Thursday, August 30, 2007

T.L. Osbon ( Man of GOD) Mtu aliyeitikisa Dunia kwa Injili ya kweli

Soma historia ya mtumishi wa Mungu T.L. Osbon, mtu aliyeitikisa dunia kwa miujiza ya kutisha na maajabu mengi ambayo Bwana Yesu aliyafanya kupitia mtu huyu.

History of the Osborn MinistriesThe ministry of T.L. and Daisy Osborn has made an unprecedented impact on the world. Married at ages 17 and 18, they were missionaries in India at 20 and 21. They are valued among the great soulwinners of this century.In 1949 they instituted Osborn International, a world evangelism and missionary church organization.Their life commitment: To express and propagate the Gospel of Christ to all people throughout the world. Their motto: One Way - Jesus; One Job - Evangelism. Their guiding principle: The top priority of the church is the evangelization of the world.For over a half century together, they proclaimed the Gospel to millions, face to face, in 74 nations. (Daisy passed away in May, 1995.) Their crusade audiences have numbered from 20,000 to over 300,000 per meeting.

Their literature has been published in 132 languages and dialects.They have produced DocuMiracle crusade films, audio and video cassettes, crusade tapes and Bible courses for study and public evangelism in nearly 80 languages.They have sponsored over thirty thousand qualified national preachers, both women and men, as full-time missionaries to their own and neighboring tribes and villages where the Gospel of Christ had not been established.They have provided airlifts and huge shipments of soulwinning tools for Gospel missions and Christian workers worldwide, including scores of 4-wheel mobile vehicles equipped with films, projectors, giant screens, generators, public-address systems, audio cassettes and cassette players, and hundreds of tons of literature for evangelism abroad.They have been prolific writers.
Their books have helped to stimulate a worldwide rediscovery of apostolic miracle-evangelism.T.L.’s living classic, Healing the Sick, has been a faith-building best-seller since 1951. Over a million copies are in print.Their 510-page classic documentary, The Gospel According to T.L. & Daisy, with 489 photos, tells their story.Dr. Daisy's five major books are unmatched among Christian publications for the female members of the Body of Christ, helping women and men alike, to rediscover their Identity, Dignity, Destiny and Equality in God's plan for their lives.Together with their daughter Dr. LaDonna Osborn, they have probably reached and led more unreached souls to Christ in non-Christian lands, and may have witnessed more great healing miracles, that any other family in history. Their team efforts in world evangelism have been truly pace-setting as they have proclaimed to the world the good news that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to day and forever. He.13:8

Hindu Radicals Beat Up Pastor and Church Members

A group of 30 Hindu radicals beat up an Indian pastor and two of his church members during a worship service on Sunday, August 26. This incident took place in Mulluru village, Kolar District, Karnataka State in India. The pastor who was attacked was Immanuel Venkatesh who ministers at an independent church called Yesu Prithisuthane [Jesus Loves] Church. The attack took place at 11:30 AM on Sunday as the congregation had stood for the reading the Bible. A group of 30 Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal group arrived on motorbikes and some walking. They entered the church and began shouting. [Bajrang Dal is sometimes translated as “Monkey Brigade” and is the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and one of its family of organizations (Sangh Parivar) based on the core ideology of Hindutva.] They approached the pastor and one of them loudly asked him, “What are you doing here? Who gave you the right to do this activity? You are an outsider (from other state).” They began to beat up the pastor and delivered several blows to his chest and back. The church members present tried to intervene and prevent further blows. They managed to lock him in a nearby room. In the meantime, a church member named Yenkataraju was beaten up and blows on his face and then stabbed with a knife, leaving him badly wounded. On hearing the commotion, the pastor came out of the room and again the extremists attacked him and as he lay on the floor, about ten of the attackers kicked him savagely. Seeing this, Thimmakka, a lady member and the house owner of the rented house church, tried to intervene and they then punched on her on the face and back, and broke several of her teeth. One of the assailants then held the knife close to the pastor and said, “We’ll kill you if you won’t stop this activity.” Ravi, one of the onlookers from the church called managed to escape and inform the local police and they soon arrived and took the pastor and the assailants into their custody. Two of the church members’ sustained severe injuries have since undergone treatment. Previous Attack Speaking to ANS, Pastor Immanuel said, “Eight years back, these radicals had lodged a complaint against me and wanted me arrested on charges on conversion. But the police officials supported us and helped us.” Pastor Venakatesh has been ministering in this house church for the past 20 years. The group has no building and church construction is under progress and they are conducting their worship service in a rented house. Around 80 people gather for the worship service each Sunday. Dr. H.T Sangliana, a Member of Parliament and the former Commissioner of Police condemned these attacks. Taking to ANS he said, “These attacks on Christians are increasing day by day. Measures need to be taken to stop these atrocities on Christians.”

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chruch History in the The Second Century

