Beliefs of the Early Church


#1

This is a continuation of the “Baptists and Mary” thread.

the thread has since evolved into a discussion of the beliefs and practices of the Early Church.

[quote=ahimsaman72]What you have quoted is Catholic church tradition, not Scripture. My definition of the “early church” is the churches described in Scripture. They were not Roman Catholic. They were local independent churches with local authority within themselves.
[/quote]

I have quoted you historical documents regarding the beliefs and practices of the Early Church.

The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache are both from Scriptural times while John was still alive, and hence would seem to qualify for your definition of “early church”

Other than Baptist tradition, do you have any evidence to back you claim about them being independent churchs?


#2

[quote=Brendan]This is a continuation of the “Baptists and Mary” thread.

the thread has since evolved into a discussion of the beliefs and practices of the Early Church.

I have quoted you historical documents regarding the beliefs and practices of the Early Church.

The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache are both from Scriptural times while John was still alive, and hence would seem to qualify for your definition of “early church”

Other than Baptist tradition, do you have any evidence to back you claim about them being independent churchs?
[/quote]

The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache are extra-Biblical. They are not valid concerning official doctrine.

The evidence for my claim is found in the complete book of Acts in the accepted Scripture. There are also many mentions of local authority within the individual churches throughout the epistles. There was the office of bishop (which simply means overseer, which we claim is equivalent to pastors, not bishops in the Roman Catholic tradition). There was the office of deacon also.

I posted some of this on another thread, but can’t seem to find it. I will try to find so that I don’t re-type everything.


#3

But the Catholic Church gave you the bible. The Catholic Church was the recipient of God"s revelation about which books were inspired and which weren’t. And because God revealed this truth, it is part of the Deposit of Faith, a Tradition that comes from God, not from men.

“Stand firm and hold fast to the Traditions you were taught either by oral statement or by a letter of ours.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)


#4

[quote=Brendan]This is a continuation of the “Baptists and Mary” thread.

the thread has since evolved into a discussion of the beliefs and practices of the Early Church.

I have quoted you historical documents regarding the beliefs and practices of the Early Church.

The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache are both from Scriptural times while John was still alive, and hence would seem to qualify for your definition of “early church”

Other than Baptist tradition, do you have any evidence to back you claim about them being independent churchs?
[/quote]

I found some of what I have stated in the past and have linked to it here. No since in re-doing what’s already been done.
Here it is:
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=207473&postcount=73


#5

[quote=moira]But the Catholic Church gave you the bible. The Catholic Church was the recipient of God"s revelation about which books were inspired and which weren’t. And because God revealed this truth, it is part of the Deposit of Faith, a Tradition that comes from God, not from men.

“Stand firm and hold fast to the Traditions you were taught either by oral statement or by a letter of ours.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
[/quote]

Not the Roman Catholic Church. I’ve repeated this on other threads. The claim that the Roman Church is responsible for Christians having the Bible is false.

Point 1: Jews wrote the Old Testament. It was already revealed. The catholic church wasn’t even in existence.

Point 2: The canon needed no validation from any council to define what is true canon and what is not. Please view the link to the thread I posted a minute ago. I addressed this same issue there.


#6

Point 1: Jews wrote the Old Testament. It was already revealed. The catholic church wasn’t even in existence.

Jews indeed wrote the OT. Jews also wrote the NT. Therefore, those who wrote the Scriptures were all Jewish. But these Jewish writers were not author of Scriptures. It is God who is the author since these people were inspired by the holy Spirit. Now, the question lies; “How would one know that those people were inspired by the holy Spirit?” Not one person in history did ever claim that he is to be believed by saying these books belong to the book of books and are inspired. Luther cannot claim that to himself or any protestant.

Point 2: The canon needed no validation from any council to define what is true canon and what is not. Please view the link to the thread I posted a minute ago. I addressed this same issue there.

There were books in the early Church that were not included in the canon of the bible of the Catholic Church, and even what the protestants use. Why didn’t they include them? In your understanding, you can therefore add those that were used by Early Christians and consider them “inspired books” to the present Bible because, as you say, no council can ever validate that, but only individual persons can? Is that a correct understanding?

