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Early christian history

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  • Mm4csjr16@aol.com
    I have a question. It is my understanding that the first Christians can be divided into two groups - the Hebrew Christians who were in based out of Jeruselem
    Message 1 of 23 , Mar 30, 1999
      I have a question. It is my understanding that the first "Christians" can be
      divided into two groups - the Hebrew Christians who were in based out of
      Jeruselem and the Hellenistic/Roman/Gentile Christians based out of Rome.
      First, is this a correct assumption? (I know there are many different groups
      later. I am just looking at the first and maybe second centuries CE.)

      I am very much interested in the Hebrew Christians/Jews who followed the
      teachings of Jesus, especially what they believed and maybe some theories on
      who they were and what happened to them (especially after the Jewish
      uprising).

      This doesn't have too much to do with the Historical Jesus, except that I
      believe the two groups had differing views on it.

      Can anyone recommend some sites, mailing lists or books that have to do with
      this? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

      Also anything on early Christianity (basically anything before the fall of
      Rome).

      Thank you very much
      Jeanie
    • William
      Jeanie, You have probably heard of the lost gospel. Well, there is also a lost church. The Hebrew/Christians were the charter members of the apostolic
      Message 2 of 23 , Mar 30, 1999
        Jeanie,

        You have probably heard of the "lost" gospel. Well, there is also a
        "lost" church. The "Hebrew/Christians" were the charter members of the
        apostolic church. Today there is a "messianic movement" that is an
        attempt to restore the "Hebrew" element of the early apostolic church. I
        suggest that you search the net for these groups.

        Also, it is my belief that the early apostolic church was not christian
        in doctrine or religious culture; that what is now known as "christian"
        is what Paul called the great apostacy.

        May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history" which has
        been well documented by christian historians; but rather, look
        deeper...look behind what christianity might be trying to cover up.

        Happy searching,
        Bill Pinard
      • Lewis Reich
        ... While there are groups that claim to combine Torah observance with veneration of Jesus (in particular the Netzarim in Israel), you should be aware that
        Message 3 of 23 , Mar 30, 1999
          On 30 Mar 99, at 20:32, Bill Pinard wrote:

          > Today there is a "messianic movement" that is an attempt to
          > restore the "Hebrew" element of the early apostolic church. I
          > suggest that you search the net for these groups.

          While there are groups that claim to combine Torah observance with
          veneration of Jesus (in particular the Netzarim in Israel), you
          should be aware that many in the Jewish community find that most of
          such movements' efforts are devoted to bringing Jews (usually those
          ignorant of their religion) to Jesus, rather than bringing Christians
          to the "Hebrew" element of the early apostolic church.

          Lewis Reich
          LBR@...
        • Licia Kuenning
          Bill Pinard writes, ... I m not sure what trip you re on, Bill, but I m glad that at least you re not blaming the apostasy on Paul. What on earth do you mean
          Message 4 of 23 , Mar 30, 1999
            Bill Pinard writes,

            > Also, it is my belief that the early apostolic church was
            > not christian in doctrine or religious culture; that what is
            > now known as "christian" is what Paul called the great
            > apostacy.

            I'm not sure what trip you're on, Bill, but I'm glad that at
            least you're not blaming the apostasy on Paul. What on
            earth do you mean by "christian"? The term originated
            in the apostolic period, so presumably it referred to
            something that was going on in the apostolic church.

            > May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history"
            > which has been well documented by christian historians;
            > but rather, look deeper...look behind what christianity
            > might be trying to cover up.

            Sounds like a good recipe for coming up with mares' nests.
            I won't deny that Christianity changed, but we still have to get
            our data from the records, not from paranoid speculation.

            Licia Kuenning
          • rene joseph salm
            ... The Jewish-Hellenist tension predates Jesus and no doubt goes all the way back to Alexander s conquest. Yes, the Jesus-disciples seemed to mirror this
            Message 5 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
              Jeanie:

              > I have a question. It is my understanding that the first "Christians" can be
              > divided into two groups - the Hebrew Christians who were in based out of
              > Jeruselem and the Hellenistic/Roman/Gentile Christians based out of Rome.
              > First, is this a correct assumption? (I know there are many different groups
              > later. I am just looking at the first and maybe second centuries CE.)

              The Jewish-Hellenist tension predates Jesus and no doubt goes all the way
              back to Alexander's conquest. Yes, the Jesus-disciples seemed to mirror
              this tension also very early on (cf. the Stephen incident in Acts 7,
              Paul's difficulties with "Judaizers," etc), perhaps as early as the 30's
              in Jerusalem. We need not wait for the sect to spread to Rome to posit two
              (or more) groups.

