The Development of the Canon of the New Testament

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Places in Early Christianity

Alexandria, Egypt
Antioch, Syria
Edessa, Syria
Lyons, Gaul
Pepuza, Phrygia
Rome, Italy
Map of the Spread of Christianity

Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE on the mouth of the Nile, was the metropolis of Egypt, destined to become one of the chief centers of Christianity, the rival of Antioch and Rome. Since the time of the first Ptolemies it boasted two great libraries of learning, the Museion and Serapeion.

At Alexandria the religious life of Palestine and the intellectual culture of Greece met and mingled, and prepared the way for what became the first school of Christian theology. Originally designed only for the practical purpose of preparing converts for baptism, the catechetical school# was under the supervision of the bishop. But in the city which was the home of Philonic theology, of Gnostic speculations, and of Neoplatonic philosophy, the school soon assumed a more learned character, and became, at the same time, a kind of theological seminary. It had at first but a single teacher, afterward two or more, but without fixed salary, or special buildings. The teachers gave their voluntary lectures in their homes, generally after the style of the ancient philosophers. The early heads of the school were:

Pantaenus ~180 - ~190 CE
Clement ~190 to 192
Origen 193 to 215
Didymus the Blind 348 to 398

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