Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005


First I am defining the words Apostles and Desciples from Merium Webster's Dictionary.apostle (noun)

1 : one sent on a mission: as; a : one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ's 12 original disciples and Paul; b : the first prominent Christian missionary to a region or group;

2 a : a person who initiates a great moral reform or who first advocates an important belief or system; b : an ardent supporter : ADHERENT ;

3 : the highest ecclesiastical official in some church organizations;

4 : one of a Mormon administrative council of 12 men disciple (noun)

1 : one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: as; a : one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ's followers according to the Gospel accounts; b : a convinced adherent of a school or individual;

2 : a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the U.S. in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational polity According to the lesson: The New Testament, as usually received in the Christian Churches, is made up of twenty-seven different books attributed to eight different authors. Six of them are numbered among the Apostles (Matthew, John, Paul, James, Peter, Jude) and two are among their immediate disciples (Mark, Luke).

If we consider only the contents of these writings, they may be divided into historical books, or Gospels and Acts, and didactic books (Epistles), a prophetical book (Apocalypse). I will attempt to answer the question. I will start with the first book in my translation of the New Testiment and work to the end, Revelation. If there are only eight writers, the Author will be named first, If more than one book is credited to the writer, I will list it in his paragraph. As I am explaining my method, I see the second question in my text window and wonder how I am going to do that! No wonder I am not seeing posts on this lesson!

Matthew shows up first in my Bible but according to my notes, it was not written first. My sourse does not tell me who Matthew was, but it was probably the third book written. I am supposing he is an apostle, he wrote about 85 AD and would have to be really old to have experienced the events.Mark was not a desciple, but he knew them. His mother hosted meetings of the original 12. His work seems to be copied by Luke.Luke hung out with Paul and that would make him an apostle. He wrote the Acts of the Apostles. He wrote Luke. John ovbiously wrote John, age doesn't seem to me to make anyone an actual desciple. John was a busy man and also wrote The First Letter of John, found after Peter II. The Second Letter of John, the Third Letter of John and at last the Revelation to John may be his as well. This is uncertain.Romans, First and Second Corenthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Thessalonians, Thesssalonians, Timothy One and Two, Titus and Philemon are all credited to Paul.

Hebrews is unknown. James may have been the brother of Jesus.Then come the writer Peter who wrote two Books. The writer of Jude may have been the brother of James.Before I actually began looking for the answer to the first question I did not realize John was so busy. Now the second question. Create a plan of the time fframe the New Testament reflects by establishing mile stones of im- portant occasions. I am not sure what an important coccasion might be. According to the lesson: The New Testament was not written all at once. These books appeared one after another in a time frame of fifty years, in the second half of the first century. Written in different and distant countries, and addressed to particular Churches, they took some time to spread throughout the whole ChristianityIn 383, St. Jerome revised the Latin version with the aid of what he considered to be the best copies of the Greek text.

Between 400 and 450, Rabbula of Edessa did the same thing for the Syriac version. In the thirteenth century the universities, the Dominicans, and the Franciscans undertook to correct the Latin text and in the fifteenth century printing lessened. Then, Byzantine scholars came in numbers to Italy, Germany, and France, after the capture of Constantinople. This text, after having been revised by Erasmus, Robert Estienne, and Théodore de Bèze, finally became in 1633 the Elzeverian edition, which was to bear the name of the "received text". It remained as the basic version of the New Testament for Protestants up to the nineteenth century. The British and Foreign Bible Society continued to publish it until 1904.

