Little is known of Manahen's life. He is said to be one those who, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, laid hands upon Saul and Barnabas and sent the two Apostles on the first of St. Paul's missionary journeys (Acts 13:1). Since St. Luke was an Antiochene, it is not unlikely that Manahen was one of "the prophets and doctors" of the Church of Antioch, and was one of the "eyewitnesses and ministers of the word" (Luke 1:2) who delivered unto Luke the details which that sacred writer has in regard to Antipas and other members of the Herodian family (Luke 3:1, 19, 20; 8:3; 9:7-9; 13:31, 32; 23:8-12; Acts 12). He may have become a disciple of Jesus with "Joanna, the wife of Chusa, Herod's steward" (Luke 8:3).
In A.D. 39, Antipas left for Rome to gain the favor of Caligula, but instead received an order of perpetual exile. (Jos., "Ant.", XVIII, vii, 2). During this time, the Church of Antioch was founded by Jewish Christians, who "had been dispersed by the persecution that arose on the occasion of Stephen" and had taught the Gospel also to the Greeks of Antioch, (Acts 11:19-24). It is quite likely that St. Manahen was one of these founders of the Antiochene Church.
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