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The late ancient history of Christianity traces Christianity during the Christian Roman Empire - the period from the rise of Christianity under Emperor Constantine (c. 313), until the fall of the Roman Empire in the West (c. 476). The end of this period is variable because the transformation to the sub-Roman period was gradual and occurred at different times in different areas. It may generally be dated as lasting to the late sixth century and the re-conquests of Justinian, though a more traditional date is 476, the year that Romulus Augustus, traditionally considered the last western emperor, was deposed.

Christianity began spread initially in the Near East, ultimately becoming the state religion of Armenia in either 301 or 314, of Ethiopia in 325, of Georgia in 337, and then the state religion of the Roman Empire in 380 (see Edict of Thessalonica).

Christianity legalised

In April 311, Galerius, who had previously been one of the leading figures in the persecutions, issued an edict permitting the practice of the Christian religion under his rule.[1] In 313 Constantine I and Licinius announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan. Constantine would become the first Christian emperor. By 391, under the reign of Theodosius I, Christianity had become the state religion. Constantine I, the first emperor to embrace Christianity, was also the first emperor to openly promote the newly legalised religion.

Constantine the Great

The Emperor Constantine I was exposed to Christianity by his mother, Helena. There is scholarly controversy, however, as to whether Constantine adopted his mother's humble Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life.[2]

Constantine Musei Capitolini

Head of Constantine's colossal statue at Musei Capitolini

Christian sources record that Constantine experienced a dramatic event in 312 at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, after which Constantine would claim the emperorship in the West. According to these sources, Constantine looked up to the sun before the battle and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words "ΕΝ ΤΟΥΤΩ ΝΙΚΑ" ("by this, conquer!", often rendered in the Latin "in hoc signo vinces"); Constantine commanded his troops to adorn their shields with a Christian symbol (the Chi-Ro), and thereafter they were victorious.[3] How much Christianity Constantine adopted at this point is difficult to discern; most influential people in the empire, especially high military officials, were still pagan, and Constantine's rule exhibited at least a willingness to appease these factions. The Roman coins minted up to eight years subsequent to the battle still bore the images of Roman gods.[2] Nonetheless, the accession of Constantine was a turning point for the Christian Church. After his victory, Constantine supported the Church financially, built various basilicas, granted privileges (e.g., exemption from certain taxes) to clergy, promoted Christians to high ranking offices, and returned property confiscated during the Great Persecution of Diocletian.[4] Between 324 and 330, Constantine built, virtually from scratch, a new imperial capital at Byzantium on the Bosphorus (it came to be named for him: Constantinople)–the city employed overtly Christian architecture, contained churches within the city walls (unlike "old" Rome), and had no pagan temples.[5] In accordance with the prevailing customs, Constantine was baptised on his deathbed.

Constantine also played an active role in the leadership of the Church. In 313, he issued the Edict of Milan, legalising Christian worship. In 316, he acted as a judge in a North African dispute concerning the Donatist controversy. More significantly, in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified), to deal mostly with the Arian controversy, but which also issued the Nicene Creed, which among other things professed a belief in One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, the start of Christendom. The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian Emperor in the Church. Emperors considered themselves responsible to God for the spiritual health of their subjects, and thus they had a duty of maintain orthodoxy.[6] The emperor did not decide doctrine — that was the responsibility of the bishops — rather his role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity.[7] The emperor ensured that God was properly worshiped in his empire; what proper worship consisted of was the responsibility of the church. This precedent would continue until certain emperors of the fifth and six centuries sought to alter doctrine by imperial edict without recourse to councils, though even after this Constantine's precedent generally remained the norm.[8]

The reign of Constantine did not bring the total unity of Christianity within the Empire. His successor in the East, Constantius II, was an Arian who kept Arian bishops at his court and installed them in various sees, expelling the orthodox bishops.

Constantius's successor, Julian, known in the Christian world as Julian the Apostate, was a philosopher who upon becoming emperor renounced Christianity and embraced a Neo-platonic and mystical form of paganism shocking the Christian establishment. Intent on re-establishing the prestige of the old pagan beliefs, he modified them to resemble Christian traditions such as the episcopal structure and public charity (hitherto unknown in Roman paganism). Julian eliminated most of the privileges and prestige previously afforded to the Christian Church. His reforms attempted to create a form of religious heterogeneity by, among other things, reopening pagan temples, accepting Christian bishops previously exiled as heretics, promoting Judaism, and returning Church lands to their original owners. However, Julian's short reign ended when he died while campaigning in the East.

