Born in Asia Minor in the first half of the second century, he heard Polycarp in Smyrna while a young man.
He later moved to Gaul, becoming a priest at Lyon during the persecution of Marcus Aurelius. After the martyrdom of the bishop, Irenaeus was made bishop of Lyon around 180 A.D.
He wrote a number of antiheretical tracts in Greek, particularly against various Gnostic sects.
His arguments came down to the authority of the apostles, who had received the truth from Christ and founded the Church on that truth.
Because truth is one, all of the Christians are one in faith across the world.
Compare that, he said, to the thousands of quarreling sects of heretics who devise, then revise their beliefs with each passing fashion.
He rejected the Gnostics who rewrote Scripture or added their own Gnostic gospels. These were not saint iranaeus apostolic, but false innovations.
His description of the New Testament is the first that closely matches the accepted canon.
After writing several other, now lost, works, Irenaeus appears to have ended his days peacefully in Lyons.
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