Lives of Illustrious Men – Theophilus the bishop


Theophilus, bishop of the church of Alexandria, wrote one great volume Against Origen in which he condemns pretty nearly all his sayings and himself likewise, at the same time saying that he was not original in his views but derived them from the ancient fathers especially from Heraclas, that he was deposed from the office of presbyter driven from the church and compelled to fly from the city. He also wrote Against the Anthropomorphites, heretics who say that God has the human form and members, confuting in a long discussion and arguing by testimonies of Divine Scripture and convincing. He shows that, according to the belief of the Fathers, God is to be thought of as incorporal, not formed with any suggestion of members at all, and therefore there is nothing like Him among created things in substance, nor has the incorruptibility nor unchangeableness nor incorporeality of his nature been given to any one but that all intellectual natures are corporeal, all corruptible, all mutable, that He alone should not be subject to corruptibility or changeableness, who alone has immortality and life. Likewise the return of the paschal feast which the great council at Nicea had found would take place after ninety years at the same time, the same month and day adding some observations on the festival and explanations he gave to the emperor Theodosius. I have read also three books On faith, which bear his name but, as their language is not like his, I do not very much think they are by him.

MLA Citation

  • Saint Jerome. “Theophilus the bishop”. Lives of Illustrious Men, with the Authors whom Gennadius Added after the Death of the Blessed Jerome, translated by Ernest Cushing Richardson. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2014. Web. 26 July 2021. <>