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Nontrinitarianism | Death and resurrection
The "devil" as a parable

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John Thomas | Robert Roberts | Thomas Williams
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Alan Hayward
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Christadelphian Portal

Christadelphians (a word created using Greek which means "Brethren in Christ"[1][2] Colossians 1:2 — "brethren in Christ")[3][4] is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century. The name was coined by John Thomas,[5] who was the group's founder. Christadelphians hold a view of Biblical Unitarianism.

Although no official membership figures are published, the Columbia Encyclopedia gives an estimated figure of 50,000 Christadelphians,[6] who are spread across approximately 120 countries;[7] there are established churches (or ecclesias, as they are often called) in many of those countries,[8] along with isolated members. Census statistics are available for some countries. Estimates for the main centres of Christadelphian population are as follows: United Kingdom (18,000),[9] Australia (9,987),[10] Malawi (7,000),[11] United States (6,500),[12] Mozambique (5,300),[13] Canada (3,375),[14] New Zealand (1,782),[15] Kenya (1,700), India (1,300), Tanzania (1,000), and Philippines (1,000).[16][17] This puts the figure at around 60,000.



Nineteenth century

The Christadelphian religious group traces its origins to Dr John Thomas (1805–1871), who migrated to North America from England in 1832. Following a near shipwreck he vowed to find out the truth about life and God through personal Biblical study. Initially he sought to avoid the kind of sectarianism he had seen in England. In this he found sympathy with the rapidly emerging Restoration Movement in the United States of America at the time. This movement sought for a reform based upon the Bible alone as a sufficient guide and rejected all creeds. However this liberality eventually led to dissent as John Thomas developed in his personal beliefs and started to question mainstream orthodox Christian beliefs. Whilst the Restoration Movement accepted Thomas's right to have his own beliefs, when he started preaching that they were essential to salvation, it led to a fierce series of debates with a notable leader of the movement, Alexander Campbell. John Thomas believed that scripture, as God's word, did not support a multiplicity of differing beliefs, and challenged the leaders to continue with the process of restoring first century Christian beliefs and correct interpretation through a process of debate. The history of this process appears in the book Dr. Thomas, His Life and Work (1873) by a Christadelphian, Robert Roberts.[18]

During this period of formulating his ideas he was baptised twice,[19] the second time after renouncing the beliefs he previously held. His new position was based on a new appreciation for the reign of Christ on David's throne.[20] It was this abjuration of his former beliefs that eventually led to the Restoration Movement disfellowshipping him when he toured England and they became aware of his abjuration in the United States of America.

The Christadelphian community in Britain effectively dates from Thomas's first lecturing tour (May 1848 – October 1850). His message was particularly well received in Scotland, and Campbellite, Unitarian and Adventist friends separated to form groups of "Baptised Believers". Two thirds of ecclesias, and members, in Britain before 1864 were in Scotland.[21][22][23] In 1849, during his tour of Britain he completed (a decade and a half before the name Christadelphian was conceived) Elpis Israel[24] (elpis being Greek for "hope") – in which he laid out his understanding of the main doctrines of the Bible.

Since his medium for bringing change was print and debate, it was natural for the origins of the Christadelphian body to be associated with journals and books, namely the Herald of the Kingdom and The Ambassador (which later became The Christadelphian).

In this desire to seek to establish Biblical truth and test out orthodox Christian beliefs through independent scriptural study he was not alone and, amongst other churches, he also had links with Adventist movement and with Benjamin Wilson (who later set up the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith in the 1860s).

Although the Christadelphian movement originated through the activities of John Thomas, he never saw himself as setting up his own disciples. Rather he believed he had rediscovered first century beliefs and sought to prove that through a process of challenge and debate and writing journals. Through that process a number of people were convinced and set up various fellowships that had sympathy with that position. Groups associated with John Thomas met under various names, including Believers, Baptised Believers, the Royal Association of Believers, Baptised Believers in the Kingdom of God, Nazarines (or Nazarenes) and The Antipas[25] until the time of the American Civil War (1861–1865). At that time, church affiliation was required[where?] to register for conscientious objector status, and in 1865 Thomas chose for registration purposes the name Christadelphian.[5]

Through the teaching of John Thomas and the need in the American civil war for a name, the Christadelphians emerged as a denomination, but they were formed into a lasting structure through a passionate follower of his interpretation of the Bible, Robert Roberts. At the age of 10 he was taken by his mother to hear a talk given by John Thomas in Aberdeen, Scotland. At the age of 13 he read Thomas's Elpis Israel and was subsequently baptised in 1853 at the age of 14 in the River Dee and joined the "Baptised Believers". He was 're-baptised' in 1863 "on attaining to an understanding of the things concerning the name of Jesus, of which he was ignorant at his first immersion".[26] In 1864 he began to publish The Ambassador magazine.[27] This was renamed The Christadelphian in 1869 and continues to be published under that name.[28] Roberts was prominent in the period following the death of John Thomas and helped craft the structures of the Christadelphian body.[29]

Robert Roberts was certain that John Thomas had rediscovered the truth, and it is largely down to Roberts' organisation that the Christadelphian body exists in its present form. His life was characterised by debates over issues that arose within the fledgling organisation and some of this process can be found in the book Robert Roberts—A study of his life and character by Islip Collyer. He also wrote a booklet called a A Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias.[30] which has been significant in establishing the basic structure most ecclesias follow today.

Initially the denomination grew in the English-speaking world, particularly in the English Midlands and parts of North America. In the early days after the death of John Thomas the group could have moved in a number of directions. Doctrinal issues arose, debates were held and statements of faith were created and amended as other issues arose. These attempts were felt necessary by many to both settle and define a doctrinal stance for the newly emerging denomination and to keep out error.

  • In 1873, the Nazarene Fellowship, led by Edward Turney of Nottingham, separated over the atonement. Following his death in 1879 his most active supporter David Handley of Maldon returned to the main grouping,[31] and the group gradually died out. In the 1950s Turney's cause, and the name of the group, were revived by Ernest Brady.[32]
  • In 1885, the Suffolk Street Fellowship was formed over the inspiration of the Bible. Robert Ashcroft, a leading member, wrote an article which challenged Christadelphian belief in plenary inspiration and which, although he himself left, led to a division in the main body. One group formed a new ecclesia which later met in Suffolk Street, Birmingham. Other ecclesias throughout the world which supported them became known as the "Suffolk Street fellowship" to distinguish itself from the group they were separated from, which became known as the "Temperance Hall fellowship". The main magazine of this group from 1884–1957 was The Fraternal Visitor, whose editors included J.J. Bishop and J.J. Hadley (d.1912), then Thomas Turner, and finally Cyril Cooper (till reunion in 1957).
  • In 1898, the Unamended Fellowship was separated from as a result of differing views on who would be raised to judgment at the return of Christ. The majority of Christadelphians believe that the judgment will include anyone who had sufficient knowledge of the gospel message, and is not limited to baptized believers.[33] The majority in Britain, Australia and North America amended their statement of faith accordingly. Those who opposed the amendment in North America became known as the "Unamended fellowship" and allowed the teaching that God either could not or would not raise those who had no covenant relationship with him. Opinions vary as to what the established position was on this subject prior to the controversy.[34] In North America those who continued to associate with Britain on the basis of the amended 1898 statement became known as the Amended Fellowship,in contrast to the Unamended Fellowship, who took their lead from the Christadelphian Advocate Magazine of Thomas Williams of Chicago.
  • In 1923, the Berean Fellowship was formed, as a result of varying views on military service in Britain, and on the atonement in North America. In 1942 the Bereans again divided over marriage and divorce with the stricter party forming the Dawn Fellowship.[35][36] The majority of the North American Bereans re-joined the main body of Christadelphians in 1952; though a small number continue as a separate community to the present day.

Twentieth century

The Christadelphian position on conscientious objection came to the fore with the introduction of conscription during the First World War. Varying degrees of exemption from military service were granted to Christadelphians in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. In the Second World War, this frequently required the person seeking exemption to undertake civilian work under the direction of the authorities.

During the Second World War the Christadelphians in Britain assisted in the Kindertransport, helping to relocate several hundred Jewish children away from Nazi persecution and founding a hostel Elpis Lodge.[37][38] In Germany the small Christadelphian community founded by Albert Maier went underground from 1940–1945, and a leading brother, Albert Merz, was imprisoned as a conscientious objector and later executed.[39]

The emphasis on the restoration of truth has led to a history of division and schism that many have felt unpleasant and that has divided friends and families. Moves have been made to try to solve them with some success. In the early 1950s the majority of the Berean Fellowship re-joined the Temperance Hall Fellowship, with the remainder continuing as a separate community. In 1957–1958, there was further reunion with the Suffolk Street Fellowship, which had already incorporated many of the Unamended Fellowship outside North America. This re-united group, which now included the large majority of Christadelphians, became known as the Central Fellowship[40] named after the Birmingham Central ecclesia. In Australia and New Zealand a union occurred in 1958 between the Central fellowship and the Shield fellowship (which was allied to the Suffolk Street fellowship) through an understanding expressed in a document called the Cooper-Carter Addendum. Those who held that the reasons for separation from the Suffolk Street Fellowship remained, opposed the re-union and formed the Old Paths Fellowship.[41][42] There is also some co-operation between the Central (Amended) and Unamended Fellowships in North America – most recently in the Great Lakes region, where numerous Amended & Unamended ecclesias have opened fellowship to one another despite the failure of wider attempts at re-union under the North American Statement of Understanding (NASU)[43] in recent years.

Despite success in reuniting large sections of the wider Christadelphian community and periodic efforts at reuniting smaller offshoots, there are still a number of groups who remain separate from other bodies of Christadelphians. These include the Berean Fellowship (who use precisely the same Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF) as the central fellowship),[44] the Dawn Fellowship, the Old Paths Fellowship, the Companion Fellowship[45] and the Pioneer Maranatha Fellowship.[46] However, Dawn Christadelphians and the former Lightstand Fellowship in Australia united in November 2007.[47] Most of the divisions still in existence within the Christadelphian community today stem from further divisions of the Berean fellowship.[48]


The post-war, and post-reunions, period saw an increase in co-operation and interaction between ecclesias, resulting in the establishment of a number of week-long Bible schools and the formation of national and international organisations such as the Christadelphian Bible Mission[49] (for preaching and pastoral support overseas), the Christadelphian Support Network[50] (for counselling), and the Christadelphian Meal-A-Day Fund (for charity and humanitarian work).

