OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 25, 2014, 02:38:09 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Apostolic Succession:  (Read 2975 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
trifecta
Fairly newly illumined
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 93



« on: February 23, 2007, 10:21:47 AM »

Is my view of the churches' views of apostolic succession correct?

Orthodox - There were 12 apostles plus Paul.  Apostles were allowed
to "create" doctrines--by means of the Holy Spirit--because they knew Jesus.
Records of these doctrines exist only in the New Testament.  Successors
from the apostles are called bishops.  They are not entitled to create doctrines,
but are charged with teaching the same doctines as the apostles.  Bishops today
can trace their lineage back to the original Apostles.  Bishops are not infallible
and may screw-up and have done so.  Bishops may be removed by other bishops.

Early Church Fathers, especially Clement and Iraneaus, affirm not only apostolic
succession but the office of bishop.


Roman Catholic - Like the Orthodox, Catholics believe in the 12 apostles plus
Paul.  They also believe in apostolic succession.  But they believe that the
successors have the same authority as the Apostles.  I am not sure which church
leaders claim their origin from the Apostles, but of course, the Pope claims his
specifically from Peter.  In theory, I would think the new Apostles (bishops? cardinals?)
can write with apostolic authority but in practice this is not done.  The church's claim
to apostolic authority gives the church the authority to say the church's decisions
are never in error, although John Paul II (to his credit) apologized for the church's
role in the Holocaust, so I don't understand how the church cann never be in error.
Bishops can be removed by the Pope (or a group of bishops?), but the Pope,
of course, claims infallibility when speaking ex cathera.

Lutherans & Episcopals - also claim apostolic succession with
their bishops connected in lineage to Catholic bishops.  After their split from
the RC church, their authority to appoint bishops rests within their own church.
As with Orthodox, I assume the bishops (if that is what they are called) are
charged with continuing teaching the faith.

Baptists and non-Creedal Protestants do not believe in the idea of apostolic
succession. The truth of the apostles is what matters (in their view), not the office.
Since the office of bishop is not mentioned in scripture, they do not have this office.
It is unclear (to me and maybe to them) who makes decisions when there are disputes.
Of course, when this happens, there is the option of splitting the church, which they
have done often.

Pentecostals and Quakers do not believe in the idea of apostolic succession. 
Instead, revelation by God is revealed to whomever He wants to receive it.  Speaking
and interpreting tongues is a common method for God to communicate with his people. 
Therefore, the church structure is very loose, because of one "revelation" to one church
is different from another, they have no structure to resolve the dispute. 
 
Please correct any misconceptions or errors I have made.

Thanks.

trifecta
(born Catholic, become a Protestant, seriously exploring Orthodoxy)


 
Logged

born Catholic, became a Protestant, now and hereafter an Orthodox Christian
FHL
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 65


« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2007, 06:52:40 AM »

Hey trifecta, are you new here? If so, welcome!  Smiley

Just a few comments if you don't mind. I was born into the Orthodox church, however, I myself am somewhat of a novice on Orthodox teachings as well , so if I make any mistakes you see, please correct me.

Is my view of the churches' views of apostolic succession correct?

Orthodox - There were 12 apostles plus Paul.  Apostles were allowed
to "create" doctrines--by means of the Holy Spirit--because they knew Jesus.
Records of these doctrines exist only in the New Testament.  Successors
from the apostles are called bishops.  They are not entitled to create doctrines,
but are charged with teaching the same doctines as the apostles. 

The thing I am wondering about this explaination is I'm not sure if only the 12 plus Paul are given this authority. There were certainly more present during Pentacost, and I wonder if this gives them the same authority as well.

Also, records of the doctrines exist in other writings as well, such as you stated when you brought up the early church fathers such as Clement and Iraneaus. Many other Orthodox, including myself, would also call unwritten oral tradition a record of sorts as well. And everyone is charged with keeping the true faith, not just bishops, but it is true they do have a unique and important position in regards to this.

My next comment has to do with your view of RC authority:
Quote
Roman Catholic - Like the Orthodox, Catholics believe in the 12 apostles plus
Paul.  They also believe in apostolic succession.  But they believe that the
successors have the same authority as the Apostles. 

This is true, but I don't think that the Orthodox church believes any different. We would argue that the Catholics have added authority that is above what the apostles had. Remember that doctrine is not a created truth (I don't think I would ever refer to Orthodox doctrine as "created"), but rather defined the truth that was revealed. So the question is not in terms of authority in creating truth, but rather what it was exactly that was revealed (and if truths are still being revealed).

Quote
The church's claim
to apostolic authority gives the church the authority to say the church's decisions
are never in error, although John Paul II (to his credit) apologized for the church's
role in the Holocaust, so I don't understand how the church cann never be in error.

In defense of the Catholics, that is a great overstatement of their claim. They only claim infallibility in dealing with doctrine; hence they say they can never be in error in deciding what is true about God and what is untrue about God. We make the same this claim, only we don't hold the claim to a single person or an isolated body of authorities, but rather the entire church, including laypeople, in unison and communion.

Quote
Since the office of bishop is not mentioned in scripture, they do not have this office.
It is unclear (to me and maybe to them) who makes decisions when there are disputes.

Just as a note, the office of bishops (and deacons as well) is indeed mentioned in scripture. The NIV translation changes the wording to say "overseer" instead of "bishop", but the idea of a governing person or persons is indeed present.

And yes, I do feel it is unclear to everyone, including themselves, on who makes the decisions within non-creedal churches.  Grin

That's it for now, hope this helps!
Logged

"Let us love one another first, then in an atmosphere of love we can discuss theological matters." - H.H. Pope Shenouda III
Aristibule
Your Weaker Brother
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 515


Xeno


« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 02:17:04 PM »

There is, of course, a historical tension in Roman Catholicism between the view of the Roman Pontiff as the Petrine Successor and Bishop over the world, and one still current that Roman bishops also share in the Apostolic office - hence the continued calls for 'collegiality' especially since Vatican II (supporters of the Curia historically have tried to smear that as 'Gallicanism' or 'Josephism').

The Protestant scene is confusing, however one clarification. Methodists and their Pentecostal derivatives (Assemblies of God, Foursquare) do believe in Apostolic succession as well - hence the common denominational epithet 'Methodist Episcopal' (and the office of 'Bishop' or 'Superintendent' amongst Pentecostals). However, they believe that anciently presbyters and bishops were the same office - so as Wesley did, they practice 'presbyteral ordination' and believe they pass on Apostolic succession. Of course, not all modern Pentecostals understand this - my father and grandfather certainly do/did. In fact, they will argue til they are blue in the face that they do have apostolic succession - which they trace from Wesley back through the Anglicans et al. Lists of ordainers, however, are not important to them - merely having hands laid on by those who are already ordained presbyters (noting, they claim to be presbyters but not to being hieros - sacrificing priests.)

 A sideline of that odd history is that Wesley and others claimed that John Wesley was consecrated a bishop by a Greek Orthodox bishop from Crete - however, there is no evidence that the Cretan was actually an Orthodox bishop that I know of, and there is a question as well whether those following Wesley would have understood any intent to continue the same sort of office. The story is controversial now in Methodist circles, but was well-known and believed in 19th c. American Methodism especially in the South. In his later years, Wesley seems to have definitely held to the idea of ordination by presbyters due to his contact with the Moravians. So, whether or not Wesley was a vagante matters little for modern Methodists or Pentecostals, nor really for us. The main interest would be whether this Greek was in fact a Greek Catholic, or a layman or other cleric pretending to be a bishop while in England?

