Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria (Greek: Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; c. 150 – c. 215 AD), was a Christian theologian and philosopher who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria.
Like most early Christian writers, information about Irenaeus’s life is scarce and inexact. Most information about him either comes from what little can be gleaned from his writing, and from church tradition.
The city of Smyrna was located approximately thirty-five miles north of Ephesus. It was a prosperous city with a population of over one hundred thousand in John’s day (c. A.D. 95). That location had been inhabited for over three thousand years, and no one knows for sure who founded Smyrna or exactly when it was established.
Tertullian was the first significant Christian author to write in Latin, and one of the most prolific.
Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37–c.100) is the author of what has become for Christianity perhaps the most significant extra-biblical writings of the first century. His works are the principal source for the history of the Jews from the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes B.C. 175–163) to the fall of Masada in A.D. 73, and therefore, are of incomparable value for determining the setting of late intertestamental and New Testament times.
First Century AD Christianity found itself at odds with the culture, which dominated the Roman Empire at the time. Just as the Jewish Maccabees rejected the Greek culture two centuries before, so did the early Christians, who would not pay homage to other gods or to the Roman Emperor.
Oral Tradition is both sharply distinguished from written tradition and yet closely connected with it. Many literary traditions are based on oral traditions, making it necessary to investigate how transitions were made from one to the other.
Christianity transforms the whole moral life of individuals, and of nations; breathes into morality its true life, love to God; and ceases not till all sin is banished from the earth, and holiness, which is essential to the idea of the church, is fully realized in the life of redeemed humanity.
The object of this General Introduction is, to obtain a clear view of the nature and purpose of Church History, and thus to gain the proper position for the contemplation of its details.