Irenaeus was a second-century follower of Jesus known for his writings against heresy and for his summary of teachings handed down from the Apostles.
Tutored by the martyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who in turn was taught by the Apostle John, Irenaeus is important because of the way he used both Old and New Testament writings before they were collected and finalized in the form we now have them.
Interestingly, Irenaeus sounds a lot like many of us today who try to ground our thoughts in the Word of God. There is, however, a difference. While we might use the Word as a synonym for the Bible, Irenaeus repeatedly speaks of the Word as a reference to or about Jesus.
Seems to me that honoring the Scriptures as a witness to the Word, and as a means of our faith— rather than the end, might be a refreshing way to echo an ancient practice.