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Offline LightHammer

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To the Root of the Matter
« on: November 09, 2010, 11:55:43 AM »
Let's look at the history of Christianity.

None of us dispustes scripture so I ask that you try to use hisorical sources to validate your beliefs of the history of the faith. Yes we can use scripture but you are not meant to use scripture to ignore history.

This topic is meant for all of us to better understand the history of Christianity after scripture. Jesus Christ commanded the disciples to go out into the world and carry on the Gospel bringing together new believers. This topic is about what the disciples did after the Matser's ascension and after they completed scriptural writings.

Let's begin.
"For they needs must seek some support,  since they have fallen from the foundation of the Apostles and have no settled mind of their own, and if they can find none, then they malign the fathers. But no one will believe them any more even if they make efforts to libel them, for their heresy is condemned on all hands." St. Athanasius of Alexandria

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To the Root of the Matter
« on: November 09, 2010, 11:55:43 AM »

Offline chestertonrules

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2010, 12:05:46 PM »
Let's look at the history of Christianity.

None of us dispustes scripture so I ask that you try to use hisorical sources to validate your beliefs of the history of the faith. Yes we can use scripture but you are not meant to use scripture to ignore history.

This topic is meant for all of us to better understand the history of Christianity after scripture. Jesus Christ commanded the disciples to go out into the world and carry on the Gospel bringing together new believers. This topic is about what the disciples did after the Matser's ascension and after they completed scriptural writings.

Let's begin.

Great topic.

The book of Acts is a good biblical starting point.  We can learn from Acts that the Church was organized and hierarchical.  The issue of the papacy is not well defined in Acts, although we do see that God communicates new doctrine through Peter regarding gentile converts.

I believe this quote from Clement, who was the fourth pope and an aquaintance of both Peter and Paul, is a good starting point.  The authenticity of this letter is widely accepted and we can read about the existence of the letter from other early sources.



A key quote:

"And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties." Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2010, 12:05:46 PM »

Offline LightHammer

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2010, 12:11:59 PM »
I appreciate the foundation Chester but for the sake of those who will deny the authenticity of history could you please site your sources?
"For they needs must seek some support,  since they have fallen from the foundation of the Apostles and have no settled mind of their own, and if they can find none, then they malign the fathers. But no one will believe them any more even if they make efforts to libel them, for their heresy is condemned on all hands." St. Athanasius of Alexandria

Offline Josiah

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 12:23:08 PM »
Sure.  We may begin with the Book of Acts.

There we see NOTHING about Peter being the infallible Pope of Rome, NOTHING of any "keys" NOTHING of being the "vicar of Christ."  NOTHING about anyone or any denomination being unaccountable or infallible.  We see NO denomination - of any sort, by any name.  No mention of Catholic anything. 

We find CHRISTIANS being referred to as the church, and we see congregations: local gatherings/assemblies of Christians in a given place and time.  NONE of them mentioned as "founded by Jesus" or infallible/unaccountable or designated as specifically "the Church of Christ."  

We read about the importance of James - likely the brother of Jesus (not an Apostle), of Peter and especially of Paul.  But NEVER are ANY of these referred to as the Vicar of Christ or the Pope or holding any "keys" or being the mouth of God or being infallible/unaccountable.  And we read of no denomination.  One still existing or not.

We read about the first ecumenical council, lead by James (likely Jesus' borther and not one of the 12), holding all teachings as accountable, listening to all views, holding Peter in no special regard, and norming the positions by the Rule of Scripture (a praxis commonly known today as Sola Scriptura).   





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.

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 12:23:08 PM »

Offline LightHammer

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 12:37:22 PM »
Sure.  We may begin with the Book of Acts.

There we see NOTHING about Peter being the infallible Pope of Rome, NOTHING of any "keys" NOTHING of being the "vicar of Christ."  NOTHING about anyone or any denomination being unaccountable or infallible.  We see NO denomination - of any sort, by any name.  No mention of Catholic anything. 

