Christian History

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Information about Christian History

Published on January 18, 2008

Author: Stella


Christian History:  Christian History Lesson 1 “When in the Fullness of Time…” Slide2:  “The political connection of Israel with the Grecian world, and, with it, the conflict with Hellenism, may be said to have connected with the victorious progress of Alexander the Great through the then known world (333 B.C.)” The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, By Alfred Edershiem “To see clearly the relation of the Christian religion to the preceding history of mankind, …we must first glance at the preparation which existed in the political, moral, and religious condition of the world for the advent of our Saviour.” History of the Christian Church By Philip Schaff Alexander the Great 336-323BC:  Alexander the Great 336-323BC Kingdom extended from Macedonia to the Indus river valley Introduced Hellenism to Asia, the conversion of existing cultures to Greek culture Introduced a common language, Koinai Greek His Kingdom was divided after his death “the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds…”(Dan 8:8) Successor Kingdoms established by the “Diadochi”, Seleucus, Ptolemy, Cassander, Lysimachus. Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires:  Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires Seleucid Empire 323-63BC:  Seleucid Empire 323-63BC Antiochus Epiphanes IV, original name “Mithradates” Called himself “image of god, bearer of victory” Aggressively sought to Hellenize regions under his control (Judea) Invaded Egypt and laid siege to Alexandria Retreated after Republican Rome intervened Desecrated the Temple and forced the worship of Greek gods (Dan 8:11) Maccabean revolt led by Judas Maccabeus, son of Mattathias, beginning of the Hasmonean Dynasty (167 BC) Empire fragmented, largest fragment, Parthian Empire Slide6:  The promise of a yearly increase of 360 talents in the taxes of the country, besides a payment of 80 talents from another revenue purchased the deposition of Onias III and the appointment of Jason to High Priest - the first event of that kind recorded in Jewish history (2 Macc. iv. 8, 9), Jason paid to Antiochus a sum of 150 talents for permission to erect a Gymnasium in Jerusalem, (2 Macc. iv. 9, 19). Hellenism sweeps over the country, introduction of views, manners, and institutions wholly incompatible with the religion of the Old Testament, even the abolition of the bodily mark (1 Macc. i. 15; Jos. Ant. xii.5. 1). Seleucid Hellenism Ptolemaic Empire 306-31BC:  Ptolemaic Empire 306-31BC Judea enjoyed “relative” prosperity under Ptolemaic control Preserved local cultures, also mixed Greek and Egyptian cultures Ptolemy Philadelphus commissioned the translation of the Torah to Greek for his library in Alexandria ca 280BC (Josephus Ant. book xii) Empire ended in 31BC after the Battle of Actium, where Octavian’s forces defeated Antony and Cleopatra Roman Empire 753BC-476AD:  Roman Empire 753BC-476AD Pompey Magnus, First Triumvirate, Julius Caesar, Crassus Defeats the Cilician Pirates, defeats King Mithridates, invades Armenia, Scythia 63BC makes Syria a Roman province (end of Seleucid Empire) Settles dispute between Hasmonean princes Hyrcanus and Aristobulus Aristobulus recants deal with Pompey and seizes the Temple in Jerusalem Pompey attacks Jerusalem, defeats Aristobulus and carries him and his followers back to Rome as slaves Jewish nation now tributary to Rome, Pompey appoints Hyrcanus to the office of High Priest Judea Hasmonean Dynasty (168-37BC) Herod (37-4BC):  Judea Hasmonean Dynasty (168-37BC) Herod (37-4BC) Herod’s father Antipater, a member of the Hasmonean court, instrumental in Rome’s involvement Herod the Idumean, elected “King of Judea” by the Roman Senate, defeats the Parthian supported King Antigonus for control of Jerusalem (using Roman soldiers) in 43BC Marries Mariamme a Hasmonean princess Appoints Ananel to High Priest (a Babylonian Jew) Herod attains title “Friend of Caesar” and becomes close friends with Marcus Agrippa Judaism split in to three sects: Pharisee, Sadducee, Essene, and later Zealots “what harm is there in saying ‘Lord Caesar’? :  “what harm is there in saying ‘Lord Caesar’? Oxyrhyncus Papyrus Egypt 250AD:  Oxyrhyncus Papyrus Egypt 250AD To the Commissioners of Sacrifice of the Village of Alexander’s Island: From Aurelius Diogenes, the son of Satabus, of the Village of Alexander’s Island, aged 72 years: ---scar on his right eyebrow. I have always sacrificed regularly to the gods, and now, in your presence, in accordance with the edict, I have done sacrifice, and poured the drink offering, and tasted of the sacrifices, and I request you to certify the same. Farewell. -----Handed in by me, Aurelius Diogenes. -----I certify that I saw him sacrificing [signature obliterated]. Done in the first year of the Emperor, Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius Pius Felix Augustus, second of the month Epith. [June 26, 250 A.D.] Pliny to Trajan:  Pliny to Trajan I have hesitated a great deal in considering whether any distinctions should be drawn according to the ages of the accused; whether the weak should be punished as severely as the more robust, or whether the man who has once been a Christian gained anything by recanting? I ask them whether they are Christians, if they say "Yes," then I repeat the question the second time, and also a third -- warning them of the penalties involved; and if they persist, I order them away to prison. For I do not doubt that -- be their admitted crime what it may -- their pertinacity and inflexible obstinacy surely ought to be punished. Slide13:  But they declared their guilt or error was simply this -- on a fixed day they used to meet before dawn and recite a hymn among themselves to Christ, as though he were a god. So far from binding themselves by oath to commit any crime, they swore to keep from theft, robbery, adultery, breach of faith, and