WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
andrewcriddle
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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by andrewcriddle » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:23 am

Aother passage that might support your interpretation is Paedagogue book 3 chapter 11
Woman and man are to go to church decently attired, with natural step, embracing silence, possessing unfeigned love, pure in body, pure in heart, fit to pray to God.
Ἐπὶ δὲ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ἀκτέον
Where an English speaking reader automatically takes go to church as going to a physical building rather than going to Christian worship (the reference i.e. what is actually happening is the same for either interpretation but the word's meaning is different.)

However, none of Clement's uses seem to require that ἐκκλησία has the meaning church building. (ἐκκλησία clearly has the meaning corporation and corporations tend to have use of various properties but that is not the same thing.)

In particular the church in Alexandria must I think mean the corporate body of Christians in Alexandria meeting for worship in various places rather than meaning one specific building.

Andrew Criddle
Last edited by andrewcriddle on Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by andrewcriddle » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:32 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:54 am


That the ancient ekklesia has walls too which protect the books is also clear:
Those, then, that adhere to impious words, and dictate them to others, inasmuch as they do not make a right but a perverse use of the divine words, neither themselves enter into the kingdom of heaven, nor permit those whom they have deluded to attain the truth. But not having the key of entrance, but a false (and as the common phrase expresses it), a counterfeit key (antikleis), by which they do not enter in as we enter in, through the tradition of the Lord, by drawing aside the curtain; but bursting through the side-door, and digging clandestinely through the wall of the Church (τὸ τειχίον τῆς ἐκκλησίας), and stepping over the truth, they constitute themselves the Mystagogues of the soul of the impious.

For that the human assemblies (ἀνθρωπίνας συνηλύσεις) which they held were posterior to the Catholic Church (καθολικῆς ἐκκλησίας) requires not many words to show.

For the teaching of our Lord at His advent, beginning with Augustus and Tiberius, was completed in the middle of the times of Tiberius.

And that of the apostles, embracing the ministry of Paul, ends with Nero. It was later, in the times of Adrian the king, that those who invented the heresies arose; and they extended to the age of Antoninus the eider, as, for instance, Basilides, though he claims (as they boast) for his master, Glaucias, the interpreter of Peter.

Likewise they allege that Valentinus was a hearer of Theudas. And he was the pupil of Paul. For Marcion, who arose in the same age with them, lived as an old man with the younger [heretics]. And after him Simon heard for a little the preaching of Peter.

Such being the case, it is evident, from the high antiquity and perfect truth of the Church, that these later heresies, and those yet subsequent to them in time, were new inventions falsified [from the truth].

From what has been said, then, it is my opinion that the true Church, that which is really ancient, is one, and that in it those who according to God's purpose are just, are enrolled. For from the very reason that God is one, and the Lord one, that which is in the highest degree honourable is lauded in consequence of its singleness, being an imitation of the one first principle. In the nature of the One, then, is associated in a joint heritage the one Church, which they strive to cut asunder into many sects.

Therefore in substance and idea, in origin, in pre-eminence, we say that the ancient and Catholic Church is alone, collecting as it does into the unity of the one faith -- which results from the peculiar Testaments, or rather the one Testament in different times by the will of the one God, through one Lord -- those already ordained, whom God predestinated, knowing before the foundation of the world that they would be righteous.
I think the description of ekklesia in to Theodore is absolutely consistent with what is described in Clement's other writings - i.e. an apostolic building which preserved sacred, mysterious writings for an ecclesiastical hierarchy headed by a bishop who has 'head of the house' - i.e. the church.
Clement is using wall metaphorically although the Letter to Theodore may well be treating Clement's statement as if it was meant to be taken literally.

Andrew Criddle

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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by andrewcriddle » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:42 am

StephenGoranson wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:04 am
I found Geoffrey Smith’s presentation the more informative of the two.
If Mark founded Egyptian Christianity, why is the Gospel of Mark so comparatively scantly attested in Egyptian papyri?
There may have been two early traditions.
a/ Mark wrote Mark's Gospel in the reign of Nero on the basis of Peter's preaching (early 2nd century)
b/ Mark preached in Egypt in the reign of Claudius (early 3rd century ???)
John Mark and Mark the assistant of Peter were not necessarily seen as the same person.

The idea that Mark went to Egypt in the reign of Claudius after writing his Gospel may be no earlier than Eusebius.

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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:49 am

none of Clement's uses seem to require that ἐκκλησία has the meaning chucrch building
.
I think the wall reference is more than a metaphor. He says the heretics try to dig through the church. Also:

1. ekklesia is used to refer to the building where the Athenians assembled
2. ekklesia is used to denote church building in Byzantine Greek
3. the use of συναγωγῆς to distinguish the 'assembly' from the ekklesia in the Instructor

Also I think there is a tendency - influenced undoubtedly by a religious prejudice that 'one Holy Spirit' was speaking in all the Church Fathers - to see Clement as a Church Father and connected and subscribing to the beliefs and prejudices of other Church Fathers. To that end, whenever ekklesia is used in the sense of 'building' (Shepherd) it is metaphoric rather than a reflection of understanding ekklesia as an actual building. Since the use existed in pre-Christian Greek there is no reason to believe that a well-read Church Father like Clement (whom Epiphanius says was Athenian no less) used ekklesia in the Athenian manner - i.e. to mean building.

