Learning from Early Church Fathers
According to Hippolytus, disciple of Irenaeus (hence third generation from the Apostle John) -- a true Protestant Bishop of Rome, though dismissed as the first anti-pope, in "the Refutation of all Heresies", writes that:
1. Despise wealth. (9.14)
2. Sell all possessions and live in groups in every city of Israel. (9.14-15)
3. Unlike Jesus' disciples, consider the use of anointing oil as a defilement. (9.14)
4. Always dress in white. (9.14)
5. Carry only weapons when traveling in Israel. (9.15) Contrast Jesus' disciples are to simply carry staves, and only a small ratio are allowed weapons.
6. Are not to own two sets of clothes or shoes. (9.15)
7. Unlike Jesus' disciples, are not to enter the activity of buying or selling. (9.15)
8. Must start their day singing a hymn to G-D before they can converse with another person. (9.16).
9. Are allowed to work only the first 5 hours of the day, and then devote the rest to religious activity and other pursuits. (9.16).
10. Must obey the rulings of their President as if his rulings were new addendums of Mosaic Law. (9.17). These addendums, if neccessary, may be ratified by councils of no less than 100 members present...and rulings ratified by the Councils of 100 are irreversible. (9.20)
11. Are forbidden from cussing. (9.17)
12. Are encouraged to make study of plants and stones. (9.17).
13. Are ever to carry about a hatchet for instant latrine making. They will dig a 1 foot long hole, unfurl their robe like a dress, and squat upon it, not allowing even the sun to shine upon until the hole and its contents are once again covered. However, they are forbidden from doing acts of nature on Shabbat, because this ritual involves work. (9.18, 9.20)
14. Are to be obedient to all rulers after being obedient to G-D, because even wicked rulers are G-D ordained. (9.18, 9.20)
15. Are forbidden to pass beneath any graven image, such as those that would be placed above a city gate among Gentiles. (9.21)
16. If in the presence of an uncircumcised one who discusses G-D and His laws, will either force circumcise such a one by brute force, or slay such a one and feel justified in so doing. ((9.20).
17. Count the Sicarii terrorists who kill, rape, murder at Jerusalem Temple Festivals; and who, with causeless hatred, fought Rome...as one of 4 denominations/factions descended from their brand of Judaism. (9.21)
Again, Hippolytus enlightens us with more Trivia.
1. King Hezekiah's assigned men were the compilers of the book of Proverbs (cf. Proverbs 25:1); but were also the destroyers of Solomon's writings as well. Solomon had composed some 3,000 parables and 5,000 songs...many hundreds of these were about plants and various species of animal life in water, on land, and of the air. The wisdom especially contained remedies for healing diseases. Under the pretext that the people looked to the wisdom of Solomon, rather than to G-D to heal their diseases, Hezekiah destroyed the vast majority of Solomon's library of insight he had left behind. (Hippolytus, fragment on the Song of Songs).
We can therefore see that the fascination Israel had with "magics" from Solomon until the Babylonian destruction of Jerusaelm, was tied into this "forbidden" knowledge, as it were. Later retention might simply have been kept by those who practiced sorceries, until their books and knowledge was burned and purged out along with the dark "arts" they practiced as well.
2. Solomon's Temple, unlike the Temples that followed, was not with its door pointing directly to the East. (Hippolytus, Fragment on Jeremiah and Ezekiel)
Like the recent conclusions of Leen Rittmeyer and Joseph Patrich, the facing of the access to the Temple would have been offset.
It seems that Patrich and Rittmeyer have shown the likelihood of the line of sight of the beautiful gate to the Holy Place being from slightly East-Southeast to West- Northwest. I am of a mind that Solomon's temple was probably more offset than these scholars have proposed. Such would be along a line of sight that leads more directly to the true crucifixion site of the Kidron and Hinom Valley juncture (Rev. 11:8), and a line of sight that is inclusive of the (later) true Pentecost upper Room of the Southeast Temple Court subjoining both the southern wall's Royal portico, and the Eastern wall's Portico of Solomon. But due to Herod's reconstruction of the Temple Mount, we may never know for sure. However, I believe this new angling by Patrich and Rittmeyer is probably at least accurate, or near to it, of the Herodian Temple.
