Author Topic: The most recognisable Church to early Christians  (Read 2573 times)

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Offline 786SalamKhan

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The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« on: September 08, 2016, 08:47:53 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?

Please don't factor in language barrier or theological differences.

I heard it would be the Oriental Orthodox Church in Egypt, but anyway, please state why in your answers/opinions.

Thanks in advance and God bless.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 09:07:30 PM by 786SalamKhan »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 09:36:24 PM »
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
None.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 09:36:45 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2016, 09:52:11 PM »
As usual, wrong answer ^


Any Orthodox Church.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2016, 10:02:50 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2016, 10:05:14 PM »
I would think there is no worship service that taken in its entirety is the same as Christian worship before A.D. 200. The closest might be some monastic services, or some of the Lenten-season services. The reason being that we have less Bible reading than they did (including "Old Testament") and more ceremony and singing (certainly they did not have musical compositions at the Byzantine level). That said, any Orthodox Divine Liturgy, Eucharistic portion, would be immediately comprehensible.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2016, 10:07:17 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)

The center of Christianity moved rather quickly away from the Middle East and toward Rome and Grecia. I know it's not the consensus critical view, but in my opinion finding Greek-language services even in the lifetime of St. Paul would not have been uncommon.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline rakovsky

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 10:09:33 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)

The center of Christianity moved rather quickly away from the Middle East and toward Rome and Grecia. I know it's not the consensus critical view, but in my opinion finding Greek-language services even in the lifetime of St. Paul would not have been uncommon.
Yes. Consider the Corinthians.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 10:14:11 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)

The center of Christianity moved rather quickly away from the Middle East and toward Rome and Grecia. I know it's not the consensus critical view, but in my opinion finding Greek-language services even in the lifetime of St. Paul would not have been uncommon.
Yes. Consider the Corinthians.

The Church at Corinth is one example of about fifteen we read about in the Epistles and the Acts. It's hard to believe the Greek-centered churches were limited to only what we read, as well, since we know that the Apostles not only started Churches themselves but commissioned their own disciples to do the same, including the early bishops which St. Paul said that Apostles should "appoint in every city." My guess is that, before the persecution of Nero, the Church probably at least had small missions in almost every Roman city and province.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 10:14:28 PM »
As usual, wrong answer ^


Any Orthodox Church.
Instantly recognize, Isa? As their church?
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2016, 10:15:54 PM »
A small and improvised Eastern rite parish would probably be the most familiar place, although not identical for the reasons named above and others.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 10:17:06 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2016, 10:18:06 PM »
As usual, wrong answer ^


Any Orthodox Church.
Instantly recognize, Isa? As their church?

So are we talking about Christian people on the way to the agora in 150 A.D. suddenly being swept up thru time and space so that they enter an Orthodox service without being aware? Or are we talking about saints who somehow return from heaven, in our times, and are well aware of our situation? Or something in between? I think that our denomination situation might confuse early Christians for a while; conversely, however, there's no doubt in my mind that they would not question the Christianity of an Orthodox DL if they walked in on it.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline augustin717

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2016, 10:38:16 PM »
OCA
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 10:40:08 PM by augustin717 »
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Offline 786SalamKhan

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 04:40:03 AM »
^Why?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 04:42:50 AM by 786SalamKhan »

Offline 786SalamKhan

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2016, 05:18:47 AM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)

I heard it would be Egypt, since Egypt didn't have a lot of outside influence, hence why the see of Alexandria was a beacon of orthodoxy during the Arian crisis and why Egypt was able to give rise to monasticism.

Offline mike

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2016, 01:51:56 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)

I heard it would be Egypt, since Egypt didn't have a lot of outside influence, hence why the see of Alexandria was a beacon of orthodoxy during the Arian crisis and why Egypt was able to give rise to monasticism.

