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Church History Early Church to Reformation


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Five ancient patriarchates
Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome
Modern patriarchates
Syria, Ethiopia, North Africa, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Spain and Asia to India and China
Leading scholars
Athenagorus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, Ambrose, the Cappodocian Fathers, Anthony, Athanasius, Jerome
labeled heretics. From Syria and Persia, Nestorian missionaries penetrated into Central Asia and China by the 7th century
Church in India
Mar Thoma
Today, the Indian state of Kerala has some 7 million “Thomas Christians,” divided among Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox traditions
Justin Martyr
(100-165)-headed a Christian school in Rome
Writings of Justin Martyr
First and Second Apologies
Dialogue with Trypho the Jew
(late 2nd cent.) – Bishop of Antioch
Writings of Theophilus
Apology-its purpose was to set before the pagan world the Christian idea of God and the superiority of the doctrine of Creation over the immoral myths of the Olympian religion.
(late 2nd cent.)-“The Christian philosopher of Athens
Writings of Athenagoras
Supplication—addressed to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus to try to gain an audience with the emperor when he passed through Athens, sought to rebut current charges against the Christians: Atheism, incest and cannibalism.
Before 250 persecution
mainly local, sporadic, and more often the result of mob action or accusations made for economic gain than the result of definite civil policy
“the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
Christians were a perceived threat to Rome because (6)
a. they claimed that their religion was the only true one
b. Christianity had a universal appeal that threatened the universal sovereignty of Rome.
c. Christians were aggressive proselytizers.
d. Christians refused to worship Emperor
e. Christians were aloof from society—games, festivals.
f. they met in secret and so were accused of cannibalism, atheism and sexual misconduct. (kiss of peace)(brother/sister).
The Persecutions & Dates(5)
1. Nero (64 AD)
2. Pliny the Younger (112AD)
3.Polycarp (155 AD)
4. Perpetua (200AD)
5.Leonides (200AD)
Universal Persecutions
1. Decius persecution (249-251)
2. Diocletion Persecution (303-311)
1. Nero (64 AD)
Peter and Paul martyred here.
3.Polycarp (155 AD)
Smyrna-Caused by local populations
5.Leonides (200AD)
a. Father of Origen (Septimus Severus)
b. Origen Clothes hidden.
1. Decius persecution (249-251)
a. Millennial celebration – sparks a revival in the gods.
b. Decius wants to root out the church.
c. Had to sacrifice to gods-receive Libblii
d. What to do with Christian who sacrificed to gods?
2. Diocletion Persecution (303-311)
a. “Vicar of Jupitar”
b. wanted to reinstate gods to bring back glory to Rome.
c. Four edicts:
1. all churches destroyed
2. all Bible burned
3. all public office and civil rights deprived to Christians
4. all had to sacrifice to gods.
d. the number of apostates and martyrs is very great.
Results of Persecution
1.Their witness gains the admiration of the people.
2.Penitential system begins
3.cult of saints and martyrs.
4.The last persecution is revelation of size of church – Constantine –Edict of Milan in 313AD recognizing Christianity as a legal religion
second great epidemic (Date)
around 260,
Examples of Christian Love and Character
1. No distinction between Christians and other men
2. Height of 2nd Epidemic love to sick
3. Emperor Julian campaign to match Xn charity
4. Prohibited all forms of infanticide and abortion
5. Rejected double standard for sex.
Gnosticism: Main teachers
Valentinus, Basilides and Marcion
revealed knowledge of God and
origin and destiny of mankind which the spiritual element in man could receive redemption
one journeys from the material realm to the spiritual realm
Sources of Gnosis:
a. Secret tradition from Apostles
b. Direct revelation to the founder of Gnostic sect
c. The Bible
d. Jesus
Gnosticism Cosmology
a. Demiurge
b. The demiurge created a world imperfect
c. the spiritual element to be rescued from the evil material
d.Sets dualistic system.
Gnosticism understanding of Christ
a. Christ brought the gnosis from the Supreme God.
b. Christ either assumed the body of the man Jesus, or was docetic.
Gnosticism Anthropology
Three types of men:
1. Spiritual-only the “spiritual men” are given the gnosis
2. Psychics—(Christians are a part of this group) will go to lower realm of pleroma.
3. Fleshly—the rest of humanity is unspiritual and is destined to eternal perdition.
Principle anti-Gnostic writers
Irenaeus and Tertullian
Gnostic brought clear definitions of these 5
1.Doctrine of God
2.Doctrine of Man
3.Doctrine of Person of Christ
4.Doctrine of Redemption
5.Doctrine of Authority
Marcion date
140 AD
Marcion view of OT & NT
the law and the gospel, are absolutely distinct.