A 19th c. Methodist discussion of the problem: http://wesley.nnu.edu/wesleyan_theology/mreview/1870/A_%201878_%20Was%20Wesley%20Ordained%20Bishop%20by%20Erasmus_%2088-111.htm

« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 02:24:18 PM by Aristibule » Logged

"We must begin at once to "build again the tabernacle which is fallen down, and to build again the ruins thereof, and to set it up;" for HE WHO GAVE THE THOUGHT IN OUR HEART HE LAID ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY ON US THAT THIS THOUGHT SHOULD NOT REMAIN BARREN." - J.J. Overbeck, 1866
John of the North
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Eparchy of Edmonton and the West
Posts: 3,533


Christ is Risen!

tgild
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2007, 02:04:52 AM »

I would have to confirm with a Lutheran friend of mine....but I know that they deny the authority of the Ecumenical Councils (They can quote Luther to back this up), and the term "Apostolic Succession" was foreign to him.
Logged

"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)
Aristibule
Your Weaker Brother
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 515


Xeno


« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2007, 02:57:38 AM »

The German Lutherans did not have an Episcopate, but the Scandinavian Lutheran churches retained both an episcopate and an understanding of Apostolic Succession. It is all part of the diversity of Lutheranism - the most common form most people are aware of is rather a later melding of Lutheranism with Calvinism. Besides the Scandinavian Lutherans with an episcopate, there are also the Prussian 'Old Lutherans' (Altlutheraner) who were a bit more catholic in worship - most of them came to America escaping when a new Calvinised form of worship was foisted on them by Frederick Wilhelm III (look up 'Evangelical Union' of 1822.) There were also the Free Lutherans in Europe. The diversity amongst Lutherans in Europe is why there is diversity in North America (LCMS, ELCA, Evangelical Catholic Lutherans, etc.) There are many among the recent 'Evangelical Catholic' movement in Lutheranism who have a 'restored episcopate' had from the Anglicans, Old Catholics, or Scandinavian Lutherans as well.
Logged

"We must begin at once to "build again the tabernacle which is fallen down, and to build again the ruins thereof, and to set it up;" for HE WHO GAVE THE THOUGHT IN OUR HEART HE LAID ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY ON US THAT THIS THOUGHT SHOULD NOT REMAIN BARREN." - J.J. Overbeck, 1866
buzuxi
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: GREEK ORTHODOX
Jurisdiction: WORLD ORTHODOXY AGAINST ECUMENISM
Posts: 265


« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2007, 07:20:13 AM »

I can only speak of Orthodoxy. There were more apostles than just the 12 and Paul. There was also James and his other brothers (among others).

The Apostles did not "create" new doctrines. Jesus Christ himself taught his disciples, thats why they were with him for 3 years. After the ressurection Jesus further enlightened them (Lk 24.44-48). The Holy Spirit brings to remembrance and guides them in the truth.

 
All bishops are equal, and yes, they are the successors of the apostles. You are also correct the bishops cannot create new doctrine, they are too preserve unadultered the Faith  once delivered.
Logged
rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,165



WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2010, 12:32:04 AM »

Is my view of the churches' views of apostolic succession correct?

Quakers do not believe in the idea of apostolic succession.   

Trifecta,

I wish you a enjoyable exploratiion of Orthodoxy.

Quakers in a general sense accept the Bible, and it talks about Christ appointing people, and how the Apostles cast lots to see who would succeed them in the Twelve, so I doubt that Quakers would say that such a thing as church leaders succeeding eachother does not exist.

Their churches have caretakers, like clerks, and I think elders. Which clerks succeed eachother is decided by their meeting.

Meanwhile, in the Orthodox church I think Patriarchs do not completely "appoint" their successors, rather the church hierarchy (a synod or council?) elects or approves them. When we talk about a Patriarch as pertains to apostolic succession, we mean a shephard overseeing the flock, someone playing a caretaking role.

Maybe the idea isn't so different after all.

Quakers do not believe in the idea of apostolic succession. 
Instead, revelation by God is revealed to whomever He wants to receive it.  Speaking
and interpreting tongues is a common method for God to communicate with his people. 

In Orthodoxy, the same kind of revelation by God Quakers talk about is also revealed to those who want to receive it. With Orthodox, we must discern what is God's will, and He shows us things in the Bible and elsewhere, hopefully in our personal lives too.

Quakers don't do speaking in tongues, but they feel that God can speak through them. They probably see it like God speaking through the prophets, or just being inspired to speak. Some of them might actually see it as God speaking through them like a medium in a trance state, which would be creepy, but I don't remember reading anything to this effect by them.

Quote
Therefore, the church structure is very loose, because of one "revelation" to one church
is different from another, they have no structure to resolve the dispute.

They have a yearly meeting (eg. "sobor") of meetings (eg. parishes), so I disagree that they lack a structure to resolve disputes, or that the possibility of differing "revelations" makes resolution impossible.

Their concept of a church structure is portrayed as very loose, and they lack strong centralized figureheads like bishops. But considering human nature's imbedded instincts about authority, their use of clerks and elders, and yearly meetings that work like the OCA's annual councils, I wonder how radically different it works in reality from smaller autocephalous Orthodox churches.

They have had splits. Simply put, in the Orthodox church in the last 100 years, we have splits about a calendar, along ethnic lines, and between a "White" emigre church and the earlier Russian Orthodoxy (Alaska and the Carpatho-Galicians).

The splits in Quakerism now seem to be along whether they have gone from traditional anarchist-style Quakerism and assimilated parts of mainstream protestantism (eg. the sacraments) or the culturally-conservative Calvinist revivalist movement (including the adoption of violent culturally-conservative attitudes that should be surprising for Quakers like pro-death penalty, anti-race mixing, pro-child hitting etc.).

One reason for Quakers' assimilationist splits I think is that Quakers were anglo-farmers without strong hierarchy, separate theology, or rituals, so that Quaker settlers in the midwest and parts of the south assimilated more easily into the dominant cultures they found there, which in the 19th-20th century US South meant a more violent culturally conservative Calvinism that is likely a legacy of slavery.



Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2010, 01:46:05 AM »

I would have to confirm with a Lutheran friend of mine....but I know that they deny the authority of the Ecumenical Councils (They can quote Luther to back this up), and the term "Apostolic Succession" was foreign to him.

The Lutherans as a whole do not believe nor claim apostolic succession, redefining the term "Apostolic" in "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" as meaning "in conformity with the Apostles' teaching," or so they think (I thought so too, btw, at one time). The Church of Sweden and the Church of Finland, like the Church of England, however claims to have retained the episcopacy in circumstances similar to what happened in England. Most Lutherans of Sweden and Finland are not aware of that (when the ELCA was formed, the Archbishop of Uppsala, representing the Church of Sweden, did not take part in the installation of President Preuss and presiding bishop, because of the difference over the episcopacy).

Odd thing is that the authority that they deny to the Ecumenical Councils, they give to the Book of Concord.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,479


EXTERMINATE!


« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2010, 02:05:44 AM »

Is my view of the churches' views of apostolic succession correct?

Quakers do not believe in the idea of apostolic succession.    

Trifecta,
Trifecta hasn't logged on to OC.net since April of this year, so I'm not sure you'll get a prompt reply to your post.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 02:05:55 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,984



« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2010, 07:28:08 AM »

An anecdotal reply:  Neither the apostles nor the bishops "create" doctrine.  They elucidate and teach.  Even the Ecumenical Synod (Councils) did not create doctrine; they recognized, described, defined what the Church always knew to be true.  Bishops have near absolute authority in their diocese, except for "matters of common concern" which are addressed by the synod within which the bishop is a member.
Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
danman916
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 80


« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2010, 08:40:58 AM »

The Lutherans as a whole do not believe nor claim apostolic succession, redefining the term "Apostolic" in "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" as meaning "in conformity with the Apostles' teaching," 
But isn't part of the understanding of the term, Apostolic, mean that the Church is founded upon the teaching of the Apostles?

It seems to me that the mark of the Church, Apostolicity, contains both meanings;
A) that the Bishops are successors of the Apostles through a direct line
B) that the Apostolic teaching is what is believed as comprising the true faith in Jesus Christ.

So in that sense, Lutherans, are correct, however, their definition is lacking part A).
(I would agree with you that their doctrines, however, depart from the Apostolic teaching in some areas.)
Logged
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek by desire; Antiochian by necessity
Posts: 5,812



« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2010, 12:45:37 PM »

I would have to confirm with a Lutheran friend of mine....but I know that they deny the authority of the Ecumenical Councils (They can quote Luther to back this up), and the term "Apostolic Succession" was foreign to him.

Not true.  The Lutherans "officially" regard the Ecumenical Councils as valid because, in their mind, those councils "agree with Scripture" whatever that means.  You can see that in the Book of Concord.  But, "unofficially" most Lutherans are ignorant or dismissive of church councils as something that only Catholics do.  "Whatever Catholics do, Lutherans cannot do" seems to be their mantra.