The period following the reunions was accompanied by expansion in the developing world, which now accounts for around 40% of Christadelphians.[51]


Fellowships today

Since the reunions in UK and Australia in 1957 two generations of Christadelphians have grown up with little awareness of the existence of the minority "fellowships", or awareness that the main group is called "Central" by the minority groups. Parallel with this generational change, the articles and books on the doctrine and practice of fellowship with the main "Central" grouping now reject the notion itself of separate "fellowships" among those who recognise the same baptism as "schism".[52][53][54][55] A third significant change, outside North America, has been the shrinking of the minority "fellowships" due to defection to the main group and natural causes. According to Bryan Wilson functionally the definition of a "fellowship" within Christadelphian History has been mutual or unilateral exclusion of groupings of ecclesias from the breaking of bread.[56] This functional definition still holds true in North America, where two other sizeable groups, Unamended Christadelphians and CGAF are not received by most North American Amended ecclesias. But outside North America this functional definition no longer holds. Many ecclesias in the "Central" grouping would not refuse a baptised Christadelphian from a minority "fellowship" from breaking bread, the exclusion is more usually the other way.

Today the Christadelphian body remains divided into "fellowships", the largest being the Central Fellowship, named after the now-defunct Birmingham Central ecclesia, once its largest and most influential ecclesia.[40] There remains a large number of Unamended Christadelphians, particularly in the US and Canada. Smaller fellowships include the Berean Christadelphians, the Dawn Christadelphians, the Old Paths Christadelphians, and the Pioneer Maranatha Christadelphians. The number of adherents to the various smaller groups of Christadelphians varies from approximately 1,850 members (the Unamended Christadelphians as of 2006)[57] to groups made up of little more than one or two immediate families.

Estimates of numbers:

  • Central = 55,000[58]
  • Unamended = 1,850 (East Coast and Mid West USA, Ontario)[59]
  • Dawn = 800 (UK, Australia, Ontario, India, Poland, Russia)[60]
  • CGAF = 400 (primarily Ohio, Florida)[61]
  • Old Paths = 400 (UK 250, Aus-NZ 150)[62]
  • Berean = 330 (US 200 primarily Texas, Kenya 100, Wales 30)[63]
  • Companion = 80 (Australia, New Zealand),[64] United Kingdom)
  • Watchman = 50 (UK, India)[65]
  • Pioneer Maranatha = ?[66]
  • Other very small groups = 100~150 total[67]

They tend to operate organisationally fairly similarly, although there are different emphases. For instance the Berean Christadelphians focus on the pioneer Christadelphians and the Dawn Christadelphians put a huge importance on the need to follow a consistent set of disciplines regarding divorce and remarriage. These different Christadelphian fellowships are to some degree localised. For example, the Unamended Fellowship exists only in North America, and some of the others are confined to the English-speaking world.

Each fellowship has a Statement of Faith, the most common of which is the Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith (BASF), named after an ecclesia in Birmingham. This is used by all Old Paths ecclesias without amendment from the days of Robert Roberts. Most Unamended ecclesias have a similar Statement of Faith called the Birmingham Unamended Statement of Faith (BUSF)[68] with one clause being different. The Berean Christadelphians generally use BASF.[69] The Dawn Christadelphians [70] use a statement of faith which is based on the original 1886 statement of faith, but has four additions addressing issues that have arisen since that time. Some Christadelphian groups which are separated to a greater or lesser degree from the main body of Christadelphians use statements of faith which differ in some regard from the BASF and from each other. Within the "Central" grouping individual ecclesias also may have their own statement of faith, whilst still accepting the statement of faith of the larger community.

For each fellowship, anyone who publicly assents to the doctrines described in the statement and is in good standing in their "home ecclesia" is generally welcome to participate in the activities of any other ecclesia.

General organisation

In the absence of centralised organisation, some differences exist amongst Christadelphians on matters of belief and practice. This is because each congregation (commonly styled 'ecclesias') is organised autonomously, typically following common practices which have altered little since the 19th century. Most ecclesias have a constitution,[71] which includes a 'Statement of Faith', a list of 'Doctrines to be Rejected' and a formalized list of 'The Commandments of Christ'.[72] With no central authority individual congregations are responsible for maintaining orthodoxy in belief and practice, and the Statement of Faith is seen by many as useful to this end. The Statement of Faith acts as the official standard of most ecclesias to determine fellowship within and between ecclesias, and as the basis for co-operation between ecclesias. Congregational discipline and conflict resolution are applied using various forms of consultation, mediation, and discussion, with disfellowship (similar to excommunication) being the final response to those with unorthodox practices or beliefs.[73]

The relative uniformity of organisation and practice is undoubtedly due to the influence of a booklet, written early in Christadelphian history, called A Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias.[30] It recommends a basically democratic arrangement by which congregational members elect 'brothers' to arranging and serving duties,[74] and includes guidelines for the organisation of committees, as well as conflict resolution between congregational members and between congregations.[75] Christadelphians do not have paid ministers. Male members are assessed by the congregation for their eligibility to teach and perform other duties, which are usually assigned on a rotation basis, as opposed to having a permanently appointed preacher. Congregational governance typically follows a democratic model, with an elected arranging committee for each individual ecclesia. This unpaid committee is responsible for the day-to-day running of the ecclesia and is answerable to the rest of the ecclesia's members.

Inter-ecclesial organisations co-ordinate the running of, among other things, Christadelphian schools[76] and elderly care homes, the Christadelphian Isolation League (which cares for those prevented by distance or infirmity from attending an ecclesia regularly) and the publication of Christadelphian magazines.


Due to the way the Christadelphian body is organised there is no central authority to establish and maintain a standardised set of beliefs and it depends what Statement of Faith is adhered to and how liberal the ecclesia is, but there are core doctrines most Christadelphians would accept. In the formal statements of faith a more complete list is found. For instance in the Central Fellowship, the BASF the official Statement of Faith has 30 doctrines to be accepted and 35 to be rejected.

The Bible

Christadelphians state that their beliefs[77] are based wholly on the Bible,[78] and they accept no other texts as inspired by God.[79] They regard the Bible as inspired by God and, therefore, believe that, in its original form, it was error free (errors in later copies are thought to be due to 'errors of transcription or translation'[80]). Based on this, Christadelphians teach what they believe to be true Bible teaching.[81]


They believe that God is the creator of all things and the father of true believers,[82] that he is a separate being from his son, Jesus Christ,[83][84] and that the Holy Spirit is the power of God used in creation and for salvation.[85] They also believe that the phrase Holy Spirit sometimes refers to God's character/mind, depending on the context in which the phrase appears,[86] but reject the orthodox Christian view that we need strength, guidance and power from the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life,[87] believing instead that the spirit a believer needs within themselves is the mind/character of God, which is developed in a believer by their reading of the Bible (which, they believe, contains words God gave by his Spirit) and trying to live by what it says during the events of their lives which God uses to help shape their character.[88][89]

Christadelphian Hall in Bath, United Kingdom


Christadelphians believe that Jesus is the promised Jewish Messiah, in whom the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament find their fulfilment.[84][90][91] They believe he is the Son of Man, in that he inherited human nature (with its inclination to sin) from his mother, and the Son of God by virtue of his miraculous conception by the power of God.[84][90][92] Although he was tempted, Jesus committed no sin, and was therefore a perfect representative sacrifice to bring salvation to sinful humankind.[84][90][92] They believe that God raised Jesus from death and gave him immortality, and he ascended to Heaven, God's dwelling place.[90] Christadelphians believe that he will return to the earth in person to set up the Kingdom of God in fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham and David.[93][94] This includes the belief that the coming Kingdom will be the restoration of God's first Kingdom of Israel, which was under David and Solomon.[95][96][97] For Christadelphians, this is the focal point of the gospel taught by Jesus and the apostles.


Christadelphians believe that people are separated from God because of their sins, but can be reconciled to him by becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.[98][99] This is by belief in the gospel, through repentance, and through baptism by total immersion in water.[99][100] They do not believe we can be sure of being saved, believing instead that salvation comes as a result of a life of obedience to the commands of Christ [101] After death, believers are in a state of non-existence, knowing nothing until the Resurrection at the return of Christ.[102] Following the judgement at that time, the accepted receive the gift of immortality, and live with Christ on a restored Earth, assisting him to establish the Kingdom of God and to rule over the mortal population for a thousand years (the Millennium).[103] Christadelphians believe that the Kingdom will be centred upon Israel, but Jesus Christ will also reign over all the other nations on the earth.[104] Some believe that the Kingdom itself is not worldwide but limited to the land of Israel promised to Abraham and ruled over in the past by David, with a worldwide empire.[105]

Life in Christ

The historic Commandments of Christ demonstrates the community's recognition of the importance of Biblical teaching on morality. Marriage and family life are important. Christadelphians believe that sexual relationships are limited to heterosexual marriage, ideally between baptised believers.[106][107]

Rejection of some mainstream doctrines

Christadelphians reject a number of doctrines held by many other Christians, notably the immortality of the soul (see also mortalism; conditionalism), trinitarianism,[83][86] the personal pre-existence of Christ,[84][86] the baptism of infants,[100] the personhood of the Holy Spirit[83][84][85][86] and the present-day possession of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see cessationism).[85][86][90] They believe that the word devil is a reference in the scriptures to sin and human nature in opposition to God, while the word satan is merely a reference to an adversary (be it good or bad). According to Christadelphians, these terms are used in reference to specific political systems or individuals in opposition or conflict. Hell (Hebrew: Sheol; Greek: Hades, Gehenna) is understood to refer exclusively to death and the grave, rather than being a place of everlasting torment (see also annihilationism).[92][108] Christadelphians do not believe that anyone will "go to Heaven" upon death. Instead, they believe that only Christ Jesus went to Heaven, and when he comes back to the earth the true believers will live in the Land of Israel which will be the Kingdom of God on Earth.[96][97] Christadelphians believe the doctrines they reject were introduced into Christendom after the first century in large part through exposure to pagan Greek philosophy,[109] and cannot be substantiated from the Biblical texts.[83][84][86]

Other historical groups and individuals with some shared doctrines

One criticism of the Christadelphian movement has been over the claim of John Thomas and Robert Roberts to have "rediscovered" scriptural truth.[110][111] However, although both men believed that they had "recovered" the true doctrines for themselves and contemporaries, they also believed there had always existed a group of true believers throughout the ages, albeit marred by the apostasy.[112][113][114]

The most notable Christadelphian attempts to find a continuity of those with doctrinal similarities since that point have been geographer Alan Eyre's two books The Protesters (1975) and Brethren in Christ (1982) in which he shows that many individual Christadelphian doctrines had been previously believed. Eyre focused in particular on the Radical Reformation, and also among the Socinians and other early Unitarians and the English Dissenters. In this way, Eyre was able to demonstrate substantial historical precedents for individual Christadelphian teachings and practices, and believed that the Christadelphian community was the 'inheritor of a noble tradition, by which elements of the Truth were from century to century hammered out on the anvil of controversy, affliction and even anguish'.[115] Although noting in the introduction to 'The Protestors' that 'Some recorded herein perhaps did not have "all the truth" — so the writer has been reminded',[115] Eyre nevertheless claimed that the purpose of the work was to 'tell how a number of little-known individuals, groups and religious communities strove to preserve or revive the original Christianity of apostolic times',[116] and that 'In faith and outlook they were far closer to the early springing shoots of first century Christianity and the penetrating spiritual challenge of Jesus himself than much that has passed for the religion of the Nazarene in the last nineteen centuries'.[117]

Eyre's research has been criticized by some of his Christadelphian peers,[118] and as a result Christadelphian commentary on the subject was subsequently more cautious and circumspect, with caveats being issued concerning Eyre's claims,[119][120] and the two books less used and publicized than in previous years.

