We are going to start this off in a way that we’ve never started off an Extra History before; with a disclaimer. These next few episodes are designed to help
modern students get a handle on one of the most confusing and yet most important
parts of Roman history. The topics discussed in these episodes are vital
to understanding the Roman mind; to understanding why Rome fell and how the Western world made the transition from the Classical Era to the Medieval one. We’re going to try and make this as engaging as we can, but it is going to involve a lot of nitty-gritty detail about doctrinal disputes. To a modern mind, these disputes
may seem inconsequential, but they tore empires apart, and turned father against son
back in the waning days of Rome. Even in our episodes about Justinian, we found
that the lack of ability to easily reference things like the Monophysite Schism or the difference between Arían Christianity and Orthodox Christianity, impacted how thoroughly we could tell the story. So, hopefully, we could rectify that today. So let’s dive in to the Docetic Schism,
Judaizing Christianity, and Gnosticism. Before we can discuss
the struggles that changed empires, we have to discuss the struggles that determined
what form of Christianity the Empire of Rome would come to accept. And, for that, our story begins
on the baked plains of Asia Minor. It’s difficult sometimes for us in the present day to think of Christianity as something not yet solidified. It’s hard to imagine it without the New Testament. It’s harder still to think of it, not as a religion of its own, but rather an offshoot of Judaism. And yet, out here on the plains of Asia Minor, in the 1st and 2nd century CE, that’s the issue that many early Christians wrestled with. I mean, were they still Jewish? Could only Jews be Christians? Did Christ overthrow the Mosaic Law or was he simply a continuation of it? And on the answer to this question hangs everything. Why? Circumcision. I know, it’s funny, but the fate of Western society really did hang on circumcision because, you see, the Judaizing Christians, the Christians who wanted
to follow the Mosaic Law strictly, wanted everybody to be circumcised. And, in an age before anesthetic, when you’re asking grown men to have their foreskin
cut off as the entry fee for joining your religion, you’re just not gonna get as many takers. And this is why Paul rails against circumcision
in the Book of Galatians. He, like many of those we now consider Church Fathers, knew that, for the religion to really grow,
for it to really be a force, they would have to convert the Gentiles;
the people of the Roman Empire. And the only way to do that was to abandon
some of the Jewish practices those people would find the hardest to accept. And as this viewpoint won over more practitioners, the Judaizing forces began to be squeezed out
of what we consider mainstream Christianity, eventually leading to further attempts
to distance the two religions like declaring Sunday as a holy day instead of Saturday. But, for us, the important part is that, without the fateful decision to break
from Jewish tradition — a decision which split the Church and whose consequences in terms of fracturing
the early Christian community are written into the Bible itself — without that decision, Rome probably would never have become a Christian state, changing history forever. But even as the Judaizing forces were waning, there was another question that tore
early Christian society in two. This question was on the nature of Christ. Was he a man? Was he a spirit? What was his relationship to God? And this would turn into one of those
knock-down, drag-out questions with bishops calling other Christians “Antichrists”
and “worse than pagans” because of their views on it. In fact, this question is gonna come up over,
and over, and over again in this series because this question, which eventually morphs
into questions about the Trinity, sits at the root of so many conflicts in the Church. But let’s start here, in the early 2nd century, still in the plains of Asia Minor. A bishop called Ignatius is arrested. He’s going to be taken to Rome; sentenced to die in the Colosseum for his faith. But along the road to Rome, he writes to his followers, time and again, with a warning. Not a warning against the Romans; he seems almost eager to meet his fate. No, a warning against other Christians — Christians who do not see Christ the way he does, Christians that inhabit his very city: Antioch — Docetists. Docetists believed that Christ was a being of pure spirit; that he didn’t actually exist in human form;
