Bible27: Informational Web Site Edited & Maintained by Bobby G. Goodman Jr.
THE EARLY CHURCH
100 A.D. - 600 A.D.
A.D. Gnosticism: derived from a Greek
word for knowledge (gnosis) and applied to a philosophical and religious
movement that influenced the Mediterranean world from the 1st century BC to the
3d century AD. It expressed itself in a variety of pagan, Jewish, and Christian
forms. Its name is derived from the fact that it promised salvation through a
secret knowledge or understanding of reality possessed by its devotees.
Despite the complex diversity of Gnostic groups and their teachings, the
basic doctrines of gnosticism formed an identifiable pattern of belief and
practice. A pervasive dualism underlay much of Gnostic thought. Good and evil,
light and darkness, truth and falsehood, spirit and matter were opposed to one
another in human experience as being and nonbeing. The created universe and
human experience were characterized by a radical disjunction between the
spiritual, which was real, and the physical, which was illusory. This
disjunction resulted from a cosmic tragedy, described in a variety of ways by
Gnostic mythology, as a consequence of which sparks of deity became entrapped in
the physical world. These could be freed only by saving knowledge that was
revealed to a spiritual elite by a transcendent messenger from the spirit world,
variously identified as Seth (one of the sons of Adam), Jesus, or some other
figure. Renunciation of physical desires and strict asceticism, combined with
mystical rites of initiation and purification were thought to liberate the
immortal souls of believers from the prison of physical existence. Reunion with
divine reality was accomplished after a journey of the soul through intricate
systems of hostile powers. [Promoted Vegetarianism, Celibacy & Hedonism
at same time, fleshless Christ, Jesus
only a man, and many other conflicting doctrines]
Associated in legend with SIMON MAGUS, a Samaritan sorcerer mentioned in
Acts 8:9-24, gnosticism probably originated in the Near East as a synthesis of
Eastern and Greek ideas before the advent of Christianity. It reached the height
of its influence as a Christian sect in the middle of the 2d century AD, when it
was represented by the Egyptian teachers BASILIDES and VALENTINUS. As Christian
orthodoxy was defined in the period that followed, gnosticism began to decline
and gradually was pushed to the periphery of the Christian world or driven
underground by the persecution of church leaders. Some Gnostic tendencies found
their way into later Christian monasticism, while others survived among the
MANDAEANS and adherents of MANICHAEISM.
Modern scholars continue to study the Nag Hammadi documents for an
understanding of gnosticism. Some emphasize its charismatic spirituality and
transcendental radicalism, and others see it as a chaotic amalgam of escapist
myth and unhistorical speculation. Few would deny its direct formative influence
in the life of early Christianity or its general impact on Judaism and
Christianity as a part of the cultural milieu in which those religions worked
out their institutional identities.
107 A.D. Ignatius (An Elder of Antioch of Syria) Wrote 7 letters on the way to his death.
Eusebius’ History Lists 7 letters and quotations which do not contain
any of the “Catholic” Doctrine or terminology
Collection of “Ignatius” letters appears thru
an unknown person Contains
7 letters thought to be copies of Ignatius’ letters acknowledged to be greatly
modified by addition of text, omitting text, and modifying text. Additionally,
8 letters known to be fakes passed as original letters. [All sources,
including the Catholic Encyclopedia, state the original letter’s text can not
be determined and the unknown person responsible was [dishonestly] attempting to
support his personal beliefs. Syric
Versions of three of the 7 listed letters from around 550 A.D. do not contain
any “Catholic” ideas either. Since Ignatius was an elder of Antioch of Syria
many years before his execution in 107 A.D.;
190A.D Irenaeus “Against Heresies” (An Elder of Lyons, France)
Writes a series of Books
against the false teachings
of his day. Mostly against a
variety of Gnostics. Writings from
Eusebius Ecclesiastical History (324-339A.D.), Hippolytus (170-235A.D. Most of the first book) do not
reflect any “Catholic” terminology or doctrine. His writings clearly
1. Christ and the Bible as the only rule of faith.
2. No Additions, deletions, or modification of scripture.
3. The ability for every person to understand the scripture.
4. Uses “the Church” to designate the Body of Christ.
5. Only Bible based doctrines reflected and mostly by quotation of
New Testament scriptures.
6. Irenaeus idea of “Apostolic succession” is the faithful passing
down of scripture as given in the New Testament by Apostles. [Not the passing
down of infallible inspiration or the office of the Apostles to others.]
7. Comments on the practice of false teachers supporting their position
by creating forgeries of scripture and early writings of Apostles.
