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Author Topic:   How many churches are necessary?
Peg
Member (Idle past 3041 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


(1)
Message 46 of 65 (552552)
03-29-2010 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Theodoric
03-29-2010 9:43 AM


Re: Just wondering
Theodoric writes:

Do you have any idea how pompous, selfrighteous and rude those comments sound to people that do not have your beliefs?

oh rubbish

You are the one sounding pompous and selfrighteous

You're indignant at me because im happy for you to make whatever decision you like??? thats just weird.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Theodoric, posted 03-29-2010 9:43 AM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6058
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 47 of 65 (552554)
03-29-2010 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Peg
03-29-2010 8:25 PM


Funny how you can not back up what you say with any facts. Very classic and very typical.

I may be an atheist but I am very well read. I have read the legends and myths in the bible many times. I probably pull the bible out 3-4 times a week.

I really want to know what you have read in the bible that shows you are "the only true scotsman"


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Peg, posted 03-29-2010 8:25 PM Peg has not yet responded

    
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.4


Message 48 of 65 (552556)
03-29-2010 8:41 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Peg
03-28-2010 5:24 AM


The bible is most certainly being followed and the teachings are coming from it.

Oh, you have a bishop and deacons at your church? Your congregation has pooled all their possessions and lives as a commune? That's very good, Peg!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Peg, posted 03-28-2010 5:24 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Peg, posted 03-29-2010 10:00 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 3041 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 49 of 65 (552570)
03-29-2010 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Coragyps
03-29-2010 8:41 PM


the early church had no bishops and decons as we have today, nor did they live as a commune

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Coragyps, posted 03-29-2010 8:41 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-30-2010 1:14 AM Peg has responded

    
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 2622 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 50 of 65 (552597)
03-30-2010 1:14 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Peg
03-29-2010 10:00 PM


Since I don't know.
Peg writes:

the early church had no bishops and decons as we have today, nor did they live as a commune

Just a simple question with intention of being confrontational. What are your sources for this knowledge, Peg? I feely admit that my Biblical knowledge, while better than that of most Christians I meet, is still dwarfed by those who study the Bible daily. So I really just want to know - how do you know this stuff about the first century church?


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

What's the difference between a conspiracy theorist and a new puppy? The puppy eventually grows up and quits whining.
-Steven Dutch


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Peg, posted 03-29-2010 10:00 PM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Peg, posted 03-30-2010 2:44 AM ZenMonkey has responded

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 3041 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 51 of 65 (552604)
03-30-2010 2:44 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by ZenMonkey
03-30-2010 1:14 AM


Re: Since I don't know.
ZenMonkey writes:

Just a simple question with intention of being confrontational. What are your sources for this knowledge, Peg? I feely admit that my Biblical knowledge, while better than that of most Christians I meet, is still dwarfed by those who study the Bible daily. So I really just want to know - how do you know this stuff about the first century church?

I have studied this stuff for a very long time is all. As a JW, we are all students and our meetings are designed to teach...the Watchtower magazines and booklets we produce are teaching material and study aids to give all JWs a solid bible knowledge.

Jesus established the church and he showed how the church should be organized. One thing he stipulated was that there should not be positions among the brothers.

Mathew 20:25-28 writes:

“You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. . . . Anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

we can see examples of how the apostles did not view themselves as any greater then even the new members of the congregation. There is an account about when Peter visits a roman officer named Cornelius and this man fell down at Peters feet, but Peter stopped him from doing that.

Acts 10:24-26 "As Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet and did obeisance to him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying: “Rise; I myself am also a man.”

This shows that first century congregation wasnt split into a clergy and laity.

2ndly, when you look at the greek words used in the original texts, you soon find out that their meaning is different to what translators put to them today.

from pre.sby.te'rous we get the word priest....but this word actually means 'older men' in its original form.

and from e.pi'sko.pos we get the word bishop....but the original word means 'overseer'

Now this is interesting because the church has put bishops in a position 'above' priests....yet the NT writers did not. Have a look at this

Acts 20:17 - 28 writes:

 However, from Mi‧le′tus he sent to Eph′e‧sus and called for the older men (presbyteros) of the congregation. 18 When they got to him he said to them: ...28 Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed YOU overseers (e.pi.sko'pous), to shepherd the congregation of God,

Do you see that the NT puts overseers (bishops) and priests (older men) as one and the same...these older men/priests were appointed by holy spirit to shepherd the congregation...they WERE the overseers/bishops

But in christendom, they have made different positions within their church's and have elevated 'bishops' over 'priests'

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-30-2010 1:14 AM ZenMonkey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Coragyps, posted 03-30-2010 7:24 AM Peg has responded
 Message 57 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-31-2010 12:59 AM Peg has responded

    
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.4


Message 52 of 65 (552613)
03-30-2010 7:24 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Peg
03-30-2010 2:44 AM


First Timothy chapter 3 isn't in the JW Bible? Or was it written after the first Century? It gives qualifications for bishops, and then for deacons.....

