Saint Athanasius stressed the need of a well – formed character to approach the Scriptures without prejudice: For the searching and right understanding of the scriptures there is a need of a good life and a pure soul, and for Christian virtue to guide the mind to grasp, so far as human nature can, the truth concerning God the Word. One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life . . . Anyone who wishes to understand the mind of the sacred writers must first cleanse his own life, and approach the saints by copying their deeds.
—Athanasius was the bishop of Alexandria for 45 years (8 June 328 to 2 May 373). He was exiled five times for over 17 years because he confronted false teachers with voice and written word regarding the nature of Jesus and emperors who sided with the false teachers.