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Melito of Sardis

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(This article was written by James T. Dennison, Jr. and published by "The Outlook," October 2003, Volume 53, No. 4, pp. 7-8. The original article is available online at http://www.reformedfellowship.net/articles/dennison_melito_sardis_apr03_v53_n04.htm))

The one who hung the earth in space, is himself hanged;

The one who fixed the heavens in place. is himself impaled;

The one who firmly fixed all things, is himself firmly

Fixed to the tree.

-Melito, Paschal Homily (96)

It was first discovered in the 1930's (Michigan-Beatty Papyrus) and initially published in 1940. Melito's (MEL-e-toe) Paschal Homily (or "Sermon on the Passover") is regarded by many as the most stunning patristic discovery of the 20th century. Save for fragments, the homily was not extant in ancient collections of Melito's works. Yet providentially, another version (Papyrus Bodmer XIII) was discovered and published in 1960. A newly found Coptic manuscript of the sermon (Mississippi Copti…

Gregory the Great

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A brief biographical account of Gregory the Great (c.540-604) by Rev. Brian DeJong

Perhaps the most important early pope was Gregory the Great. Gregory was born in 540 to a noble and wealthy Roman Christian family. In fact, Gregory’s great-great grandfather was Pope Felix III. Gregory’s mother Silvia was a pious woman and raised Gregory as a Christian.

Gregory was also an intelligent child, and was above average in his schoolwork. During this time Rome was repeatedly attacked by the barbarians. At age 5 Gregory saw Rome besieged by Totila, King of the Goths. Because of this turmoil, Gregory was called to civil leadership as an urban prefect.

After serving a short time in government, he resigned his post, used his wealth to found six monasteries and himself became a simple monk. To turn his back on wealth and power was dramatic, but Gregory sought a life of solitude and peace with God. He later said that those were the happiest days of his life. Gregory’s decision was based…