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Athanasius of Alexandria

Christian teacher; d. 373; ordained as a deacon in Egypt around 319, Athanasius attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 and soon afterward became the overseer (bishop) of Alexandria. Athanasius spent much of his career confronting Arius's teaching that Jesus is not God.

c. 296 — born in Alexandria
c. 308 - c. 315 — studied under Bishop Alexander
c. 313 — brought into Alexander's house, became his secretary
c. 318 — wrote Against theGentilesand On theIncarnation
c. 319 — ordained deacon
c. 325 — attended Council of Nicaea
c. 328 — elected Bishop of Alexandria
331 — appeared before Emperor Constantine
334 — refused to attend Council at Caesarea
335 — defended himself before Council of Tyre
336-338 — endured first exile
c. 344-346 — underwent second exile
356-361 — suffered third exile, wrote Historyof the Arians
362 — returned again to Alexandria
365 — forced into fourth exile
367 — wrote thirty-ninth Festal Letter
372 — wrote Against Apollinarianism
373 — died peacefully at home

In 367 he wrote a letter (now referred to as the thirty-ninth Festal Letter) to the churches in his area, listing the books meeting the standards set for the New Testament canon (i.e., authoritative writ-ings) — identical to the list that Christians still use today. See also Arius of Alexandria; canon; Christology; church fathers; Constantine the Great; Council of Nicaea.

Printed with permission from Bethany House Publishers, South Bloomington, Minnesota from the book "The Da Vinci Codebreaker : an easy-to-use fact checker for truth seekers" by James L. Garlow.

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