What did christians do betwen 70ad and the council of nicea


#1

After the destruction of Jerusalem what happened to the Christians. They fled into the mountains . Then what happened , how did they start fellowshipping and making churches, where did they go


#2

[quote="themaccauk, post:1, topic:314351"]
After the destruction of Jerusalem what happened to the Christians. They fled into the mountains . Then what happened , how did they start fellowshipping and making churches, where did they go

[/quote]

Are you asking about Christians in general, or just about Jewish Christians?


#3

All Christians


#4

I am no authority but it appears that they spread the Gospel pretty quietly, meeting in houses, fields, and other discrete places. The Apostles and their successors continued to move among them, in person or in writing giving encouragement.

While the Church was not "legal" in the Roman Empire - it was not under constant persecution either. So there were times of peace as well as times of active persecution. Yet even within the persecutions, God provided means for the Church to communicate and receive encouragement. Among the Earliest post Apostolic writings we have are from Ignatius of Antioch who, even as he was under arrest and being taken to Rome for execution, was able to write to Christians along the way encouraging them.

Those who received these letters, as well as letters from Clement of Rome and others, kept these near to their hearts and used them as teaching tools, just as they used Paul's letters and the recently recorded Gospel accounts.

Then they gathered, and prayed, they celebrated the Eucharist, they read from the various recorded accounts and/or passed on that which they had received orally (Just as Paul tells Timothy)...And they sought to grow in Holiness under the guidance of their bishops - directly descended from an Apostle.

At least that is how I envision it.

Peace
James


#5

That’s gonna be a difficult question there, because first of all you can’t generalize things. Between those four centuries Christianity was gradually spreading into different places, and the situation was different depending on the area.

Let’s start with Judaea. Eusebius reports a tradition of Christians in Jerusalem migrating into Pella during the Jewish-Roman War of AD 66-70 (HE 3.5.3). As always there are those who question just how much of Eusebius’ story here is based on fact, but if it did happen, it might explain why the position of the Church in Jerusalem dwindled, leaving only the Churches in Asia Minor and Europe: without a visible entity to speak with authority, its respected position as a guide would begin to fade.

Note that before AD 70 there wasn’t really any major distinction between ‘Christianity’ and ‘Judaism’. First-generation Christianity (aka the ‘Jesus Movement’ or ‘The Way’) was simply one of the different Jewish sects (some would even say ‘Judaisms’) that flourished during the Second Temple Period; Christians were simply a group within Judaism like the Pharisees, the Sadducees or the Essenes. Christian Jews, as faithful religious Jews, regarded “Christianity” as an affirmation of most every aspect of contemporary Judaism, with the addition of the belief in Jesus as the Messiah.

Of course, by this time, Christian Jews still worshipped in the Temple (cf. Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:42; also the saying in Matthew 5:23), but at the same time they viewed it as a doomed institution (Jesus’ prediction of the Temple’s destruction is one of the well-attested strands of gospel tradition; Matthew 23:38; 24:2; 26:61; 27:40; Mark 13:2; 14:58; 15:29; Luke 13:35; 19:44; 21:6; John 2:19; cf. also Acts 6:14; Gospel of Thomas 71); they participated in it while it lasted, but they apparently did not expect it to last long. Not to mention that the Jerusalem Church saw itself as the new, eschatological Temple.

From the view of the community itself as the new Temple there seemed to have been two opinions standing side-by-side: one is that Christians could (or should) worship in the Temple while it still stood (that is, until God removed it), and the other, that since the Temple was already superseded by the Church, Christians need no longer participate in it. The Church in Jerusalem seem to have held the former view - because of this it maintained some standing in the Jewish community, even if with some difficulty (cf. the advice given to Paul in Acts 21:20-25). The author of Hebrews, by contrast, takes the latter opinion. St. Paul seemed to have been somewhere in the middle: the Temple may have no longer mattered to him as well, but he had no qualms about participation in Temple worship (cf. Acts 21:26) under the principle of becoming a Jew in order to win Jews (1 Corinthians 9:20). Since the Temple was an integral part of ‘Jewishness’, where Christians were perceived to be treating the Temple the way the Samaritans did, nothing was more calculated than to treat them as schismatics and a threat to Jewish identity. Hence controversy about the Temple was the occasion for the first major persecution of Christians (Acts 6-8). A way to dispel suspicions was of course for Christians to demonstrate their loyalty and reverence for the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Temple’s destruction in AD 70 thus had a dramatic impact on Christianity as a whole; it was when its distinctive character became more apparent. Now without a Temple the Church would be more free to proclaim its independence. Even since earlier, Christianity was already in the process of shedding some distinctively Jewish customs through moves such as rejecting the idea of circumcision as a requirement or modification of the Sabbath observance; with the Temple gone, they stood out all the more because they were not too concerned about it.