Nevertheless, all the distinctive Christadelphian doctrines, down to interpretations of specific verses, can be found particularly among 16th century Socinian writers (e.g. the rejection of the doctrines of the trinity, pre-existence of Christ, immortal souls, a literal hell of fire, original sin)[121] Early English Unitarian writings also correspond closely to those of Christadelphians. Also, recent discoveries and research have shown a large similarity between Christadelphian beliefs and those held by Isaac Newton who, among other things, rejected the doctrines of the trinity, immortal souls, a personal devil and literal demons. Even with most source writings of those later considered "heretics" destroyed, evidence can be provided that since the first century CE there have been various groups and individuals who have held certain individual Christadelphian beliefs or similar ones.

For example:

  • The Christadelphian denial of the pre-existence of Christ, and interpretation of verses such as "I came down from heaven" (John 6:38) as relating to the virgin birth and Christ's mission only, are found in the teachings of: the early Jewish Christians,[165] the Ebionites,[166] the Nazoreans (or Nazarenes),[167] the Theodotians of Theodotus the Cobbler (who believed Jesus was supernaturally begotten but a man nonetheless),[168] Artemon,[169] Paul of Samosata,[170] the Pseudo-Clementines,[165] and Photinus (d.376);[171] naturally however, given that non-Trinitarian beliefs were punishable with death from the 4th Century to the 17th, it would be foolish to expect to discover any consistent line of people or groups holding such beliefs. Such attempts become possible only after the Protestant Reformation. Christadelphian Christology is found from the publication of Lelio Sozzini's commentary on John (1561)[172] through to the increasing resistance to the miraculous among English Unitarians after 1800.[173]

Organised worship in England for those whose beliefs anticipated those of Christadelphians only truly became possible in 1779 when the Act of Toleration 1689 was amended to permit denial of the Trinity, and only fully when property penalties were removed in the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813. This is only 35 years before John Thomas' 1849 lecture tour in Britain which attracted significant support from an existing non-Trinitarian Adventist base, particularly, initially, in Scotland where Arian Socinian and unitarian (with a small 'u' as distinct from the Unitarian Church of Theophilus Lindsey) views were prevalent.

Modern mainstream theology developing similar beliefs

Over the last 100 years mainstream Christian theologians and Biblical scholars have gradually been developing beliefs which the Christadelphian community has historically held. Example areas are satan and demons; the atonement; justification; heaven and hell; the state of the dead.

  • The atonement: The majority Christian interpretation of the Anselmian-Calvinist doctrine of the atonement as penal substitution has been criticized in mainstream Christianity since the 19th century,[190][191] resulting in increasing rejection of traditional penal substitution.[192] The Christadelphian distinction between representation and substitution has been noted in the relevant scholarly literature,[193] and representative participation (an interpretation long held by Christadelphians[194][195][196][197][198][199]), is widely considered the original Biblical teaching on the atonement.[200][201][202][203][204][205][206]

Practices and worship

Christadelphians are organised into local congregations, that commonly call themselves ecclesias,[78] which is taken from usage in the New Testament[207] and is Greek for gathering of those summoned.[208] Congregational worship, which usually takes place on Sunday, centres on the remembrance of the death and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ by the taking part in the "memorial service". Additional meetings are often organised for worship, prayer, evangelism and Bible study.

Ecclesias are typically involved in evangelism in the form of public lectures on Bible teaching,[209] college-style seminars on reading the Bible,[210] and Bible Reading Groups. Correspondence courses[211] are also used widely, particularly in areas where there is no established Christadelphian presence. Some ecclesias, organisations or individuals also preach through other media like video,[212] podcasts[213] and internet forums.[214]

Only baptised believers are considered members of the ecclesia. However, the children of members are encouraged to attend Christadelphian Sunday Schools and youth groups. Interaction between youth from different ecclesias is encouraged through regional and national youth gatherings. Many ecclesias organise holidays for young people, the most popular form in the UK being camping holidays.

Christadelphians understand the Bible to teach that male and female believers are equal in God's sight, and also that there is a distinction between the roles of male and female members. Women are typically not eligible to teach in formal gatherings of the ecclesia when male believers are present, and do not sit on the main ecclesial arranging committees. They do, however: participate in other ecclesial and inter-ecclesial committees; participate in discussions; teach children, other women and non-members; perform music; discuss and vote on business matters; and engage in the majority of other activities.

There are ecclesially-accountable committees for co-ordinated evangelism, youth and Sunday School work, military service issues, care of the elderly, and humanitarian work. These do not have any legislative authority, and are wholly dependent upon ecclesial support. Ecclesias in an area may regularly hold joint activities combining youth groups, fellowship, preaching, and Bible study.

Christadelphians refuse to participate in any military because they are conscientious objectors.[215][216][217]

There is a strong emphasis on personal Bible reading and study[218][219][220][221] and many Christadelphians use the Bible Companion to help them systematically read the Bible each year[222]

Hymnody and music

Christadelphians are a non-liturgical denomination. Christadelphian ecclesias are autonomous and free to adopt whatever pattern of worship they choose. However, in the English-speaking world, there tends to be a great deal of uniformity in order of service and hymnody.

Christadelphian hymnody makes considerable use of the hymns of the Anglican and British Protestant traditions (even in US ecclesias the hymnody is typically more British than American). In many Christadelphian hymn books a sizeable proportion of hymns are drawn from the Scottish Psalter and non-Christadelphian hymn-writers including Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Cowper and John Newton. Despite incorporating non-Christadelphian hymns however, Christadelphian hymnody preserves the essential teachings of the community.[223]

The earliest hymn book published was the "Sacred Melodist" which was published by Benjamin Wilson in Geneva, Illinois in 1860.[224] The next was the hymn book published for the use of Baptised Believers in the Kingdom of God (an early name for Christadelphians[25]) by George Dowie in Edinburgh in 1864.[225] In 1865 Robert Roberts published a collection of Scottish psalms and hymns called The Golden Harp (which was subtitled "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, compiled for the use of Immersed Believers in 'The Things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ'").[226] This was replaced only five years later by the first "Christadelphian Hymn Book" (1869), compiled by J. J. and A. Andrew,[227] and this was revised and expanded in 1874, 1932 and 1964. A thorough revision by the Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association resulted in the latest (2002) edition[228] which is almost universally used by English-speaking Christadelphian ecclesias. In addition some Christadelphian fellowships have published their own hymn books.

A more contemporary worship style is now popular in some quarters. The Praise the Lord songbook[229] was produced with the aim of making contemporary songs which are consistent with Christadelphian theology more widely available. This book is either used as a supplement to the more traditional Hymn Book or is used in place of the traditional Hymn Book. Another publication, the "Worship" book[230] is a compilation of songs and hymns that have been composed only by members of the Christadelphian community. This book was produced with the aim of providing extra music for non-congregational music items within services (eg voluntaries, meditations, etc) but has been adopted by congregations worldwide and is now used to supplement congregational repertoire.

In the English-speaking world, worship is typically accompanied by organ or piano, though in recent years a few ecclesias have promoted the use of other instruments (e.g. strings, wind and brass as mentioned in the Psalms). This trend has also seen the emergence of some Christadelphian bands[231] and the establishment of the Christadelphian Arts Trust[232] to support performing, visual and dramatic arts within the Christadelphian community.

In other countries, hymnbooks have been produced in local languages,[233] sometimes resulting in styles of worship which reflect the local culture. It has been noted that Christadelphian hymnody has historically been a consistent witness to Christadelphian beliefs, and that hymnody occupies a significant role in the community.[234]

