Remember that Christianity is but one of many sects and that they consider themselves Jews first and foremost; therefore “Christian Jewish sect”.
Plato was a student of Socrates, who developed the dialectic method of inquiry later used in scientific method and argumentation. Plato further developed and used Socrates methods.
This is the first instruction book, based on Hebrew adaptations for the Gentiles. It pre-dates the Pauline writings and is dated at about 50 CE.
The early church
THE EARLY CHURCH 1ST – 4TH CENTURIESFrom Pentecost to the Edict of Milan
There are differing views as to when the church began.Nation of The Day ofIsrael PentecostThe firstperson John thesaved Baptist
Hellenism• Hellenism spread after Alexander’s conquests.• Hellenism is the admiration for and adoption of Greek ideas, style, or culture.• It denotes the social, political, economic, and mainly cultural/religious influences on Europe and the Near East.• Alexander spread Hellenism by combining other cultures with his.
Palestine in the time of Christ was Hellenistic The Greeks enforced all their laws. They forced a tax the Jews had to pay if they wanted to practice their religion.
Between the returnfrom exile and70AD, five majorsects formed withinJudaism: Pharisees Sadducees Zealots Essenes Christians
Common Elements of Christian Jewish Sect• The Christian Jews kept the Sabbath and worshipped in the Temple.• They also observed Sunday in remembrance of the victory of the Messiah’s resurrection.• They practiced partaking a “common meal” as described in Acts 2: 46. “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts . . . ”• Fasting took place on Wednesday (to morn the betrayal of Christ) and Friday (to remember the crucifixion).• James, the Lesser (brother or cousin of Jesus, leader of church in Jerusalem), Peter (the Rock and Chief Apostle), and John (led after Peter’s death) were the official leaders of the church.
The Roman Empire contributed to the spread ofChristianity . . .• Ease of travel because of paved roads between cities (urban areas) made travel easier for the evangelists.• Urban life was well-populated and fluid due to sea ports; and imports and exports brought together people from all over the world.• Common language, Greek, made communications easier between people from different cultures and unified the areas, as did common rule.• The miserable conditions of plebeians and the poor in the Roman Empire drew them to Christians who gave support to the destitute and modeled an organized and courageous defiance.
The Mission to the Gentiles • The Hellenistic Jews were the first to be persecuted in• For I am not ashamed of Jerusalem. the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God • They were the first to scatter unto salvation to every one throughout the neighboring that believeth; to the Jew towns. first, and also to the Greek. • They were the first to take theRomans 1: 16 (KJV) Christian message to those areas.
STOICISM stressed duty . . . through reason mankind can come to regard the universe as governed by fate fundamentally rationalone can emulate the grandeur of the calm and order of the universe learning to accept events with a stern and tranquil mind achieving a lofty moral worth
The Death of the Twelve ApostlesAndrew: Martyrdom Bartholomew (Nathaniel): MartyrdomJames the Greater: Martyrdom James the Lesser : MartyrdomJohn: Died of old age Jude (Thaddeus): MartyrdomJudas: Suicide Matthew: MartyrdomPeter: Martyrdom Philip: MartyrdomSimon: Martyrdom Thomas: Martyrdom Evangelists Mark (Martyrdom) and Luke (Natural Causes)
The Evangelist, Saint Luke • Luke was a Greco-Syrian physician who lived in the Greek city of Antioch in Ancient Syria. • Luke was a historian, an artist painting the first depiction of Virgin Mary, Peter and of Paul. • Luke died at age 84.
Wood BoardBlessed by Mary, from the tableMother of God during of the familyher lifetime ICONOGRAPH Y BY THE EVANGELIST LUKE
1st Century Persecution of Christians was horrific under . . . NERO DOMITIAN
Domitian, Mark of the Beast• When the book of Revelation was written, emperor worship was in full swing.• Domitian, emperor at this time, legally documented those who worshipped him and acknowledged him as God, thus the mark.• Before a person could shop, he or she was required to declare that Domitian is god at the public altar.• He or she was required to participate in festivals, give an incense offering, make sacrifices in honor of the deified emperor, and recognizing the emperor as the provider before drinking from public water fountains.• To accept Domitian as God and to follow his requirements was to take on the “mark of Domitian.” It was a documentation of privilege that was received annually.• The Jews of Domitian’s time nicknamed Domitian “the beast.”• “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name”(Revelation 13:16, 17 NASB).
The Early Christian Martyrs“The blood of Christians is seed.” . . . Tertullian
Polycarp, disciple of Apostle John , “Eighty-six years I haveserved him, and he never did me any wrong. How can Iblaspheme my King who saved me?” was burned to death in 155CE Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna (today known as Izmir), a city on the west coast of Turkey. The letters to the “seven churches in Asia” at the beginning of the book of Revelation include a letter to the church in Smyrna, identifying it as a church undergoing persecution.
Ignatius of Antioch, disciple of Apostle John, sentenced todie in the Coliseum, was eaten by lions in 108 CE. “From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated.” —Ignatius to the Romans, 5.
Justin of Gaulbeheaded in 165 CE • Even after he became a Christian, he wore his scholars robes and walked and talked with philosophers. In Rome, he opened a school of philosophy. All his life he had studied the works of Aristotle, Pythagoras, Plato, and the Stoics. Then Justin discovered the wisdom that is of Christ. He did not think that should disqualify him as a scholar. • Justin had drew attention to himself by sending open letters to the emperor and to the Roman Senate condemning the state for persecuting Christians. He was brought before the city prefect about the year 165. After a bold confession of faith, he was condemned to be scourged and beheaded.