And since no Roman Bishop came over to the Lutheran side, there is no apostolic succession within modern Lutheranism today.  The Swedish Lutheran Church (not the national church, btw) does claim it does have valid apostolic succession.  But here in America there is no apostolic succession as many Lutheran denoms (such as the LCMS) have thrown out bishops with everything else that smacks of Rome.
Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
danman916
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 80


« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2010, 01:03:52 PM »

The problem is that most Protestants do not believe that scripture comes from the Tradition and is to be interpreted from that Tradition. To many of them, the word, Tradition, is a bad word that has the connotation of things that were made up in order to keep the ignorant masses in line.
It then selectively applies certain passages in scripture that talk about "traditions that nullify the word of God" and thus applies them with the broadest brush, making all traditions not found explicitly in the pages of scripture as somehow nullifying the word of God.
Logged
Azul
Moderated
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Român Ortodox
Jurisdiction: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 988



« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2010, 02:11:42 PM »

From my point of view Apostolic Succession is held by the office of Bishoptry and by correct doctrine.. Through the line of ordination that is trace back to the Apostles and through the Apostolic teachings.If the bishop falls into heresy he no longer holds the apostolic line integer and true and distorts it.. He looses his authority in the kingdom and it is cut off from his ministry..  As the parable of the stewards says.. the unbelieving servant will be removed from his office.. Remmeber Judas was one of the Twelve Apostles.. And Nicholas was appointed bishop and became a notorius heretic, the father of the Nicholaitians.. Therefore from my point of view the schismatics and heretics, don`t hold Apostolic Succession, or their Apostolic Succession is incomplete.. They might have sacraments only by the mercy of God.. The problem is that once their bishops are fallen into heresy they are unable to fully appoint others as successors of the Apostles [to the office of the Apostles].. In this case the Apostolic Succession is compromised.. But can that grace go through virtually, waiting till it`s activated again and re-enacted? Christ said that the Church will never be defeated.. The question is which Church will not be defeated.. Did he refered there at the Apostolic Succesion?Or of us who are the Church of the living God and Temples of the Holy Spirit?

Q: Will the clergy still hold their seat when the fullness of apostasy will come?Please explain your answer. He identifies Himself in Revelation as the root and seed of David, when He speaks of the philadelphian church who has small power.. And He says in the Gospel "The Holy Spirit will be[will remain] with you forever."


Logged

Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi
danman916
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 80


« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2010, 02:36:12 PM »

Here is a comparison that has been made (on another forum) between East and West regarding Apostolic Succession:

Quote
The Augustinian theory effectively holds that valid episcopal ordination confers an indelible character that is not affected by any schismatic or heretical act or excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order, though he may have been deprived juridically of the office or jurisdiction by which he performed episcopal acts. The latter considerations affect only the licitness of his acts.

The Cyprianic theory effectively holds that a valid episcopal ordination is affected by schismatic or heretical acts and by excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order only so long as he continues in communion with the jurisdiction under the authority of which he was ordained to the episcopate (or such other jurisdiction into which he may have subsequently been accepted) and is exercising the office or jurisdiction by which he has the right to perform those acts. There is no distinction made as to licitness.

Assuming that there is agreement as to the characterization of both approaches here, has the so-called Augustinian theory been rejected by the Eastern Orthodox as a heretical view to be held?



Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2010, 04:53:32 PM »

some of my thoughts on the matter, and related issues
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19095.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19811.0.html

More importantly, the statements by those who know the meaning of "apostolic":
St. Ignatius:
Quote
Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the holy Church which is at Tralles, in Asia, beloved of God, the Father of Jesus Christ, elect, and worthy of God, possessing peace through the flesh, and blood, and passion of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, through our rising again to Him, which also I salute in its fulness, and in the apostolical character ["as an apostle,” or, “in the apostolic form”], and wish abundance of happiness

See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid. .

The earliest account of St. Ignatius' martyrdom:
Quote
When Trajan, not long since, succeeded to the empire of the Romans, Ignatius, the disciple of John the apostle, a man in all respects of an apostolic character, governed the Church of the Antiochians with great care, having with difficulty escaped the former storms of the many persecutions under Domitian, inasmuch as, like a good pilot, by the helm of prayer and fasting, by the earnestness of his teaching, and by his [constant ] spiritual labour, he resisted the flood that rolled against him, fearing [only] lest he should lose any of those who were deficient in courage, or apt to suffer from their simplicity. Wherefore he rejoiced over the tranquil state of the Church, when the persecution ceased for a little time, but was grieved as to himself, that he had not yet attained to a true love to Christ, nor reached the perfect rank of a disciple. For he inwardly reflected, that the confession which is made by martyrdom, would bring him into a yet more intimate relation to the Lord. Wherefore, continuing a few years longer with the Church, and, like a divine lamp, enlightening every one's understanding by his expositions of the [Holy ] Scriptures, he [at length] attained the object of his desire.

St. Irenaeus, on St. Polycarp:
Quote
At length, when those wicked men perceived that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they commanded an executioner to go near and pierce him through with a dagger. And on his doing this, there came forth a dove, and a great quantity of blood, so that the fire was extinguished; and all the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna. For every word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished.

Quote
These opinions, Florinus, that I may speak in mild terms, are not of sound doctrine; these opinions are not consonant to the Church, and involve their votaries in the utmost impiety; these opinions, even the heretics beyond the Church’s pale have never ventured to broach; these opinions, those presbyters who preceded us, and who were conversant with the apostles, did not hand down to thee. For, while I was yet a boy, I saw thee in Lower Asia with Polycarp, distinguishing thyself in the royal court, and endeavouring to gain his approbation. For I have a more vivid recollection of what occurred at that time than of recent events (inasmuch as the experiences of childhood, keeping pace with the growth of the soul, become incorporated with it); so that I can even describe the place where the blessed Polycarp used to sit and discourse— his going out, too, and his coming in—his general mode of life and personal appearance, together with the discourses which he delivered to the people; also how he would speak of his familiar intercourse with John, and with the rest of those who had seen the Lord; and how he would call their words to remembrance. Whatsoever things he had heard from them respecting the Lord, both with regard to His miracles and His teaching, Polycarp having thus received [information] from the eye-witnesses of the Word of life, would recount them all in harmony with the Scriptures. These things, through, God’s mercy which was upon me, I then listened to attentively, and treasured them up not on paper, but in my heart; and I am continually, by God’s grace, revolving these things accurately in my mind. And I can bear witness before God, that if that blessed and apostolical presbyter had heard any such thing, he would have cried out, and stopped his ears, exclaiming as he was wont to do: “O good God, for what times hast Thou reserved me, that I should endure these things?” And he would have fled from the very spot where, sitting or standing, he had heard such words. This fact, too, can be made clear, from his Epistles which he despatched, whether to the neighbouring Churches to confirm them, or to certain of the brethren, admonishing and exhorting them.

St. Irenaeus, who demonstrated the Apostolic preaching against the heresies
Quote
Bk III Chapter II.—The heretics follow neither Scripture nor tradition.
1. When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce: wherefore also Paul declared, “But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world.” (1 Cor. ii. 6.) And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent, who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. For every one of these men, being altogether of a perverse disposition, depraving the system of truth, is not ashamed to preach himself.
2. But, again, when we refer them to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but even than the apostles, because they have discovered the unadulterated truth. For [they maintain] that the apostles intermingled the things of the law with the words of the Saviour; and that not the apostles alone, but even the Lord Himself, spoke as at one time from the Demiurge, at another from the intermediate place, and yet again from the Pleroma, but that they themselves, indubitably, unsulliedly, and purely, have knowledge of the hidden mystery: this is, indeed, to blaspheme their Creator after a most impudent manner! It comes to this, therefore, that these men do now consent neither to Scripture nor to tradition.
3. Such are the adversaries with whom we have to deal, my very dear friend, endeavouring like slippery serpents to escape at all points. Where-fore they must be opposed at all points, if per-chance, by cutting off their retreat, we may succeed in turning them back to the truth. For, though it is not an easy thing for a soul under the influence of error to repent, yet, on the other hand, it is not altogether impossible to escape from error when the truth is brought alongside it.
 
Bk III Chapter III.—A refutation of the heretics, from the fact that, in the various Churches, a perpetual succession of bishops was kept up.
1. It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to “the perfect” apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon [to the Church], but if they should fall away, the direst calamity.
2. Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre-eminent origin, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.
3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spake with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telesphorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.
4. But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time,—a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles,—that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, “Dost thou know me?” “I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.” Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, “A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” (Tit. iii. 10). There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth. Then, again, the Church in Ephesus, founded by Paul, and having John remaining among them permanently until the times of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles.

