Theologians and church leaders of the post-apostolic period up to the 7th century.

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9
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1answer
35 views

Do any church fathers directly connect “speaking in tongues” with anything other than existing human languages?

One of the arguments made by those who believe that the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased (cessationists) is that the "tongues" spoken of in both Acts and 1 Corinthians 12–14 are "real" human ...
3
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

How were women to serve the church according to the Apostolic Fathers?

Did the Apostolic Church Fathers write about the capacity in which women were to serve in the early church, or expand the capacity in which they served the church? In other words, what were they ...
11
votes
1answer
348 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

What is the earliest indication of controversy regarding the anarthrous θεός in John 1:1?

Historically, what are the earliest writings that indicate controversy or differing opinions regarding the interpretation of the anarthrous θεός in John 1:1?
5
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0answers
282 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
400 views

How are the 12 Anathemas of St. Cyril against Nestorius supposed to be read?

I'd never seen this before today when I was trying to answer a question on the natures of God, but St. Cyril's 12 Anathemas against Nestorius is pretty interesting, and as a piece of literature, I ...
-1
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8answers
311 views

Why does the Son have a source of existence?

Why does the Son have a source of existence? Early church fathers believed that the Son has an source or origin of existence (reference). To have an origin is different from having a beginning. ...
9
votes
1answer
81 views

Early Church Fathers and Numerology

I came across this quote by St.Augustine: “The good Christian should beware of mathematicians. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the ...
3
votes
1answer
76 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
votes
1answer
491 views

In light of the list found in Isaiah 11:1-3, why are there seven gifts of Holy Spirit and not six?

The patristic authors1 enumerate the following list of gifts or emanations of the Holy Spirit among other lists of moral virtues. According these authors, these qualities are completely demonstrated ...
1
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0answers
52 views

What prompted the second century writers to adopt the concept of οὐσία to refer to God's nature?

My question When did the concept of οὐσία begin to refer to God's nature? has been answered and the answer was actually great. However, the answer has led me to ask another question. Conceptually, ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

When did the concept of οὐσία begin to refer to God's nature?

In the NT, the Greek word οὐσία means "possession, property (substance)." To simply put, it is a thing or stuff that someone owns. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the ...
6
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

Do any of the Church Fathers draw a connection between Eve and the Holy Spirit?

In Wild at Heart, author John Eldredge takes some effort to describe the language used in Genesis 2:18 to refer to Eve. While some translations and commentors translate the hebrew "עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃...
8
votes
2answers
130 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is Mark not the first gospel?

We all know that Mark was the first gospel ever written. Why then is it that when the New Testament was compiled, Mark was not listed as the first book in the New Testament? What are the reasons that ...
17
votes
1answer
768 views

Did the Church Fathers advocate celibacy?

What is an overview of the Church Fathers' views on celibacy? Did they see celibacy as a higher or more spiritual calling than marriage? Did they see marriage as incompatible with a spiritual life? ...
4
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
51 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
vote
1answer
77 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) ...
13
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
11
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1answer
109 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
57 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?
13
votes
1answer
349 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
299 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles (plus Paul) are available today?

How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles, plus Paul, are available today? There's no need to include Mark and Luke as their writings are included in the Bible.
7
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2answers
190 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?
7
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1answer
119 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): ...
19
votes
1answer
298 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" (...
9
votes
1answer
487 views

Did any other early church fathers besides Origen teach the pre-existence of souls?

Origen taught about the pre-existence of our souls, which, among many other of his teachings, was later condemned as heresy. Did any other early church fathers teach this doctrine?
8
votes
2answers
480 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
218 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. ...
15
votes
4answers
332 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
147 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
154 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
259 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
426 views

Any instructions given by the church fathers on how to receive the gift of tongues?

1 Corinthians 14:39 (NIV) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. In the early church, the gift of tongues was a common gift which ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there any writings from the church fathers teaching Original Sin before Augustine?

It has been said by some that Augustine was the first to teach Original Sin, "It was Augustine (354-430 A.D.) who first promoted the idea that; "the fallen nature of Adam was transmitted ...
3
votes
1answer
86 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? ...
10
votes
2answers
372 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
125 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
399 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
222 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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is Origen considered a Church Father, but not a saint?

I've heard and read in "Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West" (book by Anthony Grafton, page 222) that Origen was considered a Church Father but not a Saint by either the ...
6
votes
3answers
514 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 ...