I think you're being just a mite selective about what counts as N.T., Peg.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Peg, posted 03-30-2010 2:44 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by PaulK, posted 03-30-2010 9:18 AM Coragyps has not yet responded
 Message 56 by Peg, posted 03-31-2010 12:45 AM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14826
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 53 of 65 (552619)
03-30-2010 9:18 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Coragyps
03-30-2010 7:24 AM


Bible scholars date 1 Timothy to the 2nd Century. But then given that the JWs seem to have the typical fundamentalist attitude to Bible scholars, that's no reason to think that Peg would agree.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Coragyps, posted 03-30-2010 7:24 AM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7701
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 54 of 65 (552655)
03-30-2010 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Peg
03-27-2010 8:22 PM


there are so many denominations because they are being led by man rather then God....the bible is second fiddle.

This is very short sighted. The majority of the New Testament is made up of letters from Paul who was a man last I checked. Paul was trying to pull many different christian communities together under one tent. If you read the Pauline letters then you are following a man.

Just as one example of the different ideas in the early church, it was thought by many that you first had to become a jew in order to become a christian. Paul even wrote about whether or not christians should be circumcised. That is, whether christians should follow the Old Law before becoming a christian. Also, it is quite apparent that the Gospels were regional. One christian community followed the Gospel of Mark, another the Gospel of Luke, etc. Even more, you completely ignore the gnostic christians.

In fact, the idea of a "Bible" is a completely man made idea. There was no "Bible" until the Council of Nicea formalized it in the 5th century. They (i.e. men) decided once and for all which books were in and which were not.

Your views of christianity are tainted by men more than you think.

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Peg, posted 03-27-2010 8:22 PM Peg has not yet responded

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autumnman
Member (Idle past 3124 days)
Posts: 621
From: Colorado
Joined: 02-24-2008


Message 55 of 65 (552689)
03-30-2010 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Taq
03-30-2010 1:42 PM


Well said, Taq:
"Your views of christianity are tainted by men more than you think."

In fact, ALL views of christianity are completely tainted by men (it is a male dominated religion).

The Holy Bible was composed, compiled, and canonized by many different men, and there is nothing written in the Holy Bible that would serve to bring all Christian denominations together. People have extreme difficulty agreeing on what the Holy Bible is actually trying to convey.

Autumnman


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 Message 54 by Taq, posted 03-30-2010 1:42 PM Taq has not yet responded

    
Peg
Member (Idle past 3041 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 56 of 65 (552763)
03-31-2010 12:45 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Coragyps
03-30-2010 7:24 AM


Coragyps writes:

First Timothy chapter 3 isn't in the JW Bible? Or was it written after the first Century? It gives qualifications for bishops, and then for deacons.....

I think you're being just a mite selective about what counts as N.T., Peg.

Yes it is in our bible translation, No it wasnt written after the 1st century...but the translation where bishops and deacons is found most certainly was.

The King James Version was translated by men who belonged to the Church of England at a time when the office of “bishops” and “deacons” was in full swing. So when they translated the Greek words episkopos and diakonos (oldermen and assistant/attendant) they did so according to the 'titles' within the church rather then rendering the 'meaning' of the words. This makes it appear to bible readers that bishops and deacons were always a part of the christian church, but by doing a bit of research you'll find that its not the case.

If you look at 'An American Translation' you'll see that it renders these words by their original meaning rather then by the, later evolved, church title. The NWT does this too in 1 Tim 3.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Coragyps, posted 03-30-2010 7:24 AM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 2622 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 57 of 65 (552767)
03-31-2010 12:59 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Peg
03-30-2010 2:44 AM


Re: Since I don't know.
Thank you, Peg. Those verses are certainly pertinent to the specific question of the role of bishops in the early church, and I don't know enough to disagree with your interpretation of Acts 20: 17-18, 28, which appears to be reasonable.

However, I think I should have been more specific in my original question. What I really would like to know is, what contemporary sources (i.e. also written in the first or early second century CE) do you know of that would give reliable information about the early church? I believe that most Roman historians or chroniclers at the time were either not interested or misinformed about the Christians, and I don't know of any who would have been Christians themselves. So what documentary or archaeological sources do you have other than the New Testament?

Thanks!


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

What's the difference between a conspiracy theorist and a new puppy? The puppy eventually grows up and quits whining.
-Steven Dutch


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Peg, posted 03-30-2010 2:44 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Peg, posted 03-31-2010 1:14 AM ZenMonkey has responded

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 3041 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 58 of 65 (552770)
03-31-2010 1:14 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by ZenMonkey
03-31-2010 12:59 AM


Re: Since I don't know.
ZenMonkey writes:

I believe that most Roman historians or chroniclers at the time were either not interested or misinformed about the Christians, and I don't know of any who would have been Christians themselves. So what documentary or archaeological sources do you have other than the New Testament?

you can learn alot about the early church from the writings of tertulian, Origen, Jerome...basically the nicean fathers Wiki give a list of the progression of 'fathers' (another non NT idea) starting with the first, Clement

As christianity got further down the track, you see the result is that the teachings and the organization of the church slowly changed. But the best place to start for church history (besides the NT) is the writings of these early men. Things hadnt changed much in the 2nd century...the bigger changes came around the 3rd century and onward.

