Questions Regarding Early Christianity

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,731
Republika Srpska
#11
Arianism does not predate the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity has been present in Christian theology from the early 2nd century at latest. For example, it appears in the Letter to the Magnesians by the 2nd century bishop of Antioch called Ignatius. Later it appears in the works of people like Gregory Thaumaturgus, pope Dionysius, Origen etc.
 
Likes: Talbot Vilna

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,838
Dispargum
#12
Arianism does not predate the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity has been present in Christian theology from the early 2nd century at latest. For example, it appears in the Letter to the Magnesians by the 2nd century bishop of Antioch called Ignatius. Later it appears in the works of people like Gregory Thaumaturgus, pope Dionysius, Origen etc.
What I said was
...Also realize that the Trinity was not a part of Christian doctrine until the late 4th century. With the Trinity, there's no problem, but Arianism predates the Trinity.
When I said "Arianism predates the Trinity" I was amplifying my previous statement that the Trinity did not become doctrine until after Arius published his ideas in the early 4th century.

Yes, the Trinity was mentioned in various Christian documents prior to the 4th century, but it was still very much an object of debate and was not universally accepted by all or even most Christian authorities. Pope Dionysius and Gregory Thaumaturgus mentioned it, but their ideas had not yet taken the final form of the Trinity that would emerge in the 4th century. I don't see the Trinity in the Letter to the Magnesians. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are mentioned but their relationship is not defined. Your citation of Origen is controversial. Some modern scholars interpret Origen as a subordinationist, and if they're right Origen's views more closely resemble Arius' than the Trinitarians/Nicenes. The fact that Origen can be interpreted in different ways suggests that his ideas were somewhat vague.
 
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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,838
Dispargum
#14
All I was trying to do was present Arianism from the point of view of the 4th century. If you look at it from our modern view Arianism makes little sense. If you remove the Trinity from the equation, you can start to see the appeal Arianism had at that time.
 
Likes: Talbot Vilna

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,456
India
#15
All I was trying to do was present Arianism from the point of view of the 4th century. If you look at it from our modern view Arianism makes little sense. If you remove the Trinity from the equation, you can start to see the appeal Arianism had at that time.
Thanks, I have read about Gnosticism but Arian Christianity I didn't know. Are they related or different from each other. How, Christianity able to get a hold in Southern Europe despite no state support.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,936
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#17
I'm a bit Arian myself: I don't accept the dogma of Trinity and I think Jesus was the Son of God, not God. He was the first created being, without being God himself.

Gnosticism [the historical one] is well different: it differentiated between the inferior G-d [the God of the Old Testament, the God of this inferior and imperfect material world] and a superior God [the one of the New Testament] possible to reach through beings like Jesus ...

I would say that today, with democracy, in Christian countries we are observing a kind of renaissance of the numerous original streams which existed in early Christianity: Jesus didn't express His thought clearly about some points [regardless what the Catholic Church can teach].
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#19
The mystery cults were celebrating more than a millenium of existence in the first century.
Just so. There was also a time where Mithraism presented a real threat to Christianity. Interesting to wonder what might have happened had Christianity not become the State Religion , with permission and official encouragement to persecute pagans, from Emperor Theodorus, onwards...

I won't drag out the nonsense that Christianity was derived from Mithraism. However, it did have enormous emotional appeal to the marginalised, as did mystery religions generally.--as does Christianity, which doesn't do quit so well gaining converts where there is a major existing religion, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.****

Mithraism is viewed as a rival of early Christianity.[6] In the 4th century, Mithraists faced persecution from Roman Christians and the religion was subsequently suppressed and eliminated in the empire by the end of the century.[7]
Numerous archaeological finds, including meeting places, monuments and artifacts, have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire.[8] The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, and sharing a banquet with the god Sol (the Sun). About 420 sites have yielded materials related to the cult. Among the items found are about 1000 inscriptions, 700 examples of the bull-killing scene (tauroctony), and about 400 other monuments.[9] It has been estimated that there would have been at least 680 mithraea in Rome.[10] No written narratives or theology from the religion survive; limited information can be derived from the inscriptions and brief or passing references in Greek and Latin literature. Interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested.[11]

Mithraism - Wikipedia


****OT there was a story a few years ago about a group of Mormon missionaries in Thailand who thought it would be a groovy idea to have their photos taken sitting on the a Buddha's head.. Before they could say "Church Of Jesu Christ of Latter Day Saints" they were in jail, having been charged with sacrilege. Just looked it up. Hadn't realised it was quite so long ago.

BANGKOK, Thailand, July 14 (Reuters)—A court in central Thailand has sentenced a young American Mormon missionary and a friend to six months’ imprisonment each for sacrilege, official provincial sources announced today.
They said that the district court at the provincial capital of Nakhon Sawan yesterday sentenced Joseph K. Wall, the Mormon, and his American friend Kimball Larsen to a year's imprisonment each, but reduced the sentences when they admitted committing sacrilege.
Mr. Larsen photographed Mr. Wall sitting on the head of a statue of Buddha in northern Sukhothai Province, the court was told. Buddhists, who make up 90 per cent of Thailand's population, consider touching the head of an image of Buddha with any part of the human body as sacrilege.

Thais Sentence 2 Americans On a Charge of Sacrilege
 
Likes: Yôḥānān
Feb 2012
3,888
Portugal
#20
It seems Christianity had many influences it used to read in wikip+edia that the Neopythagorean basilica of Porta Maggiore in Italy had the same design Christian churches adopted. Don't know much about the designs of Roman basilicas or how common that design was and so if there is a conection. Another thing is that the ideas adopted by Christian gnostics seem to have been based Neopythagorean ideas like those of Numenius, even though the gnostics ideas were rejected by Neoplatonists.
The social class to which Christians belonged is also intriguing, it seems it was mostly an urban phenomenon, we tend to ascribe it to the people in the fringes of society, but if it was so and if Christians were a minority when it became the empire's religion like Chlodio pointed out how is this possible? They had to be among the influential classes. Among other things when you look at the gospels including, and specialy the apocryphal and to gnosticism this could not possibly be the work of illiterate people nor primarily to iliterate people.
According to a documentary that reconstructs the daily living of people in Pompeii the money in the Roman empire was in the hand of descendants of former slaves, so if Christianity was popular among them this could explain something but honestly don't have any ideia of how it went.
Was Christianity the religious equivalent of Communism and Socialism?
 
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