Site of St. Trillo's Celtic Monk's Cell, Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales.
St. Trillo was a 6th century CE celtic monk who established a hermit's cell on this site. His original cell is long gone, likely constructed from wattle, daub and a wall of stones. The site was probably chosen as it is the source of a natural spring (under the altar in the current six person chapel). The current chapel is of an unknown age and has been repaired many times over centuries. It is likely that St. Trillo kept livestock in the marshes that once occupied the land which is now currently the town centre. Rhos-on-Sea gets its name from this site. The current chapel is thought to be the smallest in the UK.
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Hey I just wanted to let you know the person you reblogged that cat video from has said in the past they believed Adam and Eve were right to eat the apple - it's pretty clear that they're a Gn*stic or at least heavily involved with studying Gn*sticism...😵😵
It would be great if you could not reblog anything from them again. Thanks, stay safe ! 😙
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Origen says that when God became flesh in the person of Christ human nature was able to "find God." But then he adds, "We affirm that human nature is not sufficient in any way to seek God and find him with purity unless it is helped by the one who is the object of the search." When Saint Paul testified that the Greeks "knew God," he also said, "They did not achieve this without God's help." For "God manifested it to them" (Rom 1:19). Unlike other forms of knowledge, the knowledge of God begins with God's movement toward human beings, what in the language of Christian theology is called grace.
The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God
Professor Robert Louis Wilken
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Labyrinth of the White Lotus or White Stone of Chartres Cathedral. An older Sufi/Egyptian manuscript can be found with this precise, exact pattern, predating the building of Chartres. The Knights Templar, builders of the great Gothic Cathedrals, learned these masonry techniques and sacred geometry from the Gnostic temple builders in the far East. The symbolism holds the same significance as the Ancient Egyptian and Buddhist imagery of the individual rising out of the lotus flower. This is why the Bible mentions the white stone in Revelation 2:17, what Jesus calls the cornerstone, upon which all temples are built, for the ‘Kingdom of God’ is within. - REGIII,32,RAM, ‘Modern Alchemist’
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Why Christianity had flopped among Jews, but became such a fantastic sucess among Gentiles?
I mean it did pretty well among the Jews, all of the earliest Christian leaders were jewish. Paul, the Apostles, and Jesus himself were all Jewish. The earliest version of Christianity is very much a sect of Judaism, when it emerged Judaism was in the middle of a religious conflict and there were already like three different sects of Judaism and Christianity was just another sect in the complicated religious conflict. THe basic argument of the Christians was that as Judaism ceased to be a local faith/culture group, the old rules of Rabbidic law don't apply. One of the points that Jesus made was that having all Jews regularly go to the Temple in Judeah wasn't reasonable when so many Jews no longer lived anywhere near Judah due to how they moved around the Roman Empire. So during Jesus life and in the first few years after his death, the Christians were just one group of Jews arguing with other Jews.
This all changed when Saint Paul entered the picture, and basically took over the religion. Paul introduced this new element which was the concept of conversation. See Judaism at the time wasn't really open to conversion, you could but it was a very difficult complicated process, while Christianity was super easy for gentiles to convert too. This very quickly made it so that most Christians were non Jews, and is the main reason why Christianity spread so quickly to become the largest religion in the world. Within a generation, most Christians had never been Jewish and you get the idea
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A Roman martyr. The Girl's Own Paper. v.17. 1896.
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A Vegetarian Saying of Jesus: There's a very old Syriac-Aramaic manuscript of the Gospel of Luke that even predates the Syriac Peshitta called Evangelion da-Mepharreshe. It contains some "textual variants", differs from the Greek gospel manuscripts, and the now standardized, conformist approach used by most New Testament translators. There are two surviving editions of Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, the Curetonian Version of the Four Gospels as well as the Sinai Palimpsest, also known as The Old Syriac Gospels. Evangelion da-Mepharreshe represents a translation and “one of the earliest witnesses”* of an even older collection of gospel manuscripts that no longer exist but once were “in circulation between the second and the fifth centuries”*.
