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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

-4
votes
2answers
377 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
584 views

When was the Bible formally declared to be inerrant and/or infallible?

Fundamentally*, an inerrant Bible is one without errors and an infallible Bible is one that cannot have errors, as David Stratton pointed out in his answer. As for the Roman Catholic Church, all of ...
2
votes
3answers
370 views

Are the gospels comparable(equal) to contemporary works of historians?

Are the gospels (and especially claims on the identity of Jesus in the Gospels) comparable(equal) to contemporary works of contemporary historians like Tacitus and Josephus, in terms of objectivity( ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Who were the intended audience in the Epistle to Romans?

Romans 1:7 (ESV) To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Who were the members of the ...
-1
votes
2answers
177 views

Can an early date for the certain Pauline epistles and a late date for Luke-Acts be reconciled?

Is there a respectable scholarly position that would ratify/explain an orthodox date for the Pauline Epistles (50-60 CE) and a late date for Luke-Acts (100-125 CE)?
10
votes
3answers
722 views

Is a claim of 50,000,000 Baptist martyrs accurate?

In the book The Trail of Blood by James M Carroll, the author makes the claim that 50,000,000 early Baptists were martyred under persecution by the Catholic Church. The author makes the claim ...
3
votes
1answer
489 views

Why were the General Epistles written? [closed]

The six New Testament epistles known as James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1 and 2 John; and Jude are not directed to any one person or specific branch of the Church. The first verse in each epistle indicates who ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

Did Jesus put an end to all religious ways at the cross [closed]

Hebrews 8-10 made me think different and that the True church is one not made by human hands so that means everything else is counterfeit to the real thing. The true followers worship in Spirit and ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Other than Augustine, which Church Fathers have directly influenced John Calvin's teaching of “double-predestination?”

"By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are ...
1
vote
3answers
572 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
235 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
192 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, ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

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 ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

Into whose name should Christians be baptised? [closed]

Jesus said, "...go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." However, the early church apparently baptised in the name of ...
6
votes
3answers
645 views

Does Jewish tradition predate Christian tradition in any meaningful way?

Many people assume that because Judaism is the super ancient religion and Christianity relatively modern, although ancient by any standards, that if someone wants to dig up some meaningful bit of ...
3
votes
3answers
99 views

What is the biblical basis for why the sending of the Holy Spirit was necessary?

Why couldn't the disciples begin following the great commission right after Jesus ascended into heaven? Why was the sending of the Holy Spirit necessary?
3
votes
5answers
787 views

Church Giving to the Poor

The Bible and Jesus clearly speak of giving money to the church and in turn fellow Christians should give up all they have and look out for one another. So my question is why does this not happen now ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

How was the word preached in NT era churches?

In many churches today, the word is preached as follows: a pastor / priest talks for the entirety of the meeting (generally 1 hour) a large group of Christians listen. In the Watchmen Nee inspired ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What were the early Christians officially persecuted for?

I wonder what the early Christians were officially persecuted for by the high priests? In the book of Acts we see that Saul, before his conversion, received some letters from the high priest that ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Where did Catholics and Catholicism come from? [duplicate]

Catholicism seems to have begun so quickly after the dispersion of the Apostles that I'm wondering where even it even came from. I'm especially curious to know when Christians began calling ...
0
votes
3answers
365 views

Was Paul the ideal Christian we were meant to emulate? [closed]

Did God intend for Paul to show us the kind of Christian life we were all meant to live? I don't mean every nitty-gritty detail. Obviously things would be different if you were born a woman or mute ...
4
votes
1answer
233 views

Were the early Christians an apocalyptic sect?

I saw a documentary with David Suchet about Paul the apostle. Suchet stated that Paul was convinced the world was about to end. Is this an accurate representation of the early church?
7
votes
4answers
189 views

Why does only one person “teach” during a church meeting?

Consider these scriptures: "And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

How did early “street evangelization” differ from the modern practice?

Biblical "street preachers" gathered interested and/or interactive crowds, often followed by mass conversions. We could conceivably chalk some of this up to the "signs and wonders" they tended to ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the earliest written surviving liturgy?

The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, for example, has been traced to the fourth century, and is purported to be based upon even earlier forms. The Liturgy of St James is even more ancient, and is ...
7
votes
1answer
713 views

What is the earliest Christian use of a worship leader?