              > I am very much interested in the Hebrew Christians/Jews who followed the
              > teachings of Jesus, especially what they believed and maybe some theories on
              > who they were and what happened to them (especially after the Jewish
              > uprising).

              You can begin by reading reference articles on Jewish-Christianity,
              Ebionites, and Nazoreans.

              For perspective--if you haven't already-- you could read a good
              "general" work such as H. Koester's 2-volume "History and Literature of
              Early Christianity."

              Then, consult A.F.J. Klijn's "Patristic Evidence for Jewish-Christian
              Sects."

              For secondary sources (in English), you might consider Klijn's "The Jewish
              Christian Gospel Tradition"; H.J. Schoeps "Jewish Christianity: Factional
              disputes in the early church"; or related works by Ray Pritz, Jean
              Danielou, Georg Strecker, and Walter Bauer.

              The early Jewish Christians differed fundamentally from the Hellenists in
              interpreting Jesus' life and message. Danielou ("A History of
              Jewish-Christian Doctrine," p.63) summarises Ebionite doctrine
              (recognize here that "Ebionite" was sometimes used by the Church
              Fathers to refer generally to Jewish-Christians):

              "By combining the evidence from the Fathers and from the Ebionite
              documents it is possible to form some idea of Ebionite theology. The first
              point so far established is their Christology. They believe in Jesus, and
              that distinguishes them radically from the Jews. But they regard Jesus
              simply as a man chosen by God. They deny his virgin birth-- a point they
              make very clear. It was at his baptism that a power from God descended on
              him. They also reject any aspect of Christianity which makes it a religion
              of salvation. For them Christ's mission is simply one of teaching..."

              -Rene
            • Ian Hutchesson
              ... I have found at least three different etymologies for the term Christian : 1) from Christ (Jesus) 2) from anoint (without any possible reference to Jesus)
              Message 6 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                At 01.20 31/03/99 -0500, Licia Kuenning wrote:
                >Bill Pinard writes,
                >
                >> Also, it is my belief that the early apostolic church was
                >> not christian in doctrine or religious culture; that what is
                >> now known as "christian" is what Paul called the great
                >> apostacy.
                >
                >I'm not sure what trip you're on, Bill, but I'm glad that at
                >least you're not blaming the apostasy on Paul. What on
                >earth do you mean by "christian"? The term originated
                >in the apostolic period, so presumably it referred to
                >something that was going on in the apostolic church.

                I have found at least three different etymologies for the term "Christian":
                1) from Christ (Jesus)
                2) from anoint (without any possible reference to Jesus)
                3) from chrism

                >> May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history"
                >> which has been well documented by christian historians;
                >> but rather, look deeper...look behind what christianity
                >> might be trying to cover up.
                >
                >Sounds like a good recipe for coming up with mares' nests.
                >I won't deny that Christianity changed, but we still have to get
                >our data from the records, not from paranoid speculation.
                >
                >Licia Kuenning

                Licia, why not ask before imputing?

                Bill, what are you on about?


                Ian
              • Licia Kuenning
                Ian seems to have misunderstood me; he writes, ... I wasn t imputing. Licia Kuenning Licia@compuserve.com kuenning-licia@voicenet.com
                Message 7 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                  Ian seems to have misunderstood me; he writes,

                  > Licia, why not ask before imputing?

                  I wasn't imputing.

                  Licia Kuenning

                  Licia@...
                  kuenning-licia@...
                • Jack Kilmon
                  ... One can use the scant evidence concerning the Nazarenes/Nazoreans by the highly agendized Christian fathers and the historical and religious context of
                  Message 8 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                    Mm4csjr16@... wrote:
                    >
                    > I have a question. It is my understanding that the first "Christians" can be
                    > divided into two groups - the Hebrew Christians who were in based out of
                    > Jeruselem and the Hellenistic/Roman/Gentile Christians based out of Rome.
                    > First, is this a correct assumption? (I know there are many different groups
                    > later. I am just looking at the first and maybe second centuries CE.)

                    One can use the scant evidence concerning the "Nazarenes/Nazoreans" by
                    the
                    highly agendized Christian "fathers" and the historical and religious
                    context of the mid first century to speculate what the "first
                    Christians"
                    were all about. We are not even of one scholarly mind on the origin
                    of their name "n'tsarim." I am of the opinion it means "branch people."
                    I would not compare the Hellenistic Jewish members (a la Stephen) of
                    this
                    sect with Hellenistic Gentile Christianity which seems to have Asia
                    Minor (Ephesus and Antioch) as its epicenter toward the last half of
                    the 1st century.

