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36 Cards in this Set

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Diaspora
Identity - name given to the countries (outside of Palestine) through which the Jews were dispersed, and to the Jews living in those countries, result of the various deportations of Jews following the invasion/conquest of Palestine
Septuagint ("LXX")
Identity - The first translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, made into popular Greek before the Christian era, authorized version for the early Gentile churches

Significance - invaluable to critics for understanding and correcting the Hebrew text, helped to spread among the Gentiles the idea and the expectation of the Messias, and to introduce into Greek the theological terminology that made it a most suitable instrument for the propagation of the Gospel of Christ.
Ebionites
the orthodox Jewish Christians of Palestine who continued to observe the Mosaic Law.Ebionites denied the divinity and the virginal birth of Christ regarded St. Paul as an apostate, and used only a Gospel according to St. Matthew, treated as deviationist sect by Irenaeus
Trajan
Identity - Early 2nd century Roman emperor, Has dialogue with governor Pliny about treatment of Christians

Significance - policy is hostile toward Christians, but low grade animosity rather than systematic hunting out, They are not to be sought out, non proactive reaction to Christian presence, not worried, supposed crime is Christian's obstinacy in identity, social identity at stake
Domitian
Identity - roman emperor and persecuter of the church in late 1st century

Significance - book of the Apocalypse written during this time, describes Rome as the great Babylon, drunk with blood of the saints and martyrs
Gnosis
Identity - the knowledge or acquaintance of one self as divine, as not belonging to the created world, the central theme of the gnostic sectarian movement in the 2nd century

Significance - seen as the basis of salvation - to know rather than love or faith,

Key themes, distinctiveness - sense of alienation from the world, not a matter of attaining status but remembering our origin, who we are
Gnosticism
Identity - 2nd century sectarian movement within Christianity among self-appointed elite teaching salvation by gnosis or knowledge

Significance -

Key themes, distinctiveness - gnosis/knowledge/acquaintance of oneself as divine is saving gnosis, more important than faith or love, based on sense of alienation, elaborate mythology, dualism of good and evil independently existing, creation of material world accomplished by Satan as means of imprisonment, thus all creation, human body is evil, Christ only seems to be human and suffer
Reality of Rulers, Ialdabaoth, other texts/prominent textual names associated with Gnosticism
Identity - dated before 350 AD, Gnostic scripture, recounts the gnostic myth from the creation of Ialdabaoth to Noah, prediction of savior's coming, victory of gnostics

Significance - lays foundation for dualism of good and evil beings independently existing, sets foundation for view that creation is from Ialdabaoth as means of entrapment, thus evil


Key themes, distinctiveness - inverts creation account with serpent as good, creator bad, dualism, archetype of a gnostic is one who listens to knowledge and passes down through generations to contemporary reader, creation/body is entrapment of divine soul
Basilides
Identity - The earliest of the Alexandrian Gnostics, patriarch of Gnosticism

key themes, distinctiveness - gnosis/knowledge/acquaintance of oneself as divine is saving gnosis, more important than faith or love, based on sense of alienation, elaborate mythology, dualism of good and evil independently existing, creation of material world accomplished by Satan as means of imprisonment, thus all creation, human body is evil, Christ only seems to be human and suffer
Valentinus
Identity - ca. 100-175, a second generation gnostic, reformer of gnostic theology, attributed author of the Gospel of Truth

Significance - takes gnostic myth and attempts an interpretation more in line with orthodox Christianity, mediation between gnosticism and orthodox teaching

Key themes, distinctiveness - Uses only books approved for scripture, retains sense of material world as of no value/nightmare, but loses sense of Ialdabaoth's creation as imprisonment, Gospel of Truth is spiritual interpretation of authoritative literature
Gospel of Truth
Identity - Gnostic literature attributed to Valentinus

Significance - function of Christ's passion, his triumph is revelation that even his own sufferings are nothing, tries to interpret passion/cross in gnostic theology/philosophy, spiritual interpretation of authoritative literature


Key themes, distinctiveness - physical reality, bodily death, and suffering are nothing, no need to be afraid of them
Docetism
Identity - heresy teaching that Christ was a pure spirit, not a flesh and blood human being, Jesus only seemed to be human, most strongly rejected in Ignatius' epistle to the Smyrneans
Marcion
Identity - Mid 2nd century, excommunicated from Roman Catholic Church, Founded own church/sect of Marcionism, author of "Antitheses"

Significance - Teacher of docetic Christology - Jesus had no material body, not born of woman, Focused on absolute newness of Christ - can't be interpreted in Hebrew Scripture terms, hostility toward Marcion from so many people from so many places demonstrates Catholicity of the Church

