Talk:Melito of Sardis

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Like many of the religion articles, this page is not listed in the list of religious topics, but is linked to from one that is linked to from one that is linked to from one that is listed. Or something like that. How to spread the gospel of that list ... ?

I've tried to remember to keep adding to list of religious topics; although I suspect that the names of individual religious leaders would be more profitably added to List of saints or List of Christians --- although the saints page is definitely difficult to edit thanks to the HTML table. -- IHCOYC
The "list of religious topics" is too broad to apply usefully to an individual bishop or saint. --Wetman 16:31, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


In adding a quote and improving this text, I deleted:

  • "...or Bishop of Sardes..." A redirect will more effectively bring any lost sheep here.
  • "He taught that the Father and Son were God, but indicated that the Holy Spirit was something They used (Melito's Oration on Our Lord's Passion).' A reading of the text of the Homily shows that this hearsay is unsupported.
  • (Anti-Semitism): "Other scholars have questioned this conclusion, and do not consider that Melito encouraged any form of anti-semitism, especially since he advocated Quartodeciman beliefs." Melito's characterization of the Jews as murderers is worked out in full detail in his Homily. CORRECTION: I added that part back to the article because the scholar cited in footnote 2, regarding Melito's so-called anti-semitism, does not review the primary text itself but instead relies solely on secondary material. Meltio's relationship to the Jews is far too complex to label with any sort of naive and anachronistic anti-semitism accusation.

Moved over[edit]

I have moved the following passage over from the article. It might be Original research, as it is neither referenced nor does the quote support the preceding descriptions.

Although he is considered a saint by Roman Catholics, Melito took many positions that differ from those now held by that Church, notably that Christ is the created firstborn of God and the creator of the world:
"the firstborn of God, the one who was begotten before the morning star, the one who caused the light to shine forth, the one who made bright the day, the one who parted the darkness, the one who established the primordial starting point, the one who suspended the earth, the one who quenched the abyss, the one who stretched out the firmament, the one who formed the universe". (Homily on the Passover, 82).
In their developed form in the 4th century, such concepts inform Arianism, extirpated by Trinitarian Christianity as heresy.

Str1977 17:11, 25 November 2005 (UTC)


This section is without merit: "This homily, according to Joseph Weill, was the first formulation of the view of "Deicide, the murder of God by the Jews: "O lawless Israel, why did you commit this extraordinary crime of casting your Lord into new sufferings?"— delivered as if a judgment in a court of law, condemning the Jews to death. Weill has written: "Since two thousand years ago up to the present day, this accusation has sorely oppressed generations of Jews, like unbearable and unavoidable, unmerciful and inhuman fate".[citation needed]"

What? Joseph Weill was a writer on Mid-20th Century European Jewish history. He has no publications whatsoever on early Christian-Jewish relations, patristic writings, comparative religious writings, etc.

Or is the citation a very sloppy misrepresentation of the views of theologian Louis Weil who is actually sympathetic to Melito (and also a convert from Judaism)?

The entire paragraph, and especially the commentary injected, flies of face nearly every serious scholar on Melito, including widely-lauded work by Cohick as well as many others (see Journal of Hebrew Scriptures - Volume 3 (2000-2001)); ("Melito of Sardis's Peri Pascha and Its "Israel" Journal for the Study of Judaism Volume 33, Number 3 September 2002); (The Peri Pascha Attributed to Melito of Sardis: Setting, Purpose, and Sources (Brown Judaic Studies) 2000).

The consensus is that it is a misinterpretation and and misrepresentation of Melito (and there are quite a few versions and constructions of the fragments) by later Christian and Jewish writers that are the source for the quite shallow labeling as Anti-Semitic and or a Deicide accusation. And it was Eric Werner, not Weil who coined the term "poet of the Deicide" in 1966, moreover he was referring to the Improperia generally, and his work is not in anyway supported by a very large body of scholarly work that followed on Sardis, Melito or early Jewish Christian relations (among Christian and Jewish scholars). EG Jewish scholars such as Michael Brocke have largely debunked Werner's hyperbole. His dependence on the argument that Melito was somehow jealous of the what Werner says was the flourishing Jewish community of Sardis has also been succswsfully challenged by Jewish historians who point out that the Jewish community in Sardis was quite small at the time. Simply put, Werner confused Second Century Sardis with Fourth Century Sardis.

In term of web available material, pages 14 to 20 of this article discuss the issue in some useful depth. do read the footnotes: HGoldman 20:27, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

He is indeed an early proponent of the deicide claim and I've also added a direct quote from him lest any doubts remain on his stance. Beit Or 10:26, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Criticism of this article[edit]

As this article currently reads, it is embarrassingly bad. What is the point of hacking this topic into several sections? There is very little primary information about this personage--as is the case with most 2nd century Christian writers--& so little likelihood that this article will ever grow in material to rival the lengths of, say Origen or Paul of Tarsus. Some sections are not more than a sentence in length. This emphasis on sections has produced some inane results: one section informs the reader that Melito "wrote against idolatry"--Christian theologians typically take a dim view of idolatry, & it would be quite the surprise if Melito argued the contrary.

I could rewrite this article to make it more intelligent, but I am not going to exert the effort if I am reverted by some narrow-minded type who insists that its current structure is essential.--llywrch (talk) 23:37, 28 July 2013 (UTC)