The Early Church • Main Idea: • Early Christians set up a church organization and explained their beliefs.
The Early Church • Lecture Focus: • How can good organization make the difference between whether a plan or a project fails or succeeds.
The Early Church • In its early years, Christianity was loosely organized. • Leaders like Paul traveled from one Christianity community to another, trying to unify scattered groups.
The Early Church • In their teaching, they emphasized that all the individual groups of Christians were part of one body called the Church. • Early Christians face a challenge however, how were they to unite?
Organizing the Church • The early Christians turned a surprising model to organize the Church…The Roman Empire itself. Like the Roman Empire, the Church came to be ruled by a hierarchy.
Organizing the Church • Hierarchy – an organization with different levels of authority.
Organizing the Church • The Clergy were the leaders of the Church. • They had different roles from the Laity, which were regular Church members.
Organizing the Church • As the Churches organization grew, women were not permitted to serve in the clergy. However, as members of the Laity, women continued to care for the sick and needy.
Organizing the Church • By around 300 C.E., local churches were led by clergy members called Priest.
Organizing the Church • Several churches working together formed a Diocese, led by aBishop. Bishop’s in charge of a city diocese was sometimes also put in charge of an entire region…this made him an Archbishop.
Organizing the Church • The five leading archbishops became known as Patriarchs. They led churches in large cities and were in charge of large areas of territory.
Organizing the Church • The bishops explained Christian beliefs, took care of church business and from time to time met to discus questions about the Christian faith. Decisions they reached at these meetings came to be accepted as a doctrine, or official church teaching.
Organizing the Church • Questions: • 1. What is a hierarchy in both the Roman Empire and the Church? • An organization with different levels of authority • 2. What were the Clergy? • Leaders of the church • 3. Please explain the difference between a Priest and a Bishop? • A priest were in charge of a church and a Bishop was in charge of several churches called a diocese • 4. What does the term doctrine mean? • Official church teaching • 5. What is the term for the five leading archbishops? • Patriarchs
What is the New Testament? • Along with explaining Christian ideas, church leaders preserved a written record of the life of Jesus and put together a group of writings to help guide Christians. • Jesus himself left no writings to his followers.
What is the New Testament? • His followers, however passed on what they knew about him. • By 300 C.E. four accounts of Jesus’ life, teachings and resurrection had become well known…these accounts were written by Jesus’s early followers named Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.
What is the New Testament? • Each work was called a Gospel, which means • “Good News”. • Christians later combined the four gospels with writings of Paul and other early Christians…together these works form the New Testament of the Christian Bible.
What is the New Testament? • Other writings also influenced early Christians. • Christen thinkers known as the Church Fatherswrote books to explain church teachings.
What is the New Testament? • One leading Church Father was a Bishop in North Africa named Augustine. • In his writings, Augustine defended Christians against its opponents.
What is the New Testament? • Augustine wrote he book “City of God”, one of the first history books written from a Christian viewpoint. • He also wrote a work called “Confessions”, a book about the account of his personal journey to the Christian faith.
What is the New Testament? • Questions: • What is a gospel? • Accounts of Jesus life that were written down • What were the names of the four men who wrote the Four Gospels? • Matthew, Mark, John and Luke • Together what did these Gospels form? • The New Testament of the Christian Bible • What two books did Augustine write? • “City of God” and “Confessions”
Who is the Pope? • As the Church grew, the Bishop of Rome, who was the most importantPatriarch of the west, began to claim power over the other bishops. He believed that he had the authority of Peter, Jesus’ leading disciple…and his diocese was in Rome, the Capital of the Empire.
Who is the Pope? • By 600 C.E., the Bishop of Rome had gained a special title…Pope. • The title comes from the Latin word meaning “Father”.
Who is the Pope? • Latin speaking Christians accepted the Pope as head of the Church. • Their Churches became known as the Roman Catholic Church.
Who is the Pope? • Greek speaking Christians would not accept the Pope’s authority over them. This lead to a major religious difference between the Greeks and the Roman Catholics.
Who is the Pope? • Questions: • What was the special title the Bishop of Rome got? • “Pope” • What does the term Pope mean? • “Father”