Christianity And Christianity: The Patristic Period

1254 Words 6 Pages
The Patristic period was a significant time of theological and ideological formation of the Christian Church, during which its foundations were created. The Patristic period served as a time of self-definition and creation of identity for the church, with the defining of beliefs, teachings, and doctrines occurring throughout this era. This time period established the basic beliefs of Christianity and determined the differences between Christianity and Judaism (McGrath, 18). Throughout the Patristic period, Christianity was able to grow and spread, which can be seen through the five main patriarchates of Christianity, which were centers of religious administration. These patriarchates, located in Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem, …show more content…
Church tradition consisted of handing down Scripture and practices of faith, so that over multiple generations, Christians would still be practicing and believing the same ideas. Through the handing down of tradition, the church was able to ensure that it was teaching orthodoxly, and that it was remaining true and faithful to the teachings and writings of the Apostles. Church tradition was considered to be “apostolic,” meaning that they could claim direct lineage from the apostles themselves. This claim legitimized the authority of the church and their teachings, and made it possible to refute heterodox teachings, such as those of the Gnostics (McGrath, …show more content…
The first aspect of tradition was the Bible and its traditional interpretation. Only church leaders, such as fathers and bishops, were allowed to interpret the Bible, as the interpretation by anyone else could be wrong and lead to heterodox teachings. Because of this, bishops discouraged members of the church from interpreting and even reading the Bible on their own. The second aspect of church tradition dealt with the core Christian beliefs from extra-scriptural sources, or sources in addition to scripture. It was believed that Christian beliefs and practices could come from more than just scripture, but other sources as well. Most of these sources were writings by bishops about scripture, where the bishops would reflect on and evaluate the text. However, there were also other sources, such as liturgy, canon law, and icons, which were religious arts depicting Jesus Christ, Mary, and saints. All of these sources were able to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation for scripture, thus they were included in church traditions (Vishnevskaya, Feb.

Related Documents