The term Orthodox establishes a special doctrine in religion. The early Christian Church faced criticism, persecution, and perilous times during its foundation in that era. The early Christians remained firm in their faith that God is the only creator of the universe and that Jesus Christ is the only savior of humanity. It was the duty of the believers in this era to evangelize and many people followed this faith. The early Christian Church adhered to the liturgy in the Old Testament of the Bible. The establishment of the Biblical text did not attract rivals and this led to its flawless adoption. The New International Version (NIV) explains the canon as the law of the Church that has a collection of 66 books that depict God’s Word to declare the standards of faith. Some critics provide that God does not itemize the collection of books included in the bible. Believers have a vague notion in the arrival of the Canon of Scripture. The arrival of the New Testament sparks debate among believers that led to the removal of some of the books in the NT version. The discussion with believers from Jehovah Witness, Christians, and liberal Theologians lead to discrepancies toward the accuracy, extent, and adequacy of the Bible as God’s revelation.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Apostles continued to spread and evangelize the teachings of Jesus in the canon of the NT. Jesus had earlier on handpicked the first disciples and taught them divine truth to fan out the foundation of Christian Church. The early Christian group believes on the obedience of Jesus as the incarnate son of God conceived through the Holy Ghost. Jesus had come to fulfill prophesy in the Old Testament and would redeem humanity from the bondage of sinful living. Later on, Paul of Tarsus, a former persecutor of the Church travelled to different territories to preach the Word of God. The Church experienced conflicts in addressing in different issues in theology and Paul communicated to the Churches through letters in the attempt to clarify and chasten the believers. In few occurrences, a heresy would ensue where evil doers would pervert Christian teachings due to selfish ambition. In the situation, an Apostle would arise to thwart the heretic. For instance a wicked witch, Simon Magus mentioned in the Book of Acts Chapter 8 had a confrontation with Peter. The Ecclesiastical History written by a fourth century bishop called Eusebius. The history appears in the Book of Acts that illustrates the origin of Christianity. The modern version of faith exhibits great competition in the mantle of Orthodoxy in the belief of Christianity. The period regarded heretics as enemies of God in their attempt to thwart the spread of the religion.
The early Orthodox Church encounter challenges in their spread of Christianity to defend the history of Acts of Apostles. The writings of Josephus depict an intriguing hypothesis of the start of early church. The writings suggest that the spread of the gospel was not free from dissent and criticism. The writings point out of numerous occurrences of dissent sect and internal disagreement of epistles. Some of the debate in the Acts leads to profusion of the epistles that fail to establish an effective canon.
Acts claim the spread of the gospel as easy. In the Book of Acts 2:42 the Church grew tremendously to three thousand converts after people listened to the message of Peter in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Some of other verse point out of conflicts and competition in the endeavor to spread the gospel. All converts acquired an orthodox explanation in the Christian belief. The Christian view is that heresy is an all-pervading incident to pressurize the Church. The Biblical text in the Book of 2 Corinthians 13:1 explains the hostile situation in the region that Paul had to make frequent visits to rectify the situation. Paul cautioned of creating divisions between those that preached Jesus while other another gospel. Some of the people from the region called super apostles did not believe on the message of ascension. Paul confronted a similar situation in Galatia where believers adopted another gospel. Some people called the false brethren preached contrarily to the teachings of Paul. The epistles of Pail confirm on the omnipresent nature of heretics. Timothy 1:3-7 mentions of teachers of other doctrines considered as false prophets that come in flesh subjected in the spirit of antichrist. Titus 1:10-16 caution against deception brought by the false prophets that deny God’s works. Heretics in the century cause conflicts to provoke the orthodox. Some of the challengers of heretics include Ignatius of Antioch use the Epistle of Ephesians and the Epistle to the Smyrnaeans to caution believers not to meet the false apostles that thwart the gospel. Heresy arises in the cause of spread of the gospel that lies in the heart of the religion.
The period of the Church Fathers marks an end to all the Apostles that were by taught directly by the first disciples of Jesus Christ. For instance Polycarp and Papias were some of the first disciples of John. The doctrinal authority rested in the Old Testament as the notion of Apostolic Succession has a direct association with Christ. Historically, some of the leaders of the Church Fathers include Polycarp, Barnabas, Papias, Ignatius, and Clement. The men display an absence of technical sophistication as displayed by some of the current theologians in the trinity. The Church Fathers believe in the Trinity of Jesus, Holy Spirit, and God. The leaders in this era affirm their belief in the Old Testament in quipping the word “Thus saith the Lord.” The leaders tend to apply morals and a legal approach in confronting issues. The correspondence of the early theologians confirms the teachings of the Apostles to provide a doctrine link to the New Testament. The Church “Fathers were few in number but had an ability to consume all the aspects of the Christian life of new converts. The people in the era embraces the books of Barnabas, 1and 2 Clement, Didache, and Hermas. The people did not acquire Christianity knowledge before responding to God in obedience. The Early Church suffers a drawback since they are not well-prepared to pass on the liturgy of the Christian faith to other generations. The Church Fathers establish a doctrinal link to the Apostles that leads to a growth of commitment in the Canon of Scripture.
The end of early Church Fathers leads to the era of Apologists and Theologians in the third centuries. During this era, the Church established the canon due to internal and external pressures. The systematization of the rule of faith was to counter the heresies that challenged the teaching of the Apostles. The Ebionitism humanize Jesus and rejects the teachings of the Apostles to result in a Jewish other than the Christian faith. Gnosticism attempts to blend the Hellenistic and Christianity doctrines to forge a new religion in the celestial being. Some of the doctrines portray the God of the OT as weak and incapable unlike the God of the NT. Montanus respond to the Gnostics that Luke and Paul in the NT offer the accurate revelation of God. The author claims that they apply an Orthodox approach to exalt martyrdom and a legal asceticism that lead to the rejection of the Church. The apologists use the term canon to refer to the teachings in the NT since it is a book inspired by God. Irenaeus argue that, “All scriptures is God breathed to teach and rebuke so that man of God is thoroughly equipped with every good work.” At the end of the forth century, most of the books held in high regard disappear in their use as converts embrace the apostolic writings. The East and West establish a standard canon with a collection of 27 books. Athanasius of Alexandria from the East lists the collection of books that believers regard as the sole source of salvation to teach religion. In the same light, Jerome of Nola from the West establishes a collection of 39 books in the OT. The East and West authors work together with other scholars to establish a standard of the canon. The criteria to determine the canonicity of the books includes an internal witness of the Holy Spirit, the apostolic origin, and the spiritual effect of the early church.
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