Bk. III Chapter IV.—The truth is to be found nowhere else but in the Catholic Church, the sole depository of apostolical doctrine. Heresies are of recent formation, and cannot trace their origin up to the apostles.
1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life (Rev. xxii. 17). For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?
2. To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, (2 Thess. ii. 15, 2 Thess. iii. 6) believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents (Literally, “without letters”), have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.
3. For, prior to Valentinus, those who follow Valentinus had no existence; nor did those from Marcion exist before Marcion; nor, in short, had any of those malignant-minded people, whom I have above enumerated, any being previous to the initiators and inventors of their perversity. For Valentinus came to Rome in the time of Hyginus, flourished under Pius, and remained until Anicetus. Cerdon, too, Marcion’s predecessor, himself arrived in the time of Hyginus, who was the ninth bishop. Coming frequently into the Church, and making public confession, he thus remained, one time teaching in secret, and then again making public confession; but at last, having been denounced for corrupt teaching, he was excommunicated from the assembly of the brethren. Marcion, then, succeeding him, flourished under Anicetus, who held the tenth place of the episcopate. But the rest, who are called Gnostics, take rise from Menander, Simon’s disciple, as I have shown; and each one of them appeared to be both the father and the high priest of that doctrine into which he has been initiated. But all these (the Marcosians) broke out into their apostasy much later, even during the intermediate period of the Church.

Bk III Chapter XIII—Refutation of the opinion, that Paul was the only apostle who had knowledge of the truth.
1. With regard to those (the Marcionites) who allege that Paul alone knew the truth, and that to him the mystery was manifested by revelation, let Paul himself convict them, when he says, that one and the same God wrought in Peter for the apostolate of the circumcision, and in himself for the Gentiles. (Gal. ii. 8 ) Peter, therefore, was an apostle of that very God whose was also Paul; and Him whom Peter preached as God among those of the circumcision, and likewise the Son of God, did Paul [declare] also among the Gentiles. For our Lord never came to save Paul alone, nor is God so limited in means, that He should have but one apostle who knew the dispensation of His Son. And again, when Paul says, “How beautiful are the feet of those bringing glad tidings of good things, and preaching the Gospel of peace,” (Rom. x. 15; Isa. lii. 7) he shows clearly that it was not merely one, but there were many who used to preach the truth. And again, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, when he had recounted all those who had seen God after the resurrection, he says in continuation, “But whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed,” (1 Cor. xv. 11) acknowledging as one and the same, the preaching of all those who saw God after the resurrection from the dead.
2. And again, the Lord replied to Philip, who wished to behold the Father, “Have I been so long a time with you, and yet thou hast not known Me, Philip? He that sees Me, sees also the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? For I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; and henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.” (John xiv. 7, 9, 10)  To these men, therefore, did the Lord bear witness, that in Himself they had both known and seen the Father (and the Father is truth). To allege, then, that these men did not know the truth, is to act the part of false witnesses, and of those who have been alienated from the doctrine of Christ. For why did the Lord send the twelve apostles to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, (Matt. x. 6) if these men did not know the truth? How also did the seventy preach, unless they had themselves previously known the truth of what was preached? Or how could Peter have been in ignorance, to whom the Lord gave testimony, that flesh and blood had not revealed to him, but the Father, who is in heaven? (Matt. xvi. 17) Just, then, as “Paul [was] an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father,” (Gal. i. 1) [so with the rest;]the Son indeed leading them to the Father, but the Father revealing to them the Son.
3. But that Paul acceded to [the request of] those who summoned him to the apostles, on account of the question [which had been raised], and went up to them, with Barnabas, to Jerusalem, not without reason, but that the liberty of the Gentiles might be confirmed by them, he does himself say, in the Epistle to the Galatians: “Then, fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking also Titus. But I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that Gospel which I preached among the Gentiles.” (Gal. ii. 1, 2) And again he says, “For an hour we did give place to subjection, (Gal. ii. 5) that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” If, then, any one shall, from the Acts of the Apostles, carefully scrutinize the time concerning which it is written that he went up to Jerusalem on account of the forementioned question, he will find those years mentioned by Paul coinciding with it. Thus the statement of Paul harmonizes with, and is, as it were, identical with, the testimony of Luke regarding the apostles.

