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Jesus. is. Messiah jyvm. Anointed one. MESSIAH. Christ cristov . Earliest Christian theology. CHRISTOLOGY. was. How to conceptualize and describe Jesus the Christ?. Images of Jesus the Christ. in Jewish Christianity. Jesus the descendant of David – kingly warrior.

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Earliest Christian theology


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  1. Jesus is Messiah jyvm Anointed one MESSIAH Christcristov Earliest Christian theology CHRISTOLOGY was How to conceptualize and describe Jesus the Christ?

  2. Images of Jesus the Christ in Jewish Christianity • Jesus the descendant of David – kingly warrior • Jesus the eschatological prophet – like Moses • Jesus the priest – mediator, new high priest • Jesus the angel of great counsel • Jesus descended from and ascended to heaven • Jesus liberator of the saints of Israel from hades

  3. Jesus' friends  ate and drank with him every day expectation love anger saw him experience human emotions  fear abandonment frustration knew his outstanding gifts and limitations 

  4. hug children cry over the death of a friend they saw him get indignant with those who tried to trap him with trick questions become outraged over hypocrisy show compassion toward people who were disabled or hurting welcome strangers

  5. Jesus can admit ignorance of the end-time(Mk 13:32) can show amazement at the faith of the centurion(Matt 8:10) felt both longing and sorrow over his last meal with his friends He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;(Lk 22:15) experiences dread and anguish over his fate “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.”(Matt 26:38)

  6. Belief in Jesus’ Divinity Lord Early Christian communities seemed to have no difficulty accepting Jesus as God And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”(Mk 1:11)

  7. Thomas Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”(Jn 20:28) we have seen his glory, the glory as of the father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:14)

  8. Divergent Views arose while the Jesus followers were still part of Judaism Ebionites wanted to keep faith with the Jewish heritage from Jesus and disciples Jews who accepted Jesus Denied the virgin birth Denied pre-existence of the Son true prophet of God Jesus man endowed with special powers – good example for others

  9. Jesus followers Jewish monotheism struggled to remain faithful to stressed the monarchy of Godhead Monarchianism no distinction between Father and Son denied humanity of Christ Adoptionism Jesus was the adopted son of God and not truly the divine Son denied divinity of Christ

  10. GNOSTICISM gnwsi = Knowledge secret knowledge is available only to those who have Salvation created by a spiritual being other than God Material world prison for the eternal human spirit Body leads the spirit astray

  11. Salvation means escaping material world to be united to the true world of the spirit Christ's role was to save us from materiality and the flesh so it is not logical that Christ could have taken on human nature Christ only appeared to be human

  12. 2nd century Christianity characterised by geographically variety theologically DIVERSITY UNITY IN ‘No epoch of Christology displays such numerous and different currents of thought as the second century.’ Aloys Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition. London: Mowbrays, 1975, 37

  13. Extent of Christian communities by the 1st century CE Extent of Christian communities by 185 CE (the time of Irenaeus)

  14. 2nd century Christianity continued reflection on the person and work of Jesus Christ continued an output of writings Apocrypha ‘hidden’ ‘secret’ esoteric Christianity encounters variant teachings composed to amplify and embroider issues touched on in the canonical writings HERESY

  15. New Testament Apocrypha Gospels James names Mary’s parents; choice of Joseph by blossoming staff passion story; doubts reality of Jesus’ sufferings Peter Thomas miracles of Jesus’ boyhood Thomas Gnostic collection of Jesus’ sayings ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ Arabic Gospel of the Infancy flight into Egypt; miracle stories descent into hell; Mary’s version of annunciation (pre 4th) Gospel of Bartholomew Gospel of Philip Egyptian Gnostic gospel

  16. Acts John miracles - unreality of Jesus’ body; Encratite: marriage sinful Paul Paul and Thecla; martyrdom of Paul Peter Docetic and Encratite; quo vadis; crucifixion of Peter Andrew miracles; crucifixion of Andrew; Encratite Thomas Thos persuades wives to leave husbands; in India Philip fantastic miracles; orthodox (pre 5th)

