NEW TESTAMENT-PATTERNED CHURCH
In Europe Since the 1st Century

    The New Testament Church has always existed.  What God began on the Day of Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago, he would never allow
to die.  God is not weak.  

    Because the only world headquarters of the New Testament Church is to be heaven, there is no way to record just when and where all
those New Testament-patterned congregations have existed down through the ages.  We can only know that by reading the writings each
group handed down, or hearing them speak, both of which is usually not possible.  Only with God is this possible.  

    Further, because the only world headquarters of the New Testament Church is to be heaven, and the only other headquarters is to be the
confines of the elders/presbyters of each congregation (I Timothy and Titus), records cannot really be kept except among those
congregations who know about each other.  

    What does it take to be the New Testament Church founded on the Day of Pentecost and seen throughout the first century?  Some claim
there has to be a written list of successions at one location with never a break.    

    But that is like cutting a string a specified length, then cutting a second piece after that pattern, then a third one after the pattern of the
second, and so on.  Anyone with experience doing this knows those pieces of string cut later will probably not be true to the size of the one
cut first.  

    Down through the ages, a New Testament-patterned congregation may have existed only 20 years.  Then it may have gone out of
existence, or changed its doctrine.  But as long as it stayed true to the examples in the New Testament, they were the new Testament church
in their location and at their period of time.

    The only way to assure we are identical with the pattern set out by the first string is to always use the first string as the pattern, no matter
how many strings are cut.  And so it is with the New Testament Church.  The only way we know the New Testament Church exists is if we
measure it by the pattern set up on the Day of Pentecost and in following years as established only by the apostles and set forth only in the
New Testament.  

    Below are references to translating the Bible into the local language.  With this, anyone could then have access to the simple pattern of the
New Testament church, eliminate all the fancy things added by "human wisdom" that they may have inherited, and easily develop a New
Testament-patterned congregation..

    And so it is that we trace the New Testament Church through the ages.  Most will not be represented here simply because most did not
have writers leaving letters and books we can read today.  But God knows.  That is all that is important.  





                            Second Century  

    Jesus' Apostle, Simon the Zealot, according to Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History written about 350 AD, and Foxe's Book of Martyrs,  
established the New Testament Church in Britain.  Apparently he established congregations on his way there in both Spain and France.  And
it is likely he went over to far western Germany not too far away, and established the New Testament Church there also. [1]  

    According to
Reader's Digest Story of the Bible World,  by 185 AD, there were European congregations in Cologne and Mainz,
GERMANY; Lyon in FRANCE; Leon, Saragossa and Merida in SPAIN, Carthage in northern AFRICA, and of course ITALY, GREECE
and TURKEY as mentioned in the Bible.  (The following will not cover Christianity in Africa, the Middle-East, or the Orient, language
barriers precluding a study of that history.) [2]  

    Apparently, these congregations were established by the students of the apostles called the "Apostolic Fathers."  For instance, Ireneaus
was a life-time missionary to Lyons, Gaul (France).  He was a student of Polycarp who had been a student of the Apostle John.  

    In Ireneaus' writings we find:  "...we walk on the highways and sail withersoever we will without fear" (iv.30.1-31.I). [3]   

                                                                                        FRANCE  

    Ireneas was careful to stay as close to the scripture as possible.  He warned "therefore such as introduce other doctrines, hide from us the
opinion which they themselves have concerning God; knowing the unsoundness and futility of their own doctrine, and fearing to be overcome,
and so to have their salvation endangered" (iv.32.I) [4]  

    Other evidence we have of the New Testament Church in France is found in Eusebius, Book V, Chapter 1, where he devoted fifteen
pages to telling about the persecutions they endured.  Amphitheaters were built for this purpose both in Lyons and Vienna.  

    Their crime was so-called cannibalism because they ate the body and blood of Jesus (at the Lord's Supper), and incest because they
married their (spiritual) brothers and sisters.  They ranged in age from 15 to 90, both men and women.  One was a physician.  

    After their arrest, they were dragged to prison with the crowds beating up on them or throwing stones at them as they passed.  Tortures
continued in prison day after day.  They were put on the rack to get them to recant being Christians.  One man had red hot plates of brass
placed on the most tender parts of his body.  After he died, his body was "one continued wound, mangled and shrivelled, that had entirely
lost the form of man to the external eye."    

    If the foregoing did not kill them, Romans citizens were beheaded.  The rest were taken to the amphitheater where they were sent through
a gauntlet of scourges and dragged around by wild beasts.  If this did not kill them, they were then placed in a hot chair to be roasted to
death.  One woman endured it all, still without being killed.  Thereupon she was put in a net and cast before a bull who killed her. [5]  

                                                                                        GERMANY

    According to George Trabert in his Church History of 1897, there were also congregations in today's Germany at Strasburg, Trier,
Augsburg, and along the Rhine River  

    Since the Roman Empire version of overly-organized and overly-formalized Christianity was not popularized until the mid-300s under
Constantine, every congregation in remote areas was on its own based on the scriptures that would have been taken to them by the
missionaries.  


                            Third Century  

    Both Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History and Foxe's Book of Martyrs written in the mid 1500s, tell of persecution of Christians in western
Europe because they had established the New Testament Church there among the pagans.    

                                                                                            FRANCE

    In Nice, France, Trypho and Respicius were imprisoned for believing Jesus was the Son of God.  Nails were pounded through their feet,
then they were forced to run or be dragged through the street.  Back in prison they were scourged, torn with large iron hooks, scorched with
lighted torches, and finally beheaded on February 1, 251.  

    In 257 in Toulouse, France, the Christian Saturninus was arrested for refusing to sacrifice to an idol.  After being tortured and returned to
the idol temple, his feet were fastened to the tail of a bull.  The enraged animal was then driven down the temple steps until his head burst
open.  

    In 287 in Acquitain, France, an unnamed Christian woman was broiled on a gridiron and then beheaded.  

    Also that year Quintin and Lucian went to Amiens, France and then to Beaumaris.  Lucian was martyred.  Quinton went on to Picardy.  
There he was put on the rack and stretched with pulled until his joints were dislocated.  He was also torn with wire scourges, endured boiling
oil and pitched poured over him as well as lighted torches.  He died in prison shortly after.  

                                                                                              SPAIN

    In 259 in Tarragon, Spain, Fructuosus, Augurius and Eulogius were burned at the stake for believing Jesus was the Son of the only God
being New Testament Christians.  

                                                                                             BRITAIN

    In Hertfordshire, Britain, Alban, who had been a pagan, was converted to Christianity by Amphibalus.  Alban then hid Amphibalus and
claimed to the soldiers entering his home that he was Amphibalus.    

    He was scourged and then ordered beheaded.  His would-be executor was so impressed with this Jesus that Alban was willing to die for,
he requested to be executed in his place.  On June 22, 287 they were both beheaded.  


                            Fourth Century  

                                                                                             FRANCE

    In 303 in Marseilles, France, the Christian named Victor spent his fortune on relieving the poor in his congregation, and visiting them at
night to comfort and them.  Arrested, he was dragged through the street while the crowd further degraded him in other ways.  In prison he
was placed on the rack, and finally returned to a dungeon.    

