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Old 02-12-2011, 11:04 PM
 
624 posts, read 865,349 times
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This subject intrigues me at the moment. After some brief research, I've learned that Armenia became the first Christian nation (not Rome as I previously thought). Armenia became Christian at 301.

However, I'm not clear on how this conversion happened (perhaps I should read the following links in more detail, but I'd want to make sure they are legit first)

I'm not sure how they could read or understand any of the Gospels in 301, since their alphabet was not invented until about 150 years later.

Not sure what Gospel was preached to them.

(i.e. repent of all your sins and believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, or just believe in Jesus and you'll have eternal life, etc...)

I did find this resource online which talks about the history of Armenia and supposed letters to Jesus from the king of Armenia (fascinating stuff to me, not sure if it's genuine though)

Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII

One problem is that it records the words of Christ that are not officially confirmed by the Gospels (though prob. not contradictory)

Quote:
[SIZE=3]VII.8 [/SIZE]
  • Answer to Abgar's letter, which the apostle Thomas wrote to this prince by command of the saviour.
"Blessed is he who believes in me without having seen me! For it is written of me: `Those who see me will not believe in me, and those who do not see me will believe and live.'As to what thou hast written asking me to come to thee, I must accomplish here all that for which I have been sent; and, when I shall have accomplished it all, I shall ascend to Him who sent me; and when I shall go away I will send one of my disciples, who will cure thy diseases, and give life to thee and to all those who are with thee."
If any of you have more info on the conversion of Armenia, I'd appreciate it.

Another curious letters between the king of Armenia and Roman Emperor

Quote:
Abgar's letter to Tiberius.
"Abgar, king of Armenia, to my Lord Tiberius, emperor of the Romans, greeting:-
"I know that nothing is unknown to your Majesty, but, as your friend, I would make you better acquainted with the facts by writing. The Jews who dwell in the cantons of Palestine have crucified Jesus: Jesus without sin, Jesus after so many acts of kindness, so many wonders and miracles wrought for their good, even to the raising of the dead. Be assured that these are not the effects of the power of a simple mortal, but of God. During the time that they were crucifying Him, the sun was darkened, the earth was moved, shaken; Jesus Himself, three days afterwards, rose from the dead and appeared to many. Now, everywhere, His name alone, invoked by His disciples, produces the greatest miracles: what has happened to myself is the most evident proof of it. Your august Majesty knows henceforth what ought to be done in future with respect to the Jewish nation, which has committed this crime; your Majesty knows whether a command should not be published through the whole universe to worship Christ as the true God. Safety and health."
Answer from Tiberius to Abgar's letter.
"Tiberius, emperor of the Romans, to Abgar, king of the Armenians, greeting:-
"Your kind letter has been read to me, and I wish that thanks should be given to you from me. Though we had already heard several persons relate these facts, Pilate has officially informed us of the miracles of Jesus. He has certified to us that after His resurrection from the dead He was acknowledged by many to be God. Therefore I myself also wished to do what you propose; but, as it is the custom of the Romans not to admit a god merely by the command of the sovereign, but only when the admission has been discussed and examined in full senate, I proposed the affair to the senate, and they rejected it with contempt, doubtless because it had not been considered by them first. But we have commanded all those whom Jesus suits, to receive him amongst the gods. We have threatened with death any one who shall speak evil of the Christians. As to the Jewish nation which has dared to crucify Jesus, who, as I hear, far from deserving the cross and death, was worthy of honour, worthy of the adoration of men-when I am free from the war with rebellious Spain, I will examine into the matter, and will treat the Jews as they deserve."
Is this stuff for real?
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:30 AM
 
7,856 posts, read 6,660,208 times
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The martyrs of the early church slowed the church of Jesus but many people were called to go out and spread the gospel to other lands.... See the martyrs may have been the only way to establish a church in the wall of paganism and philosophies, and polytheism. there were many people of Christ who spread the gospel; Justin the martyr 100 A.D,; Ignatius who had writing ,martyred ;Polycarp of Asia minor defended the church at the land of modern Turkey; Papias also from Asia Minor ; Apostle Mark was martyred in Alexandria Egypt around 70 A.D, and Christianity was the mainly in Egypt from 300- 600 A.D.; Saint Patrick was spreading the gospel in Ireland in the 500 A.D, and Russia got the Gospel in 1000 A.D. the list is endless as Jesus anoints his people and directs them ......
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,027,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
This subject intrigues me at the moment. After some brief research, I've learned that Armenia became the first Christian nation (not Rome as I previously thought). Armenia became Christian at 301.

