Theophilus of Antioch

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Theophilus was the Bishop of Antioch during the second century. A convert to Christianity, he was a prolific writer who was often quoted by later Christian writers.


Little is known of the personal life of Theophilus. According to his 'apology to Autolycus' he was apparently born to pagan parents, about the year 120. He became a convert to Christianity after he had studied the Holy Scriptures. [1] Theophilus became the bishop of Antioch in the sixth year of the reign of Marcus Aurelius, which is the year 168. [2]

Eusebius and Jerome, among others, noted that Theophilus wrote a number of works against the heresies that prevailed in his day. Jerome also credited Theophilus with the works Commentaries on the Gospels and on the Book of Proverbs. The only work of his that has come down to us, however, is the Apologia ad Autolycum, in three volumes that apparently were written at different times. This work is addressed to his friend Autolycus as a rebuttal apparently of disparaging comments about Christianity by Autolycus.

In his Apologia, we have the first direct reference to the Trinity in a manner that its use is not new. [3]

The date of his repose is uncertain, ranging from the year 181 to 190.


  1. Apologia ad Autolycum i. 14, ii. 24.
  2. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., iv 20)
  3. [1] Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus - Doctrine of the Trinity.
Succession box:
Theophilus of Antioch
Preceded by:
Eros II
Bishop of Antioch
Succeeded by:
Maximinos I
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