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Products>Mobile Ed: CH351 History of Heresies (7 hour course - audio)

Mobile Ed: CH351 History of Heresies (7 hour course - audio)

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In History of Heresies Dr. Michael Bird examines the missteps of theologians from the beginning of the Christian faith. The course begins by placing Christian heresy in the context of ancient Jewish and Graeco-Roman ideas about heresy. After looking at the unity and diversity of the early church, Dr. Bird examines Paul’s opponents, as well as false teachings/teachers in later New Testament documents like Jude and Revelation. From there, he explores later heresies like Docetism, Gnosticism, modalism and Arianism. The course concludes by looking at the Person of Christ and how to spot and avoid heresies today.

This is the audio only version of CH351 History of Heresies. To purchase the full course, click here.

Resource Experts

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Prove that orthodox doctrine preceded heresy in the early church
  • Explain Gnosticism and the varied beliefs of its main proponents
  • Describe the Apostle Paul’s opponents, their agendas and how Paul responded to them
  • Appreciate the contribution of ancient Christians who helped future generations better understand the nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • Recognize the footprint of ancient heresies in today’s religious diversity

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: What Is Heresy and Orthodoxy?

  • Overview: Why Study Heresy?
  • Heresy in the Graeco-Roman World (Part 1)
  • Heresy in the Graeco-Roman World (Part 2)
  • Heresy and Judaism (Part 1)
  • Heresy and Judaism (Part 2)
  • Unity and Diversity in the Early Church (Part 1)
  • Unity and Diversity in the Early Church (Part 2)
  • Unity and Diversity in the Early Church (Part 3)
  • Did Heresy Precede Orthodoxy? (Part 1)
  • Did Heresy Precede Orthodoxy? (Part 2)
  • Did Heresy Precede Orthodoxy? (Part 3)

Unit 2: Paul’s Opponents

  • Introduction to Paul
  • Was There a Jewish Legalism? (Part 1)
  • Was There a Jewish Legalism? (Part 2)
  • Does Jesus Top Up Moses, or Displace Moses?
  • The Jerusalem Council
  • The Incident at Antioch
  • Galatians
  • Philippians
  • Second Corinthians
  • Colossians
  • Letters to Timothy and Titus

Unit 3: Other Heresies in the New Testament Era

  • Overview of Other Heresies in the New Testament Era
  • Hebrews
  • Jude and Second Peter
  • Churches of Revelation

Unit 4: “Other Christianities”

  • Overview of “Other Christianities”
  • Docetists
  • Ebionites
  • Adoptionism
  • Christ as Angel

Unit 5: Gnostics, Montanists and Modalists

  • Gnosticism 101 (Part 1)
  • Gnosticism 101 (Part 2)
  • Simon Magus
  • Egypt: Basilides, Carpocrates and Valentinus
  • Saturninus (Antioch) and Cerinthus (Ephesus)
  • Marcion
  • Gnostic Writings
  • Montanists
  • Modalists

Unit 6: Later Heresies and Controversies

  • Logos from John to Justin to Origen
  • Arius
  • Council of Nicaea
  • The Divine and Human Natures of Christ (Part 1)
  • The Divine and Human Natures of Christ (Part 2)
  • How to Spot and Avoid Heresies


  • Discerning True and False Expressions of Faith

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Michael F. Bird is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry. He is the author of several books, including Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God, and with James Crossley, How Did Christianity Begin?


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