CHHI 301 - History of the Christian Church I
Professor – Dr. Jeffrey S. Mayfield
February 20, 2012
The Fall of A Great Empire and the Rise of the Papacy
Before the fall of the Roman Empire you must stop and look at the power that was held within the millions of miles of land, building, people, cities, kings, and customs. The Roman Empire was not known for being just another city or empire but it was known for its strength, power and victories in the times of conflict and wars. The roman empire was built up to what it was right up until the fall by powerful kings and rulers who never imagined that the once untouchable empire would one day fall but not everyone had that same mind set of the great empire according to Katell Berthelot in their writings in the Journal for the Study of Judaism they wrote that, Philo’s perception of Rome is less positive than has generally been argued. Although Philo appreciated the pax romana and the religious freedom generally enjoyed by Jews in the Roman Empire, he was nevertheless critical of Rome. In particular, he rejected the idea that the Roman Empire was the outcome of divine providence and would last forever. He opposed the spiritual kingship of Israel to the worldly and transitory dominion of Rome. Moreover, he expected Roman rule to fade away in the end, and Israel to blossom as no other nation ever had in the past. Even though the great Roman Empire did eventually fall you must stop and see it for what it was and the vastness of its content and glory. The Roman Catholic Church has a great history that is tied into the life of some of the greatest prophets, preachers, speakers and evangelist. The church was set aside from other churches and religions due to its emphases on meditating salvations according to Walter A. Elwell in his book Evangelical Dictionary of Theology; The most distinctive characteristics of Roman Catholicism has always been its theology of the church (its ecclesiology). The church’s role in meditating salvation has been emphasized more than in other Christian traditions. The Power of the Papacy of Rome
The start of the Roman Catholic Church took place through misinterpreted words when Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18, on this rock I will build my church. Some would argue that the bishop of Rome is to come after the great Peter and then would be called the “rock” of the church. Matthew 16:19 says, I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. These scriptures were meant to show that Jesus was giving peter a great authority as well as passing it on to those who come after Peter in Rome. There are very many misconstrued thoughts and theories on these two scriptures but it is all brought to light in verse sixteen of what Jesus was really trying to say on that day in those words in Matthew 16:16, Simon Peter answered, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Throughout the centuries the Roman Catholic Church has been at the center of most of these theories we have just discussed and we as a church in general must realize that we as “the church” must understand that the keys of heaven were not only laid into the hands of the great men and women of old but it is still being placed in the hands of the church of today and we must take possession of it and put it into works so the fruits of our labor will come forth out of the seeds of the harvest. I have tried to cover some of the history of the great Roman Empire because I feel it is important to see what was there and the power that was ripped away before the great power was in return handed over to the papacy. Looking at part of time without looking at what came before that period is like looking at a painting but not caring whom the artist is behind it. The Great Division
When looking into the great division that took place in the Roman...