Major Players in the History of the Christian Church

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by expiated, May 5, 2020.

  1. expiated


    I repeatedly hear the names of certain individuals with whom I'm not all that familiar, and given my plans to eventually establish a Christian K-12 academy (God willing) and my having just completed the task of fine tuning my Forex trading system, I figure now is a good time to begin filling in this gap in knowledge, starting with Thomas Aquinas...

    Thomas Aquinas was born in Italy, circa 1225, and died on March 7, 1274. Aquinas combined the theological principles of faith with the philosophical principles of reason, and is ranked among the most influential thinkers of medieval Scholasticism. In fact, it’s even claimed he was the greatest of the Scholastic philosophers.

    Scholasticism is the system of theology and philosophy taught in medieval European universities, based on Aristotelian logic and the writings of the early Church Fathers, and having a strong emphasis on tradition and dogma.

    It was a medieval approach to philosophy and learning that emphasized logic, dialectical reasoning, and analysis used in medieval universities in Europe from about 1100 to 1700. It originated within the Christian monastic schools that were the basis of the earliest European universities.

    An authority of the Roman Catholic Church, Aquinas produced a comprehensive synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian philosophy that influenced Roman Catholic doctrine for centuries and was adopted as the official philosophy of the church in 1917.

    His revolutionary views rejected the theory that faith and reason were at odds with each other, asserting that "both kinds of knowledge ultimately come from God" and were therefore compatible. Not only were they compatible, according to Thomas's ideology, but they could also work in collaboration: He believed that revelation could guide reason and prevent it from making mistakes, while reason could clarify and demystify faith. His work goes on to discuss faith and reason's roles in both perceiving and proving the existence of God.

    Aquinas believed that the existence of God could be proven in five ways, mainly by:
    1. Observing movement in the world as proof of God, the "Immovable Mover"
    2. Observing cause and effect and identifying God as the cause of everything
    3. Concluding that the impermanent nature of beings proves the existence of a necessary being, God, who originates only from within Himself
    4. Noticing varying levels of human perfection and determining that a supreme, perfect being must therefore exist, and
    5. Knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them by God.
    Subsequent to defending people's ability to naturally perceive proof of God, Thomas also tackled the challenge of protecting God's image as an all-powerful being.

    (Compiled from, Wikipedia, and
  2. expiated


    Who was Papias?

    According to Wikipedia, Hierapolis is now the city of Pamukkale, Turkey. describes Papias of Hierapolis as follows…

    ScreenHunter_7994 May. 07 08.16.jpg
  3. stu


  4. expiated


    Who were the early church fathers?

    (Copied from

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  5. stu


    For example, Eusebius 260-339 CE)

    "Eusebius wrote a history of Christianity in which there is no real history. Eusebius was the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity,"

    AS Eusibius himself confessed: "It will sometimes be necessary to use falsehood for the benefit of those who need such a mode of treatment."

  6. expiated



    The early church fathers fall into three basic categories: (1) apostolic fathers; (2) ante-Nicene church fathers; and (3) post-Nicene church fathers.

    The apostolic church fathers were the ones who were contemporaries of the apostles and were probably taught by them, carrying on the tradition and teaching of the apostles themselves. The apostolic fathers would have largely passed from the scene by the beginning of the second century, except for those few who might have been disciples of John, such as Polycarp.

    The ante-Nicene fathers were those who came after the apostolic fathers and before the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.

    The post-Nicene church fathers are those who came after the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.
  7. expiated


    Why Jewish Rabbis instead of Jewish Priests?

    Judaism is not one whole faith that is the same in every way. Similar to the way that within Christianity you have Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox; and within Protestantism you have Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Charismatics, etc. (various different groups and subgroups) it’s the same with Judaism, in ancient times as well as today.

    Based on my sources, today the three main branches of Judaism are Orthodox, Conservative (which does not necessarily mean morally conservative) and Reform, though to the left of Reform there is Reconstructionist and to the right of Orthodox is Ultra-Orthodox, and within that are the Hasidic Ultra-Orthodox Jews. So you have these different groups, these different spectrums.

    But, in the ancient world, in the days of Yeshua and the Apostles, there were three main groups. The Sadducees held to the five books of Moses only. They did not believe in the future resurrection of the dead. They were Temple-based.

