Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Monday, September 30, 2013

(Islamo-Fascism) Israel: German Islamists Helped in Kenya attack

Israel: German Islamists helped in Kenya attack - The Local

Israel: German Islamists helped in Kenya attack

Published: 30 Sep 2013 10:35 CET | Print version
German Islamists are suspected of being involved in the Kenya shopping centre siege, according to Israeli intelligence service Mossad.
      Intelligence services in Germany are not, Focus news magazine reported, ruling out claims from Mossad that German convert Andreas 'Ahmed Khaled' Müller, among others, were involved in planning the Nairobi mall attack in which 72 people died.

Mossad believes that Müller had connections with the Somalian Al-Shabaab militant group behind the Westgate siege.

President of the federal office for defence Hans-Georg Maaßen told Focus that while Germany was not currently at direct risk, there was sentiment building against the west in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

He added that the BKA was concerned that German charities based over in west Africa could find themselves “the focus of Al-Shabaab.”

As for German-based Islamists, the BKA was “keeping a close eye on the extremist Somali scene,” said Maaßen. Suspected supporters or followers of Al-Shabaab were, he added, “under observation by the intelligence services.”

Podcast for Sunday Nights: Mr. (Abp.) Glenn Davies, New Abp. of Anglican Church of Sydney

The Interview: Glenn Davies, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies
AudioRelated Audio:
The Interview: Archbishop Glenn Davies
Anglican Archbishop of Sydney
Download as MP3

The place of Christianity in Australia is probably as precarious as it's ever been.
Into this environment comes the new Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies. He takes over from his outspoken predecessor, Peter Jensen, whose tenure lasted 12 years.
In this discursive interview, Archbishop Davies lays out his plan for the diocese, comments on the controversial issue of lay presidency in the Anglican Church, and reveals his position on women in the church.

(When the Reformed Episcopal Church Sells Out) New Church Plant: Reformation Anglican Church, Grey, Maine

Our preliminary intel report is favorable. What happens when the Reformed Episcopal Church sells out?  Here's one result.

Join Us For Fellowship & Worship!

Sunday October 20, 2013

In September of 2013 we began holding monthly  exploratory meetings  for folks interested in Evangelical Protestant Anglicanism. On the third Sunday of each month please join us from 12-3pm for a meal and Q&A time then at 3pm for an Anglican worship service. Please click here to contact us for meeting location and directions.
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
- II Corinthians 4:5-6

What is Reformation?

Reformation, by definition, is a formation over again, a matter of returning something to its original form or condition. In the case of the church, re-formation involves restoring beliefs and practices which have drifted away from the norms of God’s authoritative Word—the Holy Scriptures—back into conformity with the teachings and practices God intends us to follow as He revealed them in the Bible.


Reformation Anglican Church is a new community of brothers and sisters that has committed itself to live Biblically by walking humbly, worshipping reverently, and loving selflessly. Please join us as we follow in the footsteps of the first Reformation and boldly call the Church to a second Reformation! Join us in this good work and help build this household of faith whose builder and maker is God, whose chief cornerstone is Jesus Christ, and whose empowerment is the Holy Spirit.

Not sure what Christianity is? - Click Here

Mr. (Anglican Abp.) Peter Jensen: "Why I Am a Protestant Christian"

Peter Jensen - Why I am a Protestant Christian from Audio Advice on Vimeo.

1-Hr. Video. Mr. (Anglican Abp.) Peter Jensen: "Why I Am a Reformed Christian"

Peter Jensen - Why I am a Reformed Christian from Audio Advice on Vimeo.

From Darkness to Light: CBN's News Anchor, Lee Webb, Joins Ligonier Ministries

Lee Webb, Pat Robertson's long-time lead news anchor for the 700 Club, and long known to be a Reformed and Confessional Churchman and long known to have taken courses through Reformed Seminary, turns from the darkness to the light in broadcasting. Pat Robertson is another one of those Babblers with a 70% failure rate on his "prophecies," the other 30% being vague ideations. Old Pat the Babbler knew it too and worried, amongst staffers, that $$-contributions would go down if his audience caught on. Yet, simpletons follow him. Anyways, news from Mr. (Rev. Dr. Prof.) Sproul's Ligonier. "Introducing Lee Webb: Our New Announcer on Renewing Your Mind and the VP of Broadcasting for Ligonier Ministries." Lee's been with that old Pat Robertson, that old Babbler, for 29 years. Robertson's got one foot in the grave and the other in this world...maybe old TBN Word of Faith folks can whip on a "resurrection" when he passes? Waiting for some "resurrection stories" from Pentecostals. Old Benny Hinn has promised it, but he too has failed. But, back on track.  Mr. Lee Webb leaves the Montanist shadows for the better light of something more Reformed. 

Introducing Lee Webb: Our New Announcer on Renewing Your Mind and the VP of Broadcasting for Ligonier Ministries

from Sep 30, 2013 Category: Ministry News

You may have noticed a new voice this morning on our daily broadcast, Renewing Your Mind with R.C. SproulLate last year we launched a nationwide search for a new announcer. We sought to find someone who could not only collaborate well with Dr. Sproul but also connect and build a strong relationship with you, our listeners. Today, we are pleased to announce Lee Webb has accepted this role and joins the ministry as Vice President of Broadcasting.

I am excited that Lee is with us,” said Dr. Sproul. “His extensive professional experience connecting with a listening audience will be a blessing to the listeners of Renewing Your Mind. I look forward to being with him in the studio. There will be no lack of opportunities for Lee to contribute and we are grateful to have him.”

Here’s how Lee expressed his enthusiasm:

“I couldn’t be more pleased to accept this exciting new role with Ligonier Ministries. No other teacher, no other ministry has done more to shape my understanding of God and His character than Dr. Sproul and Ligonier. And now to be part of the team committed to making the holiness of God known to as many people as possible is one of the great thrills of my life.”

As we look to the future of the ministry and Renewing Your Mind (RYM), we believe Lee will help listeners connect with RYM through the teaching of Dr. Sproul, our Ligonier Teaching Fellows, and other trustworthy Bible scholars. As our primary teacher, Dr. Sproul will continue to anchor at least 85% of our broadcast teaching schedule. We have experienced remarkable growth in listenership since our first national radio broadcast 19 years ago and this worldwide outreach now includes podcasts, the web, and RefNet. There is tremendous momentum at Ligonier in this season and steady, productive hands are needed. And we are thrilled with the provision of Lee Webb, a godly man who has faithfully sought to apply a robust Christian worldview in his vocation.

Lee is a native of Pompano Beach, Florida, graduated from Auburn University in 1975 and went to work as a sports reporter and anchor for WSFA-TV in Montgomery, Alabama.

In 1979, he became the lead sports anchor for the NBC affiliate in Miami, then took a similar position with WCVB-TV in Boston in 1983. His career as a sports anchor included covering three Super Bowls, an NBA Championship series, and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In 1986, Lee became the weeknight news anchor for the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla. Lee joined CBN as news anchor in 1994 and went on location to report on numerous nationally significant events including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Republican and Democratic conventions, and issues related to evangelicalism. He also served as a captain in the Florida Army National Guard. During his 8 years of reserve military service, he deployed to Central America twice and Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Along with his distinguished professional career, he has also served as a ruling elder for many years in a Presbyterian Church in America congregation in Tidewater, Virginia. Lee and his wife Donna have four children.

Today is Lee’s first day on the air. We encourage you to listen to the broadcast as Dr. Sproul begins a new series on The Hard Sayings of Jesus and considers how we should respond when calamity strikes.


Irenaeus: Pentecostals, "Senseless and Crack-Brained Followers"

ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus

Chapter XIII.—The deceitful arts and nefarious practices of Marcus. 

1. But28132813    The Greek text of this section is preserved both by Epiphanius (Hær. xxxiv. 1) and by Hippolytus (Philosoph., vi. 39, 40). Their citations are somewhat discordant, and we therefore follow the old Latin version. there is another among these heretics, Marcus by name, who boasts himself as having improved upon his master. He is a perfect adept in magical impostures, and by this means drawing away a great number of men, and not a few women, he has induced them to join themselves to him, as to one who is possessed of the greatest knowledge and perfection, and who has received the highest power from the invisible and ineffable regions above. Thus it appears as if he really were the precursor of Antichrist. For, joining the buffooneries of Anaxilaus28142814    Pliny, Hist. Nat., xxxv. 15, etc. to the craftiness of the magi, as they are called, he is regarded by his senseless and cracked-brain followers as working miracles by these means .

