Re: James or Peter?
Sep 21, 1996 10:56 AM
by Dr. A.M.Bain
In message <199F5A1450@serv.peb.ufrj.br>, ABRANTES@serv.peb.ufrj.br
>>The leader of the earliest church was James. See Paul's letters and Acts!
>Wrong. Galatians 2:9 and Acts 15 says that at first meeting at Jerusalem,
>the leaders of the the church was James, Peter and John. Acts 15 show the
>intervention of Peter (v.7), Barnabe and Paul (v.12) and James (v.13). So
>was recogniced as one of the leaders of the church at Jerusalem and then
>James was not the only leader of the earliest church. James was also
>recogniced as one of the leaders of the church of Jerusalem at Acts 21:18.
Not wrong. Then, as now, the custom would be to list the hierarchy in
order of rank, with the head of the organisation first. There is
*still* a remnant church deriving *directly* from the Jerusalem
Community of Nazarene (Christians and Christianity had not yet been
invented) who claim James as head of the Church, and of their own
tradition in particular. One part of this is the Syro-Chaldean Church
in India, under its Metropolitan, Mar Aprem, c/o Mar Narsai Press,
Trichur, Kerala, South India. Other remmants survive among the Kurde in
Northern Iran/Iraq/Turkey and a very few remote villages in
Israel/Syria. All are most likely "Nestorians" though in India at
least, they did not know they were Nestorians until someone told them in
the 19th Century, claiming - as they still do - that they merely
followed the traditions of the Church as they had received them from
antiquity. They had never heard of the Council of Ephesus which
condemned their beliefs as hetrical ...
In any event, if you are given the benefit of any doubt, Peter, who is
named second after James, is still only names as *one of the leaders*.
In one of Paul's references, he speaks only of James, and in a manner
which suggesys that only James was present in Paul's visit to Jerusalem.
So - the evidence is at best ambiguous. It is clear surely by now - it
is to me - that you wish to present all and any evidence to support the
claims of the Bishop of Rome and *his* Church, which Church has little
or no influence in the first two to three-hundred years of Christian
I intend therefore, and with reluctance, to terminate discussions with
you. I have said enough on this list to make it clear that the
scientific and historical approach to Christianity and Church History is
not found *exclusively* in pro-Christian and pro-Roman documents and
traditions, which was, from the theosophical point of view, the main
thrust of Madame Blavatsy's arguments in "Isis Unveiled" and elsewhere,
as with many scholars since.
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