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§ 194. Lucian of Antioch.


(I.) Luciani Fragmenta in Routh, Rel. s. IV. 3–17.

(II.) Euseb. H. E. VIII. 13; IX. 6 (and Rufinus’s Eus. IX. 6). Hier De Vir. ill. 77, and in other works. Socrat.: H. E. II. 10. Sozom.: H. E. III. 5. Epiphan.: Ancoratus, c. 33. Theodor.: H. E. I. 3. Philostorgius: H. E., II. 14, 15. Chrysostom’s Hom. in Lucian, (in Opera ed. Montfaucon, T. II. 524 sq; Migne, "Patr. Gr." I. 520 sqq.) Ruinart: Acta Mart., p. 503 sq.

(III.) Acta Sanct. Jan. VII. 357 sq. Baron. Ann. ad Ann. 311. Brief notices in Tillemont, Cave, Fabricius, Neander, Gieseler, Hefele (Conciliengesch. vol. I). Harnack: Luc. der Märt. in Herzog, VIII. (1881), pp. 767–772. J. T. Stokes, in Smith & Wace, III., 748 and 749.

On his textual labors see the critical Introductions to the Bible.


I. Lucian was an eminent presbyter of Antioch and martyr of the Diocletian persecution, renewed by Maximin. Very little is known of him. He was transported from Antioch to Nicomedia, where the emperor then resided, made a noble confession of his faith before the judge and died under the tortures in prison (311). His memory was celebrated in Antioch on the 7th of January. His piety was of the severely ascetic type.

His memory was obscured by the suspicion of unsoundness in the faith. Eusebius twice mentions him and his glorious martyrdom, but is silent about his theological opinions. Alexander of Alexandria, in an encyclical of 321, associates him with Paul of Samosata and makes him responsible for the Arian heresy; he also says that he was excommunicated or kept aloof from the church (ἀποσυνάγωγος ἔμεινε) during the episcopate of Domnus, Timaeus, and Cyrillus; intimating that his schismatic condition ceased before his death. The charge brought against him and his followers is that he denied the eternity of the Logos and the human soul of Christ (the Logos taking the place of the rational soul). Arius and the Arians speak of him as their teacher. On the other hand Pseudo-Athanasius calls him a great and holy martyr, and Chrysostom preached a eulogy on him Jan. 1, 387. Baronius defends his orthodoxy, other Catholics deny it.15061506    See Baron. Annal. ad Ann. 311; De Broglie, L’église et l’empire, I. 375 Newman, Arians of the Fourth Century, 414.507 Some distinguished two Lucians, one orthodox, and one heretical; but this is a groundless hypothesis.

The contradictory reports are easily reconciled by the assumption that Lucian was a critical scholar with some peculiar views on the Trinity and Christology which were not in harmony with the later Nicene orthodoxy, but that he wiped out all stains by his heroic confession and martyrdom.15071507    Hefele, Conciliengesch., vol. I., p. 258 sq. (2nd ed.), assumes to the same effect that Lucian first sympathized with his countryman, Paul of Samosta, in his humanitarian Christology, and hence was excommunicated for a while, but afterwards renounced this heresy, was restored, and acquired great fame by his improvement of the text of the Septuagint and by his martyrdom.508

