St. Augustine of Hippo was Bishop of Hippo Regius. He was a Latin philosopher and theologian from Roman Africa. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity. According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine “established anew the ancient Faith.” Augustine was canonized by popular acclaim, and later recognized as a Doctor of the Church in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII.
Augustine is probably best known for his Confessions, which is a personal account of his earlier life and outlines Augustine’s sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and was an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1,000 years of the Middle Ages.
Works by St. Augustine:
In his Confessions, Saint Augustine reflects upon his life in the light of scripture and the presence of God. He begins with his infancy, pondering the many sins of his life before his conversion, and he confesses not only his sins but even more the greatness of God. This work presents a wonderful contrast between the Holy God who created all things and whom heaven and earth cannot contain, and a commonly sinful man who has joyfully received God’s loving salvation and mercy.
On Christian Doctrines (pdf)
In On Christian Doctrine, St. Augustine helps readers discover, teach, and defend the truths of Scripture. According to St. Augustine, in order for Christians to fully understand Scripture, it should be interpreted with faith, hope, and love. St. Augustine helps readers recognize and interpret figurative expressions and ambiguous language. St. Augustine suggests that readers consult original translations and commit difficult terms to memory. He also suggests we familiarize ourselves with the meaning of frequently used symbols, such as “shepherd” and “sheep.” For those who teach the Scripture to others, St. Augustine says we must teach in honesty–not for self-seeking purposes. This text offers an impressive wealth of practical wisdom for reading the Bible. It is evident that St. Augustine earnestly wanted his readers to understand God’s Word.