Early Christianity had its roots in Hellenistic Judaism and Jewish messianism of the first century and Jewish Christians were the first Christians. Christianity started with Jewish eschatological expectations, developed into the veneration of a deified Jesus after his earthly ministry, his crucifixion, post–crucifixion experiences of his followers; the inclusion of gentiles led to a growing split between gentile Christianity. From the latter arose "orthodox" Christianity, while the former developed into Rabbinic Judaism. Jewish Christians drifted apart from mainstream Judaism becoming a minority strand which had disappeared by the fifth century; the split of Christianity and Judaism took place during the first centuries CE. While the First Jewish–Roman War and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE were main events, the separation was a long-term process, in which the boundaries were not clear-cut; the term "Jewish Christian" appears in historical texts contrasting Christians of Jewish origin with Gentile Christians, both in discussion of the New Testament church and the second and following centuries.
It is a term used for Jews who converted to Christianity but kept their Jewish heritage and traditions. Christianity arose in the syncretistic Hellenistic world of the first century CE, dominated by Roman law and Greek culture. Hellenistic culture had a profound impact on the customs and practices of Jews, both in the Land of Israel and in the Diaspora; the inroads into Judaism gave rise to Hellenistic Judaism in the Jewish diaspora which sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism. Hellenistic Judaism spread to Ptolemaic Egypt from the 3rd century BCE, became a notable religio licita after the Roman conquest of Greece, Syria and Egypt, until its decline in the 3rd century parallel to the rise of Gnosticism and Early Christianity. According to Burton Mack, the Christian vision of Jesus' death for the redemption of mankind was only possible in a Hellenised milieu. During the early first century CE there were many competing Jewish sects in the Holy Land, those that became Rabbinic Judaism and Proto-orthodox Christianity were but two of these.
There were Pharisees and Zealots, but other less influential sects, including the Essenes. The first century BCE and first century CE saw a growing number of charismatic religious leaders contributing to what would become the Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism. Although the gospels contain strong condemnations of the Pharisees, Paul the Apostle claimed to be a Pharisee, there is a clear influence of Hillel's interpretation of the Torah in the Gospel-sayings. Belief in the resurrection of the dead in the messianic age was a core Pharisaic doctrine. Most of Jesus's teachings were acceptable in terms of Second Temple Judaism. While Christianity acknowledges only one ultimate Messiah, Judaism can be said to hold to a concept of multiple messiahs; the two most relevant are the traditional Messiah ben David. Some scholars have argued that the idea of two messiahs, one suffering and the second fulfilling the traditional messianic role, was normative to ancient Judaism, predating Jesus. Jesus would have been viewed by many as both.
Jewish messianism has its root in the apocalyptic literature of the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE, promising a future "anointed" leader or Messiah to resurrect the Israelite "Kingdom of God", in place of the foreign rulers of the time. According to Shaye J. D. Cohen, Jesus's failure to establish an independent Israel, his death at the hands of the Romans, caused many Jews to reject him as the Messiah. Jews at that time were expecting a military leader such as Bar Kohhba. Jesus was a pious Jew, worshipping the Jewish God, preaching interpretations of Jewish law and accepted as the Jewish Messiah by his disciples. Proponents of higher criticism claim that regardless of how one interprets the mission of Jesus, that he must be understood in context as a 1st-century Palestinian Jew. There is widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, on the meaning of his teachings. Scholars draw a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, two different accounts can be found in this regard.
According to Christian denominations the bodily resurrection of Jesus after his death is the pivotal event of Jesus' life and death, as described in the gospels and the epistles. According to the gospels, written decades after the events of his life, Jesus preached for a period of one to three years in the early 1st century, his ministry of teaching, healing the sick and disabled and performing various miracles culminated in his crucifixion at the hands of the Roman authorities in Jerusalem. After his death, he appeared to his followers, resurrected from death. After forty days he ascended to Heaven, but his followers believed he would soon return to usher in the Kingdom of God and fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment. Critical scholarship has stripped away most narratives about Jesus as legendary, the mainstream historical view is that while the gospels include many legendary elements, these are religious elaborations added to the accounts of a historical Jesus, crucified under the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in the 1st-century Roman province of Judea.
His remaining disciples believed that he was resurrected. Five portraits of the historical Jesus ar
Heresy in Christianity
Heresy in Christianity denotes the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches. In Western Christianity, heresy most refers to those beliefs which were declared to be anathema by any of the ecumenical councils recognized by the Catholic Church. In the East, the term "heresy" is eclectic and can refer to anything at variance with Church tradition. Since the Great Schism and the Protestant Reformation, various Christian churches have used the concept in proceedings against individuals and groups deemed to be heretical by those churches; the study of heresy requires an understanding of the development of orthodoxy and the role of creeds in the definition of orthodox beliefs, since heresy is always defined in relation to orthodoxy. Orthodoxy has been in the process of self-definition for centuries, defining itself in terms of its faith, changing or clarifying beliefs in opposition to people or doctrines that are perceived as incorrect.
