Why Was Enoch Removed From The Bible
The Book of Enoch was considered as scripture in the Epistle of Barnabas and by many of the early Church Fathers, such as Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus and Tertullian, who wrote c. 200 that the Book of Enoch had been rejected by the Jews because it contained prophecies pertaining to Christ.
What Pagan Holiday Was December 25
Saturnalia by Antoine Callet, 1783.It was a public holiday celebrated around December 25th in the family home. A time for feasting, goodwill, generosity to the poor, the exchange of gifts and the decoration of trees. But it wasnt Christmas. This was Saturnalia, the pagan Roman winter solstice festival.
Stories You Didn’t Learn In Sunday School
Many of the New Testament texts familiar to Christians today were being used authoritatively already in the second century, but different congregations preferred some texts over others and included some texts that don’t appear in the New Testament. Here are a few:
The Gospel of Peter: Only a fragment of this text was recovered in 1886 in Egypt, but it includes the only narrative account of the resurrected Jesus leaving his tomb. According to Peter’s version, two giant angels descended to the tomb and escorted the resurrected Jesus out, who was also suddenly gigantic. But the oddest note was that the three figures were followed by a floating cross that could talk.
“And they heard a voice from the heavens, saying, ‘Thou hast preached to them that sleep.’ And a response was heard from the cross, ‘Yea.'”
The Gospel of Mary: Combs says that some apocryphal texts reflected theological and doctrinal debates going on within the early church, such as the role of women. In the Gospel of Mary , is not only referred to as one of Jesus’s disciples, but perhaps his favorite one. In this text, after Jesus is resurrected, he relays esoteric teachings to Mary, who then tells the other disciples. Peter asks why they should listen to a woman, to which another disciple Levi responds:
“If the Savior made her worthy, who are you then, for your part, to cast her aside? Surely the Savior knows her full well. That is why he has loved her more than us.”
Read Also: What Does The Bible Say About Loneliness
The Reign Of Constantine
In A.D. 312 Constantine invaded Italy to oust Emperor Maxentius, who had up to four times as many troops. Constantine claimed to have had a vision on the way to Rome, during the night before battle. In this dream he supposedly saw the Chi-Rho symbol, the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, which some believed was a symbol of Christ, shining above the sun.
Seeing this as a divine sign, it is said that Constantine had his soldiers paint the symbol on their shields. Following this, Constantine went on to defeat the numerically stronger army of Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.
Religiously, Constantine was still a pagan who worshipped the gods of Rome, including the sun god. It wasnt until much later, just before his death, that he supposedly converted to Christianity.Religiously, Constantine was still a pagan who worshipped the gods of Rome, including the sun god. It wasnt until much later, just before his death, that he supposedly converted to Christianitya Christianity he had helped shape that was quite different from the Christianity of the early New Testament Church.
In one of his first major decisions as emperor, Constantine coissued the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313. It basically ended any further persecutions of the Christians. Even though the edict gave Christianity legal status, Christianity did not become the official religion of the Roman Empire until Emperor Theodosius I in A.D. 380.
Featured Media: Constantine & Christianity
The next morning, Constantius awoke with a deep sense of guilt and gave the family his tribunal cape, which had a buckle bearing his initials and rank. He then commanded the innkeeper to keep the girl pure, and if she were to become pregnant as a result of the previous night, to guard the child with his life. Constantius departed, leaving behind a young peasant girl named Helena who, unbeknownst to him, was now pregnant. Helena gave birth to a boy whom she named Constantine, after his father.
Years later, Constantius was promoted to governor of Dalmatiaa powerful position in those days. What takes place next is nearly miraculous. Approximately 10 years had passed since Constantius thoughtless, selfish act against an innocent girl. Likely, the story would have ended the morning Constantius left the inn, but a twist of events brought Helena and her son Constantine back to the historical landscape.
Read Also: How Many Times Does The Bible Say Fear God
How Can You Talk About The Invention Of The Electric Light Bulb And Never Mention Elvis Presley
My Bible study class wanted to learn more about how the Bible came to be compiled, she wrote. We ordered this in hopes to gain more information on the Council of Nicaeawhich books were and were not chosen and why. At this point, the reviewerwho was, Im certain, well-intended and sincere in her disappointmentlaunched into a critique of the books failure to describe in detail how the leaders of the Church chose the books of the Bible at the Council of Nicaea. At the culmination of her review, she declared in apparent despair, One of my Bible study members remarked, How can he talk about how the Bible came to be and not mention the Council of Nicaea? My point exactly.
The Council of Nicaea was a gathering of church leaders that took place in the year 325 A.D., about eighty miles south of the metropolis known today as Istanbul, Turkey. If this council had made any decisions whatsoever about which texts ended up in the Bible, the reviewers concerns would have made perfect sense. The problem is, however, that the Council of Nicaea had nothing to do with any aspect of how the Bible was brought together.
