As my contribution to your home centered study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians this week, I theorize about what happened to early Christianity after the death of the apostles. As leadership in the early Church transitioned from apostles to local bishops, the priesthood keys bestowed on Peter(Matthew 16:19) and the apostles (Matthew 18:18) were lost. The primary evidence of the apostasy is modern revelation. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery claimed to have received visits from heavenly messengers and we are challenged to prayerfully seek after their own spiritual witness of claims regarding authority. An examination of ancient history can at best demonstrate plausibility and not proof of the apostasy. Those expecting the latter-day church is a carbon copy of an ancient church organization will be disappointed.
Here are 10 thematic variations exploring the loss of priesthood keys. [Read more…] about A Guide to the First Century Apostasy