Arius (256-336)

One of the earliest protesters in Christianity was Arius (256-336 CE), the fourth century priest in Alexandria, Egypt.  He believed that God the Father created the universe through the divinely created Christ, but that Jesus was a creature.  Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria disagreed.  The Roman Emperor Constantine called a general council at Nicaea in 325 to settle this dispute.  The result was the definition that Christ was the Son of the Father begotten of the same substance – homousious.  Jesus was truly divine.

The stars (Sir 43:9-43:10)

“The glory

Of the stars

Is the beauty

Of heaven.

There are

A gleaming array,

In the heights

Of the Lord.

On the orders

Of the Holy One,

They stand

As ordered.

They never relax

In their watches.”

Sirach indicates that the stars show the glory of the heavens. They glow in the heights as ordered by the Lord. They stand there fixed by the Holy One as they never relax. Once again, we see a static view of the universe with everything in their fixed place according to God.

Great knowledge (Wis 7:17-7:21)

“He gave me unerring knowledge

Of what exists.

I know the structure of the world.

I know the activity of the elements.

I know the beginning of times

I know the end of times.

I know the middle of times.

I know the alternations of the solstices.

I know the changes of the seasons.

I know the cycles of the year.

I know the constellations of the stars.

I know the natures of animals.

I know the tempers of wild animals.

I know the powers of spirits.

I know the thoughts of human beings.

I know the varieties of plants.

I know the virtues of roots.

I learned what is secret.

I leaned what is manifest.”

This author speaks about the encyclopedic wisdom of Solomon in the first person singular, once again based on 1 Kings, chapter 5. So what did this wise man Solomon know? He knew about the structure of the world, the activity of the elements, as well as the beginning, the end, and the middle of times. He knew about the alternations of the solstices, the changes of the seasons, the cycles of the year, and the constellations of the stars. He knew about the natures of animals, the tempers of wild animals, the powers of spirits, and the thoughts of human beings. He also knew about the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots as well as many secrets of the universe. He was the encyclopedia Encarta and the Google of his day.