We find CHRISTIANS being referred to as the church, and we see congregations: local gatherings/assemblies of Christians in a given place and time.  NONE of them mentioned as "founded by Jesus" or infallible/unaccountable or designated as specifically "the Church of Christ."  

We read about the importance of James - likely the brother of Jesus (not an Apostle), of Peter and especially of Paul.  But NEVER are ANY of these referred to as the Vicar of Christ or the Pope or holding any "keys" or being the mouth of God or being infallible/unaccountable.  And we read of no denomination.  One still existing or not.

We read about the first ecumenical council, lead by James (likely Jesus' borther and not one of the 12), holding all teachings as accountable, listening to all views, holding Peter in no special regard, and norming the positions by the Rule of Scripture (a praxis commonly known today as Sola Scriptura).   





.



.

You are right. 100%

So what is the history of the word "catholica" and how did it become the title of Christianity as whole until 1054 AD?
"For they needs must seek some support,  since they have fallen from the foundation of the Apostles and have no settled mind of their own, and if they can find none, then they malign the fathers. But no one will believe them any more even if they make efforts to libel them, for their heresy is condemned on all hands." St. Athanasius of Alexandria

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 12:37:22 PM »



Offline chestertonrules

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 12:58:38 PM »
I appreciate the foundation Chester but for the sake of those who will deny the authenticity of history could you please site your sources?


According to Tertullian, writing c. 199, the Roman Church claimed that Clement was ordained by St. Peter (De Praescript., xxxii), and St. Jerome tells us that in his time "most of the Latins" held that Clement was the immediate successor of the Apostle (Illustrious Men 15). St. Jerome himself in several other places follows this opinion, but here he correctly states that Clement was the fourth pope.

The Epistle is in the name of the Church of Rome but the early authorities always ascribe it to Clement. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, wrote c. 170 to the Romans in Pope Soter's time: "Today we kept the holy day, the Lord's day, and on it we read your letter- and we shall ever have it to give us instruction, even as the former one written through Clement" (Eusebius, Church History IV.30). Hegesippus attributed the letter to Clement. Irenaeus, c. 180-5 perhaps using Hegesippus, says: "Under this Clement no small sedition took place among the brethren at Corinth and the Church of Rome sent a most sufficient letter to the Corinthians, establishing them in peace, and renewing their faith, and announcing the tradition it had recently received from the Apostles" (III, iii). Clement of Alexandria, c. 200, frequently quotes the Epistle as Clement's, and so do Origen and Eusebius. Lightfoot and Harnack are fond of pointing out that we hear earlier of the importance of the Roman Church than of the authority of the Roman bishop.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04012c.htm
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Offline LightHammer

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 01:22:47 PM »
I appreciate the foundation Chester but for the sake of those who will deny the authenticity of history could you please site your sources?


According to Tertullian, writing c. 199, the Roman Church claimed that Clement was ordained by St. Peter (De Praescript., xxxii), and St. Jerome tells us that in his time "most of the Latins" held that Clement was the immediate successor of the Apostle (Illustrious Men 15). St. Jerome himself in several other places follows this opinion, but here he correctly states that Clement was the fourth pope.

The Epistle is in the name of the Church of Rome but the early authorities always ascribe it to Clement. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, wrote c. 170 to the Romans in Pope Soter's time: "Today we kept the holy day, the Lord's day, and on it we read your letter- and we shall ever have it to give us instruction, even as the former one written through Clement" (Eusebius, Church History IV.30). Hegesippus attributed the letter to Clement. Irenaeus, c. 180-5 perhaps using Hegesippus, says: "Under this Clement no small sedition took place among the brethren at Corinth and the Church of Rome sent a most sufficient letter to the Corinthians, establishing them in peace, and renewing their faith, and announcing the tradition it had recently received from the Apostles" (III, iii). Clement of Alexandria, c. 200, frequently quotes the Epistle as Clement's, and so do Origen and Eusebius. Lightfoot and Harnack are fond of pointing out that we hear earlier of the importance of the Roman Church than of the authority of the Roman bishop.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04012c.htm


