This is long overdue

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Gina B, Dec 28, 2002.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I never did like history class. [​IMG] Yet it's time I learned a little about Baptist history!
    Can someone give a brief outline to a newbie just starting to look into it? Do you have any recommendations for a quick simple read on it to get me started? [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  2. Harald

    Harald
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    Hi Gina. Right now myself is very much interested in Baptist history. I believe that if hereafter some will come and give you advice you will be told that Baptists began to appear in the 1600's. Some may come along who say Baptists as for their history go back all the way to John the Baptist and the first Gospel congregation in Jerusalem. If you take the first view you would limit your study of religious bodies who practised immersion of adults to the last 4 centuries only. It can be very rewarding and interesting, depending on what books or writings you have at hand. Yet I believe it may be even more rewarding if you realize that before the 17th century there were professedly Christian bodies which immersed adults just as the ones known to us as "Baptists". Some such would be the Anabaptists, not all of them though, for some apparently poured and did not dip. Another such movement would be the Waldensians. Other pre-Reformation immersionists would be the Albigenses, the Donatists, the Novatians etc. Those had much in common with most Baptists of today. They were persecuted by the papal whore church and to my knowledge never really part of that monster. One man who seems to know quite a lot about Baptist history and the history of immersing sects and bodies said that Baptist historians after let us say 1860 are more or less downgraders of Baptist history, generally it has been so. So for studying the history of the older dippers of the Reformation and pre-Reformation times one would do wisely to consult Baptist histories written before 1860. This because the downgrader Baptist historians generally deny what is called Baptist church succession. I do not mean the extreme Landmarkist view of chain link succession of churches. I mean that in every age and century there has existed immersing bodies that have striven to conform to the NT pattern and order, just like some of the Baptists today. [I know most if not all modern Baptists claim to be biblicists but reality shows them to be apostates from the NT faith and order.] The downgraders generally downplay this fact and thus only tend to rely on the testimony of pedobaptist historians, who mostly deny Baptist succession, and thus limit Baptist history to the last four centuries. I think a good general history which focuses much on Bapitsts and pre-Reformation dippers is Hassell's Church History. It spans all from the creation of the world to 1885 AD. It touches also a bit upon the Reformation and Protestants. Another general one which focuses only upon Baptists and dippers is Orchard's Baptist History. I believe this was made before 1860 or around. These two were not downgraders. I believe there are some fresh Baptist history books also written by non-downgraders, but I do not right now recall any by name. Yes, one would be Thomas Williamson's "The Waldenses were Independent Baptists". If you want to learn the history of the old Baptists of USA of the 17th and 18th centuries I think Benedict's Baptist history would be one of the best. He was a non-downgrader and the history was first published in the early 1800's But as you seemed to like some short history for starters I am afraid right now none comes to mind. A downgrader Baptist historian who many recommend is H Leon McBeth. He has written a history which spans the last four centuries, not only USA but other places as well. It is kind of in 2 parts, the 2nd being sort of an appendix, over 500 pages long, intended to enrich the study of the main volume. Hope this may have been of some help.

    Harald

    [ December 29, 2002, 03:28 AM: Message edited by: Harald ]
     
  3. Caretaker

    Caretaker
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    Perhaps these links will be of some benefit. Before there was a reformation, and protestant break with the papacy, there were centuries of primitive believers following in the teachings of the apostles. Baptists can trace their history back beyond the Roman dominance to the way of the Pilgrim begun so long ago in the Upper Room.

    While the apostasy of Rome wrested power for the papacy, and established the monarchy falsely using Peter's name, there was a group of believers following the only true head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ. These were the Baptists, and prior to the reformation, horrificly persecuted by Rome's bloody corruption.

    "At Zurich, after many disputations between Zuinglius and the Ana-Baptists, the Senate made an Act, that if any presume to re-baptize those who were baptized before (i.e. as infants) they should be drowned. At Vienna many Ana-Baptists were tied together in chains that one drew the other after him into the river, wherein they were all suffocated (drowned)." (Vida Supra, p. 61)
    "In the year of our Lord 1539 two Ana-Baptists were burned beyond Southwark, and a little before them 5 Dutch Ana-Baptists were burned in Smithfield," (Fuller, Church History.)

    "In 1160 a company of Paulicians (Baptists) entered Oxford. Henry II ordered them to be branded on the forehead with hot irons, publicly whipped them through the streets of the city, to have their garments cut short at the girdles, and be turned into the open country. The villages were not to afford them any shelter or food and they perished a lingering death from cold and hunger." (Moore, Earlier and Later Nonconformity in Oxford, p. 12.)

    The old Chronicler Stowe, A.D. 1533, relates:
    "The 25th of May--in St. Paul's Church, London--examined 19 men and 6 women. Fourteen of them were condemned; a man and a woman were burned at Smithfield, the other twelve of them were sent to towns there to be burned."