105Justin Martyr born. Died 165.
1073rd Persecution of Christians, under Trajan (98-117). Ignatius of Antioch martyred in Rome. According to Severus, after Trajan discovered that Christians were guilty of no great crimes, he forbade any additional cruelty against them.
Ignatius stressed the role of the local bishop as the focus of unity. He claimed that the bishop was God’s representative on earth. By Ignatius’ time, the churches of Asia Minor were ruled by monarchial bishops, assisted by presbyters and deacons. In a letter to the Ephesians, Ignatius wrote, “Be ye subject to the Bishop and Presbytery ... For even Jesus Christ, our inseparable Life, is the manifest Will of the Father; as also Bishops, to the uttermost bounds of the earth, are so by the will of Jesus Christ.” Ignatius is the first writer known to apply the adjective Catholic to the Church: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people also be: as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." (Smyrneans.)
From various letters (written around the year 107):
On the deity of Christ: "...being united and chosen through his true passion, according to the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ our God." (Ephesians) "There is one physician, both fleshly and spiritual, made and not made; God incarnate; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible, then impassible; even Jesus Christ our Lord." (Ephesians.) "...God himself appearing in the form of a man, for the renewal of eternal life." (Ephesians)
On the identity of the Son and the Logos: "God has manifested himself by Jesus Christ his Son; who is his eternal word." (Magnesians.)
On the Trinity: "Be subject to your bishop, and to one another, as Jesus Christ to the Father, according to the flesh: and [as] the Apostles [were subject] both to Christ, and to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost." (Magnesians.)
On baptism: “For our God Jesus Christ ... was born and baptized, that through his passion he might purify water, to the washing away of sin.” (Ephesians.)
On the eucharist: “... obeying your bishop and the presbytery with an entire affection; breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality; our antidote that we should not die, but live forever in Christ Jesus..." (Ephesians.) “I desire the bread of God which is the flesh of Jesus Christ (of the seed of David), and the drink that I long for is his blood, which is incorruptible love." (Romans.) “For there is but one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ; and one cup in the unity of his blood; one altar...” (Philadelphians.)
On Sunday: “For if we still continue to live according to the Jewish law, we do confess ourselves not to have received grace. ... no longer observing Sabbaths, but keeping the Lord’s day in which also our life is sprung up by him...” (Magnesians.)
Ignatius was martyred under Trajan’s persecution in 107. He warned influential Christians in Rome not to try to obtain his release from prison. That would deprive him of suffering in union with the Lord.
In his Ecclesiastical History (Book VI, Chapter 8), Socrates reported that Ignatius introduced responsive chants into the church in Antioch after a vision of angels "hymning in alternate chants the Holy Trinity."
We know from the second century account The Martyrdom of Ignatios that Ignatius' relics were revered, even at that early date. For there it is written, “only the harder portions of his holy remains were left, which were conveyed to Antioch and wrapped in linen, as an inestimable treasure left to the holy Church by the grace which was in the martyr.”
Hegesippus (see 170 below) related that Symeon, son of Clopas, when 120 years of age, suffered martyrdom under Trajan. Symeon, reportedly, was a son of the Lord's uncle, and had been bishop after James the Just.
Hegesippus also indicated that it was about this time that the heretics moved with vigor to corrupt the Church, the last of the apostles having died. He also listed many of these heretical groups: the Simoniani, Cleobiani, Dorithiani, Gortheani, Masbothaei, Menandrianists, Marcionites, Carpocratians, Valentinians, Basilidians, and Saturnalians - many of whom were resisted by second century apologists such as Irenaeus and Hippolytus.
110Marcion, leader of a heretical sect, born. Died 165. Marcion rejected the Old Testament God, the creator of this miserable world, and hence he rejected the Old Testament also. He believed it impossible that Jesus, the redeemer of mankind, had been born of a woman.
Papias, bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, lived in this era. He is the source of the tradition that Mark's gospel was based on Peter's testimony. Papias was a chiliast. Eusebius of Caesarea was of the opinion that Papias learned his millennialism from a certain John the presbyter. According to this view, others (including Irenaeus - see 177 below) understood Papias - incorrectly - to have gotten his view from the apostle John, and so were convinced there would be a literal millennium.
112 Pliny the Younger (61/62 - 113), governor of Bithynia, wrote a letter to the emperor Trajan. He stated that the Christians "are accustomed on a stated day to meet before daylight, to sing antiphonally a hymn to Christ as to God, and to bind themselves by a sacrament not to commit any wickedness."
115 Trajan narrowly survived an earthquake that devastated Antioch.
115 Revolt of the Jews of Cyrene.
116 Hadrian expelled the Jews from Cyprus after suppressing their revolt, in which many (traditionally 240,000) Greek inhabitants of the island were massacred.
1184th Persecution of Christians, under the emperor Hadrian (117-138). According to Severus, Hadrian set up “images of demons” on the temple mount and Golgotha. Hadrian also set guards to prevent Jews from approaching Jerusalem.
122-7 Building of Hadrian’s wall.
124 The anonymous Epistle to Diognetus, an apology for Christianity written to a pagan, "my lord Diognetus." The author made it plain that the the Word is not "some servant of" God's, or "some angel or prince." In fact, the Word was God: "as God he sent him, as man to men he sent him" who was "the artificer and constructor" of creation. The author contrasts the "transient flame" of martyrdom Christians sometimes experience with the unending torment those who have been unable to see through "the deceit and error of this world" will endure.
125 Papyrus 52 was written around this time. It is the oldest extant New Testament fragment, containing parts of John 18:31-33 and 37-38.
126 Quadratus wrote an apology for the Christian faith, addressed to the emperor Hadrian (as did Aristides around the same time). In his apology, Quadratus mentioned that some of those healed by Jesus were still living.
127-42 Ptolemy, an astronomer, geographer, and mathematician flourished in Alexandria. His earth-centered model of the universe held the field until 1542, when Copernicus supplied a solar-centered model. Ptology's estimate of the earth's circumference was 30 percent below the actual value.
130 (132?) The emperor Hadrian (117-138) rebuilt Jerusalem, calling it Aelia Capitolina (after himself - Aelius Hadrian). He erected a temple to Jupiter there. A special tax was levied on the Jews to pay for the upkeep of the temple Jupiter Capitolinus.
130 A certain Aquila produced a new, very literal Greek translation of the Old Testament. Aquila was a disciple of the Rabbi Akiba and a proselyte to Judaism. The purpose of his translation was to supplant the Septuagint. (Incidentally, Rabbi Akiba supported Bar-Cocheba, believing that he fulfilled Messianic prophecies.)
130The Epistle of Barnabaswas written sometime between the fall of Jerusalem (70) and this date. Known only in a Latin version for most of history, the complete Greek text was brought to light in 1859 with the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus. The epistle explains Old Testament events and practices in an allegorical manner, applying them to Christ and the Church. Barnabas identifies the one who became incarnate for our salvation with him to whom God said, "Let us make man in our image."
135 Another Jewish rebellion began, this one led by Bar-Cocheba. According to Justin, “In the recent Jewish war, Bar-Cocheba ... ordered that only the Christians should be subjected to dreadful torments, unless they renounced and blasphemed Jesus Christ.”
136 Second conquest and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. More than 500,000 put to the sword. The emperor Hadrian forbade the Jews to return to the Jerusalem, and they dispersed over the earth.
In this year the Alexandrian philosopher Valentinus, a baptized Christian, but Gnostic thinker, moved to Rome. He left the Christian community in 140, when another was chosen bishop of Rome. After departing Rome around 160, Valentinus continued to develop his religious philosophy, reportedly writing The Gospel of Truth. His system, like other Gnostic views, supposed a fundamental dualism between good and evil and salvation through gnosis. He was refuted by Irenaeus and Hippolytus.
Basilides was another Gnostic philosopher from Alexandria. The school he founded, known as the Basilidians, still existed in Alexandria in the fourth century. Basilidians are thought to be the first to celebrate Jesus' baptism on January 6 (or Jan 10), keeping an all-night vigil. Basilides used the term "Abraxas" (thought to have magical significance) for God.
Still another Gnostic group saw Simon Magus (Acts 8.9-24) as the true God or Father. God had generated the first thought (Ennoia) to create the angels, who, in turn, were to create the universe. Through jealousy, the angels imprisoned Ennoia in human flesh, and she was doomed to transmigrate to a new body upon the death of the old one. To free her, God had entered creation in the form of Simon, and he offered salvation to mankind in exchange for their recognition of his deity.
Mithraism became increasingly popular within the Roman empire, particularly among soldiers, from around this year. In 307, Diocletian dedicated a temple to Mithra at Carnuntum on the Danube. Mithra was a sun god, and his faith emphasized loyalty to the emperor. After the emperors became Christians, Mithraism faded. Mithra had been the most important Persian god prior to Zoroaster's time. Mithric sanctuaries were caverns. Only men attended the ceremonies of this faith, and there was, apparently, no religious hierarchy.
140Justin Martyr wrote his Apology to the emperor Antonius Pius (138-61). He gave a description of the Sunday service:
“On the day called the Feast of the Sun, all who live in towns or in the country assemble in one place, and the memoirs of the Apostles or the writings of the Prophets are read as time permits. Then, when the reader has ended, the President instructs and encourages the people to practice the truths contained in the Scripture lections. Thereafter, we all stand up and offer prayers together ...
“Our prayers being ended, we salute one another with a kiss. Then bread, and a cup of wine mixed with water, are brought to him who presides over the brethren. He, taking them, offers praise and glory to the Father of all through the Name of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and giving thanks at great length for that we have been counted worthy to receive these gifts from God; and when he finishes the prayers and thanksgivings all the people present cry aloud, Amen. Amen in the Hebrew tongue means, So be it.
“After the President has given thanks and all the people have said Amen, those among us who are called deacons give to all present, sharing it among them, the bread and wine mixed with water over which thanks has been given, and carry it also to those who are absent. And this food is called eucharist by us, of which it is not right for any one to partake save only he who believes that the things taught by us are true, and is washed with the washing that is for the forgiveness of sins and regeneration, and so lives as Christ commanded us.”
Justin rejected pagan mythology, but respected Greek philosophy. He believed in free will, and so was critical of the Gnostic doctrine that predestination was independent of morality. He also believed that the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy was a strong proof that Jesus is the Messiah, and so rejected Marcion’s negative view of the Jewish scriptures. Justin believed in a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on earth, accepting the canonicity and literal interpretation of the Apocalypse.
Justin viewed baptism as a bath of repentance and knowledge of God, through which the Spirit is imparted, a replacement for circumcision, and the doorway to the remission of sins. The eucharist is the new sacrifice foretold by Malachi. He interpreted the words “Do this” to mean “offer this.” He associated the eucharist with Christ’s passion and he believed in the Real Presence: “We do not receive these as common bread or common drink. But just as our Savior Jesus Christ was made flesh through the Word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food that has been eucharistized by the word of prayer from Him (that food which by process of assimilation nourishes our flesh and blood) is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus.”
Justin regarded the Septuagint as the only reliable Old Testament text. He viewed Mary as the antithesis of Eve. Our fall was through a disobedient virgin, but our salvation is through an obedient one.
140 Aristo of Pella wrote his Disputation of Papiscus and Jason, a dialogue between a Jew and a Christian regarding the truth of the Christian faith. This work is now known only through second-hand references.
144 Marcion (see 110) excommunicated by the presbyters in Rome. Marcion, a wealthy shipper, had donated 22,000 sesterces to the church in Rome. It was returned to him as he left.
155Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome and found the Romans did not celebrate Easter as it was done in the East (see year 190). This was when Anicetus was bishop of Rome.
157 Polycarp was burned at the stake in Smyrna. A year later, the anniversary of Polycarp’s martyrdom was celebrated. The first “saint’s day” thus began.
157Montanus, leader of a heretical sect, flourished. He was a Phrygian. Together with two women, Prisca and Maximilla, he entered ecstatic states and spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit. They were chiliasts, believing that the new Jerusalem would land in Phrygia. They taught that disagreement with their ecstatic utterances was blasphemy against the Spirit. The sect he founded continued to exist at least until 722.
160 By this year, the grave of Peter was marked by a shrine.
The annual celebration of Easter may have began in Rome around this year (see 190). It had been celebrated in Asia Minor much earlier.
Tertullian was born. He died in roughly 230.
Claudius Apollinaris bishop of Hierapolis in Asia (160-180). Apollinaris related that an army of the Emperor Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius) (161-180) was sent rain on account of the prayers of Christians, while the enemy force was struck by lightning bolts. Apollinaris also remarked that the Lord was crucified on the Passover, the 14th of Nisan, not on the day after. The Last Supper, he stated, occurred before the Passover, as John relates (John 13.1).
During the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a certain Alexander the Paphlagonian generated a mystery spectacle involving a holy serpent named Glycon.
165 Death of Justin Martyr.
Tatian. Sometime before Justin’s death, a native of Mesopotamia (called an Assyrian) named Tatian converted to Christianity after an investigation into philosophy. His conversion may have occurred in Rome, where he met Justin. Tatian authored a harmony of the gospels, known as the Diatessaron, and an apologetic Address to the Greeks. After Justin’s death, Tatian became enamored of an ascetic Gnostic sect known as the Encratites, or the “self-controlled,” which had apparently arisen about the year 166. Tatian moved to Antioch and attracted disciples to this heresy until his death in 172.
165-180 The Plague of Antoninus. Smallpox was introduced into the western part of the Roman empire, possibly by Roman soldiers. According to Galen, one-fourth to one-third of the polulation of Italy died of smallpox during this period.
167 According to the Venerable Bede, the bishop of Rome, Eleutherus, received a request for baptism from a British king in this year.
168 Theophilus (died 181 or 188) became bishop of Antioch. Though reportedly the author of commentaries on the gospels and the book of Proverbs, his sole surviving work is apologetic in character, addressed to his pagan friend Autolycus. (Theophilus also seems to have written a chronology of the world, based on Biblical dates. The historian John Malalas (d. 538) cited a Theophilus, whose identity is otherwise uncertain, as a source in his historical writings.)
170 Melito of Sardis (died 177, under Aurelius' persecution) traveled to Palestine where he obtained a list of books in the Hebrew Old Testament. His list omits Esther.
That Melito believed in the deity of Christ is evident. He wrote, "...our Lord Jesus Christ ... is perfect reason, the Word of God; He who was begotten before the Light; He is creator together with the Father; He who is the fashioner of man; He who is all in all; the Father, the Son; in God, God."
“For there is no need, to persons of intelligence, to attempt to prove, from the deeds of Christ subsequent to his baptism, that his soul and his body, his human nature like ours, were real, and no phantom of the imagination. For the deeds done by Christ after his baptism, and especially his miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the Deity hidden in his flesh. For, being at once both God and perfect man likewise, he gave us sure indications of his two natures: of his Deity, by his miracles during the three years that elapsed after his baptism; of his humanity, during the thirty similar periods that preceded his baptism, in which, by reason of his low estate as regards the flesh, he concealed the signs of his Deity, although he was the true God existing before all ages.”
Melito derived the word Pascha from the Greek paschein, to suffer. In his Peri Pascha, which dates to approximately 165, he wrote, “He came on earth from heaven for suffering man, becoming incarnate in a virgin’s womb from which he came forth as man; he took on himself the sufferings of suffering man through a body capable of suffering, and put an end to the sufferings of the flesh, and through his spirit incapable of death he became the death of death which is destructive of man ... this is he who in the virgin was made incarnate, on the cross was suspended, in the earth was buried, from the dead was resurrected, to the heights of heaven lifted up.”
170Hegesippus flourished around this time. He was an early chronicler of Church history.
170Dionysius of Corinth wrote, “it was the custom of the Romans ... from the beginning ... to assist all the brotherhood in various ways and send contributions to churches in every city, thus relieving the want of the needy.” Dionysius mentioned the martyrdom of both Peter and Paul in Rome.
~175 In the latter half of the second century, the Epistula Apostolorum was written. The work depicts Jesus commanding his followers to observe the Pascha “until I return from the Father with my wounds.” The Pascha in view appears to have been observed on 14/15 Nisan.
1775th Persecution of the church, under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). About this time also Gnostic heretics disturbed the churches of the Rhone valley. These churches were largely Greek, having close connections with the churches of Asia Minor. The Gnostics provoked much of the work of Irenaeus of Lyons.
177Irenaeus, a pupil of Polycarp, was elected bishop of Lyons, then called Lugdunum, in Gaul. Born in 130. Died 200. Irenaeus believed that the plan of the new covenant is the “recapitulation” of the original creation: by Adam’s sin, the likeness to God had been lost, but the image had been retained. By faith in Christ, man may recover the lost likeness. For him, the history of salvation is a progressive education in which God has gradually brought man forward in a long process by the gospel. Irenaeus, like Justin Martyr, believed that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years, and he vehemently protested against attempts to allegorize away the millenarian proof texts. Irenaeus argued against the Gnostic doctrine of a secret teaching by appealing to apostolic succession -- if there had been such a teaching, the apostles would have passed it on to their successors. The apostles, he claimed, taught the Rule of Faith (very similar to our Apostles’ Creed).
Irenaeus wrote, “The tradition of the Apostles is manifest throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were, by the Apostles, ordained bishops in the churches, and the succession of those men to our own time. If the Apostles had known hidden mysteries, they would have delivered them, especially to those to whom they were committing the churches themselves. For they were desirous those 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.”
Irenaeus viewed baptism as the seal of eternal life and new birth unto God, through which the Holy Spirit is imparted. He wrote, “... he came to save all persons himself; all, I mean, who by him are regenerated unto God: infants and little ones and children and youths and older persons.” (Since infants are said to be born again, this seems to be a reference to infant baptism.) For Irenaeus the eucharist was the “new oblation of the new covenant” offered to God throughout the world. Irenaeus associated the eucharist not closely with Christ’s passion, as Justin did, but sees it primarily as an offering of first fruits. But Irenaeus did identify the bread and wine with Christ’s body and blood.
Irenaeus held that Mary was not sinless. He is the earliest source for the church’s observance of Pentecost as a special feast day.
With regard to the deity of Christ, Irenaeus wrote, “The sacred books acknowledge with regard to Christ, that as He is the Son of man, so is the same Being not a [mere] man; and as He is flesh, so is He also spirit, and the Word of God, and God.”
“But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the Churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all Churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world; and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the Apostolic tradition.” St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies (3,3,2). The last line in that passage may also be translated, "For to this Church, on account of more potent principality, it is necessary that every Church (that is, those who are on every side faithful) resort; in which Church ever, by those who are on every side, has been preserved that tradition which is from the apostles." This expresses the idea that the church of Rome is faithful because of the faithful everywhere.
He does state that Peter had been in Rome, and that Linus had been the first bishop there, having been jointly ordained by Peter and Paul.
Irenaeus mentioned a group of Gnostics who honored images, giving the impression that the use of images was relatively unknown in the Church in his location and time. He affirmed that the charismata were still active in his day, noting that demons were expelled, the future predicted, and the dead raised by members of the Church. In refuting one of the Gnostics' peculiar interpretations of scripture, Irenaeus related the tradition he had received from those who had known John (and other apostles) to the effect that Jesus had been nearly fifty years old when he was crucified.
179 Conversion of Bardesanes (154-222) to Christianity. Unfortunately, he was influenced by Gnostic thought, denying the immediate creation by God of the universe and Satan, introducing a series of intermediate beings instead. Bardesanes thus became a leading figure in Syrian Gnosticism.
Mandaeanism originated sometime during the first three centuries in the Middle East. In this religion, salvation is of the soul alone, through esoteric knowledge. There is a system of intervening spiritual beings (Archons) between the soul and God. In these points, Mandaeanism is similar to Gnosticism. Unlike many Gnostic systems, however, sexual promiscuity is forbidden and marriage is encouraged. Mandaeans consider Jesus a false messiah, but they have great respect for John the Baptist.
180 Before this time, Christianity was established in North Africa, as witnessed by the Latin Acts of the Martyrs of Scillium, written around 180.
Rhodon, about whom little is known, wrote works against the Cataphrygians and the Marcionites.
Theophilus, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, attested that the churches in Palestine and Alexandria observed Easter on a Sunday - which contrasts with the practice of thee churches in Asia Minor (see 190 below).
185Tertullian (160-230), a native of Carthage, converted to Christianity. According to Jerome, he was a priest. Yet it is clear that he was married.
Tertullian was the first Christian theologian to write in Latin. In contrast to Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian held that Mary’s womb was opened at Christ’s birth, believing this to have been prophesied in Exodus 13:2. He assumed that Mary had normal sexual relations with Joseph and that Jesus’ brothers were the children of her union with Joseph.
Tertullian regarded the 2nd commandment’s provision against graven images as binding upon Christians. However, he does admit that some images are innocent and are not idols - such as the bronze serpent, which was symbolic of the cross (On Idolatry).
In a letter written sometime between 200 and 206, Tertullian argued against infant baptism. His reason was not that infant baptism is not of apostolic origin. Instead, he seems to hold that there is no forgiveness of sins committed after baptism. He argued that the unmarried should put off baptism until they marry; that single persons should delay baptism until old age; that widows and widowers should wait until they remarry or are confirmed in continence.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia article on baptism: “The threefold immersion is unquestionably very ancient in the Church and apparently of Apostolic origin. It is mentioned by Tertullian (De cor. milit., iii), St. Basil (De Sp. S., xxvii), St. Jerome (Dial. Contra Luc., viii), and many other early writers.”
Tertullian believed in the literal millennium, lasting for a literal 1000 years, centered in the new Jerusalem which will come down from heaven.
He used the phrase “Vicar of Christ,” but his reference is to the Holy Spirit (The Prescription Against Heretics, Chapter 28). In reference to the Matthew 16, Tertullian wrote (op. cit., Chapter 22), “Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the church should be built,’ who also obtained ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth?’ Was anything, again, concealed from John, the Lord's most beloved disciple, who used to lean on His breast to whom alone the Lord pointed Judas out as the traitor, whom He commended to Mary as a son in His own stead?” Notice that Tertullian made no distinction between Peter and John in the degree of their knowledge. He also makes no claim for Peter’s supremacy.
