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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Apostolic Succession (PDF Booklet)

As seen from Conciliar Press:

An excerpt from the booklet:
"The significance of this study is threefold. First, it is more of a
personal confession than an academic dissertation. You are reading
the testimony of a Bible-believing evangelical Protestant who examined
the biblical and historical data and emerged an Orthodox Christian—
and a believer in apostolic succession.
Second, the first-hand biblical and patristic data are here. You
have the primary sources which address the subject, with footnotes,
here in front of you for your consideration.
Third, the writing is clear. The text of the study was taken from
two oral presentations on the subject. While this is by no means an
exhaustive study, the author handles the highlights of the subject in
an understandable and enlightening manner.
A Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago in the History of
Christianity, Father Gregory Rogers holds an undergraduate degree
from Lincoln Christian College, a Master’s from Valparaiso University,
and an M.A. in Divinity from the University of Chicago.
Father Gregory is currently pastor of St. Catherine Mission in
Aiken, South Carolina."

I saw this booklet quoted by someone else and so I decided to get it myself. I'm glad I did.


Godismyjudge said...

Hey Jnorm,

2 questions. Without infallibility, what's the main thrust of apostolic succssion? Second, why don't we have 12 successors to the apostles today?

God be with you,

Godismyjudge said...

I mean individual infallibility, not that of a council.

Jnorm said...

Godismyjudge said:
"2 questions. Without infallibility, what's the main thrust of apostolic succssion?"

Good question, in order to go into great detail I would have to review some more. It's been years since I dove into this issue, but off the top of the dome I would say that the Christians of the 2nd and 3rd centuries used it as a means of not only being able to trace ones leadership back to the Apostles as a means of authenticity against the gnostics and other groups, but also as a means of preserving right doctrine or teaching.....mostly against the claims of the gnostics and other groups.

You can pretty much look at Titus and Timothy in this regard. They were helpers of Saint Paul. They both had the authority to appoint other elders. In a way they were extinctions of Saint Paul's ministry.

The same is true with Ignatious and Polycarp when it comes to the Apostle John.

Hmm, let me make up an example. Let's say France decided to change her name to Virginia. And lets say that she professed to be part of the Union of the United States of America.

Well, in order to know who is right or wrong in this situation the real Virginia says that she can trace her Governors back to the very beginning of the Republic.

She also can claim that the other States in the Republic can verify it for they are all in communion with each other.

The New self professed Virginia can't do that and so she starts to teach an idea of a secret teaching of the founding fathers of America that only they know.

To counter that, the original Virginia will say that the founding fathers all taught in public and we know what they taught because we know not only their writings but also the writings of those who sat at their feet. They will also say that they know the stories of the founding fathers from the very people that knew them.

Godismyjudge said:
"Second, why don't we have 12 successors to the apostles today?

Why do you think we don't? Off the top of my head I will say that Saint Mark went to Alexandria, Saint Thomas to India, Saint Andrew to Greece, Saint Peter to Antioch and then Rome. Saint Paul died in Rome, Saint James in Jerusalem, Saint John was in Asia Minor.

That's all I can think of right now.

Godismyjudge said:
"I mean individual infallibility, not that of a council."

To be honest I don't think we do believe in individual infallibility. What one finds in 1st John is communal.
"These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him."

The "you" is plural and so it's councilliar or communal to us.

Godismyjudge said:
"God be with you,

And also with you!

Jnorm said...


Check out this audio:
As the Apostles Taught: How Orthodoxy understands apostolic succession

It talks about how we understand it.....which is pretty much what one will find in the 2nd century view.

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