Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Earliest Church Recently Found!

Archaeologists in Jordan have found the remains of what may be the the world's earliest church . It is estimated to be from the period between 33 and 70 AD. What I found most interesting is that three stone seats were found that archaeologists believe were intended for the clergy and the church contained a structure called an apse. {An apse is a dome-shaped architectural space that delineates the area reserved for the presiding elders (priests). Usually an altar is under the apse as well.}
This finding really challenges the notion that the early Christians were all meeting in houses having bible studies and that clergy, altars, apses and such were the later developments of that Catholic Church that went off the rails from the "True Church" after the time of Emperor Constantine. Of course, I'm poking fun at myself here, because as a young believer, that was what I actually had been taught and accepted . Just as archeology can support the truth of Scripture, so too can it help us understand how the early Christians worshiped. Why did these early churches appear to have altars if there was no sacrifice?

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Blogger George Weis said...

Do you have the link to this info?


June 18, 2008 11:41 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

here's the link

June 19, 2008 7:37 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

another link here

June 19, 2008 8:21 AM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Thank you for that!

It seems as though the evidence is not conclusive though. It is no doubt a valuable historical recovery, but it seems as though they are not certain as to the date that it goes back to. The cave itself may date to the first century, but could have later been altered.


June 29, 2008 1:53 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Your welcome George!
Yes, certainly it could have been altered, but it corroborates nicely with what the early church fathers wrote about regarding the ecclesial structure,episocopacy etc, if indeed there is any validity to it.

I struggled so long (almost 31 years) to not believe that Catholicism was the first church, so these kind of findings reinforce my new discovery that Jesus indeed built a Church that later was termed the Catholic Church (about 70 yrs later, this nomenclature starts showing up in the writings of Ignatius)
Thanks for visiting my blog.
God bless

June 29, 2008 5:31 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Blessings to you friend!

I am thankful for this discovery, as it furthers my own questions and answers. I am an "Evangelical Christian" who is currently rethinking everything I know. My parents are Christians and my father was raised Catholic. So from youth, I have learned that Roman Catholicism was practically a cult.

I have many suspicions about the old church, namely I suspect it of deviation. I have not seed unanimity in the fathers, although I do see why Ignatius is pointed to. I see that only a decade before him 1 Clement describes a much more loose organization with Presbyter and Bishop being used as synonyms. So I wonder if what we have today is not the build up of time and circumstance.

So, thank you for welcoming me to your blog. I am by no means an anti-catholic although much of it in my heart still cries "Heresy!" I am friend to many Catholics and love them deeply.

May Christ richly dwell in your heart. May His peace be yours, and may you be blessed for His sake!


June 30, 2008 11:30 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for the kind words George.
Many blessings to you as well.

June 30, 2008 6:22 PM  

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