Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st-century Judea, most between AD 30 and 33. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, although there is no consensus among historians on the exact details. According to the canonical gospels, Jesus was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink after saying I am thirsty, he was hung between two convicted thieves and, according to the Gospel of Mark, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was written in three languages, they divided his garments among themselves and cast lots for his seamless robe, according to the Gospel of John.
According to the Gospel of John after Jesus' death, one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died blood and water gushed from the wound. The Bible describes seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, as well as several supernatural events that occurred. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion are the central aspects of Christian theology concerning the doctrines of salvation and atonement; the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion are considered to be two certain facts about Jesus. James Dunn states that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command universal assent" and "rank so high on the'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus. Bart Ehrman states that the crucifixion of Jesus on the orders of Pontius Pilate is the most certain element about him. John Dominic Crossan states that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.
Eddy and Boyd state that it is now "firmly established" that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Craig Blomberg states that most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable. Christopher M. Tuckett states that, although the exact reasons for the death of Jesus are hard to determine, one of the indisputable facts about him is that he was crucified. While scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it. For example, both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a "church creation". Geza Vermes views the crucifixion as a historical event but provides his own explanation and background for it. John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that, based on the criterion of embarrassment, Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.
Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation and the criterion of coherence help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event. Although all ancient sources relating to crucifixion are literary, the 1968 archeological discovery just northeast of Jerusalem of the body of a crucified man dated to the 1st century provided good confirmatory evidence that crucifixions occurred during the Roman period according to the manner in which the crucifixion of Jesus is described in the gospels; the crucified man was identified as Yehohanan ben Hagkol and died about 70 AD, around the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome. The analyses at the Hadassah Medical School estimated. Another relevant archaeological find, which dates to the 1st century AD, is an unidentified heel bone with a spike discovered in a Jerusalem gravesite, now held by the Israel Antiquities Authority and displayed in the Israel Museum; the earliest detailed accounts of the death of Jesus are contained in the four canonical gospels.
There are other, more implicit references in the New Testament epistles. In the synoptic gospels, Jesus predicts his death in three separate places. All four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, initial trial at the Sanhedrin and final trial at Pilate's court, where Jesus is flogged, condemned to death, is led to the place of crucifixion carrying his cross before Roman soldiers induce Simon of Cyrene to carry it, Jesus is crucified and resurrected from the dead, his death is described as other books of the New Testament. In each Gospel these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an hour-by-hour account of what is happening. After arriving at Golgotha, Jesus was offered wine mixed with gall to drink. Matthew's and Mark's Gospels record, he was crucified and hung between two convicted thieves. According to some translations of the original Greek, the thieves may have been bandits or Jewish rebels.
According to Mark's Gospel, he endured the torment of crucifixion for some six hours from the third hour, at 9 am, until his death at the ninth hour, corresponding to about 3 pm. The soldiers affixed a sign above his head stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was in three languages, divided his garments and cast l
Resurrection of Jesus
The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian belief that God raised Jesus from the dead after his crucifixion. According to the Apostle Paul, as stated by Newbigin, "in the ministry and resurrection of Jesus God has acted decisively to reveal and effect his purpose of redemption for the whole world." According to the Bible, "God raised him from the dead", he ascended to heaven, to the "right hand of God", will return again to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and establishment of the Kingdom of God. The earliest surviving Christian writings are the letters of Paul, written between 50-57 AD. In one of these, his First Epistle to the Corinthians, he passes on what he has been told of how, after his death and burial, the resurrected Jesus appeared to Peter to "the Twelve," to five hundred followers to James to "all the Apostles." He claims that Jesus subsequently appeared to him in the same way he did to the others, in 2 Corinthians 12 he tells of "a man in Christ who... was caught up to the third heaven", while the language is obscure it is plausible that he saw Jesus enthroned at the right hand of God.
In the Epistle to the Philippians he describes how the body of the resurrected Christ is utterly different to the one he wore when he had "the appearance of a man," and holds out a similar glorified state, when Christ "will transform our lowly body," as the goal of the Christian life - "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," and Christians entering the kingdom will be "putting off the body of the flesh". According to N. T. Wright in his book The Resurrection of the Son of God, "There can be no question: Paul is a firm believer in bodily resurrection, he stands with his fellow Jews against the massed ranks of pagans. Habermas argues three facts in support of Paul's belief in a physical resurrection body: Paul is a Pharisee and therefore believes in a physical resurrection. In Philippians 3:11 Paul says "That I may attain to the ek anastasis" from the dead, which according to Habermas means that "What goes down is what comes up". In Philippians 3:20–21 "We look from heaven for Jesus who will change our vile soma to be like unto his soma".
