For more than 10 centuries, Macarius Magnes’ The Apocriticus teetered on the verge of extinction, falling in and out of theological favor. Only one Greek manuscript was known when T. W. Crafer produced this first English translation. Structured in a question-answer format, The Apocriticus uses a well-known Aristotelian polemical and literary strategy—similar to Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica—to address objections from a skeptical pagan. The unbelieving skeptic that Magnes addresses in the text likely reflects the arguments of the famous third-century Neo-platonist philosopher Porphyry. Porphyry’s objections address the reliability and interpretation of Scripture, and the rational soundness of Christianity as a whole, on platonic grounds. To each question, Magnes replies ably, using pristine logic while drawing on both Scripture and ancient philosophy. Modern readers are likely to be familiar with the arguments proposed in Magnes’ book, but they will also find unexpected new ways to answer objections in today’s world.
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- Provides a uniquely formatted Christian apologetic, rooted in ancient philosophy
- Shows how Christian intellectuals answered objections in the early medieval era
- Presents the first English translation of a rare and obscure text
- Title: The Apocriticus
- Author: Macarius Magnes
- Translator: T. W. Crafer
- Publisher: SPCK
- Publication Date: 1919
- Pages: 169
About Macarius Magnes
Macarius Magnes was a prominent and controversial church leader in the early medieval era. Little is known about him, and German church historian Adolf Harnack assigned him to the late third century. However, it is possible that he was the Macarius who was bishop of Magnesia. If so, he was present at Synod of Oak in AD 403, and brought heresy charges against Heraclides, bishop of Ephesus.