In this one we continue from the earlier historical line, getting more aquatinted with Lucian but also going grips with how FAR this deep dive into heathen customs the churches have gone. This ever growing intermingling of the Gospel with heathen customs... Doing this is how you end up with Christmas and Easter celebrations, and keep the Sabbath on the wrong day of the month. But thats another story. Now, lets look closer into just how much influence Lucian of Anticoh had on Arius teachings. But also we must see if Arius teachings was well founded in Scripture.
The New World Encyclopedia, reads this under Lucian of Antioch:
“The leaders in the Arian movement (Arius himself, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Maris and Theognis) received their training under Lucian and always venerated him as their master and the founder of their system.”
In Antioch then a young Lucian was taught to love and obey SoNiNis word as a boy growing up. This city (probably somewhere in East-Africa) mentioned several times in the New Testament is were some of the Christians hailed from (Acts 11,26). As a young man Lucian became aware of the disturbing news in the Roman Churches and talk of two movements that was forming with the early Christian Church. Rome looked to the college of Alexandria as for their guidance, however the Syrians trusted the leaders in Antioch. The core of Lucians teachings was that of the people before him, all the way back to he disciples and the Christ, choose obedience of the Bible rather than following manmade traditions, which was creeping their way into assemblies ad churches
We read in Benjamin George Wilkinson (1872-1968) and again in Truth Triumphant (Wilkinson, 1994:46)
“Lucian quickly discerned that there were two movements taking shape in Christendom, one loose in doctrine and affiliating itself with heathenism, the other based on the deep foundations of the Christian faith.”
We now know it really was Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Athanasius who was having close ties to heathen cultures and who later watched the birth of the trinity doctrine. AS mentioned earlier Lucian played a part in giving people today the base text (Textus Receptus) which in terms was used for Bibles such as KJV but in time many many others.
If we read German author Hubert Jedin (1900-1980) and Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church: an Historical Outline (Jedin, 1960:28):
“The Alexandria catechetical school, which revered Clement of Alexandria and Origen, the greatest theologian of the Greek Church, as its heads, applied the allegorical method to the explanation of Scripture. Its thought was influenced by Plato: its strong point was [pagan] theological speculations. Athanasius and the three Cappadocians [the men whose Trinitarian views were adopted by the Catholic Church at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople] had been included among its members.”
After Babylon was conquered, their priest went (yes the Babylonians had priests just like there are Roman Catholic priests today) to Rome and Alexandria bringing their teachings with them. Now some history books teaches us that at some points Hebrews began sending their best learned men to Alexandria, which exposed them to many more pagan teachings and customs. These students was taught to accept manmade traditions and to look for the mystical meanings in Scripture rather to accept the plain teachings are they were written. Now Lucian as very much aware that Hebrew leaders had rejected Christ as their Saviour because of much of the teachings coming out from Alexandria.
If we read New World Encyclopedia (online) under Lucian of Antioch it says :
“Lucian believed in the literal sense of the biblical text and emphasised the need for textual accuracy. Lucian undertook to revise the Septuagint based on the original Hebrew. By comparing the Greek text with Hebrew grammatical styles, and giving priority to the literal sense, Lucian sought to limit the symbolical interpretation characteristic of the Alexandrian (Egyptian) allegorical tradition which incorporated pagan philosophy into Christianity. Lucian's influence permanently oriented Christian theology towards historical realism in its debate with classical non-Christian thought.”
Then its ease to to see the Fallen angels deceiving the Hebrew Church and using Alexandria as a brick to destroy the ever growing Christian Church. Teachers such as Clement of Alexandra and his pupil Origen taught student how to "allegorise" the Bible. An example of this is that they made the people and the stories of the Bible represent something, adding a so-called mythological interpretation of everything. Lucian saw this and knew that going along with people such as Origen and their way of interpreting Scripture, would change the basic understandings of the Bible as we know it. And it sure did for the people that came after...
New World Encyclopedia again under Lucian of Antioch :
“The Alexandrines incorporated Greek Pagan philosophical beliefs from Plato's teachings into Christianity (Neoplatonism), and interpreted much of the Bible allegorically, ... Lucian rejected this system entirely and propounded a system of literal interpretation that dominated the Eastern Church for a long period.”