2. Pretending28152815    Epiphanius now gives the Greek text verbatim, to which, therefore, we return  to consecrate cups mixed with wine, and protracting to great length the word of invocation, he contrives to give them a purple and reddish colour, so that Charis,28162816    Probably referring to Sige, the consort of Bythus. who is one of those that are superior to all things, should be thought to drop her own blood into that cup through means of his invocation, and that thus those who are present should be led to rejoice to taste of that cup, in order that, by so doing, the Charis, who is set forth by this magician, may also flow into them. Again, handing mixed cups to the women, he bids them consecrate these in his presence. When this has been done, he himself produces another cup of much larger size than that which the deluded woman has consecrated, and pouring from the smaller one consecrated by the woman into that which has been brought forward by himself, he at the same time pronounces these words: “May that Charis who is before all things, and who transcends all knowledge and speech, fill thine inner man, and multiply in thee her own knowledge, by sowing the grain of mustard seed in thee as in good soil.” Repeating certain other like words, and thus goading on the wretched woman [to madness], he then appears a worker of wonders when the large cup is seen to have been filled out of the small one, so as even to overflow by what has been obtained from it. By accomplishing several other similar things, he has completely deceived many, and drawn them away after him.
3. It appears probable enough that this man possesses a demon as his familiar spirit, by means of whom he seems able to prophesy,28172817    [Comp. Acts xvi. 16.] and also enables as many as he counts worthy to be partakers of his Charis themselves to prophesy. He devotes himself especially to women, and those such as are well-bred, and elegantly attired, and of great wealth, whom he frequently seeks to draw after him, by addressing them in such seductive words as these: “I am eager to make thee a partaker of my Charis, since the Father of all doth continually behold thy angel before His face. Now the place of thy angel is among us:28182818    Literally, “the place of thy mightiness is in us.” it behoves us to become one. Receive first from me and by me [the gift of] Charis. Adorn thyself as a bride who is expecting her bridegroom, that thou mayest be what I am, and I what thou art. Establish the germ of light in thy nuptial chamber. Receive from me a spouse, and become receptive of him, while thou art received by him. Behold Charis has descended upon thee; open thy mouth and prophesy.” On the woman replying, “I have never at any time prophesied, nor do I know how to prophesy;” then engaging, for the second time, in certain invocations, so as to astound his deluded victim, he says to her, “Open thy mouth, speak whatsoever occurs to thee, and thou shalt prophesy.” She then, vainly puffed up and elated by these words, and greatly excited in soul by the expectation that it is herself who is to prophesy, her heart beating violently [from emotion], reaches the requisite pitch of audacity, and idly as well as impudently utters some nonsense as it happens to occur to her, such as might be expected 335 from one heated by an empty spirit. (Referring to this, one superior to me has observed, that the soul is both audacious and impudent when heated with empty air.) Henceforth she reckons herself a prophetess, and expresses her thanks to Marcus for having imparted to her of his own Charis. She then makes the effort to reward him, not only by the gift of her possessions (in which way he has collected a very large fortune), but also by yielding up to him her person, desiring in every way to be united to him, that she may become altogether one with him. 
4. But already some of the most faithful women, possessed of the fear of God, and not being deceived (whom, nevertheless, he did his best to seduce like the rest by bidding them prophesy), abhorring and execrating him, have withdrawn from such a vile company of revellers. This they have done, as being well aware that the gift of prophecy is not conferred on men by Marcus, the magician, but that only those to whom God sends His grace from above possess the divinely-bestowed power of prophesying; and then they speak where and when God pleases, and not when Marcus orders them to do so. For that which commands is greater and of higher authority than that which is commanded, inasmuch as the former rules, while the latter is in a state of subjection. If, then, Marcus, or any one else, does command,— as these are accustomed continually at their feasts to play at drawing lots, and [in accordance with the lot] to command one another to prophesy, giving forth as oracles what is in harmony with their own desires,—it will follow that he who commands is greater and of higher authority than the prophetic spirit, though he is but a man, which is impossible. But such spirits as are commanded by these men, and speak when they desire it, are earthly and weak, audacious and impudent, sent forth by Satan for the seduction and perdition of those who do not hold fast that well-compacted faith which they received at first through the Church.
5. Moreover, that this Marcus compounds philters and love-potions, in order to insult the persons of some of these women, if not of all, those of them who have returned to the Church of God— a thing which frequently occurs—have acknowledged, confessing, too, that they have been defiled by him, and that they were filled with a burning passion towards him. A sad example of this occurred in the case of a certain Asiatic, one of our deacons, who had received him (Marcus) into his house. His wife, a woman of remarkable beauty, fell a victim both in mind and body to this magician, and, for a long time, travelled about with him. At last, when, with no small difficulty, the brethren had converted her, she spent her whole time in the exercise of public confession,28192819    [Note this manner of primitive “confession;” and see Bingham, Antiquities, book xv. cap. 8] weeping over and lamenting the defilement which she had received from this magician.
6. Some of his disciples, too, addicting themselves28202820    We here follow the rendering of Billius, “in iisdem studiis versantes.” Others adhere to the received text, and translate περιπολίζοντες “going about idly.” to the same practices, have deceived many silly women, and defiled them. They proclaim themselves as being “perfect,” so that no one can be compared to them with respect to the immensity of their knowledge, nor even were you to mention Paul or Peter, or any other of the apostles. They assert that they themselves know more than all others, and that they alone have imbibed the greatness of the knowledge of that power which is unspeakable. They also maintain that they have attained to a height above all power, and that therefore they are free in every respect to act as they please, having no one to fear in anything. For they affirm, that because of the “Redemption”28212821    Grabe is of opinion that reference is made in this term to an imprecatory formula in use among the Marcosians, analogous to the form of thanksgiving employed night and morning by the Jews for their redemption from Egypt. Harvey refers the word to the second baptism practised among these and other heretics, by which it was supposed they were removed from the cognizance of the Demiurge, who is styled the “judge” in the close of the above sentence. it has come to pass that they can neither be apprehended, nor even seen by the judge. But even if he should happen to lay hold upon them, then they might simply repeat these words, while standing in his presence along with the “Redemption:” “O thou, who sittest beside God,28222822    That is, Sophia, of whom Achamoth, afterwards referred to, was the emanation. and the mystical, eternal Sige, thou through whom the angels (mightiness), who continually behold the face of the Father, having thee as their guide and introducer, do derive their forms28232823    The angels accompanying Soter were the consorts of spiritual Gnostics, to whom they were restored after death. from above, which she in the greatness of her daring inspiring with mind on account of the goodness of the Propator, produced us as their images, having her mind then intent upon the things above, as in a dream,— behold, the judge is at hand, and the crier orders me to make my defence. But do thou, as being acquainted with the affairs of both, present the cause of both of us to the judge, inasmuch as it is in reality but one cause.”28242824    The syntax in this long sentence is very confused, but the meaning is tolerably plain. The gist of it is, that these Gnostics, as being the spiritual seed, claimed a consubstantiality with Achamoth, and consequently escaped from the material Demiurge, and attained at last to the Pleroma. Now, as soon as the Mother hears these words, she puts the Homeric28252825    Rendering the wearer invisible. See Il., v. 844. helmet of Pluto upon them, so that they may invisibly escape the judge. And then she immediately catches them up, conducts them into the bridal chamber, and hands them over to their consorts.
336 7. Such are the words and deeds by which, in our own district of the Rhone, they have deluded many women, who have their consciences seared as with a hot iron.28262826    2 Tim. iii. 6. Some of them, indeed, make a public confession of their sins; but others of them are ashamed to do this, and in a tacit kind of way, despairing of [attaining to] the life of God, have, some of them, apostatized altogether; while others hesitate between the two courses, and incur that which is implied in the proverb, “neither without nor within;” possessing this as the fruit from the seed of the children of knowledge.

« PrevChapter XIII.—The deceitful arts and nefarious…Next »

Mr. (Rev. Several Doctorates. Prof) F.Nigel Lee: Miracles and Pentecostals

Lee, Francis Nigel. Miracles and Pseudo-Miracles—What and When and Why? Accessed 30 Sept 2013.

A theological study about the nature of miracles and their cessation at inscripturation but the continuation of pseudo-miracles according to revealed religion from the fall of the first Adam till the second coming of the Second Adam