Therefore, many of us can learn from these Early Church Fathers valuable data lost upon our current generation, and the illiteracy of modern secular scholarship in matters pertaining to Judeo-Christianity.
According to Tertullian,
1. The coming of Messiah, as indicated within a restricted timeline of fulfillment by the prophet Daniel, must occur prior to the ceasing of when unction can be made to anoint such a one as King. It is not the anointing that must occur, but Messiah's arrival before the unction ceases. Hence, no Temple and priesthood of the Temple, the unction ceases in existence...and no one else may come after to fulfill the prophecy. Hence, we are given witness that Jesus fulfills the requirement of coming as messiah before the cessation of both the Temple (with its priesthood) and the Holy Unction. (An answer to the Jews, .13)
2. Houses of ill repute (brothels) were identified by the use of laurels wrapped upon a post outside their door.
And various dressings upon doors were to the honor of various door-deities of the Romans, depending on where and how you dressed your gate or door. You had a hinge-goddess (Cardea), a door-deity (Forculus), a thresh-hold deity (Limentinus), and a Gate-deity (Janus), that helped identify your household as being apart from Judeo-Christianity.
Hence, a Christian was not allowed to have greenery upon their door, gate, or posts; but to be themselves as the light of the world, and a tree ever-green. (On Idolatry, .15)
In other words, the ancients had various "outward signs" that they looked for to testify of themselves and their beliefs. We, in our own way, also should refrain from even the appearance of idolatry ourselves; perhaps in ways we so exhibit now, but that we are or are not readily cognizant of.
An example may be in wearing the image or advertisement of a movie or rock star on a t-shirt,etc., that would constitute a "graven image of" or something that can be construed as idolatry.
Tertullian teaches us,
1) That for most of the first 170 years of Christianity, christians were forbidden from being allowed to defend themselves in Roman courts of law. (Apology,.2)
2) That any deity of Rome had to be first voted as a deity, and recognized by the Roman Imperial Senate. (Apology, .5)
3) That three of the primary occupations of Christians were that of: sailors, soldiers, and farmers. (Apology, .42)
4) In the Gladiator mid-day games ,after a battle exhibition, an actor dressed as Hermes/Mercury would first go about the stadium with a hot iron poker, and stick the bodies to see if any were feigning death or unconsciousness (and this would be part of the entertainment). He would be accompanied by an actor (probably executioner also) who was dressed like Pluto, holding a sledge like hammer in hand, to drag the gladiator bodies (or even body parts) away. (Ad nationes, 1.10)
5) Also at these (mid-day) Gladiator games, there would be the sellers of blood, who with a collection cup or pan, would collect fresh blood from the fresh punctured thigh wounds they would make of "criminals" as they lay dying, and sell it into the crowd as a cure for diseases like epilepsy. While wild animals/beasts that devoured men in the arena, were slain and sold outside the arena for food. (Apology, .9) Usually, it is several animals at a time that were released, and hence slain for exotic meat sales. (Ad nationes, 2.14)
6) Many Gladiator games began with a parade, in which many costumes and statues, thrones, etc., were displayed...like an ancient Macy's / Rose Bowl / Mardi Gras parade all wraped up in one. They also incorporated pagan religious rituals as part of the entertainment. (De Spectaculis, .7)
7) Gladiators are urged into combat by nearby overseers with rods and cat and nine-tails, so that if they do not perform or kill their opponent, they are attacked from behind by others. (De Spectaculis, .21)
Should the gladiators turn to attack these, there were archers all around the arena at appointed stations, set at the walls to shoot those in the arena (be they man or beast) down.
It is therefore no wonder, that Christians who were condemned to death in these kinds of arenas, simply chose to die quickly; rather than to kill or resist unneccessarily for the perverse amusement of others and risk their own eternal souls --being about to die in their last minutes anyway.
Welcome! Jesus Christ is my LORD and Savior! Romans 10:9-10,13; John 3:16
I am a Natural Born United States Citizen with NO allegiance or citizenship to any nation but my own, and will use this site as a hobby place of sorts to present my own political and religious viewpoints, as a genuine Constitutional Conservative and a genuine Christian Conservative.
Thank you for coming.
In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ 2019
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.
It is likely that the entries to this blog will be less frequent than in years past. I do intend to keep this blog active, and to offer insightful information and/or opinion (and sometimes humor and/or entertainment on occasion) when I do post.
Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.