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Fathers of the Church

Letter XLVIII. to Eustathius, Bishop of Berytus

Description

Theodoret’s letters are a mine of information for the history of the fifth century, of the author’s life and of the history of dogma in general. This large correspondence is distinguished for its unpretentious learning, felicitous diction and perfect grace of style. (Quasten) Here he responds affectionately and playfully to a fellow bishop who has reproached him for not writing often enough.

Provenance

Theodoret of Cyrus (c. 393-466), the wise and zealous bishop of Cyrus, a small town near Antioch, was the last great theologian of the school of Antioch. Although he first considered Alexandrian Christology dangerous, and refused to condemn Nestorius until the Council of Chalcedon, his commitment to the correct doctrine of the Incarnation should not be questioned. As late as the 14th century more than 500 of his letters were extant, of which we still have 232.

by Theodoret in Unknown | translated by Blomfield Jackson

I have gladly received the accusation, although I have no difficulty in disproving the indictment. I have written not three letters only but four; and I suspect one of two things; either those who promised to convey the letters did me wrong in the matter of their delivery, or else your piety, though in receipt of them, is yet anxious for more, and so gets up a charge of idleness against me. I, as I said before, am not distressed at the accusation, for it is plain proof to me of the warmth of your affection. Continue then to ply your craft, cease not to prefer your complaint and so to cause pleasure to myself.

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/III, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.