The history of the Church from the book of Acts and after

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Did Christianity start as a cult?

Is there valid ground for saying that Christianity was cult in it's beginning days. To the Jews in this time, it makes sense that they at least would have thought so. I have heard atheists and other ...
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93 views

What is the state of Christianity among the Huaorani people today?

In January of 1956, several American missionaries (Jim Elliot and Nate Saint being the best known) attempted to reach a remote tribe in Ecuador in an endeavor that has become known as Operation Auca. ...
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47 views

What is the origin of the “in sæcula sæculorum” of the «Gloria Patri» being translated as “world without end”?

The Gloria Patri or "Minor Doxology" is, in Latin: Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen. Who was the first to ...
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2k views

Why are the Vatican archives kept secret?

Other than a few documents, most of the Vatican archives are kept secret from the public. What is the official explanation for this? As an outside observer, it seems like the secrecy might be to hide ...
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1answer
93 views

Who first divided the Bible's books into chapters?

I've heard that the Bible's division into verses was made later than the division into chapters. So, whose translation firstly came up with this system of chapter divisions that we have today?
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38 views

Why did the Presbyterian Church of Korea split in 1959?

The number of Presbyterian denominations in Korea is breathtaking: Wikipedia lists dozens of them. From what I can tell, most of these denominations originate in the Presbyterian Church of Korea, ...
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1answer
33 views

How many Christian missionaries are sent by the “global South”?

I understand from this answer that the number of Christians in Latin America, Africa, and Asia has grown dramatically in comparison to North America and Europe. My question is, has this shift in ...
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33 views

Are there other sources for the belief in Catholicism that the Apostles composed the articles present in the Apostles' Creed between them?

In the section Origin of the creed in the article Apostles' Creed | New Advent, it states that throughout the Middle Ages it was generally believed that the Apostles, on the day of Pentecost, while ...
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In Church History, when and how did The Glory Be (The Doxology) originate?

In Church History, when and how did The Glory Be (The Doxology) originate? Is the history of this prayer known as to when and how it originated? The Glory Be is part of those basic prayers like the ...
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83 views

Was the “Nicene Creed” of AD 381 an update of the Nicene Creed of AD 325?

When people talk about "The Nicene Creed," it seems that they are often referring to the document associated with the Council of Constantinople (AD 381). I'm sure there are many reasons for this, one ...
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58 views

Where can I find the text of the documents produced at the Council of Quiercy (853)?

The Catholic Encyclopedia has an article about the "Councils of Quierzy", and indicates that at the 853 council, Hincmar wrote decrees about predestination, universal redemption, free will, and grace. ...
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132 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. ...
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253 views

What is the Catholic definition of meat for Lenten Fridays?

On English Language Learners, the definition of meat came up, and the question of what animals comprise meat. Tangentially, this led to a question about Catholics abstaining from meat on Lenten ...
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1answer
170 views

What is the history of silent prayer?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is much in the way of Biblical or early-church precedence for praying silently. It seems like prayers were generally spoken aloud. In modern times, ...
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1answer
82 views

How close is the English word “father” compared to the original word used by Jesus in the Lord's Prayer? [closed]

Jesus is said to have used the Aramaic word ABBA in the Lord's Prayer. The word was perhaps used by children to address their father and was similar to what toady's children address their father as ...
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1answer
39 views

Are Iraqi Chaldean (Suraye) related to the Chaldean mentioned in old testament?

I am looking for a reliable resource about the history of the christian Chaldean in Iraq and where the name "Suraya" come from.
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21 views

When did the church first execute a heretic? [duplicate]

When was the church first known to give capital punishment for those declared to be heretics? I'm discussing the church proper, as an institution, issuing a declaration requiring the execution of one ...
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1answer
508 views

What is the earliest historical testimony of the celebration of the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ?

What is the earliest historical testimony (e.g., in writing) of the celebration (i.e., a feast) of the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether it be on the equivalent of December 25, January 6, or ...
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2answers
42 views

Did St. Paulinus of Nola sell himself into slavery to redeem one slave?

An online timeline of slavery that I came across reads: 354-431: Paulinus, bishop of Nola, (whom Avalos criticizes for alleged racism) liberates his own slaves, spends his considerable wealth ...
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255 views

Early church writers opposed to the baptism of infants?

In his book On Baptism, Chapter 18, "Of the Persons to Whom, and the Time When, Baptism is to Be Administered," Tertullian says According to the circumstances and disposition, and even age, of ...
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1answer
79 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? ...
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103 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 ...
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116 views

Is there is any external source about Demas, Paul's fellow worker?

Demas appears at Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24 as a fellow worker of Paul's ministry, and maybe as Luke's partner like Mark was Aristharcus partner. But in 2 Timothy 4:10 he appears having ...
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3answers
128 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 ...
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106 views

When was the number of the beast, 666, first identified as referring to Emperor Nero?

The belief that the number of the beast in Revelation, 666, refers to Nero is a common theory now. When was this identification first suggested?
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370 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
137 views

What does the Emerging church see itself as emerging from?

Despite the fact that the emergent/emerging Church is a fairly nebulous and relatively undefined concept, without a centralized organization or structure, they chose the term terms emergent/emerging ...
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70 views

Did Luther consider Erasmus an unbeliever, and if so, why?

