For questions about the Church Fathers, a term applied to eminent theologians and church leaders of the immediate post-apostolic age.

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Did any of the Apostolic Fathers know Paul?

Is there any extra-biblical written evidence that any of the Apostolic Fathers knew the Apostle Paul? If so, what is the written evidence that they were taught by Paul or even heard him Preach? Are ...
4
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1answer
74 views

How do the church fathers reconcile the accounts of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to be apostles?

How do the church fathers reconcile the accounts of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to be apostles? With scriptures listed below it appears that though John, Andrew, and Peter were the first to ...
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2answers
80 views

According to church fathers, was Cleopas the Brother of Joseph?

In Catholic and Orthodox tradition, it is asserted that Alphaeus or Clopas is the brother of Joseph, the husband of Mary. What exactly is the justification behind this relationship? Are there any ...
5
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1answer
45 views

Did Justin Martyr and Marcion of Sinope have any contact with one another?

I'm interested to discover if there is any evidence that Justin Martyr and Marcion of Sinope had any direct or indirect contact before Marcion left the Church. I suspect that they may have had ...
1
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1answer
65 views

What significance do the church fathers attribute to Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross of Christ?

Simon of Cyrene is mentioned by name as carrying the cross for Christ in the synoptic Gospels. Are there writings of early Church fathers (ante-Nicene fathers or post-Nicene up to, let's say, 600 AD) ...
4
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0answers
197 views

Second Coming of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday?

During the Easter Vigil, the Catholic Church will chant (sing) the traditional Easter Proclamation hymn of the Exsultet. The Exsultet expresses the Church's belief that this is the same night in ...
6
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1answer
193 views

What arguments do the Church Fathers make for nocturnal emissions not being a sin?

I've run across claims (although I'm having trouble digging them up again; I might be thinking of the implications in this reddit thread) that Augustine and Cassian were almost the only early ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Who wrote the Sub Tuum Praesidium?

The Sub Tuum Praesidium is the oldest known hymn to the Virgin Mary, dating back to somewhere between 250-280. Has any Saint or Church Father ever been ascribed as being the author of this prayer?
11
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1answer
105 views

Is Luke's label for Christianity - “the Way” - used in later Christian writings?

Christianity is referred to several times in the book of Acts as "the Way" (hē hodos), initially at 9:2: [Saul] asked [the high priest] for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he ...
6
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1answer
105 views

What is the source of the quote attributed to Origen, that “the soul has neither beginning nor end”?

Related answer: Is there any substance to the claim that Origen supported reincarnation? The following quote is widely attributed to Origen in books and on the internet (e.g., here and here): ...
3
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2answers
186 views

Why is Pontius Pilate blamed for killing Jesus in the Apostles' Creed?

In Apostles' Creed, the name of Pontius Pilate is forever associated with the infamy of being Jesus Christ's persecutor. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. ...
18
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2answers
217 views

When was “pistis christou” first understood as a statement about Christ’s faith?

There is an ongoing debate among translators and commentators of Paul’s letters about how to understand the phrase Πίστις Χριστοῦ (pistis christou)1 -- “[the] faith[fulness] of Christ" vs. “faith in ...
3
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1answer
85 views

What is the origin of the interpretation of the Song of Solomon as a picture for Christ and the Church?

For today's average Christian, it is commonplace to read Song of Solomon as a prophetic picture of Christ, as the Bridegroom, and the Church, as the Bride. But where did this view have its beginning? ...
3
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3answers
117 views

Where the church should gather?

Ok, where i gather, we have a Brethren-like "house church" system, which means that we have no building for the chuch meeting. But the number of members are increasing and we are about to face a ...
9
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3answers
144 views

What did the early church fathers (pre-5th c.) teach with regards to the doctrine of baptism as a necessity for salvation?

The title says it all, really. What did the ECF believe and teach with regards to baptism being or not being necessary for salvation? Related: What did the early church fathers (pre-5th c.) teach ...
2
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0answers
47 views

What did the early church fathers (pre-5th c.) teach with regards to baptismal regeneration?

The title says it all, really. What did the ECF believe and teach with regards to baptismal regeneration? Did they generally subscribe to it or deny it? Related: What did the early church fathers ...
8
votes
1answer
394 views

What is the origin of the story that the Apostle John taught only “love one another”?

