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The Early Christian Church

     
 

How much do we know about the Early Christian Church? Probably not as much as you thought. Here are just a few things that might surprise you.

Jesus spent his whole life as a Jew, and never claimed (even according to the New Testament) to have founded a new religion.

Apart from the single (and perhaps questionable) proposition that his followers should "Oppose not evil", not a single teaching of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament was original, and almost all were being actively taught in the same area and at the same time that he lived.

Most of his titles (Rabbi, Messiah, Saviour, Son of God, etc) were current at the time and were widely used of numerous claimants. So were many of the phrases regarded as characteristically Christian before the discovery of Essene documents at Qumran in the Twentieth century.

As far as anyone knows we have no first hand accounts of Jesus, his sayings, his family or his life or death.

The oldest documents we know of - like the Gospel of Thomas, a Gnostic Gospel - were deliberately excluded from the New Testament when it was assembled in the Third century.

We have no early text of any book of the New Testament. These books were put together several generations after Jesus lived, and are by their own admission written to encourage belief.

We have every sort of evidence that the texts that made up the New Testament were continually tampered with and added to over generations.

We know for a fact that once Christians had agreed to enforce one standard form of orthodoxy they sought out and destroyed all other texts.

We know that the only bishops in the early Church were [Jewish] bishops of Jerusalem.

We also know that the Cathars of the Languedoc preserved a large number of distinctive features from the Early Christian Church, including features now known from recently rediscovered Gnostic Gospels as well as Dualist features that later became heretical.

If you are more interested in the Cathars of the Languedoc, you might be more interested in Cathar Country Tours.

 

 
 
 

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