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Apáczai Csere

(“Csere of Apác[z]a”; János; 1625–59). B. Apác(z)a, Transylvania; prof. ref. theol. Karlweissenburg, Hung., 1653, Klausenburg 1656; Presb.; Cartesian (see Descartes, René).


(4th c.). “The Persian Sage”; probably b. of heathen parents; wrote 23 homilies on Christian doctrine and practice (337–345); important in the study of the Syriac text tradition because of his many quotations; seems to have taken the name Jacob; this later caused confusion in his identification.

J. Gwynn, “Aphrahat the Persian Sage.” NPNF, Ser. 2, XIII, 152–162. Aphrahat, “Select Demonstrations,” NPNF, Ser. 2, XIII, 343–412.


Egyptian bull deity. See also Sarapis.

Apocalyptic Literature.

Term applied to a type of literature produced in abundance by Jews after 200 BC and by Christians through 200 AD Samples of OT apocalyptic are in Zch, Dn, Ps of Sol, the Book of Jubilees,* The Testament of Abraham, 2 Esd (not Neh, but 4 Esd of the apocrypha in the old Vulgate, or The Ezra Apocalypse), the Book of Enoch, and the Apocalypse of Bar NT apocalyptic occurs in the Shepherd of Hermas. the Apocalypse of Peter, and Rv.

Apocalyptic literature has theol. and literary characteristics. It presents the world caught in war bet. good and evil and offers hope of the victory of good in catastrophic action that destroys its enemies. It is marked by strong angelology* and demonology* and by fervent messianic hope that sometimes takes on an extreme pol. character. Only some of its images and visions are interpreted; some of its symbols are standard and have about the same meaning whenever they occur. All NT apocalyptic books except Rv are not in the Bible canon.* Apocalyptic literature usually emerges from oppressed people. It was produced in the 12th c., e.g., by Elizabeth* of Schönau, Hildegard* of Bingen, and Joachim* of Floris and at the time of M. Luther* by M. Stiefel.* HTM

See also Apocrypha, B 4; C 1, 5.

The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, ed. R. H. Charles, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1913); R. H. Charles, Eschatology, the Doctrine of a Future Life in Israel, Judaism, and Christianity: A Critical History (New York, 1963; 1st ed. 1899 A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life in Israel, in Judaism, and in Christianity); H. H. Rowley, The Relevance of Apocalyptic, 3d ed. (New York, 1964, c1963).


(from Gk. for “to answer”). Legate, delegate, or ambassador. In ecclesiastical context the term is used variously for certain representative, administrative, or other high officials. In Frankish courts it was applied to senior chaplains.


(Gk. “hidden things”).


Term applied in patristic literature to esoteric or otherwise obscure writings and to books whose authorship was unknown (extended to mean “spurious”); gradually came to be identified with the books excluded by non-Hellenistic Jews from their canon as “outside books.” Prot. scholars of the Reformation period narrowed the application of the term to the uncanonical books in the Vulgate and called other outside books “pseudepigrapha” (Gk. “falsely ascribed”).

B. Old Testament.

1. The Jews at an early date distinguished bet. canonical books for gen. use and others reserved (“hidden”) for the wise (cf. F. Josephus, Contra Apionem, I 8; Antiquitates Judaicae, XI 1–vi; 2 Esd [not Neh, but 4 Esd of the apocrypha in the old Vulgate, or The Ezra Apocalypse] 12: 37–38; 14:4–16, 42–47). The fall of Jerusalem 70 AD (see also Christian Church, History of the; Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus) and increasing prominence of Christian literature led non-Hellenistic Jews to exclude the outside books from their canon. But the Hellenistic Jews preserved them in translations from which they passed into Christian usage and were gradually assimilated at various places in the OT canon. Alleged NT quotations from the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha have not been est. (e.g., Mt 23:34–35; Lk 11:49–51; 1 Co 2:9). But similarities are noticeable (e.g., cf. Heb 11:34–40 with 2 Mac 6:18–7:42; Ja 1:19 with Ecclus 5:13; 2 Ptr 2:4 and Jude 6 with Enoch 10:4–6; 19:1; 54:5; Jude 9 with Enoch 20:5; Jude 14–15 with Enoch 1:9; 5:4; 27:2; 60:8; 93:2 [cf. The Book of Jubilees 7:38–39]; Jude 16 with The Assumption of Moses 5:5; 7:4, 7, 9). Early ch. fathers quote the apocrypha as authoritative (e.g., Clement I, 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, chap LV, refers to “the blessed Judith”; cf. Epistle of Barnabas, XIX 9, with Ecclus 4:36; cf. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians, X, with Tob 4:10 and 12:9). Later fathers (e.g., Origen, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Jerome) did not accept them without reservation.

2. A. R. B. v. Karlstadt* (De canonicis scripturis; 1520) separated the apocrypha from the canon, named a number of them “holy writings” (following Jerome*: Wis, Ecclus, Jdth, Tob, 1 and 2 Mac) and pronounced the rest deservedly subject to censorial strictures. The 1534 ed. of M. Luther's Bible (see Bible Versions, M) contains the apocrypha (except 1 and 2 Esd, which are not included) after the OT canonical books and under the heading “Apocrypha. These are books not regarded equal to Holy Scripture and yet useful and good to read.” In the 1611 ed. of the KJV (see Bible Versions, L 8, 10–11) the apocrypha were included as a separate section bet. the OT and NT. Some copies of the KJV began to appear 1626 without apocrypha, and 19th-c. movements in Eng. (1825 and 1850) led to their more gen. exclusion, beginning with an 1827 announcement by the BFBS and the ABS. The apocrypha have reappeared in some Eng. Bibles (e.g., The Jerusalem Bible and some editions of The New English Bible and of the RSV).

