1st Cen. Christianity - One Organization

by StandFirm 144 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jgnat

    For those claiming a single, unbroken church (Candidates so far; Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox)

    As for quality of evidence, how about the following:

    Pliny the Younger http://www.vroma.org/~hwalker/Pliny/Pliny10-096-E.html

    Excavations at Bethsaida http://www.bethsaidaexcavation.com/

    Papias of Hierapolis (as referenced by Terry, thanks) http://www.forerunner.com/churchfathers/X0027_07._PAPIAS_OF_HIERAP.html

    Now, for quality, I do not look at the relative sinfulness of the source, but rather proximity (time or place).

  • ixthis

    "I am the Door," said Christ. "By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved."

    Christ is the Door to the Kingdom of Heaven, which we can find within us even during this life and which continues for eternity. But how do we find the Door amidst thousands of different sects and philosophies, all of which present a different image of Christ?

    If we look into the history of the Church He founded, we find one unbroken line in which His image has been kept pure and undistorted. That line is ancient Orthodoxy, the measuring stick of True Christianity. Come to the door! Find it through the historic path ... At a time in history when our mankind has fallen far away from Paradise and is in desperate need of God, the very God Who created man took flesh and became man.

    This was Jesus Christ, the One Whom the prophets foretold and the One Whom the whole world was anticipating. Until then all religions were only man's fragmented attempts to understand God. In Christ, for the first time in history, God Himself became man. To those who believed in Him, took up their crosses and followed Him, He opened the possibility of a personal relationship with God, spiritual transformation throught the power of His grace, salvation from the consequences of sin, and eternal life in His Heavenly Kingdom.

    He brought those believers together in love for God and neighbour, and promised that nothing would ever prevail against His Church (Matthew 16:18). This Church was founded first upon the sufferings of Christ, then upon the sufferings of His Apostles, and finally upon the sufferings of the martyrs throughout the ages.

    Thus began Christianity.

    After Christ's crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven, His disciples were gathered together with thousands of people from all over the known world for the feast of Pentecost. Then, just as the Holy Scriptures had prophesied and just as Christ had promised,

    suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:2-4)

    They began to preach the Way, the Truth and the Life to all those present at the feast in their native languages. Those who received this revelation and followed Jesus Christ began to be known as Christians.From that day forward the Apostles were endowed with power and the Christian faith began to spread to the ends of the earth ... from Jerusalem the disciples of Christ traveled all over the known world:

    - the Apostles Peter and Paul went to Greece and Rome,
    - Andrew went to Russia,
    - Mark went into Egypt,
    - Simon went to England and Africa,
    - Thomas went as far as India, and
    - Matthew went to Ethiopia ...

    Although they were in different parts of the world they were of one heart and one soul (Acts 4:32) and taught one Lord, One Faith, and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).

    Everywhere they went they appointed bishops, priests and deacons and ordained them, by the laying of hands, to be shepherds of Christ's flock.

    In a very short time, the Apostles brought multitiudes of pagans to Christ - simple people as well as philosophers, beggars as well as kings. Althought the Apostles experienced persecution, torture and even death for their beliefs, nothing could stop the Faith from spreading like fire to the ends of the earth.

    Nearly every Apostles died a martyrs death, and many of their remains are preserved in Orthodox churches to this day (as was the custom of the early church to preserve the relics of the martyrs).

    It wa during these difficult martyric times that the early Church was formed and established, and where the worship, the arts, and the music of the Church found their beginnings.

    These naturally sprang out of the Old Testament and flowed into the New.

    The form of worship began in the times of Moses, as it was revealed to him by God. The visual arts originated in the depictions of the cherubim which God appointed to Moses to make for the Hebrew sanctuary (Exodus 25:18). This tradition of sacred art was continued by the Apostle Luke, who painted the first iconographic depictions of the Virgin Mary holding the Christ child. The music (chant) had its beginnings in the Psalms of David. Event he Litrugy (communion service) finds its beginnings in the Old Testament.

    Christs' Body and Blood being the New Testament sacrifice (John 6:48-58).

    The first communion service composed by the Apostle James, the brother of the Lord, was based on the Apostle's experience at the Last Supper, and is still used in the Orthodox Church today.

  • jgnat

    It's a nice story, but not supported by the evidence. The early church was highly varied in practice, the individual churches scattered, isolated from each other. Your picture is of a long line, unbroken. I suggest rather that the progression looks more like a tree. Many roots, gathering to a strong trunk, then branching off again.

