Questions tagged [church-fathers]

Theologians and church leaders of the post-apostolic period up to the 7th century.

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Did a Church Father ever write an epistle encouraging Christians to observe the Jewish Sabbath, and if so, what was the earliest instance?

Did a Church Father ever write an epistle in which he explicitly encouraged Christians to embrace the observance of the Jewish Sabbath? I've looked at the matter, but only managed to find examples of ...
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Did the Church Fathers ever reference the six jars of wine at the Wedding in Cana as symbolising the six followers of Jesus at the wedding?

John 1 describes in some detail Jesus calling his first five disciples - Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathanael and presumably John. John 2 1-2 says that Jesus' mother was at the wedding and Jesus was there ...
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Early Christian responses to suicide (source/text identification)?

I'm looking for a text I read some time ago where an Early Church writer (one of the Patristic Fathers?) responds to an argument regarding suicide put forth by some opponents. IIRC, it goes something ...
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Theologians who thought Christ incarnated primarily to reveal the doctrine of the Trinity?

Are there any theologians (Doctors or Fathers of the Church) who thought that, regardless whether Adam had sinned, Christ still would have incarnated, primarily to reveal the doctrine of the Trinity?
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What is the biblical basis for thinking God established the principle of birthright and inheritance

What is the biblical basis for thinking God established the principle of birthright and inheritance and that He has sovereign control over who He elects Was God himself the author of this teaching or ...
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Why aren't the Apostles called the Church Fathers?

If the traditional “Church Fathers' are from about 160-380 AD, why are they called the Church Fathers? The Church was started by Jesus and ministered by the apostles from the very beginning - teaching,...
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55 views

Are there any other early non-canonical nativity accounts besides the Gospel of James?

In the spirit of the season, I wanted to peruse some nativity accounts in ante-Nicene or near-post-Nicene literature. I've read the Gospel of James of course, but I don't really know of any other non-...
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113 views

What are the early Church Fathers' views on the veneration/honoring of Saints

I recently watched a video from the youtube channel Ascension Presents and Fr. Mike Schmitz on whether or not Catholics worship the saints. He quoted St. Augustine who said that we give the saints ...
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Where is the reference to John's student writing that John wrote his gospel because the synoptic gospels needed more detail?

Two early church fathers (Ignatius and Polycarp) were students of John the apostle. Someone wrote that one of them wrote that John was unhappy with missing details of the previous gospels, motivating ...
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Did any Church Fathers write anything about mental illnesses?

Did any of the Church Fathers write about what today with modern medicine we know to be mental illnesses?
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What were the views of the Church Fathers on Jews and Judaism during the Patristic Era?

I am currently learning about the holocaust in History class right now. It was mentioned that during the Middle Ages, some Christians were anti-semitic. I wondered how the Early Church (Pre-Schism) ...
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How do Orthodox Christians explain that the Father and the Son are not two different Gods?

How do Orthodox Christians explain that the Father and the Son are not two different Gods? Orthodox Christians had a different version of the Trinity in that for them the one God is the Father as ...
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What did the early church fathers have to say about “eternal security” or “assurance of salvation”

I am trying to find out what the early church fathers had to say about “eternal security” or “assurance of salvation”. By that, I refer to the following Bible verses: To Him who is able to keep you ...
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The statements of the early Church Fathers regarding the doctrine of the Trinity (pre-Nicea)

In an article answering Georg Kaplan's 1 denials of the Trinitarian doctrine, Ken Temple states : Even if the early Church had never applied the title θεός to Jesus, his deity would still be apparent ...
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How did the early church fathers refute Adoptionism?

Adoptionism is a Christological heresy which denies the pre-existence of Jesus, and therefore denies Jesus's title as "God the Son" in the Trinitarian conception of the Christian God. See the ...
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122 views

What was the dominant theory of atonement shown in the Apostolic Fathers's writings?

Most articles I read about the theory of atonement in the early church say that Ransom Theory was the prevailing one, although some disagree. This thinking was promoted by a landmark book on the ...
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Looking for references from the early Church Fathers on Galatians 3:13

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: [Galatians 3:13, KJV] ...As it relates to a Luther(esque) ...
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Do any Church Fathers speak about the similarity between εσωσεν and Ιησους?

The Greek verb for "he saves" is εσωσεν (esosen), and the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name of Jesus (Yeshua, meaning Saviour, but coming from the Hebrew yoshia, meaning "He saves") is Ιησους (...
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241 views

St. Augustine and woman sexuality? [closed]

Did Saint Augustine of Hippo say that "inter urinas et faeces nascimur" (we are born between urine and feces). As I understand this fragment implied the inferiority of female sexuality as something ...
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101 views

What did Clement mean when he said: “Fasting is better than prayer, and charity than both”?

In his second letter to the Corinthians (16:3), the anonymous church father, believed to be Clement of Rome, wrote: "Fasting is better than prayer, and charity than both". What did he mean by that?...
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Did Early Church Fathers have a Talmud of their own?

The Talmud(s) are compiled of about 2,711 pages. The Mishna, Midrash, and Gemara are many examples of Jewish literature that encompasses every-day life, from halacha (Jewish law) to marriage and ...
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138 views

Why did Eusebius quote this passage?

So this is a quick question. We all know Eusebius quoted Testimonium Flavianum in his Church History. About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he ...
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Books on Patristics

What book(s) do you recommend on church history with emphasis on the church fathers? Would prefer something which is not biassed toward a given denomination or church, but an objective overview of the ...
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Do the church fathers ever include quotes of Jesus that aren't from the Bible?

Jesus Seminar believes that Parable of the Empty Jar in Gospel of Thomas is authentic saying of Jesus: The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While ...
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If Jesus was weak, how could he be a carpenter?