Lucian did not compromise nor did he accept these teachings. His reaction was a college in Antioch which would give young people a firm Biblical understanding and education even. So as it often goes, there was two cities that was up against one another, Alexandria and Antioch. A place of Greek philosophy and a place of Biblical teachings. People like Clement, Origen and Athanasius in one camp, and people John, Ignatius, Arius and Lucian in the other one. Now Antioch was said to be on the border between ancient Rome and Persia... Wherever those true locations was, Africa seems more than likely.
Benjamin Wilkinson wrote that (Wilkinson, 1994:47)
“the churches of Rome and Alexandria had entered into an alliance. Alexandria had, for more than two centuries before Christ, been the real capital of the Jews who were compromising with paganism.”
Lucian thought that it was very much because of their Greek education that these Hebrews was unprepared and unwilling to accept Christ. The Gospel was just, not intellectual enough as indeed it is meant for all people. No matte your education, the Gospel does not need any mythical ideas permeating it to be understood. Even a child will get it... Or perhaps your mind must become like a child to really understand its simplicity (Wilkinson, 1994:47):
“The church at Alexandria was in this atmosphere. The city of Rome had been for seven hundred years, and was still to be for some time, the world capital of paganism. This environment greatly influenced the church at Rome. Lucian grew up in the churches of Syria and of the Near East, which were modelled after the churches of Judea. Lucian founded a college at Antioch which strove to counteract the dangerous ecclesiastical alliance between Rome and Alexandria.”
The Graduates of Lucians "university" were in other words the Harvard students of Bible, with a fervent burning desire in their heart to share their inner peace and joy they had inside for accepting Christ and following Him. They now off course wanted others to join them. The Pagan superstitions were removed and a faith in SoNiNi transformed the followers of Christ.
We owe many things to Lucian, he did indeed help spreading the true Gospel throughout the world. These students of Lucian also received training in trade and certain occupations which included foreign languages, science (to some extent) and medicine. Antioch then became world renowned for their medical school (more like university) with students skilled in many branches of natural healing. Now because of their state of the art education, students was hired for jobs such as government officials and some even royalty.
So the heritage of Lucian, that we in these times can draw much of our gratitude towards, was his editing of the Textus Receptus (the Greek basis for the King James Bible / New Testament). Lucian took all the manuscripts known to early Christians and compiled them into what we now call the New Testament.
Wilkinson stated (Wilkinson, 1994:50)
“The Protestant denominations are built upon that manuscript of the Greek New Testament, sometimes called the Textus Receptus, or Received Text. It is that Greek New Testament from which the writings of the apostles have been translated into the various languages. During the Dark Ages, the Received Text was practically unknown... It was restored to Christendom by the labors of that great scholar, Erasmus. However, neither Lucian nor Erasmus, but rather the apostles wrote the Greek New Testament.”
The New World Encyclopedia reads the following under Lucian of Antioch :
“Lucian had an enduring influence on Biblical textual study and is known for his critical revision of the text of the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament. Basing his revision on the original Hebrew, Lucian emphasised the need for textual accuracy and sought to limit the allegorical interpretation of the Alexandrian Christian tradition, which incorporated pagan philosophy. Lucian's edition contributed significantly to the Syrian recension, that was used by Chrysostom and the later Greek fathers, and became the basis of the Textus Receptus from which most of the Reformation era New Testament translations were made. Lucian's rationalist approach permanently oriented Christian theology towards historical realism.”
The so-called Textus Receptus or Majority Text as it was based on the 90% of the 5000+ Greek manuscripts they had available. No added or removed/modified material, such as is the case with Minority Text. The philosopher Origen also made translations and commentaries of the Bible, written in a way that allowed many errors and strange customs to be absorbed into Christianity.
Matthew Brill wrote in Evangelism Expounded (Brill, 2011:114):
“Origen... denied the deity of Christ, teaching that Jesus was a lesser, created god. He and other false teachers who did not confess the Lord Jesus Christ set to mutilating the Alexandrian group of manuscripts, 'editing,' omitting, and changing passages of Scripture. The Alexandrian texts underlying the modern Bible versions are based on these corrupted manuscripts.”
