Jerome

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Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, known as the Vulgate, and his commentaries on the Gospels.

  • "Bishops, presbyters(Elder) and deacons occupy in the church the same positions as those which were occupied by Aaron, his sons, and the Levites in the temple." Jerome, Ep. 146

Christianity was no longer in its infancy. All the Jews who had accepted Christ at Pentecost formed a new government along the principles taught by the prophets from Abraham to John the Baptist. Constantine had turned the social welfare system of Rome over to his version of the Christian Church.

Jerome often focused his attention to the way he thought women devoted to Roman forms of Christianity should live their life. He had a close "patron" relationships with several prominent woman of influential Roman and senatorial families who were said to be ascetics. Vestal Virgins (Vestales, singular Vestalis) were Roman vision of the priestesses of Vesta, a goddess of the hearth.

The College of the Vestals was fundamental to the continuance and security of Rome's system of socialized government. They were exempt from the usual social obligations to marry and bear children, and took a vow of chastity in order to devote themselves to maintaining the essential records of the Roman Temples.

This was not a practice of early Christianity and certainly contrary to what Paul said about women getting married if they were still of a child bearing age.

Jerome, around 400 AD, believed that women were bad news for men and that they were uncontrollable, excessively passioned, and unreasonable. Although, the writings and opinions of Jerome and others were enormously influential in defining what has been historically touted as the Church in the medieval world, their conclusions seem to fly in the face of God’s creative instincts. “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Genesis 2:22

Jerome inferred that women were inferior “they degraded men.”[1]

“And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:23, 24

Women do not degrade men. A good woman is a blessing or a curse, depending on the heart and soul of the man. It is only weak, selfish, and proud men who blame their sin on God’s gift. The nature of women is not responsible for man’s sin and choice.

Jerome was supported by his patrons and was a part of the instant Christian conversions of the Emperor Constantine.

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Footnotes

  1. World Civilizations Richard Hooker http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/CHRIST/EUROPE.HTM