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Serapion of Antioch
Serapion was Bishop of Antioch (191 - 211). He is known primarily through his theological writings. Eusebius refers to three works of Serapion in his history, but admits that others probably existed: first is a private letter addressed to Caricus and Pontius against Montanism, from which Eusebius quotes an extract (Historia ecclesiastica V, 19), as well as ascriptions showing that it was circulated amongst bishops in Asia and Thrace; next is a work addressed to a certain Domninus, who in time of persecution abandoned Christianity for the error of "Jewish will-worship" (Hist. Eccles, VI, 12).
Lastly, Eusebius quotes (vi.12.2) from a pamphlet Serapion wrote concerning the Docetic Gospel of Peter, in which Serapion presents an argument to the Christian community of Rhossus in Syria against this gospel and condemns it:
- "We, brethren, receive Peter and the other Apostles even as Christ; but the writings that go falsely by their names we, in our experience, reject, knowing that such things as these we never received. When I was with you I supposed you all to be attached to the right faith; and so without going through the gospel put forward under Peter's name, I said, `If this is all that makes your petty quarrel, why then let it be read.' But now that I have learned from information given me that their mind was lurking in some hole of heresy, I will make a point of coming to you again: so, brethren, expect me speedily. Knowing then, brethren, of what kind of heresy was Marcion... From others who used this very gospel— I mean from the successors of those who started it, whom we call Docetae, for most of its ideas are of their school— from them, I say, I borrowed it, and was able to go through it, and to find that most of it belonged to the right teaching of the Saviour, but some things were additions."
Eusebius also alludes to a number of personal letters Serapion wrote to Pontius, Caricus, and others about this Gospel of Peter.
Serapion also acted against the influence of Gnosticism in Osroene by consecrating Palut as bishop of Edessa, where Palut addressed the increasingly Gnostic tendencies that the churchman Bardesanes was introducing to its Christian community.
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