Introduction to miracles


 1. The Biblical words translated 'miracles' and 'wonders'
2. None of the above Biblical words always means 'miracle'
3. God alone is truly 'Wonderful'; yet wicked ones often do 'lying wonders'
4. God before and above His Moral Law, the creation laws, and natural law
5. Providence, Preservation, Unusual Events, Lying-Wonders, and Miracles
6. The objective and real character of true miracles and/or wonders
7. Holy Scripture itself provides no definition of miracles
8. Augustine's brilliant delineation and description of miracles
9. Augustine (continued): miracles rare; not unnatural; but against sin
10. Worsening understanding of miracles in the Middle Ages
11. The Protestant Reformation on miracles: Luther, Calvin & Westminster
12. Rev. Dr. John Owen on the important significance of miracles
13. Gisbertius Voetius: miracles were 'rare' and 'evident'
14. Charles Hodge: caution needed about miracles
15. A.A. Hodge: comprehensive definition of miracles
16. A.A. Hodge (continued): miracles are objective and redemptive
17. Godet: the purpose and progress of miracles
18. William Shedd on the role and goal of miracles
19. Dabney: miracles were rare; supernatural; and attested God's messages
20. Thornwell: miracles were supranatural; provable; revelational; ethical
21. B.B. Warfield: miracles were objective and supernatural
22. Abraham Kuyper Sr. on miracles past, present, and future
23. Kuyper Sr. (continued): miracles a disappearing redemptive phenomenon
24. Geesink: God Alone does miracles -- yet abnormally, when through creatures
25. Geesink (continued): miracles are unusual and against sin
26. Bavinck: miracles hyper-natural; revelatory; against sin; redemptive
27. Bavinck: miracles are christocentric; supranatural; hierarchical
28. Bavinck: miracles are not contra-natural but ordained and powerful
29. Bavinck's Magnalia Dei: miracles, as revelation, were economically rare
30. Valentine Hepp: miracles are objective, soteric, and consummative
31. Machen: what miracles were -- before they ceased
32. Honig: miracles are to be defined not Romish-ly but Protestant-ly
33. Berkhof: the nature, possibility and purpose of miracles
34. Murray: miracles are supernatural interventions in history of redemption
35. Berkouwer: miracles are not 'unnatural' but are divine deeds against sin
36. Buswell: the nature of and the rationale for miracles
37. Hoeksema: miracles are works of God's special grace
38. Potgieter's useful resumé of various definitions of miracles
39. Heyns: miracles irregular and not according to the law of nature
40. Boice: miracles certainly did occur but no longer seem to be doing so
41. Erickson: miracles are special supernatural works linked to revelation
42. Van Genderen and Velema: faith in miracles is not a revelatory miracle
43. Grudem's attempts to synthesize Neo-Pentecostalism with Protestantism
44. Morton H. Smith -- miracles supranatural and revelational and redemptive
45. Francis Nigel Lee on the definition and nature of true miracles
46. Summary of Biblical teaching and theological views about miracles


47. Did true 'miracles' or even 'wonders' ever occur before Mosaic times?
48. Moses' mighty miracles were unprecedented and unique
49. The remarkable miracles of Elijah and Elisha
50. The miraculous incarnation of Jesus Christ the Saviour
51. The miracles performed by Jesus were many and various
52. Jesus sometimes refused miraculously to help many needy people
53. The greatest of all miracles: Jesus Christ's resurrection
54. Miracles performed through Christ's Apostles and their associates
55. Biblical miracles tended to occur in clusters
56. Bavinck on the Biblical miracle-clusters
57. J.O. Buswell Jr. on the three great epochs of miracles
58. Morton H. Smith: the three great epochs of miracles
59. Old Testament says New Testament writings are God's finished revelation
60. New Testament teaches Biblical writings are God's finished revelation
61. Biblical predictions as to when miracles would cease
62. Daniel 9:24-27 -- Christ's advent & 70 A.D. sealing up vision & prophecy

Asterius Urbanus, c. 232: Montanism, Frenzied Women, Frenzied Pentecostalists in Phyrgia

Nothing New Under The Sun
"Now the attitude of opposition which they have assumed, and this new heresy of theirs which puts them in a position of separation from the Church, had their origin in the following manner. There is said to be a certain village called Ardaba in the Mysia, which touches Phrygia. There, they say, one of those who had been but recently converted to the faith, a person of the name of Montanus, when Gratus was proconsul of Asia, gave the adversary entrance against himself by the excessive lust of his soul after taking the lead. And this person was carried away in spirit; and suddenly being seized with a kind of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to speak and to utter strange things…in a manner contrary to the custom of the Church, as handed down from early times and preserved thenceforward… Among those who were present on that occasion, and heard those spurious utterances, there were some who were indignant, and rebuked him as one frenzied, and under the power of demons, and possessed by the spirit of delusion, and agitating the multitude, and debarred him from speaking anymore; for they were mindful of the Lord’s distinction and threatening, whereby He warned them to be on their guard vigilantly against the coming of the false prophets. But there were others too, who, as if elated by the Holy Spirit and the prophetic gift, and not a little puffed up, and forgetting entirely the Lord’s distinction, challenged the maddening and insidious and seductive spirit, being themselves cajoled and misled by him, so that there was no longer any checking him to silence. And thus by a kind of artifice, or rather by such a process of craft, the devil having devised destruction against those who were disobedient to the Lord’s warning, and being unworthily honored by them, secretly excited and inflamed their minds that had already left the faith which is according to truth, in order to play the harlot with error. For he stirred up two others also, women, and filled them with the spurious spirit, so that they too spoke in a frenzy and unseasonably, and in a strange manner, like the person already mentioned, while the spirit called them happy as they rejoiced and exulted proudly at his working, and puffed them up by the magnitude of his promises; while, on the other hand, at times also he condemned them skillfully and plausibly, in order that he might seem to them also to have the power of reproof. And those few who were thus deluded were Phrygians. But the same arrogant spirit taught them to revile the Church universal under heaven, because that false spirit of prophecy found neither honor from it nor entrance into it. For when the faithful throughout Asia met together often and in many places of Asia for deliberation on this subject, and subjected those novel doctrines to examination, and declared them to be spurious, and rejected them as heretical, they were in consequence of that expelled from the Church and debarred from communion."

Asterius Urbanus, ca. 232AD

Sound familiar?
For more articles like this on neo-Montanism, see:

Mr. Andy Underhile: Ragingly Poor Percentages for Pentecostalist Prophets

Mr. Andy Underhile:

Here, on the other hand, is a sample of the evasions used by today’s false prophets.

“The prophet who misses it occasionally in his prophecies may be ignorant, immature, or presumptuous, or he may be ministering with too much zeal and too little wisdom and anointing. But this does not prove him a false prophet. It is certainly possible for a true prophet to be inaccurate.” Bill Hamon, Prophets and Personal Prophecy.

“Bob [Jones] was told that the general level of prophetic revelation in the church was about 65% accurate at this time. Some are only about 10% accurate, a very few of the most mature prophets are approaching 85% to 95% accuracy. Prophecy is increasing in purity, but there is still a long way to go for those who walk in this ministry. This is actually grace for the church now, because 100% accuracy in this ministry would bring a level of accountability to the church which she is too immature to bear at this time. It would result in too many Annaniases and Sapphiras.” Rick Joyner, Morningstar Prophetic Newsletter, Vol. 3, No.2, Page 2
For more, see:

Mr. Conyers Middleton, 1749: Apostolic Teachers, No Miracles, and Pentecostalists

Empty heads, anti-intellectual, un-read, loud, narcissistic, worshipper-of-experiences, and extremely hubristic
H/t to Mr. Andy Underhile for this 1749 quote:
“In collecting all the facts and testimonies, which relate to the present argument, from the earliest inquiry, after the days of the Apostles, our first thoughts are carried of course to the Apostolic Fathers, that is, to those, who had lived and conversed with the Apostles, and who, by the special appointment, were ordained to succeed them in the Government of the Church. For as there are several of this character, whose writings still remain to us, St. Barnabas, St. Clement, St. Ignatius, St. Polycarp, St. Hermas, so it is natural to expect, that, in these valued remains, the History of the miraculous gifts, which are so much celebrated by the writers of the New Testament, should be carried on still in the same manner by these their immediate successors through the next generation. For if any such gifts had been actually subsisting in their days, it is highly probable, that men of their eminent zeal and piety, who had seen the wonderful effects... of them, under the management of the Apostles, and must have themselves possessed a large share of them, would have made some appeal or reference to them, in their circular epistles to the Churches, as their predecessors had done, for the honor of the Gospel, and the credit of their own ministry. But instead of this, it is remarkable, that there is not the least claim or pretension, in all their several pieces, to any of those extraordinary gifts, which are the subject of this inquiry; nor to any standing power of working miracles, as residing still among them, for the conversion of the Heathen world."
- A Free Inquiry Into The Miraculous Powers Which Are Supposed To Have Subsisted In The Christian Church From The Earliest Ages Through The Several Successive Centuries, by Conyers Middleton D.D. 1749

Mr. Andy Underhile: Heresy as Necessity, Mysticism, and Charismatics

Mr. Andy Underhile at:

Holy Heresy - Part 1
Why heresy is needed in the true Church

At first blush, it seems like a strange statement to say that heresy is “necessary” to the condition of the true Church. But history demonstrates the truth of this assertion. The great ante-Nicene African theologian, Tertullian, wrote, “We ought not to be astonished at the heresies (which abound) neither ought their existence to surprise us, for it was foretold that they should come to pass; nor the fact that they subvert the faith of some, for their final cause is, by affording a trial to faith, to give it also the opportunity of being ‘approved’.” 1 Even St. Paul warned that heresies must occur. He said, “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” 2

Perhaps at this point we should define heresy. In the earliest uses it meant primarily the work of schismatic or divisive teachers within in the Church. But by the writing of Peter’s second epistle, heresy had come to mean the false teachings of these schismatic or divisive teachers. This is the meaning which has persisted to the present day. Peter calls their teaching,”damnable heresies.” 3

But even in the Old Testament, God warned Israel that false teachers would arise and that the whole point was to test Israel’s faithfulness to God’s Law. Moses wrote, “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” 4 This means that just because a leader is attractive this is no guarantee that he is led by God. New ideas from inspiring people may sound good, but we must judge them by whether or not they are consistent with God’s Word.