    While there he converted his jailers, Alexander, Felician and Longinus.  He was put back on the rack, beaten with batoons, and returned
to the dungeon.  On a third occasion he was ordered to offer incense to a small idol.  He kicked the idol and altar over, and that foot was
immediately cut off.  He was then thrown into a mill where he was crushed with the stones.  

                                                                                              SPAIN  

    The following year in Terragona where the New Testament Church existed, Valerius an elder, and Vincent a deacon, were arrested for
their faith, chained with heavy irons, and dragged to prison.  Valerius was banished.    

    Vincent was placed on the rack until his joints were dislocated.  His flesh was torn with large hooks.  Then he was placed on a gridiron
with fire under him and spikes over him that were driven into him.  Still not recanting his belief in Jesus, he was put in a dark dungeon with
sharp flints and broken glass on the floor where he died.  

                                                                                 RUSSIA TO ATLANTIC

    In 308, God was about to use a barbarian warrior to further strengthen the New Testament Church in France and Spain.  According to
Origen around 200 AD, the New Testament Church had already been established in Russia (then called Scythia) by the Apostle Andrew late
in the first century.  

    The areas of northern Greece and northeast to Russia around the Black Sea were occupied by the Goths.  In Pannonia (later known as
Hungary), Christian Quirinus was arrested, chained heavily and put on display from town to town along the Danube River.  In the city of
Sabaria, a stone was fastened about his neck and he was drowned.  

    Although the Christians probably had writings left behind by Andrew, it was good for them to have the entire New Testament.  In the
mid-300s, an alphabet was created for the Goths.  The Bible was then translated into that language from the original Greek.  This is all they
needed to know to make sure they were organizing and worshipping according to the New Testament first century pattern.  

    Then Attila the Hun arrived with his army.  The Goths during the next hundred years gradually moved across southern Europe.  They
ended up in southern France (Gaul) and Spain.    

    They had taken their Bible translated in their own language with them.  The Gauls remained in control of Spain and France for the next
350 years.    

    Therefore, the Christianity of western Europe would have been fairly untainted but also fairly strong before the Roman Empire was able to
effectively spread its religious wings to that area.    

    These Goths were never Roman Catholics or Jews, although they treated both minority groups with respect.  They were Christians with a
leaning toward Arianism, rejecting worship of the Lord's Supper as the actual presence of Jesus.  They had the Bible available to everyone
written in their own language.  These Scriptures were never suppressed until the Roman Catholics grew powerful enough to do so.  


                               Fifth Century  

                                                                                 SCOTLAND & IRELAND

    Early in this century the church spread to Scotland and Ireland, probably as a result of missionary work done by the students of students
of the Apostle Simon (the Zealot) in Britain.  

    In 430, Ninian, who had been educated in Rome tried to set up congregations, of course with Roman church beliefs, but met with
resistance.  Both the Scottish and Irish churches were distinct from the Roman church in many things.  Later Rome coerced them to live a
Catholic or face severe persecutions, tortures and deaths.  

    Late in this century when Patrick did missionary work in Ireland and tried to set up diocese with bishops over them, he met with
resistance.  These people probably knew from the New Testament that elders/presbyters/bishops were to be heads of only one
congregation.  

                                                                                           ARMENIA  

    Also in Armenia at the far end of Turkey up near Russia, the second Bible translated into the language of the common people was made.  
Using this Bible alone without the influence of church hierarchy, they would have been able to worship just like the Christians of New
Testament days.  


                              Sixth Century  

                                                                                 BRITAIN & IRELAND

    As the rest of Europe headed into the Dark Ages, in the Celtic northern European territory, especially Britain and Ireland, education and
reading flourished.  Beautiful books such as the Lindisfarne Gospels survive from this period.  With education flourishing, people could read
the Bible for themselves and worship just as Christians in the first century did.    

    (Even at the opposite end of the Roman Empire down in Syria, Christians there objected to bowing down to paintings and statues of
Christ, the virgin Mary, apostles and various saints.  Did they do it because the Christians in Britain and Ireland did?  No, they had no idea
who they were.  They merely had the same New Testament.)  


                             Seventh Century  

                                                                                            BRITAIN

    The New Testament Church in Britain had been personally started by the Apostle Simon the Zealot.  During this century the Roman
church sent missionaries, apparently not knowing the church was already there.    

    These representatives from Rome tried to convert them to fall in line with Roman teachings.  But the Brits remained true to the teachings of
their Apostle.  Therefore they rejected celibacy of the clergy, purgatory, confession to priests and so on.  

                                                                                          GERMANY

     One such Christian was Killien who was raised a Christian.  He later went to preach in Franconia, Germany.  In Wurtzburg he converted
Gozbert, the governor.  Later, an opponent in the royal house had him beheaded in 689.  


                             Eighth Century  

                                                                                            BRITAIN

    In Britain, the Bible was first given to the people in what we today call Old English, a combination of German, French and Latin by
Caedman.  Although it was in the form of poetry and not an actual translation, it gave the common people an opportunity to read for
themselves.  Also about this time, Bede made an actual translation of parts of the Bible.  

    Therefore, all the people had to do who wanted to worship the way people did in the first century, was to read their Bibles.  Later the
Roman Church was able to influence government officials here.  But they had trouble getting the Brits themselves to fall in line with them.    
     When the pope quoted Matthew 16:19 saying the keys of the kingdom were given to Peter only, they wrote the pope back quoting
Matthew 18:18 saying the keys of the kingdom had been given to all the apostles.  


                              Ninth Century  

                                                                                          GERMANY

    The Bible was translated into the German language by an unknown translator.  

                                                                                           THE SLAVS

    In Moravia, the Slavic alphabet was invented.  Then the Bible was translated into the language of the people.  It was called the "Old
Church Slavonic Bible."  So, although their King Boris in Bulgaria nearby affiliated with the central church in Constantinople, they still had the
Bible and could still meet the way the first century did.  

    Anyone wanting to organize and worship the same way people did in the first century could then just read the Bible for themselves and do
so.  

                             Tenth Century  

                                                                                            BRITAIN  

    Old English was in the process of changing into what we today call Middle English.  In Britain, in 995, Aelfric wrote so many articles
about scriptures in the Old and New Testaments that he ended up quoting most of it.  Thus, people could still refer to the writings of the Bible
in their own language to organize and worship the same way Christians did in the first century.  

                                                                                             EUROPE  

    The Encyclopedia Britannica, discussing the Waldenses, states that there were numerous "sects" (anyone who was not Roman Catholic)
during the Middle Ages, but they are obscure because they did not have writings of their own defending their faith; rather they chose to
remain to themselves, being congregational in organization.    

    All we know of them is what their enemies wrote about them.  But later they would find it necessary to write letters and tracts defending
their New Testament views.  "In early times these sectaries produced little literature of their own."  They had no need to.  The New
Testament was all the literature they needed.    

