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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VI:
Prefaces.: Philemon.

Early Church Fathers  Index     


Written for Paula and Eustochium, a.d. 387. The Preface is a defence of the genuineness of the Epistle against those who thought its subject beneath the dignity of inspiration. “There are many degrees of inspiration,” Jerome says, “though in Christ alone it is seen in its fulness.” Many of the other Epistles touch upon small affairs of life, like the cloak left at Troas. To suppose that common life is separate from God is Manichæanism. Jerome mentions that Marcion, who altered many of the Epistles, did not touch that of Philemon; and brevity in a document which has in it so much of the beauty of the Gospel is a mark of its inspiration.

Next: Titus.

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