So I was reading a book in Ap Lit and It was talking about all the different denominations of Christianity. So like any good Christian I Wikipediaed and found that there are thousands and thousands of cults, churches, and groups that are based on Christianity. So what does the bible have to say about all these different denominations? and when I saw all of the denominations i started to question my own faith, so How do we know who is right?


  • You should study the history of our Church and then you will see that we have a continuous line of faith and life all the way back to the Apostles. Most of the thousands and thousands of denominations listed are just small groups of congregations which have been formed in the last decades. A few hundred years ago there were not many denominations, and 500 years ago only a handful.

    The answer to confusion is to seek to understand our own faith and history first, and then we can put other groups into context.

    Some of these groups were formed with laudable aims, seeking to be more faithful to Christ, others are rooted in human pride, or personalities. But almost all of the denominations trace their way back to the schism between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

    Even in the patristic times there were groups who had separated themselves from the Church for one reason or another. But the Fathers taught us to consider which were those churches which had been established by the Apostles, who had continued in the same faith, and whose bishops had been consecrated by other bishops in the Apostolic tradition.

    Father Peter
  • I've tried reading up on our church history on wikipedia but it is way too 'wordy'. Is there a simpler book(s) i can read that will clarfify the history of our church?
  • I would not rely on Wikipedia.

    I would start with this book by Father Tadros Malaty.

    God bless you

    Father Peter
  • Good ol' Abouna Teddy :)

    That is a great book Abouna, it's a great source to use Abanoub!
  • lol c'mon man you're in AP English and a Wikipedia article is too wordy?! lol

    this book that abouna posted is actually very helpful...
    which brings me to my point, even though I should PM abouna about this, but why not ask publicly, abouna, I would it love if a person who is well educated in writing, other denominations, and English is his first language, would write a book for the Coptic youth! and if he happens to be a priest it would be a MAJOR plus...

    so can you please write a book about the Coptic church for the youth and people in different denominations?!

    akhadna el barka... neshkor Allah!
  • God willing I do want to write an Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church, not least for all of the people I deal with who are asking questions about our Faith.

    I have many ideas about what to include.

    But what do you yourself think would be good to have in such a book?

    Father Peter
  • [quote author=peterfarrington link=topic=8852.msg110958#msg110958 date=1266601023]
    God willing I do want to write an Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church, not least for all of the people I deal with who are asking questions about our Faith.

    I have many ideas about what to include.

    But what do you yourself think would be good to have in such a book?

    Father Peter

    your post is one of the very few that made me smile such a wide smile, and made my heart "leap with joy"

    well the History, and apostolic succession...
    fasting and what it means...
    prayer... and why the agpeya
    the trinity...
    why one would choose the Coptic church to be his/her mother
    baptism... and all the sacraments... and their biblical reasoning
    pretty much what I would expect to see different from the churches I see on t.v.

    of course everything with its biblical and historical meaning!

    wow, I'm so happy about it, I feel like a little kid in front of a house made of candy!lol

    akhadna el baraka... neshkor Allah!
  • Abnoub, the book Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity by Otto Mendarius is a pretty good book, its not too complex yet not over simplified. It is very difficult sometimes to get information on our church, I believe Pope Shenouda wrote some books on church history. Also Frank Schaeffer wrote a book called "Dancing Alone" I recommend that to all Orthodox people. It deals with our history and the reformation, very good book and very enlightening.
  • H.H. Pope Shenouda III, the greatest mind of the Coptic Orthodox Church, wrote a book:  "Comparative Theology" and "The Jehovah Witnesses", both are available by pdf download.  Do a search on the internet.

    Fr. Matthias F. Wahba of the San Francisco, California area wrote several books as a primer of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and some comparative ideas to different denominations.

    I believe Fr. Marcos of the Los Angeles area has several books in related topics.

  • Abouna John Paul wrote some stuff on Protestantism, I don't believe it is published yet, but it is very good. He recently sent it to me.
  • Well my heart leaps for joy when I hear about missionary stirrings in the Orthodox Church!

    Why does the Church seem not bothered about outreach ? We are happy enough to share with enquirers but we don't 'Compel them to come in'.

    Father Peter, if you are writing something to explain our faith, may I strongly recommend 'Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven' by Saint Innocent, Bishop of Kamchatka (etc). If you don't have a copy I would be happy to send you one. This book could be simplified for a modern readership. I was about to do it myself but I believe you would make a better job.

    In Christ 
  • Dear Aidan

    I don't have a copy, so if you could lend me one I would be very happy to read it and see what could be done.

    God bless you

    Father Peter
  • "If any Roman soldier overseas is caught favoring the barbarians and the Persians, not only is he in danger  but so also everyone who was aware of how this man felt and failed to make this fact known to the General. Since you are the army of Christ, be overly careful in searching to see if anyone favoring an alien faith has  mingled among you, and make his presence known-not so that we may put him to death as those generals did, nor that we may punish him or take our vengeance upon him, but that we may free him from his error and ungodliness and make him entirely our own." St John Chrysostom " Against the Jews" Discourse I pt IV v.9
  • YES! I think writing a book would be a wonderful idea Father Peter! Please keep us updated on this!

    Now back to the topic...
    Abanoub, Abouna Tadros Malaty's book is a great introduction to the faith. You might also like to read HG Anba Angaelos's piece "The Altar in the Midst of Egypt" ( It's nice and brief but has plenty of substance to it at the same time. I think it will encourage you to read deeper as well, it's a very nice little piece of work.

  • [quote author=SuperMAN(BAM) link=topic=8852.msg110959#msg110959 date=1266601621]
    why one would choose the Coptic church to be his/her mother

    I don't like this topic...
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