Jesus Messiah Fellowship
Light To The Nations
Guide to Early Church Documents
With Comments From Cohen G. Reckart, Pastor
Copyright All Rights Reserved
Please understand that I do not endorse all the information available via these links, and am in no way attempting to validify any Nico-Latin doctrine, history, creed, or teaching.
- 1. New Testament Canonical Information
- 2. Writings of the Apostolic Fathers
- 3. Patristic Texts
- 4. Creeds and Canons
- 5. Later Documents
- 6. Related Documents
- 7. Miscellaneous Texts
- 8. Relevant Internet Sites
1. Canonical Information
2. Post-Apostolic Writings
- 1st Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians [ca 96]: Several things in this writing show influence from doctrinal debates at Nicaea (325AD) and appears to be either a forgery using the name of Clement or is a corruption of an original letter by Clement. The main thrust of the letter is to urge Christians at Corinth not to rebell against the authority of Rome which in the days of Clement was not yet the center of the Nico-Latin doctrines and supremacy over churches later united in that fellowship. There is a tradition that Clement was one of the first Nico-Latin bishops of Rome.
- 2nd Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians [ca 150]: Here is another apparent forgery using the name of Clement to obtain acceptance. This writing attempts to support faith in the resurrection of Jesus and personal holiness unto God. The object of the writing was to encourage personal strength to battle against the customs, trends, and life-styles of the unsaved world; pointing out that everyone should work out their salvation through the power of Christ within.
- The Epistle of Barnabas [ca 130]: This writing cannot be verified to be from Barnabas. It appears to be written against the Judaizers, the Concision, who are among the Gentiles teaching observance of the Law. Barnabas or the scribe using his name argues that those in the New Covenant are saved through Jesus Messiah and are no longer bound to observances of the Law. The writer addresses living a holy life against unrighteousness. It does not contain the germ of the Nico-Latin struggle for recognition of Rome or its Bishop as the head of the Church. If there is any book I personally would place next (but not equal) to that of the Apostles, it would be this book.
- Didache This is a spurious writing written by some unknown person whose purpose was to infuse Christian doctrine with the theory of the trinity that was not formalized until the councils of 325 and 384AD. The purpose of the writing was to give the trinity doctrine apostolic standing among the Apostles who scholars all admit never heard or envisioned the trinity (See my study on the trinity and the quotes). No one ever heard of or makes mention of this alleged writing in the Post-Apostolic period and it was not used at the Councils of Nicea or Constananople as an Apostolic exhibit for the authority of the trinity doctrine. It was not referred to by any Post Nicene writer or reformer within Catholicism itself. It came to light under mysterious circumstances by the hands of Eleventh century Philotheus Bryennios. The Eastern Greek Churches knew nothing of it. The contents indicates it is gnostic by the manner in which "communityism" is stressed along with religious rituals that were not in existence during the time of the Apostles or the Post Apostolic period. We are sure the writer uses information at his disposal that may date to Apostolic times, but in saying this I am pointing out only that he is using background information to make his writing appear to have ancient standing. Since it deals slightly with an apocalyptic message, the writing may have its origin among the amillennialist who looked for the end of the world after the first 1,000 years. I place the writing between 900-1000AD. By no means should it be accepted as an authoritative apostolic writing.
- The Shepherd of Hermas [ca. 150]: This writing contains so much gnosticism and mysticism that anyone who takes any of it seriously as an inspired writing has a problem already with a foundation of truth. It also is written by some unknown man who claims to be Hermas. Now the name Hermas comes from the god Hermes whose religion was likewise gnostic and mystic. We are not sure of the connection if any. Some believe he was the brother of Pius, one of the Nico-Latin Bishops of Rome. The book supposes to add to the Book of Revelation by replacing it since the Peteriest has discounted all the Revelation as being fulfilled by 70AD. A new apocalyptic revelation was needed to give those in the Rome unity of Churches an alleged "revealed" discipline of purity in Catholic matters. Again, a lot of the content is colored and flavored by many centuries of decisions by Councils. The writing hopes to lend support and power to the decrees of the Councils via the alleged revelations of Hermas. This book has absolutely no Apostolic standing at all.
