quote: The history of the Catholic Church begins with the teachings of Jesus Christ, who lived and preached in the 1st century AD in the province of Judea of the Roman Empire. The contemporary Catholic Church says that it is the continuation of the early Christian community established by Jesus.
I think historians consider the start of früh or early Catholicism around the time of Clement of Rome (or 1 Clement) which is universally dated to 96 to 97 AD. Right after that, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus were written (and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 was inserted into Paul's writings). Then Ignatius of Antioch. Then Polycarp.
There is no historian that connects Jesus and Paul to the above writings. There is a discontinuity. Faith is in agreement with the historians on this one.
Marcion (the person who put together the first Christian Bible) had a "radical Pauline" theology which was essentially that 1 Corinthians 12:28 backed up a charismatic type of church "order" (if there was any order) and he felt that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 was added by the Roman Catholics.
The Catholics had the institutional Pauline theology of the Pastoral Epistles, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement himself where the church was modeled after Roman government. Women were demoted and weren't allowed to lead worship or even speak in church.
Females often led house churches until after the writing of Clement, then the Pastoral Epistles were written and Ignatius was written after.
Ignatius demoted females.
The conservative evangelical Interpreters Commentary of the Bible by Zondervan in the 1950s dated the Pastoral Epistles around 150 AD (so did the Southern Baptist Broadman Bible Commentary), but now they are dated before Ignatius. (even though he didn't quote them, but he had their theology)
quote: There were many mystery schools in that day and Constantine wanted just the one belief system where Jesus was both man and God so that Constantine, like many Emperors before him, could claim God status for himself.
The Roman Mysteries were interesting because they were an example of the Romans adopting the Old Indo-Iranian God (though previously demoted to an angel type in Iran) Mitra/ Mithra and it seemed to be an avatar religion (it had prophet Zoroaster possibly being reincarnated, though Zoroastrianism doesn't have reincarnation and avatars). My Oxford Dictionary of World's Ancient Religions has 3 different Mithras , since he is in three different religions as different roles. It talks about how strange it is that the Romans took the religion of their enemy.
The same dictionary says Marcionites mostly became Manicheans. Manicheans are a Christian/ Zoroastrian hybrid with reincarnation and avatars (though orthodox Christians, Zoroastrians don't have reincarnation), but Marcion was more like orthodox Christians.
Many feel that the Roman Mysteries were a missing link between Hinduism and Christianity (it had a base where Paul was born), and they see evidence from the missionary king of the 3rd century BCE (spread the Indian religion all the way to Palestine and beyond) Asouka.
Mithra was named "Sol Invictus" (the unconquerable sun or invincible sun) and his birth date was December 25?
Guess who Constantine worshipped?
(That is a late development and a side issue, and doesn't mean Jesus is Mithra but it is interesting)
Malachi chapter 4 (the last Old Testament chapter in the Christian Bible) talks about the "sun of righteousness" rising and many Christians see that as a prophecy for Jesus. Historians think the wings on a sun disc reference in Malachi might have something to do with the Zoroastrian God Mazda but Mithra was seen as the sun.
The Yazata Haoma, also known by the middle Persian name Hôm Yazad, is the epitome of the quintessence of the haoma plant, venerated in the Hôm Yaðt, the hymns of Yasna 9-11.
In those hymns, Haoma is said to appear before Zoroaster in the form of a "beautiful man" (this is the only anthropomorphic reference), who prompts him to gather and press haoma for the purification of the waters (see Aban). Haoma is 'righteous' and 'furthers righteousness', is 'wise' and 'gives insight' (Yasna 9.22). Haoma was the first priest, installed by Ahura Mazda with the sacred girdle aiwiyanghana (Yasna 9.26) and serves the Amesha Spentas in this capacity (Yasht 10.89). "Golden-green eyed" Haoma was the first to offer up haoma, with a "star-adorned, spirit-fashioned mortar," and is the guardian of "mountain plants upon the highest mountain peak." (Yasht 10.90)
Haoma is associated with the Amesha Spenta Vohu Manah (Avestan, middle Persian Vahman or Bahman), the guardian of all animal creation. Haoma is the only divinity with a Yasht who is not also represented by a day-name dedication in the Zoroastrian calendar. Without such a dedication, Haoma has ceased to be of any great importance within the Zoroastrian hierarchy of angels.
quote: OXFORD DICTIONARY OF WORLD RELIGIONS p.226 Clement of Rome, St. Traditional third *bishop of Rome, perhaps to be connected with the fellow worker of *Paul (Philippians 4.3). A letter from the Roman church to that of Corinth is ascribed to him and is known as 1 Clement. The letter, a somewhat pompous appeal for peace in the church of Corinth, shows the beginning of Roman claims to authority over the churches.