References and footnotes

  1. ^ "Christadelphians (or Brethren in Christ)" 1885 in James Strong (theologian) Cyclopedia of Biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical literature: Supplement, Volume 1
  2. ^ likewise Bryan Wilson p219, Charles Lippey
  3. ^ Colossians 1:2 adelphoi en Christo. The name is sometimes also given as Christ's Brethren: Christou adelphoi Carter, John (May 1955). "Our Name". The Christadelphian 92: 181. 
  4. ^ Vincent L. Milner, Hannah Adams Religious denominations of the world 1875 "CHRISTADELPHIANS. (BRETHREN OF CHRIST.) The distinctive name Christadelphian is derived from two Greek words — Christos (Christ) and Adelphos (brother) — and has been chosen as a fit representation of the intimate spiritual connection ....2, "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ."
  5. ^ a b Thomas preferred the name Brethren in Christ, but settled on Christadelphian. He once wrote in a letter, "I did not know a better denomination that would be given to such a class of believers, than Brethren in Christ. This declares their true status; and, as officials prefer words to phrases, the same fact expressed in another form by the word Christadelphians, or Christou Adelphoi, Christ's Brethren. This matter settled to their satisfaction ... " (Carter, John (May 1955). "Our Name". The Christadelphian 92: 181. ).
  6. ^ 'Christadelphians', The Columbia Encyclopedia
  7. ^ CBM Worldwide Guide 2006, Christadelphian Bible Mission (UK), 2006
  8. ^ Ecclesias Around the World from Christadelphia World Wide
  9. ^ UK Christian Handbook 2004, as quoted in 'Focus on Christadelphian Community', Multicultural Matters, October 2004 (London: Building Bridges, 2004).
  10. ^ "Religious Affiliation—Australia: 2001 and 1996 Census" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-03-15. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Christadelphian Bible Mission". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  12. ^ 'Christadelphians', The Columbia Encyclopedia. Available online,
  13. ^ "Christadelphian Bible Mission". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  14. ^ 'Christadelphians', The Canadian Encyclopedia. Available online
  15. ^ 2006 Census figures from Zealand Statistics
  16. ^ "The Philippines". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  17. ^ Statistics for Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, and Tanzania from Christadelphian Bible Mission (UK); statistics for India from CBM Worldwide Guide 2007, Christadelphian Bible Mission (UK), 2007
  18. ^ Available online
  19. ^ John Thomas was baptised by Walter Scott of the Disciples of Christ in 1832 and again in 1847 (probably by John Tomline Walsh, according to Peter Hemingray John Thomas—His Friends and His Faith 2003 p.145) after publishing A Confession and Abjuration in which he renounced previously held beliefs as false.
  20. ^ Available online
  21. ^ Wilson, AB op cit
  22. ^ Evans, Christmas. The Christadelphian 1956–63
  23. ^ Norrie, William "Early History of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in Britain" Earlston 1904
  24. ^ John Thomas, Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God with reference to the time of the end and the age to come (London: 1849). Available online
  25. ^ a b Peter Hemingray, John Thomas: His Friends and His Faith 2003 p. 235
  26. ^ The Christadelphian Vol. 11 1874, p.610 (Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association)
  27. ^ A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 7: The City of Birmingham W.B. Stephens (Editor) 1964 "Ann Street (later Colmore Row) school was the first Birmingham meeting-place of the Christadelphians, and was used by them from 1864 to 1866, when it was replaced by Athenaeum Hall, Temple Row, q.v. There were 53 members of the ecclesia at the end of 1865. (fn. 46)" "Temple Street, Temperance Hall was used for meetings of the Birmingham ecclesia from 1871, when an attendance of almost 1,000 was claimed. (fn. 79) In 1892 the Sunday evening attendance was 319. (fn. 80) The Temperance Hall ceased to be used for meetings in 1932, and was replaced by meetings at the Midland Institute, Paradise Street, q.v. At the time of the split in 1884 (fn. 81) the Temperance Hall ecclesia adopted the fundamentalist position. Until the reconciliation of 1957 it and its successor at the Midland Institute remained at the head of one of two distinct 'confederations' of ecclesias in Birmingham. (fn. 82)"
  28. ^ The Christadelphian is published by The Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association Ltd (Birmingham, UK)
  29. ^ Andrew Wilson writes of Roberts that "The organising ability of Robert Roberts was very important: he gave the movement its rules, institutions and much of its literature". Andrew Wilson, History of the Christadelphians 1864–1885: the emergence of a denomination 1997 p.399.
  30. ^ a b Robert Roberts, A Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias (Birmingham: 1883). Available online
  31. ^ Christadelphian Magazine 1881
  32. ^ "Introduction". Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  33. ^ The Sydney Ecclesia, Australia had already "disfellowshipped" 10 members for denying this in 1883. The Christadelphian Magazine 1884, ecclesial news p.90 and editorial comment p.382
  34. ^ For example: Website claiming views held by Amended community were original Christadelphian beliefs Versus Website claiming views held by Unamended community were original Christadelphian beliefs.
  35. ^ Andrew Longman (2007-01-05). "The Dawn Christadelphian Homepage". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  36. ^ "A Dawn Christadelphian's Website". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  37. ^ "Kinderball piano score". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 2008-02-08. [dead link]
  38. ^ Morrell, Leslie. "The Christadelphian Response to the Holocaust" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  39. ^ April 1941 in Berlin.Bogner, Gustav. Geschichte der Christadelphians in Deutschland (2)
  40. ^ a b The first use of the term "Birmingham (Central) fellowship" in The Christadelphian magazine was in volume 70, 1933, p. 376. The term was used to distinguish those ecclesias in fellowship with the Birmingham (Central) ecclesia from those in the "Suffolk Street Fellowship". By 1939 the word "Birmingham" was dropped and the term "Central Fellowship" was thereafter used with some regularity (342 times between 1939 and 2000) in The Christadelphian magazine
  41. ^ "Old Paths Fellowship (Australia)". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  42. ^ "Old Paths Fellowship (UK)". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  43. ^ "North American Statement of Understanding". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  44. ^ "Berean Christadelphians". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  45. ^ "Companion Christadelphians". Companion Christadelphians. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  46. ^ The Pioneer and Maranatha Fellowships united in August 2008 Pioneer Maranatha Christadelphians
  47. ^ The Dawn Christadelphian Magazine, January 2008
  48. ^ Phillips, Jim, The Berean Christadelphians: Why the Bereans? From the Formation of the Bereans to the Restatement (1923–1960), Our last 30 Years
  49. ^ "History of the Christadelphian Bible Mission". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  50. ^ see
  51. ^ Based on figures from CBM Worldwide Guide 2006, Christadelphian Bible Mission (UK), 2006
  52. ^ Oates & Pearce Fellowship and Withdrawal (doc) 1957
  53. ^ H.A. Whittaker Block Disfellowship? (doc) articles from Testimony Magazine 1973
  54. ^ "Biblical Fellowship". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  55. ^ Perry, Andrew. Fellowship Matters, Willow publications, 2nd edition, 1996
  56. ^ See Wilson op.cit.
  57. ^ 2006 Christadelphian Ecclesial Directory. Also see Unamended Christadelphian Wikipedia entry here
  58. ^ Estimate from CALS directory and national statistics at head of article.
  59. ^ Verified figure, Ecclesial Directory 2006. Parts of grouping currently involved in unity talks with Central.
  60. ^ Estimate undergoing review. Please see Talk pages – on the Discussion tab at page head
  61. ^ From CGAF directory. Note: Currently involved in unity talks with Central. The group does not use the name Christadelphian but shares Christadelphian beliefs: Cleveland CBH statement of faith CGAF Niles statement of faith
  62. ^ Figures updated by Old Paths members in Australia 12.2009
  63. ^ Berean Ecclesial News entries, also Bereans and Berean Christadelphians
  64. ^ Figure provided by New Zealand Companion Chrstadelphians
  65. ^ Christadelphian Watchman Fellowship and here [1] UK 25, India 25.
  66. ^ Southern California Pioneer - Maranatha Ecclesia website cites "Members in Australia - Chile - Great Britain - India- Kenya - New Zealand - USA" but no meeting rooms, meeting times or congregations are listed.
  67. ^ 1933 Ecclesia of Christ 40?, 1954 Remnant of Christ's Ecclesia 20?, 1971 Apostolic Fellowship (Nottingham and Dartford) 20?, Apostolic Ecclesia (Dartford) 15?, Nazarene Fellowship 2?, others.
  68. ^ Birmingham Unamended Statement of Faith. Available online
  69. ^ [ BASF] With some exceptions including the Lampasas Texas Berean Ecclesia. Some have an amendment in the Doctrines to be Rejected which prohibits a person being a police constable.
  70. ^ "Dawn Christadelphians". Dawn Christadelphians. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  71. ^ Example: Constitution of the Birmingham Christadelphian Ecclesia, Midland Institute c.1932-onwards
  72. ^ This list as published by The Christadelphian Magazine contains 53 paraphrases of Bible verses which were originally read weekly as part of the service at Temperance Hall ecclesia. Other versions, of unconfirmed origin, exist with the list expanded to 100 including some verses justifying division.
  73. ^ Robert Roberts, A Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias (Birmingham: 1883), Sections 32, 35–36
  74. ^ Robert Roberts, A Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias (Birmingham: 1883), Sections 17–27
  75. ^ Robert Roberts, A Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias (Birmingham: 1883), Sections 35–38, 41–42
  76. ^ For example: Christadelphian Heritage College, Cooranbong and Christadelphian Heritage College Sydney, Kemps Creek.
  77. ^ A Declaration of the Truth revealed in the Bible (Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association). An early summary of Christadelphian beliefs. Available online
  78. ^ a b Hyndman, Rob (1999). The Christadelphians (Brothers and Sisters in Christ): Introducing a Bible-based Community. Beechworth, VIC: Bethel Publications. ISBN 81-87409-34-7. 
  79. ^ Bull, Mike. The Bible—The Word of God. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. ISBN 81-87409-52-5. 
  80. ^ 'The Christadelphian Statement of Faith'
  81. ^ You can find more information about this topic at True Bible Teaching.
  82. ^ Drabbenstott, Mark (2000). God Our Father. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. ISBN 81-87409-64-9. 
  83. ^ a b c d Flint, James; Deb Flint. One God or a Trinity?. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. ISBN 81-87409-61-4. 
  84. ^ a b c d e f g Jesus: God the Son or Son of God?. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  85. ^ a b c Tennant, Harry. The Holy Spirit—Bible Understanding of God's Power. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  86. ^ a b c d e f Broughton, James H.; Peter J Southgate. The Trinity: True or False?. UK: The Dawn Book Supply. 
  87. ^ Whittaker, Edward; Carr, Reg. 'Spirit' in the New Testament. The Testimony. , p. 117,132,145
  88. ^ Pearce, Graham. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit Gifts. Logos. , p. 27-29. Also see the collated quotations from various other Christadelphian authors in pp. 71-83 of Pearce's book.
  89. ^ 'I believe that the Holy Spirit is the only Authoritative, infallible, efficient, and sufficient teacher of the Christian religion, in all its parts. If I be asked, what is the manner in which he teaches this religion, I reply in the same way that all teachers convey instruction to their pupils; by words, either spoken or written. ... Now Paul says that the sacred Scriptures are able to make us wise to salvation, by the faith (or gospel) which is through Jesus Christ. What more do we want than wisdom in relation to this matter? If the sacred Scriptures are able to make us wise, we need no other instrumentality. The Holy Spirit by the word, without infusing a single idea into it more than it actually and ordinarily contains, and without any collateral influence, teaches us all wisdom and knowledge that is necessary ...' John Thomas, The Apostasy Unveiled, as quoted in G. Pearce, The Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit Gifts, pp. 71-2
  90. ^ a b c d e Zilmer, Paul. Who is Jesus?. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. ISBN 81-87409-68-1. 
  91. ^ Tennant, Harry. Christ in the Old Testament: Israel's True Messiah. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  92. ^ a b c Do You Believe in a Devil?. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  93. ^ Wilson, Shiela. The End of the World: Horror Story—or Bible Hope?. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  94. ^ Scott, Malcom. Christ is Coming Again!. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. ISBN 81-87409-34-7. 
  95. ^ Morgan, Tecwyn. Christ is Coming! Bible teaching about his return. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  96. ^ a b Hughes, Stephen. The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth!. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. ISBN 81-87409-55-X. 
  97. ^ a b Owen, Stanley. The Kingdom of God on Earth: God's plan for the world. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  98. ^ Watkins, Peter. The Cross of Christ. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  99. ^ a b Flint, James; Deb Flint. Salvation. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. 
  100. ^ a b Why Baptism Really Matters: What must we do to be saved?. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  101. ^ Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith, Doctrine to be Rejected no 24 'That the gospel alone will save without the obedience of Christ's commandments'.
  102. ^ After Death – What?. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  103. ^ Raised to Judgement: Bible Teaching about Resurrection & Judgement. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  104. ^ M.. Israel: God's People, God's Land. Birmingham, UK: CMPA. 
  105. ^ See What is the true Gospel?, available online
  106. ^ "The Christian Life: Marriage—"Only in the Lord"". Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  107. ^ Homosexuality and the Church: Bible Answers to Moral Questions (Birmingham: Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association). Available online
  108. ^ Doctrines to be Rejected—an appendix to the Christadelphian statement of faith
