Originally posted by octotom
reply to post by JonInMichigan
Constantine who was the emperor of Rome says “Dude! I love these Christians. They stand there and get eaten by lions and don’t even
cry about it. They Rock!” And thus Christianity was adopted by Rome,
Christianity was only made legal in Constantine's time. It became the official state religion sometime afterward.
This was a very quick rundown, not a doctoral dissertation! I was only trying to get into the ballpark. It is not arguable that Constantine got the
ball rolling. I was not attempting to create a 20 page timeline of events. But your point is well taken.
But there was one problem, Chritianity was completely rag-tag and needed to be canonized into something people could reference. Thus began the
counsels (Nicaea, Trent, etc)
Problem with this though is that throughout the early church, virtually all the books that we call the New Testament were recognized as authoritative.
Christianity wasn't just some fish out of water faith, as you characterized it.
They picked four, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John.
They "chose" these because the church at-large had already accepted them. It wasn't a very hard decision. There weren't even "other Gospels"
written until the third and fourth centuries (with the possible exception of Thomas). All these Gospels were immediately recognized as forgeries and
written by those pushing certain theological agendas.
I don’t know what to say. In most secular Christian studies it’s well accepted that Constantine tried to eliminate the books that made Jesus
sound too human, or too Jewish. It’s an ongoing debate. I don’t believe they battled it out in so many counsels, for so many years, when
everything was cut and dry. Most devout churchgoers are told otherwise because it sounds too “fishy” if you follow a more secular examination of
history. A great many things in the early Christian church were up in the air because there was no guidebook, if you will. They were in the process
of creating that.
Riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies, they were the best the could come up with.
Ok. That's just a topic for a whole other thread. Google "bible contradictions" and be prepared for hundreds of thousands of pages of people
battling that topic to death. I will just say, that even the simple question of who saw Jesus resurrected has four different answers in the four
different gospels. Prove to me that it's consistent on that one simple point and you will struggle. There are hundreds of such contradictions but
this is a side topic.
Not everyone agreed in the end and thus we have the Apocryphal books and a church schism (Easter Orthodox).
The Apocryphal books are actually Old Testament era. They were more or less rejected as authoritative Scripture by Jews and Christians. They were
considered important though for historical information and other things. For example, it is through Maccabees that we learn about The Feast of
The East-West schism wasn't about Scripture. Rather, the issue(s) at hand were the use of icons [which the western Church considered wrong) and the
"filioque" clause in one of the Creeds. [Which one has slipped my mind at the moment.]
When I said, "Not everyone agreed in the end" I was speaking of the entire process of canonization of the bible (old and new testaments) and even
the doctrine of their beliefs in general. (Like the debate on the trinity, etc). Yes, I wrote about the schism adjacent to the discussion of
Scripture selection, but I didn't intend to confuse the reader in the way that I did. Thanks for clearing that up.
Look, I get your point. You're a believer and want to argue and nit-pick all these fine points about how your religion was canonized. I don’t
blame you, it becomes a challenge to your belief system to think that so many of these decisions were left to mere mortals. Where they ALL divinely
inspired and directed by the hand of god?
You would like to believe that Constantine walked into the picture, waved his hands, and said "Christianity is now legal!" and they were all set to
go in their present form. But if one opens a history book or a secular study of early Christian thought, one finds that they held dozens of counsels
and had fierce debates over even the most basic beliefs. Even the trinity was one of the most hotly contested topics. How can man be god or god be
man? On and on they went. Some argued that it sounded like polytheism having three faces or aspects of god. I find it kind of amusing because
they decided on a three aspect god… oh it’s just ONE god, but it’s father, son, and holy spirit as different aspects…. Nothing like the three
faces of Hecate or Mother, Maiden, and Crone from pagan belief systems that came before. Three is the magic number after all.
No wonder they battled it out so hard in the early church. To the believer though, the history of all these counsels, no matter how well documented,
doesn’t matter, Christan believers with always go with the simple happy belief that "Christianity was merely legalized." and 100% divinely
[edit on 8-3-2010 by JonInMichigan]