Did Most Early Christians Believe The Divinity of Christ?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by RJM Corbet, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    On a list of archeological sites I would one day like to visit, the area in and around Glastonbury, more specifically the tin mines and Mendip Hills, and a side trip to Tintagel Castle...and with time and money a hop over to Ireland to Skellig Michael, would rank very near the top of places I long to lay eyes on and not rely on mere words.

    Because they are not germane to this specific discussion I would have to leave the legends of King Arthur and St Patrick out of the equation for now and focus specifically *on the early Christians* (they don't get any earlier) that conducted their services in the old Wattle Church founded by Jesus and his kin. The monastery at Glastonbury was destroyed under Henry VIII, and I've read the Wattle Church itself was destroyed by fire in the 11th century. Add in that (don't take this wrong) the Catholic Church moved in and took over, there is probably precious little other than the lingering legends left to assist us with determining what exactly Christ expected of His followers. I know you poopoo the suggestion, but these same Christians were ruled over at one time by Constantine's Father, and upon that man's death his soldiers robed Constantine "with the purple" making him the new Emperor of Roman Britain (much to the dismay of Galerius, I might add, who had gone to great lengths to subvert Constantine's rise to power). No doubt a significant number, perhaps a sizeable minority, of those soldiers were British Christians, and this predates the Catholic Church. Mind you, throughout the rest of the Empire at this moment in time when Constantine was elevated to be Emperor of the West, to be Christian anywhere else was to take your life in your hands, the Persecution of Diocletian and Galerius was in full swing at the time, and while it can be said the other persecutions were sporadic and localized, the Persecution of Diocletian is widely recognized by historians as the "worst" (if you were Christian) of all of them. (This is later reflected at Nicea, but that is still 12-14 years in the future) Roman Britain was the only relatively safe place throughout the Empire where Christianity was tolerated during the Great Persecution, because of Constantius and then Constantine.

    Those same British Christian soldiers would have been among the ranks that marched with Constantine all the way to the Milvian Bridge. One would think that if there is any source material (perhaps in Latin?) describing these Christian soldiers and their ways and means, that should go far to aid in establishing what exactly the earliest Christians believed. Of course for precisely that reason such documents, if they exist, would likely not see wide audience.

    Since these Christians were converted Celts (specifically the Dumnonii) they would not have carried the same religious obligations as their Jewish counterparts, and instead would have entered into the faith with a very different worldview.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
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  2. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    It's not a matter of taking a "superior position" .. it's a matter of what agenda those in power actually have.
    You might be happy with the trends in society, but I am not. I feel sure that I'm not alone.

    There is no easy way to reform society. It won't happen by itself. There needs to be law.
    Those governments that deny law with Divine roots cannot succeed in the long run. It is as simple as that, imo.
    There is no perfect society. Never has been, and never will be.
    However, evil needs to be recognised and dealt with.

    Climate-change is not happening by chance. It is an imbalance. It is a small percentage of people
    that is driving it. They do not perceive that what they are doing is leading to destruction. They blame others.
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    So are you, I have to say.
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    There's the lesson in that.

    There's a lesson in that, too.

    I can only echo Cino on that point.

    So between your first point and your last, I'd be very cautious about anyone suggesting we reform society ... change takes time, and reformers are notoriously impatient ... I'd say ... reform begins at home. Let us sort our hearts out, let us actually love our neighbour, and stop blaming them, and perhaps we might change the world.

    Perhaps not, but as history show, too many revolutions, and you are talking revolution here, invariably result in 'rivers of blood', I prefer another way...
     
  5. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    No .. I'm not talking about a revolution. I'm not talking about overthrowing govts.
    I'm talking about what I consider the truth to be, as to what is causing climate change.

    However, I do believe that war is inevitable in the long run, and so blood will be spilt, regardless.
    History shows us, that there are always deniers, who love wealth more than truth.

    Oh .. hello again :D
     
  6. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    ...Did Most Early Christians Believe The Divinity of Christ?

    I don't think so. They most likely believed in his crucifixion though.
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    If we are talking about the ups and downs roller coaster that is decades or years... I can agree. While we are in it change is relatively crazy. But...

    If we are talking of changes over centuries or millennia...our future is so bright we gotta wear shades.

    The patriarchy as a given is crumbling, women and minorities are gaining rights, we are giving land back to indigenous rather than taking it away. We are slowing our destruction of the environment and thinking about the future.

    We are working together as a world to battle this pandemic in ways that have never been seen before...we have a long way to go...but we have come a long way baby!
     
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  8. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I think they did. :p
     
  9. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I know you do :D

    You will just have to live with the fact that despite the number of people throughout the last 2000 years who wanted to extinguish Arian [ non-trinitarian ] belief, they did not succeed .. and never will :oops:
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Actually, to be fair to Arius, he did believe in a trinity, just not the Trinity, as subsequently defined at Nicaea.

    To be labelled Arian would require a belief in a kind of 'conditional trinity', and to be labelled under any scholar's name would require at least some knowledge of his theology.
     
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  11. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    That is debatable, and in any case, you're just splitting hairs. The result is the same .. a major division in Abrahamic belief.
    One group believe Jesus is God [ or the son, or what have you ]. and the other do NOT believe Jesus is God.

    ..and before you split more hairs ;)
    It's about the unique nature of "the Father" i.e God

    Controversy over Arianism arose in the late 3rd century and persisted throughout most of the 4th century. it involved most church members—from simple believers, priests, and monks to bishops, emperors, and members of Rome's imperial family.
    -wiki-

    ..and the saga continues .. unitarian v trinitarian :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not really. Too much evidence.
     
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  13. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Stop .. think !
    We've been here before.

    Arian is a label. It can be used in various contexts.
    Making it all about the trinity [ & Arius] is missing the point.
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Not really.... Most Christians believe in the Trinity.

    The divisions you refer to are the abrahamic religions!

    In order

    Jews don't
    Christians do
    Muslims don't
    Bahai...idk
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Exactly, sometimes rightly, sometimes not.
    I'm just clarifying what it is and what it's not.

    Well you made it.
     
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  16. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Yup. You rejected the historical evidence to create the Arius you want him to be. The one who rejects that Christ is God -- where in fact it was about trying to work out how Christ is God.

    And the outcome being The Christ was 'born' before time began. From the Father who is not really a Father, but about whom the New Testament employs the image in order to convey to humans the concept of the Son -- in relation to God as a loving Father as applies to man on earth -- rather than God in the master/servant role, for example?

    A completely radical transformation of concept and vision that caught on hugely with all who heard Christ speak etc, etc ... Followed by continuously failing attempts to over-simplify the debate ...
    Exactly. It can be used to mean whatever you want it to mean?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
  17. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    They do now, yes.
    I wonder how many Christians have converted to Islam over the years. :)
     
  18. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    No .. perhaps you'd like to tell us all why there was so much violence over the issue?
    I mean .. if they both believed in "the trinity", and it was a minor difference..

    No .. the theology is substantially different.
    One group say Jesus is equal to God, and the other says "no" .. the Father [God] is unique !
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I wonder how many muslims would convert to other religions if they were part of a religion that allowed such without vicious penalties and community organizing.

    Don't you feel removing that freedom of choice comes from a position of lack of actual belief? That the organization feels the need to punish people should they leave?

    Who does that other than gang and cartel thugs?
    (Insert favorite snarky emoticon here)
     
  20. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Oh for goodness'sake.
     

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