- The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians [ca 130?]: This is a forgery using Polycarp's name as a means to be accepted. It seems the use of famous names to get a person's doctrines and theories accepted was a common practice after the Apostles had all died. Polycarp was a quartadecimonian (observed the Lord's Passover on the same 14th Day at even like the Jews) and was according to tradition the Pastor/Bishop of the Church in Smyrna. Whoever stole his name to write exhorted the Philippians to live holy living, have good Christian works, and to be steadfast in their faith. Take the meat and spit out the bones!
- The Martyrdom of Polycarp: This is a record someone made of how Polycarp was murdered by antichrist. There is evidence that behind this public murder there was Jewish influence upon public officials. This writing does not contain the germ of trinitarian theology and so must have come down through the hands of those Eastern churches that refused to be converted to the Roman practice of celebrating Easter rather than the Lord's Passover on its correct annual day of remembrance. Polycarp was burned at the stake, and this "burning at the stake" became afterward a methodology of Nico-Latin Rome against her perceived enemies, and those who would not adhere to Catholic traditions, dogmas, and decrees in matters of faith and practice.
- The Writings of Ignatius: These writings are beneficial for those studying the spread of the germ of the trinitarian novation within Roman Catholic history. Ignatius was the supposed Pastor/Bishop of Antioch in Syria in the first or second century. History says he was martyred in Rome by antichrist in the sports arena by wild beasts sometime around 105-116AD. Like the Apostle Paul, while he is on his way to Rome, he visits and then writes to various churches, warning and exhorting them. He also writes ahead to Rome, and writes to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. His writings contain warnings to the churches against heresies that threatened peace and unity (not the Nico-Latin unity). He opposed Gnosticism, the infiltration of Greek/Jewish/Babylonian mystic interpretation of the Bible. His writings contain also the issue of the nature of Jesus that he was God and Man fused, unlike the Gnostics who believed that he was just a phantom (a materialized spirit) who appeared out of no where and disappeared the same way.
3. Texts Called Patristic
- The Epistle of Mathetes (Believer/Disciple) to Diognetus: This is an Apologetic treatise? It is thought to have been written about 200AD. When a writing DOES NOT contain the germ of the trinitarian debate, it may have ancient acceptance. If it contains the trinitarian germ the writing certainly then must be post Nicene. This writing opposes idolatry and seems to be the main thrust of its purpose, opposing also worldly influence. History says the Gnostics (Nico-Latins) were the first to use images and icons (idols) of Jesus, his mother, and the Apostles. There are absolutely no images, icons, or other idols, of such nature, any where in the New Testament writings.
- Origen (ca AD 185-254): For a full treatment of his alleged writings a person must consult the ten volumes of the Ante Nicene Fathers (a collection of spurious, false, and interpolated writings, in the hands and custody of Rome for several centuries). Origen was a scroll man it appears. He studied the different texts and writings, which around 150-300AD, many false gospels and false writings of the Apostles were being circulated. How much of the writings are his we cannot say. They have been worked over by someone, injecting into them arguments that deal with immediate and post-Nicene issues.
- The Writings of Tertullian: This Plato Greek philosopher was converted to the Nico-Latins in his early adulthood. His employment as a lawyer gave him a forum to speak as an authority on Church doctrine. He quit the Nico-Latins and was converted by Montanus and his two prophetesses Maxmilla and Priscilla into Montanist heresies. Angered that Praxeas went to Rome and was successful in having Montanus and his girls indexed (considered apostates), Tertullian launched his Montanist trinitarian attack upon Praxeas who was a solid Monarchian. Adhering to the Montanist doctrine of celibacy, Tertullian divorced his wife and lived out his days believing the gnosticism of Montanus and his women preaching girls. The Montanist might be likened to some modern holiness Churches, and for that reason some ignore his trinitarian doctrines which Tertullian embraced, based upon Tertullian's stand on piety and self denial. It is now thought by many that Montanus was a former female priestess of Cybele who took on a male image, name, and identity. Tertullian's writings should all be considered Montanist theology. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.
