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Overview of Second Century Christianity - Essay Example

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The second Century was of critical importance in the history of the church. The last surviving apostle with direct contact to Jesus had passed away in Anatolia in AD100. The church was spreading, structures were changing. It was time for an acid test for this new faith, as it’s leadership was passing hands to a generation, which had not heard and seen Jesus first hand…
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Download file to see previous pages One of great import was the communicatio idiomatum. What were the scriptures and how were they to be interpreted and understood was such a vital question. Many solutions were being out forward and the church fathers of this period had had to propose and refute. The senses of scripture emerged and became part of interpretive strategy but not without their own specific problems. The influence of the Greek and platonic times were still evident in society and was making their impact felt even in the Christian faith. Gnosticism would emerge and be dealt with but never with complete success. The church continued to grow and with the passing of time the various councils began to play a critical role in the defense of authentic faith, and the role of liturgies would become invaluable. Christianity, which started as a first century Jewish cult spread rapidly over the Greco-Roman world. Its early period can be divided into two definite phases. First is the apostolic period. The Post Apostolic period stretched from the late first century until the Council of Nicaea in 325. The area of our focus namely the 2nd century fits into the Post Apostolic period. This was also known as the Ante Nicene period. ...
Pauline Christianity and Gnostic Christianity flourished. This century presented challenges to the church fathers in terms of persecution, doctrinal conflicts other than the very challenge of authoritatively and resolutely continuing the great commission in the absence of the apostles. What was the need for communicatio idiomatum? One of the functions of Bishops during this period was to refute heresies. These heresies were largely Christological. They had a problem understanding the mystery of Christ being divine as well as human. For instance Docetism believed that Jesus’s humanity was an illusion, which was refuted by Ignatius of Antioch in AD 110. “Many groups were dualistic, maintaining that reality was composed into two radically opposing parts: matter, usually seen as evil, and spirit, seen as good. Orthodox Christianity, on the other hand, held that both the material and spiritual worlds were created by God and were therefore both good, and that this was represented in the unified divine and human natures of Christ.”1 These arose due to the mystery of Christ. Theologians assign the name mystery to revealed truths that are beyond the power of natural understanding. The earliest of Christians grappled with the mystery of the nature of Christ and the Gnostics of the 2nd century had a real issue with this. The fact that one person can have two natures is problematic. Terminology is a culprit. There is terminology for being divine and there is terminology for being human but no terminology for being both at the same time. Theological language of that day was insufficient for this purpose. The easiest of explanations is to say that he sometimes acted as a human and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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