Category Archives: Early Church History

#300 – A History of the Catholic Church – Conformity to Christ

polycarp

Using the account of the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp, we look at how the theology of Christian martyrdom develops. What were the reasons why some Christians sought martyrdom? What type of opposition to martyrdom existed?

Links:

Image of martyrdom of Polycarp

Martyrdom of Polycarp

Movie about Polycarp

First apology of Saint Justin Martyr

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Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#300 – A History of the Catholic Church – Conformity to Christ

#299 – A History of the Catholic Church – A Most Mischievous Superstition

romansacrifice

As the Christians spread throughout the Roman Empire, so did opposition against them increase as well – hostility from neighbors and persecution from State. In this episode, we look at the reasons why Tacitus called Christianity “a most mischievous superstition” and the ways that anti-Christian hostility manifested itself.

Links:

Image of Emperor Marcus Aurelius offering a sacrifice

Tacitus and Pliny on the Christians

Earlier episode on the Alexamenos graffito

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#299 – A History of the Catholic Church – A Most Mischievous Superstition

#298 – A History of the Catholic Church – Apostolic Succession

apostolicsuccession

The spread of the teachings of Jesus brings with it also increasing differences about who are the true followers of His Word. Those followers of Jesus who have come to be called Christians and members of the Catholic Church, begin to set standards for who belongs to the faith – and who is outside it.

Links:

Image: La consécration de Déodat by Claude Bassot

Wikipedia article on Docetism

Chart of Apostolic Succession in the Early Church

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#298 – A History of the Catholic Church – Apostolic Succession

#297 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Two Ways

ignatius

As the Church approaches the end of the First Century, Christians in Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome continue to develop their faith both in light of the growing Gentile membership as well as in response to the continuing reality of sin.

Links:

Image of Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Map of Christian communities at the end of the First Century

Map of Osroene/Edessa

Sources for Roman Church:
First Letter of Clement
The Shepherd of Hermas

Sources for Alexandrine Church:
The Epistle of Barnabas

Sources for Antiochine Church:
Epistles of Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Epistle of Polycarp
Martyrdom of Polycarp

Sources for Church outside Roman Empire
Odes of Solomon

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#297 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Two Ways

#296 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Council of Jerusalem

temple

Debates over the the acceptance of Gentiles into the Church and Paul’s missionary activity lead to the Council of Jerusalem. While it becomes easier for Gentiles to become Christians, it is part of a growing division in the Church. Jewish wars against the Romans will further alienate Christians from the Church’s Jewish traditions.

Links:

Image of stones from the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem

On the Council of Jerusalem

On the First Jewish-Roman War

On the Bar Kochba Uprising

On the Birkat Ha-Minim against Christians

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#296 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Council of Jerusalem

#295 – A History of the Catholic Church – Saint Paul

stpaul

As the young Christian Church begins to expand into the wider Roman world, it encounters a variety of beliefs and ideas such as Mystery Religions, Platonism and Stoicism. Into this world, will go Saint Paul – seen as the second founder of Christianity by some, a betrayer of the teachings of Jesus by others.

Links:

Image is Paul and Barnabas at Lystra by Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem

Map of missionary journeys of Apostles

Map of missionary travels of Saint Paul

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#295 – A History of the Catholic Church – Saint Paul

#294 – A History of the Catholic Church – Martyrdom and Expansion

mapapostolicage

Increasing tensions between Jewish and Hellenist Followers of the Way will eventually lead to the martyrdom of Saint Stephen and the flight of the Hellenists into the wider Hellenistic regions of the Roman Empire. This spreading of the faith will bring with it significant changes in the structure and practice of the early Church as they begin to be called Christians and they begin to welcome Gentiles.

Links:

Reputed location of stoning of Saint Stephen

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#294 – A History of the Catholic Church – Martyrdom and Expansion

#293 – A History of the Catholic Church – Eucharist in the Early Church

lastsupper

One of the most important rituals of the early Church was the celebration of Eucharist, a ritual with roots in Jewish tradition – but with significance differences under the influence of the theology of the first Christians. This episode will look at these Jewish roots and how Christians understood what Jesus had done both at the Last Supper and in his death and resurrection.

Links:

Photo – icon of Last Supper

Didache – Chapters 9, 10 and 14 concern the Eucharist.

For more information, see Maxwell Johnson’s book, The Rites of Christian Initiation

Wikipedia article on the Cenacle, where the Last Supper took place

Article and images of the Temple of Asclepion in Corinth – including body parts that may have inspired St. Paul

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#293 – A History of the Catholic Church – Eucharist in the Early Church

Catholic locations recently declared World Heritage sites

image by Cybjorg~commonswiki

Bethany beyond the Jordan – believed to be the location of St. John the Baptist’s baptism of Jesus

image by Travis Witt

San Antonio Missions in Texas

Catholic sites in Sicily – including Cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale

#292 – A History of the Catholic Church – Baptism in the Early Church

jordan

The Early Church believed that one could only become part of the Church Christ established through Baptism. While the roots of Christian baptism can be found in the acts of John the Baptist, in Christianity the theology of Baptism became something greater.

Links:

Photo of possible site of Jesus’ baptism by Producer

Image of Baptism by Immersion taken from 3rd century Catacombs of Saint Callisto
Image of Baptism by Affusion

Didache – Chapter 7 concerns baptism.

For more information, see Maxwell Johnson’s book, The Rites of Christian Initiation

Check out the other great Catholic podcasts at the Starquest Production Network

Send e-mail questions and comments to catholicunderthehood@gmail.com

To listen, just click on the link below:
podcasticon#291 – A History of the Catholic Church – Baptism in the Early Church

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