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Representatives from the Five traditional Great Sees, or the Pentarchy of Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria are included as well.

Occasionally, written in blue italics, an abbreviation appears that designates where a current Christian community considers an apocryphal work as New Testament scripture. In this case, the community name may be abbreviated (ex. Eth.O. for Ethiopian Orthodox) and New Testament is abbreviated NT. These books aren’t given their own subsection because they are very few and usually isolated to one or two communities/Communions.

Also, where the designation “Martyr” is present, this refers only to the manner of death for defending their faith in Christ, without recanting at the end, or for retracting an earlier recant. However, there are many noteworthy examples among these writers of men who died of illness brought on by over exhertion in their ministry, asceticism, or during exile, or otherwise experienced torture, woundings, or suffering in their lifetime. Those who were arrested, and because of their Christian confession were thrown into prison, usually facing torture, but who weren’t killed for the Gospel, are deemed Confessors. Also, I don’t include any that died in battle and if they fought and killed others over their theology or beliefs, I didn’t include them anywhere in the list.

Finally, the designation “Saint” only reflects the distinction given by those Christian traditions who ascribe a methodology of giving the title to distinguish certain members of the Church. This distinction is therefore separate from the general term “Saints of the Church” given to all believers.

* Clement of Alexandria’s Sainthood was revoked by P. Clement VIII (1592 – 1605) due to unpaid parking tickets & the decision was upheld by P. Benedict XIV (1748), but was honored in martyrologies for well over a thousand years. So, while no longer honored as a saint, I include the title in this list anyway, as the decision to revoke his sainthood was made on the advice of his confessor C. Baronius and not on solid theological grounds.

** Hippolytus (c. 170 – 236) is often confused with a Bishop of Portus who shared his name and was a martyr. This Hippolytus, however, at one point was ordained as a rival Pope of Rome but in later records is always given the title of priest.

*** Origen was ordained priest in Palestine in 230, but later was recalled and deposed by Demetrius, Pope of Alexandria, not necessarily on doctrinal grounds but because of its irregularity with Alexandrian ecclesiastical discipline.

† Only the first two Ecumenical Councils are included, as the rest are contested by some form of the orthodox Church today. The Assyrian Church of the East considers only #1 and #2 valid; the Oriental Orthodox consider #1 through #4 valid; the Eastern Orthodox and Protestants (generally) consider #1 through #7 valid; and the Roman Catholics consider #1 through #21 valid. Also, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics each have their own version of #8.

‡ These theologians and saints were nicknamed the Cappadocian Fathers due to their bond of blood and friendship and their complementary works dealing with the Trinity and monasticism. St. Macrina, while not designated a Cappadocian Father can certainly be deemed a Cappadocian Mother since she inspired her two younger brothers, Basil and Gregory, into the ministry. Gregory Thaumaturgos, while not a Cappadocian Father in the sense that the others are so called, was still instrumental in bringing Christianity to the region (and therefore greatly influencing the others). It was said by Jerome that before he arrived there were only 7 Christians in Cappadocia and by the time he died there were hardly any pagans left.

Definitions: Antilegomena: Disputed authenticity, authorship, or value (according to early Church Fathers, although I still recognize their scripturalnessality, since that’s a real word); Desposyni: Blood relation to Christ.

Key: Authors, Dates, and Works in Black, Ordinations, Monastic Orders, Degrees, & Honors in Blue Italicised, Works I Have Read in Red.

See also Theodore of Mopsuestia, The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas, St. Macrina the Teacher‡, Menno Simmons, Lavius Hyde.

1 comment:

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