                    >
                    > I am very much interested in the Hebrew Christians/Jews who followed the
                    > teachings of Jesus, especially what they believed and maybe some theories on
                    > who they were and what happened to them (especially after the Jewish
                    > uprising).

                    I think one of the best treatments on this is Ray Pritz's "Nazarene
                    Jewish Christianity" 1992, Magnes Press.

                    Rene has recommended Kijn which is also a good source.

                    >
                    > This doesn't have too much to do with the Historical Jesus, except that I
                    > believe the two groups had differing views on it.

                    I am not sure that this area doesn't have much to do with the HJ. To
                    the contrary, a closer look at the Enochian/Daniel subset of Judaism
                    of the late 2nd temple period (which may have included the Essenes)
                    and an examination of the apocryphal works seemingly held dear by
                    this group (Enoch, Wisdom of Solomon, T12P) might be productive.


                    Jack
                    --
                    ______________________________________________

                    taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

                    Jack Kilmon
                    jkilmon@...

                    http://www.historian.net
                  • Jeff Peterson
                    ... Our most important evidence for the character of first-generation Christianity (c. AD 30-70) comes from Paul, principally 1 Cor 15:1-11 and Gal 1:11-2:21.
                    Message 9 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                      >Bill Pinard writes,
                      >
                      >> Also, it is my belief that the early apostolic church was
                      >> not christian in doctrine or religious culture; that what is
                      >> now known as "christian" is what Paul called the great
                      >> apostacy.

                      Our most important evidence for the character of first-generation
                      Christianity (c. AD 30-70) comes from Paul, principally 1 Cor 15:1-11 and
                      Gal 1:11-2:21. Both these passages agree in affirming a consensus between
                      Paul and other authorities concerning the significance of Jesus' death and
                      resurrection (thus, "whether I or they, so we preached and so you
                      believed," 1 Cor 15:11; "they [the "churches of Judea in Christ"] had heard
                      that 'Our former persecutor now proclaims the faith which he formerly would
                      destroy," Gal 1:23). These statements were made to people who may well have
                      already been in touch with Jerusalem Christians (in the case of the
                      Galatian churches) or whom Paul proposed to take to Jerusalem with him when
                      conveying a money offering to the Jerusalem church, which was itself a seal
                      of the unity obtaining among all the churches in Jesus Christ, both Jew and
                      Gentile (1 Cor 16:1-4; 2 Cor 8-9; Rom 15:25-33). So the disagreements
                      between first-generation Christian authorities reflected in Gal ch. 2 et
                      al. are like disputes between fiscally conservative Republicans over the
                      flat tax versus the national sales tax -- the very disputes presuppose
                      fundamental agreement.

                      As to centers of Christian influence in the first decades it seems to have
                      been Jerusalem and Antioch; Jerusalem fades after the First Revolt (66-70),
                      and in the late first and early second centuries Ephesus (one of Paul's
                      mission churches) stands alongside Rome and Antioch as a center of
                      influence. There's a very helpful brief sketch of the first 150 years of
                      Christian intellectual history in N. T. Wright's _New Testament and the
                      People of God_, pp. 341-370; for the full story, W. H. C. Frend, _The Rise
                      of Christianity_ and on particular persons, places, etc. Everett Ferguson
                      (ed.), _Encyclopedia of Early Christianity_.

                      Best,

                      Jeff

                      ------------------------------------
                      Jeffrey Peterson, Ph.D.
                      Assistant Professor of New Testament
                      Institute for Christian Studies
                      Austin, Texas, USA
                      ------------------------------------
                    • Ian Hutchesson
                      ... Then I gather, Licia, you didn t write the series of imputations below. Ian ... Bill Pinard writes, ... I m not sure what trip you re on, Bill, but I m
                      Message 10 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                        At 10.19 31/03/99 -0500, Licia Kuenning wrote:
                        >Ian seems to have misunderstood me; he writes,
                        >
                        >> Licia, why not ask before imputing?
                        >
                        >I wasn't imputing.
                        >
                        >Licia Kuenning

                        Then I gather, Licia, you didn't write the series of imputations below.

                        Ian


                        --------------------------------------------------

                        Bill Pinard writes,

                        > Also, it is my belief that the early apostolic church was
                        > not christian in doctrine or religious culture; that what is
                        > now known as "christian" is what Paul called the great
                        > apostacy.

                        I'm not sure what trip you're on, Bill, but I'm glad that at
                        least you're not blaming the apostasy on Paul. What on
                        earth do you mean by "christian"? The term originated
                        in the apostolic period, so presumably it referred to
                        something that was going on in the apostolic church.

                        > May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history"
                        > which has been well documented by christian historians;
                        > but rather, look deeper...look behind what christianity
                        > might be trying to cover up.

