What Happened to the Apostles?

While Christians often think about the death (and resurrection!) of Jesus, many Christians (especially Protestants) rarely consider how the earliest followers of Jesus lived out their last moments on earth. In part, this is because–unlike with Jesus–we have relatively few historically credible accounts of the death of the earliest leaders of the Jesus Movement. WhatContinue reading “What Happened to the Apostles?”

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The Trinity in the Early Church (Part II)

Historian J.W.C. Wand argues that the orthodox belief of the early church included the deity of the Holy Spirit, as it was essentially argued along with the deity of Christ in the Christological debates and was held as popular belief among Christians.[8] Yet as Rebecca Lyman argues that one cannot merely accept popular opinion asContinue reading “The Trinity in the Early Church (Part II)”

The Trinity in the Early Church (Part I)

The doctrine of the Trinity–espoused by the Cappadocian Fathers as “God is one object in Himself and three objects to Himself”–is commonly understood to be one of the more difficult concepts to grasp in Christian theology. Much of Early Church history revolved around debates concerning the Person of Jesus Christ and His relationship to theContinue reading “The Trinity in the Early Church (Part I)”

Investigation and Scripture

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. Investigation and Scripture in Ephrem’s Hymns on Faith 1-9 Ephrem scholar Jeff Wickes contextualizes the Hymns on Faith as essentially belonging to the post-Nicaea “homoean” camp that remained anti-subordinationist while problematizing the language of Nicaea.[1] This characterization, I believe,Continue reading “Investigation and Scripture”

The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. From Tertullian’s writings emerge several implications for Marcion’s conceptions of scripture, canon, and authority. First, from his Prescription against Heresies it seems that Marcion in some way undermined the existing authority structuresContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part II)”

The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. In comparison to all other extant ancient works, the writings of Tertullian of Carthage against Marcion remain the fullest and most precise rejection of Marcion’s theology. Tertullian composed as least six worksContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)”

Deaths of the Apostles

It’s Holy Week for Christians, the week we remember the last days, Passion, Death, and (ultimately) the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The vast majority of all Christian knowledge about the death and resurrection of Jesus comes from the four canonical gospel accounts, each of which records in some detail the events leading up to Jesus’Continue reading “Deaths of the Apostles”

ECA: Second Clement

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Early Christian Authority. The Second Epistle of Clement represents the oldest extant non-canonical Christian homily, a sermon that urges followers of Christ to recognize their debts to God and repent of their sins while displacing themselves from the sinful world and committing themselves to self-control andContinue reading “ECA: Second Clement”

ECA: Gnostic and Anti-Gnostic

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Early Christian Authority. Some of the clearest indications that the early Church faced disagreements and divisions have been preserved in the writings on Gnostic Christian traditions and writings opposed to such movements. While various strands of Christian thought differed in their use and interpretation of extantContinue reading “ECA: Gnostic and Anti-Gnostic”

Book Review: The Drama of Scripture, 2E (Bartholomew and Goheen)

Very few books are must reads, especially for busy, sleep-deprived, tired-of-reading-books-for-class college students (or their even more taxed cousins, the grad student). Rarely does something come along that clearly and concisely explains complex issues with clarity and precision. Ten years ago, one such book came along: The Drama of Scripture, captivating readers and shedding muchContinue reading “Book Review: The Drama of Scripture, 2E (Bartholomew and Goheen)”