3. The following are gen. included in the OT apocrypha: 1 Esd (sometimes called 3 Esd; compilation largely from Ez); 2 Esd (sometimes called 4 Esd and sometimes grouped with pseudepigrapha; Esdras receives information about future events from an angel); Additions to Est (Ap Est dream of Mordecai, edict of Artaxerxes, etc.); Song of the Three Children (sung by Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah after their deliverance; see also Canticles), including the Prayer of Azariah; Sus (a pious woman freed from an adultery charge by Daniel); Bel (Daniel shows the falseness of 2 idols); Man (cf. 2 Ch 33:18–19); 1 Bar and L Jer (Epistle of Jer; hist. and exhortations from Babylonian Captivity period); Tob (Jew and Jewess aided by Raphael during the Assyrian Captivity); Jdth (a pious Jewess slays Holofernes and frees besieged “Bethulia”); 1 Mac (Jewish struggles for freedom under the Hasmonean brothers' leadership); 2 Mac; Ecclus, or (Wisdom of Jesus the Son of) Sirach (practical philos.); Wis(dom of Solomon) (discussion of God-centered wisdom). The Song of the Three Children, the Prayer of Azariah, the History of Susanna, and Bel are sometimes collectively called Additions to Daniel. 3 Mac is sometimes included in the apocrypha, sometimes in the pseudepigrapha.

4. The Council of Trent* in 1546 affirmed the canonicity of the 14 writings gen. regarded as apocryphal, except 1 and 2 Esd (called 3 and 4 Esd when Ez and Neh are called 1 and 2 Esd) and the Prayer of Manasseh. Catholics call the apocrypha “deuterocanonical” and the Pseudepigrapha “apocrypha.” The latter (pseudepigrapha, Cath. “apocrypha”) include 3 and 4 Mac (but sometimes 3 Mac is included in the Prot. apocrypha); Ps of Sol; The Sibylline Oracles; 1 and 2 Enoch; The Assumption of Moses; 2 Bar (or the Syriac Apocalypse of Bar) and are Gospel According to the Egyptians (perhaps ca. 130/150; ascetic); Gospel According to the Hebrews (2d c., perhaps as early as 100/125; some think it may be a source, or the source, of the Logia [“Sayings of Jesus,” perhaps 3d c.] found beginning 1897 at Oxyrhynchus, a 4th-c. center of Christian culture ca. 10 mi. W of the Nile, near modern Behnesa); Diatessaron*; Gospel of Peter (perhaps written in Syria ca. 150; Docetic); Gospel of Thomas (the lost Gk. original perhaps came from Gnostic sources ca. 150; later copies are probably abbreviations or condensations; found in Upper Egypt in a Coptic version 1945–46; Gospel (or Traditions) of Matthias (lost; mentioned by Origen* [Hom. 1 on Lk] and other early Christian writers; perhaps quoted by Clement* of Alexandria [e.g., Strom. II ix 45]); Gospel of, or According to, the Ebionites* (mentioned by Epiphanius*; perhaps essentially the same as the Gospel According to the Hebrews; sometimes confused with the Gospel of the Nazarenes [an Aramaic Targum of the canonical Gospel of Matthew, current in the 2d c. in Aramaic-speaking N Syria]); Gospel, or Protevangelium, of James the Less (men- 3 Bar (or the Gk. Apocalypse of Bar); The Book of Jubilees*; The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs; The Books of Adam and Eve; The Martyrdom of Isaiah; The Testament of Abraham; The Testament of Job; 4 Esd (sometimes classified with apocrypha).

C. New Testament.

1. Here the terms “apocrypha” and “pseudepigrapha” are usually used interchangeably for all noncanonical writings that laid claim on canonical authority or were regarded by some as canonical. Some were written in the name of a famed believer of the past in order to borrow his authority to secure the acceptance of the content of the document. Others were frankly written to disseminate false doctrines. The New York apocrypha may be divided into 4 main groups (Gospels, Acts, Epistles, Apocalyptic) besides Gnostic writings and related subjects.

2. The Gospels were usually written to cover lacunae in the life of Christ and to advance private doctrines. They contain pure fiction, development of Godpel statements, words of Jesus tr. into action, traditions, parallels to OT miracles, literal fulfillment of prophecies. The most importanttioned first by Origen; principal source of the Feast of the Presentation; condemned as noncanonical in Decretum* Gelasianum). Lesser Gospels include those of Pseudo-Matthew (rescript of Gospel of James and Gospel of Thomas; used by Roswitha*), Arabic Gospel of the Infancy (probably of Syrian origin), of Basilides (mentioned by Origen et al.), of Judas Iscariot, of Truth, of Philip, of Nicodemus (Actus of Pilate), of Andrew, of Barnabas, of Bartholomew (the last 3 condemned in the Decretum Gelasianum).

3. The apocryphal Acts were evidently used extensively for the propagation of false views. They include Acts of Paul (2d half of the 2d c.; includes what was formerly known separately as Acts of Paul and Thekla Acts of John (probably 2d or early 3d c.; Docetic [see Docetism]); Acts of Peter probably 2d half of the 2d c. or early 3d c.); Acts of Thomas (perhaps composed in Syria, possibly Edessa, 3d c., by disciples of Bardesanes [see Gnosticism, 7 h]; Gnostic; ascetic); Acts of Andrew (probably 3d c.; Encratite [see Encratism]).

