First Christian?


#1

Who was the first Christian?

I’ve always thought it was our Blessed Mother … having accepted our Lord physically and spiritually in her life. However, could a Christian exist before the crucifixion?

Everyone have a happy and safe holiday wkend.:slight_smile:


#2

God exists outside of time. Jesus is God, so I don’t think that it would be hard for Jesus to save someone before he died. After all, God has always existed.


#3

Nope, you’re right. She believed from the moment of her fiat.


#4

St. Justin Martyr describes how people before Christ came could be called Christians (of course, also those OT Jews who were faithful to God were faithful to his Son).

Chapter 46. The Word in the world before Christ.

But lest some should, without reason, and for the perversion of what we teach, maintain that we say that Christ was born one hundred and fifty years ago under Cyrenius, and subsequently, in the time of Pontius Pilate, taught what we say He taught; and should cry out against us as though all men who were born before Him were irresponsible —let us anticipate and solve the difficulty. We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that He is the Word [Logos} of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived according to reason [logos] are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists; as, among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus, and men like them; and among the barbarians, Abraham, and Ananias, and Azarias, and Misael, and Elias, and many others whose actions and names we now decline to recount, because we know it would be tedious. So that even they who lived before Christ, and lived without reason [logos], were wicked and hostile to Christ, and slew those who lived according to reason [logos]. But who, through the power of the Word [Logos], according to the will of God the Father and Lord of all, He was born of a virgin as a man, and was named Jesus, and was crucified, and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, an intelligent man will be able to comprehend from what has been already so largely said. And we, since the proof of this subject is less needful now, will pass for the present to the proof of those things which are urgent.

newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm


#5

“Christian” is a good shorthand, but it doesn’t really mean anything theologically.
Normally we say that the Church started at Pentecost, ie tomorrow, when the Holy Spirit came upon the eleven and Our Lady, making them the first members. However like a house that is recognisably a “house” in the later stages of construction, baptism and the status of being a disciple of Jesus existed before then. Mary Magdalene wasn’t present at Pentecost, but was obviously one of the group, so to speak.


#6

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