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CH101 - The First Century

The Primitive Church - 30 - 100 A.D.

Outline
Greeks - Seleucids - Romans
Hellenization & Maccabean Revolt
Introduction - Primitive Christianity
The Initial "Jesus" Movement
Christianity in Conflict
Outreach to the Gentiles
Conversion of the Apostle Paul
 
Jerusalem Council
James, brother of Jesus
The beginning of persecution
The destruction of the Temple
Post-Apostolic writings
New Testament Canon, Part 1
New Testament Canon, Part 2

Post-Apostolic writings
There is another set of early Christian writings that show us this continued movement away from first century Judaism. These writings are referred to as "The Apostolic Fathers." Although a slightly confusing designation, these are documents written by the first generation of Christian leadership after the apostles, thus the term "fathers." These documents give us a glimpse into how the church continued to develop after the account in Acts. For this discussion I will simply pull a few examples and leave the discussion of these writings for another chapter, but the item to notice is the negative attitude directed at the Jews.

The Epistle of Barnabas
The writer of this document (Barnabas of the NT for now) adopts the basic theme of NT Hebrews - everything in the OT has been replaced by something better. Barnabas, however, has a consistent negative slant. Where Hebrews says the new covenant "is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises," Barnabas says,

Tread no more My courts, not though ye bring with you fine flour. Incense is a vain abomination unto Me, and your new moons and sabbaths I cannot endure." He has therefore abolished these things, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ [might exist].  - Barnabas II
Other negative comments concerned circumcision, food laws, the Temple, and the Sabbath.

The Letters of Ignatius
Ignatius brings the separation of the Gentile church from the Jerusalem/Jewish church to completion:
If any one celebrates the passover along with the Jews, or receives the emblems of their feast, he is a partaker with those that killed the Lord and His apostles.  - Phil. 14.1

Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace.
  - Mag. 8.1

Ignatius warns against a false teaching that portrays Jesus as not truly having a physical body, but that he only appeared to have a body. This is known as docetism (Greek, dokeo, which means "to appear"). It is unclear if these docetics were the Jews opposed by Ignatius, but it is possible.

The Epistle to Diognetus also speak negatively towards the Jews and Judaism:

...the Christians...disregard the world and despise death, and take no account of those who are regarded as gods by the Greeks, neither observe the superstition of the Jews... - 1:1

But again their scruples concerning meats, and their superstition relating to the sabbath and the vanity of their circumcision and the dissimulation of their fasting and new moons, I do [not] suppose you need to learn from me, are ridiculous and unworthy of any consideration. - 4:1

There will be more discussion on this set of writings, "The Apostolic Fathers," in the second century. For now we will move on in our survey of the first century.


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First Century Christian Church History
ist Century Church History
The conversion of the apostle Paul
Early Church History of Galatians
James Just brother of Jesus in the Bible
1st Century Christian Church Struggles
Christian History - conversion Apostle Paul
Palestine - Philo, Josephus, Strabo, Aristotle
Apollos NT Hebrews in Ancient Rome
Apollos NT Hebrews in the Bible
Wine in Bible Alcoholic?
James the Just and Jesus in the Bible
Hellenized Jews First Century Christianity
Hellenized Jews Gentile Christians
Hellenized Jews New Testament
Jews and the conversion of the apostle Paul
Conflict in the Early Christian Church
Palestine vs Israel Zola Levitt Dr. McCall
Palestine in the Bible and the Ancient World
Apollos NT Hebrews in the Bible
Apollos NT Hebrews - Ancient Roman World
Palestine Israel in Ancient Greece Rome
Alcoholic Wine - New Testament
James the Just Paul and Jesus in the NT
First Century Christian Church History Issues
How the New Testament was formed
How the NT Canon was formed or canonized
Questions about Wine in the Ancient World
Wine Alcohol in the Bible - New Testament
Early Church Catechesis - Catechetical Training
Questions regarding Christian Issues
Palestine - Israel Map Ancient World
Apollos Alexandria Hebrews in the Bible
Apollos Paul Corinthians - Bible
James the Just the brother of Jesus
First Century Christian Persecution
1st Century Persecution of Christians
Gnosticism in the 1st Century Early Church
Early Church History of Galations
Early Christianity War and Conflict
Early Christianity Constantine and War
Important Issues in Early Christianity
Palestine Israel in Greek Roman World
Apollos Alexandria Hebrews - Bible
Apollos Paul Corinthians NT