                        Sounds like a good recipe for coming up with mares' nests.
                        I won't deny that Christianity changed, but we still have to get
                        our data from the records, not from paranoid speculation.

                        Licia Kuenning
                      • Licia Kuenning
                        Does anybody besides Ian Hutchesson think my post in reply to Bill was a series of imputations ? I m not interested in playing No-I-didn t-Yes-you-did with
                        Message 11 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                          Does anybody besides Ian Hutchesson think my post in
                          reply to Bill was a "series of imputations"? I'm not
                          interested in playing No-I-didn't-Yes-you-did with Ian,
                          but if somebody else misunderstood my post I'll
                          gladly clarify.

                          Licia Kuenning

                          Licia@...
                          kuenning-licia@...
                        • Stevan Davies
                          ... I wonder if you aren t mixing ethnic tensions with ideological tensions. I don t see any sign of ideological tensions in the report in Acts. Maybe you
                          Message 12 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                            > From: rene joseph salm
                            > The Jewish-Hellenist tension predates Jesus and no doubt goes all the way
                            > back to Alexander's conquest. Yes, the Jesus-disciples seemed to mirror
                            > this tension also very early on (cf. the Stephen incident in Acts 7,
                            > Paul's difficulties with "Judaizers," etc), perhaps as early as the 30's
                            > in Jerusalem. We need not wait for the sect to spread to Rome to posit two
                            > (or more) groups.

                            I wonder if you aren't mixing "ethnic" tensions with "ideological"
                            tensions. I don't see any sign of ideological tensions in the report
                            in Acts. Maybe you can correct me, but isn't all we know about the
                            tensions in Acts that there was a concern among the "Greek"
                            Christians that their widows were being shortchanged?

                            Steve
                          • rene joseph salm
                            ... There seem to me to be several aspects of Jewish-Hellenist tension we can point to, separate yet related: -- (Ethnic) Jew vs. non-Jew as regards blood --
                            Message 13 of 23 , Mar 31, 1999
                              On Wed, 31 Mar 1999, Stevan Davies wrote:

                              >
                              > > From: rene joseph salm
                              > > The Jewish-Hellenist tension predates Jesus and no doubt goes all the way
                              > > back to Alexander's conquest. Yes, the Jesus-disciples seemed to mirror
                              > > this tension also very early on (cf. the Stephen incident in Acts 7,
                              > > Paul's difficulties with "Judaizers," etc), perhaps as early as the 30's
                              > > in Jerusalem. We need not wait for the sect to spread to Rome to posit two
                              > > (or more) groups.
                              >
                              > I wonder if you aren't mixing "ethnic" tensions with "ideological"
                              > tensions.

                              There seem to me to be several aspects of Jewish-Hellenist tension we can
                              point to, separate yet related:

                              -- (Ethnic) Jew vs. non-Jew as regards blood
                              -- (Religious) Jew vs. Gentile as regards the Torah
                              -- (Cultural) Semitic vs. Greek as regards language, and other
                              issues.

                              I would suggest that all of these are implied, to one extent or another,
                              in the Stephen episode.

                              > I don't see any sign of ideological tensions in the report
                              > in Acts. Maybe you can correct me, but isn't all we know about the
                              > tensions in Acts that there was a concern among the "Greek"
                              > Christians that their widows were being shortchanged?

                              I think we have to ask ourselves: "On what basis was this division
                              between 'Hellenist' and 'Hebrew' (6:1)?" Did it exclude ideology? I see
                              the passage 6:1-6 as probably reflecting rivalry between two groups of
                              ethnically Jewish Jesus-followers, and Stephen as a "Hellenist" Jewish
                              Christian (one who ideologically was more relaxed re: Torah observance,
                              and a Greek-speaker).

                              More importantly, though, isn't the stoning of Stephen the result of a
                              significant "ideological" conflict (7:53-54) between Hellenist and
                              High Priest (7:1), between Hellenist and and members of the synagogue
                              (6:9)?

                              - Rene
                            • Stephen C. Carlson
                              ... No, I didn t think that your post was a series of imputations. Ian tends to believe that people don t think for themselves and simply mouth the party
                              Message 14 of 23 , Apr 1, 1999
                                At 03:44 PM 3/31/99 -0500, Licia Kuenning wrote:
                                >Does anybody besides Ian Hutchesson think my post in
                                >reply to Bill was a "series of imputations"?

                                No, I didn't think that your post was a series of
                                imputations. Ian tends to believe that people don't
                                think for themselves and simply mouth the party line.
                                However, when we get to find out what Ian actually
                                believes (when he is not in gadfly mode), we find that
                                the evidentiary basis for his ideas is much worse than
                                basis for the consensus of scholarship.

