A study on the doctrinal controversies in the early church and the debate on gnosticism

Adoptionism — Jesus was not born the Son of Godbut was adopted at his baptismresurrection or ascension. Docetism — Jesus was pure spirit and his physical form an illusion.

A study on the doctrinal controversies in the early church and the debate on gnosticism

The Bible And Christianity - The Historical Origins A rational, secular, historical perspective on the history of Christianity and its scripture An essay by Scott Bidstrup "If the truth is that ugly -- which it is -- then we do have to be careful about the way that we tell the truth.

But to somehow say that telling the truth should be avoided because people may respond badly to the truth seems bizarre to me. Paul's Catholic Church The Bible is a lot of things to a lot of people, but to Christians, especially, it is a source of inspiration and a guide to daily living.

A study on the doctrinal controversies in the early church and the debate on gnosticism

To others, the Bible is a historical document and a source of controversy. To others still, the Bible is a self-contradictory mish-mash of arcane rules and proscriptions, mostly relevant to long-dead cultures in far away places.

What is the truth in all of this? The reality is that it is all true to an extent, and equally nonsensical at the same time. The Bible has meaning to all its readers, but it is important to consider that the meaning it has is informed by the prejudices the reader brings to it.

To really understand the Bible and what it intends to say to present generations, it is necessary to understand who wrote it and why, and the cultural context in which it was written.

The story is an interesting one, in no small part because the story is so much messier than most of its advocates would have you to believe.

And its very messiness is why it is a story rarely told in any completeness to Christian audiences.

Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof

The overriding theme of the Bible storylines is the theme of cultural conquest. Conquest by the Hebrews over their enemy neighbors, culturally by the Jews over the Israelites used here to mean members of the ten "lost" tribesthe Christians over the Jews, the Catholics over the Gnostics, Marcionites, and other pre-Catholic factions, and on and on.

In some cases, the conquest is recorded as a historical, often military event. In others, it merely is recorded as a change in content and context, an alteration of the storyline and outlook and worldview.

This is a guest post by Jason Stellman. Jason was born and raised in Orange County, CA, and served as a missionary with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in Uganda (’’92) and in Hungary (’’00). Beginning with Walter Bauer in , the denial of clear orthodoxy in early Christianity has shaped and largely defined modern New Testament criticism, recently given new life through the work of spokesmen like Bart Ehrman. Religion 23 Christianity. STUDY. PLAY. Christians continue to debate this difficult doctrine. The most important early controversy over God's nature involved a man named Marcion, who was an early Christian leader from Sinope in modern day Turkey, where his father was a Bishop of.

And the story of the editing and translation of the final form of the Bible into what today is regarded as holy scripture is a story not just of cultural conquest, but of political intrigues, and not just between competing bishops, but with secular political authority itself.

It is as if the U. The effect of its origins as selected parts of whole bodies of scripture, written by at least a hundred and fifty different people in dozens of different places at different times, many centuries apart, and for different reasons, colors what its authors wrote.

Yet that simple fact is widely ignored, both by people who naively follow what they read in it as the inerrant word of God, and by more liberal scholastic theologians, who seek to understand its historical context as well as a body of doctrinal scripture, which they often blindly follow, even though they know full well its messy origins.

Origins of the Earliest Scripture Prehistory to B.

Beginnings of Christianity

This book is an excellent survey of the current state of Old Testament archaeology. It will be of considerable interest to both skeptic and apologist alike! This book was a best-seller on the New York Times best seller list and for good reason: A History of God: Scholars have traced the roots of many of the Old Testament stories to the ancient, pagan myths of the ancient Mesopotamian cultures.

In the Fertile Crescent, the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in present-day Iraq, gave birth to some of the worlds first civilizations.

A study on the doctrinal controversies in the early church and the debate on gnosticism

In this early flowering of civilization, many religious myths abounded, seeking to explain what was then unexplainable. From this context comes the oldest complete literary work we have, the age of which we are certain, dating back at least 7, years.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a lengthy narrative of heroic mythology that incorporates many of the religious myths of Mesopotamia, and it is the earliest complete literary work that has survived.

Many of the stories in that epic were eventually incorporated into the book of Genesis. Borrowed from the Epic of Gilgamesh are stories of the creation of man in a wondrous garden, the introduction of evil into a naive world, and the story of a great flood brought on by the wickedness of man, that flooded the whole world.

In this Mesopotamian basin civilization, known to us today as the Chaldean Empire, tribal alliances that predated the amalgamation into a single empire, continued to exist and flourish.

Many were allied to the palace, many opposed, all retained elements of their pre-conquest cultures. The patriarchs first appear in our story with the journey of one of them, Abraham, who, the story tells us, led members of his tribe from the city of Ur, west towards the Mediterranean, to the "promised land" of Canaan, sometime between the 19th and 18th centuries B.

Or so the story goes. The problem is that we don't really have any good archeaological evidence to support the Abraham story, and there is much archaeological evidence to contradict it.This is a guest post by Jason Stellman.

Jason was born and raised in Orange County, CA, and served as a missionary with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in Uganda (’’92) and in Hungary (’’00).

The doctrine of Transubstantiation is the belief that the elements of the Lord’s table (bread and wine) supernaturally transform into the body and blood of Christ during the Mass. This is uniquely held by Roman Catholics but some form of a “Real Presence” view is held by Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and some Anglicans.

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The Calvinist/Reformed [ ]. II. The Knowability of God A. God Incomprehensible but yet Knowable. The Christian Church confesses on the one hand that God is the Incomprehensible One, but also on the other hand, that He can be known and that knowledge of Him is an absolute requisite unto salvation.

The following is part II of "Heresies, Controversies, and Schisms in the Early Church." To the modern mind, these Gnostic systems seem complicated and bizarre. In general, they held that there exists a first principle, the all-Father, unknowable, who is love, and who, alone, can generate other beings.

Beginning with Walter Bauer in , the denial of clear orthodoxy in early Christianity has shaped and largely defined modern New Testament criticism, recently given new life through the work of spokesmen like Bart Ehrman. Let's Begin Our Journey Of Discovery On This Topic All Scriptures are taken from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

Gnosticism | Early History | A Study of Denominations