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The complete Through the Bible blog Bible Study in PDF format. [article link]

Welcome! Greetings and Blessings to everyone! The Basic Christian: blog History Study - Christian Church History Study portion has begun and is well underway! - The Timeline of the study is now at the point where the last Apostle, the Beloved Disciple John, has passed away at about the year 100 A.D. near the town of Ephesus in Asia -- The Church History Study is now going to continue with the early Church History Era studying material and Church History from the close of the Apostolic Era in about 100 A.D. up until 312 A.D. and the takeover of the Christian Church by the Roman Government specifically by the tactics of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 313 A.D. with his governmental edicts and his personal preferences corrupting and even replacing the Teachings of Jesus Christ and the Doctrines of the Apostles by a secular (worldly) government beginning to directly dictate to and over the Christian Church

The foundation of the study has been laid and it consists of beginning in the Old Testament by showing the prophesies of the book of Malachi in about 400 B.C. and of the continued revelation of the coming Messiah Jesus Christ. Revealing that the much prophesied Messiah (Jesus Christ) and the existence of His Christian Church is exactly the foretold works, accomplishments, plans, directions and ownership of the Lord Jesus Christ. -- The foundation of the study begins with some Old Testament prophecies of the Coming Messiah Jesus Christ then enters the New Testament Gospels at the birth in the year 0 A.D. of the Messiah Jesus Christ then highlights the Sermon on the Mount in 31 A.D. given by Jesus to His Disciples, more teachings of Jesus, then His Mount Olivet Sermon given in 33 A.D. to a few of His Disciples, then following through Holy Week in 33 A.D. with the Triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, the rejection followed by His crucifixion and resurrection then 40 days later His bodily ascent back into Heaven. Then the empowering of the Christian Church by the Holy Spirit at the Day of Pentecost followed by the Church building Ministries and Missions of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, notably Peter, John and Paul, including the first Church Council the Council of Jerusalem in about 47 A.D. then concluding the introduction to the study with Jesus' promises of His Eternal Kingdom found at the Bible's conclusion at the end of the Book of Revelation. [article link]

The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church closes in about the year 100 A.D. with the complete Bible Scriptures now written, confirmed and in the presence of a still young Christian Church. -- "Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once [completely] delivered unto the saints [Christians]."

With the close of the Apostolic Age [the actual original Disciples of Jesus Christ] four main things happened to the Christian Church. 1. The greater [catholic] Church had the Bible Epistles (letters) in their possession and with the teachings, doctrines, known customs of Jesus and the Apostles [i.e. love, grace, fellowship, teaching, baptism, communion, etc.], along with the scriptures of the Holy Bible and the presence and direction of the Holy Spirit the Christian Church grew exponentially even though several obstacles existed that opposed the Christian Church. 2. Physical opposition and persecution against the Christian Church continued to grow in intensity. 3. Spiritual opposition primarily in the form of Gnosticism along with attacks on the Bible’s authenticity and canonicity also grew and intensified against the Christian Church. 4. With the original Apostles no longer alive and among the Christian Church then Social opposition; the subtle deceit, compromises, worldly gain, financial benefit and common deceptions of the world began to enter into and infiltrate the Christian Church in a much more unprecedented and less restricted way. [article link]