                                For example, on the issue of whether Sadducees were
                                present in the first century, the mention by Josephus
                                and the gospels in the first century is strong evidence
                                for their presence. Ian's use of Daniel and Enoch,
                                which predate the first century (and therefore are
                                incompetent as evidence about the first century), is
                                a howler.

                                As for Bill Pinard, many of us here have already
                                encountered him and formed our own opinions. Basically,
                                Bill has produced a harmony of the gospel texts and
                                believes that his harmony is a reconstruction of the
                                original document used by the apostles. As in most
                                exercises of the sort, these reconstructions are only
                                loved by their creators.

                                Stephen Carlson
                                --
                                Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                                "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                              • Michael Davies
                                ... But acts tells us what the basis of division was. ... Well, yes, it does. Acts 6:1-6 presents a picture of ideological unity. ... Is there any evidence tht
                                Message 15 of 23 , Apr 1, 1999
                                  > > I don't see any sign of ideological tensions in the report
                                  > > in Acts. Maybe you can correct me, but isn't all we know about the
                                  > > tensions in Acts that there was a concern among the "Greek"
                                  > > Christians that their widows were being shortchanged?

                                  Rene:
                                  > I think we have to ask ourselves: "On what basis was this division
                                  > between 'Hellenist' and 'Hebrew' (6:1)?"

                                  But acts tells us what the basis of division was.

                                  > Did it exclude ideology?

                                  Well, yes, it does. Acts 6:1-6 presents a picture of ideological
                                  unity.

                                  > I see
                                  > the passage 6:1-6 as probably reflecting rivalry between two groups of
                                  > ethnically Jewish Jesus-followers, and Stephen as a "Hellenist" Jewish
                                  > Christian (one who ideologically was more relaxed re: Torah observance,
                                  > and a Greek-speaker).

                                  Is there any evidence tht he was "more relaxed re: Torah observance"?
                                  If so you've got a point, if not then you haven't.

                                  > More importantly, though, isn't the stoning of Stephen the result of a
                                  > significant "ideological" conflict (7:53-54) between Hellenist and
                                  > High Priest (7:1), between Hellenist and and members of the synagogue
                                  > (6:9)?

                                  Yes it is. So are Paul's reports of persecuting the church of
                                  God in Jerusalem the result of a
                                  > significant "ideological" conflict between Non-Hellenist and
                                  > High Priest, between Non-Hellenist and and members of the
                                  > synagogue.

                                  Steve
                                • Lewis Reich
                                  ... I don t know, was it? All we know is how the text presents it. Lewis Reich LBR@sprynet.com
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Apr 1, 1999
                                    On 31 Mar 99, at 21:41, rene joseph salm wrote:

                                    > More importantly, though, isn't the stoning of Stephen the result of a
                                    > significant "ideological" conflict (7:53-54) between Hellenist and High
                                    > Priest (7:1), between Hellenist and and members of the synagogue (6:9)?

                                    I don't know, was it? All we know is how the text presents it.

                                    Lewis Reich
                                    LBR@...
                                  • rene joseph salm
                                    ... I wonder if you re referring to Acts 7. This tells us about the ideological conflict between Stephen and the Jewish non-Jesus-followers, who stoned him.
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Apr 2, 1999
                                      On Thu, 1 Apr 1999, Michael Davies wrote:

                                      >
                                      > > > I don't see any sign of ideological tensions in the report
                                      > > > in Acts. Maybe you can correct me, but isn't all we know about the
                                      > > > tensions in Acts that there was a concern among the "Greek"
                                      > > > Christians that their widows were being shortchanged?
                                      >
                                      > Rene:
                                      > > I think we have to ask ourselves: "On what basis was this division
                                      > > between 'Hellenist' and 'Hebrew' (6:1)?"
                                      >
                                      > But acts tells us what the basis of division was.

                                      I wonder if you're referring to Acts 7. This tells us about the
                                      ideological conflict between Stephen and the Jewish non-Jesus-followers,
                                      who stoned him. This is a different conflict than that between
                                      "Hellenists" and "Hebrews" of 6:1, who are distinct camps of
                                      Jesus-followers (in what way they were distinct is what I'd like to know).

                                      > > Did it exclude ideology?
                                      >
                                      > Well, yes, it does. Acts 6:1-6 presents a picture of ideological
                                      > unity.

                                      We read about "Brothers," a division of labor (distribution of food
                                      vs. prayer and serving the word), the 12 deciding for the "whole
                                      community," pleasing the whole community, and laying hands on those
                                      chosen to "wait on tables." To me this is not ideological unity, but
                                      coming to agreement on a pressing practical matter. Nor is ideological
                                      unity implied, for we also read about Hellenist Jesus-followers, and
                                      Hebrew Jesus-followers, one group complaining against the other. This to
                                      me implies some ideological disunity. What we can say about this passage
                                      is that general agreement involving two groups of Jesus-followers was
                                      reached.

