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When did the universal Church first mentioned in 110AD stop being universal?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by tom55, Aug 3, 2016.

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  1. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    The words "the Catholic Church " ( he katholike ekklesia ) is found in a letter of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans and it was written about the year 110: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church."

    Historically we know that Ignatius was a student of the Apostle John. If a student of an Apostle is calling the Church "universal" and saying where ever the bishop is that is where Jesus is then that leads me to wonder WHO is the bishop he is talking about?

    When did that universal Church, being led by a bishop or bishops, stop being universal and stop being led by bishop(s)??
     
  2. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    As Ignatius died in 108 AD, the writings you are referring to from 110 AD, are considered forgeries.
    http://www.bible.ca/history-ignatius-forgeries-250AD.htm
     
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  3. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    Thank you once again for proving my point that you read opinion articles instead of history. You should take the time and learn about Steve Rudd. I'm sure you support him since he says what you believe but just because he says it does not make it true.

    So lets pretend that Steve Rudd is right and historians wrong.

    Scripture mentions bishops. So my same question still applies.

    Or are you going to deny that bishops are mentioned in scripture also??
     
  4. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    The site is very reliable except obviously to you because it repeats what you say. Now if you have any particular issues to deal with in points he's raised then go ahead and do so but don't just vilify the author because you don't like him. What do you find credible is not an issue here whatsoever. The issue is what is the truth.
    Can you show us where the Greek refers to the English word Bishop?
     
  5. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    I agree with you the site you provided is very reliable. No I can't show you where the Greek refers to the English word Bishop. I am wrong you are right.
     
  6. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    Here is what I found to be the general consensus among scholars: It can hardly be said that there is any unanimous agreement on the subject, the best modern critics favor the authenticity of the 7 letters (of which the letter to the Smyrnaeans is one) mentioned by Eusebius. Such eminent non-Catholic criticsas Zahn, Lightfoot, and Harnack hold this view. The best evidence of their authenticity is to be found in the letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, which mentions each of them by name.

    Below is a link to a respected website concerning the matter also.
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/info/ignatius-cathen.html

    You have put your eggs in one basket (Steve Rudd) and his website. Try to expand your knowledge by reading reliable information and look for sources that don't only support your view. There is a big world out there StanJ and it is all at your finger tips. As you said before, the truth shall set you free.

    So now that I have destroyed your theory about the letter that I mentioned in my original post...can we please move on. Also the general consensus among scholars is that Ignatius died 110AD. If he died a few years earlier or later doesn't change the fact of what he wrote in his letters.
     
  7. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

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    Tom, I am not sure I understand what you are getting at. The context of this letter reads,

    The issue being dealt with here was whether or not baptisms and communion should be administered in the absence of the church leadership. The focus here is maintaining unity by keeping in step with the local church leadership and honoring them. The word "bishop" is the same word translated in many churches as "elder" or "overseer." Thus, for some church structures, the elder(s) or pastor holds this particular office. So, I dont know this is referring specifically to the bishops of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy, but merely the local leaders who oversee the gathering of believers. Yes, for the local Catholic gathering that would be the bishop/priest whereas for the local protestant gathering it would be the pastor/elder(s). Again, I think the focus here is encouraging local believers to be submissive to those in leadership in the area gathering of believers.
     
  8. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    You accuse me of not providing context but you don't quote the entire chapter AND you did it out of context? Hmmmm......

    [But] shun divisions, as the beginning of evils.Do ye all follow your bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the Father, and the presbytery as the Apostles; and to the deacons pay respect, as to God's commandment. Let no man do aught of things pertaining to the Church apart from the bishop. Let that be held a valid Eucharist which is under the bishop or one to whom he shall have committed it.
    8:2 Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be; even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church. It is not lawful apart from the bishop either to baptize or to hold a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve, this is well-pleasing also to God; that everything which ye do may be sure and valid.


    So to put my original quote in full context the letter goes on to say it is unlawful to baptize or hold a love-feast (meal) without the bishop and whatever the bishop approves is pleasing to God and if you do it with the approval of the bishop it is valid.

    You fabricated the "local church leadership" since it is not written in the quote above. Historically we know that the Church is universal and one. Not local where each local bishop or priest or deacon or presbyter decides what their congregation believes. For you to say, "The focus here is maintaining unity by keeping in step with the local church leadership...." is not biblical or historical. There is one Truth, one Church, one Jesus who spoke and teaches one Truth. NOT multiple truths to be deciphered and translated by a local bishop.

    By providing more context it only strengthens my original question!!
     
  9. Wormwood

    Wormwood Chaps Staff Member

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    I am really puzzled, Tom. I didnt add that part because it was part of the OP, I thought it would be repetitive. In any event, I am not denying your assertion. I agree with you that the point is that Ignatius believed that the "bishop" should be present to maintain unity when performing sacramental functions of the church.

    What exactly are you arguing for? Are you suggesting that he is making an argument for a Pope and the Pope should be present when these things happen!? Of course its talking about "local leadership." Its referring to the bishop/elder that was overseeing the Christian gatherings in each respective city.

