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Presentation on theme: "The New Prophesies and Montanism CLASS PRESENTATION BY SAMMY KU CH2000 THE EARLY CHURCH HISTORY."— Presentation transcript:


2 New Prophesies Who are they? What had they done? The Founder was Montanus lived in Phrygia. He claimed to have received a series of direct revelations from the Holy Spirit and began his prophecy in Phrygia and the rural area of Asia Minor in the 2 nd century (AD170)

3 Asia Minor in the 2 nd Century

4 Man in Phrygian dress. 3-1 nd century BC wiki/File:Phrygian.jpg

5 New Prophesies Some of Montanus’ prophecies were spoken in the 1 st person as God. He had two female co-leaders: Maximilla and Priscilla They also claimed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and spoke prophecies in ecstatic visions. They were called “the Three”.

6 New Prophesies The Three proclaimed the village of Pepuza in Phrygia as the site of the New Jerusalem. Their preaching spread from Pepuza across Asia Minor reached Syria and Antioch, Rome and the West, to Africa and Gaul for decades even though the last of original prophets, Maximilla, died in AD 179. Montanist congregation survived for three centuries. They were called Phrygian heresy (in the 2 nd century) and Montanist (in the 4th century).

7 Montanist Oracles By Montanus: “Behold, man is as a lyre, and I hover over him as a plectrum; man sleeps but I watch; behold, the Lord is removing the hearts of men and giving them (new) hearts.” “Do not hope to die in bed nor in abortion nor in languishing fevers, but in martyrdom, that he who suffered for you may be glorified.” “I am the Lord God Omnipotent dwelling in man.”

8 Montanist Oracles “I am neither an angel nor an envoy, but I, the Lord God, the Father, have come.” “I am the Father and the Son and the Paraclete (Holy Spirit).” Compare to OT‘s oracles Isaiah 48:17 This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go

9 Montanist Oracles By Maximilla: “After me there will be no more prophecy, but the consummation (the End).” “I am driven as a wolf from the sheep. I am not a wolf; I am word, spirit and power.” “The Lord sent me as a partisan (co-worker) of this task, a revealer of this covenant, an interpreter of this promise, force, whether I will or not, to learn the knowledge of God.”

10 Montanist Oracles By Priscilla “Appearing as a woman clothed in a shining robe, Christ came to me; he put wisdom into me and revealed to me that this place is sacred and that here Jerusalem will come down from heaven.” NRS Isaiah 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;

11 Montanism’s beliefs and teaching Montanists claimed to be inspired directly by the Holy spirits and spoke on behalf of holy spirit (or the Father, the Son) They used the wordings of the Gospel of John “..I will send you the advocate, the spirit of truth..” (John15:26) to support them. They imitated and proclaimed like OT’s prophets They read scriptures literally They saw themselves in a relation of complete alienation from the world.

12 Montanism’s beliefs and teaching Their calling was martyrdom and their duty was to hope for it and not to flee (escape) from persecution. They fasted longer and more elaborately than other Christians. They discouraged and forbid marriage (Priscilla and Maximilla left their husbands). They proclaimed Christ came very nearly followed by real resurrection of the dead

13 Montanism’s beliefs and teaching they represented a revival of the apocalyptic spirit and announced the forthcoming end of the world, the Lord was about to return, and the new Jerusalem would be set up in the near place of Papuza in Phrygia. As a preparation for the End, they “purified” themselves and cut themselves loose from their attachments to the society.

14 Their influence on the Proto-Orthodox Churches and Christians The problem to the proto-orthodox churches was not Montanists preached prophecy which was not unusual in the early church but they teached a new prophecy unfamiliar in its wordings which they claimed a new revelation. Their apocalypticism and martyrdom were also new to the proto-orthodox Christians.

15 Their influence on the Proto-Orthodox Church and Christian Some prophets clashed with the emerging authority of bishops when they bypass their authority as they acquired a substantial local followers for themselves, and their message that threatening the orderly life of the churches, and the established tradition of teaching which the New Prophecy claimed in effect to supersede. These provoked divisions within the second century churches because of their teaching.

