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

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How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
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2answers
3k views

From where does the doctrine that there is no time in heaven originate?

I'm quite familiar with the fact that God himself is outside of time, this is very easy to show through scripture. However it seems to be an increasingly popular conception that there is no time in ...
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1answer
447 views

What of Augustine's ecclesiology was rejected in the Reformation?

BB Warfield is famous for saying that the Reformation was a triumph of Augustine's soteriology over his ecclesiology. For those who believe that Augustine's ecclesiology was rejected in the ...
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8answers
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Was Catholicism the first denomination?

In doing research on Martin Luther, I stumbled upon this article. Which had the following quote: If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, ...
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6answers
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Was tithing 10% required or encouraged by the early church?

I cannot find in the New Testament an obligation on Christians to tithe 10% of their income. Instead I read that it is up the individual to decide: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) Each man should ...
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2answers
715 views

How old is old earth creationism?

The answers to What is the biblical evidence for an old Earth? say that biblical arguments for old Earth creationism are based on the ambiguous words used for describing lengths of time in Genesis. ...
15
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1answer
238 views

How did St John of Damascus view Islam?

John of Damascus was one of the first Christian authors to write about the rise of Islam shortly after the time of Muhammad. I am fascinated by this man but I can't seem to find enough info about this ...
15
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1answer
176 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
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How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power and authority?

How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power/authority, during and after the Crusades? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns, called ...
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Is it true that early Christians were baptised naked?

I was told that people were baptised naked in the early Christian church. Is this true? If so, could you provide references please?
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2answers
419 views

Was the Nicene Creed accepted under duress?

In the book Are you Really that Stupid? Observations of a Skeptical Believer, author Joshua Christian makes the claim that the Nicene Creed was accepted under less than ideal (from a theological ...
14
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4answers
386 views

Did Augustine teach sola fide?

It is popularly taught that the reformers declared five distinctive elements of theology that differentiated them from Rome: salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the ...
14
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2answers
717 views

What is the Biblical and historical basis for Christian pacifism?

My understanding is that early Christians were generally pacifists. Today (at least in the U.S.) Christian pacifists are a bit hard to come by. Many quote Romans 13:1-3 to support Christian ...
14
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4answers
3k views

What color was Augustine's skin?

Ok, let me start by saying I don't think more or less of a person because of the color of their skin. I consider racism to be both misguided and a sin. But, when I visualize a person, I like to think ...
14
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3answers
142 views

Dating the sacerdotal hierarchy

What is the earliest generally accepted date for the sacerdotal hierarchy of the Christian Church? My own best guess is that it cannot be much later than the destruction of the Temple, though I ...
13
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4answers
2k views

What did Jonathan Edwards have to say about the fact that he owned slaves?

I recently learned from a John Piper podcast that Jonathan Edwards owned slaves. Edwards lived in the early and mid 18th century, long before the American Civil War, and passed away decades before ...
13
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5answers
2k views

According to evangelicals, before the Reformation, who were Christians if “Catholics are not Christians”?

Every now and then I hear non-Catholic Christians, usually evangelicals, say things along the lines of "Catholics are not Christians" or "the Catholic Church does not teach the true gospel". Unless I ...
13
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4answers
609 views

When is the first documented case of Christians praying to the dead saints?

When is the first documented case of Christians praying to the dead saints? (A point in comments was brought up that "asking the dead saints" does not mean "praying to the dead saints" as "prayer is ...
13
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1answer
301 views

What doctrinal changes did the Westminster Confession bring to the Church of Scotland?

After the reforms of the 16th century, the Scots Confession served as the primary confession for the Church of Scotland for just over 80 years. In 1648 it was replaced by the The Humble Advice of the ...
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2answers
18k views

What happened to the the practice of women covering their heads?

Why don't more Christian women wear a covering? Most people today might associate the idea with the Old Testament, but references to the custom are actually found in the New Testament too: 1 ...
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7answers
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What is the evidence that suggests that the Apostle Paul was married?

I have heard people say over the years that it is likely that the Apostle Paul had been married at some point, perhaps prior to his conversion. However, there doesn't seem to be any biblical evidence ...
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5answers
2k views

Why did Christianity survive at all?

I was reading about ... hold on, what was I reading about? Nevermind, I was URL surfing. Jumping around from one link to another I somehow got to this - He [Nero] was known for having captured ...
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3answers
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Is Partialism a real heresy?

This YouTube video identifies Partialism as a heresy. It states that Partialism is the heresy wherein The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each described as 1/3 of God. To me, it's a vaguely familiar ...
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2answers
405 views

What evidence is there that Peter was a bishop in Rome?

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica says The claims that the church of Rome was founded by Peter or that he served as its first bishop are in dispute and rest on evidence that is not earlier than the ...
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1answer
925 views

Does the Nicene Creed condemn Chiliasm?

I've repeatedly seen it asserted that Chiliasm was condemned as a heresy in the fourth century by the Church when it included the phrase "whose Kingdom shall have no end" in the Nicene Creed. However, ...
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1answer
2k views

Why would cold running water be preferred for baptism?

The Didache, or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (an early Christian text not part of the New Testament) says of baptism (chapter 7): On the subject of baptism, baptise thus: after having taught ...
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1answer
417 views

What happened to the wives of priests when celibacy was first instituted in the Catholic church?