Bk III Chapter XVI.—Proofs from the apostolic writings, that Jesus Christ was one and the same, the only begotten Son of God, perfect God and perfect man.
1. But there are some who say that Jesus was merely a receptacle of Christ, upon whom the Christ, as a dove, descended from above, and that when He had declared the unnameable Father He entered into the Pleroma in an incomprehensible and invisible manner: for that He was not comprehended, not only by men, but not even by those powers and virtues which are in heaven, and that Jesus was the Son, but that (See book i. 12, 4) Christ was the Father, and the Father of Christ, God; while others say that He merely suffered in outward appearance, being naturally impassible. The Valentinians, again, maintain that the dispensational Jesus was the same who passed through Mary, upon whom that Saviour from the more exalted [region] descended, who was also termed Pan, (See also book ii. c. xii. s. 6) because He possessed the names (vocabula) of all those who had produced Him; but that [this latter] shared with Him, the dispensational one, His power and His name; so that by His means death was abolished, but the Father was made known by that Saviour who had descended from above, whom they do also allege to be Himself the receptacle of Christ and of the entire Pleroma; confessing, indeed, in tongue one Christ Jesus, but being divided in [actual] opinion: for, as I have already observed, it is the practice of these men to say that there was one Christ, who was produced by Monogenes, for the confirmation of the Pleroma; but that another, the Saviour, was sent [forth] for the glorification of the Father; and yet another, the dispensational one, and whom they represent as having suffered, who also bore [in himself] Christ, that Saviour who returned into the Pleroma. I judge it necessary therefore to take into account the entire mind of the apostles regarding our Lord Jesus Christ, and to show that not only did they never hold any such opinions regarding Him; but, still further, that they announced through the Holy Spirit, that those who should teach such doctrines were agents of Satan, sent forth for the purpose of overturning the faith of some, and drawing them away from life.
2. That John knew the one and the same Word of God, and that He was the only begotten, and that He became incarnate for our salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord, I have sufficiently proved from the word of John himself. And Matthew, too, recognising one and the same Jesus Christ, exhibiting his generation as a man from the Virgin, (Ps. cxxxii. 11) even as God did promise David that He would raise up from the fruit of his body an eternal King, having made the same promise to Abraham a long time previously, says: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matt. i. 1) Then, that he might free our mind from suspicion regarding Joseph, he says: “But the birth of Christ (Matt. i. 18) was on this wise. When His mother was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Then, when Joseph had it in contemplation to put Mary away, since she proved with child, [Matthew tells us of] the angel of God standing by him, and saying: “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins. Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is, God with us;” clearly signifying that both the promise made to the fathers had been accomplished, that the Son of God was born of a virgin, and that He Himself was Christ the Saviour whom the prophets had foretold; not, as these men assert, that Jesus was He who was born of Mary, but that Christ was He who descended from above. Matthew might certainly have said, “Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise;” but the Holy Ghost, foreseeing the corrupters [of the truth], and guarding by anticipation against their deceit, says by Matthew, “But the birth of Christ was on this wise;” and that He is Emmanuel, lest perchance we might consider Him as a mere man: for “not by the will of the flesh nor by the will of man, but by the will of God was the Word made flesh;” (John i. 13, 14) [Schaff's note: From this, and also a quotation of the same passage in chap. xix. of this book, it appears that Irenæus must have read ὃς … ἐγεννήθη here, and not οἳ … ἐγεννήθησαν. Tertullian quotes the verse to the same effect (Lib. de Carne Christi, cap. 19 and 24)]. and that we should not imagine that Jesus was one, and Christ another, but should know them to be one and the same.
3. Paul, when writing to the Romans, has explained this very point: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, predestinated unto the Gospel of God, which He had promised by His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was made to Him of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was predestinated the Son of God with power through the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. i. 1–4) And again, writing to the Romans about Israel, he says: “Whose are the fathers, and from whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is God over all, blessed for ever.” (Rom. ix. 5) And again, in his Epistle to the Galatians, he says: “But when the fulness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption;” (Gal. iv. 4, 5) plainly indicating one God, who did by the prophets make promise of the Son, and one Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the seed of David according to His birth from Mary; and that Jesus Christ was appointed the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, as being the first begotten in all the creation; (Col. i. 14, 15) the Son of God being made the Son of man, that through Him we may receive the adoption,—humanity sustaining, and receiving, and embracing the Son of God. Wherefore Mark also says: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets.” (Mark i. 1)  Knowing one and the same Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was announced by the prophets, who from the fruit of David’s body was Emmanuel, “the messenger of great counsel of the Father;” (Isa. ix. 6 (LXX.)) through whom God caused the day-spring and the Just One to arise to the house of David, and raised up for him an horn of salvation, “and established a testimony in Jacob;” (Luke i. 69) as David says when discoursing on the causes of His birth: “And He appointed a law in Israel, that another generation might know [Him,] the children which should he born from these, and they arising shall themselves declare to their children, so that they might set their hope in God, and seek after His commandments.” (Ps. lxxviii. 5) And again, the angel said, when bringing good tidings to Mary: “He shall he great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David;” (Luke i. 32) acknowledging that He who is the Son of the Highest, the same is Himself also the Son of David. And David, knowing by the Spirit the dispensation of the advent of this Person, by which He is supreme over all the living and dead, confessed Him as Lord, sitting on the right hand of the Most High Father. (Ps. cx. 1)
4. But Simeon also —he who had received an intimation from the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, until first he had beheld Christ Jesus— taking Him, the first-begotten of the Virgin, into his hands, blessed God, and said, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: because mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel;” (Luke ii. 29) confessing thus, that the infant whom he was holding in his hands, Jesus, born of Mary, was Christ Himself, the Son of God, the light of all, the glory of Israel itself, and the peace and refreshing of those who had fallen asleep. For He was already despoiling men, by removing their ignorance, conferring upon them His own knowledge, and scattering abroad those who recognised Him, as Esaias says: “Call His name, Quickly spoil, Rapidly divide.” (Isa. viii. 3) Now these are the works of Christ. He therefore was Himself Christ, whom Simeon carrying [in his arms] blessed the Most High; on beholding whom the shepherds glorified God; whom John, while yet in his mother’s womb, and He (Christ) in that of Mary, recognising as the Lord, saluted with leaping; whom the Magi, when they had seen, adored, and offered their gifts [to Him], as I have already stated, and prostrated themselves to the eternal King, departed by another way, not now returning by the way of the Assyrians. “For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, Father or mother, He shall receive the power of Damascus, and the spoils of Samaria, against the king of the Assyrians;” (Isa. viii. 4) declaring, in a mysterious manner indeed, but emphatically, that the Lord did fight with a hidden hand against Amalek (Ex. xvii. 16 (LXX.)). For this cause, too, He suddenly removed those children belonging to the house of David, whose happy lot it was to have been born at that time, that He might send them on before into His kingdom; He, since He was Himself an infant, so arranging it that human infants should be martyrs, slain, according to the Scriptures, for the sake of Christ, who was born in Bethlehem of Judah, in the city of David. (Matt. ii. 16)
5. Therefore did the Lord also say to His disciples after the resurrection, “O thoughtless ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” (Luke xxiv. 25) And again does He say to them: “These are the words which I spoke unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they should understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, and that repentance for the remission of sins be preached in His name among all nations.” (Luke xxiv. 44), etc. Now this is He who was born of Mary; for He says: “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected, and crucified, and on the third day rise again.” (Mark viii. 31 and Luke ix. 22) The Gospel, therefore, knew no other son of man but Him who was of Mary, who also suffered; and no Christ who flew away from Jesus before the passion; but Him who was born it knew as Jesus Christ the Son of God, and that this same suffered and rose again, as John, the disciple of the Lord, verifies, saying: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have eternal life in His name,” (John xx. 31)—foreseeing these blasphemous systems which divide the Lord, as far as lies in their power, saying that He was formed of two different substances. For this reason also he has thus testified to us in his Epistle: “Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that Antichrist doth come, now have many antichrists appeared; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but [they departed], that they might be made manifest that they are not of us. Know ye therefore, that every lie is from without, and is not of the truth. Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist.” (1 John ii. 18, etc., loosely quoted)
6. But inasmuch as all those before mentioned, although they certainly do with their tongue confess one Jesus Christ, make fools of themselves, thinking one thing and saying another;  for their hypotheses vary, as I have already shown, alleging, [as they do,] that one Being suffered and was born, and that this was Jesus; but that there was another who descended upon Him, and that this was Christ, who also ascended again; and they argue, that he who proceeded from the Demiurge, or he who was dispensational, or he who sprang from Joseph, was the Being subject to suffering; but upon the latter there descended from the invisible and ineffable [places] the former, whom they assert to be incomprehensible, invisible, and impassible: they thus wander from the truth, because their doctrine departs from Him who is truly God, being ignorant that His only-begotten Word, who is always present with the human race, united to and mingled with His own creation, according to the Father’s pleasure, and who became flesh, is Himself Jesus Christ our Lord, who did also suffer for us, and rose again on our behalf, and who will come again in the glory of His Father, to raise up all flesh, and for the manifestation of salvation, and to apply the rule of just judgment to all who were made by Him. There is therefore, as I have pointed out, one God the Father, and one Christ Jesus, who came by means of the whole dispensational arrangements [connected with Him], and gathered together all things in Himself. (Eph. i. 10) But in every respect, too, He is man, the formation of God; and thus He took up man into Himself, the invisible becoming visible, the incomprehensible being made comprehensible, the impassible becoming capable of suffering, and the Word being made man, thus summing up all things in Himself: so that as in super-celestial, spiritual, and invisible things, the Word of God is supreme, so also in things visible and corporeal He might possess the supremacy, and, taking to Himself the pre-eminence, as well as constituting Himself Head of the Church, He might draw all things to Himself at the proper time.
7. With Him is nothing incomplete or out of due season, just as with the Father there is nothing incongruous. For all these things were foreknown by the Father; but the Son works them out at the proper time in perfect order and sequence. This was the reason why, when Mary was urging [Him] on to [perform] the wonderful miracle of the wine, and was desirous before the time to partake of the cup of emblematic significance, the Lord, checking her untimely haste, said, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come” (John ii. 4)— waiting for that hour which was foreknown by the Father. This is also the reason why, when men were often desirous to take Him, it is said, “No man laid hands upon Him, for the hour of His being taken was not yet come;” (John vii. 30) nor the time of His passion, which had been foreknown by the Father; as also says the prophet Habakkuk, “By this Thou shalt be known when the years have drawn nigh; Thou shalt be set forth when the time comes; because my soul is disturbed by anger, Thou shalt remember Thy mercy.” (Hab. iii. 2)  Paul also says: “But when the fulness of time came, God sent forth His Son.” (Gal. iv. 4) By which is made manifest, that all things which had been foreknown of the Father, our Lord did accomplish in their order, season, and hour, foreknown and fitting, being indeed one and the same, but rich and great. For He fulfils the bountiful and comprehensive will of His Father, inasmuch as He is Himself the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Lord of those who are under authority, and the God of all those things which have been formed, the only-begotten of the Father, Christ who was announced, and the Word of God, who became incarnate when the fulness of time had come, at which the Son of God had to become the Son of man.
8. All, therefore, are outside of the [Christian] dispensation, who, under pretext of knowledge, understand that Jesus was one, and Christ another, and the Only-begotten another, from whom again is the Word, and that the Saviour is another, whom these disciples of error allege to be a production of those who were made Æons in a state of degeneracy. Such men are to outward appearance sheep; for they appear to be like us, by what they say in public, repeating the same words as we do; but inwardly they are wolves. Their doctrine is homicidal, conjuring up, as it does, a number of gods, and simulating many Fathers, but lowering and dividing the Son of God in many ways. These are they against whom the Lord has cautioned us beforehand; and His disciple, in his Epistle already mentioned, commands us to avoid them, when he says: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Take heed to them, that ye lose not what ye have wrought.” (2 John 7, 8 ) And again does he say in the Epistle: “Many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit which separates Jesus Christ is not of God, but is of antichrist.” (1 John iv. 1, 2) These words agree with what was said in the Gospel, that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Wherefore he again exclaims in his Epistle, “Every one that believeth that Jesus is the Christ, has been born of God;” (1 John v. 1) knowing Jesus Christ to be one and the same, to whom the gates of heaven were opened, because of His taking upon Him flesh: who shall also come in the same flesh in which He suffered, revealing the glory of the Father.
9. Concurring with these statements, Paul, speaking to the Romans, declares: “Much more they who receive abundance of grace and righteousness for [eternal] life, shall reign by one, Christ Jesus.” (Rom. v. 17) It follows from this, that he knew nothing of that Christ who flew away from Jesus; nor did he of the Saviour above, whom they hold to be impassible. For if, in truth, the one suffered, and the other remained incapable of suffering, and the one was born, but the other descended upon him who was born, and left him again, it is not one, but two, that are shown forth. But that the apostle did know Him as one, both who was born and who suffered, namely Christ Jesus, he again says in the same Epistle: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized in His death? that like as Christ rose from the dead, so should we also walk in newness of life.” (Rom. vi. 3, 4) But again, showing that Christ did suffer, and was Himself the Son of God, who died for us, and redeemed us with His blood at the time appointed beforehand, he says: “For how is it, that Christ, when we were yet without strength, in due time died for the ungodly? But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. v. 6–10)  He declares in the plainest manner, that the same Being who was laid hold of, and underwent suffering, and shed His blood for us, was both Christ and the Son of God, who did also rise again, and was taken up into heaven, as he himself [Paul] says: “But at the same time, [it, is] Christ [that] died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God.” (Rom. viii. 34) And again, “Knowing that Christ, rising from the dead, dieth no more:” (Rom. vi. 9) for, as himself foreseeing, through the Spirit, the subdivisions of evil teachers [with regard to the Lord’s person], and being desirous of cutting away from them all occasion of cavil, he says what has been already stated, [and also declares:] “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies.” (Rom. viii. 11) This he does not utter to those alone who wish to hear: Do not err, [he says to all:] Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is one and the same, who did by suffering reconcile us to God, and rose from the dead; who is at the right hand of the Father, and perfect in all things; “who, when He was buffeted, struck not in return; who, when He suffered, threatened not;” (1 Pet. ii. 23) and when He underwent tyranny, He prayed His Father that He would forgive those who had crucified Him. For He did Himself truly bring in salvation: since He is Himself the Word of God, Himself the Only-begotten of the Father, Christ Jesus our Lord.