John was the last living disciple when did he die? And what is the earliest historic writing of our faith outside of scripture?
"For they needs must seek some support,  since they have fallen from the foundation of the Apostles and have no settled mind of their own, and if they can find none, then they malign the fathers. But no one will believe them any more even if they make efforts to libel them, for their heresy is condemned on all hands." St. Athanasius of Alexandria

Offline chestertonrules

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 01:27:33 PM »
I appreciate the foundation Chester but for the sake of those who will deny the authenticity of history could you please site your sources?


According to Tertullian, writing c. 199, the Roman Church claimed that Clement was ordained by St. Peter (De Praescript., xxxii), and St. Jerome tells us that in his time "most of the Latins" held that Clement was the immediate successor of the Apostle (Illustrious Men 15). St. Jerome himself in several other places follows this opinion, but here he correctly states that Clement was the fourth pope.

The Epistle is in the name of the Church of Rome but the early authorities always ascribe it to Clement. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, wrote c. 170 to the Romans in Pope Soter's time: "Today we kept the holy day, the Lord's day, and on it we read your letter- and we shall ever have it to give us instruction, even as the former one written through Clement" (Eusebius, Church History IV.30). Hegesippus attributed the letter to Clement. Irenaeus, c. 180-5 perhaps using Hegesippus, says: "Under this Clement no small sedition took place among the brethren at Corinth and the Church of Rome sent a most sufficient letter to the Corinthians, establishing them in peace, and renewing their faith, and announcing the tradition it had recently received from the Apostles" (III, iii). Clement of Alexandria, c. 200, frequently quotes the Epistle as Clement's, and so do Origen and Eusebius. Lightfoot and Harnack are fond of pointing out that we hear earlier of the importance of the Roman Church than of the authority of the Roman bishop.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04012c.htm


John was the last living disciple when did he die? And what is the earliest historic writing of our faith outside of scripture?


The assumption is that John died in the 90s, but it is not certain.  Much of the end of his life was spent in captivity on the Island of Patmos.

I believe that the earliest non scriptural writings are the Didache and the epistle of Clement.  Clement was nearly included in the Canon.

Other fragments are also available but I'm not that familiar with them.

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Online Catholica

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 01:51:31 PM »
We see reference to "The Way" in Acts, are they not a 'denomination'?

Acts 9:1-2
Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.

Acts 19:8-9
He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God.  But when some in their obstinacy and disbelief disparaged the Way before the assembly, he withdrew and took his disciples with him and began to hold daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

Acts 19:23
About that time a serious disturbance broke out concerning the Way.

Acts 22:4
I persecuted this Way to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison.

Acts 24:14
But this I do admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our ancestors and I believe everything that is in accordance with the law and written in the prophets.

Note: The word "denomination" was not even invented until the 15th century, and in modern terminology, re: 17th century, "denomination" gained its contemporary usage as meaning a "religious sect".

Acts 24:22
Then Felix, who was accurately informed about the Way, postponed the trial, saying, "When Lysias the commander comes down, I shall decide your case."

Acts 2:15a
During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place).

Note: In Judaism, in order to start your own religious sect, you needed 120 persons, which is why the reference here is to one hundred and twenty persons.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 02:27:10 PM by Catholica »
John 13
34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Offline LightHammer

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2010, 02:12:54 AM »
Why did you never answer my question Josiah?
"For they needs must seek some support,  since they have fallen from the foundation of the Apostles and have no settled mind of their own, and if they can find none, then they malign the fathers. But no one will believe them any more even if they make efforts to libel them, for their heresy is condemned on all hands." St. Athanasius of Alexandria

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2010, 04:33:41 PM »
Let's look at the history of Christianity.