From the Gospels, we know that Jesus was a carpenter. Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?' And they ...
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Is disagreement over Jesus' physical look a problem? [closed]

I was talking with one Mythicist, and he claims that Church fathers dissagree about Jesus's appearence so much that He was just their invention. On Celsus's claim that Jesus was ugly and small, ...
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Did Athanasius and the Nicene Fathers draw the conclusion that Arius worshipped the Entity called ‘the Devil’?

Did Athanasius and the Nicene Fathers, in their condemnation of Arius, draw the conclusion that the personage which Arius is actually describing (and whom he, presumably, worshipped) is really the one ...
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Biblical basis for claiming Eve was a virgin prior to the Fall

In Against Heresies (book 3, chapter 22) Irenaeus attempts to draw a comparison between Eve and Mary similar to the comparison Paul draws between Adam and Christ. He says that Mary obeyed in a state ...
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What was the reason and the contents of the title pages “Old Testament” and “New Testament” in the earliest codex (extant or not)?

By dividing the collection of books in the Bible into "Old Testament" and "New Testament", the compiler of the books of the Bible made a strong theological statement that something "old" has passed ...
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Did Mary pray to give birth to the Messiah although a virgin according to any Church Father? [duplicate]

I have judged this to be a not-so-impossible theory after some time doing a little investigation into the original intention of, and original Hebrew (or at least non-Greek words) underlying, the angel'...
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Where did St. Jerome say this quote about the manger of the nativity?

I have seen on multiple websites, mostly websites about seeing the Holy Land or otherwise pilgrimage-focused sites, that St. Jerome said: If I could only see that manger in which the Lord lay! Now, ...
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What have old Christian writers opined about a couple living with in-laws during marriage?

I understand a question has been asked and was closed on this topic previously, but I wanted to more specifically ask about Christian writings on it, preferably early ones. Often people today use ...
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132 views

Was there any case of a homosexual priest in the early Church and how did the Church handle that?

Was there any case of a homosexual priest in the early Church and how did the Church handle that (if it occurred)?
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Augustine's importance to eschatology

I have heard recently that both Reformed and Roman Catholic eschatologies are at least somewhat derived from Augustine's views. Is this accurate?
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Do any Church Fathers comment on the merciful Nature of Stoning (Catholicism)?

The Mosaic Law's penal system (among others) includes the severe punishment of death by stoning. To be a little gruesome here: it takes a while to be killed in this way, and so there would ...
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Do any church fathers interpret Luke 18:17 as teaching the necessity of infant baptism?

Luke 18:15-17 (DRB) And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them. Which when the disciples saw, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to ...
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How and when was the belief that a baptism late in life increases our chances of being saved determined to be false?

The venerable fathers of the Church Sts. Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Jerome all seem to have accepted baptism late in their lives on the premise that it would improve ...
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164 views

Sources for baptismal exorcism of infants?

Are there any Christian texts before 600 CE which discuss the exorcism of infants or suggest that due to ancestral sin or for similar reasons infants are under the power of evil spirits? In ancient ...
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Early Christians who Defended Licitness of Non-Procreative Sex?

Were there any early Christians who defended non-procreative sex as licit?
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Which church fathers taught involuntary universal salvation?

Which early church fathers (including those now considered heretics like Origen) pre 1054 taught that "all will be saved", including all of the dead without "hearing and believing"? In other words, ...
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Was universalism the majority belief of the early church?

I recently came upon an article that made this statement: According to historical records, Universal Reconciliation was the majority belief of the church during the first five centuries of the ...
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What are the most striking disagreements between Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus?

What are the most striking disagreements (if any) between Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus? The unanimity of the early Church Fathers is something that is often presented as an indisputable fact. ...
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648 views

What are the most striking disagreements (if any) between the early Church Fathers of the second century?

What are the most striking disagreements (if any) between the early Church Fathers of the second century? EDIT: The unanimity of the early Church Fathers is something that is often presented as an ...
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When and from whom is the source that for Christians, God dwells in buildings you go to, rather than in believers?

The question of when Christians started attending church at a building rather than their homes led to a few answers and comments. One got me to thinking and asking this question. When did the concept ...
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Was there a non-Augustinian response to universalism in the early Church?

Most are aware of Augustine's abandonment of his universalism and his later adoption of eternal conscious torment in literal fire. His rejection of universalism is ultimately founded upon a ...
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Are there biblical passages supporting a “quasi-incarnation” attributed to the mystical union of the Holy Spirit and Mary?

The Logos or the Incarnate Word became flesh in what known to be "hypostatic union". Jesus Christ the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity became flesh and dwelt among us having two nature both ...
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Is the dignity of man pertains to his soul only or to the wholeness of his being meaning body & soul?

The Teaching of Tradition that support the Council of Trent interpretation on death penalty cited the reflections or teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine: "They will never be beasts, ...
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Is the Latin Mass, when celebrated not in Full Communion with Rome, not pleasing & acceptable to God?

For brevity, I would clarify my question as relating to the Traditionalist groups who are in full opposition to Pope Francis and to the teachings of Vatican II but would still consider themselves as ...
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Is it true that no post-apostolic theologians before St. Augustine believed in Eternal Security / Assurance of Salvation?

According to Wikipedia in it's entry of 'perseverance of the saints', eternal security has its roots in Church Father St. Augustine of Hippo. Considering that Augustine lived centuries after the ...
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Does Catholicism or any church father make a connection between Eve and Mary in Genesis 2:18 and John 14:26?

Genesis 2:18 New International Version (NIV) "The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”(Genesis2:18) and John 14:26 New King ...