Marcionism was an Early Christian dualist belief system that originated in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144 A.D. -- Marcion believed Jesus Christ was the savior sent by God and Paul of Tarsus was his chief apostle, **but he rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel (YHWH Elohim) - Marcionists believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament - This belief was in some ways similar to Gnostic Christian theology; notably, both are dualistic -- Marcionite canon: Tertullian claimed Marcion was the first to separate the New Testament from the Old Testament - Marcion is said to have gathered scriptures from Jewish tradition, and juxtaposed these against the sayings and teachings of Jesus in a work entitled the Antithesis - Marcion produced the first Christian canon, or list of the books of the Bible that he considered authoritative - His list [11 books], however, was much smaller than that currently recognised [66 books] as valid by most Christians - Marcion omitted Paul's pastoral epistles, addressed to Timothy and Titus and he completely rejected the Old Testament, believing and teaching that it should not be part of the Christian Bible and was of no value to Christians (source: religionfacts.com) -- The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 characterized Marcion as "perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known." { Note: Marcion in 144 A.D. and later Muratorian's Cannon [a list from an unknown author - found in the library of Aurelius Ambrosius (St. Ambrose)] of about 155 A.D. were both attempting to hinder, limit and restrict the already general (catholic) canon of Scripture [66 books] that existed within the true Christian Church. -- Muratorian's discovered list is from a contemporary of Marcion and though the unknown author refutes Marcionism he goes on and attempts to hinder and restrict known standard Biblical texts while at the same time attempting to promote extra biblical materials that were known to be heretical at that time i.e. ‘The Shepherd of Hermas’ both Marcion and the unknown author of Muratorian's Cannon were in effect creating a two pronged assault against the known and trusted Scriptures of the Christian Church. }

Marcionism, similar to Gnosticism, depicted the Hebrew God of the Old Testament as a tyrant or demiurge (see also God as the Devil). Marcion was labeled as gnostic by Eusebius. **Marcion's canon consisted of [only] eleven [NT] books: A gospel consisting of ten sections from the Gospel of Luke edited by Marcion; and ten of Paul's epistles. All other epistles and gospels of the 27 book New Testament canon were rejected. Paul's epistles enjoy a prominent position in the Marcionite canon, since Paul is credited with correctly transmitting the universality of Jesus' message. Other authors' epistles [Notably: Peter, James, Jude, Matthew and John] were rejected since they seemed to suggest that Jesus had simply come to found a new sect within broader Judaism. Religious tribalism of this sort seemed to echo Yahwism, and was thus regarded as a corruption of the "Heavenly Father"'s teaching. ***Marcionism was denounced by its opponents as heresy, and written against, notably by Tertullian, in a five-book treatise Adversus Marcionem, written about 208 A.D. Marcion's writings are lost, though they were widely read and numerous manuscripts must have existed. Even so, many scholars (including Henry Wace) claim it is possible to reconstruct and deduce a large part of ancient Marcionism through what later critics, especially Tertullian, said concerning Marcion. [article link]

The Muratorian Canon Fragment (about A.D. 155) - It is called a fragment because the beginning of it is missing - The Muratorian Fragment is [among] the oldest known list of New Testament books - the list itself is dated to about 170 A.D. because its author refers to the episcopate of Pius I of Rome (died 157 A.D.) as recent - The Apocalypse of Peter [2nd Peter] is mentioned as a book which "some of us will not allow to be read in church"

The Muratorian Fragment is the oldest known list of New Testament books. It was discovered by Ludovico Antonio Muratori in a manuscript in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, and published by him in 1740. It is called a fragment because the beginning of it is missing. Although the manuscript in which it appears was copied during the seventh century, the list itself is dated to about 170 because its author refers to the episcopate of Pius I of Rome (died 157) as recent. He mentions only two epistles of John, without describing them. The Apocalypse of Peter is mentioned as a book which "some of us will not allow to be read in church." A very helpful and detailed discussion of this document is to be found in Bruce Metzger's The Canon of the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), pp. 191-201. [article link]

ReligionFacts.com: Marcion (110 A.D. - 160 A.D.) - Marcion of Sinope was an early Christian teacher whose teachings were condemned by the catholic Church as heresy

Life of Marcion: Marcion was a native of Sinope (modern Sinop, Turkey), in Pontus, Asia Minor. He was a wealthy shipowner. According to St Hippolytus, he was the son of a bishop who excommunicated him on grounds of immorality. He eventually found his way to Rome (140 A.D.) and became a major financial supporter [infiltrator] of the Church there. In the next few years after his arrival in Rome, he worked out his theological system and began to organize his followers into a separate community. He was excommunicated by the Church at Rome in 144 A.D. From then on, he apparently used Rome as a base of operations, devoting his gift for organization and considerable wealth to the propagation of his teachings and the establishment of compact communities throughout the Roman Empire, making converts of every age, rank and background. A story told by Tertullian and St Irenæus of Lyons says that Marcion attempted to use his money to influence the Church to endorse his teaching; they refused. His numerous critics throughout the Church include the aforementioned, along with St Justin Martyr, St Ephraim of Syria, Dionysius of Corinth, Theophilus of Antioch, Philip of Gortyna, St Hippolytus and Rhodo in Rome, Bardesanes at Edessa, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen. [article link]