that he only seemed to us to exist. For, after all, didn’t it denigrate the Christ to claim
that he’d ever been part of our sinful race? But that sat very, very poorly with some other Christians. If you’ve ever wondered why John, in the Epistles, continuosly talks about the importance of believing in Christ, quote, “in the flesh;” if you’ve wondered why that phrase comes up
over and over again, it’s actually a dig at these guys. When he says, “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God, and this is that spirit of antichrist.” Reading that today, it might seem like he’s aiming that condemnation at pagans or non-Christians, but he’s actually taking a shot at the Docetists. Why? Because what happens when you make Christ
a being of pure spirit? What becomes of his sacrifice? A spirit can’t suffer. Without that, where’s the pathos?
Where’s the actual sacrifice of His death? And what becomes of the resurrection? A spirit can’t die, so what does it mean for it to be “resurrected?” Can our sins even be forgiven without sacrifice? Can we be reborn if the Christ was not? And these were all important questions
in a time of persecution and death. When simply being known as a Christian
might mean execution, you needed something to hold on to, which brings us back to Ignatius,
and what’s going on in Rome. As Ignatius was off to do his last dance with the lions, he was thinking a lot about martyrdom, and he wrote to his followers about how glad he was
to truly follow Christ, even in this. And martyrdom was a powerful symbol; it gave strength to the community
to endure persecution, and it impressed those not yet of the Faith. It helped to win over Romans and became an ingrained part of the understanding of Christianity. But to have the symbolic power of martyrdom and the very relatable, very sympathetic,
very human sacrifice of Christ, the Christian Church had to purge itself
of yet another group of people who called themselves “Christians” — the Docetists — and eventually reinforce these ideas with things like transubstantiation; the consumption of the body
and the blood of Christ in Communion. But with this culling of the Church, the stage is now set. With the inclusion of the gentiles, and the rejection
of a doctrine which sees Jesus as pure spirit, Christianity is set to grow. As Imperial order falls apart
during the third century crisis, and the state can no longer provide
food for the poor or care for the sick, the Church steps in. Converts from all walks of life,
but especially the impoverished, begin to join the Faith. These do seem like the “End Times”
of which the Christians preach; to many in the Empire, it seemed like a time
of divine reckoning for humanities sins. But then, as the 3rd century begins to close,
order is restored to the world. Aurelian puts the pieces of the Empire back together, and Diocletian and Maximian solidify those gains. And, with this restabilizing of the Empire, comes some of the harshest crackdowns on the Christian faith. But then, the miraculous — or highly calculated — happened. In 312 CE, a civil war rocks the Empire. At the deciding battle
— the Battle of the Milvian Bridge — one of the leaders, Constantine, had a vision. It told him to have his men paint the letters “chi-rho,” the first two letters in Greek of the word “Christ,”
on their shields; and if this was done, he would conquer. It was done, and he won the day and became
master of the Roman Empire. Now, whether you buy the vision story whole-hog or accept some of it as a later bit of revisionism
that’s come down to us is up to you. But what we do know for certain is that, after this battle, Constantine began to repeal the laws banning Christians and even began to support them. This was a sea-change. Even with its rapid growth
during the turbulent years of the 3rd century, Christians only comprised 10% of the Roman Empire. Within 40 years, they would make up over half of it But before that, there’s a rocky road ahead. Join us next time as we finally get to the heresies
that shook the Empire. Oh, and, uh, for those of you who know the history here and are wondering about some of the things
I’ve not mentioned, expect James to talk more about Constantine’s faith
in the “Lies” episode after we’re done. See you next time!