    Froude, the English historian, says of these Ana-Baptist martyrs--
    "The details are all gone, their names are gone. Scarcely the facts seem worth mentioning. For them no Europe was agitated, no court was ordered in mourning, no papal hearts trembled with indignation. At their death the world looked on complacent, indifferent or exulting. Yet here, out of 25 poor men and women were found 14, who by no terror of stake or torture could be tempted to say they believed what they did not believe. History has for them no word of praise, yet they, too, were not giving their blood in vain. Their lives might have been as useless as the lives of most of us. In their death they assisted to pay the purchase of English freedom."

    Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, 1524), President of the Council of Trent:
    "Were it not that the baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers." (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pp. 112, 113.)

    The "twelve hundred years" were the years preceding the Reformation in which Rome persecuted Baptists with the most cruel persecution thinkable.

    Sir Isaac Newton:
    "The Baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome."

    Mosheim (Lutheran):
    "Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists."

    Edinburg Cyclopedia (Presbyterian):
    "It must have already occurred to our readers that the Baptists are the same sect of Christians that were formerly described as Ana-Baptists. Indeed this seems to have been their leading principle from the time of Tertullian to the present time."

    Tertullian was born just fifty years after the death of the Apostle John.

    http://www.carthage.lib.il.us/community/churches/primbap/Paulicians.html

    About the year 653 A. D., a body of religious dissenters came into notice in Armenia, under the name of Paulicians. A man by the name of Constantine resided in the city of Mananalis, in Armenia. A prisoner among the Saracens, in Syria, having obtained his release, was returning home through this city, and stopped several days at the home of Constantine. He had with him the manuscripts of the four gospels, and the epistles of Paul, which he gave to Constantine to requite his hospitality. It appears that this strange visitor was a member and deacon of a Christian church. From the time that Constantine became acquainted with these sacred writings he would study no other books, and soon became a teacher of the doctrine of Christ and his apostles. He became very much attached to the writings of Paul, and advocated the doctrine of that inspired apostle with burning zeal. Those who gathered about him, and were formed into churches, obtained the name of Paulicians from the doctrine advocated by this influential preacher. "The distinctive character of the doctrine of the Paulicians was the rejection of the worship of the Virgin Mary, the saints, and the cross, the denial of the material presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and the assertion of a right freely to search the scriptures;" - Chamber's Encyclopedia. It is to be regretted that the writings and lives of their eminent ministers were totally lost, having been destroyed by their enemies, the Catholics, who persecuted them as heretics.

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Troy/9892/pilgrim.html

    The name Paulician was frequently given to these churches. The reason is not clear. They were also called Thonraks, after a place where they were at one time numerous.

    The persecutions to which they were subjected and the systematic destruction of their literature, hide from us all but occasional glimpses of their history, though what remains is sufficient to show that there were in those wide regions of Asia Minor and Armenia, around Mount Ararat and beyond the Euphrates, churches of baptized believers, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, who kept the teaching of the Apostles received from Christ and contained in the Scriptures, in an unbroken testimony from the first.

    The claim of these numerous congregations to be the true descendants of the Apostolic churches (not necessarily in a natural sense from father to son, though that might often be the case, but as having maintained in unbroken succession their spiritual characteristics) is not invalidated by the large gaps in their history of which at present we possess no account. These are the natural consequence of the determined efforts that were unceasingly made, first by the Pagan Roman Empire and then by the State Churches, to destroy the people and their histories.

    http://homepages.enterprise.net/sisman/brief.html

    From around the late 500s starting in the east a sect of Christians who were called Paulicians, because of their ability to defend their doctrine from the New Testament, particularly from the letters of the apostle Paul came to the notice of the authorities. They said that they were “Christians who were chosen of God” and called each other “brother or sister”. They had rejected the infant baptism of the Catholic church teaching that faith is required before baptism.

    It would seem on examination that these were Christians holding to the pattern of the New Testament. They are also known elsewhere as Publicans particularly in England (Publicani from Paulikanoi from Paulicians). Their teachings quickly spread throughout Europe. The Irish/Scottish church of this time still practised believers baptism and generally rejected Roman Catholic teaching. It can be assumed that contact was made as the Celtic church at this time was working effectively in Europe. After severe persecution the Paulicians ended up in Bulgaria and other Balkan countries and there they assisted the French church during it’s persecution in the twelfth century when they became known as the Bougre (in middle English ‘Bugger’). We can establish with some certainty that New Testament Christianity was being propagated through out Europe and the east by the end of the eighth century.

    __________________________________________________

    May you be truly blessed in your studies.

    A servant of Christ,
    Drew

    Psalm 51:10
    Create in me a clean heart, O'God, and renew a right spirit within me.
     
  4. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Thank you both!
    Wow, now I'm actually interested instead of feeling it's just something I have to learn! [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  5. tyndale1946

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    Gina if you go to the archives and look under Baptist History you should be able to find plenty of information!... Clint, RLVaughn, Jeff Weaver and many other brethren have posted information just for seekers and searchers as yourself.