The issue of the Temple did not disappear after its physical destruction, because it did not cease to be central to Jewish identity. Few would have expected its loss to be permanent - after all, it was already destroyed once. Consequently, in Christian literature produced during the period between AD 70 and the Bar Kokhba revolt of the 130s, the issue is alive and well precisely in texts in which the growing schism between Christianity and common Judaism is clear and painful: the gospel of John and the epistle of Barnabas.


#6

The disaster of 70 was a profoundly traumatic experience for the Jews, who were now confronted with the dilemma of the loss of one of the markers of Jewish identity. By this time, only two organized groups remained out of the different factions of the former age: the Christians and the Pharisees. As Jews sought to find solutions to difficult and far-reaching questions (like how to live without the Temple), the two camps began competing for leadership of the people.

For Jewish Christianity, the effect of AD 70 was paradoxical. On the one hand, Jesus' prophecy was vindicated. As a messianic movement, but a non-militant movement dissociated from the disastrous consequences of the revolt, and a movement for which the loss of the Temple was no kind of problem (rather unique among Jewish groups), Jewish Christianity must have had some appeal between the two revolts. But on the other hand, it also had an unfortunate consequence for them: while the Temple stood they could maintain their place in common Judaism by worshipping in it, but once it was gone, what they could not do was participate in any movement to rebuild it, which is what the Bar Kokhba's revolt (AD 132-135/6) was all about.

The attempt to build a new Temple was the principal raison d'etre of the revolt and the main reason why it gained such widespread supprt. Probably because it was because Simon bar-Kokhba looked like he was succeeding in his aim that he was regarded by some as Messiah. Now Christians obviously could not recognize him as Messiah (cf. Justin Martyr, First Apology 31.6), but even more significantly they could not in good conscience join a movement to restore the Temple. Their non-participation in the revolt probably sealed their exclusion from common Judaism and removed the rabbis' main rivals for dominance.

Of course, the revolt ended in a disastrous failure: the majority of Jews in Judaea were either killed, exiled or sold into slavery, Hadrian had wiped 'Judaea' and 'Jerusalem' off the map and replaced them with 'Syria Palaestina' and 'Aelia Capitolina' and forbade active practice of Judaism. As a result, the Jewish religious center shifted to the Babylonian Jewish community and its scholars, while in 'Palaestina', the Galilee took over Jerusalem. The revolt also occasioned major changes in Jewish religious thought: messianism was abstracted and spiritualized - the Rabbis had disassociated themselves with Bar Kochba's legacy - and rabbinical political thought became deeply cautious and conservative.

By this time, Christians were already considered to be more or less distinct from 'Jews'. The distinction between Christianity and (Rabbinic) Judaism was recognized by the emperor Nerva around 96-98 in a decree granting Christians an exemption from paying the Fiscus Iudaicus, the annual tax imposed upon the Jews in the wake of the Jewish War of AD 66-70 in exchange for freedom to practice their religion. A side effect of this is that Christians could no longer invoke Judaism's long-standing tolerated status because they were legally no longer Jews: they were now illegal "atheists" practicing a superstitio who were left to their own devices to negotiate their own alternatives to participating in Imperial cult. In his letters to Trajan (reigned 98-117), Pliny assumed that Christians are not Jews because they do not pay the tax. It was around that time that the charges against Christians changed from "tax evaders" who concealed their origin (directed at Jewish Christians) and "living a Jewish life improfessi" (directed at gentile Christians; i.e. not publicly acknowledging to be adherents of Judaism. yet all the while practicing 'Jewish' customs) to simply "being Christians:" Pliny could execute people simply for confessing Christ.


#7

In this period was there not an ongoing fight with other interpretations of Christiainity -the Gnositcs et al. ? Also was not this the period when the desposyni began to loose influence-and various Christain sects fought among themselves? -read Pagels texts


#8

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