Relating to first 200 years of the Christian church

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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 ...
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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 ...
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870 views

Into whose name should Christians be baptised?

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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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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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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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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590 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 ...
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656 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 ...
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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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759 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 ...
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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?
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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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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? I would like to investigate this for myself. Regards, Walid
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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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265 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 ...
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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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3answers
270 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.
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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.
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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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271 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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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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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482 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 ...
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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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390 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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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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226 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 ...
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262 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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1answer
62 views

What are the differences between Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Nestorianism?

In another question, @Daи excellently explained the differences between Western and Eastern Christianity. But what are the differences between the Eastern Christianity itself, particularly between ...
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How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles (including Paul) are available today?

How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles (including Paul) are available today? I guess, no need to include Mark and Luke as their writings are included in the Bible.
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126 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?
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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?
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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 ...
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Which were the languages used during Mass from paleochristianty until Trent council?

I know latin has been a vulgarization in attempting to make Mass more accessible to christians. So which were the languages used in paleochristian Mass? Koine Greek, pure Greek or what else? And which ...
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404 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 ...
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1answer
262 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 ...
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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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Are there any major Protestant denominations that meet every day and are together all the time like the early church was?

To my knowledge, most Protestant denominations (Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Non-denom, etc...) structure their church to meet once a week, with maybe a bible-study once a week as well. Though I ...
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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 ...
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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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2answers
263 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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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
104 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 ...
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3answers
305 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, but James was apparently leader of the Church in Jerusalem, and Paul started a number of churches outside ...
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2answers
154 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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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What was Martin Luthers perspective on the apostasy of the early Christian Church?

Was his belief that their foundation was faulty to begin with or that through time they fell into an apostate state and needed to be reformed back?