Throughout the history of the Church, heresies have forced us to formulate more clearly what we mean to say by the terminology we employ. In the first four centuries of the Church, the heresies of Marcion, Arius, Paul of Samosata, Nestorius, Eutyches, Sabellius and Pelagius drew forth from the early Fathers the great Creeds of Nicaea, Constantinople and the definition of Chalcedon. During the Reformation era, the Remostrants prompted the synod of Dort. This is perhaps one of the greatest services of heresy for the true Church: it forces us to think clearly. We are required by the exigencies of the situations to declare the whole counsel of God not in an “uncertain sound.” 5 One thinks of the great Councils of Nicaea, Orange and Dordt as examples of this process. When error encroaches upon the Church, the Lord raises up an Athanasius, a Prosper, a Luther, a Calvin or a Voetius to help the Church more clearly define what she means by the terms she uses.
For more, see:

Mr. Andy Underhile: Wilhelmus a Brakel and "Unbiblical Mysticism"

Mysticism Is Not Christian Spirituality

True biblical spirituality consists of having communion with God in Christ. Whenever people lose sight of this, they tend toward natural speculation, which they imagine to be extraordinarily lofty and spiritual. So-called Christians commit an especially grievous error when they walk this path. Removing Christ from the equation and looking inward to find God is the exact philosophy of Pantheism. It is not, nor ever will be, Christianity. Hinduism and other such Pantheistic religions busy themselves in such meditation and speculation.

The Dutch theologian Wilhelmus à Brakel, writes:
“The difference between the self-denial, love, beholding of God, etc., of the mystics and of the truly godly consists in this: The mystics comprehend, say, and do everything according to their natural intellect, fantasy, and imagination, doing so without the Spirit. They do not make use of the Lord Jesus (that is, as a ransom, and righteousness unto justification and peace), as being the only way of approach unto God, and unto true and genuine sanctification. Such exercises and this way are hidden from them. Those, however, who are truly godly, regenerate, and who truly believe, live by faith and not by sight. In all things they make use of the Lord Jesus. They come to the Father by Him, accustom themselves to behold God in the face of Jesus Christ, do everything as in the presence of God, and walk before God’s countenance in humility, fear, love, and obedience. These are the old paths. From this you can observe that the difference between the mystics and the truly godly is as the difference between imagination and truth; between being natural and without the Spirit and being led by the Spirit; between worldly and heavenly; between seeking an unknown God and serving the true God; and between being engaged without, and contrary to, the Holy Scriptures (dabbling with invisible things), and living according to the written Word of God. A truly godly person remains humble and serves God in Spirit and truth, and is thus kept from the temptation of entertaining high-minded and fabricated imaginations.” (1)
For more, see:

30 September (1662 Book of Common Prayer): Jerome the Scholar, Wiki, Online Resources

Jerome by Bartolomeo Cavarozzi
30 September. Jerome the Scholar. Book of Common Prayer.

Two brief bio-notes: (1) From the 1662 BCP, (2) Wiki-notes,  and (3) notes from Catholics online.
St. Jerome (Hieronymus; A.D. 342-420), the great critic and scholar of the West, as Origen of the East, standing almost alone among the Latin Fathers in knowledge, not only of Greek, but of Hebrew and Chaldee, and in the instincts of sound and scholarly criticism. He was born at Stridon in Pannonia, in early life a teacher of grammar and rhetoric; after his baptism he travelled to Gaul, Rome, and the East, and spent some time as a recluse in the desert of Chalcis; thence, after visiting Constantinople, he settled at Rome, as the trusted counsellor of Pope Damasus; afterwards he returned to the East, and spent the last thirty years of his life in seclusion and study at Bethlehem. His character was violent, and often undisciplined and fanatic, as in his championship of asceticism and monasticism, and his various controversies. But his service in producing, direct from the original, the great Lain Version of the Western Church (the "Vulgate"), superseding, except in the Psalter and the Apocryphal books, the varying and inaccurate versions previously existing, was simply priceless; and on all points of Biblical criticism his authority far outweighs all others in the Patristic literature of the West. His scriptural Commentaries, his Letters and Treatises, and his historical and biographical works are also of the highest value. -- September 30.
Second, frokm Wiki.
Saint Jerome (Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Ancient Greek: Εσέβιος Σωφρόνιος ερώνυμος; c.347 30 September 420) was a Latin Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, who also became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospel of the Hebrews. His list of writings is extensive.[1]

He is recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Church of England (Anglican Communion).[2] Jerome is commemorated on 30 September with a memorial.


Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus was born at Stridon around 347.[3] He was not baptized until about 360 or 366, when he had gone to Rome with his friend Bonosus (who may or may not have been the same Bonosus whom Jerome identifies as his friend who went to live as a hermit on an island in the Adriatic) to pursue rhetorical and philosophical studies. He studied under the grammarian Aelius Donatus. There Jerome learned Latin and at least some Greek,[4] though probably not the familiarity with Greek literature he would later claim to have acquired as a schoolboy.[5]

As a student in Rome, he engaged in the superficial escapades and wanton behaviour of students there, which he indulged in quite casually but for which he suffered terrible bouts of repentance afterwards. To appease his conscience, he would visit on Sundays the sepulchers of the martyrs and the Apostles in the catacombs. This experience would remind him of the terrors of hell:

"Often I would find myself entering those crypts, deep dug in the earth, with their walls on either side lined with the bodies of the dead, where everything was so dark that almost it seemed as though the Psalmist's words were fulfilled, Let them go down quick into Hell.[6] Here and there the light, not entering in through windows, but filtering down from above through shafts, relieved the horror of the darkness. But again, as soon as you found yourself cautiously moving forward, the black night closed around and there came to my mind the line of Vergil, "Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent'".[7][8]

Jerome used a quote from Vergil — "On all sides round horror spread wide; the very silence breathed a terror on my soul."[9] — to describe the horror of hell. Jerome initially used classical authors to describe Christian concepts such as hell that indicated both his classical education and his deep shame of their associated practices, such as pederasty which was found in Rome. Although initially skeptical of Christianity, he was eventually converted.[10] After several years in Rome, he travelled with Bonosus to Gaul and settled in Trier where he seems to have first taken up theological studies, and where he copied, for his friend Tyrannius Rufinus, Hilary of Poitiers' commentary on the Psalms and the treatise De synodis. Next came a stay of at least several months, or possibly years, with Rufinus at Aquileia, where he made many Christian friends.

Some of these accompanied him when he set out about 373 on a journey through Thrace and Asia Minor into northern Syria. At Antioch, where he stayed the longest, two of his companions died and he himself was seriously ill more than once. During one of these illnesses (about the winter of 373–374), he had a vision that led him to lay aside his secular studies and devote himself to God. He seems to have abstained for a considerable time from the study of the classics and to have plunged deeply into that of the Bible, under the impulse of Apollinaris of Laodicea, then teaching in Antioch and not yet suspected of heresy.

Seized with a desire for a life of ascetic penance, he went for a time to the desert of Chalcis, to the southwest of Antioch, known as the Syrian Thebaid, from the number of hermits inhabiting it. During this period, he seems to have found time for study and writing. He made his first attempt to learn Hebrew under the guidance of a converted Jew; and he seems to have been in correspondence with Jewish Christians in Antioch. Around this time he had copied for him a Hebrew Gospel, of which fragments are preserved in his notes, and is known today as the Gospel of the Hebrews, and which the Nazarenes considered was the true Gospel of Matthew.[11] Jerome translated parts of this Hebrew Gospel into Greek.[12]

Returning to Antioch in 378 or 379, he was ordained by Bishop Paulinus, apparently unwillingly and on condition that he continue his ascetic life. Soon afterward, he went to Constantinople to pursue a study of Scripture under Gregory Nazianzen. He seems to have spent two years there, then left, and the next three (382–385) he was in Rome again, attached to Pope Damasus I and the leading Roman Christians. Invited originally for the synod of 382, held to end the schism of Antioch as there were rival claimants to be the proper patriarch in Antioch. Jerome had accompanied one of the claimants, Paulinus back to Rome in order to get more support for him, and distinguished himself to the pope, and took a prominent place in his councils.

He was given duties in Rome, and he undertook a revision of the Latin Bible, to be based on the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He also updated the Psalter containing the Book of Psalms then at use in Rome based on the Septuagint. Though he did not realize it yet, translating much of what became the Latin Vulgate Bible would take many years and be his most important achievement (see Writings– Translations section below).

This painting by Antonio da Fabriano II, depicts St. Jerome in study. The writing implements, scrolls, and manuscripts testify to Jerome's scholarly pursuits.[13] The Walters Art Museum.
In Rome he was surrounded by a circle of well-born and well-educated women, including some from the noblest patrician families, such as the widows Lea, Marcella and Paula, with their daughters Blaesilla and Eustochium. The resulting inclination of these women to the monastic life and from the indulgent lasciviousness in Rome, and his unsparing criticism of the secular clergy of Rome, brought a growing hostility against him among the Roman clergy and their supporters. Soon after the death of his patron Damasus (10 December 384), Jerome was forced by them to leave his position at Rome after an inquiry was brought up by the Roman clergy into allegations that he had an improper relationship with the widow Paula.