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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:58 am

The idea that Mark went to Egypt in the reign of Claudius after writing his Gospel may be no earlier than Eusebius.
Here's my take.

1. Clement understands Demetrius the married bishop/pope of Alexandria to be a suitable bishop in spite of his status as a married man.
2. this implies that there was a previous standard in Alexandria that bishops or popes should not be married.
3. if there was a previous standard for bishops and popes there was an Egyptian apostolic tradition.
4. if there was an Egyptian/Alexandrian apostolic tradition that tradition was undoubtedly rooted in Mark given that Eusebius takes it for granted and near contemporaries (Peter 1).
5. Peter 1 visits the site of the church of St Mark before Eusebius's Church History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_I_of_Alexandria
6. Arius sat on the throne in the same church of Boucolis and had great authority before Eusebius's Church History.
7. Boucolis was the place of St Mark's church.
8. Arius's authority was Markan - i.e. Arius sat in the place Peter 1 was martyred and Markan apostolic authority was pre-Eusebian.
9. Arius cited previous bishops of Alexandria as if he belonged to a pre-Nicaean Alexandrian tradition. Since he was the bishop of Mark's church in Boucolis he understood Dionysius and other predecessors to have also been Markan bishops.
10. there's also the surviving throne of St Mark which 'seems' to be pre-Nicaean (although that is hard to quantify). The throne makes an appearance I have argued in the Martyrdom of Peter.

Image

In short - because of Peter 1 and Arius we know that Mark was a bishop of Alexandria and an apostolic figure in Egypt before Eusebius.
Last edited by Secret Alias on Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

andrewcriddle
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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by andrewcriddle » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:02 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:49 am
none of Clement's uses seem to require that ἐκκλησία has the meaning chucrch building
.

I think the wall reference is more than a metaphor. He says the heretics try to dig through the church. Also:

1. ekklesia is used to refer to the building where the Athenians assembled
2. ekklesia is used to denote church building in Byzantine Greek
3. the use of συναγωγῆς to distinguish the 'assembly' from the ekklesia in the Instructor
For 1. can you give a reference ? ekklesia is used for official Athenian assemblies which had to occur in a specific place but that is not quite the same thing.
For 2. I don't think the later Byzantine meaning tells us how Clement understood the word.
For 3. synagogue can mean a building but it can also mean a religious gathering or assembly.

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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:06 am

For 1. can you give a reference ? ekklesia is used for official Athenian assemblies which had to occur in a specific place but that is not quite the same thing.
I can. There are signs which identifies a place in Athens called the ekklesia. I am not at my computer but can do.
For 3. synagogue can mean a building but it can also mean a religious gathering or assembly.
But in the Instructor Clement speaks about going to church and being with the assembly (synagogue). In other words synagogue is used in the sense of assembly and being 'in' the church is distinguished from being 'outside' of the church (where the bad believer acts like a heathen).

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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:12 am

I have been predisposed toward the argument that Revelations is a commentary on the Throne of St Mark which depicts:

1. the Akedah on Mount Gerizim according to the traditional (Samaritan) understanding of the scene taking place there

Image

2. surrounded by the four living creatures of Ezekiel

Image
Image
Image

But like many people I have the unfortunate trait of having good ideas and bad ideas and being unable to distinguish between the two.

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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:13 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:12 am
But like many people I have the unfortunate trait of having good ideas and bad ideas and being unable to distinguish between the two.
:lol: I love this sentence.

andrewcriddle
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Re: WEBINARS: The Social Worlds of Early Christians (Oct. 23-24, 2020)

Post by andrewcriddle » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:15 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:58 am
The idea that Mark went to Egypt in the reign of Claudius after writing his Gospel may be no earlier than Eusebius.
Here's my take.

1. Clement understands Demetrius the married bishop/pope of Alexandria to be a suitable bishop in spite of his status as a married man.
2. this implies that there was a previous standard in Alexandria that bishops or popes should not be married.
3. if there was a previous standard for bishops and popes there was an Egyptian apostolic tradition.
4. if there was an Egyptian/Alexandrian apostolic tradition that tradition was undoubtedly rooted in Mark given that Eusebius takes it for granted and near contemporaries (Peter 1).
5. Peter 1 visits the site of the church of St Mark before Eusebius's Church History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_I_of_Alexandria
6. Arius sat on the throne in the same church of Boucolis and had great authority before Eusebius's Church History.
7. Boucolis was the place of St Mark's church.
8. Arius's authority was Markan - i.e. Arius sat in the place Peter 1 was martyred and Markan apostolic authority was pre-Eusebian.
9. Arius cited previous bishops of Alexandria as if he belonged to a pre-Nicaean Alexandrian tradition. Since he was the bishop of Mark's church in Boucolis he understood Dionysius and other predecessors to have also been Markan bishops.
10. there's also the surviving throne of St Mark which 'seems' to be pre-Nicaean (although that is hard to quantify). The throne makes an appearance I have argued in the Martyrdom of Peter.

Image

In short - because of Peter 1 and Arius we know that Mark was a bishop of Alexandria and an apostolic figure in Egypt before Eusebius.
That is not quite my point. I was suggesting that Mark was not believed to have brought Mark's Gospel to Egypt before Eusebius. You are IMO correct that he was seen as the founder of Egyptian Christianity well before Eusebius.

Andrew Criddle

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