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Gesellschaft / Kultur

Muhammad Wolfgang G. A. Schmidt

„And on this Rock I Will Build My Church“. A new Edition of Philip Schaff’s „History of the Christian Church“

From the Beginnings to the Ante-Nicene Fathers

ISBN: 978-3-95935-386-1

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Produktart: Buch
Verlag: disserta Verlag
Erscheinungsdatum: 07.2017
AuflagenNr.: 1
Seiten: 752
Sprache: Englisch
Einband: Paperback

Inhalt

This voluminous work on Church History by Philip Schaff (1819-1893) was originally published between 1858 and 1893 in eight volumes in the USA and covers the period from the beginnings of Biblical Christianity in A.D. 1 to the History of the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland (1517-1648). Being still a popular text in North America, this work had been out of print for over a century and has now been carefully edited and reformatted for republication in three volumes, each of them containing the text of two volumes of the original edition. Schaff’s work, unlike other works in the field, covers a multitude of church history-related aspects – from church doctrine, policy, events and processes to aspects of social moral and family life, arts and more. It is a very comprehensive text, extremely well-written and readable, rich in material and sources used, and attests to the excellence of protestant German theological scholarship under the influence of emerging Historical-Critical Biblical Exegesis at his time. This first volume covers the period from the beginnings to the Ante-Nicene Fathers (A.D. 1-311).