Wikipedia: Development of the New Testament canon - The Canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible - For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation - The books of the Canon of the New Testament were written mostly in the first century and finished by the year 150 AD. [actually about 100 A.D.]

Writings attributed to the Apostles circulated among the earliest Christian communities. The Pauline epistles were circulating, perhaps in collected forms, by the end of the 1st century A.D. - Justin Martyr (103 A.D - 165 A.D.) in the mid 2nd century, mentions "memoirs of the apostles" [New Testament] as being read on Sunday alongside the "writings of the prophets" [Old Testament]. A four gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was asserted by Irenaeus, c. 180 A.D., who refers to it directly. -- By the early 200s A.D., **Origen may have been using the same twenty-seven books as in the Catholic New Testament canon, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of the Letter to the Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, and Revelation, known as the Antilegomena. Likewise, the Muratorian fragment is evidence that, perhaps as early as 200 A.D., there existed a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to the twenty-seven-book NT canon, which included four gospels and argued against objections to them. Thus, while there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings are claimed to have been accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the 3rd century. -- In his Easter letter of 367 A.D., Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of the books that would become the twenty-seven-book NT canon, and he used the word "canonized" (kanonizomena) in regards to them. The first council that accepted the present canon of the New Testament may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius in North Africa (AD 393); the acts of this council, however, are lost. A brief summary of the acts was read at and accepted by the Councils of Carthage in 397 A.D. and 419 A.D. These councils were under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed. Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382 A.D., if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it, issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above, or, if not, the list is at least a 6th-century compilation. Likewise, Damasus' commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, c. 383 A.D., was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West. In c. 405 A.D., Pope Innocent I sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse. Christian scholars assert that, when these bishops and councils spoke on the matter, however, they were not defining something new but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church." -- For the Orthodox, the recognition of these writings as authoritative was formalized in the Second Council of Trullan of 692 A.D., although it was nearly universally accepted in the mid 300's A.D. The Canon of Scripture was the result of debate and research, reaching its final term for Catholics at the dogmatic definition of the Council of Trent when the Old Testament Canon was finalized in the Catholic Church as well. -- Thus, some claim that, from the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today), and that, by the 5th century, the Eastern Church, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon. Nonetheless, full dogmatic articulations of the canon were not made until the Canon of Trent of 1546 A.D. for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 A.D. for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 A.D. for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 A.D. for the Greek Orthodox. [article link]

The Ten Major Persecutions of the Early Church 54 A.D. - 304 A.D.