    "When they produced a literature at the beginning of the 15th century, they attempted to claim for it a much earlier origin....the historical
continuity of Protestantism from the earliest times.    

    "According to this view the church was pure and uncorrupt till the time of Constantine (350 AD) when Pope Sylvester gained the first
temporal possession for the papacy, and so began the system of a rich, powerful and worldly church, with Rome for its capital.    

    "Against this secularized church a body of witnesses silently protested; they were always persecuted but always survived." [6]  


                           Eleventh Century  

                                                                                          FRANCE  

    Around 1010 in France, a man named Berengarius (Berengar of Tours) preached Gospel truths according to the primitive ways of the
first century.  He insisted that the Lord's Supper was a symbolic memorial service and not to be worshipped.  He insisted that the Bible was
the only foundation of faith, not church rules and traditions.  People called his followers Berengarians.  They just wanted to be called
Christians.  

    About that same time, Peter Bruis (de Bruys), who had heard Berengarius, taught similarly with his followers completely separating from
the Church of Rome.  He wrote a book against the pope entitled ANTICHRIST.  Outsiders called this group Petrobusians, although they
considered themselves simply Christians.  

    Some of their beliefs were as follows:  

1.         The Lord's Supper should be kept as a memorial, and not as a Mass where it is worshipped.  

2.         Ministers should marry.    

3.         Infant baptism is never found in the Scriptures.  

4.         Churches need not be officially consecrated  

5.         Holding masses for the dead is not in the Bible and should not be practiced.  

                                                                          GERMANY & NETHERLANDS

    Around mid-century, the Four Gospels were translated from Latin into the language of West Saxony which today is the western part of
Germany and the Netherlands.  


                            Twelfth Century  

                                                                                            FRANCE

    In Toulouse, France, in 1147 another congregation of the New Testament Church became called by outsiders Henricians.  Their leader
was Henry of Toulouse.  He was a former monk who believed as Peter De Bruys had.  These Christians were centered in Tours.   They
declared that Christians could do nothing except that which came directly from Scriptures themselves.  

    Peter Waldo/Valdo, was a native of Lyons where the Apostolic Father, Ireneas had established the New Testament Church.  Around
1170, he openly opposed the church at Rome.  People began calling his followers Waldenses or Waldoys.    

    Alarmed at his effectiveness in spreading the New Testament Church wherever he traveled, in 1179, Pope Alexander III ordered him to
cease preaching except by direct consent of the local Roman bishop.  This did not work, so in 1184 he ordered them exterminated.  The
French tried to oblige him.  It began in Toulouse and spread to Province, an area in extreme southern France.  So they escaped to Italy.  
 
                                                                                               ITALY  

    In 1155 in northern Italy, Arnold of Brescia and the simple Christians with him declared that it was unscriptural for....  

1.         The church to own property  

2.         Minister and bishops to control the civil government.  

He was hanged at the request of Pope Adrian IV.  Still the New Testament Church refused to die.  


                           Thirteenth Century  

                                                                                             ITALY  

    Here the Waldenses translated the Bible into the language of the Italian people.  

    Eventually there were two large groups of them involving many congregations scattered north of the Alps and down in Italy.  Their beliefs
were nearly identical.  

I.          North of the Alps  

    1.         Oaths are forbidden by the gospel.  

    2.         Capital punishment is not allowed to the civil power.  

    3.         All Christians are priests; therefore any layman may consecrate the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.  

    4.         The Roman Church is not the New Testament Church  

    5.         Asceticism is not a requirement of Christianity.  

II.        Of Lombardy, Italy  

    1.         Oaths are forbidden by the gospel.  

    2.         Capital punishment is not allowed to the civil power.  

    3.         All Christians are priests; therefore any layman may consecrate the sacrament of the Lord's Supper as long as they were not in
mortal sin.  

    4.         The Roman Church is not the New Testament Church, but was the scarlet woman of the Apocalypse, whose precepts ought not
to be obeyed, especially those appointing fast-days.  

    5.         Asceticism is not a requirement of Christianity.  

    Many fled to Alps in valleys of Piedmont, and settled in valleys named after them, the Vaudois.  Persecution continued in the lower
regions.  

    1487, Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull for their extermination in Italy.  Alberto de-Capitanei, Archdeacon of Cremona, put himself at the
head of this "holy" crusade.  

    The New Testament Church was attacked in Dauphine and Piedmont at the same time.  They took refuge in valley of the Angrogne.  
Charles II, Duke of Piedmont, defended them to save his territory from extinction.  

                                                                                          GERMANY

    Others of these Waldenses ended up in GERMANY where they found refuge also.  They influenced, and afterwards joined, the Hussites
and the Bohemian Brethren who had been independently re-establishing the New Testament Church in their own regions, based only on the
New Testament (see below).  

    In 1530, Georges Morel of Dauphine, and Pierre Masson of Provence conferred with German and Swiss Reformers.  An extant letter to
Oecolampadius shows their attempt to form a separate church from all organized religion, the New Testament New Testament Church.  

    They were even disturbed about the Lutheran teaching about freewill and predestination, since people did good works when stimulated by
God's grace, and predestination was actually foreknowledge.  

    At first they continued to submit to baptism and communion from Catholic priests, but then isolated themselves for own secret services.  
They finally broke away completely.  

    The Waldenses in 1532 at Chanforans in the valley of the Angrogne, the merged with the Swiss and German reformers.  They adopted a
new confession of faith and recognized election, and renounced all future recognition of Rome, and decided to worship in public.  

                                                                                      NETHERLANDS  

    During this century, several translations of the Bible into the common language of the people in the Netherlands came into being, names of
translators unknown.  But the author of the Bible was always known ~ God, not man.  


                          Fourteenth Century  

                                                                                          BRITAIN

    John Wycliffe was born in Yorkshire, England 1320.  In 1365 he was appointed warden of a mixed body of monks and secular clergy in
Canterbury Hall.  In 1367, he was replaced and the secular clergy were replaced with monks  

    In 1372 he was awarded doctor of theology.  In 1374 he published a work supporting the English parliament for refusing to pay tribute to
Pope Urban V.  That same year he was appointed head of the rectory of Lutterworth in Leicestershire which he held until his death.  At first
Wycliffe's writings were about local government power versus Roman church power.  

    In 1376 he took the middle road between predestination and free will.  Man, of his own free will, does good or bad.  God controls all
spiritual things, but not material things.  Therefore the church has no right over material things.  At this time he did not object to a pope as long
as he was good.  

    Wycliffe translated the Latin Bible into English with the aid of Nicholas Hereford and John Purvey.  He also sent out "simple" priests to
preach his doctrines throughout England, some of them holding positions at Oxford.  His preachers were to supplement the services of the
church by religious instruction in the vernacular.  The commoners, with their new knowledge, continued to denounce evils of the church,
especially among the rich.  

    In 1379 he wrote public attacks on the pope.  He also began a formal attacks on the "new" doctrine of the Lord's Supper,
transubstantiation, saying rather that in spirit only the bread and wine actually became Christ, but not materially.    

    Although he never left the Catholic Church, he provided the basis for any group of people who wanted to be simple New Testament
Christians to do just that.  