Tertullian taught that the Son derived his substance from the Father and that the Spirit proceeded from the Father through the Son. In a work against a certain Praxeas, who taught that the Father, Son and Spirit were one person, he described the Trinity as being "susceptible of number without division." In the same work, Tertullian indicated that the bishop of Rome (Victor) initially "acknowledged the prophetic gifts of Montanus, Prisca and Maximilla" but was persuaded by Praxeas to follow the example of the former bishop of Rome. Praxeas himself was persuaded to renounce his patripassionism, but he soon returned to teaching that error.
In The Prescription Against Heretics, Tertullian warned against arguing Scripture with heretics, because they will never be convinced. The guide to true interpretation, and confidence in doctrine, is to be found in the transmission of the apostolic tradition through the Church.
In a work sometimes attributed to Tertullian, the author identified March 25 as the date of Jesus’ crucifixion, stating, in agreement with John’s chronology, that the date was also 14 Nisan.
In his On the Apparel of Women, Tertullian argued for the inclusion of the Book of Enoch (1 Enoch) in the canon.
Tertullian became a Montanist in ~200. Jerome wrote, “After remaining a presbyter of the church until he had attained the middle age of life, Tertullian was, by the envy and contumelious treatment of the Roman clergy, driven to embrace the opinions of Montanus.” (See 157 above.)
185Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem (185-196). He wrote a work on the origin of evil.
189 Victor became bishop of Rome. Died 199. Victor was the first Latin bishop of Rome. During Victor’s tenure, the Monarchian controversy arose as a revolt against the Logos theology of Justin Martyr. Justin had taught that the Logos was “another God,” meaning “another in number, not in will.” Christians had argued against Gnostics that there was only one first principle, the creator God, a single monarchia, but the Logos theology prejudiced this argument. To circumvent Justin’s incipient ditheism, Sabellius propagated the view that the Father and the Son are one and the same, the distinction being in name only. Sabellius’ doctrine is often called modalism, because the Father, Son and Spirit are modes of the same being. In the West, it was called Patripassianism, meaning that the Father suffers.
190 Victor demanded conformity from the churches of the East in the date of Easter. He claimed his method for setting the date for Easter was established by Peter and Paul. The churches of Asia Minor regarded this as autocratic and took offense. Polycrates (130-196), bishop of Ephesus, wrote to Victor, supporting his Paschal practice by citing the example of the evangelist Philip, the apostle John, the martyred bishop Polycarp, and others. He added, “I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrightened by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’ ”
Irenaeus of Lyons also wrote to Victor: “And those presbyters who governed the church before Soter, and over which you now preside, I mean Anicetus [(155-66)] and Pius [(140-55)], Hyginus [(136-40)] and Telesphorus [(125-36)] and Xystus [(115-25)], neither did themselves observe, nor did they permit those after them to observe it. ...Neither at any time did they cast off any for the sake of the form. But those very presbyters before thee who did not observe it, sent the eucharist to those of the churches who did. And when the blessed Polycarp went to Rome, in the time of Anicetus, and they had a little difference among themselves likewise respecting other matters, they immediately were reconciled, not disputing much with one another on this head. For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe it, because he had always observed it with John the disciple of our Lord ... and neither did Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe, who said he was bound to observe the practice of the presbyters before him.”
Irenaeus also pointed out that the difference in observance of the Pascha (Easter) resulted in differences in fasting. The ability to disagree on the question of the fast but to live in peace, he wrote, “confirms the agreement in the faith.”
The distinction between the churches that did ‘observe it’ and those that didn’t may refer to the practice of observing Easter on a Sunday: the churches in Asia Minor (known as Quartodecimans) observed the 14th of Nissan as Easter, regardless of the day of the week that fell on. There is disagreement over the precise meaning of Irenaeus’ words “to observe”. In one interpretation of the events (proposed by Karl Holl in 1927), Pascha was not observed in any form or on any date in Rome in Anicetus’ time (circa 155), but was introduced in about 165 when Soter was bishop. [Some historians argue that Victor did not excommunicate the churches in Asia minor, but Roman congregations that followed Asian practice, based on the unlikelihood that Victor’s predecessors sent the eucharist all the way to Asia Minor.]
190 About this time, of Clement of Alexandria became head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, and served there through 203. Born about 150. Died about 215. Clement was a lay theologian. The central principle of his theology was the doctrine of creation. Because creation was good, God has implanted the seeds of truth in all creatures. Hence, there was much to learn from the Greek philosophers. Clement's Stromata describe the attributes of the Christian gnostic. He held that marriage is not an inferior spiritual state to celibacy, and he rejected demands that all Christians be teetotalers or vegetarians. In his view, the church is a school where the lapsed can be restored. Clement saw the spiritual life as a never-ending process -- education does not end with death, and all will need to be purified before entering God’s presence. Clement rejected the millennial interpretations of Irenaeus and Justin. (According to Gwynne’s The Christian Year, Clement mentioned that Christ’s birthday was observed in his time. This observance may have been on January 6, in distinction to the December 25 observance begun in Rome in the fourth century.)
192 In a work from around this year, Tertullian mentioned the observance of the Easter vigil.
198 A council meeting in Caesarea of Palestine, led by Theophilos of Caesarea and Narcissos of Jerusalem, with Kassis of Akkar and Karos of Akka present, discussed the issue of the Pascha (Easter). They determined to celebrate Pascha on a Sunday, and wrote to other churches to inform them of their decision: “The day we celebrate, those in Alexandria also celebrate. … We have exchanged letters with them so that we may celebrate together on this holy day.” In the early church, it was common in Asia, Cilicia, northern Syria, and Mesopotamia to observe the Lord’s crucifixion on the 14th of Nisan (April), using the Hebrew lunar calendar, and his resurrection on the 16th. But churches in Greece, Italy, Africa, Egypt, Palestine, and Pontus commemorated the passion always on a Friday, and the resurrection on a Sunday. (See 190.)
198 Zephyrinus became bishop of Rome. Died 217. The Monarchian controversy continued. Hippolytus opposed Sabellius with the doctrine that the Father and Son are two distinct persons. Callistus, an emancipated slave and archdeacon of the church, had been exiled to the mines of Sardinia sometime between 188 and 193. The emperor Commodus (d. 193), at the urging of his Christian concubine Marcia, ordered a general release for all Christians exiled to Sardinia. So Callistus was allowed to return. (In those days, the Church considered concubinage marriage as long as the Christian concubine acted as if it were.) Apparently at Callistus’ urging, Zephyrinus attempted to steer a middle course between the Monarchians and the adherents of the Logos theology. He stated, “I know one God, Christ Jesus, and beside him I know no other who was begotten and passible” and “the Father did not die but the Son.”
Hippolytus is said to be the last Roman theologian to write in Greek. The transformation of the West from Greek to Latin was complete by the time of Constantine. (But see below, year 366.)
In his The Apostolic Tradition, written sometime between 215 and 217, we read, “And first baptize the little ones; and if they can speak for themselves, they shall do so; if not, their parents or other relatives shall speak for them. Then baptize the men, and last of all the women; they must first loosen their hair and put aside any gold or silver ornaments that they are wearing: let no one take any alien thing down to the water with them.” This clearly indicates the practice of the time at Rome to have been infant baptism, and the mode was probably immersion.
Hippolytus also gave an account of the preparation of candidates for baptism before Easter. These preparations were the root of the later Lenten fast. Baptism itself was by triple immersion: one immersion for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, following a confession of each. Confirmation involved both the laying on of hands by the bishop (while he invoked the Holy Spirit to fill those just baptized) and the application of oil (chrismation).
The Apostolic Tradition shows the influence of Judaistic prayer forms on early Christian worship. It was probably written in opposition to Zephyrinus’ lax regard for traditional ceremony. Hippolytus comments somewhere that his archenemy Callistus and his followers, at least, held to the apostolic tradition.
That the eucharist was not understood to be mere symbolism is seen from the command to keep it safe from animals and the unbaptized. “For it is the body of Christ to be eaten by them that believe and not to be thought lightly of.”
The Apostolic Tradition also contains apparent references to the sign of the cross: “when tempted always reverently seal thy forehead. For the sign of the passion is displayed and made manifest against the devil if thou makest it in faith.” And it states that the bishop was “chosen by all the people.”
Hippolytus defended millenarianism. In the face of the growing reaction against this doctrine at Rome, which may have been led by the priest Caius, Hippolytus explained that the thousand years of Revelation 20.2-5 are not to be taken literally, but are symbolic of the splendor of the kingdom.
Caius is the source for the following information about Cerinthus’ (see 100? above) millennialism: “By means of revelations which he pretends were written by a great apostle, [Cerinthus] brings before use marvelous things which he falsely claims were shown him by angels; and he says that after the resurrection the kingdom of Christ will be set up on earth, and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem will again be subject to desires and pleasures. And, being the enemy of the Scriptures of God, he asserts, with the purpose of deceiving men, that there is to be a period of a thousand years for marriage festivals.” This passage has been interpreted to imply that Caius believed Cerinthus was the author of the book of Revelation.
Caius also engaged in a dispute with the Montanist Proclus. In that debate, Caius mentioned the existence of memorial chapels to Peter and Paul in Rome.
In a commentary on Daniel, Hippolytus stated that Jesus was born on Wednesday, December 25, in the 42nd year of the Emperor Augustus (2 BC?). He identified March 25 as the date of Christ’s crucifixion, believing this to have occurred on Nisan 14, following John’s chronology.
Hippolytus is also the first author to state that Peter had been bishop of Rome. His lost Chronicon is quoted to that effect by Eusebius.
200 The Muratorian Canon, a Latin list of the books of the New Testament, was drawn up in this period. The beginning of the manuscript is missing, and the first book listed as canonical is Luke, followed by John, Acts, Corinthians (two books), Galatians, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians (two books), Philemon, Titus, and Timothy (two books), Jude, two epistles of John, Wisdom of Solomon, Revelation, and the Apocalypse of Peter. Hebrews and the two epistles of Peter are absent. The Shepherd of Hermas is mentioned as being appropriate for private reading. See also 1740 below.
200Serapion (died ~211), eighth bishop of Antioch, wrote that the Gospel of Peter should be rejected on the grounds that it had not been "handed down to us."
200? Papyrus 66: 2nd Bodmer, John, 1956, "Alexandrian/Western" text-types: Jn 1:1-6:11, 6:35-14:26, 29-30; 15:2-26; 16:2-4, 6-7; 16:10-20:20, 22-23; 20:25-21:9 P46: 2nd Chester Beatty, "Alexandrian" text-type: Rom 5:17-6:3; 6:5-14; 8:15-25; 8:27-35; 8:37-9:32; 10:1-11:22; 11:24-33; 11:35-15:9; 15:11-16:27; 1Cor 1:1-9:2; 9:4-14:14; 14:16-15:15; 15:17-16:22; 2Cor 1:1-11:10; 11:12-21; 11:23-13:13; Gal 1:1-8; 1:10-2:9; 2:12-21; 3:2-29; 4:2-18; 4:20-5:17; 5:20-6:8; 6:10-18; Eph 1:1-2:7; 2:10-5:6; 5:8-6:6; 6:8-18; 6:20-24; Phil 1:1; 1:5-15; 1:17-28; 1:30-2:12; 2:14-27; 2:29-3:8; 3:10-21; 4:2-12; 4:14-23; Col 1:1-2; 1:5-13; 1:16-24; 1:27-2:19; 2:23-3:11; 3:13-24; 4:3-12; 4:16-18; 1Th 1:1; 1:9-2:3; 5:5-9; 5:23-28. Heb 1:1-9:16; 9:18-10:20; 10:22-30; 10:32-13:25. P46 is notorious for scribal errors, having the highest percentage on record. P32: J. Rylands Library: Titus 1:11-15; 2:3-8 P64 (+67): Mt 3:9,15; 5:20-22; 5:25-28; 26:7-8, 10, 14-15, 22-23, 31-33 P90: Jn 18:36-19:1; 19:2-7 P98: Rev 1:13-20
It is thought that the liturgy was translated into Syriac and Coptic during this century. In contrast with the West, the Eastern practice has always been to conduct the church service in the vernacular.
200 In this era, the population of Rome may have been as much as 1,000,000. Alexandria and Antioch may have had populations of 300,000. The population of Rome fell dramatically in the late fifth and early sixth centuries. (See 552.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Church History Timeline / Historia ya kanisa la kwanza

