Thursday, May 18, 2023

Church History: The Apostolic Era (1st century)

Lecture Notes Outline

From the Gospels to the Apostles’ Successors (1st century)

- Jesus & the Gospels
     - The Gospels as reliable historical documents
     - “The quest for the historical Jesus”
     - Jesus’ message: apocalyptic gospel or institutional church?
     - Assessing gnostic gospels and pseudepigrapha

- Acts & the Apostles
     - Church structure begins to develop
     - Tensions between catholicity and diversity
     - Local persecution & global expansion

- The Post-Apostolic Church
     - Major early areas of rapid Christian growth:
          - Palestine (the Patriarchate of Jerusalem)
          - Syria & upper Mesopotamia (the Patriarchate of Antioch)
          - Egypt (the Patriarchate of Alexandria)
          - Central Italy & North Africa (the Patriarchate of Rome)
          - Asia Minor (later organized under the Patriarchate of Constantinople)
     - Further development of church structure
     - The “parting of ways” between Jews and Christians
     - Persecution by the Imperial state
     - Early Christian worship & practice