Just partial quotes from articles mind you.
quote: Marcion. ...rejected the Old Testament, and from the New Testament admitted to his cannon only the letters of Paul and an edited version of the gospel of Luke. His orthodox opponents reckoned him among the *gnostics, but his system lacks typical gnostic mythology. Marcion was sympathetically studied by A. von *Harnack who saw him as a kind of ancient *Protestant.
quote: Oxford Dictionary of World Religions 1997 p.647-648 Mithra. God worshipped in four different religions: ...and in the Roman Mithraic mysteries *Mithras). Why this Zoroastrianized Indo-Iranian deity was the focus of a cult in the enemy empire of Rome remains something of a historical puzzle. The first evidence for the cult comes from the end of the 1st cent. CE. ...The cult explicitly claimed to have been founded by *Zoroaster and cecame known as the Persian mysteries. ...The main cult relief (tauroctony) depicted Mithras slaying the bull, a scene thought to have soteriological significance, understood at least in part in astrological terms. Other scenes depicted Mithras and Sol banqueting in what was probably the mythic prototype of the community ritual meals of bread and wine. The death of the bull and the ritual meal were both depicted taking place in a cave, for the universe was thought of as a cosmic cave, and the temple structures were commonly made cave-like to emphasize the cosmological significance of the acts within. Side scenes in the temple showed the birth of Mithras from a rock (he was known as Mithras Petrogenes). Some older popular books state that the cult included the rite of the taurobolium in which an initiate descended into a pit over which a bull was slain and in whose blood the initiate bathed. This could not have been practiced in Mithraism, because virtually all known temples were too small for a bull to enter. The death of the bull, therefore, appears to have been thought of as a unique inimitable act of the god himself, who is described in one inscription as having saved the initiates by the shedding of eternal blood. ...interesting both in its own right and as a mystery cult whose growth, and some of whose ideas, paralleled emerging Christianity.
It seems that the religion might reflect a movement away from animal sacrifices that Zoroaster noticeably disliked. A parallel to Christianity for sure.
This Oxford dictionary seems conservative in its dates of Mark.
quote: ibid. p.618 Mark, St. ...There is no reason to discount the traditions linking the gospel with Rome. A date in the 60s is most likely.
The bull slaying scene does slightly predate the life of Jesus and Mark though. Ill look into it.
quote: ALSO, clearly scripture does not have the people claiming "God told me to do it," Scripture itself quotes GOD HIMSELF giving the command. If you don't believe that scripture was inspired by God you'll impute it to the people, but believers impute it to God
Most believers (especially before the time of Constantine) rejected the Old Testament.
It was (for the most part)only the Roman Catholics (and those they influenced) that held the Old Testament in esteem.
The issue is that most "Christian" people today follow the Catholics (with a high opinion of the Old Testament being God-inspired), but that wasn't true in the early centuries.
I worded that poorly but Manicheans, Gnostics, and Marcionits outnumbers Catholics.
quote: http://www.earlychristianhistory.info/donatus.html the last decade of the 3rd century CE, Emperor Diocletian ordered persecutions of various groups he blamed for a wave of plagues and pestilences which had swept the western Empire and resulted in economic and social instability. The chief target-groups ended up being (initially) Manicheans, and then Christians
I have noticed as far back as 2000 that Catholics were outnumbered by other Christians, and that the pre-Constantine persecutions were mostly made up. Finally leading historian has shown us amazing things (that I never even could have imagined)
quote: The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss p.256 …I’ve argued that the view of the church as continually and unrelentingly persecuted throughout history is a myth, a myth that was solidified after the conversion of the Emperor Constantine for the purposes of retelling the history of Christianity, supporting the authority of bishops, financing religious buildings, and marginalizing the view of heretics.
quote: Moss also examines surviving Roman records. She notes that during the only concerted anti-Christian Roman campaign, under the emperor Diocletian between 303 and 306, Christians were expelled from public offices. Their churches, such as the one in Nicomedia, across the street from the imperial palace, were destroyed. Yet, as Moss points out, if the Christians were holding high offices in the first place and had built their church “in the emperor’s own front yard,” they could hardly have been in hiding away in catacombs before Diocletian issued his edicts against them.