                                                                                        
* * * * * * *

    Followers of Wycliffe were called by outsiders "mutterers," or "Lollards" probably because they continually murmured against the Roman
church.  This group headed by a friend of Wycliffe, Nicholas of Hereford of Queen's College in England.  At first the group was made up of
scholars at Oxford.  

    Philip Repingdon carried the movement of Leichester where, by 1382, William Swinderby led a group of lay adherents into neighboring
towns.  In 1390-92, he was hidden by sympathizers in Wales.  

    John Purvey compiled the second translation of the Bible, more idiomatic and readable than Herford's.  

    In their Twelve Conclusions drawn up in 1395, the told Parliament that the church of England had become subservient to her stepmother
the church of Rome.    

1.         The present priesthood was not the one ordained by Christ  

2.         The Roman ritual of ordination had no warrant in Scripture.  

3.         Clerical celibacy created unnatural lust.    

4.         Feigned miracle of transubstantiation led men into idolatry.  

5.         Hallowing wine, bread, altars, and vestments was related to necromancy (witchcraft).    

6.         Prelates should not be temporal judges and rulers.    

7.         Condemned prayers for the dead  

8.         Condemned pilgrimages  

9.         Condemned offerings to images.    

10.       Confession to a priest unnecessary to salvation.    

11.       Warfare is unscriptural.    

12.       Vows of chastity by nuns led to abortion and child murder.   

13.       Unnecessary flamboyant pursuit of the arts by the church encouraged waste.    

14.       The prime duty of priests is to preach.    

15.       All men should enjoy free access to the vernacular Scriptures.  

    William Sawtre (Sawtrey), another leader, was burned in 1401.  

    In 1407, Oxford University fired all of its Lollards professors.  

    Sir John Oldcastle was arrested in 1413 for maintaining Lollard preachers, denying transubstantiation and the confessional and put in the
Tower of London.  He escaped, and in 1414 led a march on London.  Henry V's troops disbursed them.  

    Between 1424 and 1430, hundreds were arrested in various cities in Norwich, Somerset and Lincoln.  

    They were not normally demonstrative or heroic, but flourished in quiet evasion.  

    About 1500 a Lollard revival of the New Testament Church began, which John Foxe wrote about in his
Acts and Monuments.  Around
Essex in 1510, some 50 Lollards were prosecuted, and again in 1518.  In 1514 Lollard merchant Richard Hunne was murdered in an
episcopal prison in St. Paul's.  Between 1527-32 at least 218 "heretics" were prosecuted.    

    In the Chilterns 1506-07 45 cases were prosecuted.  In 1521, five were burned, and others followed the next decade.  In Tenterden in
1511, five Lollards were burned alive.  Also Thomas Man was burned at the stake at Smithfield in 1518.  All because they just wanted the
follow the pattern of the first-century New Testament Church.  

    Around 1530 William Tyndale's N.T. was sold by Lutheran Robert Barnes to Lollards in Britain.    

    In York 32 Christians were prosecuted under King Henry VIII, and 45 under Queen Mary I.  The Christians attacked....   

1.         saint worship  

2.         images  

3.         relics  

4.         holy bread  

5.         holy water  

6.         sacred buildings and objects  

7.         confession  

8.         transubstantiation  

    All they wanted was to imitate the simplicity of the New Testament, the first-century New Testament Church.  

                                                                                          FRANCE

    The Anglo-Norman Translation of the Bible was done in part, but never completed.  The Anglo-Normans were of Viking descent and
lived mostly in the northern part of France.  

                                                                        BOHEMIA / CZECHOSLOVAKIA  

    Also in the middle of the fourteenth century, Jan (Johan) Milic of Kromeriz led a Bohemian national reform movement.  He was a wealthy
Christian who deliberately embraced poverty to preach return to the simplicity of the primitive New Testament Church.  He died in 1374.    

    His pupils founded the Bethlehem chapel in Prague where public sermons were preached in Czech in the spirit of Milic's teachings.  From
1402, Huss was in charge of the chapel.  

                                                                                          GERMANY

    In 1366, the Bible was translated literally word for word from the Latin into the common language of the people in Germany.  It was this
Bible that, a century later, would be the first one reproduced on a printing press.


                           Fifteenth Century  

                                                                                           RUMANIA

    In 1405, Nicodim translated the Four gospels into the language of the common people of Rumania.  They were located east of the Black
Sea near Russia.  

                                                                          BOHEMIA / CZECHOSLOVAKIA

    John of Husinec (Huss) in southern Bohemia entered the University of Prague 1390 and became dean of philosophy in 1401.  At this
time, Bohemia was resisting overbearing influence by especially Germany.  

    In 1402, he was in charge of the Bethlehem chapel in Prague founded by his teacher, Jan Milic.  In 1409, King Wenceslas IV gave tenure
to Czec faculty, and foreign scholars complained to Rome.  Huss was elected rector of the university.  

    In 1410, Archbishop Zbynek refused to promote Huss to doctor and Pope Alexander V proclaimed a bull ordering the burning of
Wycliffe's works, forbidding further preaching at the Bethlehem chapel.  Huss appealed to the pope.  Zbynek retaliated by announced his
excommunication and burning Wycliffe's books.  When he died, Rome took over prosecution of Huss.  

    In 1412 the sale of indulgences was pushed and Huss objected.  Rome excommunicated Huss and the king ordered him to leave Prague.  

    In 1414 the Council of Constance summoned Huss to defend himself.  Upon arrival he was imprisoned.  In 1415 he was burned at the
stake.  

                                                                                           
* * * * * * * *

    As was common at this time, anyone who did not identify themselves with the Roman Church was named after the person who seemed to
be their leader.  The followers of Huss were called Hussites.  

    Vaclav Koranda became their leader after Huss' death.  Their basic beliefs were as follows:  

1.         Open Lord's Supper, both bread and wine given to laity  

2.         Freedom of preaching from the Scriptures  

4.         Poverty of clergy and expropriation of church property  

5.         Punishment of notorious sinners, especially prostitutes   

    In this same area in Bohemia (Czechoslovakia) Peter Chelcicky led the Hussites until 1460 when he died.  Under him, they began to be
known as Moravians after the part of Bohemia in which they lived.   

                                                                                        
  * * * * * * * *

    In the same country, under the leadership of Jan (Johan) Zelivsky, were reformers who felt that even the Moravians had not returned
enough to first-century Christianity.  His followers were called Bohemian Brethren, emphasizing the intent of the name "church," meaning "the
called out ones" or "brethren."    

    He was executed in 1422.  

    In 1434 these Christians became known as the Bohemian Brethren, and selected Jan (Johan) Rokycana their leader.  Then Brother
Gregory took over in 1457.  They began in Prague, but moved to Kunwald.  

    Their simple Christian teaching, exemplary moral life and industry attracted many.  New congregations sprang up needing a minister.  So
in 1467 in Lhota they met to work out how the New Testament church did things in the days of the apostles.   

