Author Topic: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?  (Read 1087 times)

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Tim B

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I was reading about The Didascalia, here

http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/didascalia.htm

and found this quote:

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Eusebius states in his Ecclesiastic History, that the Apostle Mark came to Egypt preaching the gospel somewhere between 41-44 A.D. He established the early church in Alexandria, and apparently created a center for the discipleship and education of the early Christians—the beginnings of what was to become the famed Catechetical school. He later visited Alexandria again, eventually being martyred in Alexandria on Easter 68 A.D.

Does anybody know if this is true? To be honest, this would be an extremely interesting and uplifting bit of information. If Mark really did start what was to become the Catechetical school, and from whence came the likes of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, that would seem to support the idea that UR really was the main belief of the early Christian believers!  :bigGrin:

Thanks guys, and LOVE be with you!

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 12:35:32 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catechetical_School_of_Alexandria
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/patrology/schoolofalex/I-Intro/chapter1.html
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St. Jerome records that the Christian School of Alexandria was founded by St. Mark himself. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to establish it to teach Christianity, as this was the only way to give the new religion a solid foundation in the city.

The School became the oldest center for sacred sciences in the history of Christianity. In it, the first system of Christian theology was formed and the allegorical method of biblical exegesis was devised. In this context, Dom. D. Rees states, "The most renowned intellectual institution in the early Christian world was undoubtedly the Catechetical School (Didascaleion) of Alexandria, and its primary concern was the study of the Bible, giving its name to an influential tradition of scriptural interpretation. The preoccupation of this school of exegesis was to discover everywhere the spiritual sense underlying the written word of the Scripture."


http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Alexandria.aspx#1O101-Alexandria
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Alexandria. City in Egypt, notable in Christian tradition (stemming, traditionally, from St Mark) for its catechetical school in the 2nd and 3rd cents. and in the 4th and 5th cents. especially for the 'Alexandrian theology' represented by Origen, Athanasius, and Cyril.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Catechetical_School_of_Alexandria
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According to St. Jerome the origins of a Christian school in Alexandria can be traced the Apostle Mark who appointed the first leader of the school, St. Justus, who later was the sixth bishop of Alexandria. Other opinions point to an origin of the Catechetical school in the last decade of the second century. In form, the school was informal, that is, instruction was in the homes of the instructors not in designated buildings or facilities. In the beginning, the school functioned to ready candidates for admission to the Christian faith.

http://www.viswiki.com/en/Catechetical_School_of_Alexandria
-> Nice 'graph'

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/alexandr.htm
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It is probable that Christianity came to Alexandria in apostolic times, though the tradition that it was first brought by John Mark cannot be verified. The indications are that Christianity was well established in middle Egypt by A.D. 150 and that Alexandria was its port of entry and supporting base.

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http://archangelmichaeloc.org/new/coptic-orthodox-church.html
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The Coptic Orthodox Church is the portion of the Church of Alexandria which broke from the Byzantine churches in the wake of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon in 451. Sharing a common heritage before with the Chalcedonian Church of Alexandria, it traces its origins to the Apostle Mark.

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http://latter-rain.com/earlychurch/saintmark.htm
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Then Mark vanishes from history for a while, tradition placing him in Alexandria founding the Church, there and Hermagoras was consecrated bishop. When he re-emerges almost 20 years later he is the man who redeemed himself. The teaching was carried on in the midst of pagans and philosophers - cultivated men of letters with education training and intellect. His gospel must have had an impact. Mark was to organize an effort there which would render it indispensable for them to present Christianity in a way that would neither repel their opponents, nor give them an easy victory over ignorant assertions. From this necessity arose the great catechetical school of Alexandria, founded by Saint Mark. The undisputed record of antiquity is that Mark spent the latter part of his life in Alexandria, Egypt, as an overseer of the churches there.

http://books.google.com/books?id=kji0609Q_xQC&pg=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=Mark+Start+the+Alexandrian+Catechetical+School&source=bl&ots=UJ3SkFhC6l&sig=IOYm6_HTt12BkC-ju7wN1GDTjMg&hl=en&ei=VFp1Ss_mOcTE-Qak7Y3MBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#v=onepage&q=&f=false


Many many more quotes can be found. Of course most are just copying stuff from others.
But important is, IMO, that I have yet to find an article disputing it.
By reading the above links you find that also site of mainstream Christanity hold the view.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Tim B

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2009, 11:07:06 PM »
Sweet, WW! Thanks for all the links! Now I've got a lot to read lol

Do you know what St. Justus believed about UR? One of your quotes claimed he was the first leader of the school. I looked him up on wikipedia and Google, but most of what I saw was about some dude from 600 AD I think.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 11:38:04 PM by Tim B »

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2009, 11:33:15 PM »
Can't find Justus.
Most indeed leads to a pope from 600 AD

Maybe this one?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Justus_of_Alexandria
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Pope Justus of Alexandria (118 – 129) served as Pope of Alexandria (head of the church that became the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Church of Alexandria) between 118 and 129. He is regarded as a saint of the Coptic Church.

He is believed to have been baptised by Saint Mark[1] ;who appointed him as the first Dean of the Catechetical School of Alexandria [2]

The Seat of the Pope during his papacy remained in the Saint Mark's church in Alexandria.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Tim B

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 11:40:09 PM »
Can't find Justus.
Most indeed leads to a pope from 600 AD

Maybe this one?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Justus_of_Alexandria
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Pope Justus of Alexandria (118 – 129) served as Pope of Alexandria (head of the church that became the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Church of Alexandria) between 118 and 129. He is regarded as a saint of the Coptic Church.

