I am new to the Catholic faith as I grew up Baptist. My question is, why is the Catholic and Baptist history timeline so different? The Baptist timeline states they are directly descendant from the “original” Church, but all other history points toward the 16th century and Thomas Muentzer(i think!). Is the rest of the world correct or is it just a big “conspiracy” against the Baptists? All I have ever heard was that the Baptists were the only ones directly from the original Church, but after really reading and studying (before deciding to convert) it seems to me that is not true. Any insight would be helpful!! Thanks!
I have met (online) plenty of Baptists who have no problem acknowledging that their faith tradition originated around the 16th century. So not even all Baptists buy the “trail of blood” theory. Here, for example, is a thoroughly baptist link that acknowledges that the best historical evidence is that Baptists came into existence some 400 years ago.
Not all Baptist hold to that stuff. Some are historically honest. The folks who try to tell you that they date back to Christ and the apostles are writing fiction and calling it history in an effort to give themselves credence.
Next time some Baptist attempts to foist that on you show him this quote from Ignatius of Antioch
[size=] CHAP. VII.–LET US STAND ALOOF FROM SUCH HERETICS.
They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,(7) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death(11) in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect,(13) that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of(15) them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.(16) But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. They are ashamed of the cross; they mock at the passion; they make a jest of the resurrection. They are the offspring of that spirit who is the author of all evil, who led Adam,(8) by means of his wife, to transgress the commandment, who slew Abel by the hands of Cain, who fought against Job, who was the accuser of Joshua(9) the son of Josedech, who sought to ''sift the faith"(10)of the apostles, who stirred up the multitude of the Jews against the Lord, who also now "worketh in the children of disobedience;(12)from whom the Lord Jesus Christ will deliver us, who prayed that the faith of the apostles might not fail,(14) not because He was not able of Himself to preserve it, but because He rejoiced in the pre-eminence of the Father. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and neither in private nor in public to talk with(15) them; but to give heed to the law, and the prophets, and to those who have preached to you the word of salvation. But flee from all abominable heresies, and those that cause schisms, as the beginning of evils.
CHAP. VIII.–LET NOTHING BE DONE WITHOUT THE BISHOP.
See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out[through their office] the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.(2) even as where Christ is, there does all the heavenly host stand by, waiting upon Him as the Chief Captain of the Lord’s might, and the Governor of every intelligent nature. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize, or to offer, or to present sacrifice, or to celebrate a love-feast.(1) But that which seems good to him, is also well-pleasing to God, that everything ye do may be secure and valid.
Then ask him where Baptist doctrine is in Ch 7 on the Eucharist and Chapter 8 on the bishops and the express use of the name Catholic Church? (He’ll also hate on you if you remind him that “ekklesia kath olos” is right there in the New Testament in Acts 9:9:31 ἡ μεν ουν εκκλησια καθ᾽ ὁλης της ιουδαιας και γαλιλαιας και σαμαρειας ειχεν ειρηνην οικοδομουμενη και πορευομενη τω φοβω του κυριου, και τη παρακλησει του ἁγιου πνευματος επληθυνοντο.
I like to add CM’s post the year St. Ignatius wrote it. I believe it was around 107-110 A.D.
There is an excellent article on the Baptists in the Catholic Encyclopedia :