BK IV Preface.
1. By transmitting to thee, my very dear friend, this fourth book of the work which is [entitled] The Detection and Refutation of False Knowledge, I shall, as I have promised, add weight, by means of the words of the Lord, to what I have already advanced; so that thou also, as thou hast requested, mayest obtain from me the means of confuting all the heretics everywhere, and not permit them, beaten back at all points, to launch out further into the deep of error, nor to be drowned in the sea of ignorance; but that thou, turning them into the haven of the truth, mayest cause them to attain their salvation.
2. The man, however, who would undertake their conversion, must possess an accurate knowledge of their systems or schemes of doctrine. For it is impossible for any one to heal the sick, if he has no knowledge of the disease of the patients. This was the reason that my predecessors—much superior men to myself, too —were unable, notwithstanding, to refute the Valentinians satisfactorily, because they were ignorant of these men’s system;[Schaff's note: The reader who marvels at the tedious recitals must note this (1) as proof of the author’s practical wisdom, and (2) as evidence of his fidelity in what he exhibits.] which I have with all care delivered to thee in the first book in which I have also shown that their doctrine is a recapitulation of all the heretics. For which reason also, in the second, we have had, as in a mirror, a sight of their entire discomfiture. For they who oppose these men (the Valentinians) by the right method, do [thereby] oppose all who are of an evil mind; and they who overthrow them, do in fact overthrow every kind of heresy.
3. For their system is blasphemous above all [others], since they represent that the Maker and Framer, who is one God, as I have shown, was produced from a defect or apostasy. They utter blasphemy, also, against our Lord, by cutting off and dividing Jesus from Christ, and Christ from the Saviour, and again the Saviour from the Word, and the Word from the Only-begotten. And since they allege that the Creator originated from a defect or apostasy, so have they also taught that Christ and the Holy Spirit were emitted on account of this defect, and that the Saviour was a product of those Æons who were produced from a defect; so that there is nothing but blasphemy to be found among them. In the preceding book, then, the ideas of the apostles as to all these points have been set forth, [to the effect] that not only did they, “who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word” (Luke i. 2) of truth, hold no such opinions, but that they did also preach to us to shun these doctrines,(2 Tim. ii. 23) foreseeing by the Spirit those weak-minded persons who should be led astray. [Schaff's note: The solemnity of the apostolic testimonies against the crop of tares that was to spring up receives great illustration from Irenæus. 1 John ii. 18.]
4. For as the serpent beguiled Eve, by promising her what he had not himself, [2 Pet. ii. 19.] so also do these men, by pretending [to possess] superior knowledge, and [to be acquainted with] ineffable mysteries; and, by promising that admittance which they speak of as taking place within the Pleroma, plunge those that believe them into death, rendering them apostates from Him who made them. And at that time, indeed, the apostate angel, having effected the disobedience of mankind by means of the serpent, imagined that he escaped the notice of the Lord; wherefore God assigned him the form [Rev. xii. 9] and name [of a serpent]. But now, since the last times are [come upon us], evil is spread abroad among men, which not only renders them apostates, but by many machinations does [the devil] raise up blasphemers against the Creator, namely, by means of all the heretics already mentioned. For all these, although they issue forth from diverse regions, and promulgate different [opinions], do nevertheless concur in the same blasphemous design, wounding [men] unto death, by teaching blasphemy against God our Maker and Supporter, and derogating from the salvation of man. Now man is a mixed organization of soul and flesh, who was formed after the likeness of God, and moulded by His hands, that is, by the Son and Holy Spirit, to whom also He said, “Let Us make man.” (Gen. i. 26) This, then, is the aim of him who envies our life, to render men disbelievers in their own salvation, and blasphemous against God the Creator. For whatsoever all the heretics may have advanced with the utmost solemnity, they come to this at last, that they blaspheme the Creator, and disallow the salvation of God’s workmanship, which the flesh truly is; on behalf of which I have proved, in a variety of ways, that the Son of God accomplished the whole dispensation [of mercy], and have shown that there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption.

Bk. IV Chapter XXIV.—The conversion of the Gentiles was more difficult than that of the Jews; the labours of those apostles, therefore who engaged in the former task, were greater than those who undertook the latter.
1. Wherefore also Paul, since he was the apostle of the Gentiles, says, “I laboured more than they all.” (1 Cor. xv. 10) For the instruction of the former, [viz., the Jews,] was an easy task, because they could allege proofs from the Scriptures, and because they, who were in the habit of hearing Moses and the prophets, did also readily receive the First-begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the life of God,—Him who, by the spreading forth of hands, did destroy Amalek, and vivify man from the wound of the serpent, by means of faith which was [exercised] towards Him. As I have pointed out in the preceding book, the apostle did, in the first place, instruct the Gentiles to depart from the superstition of idols, and to worship one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and the Framer of the whole creation; and that His Son was His Word, by whom He founded all things; and that He, in the last times, was made a man among men; that He reformed the human race, but destroyed and conquered the enemy of man, and gave to His handiwork victory against the adversary. But although they who were of the circumcision still did not obey the words of God, for they were despisers, yet they were previously instructed not to commit adultery, nor fornication, nor theft, nor fraud; and that whatsoever things are done to our neighbours’ prejudice, were evil, and detested by God. Wherefore also they did readily agree to abstain from these things, because they had been thus instructed.
2. But they were bound to teach the Gentiles also this very thing, that works of such a nature were wicked, prejudicial, and useless, and destructive to those who engaged in them. Wherefore he who had received the apostolate to the Gentiles, [Schaff's note: A clear note of recognition on the part of our author, that St. Paul’s mission was world-wide, while St. Peter’s was limited.] did labour more than those who preached the Son of God among them of the circumcision. For they were assisted by the Scriptures, which the Lord confirmed and fulfilled, in coming such as He had been announced; but here, [in the case of the Gentiles,] there was a certain foreign erudition, and a new doctrine [to be received, namely], that the gods of the nations not only were no gods at all, but even the idols of demons; and that there is one God, who is “above all principality, and dominion, and power, and every name which is named;” (Eph. i. 21) and that His Word, invisible by nature, was made palpable and visible among men, and did descend “to death, even the death of the cross;” (Phil. ii. 8 ) also, that they who believe in Him shall be incorruptible and not subject to suffering, and shall receive the kingdom of heaven. These things, too, were preached to the Gentiles by word, without [the aid of] the Scriptures: wherefore, also, they who preached among the Gentiles underwent greater labour. But, on the other hand, the faith of the Gentiles is proved to be of a more noble description, since they followed the word of God without the instruction [derived] from the [sacred] writings.

