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Church Fathers Quoted the Comma?
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7)
Satan in the Thought of Augustine
The great adversary/Satan to the early Christians was the Roman and Jewish systems. The Jewish system passed away in A.D. 70, and Roman opposition ceased once the empire converted to Christianity under Constantine. Visible persecution of Christians ceased, for the most part. The lack of visible adversaries perhaps encouraged mainstream Christianity to conclude that the adversary/Satan was therefore invisible and cosmic. It was against this background that Augustine came onto the scene.
Augustine, (Aurelius Augustinus), bishop of Hippo, was born at Tagaste, in Numidia, Nov. 13, 354. His mother, Monica, was a Christian and a woman of piety, who took care to have her son instructed in the true faith and placed among the catechumens. His father was as yet unbaptized, and appears to have cared more to advance his son in worldly knowledge: he spared nothing for his education; and, after giving him the rudiments of grammar at Tagaste, sent him to Madaura, a town in the neighborhood, and afterward removed him to Carthage, to learn rhetoric (this was about the end of the year 371); and here he first imbibed the Manichaean errors. He also fell into immoral habits, of which he afterward gave a minute account in his remarkable “Confessions.” In 383 he left Carthage, against the will of his mother, and repaired to Rome; and, still adhering to his sect, he lodged at the house of a Manichaean, where he fell ill. After his recovery be was sent by Symmachus, the prefect of the city, to Milan, where the inhabitants were in want of a professor of rhetoric. Here he came into intercourse with Ambrose, and was in a short time so convinced by his doctrine that he resolved to forsake the Manichaean sect: this design he communicated to his mother, who came to Milan to see him. “Augustine listened to the preaching of Ambrose frequently, but the more he was forced to admire his eloquence, the more he guarded himself against persuasion. Obstinate in seeking truth outside of her only sanctuary, agitated by the stings of his conscience, bound by habit, drawn by fear, subjugated by passion, touched with the beauty of virtue, seduced by the charms of vice, victim of both, never satisfied in his false delights, struggling constantly against the errors of his sect and the mysteries of religion, an unfortunate running from rock to rock to escape shipwreck, he flees from the light which pursues him — such is the picture by which he himself describes his conflicts in his Confessions. At last, one day, torn by the most violent struggles, his face bathed in tears, which flowed involuntarily, he fled for solitude and calm to a retired spot in his garden. There, throwing himself on the ground, he implored, though confusedly, the aid of Heaven. All at once he seemed to hear a voice, as if coming from a neighboring house, which said to him, Tolle; lege: Take and read. Never before had such emotion seized his soul. Surprised, beside himself, he asks himself in vain whence came the voice, or what he was to read. He was sustained by a force he knew not, and sought his friend Alype. A book was placed before him-the epistles of St. Paul. Augustine opens it at hazard, and falls upon this passage of the apostle: ‘Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness... But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.’ Augustine needed not any further reading. Hardly had he finished this passage before a ray of divine light broke upon him, enlightening his understanding, dissipating all his shadows, and kindling in his heart a flame of celestial fire. The conversion of Augustine was fully as striking and efficacious as St. Paul’s had been. All the apostle’s spirit had passed in an instant into the new proselyte. He was then in his thirty-second year. When once again with his mother, the virtuous Monica, to whom his wanderings had cost so many tears, he related to her all that had passed, and also communicated his new resolutions, with that peaceful firmness which changes not. Monica heard this consoling recital with lively joy. All these particulars he himself gives in his Confessions, with a charm and simplicity which have, before or since, never been surpassed.” After remaining for the space of two years among the catechumens, he was baptized by Ambrose at Easter, 387. Soon after his baptism, having given up his profession, he resolved to return to his own country; and on his way thither, while at Ostia, his mother died. About this time he wrote his treatises De Moribus Eccl. Catholicae et de Moribus Manichceorum, also De Quantitate Animr. He arrived in Africa at the end of 388, and removed to Tagaste, where he dwelt for three years with some of his friends, occupied solely with prayer, meditation, and study. At this period he wrote the treatises De Genesi contra Manichaeos and De Vera Religione. In 391 he went to Hippo; and while there, in spite of his tears and reluctance, the people of that city chose him to fill the office of priest in their church, and brought him to Valerius, their bishop, that he might ordain him. When priest, he instituted a monastery in the church of Hippo, where he entirely devoted himself to works of piety and devotion, and to teaching. Valerius, the bishop, contrary to the custom of the African churches, permitted Augustine to preach in his place, even when he himself was present; and, when this was objected to, he excused himself on the ground that, being himself a Greek, he could not so well preach in Latin. After this the practice became more general. About 393 Augustine wrote the treatise De duabus animabus, contra Manichceos. In 395 he was elected colleague to Valerius in his episcopacy, and consecrated Bishop of Hippo, contrary to the canons of the church. The duties of his office were discharged with the greatest fidelity; but, amid all his labors, he found time for the composition of his most elaborate works. His treatise De Libero Arbitrio was finished in 395; the Confessionum Libri XIII in 398; most of the treatises against the Donatists between 400 and 415; those against the Pelagians between 412 and 428. The De Civitate Dei was begun in 413 and finished in 426. The singular candor of Augustine is shown in his Retractationes (written in 428), in which he explains and qualifies his former writings, and not unfrequently acknowledges his mistakes opinion. In 430, the Vandals, under Genseric, laid siegeto Hippo, and in the third month of the siege (August 28) Augustine died, in his 76th year.
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo (/ɔːˈgʌstɪn/ or /ˈɔːgəstiːn/; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430) was an early North African Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Era. Among his most important works are The City of God and Confessions.
The Augustinian hypothesis is a solution to the synoptic problem, which concerns the origin of the Gospels of the New Testament. The hypothesis holds that Matthew was written first, by Matthew the Evangelist (see the Gospel According to the Hebrews and the Jewish-Christian Gospels ). Mark the Evangelist wrote the Gospel of Mark second and used Matthew and the preaching of Peter as sources. Luke the Evangelist wrote the Gospel of Luke and was aware of the two Gospels that preceded him. Unlike some competing hypotheses, this hypothesis does not rely on, nor does it argue for, the existence of any document that is not explicitly mentioned in historical testimony. Instead, the hypothesis draws primarily upon historical testimony, rather than textual criticism, as the central line of evidence. The foundation of evidence for the hypothesis is the writings of the Church Fathers: historical sources dating back to as early as the first half of the 2nd century, which have been held as authoritative by most Christians for nearly two millennia. Finally, adherents to the Augustinian hypothesis view it as a simple, coherent solution to the synoptic problem.
The City of God (book)
The City of God Against the Pagans (Latin: De civitate Dei contra paganos), often called The City of God, is a book of Christian philosophy written in Latin by Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th century AD. The book was in response to allegations that Christianity brought about the decline of Rome and is considered one of Augustine’s most important works, standing alongside The Confessions, The Enchiridion, On Christian Doctrine and On the Trinity. As a work of one of the most influential Church Fathers, The City of God is a cornerstone of Western thought, expounding on many profound questions of theology, such as the suffering of the righteous, the existence of evil, the conflict between free will and divine omniscience, and the doctrine of original sin.