Gospel fragments dating to 50ad

24 Dec

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These gospels were all ‘narrative’ gospels in that they essentially recorded the activities of Jesus’ life.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christianity The remainder of the New Testament is believed to have been written by 150 ad.

But what of the other streams of early Christianity that existed during these centuries but were excluded from inclusion in the ‘orthodox’ doctrines? After the death of Jesus (around 33 AD), Christianity grew from a small Jewish sect of apostles and followers to a religion that began to spread around the Roman empire.

The uniqueness of early Christianity is that even though its early leaders were Jews, the Christian message was addressed to people of all nations and classes.

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According to the gnostics, no truly spiritual being would consciously seek to create the physical world and this is the reason why the Neo-Platonic philosophers, who saw rational order in the physical world, were so hostile to the gnostics.

The religious scholar, Elaine Pagels, argues that the gospels chosen by Ireneaus were concerned with providing moral instruction to the Christian community which helped served the institutionalising of the Christian movement.

Ireneuas also referred to other Christian works (which he described as ‘heresies’) but these were excluded from the Christian Canon because they did not serve the purpose of institutionalisation.

For the first forty years of the movement, the records of Christ’s life and the acts of the apostles were primarily verbal ones, but after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70ad the first gospels were committed to writing.

The gospel of Mark was written at this time and over the next twenty years (to 90ad), Mathew and Luke were written, followed by John (95ad).