Pio


#7

[quote=hlgomez]Jews indeed wrote the OT. Jews also wrote the NT. Therefore, those who wrote the Scriptures were all Jewish. But these Jewish writers were not author of Scriptures. It is God who is the author since these people were inspired by the holy Spirit. Now, the question lies; “How would one know that those people were inspired by the holy Spirit?” Not one person in history did ever claim that he is to be believed by saying these books belong to the book of books and are inspired. Luther cannot claim that to himself or any protestant.

There were books in the early Church that were not included in the canon of the bible of the Catholic Church, and even what the protestants use. Why didn’t they include them? In your understanding, you can therefore add those that were used by Early Christians and consider them “inspired books” to the present Bible because, as you say, no council can ever validate that, but only individual persons can? Is that a correct understanding?

Pio
[/quote]

So, indeed, you agree with me concerning who gave the Bible to “us”. Jews wrote it (except for Luke who was greek). They wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit as Peter said in 2 Peter 1:21

How would they know what Scripture was inspired? For starters, they would believe what the apostles wrote because of their close proximity to Christ. Then, those who were close to the apostles would be believed, etc. etc.

As for your second question, I don’t understand what you are trying to convey, so I will not attempt something. Maybe I will look at it again and see if I understand better.


#8

How be you sure that the apostles really wrote this Scriptures?


#9

[quote=Sarah Jane]How be you sure that the apostles really wrote this Scriptures?
[/quote]

I realize that some letters are simply attributed to authors in which we have no way of officially knowing who they belonged to. But this even helps my case for general acceptance of Scripture without a “council” to determine what is canon and acceptable and what is not. For instance, the book of Hebrews is debateable. Protestant scholars attribute it to Paul, although we can’t be sure. The message of Hebrews is outstanding. It is written well and is solid in its theology and appears similar to Paul’s other writings.

I believe the message of the letter or book is also just as important as the author. Some texts strayed away from what was generally accepted as true. You have the gnostic gospels for example. They are so different in meaning and delivery and content that it’s obvious that they should not be on the same level as the the gospel books and epistles.

Some of the letters were obvious. The letters to Timothy were sent by Paul. Timothy would know if they were from him. Look for instance at this passage of Scripture. This is from Colossians 4:14-18:

  1. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
  2. Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
    16. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
  3. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
  4. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

The Colossians knew it was from Paul and Paul expects them to listen and then to pass it on to the Laodiceans. Paul’s letters along with the other letters in the New Testament were circulated and accepted as valid and binding. No council needed.

Notice the hand-off of the letter to the Laodiceans. Also notice that there was an epistle from Laodicea. The early believers shared the NT writings and considered them valid without Peter, Paul or any other persons authority.


#10

[quote=ahimsaman72]The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache are extra-Biblical. They are not valid concerning official doctrine.
[/quote]

By what authority is this statement made?

Justin


#11

ahimsaman72,

My question is just simple. It is not complicated.

Why didn’t you accept the other writings considered to be inspired by the early Christians in your protestant Bible?

Who determined that your Bible is the correct canon of Scripture? Support your answers with documents manifesting such claim.

Pio


#12

[quote=ahimsaman72]The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache are extra-Biblical. They are not valid concerning official doctrine.

[/quote]

But they are historical documents showing what was taugh in the Early Church, are they not. We are not talking about the question of local independance from a doctrinal perspective, but from a historical perspective.

We have conclusive evidence that the Early Church condemmed abortion and considered it murder, do we not.

that’s pretty much at ‘litmus test’ in my book isn’t it.


#13

[quote=ahimsaman72]The evidence for my claim is found in the complete book of Acts in the accepted Scripture. There are also many mentions of local authority within the individual churches throughout the epistles.
[/quote]

There is little doubt that local church has SOME authority, that is substantially different from saying they were independant. I would like to see some proof about them being independant.

St. Paul was a member of the Church in Rome, for example, but took the occasion to correct the Church in Corinth on at least 2 occasions.

Did Paul then interfere with independant Church in Corinth??

We also have a historical document about Barnabas correction of the Chuch in Alexandria. What authority would Barnabas have over the Church in Alexandria??