However, I'm not clear on how this conversion happened (perhaps I should read the following links in more detail, but I'd want to make sure they are legit first)

I'm not sure how they could read or understand any of the Gospels in 301, since their alphabet was not invented until about 150 years later.

Not sure what Gospel was preached to them.

(i.e. repent of all your sins and believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, or just believe in Jesus and you'll have eternal life, etc...)

I did find this resource online which talks about the history of Armenia and supposed letters to Jesus from the king of Armenia (fascinating stuff to me, not sure if it's genuine though)

Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII

One problem is that it records the words of Christ that are not officially confirmed by the Gospels (though prob. not contradictory)

If any of you have more info on the conversion of Armenia, I'd appreciate it.

Another curious letters between the king of Armenia and Roman Emperor

Is this stuff for real?

In the first place, the USA was not then, is not now, nor ever was a "Christian nation." It has always been a nation wherein the preponderance of it's citizens profess Christianity, but it's hardly the first.

Secondly, alphabets existed in many languages long before 451.

Thirdly, the supposed letters of Abgar, including an exchange with Jesus himself, are highly suspect from an historical point of view and most historian's consider them as fakes dating from the 3rd century. Not only that, but Abgar himself may not have actually been a King in Armenia, but King of Syria. There is much confusion about that.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:36 AM
 
624 posts, read 865,349 times
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Well, at any rate, several pushbacks for Christianity:

1. According to the tradition, Early Christianity spread through the miraculous signs, not through reasonable arguments. Though the book of Acts records Paul preaching and reasoning with the Gentiles (as well as the Jews), and not performing miracles as a proof, nonetheless, the tradition accounts talk about miracles being one of the primary reason for the spread of Christianity.

2. There is an issue with embellishments of the accounts. And one begins to wonder how one can be sure the Gospels and the NT as a whole is not embellished in any way?
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:38 AM
 
624 posts, read 865,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
In the first place, the USA was not then, is not now, nor ever was a "Christian nation." It has always been a nation wherein the preponderance of it's citizens profess Christianity, but it's hardly the first.
I was talking about Armenia, not America

301 AD is way before the 1776 AD.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: East Coast
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Through fear. The Apostle Paul warned the Church in Ephesus,that wolves would come, Jesus said those same wolves come to steal, kill and destroy, everything what fear does to you(this happened to the church pretty quickly after the apostles). Faith in his grace does the opposite, the position the early church moved from..
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:12 AM
 
624 posts, read 865,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcamps View Post
Through fear. The Apostle Paul warned the Church in Ephesus,that wolves would come, Jesus said those same wolves come to steal, kill and destroy, everything what fear does to you(this happened to the church pretty quickly after the apostles). Faith in his grace does the opposite, the position the early church moved from..
Well, you could find anti-grace passages in Jesus' words also, can't you?

Matt. 7:21" Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Matt. 6:15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Matt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:27 AM
 
Location: East Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
Well, you could find anti-grace passages in Jesus' words also, can't you?

Matt. 7:21" Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Matt. 6:15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Matt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
I am not willing to discuss these scriptures, purely because my reply will be removed . Let me just leave it with you that i believe in Universal Reconciliation.

There are plenty of threads on this forum(that are now closed, but still open to view) that include answers to your thoughts from the perspective of those who believe in Universal Reconciliation.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:59 AM
 
624 posts, read 865,349 times
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Why would your reply be removed?
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,261,063 times
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word of mouth...
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