St. Theophilus of Antioch

quotes from Theophilus of Antioch: →

Theophilus was the seventh Bishop of Antioch from 169 to 182.  Eusebius mentions Theophilus’ writing against the heretic, Marcion, as being instrumental in defeating the heresy, but the only surviving work of Theophilus is his Apology to Autolycus.  Eusebius and Jerome, however, mention numerous works of Theophilus that existed in their time. They are:

  1. the existing Apologia addressed to Autolycus;
  2. a work against the heresy of Hermogenes;
  3. against that of Marcion;
  4. some catechetical writings;
  5. commentaries on the gospel and on Proverbs.

Theophilus’s apology is most notable for being the earliest extant Christian work to use the word “Trinity”, although he doesn’t use “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”, but rather, “God, his Word (Logos) and his Wisdom (Sophia),” (Apologia ad Autolycum Book 2:15).


Extant Writings:

Quotes & Excerpts:

“Are you unwilling to be anointed with the oil of God?  It is on this account that we are called Christians: because we are anointed with the oil of God” – To Autolycus 1:12 (Written in 181 A.D.)

“The Divine Scriptures teach us that Adam had heard a voice. And what else is this voice, but the Word of God, which is also His Son -not as the poets and writers of myth tell us of the sons of gods begotten by intercourse- but, as truth recounts, the Word which always existed eternally with God… This is what the Holy Scriptures teach us, as do all the inspired men, one of whom, John, says ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; all things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made.’ (John 1:1-3).” -To Autolycus 2:22 (Written 181 A.D.)

“God will examine everything and will judge justly, granting recompense to each according to merit.  To those who seek immortality by the patient exercise of good works, (Rom 2:7) he will give everlasting life, joy, peace, rest, and all good things.”  – To Autolycus 1:14 (Written in 181 A.D.)

“Moreover, those things which were created from the waters were blessed by God, so that this might also be a sign that men would at a future time receive repentance and remission of sins through water and the bath of regeneration.“ -To Autolycus 12:16 (Written 181 A.D.)

“It is the attribute of God, the most high and almighty, the living God, not only to be everywhere, but also to see and hear all; for he cannot be contained in a place…  The three days before the luminaries were created are types of the Trinity: God, his Word, and his Wisdom” – To Autolycus 2:15 (Written in 181 A. D.)

“Far be it from Christians that to do such deeds should enter their mind; for temperance dwells within them, self-restraint is practiced, monogamy is observed, chastity is guarded, injustice is exterminated, reverence is preserved, God is acknowledged: truth controls, grace guards, peace protects, wisdom teaches, life directs, the Holy Word guides, God reigns.” -To Autolycus 3:15 (Written in 183 A.D.)