4. Apocryphal Epistles include Epistle* of the Apostles; letters from the Virgin Mary to Ignatius* of Antioch; two letters of Peter to James; Apocryphal Epistle of James; Epistles of Paul and Seneca; correspondence bet. Abgar of Edessa (see Abgar, Letters of) and Christ.

5. NT apocryphal apocalyptic* literature includes Apocalypse of Peter (ca. 2d quarter of the 2d c.; regarded canonical by Clement* of Alexandria and the Muratorian* Fragment [with doubts]); Sibylline Oracles (see Sibylline Books and Oracles); Apocalypse of Paul (cf. 2 Co 12:2, 4); Apocalypse of Mary; Apocalypse of Thomas. See also Clementines, 1.

6. Gnostic writings include treatises found at Chenoboskion in the 1940s (see Gnosticism, 8).

7. Related subjects include Agrapha,* Apostolic* Constitutions and Canons, Cerinthus (see Gnosticism, 7 b), and Pistis Sophia (a group of works; probably ca. 250/300; Gnostic). EL HTM

See also Alms; Canon, Bible, 2; Roman Catholic Confessions, A 1.

The Oxford Annotated Apocrypha: The Apocrypha of the Old Testament, Revised Standard Version, ed. B. M. Metzger (New York, 1965); The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, ed. R. H. Charles, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1913); E. Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, ed. W. Schneemelcher, 2 vols. (Tübingen, 1959, 1964), Eng. tr. ed. R. M. Wilson (Philadelphia, 1963, 1965); B. M. Metzger, An Introduction to the Apocrypha (New York, 1957).


(Gk. “after supper”). Name for compline* in the E Orthodox Ch.


Doctrine of Apollinaris* of Laodicea and his followers.

Apollinaris, Claudius

(Apolinarius; Apollinarios; Apollinarius; 2d c.). Bp. Hierapolis; apologist; presented a defense of the Christian faith to Marcus* Aurelius. Also wrote Against the Greeks (or Gentiles, or Pagans); On Truth; Against the Jews; against Montanism.*

Corpus apologetarum Christianorum saeculi secundi, ed. J. C. T. Otto, IX (Jena, 1872), 479–495; MPG, 5, 1285–1302; Eusebius, HE, IV, xxvii and V, xix.

Apollinaris of Laodicea

(Apollinarios; Apollinarius; the Younger; ca. 310–ca. 390). Son of Apollinaris the Elder, a grammarian of Beirut. B. Laodicea, on the Syrian coast, S of Antioch; bp. Laodicea ca. 360. Opposed Arianism* but fell into the error that Christ had the Logos* instead of a human soul; his teaching (Apollinarianism) was regarded by some as really Docetic (see Docetism) and was condemned by the 381 Council of Constantinople.* When Emp. Julian* forbade Christians to use pagan classics, Apollinarius and his father cast much of the Bible in classic form. Followers called Apollinarians.

Apollinaris of Ravenna

(d. perhaps ca. 75 AD). Acc. to legend, a disciple of Peter, and 1st bp. of Ravenna.

Apollinarius Sidonius, Gaius Sollius

(ca. 430–ca. 487). B. Lyons, Fr.; Roman patrician and senator; converted to Christianity; became bp. Clermont ca. 469/472. His letters and poems are a valuable source of information on the 5th c.

Apollonius of Tyana

(ca. 3/4 BCca. 96/98 AD). B. Tyana, Cappadocia; Gk. neo-Pythagorean philos.; regarded by many of his day as a magician and miracle worker. His biography of Philostratus* is an idealizing romance with the apparent polemical aim of denying the exclusive claims of Christianity. Apollonius is pictured as a pagan messiah who worked miracles and knew all languages.



A. Definition. In the Christian sense an “apology” (from the Gk. for “defense”) is a defense against an attack on the Bible or on part of it, or a vindication of the divine authority of the Christian religion.

B. Relation to Other Branches of Theology.* Apologetics is a branch of systematic* theology. Christian dogmatics* sets forth and expounds the Christian religion on the basis of Scripture; apologetics vindicated the truth of the Christian religion on grounds of reason, showing the unreasonableness of infidelity. Apologetics concerns itself with errorists outside the ch., polemics* with errorists within Christendom.

C. History of Apologetics. The hist. of apologetics may be divided: 1. Apologetic Period, 70–250; 2. Polemic Period, 250–730; Medieval Period, 730–1517; 4. Modern Period, 1517 to date.

D. Methodology of Apologetics. The apologetic method may be either historical or philos., or it may combine both approaches. The 1st vindicates Christianity chiefly by defending Scripture, its fact and importance in human hist., and the value of its teachings in human soc. The 2d vindicates such fundamentals of Christianity as the doctrine of God, of man's ethical obligation, and the like on the basis of pure reason. A simple but very practical grouping: fundamental, hist., and philos. apologetics.

II. Fundamental Apologetics.

A. Being and Nature of God. Christianity proclaims the existence and rule of a divine, infinite, spiritual Being, absolutely 1 in essence but 3 in Persons, endowed with all divine attributes properly belonging to such a perfect, personal Spirit-Being. It defends its position against such antichristian theories as agnosticism,* atheism,* deism,* idealism,* Judaism,* materialism,* modernism,* monism,* natural theology,* pantheism,* pessimism,* pluralism,* polytheism,* positivism,* rationalism,* and others that deny that God is the 1st, ultimate, and only divinely efficient First Cause (see Causa secunda). God's existence is demonstrated not only by the specifically Biblical proofs, but also by corroborative arguments of sound reasoning, e.g., the theol., cosmological, teleological, moral, aesthetic, and ontological. See also God, Arguments for the Existence of.