Edited by Peg, : links added

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-31-2010 12:59 AM ZenMonkey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-31-2010 1:52 AM Peg has responded

    
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 2622 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 59 of 65 (552774)
03-31-2010 1:52 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by Peg
03-31-2010 1:14 AM


Re: Since I don't know.
Peg writes:

you can learn alot about the early church from the writings of tertulian, Origen, Jerome...basically the nicean fathers.

As christianity got further down the track, you see the result is that the teachings and the organization of the church slowly changed. But the best place to start for church history (besides the NT) is the writings of these early men. Things hadnt changed much in the 2nd century...the bigger changes came around the 3rd century and onward.

It's the sentence that I bolded that I have a problem with. Out of the three men that you mentioned, the earliest, Tertullian, wasn't born until about 160 CE, which would place him about a century after Jesus's death and well after the first or even the second generation of Christians. The latest, Jerome was born in 347 CE. Is your assertion that information about the first hundred years of Christianity was transmitted faithfully and accurately, possibly without written records, or at least written records other that what's in the New Testament? I'm not saying that this isn't possible, but neither do I have any reason to assume that the writers of the second century would know much at all about the first Christians were doing. One hundred plus years went by with no centralized leadership, and no generally accepted authoritative texts. I believe that the early church also functioned largely in secret. The very period that you want to assert as the model for the "true" church is the one that's the least documented. What's your basis for believing that Origen had accurate information to base his own writings on?

ABE: I see that you added links to your post and a reference to Clement. From what I can see at first glance, I'd agree that 1 Clement is probably a pretty good source about the early church.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

What's the difference between a conspiracy theorist and a new puppy? The puppy eventually grows up and quits whining.
-Steven Dutch


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Peg, posted 03-31-2010 1:14 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Peg, posted 03-31-2010 2:54 AM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 3041 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 60 of 65 (552781)
03-31-2010 2:54 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by ZenMonkey
03-31-2010 1:52 AM


Re: Since I don't know.
ZenMonkey writes:

Is your assertion that information about the first hundred years of Christianity was transmitted faithfully and accurately, possibly without written records, or at least written records other that what's in the New Testament?

the links i've given are for the written records of early christians which record events that took place within the church. They give a general idea of the going ons within the congregations, but i wouldnt say that they are gospel...some of what they write may or may not be true. But the reason why these writings are valuable is because they record the changes that the church went thru.

ZenMonkey writes:

I'm not saying that this isn't possible, but neither do I have any reason to assume that the writers of the second century would know much at all about the first Christians were doing. One hundred plus years went by with no centralized leadership, and no generally accepted authoritative texts.

the lives of some of these men overlapped with the earliest christians. Clement of Rome died around 96 as an aged man, and so he lived during the time of the apostles.

and there certainly was a centralized leadership...it began with Jesus, then the Apostles, then the older men of the congregations who were responsible for overseeing the teachings and management of the congregation. One things that proves they were organized is that in various cities, entire libraries of NT writings were compiled and safeguarded. Some of the writers i've named actually mention these libraries.

You also have to consider that just because the NT wasnt 'authorized' until the 3rd century, that doesnt mean there were no authorized texts. The letters of the apostles were circulating among the congregations for a very long time...in fact, if there were no letters circulating, then there would not have been any congregations or any texts to 'authorize'.

Also, the apostles would visit these congregations and in many cases personally deliver the letters of instruction they had written. So its not like the congregations got an annoymous letter and were left wondering if it was from the apostles or not. They knew who the writings came from because they were hand delivered.

ZenMonkey writes:

I believe that the early church also functioned largely in secret. The very period that you want to assert as the model for the "true" church is the one that's the least documented.

im afraid thats a misconception. The church was so well documented that there are literally thousands of ancient texts still available today. Much more of the bible exists then does some of our most respected ancient historians. Its true that there are only a handful of secular writings about the christians, but this is only to be expected considering the christians were such a new religion.

Zen Monkey writes:

What's your basis for believing that Origen had accurate information to base his own writings on?

I dont subscribe to origens teachings...but they are good to compare them to NT teachings because you can clearly see where much of the current non-biblical ideas sprang from. I believe he was a sincere teacher, but he became very influenced by pagan thought. He introduced the idea of allegory into scripture, he dabbled in greek philosophy and he also taught that Jesus did not have a beginning which led to the trinity teaching later on.

So he's a good example to see how the teachings of christianity changed form their original form to what we have today. One good thing that comes from Origen is that in the 'Hexapla' he used God’s name in its original form, called the Tetragrammaton. This provides powerful evidence that the early Christians knew and used the personal name of God Jehovah because the church has since removed the name of Jehovah from the bible entirely. This confuses the issue of who the true God is...is it Jehovah, or is it Jesus? When there is only one God named in the bible, the issue is removed and Jesus is God....hence they can 'prove' their trinity doctrine.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by ZenMonkey, posted 03-31-2010 1:52 AM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

    
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