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Helpful overview. Would have been interesting to hear about Athanasius Contra Mundum in this, but maybe that's in the next section.

  2. Paul didn't rail against circumcision because he "knew he needed to recruit gentiles". He railed against it because they were missing the point about not being under the law anymore but being under the spirit.

  3. All these little nits that needed to be combed out the scalp of a major religion is essential to understanding the schisms that linger today.

  4. I can appreciate how complex of a topic this is, but I have to disagree with bit about Paul's stance on circumcision at 2:07

    In the early days of Christianity there was a sect of Jews that claimed in order to be converted you MUST be circumcised. No circumcision = no conversion. This sect drew their authority from claiming such a practice was Mosaic Law.

    Paul, an ardent student of Gamaliel (one of the most revered teachers of the Mosaic Law of the time, from a respected family of teachers of the time), was said to be more zealous for the Law than all his fellow students. Paul was like PhD level of the Bible (old testament), and among his peers he was a giant among men. As a matter of fact, Peter (a disciple of Jesus that had actually seen the Messiah, touched him, learned from him directly, and lived with him), said that Paul's teachings can be VERY confusing to people that aren't already well versed in the Old Testament, and sadly their misunderstanding lead them to conclusions that are disastrous for their salvation (2 Peter 3:15-16)

    When Paul heard these people spouting this absurd claim, he had to set the record straight! In Acts 15, Paul directs his fellow Christians to instruct the Gentile converts to keep away from idols, fornication, to not eat blood, and also to not eat animals that were strangled to death. Most people don't heed Peters warning, and just take a simplistic "face-value" interpretation of what Paul is saying. However, the next line proves troublesome for such an interpretation. Paul elaborates to say that these four things are sufficient because Mosaic Law is preached every Sabbath in every Synagogue in every city.

    That is to say, these Gentile converts lived in societies that worshiped little statues of Roman gods, in some cases pagan temples would have prostitutes that people could rent, the people would make blood pudding or eat blood in other ways, and to eat animals that died a merciful death.

    Why not be circumcised? After all, it is Mosaic Law to be circumcised. The detail neglected is that circumcision of the heart should ALWAYS come before circumcision of the flesh. This point is echoed through the Mosaic Law, Jesus teachings, and Paul's writings. These people were immersed in pagan cultures that celebrated these acts, and to suggest that the very first thing a person must do is circumcise their flesh would be absurd! The first thing, as Paul suggests, is to get them away from pagan temples, from vile pagan traditions, and to start going to a Synagogue every Sabbath, where they would learn the rest of the law, and how to keep it (including circumcision– after they circumcised their heart)

  5. As a student of history specialised on the roman era, all your illustrations figuring some tend to be physically painfull to watch.
    I say that with love, I think the channel is a nice entry point to history.

  6. There are hundreds of variant versions of Christian Bibles none match each other or the original koine Greek NT Papyrus or the Hebrew Tanakh Bible or Dead sea scrolls.
    There are 30,000 different Christian sects today all argue who is correct and had war between them selves killing millions over centuries.
    Crusades Inquisitions pogroms Afrikan slavery genocide forced conversions and Holocaust child abuse…
    One must pause..
    Dr Bart Ehrman exposes this.
    Tenak Talk channel explains

  7. 3:06
    Question that would pop up again and again, you say? From my personal experience as a practicing Christian (specifically Methodist if that is important to you, not so much to me) with family members in the clergy I can confirm that question STILL comes up to this very day and we STILL have not really settled the issue.

  8. You sound like an ex-Catholic – in other words, your take is slanted, though you have a lot of useful things to say. (I'm neither Catholic or "ex")

  9. 7:15 The Romans had issues keeping their soldiers loyal. During the Civil War in the early 4th century CE, one of the factions gained an advantage by bribing some of the soldiers of another to switch sides by claiming a god was backing him, Constantine insured his soldiers' loyalty without bribing them and increased morale.

    It's important to say that most Christians were polytheists in the 4th century. For them, Christ and the Abrahamic God were just another god to worship.

  10. 1:47
    Oh god, not genital mutilation. Fuck. Hope I don't have to skip this episode.
    Edit: Okay, there was just a bit of that. I can handle this.
    It's fucking disgusting that that pointless and harmful practice is still so widespread in the western world.

  11. 2:20 incorrect. Paul wrote this because the point he was trying to make was that faith alone causes salvation, not Jewish law. It was also in response to disciples criticizing and discriminating against gentiles.

  12. Heresy is a sin. Sin is lawlessness. If you are endorsing or promoting heresy, then you are practicing lawlessness. Please be wise and be careful of what you teach.

  13. The people who killed the most Christians throughout history because of religious disputes were… other Christians.The people who killed the most Muslims throughout history because of religious disputes were… other Muslims.

    I wonder how Hindus and Buddhists stack up. Surely the more primitive, mystic Eastern religions were even more barbaric about their religious dogma… Oh wait…

  14. Wow. Going back and watching old videos of yours really shows how much you guys have improved. Keep it up!!

  15. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

  16. What I never understand to this day about Christian and Muslims is their apparent disregard for Jews. I mean, arent their religions essentially evolved from Judaism??

  17. Cutting off an important part of the human body is uterly silly and cruel. Good thing science has enlightened world enough that people are rightfully pushing back against it. Sadly though that practice still goes on includin on young girls in some regions of the world. Female genital mutilation in the name of superstition when it's really instutionalized sexism. To control women. Horrific. Let's work on further eradicating that practice.

    Great segment

  18. This video shows one thing about religion: it is never about some eternal truth or values, but just about accumulating the most power.

  19. Dude, thanks a lot! For me, this was one of a kind among all the other sources when it comes to clarifying and explaining about early church history in animated features. Again, thank you!

  20. Paul was a Roman agent who first killed christians then gave up and began copying the movement. The bible itself tells a story of James the brother of jesus recalling Paul to the mother assembly in Jerusalem because and has his beard cut off as punishment for writing that his word was the ultimate and final word of God shortly there after the farrasies aka the priest class of Israel or Palestine as it was called in the 1st century bc arranged to have James killed. Then the people of Jerusalem were pissed and Rose up in Insurrection against their Roman occupiers that Insurrection was put down and everyone in the mother is simply was crucified Paul received a trial because he was a Roman citizen that left him as the only person with any connection to the mother is simply to leave the new church
    Since it's quite clear that Paul did not me the spirit of Jesus on the road to Damascus because Spirits aren't real then we can only surmise that you made it up and the only reason he would make it up is because he wanted to be able to claim that he had a direct line of communication to what people would one day consider the son of God as in the child of God rather than the Jewish term Son of God which is term that refers root refers to every Jewish person everyone is a something to God according to a Jewish person Jesus being Son of God did not make him special but to non-jewish people living in Antiquity hearing the term Son of God let people to believe he was of God's loin which is where the confusion comes in

  21. Religions are a fascinating thing. One comes as a response to another. Christianity as a response to Judaism and Buddhism to Hinduism. Its a fascinating study not just the religions but how they changed and shaped societies.

  22. Ok so this is started to paint the history as to how my Roman Catholic primary and highschool constantly told stories of Christianity in any form being persecuted in Roman times, and to the point it didn't have a community to live and evolve to what we had today

    Now obviously, their version of events was immsenly abridged and focused almost entirely on martyrdom

    But I always wondered how we had Roman Catholic as our proud title, yet consistently were told stories of how the Romans were enemies

    I'm not religious by any means, I've just been raised with such stories from a very biased lens and not one that expands the history of how and why, or other branches and displays of power

    It's a very selective and censored version of history

  23. The resurrection, great cover story for a missing cadaver don't you think? ~ Well, don't you think? ~ Don't you? 😉

  24. 1:33 Only bigoted anti-Christian BIGOTS use the terms BCE and CE. As a result, I do NOT trust anything these BIGOTS say about Christianity.

  25. Incredible as it seems, for over twenty centuries the Orthodox Church has continued in her undiminished and unaltered faith and practice. Today her apostolic doctrine, worship, and structure remain intact. The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is the living Body of Jesus Christ. Many of us are surprised to learn that for the first 1000 years of Christian history there was just one Church. It was in the eleventh century that a disastrous split occurred when the Church of Western Rome presumed supremacy over what was always loved and accepted by all other Orthodox (and still is) – the collegiate nature of the Church's leadership as those among equals. Books to read: Why Orthodoxy Is the True Faith. A lecture by A.I.Osipov; Way Apart: What is the Difference Between Orthodoxy and Western Confessions? by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky; The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism by Louis Bouyer; The Church, the Treasury of Salvation: by St. John of Kronstadt

  26. No groups of people have killed, brutalized and repressed one another more than Christians vs Christians. They're still at it.

