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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Apion

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Apion. The name is properly Egyptian (see Procop. Pers. i. 8; Ross. Inscr. fasc. 2, p. 62) and derived from the god Apis, after the analogy of Anubion, Serapion, etc.

(1 ) The son of Poseidonius (Justin (?) Coh, ad Gent. § 9; Africanus in Eus. Pr. Ev. x. 10. p. 490), a grammarian of Alexandria in the 1st cent. His literary triumphs and critical labours on Homer do not fall within our scope, but his conflict with Jews and Jewish Christians entitles him to a place here.

(i) His hostility to Judaism was deep, persistent, and unscrupulous (Joseph. c. Ap. ii. 1–13; Clem. Hom. iv. 24, v. 2, πάνυ Ἰουδαίους δἰ ἀπεχθείας ἔξοντα , v. 27, 29, ὁ ἀλόγως μισῶν τὸ Ἰουδαίων κ .τ.λ. ; Clem. Strom. i. 21), as the direct extracts preserved by Josephus from his writings clearly prove. These attacks were contained in two works especially in his Egyptian History (Αἰγυπτιακά ), and in a separate treatise Against the Jews ( κατὰ Ἰουδαίων βίβλος , Justin. (?) l.c. ; Africanus, l.c. ). Josephus exposes the ignorance, mendacity, and self-contradictions of Apion.

(ii) It is not surprising that the spent wave of this antagonism should have overflowed on Judaic Christianity. Whether Apion actually came in contact with any members of the new brotherhood is more than questionable. His early date (for he flourished in the reigns of Tiberius, Caius, and Claudius) renders this improbable. But in the writings of the Petro-Clementine cycle he holds a prominent place as an antagonist of the Gospel. In the Clementine Homilies he appears in company with Anubion and Athenodorus among the satellites of Simon Magus, the arch-enemy of St. Peter and St. Peter's faith. The Clementine Recognitions contain nothing corresponding to the disputes of Clement and Apion in the 4th, 5th, and 6th books of the Homilies; but at the close of this work (x. 52), as at the close of the Homilies, he is introduced as a subsidiary character in the plot. See the treatises on these writings by Schliemann, Uhlhorn, Hilgenfeld, Lehmann, and others.

(2 ) A Christian author about the end of 2nd cent., who wrote on the Hexaemeron (Eus. H. E. v. 27; Hieron. Vir. Ill. 49).

[L.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Apion'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/a/apion.html. 1911.

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Friday, December 13th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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