Christianity came to dominance during the reign of Julian's successors, Jovian, Valentinian I, and Valens (the last Eastern Arian Christian Emperor). On February 27, 380, Theodosius I issued the edict De Fide Catolica establishing "Catholic Christianity"[9] as the exclusive official state religion, outlawed other faiths, and closed pagan temples.(Theodosian Code XVI.1.2; and Sozomen, "Ecclesiastical History", VII, iv.[10])[11] Additional prohibitions were passed by Theodosius I in 391 further proscribing remaining pagan practices.

Theology and heresy

Heresies

The earliest controversies were generally Christological in nature; that is, they were related to Jesus' (eternal) divinity or humanity. Docetism held that Jesus' humanity was merely an illusion, thus denying the incarnation. Arianism held that Jesus, while not merely mortal, was not eternally divine and was, therefore, of lesser status than God the Father (John 14:28). Trinitarianism held that God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all strictly one being with three hypostases. Many groups held dualistic beliefs, maintaining that reality was composed into two radically opposing parts: matter, usually seen as evil, and spirit, seen as good. Others held that both the material and spiritual worlds were created by God and were therefore both good, and that this was represented in the unified divine and human natures of Christ.[12]

The development of doctrine, the position of orthodoxy, and the relationship between the various opinions is a matter of continuing academic debate. Since most Christians today subscribe to the doctrines established by the Nicene Creed, modern Christian theologians tend to regard the early debates as a unified orthodox position (see also Proto-orthodox Christianity and Palaeo-orthodoxy) against a minority of heretics.

The development of doctrine, the position of orthodoxy, and the relationship between the various opinions is a matter of continuing academic debate. Since most Christians today subscribe to the doctrines established by the Nicene Creed, modern Christian theologians tend to regard the early debates as a unified orthodox position (see also Proto-orthodox Christianity and Palaeo-orthodoxy) against a minority of heretics. Other scholars, drawing upon, among other things, distinctions between Jewish Christians, Pauline Christians, and other groups such as Gnostics and Marcionites, argue that early Christianity was fragmented, with contemporaneous competing orthodoxies.[13]

Ecumenical Councils

Nicaea icon

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre) and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

During this era, several Ecumenical Councils were convened.

  • First Council of Nicaea (325)
  • First Council of Constantinople (381)
  • Council of Ephesus (431)
  • Council of Chalcedon (451)

These were mostly concerned with Christological disputes and represent an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus and to establish a unified Christian theology. The Council of Nicaea (325) condemned Arian teachings as heresy and produced a creed (see Nicene Creed). The Council of Ephesus condemned Nestorianism and affirmed the Blessed Virgin Mary to be Theotokos ("God-bearer" or "Mother of God"). Perhaps the most significant council was the Council of Chalcedon that affirmed that Christ had two natures, fully God and fully man, distinct yet always in perfect union, largely affirming Leo's "Tome." Thus, it condemned Monophysitism and would be influential in refuting Monothelitism. However, not all sees accepted all the councils, for example Nestorianism and the Assyrian Church of the East split over the Council of Ephesus of 431, Oriental Orthodoxy split over the Council of Chalcedon of 451.

Council of Nicaea (325)

Emperor Constantine convened this council to settle a controversial issue, the relation between Jesus Christ and God the Father. The Emperor wanted to establish universal agreement on it. Representatives came from across the Empire, subsidized by the Emperor. Previous to this council, the bishops would hold local councils, such as the Council of Jerusalem, but there had been no universal, or ecumenical, council.