According to Habermas, if Paul meant that we would change into a spiritual body Paul would have used the Greek pneuma instead of soma. According to Gary Habermas, "Many other scholars have spoken in support of a bodily notion of Jesus’ resurrection."Many scholars have contended that in discussion on the resurrection, the apostle Paul refers to a rabbinic style transmission of an early authoritative tradition that he received and has passed on to the church at Corinth. For this and other reasons, it is believed that this creed is of pre-Pauline origin. Geza Vermes writes that the creed is "a tradition he has inherited from his seniors in the faith concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus"; the creed's ultimate origins are within the Jerusalem apostolic community having been formalised and passed on within a few years of the resurrection. Paul Barnett writes that this creedal formula, others, were variants of the "one basic early tradition that Paul "received" in Damascus from Ananias in about 34 " after his conversion.
All four gospels climax with the resurrection, preparing the reader by having Jesus predict it, or through allusions that only the reader will understand. The moment of resurrection is not described; the body of Jesus was buried in a new tomb by Joseph of Arimathea in accordance with Mosaic Law, which stated that a person hanged on a tree must not be allowed to remain there at night, but should be buried before sundown. When women followers of Jesus came to the tomb early on the third day they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. An angel told them that they should inform the remaining disciples. In Matthew and John, although not in Mark, the resurrection announcement is followed by post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to his followers - the number and location of these varies, from a single appearance in Galilee in Matthew to several appearances in Jerusalem in Luke to appearances in both Jerusalem and Galillee in John; the Apostle Paul records a series of post-resurrection appearances, the last being to himself - an appearance to Paul is recorded in detail in Acts, but it differs from that in the Pauline epistles.
These end with the ascension of Jesus to heaven - this is assumed in all the gospels and in other New Testament literature but described only in Acts, where it prepares the reader for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and for the missionary task of the early church. Paul's proof of the resurrection is the appearances of the risen Lord to himself. At some point such appearances ceased - after a single day according to Luke, after forty according to Acts, although the Paul's experience was many years after that. In any event, the end of personal appearances meant that for the gospel-authors alternative proofs were needed; these were found in the narratives of the empty tomb, angelic announcement, witnesses to post-resurrection appearances on Earth rather than in heaven. In the process they moved from a Jewish to a Hellenistic and Roman paradigm in which Jesus dies and is buried, his body disappears, he returns in an immortalised physical body, able to appear and disappear at will like a
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. The term Ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history; the ecumenical patriarchs in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and the resolution of various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages they played a major role in the affairs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in the politics of the Orthodox world, in spreading Christianity among the Slavs. In addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and the Eastern Orthodox doctrine, the patriarchs are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of Orthodox Christian traditions.
Within the five apostolic sees of the Pentarchy, the Ecumenical Patriarch is regarded as the successor of Andrew the Apostle. The current holder of the office is Bartholomew I, the 270th bishop of that see; the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is first among equals, or first in honor among all Eastern Orthodox bishops, who presides in person—or through a delegate—over any council of Orthodox primates or bishops in which he takes part and serves as primary spokesman for the Orthodox communion in ecumenical contacts with other Christian denominations. He has no direct jurisdiction over the other patriarchs or the other autocephalous Orthodox churches, but he, alone among his fellow primates, enjoys the right of convening extraordinary synods consisting of them or their delegates to deal with ad hoc situations and has convened well-attended Pan-Orthodox Synods in the last forty years, his unique role sees the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to as the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church in some sources, though this is not an official title of the patriarch nor is it used in scholarly sources on the patriarchate.
The Orthodox Church is decentralized, having no central authority, earthly head or a single Bishop in a leadership role, having synodical system canonically, is distinguished from the hierarchically organized Catholic Church whose doctrine is the papal supremacy. His titles primus inter pares "first among equals" and "Ecumenical Patriarch" are of honor rather than authority and in fact the Ecumenical Patriarch has no real authority over Churches other than the Constantinopolitan; the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is the direct administrative superior of dioceses and archdioceses serving millions of Greek, Ukrainian and Albanian believers in North and South America, Western Europe and New Zealand, Korea, as well as parts of modern Greece which, for historical reasons, do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Church of Greece. The Orthodox Church in America, while acknowledging the Ecumenical Patriarch's role in "guiding and preserving the worldwide unity of the family of self-governing Orthodox Churches" emphasizes that he carries no sacramental or juridical power over bishops outside of his own Patriarchate, further states that "it is possible that in the future this function may pass to some other church."His actual position is Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, one of the fourteen autocephalous and several autonomous churches and the most senior of the four orthodox ancient primatial sees among the five patriarchal Christian centers comprising the ancient Pentarchy of the undivided Church.