All the official Protestant versions depended on this test of Byzantine origin up to the revision of the Authorized Version of the Anglican Church, which took place in 1881. The Catholics followed the official edition of the Latin Vulgate (which is in substance the revised version of St. Jerome), published in 1592 by order of Clement VIII, and called on that account the Clementine Bible. New Testament Timeline40 BCEHerod the Great appointed King of Judea by Marc Anthony in Rome.20 BCEHerod begins to rebuild the Great Temple in Jerusalem in an attempt to restore it to its former splendor as under Solomon.c. 8 BCEJesus of Nazareth born in Roman Palestine (by some estimates).6Herod the Great deposed by Augustus.14 - 37Tiberius I emperor of Rome, b. 42 BCE.18Caiaphas become high priest in Jerusalem (until 36).c. 24 - 26Jesus begins his ministry.26 - 36Pontius Pilate is governor of Judea.27 - 28John the Baptist wanders and preaches. Jesus baptized. [Luke 3,1-2] (15th year of Tiberius).28John the Baptist is executed on orders from Herod Antipas.c. 30Jesus of Nazareth crucified in Jerusalem.c. 31Saint Stephen becomes the first Christian martyr when he is stoned to death for blasphemy.c. 34-5Saul of Tarsus, formerly a rabbi and enemy of Christianity, converts to the new Christian faith and becomes known as Paul. [Acts 9].c. 37-40Paul first visits Jerusalem as a Christian.37 - 41 Gaius Caligula emperor of Rome, declares himself god.

40 Paul goes to Jerusalem to consult with Peter [Gal 1, 18-20].c. 40 - 51Paul travels to Asia Minor and Cyprus, establishing churches and writing the earliest epistles which will become part of the New Testament canon.43 Romans under Aulus Plautius invade Britain. London is founded.44James, brother of John, executed by Herod Agrippa I [Acts 12, 1-3].47First recorded use of the term "Christian" in Antioch, Syria, home of one of the earliest Christian churches .47 - 48Paul and Barnabas on Cyprus [Acts 13, 4-12].48 - 49Council of Jerusalem, 1st Christian Council, doctrine regarding circumcision and dietary law is agreed to by apostles and presbyters, written in a letter addressed to "the brothers of Gentile origin in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia" [Acts 15]c. 49Paul composes his epistle to the Thessalonians - the earliest known New Testament writingc. 49Early church council in Jerusalem decides to expand missionary work to the Gentiles.

Christianized Jews are excused from full obedience to Jewish law.c. 51Paul writes epistle to the Galatians.c. 55Paul writes epistles to the Corinthians.c. 55Peter travels to Rome. His leadership over the church of Rome establishes the tradition of the papacy and he is regarded as the first bishop of Rome (pope).57Paul's last visit to Jerusalem [Acts 21].58Paul is arrested and imprisoned in Caesarea [Acts 25:4].61Human sacrifices as part of religious celebrations are prohibited by Roman law.62Paul is held under house arrest in Rome, but then is allowed to resume his travels.c. 60Paul writes epistle to the Romans.64Roman emperor Nero (37 - 68) accuses the Christians of having started the fire which destroyed large sections of Rome, thus initiating widespread persecution.65Famous and influential Roman philosopher Seneca commits suicide on orders from Emperor Nero.c. 65Q possibly written, (German: Quelle, meaning "source") a hypothetical Greek text used in writing of Matthew and Luke.66Jews revolt against Roman government (through 70).c. 67Nero orders the execution of both Peter and Paul.68Qumran (Essenes?) community destroyed by Rome, site of Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1949.70Titus, son of Roman emperor Vespasian, captures and destroys Jerusalem and suppresses Jewish revolt, destroying the Temple in the process.c. 70Mark, earliest known gospel, is composed.73Massada, last remaining stronghold of Jewish Zealots, falls to Roman assault.c. 85 - 95Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts are composed.c. 90Old Testament books, called "The Writings," are established as part of Christian canon: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, and Chronicles.c. 95Book of Revelation is composed.c. 95Clement of Rome (c. 30 - 100), one of the earliest popes, writes a letter arguing that church leaders possess a divine authority inherited from Christ and his apostles.c. 95- 105Composition of the "Pastoral Epistles," falsely attributed to Paul: Hebrews, I and II Timothy, Titus, and I Peter.c. 80 - 100Gospel of Matthew is composed.c. 100Christian churches are established in Greece, North Africa, Italy, and Asia Minor.c. 100 - 125Gospel of John is composed.c) Explain how our sins can be forgiven.When I was a kid in Baptist Bible camp I memorized Ephision 2: 8-9. For by grace you have been save through grace; and it is not your own doing, it is the gift of God- not because of works, lest any man should boast.The lesson makes it a lot less simple than this verse. Actually this isn't really in the lesson. Maybe I am missing the point. This isn't so much the forgiveness of sins but the entry into Heaven.

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