Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Athanasius I of Alexandria

ATHANASIUS I OF ALEXANDRIA (Alexandria, Roman Egypt, c. 297-373)

Athanasius I of Alexandria, also called the Great, the Confessor or, among Coptic Christians, the Apostolic, as well as "Athanasius Against the World," was a Greek church father, and the 20th Coptic Orthodox "pope" (bishop) of Alexandria. He was bishop off and on for 45 years; 17 of those spent in five exiles on the order of four different Roman emperors. As a theologian, he was the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, which taught that Jesus was not co-eternal with the Father but was created by him in time. With John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus, he is considered one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church by the Roman Catholics.

  • The name of Athanasius is often associated with a convoluted and redundant Trinitarian statement called the "Athanasian Creed," though he almost certainly had nothing to do with it.
  • He was also the first person to list the 27 books of the New Testament canon that is in use today.


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