OF ANTIOCH (c. 250-312)

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

A presbyter in the Antiochene diocese, and known for both pious asceticism and scholarly diligence, produced a recension of the Greek Bible that not only was important in his time but also has continued to be an influence (especially the New Testament) in the Orthodox church to the present time. His version of the Septuagint, based on a knowledge of as well as of Greek, circulated with other versions of the Old Testament, 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 JEROME, 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.

is best known, perhaps, for being the perpetrator of SUBORDINATIONISM, a teaching about the nature of Christ that later developed into the heresy (see ARIANISM). In fact, ARIUS and others tainted with the heresy claimed to be students of Lucian. Among the more famous “Collucianists” were Arius, Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, Menophantus of Ephesus, Theognis of Nicaea, Maris of Chalcedon, Athanasius of Anazarbus, the sophist Asterius, and Bishop Leontius of Antioch. Because of his beliefs, for most of his life and his school were not in communion with the orthodox 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 on 7 January 312 in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey), during the persecutions under Emperor Maximinus. is regarded as a saint in the Roman Catholic church (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 44.5. Leipzig, 1924.
  • Metzger, B. M. Chapters in the of New Testament Textual Criticism, pp. 1-41. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1963. Quasten, J. , Vol. 2, pp. 142-44. Utrecht, 1964.