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Apostolic Christianity - Research Paper Example

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The apostolic age of Christianity can be defined as the time following Christ’s crucifixion in AD 30 to the death of John the Apostle in AD 115. The early divisions and differences that were exhibited amongst the believers, the persecution that was faced, and the rapid spread of the new faith among both Jew and gentiles…
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Download file to see previous pages As well as being a powerfully important time with respect to the early growth of the Christian faith, this time period is also responsible for providing all of the works of the New Testament. As such, this period is of significant importance both historically and doctrinally as the foundations of Christianity were defined and the early church formed and differentiated itself in many profound ways. However, beyond a merely historical or theological approach, the study of early apostolic Christianity has taken on a greater relevance of late due to the fact that many scholars are arguing for Christianity to return to a more apostolic model such that the very fundamentals of the Christian faith would be preserved in a real and recognizable way.One of the most important aspects of defining and understanding the historical nature in which the early church operated is attempting to understand the way that its structure worked. This is of special consideration for Biblical scholars and theologians who seek to rectify the views of how the individual apostles saw different topics and how they worked to rectify these view within the structure of the early church. In a phrase, the study of this juxtaposition can be called a form of conflict resolution. As certain figures in the early church, notably Peter, were quick to speak and slow to listen, understanding the way in which such figures sought the church’s advice and guidance in seeking to resolve a given issue is of extreme importance (Engelke 2009). This fact is especially important to those that wish to draw a level of inference to the current time, as well as the current individual, with respect to how issues are brought in line with the church by way of the scriptures.
As such, understanding the actions, decisions, theology, and conflicts/resolutions that occurred in the early church is a fundamental way in which individuals and theologians can work to understand parallels in the way in which current church doctrines coalesce with those that were implemented and practiced by the early church. Several distinct schools of thought exist with relation to this. As described by Alistair McGrath in his book Single Source Tradition, these methods of interpretation include: single-source tradition, dual source tradition, and a total rejection of tradition (McGrath 1999). As the title of the book implies, McGrath focuses on the single-source tradition as a means of explicating and understanding the way in which the early church operated. Such single-source tradition relies on an understanding of the apostolic Christianity and the traditions that the apostles practiced as a way to contextualize and understand certain precepts and meanings from a theological point of view. Such a historically relevant theological approach demands that the user understand key concepts, beliefs and historical factors as a means of implementing these to better the Christian experience currently. As such, one of the most interesting components of such a means of analysis is not the fact that it places theological research within the context of history but it necessarily requires the current church and individual to reacquaint himself/herself with the fundamental ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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