"Now beware in yourselves that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come up upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all them that sit on the surface of the earth." -- Luke 21:34: https://archive.org/details/cu31924092359680/page/n417/mode/2up?view=theater
*Note: Page xviii, “Peshitta New Testament, The Antioch Bible English Translation”, Gorgias Press, discussion from the Preface about the history of the early Syriac-Aramaic manuscripts of the gospels.
Also see: A Vegetarian Saying of Jesus (article by James Bean @ Medium: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/a-vegetarian-saying-of-jesus-b9a5af9d23bd )
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WHY DID GOD SEND JESUS TO EARTH?
WHY DID GOD SEND JESUS TO EARTH?
CLEAR BIBLE VERSES ONLY
WHAT WAS JESUS SENT TO DO ?
What is missing in the popular gospel? Jesus came with a message. He came to save with His message as well as by his sacrificial death for the sins of all mankind.
It has been said by some that “Jesus came to do three days work…..to die, be buried and rise from death.” That is a stunningly misleading statement. The public in general has been…
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St Patrick's Anglo-Saxon 7th Century CE Chapel and Stone Graves, Heysham, Lancashire.
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How did Christianity survive Jesus' death ?
(I know this question makes zero sense from a theological standpoint but hear me out, I swear it's interesting)
In the times of Jesus, there were many Jewish prophets wandering the land. They managed to accumulate a following by performing miracles and preaching. These movements were based on the charisma of the leader, and so, when the leader died, the movement usually dissolved on its own.
A few years after starting his predication, Jesus was arrested in Jerusalem and crucified: it was the humiliating death of a criminal accused of rebellion. This would have been interpreted by many as a definite proof that Jesus was not, in fact, sent by God.
At this point, belief in Christ would have been very likely to disappear. But it didn't. In the contrary, faith in Jesus grew (to about 7500 followers at the end of the 1st century).
So, why didn't belief in Jesus disappear after Jesus' death ?
- Jesus had recruted a group of close disciples, heavily motivated to spread his message, who were extremely intelligent and competent. Even after his death, they kept on preaching and recruted more believers.
- His death didn't necessarily render his message obsolete. Many Jewish prophets preached the victory of a certain rebellion for example. When the rebellion was crushed by the Roman army, their message was evidently obsolete. Jesus didn't preach political rebellion, but forgiveness and the imminent end of times. After his death, his followers could argue that his death was necessary (as prophesied in Jewish scriptures) and that his message of forgiveness remained valid until the end of times.
- A progressive opening firstly towards Hellenic Jews (Jews of the Diaspora, who didn't live in Israel but in other countries around the Mediterranean world, and spoke Greek as their primary language)
- An even more radical opening towards Gentiles - non-Jews - who were thought by some (but not all) to be included in Jesus' message
- The very tense alliance of two very distinct groups inside early Christianity: people who believed that only those following the Law of Moses could benefit from the forgiveness that Jesus promised, and those who believed that his message was also directed towards the Gentiles, who should not be asked to follow the Law upon conversion
This alliance was to be fundamental to Christianity's success: thanks to this alliance, early Christianity didn't cut ties with Judaism (and therefore benefitted from the legitimating influence of Jewish scriptures) while making itself incredibly more attractive to Gentiles (who didn't have to follow the Law - and therefore didn't have to completely abandon their previous social relationships due to Judaism's heavy standards on purity).
- They managed to surmount the disappointment of the end of times not arriving. Complex phenomenon, but basically, the imminence of the Kingdom of God - a very important theme in the teaching of Jesus and the early Apostles - was progressively "spiritualised", turned into metaphor of earthly spiritual life. The Kingdom of God wasn't coming, so each and everyone had to enter the Kingdom of God on Earth, by converting and participating in the Church.
- The progressive marginalisation of heterodox groups challenging the authority of the proto-orthodoxy. Marcionites, Gnostics, and Montanists eventually saw their influence decline and eventually disappeared, not really because they lost on the theological side, but because their theological positions often inevitably lead them to marginalisation. For example, some Gnostics refused to have children, so no more of the divine being would be trapped in physical matter. Marcionites actively condemned Jewish scriptures, the Law of Moses and many texts which were very respected at the time, including many of the texts which would later be part of the official canon.