Chapter XXXII.—That one God was the author of both Testaments, is confirmed by the authority of a presbyter who had been taught by the apostles.
1. After this fashion also did a presbyter, a disciple of the apostles, reason with respect to the two testaments, proving that both were truly from one and the same God. For [he maintained] that there was no other God besides Him who made and fashioned us, and that the discourse of those men has no foundation who affirm that this world of ours was made either by angels, or by any other power whatsoever, or by another God. For if a man be once moved away from the Creator of all things, and if he grant that this creation to which we belong was formed by any other or through any other [than the one God], he must of necessity fall into much inconsistency, and many contradictions of this sort; to which he will [be able to] furnish no explanations which can be regarded as either probable or true. And, for this reason, those who introduce other doctrines conceal from us the opinion which they themselves hold respecting God, because they are aware of the untenable and absurd nature of their doctrine, and are afraid lest, should they be vanquished, they should have some difficulty in making good their escape. But if any one believes in [only] one God, who also made all things by the Word, as Moses likewise says, “God said, Let there be light: and there was light;” (Gen. i. 3) and as we read in the Gospel, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was nothing made;” (John i. 3) and the Apostle Paul [says] in like manner, “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father, who is above all, and through all, and in us all” (Eph. iv. 5, 6)—this man will first of all “hold the head, from which the whole body is compacted and bound together, and, through means of every joint according to the measure of the ministration of each several part, maketh increase of the body to the edification of itself in love.” (Eph. iv. 16; Col. ii. 19)  And then shall every word also seem consistent to him, if he for his part diligently read the Scriptures in company with those who are presbyters in the Church, among whom is the apostolic doctrine, as I have pointed out.
2. For all the apostles taught that there were indeed two testaments among the two peoples; but that it was one and the same God who appointed both for the advantage of those men (for whose sakes the testaments were given) who were to believe in God, I have proved in the third book from the very teaching of the apostles; and that the first testament was not given without reason, or to no purpose, or in an accidental sort of manner; but that it subdued those to whom it was given to the service of God, for their benefit (for God needs no service from men), and exhibited a type of heavenly things, inasmuch as man was not yet able to see the things of God through means of immediate vision; and foreshadowed the images of those things which [now actually] exist in the Church, in order that our faith might be firmly established; [Schaff's note: If this and the former chapter seem to us superfluous, we must reflect that such testimony, from the beginning, has established the unity of Holy Scripture, and preserved to us—the Bible.] and contained a prophecy of things to come, in order that man might learn that God has foreknowledge of all things.

Quote
Bk V. Preface: In the four preceding books, my very dear friend, which I put forth to thee, all the heretics have been exposed, and their doctrines brought to light, and these men refuted who have devised irreligious opinions. [I have accomplished this by adducing] something from the doctrine peculiar to each of these men, which they have left in their writings, as well as by using arguments of a more general nature, and applicable to them all Then I have pointed out the truth, and shown the preaching of the Church, which the prophets proclaimed (as I have already demonstrated), but which Christ brought to perfection, and the apostles have handed down, from whom the Church, receiving [these truths], and throughout all the world alone preserving them in their integrity (bene), has transmitted them to her sons. Then also—having disposed of all questions which the heretics propose to us, and having explained the doctrine of the apostles, and clearly set forth many of those things which were said and done by the Lord in parables—I shall endeavour, in this the fifth book of the entire work which treats of the exposure and refutation of knowledge falsely so called, to exhibit proofs from the rest of the Lord’s doctrine and the apostolical epistles: [thus] complying with thy demand, as thou didst request of me (since indeed I have been assigned a place in the ministry of the word); and, labouring by every means in my power to furnish thee with large assistance against the contradictions of the heretics, as also to reclaim the wanderers and convert them to the Church of God, to confirm at the same time the minds of the neophytes, that they may preserve stedfast the faith which they have received, guarded by the Church in its integrity, in order that they be in no way perverted by those who endeavour to teach them false doctrines, and lead them away from the truth. It will be incumbent upon thee, however, and all who may happen to read this writing, to peruse with great attention what I have already said, that thou mayest obtain a knowledge of the subjects against which I am contending. For it is thus that thou wilt both controvert them in a legitimate manner, and wilt be prepared to receive the proofs brought forward against them, casting away their doctrines as filth by means of the celestial faith; but following the only true and stedfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.

Quote
True knowledge, then, consists in the understanding of Christ, which Paul terms the wisdom of God hidden in a mystery, which “the natural man receiveth not” (Cor. ii. 14),the doctrine of the cross; of which if any man “taste” (1 Pet. ii. 3), he will not accede to the disputations and quibbles of proud and puffed-up men (1 Tim. vi. 4, 5), who go into matters of which they have no perception (Col. ii. 18). For the truth is unsophisticated ; and “the word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart”(Rom. x. 8; Deut. xxx. 14), as the same apostle declares, being easy of comprehension to those who are obedient. For it renders us like to Christ, if we experience “the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. iii. 10). For this is the affinity of the apostolical teaching and the most holy “faith delivered unto us” (Jude 3), which the unlearned receive, and those of slender knowledge have taught, not “giving heed to endless genealogies” (1 Tim. i. 4), but studying rather [to observe] a straightforward course of life; lest, having been deprived of the Divine Spirit, they fail to attain to the kingdom of heaven. For truly the first thing is to deny one’s self and to follow Christ; and those who do this are borne onward to perfection, having fulfilled all their Teacher’s will, becoming sons of God by spiritual regeneration, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven; those who seek which first shall not be forsaken.

Quote
This [custom] of not bending the knee upon Sunday, is a symbol of the resurrection, through which we have been set free, by the grace of Christ, from sins, and from death, which has been put to death under Him. Now this custom took its rise from apostolic times, as the blessed Irenæus, the martyr and bishop of Lyons, declares in his treatise On Easter, in which he makes mention of Pentecost also; upon which [feast] we do not bend the knee, because it is of equal significance with the Lord’s day, for the reason already alleged concerning it.

The Protestant Schaff summarizes:
Quote
And what had become of the disciples who were the first-fruits of the apostolic ministry? St. Paul had said, “The same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” How was this injunction realized? St. Peter’s touching words come to mind, “I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” Was this endeavour successfully carried out? To these natural and pious inquiries, the Apostolic Fathers, though we have a few specimens only of their fidelity, give an emphatic reply. If the cold-hearted and critical find no charm in the simple, childlike faith which they exhibit, ennobled though it be by heroic devotion to the Master, we need not marvel. Such would probably object: “They teach me nothing; I do not relish their multiplied citations from Scripture.” The answer is, “If you are familiar with Scripture, you owe it largely to these primitive witnesses to its Canon and its spirit. By their testimony we detect what is spurious, and we identify what is real. Is it nothing to find that your Bible is their Bible, your faith their faith, your Saviour their Saviour, your God their God?” Let us reflect also, that, when copies of the entire Scriptures were rare and costly, these citations were “words fitly spoken,—apples of gold in pictures of silver.” We are taught by them also that they obeyed the apostle’s precept, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing,” etc. Thus they reflect the apostolic care that men should be raised up able to teach others also.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.i.ii.html

As Pope St. Leo the Great taught "He who was seen as our Redeemer has now passed into the sacraments." Those who were heard as Apostles of Christ have passed into the episcopacy. If one can seperate the Apostles from their preaching, then one can seperate Apostolic from ecclesiastical.

Since one cannot, it cannot be sperated.

One can only draw the living water of apostolicity from the Church's fountain; you cannot get it by trying to purify brackish water.  The character of apostolic comes from being received of the apostles and handed down; it cannot be expropriated by comparison, like one comparing the Resurection of Christ with the cult of Adonis, Osiris, Tammuz, etc. in the search of similarities.  It is what it is.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 04:57:08 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2010, 06:51:59 PM »

^From St. Ignatius' letter to the Trallians I should have included:
Quote
For, since you are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, you appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in His death, you may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as you indeed do, so without the bishop you should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being [the ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be pleasing to all. For they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation [against them], as they would do fire

In like manner, let all reverence the deacons as an appointment of Jesus Christ, and the bishop as Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Father, and the presbyters as the sanhedrim of God, and assembly of the apostles. Apart from these, there is no Church. Concerning all this, I am persuaded that you are of the same opinion. For I have received the manifestation of your love, and still have it with me, in your bishop, whose very appearance is highly instructive, and his meekness of itself a power; whom I imagine even the ungodly must reverence, seeing they are also pleased that I do not spare myself. But shall I, when permitted to write on this point, reach such a height of self-esteem, that though being a condemned man, I should issue commands to you as if I were an apostle?

Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons. And this will be the case with you if you are not puffed up, and continue in intimate union with Jesus Christ our God, and the bishop, and the enactments of the apostles. He that is within the altar is pure, but he that is without is not pure; that is, he who does anything apart from the bishop, and presbytery, and deacons, such a man is not pure in his conscience.

To the Magnesians:
Quote
Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another, and let no one look upon his neighbour after the flesh, but continually love each other in Jesus Christ. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you; but be united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.
As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
deusveritasest
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Jurisdiction: None
Posts: 7,528



WWW
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2010, 10:52:23 PM »

Here is a comparison that has been made (on another forum) between East and West regarding Apostolic Succession:

Quote
The Augustinian theory effectively holds that valid episcopal ordination confers an indelible character that is not affected by any schismatic or heretical act or excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order, though he may have been deprived juridically of the office or jurisdiction by which he performed episcopal acts. The latter considerations affect only the licitness of his acts.