B. The Cosmological Problem.

1. Christianity confesses and defends the creation* of all things by the Triune God within 6 days, to His glory and man's good. The doctrine of creation embraces 3 facts in agreement with reason and experience: (a) Matter is not infinite, but finite; (b) All things outside God were called into being out of nothing at the beginning of time by he omnipotent and allwise Creator; (c) Creatures are propagated acc. to fixed laws (“propagation after his kind”).

2. The doctrine of creation is denied by both atheistic and theistic evolution.*

3. Teleology* supports the doctrine of creation.

4. Science* and Holy* Scripture are not in conflict with each other, though scientists and defenders of the Bible have been in conflict. Many conflicts have been caused by inaccurate perceptions or false conclusions based on the categories of science (i. e., the sense world) or by erroneous interpretations of the Bible.

C. The Anthropological Problem.

1. Christianity declares that man is a personal, moral, free being, originally created in the divine image, which he lost through the Fall, by which he was deprived of his concreate wisdom, holiness, and righteousness, having become a sinner both as to original and actual sin. 2. With the brutes he has a certain relationship in physical things, but though fallen, he is still endowed with intelligence and free* will. He is not a development from brutes, but the lord or ruler of all things under God. 3. He has lost his power of free will in spiritual things but still retains it in earthly matters and the area of civil righteousness and so remains a free moral agent, though after the Fall he cannot but sin. 4. Man is a religious being and seeks to worship higher beings or powers (Acts 17:26–28), though, unless converted, in a perverted form (Ro. 1:21–23). Such worship distinguishes man from the brutes as does intelligence and will. 5. The doctrine of man, as proclaimed by Christianity, satisfies man's striving and furnishes him a goal for his efforts; evolution is an unsatisfactory and fruitless hypothesis.

D. The Ethical Problem.

1. Christianity teaches that at the creation of man God wrote into the human heart the Moral* Law, which, though obscured by sin, still is a criterion for conscience.* Through the Moral Law God rules man individually and collectively. Ethical norms are not mere conventions, but laws of God innate in man. 2. The universe is not ruled by chance, but by Law under Moral Government. 3. Christianity neither ignores sin nor tries to explain its origin, but holds that God is not its author or abettor (though He permits it to occur), but rather forbids it, often prevents it. 4. Prompted by His goodness, God from eternity decreed to redeem sinful man through the vicarious active and passive obedience of His incarnate Son, whom He made man's Substitute and Redeemer. (See Atonement; Christ Jesus.) The denial of redemption contradicts the innate redemptive idea in man (as expressed, in corrupt form, in the traditions regarding “Champions” or “Saviors” of humanity).

E. The Problem of Man's Immortality.

1. Christianity holds that man, redeemed by Christ and born again through the Holy Spirit, shall live with God forever in perfect happiness. 2. All who deny man's immortality do so contrary to all rational grounds and arguments (e.g., the metaphysical, teleological, ethical, hist.) and the widespread belief in immortality.

III. Historical Apologetics.

A. The Supernatural in History.

1. Christianity holds that since God is the merciful Creator and hourly Benefactor of man, in whom man has his being (Acts 17:28; Cl 1:17), it is reasonable for Him to reveal Himself to man. 2. The necessity of the supernatural is grounded in man's need of God, its possibility in God's omnipotence, its reality in God's saving love, its purpose in God's desire to draw man to Himself. 3. The manifestation of the supernatural in hist. assumes the forms of revelation,* miracles,* and inspiration, (see Inspiration, Doctrine of), the latter esp. in Scripture.

B. The Bible in History. The Bible is a special divine revelation, both possible and necessary. It was given by divine inspiration, and attests itself as God's Word by its authority,* efficacy, sufficiency, and perspicuity, an altogether unique Book. It is further witnessed to as the divine truth by its internal and external proofs, its profound, convincing doctrines, its noble ethics,* its unity and consistency, its hist. character, its complete body of doctrines, its soberness of teaching, its wonderful Redeemer, its dependable writers, its spiritual appeal, its miraculous preservation, its prophecy and fulfillment, its remarkable attestation by archaeology (see Archaeology, Biblical), and its amazing miracles* (Christ, the Miracle of the ages; Paul's conversion), its uplifting influences, its superiority over man-made religions (Confucianism,* Taoism,* Brahmanism.* Buddhism,* Greek systems of philosophy (e.g., Stoicism,* Epicureanism*) Persian Dualism,* Islam,* and modern cults, all of which fail to supply man's spiritual needs).

C. Christ in History.

1. His wonderful incarnation*; 2. His amazing Person; His ethical purity, spiritual insight, divine love, patience, etc.; His marvelous claims, His unique redemption; His compassion upon lost sinners, His transformed apostles; 3. As there is but 1 Holy Bible, so there is also only 1 divine Christ.

D. The Church in History.

1. Its supernatural origin; 2. its divine preservation in the midst of tribulation; 3. its glorious victories over its enemies; 4. its absolute religion, offering to men both the perfect truth and a perfect salvation*; 5. its manifold blessings to the world.

IV. Philosophical Apologetics.

A. Definition and Scope of Philosophical Apologetics. Philosophical Apologetics draws its material in the main from 1. the philosophy of religion: 2. the philosophy of hist.; 3. the psychology of religion; 4. the facts of Christianity itself. While Fundamental Apologetics deals with the problems belonging to natural theology, and Hist. Apologetics presents the evidences showing Christianity to be divine in its origin and existence, Philosophical Apologetics seeks its proofs from the very essence of religion itself.

