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16

Technically, the first ecclesiastical authority to say that heretics should be persecuted was Pope Gregory IX in 1229. The first Church Father to say that heretics should be compelled to recant would be Augustine around 400 AD. The first heretic actually put to death (385AD) was killed by the Emperor - and the Pope was very annoyed at the development. It ...


16

Tertullian One early, clear indication of the doctrine of the personhood of the Holy Spirit appears in Tertullian's work, Against Praxeas, dated around AD 215,1 saying: [W]hile the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three Persons— the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: ...


13

There was no mandate that the gospels should appear in the order they were written once they were gathered into a collection. This is true of the rest of the New Testament as well. The order is the gospel accounts, the history of the early church, the letters of Paul to churches, to people, letters by other apostles, and prophecy. So, there ...


13

It seems virtually undisputed that Theophilus of Antioch (d. 183) is your man. He wrote in Greek: [God's creations on the first three days--light, sky, and vegetation--] are types of the Trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth [day, the creation of the moon and stars,] is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, ...


11

The general consensus, following Paul's teaching, seems to be that marriage is good but celibacy is better. Tertullian may have been the first to write about it: In short, there is no place at all where we read that nuptials are prohibited; of course on the ground that they are “a good thing.” What, however, is better than this “good,” we learn from ...


10

No, it is not true. Luther was widely read in many works of theology and church history and and if you take into consideration his commentary on various church Fathers and the merit or issues with their theology it is ridiculous to make such a claim. It is true that he was sometimes critical of their works, but he clearly used them in his own studies. ...


10

This has been debated, so no one knows for sure. The consensus of the scholars seems to be that this was a malicious rumor about him, possibly started by Demetrios, the Bishop of Alexandria, a prosecutor of Origen. John McGuckin's Westminster Handbook to Origen states that someone who interpreted the Gospels so allegorically would be unlikely to have ...


9

Calvin dedicates an entire Book of his Institutes (Book IV) to the Church, and Chapters 1-2 are about the "true church" in which he mentions the marks of a true church. From 4.1.9: Wherever we see the word of God sincerely preached and heard, wherever we see the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there we cannot have any ...


9

The group you're referring to is known as the Apostolic Fathers. The exact number is unknown, because some writings cannot be dated precisely. These writings we can say with some confidence are from the Apostolic Fathers: 1 Clement, a letter written by Clement of Rome, a disciple of Peter. He may also be the same Clement mentioned by Paul in Philippians ...


9

This is one of the popular misconception of trinity and incarnation. Jesus as Logos (The Word) is divine. He existed in that form for eternity in the Trinity. But the humanity of Christ did NOT exist before incarnation. Humanity of Christ consists of his human soul and body. Humans are made up of soul and body, so when Christ became human, ie., when he took ...


8

Luke 2 tells the story of Jesus as a boy in the Temple. His parents had taken Him to a feast there and had left Him behind on their return trip. When they returned to Jerusalem to find Him, Jesus asks His mother a question--"Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" Now, the Temple was not where Joseph lived, but was the House of God. So, ...


8

The claim is false... Strictly speaking, the claim is easily proven false by searching a scripture index of the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. While this particular index seems imperfect, it does show that many verses (particularly from the shorter letters) are not quoted or even referenced. We can also take advantage of the Philip Schaff ...


8

Origen was a great teacher, but he also had some non-Orthodox positions on Scripture and the faith in general. His teachings were specifically anathemitized by the Second Council of Constantinople in 1553, which inherently means you can't be a saint, since you are condemned, at least according to the Roman Catholic Church. That said, he was also an ardent ...


7

I'm not sure if this is precisely what you are looking for, but your question immediately reminded me of Augustine's City of God: Chapter 35.—Of the Sons of the Church Who are Hidden Among the Wicked, and of False Christians Within the Church. Let these and similar answers (if any fuller and fitter answers can be found) be given to their enemies by ...


7

As has been mentioned in answers to other questions, the prayer Sub tuum praesidium appeared around 250. It was originally written in Greek. Ὑπὸ τὴν σὴν εὐσπλαγχνίαν, καταφεύγομεν, Θεοτόκε. Τὰς ἡμῶν ἱκεσίας, μὴ παρίδῃς ἐν περιστάσει, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ κινδύνων λύτρωσαι ἡμᾶς, μόνη Ἁγνή, μόνη εὐλογημένη. Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O ...