  109. ^ Answering Common Questions about the Christadelphians from Christadelphian Info
  110. ^ Christendom Astray, Robert Roberts, written 1862, Lecture 1: 'Do you mean to say, asks the incredulous enquirer, that the Bible has been studied by men of learning for eighteen centuries without being understood? and that the thousands of ministers set apart for the very purpose of ministering in its holy pages are all mistaken?' (He then goes on to suggest that social conditioning, self interest by the clergy and an incomplete reformation prevented its rediscovery.)
  111. ^ In an article 'A Glance at The History and Mystery of Christadelphianism', a contemporary of John Thomas, David King, from the Restoration Movement 1881, argues that a complete losing of truth would have been unlikely. Available online
  112. ^ 'An arrangement of this sort was absolutely necessary for the preservation and protection of the One Body, witnessing for the truth against "the worshipping of the daemonials and idols", in the midst of the nations, and "before the God of the earth;" the weapons of whose warfare were civil disabilities, and the infernal tortures of anti-heretical crusaders and inquisitions.', John Thomas, 'Eureka' (1915 edition), volume 2, chapter 11, section 2.1
  113. ^ 'Thus, the history of the ages and the generations of the unmeasured Court is in strict harmony with this prophecy of the witnesses. For a period considerably over a thousand years after Rome renounced its old gods for the ghosts, dry bones, and fables of the catholic superstition, the Spirit had provided himself with Two Witnessing Classes, to whose custody he providentially committed the truth, and its judicial vindication by fire and sword.', John Thomas, 'Eureka', volume 2, chapter 11, section 2.2
  114. ^ 'Though the apostles died, their work continued, and the generation of believers that went to the grave with them were succeeded by other believers who maintained the integral structure of the temple of God, founded in Europe. True, the work was marred and corrupted by the apostasy of the mass: still, a real work—a real temple, existed, consisting of the remnant of true believers preserved by God as His witnesses in the midst of the prevailing corruption.', Robert Roberts, 'Thirteen Lectures On The Apocalypse' (4th edition 1921), page 98
  115. ^ a b Alan Eyre, 'The Protestors', page 8 (1975)
  116. ^ Alan Eyre, 'The Protestors', page 11 (1975)
  117. ^ Alan Eyre, 'The Protestors', pages 11–12 (1975)
  118. ^ Both of Eyre's works were criticized by Ruth McHaffie 'Finding Founders and Facing Facts' (2001), in which evidence was presented suggesting that Eyre had misread a number of his sources, and that some his claims could not be supported from (and were often contradicted by) the available historical evidence.
  119. ^ 'But some, though having neither time nor opportunity to search archives, knew enough to realise that the claims were exaggerated, however praiseworthy the intention. Moreover, misgivings increased as the years passed and when members examined the subject more closely for themselves. As explained in the November 1993 issue of The Endeavour Magazine, Brother Ron Coleman in 1986, when preparing an address for the Oxford ecclesia to commemorate the 450th anniversary of William Tyndale's death, not only sought information from The Protesters but also from Tyndale's own writings. He was surprised to find serious misrepresentations in our community's publication.', Ruth McHaffie, 'Founding Fathers And Facing Facts', (2001), page 8
  120. ^ 'In 1989 when an article by Brother Alan appeared in The Christadelphian containing a number of inaccuracies on the hymn writer Isaac Watts,, editor of The Christadelphian, and subsequently corresponded with Alan in the manner which becomes Brethren. Scholarly evidence to disprove Ron's criticisms was not forthcoming with regard to either Tyndale or Watts, and the editor was requested to publish a short note of amendment on both writers, but there appears to have been no response.', Ruth McHaffie, 'Founding Fathers And Facing Facts', (2001), page 8
  121. ^ Pope, Hugh (1912). "Socinianism". The Catholic Encyclopedia. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  122. ^ The Christadelphian understanding of Daniel 12:2, etc.
  123. ^ ‘Barr is surely right to stress that the Genesis story as it now stands indicates that humans were not created immortal, but had (and lost) the chance to gain unending life.’, Wright, ‘The Resurrection of the Son of God’, p. 92 (2003); Wright himself actually interprets some passages of Scripture as indicating alternative beliefs, ‘The Bible offers a spectrum of belief about life after death’,Wright, ‘The Resurrection of the Son of God’, p. 129 (2003)
  124. ^ ‘In contrast to the two enigmatic references to Enoch and Elijah, there are ample references to the fact that death is the ultimate destiny for all human beings, that God has no contact with or power over the dead, and that the dead do not have any relationship with God (see, inter alia, Ps. 6:6, 30:9–10, 39:13–14, 49:6–13, 115:16–18, 146:2–4). If there is a conceivable setting for the introduction of a doctrine of the afterlife, it would be in Job, since Job, although righteous, is harmed by God in the present life. But Job 10:20–22 and 14:1–10 affirm the opposite.’, Gillman, ‘Death and Afterlife, Judaic Doctrines Of’, in Neusner, ‘The Encyclopedia of Judaism’, volume 1, p. 176 (2000)
  125. ^ ‘ “Who knows whether the breath of human beings rises up and the breath of an animal sinks down to the earth?” (Eccles 3:21). In Qohelet’s day there were perhaps people who were speculating that human beings would enjoy a positive afterlife, as animals would not. Qohelet points out that there is no evidence for this.’, Goldingay, ‘Old Testament Theology’, volume 2, p. 644 (2006)
  126. ^ ‘The life of a human being came more directly from God, and it is also evident that when someone dies, the breath (rûaḥ, e.g., Ps 104:29) or the life (nepeš, e.g., Gen 35:18) disappears and returns to the God who is rûaḥ. And whereas the living may hope that the absence of God may give way again to God’s presence, the dead are forever cut off from God’s presence.241 Death means an end to fellowship with God and to fellowship with other people. It means an end to the activity of God and the activity of other people. Even more obviously, it means an end to my own activity. It means an end to awareness.’, ibid., p. 640
  127. ^ 'In the first place, there have not been a few, both in ancient and modern times, who have maintained the truth of a "Conditional Immortality".', McConnell, ‘The Evolution of Immortality’, p. 84 (1901).
  128. ^ 'At the same time there have always been isolated voices raised in support of other views. There are hints of a belief in repentance after death, as well as conditional immortality and annihilationism.', Streeter, et al., ‘Immortality: An Essay in Discovery, Co-Ordinating Scientific, Psychical, and Biblical Research’, p. 204 (1917)
  129. ^ 'Many biblical scholars down throughout history, looking at the issue through Hebrew rather than Greek eyes, have denied the teaching of innate immortality.’, Knight, 'A brief history of Seventh-Day Adventists', p. 42 (1999)
  130. ^ 'Various concepts of conditional immortality or annihilationism have appeared earlier in Baptist history as well. Several examples illustrate this claim. General as well as particular Baptists developed versions of annihilationism or conditional immortality.’, Pool, ‘Against returning to Egypt: Exposing and Resisting Credalism in the Southern Baptist Convention’, p. 133 (1998)
  131. ^ 'However, Strack and Billerbeck, noted authorities on Rabbinic literature, suggest that the pseudepigraphal references to eternal punishment simply denote everlasting annihilation. See Hermann L. Strack and Paul Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (Munchen: C.H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Oskar Beck, 1928), 2:1096.', Fudge, ‘The Old Testament’, in Fudge & Peterson, ‘Two views of hell: a biblical & theological dialogue’, p. 210 (2000)
  132. ^ 'Psalms of Solomon 3:11-12; Sybilline Oracles 4:175-85; 4 Ezra 7:61; Pseudo-Philo 16:3. Other presumed annihilation texts may be found in Fudge, The Fire That Consumes, 125-54’, Walvoord, ‘The Metaphorical View’, in Crockett & Hayes (eds.), ‘Four Views on Hell’, p. 64 (1997).
  133. ^ ‘Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish as well as his colleague Rabbi Yannai, said that there is no such thing as the popular concept of a hell, gehinnom, lasting a long time, but that at the time when G'd passes out judgment the wicked will be burned’, Chananel, et al., 'Hut ha-meshulash', p. 183 (2003)
  134. ^ ‘Thus we have one Rabbi denying the very existence of hell. "There is no hell in the future world," says R. Simon ben Lakish.’, Darmesteter, ‘The Talmud’, p. 52 (2007)
  135. ^ Edward Fudge, Robert A. Peterson Two views of hell: a biblical & theological dialogue p184
  136. ^ ‘Some have believed in the annihilation of the wicked after they should have undergone just punishment proportioned to their sins. This supposition has had a considerable number of advocates. It was maintained, among others, by Arnobius, at the close of the third century, by the Socini, by Dr. Hammond, and by some of the New England divines.’, Alger, ‘The Destiny of the Soul: A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life’, p. 546 (14th ed. 1889).
  137. ^ ‘The theory of annihilationism in which the wicked pass into nonexistence either at death or the resurrection was first advanced by Arnobius, a 4th-century “Christian” apologist, according to standard reference works such as Baker’s Dictionary of Theology (p. 184).’, Morey, ‘Death and the Afterlife’, p. 199 (1984)
  138. ^ ‘Already in the fourth century Arnobius taught the annihilation of the wicked.’, Hoekama, ‘The Bible and the Future’, p. 266 (1994)
  139. ^ ‘others arose in Arabia, putting forward a doctrine foreign to the truth. They said that during the present time the human soul dies and perishes with the body, but that at the time of the resurrection they will be renewed together.’, Eusebius (a contemporary), ‘Ecclesiastical History’ (6.37.1), NPNF2 1:297
  140. ^ 'It is unclear if Arabian thnetopsychism [‘soul death’] is related to the Syriac tradition of the soul’s dormition [sleep] espoused by writers like Aphrahat (d. ca. 345), Ephrem (d. 373), and Narsai (d. 502), according to whom the souls of the dead are largely inert, having lapsed into a state of sleep, in which they can only dream of their future reward or punishments.’, Constas, ‘”To Sleep, Perchance to Dream”: The Middle State of Souls in Patristic and Byzantine Literature’, in Talbot (ed.), ‘Dunbarton Oaks Papers’, No. 55, p. 110 (2001)
  141. ^ ‘Gouillard notes that variations of thnetopsychism [‘soul death’] and hypnopsychism [‘soul sleep’] existed alongside the views of the official church until the sixth century when they were resoundingly denounced by Eustratios.’, ibid., p. 111.
  142. ^ ‘Thnetopsychism [‘soul death’] continued to challenge the patience and ingenuity of church officials, as evidenced by writers such as John the Deacon, Niketas Stethatos, Philip Monotropos (Dioptra, pp. 210, 220), and Michael Glykas, all of whom are keenly interested in the survival of consciousness and memory among the souls of the departed saints. John the Deacon, for example, attacks those who “dare to say that praying to the saints is like shouting in the ears of the deaf, as if they had drunk from the mythical waters of Oblivion” (line 174).’, Murray, ‘Symbols of church and kingdom: a study in early Syriac tradition’, p. 111 (2006)
  143. ^ a b 'The doctrine of the 'sleep of the soul' after death, a Syrian tradition held in common with Ephrem, Narsai and others', Murray, ‘Symbols of church and kingdom: a study in early Syriac tradition’, p. 279 (2006)
  144. ^ ‘The Syriac tradition of the soul’s “sleep in the dust” (Job 21:26), with its links to the Old Testament and Jewish apocalyptic, stands as a corrective to overly Hellenized views of the afterlife, and was canonized at a Nestorian synod in the eighth century (786–787) presided over by Timothy I (d. 823), who rejected anything else as blatant Origenism.’, ibid., p. 111.
  145. ^ ‘In virtually every period of Byzantine history, critical voices denied that the souls of the dead could involve themselves in the affairs of the living or intercede on their behalf in heaven. Based on a more unitive, materialist notion of the self as irreducibly embodied, some thinkers argued that the souls of the dead (sainted or otherwise) were largely inert, having lapsed into a state of cognitive oblivion and psychomotor lethargy, a condition sometimes described as a state of “sleep” in which the soul could only “dream” of its future punishment or heavenly reward. Still others argued for the outright death of the soul, which, they claimed, was mortal and perished with the body, and which would be recreated together with the body only on the day of resurrection.’, Constas, ‘”To Sleep, Perchance to Dream”: The Middle State of Souls in Patristic and Byzantine Literature’, in Talbot (ed.), ‘Dunbarton Oaks Papers’, No. 55, p. 94 (2001)
  146. ^ ‘Till the end of the sixth century and beyond, Christians in Nisibis and Constantinople, Syria and Arabia adduced Leviticus 17:11 which states that “The soul of the whole flesh is the blood” to argue that the soul after death sank into non-existence, that it lost its sensibility and stayed inert in the grave together with the body.’, Samellas, ‘Death in the eastern Mediterranean (50-600 AD.): the Christianization of the East: An Interpretation’, Studien Und Text Zu Antike Und Christentum, pp. 55-56 (2002)
  147. ^ 'On the subject of the fate of souls after death. Aphrahat insists - as does Ephrem - "that as yet no one has received his reward. For the righteous have not inherited the Kingdom, nor have the wicked gone into torment" (8.22; fc. 20). At present, the dead simply "sleep" in their graves, which are collectively referred to as Sheol, or the underworld. Their capabilities for activity and experience are, apparently, almost non-existent, "for when people die, the animal spirit is buried with the body and sense is taken away from it, but the heavenly spirit they receive [i.e. the Holy Spirit, given in baptism] goes, according to its nature, to Christ" (6.14). Aphrahat, however, seems to ascribe to the dead a kind of anticipatory consciousness of their own future which is akin to dreaming in earthly sleep.', Daley, ‘The hope of the early church: a handbook of patristic eschatology’, p. 73 (1991)
  148. ^ 'The wicked will be sent back to Sheol, the real of Death under the world (22.17.24; cf. 6.6), where they will be punished in the measure and the way that their sins deserve - some in "outer darkness," others in unquenchable fire, others by simple exclusion from the presence of God (22.18-22).', ibid., p. 73.