But first Christians have never heard of monasticism.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2016, 01:59:21 PM »
I think they'd be most alarmed by the glowing exit signs, the priest's voice coming out of holes in the wall, and chandelier candles burning without melting or flickering.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2016, 02:31:49 PM »
I think they'd be most alarmed by the glowing exit signs, the priest's voice coming out of holes in the wall, and chandelier candles burning without melting or flickering.
I LOL'd.  :laugh: They would probably be horrified by this debate, too.
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Offline Onesimus

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2016, 02:34:44 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)

I heard it would be Egypt, since Egypt didn't have a lot of outside influence, hence why the see of Alexandria was a beacon of orthodoxy during the Arian crisis and why Egypt was able to give rise to monasticism.

But first Christians have never heard of monasticism.

What do you think John the Baptist was?

The Essenes?

Monasticism is older than people believe...it just started taking different forms and "rules."

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2016, 02:51:15 PM »
The faithful Jews would retire to the desert to live in communities in the times of King Manasseh, too. (VII century BC)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 02:51:39 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Agabus

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2016, 03:16:15 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.
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THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline 786SalamKhan

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2016, 03:34:56 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

It doesn't have to be 2nd century Christians, it could be 3rd century.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2016, 03:41:17 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

It doesn't have to be 2nd century Christians, it could be 3rd century.
I think that even a 3rd century Christian would take some time to figure out that any existing church was their kind of church.

I think perhaps you are seeing this as a sort of litmus test or indicator of continuity from the 3rd century to today. But is it bringing out the important points?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 03:41:37 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Agabus

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2016, 04:21:56 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

It doesn't have to be 2nd century Christians, it could be 3rd century.

You'd have to get to about the fifth before that became a common thing, and even then it looked nothing like today's icon screen.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 04:22:37 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline 786SalamKhan

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2016, 04:55:05 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

It doesn't have to be 2nd century Christians, it could be 3rd century.
I think that even a 3rd century Christian would take some time to figure out that any existing church was their kind of church.

I think perhaps you are seeing this as a sort of litmus test or indicator of continuity from the 3rd century to today. But is it bringing out the important points?

If I was seeking continuity then I would look for theology instead.

Offline Agabus

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2016, 05:27:31 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

It doesn't have to be 2nd century Christians, it could be 3rd century.
I think that even a 3rd century Christian would take some time to figure out that any existing church was their kind of church.

I think perhaps you are seeing this as a sort of litmus test or indicator of continuity from the 3rd century to today. But is it bringing out the important points?

If I was seeking continuity then I would look for theology instead.

You can walk into a church and instantly recognize theology sans external accruements?
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2016, 05:31:06 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

What about the ancient House Church and the icon-adorned synagogue excavated at Dura Europos?

Also, St. Epiphanius ripped down a curtain at a church in Palestine or Jordan which featured what he considered an inappropriate depiction of our Lord Jesus Christ (this does not mean as suggested by some Protestants that he was an iconoclast).  That was in 380.

In Oriental Orthodox churches, especially Syriac Orthodox churches, instead of an iconostasis per se you often have a curtain with a picture of our Lord on it, but the function is the same.

I believe the liturgical veil dates to at least the fourth century, in the form of a curtain and templon, and I think icons and having walls covered in them dates back to the late first century based in part on archaeological evidence (the Dura Europos synagogue).
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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2016, 05:38:59 PM »
This is a weird topic. 
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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Offline Agabus

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2016, 05:42:56 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

What about the ancient House Church and the icon-adorned synagogue excavated at Dura Europos?

Also, St. Epiphanius ripped down a curtain at a church in Palestine or Jordan which featured what he considered an inappropriate depiction of our Lord Jesus Christ (this does not mean as suggested by some Protestants that he was an iconoclast).  That was in 380.

In Oriental Orthodox churches, especially Syriac Orthodox churches, instead of an iconostasis per se you often have a curtain with a picture of our Lord on it, but the function is the same.

I believe the liturgical veil dates to at least the fourth century, in the form of a curtain and templon, and I think icons and having walls covered in them dates back to the late first century based in part on archaeological evidence (the Dura Europos synagogue).

Icon on walls =/= icon screens.

It's not a hill I'm going to die on, but at least in the Byzantine rite what we have now is much closer to what one would have seen 1,000 years ago rather than 2,000 years ago. The thought of liturgical development doesn't scare me.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2016, 05:57:09 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

What about the ancient House Church and the icon-adorned synagogue excavated at Dura Europos?