Persecution continued under EmperorSeptimius Severus(193-211) Condemned All People Of Exclusivist Religions to Death
Perpetua and FelicitasPerpetua and Felicitas,were executed in thearena in Carthage on 7March 203. The story is recorded as The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felictas and claims to contain the autobiographical account of Perpetua, edited and/or commented on by Tertullian of Carthage; they were all North African.
The Christian Martyr’s Last Prayer by Leon Gerome
Persecuted Servants• The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.• Tertullian—“We multiply whenever we are mown down by you; the blood of Christians is seed.”• Jerome–“The church of Christ has been founded by shedding its own blood, not that of others; by enduring outrage, not by inflicting it. Persecutions have made it grow; martyrdoms have crowned it.”
THE APOLOGISTThe Defenders and Shapers of the Faith
North African Fathers, the Apologists Cyprian of Carthage Athanasius of Alexandria Clement of AlexandriaTertullian ofCarthage Augustine of Hippo
Apologetics is the discipline of defending aposition . . .• Christian apologists defended the faith against critics and rumors.• Christian apologists also recommended the faith to others.• To show that the faith was more than “nonsense”, the apologists clarified the relationship between Christian faith and the ancient Greco-Roman culture.
Apologists Had Opposing Views Anti-Greek Pro-Greek• Some apologists were hostile • Some apologists found value to Greco-Roman culture. in pagan culture.• They believed the culture • Plato must have gotten his was not worthy of respect. knowledge from Moses. • Knowledge came from the Word of God, Logos.
The rapid growth of the church led to diverseinterpretations and the condemnation of . . . HERESY
Gnosticism was the most important heresy . . .• Gnosticism was a whole • A negative attitude conglomerate of ideas toward the material and schools that world differed among themselves on many • Salvation was attained points, but had certain through special points or elements in knowledge common.
Marcionism, 2nd Century Heresy Marcion created a NewRejected the Old Testament Testament Canon• Marcion claimed that the • The true and Supreme God God of the Old Testament is is loving and forgiving. not the same as the Father of Jesus, but rather an inferior • Marcion believed the good being. God could not have created this material world.• Yahweh is vengeful and cruel
The church responds to heresyThe church responded to heresy with a focuson: •Canon •Creeds •Apostolic Succession
CANON . . .Heresies led to the point of insistence on certain books to be considered Scripture.This is referred to as canonization.Tertullian claimed Marcion was the first to separate the New Testament from theOld Testament. But, Tertullian spoke out against Marcion’s canon which rejectedthe Old Testament, as well as the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of John.The Councils of Carthage in the 4th and 5th centuries finalized the canon under theauthority of Augustine. It was basically the canon as we know it today.However, official finalizations of the canon by individual groups were not made untilthe Council of Trent of 1546 for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 forCalvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Greek Orthodox.
CREEDS . . .• NT religion was decidedly confessional.• Jesus witnessed before Pilate and the Sanhedrin.• Paul; “‘If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your• heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10: 9-10)• Where heresy troubled the church, it was natural for the leaders to look for a creedal subscription to guarantee orthodoxy.• There were several councils that addressed the creeds: – Apostle’s Creed – Chalcedonian Creed – Constantinople I – Council of Ephesus – Council of Nicaea/ Nicene Council
Apostles Creed . . . Ecumenical VersionI believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, Gods only Son, our Lord, who was conceived bythe Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; hedescended into hell. On the third day he rose again;he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, andhe will come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion ofsaints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the lifeeverlasting.Amen.
The Shield of the Trinity is informed by theNicene Creed.
Apostolic Succession . . .This is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, whichasserts that the chosen successors (properly ordained bishops) ofthe Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day,have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramentalauthority, power, and responsibility conferred upon them bythe Apostles, who in turn received their spiritual authorityfrom Jesus Christ.Ordination or Holy Orders of church leaders was performed by“laying on of hands” from the time of the early church. It refers tothe offices of bishop, priest, and deacon.However, many Protestants consider the authority given to theapostles as unique, proper to them alone. They reject anydoctrine of a succession of their power .
The First Great Teachers and Shapers of the Faith • Irenaeus- • Born in Smyrna, Asia Minor • Became Bishop of Lyons • Student of Polycarp • Dedicated Pastor • Writings emphasize doctrinal authority, episcopate (Papal authority), Scripture, and tradition.
The First Great Teachers and Shapers of the Faith • Tertullian- • Born in Carthage, Africa • Prolific writer and apologist • Father of Latin Christianity • First to use “Trinity” terminology • Originator of “three persons, one substance” • He wrote the Trinitarian formula accepted as orthodox.
The First Great Teachers and Shapers of the Faith • Clement of Alexandria- Egyptian born in Athens • He asserted that men lived first as citizens of heaven and second as earthly citizens, • He defended the right of an enslaved people to rebel against its oppressors.
The First Great Teachers and Shapers of the Faith • ORIGEN- Born in Alexandria, Egypt • Origen studied philosophy, traveled widely as a preacher • He was imprisoned and tortured during the persecutions of the emperor Decius. • Origin was prolific writer • His writings, influenced by Neo- Platonism and Stoicism, the centrality of the Word (Logos) in theHe held that even Satan cosmos.was not beyond repentanceand salvation
The First Great Teachers and Shapers of the Faith • Born in North Africa • Bishop of Carthage • Apologist • Supported restoration of the lapsed with sincere repentance • “No bishop of bishops”; equality of all bishops • The people and their bishop constitute the church
The church is organized . . .• Communion • Tripartite order had appeared:• Baptism deacons, elders, and bishops, • There were also specific• Renewal of baptismal vows ministries for women, (Lent) especially within nascent• Divinity of Christ established monasticism. • Roman Empire had hundreds of bishops, some of them (Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, "other provinces")