The first known bishop of the church of Bostra was Beryllus, author of various revelatory works of noble intelligence. This information is from Eusebius of Caesarea, who adds that Beryllus was bishop of the Arabs around Bostra HE VI 20,2, leading to the conclusion that Christianity had also spread among the nomadic Arab tribes encamped in the region. This area, called Auranitis by the Romans, must have had bishops quite early if, ca. 240, a synod was held at Bostra to judge Beryllus’s doctrine; Origen also participated, and convinced Beryllus to abandon the thesis denying Christ’s preexistence before the incarnation. A second synod at Bostra in 248, also participated in by Origen, rejected the doctrine of those bishops who asserted the mortality of the soul; at stake in the conflict was not orthodoxy but two anthropological conceptions, Semitic and Greek.
Steeped in Semitic categories is an extremely precious mid-3rd-c. text, composed presumably at Bostra and known as the Didascalia Apostolorum. Orlando Map Tourist Attractions Written in Greek, it concerned the duties of ordained ministers, liturgical and doctrinal themes, and questions about the Christian life. The abovementioned link between Origen and the church of Bostra seems to have been even more intense under Bishop Hippolytus, who appears to have succeeded Beryllus and should be identified with that Hippolytus who gave a homily in which he claims to speak in church in the presence of Origen Jerome, De vir. ill. 61.
The community of Bostra ca. 264 was governed by Maximus, who took part in the Synods of Antioch of 264 and 268, which culminated in the condemnation of the local bishop, Paul of Samosata. About a century later there were uprisings in the city between Christians and pagans, stirred up by Emperor Julian’s 361 intention to revive paganism. The dispute degenerated into such violence that the emperor himself sent a Manifesto to the citizens. On this occasion Julian accused Bishop Titus of sedition, and in a letter to the citizenry the emperor requested that he be sent away from the city. It does not seem that this actually occurred, since Titus remained in his see also under Jovian, Julian’s successor. In the 5th c. the community of Bostra was governed by Antipater after 451, of whom the emperor Leo I asked a judgment on the Council of Chalcedon. The anti-Origenist spirit that moved him took form in Antipater’s Confutation of the Apology written by Eusebius of Caesarea in defense of the Alexandrian master. From the 6th c. monophysitism began to spread, esp. among the Arab tribes. The city had a Melkite metropolitan and, in the 6th c., also a parallel Jacobite hierarchy with a resident bishop.
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