1st Under Caesar Nero A.D. 54-68 {the last Caesar} The Apostle Paul was beheaded during this persecution. -- 2nd Under Emperor Domition A.D. 81- 96 The Apostle John was [said to have been] boiled in oil and survived through a miracle of God. Later he [John] was banished to [the island of] Patmos (Revelation 1:9). -- 3rd Under Emperor Trajan A.D. 98-117 Ignatius was martyred. -- 4th Under Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus A.D. 138-180 Polycarp (a disciple of the Apostle John) of Smyrna was martyred (Saturday, February 23 in about either 156 A.D. or 166 A.D.). -- 5th Under Emperor Severus A.D. 193-211 Irenaeus (a disciple of Polycarp), Bishop of Lyons, was beheaded in 202 A.D. The two women Perpetua and Felicitas were martyred in the city of Carthage, North Africa in the year 203 A.D. -- 6th Under Emperor Maximus A.D. 235-238 In some provinces everything was done to exterminate all Christians. -- 7th Under Emperor Decius A.D. 249-251 This persecution was brought on because of Decius's hatred for his predecessor Emperor Phillip [from Syria - Reigned 244-249 A.D.] a Christian, and partly by his jealously concerning the amazing increase of Christianity. Heathen temples began to be forsaken, and the Christian churches grew. -- 8th Under Emperor Valerian A.D. 253-260 The martyrs that fell during this time period were innumerable and their tortures were various and painful. Neither rank, gender, nor age were regarded. The Edict of 257 A.D. and 258 A.D. ordered all Christian leaders to be put to death that did not take part in sacrificing to the gods. -- 9th Under Emperor Aurelian A.D. 274-287 He had the whole legion [of Christian soldiers] butchered by the other soldiers. This event took place on 09/22/286 A.D. -- 10th Under Emperor Diocletian A.D. 292-304 During this persecution, the emperor ordered 4 edicts against the Christians. [article link]

Wikipedia: Nero - He is infamously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned" and as an early persecutor of Christians - The Great Fire of Rome erupted on the night of 18 July to 19 July 64 A.D. - It was said by Suetonius and Cassius Dio that Nero sang the "Sack of Ilium" in stage costume while the city burned

He is infamously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned", although this is now considered an inaccurate rumor, and as an early persecutor of Christians. He was known for having captured Christians burned in his garden at night for a source of light. This view is based on the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius, and Cassius Dio, the main surviving sources for Nero's reign. Few surviving sources paint Nero in a favorable light. Some sources, though, including some mentioned above, portray him as an emperor who was popular with the common Roman people, especially in the East. The study of Nero is problematic as some modern historians question the reliability of ancient sources when reporting on Nero's tyrannical acts. ... According to Tacitus, the population searched for a scapegoat [for the fire] and rumors held Nero responsible. To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned. [article link]

SAINTS PERPETUA, FELICITAS, AND COMPANIONS - MARTYRS 203 A.D. - Feast Day: March 6 - The record of the Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is one of the great treasures of martyr literature, an authentic document preserved for us in the actual words of the martyrs and their friends - It was in the great African city of Carthage, in the year 203 A.D. during the persecutions ordered by the Emperor Severus, that five catechumens [undergoing catechism studies] were arrested for their faith - The group consisted of a slave Revocatus, his fellow slave Felicitas, who was expecting the birth of a child, two free men, Saturninus and Secundulus, and a matron of twenty-two, Vivia Perpetua, wife of a man in good position and mother of a small infant

Perpetua's father was a pagan, her mother and two brothers Christians, one of the brothers being a catechumen. These five prisoners were soon joined by one Saturus, who seems to have been their instructor in the faith and who now chose to share their punishment. At first they were all kept under strong guard in a private house. Perpetua wrote a vivid account of what happened. ... [article link]

Wikipedia: Emperor Philip [the Arab] of Syria - Roman Emperor from 244 A.D. to 249 A.D. - Among early Christian writers Philip had the reputation of being sympathetic to the Christian faith - It was even claimed that he converted to Christianity, becoming the first Christian Emperor - Philip and his wife received letters from [Christian writer and theologian] Origen - Origen 184-253 A.D. was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian - Philip was overthrown and killed following a rebellion led by his successor [Emperor] Decius