- The progressive rise of mono-bishops. Churches originally controlled by assemblies of important men of the community tended more and more to be controlled by only one bishop. This man had the authority to impose orthodoxy and turn belief in Jesus away from charismatic preaching into institutions that were made to last.
- The constitution of a canon of recognized texts, which became the New Testament. This wasn't a simple process. Many different texts, and therefore many different "memories" of Jesus were excluded by this canon. Therefore, the image given of Jesus in the New Testament is far from being simple and univocal: for example, Matthew's Jesus strongly advocates for strict adherence to the Law, while Paul's Jesus considered that strict adherence to the Law was useless, and that it never granted anybody salvation. Still, early Church theologians, most notably Irénée de Lyon, worked to reconcile these texts, and managed to create a somewhat coherent picture of Jesus and his message - therefore setting down the basis for Christianity.
Source: Enrico Norelli, La nascità del cristianesimo, Bologna, 2014
The earliest depiction of the Crucifixion, a 2nd century graffiti meant as an insult towards Christians.The Greek text reads "Alexamenos worships God".
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For the Greeks, God was the conclusion of an argument, the end of a search for an ultimate explanation, an inference from the structure of the universe to a first cause. For Christian thinkers, God was the starting point, and Christ the icon that displays the face of God. "Reason became man and was called Jesus Christ," wrote [Justin Martyr]. Now one reasoned from Christ to other things, not from other things to Christ. In him was to be found the reason, the logos, the logic, if you will, that inheres in all things.
The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God
Professor Robert Louis Wilken
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Gallarus oratory. Ballydavid, Co' Kerry, Ireland. May have been built in the 6th century, using a Drystone corballing technique.
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Christianity has never been one unified religion. Even from the beginning, there were disagreements about who Jesus was, his relationship with God, and who God even is. What were some of these different views?
There were Adoptionists, who believed that Jesus was not divine, but simply a man who had been adopted at baptism to be God’s son. They were very strict on following The Jewish Law, excluding animal sacrifice. That is because they believed that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice.
There were also Marcionites, who believed that there were two Gods - the harsh legalistic God of the Jews, and the mericiful, loving God of Jesus. They believed in abanodoning The Jewish Law completely because Jesus was completely divine and came to save humanity from the wrathful God in the The Jewish Law.
There were also Gnostics who were not necessarily Christians; however, they still believed in Jesus. They believed that Jesus was a god, not a human, only temporarily. They believed The Divine entered Jesus and left him during his cruxifiction because It acquired the knowledge of who humans were and how to escape our evil world.
Lastly, there were Proto-Orthodox Christians, who were often in opposition to Adoptionists, Marcionites, and Gnostics. Their main focus was on creating a doctrine of what was “true” and creating a Canon of scripture.
This all seems confusing. Even from the start, Christians couldn’t agree on this religion and what their fundamental beliefs were. I’ve wrestled with this a lot, and I’ve come to a point where this knowledge gives me peace. Everyone has different interpretations of who Jesus is. Personally, I believe that he reveals himself to everyone in unique ways. No matter what people’s view of Jesus was, the fact still remains that Jesus came as a sacrifice to die for us. God doesn’t care whether we have the theology down perfectly. He understands that as humans, we will never understand. Yet He still loves us enough to offer the perfect sacrifice so that we can wrestle with these questions, in relationship with Him!
I hope this encourages you, and I hope you learned something new :)
Ehrman, Bart D. “Chapter 1: What Is the New Testament .” The New Testament, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 1–19.
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“Here [in the Gospel of Mary] “Son of Man” does not refer to an apocalyptic Savior coming at some future time to usher in the eschatological kingdom; it refers to the Image of humanity’s essential spiritual nature located within the self.”
