Tag Archives: Early

EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH HISTORY #16: GOVERNMENT & RULERS; ROMAN CATHOLICISM VEILS TRUE GOSPEL

The early church had a Biblical attitude toward political governments. Later Roman Catholicism departed into apostasy & authorized military massacres, crusad…

Khachkar, early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia

Khachkar, early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.

Plan, early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia, cupola

Plan, early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia, cupola
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia, cupola

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia, cupola
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.

Why was the early church reluctant to embrace gospel of John?

Question by Steven M: Why was the early church reluctant to embrace gospel of John?
Why was the early church reluctant to embrace the gospel of John (1, 2, & 3 John) fully?

Best answer:

Answer by Muinghan Life During Wartime
The Gospel of John, the fourth of the canonical gospels, after the synoptics Matthew, Mark and Luke?

Or, the First, Second, and Third Epistles of John?

All four are different …

The Gospel of John was written to unbelievers, the First Epistle of John (John 1) was written to those who were already believers— the Second and Third are pretty much the same.

For the Epistles it is most significant in the clear warning against paying heed to those who say that Jesus was not a flesh-and-blood figure and the rejection of gnostic theology.
Docetic and/or gnostic teachings were prevalent quite early in the history of Christianity, and these views were considered heretical and dangerous by the proto-orthodox Christian church.

The Gospel of John presents a “higher” Christology than the synoptics, meaning that he describes Jesus as the incarnation of the divine Logos through whom all things were made, as the object of veneration, and more explicitly as God incarnate.
Only in John does Jesus talk at length about himself and his divine role, often shared with the disciples only.
Against the synoptics, John focuses largely on different miracles (including resurrecting Lazarus), given as signs meant to engender faith.
Synoptic elements such as parables and exorcisms are not found in John.
It presents a realized eschatology in which salvation is already present for the believer.

The historical reliability of John is debated, particularly by secular scholarship.
In contrast, Grace-oriented churches argue for the total pre-eminence of John.

I’m really confused as to how the question is written –the Gospel of John and the Epistles are FOUR different books.
I can only think that the early church’s reluctance had something to do with the Gnostic, Logos, Trinity, Divinity thing — you know, was Jesus the Son of God or the Son of Man, was he the Trinity, Father, Son AND Holy Spirit or the literal and submissive Son of God, or was he the Logos – the WORD of God, was he the DIVINE Son of God or a chosen Son of God.

This is what broke the church in two during the Great Schism, with the total separation of the Eastern Greek Orthodox Church with the Church of Rome.

This is the only think I can think of.

*****EDIT*****
@ JONATHON – Quibble on my friend, always good to hear from you. I totally agree, it’s not clear.
“The Gospel of John for unbelievers…” is actually NOT an original thought of MINE I picked that one up in school.
J. H. Barbour 1896, “The Structure of the First Epistle of Saint John”. The Biblical World 9
It was discussing the differences between the First Epistle and the Gospel saying it was for the non-believer, but not necessarily the uninformed – it’s been academically stated that the Gospel was purposely written in response to the quite knowledgeable Cerinthus, the Ebionites and other Hebrew groups which they deemed heretical — NOT the ‘common man’. More of a debate than an instructional video …?

We trouble ourselves in keeping in mind that these books were NOT written for US but for certain people of a very different time, for various reasons — they are NOT meant for US to understand but easily understood to those referenced.
Also, Rudolf Bultmann, Lutheran scholar suggested that the text of the gospel is partially out of order and composed in multi-layers over an extended period of time leaving us today scratching our heads.
God knows, we could argue John for days on end but the gist is that John WAS so different than the others Gospels and possibly shouldn’t be grouped WITH the other three.
The book presents Jesus as the divine Son of God, and yet subordinate to God the Father, (and possibly the incarnation of the LOGOS – the “Word” of God) completely opposite of the Roman Trinity. AND these are the same reasons for the separation of the Roman Church and the Eastern / Greek Orthodox Churches.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia, drum and dome

Early 7th C. Saint Hripsimé Church, Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armavir Province, Armenia, drum and dome
Church names
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hripsimé Church is one of the oldest surviving churches in Armenia. The church was erected by Catholicos Komitas atop the original mausoleum built by Catholicos Sahak the Great in 395 AD that contained the remains of the martyred Saint Hripsimé to whom the church was dedicated. The structure was completed in 618 AD. It is known for its fine Armenian-style architecture of the classical period, which has influenced many other Armenian churches since. This church together with other nearby sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located in the present day city of Vagharshapat, (Etchmiadzin), Armenia in the Armavir Province.