                                      > > I see
                                      > > the passage 6:1-6 as probably reflecting rivalry between two groups of
                                      > > ethnically Jewish Jesus-followers, and Stephen as a "Hellenist" Jewish
                                      > > Christian (one who ideologically was more relaxed re: Torah observance,
                                      > > and a Greek-speaker).
                                      >
                                      > Is there any evidence tht he was "more relaxed re: Torah observance"?
                                      > If so you've got a point, if not then you haven't.

                                      Whether or not Stephen was more or less relaxed re: the Torah does not
                                      affect the author's division of the Jesus-followers into two groups,
                                      which, as I see it, is the main point, for this division into "Hellenists"
                                      and "Hebrews" must have included idealogical disunity of some kind. (If
                                      not, then what was the nature of this division?) My seeing Stephen as more
                                      relaxed re: Torah is one construction of the situation (note the
                                      "probable" above). If you see him otherwise, I'd be interested in learning
                                      why.

                                      > > More importantly, though, isn't the stoning of Stephen the result of a
                                      > > significant "ideological" conflict (7:53-54) between Hellenist and
                                      > > High Priest (7:1), between Hellenist and and members of the synagogue
                                      > > (6:9)?
                                      >
                                      > Yes it is. So are Paul's reports of persecuting the church of
                                      > God in Jerusalem the result of a
                                      > > significant "ideological" conflict between Non-Hellenist and
                                      > > High Priest, between Non-Hellenist and and members of the
                                      > > synagogue.

                                      Good. I'm glad we agree on the main point so far as my original cite to
                                      Jeanie is concerned.

                                      - Rene
                                    • Licia Kuenning
                                      Bill Pinard writes, ... I had nothing of the sort in mind. All I mean by Christians is people who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that he rose from the
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Apr 4, 1999
                                        Bill Pinard writes,

                                        > I do not believe that the apostolic church was christian.
                                        > The definition of "christian" is argued mostly by christians
                                        > since they claim that there are true christians and false
                                        > christians.

                                        I had nothing of the sort in mind. All I mean by "Christians"
                                        is people who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that he
                                        rose from the dead. They come in lots of varieties.

                                        > Anyway, christian is defined by the churches that call
                                        > themselves as such;

                                        No it isn't; it's a common English word. In fact it was
                                        originally coined by non-Christians. It occurs only 3 times
                                        in the NT, always with reference to what the members of
                                        the church were called by outsiders. Those who used it
                                        wouldn't have had much detailed knowledge of the doctinres
                                        being taught--they would have been referring to something
                                        that was obvious to outside observers.

                                        (In any case, you were the first to use the word in this
                                        exchange. Obviously *you* must have meant by it something
                                        different from what I mean, and what (in a rough way) I think most
                                        people mean, and what those meant who first called the disciples
                                        "Christians" at Antioch. But you haven't explained your
                                        unusual definition, so the meaning of your statement remains
                                        obscure.)

                                        >>> May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history"
                                        >>> which has been well documented by christian historians;
                                        >>> but rather, look deeper...look behind what christianity
                                        >>> might be trying to cover up.
                                        >>
                                        >> Sounds like a good recipe for coming up with mares' nests.
                                        >> I won't deny that Christianity changed, but we still have to get
                                        >> our data from the records, not from paranoid speculation.
                                        >
                                        > Bill:
                                        > True. But we must be careful of what I call "the default
                                        > mode" in our thinking. One man's fear is another women's
                                        > faith, or visa versa.

                                        Sorry, but it's completely obscure to me what you're talking
                                        about here.

                                        > Please consider my solution to the synoptic problem
                                        > which I have entitled "William's Hypothesis" (WH). It
                                        > should give you some new "data" to reconsider everything
                                        > you have ever thought abaout the formation of the new
                                        > testament. It is in the Adobe Acrobat Reader .pdf file
                                        > and the free reader can be downloaded from www.adobe.com.
                                        > But you probably already have the reader on your
                                        > computer.

                                        I don't; and if it's too complicated for you to explain on the
                                        list, then I don't have time to look into it. Too much else
                                        to do.

                                        Licia Kuenning

                                        Licia@...
                                        kuenning-licia@...
                                      • Mm4csjr16@aol.com
                                        I have a question - was it common around the time of Jesus to name a particular school of thought after it s teacher? Could you please list some examples of
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Apr 5, 1999
                                          I have a question - was it common around the time of Jesus to name a
                                          particular school of thought after it's teacher? Could you please list some
                                          examples of this? Also could you list the various schools of thought about
                                          Jesus' divinity (such as adoptionism) with a brief definition and which ones
                                          modern scholars believe the original Apostles to be in? I think it would be
                                          helpful in clearing up what "Christianity" actually means.