  149. ^ 'Ephrem, too, conceives of the time between our death and the second coming of Jesus as a "sleep," a period of inactivity in virtually every aspect of human existence. Because his anthropology is more highly developed than Aphrahat's, and because he is so insistent - in contrast to Bardaisan and other earlier, more dualistic Syriac writers - that the human person needs both body and soul to be functional, Ephrem seems to imagine that this sleep as [sic] deprived even of the "dreaming" Aphrahat mentions. For Ephrem, the soul without the body is "bound," "paralyzed" (CN 476.6); it is like an embryo in its mother's womb or like a blind or deaf person: "living, but deprived of word and thought" (HP 8.4-6).', ibid., p. 74
  150. ^ 'Because of his insistence on the positive role of the body in human life and its necessity for a full human existence (e.g., CN 47.4), Ephrem sees eschatological reward and punishment as delayed until the resurrection of the dead. Resurrection will begin when souls are "awakened" from their sleep by the angel's trumpet and the commanding voice of God (CN 49.16f.).', ibid., p. 75
  151. ^ 'Ephrem's picture of Gehenna is less detailed and more traditional than his picture of heaven. The damned there seem to suffer most from their awareness that they have lost all hope sharing in beauty and happiness (HP 2.3f.; 7.29).', ibid., p. 76
  152. ^ 'Following in the tradition of Ephrem and Aphrahat, as well as that of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Narsai assumes that the souls of the dead do not receive the reward or punishment for their deeds until they are reunited with their bodies in the resurrection; until then, they must all wait in Sheol, the earthly place of the dead, in a state of conscious but powerless inactivity that Narsai refers to as a "sleep."', ibid., p. 174
  153. ^ ‘The Nestorian Narsai described the soul and the body as a pair of inseparable lovers who could not live the one without the other. From the moment that her lover deserted her, he recounts, nephesh lost her speech and fell into a deep slumber. In spite of this, even in this state of forced inertia, she maintained her essential characteristics: her galloping intellect, her acute judgement, the emotions that open up a view in the world. The reason that all her faculties had ceased to function is that they had no more any purpose to serve, since the body for the sake of which they operated was no longer there. Nephesh recovered her sentience and her speech at the end of time when, together with the body, she rose to give an account for her deeds. Till then she felt no pain or joy. The vague knowledge she had of what was in store for her scarcely disturbed her peaceful sleep.’, Samellas, ‘Death in the eastern Mediterranean (50-600 AD.): the Christianization of the East: An Interpretation’, Studien Und Text Zu Antike Und Christentum, pp. 56-57 (2002)
  154. ^ 'His eschatology remains within the Syriac tradition. Thus he speaks often of death in personified terms, as the captor of an enslaved human race or as an insatiable glutton; although Sheol, where the dead now exist, is a dark place of sleep. Jacob also describes the experience of death as a dangerous journey across a sea of fire.', Daley, ‘The hope of the early church: a handbook of patristic eschatology’, p. 175 (1991)
  155. ^ 'On the influence of hypnopsychism on the theology of Jacob of Sarug see M. D. Guinan, "Where are the dead? Purgatory and Immediate Retribution in James of Sargu," in Symposium Syriacum 1972, pp. 546-549.', Samellas, ‘Death in the eastern Mediterranean (50-600 AD.): the Christianization of the East: An Interpretation’, Studien Und Text Zu Antike Und Christentum, p. 56 (2002)
  156. ^ '"Isaac," too, is convinced that the final reward and punishment for human deeds awaits the resurrection (e.g., Bedjan 724.4 from bottom). Then those who died in "peace and quiet" with the lord will find eternal peace (Bedjan 276.15), while sinners will be banished to a darkness far away from God (Bedjan 117f.). Gehenna, the kingdom of the demons (Bedjan 203.4 from bottom), is a place of fire, and on the day of judgment this fire will burst forth from the bodies of the damned (Bedjan 73.4.; 118.3-7). Until the resurrection, the dead must wait in Sheol, which the author seems to imagine as a collective grave (Bedjan 366.3 from bottom; 368.5; 369.4). Some passages in the corpus suggest that the dead continue to act, in Sheol, as they have during life (e.g., Bedjan 90.13; 366.10-18). Others declare that action for good or ill is no longer possible after death (e.g., Bedjan 392.4 from bottom), and even envisage Sheol, before the judgment, as a place of fire ruled over by Satan (Bedjan 93.4f.).', Daley, ‘The hope of the early church: a handbook of patristic eschatology’, pp. 174-175 (1991)
  157. ^ 'But Ibn Ezra held that the souls of the wicked perish with their bodies.', Davidson, ‘The Doctrine of Last Things Contained in the New Testament, Compared With Notions of the Jews and the Statements of Church Creeds’, p. 139 (1882)
  158. ^ 'Maimonides claims that since the greatest punishment would be to lose one's immortal soul, the souls of the wicked are destroyed along with their bodies.', Rudavsky, 'Maimonides', p. 105 (2010)
  159. ^ ‘Maimonides’ views are reasserted by Joseph Albo (1380–1444) in his Book of Principles.’, ibid., p. 206.
  160. ^ ‘During the pre-Reformation period, there seems to be some indication that both Wycliffe and Tyndale taught the doctrine of soul sleep as the answer to the Catholic teachings of purgatory and masses for the dead.’, Morey, ‘Death and the Afterlife’, p. 200 (1984)
  161. ^ ‘He has written at length on psychopannychism, the doctrine of soul sleep, widely held in the sixteenth century by such diverse figures as Camillo Renato, Michael Sattler, and for a while, Martin Luther.’, Williams, Petersen, & Pater (eds.), ‘The contentious triangle: church, state, and university: a festschrift in in Honor of Professor George Huntston Williams’, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, volume 2, p. (1999)
  162. ^ ‘It appears that Sattler came to hold the doctrine of psychopannychism, or sleep of the soul’, Snyder, The life and thought of Michael Sattler’, p. 130 (1984)
  163. ^ 'Many who became Anabaptists also believed that the soul is not naturally immortal but "sleeps" between death and the final resurrection. Some affirmed, further, that only the righteous would be resurrected, while the unrighteous would simply remain dead. Many denied hell. The Venice Synod affirmed soul sleep and rejected hell (ibid., pp. 871-72).', Finger, ‘A contemporary Anabaptist theology: biblical, historical, constructive’, p. 42 (2004)
  164. ^ ‘The belief that the soul goes to sleep at the death of the body to await eventual resurrection was held by both Martin Luther and William Tyndale’, Watts, ‘The Dissenters: From the Reformation to the French Revolution’, p. 119 (1985)
  165. ^ a b Hagner, "Jewish Christianity", in Martin & Davids (eds.), 'Dictionary of the later New Testament and its developments' (2000)
  166. ^ Wright, "Ebionites", in Martin & Davids (eds.), 'Dictionary of the later New Testament and its developments' (2000)
  167. ^ 'They called Jesus the Son of God (→ Christological Titles 3.3), accepted his virgin birth, but rejected his preexistence as God', Merkel, 'Nazarene', in ), Fahlbusch & Bromiley (eds.), 'Encyclopedia of Christianity', volume 3, p. 714 (1993-2003)
  168. ^ 'He came from Byzantium to Rome under Pope *Victor (c.189–198), proclaiming that Jesus was a man who was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism and thus became Christ. He was excommunicated by Victor. His disciples, who were known as ‘Theodotians’, included his namesake, ‘Theodotus the Money-changer’ (early 3rd cent.)', Cross & Livingstone (eds.), 'The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church', p. 1614 (3rd ed. rev. 2005)
  169. ^ 'Adoptionist heretic. He is mentioned twice by *Eusebius, who says that *Paul of Samosata revived his heresy (HE 5. 28 and 7. 30. 16 f.)', ibid., p. 113
  170. ^ 'It is clear that in his Christology Paul was an *Adoptianist, holding that in the Incarnation the Word descended on and dwelt in the man Jesus, who thus became ‘Son of God’.', ibid., p. 1250
  171. ^ R.P.C. Hanson (1916–1988), Lightfoot Professor of Divinity The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318–381 (9780801031465): 1973 "Christ, Photinus said, did not exist before Adam, but Adam before Christ. The sayings about Christ's celestial origins do not refer to his person, but to his teaching and his character."
  172. ^ Wulfert De Greef The writings of John Calvin: an introductory guide 2008 p253 "Lelio Sozzini's Brevis explicatio in primum Johannis caput appeared in 1561, which marked the beginning of the Socinian phase among the Italian..."
  173. ^ R. K. Webb "Miracles in English Unitarian Thought" Essay, chapter 6 in ed. Mark S. Micale, Robert L. Dietle, Peter Gay Enlightenment, passion, modernity: historical essays in European Thought and Culture 2007 p120
  174. ^ The Baptist theologian John Gill (1697–1771) acknowledged that early Jewish teachers interpreted 'satan' as a reference to the natural inclination people have to sin, the 'evil imagination'; "...they often say, "Satan, he is the evil imagination", or corruption of nature...", Gill on 12 Corinthians 12:7 in An Exposition of the New Testament
  175. ^ Carus P. History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil
  176. ^ Snobelen, Stephen (2004). "Lust, Pride, and Ambition: Isaac Newton and the Devil". In J.E. Force and S. Hutton. Newton and Newtonianism. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 
  177. ^ An attempt to shew that the opinion concerning the devil or satan, as a fallen angel, and that he tempts men to sin, hath no real foundation in scripture. By William Ashdowne. 1791, printed by J. Grove; and sold by Johnson, in St. Paul's Church-yard; Marsom, bookseller, Holborn; Bristow, Canterbury; and Ledger, Dover (Canterbury)
  178. ^ ‘For a Hebrew, ‘soul’ indicated the unity of a human person; Hebrews were living bodies, they did not have bodies. This Hebrew field of meaning is breached in the Wisdom of Solomon by explicit introduction of Greek ideas of soul. A dualism of soul and body is present: ‘a perishable body weighs down the soul’ (9:15). This perishable body is opposed by an immortal soul (3:1-3). Such dualism might imply that soul is superior to body. In the nt, ‘soul’ retains its basic Hebrew field of meaning. Soul refers to one’s life: Herod sought Jesus’ soul (Matt. 2:20); one might save a soul or take it (Mark 3:4). Death occurs when God ‘requires your soul’ (Luke 12:20). ‘Soul’ may refer to the whole person, the self: ‘three thousand souls’ were converted in Acts 2:41 (see Acts 3:23). Although the Greek idea of an immortal soul different in kind from the mortal body is not evident, ‘soul’ denotes the existence of a person after death (see Luke 9:25; 12:4; 21:19); yet Greek influence may be found in 1 Peter’s remark about ‘the salvation of souls’ (1:9). A moderate dualism exists in the contrast of spirit with body and even soul, where ‘soul’ means life that is not yet caught up in grace. See also Flesh and Spirit; Human Being.’, Neyrey, ‘Soul’, in Achtemeier, Harper, & Row (eds.), ‘Harper’s Bible Dictionary’, pp. 982-983 (1st ed. 1985)
  179. ^ ‘Indeed, the salvation of the “immortal soul” has sometimes been a commonplace in preaching, but it is fundamentally unbiblical. Biblical anthropology is not dualistic but monistic: human being consists in the integrated wholeness of body and soul, and the Bible never contemplates the disembodied existence of the soul in bliss.’, Myers (ed.), ‘The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary’, p. 518 (1987)
  180. ^ ‘A particular instance of the Heb. avoidance of dualism is the biblical doctrine of man. Greek thought, and in consequence many Hellenizing Jewish and Christian sages, regarded the body as a prison-house of the soul: sōma sēma ‘the body is a tomb’. The aim of the sage was to achieve deliverance from all that is bodily and thus liberate the soul. But to the Bible man is not a soul in a body but a body/soul unity; so true is this that even in the resurrection, although flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, we shall still have bodies (1 Cor. 15:35ff.).’, Cressey, ‘Dualism’, in Cressey, Wood, & Marshall (eds.), ‘New Bible Dictionary’, p. 284 (3rd. ed. 1996)
  181. ^ ‘Even as we are conscious of the broad and very common biblical usage of the term “soul,” we must be clear that Scripture does not present even a rudimentarily developed theology of the soul. The creation narrative is clear that all life originates with God. Yet the Hebrew Scripture offers no specific understanding of the origin of individual souls, of when and how they become attached to specific bodies, or of their potential existence, apart from the body, after death. The reason for this is that, as we noted at the beginning, the Hebrew Bible does not present a theory of the soul developed much beyond the simple concept of a force associated with respiration, hence, a life-force.’, Avery-Peck, ‘Soul’, in Neusner, et al. (eds.), ‘The Encyclopedia of Judaism’, p. 1343 (2000)
  182. ^ ‘‎Gn. 2:7 refers to God forming Adam ‘from the dust of the ground’ and breathing ‘into his nostrils the breath of life’, so that man becomes a ‘living being’. The word ‘being’ translates the Hebrew word nep̄eš which, though often translated by the Eng. word ‘soul’, ought not to be interpreted in the sense suggested by Hellenistic thought (see Platonism; Soul, Origin of). It should rather be understood in its own context within the OT as indicative of men and women as living beings or persons in relationship to God and other people. The lxx translates this Heb. word nep̄eš with the Gk. word psychē, which explains the habit of interpreting this OT concept in the light of Gk. use of psychē. Yet it is surely more appropriate to understand the use of psychē (in both the lxx and the NT) in the light of the OT’s use of nep̄eš. According to Gn. 2, any conception of the soul as a separate (and separable) part or division of our being would seem to be invalid. Similarly, the popular debate concerning whether human nature is a bipartite or tripartite being has the appearance of a rather ill-founded and unhelpful irrelevancy. The human person is a ‘soul’ by virtue of being a ‘body’ made alive by the ‘breath’ (or ‘Spirit’) of God.’, Ferguson & Packer (eds.),’New Dictionary of Theology’, pp. 28-29 (electronic ed. 2000)
  183. ^ ‘Far from referring simply to one aspect of a person, “soul” refers to the whole person. Thus, a corpse is referred to as a “dead soul,” even though the word is usually translated “dead body” (Lev. 21:11; Num. 6:6). “Soul” can also refer to a person’s very life itself 1 Kgs. 19:4; Ezek. 32:10).‎“Soul” often refers by extension to the whole person.’, Carrigan, ‘Soul’, Freedman, Myers, & Beck (eds.) ‘Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible’, p. 1245 (2000)
  184. ^ ‘There is no suggestion in the OT of the transmigration of the soul as an immaterial, immortal entity. Man is a unity of body and soul—terms that describe not so much two separate entities in a person as much as one person from different standpoints. Hence, in the description of man’s creation in Genesis 2:7, the phrase “a living soul” (kjv) is better translated as “a living being.”’, Elwell & Comfort (eds.), ‘Tyndale Bible dictionary, p. 1216 (2001)
