The Study of the Montanists, Novantianists and Donatists

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Liberty University

The Study of the Montanists, Novantianists and Donatists
and Their Chronological Procession

A research paper submitted to Dr. david alexander

In Partial Fulfillment of the requirements For

The course chhi 520

Liberty baptist Theological seminary

By

Lita p. Ward

Lynchburg, Virginia
Sunday, march 8, 2009

Table of Contents
Title Page
The Study of Montanism and their Chronological Procession………………….. 3 Chronology of Montanism………………………………………………………. 5 The Study of Donatists and their Chronological Procession……………………. 6 Donatian Schism………………………………………………………………… 6 The Study of Novantianists and their Chronological Procession……………….. 11 Novation Schism………………………………………………………………… 12 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………….. 14 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………… 15

The Study of Montanism and their Chronological Procession

Montanism was a rigorous religious movement that emerged in the second century with Christianity and developed from a prophetic phenomenon. Tertullian of Carthage, a defender against heresy, became a Montanist. According to Gonzalez, he became “attracted by Montanist rigorism. His legal mind sought after perfect order, where everything was properly done.”[1] Montanism taught that Christ’s second coming was imminent and that one fallen from grace could not be redeemed. Followers were instructed to seek and not flee persecution and even martyrdom. Montanism found adherents at the time that the state’s opposition to Christianity was waning. The church was becoming a part, rather than a foe, of the contemporary world. Montanists shunned the secular, concentrating on preparations for Christ’s return. The Prophecy

Montanism had three leaders who believed solely there was a God who revealed to them how the church disciplinary should be. Montanus and two female prophets Maxmillia and Prisca had some deep in-thought utterances that were believed to be oracles of the Holy Spirit. These three people never believed in the Catholics faith of, “A Christian can be restored to grace after repentance”. They strongly opposed this, as they believed that what they said came from divine inspiration and they had the superiority of the divine inspiration. According to the two prophets and Montanus, a Christian fallen from grace, has no chance of being redeemed. Montanists were encouraged to hunt for persecution while Catholics were told to run away from it. These kinds of contradictions led to the Catholics denouncing the movement at the time when Montanists set up their hierarchy. This movement continued to the seventh century.[2] Montanus

The founder of Montanism according to several sources is said to have been an inhabitant of Phrygian where Montanism existed to the eighth century. Originally, he was a pagan until his Christian conversion in A.D. 155.[3] Montanus began to preach about a new prophecy which he believed was revealed to him in the year A.D 130. This founder of Montanism movement claimed that he had the prophetic powers to act as God himself. He claimed that in his speaking, it was the divine superiority, and so it was not him speaking to the people, but God. His partner and prophet Priscilla bored the same claims. Montanus preaching spread not only through Asia Minor but through Rome and Carthage too. His opponents declared this founder mad before he died and his remains are said to have been exhumed by an Asiatic Bishop.[4] Prophetesses and Disciples

Montanus’ followers in Asia were the two women who were not only his followers but also shared the spiritual gifts he claimed to have had. Prisca and Maximilla are the two greatest influencers of Montanism. Occupying an authoritative position in the Montanists movement, Maximilla’s prophetic utterances were quoted by the Tertullian proving that she was one of the spiritual instructors. The other prophetess and follower of Montanus is...
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