In his role as head of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, he holds the title Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is sometimes called the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople to distinguish him from the Armenian Patriarchate and the extinct Latin Patriarchate, created after the Latin capture of Constantinople in 1204, during the Fourth Crusade; the see of Byzantium, whose foundation was ascribed to Andrew the Apostle, was a common bishopric. It gained importance when Emperor Constantine elevated Byzantium to a second capital alongside Rome and named it Constantinople; the see's ecclesiastical status as the second of five Patriarchates were developed by the Ecumenical Councils of Constantinople in 381 and Chalcedon in 451. The Turkish government recognizes him as the spiritual leader of the Greek minority in Turkey, refer to him as the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Fener; the Patriarch was subject to the authority of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, until the declaration of Turkish Republic in 1923.
Today, according to Turkish law, he is subject to the authority of the state of Turkey and is required to be a citizen of Turkey to be Patriarch. The Patriarch of Constantinople has been dubbed the Ecumenical Patriarch since the 6th century; the exact significance of the style, used for other prelates since the middle of the 5th century, is nowhere defined but, according to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, the title has been criticized in the Catholic Church as incompatible with its own claims by the Holy See. The monastic communities of Mount Athos are stauropegic and are directly under the jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarch, the only bishop with jur
History of Eastern Orthodox theology
The history of Eastern Orthodox Christian theology begins with the life of Jesus and the forming of the Christian Church. Major events include the Chalcedonian schism with the Oriental Orthodox miaphysites, the Iconoclast controversy, the Photian schism, the Great Schism between East and West, the Hesychast controversy; the period after the Second World War saw a re-engagement with the Greek, more Syriac, Fathers that included a rediscovery of the theological works of St. Gregory Palamas, which has resulted in a renewal of Orthodox theology in the 20th and 21st centuries; the Orthodox Church considers itself to be the original church started by his apostles. For the early years of the church, much of what was conveyed to its members was in the form of oral teachings. Within a short period of time traditions were established to reinforce these teachings; the Orthodox Church asserts to have been careful in preserving these traditions. When questions of belief or new concepts arise, the Church always refers back to the primitive faith.
They see the Bible as a collection of inspired texts that sprang out of this tradition, not the other way around. The Bible has come to be a important part of "Tradition", but not the only part; the Orthodox Church has always recognized the gradual development in the complexity of the articulation of the Church's teachings. It does not, believe that truth changes and therefore always supports its previous beliefs all the way back to the direct teachings from the Apostles; the Church understands that not everything is clear. It is this contention; the Church sees this as the action of the Holy Spirit on history to manifest truth to man. The Church is unwavering in upholding its dogmatic teachings, but does not insist upon those matters of faith which have not been defined; the Orthodox believe. Individuals are permitted to hold theologoumena so long as they do not contradict traditional Orthodox teaching. Sometimes, various Holy Fathers may have contradictory opinions about a certain question, where no consensus exists, the individual is free to follow his conscience.
Tradition includes the Nicene Creed, the decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the writings the Church Fathers, as well as Orthodox laws, liturgical books and icons, etc. In defense of the extra-biblical tradition, the Orthodox Church quotes Paul: "Therefore, stand fast, hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by our spoken word, or by our epistle.". The Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Spirit works through history to manifest truth to the Church, that He weeds out falsehood in order that the Truth may be recognised more fully. Eastern Orthodox Church Orthodoxy interprets truth based on three witnesses: the consensus of the Holy Fathers of the Church; the consensus of the Church over time defines its catholicity—that, believed at all times by the entire Church. Those who disagree with that consensus are not accepted as authentic "Fathers." All theological concepts must be in agreement with that consensus. Those considered to be authentic "Fathers" may have some theological opinions that are not universally shared, but are not thereby considered heretical.