The Cyprianic theory effectively holds that a valid episcopal ordination is affected by schismatic or heretical acts and by excommunication taken in response thereto or for any other reason. Accordingly, a validly ordained priest once validly ordained to the episcopate retains his capacity to exercise that order only so long as he continues in communion with the jurisdiction under the authority of which he was ordained to the episcopate (or such other jurisdiction into which he may have subsequently been accepted) and is exercising the office or jurisdiction by which he has the right to perform those acts. There is no distinction made as to licitness.

Assuming that there is agreement as to the characterization of both approaches here, has the so-called Augustinian theory been rejected by the Eastern Orthodox as a heretical view to be held?





Well, it is generally held that there are no legitimate, efficacious Sacraments outside the Orthodox Church and to believe otherwise is to essentially believe in Branch Theory.
Logged

I stopped posting here in August 2011 because of stark disagreement with the policies of the administration and moderating team of the forums. If you desire, feel free to PM me, message me on Facebook (link in profile), or email me: cddombrowski@gmail.com
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2010, 09:59:41 PM »

Old Testament scripture was able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, now that God added the New Testament, how much more can it accomplish that feat?:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-1 KJV)

Lots:
(I Timothy 1:)Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
2Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm...18This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme...3:1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil...14These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth...16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;...6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness..11 These things command and teach. 12Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee...6:20O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

(II Timothy 1:)1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;..6Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind...1111Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The episcopacy of the Orthodox Church, keeping which was commtted to it by the Holy Spirit, stirred up the gift of prophecy which it received by the laying on of the hands of the Apostles (and any Orthodox bishop today, by the ontological whole of the episcopate and Apostolic succession, is only an arm's length away from the Apostles), determined the canon of Scripture and its interpretation.
More at that post.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2010, 07:37:20 PM »

No doubt the bigger churches had Bishops who were instructed by the apostles, and house churches eventually merged with these "mega churches."

Merged? No Church was ever founded except with a bishop. No True Church, that is.

But they were a feature throughout apostolic ministry:

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 1 Co 16:19
15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. Col 4:15
2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Phm 2

The fact that the Apostle Paul mentions them, as founded by him, shows them to be in the same relationship that a parish is to her bishop today.  Since the Upper Room serving as the Apostles Church, ALL Churches were in a house (when they were not in a catacombs, caves, etc.). They were illegal, remember? (Oops! I forgot, you were not there, so of course you do not remember).  And the earliest "Church buildings" were houses converted to that use:
The earliest house Churches had Divine Liturgy. That is what made them a house Church. On the earliest evidence we have:
But I remember them, they were precisely like the apostolic church:

LOL. Rmember? You were neither in an Apostle's Church in person, nor by extension. You have to be there first to remember.

I've been to several House Churches, for instance the House of St. Ananias in Damascus and in the Decapolis, where the Hebrew Christian fled after the martyrdo of St. James the Brother of God, the first patriarch of Jerusalem. The best preserved in original condition is the Dura Europas House Church, which, like all the house Churches, show that it was renovated to accommodate liturgical worship. And yes, it is covered iin icons.

Btw, we still have plenty of house Churches among the Orthodox in this country. I was just at a former one for Transfiguration. Former, because now it has been fully converted into a Church, but you can still see, if you look close, where the walls that used to seperate rooms were removed, etc. My own Church used to be a Lutheran Church, and we had a lot of adaptation to bring it into line with Orthodox worship (like removing the pews).
When the Church was legalized, many large basilicas were erected over them, like at St. Peter's house and the House of the Theotokos in Nazareth, or incorporated into a crypt, like the the House of St. Anania, still on the street called straight (al-Mustaqiim). Others were enlarged like the Cenacle/Upper Room.  The Orthodox did not take the house Churches.  We had them, and they prospered as the Church did with legality.

While this was somewhat chaotic, and no doubt gave rise to heretical opinions, the founding apostles
hence the link to the episcopacy.
and prophets shepherded them through it. 

Because they were under the Apostles, and after them, their successors, the presbyter-bishops. And so they are today.

It is likely the insistence of the early church upon apostolic teaching was born from the chaos of these early home churches.

That insistence is still needed, and that teaching still taught.  Hence the episcopate of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.

Frankly I prefer one of these house churches where doctrinal disputes occur,
LOL. Obviously
Quote
than the super religious churches of today that are completely scripted.
You mean, folllow the Rule of Faith? Romans 1:
1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for the Rule of faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.  17:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations [i.e. the LXX], according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for the Rule of the faith— 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Quote
Chaos can be good.
Like this?
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. I Cor. 11:19
33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the Churches of the saints.
 (1Co 14:26-33 NKJ)
Hmmm. Didn't you just quote that? Peace, good. Chaos and confusion, bad.

It does appear God like to personally tend to each one individually,

"He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” Luke 10:16
Quote
John....17:20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you bishops, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20.
1 The presbyters who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow presbyter and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as bishops, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. I Peter 5.
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly.  I Thess. 5.
 2 And I went up by revelation, and sumbitted to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. Gal. 2.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13.

and not have a King rule over them:
 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
 8 "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day-- with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods-- so they are doing to you also.
 (1Sa 8:6-8 NKJ)

We know what came of the voice of the people of Israel calling for a king.


Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2010, 07:40:01 PM »

Primitive Christianity is what it could be called,


You can cal it Primitive Christianity. What it is in the NT is the first century One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.

and like the church houses existing in apostolic times, we often disagree with each other...but I accept that chaos, just as the apostles did.

No, they did not.
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every Church. I Cor. 4:17
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 Cor. 4:1
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Eph. 4.
Titus 1:5For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain presbyters in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: [i.e. those whose hearts are covered by the veil of Moses] 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not...13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

(I Timothy 1:)Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
2Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm...18This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme...3:1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil...14These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth...16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;...6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness..11 These things command and teach. 12Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee...6:20O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

(II Timothy 1:)1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;..6Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind...1111Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The episcopacy of the Orthodox Church, keeping which was commtted to it by the Holy Spirit, stirred up the gift of prophecy which it received by the laying on of the hands of the Apostles (and any Orthodox bishop today, by the ontological whole of the episcopate and Apostolic succession, is only an arm's length away from the Apostles), determined the canon of Scripture and its interpretation.

Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
KevinOrr
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: United Methodist
Posts: 82


« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2010, 09:54:32 AM »

There is, of course, a historical tension in Roman Catholicism between the view of the Roman Pontiff as the Petrine Successor and Bishop over the world, and one still current that Roman bishops also share in the Apostolic office - hence the continued calls for 'collegiality' especially since Vatican II (supporters of the Curia historically have tried to smear that as 'Gallicanism' or 'Josephism').

The Protestant scene is confusing, however one clarification. Methodists and their Pentecostal derivatives (Assemblies of God, Foursquare) do believe in Apostolic succession as well - hence the common denominational epithet 'Methodist Episcopal' (and the office of 'Bishop' or 'Superintendent' amongst Pentecostals). However, they believe that anciently presbyters and bishops were the same office - so as Wesley did, they practice 'presbyteral ordination' and believe they pass on Apostolic succession. Of course, not all modern Pentecostals understand this - my father and grandfather certainly do/did. In fact, they will argue til they are blue in the face that they do have apostolic succession - which they trace from Wesley back through the Anglicans et al. Lists of ordainers, however, are not important to them - merely having hands laid on by those who are already ordained presbyters (noting, they claim to be presbyters but not to being hieros - sacrificing priests.)

 A sideline of that odd history is that Wesley and others claimed that John Wesley was consecrated a bishop by a Greek Orthodox bishop from Crete - however, there is no evidence that the Cretan was actually an Orthodox bishop that I know of, and there is a question as well whether those following Wesley would have understood any intent to continue the same sort of office. The story is controversial now in Methodist circles, but was well-known and believed in 19th c. American Methodism especially in the South. In his later years, Wesley seems to have definitely held to the idea of ordination by presbyters due to his contact with the Moravians. So, whether or not Wesley was a vagante matters little for modern Methodists or Pentecostals, nor really for us. The main interest would be whether this Greek was in fact a Greek Catholic, or a layman or other cleric pretending to be a bishop while in England?

A 19th c. Methodist discussion of the problem: http://wesley.nnu.edu/wesleyan_theology/mreview/1870/A_%201878_%20Was%20Wesley%20Ordained%20Bishop%20by%20Erasmus_%2088-111.htm


Aristibule,
    I have quite a bit invested in this issue. Thank you for the link.
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.205 seconds with 49 queries.