Jerome’s Life of Malchus

The Life of Malchus, by St. Jerome.

Okay, this one’s short and pretty exciting in many parts, and especially toward the end. It’s the story of an ex-monk who gets captured and enslaved by a tribe of bandit Bedouins, and carried out of Roman territory into the Iraqi desert.

It also includes an extremely romantic (in a Christian way) true story of two people “living as brother and sister,” as the saying goes. Since this edgy alternative lifestyle gets a lot of criticism these days (and apparently is too much to ask of prosperous suburb-dwellers), you might want to see how this could play out even in circumstances of extreme pressure and deprivation.

So yeah, if early Christians had made Lifetime movies, this would be one! 🙂

Of course, the irony or subversive thing here is that Jerome lived in a society where slavery was legal, and Christians had to fight the worldly tendency to treat slavery as normal. Making freeborn people think about this in the context of slavery in a foreign country was an interesting way to confront Christians with “In the beginning, it was not so.”


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