The council drew up a creed, the original Nicene Creed, which received nearly unanimous support. The council's description of "God's only-begotten Son", Jesus Christ, as of the same substance with God the Father became a touchstone of Christian Trinitarianism. The council also addressed the issue of dating Easter (see Quartodecimanism and Easter controversy), recognised the right of the see of Alexandria to jurisdiction outside of its own province (by analogy with the jurisdiction exercised by Rome) and the prerogatives of the churches in Antioch and the other provinces[14] and approved the custom by which Jerusalem was honoured, but without the metropolitan dignity.[15]

The Council was opposed by the Arians, and Constantine tried to reconcile Arius, after whom Arianism is named, with the Church. Even when Arius died in 336, one year before the death of Constantine, the controversy continued, with various separate groups espousing Arian sympathies in one way or another.[16] In 359, a double council of Eastern and Western bishops affirmed a formula stating that the Father and the Son were similar in accord with the scriptures, the crowning victory for Arianism.[17] The opponents of Arianism rallied, but in the First Council of Constantinople in 381 marked the final victory of Nicene orthodoxy within the Empire, though Arianism had by then spread to the Germanic tribes, among whom it gradually disappeared after the conversion of the Franks to Catholicism in 496.[18]

Council of Constantinople (381)
Hagia Irene2

Hagia Irene is a former church, now a museum, in Istanbul. Commissioned in the 4th century, it ranks as the first church built in Constantinople, and has its original atrium. In 381 the First Council of Constantinople took place in the church. Damaged by an earthquake in the 8th century, its present form largely dates from repairs made at that time.

The council approved the current form of the Nicene Creed as used in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox churches, but, except when Greek is used, with two additional Latin phrases ("Deum de Deo" and "Filioque") in the West. The form used by the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, has many more additions.[19] This fuller creed may have existed before the Council and probably originated from the baptismal creed of Constantinople.[20]

The council also condemned Apollinarism,[21] the teaching that there was no human mind or soul in Christ.[22] It also granted Constantinople honorary precedence over all churches save Rome.[23]

The council did not include Western bishops or Roman legates, but it was accepted as ecumenical in the West.[24]

Council of Ephesus (431)

Theodosius II called the council to settle the Nestorian controversy. Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, opposed use of the term Theotokos (Greek Η Θεοτόκος, "God-bearer").[25] This term had long been used by orthodox writers, and it was gaining popularity along with devotion to Mary as Mother of God.[26] He reportedly taught that there were two separate persons in the incarnate Christ, though whether he actually taught this is disputed.[27]

The council deposed Nestorius, repudiated Nestorianism as heretica, and proclaimed the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos. After quoting the Nicene Creed in its original form, as at the First Council of Nicaea, without the alterations and additions made at the First Council of Constantinople, it declared it "unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa."[28]

The result of the Council led to political upheaval in the church, as the Assyrian Church of the East and the Persian Sassanid Empire supported Nestorius, resulting in the Nestorian Schism, which separated the Church of the East from the Latin Byzantine Church.

Council of Chalcedon (451)

The council repudiated the Eutychian doctrine of monophysitism, described and delineated the "Hypostatic Union" and two natures of Christ, human and divine; adopted the Chalcedonian Creed. For those who accept it, it is the Fourth Ecumenical Council (calling the previous council, which was rejected by this council, the "Robber Synod" or "Robber Council").

Before the Council of Chalcedon, at Ephesus

In November 448, a synod at Constantinople condemned Eutyches for unorthodoxy.[29] Eutyches, archimandrite (abbot) of a large Constinapolitan monastery,[30] taught that Christ was not consubstantial with humanity.[31]

In 449, Theodosius II summoned a council at Ephesus, where Eutyches was exonerated and returned to his monastery.[32] This council was later overturned by the Council of Chalcedon and labeled "Latrocinium" (i.e., "Robber Council").[33]

Biblical canon

The Biblical canon-- is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and thus constituting the Christian Bible-- developed over time. While there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings were accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the second century.[34]

Constantine commissions Bibles

In 331, Constantine I commissioned Eusebius to deliver fifty Christian Bibles for the Church of Constantinople. Athanasius (Apol. Const. 4) recorded Alexandrian scribes around 340 preparing Bibles for Constans. Little else is known, though there is plenty of speculation. For example, it is speculated that this may have provided motivation for canon lists, and that Codex Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus are examples of these Bibles. Together with the Peshitta, these are the earliest extant Christian Bibles.[35]

Current canon

In his Easter letter of 367, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of exactly the same books as what would become the New Testament canon,[36] and he used the word "canonised" (kanonizomena) in regards to them.[37] The African Synod of Hippo, in 393, approved the New Testament, as it stands today, together with the Septuagint books, a decision that was repeated by Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419.[38] These councils were under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed.[39] Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382, if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it, issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above,[36] or if not the list is at least a sixth century compilation.[40] Likewise, Damasus's commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, c. 383, was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West.[41] In 405, Pope Innocent I sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse. When these bishops and councils spoke on the matter, however, they were not defining something new, but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church."[42] Thus, from the fourth century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today),[43] and by the fifth century the East, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon.[44]