B. Philosophy* of Religion. The philosophy of religion inquires into the general subject of religion from the philosophical point of view, that is, it employs critical analysis and evaluation for the defense of Christianity, treating such points as the nature, function, and value of religion; the nature of evil; the problem of the human spirit and its destiny; the relation of the human to the divine with special regard to the freedom and responsibility of the individual; the meaning of human existence; the nature of belief, and the like. See also Religion Comparative.

C. Philosophy of History.* The philosophy of hist., in its stricter sense, denotes the explanation, from philosophical principles, of hist. phenomena in gen. or of the entire course of hist. development, treating as such also the origin, rise, and spread of Christianity and its influence in the world. Its value for Apologetics is therefore apparent, as it shows Christianity to be a mighty dynamic contributing toward the world's well-being.

D. Psychology* of Religion. The psychology of religion is concerned with man's religious consciousness, in particular, with beliefs as developments of human experience. While in itself it does not favor Christianity, it supplies valuable data used by the apologist for the defense of religious truth.

E. The Facts of Christianity. Christianity being factual and dynamic, it represents religious phenomena which may be evaluated for its own defense, e.g., the existence and nature of God, the immortality of the soul, the reality and objectivity of truth, the categorical nature of duty, the imperative of unselfish love, and the like. Christianity thus becomes its own best apology. JTM

V. Recent Developments.

By the middle of the 20th c., Christian apologetics concerned itself more with the new physics (which often rejects materialistic naturalism and holds that morals and religion are compatible with physics) than with evolution. (B. H. Streeter*). Furthermore, it concerned itself more with communication than with opposition. 4 areas were esp. discussed: world view (Weltbild), world outlook (Weltanschauung) (Karl Heim); anthropology (E. Brunner, R. Bultmann); correlation (P. Tillich); kerygmatic proclamation (H. Thielicke).

See also Christian Faith and the Intellectual.

O. Zöckler, Geschichte der Apologie des Christentums (Gütersloh. 1907); H. C. Sheldon, Unbelief in the Nineteenth Century (New York, 1907); P. Carrington, Christian Apologetics of the Second Century in Their Relation to Modern Thought (London, 1921); W. Elert, Der Kampf um das Christentum (Munich, 1921); J. G. Machen, The Origin of Paul's Religion (New York, 1921); T. Graebner, Evolution, An Investigation and a Criticism (Milwaukee, 1929); G. A. Barton, Archeology and the Bible (Philadelphia, 1937); L. S. Keyser, A System of Christian Evidence (Burlington, Ia., 1939); A. Richardson, Christian Apologetics (New York, 1947); H. Thielicke, Fragen des Christentums an die Moderne Welt (Geneva, 1945); J. Finegan, Light from the Ancient Past (Princeton, 1946); Walter Künneth, “Zum Problem Christlicher Apologetik,” Schrift und Bekenntnis (Hamburg and Berlin, 1950); P. Tillich, Systematic Theology, I (Chicago, 1951); H.-H. Schrey, “Apologetik III. Systematisch-theologisch,” Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. E. Kutsch, I (Tübingen, 1957), 486–490. EL


1. The classical period of Christian apology is the 2d c., a period of widespread persecution of Christians by Romans. The apologists defended Christianity against various charges: (a) that Christianity was irrational since the leaders continually repeat, “Only believe”; (b) that Christians were immoral when they gathered for worship and the agape; (c) that Christians sacrificed innocent children when they ate the body and drank the blood of the son of God (pais theou); (d) and that Christians were disloyal to the Roman authority, since they followed another king, Jesus. Christians were also forced to define their relationship to the Jew. Christians were easily confused with the Jews since they used the same Bible and their soc. attitudes were similar. Since the Jews were a rebellious people in the empire esp. after the middle of the 1st c., Christians tried to dissociate themselves from Jewish activities in the eyes of the Romans. But this was fraught with danger; it was only because Christians were confused with Jews (most of the earliest Christians were circumcised), that they were allowed under Roman law to propagate their views as freely as they did.

2. The 1st Christian who wrote specifically to the Romans in defense of the faith was Quadratus*.

3. Aristides* presented his Apology to Antoninus Plus, emperor 138–161; some say to Hadrian ca. 125 (e.g. Euseb., HE, IV, iii, 3). After the revolt of the Jews (132) Christians pleaded to the Romans that they were not Jews. Aristides pointed out how Christianity is different not only from Judaism but also from other religions. See also Incarnation, 5.

4. The apology that many consider to be the greatest was presented during the reign of Pius by Justin* Martyr, 150. The Roman rhetorician Fronto had presented an Oration against Christians accusing them of all the crimes listed above. Justin refutes these charges point for point. Justin was from Samaria and was martyred under Marcus Aurelius, 166. The son of heathen parents, he received a Hellenistic educ. and, he claims, sought for truth among the current systems of philosophy. He finally embraced Platonism, which seemed to bring him near the coveted goal—the vision of God and the eternal verities. At this juncture, however, while walking in silent meditation by the seashore, he encountered a venerable old Christian who, engaging him in conversation, shook his confidence in all human wisdom and directed him to the Prophets and Apostles as true teachers come from God. He also came to realize that Christians could not be lovers of pleasurable practices if they were willing to die for their religion. The ardent young Platonist became a Christian and, retaining his philosopher's mantle, devoted his life to the spread and vindication of Christianity. An unordained lay preacher, he traveled from place to place, combating heathen, Jews, and heretics. Besides, he wielded a vigorous, if unpolished, pen. His principal works are his two Apologies, the Dialog with Trypho the Jew, not to mention doubtful or spurious works under his name. The central idea in Justin's theology, strongly biased by Platonic and Stoic speculation, is his Logos doctrine. The Logos, or universal Reason, familiar to the thought of the Stoa and the Academy, Justin boldly identifies with the historic Christ, in whom the divine Reason became incarnate. He interprets Christ in terms of heathen philosophy. Indeed, Christianity is to Justin the true philosophy and the highest reason. Moreover, the preincarnate Logos scattered seeds of truth, not only among the Jews, but among Greeks and barbarians as well. “The footsteps of the Logos are to be traced throughout the ages, faintly luminous among the Greeks, brighter among the Hebrews, shining with full effulgence only at the advent of our Savior.” Thus Socrates, Heraclitus, and others, according to Justin, were Christians in fact, if not in name. On the practical side, Christianity is to Justin essentially a new law.