I wish I had access to my zip drive (computer issues), as I had a good (long) journal article by a scholar named Hoffman who showed that Marcionites were much more numerous than thought (and this scholar is considered on par with Adolf von Harnack, one of his Marcion works was referenced by my Oxford Dictionary quoted above - infact he was the only one, aside from Harnack, referenced. I can't find much from him on the net. I was disappointed to see that he has some website promoting atheism lol )
Here is the Amazon blurb of Moss' book
quote: In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.
According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction. As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because they refused to renounce Christ. These saints, Christianity's inspirational heroes, are still venerated today.
Moss, however, exposes that the "Age of Martyrs" is a fiction—there was no sustained 300-year-long effort by the Romans to persecute Christians. Instead, these stories were pious exaggerations; highly stylized rewritings of Jewish, Greek, and Roman noble death traditions; and even forgeries designed to marginalize heretics, inspire the faithful, and fund churches.
The traditional story of persecution is still taught in Sunday school classes, celebrated in sermons, and employed by church leaders, politicians, and media pundits who insist that Christians were—and always will be—persecuted by a hostile, secular world. While violence against Christians does occur in select parts of the world today, the rhetoric of persecution is both misleading and rooted in an inaccurate history of the early church. Moss urges modern Christians to abandon the conspiratorial assumption that the world is out to get Christians and, rather, embrace the consolation, moral instruction, and spiritual guidance that these martyrdom stories provide.
I wonder if the book covers the Manicheans who suffered a lot (after Constantine and the 380 outlawing)
Here is a quote from a fundamentalist below.
quote: The Little Church Has Grown ( 2006 ) by Daniel Barwell pp.213-214 Yet for several hundred years the Manicheans gained ground faster than Christianity as they moved into western culture. This fact is almost totally obscure in Christianity today as most theologians have never even heard of the Manicheans
quote: Catholic Encyclopedia 1910 In A.D. 1000 the Arab historian Al-Beruni wrote: "The majority of the Eastern Turks, the inhabitants of China and Tibet, and a number in India belong to the religion of Mani". http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09591a.htm
People are starting to get some alternative views on the diversity of early Christianity.
quote: Writings of opponents Until the middle of the twentieth century our knowledge of Gnostic Christianity came primarily from its opponents, various Proto-Orthodox Christian writers such as Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and Epiphanius. These authors regarded Gnostics as "heretics" and summarized their views in order to refute them. From the amount of attention that these writers gave to the matter, it is clear that Gnostic Christianity was widespread in the early Christian centuries. Some scholars have argued that the Gnostic Christians outnumbered the Proto-Orthodox Christians in some areas. This state of affairs began to change when Constantine became emperor. Constantine and other emperors after him made Christianity the religion of the state and sought to unify it as a means of unifying the empire. In 38 1 the emperor Theodosius I recognized the Proto-Orthodox tradition as normative Christianity and outlawed all other perspectives, including that of Gnostic Christianity. After that time, Gnostic Christianity faded from the scene in the Roman Empire. To the east of the empire, Gnostic ideas have survived down to the present in the religion of the Mandaeans in Iraq and Iran. http://www.cambridge.org/...res/0521007208/qanda/qanda_8.htm
Manicheans outnumbered Catholics in the early 4th century IMO.
quote: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Manichaeism The Manichaean Church from the beginning was dedicated to vigorous missionary activity in an attempt to convert the world. Mani encouraged the translation of his writings into other languages and organized an extensive mission program. Manichaeism rapidly spread west into the Roman Empire. From Egypt it moved across northern Africa (where the young Augustine temporarily became a convert) and reached Rome in the early 4th century. The 4th century marked the height of Manichaean expansion in the West, with churches established in southern Gaul and Spain. Vigorously attacked by both the Christian Church and the Roman state, it disappeared almost entirely from Western Europe by the end of the 5th century, and, during the course of the 6th century, from the eastern portion of the Empire.