                                          Peace Be with You All
                                          Jeanie
                                        • Jon Peter
                                          ... It depends what you mean. I would say naming was mixed. Rabbinical schools (i.e. legal theories) were just getting started in Jesus day and these
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Apr 5, 1999
                                            Jeanie asked:

                                            > I have a question - was it common around the time of Jesus to name a
                                            > particular school of thought after it's teacher?

                                            It depends what you mean. I would say naming was mixed. Rabbinical schools
                                            (i.e. legal theories) were just getting started in Jesus' day and these
                                            eventually became known as 'school of Hillel' or of Shamash etc., i.e.,
                                            founders. Pagan mystery initiates were labeled with the deity name. Early
                                            Christians said "I am of Paul" or "I am of Apollos." The Jewish religious
                                            denominations or sects I can think of were never named after a founder.
                                            Adepts of Greek philosophical schools often had teachers' names
                                            attached.Groups of all kinds seemed to have nicknames or several forms of
                                            reference.

                                            Could you please list some
                                            > examples of this? Also could you list the various schools of thought
                                            about
                                            > Jesus' divinity (such as adoptionism) with a brief definition and which
                                            ones
                                            > modern scholars believe the original Apostles to be in? I think it would
                                            be
                                            > helpful in clearing up what "Christianity" actually means.
                                            >

                                            Ye old debate. Others are better qualified to answer. My own view is that
                                            Son of God theology came as a revival of old pre-Exilic Hebrew-Canaanite
                                            beliefs which were expurgated from tanakh but survived in pop religion and
                                            lore. Few scholars seem to share this approach however.

                                            Regards,

                                            Jon
                                          • Michael Davies
                                            ... It is too facile to say that Christian means whatever any church calling itself Christian says it means. I d suggest Christian means the use of a standard
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Apr 5, 1999
                                              Bill:
                                              > > Anyway, christian is defined by the churches that call
                                              > > themselves as such;

                                              Licia:
                                              > No it isn't; it's a common English word.

                                              It is too facile to say that Christian means whatever any church
                                              calling itself Christian says it means. I'd suggest Christian
                                              means the use of a standard set of words such as Jesus, Gospel,
                                              Christ, Salvation, Cross. Same for e.g. Buddhism. You cannot
                                              define Christian (or Buddhist) in terms of any particular meanings
                                              assigned to those words.

                                              Steve
                                            • David L. Snow
                                              ... various schools of thought about ... As you may well know, the modern definition of christian is one who believes Jesus fulfilled the messianic
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Apr 5, 1999
                                                At 09:41 AM 4/5/99 -0400, Mm4csjr16@... wrote:
                                                >I have a question - < edited out prior text>.... Also could you list the
                                                various schools of thought about
                                                >Jesus' divinity (such as adoptionism) with a brief definition and which ones
                                                >modern scholars believe the original Apostles to be in? I think it would be
                                                >helpful in clearing up what "Christianity" actually means.
                                                >
                                                >Peace Be with You All
                                                >Jeanie

                                                As you may well know, the modern definition of "christian" is one who
                                                believes Jesus fulfilled the 'messianic prophecy' of the OT, and/or one who
                                                follows the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.

                                                Refinement of these 2 definitions has been going on for a little less than
                                                1970 years now, and we seem as confused as ever, leading to different
                                                sects, churches, denominations, etc.

                                                To address your first question as to the 'schools of thought' of the
                                                original Apostles, I would refer you to Helmut Koester's book, 'Ancient
                                                Christian Gospels, Their History and Development' which includes all early
                                                Christian writings as well as the Synoptic Gospels.

                                                For your 'implied' second question concerning what 'Christianity' actually
                                                means, I would direct you to Ben Witherington's book on "The Christology of
                                                Jesus" which may help with the historical Jesus' self-understanding.