None of us dispustes scripture so I ask that you try to use hisorical sources to validate your beliefs of the history of the faith. Yes we can use scripture but you are not meant to use scripture to ignore history.

This topic is meant for all of us to better understand the history of Christianity after scripture. Jesus Christ commanded the disciples to go out into the world and carry on the Gospel bringing together new believers. This topic is about what the disciples did after the Matser's ascension and after they completed scriptural writings.

Let's begin.

Great topic.

The book of Acts is a good biblical starting point.  We can learn from Acts that the Church was organized and hierarchical.  The issue of the papacy is not well defined in Acts, although we do see that God communicates new doctrine through Peter regarding gentile converts.

I believe this quote from Clement, who was the fourth pope and an aquaintance of both Peter and Paul, is a good starting point.  The authenticity of this letter is widely accepted and we can read about the existence of the letter from other early sources.



A key quote:

"And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties." Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).
I have no problem with anything you said here.  Clement clearly was a leader at the church at Rome, and wrote the letter in question.

However, if one is credulous of the Acts of Peter and Paul, one would have to accept that

1) Peter did not appoint a successor prior to his death.
2) The church at Rome was founded by both Peter AND PAUL, and both were recognized as it's leaders.

Scripture corroborates that both apostles traveled to Rome, and the Paul, at least, died there.

In fact, all of the Scriptures indicate that leadership in the church was plural, and that everyone was meant to participate.  The best such example is the instructions on what to do with a brother who is sinning.

First you confront him yourself... this would indicate that each person as an individual exercises some authority as their brother's episkopos (overseer).

Then you take two or three to confront him... here we simply have the normative Jewish teaching "by the witness of 2 or 3 let it be established."  If we assume that the rest of the Jewish system goes along with this teaching, this would also mean that someone is there to judge.  That might be a bishop, or at least an elder, but there's no titles associated with this in the NT.  Paul does exhort the brethren to judge themselves, and not go before civil courts to settle matters, so some sort of judge must exist.

Finally, you take him before the entire church if he persists in sin.  I find it noteworthy that the entire church as an ecumenical body is the final authority.  Paul spends a lot of time telling us that we are, collectively, the body of Christ, and that we ought to be in unity, and that we need to work together. 

So, while I do see a hierarchy here, it's pretty much the opposite of the one the RCC employs - an inverted triangle, with the group at the top, and an individual at the bottom.

Jarrod

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Offline chestertonrules

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2010, 04:41:34 PM »
Let's look at the history of Christianity.

None of us dispustes scripture so I ask that you try to use hisorical sources to validate your beliefs of the history of the faith. Yes we can use scripture but you are not meant to use scripture to ignore history.

This topic is meant for all of us to better understand the history of Christianity after scripture. Jesus Christ commanded the disciples to go out into the world and carry on the Gospel bringing together new believers. This topic is about what the disciples did after the Matser's ascension and after they completed scriptural writings.

Let's begin.

Great topic.

The book of Acts is a good biblical starting point.  We can learn from Acts that the Church was organized and hierarchical.  The issue of the papacy is not well defined in Acts, although we do see that God communicates new doctrine through Peter regarding gentile converts.

I believe this quote from Clement, who was the fourth pope and an aquaintance of both Peter and Paul, is a good starting point.  The authenticity of this letter is widely accepted and we can read about the existence of the letter from other early sources.



A key quote:

"And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, 'I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.'... Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry...For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties." Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).
I have no problem with anything you said here.  Clement clearly was a leader at the church at Rome, and wrote the letter in question.

However, if one is credulous of the Acts of Peter and Paul, one would have to accept that

1) Peter did not appoint a successor prior to his death.
2) The church at Rome was founded by both Peter AND PAUL, and both were recognized as it's leaders.

Scripture corroborates that both apostles traveled to Rome, and the Paul, at least, died there.

In fact, all of the Scriptures indicate that leadership in the church was plural, and that everyone was meant to participate.  The best such example is the instructions on what to do with a brother who is sinning.