5. Many apologies were written during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161–180) and immediately thereafter, the result of a number of added factors: (a) Some Christians seemingly participated in the revolutionary activities of Avidius Cassius (176) and were consequently accused of being unpatriotic; (b) In the 2d c. the Roman legions were on the defensive on all fronts and pestilence ravaged many areas of the Empire. The superstitious Romans seemingly blamed the Christians for these reversals; (c) A number of very able pagan intellectuals, including Celsus (On the True Word, 178) and the physician and metaphysical thinker Galen, addressed remarks against the Christians suggesting that if they desired to be recognized they should defend themselves in traditional philosophical patterns.

6. Athenagoras* wrote Plea Concerning Christians (ca. 177), attempting to show that Christians were simply another school of philosophical inquiry and favorably disposed toward the Roman intellectual (not religious) traditions. He also wrote On the Resurrection in the Gk. tradition of demonstrating the natural immortality of the soul through rational arguments.

7. Melito* bishop of Sardis, wrote a Petition (only fragments exist in Eusebius, HE, IV, xxvi, 5–11) sometime after 176, suggesting that since the birth of Christ and the birth of Augustus took place at the same time these two forces, the religious and the political, ought to work together in building imperial destiny for the betterment of mankind. Melito also wrote works in other areas of theology but they are extant only in fragmentary form.

8. A disorganized work delineating the precise areas where Romans and Christians stand on common ground as well as those where they differ was To Autolycus by Theophilus,* bishop of Antioch, written sometime after 180. Theophilus may have been attempting to correct misconceptions created by the Oration of Tatian* the Syrian (ca. 177).

9. Apologies by Claudius Apollinaris,* Aristo* of Pella, and Miltiades* (2d c.) have not survived. The Epistle to Diognetus* may be from this period.

10. These earlier apologies were written in Greek. Lat. apology began in the 3d c. Minucius* Felix wrote the apologetic dialogue Octavius ca. 200; it was patterned after similar philosophical dialogues by Cicero. Tertullian* (d. ca. 220) defended Christianity intellectually in The Apology, socially in many works dealing with various aspects of Christian living, and politically in letters to Roman officials.

11. The last of the classical Gr. apologists and perhaps the greatest was Origen,* who wrote 8 books Against Celsus (ca. 248). He refutes Celsus' attacks on the reliability of Scripture and the disciples as reporters of what happened, proceeds to defend the Incarnation and the Resurrection, and concludes by showing that the Christians are loyal in their own way to the Roman ideals. WWO

See also Christian Church, History of the I 2; Lactantius Firmianus.

J. Otto, Corpus Apologetarum, 9 vols. (Jena, 1847 to 1872); P. Carrington, Christian Apologetics of the Second Century in Their Relation to Modern Thought (London, 1921); ANF, I–IV; J. Quasten, Patrology, I (Westminster, Maryland, 1950); E. J. Good-speed, Index Apologeticus (Leipzig, 1912); J. Geffcken, Zwei griechische Apologeten (Leipzig, 1907); “The Apology of Aristides on Behalf of the Christians,” Syr. text ed. J. R. Harris, with appendix with Gk. text ed. J. A. Robinson, in Cambridge Texts and Studies, I, No. 1 (1891); Origen, Contra Celsum, tr. and ed. H. Chadwick (Cambridge, Eng., 1953); R. Grant, “Studies in the Apologists,” Harvard Theological Review, LI (1958), 123–134; MPG, 2, 1159–86 (Diognetus); 6 (Justin, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus); 11, 641–1632 (Origen, Contra Celsum); MPL, 3, 201–672 (Minucius Felix); see also bibliography under Origen and Tertullian.

Apophthegmata Patrum

(4th–5th c.). Sayings of Egyptian monks.

MPL, 73; 74, 10–516; MPG, 65, 71–440.

Aportanus, George

(George of Deure; d. 1530). E Frisian reformer.


(Backsliding; Gk., literally “from standing”). A total lapsing from principles or faith. The NT mentions as causes of apostasy: the putting away of faith and a good conscience (1 Ti 1:19, 20); listening to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Ti 4:1; 2 Ti 4:4); shallowness (Lk 8:13); lack of spiritual insight (Jn 6:63–65); love of the world (2 Ti 4:10; Mt 19:22). The OT gives, among others, the following reasons: absence of spiritual leaders (Ex 32:1); evil company (1 Ki 11:4); worldly success (Ps 78:57; Hos 6:4; Zph 1:6).

Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, North American Diocese.

Traces its hist. to 37 AD; the old Christian Ch. of Persia. Also known as Holy Apostolic and Cath. Ch. of the East (Assyrian); East Syrian Ch.; Assyrian Orthodox Ch.; Persian (Babylonian) Church. Sometimes incorrectly called Nestorian Ch.

Apostolic Church Directory.

