Info

questionable whether we should speak of orthodoxy and heresy as categories before the council of Nicaea.44

The emerging catholic form of what Ignatius called Christianism embraced some theological, ecclesiological and regional diversity. In this period, 'insideroutsider' Christian boundaries and writings were being determined, but the lines of demarcation were not solid. The dates of some sources are disputed, and the objects ofthe authors' polemic are sometimes hard to establish. Thus, some credited Polycarp with authorship of the Pastoral Letters, and saw in them polemic against Marcion (cf. Iren. Haer. 3.3.4; Poly. Phil. 7.1), while the date and context for the Ignatian corpus have been variously reassessed in recent decades.45 There is ample opportunity for mismatch when categorising groups and tendencies.

How 'Jewish' was Christianity to be?

Christians appreciative of the heritage of Judaism remained influential in the churches. Stark attributed the attacks on Marcion's anti-Jewish, ditheistic and ascetic teaching to their 'strong current ties to the Jewish world'.46 From the outset, however (Acts, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians and 1 Timothy, the Revelation), Christians had disagreed about orthopraxy, involving variously circumcision, forbidden foods and sabbath, Law, angelic, apocalyptic and other speculations. Ignatius wrote of Christian 'Judaising' and 'old leaven' (Ign. Magn. 8-10; Phild. 6). Some Christians wanted at least that degree of separation from Gentiles called for in the so-called apostolic decree from Jerusalem (Acts 15:19-20; 1 Cor 8:1, 4, 10; 10:19, 28; Rev 2:14, 20), while others eschewed even those minimalist requirements. It can be hard to determine whether a writer was criticising Jews 'proper' or Christian 'Judaisers'.

There was a broad spectrum of integration and non-integration, between Christians and Christians (e.g. Ign. Phild. 6; Smyr. 5.3; 7.2), Christians and Jews, and between each and pagan society. Relations might be close, complex or fraught with tensions. Marcion's contemporary, Aquila of Sinope, converted from paganism, then was a proselyte to Judaism. His literalistic rendering of Hebrew scriptures into Greek acted as critique of the LXX version which Christians used.47

44 Williams, 'Pre-Nicene orthodoxy?' and 'Defining heresy'; McGinn, 'Internal renewal'; Frend, 'Christianity'.

45 Munier, 'La question'; Lechner, Ignatius; see the various works by Goulder, as well as those by Hubner.

46 Stark, Rise of Christianity, 64-6; also Malina, 'Social levels', 369-400.

47 K. Hyvarinen, Aquila.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Enneagram Essentials

Enneagram Essentials

Tap into your inner power today. Discover The Untold Secrets Used By Experts To Tap Into The Power Of Your Inner Personality Help You Unleash Your Full Potential. Finally You Can Fully Equip Yourself With These “Must Have” Personality Finding Tools For Creating Your Ideal Lifestyle.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment