Another statement that comes up in the alternative
Christianity model is “we don’t have a functioning New Testament till the mid-2nd
century or late-2nd century at the earliest.” That claim is actually true. By that we mean
a group of text viewed as inspired operating together as a collection where you use them
side-by-side. We have a core canon by the end of the 2nd century – Irenaeus names
it. It is basically the four gospels, Acts, the epistles of Paul, and 1st Peter. This
canon is in place by the end of the 2nd century. But if we go back to the writings in the beginning
of the 2nd century, we do not see a canon operating like that. We see the odd allusion
to a gospel or maybe a couple of gospels, and a couple of references to a Pauline epistle
or two Pauline epistles. So the argument of the alternative model is “if there is no
scripture in place, then what controls doctrine? It can go anywhere and it can be developed
in all kinds of ways.” This actually ignores four fundamental elements operative in the
earliest church in its most basic level of worship – scripture, schooling, singing,
and sacrament. Every scholar working with the New Testament in the early Christian movement
accepts the fact that the Old Testament, or the Hebrew scripture, was the scripture of
the earliest Christian movement. There is discussion and debate about whether or not
the Hebrew scripture was completely recognized in the form that we have it today in the 1st
century. But no one discusses or debates that the Pentateuch was recognized as scripture
for the Hebrew community, that the Salter was recognized as such, and that the Major
Prophets had a major role as well. So there certainly was a core Hebrew canon out of which
the early church moved and from which they drew their understanding of the promises of
God. Schooling are little memory verses that are embedded in our oldest sources. These
happen to be our New Testament books because they come from the 1st century. We are not
citing these schooling pieces because they are in scripture, but because they are little
doctrinal summaries embedded in the texts that were designed to be memorized because
they gave core theology. Let me give you some examples. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 we have
a declaration summarizing that the resurrection that Jesus died for sin according to the scripture,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scripture,
and that he appeared to Cephas – this is a doctrinal summary. In 1 Corinthians 11 we
have another summary that describes on the night when Jesus was betrayed he took bread
and broke it and gave it to his disciples saying this is my body broken for you – this
is a doctrinal summary. In 1 Corinthians 8 we have another doctrinal summary that starts
out like this “although there are many gods and many lords in the world, for us there
is but one God” and then it goes on to talk about the father and the son, and their role
in the creation. In Romans 1:2-4, we have a doctrinal summary that talks about the humanity
and the divinity of Jesus side-by-side. There are also numerous summaries in the Pastoral
Epistles. So schooling is another element – these little, short, almost memory-like
pieces that gave core theology. A third element is what we would call singing. These are hymns
embedded in our earliest New Testament doctrine that tell us what was being sung in the early
church. We know these are hymns because of the balance of the lines and the way the Greek
is laid out. One famous example appears in Philippians 2 – the text where it says that
Jesus did not view divinity a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, took on humanity,
died, and was then exalted by God so that one day every knee would bow and every tongue
would confess that Jesus was Lord to the glory of God the Father. That entire hymn is something
that was sung and gave core Christology. A second example is Colossians 1:15-20 where
Jesus is the first-born of the creation and the first-born of the dead. The core theology
is Jesus’ role in the creation, which is something God is responsible for; and Jesus’
role in the new life and the new birth, which is something God is responsible for through
Jesus Christ. This is core New Testament theology being given in hymnic material. The last category
is what we call the sacraments – better known as baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism represents the cleansing that leads to new life – dead to sin, washed, cleansed,
risen up to new life – a picture of Romans 6. The Lord ’s Supper is another in which
we talk about the significance of Jesus’ death – his body and blood given for those
to forgive the sins of those for whom he was dying, and the inauguration of the new covenant.
These are core theology. When we put these four together – scripture, schooling, singing,
and sacraments – we have core theology being taught in the context of the every-week worship
of the church. This is not something happening on the side with elite, rather this is happening
in the context of the worship of the church which gives a theological center to what is
happening in the church and the theology that exists in it. In light of these elements,
you do not need to have a Bible in order to continue to teach theology until the New Testament
comes on the scene and people can begin to refer to it.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Mark luke acts pauls epistles are false they do not match the rest as for peter he was girded and led astray by paul as per Yehshuas prophecy john21

  2. I delt that the jews ever used the name jesus sounds more like the pagans had got a hold of the belief rather quick and changed it to suit them ..if the name of the messiah is above all names Im rather sure the early jews called him yahushua.

  3. The thing that I love here is that for 2000 years no one asked these kinds of questions.  No one worried about rationalizing these issues until recently.  Up until the last couple of decades the christian church has been able to effectively intimidate people into not asking questions.  Why go through these intellectual contortions to rationalize something that is obviously not true.  I understand people who take a pure faith position so much better than the fundamentalist scholars who try to make all the pieces fit history.  Ultimately, when they can't fit something, they just resort to faith anyway.  Why not skip the middleman and just say I believe it even though is makes no sense?

  4. How about the Peter and under him James and John? It seems pretty clear from Acts that Peter had an authoirty of the keys. The Catholic Church would simply say the apostles and there successors controlled doctrine in the 1st Century. Ignatius of Antioch and the Didache would be two important early sources which confirm this.

  5. I find it kind of ironic that after explaining the four S's, that this guy is not Eastern Orthodox. 😉

  6. === Why Jesus Christ did not write any book? From the first century on the Holy Liturgy was given to the Apostols and was the core of the Christian faith. Without the Holy Liturgy and the Eucharist there is no salvation.——— 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

  7. If you are true lover of Christ you should become a Catholic. The Catholic Church pre-existed the New Testament and in fact compiled the New Testament, deciding what would go in and what would not. The New Testament was actually written by eight Catholic bishops—Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude. To believe in the Bible without believing in the Catholic Church would be like believing in the Boy Scout Handbook without believing in the Boy Scouts.

