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lecture 4-17-07


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=][‘[FROM CRISIS TO IMPERIAL CHRITIANITY Review: jesus in context. His spread and martyrdom. - paul: jewish, greek, roman world and his influence in all of them orthodoxy/heresy. Roman Empire - crisis of 3rn century- looks like it will collapse (diopletian saves) - christinaization: consequences and responses - 200-400AD Variety of approaches to christinaity/interpreting jesus. - docetists- believed that god would not take a physical body. Jesus simply appeared to be human, like a mirage. Manisfestation of god on earth, lead mankind in certain direction - Gnostics- salvation comes by accessing Gnosis- knowledge. Can be saved if you can get the sacred knowledge o Knowledge builds upon the knowledge of previous generations- they could argue that the current knowledge is better than the past o Body doesn’t matter- but we seem to live in the body. For some it means to live ascetics. For some others, they were indulgent, since body doesn’t matter. - montanus- wasn’t passing on secret knowledge, but direct revelation from god through montanus o they were offering prophecy directly from god o concern of this: what is to stop the person from offereing new revelation which contradicts the old? Where does it end? Nothing to compare to. o In second century, no new testament! Nothing to compare the scripture to - marcion- select text. His approach: the god seen in the Hebrew scriptures is not the real/almighty god. He is just a subeing, who created the messed up world. Why we have bugs, pain o in contrast, there is a “true” god. Demiurge (the creater) VS the real god o so creates his own scriptures. Takes some of luke, paul, makes his own bible chritian response: which comes first? Orthodoxy/heresy bishop Irenaeus of Lyons - against heresies. Thinks Orthodoxy “correct teaching” thinks heresies will corrupt. - Argue that we need a canon “list” of scriptures. Says there are 4 gospels mark mattew luke john, which are the canons. - Also we need a rule of faith, simple statement of creed that Christians will memorize. - Another idea: if jesus taught the apostles who taught others who they converted, then orthodoxy comes from jesus from the disciples. Only way to know if bishop has correct teaching is if he can trace his teachings to the apostles. “apostle succession” says Rome has the truth, where the teachings are true.
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o The ones that don’t agree with truth cant trace origin back to the apostles o Heresy- any belief that doesn’t fit orthodoxy. But in the end, comes down to: who has the power to make sure your own religion is the dominant one? Christianity and Culture.
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