Nonetheless, a full dogmatic articulation of the canon was not made until the 16th century and 17th century.[45]

Structure

Dioceses

After legalisation, the Church adopted the same organisational boundaries as the Empire: geographical provinces, called dioceses, corresponding to imperial governmental territorial division. The bishops, who were located in major urban centres as per pre-legalisation tradition, thus oversaw each diocese. The bishop's location was his "seat", or "see"; among the sees, five held special eminence: Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria. The prestige of these sees depended in part on their apostolic founders, from whom the bishops were therefore the spiritual successors, e.g., St. Mark as founder of the See of Alexandria, St. Peter of the See of Rome, etc. There were other significant elements: Jerusalem was the location of Christ's death and resurrection, the site of a first century council, etc., see also Jerusalem in Christianity. Antioch was where Jesus' followers were first labelled as Christians, it was used in a derogatory way to berate the followers of Jesus the Christ. Rome was where SS. Peter and Paul had been martyred (killed), Constantinople was the "New Rome" where Constantine had moved his capital c. 330, and, lastly, all these cities had important relics.

The Pentarchy

By the fifth century, the ecclesiastical had evolved a hierarchical "pentarchy" or system of five sees (patriarchates), with a settled order of precedence, had been established. Rome, as the ancient centre and once largest city of the empire, was understandably given the presidency or primacy of honour within the pentarchy into which Christendom was now divided; though it was and still held that the patriarch of Rome was the first among equals. Constantinople was second in precedence as the new capital of the empire.

Among these dioceses, the five with special eminence were Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria. The prestige of most of these sees depended in part on their apostolic founders, from whom the bishops were therefore the spiritual successors. Though the patriarch of Rome was still held to be the first among equals, Constantinople was second in precedence as the new capital of the empire.

Papacy and primacy

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the office is the "papacy." As a bishopric, its origin is consistent with the development of an episcopal structure in the first century. The papacy, however, also carries the notion of primacy: that the See of Rome is pre-eminent amongst all other sees. The origins of this concept are historically obscure; theologically, it is based on three ancient Christian traditions: (1) that the apostle Peter was pre-eminent among the apostles, see Primacy of Simon Peter, (2) that Peter ordained his successors for the Roman See, and (3) that the bishops are the successors of the apostles (apostolic succession). As long as the Papal See also happened to be the capital of the Western Empire, the prestige of the Bishop of Rome could be taken for granted without the need of sophisticated theological argumentation beyond these points; after its shift to Milan and then Ravenna, however, more detailed arguments were developed based on Matthew 16:18–19 etc.[46] Nonetheless, in antiquity the Petrine and Apostolic quality, as well as a "primacy of respect", concerning the Roman See went unchallenged by emperors, eastern patriarchs, and the Eastern Church alike.[47] The Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 affirmed the primacy of Rome.[48] Though the appellate jurisdiction of the Pope, and the position of Constantinople, would require further doctrinal clarification, by the close of Antiquity the primacy of Rome and the sophisticated theological arguments supporting it were fully developed. Just what exactly was entailed in this primacy, and its being exercised, would become a matter of controversy at certain later times.

Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers

Later Church Fathers wrote volumes of theological texts, including Augustine, Gregory Nazianzus, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ambrose of Milan, Jerome, and others. What resulted was a golden age of literary and scholarly activity unmatched since the days of Virgil and Horace. Some of these fathers, such as John Chrysostom and Athanasius, suffered exile, persecution, or martyrdom from Arian Byzantine Emperors. Many of their writings are translated into English in the compilations of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.

Monasticism

Monasticism is a form of asceticism whereby one renounces worldly pursuits (in contempu mundi) and concentrates solely on heavenly and spiritual pursuits, especially by the virtues humility, poverty, and chastity. It began early in the Church as a family of similar traditions, modeled upon Scriptural examples and ideals, and with roots in certain strands of Judaism. St. John the Baptist is seen as the archetypical monk, and monasticism was also inspired by the organisation of the Apostolic community as recorded in Acts of the Apostles.