Leseprobe

Textprobe: CHAPTER III.THE APOSTOLIC AGE: 20) Sources and Literature of the Apostolic Age.I. Sources.1. The Canonical Books of the New Testament. The twentyseven books of the New Testament are better supported than any ancient classic, both by a chain of external testimonies which reaches up almost to the close of the apostolic age, and by the internal evidence of a spiritual depth and unction which raises them far above the best productions of the second century. The church has undoubtedly been guided by the Holy Spirit in the selection and final determination of the Christian canon. But this does, of course, not supersede the necessity of criticism, nor is the evidence equally strong in the case of the seven Eusebian Antilegomena. The Tübingen and Leyden schools recognized at first only five books of the New Testament as authentic, namely, four Epistles of Paul-Romans, First and Second Corinthians, and Galatians-and the Revelation of John. But the progress of research leads more and more to positive results, and nearly all the Epistles of Paul now find advocates among liberal critics.(Hilgenfeld and Lipsius admit seven, ad-ding First Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon Renan concedes also Second Thessalonians, and Colossians to be Pauline, thus swelling the number of genuine Epistles to nine.) The chief facts and doctrines of apostolic Christianity are sufficiently guaranteed even by those five documents, which are admitted by the extreme left of modern criticism. The Acts of the Apostles give us the external, the Epistles the internal history of primitive Christianity. They are inde-pendent contemporaneous compositions and never refer to each other probably Luke never read the Epistles of Paul, and Paul never read the Acts of Luke, although he no doubt supplied much valuable information to Luke. But indirectly they illustrate and confirm each other by a number of coincidences which have great evidential value, all the more as these coincidences are undesigned and incidental. Had they been composed by post-apostolic writers, the agreement would have been more complete, minor disagreements would have been avoided, and the lacunae in the Acts supplied, especially in regard to the closing labors and death of Peter and Paul. The Acts bear on the face all the marks of an original, fresh, and trustworthy narrative of contemporaneous events de-rived from the best sources of information, and in great part from personal observation and experience. The authors-hip of Luke, the companion of Paul, is conceded by a majority of the best modern scholars, even by Ewald. And this fact alone establishes the credibility. Renan (in his St. Paul, ch.1) admirably calls the Acts a book of joy, of serene ardor. Since the Homeric poems no book has been seen full of such fresh sensations. A breeze of morning, an odor of the sea, if I dare express it so, inspiring something joyful and strong, penetrates the whole book, and makes it an excellent compagnon de voyage, the exquisite breviary for him who is searching for ancient remains on the seas of the south. This is the second idyl of Christianity. The Lakeof Tiberias and its fishing barks had furnished the first. Now, a more powerful breeze, aspirations toward more distant lands, draw us out into the open sea . 2. The Post-Apostolic and Patristic writings are full of reminiscences of, and references to, the apostolic books, and as dependent on them as the river is upon its fountain. 3. The Apocryphal and Heretical literature. The numerous Apocryphal Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypses were prompted by the same motives of curiosity and dogmatic interest as the Apocryphal Gospels, and have a similar apologetic, though very little historical, value. The heretical character is, however, more strongly marked. They have not yet been sufficiently investigated. Lipsius (in Smith and Wace's, Dict. of Christ. Biog. vol. I. p. 27) divides the Apocryphal Acts into four classes:(1)Ebionitic (2) Gnostic (3) originally Catholic (4) Catholic adaptations or recensions of heretical documents. The last class is the most numerous, rarely older than the fifth century, but mostly resting on documents from the second and third centuries. (a) Apocryphal Acts: Acta Petri et Pauli (of Ebionite origin, but recast), Acta Pauli et Theclae (mentioned by Tertullian at the end of the second century, of Gnostic origin), Acta Thomae (Gnostic), Acta Matthaei, Acta Thaddei, Martyrium Bartholomaei, Acta Barnabae, Acta Andreae, Acta Andreae et Mathiae, Acta Philippi, Acta Johannis, Acta Simonis et Judae, Acta Thaddaei, The Doctrine of Ad-dai, the Apostle (ed. in Syriac and English by Dr. G. Phillips, London, 1876). b) Apocryphal Epistles: the correspondence between Paul and Seneca (six by Paul and eight by Seneca, mentioned by Jerome and Augustine), the third Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Epistolae Mariae, Epistolae Petri ad Jacobum. (c) Apocryphal Apocalypses: Apocalypsis Johannis, Apocalypsis Petri, Apocalypsis Pauli (or, based on the report of his rapture into Paradise, 2 Cor.12:2-4 ), Apocalypsis Thomae, Apoc. Stephani, Apoc. Mariae, Apoc. Mosis, Apoc.Esdrae. […]. 21) General Character of the Apostolic Age: Der Schlachtruf, der St. Pauli Brust entsprungen. Rief nicht sein Echo auf zu tausend Streiten?. Und welch' ein Friedensecho hat geklungen. Durch tausend Herzen von Johannis Saiten!. Wie viele rasche Feuer sind entglommen. Als Wiederschein von Petri Funkensprühen!. Und sieht man Andre still mit Opfern kommen,. Ist's, weil sie in Jakobi Schul' gediehen: Ein Satz ist's, der in Variationen. Vom ersten Anfang forttönt durch Aeonen . (Tholuck). Extent and Environment of the Apostolic Age: The apostolic period extends from the Day of Pentecost to the death of St. John, and covers about seventy years, from a.d. 30 to 100. The field of action is Palestine, and gradually extends over Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy. The most prominent centres are Jerusalem, Antioch, and Rome, which represent respectively the mother churches of Jewish, Gentile, and United Catholic Christianity. Next to them are Ephesus and Corinth. Ephesus acquired a special importance by the residence and labors of John, which made them-selves felt during the second century through Polycarp and Irenaeus. Samaria, Damascus, Joppa, Caesarea, Tyre, Cyprus, the provinces of Asia Minor, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica, Beraea, Athens, Crete, Patmos, Malta, Puteoli, come also into view as points where the Christian faith was planted. Through the eunuch converted by Philip, it reached Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians.{Acts 8:27 .} As early as a.d. 58 Paul could say: From Jerusalem and roundabout even unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. {Rom. 15:19 .} He afterwards carried it to Rome, where it had already been known before, and possibly as far as Spain, the western boundary of the empire.{Rom. 15:24 .Comp. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor.c.5, ss. This passage, however, does not necessarily mean Spain, and Paul's journey to Spain stands or falls with the hypothesis of his second Roman captivity.}The nationalities reached by the gospel in the first century were the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans, and the languages used were the Hebrew or Aramaic, and especially the Greek, which was at that time the organ of civilization and of international intercourse within the Roman empire. The contemporary secular history includes the reigns of the Roman Emperors from Tiberius to Nero and Domitian, who either ignored or persecuted Christianity. We are brought directly into contact with King Herod Agrippa I. (grandson of Herod the Great), the murderer of the apostle, James the Elder with his son King Agrippa II.(the last of the Herodian house), who with his sister Bernice (a most corrupt woman) listened to Paul's defense with two Roman governors, Felix and Festus with Pharisees and Sadducees with Stoics and Epicureans with the temple and theatre at Ephesus, with the court of the Areopagus at Athens, and with Caesar's palace in Rome.

Über den Autor

Dr Muhammad Schmidt, of German descent and born in 1950, is a retired bishop consecrated in the Anglican rite. During his active life, he has served Anglican churches in different developing nations after completing his career as university professor for Linguistics in Far East Asia and other nations. Schmidt, although retired now, is still active in publishing books and occasionally delivering lectures upon invitation.

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