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Oldest form of Christianity? or church

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by spearman, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. spearman

    spearman New Member

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    Yea like the title says, in your much more educated opinion what would it be. RCC, Eastern orthodox or some other church I have never heard of? To me and its only my opinion this would help alot in my search for the real thing. Would the true and historical Church please stand up. Thanks for your answers and opinions, and the reason I put it in this forum, is I dont think its so easy to answer, and opinions may vary. But please answer and post your opionion
     
  2. Oberon

    Oberon New Member

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    I don't know about "true" church, but if memory serves both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox can trace their roots in unbroken succession to two of the 5 central early churches
     
  3. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister New Member

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    The Anglican church also makes that claim.
     
  4. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil New Member

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    The Mormon's claim to have renewed apostolic succession which they believe was lost in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

    I think the Lutherans claim to have succession as well, with Luther being an RCC monk and priest. I would say, do some serious research on Apostolic Succession. There is ALOT of material just on the apostolic succession of the RCC. (of which I believe is true)
     
  5. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    I guess you mean the oldest form of Christianity still extant. So I would say the various Catholic Churches - Roman, EO, Ethiopian etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  6. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil New Member

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    The Coptic Church might still be in apostolic succession. I'm not sure though.
     
  7. Lucian

    Lucian Theologian

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    It depends highly on the viewpoint, and it's not at all simple. One has to decide it by themselves in the end. Of course I would like to think I follow the oldest form, and so would many other people, but it's arguable. So I don't think you want the straight obvious answer. :p To be a little bit objective, there is no such thing as "true and historical" form, the different traditions have always evolved (though there are a bunch of different churches/communions that claim continuation), and people have had to continue to change and adapt to different conditions, gaining "new light" or "revelation". One could claim that they haven't accepted such but then they would lie. The "people of the old" would most likely condemn most of the modern Christians to be heretics and schismatics regardless of their denomination. But that's how change is. With it "what is true" can be lost, and if we look from the viewpoint of those "people of the old" then it most certainly is lost.

    Of what we know in modern times as the Nestorians/Assyrians, they formed their own in 431, the Ethiopians, Syrians, Armenians and other Monophysites/Miaphysites/Orientals in 451, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics in 1054, Anglicans in 1534, various independent Catholics from 1800s onwards, etc. Every year marks a schism, and every one of these has had even more schisms later on. That isn't really the way to see which is the "true and historical church". Neither is the amount of councils, nor a line of succession. From the list, if it is decided by the year of schism, then Nestorians take the prize. If we decide by a large membership, then Roman Catholics. If by the coolest accent, Anglicans. My own opinion is to look among the independent Catholics.
     
  8. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    I don't think any of them have credible apostolic succession, but they are all linked in some tangible way to the early orthodox churches. Whereas todays Protestants, Restorationists and Re-creationists have broken with ancient traditions or had a significant break in their existence, like Lucian's Arian Church.
     
  9. Jeremy Mason

    Jeremy Mason Well-Known Member

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    I believe the first century church was called The Way.
     
  10. Scott1

    Scott1 New Member

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    The "oldest" form of Christianity is not a Church, but a way of life.......

    The oldest church is the universal church ... found today in both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions.
     
  11. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister New Member

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    And Lutheran, and Anglican, and Prebyterian, and Methodist, and Nazarene, and CME, and....
     
  12. Scott1

    Scott1 New Member

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    Well, no.... I certainly respect your right to believe this, but the Church made it quite clear very early on with the Donatists that this is not the case.
     
  13. spearman

    spearman New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, I was reading somewhere, sorry cant remember the source, but may worth further investigation the "Syrian catholic church" may have the best claim for the oldest.Someone else may know alot more about that than my self but anyway thanks for the comments and discussion very interesting
     
  14. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir New Member

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    I do not understand how these churches can be considered the oldest when they broke off from other groups much later on. If it is a matter of only apostolic succession the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches are the only ones that can make the claim of unbroken apostolic succession, are they not?
     
