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

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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
542 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
48 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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1answer
324 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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88 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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131 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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1answer
128 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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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 ...
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174 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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403 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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141 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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96 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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154 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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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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59 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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68 views

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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1answer
72 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
305 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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161 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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94 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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135 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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112 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
117 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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157 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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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 ...
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523 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 ...
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231 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 ...
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99 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
412 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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347 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
375 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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175 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
116 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 ...
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1answer
89 views

What is the historical cause between the discrepancy of evangelical approaches to original sin and Jewish ones? [closed]

(Modern) Judaism is usually described as not subscribing to the original sin doctrine, where humanity is seen as inherently doomed per the actions of Adam and Eve. (It looks like it's a generalisation,...
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1answer
250 views

Did Roman Catholic Church law ever condone (the contemporary practice of) incest?

I may not be asking the right question, but I'm trying to figure out the context behind a quote from an Arthur Pink sermon: herein we may see the blasphemous impiety of the popes of Rome, who in ...
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3answers
300 views

Why did the medieval church become involved with marriage?

It seems, through my research, that the Christian Western marriage was created during the Middle Ages (cf. this question). So, does that mean that before the Middle Ages, the Western Christian church ...
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2answers
217 views

Are there any followers of Catharism today?

I'm interested by Catharism. Is there anywhere in Christendom where this faith has reappeared since being suppressed in the Middle Ages? I know that today some people in France, near Spain, are ...
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527 views

Has the Catholic Church ever opposed interracial marriage?

A fun refutation of gay marriage supporters who say on Facebook: Not too long ago cross-racial marriages were not allowed, supposedly by God. would be to say, well that's not my church so what ...
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363 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 ...
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3answers
339 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 ...
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1answer
202 views

How have commentators historically viewed the death of the fetus in Exodus 21?

The proper translation of Exodus 21:22 and the proper interpretation of Exodus have been battlegrounds in the contemporary abortion debate: When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so ...
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113 views

How did the Roman Punishment “cross” became a holy symbol to Christians? [duplicate]

The Romans used the cross as punishment to those who didn't follow Roman laws & principles. How then did the Roman punishment "cross" became a holy symbol to Christians?
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1answer
181 views

What impact did Karl Barth have on Roman Catholic theology?

I ran across a book on Amazon called Karl Barth, Catholic Renewal and Vatican II. It seems strange to me that Karl Barth, a neo-orthodox Protestant, would have an impact like what the book's blurb ...
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2answers
80 views

In the Latin Catholic Church, would clerics administer the last rites if the sick person's illness is contagious and deadly?

In the Latin Catholic Church, would clerics administer the last rites if the sick person's illness is contagious and deadly? Diseases can be deadly and can spread by water, air, and/or bodily fluids. ...
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126 views

Did John Calvin ever read Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica?

I've read in a few places online (here, for example), that John Calvin did not have access to Thomas Aquinas's great treatise, Summa Theologica. This is mind-blowing. Consider: The last edition of ...
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2answers
124 views

What information do we have on the real vision of Pope Leo XIII?

There are a lot of stories, like this one about the vision of Pope Leo XIII which prompted him to write the prayer to Archangel Michael. Stories of a conversation between Jesus and Satan, often being ...
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253 views

What explanations have scholars proposed for the rejection of the Didache from the Canon?

The Didache (full text) is an early Christian document giving advice on various "practical matters" such as how to baptize, when to fast, how to celebrate the Lord's Supper, etc. It's hard to date, ...
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177 views

When and why did Protestantism begin moving away from liturgy?

I have been to some Protestant churches that have a liturgy on Sunday mornings (Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc) but most of the churches I've attended do not (Baptist, Assembly of God, etc). By liturgy,...
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201 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 ...