Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons

On this anniversary of his death, Irenaeus, the Bishop of Lyons, is still considered by many as one of the most important Christian writers of the second century!

He advocated for four, and only four Gospels, to be a part of the New Testament canon. He stated: “The Gospels could not possibly be either more or less in number than they are.”

He interprets the four creatures of Revelation as representations of Jesus: “For the first living creature, was like a lion, signifying his . . . royal character; the second was like an ox, showing his . . . priestly order; the third had the face of a man, indicating . . . his coming in human guise; and the fourth was like a flying eagle, making plain the giving of the Spirit. Now the Gospels, in which Christ is enthroned, are like these.”

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