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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

8
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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.
15
votes
4answers
3k 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?
8
votes
2answers
84 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
387 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?
3
votes
1answer
274 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
305 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 ...
16
votes
0answers
272 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
753 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?
7
votes
2answers
347 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?
10
votes
3answers
209 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
21 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
79 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
1answer
412 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
103 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
373 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
178 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
315 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
271 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
147 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
322 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
83 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
201 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
68 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
votes
1answer
68 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
36 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
votes
4answers
21k 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
votes
1answer
834 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
242 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
539 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
620 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 ...
12
votes
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
votes
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
279 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
48 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
216 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
545 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
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
235 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?
12
votes
1answer
757 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
707 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
380 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 ...