    They knew of the Waldenses and believed they were apostolic and scriptural in their teachings, practices and way of life.  Therefore, they
asked for leadership from them through Michael Bradacius.  

    In 1501, they published the first Protestant hymnbook.  Bishop Luke introduced theological training in the early 1500s.    

    Around 1550, many members immigrated to Poland where they began a branch of the Brethren that lasted 200 years.  

    With the Bible as the one rule of faith and life, no attempt was made to construct a creed until 1564 when one was required for
negotiations for a union with Lutherans in Bohemia.  They remained insistent on genuine practical Christian life and strict church discipline that
Martin Luther praised.  

    In 1565, Jan (Johan) Blahoslav translated the New Testament in the Czech language.  

    They displayed the priesthood of all believers.  They were led by presbyters whom they elected, also called the inner council.  
Congregations were under the care of the elders.  Members were carefully tested as to their sincerity and their progress in the Christian life
occasionally considered.  

    They printed their first complete Bible in Czech in 1593, called the Kralice Bible, including Jan Blahoslav's New Testament.  

    By 1600 half the Protestants in Bohemia and over half in adjoining Moravia were of their faith.  Many were also in Poland.  

                                                                                            POLAND  

    Although the church in Poland remained stable, in 1618 the Thirty Years War broke out with the Catholics, and in 1627, leading nobles
who had become Protestants were beheaded and Protestantism was banned.  

    All the Brethren church buildings, Bibles and hymnbooks were destroyed, and it members forced to be Catholic or be forever exiled.  
They no longer existed as a single body of individual congregations known to each other.   

    But they did continue to exist, each in secret meetings in the forests.  Among them was Bishop Johann [Jan] Amos Comenius [Komensky]
who lived in the northern countries and wrote, collected money for sufferers, publicly appealed for religious liberty which can only come
about through common education of everyone.  

    He moved easily among denominations, trying to bring them together, but this irritated many.  He was made bishop of the Moravians in
1648.  

    He forever hoped that there might lie a "hidden seed" from which to renew a large body of Brethren.  It happened in Germany.  

                                                                                          GERMANY

    In 1722, Count Zinzendorf allowed the Moravian Brethren to move onto his estate at Herrnhut Saxony.  Several German Lutherans
joined them.  The count came to live with them and organize it according to the original beliefs of the Brethren and the New Testament
pattern of the New Testament Church.    

    In 1732, rather than develop a missionary board, they decided missions was everyone's responsibility.  Zinzendorf began visiting other
churches, regardless of their beliefs, to arouse a pure devotion to Christ as Saviour, the real bond of unity between all denominations.  

    Missionaries were sent to the Orthodox Church in Russia, the Copts in Egypt, and others in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and
Scandinavia.  They called their missionary work "diaspora" after the dispersion mentioned in 1 Peter 1:1, brethren ministering among the
"scattered" everywhere.  

    Therefore, the importance of the Moravian Brethren must be measured most by their influence on other Christian bodies.  

    In 1732 missionaries went to the Negro slaves in the West Indies, and also to Georgia in the United States in 1735, then on to
Pennsylvania in 1740.  

    In 1735, on their way to do missionary work to the American Indians, their future colony was awhile in Great Britain.  There John Wesley
met them and was converted.  He and is associates requested that some of them stay there in England.  

                                                                                            BRITAIN  

    The first congregation of Moravian Brethren/New Testament Church was established in London.  From there they branched out to
Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Ireland.  John Cennick was their most powerful evangelist.  

    In 1749, the English parliament officially recognized the Moravian Church "as an ancient Protestant episcopal Church" and gave these
Christians colonization privileges.  The congregations always remained small because of their emphasis in dividing up and sending missionaries
out from them.  

                                                                                       
* * * * * * * *

    In 1447 the Bible began to be printed with movable type.  By now there were thirty-three translations.  More help for people who only
wanted the simplicity of the first-century New Testament Church.  

                                                                                               ITALY  

    In 1471, Nixccolo Malermi translated the Bible into Italian from the Latin translation.  It was printed in Venice.  

                                                                                  CZECHOSLOVAKIA

    In 1475, the Bible was translated into the Czech language from the Latin, and printed with the new printing press.  

                                                                                            FINLAND

    M. Agricola translated the New Testament from the original Greek in the common language of his people, the Finns.  

                                                                              
    CZECHOSLOVAKIA  

    In 1499, Gennadius gathered together translations of various books of the Bible into one volume.  They had all been translated from the
Hebrew, Greek and Latin.  It was called the Slavonic Translation of the Bible.  

                                                                                        
* * * * * * *            

    During this century, a general term of "Anabaptist" was applied to people who believed in adult baptism only.  However, believers were
either so moderate or so extremist that they can hardly be grouped together except for the following beliefs:  

1.         They refused to consider the baptism of children practiced first by the Catholics and continued by the classical Protestants.    

2.         Baptism involved repentance, a personal faith, and a responsible pledge to lead a Christian life.  

3.         They disagreed with the Catholic and Protestant comparison of Jewish infant circumcision to be continued in Christian infant baptism.  

4.         They also repudiated original sin and predestination.  Christ's atoning work wiped out the consequences of Adam's fall; therefore
infants were not punishable for sin until awareness of good and evil emerged; then they were to exercise their own free will to accept Jesus,
personally ask for forgiveness, and be baptized.    

5.         They separated the church (community of the redeemed) from the state.   

    Thousands were martyred by fire and water, declaring no magistrate ~ whether Protestant or Catholic ~ had competence in the sphere of
Christian regeneration, faith and conscience.  They opposed use of the sword for social order and war, and refused to swear civil oaths.  

    The classical/main-line Protestants used the local government to implement their Reformation.  The Anabaptists were not aiming to reform
the churched.  They were determined to restore it in the spirit of the primitive church.  

    The Mennonites were one such Anabaptist group.  Another sprang up in Holland.  Fleeing from Poland in the 1600s, the Socinians
introduced their practice of baptism by immersion in their new country.  It was adopted by the Arminian Collegiants.    

    At that time, the English General Baptists were living there, having been exiled from England and its Anglican Church.  The practice of
immersion was taken over by these Baptists in their midst.  


                            Sixteenth Century  

                                                                                       SWITZERLAND  

    Huldreich Zwingli was born 1484 at Wildhaus, Switzerland.  His uncle was a priest and later dean of Weesen.  He graduated university in
1504 and was ordained 1506 at Glarus.  He served as chaplain to the Swiss forces, then transferred to Einsiedeln where he studied and
preached at a convent.  

    Rather than attack the Roman church, he was content to expound the Gospel passages.  In 1518, he became known as the people's
priest at Grossmunster Cathedral at Zurich.  He gave many series of expositions of the New Testament enlivened by topical application.  

    In 1520, he secured freedom from the city's governing council to preach the "true divine Scriptures" and his sermons stirred revolts against
fasting, celibacy.    

    In 1521 he debated Franz Lambert declaring the supremacy of Scriptures.  In 1522 he published
On Meats (referring to fasting) and The
Clarity and Certainty of the Word of God.
 