Also, St. Epiphanius ripped down a curtain at a church in Palestine or Jordan which featured what he considered an inappropriate depiction of our Lord Jesus Christ (this does not mean as suggested by some Protestants that he was an iconoclast).  That was in 380.

In Oriental Orthodox churches, especially Syriac Orthodox churches, instead of an iconostasis per se you often have a curtain with a picture of our Lord on it, but the function is the same.

I believe the liturgical veil dates to at least the fourth century, in the form of a curtain and templon, and I think icons and having walls covered in them dates back to the late first century based in part on archaeological evidence (the Dura Europos synagogue).

Icon on walls =/= icon screens.

It's not a hill I'm going to die on, but at least in the Byzantine rite what we have now is much closer to what one would have seen 1,000 years ago rather than 2,000 years ago. The thought of liturgical development doesn't scare me.

On this point you are certainly correct.  Actually, the rites in their present forum as used by all Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, setting aside recent changes to the calendar and developments in music, the liturgical text, in its present rescension, is on average about 500 years old.  But there are elements which strech back to the beginning.  Which is whynall the rites have commonalities; most of the Eastern Rites have had the Trisagion since the fourth century, Ho Monoges since the sixth, and so on.  Kyrie eleison is ubiquitious, as is the Sursum Corda at the start of the Anaphora.
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Offline 786SalamKhan

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2016, 07:25:03 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

It doesn't have to be 2nd century Christians, it could be 3rd century.
I think that even a 3rd century Christian would take some time to figure out that any existing church was their kind of church.

I think perhaps you are seeing this as a sort of litmus test or indicator of continuity from the 3rd century to today. But is it bringing out the important points?

If I was seeking continuity then I would look for theology instead.

You can walk into a church and instantly recognize theology sans external accruements?

No, where did I even say that? He asked me if I was looking for continuity in external appearance, despite the more important points (such as theology). I merely clarified that if I was looking for continuity, I would focus on the more important points (such as theology).

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2016, 07:30:36 PM »
If we're talking second century Christians, any kind of iconostasis would be foreign to them.

It doesn't have to be 2nd century Christians, it could be 3rd century.
I think that even a 3rd century Christian would take some time to figure out that any existing church was their kind of church.

I think perhaps you are seeing this as a sort of litmus test or indicator of continuity from the 3rd century to today. But is it bringing out the important points?

If I was seeking continuity then I would look for theology instead.
gotcha
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Offline WPM

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2016, 07:36:47 PM »
Probably the Church of Catacombs and Graves described after the burial and resurrection of Christ.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2016, 08:59:12 PM »
Which Church would be the most recognizable to Early Christians?
What I mean to ask is, if somehow a Christian from 120AD until right before the 4th century AD, ended up in our time, which church could he (or she) walk into and instantly recognize it as his (or her) church?
Of course it would be an Orthodox church, because it was based on the synagogue worship like they had in the 1st century.
The EOs were careful to preserve the liturgies from the time you ask about.

Greek and Aramaic were two major NT languages and they are found in the Orthodox churches.

If you really want to get specific for the 1st century, I would say the Syriac church (EO or OO) because of the same language use. (Syriac=Aramaic)

I heard it would be Egypt, since Egypt didn't have a lot of outside influence, hence why the see of Alexandria was a beacon of orthodoxy during the Arian crisis and why Egypt was able to give rise to monasticism.

But first Christians have never heard of monasticism.
Eusebius testified otherwise
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2016, 09:01:24 PM »
^Why?
augustin has a vendetta against America in general, so the OCA just combines that with his mockery of taking Orthodoxy seriously.

It has nothing to do with your topic, just with his issues.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 09:01:52 PM by ialmisry »
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

Offline Wandile

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Re: The most recognisable Church to early Christians
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2016, 02:48:29 AM »
It honestly depends where they are from... if hey were western it would be the Roman Latin Communion... if they were eastern the man probably one of the eastern churches including eastern Catholics . If they were Egyptian then probably the Coptic communion and so on and so forth. This is of course if they are ignoring theology and all...
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