Bible27: Informational Web Site Edited & Maintained by Bobby G. Goodman Jr.
Church History Information Pages
Many of the answers for questions asked about the Christian religions can be answered by church history facts. The origins of conditions and beliefs of today's religious world and its churches are found in the pages of history. If you would like answers to such questions as: Why are there so many churches when there is only one Bible? Where did all the different faiths come from? Where did infant baptism come from? Then this may be helpful.
Come back time to time because I will be adding to this site regularly. I have a large amount of information available.
The condition of the religious world today is one of confusion, rivalry, greed, superstitions, and radical differences in beliefs, activities, and attitudes. There are hundreds of different religions based on the same Bible. With a knowledge of church history we can understand how our present condition came about. This will also help us to distinguish between:
1. teachings of God and the corruptions of men,
2. the source of those corrupting influences, and
3. the origins of denominational churches.
Our Tools and Sources
The original New Testament church is described by the Bible which is the primary source of information. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John describes Jesusí ministry which prepared the way for the establishment of the church. Jesusí prepared mankind to leave the Jewish system behind and to fully embrace the Christian system of belief and practice. The book of Acts describes the history of the church from itís establishment in 31A.D. on the day of Pentecost to the Apostle Paulís first imprisonment in 60A.D. The remaining books of the New Testament establish the history, doctrine, government, worship, and activities of the church Jesus established. The New Testament absolutely and exclusively determines the nature of the Christian religion and the church as Jesus established it. By careful examination of the New Testament we study the Apostolic Age.
The Early, Medieval, Reformation, and Modern Age can be traced by the study of written documents in those ages such as:
1. Private, public, and government letters and documents condemning, defending or explaining beliefs of religious leaders or describing events of those times. I have consulted the following: The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1 & 2 (Eerdmans Publishing Company), The New Testament Background (C.K. Barrett, Harper & Row), Documents of the Christian Church (Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press), Early Christians Speak (Everett Ferguson, ACU Press), The Apostolic Fathers (Lightfoot & Harmer, Baker Book House).
2. History books and Biographies: I have consulted Church History, Vol. 1 & II (Everett Ferguson, ACU Press), A History of Christianity, Vol. 1 & II (Kenneth Scott Latourette, Harper & Row),The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus (Baker Book House), Josephus (Kregel Publications), New Testament History (F.F. Bruce, Doubleday & Company), The Story of Civilization (Will Durant, Simon & Schuster),
3. Encyclopedias: I have consulted the following: The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Eerdmans Publishing Company), The Catholic Encyclopedia (The Encyclopedia Press), The 1996 Grolier Encyclopedia (Grolier)
4. Creeds, Books on churches: I have consulted the following: The Creeds of Christendom (Philip Schaff, Baker Books), Systematic Theology (Charles Hodge, Eerdmans Publishing company), The Kingdom of the Cults (Walter R. Martin, Bethany Fellowship), The Chaos of Cults (Jan Karel Van Baalen, Eerdmans Publishing Company), Modern Churches and the Church (Porter Wilhite, The Manney Company)
There are many more sources and books that are available and that I have consulted. These are listed so that you can know some of my sources and study on your own in the future. An extremely valuable resource is "The Theological Journal Library" by Galaxie Software. It contains most of the historical works quoted. This lesson is but an introduction designed to give a person a preliminary working knowledge of church history. Enjoy!!
Next lesson: The Apostolic Church
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