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John of Tella
(483–538) was a monk and bishop in the Near East. John was a major proponent of moderate Monophysitism
Monophysitism , or Monophysiticism, is the Christological position that Jesus Christ has only one nature, his humanity being absorbed by his Deity...
. Although his native language was Syriac he studied Greek in order to serve in the Byzantine
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...
administration. John was a native of Callincius. He was influenced to become a monk by reading the Acts of Thecla
The Acts of Paul and Thecla is an apocryphal story— Goodspeed called it a "religious romance"— of St Paul's influence on a young virgin named Thecla. It is one of the writings of the New Testament Apocrypha.- The text :...
. He later studied at the monastery founded by Gregory Nazianzen.
John served as bishop of Tella which is near the modern city of Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...
. John became bishop in 519. He has also come down to us as an opponent of inept, rich men gaining priestly office through bribes. In 521 John resigned his office as a bishop so he could better pursue the ascetic life. Still his most lasting contribution was ordaining many priests and bishops in opposition to the Chalcedonians moving the break between them and the Monophysites to a full blown schism.
See the life of John of Tella in Brooks, Vitae virorum apud Monophysitas celeberrimorum (1907) http://books.google.com/books?id=AR8YAAAAYAAJ
Brown, Peter. The Rise of Western Christendom
, (Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2003) p. 311