    I never said there were "multiple truths." What are you talking about?

    This is a classic case of an anachronistic rendering of an ancient text. The author here is not talking about what you are trying to make him talk about. He is not referring to Catholicism vs. Protestantism or church interpretation vs. private interpretation of the Scriptures. It is talking about respecting the bishop, deacons, and so forth of the local church and maintaining unity by respecting and heeding their authority as leaders of the church in that city. I have not fabricated anything. Historically, there were local bishops over various cities where people met. It wasnt until much later that the Church started bickering about which bishop of which city should be viewed as the most prominent and should be the primary bishop over all the bishops. Both the bishop of Rome and the bishop of Jerusalem argued for their place to be the preeminent bishop due to the significance of the cities in which they served.

    In any event, trying to use this text as some sort of half-baked argument against Protestantism or one particular ecclesiology vs another is completely foreign to anything this author is discussing. He is simply encouraging believers to respect the authorities of the church in their cities and part of that respect (for this author) meant not performing baptisms and other sacraments without the leader of the church of that particular city present.
     
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  10. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    You're too funny. Peter Kirby does NOT represent 'General consensus among Scholars'. It's even debatable that he's a Christian. In his Chronicle, Eusebius gives the date of Ignatius's death as AA 2124 (2124 years after Abraham), i.e. the 11th year of Trajan's reign, AD 108. Now you either believe that Ignatius wrote these letters two years after he died or you believe he wrote them while in Roman custody and they survived to see the light of day by an anti-christian government? Even in the early 17th century, common opinion was that he died in 107.
    I would not be relying on a man who believes that Jesus never rose again from the dead, if I were you.
     
  11. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    I am now more puzzled than you. My OP had 21 words in it from Ignatius. You added "context" when you quoted 35 more words of his. I then quoted the entire chapter (roughly 130 words) and you are trying to tell me it was part of the OP? That's a 100 word count difference from my OP to the last post. I agree...You are truly puzzling.

    Read what YOU quoted, "[But] shun divisions, as the beginning of evil."

    That means there were divisions in the church at that time and divisions that caused the Reformation. He even called out the heretics of that time in the letter: But mark ye those who hold strange doctrine touching the grace of Jesus Christ which came to us, how that they are contrary to the mind of God.

    So when you say that I am trying to use this text as a "half-baked argument against Protestantism or one particular ecclesiology.." is not true. It is not half-baked. It is in fact fully baked. Ignatius is arguing against any other theology, belief or doctrine other than that which was passed down thru apostolic succession to the bishops. But do we really want to put the entire letter in our discussion so we can have the full context that you so badly desire? If you wish, I will. Because by putting the entire letter in our discussion it bolsters my argument even more.

    What do YOU mean by local churches? That they have their own autonomy to decide their own doctrine, practices and beliefs? (because that is what I thought you meant)
     
  12. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    I do not know who "Peter Kirby" is.

    Eusebius also said that Ignatius wrote the letter to the Smyrnaeans. So do you still believe Eusebius?

    I will quote what I said earlier: Also the general consensus among scholars is that Ignatius died 110AD. If he died a few years earlier or later doesn't change the fact of what he wrote in his letters.

    GENERAL CONSENSUS means there is some disagreement (but most agree) so that means he could have died a few years BEFORE or a few years AFTER 110.

    So now who is funnier?? :popcorn:
     
  13. StanJ

    StanJ Lifelong student of God's Word.

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    Peter Kirby is the guy you're recording from the early Christian writings site. Why would you quote something and not know who wrote it?
    The date makes all the difference in the world because if he wasn't alive in 110 then he couldn't have written what you say he did in 110, now could he?
    Now you're back peddling and not being accountable for your own words. It's called equivocating.
    You are definitely still funnier. :D
     
  14. ChristianJuggarnaut

    ChristianJuggarnaut New Member

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    Tom,

    Do you really want to discuss apostolic progression of doctrine in consideration of all the Catholic doctrines that the apostles never even mentioned?

    Also, why would you count Ignatius as someone who could tell the church what is lawful or not? That's why we have scripture.
     
  15. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    I apologize. I figured out who Peter Kirby is.

    No back peddling here. I sincerely didn't know who Kirby was/is until you questioned me so I Googled him. Everything I said is still true and factual.

    I see now that Kirby maintains or runs the Early Christian Writings website. That website has links to J.B. Lightfoot, Roberts-Donaldson, Charles H. Hoole and Kirsopp Lake translations of various early Christian writings.

    Therefor I was NOT quoting Peter Kirby since he only provides the links to the translations of the above mentioned.

    Also the general consensus among scholars is that Ignatius died 110AD. If he died a few years earlier or later doesn't change the fact of what he wrote in his letters. Why are you stuck on this 110AD thing when I have already conceded that he could have died a few years earlier????

    Eusebius also said that Ignatius wrote the letter to the Smyrnaeans. So do you still believe Eusebius?
     
