The Roots of the Christian Religion

This is a class on the history of the church from 65-315AD.  Our goal is to investigate the roots and formation of the Christian faith as we know it.  Some classes will be lectures while others will be discussions.  Besides posting the audio, this webpage will also be a resource for handouts and texts that we use in class.

Part 1: Backstory of the Faith

The Introduction (1/14/18)

A Summary of Church History (1/21/18) - this video and timeline were referenced in class.  Other documents mentioned will be posted on later weeks.

The Persecutions (1/28/18) - see document of persecutions. 

The Controversies (2/4/18) - see document of controversies.

Arianism vs Modalism (2/18/18) - this is a second week on the controversies.  

The Timeline Discussed (2/25/18) - see document of the timeline from 65-315AD.

Part 2: Geography of the Faith

The Church in Jerusalem (3/4/18) - These links provide Bart Erhman's intro to, and fragments of, the Gospel of the Hebrews and also Erhman's intro to the Gospel of the Nazareans, which we read in class.  These intros are published in Erhman's book, Lost Scriptures.

The Church in Rome (3/11/18) - Pliny's correspondence with Trajan is the document that we read in class.  The book recommendation at the end is The Lost Letters of Pergamum.

The Church in Alexandria (3/25/18) - We spent a good while describing Athanasius' biography of St Anthony, the book we mention that contains the bio is Early Christian Lives.

Part 3: Scriptures of the Faith

Self-Attestation & Conciousness (4/8/18) - what the New Testament authors thought they were doing when they were writing.

The Manuscripts of Scripture (4/15/18) - how the New Testament letters were collected and trasmitted throughout history.

The Troublesome Books of Scripture (4/22/18) - a survey of why certain books had a hard time getting included in the New Testament canon.



First of all, much of the literature, characters, and history of the earliest church is shrouded in mystery.  The statements made in this study will often bounce between the consensus views, the tradional views, and in some cases the critical views.  Our goal is to acheive an understanding of our religion in a compelling format.  Not all comments will be properly nuanced or referenced since to do so would bury the listener in minutia.  

Secondly, this is a Sunday School class and our recordings are intended for those who missed our discussion.  Our preaching ministry is the formal stance and voice of our church while Sunday School is a family discussion that might not always be perfectly right or might be somehow less suitable for all situations.  It should be listened to with that in mind.