Action Alert!

Fathers of the Church

Personal Letter LXII: to John and Antiochus

Description

From this brief letter it can be assumed that John and Antiochus were concerned with those who were "speaking against" Basil, the bishop of Casearea and, after Athanasius, the greatest defender of the Oriental Church against the heresies of the fourth century.

Provenance

Athanasius is writing in reply to a letter from his fellow Christians in Jerusalem.

by Athanasius in Unknown | translated by Payne-Smith

Athanasius to John and Antiochus, our beloved sons and fellow- presbyters in the Lord, greeting.

I was glad to receive your letter just now, the more so as you wrote from Jerusalem. I thank you for informing me about the brethren that there assembled, and about those who wish, on account of disputed points, to disturb the simple. But about these things let the Apostle charge them not to give heed to those who contend about words, and seek nothing else than to tell and hear some new thing. But do you, having your foundation sure, even Jesus Christ our Lord, and the confession of the fathers concerning the faith, avoid those who wish to say anything more or less than that, and rather aim at the profit of the brethren, that they may fear God and keep His commandments, in order that both by the teaching of the fathers, and by the keeping of the commandments, they may be able to appear well-pleasing to the Lord in the day of judgment. But I have been utterly astonished at the boldness of those who venture to speak against our beloved Basil the bishop, a true servant of God. For from such vain talk they can be convicted of not loving even the confession of the fathers.

Greet the brethren. They that are with me greet you. I pray that ye may be well in the Lord, beloved and much-desired sons.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (NPNF II/IV, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.