                                                Dave

                                                Dave
                                              • William
                                                ... Licia, I was tired when I responded and upon thinking about what I had said I thought that it would be good to repost my thoughts on the matter.
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Apr 5, 1999
                                                  >Subject: Re: Early christian history
                                                  >Sent: 4/1/19 12:43 PM
                                                  >Received: 4/5/99 4:44 AM
                                                  >From: Licia Kuenning, Licia@...
                                                  >To: Crosstalk, crosstalk@...
                                                  >
                                                  >Bill Pinard writes,
                                                  >
                                                  >> I do not believe that the apostolic church was christian.
                                                  >> The definition of "christian" is argued mostly by christians
                                                  >> since they claim that there are true christians and false
                                                  >> christians.
                                                  >
                                                  Licia:
                                                  >I had nothing of the sort in mind. All I mean by "Christians"
                                                  >is people who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that he
                                                  >rose from the dead. They come in lots of varieties.
                                                  >
                                                  Bill:
                                                  >> Anyway, christian is defined by the churches that call
                                                  >> themselves as such;
                                                  >
                                                  Licia:
                                                  >No it isn't; it's a common English word. In fact it was
                                                  >originally coined by non-Christians. It occurs only 3 times
                                                  >in the NT, always with reference to what the members of
                                                  >the church were called by outsiders. Those who used it
                                                  >wouldn't have had much detailed knowledge of the doctinres
                                                  >being taught--they would have been referring to something
                                                  >that was obvious to outside observers.
                                                  >
                                                  >(In any case, you were the first to use the word in this
                                                  >exchange. Obviously *you* must have meant by it something
                                                  >different from what I mean, and what (in a rough way) I think most
                                                  >people mean, and what those meant who first called the disciples
                                                  >"Christians" at Antioch. But you haven't explained your
                                                  >unusual definition, so the meaning of your statement remains
                                                  >obscure.)
                                                  >
                                                  Bill:
                                                  >>>> May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history"
                                                  >>>> which has been well documented by christian historians;
                                                  >>>> but rather, look deeper...look behind what christianity
                                                  >>>> might be trying to cover up.
                                                  >>>
                                                  Licia:
                                                  >>> Sounds like a good recipe for coming up with mares' nests.
                                                  >>> I won't deny that Christianity changed, but we still have to get
                                                  >>> our data from the records, not from paranoid speculation.
                                                  >>
                                                  >> Bill:
                                                  >> True. But we must be careful of what I call "the default
                                                  >> mode" in our thinking. One man's fear is another women's
                                                  >> faith, or visa versa.
                                                  >
                                                  Licia:
                                                  >Sorry, but it's completely obscure to me what you're talking
                                                  >about here.
                                                  >
                                                  Bill:
                                                  >> Please consider my solution to the synoptic problem
                                                  >> which I have entitled "William's Hypothesis" (WH). It
                                                  >> should give you some new "data" to reconsider everything
                                                  >> you have ever thought abaout the formation of the new
                                                  >> testament. It is in the Adobe Acrobat Reader .pdf file
                                                  >> and the free reader can be downloaded from www.adobe.com.
                                                  >> But you probably already have the reader on your
                                                  >> computer.
                                                  >
                                                  Licia:
                                                  >I don't; and if it's too complicated for you to explain on the
                                                  >list, then I don't have time to look into it. Too much else
                                                  >to do.
                                                  >
                                                  >Licia Kuenning
                                                  >
                                                  >Licia@...
                                                  >kuenning-licia@...
                                                  >
                                                  Licia,

                                                  I was tired when I responded and upon thinking about what I had said I
                                                  thought that it would be good to repost my thoughts on the matter.

                                                  "Christians" are disciples of Christ; and of course most people refer to
                                                  themselves as "christians" when they believe that Jesus is the Christ.
                                                  This is just part of our cultural mind-set.

                                                  But if "christ" is a mediator between man and God then anyone who has a
                                                  mediator or a "christ" is in fact a generic "christian". But most people
                                                  do not think in those terms.

                                                  I should have used the word "christianity" instead of "christian".
                                                  Christians are individuals who believe in a christ/mediator between
                                                  themselves and God. However, "christianity" is a religious system that
                                                  sets forth the doctrines and practices of a "true" christian. So that's
                                                  the main difference between the individual christians and the individual
                                                  sects of christianity that claim to be the true church of the true
                                                  christians.

                                                  My original statement about Paul the Apostle was that I do not believe
                                                  that Paul was an advocate of the religion of christianity; and
                                                  furthermore, that Jesus was not an advocate of christianity; and that the
                                                  apostolic church was not christian in doctrine or practices.

                                                  Christianity is a religious system that supplanted the apostolic
                                                  religious system in the first three centuries. Christianity is the great
                                                  apostacy that the non-christian Paul warned his followeres about.

                                                  William's Hypothesis lays the foundation to claim that the pre-niacene
                                                  "fathers" of christianity were not members of the apostolic church; and
                                                  that the entire "mind-set" that we have of these matters should be
                                                  reconsidered.

                                                  It is a real paradigm shift.

                                                  Hope this clears things up a bit. I just do not have time to email well
                                                  written responses. Sorry for that.

                                                  Bill Pinard
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