  185. ^ ‘It has been noted already that the soul, like the body, derives from God. This implies that man is composed of soul and body, and the Bible makes it plain that this is so. The soul and the body belong together, so that without either the one or the other there is no true man. Disembodied existence in Sheol is unreal. Paul does not seek a life outside the body, but wants to be clothed with a new and spiritual body (1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 5).’, Bromiley, ‘Psychology’, in Bromiley, ‘The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia’, volume 3, p. 1045 (rev. ed. 2002)
  186. ^ ‘Nor is any place left for dualism. Soul and body are not separate entities which are able to work in concert by virtue of a preestablished harmony (Leibniz).’ , ibid., p. 1045.
  187. ^ ‘All Christians believe in immortality, understood as a final resurrection to everlasting life. The majority have held that immortality also includes continuing existence of the soul or person between death and resurrection. Almost every detail of this general confession and its biblical basis, however, has been disputed. The debate has been fueled by the development of beliefs about the afterlife within the Bible itself and the variety of language in which they are expressed. The Hebrew Bible does not present the human soul (nepeš) or spirit (rûah) as an immortal substance, and for the most part it envisions the dead as ghosts in Sheol, the dark, sleepy underworld. Nevertheless it expresses hope beyond death (see Pss. 23 and 49:15) and eventually asserts physical resurrection (see Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2).’, Cooper, ‘Immortality’, in Fahlbusch & Bromiley (eds.), ‘The Encyclopedia of Christianity’, volume 2, p. (2003)
  188. ^ ‘soul. The idea of a distinction between the soul, the immaterial principle of life and intelligence, and the body is of great antiquity, though only gradually expressed with any precision. Hebrew thought made little of this distinction, and there is practically no specific teaching on the subject in the Bible beyond an underlying assumption of some form of afterlife (see immortality)., Cross & Livingstone, (eds.), ‘The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church’, p. 1531 (3rd rev. ed. 2005)
  189. ^ ‘The English translation of nepeš by the term “soul” has too often been misunderstood as teaching a bipartite (soul and body—dichotomy) or tripartite (body, soul, and spirit—trichotomy) anthropology. Equally misleading is the interpretation that too radically separates soul from body as in the Greek view of human nature. See body; spirit. N. Porteous (in IDB, 4:428) states it well when he says, “The Hebrew could not conceive of a disembodied nepeš, though he could use nepeš with or without the adjective ‘dead,’ for corpse (e.g., Lev. 19:28; Num. 6:6).” Or as R. B. Laurin has suggested, “To the Hebrew, man was not a ‘body’ and a ‘soul,’ but rather a ‘body-soul,’ a unit of vital power” (BDT, 492). In this connection, the most significant text is Gen. 2:7, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [nišmat hayyîm], and the man became a living being [nepeš hayyâ]” (the KJV rendering “living soul” is misleading).’, Lake, ‘Soul’, in Silva & Tenney (eds.), ‘The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible’, volume 5, p. 586 (rev. ed. 2009)
  190. ^ 'The character of the needed reform became more and more clear : Christian thought must be brought over from the point of view of law to that of the conscience, it must be raised from legality to morality. Those even who wished to adhere as far as possible to the tradition of the past, tried to find a new foundation for the doctrine of substitution in the moral fact of solidarity. They gave up justifying the expiatory condemnation of Christ on the plea that divine justice must be satisfied; they were content to insist upon the organic bond which united the Son of man with the whole race. This method of argumentation, the first sketch of which was given by Ch. Secretan, and which was powerfully developed by so many orators, among whom should be mentioned E. Bersier, Ed. de Pressense, and Ch. Bois, has the advantage of being modem; but it remains to be seen whether, from a logical point of view, the argument does not ruin the ancient edifice it was destined to support.', Sabatier, 'The Doctrine of the Atonement: And Its Historical Evolution and Religion; and, Religion and Modern Culture ', pp. 92-93 (1904)
  191. ^ ‘But new challenges to the position arose in the modern period and were accepted by more and more churches. Able apologists for the penal substitutionary view also defended and developed that position against these new theories.’, Allison, ‘History of the Doctrine of the Atonement’, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology ( 11.2.15), 2007)
  192. ^ ‘In the twenty-first century, the doctrine of the atonement has come under fierce attack. Particularly singled out for criticism is the penal-substitutionary theory because, according to its detractors, it privileges one (outmoded) metaphor of the atonement, it fosters passivity in the face of evil and oppression, and it even encourages child abuse. Some evangelicals, disturbed by these criticisms, have sought to revise the traditional doctrine. Many evangelicals, however, rehearse and defend the penal substitutionary model.’, Allison, ‘History of the Doctrine of the Atonement’, Southern Baptist Journal of Theology ( 11.2.16-17), 2007)
  193. ^ 'Christadelphian writers point to the fact that there is a great difference between a 'representative' and a 'substitute'. A representative, they hold, is not disconnected from those represented, whereas a substitute performs a role instead of those for whom he or she is substitute.', Scotland, 'Sectarian Religion in Contemporary Britain', p. 49 (2000)
  194. ^ ‘The true believer is in Christ “for the obtaining of the blessings promised,” it is true, but his obtainment thereof is strictly subject to his recognition of the means by which they were “purchased.” The first act he is called upon to perform is a participation in those means, viz., the death of Christ.’, Roberts, ‘Answers to Correspondents’, Christadelphian Magazine (7.67.23), 1870
  195. ^ ‘Therefore, in the very act of putting on the name of Christ “for the obtaining of the blessings promised,” he is made to endorse and morally participate in the “condemnation of sin in the flesh,” which Jesus underwent in the “body preared” for the purpose.—(Heb. 10:5.)’ , ibid.
  196. ^ ‘By this three-fold preparation, entering within the circle of righteousness, participation in the one great sacrifice, and “the washing of water by the Word,” we antitypically enter into the Holy place, where the candlestick was to be seen in the type.’, WHB, ‘The Temple Exhibition’, Christadelphian Magazine (44.522.540), 1907
  197. ^ ‘This, then, is the way of approach to God—by voluntary entrance into Christ and a participation in his death. Thus each individual coming to God must first of all recognise the principles involved in the crucifixion, virtually proclaim his own worthiness of death and at the same time declare, in a practical manner, God’s righteousness.’, Walker, ‘The Cross of Christ’, Christadelphian Magazine (55.652.457), 1918
  198. ^ ‘The final meeting, on the subject “Risen with Christ”, emphasized the nature and the means of our participation now in Christ’s resurrection.', Sargent, ‘The Ecclesial Visitor’, Christadelphian Magazine (104.1235.230), 1967
  199. ^ ‘The Apostle’s reasoning in Romans 6 on the nature of baptism as a dying with Christ, a participation in his crucifixion, is reinforced here by his categorical “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (v. 3).’, Nicholls, ‘Editorial’, Christadelphian Magazine (120.1428.201-202), 1983
  200. ^ ‘Christ’s love, according to Kenneth Grayston, “is his action in dying not chiefly as a martyr—not solely as our representative—but as our forerunner, to show the way that all must go.”42 In other words, the death and resurrection of Christ “are saving events insofar as Christians participate in them.”43’, Marshall, ‘On A Hill Too Far Away?: Reclaiming The Cross as the Critical Interpretive Principle of the Christian Life’, Review & Expositor (91.2.252), 1994
  201. ^ 'Reno says that, in this account, Milbank accords the activity of "interpretive creativity" an indispensable role in the act of atonement itself, which thereby gives rise to the idea of "participatory atonement."', Hyman, 'The Predicament of Postmodern Theology: Radical Orthodoxy or Nihilist Textualism?', p. 87 (2001)
  202. ^ But Paul's teaching is not that Christ dies "in the place of" others so that they escape death (as the logic of "substitution" implies).86 It is rather that Christ's sharing their death makes it possible for them to share his death. “Representation” is not an adequate single-word description, nor particularly “participation” or “participatory event”. But at least they help convey the sense of a continuing identification with Christ in, through, and beyond his death, which, as we shall see, is fundamental to Paul’s soteriology.’, Dunn, ‘The Theology of Paul the Apostle’, p. 223 (2006)
  203. ^ ‘In the Roman Church, after the critique by Sabourin and Lyonnet and under the climate created by Teilhard de Chardin and Rahner, few scholars of note, if any, have maintained it. K. Barth again proclaimed that Christ was “the Judge judged in our stead” but expressly repudiated the doctrine that he was so punished as to spare us death and to “satisfy” the demands of wrath (CD IV/1, §59/2, fine print after about 40 percent of the section). In their later writings Moltmann and Pannenberg have come closer to evangelical language. However, Moltmann denies that God’s wrath was appeased (25–26), and Pannenberg, despite strong statements of penal substitution (425–27), claims that “the reconciling death of Christ is not a payment that Christ made to God in place of others” (429; 448, against “satisfaction”).’, Vanhoozer, et al (eds.), 'Dictionary for theological interpretation of the Bible', p. 73 (2005)
  204. ^ 'Sanders goes so far as to argue that "the purpose of Christ's death [for Paul is ] that Christians may participate in it, not that their sins may be atoned for.".', Finlan, 'The background and content of Paul's cultic atonement metaphors', p. 117 (2004)
  205. ^ 'On the other hand, the New Testament leaves no doubt that atonement is accomplished through the believer’s participation with the Lord in his death rather than merely by Christ’s death on the cross (Rom. 6:2, 6, 8; cf. Gal. 2:19–20).’ , ‘Atone, Atonement’, in Myers (ed.), ‘Eerdmans Bible Dictionary’, p. 106 (1987)
  206. ^ Restall & Bayne, ‘A Participatory Model of the Atonement’, in Nagasawa & Erik Wielenberg (eds.), ‘New Waves in Philosophy of Religion’, pp. 150-166 (2008)
  207. ^ e.g. see Greek of Acts 5:11; 7:38
  208. ^ "Ecclesia." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 03 Feb. 2009. Available here [2]
  209. ^ Examples of lecture titles on Handsworth Christadelphians website
  210. ^ For example: Learn to Read the Bible Effectively
  211. ^ For example: This is Your Bible
  212. ^ For example: Christadelphian Auxiliary Lecturing Society (CALS) videos, Williamsburgh Christadelphian Foundation (WCF) videos, the Christadelphians of Southern California's videos, and Christadelphian YouPreach on YouTube.
  213. ^ For example: Washwood Heath Christadelphians' podcasts, Bible Study Podcasts and Search for Hope podcasts.
  214. ^ For example: Open Bible Forum, Bible Discussion Forum and Bible Truth Discussion Forum
  215. ^ Norris, Alfred. The Gospel and Strife. Birmingham, UK: Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association. 
  216. ^ Watkins, Peter. War and Politics: The Christian's Duty. Birmingham, UK: Christadelphian Auxiliary Lecturing Society. 
  217. ^ While Christadelphians are not pacifists and say the time will come when military coercion and conflict will be required to establish Christ's kingdom.
  218. ^ 'They are characterized by holding a firm belief in the inspired status of the Bible and place enormous emphasis upon biblical study', Evans, John S, 'The Prophecies of Daniel 2', page 251, USA:Xulon Press (2008)
  219. ^ 'Christadelphian devotion centers on daily Bible study and weekly meetings', page 421, Fahlbusch, Erwin and Bromiley, Geoffrey W, 'The Encyclopedia of Christianity', USA:Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (1999)
  220. ^ 'Christadelphians are devoted students of the Bible, which they believe to be the infallible and inerrant word of God', Edwards, Linda, 'A Brief Guide to Beliefs', page 421, USA:Westminster John Knox Press (2001)
  221. ^ 'Daily Bible study is enjoined', Powles, Lilian V, 'The Faith and Practice of Heretical Sects', page 23, Michigan:Mothers' Union (1962)
  222. ^ "The BBC Website". 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  223. ^ 'Hymnody was an important part of Christadelphianism from its beginning, and, along with the journal, The Christadelphian, gave independent ecclesias a broader fellowship. Hymns reflected the essential doctrines and principles of their faith. These principles were anti-Trinitarianism. They also believed that God would establish his kingdom on earth through the return of Jesus to reign a thousand years in Jerusalem', Wesley Roberts, Professor of Music, Campbellsville University, Kentucky, in the magazine 'Hymn', July 1997
  224. ^ See Rachel Hocking, A Study of Christadelphian Hymnody: singing with the spirit and with the understanding, 2000, 7. Available online.
  225. ^ Andrew Wilson, History of the Christadelphians 1864–1885: the emergence of a denomination 1997 p. 326
  226. ^ Peter Hemingray, John Thomas: His Friends and His Faith 2003 p. 195
  227. ^ Ambassador of the Coming Age Vol. 6, P. 148
  228. ^ "The CMPA online bookshop". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  229. ^ Praise the Lord (Hoddesdon Christadelphian Service, 1993, 2000)
  230. ^ "Worship" (Worship Book Committee, NCC, 2008, 2010)
  231. ^ An example is the Christadelphian folk rock band Fisher's Tale (albeit this is a witness project as opposed to being for the purpose of church worship)
  232. ^ "Christadelphian Arts Trust". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  233. ^ e.g. Liedboek van de Broeders in Christus (Holland, circa 1980)
  234. ^ 'Considering the scope of hymnic literature by Christadelphians, we might conclude that few branches of Christianity can claim such a close relationship between hymn writing and their own religious development, and such a high percentage of hymnists in their membership. As their hymns become better known, this close relationship will reveal that the heritage and faith of Christadelphians has been enhanced through a strong emphasis on hymnody, from their beginnings to the present day', Wesley Roberts, Professor of Music, Campbellsville University, Kentucky, in the magazine 'Hymn', July 1997