History
Saint Hripsimé Church sits on the remains of a pagan structure and also the site where the aforementioned saint was martyred during the time of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in 301 AD. The fifth century Armenian historian Agathangelos wrote that the young and beautiful Hripsimé who at the time was a Christian nun in Rome, was to be forcefully married to the Roman emperor Diocletian. She and the abbess Gayané among other nuns fled the tyrant emperor and left to Armenia. The pagan Armenian King Trdat received a letter from Diocletian in which he described her beauty. Trdat discovered where the nuns were hiding, and fell in love with Hripsimé and later Gayané. After her refusal of his advances, Hripsimé was tortured and martyred at the location of this church, while Gayané was tortured and martyred at a separate location where the church in her name was later built in 630. The remaining group of thirty-eight unnamed nuns were martyred at the location of Shoghakat. During the time that Hripsimé was being tortured, Gayané told her to "be of good cheer, and stand firm" in her faith. King Trdat was to be later converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the kingdom.

In the early 4th century, Saint Gregory the Illuminator saw a vision in which Christ descended from the heavens, and struck the ground with a golden hammer to level it. In its place he saw the site where Hripsimé was martyred, with a red base symbolizing blood below "columns of clouds, capitals of fire, and on top, a cross of light." In the vision, Christ tells him to erect a memorial to Hripsme in the given place. Saint Gregory was designated to set out the foundations at the location where Hripsimé had been martyred.

Architecture
Two inscriptions, one on the western façade and one on the east apse as well as an account from the Armenian historian Sebeos of the 7th century both date the church and mention Catholicos Komitas as having commissioned it to be built. As mentioned earlier, the church was built upon the 4th century Mausoleum of Saint Hripsimé, depicted in a relief upon the south face of the 7th century Odzun Stele.

The Church of Saint Hripsimé has a square tetraconch highly complex central plan rather than the typically seen rectangular plan. The structure has withstood numerous earthquakes due to many aspects that give it strength and stability. In the walls niches were used to increase the building’s resistance to collapse. The dome supports are equidistant and are able to hold a balanced share of the weight, leaving the squinches less liable to crack or break during an earthquake. Twelve ribs reinforce the dome, enabling it to be constructed of a lighter and thinner material.

It has undergone several changes since it was first built. According to the 17th century Armenian historian Arakel of Tabriz, the church was renovated between the years 1651-1653 by Catholicos Philippos. Repairs were made on the roof, top of the dome, the walls and bases. A cross was placed on top of the roof, and a small portico was added to the church’s west side. The western and southern entrance gates to the church precincts were closed, and the two side windows of the altar apse have been walled up. The eastern apse originally had only one window, and later two supplementary windows were added due to Chalcedonian tendencies among church leaders. In the interior, the Bema, the floor, the four apses were repaired, and the walls were covered in plaster. In 1790 a two-tier bell tower with an eight-column belfry was added. Later in 1936, the foundations were strengthened. In 1959-1962 renovations were done on the outside courtyard and steps and on the interior. The floor was lowered and 17th century plasterwork was removed to reveal a system of eight large and sixteen small squinches under the circular drum.

In the interior of the church, of particular interest is the inlaid mother-of-pearl altarpiece of 1741, which demonstrates the high level of Armenian applied art of the 18th century. The composition of the ornament made up of framed interwoven branches with stylized leaves and various fruit and blooms, is arranged around an encircled Greek cross and is most original.

The graves of two 18th century Armenian Catholicoi are located in the church’s courtyard, those of Asdvadzadur and Garabed II.