I've heard in a sermon that there is a story about Apostle John's last days, when he was working in Ephesus. The story tells that usually, at the Lord's Supper, John was invited to give a little ...
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3answers
1k views

Why did Clement and Eusebius believe that Paul was married?

In an answer to a related question (What is the evidence that suggests that the Apostle Paul was married?), I encountered the following quote from Eusebius: Clement, indeed, whose words we have ...
3
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1answer
66 views

Did Origen support the idealist view of Christian eschatology?

I've seen it suggested that Origen was in line with the idealist understanding of Christian eschatology. Is anyone able to clarify this? What is the evidence that Origen was in support of the Idealist ...
4
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0answers
68 views

How do the early church fathers expound upon the “exaltation of Christ” (Philippians 2:9-11) in light of the immutability of Jesus Christ?

Philippians 2:9-11 NIV 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on ...
5
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0answers
80 views

Did the early Church fathers see a distinction between Matthias' and Paul's apostleship appointment, considering Paul's peculiar verbiage choice?

When reading the appointment of Matthias, you come across very specific actions and precise language. Consider, of course: Acts 1:21-26 ESV 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all ...
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0answers
127 views

Have any ante-Nicene writings been discovered in the past 20 years?

Have an writings or fragments of ante-Nicene Church Fathers previously unknown (that is the actual words were not known, not necessarily that the name of the work was also previously unknown) to ...
2
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1answer
38 views

Gregory of Nazianzus - First Oration - Translation of καὶ ἡ ἀρχὴ δεξιὰ

At the very beginning (§1) of his first oration entitled, "On the Holy Pascha and on His Reluctance/Delay," Gregory writes, Ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα, καὶ ἡ ἀρχὴ δεξιὰ... Browne/Swallow translate καὶ ἡ ...
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3answers
198 views

What did the early church believe about the “rapture”?

There are a lot of differing opinions on when the rapture will take place (pre-tribulation, post-tribulation, or mid-tribulation). From my own attempts to research the topic and look at Scripture ...
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1answer
87 views

How did the Church fathers of the first four centuries understand 2 Corinthians 5:21?

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NET) I'm interested in an overview of the understanding of ...
8
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2answers
418 views

What view of eschatology did the early church believe?

I have recently been studying eschatology and have been looking at the main views of eschatology. So far, I have found four (I apologize in advance if I have misrepresented your view. I would ...
11
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1answer
304 views

Besides Paul, were there any other enemies of the early church who converted to Christianity?

As I was listening to a debate between Drs. William Lane Craig and Richard Carrier on the historicity of Jesus' resurrection, something Dr. Carrier said caught my attention. He claimed that "[Paul] is ...
15
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4answers
321 views

Who first distinguished between the inerrancy of the Bible and the inerrancy of the original autographs?

It's common these days among those who believe in the inerrancy* of the Bible to limit the statement to the original manuscripts. For example, the Chicago Statement reads: We affirm that ...
2
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1answer
91 views

Which Ante-Nicene Church Fathers believed that Jesus is the “eternal Son” of the Father?

Economic trinitarianism, in the pre-Nicene sense of the phrase, says that God is a monad who becomes tripartite for the purposes of creation and redemption. Forms of this view were held by Justin ...
2
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1answer
271 views

What evil things did Alexander the copper-smith do to Paul in 2 Tim. 4:14 that led to Paul saying God will recompense him?

In 2 Tim. 4:14, Paul said that Alexander the copper-smith did many evil things to me; the Lord will recompense him according to his works. Is there any tradition on what exactly Alexander did ...
8
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1answer
159 views

Did Augustine believe in Purgatory?

Purgatory was one of the doctrines the Reformers reacted most strongly against, though many Reformers claimed Augustine of Hippo as being in agreement with their theology. Did Augustine teach a ...
5
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1answer
212 views

When did the early church begin reciting the Lord's Prayer in corporate worship?

I'm reading a book on prayer, and one of the claims that the author makes is that the Lord's Prayer was not intended to be recited word-for-word in corporate worship. Part of his argument relates to ...
7
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2answers
139 views

When did the immutability of God become entrenched in Christian literature?

The immutability of God means God does not change, and it is considered heresy to disagree. However, this concept seems so close to the Greek's idea of perfection, and to conflict with the well-known ...
13
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1answer
240 views

Did anyone understand the Holy Spirit to be a person prior to the Council of Constantinople in AD 381?

