early Christian writings


#1

Hello all,

I am curious as to what Protestant believe about early Christian writings such the Protevangelium of James.

Thanks,
Sherilo


#2

I asked that very question of a church of christ (they use lower case) man. He was adamant that we are to use ONLY the Bible.

I asked about the use of the Protoevangelium of James, he told me it was worthless. He quickly added that all writtings of Popes are worthless.


#3

If we’re talking early Christian writings, I would rather want to know what they think of the early Church Fathers.


#4

If we are talking Early Christian writings like the Protevangelium of James, we must be careful.

They are not Sacred Texts, they are stories.

There are so many (make that were so many) of such writings that quite a few are peppered with fiction or are entirely fiction, some are agnostic and some would be heretical in other ways.

This should come as a surprise to no one.


#5

Speaking from personal experience, the circles I ran in (which included some folks who considered themselves quite well educated) were totally ignorant of all non-Bible early church writings.

I can understand why reading these writings, especially the early Fathers, is not encouraged. They certainly pulled the wool away from my eyes and showed me that what I had been taught weren’t necessarily so.

DaveBj


#6

Well the strategy I would use awould not to use the Protoevangelium of James it was deemed non-canonical by the church also. ITs kind of like new testamnet apocrapha probably has some facts mixed with fiction. While it would be profitable for a catholic well versed in the faith to witness this work to a protestant wouldn’t be the wisest move since we would be forced to admit the possibility of some apocraphal elemements mixed in with authentic catholic tradition.

The place I would start with are the apostolic fathers in particular Ignatius who was disciple of Saint John and Pope Clement who was a disciple of Peter and the Didache written during the new testament period. All of these writings point tp authentic catholic teaching such as the sacrifice of the mass the real presence of the eucharist, authority of bishops, authority of the bishop of Rome, etc etc These men are direct links to the apostles while not scripture they are the best witnesses we have of the scirptural (interpretations) traditions and oral tradtions handed down to the apostolic fathers. you could beleive that the church fell off the tracks at such an early period but then you would have to be Mormon.


#7

The place I would start with are the apostolic fathers in particular Ignatius who was disciple of Saint John and Pope Clement who was a disciple of Peter and the Didache written during the new testament period. All of these writings point tp authentic catholic teaching such as the sacrifice of the mass the real presence of the eucharist, authority of bishops, authority of the bishop of Rome, etc etc These men are direct links to the apostles while not scripture they are the best witnesses we have of the scirptural (interpretations) traditions and oral tradtions handed down to the apostolic fathers. you could beleive that the church fell off the tracks at such an early period but then you would have to be Mormon.
Maccabees,
Thanks for this info. Have been relentlessly pursuing the truth. I was raised Protestant, but now a convert in my heart. I will be taking the necessary steps to join the Catholic church, soon. The more I learn, the more I find that there is to learn. Amazed at the fullness of it all.

Sherilo


#8

If you are referring to non-canonical gospels and epistles, such as the Protoevangelium of James, Gospel of Thomas, letter of Clement etc. their position is the same as that of the Catholic Church, since they accept the Catholic Canon of the New Testament. These do not constitute divine revelation. If you are speaking of the writings of the Fathers of the Church and the proceedings of early Church councils, that varies with denomination, individual ministers and the seminaries in which they were trained, since Protestants reject all authority outside of Sacred Scripture (including Sacred Tradition, from which scripture derives, and the authority of the Church to establish the canon of scripture. illogical but true)


#9

[quote=sherilo]Hello all,

I am curious as to what Protestant believe about early Christian writings such the Protevangelium of James.

Thanks,
Sherilo
[/quote]

It varies from group to group. Most Evangelical Protestants are ignorant of them, but those who have actually read and studied some of them would probably view most of the early church father writings as useful and edifying to read (even the heretical ones, only because it’s good to know what the church was responding to in councils and other documents).

~Matt


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