67 WAS MONTANISM A HERESY? by Erich Nestler* Introduction Throughout its history Christianity has faced two forms of major conflict: schism and heresy. In general heretical groups tended to become schismatic. But could it be that a group would be branded schismatic, without really being heretical? According to Bonwetsch, Schaff, de Labriolle, Evans (Henry), and Robeck, Montanism is an example of a group that became schismatic without being heretical in doctrine. Primary sources on Montanism are few; to the greater part they have been preserved through the writings of their enemies. Among many historians, in the past, this has caused an adoption of the views of the enemies of the movement. Nonetheless a critical examination of the material handed down to us, can enable one to avoid the biased condemnation of older historians. °Erich Nestler completed the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies at the Assemblies of God Graduate School in 1978. He is currently pursuing further studies in Europe. Scholars who in recent times have adopted a more favorable view, of this early revival movement, generally evaluate it under two points: doctrine and practice. They conclude that montan- istic doctrine should be considered orthodox, but the practice
Pneuma – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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