Copyright © By Dr. Adel Elsaie, Book Title: "Please Revise the Bible, Again"
Who were the true Christians? This is a basic question that Christian scholars attempted to find out among studies of the early Christians sects. The first two hundred years of Christianity are often called “lost centuries’ or the dark period of the Christian history. For example, we know what happened to Jesus according to the Gospels. We also know what happened to Paul, the Apostles Peter and James, yet we do not know for certain what happened to the rest of the Apostles. And no one knows what happened to Virgin Mary after Jesus, where she lived, how and where she died. It is really ironic that the fate of the “mother of god” in the Catholic Church, and the holiest woman ever in Islam is also unknown. One historian observed that the church that emerged from the dark period looked very different from the time of Jesus and the Apostles. Marcus Borg, author of The Heart of Christianity, bluntly puts it, "There's a lot of interest in early Christian diversity because many people who have left the church - and some who are still in it - are looking for another way of being Christian."
The history of this dark period is scarce for at least two reasons,
1. It was a time of great persecution upon the church. Christianity at that time was an underground movement that the Roman historians did not care very much about its history, and few of its records have survived.
2. The victors of the ideological debates of the early Christianity became the custodian of the church history. Victors always write the history of the wars they win and those histories often fabricate the story, justify their cause, ignore facts, and take liberties to demonize their opponents.
It is a fact that in this dark period there were many sects of Christianity, like the present time there are many sects of Christianity as well. One would have the right to ask, which present sect represents the orthodox (orth=authentic, right, correct, original; dox=belief, doctrine, view, dogma) Christianity? Is it the Unitarian, Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, or Jehovah witness? If it can be suggested, in the present time, that Catholic and Unitarian churches symbolize two extremes of Christianity, Ebionites (the Jewish Christians) and Marcionites (gentile Christians) represent another extreme in the dark period.
Christianity started about 2000 years ago
among the Jewish communities in