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The Book Report

Dr.-Leroy-Edwin-Froom-1890-1974Leroy Edwin Froom’s The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers –

provides a wonderful addition to our knowledge of who believed what and at what time in church  history. He was however a Seventh Day Adventist, and occasionally some of their more strange ideas do bleed through now and then, however for the most part it is an honest explanation of what was being taught by whom in ever century of church history till 1950.

All Messianics should read Froom as well as Dugger and Dodd, in order to get an understanding of how the inherited churches got into the mess they are now in.

For years we have read through the Early Church writings trying to pin down when and who caused the great deviations from the faith that we see in the post-modern church. Froom explains the great change in language that contributed to the deviations, as well as a whole host of obsessions and wasted mental effort to explain some of the  more crazy ideas, that have plagued the Latin Church.

The language that we use to communicate effects how we think of EVERYTHING, the universe, our culture, others culture, what is important and what is not important. To the English speaker, because our verbs are only post, present, and future, we obsess on getting things in their chronological, sequential order. Our language requires us to think this way. We cannot conceive of ideas that are not tied to time. Even though Wheeler-DeWitt’s equation demonstrates that there is no time. We just cannot get our heads around that.

The Early Church may have had some strange ideas here and there, however it is not till Latin becomes the language of faith did the real corruptions take hold.

It is essential to have this historic background and setting for Tertullian’s witness, and it is desirable to note, first that the apostolic church was principally Jewish, the ante-Nicene was largely Greek and the post-Nicene, predominantly Roman. The literature of the Roman church was at first dominantly Greek, and her earliest writers wrote exclusively in Greek.”

Latin began to appear in Christian literature at the end of the second century, and then not in Italy but in Africa, not in Rome but in Carthage, and with lawyers and rhetoricians, not speculative philosophers.

Strangely enough, Rome itself under the emperors was essentially a Greek city, with Greek as its second language. The first sermons preached at Rome were in Greek; for the mass of the poorer population, among whom Christianity took root, were predominantly Greek speaking. Paul wrote to the Roman church in Greek, as did Clement, and various others that followed. The apologies to the Roman emperors were phrased in Greek. The churches in Gaul, evangelized by missionaries from Asia Minor, wrote out the story of their persecutions in Greek, and Irenaeus employed it. On the other hand, Latin Christianity had its birthplace in North Africa. The Vans Latina (Old Latin) version of the Bible evidently had its origin in Africa. By the close of the second century Carthage was a thriving Christian center—a second Rome. Greek was no longer current there, having been supplanted by Latin.” So Tertullian was truly the first Latin father, his writings offering the starting point in the history of the Latin church. The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Leroy Edwin Froom Vol 1 page 254

After having considered all this, we would like to point out that Tertullian was one of the greatest Christian writers of all time. He was the man for his age. Some of the greatest teachings on faith have come from his pen. However he was the start of the Latinization of the Faith.

Our quest is to return to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that our faith was handed to us in. God chose these languages for reasons. It is their verbs and grammar that   best explained Deity. Froom’s four vol. set is available free at this link.  The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers,

Dugger, A.N. and Dodd, C.O. – A History of The True Religion. Israel: 1972