  27. The usual misunderstanding of Judaizers. These were Jews that believed the new Gentile believers should become Jews to take part in the Messiah of the Jews. This conversion included circumcision. The apostles, however, realized that the Gentiles could be accepted by the Messiah as they were, Acts 10. This issue did not impact on Torah observance, which was the norm in the early fellowship of believers (29 times in Acts alone). If Torah was what was in question, these people would have been called Torahizers. Good video otherwise.

  28. Don’t forget when the Republicans split off from the Gnostics and advocated killing the neighbor with thy mighty gun! ‘Merika!!!

  29. This episode is a bit mixed on truthfulness.
    Paul's motivations is not the popularity of the faith, but the Truth of the Gospel.

    Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.
    1 Corinthians 7:19

    Circumcision is not required because we are saved by Grace not works.

    More specificity about the consumption of the body and the blood of Christ – Christians do not believe they are literally eating Christs body, or drinking his blood.

    The communion is a reminder and symbolic of the sacrifice Jesus Christ paid for the debt of the sin's of mankind.

    The literal belief in eating Christs body/blood was later added on by the Catholics and is not found anywhere in the Bible.

  30. Sounds like Cairo which apparently means the vanquisher in some ways, that sounds way cooler and more suitable to be written on the shields 😛

  31. Look at the book of Galatians. This are worldly arguments/thinking, that Paulus (and so all religous thinkings) did for quantity in conversion, for profane things.. Paulus was arguing for truth of the new covenant.

  32. Early Christianity explained with just man's understanding of history as opposed to the understanding God's Will through the Bible. Treat this video with many grains of salt.

  33. You forgot the 3rd mostly true question :did jesus add , continuate Judaism and remove the monopoly on God held by Jewish priest blocking the temple from gentiles?
    He didnt abolish anything that's harsh choice of words .

  34. I’ve heard the milvian bridge battle from kings and generals documentaries so yeah want to learn about that then head to there channel

  35. I just realised. Ignatius actually has a name button thing. The capital I was just a line though so it just looks like a stylised button

  36. Unfortunately, the first schism would not be this. It would be when the Christianity that most people think of split off from another kind of Christianity, which died off and didn't come back until the late 1880s

  37. I remember seeing a "family tree" of Christianity. I thought it was pretty funny and accurate, cause every time there was a issue, that denomination would split, except for Roman Catholicism. It made a note that after the Protestant split, whenever there was an issue in the Catholic Church, instead of splitting, there was reform. Good to see that last major schism taught them something.

  38. "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. I will set a father against his daughter, and a son against his mother. One's opponents will be of their own household for my sake."
    Who said that again?

  39. "Wet Christianity"
    That's a damn unfortunate word choice due to the whole Catholic Bishop thing

  40. Rome fell due to oppulance and decadence which led to feelings of entitlement by the greedy Plutocrats who ran the Empire for Ceaser, while simultaneously continually scheming to overthrow the current Ceaser at the same time.

  41. WoW I never know about this. I now understand why Apostles write about Christ in the Flesh. Amazing

  42. Our teacher gave us a very hard video, but after I watch this I under stand every thing about Church Schism !

  43. Am I the only one who noticed that the Icon of "Arius" is actually an icon of ST. SPYRIDON, AN ANTI-ARIAN!

  44. Mistake St. Paul was Apostle and the Apostolic Fathers, not the Church Fathers, the fathers were a tad bit later. Ignatius of Lyon was a Church Father. There is a whole study of Patristics. Other fathers are Oregin, St. Cyril (creator of the Cyrilic [Russian] alphabet), St. Augustine of Hippo etc.

  45. 40,000 denominations and cults all producing conflicting and contradictory doctrines.
    The Truth That No Protestant Wants to Face ~

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