Les Garrett wrote this in Which Bible Can We Trust (Garret, 1998):
“Origen, being the textual critic, is supposed to have corrected numerous portions of the sacred manuscripts. Evidence to the contrary shows that he changed them to agree with his human philosophy of mystical and allegorical ideas. Thus, through deceptive scholarship of this kind, certain manuscripts became corrupt.”
What is the result of this? A literal explosion of Bibles available today. Few of them use the Textus Receptus as a basis for translation. Many of the modern translations come from the Greek text produced by Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892), who used the Codex Sinaiticus - containing approximately 15000 edits - more than any other manuscript in Biblical history. The other base text used allot in this day and age is the mysterious Codex Vaticanus, claimed to be older than all the previous versions...and comes from the Vatican... The story on how it was found is dubious at best and goes a long way to show it should not be trusted. The claims that this is the oldest surviving copy to date is not credible when the thing reads like it was overwritten by a scribe from the 15th century.
So the historical records are clear and shows us the importance of the man Lucian, a man that was moved by Christ and lead by the true Spirit of Wisdom, his church was in time driven underground. So the apostates/enemies of the Gospel was people like Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Athanasius, and even persecuted the saints of SoNiNi and ushered in the dark ages. These dark ages brought with them two large errors that would leave people away from The Lord and the Word of SoNiNi. Namely Sunday worship and the trinity doctrine, these both come from Babylon. One of Lucians students would have been Arius, who was opposed the Greek Philosophies that was beginning to creep into the Gospel of Truth. If you read about Arius you will find not to much about him, but a label called Arianism - which holds the Son of God not co eternal with the Father... A fancy way of forcing people to accept the trinity. Also the label homoousianism is supposedly the opposition of Arianism, being believers in the trinity. The fact is that Greek philosophy influenced our so-called Christian theologian, and people such as Origen and Athanasius, reinterpreted the Christian message and doctrine through Neoplatonism.
Wilkinson writes (Wilkinson, 1994:88):
“No wonder that the Celtic, the Gothic, the Waldensian, the Armenian Churches, and the great Church of the East, as well as other bodies, differed profoundly from the papacy in its metaphysical conceptions of the Trinity and consequently in the importance of the Ten Commandments.”
The council that was at Nicea, did not end the controversy at all, despite what some historians say (Armstrong, 1993:110):
“Athanasius managed to impose his theology on the delegates ... with the emperor breathing down their necks ... (..) “The show of agreement pleased Constantine, who had no understanding of the theological issues, but in fact there was no unanimity at Nicaea. After the council, the bishops went on teaching as they had before, and the Arian crisis continued for another sixty years. Arius and his followers fought back and managed to regain imperial favor. Athanasius was exiled no fewer than five times. It was very difficult to make his creed stick.”
After Constantine died, disputes was inbound. Remember this was after all, the Roman Empires top man, so none other than his son Constantius II encouraged followers of Arius and actually had a plan to reverse the creed set in Nicea. The Emperors advisor, Eusebius of Nicomedia (later Bishop of Constantinople) was the main man in the Arian party. Constantius used his power to exile the bishops that followed the Nicene creed and then especially Athanasius who fled to Rome.
As Constantinus became the sole Emperor, these Councils started getting popular, Council of Sardia, Council of Sirmium, and then the double on at Rimini and Seleucia, 14 creed was formed in these councils. They was arguing fervently about the Godhead (trinity and the the relationship of the Son and the Father). After Constantinus came Julian, a devotee of Romes pagan idol images, he shut down the church and allowed all exiles bishops to return. Also around this time the calendar would have been primed for a change, leaving future worshipers unaware as to when the Sabbath actually is.
AS these councils took place and creeds was set, things became violent and rather bloody, only in the time after the Council of Nicea, the famous historian William James Durant (1885-1981) wrote in The Story of Civilization, Vol. 4: The Age of Faith (Durant, 1950:8):
“Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome.”
