From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Proto-orthodox Christianity is a term, coined by New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman, used to describe the Early Christian movement which was the precursor of Christian orthodoxy. Ehrman argues that this group, which became prominent by the end of the third century
stifled its opposition, it claimed that its views had always been the majority position and that its rivals were, and always had been, ‘heretics,’ who willfully ‘chose’ to reject the ‘true belief’.
...to a remarkable extent early-second-century protoorthodox devotion to Jesus represents a concern to preserve, respect, promote, and develop what were by then becoming traditional expressions of belief and reverence, and that had originated in earlier years of the Christian movement. That is, proto-orthodox faith tended to affirm and develop devotional and confessional traditions... Arland Hultgren has shown that the roots of this appreciation of traditions of faith actually go back deeply and widely into first-century Christianity.
- Diversity in early Christian theology
- First seven Ecumenical Councils
- Historical Jesus
- State church of the Roman Empire