Church History Paper I

Words: 1547
Pages: 7

The Foundation of Orthodoxy and the Cannon

A Paper
Presented to Dr. Keith Goad of
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA

In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for
Church History
CHHI 301

Brittany N. Askew
February 6, 2012

Brittany Askew
06 February 2012
Paper 1
The process by which Scripture has been preserved and compiled is one whose history is worth noting. The early church had many opportunities to share the Good News of Christ via word of mouth, but from the time of Christ’s resurrection until the mid-second century, there had not been a single culmination of writings considered to be essential for the purposes of
…show more content…
Their name is derived from a Greek word meaning “knowledge”, and believed that the followers of Gnosticism possessed a special and mystical knowledge that would ultimately be the key to salvation.5 Gnostics would often use Christianity as a stepping stone to further their platform that the earth is full of materialism, is intrinsically evil, and is an obstacle to the salvation of the spirit. While this may seem relatively similar to Christian thought, their view of Christ and His purpose is disheartening. To the Gnostics, Christ was not a saving force, but rather a means to “give us the secret knowledge without which we cannot return to the spiritual mansions.” Gnostics would often argue over whether or not Christ’s body was an earthly one, questioning His humanity. They also chose to reject the idea of a divine creation. For all of these tenets, the Gnostics had to develop a source of literature. They would seemingly use gospels that would fit their theology, or gospels that they could alter. Moreover, they composed their own documents giving way to the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Truth. These books gained some attention from Christian audiences causing a need for a much larger addressing from the Church. The Gnostics, like Marcion, would prove to be one of the most noteworthy threats to Christian orthodoxy and canonical literature at