Published on November 1, 2007
Church Fathers –Jerome and AugustineThe Church from 300-500AD: Church Fathers – Jerome and Augustine The Church from 300-500AD Mike Buehrer Blacksburg Christian Fellowship Oct. 20, 2002 Overview: Overview Overview of Period (300A.D. – 500 A.D.) Constantine’s conversion allowed shift in focus from survival and apologetics to doctrine Church Fathers Jerome Vulgate Augustine Conversion Pelagianism Lessons for today Website www.mprg.org/people/buehrer Look under “biographical info” Timeline 300 – 500 A.D.: Timeline 300 – 500 A.D. 300 A.D. 400 A.D. 500 A.D. 350 A.D. 450 A.D. Conversion of Constantine Council of Nicea Athanasius Jerome completes Vulgate Conversion of Augustine Ambrose Bishop of Milan Chrysostom -Bishop of Constantinople Patrick Missionary to Ireland Council of Chalcedon Jerome Augustine Augustine & Jerome: Augustine & Jerome Jerome – Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius: Jerome – Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius Born in Stridonius (near Adriatic) 342 to Christian parents Educated in Rome Spent time going through catacombs reading the inscriptions as a student Baptized by Pope Liberius in 360 Traveled much of ancient world and was a great scholar 373 – Arrived in Antioch where he went out to wilderness for 4 years to study Although well known for personal holiness, learning and integrity, often offended people with this biting, sarcastic style. Jerome in the Wilderness: Jerome in the Wilderness God convicted Jerome of his love for scholarship Spent four years in the desert of Chalcis (Near Antioch in Syria) Lived an austere life of fasting and discipline “Alone with the enemy, I threw myself in spirit at the feet of Jesus, watering them with my tears, and tamed my flesh by fasting whole weeks.” Learned Hebrew during this time in addition to the Greek and Latin that he knew Jerome - Vulgate: Jerome - Vulgate Jerome was one of the biggest scholars of his day Secretary to Damasus, bishop of Rome from 382-385 Damasus wanted a uniform translation for the western church that spoke primarily ‘common’ Latin. Jerome began his work in 382, moved to Bethlehem after Damasus’ death in 385, and finished the Latin translation in 405 Vulgate – from Latin vulgus or common Jerome: Jerome Involved in several heresies Wrote vehemently on the perpetual virginity of Mary Strongly opposed Pelagianism One of the greatest scholars of the western church In Bethlehem he lived in a cave near where the Savior was born. Started a free school and hospice for pilgrims Died in 420 Augustine: Augustine Born Aurelius Augustinus in Tagaste near Hippo, North Africa (modern day Algeria) in 354 Born to a Christian mother and pagan father Studied in Carthage Originally saw Christianity as religion for the simple-minded Surrounded by “cauldron of unholy loves” Took on a concubine while in teens Spent 71 of his 75 years in North Africa 383 – Moved to Italy (Rome and Milan) for four years where Ambrose was Bishop of Milan Oldest surviving image of Augustine, from the 6th century. North Africa: North Africa Hippo Regius Carthage Thagaste Conversion of Augustine: Conversion of Augustine “Lord make me chaste, but not yet.” He intellectually assented to the gospel, but couldn’t accept Christ. The Lord finally moved him to convert to Christianity in 387. While sitting in a garden he heard a child sing “Take it and read”. He picked up and read : Romans 13:13,14 – “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to lust. “It was as though the light of faith flooded into my heart and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled.” JAN VAN SCOREL (1520) Augustine: Augustine Augustine would have been happy with the monastic life. However, his reputation as being a brilliant Christian spread. 391 - ordained as a priest 395 - bishop of Hippo He was involved in nearly every controversy of his time Donatists Pelagianism Prolific writer 100’s of treatises, letters, commentaries On the Trinity Confessions City of God Augustine: Augustine Wrote over 100 books, 200 letters and 400 sermons Confessions (397-401 AD) Spiritual autobiography “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” City of God (416 AD) Response to the fall of Rome to Visgoths God’s work in history “City of Man” vs. “City of God” On the Trinity On the Psalms Slide15: * - Eph. 2:1-10 Augustine – The Will: Augustine – The Will Augustine taught that due to the fall, man was unable to save himself. It was totally of God’s grace. Pelagianism – Man contributes to his own salvation. Lessons for Today: Lessons for Today Jerome and Augustine both demonstrated tremendous Spiritual Discipline Dedication to God Personal Holiness Jerome Scholarship/Bible Study/Doctrine must be not be for their own sakes, but strengthen our walk and relationship to God Augustine Even after mind is convinced, the heart must be converted Prayers of a mother Free will vs. Predestination is still an issue today! References: References K.S. Latourette, A History of Christianity, Prince Press 1975 B.L. Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, Nelson 1995. H.C. Sheldon, History of the Christian Church, Hendrickson Publishers 1994. H. Von Campenhausen, The Fathers of the Church, Hendrickson Publishers 1998. T. Dowley Ed., Erdman’s Handbook to The History of Christianity, W.B. Erdmans Publishing Co. 1977. E.E. Carirns, Christianity Through the Ages, 3rd Ed., Zondervan Publishing 1996. A.K. Curtis, J.S. Lang, and R. Peterson, The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History, Fleming H. Revell 1991. S.M. Houghton, Sketches from Church History, Banner of Truth 1980. Augustine, Confessions, Penguin Books, 1987.