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christian history - BIBL 111 Early Church Fathers: The...

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BIBL 111Early Church Fathers: The Eastern (Greek) Tradition1stand 2ndCentury Greco-Roman WorldThe NT was written in ‘Koine Greek’ (the common tongue of the 1stcentury world); OT in the language ofthe Jews (Hebrew)gospel message was intended for the Greek (Gentile) world:“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyonewho believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16).Acts of the Apostles (chs. 10-28) describes the ministry of the early Church among the Gentile people inAntioch, Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Caesarea, and RomeBook of Acts likely written in the 60s (finishes with Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, AD 62) roughly 30 yearsbefore the writings of theApostolic Fathers(1 Clement)The Apostle Paul’s speech at Athens (Acts 17):Acts is the “next installment” of Luke’s narrative history of the early ChurchLuke was a historian, doctor, and travelling companion of Paul“Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through andexamining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKOWN GOD.’What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and allthings in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands… for in Himwe live and move and exist,as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver orstone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times ofignorance God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent., because He will judge theworld in righteousness throughMan whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men byraising Him from the dead.” Now when they heardof the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer,but other said ‘We shall hear you again on this” (Acts 17: 22-32).What Acts 17 tells us about the Greek World:“religious” peoplehad concept about divine being;Humans identify with the divine (offspring);Worshipped graven imagesCouldn’t grasp the concept of the resurrection of the body1stand 2ndCentury Greco-Roman WorldThe Greeks practiced the “mystery cults” and held to certain philosophies in circulation 1stand 2ndcentury:secretive religious schools reserved for initiates: ritual meals, purifications, and sacrifices2 philosophies are mentioned explicitly in Acts 17:Epicureanism(that happiness is the chief end of life);andStoicism(emphasized the rational over the emotional) (v. 17).

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Christianity, Christology, Jesus christ, Trinity

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