The dates of John Chrysostom’s birth and life until 381 are highly disputed. Many of his writings can be traced only to a general period in his life; the dates given here are generally accepted. Not all of his writings could be listed here.


349 Born in Antioch of Syria to Christian parents Secundus and Anthusa

363–367 Studies rhetoric and literature under pagan teacher Libanius

368 (Easter) Baptized at Antioch

368-371 Studies in a kind of monastic school; may have assisted bishop Meletius of Antioch

c. 368–371 Writes Comparison between a King and a Monk and several other works in favor of monastic life

c. 371 Ordained lector and serves the church of Antioch


372–378 Lives in a semi-isolated state and then as a hermit until bad health forces him to give up this way of life

378–381 Lector (reads Scripture in worship) at Antioch

380 or 381 Ordained deacon (assists with sacraments); writes treatise of consolation to a young widow

381–385 Writes On the Priesthood

380 or 382 Two treatises condemning the cohabitation of clerics and virgins


385 or 386 Ordained priest by Bishop Flavian of Antioch

386–387 Preaches homilies (sermons) I-X On the Incomprehensible Nature of God and Against the Jews (i.e., Christians who follow Jewish religious practices)

387 Antioch riots; John preaches sermons On the Statues

388 or 389 Eight instructions for baptismal candidates

390–397 Homilies on Genesis, Matthew, John, and 6 NT letters

397 Homilies on selected Psalms and on Isaiah


398 Consecrated bishop of Constantinople. Takes steps to reform imperial court, clergy, and people; homilies XI-XII On the Incomprehensible Nature of God

398–402 Homilies on Philippians and ...

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