Montanists were the subject of the first Synods according to Tertullian

Source
Duncan, William Cecil (1857). History of the Early Baptists From The Beginning of the Gospel To the Rise of Affusion As Baptism, And Of Infant Baptism (pp. 105). NEW ORLEANS: L. ALEX. DUNCAN & CO., PUBLISHERS. Retrieved online.

The first Synods of which we have any account were held (in 160-170) in Greece, the seat of the Amphictyonic Councils, to deliberate respecting the Montanists, and respecting the time of celebrating Easter. Tertullian, in his book ” On Fasts” (De Jejuniis), written about the year 200, thus describes them (c. 13) : “Throughout Greece, in fixed places, are held these Councils, composed of all the churches; and, by means of them, both those matters which are of unusual importance are, considered in common, and the representation of the whole Christian name is solemnized with great veneration.” From this time forth similar Synods assembled statedly in Greece, and, soon after, in Asia Minor and North Africa, once or twice a year ; and, before the third century had drawn to a close, these provincial Councils 1The character of these Provincial Synods, after they had de parted from their original intention, is thus described by the historian Gibbon, — truthfully, upon the whole, but with his usual spirit, when speaking of the institutions of Christianity : u Their deliberations were assisted by the advice of a few dis tinguished presbyters, and moderated by the presence of a listening multitude. Their decrees, which were styled Canons, regulated every important controversy of faith and discipline ; and it was natural to believe that a liberal effusion of the Holy Spirit would be poured out on the united assembly of the delegates of the Christian people. — The institution of synods was so well suited to private ambition and to public interest, that in the space of a few years it was received throughout the whole empire. — A regular correspondence was established between the provincial councils, which mutually communicated and approved their respective proceedings; and the catholic church soon assumed the form, and acquired the strength, of a great federative republic.” were, it is probable, regularly held throughout the Christian world.

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The character of these Provincial Synods, after they had de parted from their original intention, is thus described by the historian Gibbon, — truthfully, upon the whole, but with his usual spirit, when speaking of the institutions of Christianity : u Their deliberations were assisted by the advice of a few dis tinguished presbyters, and moderated by the presence of a listening multitude. Their decrees, which were styled Canons, regulated every important controversy of faith and discipline ; and it was natural to believe that a liberal effusion of the Holy Spirit would be poured out on the united assembly of the delegates of the Christian people. — The institution of synods was so well suited to private ambition and to public interest, that in the space of a few years it was received throughout the whole empire. — A regular correspondence was established between the provincial councils, which mutually communicated and approved their respective proceedings; and the catholic church soon assumed the form, and acquired the strength, of a great federative republic.”

Seth Fuller has written 21 articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>