14 Augustus died on August 19. On September 17, the Senate in Rome decreed that Augustus Caesar was one of the gods, and it named Tiberius emperor. (If Luke 3.1 dates “the reign of Tiberius Caesar” from this year, his fifteenth year was 28/29 A.D.)
30, 33? Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

39/40 Philo of Alexandria (15/10 BC - 45/50) led an embassy of Jews from Alexandria to the emperor Caligula (37-41) in Rome. The Jews of Alexandria were then the subject of a Roman pogrom, which Philo and his companions hoped to end. Caligula, however, cut Philo off as he spoke. Philo later told his fellow ambassadors that God would punish Caligula, who was soon assasinated.

Philo was a theologian who sought to harmonize Jewish theology with Greek (largely Platonic) philosophy. Many ideas found in later Christian theology are present in Philo, though sometimes in a form unacceptable to the Church. Philo taught that Greek philosophy had been plagiarized from Moses. He believed that the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint, dating from the third century BC) was divinely inspired. Philo referred to the Logos (the residence of the Platonic Ideas) as the first-begotten Son of God - though, in his view, the Logos was definitely below God, distinct from the Godhead. He interpreted the theophanies of the Old Testament as appearances of the Logos (as for the Fathers they were Christophanies). He stressed the allegorical interpretation of scripture, though this must be balanced. With the later Eastern mystical theologians, Philo discussed the incomprehensibility of God in essence, and how knowledge of God can be attained in an ecstatic state.

