Irenaeus of Lyon

Irenaeus of Lyon
Birth 130
Death 202

eminent early Christian theologian, whose ideas still influence contemporary philosophy of religion. He was the first to put forward the hypothesis that a benevolent God needs evil to exist in order for man to become righteous. He was also the first to suggest that only the four Gospels in today’s cannon were in fact canonical. He fiercely condemned Gnostics, Marcion in particular, saying they denied the oneness of God and were morally depraved.

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