Do we know of any case of the concept of the Holy Spirit being a person existing among Christians before the Constantinople council of 381 A.D.? The reason I am asking this question is because one ...
0
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1answer
217 views

Refusing to Baptize Illegitimate Infants

Who started the withholding of baptism from children born out of wedlock in the Catholic Church? Who is responsible for this belief? Was a Church Father, Pope, Priest etc? I now know that Pope ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Did Lactantius ever say why it was good for Christians to be ruled by a Christian emperor?

Lactantius was a Christian who had been a part of the Roman government (which was hostile to Christians) prior to his conversion. Sometime between 303 and 311 he wrote a systematic theology, in which ...
6
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1answer
218 views

Why were none of the Apostolic fathers' writings included in the last canon accepted in the Ecumenical Councils?

Why is it so that none of the Apostolic fathers' writings was included in the last canon accepted during the time of the Seven Ecumenical Councils? By the "last canon" I mean the one that we have ...
10
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2answers
327 views

What is an overview of early church opposition to authorities?

What is an overview of early church father expressions of opposition against authorities? I'm looking for things like: Protests against state-/government-sponsored injustice Arguments against the ...
7
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2answers
174 views

What is the evidence that Ignatius of Antioch was ordained by the Apostles?

What evidence do we possess today indicating that Ignatius of Antioch was ordained by the Apostles?
5
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1answer
102 views

Why First Epistle to St. John by St. Ignatius of Antioch is considered to be spurious?

Why First Epistle to St. John by St. Ignatius of Antioch is considered to be spurious? Were there any valid reasons put forth to consider it as spurious? The wiki page and this Catholic source only ...
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2answers
152 views

In what way did the ante-nicene church read Sapiental passages like Proverbs 8:22 christologically?

Commentators like Ellicott indicate that the ante-nicene Christian writers (from A.D. 100 to the Council of Nicaea) read Proverbs 8:22 christologically, that is, in reference to Christ. In what way ...
13
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1answer
329 views

When was the word “trinity” first applied to God in Christianity?

The word "trinity" does not occur in the Bible. When, in early Christian writings and creeds, was the word "trinity" first used in reference to God? After that first (known) occurrence, what are ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

In what ways did orthodox trinitarianism diverge from Tertullian's proto-trinitarianism?

Tertullian is well known as the first Latin writer to use the word "trinity" (trinitas) and as a proponent of trinitarian doctrine in general. But there were many trinitarian controversies between his ...
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1answer
286 views

When in the development of trinitarian doctrine was the word “persons” first applied to God?

In the Bible, the word "persons" is not used in reference to God, nor are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit called "persons." When, in early Christian writings and creeds, was the word "persons" ...
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2answers
432 views

What is the difference between pre-Nicene Trinitarianism and Arianism in terms of their Christology?

In the middle of the first volume of his five-volume work on the history of Christian theology, Jaroslav Pelikan writes, The truth, even the truth of the Gospels, is never pure and clear, and ...
2
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1answer
185 views

Was Emperor St. Justinian an Aphthartodocetist?

Ss. Eutychius of Constantinople and Anastasius of Antioch were deposed and exiled because they openly opposed Emperor St. Justinian's edict in 564 on Aphthartodocetism. On the Hagiography of Eutychius ...
11
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1answer
229 views

Is there a patristic precedent for understanding “foreknew” as “foreloved”?

In the Bible, to know often means an intimate knowledge and regard for someone. This doesn't just mean sexually (though that is where the phrase "known in the Biblical sense" came from, as in Genesis ...
6
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3answers
477 views

What are the Church fathers' arguments that Peter is the rock?

The Roman Catholic Church asserts that the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is the legitimate successor of the apostle Peter, the "rock" upon whom the Lord Jesus Christ founded his Church, according to its ...
5
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1answer
263 views

What is the Catholic understanding of “the thousand-year reign of Christ and his people”?

What is the Catholic understanding of the thousand-year reign of Christ and his people? What is the Catholic biblical interpretation and what have the Church Fathers said on the matter?
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1answer
993 views

According to Catholic Teaching, what is sinning against the Holy Spirit?

According to Catholic Teaching, what is sinning against the Holy Spirit and why is this unpardonable? [cf. Matt 12:31-32 (RSVCE)] What are the the sins that are considered sinning against the Holy ...