Marcion heretical points
1.Two Gods
2.NT & OT are absolutely distinct
3.Christ did not defile himself with the body of the demiurge, but assumed an apparent body.
Marcion’s N.T
revised Gospel of Luke and ten emended letters of Paul
Marcionite controversy led to 2 doctrines
the Creator and the Redeemer are the same God, and that in God justice and mercy are combined.
Rule of Faith
The Rule was a summary of the teaching presented
Council of Nicea Date
Heresy that provoked Council of Nicea
Arianism definition
states that Jesus Christ was not true God and that he had an entirely different nature, neither eternal nor omnipotent. He was a lesser god or being, not the eternal and changeless God.
appealed to the Gnostic
Major opponents against Arianism
Bishop Alexander, Athanasius
Friend of Arius
Eusebius of Nicomedia
Result of Council of Nicea
a.Logos to Son
b.“Only-begotten” not adopted
c.“life from life” to “true God from true God.”
d.“came down” is added.
e.“was made man” –Christ is true man, true God.
Secod Modern City after Rome in 3rd Century
Alexandria's modern amenities
Street lighting, Theatres, baths, gymnasiums, Entertainment important, Major trade port
Alexandria's Scholarship
1. Greatest library in the world—700,000 volumes.
2. Medicine-Galen
3. Mathematics and Astronomy-Ptolemy and Euclid
4. Religion-Philo
5. Philosophy-Neoplatonism--Plotinus
Alexandria's Religion
4. Zeus and Poseidon
5. Persian Mithras
6. Judaism
7. Christianity
8. Gnosticism-Valentinus, Basilides
Alexandria's Christian Morality
Christians do not attend the shows
Christians responsibility for the poor
Modest attire is required
Catechetical School leaders in 3rd century at Alexandria
Clement and Origen
who wrote -“…philosophy was given to the Greeks directly and primarily, till the Lord should call the Greeks. For this was a schoolmaster to bring ‘the Hellenic mind,” as the law, the Hebrews, “to Christ.”
(Apostolic Father) Clement, Bishop of __________
“the bishop is nothing less than God’s representative to the congregation.” “It is obvious, therefore, that we must regard the bishop as the Lord himself.”
Ignatius, Bishop of ______
Apostolic Fathers promoted Ante-Nicene Theology w/ 3 characteristics
1. Rigorist Christianity
2. The increasing power of the Bishop.
3. Eucharist becoming a sacrament of grace.
Name five prominent apologists in Ante-Nicene Era
Irenaeus (170 A.D.)
Clement of Alexandria (200 A.D.)
Tertullian of Carthage (200 A.D.)
Origen of Alexandria (220 A.D.)
Cyprian (240 A.D.)
Name three minor apologists in Ante-Nicene Era and thir doctrine
Justin Martyr-Logos
Athenagoras-Proto Trinity
Theophilus of Antioch creatio ex nihilo
Irenaeus date and doctrines
(170 A.D.)
1. Wrote against Gnosticism.
2. Theory of recapitulation
Clement of Alexandria date and doctrines
(200 A.D.)
1.Clement reacted to Gnostics
2.“the true Gnostic” or “the perfect Gnostic”
3.Influence of Greek philosophy
Tertullian of Carthage date and doctrines
(200 A.D.)
2. Developed Trinitarian concept: one substance, three persons--Praxeas, Sabellianism, Modalism
3. Christians forgiven only one serious sin after baptism
Origen of Alexandria date and doctrines
(220 A.D.)
1.Most prolific writer in the ancient world (800 works).
4.Preexistence of souls.
5.Universal salvation
8.Subordination of Jesus
Cyprian date and doctrines
240 A.D
1. “Without the church as mother one cannot have God as father.” “Outside of the Church there is no salvation.”
Who wrote Against the Christians and what date?
Porphyry (234-c.303)
Major Points of Against the Christians
c. Objected to faith above reason
d. Jewish prophecies no more important than any other race.
e. Incarnation-logical impossibility
f. Allegory could prove anything.
g. Complained-prominent role of women
h. Apostasy from Greek tradition desires persecution.
began because
while emperors (Diocletian and Galerius) were engaged in sacrifice and divination, Christians made sign of cross to ward off demons
Date of “The Great Persecution”
Types of torture and death from “The Great Persecution”
a. Bears
b. Drowning
c. castration and women placed in brothels
d. Tendons of their left ankles destroyed with hot irons and their right eyes put out.
e. Bishops compelled to tend imperial camels and horses
f. Whole towns burned.
g. Axe, broken legs, roasted, gradually dismembered
Constantine birth year
Constantine's rival for the throne
Important fact leading to Constantine's conversion
“in this conquer”
He then replaced the pagan standards of his troops with a new Christian sign.