  15. *Paul*

    *Paul* Jesus loves you

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    I would say that it's the church who's doctrine and practice most closely mirrors that found in the acts and epistles. I do not know of anyone denomination that fully matches up but I find groups and individuals in many of the denominations that come close. But remember even the first church with all their superior knowledge of the original languages (obviously), having the orignal scriptures and learning first hand off the apostles was not a perfect one and had to be corrected in each epistle to them and from Christ Himself in the book of Revelation. There never was a perfect church yet that had it all right but they were still called saints for their faith and life.
     
  16. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    The idea that the Church is something that subsides primarily or solely in the inner, invisible, spiritual entity of those who are in fact in Christ by virtue of them properly understanding the Bible or happen to be the ones that “get it”, is not just preposterous but it fails by mere use of reason, history, and lastly the Scriptures themselves don’t support such a thing.

    The Church is not just an invisible/spiritual entity. The Church has always been revealed as an objective and subjective entity. I just can’t see how anyone reading Christian history can see it otherwise. Unless of course it excuses them from even reading what early Christians had to say.
     
  17. Orontes

    Orontes Master of the Horse

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    Religion:
    LDS
    There are some (myself included) that hold that primitive Christianity has not survived, but was replaced and changed into something else.

    Other opinions would argue that the Church is found in: The Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, or Oriental Orthodoxy. Which of these has the most viable claim would depend on which stance one holds to for the schisms that divided them: the schism of 453 over the Council of Chalcedon that divided Oriental Orthodoxy (miaphysites) from Eastern/Roman Catholics (dyophysites). Then there is the schism of 1054 between Patriarchy of Rome and the East. The key issue here would be about where lies Apostolic Succession, Papal Supremacy and the role of councilarism in determining the true.

    Another possible option is to consider those forms of Christianity that predate the Imperial phase of the Church i.e. prior to the Council of Nicea (325). This would include Arian groups and other Origenist movements within Christian Thought. There are also the Gnostic Branches of Christianity that existed in the Early Centuries of the Church. All of these groups are held as heresies by the Churches noted in the paragraph above. Even so, any study of the oldest forms of Christianity must consider those early forms that were defeated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  18. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism Staff Member Premium Member

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    24,280
    Religion:
    Disciple of Yeshua.
    The earliest form of Christianity would be what the 12 Apostles had. ;) They were Jews.
     
    Jeremy Mason and ayani like this.
  19. Jeremy Mason

    Jeremy Mason Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! Frubals :yes:
     
  20. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member

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    1) I had not thought to take part in this discussion but I thought ChristineES’ observation was very clever and simply thought to offer a friendly amendment to it.

    ChristineES proffered:
    If the early literature such as Conflict of Adam and Eve is correct, and Adam, after his fall, was informed that a Savior would come to perform the redemption for men, then the original religion taught to Adam, was a form of Christianity.

    Though both Jews and Christians read the same words in the Old Testament, Christianity interprets the Old Testament symbolism and teachings as a form of Christianity; and interpret the Law of Moses as a "Schoolmaster" type of law which was intended to point their minds forward to the future advent of a Saviour.


    2) Also, I must agree with those who’ve observed that the Roman Church does not not represent the original Church of Jesus Christ.

    For example, I do NOT believe that the Roman Churches Bishops were EVER given the Authority of Apostles from any of the original Apostles of Jesus. I do not believe that the Roman Christian Church was more authoritative than it’s sister Christian churches in Antioch, or Jerusalem, or Constantinople, Corinth, etc. (the several versions of the spurious "Clement letters" notwithstanding)

    I believe that if any of the other early Christian Churches ( Antioch; Jerusalem; Constantinople, Corinth, etc) of the post-apostolic era had "won out" in the political battle for pre-eminence over the Roman Church, the Church now called "the Catholic Church" would have been far different than the modern version of the early Roman Christian church.


    Clear
    ei-ne-fu
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
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