- The Writings of Cyprian: Cyprian lived about 190-260AD we are told. He was the most destructive man in his day against baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). He was an African Pastor and Bishop and a solid Nico-Latin. He was contemporary with Tertullian, both living in Carthage, a hugh pagan city. He opposed those who were baptized in the name of Jesus and persecuted them demanded they be excommunicated and rebaptized using the formula and mode of the Nico-Latin Churches (Matt 28:19). He persecuted the Monarchians and may have been instrumental in the public murder of six (two women and four men) Apostolic Christians around 212AD. After many years of persecution himself from the pagans of Carthage, it is reported that he was also captured and executed by the Romans. Keep in mind that those who opposed the Acts 2:38 baptism by the first alleged pope, still maintained some of the ancient practices of holiness and faith of the first Apostolic Messiahians (Christians).
Athanasius: On the Incarnation. Athanasius [270-336] was also a Plato philosopher. The infusion of these Plato philosophers into the Nico-Latin family resulted in the doctrines of Rome, especially that of the trinity, being called "neo-Platoism." Catholicism then has for the foundation of its doctrines and mysterious teaching on the trinity of Gods, the philosophies of Plato and not the doctrine of the Apostles. He became the Bishop of Alexandria after the death of Alexander. It was Athanasius who brought the Plato doctrine of the plurality of "unity" doctrine to the Council of Nicaea in 325AD, where it was written into the Nicene Creed as the faith of the Catholic Church. Athanasius hated and worked feverishly to destroy Arius who believed in the trinity but that the second person of the trinity was created by the first person of the trinity. Thus, Arius taught that there was a time when the Son did not exist and the Father dwelt alone. Athanasius countered that the trinity of Gods had to come into existence all at the same time and coined the Catholic-Plato philosophy of a Co-Existent, Co-Eternal, and Co-Equal "unbegotten" triune God. By triune it is meant "three" and thus the word "trinity" means "three Gods." Arius ask the question how there could be an unbegotten Son and yet a begotten Son, what was begotten? Athanasius fled among the Nico-Latin gnostic monks where he remained until Arius was conquered. Arius died by means of poison, bleeding to death in a public privy. Athanasius wrote several theological treatises and was the chief defender of the Nicene Creed.
- The Writings of Augustine: Augustine [354-430] was before his conversion a Montanist and held a high position as a debater within that religion. His hero was Tertullian. He took several Montanist doctrines and brought them over into the Catholic Church with ease being careful how he achieved his mission. He was the Pastor/Bishop of the church in Hippo, North Africa. From his theologies and theories he fashioned a new Nico-Latin Church and is considered the father of western (Roman) theology as opposed to the eastern Greek Nico-Latins now identified as the Greek Orthodox. Unlike many earlier writers, Augustine was himself a former Greek philosopher and was well educated in the Greek Language. Thus, he could appeal to the Greek scriptures in the early copies of the original texts of the New Testament. Most of the other western churches had only the Latin Vulgate and Latin translations of Greek texts made by Jerome. This advantage was used by Augustine to spread his amillennial preterist doctrine that Jesus would return after a thousand years and all the book of Revelation was fulfilled by 70AD. His writings must be considered to be Montanist with his own slant or twist upon them. His Catholic Church must be considered to be a Montanist revision and nothing more.