  • jgnat

    Christianity branches

    Source, SynKobiety

  • ProdigalSon

    At the beginning of the last new age, Jesus tried to bring the teachings to humanity that would unify human consciousness (John 17), which was "confused" at the Tower of Babel. It was the demiurge Jehovah and his band of Elohim ("let US go down there and confound their language"), the jealous one who enslaved humankind in the first place and does not want us to progress, who was responsible for this. This unified consciousness is very evident in the animal kingdom. Birds fly in formation, fish swim in formation, dolphins communicate telepathically across thousands of miles, and yet they each can live their own individual life. Instinct teaches them everything they need to know, and yet humans, who are supposed to "subdue the earth", run around like blind idiots destroying everything in their path. In Atlantis and Lemuria they had this telepathic capability, turned into "demonism" by Christians and other religious zealots. Everything that is beyond their literal interpretation of "scripture", the only place they will look for "truth", is from that pesky Devil.

    But then there was the "fall". Eating from the Tree of Knowledge, this has to do with being judgmental. It keeps us from the Tree of Life, and keeps our DNA, our brains, and our endocrine and chakra systems from functioning as the antenna to the Oneness that it was intended to be. But it wasn't our fault to begin with. We were unplugged at the Tower of Babel. The fall in Eden was the same event, putting the blame on "Adam", who was not a real person.

    In Christianity today, we have 40,000+ denominations that, according to Barron's Encyclopedia, all "hate each other". They bicker endlessly over the interpretation of doctrines. There is anything but Oneness or Unity, and it was no different in the first three centuries of the Common Era. Whatever unified consciousness (gnosis) existed, was crushed out of existence by the Roman Church.

    With 2012 comes a new age, and a new opportunity to unify mankind...and the power to be unleashed is unimaginable.... but it is coming, and very soon.

  • PSacramento

    While I am sure some fringe denominations actually HATE others, I have yet to encounter any Christian group that HATES another.

    Protestants and Catholics get along fine for example.

    Heck, I recall seeing on BBC Canada, a debate about religion and they had representatives that were Catholic, Protestant ( anglican and lutheran), Jewish, Hindi, Muslim and Buddhist and one that was spiritual and even though they disagreed on MANY details ( LOL) they ALL agreed that they were all God's children and that they all loved each other as brothers and respected each others views.


    There is certainly a lot of mis-information going around and it can be tough for those of us who are not scholars to figure all this out. The good news is that there is plenty of history that can be confirmed. There are true scholarly resources that can be accessed by all.

    The writtings of the Church Fathers are a huge source that should not be ignored by any Christains. There are many complete writtings available that make their positions quite clear and explicit. You won't find these ideas being explicitly discribed in the scriptures because the CHurch was evolving. ie- In the Gospels you read of Jesus being baptised by John the baptist. He was 30 years old or so when this happened. Many on this board and others throughout the world use Jesus's example of being much older when being baptised. After Jesus died [and rose and accended to heaven] the apostles had changed baptism to now being baptised 'in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.' We also see that now entire families and entire households are being baptised immediately and at once. The point is that the early church did evolve and right there is an example.

    IXTHIS make the point that is ignored by many here. That is the quote from MATT 16;18 & 19 too when Jesus said 'And I tell you, that you are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.' And in 19 Peter is given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. No other apostle is given this role. How many churches did Jesus build?

    Peter was the leader of the apostles and the scriptural proof is undenieable. He's the only one to walk on water [if only briefly],

    in Acts 15 during the only scriptural account of any councils [the Jerusalem Council] it was Peter who presided. not James, the bishop of Jerusalem.

    He was the first to refute doctrinal heresy and errors [acts 8 ;14-24]

    Peter is listed as the 1st apostle [MATT 10;2] and in every list of the apostles, Peter is listed first.

    He works the first miracle after Pentecost [acts 3 ;6-12]

    The first to preach repentance and baptism [acts 2;38]

    Is referred to as leader by an angel of the Lord [Mark 16;7]

    In John 21 ;15-17 we read that Jesus asks Peter to feed his sheep.

    Luke 22;32 Jesus prays that Peter's faith would be strong so that he could in turn strengthen the other apostles' faith.

    Just a few examples of his authority according to the scriptures.

    Now to say that this is not true today is to say that Jesus is a liar or atleast a fool that couldn't build his church right. That it would fall into ruin, that he built his church on sand like the fool in his parables that got his house washed away.

    You may not like it, but the Catholic church is The Church that Christ started, and it is still there as Jesus promised, for all ages, not some ages.



  • jgnat

    Respectfully, TTWSYF, quoting the bible as a definitive source only works if the reader believes it was written by God and protected by God through the ages from corruption.


    Agreed JGNAT.

    The writting of the CHurch Fathers are historical texts, aren;t they? There are plenty of those around

    Also, I like your chart, but I couldn't open the link. I wanted to see where they got their dates from, but

    Source, SynKobiety doesn;t seem to open. Is it from a university?


  • jgnat

    I checked, and the link doesn't work for me either. You can still find the author through Wikimedia. While I was at it (obviously too much time on my hands) I created a tree showing the origins of the Jehovah's Witnesses. A many-branched tree, indeed!

    Millerism Tree

    BTW, the concept of authoritative Church Fathers is orthodoxy. You believe what your church says about it's origins, so accept these writings. Closest to source is better. Which is why I picked out those three as examples.


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