35 articles pertaining to ch. morals and discipline written in the 4th c. but ascribed to the apostles.

Apostolic Constitutions

(and Canons). Ancient collection of ecclesiastical precepts, ostensibly regulations for the organization and govt. of the church put out by the apostles. Some of the older sections may go back to the 4th c. and even beyond, but the present form goes back to about the 8th c. There are 8 books of the Constitutions and 85 Canons, the latter going back to a greater antiquity than the Constitutions and being possibly based upon traditions handed down from the early 2d c. The collection is interesting not only for its regulations, but esp. for its list of canonical books. See also Clementines, 1; Dead, Prayers for; Hours, Canonical; Popes, 32.

ANF, VII, 385–508; MPG, I, 510–1156; J. Quasten, Patrology, II (Westminster, Maryland, 1953.)

Apostolic Faith, The.

Body organized 1907 in Portland, Oregon by Mrs. Florence L. Crawford; trinitarian fundamental evangelistic; Arminian; form of govt.: Presb.; stresses original Wesleyan doctrine of holiness and Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Apostolic Faith Mission Church of God.

Founded 1906, inc. 1915, Mobile, Alabama

Apostolic Fathers.

Significant Christian writers and writings of the time immediately after the NT. See also Fathers of the Church; Patristics, 3.

1. Clement I (Clemens Romeanus; Clement of Rome). Disciple of Peter and Paul; bp. Rome, 92–101 acc. to Eusebius* of Caesarea (acc. to others ca. 88—ca. 97 or ca. 90—ca. 99); said to have been consecrated by Peter, to be the Clement of Ph 4:3, and to have been martyred in the Crimea; well read in the OT but not always clear in understanding Pauline grace. Of many works ascribed to him only 1 Clement to the Corinthians (in which he tries to persuade rebellious mems. of the cong. to obey presbyters appointed by approved men) is regarded authentic (ca. 95/96). See also Clementines.

2. Ignatius of Antioch. 3d bp. of Antioch; martyred, acc. to tradition (Eusebius, HE, III, xxxvi), under Trajan, ca. 112. On his journey to Rome he wrote 7 letters (to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Philadelphians, Smyrneans, Polycarp, and the Romans) that stress respect for bps. and oppose Docetism* and Judaizing tendencies. The letter to the Romans pleads with the Christians there not to prevent his martyrdom. The integrity of the epistles (of which there are various recensions) is established. They show Ignatius' determination to encourage the “monarchial episcopate” and influenced later developments in the ch. See also Apocrypha, C 4.

3. Polycarp (ca. 69—ca. 156). Bp. Smyrna; disciple of John and friend of Ignatius; supported Asiatic view of celebration of Easter at Rome; martyrdom at the stake during persecution under Antoninus Pius; described in a letter by the Smyrneans to the ch. of Philomelium. Surviving work is a “letter to the Phillippians” (perhaps a combination of two letters). See also Acta martyrum; Infants, B 1; Persecution of Christians, 3.

4. Papias (ca. 150). Bp. of Hierapolis; disciple of John (?); friend of Polycarp; Eusebius accused him of chiliasm and other “strange sayings.” Wrote Exposition of the Lord's Oracles, of which fragments remain. These treat the origin of Matthew and Mark. His statement concerning “presbyter John” occupies a prominent place in the isagogical discussion of the Fourth Gospel.

5. Shepherd of Hermas. Acc. to best scholarship written between 105 and 135 by a Roman Christian, Hermas, identified as the brother of Pius, bp. of Rome. Contains 5 visions, 12 mandates, 10 similitudes. Central thought is exhortation to repentance in view of impending Parousia. Assures 2d repentance for sins after Baptism. Though of slight literary merit, it was highly esteemed in early ch. and included at times in canon.

6. Barnabas, Epistle of. Originated in Egypt ca. 130; characterized by extreme allegorical interpretation of OT; enabled Christians to find Christ in every incident of OT Written to Christians in danger of lapsing into Judaism. Ascription to Barnabas of NT considered false by modern scholars. See also Federal Theology.

7. Epistle to Diognetus. Beautiful in style, this epistle is one of the earliest productions of the ch. which survives. Addressed to Diognetus,* perhaps the teacher of Marcus Aurelius. Last 2 chapters are by another hand (Hippolytus?). Compares relation of Christians and world with that of soul and body.

8. The Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles). Written ca. 150 (some scholars hold that parts of it were written as early as 50); discovered by P. Bryennions* 1873; it was intended for use in instruction prior to Baptism. The first part (1–6) presents under the image of the two ways of life and death moral precepts which the catechumen was to know before Baptism. The 2d part (perhaps for after Baptism) gives instructions regarding Baptism, fasts, prayers, Eucharist, and “offices.” The use of a somewhat different document in Barnabas and variant recensions indicate that the source for the Didache was some early Christian document for converts (perhaps based on a manual for Jewish proselytes). EL, HTM

See also Christian Church, History of the, I 2; Discernment of Spirits; Golden Rule.

J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, ed. and completed J. R. Harmer (London, 1926); The Apostolic Fathers, ed. and tr. K. Lake, 2 vols. (London, 1925, 1930; T. F. Torrance, The Doctrine of Grace in the Apostolic Fathers (Edinburgh, 1948); Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology, The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (Oxford, 1905); J. P. Quasten, Patrology, I (Westminster, Maryland, 1950); The Apostolic Fathers, A New Translation and Commentary, ed. R. M. Grant, 6 vols. in progress (Camden, 1964– ).

Apostolic Lutheran Church of America

(formerly Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church). See Finnish Lutherans in America, 4.

Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God.