He is believed to have been baptised by Saint Mark[1] ;who appointed him as the first Dean of the Catechetical School of Alexandria [2]

The Seat of the Pope during his papacy remained in the Saint Mark's church in Alexandria.

Yeah, it's probably Justus of Alexandria. Would the Dean be different from the first instructor? Because Wikipedia has this to say about the school:

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The Catechetical School of Alexandria (founded c.a. 190) was and is a place for the training of Christian theologians and priests in Alexandria. The teachers and students of the school (also known as the Didascalium) were influential in many of the early theological controversies of the Christian church.

The earliest recorded instructor at the school, and the probable founder, was Saint Pantaenus. He was succeeded as head of the school by his student Saint Clement.

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 11:40:15 PM »
http://www.lacopts.org/articles/saint-mark-and-the-church-of-alexandria
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St. Mark established a Theological School to stand against the school for the pagans and to combat their ideas. He designated St. Justus to manage the school who later became the sixth bishop of Alexandria. He wrote the Holy Liturgy for St. Anianus and the priests to use in praying.

http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/Stmark/
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8- OTHER WORKS OF ST. MARK:
St. Mark established a Theological School to stand against the
school for the pagans and to combat their ideas. He designated
St. Justus to manage the school who later became the sixth
bishop of Alexandria.
He wrote the Holy Liturgy for St. Anianus and the priests to
use in praying.

Again many more can be found. But as you might have guessed not every website has done their own historical research....
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2009, 11:43:51 PM »
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Would the Dean be different from the first instructor?

A dean is a headmaster. The leader of the school. It doesn't automatically means he teaches himself but doesn't exclude it. But surely those he is in charge of teaches his believes.
But in a small school, this one certainly was a first, it's very likely the dean teaches.


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Main Entry:dean
Pronunciation:*d*n
Function:noun
Etymology:Middle English deen, from Anglo-French deen, deien, from Late Latin decanus chief of ten, from Greek dekanos, from deka ten — more at  TEN
Date:13th century

1 a : the head of the chapter of a collegiate or cathedral church  b : a Roman Catholic priest who supervises one district of a diocese
2 a : the head of a division, faculty, college, or school of a university  b : a college or secondary school administrator in charge of counseling and disciplining students
3 : DOYEN 1
  –dean intransitive verb 
  –dean£ship \-*ship\  noun 
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Tim B

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 12:00:18 AM »
Quote
Would the Dean be different from the first instructor?

A dean is a headmaster. The leader of the school. It doesn't automatically means he teaches himself but doesn't exclude it. But surely those he is in charge of teaches his believes.
But in a small school, this one certainly was a first, it's very likely the dean teaches.


Quote
Main Entry:dean
Pronunciation:*d*n
Function:noun
Etymology:Middle English deen, from Anglo-French deen, deien, from Late Latin decanus chief of ten, from Greek dekanos, from deka ten — more at  TEN
Date:13th century

1 a : the head of the chapter of a collegiate or cathedral church  b : a Roman Catholic priest who supervises one district of a diocese
2 a : the head of a division, faculty, college, or school of a university  b : a college or secondary school administrator in charge of counseling and disciplining students
3 : DOYEN 1
  –dean intransitive verb 
  –dean£ship \-*ship\  noun 

So if Justus was the first dean (and possible teacher), the leaders/teachers might have worked something like this:

Mark ==> St. Justus ==> Pantaenus ==> Clement of Alexandria ==> Origen

And of course, it makes sense, as you said, that Justus' followers would teach what he taught. Thus, probably also what Mark taught.  :bigGrin:

Maaaannn... I wish I could have met Origen. I think, in a way, I look up to him. From what I've read, he was an incredibly Godly and loving man!  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 12:30:26 AM by Tim B »

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Woah! Did Mark (the Apostle) Start the Alexandrian Catechetical School?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 08:32:14 AM »
So if Justus was the first dean (and possible teacher),
More accurate would be "... first dean as you understand it WW"
I'm no authority you know...


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the leaders/teachers might have worked something like this:

Mark ==> St. Justus ==> Pantaenus ==> Clement of Alexandria ==> Origen

And of course, it makes sense, as you said, that Justus' followers would teach what he taught. Thus, probably also what Mark taught.  :bigGrin:

Mark learned from Jesus. Mark put Justus in charge because Justus and Mark obvious had the same mind. Likely Mark did teach Justus. Maybe Justus learned directly from Jesus because he was always in the crowd when Jesus thaught. (just awild guess)
Acts 1:23, Acts 18:7 and Col 4:11 mention Justus. I didn't even read the verses (very little time now) so it could be a totally different person.
Anyway as I remebers it Mark founded the school. Put Justus in charge. Mark started to travel. Mark returned. Mark started teaching at the school. IIRC there was political/religious turmoil when Mark returned.

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Maaaannn... I wish I could have met Origen. I think, in a way, I look up to him. From what I've read, he was an incredibly Godly and loving man!  :thumbsup:
Then I have bad news for you :sigh:
I've heard you first gonna have a 777 year chat with the One Origen was teaching about :laughing7:
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...