The word "orthodoxy" comes from Greek ὀρθοδοξία orthodoxía "right opinion". The word "heresy" comes from haeresis, a Latin transliteration of the Greek word meaning choosing, course of action, or in an extended sense school of thought eventually came to denote warring factions and the party spirit by the first century; the word appears in the New Testament and was appropriated by the Church to mean a sect or division that threatened the unity of Christians. Heresy became regarded as a departure from orthodoxy, a sense in which heterodoxy was in Christian use soon after the year 100; the first known usage of the term'heresy' in a civil legal context was in 380 by the "Edict of Thessalonica" of Theodosius I. Prior to the issuance of this edict, the Church had no state-sponsored support for any particular legal mechanism to counter what it perceived as'heresy'. Orthodoxy is adherence to correct or accepted creeds in religion. Heresy is used today with reference to in Christianity denotes the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches.
It should be distinguished from both apostasy and schism, apostasy being nearly always total abandonment of the Christian faith after it has been accepted, schism being a formal and deliberate breach of Christian unity and an offence against charity without being based on doctrine. Since the time of the apostles, the term anathema has come to mean a form of extreme religious sanction beyond excommunication, known as major excommunication; the earliest recorded instance of the form is in the Council of Elvira, thereafter it became the common method of cutting off heretics. In the fifth century, a formal distinction between anathema and excommunication evolved, where excommunication entailed cutting off a person or group from the rite of Eucharist and attendance at worship, while anathema meant a complete separation of the subject from the Church; the development of doctrine, the position of orthodoxy, the relationship between the early Church and early heretical groups is a matter of academic debate.
Walter Bauer, in his Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, proposed that in earliest Christianity and heresy did not stand in relation to one another as primary to secondary, but in many regions heresy was the original manifestation of Christianity. Bauer reassessed as a historian the overwhelmingly dominant view that for the period of Christian origins, ecclesiastical doctrine represented what is primary, while heresies, on the other hand somehow are a deviation from the genuine. Scholars such as Pagels and Ehrman have built on Bauer's original thesis. Drawing upon distinctions between Jewish Christians, Gentile Christians, other groups such as Gnostics and Marcionites, they argue that early Christianity was fragmented, with contemporaneous competing orthodoxies. Ehrman's view is that while the specifics of Bauer's demonstration were rejected, his intuitions are broadly accepted by scholars and got confirmed beyond what Bauer might have guessed. According to H. E. W. Turner, responding to Bauer's thesis in 1954, "what became official orthodoxy was taught early on by the majority of church teachers, albeit not in developed form."
According to Darrell Bock, a Christian apologist, Bauer's theory does not show an equality between the established church and outsiders including Simon Magus. According to Mitchell et al. each early Christian community was unique, but the tenets of the mainstream or Catholic Church insured that each early Christian community did not remain isolated. G. K. Chesterton, in his book Orthodoxy, asserts that there have been substantial disagreements about faith from the time of the New Testament and Jesus, but that the Apostles all argued against changing the teachings of Christ, as did the earliest church fathers including Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and Polycarp; the Ante-Nicene period saw the rise of a great number of Christian sects and movements with strong unifying characteristics lacking in the apostolic period. They had different interpretations of Scripture the divinity of Jesus and the nature of the Trinity; some of the major sects and movements with different interpretations of Scripture than the Proto-Orthodox church were: Gnosticism – reliance on revealed knowledge from an unknowable God, a distinct divinity from the Demiurge who created and oversees the material world.
Marcionism – the God of Jesus was a different God from the God of the Old Testament. Montanism – relied on prophetic revelations from the Holy Spirit. Adoptionism – Jesus was not born the Son of God, but was
Serapion of Antioch
Serapion was a Patriarch of Antioch. He is known through his theological writings, although all but a few fragments of his works have perished, his feast day is celebrated on October 30. Serapion was considered one of the chief theologians of his era. Eusebius refers to three works of Serapion in his history, but admits that others existed: first is a private letter addressed to Caricus and Pontius against Montanism, from which Eusebius quotes an extract, as well as ascriptions showing that it was circulated amongst bishops in Asia and Thrace. Lastly, Eusebius quotes from a pamphlet Serapion wrote concerning the Docetic Gospel of Peter, in which Serapion presents an argument to the Christian community of Rhossus in Syria against this gospel and condemns it. Eusebius alludes to a number of personal letters Serapion wrote to Pontius and others about this Gospel of Peter. Serapion acted against the influence of Gnosticism in Osroene by consecrating Palut as bishop of Edessa, where Palut addressed the Gnostic tendencies that the churchman Bardesanes was introducing to its Christian community.