Did God Write The Bible
In my experience as a Catholic priest, one of the most commonly held accounts of biblical inspiration among Christians is that God dictated the Bible. According to this view, sometimes called the verbal dictation theory, God dictated each word of the sacred text to a human author who simply wrote it down.
Also Check: Is The Bible Infallible
Why Did Romans Accept Christianity
1) Christianity was a form of a group. People became a part of this group it was a form of leadership for the Roman emperor. This for the people was a relief, they had something new to look forward to. This is historically important because this shed new light, and influenced peoples perspectives and beliefs.
What Religion Was The Roman Empire
As different cultures settled in what would later become Italy, each brought their own gods and forms of worship. This made the religion of ancient Rome polytheistic, in that they worshipped many gods. They also worshipped spirits. Rivers, trees, fields and buildings each had their own spirit, or numen.
Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Divorce And Emotional Abuse
What Happened To Constantines Tomb
When Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, the Holy Apostles briefly became the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church. Three years later the edifice, which was in a dilapidated state, was abandoned by the Patriarch, and the patriarchate was moved to the Pammakaristos Church.
The Importance Of Constantines Request
This request of Constantine is important for a number of reasons. They are as follows:
1. There Was an Authoritative Scripture That Existed
To begin with, the fact that he could ask for fifty copies of the Scriptures to be produced demonstrates there was such a thing as an authoritative Scripture to copy. The request would make no sense whatsoever if there were not some universally accepted list of books that were considered to be Scripture. Constantine obviously knew of such a list he did not have to specify to Eusebius the names of the books that were to be copied.
2. These Books Were Already Well-Known to All
Also, the fact that Eusebius does not see fit to provide a list is another indication that these books had already been recognized as being canonical. It was not necessary to explain which books were recognized as New Testament Scripture. It seems that they were well-known to everyone.
3. These Fifty Bibles Would Be a Basis for Other Copies
There is something else. These fifty copies would have also served as a basis for any other copies of Scripture that were to be produced.
Therefore, from the request of Emperor Constantine to the church historian Eusebius, we have further evidence that the New Testament canon was firmly fixed in the mind of believers.
Also Check: 365 Fear Not Bible Verses
One Of The Most Profound Episodes Affecting Church History Involved Emperor Constantine And His Decrees Against Gods Laws Yet The Church Of God Held Fast
Jesus Christ warned His followers, Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword . His words have proven true throughout the centuries, and especially during the fourth century in the Roman Empire.
Another article on Church history discusses the loyalty of Polycarp and Polycrates in their defense of the New Testament Passover being kept on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar. But persecutions continued against the Church. This article focuses on the decrees Constantine made regarding his interpretation of religious doctrine and the aftermath of his pronouncements.
How Does Constantines Fifty Copies Of Scripture Help Us Understand The Extent Of The New Testament Canon
Are the Right Books in the New Testament? Question 12
One helpful factor in determining the extent of the New Testament canon was the command given by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century to have fifty copies of the Scripture produced. We can summarize the events that occurred as follows:
Read Also: What The Bible Says About Isolation
Answering The Charge That The Catholic Church Was Founded By A Roman Emperor
Im sure youve heard the phrase beating a dead horse. It refers to something that has been said or done so many times that it has outlived its usefulness. This is especially true of arguments that are not only old but also untrue.
Like the proverbial horse, the Roman emperor Constantine has been beaten to death by anti-Catholics.
I make it a point to check all of the comments posted on our and pages at least twice a day. As sure as fish live in water, I have come to expect at least one message a day from a Christian Fundamentalist about how the Catholic Church was founded by Emperor Constantine sometime in the fourth century.
Its almost unfathomable to me that in this day and age Fundamentalists still have not learned to verify the validity of their anti-Catholic arguments. But then again, with so many websites making claims like Constantine founded the Catholic Church living on in cyberspace, its no wonder some folks still cling to what blogger Mark Shea refers to as pseudo knowledge.
It would be nice if this falsity were confined to Fundamentalist circles, but sadly it is not. As atheist podcast host and blogger David Smalley explains on his website:
Another mistaken notion is that Constantine exercised complete control over the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The primary reason for the council was due to the growing Arian heresy. Jimmy Akin summarizes Arianism this way:
Who Was Constantine I
Constantine I’s father became the Western Roman emperor in 305. After his father’s death, Constantine fought to take power. He became the Western emperor in 312 and the sole Roman emperor in 324. Constantine was also the first emperor to adhere to Christianity. He issued an edict that protected Christians in the empire and converted to Christianity on his deathbed in 337.
