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3. Time-Line of the First, Second and Third Churches at Rome

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3. Time-Line of the First, Second and Third Churches at Rome




THE FIRST

CHURCH OF

ROME


HOUSE CHURCH
(ECCLESIA
DOMESTICA)


on the Esquiline Hill on
the Vicus Lateranus (the
site later known as Sancta
Praxedis, nowadays Santa
Prassede) founded
probably by
Andronicus and Junia
between AD 33-37
Aquila and Priscilla
fellowship here


Linus then Cletus

are ordained overseers (bishops) c. AD 35-46




AD 41 CLAUDIUS

INTRODUCES LAWS
AGAINST PUBLIC
ASSEMBLING OF JEWS

Aquila and Priscilla cannot assemble in this Messianic congregation in a manner which is observant of the Torah





ARRIVAL OF SIMON
MAGUS
IN ROME





Cletus ordains Elder


Clemens (Clement) overseer c. AD 46


and Clemens Elder


Evaristus c. AD 46-53


Clemens is appointed overseer of the First Church

by Peter in Caesarea, but is unable to take up his position because …





c. AD 45-49

EXPULSION OF
JEWS BY CLAUDIUS

Aquila and Priscilla leave Rome between AD 41 and AD 49 and go to Corinth in Southern Greece. The Gentile converts are orphaned of their Jewish leaders and spiritual guides.

Paul meets Aquila and commits the care of the Church in Rome to a young Gentile convert, the slave Hermas.





Hermas is unable to prevent the corruption of many Gentile believers in the days of Claudius c. AD 41-54 by “Father”


Simon Magus



Evaristus ordains overseer


Alexander c. AD 53-62






AD 54 DEATH OF CLAUDIUS
RETURN OF JEWS TO
ROME



THE SECOND

CHURCH OF

ROME


HOUSE CHURCH

(ECCLESIA DOMESTICA)

on the Aventine Hill near the Circus Maximus (the site later known as Santa Prisca) founded by

Aquila and Priscilla

(Prisca) on their return to Rome between AD 54-58. There is no further record of this fellowship after the 60s when


Aquila and Priscilla move to Ephesus


(before AD 64)



For the period following the return of Aquila and Priscilla in c. AD 54-58, Alexander probably serves the remainder of his term as overseer in their house-church


Hermas’ son

Sixtus

also known as Xystus,


previously ordained overseer by Alexander, apostatizes and joins the Gnostic school


Simon Magus

continues agitating against
the Jewish Christians
AD 58





Sixtus (dates unknown, but already bishop (overseer) of the First Church AD 62: c. AD 62-90)


Paul writes his Epistle to the Romans AD 58

Andronicus and Junia
are in prison in Rome


Rufus (Pudens)

and likeminded brethren including

Hermas

assemble in the House of Pudens on the Viminal Hill on the Vicus Patricius.

There is as yet no Pastor identified as such for this fellowship







Paul a house-prisoner in Rome AD 61







HOLOCAUST OF MANY CHRISTIANS IN ROME BY NERO AD 64


AD 62 PETER IMPALED (JERUSALEM). PAUL BEHEADED (NEAR ROME)









Simon Magus

returns to the East



THE THIRD

CHURCH OF

ROME



HOUSE CHURCH

(ECCLESIA DOMESTICA)

on the Viminal Hill on the Vicus Patricius in the House of Rufus Pudens (later called Sancta Pudentiana, nowadays Santa Pudenziana).



Simon Magus and his immediate circle prompt
Cerdon
to set out from Syria and become the chief Gnostic guru in Rome, the “Father” of the Gnostic school on the Vicus Lateranus.

This school is now referred to by Bible-believing Christians (of the Third Church) as the “Cerdonian
heresy”.


Cerdon


runs the school in the outward semblance of a “church” with a single bishop at its head. Cerdon remains the chief doctrinal authority in the First Church till the days of Hyginus, its third bishop.

The bishops of the First Church adhere to the heretical doctrines of Artemon, believing Jesus was an ordinary human empowered by a higher divine being “Christ”.


Tele(s)phorus (dates unknown, probably c. AD 90-120)

introduces the Lenten fast of the pagan Spring festival at Easter and the pagan Christmas ceremony invented by the heretic Artemon.


Hyginus (dates unknown, but probably c. AD 120-140)



Pius (c. AD 140-155)

is the “brother” of the prophet Hermas of the Third Church. Originally an elder in the Bible-believing congregation, he apostatizes and joins the Gnostic sect, as Hermas’ son Sixtus did earlier. He calls the church at Santa Prassede the official “Church of Rome”.



Clemens (Clement)
(AD 62-96)



He was originally appointed overseer of the First Church by the Apostle Peter before its apostasy early in the reign of Claudius but was prevented from taking up his position at that time by the expulsion of Jews from Rome, then by the apostasy of the First Church under Simon Magus.













Hermas





previously an elder with a gift of prophecy, is now at an advanced age the Pastor of the Third Church. He preaches against the Gnostic heretics.











Martinus


is now Pastor (around AD 145 to around AD 177 at the latest) and is supported by the noted Bible teacher



Marcion


is now the chief Gnostic guru in the congregation. He teaches that the Bread of the Eucharist is the “proper” material body of Jesus, whilst the human Jesus was a mere phantasm and did not have a truly human body at all.



Anicetus (c. AD 155-166)











Soter (AD 166-175)








Eleuther(i)us (c. AD 175-189)









Victor (AD 189-199)

abandons the doctrine of Artemon and introduces a new heresy holding that Jesus was not truly human but a divine apparition. Copying the Montanists he makes the pagan ceremonies of his church obligatory as if they were divinely inspired.


Zephyrinus (AD 199-217)



Callistus (AD 217-222)

Callistus remodels the First Church’s doctrine and practice along the lines formulated by his predecessor Victor. He promotes the Docetic theology of Simon and Cerdon in a new “Callistian” form, which likewise represents Jesus as a direct manifestation of God, without any real human element. Jesus’ mother Mary now becomes “The Mother of God” like the Great Goddess of the pagan Romans, the Mother of the Sun-god Mithras or Apollo. The apostle Peter becomes the mystic “Rock” out of which the Sun-god arose, the founder of the First Church in the sense that he transmitted his authority, and, indeed, his spirit, to its later bishops. The priesthood of the First Church becomes a pseudo-ascetic clique who are given the power to forgive sins by their own authority and are freed from the personal requirements of the moral law. This Callistian heresy is in all essentials Roman Catholicism as it is practiced to this day.



Justin Martyr


who previously taught in Ephesus amongst the disciples of the Apostle John. He preaches against the Gnostic heretics. A Messianic Jewish Bible teacher called





Hegesippus

visits Rome and lends his authority to the pastors in the Third Church, preaching against the Gnostic heretics.



Visit of
Polycarp

the disciple of the Apostle John. He turns many of the followers of the Gnostic heretics of the First Church back to the true faith.







Irenaeus


the disciple of Polycarp visits Rome and teaches there, preaching with great power against the Gnostic heretics.






Hippolytus



the disciple of Irenaeus is now Pastor. He preaches against the Gnostic heretics, and specifically against Callistianism.











Origen


the disciple of Hippolytus continues the battle against Gnosticism, and, particularly, Callistianism and the related heresy Sabellianism, on into the third century









Novatian



continues the work of Hippolytus in Rome as teacher then Pastor. This church is called the “Novatianist” Church after him





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