Key themes, distinctiveness - Dualism - taught separation of loving God and Father of Jesus Christ from the just and incompetent Creator God of Hebrew Bible, rejection of Hebrew Bible and its allegorical and figurative interpretations, fashioned canon out of Pauline letters and Gospel of Luke, all edited removing infant narrative other Jadaizing elements, extreme asceticism - all baptized to be celibate, salvation by faith, extreme doctrine of grace freely given, unmerited
Ignatius of Antioch
Identity - 2nd or 3rd bishop of Antioch, martyred during Trajan - early 2nd century

Significance -Combatter of docetism which denied Jesus' humanity, defended reliance on Hebrew scriptures and typology - must use language of old, but don't limit by previous expectations (in contrast to Marcion and Barnabas extremes)

Key themes, distinctiveness - Many references to incarnation,divinity, and humanity of Christ, Unity around bishop, bishop as Christ's authority on earth, first use of Catholic Church term
Irenaeus of Lyons
Identity - ca. 115-202, Bishop ca. 178, last person of oral tradition of Jesus - heard Polycarp and others who remembered the Lord and apostles, wrote "Against Heresies" against gnostics and Valentinians,

significance - first great Catholic theologian, origin of eastern theologies - growth and development

key themes, distinctiveness - between God and evil there is a created good, thus anti-gnostic, emphasized Rule of Faith (creed) as way of summing up baptismal formula, Apostolic succession of bishops, Recapitulation - Christ (the Logos) sums up God's intention in creating and redeeming man, image of creature which grows into its perfection - doctrine of self creation, ownership of perfection
Justin Martyr
Identity - ca. 165, philosopher convert to Christianity, author of Second Apology

Significance - doctrine of the "Logos" - word made flesh - God's word/reason/plan in which he created the world, sets foundation for Irenaeus' elaboration - recapitulation

Key themes, distinctiveness - Only Christ has full knowledge, others do as well as possible w/ knowledge given them, everyone who has part of truth participates in the Logos
Tatian
Identity - second century apologist, contemporary of Just Martyr, convert to Christianity, moved into gnosticism

Significance- author of the Diatesseron, harmonizes the four Gospels to give a continuous account of the principle events in life of Jesus Christ
Rule of Faith
Identity - the proto-Creed coming from baptismal formula, Emphasized by Irenaeus of Lyons, also known as rule of truth,

Significance - Gives context to interpret Scripture

Key themes, distinctiveness - provides a scriptural summary so that you have control in reading Scripture and not make major mistakes
Acts of Paul and Thecla
Identity - popular literature in the early Church, neither canonical nor heretical

Significance - takes the poular romance genre and turns it inside out, emphasis on charismatic-spirit influenced side of Church, Raises question of women preaching, rejected by Timothy I and Tertullian

Key themes, distinctiveness - promoted women preaching, strains of confessors intercessing for dead, issue of Christian identity
Tertullian
Late 2nd, early 3rd century theologian, converted to Christianity, drifted into Montanism, works - "On Idolatry"

key themes, distinctiveness - rigorously sectarian urging against idolatry, laxity, many works anti-gnostic, Church not able to forgive sins, only to recommend sinner to God's mercy, against women preaching, idolatry is symbol for whole Greco-Roman culture, forbids teaching idolatry/using it for livelihood
Didache
Identity - first century text divided into two parts - the Two Ways and various instructions on Church Order

Significance - witness of a community in transition - less sectarian conscious but fundamentally different starting point with illusions to New Testament texts, also witness to expectant way of being - fundamental feature of much of early Christian literature

Key themes, distinctiveness - apocalyptic view, community exchatologically poised, ethics of way of life and death - apocalyptic mentality, liturgical sensibilities - Trinitarian Baptism, Eucharistic prayer texts - Eschatological, treats apostles, prophets and teachers, bishop/deacon distinction
Letter of Barnabas
Identity - dated 70-200 AD, Attributed to Barnabas, companion of Paul, quasi-canonical status, two parts - how scripture is to be interpreted and "the Two Ways,"

Significance - unstable argument for spiritual/allegorical/typological interpretation of Scripture at expense/rejection of literal, anti-Jewish where covenant is not new, rather Jews never had covenant, Christ inherited it, gave it to "us"

Key themes, distinctiveness - Absolute authority of Scripture, but most not to be taken literally, ancient people of Israel never received the covenant, misunderstood its provisions, trivialized them by literal interpretation, we who believe in Jesus are true heirs of promises made to Abraham and Moses
Letter to Flora
Identity - Mid 2nd century gnostic work by Ptolemy giving preliminaries to gnostic teaching but inviting to private instruction

Significance - treatise is a way to think about canon scripture, shows attempt of a Valentinian to operate within public Christian texts, borderline of what Ptolemy thinks could be publicly expressed

Key themes, distinctiveness - law has divine authorship but not by top good God, rather by a just god, Moses and elders of the people, claims from New Testament, negative assessment of law - the God Jews worship is not the real god
The Two Ways
Identity - Theme of way of life and way of death found in early Christian literature such as the Didache and the letter to Barnabas