First you confront him yourself... this would indicate that each person as an individual exercises some authority as their brother's episkopos (overseer).

Then you take two or three to confront him... here we simply have the normative Jewish teaching "by the witness of 2 or 3 let it be established."  If we assume that the rest of the Jewish system goes along with this teaching, this would also mean that someone is there to judge.  That might be a bishop, or at least an elder, but there's no titles associated with this in the NT.  Paul does exhort the brethren to judge themselves, and not go before civil courts to settle matters, so some sort of judge must exist.

Finally, you take him before the entire church if he persists in sin.  I find it noteworthy that the entire church as an ecumenical body is the final authority.  Paul spends a lot of time telling us that we are, collectively, the body of Christ, and that we ought to be in unity, and that we need to work together. 

So, while I do see a hierarchy here, it's pretty much the opposite of the one the RCC employs - an inverted triangle, with the group at the top, and an individual at the bottom.

Jarrod




Peter was the  head of the apostles.  When he died, a replacement was chosen.

I think you need to look up the definition of hierarchy!



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Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2010, 06:06:08 PM »
When I say hierarchy, I mean the linear structure of authority from top to bottom.  

A group acting collectively may be considered a single entity for the purpose of charting such things.  ::smile::  In this case, the collected church acting together is the top of the hierarchy.  The small group "2 or 3 gathered in my name" acts as the intermediate rung, and the individual acting in Christ as the 3rd rung.  All of these are authorities over individuals acting on their own - the rank and file.

Unless of course you mean the etymological definition.  The root Hieros is Greek transliterated from Egyptian and translates as "priest," while the second root Arche generally means "first" or at least "above the others."  But then you knew that.

Jarrod
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Offline chestertonrules

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2010, 08:49:52 PM »
When I say hierarchy, I mean the linear structure of authority from top to bottom.  

A group acting collectively may be considered a single entity for the purpose of charting such things.  ::smile::  In this case, the collected church acting together is the top of the hierarchy.  The small group "2 or 3 gathered in my name" acts as the intermediate rung, and the individual acting in Christ as the 3rd rung.  All of these are authorities over individuals acting on their own - the rank and file.

Unless of course you mean the etymological definition.  The root Hieros is Greek transliterated from Egyptian and translates as "priest," while the second root Arche generally means "first" or at least "above the others."  But then you knew that.

Jarrod

So your understanding of hierarchy was not quite accurate.

Jesus created a Church with leaders, and he gave a single man the keys to the Kingdom in order to assure unity.

St. Cyprian explains the importance of this act here:

Cyprian of Carthage



"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. ... ’ [Matt. 16:18]. On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair , and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone today does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he should desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]).

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Re: To the Root of the Matter
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2010, 03:28:05 AM »
When I say hierarchy, I mean the linear structure of authority from top to bottom.  

A group acting collectively may be considered a single entity for the purpose of charting such things.  ::smile::  In this case, the collected church acting together is the top of the hierarchy.  The small group "2 or 3 gathered in my name" acts as the intermediate rung, and the individual acting in Christ as the 3rd rung.  All of these are authorities over individuals acting on their own - the rank and file.

Unless of course you mean the etymological definition.  The root Hieros is Greek transliterated from Egyptian and translates as "priest," while the second root Arche generally means "first" or at least "above the others."  But then you knew that.

Jarrod

Just one problem with your theory brother. What happens when the Church as whole can't decide on official doctrine? If the Church as a whole is a greater authority than those chosen by the apostles, who were chosen by Jesus, then how do we begin to officiate and teach when we are unable to reach a concensus over Truth?
"For they needs must seek some support,  since they have fallen from the foundation of the Apostles and have no settled mind of their own, and if they can find none, then they malign the fathers. But no one will believe them any more even if they make efforts to libel them, for their heresy is condemned on all hands." St. Athanasius of Alexandria