not to deny any trust money deposited with them when called upon to deliver it. This ceremony over, they used to depart and meet again to take food -- but it was of no special character, and entirely harmless. They also had ceased from this practice after the edict I issued -- by which, in accord with your orders, I forbade all secret societies. The Martyrdom of Ignatius 98-117 AD:  The Martyrdom of Ignatius 98-117 AD Then Trajan pronounced sentence as follows: “We command that Ignatius, who affirms that he carries about within him Him that was crucified, be bound by soldiers, and carried to the great city Rome, there to be devoured by the beasts, for the gratification of the people” When the holy martyr heard this sentence, he cried out with joy… The Martyrdom of Polycarp 69-155 AD :  The Martyrdom of Polycarp 69-155 AD “for eighty-six years I have been his servant, and he has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” The Martyrdom of Vivia Perpetua :  The Martyrdom of Vivia Perpetua “But Perpetua, that she might taste some pain, being pierced between the ribs, cried out loudly, and she herself placed the wavering right hand of the youthful gladiator to her throat. Possibly such a woman could not have been slain unless she herself had willed it, because she was feared by the impure spirit.” He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, CONQUER BY THIS:  He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, CONQUER BY THIS Constantine I 280-337 BC:  Constantine I 280-337 BC Declared emperor by his troops while on campaign against the Picts in Caledonia (306AD) Defeats Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian bridge to gain control over the Western Empire Becomes sole ruler of Roman Empire with the defeat and death of Licinius (320AD)(Lincinius had reverted to paganism and begun persecuting Christians again) In his early career identified himself with “sol invictus” as seen by the coins he issued Established his capitol in Byzantium, renamed Constantinople Baptized just before his death by Eusebius of Nicomedia, an Arian Bishop EDICT OF TOLERATION BY GALERIUS 311 AD:  EDICT OF TOLERATION BY GALERIUS 311 AD “Christians themselves, for some reason, had followed such a caprice and had fallen into such a folly that they would not obey the institutes of antiquity,” “Finally when our law had been promulgated to the effect that they should conform to the institutes of antiquity, many were subdued by the fear of danger, many even suffered death” “But we shall tell the magistrates in another letter what they ought to do.” The Edict of Milan 313 AD :  The Edict of Milan 313 AD Constantine Augustus and Licinius Augustus “might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us” “now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation” “In all these circumstances you ought to tender your most efficacious intervention to the community of the Christians, that our command may be carried into effect as quickly as possible, whereby, moreover, through our clemency, public order may be secured.” A new sense of spirituality, history, and development of theology:  A new sense of spirituality, history, and development of theology Eusebius of Caesarea writes “The Church History” (ca 320 AD) Church of the holy sepulcher built (inspired by Helen mother of Constantine, both are saints in the Greek Orthodox calendar) Collection of relics from Jerusalem (Helen finds parts of the True Cross) Bordeaux Itinerary 313AD :  Bordeaux Itinerary 313AD The earliest first hand description of the Holy Land. Total distance traveled 5000 miles “There are two statues of Hadrian, and not far from the statues there is a perforated stone, to which the Jews come every year and anoint it, bewail themselves with groans, rend their garments, and so depart” “There by the orders of Constantine a basilica of wondrous beauty has been built. Not far from thence is the little hill which the Lord ascended to pray, when he took Peter and John with Him, and Moses and Elias were beheld” St Antony Father of Monasticism (251-356):  St Antony Father of Monasticism (251-356) Born wealthy Life was changed when he heard the reading of Luke 18:22 “sell all that you have…and come, follow me” Lived in caves and tombs battling the devil and demons Athanasius wrote his biography “The Life of Antony” Biography translated into Latin, influences Augustine Simeon Stylites 390-459AD  :  Simeon Stylites 390-459AD   Debate over the nature of God and Christ:  Debate over the nature of God and Christ Homoousios : same (homo) ousios (nature) orthodox view-Anthanasius Homoiousios: similar nature, moderate view-Eusebius of Caesarea Heteroousios: different nature-Arius presbyter of Alexandria (majority view) Council of Nicea:  Council of Nicea Called by Constantine because of the “Arian Controversy” Arian popularized his theology in “the tralia” a medley of poems that were sung…not extant today…mentioned in the writing of Athanasius Settled minor dispute over the date of Christian Passover Nicene Creed…essential wording “true God from true God begotten not made of one substance” “The Teacher of Grace” :  “The Teacher of Grace” Born Tagaste, Numidia (Algeria) 354AD Father sent him to Carthage to learn Rhetoric At one time followed Manichaenism a dualistic eastern religion Also followed Neo Platoism…introduce the idea of a transcendent God to Augustine Baptized in Milan 387 by Ambrose, heard a child's voice saying “take it and read” opened Bible at random to Romans 13:13 Opposed Pelagianism: similar to Arminianism but says that man is good but becomes sinful thru bad examples (pelagius a British monk promoted a sinless life thru good deeds and asceticism) Wrote a treatise on Grace and Free will considered to be the “teacher of Grace” and an early reformer Died in Hippo while city was under siege by the Vandals 430AD His death closed the classical era and shaped Church history to the birth of Martin Luther 1483AD

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