  17. Epistles Epistle of Abgar Abgar of Edessa writes asking Jesus to come and heal him; Jesus sends Thaddeus (pre 4th) compiled of phrases from canonical Epistles (pre 4th) to the Laodiceans of the Apostles revelations of Jesus after his resurrection about resurrection and judgment; c.160 Paul and Seneca 14 short letters between Paul and Seneca; Roman philosopher shows sympathy for Christianity (pre 4th)

  18. Apocalypses Revelation of the future through dreams and visions; rich in symbolism Peter 2nd Century Paul 4th century Thomas James containing descriptions of visions of the last judgment, joys of heaven, torments of hell

  19. Early Heresies Docetism Jesus only appeared to be human Serapion of Antioch every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.1 John 4:2 Gnosticism possessed unique higher knowledge matter is evil Simon Magus Marcion was dualistic Valentinus rejected OT and Judaism Tatian

  20. Apostolic Fathers Bishop of Rome Clement of Rome c.30 – c.100 1 Clement to the Corinthians martyred under Domitian Jesus Christ was sent forth from God(1 Clem 42) Let all the Gentiles know that you are God alone, and Jesus Christ is Your Son, and we are your people and the sheep of your pasture (1 Clem 59)

  21. Ignatius of Antioch d. 112 Ephesians Magnesians Trallians Romans Philadelphians Smyrnaeans Polycaarp Letters written en route to martyrdom in Rome distinguished between bishops and elders the presence of the Father Jesus God in a human being Jesus is Lord

  22. Knew the Apostle John Polycarp of Smyrna c.69 - 160 compiled and preserved letters of Ignatius Letter tothe Philippians confronted Marcion as ‘firstborn of Satan’ Strong opponent of Docetism Anathematized those who did not ‘confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh’(Phil 7.1) ‘Eighty-six years have I served Him and He has done me no wrong. How can I speak evil of my King who saved me?’

  23. Second-Century Apologists wrote to refute the intellectual attacks on Christianity Hellenistic Christian thought reached a new level in its encounter with cultures Roman Christianity had broken with Judaism was mainly Gentile had to be explained in new language and concepts Jesus Christ Greek Philosophy

  24. Justin Martyr (d.165) Tried to harmonize Christianity with Hellenistic culture First Apology Wrote Dialogue with Trypho the Jew from God but not the first and ultimate deity Logos Christ is at once ’God and man’Dial 71.2

  25. Bishop of Lyons Irenaeusc.125-c.202 Against Heresies5 vols Wrote Refutation of Gnostic and Docetic ideas pre-existent Logos became human Christ had to be human to save human nature When the Lord was tempted, suffered and died the Word remained quiet but cooperated with the humanity in its victory, endurance and resurrection. Haer 3,19,3

  26. Key to the Christology of Irenaeus Jesus Christ Saviour is soteriology refrained from trying to explain the deity of Christ and how it related to the Father  Doctrine of the Trinity not yet formulated iesus Christus vere homo, vere deus Christ is the incarnation of God – not of an aeon   To save us Christ’s humanity had to be identical with ours

  27. Tertullian c.160 – c.230 layman living in Carthage Stressed the two natures in Christ both continue unaltered and unimpaired after the union

  28. School of Alexandria Emphasized Divinity of Jesus of Christ’s humanity Word unity with Focused on Clement of Alexandriad.215 Logos has entered into human flesh he is alone both God and man Christ was free of human passions

  29. Origenc.185-254  First real Christian Bible scholar De Principiisfirst comprehensive dogmatic study  Against Celsusconcludes great series of early Christian apologetics  taught pre-existence of human soul – one of these united with the Logos emphasised the complete humanity of Jesus taught that Jesus loses his humanity as it becomes deified

  30. School of Antioch Humanity Emphasized of Jesus Human Being Word becomes a Nestorius(d. c. 451) Insisted that the humanity of Jesus was a separate and distinct personal entity Denied that Mary was truly the Mother of God

  31. Montanism expected imminent start of the millennium considered themselves spiritual – others carnal Montanus held to universal priesthood of believers