In some ways, Philo was more akin to the Gnostics and Manichaeans. For instance, like Plato, Philo viewed the body as the prison for the soul. This reveals a distinctly non-Christian view of matter.

41 Jerusalem expanded. New city walls were built, bringing the site of Jesus’ crucifixion within the city.

42James, the brother of John, was beheaded (Acts 12.2).

43 The emperor Claudius (41-54) conquered Britain.

Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch (Acts 11.25-26).

44 Death of Herod Agrippa I, King of Judea and Samaria (Acts 12.23).

45 The church in Antioch sent famine relief to the Christians of Judea by the hands of Saul and Barnabas (Acts 11.29).

47-49 First missionary journey of Saul and Barnabas (Acts 13-14).

49 According to the Roman historian Suetonius (70-122) in his The Twelve Caesars, Claudius “expelled the Jews from Rome since they rioted constantly at the instigation of Chrestus.”

49/50 The council of Jerusalem was held (Acts 15). As a result, Gentiles were not required to be circumcised.

Death of Helena, queen mother of the kingdom of Adiabene, a Jewish state in northern Mesopotamia. Adiabene was frequently allied with Persia in wars against Rome.

The emperor Claudius promoted the cult of the Great Mother (Magna Mater) of the Gods and her consort Attis. The two had been introduced into the Roman pantheon around 200 B.C.