Don’t Miss: Chronological Order Bible
Did Constantine Create The Bible
The Fifty Bibles of Constantine were Bibles in the original Greek language commissioned in 331 by Constantine I and prepared by Eusebius of Caesarea. They were made for the use of the Bishop of Constantinople in the growing number of churches in that very new city.
Constantine Vs The Good News
Constantine did have a huge impact on the development of Christianity. Christian celebrations like Christmas on December 25, how the date for the Easter celebration is calculated, and a reversal of the gospel from being counter-cultural and viewed with mistrust by the government, to becoming the cultural standard of Europe, in alliance with government, started with Constantine. But the Gospel is not about culture or government power. It is about agood news message from God freely received in the hearts and minds of people and then changing their hearts. And just like barnacles collecting on the hull of a ship can distort the hydrodynamics of a streamlined keel and must be removed for the ship to regain its ability to move gracefully in the water so a lot of Christianity that has developed since Constantine might need to be scraped away so we can access the pure gospel. But it can be done. And the scraper with which we can find the pure Good News is the Bible. Since the books in the Bible were not invented, modified or corrupted by Constantine we can use them to get a view of Jesus and his Gospel that has been around since his disciples went forth proclaiming his message. This also allows us to better understand the various conspiracy theories about Jesus, . It also allows us to understand where terms like Christ originate.
59 thoughts on FAQ: Did Constantine invent or change the Gospel/Bible?
Thanks for you comprehensive thoughts on the Bible
Read Also: Loneliness Bible Verses
New Testament: Who Wrote The Gospels
Just as the Old Testament chronicles the story of the Israelites in the millennium or so leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, the New Testament records Jesuss life, from his birth and teachings to his death and later resurrection, a narrative that forms the fundamental basis of Christianity. Beginning around 70 A.D., about four decades after Jesuss crucifixion , four anonymously written chronicles of his life emerged that would become central documents in the Christian faith. Named for Jesuss most devoted earthly disciples, or apostlesMatthew, Mark, Luke and Johnthe four canonical Gospels were traditionally thought to be eyewitness accounts of Jesuss life, death and resurrection.
12th-13th century depiction of evangelists Luke and Matthew writing the Gospels.
But for more than a century, scholars have generally agreed that the Gospels, like many of the books of the New Testament, were not actually written by the people to whom they are attributed. In fact, it seems clear that the stories that form the basis of Christianity were first communicated orally, and passed down from generation to generation, before they were collected and written down.
READ MORE: What Did Jesus Look Like?
The Battle Of The Milvian Bridge
Eusebius of Caesarea, and other Christian sources, record that Constantine experienced a dramatic event in 312 at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, after which Constantine claimed the emperorship in the west, and converted to Christianity. The Battle of the Milvian Bridge took place between the Roman Emperors, Constantine I and Maxentius, on October 28, 312. It takes its name from the Milvian Bridge, an important route over the Tiber. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber during the battle, and his body was later taken from the river and decapitated.
According to chroniclers, such as Eusebius of Caesarea and Lactantius, the battle marked the beginning of Constantines conversion to Christianity. Eusebius of Caesarea recounts that Constantine looked up to the sun before the battle and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words , often rendered in a Latin version, in hoc signo vinces. Constantine commanded his troops to adorn their shields with a Christian symbol , and thereafter they were victorious. The Arch of Constantine, erected in celebration of the victory, certainly attributes Constantines success to divine intervention however, the monument does not display any overtly Christian symbolism, so there is no scholarly consensus on the events relation to Constantines conversion to Christianity.
Also Check: Omer In The Bible
How A Medieval Myth Made Its Way Into The Modern Mind
Why, then, are so many people convinced that the Council of Nicaea had something to do with which books ended up in the Bible?
It seems that this mistruth may be traceable to a myth that emerged in the Middle Ages.
According to an anonymous document from the ninth century A.D., church leaders at the Council of Nicaea piled all the books that were candidates for inclusion in the Bible on a communion table and prayed. As they prayed, all the spurious texts slipped through the table and crashed to the floor. The Bible was formed from the books that stayed on top of the table. If this really happened, it would greatly simplify the question of how certain books ended up in the Bible.
Unfortunately for the question of which texts belong in the Bible , there is no reliable evidence that any such event ever took place at Nicaea or anywhere else. This seems like the sort of bizarre occurrence that people would talk about after the council was over, yet no one who attended the Council of Nicaea ever mentioned any event of this sort. The earliest description of these alleged discussions shows up in a single document copied more than six centuries after the final session of the council. As such, no modern scholar has ever taken seriously this account of the formation of the Bible. Simply put, the table of contents in your Bible was not formed from the content that stayed on top of the table at the Council of Nicaea.