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WCF.M2.L61 - World Christian Foundations Study Guide

Objectives: To be able to...
  • State why dealing with gnosticism was a major challenge for the early church, and why it is a continuing challenge for the church today.
  • Identify philosophic and religious traditions upon which the Gnostics drew, in compounding their syncretistic faith.
  • Relate the sharpness of the Roman persecution of the early church to features of Roman civic religion and emperor cults.

  • Introduction
  • Winter, ed: WCF Module Two Lesson Overviews
  • 240-241Lesson 61 Introduction

  • General
  • Hawthorne, ed: Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
  • 350-354Gnosis, Gnosticism
  • 786-795Religions, Greco-Roman

  • Stark: The Rise of Christianity
  • 33-47Class Basis of Early Christianity

  • Evans: Dictionary of New Testament Background
  • 218-220Civic Cults
  • 414-417Gnosticism
  • 771-774Pax Romana

  • Latourette: A History of Christianity, Vol. 1: Beginnings to 1500
  • 122-129Threats: Hellenism, Gnosticism, Marcionism, Montanism

  • O’Brien: Oxford Atlas of World History
  • 54-57The Roman Empire 500 BC- 400 AD and Barbarian Invasions of the Roman Empire 100-500 AD

  • McNeill: A World History
  • 130-131Review Chronological Chart
  • 158-165Breakdown of the Republic through Christianity

  • Winter, ed: WCF Module Two Lesson Overviews
  • 241-243Lesson 61 Review

  • Language
  • Greek Lessons
  •  Greek 61

  • Hebrew Lessons
  •  Hebrew 61
Personal Response, Intellectual Journal, Notes

Reflection Questions
  • How does Paul’s assertion that “if our gospel be hid , it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor 4:3 KJV; veiled NIV) speak to the issue of gnosticism? Or does it?

  • List the philosophic and religious traditions used by Gnostics to develop their syncretistic faith.

  • Why might the Roman persecution of the early church be considered a natural outgrowth of the Roman civic religion and emperor cults?