Lucian Of Antioch (C. 250-312)

LUCIAN OF (c. 250-312)

An Anatolian biblical scholar and theologian who was martyred. Lucian was born in Samosata and educated at the school of (both cities in modern Turkey). He became a follower of Paul of Samosata, excommunicated (although this has been disputed by F. Loofs [1924] and G. Bardy [1936]). Lucian founded his own school in Antioch, which taught both and scriptural exegesis.

A presbyter in the Antiochene diocese, and known for both pious and scholarly diligence, Lucian produced a recension of the Greek that not only was important in his time but also has continued to be an influence (especially the ) in the to the present time. His version of the , based on a knowledge of as well as of Greek, circulated with other versions of the , and portions of the Lucianic text are still found in current texts of the Bible. While he was not so prolific an author as ORIGEN or Saint , Lucian may have written one of the creeds presented at the Council of Antioch in 341, and his students published numerous commentaries on biblical books. His school was dedicated to a literal interpretation of the scriptures, as opposed to the allegorical interpretations of the Alexandrian school.

Lucian is best known, perhaps, for being the perpetrator of SUBORDINATIONISM, a teaching about the nature of Christ that later developed into the Arian heresy (see ARIANISM). In fact, and others tainted with the heresy claimed to be students of Lucian. Among the more famous “Collucianists” were Arius, Bishop of Nicomedia, Menophantus of Ephesus, Theognis of , Maris of , of Anazarbus, the sophist Asterius, and Bishop Leontius of Antioch. Because of his beliefs, for most of his life Lucian and his school were not in communion with the church. Toward the end of his life he made peace with the church for both himself and his school. He was tortured and put to death on 7 January 312 in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey), during the persecutions under . Lucian is regarded as a saint in the (feast day 7 Jan.) and the Orthodox church (feast day 15 Oct.).


  • Bardy, G. Recherches sur saint Lucien d’Antioche et son école. Paris, 1936.
  • Loofs, F. Paulus von Samosata. Texte und Untersuchungen 44.5. Leipzig, 1924.
  • Metzger, B. M. Chapters in the History of New Testament Textual Criticism, pp. 1-41. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1963. Quasten, J. Patrology, Vol. 2, pp. 142-44. Utrecht, 1964.


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