Ramsay MacMullen, professor at Yale, wrote in Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (MacMullen, 1997):
“...more Christians died for their faith at the hands of fellow Christians than had died before in all the persecutions.”
Of the following time, Harold Brown writes in Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church (Brown, 2003:119):
“During the middle decades of this century, from 340 to 380, the history of doctrine looks more like the history of court and church intrigues and social unrest ... The central doctrines hammered out in this period often appear to have been put through by intrigue or mob violence rather than by the common consent of Christendom led by the Holy Spirit.”
Let it be clear that the Nicean council did not declare a set belief in the trinity as it stands today, but the bishops decided that Christ is God just as the Father is God. But the creed they adopted did not mention the deity of the Holy Spirit. The statment issued was rather innocent at Council of Nicea, reading something like: “We believe in the Holy Spirit.”
Karen Armstrong wrote that this (Armstrong, 1996:115):
“..seemed to have been added to Athanasius's creed almost as an afterthought,” “People were confused about the Holy Spirit. Was it simply a synonym for God or was it something more? ”
Professors Roger Olson and Christopher Hall wrote in The Trinity (Olson & Hall, 2002:40):
“the Spirit had appeared almost as a footnote to the Creed of Nicea...”
So off course, being lead by another spirit, disagreements soon was inbound and became very much focused on the nature of the Holy Spirit, and slowly moved away from the Spirit Christ left us with. The Spirit that anyone that believes that Christ came in the flesh, can access, was not consulted.
The American Bible Scholar and theologian Charles Caldwell Ryrie (1925-2016) wrote in Basic Theology (Ryrie, 198:65):
“In the second half of the fourth century, three theologians from the province of Cappadocia in eastern Asia Minor [today central Turkey] gave definitive shape to the doctrine of the Trinity.”
So they came up with an idea a step beyond Athanasius views, God, Christ and the Holy Spirit was co-equal and together made one, but also distinct from one another. Three main men, Basil The Great (Bishop of the Roman catholic outpost Caesarea) his younger brother Gregory (Bishop of Nyssa) and their buddy Gregory of Nazianzus, all well trained in Greek philosophy got together and formed a theory.
These was to be known as the three Cappadocians, Karen Armstrong explains further (Armstrong, 1996:117):
“the Trinity only made sense as a mystical or spiritual experience ... It was not a logical or intellectual formulation but an imaginative paradigm that confounded reason. Gregory of Nazianzus made this clear when he explained that contemplation of the Three in One induced a profound and overwhelming emotion that confounded thought and intellectual clarity. (..) 'No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the splendor of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Three than I am carried back into the One. When I think of any of the Three, I think of him as the whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me.”
Karen Armstrong concluded something like the trinity is baffling to western Christians, and indeed it is when you take a closer look.
So then came the co-reign of Gratian and Theodosius, and this is where Arianism lost its grip. It was actually Theodosius wife (St. Flacilla) that spurred the campaign to stop Arianism, picking up the Nicene creed (Nicene Faith). Only two days after Theodosius arrived in Constantinople, bishop Demophilus was expelled and Gregory of Nazianzus (one of the Cappadocians) took over. Riots soon followed, but like powers at bee today saying how things are, the people can do little more than to follow. All this can be read about in Roman Lawyer and historian Salminius Hermias Sozomenus, also known as Sozomen and his Church History VII.
So then, in thinking of the significance of Rome (which there appears to be several cities in the ancient world that was called Rome, but only one would have been the original one. But Jerusalem might have changed its name at one point to Rome (accommodating her change in faith and direction). Pagan and Babylonian practises crept in after the land was taken over, then the calendar started changing also, taking away Sabbath day worship and stealing from people the truth and simpleness of the Gospel. Rome and Alexandria worked closely together to get their views through. Murdering and suppressing any opposition. Alexandria sought to be the intellectual headquarters and Rome was the provider of decrees and anathemas.
The Church historian Socrates Scholasticus wrote this some centuries after Christ, in Ecclesiastical History (Book 5 and Ch. 22):
“For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries [of the Lord's Supper] on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.”