The introduction to Luther and Erasmus: Free Will and Salvation mentions that Luther called Erasmus an unbeliever: [Luther's] letters and the gossip of his Table Talk are littered with scorn of ...
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1answer
144 views

Does the very meaning of the word Catholic indicate how the church came about?

Catholic adjective 1. broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests, or the like; having sympathies with all; broad-minded; liberal. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/catholic Does this ...
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3answers
4k views

Is Xmas a secular name for Christmas?

I heard that Xmas is a secular way of "taking Christ out of Christmas". When and why did this practice originate? Is there any truth to the claim that it has a secular or "un-Christian" origin?
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1answer
53 views

Where does Calmet write when idolatry began?

I saw someone mention that Calmet writes that idolatry was started by Ham or his son Canaan. Where can I find this passage in Calmet's writings?
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What, if any, were the Catholic orders that opposed the Catholic Inquisition?

During the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Dominicans and Franciscans were the main church inquisitors. I was wondering if there were other religious orders that, as a whole, opposed the Inquisition. ...
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67 views

Why do some Christians use a period instead of a colon in verse references?

In the same way some countries write $1,000, some write $1.000, what do we learn when someone uses this alternative way of writing out verse references? I have one lecturer that prefers this. i.e. ...
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2answers
193 views

Is the Catholic Church the oldest church? [duplicate]

I read one of your articles which stated that Catholicism was the first Christian religion. I was under the impression that the Chalcedonians and Armenians both predate Catholicism and the Orthodox ...
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140 views

Did common folk have the opportunity to read or hear psalms in common language starting in 1000 in Europe or in Africa? [closed]

Did common folk have the opportunity to read or hear psalms in the lingua franca (common language between church and common folk) starting in 1000 in Europe? I think in the case of Africa the answer ...
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2answers
44 views

When and by whom was the Exsultet written?

On Wikipedia I found the Latin text of the Exsultet, but it is not clear when exactly it was written, or by whom. What is its origin?
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2answers
111 views

Did Luther say he “might well have entrusted the whole affair of this [Eucharist] controversy to [Calvin] from the beginning”?

I've seen this quote in various internet discussions, and until recently, was only able to trace it back as far as the 1990s. However, the earliest English version of the story that I can find is from ...
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1answer
82 views

What was the earliest Papal condemnation of slavery?

Could someone tell me what the earliest Papal statement or encyclical was where the Church condemned the institution of slavery? A Magisterial document would also be accepted if there are earlier ...
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1answer
100 views

Lending with Interest in Christianity [duplicate]

I'm writing something about usury and want to mention Christianity point of view on it. There are several verses in Bible that prohibit usury. Also Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther have despised ...
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91 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 ...
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0answers
32 views

Are there any historical examples of Binitarianism? [duplicate]

This is a term I coined myself (and do not advocate) but within Christian history most if not all of the ways someone could be a Trinitarian heretic found historical expression. I'm wondering if there ...
8
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3answers
361 views

What is the origin of the belief that Satan tortures the unsaved in Hell?

There's a thought that Satan (the devil) tortures the unsaved in Hell. For example, a brief search revealed a website wherein a member posted the following: I think of Satan more of a psycopath ...
6
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2answers
211 views

Do the Roman catacombs confirm the early Church believed in the doctrine of the communion of saints?

Do the Roman catacombs confirm the early church believed in the doctrine of the communion of saints, which includes prayer for the dead, intercession of the saints, invocation of the saints, and the ...
4
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1answer
85 views

What is the origin of the story of the Apostle John surviving being dipped in boiling oil?

What is the earliest record of the Apostle John being placed in boiling oil and miraculously living? I can't find any scriptural mention of the story. The only reference I have is Tertullian: ...
10
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1answer
278 views

What were the major disagreements between Erasmus and Luther during the Protestant Reformation?

Although Erasmus inspired many of Luther's ideas, they disagreed on many subjects, such as whether the Catholic Church should have a moral reform or a reform of beliefs. Did Erasmus disagree with ...
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261 views

What is the origin of the idea that the baby Jesus did not cry?

"...the cattle are lowing. The baby awakes. But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes." ~ 2nd verse to Away In A Manger Did this idea originate from historical Christian doctrine? Where did ...
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2answers
128 views

What does 'ages of ages' mean, specifically?

I run into this phrase a lot in the Orthodox church, particularly as part of the longer phrase 'and unto ages of ages'. I understand that, generally, this means 'for a long time'. However, what does ...
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1answer
80 views

When was the acronym ACTS first used to refer to components of prayer?

When was the mnemonic acronym ACTS, standing for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication, first used to refer to the components of prayer?
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Was the doctrine of the rapture rediscovered by the Plymouth Brethern? [duplicate]

Multiple times I heard the assertion that the doctrine of the rapture was rediscovered by John Darby and/or the Plymouth Brethren, allegedly after it had been lost for approximately 1500 years. Yet, ...
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1answer
95 views

Who is the John Owen that translated Calvin's Commentary on Romans?

I'm reading John Calvin's commentary on Romans, in English, and it has this inscription on the title page: "Translated and Edited by the Rev. John Owen." Oh, wow, I thought, That's interesting; John ...