7

Isaiah 66:7 foretells the painless virgin birth: "she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy"; So painless birth is scriptural and that is how the Catholic Church interprets it. And All the Church Fathers before AD 600 believed that Mary’s delivery was painlesssrc. But what about the pain of the women in Revelation? It can be ...


7

It appears that Augustine believed that purgatory was real, but didn't believe the matter was settled. His agnosticism seems clearest in this passage: It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful, whether some believers shall pass through a kind of purgatorial fire, and in proportion as they have loved with more or ...


6

Historically, there have been four sources of theology: Scripture Tradition Reason Experience. This formulation goes back quite a ways. Scripture is always first, Tradition is always second, and reason and experience are a distant third and fourth. The fun comes in when one realizes that it is not possible to read Scripture without a tradition. As a ...


6

Many historians argue that Eusebius, who lived only a few decades after Origen, would have access to accurate information and no incentive to lie. Others argue that much of what Eusebius says cannot be considered historically reliable, pointing out that Origen's self-castration would conflict with Origen's theology: he interpreted Mat 18:8-9 as a command to ...


6

I've seen a few candidates put forward. Valentinus the Gnostic (100 - 160) Writing about two hundred years later against the Arian heresy, Marcellus of Ancyra (himself possibly a Sabellian) wrote: These then teach three hypostases, just as Valentinus the heresiarch first invented in the book entitled by him On the Three Natures. For he was the first to ...


6

Writings Very early. At least as early as Justin Martyr, in The First Apology (~AD 150): For they proclaim our madness to consist in this, that we give to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all; for they do not discern the mystery that is herein, to which, as we make it plain to you, we pray you to give ...


5

Why a canon? Why not a potato gun? Even before John died in Patmos there started to be other books which claimed to come from the Apostles or otherwise claimed to have been inspired by God. While in some cases this was not a terrible thing (some of them are quite dull, actually) others of these were wild departures from the teachings of Christ and were ...


5

Having read both of these authors, I can confidently say that Bell and Tullian are significantly different in their approaches to scripture, and in their interpretations thereof. I align myself strongly with Tullian's approach, but disagree strongly with Bell's belief. Historically speaking, Bell's theology aligns well with historical Universalism, or ...


5

The Ante-Nicene Fathers (ANF) volumes are all freely available online, along with many other Patristics. I got over 300 hits with a search for "golden calf." and found several notable quotes. Keep in mind that the Fathers often allegorized/spiritualized scripture while discussing living for/in Christ. You can also study the passage and select works that ...


5

As believers in the priesthood of all believers, it is not that Baptists (and many other Protestants) reject confession per se- it's that we reject the idea that said confession must be mediated through the local priest. Ideally, we should be confessing our sins in a "small group" type setting if we are being faithful to what Luther, Calvin, et. Al ...


5

The revelation was most likely simply a directive from God to go up to Jerusalem to talk with the apostles. This is the most natural way to read the verse, and there would be nothing surprising about this conclusion on the basis of the rest of Paul's life, since he was an apostle. An apostle had to be someone who had seen Christ directly with his eyes. This ...


5

In the Catholic Church, there are indeed a very few cases in which priests are required to delay, not withhold, the Sacrament of Baptism; illegitimacy is not one of them. Catholicism considers baptism necessary for salvation: The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. [citing John 3:5] He also commands his disciples to proclaim ...


5

The difficulty in answering this question is that the liturgy of the early Church was largely oral in nature, and so we contain virtually no records from the early Church itself regarding what it exactly did in its own liturgy. Contrary to the author who posted the quote you use, if we have evidence of the Lord's Prayer in use even several centuries later ...


4

Hebrews 13:2 reminds us to show love and hospitality towards all, "for in doing so, some have entertained angels," unaware. When Samsons parents were told they were going to have a child, they too were unaware that they were in the presence of an angel, until after they sacrificed, the angel went away dramatically revealing what he was. There is nothing to ...


4

I think the most direct Bible verse on this subject is: 1 Tim 2:5 "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" Christians do not need any mediator besides Jesus. Specifically, we do not need a priest to stand between us and Jesus. Jesus is the mediator. We don't need a mediator to speak to the mediator. 1 ...



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