Additionally, his condemnation of Blaesilla's hedonistic lifestyle in Rome had led her to adopt aescetic practices, but it affected her health and worsened her physical weakness to the point that she died just four months after starting to follow his instructions; much of the Roman populace were outraged at Jerome for causing the premature death of such a lively young woman, and his insistence to Paula that Blaesilla should not be mourned, and complaints that her grief was excessive, were seen as heartless, polarising Roman opinion against him.[14]

In August 385, he left Rome for good and returned to Antioch, accompanied by his brother Paulinianus and several friends, and followed a little later by Paula and Eustochium, who had resolved to end their days in the Holy Land. In the winter of 385, Jerome acted as their spiritual adviser. The pilgrims, joined by Bishop Paulinus of Antioch, visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the holy places of Galilee, and then went to Egypt, the home of the great heroes of the ascetic life.

At the Catechetical School of Alexandria, Jerome listened to the catechist Didymus the Blind expounding the prophet Hosea and telling his reminiscences of Anthony the Great, who had died 30 years before; he spent some time in Nitria, admiring the disciplined community life of the numerous inhabitants of that "city of the Lord," but detecting even there "concealed serpents," i.e., the influence of Origen of Alexandria. Late in the summer of 388 he was back in Israel, and spent the remainder of his life in a hermit's cell near Bethlehem, surrounded by a few friends, both men and women (including Paula and Eustochium), to whom he acted as priestly guide and teacher.

Amply provided by Paula with the means of livelihood and of increasing his collection of books, he led a life of incessant activity in literary production. To these last 34 years of his career belong the most important of his works; his version of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text, the best of his scriptural commentaries, his catalogue of Christian authors, and the dialogue against the Pelagians, the literary perfection of which even an opponent recognized. To this period also belong most of his polemics, which distinguished him among the orthodox Fathers, including the treatises against the Origenism later declared anathema, of Bishop John II of Jerusalem and his early friend Rufinus. Later, as a result of his writings against Pelagianism, a body of excited partisans broke into the monastic buildings, set them on fire, attacked the inmates and killed a deacon, forcing Jerome to seek safety in a neighboring fortress (416).
It is recorded that Jerome died near Bethlehem on 30 September 420. The date of his death is given by the Chronicon of Prosper of Aquitaine. His remains, originally buried at Bethlehem, are said to have been later transferred to the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, though other places in the West claim some relics — the cathedral at Nepi boasting possession of his head, which, according to another tradition, is in the Escorial.

Translations and commentaries

Jerome was a scholar at a time when that statement implied a fluency in Greek. He knew some Hebrew when he started his translation project, but moved to Jerusalem to strengthen his grip on Jewish scripture commentary. A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Paula, funded his stay in a monastery in Bethlehem and he completed his translation there. He began in 382 by correcting the existing Latin language version of the New Testament, commonly referred to as the Vetus Latina. By 390 he turned to translating the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint which came from Alexandria. He believed that the Council of Jamnia, or mainstream rabbinical Judaism, had rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts because of what were ascertained as mistranslations along with its Hellenistic heretical elements.[15][16] He completed this work by 405. Prior to Jerome's Vulgate, all Latin translations of the Old Testament were based on the Septuagint not the Hebrew. Jerome's decision to use a Hebrew text instead of the previous translated Septuagint went against the advice of most other Christians, including Augustine, who thought the Septuagint inspired. Modern scholarship, however, has cast doubts on the actual quality of Jerome's Hebrew knowledge. Many modern scholars believe that the Greek Hexapla is the main source for Jerome's "iuxta Hebraeos" translation of the Old Testament.[17]

For the next 15 years, until he died, Jerome produced a number of commentaries on Scripture, often explaining his translation choices in using the original Hebrew rather than suspect translations. His patristic commentaries align closely with Jewish tradition, and he indulges in allegorical and mystical subtleties after the manner of Philo and the Alexandrian school. Unlike his contemporaries, he emphasizes the difference between the Hebrew Bible "apocrypha" and the Hebraica veritas of the protocanonical books. Evidence of this can be found in his introductions to the Solomonic writings, the Book of Tobit, and the Book of Judith. Most notable, however, is the statement from his introduction to the Books of Samuel:

This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a helmeted [i.e. defensive] introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is outside of them must be placed aside among the Apocryphal writings.[18]

Jerome's commentaries fall into three groups:

  • His translations or recastings of Greek predecessors, including fourteen homilies on the Book of Jeremiah and the same number on the Book of Ezekiel by Origen (translated ca. 380 in Constantinople); two homilies of Origen of Alexandria on the Song of Solomon (in Rome, ca. 383); and thirty-nine on the Gospel of Luke (ca. 389, in Bethlehem). The nine homilies of Origen on the Book of Isaiah included among his works were not done by him. Here should be mentioned, as an important contribution to the topography of Israel, his book De situ et nominibus locorum Hebraeorum, a translation with additions and some regrettable omissions of the Onomasticon of Eusebius. To the same period (ca. 390) belongs the Liber interpretationis nominum Hebraicorum, based on a work supposed to go back to Philo and expanded by Origen.
  • Original commentaries on the Old Testament. To the period before his settlement at Bethlehem and the following five years belong a series of short Old Testament studies: De seraphim, De voce Osanna, De tribus quaestionibus veteris legis (usually included among the letters as 18, 20, and 36); Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesim; Commentarius in Ecclesiasten; Tractatus septem in Psalmos 10-16 (lost); Explanationes in Michaeam, Sophoniam, Nahum, Habacuc, Aggaeum. After 395 he composed a series of longer commentaries, though in rather a desultory fashion: first on Jonah and Obadiah (396), then on Isaiah (ca. 395-ca. 400), on Zechariah, Malachi, Hoseah, Joel, Amos (from 406), on the Book of Daniel (ca. 407), on Ezekiel (between 410 and 415), and on Jeremiah (after 415, left unfinished).
  • New Testament commentaries. These include only Philemon, Galatians, Ephesians, and Titus (hastily composed 387-388); Matthew (dictated in a fortnight, 398); Mark, selected passages in Luke, Revelation, and the prologue to the Gospel of John.
Historical and hagiographic writings

In the Middle Ages, Jerome was often ahistorically depicted as a cardinal.
Jerome is also known as a historian. One of his earliest historical works was his Chronicle (or Chronicon or Temporum liber), composed ca. 380 in Constantinople; this is a translation into Latin of the chronological tables which compose the second part of the Chronicon of Eusebius, with a supplement covering the period from 325 to 379. Despite numerous errors taken over from Eusebius, and some of his own, Jerome produced a valuable work, if only for the impulse which it gave to such later chroniclers as Prosper, Cassiodorus, and Victor of Tunnuna to continue his annals.

Important also is De viris illustribus, written at Bethlehem in 392, the title and arrangement of which are borrowed from Suetonius. It contains short biographical and literary notes on 135 Christian authors, from Saint Peter down to Jerome himself. For the first seventy-eight authors Eusebius (Historia ecclesiastica) is the main source; in the second section, beginning with Arnobius and Lactantius, he includes a good deal of independent information, especially as to western writers.

Four works of a hagiographic nature are:
  • the Vita Pauli monachi, written during his first sojourn at Antioch (ca. 376), the legendary material of which is derived from Egyptian monastic tradition;
  • the Vitae Patrum (Vita Pauli primi eremitae), a biography of Saint Paul of Thebes;
  • the Vita Malchi monachi captivi (ca. 391), probably based on an earlier work, although it purports to be derived from the oral communications of the aged ascetic Malchus originally made to him in the desert of Chalcis;
  • the Vita Hilarionis, of the same date, containing more trustworthy historical matter than the other two, and based partly on the biography of Epiphanius and partly on oral tradition.
The so-called Martyrologium Hieronymianum is spurious; it was apparently composed by a western monk toward the end of the 6th or beginning of the 7th century, with reference to an expression of Jerome's in the opening chapter of the Vita Malchi, where he speaks of intending to write a history of the saints and martyrs from the apostolic times.

Jerome's letters or epistles, both by the great variety of their subjects and by their qualities of style, form an important portion of his literary remains. Whether he is discussing problems of scholarship, or reasoning on cases of conscience, comforting the afflicted, or saying pleasant things to his friends, scourging the vices and corruptions of the time and against sexual immorality among the clergy, [19] exhorting to the ascetic life and renunciation of the world, or breaking a lance with his theological opponents, he gives a vivid picture not only of his own mind, but of the age and its peculiar characteristics. Because there was no distinct line between personal documents and those meant for publication, we frequently find in his letters both confidential messages and treatises meant for others besides the one to whom he was writing.[20]

The letters most frequently reprinted or referred to are of a hortatory nature, such as Ep. 14, Ad Heliodorum de laude vitae solitariae; Ep. 22, Ad Eustochium de custodia virginitatis; Ep. 52, Ad Nepotianum de vita clericorum et monachorum, a sort of epitome of pastoral theology from the ascetic standpoint; Ep. 53, Ad Paulinum de studio scripturarum; Ep. 57, to the same, De institutione monachi; Ep. 70, Ad Magnum de scriptoribus ecclesiasticis; and Ep. 107, Ad Laetam de institutione filiae.

