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

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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 ...
6
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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 ...
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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 ...
6
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2answers
107 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 ...
6
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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 ...
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3answers
669 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 ...
6
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2answers
629 views

What, exactly, is the “early Church”?

We use the phrase "The Early Church" all the time around here, which leads me to ask... What exactly is "the early Church"? The New testament Church is easy to define – the fellowship of believers ...
7
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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?
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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 ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
7
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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 ...
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1answer
520 views

Did any other early church fathers besides Origen teach the pre-existence of souls?

Origen taught about the pre-existence of our souls, which, among many other of his teachings, was later condemned as heresy. Did any other early church fathers teach this doctrine?
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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
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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: ...
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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
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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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 Church ...
11
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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 ...
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1answer
340 views

Did the early church record other events of handing people over to Satan?

Did the early church record other events of handing people over to Satan? So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to ...
8
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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 ...
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5answers
3k 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?
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
11
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
7k views

Why did early Christians in Acts still go to the Jewish temple every day?

In the Acts of the Apostles we find that the early believers were every day visiting the temple and afterwards meeting in each others homes. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple ...
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5answers
3k views

Who were the 'synagogue of Satan'?

In the letter to the Church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3, John writes concerning the synagogue of Satan and those who claim to be Jews, but are not. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
6k 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 ...
13
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
18
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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 ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Which NT books were written after the destruction of the temple?

The temple was destroyed sometime around AD 70. Which New Testament books were written after that catastrophe? Do these books comment at all on the destruction of the temple?
5
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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 ...
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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 ...
5
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1answer
2k views

How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles (plus Paul) are available today?

How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles, plus Paul, are available today? There's no need to include Mark and Luke as their writings are included in the Bible.
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4answers
4k views

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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1answer
291 views

How did the early church respond to the accusation that Christianity forbid ‘all uses of images’ even if only ‘representing the Divine Being’?

Origen, in Contra Celsus, Book VII, responds to an attack from Celsus: that Christians are just like Jews in rejecting all forms of images without exception. In this rebuttal by Origen, we clearly ...
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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 ...
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3answers
887 views

Did the Apostles' Creed originate with the Apostles?

The Apostles' Creed is perhaps the oldest statement of faith in the Christian tradition. Is there any evidence that it was used by Jesus' first followers? If not, when did it originate?
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1answer
407 views

What was Martin Luther's perspective on the apostasy of the early Christian church?

Was Luther's belief that the church's foundation was faulty to begin with or that through time they fell into an apostate state and needed to be reformed back?
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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, ...