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Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

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359, but Acacius went to Constantinople the next year, denounced Cyril and got him removed again. Then in 361 the emperor Julian had Cyril reinstated in Jerusalem, most probably to ensure that there would be disruptions among Christians in the city where Christ died and was raised.17

Another defender of the Nicene faith was Serapion of Thmuis in Egypt (d. after 362), a confidant of Athanasius. Letters to him from Athanasius contain one of the first serious discussions of the Holy Spirit. Yet strikingly Serapion never uses homoousios, 'of the same nature', the Nicene technical term for describing the Son's relationship to the Father. He seems to have been influ-encedby some of Origen's statements about hell (Origenrejectedthe salvation of the devil),18 for he thinks of it as a place where the lost are taught. He may also offer the first view of the growing Christian cult of relics.19 He also fought against Manichaeans and showed signs of familiarity with their teachings. His work proved helpful to others in the refutation of this pagan religion or heresy, but sadly for all he had not read lengthy treatises, but only selections that left much of Manichaean doctrine unclear.20

The emperor Julian

The largest threat to the growing prestige and power of all Christianities appeared in the emperor Julian's attempt to revive paganism. Few, however, knew to watch the developing religious programmes of Julian (regn. 360-3). Basil of Caesarea (330-79) and Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 330-90) had studied with him in Athens; they both attacked him and his views. Julian had grown up in an atmosphere in which 'Christian' leaders were his enemies: their government had killed members of his family. He had no reason to think that he should adhere to Christian faith and practice. During his education in Ephesus, one of his mentors was a philosopher who had not given up on the ancient Greco-Roman pantheon; indeed he evidently saw the best philosophy tied to those gods. The Christian bishop in charge of Julian's studies may well have been a closet pagan, as were some important bishops elsewhere, like Pegasius, who only emerged publicly to express their allegiance to the ancient rites when Julian was proclaimed emperor.21 Men with Hellenistic educations

17 See the translations St. Cyril of Jerusalem's lectures on the Christian sacraments, ed. Cross and Saint Cyrille deJérusalem: Catéchete, trans. Paulin; Cyril ofJerusalem. Mystagogue, trans. Doval, argues that the piece is Cyril's.

19 Jerome, Lives of illustrious men 99.

20 K. Fitschen, Serapion von Thmuis, 23-57, sees Serapion as a good witness for Egyptian Manichaeism, but Serapion does not seem to have known primary Manichaean texts, only summaries. See further chapter 11, below.

21 Julian, Letter 19.

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