Relating to first several centuries of the Christian church; usually considered to end in the 4th century

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
1answer
339 views

What is the earliest mention of how often the Eucharist was celebrated?

There is no explicit mention of how often the Eucharist was celebrated in the Bible. What are the earliest historical documents that make reference to how often the Eucharist was celebrated?
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Which specific canons of the Second Council of Constantinople do Lutherans and Calvinists reject?

The Wikipedia article on the Second Council of Constantinople (the fifth Ecumenical Council) claims that Lutherans and Calvinists accept only the first four Ecumenical Councils as being canonical. My ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Maintaining the number of Disciples [closed]

Acts 1:24-26; And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen, to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside ...
7
votes
3answers
121 views

Does Irenaeus indicate that people were raised from the dead in the 2nd century?

The following words of Irenaeus are recorded in Eusebius's Church History: For some of them drive out demons effectually and truly, so that those who have been cleansed from evil spirits ...
12
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Why did Augustine attempt to stop Christians from walking barefoot?

In The Confessions, Augustine relates the story of an ascetic named Alypius who "tamed his body" to such an extent that "he went barefoot on the icy soil of Italy" (IX.vi). Henry Chadwick notes: ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

What is the difference between the Ebionites and Nazarenes?

The Ebionites and Nazarenes were Jewish–Christian sects during the Second Temple era. We know that the Ebionites believed Yeshu was born of a natural generation between Joseph and Mary; while some ...
8
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
57 views

Did Pelagius believe in “faith alone”?

The doctrine of "faith alone," or sola fide, teaches that people are justified only by their faith in Christ, not by any works they do. It was emphasized during the Protestant Reformation, where it ...
8
votes
1answer
101 views

Earliest case of pointing to heaven as consolation and hope to loved ones

I know of a few early church writings that can be understood as saying we go to heaven when we die. But that is not what I'm asking. Rather, I'm looking for the first known case (post NT) where, in ...
4
votes
1answer
318 views

Was Arianism spread using musical jingles?

I found an interesting claim in Bruce Shelley's Church History in Plain Language, regarding Arius's methods of promoting his theology, Arianism: [Arius] put ideas into jingles, which set to simple ...
14
votes
1answer
967 views

Did Tertullian forbid Christians from being school teachers?

While reading Bruce Shelley's Church History in Plain Language, I came across the following quote, in the context of how early Christians separated themselves from the world around them for fear of ...
-1
votes
2answers
120 views

Historical evidence for a separate Jewish branch of Christianity?

I've met some non-Hebrew people who have come from a Protestant background, become fed up with their faith, changed churches, etc and now call themselves Messianic Jews. This comes with some claims of ...
6
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
483 views

What is the earliest use of the phrase “God the Son”?

Does the phrase "God the Son" appear in manuscripts or early translations (Textus Receptus, Vulgate, etc.) of the New Testament scriptures? If not, when did the phrase enter into the Christian ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

What is the earliest extrabiblical teaching of baptism using a trinitarian formula?

Oneness Pentecostals and others who hold to "Jesus-name" (or "Jesus-only") baptism maintain that the trinitarian formula used by Nicene Christians and others is based on a misunderstanding of Matthew ...
11
votes
1answer
91 views

Was Augustine opposed to the death penalty?

In Henry Chadwick's translation of the Confessions, I find him making a surprising claim: Like most of the Church Fathers, Augustine was against capital punishment. (page 21) The context is ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Has there ever existed a Catholic local church feast at Rome in honor of the Domine Quo Vadis?

The Church of St. Mary in Palmis at Rome, originally was called the Church of Domine Quo Vadis. The title of this church takes its' name from a pious tradition that St. Peter one day decided to leave ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Was defining the New Testament originally condemned as heresy?

This BBC documentary describes how during the first two centuries, scriptures about Jesus circulated without any author mentioned in them. It then goes on to suggest that actually writing down a New ...
9
votes
2answers
170 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
23 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Is there any Ethiopian ancient source about the eunuch who was evangelized by Philip?

We all know that passage from Acts 8, where Philip preached and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch. I've read in an article that Ethiopian Christian tradition talks about this Eunuch, who came from ...
3
votes
3answers
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
90 views

Why did Justin Martyr speak so harshly about Christians who ate meat sacrificed to idols?

In his Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter XXXV, Justin replies to Trypho's charge that Christians eat meat sacrificed to idols by saying that such people serve to show more distinctly who are the true ...
3
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
233 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
92 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 the ...
2
votes
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,...
8
votes
2answers
531 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
votes
1answer
390 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 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
votes
0answers
42 views

What was the Biblical Basis Tertullian used to support what he termed the “refrigerium interim”? [duplicate]

The early Christian theologian Tertullian used the term refrigerium interim to describe a happy state in which the souls of the blessed are refreshed while they await the Last Judgment and their ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

What is the purpose of asceticism?

Christians have been practicing asceticism for thousands of years. Why? I would prefer sources from before the Great Schism. If not are available I will accept Orthodox teaching from after that time. ...
10
votes
3answers
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, ...
5
votes
1answer
309 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Did the early church condemn the teaching that God the Father is a person with a body living in space somewhere?

I have spent my life under the impression that the belief that God the Father is a humanoid being possessing a body and living somewhere in the universe in a manner similar to ourselves is a named ...
13
votes
1answer
245 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
votes
2answers
338 views

Why did the mid-early church consider the Gospel of Matthew to be reliable?

The Gospel of Matthew is now considered to be important, however the 1st century and 2nd century references to it are surprisingly confusing and sparse. Which authors in the 1st and 2nd century ...
8
votes
2answers
240 views

What exactly is Peter's connection to Rome according to Catholic dogma?

This answer confused me. I tried wading through the sources, but then I decided I'd just ask here. According to Catholic dogma: Was Peter ever in Rome? I'm sure the answer is yes, but I'd like to ...
10
votes
2answers
397 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

Is there any explanation from the early church Fathers as to why there is no record of the Apostles being baptized?

I never really noticed this before but it does seem odd that everyone is to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet it does not appear that the Apostles were. At least there is ...
1
vote
4answers
324 views

How did the Christian movement distinguish itself from Judaism?

Can anyone explain to me how Christianity distanced itself from Judaism and set itself apart?
1
vote
2answers
160 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Are there any authors that who believe Eph. 4:11 is not describing titles but general characteristics of how God created the church to work together?

Ephesians 4:11ff reads: And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to ...
-4
votes
2answers
479 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
249 views

Are Catholic Bishops the successors of the Apostles alone or the Elders too?

In researching my answer for this question I started to think about the doctrine that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles as being a bit unfair to the other folks. For instance, if St. ...
1
vote
3answers
722 views

How does the Catholic Church explain their belief that Jesus chose Peter to build upon?

Jesus was God and knew well the character and faults of Peter his disciple. The gospels give us a look at his impetuosity, asking Jesus 'if it is you, tell me to walk on the water'; arrogance, ...
5
votes
1answer
298 views

According to the LDS church, when was the priesthood lost?

I suppose this has no definitive answer, but maybe I am wrong, so: From an LDS view, when was divine authority in the early church lost? From all I have read and heard so far about the early church, ...