When I study Scripture and History one thing is clearly evident at least to me. The problem of Christianity in its early years has to do with a primary issue. Hellenization of the known world. Consider this Jesus was Jewish, his disciples were Jewish and Christianity started as a subset (or fulfillment of) Judaism. Certain Holidays carried over into Christianity and new ones were applied. Colossians 2 :16-17. However, everything is in an eastern Judaic context. Yet, with the growing number of Christian convertions being gentile and the Jews already assimilating their scripture with Helenistic world views and education (ie Philo); we came into a quick conflict with regard to the faith. The Immediate problem became known as gnosticism however it was a symptom of a greater issue a problem partly purpertrated by Paul himself. In order to describe spiritual truths to this class of believers educated believers made use of a science already fully developed at that time. To define truths they used the language of Philosophy. Much like today Chemist who make modern drugs to deal with alements use a well established language of chemestry that no-one speaks but is exacting in its definition which is Latin. In the Greek world the main science was philosophy and Greek philisophical terms had specific meanings. I think the application of this had two effects 1) it helped people understand certain consepts 2) it fortified problematic consepts and carried forward in the Church. A thread was posted asking when did it all go wrong. Well, in a sence the very thing that helped spread the gospel, ie Hellenization, also modified it from how Jesus presented it to his disciples and how his disciples presented it to their followers. Christianity became less of what it was originally an eastern Kingdom with Jesus Messiah at his head and turned it into a tulmutous western faith. The fact that the earliest Christians needed to distance themselves from Judaism also lended to this issue. Thus by the time the apostles died Christianity was not as it was when the apostle preached the gospel at Pentecost or when they wrote their text. It had included Hellenized language to present spiritual truths some good some not so good. So I might say it went bad for the church in 323 BC at the implimentation of Alexandrian reforms. The church didn't stay the same it grew as it incorporated more specific scientific/philisophy terms for understanding scripture and teachings apart from scripture for certainly there was liturgy (jewish form that emphazised communal memory of scripture) during the writing of the NT we can see how forms were put in to help an already establish custom that is singularily Christian. However, these understandings and language were also put in copied text of scriptures. John attempts to use a greek term and redefine it from a jewish perspective giving rise to later gnostics. That term is Logos. There is a specific philisophic meaning of it and John used it but did he mean demurge. I rather doubt it but later believers certainly would have thought so. It wasn't long before Roman Legal system and terms (science) begin to clash with Greek philosophy and there was a fight between east and west understanding of scripture. Eventuality would lead to the seperation of east and west and they would develope partially independent of each other however both groups never ceased to use established philisophical terms to explain spiritual truths and became different than original eastern consepts. Both Catholics and Othodox will claim that the use of philosophy helped undertsand God better and point at the term trinity, or hypostasis, or person, or homoosious. But did it not also bring about consepts that weren't as helpful even problematic to the faith of the apostles and contrary somewhat? What do you think?