What Would the Bereans Do?

Who were the Bereans?
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so". (Acts 17:10-11 KJV)

Of course the Scriptures searched daily by the Bereans was our Old Testament and, in all probability, the Greek Septuagint. As the Bereans learned of Christian doctrines by word of mouth (from Apostles and their appointed elders, deacons, bishops), and from the letters to the Churches written by the Apostles, they would see how these teachings agreed with the Old Testament Scriptures.

Setting the Stage

Much variety and debate flourishes within the Conglomination, not just in doctrines but also in Church governance. For purposes of these tragedies, our Beroeans must have some initially established doctrines and form of governance. We will not do this soley from Scriptures because if we did, many of the 40,000+ denominations in the Conglomination would accuse us of misinterpreting Scriptures. So we have looked to the historical writings of the ancient church. Ancient Christian writers are referred to as “Fathers of the Church”.

Church Father Excerpts
Ignatius of Antioch
Clement of Rome
Polycarp
Justin Martyr
Irenaeus
Clement of Alexandria
  
One of the earliest writings we have of the Church after the time of the apostles is that of Ignatius of Antioch who was martyred in the Roman Amphitheater in the year 107 A.D. John Chrysostom (Patriarch of Constantinople, 398 A.D., born in Antioch 344 A.D.) writes that Ignatius of Antioch was a disciple of John the Apostle/Evangelist, was appointed by the Apostle Peter as bishop of Antioch, and remained bishop of Antioch for forty years until his death. This would mean that his bishopric began in 67 A.D., three years before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

Ignatius wrote letters to many churches in which described how the Church was governed in this first generation after the apostles, and what they believed. These letters, as well as the letters of Clement of Rome, serve as the source of Beroean doctirine contained in the discussions below.

Clement of Rome, according to Tertullian, was also appointed a bishop by the Apostle Peter, and succeeded Cletus as the bishop of Rome in the year 91 AD. Before his own death in 100 AD, Clement also wrote letters to various churches. One in particular, his letter to the Corinthians, was so highly esteemed in the primitive church that some considered it inspired. It was even read in early worship services for many years.

Based on the documents of Clement and Ignatius, our story is begins in the year 101 AD. While in 101 AD, the letters of Ignatius had not yet been written, the doctrines and governance contained in them will have been well established. We will consider the teaching of Ignatius as the teaching of the Bereon church. Our fictitious Bereons will be aware of all New Testament Scripture, the letter of Clement to the Corinthians, and of course, the Old Testament.

The letters of Ignatius and Clement are easily found on the web, in published books, and Christain CDs. It is recommended the reader examine these ancient documents as soon as possible

Let us begin. . .

Scene  Title
1Can't We All Just Get Along?
2Jude 11 and the Rebellion of Korah
3The Keys of What Kingdom?
4This is Whose Body?
5Heirarchy? We Don't Need No Stinking Heirarchy.
  
A note on scriptures chapters and verses. Chapters and verses were provided by a Catholic Monk in order to assist in referencing Scriptures. While the Beroens did not cite Chapter and Verse, we will make use of this wonderful tool we all know and love.











Source of quotes for many of the Church Fathers as well as other manuscripts is the Complete Christian Collection CD by Packard Technologies.
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