Music directors existed in Old Testament times (see these 56 references). But was there such a thing as what we now call a worship leader in Christian (New Testament and early church) times? Or is it ...
0
votes
1answer
507 views

When did we stop practicing Exodus 35:2

Exodus 35:2 NIV For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death. I do not ...
6
votes
2answers
868 views

What do the Nicene, Apostles, Chalcedonian, Creeds add to the concept of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost that is not found directly in the Bible?

There were opposing views especially on the nature of God and His relationship to Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. That was in part the reason for the councils. To try to unify the church and come to ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Did the first Christian believers keep the Sabbath and if so on which day?

According to Colossians, there appears to be some disagreement amongst the first century church on whether to keep the Sabbath: Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what ...
3
votes
2answers
490 views

Why did the early Christian church stop building and worshiping in temples?

The use of temples was central during the Old and New Testaments. Christ himself even cleansed the temple by throwing out the money changers who were defiling his Fathers house. John 2:16 Why did that ...
5
votes
2answers
410 views

How do Orthodox Bishops and theologians view the Church Fathers' definition of the word “catholic?”

While perusing the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) website I came across this question. I fully understand what the word catholic by itself means. Orthodox Christians (like many liturgical ...
9
votes
3answers
624 views

What support is there in the Patristic writings for Marian Devotion?

Specifically, I want to know if there is evidence in the early Church of Christians venerating Mary. Evidence from the time following Mary's earthly life is preferred, though not required.
12
votes
4answers
2k views

For how long did the early Christians share all their possessions?

According to Acts 4:32-37, the early Christians pooled all their possessions and had no private ownership. Is there any record of how long this lasted, and why it ended?
5
votes
2answers
243 views

When the humans' freedom of choice was firstly stated in Christianity?

When and where was it firstly stated in the history of Christianity that a human being has a personal freedom of choice and that God respects it?
2
votes
5answers
10k views

Do angels still visit us on earth [closed]

I know that throughout the Bible Angels met with humans for very specific reasons. An obvious example can be found in Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel speaks to Mary and informs her she will give birth to a son ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

Does “faith” enable “love”?

Romans 4:16 says: Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace… In this verse it appears that “faith” enables “grace”. The case could be made that the initial breach with God was one of ...
9
votes
3answers
423 views

Are there any denominations that teach that the Holy Spirit is matriarchal?

Count Zinzendorf came to the aid of the Moravian Brethren. He held that the Holy Spirit was matriarchal. Are there any teachings of this perspective in early church history?
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Did Justin Martyr have a personal interaction with Jesus Christ?

Justin narrates the manner of his conversion to Trypho the Jew. In Chapter III of his Dialogue with Trypho, he writes, "And while I was thus disposed, when I wished at one period to be filled with ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

When and how did men and women start sitting together in church?

As I understand it, the early church began in homes but then at some point (it's another question) started meeting together in larger meetings. My question is: did men and women sit together from the ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Who was Tychicus?

In studying through the book of Colossians, I noted that the letter was carried from Paul to the church by some dude named Tychicus. Colossians 4:7 (ESV) 7  Tychicus will tell you all ...
6
votes
2answers
724 views

Why did priests begin to sacrifice?

I attended a class on the Sacraments last night and the presenter was talking about how Bishops, priests and deacons were specifically mentioned in the NT. It made me wonder, how did Christians get ...
10
votes
2answers
466 views

Did the church fathers or OT talk about the visible and invisible church?

In the Reformation, the doctrine of the distinction between the visible and invisible church was important in the Reformers' claim not to have started a rogue church. I am wondering... Given that it ...
8
votes
1answer
767 views

What do 1st century extra-biblical sources say about hell?

Do we have any information about what 1st century Christians and Jews believed about hell? I know what the Bible says on the subject, and am curious about the extra-biblical context.
4
votes
1answer
437 views

What is Timothy's role in the early church?

It's pretty obvious to me that Paul was mentoring Timothy in the new testament, but what was Timothy's role within the church? Was he an assistant to Paul, Paul's representative, or was he actually a ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

What is a Council?

In this other question a Council was mentioned - Are Orthodox Christians all the same faith? What is a council? Was it something in the early church? What was its purpose and function?