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

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342 views

Did any other philosophical systems have as much influence on the early Church as Platonism and Stoicism?

Many historians agree that the philosophical systems of Platonism and Stoicism had an important role in the efforts of the early Church to communicate the message of the Gospel to unbelievers, and ...
4
votes
1answer
91 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
87 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,...
6
votes
1answer
229 views

What languages were used during Mass from paleo-Christianty until the Council of Trent?

I know Latin was a vulgarization in attempting to make Mass more accessible to Christians. So which were the languages used in paleo-Christian Mass? Koine Greek, classical Greek, or something else? ...
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. ...
2
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1answer
109 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
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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 ...
11
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4answers
25k views

What are the key differences between the Western and Eastern Christianity?

I'm currently reading about Eastern Christianity as a part of my study. Those are the churches that have existed since early times, such as the Nestorians, the Jacobites, the Coptics, and others. But ...
10
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1answer
983 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 ...
11
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1answer
270 views

Did St. Thomas come to India?

Did St. Thomas the apostle come to India? Most of the Indian people believe that he came to south India, and spread the good news even before the Roman Catholic Church is formed. However, the church ...
9
votes
3answers
636 views

Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church?

Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church? If so, where's the evidence? The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the ...
2
votes
3answers
670 views

Do any Protestant groups teach that Paul founded the Church and not Peter?

I have always been told that Peter was the head of the entire Church at the time of Christ. However, James was apparently leader of the Church in Jerusalem, and Paul started a number of churches ...
13
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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 ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Why didn't Syriac Christianity keep Aramaic as their liturgical language?

Syriac Christianity (as well as with other oriental orthodoxy denominations) today use Arabic as their liturgical language. It is known that they have been using Arabic since the times of Muslim ...
0
votes
2answers
333 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
621 views

Do any Christian groups sell all their possessions as it seems the Early Church did?

In Luke 12:33 (NIV) Jesus says: Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Did Christ know who He was as a youth? [closed]

Did Jesus Christ know as a baby that He was the Son of God? When He worked carpentry with Joseph, His earthly father, did He know then Who or What He was? Did He sense in anyway prior to being a ...
12
votes
1answer
855 views

What is the basis for the claim that the entire New Testament can be reconstructed apart from original and copied manuscripts?

Bit of a mouthy title, but I remember reading a few years ago that the entire New Testament (perhaps with the exception of very few verses) and most of the Old Testament could be reconstructed from ...
-2
votes
1answer
747 views

Did the Catholic Church have evidence to discredit the Gospel of Judas?

Christians accept four legitimate Gospels from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. My Question: Did the Catholic Church have evidence to discredit the Gospel of Judas?
-4
votes
2answers
463 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
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2answers
632 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 ...
3
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3answers
379 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( ...
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votes
2answers
199 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
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3answers
968 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
601 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
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1answer
188 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 ...
10
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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 ...
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vote
3answers
710 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
247 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
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1answer
289 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, ...
19
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4answers
6k 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
4k 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
701 views

Does Jewish tradition predate Christian tradition in any meaningful way? [closed]

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
105 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
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5answers
853 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
89 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
6k 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
430 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
252 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
197 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
193 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
3k 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
758 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
564 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
4k 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
555 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
427 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
701 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.