Theological writings

Practically all of Jerome's productions in the field of dogma have a more or less vehemently polemical character, and are directed against assailants of the orthodox doctrines. Even the translation of the treatise of Didymus the Blind on the Holy Spirit into Latin (begun in Rome 384, completed at Bethlehem) shows an apologetic tendency against the Arians and Pneumatomachoi. The same is true of his version of Origen's De principiis (ca. 399), intended to supersede the inaccurate translation by Rufinus. The more strictly polemical writings cover every period of his life. During the sojourns at Antioch and Constantinople he was mainly occupied with the Arian controversy, and especially with the schisms centering around Meletius of Antioch and Lucifer Calaritanus. Two letters to Pope Damasus (15 and 16) complain of the conduct of both parties at Antioch, the Meletians and Paulinians, who had tried to draw him into their controversy over the application of the terms ousia and hypostasis to the Trinity. At the same time or a little later (379) he composed his Liber Contra Luciferianos, in which he cleverly uses the dialogue form to combat the tenets of that faction, particularly their rejection of baptism by heretics.

In Rome (ca. 383) he wrote a passionate counterblast against the teaching of Helvidius, in defense of the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary and of the superiority of the single over the married state. An opponent of a somewhat similar nature was Jovinianus, with whom he came into conflict in 392 (Adversus Jovinianum, Against Jovinianus) and the defense of this work addressed to his friend Pammachius, numbered 48 in the letters). Once more he defended the ordinary Catholic practices of piety and his own ascetic ethics in 406 against the Gallic presbyter Vigilantius, who opposed the cultus of martyrs and relics, the vow of poverty, and clerical celibacy. Meanwhile the controversy with John II of Jerusalem and Rufinus concerning the orthodoxy of Origen occurred. To this period belong some of his most passionate and most comprehensive polemical works: the Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum (398 or 399); the two closely connected Apologiae contra Rufinum (402); and the "last word" written a few months later, the Liber tertius seu ultima responsio adversus scripta Rufini. The last of his polemical works is the skilfully composed Dialogus contra Pelagianos (415).

Reception by later Christianity

Jerome is the second most voluminous writer (after St. Augustine) in ancient Latin Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is recognized as the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists.[21]

He acquired a knowledge of Hebrew by studying with a Jew who converted to Christianity, and took the unusual position (for that time) that the Hebrew, and not the Septuagint, was the inspired text of the Old Testament. The traditional view is that he used this knowledge to translate what became known as the Vulgate, and his translation was slowly but eventually accepted in the Catholic Church.[22] The later resurgence of Hebrew studies within Christianity owes much to him.

He showed more zeal and interest in the ascetic ideal than in abstract speculation. It was this strict asceticism that made Martin Luther judge him so severely. In fact, Protestant readers are not generally inclined to accept his writings as authoritative. The tendency to recognize a superior comes out in his correspondence with Augustine (cf. Jerome's letters numbered 56, 67, 102-105, 110-112, 115-116; and 28, 39, 40, 67-68, 71-75, 81-82 in Augustine's).

Despite the criticisms already mentioned, Jerome has retained a rank among the western Fathers. This would be his due, if for nothing else, on account of the great influence exercised by his Latin version of the Bible upon the subsequent ecclesiastical and theological development.

In art

16th century un-signed painting of St. Jerome, in private collection
The vision of Saint Jerome by Louis Cretey, 17th century, oil on canvas, 150,5 x 127 cm, private collection.
This painting by the Workshop of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, depicts St. Jerome in his study.[23] The Walters Art Museum.
In art, he is often represented as one of the four Latin doctors of the Church along with Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose, and Pope Gregory I. As a prominent member of the Roman clergy, he has often been portrayed anachronistically[24] in the garb of a cardinal. Even when he is depicted as a half-clad anchorite, with cross, skull and Bible for the only furniture of his cell, the red hat or some other indication of his rank as cardinal is as a rule introduced somewhere in the picture.

He is also often depicted with a lion, in reference to a story telling how Jerome tamed a lion by healing its paw. The source for the story is a nearly identical story told about Saint Gerasimus, possibly due to Salmaan's confusion between "Gerasimus" and "Geronimus", the late Latin name of Jerome.[25][26] Hagiographies of Jerome talk of his having spent a lot of his years in the Syrian desert, and multiple artists have titled their works "St Jerome in the wilderness"; some of them include Pietro Perugino and Lambert Sustris.[27]

He is also sometimes depicted with an owl, the symbol of wisdom and scholarship.[28] Writing materials and the trumpet of final judgment are also part of his iconography.[28] He is commemorated on 30 September with a memorial.

See also

1.      Jump up ^ Schaff, Philip, ed. (1893). A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. 2nd series VI. Henry Wace. New York: The Christian Literature Company. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
2.      Jump up ^ In the Eastern Orthodox Church he is known as St. Jerome of Stridonium or Blessed Jerome. Though "Blessed" in this context does not have the sense of being less than a saint, as in the West.
3.      Jump up ^ Williams, Megan Hale (2006), The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the making of Christian Scholarship, Chicago .
4.      Jump up ^ Walsh, Michael, ed. (1991), Butler's Lives of the Saints, New York: HarperCollins, p. 307 .
5.      Jump up ^ Kelly, JND (1975), Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies, New York: Harper & Row, pp. 13–14 .
6.      Jump up ^ Psalm 55:15
7.      Jump up ^ Jerome, Commentarius in Ezzechielem, c. 40, v. 5
8.      Jump up ^ Patrologia Latina 25, 373: Crebroque cryptas ingredi, quae in terrarum profunda defossae, ex utraque parte ingredientium per parietes habent corpora sepultorum, et ita obscura sunt omnia, ut propemodum illud propheticum compleatur: Descendant ad infernum viventes (Ps. LIV,16): et raro desuper lumen admissum, horrorem temperet tenebrarum, ut non tam fenestram, quam foramen demissi luminis putes: rursumque pedetentim acceditur, et caeca nocte circumdatis illud Virgilianum proponitur (Aeneid. lib. II): "Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent."
10. Jump up ^ Payne, Robert (1951), The Fathers of the Western Church, New York: Viking, p. 91 .
11. Jump up ^ Rebenich, Stefan (2002), Jerome, p. 211, "Further, he began to study Hebrew: 'I betook myself to a brother who before his conversion had been a Hebrew and'..."
12. Jump up ^ Pritz, Ray (1988), Nazarene Jewish Christianity: from the end of the New Testament, p. 50, "In his accounts of his desert sojourn, Jerome never mentions leaving Chalcis, and there is no pressing reason to think..."
14. Jump up ^ Joyce Salisbury, Encyclopedia of women in the ancient world, Blaesilla
15. Jump up ^ "The translation, which shows at times a peculiar ignorance of Hebrew usage, was evidently made from a codex which differed widely in places from the text crystallized by the Masorah (..) Two things, however, rendered the Septuagint unwelcome in the long run to the Jews. Its divergence from the accepted text (afterward called the Masoretic) was too evident; and it therefore could not serve as a basis for theological discussion or for homiletic interpretation. This distrust was accentuated by the fact that it had been adopted as Sacred Scripture by [Christianity] (..) In course of time it came to be the canonical Greek Bible (..) It became part of the Bible of the Christian Church.""Bible Translations - The Septuagint". Retrieved 10 February 2012.
16. Jump up ^ "(..) die griechische Bibelübersetzung, die einem innerjüdischen Bedürfnis entsprang (..) [von den] Rabbinen zuerst gerühmt (..) Später jedoch, als manche ungenaue Übertragung des hebräischen Textes in der Septuaginta und Übersetzungsfehler die Grundlage für hellenistische Irrlehren abgaben, lehte man die Septuaginta ab." Verband der Deutschen Juden (Hrsg.), neu hrsg. von Walter Homolka, Walter Jacob, Tovia Ben Chorin: Die Lehren des Judentums nach den Quellen; München, Knesebeck, 1999, Bd.3, S. 43ff
17. Jump up ^ Pierre Nautin, article Hieronymus, in: Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Vol. 15, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin - New York 1986, p. 304-315, here p. 309-310.
19. Jump up ^ "regulae sancti pachomii 84 rule 104.
20. Jump up ^ W. H. Fremantle, "Prolegomena to Jerome," V.
22. Jump up ^ Stefan Rebenich, Jerome (New York: Routlage, 2002), pp. 52-59
25. Jump up ^ "Eugene Rice has suggested that in all probability the story of Gerasimus's lion became attached to the figure of Jerome some time during the seventh century, after the military invasions of the Arabs had forced many Greek monks who were living in the deserts of the Middle East to seek refuge in Rome. Rice conjectures (Saint Jerome in the Renaissance, pp. 44-45) that because of the similarity between the names Gerasimus and Geronimus -- the late Latin form of Jerome's name -- 'a Latin-speaking cleric . . . made St Geronimus the hero of a story he had heard about St Gerasimus; and that the author of Plerosque nimirum, attracted by a story at once so picturesque, so apparently appropriate, and so resonant in suggestion and meaning, and under the impression that its source was pilgrims who had been told it in Bethlehem, included it in his life of a favourite saint otherwise bereft of miracles.'" Salter, David. Holy and Noble Beasts: Encounters With Animals in Medieval Literature. D. S. Brewer. p. 12. ISBN 9780859916240.  [1]
26. Jump up ^ "a figment" found in the thirteenth-century Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine Williams, Megan Hale. The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship. Chicago: U of Chicago P. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-226-89900-8.
28. ^ Jump up to: a b The Collection: St. Jerome, gallery of the religious art collection of New Mexico State University, with explanations. Accessed August 10, 2007.
  • J.N.D. Kelly, "Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies" (Peabody, MA 1998)
  • S. Rebenich, "Jerome" (London and New York, 2002)
  • "Biblia Sacra Vulgata," Stuttgart, 1994. ISBN 3-438-05303-9
  • This article uses material from Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion.

