Constantine burning Arian books, illustration from a compendium of canon law, c. Traditionally in Christianity, orthodoxy and heresy have been viewed in relation to the “orthodoxy” as an authentic lineage of tradition. Other forms of Introduction to christian theology pdf were viewed as deviant streams of thought and therefore “heterodox”, or heretical.

One of the discussions among scholars of early Christianity in the past century is to what extent it is appropriate to speak of “orthodoxy” and “heresy”. Higher criticism drastically altered the previous perception that heresy was a very rare exception to the orthodoxy. The Adoptionist view was later developed by adherents of the form of Monarchianism that is represented by Theodotus of Byzantium and Paul of Samosata. Jesus is the eternal Word, and it was declared a heresy at the end of the 2nd century. Arianism, declared by the Council of Nicaea to be heresy, denied the full divinity of Jesus Christ, and is so called after its leader Arius.

It has been called the most challenging heresy in the history of the Church. Arius, born probably in Libya between c. 260 and 280, was ordained a priest in Alexandria in 312-313. Arius appears to have held that the “Son of God” was not eternal but created by the Father as an instrument for creating the world and therefore not God by nature, different from other creatures in being the one direct creation of God. This council marks the end of the Early Christian period and the beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils.

Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not physically die. Jewish Christians who flourished in the early centuries of Christianity, especially east of the Jordan. Several distinct religious sects, some of them Christian, adhered to an array of beliefs that would later be termed Gnostic. Gnostic church in Rome and developed an elaborate cosmology. Gnostics identified the God of the Hebrew Bible as this demiurge. While there appear to be Gnostic elements in some early Christian writing, Irenaeus and others condemned Gnosticism as a heresy, rejecting its dualistic cosmology and vilification of the material world and the creator of that world. Gnostics thought the God of the Old Testament was not the true God.

The Gospel of John, according to Stephen L Harris, both includes Gnostic elements and refutes Gnostic beliefs, presenting a dualistic universe of light and dark, spirit and matter, good and evil, much like the Gnostic accounts, but instead of escaping the material world, Jesus bridges the spiritual and physical worlds. The Gospel of Thomas, it is often claimed, has some Gnostic elements but lacks the full Gnostic cosmology. However, even the description of these elements as “gnostic” is based mainly upon the presupposition that the text as a whole is a “gnostic” gospel, and this idea itself is based upon little other than the fact that it was found along with gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi. Some believe that Gnostic Christianity was a later development, some time around the middle or late 2nd century, around the time of Valentinus. Gnosticism was in turn made up of many smaller groups, some of which did not claim any connection to Jesus Christ. In 144, the Church in Rome expelled Marcion of Sinope.

He thereupon set up his own separate ecclesiastical organization, later called Marcionism. Like the Gnostics, he promoted dualism. From the perspectives of Tertullian and Epiphanius it appeared that Marcion rejected the non-Lukan gospels, however, in Marcion’s time, it may be that the only gospel he was familiar with from Pontus was the gospel of Luke. Marcion argued that Christianity should be solely based on Christian Love. He went so far as to say that Jesus’ mission was to overthrow Demiurge—the fickle, cruel, despotic God of the Old Testament—and replace Him with the Supreme God of Love whom Jesus came to reveal.

Marcion was labeled a gnostic by Irenaeus. About 156, Montanus launched a ministry of prophecy, criticizing Christians as increasingly worldly and bishops as increasingly autocratic. Traveling in his native Anatolia, he and two women preached a return to primitive Christian simplicity, prophecy, celibacy, and asceticism. The sect’s ecstasy, speaking in tongues, and other details are similar to those found in modern Pentecostalism. Roberts, Manuscript, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt pp. Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity, Harvest House Publishers, 2008 P. Hans Lietzmann, The Founding of the Church Universal: A History of the Early Church, Vol 2, READ BOOKS PUB, 2008 pp.

Ehrman, Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code, p. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition, Wm. Pierson Parker, A Basis for the Gospel According to the Hebrews, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. Irenaeus gives us further insight into the date of this gospel by explaining, “Matthew also issued a written Gospel of the Hebrews in their own language while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the Church. Bart Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Oxford University Press US, 1996 p.

Rick Richardson, Origins of Our Faith: The Hebrew Roots of Christianity, Trafford Publishing, 2003 p. Excerpts from the Gospel of the Ebionites. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Understanding the Bible, Stephen L Harris. The Community of the Beloved Disciple, Raymond E. The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Wisdom, 1983, p. No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins, Carl B.

Handbook of Classical and Modern Mandaic. The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origins, Developments and Significance. Marcion and Marcionite Gnosticism”, Cky J. The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 characterized Marcion as “perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known. The Romans: From Village to Empire. Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity, Londra, SCM Press, 1990. Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways, A.

Catholicity and Heresy in the Early Church. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Hartog Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christian Contexts. Christianity in the Second Century: The Case of Tatian.