Further reading

  • Bibliography of Christadelphians
  • Fred Pearce, Who are the Christadelphians? Introducing a Bible Based Community (Birmingham: CMPA). Available online
  • Stephen Hill, The Life of Brother John Thomas – 1805 to 1871 (2006).
  • Peter Hemingray, John Thomas, His Friends and His Faith (Canton, Michigan: The Christadelphian Tidings, 2003 ISBN 81-7887-012-6).
  • Andrew R. Wilson, The History of the Christadelphians 1864–1885 The Emergence of a Denomination (Shalom Publications, 1997 ISBN 0-646-22355-0).
  • Charles H. Lippy, The Christadelphians in North America Studies in American Religion Volume 43 (Lewiston/Queenston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989 ISBN 0-88946-647-5).
  • Harry Tennant, The Christadelphians: What they believe and preach (Birmingham, England: The Christadelphian, 1986 ISBN 0-85189-119-5). Also titled What the Bible Teaches (see 'Foundations' on
  • Bryan R. Wilson, Sects and Society: A Sociological Study of the Elim Tabernacle, Christian Science and Christadelphians (London: Heinemann, 1961; Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1961).
  • BBC article, Religion & Ethics—Chrisitanity: Subdivisions: Christadelphians. Available online
  • Rob Hyndman, The Christadelphians (Brothers and Sisters in Christ): Introducing a Bible-based Community (Beechworth, VIC: Bethel Publications, 1999 ISBN 81-87409-34-7). Available online
  • Rachel Hocking, A Study of Christadelphian Hymnody: singing with the spirit and with the understanding, 2000. Available online

External links

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