He ordained Pantaenus as a Bishop in Edessa. Serapion was succeeded as bishop of Antioch by Asclepiades. Early Christian Writings: Fragments of Serapion of Antioch
The Bibliotheca or Myriobiblos was a ninth-century work of Byzantine Patriarch of Constantinople Photius, dedicated to his brother and composed of 279 reviews of books which he had read. Bibliotheca was not meant to be used as a reference work, but was used as such in the 9th century, is seen as the first Byzantine work that could be called an encyclopedia. Reynolds and Wilson call it "a fascinating production, in which Photius shows himself the inventor of the book-review," and say its "280 sections... vary in length from a single sentence to several pages". The works he notes are Christian and pagan authors from the 5th century BC to his own time in the 9th century AD. Half the books mentioned no longer survive; these would have disappeared in the Sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, in the final Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, or in the following centuries of Ottoman rule, during which wealth and literacy contracted in the subordinate Greek community. Some older scholarship had speculated that Bibliotheca might have been composed in Baghdad at the time of Photius' embassy to the Abbasid court, since many of the mentioned works are cited during the period before Photius, i.e. the so-called Byzantine "Dark Ages,", since it was known that the Abbasids were interested in translating Greek science and philosophy.
However, modern specialists of the period, such as Paul Lemerle, have pointed out that this cannot be the case, since Photius himself states in his preface and postscript to the Bibliotheca that after he was chosen to take part in the embassy, he sent his brother a summary of the works he had read "since the time that I learned how to understand and evaluate literature," i.e. from his youth. A further difficulty with supposing that Bibliotheca was composed during rather than before the embassy, besides Photius' own explicit statement, is that the majority of the works in Bibliotheca are of Christian patristic theology, most of the secular works are histories and works of literature rhetoric, rather than works of philosophy or science, the Abbasids showed no interest in having Greek history or Greek high literature like rhetoric translated, nor were they interested in translating Greek Christian works, their interest in Greek texts was confined exclusively to science and medicine. In fact, "there is no overlap between the inventory of secular works in Photius's Bibliotheca and those works that were translated into Arabic" in the Abbasid period.
Editio princeps: David Hoeschel, Augsburg, 1601. Modern critical edition by R. Henry. Byzantine philosophy Greek Orthodox Christianity History of the Byzantine Empire Photius, Bibliotheca at The Tertullian Project Photius, Bibliotheca
Gospel of John
The Gospel of John is the fourth of the canonical gospels. The work is anonymous, although it identifies an unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved" as the source of its traditions, it is related in style and content to the three Johannine epistles, most scholars treat the four books, along with the Book of Revelation, as a single corpus of Johannine literature, albeit not from the same author. The discourses contained in this gospel seem to be concerned with issues of the church–synagogue debate at the time of composition, it is notable that in John, the community appears to define itself in contrast to Judaism, rather than as part of a wider Christian community. Though Christianity started as a movement within Judaism, it separated from Judaism because of mutual opposition between the two religions; the Gospel of John, the three Johannine epistles, the Book of Revelation, exhibit marked similarities, although more so between the gospel and the epistles than between those and Revelation. Most scholars therefore treat the five as a single corpus of Johannine literature, albeit not from the same author.
The consensus of modern scholars is that the Gospel of John was written in the genre of Greco-Roman biography. John contains many characteristics of those writings belonging to the genre of Greco-Roman biography, a) internally; the gospel of John went through two to three stages, or "editions", before reaching its current form around AD 90–110. It speaks of an unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved" as the source of its traditions, but does not say that he is its author. Christian tradition identified this disciple as the apostle John, but for a variety of reasons the majority of scholars have abandoned this view or hold it only tenuously; the scholarly consensus in the second half of the 20th century was that John was independent of the synoptic gospels, but this agreement broke down in the last decade of the century and there are now many who believe that John did know some version of Mark and Luke, as he shares with them some items of vocabulary and clusters of incidents arranged in the same order.
Key terms from the synoptics, are absent or nearly so, implying that if the author did know those gospels he felt free to write independently. Many incidents in John, such as the wedding in Cana and the encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, are not paralleled in the synoptics, most scholars believe he drew these from an independent source called the "signs gospel", the speeches of Jesus from a second "discourse" source. Most scholars agree; the gospel makes extensive use of the Jewish scriptures. John quotes from them directly, references important figures from them, uses narratives from them as the basis for several of the discourses, but the author was familiar with non-Jewish sources: the Logos of the prologue derives from both the Jewish concept of Lady Wisdom and from the Greek philosophers, while John 6 alludes not only to the exodus but to Greco-Roman mystery cults, while John 4 alludes to Samaritan messianic beliefs. The majority of scholars see four sections in this gospel: a prologue.