Further reading

  • Saint Jerome, Three biographies: Malchus, St. Hilarion and Paulus the First Hermit Authored by Saint Jerome, London, 2012. ISBN 978-1-78336-016-1

External links

Latin texts

·        Chronological list of Jerome's Works with modern editions and translations cited


English translations

Third, from Catholics online at:
St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was the most learned of the Fathers of the Western Church. He was born about the year 342 at Stridonius, a small town at the head of the Adriatic, near the episcopal city of Aquileia. His father, a Christian, took care that his son was well instructed at home, then sent him to Rome, where the young man's teachers were the famous pagan grammarian Donatus and Victorinus, a Christian rhetorician. Jerome's native tongue was the Illyrian dialect, but at Rome he became fluent in Latin and Greek, and read the literatures of those languages with great pleasure. His aptitude for oratory was such that he may have considered law as a career. He acquired many worldly ideas, made little effort to check his pleasure-loving instincts, and lost much of the piety that had been instilled in him at home. Yet in spite of the pagan and hedonistic influences around him, Jerome was baptized by Pope Liberius in 360. He tells us that "it was my custom on Sundays to visit, with friends of my own age and tastes, the tombs of the martyrs and Apostles, going down into those subterranean galleries whose walls on both sides preserve the relics of the dead." Here he enjoyed deciphering the inscriptions.

After three years at Rome, Jerome's
intellectual curiosity led him to explore other parts of the world. He visited his home and then, accompanied by his boyhood friend Bonosus, went to Aquileia, where he made friends among the monks of the monastery there, notably Rufinus. Then, still accompanied by Bonosus, he traveled to Treves, in Gaul. He now renounced all secular pursuits to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to God. Eager to build up a religious library, the young scholar copied out St. Hilary's books on and his Commentaries on the Psalms, and got together other literary and religious treasures. He returned to Stridonius, and later settled in Aquileia. The bishop had cleared the church there of the plague of Arianism and had drawn to it many eminent men. Among those with whom Jerome formed friendships were Chromatius (later canonized), to whom Jerome dedicated several of his works, Heliodorus (also to become a saint), and his nephew Nepotian. The famous theologian Rufinus, at first his close friend, afterward became his bitter opponent. By nature an irascible man with a sharp tongue, Jerome made enemies as well as friends. He spent some years in scholarly studies in Aquileia, then, in search of more perfect solitude, he turned towards the East. With his friends, Innocent, Heliodorus, and Hylas, a freed slave, he started overland for Syria. On the way they visited Athens, Bithynia, Galatia, Pontus, Cappadocia, and Cilicia.

The party arrived at
Antioch about the year 373. There Jerome at first attended the lectures of the famous Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, who had not yet put forward his heresy1 With his companions he left the city for the desert of Chalcis, about fifty miles southeast of Antioch. Innocent and Hylas soon died there, and Heliodorus left to return to the West, but Jerome stayed for four years, which were passed in study and in the practice of austerity. He had many attacks of illness but suffered still more from temptation. "In the remotest part of a wild and stony desert," he wrote years afterwards to his friend Eustochium, "burnt up with the heat of the sun, so scorching that it frightens even the monks who live there, I seemed to myself to be in the midst of the delights and crowds of Rome.... In this exile and prison to which through fear of Hell I had voluntarily condemned myself, with no other company but scorpions and wild beasts, I many times imagined myself watching the dancing of Roman maidens as if I had been in the midst of them. My face was pallid with fasting, yet my will felt the assaults of desire. In my cold body and my parched flesh, which seemed dead before its death, passion was still able to live. 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. I am not ashamed to disclose my temptations, though I grieve that I am not now what I then was."

Jerome added to these trials the study of Hebrew, a discipline which he hoped would help him in winning a victory over himself. "When my
soul was on fire with wicked thoughts," he wrote in 411, "as a last resort, I became a pupil to a monk who had been a Jew, in order to learn the Hebrew alphabet. From the judicious precepts of Quintilian, the rich and fluent eloquence of Cicero, the graver style of Fronto, and the smoothness of Pliny, I turned to this language of hissing and broken-winded words. What labor it cost me, what difficulties I went through, how often I despaired and abandoned it and began again to learn, both I, who felt the burden, and they who lived with me, can bear witness. I thank our Lord that I now gather such sweet fruit from the bitter sowing of those studies." He continued to read the pagan classics for pleasure until a vivid dream turned him from them, at least for a time. In a letter he describes how, during an illness, he dreamed he was standing before the tribunal of Christ. "Thou a Christian?" said the judge skeptically. "Thou art a Ciceronian. Where thy treasure is, there thy heart is also."

The church at
Antioch was greatly disturbed at this time by party and doctrinal disputes. The anchorites in the desert took sides, and called on Jerome, the most learned of them, to give his opinions on the subjects at issue. He wrote for guidance to Pope Damasus at Rome. Failing to receive an answer, he wrote again. "On one side, the Arian fury rages, supported by the secular power; on the other side, the Church (at Antioch) is being divided into three parts, and each would draw me to itself." No reply from Damasus is extant; but we know that Jerome acknowledged Paulinus, leader of one party, as bishop of Antioch, and that when he left the desert of Chalcis, he received from Paulinus' hands his ordination as priest. Jerome consented to ordination only on condition that he should not be obliged to serve in any church, knowing that his true vocation was to be a monk and recluse.

About 380 Jerome went to
Constantinople to study the Scriptures under the Greek, Gregory of Nazianzus, then bishop of that city. Two years later he went back to Rome with Paulinus of Antioch to attend a council which Pope Damasus was holding to deal with the Antioch schism. Appointed secretary of the council, Jerome acquitted himself so well that, when it was over, Damasus kept him there as his own secretary. At the Pope's request he prepared a revised text, based on the Greek, of the Latin New Testament, the current version of which had been disfigured by "wrong copying, clumsy correction, and careless interpolations." He also revised the Latin psalter. That the prestige of Rome and its power to arbitrate between disputants, East as well as West, was recognized as never before at this time, was due in some measure at least to Jerome's diligence and ability. Along with his official duties he was fostering a new movement of Christian asceticism among a group of noble Roman ladies. Several of them were to be canonized, including Albina and her daughters Marcella and Asella, Melania the Elder, who was the first of them to go to the Holy Land, and Paula, with her daughters, Blesilla and Eustochium. The tie between Jerome and the three last-mentioned women was especially close, and to them he addressed many of his famous letters.

When Pope Damasus died in 384, he was succeeded by Siricius, who was less friendly to Jerome. While serving Damasus, Jerome had impressed all by his personal holiness, learning, and integrity. But he had also managed to get himself widely disliked by pagans and evil-doers whom he had condemned, and also by people of taste and tolerance, many of them Christians, who were offended by his biting sarcasm and a certain ruthlessness in attack. An example of his style is the harsh diatribe against the artifices of worldly women, who "paint their cheeks with rouge and their eyelids with antimony, whose plastered faces, too white for human beings, look like idols; and if in a moment of forgetfulness they shed a tear it makes a furrow where it rolls down the painted cheek; women to whom years do not bring the gravity of age, who load their heads with other people's hair, enamel a lost youth upon the wrinkles of age, and affect a maidenly timidity in the midst of a troop of grand children." In a letter to Eustochium he writes with scorn of certain members of the Roman clergy. "All their anxiety is about their clothes.... You would take them for bridegrooms rather than for clerics; all they think about is knowing the names and houses and doings of rich ladies."