Some Holy Fathers have made statements that were defined as heretical, but their mistakes do not exclude them from position of authority. Thus an Orthodox Christian is not bound to agree with every opinion of every Father, but rather with the consensus of the Fathers, only on those matters about which the church is dogmatic; some of the greatest theologians in the history of the church come from the fourth century, including the Cappadocian Fathers and the Three Hierarchs. However, the Orthodox do not consider the "Patristic era" to be a thing of the past, but that it continues in an unbroken succession of enlightened teachers from the Apostles to the present day. Christianity first spread in the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire; the Apostles traveled extensively throughout the Empire, establishing communities in major cities and regions, see Early centers of Christianity, with the first community appearing in Jerusalem, Antioch and others, the two political centers of Rome and Greece and later Byzantium which became Constantinople.
Orthodoxy believes in the apostolic succession, established by the Apostles in the New Testament. The word "church" did not mean a building, but a community or gathering of like-minded people; the earliest forms of Christianity were Greek as contemporary ecclesiastical historian Henry Ha
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome, it was an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture"; the Hagia Sophia construction consists of masonry. The structure is composed of mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. The mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces displaced evenly throughout the mortar joints; this combination of sand and ceramic pieces could be considered to be the equivalent of modern concrete at the time. From the date of its construction's completion in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.
The building was converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935, it remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the prior one having been destroyed by rioters in the Nika Revolt, it was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Anthemius of Tralles. The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia, sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".
The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius communicated by Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act, considered the start of the East–West Schism. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose; the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints, angels were destroyed or plastered over.
Islamic features – such as the mihrab and four minarets – were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, it was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015. From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul; the Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex. On 24 March 2019, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Hagia Sophia is to be reverted to a mosque; the first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία, or in Latin Magna Ecclesia, because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.
Inaugurated on 15 February 360 by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire. Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, working on it in 346. A tradition, not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great. Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed. Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter; the edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium, it was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.
The Patriarch of Constantinople John
Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church is held to be derived from the apostles by a continuous succession, associated with a claim that the succession is through a series of bishops. This series was seen as that of the bishops of a particular see founded by one or more of the apostles. According to historian Justo L. González, apostolic succession is understood today as meaning a series of bishops, regardless of see, each consecrated by other bishops, themselves consecrated in a succession going back to the apostles. According to the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, "apostolic succession" means more than a mere transmission of powers, it is succession in a Church which witnesses to the apostolic faith, in communion with the other Churches, witnesses of the same apostolic faith. The "see plays an important role in inserting the bishop into the heart of ecclesial apostolicity", once ordained, the bishop becomes in his Church the guarantor of apostolicity and becomes a successor of the apostles.
Those who hold for the importance of apostolic succession via episcopal laying on of hands appeal to the New Testament, they say, implies a personal apostolic succession. They appeal as well to other documents of the early Church the Epistle of Clement. In this context, Clement explicitly states that the apostles appointed bishops as successors and directed that these bishops should in turn appoint their own successors. Further, proponents of the necessity of the personal apostolic succession of bishops within the Church point to the universal practice of the undivided early Church, before being divided into the Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Christians of the Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Anglican and Scandinavian Lutheran traditions maintain that "a bishop cannot have regular or valid orders unless he has been consecrated in this apostolic succession." Each of these groups does not consider consecration of the other groups as valid.
However, some Protestants deny the need for this type of continuity, the historical claims involved have been questioned by them. Jay comments that the account given of the emergence of the episcopate in chapter III of the encyclical Lumen Gentium "is sketchy, many ambiguities in the early history of the Christian ministry are passed over". Michael Ramsey, an English Anglican bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury, described three meanings of "apostolic succession": One bishop succeeding another in the same see meant that there was a continuity of teaching: "while the Church as a whole is the vessel into which the truth is poured, the Bishops are an important organ in carrying out this task"; the bishops were successors of the apostles in that "the functions they performed of preaching and ordaining were the same as the Apostles had performed". It is used to signify that "grace is transmitted from the Apostles by each generation of bishops through the imposition of hands", he adds that this last has been controversial in that it has been claimed that this aspect of the doctrine is not found before the time of Augustine of Hippo, while others allege that it is implicit in the Church of the second and third centuries.
In its 1982 statement on Baptism and Ministry, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches stated that "the primary manifestation of apostolic succession is to be found in the apostolic tradition of the Church as a whole.... Under the particular historical circumstances of the growing Church in the early centuries, the succession of bishops became one of the ways, together with the transmission of the Gospel and the life of the community, in which the apostolic tradition of the Church was expressed." It spoke of episcopal succession as something that churches that do not have bishops can see "as a sign, though not a guarantee, of the continuity and unity of the Church" and that all churches can see "as a sign of the apostolicity of the life of the whole church". The Porvoo Common Statement, agreed to by the Anglican churches of the British Isles and most of the Lutheran churches of Scandinavia and the Baltic, echoed the Munich and Finland statements of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church by stating that "the continuity signified in the consecration of a bishop to episcopal ministry cannot be divorced from the continuity of life and witness of the diocese to which he is called."Some Anglicans, in addition to other Protestants, held that apostolic succession "may be understood as a continuity in doctrinal teaching from the time of the apostles to the present."