During the lifetime of Mani, Manichaeism spread to the eastern provinces of the Persian Sâsânian Empire. Within Persia itself, the Manichaean community maintained itself in spite of severe persecutions, until Muslim ʿAbbâsid persecution in the 10th century forced the transfer of the seat of the Manichaean leader to Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan).
The religion’s expansion to the East had already begun in the 7th century with the reopening of caravan routes there after China’s conquest of East Turkistan. A Manichaean missionary reached the Chinese court in 694, and in 732 an edict gave the religion freedom of worship in China. When East Turkistan was conquered in the 8th century by the Uighur Turks, one of their leaders adopted Manichaeism and it remained the state religion of the Uighur kingdom until its overthrow in 840. Manichaeism itself probably survived in East Turkistan until the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. In China it was forbidden in 843, but, although persecuted, it continued there at least until the 14th century.
quote: Christian Gnosticism Gnosticism can be viewed as one of the three main branches of early Christianity. The others are Jewish Christianity, which was practiced by the disciples of Jesus; and Pauline Christianity, which rejected Jewish traditions. German biblical historian Adolf von Harnack said that while Paul's teachings represented the hellenization of the original Jewish Christianity, gnosticism represented its "extreme hellenization."
.... Manichaeism was a distinct gnostic religion that originated in third century Babylon, a province of Persia at the time, eventually reached from North Africa to China. Named after its prophet, Mani, its teachings moved west into Syria, Northern Arabia, Egypt and North Africa, where the future Saint Augustine was a member from 373-382. From Syria it progressed into Palestine, Asia Minor, and Armenia. There is evidence for Manicheans in Rome and Dalmatia in the fourth century, and also in Gaul and Spain. Many of the members of earlier Christian gnostic sects may have drifted into the orbit of Manichaeism. It possessed an organized clergy, liturgies, scriptures, and monasteries. .... Manichaeism was attacked by imperial edicts, church councils, and polemical writings by critics such as Augustine, but the religion remained strong in the western Roman Empire until the sixth century. In Islamic lands, which normally tolerated both Christianity and Judaism, it was repressed as a form of paganism. In the early years of the Arab conquest, however, Manichaeism found followers in Persia and flourished especially in Central Asia. There, in 762, Manichaeism became the state religion of the Uigar Empire. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Gnosticism
quote: The beginning of Manichean missionary activities. Hardly any other religion has undertaken its missionary activities with a view to winning the world for the truth of its faith in a better designed and more systematic way than the Manichean church. According to its hagiographical tradition, as attested in the CMC (pp. 17-19, 73; ed. Koenen and Römer, pp. 10-13, 50-51; Cameron and Dewey, pp. 18-21, 56-57) and in Ebn al-Nadim’s Fehrest (ed. Flügel, pp. 50.15-51.7, 84; tr. Dodge, p. 775), the missionary work is based on a command given to Mani by his Sysygos (spiritual Twin) when he had completed his 24th year of life. According to the CMC, the command was: “You have not only been sent to this religion [of the Baptists], but to every people, every school, every town and place; for [by you this] hope will be explained and proclaimed in all [zones] and regions [of the world]. [Men] in great numbers will accept your word. So step forth and walk about; for I shall be with you as your helper and protector at every place where you are proclaiming all that has been revealed to you. So do not worry and do not be distressed” (CMC, pp. 104-05; ed. Koenen and Römer, pp. 74-75). Therefore, the worldwide mission is inseparably tied with the separation of Mani and his followers from their paternal, Elkhasaite community and with the foundation of the Manichean church. What really happened is that Mani himself came to be the first missionary of his community.
The Alawaites of Syria are an avatar, reincarnation religion (Shi'ites have a "Light of Muhammad" concept which some call the Muslim "Holy spirit" and many Shi'ite sects across the world are avatar religions) and it is interesting that they outnumber Christians (numbers from before the ISIS-caused migrations, they were outnumbered).
quote: Syria's Alawites are secretive, unorthodox sect
Sunnis Muslims make up 74 percent of Syria's 22 million population, Alawites 12 percent, Christians 10 percent and Druze 3 percent ....