Although Jerome's indignation was usually justified, his manner of expressing it-both verbally and in letters-aroused resentment. His own reputation was attacked; his bluntness, his walk, and even his smile were criticized. And neither the
virtue of the ladies under his direction nor his own scrupulous behavior towards them was any protection from scandalous gossip. Affronted at the calumnies that were circulated, Jerome decided to return to the East. Taking with him his brother Paulinian and some others, he embarked in August, 385. At Cyprus, on the way, he was received with joy by Bishop Epiphanius, and at Antioch also he conferred with leading churchmen. It was here, probably, that he was joined by the widow Paula and some other ladies who had left Rome with the aim of settling in the Holy Land.

With what remained of Jerome's own patrimony and with financial help from Paula, a monastery for men was built near the
basilica of the Nativity at Bethlehem, and also houses for three communities of women. Paula became head of one of these, and after her death was succeeded by her daughter Eustochium. Jerome himself lived and worked in a large cave near the Saviour's birthplace. He opened a free school there and also a hospice for pilgrims, "so that," as Paula said, "should Mary and Joseph visit Bethlehem again, they would have a place to stay." Now at last Jerome began to enjoy some years of peaceful activity. He gives us a wonderful description of this fruitful, harmonious, Palestinian life, and its attraction for all manner of men. "Illustrious Gauls congregate here, and no sooner has the Briton, so remote from our world, arrived at religion than he leaves his early-setting sun to seek a land which he knows only by reputation and from the Scriptures. Then the Armenians, the Persians, the peoples of India and Ethiopia, of Egypt, and of Pontus, Cappadocia, Syria, and Mesopotamia!... They come in throngs and set us examples of every virtue. The languages differ but the religion is the same; as many different choirs chant the psalms as there are nations.... Here bread and herbs, planted with our own hands, and milk, all country fare, furnish us plain and healthy food. In summer the trees give us shade. In autumn the air is cool and the falling leaves restful. In spring our psalmody is sweeter for the singing of the birds. We have plenty of wood when winter snow and cold are upon us. Let Rome keep its crowds, let its arenas run with blood, its circuses go mad, its theaters wallow in sensuality...."

But when the
Christian faith was threatened Jerome could not be silent. While at Rome in the time of Pope Damasus, he had composed a book on the perpetual virginity of the Virgin Mary against one Helvidius, who had maintained that Mary had not remained always a virgin but had had other children by St. Joseph, after the birth of Christ. This and similar ideas were now again put forward by a certain Jovinian, who had been a monk. Paula's son-in-law, Pammachius, sent some of this heretical writing to Jerome, and he, in 393, wrote two books against Jovinian. In the first he described the excellence of virginity. The books were written in Jerome's vehement style and there were expressions in them which seemed lacking in respect for honorable matrimony. Pammachius informed Jerome of the offense which he and many others at Rome had taken at them. Thereupon Jerome composed his , sometimes called his third book against Jovinian, in which he showed by quoting from his own earlier works that he regarded marriage as a good and honorable state and did not condemn even a second or a third marriage.

A few years later he turned his attention to one Vigilantius, a Gallic priest, who was denouncing both celibacy and the veneration of saints' relics, calling those who revered them idolaters and worshipers of ashes. In defending celibacy Jerome said that a
monk should purchase security by flying from temptations and dangers when he distrusted his own strength. As to the veneration of relics, he declared: "We do not worship the relics of the martyrs, but honor them in our worship of Him whose martyrs they are. We honor the servants in order that the respect paid to them may be reflected back to the Lord." Honoring them, he said, was not idolatry because no Christian had ever adored the martyrs as gods; on the other hand, they pray for us. "If the Apostles and martyrs, while still living on earth, could pray for other men, how much more may they do it after their victories? Have they less power now that they are with Jesus Christ?" He told Paula, after the death of her daughter Blesilla, "She now prays to the Lord for you, and obtains for me the pardon of my sins." Jerome was never moderate whether in virtue or against evil. Though swift to anger, he was also swift to feel remorse and was even more severe on his own failings than on those of others.

From 395 to 400 Jerome was engaged in a
war against Origenism2, which unhappily created a breach in his long friendship with Rufinus. Finding that some Eastern monks had been led into error by the authority of Rufinus' name and learning, Jerome attacked him. Rufinus, then living in a monastery at Jerusalem, had translated many of Origen's works into Latin and was an enthusiastic upholder of his scholarship, though it does not appear that he meant to defend the heresies in Origen's writings. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, was one of the churchmen greatly distressed by the quarrel between Jerome and Rufinus, and became unwillingly involved in a controversy with Jerome.

Jerome's passionate controversies were the least important part of his activities. What has made his name so famous was his critical labor on the text of the Scriptures. The Church regards him as the greatest of all the doctors in clarifying the Divine Word. He had the best available aids for such an undertaking, living where the remains of Biblical places, names, and customs all combined to give him a more vivid view than he could have had at a greater distance. To continue his study of Hebrew he hired a famous
Jewish scholar, Bar Ananias, who came to teach him by night, lest other Jews should learn of it. As a man of prayer and purity of heart whose life had been mainly spent in study, penance, and contemplation, Jerome was prepared to be a sensitive interpreter of spiritual things.

We have seen that already while at
Rome he had made a revision of the current Latin New Testament, and of the Psalms. Now he undertook to translate most of the books of the Old Testament directly from the Hebrew. The friends and scholars who urged him to this task realized the superiority of a version made directly from the original to any second-hand version, however venerable. It was needed too for argument with the Jews, who recognized no other text as authentic but their own. He began with the Books of Kings, and went on with the rest at different times. When he found that the Book of Tobias and part of Daniel had been composed in Chaldaic, he set himself to learn that difficult language also. More than once he was tempted to give up the whole wearisome task, but a certain scholarly tenacity of purpose kept him at it. The only parts of the Latin Bible, now known as the Vulgate, which were not either translated or worked over by him are the Books of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and the two Books of the Maccabees.3 He revised the Psalms once again, with the aid of Origen's ,4 and the Hebrew text. This last is the version included now in the Vulgate and used generally in the Divine Office; his first revision, known as the Roman Psalter, is still used for the opening psalm at Matins and throughout the Missal, and for the Divine Office in the cathedrals of St. Peter at Rome and St. Mark at Venice, and in the Milanese rite.

In the sixteenth century the great Council of
Trent pronounced Jerome's Vulgate the authentic and authoritative Latin text of the Catholic Church, without, however, thereby implying a preference for it above the original text or above versions in other languages. In 1907 Pope Pius X entrusted to the Benedictine Order the office of restoring as far as possible the correct text of St. Jerome's Vulgate, which during fifteen centuries of use had naturally become altered in many places. The Bible now ordinarily used by English-speaking Catholics is a translation of the Vulgate, made at Rheims and Douay towards the end of the sixteenth century, and revised by Bishop Challoner in the eighteenth. The Confraternity Edition of the New Testament appearing in 1950 represents a complete revision.

A heavy blow came to Jerome in 404 when his staunch friend, the saintly Paula, died. Six years later he was stunned by news of the sacking of
Rome by Alaric the Goth. Of the refugees who fled from Rome to the East at this time he wrote: "Who would have believed that the daughters of that mighty city would one day be wandering as servants and slaves on the shores of Egypt and Africa, or that Bethlehem would daily receive noble Romans, distinguished ladies, brought up in wealth and now reduced to beggary? I cannot help them all, but I grieve and weep with them, and am completely absorbed in the duties which charity imposes on me. I have put aside my commentary on Ezekiel and almost all study. For today we must translate the precepts of the Scriptures into deeds; instead of speaking saintly words, we must act them." A few years later his work was again interrupted by raids of barbarians pushing north through Egypt into Palestine, and later still by a violent onset of Pelagian heretics, who, relying on the protection of Bishop John of Jerusalem, sent a troop of ruffians to Bethlehem to disperse the monks and nuns living there under the direction of Jerome, who had been opposing Pelagianism5 with his customary truculence. Some of the monks were beaten, a deacon was killed, and monasteries were set on fire. Jerome had to go into hiding for a time.

The following year Paula's daughter Eustochium died. The aged Jerome soon fell ill, and after lingering for two years succumbed. Worn with
penance and excessive labor, his sight and voice almost gone, his body like a shadow, he died peacefully on September 30, 420, and was buried under the church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. In the thirteenth century his body was translated and now lies somewhere in the Sistine Chapel of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore at Rome. The Church owes much to St. Jerome. While his great work was the Vulgate, his achievements in other fields are valuable; to him we owe the distinction between canonical and apocryphal writings; he was a pioneer in the field of Biblical archeology, his commentaries are important; his letters, published in three volumes, are one of our best sources of knowledge of the times.

St. Jerome has been a popular subject with artists, who have pictured him in the desert, as a scholar in his study, and sometimes in the robes of a cardinal, because of his services for Pope Damasus; often too he is shown with a lion, from whose paw, according to legend, he once drew a thorn. Actually this story was transferred to him from the tradition of St. Gerasimus, but a lion is not an inappropriate symbol for so fearless a champion of the faith.