Did Most Early Christians Believe The Divinity of Christ?

juantoo3

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I mean not as a Yeshuan minor (Jewish) sect, taken up by Constantine and enobled as a tool of empire. It's myth busted, imo
Have any of our British members taken the time to research the early Christians in Cornwall? Specifically, at Glastonbury?

That would be another example of "early" Christianity, considering that was the very first Christian "Church" founded (and recognized as such by the Vatican).

That is one of my "bucket list" trips.
 

RJM

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So the Pagan Christians got to write the rules pretty much from the time of the destruction of the Temple, and absolutely after the diaspora brought on by Bar Kochba. And just like the party game where a phrase is whispered in the next person's ear and makes its way around the room and by the time of the last person the phrase is changed, often so much as to be unrecognizable...the further Christianity got from its roots the more the "phrase" was distorted by time, culture, and pedigree. There were serious efforts to limit that, and I want to believe that helped a lot, but even by the time of Nicea what was practiced as Christianity was pretty far removed from what took place in the Upper Room and at Pentecost.
Tacitus writes of ‘mischievous superstition … hideous and shameful’ most probably referring to the misconceived idea that early Christians in Rome in the 60’s (before the destruction of the Temple) practiced cannibalism.

TACITUS
“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular ...”

Pliny assures Trajan around 112CE that it was the Christians' custom ‘to partake of food – but ordinary and innocent food.’

PLINY
“They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food ...”

These comments indicate that Christians from the very earliest times even preceding the destruction of the Temple practiced the Eucharistic ritual/sacrament of partaking of the body and blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine?
 
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muhammad_isa

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I feel it is too easy to selectively glean soundbites from Wikipedia in order to dismantle Christian belief without a decent working knowledge of Christianity or its scripture or appreciation of its mysteries..

..but I thought that ALL parties we are talking about are/were Christians? :)
ie. not just your "Roman" flavour

Yes .. I know "the Romans" just won the football ;)

What came first .. the chicken or the egg?
What came first .. Jesus or the Roman Empire !?

Take politics out of it .. and you are left with Jesus the Palestinian.
 
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RJM

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..but I thought that ALL parties we are talking about are/were Christians? :)
ie. not just your "Roman" flavour

Yes .. I know "the Romans" just won the football ;)

What came first .. the chicken or the egg?
What came first .. Jesus or the Roman Empire !?

Take politics out of it .. and you are left with Jesus the Palestinian.
Nonsense.

The Roman sources quoted above are mostly anti-Christian and 200 years before Arius (whose own letters you dispute as forgeries) or Constantine. Other historians accept their accounts as reasonably sound. You dispute them simply because they are Roman and do not fit with your own religious belief, but without offering any other actual historical evidence in their place. Opinion pieces are not historical evidence.
 

muhammad_isa

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..You dispute them simply because they are Roman and do not fit with your own religious belief, but without offering any other actual historical evidence in their place..

I don't have to "offer" anything. Jesus was not a Roman and didn't speak English :)
If you are have confidence in detailed Roman history on the subject of the Divinity of Christ, bully for you.

Perhaps you would like to give us the political history of other empires?
No, I thought not .. just the Roman one.
 

RJM

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I don't have to "offer" anything.
One would imagine that someone who rejects historical evidence because they don't like it, would need to offer an alternative? Is there a point discussing history otherwise?

Nevermind ...
 

Thomas

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..but I thought that ALL parties we are talking about are/were Christians? :)
ie. not just your "Roman" flavour
"Roman" Christianity did not emerge until the schism between East and West, so this is way off the mark.

"Roman" theologians hardly get a mention. If you look at "The Latin Fathers", the first is Irenaeus of Lyon, but he was a Greek who became bishop of Lyon.

Tertullian was a North African theologian, the first Christian author in Latin. Probably most famous for coining the term 'Trinity' (trinitas). Later became a Montanist, and for those and other views was never recognised as a saint by East or West.

Next is Ambrose of Milan – who happened to be the first of the Church Fathers to challenge Roman emperors.

A popular governor of Northern Italy, he was elected by the people of Milan as their bishop to replace Bishop Auxentius, an Arian. He didn’t want the job, he hadn't even been baptised! After being baptised he became bishop of Milan from 374-397.

In 388, Emperor Theodosius I executed 7,000 Christians. Ambrose refused him the Eucharist until he made a public penance. On another occasion, Emperor Valentinian II supported his mother’s attempt to use a church in Milan for Arian celebrations. Ambrose successfully resisted. In a homily, he responded to the emperor: "The tribute that belongs to Caesar is not to be denied. The Church, however, is God’s, and it must not be pledged to Caesar; for God’s temple cannot be a right of Caesar ... For the emperor is in the Church not over the Church; and far from refusing the Church’s help, a good emperor seeks it" (Sermon Against Auxentius).
 
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wil

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a figment of your imagination
I don't have to "offer" anything. Jesus was not a Roman and didn't speak English :)
If you are have confidence in detailed Roman history on the subject of the Divinity of Christ, bully for you.

Perhaps you would like to give us the political history of other empires?
No, I thought not .. just the Roman one.
Did someone pee in your cereal brother?

Do you have some.actual info for me to read, to add to the discussion?

I was enjoying the show, please move out from in front of the TV.
 

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The OP, even the title, opines whether or not *most* Christians believed in the Divinity of Christ. Going as far back as the original "band of Apostles," I think Christ's Divinity is pretty much a given...so the answer would be a definitive YES. The debate between Arius and Athanasius was about the nature of that Divinity, but neither side questioned the actual Divinity.
Agreed.