    In 1523 he published
Sixty-Seven Articles.  Reform of the local church began.  He successfully debated celibacy, the liturgy, and in 1524
images.  In 1525 all images were removed, organs suppressed, religious houses were dissoluted,, the Mass was replaced by a simple
communion service, baptism was declared for adults only, Bible readings were introduced into the service, and preparation for a native
version of the bible.    

    The "Zurcher Bible" appeared in 1529.  

    The movement spread from the city of Zurich to nearby towns with the following beliefs:  

1.         The church is born of the Word of God and has Christ alone as its head.  

2.         Its laws are binding only insofar as they agree with Scripture.  

3.         Christ alone is our righteousness.  

4.         The Holy Scriptures do not teach Christ's corporeal presence in the bread and wine at the Lord's supper.  

5.         Mass is a gross affront to the sacrifice and death of Christ.  

6.         There is no biblical foundation for the mediation or intercession of the dead.  

7.         There is no biblical foundation for purgatory.  

8.         There is no biblical foundation for images and pictures.  

9.         Marriage is lawful to all.  

    In 1525, Zwingly wrote "On Baptism," emphasizing the significance of water baptism as a covenant sign.  In 1531 he wrote "Tricks of the
Catabaptists."  

    Zwingly and Luther disagreed on the Mass.  They agreed that transsubstantiation was wrong.  But Luther felt "This is my body" meant
Jesus' presence was in and under the bread and wine.  Zwingli said it meant a memorial with his presence being among believers.  They
agreed on everything else.  But Luther refused to compromise.  

    In 1530, believers presented three different confessions.  In 1531, Zwingly was killed in battle.  

    Like Luther, he accepted the supreme authority of Scripture, but applied it more rigorously and comprehensively to all doctrines and
practices than did Luther.  

                                                                                             FRANCE  

    In 1523, Jacques Lefevre translated the New Testament from Latin to French.  In 1530 he released the Old Testament.   

                                                                                             BRITAIN

    In 1522, William Tyndale began releasing his translation of the Bible from the original Greek rather than the Latin as his English
predecessors had done.  He did all of the New Testament.  Part of the Old Testament he never finished.  He released the entire New
Testament in 1526.  

    It was during this time that the term "Puritan" began to be used, primarily in Great Britain; but it was found elsewhere in Europe regarding
people who wanted to go beyond Reforming the Catholic Church; preferring to Restore the New Testament Church.  

    In the early 1500s when various groups were trying to break away from the accepted worship established by the Romans, many thought
they did not go far enough.  They were found later in the various reformation efforts of Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians,
Congregationalists, Anglicans, Episcopalians and others.    

    In general they condemned clerical vestments, the sign of the cross, sponsors at baptism, confirmation, observance of church festivals ~ all
relics of the papacy.  

                                                                                      SWITZERLAND  

    In 1525, Conrad Grebel, a Zwinglian in Switzerland, believed Zwingli was cooperating too much with the government.  His followers
believed in:  

1.         Separation of church and state  

2.         Voluntarism in matters of faith  

3.         Believer's baptism  

4.         Pacifism  

5.         Rejection of oaths  

    They became known as SWISS BRETHREN.  They were persecuted, so fled to Alsace in south Germany and into Austria where the
Hutterian Brethren had been meeting.  

                                                                                            AUSTRIA

    In 1528 in Austria, Jakob Hutter, a Tirolean, led his Hutterian Brethren in like beliefs of the New Testament Church, following the New
Testament exclusively in its first-century pattern.  He was burned as a heretic in 1536.  

                                                                                      NETHERLANDS

    In 1534, simultaneously in the Netherlands Obbe Philips led people to believe the same.  In 1536, Philips baptized a Roman Catholic
priest who just wanted to be a Christian like people were in New Testament days.  

                                                                                           
GERMANY  

    Martin Luther translated the New Testament from the original Greek into common German and published it in 1526.  In 1534 he
translated the Old Testament from the original Hebrew.  

                                                                                           DENMARK          

    In 1528, Christiern Pedersen translated the New Testament from two different Latin versions and Luther's German version into the
language of his people, Danish.  

                                                                                       NETHERLANDS

    In 1532 Luther's German Bible was translated into Dutch.  That is all they needed to establish the New Testament Church after the simple
New Testament pattern.  

                                                                                                ITALY

    That same year, Antonio Brucioli translated the Bible into the language of the common people of Italy, using Erasmus' Latin version for the
New Testament, and Pagninus' Latin version for the Old Testament.  

                                                                                            HUNGARY  

    In 1533, the Pauline Epistles were translated from the Latin into the language of the common people of Hungary.  

                                                                                            GERMANY  

    In 1534 J. Dietenberger translated the Bible into the language of the German people from the Latin.  He also used Emser's New
Testament and Luther's Old Testament.   

                                                                                             FRANCE  

    In 1534, Olivetan translated the Bible into the language of the French from the Hebrew, Erasmus' Latin version, and Lefevre's New
Testament.  More and more people were given the opportunity to become Christians in the simple way, the first-century New Testament
way.  

                                                                                           
    ITALY  

    Although the Waldenses had the New Testament and part of the Old printed in their language, they wanted the complete Bible.  They
furnished a Swiss printer with the entire Old and New Testament who accommodated them.  

                                                                                            FRANCE

    In 1535, Olivetan translated the Bible into the language of his people from the Hebrew, Latin, and Lefevre's New Testament in French.  

                                                                                            BRITAIN

    That same year, Miles Coverdale translated the Bible into English.  Although German, he was hired by a German Lutheran merchant to do
so because he did business in English.  Copies of it were installed in many churches in England, and Queen Anne Boleyn had one in her
chamber.  

    Two years later in 1537, this Bible authorized by English monarchy, was a translation of Munster's Latin version of 1535 in the Old
Testament and Erasmus' Latin version in the New Testament, the Swiss-German Zurich Bible, Luther's German Bible, and Tyndale's English
version.  Also much of it was lifted out of Coverdale's Bible.  It became the direct ancestor of the Authorized Version, also known as the
King James Version.  

    In 1539, The Great Bible was translated into English and later edited by Coverdale.  By royal injunction it was to be installed in every
church.  It was printed in Paris and nearly finished when the French inquisition intervened.  Coverdale and his publisher fled with the types
and printed sheets, and completed the printing in London in April 1539.  

                                                                                           HUNGARY  

    In 1541, J. Erdosi translated the New Testament from the original Greek into the Hungarian language.  Yes, regardless of whether or not
they were registered with a world headquarters in heaven, they had every opportunity to begin the New Testament Church the way the
apostles set it up in the New Testament.  

                                                                                                SPAIN  

    In 1543, Enzinas Dryander translated the New Testament from the original Greek in the common language of the Spanish.  What a
movement of getting the Bible into the hands of the people so they could read for themselves!  

                                                                                            HOLLAND  

    Around 1525, Menno Simons, a priest at Pingjum in Holland began studying Luther's tracts and to study the New Testament and to
question infant baptism.  In 1531 when the tailor Sicke Freerks was executed who had been rebaptized as a believing adult.  He moved to
Witmarsum and briefly identified with Munster's Anabaptists.  In 1536 he left the Roman church.  Within a year he became a minister for the
Obbenites led by Obbe Philips.  