-Karen L. King, The Gospel of Mary of Magdala
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The dates of Jesus
Our dates for Jesus' lifetime are ... approximate. Modern scholarly sources usually put his birth around 4 BCE, and his death around 30 or 33 CE.
This is weirdly disconnected from what ancient sources say.
Many ancient writers comment on Jesus' dates: the gospels of Matthew and Luke, but also Josephus, Justin Martyr, and later writers like Clement of Alexandria and pseudo-Cyprian. The dates of Jesus shifted around in the first 3 centuries CE, in a couple of interesting ways.
1. Vagueness before 200 CE, precision afterwards. All our sources before 200 relied exclusively on what the gospels say, including both non-Christian sources (Josephus, Tacitus) and Christian ones (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus).
The really striking thing is that all they actually say is that Jesus died during the reign of the emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE). That's ... pretty vague.
Reading Irenaeus, in particular, it's pretty clear that that's all the information that existed.
And then, just a few years after Irenaeus, we find Clement of Alexandria discussing the relative merits of lots of different dates that are very very precise. Like, precise to the exact day.
Clement of Alexandria as depicted in André Thevet, Les vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes, 1584
The precise dates from Clement onwards must be driven by increasing Christian interest in chronography and the calendar. We first begin to see that interest in the Quartodeciman controversy, a dispute that arose in the 150s over the correct date to celebrate Easter.
Exact dates arose around 200 CE because that's when Christians start to want exact dates. Before that, they just said 'reign of Tiberius'. Because that's what Luke 3 says.
2. The eclipse of 29 CE. To arrive at exact dates, then, they had to invoke something outside the gospels. That something ended up being a solar eclipse.
Map of the path of the eclipse of 24 November 29 CE (NASA eclipse website)
The gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke refer to the sky darkening for three hours at Jesus' death. Luke is explicit that it was a solar eclipse. Now, it can't actually have been a solar eclipse (not a natural one, anyway), because Jesus died at Passover, which is at full moon, and solar eclipses happen at new moon. Also Passover is in spring, and the eclipse happened in November. And the path of the 29 CE eclipse passed 700 km north of Jerusalem, and totality lasted 2 minutes, not 3 hours.
Still, the 29 CE eclipse was reported by a pagan chronographer, Phlegon of Tralles (early 100s CE), and some Christians evidently took this report and ran with it.
They realised pretty quickly the problems with equating it with the darkness in the gospels. Tertullian and Julius Africanus (early 200s CE) both pointed out that it can't have been a natural eclipse.
But, it seems, by that time it had already given enough of a confidence boost to start giving precise dates.
Why were they wanting a precise date at that time? Well, this is part 1 of a three part serial. More about that next time.
Longer write-up offsite here (reading time 12 minutes).
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St. Patrick's Anglo-Saxon Chapel (7th Century CE) and Stone Graves, Heysham, Lancashire.
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There's an absolutely unsufferable post on this website claiming that Jesus wasn't Jewish but a Christian and antisemitic. I'm reading a book about early Christianity right now and long story short: no.
In the oldest versions of Jesus' story, as reconstructed by historians (especially the Q source, the common source for the three synoptic Evangiles), Jesus never claims to be 1. a Messiah or 2. any form of supernatural entity.
He believed to be a prophet, tasked with announcing the imminent coming of the kingdom of God. He certainly believed he and his disciples were endowed by God with supernatural powers (healing the sick, casting out demons), and he might have believed he had some part to play in the Last Judgement (because he calls himself 'the son of Man', a character in Jewish scriptures who - in some traditions - must judge people in the Last Judgement).
Most importantly: he never seems to claim that his mission has significance outside of Israel. He saw himself as a Jewish prophet, delivering a message to the people of Israel.
He was vindicative against some Jewish people - those he believed didn't follow the correct path... Just like every prophet before him. Prophets criticize their coreligionaries. That's what they do. Please let's not confuse internal debate inside first century Judaism with antisemitism.
- Enrico Norelli, The Birth of Christianity. How it all started, Bologna 2014
- Pierpaolo Bertalotto, Il Gesù storico, Roma, 2010
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