Significance - shows concept that is Judeo-Christian, before separate Christian identity was formed

key themes, distinctiveness - eschatological consequence, follow way of life rather than death?
Cyprian of Carthage
Identity - bishop of Carthage during the Decian persecution, author of "The Lapsed"

Significance - deals with issue of penance and different degrees of sinners/sin, discusses and defends position that Church is able to forgive sins but only through the authorised discipline of the Church, thus distinguishing between other movements - (Church can't forgive sins, confessors can)

Key themes, distinctiveness - ultimate loyalty should be to Christ, loss of property/fatherland unexcusable, authorization is not based on personal charisma or union with God (confessors), but penance has an ecclesial character, the Church can remit sins, penance is the discipline of supplication
Decius
Identity - Roman emperor in the mid 3rd century instigating an empire-wide and systematic hunting out and persecution of Christians, first as persecution of bishops then other prominent persons in Church and society

Significance - official intervention in a much more hostile treatment of Christians in empire, was the most serious/real combat between the empire and the Church, caused great numbers of lapsed/sinners, forced issue of penance upon the Church theologians

Key themes, distinctiveness - Christians are anti-Roman, anti-State, anti-Tradition, they don't have our ethos,
Perpetua and Felicitas
Identity - two martyrs 203 AD whose martyrdom accounts were written down with parts in first person

Significance - tradition of martyrs leads to intercession of the saints, brings to the fore the issue of loyalty to Christian identity and its difficulties, example/hints at tension between charism of martyrs/confessors vs. non-charismatic leadership of bishops/presbyters,

Key themes, distinctiveness - confessor's ability to intercede for others, Biblical themes in visions of martyrs, no charge save Christian identity, martyrdom cast in athletic/military imagery - passes over to monastic/ascetic literature, tradition of relics of martyrs
Montanism (Montanus, Priscilla, Maximilla)
Identity - Mid 2nd century apocalyptic renewal movement founded by Montanus, ecstatic prophet with associate prophetesses Maximilla and Priscilla

Significance - gives up on Church authority/structure as hoplessly uninspired, strongly influenced by Gospel of John and Book of Revelation,

key themes, distinctiveness - eschatological expectation with imminent descent of New Jerusalem in Phrygia, claimed to speak on direct authority of Holy Spirit, speaking in person of Father, Christ or the Spirit with divine "I" characteristic traits - glossolalia - speaking in tongues, rigorous asceticism
Easter (Quartodecimans)
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Muratorian Canon
Identity - 180-200 AD, oldest known canon listing approved texts of the Church's New Testament

Significance - such similarity with our present day canon at such an early time, Disputes about inclusion of cetain books similar in different places throughout empire - shows unity/catholicity of Church, rejects certain scriptures as false and distinguishes between apostolic and non apostolic texts that can be read but not in the divine service (ex. Shepherd of Hermas)
Polycarp
Identity - late 1st - mid 2nd century bishop of Smyrna and martyr, mentioned in St. Ignatius epistles, Irenaeus, and account of martyrdom

Significance - Witness to early persecution period where hostility is more of mob action rather than systematic official intervention

Key themes, distinctiveness - Christian identity as crime, provides model - did nothing to provoke authorities, but quietly waited for them to arrest him
Nero
Identity - Roman emperor in first century, blames City-wide fire on Christians

Significance - sets legal precedent for hostility/against Christians, but low grade animosity, not systematic hunting out, shows early influential Christian presence in Rome, specific Christian identity exists
Recapitulation
Identity - Key theological idea of Irenaeus of Lyons from mid-late 2nd century

Significance - sin can't stop God's plan of showing human perfection, human freedom made for the capability and perfection of love - God's intention revealed in Christ the Logos

Key theme, distinctiveness -teaches perfection of created freedom as revealed in Christ, Jesus shows what God intended for us, whole of creation is summed up in Christ
Treaty on Resurrection
Identity - Gnostic literature, philosophical letter meant to introduce someone to elementary teaching

Significance - Outright attack on ordinary Christian view of resurrection, real resurrection is the ascent of the soul in contemplation, rise from ignorance

Key themes, distinctiveness - bodily existence is not inherent to one's identity, alienation - body is biggest example of not being at home, resurrection completely de-eschatologized
Clement of Alexandria
Identity - theologian in late 2nd-early 3rd century, author of the "Stromata"

Significance - teaches positive interaction between Christian and surrounding culture

key themes, distinctiveness - Philosophy is preparation for the Gospel for the Gentiles, positive evaluation of philosophy, Parallel between philosophy (Gentiles) and the law (Jews) - the Logos is operative in both, argument for the benefit of culture
Community at Qumran
community for whom dead sea scrolls were written, rejected the sacrifices and priesthood of official temple at Jerusalem, resembles early church as close-knit body practicing property-sharing, celibate members, obsessed with ceremonial purity, exchatological community, expecting messiah