16 Response by Proto-Orthodox Church Leader The Bishops in Asia Minor held one or more synods to deal with the “Phrygian Problem” and in the end condemned, rejected and expelled the New Prophets and their followers from their communion. In AD193, an anonymous writer found the church at Ancyra in Galatia torn in two, and he opposed the "false prophecy" there.

17 Response by Proto-Orthodox Church Leader In Rome, Zephyrinus, the bishop of Rome (199- 217), first received it tolerantly, but later, fight against it. In Tertullian’s word, he “put to flight the Paraclete.” In North Africa, it was tolerated and accepted (particularly in Carthage where Tertullian’s had great influence) and later separated itself from other Christians, and lived on there until the time of Augustine of Hippo.

18 Tertullian and Montanism

19 A brief introduction to Tertullain (AD 160 – 220) Before a theologian, he was a trained lawyer and an apologist and a polemicist against heresy (For example, Marcion) He was called “the first theologian of the West” and “the father of Latin Christianity” He evolved the earliest systematic form of the doctrine of the Trinity (trinitas), arguing that there is one divine “substance” into three distinct but continuous “persons”: Father, Son and Spirit.

20 A brief introduction to Tertullain (AD 160 – 220) He offered a reflective account of the incarnation explaining that the person of Christ is a union of two distinct, unconfused “substance” divine and human, in a single “person” He wrote his trinitarian formula after becoming a Montanist In middle life (about 207), he was attracted to the "New Prophecy" of Montanism, and seemed to have split from the mainstream church.

21 Tertullian’s beliefs and Teaching At the heart of Tertullian’s theology lies his concern for the purity and holiness of the church He believed the church lives by the revelation of God – that revelation, focused in Jesus Christ and his Gospel, is the law which governs its life. (his theological typology emphasis on law)

22 Tertullian’s beliefs and teaching By keeping that law in action and belief, the church and its members appropriate for themselves the promises of the Gospel and await with confidence “the judgment to come”. (his eschatology is futurist) He considered the world, which had the idolatrous service of demons built into the very structure of its life.

23 Tertullian’s beliefs and teaching He did not support pagan civilization. In his treatise “De idololatria” he forbade Christians to be merchants, since commerce proceeds from covetousness He condemned almost all the artisan trades: carpentry, joinery, tilery, carving, sculpture, because they are all associated with idolatry. He demands that Christians should not be school- teachers because mythology formed part of the curriculum. (a counter-culture view)

24 Tertullian’s beliefs and teaching He regarded marriage as inferior to celibacy and expressly condemned the remarriage of the surviving partner. He was asceticism as he teached celibacy (a single) but he accepted monogamy. He believed in the doctrine of millennium and the continuance of the prophetic gifts.

25 Why was Tertullian attracted by Montanism? Though Tertullian in Carthage had no personal contact with Montanists in Asia Minor, he was sympathetic to them when they were rejected by the pro-orthodox churches because New Prophecy was an extension of Tertullian’s initial theme of the divine economy. Montanist read the biblical texts literally particularly follow the divine law that was fit to Tertullian’s theological typology – emphasis on law.

26 Why was Tertullian attracted by Montanism? Tertullian would agree Montanists’ complete alienation from the world as what he believed the world was imperfect and ruled by the demon’s act. The influence of the New Prophecy confirmed Tertullian’s ascetic view on fasting, forbidding marriage, martyrdom and etc.

27 Why was Tertullian attracted by Montanism? It is not so much by its apocalypticism but by the seriousness and moral rigor which it required of Christian believers because to him, Montanism represented the pure church, uncorrupted by compromise with the world and equipped with the living presence and authority of the Spirit.

28 Thank you!

29 Discussion Is (was) there an ideal church existing in the world? What do you think about Pentecostalism in the 20 th century? Does it look like the Montanism in the 2 nd century?

30 Tertullian vs Pentecostalism ContextTertullian in the 2 nd century Pentecostalism in the 20 th century Mission modelBaptismPentecostalism Theological Typology Emphasis on law ChristologyHigh EcclesiologyFuturist and individual Imminent and individual SalvationSpiritual/eternal lifeSpiritual CultureNegative & counter- cultural model Negative/Positive Counter-cultural model Other ??

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