The prologue informs readers of the true identity of Jesus: he is the Word of God through whom the world was created and who took on human form. John 1:10-12 outlines the story to follow: Jesus came to the Jews and the Jews rejected him, but "to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God." Jesus is baptised, calls his disciples, begins his earthly ministry. He travels from place to place informing his hearers about God the Father, offering eternal life to all who will believe, performing miracles which are signs of the authenticity of his teachings; this creates tensions with the religious authorities. Jesus prepares the disciples for their coming lives without his physical presence, prays for them and for himself; the scene is thus prepared for the narrative of his passion and resurrection. The section ends with a conclusion on the purpose of the gospel: "that may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, that believing you may have life in his name."
Chapter 21 tells of Jesus' post-resurrection appearance to his disciples in Galilee, the miraculous catch of fish, the prophecy of the crucifixion of Peter, the restoration of Peter, the fate of the Beloved Disciple. The structure is schematic: there are seven "signs" culminating in the raising of Lazarus (foreshadowing t
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
Adam is the name used in the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis and in the Quran for the first man created by God, but it is used in a collective sense as "mankind" and individually as "a human". Biblical Adam is created from adamah, Genesis 1–8 makes considerable play of the bond between them, for Adam is estranged from the earth through his disobedience; the majority view among scholars is that the book of Genesis dates from the Persian period, but the absence from the rest of the Hebrew Bible of all the other characters and incidents mentioned in chapters 1–11 of Genesis, has led a sizable minority to the conclusion that Genesis 1–11 was composed much possibly in the 3rd century BCE. The Bible uses the word אָדָם in all of its senses: collectively, gender nonspecific, male. In Genesis 1:27 "adam" is used in the collective sense, the interplay between the individual "Adam" and the collective "humankind" is a main literary component to the events that occur in the Garden of Eden, the ambiguous meanings embedded throughout the moral and spiritual terms of the narrative reflecting the complexity of the human condition.
Genesis 2:7 is the first verse where "Adam" takes on the sense of an individual man, the context of sex is absent. A recurring literary motif is the bond between Adam and the earth: God creates Adam by molding him out of clay in the final stages of the creation narrative. After the loss of innocence, God curses the earth as punishment for his disobedience. Adam and humanity is cursed to return to the earth from which he was formed; this "earthly" aspect is a component of Adam's identity, Adam's curse of estrangement from the earth seems to describe humankind's divided nature of being earthly yet separated from nature. God himself who took of the dust from all four corners of the earth with each color created Adam therewith, where the soul of Adam is the image of God. Genesis 1 tells of God's creation of the world and its creatures, with humankind as the last of his creatures: "Male and female created He them, blessed them, called their name Adam...". God blesses mankind, commands them to "be fruitful and multiply", gives them "dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth, over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth".
In Genesis 2, God forms "Adam", this time meaning a single male human, out of "the dust of the ground" and "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life". God places this first man in the Garden of Eden, telling him that "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die". God notes that "It is not good that the man should be alone" and brings the animals to Adam, who gives them their names, but among all the animals there was not found a companion for him. God causes a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and forms a woman, Adam awakes and greets her as his helpmate. Genesis 3, the story of the Fall: A serpent persuades the woman to disobey God's command and eat of the tree of knowledge, which gives wisdom. Woman convinces Adam to do whereupon they become conscious of their nakedness, cover themselves, hide from the sight of God. God questions Adam. God passes judgment, first upon the serpent, condemned to go on his belly the woman, condemned to pain in childbirth and subordination to her husband, Adam, condemned to labour on the earth for his food and to return to it on his death.
God expels the man and woman from the garden, lest they eat of the Tree of Life and become immortal. The chiastic structure of the death oracle given to Adam in Genesis 3:19 forms a link between man's creation from "dust" to the "return" of his beginnings. A you return B to the ground C since from it you were taken C' for dust you are B' and to dust A' you will returnGenesis 4 deals with the birth of Adam's sons Cain and Abel and the story of the first murder, followed by the birth of a third son, Seth. Genesis 5, the Book of the Generations of Adam, lists the descendants of Adam from Seth to Noah with their ages at the birth of their first sons and their ages at death; the chapter notes that Adam does not name them. Adam possessed a body of light. According to Jewish mystical tradition the original glory of Adam can be regained through mystical contemplation of God; the rabbis, puzzled by the verse of Genesis 1 which states that God created man and woman together, told that when God created Adam he created a woman from the dust, as he had created Adam, named her Lilith.