Contributions to Christianity

Theological Scholarship and the Catechetical School

Before Christianity, Alexandria was famous for having the largest library and museum in the world and it was actually the headquarters of the well-known School of Alexandria. It housed millions of scrolls of papyrus, which were said to have held all the knowledge of ancient scholarship. It was established by Ptolemy in 323 BC. In that school, seventy legendary scholars from the Jewish community translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek in 270 BC.

It later became The Catechetical School of Alexandria and was the earliest important institution for theological education in Christianity. It was here that its deans, teachers, and graduates defined Christianity in its final form for all generations to come.

The Coptic Church is also well known for the founding of monastic establishments. Christians took to the desert for solitary and as this movement evolved over time, they sought out like minded individuals, eventually forming themselves into monastic communities. Egypt is therefore known as the birth place of Christian monasteries with the Father of Monasticism being St Anthony the Great, the first Monk who established the monastic life and to leave his riches to live a life of solidarity, dedicated to Christ in the wilderness.