    The Pharisees believe they had oral traditions that were passed on through the generations—they ultimately said going all the way back to Moses—and they wanted all Jews to live in a sense of ritual purity, and they established synagogues in different areas. They are the ones that survived. Orthodox Jews today can trace directly back to the Pharisees.

    And then the Essenes (i.e., Qumran, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.) separated from the other groups and lived in a monastic way.

    As for Jewish priests, in the 2nd century BC bribery led to several reappointments of the high priest, with the last of the high priests being appointed by government officials or chosen by lot. According to tradition, 18 high priests served in Solomon’s Temple (c. 960–586 BC) and 60 in the Second Temple (516 BC–AD 70). Since that time, there has been no Jewish high priest since national sacrifice was permanently interrupted with the destruction of the Second Temple.

    So then, there is no Jewish priesthood today. According to the Old Testament, the only place from which it was appropriate to offer animal sacrifices to God was the Temple in Jerusalem. In A.D. 70 the Temple was destroyed, meaning Jewish priests no longer had a place to sacrifice, so there is now no active priesthood in Judaism.

    Nonetheless, traditionally, kohanim (the plural of kohen) get special honors in synagogue as descendants of the sons of Aaron who served as priests in the Temple in Jerusalem, but they are also subject to certain restrictions. Like Levites, who are descendants of the priests’ assistants and also singled out for certain honors, kohanim are descendants of the tribe of Levi. Many people with the surname Cohen, Kahn, Katz (and their various spellings) are kohanim, and many with the surname Levi or Levy are Levites.

    Among the special honors kohanim receive is being given the first aliyah (being called to the Torah) when the Torah is read in synagogue, and during some services they reenact the giving of the priestly blessing.
  8. stu


    Pharaoh Ptolemy XII issues a proclamation

    Why Pastafarian?

    Born in Phoenicia, Mosey was the son of a sea cook, who was killed one day at sea by the vicious pirate king, Blackhook. When Mosey learned of the death of his father, he built himself a raft and attempted to go after Blackhook himself; however, he came ashore on an island often frequented by the pirate king's crew and was caught off guard.

    After taking Mosey hostage, Blackhook fed him a dinner of undercooked noodles with mead, sending Mosey into a delirious stupor. At first seeing visions of elephants, strippers, and midgets, Mosey finally saw an image he would never forget: a giant monster, made of spaghetti, floating above a starry sea. The monster approached Mosey and said to him, "Do not be afraid. I am your God."

    The monster soon revealed to Mosey that he had hid himself from the world on purpose, "so that they may not become incredulous at my appearing." He then told Mosey that he was to be "my prophet, my messenger to the people, who will give them news of my Coming, and rejoice with them." When Mosey exclaimed that he had neither the courage nor the personal bearing to be the messenger of an unknown god, the monster replied, "My son, do not be afraid; I, the One, True, and Most High God, will guide you."
    Pharaoh Ptolemy XII issues a proclamation on the growing threat of Pastafarianism.

    After being marooned on a deserted island by the pirates, Mosey took the initiative: he caught a couple of sea turtles and roped them together with hair from his back to make a raft. He then travelled to the nearest port city, Cyrene, where he expounded to all the great vision he had had of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). The people, believing this to be a most holy sign, rose up against Blackhook when he next came to the port and destroyed his vast fleet of ships, killing Blackhook himself in the process.

    Now free of their vicious tyrant, Mosey led the people, his new followers, to a nearby mountain, Mount Salsa, where, at the top, the FSM spoke to Mosey and gave him 10 stone tablets upon which the FSM's wishes were stated. Unfortunately, Mosey dropped two of the stones on the way down the mountain, leaving the Eight "I Really Rather You Didn'ts". This is believed to be the reason behind his people's flimsy moral standards.

    Mosey's people became the first Pastafarians, and soon bought a vessel from the Roman Navy, which they deemed a missionary vessel, calling it Lasagne. They began roaming the seas, storming vessels and kidnapping young Romans to be converted; if they did not accept, they would be held for ransom at a ridiculously low price, which no one ever challenged. Sadly, this would be the cause of Mosey's downfall.

    As a young man, Julius Caesar planned on taking a trip to Greece by sea. Unfortunately for him, the Pastafarians seized control of the vessel he was on in 75 BC (Pastafarian Year 1), kidnapped Caesar, and held him for ransom. Caesar was insulted at the ransom demand, which was disgustingly low, and promised to crucify the crew of the Lasagne after he was free. At his insistence, Mosey raised the ransom demand to a level in accordance with his station: his friends quickly raised the sum. After his freedom was purchased, he assembled a small army, which captured Mosey, along with a few of his closest friends, and crucified him. They then dismantled the Lasagne and sold it for scrap.