50 Paul’s second missionary journey began, with Silas (Acts 15.40). Paul and Silas visited Philippi (Acts 16.11-40), meeting Lydia, the seller of purple, and being rescued from prison, with the consequent conversion of the Philippian jailor (Acts 16.33); Thessalonica, where there was a riot on their behalf (Acts 17.5); Boroea, where the Jews willingly examined the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah (Acts 17.11); Athens, where Paul preached in the Areopagus (Acts 17.22-31); Corinth, where he met Aquila and Priscilla, refugees because of Claudius’ expulsion of the Jews from Rome (Acts 18.2); and Ephesus, Caesarea, and Jerusalem before returning to Antioch (Acts 18.22).

51 Paul wrote the epistles to the Thessalonians, from Corinth.

53 Paul’s epistle to the Galatians written from Antioch (?). Beginning of the third missionary journey. Paul in Ephesus, 53-55/56. (Acts 19)

55 Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, from Ephesus.

55/56 Paul departed Ephesus (Acts 20.1), visiting Macedonia and Corinth. 2Corinthians written from Macedonia.

57 Paul wrote Romans from Corinth. Departed Greece (Acts 20.3), and after passing through Troas (Acts 20.7-12), and preaching to the presbyters of the church in Ephesus (Acts 20.18-35), came to Jerusalem (Acts 21.17), ending the third missionary journey.

57-59 Paul imprisoned in Caesarea (Acts 23.33-26.32), under Felix and Festus.

60 Paul arrived at Rome (Acts 28.16).

61/62 Paul wrote the epistles entitled Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians and Philippians.

62 According to tradition, James the Just, bishop of Jerusalem, was killed in the temple by an angry mob, apparently struck in the head with a sledgehammer.

Tradition has it Bartholomew was martyred in Kalyana, a city state on the west coast of India, near modern-day Bombay. Bartholomew was skinned alive and crucified.

Paul tried and acquitted in Rome.

63-66 Paul traveled to Macedonia, Asia Minor, Crete, and possibly Spain. 1 Timothy and Titus written.

641st Persecution of Christians, under Nero. When Rome burned for six days, Nero (54-68) blamed the Christians. In 62, Nero had married Poppea Sabina, a proselyte to Judaism. Of Nero’s persecution, Tacitus wrote, “First Nero had self-acknowledged Christians arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers of others were condemned. ...Their deaths were made farcical. Dressed in wild animal’s skins, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be ignited after dark as substitutes for daylight.” Suetonius was more succinct: “Punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief.”

A third century legend has it that Simon Magus (Acts 8.9-24) and St. Peter had confrontations in Rome. Simon, wishing to gain an advantage over Peter and to impress Claudius with his ability to fly, fell to his death from the top of the Roman Forum.

64 The church in Alexandria founded by St. Mark, the disciple of Peter.

64 Herod’s temple in Jerusalem completed. See 20 BC and 66.

66Jewish rebellion began and war between the Romans and Jews ensued. Jerusalem was taken in 70 and destroyed, as was Herod’s temple. Later, in the second century, Justin Martyr would teach that this destruction was the judgment of God upon a nation that had rejected its Messiah and failed to discern that, under the new dispensation, the temple sacrifices were abrogated.

67 Some date the book of Revelation to this year. Most place it toward the end of Diocletian’s reign (81-96).

Paul’s second trial in Rome. 2 Timothy written.

66 First known public reference to Mithraism in Rome. King Tiridates of Armenia visited Nero in Rome. To Nero he said, “I have come to thee, my god, to worship thee as I do Mithras.”

67/68 St. Paul martyred on the road from Rome to Ostia. Beheaded by the sword. About this same time St. Peter also martyred, crucified upside down.

69 According to tradition, St. Andrew was crucified in Patrae, on the Peloponnesus peninsula.

69Ignatius became bishop of Antioch in Syria.

69Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was born. He died in around 157. Irenaeus stated that Polycarp had known St. John at Ephesus. Polycarp was martyred and was noted for doing nothing to provoke the authorities, but waiting quietly for them to come arrest him. Irenaeus wrote, “Polycarp also was not only instructed by the Apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also by Apostles in Asia, ordained Bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, having always taught the things which he had learned from the Apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true.”

70 Near this date, R. Jochanan ben Zaccai founded a rabbinical school in Jamnia (Palestine).

Matthew and Mark’s gospels were probably written shortly after this year. Luke’s gospel may have been composed as late as 80.

72 Tradition has it Thomas was stabbed to death by Brahman priests in Mylapore, India.

79 According to tradition, Jude and Simon were torn apart by a Persian mob after this date. Simon had joined forces with Jude after a trip to Britain. Jude had been in Armenia.

80 The Coliseum at Rome opened.

90 The Jewish Synod of Jamnia established the Hebrew canon, the modern Protestant Old Testament. Esther, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and Ezekiel were nearly left out of the canon, while Sirach was a strong but unsuccessful contender for inclusion. Rabbis at Jamnia also articulated the theory that every letter in the Hebrew has a meaning. It is thought by many that, as a natural consequence of this view of scripture, a standard text was chosen around this time and non-standard readings were suppressed.

The language of the early church was Greek, and the version of the Old Testament in use among both Christians and Jews of the diaspora was the Septuagint. The Septuagint contains books (sometimes termed “the Apocrypha”) not included in the Jamnian canon. As the Septuagint’s prophecies of the Messiah frequently were used polemically by Christians, the translation fell out of favor among the Jews. In time, non-Palestinian Jews accepted the decisions of Jamnia. New translations of the Old Testament scriptures were made based on the Jamnian standard text.

90 According to tradition, Philip was crucified upside down (like Peter) in Hierapolis, Asia Minor. (Some say that Philip the apostle and Philip the evangelist were two distinct individuals, and it was Philip the evangelist who was buried at Hierapolis.)

90 According to Hippolytus, Matthew died a natural death, in Hierees, Persia.

92Clement elected bishop of Rome. Served through 100. He wrote a letter to the Corinthian congregation which had deposed its old clergy and replaced them with new men. He asked that they retain the former clergy on the grounds that these stood in due succession from the apostles. “The Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that contentions would arise about the office of the Episcopate; and for this reason, being endued with perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those already mentioned, and handed down a succession, so that when they should depart, other approved men should succeed to their ministry.” (~97.)

In 2 Clement, which may be a second century document, it is written, “Brethren, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ as of God ... for if we think meanly of him, we shall hope only to receive some small things from him.”

93 2nd Persecution of Christians, under Domitian (81-96). The apostle John banished to Patmos.

Flavius Josephus (37/38-100) published his Antiquities of the Jews. Book 18 refers to Jesus Christ. Scholars believe the statement was tampered with by Christians at a later date, because it refers to Christ as divine. Josephus had been a leader of troops against the Romans in Galilee during the war (66-70). When captured, he predicted that Vespasian would become emperor, a move that saved his life. Josephus wrote a history of the war, and, because of the favoritism he received from the Roman emperors, was detested by his fellow Jews as a traitor.

100 Around this time St. John died at Patmos. (Eusebius, Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria agree that John lived into the reign of Trajan, which began in 98.) The Didache, written in this era, indicates worship was on Sunday: “Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one.” Note also the implication that the communion was regarded as a sacrifice.