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  16. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    There are a lot of doctrines we Christians practice and believe "that the apostles never even mentioned". Can you name one or two?

    Why count Ignatious? Because he was a student of the Apostle John therefor I would give his writings and interpretations of scripture more weight than Martin Luther and many others.

    Who's interpetation of scripture do you trust?
     
  17. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Apostolic succession, rosary beads, worship virgin Mary, priests must be celebate, and purgatory
     
  18. tom55

    tom55 Love your neighbor as yourself

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    Apostolic succession: I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you. So then, brothers and sisters,[stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

    ...instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith. Paul is saying that the DOCTRINE he (and the other apostles) are teaching were to be taught...not the DOCTRINE of people who did not receive training from them.

    "Do not ordain[ anyone hastily...." YOU seem to think any John Doe off the street can pick up the bible, start their own church and preach the truth...without being ordained. Scripture CLEARLY tells us ordination comes thru apostolic succession.

    If you read the early Christian writings you will learn the testimony of the early Church is unanimous in it's assertion of apostolic succession

    So lets pretend that scripture doesn't back up Apostolic Succession. When did what the Apostles taught stop being taught? When was that chain broken?

    Rosary beads: They are just a piece of plastic to keep track of what prayer you are on when saying the rosary. If you mean to SAY the rosary Catholics are not REQUIRED to say the rosary or even the Hail Mary (which is taken from scripture).

    Worship virgin Mary: "ALL generations shall call me blessed".....Which is what the Catholic Church teaches. At least you got the virgin part right...Just like Catholics believe but some protestants don't. So I guess you are part Catholic. Catholics hold great respect for Mary just like Jesus and God did. Don't you??? I will bet JESUS worshiped Mary...but YOU should probably define worship.

    Priests must be celibate: There are married Catholic Priest and they do not have to be celibate. If one CHOOSES to be a Priest they then AGREE to be celibate. It is not FORCED upon them.

    To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord;.... So then, he who marries does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    Purgatory: You are looking in the wrong bible. You need the real bible (73 books). But the bible says nothing unclean shall enter heaven. Will you be clean or sinless when you die??
     
  19. mjrhealth

    mjrhealth Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to do with Purgatory and everything to do with what Jesus has done, how do you think you become clean. Again here you are glorifying your churches false doctrines and stealing Gods glory ffrom Him whcih you seem to be very good at.

    And that is a reason for Idol worship????

    Rev_19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

    Mat_6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Whci is what all that is. Just like so many other religions.

    Justifying a lie does not make it the truth.

    Mat_15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    Mar_7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    Bible seem to disagree with you "AGAIN"

    1Jn_2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    All those who come to Christ are given the same spirit, which whom God sends to those whom believe and He becomes there teacher, just as Paul was taught after His meeting with Jesus. Blind He was with all his teaching untill Jesus opened his eyes to teh truth which so few seem to persue.

    And we know which spirit your church has

    Rev_2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
     
  20. OzSpen

    OzSpen Well-Known Member

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    Tom,

    That is not the Roman Catholic understanding of apostolic succession which states:

    Now to those 'pieces of plastic' that have such real value to the RCC people in prayer.

    There is not a shred of evidence in support of rosary beads in Scripture. ZERO. :p

    Regarding the worship of Mary, this RC priest wrote, 'When Marian devotion plays its proper part in the life of the Church we also start to realize what real worship is, and how important the sacrifice of the Mass is to everything else' ('Do Catholics Worship Mary?')

    Yes, there are some married RC priests (e.g. in Ireland), but they are in violation of what the Pope teaches. I suggest you become better informed about the Pope's view on the need for celibacy in the priesthood:

    As for purgatory,
    Ha, ha! You mean the real Bible, containing the Apocrypha, that includes the fanciful teaching of (1) Tobit, and (2) Bel and the Dragon. The Apocrypha that teaches:

    Endorsement of magic:
    It violates the teaching on forgiveness in Scripture:
    • Tobit 4:11, "For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness."
    • Tobit 12:9, "For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting."
    There are historical errors in the Apocrypha:
    • Judith 1:5, "Now in the twelfth year of his reign, Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, who reigned in Ninive the great city, fought against Arphaxad and overcame him."
    • Baruch 6:2, "And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace."
    • The book of Judith incorrectly says that Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the Assyrians when he was the king of the Babylonians.
    • Baruch 6:2 says the Jews would serve in Babylon for seven generations where Jer. 25:11 says it was for 70 years. "And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."
    So you want me to believe in Purgatory that is contained in a book of the Apocrypha that has such errors in it. Try another one, Tom! :wub: This verse states: 2 Maccabees 12:45, 'But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin'.

    Will I be clean and sinless when I die? At the point of my commitment to Christ, I was justified (declared righteous) by faith. Romans 5:1 (ESV) puts it this way, 'Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ'. So I have been declared righteous by God through my faith in Jesus Christ. It is a legal act that God does at the point of conversion that makes me righteous and at peace with Him. I do not have to depend on some purgatorial experience to make me clean after death. Righteousness before God is mine NOW.

    Oz
     
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