We have mention of the Ebionites, who were basically Jews who think Jesus a man who became the Messiah. Then we have the Nazoreans, another group who thought it necessary to follow the Law, although not as strictly for Gentile converts. It seems the distinction is that the Nazoreans accepted Paul, whereas the Ebionites thought him apostate.

Whatever, as you say, the destruction of the Temple, the failed revolts, and Jerusalem is marginalised. Mistrust and dislike between 'orthodox; Christians and 'orthodox' Jews hardens (there are running street battles in Rome circa 50s-60s) and those on the margins are squeezed out by both sides ...
 

muhammad_isa

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Do you have some.actual info for me to read, to add to the discussion?

You must have missed it while you were away. I have written 100's of posts on the subject.
The bottom line is that the Divinity of Christ was, is and has been always in question.
i.e. Does Jesus speak for the Father [ God ], or is he a begotten relative of God [ or God himself ] etc. etc.

One can quote as much history as they like. At the end of the day, it doesn't solve anything in this regards.
What did the Early Christians believe?
We all have our own thoughts. Greece, Egypt, Israel, Libya and other nations hold different opinions,
and have different accounts of political history :)

Limiting one's self to the English language and its perspective and culture cannot
enlighten us to "the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
We need to see things from EVERYBODY'S point of view.
..back to "the tribes" and their cultures and so on.
 
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RJM

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One can quote as much history as they like. At the end of the day, it doesn't solve anything in this regards.
Not if someone believes scripture over history. If someone comes into a subject with the inbuilt knowledge their scripture trumps all fact and history, then all the evidence they have to offer is their scripture -- which as Gods direct word obviously CANNOT be at fault.

But Christ is far more than what the Quran limits him to be.
 
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RJM

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I think he gets more mention than most tho..
As the man/prophet Jesus son of Mary who deceived everyone by not actually dying on the cross, instead allowing another to die a horrible death in his place, then ascended alive into heaven, and will return to break the cross and kill the pigs and make sure everybody has enough money, and then go on to die properly and be buried in the grave already prepared for him beside that of Muhammad (pbuh) in Mecca.

Believe what you want ...
 
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RJM

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Evidence? That's all of it, right there.

Alright, so that's what you believe -- that's fine. Get on with it. God speaks to every individual soul. Please do not feel it your duty to push your belief on me.

(edited ...)
 
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RJM

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To understand the Christian Jesus, it is at least necessary to read the new testament:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”
(Matt 11:28-30 KJV)

Again, the below is not my own research, but the facts are good:

By Reverence Not Fear
“The evolution of a prestige psychology in humans opens up a new means by which religions can shape human behaviour. Prestige psychology means that humans are predisposed to show deference toward individuals that display the key markers of prestige: generosity and benevolence, as well as being deferred to by other individuals. This applies to deities and supernatural agents, as well as flesh-and-blood individuals: a divine being that displays these traits can tap into human prestige psychology and prompt deference and imitation.

As such, a deity or supernatural agent that not only displays prosocial tendencies, but also actively encourages the cultivation of prosocial dispositions among their followers can promote cooperation in a way that a punishing deity cannot. By promoting prosocial behaviours such deities/supernatural agents can enhance the fitness of the group of their followers, allowing their beliefs to spread through, for instance, cultural group selection.

This process can be seen at work in the cultural dynamics of religions, including early and modern Christianity, which placed great emphasis on Jesus as a prestigious rather than dominant figure. Thus, religions need not be based on a vengeful, punishing God to promote group-beneficial behaviours. Instead there is an alternative pathway: benevolent, generous and prestigious gods can promote prosociality by tapping into our prestige psychology that is primed to defer to, and copy, such figures”
 
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Thomas

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The bottom line is that the Divinity of Christ was, is and has been always in question.
Yes, we all know that ... we're discussing the question at a certain point in its history.

i.e. Does Jesus speak for the Father [ God ], or is he a begotten relative of God [ or God himself ] etc. etc.
Yes, this is the issue ...

One can quote as much history as they like. At the end of the day, it doesn't solve anything in this regards.
It's a starting point, and it does provide significant pointers.

What did the Early Christians believe?
We all have our own thoughts.
That's the question, in a nutshell!

Limiting one's self to the English language and its perspective and culture cannot
enlighten us to "the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
But we're not doing that. It's just that English is the lingua franca of the forum.

We need to see things from EVERYBODY'S point of view.
Yes, we do, and for the most part, we are.
 

muhammad_isa

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As the man/prophet Jesus son of Mary who deceived everyone by not actually dying on the cross..

There has always been deception. The devil and those who incline towards him are deceivers by their very nature.
Through envy, they want mankind to "fail", and as we know, as the time gets closer for armageddon, the devil's party
will appear to be the winning side.

Take climate change .. is it Almighty God who is causing it, or mankind?
If mankind, then what has gone wrong?

Rambling on about Jesus being God will not solve these very important issues.
Neither will scientists. Putting science on a pedestal cannot save mankind from disaster.
[ Tower of Babel ]
..neither can idolising "manifestations" of God .. whatever they may be.

God is God .. he is left us clear guidance. People will either follow it or not.
..so which direction should we follow?
It is up to each individual to believe what they want.

Some people believe that Karl Marx is right .. some people Donald Trump ..
and some people Jesus or Muhammad..
:)
 
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RJM

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There has always been deception. The devil and those who incline towards him are deceivers by their very nature.
Jesus was a deceiver? Jesus inclined towards the devil? He deliberately lied to everybody?
Rambling on about Jesus being God will not solve these very important issues.
Rambling on about Jesus not being God will solve them?
 
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