#14

[quote=ahimsaman72]I realize that some letters are simply attributed to authors in which we have no way of officially knowing who they belonged to. But this even helps my case for general acceptance of Scripture without a “council” to determine what is canon and acceptable and what is not.
[/quote]

I’ve been looking into this issue recently and have a question for you (I’ve asked this on other threads but have yet to receive an answer): How do you know what the early Christians generally accepted as Scripture?

The information I have so far indicates that the oldest known Christian canon (The Muratorian Fragment) indicates that even prior to the second century there was controversy over the inspiration of many of the books we modern Christians generally accept as inspired (i.e. the Letter to the Hebrews, James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation). This dispute was settled by the Roman Catholic councils of Hippo and Carthage by the fourth century and reaffirmed again by Pope Innocent 1 in 405 ad.

But then, (so I’ve read) Martin Luther removed these controversial books from the NT. But then later, by about 1700, Luther’s followers reinstated those books.

To which of the past Christians should we give credence?

Thx,
Chris W


#15

We have documents of Ignatius, disciple of the Apostle John, correcting the Corinthians, Ephesians, Magnesians, and several others. Ignatius died in 110AD so his letters were written before then. We have Irenaeus writing about all heresies in the second century.


#16

[quote=1962Missal]By what authority is this statement made?

Justin
[/quote]

By my own.


#17

[quote=Brendan]But they are historical documents showing what was taugh in the Early Church, are they not. We are not talking about the question of local independance from a doctrinal perspective, but from a historical perspective.

We have conclusive evidence that the Early Church condemmed abortion and considered it murder, do we not.

that’s pretty much at ‘litmus test’ in my book isn’t it.
[/quote]

Don’t believe everything you read. Just because you have documents showing something as true, doesn’t make it true, correct?


#18

[quote=jimmy]We have documents of Ignatius, disciple of the Apostle John, correcting the Corinthians, Ephesians, Magnesians, and several others. Ignatius died in 110AD so his letters were written before then. We have Irenaeus writing about all heresies in the second century.
[/quote]

I’ll have to look at my Faith of the Early Fathers series, but do you know if the documents you mention actually list or describe a generally accepted NT canon of specific books or letters?

Being Catholic, I accept what the Catholic Church tells me the canon is…I am just wondering if there are other sources, older than the Muratorian Fragment, that describe a generally accepted canon. I am trying to understand where Protestants look to decide what should and what should not be included in the Bible. The answer I keep getting is “I accept what the earliest Christians accepted”, but so far I have found nothing conclusive that answers what the earliest Christians who lived at the time of the Apostles believed regarding a New Testament canon.

Thx,
Chris W


#19

[quote=Chris W]I’ve been looking into this issue recently and have a question for you (I’ve asked this on other threads but have yet to receive an answer): How do you know what the early Christians generally accepted as Scripture?

The information I have so far indicates that the oldest known Christian canon (The Muratorian Fragment) indicates that even prior to the second century there was controversy over the inspiration of many of the books we modern Christians generally accept as inspired (i.e. the Letter to the Hebrews, James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation). This dispute was settled by the Roman Catholic councils of Hippo and Carthage by the fourth century and reaffirmed again by Pope Innocent 1 in 405 ad.

But then, (so I’ve read) Martin Luther removed these controversial books from the NT. But then later, by about 1700, Luther’s followers reinstated those books.

To which of the past Christians should we give credence?

Thx,
Chris W
[/quote]

I posted an answer to this already. Here is a passage from Colossians 4:

  1. Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
  2. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
  3. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
  4. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

Ask your question to the Laodiceans or Colossians. When they received their respective epistles from Paul, do you think they squabbled over the truth of it or authority of it? No, they probably took it at face value. They knew Paul. They knew his ministry. They recognized his authority. The same authority Peter and the other apostles had.


#20

[quote=ahimsaman72]Don’t believe everything you read. Just because you have documents showing something as true, doesn’t make it true, correct?
[/quote]

But aren’t you arguing that you accept as canon what some people way back when accepted as canon? This is an odd response, considering your previous argument. :o


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