100? Around this time the heretic Cerinthus flourished. He taught that the world was made, not by God himself, but by a lower being. He also claimed that Jesus was simply the natural son of Joseph and Mary, and that a separate supernatural being, the Christ, came upon Jesus at his baptism and departed at his crucifixion. According to the third century bishop Dionysius of Alexandria, “the doctrine he taught was this: that the kingdom of Christ will be an earthly one.” Cerinthus “was himself devoted to the pleasures of the body and altogether sensual in his nature.” In Dionysius’ day, some claimed that Cerinthus wrote the book of Revelation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is Masturbation a Sin?

Kuna mtu kaniuliza swali hili la masturbation ...ameniambia kuwa verse hii ni kama inaruhusu punyeto..hebu wadau mwenye sound aurguments azitoe hapa maana hatubishani ila tunaelimishana..

"'When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. When a man lies with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. (Lev 15:16-18)

Notice verse 18 deals with seminal emission during sexual intercourse, but verse 16 is speaking of a seminal emission that does not occur as a result of intercourse. If this is indeed a reference to masturbation, the matter-of-fact way in which God deals with this matter certainly indicates that no feelings of shame should be attached to it. He simply said, "Go take a bath."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Umbeya wa kilokole

On Sunday the previous week after the service this is what happened
Pastor : On the public address. After the service I would like to meet Nancy in the office
Nancy in the office: Yes Pastor
Pastor: You are talented in singing and I love your singing and would like you bring out your talent by leading the church choir. Please come in Saturday for I will be away and continue training the choir
On Monday at a local shop Nancy meets Debora
Nancy : Do you remember on Sunday the pastor asked me to remain?
Debora: Yes yes yes
Nancy : He told me he loves me. Pliz do not tell any one else
Debora: Promise
On Tuesday Debora meets Magdalene in the market;
Debora: Do you remember on Sunday the pastor asked Nancy to remain behind
Magdalene: yes yes yea
Debora: Kuna MAMBO
Magdalene: what?
Debora: Pastor went to bed with Nancy
Magdalene : Oh Noooh!
Debora: Please do not tell any one else
Magdalene: Promise
On Tuesday on the way to women's merry go round meeting Magdalene meets Salome
Magdalene: do you remember on Sunday the pastor asked Nancy to remain behind
Salome: Oh Yea, KUNA NINI?
Magdalene: Pastor has been going to bed with Nancy and now she is pregnant
Salome: Nancy of all people and the way she pretends to be holier than thought, I can't believe it
Magdalene: You stay on I cannot believe it but, do not mention to any one else
Salome: Promise
On Wednesday on the way to a football match, Salome meets Adelina another church member
Salome: do you remember on Sunday the pastor asked Nancy to remain behind
Adelina: yes. What is wrong with that?
Salome: I don't care whether it is wrong or right but Nancy is the private wife of the pastor and she gave birth on birth on Monday to bouncing baby. I do not know the baby's sex yet.
Adelina: and Nancy used to look like she had added weight. Now I know. Remember the day she vomited in young girls meeting and the wife of the pastor took her to hospital. She should have known it was the co wife she was dealing with; and remember how the pastor prayed for Nancy; A whole 30 minutes as though God was deaf.
Salome: I just wanted you to know but do not tell any one else
Adelina: Promise
On Thursday Adelina at the bible study meets bible study group
Adelina: do you remember on Sunday the pastor asked Nancy to remain behind
All : Yes
Adelina: Do not say it was me for I will deny whether denial is sin or not
Angela: what is it? Even Peter denied Jesus and he went ahead to lead church when Jesus was gone to heaven
Elizabeth: Yes denial is not a blasphemy please tell us
Adelina: The known second wife of pastor Nancy gave birth to twins on Wednesday and because they were immature and there was no incubator, they unfortunately died
All: God have mercy on our church. We are doomed .
Mosha: Nancy of all people. And the way I asked her hand in marriage and she turned me down saying she was still waiting for the lords voice. Kumbe she was waiting for the pastors voice. Aki ya Mungu she is the axis of evil in our church
Blandina: Now you can consider me since Nancy has a husband
Mosha : This is not a joking matter
Adelina : Hey lets not fight but do not mention my name
All : Promise.
On Friday in the market place Blandina meets the church chairman
Chairman: Praise God Blandina
Blandina : ah ah praise the Lord chairman
Chairman : why do you laugh Blandina. Have you backslidden or do I have an issue?
Blandina: do you remember on Sunday the pastor asked Nancy to remain behind
Chairman: Yes
Blandina: Am ashamed
Chairman: with what, who and why?
Blandina : You church leaders think we are stupid
Chairman: I do not understand you yet
Blandina: You mean you do not know that the pastor has a whole group of girl friends in the church and a number of wives. I also think you are the same since you are friends . In fact Nancy is one of them and she gave birth yesterday to still born triplets who were secretly taken to the rural area of the pastor and burial will be on Monday not to attract public attention.
Chairman : Shetani ASHINDWE! No wonder the pastor never invited me when he met Nancy
Blandina : I only wanted you to know but do not tell anybody
Chairman Promise
On Saturday at the couples fellowship chairman meet all
Chairman: I hope you understand why the pastor could not make it to today fellowship
All : No, is anything wrong?
Chairman: I Ihope our church is not coming to an end. You know the bible says it all. In the last days there will be men who will resemble the people of the cloth but they will deny the real power of god.
Msengi : Wacha kutuzungusha. We are not babies
Chairman : O.K. The pastor is mourning the untimely death of four kids born by his two girl friends at the same time but in different parts of the village; twins each; who died for varied reasons. It is even being suspected it was abortions which went wrong and the police are holding the two girls and the midwife involved for further investigations. Since all of them are our church members, I hope the name of the pastor will not be mentioned in the fracas.
Mushi : So the pastor has gone to hiding and that is why he is not here today. I swear atanirudishia zile sadaka nimetoa kanisani since I joined the church.
Mosha : Mimi siendi nyumbani, napita kwake nichukue advace refund kabla queue haija kuwa ndefu sana
All: Let us come mapema kesho tujue mwanzo na mwelekeo wa haya mambo.
On Sunday at 6.00 am the church is full
Chairman : Praise and worship choruses please
All: let us sing "all the things done under the bed shall be broadcast at the hill top"
Pastor : Still in his house; My wife I think we need to hurry up for the revival times have kicked in. I cannot believe the church is full at six o'clock in the morning. Even some people are worshipping from outside. Our prayers are answered. Praise be to GOD
Chairman: I know he is scared let me bring him in
All : Oh yeah!
Pastor: what is the chairman talking about? Let me go and check
All: KANAJILETA with louder and louder singing "Yote yawezekana kwa imani.."
Chairman: Every one quiet! This is the moment of truth
Pastor: Yes the moment when the devil must be ashamed is here and now
All : Oh yes, say that again and again and again pastor
Pastor : Let us sing the chorus: '..every knee shall bow and every tongue confess..'
All : Confess first before we sing and bow to pray for you
Chairman: Pastor vipi huko na matanga ya extended familia yako kesho?
Pastor : who died and when?
All : Wacha kujifanya!!!!!!!
Chairman: oh yes One is your Nancy's twins
Pastor, and wife plus Nancy fainted