Relating to first 200 years of the Christian church

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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, one thing Dr. Carrier said caught my attention. He claimed that "[Paul] is ...
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53 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. ...
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35 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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204 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 ...
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445 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 ...
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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, ...
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101 views

In what way did the ante-nicene church read Sapiental passages like Proverbs 8:22 Christologically?

The question is asked because it is known that the ante-nicene Christian writers ( from A.D. 100 to A.D. 300 prior to the Nice Counicl ) read Proverbs 8:22 Christologically, that is, in reference to ...
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82 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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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?
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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 ...
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198 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 ...
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39 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 ...
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181 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 ...
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Are there any writings from the church fathers teaching Original Sin before Augustine?

It has been said by some that Augustine was the first to teach Original Sin, "It was Augustine (354-430 A.D.) who first promoted the idea that; "the fallen nature of Adam was transmitted ...
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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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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 ...
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Did Christ know who He was as a youth?

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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why was the New Testament Written in Greek?

New Testament was written in Greek. But Jesus lived in Israel and was supposed to be the next King of Israel. I think it is probably fair to assume that he and his twelve apostles spoke Hebrew. Then ...
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634 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?
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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 ...
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514 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 ...
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356 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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647 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 ...
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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)?
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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 ...
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366 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 ...
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165 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 ...
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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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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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469 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, ...
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193 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. ...
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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, ...
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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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360 views

Any instructions given by the church fathers on how to receive the gift of tongues?

1 Corinthians 14:39 (NIV) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. In the early church, the gift of tongues was a common gift which ...
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249 views

What is the Catholic explanation for the Catholic Church's apparent vacillation on abortion?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that from the very first century, it has always been the perennial teaching of the Church that procured abortion is a very grave moral evil. CCC 2271 ...
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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 ...
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575 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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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685 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 ...