For example, the British Methodist Conference locates the "true continuity" with the Church of past ages in "the continuity of Christian experience, the fellowship in the gift of the one Spirit. "To fulfil this apostolic mission, Christ... promised the Holy Spirit to the apostles...". "enriched by Christ the Lord with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit... This spi
History of the Eastern Orthodox Church
The history of the Eastern Orthodox Church is traced back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The Apostles appointed successors, known as bishops, they in turn appointed other bishops in a process known as Apostolic succession. Over time, five Patriarchates were established to organize the Christian world, four of these ancient Patriarchates remain Orthodox today. Orthodox Christianity reached its present form in Late Antiquity, when the Ecumenical Councils were held, doctrinal disputes were resolved, the Fathers of the Church lived and wrote, Orthodox worship practices settled into their permanent form. In the early Middle Ages, Orthodox missionaries spread Christianity towards the north, to the Bulgarians, Serbs and others. Meanwhile, a gradual process of estrangement took place between the four Eastern Patriarchates and the Latin Church of Rome, culminating with the Great Schism in the 11th century, in which Orthodoxy and the Latin Church separated from each other. In the Late Middle Ages, the Fall of Constantinople brought a large part of the world's Orthodox Christians under Ottoman Turkish rule.
Orthodoxy continued to flourish in Russia, as well as within the Ottoman Empire among the latter's Christian subject peoples. As the Ottoman Empire declined in the 19th century and several majority-Orthodox nations regained their independence, they organized a number of new autocephalous Orthodox churches in Southern and Eastern Europe. Four stages of development can be distinguished in the history of the Orthodox Church. Early Christianity, which represents the first three centuries through the early age of Constantine the Great, which changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, constitutes the Apostolic and ancient period; the Byzantine period, beginning with the time of the Ecumenical Councils, comprises over eleven centuries from the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Ottoman period starts for the Greek and Balkan communities in the fifteenth century with the Fall of Constantinople, ends about the year 1830, which marks Greek and Serbian independence from the Ottoman Empire.
The last stage is the modern period. The Orthodox jurisdictions with the largest number of adherents in modern times are the Russian, the Ethiopian, the Romanian Orthodox churches; the most ancient of the Orthodox communities existing today are the churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Armenia and Ethiopia. Christianity first spread in the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire; the Apostles traveled extensively throughout the empire, establishing communities in major cities and regions, with the first community appearing in Jerusalem, followed by communities in Antioch and others. Early growth occurred in the two political centers of Rome and Greece, as well as in Byzantium. Orthodoxy believes in the apostolic succession that they believe was established by the Apostles in the New Testament; the word "church" did not mean a building or housing structure but meant a community or gathering of like peoples. The earliest Ecclesiology would posit that the Eucharistic assembly, under the authority and permission of a Bishop, is what constitutes a Church.
As St. Ignatius of Antioch said, "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude be, it is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast."The original church or community of the East before the Great Schism comprised: the Greek churches founded by Saint Paul the Antiochian and Asia Minor churches founded by Saint Peter the Coptic churches founded by Saint Mark the Syriac churches in Upper Mesopotamia the Georgian church, traditionally founded by Saint Andrew and Saint Nino the Armenian church, traditionally founded by Saint Jude and Saint Bartholomew the church of Jerusalem, founded by Saint James, as well as the churches of Samaria and Judea, together comprising "the Holy Land". The church of Rome by tradition was founded by both Saint Saint Paul. Systematic persecution of the early Christian church caused it to become an underground movement.
The first above-ground legal churches were built in Armenia. Armenia became the first country to legalize Christianity under King Tiridates III and embrace it as the state religion in 310 AD. However, illegal churches before "Christian legalization" are mentioned throughout church history. Of the underground churches that existed before legalization, some are recorded to have existed in the catacombs of Europe i.e. Catacombs of Rome and in Greece and in the underground cities of Anatolia such as Derinkuyu Underground City. Noteworthy are the Church of St Peter in Antioch and the Cenacle in Jerusalem. Much of the official organizing of the ecclesiastical