    When Obbe Philips left the group, Menno took over as leader.  He repudiated the idea that he had formed a sect.  He said that any who
had experienced the "new birth" were the true Christian church.  He did not take to the term Trinity since it was not in the Bible, and he
believed the flesh of Christ had its origin from God rather than Mary.    

    He moved around starting congregations often.  He was in East Friesland until 1541; Amsterdam, North Holland until 1542; back to East
Friesland until 1545; then Lubeck, South Holland until 1547; Wismar until 1554; Wustenfelde until he died in 1561.  From his name came the
term Mennonite.   

                                                                                            GERMANY  

    The Dutch Mennonites early in the century had spread into the Rhineland, across north Germany to the delta of the Vistula River in the
Danzig area, and became more numerous than the Swiss and south German Anabaptists.  

                                                                                               RUSSIA  

    In 1579 thousands of these Dutch Mennonites fled from Prussia to south Russia and settled in the Ukraine German-speaking colonies
where they flourished.  The Swiss-German Mennonites settled in the Ukraine also.  These Dutch-Russian Mennonites and Swiss-German
Mennonites then united in the Ukraine.  

    The Mennonite worship originally involved what Christians did in the first century.  

1.         Congregational singing with no musical instruments  

2.         Ministers preach sermons based entirely on the Bible  

3.         Worshipers knelt for prayer  

4.         First prayer of service is silent with minister concluding with the Lord's Prayer.  

    Later groups have introduced musical instruments, have omitted the silent prayer, and sit or stand for prayer.  More conservative groups
also have foot washing and the holy kiss, and the women wear prayer veils.  However, wearing clothing different from other people is
becoming a thing of the past.  Most Mennonites blend in with any crowd.  

    Communion is two to four times a year, and baptism is by pouring.  However, the Mennonite Brethren baptize by immersion.  

                                                                                       SWITZERLAND  

    In Zurich 1525 the Mennonites were under the leadership of Conrad Grebel, associate of Zwingli.  The first to be rebaptized was former
priest Heorge Blaurock of Grisons.  The movement spread like a revival with itinerant evangelists across and into southern Germany.  There
they converted Balthasar Hubmaier, the reformed of Waldshut.  

    Its most distinctive convictions are the seven articles of the Confession of Schleitheim, 1527 under the leadership of Michael Sattler.  

    Other groups came about in other countries ~ Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland ~ but either merged with the Mennonites or became
extremists and ceased to be Christian bodies.  

                                                                                     CZECHOSLOVAKIA

    Around 1550 Jan Blahoslav translated the New Testament into the Czech language of his people.  It was the basis of the later Bible of
Kralice published in 1579.  

                                                                                           DENMARK  

    In 1550, J. Seklucyan published the New Testament in the Danish language from the original Greek.  

                                                                                             POLAND

    In 1553, J. Seklucyan translated the New Testament into the Polish from the original Greek.  It was the first one published with the new
printing press.  

                                                                                            HOLLAND  

    In 1554, the New Testament was translated into the language of the Dutch based on Erasmus' Greek text of the New Testament.  

                                                                                        SWITZERLAND

    This Bible was translated in 1560 into the language of Swiss, and published in Geneva.  

    The Upper Engadine Translation of the Bible was made by J. Bifrun from the Vulgate into this Romanish Swiss dialect in 1560.  

                                                                                             POLAND

    The Cracow Bible was the first entire Bible published in Polish, and was translated from the Latin in 1561.  

                                                                                            ROMANIA

    Coresi translated the Acts of the Apostles from earlier manuscripts written during the Huss movement to the Romanian language.  

                                                                                              WALES

    William Salesbury translated the New Testament from the original Greek into Welch in 1567.  

                                                                                             BRITAIN

    The Bishop's Bible was published in 1568 in English.  

                                                                                              WALES

    In 1588, the Bible was translated by William Morgan into the language of Welch.  In some ways it was an offshoot of the Salesbury N.T.
translated thirty years earlier.  It is used today.  

                                                                                           HUNGARY  

    In 1590, G. Karoli translated the Bible into the language of his people, Hungary, from the original Greek and Hebrew.  


                          17th ~ 19th Centuries  

                                                                                            SCOTLAND  

    Because of space, no further tracing will be done except a brief account of Scotland, which seems to have emerged as leader to try to
take Christianity farther back to its first-century roots than other protestants had done.    

    In the 17th century in Scotland, protestant John Dury was wholly consecrated to the ideal of the unity of the church.  He traveled
tirelessly, attempting to influence leaders in all denominations to unite.  He preached, he wrote, he argued, he dedicated his life to this.  

    Scotland had long been frustrated by monarchs coming out of England, especially those legislating their religion.  By the 18th century,
there were divisions primarily in the Presbyterian church based on how much control the government should have over them.   

    In 1728 John Glas became an Independent congregationalist, and his followers were called Glasites, who also adopted immersion of adult
believers.  About 1755, Robert Sandeman took over leadership of this independent group.  (Keep in mind, independent religious groups
were normally called by the name of their primary leader by outsiders.)  

    In 1749, John Erskinbe published his Essay to Promote the More Frequent Dispensation of the Lord's Supper, eliminating all the extra
days such as Lent, and celebrating it every Sunday.  Dr. John Mason agreed, and was sent as a missionary to America in 1761.  His son, Dr.
John Mason, preached and wrote the same beliefs.  

    In the mid-1760s, David Dale, father-in-law of the famous Robert Owen who first showed compassion on workers in factories, became
independent and adopted weekly communion.  In 1769, they build a meeting house, appointed elders, and became an independent church.  

    In 1773, a Dr. Johnson, decided Christianity should be based exclusively upon the Bible, and eventually went out to be a missionary of
religious reform.  

    In 1786, William Jones author of the
History of the Waldenses, was immersed at Chester.  He then returned to London, England.  

    Around 1793 in Rich Hill, the Haldane brothers began questioning church laws that were not borne out in Scripture.  They adopted the
Wesleyan system of lay-preaching and field preaching since the officially recognized clergy were hostile to their teaching the people what was
in the Bible.    

    In 1798 James Haldane and others organized the Society for Propagating the Gospel, but remained in the Church of Scotland.  They
insisted on evidence from the Bible for all things; without evidence there can be no faith (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).  The following year they were
excommunicated from the Church of Scotland.  They formed a congregational church.  

    Under the leadership of a Mr. Ewing, they began keeping the Lord's Supper every Sunday.  Under the teaching of William Ballantine,
they began having congregational elders as their only form of rule.  Under James Haldane, they ceased baptizing children; and shortly after
began preaching immersion of believing adults.  

    The Haldanes regarded preaching Christ crucified as the great essential, and wished all differences about church order and ordinances to
be matters of forbearance.  Other ministers adopted these views ~ a Mr. Innes of Edinburgh, William Stevens of Edinburgh Seminary, a Dr.
Carson, and Archibald McLean.      