There are two forms of monasticism: eremetic and cenobitic. Eremetic monks, or hermits, live in solitude, whereas cenobitic monks live in communities, generally in a monastery, under a rule (or code of practice) and are governed by an abbot. Originally, all Christian monks were hermits, following the example of Anthony the Great. However, the need for some form of organised spiritual guidance lead Saint Pachomius in 318 to organise his many followers in what was to become the first monastery. Soon, similar institutions were established throughout the Egyptian desert as well as the rest of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Central figures in the development of monasticism were, in the East, St. Basil the Great, and St. Benedict in the West, who created the famous Benedictine Rule, which would become the most common rule throughout the Middle Ages.

See also

Centuries of Christian History
BC 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st

Notes

  1. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum ("On the Deaths of the Persecutors") ch. 35–34
  2. 2.0 2.1 R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 55
  3. R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 55; cf. Eusebius, Life of Constantine
  4. R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) pp. 55–56
  5. R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 56
  6. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) pp. 14–15
  7. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) p. 15
  8. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) p. 16
  9. Theodosian Code XVI.i.2, Medieval Sourcebook: Banning of Other Religions by Paul Halsall, June 1997, Fordham University, retrieved 2007-09-04
  10. Emperor Theodosius I. ""IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus"" (web). ancientrome.ru. http://ancientrome.ru/ius/library/codex/theod/liber16.htm. Retrieved 2006-12-04. 
  11. R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 57
  12. R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 58
  13. e.g., Bauer, Walter (1971). Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity. ISBN 0–8006–1363–5. ; Pagels, Elaine (1979). The Gnostic Gospels. ISBN 0–679–72453–2. ; Ehrman, Bart D. (2003). Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. New York: Oxford. ISBN 0–19–514183–0. 
  14. canon 6
  15. canon 7
  16. "Arianism." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  17. "Arianism." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  18. "Arianism." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  19. Armenian Church Library: Nicene Creed
  20. "Nicene Creed." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  21. "Constantinople, First Council of." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  22. "Apollinarius." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  23. "Constantinople, First Council of." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  24. "Constantinople, First Council of." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  25. "Nestorius." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  26. "Nestorius." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  27. "Nestorius." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  28. canon 7
  29. "Latrocinium." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  30. "Eutyches" and "Archimandrite." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  31. "Monophysitism." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  32. "Latrocinium." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  33. "Latrocinium." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  34. The Cambridge History of the Bible (volume 1) eds. P. R. Ackroyd and C. F. Evans (Cambridge University Press, 1970) p. 308
  35. McDonald & Sanders, The Canon Debate, pages 414-415, for the entire paragraph
  36. 36.0 36.1 Lindberg, Carter (2006). A Brief History of Christianity. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 15. ISBN 1405110783. 
  37. David Brakke, "Canon Formation and Social Conflict in Fourth Century Egypt: Athanasius of Alexandria's Thirty Ninth Festal Letter", in Harvard Theological Review 87 (1994) pp. 395–419
  38. McDonald & Sanders' The Canon Debate, 2002, Appendix D-2, note 19: "Revelation was added later in 419 at the subsequent synod of Carthage."
  39. Everett Ferguson, "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon", in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) p. 320; F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 230; cf. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 22.8
  40. F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 234
  41. F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 225
  42. Everett Ferguson, "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon", in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) p. 320; Bruce Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origins, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987) pp. 237–238; F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 97
  43. F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 215
  44. The Cambridge History of the Bible (volume 1) eds. P. R. Ackroyd and C. F. Evans (Cambridge University Press, 1970) p. 305; cf. the Catholic Encyclopedia, Canon of the New Testament
  45. Council of Trent of 1546 for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Eastern Orthodox.
  46. cf. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) p. 9
  47. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) pp. 10 and 12
  48. see J. D. Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum Nova et Amplissima Collectio 3, p. 559

Print resources

  • Guericke et al., Heinrich Ernst (1857). A Manual of Church History: Ancient Church History Comprising the First Six Centuries. New York: Wiley and Halsted. 
  • González, Justo L. (1984). The Story of Christianity: Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Reformation. San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0–06–063315–8. 
  • Latorette, Kenneth Scott (1975). A History of Christianity, Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500 (Revised). San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0–06–064952–6 (paperback). 
  • Shelley, Bruce L. (1996). Church History in Plain Language (2nd edition ed.). ISBN 0–8499–3861–9. 
  • Hastings, Adrian (1999). A World History of Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0802848753. 

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