    According to the prophet Ragu, one of those who evaded Caesar's forces, Mosey's last words were, "Die, sir? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!" His body was burned, and his ashes scattered to the four corners of the earth, by the remnants of the Lasagne crew; the first Pastafarian community.
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  9. expiated


    What is the Apocrypha?

    The literal meaning of the word apocrypha is “hidden,” and the set of (14) books that are given this name are writings that are not found in the Hebrew Bible nor in the Greek New Testament. However, they are found in Catholic Bibles and in the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint—books like 1 Maccabees, Ecclesiasticus (or the Wisdom of Ben Sira), The Prayer of Manasseh, Tobit and others.

    These are books that were never explicitly quoted in the New Testament and that were also written after the canon of the Tanakh was closed—for after God was finished inspiring the books that Christians call the Old Testament, it might have been generations before people realized that this was the case. Nonetheless, it seems that from God’s perspective, the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, was finished. So, the apocryphal books were written after that time, yet before the time of the New Testament.

    Still, they were widely read and highly esteemed in the early Church, but were not quoted as Scripture anywhere in the New Testament. Ultimately, the Jewish Rabbis decided that they were not part of the Old Testament, and there has been debate and dispute about their place in the Bible over the generations. But again, the one thing we know for sure is that they were never quoted in the New Testament as Scripture.

    Now, there were times in the early days of Protestantism that you would have the Old Testament and the New Testament with the Apocrypha in the middle, but over the generations the Apocrypha was removed.

    According to some scholars such as Dr. Michael Brown, the Apocrypha is neither Scripture nor equal to Scripture, but the books are very important historically, and there are often some great theological insights and wisdom within them.

    Dr. Brown looks at the apocryphal books as in between the Bible on the one hand, and a good book on the other. They are better than just another good book, but they are not equal to the Bible. Therefore, believers should not learn doctrine from them or look to them as having final authority. But they are absolutely worth reading, knowing and understanding, especially for insight on what happened between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  10. stu


    What is the Apocrypha?

    We've already learned how Pirates are responsible for everything Pastafarian and all other things too, so it therefore follows that certain concepts always disqualified themselves for inclusion into the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    In accordance to the teaching of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, The Wise Council of Olive Garden, in their sacred document referred to as The Loose Canon, adjudicated what is held to be The Official Apastrypha (aka the Apocrypha, mainly by others).

    it isn't this.....

    The Old Pastament
    The Book of Midgets/Midgits
    The Creation of Mankind
    A Reading From the Book of Fusilli
    The Book of Penelope
    The Book of Linguini
    The Torahtellini Part 2
    The Story of the FSM and the Eastern Pirates
    The Book of Fearsome Pirate Pete
    The Tale of Dave and Kyodai
    Darwin's Purge
    The Book of Thinly-Veiled Modern Practice Agreements
    The Random Number of Not Commandments, Suggestions
    The Bookof Piraticus
    APasta's Creed
    Ethical Guidelinesfor Pirates
    Frequently Asked Questions
    The Book of ProvHerbs
    The Song of Semolina
    The Pastalamentations of Father Jerome
    The Revelations of Auntie Dee Dee
    The Book of Disco
    Pirates' Effects on Global Warming
    The Book of Jeff
    The Book of Solipsy
    The Book of Emergent Patterns
    Revelations of St. Jason

    The New Pastament
    The Acts of the Apastals
    The Letter of Tristan the Martyr to the Future Generations of Society
    The Open Letter of Bobby Henderson to the Kansas School Board.

    but it could be this.....

    Text which is grievously outside official church dogma.
    Text which has spelling mistakes.
    Text possibly written in green ink.

    Ancient suggestions that weave in and out of Canon, much like spaghetti through the holes of a cullender, are often considered by True Believers when they consult the Holy Canonical texts to determine which are which, while keeping in mind that the FSM does encourage the use of coupons.

    However, the Council feels that Pasta Scriptcha, does have significant historical importance if St John the Blasphemist (Saint of Freakin' Awesome Holy Texts) may have seen it. Or not, as the case may be.
    #10     May 14, 2020