Greendawn - Thanks! That's fascinating. To think that the WTBTS is obsessed with the very slightest variation of thought from any of their doctrine, and yet the truth is that No One, can really tell what exactly and precisely Christianity was to start with, except that it was not the complicated mish mash of rules that religions and Churches choose to make it today.
Was Melito de Sardis an Apostate?
Anyone who's just starting to delve into the historical investigation of early christianity would IMHO gain alot of useful background by reading Lost Christianities by Bart D. Ehrman.
The early church continued as one until about the year 1000 AD when it split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox parts with the Protestants splitting off from the Catholics about 500 years later.
As you know (we've already been discussing that before) I disagree with this presentation. The "Christian Church" (aka "Great Church" or "catholic Church") only emerged gradually as a consistent structure around a gradually defined "orthodoxy," against so-called "heresies" which also claimed to be the faithful continuation of early Christianity and survived regionally or eventually disappeared as a result of political circumstances (including persecution by the "catholic" central authority, whether in Rome or in Byzance-Constantinople). The extant Coptic, Ethiopian, Nestorian, Jacobite, Armenian churches "splitted" long before the 11th century.