The Alawite religion is often called "an offshoot of Shi'ism," Islam's largest minority sect, but that is something like referring to Christianity as "an offshoot of Judaism." But several beliefs differ sharply from traditional Islam. Named after Ali, Alawites believe he was divine, one of many manifestations of God in a line with Adam, Jesus, Mohammad, Socrates, Plato and some pre-Islamic sages from ancient Persia.
To orthodox Muslims, this eclectic synthesis of Christian, Gnostic, Neoplatonic and Zoroastrian thought violates Islam's key tenet that "there is no God but God."
You posted a link from a person who said that Constantine should come back from the grave and sue Dan Brown for defamation of character.
Dan Brown actually didn't say a whisper about all the murderous things Constantine did (he had his own son killed and then his wife), so far as I know.
Maier said about Constantine, "He couldn't do enough for the church."
The worst turning point in Christian history is something Maier thinks was wonderful.
I don't have a problem with modern Catholics btw. The Catholic church finally allowed the Pastoral Epistles to be critically examined, in 1943, by the Vatican's academic wing (the Pontifica Biblical Institute), and Catholics have been peaceful for a good while.
I object to the early Catholics for forgeries (100 AD) and then killing off everybody and everything once they got governmental power (after 300 AD).
Just remember Faith.
The only Church Council that Catholics reject is the 50 A.D. Apostolic Council of Acts 15.
Catholics brought the Council of Nicaea of 325
You can tell who follows the (old)Catholics by looking at the Council's they value. (hint that website obsesses over "heretics" like Jehovah Witnesses)
Paul Maier has made it clear that the Roman Empire had a leader that "couldn't do enough for the church" while excluding 99% of Christians as not "the church" (I suppose). Yes, "all those gnostic type heretics were dealt with by the early church and didn't outnumber Christian believers" indeed.
Interesting that the Alawites outnumber Christians in Syria.
Manicheans would outnumber "Christians" in Italy if they would have been "dealt with" peacefully instead of by the sword.
He has always talked about what a great blessing the sincere Constantine was to "the church".
We all heard his voice a million times during the Da Vinci code obsession. The Da Vinci Code was an easy straw man to kick down.
He will play up the relatively small incidents against Christians during the pagan Roman empire, and ignore everything that happened after the "conversion" of Constantine.
The Manicheans survived the pagan-Roman persecutions easily. Not so after Constantine's conversion. Maier doesn't seem to care to notice that his preferred brand of "Christianity" (the Roman brand he and that website follow) wouldn't and couldn't win the battle of ideas.
The Christianity (of the majority of Americans) of today wouldn't be more than 2% of the United States if it wasn't imposed long ago. And Maier knows it. That why he is in love with the big myth that Constantine was a great turning point.
quote: NO idea what you are talking about. Paul Maier was the author of the review of Moss' book. Where did he say anything about Dan Brown and Constantine? Please provide quotes and links if necessary. You write so disconnectedly I can't follow you. You write gobbledegook. That website is Christian Research Institute, it's not run by Paul Maier. They merely included his article about Moss.
The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction? Mass Market Paperback – April 19, 2004
quote: but Constantine was a convert; he couldn't do enough for the church; he's the one who summoned the First Ecumenical Council. In the session at Nicea, he paid for the travel expenses, lodging expenses of all the churchmen coming across the empire, 300 strong. You can just see how the truth is manipulated continually in this novel. http://www.lutheranhour.org/sermon.asp?articleid=3258&mod...
People were eventually killed in the tens of millions over these stupid terminological differences that the "Church Councils" obsessed over.
Nicaea wasn't just a bogus theological debate, it was a political movement.
quote: There is no reason whatever to think the vote was manipulated in any way, which is what LNA is claiming. The vast majority understood the scriptures to define the nature of Christ according to the Creed that the council produced, which expressed the beliefs of the majority of attendees against those of Arius: Christ begotten not made for starters.
The vote would have been different if not for the fact that the only people allowed to vote were Roman Catholics.
James, the brother of Jesus (not to mention the apostles and Jesus himself) was considered a "heretic" by every single one of those bishops in 325 AD.