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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Serapion, Bishop of Antioch

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Serapion (1), bp. of Antioch, reckoned 8th in succession, a.d. 190–203 (Clinton), succeeding Maximin in the 11th year of Commodus (Eus. H. E. vi. 12; Chron. ), was a theologian of considerable literary activity, the author of works of which Eusebius had no certain knowledge besides those enumerated by him. Of the latter Jerome gives an account (de Script. Eccl. c. 41) borrowed from Eusebius ( H. E. v. i9; vi. 12). They are—(1) a letter to Caricus and Pontius against the Cataphrygian or Montanist heresy, containing a copy of a letter of Apollinaris of Hierapolis, and substantiated as to the facts by the signatures of several other bishops, including some of Thrace; (2) a treatise addressed to Domninus, who during the persecution of Severus had fallen away to the Jewish "will-worship"; and (3), the most important, directed against the Docetic gospel falsely attributed to St. Peter, addressed to some members of the church of Rhossus, who were being led away by it from the true faith. Serapion recalls the permission to read this apocryphal work given in ignorance of its true character and expresses his intention of speedily visiting the church to strengthen them in the true faith. Dr. Neale calls attention to the important evidence here furnished to "the power yet possessed by individual bishops of settling. the canon of Scripture" ( Patriarch. of Antioch, p. 36). Socrates refers to his writings, as an authority against Apollinarianism ( H. E. iii. 7). Jerome mentions sundry letters in harmony with his life and character. Tillem. Mém. eccl. iii. 168, § 9; Cave, Hist. Lit. i. 86; Le Quien, Or. Christ. ii. 702.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Serapion, Bishop of Antioch'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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