  8. HOWEVER-didn't the individual cities i.e., Phillipi, Ephesus, etc have their individual letters from Paul before they were all officially combined and don't you suppose that they shared the essence of them with each other?

  9. This is circular logic. It uses the New Testament to explain the New Testament in what we have and what we know already. If we place ourselves in the year 50 BC what would we have what would we be going on for scriptural Authority? I submit to The Listener that the western church has improperly removed the apocryphal scriptural set. I am not a an expert on the matter that I can use logical reasoning. I have read and to some extent no the book of Maccabees and I do not see how it is a is possible for the reader to miss excerpts that Paul would have taken out of the book of Maccabees. What them? Was Paul in error. If so Paul is a heretic. And we are misled to the hilt. This whole belief that the apocryphal scriptures are somehow uninspired falls apart. The Dead Sea Scrolls also are a logical Trainwreck in the context of the 66 books we claim are in errant. They may be inerrant but it appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls that there was far more that we didn't know about. I also believe that our Father God watches over his word to perform it.

  10. Constintines successor set up the high Archy and more or less merged the state and church .he set the bishop and used them to send out his laws and as a listening tool in far cornors of the empire.we know these and orthodoc and cathlocis.
    Islam compremised and ruled theology over armanian orthodox and origins theolgy lived on in today's Egyptian coptics.

  11. Typical mistakes of mindset that brought down entire church today. Entire summary is Wrong (after years in darkness). Holy Spirit is 1st century is so evident till apostles can say Holy Spirit and Us. Where it is today? All fallen victims to mind

  12. from what I watch in the video I don't think the early church in the bible did not believe in the doctrine of the trinity.

  13. oh right. songs determine doctrine. the people who "wrote" the bible (especially the NT), were not songwriters. that is pretty obvious in the later music found in the church. saul of tarsus was not much of a musician either, otherwise the stories pertaining to him would have indicated that his traveling companions would have been songwriters and instrument players. Instead he was said to have traveled relatively light but obviously somehow manage to bring money. With money you can hire musicians and songwriters, but that does not make them purveyors of doctrine. Since the doctrine was primarily coming out of saul's fertile imagination, and he couldn't do a vulcan mind-meld with the songwriters, and further was busy running back and forth from damascus to rome, he would not have had a lot of time to hang out with musicians.

    One thing probably IS TRUE: once religious songs achieved popularity, they would become part of familiar liturgy, so I presume would have been popular and routine BEFORE many of the books were written. This concept is consistent with the OT development having been primarily an ORAL tradition (not written but rather convened thru recitation) and possibly backed up by melody and lyrics. The latter also would not have likely been written down since written music notation had not been widely popularized by common era (though I gather that some notation long predated).

    So just as today, the words to the songs, end up being presumed doctrine, if heard often by illiterate people in the absence of standard "books". The actual linkage with actual Pauline-doctrine, would be tenuous at best. Eventually those who wrote and re-wrote the prosaic canon (including the niceans) probably got some of their ideas from the songs they knew, but those songs would be just as "non-standardized" as the doctrine. That is, poetry does not typically contribute much to the preservation of factual details since the latter do not generally lend themselves to rhythmic meter, pitch, nor recitation.
    And another thing that is virtually certain: yeshua (jesus) had nothing to do with the development of the music and the lyrics nor much of the liturgy, aside of the possible exception of the eucharist. Even the latter seems unlikely to have been a hebraic tradition, rather something borrowed some other culture on the margin of the roman/byzantine empire area-of-influence.

    I recall seeing NOTHING from the nicean council that emphasized MUSIC. The councils appeared to be strictly about DOCTRINE, not about art or larger liturgy. If you have evidence to the contrary, let's see it.

    And about "…what controlled doctrine in the 1st century?" Nothing did. There was no central authority, rather "christianity" developed according to the whims of regional bishops. That was WHY the nicean councils (and various prior ecumenicals) took place: the "church" as it grew in influence, wealth and power, encountered variations in doctrine and ritual which the niceans and constantine himself, eventually regarded as a liability, so the majority eventually ENFORCED the "standards" and punished those bishops who did not at least APPEAR to conform to them.

  14. A Protestant swallowing a Camel.
    First bishop of Antioch St Peter, First Bishop of Ephesus and guardian of the Theotokos, St John, Bishop of Alexandria founders of the Coptics, St Mark 54AD, founder of the Acts 9 31 ekklesia Kath oles in India in 51AD, St Thomas. All teachers and authorities on the deposit of faith under ekklesia Kath oles. Councils of Niceae Ephesus Rome Hippo Carthage….by one church.

  15. The Magisterium of the Catholic Church, which also settled on the official canon in Augustine's time…

  16. The Septuagint was recognized by the Jews at the time Jesus was born. It had been universally accepted by them for more than three centuries. After the Apostles and those who followed them used the Septuagint version of the Old Testament to prove Jesus is the Messiah Jewish scribes rejected the Septuagint and started creating their own corrupted versions over the next seven centuries. They also influenced Jerome's Latin Vulgate. Jerome was challenged by Justin Martyr and others. Beware of the Jews. They, as the Apostle Paul warned, were and are enemies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and enemies of his Church.

Related Post