Sign up ×
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My basic understanding of "early catholicism" is that it is a paradigm for understanding the development of parts of the New Testament, with some parts coming later as early expectations were unmet and the original apostles began to die off. I'm looking for a fuller definition, though.

What are the main features of "early catholicism" and what reasons are there for adopting this as a paradigm for understanding the development of the New Testament? Does this paradigm hold much weight among scholars today?

share|improve this question
I'm no scholar, but this is a great question to look into. I need to get some more history via the findings and answers to this. Thanks. +1 – John Martin Jan 10 '14 at 11:56
I've added a link: does the linked definition match what you intended by the term? – Jack Douglas Jan 12 '14 at 10:20
Here's another link to go with the Oxford. – John Martin Jan 12 '14 at 18:19
@JackDouglas Yes, that's the term I'm asking about. – Soldarnal Feb 23 '14 at 5:05

2 Answers 2

For your paper....

All early Christians had: 1) Mono-theism (Trinity) 2) An afterlife ( Slaves gravitated to this ) 3) Organized attendance

share|improve this answer
Not all early Christians believed in a trinity. Nor were they all monotheists (the Marcionites believed that there were two gods). – fdb Aug 27 '14 at 17:02
The Marcionites are a great example of what he is looking for. – James Paul Shaulis Aug 27 '14 at 18:09
Hi, please remember that showing your work is a requirement on this site. Could you tell us how you arrived at these conclusions? – Susan Aug 28 '14 at 3:04
Biblical hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible. Good luck to Y'all this is not the forum for me. – James Paul Shaulis Sep 1 '14 at 6:09

This is a bit off topic as Hermenutics needs to start with a passage. This might be better asked in a Theology forum, however Early Catholicism is typically regarded as the church as it was prior to about 451 AD when the Eastern Orthodox church split after the Council of Chalcedon

A commonly cited basis for using early and traditional interpretation of scriptures as a factor for understanding The Bible is the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. Wesley (and Outler) believed that scripture should always be the foundation, but that while scripture was objective and pure, as fallen humans, we are not. Therefore, Wesley taught that there was a wisdom of the crowd which should be considered vis-a-vis traditional interpretation when determining how a scripture should be understood.

share|improve this answer
What do you mean with "the Eastern Orthpdox church split"? – fdb Aug 27 '14 at 17:01
"Consequences of the council: The near-immediate result of the council was a major schism.[clarification needed] The bishops that were uneasy with the language of Pope Leo's Tome repudiated the council, saying that the acceptance of two physes was tantamount to Nestorianism." -- and thus the eastern orthodox church was formed, though not formally for several more years with the Great Schism. The Council of Calchedon was the beginning of the schism which only came to a head in 1054 with the great schism. – James Shewey Aug 27 '14 at 22:46
You are completely wrong about this. Chalcedon condemned the monophysite doctrine, not the "Eastern Orthodox church". Maybe you mean "Syrian Orthodox"? – fdb Aug 27 '14 at 22:49
Dude, I'm just quoting wikipedia. If wikipedia is wrong, go update it. basically, the early church is pretty much out through a few years after the Council of Constantinople. I'm not saying that the church condemned the eastern orthodox church at the Council of Calchedon, I'm saying that there was a group that disagreed with the conclusion of the council and eventually this group formed the eastern orthodox church. I'm also not an expert on church history/theology, and this is about the extent of my church history knowledge which is why I told OP to ask in another forum. – James Shewey Aug 27 '14 at 23:02
All I am really saying is that it stops being "early church" ~400ish, not weighing in on the finer points of church history. – James Shewey Aug 27 '14 at 23:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.