As Christian apologetic evangelists who must reason, explain, prove, persuade, and defend, Christians show that Jesus Christ did live by using sources other than the Bible and the writing of the early Church Fathers. For those who question Christian the authority of the New Testament documents, examine carefully what the secular historians and other writers have written that, in fact, corroborates the testimony of the Bible.
There were three basic classes of religious personnel in ancient Israel: prophets, wise men, and priests, and Levites. The priests and Levites fulfilled a variety of essentially religious duties and were equivalent approximately to the clergy in modern times. They were professional men and were supported for their full-time religious work.
Gnosticism heresy is a collection of ancient religious ideas and systems which originated in the first century AD among early Christian and Jewish sects. These various groups emphasized personal spiritual knowledge over orthodox teachings, traditions, and ecclesiastical authority.
The Gnostics (Greek gnosis, meaning “knowledge”) maintained they had superior knowledge by way of secret revelation and bragged that they were the “correctors of the apostles.” Gnosticism weaved philosophy, speculation, and pagan mysticism with apostate (false) Christianity.
THE APOSTOLIC AGE
The period of the Twelve Apostles, dating from the Great Commission of the Apostles by the resurrected Jesus in Jerusalem (33 A.D.) until the death of the last Apostle, believed to be John the Apostle in Anatolia (100 A.D.).
Name and General Character [far’-i-sez (perushim; Pharisaioi)] A prominent sect of the Jews. The earliest notice of them in Josephus occurs in connection with Jonathan,
1. Name: Rival Etymologies. Probably from Zadok the High Priest: [sad’-u-sez (tsadduqim; Saddoukaioi)] The Talmud form suggests derivation from the name of their founder, but