- City of God
- Confessions (translated by A.C. Outler)
- Confessions (translated by E.B.Pusey)
- Enchiridion (translated by A.C. Outler)
- Dialectica (trans. J.Marchand)
- Augustine on the Internet (James O'Donnell)
- Papers by James J. O'Donnell on Augustine
- Papers by participants in O'Donnell's Augustine Seminar, UPenn
- Augustine (IPB-e's Augustine archive includes Confessions, The Enchiridion, and On Christian Doctrine)
4. Creeds And Canons
- Nico-Latin Creeds said to be taken from the Bible (Statements of doctrine that are then demanded to be statements of Faith)
- Creeds of the Nico-Latin Churches, from Reasoning with the Scripture Ministries
- The Apostles Creed: The Apostles Creed was NOT written by the Apostles at all. It is a fabrication of Rome and her priest and Bishops.
- Nico-Latin Catholic Notes on the Apostles Creed
- The Nico-Latin Nicene Creed: As approved by the Nicaean council (325 AD)
- The second Nico-Latin Nicene Creed: the Creed of Constantinople (381 AD)
- Nico-Latin Notes on the Nicene Creed
- Nico-Latin Notes on the Filioque Clause Controversy
- Nico-Latin claims to be the Church in the Nicene Creed
- The Liturgy created by Nico-Latin St John Chrysostom
- The Definition of Chalcedon (451 AD)
- The Nico-Latin Athanasian Creed (c 500 AD): This creed was manufactured and given the name "Athanasian" for the purpose of deceiving mass thousands that it was orthodox and came from original early Christians.
- Nico-Latin Canons of the Council of Orange (529 AD)
- Anathemas of the 2nd Council of Constantinople (533 AD)
- Nico-Latin Creeds and Statements from the period after 600 AD
- Statement from the 3rd Council of Constantinople (681 AD)
- Statement from the Synod of Constantinople (753 AD)
- Confession from the Council of Nicea (787 AD)
5. Later Text
- The Summa Theologica [1265/1266-1273] (translated by Fathers of the English Dominican): Aquinas' classical exposition of the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. Aquinas is known for his development of a systematic theology based on reason as a form of "Christian" philosophy and faith.
- (Gregory of Nyssa) [ca 330-395] One of the Cappadocian Fathers. Deposed by Arian bishops in 376 because he supported the Nicene Creed, but he regained his position win 378. He practiced "Christian" gnostic mysticism and spiritualizing of scripture.
6. Related Documents
- Chronology Files at Paul Harvey's Web Site
- Chronology 1 to 199 AD
- Chronology 200 to 640 AD
- Search UPenn's collection of Early Church Writings
- Alleged Lost Books of Early Christianity (R. Kraft): The most of these books are jokes fabricated by monks and men whose past-time was conjuring up alleged stories and histories they then claimed to be true. Read them for fun but not for salvation, guidance, or to create or support a doctrine.
7. Miscellaneous Documents
- Herodotus' (The History of Herodotus) [ca 440 BC]
- Thucydides' History Of The Peloponnesian War [ca 431 BC]
- Biblical Resource Page: Philo of Alexandria [ca. 20-15 BC to 45-50 AD] Philo was a Jewish Gnostic Mystic.
- Plato's Republic [ca 360 - 380 BC]
- Plato's Apology [ca 399 BC]
- Plutarch's Writings [ca 75 AD]
- Plotinus' Writings (The Six Enneads) [ca 250 AD]
- Guide to Latin Texts on the Internet
8. Relevant Internet Sites
- The Ecole Initiative Building a Hypertext Encyclopedia of Early Church History.
- Nico-Latin Church Fathers page, Wesley Center for Applied Theology, Northwest Nazarene College.
- CHURCHRODENT: R.A. Tatum's Glossary of Church History
- The Early Church Fathers collection at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Wheaton College.
- The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, a comprehensive project that includes Readings in Medieval History, Full Texts for Readings, etc.
- The Christian History Institute provides an ample archive of Church History documents for all periods of history in its Glimpses archive. Particularly germaine are two sections on Early Church History that include: Foundations of Our Faith, Whatever Happened to the Twelve Apostles?, The Spread of the Early Church, Accusation, The Canon, and biographical information on Polycarp, Constantine, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Blandina, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Jerome.
Please report any broken links, thank you.
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