    A Mr. Barclay founded a group called the Bereans, so called after the example of the church in Berea who "searched the scriptures daily"
(Acts 17:11).  

                                                                               AMERICAN COLONY  

    Further tracing of the New Testament Church ceases here, except to briefly tell what happened in America.  Again, this is a difficult task
because people wishing to follow only the New Testament pattern were not organized beyond the congregational level.  God knew who they
were, but we do not always.  It will be noted that many of the people in America who preached independence and following only the New
Testament pattern were Scottish.  

    In 1790, a popular Presbyterian minister, James McGready in North Carolina, began preaching that congregations should be independent
and should have only the Bible as its creed.            

    In 1793 in North Carolina and Virginia, James O'Kelly and some other Methodist preachers pleaded for a congregational system and that
the New Testament be the only creed and discipline.  Unable to convince their episcopate to abide by this, they seceded.  James O'Kelly's
group left their denomination at Manakin Town, North Carolina, in December of that year.   

    At first they took the name "Republican Methodists," but later resolved to be known as Christians only and to acknowledge no head but
Christ, and have no creed or discipline but the Bible.  

    Not long afterwards, unknown to the groups in North Carolina and Virginia, up in Vermont Abner Jones, a Baptist, became greatly
dissatisfied with sectarian names and creeds.  He pleaded that these should be abolished.  In September 1800, Abner Jones of Hartland,
Vermont, seceded from their denomination and began meeting at Lyndon, Vermont.  That group had 25 members.  In 1803, he helped
another congregation form at Pierpont, New Hampshire, in 1803.   

    About that same time, not knowing about the others, a Baptist preacher named Elias Smith of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, influenced his
congregation to secede and become an independent congregation of believers.  Several other ministers, both from the Regular and the
Freewill Baptists, soon after followed.  Then others rose up all over the New England States, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada.  
They, too, went only by the name "Christian."  

    Another movement, unbeknownst to the others, began down in Kentucky under the influence of a Presbyterian preacher, Barton Warren
Stone, who in earlier years had also been a Baptist and a Methodist.  In 1801 Stone went to Logan County, Kentucky, to hear James
McGready, visiting there from North Carolina.  

    Upon returning home to Cane Ridge, Kentucky, he preached the same thing.  In August he held an outdoor meeting where more than
20,000 people attended.  Methodist and Baptist preachers aided, several preaching in different parts at the same time.    

    Among other preachers led into the Bible-only movement were Presbyterians by the name of McNamar, Thompson, Dunlavy, Marshall,
and David Purviance.  The Synod at Lexington then suspended them and declared their congregations vacant.  

    At first, these independent congregations formed what they called the Springfield Presbytery, but later they decided it was unscriptural, so
disbanded it, agreeing to take the name only of Christian.  If anyone wanted to call their congregations by a name, they insisted it be the
"Christian Connection."  

    In 1808, Thomas Campbell arrived in Pennsylvania from Scotland.  He had been a Presbyterian preacher all his life; his father and
grandfather had been Roman Catholics.  Campbell was given a church to preside over in Pennsylvania.  

    In 1809 he was denounced by the Associate Synod of North America for preferring to discard their rules in order to bring people of all
faiths together.  

    Thereupon, he reported to his congregation what happened, and they decided to cede with him.  He then admonished them to have only
one rule:  "That rule, my highly respected hearers is this, that where the Scriptures speak, we speak; and where the Scriptures are silent, we
are silent."  

    He then went on to say that, "Whatever private opinions might be entertained upon matters not clearly revealed must be retained in
silence, and no effort must be made to impose them upon others....Simply, reverentially, confidingly, all will speak of Bible things in Bible
words, adding nothing thereto and omitting nothing given by inspiration."  

    They named themselves "The Christian Association."  The Campbell biographer said "The idea that he should...be the means of creating a
new party [denomination] was most abhorrent to the mind of Thomas Campbell."  Thomas continued to inspire others to exist in independent
congregations, influencing thousands over the next 40 years.  

    His son, Alexander, also became a minister of the simple Gospel, declaring the Bible the only possible creed of a Christian.  Although he
was no more important than any other Christian, he was editor of a Christian periodical and publicly debated all religious leader, and even
one famous atheist.  

    He became personal friend to Presidents James Buchanan and William Harrison, as well as Henry Clay, Secretary of State under
President John Adams.  He was the only minister ever to speak before both Houses of the U.S. Congress.  And whenever preaching in the
Washington D.C. area, many congressmen went to hear him.  He and Barton W. Stone also influenced the beliefs of President Abraham
Lincoln from Kentucky and Illinois.  

    By 1860, it was estimated that there were some half million people in North America embracing the restoration movement of being simple
New Testament Christians.   

                                 Conclusion  

    What does it take to be the original New Testament Church?  Not a succession.  It happens by producing carbon copies, or as we say
today, photocopies.  All we have to do to see if we're the original New Testament Church is hold up the Mirror, the New Testament.  Is it a
perfect image?  

    The "mainline" reformed denominations obtained status by being recognized by their national governments.  For example....  

    Lutherans - National Religion of Scandinavia  

    Episcopalians - National Religion of England  

    Presbyterians - National Religion of Scotland  

    Reformed Church - National Religion of Holland  

    Such "mainline" denominations as these claim the largest numbers today.  However, when all the smaller groups with similar beliefs based
on literal application of the scriptures (rather than calling things figurative that they did not wish to believe), their numbers are quite high.  
    It is impossible to tell who all the groups are today who have these beliefs.  In talking with many people in many denominations, there is a
wide number of people in them all who interpret the Scriptures more literally than they are taught in their congregation, but they do not know
what other congregation believes as they do.  So they either stay put or quit going to church anywhere.  

    However, some of those who do agree in most points are [using 1990 U.S. stastistics] Churches of Christ, (1,800,000) Disciples of
Christ (144,000), Christian Church (40,000), Brethren (206,000), and Mennonite (302,000) churches.  These total nearly 2,500,000 putting
them as a group in the top seven Protestant groups in the U.S.   Add Christians giving either no denomination or Protestants giving no
denomination and that is another 2,500,000, giving this group a possible 5,000,000.  And add to that Christians identifying themselves with
mainline churches because they do not know where to go, that brings the potential number even higher.  

    One person at a time.  One congregation at a time.  Who will be next?




                                ENDNOTES

[1] .  Forbush, William B., Editor, Fox's Book of Martyrs, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 1926, pg. 3-5
[2] .  Keyes, Nelson B.,
Story of the Bible World, The Reader's Digest Assn., Pleasantville, NY, 1962, pg. 185
[3] .  Lightfoot, J. B, Editor,
The Apostolic Fathers, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1965, pg. 281
[4] .  Lightfoot, pg. 282-283
[5] .  Eusebius, pg. 169
[6] .  
Encyclopedia Britannica, "Waldenses:  Sects of the Middle Ages," William Benton, Publisher, Chicago, 1966, Vol. 23, pg. 287-288


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Encyclopedia Britannica, William Benton Publisher, Chicago, 1966  

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