Philip the Arab (Latin: Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus; c. 204 - 249), also known as Philip or Philippus Arabs, was Roman Emperor from 244 to 249 A.D. He came from Syria, and rose to become a major figure in the Roman Empire. He achieved power after the death of Gordian III, quickly negotiating peace with the Sassanid Empire. During his reign, Rome celebrated its millennium. Among early Christian writers Philip had the reputation of being sympathetic to the Christian faith. It was even claimed that he converted to Christianity, becoming the first Christian emperor, but this is disputed. He supposedly tried to celebrate Easter with Christians in Antioch, but the bishop Babylas made him stand with the penitents. Philip and his wife received letters from Origen. Philip was overthrown and killed following a rebellion led by his successor Decius. -- Religious beliefs: Some later traditions, first mentioned in the historian Eusebius [Eusebius of Caesarea (c. AD 263 - 339) also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian] in his Ecclesiastical History, held that Philip was the first Christian Roman Emperor. According to Eusebius (Ecc. Hist. VI.34), Philip was a Christian, but was not allowed to enter Easter vigil services until he confessed his sins and sat among the penitents, which he did so willingly. Later versions located this event in Antioch. However, [modern] historians generally identify the later Emperor Constantine, baptised on his deathbed, as the first Christian emperor, and generally describe Philip's adherence to Christianity as dubious, because non-Christian writers do not mention the fact, and because throughout his reign, Philip to all appearances (coinage, etc.) continued to follow the state religion. Critics ascribe Eusebius' claim as probably due to the tolerance Philip showed towards Christians. Saint Quirinus of Rome was, according to a legendary account, the son of Philip the Arab.
[article link]

Critics ascribe Eusebius' claim as probably due to the tolerance Philip showed towards Christians. Saint Quirinus of Rome was, according to a legendary account, the son of Philip the Arab. [article link]

Wikipedia: Council of Jerusalem, the 1st Church Council - The Council of Jerusalem is generally dated to around the year 49 A.D., roughly twenty years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth, which is dated about 33 A.D.
At the time, most followers of Jesus (which historians refer to as Jewish Christians) were Jewish by birth and even converts would have considered the early Christians as a part of Judaism. According to Alister McGrath, the Jewish Christians affirmed every aspect of then contemporary (Second Temple) Judaism with the addition of the belief that Jesus was the Messiah. Unless males were circumcised, they could not be God's People. Genesis 17:14 said "No uncircumcised man will be one of my people." The meeting was called because, according to the NRSV translation of Acts 15:1-2, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." However, this command is given considerably before Moses' time, stemming from the time of Abraham (see also Abrahamic covenant), but it is cited as 'the custom of Moses' because Moses is the traditional giver of the Law as a whole. And then the circumcision mandate was made more official and binding in the Mosaic Law Covenant. Jesus himself also says in John 7:22 that Moses gave the people circumcision. It was hard for Gentile Christians to keep up with all the laws listed in the Jewish Scriptures, which many Christians came to generally call the "Old Testament", a term linked with Supersessionism. [article link]

Wikipedia: Ancient church councils (Pre-ecumenical) -- Pre-ecumenical councils (also known as synods) were conferences of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts of the early Christian Church that were convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice - They were held when Christianity was still illegal in the Roman Empire - Until the Edict of Milan, councils did not have a civil, legal status - They must be distinguished from [later] Ecumenical Councils which are seen as traditional and as a continuation of previous councils or synods

Such councils include the *Council of Jerusalem (50 AD) [Acts 15:6], the Council of Rome (155 AD), the Second Council of Rome (193 AD), the Council of Ephesus (193 AD), the Council of Carthage (251 AD), the Council of Iconium (258 AD), the *Council of Antioch (264 AD), the Councils of Arabia (246-247 AD), the Council of Elvira (306 AD), the Council of Carthage (311 AD), the Synod of Neo-Caesarea (314 AD), the Council of Ancyra (314 AD) and the Council of Arles (314 AD). -- and later the **Council in Nicaea, Bithynia (Turkey) in 325 A.D. [article link]

Regarding our further blog studies - The First Three major Church Councils - Jerusalem in about 49 A.D. (Acts 15:6) attended by the Apostles and Supervised by James [a brother of Jude and half-brother to Jesus] - The Councils of Antioch [Christological (is Jesus really God) controversies] in 264-268 A.D. -- and later the Nicaea Council in Nicaea, Bithynia (Turkey) in 325 A.D. attended by the Church Bishops [Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church, about 1000 from the Roman Eastern Empire and 800 from the Roman Western Empire - Wiki.com] *supervised (incognito) by Roman Emperor Constantine I aka Constantine the Great

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