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Homework and Essays
History of Christianity - Lesson 10
Don Noenoehitoe

1. Why was the Roman bishop considered so prestigious among the monarchical bishops?

 Leadership in the midst of persecution and heresy was a practical need that required the expanding of the episcopal authority.
With the formation of the doctrine of apostolic succession, the Roman bishops were elevated; sealed themselves from other schisms
and promoted the the true doctrine and unity among early Christians.
Rome's historical prestige - both Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome - gave the Romans bishops their primacy importance among the monarchical bishops; Vicar of Christ (Vicarius Christi)

2. How did the formation of creeds and the fixation of the New Testament canon reinforce the episcopal authority of the monarchical bishop?

The role of the bishop as the bond of unity in the Christian church was strengthened by the formation of the creeds.
A creed is a statement of faith for public use. It puts forward those things that must be believed for salvation and the theological well-being of the Christian church. Statements of faith in the New Testament that can be viewed as proto-creeds are found in Romans 10:9-10, 1 Corinthians 15:4,
and 1 Timothy 3:16, thus reinforced the episcopal authority of the monarchical bishops.

3. What was required for a writing to pass muster as canonical? Why was the process of fixing the New Testament canon slow and deliberate?

The crucial test for a book to be admitted into the canon was whether that writing had apostolicity.
Was the writing in question written by an Apostle or a person who was closely associated with the Apostles?
Did the writing edify others when publicly read? Did the writing agree with the rule of faith?
Ultimately it was the historical verification of apostolic authorship or influence and the universal consciousness of the Christian church,
led by the Holy Spirit, that yielded the final decision about whether a book or writing was canonical and worthy of inclusion in what we know today as the New Testament.
The process were slow and deliberate due to the existence of other competing non-canonical writings, the time and efforts to determine the authorship and liturgical authenticity of pertinent writings.

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