The Patristic Period
Patres – the father’s of the church
This period goes from the 200 – 600
This is a period which many Christians have great respect and look back to.
Especially with the Orthadox Church, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics.
It is a model of Church history, sometimes referred to the Undivided Church.
Last week we looked at the Greek Patristic Tradition.
For the whole Church the Greek Church hammered out the creeds in the first 4 councils.
All these creeds were formulated and written in Greek, the Greek Church was more alive theologically
than the west.
The West was the Latin speaking church
1) Ambrose – bishop of Milan
2) Agustine – bishop of Hippo
3) Jerome – to be touched upon later,
4) Gregory the Great – end of the Patristic period and Pope
1) Small section of a book he wrote called the Literal Meaning of of Genesis
a. The work is the attempt to give a literal meaning of Genesis
b. Philosophical background and tries to make sense of Genesis
c. He isn’t looking for Christ he is looking at what the first three chapters actually say
about God the world and human life.
2) Second thing will be a homily on Psalm 123 in our books.
Then we will read two letters in exchange between Augustine and Jerome
Jerome: 346/7- 420
- Older contemporary of Augustine.
- Began his biblical and scholoarly career deeply influenced by the works of Origen
- He turned away from Origen when he became more allegorical in method and many of his
works were seen as heretical
- Received a great education in latin - At age 20 went to rome and was baptized.
- Jerome in Rome became a Christian and became more and more committed
- From 386- to death he lives in a monestary in Bethlehem, he was a leader of Monasticism
- He was a key figure to introducing monasticism to the people
- He learned Latin, Geek and Hebrew.
- He wrote commentaries on most of the books in the bible but his reputation is largely based on
the translation of the bible, becoming the single most important book of medival culture
- In 382 the pope asked him if he could do something about the Gospels because they existed
only in Latin.
- Africa is where the Latin Church began where as the Greek Church stayed greek
- Many of the translations at the time were very poor
- Jerome was frustrated and compared them with the Greek, so he produced a corrected edited
and consolutation of the Greek text.
- He goes east, and he decides and tries to translate some of the greek books of the old testament
to latin and he ends up with a translation of the Psalms.
- He begins to realize that there are some places where the Greek text is not the same as the
- Thus he committed himself to learning Hebrew and from there translated Hebrew from Latin.
- As he did this he became convinced only the Hebrew Bible was to be normative
- 39 books, taking a stand against most Christians that the old testament did not include these
- Augustine defended the Septuagint, as it was the bible that matthew and mark used thus if it
was good enough for them its good enough for us.
- Augustine speculated if you used the Hebrew bible you would drive a wedge between the Latin
and Greek churches.
- Augustine third speculated that the different translation would only cause confusion with the