Athanasius of Alexandria (A.D. 297–373) Bishop of Alexandria, was a chief theologian and early Church Father of the Christian faith. To this day he is widely respected within Western Christianity, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Roman Catholicism. As a staunch Trinitarian, Athanasius spent much of his life battling against the groundwork laid by his predecessor, Arius, a nontrinitarian. In his writings Against the Heathen, Orations Against the Arians, and The Incarnation of the Word of God, Athanasius stresses the urgency of holding to the faith proclaimed by the apostolic teachings of Scripture. Historically he has been credited as being the first person to identify the same twenty-seven books of the New Testament that are familiar to Christians today.
At the Nicaean Council of A.D. 325, the young Athanasius made the following statement: “Jesus, that I know as my Redeemer, cannot be less than God.” This passion for exalting the Eternal Trinity forced him into exile five separate times by Roman Emperors. However, as providence would have it, Athanasius returned undisturbed to his home in Alexandria to spend his final years writing and preaching, until his death at the age of seventy-six.
This translation was made by Sister Penelope Lawson, of the Community of St. Mary the Virgin in Wantage, England, in 1944.