The Apostolic Fathers
Writter: Evangelos D. Kepenes (March 3, 2022, 18:33)
The Apostolic Fathers
Nowhere in the New Testament is it mentioned that the Apostles appointed the apostolic fathers as their successors. On the contrary, Paul states emphatically:
“And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me […] I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.» (Acts 20:22-30)
They were named so in the 6th century AD, after the idea of their authorial authority had been cultivated, for the benefit of the absolute orthodox dogma. The official position of the State Orthodox Church is that the apostolic fathers are the depositaries of the apostolic tradition and the voice of the Apostles, a position that has been accepted by many of the religiously manipulated “Christians” and those addicted to the ocean of philosophical patriology.
Irenaeus also contributed to this idea, who although rejected the philosophical convergence of Christianity nevertheless used it to the fullest in his works. In his letter to Florinus, Irenaeus calls Polycarp an apostolic father.
The apostolic fathers include Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Hermas the brother of Pope Pius, Pseudo-Barnabas (probably of Alexandria), Papias of Hierapolis, and the anonymous authors of the “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,” “Letter to Diognetus,” “Letter of Barnabas” (which Eusebius and Hieronymus classify in controversial or even occult writings), and “Martyrdom of Polycarp.”
According to Professor Panagiotis Trembelas, “the writings of the apostolic fathers came out of oblivion. This happened in the years that followed the Reformation of the 16th century.”
Little is known about them, and it is probable that some of them knew some of the Apostles. What should be emphasized, however, is that their written works, for which several reservations have been expressed as to their authenticity [although in some passages they recommend reading the Writings of the Apostles] contain teachings of Gnostic beliefs as well as myths of the ancient religion which were later used to formulate the Gnostic symbol of the faith of Nicaea, a fact which is also accepted by Professor Panagiotis Trembelas.
“As for the doctrine, although there is no detailed and systematic development of it in them, the main and fundamental teachings of the symbol are confirmed.” (Apostolic Fathers, V. Moustakis, introduction, Astir Publis. House)
Let's look at some excerpts from their writings!!!
Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (author unknown)
“[...] baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water... But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whatever others can [...]” (Ch. 7)
Note: The Apostles never told anyone to fast before baptism nor did they baptize the faithful in the first Church in the Trinitarian way; but they always baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, which is above all names. This means that they either disobeyed the command or forgot it or Jesus never gave it to them.
On the other hand, Eusebius of Caesarea records the "commandment" as follows: "Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name” (Eusebius of Caesarea 340 AD Church History: Book 3 Ch. 5:3)
An excerpt with an “Orthodox” flavor:
“But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday)!!!” (Ch. 8:1).
Clement of Rome
Peculiar Trinitarian quotation: “For, as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost live” (1 Clement 58:2).
Of particular interest is the second letter of Clement, 12:26, where there is a verse of Gnostic origin about the ideal of the Gnostic one-genderism (male and female) described in the Gnostic gospel of Thomas which is supposed to have been written by the Encratites (self-controlled).
“For the Lord Himself, being asked by one when His kingdom would come, replied, ‘When two shall be one, that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female.’”
The Naasians (a Gnostic liberal group), through their homosexual practices, believed that they would be assimilated to the hermaphroditic archetypal man, Adamas, a spiritual ascent, a return to the pre-fall state, as they proclaimed: "where there is neither female nor male, but a new creation, "a new man" who is both male and female."
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch, who is quoted by Polycarp as well, lived in a cosmopolitan city, Antioch, which was a meeting place of cultures and philosophies. Ignatius supports the myth of the union of Uranus and Gaia, saying of the Son that he is the offspring of God and the Mortal Mary, "both of Mary and of God." (I. Eph. 7:2)
He advocates the Gnostic belief of the "Aeon Jesus" and His incarnation (incarnation is a mythological term) by saying that Jesus Christ pre-existed as a second God.
"[...] who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed." (I. Magn. 6:1)
He advocates one and undivided God (Triune) recognizing the holy trinity of Pythagoras. [Note: Pythagoreans believed that everything is defined by the most sacred number three (3). They taught the occult Dissolution of the Unit into a triad or triads, thus introducing the theory of the triune Units].
“Be subject to the bishop, and to one another, as Jesus Christ to the Father, according to the flesh, and the apostles TO Christ, AND to the Father, AND to the Spirit; that so there may be a union both fleshly and spiritual.” (I. Magn. 13:2)
Ignatius advocates the ancient myth of the two natures by not distinguishing the celestial body of Jesus, thus degrading Him to a Demigod, a Human God.
“There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible, even Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I. Eph. 7:2)
For Ignatius, the Second Man from heaven, Jesus Christ, was biological, as was the First Man, and His death and resurrection were also biological.
“And after his resurrection He ate and drank with them, as being possessed of flesh, although spiritually He was united to the Father.” (I. Sm. 3:3)
Also, the seed of Hesychasm / Asceticism that is found in many pre-Christian religions and philosophies, the “Holy Silence,” lurks in his peculiar thought.
“Now the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also her offspring, and the death of the Lord; three mysteries of renown, which were wrought in silence by God.” (I. Eph. 19:1)
“[...] that there is one God, who has manifested Himself by Jesus Christ His Son, who is His eternal Word, not proceeding forth from silence, and who in all things pleased Him that sent Him.” (I. Magn. 8:2)
Also, Ignatius, in his letter to the Smyrnaeans (Ch. 8), advocates and recommends a religious system and the infallibility of the bishop.
“See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid”. (Ch. 58)
The Martyrdom of Polycarp
Here we have an anti-biblical reference to the eternal and incessant punishment of the ungodly which has its roots in ancient religion.
“[...] the fire of their savage executioners appeared cool to them. For they kept before their view escape from that fire which is eternal and never shall be quenched [...]” (Ch. 2:3)
For more on the origins of "eternal punishment" in Christian teaching, see Hear
Also, in the same work, we have the beginning of “Christian” relic worship, a practice practiced in the ancient world for people-gods and heroes.
“The centurion then, seeing the strife excited by the Jews, placed the body (of Polycarp) in the midst of the fire, and consumed it. Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, as being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, whither, being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course, and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps.” (Ch. 58)
Here we have the acceptance of Platonic anthropology. For more see here.
“The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world. The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body [...]” (Ch. 6:3-4)
a) Like all religions, “Patristic Christianity” - which is foreign and different from Apostolic Christianity - was evolutionary, formed through its internal philosophical and ideological confrontations, violent reactions, intrigues, political influences and impositions. The Christological disputes that existed from the time of Jesus and the Apostles ("Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"), the eschatology of the ancient religion and Messianism played a major role in its formation.
b) The view that the apostolic fathers are the depositaries of the apostolic tradition and the voice of the Apostles is wrong. Moreover, the term “Genuine Fathers” attributed to the apostles is also untrue. The term "genuine" applies only to the approved Apostles who have successfully completed their mission.
“And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed.” (Mark 16:20)
c) The Apostles were the stewards of the mysteries of God and the ministers of Christ.
“Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1 Cor. 4:1)
The ones ministered by the Apostles were a letter of Christ
“Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men; being made manifest that ye are an epistle of christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living god; not in tables of stone, but in tables that are hearts of flesh.” ((2 Cor. 3:2-3)
Those who were built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets were fellow citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.
“So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;” (Eph. 2:19-21)
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid
“For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11)
May Jesus bless and guide us.
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