    Hassels Church History was written by one of our Primitive Baptist Elder Sylvester Hassell and is on line... The book I have on my shelf is 1,020 pages and is for the serious Bible student. Starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation and goes into Church and Baptist History in depth.

    http://www.pbministries.org/History/S.%20Hassell/church_of_god.htm

    Another book in a shorter version is called The Baptist In All Ages by Elder J.S. Newman also of the Primitive Baptist brethren. It is written from the Primitive Baptist point of view and you may not agree with all things but read it from a historical point of view and as history. Here is the web site for that!

    http://www.primitivebaptist.org/writers/newman_js/baptists/baptists.asp

    There is also a publication by the Landmarkers called Trail Of Blood by J.M. Carroll that others have been talking about!... Though I have not read it myself I hear it is very good also!

    http://www.picknowl.com.au/homepages/rlister/baphist/blood/trail.htm

    There are also many other publications on Church and Baptist History down through the ages by various writer and it is truly an interesting and facinating subject!... I might also recommend Foxes Book Of Martyrs not for the squeamish if you really want to see what our Baptist forefathers suffered for their faith.

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/martyrs/

    Hope all this information helps you out Gina and it is guaranteed to open your eyes and mind!... Happy reading!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  6. Gina B

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    Thanks. Someone sent me the trail of blood thingie and I had meant to read it and never did, should be around here somewhere! Thanks for reminding me!
    Gina
     
  7. Gina B

    Gina B
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    *panic* GASP ~shudder~
    The archives are all empty, except one lonely little thread in the 2002 ones!
    Didja break it webmaster? [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    Gina, when you go to the archives, click "show all topics" to replace whatever is your default setting, and all the topics should come up. As to your first question, I am still thinking about which brief outline of Baptist history I would recommend to a newbie. Hope you all had a great Christmas.
     
  9. Hardsheller

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    Start with your own church - Learn all about it's history. Then proceed to your denomination and then to Baptists in General. Otherwise you may get bogged down and lose interest quickly.
     
  10. Hardsheller

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    One other point. When you find a specific historical strain that really excites you - then focus on that!

    For Example - As a Southern Baptist I focus on Southern Baptist History as it relates to Theology and Doctrine. [​IMG]
     
  11. Daniel David

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    Gina, I would recommend the baptist history book by Leon McBeth. Also, don't assume the Primitive Baptists are accurate just because they claim to be.
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    Nor would we assume McBeth, Baker, Vedder, Cramp, Christian or anyone else is accurate "just because they claim to be". McBeth's A Sourcebook for Baptist Heritage, [Broadman Press, 1990 (Nashville, TN)] is an excellent resource for original documents.
     
  13. Daniel David

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    rlvaughn, of course.
     
  14. Author

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    Dr. John T. Christian's A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS (2 volumes) is hard to beat for the early history up to the mid 19th century. It's relatively easy to find at such places as http://abebooks.com. I am currently wading through Armitage's huge compendium of Baptist history, but no opinion as of yet.

    --Ralph
     
  15. tyndale1946

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    Preach the word I resemble that remark but then again it is up to each persons discernment what they believe!... I'm sure glad your not a Primitive Baptist and I know you are too. :D Being a Primitive Baptist Christian Gentleman that is all I have to say!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  16. rsr

    rsr
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  17. John Miller

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    I had "A History of the Baptists vol. 1 & 2" by
    John T. Christian in college for a class in Baptist history. They would be good resources to check out.
     
  18. Author

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    Those are all good ones. ... I am thinking about reprinting the Christian books (I make my living as a publisher ;) ).

    You're in Columbus, Georgia? I remember it well :D . I was at Fort Benning in 1967-68. Fine place. [​IMG] (that's recognizable as stretching the truth for anyone ever in the army and stationed at Fort Benning [​IMG] ). Still, Columbus was okay.

    Best,

    --Ralph
     
  19. tyndale1946

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    Gina I also posted a short outline of Baptist History for the newbies called... The Baptist In All Ages... A Short History Primer. This area of the board has always been to post information and learn from others. Truth is truth no matter where you find it and that is what I and rl vaughn try to strive for. I thank everyone for the links and they can only add to the vast resources we already have. Baptist History IMHO started at the river Jordan with John The Baptist. Even though the multitude of the followers of Jesus Christ had different names down through the ages their mode of Baptistism was immersion and that is how they stood out from others. When you call yourself a Baptist hold your head up high and be proud... Baptist is not just a name but an identity and the sacrifices to retain it are to numerous to mention!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  20. Mrs KJV

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    Gina,
    Landmark Baptist Church in Flordia has a great book named the Faithful Baptist Witness. It have information on every Baptist Group there is. Mickey Carter is the Pastor and it is in Haines City.
    Julie [​IMG]
     

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