II. The creed which goes by his name and was found after his death, is quite orthodox as far as it goes, and was laid with three similar creeds before the Synod of Antioch held a.d. 341, with the intention of being substituted for the Creed of Nicaea.15081508    This Synod is recognized as legitimate and orthodox, and its twenty-five canons are accepted, although it confirmed the previous deposition of Athanasius for violating a canon. See a full acccount in Hefele, l.c. 1. 502-530.509 It resembles the creed of Gregorius Thaumaturgus, is strictly trinitarian and acknowledges Jesus Christ "as the Son of God, the only begotten God,15091509    τὸν μονογενῆ θεόν. Comp. the Vatican and Sinaitic reading of John 1:18, μονογενὴς θεός (without the article), instead of ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός . The phrase, μονογενὴς Θεόςwas widely used in the Nicene age, not only by the orthodox, but also by Arian writers in the sense of one who is both θεὸς (divine) and μονογενής. See Hort’s Two Dissertations on this subject, Cambr., 1876. In the usual punctuation of Lucian’s creed, τὸν μονογενῆis connected with the preceding τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ, and separated from θεὸν, so as to read "his Son the only begotten, God, " etc.510 through whom all things were made, who was begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Whole of Whole, One of One, Perfect of Perfect, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the living Word, Wisdom, Life, True Light, Way, Truth, Resurrection, Shepherd, Door, unchangeable and unalterable, the immutable Likeness of the Godhead, both of the substance and will and power and glory of the Father, the first-born of all creation,15101510    πρωτότοκον (not πρωτόκτιστον, first-created) πάσης κτίσεως, from Col. 1:17.511 who was in the beginning with God, the Divine Logos, according to what is said in the Gospel: ’And the Word was God (John 1:1), through whom all things were made’ (ver. 3), and in whom ’all things consist’ (Col. 1:17): who in the last days came down from above, and was born of a Virgin, according to the Scriptures, and became man, the Mediator between God and man, etc.15111511    See the creed in full in Athanasius, Ep. de Synodis Arimini et Seleucidae celebratis, § 23 (Opera ed. Montf. I. ii. 735); Mansi, Conc. II. 1339-’42; Schaff,Creeds of Christendom, II. 25-28; and Hahn, Bibl. der Symb., ed. II., p. 1847-’87. Hefele, l. c., gives a German version. It is not given as a creed of Lucian by Athanasius or Socrates (H. E. II. 10), or Hilarius (in his Latin version, De Syn. sive de Fide Orient., § 29); but Sozomenus reports (H. E. III. 5) that the bishops of the Synod of Antioch ascribed it to him, and also that a Semi-Arian synod in Caria, 367, adopted it under his name (VI. 12). It is regarded as genuine by Cave, Bssnage, Bull, Hahn, Dorner, but questioned either in whole or in part by Routh (I. 16), Hefele, Keim, Harnack, and Caspari; but the last two acknowledge an authentic basis of Lucian which was enlarged by the Antiochian synod. The concluding anathema is no doubt a later addition.512

III. Lucianus is known also by his critical revision of the text of the Septuagint and the Greek Testament. Jerome mentions that copies were known in his day as "exemplaria Lucianea," but in other places he speaks rather disparagingly of the texts of Lucian, and of Hesychius, a bishop of Egypt (who distinguished himself in the same field). In the absence of definite information it is impossible to decide the merits of his critical labors. His Hebrew scholarship is uncertain, and hence we do not know whether his revision of the Septuagint was made from the original.15121512    On his labors in regard to the Sept., see Simeon Metaphrastes and Suidas, quoted in Routh IV. 3 sq.; Field’s ed. of the Hexapla of Origen; Nestle in the "Zeitschr. d. D. Morgenl. Gesellsch., " 1878, 465-508; and the prospectus to the proposed ed. of the Sept. by P. de Lagarde.513

As to the New Testament, it is likely that he contributed much towards the Syrian recension (if we may so call it), which was used by Chrysostom and the later Greek fathers, and which lies at the basis of the textus receptus.15131513    Dr. Hort, Introd. and Append. to Westcott and Hort’s Greek Test. (Lond. and N. York, 1881), p. 138, says of Lucian: "Of known names his has a better claim than any other to be associated with the early Syrian revision; and the conjecture derives some little support from a passage of Jerome . Praetermitto eos codices quos a Luciano et Hesychio nuncupatos adscrit perversa contentio, " etc. Dr. Scrivener, who denies such a Syrian recension as an ignis fatuus, barely alludes to Lucian in his Introduction to the Criticism of the N. Test., 3rd ed., Cambr., 1883, pp. 515, 517.514



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