Constantine captures Rome date
312 AD
Edict of Milan
guaranted freedom of religious practice in lands under Constantine's rule.
Constantine’s First Reforms
1. soldiers could attend church on Sundays
2- Bishops accompanied him wherever he went
3. restoration Christian property
4. treasury used build churches
5.elevate Christianity to privileged position
6.abolished crucifixion
7. divorce and remarriage more difficult
8.Edict of Milan
who is Licinius?
Emperor of East ally w/ Constantine for ten years
conquered by Constantine 324 when he began to persecute Christians
Speech to the Assembly of the Saints
Constantine confesses obligatin to convert empire
Constantine’s Second Reforms
a.Christian exiles may return home.
b.All property and wealth restored.
c.All honors and seats of authority are returned. churches to be built,
Paid by imperial funds.
e.Forbade consultation of new pagan oracles
f.Pagans allowed to keep temples & practice religion continued to subsidize
g.prohibited attacks on Christians (Porphyry’s Against the Christians is to be burned.
h.Sunday legal day of rest
i.major Episcopal appointments under emperor’s scrutiny.
j.Bishops close advisors to Constantine furthering connection between church & state.
Arian proof text
Proverbs 8:22
"The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old."
Arius famous quote
“There was when the Son was not.”
Arianism was a response to what other heresy
reduced Father, Son and Holy Spirit to three modes or aspects of God and implied patrpassianism—the idea that the Father suffered on the cross.
affirm the more moderate assertion that the Logos was of a similar substance with the Father and fully united with the flesh of Jesus.
Constantine himself proposed that the new creed include the affirmation that the Son is homoousios—one substance—with the Father—that they share all the same essential attributes of deity
Augustine's powerful and psychological look into personal conversion
Manichaeism, principles of
1. Dualistic
2. Matter is bad, Spirit is good. (Gnostic)
3. source of evil not God’s creation but misuse of human free will
4.Christ was not born, never became a man, and never died.
5.the object of the practice of religion was to release the particles of light
6. To achieve this release, severe asceticism, including vegetarianism was practiced
if God commands us to live right, then we have the ability to do it.
a. Denied Original Sin and depravity
b. Our disadvantage is living in a sinful world.
c. More likely to acquire sinful habits. The problem is social, not inherent within us.
d. Thus, we are able to live perfect lives by the right exercise of our wills.
Augustine's major contribution to doctrine
original sin.
major elements original sin.
a. Depraved
b. Incapable of doing good without supernatural help
c. God’s commands are there to show us our inability.
d. So that we see our need for God’s grace and mercy.
any Bishop who had compromised with paganism during the last great persecution (Diocletian) did not have the purity to consecrate other church leaders
compromised bishop opposed by Donatists
“What has the Emperor to do with the Church?”
Bishop Donatus
Augustine’s arguments for use of force against Donatists
a.Romans 13:1-7-Government has the right to crush heresies and schismatics
b.Matt. 13:24-30if you know who the “tares” are you can uproot them
c.Luke 14: 21-23-The great feast. “Compel them to come in.”
e. most famous statement, “There is an unjust persecution which the wicked inflict on the Church of Christ, and a just persecution which the Church of Christ inflicts on the wicked.”
Augustine was bishop of
Augustine dates
Augustine's son
Sin consists, as a matter of course, only in the separate acts of the will. There is no thing as a sinful character or a sinful nature. Otherwise, sin would not be sin—not something which can be avoided; and God could not charge sin to our account as g
God has commanded man to do that which is good; he must, therefore, have the ability to do it. That is to say, man is free, it is possible for him to decide for or against that which is good.
“I say that man is able to be without sin…but I do not say that man is without sin.”
1.posse non peccare
2.posse peccare
3.non posse peccare
1.power not to sin
2.power to sin
3.unable to sin
Augustine’s doctrine of grace
Grace, as being irresistible, is characterized by Augustine as predestinating grace Grace heals and restores the free will, so that it is able to freely choose the good.
Semi-Pelagianism or Semi-Augustinians.
The idea of Cassian is, that the human will has indeed been crippled by sin, but that a certain freedom has yet remained to it. Hence the sinner is not dead, but wounded.
Semi-Pelagianism or Semi-Augustinians principles
that we are unable to do anything good without the help of God, and that the freedom of the will must be preserved. From this it follows that grace and free will cooperate
Catholic conclusion to Augustinev Pelagianism
“grace alone” came off victorious; but the Augustinian doctrine of predestination was abandoned.

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