“Collection” of All five books of “Against Heresy” appears containing
additions supporting the idea of a single Bishop ruling each church as the head,
being the only person capable of understanding the scripture for his church
because of Apostolic
Montanism was a Christian
apocalyptic movement that arose in the 2d century. It took its name from
Montanus, a Phrygian, who, shortly after his baptism as a Christian (AD 156 or
172), claimed to have received a revelation from the Holy Spirit to the effect
that he, as representative prophet of the Spirit, would lead the Christian
church into its final stage. Montanus
founded a sect of enthusiasts who preached the imminent end of the world,
austere morality, and severe penitential discipline. They forbade second
marriages, denied the divine nature of the church, and refused forgiveness for
sins that persons committed after baptism. Montanus called for less church
hierarchy and more charismatic prophecy. He regarded a life of seclusion and
contempt of the world as the only true Christian ideal.
Montanism did not disappear until about the 6th century.
1. Churches Started by an Apostle are given pre-eminence over the
2. Apostolic Succession: Apostolic
Church Bishops are said to be inspired,
becoming the keepers of infallible truth (take the place of Apostles)
3. Large City Bishops (Diocesan) are given rule over country Bishops.
4. Beginning of "Systematic Theology".
Man's attempt to systemize, rationalize, formulate the Bible into a single unit
of doctrine. This diverted
attention from the Bible and God's system to a man's explanation of it.
5. Indulgences of the Saints and Martyrs starts
A.D. Cyprian Corruption:
that The Bishop at
Rome was preeminent [writings also thought to be corrupt since such parts are
not found until after 390A.D. Also] Encouraged infant baptism, demanded penance
for sin [Wanted Christians who denied Christ during persecutions to
pay for disloyalty]
End of the Persecution of Christians by Roman
Christian Faith De-Criminalized by "Edict of
a 4th-century Christian heresy named for Arius (c.250-c.336), a priest in
Alexandria. Arius denied the full deity of the preexistent Son of God who became
incarnate in Jesus Christ. He held that the Son, while divine and like God
("of like substance"), was created by God as the agent through whom he
created the universe. Arius said of the Son, "there was a time when he was
not." Arianism became so widespread in the Christian church and resulted in
such disunity that the emperor Constantine convoked a church council at Nicaea
in 325. Led by ATHANASIUS, bishop of Alexandria, the council condemned Arianism
and stated that the Son was consubstantial (of one and the same substance or
being) and coeternal with the Father, a belief formulated as homoousios
("of one substance") against the Arian position of homoiousios
("of like substance"). Nonetheless, the conflict continued, aided by
the conflicting politics of the empire after the death of Constantine (337).
Roman Emperor Constantine supports the
324 A.D. Eusebius’
History (324 - 339 A.D.)
The Council of Nicene called by Roman
1. Standardize Christian belief by edict, not scripture
2. Nicene Creed established
Apostles Creed in Greek as a confession
A product of the
Western churches (Latin). Roman
Empire temporarily split into West (Rome) and
East (Constantinople) which started a division among Western and Eastern
Council of Antioch: Established
Metropolitan Bishops as
supervisors over their providence’s.
Roman East Emperor Theodius calls Council of Constantinople:
1. Establishes Patriarchs (Primary Bishops) who rule over large
geographical boundaries and the churches within: Rome, Alexandria,
Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Antioch.
2. The church at Rome's beliefs are declared to be the official beliefs
and all others are declared non-existent.
3. Metropolitan bishops are made Archbishops and rule over city and
Collection of corrupt & fake
promoting “Catholic” ideas:
1. Make a head Elder to rule the church; called a "Bishop"
2. The Bishop rules for Christ as head of the church. Salvation
and righteousness is to obey the Bishop.
3. The Bishop must give permission for marriage, baptism, etc..
4. The establishment of authoritative church meetings,
5. Use of term “Catholic” for the church.
Apostles Creed in Latin, Rufus creates the legend of the Apostles writing the creed on Pentecost. (This is Known to be false)
Collection of corrupt (and fake?) Irenaeus letters promoting “Catholic”
Fake Apostle Matthew letter, “Apostolic Constitutions” promotes use of Holy
Honoring Relics [body parts or clothes of Martyr or Saint] common
Burning of Candles and incense
411 - 430
A.D. Augustine began to develop the
A.D. Mary the "Mother of God"
Leo I: Secures edict placing Rome 1st from
Roman East Emperor Marcian calls Council of
1. Marriage forbidden to many Clergy, monks & virgins (Deaconess)
2. Church at Constantinople elevated in position second to Rome.
of Icons in Eastern churches is common
Synod of Orange made:
1. "Original Sin" theology official
2. Lessened the value of baptism and man's free will & choice
590 - 604
A.D. Gregory I (The Great) Secured Rome's
593 - 594
A.D. John the Faster (Patriarch of
Boniface III Secured a decree from the Roman
The Next Lesson: "The Medieval Church" 600 - 1300 A.D.
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