Founded 1916 Mobile, Alabama, as Ethiopian Overcoming Holy Ch. of God; inc. 1920; includes foot washing, divine healing, speaking in tonguesl evangelistic. See all Holiness Churches, 2.

Apostolic See

(Lat. “apostolic seat”). Term designating ch. center est. by apostle. RCm: see* or seat of papacy, namely Rome; also called Holy See, Roman See.

Apostolic Succession.

Strictly speaking, the term describes the teaching of the E Orthodox, Monophysite, Nestorian, RC, Old Cath., Ch. of S India, and Swed. and certain other Luth. Christians that the ministry of their churches has come down from the apostles in an unbroken succession of bps. Of those named above, the Luths., the Ch. of S India, and some Anglicans regard the apostolic succession merely as a valuable symbol of continuity with the past, in a class with the creeds and the liturgy, and do not make it a test of the validity of a clergyman's ministry. E Orthodox, Monophysite, Nestorian, RC and some Angl. Christians gen. regard it as necessary to the existence of the church and to the valid ministration of most sacraments; RCs make a special point of the succession of the bps. of Rome from Peter. The hist. fact of the apostolic succession can be assumed with reasonable safety after the emergence of the monarchial episcopate as the normal form of govt. in the ch.; the demonstration of the hist. fact in the crucial period immediately after the apostles is beset with insurmountable difficulties.

Although the Luth. symbols affirm the desire to retain the apostolic succession and hist. episcopate (Ap XIV 1, 5) only a few canonically consecrated bps. accepted the Reformation and, except in Swed., political and other considerations prevented them from transmitting the apostolic succession to the Luth. community. Lacking bps. to ordain their candidates for the sacred ministry, the Luths. appealed to the patristically attested facts that originally bps. and priests constituted only one order; that the right to ordain was inherent in the priesthood (a principle on which a number of popes of the 15th c., among them Boniface IX, Martin V, and Innocent VIII, acted in authorizing Cistercian abbots who were only priests to ordain); that thence “an ordination administered by a pastor in his own church is valid by divine law” (Tractatus 65); and that when the canonical bps. refuse to impart ordination “the churches are compelled by divine law to ordain pastors and ministers, using their own pastors for this purpose (adhibitis suis pastoribus)” (ibid., 72). The succession of the ministry in the Luth. Ch. may therefore be presumed to be a valid presbyterial one.

Episc. polity does not imply apostolic succession; the Luth. provincial churches in Ger. and the Meth. Ch. in the US are cases in point. In other cases, an episc. succession originated in a consecration by a clergyman in priest's orders, e.g., in the Luth. Ch. in Den., Nor., Iceland. The apostolic succession of the medieval Waldensians, and hence of the Moravian Unitas Fratrum, also rests on improbable legends. Many “wandering bishops” (episcopi vagantes) claim to stand in some Old Cath., E Orthodox, Nestorian, or Monophysite succession, but their competence validly to ordain and to consecrate is gen. denied by the bodies from whom they claim episc. descent.

The term “apostolic succession” is at times applied in a broad, nontechnical sense to a succession of doctrine or of believers from the apostles; but this is misleading.

A. Ehrhardt, The Apostolic Succession in the First Two Centuries of the Church (London, 1953); Hans Freiherr von Campenhausen, Kirchliches Amt und geistliche Vollmacht in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten; (Tübingen, 1953); E. Benz, Bischofsamt und apostolische Sukzession im deutschen Protestantismus (Stuttgart, 1953); T. W. Manson, The Church's Ministry (London, 1948); K. E. Kirk and others, The Apostolic Ministry (London, 1946); H. Brandreth, Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church, 2d ed. (London, 1961). ACP


Renunciation of Satan at baptism (E Orthodox).


All official acts of Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King performed acc. to both, divine and human natures, e.g., dying for the sins of the world, destroying the works of the devil, being present with, and ruling and protecting, His ch. (FC SD VIII 46–47)


Elevation of human beings to rank of gods. Instances found among Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians in antiquity. Ancient Greeks deified mythical heroes, e.g., Hercules. Romans long accorded this token of respect alone to Romulus, founder of their city; later the emperor (e.g., Caesar, Augustus) and even women of the imperial court were given divine status by senate decree.

Appenzeller, Henry G.

(February 5, 1858–June 11, 1902). B. Souderton, Pennsylvania; educ. Franklin and Marshall Coll. (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and Drew Theol. Sem. (Madison, New Jersey); M. E. miss. to Korea 1885; pres. Pai Chai Coll., Seoul, and head of theol. dept.; pastor of 3 churches; ed. Korean Christian Advocate; helped tr. Bible into Korean; d. in sea accident.

W. E. Griffis, “Henry G. Appenzeller, of Korea,” The Missionary Review of the World, Old Series, XXXV (April 1912), 271–282.

Apple of Sodom

(named after Sodom [Gn 13–19]). Applelike fruit of trees that were said by some (e.g., F. Josephus,* De bello Judaico, IV viii 4) to grow out of the ashes of Sodom, with the fruit turning to smoke and ashes on being touched. J. Milton,* Paradise Lost, X 560–570) speaks of similar fruit but makes it more deceitful and disappointing in this, that it turned to ashes, soot, and cinders in the mouth when eaten. A symbol of the delusive attractiveness of sin.* LP

W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book, I (New York, 1880), 317–319.


Formal judgment of a Roman prelate declaring a priest fit to hear confession. Without it the absolution of a secular priest is held invalid.


That part of a ch., often semicircular and vaulted, in which the altar is situated on an elevated platform. See also Church Architecture, 3.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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