Since priests were not originally expected to be celibate, many must have been married when celibacy was first introduced. So what happened to the wives during this time when the institution started? ...
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2answers
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Were the medieval popes examined on a toilet-lid-like chair to establish their masculinity?

Is one of the consequences of the Pope Joan story, whether it was true or false, the use of a marble chair with a large, toilet-like hole in its seat? As the picture above shows, it seems that that ...
11
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1answer
242 views

How could a seventh century heretic have possessed papal infallibility?

More specifically: How does the Roman Catholic Church reconcile the doctrine of Papal Infallibility with the Sixth Ecumenical Council's pronouncement regarding Pope Honorius? The Sixth Ecumenical ...
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2answers
209 views

What was Anselm's biblical basis for his theory of atonement by satisfaction?

Upon which Bible verses did Anselm base his satisfactory theory of atonement?
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3answers
3k views

Apostle John lived in Ephesus - what sources claim that?

Which earliest sources does Christianity posses that claim that apostle John spent the last years of his life in Ephesus?
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1answer
140 views

Who is the author referred to in the Pope's 4 April 2014 homily?

I'll keep my question short. Does anyone know to whom Pope Francis was referring in today's homily, when he discussed an author whose books were initially banned by the Church, but now this person is ...
10
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2answers
394 views

What is the case in favour of adelphopoiesis as a relationship akin to marriage?

I've seen a few things lampooning John Boswell's interpretation of adelphopoiesis as a quasi civil union between men. However, I've not seen much on his side other than it being used by Christian gay ...
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271 views

When, how and why did Mary start to be called “Queen of heaven”?

I have four closely related questions on this topic (if overall this is considered too broad, I'm happy to receive advice as to which questions—if any—would be better off in a separate post): What ...
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2answers
561 views

Did this phrase “love the sinner but hate the sin” in this form originate in Christianity and who is credited to have first used it?

This article "Are we to love the sinner but hate the sin?" | gotquestions.org says: Many Christians use the cliché “Love the sinner; hate the sin.” This C.SE question Is “hate the sin, love the ...
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2answers
243 views

What's the basic premise behind “restorationist” movements?

To the untrained ear, the labels used in Christian circles for some groups of churches as either "reformational" or "restorationist" don't seem that different. If the label "reformed" is a direct ...
9
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1answer
948 views

Is there scholarly concensus on the historicity of Foxe's Book of Martyrs?

Foxe's Book of Martyrs purports to recount the lives and deaths of many who are regarded as the heroes of the Christian faith, and is revered as a classic within the genre of Christian literature. The ...
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3answers
799 views

Why is Mary Magdalene the patron saint of hairdressers?

Why is Mary Magdalene the patron saint of hairdressers and when was the first time she was assigned this role? From Wikipedia: Patronage Apothecaries; Kawit, Cavite; Atrani, Italy; ...
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1answer
638 views

Was regular weekly fasting a widespread, formal tradition in the early Church?

In The Story of Christianity,* author Justo Gonzalez offers the following: There were indeed times set aside for sorrow for one's sins, in particular during the two weekly days of fasting, which ...
9
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1answer
252 views

Templar and Soldiers of Christ?

I have been hearing a lot about Templars in movies such as Ironclad and games like Assassin's Creed. I did a quick look up on Google about "Templars" and still haven't got any clue on what is it ...
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1answer
193 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 ...
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5answers
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Why was Thomas More canonized?

Thomas More was canonized in 1935 by the Catholic Church. During his chancellorship between 1525-1529 in the campaign against the reformation people were killed and tortured in his name, for example, ...
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2answers
2k views

Did Origen castrate himself under a literal interpretation of Matthew 19:12?

I was just reading some history on extreme forms of asceticism and monasticism. In passing the subject of Origen it said he had castrated himself. Is this generally considered true by church ...
8
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1answer
169 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 ...
8
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4answers
815 views

What is “ Origenism”

I ran across this quote in the Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope St. Anastasius I A pontiff who is remembered chiefly for his condemnation of Origenism. A Roman by birth, he became pope in 399, ...
8
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1answer
814 views

To whom does Pope Francis confess?

So, Popes sin too. (At least, I assume they do.) Presumably, they confess their sin and do penance. Who hears his confession? Is it an office that rotates, or one individual? And, does the Pope ...
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2answers
3k views

Where did the artistic rendering of Jesus originate?

There seems to be a pretty recognizable and consistent artistic image of Jesus Christ, despite the lack of evidence of what he looked like. Where did this initial image originate?
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What is the origin of the tradition that Thaddeus founded the Armenian Church?

According to tradition, Thaddeus (aka Jude) and Bartholomew were the first disciples to bring the Gospel to Armenia. As such, they are commemorated as the patron saints of that church. What is the ...
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1answer
154 views

On what basis did Mary Queen of Scots first reject the Scots Confession?

The history of the Scots Confession seems to have some amusing interludes. Having been drafted in just 4 days by 5 guys all named John, it went on to serve as the primary confession of the Church of ...
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1answer
426 views

When did Martin Luther begin to see the church as entirely apostate?

Related to Martin Luther: "Therefore it is not a Christian Church either"? and What was Martin Luthers perspective on the apostasy of the early Christian Church? and Is it true that Luther ...